Pastor Tyler Griggs
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15
There are many important tools to use when putting together a sermon. I am convinced that among the chief of these tools is a dictionary, especially a Webster's 1828 Dictionary, which I use regularly. Let me share three reasons with you as to why the use of a dictionary is important in delivering a sermon as a preacher.
1. Defining Unknown Words. We all run across words in our Bible reading that we don't know the meaning of. Now, we can simply skip over those words or we can use a dictionary to look up the meaning of the word. An example of just such a word that I didn't know the meaning of was the word IMPORTUNITY found in Luke 11:8. I came to find that the word meant pressing solicitation or an urgent request. Another definition I found was persistence to the point of annoyance. I was able to take that meaning and put together a sermon on us being persistent with our prayers to God and entitled the sermon "Do You Annoy God?”. Had I not known the definition of the word importunity I wouldn't have fully understood the truth presented in this passage nor would I have been able to compile it properly for deliverance in a sermon.
2. Things You Don't Know About The Words. There are words that we know the meaning of or at least what the word is. Yet, there are times when there are words that if we would look them up, we can find something else that we may not have known. An example is the word STILL. In Psalms 46:10 the phrase "Be still" is used and other such phrases are used throughout the Bible. Now we've all heard a parent say to a child, “Be still” and usually that means to stop moving and stay in one place. I learned from defining the word that it not only means to be still in a physical sense but also in a mental sense in our minds and emotions. He was saying not to just be still on the outside but even more on the inside with our emotions and mindset.
3. To Properly Preach God's Word. There have been a few times in my life when I have been sitting in a service listening to the preaching and noticed that the preacher used a word in a way that is not in context with its definition. They would direct the whole sermon off of that word or what they thought that word meant, when in reality, the word didn't mean that at all. When this happens, the people misinformed and it is generally a sign of preacher who hasn’t studied
In conclusion, get a good dictionary to aid you in your Bible study so you can gain knowledge about the Words of God and so that you needeth not to be ashamed. Somebody Say Amen!
Dr. C.H. Spurgeon
The following are the closing statements of a lecture delivered by Dr. C.H.Spurgeon entitled “The Minister’s Self-Watch”
Even in little things the minister should take care that his life is consistent
with his ministry. He should be especially careful never to fall short of his
word. This should be pushed even to scrupulosity; We cannot be too
careful; truth must not only be in us, but shine from us. A celebrated doctor
of divinity in London, who is now in heaven I have no doubt — a very
excellent and godly man — gave notice one Sunday that he intended to
visit all his people, and said, that in order to be able to get round and visit
them and their families once in the year, he should take all the seatholders
in order. A person well known to me, who was then a poor man, was
delighted with the idea that the minister was coming to his house to see
him, and about a week or two before he conceived it would be his turn, his
wife was very careful to sweep the hearth and keep the house tidy, and the
man ran home early from work, hoping each night to find the doctor there.
This went on for a considerable time. He either forgot his promise, or grew
weary in performing it, or for some other reason never went to this poor
man’s house, and the result was this, the man lost confidence in all
preachers, and said, “They care for the rich, but they do not care for us
who are poor.” That man never settled down to any one place of worship
for many years, till at last he dropped into Exeter Hall and remained my
hearer for years till providence removed him. It was no small task to make
him believe that any minister could be an honest man, and could impartially
love both rich and poor. Let us avoid doing such mischief, by being very
particular as to our word.
Dr. Allen Domelle
“Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never harm me.” This is the old rhyme that children often repeat to show their toughness when others are calling them names. However great this rhyme may sound, it is one of the biggest lies that comes from anyone’s lips. Words do harm, and what we say will hurt. Whether or not we mean what we said, we should always be careful about the words that come from our mouth.
“Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God; such alone will shake the gates of hell.” -John Wesley