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Sample Sermon Titles and Texts

Listed in order of related chapters in Growing Generous Souls                                                                                         

Betsy Schwarzentraub

 

1 “Turning Around”

Isaiah 30:15                                                                                                                                                                                Matthew 5:13-15

Can we turn around from compulsive doing toward being the people God created us to be? Reflecting the rhythm of creation by balancing work and rest. See Growing Generous Souls Chapter 1; Ch. 15 question 1.

2 “Living Into God’s Image”

1 Cor. 13:8-13                                                                                                                                                                               Genesis 1:26

How God sees us, and who we can more fully become. Experiencing Richard Rohr’s phrase, “the second half of life” (Falling Upward). See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 2.

3 “Making Space”

Deuteronomy 5:12-15

Psalm 119:10-16

Experiencing “spiritual whitespace” in our lives. Spiritual disciplines as practices that help us be present to God’s presence with us. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 2.

4 “Prayer and God’s Presence”

Psalm 46:10

Romans 8:26-27

Matthew 6:9-15

What happens when we pray? How can we pray? How God prays with us. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 3; Ch. 15 question 2.

5 “What’s the Bible For?”

2 Timothy 3:16

Psalm 119:10-16,33-37,105-112

Is the Bible God’s Word, or does the Living Word speak through the Bible? Are we really, still, “People of the Book?” Why do we do Bible study? Is there a use for devotional reading? See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 3.

6 “Selfish or Soulful?”

Psalm 25:1

Psalm 42

In an age of selfies, self-absorption and self-help, how can we turn our soul “inward and up” to God? See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 4; Ch. 15 question 3.

7 “Soul Making”

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Matthew 25:31-46

The soul as our true self, made in God’s image. What difference does it make when we see other people as souls whom God loves? Soul making by growing toward God and nurturing others’ souls. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 4; Ch. 15 question 9

8 “Being Made New”

Ephesians 4:22-24

Romans 6:3-4

John 12:24

Growing as Becoming. How can we become more authentic: the people God made us to be? See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 5; Ch. 15 question 9.

9 “The Lure of More”

1 Timothy 1:17-19

Matthew 6: 25-33

Getting un-hooked from our addiction to “more” (things, time, accomplishments, etc.). See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 5; Ch. 15 question 5.

10 “Grace and Gratitude”

Ephesians 2:8

1 Corinthians 15;9-11

Grace, gratitude and generosity, and the links from each one to the next. God’s grace is free, not cheap. Living as recipients of God’s grace, growing in generosity in the process. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 5; Ch. 14; Ch. 15 question 4.

11 “Waking the Sleeping Giant”

2 Corinthians 9:10-15

“Generosity is the sleeping giant of disciple-making.” Growing generous souls (ourselves and others). The ripple-out effect of generosity, creating many thanks-givings. Developing generosity as a way of life. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 7, 10, 14.

12 “For Whom Do You Give Thanks?”

1 Corinthians 1:4-7

Philippians 1:3-5

For whom do we give thanks in our lives? Growing your gratitude from a one-time thank you to . . . . See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 7; Ch. 15 question 4.

13 “Rich Toward God”

Luke 12:22-31

Money as a monstrous master – or a marvelous tool. Money as a “would-be god.” What made the man in Luke a fool? How do my money habits relate to my faith? See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 10; Ch. 15 question 6.

14 “Putting God First”

Deuteronomy 26:5-11

Matthew 23:23-24

Romans 8:22-23

First Fruits Living (money, time, relationships, etc.]. “Share, Save, Spend:” getting our money priorities right with God. You have the first fruits of the Spirit here, in this world. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 11; Ch. 15 question 6.

15 “Commodities or Community”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

1 Peter 2:4-5

Stewards of relationships: treating people as products, resources or consumers – or as brother/sister beings made in God’s image. Getting and keeping our focus as a faith community. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 12.

16 “The Church’s Mission and Caring for Souls”

Luke 4:18-19

Matthew 28:16-20

Jesus’ mission is our own: to bring the Good News to people, especially to the poor, captives, blind and oppressed, to make disciples. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 12, 13.

17 “An Ethic of Enough”

2 Corinthians 9:8-10

Philippians 4:11

Hebrews 13:5

“An ethic of enough, versus consumerism. The importance of Paul’s “so that” phrase. God’s work through creation and also human effort. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 9.

18 “Soulful Community”

Matthew 18:19-20

Ephesians 3:1-7

Romans 12:3-8

Becoming a renewed and deepening community of faith. Growing more focused outwardly on mission and inwardly on being inclusive. Koinonia and diakonia. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 13; Ch.15 question 7.

19 “Living as God’s Temple”

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

2 Corinthians 7:1

We are whole persons, body and soul together. Taking good care of our body-selves. The importance of stewarding our health on God’s behalf. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 14.

20 “Generosity“

John 3:16

Philippians 4:8-9

Galatians 5:22-26

Ten dimensions or qualities of living a generous life. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 14; Ch. 15 question 9.

21 “Caring for Creation”

Psalm 104

Psalm 24:1-2

Stewards of the earth: not just personal habits, but also changing systems (climate change, etc.). Links between honoring creation and improving life for people at risk living in future desert zones. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 14.

22 “Loving Ourselves”

Luke 10:25-28

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Honoring ourselves as well as others. Managing our health, time, and relationships. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 14; Ch. 15 question 9.

23 “What Forgiveness Is Not”

Matthew 18:21-22

Matthew 6:9-15

Forgiving others, forgiving ourselves. Grace is free, not cheap (Bonhoeffer). Link between forgiveness process and being made in God’s image. See Growing Generous Souls Ch. 14; Ch. 15 question 8.