“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.” Acts 10:44
Suggested Further Reading: Micah 3:5-8
There is a necessity that the preacher himself, if souls are to be saved, should be under the influence of the Spirit. I have constantly made it my prayer that I might be guided by the Spirit even in the smallest and least important parts of the service; for you cannot tell if the salvation of a soul may depend upon the reading of a hymn, or upon the selection of a chapter. Two persons have joined our church and made a profession of being converted simply through my reading a hymn—“Jesus, lover of my soul.” They did not remember anything else in the hymn; but those words made such a deep impression upon their mind, that they could not help repeating them for days afterwards, and then the thought arose, “Do I love Jesus?” And then they considered what strange ingratitude it was that he should be the lover of their souls, and yet they should not love him. Now I believe the Holy Spirit led me to read that hymn. And many persons have been converted by some striking saying of the preacher. But why was it the preacher uttered that saying? Simply because he was led thereunto by the Holy Spirit. Rest assured, beloved, that when any part of the sermon is blessed to your heart, the minister said it because he was ordered to say it by his Master. I might preach today a sermon which I preached on Friday, and which was useful then, and there might be no good whatever come from it now, because it might not be the sermon which the Holy Spirit would have delivered today. But if with sincerity of heart I have sought God’s guidance in selecting the topic, and he rests upon me in the preaching of the Word, there is no fear but that it shall be found adapted to your immediate wants. The Holy Spirit must rest upon your preachers.
For meditation: The one who is filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) is filled with the word of Christ (Colossians 3:16); the mark of being filled with the Spirit is speaking the word of God (Luke 1:41, 42, 67; Acts 2:4; 4:8,31; 7:55,56; 13:9-10). Do you pray this for your preachers? And for yourself?
Sermon no. 201
20 June (1858)