Refresh Your Soul

Blog 4.4.2021        

Refresh Your Soul

It has only taken a year, but yesterday, I broke the cardinal rule of preaching and scriptural exposition. My preparation and notes got the best of me, and I spoke too long. Because of this fact, I heard more complaints not about the content of the message but because of the length. No one said it to me personally, but the comments made their way back to me nonetheless. I do not want to sound critical of the critique; that negative cycle does nothing for the health of a church and personal relationships. However, I also know that the appraisal is valid and justifiable; the average person’s attention span is only 18 minutes. Therefore, I try to cap all of my sermons at that minute mark. Yesterday’s lesson was roughly double that… it was a massive violation.

I have mixed feelings when it comes to this topic. On one side, I want to be courteous to everyone’s time on a Sunday morning. On the other side, I think, “Why do we gather on Sunday if not to study God’s Word?” However, I realize that this questioning is rooted in my pride, rearing its ugly head. The truth is there are many reasons why we gather on Sundays, and far down on the list is hearing my simple homilies. We gather to commune, praise, and mutually partake in the Lord’s Supper; yes, we are also to devote ourselves to the apostle’s teaching and the word of God. “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13). This is, of course, how the body is built up through teaching and instruction.

Consequently, when I hear people murmuring about the length of a lesson, I can’t help but wonder about their own spiritual health; where do they need to be built up? So, for a brief moment, let’s compare ourselves to David, the “man after God’s heart,” and see if we measure up to the model he presented.

Psalm 19:7-14
“The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey than honey from the honeycomb. 11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. 14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

We can all see the delight that David has for God’s word. There are several things mentioned in this passage that our world desperately needs to hear. Many pressures are crushing us daily. The demands and weight of the world around us are overwhelming, and it is easy to feel defeated in every aspect of our lives. This is why we need the word of God, not just on a Sunday morning but every day of our lives. Look how the word sustains us. It refreshes our souls, gives us wisdom, brings joy to our hearts, brightens our eyes, and warns us of danger.

There are two things listed here that we should pay special attention to; the psalmist states that it gives us insight into our own faults. This is essential in our lives today. In a world that throws blame at us continually, we need direction to know areas in our lives that we need to address. The Bible does not care if I am famous, successful, tall, short, thin, or thick. The Bible is concerned with the inner person and if I love God and His word. God’s word is the great equalizer; whether you are a lowly shepherd or a king in a palace, the Bible sees you for who you really are, which should bring us great comfort. The second point is that David says it is sweeter than honey and more precious than gold. It is pleasing and appetizing; it leaves you wanting more. No one reasonably thinks, “I have too much gold; no more gold please!” This should be our attitude to hearing or reading scripture. We should desire it more and more and more!

The attributes that the Bible brings to us are the same things that keep us from picking up God’s word. When our souls are exhausted, we are too exhausted to read the wisdom. When our hearts are in despair, we won’t open the cover. When our eyes have grown dim, stop seeking the light. Combat the darkness within all of us, refresh your soul, and joyfully anticipate how God’s word will bring you new life.

2 Responses to “Refresh Your Soul”

  1. Linda Brake says:

    Well, I’m sure some noticed, but I didn’t even notice you went over. I really appreciated your message and think it’s one we need to have regularly. Do not judge for how we judge is how we’ll be judged. Some of the scariest scripture out there. Keep preaching Tom❣️

    • Gary Jones says:

      “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
      ‭‭John‬ ‭1:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

      “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
      ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:105‬ ‭NIV‬‬

      Thanks Tom

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