Friday, January 09, 2015

Sermon of the Week (1/4/2015 - 1/10/2015) Dr. Jeremy Pierre (Clifton Baptist) on Hebrews 11:22

Pierre is one of several Southern Seminary faculty who serve as elders at Clifton Baptist in Louisville. (He is professor of biblical counseling.) This is a great first sermon of the year on Hebrews 11:22 (and Genesis 41-45) titled "Broken and Better Dreams for the New Year."
We usually judge years by measuring our "blessings" versus our "trials."  "2014 was a great year because..." Pierre's point is that as Christians, God is always with us and every moment is great. Our years should be measured by how much more we desired God than before. His example is the life of Joseph. Joseph's trials were brought by God in His plan for Israel. In his circumstances, not knowing the eventual outcome, we all would be tempted to be bitter, say "if only..." etc. But Joseph is an example of submitting to his circumstances and seeking God in them. Joseph acknowledged God when brought to Pharoah to interpret his dream.

Pierre makes the point that it's not about "God's bringing you through this so you can be the best you can be." God has a purpose beyond you. Enduring your trials through your own grit does not endear you to God, only Christ's sacrifice can do that. And just like Joseph's trials were for the future good of Israel, God's purposes are beyond you.

Great sermon to start the new year off with.

(As an aside, I listened to a Joel Osteen sermon on Jonah's trials after this one and the difference between real and counterfeit could not have been more clear. The more you listen to the real the more easily you can identify the counterfeit.)

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