The Substitute Preacher

Bible Text: "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses [...]. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Chor. 12:10

Substitute preacher

Substitute preacher

One day a pastor, who at times was tempted to be proud of his talent, couldn't deliever his sermon due to unforeseen circumstances. In those days people didn't have telephones in their homes, so there was no way he could call his parishioners to cancel the service. So the church asked one of his elders to substitute the preacher.

For some people public speaking is no big deal. It comes naturally. This was not the case with this particular elder. He rarely preached, because he felt very uncomfortable in front of an audience, and when he did he usually spent many hours in preparation. You can imagine his apprehension as he was climbing up the platform that day, with no prewritten sermon or any other notes to help... The tension became even more intense as he read in the eyes of the congregation surprise, and, in some cases, disappointment.

He started by asking them to pray for him, as he was feeling totally helpless. He asked God to empower him and to use him despite his weakness and unpreparedness. And then something next to a miracle happened. He forgot where he was; he could no longer sense the intimidating tension; his fingers seemed to be guided by an unseen hand to find Bible texts right on the topic; and his voice sounded very convincing and had a heart piercing quality that had never been perceived before.

The preacher felt bad about not being able to preach that day and was somewhat embarresed that he had to be substituted by a less talented speaker. But one lady from the congregation, who happened to be an important person in town, told him: "I have always appreciated your sermons for their beauty. I was looking forward to hear you. However, from all the sermons I heard, this man's made me to commit my life to Jesus."

Never underestimate the power of a person who completely surrenders to God.

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