Sermon Starters

Forgetting Things Behind

"...forgetting those things which are behind" (Phil. 3:13)

Forgetting is important in the Christian life:

I. ‑Forget past sin. These three words are necessary to forget past sins:

A. Faith (Eph. 2:8-9).

B. Faithfulness (1 John 1:9).

C. Forgiveness (Ps. 103:3).

II. ‑Forget Past Shortcomings. Three areas of shortcomings:

A. Failure to love:

1) Love for God (Matt. 22:37).

2) Love for others (Matt. 22:39).

B. ‑Failure to learn (Matt. 11:29, 2 Tim. 2:15).

C. Failure to look (1 John 3:2).

III. Forget Past Slothfulness:

A. Slothfulness in devotion (2 Tim. 4:10).

B. ‑Slothfulness in dedication (Rom. 12:1-2).

C. Slothfulness in desire (Ps. 37:4).

Jack Exum

Recipe for a Dynamic Church

Philemon 4-10

Introduction: All of us are looking for a way home. The journey of life leads down many roads, but the longing of the human heart is to find the way home. For followers of Jesus Christ, the peace and assurance which infiltrates our hearts point us to the final destination and give us a taste of heaven before it arrives.

Dynamic churches point people toward the way home. The gospel, introduced into the Greek world, began to clear away the rubbish of sectarianism and to remove the debris of division in the church. Onesimus-a wealthy and respected pillar in the community-was blessed as he encountered Paul and the love of Christ in Paul. Let's look at the ingredients for a great church:

I. ‑A Deep Appreciation for the Dynamics of Church Life (vv. 4-5).

A. ‑Prayer for others-"making mention of you in prayers."

B. ‑Deep faith in Jesus-"hear of your love and faith."

C. ‑Energetic desire to minister-"toward all the saints."

II. ‑A Growing Understanding of Our Benefits in Jesus Christ (v. 6). Jesus has:

A. ‑Broken the grip of sin (1 John 5:18-19).

B. ‑Bridged the gap between us and God (Rom. 5:1-2).

C. ‑Given the Holy Spirit as teacher (John 16:13).

D. ‑Clarified our purpose in life (Gal. 1:16).

III. ‑An Electric Atmosphere Which Reenergizes Wounded Spirits (v. 7).

A. ‑Joy-that inner well-being not dependent upon external accomplishments.

B. ‑Comfort-hearts have been refreshed [anapao=rejuvenated].

IV. ‑A Dynamic Environment Which Motivates Changed Lives (vv. 8-10).

A. The atmosphere was Jesus-filled.

B. The time was right.

Conclusion: Paul felt he could "order" Philemon to do the right thing and forgive the thief Onesimus, but chose rather to appeal to him as a brother, to accept a brother in Christ.

Does the environment in your church resemble this church?

David Alan Sylvester, Today's Pulpit, www.todayspulpit.com

Biblical Thoughts On Suffering

Introduction: In response to the publisher's invitation to share thoughts on "why Christians suffer," here are 10 insights from the Bible on suffering (distilled from 79 instances of "suffering" or "sufferers" found in the nasb:

1. ‑God is aware of our sufferings (Ex. 3:7).

2. ‑Jesus had to suffer many things (Matt. 16:21).

3. ‑Our sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed to us (Rom. 8:18).

4. ‑Other Christians suffer, too (1 Pet. 5:9).

5. ‑We should suffer with all who suffer (1 Cor. 12:26).

6. ‑We should pray (or ask for prayer) when suffering (James 5:13, 14).

7. ‑We can rejoice even in our suffering (Acts 5:41; Col. 1:24).

8. ‑It has been granted to us not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for Him (Phil. 1:29).

9. ‑Suffering can be according to the will of God (1 Pet. 4:19).

10. ‑We should not fear those things that we will suffer (Rev. 2:10).

Conclusion: Augustine said, "God had one Son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering."

Victor Knowles, founder & president
POEM (Peace on Earth Ministries)

Lukewarm Christians

Revelation 3:15-16

I. Lukewarm in Our Desires:

A. Sin (James 4:17).

B. Stubbornness (2 Tim. 3:7).

C. Selfishness ((Luke 12:47).

II. Lukewarm in Our Decisions:

A. Looseness (2 Tim. 3:5).

B. Lovelessness (Rom. 1:21).

C. Legalistic (Col. 2:20).

III. Lukewarm in Our Dedication:

A. Unconcern (Amos 6:1).

B. Unloving (Matt. 24:12).

C. Unmoved (Matt. 22:5).

Croft M. Pentz

The Open Door

Text: 1 Corinthians 16:9

We live at a great time - the door of opportunity to share the gospel is open.

I. ‑The Opening: "For there is a wide door open for me to preach and teach here." LB

II. ‑The Opportunity: "So much is happening." -LB

III. ‑The Opposition: "But there are many enemies." - LB

The door is now open. We don't know how long. For some the New Year will be their last.

Jack Exum

2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
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