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Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebook, Volume 4

Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebook, Volume 4

by Thomas Nelson

Preach great sermons and plan innovative worship services with the newest edition of Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook. This is the same sermon planner you have come to depend on for more than ten years, now with a disc included for your convenience! In this volume, look for sermons, articles, and sermon starters by Dr.


Preach great sermons and plan innovative worship services with the newest edition of Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook. This is the same sermon planner you have come to depend on for more than ten years, now with a disc included for your convenience! In this volume, look for sermons, articles, and sermon starters by Dr. Jason Allen, Dr. Mac Brunson, Dr. Jason Duesing, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, Dr. Robert Jeffress, Pastor Greg Laurie, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, Dr. Albert Mohler, Dr. Russell Moore, Dr. Phillip Bethancourt, Pastor Jamie Rasmussen, Dr. Robert Sloan, Dr. Thomas White, and Dr. O.S. Hawkins, general editor. These outstanding pastors provide an entire year’s worth of preaching and worship resources with a new, topical focus. Look for a new volume every fall.

Features include:

  • Sermons, creative outlines, illustrations, and quotes
  • Worship helps, including hymns, prayers, and Scripture texts
  • Inspirational thoughts and preaching techniques
  • Sermons for special occasions and holidays
  • Disc containing all sermons and sermon starters

Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebooks sold to date: More than 140,000

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Read an Excerpt

Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebook Volume 4

By Thomas Nelson Publishers

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2014 Thomas Nelson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4016-7587-5



Nothing but the Blood

Ephesians 1:7–10

Dr. Jason Allen


One word frames this passage. It is a controversial word, a word we cannot do without: redemption. Redemption is the primary work of Christ for His people on the cross. The New Testament uses three words for redemption.

1. Agorazo: "to purchase" emphasizes the price Christ paid for our salvation.

2. Exagorazo: "to purchase out of" the marketplace reminds that we have been finally and forever removed from the marketplace of sin.

3. Apolutrosis: from the root "luo," this term means to deliver, to set free, to loose by paying a price.

The Price of Redemption (v. 7a)

Redemption is more than an event or an item; rather, it rests in a person, a Redeemer. No redeemer, no redemption. Th at person, that Redeemer, is none other than Jesus Christ.

1. Why is a redeemer necessary?

Our spiritual state, save Christ, is dead in trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2), enslaved to sin, and owned by Satan. That is why Galatians 3:13 states that He has redeemed us from the curse of the Law and 1 Peter 1:18 states that we have been released from the bondage of sin.

2. The exclusivity of Christ

"In Him" is a clear exclusive statement. There is a lock with one key, a poison with one antidote, and a question with one answer. Redemption is only in Christ.

3. Through His blood

Sin must not be taken lightly, for it requires a blood sacrifice.

The Prizes of Redemption (v. 7b–9)

The price Christ paid for redemption resulted in the prizes of redemption that we experience: forgiveness, grace, and spiritual discernment.

1. Complete forgiveness (v. 7a)

The primary result of redemption is the forgiveness of our trespasses. In fact, at the Last Supper, Jesus referred to the cup as His "blood of the covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matt. 26:28).

2. Overwhelming grace (v. 7b)

There is a significant difference between giving from and giving "according to the riches of His grace." The text here states that Christ's redemption was given "according to the riches of His grace."

3. Spiritual discernment (v. 9)

God made known to us the "mystery of His will. In the Bible, a mystery is something formerly concealed, but now revealed. That mystery is spelled out in verses 9–10, the coming and final rulership of Christ, realized and unquestioned over all the cosmos.

The Purpose of Redemption (v. 10)

The ultimate purpose of Christ's redemption is the final, millennial reign of Christ, in which He will be glorified.


During family worship, a family was discussing the importance of the Passover. During the discussion the family's young daughter asked, "Daddy, did everyone covered by the blood live?" Yes, the father answered, "All unto all who are covered by the blood live." Christ has paid the price of redemption that we might receive the prizes of redemption, eventually experiencing the purpose of redemption: His ultimate reign, realized and unquestioned, over all the cosmos.


Turning Your Darkest Hour into Your Finest Hour

James 1:2–4

Dr. Jason Allen


Winston Churchill addressed the British House of Commons on the eve of the Battle of Britain that one day people would say of Britain's darkest hour that "Th is was their finest hour," and indeed his words came true. In a similar vein, but on a more spiritual level, James 1:2–4 teaches that the hour of greatest darkness may become the finest hour spiritually. This text shows how your trouble can become your triumph and how your adversity can become your victory. This passage is like insurance. Insurance does not prevent bad things from happening; it merely prepares you for when they do happen. Similarly, verses 2–4 do not prevent trials, but they do give three truths to help us make it through them.

Have the Right Attitude in Your Trial (v. 2)

It is important that James begins his discussion on trials with the command for joy. He does not give a long discussion on trials and then, as a concluding thought, tack on this bit about joy. Rather, he places it first. Why? Because what you believe determines how you respond. Note that James is not saying we are to avoid reality. Rather, he is reminding us that as we walk in the way of suffering, we must purpose to have joy in our hearts. So, then, our attitude when facing trials must be an attitude of joy.

Know the Reason for Your Trial (v. 3)

The second key to victoriously walking through trials is that you must know the reason for your trial. As we act on what we know to be true rather than on what we feel, we are better equipped to walk triumphantly through the storms of life. Notice that James says the "testing of your faith produces patience." God's purpose is to put us in the furnace of trials in order to mature us to a point of spiritual endurance.

Focus on the Result of Your Trials (v. 4)

Finally, in walking through trials we must keep their result in mind. There is a "perfect result" to our trials, and this end certainly justifies the means. James uses three expressions to communicate this one idea:

1. Perfect: This doesn't mean we achieve some level of spiritual perfection. Instead, it means "mature" or "fully developed."

2. Complete: This word means "to be made whole."

3. Lacking nothing: Again, this is another way of communicating the same idea of spiritual maturity.


From this text we can discern at least two specific applications. First, for those who have been in the fiery battle before, but failed, there is a second chance. Second, those of you who are not Christians, the greatest trial ever to come upon a person was the trial of the cross set before Jesus. He endured that trial and was victorious over death and the grave so that you may have life in Him.


Not Ashamed!

Romans 1:16–17

Dr. Jason Allen


Paul wanted to reach the world with the gospel and with that as priority number one, his attention was drawn to Rome, a city like no other. Like London a century ago, Rome was the political, military, and economic hub of the world. Yet, in spite of their unchallenged global supremacy, the people of Rome were adrift morally, dead spiritually, and culturally decadent. As we look at Rome we see ourselves. We are a nation adrift , spiritually in retreat, and morally in decay. Abortion, the militant homosexual agenda, gender confusion, and the utter breakdown of the family mark our culture today. Yet, we still have an unmatched opportunity to preach the gospel. We should feel the burden and passion that Paul felt. The solution to our problems is not social engineering, government action, political activism, or even religion. Instead, the irreducible work of the church is the gospel—the work of the Great Commission. We see three demands of the gospel in this passage.

I Must Endorse the Gospel Boldly (v. 16a)

Paul states that he is not ashamed of the gospel, that he feels no loss of status through being identified with the gospel. This is easy to see two thousand years away because we know Paul as the missionary-theologian. Yet, if there was anyone who deserved to be ashamed, it would be Paul. Of all the apostles and early church leaders, no one lost more than Paul. He was imprisoned, chased out of cities, laughed at, considered a fool and a blasphemer, stoned, and left for dead. Yet he was bold for the gospel. His boldness was driven by what Christ had done for him. He had confidence in the gospel, but also indebtedness, as demonstrated in verse 14.

I Must Expect the Gospel to Work Powerfully (v. 16b)

The gospel is powerful. It is powerful because of what the message accomplishes. The term gospel refers to deliverance, being saved, being rescued. The gospel has the power to save you, to change you, to rescue you. It is powerful enough to save you from:

1. The penalty of sin: there is a hell to shun, a heaven to gain. Hell is a real place, populated with real people who feel real pain.

2. The practice of sin: before conversion, our lives were marked by sin. When we are converted, the Holy Spirit lives within us, changes us, makes us righteous in Christ, and continues to make us righteous in Christ.

3. The pain of sin: the gospel removes guilt, conviction, and shame, but it does not give us a pass on the earthly consequences of our sin.

Conclusion: I Must Embrace the Gospel Personally (v. 17)

Every person who is saved receives the righteousness of Christ. True or false: you must have a perfectly righteous life to enter heaven. True! It does not have to be yours though. Notice that verse 17 states that faith in Christ makes us righteous. Those righteous now live by faith.


Where Have All the Godly Men Gone?

1 Timothy 6:2–12

Dr. Jason Allen


The greatest need of the church today is godly men. We have more conferences than ever, but fewer conversions; more books and blogs than ever, but fewer baptisms; more doctors than ever, but less spiritual healing; more words than ever, but less witness; more products and paraphernalia than ever, but no power; more and nicer facilities, but no fire; more resources than ever, and no revival. We need more godly men.

Why are there so few godly men? Churches don't want them. Modern ministry doesn't necessitate godliness. Ministerial peer pressure doesn't encourage godliness. We value books, blogs, conferences, and intellectual achievements above godliness. It is as though someone snuck into the shopping mall of God's kingdom and changed all the price tags, upsetting and inverting God's value system, elevating the ancillary and mundane aspects of the Christian ministry while cheapening its virtues and values.

The passage before us unfolds clearly and outlines four action steps for godly men.

Flee from All Immorality (vv. 2–10)

The godly man must flee from certain things, including false doctrine, divisive personalities, and the love of money.

Follow after Christlikeness (v. 11b)

The man of God must follow aft er and pursue certain things, such as righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. These are the qualities that must characterize the godly man.

Fight for Biblical Truth (v. 12a)

The godly man must rise up and fight the good fight of the faith. This is the central aspect of the call to ministry: to guard the flock over which God has made you steward.

Be Faithful to Your Call (v. 12b)

Finally, the godly man must be faithful to his call. There is a triple calling on the life of the minister: his calling to Christ, his calling to ministry, and then his calling to a particular ministry. To these the godly man must be faithful.


How can churches ensure they have a godly man as their pastor? Fling him to his office, tear the office sign from the door, and nail on the sign, "STUDY." Take him off the mailing list, lock him up with his books and his Bible, slam him down on his knees before texts, broken hearts, the flock of lives, and a holy God.

Force him to be the one man in our shallow communities who knows about God. Throw him into the ring to box with God until he learns how short his arms really are. Engage him to wrestle with God all the night through, and let him come out only when he is bruised and beaten into a blessing. When at long last he dares enter the pulpit, ask him if he has a word from God. If he does not, then dismiss him. Command him not to come back until he has read and reread, written and rewritten, prayed and re-prayed, until he can stand up worn and forlorn, but able to say, "Thus saith the Lord."


Three Keys to Christian Contentment

Philippians 4:10–13

Dr. Jason Allen


In reading this text, we find that the idea of contentment dominates these four verses and clearly is the central idea of the passage. Interestingly, the word for content in verse 11 appears only here in the Bible, and it means to have enough or not to be in need or want of something. This issue of contentment is a pressing concern in the current age, as it is apparent that affluent Americans need a lesson in contentment. We have a fundamental lack of contentment. Non-Christian thinkers argue that the key to contentment is not to possess much, but to desire little. But, is that the case? Paul demonstrates in this text that the Christian solution to a lack of contentment is actually much different.

1. Contentment Comes by Remembering the Lord's Providence in Your Life (v. 10)

The first secret to contentment is to remember the Lord's providence in your life. God most oft en weaves the events and actions of life together in the course of our daily routine to bring about His perfect will. Oft en we don't see the higher plane of events, which is why God's providence has been referred to as "the invisible hand of God in human circumstance." In order to find contentment, Paul reminds us that we must remember God's providence in our circumstances.

2. Contentment Comes by Refusing to Focus on Your Circumstances (vv. 11–12)

Second, contentment comes by refusing to focus on your circumstances. Even though Paul was facing financial duress, he says, "I am not in want." Moreover, he states "I have learned" to be content. Contentedness is a growth process and we, like Paul, must learn it again and again and again and again. What has Paul learned?

a. Contentment is not achieved through the right circumstances.

b. Contentment may be enjoyed in spite of circumstances.

c. Contentment should not depend on circumstances.

d. Contentment should transcend circumstances.

e. Circumstances are like the tide of the ocean, ebbing and flowing.

f. Circumstances are like the weather, stormy one day and sunny the next.

What is the secret to not being absorbed in circumstances? Be absorbed in Christ. The key, then, is not to desire little but to desire Christ.

3. Contentment Comes by Relying on the Lord's Strength (v. 13)

The third secret to contentment in life is to rely on the Lord's strength. Philippians 4:13 is one of the great verses in the Bible. In applying it, we must remember that it is not a promise to be able to bench press four hundred pounds, play in the NFL, or dunk a basketball. Rather, it means that we can serve Christ faithfully when we trust and rest in Him.


In thinking through these three principles of contentment, let us remember that Paul not only taught them to the Philippians but also he embodied them. May we do the same and apply these three principles to live a contented Christian life.


How to Live So You're Ready to Die

Philippians 1:19–27

Dr. Jason Allen


In this passage Paul discusses the possible execution he may face. It is very possible that he will be put to death. Though he may face the Roman sword, he is undaunted. In this, he teaches believers today a powerful lesson.

Be Confident of Your Future in Christ (vv. 19–20a)

In this text Paul states that he is certain of his deliverance, meaning that it will come about in one of two ways: either he will be delivered from his chains through acquittal before a court of law, or he will be found guilty before the court of men, but taken to heaven where the Savior lives. Either way, his salvation is certain, his future is secure: chains will not bind him forever. Two powerful tools in this text fortify and strengthen his confidence:

1. The prayers of the saints

2. The provision of the Spirit

Yearn to See Jesus (vv. 20b–21)

Paul makes clear in verses 20b–21 that he yearns to see Christ. Death is not the end of life, but rather its beginning. The Good News Translation states it well: "For what is life? To me, it is Christ. Death, then, will bring more."

Be Committed to Fruitfully Laboring for Christ (vv. 22–23)

In these verses Paul speaks of his fruitful labor for Christ. Fruit, according to Matthew 7, is a sign of one's behavior. Think about the storms through which Paul has been and yet he still desires to labor for Christ in this world. Paul's attitude here clearly displays the fruit of the Spirit.

Be Committed to Serve Your Church for Christ (vv. 24–26)

Paul concludes this section by stating that though he longs to be with Christ, it is more important for the church at Philippi that he remain with them and labor for their sake. Take a moment to reflect on your own labor in the church. How would your departure from this life affect your church? Is it better for you to stay on earth and labor for the sake of the believers in your local body?


Excerpted from Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebook Volume 4 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Copyright © 2014 Thomas Nelson. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

For more than 20 years, O. S. Hawkins served pastorates at the First Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and in Dallas, Texas. He is president of GuideStone Financial Resources, which serves 250,000 pastors, church staff, missionaries, doctors, and other workers of various Christian organizations with their retirement needs. He is the author of more than 30 books and preaches regularly at Bible conferences, evangelism conferences, and churches across the nation.

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