God is at Work, I Will Not Fear - Didn't Make the Final Cut, or "Bonus Sermon Material from Sunday."

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Things have to get cut from the sermon, and it's not always easy to decide what gets chopped. Here's a piece that I had to drop from the final edition of Sunday's sermon:

In verses 3-6 in Acts 28, Paul was bitten by a viper gathering firewood. His was not the usual panic of someone bitten by a snake – he calmly shook it off. If that were me, well, Luke would have recorded a very different reaction.

This is a reminder that following Christ doesn't mean “exempt from trouble”. Sometimes the Gospel is presented that way – follow Jesus and everything will be great! Reality check: sometimes you get snake-bitten, literally or metaphorically.

God didn't prevent the bite, but God instead healed Paul.

It sort of reminded me of Daniel. God didn't keep Daniel from the lion's den, but he kept the lions mouths shut. Speaking of the book of Daniel, this also makes me think of the Hebrews in the fiery furnace. God didn't keep them out of the furnace, He went in with them. You are not exempt from trouble when you follow Jesus, BUT - you are invincible until your mission is over.

IT IS FINISHED! Didn't Make the Final Cut, or “Bonus Sermon Material From Sunday":

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Here is a chunk that got cut from “It is finished”:

One of the things that is finished is the threat of facing punishment for our sins. Many Christian men I have personally spoken to have felt like God is still going to punish them someday for their sins, even though these men all claim to know and have received Jesus. 

There is a word used 3 times in the Bible that you need to learn: propitiation (Romans 3:25, 1John 2:2, 4:10).

What does this word mean? it means God is satisfied. God looked at the work of Jesus and said, "That's it. That satisfies my justice, my holy requirements, and my wrath. I am 100% appeased because of Jesus."

Jesus' death on the cross, in your place, satisfied God's wrath. God has none left for the one in Jesus. Even when a believer sins, God is not “angry” with them – that would mean God is still viewing us based on our performance. God views the believer based on Christ's performance - It is Finished!

I really wanted this in the sermon. It didn't make the cut. So we'll share it here. 

pastor jeff




"I Thirst!" - Didn't Make the Final Cut, or “Bonus Sermon Material From Sunday":

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Here was a chunk that got cut from “I Thirst”:

Isaiah 53:7 says that Jesus was led like a lamb to slaughter. This points out something else about Jesus being the “Lamb” that is often overlooked: Lambs aren't herded and prodded like cattle – lambs are led. Willingly following. I read that most people who are being led to be crucified have a major meltdown. The thought of what is coming makes them completely freak out, to the point they need dragged. I totally get that! But Jesus was willing to walk Himself, even carrying His cross part of the way – without resisting. No meltdowns. No freak outs. Willingly being led. Not by the Romans. But by His Father.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Jeff


Didn't make the cut, or "Bonus Sermon Material from Sunday".

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Didn't Make the Final Cut:

The hard part of preaching isn't coming up with content.

The hard part of preaching isn't “what am I going to say?”. It's actually “what am I going to cut?”. That's why some sermons seem like pastors get paid by the word.

So I've decided to take some material that got cut and put it on the blog. If Murphy comes up with the technology, maybe someday we can put this material on the sermon podcast and feature “Director's Cut” editions of sermons.

Here was a chunk that got cut from “My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”:

"We can lose the impact of hell when we teach on it, because in our day: hell has no fury, because we have trivialized it.

We tell jokes about it, it is depicted in cartoons, it's just a word that makes it into our casual conversations! My knee hurts like hell, that was a hell of a game, he is one hell of a hard worker.

Hell has no fury because we have trivialized it, and people don't know what the Bible actually says about it. People are blissfully ignorant! I have heard many people say regarding hell I know I'm going there, and that's okay – all of my friends will be there.

Such a foolish and tragic statement! You have no idea how horrible hell is! The Bible says it is a place of darkness, weeping, gnashing of teeth, and eternal torment."

I believe all of this is true, but for the sermon Sunday, it didn't fit with the rest of it the way I hoped it would. So it got cut.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Jeff