I’m in the middle of preparing messages for this summer. I don’t know about most speakers but I always come to a task like this with a healthy fear and a little trepidation.
Am I meeting the needs of the people who will be in front of me?
Am I being sympathetic and empathetic?
Am I “rightly dividing the word”?
Of course, there are always the questions like “Is this going to be relevant, interesting, and am I going to hit it out of the park?”
While all of these concerns are valid, I’ve begun to realize that I will never get the right answers until I ask right questions.
“…out of the the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” Luke 6:45
Through the years, I’ve had the privilege of sitting under the teaching of many talented preachers and teachers. I found myself impressed by (and a little envious of) their style, their exegesis of Scripture, and the beautiful way that words flow from their lips “like butter”. But something became clear to me amidst some of these audiences. Our hearts were not being move. Our intellects were being stimulated and we were entertained but, there was no real inspiration. Why?
It,s because we need a little aspiration in the heart before there can be inspiration.
The messages that have always inspired me are those from speakers whose LIVES preach and their lips only “play catch up”. Because of their example, not just their words, I’m compelled by a little “holy envy”. I want some of their lives to be reflected in me so I eagerly absorb as much from them as I can during that short period of time called “the message”. That kind of speaker must, within him, carry two ingredients: authenticity and passion. Without those two things we run the risk of accomplishing, not inspiration but, mere clever manipulation, which produces nothing in the life of a believer.
I want to be a man that is REAL with the people I’m entrusted to instruct and I want only to speak about the things that I strive to “flesh out” in my own life.
If I AM an inspiration then the rest is easy.
I’m praying that this will be a summer of inspiration for all of us.