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Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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


Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Series C

Option #1: 

A Call To Prayer
1 Timothy 2:1-8

A. Because it's of primary importance: "first of all..."

B. Because people need it: all types, including ungodly and remote leaders

C. Because it's purposeful: for peace and quiet, salvation and sanctification

 Notes

1. eusebeia (verse 2): godliness, holiness; reverence, respect; piety towards God

2. semnotes (verse 2): gravity, honesty; the characteristic of a thing or person which entitles to reverence and respect, dignity, majesty, sanctity; honour, purity

3. aletheia (verse 4): the truth as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposing alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews and the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers, even among Christians

4. kerux (verse 7): preacher; a herald or messenger vested with public authority who conveyed the official messages of kings, magistrates, princes, military commanders, or who gave a public summons or demand and performed various other duties; in the NT, God's ambassador and the herald or proclaimer of the divine word

5. apostolos (verse 7): apostle, messenger; a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders; specifically applied to the twelve apostles of Christ; in a broader sense applied to other eminent Christian teachers, of Barnabas, of Timothy and Silvanus

6. dialogismos (verse 8): the thinking of a person deliberating with her/himself; a thought, inward reasoning; purpose, design; a deliberating, questioning about what is true; hesitation, doubting; disputing, arguing

7. If you want your prayers to do the most good for the greatest number of people, be sure to include in your prayers those persons whose decisions create the conditions in which the purposes of the gospel prosper. (John Piper)

--Rev. Kelly Bedard

Option #2: 

The Lord's Wisdom About Worldly Wealth
Luke 16:1-13

I. You can't take it with you

    A. As the Scripture says in 1 Tim. 6:7

    B. As in Job 1:20-21

II. The way you handle a little shows how you would handle a lot (text, v. 10)

    A. See Matt. 25:21

    B. See Eph. 6:8

III. Use it to make eternal friends while you serve the Lord

    A. The Dishonest Manager made friends to rely on when he was "sacked"

    B. Jesus said we should imitate his shrewdness

        1. While you can't take money with you, you can "send it ahead" (text, v.9)

        2. Jesus says we have a "safe deposit box" in heaven (see Matt. 6:20)

        3. This "safe deposit box" is in a building that will never be destroyed (see 2 Cor. 5:1)

IV. The decisions you make about worldly wealth determine who your master is (text, v. 13)

A. T. Robertson writes: "That they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles." This is the purpose of Christ in giving the advice about their making friends by the use of money. The purpose is that those who have been blessed and helped by the money may give a welcome to their benefactors when they reach heaven. There is no thought here of purchasing an entrance into heaven by the use of money. That idea is wholly foreign to the context. These friends will give a hearty welcome when one gives him mammon here. The wise way to lay up treasure in heaven is to use one's money for God here on earth. That will give a cash account there of joyful welcome, not of purchased entrance.

John MacArthur writes: Paul urges the rich to consider the end result of properly handling treasure. By sharing their earthly treasures with others, they are storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future. Apothe˘saurizo˘ (storing up) could be translated "amassing a treasure," while themelios (foundation) can refer to a fund. The rich are not to be concerned with getting a return on their investment in this life. Those who lay up treasure in heaven will be content to wait to receive their dividends in the future when they reach heaven. Those who invest in eternity show that they have taken hold of that which is life indeed. Real life, life indeed, is eternal life. Believers must live their lives in light of eternity. That is why the Lord Jesus Christ said in Luke 16:9, "Make friends for yourselves by means of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when it fails, they may receive you into the eternal dwellings." Christians should invest their money in the souls of men and women, who will be there to greet them and thank them when they arrive in heaven.

--Rev. Wayne Dobratz

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