Summary: 1- Preach Jesus individually 2- Preach Jesus publicly 3- Preach Jesus impartially
INTRO.- ILL.- The minister gave his Sunday morning service, as usual, but this particular Sunday, it was considerably longer than normal. Later, at the door, shaking hands with church members as they left the service, one man said, "Your sermon was simply wonderful - so invigorating and inspiring and refreshing."
The minister of course, broke out in a big smile, only to hear the man add, "Why I felt like a new man when I woke up!"
I really hope that you feel refreshed after listening to my sermons! Well, actually, I hope that you feel more than refreshed. I HOPE THAT YOU FEEL MOVED AND MOTIVATED! I often feel like I am a motivator of sorts. And I do want to motivate you to action for the Lord in living the Christian life!
James 1:22-25 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
Be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only! It’s not enough just to hear God’s Word preached! We must take some action based on what we hear. Otherwise, James is saying that going to church listening to sermon and then doing nothing about it is like looking in a mirror. HOW SO?
Well, do you like what you see when you first see yourself in the mirror in the morning? HA! Not likely. I have bags under my eyes and my hair is standing up and all over the place! It may shoot up in one direction or another depending on how I sleep on my pillow. BUT HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ME LOOK THIS WAY? No, and you won’t.
Naturally, I shave and shower asap, spray on some cologne, comb my hair so that I’ll look halfway decent when I go to work and out in the world.
James is saying that if we listen to God’s Word (in a sermon or personal study) and see ourselves for what we really are....perhaps messed up somewhat spiritually, but then if we do nothing about it, never repent or never make any changes in our lives, then we are not pleasing to God because we haven’t done anything positive to change the way we live! So when I preach, my aim is not refreshment as much as it is repentance and renewal!
ILL.- Christmas was finally over and the preacher’s wife dropped into an easy chair saying, "Boy! Am I ever tired." Her husband looked over at her and said, "I had to preach two special services last night, three today, for a total of five sermons. Why are you so tired?"
"Dear," she replied, "I had to listen to all of them."
And I’m sure that’s probably how Elaine truly feels! It’s a good thing I don’t preach more than twice on Sunday. Of course, she might say that I’m preaching all the time anyway: at church, at home, etc. HEY, THAT’S NOT A BAD IDEA! In fact, I think we all need to be preaching Jesus all the time! He’s the best and most important person we could be talking about to others, wouldn’t you say?