Sunday, October 03, 2010


I've mostly given up on the idea that a sermon can change anyone or anything. I've heard - and preached - hundreds of sermons in my lifetime. Only a handful of these - literally maybe only six or seven of them - have had any real impact on my spiritual life. That means that most of them have done nothing to draw me nearer to Jesus.

Have you ever run across a set of old notes in your Bible or in a notebook? What good did it do us to write things down, underline passages and jot down sermon points only to tuck them away for months or years?

The Gospel isn't meant to be studied. It's not something we are called to disect. It's a life we are called to live before men.

Bible Studies, while they are helpful to us, only fill our heads with knowledge. But unless we obey God's Word and put the teaching's of Jesus into practice, we are fooling ourselves.

"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." - Jesus (John 13:17)

Putting the words and teachings of Jesus into practice is what we are called to do. Not to gather more and more knowledge. Knowledge does not save us. Jesus saves us.

"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." - Jesus (John 17:3)

The word for "know" here in this passage is the same word used for when a man "knows" his wife. This sort of knowledge is not about information, it's about intimacy and transparency and trust.

The kind of "Knowledge" we are called to have about God and His Son is the quality of knowing that conceives something within us. It is a knowledge that must give birth to the life of Christ within.

"You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life." - Jesus (John 4:39-40)

Studying the scriptures, listening to great sermons (even the one's I preach), and reading the Bible are great, but they are not the object of our faith. Jesus is our life. Jesus is our hope. Jesus is the living God we are called to know, and that knowing must involve an intimacy that conceives a new life in our hearts.

The good news is that Jesus wants us to find him. He's already promised that those who seek him will find him.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." - Jesus (Matthew 7:7-8)

One of the the names of Jesus is "Emmanuel" which means "God with us." He is not far away. He is near. He is available. He loves to reveal more of Himself to those who hunger and thirst for Him.

We find our life in Jesus. We find our hope in Him alone.

"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as[c] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." -Jesus (John 7:37-38)

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