Always endeavor to make your subject simple. This is obviously what Jesus did. This was an important reason why His ministry was so powerful and effective. He took profound issues and made them so simple.
Many modern preachers do the very opposite. They take the simplest subjects and make them so profound and complicated that their audience understands little of what they hear.
Remember this: the simpler, the better!
- Make It Practical
Always try to clearly show the practical applications your message may have for the people. A grave danger among Christians is often “too much knowledge, too little practice.”
Many Christians have listened to sermons for years. Yet, there is little change in their lives or practical expression of the teaching.
Do not be content to merely speak to people. Make your conclusions abundantly clear. Endeavor to make practical suggestions as to how the people may meaningfully respond to God.
Follow up your messages with practical programs in which people may become involved in order to be doers of the Word and not hearers only!
C. GATHERING RELEVANT MATERIAL
In addition to studying the passage of Scripture, how do we collect additional relevant material? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What Have I Ever Heard Or Read On This Subject?
Begin to stir up your memory. Perhaps you once read a good book on this subject. What was the book? What did it say on this matter? Push your memory until the thoughts come back to your conscious mind.
Perhaps you once heard someone preach on this subject. What was said? How was it presented? Frequently something that was said will become a seed-thought in your mind. From this, a whole train of new thoughts will come.
- What Has The Holy Spirit Ever Shown Me On This Subject?
This is where the benefit of keeping a notebook is realized.
Sometimes months or even years previously, God had given you some interesting thoughts and insight on this very theme. If you did not write down those thoughts, you may have a problem recalling them again.
But if you have a notebook in which your devotional thoughts are recorded, you can go back to it again to familiarize your mind with what the Spirit showed you then.
If you have not been keeping such a book, get away somewhere quietly so your mind can dwell on the subject without interruptions. Meditation will help you recall those things you were taught by the Spirit.
- What Have I Ever Observed That Relates To This Theme?
Frequently, we have observed things which throw light on the subject we are considering. We may recall incidents from our experience which illustrate some aspect of truth we are now considering.
Sometimes it is a thing we have observed in nature which confirms a principle we are studying in the Word of God.
Illustrations from nature often bring tremendous light to a Scripture. African preachers are usually very adept at this. I have often been thrilled listening to an African preacher illustrating Bible truth from those things he has learned about nature. The God of nature is also the God of the Bible!
- What Thoughts Have I Ever Had On This Subject?
Many of our previous thoughts on a given subject are now buried in the subconscious mind. They need to be brought to the surface again. This can often be accomplished in a time of deep meditation.