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The Benefits of Preaching Preparation

I need to read and reread my sermons before I step into the pulpit to preach them.  At first I only did this so that I could deliver my sermons smoothly.  But over time I have become aware that I need to read and reread them because I need to preach to myself.  Or rather, the Word needs to confront me since I am a sinner in need of the correction and encouragement that only God's Word can bring.  I need to be reminded that God is awesome and holy.  I also need to be reminded that He is love.  I need to be reminded that the Father in love sent his Son to die for sinners such as me.  I need to be reminded that Christ loves me and gave himself for me.  I need the sweet and secret energy of the Holy Spirit to work in me and this the Holy Spirit does in and through the Word.  So now I prepare for preaching because I need the message as much as, indeed perhaps more than, those to whom I preach.

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