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I don’t know about you, but preaching to me is a little like walking on a tight rope. I often feel like I’m walking on eggshells when I preach, wondering when I’m going to say something that offends my hearers. It’s not that I preach stupid hobby horses, it’s just that I preach the text in front of me without considering the impact, positive or negative, that it will have on my hearers. Most of my sermons are expository in nature. So, I do not pick and choose what texts to preach. I turn the page and preach the next text in front of me regardless what it says.
Preaching is difficult, especially when you know that you must preach the Word even when the subject is controversial or counter cultural. Truth be told, even I “disagree” with some of the things I preach, but I am compelled to preach and repentantly believe the text instead of the world. I am often equally “offended” with my hearers, but why am I involved in the ministry of the Word of God, if not to preach His Word accurately? The times that I fall off the tight rope is when I worry about how my audience will receive the Word of God. If I worry, then I may soften what the Word of God actually says. However, I also fall off the tight rope on the other end of the spectrum if I have a particular hobby horse and argue it stronger than the text actually says.
So, excellent preaching is like walking on a tight rope. The only time you don’t fall off is when you preach the text as God the Holy Spirit intended it to be preached. We have no right to soften the Word or to harden the Word; we must preach the text. If you do not preach the text, then you are falling off the tight rope… and some have even fallen to their deaths for they refuse to preach the text at all.
What are your thoughts?