The Finest Sermon Ever Preached

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The gracious hand of his God was on him. Th is was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the law of the LORD and to teach those laws and regulations to the people of Israel.
EZRA 7:9b-10


I am the Writer, Producer, and Director of your life story. I have given instructions for your life on earth in My Book from Heaven—follow My directions closely and live by the script until I walk on stage.


I chose you as a priest, challenged you to live a holy lifestyle, claimed you as one of My own, commanded you to praise Me, and called you out of ignorant darkness into insightful light.


Learn from Ezra’s example how I want you to weave together study and obedience. He shouldered priestly responsibility to teach, but he did more than spend time in the library—he walked the streets and connected with people. He burned midnight oil—then he behaved the message. Well-versed in Scripture, learned and wise, he did not stop there—he took seriously his task of teaching My law. He devoted himself to My Holy Word—and more than that, to Me.


Study is never enough! Ezra was an exemplary priest and scribe—a disciplined scholar and practitioner of My law, a devoted teacher who spoke from experience. He knew My Word—he also worked at living by it!


Before you can teach, you must think and be transformed. Any message you preach will be ineffective unless you understand the meaning and experience the metamorphosis. Any remarks you make are hollow without clear reflection and careful response.


Learning and living are critically interconnected. Study informs, schooling instructs, spirituality inspires. Private enlightenment and public example undergird powerful education. Without thoughtful pondering and sincere practicing, sermons are just so much noise.


All the wisdom you offer the world will not please Me, if you are not obeying Me personally. I know you are very fond of Bible study. Th at is the easy part. Next comes the more difficult part. Demonstrate you love the Author by reading it over, thinking it through, praying it in, and living it out.


People would rather see a sermon than hear one any day. So would I! Th at is how I know you really love Me.


The most readable translation? Translating beliefs into behavior! Do that and I promise to make Myself real to you.


The finest sermon? Living by the Book! Do that, and I will shout a hearty Amen!



(c) Pastor Johnny R. Almond




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Johnny R. Almond earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey and a Diploma in Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge. After pastoring churches for a decade, he served the Air Force as a military chaplain in worldwide assignments. After retiring from the military in 2000, he began serving as pastor in Virginia. He currently serves as pastor of Hull's Memorial Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He and his wife, Beverly, have four sons, three grandsons, and two granddaughters.

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