A few years ago, I became weary of the Purpose Driven Life. We had gone through the program at my church, read the book, preached the sermons. When it was all done, I felt no better and our church did not grow. I felt dirty for using someone else’s sermon outlines. (My content stuffed around someone else’s outlines.) About the time we were going through that series, a couple of books were published that had a remarkable effect on my discipleship. One was Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson and the other The Cross and Christian Ministry by DA Carson. I also read The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and several others. I began to see, in book after book, something I had not noticed before and something that seemed terribly absent from PDL: It was the cross. It was painful, to be sure, to see my entire ministry turned upside down, my discipleship in Christ radically altered, and my understanding of Scripture forever changed. I had missed it; I had missed the cross. Thus I began a great quest. I started saving quotes and poems and other items about the cross (One file ended up with 27 single spaced 10-point font pages of notes and quotes from biblical commentaries, authors like Annie Dillard, John Stott, DA Carson, Eugene Peterson, James Montegomery Boice, CS Lewis, Bernard of Clairvaux, Martin Luther, and poets like Bob Dylan, Thomas Merton, Jeremy Camp, and more. And that is not all. ). I started reading with a critical eye. The Father began to change me. Somehow, I had missed the cross. This reading, combined with intense study of Scripture (in particular the book of Matthew) and prayer and the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to Christ all over again for the first time. Thus was born The Crucifixion Driven Life which was my response to my congregation after I led them through PDL. This is the first sermon from that series, January 1, 2006. It runs 35 minutes or so. I have others that I will be posting as time permits and, also, as I did with the series on Daniel, I will be posting links to the manuscripts at box.net. Thank you. jerry
Listen here: The Crucifixion Driven Life Begins at Birth, Matthew 1:18-25
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Always for His glory!