The Bucket List
It's time to revise your bucket list and live according to God's priorities.
The Story Behind the Sermon (Dan Meyer)
This sermon was the third-to-last installment of a year-long survey of the Bible's great stories and themes that I entitled, "The Storyline." My last two installments would focus on the major themes of the Book of Revelation. The two preceding it were to be an overview of the ministry and message of the Apostle Paul. My colleague, Greg Ogden, was in the saddle to deliver the first of the two sermons about Paul. I would cover the second half of the material. We divvied up a selection of texts from the Book of Acts and the Epistles from which each of us would develop our messages.
To both my delight and my chagrin, Greg did a particularly wonderful job of summarizing the life story and major theological emphases of the Apostle Paul. I sat there listening to his message and thought to myself, "This is really great, but what's left? He's said it all. Maybe I should just stand up next week and encourage everyone to go back and read the sermon from last week." As some of you may know from your own preaching journey, having nothing more to say is not a happy feeling.
In that peculiar state of despair and longing known only to those who write on a weekly deadline, I began to beg God for inspiration. As it happened, he used the occasion of an upcoming holiday and the remembrance of two prior experiences to answer my prayer.
First, the Sunday I was next scheduled to preach was Father's Day. That reality began to prescribe for me something of the boundaries of the message I needed to give. I felt led to preach something that came from the "fatherly" heart of Paul toward the Christian family.
Second, some years before, in a series on the Book of Acts, I preached a message about Paul's farewell message ...
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Dan Meyer is pastor of Christ Church of Oak Brook in Oak Brook, Illinois.