Tuesday, August 31, 2010

From Matthew to Jonah

"Today we are going to embark on a journey as a church. This journey will take us several months and I pray this journey will help to shape our lives for the glory of God. Our journey is to see and savor the Messiah Jesus. My aim this morning and over the course of our study in the Gospel According to Matthew is that you would say over and over, “What a Savior!” and that the story of our Savior would so saturate your mind and heart that you would exalt His supremacy in all things."
Those were the opening comments to the first sermon I preached on the gospel of Matthew in July 2008. Lord willing, this series will conclude over the next two Sundays as I preach over Matthew 28:16-20 (the Great Commission). From my end I can sleep well knowing that I delivered that which I received and did not avoid even the most “difficult” of passages (though the temptation was strong at times). During this period I have taught through other books of the Bible on Sunday evenings but the main worship gathering for Memorial Church has been centered on the study of God through the Gospel of Matthew.

So what’s next? That is a question I’ve gotten a lot and prayed through myself for many weeks. If the Lord wills I intend to preach a sermon on the doctrine of the church (a rare topical departure) followed by a sermon on worship from 2 Samuel 6. Then we will begin going through the Old Testament book of Jonah. This is a powerful little book that magnifies so many attributes of God. Jonah is not the hero of the story- quite the opposite actually. We will study a God who rescues and a God who takes disobedience very seriously.

Right now I am slowly reading through Galatians in preparation to preach through this book in 2011. Somewhere in between I also hope to preach a short three week series on the family. That gives you an idea of what to read in advance and how to pray. God’s Word makes God’s people and I believe the preaching ministry is a key component in the greater ministry of the Word that will make disciples and glorify God in and through our church.

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