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I love to preach God’s Word.  I love to proclaim the gospel.  I love to instruct and shepherd God’s people publicly.  These are gifts from God that you and I experience each week as pastors that I have been freshly reminded of these last three weeks being out of the pulpit.  Yet, I have been reminded of something else that I deeply love about preaching that I have also missed these last three weeks.  It is something that we should especially love about preaching that I fear many do not.  It is something viewed as a burden…a means to an end…not a unique gift we are privileged to receive week in and week out.  I am referring to…

“The hard, intense wrestling match with God’s Word to prepare to preach.”

There is something special about the hard, time-sensitive labor that is preparing to preach God’s Word in a few days.  It feeds and nourishes our own soul in a way that moves us to preach powerfully what we have found through intense study and prayer.  I recently had a young man say to me, “I love to preach, but I hate to prepare.”  This could have been his way of saying the labor to prepare is hard…because it is.  Yet, there is a legitimate risk in the heart of every preacher to “love to preach, but hate to prepare.”

Dear brothers and fellow pastors, yes, the labor is hard.  It is intense.  It must be done in fewer than six days, regardless what has happened to you during the week.  Yet, we must see our preparation as a gift from God.  It is the time when we study with an intensity that nothing else can produce.  Through that study, our hearts and mind are pricked, challenged, fed, broken, instructed, shepherded, and molded by God Himself through His Word to make us who God wants us to be when we stand before our people to preach His Word.

Therefore, pastors grow to love your preparation.  Pray that God would feed your soul as you prepare to feed others.  If you are not a pastor, pray earnestly throughout the week that God would do a great work in your pastor as he prepares to preach.  We have many joyful burdens as part of our calling as pastors.  I submit to you this is one we should all grow to love.

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Pollie Marabe

commented on Aug 2, 2012

?The hard, intense wrestling match with God?s Word to prepare to preach.? I like this one, I know i need this as a challenge to me, to be always prepare and not making an alibis of waiting to the Holy Spirit, to open my mouth and put his Word in me of not preparing. I know i have already God's Word in my hands to read and study. My heart and mind should be pricked, challenged, fed, broken, instructed, shepherded, and molded by God Himself through His Word to make me as God wants me to be when I stand before God's people to preach His Word. Thanks

Jimmie Don Willingham

commented on Aug 2, 2012

Having experienced this hard, intense wrestling with texts in my sermon preparation, I can appreciate what the author might have to say. I understand that the text is likened to a mine, a hard rock mine where the miner has to pound it with a pick axe in order to get the precious metal out of it.

Anthony Jones

commented on Aug 2, 2012

I must say how much I appreciate sermon central. Being a pastor with a full time job and raising a family. Sermon central has been just a jewel. It has launched my ministry to a whole new level. I am so greatfull for this site. And I pray that it will continue to prosper.

Pastor Sandy .

commented on Aug 2, 2012

Spoken from the heart - thank you,

Brad Brought

commented on Aug 2, 2012

Once I set down to prepare for a message, I thoroughly enjoy the time I spend alone with God. My biggest trouble comes from carving the time out to prepare. In as much as I have loved earning my bachelor's degree, it has been a challenge. I am looking forward to seeing how the Lord chooses to use me after my graduation in December 2012. To God be the glory.

Gene Cobb

commented on Aug 2, 2012

Love ministering to people! The burden is so much easier with my husband and I co-pastoring. We are so blessed to have each other to lean on. Of course we each must prepare and seek God's will for each week, but having someone so close to hold me up in prayer, and I him, is just wonderful. Today was difficult, we had a Memorial Service for a man who left behind a young wife, 3 year old and 17 year old. The whole family are members of our church. Preparing with my husband and sharing the service not only was a blessing for us, but because of our two different view points we were able to minister to more people. Love being a servant of God! Thanks for your good words....Pastor LaFern

Michael Karpf

commented on Aug 3, 2012

I love to preach and prepare. Exegesis is hard work. But it forces you deep into the text, asking God to give you wisdom and insight but most importantly allowing God's word to work through you and in you. It is slow, hard work, but it is very rewarding. I am very thankful for my time at Dallas Theological Seminary learning exegesis and how to preach the word. Without it, I would not be prepared to preach.

Michael Karpf

commented on Aug 3, 2012

I love to preach and prepare. Exegesis is hard work. But it forces you deep into the text, asking God to give you wisdom and insight but most importantly allowing God's word to work through you and in you. It is slow, hard work, but it is very rewarding. I am very thankful for my time at Dallas Theological Seminary learning exegesis and how to preach the word. Without it, I would not be prepared to preach.

Dante Pollescas

commented on Aug 12, 2012

I love preaching..It draws me closer to God every time I dig deeper into His Words while preparing His message.. One pastor told me that while you prepare to preach, you are actually preaching to yourself first...

Dante Pollescas

commented on Aug 12, 2012

I love preaching..It draws me closer to God every time I dig deeper into His Words while preparing His message.. One pastor told me that while you prepare to preach, you are actually preaching to yourself first...

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