Category Archives: Preaching

Are You Called To Preach?

Are You Called To Preach?

Matthew [a commentator here] said; “Well, my opinion is that you need to be made for preaching. And yeah, it’s true that all gifts from God are mostly rough gifts which as we grow we can master them. Something similar to practicing and rehearsing your voice for music. It’s exactly how sea shells are made.”

  • Preachers Are Born, Not Made

Matt was responding to the previous post, and he makes a couple of very important points there. It has been said that ‘preachers are born, not made’. This is the whole point of being led by the Holy Spirit of God, that you are given this gift of preaching, and when you recognize this and begin to preach a sermon, you are simply being obedient! When God calls you to do something, of course He will enable you to do it. When you choose a tool to do a job, you choose the tool that is designed for that job;  so you can be totally sure that if your loving Heavenly Father has chosen you to do something, He will have already given you the ability to do that work.

  • Mastering Rough Gifts

Matt’s comment also talks about mastering the ‘rough gifts’. I like his lovely little analogy about the sea shells.  Just as the sea shell grows into a thing of grace and beauty by the constant laying on of microscopic layers of calcium; so the preacher grows into greater levels of skill and fluency as he constantly listens in obedience and as he tells out what he hears from God.

  • Obedience To The Voice Of God

This whole blog is about listening to the voice of God, being obedient to that voice, and then being blessed right out of your socks as you get confirmation that you were acting in that obedience. The real teachers here are the Holy Spirit of God and the Holy Bible.  It is obedience to them that brings the great blessing we yearn for, and obedience to them that brings about God’s purposes in this world. We are the hands and feet of Christ to the world, we are the Love of God in action in the world, and we are the Voice of God throughout the world.

  • Are You Called To Preach?

So to answer the question; “Are You Called To Preach?”, you have to consult your Heavenly Father.  He decides, not man, not your mother-in-law, not your church elders.  The elders have the right to issue permission to preach, within their own fellowship, but the question of whether you are or are not called to preach is a matter between just you and God.  Lots of people have thought that they would like to be preachers; for the glamour, or for the power, or maybe just for the plain desire to serve Him in a meaningful way; but to be a real preacher, you must be answering God’s call to preach. If that is His will, you will be enabled, and somehow it will happen. You need to listen to and follow those inner promptings, and look for the appropriate confirmation when ever you act.

How We Take Christ to The Community

Take Christ to the Community
Take Christ to the Community

Jesus once made the point that it not what goes into our mouths that makes us holy, but what we allow to come out that marks us as “Holy”, or set apart. I was struck today by the thought that it is not having Christ inside us that sets us apart as Christians, so much as having Christlike behaviour COMING OUT that marks us as sons and daughters of the Most High God.

  • You Have Christ  Inside You

Yin and Yang, Good and Bad, Dark and Light, are all interdependent, and only can exist as complements of each other. Paul told the Colossians; “I want to tell you this big secret; that you have Christ inside you”.  And so we do – if we have repented, been baptised and then born again out of the waters of baptism – but that is really quite meaningless to the rest of the world unless we have Christ coming out of us – in our actions, in our speech; and in our aims and attitudes and contact with others. Christ inside, and Christ coming out!

  • We are the Bible to the rest of the world.

I believe that preaching a sermon at people is not the best way to introduce them to Jesus Christ and to the love of God.  I totally believe that we are to BE Christ to people; in our daily meeting with the rest of the world; in our visible actions within our community; and in every thing we do or say to our family. Paul told the Corinthians [2 Cor 3:2-3] that they were [living letters] 2 “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human heart”. written to our community by the Holy Spirit.

  • The Only Way to Take Christ To The Community

This is how we “preach Christ to the Community”.  We don’t preach Christ at them, we BE Christ TO them; as we work, and as we play, and as we shop for our daily bread. We exhibit the love of God to every person we meet.  We treat every person as a brother or a sister in Christ; and in doing so we fulfill the great commandment ; “….to
love your neighbour and to tell the Good News.”

How to Step Out In Faith

Step Out In Faith
Step Out In Faith

Today I was asked; “What gives one the

authority and the confidence to preach?” The answer is that you just have to have to step out in faith. I always feel doubt about what I am doing before a service, and I believe that the doubt is really helpful in that it keeps me from getting puffed up in my own conceit.  It is really easy to start thinking; “I did that very well”,  after preaching and it is good to be reminded that it is God doing it, not me.

  • Confirmation Comes Later.

The confirmation that God is with you comes after the sermon when you realise that He was  giving you the points to put across.  I am  surprised  sometimes to hear myself saying things I didn’t think I even knew, and that goes to show that it was God leading me, and not me being smart or clever. You know He was guiding you when it ‘all comes together’. Thank you, Lord, for guiding me.

  • Wait For Confirmation.

I have learned to wait for confirmation BEFORE doing anything of a spiritual nature.  If God wants something to happen it is easy for Him to show you that.  I can think of 6 different things to do before breakfast on any day of the week, but I have learned not to do any of them unless I get some confirmation that He wants it to happen. We think we know what to do in any situation, but often there are hidden facts that would affect the result, and I have  learned the hard way that I need to NOT act on my own, but to wait to be shown what to do.

  • The Authority to Preach

The authority to preach comes in the certainty that what you are bringing from the Holy Spirit is true.  When the Holy Spirit of God convicts you of something, you share it with complete confidence, because then you KNOW inside yourself that it is true. It is much easier to step out in faith and share that. Not only is there inner conviction, there is total belief because you will have had the experience yourself to back up that conviction.  This is the difference between testimony and preaching. Sadly, ‘preaching’ is often just the re-telling of second-hand knowledge.

Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Preaching the Gospel
Preaching the Gospel

If you are going to preach anything in this world, this has to be your number one topic: Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We have no other valid message if we don’t preach this Gospel. The good news of Jesus’  life and resurection is the fundamental tenet that we hang all our teaching on.  It is the root of our testimony; the whole basis of all Christian outreach; and the essential ingredient in How to Preach.

  • Gospel = Good News

By definition the word Gospel denotes “the good news”, and of course the Good News is that Christ died to save us and is sitting at the right hand of God today.  The Good News is too that we need only to confess Him as our Lord and Saviour, repent and be baptized to have our sins forgiven; to have eternal life; and to live with Him in all eternity.

  • Preaching to Ourselves

It’s a funny thing, but we can’t preach without Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ TO OURSELVES! Whenever we ponder the Word; whenever we pray for wisdom and guidance to preach; whenever we contemplate spiritually; we are teaching and blessing ourselves as well. It has been said that whenever we preach we are preaching to ourselves as much as to others.  This is true for me, I know, because whenever I prepare to preach, I enlarge my own understanding. Any revelation granted to me to share also remains within me.

  • Preaching Spiritual Revelation

I believe in preaching spiritual revelation. I do not believe in studying up some subject and sermonizing  a whole lot of  other people’s opinion about it.  To share spiritual revelation, you must first get it, and the only way I know to do this is to take your Bible into your ‘quiet place’ and start in praying and reading and allowing yourself to be ministered to by the Holy Spirit of God.  The truths you discover in this context will be inspired revelation, and will effectively be “God speaking to His people”; when you stand up to share on Sunday morning.

  • Throw Away Your Concordance!

You do not need a concordance, you do not need a book of scriptural reference; you do not need to look up a whole lot of stuff on the internet; and you certainly DO NOT need any theological books written by other people.  God is never boring, and He would never insult His children by offering them second-hand goods; what He will do is inspire you to share your convictions, your testimony, and your own intimate knowledge of His Kingdom – IF YOU LET HIM!  His offer to ‘provide all you need’ includes whatever anecdote or experience you will need.  Any preacher who starts off like this: “A funny thing happened to me this week…..” will be sharing right out of their own Christian walk.  It will be real! If God has called upon you to preach this Sunday, He will always have ALREADY PROVIDED you with what ever you need to make your points! You will be obedient, and you will be preaching the Gospels.

  • The Gospel is All You Need

If your circumstance requires you to preach from lectionary readings, and for instance, you are required to be preaching  the Gospel of John; then the only resource material you will need is that very same Gospel of John.  Likewise if you are needed to be preaching the Gospel at Christmas; then again, the only resource materials you will need are those very Gospel advent stories.

How To Preach The Gospel

  • Preach the gospel
Preach The Gospel
To Preach The Gospel

Preaching the gospel is what this site is all about, it is the driving force behind any quest for “how to preach”. The gospel preaching that comes from seeking and telling the inspired Word of God, by prayer, and by the inspiration of the Holy spirit of God is the only valid form of Gospel Preaching that you would want to preach.

  • Use the Lectionary.

I belong to a union church that uses the common Australian lectionary readings, and we follow these Sunday by Sunday, and over a period of three years the principal portions of the Bible are effectively covered. I was suspicious of this ‘formalised’ system at first, but I have come to see that God works within that system to illuminate His Word and to meet needs as they occur.  It never fails to awe me that I can see retrospectively, that the Word that came out of those readings was entirely appropriate for that day and in that place.

  • Seek His Spirit.

Given the subject, or rather the Gospel passage, we next need to put His spin on it.  We are not here to gallop forth on our own hobby horses, nor are we here to relate secondhand experience from others (Sermons out of a book, or worse, off the net!).  What we are here for is to share the wisdom that comes from the Holy Spirit of God.  By prayerful contemplation, we are to discern what God intends to say on this very day, and we need to contemplate that, and to digest it ourselves, so we can share it out on Sunday morning.

  • A Revelation From God

Paul explained to the Corinthians in Chapter 15 Verse 26 26 This is what I mean, my friends. When you meet for worship, one person has a hymn, another a teaching, another a revelation from God, another a message in strange tongues, and still another the explanation of what is said. Everything must be of help to the church. that when we meet together we each bring something to share.  It is the duty and the privelege of the preacher to bring “a revelation from God”. I take this very seriously, and I invite you to share this conviction, thus being totally sure that what you are bringing, is indeed the inspired Word of God.  This word, based on the scriptures, enlightened by God’s Holy Spirit, becomes truly the Gospel Preaching we aspire to.

 


How to Preach With Conviction

  • How to Preach With Conviction
Preach With Conviction
Preach With Conviction

How to preach with power;
Preaching with conviction;
How to know what to preach;
How to preach a good sermon;
– these questions, and others like them are asked here all the time, so I now want to try and answer this point on how to Preach with conviction.

  • Testify from Experience and Knowledge

For me, the conviction has to shine through from what I know, from what I have experienced, from what the Spirit is telling me now, today. When you testify, the conviction is there in your voice because of course you must believe your own testimony, and your listeners will recognize that conviction. You are telling what you KNOW! You are the ‘first hand’ witness.

  • Conviction and Power From The Spirit

The other real source of power and conviction in your preaching is the Holy Spirit of God.  When you have prayed about what you are to speak on, when you have allowed the Spirit to illuminate your understanding of the scripture, then the power and conviction will be present and they will come shining through.

  • The Power of Scripture

God will never argue against Himself, so if what you are saying is based on pure scripture, and is expanding from that, then you have the confidence that it must be right. You know how it goes; God said it, I believe it! If you are quoting scripture, you are quoting God.  I believe, along with Timothy [2 Timothy 3:16]All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness that The Bible is the inspired Word of God, and that is something you really can Preach with Conviction.

How Do You Seek First The Kingdom Of Heaven

  • Seek First The Kingdom
    Seek First The Kingdom

    Seek First The Kingdom

This was the question asked here this morning; “How do you seek first the kingdom of heaven?”  It’s an easy thing to say; “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God“; but not so easy to understand, and harder still to put into practice!  It is a companion verse to Psalm 1: Verse 2, that says;”But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night“.

  • Simple Dialog with God

My understanding of this text is based on this assumption: That I can, and do, have constant dialog with God [How Do I Pray] as I perform my daily routines. This being so, it is not so hard to consult with God about everything I do. Prayer, which is no more than conversation with God, need not always be formal, but can be frequent simple [mental] communion with Him, and in this way, it is quite easy to get His guidance on anything we might feel led to do, and as we do it, we will indeed “seek first His Kingdom“. This is exactly what is meant by the expression to be led by the Spirit of God.

  • Developing Mind Patterns.

If we cultivate the habit of constantly referring everything we do to Him, then it will become a habit  of mind, a behavioural pattern that will shape our lives and eventually fulfill the two texts above that speak about seeking first the Kingdom of Heaven, and meditating on His law both by day and by night. You too then, can be led by the Spirit of God.

  • The Payoff

Why bother, you might ask?. I’m so glad you asked this question, because it goes to the root of our entire Christian motivation. Check out Psalm 1 “1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” where in Verse 3 it describes the life style of a person who does this – Wow! This is some promise, where you are guaranteed that everything you do will prosper!  And again in the other scripture from Matthew 6: “25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. where the promise is that all these things [food, clothing, etc] will be added unto us. Wow again!

  • Hallelujah Country

It is perfectly splendid to have everything you do prospering and to have “all these things” added unto you;” but the real pay-off, the “double whammy”, comes in the side effect of your obedience, the fact that you will be living in near perfect obedience, and thereby living a wholly fulfilled Christian live. Hallelujah!  You will in reality, be led by the Spirit of God! Hallelujah again!