Starting in January, I preached 5 sermons about the definition of the gospel and our responsibility as the people of God to keep it foremost in the ministry of our church.
I then preached 7 sermons based on the “I AM” statements of Jesus from the gospel of John. These sermons tell us all about who Jesus is and how He embodies that meaning and truth of what the gospel is all about and how we are to make it a primary influence in the world.
After the “I AM” statements of Jesus, I preached 8 sermons on the statements of Jesus from the cross. The gospel is displayed by the suffering and death Jesus endured on the cross in order to save us from our sins. There would not be a gospel without Christ’s willingness to suffer and die in our place. At the cross, Jesus paid the price for our sins. To that end, the men of our church built a Gospel Garden between the two buildings on our property and raised a beautiful cross to remind us that the cross is central to the gospel message and to the ministry of our church. You cannot drive into our parking lots without being aware of the cross and the beauty of the gospel message.
Today, I begin a new sermon series about the appearances and statements of Jesus following His resurrection. Prior to the resurrection, Jesus spoke to multitudes of people, religious leaders of His day, and His closest followers about His relationship to God and His ministry in the world. Following His resurrection, He appeared to His disciples, several women, and a larger group of about 500 people. In these encounters, He spoke about His continuing mission to make the gospel known to the entire world. There were 10 appearances Jesus made following His resurrection. There will be one sermon on each appearance which should take us through the summer.
Following the summer months, I will begin a sermon series on the prayer life of Jesus. This series will encompass not only the prayers that Jesus prayed, but also the things He taught us about how we should pray. We will finish our Year of the Gospel with instruction and inspiration from our Lord Jesus about becoming more like Him when we pray. The gospel will never become what it should be in our lives without prayer. Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which your pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” (Mark 11:24)
The most powerful influence in the world is the prayers of God’s people. We need to pray more, but we also need to learn how to pray like Jesus. Begin to pray now that God will do mighty and great things through our praying like Jesus taught us to pray.