Daily Devotional for December 7, 2021

In yesterday’s worship meeting, we estimated next Sunday’s choir cantata would take about thirty minutes.  To my dismay, when we added in all the other components of the worship service, there was only five minutes left for the sermon.

I explained to the staff I was certain there would be rioting in the streets and an end to civilization as we know it if I didn’t preach a full-length sermon.

The room was filled with the oppressive sound of silence.  In fact, you could have heard a pin drop. No one said a word.  This got me thinking.

An effective sermon can be long or short.  The length of time is not what matters.  What matters is how God uses it.

My own experience is a great example.

When I have been totally self-consumed and a real stinker, God has used sermons to stomp all over my toes.

When I have faced overwhelming hardships, God has used sermons to give me strength to place one foot in front of another and keep moving ahead.

When I have needed guidance in making decisions, God has used sermons to point me the right direction.

In all these years, what has impacted me is not the length of a sermon but how God used it.

So next Sunday, in whatever church you attend, when it’s time for the sermon, know God will use the inadequate, inane words of the preacher to speak to the circumstance of your life.  All you have to do is have an open mind and open heart.  That’s how faith is nurtured and grown.

Paul said, “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.”  (Romans 10:17)

If I didn’t believe sermons mattered, I find another line of work.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, please use the words of your pastors to bring your light and love to those who are lost, alone, or afraid.  And when I hear a sermon, open my spirit to your message.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

A sermon’s length has never mattered.  It’s how it is heard that makes a difference.

Also, just for the record, on a regular basis, Jerry reminds me a sermon should have a great opening, a great closing, and very little in-between.  I wonder what he’s trying to tell me?

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins