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Intimate Knowledge of God

E. M. Bounds, Power through Prayer (London: Marshall Brothers), p. 11.

The preaching of a witness has a spontaneity about it, an infectious warmth, a simple directness, a depth of reality, which are all due to an intimate knowledge of God. So we must hunger and thirst after Him. We must claim the promise of Jesus that He will manifest Himself to those who love Him and who prove their love by their obedience (John 14:21). We shall remember that the real preparation of a sermon is not the few hours which are specifically devoted to it, but the whole stream of the preacher's Christian experience thus far, of which the sermon is a distilled drop. As E. M. Bounds has put it, &ls;The man, the whole man, lies behind the sermon. Preaching is not the performance of an hour. It is the outflow of a life. It takes twenty years to make a sermon, because it takes twenty years to make a man.'