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I have had some exposure to the "charismatic movement." I'd heard of and even experienced prophecy. But to think of preaching; the thing we preachers do on a Sunday morning as prophecy... this didn't fit the charismatic category.

Or did it? In the Bible, prophets were God's messengers. They were God's "rescue squad" as Professor Bosma called them. They were called in when the people needed to hear the word of the Lord, and often the word was to repent and turn back to him. Take for example, the prophet Jonah. His message to the Ninevites was, “ Repent or Perish!”

So good preachers exegete a text from the Bible. They explain what it meant and cross that hermeneutical bridge to what it means for us, today. In short, good preachers prophetically apply the text to the people in their congregation.  

Being prophetic means good applications for the people you are preaching to. This must be done with care (especially in a small congregation!). I don't recommend pointing your finger at Mr. Vanwhatever and saying divorce is wrong, reconcile with your wife. But applying the word of the Lord on a personal level as well as on a corporate level makes preaching prophetic. 

So, try it this week. Don't just come up with some applications (that is a first step). Pray over your sermon. Meditate and reflect on what the Holy Spirit is saying to the church through you. And as we do this, our preaching becomes prophetic.

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Much preaching is pastoral, but not prophetic.   It considers the feelings of people, but not the feeling of God.

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