Mike began preaching from the book of Haggai shortly before a heart attack and consequent anoxic brain injury on Monday, May 25, 2015 ended his preaching career at Immanuel. It’s my bittersweet privilege to publish them on the seven years later. He preached three sermons, all from the first chapter of this two-chapter book, opening the first with “Friends, your bucket lists all got shorter by one item because that long-awaited sermon series from Haggai has arrived!”.
During his last sermon (May 24), Mike was describing Haggai as a being like other preachers, who — like himself, like his preaching students at Reformed Theological Seminary, like everyone God calls to preach — are “puny men risen from the dust” (John Calvin’s description of preachers). “Friends,” he said, “I believe in preaching! Not because I do it, but because of what my Lord promises to do and has done through it — in my own life over nearly 34 years as a Christian, in the lives of those I love and serve, and in the numberless lives of all His people across the span of church history.
“How about you — what are you doing here? If you’re a Christian, it’s because the Preacher of preachers, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, sent ‘puny men risen from the dust’ into your life, men who had gratefully surrendered their mouths to Him as His tools, bearing His Word to you, speaking in His Name to you so that you might hear His voice calling you out of the tomb and into Life for the very first time. And if you’re a non-Christian, that same Great Shepherd has sent a ‘puny men risen from the dust’ bearing His Word of confrontation and consolation to you this morning, to call you out of darkness and into His marvelous light.”
And Mike’s final words from the pulpit of Immanuel to his beloved congregation:
“All the pride-executing, eternal life-giving preaching of ‘puny men risen from the dust’ by which Jesus has been building and will continue to build His church until His return has a single theme, doesn’t it: ‘Jesus Christ and Him crucified’ (1 Corinthians 2:2) — the worth of Jesus Christ.
“Yes, friends, I do believe in preaching — not because I believe in preachers, but because I believe in the Preacher of preachers, the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you?”