Well thought out and prepared messages are a real blessing. But there are many people like myself who not only want to see intelligent biblical sermons preached, we want to know if they are life messages that are expression of Christ in your life. Messages that come from actually having lived and experienced what you are preaching. For example when you speak of God’s protection because He has a purpose for our lives what living examples can you give of that being lived out in your life?
The knowledge of God is not only to be assimilated in the intellect but it is to be experienced. Now I can listen to your intellectual sermon and totally agree with your claims of God’s purpose for protection in our lives because I have experienced God’s protection. For example, my friend, my son Jeremiah (a two months old at the time) and I should have been one of the death statistics the year all the Firestone tire threads ripped off causing serious accidents. But God in his wisdom spared us and the only thing that was dammaged was the intake valve to the gas tank.
Another time, after a wonderful meeting with one of our supporting churches, not long after we started our 3 hour drive home, we were on a divided highway where headlights came straight for us hitting our van full of sleeping children. We became another victim of a drunk driver who was speedily fleeing the police yet no harm came to us.
Our churches are filled with expository preachers, excellent speakers and even very charismatic personalities that naturally capture our attention. Their eloquence seems to make up for their lack of experience but when the sermon is over their words stay within the confines of the masterful walls where microphones, power point and other excellent visual aids were used to skillfully present the message.
These are great tools that should also be used to enhance your life messages. No doubt that the sermon was methodically and prayerfully prepared to express the words needed to communicate. But what is greatly desired is to know that what you preach is real in your own life.
If you prepare an intelligent message it will simply reach the intellect but if your message has been truly experienced in your life then you are looking at the potential of impacting someone else’s life. There is no substitute whereby you can boldly claim, “I have tasted and know that the Lord is good,” (Psalm 34:8) showing that you trust the very scriptures you are imparting. That my friend comes with experience and not wishful thinking.
The key where a preacher can have incredible impact is by first being humble and willing to take responsiblity for their own faults. Sermons that have had a great impact in my life come from men whose lives have been humbled before God and whose experience is expessed in their messages. It may even surprize you that some of these impacting messages were not even deep theological sermons.
These kinds of messages are able to minister to others in a very practical way so that the hurts can be set at the foot of the cross. Then hearts are more open to receive more light and application of scriptures in their life where growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 2:18) can take place.
Lately I have wondered how many pastors live a double life? They may have learned to be elequent speakers but lack in real life experience with God and His word in their lives. I would think this to be a terrible position to be in where preachers would be someone different while infront of others and another person behind closed doors doubting the very words they preached. I cannot imagine the turmoil but I can certainly understand the dangers of living a double life.
Lately I have been reading a book called, “Born Crucified,” which says, “Oh, to get men in touch with Christ! We must present Him. We must somehow give Him; not merely preach Him, but present Him. We must be so identified with Him that in a certain sense it may be true: “I who speak to you am He” (John 4:26).” Exert from Maxwell, L. E. (2010-05-13). Born Crucified (Moody Classics) (p. 158). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
These are just my personal thoughts from a perspective of one who in many cases is receiving the messages, anxiously looking for living examples. Intelligent messages are not enough for me. I am desirous to see how the scriptures have impacted your life so that when I look at you I can know that God is real and that He is willing to be real in my life also.
What are your thoughts?