Preaching, Without Preaching


“And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10

“Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
    Praise befits the upright.”

Psalm 33:1

There is a power emitted from a life of joy.

We can see it and hear it in the lives of joy transformed people; many others, not so much. The deep joy we see is the most significant evidence we can know of the real presence of Jesus Christ. As we journey with joy, we become a living ‘billboard’ of God’s reality.

This is an awesome thing, when you think about it. But it also ‘takes the pressure off’ a believer’s witness to a watching world. The light is God’s, and when it shines out of us it is the ‘clincher’ for many people. (So, you should relax some.)

My first contact with Christians was at a ‘hippie’ commune in the early 70s. These were ‘Jesus People’ and when I saw peace and joy in their faces, I just knew it was real. It wasn’t anything that was said, rather it was the way they said it. Their countenance was filled with a joy that couldn’t be faked. (I would’ve known it if it was.)

Evangelism has more in common with joy than with a formulaic presentation. It is good to know ‘the Romans Road’ method of preaching; it is far better to know the God behind it. The witness of joy will significantly touch hearts when nothing else will. There is no better witness to an unbeliever than ‘Jesus inside’ a believer!’

I led teams of evangelists in the streets from 1986-1989 with S.O.S. Ministries in San Francisco and Berkeley. We distributed tens of thousands of tracts and Bibles. I learned to preach at ‘the cable car turn-around’ on the streets at Powell and Market, and many other places. We would always prepare out hearts beforehand by a time of praise and worship. We would seek the ‘infilling of the Holy Spirit’ before we stepped out into the city.

The infilling part was critical, and we knew it. The methodology could be learned– but we weren’t salesmen. We had to be ‘in tune’ with the Holy Spirit first and foremost. Today, 2014 we still must radiate Jesus to those who don’t know Him yet. Mother Teresa once said, “Joy is the net we use to catch souls.”

Come away with Jesus, and spend real time with him. Joy and peace will follow you when you truly meet with him. He makes his servants shine. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.’




Further Reading from





“For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”

Deut. 4:25, NKJV

There is a distinct difference between sinful jealousy and godly jealousy.

Sinful jealousy is comprised of the desire to possess something that doesn’t belong to you. It is the inclination of ownership to a thing (or person) that you don’t actually have– someone else does. “I want this so much.” is often heard or thought. It has a lot to do with personal desire. We can be jealous of another person, or what the other possesses. A girl, a guy, a boat, a car, a house. The list goes on. Jealousy works well with other sins, like pride, lust, covetousness, or stealing (theft). The sins overlap. Lust for someone is often a jealous attitude that reveals discontent with one’s own. It isn’t happy, and in effect tells God that He has withheld something good. (It really shows itself when someone is promoted or recognized instead of me.)

However the jealousy of God has is completely different.

“But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God.”

Joshua 24:19

“God exhibits holy jealousy because our love and adoration rightfully belong to Him; He is jealous with a holy jealousy when we love and worship false gods in idolatry. His kind of jealousy is not sinful because we belong to Him and He created our hearts to belong to Him as well.”

God is jealous about you. He passionately in love with you. There is such attraction that He sent Jesus Christ to die as your substitute on the cross. We were ransomed, and then given new lives through this blood of Jesus. Is it any wonder that God gets ‘miffed’ when we choose the dark and the false over Him?

“Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

James 4:5

The prophets would often speak about the marriage covenant between a husband and a wife. Clearly they intended for Israel to see themselves as ‘connected’ to the Lord in a deep and intimate relationship. He wanted them to be faithful to this covenant. He became jealous when Israel repeatedly broke that agreement. He is jealous of all rivals and idols that replace Him.

“I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy;”

Hosea 2:19

God’s jealousy is nothing like man’s. The Bible teaches us of the inherent goodness of God. This means that He cannot do anything contrary to His nature. Human jealousy is found everywhere, and at its best is morally neutral; and at its worst is evil and sin. God’s own jealousy is always an element of His love.


A ‘Slipping Down’ Life

“When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.”

Genesis 32:25

There is no question that we each want a wonderful life.  Young and strong and very idealistic, we brew dreams that we will become persons of wonder and deep significance.  After all, anything less would be a denial of what we believe.  In our youthful zeal we more or less insist on our own success.  We just know, deep down, that we are God’s special gift to the world.

All of a sudden we strike reality’s iceberg.  It is very bitter, and it hurts us.  Then things unfold around us that are difficult and quite challenging to process.  But as it ‘sifts out’ we realize that we find we are severely mismatched by what we must face.  It is at this point things will proceed from ‘difficult to ugly.’

We discover that our life is ‘a slipping down’ sort of kind.  Twenty years ago, we would never admit this.  But our vision and expectations have shrunken, and we’ve become less than we imagined than we would be. We have ‘slipped down.’ Living this kind of life, inserts a humility in us. We have aspired, but have not attained. We discover that we haven’t met our earlier expectations. We are woefully short.

But if we are honest with ourselves (and others) we find ourselves– subtracted.  We wrestle with our angel, and he pulverizes us. We discover that we now limp, but this is a necessary step for us to take.  Sometimes “Christlikeness” must be beaten into us by life itself.

There are those among us who profoundly struggle with pain and illness are expected to join with millions that have gone before us.  Loss and ugliness pay a visit to our lives.  There are those of us who fight with a mental illness, (sometimes winning, and often losing) have to sift through all that remains.  But this is all ‘injected humility.’ This experience does teach us, like nothing else can.

“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God– Oh my, but you do learn.  C.S. Lewis

Personal brokenness requires that we pick-up the pieces.  And that in itself works something in us.  On our hands and knees we have an epiphany.  We are not what we thought we’d be.  But humility, the soil that grows our spirits, finally has begun to work in us.

A ‘slipping-down life’ brings us to the ‘bitter-sweet place’ where the Spirit can reach into us to do His work.  It is the ‘operating room’ where He works deep inside us.  None will truly know the Lord’s touch without this deep work. I strongly encourage you to submit your hearts to His precise work.  After all, you really don’t have a whole bunch of viable options. aabryscript

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