Today we wrap up our teaching series on "The Bible". I do not mind telling you that I am a bit sad. Why, you may ask? It is partly because there is so much more to say. But that is always true. The real reason? I have seen more of a reaction among you to this series than any series ever.
Reaction. Let me tell you why that is notable.
The leadership here at Southwest, myself included, are always praying that our ministry efforts create in you a reaction. In fact, when any ministry leader makes any ministry effort - be it a class, a retreat, a prayer time, a service effort, a pastoral visit - or in this case a sermon series - the hope is that the ministry effort will create a reaction. I know this is not news, or surprising to you. The things of God are intended by God to be life changing. So it stands to reason that we want our ministry efforts to stir people up in a way that God can, indeed, change people's lives.
I have preached on many subjects, and each time used the Bible to teach them. Powerful subjects like grace, hope, marriage, social justice, parenting, discipleship, sin, serving, the Holy Spirit and more. Additionally, I have preached through many books of the Bible including Exodus, Jonah, Amos, Micah, Acts, Ephesians, Philippians and more. I have spent countless hours with you in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), examining Jesus, his life-changing Gospel message, and looking at the life change it should create. In short, we have had countless teachings on unnumberable subjects contained IN the Bible.
And never have I seen the reaction that I have seen in you as we have talked ABOUT the Bible? And I am grateful. And I will miss it.
So, today, I will do my best to share some of my reactions to your reactions. I'll do this in the form of sharing with you some of the most popular, or (in my humble opinion) some of the most pressing questions I have received. I hope today is useful.
But more than that, I hope and pray that this series has inspired you to never stop learning.
I hope and pray that this series has both disarmed you and emboldened you to dare to open your Bible and enter into the library of books contained within. And by so doing, I hope and pray that you will enter into the story of God found within it. And by so doing, I hope and pray that you meet the most important character in that story... the most important character you will ever meet in your life.
I hope and pray that you will open your Bible with me, not just to open your Bible. But to engage with God, with God's story, with God's calling, and with God's son.