Sunday Considerations: Sermon All Week

“Why do you go to hear that minister preach? He is not a brilliant preacher.” “Very true,” was the sensible reply; “I know that his pulpit performances are not brilliant—but his life is a sermon to me all the week.” With a minister, as much as with the private Christian, character is of the greatest import. More than one pulpit orator has destroyed the effect of his discourses by his self-seeking egotism, or his unscrupulous practices, or his overbearing temper, or some other very unchristian trait. On the other hand, a full one-half of the power of some eminent pastors lies in their pure, unblemished piety. Everybody trusts them. Their unselfish humility would silence a scoffer. Good as they are in the pulpit—they are still better out of it. Their life is eloquent from Monday morning to Saturday night.

What is true of the ministry is equally true of the laity. An honest, consistent, godly character is a “sermon all the week.” Nay, it is Christ’s own preaching; for Christ lives in such a believer, and shines out from him. This good man’s fruits are Christ’s fruits, just as much as the big, luscious grapes are the outcome of a fruitful vine. The credit does not belong to the grapes—so much as it belongs to the vine which yields such superb fruit. Our divine Lord recognized this, when he said that herein was he glorified, when his disciples bore much fruit. The godly Christian—pure of heart and unspotted by the world—is the best preacher of the gospel. And it is just from the lack of this gospel salt, that society suffers corruption and decay. Revivals and conversions are painfully few. The revival which is most urgently needed, is a revival of practical godliness. Sunday preaching is not enough; we need more “sermons all through the week.”

Let us go down to the core. The only basis of good character, is a renewed heart, a heart in which Jesus Christ lives by his divine Spirit, a heart which is in the habit of obeying Christ’s commandments. Such a man draws his motives of action from his deep, abiding love to Jesus. Up from the very roots comes his daily devotion to those things which are pure and honest and lovely and of good report. Rooted into Christ, he is not easily shaken. He does not bend to trickery or yield to temptation. The world cannot move such a man. What does he care for its changing, frivolous fashions; his fashion is to do the will of his holy Master.

spiritual drought does not dry up such a Christian. Some church members are only flourishing during the heavy rains of a revival season; the rest of the year they are as brown and barren as the desert! If their pastors grow sick and tired of such fitful professors, how patient must their Lord be to endure them at all!

Let the reader of this volume examine himself, or herself, in the light of conscience and God’s Word. Perhaps you are wondering why so few are converted, and why the church has so little power, and why the attendance upon God’s house is so scanty, and the state of religion is so low. The reason is that more of the preaching of practice is needed all through the week. And none of us can rise higher before the world than the fountain-head in our own hearts. “O God, renew within me a right spirit!”
~ Theodore Cuyler. Excerpt from Wayside Springs from the Fountain of Life, 1883.

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