Lesson 8 -- fourth quarter 1996
October 20, 1996
© Copyright 1996, Christian Light Publications
I need three easy steps to guide me in proclaiming the message.
Cut and dried. Plain and simple. Easy does it. Be specific. Don't be so general. Itemize it. Give me a one-two-three. Trot out an outline. These are some of the demands, clich‚s and buzzwords insisted upon by many. That is why we often face questions similar to the one above. Well, my friend, I will give you three steps; forget the easy part!
Hear the message. "Hold on just a wee little bit! You're getting off on the wrong foot. I asked about proclaiming the message, remember?!" Yes, perhaps this seems like the answer to a different question. However, remember the message to proclaim is not to be our own. Therefore, we must first hear the message before we can proclaim it.
Just how keen are you on listening to what God has to say? Have you ever fumbled the message at some point in the day because you neglected to begin the day with God? So frequently our personal message gets all tangled through the message God would have us to proclaim. What a distraction for the message hearer! So keep this in mind: The better we do at listening to God's message ourselves, the better we will do at proclaiming the message to others.
One other angle for your consideration: hearing is more a function of the heart than a function of the ears and eyes. The ears and eyes allow the message to enter; the heart absorbs and assimilates it. The heart asks, "What is in this for me?"
Live the message. Is your message nonresistance? Live it. Is your message peace? Live it. Is your message love and kindness? Live it. Is your message truthfulness and integrity? Live it. Is your message faithfulness? Live it. Is your message purity and separation? Live it.
If your life demonstrates that you are above (or is it really below?) your message, why should your listener give credence to your message? "But if the message is from God, he should listen whether or not I live it!" Hmmmm. If the message is from God, then live it!
The writer was steaming. Tucked amidst the biting words of his letter was the message that he considered me a jerk. Stout language indeed. His next letter was even more fascinating. The basic message then was the importance of revealing God through practical love in our daily human relationships. Did his previous message affect the truthfulness of his love message? No. Did his previous message affect the impact of his love message? Of course! So, he is guilty. Yes, we see that so well. Can we see whether or not we are guilty also?
Proclaim the message. You've heard the message and applied it. Now to proclaim it. Well, you are proclaiming it. You merely need to put it into words! Call your speech the caption of your life message.
In your verbal proclamation, consider the Source. This will help you avoid personal slight or offense when it is rejected. You must also consider the message. Do not modify it to suit yourself or anyone else; present it in its purity and fullness. Do not tamper with it. Furthermore, consider the need. The hearer needs this message. Do not be swayed by your own fears and reluctance, by your own preoccupation and comfort, by your own busyness and agenda. When you consider these three angles you will not be distracted my mere opposition and contradiction.
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