Monday, April 30, 2007

Addressing Disappointment with God

My message yesterday addressed the subject of "disappointment with God." I first began to think about this subject years ago when I read Phil Yancey's excellent book by the same name. This is also what I called the message I preached yesterday on Matthew 11:2-6, where an imprisoned John the Baptist asks the Lord Jesus if he is really the one who is to come. This passage was heavy on my heart to preach all last week. And I couldn't wait to get to the pulpit to preach it. I just knew that the Lord would have people here who really needed a message like this. And he did. Praise God! Here is the sermon skeleton on yesterday's message:

Title: "Disappointment with God"

Text: Matthew 11:2-6

Theme: Disappointment with God

Point: Your spiritual disappointment can become blessed assurance if you continue to trust the Lord when you don't understand him.


I. The Reality of Spiritual Disappointment

II. The Reasons for Spiritual Disappointment

A. Spiritual disappointment happens when God does not meet your personal expectations.

B. Spiritual disappointment happens when God does not meet your theological expectations.

III. The Response to Spiritual Disappointment (11:4-5)

A. John's response: He took his questions to Jesus (vv. 2-3)

B. Jesus response:

1. Jesus did not get angry with John.

2. Jesus did not deliver John.

3. Jesus did not give John a direct answer to his question.

4. Jesus pointed John to the word of God (v. 5)

IV. The Remedy for Spiritual Disappointment (11:6)

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Life of the Party

Here is the sermon skeleton for yesterday's message:

Title: "The Life of the Party"

Text: John 2:1-11

Theme: The transforming power of Jesus Christ

Point: Jesus is God who has come to transform your disappointments into joy.


I. The Gracious Presence of Jesus (2:1-2)

A. Jesus was invited to the wedding feast.

B. Jesus accepted the invitation to the wedding feast.

II. The Sovereign Authority of Jesus (2:3-5)

A. The authority of Christ is seen in Mary's report to Jesus (v. 3)

B. The authority of Christ is seen in Jesus' response to Mary (v. 4)

C. The authority of Christ is seen in Mary's command to the servants (v. 5)

III. The Transforming Power of Jesus (2:6-10)

A. Jesus does what religion cannot do (v. 6)

B. Jesus turns water into wine (vv. 7-8)

C. Jesus saves the best until last (vv. 9-10)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Preaching @ Greater Starlight

Last night, I preached for my friend, Prentiss Lewis, who pastors the Greater Starlight Baptist Church here in Los Angeles. They are having a three night meeting, which began Tuesday and ends tonight. And Pastor Lewis graciously invited me to preach the middle night of this meeting. I have been preaching different occasions for Pastor Lewis and Greater Starlight for some time now. And it is always a sweet time of fellowship and worship with them. Last night was no different.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

“Saved for Sure”

We resumed our midweek worship services last night – with a few changes. The obvious change is that we moved from Wednesdays to Tuesdays. I am excited about this change. I have a somewhat wider speaking ministry beyond my local church. And it causes me to miss our midweek service at times. However, with our meetings being on Tuesdays now, I am able to avoid scheduling conflicts better. This pleases me to no end. I richly enjoy these midweek worship services and I hate it when I miss them.

Likewise, on last night I shifted to more of a teaching format, which I intend to use for the most part on Tuesdays. I prepared printed outlines for the congregation to use during the message. And I intend to make that a regular practice on Tuesdays. And I will not be writing out full manuscripts of Bible expositions for midweek anymore. As much as I enjoyed doing Psalm 119 last year, it was brutal doing two full expositions each week. The format I plan to use on Tuesdays will allow me to adopt a different and less grueling study schedule and preparation process. This, too, pleases me to no end.

Other than that, I think most everything else stays the same in our midweek services.

Last night, I began a new series that I am calling "Saved for Sure." Over the next weeks, I want to discuss the seven spiritual qualities listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7 that supplement faith and lead to spiritual assurance, growth, and stability. Last night was the introduction, of sorts, in which I gave an overview, of sorts, of 2 Peter 1:3-11. I wanted the congregation to get a sense of the passage as a whole before we narrowed our focus to the individual qualities listed in verse 5-7. It was a good start to the series, I believe. Pray for the Lord's blessings on this study and that our lives will be changed as we learn what it means to live to the full and practice godliness in Christ.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Preaching my Meditations

I was supposed to begin an exposition of the book of Joshua this past Sunday. But it is going to take me a few more weeks to be ready to begin. However, I didn't come to terms with that until the middle of last week. And Sunday was coming with a fast and in a hurry. So I have to switch gears quickly. First, I had to determine if I was going to preach. But that was a no-brainer, as tired as I was. I couldn't wait to get home from OKC to get back into my own pulpit. I felt a burden to preach. But what would I preach? I had been meditating on Hebrews 4:14-16 all week. And at some point, meditation turned into exposition. And I was comfortable enough with it by Sunday to take it to the pulpit. I trust that it was a blessing to the congregation. Here is the sermon skeleton:

Title: "Our Great High Priest"


Text: Hebrews 4:14-16


Theme: The high priestly ministry of Jesus Christ


Point: Jesus Christ is our great high priest who ministers everything faith requires to live for God.




  1. The Superiority of our Great High Priest (4:14)


    1. Where is our high priest? (v. 14a)


    2. Who is our high priest? (v. 14b)


  1. What is the does any of this make? (v. 14c)


  1. The Sympathy of our Great High Priest (4:15)


  1. Jesus cares about your struggles (v. 15a).


  1. Jesus knows about your struggles (v. 15b).


  1. The Sufficiency of our Great High Priest (4:16)


    1. The sufficiency of Jesus Christ is demonstrated in the privilege of prayer.


      1. We can draw near to God continually.


      2. We can draw near to God with confidence.


    2. The sufficiency of Jesus Christ is demonstrated in the power of prayer.


      1. God will give your mercy to cover your past sins.


      2. God will give you grace to help you with today's trials.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The 63rd OKC Simultaneous Revival

I made it to OKC a little after 7 last night, and arrived at Fairview in time to preach. It is good to be back at Fairview again and to have the opportunity to participate in the Oklahoma City Simultaneous Revival again. Dr. John A Reed Jr., whom I affectionately call, "Pop," "adopted" me after my dad past in 1989. They were dear friends. And the Lord has used Pop to fill an important void in my life over these years. And the Fairview Baptist Church family is a second home to me. I am really excited to be here and pray that the Lord will bless this meeting.

For the record, my luggage made it to town 12:30 this morning.

The mass services began today. Between today and Friday, there will be mass services at noon each day and a late-night service at 10:30 each night, along with the evening services at each local church. May the Lord use each preacher, bless guide each pastor, and bless each church. And may the Lord smile on this week and change many lives in this city as a result of this week of meetings.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Always an Adventure

After a pretty uneventful Holy Week (which is a good thing), this week has begun with a bang. I missed my flight this morning. Before I went to bed last night, I looked at the itinerary, and read that I was leaving this morning at 8:20. I later discovered that the flight actually left at 7 and was to arrive in Phoenix at 8:20. This is a perfect illustration or either how tired I was last night or how clueless I am in general (you decide). But it gets better. I discovered my flight had already left after I checked-in, which included two pieces of luggage, and went through security, and was heading for my gate. The fact that the wonderful people at _______________ Airlines checked my bags onto a flight that had been in the air for almost 30 minutes is a perfect illustration of either how unhelpful they were this morning or how clueless they are in general (again, you decide).

So the wonderful people at _____________ Airlines graciously put me on a later flight that would get me into Oklahoma City at 10:30. But with TaVon's help (my administrative assistant), I found a flight on another airlines that is scheduled to get into OKC at exactly 7 this evening. So I'll spend more time today in airports that on airplanes, trying to make it to OKC to begin a week or preaching tonight at the Fairview Baptist Church (Pastor John Reed, Jr.). It is taking all the "Good Friday" comfort and "Resurrection Day" power I can muster to maintain a good afternoon. But I won't complain. After all, at least I got it better than my luggage. I don't know where it is or where it's headed!