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SERMON STARTERS

In this section, we will provide 10 Sermon Starter Ideas from each week’s Disciple’s Bible Reading Plan. May the Holy Spirit direct you, Pastor, and inspire you as to what He wants your people to hear from Him this week.

These are simply ideas to get your own creative mind working.  God will guide you and lead you — Count on it and count on Him!

WEEK 1  January 1-7, 2019     Matthew 1-7

​1. From the genealogy of Jesus found in Matthew 1:1-16 preach on the saints and sinners found in the family tree of Jesus.  Note that Jesus is the only person that could “pick His family” and that he picked adulterers, murders, even mass murderers like Manasseh and other notorious sinners to be in His family. What a message of GRACE!​

 

2. From the same passage you could preach on the four women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus - Tamar a devious, immoral, incestuous woman; Rahab the prostitute; plus “her who had been the wife of Uriah” that is, adulterous beautiful, bathing Bathsheba; and precious, godly Ruth a non-Jew born originally outside of the Blood Covenant, yet adopted in — in great grace.  Again, what a message of God’s Great Glorious Grace could be preached around these four great, great, great grandmothers of Jesus.  Our Lord came for everybody!

 

3. Joseph is often a forgotten character in the story of Jesus.  You could focus a powerful message on this vitally important Step-Dad and discipler of the Son of God — Joseph the humble, righteous, obedient carpenter of Nazareth.  His story is fascinating as he instantly obeys again and again what the Lord tells him to do in angelic dreams. And what the Lord asks him to do is extremely difficult and inconvenient!  Yet, he obeys!  What a model for us Matthew 1:16—Matthew 2:23

 

4. Matthew 1:21 “…you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”  Yeshua, the actual Hebrew name of Jesus means “Yahweh saves.”  A perfect lead in to the great topic of our Lord’s salvation in all areas of our lives.

 

5. The worship of the Magi found in Matthew 2 can easily frame out a sermon on true worship — that is, intentional, sacrificial, generous, obedient, etc. — plus their gifts of worship and their prophetic significance.  Hundreds of years earlier in the Book of Daniel we see that the Lord had Daniel become the head of all of the magi of the empire.  The magi were the “kingmakers” of their day.  Could Daniel have promulgated the prophecies about the coming Jewish Messiah among these most influential wisemen?!  Our God is beyond amazing!

 

6. A message could be preached on the man Jesus declared to be the greatest man who had ever lived up to that point (See Matthew 11:11) that is, John the Baptist from Matthew 3.  That is a most remarkable statement from Jesus when you remember that John the Baptist only had a six month ministry and that he never: did one single miracle or healing that we know of, he never wrote a book of the Bible, and he never founded a “school of the prophets.”  It would be productive to tease that out a bit and preach a message on why Jesus would think so highly of John the Baptist… such as, his fearless, bold proclamation of the truth; his pointing everybody to Jesus; his uncompromising morality and outrageously brave speaking of truth to power as in the case of Herod and his incestuous, adulterous marriage — which of course, would cost him his head; his great statement of John 3:30 — “He must increase, but I must decrease!” … and so on.

 

7. Preach a message on the first word that John the Baptist uttered when he began his public ministry.  “REPENT!”  Matthew 3:2 which you know means literally:  “Change your mind!”  This was also among the key words in the first sentence that Jesus spoke when He began His public ministry. Mark 1:15.  It was also the first word that Peter spoke on the Day of Pentecost when the people asked “what shall we do? in Acts 2:37-38.  “REPENT!  CHANGE YOUR MIND!” You can explore in a sermon what it truly means to initially repent and enter the Kingdom of Heaven and how we need to continually live a life of repentance every day as we allow God to speak to us daily and the constant “changing of our minds” as God’s truth infiltrates our lives.

 

8. From Matthew 3:13-17 you could teach or preach on the Baptism of Jesus and what happened to Jesus there especially the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and why would God say of Jesus the words He speaks in Matthew 3:17.  Explore what would it take for you and your precious people to live a life that God Almighty our ABBA Father would want to say that over us.  Can we live today in such a way, with the Holy Spirit’s help, that ABBA could say that to us tonight as we lay our head on our pillow?  What would that day look like?

 

9. From Matthew 4 you could preach a message on the temptations of Jesus and how we can conquer every temptation as Jesus did with a bold, out-loud proclamation of the Word of God.

 

10. You could explore in a sermon Jesus’ preaching in Nazareth from Matthew 4:12-17 and it’s implications for us today.  You could lead into the ministry of Jesus after Nazareth in Matthew 4:17-25.

 

Of course, in this week’s reading of the Word, you encountered the greatest sermon of all time — the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7.  Virtually every verse in that eternal Kingdom manifesto is a sermon in itself!  In those 3 power packed chapters you have 111 “sermon starter ideas” from Jesus our LORD Himself!  Have fun!

WEEK 2  January 8-14, 2019 Matthew 8-14

 

  1. Matthew 8:1-17 leads into a great sermon on the healing ministry of Jesus and how it fulfills Isaiah 53:4.  You might look ahead to Matthew 10:7-8 and teach your people that Jesus delegated the power and authority to the twelve Disciples and to us to continue his healing ministry today.
     

  2. A great message could be preached on Jesus and the centurion and what we learn from this passage in Matthew 8:5-13 about faith, authority, healing and submission.  Jesus marveled at this gentile’s great faith.  Does Jesus marvel at your great faith … or does He marvel at your lack of faith as He did with His disciples in Matthew 8:26?
     

  3. You could preach a powerful message on Jesus’ authority over: disease, the weather, and demons in Matthew 8:1-34.  You could point out to your people that Jesus gives us the same authority over demons, disease and death and even the weather and He expects us to use His power and authority in our everyday lives.  So many people want to do something “great for God.”  You might boldly ask your people:  “Why do you want to do something that is merely ‘great’ for God when the Lord calls us, commissions us, delegates to us, empowers us and expects us to do the SUPERNATURAL in His power and His Name?!”
     

  4. Matthew 9:1-8 could lead you to a sermon on forgiveness of sin and the authority and healing power of Jesus that God had given to Jesus and that Jesus gives to us. (See Matthew 9:8; Luke 9:1; 10;1 and John 20:21-23)
     

  5. Matthew 9:18-22 gives us the powerful story of the woman with the menstrual disease.  No one had ever before believed that if they just touched Jesus’ clothes that they could be healed!  But this precious woman believed that!  She forces her way through the crowd and touches His the fringe of His cloak.  She is instantly healed!  She drew on His anointing. The word must have gotten out. By Matthew 14:36 everybody is trying to touch the fringe of His cloak and they are being healed.  Her faith not only healed her (Jesus said so in Matthew 9:22) but her bold, bodacious faith caused everybody else’s faith to rise to a new level.  Could your crazy, wild faith in Jesus cause thousands of others to believe Him for more?
     

  6. Matthew 10:1-8 gives us our authority to “do the stuff!”  Preach on what the delegated authority of Jesus means to us today.  Preach on our “marching orders” that Jesus gives the 12 and that He gives to us today found in Matthew 10:7-8.  Preach on what it will take on our part to really live out these two verses.  Cast the vision for your people that this is what Jesus expects out of all of us.  He will back us up with His power and authority!  Christians all over our planet are actually healing the sick, raising the dead cleansing the lepers and casting out demons — today! — in Jesus’ Name and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
     

  7. Matthew 10:16-33 gives us clear commands as to who we are NOT to fear! … and Whom we should properly fear. (Vs. 28)  Preach on living a fearless life because we only truly fear the Living God.
     

  8. Look at the clear promises and warnings of Jesus in Matthew 10:32-33.  Discuss in a sermon what confessing Jesus before people means today.  Also explore the ways that so many daily “deny Jesus before men” today.  Call you people to openly, boldly, publicly confess Jesus in their daily lives.
     

  9. Matthew 11:11-12 contains a couple of the most outrageous, almost unbelievable statements that Jesus ever uttered.  Why do you think that anyone in the Kingdom of Heaven, even the “least” in the Kingdom is greater than John the Baptist … who Jesus says was greater than every hero in the Old Testament!  Why would Jesus say this about us?  Preach on what Jesus really thinks about those who are in His Kingdom.  Offer people a chance to get into the Kingdom!
    Tell them how to get into His Kingdom!

     

  10. Matthew 12:22-37 is a powerful teaching on the Kingdom.  Look at verse 29.  Help your people to realize who the “strong man” is. Then point your folks to the ONE who is stronger than the strong man and the ONE who binds the strong man — and then plunders the strong man’s house.  What does it mean to us that Jesus has bound the strong man and what does it mean to us that Jesus has already plundered the strong man’s house?  Praise God for the plundering that Jesus has already done!  What practical day-to-day implications does this mean for your people?

WEEK 3  January 15-21, 2019 Matthew 15-21

 

  1. Matthew 15:21-28 gives us the phenomenal story of the Canaanite (a Gentile) woman who came to Jesus and cried out for Him to heal her “cruelly demon possessed” little girl.  Explore this story and see how her desperate faith impressed Jesus and how she literally was able to get her miracle 15 years earlier than God had intended for the Gentiles to get the blessings of the Gospel (God did not allow the Gospel to be preached to the Gentiles until Acts 10 some 15 years later!)  Preach on desperate, crying out faith that refuses to take “No” or even “Wait” for an answer from God — when we know what God’s will is. (See 1 John 5:14-15)
     

  2. Matthew 16:13-16  Jesus asks “But who do you say that I am?”
    Who do you say Jesus is to you?  Is He “Genie Jesus?”  Is He Jesus the Nice Guy?  Is He Santa Claus Jesus?  Is He Jesus the greatest man who ever lived, on simply one of the great moral philosophers, or is He “the Christ (Anointed One, the Messiah) the Son of the living God!” (vs. 16)  If He really is God’s Anointed One, the Christ, and if He really is the Son of the living God — then what kind of claim and authority does He have over your life?

     

  3. What does it mean that Jesus has given to us the “keys of the Kingdom of Heaven?”  Explore with your people what it really means to “bind and loose” in our everyday lives.  What kind of authority is Jesus really investing in us?
     

  4. Look at the powerful interchange between Peter and Jesus in Matthew 16:21-28.  How did Peter become Satan’s mouthpiece? What does Jesus say to Peter in Matthew 16:23?  Could He say that to us?  How often do we set our mind on God’s interests … or do we set our mind too often on man’s interests?  What do you think?  If well-meaning Peter had gotten his way Jesus would NEVER have gone to the cross!  Think about that awful outcome — we would all go to hell if friend-of-Jesus Peter had prevailed in his rebuke of Jesus!  How many Christians have been talked out of obeying God’s tough command to them because they listened to other well-meaning Christians who counseled them according to prevailing conventional “christian” wisdom?
     

  5. Matthew 16:24-25 is freighted with so many sermons!  What does it mean in today’s world to really deny ourselves?  What does taking up your cross mean in our 21st century world?  How do we “save our lives?”  How do we “lose our lives” in everyday living? What is Jesus talking about?  What does our Lord want us to do about these verses? How are we discipling and training our children to deny themselves and take up their crosses daily?  How do we do that?
     

  6. Matthew 17:1-8 covers the Transfiguration of Jesus.  Wow!  What a scene!  What does our ABBA’S command to the Disciples have to do with us modern day Disciples of Jesus?  “… LISTEN TO HIM!”  Are we really listening to Him?  How can we tell?  Do you write down what He says to you?  Are you an “effectual doer” of what Jesus tells you to do … or are you a “forgetful hearer” of Jesus’ commands to you like most Sunday morning church attenders. See James 1:22-25.
     

  7. In Matthew 17:9-21 we have the thrilling story of Jesus and the man with the demon possessed boy who was always trying to kill himself. The Disciples could not cast out this particular demon.  Jesus did. The Disciples had cast out other demons. Why do you think that they couldn’t cast this one out?  In fact, they were surprised that they couldn’t cast this one out.  What does it take to cast out demons? What do we learn about Jesus, His faith, His power and His authority from this famous passage?  What do we need to do differently to walk in the authority and power of Jesus?
     

  8. Matthew 18 is so rich in sermonic material!  You could preach on:
    How to be “great” in the Kingdom of Heaven
    What does it mean to become like a “child” in the Kingdom?
    How not to be a “stumbling block” for the little ones.
    Church discipline - see Matthew 18:15-18
    What does it mean for “two of you to agree” in prayer?
    Jesus being in our midst when “two or three have gathered together in My Name.”

     

  9. Matthew 18:21-35 is one of the greatest passages in the entire Bible on forgiveness.  It is so loaded!  You could preach 3-4 sermons from this one powerful paragraph alone!

    Notice that the king in this story (who is likened by Jesus as to God Himself) forgives so freely and so generously! Then notice that when Slave #1 who has been forgiven so much by the King refuses to forgive Slave #2 of the tiny debt that he owed Slave #1— that the King puts the debt back on Slave #1!

    Then we have some of the most frightening and some of the most chilling words that Jesus ever spoke in vs. 34-35 where the Word declares that Slave #1 who refused to forgive Slave #2 is handed over to the “torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.”  Of course, there was no hope that Slave #1 could ever repay the original debt to the king.  His only hope of getting forgiven of the original debt was to … forgive Slave #2 … and maybe the king would be forgiving and gracious again to him!  And Jesus says this:  “So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart!”

    Think of this, dear Pastor, this judgment promise is spoken to followers of Jesus!

    How many of your people have indeed been turned over to “the torturers” because they refuse to forgive others as Jesus has forgiven them. Indeed, they are in danger of eternal hell fire!

    Preach on forgiveness!  I have often said that if the Lord told me that I could only preach one more sermon before I died and went to heaven — that my last sermon would be from this passage — and I would literally beg my listeners with tears that they need to forgive whoever who has hurt them — just like Jesus has forgiven them!  If not, they forfeit God’s forgiveness and if they refuse to repent (change their mind) and forgive others with the grace that Jesus has given them — and they die with unforgiveness in their heart— they go to the eternal lake of fire forever!

     

  10. Matthew 19:16-22 gives us the tragic story of the rich young ruler and his rejection of Jesus’ invitation to sell everything, give to the poor, and follow Jesus.  He rejects our Lord’s invitation to discipleship and he rejects Jesus’ invitation to stock up treasures in heaven — and have eternal life!  This rich man had everything anybody on earth could ever desire — yet, he misses out on Jesus, His phenomenal blessings, and eternal life!  Notice that Jesus doesn’t chase after the rich guy and lower His standard of discipleship and eternal life!  Preach on the fact that Jesus is worth it all!

WEEK 4  January 22-28, 2019 Matthew 22-28

 

  1. Matthew 22:23-33 lays out the questioning of Jesus by His enemies the Sadducees over the issue of the resurrection.  They are trying to trap Jesus.  Our Lord clearly tells them in vs. 29 that they are mistaken because they do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God.  A great sermon could be crafted by you, Pastor, and the Holy Spirit on how we are often mistaken because we do not understand the Word of God and/or the power of God.
     

  2. We find in the great passage of Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus’ declaration about the two greatest commandments on which depend the whole Law and the Prophets (all of the Old Testament). You can point out that the word for “love” in both vs. 37 and 38 is the Greek word “Agape.” This is God’s kind of superior love … the same word that God uses throughout most of the New Testament to describe His love for us!  We are to agape God as He agapes us!  1 Corinthians 13:4-7 shows us the true character and nature of God-like love = agape.  This is how God loves us.  His Spirit in us produces this kind of love for God and for others.  Praise God for His enabling, equipping agape for us!
     

  3. Matthew 23:5 finds Jesus pointing out that the scribes and the Pharisees did all their so-called “righteous deeds” to be noticed by men.  This reminds us of Matthew 6:1-18 in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus warns us not to do our righteous or spiritual acts or disciplines to be noticed by people.  Pose to your people the question about “why” they do the spiritual or religious things they do. Emphasize that our God is very concerned about not only what we do or not do … but “why” we do it.  We should do it all for the greater glory of God — not the greater glory of us!
     

  4. You could preach through the “woes” of Matthew 23:13-39 and draw the modern parallels.  What “woes” would Jesus want to warn His modern-day church about?  Would Jesus pronounce woes or curses or blessings on His present Bride that is living on earth right now? What impresses Jesus?  What breaks His great heart? Revelation 2-3 can coach us in the priorities, values and concerns Jesus regarding His Church.
     

  5. Matthew 24 is the great chapter on the signs of the Second Coming of Christ.  Verse 12 talks about the fact that there is coming a day when “because lawlessness is increased MOST people’s love (agape) will grow cold!”  Preach on this theme and ask your people what would it take for their agape towards God to grow cold.  And then ask your people to consider what would make their agape love to grow cold towards their spouse, their family, their church and their neighbors.  It will happen to MOST people someday.  How can we grow in agape love so that this awful reality never happens to us!  Will our agape love stand the test of total lawlessness, anarchy and persecution against us?  Now is the time, Pastor, to prepare your people for this day that is surely coming on us!
     

  6. Matthew 24 is a great opportunity to preach on the Second Coming and to prepare our people for this great coming event.  How do we stay “on the alert” (vs. 42) regarding the Second Return of our Lord? How can we be sure that we are “faithful and sensible slaves” (vs. 45) that our Lord will be pleased to honor and glorify on the day of His Return?
     

  7. Matthew 25:1-30 contains poignant parables that are so loaded with sermon material.  You can preach on readiness, alertness, fruitfulness, productiveness in the Kingdom.  We are love “slaves” of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We will give an accounting for our lives, our gifts, our money (which is really all HIS MONEY), our time, and what the Lord has invested into us.  If Jesus came back right now and you had to stand before Him would He truly say of you:  “Well done, good and faithful slave, you were faithful with a few things.  I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.”  If not, what needs to change — today?!  Notice that the Lord calls the great productivity of the two faithful slaves in vs. 21-23 “a few things…”  Compared to the great, awesome, many and mighty things that He was about to grant them as a reward for their great productivity and multiplication — what they had already done was “a few things.” Wow!  Praise God for the “many things” that the Lord is going to put you in charge of someday!  All glory to Jesus!
     

  8. Matthew 25:31-46 is one of the greatest promises and challenges that Jesus ever let loose from His lips.  Imagine being judged on these standards.  Realize that when we do compassionate ministries that we are not just doing it for Jesus or with Jesus or representing Jesus — but according to Jesus we are doing it DIRECTLY TO HIM!!  Preach on loving Jesus directly by loving “one of the least of these.”
     

  9. In a beautiful example of extravagant, expensive, sacrificial worship in Matthew 26:6-13 a woman (probably Mary of Bethany - see John12:1-8) worships Jesus with the anointing of very expensive perfume.  Preach on extravagant, no-cost-is-too-much worship of Jesus.  Note the indignant response of the Disciples of Jesus.  They got it wrong so many times!  And note Jesus’ rebuke of the angry, indignant, outraged Disciples.  The religious crowd will always rebuke extravagant worship of Jesus.  Is He worth it?  What do you think?  Challenge your people with this wonderful story of profound worship that is still preached about and celebrated all over the world 2,000 years later!  Is there anything that any of us are doing that Jesus would want His Church to talk about 2,000 years from now?
     

  10. Matthew 26-28 of course contains the tremendous stories of the Last Supper, Gethsemane, the arrest and trials of Jesus, His crucifixion and His awesome Resurrection.  No doubt the Holy Spirit will prompt your mind with at least a dozen “sermon starters” from these most important chapters in the Book of Matthew.  Preach on Brother!  Preach on Sister!  Preach on!!  Preach hard!!  Preach as if somebody’s eternal soul is at stake, heaven or hell is in the balance, because that is exactly the case for many that you will preach to this week!

WEEK 5  February 1-7, 2019  Mark 1-7

 

  1. Mark 1:17  “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men!” You can preach on what Jesus meant when He said this to professional fishermen.  What does it mean to really “follow Jesus?”  What is involved in being a fisher of men (women, boys and girls)?  And what did it mean to Simon and Andrew and James and John to “immediately” give up their livelihood and follow Jesus?  (Mark 1:16-21) Preach on “followership.”
     

  2. Mark 1:35 gives us a clue into the phenomenal prayer life of Jesus the Christ.  You could preach on the amazing priority Jesus put on the necessity of prayer.  Isaiah 50:4-5 gives us a Messianic (about the Messiah) prophetic picture of how Jesus began each day of His ministry, that is, listening in prayer as a Disciple of the Most-High God — His ABBA!  What an example for all of us!
     

  3. Mark 1:40-45  You could preach on the compassion of Christ.  What a beautiful illustration of our Lord’s phenomenal compassion!  Jesus TOUCHED THE LEPER!  How many years had it been since any human had touched this poor, suffering, open sore-ridden man? Jesus doesn’t worry about contamination or contagious diseases — His compassion compels Him to TOUCH.  Jesus could have easily healed this guy without touching him — but, Jesus wanted to touch the “untouchables” to validate, honor and encourage them.  I am literally crying as I type these words!  What compassion!  Jesus make me like you!  This will preach!!
     

  4. Mark 2:1-12  Imagine the desperate faith of these four guys who would tear a hole in the roof of someone else’s home.  Think how big of a hole they would have had to tear!  The room was too crowded to get the pallet with the paralyzed man on it — in.  That means that when they were ripping a hole in the roof that debris, dust, bird poop and who knows what else is falling on the heads of Jesus and everybody else directly under that huge hole!  The startled crowd below that roof cannot escape out of the crowded room!  A lot of people are no doubt angry and upset at these four men.  Yet Jesus, “seeing their faith” forgives the man’s sins and heals him on the spot!  Are we willing to “tear a hole in somebody else’s roof,” so to speak, to get our helpless friend to Jesus?  They risked the anger of many (not to speak of the homeowner) and the cost of fixing the hole or legal repercussions all to get their friend to Jesus — right now!  Couldn’t they have waited until Jesus came out of that room eventually?  No, they couldn’t, wouldn’t wait!  Their desperate act, Jesus called “faith.”
     

  5. Jesus got angry without sin!  (See Ephesians 4:26)  In Mark 3:1-6 we see an example of His anger yet without any sin!  What makes Jesus angry?  How can we be truly anger with holy anger without sin?  There is something wrong with you, for example, if you are not angry about abusers of women and children!  How can we express holy, righteous anger as Jesus did?  Anger is a great sermon topic. Does Jesus get angry over what I get angry about?  Have fun with this one.

    Corresponding passages on anger could the following references:  Matthew 5:21-26; Ephesians 4:25-32; James 1:19-20; the story of Jesus cleansing the Temple. Just about everyone in your church needs coaching and preaching on godly anger vs. ungodly anger.

     

  6. Mark 3:13-15 gives us insight into the Discipling strategy of Jesus. Note what He wants the Disciples to do:  spend great amounts of time with Him, go out and preach, deal decisively and with authority over all demons!  This is still His agenda for His modern Disciples.

    Pastor, are you teaching, training and testing the Disciples you are making for Jesus to do these three ministry priorities of Jesus?  That is, spending time with Jesus dialoguing with Him daily, proclaiming His Kingdom and expelling demons?  Preach and teach on these three high ministry priorities of Jesus!

     

  7. The Parable of the Soils, the Seed and the Sower is found in Mark 4:3-20.  This is one of the few parables that Jesus told where He breaks down the entire parable and lets us in on the details of the meaning of this powerful teaching.  You could preach on how to become “good soil.”  Note the fruitfulness that Jesus expects even at the minimum (thirty fold multiplication).  Pastor wouldn’t you love to have everybody in your church be at least a “thirty fold” multiplier for Jesus?  How can we become “hundredfold” multipliers for Jesus? What will that take on our part?  Challenge your people with the fact that Jesus expects out of us not only faithfulness but fruitfulness!  You can be incredibly faithful to Jesus and faithful to methodologies that once bore fruit but that do not bear much fruit any more.  Our Lord calls us to fruitfulness as well as faithfulness!  See John 15:8 “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.”
     

  8. Mark 5:1-20 teaches us the remarkable story of the Gerasene Demoniac who had a “legion” of demons in him!  Wow!  Look how thousands of demons have to bow down to our Lord Jesus!  He is Lord of all!  Preach on Jesus’ incredible but powerful authority over all the demons of hell!  Jesus can heal the demonized.  Jesus can heal those who are completely out of their minds in destructive insanity.  This man, when he is healed wants to go with Jesus … but Jesus says “No” to this guy and he becomes a powerful witness of Jesus in Decapolis (that means 10 cities!).  The next time Jesus visits this area, thousands show up to see the Man who healed and created a powerful missionary out of the craziest, naked, extremely strong, wild man that anyone had ever seen!  Look at the power of one “satisfied customer” to share the good news of Jesus!
     

  9. Mark 6:1-6  gives us the story of Jesus trying to minister in His hometown of Nazareth and the response of the “original Nazarenes” to their local boy.  Verses 5-6 reveal so much!  The Son of God “could do no miracle except that He laid His hands upon a few sick people and healed them.”  What a statement!  Jesus marvels and wonders at their unbelief.  Does Jesus marvel at our unbelief?  Preach on how unbelief limits our God!  How Jesus’ heart must have broken!  No doubt, He wanted to do many miracles in His hometown but He couldn’t!  What does this say to us regarding the power of unbelief?!!
     

  10. Look at Jesus’ Disciples in Mark 6:7-13.  Authorized and deputized by Jesus with His authority and His power these guys go out and “do the stuff!”  They cast out demons. They anoint with oil many sick people and they were healed!  Think about this:  these guys were not even technically “born again” yet, since the Blood of Jesus had not been spilled yet!  And these brothers had not been filled with the Spirit yet — Pentecost hadn’t happened yet.  But, we find them going out and doing what Jesus told them to do!  You have more power and more authority now than these guys had at this point in their stories.  You have more and better promises from Jesus NOW than these guys had in Mark 6 — for Jesus hadn’t given His greatest promises on prayer and power until much later in the Gospels.  Right now, you have the indwelling Holy Spirit of Power living inside of you.  These Disciples had not experienced that reality yet!  Jesus has high expectations of us!  Let’s go “do the stuff!”

WEEK 6  February 8-14, 2019 Mark 8-14

 

  1. Mark 8:34-38  Jesus asks a couple of the most powerful, poignant questions of all time in vs. 36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”  You can preach on the value of one soul.  According to Jesus it is worth more than the whole world!  The next verse asks “For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”  Point out to your people how cheaply most people are selling their immortal, priceless souls!  This is a great soul-winning passage.
     

  2. Mark 8:38  Teach and preach to your people regarding what it means to be “ashamed” of Jesus and His words.  Point out the different ways that modern Christians act ashamed of Jesus and His words.  Preach on how we need to live so that Jesus is not ashamed of us when He returns.
     

  3. Mark 9:1-8  The Transfiguration passage is loaded with great thoughts that could be sermon starters.  You can preach on:

    The supremacy of Jesus over Moses and Elijah who represent the Law and the Prophets

    Jesus being God’s beloved Son — and the fact that Jesus has made it possible through His blood for us to be adopted into God’s Forever Family and now we are His beloved sons and His beloved daughter

    The importance of listening to Jesus  “…Listen to Him!

    The glory of Jesus and how we will see Him someday and how we will bow before Him and give Him glory and the “eternal weight of glory” that He will bestow on us!

    The sheer terror that falls on anybody who is in the raw Presence of the All Holy One.  Preach on the true, biblical, healthy fear of the Lord.

     

  4. Mark 9:14-29  Here we see the phenomenal story of Jesus and the Demoniac Boy.  Preach on the high value God puts on belief.  “All things are possible to him who believes”… “I do believe; help my unbelief!” You could point out the difference between hope and faith and belief.  Hope leads to faith.  Faith leads to belief.  Belief leads to all things are possible.
     

  5. Mark 9:29 “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer (and fasting)”  Preach on the priority of prayer and fasting.  Prayer to our Lord drives out the greatest, strongest demons.  Notice how the disciples, who were used to casting out demons (See Mark 6:12-13), were actually surprised that they could not cast out this bad boy demon!  What did Jesus do that they did not do?  How could Jesus cast it out and they could not?  What will it take for you to cast out the strongest, worst demons.
     

  6. Mark 9:35  Explore with your people what Jesus meant when He said, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all.”  What does it mean to be “last of all?” … “servant of all?”  Was Jesus the “last of all?”  Was He … Is He “servant of all?”  You might include Jesus’ similar words in Mark 10:43-45.  What does “servant of all” and “slave of all” mean in today’s world.  What is the difference between a servant and a slave?
     

  7. Mark 10:23-31 What a powerful passage!  Most people sitting in your church probably do not consider themselves “rich” by American standards, but compared to the whole world, most middle class Christians in America would be in the top 1% of the world’s richest people when you take into account everyone who is breathing on planet earth right now.  So, Jesus says that it is almost impossible for any “rich” people to enter the Kingdom of God.  He was talking about most “Christians” in America!Why do you think this is?  Why is it so hard for wealthy people to get into the Kingdom?  Vs. 27 - “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” What a tremendous passage!  Then look at the fabulous promise of vs. 30-31.
     

  8. Mark 10:43-45  This is one of the greatest passages in the Synoptic Gospels.  Jesus tells us why He came to earth.  Jesus lays out the priorities in His “upside down” Kingdom:  “Servant”  “Slave of all!”  Jesus is “first among” us.  Is He the “slave of all?”  Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 9:19 that he had become “a slave to all, that I might win the more!”  How can we become more like Paul and Jesus and become a slave of all?  How do we do this in our homes or in our churches or on the job.  What a subject to explore in a sermon!
     

  9. Mark 10:46-52  The story of Blind Man Bartimaeus and his thrilling healing.  Preach on how Jesus said that his faith had made him well.  How does our faith in Jesus make us well?  What did Bart do that the rest of us may not do?  Does faith determine who gets healed by Jesus and who doesn’t?  What do you think?  What a great subject to cover in a thoughtful sermon!
     

  10. Mark 11:22-26  What a great passage on faith, doubt, answers to prayer, believing that you have received, forgiveness, and so much more!  This is one of the greatest paragraphs that contain some of the greatest promises about prayer and faith in the whole Bible.  You could spend several weeks unpacking these power packed verses.

 

There are so many other sermons waiting to be preached from Mark 12-14.  These passages contain the words and actions of our Lord in His last days before He went to the cross.  As you ask the Lord to help you — He will guide you to exactly what He wants to say to your people through your lips and your words!  What a miracle true preaching really is!!

 

 

WEEK 7  February 15-21, 2019 Mark 15-Luke 4

 

1. Mark 15 breaks our hearts with the trial and crucifixion of our Lord Jesus.  Notice how both thieves being crucified with Jesus insulted and mocked our Lord in His agony.  Somewhere along the line, in their excruciating (that word literally means “out of the cross”) pain one of the thieves changes his mind about insulting Jesus and appeals to Him to remember him. (See Luke 23:39-43)  Jesus graciously forgives him for his previous insults and promises him Paradise!  This forgiven dying thief was the very first soul that was saved by the Blood of Jesus!  Think of it!  Preach the saving, forgiving grace of Jesus.

 

2. Mark 15:33-41  Here we see the final moments of Jesus on the cross.  Preach on what Jesus must have been experiencing as He thought that His ABBA, His God, had forsaken Him!  Jesus dies asking questions of the Father that were not answered in His lifetime before His death.  Even people with great faith in the Lord can ask questions — indeed, they have questions BECAUSE OF THEIR GREAT FAITH IN THE LORD!  Theologians have argued for centuries on the point of whether or not God the Father actually forsook God the Son or not.  This much is clear — it FELT LIKE IT TO JESUS ON THE CROSS!  Preach on what Jesus was willing to go through to save us!  Becoming sin for us, (2 Corinthians 5:21), carrying all of our diseases to the cross, (Isaiah 53:4-10) taking our punishment, enduring the wrath of God on sin, and so much more.

 

3. The testimony of the centurion, the head of the execution detail that killed Jesus by torture on the cross, in Mark 15:39, is powerful preaching material.  Think of how he must have felt when the revelation hit his brain that he had just killed the very SON OF GOD!  Jesus’ prayer of Luke 23:34 from the cross, “Father, forgive them …” included this centurion.  What grace!  What forgiveness!  What mercy!  Don’t you just love our Jesus?  This Roman soldier had just committed the ultimate crime, the worst sin imaginable — he had just murdered innocent, perfect, holy Jesus —and now God answering the prayer of Jesus from the cross had forgiven him and given him the grace to see what he had really done. (“…for they do not know what they are doing”  — now, the centurion realized what he had just done and WHO he had just killed!!)  And he “changes his mind” (repents) and declares that Jesus was the Son of God!

 

4. Mark 16 is the fabulous chapter that covers the Resurrection of the Living Lord God Almighty!  Vs. 14 lets us in on the powerful detail that when Jesus first appeared to the Disciples that He “reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen.”  Think about this: even Jesus’ enemies remembered that He had predicted and prophesied clearly about His resurrection on the third day. (See Matthew 27:63-64)  If the Disciples had really believed Jesus’ prophecy they could have set up their lawn chairs in front of the tomb and had front row seats for the greatest event in the history of the universe — the Resurrection of the Son of God!  But they have unbelief and hardness of heart — to the point that even when the women came and reported to them what they had witnessed and heard at the tomb of Jesus — “they refused to believe it.”  How would you like to have the Risen, Glorified Jesus reproaching and rebuking you on Resurrection Day!  Let us repent for our unbelief and hardness of heart!

 

5. Mark 16:14-18 gives us our commissioning.  Explore what Jesus says we will be doing!  Challenge your people to pray for these signs and miracles and healings to happen in their lives.  This is the Will of the Lord for all of His followers.  Jesus says that these signs will accompany us who have believed!  Praise Him!  Pray for this to be true in the lives of all believers in your church.  Preach on these expectations and promises of Jesus!  This is for all of us in the Family of God!

 

6. Luke 1  Contrast the differences between the responses of Zacharias and Mary who both encounter the angel Gabriel who gives them startling news!  Why is Zacharias judged so harshly?  Both ask questions of Gabriel — but there is a vital difference in their initial responses to the angelic visit.  Call your people to Mary-like faith and submission to the will of God.  Note her thrilling faith statement of commitment in vs. 38.

 

7. Luke 1  contains two thrilling songs of praise and worship.  Each line of these powerful songs could provide the material for a great sermon.  Mary’s song or “The Magnificat” is in Luke 1:46-55.  Zacharias’ song or “The Benedictus” is found in Luke 1:68-79.  Mary’s song come BEFORE Jesus is born.  Zac’s song come AFTER John the Baptist is born.  There is a difference.  Let us praise God BEFORE we have seen Him come through with the miracle we are praying for!

 

8. Luke 2 gives us the birth narrative of Jesus’ birth (“the Christmas story”) and the only account that we have of Jesus’ boyhood — the trip to Jerusalem when Jesus was 12.  There is so much preaching material here!  You could preach on Simeon and his godly life and powerful prophecy.  You could preach on precious Anna and her life of prayer and fasting in the temple!  Check out vs. 40  and vs. 52.  These verses point out how Jesus continued to grow in the following areas:  strength, wisdom, grace, stature, and in favor with God and men.  What will it take, on our part, to grow in the Lord daily in these vital areas?  

 

9. Luke 3 gives us details into the life and ministry of John the Baptist.  He introduces Jesus as the Baptizer — the One who will baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire!  What does that phrase mean?  Preach on how Jesus wants to baptize us with the Holy Spirit.  Preach on how Jesus wants to baptize us with fire!  When did this happen in the lives of John’s listeners?  When does this happen to us?  Is there a difference between being baptized with the Holy Spirit and being baptized with fire?  What do you think and believe Pastor?  Do these two baptisms happen to us all at once?  Are they one and the same?  How can your parishioners know that they have been baptized with the Holy Spirit and how will they know that they have been baptized with fire?  What will their lives look like when these powerful baptisms of Jesus happen to them?  What do we need to do to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire?

 

10. Luke 3:22 tells us that Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit when He was baptized in the water by John the B.   Luke 4:1 reveals that Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit” and that He was “led about by the Spirit” and that He was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness.  Preach, Pastor, on the difference between being baptized by the Spirit, being full of the Spirit and being led about by the Spirit.  After the wilderness temptation time Jesus comes out “in the power of the Spirit.” (Luke 4:14)

 

This can be a tremendous study in life in the Spirit.  We must be baptized in the Spirit, full of the Spirit, led moment-by-moment by the Spirit and operate daily in the power of the Spirit!  Preach it, Pastor!

WEEK 8   February 22-28, 2019 Luke 5-9

 

1. Luke 5:1-11  Here we find the thrilling story of the miracle of the great catch of fish and the calling of the first Disciples of Jesus.  Peter and the boys who were professional fishermen on that lake they knew so well had just been “skunked” (they caught nothing that night) at fishing hard all night.  Don’t you love Peter’s great response in Luke 5:5 to Jesus’ counter-intuitive command?  “Master … but at Your bidding I will let down the nets.”  You can preach on instant obedience to the commands of Jesus.  Peter heard the word of the Lord.  He listens and he obeys.  Jesus honors his obedience by driving just about every fish in that lake right into Peter’s nets!  The power that is released in the heavenlies …that impacts our real lives on earth — is breath-taking when we obey!  It is beyond imagination!

 

2.  Luke 5:16  emphasizes Jesus’ powerful prayer life.  Luke’s Gospel teaches us more about Jesus’ prayer life than any other Gospel.  If we want to be like Jesus — and this should be our great over-riding goal — then we will have to pray like Jesus prayed.  You could track Jesus’ prayer life through the Gospel of Luke and challenge your people to ask Jesus to help them pray like He did.  The Lord will be thrilled to answer this prayer.  Romans 8:26 says that we do not know how we should pray.  A good place to start in prayer is to agree with that passage and beg the Lord’s Spirit to help us to pray as we should.  He will help us!  He promised!  Praise the Living Most High God!

 

3. Luke 5:27-32 shares with us the calling of the Disciple Levi or Matthew the hated tax-gatherer.  He was a collaborator with the most despised Romans.  What did it mean for Jesus to include this guy in His entourage of Disciples and closest associates?  What does Jesus’ calling of Matthew say about His boundless love, mercy, compassion and willingness to see beyond the normal “restrictions,” “boundaries” or “human limits” — and to call into His Kingdom and into His highest service someone who is a hated outcast by everyone else?  We owe the book of Matthew to this hard working, meticulous record-keeper who like Zaccheus a “chief tax-gatherer” in Luke 19:1-10 was transformed by the agape and encouragement and inclusion by Jesus!

 

4. Wine, New Wine, Old Wineskins and New Ones are brought up by Jesus in Luke 5:33-39.  What and Who is an “old wineskin?”  How do we become “new wineskins?”  What is the “new wine?”  The nature of all new wineskins is to eventually become an old one.  How can we keep on being renewed and become “new wineskins” that can receive God’s fresh out-pouring of today’s “new wine?”  In your preaching you can talk about what a “new wineskin” church looks like, thinks like and acts like compared to an “old wineskin” church.  What in the world do you think that Jesus meant by His statement in vs. 39?  How do you pastor people in your church to be open to God’s “new wine” whose life mantra is:  “the old is good enough!”  Is it really good enough?  What do you think Jesus wants us to do about all of this?

 

5. Luke 6:17-49 gives us Jesus’ “The Sermon on the Plain” (see 

Luke 6:17).  How does this compare and contrast with Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount?” (Matthew 5-7)  What different principles of the Kingdom do we pick up from Jesus in this tremendous sermon?  Contrast the Beatitudes of this passage with the Beatitudes in Matthew 5.  Focus on the thrilling promises that Jesus gives us in this great message.  Check out Luke 6:38!

 

6. Luke 7:1-10  We see Jesus marveling at the faith of the centurion … “Just say the word!”  This guy recognized and understood authority.  He saw and realized that Jesus was a “man under authority.”  And Jesus called it “great faith.”  Challenge your people with the different levels of faith that various people had with Him and/or in Him.  Phrases and words like “little faith,” “no faith,” “faith like a mustard seed” and “great faith” indicates that Jesus measures or acknowledges different levels of faith.  How do we grow in faith? (See Romans 10:17)  If Jesus were giving out “report cards” on faith and He was grading you right now on your level faith — what kind of grade do you think He would give you on your faith?  A … B… C…D…F?

 

7. Luke 7:36-50  shares with us the moving story of the immoral woman weeping, wetting Jesus’ feet with her tears, wiping them with her hair, kissing His feet and anointing them with perfume!  This is a very powerful picture of pure worship and adoration.  This is an incredibly personal and sensual (of the senses) portrait of almost unbelievable love and gratefulness.  Notice that this woman is moved to this kind of extravagant personal, intimate worship, in front of disapproving religious and moral authorities — so grateful for Jesus’ love, acceptance, mercy and grace — and all of this is coming from her BEFORE JESUS HAD OFFICIALLY FORGIVEN HER OF HER SINS!   That doesn’t come until AFTER HER INTIMATE WORSHIP OF HIM! (see vs. 48)  This is thrilling and amazing.  Somehow, Jesus had communicated His love, agape, compassion, gentleness, grace and mercy to this woman — who had never been loved this purely by any man she had ever been with!  Think about how many copious tears of gratitude she had to weep to generate enough fluid to literally wash Jesus’ feet!  That is a lot of liquid!  She loved much!  What an incredible (but true) picture of heart-felt worship.  Think of the criticism that Jesus was willing to endure from the religious authorities to allow this woman to worship Him at length in this phenomenal scene!  They would think that Jesus loved her with impure love and motives to receive such worship!  They would harshly judge Jesus and this woman with the worst motives!  Jesus doesn’t care!  He sees her heart and He receives her worship as no mere mortal should.  This is a silent testimony of Jesus to His true deity and identity.  If Jesus were not God in the flesh He should not have allowed such worship, but He does, because He is indeed the Living God!

 

8. Luke 8:22-25  Jesus and His Disciples are caught in a storm on the Sea of Galilee.  You know the story.  Amazingly, when they awaken Jesus He promptly rebukes the wind and the surging waves and they instantly become calm.  Then Jesus rebukes His Disciples for the absence of their faith!  You might think that He would have commended them that they had finally come to Him with their problem and asked Him to help them.  Doesn’t that take some measure of faith — believing that Jesus could actually help them in the storm?  But Jesus rebukes His Disciples for their lack of faith!  He rebukes the storm and then He rebukes them!  Apparently, Jesus wanted them to use their faith to rebuke the storm themselves.  Jesus gets upset more than once with His Disciples when they do not use the authority and power that He has bestowed and delegated to them!  In fact, He calls them “unbelieving and perverted” (Matthew 17:17; Mark 9:19; Luke 9:41) when they don’t use the power and authority that He had invested in them! Wow!

 

9. Luke 8:40-42, 49-56  This is the account of Jairus’ dead daughter being raised from the dead!  What a story!  Jairus is told in vs. 49 that his precious daughter is dead!  Look what Jesus says in the very next verse!  Notice how Jesus puts everybody else outside of the room except for Peter, James, John and the dead girl’s parents.  If you had been among the Disciples that day would Jesus have invited you into the room to witness this thrilling miracle, or would He have needed to excuse you so that He could do His wonder working miracle?  Preach on the faith that raises a dead girl!  Recognize that Jesus expects us to raise the dead too!  (See Matthew 10:7-8)

 

10. Luke 9:1-6  Jesus commissions the 12 and later the 70 in Luke 10:1-16 to “do the stuff!”  Notice how they are given power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases!  They go out preaching the Kingdom and performing healing.  This is thrilling.  We have no less anointing, in fact, we have more than these boys had at this point in their spiritual journey.  We have no less power, no less authority and no lesser commission than Jesus gave these guys.  Empowered and deputized by Jesus with His authority Luke 9:6 reports that they went out preaching the gospel “and healing everywhere!”  This is our mandate.  This is our commission.  This is our heritage.  This is His agenda for us too.  This is our honor.  This is our joy and our responsibility.  This is what Jesus wants us to do today in His Name and by the same power that Jesus operated in and the same power of the Holy Spirit in which these guys healed!

WEEK 9   March 1-7, 2019 Luke 10-15

 

1. Luke 10:1-16  Jesus appoints and deploys 70 (or 72 depending on the translation you are using) more to go “ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come.”  Can you remember the names of any of the 70?  No you can’t because we never are given their names.  They were 70 faithful men that Jesus delegated the exact same power and anointing to — that He had given to the 12 in Luke 9:1-6.  These 70 go out in pairs and they are instructed to heal everybody who is sick in those towns BEFORE Jesus gets there! (Luke 9:8-9) Amazingly, they do just that!  What an evangelism strategy.  Go heal everybody in town and THEN tell them that the Kingdom of God has come near them!  Could this be the strategy we should all be using under the power of the Holy Spirit?  Check out the strategic principles laid out in these profound verses.  Preach through this passage and challenge your people to do the same works that Jesus did and even greater works than He did! (See 

John 14:12-14)

 

2. Luke 10:17-24 is a most thrilling passage.  Look at the authority Jesus gave the 70 and that He gives to us today.  Look at the promises of this great paragraph.  Notice what we are supposed to do and what we are supposed to rejoice over and what we are not to rejoice over.  Look what caused Jesus to rejoice so greatly over.  Check out the prayer of Jesus here.  Great preaching material is in this little loaded paragraph.

 

3. Luke 11:1-4 gives us a slightly different version of the Lord’s Prayer.  Note the differences between this passage and Matthew 6:9-13.  (“forgive us our sins”)  Prayer was the priority, pattern, passion and the power of Jesus’ life.  Remember that the Disciples never came to Jesus and said:  “Lord, teach us to preach!”  They never said, “Teach us to heal the sick!”  Nor did they say, “Jesus teach us how to do miracles and raise the dead!”  But, they did say, “Lord teach us to pray!”  We learn from this passage that John the Baptist had apparently taught his disciples how to pray and Jesus’ Boys wanted to learn how to pray as John also taught his disciples!  

 

4. Luke 11:5-13  We find the “Friend at Midnight story.”  Jesus uses this powerful little story to tell us how we should pray.  So, right after He gives this version of the Lord’s Prayer in the first 4 verses of this chapter He moves into this powerful and poignant parable of importunity in prayer!  This desperate guy will not quit or give up or go away.  He refuses to take “NO” for an answer and he refuses to even take “WAIT” for an answer.  He wants and needs bread NOW and he will bang on the door and holler for help until he gets what he wants and needs.  Jesus says that this is the way that we should pray!  We are to keep on asking and keep on seeking and keep on knocking until God gives us what we need and want!  Vs. 13 is a powerful promise of God’s gift of the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him for this greatest gift!

 

5. Some people ignorantly proclaim that Jesus never taught us in the New Testament to tithe. If only they knew their Bibles better.  In 

Luke 11:42 and Matthew 23:23 Jesus clearly teaches that we should tithe.  Preach on this tremendous principle that God promises to bless if we will give Him the tithe that He declares is His!  The most blessed churches in the world today are the churches where the pastor is brave enough and obedient enough to preach and teach on the eternal principle of tithing!  Don’t rob your people of this profound and fantastic principle and promise by being too afraid to preach on tithing.

 

6. It is popular in some circles of “christianity” to declare that there is no hell.  Jesus clearly teaches different.  He is the expert on these eternal matters.  Listen to the profound truth of Luke 12:5  “But I will warn you whom to fear:  fear the One who after He has killed has authority to cast into hell; yes I tell you fear Him!”  Do you think that Jesus knew what He was talking about?  Do you think He didn’t really mean what He so plainly says?  When was the last time, Pastor, that your people heard a sermon on the reality of hell, Judgment Day and the eternal lake of fire?  Jesus loved His listeners enough to preach and teach on this eternal issue more than He taught on Heaven.  Do you love your people that much?  We learn more details about hell from Jesus our Lord than any other character in Scripture!  (See Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 20:11-15)

 

7. Luke 12:22-34 covers Jesus’ mighty teachings on worry, fear, and anxiety.  Your people need to hear a sermon on this highly important issue.  How many times does our Lord need to tell us not to worry about anything but to pray about everything. (Philippians 4:4-8) Worry is assuming responsibility that God never wanted you to have!  God gives grace and glory (Psalm 84:11).  But He gives no grace and no glory to those who insist on insulting Him by indulging in sinful worry!  How many promises of God do you have to deny and ignore to worry.  How many commands of God do you have to disobey to indulge in the stupid practice of worry.  Too many of our people have the attitude:  “Why pray when you can worry?!”  God has killed millions of people in Scripture for the sin of fear and worry.  (See the millions of dead Jews in the desert as they went lap after lap around Mt. Sinai in the wilderness for 40 years until an entire generation had died off!  They sinned by refusing to believe God’s promises and His commands!  Instead they gave in to fear and worry … that led to further defiance and disobedience and eventually to their deaths!  God is intolerant of worry!)

 

8. Luke 13:1-5  You could use this passage to preach on repentance which means “change your mind!”  Jesus tells us all “unless you repent, (change your mind) you will all likewise perish!”  Recent surveys show us that in the typical evangelical church in America 70-85% of all church attenders are “lukewarm.” (See Revelation 3:14-22)  Jesus clearly states that the “lukewarm” are vomited out of His mouth … and He is not vomiting them into heaven.  There will be no “vomit covered folks in heaven!”  “Lukewarm” folks are nauseating to the Lord.  They are commanded to “repent” in Revelation 3:19.  People who repent (change their mind) and start agreeing with God and start obeying Him are blessed and receive eternal salvation.  People who refuse to repent — perish!  Eternally!  This is a hard word but it is the living truth of God!  Jesus loves us enough to tell us that we either repent or we perish!

 

9. Luke 14:7-14  Jesus shares a parable pregnant with challenging truths and then He commands us to do something most Christians completely ignore.  Look at Jesus’ command to all of us that when we throw a banquet or reception there are people we should invite!  Jesus tells us who NOT to invite and who we need to invite!  Why don’t we love Jesus enough to literally obey Him in this matter?  What do you think Jesus means when He says “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”  Do you think if more of us literally believed this statement of Jesus, this loaded promise of our Master, that more of us would go out of our way to invite different people to our parties, our wedding receptions, our banquets?  What do you think?  Is this worthy of a sermon?

 

10. Luke 15 is chock full of sermons!  We have the story of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost boy!  Many scholars would say that the story of the Prodigal Son is the greatest story Jesus ever told.  Notice in the first couple of verses what prompted Jesus to tell these mighty parables!  What was His motivation in telling these stories?  Notice in all 3 stories the theme of a great party and celebration that is thrown when the lost are found!  Interestingly, look up the word “prodigal” in a dictionary and you will find that this word means one who is so extravagantly generous that they appear to be foolish.  They are so crazy generous that they appear to be out of their minds with generosity and profuse giving.  Under that definition this story might be more aptly named “The Prodigal Father.”  For, while the second son in this story is “prodigal” for awhile until his money ran out … the Father is generous beyond imagination!  He is truly PRODIGAL!!  “When we reach the end of our hoarded resources our Father’s full giving has only begun!”  You can also preach on:

    • The Father’s “front-loaded forgiveness!”  He is running towards his long lost boy with nothing but grace and forgiveness BEFORE he hears his son’s speech of repentance!

    • The passion, compassion, forgiveness of our ABBA Father!

    • How much our God loves a good party!  How the angels celebrate when one sinner repents!  Heaven must be a fantastic continuous party as hundreds of thousands repent around the world all day long every day!

    • The Older Brother!  How many in the church are like the Older Brother?  There are at least 3 great sermons in this story that could be preached on the Older Brother.

WEEK 10   March 8-14, 2019 Luke 16-22:34

 

1. Luke 16:1-16  Jesus our Lord told some crazy stories and this is one of His wildest stories that illustrates a number of significant points including:

    • vs. 9 - Jesus tells us to use “unrighteous money” to “make friends for yourself … that will receive you into the eternal dwellings” that means heaven!  When we invest our money into missions we are literally making friends through the Gospel who will greet us when we get to heaven!  Think of it!

    • Jesus tells us in vs. 10-11 that if we are faithful in how we use money that God will entrust “true riches” to us!

    • Jesus sees us as “stewards” of His money and if we are not faithful in our handling of His money He will not entrust us with our own resources — but, if we are faithful then He will entrust us with “that which is our own.”

    • We simply cannot have two masters!  Our master will either be Jesus or money!  We cannot serve God and money at the same time!

    • Jesus tells us “that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God!” (vs. 15)

    • What do you think Jesus meant when He said that “everyone is forcing his way into it” speaking of the Kingdom of God?

 

There are so many truths and lessons about the Kingdom that we can pick up from this power packed paragraph!

 

2. Luke 16:19-31 is Jesus’ clearest teachings about hell.  It is sobering as Jesus lays out certain awful details about the agonies of hell.  Jesus informs of us here of at least 15 specific details about this place of torment.  Notice that there are fervent cries of intercession in hell from the damned for their living lost loved ones who still have a chance and a choice to escape the eternal damnation of hell!  Eventually this indescribably horrible place called hell is thrown into some place worse!  Hell and everyone whose name is not written in Lamb’s Book of Life is cast, eventually, into the eternal “lake of fire!” (See Revelation 20:14-15)  Preach with tears and a broken heart on the reality and eternalness of hell and the Lake of Fire.

 

3. Look at what Jesus has to say about the importance of forgiveness in Luke 17:3-4!  Can you imagine someone sinning against you 7 times a day — everyday.  Jesus still commands us to forgive them!  We can forgive them by the power and the grace that Jesus gives us!  Jesus even commands us in vs. 3 to “be on your guard!” about NOT forgiving others.  This reminds us of Hebrews 12:15 which reminds us that many are defiled by a root of bitterness which comes from NOT FORGIVING!  Preach on the fact that unforgiveness is not only a sin because it is disobedience to so many commands of Scripture but that it is literally “spiritual suicide!”  If we will not forgive others after we have been so blessed and graced by God’s incredible forgiveness — then the Lord says that God cannot and will not forgive us!  Unforgiveness may lead more people to hell than any other sin we can think of, next to unbelief and rejection of Christ’s grace and gift of forgiveness!

 

4. Luke 17:32  “Remember Lot’s wife!”  Isn’t this an intriguing command from Jesus as He talks about the Coming of the Kingdom and His Second Coming?  What do you think that our Lord Jesus wants us to remember about Lot’s wife who disobeyed the Lord and looked back towards burning Sodom and was instantly judged by God and turned into a pillar of salt?  Do you think that your people all remember Lot’s wife and what the Lord wants to teach us from her sad and devastating memory.  You might want to re-read her story in Genesis 19.  To us, it may seem like a small thing that Lot’s wife glanced back at Sodom.  Why do you think that her one look back merited God’s instant wrathful judgment?  What can you preach about Lot’s wife that your people need to know and remember for all time?

 

5. Luke 18:1-8 is the fabulous story of the widow and the unjust judge.  Jesus told this story for a specific purpose that vs. 1 tells us.  This is one of the few parables where the purpose of Jesus telling the story is told to us right up front.  “Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart.”  What can you tease out of this great story regarding:

    • faith and persistence

    • desperate, never quitting faith and asking

    • our good just Judge who is our ABBA, Father vs. the unjust judge

    • what God promises to do for those of His elect who cry out to Him day and night!

    • what does it mean to cry out to God day and night

    • justice

    • will Jesus find faith on the earth when He returns?

 

6. Luke 18:9-14 continues Jesus theme about prayer with an interesting contrast between a  proud, self-righteous, “holiness,” highly religious man (a Pharisee) who kept all the religious rules and laws and yet who was full of himself and bragged to God how good he was  vs.  a hated, low-life tax-gatherer who knew that he desperately needed God’s grace and mercy because he knew that he was a real sinner.  Their prayers are so informative and insightful.  Preach on how we ought to come before the Most High God in our praying.  Only one man went home justified in God’s eyes.  How do we exalt ourselves in everyday life and in prayer?  How do we humble ourselves in prayer and in our daily living?

 

7. Luke 18:27  “The things impossible with men are possible with God.”  Ask your people in your sermon what impossible things are they praying and praising God to do for them that is totally impossible!  Our people need to be challenged to pray bigger, bolder prayers.  You might tell the story of Joshua commanding the sun to stand still in the battle in

Joshua 10:6-14 and it really happened!  God’s Word declares that there had never been a day like that (up to that point and to the writing of the Book of Joshua) “when the LORD (YAHWEH) listened to the voice of a man!  Do you think that God is waiting for someone to ask so big that their impossible miracle eclipses Joshua’s big ask?  Jesus said in 

John 14:12-14 that you and I and anyone who believes will do exactly what Jesus did and even greater things!  Do you believe Jesus meant it?

 

8. Luke 19:1-10 gives us the amazing story of redemption, repentance (change your mind) and salvation of a hated, despised, corrupt, evil chief tax-gatherer named Zaccheus.  What a story of grace, compassion, inclusion, acceptance, honor and mercy.  Look at the tremendous declaration of Jesus that He had come to seek and so save the lost.  Jesus risked the wrath and evil judgment of His enemies to honor and bless Zac with His presence at his home.  Who would be a comparable modern day example of someone in our world who was as hated and despised as tax collectors in Jesus’ day?  Is there a “Zaccheus” in your town, neighborhood, school or place of work that Jesus wants to reach through your compassion and friendship?

 

9. Luke 21:1-4  Jesus watches closely what offerings were given at the Temple and then He commented on the gifts.  What would you think of Jesus actually walking up and down the aisle at your church on any given Sunday morning and closely observing each person’s gift and then commenting on who gave the most based on what was left in their bank account?  What do you think happened to that dear poor widow after she gave her all?  Do you think God let her starve?  Jesus said that her sacrificial gift was worth more to the Lord than all the rest of their gifts put together!  What a statement!  Do you think Jesus still calls for this kind of total, sacrificial gift giving in worship?  Have fun with this one!

 

10. Luke 21:19 has Jesus saying:  “By your endurance you will gain your lives!”  He says this in the context of very real persecution.  What do you think Jesus thinks about those who do not have the necessary endurance to endure persecution if it came full force here in America against Christians?  Pastor, what percentage of your people, the people God has given you to pastor, do you think would stand the test of trials and persecution?  Have you prepared your people to endure to the end?  Most American lukewarm “christians” and church attenders are not known for their endurance.  What kind of messages or teaching would prepare our people to really be strong in endurance and long-suffering?  Jesus and Paul promised that hard times and persecution is coming … to all who will live godly lives. (See 1 Timothy 3:12)  Ask the Lord how we can better prepare His people for the inevitable persecution that will probably come to American Christians if Jesus postpones His Return. 

WEEK 11   March 15-21, 2019 Luke 22:35 - John 3

 

1. Look at what Jesus knows and declares about Satan in Luke 22:31.  Look at what Jesus knows about Peter’s future including his greatest sin that Peter would ever commit and his failure — but also Peter’s turning back to the Lord in Luke 22:32.  You could preach on the fact that Jesus could pin-point to the exact minute Peter’s next sin (“before the rooster crows twice tonight…”) and yet, that was not what Jesus was focusing on — rather He was looking ahead to when Peter would turn back and strengthen his brothers.  Jesus still wanted Peter on His team even though He could predict and prophesy Peter’s next big failure.  Jesus still wants you on His team too!  Praise Him for His prevenient grace and His faithful prayers for you!  “But I have prayed for you!”  Jesus had already covered Peter’s next sin … with prevenient prayer!  He has you covered too!

 

2. Luke 22:42 gives us the GREATEST PRAYER OF ALL TIME!  That prayer saved your very soul!  What a model Jesus is for us in all areas including prayer!  Jesus lays out His personal desire and His intimate request to His dear listening ABBA … but over all that He might want or earnestly desire Jesus says this all-important request “NOT MY WILL BUT THINE BE DONE!!”  Jesus did not love His life unto death!  He loved His Father more than He loved His own life.  He wanted God’s Will to be done more than He wanted His next breath!  God’s Will was for Jesus to go to the cross to be our Ultimate, Final Sacrifice and to take on our sin and our punishment forever — and to die in our place.  There was no other way!  This was God’s “predetermined plan” (Acts 2:23;  See also Isaiah 53:10) and Will for Jesus.  Jesus submits.  And because He did, because He meant what He prayed that long night in the garden when He clawed the dirt under the agony of it all and cried out “ABBA, Father!” (Mark 14:36) — you and I can be forgiven, justified, saved, sanctified and go to heaven eternally!  Thank you, Jesus, for praying this prayer with all of your heart!  

 

3. Luke 22:54-62  The denial of Jesus by Peter.  Just like Jesus called it, hours earlier, Peter denies three times that he even knows Jesus!  And the rooster crows!  Jesus hears it, Peter hears it!  They turn and look at each other and somehow through the windows or the hallways their eyes meet and Peter is broken!  And he weeps bitterly.  He had hurt and denied His beloved Jesus!  Earlier, he thought that he knew himself better than the Son of God did.  He had loudly protested that he would die for Jesus.  He had even been crazy-brave with that big crowd who had come to arrest Jesus and he swung his sword, getting in “the first blow” … and now he had done this!  Isn’t it interesting that Jesus doesn’t weep bitterly.  He had seen it all before prophetically and He had accurately predicted Peter’s sin and failure … and He had prayed for Peter and He knew that Peter wouldn’t go and hang himself as Judas was going to do … Jesus knew that Peter was coming back and would be “the Rock” that would lead His Church.  Jesus sees our future too and He can see us in glory someday blazing with His Glory having lived a fantastically faithful life of service and love for Him!  Jesus later would talk to Peter and assure him that his proud boasts of dying for Jesus that fateful night — would indeed come true someday.  Peter WOULD die for Jesus someday!  Aren’t you glad that Jesus doesn’t fixate on our last sin or failure but that He focuses on our glorious future with Him?!

 

4. Luke 23:34  What a prayer from the cross!  The Greek language indicates that Jesus kept on saying over and over “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”  That was so true, they had no idea WHO they were really killing that Good Friday morning.  If they had any idea WHO Jesus really was there is no man alive who would have carried out that torturous execution.  And when people hurt us and abuse us and misuse us… they have no idea WHO we really are (in Christ) and how seriously our ABBA will wreak vengeance on anyone who would dare to touch us!  They truly have “no idea” what they are really doing!  Really!  No one would dare to mess with us or hurt us if they had any idea of how they will answer for this abuse to us on Judgment Day.  Pastor, many of your people struggle to forgive the people who have tremendously hurt them.  Encourage them to pray the prayer of forgiveness that Jesus prayed on the cross, “Father forgive them…” Jesus was praying for His executioners and mockers that day but He was also praying that prayer for us since our sins nailed Him to that cross!  Some of your people will be able to begin the forgiveness process in their own life towards those who have hurt them so terribly if they can start with Jesus’ prayer from the nails. Even if they can’t yet forgive their offender themselves quite yet … maybe they can pray the prayer of Jesus from the cross asking God to forgive the one who has hurt them so cruelly.  God will answer that prayer and He can begin to soften their heart in the process towards their offender.  This is such a powerful prayer that we should pray over our enemies often!

 

5. Don’t you love the humor and even playfulness we see in the Risen Christ when He walks with two of His followers on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35.  He asks them “What things”… as if He didn’t know what had just happened that weekend in Jerusalem.  Then “He acted as though He would go farther…” when He had showed up on that road for the express purpose of spending time with them and opening the Scriptures to them and then opening their eyes to the reality of His physical Resurrection!  Then when He blows the minds of the Disciples when He first appeared to them by not knocking on the door but materializing through the wall in front them … and He asks if they have something to eat.  They give Him a piece of broiled fish.  Can you imagine the Risen King of Kings and Lord of Lords standing their smiling at them as He slowly chews that bite of fish!  I can imagine Him laughing with joy at their indescribable JOY IN JESUS!  What a day!  What a night!  What a Jesus we have!  Lead your people in loving on Him, Pastor!

 

6. John 1:1-18  This is the greatest Prologue of all time.  John the Disciple writing this great Gospel some 40-60 years after Jesus ascended to heaven, takes us back further than Bethlehem and the manger.  He takes us all the way back into eternity past and reminds us WHO this Jesus really is!  He calls Him “The Word.”   There is powerful theology packed into every verse!  You could spend 18 weeks of sermons covering each one of these verses one week at a time!  There are so many “favorite verses” in this passage. I personally love John 1:18.  The Word, Jesus our Lord, the Second Person of the Trinity had been “in the bosom of the Father” throughout eternity past.  He was “close enough to hear the Father’s heartbeat,” so to speak.  Now Jesus comes to earth to “exegete” or “explain” ABBA’s eternal heart of love for us!  Interestingly, John the Disciple writing this great Gospel literally was so close to Jesus at the Last Supper that he was physically laying in a reclining position at that low table so that his head was touching the chest of Jesus.  That is intimacy in anybody’s culture and anybody’s world.  Now, John could “hear the heart of Jesus.” Of all the Disciples of Jesus, John the Beloved, seemed to catch the heartbeat and heart passion of His Jesus.  So, look at the sequence:  Jesus is in the bosom of the Father listening to His heart for a broken and dying world.  He comes to earth to teach and show us ABBA’s heart and to die for God’s lost children and redeem them.  John, probably Jesus’ closest intimate friend, leans up to Jesus and “hears His heart” regarding the Father and the Son’s love (agape - one of John’s favorite words) for us.  And now John writes it all down for us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit!  Wow!  This will preach!

 

7. John 1:29-34  Here we have the Baptism of Jesus from John’s perspective!  He was an eye-witness.  John the Disciple writes about John the Baptist’s encounter with the Lamb of God!  Notice in vs. 32 that the Spirit/dove “remained upon Him.”  How carefully did Jesus have to move, speak and even think to not upset or send the “dove” (the Holy Spirit) flying off.  The Holy Spirit can be quenched, wounded, grieved, insulted, rejected and so much more.  Jesus walked in that anointing so much that the Spirit never wanted to leave Him.  O may we walk that way too, where the Holy Spirit is so comfortable with us that He never wants to leave!

 

8. John 2:1-11  The first miracle of Jesus!  Water to wine!  All because Mary “interceded” with Jesus for a very practical need.  Jesus honors His mother even though “My hour has not yet come!”  She leans on her intimate relationship with her Son.  She presumes on His affection and devotion to her and asks Him to do something.  She is so sure that He will indeed honor her and her request that she turns to the servants standing there and she speaks immortal words that we should obey every day of our lives:  “Whatever He says to you, do it!”  Well, they did what He told them to do and the combination of her asking (prayer) and their obedience to His commands brought about the very first miraculous sign causing His Disciples to believe in Him!  (John 2:11)  Somebody has to pray and ask boldly, presuming on His Grace, affection for us, and His eternal promises before any miracles happen.  Then obedience to whatever He tells us to do is a prerequisite for any miracle to happen.  Prayer — leads to Jesus speaking back to us and telling us what to do — then our Obedience — causes Jesus to do what none of us can do!  And miracles, signs, wonders, healings and even resurrections happen!  We simply must Pray and Obey!  

 

9. John 3:1-21 records Jesus’ profound nighttime conversation with Nicodemus.  Pastor if you can’t find about 10 great sermons from this encounter with Jesus you probably need to go back and take Preaching 101 all over again!  Of course, there is the all-famous John 3:16 here but don’t ignore or skip the profound truths of John 3:17-21.  And you might want to tie in the great conclusion of Jesus in John 3:36.  Many pastors who will wax eloquent on the love of God in John 3:16 do not love their people enough to also preach on the judgement and wrath of God that is promised in John 3:36 for those do not OBEY the Son!  It is not enough to simply “believe” with mental assent … we must repent (change our mind) and begin to believe Him enough to obey Him.  Ask your people if they believe Jesus enough to obey Him.  Ask them if they love Him to truly obey Him!

 

10. John 3 also includes the great declaration of John the Baptist in 

vs. 30 speaking of Jesus John the B. says:  “He must increase, but I must decrease!”  What a way to live your life everyday.  Jesus must increase and I must decrease!  O God, help us to live like this today!  We also find in this great chapter the promise in vs. 34 that “…for He gives the Spirit without measure!”  Praise the Lord!  There is more!  Praise the Lord, there is no limit on the draw that we can make on His Anointing!  We can have MORE today of His Spirit than we have ever had before.  And tomorrow we can receive even MORE and MORE of His Precious Limitless Holy Spirit.  Pastor, lead your people in asking for MORE, MORE, MORE!!

WEEK 12  March 22-28, 2019 John 4-10

 

1. John 4:1-42  Here we have the glorious story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well!  Jesus would choose this non-Jewish, immoral woman (5 husbands, 5 divorces and now fornicating with a new guy who was not her husband) who had an attitude as well as a reputation … Jesus would choose this woman to be the very first human that He revealed His Messiahship to!  Think of it!  What does that say to us about the phenomenal inclusiveness (more than just the Jews) and grace of Jesus?!  This woman with a past … leads the whole city to belief in Christ!  She is one of the all-time greatest evangelists in the history of the faith!  What a woman!  May we never write anybody off and may we ask the Lord to truly open our eyes to see that the fields really are ripe and ready for a tremendous harvest of souls!

 

2. John 5:1-18  Jesus is led by the Father’s Spirit to go to the Pool of Bethesda where there were hundreds if not thousands of desperately sick and diseased people.  There were days where Jesus healed everybody in sight.  But on this day He would heal just one man.  Multiple times in the Gospel of John Jesus would declare that He never said one thing without first hearing the Father say it and He never did one thing except what He saw the Father doing.  Apparently, even though His great heart of compassion would have caused Jesus to desire to heal everybody at that pool, on this one day, the Father only told Him or showed Him that just this one guy was to be healed!  So Jesus obeys!  I can only imagine that after this guy who had camped there beside this pool for 38 years gets up under the command of Jesus — that many more would have been shouting out to Jesus to heal them.  How it must have broken His heart to walk away and leave them calling out to Him.  Jesus heart was moved with phenomenal compassion for all hurting and sick people — but He would not disregard or disobey His ABBA!  This was the highest priority:  Obeying the Will of His Father.  This trumped even legitimate human need! What an example and model for the rest of us!

 

3. John 5:44  presents us with one of the many great questions that Jesus asked.  It reverberates down through the millenniums.  Here is that question:  “How can you believe, when you receive the glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?”  What a question!  Your answer to this question could define your life.  Will you seek the glory of fickle, ignorant, foolish people?  Or will you sacrifice all to seek the glory that God wants to give you?  Jesus set His life everyday to bring glory to God!  He would endure the praise and rejection of man to seek the glory of God.  Isn’t it interesting in this passage that Jesus does not condemn them for seeking glory?  He questions why they want to seek glory from the wrong and inferior source.  Do you know that God intends to give you phenomenal glory?  He will not share HIS GLORY with anyone else … but Paul tells us that if we suffer for Jesus it will produce “an eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17) for us!  The Lord created us in His own image and a part of this is the reality that God created you for His glory and He created you for your own special glory before and under Him!  Jesus prayed that God would restore His former glory that He had in eternity past when He prayed in John 17.  He would even pray this:  “glorify Thou me!” (John 17:5)  Imagine that, Jesus, who lived only to glorify His Father now prays “Glorify me!”  We know that since Jesus never said one word that His Father didn’t tell Him to say — then, this prayer of Jesus must have originated in the heart of ABBA.  God wanted Jesus to pray that Jesus Himself would be glorified!  God wanted to glorify Jesus and He wants to give you more glory than you or I can possibly imagine.  The desire for glory is God-given.  Live for God’s glory alone and you will be amazed in glory (heaven) how God will exalt and glorify you!  And what will you do in heaven with all of that glory He will give you?  Will you strut around in heaven in pride?  Of course not, you will give it all back to Him … all for His GREATER GLORY!

 

4. John 6:1-15  Jesus and The Feeding of the Five Thousand.  What a story!  What a miracle!  Notice in vs. 6 that Jesus already knew what He was going to do.  The Father had apparently showed Him this mighty miracle already.  But, now, Jesus asks a question of Philip a question “to test” him.  Isn’t that intriguing.  Jesus already knows what He is going to do but He tests Philip with a question.  Now, think about your own life and the problems you may be facing today.  Jesus already knows what He is going to do to miraculously get you through this problem or provide for you or heal you or whatever.  He already knows what He is going to do.  But, in the meantime, He may be testing you to see what level or measure of faith in Him you will rise to.  Do you think that Philip passed the test that day?  Do you think you are passing the test that you may be walking through right now?  Jesus wants you to pass any test that He allows or orchestrates in your life.  Pass the test with faith and confidence in His Promises and His Power!

 

5. John 6:16-21 looks what happens when you allow Jesus to “get into your boat!”  “Immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.”  Jesus miraculously transports a whole boat load of at least 13 adult men (Jesus + the 12) IMMEDIATELY to the place they were going.  Wow!  Isn’t that amazing!  With Jesus in your “boat” you are going to get to where He wants you to go … exactly when and how He wants you to get there.  The Spirit of the Lord supernaturally transported Philip the deacon from the desert to Azotus instantly.  The Lord transported Elijah and Enoch to heaven without dying.  We have other examples of the Spirit transporting people supernaturally both in the Bible and from Church History.  The point is this:  With Jesus in your life nothing is impossible and He will help you succeed in whatever He wants you to do and He is willing to move heaven and earth to get you where He wants you — when He wants you to be there. Praise our Blessed Lord!

 

6. John 6:63  Jesus makes a bold statement:  “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing!”  Do you really believe that?  Do you agree with another great declaration from Jesus found in this same book?

John 15:5 “… apart from Me you can do nothing!”  Nothing.  We can do absolutely nothing apart from Jesus.  The flesh profits absolutely nothing!  Your prayer life will give you away as to how seriously you believe these earth shattering words of Jesus.  If you pray little you still think that the flesh and the strong arm of the flesh can actually help you do something. Little prayer = big confidence in you and your abilities and brain.  If you really believe these statements of Jesus you will pray much for you know that you can do nothing in the flesh that will impress Jesus or that will help His Kingdom.  We are nothing and we can do nothing without Jesus … but, in Him and through Him and by His Spirit we can indeed do anything and everything that He asks us to do … “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13)

 

7. Jesus declared with a very loud voice, indeed crying out publicly, that “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’  But this He spoke of the Spirit …”  (John 7:37-39).  You could preach, dear Pastor, on this marvelous statement of Jesus.  How many people in your church right now would Jesus say that these verses describe?  Do you believe Pastor that this is an accurate description of you?  Do you have from within your innermost being rivers of living water flowing out of you?  If not, what do you think is the problem or issue that keeps this from happening to you?  Was Jesus serious about this statement?  Yes.  Why do so few Christians in our churches live with this reality happening daily in their lives?  Is it because we do not truly “believe in Him” yet?  What do you think?  Preach on this great challenge and promise.  Ask the Lord to make this passage descriptive of you and your life and your church.

 

8. John 8:1-11 gives us the unforgettable story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery.  Since it takes two … to “adulterate” where was the man?  Notice how Jesus handles this extremely difficult, highly inflammable situation.  A woman’s life is literally on the line.  So is the integrity of God’s Word in the Law.  What is Jesus going to say and do?Jesus knows that this is a trap.  What does He do?  He drops down and begins to write in the dust and dirt of the street.  You know what I think He is doing?  I think that He is stalling, buying time to inquire of His Father.  Again, as we have noted earlier, John’s Gospel is full of references to the fact that Jesus never did one thing or even said one thing on His own initiative. (See John 8:28)  I think that Jesus is asking the Father what He should do and what He should say to the crowd and to the woman.  He inquires of ABBA.  He waits.  He listens.  The crowd is badgering him for an answer.  They persist in bugging Him for an answer.  They think that they have Him trapped.  Whatever He says will condemn and damn Him. But Jesus will not speak on their command.  He waits to hear the Father’s Voice.  Finally, He hears what He is supposed to say.  He rises, speaks, and then goes back down to the dirt, I think He is listening more!  What Does ABBA want Him to say or do next?  Jesus hears again and then He speaks again.  This is how I believe that Jesus lived His life before ABBA everyday of His life — all day long.  What do you think?

 

9. John 9:1-41  This is one of my favorite stories in the life of Jesus.  Jesus heals a guy who has been blind since birth.  The religious authorities get all worked up and they began to lecture and question the now-seeing-former-blind guy.  I love this man!  He begins to lecture and question the authorities.  They go nuts!  What a story!  But I would like to suggest that you really think and meditate on one little verse or two at the beginning of this great story.  John 9:4 picks up on the phrase that Jesus mentions in vs. 3 “the works of God.”  Listen to your Lord in vs. 4:  “We (not just Jesus — “We” — that includes you and me!) must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work.”  Jesus is about to demonstrate what the “works of God” entail.  They involve not just preaching and teaching and making disciples, which Jesus will do in this great chapter — but also the works of God include the supernatural works of healing.  Jesus calls us in John 14:12 to believe in Him and do “the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.”  The “works of God” and the “works” that Jesus did include and involve the supernatural works of healing all diseases, deliverance, exorcisms of all demons, proclaiming the Kingdom, raising the dead, doing signs and wonders and causing blind people to see!   Jesus says that we have to get after these works of the Father because our time is limited and drawing to a close when no man can work.  There will come a day when it will be too late to try and do the works of the Father or the works of the Son.  Night is fast approaching.  Life will soon be over.  We must be about our Father’s work.  We must be doing the works of Jesus and even greater works as He leads, guides and empowers us!  Preach on working the works of the Father and doing the works of Jesus before our chance to do these works is over!

 

10. John 10 is such a great chapter!  Jesus is the Shepherd and we are His sheep.  Jesus states in verses 3, 4, 16 and 27 that His sheep (that’s us) hear and know His Voice and they obey and follow Him.  Here is a question if the sheep don’t follow Him … are they still His sheep?  If God’s people don’t obey Him and follow Him … are they still His followers — if they don’t follow Him?  Pastor, do your people know the Voice of the Shepherd?  Have you taught them, trained them and tested them to see if they truly know how to listen to the Shepherd?  Do you know the condition of your flock as God commands us to know in Proverbs?  Many of the people sitting in our pews every Sunday do not know the Voice or how to distinguish between their own thoughts the voice of Satan and the Voice of the Shepherd.  Please teach, train and test your blessed people to hear and obey and follow His Voice.  Preach and teach on the foundational issue of Hearing His Voice, Obeying His Voice and Following His Voice!