It seems like a lot of people want to hear practical and applicable teaching. This is understandable. If the alternative is impractical and irrelevant messages then by all means sign me up for the former option. The problem is that application in preaching can so easily direct our gaze in the wrong direction.
Truly transformational preaching will always point us toward God for the transformation. It is as we encounter God’s self-revelation that we will feel genuine conviction. It is as we look to Christ that we will find genuine transformation. Of course we are either responsive or unresponsive to the work of the Spirit in all of this, but if we are not careful we can easily leave God out and look to ourselves for change.
One phrase that I’ve heard Andy Stanley use a few times is potentially very powerful in this regard. More than once I’ve heard…
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