If you've read my blog over the last week or so you know that last night I delivered my first full length sermon. I preached on 1 John because I had taught on it before and was relatively familiar with the content. The text of my sermon is below, but I thought I'd give you an account of how the evening went down, as well as my impression of how the sermon went.
My wife and I found Kenwood Missionary Baptist Church with no problem. It's a small, semi-rural church in the Ashland/Russell area of Kentucky. We were met by Mark Thompson, a man in his early fifties who had only been a Christian two years. I loved talking to him because I could see a love for God's word in him that few Christians have today. He was hungry. I ended up looking at him for most of the time I spent in the pulpit because I could see his eagerness.
The service itself was a bit of a blast from the past. There were a number of similarities between this church and the church I attended as a boy. Even one of the special songs reminded me of something my grandmother would have loved. Before long, though, it was time for me to speak.
My intention was to go about 25-30 minutes, but I missed that mark a bit. My wife told me it was probably about 45 minutes long. Oops! And here I was worried that I wouldn't have enough material. The people, though, were kind and loving and they didn't seem to mind the sermon's length. I even got a hug from a 3 year old little girl in the audience.
The sermon itself was a mixed bag. Before I continue with my remarks, let me say that I fully believe that God can do whatever He wills with any sermon. I don't mean to indicate my efforts were the most important thing yesterday evening. But let's get on with it. My sermon wasn't as tight as I would have wanted. It didn't flow that well in places, particularly from the introduction to the actual body of the sermon. For some reason in the introduction I focused on others recognizing our Christianity rather than gaining assurance ourselves.
I was fairly happy with the rest of the sermon. I think I got to cover the basics of 1 John fairly well. It just needs some refining. As I said, the text of the sermon is posted below, pretty much as it was preached. The only alteration I made was to replace the King James Biblical citations with English Standard Version ones. I hadn't used my KJV for a long time, but many churches around here still prefer it, so I used it so as not to offend people. I don't think they're King James Only at Kenwood, but it is still used in most churches around here.
Hopefully you'll enjoy reading the sermon below, and I'd welcome your comments.