Praised for our Preaching? (Grimke)

Meditations on Preaching I recently picked up this short book called “Meditations on Preaching” by Francis Grimke.  To be honest, I hadn’t heard about this book before but after looking into it seemed like the book would be worthwhile to read.  And it for sure is!  It’s full of great Christian wisdom on preaching.  If you’re a pastor and you need some encouraging thoughts on preaching, do get this book!  So far it’s been a blessing to me.  Here’s one quote I read today that was convicting and helpful:

Too often, we preachers feel, that we are not doing very much, that our work is not succeeding, unless someone is constantly swinging the censer under our noses. It is when we are praised, when our sermons are spoken of in complimentary terms, that we feel that we are succeeding most. And, when we preach, Sabbath after Sabbath, and no words of commendation are heard, we are apt to feel a little discouraged, to think that we are not succeeding. Unfortunately, too many of us (such is poor human nature) want to be praised. We look for it, we expect it: we often think more of a word of commendation than anything else. It is certainly a weakness, a pitiable weakness, a thing to be ashamed of. We ought to be content to do our work, with no thought of self, but only of the glory of God. Too many of us are like the Pharisees in this respect. It is the glory of man that we are thinking of, and that we are hankering most for. It may be natural, but it is a thing for which we should despise ourselves.

Here’s another I appreciated:

“I am not asking God to fill the house with listeners, but I am asking him to send to the services those who need to hear the message which I am to give and to prepare me to give it and prepare them to receive it.

One more:

“No man’s ministry is a failure, however meager the results, if he has been faithfully and earnestly preaching the gospel of the grace of God, holding up to dying, sinful men God’s message of redeeming love.  Such a ministry is not, could not be, a failure.”

Francis James Grimke, Meditations on Preaching (Madison: Log College Press, 2018).

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54002

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