The Best Sermon You’ll Ever Preach

The best sermons I ever preach are those I preach, not in my ministerial capacity, but as a poor sinner preaching to sinners. — Spurgeon

This is how to help others.  As one who is weak.  As one who can sympathize with them in their struggles.  As one who has sinned himself.  As one who knows what it’s like to be forgiven repeatedly.

We help others best as fellow recipients of mercy. As those who have failed many times.  As those who fear the Lord if they were to judge others.  As those who walk with a limp.  As those who have no merit of their own, only the righteousness of Christ.  As those who walk alongside.

We help others best when we help them with gentleness, long suffering and patience. We help others best when we don’t get frustrated with their many doubts because we too have doubted.  We help others best when we express compassion before telling them how they need to change.

We fail to help others when we dole out quick advice, when we tell them how we just decided to change then did it, when we can’t understand why it’s so hard for them to believe.  We fail to help others when we judge their weakness from our strength.

We fail to help our children when we get angry when they sin.  We fail to help our children when we sigh or can’t believe it when they’ve failed again.  We fail to help them when we tell them we’re disappointed in them.  We fail to help them when we tell them we’d never do that.

The best advice we ever give is that of a poor sinner to another poor sinner. As one who looks to herself, lest she also be tempted.  As one who knows he needs to be encouraged as well.  As one who doesn’t assume to know another’s heart and pain.

As D.T. Niles said, “Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread.”

The best advice we can give is not look at me and my example but look at Christ and all he did for you.

photo by chrisinplymouth

Comments

  1. lisa says

    Thank you, Mark! This is so well written. But I also thank you that you didn't overemphasize example. It's true that we can learn much from someone's godly example, but (for pastors and parents especially) there has to be intentional instruction as well, and that done from the humble attitude you were talking about. So this is a really good reminder!

    • MarkAltrogge says

      Thanks Lisa, Great comments. All 3 are important – humility, intentional instruction backed up by example.

  2. Elaine says

    Thanks, Mark! Your post reminds me of Hebrews 12:2 where it reminds us to look to Christ, the Author and Perfector of our faith. I can't trust myself because sin is so deceptive – it blinds me to my own faults and failings. Although many have blessed me by their godly example, I must guard against placing them on a pedestal, a surefire way to set anyone up for a fall. It always comes back to focusing on Christ and what He has accomplished for believers. Thankful for His Word that hedges about me – what a gift!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

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