My father was preacher, pastor and minister. I will often write about him in my blog. This is a review of one of his most cherished sermons “God Can Do Anything But Fail”.
Artistically, My father preached with symbolism, and vocal illustrations. He used these techniques in order to prove his point. He always had a text or main topic for each sermon and bible references in order to reference the main topic. His sermons were often filled with humorous tales and stories. Often used for effect. Like all African- American ministers, emotionalism was a key tactic used to bring a crowd alive and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
He was known as a spirit filled minister who could enthusiastically preach the word of God. He did it with a vigor and style that was given to him from the Lord.
His sermons would often start out with a foundation, text, and story. Basically paving the way for the key point or text. He was a contemporary orator sometimes using secular phrases to reach his audience. He was a master at this causing both humor and laughter in the audience. He often like to say… “I’m from the country; I grew up on Branch Avenue”. Translation: “My house was on an unpaved street and a branch flowed in front of the house”.
He had the ability to light up an audience and put his stamp of approval on a congregation. He was a showman. Often he would be invited to preach at different congregations. He would always put on a show whenever he had this type of invitation. Not that he would draw attention but he would be who he really was.
For better or worse he focused on a number of key goals. Number one of which was to spread the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He would always lead off his sermon with a Prayer. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in our sight, oh Lord my strength and my Redeemer”. The Lord would always start his sermon with a prayer. He was the spiritual man and the depth of his message absorbed deep within….” I’m here to tell you that God answers prayers; I know he answers prayers because he answered mine this morning” he would often say.
One of his most powerful sermons was “God Can Do Anything But Fail” The Book of Joshua 1: 5 verses. “As I was with Moses so will I be with thee, I have not failed the nor forsake thee” . The subject was taken from this verse. It was a classic sermon where he focused on Moses quest to lead the Children of Egypt out of the wilderness where they dwelt for over 40 years. Moses died and the task of taking that one final step was handed to Joshua.
The sermons was an illustration of a story that like the children of Israel, life will throw pitfalls at you, life will present you with challenges, but God want us to understand and expect him to overcome any situation………………………………………………. “He can do anything but fail”!
The message was there was is no quit in Joshua. The theme: “All things are possible if you only believe”is God’s message when you face life’s problems, no matter how strong the opposition, victory is yours, if you live according to the Lord’s will. “Prayer changes things, I just talked with him in the early hours of the morning and he makes things alright” my father would say. It was a masterful sermon that required people to understand that no matter what the situation or circumstance, God is always there through to lead us through the circumstances of life.
We all have to cross the proverbial River of Jordan at many points in our life. We all have our Jordan of Crime, the Jordan of Despair, The Jordan of Heartache , the Jordan of Grief, and Worry.
He used a paradox to illustrate how this powerful bible message could relate to current everyday situations. He often used this phrase as an example of how God allows trials in our life to build character. “Sometimes God leaves an ugly situation unchanged, but changes the man to match the situation”. This is the ultimate transformation of the man and transformation of the character and depth of the man.
Job is a good example of this. Job never doubted the Lord, despite all the unbearable sickness and challenges that he was confronted with. One thing after another. He ended the sermon with these powerful and effective comparisons using contemporary terms.
I don’t know what God is like to You, But I know what he’s like…..
God is like Ford ………… “He’s Got a Better Idea”.
God is like Coke…………” He’s the real thing”
God is like Bayer Aspirin……………”He works wonders”
God is like Hallmark Cards…………”He cared enough to send the best”
God is Like Tide………………….”He gets the stain that others leave behind”
God is like Ivory Soap…………”He’s 100% pure”
God is Like Lifebuoy Soap………..”He gives you a big lift”
God is like scotch tape…………….”You can’t see him but you know he’s there”
God is like Dial soap………..”Aren’t you Glad you know him, don’t you wish everybody did”?