Monday, April 26, 2010

First 156 Messages Preached At The Gospel Mission

When I submitted to the call to preach* and started preaching in 2004, I kept a list of the titles/themes and main passages preached at the Kelowna Gospel Mission. Friday was the day I was scheduled to come in each week and preach before the supper meal (sometimes I was also given the opportunity on Saturdays, though I was not scheduled on that day - more as a fill in if someone needed me to do it). When my computer crashed in fall 2006, I thought I had lost this list, so I stopped keeping track of the messages preached, except to date the studies if I later typed them up and developed them. Looking through an old file folder tonight, I found that original list among some files that were recovered from my harddrive.

*(Ie. as a regular part of my life. During my four years as a bus runner - the man that ran to the doors to pick up and drop off the children - I had preached about two or three times to the children on our Sunday School bus [the two lessons I remember are "Loaves and Fishes," and Leprosy, where I put my hand in a jar of water then into a bag of floor to give the kids a gross picture of leprosy - which they loved!]; and I had also led several Sunday services, including preaching short messages, at a Senior's home during my one semester in Bible College. For a few months in 1999, I also wrote devotionals for a friend to preach at the Mission while I also was volunteering there.)

I am posting this list here as a reminder to myself of the messages God laid on my heart in my first three years of preaching, as well as an encouragement to others who may be called to preach. Perhaps you are just a friend or visitor who is blessed by the studies and devotionals posted on this blog (as well as Eagle's Wings Ministries), and are curious to know what some of those earlier messages are. (For the record: I prefer to use the term messages when referring to the devotionals I preached at the Mission, because to me a sermon is something that is preached for 1/2 hour or more - something more developed and fleshed out, not something you covered in perhaps 10-15 minutes. Overall, my average preaching time would be about 7-10 minutes. Below, there are two 20 minute "sermons" [20 minutes was about the limit of their attention span] that I preached at a local Senior's home, and there was a message I preached at a church service last year at the Mission that went exactly 30 minutes - and that was My Seven Most Used Passages.)

Devotions preached at the Gospel Mission (*ones later turned into studies - some of these were expanded and contain more material than was originally preached; **ones that were already studies before being preached - some of these were shortened or highlighted due to their length):

2004:

February 6th - Lessons In The Valleys: The Valley Of Trouble (Hosea 2)*
13th - Lessons In The Valleys: The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death (Psalm 23:1-3)*
14th - Lessons In The Valleys: The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death (Psalm 23:4-6)
20th - The Prodigal Son (Luke 15)
27th - Leprosy And How It Pictures Sin (Leviticus 13-14)*

March 5th - The Importance Of The Word Of God: five comparisons (like a love letter, last will and testament, a biography/historical book, instruction manual, a diary).
12th - Jesus, The Friend Of Sinners (John 15:13)
19th - Living Water (John 4)
20th - Repentance
26th - Is Your Name Written Down?**

April 2nd - Foundation On The Solid Rock (Matthew 7:24-27)
9th - He Loved Them Unto The End (John 13:1)
16th - The Promises Of God* (Not sure what study I developed this into, as I have no study posted on my sites by that name)
23rd - The Value Of One (Luke 15 - one sheep, one coin, one lost son - plus read an excellent song by that title)
30th - The Christian's Race

May 7th - Forgiveness (John 8:1-11)
14th - Abraham On Mount Moriah (Genesis 22)
21st - Isaiah 53
28th - My Hiding Place (Psalm 32)*

June 4th - Who Touched Me? (The woman with the issue of blood, Luke 8)
11th - Two Cries From The Cross (Luke 23:34, 43)
18th - Father, Into Thy Hands (Luke 23:46) - The example of Jesus' relationship with our Heavenly (Abba) Father.
25th - The Storms Of Life (Matthew 14 and Psalm 107)

July 23rd - God Has Not Forgotten You (Isaiah 49:13-16 and Luke 12:6-7) (Also preached at the Senior's home - about a 20 minute message)
30th - Three Appointments*

August 6th - The Simplicity Of Salvation*
13th - Lessons In The Valleys: The Lily Of The Valleys (also preached at Senior's Home - about a 20 minute message)*
20th - My Strength*
27th - Laodicea: The Lukewarm Church (Revelation 3:14-22)*

September 3rd - The Father's House (John 14:1-6)
10th - Two Debtors (Luke 7:36-50)
17th - The Great Supper (Luke 14:16-24)
24th - The Great Change Salvation Brings (Zacchaeus and the maniac of Gadara)

October 1st - What Is The Purpose For Trials? (Amos 4:6-12 and Romans 8:28-29)
8th - The Reasons Why Jesus Came*
15th - Romans 8:28 (contrast between Adam Aulin's and Brian's stories - probably posted within my Daily Devotionals, though I cannot find the specific entry right now. Adam's testimony is the Foreward to my second poetry book)*
22nd - Present Tense Salvation (ie. how the Bible states we are saved, are forgiven, are sanctified, have already passed from death to life, etc.; also shared some of my testimony)
29th - The Story Of Three Gardens: The Garden Of Eden*

November 5th - The Story Of Three Gardens: The Garden Of Gethsemane*
19th - The Story Of Three Gardens: The Garden With The Empty Tomb (John 19:41)
26th - Abraham - Following, Not Knowing

December 17th - Have You Any Room For Jesus? (Luke 2)*
24th - Immanuel (God is with us - dealing with depression, and the victory in the assurance of knowing that God is always with us) and Hosanna (O Save Us Now poem)


2005:

January 7th - Forgiveness and New Mercies (Micah 7; Psalm 103; Lamentations 3; Philippians 3)
14th - Jacob's Ladder (Started a series on Lessons From The Life Of Jacob, preached an intro* and Jacob's vision in Genesis 28 - how it pictured salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ)
21st - Jacob Wrestling With God** (Some of this message made its way into Wrestling Until The Daybreak and certain aspects of it were used to start and end my second poetry book - see the title poem, The Seasons Of Your Pilgrimage - when studying the life of Jacob out in November 2004, one of the primary lessons the Lord impressed upon my heart was how walking with the Lord will change you forever, and this has been one of the most life-changing messages I have learned - consider Hebrews 11:21 in light of Genesis 32 - why was Jacob leaning on a staff? Not because he was old, but because his wrestling with God transformed him and affected him for the rest of his life!)
28th - What God Did In Jacob (Jer 29:11; Heb. 11:21; Eph. 2:10; Phil. 1:6 - dealt with how Genesis emphasized the name Jacob when he was carnal or unbelieving, but Israel when he was walking in faith - and how this increasingly became his name as he walked more with the Lord)

February 4th - Why Paul Was Not Ashamed*
11th - One More Night With The Frogs (Plagues of Egypt contrasted with sin in our lives - the title of this message came from Hugh Pyles sermon/book on the same name; though I did not copy his message, I did use his general theme. This was the first in a series of messages I did on the 10 Plagues Of Egypt and the Lord leading them out of bondage.)
18th - Separation between God's dealings with the Israelites and the Egyptians (contrast between the saved and lost as portrayed during the Plagues Of Egypt)
25th - The Passover and how it was a type of Christ (the final message on the Plagues Of Egypt, and God's greatest deliverance)

March 4th - The Rapture (read Rising In The Arms Of Love)
11th - What Is Man? (Series on Questions from Job)*
18th - If A Man Die, Will He Live Again? (Questions from Job)
25th - Six Things The Lord Opened**

April 1st - The Touch Of Faith (the woman with the issue of blood)*
8th - Paul's Sermon On Mar's Hill
15th - Heart Disease*
22nd - Jesus Only (Mount Of Transfiguration)
29th - Jonathan And David's Friendship

May 6th - A More Sure Word (2 Peter 1 - His comments on experience of the Mount of Transfiguration)
13th - All Thy Waves And Thy Billows (Jonah 2 & Psalms - Developed into a study on Psalm 42-43)*
20th - God Would, But They Wouldn't
27th - Devotion from Days Of Praise (Make It As Sure As You Can)

June 10th - Lessons In The Valleys: The Valley Of Strength (1 Samuel 17)
11th - The Blood Of Jesus (Hebrews 12:22-24 and Genesis 4)
17th - What Jesus Takes Great Joy In*
18th - Matthew 6:24-34 (also read The Fifth Sparrow)
24th - All Our Tomorrows (Psalm 139:1-12)*
25thThe Lord Thinketh Upon Me (Psalm 139:13-18)*

July 1st - Jesus And Barabbas (How Jesus' substitution and dying in place of Barabbas pictures His substitution for the guilty sinner)
8th - My Personal Testimony (of salvation)*
9th - My Victory Over Depression*
15th - What Is Truth? (Pilate's question as the springboard to present the Bible as the source of all truth)
22nd - Lessons In The Valleys: The Valley Of Weeping (Psalm 84)

August 5th - When Life Doesn't Go As You Planned (Joseph's life)*
12th - The Lord Is Like An Eagle (Message written by someone else)
19th - What God Cannot Do (also read God Is)*
26th - Ye Must Be Born Again (conversation with Nicodemus)

September 2nd - The Crippled Man with No Man to Help Him (John 5)
9th - Jesus Washing His Disciples Feet (John 13)
16th - Jesus' 7 I Am statements
22nd - Shared some thoughts on John 11 and read Through This Valley (This was the day my Mom went home to Heaven - and these thoughts are what led to the Eulogy/Gospel message I was able to preach at her Memorial - Our Mom's Victory Through Faith)

October 7th - John 14 (Father's House, and the Comforter)
14th - The Fountain Of Living Waters*
21st - Does God Care? (Mark 35-39, and Revelation 4, about the rainbow around the throne)
22nd - Read excerpt from God's Abounding Love
29th - Paul's Defense Before Felix (Acts 24, with illustrations from A More Convenient Season)

November 4th - Paul's Defense Before Agrippa (Acts 25-26, with illustrations from Almost Persuaded)
11th - The Roman Guards - three types of responses (Matthew 27:27-38; John 19:31-34; Mark 15:37-39)
18th - What Is Written On Your Record?*
25th - Sinking In The Mire*

December 2It Is Well With My Soul (2 Kings 4; the story behind the hymn)*
16 - The Meaning Of Christmas*
30 – The God Of Second Chances (Abraham, Jonah, Peter, Mark)


2006:

January 6th – The Word Of God In These End Times (2 Tim. 3)
7thAbba, Father (Presented the Gospel by using the three times the phrase, Abba Father is used, then recounted the story of the Prodigal Son from the perspective of God's desire to have close fellowship with us)*
14thAbraham Offering Isaac (Genesis 22)*
21stDavid and Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9)**
28th – The Bondservant (Exodus 21:2-6)

February 3rdSeven Benefits of Faith in Romans 5:1-11* (Most of the time when preaching to the crowd at the Mission I do not see immediate fruit - but right after this message, a coworker asked the crowd if there was anyone who wanted this peace with God that was just preached about, and if so to raise their hands and pray with him to trust the Lord for salvation. Several people raised their hands, but one that I noticed was a friend of mine who before that point in time was "just not ready to receive Christ" - but now she trusted Him for salvation, shortly thereafter following in believer's baptism. While I do not put a lot of stock in a "sinner's prayer" - ie. a "repeat after me" prayer - in this case, I know the person truly did get saved. Pat is one of the most attentive listeners to the messages at the Mission, and there have been some definite changes in her life. I can only trust the Lord with those others who prayed, as He knows whether they understood what was preached and were truly repentant when they prayed.)
10th – Doing God’s Will & Having Our Needs Met (Matthew 6)
17th – Living Inside The Veil (Hebrews – Christ’s death opened the way to God - Used the first part of this message: Inside The Veil And Outside The Camp - Harry Ironside)
24th – Wake Up Calls For The Lost And Saved (Jonah 1 - How God used the trial of the storm to awaken the lost mariners' to their need for salvation, and to chasten Jonah and wake him up and bring him to repentance)

March 3rdWhy I Am An Ambassador For Christ (2 Corinthians 5)*
10th – The Passover Lamb
17th – The Rich Young Ruler & The 10 Commandments
18thRunning The Race Of The Christian Life*
31st – John 14 (This was, I think, the message I preached just before I left to go to my Dad's funeral - God gave me tremendous comfort to pass on to my family.)

April 7th – The Trial Of Your Faith (Job 23:8-10; 1 Peter 1:6-8; Rev. 3:18)
14th – Psalm 22
21stBuy The Truth/What Is Truth?*
28thThe Prodigal Son (Tackled from the perspective of repentance and how it affected the Prodigal Son's life)*

May 5thHidden In The Cleft Of The Rock*
12th – The Lord Looseth The Prisoners (Ps. 146:7; Isaiah 61:1-2; 2 Chron. 33)* (Not sure what study I was using for this, unless it was something I never posted on my personal sites, but instead posted on a message board. I think in this message I touched down on how the Lord can free those from the bondage of their addictions.)
19thJesus, The Sinner's Surety (Genesis 43-44)*
26thMustard Seeds And Mountains*

June 2ndResting On The Promises*
9thEarthen Vessels (John 9)
16th – A Song In The Night/In The Dark (Job 23:8-10 and 35:10, 14)
23rd – Psalm 63 (plus 55:6-7)
30th – The Armour Of God

July 7thThe Apostles #1 - Simon the Zealot*
14th - The Apostles #2 - Bold And Rash Peter*
21stThe Apostles #3 - Thomas The Doubter*
28thThe Apostles #4 - Jesus Loved Them To The End*

August 4thJohn 3:16 - The Gospel In A Nutshell*
11th – When The Wicked Prosper (Hab. 1 & Ps. 73)
18th – Discouragement (Ps. 61:1-4 & 62:5-8)
25th – No Man Cared For My Soul (Ps. 142 – not the study, just the Psalm)

September 1stHis Banner Over Me Was Love (Song Of Solomon 2:4)**
8th – Matthew 14 (If I remember correctly, I focussed on Jesus' reaction to the news of His cousin's death - that even in His grief He ministered to others)
15th – Seeking And Searching
23rd – Read Devotional on Love by Paul Chappel (This was my first or second day as staff at the Gospel Mission; therefore my preaching opportunities greatly increased from this point on.)

October 1stPharaoh's Four Proposals*
3rdThe Lord Uses Clean Vessels* (After this message, I had one of the men from the Mission's Recovery program come to me and tell me he wanted to be one of those clean vessels the Lord could use. Encouraging results!)
8th – The Danger of Being Unthankful (Romans 1:19-22; 2 Timothy 3:1-2; Psalm 105:1-7)
9th – Why God Gives Us Another Day (Acts 17:23-28; 14:17; Romans 8:32; 12:1)* (Unsure of what study I was using for this, unless it was also something posted in my Daily Devotionals or on a message board)
12th – Safety And Rest Only Found In The Ark (Gen. 7&8, quote by Spurgeon - how the Ark pictured our rest in Christ)
14th – John 3:16 (Read from Commentary by Ironside)
15th – Childlike Faith
16th – The Samaritan Woman (John 4)
17th – Leprosy And Jesus’ Compassion
21stDavid and Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9)**
22nd – God’s Guidance (Psalm 25)
23rd – David And Jonathan’s Friendship
24th – Proverbs On Friendships
25th - ? (I believe I tackled a third message on the theme of Friendship, but not exactly sure where I took the message or what passages I used)
28th - Love Your Enemies** (A childhood friend who I had not seen for 20 years came and stayed at the Mission. I opened up my home to him, lent him a key, then came home from work to find my house ransacked and various items stolen by him to sell for drugs. God taught me a powerful lesson on choosing to love my enemies.)
30th - Owe Nothing But Love (Romans 13:8)
31st - Are You Burdened?

November 1st - Don’t Worry About Your Daily Needs (Jehovah-Jireh - using Genesis 22:8 and Romans 8:32 to show that if we trust God with our greatest need - ie. salvation - we can also trust Him to meet all our other needs)
2nd - The Presence Of The Lord (Dwelling in God's presence, both in this life and in Heaven)
3rd - How To Understand The Bible (Probably some basic Bible principles and promises to claim while studying God's Word, such as John 7:17; 8:31-32; and James 1:5)
7th – The Lord My Shepherd (Names Of God)
8th – Jehovah, I Am (Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58)

156 so far...

A little later in November, I preached two messages consecutively. One on Hell (what it contained, and how to be saved from it), then another on Heaven (what it contained, and how to be assured of going there when you die). As bleak as the message on Hell was, more people attentively listened to that one than the one of Heaven! I think people take Heaven for granted. One man had gone through some serious health issues that brought him to the mission. The message on Hell got his attention, and made him realize where he stood before God. A fews days later, I preached a message on Romans 10:1-13, and 17, and calling on the Lord for salvation (looking through some of my notes, though undated, this one seems to be the one this man referred to), and this man trusted the Lord to save him. That week he went back into the hospital. While I was visiting him, he related what I posted above about those two messages that got his attention and brought him to the Saviour. I gave him a couple of studies to strengthen his faith. Very shortly thereafter, he went to some kind of care home, and I have not seen him since. I don't know if I ever got his last name - and all this time later, I can't even remember his first name. I was hoping he would contact me from his new home - but he never did, and the hospital won't give that kind of information out. I trust he did get saved - I don't think he was faking the peace and joy that I saw on his face - and that even if I don't know where he is, the Lord does - and I will see him in Heaven too one day.

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