Your November 5th, Sermon & Ministry Resources
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Lectionary Readings — 23rd Sunday after Pentecost, November 5, 2023
Joshua 3:7-17; Psalm 107:1-7,33-37; 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13; Matthew 23:1-12.
Call to Worship (based on Joshua 3:7-17)
Leader: As Joshua once declared, when you see the ark of the covenant move, be prepared to journey!
People: We rise from our places, our hearts stirred, ready to step forth in faith and eager expectation.
Leader: Remember the wonder! As the waters of the Jordan halted and rose in a heap before the ark,
People: In the same way, our God clears obstacles for us, forging a path in the wilderness and guiding us through the deepest waters.
Leader: With reverence and awe, we assemble, drawing near to worship our mighty and ever-faithful God.
People: Together, let's exalt the One who parts waters, leads His people with steadfast love, and beckons us ever closer to His boundless promises!
Opening Prayer (based on Psalm 107:1-7)
Gracious and Eternal God,
We gather here today, our hearts brimming with gratitude, echoing the Psalmist's declaration: "O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever." We are a testament, Lord, to Your enduring mercy, to the times when You redeemed us from trouble, gathering us from lands near and far.
We confess, O God, that too often, we walk in desert wastelands of doubt, hungering and thirsting in our souls. Yet, every time we cry out in our distress, You hear us. You deliver us from our dire straits, guiding us along straight paths to a city where we may dwell in Your peace.
May we, as Your people, never forget Your unwavering love and abundant kindness. Open our eyes, Father, to see the daily miracles of Your provision, and tune our ears to the symphony of Your creation, singing praises for Your goodness. We ask that our lives become a ceaseless song of thanksgiving, reflecting the hope and redemption found in You.
Bind us together, Lord, in our shared journey of faith. May we lift one another up, reminding each other of Your great works and wondrous deeds in our lives. As we venture forth from this sacred gathering, let us be beacons of Your love, sharing the good news of Your salvation with all we meet.
In the name of the One whose love never falters, we pray, Amen.
Sermon Outline: [NOTE to Paid subscribers — scroll down for the full manuscript sermon].
Purpose: This message aims to highlight Jesus' teachings on true servanthood versus religious hypocrisy. It underscores the value of humility and genuine faith, urging believers to avoid seeking human praise and instead embody Christ's selfless service and humility in their lives.
Title: Sincere Servanthood (Matthew 23:1-12)
The stage of religious leadership: Pharisees and teachers of the law.
Jesus' caution to the crowd and His disciples.
I. Superiority's Snare
Scripture Insight: Matthew 23:1-4
The weighty words: Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.
The duplicity of demanding and not doing.
The danger of spiritual pride.
The challenge of practicing what we preach.
II. Spectacles of Spirituality
Scripture Insight: Matthew 23:5-7
Broad phylacteries and long tassels: external displays of piety.
Craving commendations: greetings in the marketplaces and coveted seats.
Evaluating our motivations: For whom do we perform our acts of faith?
The peril of misplaced priorities in our spiritual walk.
III. Servanthood's Substance
Scripture Insight: Matthew 23:8-10
The singular shepherd: only one is our teacher, the Christ.
A community of equals: all are brothers and sisters.
Embracing the ethos of equality.
Understanding our role: guides pointing to the Great Teacher.
IV. Sacrificial Stature
Scripture Insight: Matthew 23:11-12
The inversion of importance: the greatest shall be a servant.
The divine dynamic: those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Rediscovering the rewards of genuine humility.
Emulating the example of Christ: the servant king.
The call to sincere servanthood.
The challenge: To walk humbly, serve selflessly, and always point to the Savior.
Full Manuscript Sermon Below for Paid Subscribers
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