Imagine many years ahead (though not a certainty) and a Bible to find messages to preach three times a week. Several times I have heard pastors say that one of the biggest problems is always coming up with ideas to preach on. They say they really struggle with new sermons.
I have a different problem. So much so, that even the title of this post is misleading. I am sitting on my back deck, in near perfect temperatures, thinking about what I am going to preach on. You see I am soon to get my new building to make into a study and then I can bring all my books to South Carolina. (Thank you Jesus!) So, I now am thinking of which books of the Bible to preach through. I am overwhelmed!
Am I going to tackle Colossians, Philippians, or I Peter? Or what about the Minor Prophets I really have been thinking through? I have really had my eye on Micah, is that the one? Then I have always wanted to preach Ecclesiastes, and actually Nehemiah. There would be I Kings, but I Samuel really beckons.
Then there are the books I have preached through in the past that I would like another shot at. The craft of making my sermons, such as they are, is likely, for the better or the worse, fully developed. I would love to work through those books again in any event!
No doubt it is hard work, though I must confess that perhaps my sermon preparation methods are more cumbersome than most. But I relish the work as the most pleasant I have ever known!
There are texts to flesh out all over the Bible for textual sermons on Sunday morning, then all those books of the Bible to develop into a series of expository messages–not that running commentary thing that some do, but take it by natural units ands make a fully developed sermon. Notice I did not mention topical messages as even the best preachers, whoever they are, are really blessed if they can have even 30 great topical messages in one lifetime. ( I’d be lucky to have 3) No, I am speaking of this matter of preaching His Word. That privilege of being aided by the Holy Spirit to inject a little creativity into sharing only what is His Word–that task is one of ceaseless joy.
Overwhelmed? You bet! I will never live to get the whole thing preached! I will not have to scramble to find something to preach on, but be ever chasing the elusive dream of preaching every text. There is no hope of making it. But what a rich life to be called to preach and try.