Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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

Advent I --- Series C

Option A: From Rev. Kelly Bedard

"An Advent Attitude"  
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

A. Supplying Lacking Faith

    1. By the support and presence of fellow Christians

    2. By increasing and overflowing love

B. Perfecting Perfect Christians

    1. In purity--holy status--through the forgiveness of Christ

    2. In charity--holy practice--through the power of the Spirit


1. What was lacking in the Thessalonians' faith? Their doctrinal views as to the nearness of Christ's coming; and as to the state of those who had fallen asleep; and their practice in some points.

2. "Abounding" ("overflow," verse 12) is used of a flower going from a bud to full bloom

3. "Blameless" (verse 13) "...means they were dealing with what was wrong, not covering it up or pretending it was not there. They dealt with it in their own hearts with the spiritual resources that God provides, and were thus enabled to turn from evil and walk closer and closer with God." (Ray Stedman)

Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

Option B: From Rev. Wayne Dobratz

"Increasing and Overflowing Love"
1Thessalonians 3:9-12  

Introduction: It was the most important ingredient in your Thanksgiving Day Feast and it will be an important part of your Christmas parties and family celebrations.  You can't buy it in a store.  Without it, a Holiday is bleak, empty and hollow. It there isn't enough of this ingredient, it would be better to have no Holiday celebration at all. 

The ingredient is love.  Love made Thanksgiving joyful and will make this Christmas season something to look forward to. Love is what prompts you to do all that hard work, cooking and gift-buying. Love will get you through the hassles, the parking lot traffic jams and the crowds.

Paul writes to the Thessalonians about...INCREASING AND OVERFLOWING LOVE

1) It is an occasion of Thanksgiving

    a. Though Paul worked in a world filled with persecution and hate, Christian love made it all worthwhile--Cf. Phil. 1:5

    b. Those who are "friends with Jesus" are supportive of each other--Cf. John 15:15  

2) It is an occasion for prayer

    a. Text, v10   
    b. The family of God prays for each other, as Job prayed for his children--Job 1:5ff  

3) It leads to a pure life

    a. Text, v. 13 
    b. 1 Thess. 5:23-24  
    c. An appropriate response to the coming of the Savior--Lk. 1:75 passim.

4) By God's grace, it is present in those who will receive the crown of glory

    a. as in Lk. 12:37 
    b. as in Col. 3:4 
    c. as in I Peter 5:4 
    d. as in I John 3:2

Conclusion: You can't have Christian togetherness without love. People need people.  We all need love.  In the same way,  pearls need human care. Pearls must be worn frequently and close to the skin or they die. Take for example the famous "Theirs Necklace", made of 145 finely graded rose pearls. When Madame Theirs willed them to the French Republic, they were placed in a Museum Vault and never worn. In time, they lost their color and beauty.  A "Pearl-mother" was found for them. She fondled them and wore them, under guard. Their beauty returned. 

    Wherever pearls are stored, women are hired to wear them. They wear the pearls which clients have left with the Bank for safekeeping. These pearls are kept alive by human contact. So it is with love among Christians. 

Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.S., M.Div.

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