Woodrow Wilson’s dad, Joseph Ruggles Wilson, points out how preaching “is not an imitative exercise….It is these live men whom God supremely calls; men who have eaten the word, as a prophet did, and into whom it has passed to become a perpetual throb in their hearts; so that when it comes forth again, it will proceed upon its errand, bearing the warmth of their innermost experiences; those experiences wherein are traced the musings which continued until they could find vent only in fire; the fire that burns quickly into other souls, melts where it burns, and remoulds where it melts.” – quoted in Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching, p. 75
Wilson’s point (and Chapell’s) is that the preacher must speak out of his experience with God’s Word. There is no short-cut. Commentaries are helpful, but are not to be used at first. Chapell finishes, “Let the Holy Spirit work in your heart and mind to develop a message a commentator would approve, not design.” May those who prepare sermons, messages, talks, Bible-studies, etc. be couriers of God’s Word after it has impacted our hearts first.