Every preacher has one. A first sermon. I’ve heard preachers say their first sermon lasted what seemed like an hour but ended up being fifteen minutes long. Each one knows he is called of God to give out the message of the gospel.
Preachers spend hours each week in preparation for what God has placed upon their hearts to give to the people with which He has entrusted them.
We find Paul’s first recorded sermon in Acts 13. He had preached many but this was the first of which we have a record. Although preached from a synagogue on a Sabbath morning; his sermon shook the whole city. The next sabbath the whole city gathered together to hear the word of God.
That sermon rocked! Why did it make such an impact and what makes it so radical and revolutionary today? After Paul read the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say it,” The rulers of the synagogue asked for this sermon.
Paul began to recount Israel’s history. He addressed the people to whom he was speaking: “Men of Israel, you who fear God.” He then began to praise God for HIs attributes as well as for all He had done for Israel. He reminded them of their history.
- Bore with them in the wilderness for 40 years.
- Destroyed seven nations in Canaan
- Gave them their land as an inheritance for 450 years
- Gave them judges until Samuel the prophet
- Gave them King Saul upon their request for 40 years
- Raised up David to be their king.
- God brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus Christ.
- John prepared the way for Jesus Christ.
This was just the introduction. These people were hanging on every word Paul boldly proclaimed. People love to hear their history, especially the victorious parts. Paul had their attention.
He was not really citing any one person as great leader. He was placing God at the center and trying to convince these Jews of God’s great love and concern for their nation. This message poured out through Paul had reached to his own heart. It cut through his former bigotry and egotism and planted a seed of faith that kept him giving out the truth of the gospel.
Prayer in Motion:
Lord, help me to pray fervent, effectual prayers that avail much for my pastor(s). It’s an incredibly hard calling but one that humbles the man and exalts the God who called him. Lives are radically transformed by the message he prepares each week. Holy Spirit, fall on our pastors in a powerful way. May their latter days be greater than the former. In Jesus Name. Amen