When I started this summer series the idea was simple. A collection of sermons built around the idea that there are many things we believe the Bible says that it either doesn’t say or we’ve misapplied. The nice thing about a summer series like this, rather than an exposition of a particular book of the Bible, is that if people aren’t able to be there from week-to-week it’s no big loss. There’s nothing but the overall topic to tie the sermons together.
I have to admit, I had low expectations of myself and the topic. I thought it would be a lot of fun, but I didn’t expect any real depth. Then it started surprising me. I guess I started surprising myself. I would go so far as to say the Holy Spirit surprised me!
With the “Judge Not” sermon, an arc began that I didn’t really expect when I first laid out the series. I knew the topics would flow together, but I didn’t really expect the sermons to compliment each other like they have. The response has been amazing, humbling and I’ve grown in ways I didn’t expect.[pullquote]”Jesus wants me to fall so in love with his grace that I want nothing less for anyone else.”[/pullquote]This sermon didn’t go as I had initially envisioned it when I first put the series together in the spring. I saw this sermon as being a defense for the reality that there are times when we are called on to judge. I wanted to point out that there’s a difference between forgiveness and trust and we shouldn’t shy away from judgment when we are called to judge. It ended up being a sermon about the heart of the one doing the judging. In many ways, it ended up being a sermon for my heart.
There’s a particular phrase in the sermon that really surprised me. I’m sure it’s not an idea that is unique to me, but when it hit me I saw how essential it was to my own heart. “Jesus wants me to fall so in love with his grace that I want nothing less for anyone else.” He wants my desire for others to experience his grace to go beyond my own desire for vengeance or what I think justice should be.
That thought led me to the next sermon on “Forgive and Forget.”