Sara and I went out of town for the weekend recently and got back to Montgomery on a Sunday morning. Since it was too late for us to make it to our church, we decided to watch a television sermon on WSFA. Dr. Lawson Bryan, the lead pastor at First Methodist Church in Montgomery, was preaching that day. His sermon was one of the best that I have ever heard. It hit the nail squarely on the head and was one I needed to hear.
Lawson very clearly laid out the responsibility for every Christian to spread the gospel message. He reminded me of Jesus’ instruction to his Disciples to take the gospel message to all people throughout the world. I must confess that I haven’t always carried out that mandate. There have been times when I was concerned that folks would consider a person sort of weird if he or she told them about Jesus. In his sermon, Lawson discussed the story of Jesus’ meeting with His disciples after His resurrection. The message from this meeting, as told by John, was as follows:
This is the word of God, and it WILL change your life. It is written: On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
It was very clear that God had sent His Son Jesus and that Jesus was sending His disciples to carry on the work. Lawson ended the sermon with this powerful prayer:
O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us, and among us, come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire, and burn; come as the dew, and refresh; convict, convert, and consecrate many hearts and lives to our great good and to Your greater glory; and this we ask for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
Breathe On me, Breath Of God
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