Woe to the man that preaches only because he is a minister, and not because he loves Christ! I am afraid that in many cases our motives get mixed. Pure and simple at first in our service, we may get at last to serve Christ only because it is our office to do so. Woe to the man that preaches only because he is a minister, and does not preach because he loves Christ! We may get also to be self-reliant. It is a great mercy for God’s ministers when they tremble on going into the pulpit, even though they have been accustomed to preach for twenty years.
Martin Luther declares that he never feared the face of man; and all who knew him could bear witness that it was even so; yet he said he never went up the stairs of the pulpit at Wittenburg but he felt his knees knock together with fear, lest he should not be faithful to God and his truth. When we begin to rely upon ourselves’ and think we can do it, and our experience and our practice will suffice to bear us safely through the next discourse without help from on high, then the sun has looked upon us and blackened our face indeed, and the time of our usefulness draws to a close.
– Charles Spurgeon