Category Archives: Teaching & Preaching

4 Sermons You Should Listen To

For the past ten years, I’ve been updating a podcast called “Feed My Sheep” with sermons preached at our church, sorted by date and book of the Bible.

There is no greater joy in ministry than studying and proclaiming the Word of God to the people of God for the glory of God. One of my life verses is Colossians 1:28–29:

Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

It’s hard to believe, but our podcast site now contains more than 500 sermons, including series on Ecclesiastes, the Gospel of Mark, Gospel of John, 1 Corinthians, Titus, 1 John, and every week we are adding new content on the Epistle of Paul to the Romans. That’s a lot of material. But what if you wanted to catch just the “highlight” reel? Which sermons should you listen to first?

In our church’s membership class, we like to present discipleship as a four-phase gospel growth process: outreach, follow-up, growth, and training in ministry (see The Trellis & The Vine for more on this). For each of these four phases, we then refer prospective members to a few resources that could help them to identify where they are at in the process, and to facilitate further gospel growth.

With that in mind, here are four sermons from our podcast I think could help you on your spiritual journey…

For Outreach

Only Believe “(John 3:16) – A look at what is arguably the most important verse in the Bible. Answers the important question, “What must I do to be saved?” How you understand and respond to the gospel will determine where you spend eternity.

For Follow-Up

Spiritual Discipline: How to Improve Your Walk with God” – This was a Wednesday Night Bible Study I taught based on Donald Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian LifeUse this link to access the whole audio series and handouts, or get a sample by listening to the episode below on prayer.

For Growth

Love: The Great Commandment” (1 John 4:19) – Our sermon series on 1 John dealt with the question, “How can I know for sure I’m saved?” This sermon summarizes the book and our aim in the Christian life.

For Training in Ministry

Rise Up, O Men of God” (Titus 1:5-9) – The first in a series I entitled, “Fit for Duty,” on the qualifications of an elder. These are characteristics every Christian should aspire to, as we accept the task of shepherding those under our care.

Question: Think of a sermon that had a direct impact on your life (whether at our church or some other church or radio ministry). What was it? How did it change you?

When Heaven Celebrates

Jesus tells three stories of lost items – the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son, better known as the prodigal son.

Each of these parables capture the perilous condition of the unbeliever as “lost,” but also the inexpressible joy in heaven when a person repents.

Luke 15:10 says “there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” This suggests that angels and saints in heaven rejoice when a person is saved. But more importantly, it teaches that God himself celebrates every time an unbeliever turns from sin and trusts in Jesus.

What a thought! God loves to save people! Are we equally enthusiastic?

Our church is starting a summer series on evangelism that will teach us how to overcome fear and share our faith, with the goal that God would be glorified and more people in our community would be saved. I invite you to follow along online.

The first sermon, “When Heaven Celebrates,” is now available for free download from our church podcast.

From Sadness to Gladness

Last Sunday, we had the joy of observing both Christian ordinances – baptism and the Lord’s supper. It was an extra special day for me because I got to baptize Heidi and watch her share her testimony before the congregation.

I don’t always preach topically on a holiday, but since it was Mother’s Day and we are in-between sermon series right now, I chose to preach on Psalm 119:9, “He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!”

This passage captures the heartache of barrenness, but also the redemptive love of God, and the power of answered prayer. I was struck how a childless mother illustrates the theme of “great reversal” woven throughout scripture.

It is a painful topic, yet it reminds us God will one day wipe away our tears and correct every injustice. The same God who is “high above all nations” (verse 4) also “raises the poor from the dust” (verse 7).

I loved this note in The ESV Study Bible: “God’s majesty never implies his remoteness from those who look to him; it implies instead his exhaustive attention to detail, and his inexhaustible ability to care for his faithful.” Praise God that he is both transcendent and immanent!

Sunday’s sermon “From Sadness to Gladness” is now available for free download from our church podcast.

Firstborn From the Dead

Every baseball is made with exact specifications. 108 red stitches are woven in a trademark figure-eight pattern. Peel back the horsehide or cowhide cover, and you’ll discover a series of independent windings of yarn that, if held end-to-end, would stretch the length of almost four football fields! Near the center of the ball are layers of red and black rubber, and then, in the very middle, is a cork core, roughly the size of a bouncy ball you’d get out of a gumball machine.

You’ll never see the inside of a ball while it is in play, but it could be said that what is inside that sphere is what makes the entire game of baseball possible. One could argue it is the most important part of the game.

If we could draw a spiritual lesson, it would be this: what is at the center of your life is the most important thing about you. Last Sunday, we explored this theme from Colossians 1. According to the Apostle Paul, the most central focus of our lives and of the church must be Jesus Christ. “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together…he is the head…that in everything he might be preeminent” (Col. 1:17-18).

This profound passage was likely an early church hymn, and provided much encouragement for us on Easter Sunday. We learned that Jesus is firstborn from the dead (the hope and firstfruits of our own resurrection), and as because of that fact, he deserves first place at the very core of our lives.

The message is now available for free download via our church podcast page.

Principles of Christian Stewardship

This month, I preached a short series on Christian Stewardship in preparation for an Estate Planning Workshop hosted by the California Baptist Foundation. I introduced four basic principles of Christian stewardship that will change the way you think about life and money. These include:

  • Ownership – Everything belongs to God. We are merely stewards of his grace, and will one day give an account for how we used and invested what he loaned us.
  • Opportunity – Giving is one of life’s greatest opportunities to show love to God and to serve others. It also becomes a great opportunity to imitate the gospel and to display integrity to a watching world.
  • Obedience – God has much to say in his Word about specific areas of stewardship. These helpful, practical, instructions reveal God’s will for our time, talents, and treasure.
  • Overflow – Far from a mere duty, God wants stewardship to flow from a heart of joy.

Now, all three messages are available for download or to listen online from our church podcast page.