Friday, 18 March 2011

A Word to Preachers Before Sunday

No doubt there are many of us wrestling hard and sweating over the text in preparation for preaching this Sunday. As we prepare to preach one of the key things we must be doing in preparation to preach a passage is to be preaching it to ourselves before we dare preach it to others. We must let our hearts be affected by the glorious truths of God's word before we seek to apply them to the hearts of others.Richard Baxter said it well in this plea to his fellow preachers, which we would do well to heed:
In the name of God, brethren, labor to awaken your own hearts, before you go to the pulpit, that you may be fit to awaken the hearts of sinners. Remember they must be awakened or damned, and . . . a sleepy preacher will hardly awaken drowsy sinners. Though you give the holy things of God the highest praise in words, yet, if you do it coldly, you will seem by your manner to unsay what you said in the matter. . . . Speak to your people as to men that must be awakened, either here or in hell. Look around upon them with the eye of faith, and with compassion, and think in what a state of joy or torment they must all be for ever; and then, methinks, it will make you earnest, and melt your heart to a sense of their condition.