How has the preaching of the Word been used in your personal growth and maturity?

Pastor Dave– As I look back and recognize that I have heard thousands of sermons in my lifetime, I also recognize that the Lord has used some of them in more obvious ways than others in the continuing process of maturing me and making me more like Christ. One such message that the Lord used and continues to use in my life is Pastor Franklin’s preaching from the book of Romans, specifically chapter 12:1-2. Through the preaching of this passage the Lord impressed upon me the need to be totally committed to Christ, not halfway or as it is convenient, but in every aspect of life. I listen to this message often as a way of reminding me of these truths. I praise the Lord for His Word and for those who faithfully proclaim it.

Pastor Andrew– It is an amazing truth that God’s Word transforms people through the power of the Holy Spirit. As I look back over my spiritual journey it also amazes me how many people He has used to communicate His Word in my life. God has faithfully used imperfect, willing, and submitted, servants to proclaim His truth and by their faithfulness I have grown in His Word. A few special Pastors and Missionaries come to mind immediately when I reflect. Those are individuals we might “expect” Him to use. If I stop and think, He has used a number of women, professors, peers, friends, my own family, and of course many others to communicate His truth. One of those saints is very elderly, but still faithfully serves the Lord in ministry. Her name is Mrs. Blades. She taught a small group class on spiritual leadership at a camp I went to as a teenager. I can still remember some of the phrases she used to use that challenged me. I remember her using various Old Testament characters in her lessons. She would pick his or her life apart while noting the lessons on leadership as she did so. She was just one early example of how God used the proclamation of His Word in my life to guide me into conformity with Jesus. It would take so long to list all the names of people who have impacted my life by proclaiming God’s Word. For now, I remind all of us of 1 Corinthians 3: 5-6, “What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the LORD gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” God’s hands are not tied when it comes to confronting people with His Word. He can use a donkey if He so desires. But so often, He chooses to use people. Many times He uses the ones you might NOT “expect” Him to use to plant His Word in our lives. One thing is sure, God’s Word is powerful, and the Spirit is mightily at work in us to praise and glory of His name.

Pastor Jon– What a joy it is to look back at how the Lord has used and continues to use His Word in our lives through the faithful preaching and teaching of the Word. As I look back, there are many messages that the Lord used and continues to uses in my life. Two of these messages stand out, but for completely different ways. The first message was a message preached by a young college student who had only been a believer for a year or so. He had lived a pretty rough life, yet by the Grace of God had come to put his faith in Christ alone for salvation. He almost immediately went to Bob Jones and the message he preached was between either his freshman and sophomore or sophomore and junior years. He preached on the need to not waste any moment, but to be willing to wholeheartedly follow the Lord wherever He directs us. He used many passages of Scripture throughout the message, and the Lord used these to begin to convict me and call me to the ministry. I fought against it even during that message, but have been reminded of it many times throughout the years since (I was about 12 years old at the time). I recently found the young man who preached this message and he is a pastor and the president of a small seminary today. It was a joy to write him and tell him how God had used him through the preaching of the Word. Another message was one preached by Douglas Mclachlan He preached on the importance and centrality of the Word of God in our lives and in our preaching. He emphasized the “laser beam accuracy of the words of God” as “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.”

How has God used the faithful preaching of the Word in your life?