Three Meter Zone | JD's Bunker | Poetry | Chapel | American Journal
JOY UP AHEAD
The first sermon I had the privilege of publicly preaching to a congregation in a church setting was titled, “Take Heed of the Warning Signs.” That took place on the third Sunday in October 1987.
On that day, I was a “soaking wet behind the ears”
preacher. I’d received my calling from
God to His Gospel preaching ministry almost three months earlier (
In certain denominations in Christendom, a preacher’s first public sermon in a church setting is called a “trial” sermon. Pastor Cummings called my first sermon an “initial” sermon. He said, “When God calls someone to His work that person doesn’t need to have a trial.”
During that sermon I was directed by “Dad” (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6) to discuss several devices/signs used today to alert or warn. Then I had to relate them to the warnings given by the prophet Samuel to the Israelites (following their request to adopt the ruling system of the world around them), and by the Savior to the four disciples with Him (and to all who will read and heed His words today) regarding His second coming.
Though a good amount of warnings are designed to keep us from harm (like the Surgeon General’s warning on the side of a pack of cigarettes), I used illustrations to show that not all “warning signs” are meant to prepare one for or protect one from dire circumstances (i.e. a bell that tinkles when a door is opened at a retail shop is used simply to “warn” the shop’s personnel that a customer has entered or exited the premises).
The main point and primary focus of the sermon was that all should “take heed” (pay careful and close attention) to the warning signs God gives and provides in life, because they are all and always for our good.
Today, I’d like to share a “warning sign” that is definitely good news. It’s akin to a sign you’d see on a highway during a road trip to alert (warn) you that your destination is close.
Each Thanksgiving, the
Schneidmill family takes a road trip to the home of Dad and Mom Best in
When a woman about to give birth experiences labor pains, the pains are indications (warnings) that she is close to delivering a child (or children). Though those pains can be excruciating (I’m told), the joy of anticipating the birth of the child often overshadows it and even is forgotten when the child is born.
We could do a lot better in life if we would heed the following warning:
Whatever you’re experiencing or facing in your life, good or bad, there is joy up ahead when you put your trust in Christ.
Jesus knew He had to die to pay the sin penalty payment mankind had made that we were unable and incapable of paying for ourselves. He knew the payment He would give out of His love for us would consist of immeasurable agony and ultimately take His earthly life, but the Bible declares that He endured it “for the joy that was set before Him…” (Hebrews12:2)
All people, Christians particularly, will experience and face disappointment, mistreatment, pain, rejection, suffering, testing, trials, and some things we view as “good” as we journey through this life…but I must “warn” you:
If we remain faithful to God, come what may, there’s JOY UP AHEAD
Paul Schneidmill © Copyright 2005
NOTE: I’ll be attending a 12-week course beginning