Sunday morning, July 16th, I arrived in the village of Matuu, Kenya, and sat down in the front row of a tiny church building. As the time neared to begin the service, I looked at the handful of young children mingled with even fewer adults.
I opened my Bible and glanced at the notes I planned to preach from. My heart sank. The sermon based on 7 verses in Judges chapter ten would never work.
The music began, the congregation of less than a dozen stood and began singing, and I bowed my head and tearfully prayed, “Lord, I have nothing to say to these people. I have nothing for them. Unless You speak to them from Your Word, this time will be wasted.” It’s a prayer I’m left to desperately pray every time I stand before any of God’s people, but this time the need seemed even more desperate.
When I was called forward, I repeated my little prayer for the zillionth time, opened my Bible, and began my sermon about a Jewish judge named Jair, and a Saviour named Jesus who shed His blood to save sinners.
After I finished, a man sat down next to me. “Thank you for that sermon,” he tearfully said and began telling me why it was so meaningful to him. He then went on to recount my sermon from the previous year.
Later, another man recounted all four sermons I’ve preached in that church and how God has used them to change his life.
The power of God in Kenya is the same as anywhere else in the world. Neither His work nor power depends upon me. The power of the Gospel isn’t in me or any one of us, but in His Word. My inabilities are meaningless when compared to the Spirit-inspired Scriptures. The transforming power, life-changing influence, and to-the-point relevance have nothing to do with the speaker or the venue, but everything to do with God’s Word.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18).