Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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

Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Series C


Option #1: "Some Friendly Advice From An Unchanging Savior"
Hebrews 13:1-5, 8

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

1) Don’t forget hospitality and acts of love--vv1-3; Heb 6:10-11, 10:24; John 13:34-35; Gal 5:6; Eph 5:1-2; 1 Pet 1:22; 1 John 4:7-11

Albert Barnes: Hebrews 13:1: Let brotherly love continue--Be all of one heart and one soul.

Feel for, comfort, and support each other; and remember that he who professes to love God should love his brother also. They had this brotherly love among them; they should take care to retain it. As God is remarkable for his philanthropy, or love to man, so should they be for love to each other.

2) Keep marriage pure--v4; Gen 1:27-28; Prov 5:15-23

Matthew Henry: Here you have a recommendation of God’s ordinance of marriage, that it is honorable in all, and ought to be so esteemed by all, and not denied to those to whom God has not denied it. It is honorable, for God instituted it for man in paradise, knowing it was not good for him to be alone. He married and blessed the first couple, the first parents of mankind, to direct all to look unto God in that great concern, and to marry in the Lord. Christ honoured marriage with his presence and first miracle. It is honorable as a means to prevent impurity and a defiled bed. It is honorable and happy, when persons come together pure and chaste and preserve the marriage bed undefiled, not only from unlawful but inordinate affections.

3) Get rid of greed--vv5 & 8; Ps 119:36-37; Lk 8:14, 12:15-21, 16:13; Eph 5:3-5; Col 3:5; 1 Tim 6:9-10

John MacArthur: No amount of money will make up for a lack of contentment. John D. Rockefeller once said, "I have made many millions, but they have brought me no happiness." Cornelius Vanderbilt added, "The care of millions is too great a load… There is no pleasure in it." Millionaire John Jacob Astor described himself as "the most miserable man on earth." Despite his wealth, Henry Ford once remarked, "I was happier doing mechanic’s work." And John D. Rockefeller commented, "The poorest man I know is the man who has nothing but money."

Love of money and contentment are mutually exclusive. As a Roman proverb put it, money is like sea water: the more you drink the thirstier you get (Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, 132). Ecclesiastes 5:10 sums it up, "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money."

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Children's Message

Visual aid: a steering wheel or a toy car or a remote control toy car. Later, some Monopoly play money.

Every so often when mom or dad are driving, they see a car that has a sign on the back. It says: "Student Driver." That means that the person driving is learning by doing, and the person in the right seat is the instructor.


I want you to imagine that this wheel is how you steer through your life. Imagine that this is how you make the decisions of your life. Will you work hard in school or take it easy? This is how you will decide what kind of job you will have, what kind of person you will marry and a hundred other very important things.

Today’s Bible reading has some very important advice: (Heb 13:5) Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

How you think about money will be shown in what direction you steer your life. Many people want all they can get because they think it will make them happy. Some TV/movie characters call money "bread." Well, here is some play money from my Monopoly game. Can you eat it? Will it really make you happy? Yes, you need enough of it to live, but that’s something very different than the LOVE OF MONEY. The Bible says that loving money is where all the trouble comes from.

Some of the richest men in the world have said that a lot of money made them miserable; it didn’t make them happy; it made them worry more; some of them couldn’t sleep at night.

Be satisfied with what you have, the Bible says. Even if you don’t have as much money as you’d like, you still have God who has promised to take care of you the way he cares for the birds and for everything else that He created. He has a promise that no money could ever buy you. God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

Now that’s a promise that you can take to the bank. No one can take it away from you. And when you get to Eternal Life, it will be a million times more than any money could every buy you. Make sure that you’re always steering the way God is pointing, and you’ll have a much better life.

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Option #2: "Royal Pain, Loyal Gain"
Proverbs 25:6-7
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

The Point: God makes us royalty!
The Problem: self-exaltation, self-importance. self-promotion
The Promise: Christ the King's humiliation on our behalf empowers us for service to Him and others
1. Once when an airline stewardess reminded Muhammad Ali to put his seat belt on before a flight, he told her, "Superman don't need no seat belt." When she replied, "Superman don't need no airplane, either," he was humble enough to put it on. (c;
2. So what is our proper place? It is not the place of honor, not even the last seat by the bathroom door. Our place is a slave's place-- rushing about the roads to make sure that not one place at the table remains empty! (Jerry Goebel)
3. There is a warning here about the advent of a kingdom where those who are full and content and on top get dislodged.(William Willimon)
4. "Friend, go up higher." --Luke 14:10
When first the life of grace begins in the soul, we do indeed draw near to God, but it is with great fear and trembling. The soul conscious of guilt, and humbled thereby, is overawed with the solemnity of its position; it is cast to the earth by a sense of the grandeur of Jehovah, in whose presence it stands. With unfeigned bashfulness it takes the lowest room.
But, in after life, as the Christian grows in grace, although he will never forget the solemnity of his position, and will never lose that holy awe which must encompass a gracious man when he is in the presence of the God who can create or can destroy; yet his fear has all its terror taken out of it; it becomes a holy reverence, and no more an overshadowing dread. He is called up higher, to greater access to God in Christ Jesus. Then the man of God, walking amid the splendours of Deity, and veiling his face like the glorious cherubim, with those twin wings, the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, will, reverent and bowed in spirit, approach the throne; and seeing there a God of love, of goodness, and of mercy, he will realize rather the covenant character of God than His absolute Deity. He will see in God rather His goodness than His greatness, and more of His love than of His majesty. Then will the soul, bowing still as humbly as aforetime, enjoy a more sacred liberty of intercession; for while prostrate before the glory of the Infinite God, it will be sustained by the refreshing consciousness of being in the presence of boundless mercy and infinite love, and by the realization of acceptance "in the Beloved." Thus the believer is bidden to come up higher, and is enabled to exercise the privilege of rejoicing in God, and drawing near to Him in holy confidence, saying, "Abba, Father." (Charles Spurgeon)

So may we go from strength to strength and daily grow in grace,
'til in Thine image raised at length we see Thee face to face.


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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:34 PM