Your September 24th, Sermon & Ministry Resources
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Lectionary Readings — 17th Sunday after Pentecost, September 24, 2023
Exodus 16:2-15; Psalm 105:1-6,37-45; Philippians 1:21-30; Matthew 20:1-16.
Sermon Outline: [NOTE to Paid subscribers — scroll down for the full manuscript sermon].
Purpose: To delve into the perplexing nature of God's grace as illustrated in the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, challenging our conventional views on fairness and merit. Through a deeper understanding of this parable, the sermon aims to transform hearts to more fully embrace God's unmerited favor, foster a community culture of grace and equal treatment, and inspire individuals to live out these godly principles in their daily lives.
Title: "Grace's Generosity: A Divine Paradox" (Matthew 20:1-16)
The tension of human fairness versus divine generosity
An invitation to explore Matthew 20:1-16 through the lens of grace
I. Generous God (Matthew 20:1-2, 8)
A. The Vineyard Visionary
1. Initiating the Workday (v. 1)
2. Setting the Wage (v. 2)
B. Gift of Grace
1. Equal Payment for All (v. 8)
2. Divine Determination of Worth (v. 8)
II. Grumbling Grievances (Matthew 20:10-12)
A. Discontented Discourse
1. Counting Others' Coins (v. 10)
2. Pouting over Pay (v. 12)
B. Guard Against Grumbling
1. Evading the Envy Trap (v. 12)
2. Focusing on the Father’s Fairness (v. 13)
III. Grace’s Grandeur (Matthew 20:13-15)
A. The Master's Mantra
1. The Owner’s Answer (v. 13-14)
2. Divine Discretion (v. 15)
B. Glimpses of Glory
1. The Abundance of the Almighty (v. 15)
2. The Sovereignty of the Savior (v. 15)
IV. Grand Gathering (Matthew 20:16)
A. Final Flips
1. The Last and the First (v. 16)
2. Reshuffling the Ranks (v. 16)
B. God’s Grand Plan
1. The Equality of Eternity (v. 16)
2. The Harmony of Heaven (v. 16)
Generosity's Grand Paradox: A Heavenly Invitation and Earthly Challenge
A call to transcend our human concept of fairness to embrace God's boundless grace and generosity
Call to Worship (based on Psalm 105)
Leader: Give thanks to the Lord! Speak His name and make it known to the world around you!
People: We come with grateful hearts, declaring God's goodness and love.
Leader: Sing praises and tell of all His wonders.
People: We raise our voices, recounting the incredible things He's done.
Leader: Seek the Lord and His strength; search for His presence continually.
People: We're here to find strength in His presence, to be renewed and recharged.
All: Today, we gather to celebrate the God of our history, the God of our here and now, and the God of our future. Amen.
Opening Prayer (based on Philippians 1:21-30)
We gather before Your throne this morning with hearts full of gratitude and awe for Your unchanging love and faithfulness. We come to You as a people united by the same Spirit, guided by the same Lord, and yearning for the same heavenly kingdom. Today, we are mindful of the Apostle Paul's profound declaration that "to live is Christ, and to die is gain." We acknowledge, Lord, that each moment of our lives should be a reflection of our love and commitment to You.
Father, help us to live lives that are worthy of the gospel of Christ, that we may stand firm in one spirit, striving side by side for the faith. Give us courage and boldness to not be frightened by opponents or obstacles that come our way. We know that the trials we face are not merely stumbling blocks but stepping stones that lead us toward becoming the people You desire us to be.
We pray for those among us who are enduring suffering and hardship. May they find comfort in knowing that their struggle is not in vain but serves to further the faith and the glory of Christ Jesus. May we all find reassurance in the promise that suffering for You is a sign of Your grace upon our lives.
Lord, we ask for unity among us. May we support one another, love one another, and encourage one another as we share in the same struggle that our brothers and sisters in the faith are experiencing. Help us to not only look out for our interests but also the interests of others, just as Christ did for us.
Finally, we commit this service into Your hands. May our worship rise as a sweet fragrance to Your throne, and may Your Word penetrate our hearts, transforming us into the likeness of Your Son, Jesus Christ.
We pray all these things in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
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