Confidence. Pride. Game-time excitement. Tension. Anxiety. Fear. Doubt. Humility. There are so many different emotions swirling into a frenzy during the final 24 hours leading into the delivery of a sermon. It is a schizophrenic, unpredictable state. Much like our Houston weather, it can be pouring rain one minute and a clear sunny sky the next. Other times it seems to be impossibly pouring rain out of a clear sunny sky.
As we have been journeying through the book of Romans at Crossings Community over the past year, there have been some really tough sermons. Within these posts I want to give a really short glimpse into why they are so difficult.
Honestly, the difficulty is not in studying the scripture. Figuring out what the scripture says comes pretty easy and I really LOVE every minute of sitting in my study and dissecting deep into the nuances of the text so that I can communicate ideas simply and clearly.
The difficulty really comes from having a shepherd’s heart. Being a pastor is not only about preaching, but it is also largely about loving people. When God gives you a heart to love people you are aware of how they receive and respond to the sermons you deliver. My conviction and calling to preach the truth of scripture is, by God’s grace, an overwhelming drive that supersedes all other concerns. However, couched within that drive is a passion to see people respond well to the words of the scripture and run toward a loving Father, rather than turning the other way to run away from him.
A collision develops here between an uncompromising commitment to preach every word of the Bible, while deeply desiring for people to receive it in a way that matures their relationship with Jesus. Teaching the book of Romans has taken these emotions to a new high, but God has been working in my heart just as he has been working mightily in the life of our church…