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One more sermon

4th March 2016

If I had only one more sermon, one more opportunity to encourage God's people, what would I want to talk about? Of course, I'd like a good long time to say lots and lots of things, but what would be top of the list:

  • Firstly: The Bible is true, every word of it. The Bible is not all literally true. It contains poetry and figures of speech. It contains utterances by people who are wrong, like in Job. It contains symbolism, like in Revelation. But it's all true. We need to pray, and we need to think hard, when we read it. But it's all true. Even the bits you don't understand. Even the bits you don't like. Even the bits that you find a bit scary. As Christians we're called to study the Bible, trust it, work out what we think it means, and then do what we think it means. During the Reformation, people died to get you the English Bible. Don't waste it. You may need to study the Bible in groups. You definitely need to listen to your pastor preach the Bible. You may even need to invest in a few books about the Bible, or borrow some. 99% of everything God tells you, He'll tell you through the Bible.
  • Secondly: God loves you. We all think we know that. It's our first point of doctrine. But we could know it better. God loves you and sent Jesus to die for you. God chose you before the beginning of time. God has a plan for you, which extends throughout your life and on into eternity. He knows everything about you and He cares about all of it. He loves you more than you love yourself.
  • Thirdly: You can trust God. Every time something seems to go wrong, it hasn't. There's a purpose in everything, even the most painful things. Even if you can't see how something could possibly benefit you in this life, it will benefit you sooner or later - perhaps after this life. God loves you, and He doesn't make mistakes.
  • Fourthly: Following God - every minute of every day - is the best possible use of your time and energy. It's best for your family, your friends and your church. It's best for the people you'll be able to help. It's best for the world. And it's best for you. There is no more fulfilling life than a life dedicated to God's service. And it's the right thing to do.
  • Lastly: You can hear God. Every Christian has the Holy Spirit. Every Christian (in my part of the world) has a copy of the Bible. Every Christian (here) has access to Christian leaders and friends. God speaks to you through all of them. And God speaks through prayer. If you will develop the habit of praying and listening, you will hear God speaking to you. And every time you obey God's voice, you get better at hearing it. Sometimes you won't be sure if you're hearing God or not. It might be the imagination of your own heart. It might be something manipulative spoken by a friend, family member or fellow Christian. It might be a demon. But you have the Holy Spirit, and the Bible, and friends, and a pastor. With their help, you can tell if it's probably God or probably not. Try doing what God is probably saying. If you refuse to act until you're absolutely certain that it's God, you probably won't ever do anything, and you'll be refusing to do what God probably wants you to do. Try trusting Him, and go for it. Who knows what will happen? God does!