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Sermon Starters

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


The Festival Of Pentecost
Series B
 

Option #1: "The Living Water of the Spirit"
John 7:37-39a
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, M.Div.

1) It is free in Jesus--Ps 36:8-9, 42:2, 63:1, 143:6; John 4:10, 6:35

2) It gives life--1 Cor 10:3-4, 12:13; Eph 5:18

3) It flows from you to share life--Prov 10:11, 18:4; Isa 12:3-5, 44:3, 58:11; Joel 2:28; Luke 3:16; John 4:14, 14:16ff, Acts 1:4-8; Eph 1:13-14, 4:30-32

Charles H. Spurgeon:

Provision is made most plenteously; all is provided that man can need to quench his soul’s thirst. To his conscience the atonement brings peace; to his understanding the gospel brings the richest instruction; to his heart the person of Jesus is the noblest object of affection; to the whole man the truth as it is in Jesus supplies the purest nutriment. Thirst is terrible, but Jesus can remove it. Though the soul were utterly famished, Jesus could restore it.

Proclamation is made most freely, that every thirsty one is welcome. No other distinction is made but that of thirst. It is not goodness in the creature which brings him the invitation; the Lord Jesus sends it freely, and without respect of persons.

The sinner must come to Jesus, not to works, ordinances, or doctrines, but to a personal Redeemer, who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree. The bleeding, dying, rising Savior, is the only star of hope to a sinner. Oh, for grace to come now and drink...

No waiting or preparation is so much as hinted at. Drinking represents a reception for which no fitness is required. A fool, a thief, a harlot can drink; and so sinfulness of character is no bar to the invitation to believe in Jesus. We want no golden cup, no bejewelled chalice, in which to convey the water to the thirsty; the mouth of poverty is welcome to stoop down and quaff the flowing flood. Blistered, leprous, dirty lips may touch the stream of divine love; they cannot pollute it, but shall themselves be purified. Jesus is the fountain of hope.

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Lamb's Message

Object: bottle of water

 

I have something in my bag here that you would not have been able to sell when I was your age. Nobody would have paid good money for what I have in this bag. Give up?

It’s a bottle of water. You can buy one of these just about anywhere. It’s better, I know, than drinking all that sugar in a can like this (Pepsi).

Today Jesus tells us that the kind of water He gives is free and He wants us to share it for free. Jesus said: "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink."

People buy water bottles like this to have it handy when they’re on a long walk or on a bike ride. Most of us don’t drink enough water. You can’t live without water.

It’s not just our bodies that get thirsty. Our souls get thirsty too. And Jesus is the water for that thirst. It’s hard to explain this, especially if you’re as young as you are. But we need to know that God loves us and that’s like being thirsty for cold water. We need to know that we are important and that God has a purpose for our lives--that He wants to use us for something important.

And here’s where the water comes in again. Jesus says that He will help us when we’re thirsty in our hearts. But He goes farther than that. He gives us so much more of this "Jesus water" than we will ever need for ourselves. He gives us more so that we can share it.

This is what Jesus means. Jesus died for our sins and he rose from the dead. You and I know that He did this for us. Many people never know for sure that God loves them, so they travel far to wash in some river or they beat themselves until they bleed. Jesus satisfies that thirst. When Jesus rose again, He stopped the power death has over us. Now we know that we will live with Him forever in eternal life--and so will those whom we love who are also God’s children.

This satisfies us inside the way water quenches your thirst. You have more than enough for yourself; now share that water that flows from a Christian’s heart. Jesus said: "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive."

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Option #2: "Glowing With The Flow"
John 7:37-39a
Rev. Kelly Bedard, M.Div.

 
Goal: that our spiritual thirst be quenched and, accordingly, that we be used to quench others' thirst
 
Malady:  watered down and parched lives: not recognizing our spiritual thirst, unholy communion(s)--substituting non-spiritual for spiritual drinks, stopping up The Flow
 
Means:  the Holy Spirit gifts us with The Water of Life through Word and Sacrament, making us conduits of same 
 
Notes:
 
1. dipsao {dip-sah'-o}, v37: to suffer thirst; figuratively, those who are said to thirst, who painfully feel their want of, and eagerly long for, those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, strengthened. (Strong's)
 
2. pino {pee'-no}, v37: to drink; figuratively, to receive into the soul what serves to refresh, strengthen, nourish it unto life eternal. (Strong's)
 
3. "...streams of living water will flow from within...": literally, "from the belly." Like a belly laugh coming from deep within and that can't hide its pleasure, God moves the true Water-bearer to carry It to others.
 
4. "Living water" is a phrase used for flowing or fresh water, e.g., "running water" in English. Flowing water is usually drinkable water--something very important in desert climates. In contrast, there can be "dead" water. Water going nowhere--stuck in a stagnant pool. Water that is standing still is usually undrinkable. (Brian Stoffregen)
 
5. "Glory" means mainly "a glowing reputation." (Carolyn Schneider)

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:33 PM