Dear friends,

We do not want to be a community of disciples who listen to bits and pieces of God’s Word written. We want to try to listen to God’s Word written. When the Apostle Paul made his “farewell discourse” to the Christian leaders from Ephesus (Acts 20: 17-38), he said he testified …of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. (v21) In other words, he testified to the gospel of the grace of God. (v24). He also said that he declared the whole counsel of God. (v27). This is what I pray for Messiah. I hope you pray for this as well. I pray we will regularly open the Word and proclaim the Gospel of the grace of God while we also declare the whole counsel of God.

One of the best ways to do this is to primarily preach through whole books of the Bible – making sure we cover both Old and New Testaments books. Please pray that God will direct us to the books of the Bible we should be reading/preaching through as a church.

We are getting close to finishing Romans. I think we will have three more sermons on Romans after today. After we are finished Romans we will go through the book of Titus. I should note that we will pause in this to do three “doctrine” sermons to correspond with three day as in the ancient liturgical year. We will have one sermon each on: The ascension of Jesus, The Holy Spirit and Pentecost, and The Trinity.

During the summer, Daniel and I will preach through the book of Amos. In the Fall, I plan to begin the book of Second Corinthians. I should say that I am planning this right now, but I might do the book of Job instead. I have long wanted to preach through Job but other Bible books have ended up being more timely. If the Lord so leads, I might preach through Job in the Fall and then we would tackle Second Corinthians. Please pray that it is the Lord who leads me and leads us!

The Bible is not a compendium of quotes and quips and sayings. It is made up of 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. The Bible has many quotable bits and we should try to memorize as many verses as possible. However, it is a collection of books with many different human authors, but one ultimate author of all 66 books – the Lord God Almighty is His Name. We should try to read and study and preach through whole books. The book was written as a book – so we are closer to following the author’s intention. As well, preaching through a whole book forces us to listen to parts of the Bible we usually avoid. As followers of Jesus, there should be no part of the Bible we want to avoid. Please pray for me and for us.

George