Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why I Was So Scared To Preach

If you had a chance to listen to my first sermon posted here, you may have noticed that I started off talking about what an honor it was to be asked to preach the Word, and how seriously I take that honor.

I was absolutely petrified by the thought that I was to be responsible for conveying the message of God to the people of my church. It's not the public speaking part that bugs me, I do a lot of public speaking and teaching at work. Since I can't say it any better than the Lord:

James 3:1 (NASB)
"Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly."

Now do you see why? Preaching is so much more than just getting up in front of a group of people and delivering a message on what I think the Lord wants me to teach. worked on my message for 2 months prior to last Sunday, and had it pretty well finished going into last weekend. I wanted to preach on 1-John, but the Lord had other plans

You see, when I was reading my bible on the plane ride to Atlanta last weekend for the deeper conference the Lord hit the reset button on my Sermon. 

I wish I could remember how it happened, but it was a combination of things I had spoke with about my with Pastor and my study that made it happen. All I knew was that the sermon had too much ME in it, and I needed to empty it of ME and fill it with Him. You see, as I got closer to Him and His Word, it all started to become clear:

James 4:8 (NASB)
"Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

It is no conincidence that I was reading James on the plane. It is no conincidence that I had spent nearly 2 months studying 1-John developing a sermon that the Lord would just erase.

You see, the Lord used my study of 1-John to teach me something I will never forget. I articulated this lesson to my pastor this weekend with this statement, "The Lord has taught me that I need to study it like I'm going to preach it". 

Ultimately what I've learned over the past 2 months was that regardless if we are going to be delivering a sermon, we need to approach our study of the Word like we are. And if you are going to preach, you better make sure you put everything you have into making sure that you are doing in right. Not in your eyes, but in His.

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