Like A Good Neighbor

I have had several influential preachers in my life. I’ve benefited from the opportunity to sit under men from different denominations since my childhood. I have been convicted and comforted by the Word since my conversion in Jr. High.

But the preaching of a handful of men over the last six years has been tremendously helpful. God’s Word has been opened up to me with great power through the preaching of my pastors Brian PetersonLigon Duncan, and Derek Thomas. In addition to these men, I have enjoyed listening to many sermons online. John PiperTim KellerBryan ChapellStuart Olyott, and Sinclair Ferguson have been particularly insightful.

However, one of the latest men to have a great impact upon my own theology and practice is my good friend Nate Shurden, pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Franklin, TN. I got to know Nate through the privilege of being his intern at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, MS for a few years.

I recently listened to Nate’s exposition of Luke 10:25-42. They were especially helpful because of the way Nate related two well known stories. The Good Samaritan and the episode of Mary and Martha that follows are connected in an important way. I won’t tell you how in hopes that you will listen to the sermons for yourself.

Take some extra time this week to “sit under” Nate’s preaching on “Like a Good Neighbor Parts 1 & 2” and “The One Thing Necessary.” I hope you are able to hear these familiar stories in a fresh way so that you are rightly moved to “go and do likewise.”

Sharing in the Harvest (Ruth 2:17b-23)

Considering all we went through this past week, and the amazing support we received from the church body, I consider it providential that I preached this sermon last Sunday.

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Introduction: In chapter one of the book of Ruth we saw how dark circumstances led Naomi into bitterness. There was a famine in Israel so Naomi followed her husband Elimelech, taking along their two sons, to Moab. Shortly after arriving there Elimelech dies. Naomi’s sons marry Moabite wives, another act of disobedience. And within ten years, both her sons are dead. Continue reading

Returning to Bethlehem (Sermon on Ruth 1:7-19a)

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Introduction/Review: Last week we looked at the first six verses of Ruth. We saw how the story begins on a very sour note. There is a great deal of tragedy. Darkness surrounds the lives of this family from Bethlehem. We spent a good amount of time looking at the structure of the book of Ruth. We saw that the story begins in darkness and ends with hope. It begins with death and emptiness, but it ends with life and fullness. Continue reading

A Bitter Journey (Sermon on Ruth 1:1-6)

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Please open your bibles to the book of Ruth. You will find it in the Old Testament after Judges and before 1 Samuel. While you are turning there allow me to provide a bit of context to our passage this morning. We do not have the time for an adequate introduction, but the overall purpose of Ruth is to reveal God’s sovereign care for his people. That is the ultimate purpose of the book. Yet, we will see that the beginning of the book does not look hopeful. Continue reading