I read something that was sent to me from a Lutheran minister a few days ago. Apparently, he wasn't its author, either. Anyway, it reminded me of our duty as ministers of the Word (which includes every Christian... from the newborn believer to the seasoned saint!). It is to preach the Word, the whole Word -Law and Gospel. It is not to make people angry -God's Word will do that. It is not to make people feel guilty -God's Word will do that. It is not to try and get people to respond a certain way -God's Word will do that, too. It is simply to proclaim faithfully, clearly, and humbly what God has revealed in His Word.
Seems simple, doesn't it? If only that was the case! We are like Moses...
10 Then Moses said to the LORD, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue..."
But our God is Mighty, and He uses even us -fools, sinners, vagabonds- as agents of His Word.
11 The LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
12 "Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say." (Exodus 4)
It is altogether good, humbling, and reassuring that we not only cannot but must not perform the role of the Holy Spirit upon the souls of sinners. Rejoice! Not because our job is "easier", but because the salvation of our God is sure and certain for all of those He calls -not of the power of the preacher, but solely of the power of the Spirit working through the Word as it is sent forth through the lips of His greatful servants!
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Isa 55:11)