Preach First and Last Sermons

I don’t know if you count.  My temperament tends to count.  I keep track of what I’ve preached, when, to whom, etc.  I keep records partially out of necessity and partially out of interest.  Whether or not you count sermons, take a guess, which one is today’s?  Is it number 15, or 100, or 1250, or 3500?

Let me encourage you today to preach as if it is your first. Preach with all the naivety of a new preacher.  Remember?  Back when you expected lives to be changed immediately by the sermon you preached.  Back when the spring in your step conveyed an excitement about what God is doing in your life and what He wants to do in their lives.  Forget the nerves, the mistakes, the unrefined skill, and so on.  But remember the enthusiastic expectation of that first sermon.  Preach like that today.

And preach as if it is your last. Imagine that today’s sermon had to count because there would be no more.  Imagine that all the weight of God’s work in your life had to be transferred with urgency today to those sitting before you.  Forget the slowness of mind that may come, or the feeble frame that you may have to carry up those steps.  But imagine how powerful the weight of matured passion and perspective will be in your last ever sermon.  Preach like that today.

2 thoughts on “Preach First and Last Sermons

  1. One of the challenges that I had when first preaching, was putting too much content into a sermon as if it was my last message. It is the tendency to say everything you know about a topic at one time.

    In preaching regularly each week I love the freedom to focus on a particular element and deal with a broader topic over a series of messages. I still tend to find it difficult to whittle down message to fit into a 30-40 min. spot, but not nearly as much as I did when I first preached.

  2. Timely word. Thanks for writing it Peter. I was seeking the Lord asking what direction I should go in preaching my last sermon for June 22 before I move to another appointment June 29. I came across your blog and the reminder to preach this sermon with the passion of my first message and to preach it with the urgency of the hour helped frame it. Blessings.

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