Sermon Starter: What is Best

June 10th, 2011

Genesis 29:15-28; Psalm 105:1-11; Romans 8:26-39; Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Prayer is more than offering a list to God.  It is praying for the will of God in our lives and those we pray for.  What we believe to be divine will is often what we think is best in a given situation.  Praying ‘thy will be done’ is easy on Sunday morning in worship but difficult when it involves someone we are directly concerned about.

The writer of Romans makes a bold claim.  The Spirit of God already is aware of what is best or what God’s will is.  Sermons have been preached using verse twenty eight to the exclusion of the verses preceding and following it.  God works, ‘in all things’ in so far as his perfect will is involved.  It would be appropriate to read the entire passage and offer ideas about what God’s will is.

As a child I sometimes came away from worship with the idea that all creation was not equal to the Creator.  I didn’t worry much about the idea because I knew our group was included in the chosen and other people, I hardly knew, were not included.  Being predestined is wonderful if you’re picked to play on the winning team.

We have a part in God’s call.  Predestination does not involve an elite group but those who hear the call and respond.  If we respond to Christ we are justified.  Wesley preached justification by faith.  Our contemporary audience needs to hear what it means to be justified by God’s grace and love.  To be placed in a position of right standing before God not on our own merits but because of Christ’s sacrifice for each of us.

The sermon would not be complete without an assurance that our weaknesses and our trials do not separate us from the love of God. The author of Romans wrote about the fear of angels and demons separating us from that love.  Today, we may focus on other perceived hindrances such as failure to accomplish all we think we have to do or past mistakes.  But in the trials of life we can know that we are held secure by Christ.

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