Ps Robert Fergusson has been preaching and teaching for over 45 years, and he notes within the Reach & Influence preaching course how your daily morning devotions can be a source of inspiration for your messages.
Here are just a few guidelines:
1. Have regular morning devotions
Robert notes the importance of putting God first in our day. We put first things first, and we are told to seek God first after all. You don’t tune up an orchestra after it’s played but before, and therefore as minister it is not only critical to read the Bible everyday, but at the beginning.
The simple way of doing that is to have a time, a place, a goal, and here’s a strange thing, a name. Name your devotions. In the book of Exodus, Moses met with God at a place he called the Tent of Meeting, because that is where he intended to meet with God.
Robert calls his devotions, his “place of speaking” – the place where he expects that God will speak to him on a daily basis.
What about you? What is your place of meeting with God called?
2. Read the whole Bible
In order to have a complete and balanced Biblical diet, it is important to read the whole Bible and not just your favourite verse, book or genre.
Have a Bible reading program that covers the whole lot, because otherwise when you read your devotions or preach from your devotions, you will be tempted to only preach out of your favourite verse or book.
You can read more about Robert’s weekly Bible reading plan here.
3. Write out your ideas every day
Robert makes a habit of journaling everyday. On one side of the page is a personal revelation from God and on the other side he writes out what he intends to say to other people.
They are his ‘in page’ and his ‘out page’ One is for God and Robert, the other is Robert and people. There is what God has said on one side and a sermon outline on the other.
In doing so you have dozens of sermon outlines from which to preach. You may never use them, but they are there if you want.
4. Keep your audience in mind
Preparing an ‘out page’ of your journal forces you to consider how to communicate this revelation to others.
Robert concludes this process by writing a proverb. It allows you to clarify the big idea that God is speaking to you about, and put it in a simple challenging statement that others can be encouraged by.
You can read some of Robert’s proverbs here on his Instagram.
5. Have faith that God will use your story
Paul’s says a very powerful thing in 2 Corinthians 4:5. He says, speak nothing except Christ and Him crucified. And, tell your story.
In other words, don’t do anything except tell God’s story, but also tell your story. There’s a glorious antinomy or paradox!
We have to tell God’s story, but we also must tell ours. Our story, in all its challenges, opportunities and surprises, is an incredibly powerful platform to communicate the truth.
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