Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The promises Jesus made to His disciples and us before the cross.

Jesus gives His disciples further instructions John 14: 7-14

It was Friday in the grade one class and the teacher said, “I want you all to think of something that happens this week-end and be prepared to share it with the class on Monday.” All the kids were thinking about what they could tell the class about on Monday when all of a sudden the bell rang and they were off for two whole days.

On Monday morning little Timmy was the first to raise his hand and the teacher said, “O.K. Timmy, tell us what you did this week-end.” And little Timmy said, “My father and I went fishing down by the wharf and we caught seventy-five fish and they all weighed seventy-five pounds. And one of the fisherman said, “It was the biggest catch of fish that were ever caught there.”

Well, the teacher said, “Timmy that was a pretty good story and it had plenty of detail but I doubt that anyone really believes you caught seventy-five fish and they all weighed seventy-five pounds. I mean, what if I told you, “I was walking to school this morning and a fifty foot gorilla came at me and looked like it was about to attack but it was scared off by a little yellow dog that only weighed about fifteen pounds. Would you believe that story?” “Yes, I would” says Timmy, “because that little yellow dog is mine and he’s not scared of anything.”

Some people are known as story tellers and they can make up a story about anything anytime and I believe that’s a natural gift but I also believe that God is the ultimate story teller and yet all of His stories are absolutely true. And He tells us not everything that is but everything we need to know in the Bible.

The word Bible simply means the book of books and it consists of sixty-six different books. Some of them are just one chapter while others consist of fifty chapters or more and even though they’re all different both in size and style they are all consistent in their message. And in the Bible we find God’s message is told in narrative form, historical content, poetry, proverbs, genealogical records, laws, exhortations, parables, prophetic messages, love stories, warnings and many other styles of writing. And although these are all inspired by God, they are also authored on a human level by different people and from different levels of society. And we have a whole range of writers that go all the way from the extremely intelligent mind of King Solomon who was known as the wisest man who ever lived all the way down the line to a man like Amos who claimed to be nothing more than a shepherd who says he was called by God to deliver a message.

I was thinking the other day about two of the human authors of several of the books of the Bible, Moses and Paul. And I was astonished as I thought about these two by the similarities of their backgrounds. Think about them, Moses is credited with writing the first five books of the Old Testament while Paul wrote somewhere around nineteen books of the New Testament.

Moses was the adopted son of Pharaoh who we’re told had killed one of the Egyptian guards in an attempt to identify with his Jewish brethren and then he ran for his life but after about twenty years God introduced Himself to Moses out in the desert and called him to lead the Jewish nation.

On the other hand, we have Paul who was a self-righteous Pharisee and as he tells the story he had been the one who held the coats of those who killed faithful believers like Stephen and no doubt others as well. He wanted these people dead just as much as the others Jews did but he was the type who wouldn’t get his own hands dirty to get the job done. And then we are told by Paul himself in the book of Acts that God introduced Himself to him when he was traveling in the desert and then used him to reach all kinds of people both Jews and gentiles.

Both Moses and Paul had been doing their own thing and both of them had been the source of the death of others and yet both of them were called and used of God not only to direct His people but also to be the authors of portions of the eternal word of God. Listen, God shows us time and time again that He can use anyone, anywhere, if they are willing to be used. And get this, even murderers!

Just the other day I was thinking about how God often introduced Himself in the Old Testament by saying, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Whenever I heard this portion of scripture I thought God was using it to establish who He was in the sense of giving Himself historical credibility by using the names of three great Jewish leaders but the more I thought about it the more I realized how wrong I was.

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