What a pleasure it was to open the Word with you all this past Saturday at Worship Central. Isn’t it incredible, the lengths our God will go to bring us in? The walls He jumps over, the obstacles He removes…all to bring us into relationship with Himself.
For those of you who were unable to attend the main session, Worship Central will have the video shortly which will be cross-posted here as soon as it is available. The following video is from the Workshop after Saturday’s Main Session #2 and is entitled, The Gospel of Inclusion. It was recorded off a cellular phone so please pardon the audio/video quality.
I have the joy and privilege of being one of the presenters again at Worship Central on February 16 and 17. This event is a two-day training conference designed for church leaders, worship leaders, musicians, and anyone who is passionate about encountering God through authentic worship.
My good friend and gifted preacher Anthony Brown, will be facilitating “An Introduction to Preaching and Teaching” course at the new North Shore School of Mission. The sessions will be taught by North Shore pastors, although Anthony has invited me to guest instruct on January 29, 2018. Over the 7 to 10 weeks, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss and explore many aspects of preaching and teaching, including the marks of good preaching, issues involved in writing and preaching sermons and much more. No prior theological training is required to participate.
Just in time for Christmas, I have a new book now available called Jesus the Healer. This book is a collection of my sermons on Matthew 8-9, in which Matthew–the tax collector turned evangelist–records ten examples of Jesus entering into our brokenness and bringing about substantive levels of healing. In each sermon, I seek to both understand what Matthew claims Jesus did, and then grapple with what it means for us two thousand years later.
Ten Commandments, a great act of grace? Yes! God gives us the “Ten Words” to protect and enhance the life of freedom and flourishing. You know what’s even better news? The Ten Commandments turn out to be Ten Promises!
Like many of you, I was saddened to learn that the “Master Expositor” Haddon W. Robinson has passed away. The church (and the world) will greatly miss his consistent example and call to faithful Biblical preaching. Like many of you, I do, however, rejoice that he now knows The Master he so faithfully preached in a way none of us can on this side of that very permeable curtain that separates this world from the next. He is gone … but he is not dead! As The Master says: “I AM the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). Passed through to the other side. But not dead. Thanks be to God!
I thought that as a wholly inadequate tribute to Dr. Robinson, I would simply express my gratitude for what the Spirit enabled him to teach us preachers who had the privilege of learning from him. Although I only met him in person once, when I preached for a conference with him sitting in the front row (yikes!), I have read much of what he wrote, and have for the past decades used his classic book “Biblical Preaching” in the courses I have taught for Regent College and Carey Theological College. I have said to many up and coming preachers, “Before you seek to develop a style of preaching unique to the way the Lord has gifted you, read and re-read Robinson, for he will help you get the basics of expository preaching into your soul.”
Thank you all for spending the past week with me as we walked through the Upper Room Discourse and, a big thank you to Pochia for her brilliant, line-by-line translation work! I trust that you have been blessed as we listened to Jesus’ words together.
When I feel I am losing my way; when I get disoriented and discouraged; when I feel weary, I make my way to Hebrews 1 and 2 and just sit and listen. And, as a result, my soul finds rest. This is what I am hoping for you today, that as you simply listen to God speak to Jesus, you will find rest for your souls. Just listen…nothing more, nothing less. How is your soul doing?
It all comes down to focus. Our well-being in this increasingly complex world, all comes to where we fix our eyes…our physical eyes, and the eyes of our heart. So, in the opening sentence–the first four verses of Hebrews–the author gives us eight(!) reasons we are to focus on Jesus! Ready?
Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed! The first fruits of those who are asleep. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death…Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.