When preparing to preach on Sunday mornings, there is a certain level of nervous anticipation that arises. On the one hand, there is a confidence that the Lord will bless your preparation in the Word and your prayers heading into the sermon. On the other hand, there is the fear of misrepresenting the Lord or preaching a “dud” that seems to completely miss the mark for the congregation.
A certain level of anxiety is good because if you are completely confident in your abilities, you may be walking the line or have crossed over into self-confidence and self-reliance, rather than a dependence on the Lord in the midst of your preparation and preaching. So, with the beginning of the college church season and the “back to church” surge within the United Sates, here is some encouragement heading into the new season:
Pastors can always use encouragement. If you’re a pastor (or even if you’re not), here are some truths that you might find encouraging today.
- God promises to use his Word (Isaiah 55:11). When God speaks, things happen. No matter how feebly preached, God honors the proclamation of his Word.
- Our weakness displays God’s glory (2 Corinthians 4:7). Our weakness doesn’t diminish God’s glory. It provides greater contrast between us and the surpassing power of the God we serve.
- God uses the “things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:28). If you and your church don’t look like much, you are just the type that God loves to use.
- Your position is secure (Romans 8). There is no sermon that you could preach that would make you more acceptable to God. There is no sermon, however bad, that can remove you from the love of God.
- Our imperfect churches display the manifold wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:10). When God wants to display his wisdom to angelic beings, he points to the church. The fact that church exists despite our failings causes angels to marvel and to glorify God.
- Your work is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). We often don’t see it, but because of the resurrection we can stay at it, knowing that our work isn’t wasted.
There’s so much more. Things may be tough. We may not see much progress. But God is at work. On Friday as we prepare to preach, we can rest knowing that all is well. There’s every reason to be encouraged.