As most of my friends, regular readers, and associates know, I’m in a new ministry assignment. Actually, Lisa and I are really enjoying our new church family and new (to us) home. The phrase I’ve used many times to describe this call is “contentment in Cantonment.”
In this new pastorate, I felt compelled that my first long sermon series should be Paul’s prison letter to the Philippians. A few of the prevalent themes that run throughout this marvelous prose are unity, humility, and joy. I’m about six sermons in and have not yet completed the first two chapters.
For some congregations, a long-term sermon series can quickly turn monotonous. Therefore, I have only preached two consecutive Philippian sermons and then brought something different. This is my way of making it palatable for them and manageable for me. You can view the services and listen to these messages from our Youtube channel (click the link).
I’m closing in on the end of this second chapter. However, from here on through the rest of the letter, my studies won’t be fully mining out every passage. Following the text, the next pericope is about Paul’s public commendation of Timothy to the Church.
This coming Sunday will feature a guest speaker for Harvest Christian Center. So rather than preaching the next section, I’m taking the less complicated approach. Rather than doing extra research and then simplifying it for sermonizing, I’ve decided to paraphrase Paul’s words.
Lord willing, I’m sending Timothy to check in on you all and get me a good report. Really, there’s nobody just like him. Tim is a great young man who’s all in for Christ. Of course, you know that. I mean, we’ve been like father and son in these Gospel exploits. So as soon as I can, I’ll get him started your way. I’m confident that I too will get to visit with you again soon. – Pastor William’s paraphrase of Philippians 2:19-24.
All Christians, regardless of their specific gifts or callings, should be students of God’s Word. Without personally ingesting this bread of life, you’ll soon become spiritually malnourished, and your growth will be stunted.
Do you ever paraphrase passages of the Bible? If you are a Christian, are you a student of Scripture?