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The Most Difficult Sermon

Updated: Mar 26, 2022

Written by: John Sernaque


CS - Counsels on Stewardship (1940) Chapter 6—Preaching Practical Sermons

The Most Difficult Sermon

The most difficult sermon to preach and the hardest to practice is self-denial. The greedy sinner, self, closes the door to the good which might be done, but which is not done because money is invested for selfish purposes. But it is impossible for anyone to retain the favor of God and enjoy communion with the Saviour, and at the same time be indifferent to the interests of his fellow beings who have no life in Christ, who are perishing in their sins. Christ has left us a wonderful example of self-sacrifice.... {CS 29.3}

As we follow Him in the path of self-denial, lifting the cross and bearing it after Him to His Father’s home, we shall reveal in our lives the beauty of the Christ life. At the altar of self-sacrifice,—the appointed place of meeting between God and the soul,—we receive from the hand of God the celestial torch which searches the heart, revealing the need of an abiding Christ.—The Review and Herald, January 31, 1907. {CS 30.1}

We need to find ourselves at the altar of self-sacrifice. Christ lived an exemplary life of self-denial. We must do so as well to be able to enjoy communion with Christ. Self-denial goes against human nature, so it is hard to practice and needs to be worked on. But if we always keep Calvary in remembrance, Jesus dying on the cross as a sacrifice for you and me, serves us as an amazing display of self-sacrifice. Just like Jesus, our attention is not to be on self but on that of our brothers and sisters in need who are perishing in their sins. Look to the cross if you are tempted to hold back from God’s treasury for the advancement of His kingdom. Search your heart to find Christ in you.

Our kind and gracious Father,

We thank You for being our Savior and great example of self-sacrifice. We pray that we can do as You, and not be self-absorbed in greed. Everything we have belongs to You so we pray that we can return unto You that which is rightfully Yours. May we be able to help our fellow human beings in need and help save their perishing souls. Please keep us faithful in our giving for the advancement of Your plan of salvation. We are sorry and repent of our sins and pray for Your forgiveness. Save us dear Lord, we pray, in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.

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