The Greatest Sermon Ever


I returned home last Sunday.  And to say the least I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my dad and what he has taught me over the years.  I got to thinking my dad has never stood behind a pulpit, he’s never preached a sermon, and he’s never been the pastor of a church.  But my dad has been preaching the greatest sermons I’ve ever heard with the life he has lived.  I look back on my almost 35 years of life and see that my dad has been using his life to preach the Word of God to me.  He didn’t need a pulpit.  He didn’t need a title.  And he didn’t need a 3 point sermon.  He has been preaching to me through the way that he lives.  I’ve heard 35 years worth of sermons from watching him.  I’ve learned some of the greatest lessons I could ever learn by paying attention to the way he loves the Lord.  My dad has truly preached the greatest sermon I’ve ever heard with the way he lives his life.  So today, I want to reflect on some of the things my dad has taught me through his life for the Lord.

Dear Dad,

When I look back on these 35 years of life, one thing really stands out to me…  It’s the way you have loved the Lord!  It’s every lesson you have taught me through your life with the Lord.  It’s the way you talk about Jesus, the way you share the Word of God, and the way you present the Gospel to so many people that you meet.  Dad, I’ve been watching.  I’ve had my eyes on you these last 35 years and all I can say is “Thank you!”  Thank you for teaching me how to live for God!  Thank you for every lesson you have taught me.  Thank you for never giving up!  Thank you for being humble, gentle, kind, and loving!  Thank you for being my dad!  Words can never express how grateful I am to God for the gift of you as my dad!

Thank you for teaching me how to be humble.  I haven’t seen you seek credit for anything.  I’ve watched you be the guy in the back ground.  I’ve seen you serve in so many areas of life and never seek to be noticed.  I’ve been watching!  Thank you for teaching me to have a servant’s heart!  I have watched you serve the Body of Christ over and over again.  From getting to your Bible Studies early to make the coffee, to serving where there is a need, to giving even when it went unnoticed.  Dad, I’ve been watching!  I’ve seen you do some incredible things and never boast about it.  Thank you for teaching me the art of forgiveness!  I’ve seen your reputation be put to the test, your character be slandered, and your faith be tested.  Yet you have stood the test of time.  You have remained steady.  You forgave people even when they didn’t ask for it.  You have taught me on a number of occasions how important it is to be quick to forgive and never hold bitterness against any one.

Thank you dad for teaching me how to have a passion for the Word of God!  How to dig deep and find God’s Truth and apply it to my life.  I love that every time I visit with you either through a phone conversation, an email, or in person… Every single time you share something with me that the Lord is teaching you.  That’s awesome to me!  You are 63 years young and still continue to learn daily lessons from the Lord!  Thank you for allowing me to benefit from these lessons by sharing them with me.  Thank you for sharing the Truth from God’s Word with me and others even as you go through this very difficult time.

Thank you for taking me street witnessing at a very young age.  Thank you for showing me how to share the Gospel!  Thank you for teaching me how to love Jesus and share Him with everyone I possibly can.  I’ll never forget the number of times that you have stopped to share the Gospel with others.  I love watching you in action!  I love watching people stop to listen to your words of wisdom.  I know you will have a trail of people in eternity because of the difference you have made on a daily basis.

Thank you for teaching me how important it is to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance!  I have witnessed many times where you have been led by the Lord.  You have taught me how to wait on God and His timing.  How to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and to be careful to listen when God speaks.  You have taught me to slow down and do what matters.  You have taught me to keep my eyes on eternity.

Thank you dad for being a man of few words!  I can’t count how many times I have heard people say that when you speak, they listen. You don’t speak often, but when you do you speak words of wisdom.  Words that say you have spent time with the Lord.  Words of wisdom that cut through a situation and direct people in God’s Truth.  You have taught me to be careful with my words, how to listen, and how to say only what matters.  You have taught me to make my words count!

Thank you dad for being a man of integrity!  No matter how many times I have seen you in pain or in one of life’s many storms.  I’ve never seen you get angry (I seriously can only recall one time when I saw anything remotely close to this and it was more of a righteous anger).  I haven’t witnessed you feeling sorry for yourself, playing the poor me card, or wallowing in despair.  You have stood your ground!  You have made a difference even when everything in life looked like it was against you.

Thank you for teaching me how to be more Christlike!  Thank you for talking so much about Jesus and for keeping Him the center of everything!  Thank you for teaching me how to boast in the Lord and His amazing work!

Most of all dad, thank you for teaching me that the condition of my heart is more important than anything else!  You have taught me to live rightly before God and allow Him to daily renew me.  You have taught me to be more concerned about what God thinks than what anyone else thinks.  You have taught me to keep my eyes on eternity and live a life that matters.  You have taught me all of this and so much more!

Thank you Dad for preaching the greatest sermon I’ve ever heard with your life!  You didn’t need a pulpit!  I’ve been listening and your words have forever changed me.  The life you have lived has forever challenged me to walk with the Lord and seek His best!  Thank you for being a great example to me!  For showing me how to imitate my Father in Heaven and be a fragrant offering to the Lord with my life.  Thank you for being my dad and for living your life for Jesus alone!

I love you dad and I’m so proud to say that I’m your daughter!


Ps. My dad isn’t perfect and he would be the first one to tell you that!  In fact, I don’t think he would even want me to post all of this above.  He is a quiet guy, he does most of what he does behind the scenes, he doesn’t like to be noticed, and doesn’t seek attention.  He doesn’t like the spotlight!  He has lived to keep Jesus in the spotlight!  That’s the one thing he has consistently lived for.  My dad hasn’t done everything right, but he has always done one thing right!  He has always kept Jesus at the forefront of everything.  He has placed his eyes on the Lord and not been detoured by the ugliness of life at times.  He loves Jesus!  And that is what he has been preaching with his life for as long as I can remember!

4 replies
  1. Mom and Dad Malanowski
    Mom and Dad Malanowski says:

    Mom and I read your entire article and it is certainly a beautiful testimony of your dad. We are so happy for you being brought up with such a God fearing earthly father that loved you and always led you in the right direction. His life is surely “The Greatest Sermon Ever” Thank you for sharing your memories and thoughts. God bless you and may He also grant many more years to your dad to continue living out the life of Christ to a lost and dying world. We love you and we pray for you every day. Mom and Dad Malanowski

    • Sarah
      Sarah says:

      Thank you Mom and Dad M.! I’m so glad that you enjoyed this. God has really given me an incredible gift with my Dad and I definitely appreciate him even more through all of this. So grateful to God that we get to keep him for a little while longer and glean from his wisdom. Zion is so blessed to have men on both sides of the family being a godly example and shining brightly for Jesus. Thank you for being a man that my son can look up to and a Grandpa he can be proud of! Love, Sarah


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