Here's a picture of First Baptist Marydel's church building.
For those of you that prayed for me on such short notice...thank you! I trust that my sermon went well, praise God. That said I still have a lot to learn about preaching. It was excellent preaching on the "Parables of the Kingdom" from Matthew 13. Trying to get all seven parables into a sermon was challenging, but it was wonderful. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the parables in Matthew 13 here's the breakdown and an idea of the structure I was going for.
I. The Unexpected Teaching: 2 Ways to Live in Parables(1) The Parable of the Sower: Main parable acting as a lense in order to understand the following six. "2 kingdoms (kingdom of God & kingdom of man) or 2 ways to live in four kinds of soil" Also, God's Word is active seeking those people to save.(2) The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares: Jesus making the point that His kingdom is spiritual, not political despite what the people were expecting.
(3) The Parable of the Mustard Seed: "God's power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9) and God's weakness is stronger than men (1 Cor 1:25)."
(4) The Parable of the Leaven: Similar point to the Parable of the Mustard Seed. God's rule & reign is all consuming penetrating the entire life of the citizens of the kingdom. Also, the kingdom of God seemingly starts small & through weak means (e.g. Israel, Jesus coming as a baby, God using a moon worshipper in Abram, murderer in Moses, David, a persecutor of Christians in Paul, etc.)
II. The Unexpected Cost of the Kingdom(5) The Parable of the Hidden Treasure in the Field: The citizens of the kingdom willingly & joyfully give up everything for it. A picture of repentance.
(6) The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price: Same point as the last one.
III. The Unexpected Judgment Depending on the Kingdom You are in(7) The Parable of the Dragnet: Ultimately which of the 2 kingdoms one is in will determine how God judges. This is very similar to the parable of the wheat and the tares. Just because the kingdom has not been fully consummated now (despite their expectations of what the messiah would do) it doesn't mean that it will always be that way.
[Note: The last two points should not have been unexpected if the people were familiar with the Old Testament Scriptures]
Thank you for praying, it was a joy to prepare and a blessing to visit First Baptist Marydel. By the way, "Ma" hosted a wonderful brunch!
Here is a picture of Pastor Bob Phillips & me.
[UPDATE: Here is a recording of my sermon, The Unexpected Parables of the Kingdom: Matthew 13.]