Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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

Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost 

Option One: Rev. Kelly Bedard

"Divine Crowd-Pleasing"
Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29

A. Rabble-Rousers
    1. Disease of the imagination: coveting what the Lord neither promises nor gives
    2. Whining and complaining: romanticizing the past and minimizing its discomforts

B. Rousing the Rabble
    1. The true and promised gifts of manna (type of Messiah) and Spirit
    2. Taking a stand and prophesying

1. "Rabble" (verse 4): a mixed multitude, other Hebrews and rootless people (Exodus 12:38), occurring only here

2. "Coveting" (ibid): lusting after evil things

3. "Those who are of a discontented spirit will always find something to quarrel or fret about, though the circumstances of their outward condition be ever so favorable." (Matthew Henry)

4. "Peevish, discontented minds will find fault with that which has no fault in it, but that it is too good for them." (Ibid)

5. "Prophesied" (verse 25): not the usual meaning--mediation of a prophetic message through the Spirit--but, rather, "ecstatic expression to an intense religious experience"; Spirit-empowered leaders, all having gifts of the Spirit (Concordia Self-Study Bible)

Option Two: Rev. Wayne Dobratz

"The Mist Of Life"
James 4:7-12

Introduction: This is the time of year when we can "see our breath." James reminds us in today's text that this is a picture of our mortality--how frail we are and how quickly life can end. Our breath, seen so briefly on a frosty evening, reminds us of THE MIST OF LIFE.

1. It reminds us of how quickly life can end
a. As in Ps. 39:5
b. As in Job 8:8-9

2. It reminds us how our plans can change
a. text v. 13-14
b. As in Prov. 27:1
c. As in 1 Peter 1:24

3. It teaches us to avoid the sin of pride
a. As Jesus said in Lk. 12:19 passim.
b. As in Ps. 90:10-12

4. It teaches us to say: IF THE LORD IS WILLING...
a. As Jesus shows by His example in Mt. 26:42ff
b. As in I John 2:17
c. As in Ps. 40:8
d. As in Ps. 143:10

5. It reminds us of eternity
a. The Judgment is coming, as in 2 Cor. 5:1-10 passim.
b. We can find peace only in the righteousness of Jesus
given as a gift--Rom. 1:16-17
c. Our sins of pride, presumption and short-sightedness
are covered by the blood of Christ, as in Ps. 32:1-2 & 1 John 1:7

The Disciples Study Bible comments: Life is as temporary as fog, which quickly and silently disappears. A person's life is utterly dependent upon the sustaining power of God. We cannot be proud and boast of future plans and accomplishments. We must live day by day seeking His will and making plans as He leads.

Matthew Henry writes: How easily worldly and contriving men leave God out of
their plans! How vain it is to look for any thing good without God's blessing and guidance! The frailty, shortness, and uncertainty of life ought to check the presumptuous confidence of all projects in the future. We can fix the hour and minute of the sun's rising and setting tomorrow, but we cannot fix the certain time of a vapor being scattered. We are always to depend on the will of God. Our times are not in our own hands, but at the disposal of God. Our heads may be filled with cares and contrivances for ourselves, or our families, or our friends; but Providence often throws our plans into confusion. All we design, and all we do should be with submissive dependence on God.

Copyright 2000 Ministry Health, LLC 
All Rights Reserved
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Director

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:32 PM