Your October 15th, Sermon & Ministry Resources
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Lectionary Readings — 20th Sunday after Pentecost, October 15, 2023
Exodus 32:1-14; Psalm 106:1-6,19-23; Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14.
Call to Worship (based on Psalm 106)
Leader: Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever.
People: Who can utter the mighty doings of the Lord, or declare all his praise?
Leader: Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.
People: We remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.
Leader: Let us rejoice in the blessings and guidance of the Lord, as we reflect upon the testimonies of our ancestors.
People: Lord, you have been our guide, the light on our path, drawing us closer to your heart.
Leader: May we cherish your commandments and live in the radiance of your grace.
All: Together, we ponder and meditate on all your wonderful deeds, O Lord. We give thanks for your enduring love and faithfulness. Amen!
Opening Prayer (based on Philippians 4:1-9)
Gracious and ever-loving God,
In the bustling noise of our days, amidst challenges and worries, You call us to rejoice. Not just once, but always. As we gather in Your presence, we hold onto the joy that comes from knowing You, being in a relationship with You, and being part of this community of faith.
Lord, in our moments of anxiety, when the weight of the world feels too much to bear, remind us of Your exhortation to bring everything to You in prayer. Instead of being paralyzed by fear, may we be people who, with thanksgiving, present our requests, big and small, to You.
We thank you, O God, for the promise of Your peace— a peace that surpasses human understanding, a peace that stands guard over our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Even when chaos swirls around us, in You, we find an unwavering peace that calms our souls.
Teach us, Lord, to dwell on what is true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, and worthy of praise. Amidst the negativity and challenges of our world, guide our minds and hearts to focus on Your goodness and grace. Help us to be bearers of these qualities in a world that desperately needs them.
May our actions, our words, and our very lives reflect the teachings and example of Christ Jesus. Let us be living testimonies of Your love, embodying the virtues that You have laid out in Your word.
As we leave this place today, help us to practice what we have learned, received, heard, and seen in Your word and through the example of Christ Jesus, knowing that Your presence goes with us, bringing peace and joy into our daily walk.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, we pray. Amen.
Sermon Outline: [NOTE to Paid subscribers — scroll down for the full manuscript sermon].
Purpose: To illuminate God's unfathomable grace in extending a universal invitation to His heavenly banquet, to shed light on humanity's often tragic indifference or rejection of this call, and to urge believers and seekers alike to not only heed the call but also prepare their hearts, ensuring they are clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and truly partake in the divine celebration God has prepared.
Title: The Invitation of the Infinite King (Matthew 22:1-14)
The universal call from the Heavenly throne.
The astounding grace of God in extending an invitation to all.
A glimpse into Matthew 22:1-14, where Jesus unveils the heart of God and the response of man.
I. Prominent Proclamation (Matthew 22:1-3)
A. The King’s Convocation
God’s continuous call through the prophets (v. 1-2).
The grandeur of the heavenly banquet prepared for all.
B. The Silent Summons
The first invitation: God's persistent attempts to get our attention (v. 3).
Humanity's frequent negligence of His call.
II. Relentless Resistance (Matthew 22:4-7)
A. Merciful Messages
God's repeated, patient attempts to call His people back (v. 4).
The banquet described: A reflection of God’s overflowing blessings.
B. Rejection and Rebellion
Ignoring the divine invite: The distractions of the world (v. 5).
The dire consequences of hardening our hearts against Him (v. 6-7).
III. Gracious Gathering (Matthew 22:8-14)
A. Universal Undertaking
The open invitation: God's heart for all, righteous and unrighteous (v. 8-10).
The King’s desire for a full house, a testament to His inclusive love.
B. Sacred Standards
Wearing the wedding garment: The importance of being clothed in Christ's righteousness (v. 11-12).
The warning of coming unprepared: Not just being called, but also chosen (v. 13-14).
The deep yearning of God's heart for every person to join His eternal celebration.
The grace of God vs. the gravity of our choices.
An earnest appeal: Respond to God's invitation, embrace His grace, and be transformed by His love.
Full Manuscript Sermon Below for Paid Subscribers
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