Confession-Today I’m taxed by the ‘fear in preaching’. This is not fear that most have of public speaking. It is not the fear of reading the wrong word from our manuscript or outlines. It’s not a fear felt when sharing the pulpit with more seasoned or educated preachers and worried of conflicting statements or even theologies. Today it’s the fear of preaching a true and honest, God ordained, a Holy Ghost inspired, Jesus centric word that the people need. It is not the fear of preaching a pastoral sermon in another’s pulpit. This fear is not in the delivery, it’s a fear that’s rooted in the relevance. It is the fear that’s spoken in the bible of our need to fear God. Not a fear of horror but a fear of honor. Preparing this week for today’s message, I constantly found myself beyond the challenge of needed confirmation of what God has desired for me to say. I continued to find the weightiness of the hearer’s soul and path to salvation to be the tension in my preparation. I am under no grandiose illusions of self importance or that the words preached by me will or will not grant entry to heaven or hell for anyone. However I am also dually aware of the charge placed on me by saying yes to God’s call and the covenant for my faithfulness and obedience to preach God’s word. It is the fear Moses experienced at his call. It is the fear of Gideon and testing and questioning God’s reasoning. It is the emotional depth of Isaiah for God’ people. It is the ‘why me’ of our humanness. Since the congregation is expanded today, I am more sensitive to the charge we have for the flock we serve and not wanting to lead others astray from their shepherd’s guidance. This morning we will stand to preach the Gospel & trust and believe that God is in control. Today’s fear is in the magnitude of God’s Word and how it can change someone’s life for the better. I know this for a fact. It changed mine and today I’m thankful the the preacher that day who feared God more than man and preached ‘thus said the Lord! (Thank you Pastor Cy.) All week I have had this classic ‘church statement’ in my head…”Won’t He Do It!” And the answer is always yes even in my self described space of fear.