This is a copy of the first sermon I preached. The year was around 1992. I have done some very light editing. Reading back over this sermon thirty years after its appearing, I would be happy to preach it today. That can’t be said for all of my sermons! Exodus 3:1-20 “What’s in a Name?” Introduction Read through the newspaper… Watch the television… Listen to the radio… Within a short time you’ll discover (if you haven’t already) that Australia is in a recession1 – the world is in a recession.
Past, Present, Future - Ephesians 2:1-10 Makeovers For some reason we, as a nation, have a fascination with makeovers. There are a number of Australian home renovation shows on TV - The Block, House Rules, Better Homes and Gardens, Grand Designs Australia. You could perhaps include Lego Masters because the premise is the same - to turn a pile of bricks into something else. And the number of shows available from the US and UK is huge - shows on buying, renovating then selling houses, cabins, houseboats or tiny homes.
The Tabernacle Lamp stand At the beginning of the year Mark commenced a sermon series looking at something called “Tabernacle Prayer”. I want to spend some time retracing the steps we’ve taken because people have been away and may have missed parts. This Tabernacle Prayer is a tool that was developed by David Yonggi Cho who is also known as Paul. David Yonggi Cho was the pastor of a church in South Korea that has a membership of something like one million people, with over 200,000 attending weekly.
Theophanies ‘Tis the Season Many churches around the world – and particularly those of a more liturgical bent or traditional history follow a church calendar. This calendar allocates various days and weeks throughout the year into seasons. Each season emphasises significant aspects or events within our faith and so provides opportunity to reflect on those aspects. Broadly speaking these seasons are Advent, Christmas and Epiphany at this time of year and then Lent, Holy Week, Easter and Pentecost.
Faith is as faith does – Hebrews 11 Introduction We haven’t been here for the past couple of weeks but Mark tells me we’ve commenced a sermon series looking at prayer. A couple of week’s ago he spoke on Derek Prince’s 7 conditions for answered prayer. And last week he spoke on perseverance. One of the underlying Scriptural bases for those ideas is found in Hebrews 11:6 (reading from the NJKV):
The Sword of the Spirit and Praying in the Spirit – Ephesians 6:17-18 A Spiritual Armour recap A couple of months ago we started a series of sermons on the Holy Spirit. We began with his titles, his ministry and receiving the Spirit. We moved onto the Spiritual Armour of God from Ephesians 6. This recognises fact that we’re engaged in a war whether we realise it or not, and whether we want to be or not.
Shod Feet – Ephesians 6:15 Spiritual Armour Around a month ago we commenced a series looking at the Holy Spirit. In between there were some special services for NAIDOC week and Mark resumed this series two weeks ago. At that time he began looking at the armour of God from Ephesians 6. The path we’ve come down is that the Holy Spirit is within us to teach and equip and counsel and remind and empower and gift.
[The following is the text of a sermon preached in our church on Sunday 30th June 2019] Holy Spirit: A Pencil Sketch Biography Studies and Masterpieces Good morning and welcome to our class in Australian Art 1943-1944. For our first slide 1 I’d refer you to this controversial work from 1943. What can you tell me about the title of the work, the name of the artist, the size of the work, what media was used, the style of the work, the nature of the controversy surrounding it or indeed something about the subject?
[The following is the text of a sermon preached in our church on Sunday 19th May 2019] God, or not God: Matthew 7:13-14 Banners and Standards Have you seen movies where troops are led into battle by someone holding a flag? Perhaps these movies are set during the times of the Roman Empire or during the American Civil War. The flags they bore were known as the standard. This person carrying the flag or the standard was the standard bearer.
[The following is the text of a sermon preached in our church on Sunday 7th April 2019] Beyond DNA: Heart and Mind DNA Over the past month-or-so we’ve been speaking about DNA. Mark and Nigel haven’t been giving us science lessons. They have been talking about some of the things we do as followers of Jesus, as the church of God. They’ve been using the analogy of “spiritual DNA” to illustrate how we have a desire to see God’s best for ourselves, our families and our community.
[The following is the text of a sermon preached in our church on Sunday 24th February 2019] Legacy This Is Your Life Who remembers the television show “This Is Your Life”? My first recollection of it is being hosted by Mike Willesee in the 1970s. My deep research into this on Wikipedia informs me that it began in 1975 with Mike Willesee. Digby Wolfe hosted the second season in 1976, then Roger Climpson to 1980.
[The following is the text of a sermon preached in our church on Sunday 9th December 2018] Destination and Journey: Abraham Destination and Journey A few weeks ago when I was first praying and journaling about what I would preach on today I was impressed with the idea of speaking on destination and journey. I was pointed towards Acts 7 which is Stephen’s speech to the Sanhedrin before he was stoned to death.
[The following is the text of a sermon preached in our church on Sunday 21st October 2018] Redeeming, Restoring, Transforming Love The Parable of the Wobbly, Secondhand Bookcase A number of years ago I purchased a bookcase from a Vinnies shop. The bookcase was probably made 60 or 70 years ago and is oak. When I got this bookcase home I found that it wobbled. The glue joints had clearly broken.
[Below is the text of a sermon I preached at our church on 12th August 2018.] 1 Samuel 30 and John 4 Sin versus Failure What is the difference between sin and failure? Is it possible to fail without that being construed as sin? Can sin ever be regarded as anything but some form of failure? How do you see the distinction between sin and failure? I think that all sin is a failure, but failure is not necessarily sinful.
[Below is the text of a sermon I preached at our church on Easter morning, 1st April 2018.] Matthew 27:46 Aramaic – Heart Language My offering today is half sermon, half reflection. As I pondered and prayed about what to speak about a couple of weeks ago a phrase came to mind. I gave God the opportunity to change His mind but I kept coming back to this particular phrase.
[Below is the text of a sermon I preached at our church on Sunday morning, 9th July 2017.] Philippians 2:12-13 Worked Out When was the last time you worked out? For some it may have been this morning, last week, maybe years ago, and maybe never. But the real answer depends on what I mean by “working out”. Is that physical activity at a gym, or could it mean any physical labour?