How many times have you heard John 3:16? I’m sure quite a few. Maybe you’ve heard it all your life. Perhaps you’ve heard multiple sermons on the verse. I know I have. But I also know that each time I preach on it, I learn something. Do you?
Teaching a Tedious Message
I heard some stats that say between 75 to 85 percent of pastors feel inadequate in the ministry for which God has called them. They often say they aren’t prepared, even if they went to seminary. Many are trying to keep up with members and society that says they need to bring something new. People want to impress someone with what they know. They spend their time hunting for a word they can call their own, write about and preach about.
However, if they are doing what God told them to do, they wouldn’t need a word — especially when people aren’t even taking action based on the last message they heard. In my life, I’ve learned the importance of hearing the same messages, over and over again. I still listen to messages I heard the year I got saved. When I was dealing with pneumonia a few years ago, I didn’t need a fresh word from God. I didn’t get some divine revelation or a great epiphany. He told me stuff He’d been dealing with over the years. I just needed to do the revelation I’d already had.
Learning and Living the Word
“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but it is safe.” Philippians 3:1.
Don’t be afraid of going over the same Scripture. Don’t be afraid to preach a message over and over again. For people to get a hold of something and change the way they think, people have to listen to something at least seven times. Yes, people will think it sounds tedious. Yes, they’ll tell you they already heard the message. But usually, the tedious message is exactly what they need to hear and need to be doing.
I believe that if people took action on the message they’ve already heard, we really wouldn’t need counseling. I regularly get people coming in, wanting to talk about something and I point them to a message they issued. Usually, they were missing church, and the sermon they missed had the answer. Sometimes they’ve been in church to hear the message, and never put it into action.
If people showed up to church, listen, and apply what they’re hearing, they wouldn’t need counseling. They wouldn’t demand a fresh word. When you know something, you don’t get tired of hearing it repeated. It reaffirms that you’re going in the right direction.
That’s why, for me, I don’t need some huge, great new revelation. When I was asked on television about the greatest revelation God had ever given me, I pointed out that understanding I needed a savior, and that Jesus is that Savior, is the greatest thing God has ever told me. You can try to walk the faith, but without Jesus, it won’t work. You can try to live without Jesus, but you won’t see that love the rest of your life or get into heaven. The reason I still teach on John 3:16, and it never gets tedious, is because nothing is deeper than the central truth of Jesus.
Watch below to learn even more!