Written 8/20/15 Tom E. Bailey
Before I had an official class on ‘homiletics’ (the art of preaching a good sermon) the first thing I was told was:
• Tell em’ what your gunna’ tell em’
• Tell em’
• Tell em’ what ya told em’
I probably still have that written on a little piece of paper that Capt. Don Canning gave me.
Over the years I learned a little more and took notes and developed how to take the scripture and turn it into something you can preach or share with others. I recall an older pastor getting up at a luncheon one day with limited time to speak and he said he was told:
• Be bright
• Be brief
• Be seated
All very good advice.
This morning on the way to work I thought about how preaching a sermon is like bringing a suit case or ‘brief’ case before a group of people and setting that brief case before then:
• Tell them what is in the case
• Pull out the items and tell them why it’s in there or the significant behind that item
• Then reviewing with them the points behind each item.
While driving I pray often and the Lord brings things to my mind for ya see my prayers are a two way conversation. I try to listen more than just rattle off to the Lord.
I thought about that piece of luggage and what items would be in it and the Lord began to unfold 3 things to me and 3 is good because it is not over whelming. It is good to ‘pack lite’ for a short stay but also have what you need for a full adventure that is meaningful. 3 point sermons are always a delight and usually given an “A” as a letter grade
It is my prayer that as I share this and we go on this journey together it is just that; full, adventurous, and meaningful.
So, here are the items I found in my luggage this morning:
• A Candle with matches
• A Flash light with batteries
• A Spot light with a Cord (a lamp)
Here is what they mean to me: (could not figure out outline structure with Microsoft Word but did it the best I could)
I. The Candle
A. Needs Matches
1. once struck and the flame (fire)
2. apply to the wick
B. The candle gives light.
1. The light only goes so far
2. Great for personal use but in larger room ya need more!
II. The Flash light
A. Need Batteries
1. Batteries got to be the right size
2. When they are put in correctly they should work
B. The Flash light gives light
1. This light is better and goes further and is stronger
2. Great when you want to do more
III. The flood light/spot light/larger lamp
A. Got to plug it in
1. If you have electric current you plug it in
2. Plug it in…
B. The Lamp gives light
1. It gives off even more light
2. enough light for a room full of people
Here is what stuck with me…
MT. 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A City on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on it’s stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
I’m taking a stand as I share this with you. Strike the match, put in the batteries, get plugged into Christ for you see:
JOHN 1:1-14 (NIV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John.
7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–
13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
I cannot unpack all of that for you in this little amount of time, I’m not sure that everyone here would want me to BUT The Holy Spirit can.
There are many times when Jesus would share a story and even in the Old Testament before Jesus came into the world God used object lessons and metaphors and sometimes even people’s life experiences (Job, Jonah, Jeremiah…to name a few) to tell them & us something.
These Bible verses I share today are not just words, God is alive in His word and His words can actually give life. The life we live, in His word is like a light and it exposes the darkness in our lives, takes it away. I have come to realize that Jesus Christ through his suffering and death and resurrection is able to bring me life and not just life but abundant life and life after this life and until He comes back or I go to be with Him I will let this life, this light, shine on.
Will you? Are you lit? Do you have the source of power? Come and get it!
Do invitation, let Holy Spirit work, get out of His way…Not just be seated, kneel in prayer.