FROM ELDER PETER RICHARDSON:
Have you been thinking about your “Great Escape” this week? Although I love many things in this world, I can’t help but get more and more excited about the world to come. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” What a day of rejoicing that it will be when we see Jesus face to face. We have so much to look forward to!
The more I have thought about it, the more I feel the need for that “octane boost” I mentioned in my sermon. The idea of supplementing our faith with virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, Godliness, brotherly affection, and love is very challenging. It is so easy to become complacent with our faith. However, we are not only instructed to supplement our faith in those areas, but to increase them. That is not something that we can do on our own power. We need to ask the Lord for his help as we strive to grow in his image.
During my time at Rock Valley Chapel, I learned to read scripture very closely. As I prepared last week’s sermon, it would have been very easy for me to miss the word, “increasing.” That would have been a shame, because that one word takes the challenge of our faith to a whole new level!
When I prepare a sermon, I choose a section of scripture and then read and reread it as closely as possible. I ask the Holy Spirit to show me what he wants me to learn from my reading. After doing that, I read the footnotes in my Study Bible and Bible commentaries. Then, I put down three to five points that speak to me from that scripture. The points become the framework of my sermon. I’m telling you all of this because it is a great way to study scripture. Why not try it yourself? Choose a section of scripture from your daily reading and treat it as if you were going to write your own sermon. You may be surprised how much richer your study becomes.
Elder Peter Richardson