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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fwd: Cultural Preaching July 12, 2017

Is God your king? How to Change Our Culture; Does relationship trump religion?
Welcome to Cultural Preaching
July 12, 2017
I apologize.  The wrong sermon was attached in the first distribution this week.

Welcome to this week's edition of Cultural Preaching. I am honored to share this resource with you. Know that I am praying for all who receive this email with gratitude for your service and faith.
This week, the "Preaching" section includes a sermon calling us to make Christ our King. In "Pastoring," we explore ways to change our culture for the Kingdom. In "Personal," we discuss the difference between religion and relationship.
In addition, I tweet on current news occasionally throughout the day. I invite you to follow me @JimDenison.


My sermon for this Sunday asks whether God is our King or our hobby. In the words of martyr Jim Elliott, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." I hope the message will be helpful to you.


In conjunction with this week's message, my booklet titled How to Change Our Culture may be of interest. Here we explore the moral state of our nation, compare America with ancient Rome, examine our Founding Fathers' views of church and state, and discuss practical ways to use our influence to advance God's Kingdom.


I am reading through Isaiah and have been amazed by the parallels between ancient Israel and contemporary America. One example comes from Isaiah 58: "Is this not the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?" (v. 6). The people thought that their religious activities and legalism guaranteed their relationship with God. They were tragically wrong.
We must always value relationship over religion. C. S. Lewis explains why: "If individuals live only seventy years, then a state, or a nation, or a civilisation, which may last for a thousand years, is more important than an individual. But if Christianity is true, then the individual is not only more important but incomparably more important, for he is everlasting and the life of a state or a civilisation, compared with his, is only a moment."
God measures Sunday by Monday. He views us not as a container of his blessing but as a conduit of his Spirit.
We know that this is true. But pastors can nonetheless be tempted to believe subconsciously that our souls are healthy so long as we are doing our jobs. If we are preaching and teaching God's word, leading God's people, serving in God's name, we must be right with God. Or so we think.
You and I cannot give what we do not have or lead people where we will not go. The best way we can serve our congregations is to serve first our Lord. Care for your soul and the Lord will care for your church.
Let's close with this observation from Frederick W. Robertson: "It is not the number of books you read, nor the variety of sermons you hear, nor the amount of religious conversation in which you mix, but it is the frequency and earnestness with which you meditate on these things till the truth in them becomes your own and part of your being, that ensures your growth."

It is a great honor to share this ministry with you. May the Lord empower and encourage you as you serve him today.
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Rev. Darian L. Hybl

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