Sunday, August 21, 2005

Pastors Aren't Perfect

It's Sunday. My busiest day. I speak at 3 services and it's like a 12 hour day for me because I feel so drained afterward. It's not that I don't like my job -- I love it. But I'm not one of these people energized by being with others. Add to that the unusual heat -- did you notice it didn't rain yesterday for the PNE opening? -- and I'm even more drained.

I prepare all week for my message and by the time I get to the last service, I've got it honed pretty good. A friend of mine likes to tease me that I'm the Jay Leno of church. If a joke bombs at the 9:00 service, I quickly adjust for the 10:00 session. I work really hard at getting my sermon notes and the Power Point presentation just right but last week I made a mistake.

I had written down Hebrews 13:15 on my sermon notes and I meant to write down Hebrews 12:15. It was talking about having a root of bitterness. I was using this passage to eplain how ongoing bitterness, anger and unforgiveness can give the devil a foothold in our lives. But Hebrews 13:15 was a totally different message:

"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name."

I noticed the error right away at the first service so at the 10:00 service I pointed out my mistake. When I finished preaching, a man from the front row ran up to me and said, "You know your mistake that you made? That was not a mistake. I believe it was a word from the Lord for me. I needed to hear that. Thank you."

The man's words encouraged me and I realized that even when we do something wrong God can turn it around and bring something good out of it. And that’s exactly what Joseph said to his brothers at the end of Genesis. He basically told them that their actions were meant for evil but God meant it for good to bring about this present day.

And that’s what God does. Even though I didn’t make that mistake for any sort of evil purpose, God still turned it around and found good in it.

I might not be perfect, but I kow Who is. And although I will be diligent and work hard this morning to teach God's Word, I'm delighted to know that even if I don't do it perfectly, He will still use my work for His glory. As the guys from God Rock would say, "Cool, eh?"

Happy Sunday!


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