I have a confession. Sometimes, I’m a know-it-all.
I don’t like not knowing the answers to questions. Sometimes I even find myself elevating my poorly educated guesses to the status of established fact just so I won’t seem like I don’t know what I’m talking about.
I’ve found it to be one of my most limiting qualities, so I try to be intentional about admitting my lack of knowledge or assurance.
On a spiritual level, there are some things that I know about God, about myself, and about my world. But I can honestly say I don’t know it all and I have a lot left to learn!
I have, in the past, stubbornly held onto ideas I have since come to see as immature, incomplete, or just wrong. And anytime I loosen my grip on my false sense of assurance that I’m absolutely right about something, I wind up learning a thing or two.
By letting go of having to know it all, I’ve grown closer to people, closer to God, and deeper in my spiritual journey.
That’s what this week’s primary message is about. It’s based on Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, both of whom approach God in prayer, but only one of whom comes with a heart ready to receive whatever goodness and mercy God has to offer.
I want to encourage you to see yourself as a work in progress with a lot to learn and plenty of room to grow. That’s the only way we’ll experience the fullness of what God wants to invite us into!
This Week’s Big Sermon Idea
From Trusting in ME to Trusting in God’s Mercy
Based on Luke 18:9-14
When we trust in our own self-sufficiency and our own righteousness, we miss out on the work God wants to do in our lives on the basis of his goodness and mercy. The real pathway to rising up is bowing down, confessing how short I fall on my own, and trusting in the One who wants to make all things new.
Creative Sermon Series Ideas from MinistryPass
My favorite resource for sermon series and message ideas, complete series graphics, and video bumpers (but NOT full notes) to get you started is MinistryPass! Each week, I’ll feature a series I would recommend checking out for the upcoming season of the church year. This week:
From the Description:
The early 2020s have been marked by unexpected events and worldwide phenomena. But even apart from the global mayhem, life is always unpredictable. Life gets busy, people change, cultures change, we change, and it can all be very disorienting. This sermon series brings perspective through God’s Word to settle our hurried, worried, and busied hearts.
National Preaching Conference
November 15 – November 17
Truett Seminary’s National Preaching Conference echoes the best of yesterday’s traditions and resounds with the needs of tomorrow’s church. The conference features noted national proclaimers along with choral worship and inspirational breakout sessions.
Exiles in Babylon: Theology in the Raw Conference
March 23-25, 2022 (Boise, ID)
To be a Christian is to be an exile. The Bible has a name for the country we’ve been exiled to: Babylon. As exiles living in Babylon, we need to think biblically, Christianly, indeed exilically—not partisanly—through cultural and political issues. This year, our topics include: The Future of the Church, Disability and the Church, Multiethnic Perspectives of American Christianity, a conversational debate on the Problem of Evil, and a pre-conference symposium on Women in Leadership!
Links and Resources for Pastors and Church Leaders
Links and resources will return next week.
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About the Cover Art: The Pharisee and the Publican, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.