On the Plains of Moab Blog
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August 16, 2014, 2:00 PM

To Begin a Sermon



Tomorrow, I'm beginning a new sermon series.  A shorter series than usual.  Four weeks...four parables in the Gospel of Luke.  This series will take us up to our September 14th welcome service with the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic in the EPC.

I wanted to do something that I rarely do:  Give you the opening of the sermon, the night before.  Hopefully, it will serve as a permanent introduction to the series.

Check it out:

For the next four weeks, we are going to be looking at four parables in the Gospel of Luke.  The theme that will hold all four of these parables together is what I am going to call The Growing Edges of a Disciple.  Growing edges.  The working definition of a growing edge is “that area of your life where there’s still a lot of room for improvement -- but you’re pushing ahead and stretching the margins of that area every day.”

Refining that definition a little bit for my purposes here, I would say that our growing edges are where we are challenged to go beyond where we presently are at present.  We are there intellectually, but in practice it’s uncomfortable – and we’d really rather not go any further.  But we must.  We must press on to what God has called us to be in Jesus Christ.  To be Christ-like.

To start things off today, we ruminate on the Parable of the Rich Fool.  The focus is on Possessions– money and material things – but mostly about money.

Next week, it’s about Priorities with the Parable of the Great Banquet – What’s important in our lives?  What takes precedence?  What sets our agendas?  What are we willing to drop everything for, no matter what?

Week three will be about what we profess – our Profession -- with the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.  What do we believe?  What do we profess about the God we belong to?  What do we believe about Jesus?  About salvation?  And, what is our source of trust and truth?

And the final sermon of the series will be about that perennial growing edge in all of our lives, Prayer.  This one will be kind of fun with the Parable of the Persistent Widow.  Just how persistent and faithful are we when it comes to this discipline?

And who better to help us here in our growing edges than Luke, the physician (Col. 4:14)?  Eusebius, the late-third century bishop of Caesarea and father of church history, aptly noted that “Luke has left us concerning that medicine which he received from the Apostles…two medical books [Luke & Acts], whereby not our bodies but our souls may be healed.”

TBC.

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