Preaching: The Message Must Be Alive
Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” —Jeremiah 1:9-10
A church can wither as surely under the ministry of soulless Bible exposition as it can where no Bible is given at all. To be effective, the preacher’s message must be alive—it must alarm, arouse, challenge; it must be God’s present voice to a particular people. Then, and not until then, is it the prophetic word and the man himself, a prophet.
To perfectly fulfill his calling, the prophet must be under the constant sway of the Holy Spirit. Further, he must be alert to moral and spiritual conditions. All spiritual teaching should relate to life. It should intrude into the daily and private living of the hearers. Without being personal, the true prophet will nevertheless pierce the conscience of each listener as if the message had been directed to him or her alone. This World: Playground or Battleground?, 85-86.
“Lord, I pray that my preaching and teaching might never become routine. Keep me fresh; keep me under the ‘constant sway of the Holy Spirit;’ keep me alert and alive always. Amen.”