I believe that pastors who challenge their people to tithe should be tithers themselves. Don’t expect your busy parishioners to spend much time in prayer if your schedule is so full you seldom can free time to talk to the Lord either. If you want your people to invite friends and neighbors to church, model how that’s done. These are all obvious observations.
Most of the sermons I have been posting of late have been about fasting. That’s because I have been encouraging people to participate in the 40-day period of prayer and fasting from November 21st through December 31st. This would be a presumptuous exercise on my part if I personally chose to just ignore the challenge I’m placing before others.
I hold a conviction that this call is not only from certain respected spiritual leaders, but that the Lord Himself is the one who has laid this burden to fast on the hearts of ever so many of His people. But, for me to write sample sermons or to preach on fasting necessitates me learning to fast, and for most of my life this has been a neglected spiritual discipline. I have been learning quickly, however.
Participants are not expected to fast the entire 40-day period. Instead, before the Lord they are to personally come to a decision as to the “how many and when” days of their commitment.
From the time I first heard about this call to revival in the American church, I felt the Lord wanted me to fast for 40 days—not consecutive, but accumulative—before the end of the year. I now have 15 more 24-hour periods to go.
I have learned a great deal and the discipline has been most rewarding in numerous life-changing ways. So, I am grateful, and hopefully the sermon starters I have written have the stamp of authenticity.
If you plan to challenge your people to take part in this growing national effort now or sometime in the near future, read this as a gentle reminder that if you are not yet practicing fasting, now would be a good time to begin the practice.
Sunday’s coming. Do you have your sermon ready? Is it relevant? Will it effectively motivate your congregation to walk more in step with the Master? What about that Sermon Series you’ve been thinking about?
Or, if you’re someone who plans well ahead, have you asked yourself what you will preach for your Easter Sermon, your Advent Sermon, your Christmas Sermon?
David Mains and Mainstay Ministries can help. We offer a wide variety of Sermon Starters and Full Sermons that will give you Sermon Ideas to help you prepare for regular Saturday or Sunday sermons, Mid-week Bible Sermons, and Sermons for special occasions.
We also offer assistance as you create Topical Sermons, Sermons Series, and sermons for special times of the year. We have resources available to help you with Advent Celebrations, Advent Sermons, Christmas Sermons, Easter Sunday Sermons, Patriotic Sermons, and more.
For more information on how to create better Bible Sermons and how to turn Sermon Ideas into Sermon Outlines, and then into effective, meaningful Sunday Sermons, please click here to visit David Mains’ website.
You will also find a variety of resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries website. Just click here.