Dear preacher,
I know you love to preach. And I imagine you’re really good at it, too.
From personal experience, I know the sheer terror of preparing a sermon. I also know the feeling in that moment when suddenly the terror becomes sheer joy because God takes his word, your words, and the Holy Spirit’s power to bless people deeply.
But do you know that the greatest sermon you’ll ever preach is not to your congregation but to yourself?
Listen to wise words of Dr. Paul Tripp in his book Dangerous Calling:
If you are in ministry and you are not reminding yourself again and again of the now-ism of the gospel, that is, the right-here, right-now benefits of the grace of Christ, you will be looking elsewhere to get what can be found only in Jesus. If you are not feeding your soul on the realities of the presence, promises, and provisions of Christ, you will ask the people, situations, and things around you to be the messiah that they can never be. If you are not attaching your identity to the unshakable love of your Savior, you will ask the things in your life to be your Savior, and it will never happen. If you are not requiring yourself to get your deepest sense of well-being vertically, you will shop for it horizontally, and you will always come up empty. If you are not resting in the one true gospel, preaching it to yourself over and over again, you will look to another gospel to meet the needs of your unsettled heart.
If you are not requiring yourself to get your deepest sense of well-being vertically, you will shop for it horizontally, and you will always come up empty.
Preacher, preach the glories of the gospel to yourself daily––over and over again. Your congregation doesn’t need you just to be a good preacher. They need you to be a spiritually and emotionally mature disciple of Jesus.
Marinate on that.