When you come to church, you never know exactly what the pastor is going to preach about. What theme, or approach, is the preacher going to utilize? Will the message resonate in your soul and your mind? How will the sermon connect with your everyday life? Is this sermon going to teach you something new about the Bible, convict you of your sin, make you laugh, or make you cry? Every sermon, and every preacher, is different.
Imagine that you came to church one Sunday, and Jesus himself was speaking from the pulpit. What a sermon that would be!
Did you know that Jesus once preached a sermon, just for you? Actually, he preached it first to a bunch of people back in his days on earth. But a written record of the Lord’s sermon is in the Bible. We call it “The Sermon on the Mount.” You can read it in St. Matthew’s Gospel, chapters 5-7 (also, St. Luke, chapter 6).
This sermon records the very words of Jesus. These are his words for you. He talks about your religious attitudes and attitudes. He preaches frankly about your spiritual shortcomings, and about God’s expectations of you. Jesus exhorts you to a new and better way of living, and he conveys wonderful promises of God’s help and blessing for you.
We are going to be basing a few of our sermons this month at Hope on some short sections of “The Sermon on the Mount.” I encourage you to be in church for these sermons. But I also encourage you to read this month the whole sermon Jesus preached for you. Then read it again, and again, and again. I am absolutely certain that it is precisely the motivating, uplifting, challenging sermon you need!
Pastor Wayne Puls