It will be in vain for me to stock my library, . . . if I neglect the culture of myself; for books, and agencies, and systems, are only remotely the instruments of my holy calling; my own spirit, soul, and body, are my nearest machinery for sacred service; my spiritual faculties, and my inner life, are my battle axe and weapons of war.

Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon (Baker), 2

Deep Sermons cannot be preached by shallow people.  Profound sermons only come from people who enjoy a profound relationship with God.  Like it or not, the condition of our personal relationship with God will control our public ministry for God.  – J. Kent Edwards

Deep Preaching, Edwards 43

I’ve discovered that it’s not hard to be biblical if you don’t care about being contemporary. And it’s certainly not hard to be contemporary if you don’t care about being biblical. Being biblical and contemporary– that’s the art of Christian communication.

-John Stott

Mastering Teaching (Portland: Multnomah, 1991), 80

One thought fixed on the mind will be better than fifty thoughts made to flit across the ear.  One tenpenny nail driven home and clenched will be more useful than a score of tin-tacks loosely fixed to be pulled out again in an hour.

-Charles H. Spurgeon

C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, 80.

Some preaching, is like wine; it has color and sparkle, but does no permanent good; some is like coffee; it stimulates, but does not nourish; some is like carbonated water, a fuss over nothing; some is like spring water, good , but hard to get.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

– George Bernard Shaw

Spring water
George Bernard Shaw

I have a conviction that no sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence as clear as a crystal.  I find the getting of that sentence is the hardest, the most exacting, and the most fruitful labour in my study.  To compel oneself to fashion that sentence, to dismiss every word that is vague, ragged, ambiguous, to think oneself through to a form of words which defines the theme with scrupulous exactness, -this is surely one of the most vital and essential factors in the making of a sermon:  and I do not think any sermon out to be preached or even written, until that sentence has emerged, clear and lucid as a cloudless moon.  Do not confuse obscurity with profundity, and do not imagine that lucidity is necessarily shallow.  Let the preacher bind himself to the pursuit of clear conceptions, and let him aid his pursuit by demanding that every sermon he preaches shall express its theme and purpose in a sentence as lucid as his powers  can command.

-J.H. Jowett

The Preacher His Life and Work 133-134

Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.

Phillips Brooks