imageI’m in the middle of preparing messages for an event this weekend. I don’t know about most speakers but I always come to a task like this with a healthy fear and a little trepidation.

Am I meeting the needs of the people who will be in front of me?
Am I being sympathetic and empathetic?
Am I “rightly dividing the word”?
Of course, there are always the questions like “Is this going to be relevant, interesting, and am I going to hit it out of the park?”
While all of these concerns are valid, I’ve begun to realize that I will never get the right answers until I ask right questions.

“…out of the the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” Luke 6:45

Through the years, I’ve had the privilege to sit under the teaching of many talented preachers and teachers. I found myself impressed by (and a little envious of) their style, their exegesis of Scripture, and the beautiful way words flowed from them “like butter”. But something became apparent to me as I listened with some of these audiences. Our hearts were not move. Our intellects may have been stimulated and we were entertained but, there was no real inspiration. Why?
It,s because we need a little aspiration in the heart before there can be inspiration.
The messages that have always inspired me are those from speakers whose LIVES preach and their lips only ” play catch up”. Because of their example, not just their words, I’m compelled by a little “holy envy”. I want some part of their lives to be reflected in me so I absorb as much from them as I can during that short period of time called “the message”. That kind of speaker must, within him, carry two ingredients: authenticity and passion. Without those two things we fail at inspiration but, accomplish mere clever manipulation, which produces nothing in the life of a believer.
I want to be a man that is REAL with the people I’m entrusted to instruct and I want only to speak about the things that I strive to flesh out in my own life. If I am truly honest with an audience I will preach my own “funeral” every time. I must preach the things I have to “die to”. That’s when an audience can truly relate and be inspired, knowing that we’re all in the struggle together.
If I AM an inspiration then the rest is easy.
I’m praying that this will be a weekend of inspiration for all of us.