Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. E Dewey Smith has always prided himself on being a pastor that can engage five different generations. The way that he goes about doing it seems to be a little more unorthodox than his predecessors. The authenticity of his message equips every Christian with the requisite biblical knowledge to navigate the world in the 21st century. Heretofore, there was a gap between young Christians and elder Christians, the anomalies of the 21st century have stifled the cycle of knowledge in the Christian community. However, Dr. E Dewey Smith has worked tirelessly through his career to bridge the gap between these two generations. The principle mechanism for rebuilding the gap between both sides is effective communication. The title of Dr. Smith’s July 16th, 2017 sermon derived from John 3:1-2, entitled “Real Talk.”
Dr. Smith, forever the pastoral teacher gives incite to the biblical context saying, “This is one of the few passages that allows us to see Jesus engage in one-on-one conversation with an individual.” John 3:1 depicts a conversation initiated by a man John calls Nicodemus. Dr. Smith asserts, “If we’re going to have real talk that matters we must: (1) Choose the proper time for communication. He adds, “Many of us mess up relationships because we’re having the right conversations at the wrong time.” It takes wisdom and maturity to press pause on the conversation. Just because it’s the right time for you may not mean you’ll get the result you’re looking for.
Often, individuals engage in communication when we’re not in the right frame of mind. If you want to have “real talk” then you must say it with your chest, and you must be intentional. If you’re going to have real talk that matters you must: (2) Don’t hide behind others when you talk. Dr. Smith suggests, “Never allow one person to speak to you on behalf of we. Usually, if there’s an “I” speaking for “we” there is no “we!” When you hide behind “we” it shows your insecurities. You must be strong enough not to engage in less! Dr. Smith says, “The more people you involve in mess, the more demonic it becomes! It misrepresents WHO God is!” If someone offends you, go to that person. If they hear you, you’ve gained your brother or sister.
Thirdly, if we’re going to have real talk that matters we must: (3) Talk about what you know. In the text, Nicodemus doesn’t bring speculation or draw any unnecessary conclusions. Focus on the facts, not what you feel, think or have heard. Do not perpetuate innuendo and conjecture with no facts to support. Dr. Smith insists, “FACT: God has always taken care of you!” He continues, “Life would be so much better if we talked about what we know!” The three purposes of conversations are to: (1) Build relationships, (2) Solve problems, (3) Glorify God. If we are going to have “real talk” that matters you must: (4) Admit when you need clarity. We are often too haughty to admit what we don’t understand. Dr. Smith adds, “Don’t be embarrassed to admit when you don’t get what someone is saying! Some of us will never grow in communication if we don’t admit there’s something we lack clarity in!
Just because you share your perspective doesn’t mean others see your perspective. If we’re going to have real talk that matters we must: (5) End on the right note! Dr. Smith asserts, “If we have been radically transformed by knowing Christ, no one should need to spend time questioning it.” In the text, we don’t see where Nicodemus was changed by his conversation with Jesus. How can we hear the Lord’s voice and not change? Dr. Smith says, “Jesus’ last conversation on the cross built relationships, solved problems and glorified God. Dr. E Dewey Smith closed out the sermon with an old hymnal, “How great is our God.”
If you missed this exciting worship experience, be sure to catch us next Sunday at 10:15am. 4650 Flat Shoals Pkwy, meet us there, better yet, BEAT us there!
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Inset Image: Joy105.com/HakimWilson