Honestly, I’m at Keswick this week, moving on Monday, and a little overwhelmed, so I am resorting to an easy source for quality thought-provoking material. Spurgeon. Following on from yesterday and thinking about preaching to save souls, here’s a blast worth receiving:
If we ourselves doubt the power of the gospel, how can we preach it with authority? Feel that you are a favored man in being allowed to proclaim the good news, and rejoice that your mission is fraught with eternal benefit to those before you. Let the people see how glad and confident the gospel has made you, and it will go far to make them long to partake in its blessed influences.
Preach very solemnly, for it is a weighty business, but let your matter be lively and pleasing, for this will prevent solemnity from souring into dreariness. Be so thoroughly solemn that all your faculties are aroused and consecrated, and then a dash of humor will only add intenser gravity to the discourse, even as a flash of lightning makes midnight darkness all the more impressive. Preach to one point, concentrating all your energies upon the object aimed at. There must be no riding of hobbies, no introduction of elegancies of speech, no suspicion of personal display, or you will fail. Sinners are quick-witted people, and soon detect even the smallest effort to glorify self. Forego everything for the sake of those you long to save. Be a fool for Christ’s sake if this will win them, or be a scholar, if that will be more likely to impress them. Spare neither labor in the study, prayer in the closet, nor zeal in the pulpit. If men do not judge their souls to be worth a thought, compel them to see that their minister is of a very different opinion.
Some things have changed ever so slightly, but the bulk of this quote is well worth pondering in respect to our preaching today. Perhaps it would be worth spending a season in prayer, asking God to make the souls of those around as important to us as they are to Him. That might prompt prayer, and preaching, as never before.
(Quote from Thielicke’s Encounter with Spurgeon, pp58-9.)