I want to take a minute to write about a new sermon series called “The Story” that begins here at MPCC in January 2013. The intent of The Story is to help you see the connectedness of the Bible as it unfolds from two perspectives: the lower story and the upper story. The lower story is God’s work in and through the lives of people, places and events while the upper story is about how God uses those people, places and events to accomplish His ultimate plan of redemption.
I want you to know that it took me a long time to choose this new series because it’s not something that I normally do. I say that because The Story is a sermon series resource that comes from Zondervan Publishers and I almost never use these kinds of resources. But I’m making an exception for some very specific reasons. First, I believe there’s great value in helping people understand the connectedness of the Bible. I think this will be beneficial for anyone regardless of where they are in their personal spiritual development. Second, I believe that we can use The Story as a tremendous evangelism tool. All of us know someone who not only doesn’t know or understand the Bible but believes it’s a book that is too difficult to know or understand. I’m praying that we will invite these folks to come and be a part of this series so they can begin to see the Bible in a whole new light. Third, regardless of how familiar you may be with the Bible, there will be great encouragement that comes from being reminded of how God has revealed Himself and His plan through the pages of His Word.
Now, I feel like I need to share a couple of disclaimers with you before we begin. First, while this will be the longest series that I have ever done at MPCC (32 weeks) there’s no way that we can go verse-by-verse through the entire Bible in 32 weeks. There will be times when we cover significant portions of the Bible in a single weekend. And there will be times when all I’ll be able to do is give a summary or overview of significant portions of the Bible. The emphasis will be connecting God’s overall story from beginning to end. Having said that, though, you need to know that Andrew and I will be writing our own original messages and our goal will be to bring as much depth as possible to each sermon (Andrew has actually already started working on the first sermons as I continue to focus on the remaining weekends in 2012). We will not be preaching sermons that we purchased with The Story resource kit. Second, Zondervan has published some resources to go along with The Story. Two of them are The Story Bible and a companion Study Guide. We won’t be using either one of these resources. We will, however, be selling in The Resource Center, a book called “The Heart of the Story” which is like a devotional guide that follows along with the sermons. Our goal in this series is to help people understand the connectedness of the Bible in a way that leads to a deeper faith in God and a deeper desire to dig into the truth of His Word.
I hope that you are praying about someone you can invite to discover God’s love and His ultimate plan of redemption through a better understanding of the Bible. I’m praying that God will use this new series to capture, to teach and to inspire all of us to a greater desire to study and know His Word…His story.