Put on your overalls.

x354-q80We owe Thomas Edison a great deal, you know, light. We also owe him credit for this great statement: “Opportunity is too often missed because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Preacher, preaching is work. It’s the greatest and hardest work. Whether you share my struggle of sitting and staring at an empty coffee mug hoping a great introduction would write itself, or have to walk away from your notes in frustration because you can’t craft the perfect theme, you’re aware it takes work. If this job is easy for you, I must ask one of two questions.

Are you really preaching the Word?
Now naturally, some texts are easier than others. I find Paul much easier structurally than James. God gifts us differently, and therefore different texts or tactics will be simpler for some. However, I still struggle with Paul, because it’s the Bible. God’s Word is not easy, and that’s marvelous because it beckons you to study it. So my brother, if it’s too easy for you to preach the mysteries of Christ, you should examine your content and confirm it’s God’s Word and not your own.

Are you truly causing worship?
True preaching awakens the listening soul to worship the Author of the book. When preaching is sin-exposing, conscience-awakening, and Spirit-empowered, the hearer will be driven to confession and adoration. If there is no sweat in the preparation, there will be less passion in the preaching, and therefore less adoration in the pew. God has called us to lead in the supreme human activity of true worship. Work, brother.

It’s hard work, and we’re all workmen. Each new passage offers new challenges, and as we grow in our knowledge and skill, we discover greater and deeper challenges. Remember that as you struggle with a text, your listener is struggling with loss, or bitterness, or a bad temper, and God has ordained you to minister to the spiritual need of those individuals. You struggle to preach God’s Word because the hearer struggles and needs God’s Word. Put on your overalls, and prepare to preach.

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