2 Corinthians 4:5 (NIV)
For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
While attending the recent 2013 General Council of the Assemblies of God held in Orlando, I had the opportunity to hear several magnificent preachers. Their messages were timely, their delivery captivating, their content engaging and their invitations unforgettable. They didn’t just give inspiring talks or moving speeches; they powerfully proclaimed the Word of God.
The word “preach” is defined as proclaiming or making known the gospel or good news. Preach is said as “euaggelizo” in the ancient language and can also be translated as “proclaim.” It is used dozens of times in Scripture to describe declaring the Word of God.
My first sermon was preached when I was 18, to a handful of faithful people on a Wednesday night in my home church. I shared everything I knew in about 15 minutes. There was more perspiration than inspiration, but the people graciously listened and God used it. Since that Wednesday, I have had opportunities to preach thousands of times. Many of us in the Oregon Ministry Network are engaged in preaching week after week. How we preach is important.
Here are three things I pray for when I preach.
1. For anointing: A clear evidence of the Holy Spirit in and through my life.
1 John 2:20 (NIV) But you have an anointing from the Holy One…
2. For authority: A confidence in declaring the Word of the Lord.
Titus 2:15 (NIV) …Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
3. For authenticity: A genuineness and validity in my message and life.
1 Peter 1:7 (NIV) These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
This is the kind of preaching this generation desires and needs. I challenge you to join me in praying, preparing and proclaiming God’s Word with anointing, authority and authenticity. What an honor to be a preacher of God’s Word. Your best sermons for this generation are yet to be preached.
The heart makes the preacher. Men of great hearts are great preachers… E.M. Bounds