Your January 14th, Sermon & Ministry Resources
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Lectionary Readings — Second Sunday after the Epiphany, January 14, 2024
1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20); Psalm 139:1-6;13-18; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51
Call to Worship (based on John 1:43-51)
Leader: "Come, let us follow Christ, just as He called His first disciples."
People: "We come, seeking to see where He leads, eager to follow His path."
Leader: "Jesus said, 'Come and see.' He invites us into a journey of faith and discovery."
People: "We come with open hearts, ready to be transformed by His grace."
Leader: "Like Nathanael, who found faith under the fig tree, may we too be surprised by Jesus' knowledge of our deepest selves."
People: "In His light, we see ourselves clearly, called and known by our Savior."
Leader: "Jesus promises us greater things than these."
People: "We gather in worship, anticipating the wonders He will reveal, the bridges He will build between heaven and earth."
All: "Let us worship God in spirit and in truth, for He has called us by name, and we have answered, 'Here we are, Lord!'"
Opening Prayer (based on Psalm 139:1-6;13-18)
Gracious and Almighty God, who knows us better than we know ourselves, we come before You in awe of Your deep knowledge and understanding. As the Psalmist proclaims in Psalm 139, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away.”
Lord, we marvel at how intimately You know us – our actions, our thoughts, our feelings. You are acquainted with all our ways. Before a word is even on our tongues, behold, O Lord, You know it completely. Such knowledge is too wonderful for us, so high that we cannot attain it.
You are the One who knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. We praise You, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and our souls know it very well. Our frames were not hidden from You when we were being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld our unformed substance.
In Your book were written all the days that were formed for us, when none of them as yet existed. How precious to us are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If we were to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
As we gather today in Your presence, we are humbled and comforted by Your all-encompassing knowledge and care for us. In moments of doubt or loneliness, remind us that we are never out of Your sight or care. In times of joy and celebration, let us recognize Your hand in every good gift we receive.
Guide us in this time of worship. May our hearts be open to Your Spirit, our minds receptive to Your word, and our actions reflective of Your boundless love. Help us to live in the light of Your presence, to cherish the life You have given us, and to use each day for Your glory.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, we pray. Amen.
Sermon Outline: [NOTE to Paid subscribers — scroll down for the full manuscript sermon].
Purpose: To inspire and guide the congregation in recognizing and responding to God's call in their lives, as exemplified by the story of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:1-20. It aims to teach the importance of perceptive listening to discern God's voice amidst the noise of everyday life, the value of persistent learning and mentorship in understanding spiritual messages, the courage needed in delivering prophetic truths, and the responsibility of purposeful leading in one's community. Through this sermon, the congregation is encouraged to deepen their spiritual awareness, develop a stronger relationship with God, and embrace their roles as proactive, faithful followers in the modern world.
Title: Hearing and Heeding God’s Call (1 Samuel 3:1-20)
Context: Set the scene in the temple, where Samuel is serving under Eli, and the rarity of hearing God's word during that time.
1. Perceptive Listening
Focus on verses 1-3, highlighting Samuel's initial inability to recognize God's voice.
Application: Encourage the congregation to be attentive to the subtle ways God may be speaking to them in their daily lives.
2. Persistent Learning
Discuss verses 4-9, emphasizing Samuel's repeated encounters and Eli's eventual realization that God was calling the boy.
Application: Discuss the importance of persistence in learning to discern God's voice and the role of mentors in guiding us towards spiritual understanding.
3. Prophetic Leaning
Analyze verses 10-18, where Samuel receives and delivers a difficult message from God.
Application: Challenge the congregation to be courageous in speaking truth, even when it is uncomfortable or challenging.
4. Purposeful Leading
Conclude with verses 19-20, focusing on Samuel's growth and establishment as a prophet of the Lord.
Application: Inspire the congregation to embrace their roles as leaders in their own spheres, following God's guidance faithfully.
Summarize the key points of the sermon.
Encourage the congregation to listen for, learn from, and lead with God's guidance in their lives, just as Samuel did.
Close with a prayer for guidance, wisdom, and the courage to respond to God's call.