Yesterday I preached my third week at my home church. I preached on Counting the Cost (from Acts 5:17-32).
As I reflect on the messages that God gave me and the process that I went through in putting those sermons together, I am reminded of some key truths concerning preaching. I hope that this will be an encouragement to your soul, too.
1. God gives great strength to those who preach the Word when they truly study the Word. This is a great reminder to all pastors to be truly seeking God in the Word and seeking to have him minister his grace to you as you hear his voice through the pages of Scripture. Note the key point: you must be "hearing" (studying). God's Word is a means of grace to his children. Don't take it lightly. Study it with intensity and fervor and rely on God to change your own heart through this process first.
2. When depending on God, you "loose yourself" while preaching. This doesn't mean have some out of body experience. What I mean by this is that you should be so focused on God and his glory that you are not worrying about your next line of argument or how good your illustration is going to be. "Loose yourself" in God means to be primarily and solely focused on him throughout the time you're preaching. Fear (worship, adore) God, not man.
3. When the Word is preached rightly, you encourage your own soul even though you're preaching to others. In a sense, it's not just that you're preaching to others. You are God's mouthpiece. He's using you to communicate his truth to everyone (including you).