In every discourse fervent appeals should be made to the people to forsake their sins and turn to Christ. The popular sins and indulgences of our day should be condemned, and practical godliness enjoined. Feeling from the heart the importance of the words he utters, the true minister is unable to repress his concern for the souls of those for whom he labours.-- GW 158, 159.
A Place in Every Discourse -- The most convincing arguments may be presented, and yet sinners seem as far from salvation as ever. Ministers should not preach sermon after sermon on doctrinal subjects alone. Practical godliness should find a place in every discourse.-- Ev 178.
Purity, Holiness, and Usefulness -- Purity, holiness, and usefulness should be the burden of every sermon, the burden of every prayer.-- Lt 27, 1888.
Store of Practical Subjects -- You should be careful and study to have a store of practical subjects that you have investigated and that you can enter into the spirit of and present in a plain, forcible manner to the people at the right time and place as they may need. You have not been thoroughly furnished from the Word of Inspiration unto all good works. When the flock have needed spiritual food, you have frequently presented some argumentative subject that was no more appropriate for the occasion than an oration upon national affairs.-- 3T 228.
Practical Godliness a New Revelation -- The members of the various churches are very ignorant in regard to the Bible, and the simplest lessons on practical godliness come to them as a new revelation. They need to know what is truth. Do not take up lines of thought that will simply please the fancy or gratify curiosity. Break the bread of life to the people.-- Lt 29, 1895.
Christ's Lifestyle -- Although it is not congenial to the natural inclinations, the minister must proclaim the straight truth which will make the ears of them that hear tingle; for they must lay before those who are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God the dangers and the perils that are around them, and the doom that awaits the impenitent. Because this message is not agreeable to their inclination or welcome to those who must be warned, they are solemnly charged to be faithful in its declaration. The minister will meet wrongs that
will seem to defy correction. They will be made aware of sins that seem to be covered that will need to be exposed on the right hand and on the left. The prophet says, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinances of their God" [Isa. 58:1, 2].
"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" [2 Tim. 4:1, 2].
The minister is not to indulge in the relation of anecdotes, but he is to preach the Word. "Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality" [1 Tim. 5:20, 21]. "Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" [1 Tim. 4:12]. "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" [2 Tim. 2:15].
We are to present Christ to the people, following the words of the apostle, where he says, "Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: whereunto I also labour,
striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily" [Col. 1:28, 29]. Was it essential for Paul to have this experience? Read carefully his words, and see if it is safe for any of the ministers of Christ to shape their life according to any lower standard of godliness.-- Lt 3, 1892.
Plain, Sensible Discourses -- No worker is to consider it his duty to administer reproof, and point out existing evils, and stop with this. Such work does not accomplish any good, but only disheartens and discourages. Plain, sensible, intelligent discourses should be preached to the churches that will show the need of seeking the Lord in prayer, and of opening the heart to the Light of life, and that will lead church members to engage in humble work for God. To every man God has given a work; to each worker who engages in service for Him, He gives a part to act in communicating light and truth.-- Ms 95, 1907.
Renewal of Grace -- I am determined to keep before the people the fact that we must have unity. We must cease all criticism. We must urge that the great peculiarity distinguishing Christians from all others, is the union that exists between them and the Lord Jesus Christ, by constant exercise of the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. This union, oneness with Christ, leads to unity with and love toward one another. Christians delight to honour God by obeying all His commandments. Bound together in love with Christ, they have love toward one another.
We must dwell upon this theme more than we have done. The subject of His
renewing grace, dwelt upon in discourses, will be pleasing to the Lord, and His
Holy Spirit will come into the hearts of those who listen.-- Lt 42, 1906.