The Second characteristic that Cleophus LaRue speaks of in his book Preaching With Power is a “Sense of Divine Encounter.” Here the preacher must wait until God speaks to the preacher before the sermonic process can begin. This encounter is between the divine and human, thus it is more than human generated. It is not merely conjured up by human agencies.

This is a waiting on God. Many great preachers, according to LaRue, don’t begin the sermonic process until this call comes. LaRue noted that some preachers believed that without this “inbreaking” of the divine purpose their preaching would become more “process” than “purpose.

Great preaching requires that divine spark. Although I would hasten to characterize this as not a passive waiting for the spark. Sometimes we “labor” to get the spark. It is always God’s divine initiative to give it to us, but sometimes we work in our Bible Study searching for the spark. Sometimes in our contemplation of the text. Other times we work for the spark by prayer. But in all this we are seeking to place ourselves in a place where God can speak to us. So that the sermon creation process can go forth.

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