I’ve heard and presented some good, not so good, and even stellar sermons. When we are at our best in sermon delivery, what is most commonly present the week before? It may be as important to first reflect on why it even matters.
Why do I have to purpose to present the word of God?
1- It provokes life – The Bible is all about Jesus (1 Peter 1:10-12), and in Jesus there is the life we were designed for (John 14:6), full of joy, wonder, grace, and unity (John 17:20-21).
2- It provokes clarity – God’s word is engorged with truth (John 17:17) that saturates our lives with peace, joy, and wisdom. Voices abound and are bound to speak into our lives daily, it’s on Sunday when those voices quiet for the voice above all voices.
3- It provokes grace – In His patience and kindness leading us to His goodness we remind the body of Christ of that reality. Faced with a world that gives merit where it’s due, we must be re-tethered to a lovingly sovereign God that gives mercy and good gifts to the most undeserved.
What’s most commonly present the week before?
1- It lives – Because we are a vessel chosen by God to provoke life, clarity, and grace, we have to see the lives in the crowd. Not just the people in the seats, but the lives in the crowd, including our own.
In prayer I ask, “What, of You, must we have this week?”
Layered prayer to bring the sermon to life looks like asking God what would He say, from where would He say it, and how would He say it. In other words, what is the spiritual temperature of the people, and the text and tone that provokes life, clarity, and grace
2- It breathes – From the life of the sermon, now you let it breathe into daily realities by reflection, prayer, and reading to reference with scripture alone. Ask for life to intersect what you’re studying, and in the intersection, passion will emerge.
3- It matures – It’s alive and breathing, now you continue to refine and age the sermon. Present it over and over, feel the spirit moving into what God would say to his people. Believe that God will speak inspite of you. Pray, prepare, and ponder for refining clarity.
I recall the moment my heart was impressed by the reality that Christ wants to speak through us by first speaking to us. You can teach what you know, but you reproduce what you live. Purpose to allow God to provoke others through the word of God dwelling richly in and through you.The well crafted sermon is a froth spilling atop the glass. It isn’t what you have left, it’s what you have in abundance.