I love the fact that some of the people here read scripture and really READ it. I am trying so hard to push this in my congregation. Most of our older members have been spoon fed by shallow preaching and not challenged for so long they are strugling with it. Thank God our younger generation is picking it up pretty quick. I love it when I get calls during the week from members asking questions about the context of something or what I'm preaching next so they can study it. I have always been nervous about preaching through a book or a series because I always wanted to leave room for the Holy Spirit to lead me on what to preach. After ALOT of praying about it, I said that I would try it and boy has the Holy Spirit ever showed up!! It seems like he always brings some great truths out that are perfect for these people at that time. God is amazing like that. I still refuse to be married to the series, if something else is put on my heart, I step out of it for a week or so.
I am breaking down this text in 3 parts as a story of 2 cities:
1. vs6&7 (city called) No Hope
2.vs8&9 (bridge between the 2 cities) God's Amazing Love
3. vs10&11 (city called) New Hope
Alot more depth will be involved but I'm not gonna bore yall with all that. It was pretty awesome because our minister of music called today and let me know that he was going to sing a special(a solo, if you arent up with baptist's lame lingo) before I preached and I asked what it was and he told me it was "Amazing Love (how can it be)" I asked him if he could also do it after I preached and slow it down so we could use it as an invitation.
I hope I'm not Boring yall with all of this because I am pumped about the direction our church is heading in. We are out growing our building VERY quickly, and its not just people moving from other churches. We have had alot of salvations and are Baptizing pretty often. I am pumped and excited that God is letting me be a part of this.
Sorry I posted all this, I just had to get it all out and let someone who would apreciate it know.