A Deacon-Candidate’s First Sermon: “What I need You to hear…”
What I Need You To Hear…
A sermon based on Phil. 2:1-10
By Chuck Zetzman
Dear Friends in Christ, the Lord is with You!
I am making a step of faith to speak of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to tell you of the love I have found in believing and trusting in Jesus Christ.
While I have a great desire to do this, the process of writing a sermon isn’t easy or natural for me. Matter of fact, some people wondered if I could do it.
But I so long for you to know the God who loves us all, I have struggled through it, I learned a lot, and I so want to share it with you.
I have a new heart of compassion and trust in Jesus Christ for His help and forgiveness and mercy. New because it wasn’t always that way.
It is like when I taught softball, sometimes you have to unlearn things you are doing wrong, in order to do things “naturally” And God had to teach me, like he teaches you, what not to do.
That’s why Paul wrote
Philippians 2:1-6 NLT
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
But the problem is, we didn’t, and we don’t always share God’s comfort with each other, we don’t always agree with each other, we don’t always work together well, and we are often more interested in what benefits us, than what benefits each other.
Even when we know it is wrong.
We have to break those bad behaviors, just like a pitcher has to break their bad behaviors.
The problem is, we can’t.
We need someone to coach us, to call us on our self-centeredness. We call that it, in the church, calling someone to repent.
it’s not easy, but it is necessary.
We have to be called to repentance, if we are going to get life right.
Which means we have to realize we sin. You sin, I sin, Pastor Parker sins, my fellow deacons sin. We all sin.
But God, can fix it, and He really wants to.
That is why He came, as the Apostle Paul tells us,
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8 (NLT)
This attitude we are supposed to have, Jesus came to help us have.
We must remember Christ took on the position of a slave for us and gave us His divine privileges. He humbled himself in obedience to God and died on the cross for us.
That does two things…
One it takes care of the bad habits, as He died to pay for those sins. He removes them Himself, as we are made one with Him in baptism. It isn’t always easy, but it always good.
The other thing He does, is show us how to do it right, and He gives us the Holy Spirit to do it right.
I’ve seen it happen, and I remember it, so I know you all can!
It may be the only the thing I can remember, but remember it I do.
God loves us,
He sent Christ to save us
He doesn’t leave us alone, but walks with us, coaching us, loving us, forgiving us when we need it. And inspiring us to love others, sometimes in ways others think are crazy… or silly.
But those crazy things, those silly things, are what matters, as God loves us through others, as He gives us the mind of Jesus, and encourages us to live for others.
Again, I’ve seen it.
I have found love and compassion and help at Concordia from all of you here. You will find love and encouragement by belonging to Christ, by being part of His family, for they will love and encourage you as well!
And then you will know a peace you cannot find anywhere else… the peace of God, which we can’t understand, but we can find rest and hope in, a peace that Jesus keeps us in, our hearts and our minds safe… in Him.