Sometimes Easy, Sometimes Not

When preaching bible sermons on some texts, it’s quite easy to come up with the desired response. An example would be Matthew 7:24-27. This is Jesus’ closing summary to His famous Sermon on the Mount. It reads: “Therefore everyone who has these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock,” etc. So the desired response is that people would both hear what Jesus said and then put His teachings into practice.

Psalm One is typical of a text that is a little harder to get a handle on. Both negatives and positives are stressed in the passage. The best I have come up with is to say that the individual who is blessed by God (subject) gets his/her counsel from the right source (response). Mainly that relates to spending quality time in Scripture (verse 2). But it also includes learning to avoid questionable sources (verse 1), or at least be more discerning in evaluating them.

Usually an epistle will have a specific response the writer is asking for. In Galatians, Paul’s subject is responsible freedom. The response he is calling for is learning to be led by the Spirit (5:18). Paul writes this in different ways including living by the Spirit, keeping in step with the Spirit, sowing to the Spirit, etc.

When preaching from narrative passages, you often need to figure out the response being called for on your own. For example, the story of Samson could be the basis for sermon ideas about the danger of falling prey to the enemy by degrees. The response then being called for is to learn to deal with sin swiftly and decisively on a daily basis.

Just for practice, if your church sermon is about Esther and being caught in a difficult situation, what might be the response your message would call for?

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