January 7

  I am sitting in my office this morning looking forward to the new year.  I have not had a time to set aside in this last month or so to plan out my next six or so months of sermons.  I have fallen behind.  I try twice a year to set aside a day or two or even a weekend when I can prayerfully consider what to preach on for the next six months.  It sometimes come easy and at other times, I wonder what direction the Holy Spirit is leading me and this church.  I know some pastors do not plan ahead like this and pick their sermon/passage of scripture week by week.  I think they think that the Spirit will inspire them on what He wants them to preach about using the “hot topic” of the week or some other recent event that will trigger a response on which they can base their sermon.  I figure, if the Holy Spirit can direct a pastor to a particular topic or passage of scripture for the next Sunday during the previous week, He (who knows the future far in advance) can guide me month by month on what I can preach on.
   I have experienced first hand how this takes place.  Several years ago, I put together a six month plan for my sermon series relying on the Holy Spirit to guide me on what to preach on week by week.  Then 9/11 hit.  Three months before, had planned on preaching from a particular passage the Sunday following that traumatic event in our country.  That week, I questioned whether I should change what I had written down months earlier or change it. But as I saw the scripture and message that the Spirit had laid on my heart months before, I realized that it was exactly what the church needed to hear that Sunday and I knew that with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, I did not need to change.  God knew far in advance that 9/11 would take place.  And He knew the message, He wanted me to bring the Sunday following.
  So as you read this, pray for me that God would lead and direct my thoughts this next week so that His messages for these next months would come upon my heart and impress them on my spirit as I plan accordingly.