S-1193 2SAP/3C Hymns 6/06/10, (O) #489; S #483; (C) #487
Texts: 1 Kings 17:17-24; Galatians 1:11-24; Luke 7:11-17
Theme: “Preach Him!!!” (Galatians 1:15-16)
Question: “How often do you preach?”
SOLI DEO GLORIA, Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! The text for our meditation is from the Epistle lesson: “But when He [God] who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son to me, in order that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;’” (Galatians 1:15-16).
Introduction: In Nomine IESU
People of God, chosen and beloved, Paul a former Pharisee and persecutor of the Church was called by God on the road to Damascus to be His chosen instrument to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the text before us today, we are told by this great preacher that God called him and set him apart before he was born to take the message of the cross to all people. In his 13 epistles we hear him again and again preaching and pointing to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Often he spoke of the importance of preaching Christ and His Gospel. Here are few examples: “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Cor. 1:17). Again, we hear him say, “but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:23), and again, “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8).
Pastor Paul, in this portion of his letter to the Galatians talks about the importance of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what Paul lived and died for. He wanted through his preaching of the Gospel to proclaim Jesus Christ the God/Man, the Rabi from Nazareth AS truly the ONLY Savior from sin, death, and hell. Indeed, Paul paid for this preaching privilege with his own life—he was beheaded for being a faithful missionary of the cross of Christ.
Three times in this portion of the Word, we hear Paul speak about preaching. Not just any preaching, but preaching Christ’s cross, salvation by faith alone, and the hope of glory that is found in Jesus Christ alone. The reason it is three times because of the importance of getting the Gospel out to all people. Without the Gospel there is no life and no salvation no matter how nice people may be. PAUSE.
In the Middle Ages a monk by the name of Francis of Assisi said: “In everything you do, preach a sermon. If you have to, use words.” YES, in everything PREACH HIM!
As His beloved and redeemed children, this is our joy, honor and privilege to preach Him to the world in word and deed. But sometimes the devil makes us feel like we can’t do so. Sometimes we think we don’t have the right words. At other times, we believe we need to be trained in proper eloquence or oratory to say something. But you don’t have to speak to preach. You can preach without using words. The hymn writer said it well: If you cannot speak like angels, If you cannot preach like Paul, You can tell the love of Jesus, You can say He died for all. If you cannot rouse the wicked With the Judgment’s dread alarms, You can lead the little children To the Savior’s waiting arms. (Hark! The Voice of Jesus Crying vs. 2).
My beloved and His beloved, not only does your pastor have a pulpit from which to preach Christ. So do you, and you, and you (point out). Your pulpit is called DAILY LIFE. Your vocation is where you preach. Attending school is where you preach. At home is where you preach. At the grocery store is where you preach. At the Post Office preach Him. At the Basketball game preach Him. At the gas station preach Him. Everywhere preach Him!
A story is told of a Grey hound bus driver who was a faithful advertiser. Every noon the cross-country Greyhound bus stopped in the same town for a 45-minute lunch break. Forbidden by company policy to single out any restaurant, the bus driver would say, “If anyone wants me, I’ll be enjoying a delicious meal at Tony’s first-class, spotlessly clean diner directly across the street.” And his indirect advertising filled Tony’s diner with hungry travelers.
Wherever God has placed you saints in Christ, you His blood-bought and baptized children can advertise Christ and His cross. Sometimes this involves words, witnessing about the only Savior to people you know and people you don’t. Always it involves your daily life. By the way you talk and walk, dress and deal with others, the way you treat your spouse, train your children, and in a thousand other ways, like Paul, you can work for Christ and preach Christ to a world that is lost in darkness and sin. Your walk is heavenward, but on the way there’s work for you and me to do—and what is our work? To preach Christ and Him crucified.
We can be bold and brave like Paul. We can be preachers of the Gospel. We can give a glorious testimony to the love of Jesus that He revealed to the entire world to see on the canvas of human history—His all availing sacrifice on the gory cross of Calvary.
But a time came when Pastor Paul could no longer plant new mission congregations and prepare more mission workers. But he could still talk about Jesus. And he did. While in jail in Rome waiting for his beheading, he used the opportunities God laid before him. Every six to eight hours another guard would come to relieve the guard to whom Paul was chained. How many guards did Paul tell about the Savior during his two years in custody at Rome? (Some where over 2000 guards). Satan thought chaining Paul up would curtail his preaching of Christ. Instead, Paul used it as another opportunity to work for Christ.
Paul, in his own estimation, was not a philosopher, not a moralist, not one of the world’s wise men, but simply Christ’s herald, messenger and preacher. His royal master Jesus had given him a message to proclaim; his whole business was to deliver that message with exact and studious faithfulness, adding nothing, altering nothing, and omitting nothing. And he was to deliver it not as another of people’s bright ideas, needing to be beautified with the cosmetics and high heels of fashionable learning in order to make people look at it, but as a Word from God spoken in Christ’s name, carrying Christ’s authority and authenticated in the hearers by the convincing power of Christ’s Spirit (1 Cor. 2:1-5). PAUSE.
How about us? Are we willing to use the gifts the Lord has given us to preach Him to the world? Are we being faithful to proclaim Him to NOT a politically correct society that denies that He is the Only Way to the Father? Are we willing to be faithful witnesses of His mighty miracles, message, and method of death? Are we willing to let others hear our sermon without fear or shame? I PRAY SO. I pray that we do. I pray that our lives, words and deeds tell the world that we believe in Christ and preach Him joyfully and faithfully.
Do you know O’ Christian you’re a sermon in shoes?
Do you know O’ Christian you’re a sermon in shoes?
Jesus wants to help you, spread the gospel news.
So live it and give it
Tell it and spell it
A sermon in shoes!
You may be the only sermon a person “hears.”
Like Francis of Assisi said: “In everything you do, preach a sermon. If you have to, use words.” YES, in everything PREACH HIM! If necessary use words. Amen
Let us pray:
Lord, Jesus Christ, You called Your servant Paul to be a Preacher and a herald of the Good News. Make us we pray, faithful witnesses to Your death and resurrection, to the empty tomb, to the forgiveness You won for us on the cross and the ONLY Savior of the world, so that others may walk with us to heaven. Amen.
Now the peace of God…