The sermon should begin by telling the story of the man who brought his son to be healed by Jesus. The story should be told completely and in a way that people can feel, see, and touch the story. I would say that you tell the story from the centurion stopping Jesus up until Jesus told him that his servant shall be healed. Then give the three points. After that pick the story back up on the way home for the celebration.
Now we move into the teaching part of the sermon. We have three points. These are three things you must do if you wish to see the healing of God. The first thing one must do is have compassion for others. Note that the Centurion had compassion for his slave. You might note that the word for slave here is not doulos which is the regular Greek word for slave, but it is pais which is the Greek word for a slave that is almost family. Here the centurion had compassion for someone else. We cannot be so caught up into our own healing if we want to see the healing of God, we must desire and be willing to see the healing of somebody else.
The second thing one must do if one is to see the healing of God, one must ask for it. Note in the text that the centurion goes to Jesus and asks for healing. Many of us fear to ask for that which we really want. You might go back to when Jesus asked the man at the pool, “What do you want?” In addition, you want to emphasize the connection in our own lives as we accept that which is less than what we really want. Instead the centurion wanted healing for his servant so he asked for it. It is time to ask for it. We want healing for our nation, ask for it. We want that new job, ask for it.
The third thing you must do if you want to see the healing of God is believe the word of God. Note that the centurion told Jesus, you don’t have to come by my house, but just speak the word only. the word itself has within it the power to do what it says. At this point you might bring in the power of the word, for example at creation, God stood out on nothing and said, let there be, and then there was something.
Then we celebrate. Pick it up on the way home. The centurion is already happy. He doesn’t have to wait to get home, he knows his servant is healed. He singing about the goodness of Jesus. He knows it, how does he know it, because God spoke a word. And you can trust that word. The power of the word of God is well attested. Whether it is a “let there be” to nothingness or a “you will have a son” to Abraham or a “peace be still” to the waves. But also, God’s power is evident because I was once lost in sin and Jesus picked me up and turned me around and placed my feet on solid ground.
Some of our colleagues were shocked at the sermon by Jeremiah Wright. I think one should read and hear a full sermon, and the full body of work, of a preacher before jumping to conclusions about one’s love for the country. Here is a sermon that can help you gain context on this preacher.
Check out Pastor Charles G. Adams’ sermon that he preached at the New Baptist Covenant Celebration. The sermon can be found at this link.
My classmate, James Moultry, sent in this link which is on the Big Daddy Weave website. That is a Baptist blog that some of you may want to check out.
Introduction: This sermon short is basically a pointer to help someone think about a text and turn it into a sermon. It is not meant to be preached now, but needs some beefing up. I have included some helpful pointers in how to preach it in the text of the sermon.
This is a scripture that may be hard to understand. We often talk about how good God is. We talk about God making a way in the middle of no way. We even talk about God being on the side of the weak and the oppressed. But then we come to a scripture where Jesus, the son of God, is “led” into the wilderness by the Spirit.
The wilderness, is a terrible place to be. We are told that this wilderness that Jesus was thrust into is a rough one, that descends quickly into a sea at the bottom of it. It is a rough one with rocks and the like. It is truly a terrible place. The Bible says that it is a place of temptation. Satan is in that place ready to pounce and tempt Jesus. but more than that there are wild beasts in that place. It was a place of spiritual as well as physical anguish.
And God sent him there. We often times get mad at folks. We talk about the church, but here it isn’t sister Betty causing Jesus Harm…It ain’t the Pharisees or the Sadducees, no it is the Holy Spirit that is driving Jesus into the midst of this desolate place.
Now we move into the teaching part of the sermon. As I think about this, I gotta believe that God has provided something to help Jesus through that wilderness, and if God had something in that wilderness for Jesus, God has something for us. What does God provide for us that will help us through that wilderness? We have three points. These are three things that God has for us that we will find in the wilderness.
The first thing that God has given us that will help us through the wilderness is the Word. We are ready for the wilderness experience because God has already given us that word. The powerful word that can take nothing and call forth something. Note how Jesus makes use of this resource by always appealing to it in his battle with Satan. Jesus uses the term “it is written” against all of the attacks. That word is given to us in the Bible. when the rough times of life come, we have a Bible. I remember when grandma used to have problem, she didn’t give up, she didn’t fret, she simply sat down with the Word to see what God is going to say to her. If we are going to make it through the wilderness that the Spirit may lead us into then we must make use of the resources that God has given us. And one of the biggest resources is the Bible itself.
The second thing that God has provided us to endure the wilderness is a God given identity and purpose. When you know who you are, no one whether a devil in hell or an angel in heaven can sway you from it. Note that Jesus wouldn’t bow to Satan in the third temptation because he knew who he was, and he knew who he served. See you only worship the devil if you are a child of Satan, but if you are a child of God then you cannot bow. But more than that. If you are the son of God, then you can’t bow to one who should bow to you. When you are led into the wilderness it is time to remember who you are. You see it is in the wilderness when we often do what we wouldn’t normally do. It is when the chips are down that we do what we shouldn’t do. Remember who you are and what God has in store for you.
The third thing God gives us is help in the wilderness. The text says that the devil was in the wilderness. We know that. The text says that wild animals are in the wilderness. We know that. But the text also says that angels were in the wilderness. We may be so busy looking at the devil and the wild beasts. We may be so busy looking at those who want to do us harm, that we don’t see that God has something in the wilderness looking out for you. The wilderness can’t totally overtake you if you remember that God has something there for you and to go look for that something. Note that the centurion told Jesus, you don’t have to come by my house, but just speak the word only. the word itself has within it the power to do what it says. At this point you might bring in the power of the word, for example at creation, God stood out on nothing and said, let there be, and then there was something.
Then we celebrate. Here you want to probably continue the third point that the angel meets us. Wait for angel. What do you do when God sends you to hell? You remember the word, you remember who you are, and you wait for the angel. You wait for your help. For we know that God won’t leave us in hell too long. The bible says that even if I make my bed in hell, God is with us. Hell won’t last too long the angels is coming. for the bible says that I just need to lift my eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help. Wait for the angel.
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It was 5:30AM and the alarm had just elevated its piercing voice and shook me out of my sleep and slumber. I really didnâ€™t feel like getting up that morning. I mean I really wanted to steal a few more moments of blissful unconsciousness. It was one of those days where we had plenty to do. It was one of those days where we had to get up, pack the car, and get out on the road. You see it was time to take that long trek to see family members in a far away town. But like any trip, it required preparation. We had a lot to do. In fact, we had to do some things that we normally wouldnâ€™t do at 5:30 in the morning. Because of this realization, I simply hit the snooze button every 15 minutes to prolong the sleep, but also the agony of realizing that I was stealing more and more time away from the preparations that needed to be done. However I promised myself that after this time hitting the snooze I would get up.
You ever felt like that? Sleeping, but needing and in some way wanting to get up, but our body wants to continue on in the daze of semi-awareness of what we must do. Wanting to sleep, but also wanting to awake and get the day started. The Apostle Paul is speaking to a group of people just like that. These Roman Christians were such that felt like hitting the snooze button and sleep a little longer. They wanted to continue living in the Roman world as if it would go on forever. They wanted to simply hit the snooze button. You know when you hit the snooze button you donâ€™t have to get up. When you hit the snooze button you delay the final reckoning.
You know and understand what I am talking about. Some have just simply hit the snooze button on Godâ€™s plans for them. We are not ready to go forward so we do whatever it takes to lesson the call of duty or responsibility on our soul. Many have simply hit the snooze button. We have been sleeping and the time to wake up has come. The alarm clock is shouting at you to get up. Some folks alarm clock is a child that was unexpected and unanticipated. And too many of us have simply hit the snooze button to continue life as it has always been. Perhaps the alarm clock to your soul has been a graduation which means it is time to stop being a burden to begin bearing burdens, but then some just hit the snooze button. Perhaps the alarm clock to your soul has been the call of God into ministry, but instead of moving forward into Godâ€™s plan we hit the snooze button and go on to as if nothing has changed.
The snooze button is so comfortable. The bed is so comfortable. Sleep is so comfortable, but we also must acknowledge that this sleep after an alarm ainâ€™t really sweet. When God needs you to get up the sleep is not so sweet. And sometimes God will do whatever God has to do to wake us up from that rest of semi consciousness.
This is the kind of sleep that caused Paul to yell in exasperation, â€œWake upâ€ in our text. Wake up. You have been sleeping. You have just continued to hit the snooze button every 15 minutes. But wake up. Time is running out. Paul reminds us that it is closer to the Second Advent than when we first believed. Paul reminds us that the night is just about to be over and it is day time. Wake up. You canâ€™t continue to live in the day as if it is the day. Sleeping is alright during the nighttime, but it is day time now. Wake up. And that is the first thing that our text tells us to do today. The text is reminding us that it is time to Wake up because it is the time to do what God has called you to do.
But more than wake up. Paul is telling the Roman Christians and us that we gotta throw off some stuff. Your text says â€œput offâ€ but that is not as strong as the original. The original says to â€œthrow offâ€ the darkness. You see when it is morning time you need to take some stuff off. When I got up that morning I had to throw off my pajamas. I had to throw off the covers. You see sleeping attire ainâ€™t the same thing as day attire. Sleeping attire just keeps you comfortable for the night, but day attire is meant to help you in your efforts to do what needs to be done in the day time.
Itâ€™s day time yawl. It is time to throw off some stuff. There are people here who have some stuff that needs to be thrown off because its day time. There are some folk here today who are trying to live in the daytime as if it is night. Throw off that which needs throwing off. There is someone here today who is running with the wrong crowd. The crowd of darkness. The crowd of the night. The Bible says to throw off the darkness. Throw it off. There are some who still have on the clothes of their previous life. Throw it off. I want to be careful here, but there was a time when you could tell Christians by their dress. There was a time when Christians werenâ€™t trying to see how high they could bring their dress up and how low they can keep their trousers. There was a time when Christians looked like Christians. Itâ€™s day time yawl. It is time to stop looking like you just came from the club. Itâ€™s day time yawl. Throw off some stuff.
But throwing off ainâ€™t enough. Before I could go to do the work that was required for the day, I had to put on something. I had to put on my day clothes. I had to put on my work clothes. I had to put on my clothes. Paul tells you to put on Jesus. Put on Jesus. If you will be ready for the day you gotta wake up, throw of, and put on Jesus. Put on Jesus.
Taking off ainâ€™t enough. If I had gone out to the car after having taken off, then I wouldnâ€™t have been ready. A Naked man ainâ€™t ready for the demands of the day. I had to put on something. Put on your day clothes. Put on Jesus. There are some Christians who are experts at what we shouldnâ€™t do. And yet they donâ€™t put on Jesus. If you donâ€™t put on Jesus you are still just as unfit as if you left on all that mess you took off.
Well I finally got over my sleepiness that morning. I woke up. I woke up. It was a difficult thing to wake up when sleepiness is overtaking you. But you see I had things to do on that morning. I had things I had to get ready. I had to do some stuff. I woke up.
Because I had things to do, I threw off my sleeping clothes. I no longer needed them where I was going. Getting up was the hardest thing, but I had to take off them clothes. Once again taking off those clothes was hard, but I did it because I had an objective in mind, I had things to do.
Then I put on the things put on my clothes for my daily work. I knew that if I was to complete my work I had to put on the clothes that were the right job for the work. I got my work clothes yawl. I put on my comfortable sweats. I knew I was gonna work.
Somebody knows about getting ready for daybreak. You been trying your whole life to live a life sleep when you can only complete it when you are awake. So you battled with the sin that doth so easily beset you. You did this while asleep. You battled with the pains and hurts of the day. You did this while asleep. You attempted to do the will of God, but you were sleeping. But the big point is that it is time to get upâ€¦
I think I see somebody getting up. Come on and Get up. Come on and wake up. Oh yeas we got things to do. Remember how it is easier to get up when you got things to do. Get up, throw off, and put on. Wake upâ€¦Throw off wickednessâ€¦and put on Jesus. Somebody told me that it is hard to live the Christian life. It is hard to fight with sin. It is hard to continue battling every day of your life. And I understand what they are saying, but too often we try to battle sin while we are sleeping. Too often we try to battle wickedness while we are sleeping. But I say todayâ€¦Wake upâ€¦.Wake upâ€¦
You see just like with my early morning trip it is easier to get up when you got things to do. Well I donâ€™t know about you, but I got things to do. I gotta walk on streets of Gold. I got things to do. I gotta talk to the elders. I got things to do. I gotta see my grandma and grandpa. I got things to do. I am going to go on over to Mosesâ€™ house on my way over the Jordan to Paulâ€™s house. And finally, I gotta see Jesus, the one who died for me; face to faceâ€¦.I got things to do. And you got things to do, praise God.
Yes it is sometimes hard to do what God has called us to do, but the answer is simply wake up, throw off, and put on. When you feel like giving upâ€¦Wake up, throw off, and put on. When you feel like your work is in vain, wake up, throw off, and put on. When you think that your work is doing no good, wake up, throw off, and put onâ€¦ For in a little while we will look up and see the master comingâ€¦
So I tell you today, come on and wake up, wake up, throw off, and put on with me todayâ€¦.