Many months throughout the year, we try to teach a new song to the people of Crestview. This may or may not be familiar to anyone. But, we got some great feedback for the song we chose in February, so I thought I’d put it online to remember it.
As you may have picked up reading the blog, I’m currently teaching through 1 Samuel. And, I thought it might be profitable to point out how once I land on a book, I try to get a sense of that book.
- Read the Book — When I started leaning toward preaching through this, I began reading this book regularly. Using my Bible reading software, I’m able to generate custom plans and read through 1 and 2 Samuel weekly out of a different translation. This helps give you a lay of the land, hear repeated themes, and be thinking about what this book is saying.
- Use tools – the ESV Scripture Journal on 1/2 Samuel just came out. Had this been around in the Fall, I probably would have used it more. I simply gather notes on what I’m reading. Related to this, I find videos like the excellent help at the Bible Project:
Related to tools, I try to find some good resources that help me get a sense of the structure. So, I use notes from the Simeon Trust Course, notes from seminary courses, Bible handbooks, and Bible overviews. These are big picture things that help me be aware of some parts of the book to be aware of.
So, that’s it: lots of engagement, reading, listening, and trying to get a sense of what God’s up to in this part of the Bible. I hope this helps your study of the Bible as well.
My 2/24/19AM sermon, God’s Heaviness from 1 Samuel 4-5, is now online. These are some infamous chapters of OT narrative (with lots of death, Ichabod, and Yahweh putting the thump on the Philistine god, Dagon) but they move nonetheless to show God’s glory. God’s glory can easily be something we lose sight of, so I crafted this sermon around the notion of God’s heaviness (from the language at the end of chapter 5 that the hand of the Lord was heavy among the Philistines). We need a fresh glimpse of God’s heaviness in these days. I hope this sermon encourages you with a view to who God is and what He does.
My 2/17/19AM sermon, God Brings His Word (1 Samuel 3), unpacked how God acts to shape His people by His Word. Specifically, in this passage, God raises Himself a prophet (in this case an 8-11 year old boy) who will faithfully relay His Word to the people. I hope this sermon encourages you.
My 2/10/19AM sermon, God Cares (1 Samuel 1-2), is now online. Last week, I did an overview of the books of 1 and 2 Samuel and this sermon got us in to the actual text. The sermon was challenging with their being so many verses to deal with, the reality of Hannah’s hurt, and the outrageous abuses of power by Hophni and Phinehas. But, it was an encouraging sermon to see how God cares, what He’s up to, and how we can draw near to Him. I hope it encourages you.
My 2/3/19AM sermon, Overview of 1 and 2 Samuel, is now online. This sermon kicked off a lot of work I’ve done for months. In the Fall of 2018, I determined that I’d be preaching in these books. After a couple of study breaks, work to gather the big picture, and working to break it down, I was glad for Sunday to finally get here. So, this sermon is my attempt to introduce the people of Crestview to the books of 1 and 2 Samuel. I hope it encourages you.
My 1/27/19AM sermon, Wisely Living in Life’s Brevity from Psalm 90, is now online. I’ve wanted to preach on this Psalm for some time. I also was reminded of its message when preaching through Ecclesiastes this past Fall. To put it simply, this psalm (of Moses), shows how God is eternal, what that means for us, and how we live in light of these things.
I really hope you can find some encouragement in these ancient words.
My 1/20/19AM sermon, Loving Our Neighbors (Social Justice) – James 2:1-13, is now online. The sermon really got a progression when we seek to live out our faith (and follow a Biblical paradigm like not showing partiality to others). As we hold firm in our faith, we’re able to love our neighbors (as ourselves), and it’s then that we’re able to speak and act in mercy. This weekend, many churches across the country we’re thinking about the sanctity of human life as well as racial reconciliation. This sermon was my attempt to envision how the Bible might propel our thinking forward in these areas. I hope it serves you.
I loved this thought from the March 5 devotional from Jack Miller (in Saving Grace: Daily Devotions from Jack Miller) –
Christ has set us free from the chains of the law. But we have the tendency to create new circumcisions—new rules, new duties. We become burdened with obligations. Are you trying to fulfill your obligations by heading back to slavery, back to Mount Sinai, back to that place of no mercy? Remember it is all or nothing. If you put yourself under obligation to one part of the law, then you are responsible for keeping the whole law. You can’t have justification by faith in Jesus Christ plus something else. You might think that you believe that salvation is by grace through faith alone, but think about the obligations you are burdened by. Think about how you unconsciously live as if the fulfillment of your Christian responsibilities earns you God’s favor. Almost anything can become a new circumcision: your approach to tithing, your Christian duties, an orderly home, and the list goes on. Think about what drives you. Do you live under the law at Mount Sinai or have you joined the celebration of the justified on Mount Zion? Remember, for the believer, the judgment day has come and gone. God has set you free to be his own dear child!
Miller, C. John. Saving Grace: Daily Devotions from Jack Miller (p. 65). New Growth Press. Kindle Edition.