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Certainly that was how it was for Spurgeon himself. But if the man has been through a similar experience, he uses another tone of voice altogether. Christian ministers should therefore expect a special degree of suffering to be given to them as a way of forming them for Christlike, compassionate ministry.

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Christ himself was made like his weak and tempted brothers in order that he might help those who are tempted Heb. You cannot help others who are depressed unless you have been down in the depths yourself. You cannot lift others out of despondency and depression, unless you yourself have sometimes need to be lifted out of such experiences. You must be compassed with this infirmity, too, at times, in order to have compassion on those in a similar case.

When ministering to the downcast, pastors commonly point people to the resurrection and the victory of Christ—toward the thought of death defeated, tears wiped away, and exchanging the helmets and swords of struggle for the palm branches and crowns of victory.

However, when pastoring the suffering and depressed, Spurgeon seemed most often to have focused people on Christ crucified as the Man of Sorrows. This morning, being myself more than usually compassed with infirmities, I desire to speak, as a weak and suffering preacher, of that High Priest who is full of compassion: and my longing is that any who are low in spirit, faint, despondent, and even out of the way, may take heart to approach the Lord Jesus.

Jesus is touched, not with a feeling of your strength, but of your infirmity. Down here, poor, feeble nothings affect the heart of their great High Priest on high, who is crowned with glory and honour. As the mother feels with the weakness of her babe, so does Jesus feel with the poorest, saddest, and weakest of his chosen. In such times, Christ draws near to us and walks with his people in the furnace.

He practiced what he preached. He often abandoned his study in frustration, crying out for help.

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Sometimes, when I left him on Saturday evening, he did not know either of his texts for Sunday. But he had a well-stored mind; and when he saw his lines of thought, a few catchwords on a half-sheet of notepaper sufficed. How did Spurgeon properly identify his text? Spurgeon selected short texts, usually just a verse or two. Instead, his goal was to draw out the spiritual nourishment in each bite-sized verse.

Like a diamond when light passes through it, Spurgeon rotated the text to illuminate colorful shards of truth from every angle. Spurgeon tried both at different seasons of his ministry. Life got busy when Spurgeon moved to London and he reverted to preaching from outlines.

Some he scribbled on envelopes. Susannah often helped her husband in his sermon preparation. She read Scripture to him aloud while he outlined the main divisions.

How Charles Spurgeon Pastored Fellow Suffering Christians : 9Marks

On April 14, , she helped him more than usual when her husband forgot to prepare his sermon. It was a defining moment for Spurgeon and every sermon thereafter was flavored by that experience. He had no patience for the dry, polished lectures many preachers delivered from Victorian pulpits. Charles was a country preacher — and when he arrived in London he had the polka-dotted handkerchief to prove it Susannah threw it away after they married.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon "the Prince of Preachers"

And so he learned to preach in a simply, direct way — characteristics he retained for the rest of his ministry. Spurgeon mastered a form of communication championed in our own day — saying more with less. No wonder he dominates the Twitterverse. The preacher must also mind that he preaches Christ very simply.


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He must break up his big words and long sentences, and pray against the temptation to use them. It is usually the short, dagger-like sentence that does the work best. Commentaries and books on sermon preparation were only an arms-length away. The past had something significant to teach the present about how to move into the future.

In virtually all of his sermons, Spurgeon zig-zagged his way to Jesus Christ. But he warned his students against the abuses and excesses of these devises. Is it not, first and foremost, concerning Christ Jesus?

For the Troubled - Charles Spurgeon Sermon

Take thou this Book, and distill it into one word, and that one word will be Jesus.