The Zondervan 2004 Pastor's Annual: An Idea and Resource Book

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Overview

A Storehouse of Practical Help:

Morning and Evening Services for Every Sunday in the Year
Sermon Topics and Texts Fully Indexed
Definitive and Usable Sermon Outlines
Devotionals and Bible Studies for Midweek Services
Fresh and Applicable Illustrations
Appropriate Hymn Selections
Special-Day Services for Church and Civil Calendars
Meditations on Lord's Supper Observance
Wedding Ceremonies and Themes
Funeral Messages and Scriptures
Basic Pastoral Ministry Helps
Messages for Children and Young People
Offertory Prayers

Author Biography: T. T. Crabtree, now retired, was for many years the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri. He has also taught preaching and homiletics in Southern Baptist seminaries.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310243632
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 8/1/2003
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 1.14 (d)

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The Zondervan 2004 Pastor's Annual

An Idea and Resource Book
By T. T. Crabtree

Zondervan

Copyright © 2003 Zondervan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-310-24363-7


Chapter One

Suggested preaching program for the month of JANUARY

* Sunday Mornings

The chief end of man is to worship God and to enjoy him forever. Genuine worship is a dynamic experience that brings about dramatic changes in the life of the worshiper. We need to improve the quality of both our public worship and our private worship activities. The suggested theme for these messages comes from the psalmist: "O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker" (Ps. 95:6).

* Sunday Evenings

"The Lives and Lessons of Men of the Bible" is the suggested theme for a series of biographical messages based on famous Old Testament characters.

* Wednesday Evenings

"Participating in the Privilege of Prayer" is the suggested theme for Wednesday evenings this month. Neglect of prayer produces spiritual poverty. Participating meaningfully in a personal prayer life lets God accomplish great things through us.

SUNDAY MORNING, JANUARY 4

Title: The Spiritual Prayer Retreats of Jesus

Text: "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed" (Mark 1:35 NIV).

Scripture Reading: Mark 1:35-39

Hymns: "O Worship the King," Grant "Sweet Hour of Prayer," Walford "Teach Me to Pray," Reitz

Offertory Prayer: Father God, you have given us this day in which to live, worship, and serve. We come bringing tithes and offerings to express our love for you and our desire that the world might come to know the good news about Jesus. Bless these gifts to that end we pray. Amen.

Introduction

Our Lord not only had the habit of regularly attending public worship (Luke 4:16), but he went apart repeatedly to talk with and receive help from the Father. It is interesting to note the circumstances that provided the occasion for our Lord's going apart for a private worship experience.

I. Jesus was strongly led by the Spirit to go away into a desert place at the beginning of his earthly ministry (Mark 1:12-13).

Sometimes we fail to recognize that the Holy Spirit of God strongly led our Lord into a desolate place as he sought the direction and methods for his redemptive ministry. The forty days in the wilderness were a period of intense communion with God. Our Lord talked to his Father, and we can be sure that the Father talked to his Son. Even the angels ministered to him during this time.

II. Jesus retreated to a place of prayer when the responsibilities of life weighed heavily upon him (Mark 1:35).

Jesus found it necessary to go apart to be with God that he might receive strength and guidance and help as he faced both the opportunities and the duties that befell him. If Jesus needed a prayer retreat in the face of his responsibilities, it follows that we also need to go apart for communion with God.

III. When great choices needed to be made, our Lord made them after serious reflection and communion with the Father God (Mark 3:13-14).

Our lives would be more harmonious with the will of God and we would experience far greater joy in living if we made our life decisions matters of earnest prayer rather than just making snap decisions along the way.

IV. Our Lord experienced a retreat when he was weary and needed rest (Mark 6:30-31).

A pastor was encouraging his people to be zealous in their efforts for God. He reminded them that the Devil never takes a vacation. However, Jesus and the apostles found it necessary at times to go apart into a private place that they might rest and that the vital energies of life might be restored. If they needed this, surely we also need it from time to time.

V. Our Lord went apart to a private place for prayer when he experienced misunderstanding (Mark 6:45-46).

At times even the apostles greatly misunderstood the motives and methods of their Messiah. Following our Lord's multiplication of the loaves and fishes, these apostles were encouraging the crowd to marshal a movement to crown Jesus as their king. Our Lord broke up this demonstration and compelled the apostles to get into a boat so that he might send them away. After they were gone, he needed an experience with God and went apart for prayer.

Being misunderstood is the lot of every person, and it can be very painful. Jesus resorted to prayer when he was misunderstood, and that is what we should do.

VI. Jesus and the apostles needed time to be alone with one another (Mark 7:24).

Our Lord was an activist and was almost compulsive about ministering to the needs of people. Though he came to minister and his heart was moved by people's needs, there were times when he needed to be alone with his helpers. If Jesus needed this kind of fellowship, it follows that we are bound to need it too.

VII. Jesus retreated to a private place when he needed encouragement (Mark 9:2).

About six months before his crucifixion, Jesus took three of his disciples with him to the top of a mountain for a time of prayer. On the mountaintop, Jesus experienced the presence of Moses and Elijah. They discussed with him that which was to take place by means of his death on the cross and his resurrection from the tomb (cf. Matt. 17:1-8; Luke 9:28-36). In addition to meeting with these Old Testament characters, our Lord heard the voice of the Father expressing his divine approval.

If Jesus needed to be encouraged, all of us need to be encouraged. We can find that encouragement if we take time out to go apart and be alone with God.

VIII. Jesus went apart into a private place for prayer when he desperately needed strength for the impossible task he faced (Mark 14:32-42).

Our Lord went apart into a private place for prayer as he faced his crucifixion, and he prayed repeatedly. At that time he also needed the encouragement and strength of the prayers of his three chosen apostles who were there but who fell asleep.

Conclusion

If we are too busy to draw into a private place to commune with God and let him speak to our minds and hearts, we are entirely too busy. We all need to arrange our schedules to let God have the place that belongs to him in our lives. We should spend a time of solitude with God each day, praying and reading his Word. We all can find time and space for private worship if we set our hearts on it. Not to do so is to impoverish ourselves, to miss the blessings of God the Father.

SUNDAY EVENING, JANUARY 4

Title: Abraham: Man of Faith

Text: "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed" (Heb. 11:8).

Scripture Reading: Genesis 12:1-9; Hebrews 11:1-10

Introduction

One way to know the Bible is to become familiar with those who walk up and down in its pages. As we think about Abraham, the one word that comes to mind is faith. In the pages of Scripture, Abraham moves before us as the man through whom faith, the living principle of true religion, becomes a force in human life. Abraham's faith went beyond mere belief to action. We can learn three lessons from him.

I. Abraham illustrates that the man of faith interprets his life in terms of mission.

When Abraham was called (Gen. 12:1-3; Acts 7:1-4), he did not try to bargain with God. He allowed himself no backward glance. The Genesis account summarizes Abraham's act of faith in words of simplicity: "So Abram left, as the Lord had told him" (12:4 NIV). Faith opened up the long view and revealed the far horizon, because it lifted one isolated human being out of his hopelessness and meaninglessness and made him a part of the ongoing purpose of God.

Abraham viewed his life in terms of mission. He regarded himself as a person sent by God. This same sense of mission is found in that select company of the faithful through the centuries. The supreme example of this is Jesus, who was conscious of a unique relationship with the Father at the age of twelve (Luke 2:49) and who, when he was grown up, said again and again, "He sent me" (John 7:29 NIV).

Here is a frame in which every Christian can put his or her own picture. Such a sense of mission is not reserved for a few like Abraham and Moses, Jesus and Paul. Our faith has failed unless it has helped us to interpret our lives in terms of God's will and to know that, like Abraham, we have been called for a specific purpose. Such a sense of mission does two things for us.

A. This sense of mission gives purpose and meaning to our daily work. A cook in a certain household spoke the truth when she said, "Life around here is so daily." Many people would echo that sentiment. Multitudes move along in a treadmill kind of existence, bored to tears. The solution to this problem can be found in going back to Abraham and learning from him a sense of mission. This door stands open to every Christian.

B. This sense of mission offers not only purpose but power. Faith in God is not simply an exalted philosophy of life, a savior from the darkness of unbelief, and a sustaining motive for patient service; it is also a source of power for positive achievement. When people are doing what they are convinced is God's will, they can count on God's power and feel that they are in harmony with his purpose for them.

II. Abraham demonstrates that the man of faith is not always a man of perfect character.

When God told Abraham, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be thou perfect" (Gen. 17:1), he was urging his servant to live in close touch with him and thus live a life of moral perfection. But Abraham did not always do this.

A. Note the lapses of faith for Abraham. In both Egypt (Gen. 12:10-20) and later in Gerar (Gen. 20), Abraham, to save his own life, introduced his wife, Sarah, as his sister. The fact that she was his half-sister (Gen. 20:12) did not excuse this weak and sinful act. Sarah was taken into the harems of Pharaoh and Abimelech respectively. In both instances, disaster was averted by God's intervention. What a sad scene to see this man of God being rebuked by pagan rulers. Another lapse of faith occurred when, upon Sarah's suggestion, Abraham took her Egyptian slave woman, Hagar, as a secondary wife hoping that she might bear the promised heir. According to the accepted custom of the time, a child born in this relationship was considered the child of the real wife. Not only did this violate God's ideal of monogamy in marriage, but it was also a failure of faith on the part of both Sarah and Abraham when they attempted to take matters into their own hands instead of waiting on God's promise.

B. Note the lesson for us from Abraham's failures. Some years ago a book was published with the title For Sinners Only. That would be a good motto for a church, for Christians are not persons without sin; rather, they are sinners saved by grace.

David, described as a man after God's own heart (1 Sam. 13:14), was not without failure. He was so described, yet we can't help but think of his dark sins. In the New Testament, the people who are called "saints" were not perfect. The thing that marked them as God's people is this: When they fell down they got up and tried again. The cross we are to carry is the daily battle with sin (Luke 9:23).

Upon being asked which of his paintings he considered the best, a great artist immediately replied, "The next one." This is the mark of a Christian. Granted, we have our failures, but we always want to do better, mean to do better, and try to do better.

III. Abraham teaches that the man of faith is given courage to face the dark facts of his experience.

Abraham shows us that we are to follow God through thick and thin, through dark days and sunshine, and through times when we do not understand as well as times when the way is clear.

God's command to sacrifice Isaac was the supreme test of Abraham's life. But Abraham neither argued nor delayed. The wood was cut, the servants enlisted. The three-day trip to the mountain was made. To the lad's question, "But where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" we find the answer of utter faith: "God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son" (Gen. 22:7-8). Then the altar was built and the wood laid in order. Abraham bound Isaac and placed him on the altar. He raised the knife, but before it fell, God intervened to stay Abraham's hand and a ram was substituted for the boy.

Centuries later in the temple, which tradition says was built on this very site, Jesus said to those who had made themselves his enemies, "Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it and was glad" (John 8:56). When did Abraham see Christ's day? When he refused to withhold his "beloved son" from God.

When we find ourselves utterly tested as Abraham was, where does faith fit into the picture? In one of two ways. It may be that God will not require the sacrifice he seems to ask. When Abraham met the test, his son was spared. Sometimes it works out that way. But on the other hand, no one can talk about this test God made of Abraham and not admit that sometimes Isaac is not spared. When God's own Son was on the cross, the voice was not heard, the hand was not stayed, and God gave his Son to die for us.

Sometimes we pray and the blow falls anyway. Does this mean that faith has failed? No! There are two ways in which God saves: He saves us from the thing we fear, or he saves us in it by giving us the grace to come through.

Conclusion

Great faith does involve great peace, assurance, and certitude; but more than that, it involves great doubt, disillusionment, and despair. It involves victories, yes, but also defeats. These darker experiences are not wholly negative or lost. They serve, as it were, as God's tools for strengthening our souls. Our great need is faith. God give us faith!

WEDNESDAY EVENING, JANUARY 7

Title: The Principles of Prayer

Text: "In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete" (John 16:23-24 NIV).

Scripture Reading: John 16:23-24

Introduction

The Bible urges us to pray. Yet many complain that their prayers are unanswered. They have not obtained the results for which they were looking.

Continues...


Excerpted from The Zondervan 2004 Pastor's Annual by T. T. Crabtree Copyright © 2003 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
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.

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Table of Contents

Contents


Preface......................................................................................................................................9
Acknowledgments..............................................................................................................................10
Contributing Authors.........................................................................................................................11
SERMONS
Jan 4 Sun AM The Spiritual Prayer Retreats of Jesus (Mark 1:35-39)..........................................................................13
Jan 4 Sun PM Abraham: Man of Faith (Gen. 12:1-9; Heb. 11:1-10)..............................................................................16
Jan 7 Wed The Principles of Prayer (John 16:23-24)..........................................................................................18
Jan 11 Sun AM The Nature of True Worship (John 4:21-24)......................................................................................21
Jan 11 Sun PM Lot: The Road That Leads Away from God (Gen. 13:1-13)..........................................................................24
Jan 14 Wed The Power of Prayer (James 5:16)..................................................................................................27
Jan 18 Sun AM Worshiping God with Our Gifts (1 Chron. 16:28-34; Mark 12:41-44)...............................................................29
Jan 18 Sun PM Eliezer: The Marks of a Steward (Gen. 24:1-67).................................................................................31
Jan 21 Wed The Practice of Prayer (Jer. 33:3; Luke 10:2; 11:9; Col. 4:12)....................................................................34
Jan 25 Sun AM The Hiding Place (Pss. 46:1; 61:1-5; 91:4; Prov. 18:10; Isa. 32:1-2)...........................................................37
Jan 25 Sun PM Moses: A Very Great Man (Exod. 11:1-8; Acts 7:20-41)...........................................................................39
Jan 28 Wed Persistence in Prayer (Luke 11:5-13; 18:1-8)......................................................................................43
Feb 1 Sun AM Go Out Quickly (Luke 14:15-23).................................................................................................46
Feb 1 Sun PM David: Preparing for Great Encounters (1 Sam. 17:17-54)........................................................................49
Feb 4 Wed The Habit of Regular Church Attendance (Luke 4:16-20).............................................................................51
Feb 8 Sun AM How Can We Compel People to Come to the Banquet? (Luke 14:15-24)...............................................................53
Feb 8 Sun PM Elijah: The Education of a Prophet (1 Kings 19:1-18)...........................................................................56
Feb 11 Wed The Habit of Prayer (Luke 11:1-13)................................................................................................59
Feb 15 Sun AM The Penalty of Being Useless (Luke 13:1-9).....................................................................................60
Feb 15 Sun PM Jeroboam: Easy Religion (1 Kings 12:21-33).....................................................................................63
Feb 18 Wed The Habit of Being Filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14-21).....................................................................66
Feb 22 Sun AM The Peril of Having an Empty Soul (Matt. 12:43-45).............................................................................67
Feb 22 Sun PM Ahab: Five Chapters in a Story (1 Kings 21:1-26)...............................................................................70
Feb 25 Wed The Habit of Loving (Mark 10:17-22)...............................................................................................73
Feb 29 Sun AM Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant (Matt. 25:14-30)..........................................................................75
Feb 29 Sun PM Gehazi: The Unmasking of a Wicked Heart (2 Kings 5:1-27).......................................................................78
Mar 3 Wed The Habit of Serving (Mark 10:35-45)..............................................................................................82
Mar 7 Sun AM Is There a God? (Gen. 1:1).....................................................................................................84
Mar 7 Sun PM Ezekiel: Individual Responsibility (Ezek. 33:1-20).............................................................................87
Mar 10 Wed The Habit of Giving (Matt. 6:19-21)...............................................................................................91
Mar 14 Sun AM Put Aside Your Excuses (Luke 14:16-24).........................................................................................92
Mar 14 Sun PM Barnabas: The Layman (Acts 9:26-30; 11:19-26)..................................................................................95
Mar 17 Wed The Habit of Forgiving (Matt. 18:21-35)...........................................................................................98
Mar 21 Sun AM The Blessing of Believing (John 1:43-51).......................................................................................100
Mar 21 Sun PM Paul: Marks of a Well-Adjusted Personality (Phil. 3:3-4:20)....................................................................102
Mar 24 Wed The Habit of Seeing the Good (John 1:35-42).......................................................................................106
Mar 28 Sun AM Why Did God Send His Son into the World? (John 3:14-21)........................................................................107
Mar 28 Sun PM Demas: The Quitter (2 Tim. 4:9-18).............................................................................................110
Mar 31 Wed The Habit of Witnessing (Luke 4:40-44)............................................................................................113
Apr 4 Sun AM The Weeping King (Luke 19:28-44)...............................................................................................115
Apr 4 Sun PM Before You Talk, Listen (Ezek. 2:8-3:21).......................................................................................118
Apr 7 Wed The Church at Thessalonica (1 Thess. 1:1-10)......................................................................................121
Apr 11 Sun AM Guess Who Came to Church This Morning (Rev. 1:9-20)............................................................................123
Apr 11 Sun PM We Are Responsible for the Lost (Ezek. 3:17-21)................................................................................125
Apr 14 Wed Grace and Peace (1 Cor. 15:9-10; 1 Thess. 1:1)....................................................................................128
Apr 18 Sun AM Both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:32-36)............................................................................................129
Apr 18 Sun PM God Accepts No Proxy Religion (Ezek. 18:1-4)...................................................................................131
Apr 21 Wed "I Hope So" or "I Know"? (1 Thess. 1:2-10)........................................................................................134
Apr 25 Sun AM Death Is Defeated (Heb. 9:27-28)...............................................................................................135
Apr 25 Sun PM Whatever Comes, Serve the Lord (Ezek. 24:15-18)................................................................................138
Apr 28 Wed How to Win Friends and Influence People-for Christ! (1 Thess. 2:1-20).............................................................140
May 2 Sun AM Living at Home During the Storm (Matt. 7:24-27)................................................................................142
May 2 Sun PM Can a Dead Thing Really Live Again? (Ezek. 37:1-11)............................................................................145
May 5 Wed How to Handle Trouble (1 Thess. 3:1-13)...........................................................................................147
May 9 Sun AM A Great Woman (2 Kings 4:8-26).................................................................................................149
May 9 Sun PM Come Drink from God's Fountain (Ezek. 47:1-12).................................................................................152
May 12 Wed A Sanctified Person (1 Thess. 4:1-12).............................................................................................153
May 16 Sun AM Is It Okay to Be Single? (Matt. 19:10-12; 1 Cor. 7:7, 17-35)...................................................................155
May 16 Sun PM Personal Purity Pays (Dan. 1:1-21).............................................................................................157
May 19 Wed Whether Awake or Asleep (1 Thess. 4:13-5:11)......................................................................................160
May 23 Sun AM The Covenant of Marriage (Mal. 2:10-16)........................................................................................161
May 23 Sun PM God Has His Hand on History (Dan. 2:1-49)......................................................................................164
May 26 Wed Body Life (1 Thess. 5:12-15)......................................................................................................166
May 30 Sun AM Do You Know Where Your Children Are? (Luke 2:39-52)............................................................................167
May 30 Sun PM Trust God and Take Your Stand (Dan. 3:1-30)....................................................................................170
Jun 2 Wed God's Will for You (Phil. 4:4-7; 1 Thess. 5:16-18)................................................................................173
Jun 6 Sun AM Honor Within the Home (Exod. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-4)................................................................................175
Jun 6 Sun PM Learn the Lesson God Wants to Teach (Dan. 4:1-37)..............................................................................177
Jun 9 Wed Three Essentials for a Growing Church (1 Thess. 5:23-28)..........................................................................180
Jun 13 Sun AM Good Things That Make a Bad Marriage (Gen. 2:18-25)............................................................................181
Jun 13 Sun PM Do You Weigh Enough? (Dan. 5:1-31).............................................................................................183
Jun 16 Wed When the Lord Is Revealed (2 Thess. 1:3-12).......................................................................................185
Jun 20 Sun AM Daddy, How Do You Spell Love? (1 John 4:7-16)..................................................................................187
Jun 20 Sun PM Believe in God; He'll See You Through (Dan. 6:1-28)............................................................................190
Jun 23 Wed The Man of Sin (2 Thess. 2:1-12)..................................................................................................192
Jun 27 Sun AM Partnership in Prayer (Acts 12:1-19)...........................................................................................193
Jun 27 Sun PM The Wisdom of Winning (Dan. 12:1-4)............................................................................................196
Jun 30 Wed The Lord Is Faithful (2 Thess. 3:1-5, 16).........................................................................................199
Jul 4 Sun AM Let Freedom Ring (Ps. 33:1-12).................................................................................................202
Jul 4 Sun PM The Life of Christian Joy (Phil. 4:4-7)........................................................................................205
Jul 7 Wed The Promise of God: Part 1 (Psalm 23).............................................................................................209
Jul 11 Sun AM The Pattern for Prevailing Prayer (Eph. 6:10-17)...............................................................................210
Jul 11 Sun PM The Church Victorious (Col. 1:3-14)............................................................................................213
Jul 14 Wed The Presence of the Personal God: Part 2 (Psalm 23)...............................................................................216
Jul 18 Sun AM Intercessory Prayer (Neh. 1:1-11)..............................................................................................218
Jul 18 Sun PM The Return of Christ (1 Thess. 4:13-5:22)......................................................................................220
Jul 21 Wed The Providence of God: Part 3 (Psalm 23)..........................................................................................223
Jul 25 Sun AM The Answer to Our Disturbing Situation (Eph. 6:10-20)..........................................................................224
Jul 25 Sun PM Seven Things You Should Know About Christ's Return (2 Thess. 2:1-3)............................................................227
Jul 28 Wed The Provision of God: Part 4 (Psalm 23)...........................................................................................230
Aug 1 Sun AM False Promises (Gen. 3:1-10)...................................................................................................232
Aug 1 Sun PM The Easy Road of Resistance (Jonah 1:1-3)......................................................................................236
Aug 4 Wed The Provision of God: Part 5 (Psalm 23)...........................................................................................239
Aug 8 Sun AM A Tree of Testing or a Tree of Trusting (Gen. 3:1-10)..........................................................................240
Aug 8 Sun PM The High Cost of Disobedience (Jonah 1:4-17)...................................................................................244
Aug 11 Wed The Provision of God: Part 6 (Psalm 23)...........................................................................................246
Aug 15 Sun AM Why Eve? (Gen. 3:1-10).........................................................................................................247
Aug 15 Sun PM The Deep Agony of Chastisement (Jonah 2:1-9)...................................................................................251
Aug 18 Wed The Provision of God: Part 7 (Psalm 23)...........................................................................................254
Aug 22 Sun AM God's Bad Reputation (Gen. 3:1-10).............................................................................................255
Aug 22 Sun PM The Loving Patience of God (Jonah 2:10-3:9)....................................................................................259
Aug 25 Wed The Protection of God: Part 8 (Psalm 23)..........................................................................................261
Aug 29 Sun AM Fig Leaves (Gen. 3:1-10).......................................................................................................263
Aug 29 Sun PM The Continuing Battle with Rebellion (Jonah 3:10-4:10).........................................................................266
Sep 1 Wed The Provision and Protection of God: Part 9 (Psalm 23)............................................................................270
Sept 5 Sun AM The Savior's Concern and Our Concern (Luke 15:1-7).............................................................................271
Sep 5 Sun PM What Must I Do to Be Saved? (Acts 16:19-34)....................................................................................274
Sep 8 Wed The Provision of God: Part 10 (Psalm 23)..........................................................................................276
Sep 12 Sun AM Searching for Silver Treasures (Luke 15:1-10)..................................................................................277
Sep 12 Sun PM Life's Greatest Experience (Luke 19:1-10)......................................................................................279
Sep 15 Wed The Provision of God: Part 11 (Psalm 23)..........................................................................................281
Sep 19 Sun AM Living in the Far Country at Our Address (Luke 15:11-32).......................................................................282
Sep 19 Sun PM Four Aspects of Christlikeness (Matt. 5:13-16).................................................................................285
Sep 22 Wed That Which Follows: Part 12 (Psalm 23)............................................................................................287
Sep 26 Sun AM Bringing Joy in Heaven and on Earth (Luke 15:1-7, 10, 22-24)...................................................................288
Sep 26 Sun PM Allowing Christ to Change Us (Luke 19:1-10)....................................................................................291
Sep 29 Wed The Eternal Place of Abode: Part 13 (Psalm 23)....................................................................................294
Oct 3 Sun AM Understanding the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-18, 26)..............................................................................295
Oct 3 Sun PM How God Confronts Us (Exod. 3:1-22)............................................................................................298
Oct 6 Wed Christ and Adam's Rib (Gen. 2:21-24; Eph. 5:30-32)................................................................................301
Oct 10 Sun AM Recognizing the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).....................................................................................304
Oct 10 Sun PM How God Delivers Us (Exod. 12:29-32, 50; 13:1-2, 17-22)........................................................................306
Oct 13 Wed The Protevangelium-The First Gospel Message (Gen. 3:15; John 5:45-47; 1 Peter 1:8-11).............................................310
Oct 17 Sun AM Cooperating with the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-11)................................................................................312
Oct 17 Sun PM How God Provides for Us (Exod. 16:1-9).........................................................................................315
Oct 20 Wed Christ and the Animal Sacrifices (Gen. 3:21; 1 Peter 1:18-19).....................................................................318
Oct 24 Sun AM Yielding to the Holy Spirit (Rom. 6:13; 1 Thess. 5:19).........................................................................321
Oct 24 Sun PM How God Teaches Us (Exod. 19:16-20; 20:1-17)...................................................................................324
Oct 27 Wed Christ and Noah's Ark (Gen. 6:13-15; Heb. 11:7)...................................................................................327
Oct 31 Sun AM Walking in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-18)...........................................................................................329
Oct 31 Sun PM How God Reaches Us (Exod. 25:1-9; 29:43-46)....................................................................................332
Nov 3 Wed Christ and Isaac, the Son of Promise (Gen. 12:1-2; 18:10-12; 21:1-3; 22:1-3)......................................................336
Nov 7 Sun AM The Grace of Giving and the Glory of Christ (2 Cor. 8:7-9, 16-23)..............................................................339
Nov 7 Sun PM A Testimony of Redemption (Ps. 107:1-32).......................................................................................342
Nov 10 Wed Christ and Isaac's Bride (Gen. 24:1-4)............................................................................................345
Nov 14 Sun AM Generous Sowing Means a Generous Harvest (2 Cor. 9:6-12).......................................................................347
Nov 14 Sun PM The Salvation of a Scarlet Woman (John 4:4-30, 39-42)..........................................................................350
Nov 17 Wed Christ and Joseph (Gen. 45:1-15)..................................................................................................352
Nov 21 Sun AM It Is a Good Thing to Give Thanks (Ps. 92:1-4; Eph. 5:18-20)...................................................................355
Nov 21 Sun PM Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:17-21)................................................................................................357
Nov 24 Wed Build Me a Sanctuary! (Exod. 25:1-9)..............................................................................................360
Nov 28 Sun AM God Makes Things New (Ezek. 36:22-31)..........................................................................................362
Nov 28 Sun PM Faith Worth Passing On (2 Tim. 1:1-2:2)........................................................................................365
Dec 1 Wed One Way-The Curtains of the Tabernacle (Exod. 26:1-14)............................................................................368
Dec 5 Sun AM Good News of Great Joy to All the People (Luke 2:8-14).........................................................................370
Dec 5 Sun PM Spiritual Burnout (Gal. 6:7-9).................................................................................................372
Dec 8 Wed The Brazen Altar and Laver-First Steps toward God (Exod. 27:1-8; 30:17-21)........................................................374
Dec 12 Sun AM The Joys of Christmas (Luke 2:8-15)............................................................................................377
Dec 12 Sun PM In Celebration of Solitude (1 Kings 17:1-7; 18:1-6)............................................................................379
Dec 15 Wed The Table of Shewbread and the Golden Lampstand-The Body of Christ and the Light of the World (Exod.25:23-40).....................381
Dec 19 Sun AM The Glowing Light of the Lord's Presence (Matt. 5:14-16; Luke 2:8-14)..........................................................383
Dec 19 Sun PM Strength Out of Weakness (2 Cor. 12:1-7).......................................................................................386
Dec 22 Wed The Golden Altar-The Place of Prayer (Exod. 30:1-10)..............................................................................387
Dec 26 Sun AM Teach Us to Number Our Days (James 4:13-15)....................................................................................389
Dec 26 Sun PM Have a Good Day (Matt. 6:25-34)................................................................................................392
Dec 29 Wed The Ark of the Covenant-The Presence of God (Exod. 25:10-22)......................................................................394
MISCELLANEOUS HELPS
Messages on the Lord's Supper
Making the Lord's Supper Memorable (1 Cor. 11:23-25).........................................................................................397
What Is Communion to Us? (1 Cor. 10:16-17; 11:20-26).........................................................................................399
Proclaiming the Lord's Death (1 Cor. 11:23-26)...............................................................................................401
Messages for Children and Young People
Thou Art the Potter (Jer. 18:1-4)............................................................................................................403
The Foolish Person (Luke 12:16-21)...........................................................................................................405
Precious Treasure (Matt. 13:44-46)...........................................................................................................406
Funeral Meditations
Facing the Death of a Loved One (1 Thess. 4:13-18)...........................................................................................408
God's Consolation for Our Cares (2 Cor. 1:3-5)...............................................................................................410
Really Believing in Heaven (John 14:1-3).....................................................................................................412
Weddings
A Wedding Ceremony...........................................................................................................................415
A Wedding Ceremony...........................................................................................................................416
A Wedding Ceremony...........................................................................................................................418
Sentence Sermonettes.........................................................................................................................421
INDEXES
Subject Index................................................................................................................................423
Index of Scripture Texts.....................................................................................................................427
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