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The Shortest Sermon I Ever Preached

with 3 comments

The Shortest Sermon I Ever Preached

No one believes I have ever preached a real short sermon, but I have. Well, once anyway. I am sorry you were not there. We sure got out early!

I was still pastoring in South Bend, Indiana at the time. I walked to the pulpit on a Sunday night, and everyone stood while I made my pre-sermon announcements.

We all read together from the book of Psalms:

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

While the congregation still stood, I said, “Don’t say anything or do anything this week that would make Jesus unhappy with you.”

I paused for about 10 seconds while that sunk in. I then said, ‘You are dismissed.”

The Scripture reading, my whole sermon, and the dismissal took no more than 30 seconds. They were shocked. Happy to get out early, but still shocked. Nevertheless the people never forgot what scripture I read and what I had asked of them. That was, after all, the whole point.

When they retold the event to others, they would be asked, “What did he preach?” Then they would have to quote the verse in Psalms and repeat my admonition. That was the purpose of my 30 second sermon.

My advice is still the same to my readers today. Don’t say anything or do anything this week that would make Jesus unhappy with you!

Be Careful And Be Blessed.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 24, 2011 at 12:06 am

Posted in Christian Living

3 Responses

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  1. This sounds like not other!

    Dr. John Scheel

    October 24, 2011 at 12:12 am

  2. Wow… Now if that doesn’t make you pause and consider nothing will! Thank you so much for the admonition!

    Crystal Smith (Morris)

    October 24, 2011 at 2:50 pm

  3. “Don’t say anything or do anything this week that would make Jesus unhappy with you.” Given the scripture passage, I might have admonished “Don’t say or dwell on anything this week that would displease our Lord Jesus.” Only because before we “do” we “think.” What we think and dwell on will spill out in our speech and actions.

    Giles Snavely

    July 28, 2020 at 10:30 am

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