A sermon delivered by Keith Herron, Pastor, Holmeswood Baptist Church, Kansas City, Mo., on July 29, 2012.

Philippians 4:19

A Sermon Celebrating a Week of Vacation Bible School

I need help preaching this morning. Would all the children who attended Vacation Bible School join me on these steps? Maybe the adults and youth who taught in VBS could join us too …

(To the children) Do you remember our prayer for the week? Let’s teach it to everyone here:

God’s love is poured out like a fountain to fill your life …

receive those riches as God’s gift for us to enjoy and use for God’s glory in Christ Jesus.


That kind of prayer is inspired by our Bible verse and it helps us understand God’s love because it gives us a picture to imagine. The picture is right behind me where the waterfall begins. When we pray this prayer, we imagine God’s love and kindness in such quantity that it is poured out like a waterfall that never stops. The water flows and flows and flows whether you’re noticing it or not. In fact, the waterfall doesn’t even care whether there’s anyone around, the water just keeps coming …endlessly.

There’s a great lesson in that we can learn about God. Because if God’s love is like a fountain that pours and pours and pours … no matter who you are, no matter whether you’re tall or short, skinny or fat, no matter what color your skin is, or whether you’re good at sports or video games or what. God’s love is like a fountain pouring out day and night God’s goodness and love for you.

I read this week how one church extends a warm & wide welcome (just like God). Here’s how they said it in a sign they posted in their church:

We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, filthy rich, dirt poor, yo no habla Ingles (I don’t speak English). We extend a special welcome to those who are crying newborns, skinny as a rail or could afford to lose a few pounds.

We welcome you if you can sing like Andrea Bocelli or like our pastor who can’t carry a note in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re “just browsing,” just woke up or just got out of jail …

We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer moms, NASCAR dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted …

We offer a special welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church.

We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid, or got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts … and you![1]

Whenever I visit the ocean and I sit on the shore watching the waves come in, one right after another and think how those waves roll in day and night, stormy or fair, good or bad, I think about how God’s love is like those waves, never ceasing whether I’m paying attention or not.

Our Bible verses this week make some mighty big promises. Think they’re true? Just how do we know these things are what they say they are?

These stories you heard this week in Vacation Bible School are strong words that are God’s promises we can either count as true or not. If this promise is true, how do you know it’s true?  I think we should look to our elders as to what we should do with these things. Do we have any Christians older than you who might have something to say about these things?

I’ve asked three folks to share a story that illustrates how God’s promise has been kept. These adults are witnesses about how they’ve found this promise to be true. Let’s hear what our witnesses have to say:            Rachel Smedley, Bill Sherriff, & Ella Burnett

One last thought about this promise. “My God will provide for all your needs …” it claims. The letter to the church in Philippi is a “thank you letter” written by Paul – it’s so filled with hope, it’s called a letter of joy.

Guess where these words were written?  It was written as Paul was in prison for preaching the gospel. Does that seem like an odd place for someone to write such hopeful words? Think about it. Even in prison for serving God he was able to recognize that even then, perhaps even more, God was still pouring out love and all the things he needed in life. When he realized that, he felt a sense of deep joy. God’s love pours and pours and pours no matter what.

Let’s pray our prayer again before you return to your seats:

God’s love is pouring out like a fountain to fill your life …

receive those riches as God’s gift for us to enjoy and use for God’s glory in Christ Jesus.


[1] Jon Acuff, Stuff Christians Like, “I wish every church said what this church says in their bulletin …” http://www.jonacuff.com/stuffchristianslike/2012/07/how-to-welcome-people-to-your-church/

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