In my early days I found my mattress and springs to serve as a rack of torture every Saturday night. I would think and think of what to say. Nothing would show up. Why? I was all out of illustrations. I needed another story. I needed another experience. I needed another good joke.....anything to fill up the time! I hope this little note will help those who experience similar agony.
Remember God teaching us that His word is sharper than any two-edged sword? That it's alive? Very alive? If that is the case (and it is) then what we need, if we are looking for something sharp, is the Word. Now before that turns you off and seems of no value, patiently consider what I'm telling you.
The thing that WILL inspire your people is the thing God says WILL inspire your people. Whether we understand how that can be begs the question. God has what we want....inspiration. We think it's in the humor of Jeff Walling or the depth of Randy Harris or the experience of Paul Whitmire. Yet, what works in them is what works in God's people....His Word.
Open up the Word and place it in front of their hearts as a mirror in front of your face. That Living Word will dance with energy that we cannot estimate. It is active. It lives. Believe it. More, trust it.
Sunday morning, again, I will have about four to six notations on a piece of paper the size of a third of a dollar bill. It will have this on it:
- I Pet. 4:8
- I Cor. 13:5-8
- Jas. 2:13
- I Jn. 1:8-9
These are my actual notes for Sunday morning. Now, I didn't reach that level immediately. It took me about 20 to 25 years. Furthermore, it's not a law our notes have to be any certain way. I am saying that my confidence in God's Word has increased. It does what I wanted illustrations to do. I simply intend to let our people reflect on the sonshine of the Word. It will talk to them in ways I would never guess.
My point to you? Be confident. You don't need something interesting before you need complete confidence in the Word first. The Word is active. It's sharp as a tack. Your illustrations serve as good windows to peer into the heart of that Word. Preach away, my friend.