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Following is a sermon that was included some time back in my Monday Morning Preacher's Package which is my weekly subscription service I offer through Sermon Seedbed that arrives in your inbox every Monday morning containing 20 pages + of sermon material.

THE "LETTUCE" SERMON
by Eddie Lawrence

INTRODUCTION – Today we are going to have lettuce for lunch. Now that may not excite you right now, but just listen to this message and you will realize that "lettuce" can be quiet a meal.

Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

1. Let Us Draw Near to God

Explanation- The writer of Hebrews is exalting the finished work of Christ. He is shifting the Old Testament mindsets of his readers. They no longer have to approach the tabernacle in fear relying on the sacrifice that they are brining. They can now have boldness to enter because of the sacrifice of Christ. Before only the High Priest could go beyond the veil where the ark of the Presence abode. Now, Jesus the Great High Priest, has paved the way and invites us into the fullness of God's presence.

Illustration- When a worker has a deadline approaching, he is often asked, "How much do you like being finished?" He will reply, "I'm working on it!" That is the mindset we often have about our relationship with God, "I'm working on it!" Dear friends, Jesus has declared, "It is finished!" The Father has declared, "Well done, Son!" We are invited into what Christ has done.

Application-We need to have a "It is finished!" mindset so that we can move on into what lies before us in Christ and his plan for our lives. Otherwise, we will spend our lives saying, "I'm working on it!" Don't work on it! Work from it! There's a world of difference.

2. Let Us Hold Fast Our Confession

Explanation- This links to the above point. Let's hold on to the confession of our hope in Christ's work. As Christians, we stake our claim on what Jesus has done for us, not what we try to do for ourselves. Notice the writer says we are to do this "without wavering" knowing that Jesus will keep his promise. You see, it is about His faithfulness to us.

Illustration-
Imagine that you and Bill Gates were best friends as teenagers but you went your separate ways. One day you get a call and it's Bill Gates. He tells you that you have been on his heart and though it has been years, he would like to see you. So you arrange to meet. You have lunch together and have a great time reconnecting. Bill then asks you about your needs. Embarassingly, you admit to him that you are about to go bankrupt. In a few weeks, if things don't change, you are going to lose it all.

Bill looks at you and says, "Let me look into it. Don't worry, I am going to take care of it for you. I would love to be able to help you in this way. You are excited and then both of you leave.

A week or two passes and you have not heard anything. You start to fret. At the lunch you had with Bill, you had felt totally relieved. You just knew that everything was going to be taken care of. But now, you are not sure. You have not heard from him. You know those bills have to be paid. You begin to imagine what might have happened. You think, "Bill is very busy, he probably has forgotten. Maybe he realized he made a hasty promise and backed out. Maybe he looked into my financial past and realized my bad decisions got me into this mess and I need to learn a lesson." On and on your mind conjures us reasons why Bill has forgotten you or whay you don't deserve his help.

As the deadline approaches, you lose even more sleep, your stomach is bothering you, you are desperately trying to figure out a way to change your circumstances. You are now even feeling a little bitter toward Bill.

Finally, in desperation, you call the bank to see if the deadline can be extended. The worker at the bank pulls up your account and tells you, "Sir, you account is paid in full!" You ask, "When did this happen?" He told you the date and it was the same day you had lunch with Bill. You are so excited now. Yet, you feel a little embarrassed.

You ask the bank, "Why was I not notified of this?" The bank said, "Sir, we mailed you a letter some time ago." Later, you look through your stack of mail and there it is." You find letter that informs you that everything has been paid in full.

You then get in touch with Bill Gates and tell him how thankful you are for what he did. You ask him, "Why didn't you let me know what you did so I could properly thank you?" Bill simply says, "I did let you know. I told you at our lunch "I will take care of it. Didn't you believe me?"

Application- Each of us have a debt we cannot pay. Jesus has said that he has taken care of it. We even have a letter that tells us everything is paid in full. Do you still fret? Do you still worry? Are you wavering. He is faithful who has promised!

3. Let Us Stir Each Other Up

Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

1. Let us consider one another
NT:2657. katanoe/ contracted , from katá (2596), an intens., and noéœ (3539), to think.
Heb. 10:24 – to regard and have respect for
(from The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament © 1992 by AMG International, Inc. Revised Edition, 1993)
2. Stir up love
3. Stir up good works
4. not forsaking
5. some were forsaking consistently (doesn't mean you can never miss)
6. exhorting
7. increased exhortation the closer we get to the end

Explanation- The reason we are to encourage one another to love and to good works because of Christ has done for us, is because we are all prone to become discouraged. The writer of Hebrews calls us to get together regularly and encourage one another. Notice he calls us to do this for one another. Most of the time our church idea is for the crowd to come, the preacher to preach, and then we go home. Preaching is a part of assembling together, but where does the "one another" part come in? We must address this in our assemblies in order for individuals to experience the mutual encouragement that can come through body life.

Do you realize that most of the four Gospels are the narrative of the daily life of Jesus and a small group of guys that he engaged.

Illustration- Please listen to this beautiful little reading. I do not know the original author, but it was posted on the Apple Seeds website.

It is called A Friend Should Be:

A Friend should be Radical;

* They should love you when you’re unlovable,
* Hug you when you’re unhuggable,
* And bear you when you’re unbearable.

A Friend should be Fanatical;

* They should cheer when the whole world boos,
* Dance when you get good news,
* And cry when you cry too.

But most of all, a Friend should be Mathematical;

* They should multiply the joy, divide the sorrow,
* Subtract the past, and add to tomorrow,
* Calculate the need deep in your heart,
* And always be bigger than the sum of all their parts.

Application- Are you a member of a smaller group of Christian friends where there is mutual interaction?

-A prayer group
-A Bible study group
-A fellowship group

I encourage each of you to look around and ask yourself this question, "How many people here have I engaged in a way that there is a giving and receiving of spiritual encouragement. We have many stories of triumph and failure in all of our lives. There is a deposit that can be received from one another as we engage and interact.

The passage of our study ends with a call to engage each other even more as we get closer to the return of Christ. There is going to be an increasing need for us to know how to live the Christian life as a unit. There has to be an interdependence where we unpack life together, face challenges together, pray together and change the world together!

 

Check these resources out that many others have found helpful. They are all in ebook format and such that you can just copy and paste the information right into your notes which is a huge time saver.

Sermon Illustrations and Outlines from the Bible

Bible Study Power Pack (over 2400 pages of material)

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