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Four Wedding & A Funeral - Wedding #2 ::

As the Minister of a University congregation in Canberra, DAVID McDONALD has plenty of opportunities to preach at weddings! Here is the outline of the first of four gospel-based sermons that have proven particularly effective, based on Psalm 33:1-15, 20-22

Source: Perspective Vo5 No1 ©Perspective 1999

All five sermons in PDF format:

“Made and loved by God” – Psalm 33:1-15, 20-22

I guess by now many of you are hanging out for the wedding reception. One of the great things about wedding receptions is all the nice things get said:

And , so it goes on. It’s a great time, a real highlight. The bride and grooms’ great chance to be the centre of attention. And why not? It’s a once in a lifetime experience.

But, that’s for the reception. Right now the telegrams, toasts, compliments and praises should go to someone else. Not to Louise, not to Mark. But to the one who organised this day. The one whose idea it was. The matchmaker. The one who set up the circumstances to make this day happen.

It wasn’t me! It wasn’t the parents – as far as I know it wasn’t an arranged marriage! It wasn’t anyone you can see sitting in this room. Though he did send a telegram. Louise and Mark asked for it to be printed in your order of service. Turn to page 6 with me. Read Psalm 33 verses 1-3.

God is the one behind this day. God is the one we should be complimenting, thanking, praising. I should ask you to charge your glasses and drink a toast to God. Maybe we could later! Why? Well, there are many reasons. But let me highlight just a couple.

READ verses 6-9. Its a beautiful day outside, isn’t it? Don’t you stand in awe of the God who made all this? The outback, the oceans, the barrier reef, the Blue Mountains, gardens and rivers, birds and animals, stars and planets – God made the lot.

I have enough trouble making something out of lego – with instructions. But God has made the most vast and complex, minute and detailed universe. Everything that exists owes its existence to God.

It’s worth stopping and thinking about this today. If it’s true, then it’s not something you can hold at arms length. It becomes intensely personal for each and everyone of us. Because what it means is that God made you – Mark and Louise – you and you and you.

You didn’t just happen. You’re not just a random meaningless collection of atoms. You’re not just the outcome of a passionate encounter between your father and mother. You are made by God. You are his. You belong to him. You are his creation. The next time you look at yourself in the mirror, ask yourself the question “What are you looking at? “You’re looking at a person made by God.

The first reason God deserves the praise, is that he made us, he made everything that is.

The second reason, is that we are not just made by God and forgotten. God remains intimately committed to and interested in his creation. READ verses 13-15.

Bette Midler sings a song “God is watching us from a distance”. She pictures a god who is hands off, semi-interested, keeps his distance. No! God is very much involved. He is actively working out his purposes in the lives of people. READ verse 11

God wants good for his world. READ verse 5. God loves this world. God loves the people in this world. READ verse 4. God is faithful. God is unfailing in his love. And God keeps his promises.

How do we know that? Because he has made good every promise he has ever made.

2000 years ago – God demonstrated his commitment to us.

2000 years ago – God demonstrated how much he loves us.

He sent Jesus Christ his only Son. And he came to die instead of you and me. A great swap took place. We had wandered away from God. We deserved God’s judgement. But Jesus hung upon the cross in our place. He took the steps to buy us back. He brought us into God’s family.

This is great love at great cost. And it is intensely personal. God loves you – Mark and Louise.

Here are two very good reasons why God deserves all the honour and praise today:

(1) He made us. We are his creation.

(2) He loves us. Jesus has died in our place. God has adopted us into his family.

Mark and Louise, I want to say to you, these are two things well worth remembering this day. But not just this day. Each and every day of your married life:

God made you.

God loves you.

And apply it to each other. Mark as you look at Louise, remember God made her and God loves her. Louise as you look at Mark, remember God made him and God loves him.

Mark and Louise, I know you have great hopes for your marriage together;

If these are your hopes – and they are great hopes indeed – we share them with you. Our prayer is that you will have this and more in your marriage together.

But as you remember your Lord and Saviour, the one who made you and loves you, so you must be reminded to place your hope firmly in him. He is the one who will provide all your needs. READ verse 20. I hope these can be your words together.

Mark and Louise, today is a big day. You are taking a very large step of trust. Each of you have made big promises. Let me remind you of them. READ THE WEDDING VOWS. Each of you has placed your lives in the hands of the other. A great deal of trust involved. You are each depending on the other to keep their promises.

Our prayer is that you will both keep your promises, that you will prove trustworthy, and that as you celebrate your golden wedding anniversary on 4/1/2047 you can look back and say “Yes, I’ve been faithful”.

But again, each day, as you remember the one who made you and loves you, so you should remember to put your trust in him. READ verse 21. I hope you can make these your words.

And finally, that you might make this your prayer for your marriage. READ verse 22. And I invite the congregation to join me in making this our prayer for you both:

Dear Father, who made us and who loves us, may your unfailing love rest upon Mark and Louise in their marriage together, O LORD, as together they put their hope in you. Amen.

David McDonald is the pastor of CrossRoads Christian Church in Canberra, and AFES chaplain to students at Canberra University and ANU.

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These are articles dealing more broadly with the general topic of preaching.

There are sample sermons for those challenging occasions like funerals and weddings, articles looking at preaching on difficult topics such as sex, and even the full text of an evangelistic sermon based on Isaiah!

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