The most significant piece of advice I ever received on how to preach, and for that matter, how to handle most of life, was given to me by my pastor, Roy Hicks. Jr. He said when you prepare to preach you are not yet ready until you can answer three questions.
1. What did the text reveal about God’s heart?
2. What was the human response?
3. What will be our response?
The answer to these three questions also applies to raising kids, faithfully serving at a job you may dislike or being asked to speak at a city council meeting. In places and relationships where you are not allowed to use the name of God, His heart can always be shared because it will sound like mercy and justice.
The next time you are asked to speak or direct a meeting where a critical decision is needed, and a human response is required, ask these three questions. Discover and share God’s heart with those who are listening. Review the human history of past failures where people missed the mark because they responded in fear, not in faith. And finally, invite people to trust God and His goodness to walk bravely into a future that would not be possible had they not discovered the heart of God.