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Sermon Starters

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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor


Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
Series A

 
Option #1: "The Weeds in the Wheat--Then and Now"
Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.

Overview: Jesus tells us today the story of The Weeds in the Wheat. These were no ordinary weeds. This weed was the type that was impossible to identify until the heads bear their fruit. These weeds were sown by an enemy and were the only kind of grassy weed known to be poisonous. Birds would swoon if they ate its grain. The crime was common enough in the Roman Empire for there to be a law against it. The owner’s estimation of the problem is still true today: "An enemy has done this." So many today blame God for evil. But there is an enemy at work. The battle against this enemy still goes on today. Jesus’ story also explains why the Lord doesn’t take the more radical action that we sometimes expect.

I. The same seed--Matt 13:3ff; text, v37; 1 Pet 1:23

II. The same crime--text, vv24-28, 37-39; Matt 13:18-19; Acts 20:30; Gal 2:4; 2 Pet 2:1

III. The same patience--text, vv28b-30a; James 5:7-8; 2 Pet 3:9

IV. The same conclusion--text, vv30b, 40-43; Mal 3:17-18; 1 Cor 4:5; Mal 4:1-2

Richard Lenski underscores the future of "the righteous" in v43: "The term dikaioi, which is always forensic, denotes those who possess the quality of righteousness by virtue of having the divine verdict in their favor, that verdict pronouncing their acquittal. The glory that became theirs when they were declared righteous shall at last break forth as did the glory of Jesus at the time of His Transfiguration. 'Like the sun' portrays what is beyond our experience. Yet we think of the sun’s brilliance and splendor."

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Children’s Message

Object: a toy large enough for all to see

 

I need you to turn on your imagination this morning. It’s summertime and people go on vacation trips. You’re getting company, some long-lost relatives that you haven’t seen since you were very young. They have children about your age. Once you get to know each other, you start to play together. You share your toys. That’s when it happens. Your cousin breaks your favorite toy! Two words describe how you feel about that: SAD & MAD.

Well, now you have a small idea of how God felt when we sinned and broke his perfect world. He told us what would happen if we did. For one thing, WEEDS would grow, and we still have a lot of weeds. People would get sick and die sooner or later.

When you get older and go to high school or college, you will probably meet people who want to blame God for all the trouble we have in this world. No way! You didn’t break the toy; your cousin did! God didn’t break the world; we did!

But Jesus came to pay the penalty for our sin on the cross, and He promises to come back some day to fix this world. Then, as the Bible says, we will have a "new earth" where there is no sin. Nothing will ever again make us SAD or MAD.

I’m looking forward to that, and I hope you are too.

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Option #2: "From The Bottom of God's Heart!"
Romans 8:26-27
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
 
The Point: Knowing/praying God's will is sometimes too deep for (our) words.
 
The Problem: Our weak and unknowing hearts and prayers.
 
The Promise: For Jesus' sake, God hears our prayers and, through His Spirit, interprets them and intercedes for us.
 
 
Notes:
 
1.The purpose of prayer is never to get our will done, but to get God's will done. It's a waste of time to pray for things that are contrary to God's will. (Chuck Smith)
 
2.As prayer is the breath of the spiritual life, and the believer's only effectual relief under the "infirmity" which attaches to his whole condition here below, how cheering is it to be assured that the blessed Spirit, cognizant of it all, comes in aid of it all. (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown)
 
3.The Spirit not only groans with us; it groans for us (8:26). There is a groaning in the heart of God. We become part of it. That is something ultimately and fundamentally positive. It is hope, whatever befalls us (8:28). (William Loader)
 
4. Perhaps we pray best when we admit that we don't know how to pray or, better yet, are quiet long enough to listen to God and, moreover, to let him pray for and through us.

 

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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 10:22:25 AM