Amazingly, I cannot remember the last time I heard my father preach. This past Sunday proved that I need to ensure I hear him MUCH, MUCH more! When I say he killed and murdered this text, I’m being sincere, but I guess you’ll have to see for yourself. He came from James 1:12 (I know, just one verse) and entitled his sermon “Trials and the Crown”.
Here’s his sermon’s highlights:
– No matter how saved you are, you are eligible for some trials-which will always be more than we expected.
– We should remember that the crown is greater than the trials.
– The Trials are Sure to Come:
o Your avoidance of one type of trial doesn’t prevent you from experiencing one in a different category.
o Into all of our lives, a little rain must fall (Mt. 5:45).
– We Must Endure:
o There’s a crown for those who do.
o How to endure:
1. Feed your faith with…
a. The study and digestion of the Word
i. The Word can only help you if you understand it! So we need to dissect the Word.
ii. We need something bigger than the temporary fixes to our trials offered by the world.
iii. The Word has to move from our head and ears into our heart for it to help!
b. A song
i. It equips us for service by emptying us out and filling us with Him
ii. It creates a situation in which our mind is above what we’re going through
i. You are at your weakest when you become isolated
2. Starve your doubts and fears to death!
a. Our fears and doubts are only present because we are feeding them. Whatever you feed, grows.
b. There are some people and things we need to evict from our lives.
i. People effect our posture (Ps. 1:1) – We go from walking, to standing, to sitting with sinners.
– The Crown is Worth it:
o Rev. 20 ensures that we don’t have to worry about the Great White Throne judgment if we’re saved, but we need to remember there’s a Judgment Seat of Christ (I Cor. 3).
§ If we want more than wood, hay and stubble, we have to endure.
o God has promised us a crown of life for our endurance and God is a promise keeper!
– Of all the possible witnesses to attest this, Christ is the ultimate example, coming from 42 generations, suffering the shame and humiliation of a brutal crucifixion, all to be resurrected, ascended to heaven and now sitting at the right hand of the Father waiting for His cue to come back down and set thing in order on earth!
As I said at the beginning of this post, it’s been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve heard my father preach and this sermon reminded me of how much God moves through him. I don’t think I’ll ever find a man or woman who I feel is a better preacher than my father, but then again I’m a bit biased. This sermon, however, really was timely. Preached to a congregation and family (the Baines family) dealing with a crisis, the potential loss of one of our pillar, Dr. Robert Baines, Sr. This sermon, however, can help all of you, not just my family, not just me, not just Zion of Buffalo, but anyone dealing with a crisis. While I feel the entire sermon was hot like dynamite, the section that helped me the most was how to endure. Enduring by feeding our faith and starving our doubts and fears to death. In so many of my other posts, I’ve stressed the importance of have a strong foundation in the Word, but this sermon definitely knocked the nail right on the head. The world can only offer you so many temporary fixes, but God’s Word fixes everything. The world gives you empty promises and false hopes, but the Word is full of truth, full of facts, full of hope, full of reality, peace, joy and comfort. Without a base in the Word, you’re doomed (sorry to sound gloomy, but it is what it is). As I deal with this issue and other issues to come in my life, I plan to look back at this sermon for peace, reassurance and closure: that though things hurt and seem dim right now, there’s a crown behind each trial if I endure. Endurance comes best by feeding your faith and starving your fears and doubts. Thanks, Dad!