Kindled Fire – How The Holy Spirit Helps Us Preach – Part II

Transcript:

Welcome! Thank you so much for coming to this session. If you don't know me, my name is Rusty McKie, I'm one of the pastors at Sojourn Community Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I have the privilege and the honor of functioning in the role of the lead pastor there. My church, we were one of the first that was sent out and planted within the Sojourn network, so we're coming up this Easter on our five year birthday from when we started services. It's been a wild and crazy ride and getting to have the privilege of preaching weekly for those years has just been incredible.

Which leads me to what I've been asked to talk about today, I'm so incredibly excited to get to talk about preaching and the holy spirit. And I'm also flabbergasted that they asked me to talk about this, I don't feel like an expert at all or like I have much to say. But as I've reflected on this, and Jesus saying that if his people don't speak about him, the rocks will cry out. I think of Balaam's donkey, the spirit of God came on him, spoke God's word. So, I think there's hope for all of us if God can do all of that. 

Before we go any farther, let me pray for us and then we'll jump right in. "Heavenly father, we thank you so much for the privilege of getting to be your servants. Father, we thank you even beyond that, for the the privilege of being able to be called your sons. Holy Spirit, you are an amazing person, and the work that you have done in our lives to reveal truth to us, to grow us more into the image of Jesus. To help us to cherish him more than anything else in this world is a good work and we're so thankful for who you are and for what you have done. And, I pray right now, that as we come to a subject that honestly has a lot of mystery wrapped up in it and is not very cut and dry, Lord would you just give us wisdom. Would you let everything that is said here honor you and honor Jesus. And I pray, Spirit of God, that you would help us to walk away from this time more challenged to step into pursuing being lead by you in our preaching. We just recognize right now our dependence on you and pray that you would meet us in a powerful and special way. In Jesus name, Amen." 

Again, my name is Rusty McKie, I'm one of the pastors at Sojourn Community Church in Chattanooga. I grew up in a very straight laced Baptist Church with a pastor who ran that church more like a CEO of a company than a pastor. And yet, there was an interesting dynamic in my church growing up as well because we had that going on. And then, in our youth group, we were like hardcore Bapticostal, if you know what I'm saying, like very influenced, didn't know it at the time, but very influenced by the contemplative movement. And so, the goal and the point of the Christian life was let's get from one spiritual high to the next spiritual high. After high school, graduated and I then went and I ran some isles and ran some flags with our charismatic brothers and sisters and that was definitely a good time. 

And then after that, my wife and I, we transitioned after we got married this season of wearing some suits and singing some hymns with our Presbyterian brothers and sisters. I share all that to say, when it comes to how we interact with the Holy Spirit, I have experienced every end of the spectrum and everything in between. And in the midst of all of that, have really felt a burden to want to experience what it means to walk by, to be lead by the spirit. And, I felt a lot of angst, like "Is my experience lining up with what the scriptures teach us?" Not only in my own personal life, but also when it comes to preaching God's word. 

Now, if we look throughout Church history at this topic of revivals and reformation, we get some pretty good material when it comes to looking at preaching with the power of the spirit, okay? And there are a couple trends, specific things that come up in the actual preachers that we see. And these things are; first, the men who lead reformation, who lead in revivals, these men had great knowledge, we see that in these men. These men; secondly, had ex-communication abilities. Now, they look different from man to man, but they had great knowledge, they had great communication abilities and they also primarily had the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit on their preaching. And this is exactly the three elements that Paul includes in 1 Corinthians:2 as well that Jamis mentioned earlier, we'll dive into that here in a few minutes as well.

So, we have this knowledge, this ability and we have the Holy Spirit working together in the preaching of these men to bring about reformation, to bring about revival. If we want to frame this conversation in a different way, we can also say it like this, "There's preparation, there is presentation, and there is the power of the Holy Spirit." There's preparation, presentation, power of the Holy Spirit, if you're into diagrams you could do a Venn diagram on all three of those meet. You've got spiritual preaching in the middle of that. 

As Doctor Martyn Lloyd-Jones, again Jamis mentioned earlier, his preachers and preaching excellent resource, his chapter on the demonstration on the power of the Holy Spirit is amazing, I would highly encourage you to read it. Within that, he says "The demonstration of the power or the spirit is the greatest essential in our preaching." It's the greatest essential in our preaching, so that should encourage you to want that in your preaching, but if you're like me, you also recognize that that is outside of our control. So, the greatest essential in your preaching is something that, as Jamis said earlier, there is no formula for us to get it. So the big question for us comes to, "If the working of the spirit is as mysterious as the wind, then what are we to do in order to have this experience of the power of the spirit in our preaching more and more. How do we as men depend on the spirit both in our preparation and in our presentation?" So, that's the big idea for today. I want us to walk through in both our preparation and our presentation, this idea of depend on the Holy Spirit, how can we do that more and more?

So, we are gonna look at the preparation as our first point, we're gonna look at the presentation. Under those points, under the preparation we're gonna look at the preacher himself as the man, we're gonna look at the sermon that we craft, that we prepare. And then under the presentation, we're gonna look at the sermon, the actual act of preaching. And then, we're gonna look at the preacher, how do we interact with the spirit, as men during that preaching, as well as after that preaching. 

Alright, so first off, the preparation. Specifically, the preparation and the preacher. Simply put, if you hear nothing else today, you cannot preach a spirit lead sermon if you are not a spirit lead preacher. Before you ever start prepping a sermon, the spirit of God needs to be prepping you, right? Now, immediately there are some dangers that we can fall into here. If we're not careful, we fall into two faulty ways of thinking about the spirit and the preacher. The first is, we can think of the spirit as just another tool in our tool belt that we need to master. You know, as preachers we grow in the preparation, we grow in the skills of presentation and we think, "Okay, now to really become a great preacher, I need to get this whole power of the spirit thing down." Let's just get that nonsense out of our heads right away. Because, we do not master the spirit, the spirit masters us. We don't utilize him so that we look good as preachers. No, he utilizes us as tools and as vessels in his hands. 

So, if we think about the apostle Paul, the man has superb knowledge, the man had amazing skills, and yet Paul says, "Beyond those things, the really important thing is the power and the demonstration of the spirit in our preaching." We see this in 1 Corinthians:2:1-4, this is what Paul says "And I, when I came to you, brothers did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech." So, the ability to talk good, right? Or, wisdom, right? That knowledge, I didn't come with those things, no, but I came in demonstration of the power of the spirit. That's essential, that's what Paul is fronting. 

Now, Paul is not saying that we shouldn't work on our knowledge. Paul is not saying that we shouldn't work on our abilities, honing our skills when it comes to our preaching. He's not saying that we should put those things aside so that we can then climb on the Holy Spirit rollercoaster and ride it for 35 minutes while we're just like shooting from the hip, right? That's not what he's putting forward here. What Paul is concerned about when he's speaking to the Corinthian church who prioritized the knowledge, the wisdom, the philosophical insides. They prioritized being able to have amazing rhetoric. He's saying, "No, my main concern is, how are my words, the content and the way that I'm saying them, what are those words, how are they impacting the church?" Paul's concern is, "Are my words and the way that I'm saying them, are the exalting me as a preacher or are they exalting Jesus?" 

The verse, [inaudible 00:10:33] says first Corinthians 2:2, that's where he says that "I preach Christ and Christ crucified." That's his goal, that's his aim. John Piper, in his book 'The Power of Words and the Wonder of God', he says this, "The point is this, pride sustaining, self exalting use of words for a show of human wisdom is incompatible with finding your life and your glory in the cross of Christ." So, let your use of words be governed by this double criterion. Self humiliation and Christ exaltation, let your words be governed by this double criterion, self humiliation and Christ exaltation. 

Alright, so the first faults he thinks that we just need to figure out how to use the spirit to make us look better as preachers, that's our first faulty way of thinking, that our relationship as preachers of the Holy Spirit. The second faulty way of thinking, is we can think that growing in the [inaudible 00:11:40]on spirit means that we grow in confidence as preachers. We can think that as we become more spirit lead, that we feel more comfortable as preachers, but it's actually the opposite that the spirit does in our life. 

Have any of you men read any A.W. Tozer? Can I get a show of hands? We got any A.W. Tozer fans in the room? Whose heard of 'The Pursuit of God?' It's his most famous work. Alright, has anyone read the followup to that book, 'The Pursuit of Man?' Anybody read that one? It's not as common, most folks don't know about that one, it's a great book that's about the Holy Spirit, okay? So, that whole book, 'The Pursuit of Man', is about about the role of the Holy Spirit, and that's not the original title. The original title of his book; which I think wasn't PC enough, so they toned it down a little, the original title was, 'The Divine Conquest of the Human Heart.' 

'The Divine Conquest of the Human Heart', isn't that an amazing description of the role of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit in [inaudible 00:12:53] attacks the sinful nature and in attacking the sinful nature, what the Holy Spirit does is he conquers our pride, he conquers our ego, and then he inhabits us like a conquered city, and he begins to work out of us the kingdom of self and work into us the kingdom of God's son. 'The Divine Conquest of the Human Heart', so it shouldn't surprise us at all that the relationship between the preacher and the Holy Spirit is a relationship where we do not become more independent and we become more capable as preachers, no it's one where we actually have this experience of the spirit emphasizing our weakness as a man so that in our sermons we emphasize Christ. It is him conquering our ego, and this was exactly the case for Paul, right? When we see his thorn in his flesh in 2 Corinthians 12, his thorn wasn't sin, but it was weakness in his life. And he didn't like it, he asked God to take it away three times. And remember what Paul says God's answer was? II Corinthians 12:9, "But he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefor, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 

I hope this is true for you as well, but the more I grow as a preacher, the less confident I am in my knowledge, the less confident I am in my ability. I had this thought that as I became, by God's grace, a better preacher, that I would feel more comfortable doing it. And in fact, the spirit does the opposite in our lives. He makes us more dependent and more aware of our inability which forces us to depend on the spirit.

[inaudible 00:15:01] Turn and think about the preparation in the sermon, we are actually talking about sermon prep at this point. Let me just encourage you up front, when crafting a sermon, all of the components that make a sermon great are also the roles of the Holy Spirit. This should be so encouraging to us, so I'm just gonna go through these pretty quickly. What makes a great sermon? Think about this with me. They are Christ centered, right? They are exegetical, they are explanatory, they are explaining the texts of their Christ and they are exegetical. They are illustrated, illustrations help make great sermons. And then finally, they are contextualized with application. That's what makes a sermon great. 

Now, let's think about the roles of the Holy Spirit. So first, the spirit helps us craft Christ centered sermons. R.C. Sproul has famously said, "The role of the spirit is to shine the spotlight on Jesus." That's a great description on the role of the Spirit. And that reminds us exactly what Jesus told us over John 14:25, Jesus said, "These things I've spoken to you while I'm still with you, but the helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will sin in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." So, the Spirit helps us craft Christ centered sermon. Second, the Spirit says craft exegetical or explanatory sermons. The Spirit is helping not only us as preachers, but he's helping our folks to understand his word, the scriptures. 

1 Corinthians 2:6-10, say God has revealed the secret in hidden wisdom of God through what? Through the spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. So, the Spirit helps us prep and craft Christ centered sermons, exegetical explanatory sermons. Third, the Spirit helps us craft illustrated sermons. In the book of Ephesians, Paul prays and he asks the Spirit of God to do what for the church in Ephesus? He prays that the Spirit would give them wisdom and revelation, why? So that their eyes might be enlightened. So that what was dark to their minds, light shines on it and they can see it clearly.

Now, the spirit certainly does this in more ways than just illustration, he does this in the explanatory exegetical parts of our sermons as well. But, we can kind of shy away, Jamis talked earlier about how we can be all word centered as opposed to word and spirit centered in our sermons. We can kind of view illustrations as a necessary evil that we kind of have to do, but we kind of just throw them in just because you're supposed to do it, right? But, let's not deny the fact that the Spirit of God can use well chosen illustrations to illuminate truth for the folks in our churches.

Charles Spurgeon has said this about illustrations, "A sermon without illustrations is like a room without windows." Think about that, "A sermon without illustrations is like a room without windows." Think about a house with no windows at all, there's something in it, it's completely dark though. People are groping around, they're kind of trying to figure out what it is. So, when we just go in and have primarily exegetical sermons without illustrations, we are not serving our people. And we're actually denying the Spirit the opportunity to use those well placed illustrations to enlighten truth in our folks. 

Fourth, the Spirit helps us craft contextualized convicting sermons. John 16:8 says, "When he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment." I hope this is for [inaudible 00:19:28] you. This means, when you're preaching, you don't have to be the Holy Spirit. This means that we don't have to have heavy handed application where we're trying to convince our folks. But instead, we can faithfully draw application out of the text. We can share that and we can pray and trust and depend on the spirit to do what he does best, which is convict of sin and to show folks the truth about righteousness and judgment in his world. 

So, we as we craft these sermons, we can have so much confidence that what makes a sermon great is also what the Holy Spirit, not only what he does, but is what he loves to do. The Spirit of God is so happy, so happy to help us have sermons that exalt Jesus. That help people to understand the scriptures, that helps people to see in greater depth, taking that truth from their head into their souls and their hearts and their lives into help us to craft sermons that help people apply his word to their lives. So, how can we depend on the Spirit more in the process of crafting a sermon, okay? A couple of quick thoughts for you. How do we depend on the spirit in the act of sermon prep? 

First, pray as you prepare. Super novel, right? Like, super novel, but pray as your prepare. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, when he talked about the power of the Spirit, he basically said the number one test for a preacher as to how he's doing when it comes to the power and the demonstration of the spirit is, "Does the man pray for it?" And, how often do we not have because we don't ask? So, as we are prepping our sermons, are we talking the time to say, "Spirit of God, teach me, help me. Help me not only to see what this text means and to do your work in me, but also help me know what my people need to hear out of this text so that I don't go on saying all of the things I could say, but I say the things that you want me to say." 

Two, repent as you study. The Holy Spirit, if one of his roles in our lives is to convict us of sin, then as we're studying this text, we need to say, "Spirit of God, convict me." And as he does, we need to repent our way through our preparation, so that when we come on Sunday morning, the text has actually touched our lives. And more than that, the Spirit has touched our lives. 

Third, fast. You can fast something during your preparation period. Because, that's just an act, it's something that we can do with our actual bodies that's saying, "I'm depending on you Spirit, I'm leaning into you. Help me and speak to me, now." 

Four, get input. Get input. One way to depend on the Spirit, is to depend on others in our preparation. That can be your plurality of other pastors, so you write out your sermon and you send it out to them and you say, "Give me your feedback." If you don't have a plurality of pastors, you can develop a leadership team of people who are thoughtful and you can send that out to them so that they can look at your sermon. And, this takes humility guys, it takes humility to say, "I just crafted this sermon that I've spent 10 to 20 to 30 hours on, and here it is, tell me how it could be better." But, what we're doing there is we're taking God's word and we're asking God's spirit to then use God's community around us to help us craft the best most spirit lead sermon for our folks. It's a humbling experience, but it's a great experience. 

Jamis mentioned earlier as well, that you can get people praying. He talked about Charles Spurgeon and the boiler room, the room underneath his pulput where there were people praying for him while he spoke. So, you can also get folks praying for you, not only while you're preaching but also while you're preparing. 

Alright, so that's preparation. Let's turn and let's start thinking about presentation. So, presentation, first starting with presentation in the sermon, the actual act of preaching. If you would, allow me to share my history of preparation and presentation, I don't share this as a model for you to follow. I, by no means am a model, but I share this as a story, as an illustration, and I invite you to put yourself in the story so you can kind of understand where you're at on the spectrum. 

When I was a young preacher, I would study a lot. I'd spend all of my prep time studying and I would write on a note card a bare bones outline and then I would get up and be 'quote on quote,' lead by the Spirit in my presentation. Basically, what that meant was, I would just wing it, right? And low and behold, I would always be disappointed that what was in my head and what was in my heart didn't come out the way that I had hoped that it would. So, from there, I swung to the other extreme, and then I began manuscripting everything, every single word. So, I put just as much time into the actual presentation side as I did the preparation side. I manuscripted it out, I mark up my notes on my manuscript, I'd run through it, practice it a couple of times and then I'd get up and preach. And through every ideration of new draft to marking it up, to every practice, I was able to hon my language to the point where I didn't have that post sermon regret, you know, afterwards where it's like, "Okay, I'm happy with where my language landed. I got what was in my mind and my heart to our folks." 

But, after awhile, that began to feel confining and constraining for me and I wanted to allow more freedom to not only have the Spirit speak into the preparation but also the presentation. So, where I'm at now, is I manuscript most of my sermon, but I make it way shorter. Like, a 1000 to 1500 words shorter than what I was doing so that there's kind of the bare bone structure there, but then I also have flexibility and freedom within the sermon to go off script and to be lead by the spirit to say words that maybe weren't planned. 

Now, there are a couple benefits I think to this both/and approach. You know, bottom line, you've got the freedom. You can go off script, and if you don't feel like the Spirit is leading you off script, then your sermon is shorter. And, I promise you nobody is gonna complain about that, you know? I've been doing this long enough, where I don't want to hear myself talk for more than 40 minutes, right? So, we know everybody else don't want to hear me talk for more than 40 minutes. So, let's just get it in our heads, it's okay to preach some shorter sermons if they're faithful to the text, Christ centered, all of that good stuff. Let me share a couple of benefits with this both/and approach to you of kind of doing a blend of manuscript while leaving freedom to be spontaneous.

The first is, it just helps us avoid extremes. It helps us to allow for the Spirit to lead us in the preparation and the Spirit to lead us in the presentation. And I can't tell you how many times folks have remembered the well crafted words that I've preached that came about through all of the iterations. I also can't tell you how many times we have just felt the Spirit fall on the room. You know, that hush, where babies stop crying, and it just gets quiet and you're just like, "Man, we're on Holy ground right now." Those experiences come more through the spontaneous moments of speaking for me personally than from the planned words. So, what I'm trying to say here is both are important. Both are important, so why wouldn't we make room for both? 

Second benefit is, it creates space for silence and silence is so powerful. When I was a young preacher and I didn't have the discipline to cut content, my solution to hit my time was to just talk faster, right? I was always like, "Well, I can't cut this stuff cause I gotta keep it, so I'm just gonna like, I'm gonna fly through this." And that's a shame, that's a shame, you know? 

Amazing, powerful councilors, they know the power of silence. They know, when they're sitting down one on one with someone looking them in the eye when they ask them that question or when they share that gospel truth, they know the power of speaking the words and then just letting the silence sit. Because they've learned the truth, the Spirit of God works in profound ways in silence and it's true for our preaching as well. We need to learn how to create some space for silence so that we, and it's uncomfortable, we all know this, right? You stop talking and you start to feel a little more self conscious, right? We all know that. So, we need to learn how to depend on the Spirit enough to say, "I'm gonna just sit in silence and I'm gonna end that silence praying and asking the Spirit to do something really powerful here." 

Which leads me to the third benefit, which is room for silence means you have room to pray. Room for silence means you have room to pray. And, this is during the presentation of your sermon. [inaudible 00:29:28] not just so the Spirit of God can work and your people, they are also so that the Spirit of God can work in you as the preacher while you're presenting your sermon. Those pauses offer opportunities to throw up quick breath prayers, things like, "Help me feel this, lead me, help my tone, lead my pace, make Jesus stunning." My favorite, "Spirit, help me." Help ... help, I can't tell you how many times I pray that while I'm preaching, help. And what we realize here is that prayer is dependence, right? There's no reason to pray unless we need God to act on our behalf. The actual act of prayer is dependence. So, if we're going to be preachers who are dependent on the Spirit in our preaching, in our presentation, that means we have to learn how to pray while we're preaching, while we're bringing the word to our folks. 

Alright, so that was the presentation, looking at the actual sermon as we preach. Finally, let's look at the presentation and the preacher. If you preach regularly or if you preach infrequently, you know there is a lot going on in your mind and your heart while you're preaching. And if we take long enough to think about it, it's kind of terrifying how much goes on in our minds and our hearts while we're preaching. So, a couple thoughts for why we desperately need to depend on the Spirit in our presentation as preachers, we need to have that relational dynamic with him. 

The first is, don't trust your content, trust the Spirit. In over 10 years of preaching, I have had four experiences, okay? 10 years of preaching, I've had four experiences where I just knew in my bones that the sermon I had prepared was exactly what our church needed to hear. And there is no confidence like that. When you go into the sermon and you just know, "Spirit of God, you've just given me this word for these folks." I want more of those experiences, I pray and ask God to give me more of those experiences, but four times in 10 years. What's the norm? I think you guys know the norm, I feel like my sermons awful, the content, I'm like, "Ugh, I just don't know if this is gonna land at all". And I'm going in not feeling confident in the content but feeling insecure about the content. That is the norm, and I just want to say, that's okay! It's actually good for us that that's the norm. Pray, prepare, present it and walk away from it trusting the Spirit of God to work. Trust the Spirit more than your content. 

Second, don't trust people's facial expressions, trust the Spirit. Don't trust people's facial expressions, trust the Spirit. Do you have certain people that you regularly look at while you preach? Of course you do, I do too. They're the ones who are smiling, nodding and taking notes, right? And then there are the people that I quickly look over because they're the ones who look like they want to beat me up. Right, you're like, "Man, you're looking cold right now, I'm just gonna look over here to these folks who are smiling and nodding." Yet, I have seen more often that not, the folks who are smiling, nodding and making great eye contact, they will walk away and commit the very sin that I just preached against. Whereas, the folks who look like they want to kill me during the sermon, they actually walk away living in repentance. Don't trust people's facial expressions, trust the Spirit of God, because you have no idea what the Spirit is doing in someone's heart and mind and soul. 

We go all the way back to Genesis, right? And you have the word of the Lord being spoken and you have the Spirit of God hovering over the deep. And when the word and the Spirit come together, life. When you are preaching, you are preaching the words of life. And you have no idea who the Spirit is hovering over. You have no idea what darkness is in your folk's lives and their minds and their hearts that the Spirit of God is working with and he's in combination with that word he's bringing life. You have no idea. Trust him, and expect him to work in this way. 

So yeah, as dependent preachers, we need to refrain from making judgments about our folks based off of their posture, their facial expressions, so on and so forth. Third, don't trust your feelings, trust the Spirit. Every week after I preach, I ask my wife the same thing, "How'd it go?" Every time, "How'd it go?" Right? I mean, we work so hard. We pour our very souls into our sermons, because what a great calling. What an amazing privilege that we get to bring God's word in collaboration with God's spirit to people. Oh my gosh, thank you Jesus. 

So, we care, we care deeply about our sermons. Yet ironically, the sermons I felt the best about tend to have the smallest impact. And you guys know this if you've been preaching awhile, the sermons I feel the worst about, they're the ones where everyone is coming to me and talking about how the Lord spoke to them and how amazing it was. And, I think that is just the Spirit's comical, gentle, I don't know how you want to put it, I think it's just the Spirit ... another way the Spirit comes to us and just kills our ego a little more and a little bit more and he reminds us that we're not in control. And yeah, we work hard, but he's the one bringing the powerful life change. 

And, it's another opportunity for us to not trust our feelings about how we felt about how it went, but for us to trust the spirit and say, "It doesn't really matter how I felt about how it went. I worked hard, I prayed, I prepared, I presented. And now, I can walk away." Dave Harvey has a great little article on Sojournnetwork.com, it's called a post preach checklist, if you haven't checked that out I would encourage you to. A post preach checklist, and Dave encourages us after the sermon to expect attack from the enemy, expect spiritual warfare. He encourages us to quiet your soul, and the way he encourages you to do that is to go do something that's fun. You know? 

And, that's been one of my favorite things to apply from that. On Sunday afternoon, it's like, "Alright, what can I do that just helps me not think about this morning?" I'll think about it and I'll talk about it with my team later in the week, but it's Sunday afternoon, I don't have to review my sermon on Sunday afternoon. In fact, that's not helpful for me, right? So, like let me get outside and play with my kids, and what can I do that just takes my mind off of this?

And then third, he says, "Don't fish." Don't fish for compliments. We can be so insecure, right? I mean, can't we be so insecure right after sermon? And we kind of just like, ask people questions, like round and try to do nice like judo moves so we can get people to affirm us. And, we don't have to do that. We just don't have to do that. The Lord has given us so much freedom. Friends, we must depend on the Spirit of God before the sermon, during the sermon and we've still gotta depend on him even after the sermon. 

And the great news here, is he loves using our sermons to bring life and to point people to Jesus, to make much of Jesus. We can be so confident in him, and so we can just essentially think of our sermons like sacrifices, you know? When you think about old testament sacrifices, there was so much preparation that went into that. But then what'd they do, they like killed it and left it on the altar. It's really helpful for us to think of sermons that way. Like yeah, let's pray, let's press into asking the Spirit to lead us in every stage of the process. Let's present them, let them on the altar as an act of worship and then just walkaway. Say, "It's dead, let's do the next one."

So, as we wrap up today, I hope more than anything, that you're able to see where you're at in your journey of depending on the Spirit. I pray and I hope that you've been really encouraged to step into more of a desire to be lead by the Spirit in your preaching. I also hope that you're just encouraged to know that the Spirit is for you in this, the Spirit is happy and eager to help you in preaching. And I really hope that you're encouraged that the Spirit would even use you in preaching. How incredible is our God? 

So, I pray that you'll be able to leave here with a couple next steps that will help you more regularly depend on the Spirit in both your presentation and in your preparation in preaching. I'm incredibly honored that you men joined me this afternoon. Thank you for being here, may we as men grab hold of what Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, the greatest essential on preaching, may we do all that we can so that we can have that power of the Spirit.