When someone gives me a theme to speak on, I’ve always got one dilemma or the other. I either am not sure where to to go with it, or more often, I’ve got too many ideas of where to go. Twice in the last few weeks I’ve had that challenge, and I have at least three more in the next few weeks, too. It’s a good problem to have, really.
Take tonight’s topic for a youth rally at which I’m speaking. The theme is “Extreme Soul Makeover” and my assigned theme is “In Need of a Soul Changing Experience”. There–you’re already thinking in several directions yourself, right? There are so many ways to express our need of God’s transforming power in our lives! This is one of the blessings of the process of of preparation. It lets you dive into all those various themes, and in the process, God does something incredible. He teaches, convicts, challenges, and humbles you. My mind always rushes to all the stories of people in the Gospels Jesus encountered. Zaccheus, Peter, the woman who washed his feet, Nicodemus…all people whose minds and hearts were touched by His presence. How do you pick just one?
I love telling the story. A friend recently asked me if I ever get tired of it. I don’t. Yeah, I get tired of many things in life, in ministry. I don’t get tired of telling the story of Christ, though. I pray I never do.
This love was given to me by so many teachers past. My Sunday school teachers when I was a child, the preacher and youth minister when I was growing up…my grandfather, a preacher of forty years…my parents…my teachers at SSOP: Richard Rogers, Ed Wharton, Charles Speer, Abe Lincoln, Rex Boyles, Truman Scott, Gerald Paden–all of them set my heart on fire to tell the story.
Why am I rambling on about this? I don’t honestly know. I just spent the day pouring over these stories, and couldn’t shut up. Time with Jesus’ll do that to you, I guess.