We are not in control.
That's the message sent to us by the great I Am. He has set all things in motion. He knows our beginning and our end. But still, we often forget and instead choose to walk through this life as though we determine our own steps, our own fates.
We can appropriate what God has accomplished.
The entire theme of the Bible can be summed up as God's rule over us for our own good. But one aspect makes his dominion unique: He has given us a choice. We can rationalize our sin, or we can personally appropriate the grace and redemption given to us by Jesus' death on the cross.
We can be transformed by the Spirit.
When we acknowledge that life doesn't work on our own terms, we understand that we are only ever fully equipped to battle the ways of the world when we are armed with the truth, love, and grace of the Spirit.
In the eleven sermons for the season after Pentecost (first third) written for "Some Things I've Learned Since I Knew It All," Lavin poignantly encourages pastors and congregations to embrace a holy reliance upon the transformative power of the Holy Spirit, reminding us that it is God who changes hearts. Man is merely the vessel. This resource, designed to challenge the believer, is not limited to the pastoral office. Instead, it can also be used for private devotions or small group study, encouraging all readers toward a critical look at our response to the words of Jesus.
The sermons in this book are:
The Advocate and the Street Where You Live (John 15:26-27; 16:4-15)
What Does the Kingdom of God Have to Do With Anything Today? (John 3:1-17)
Family Ties and Good-byes (Mark 3:20-35)
Some Things I've Learned Since I Knew It All (Mark 4:26-34)
Close Calls (Mark 4:35-41)
So, You Want to Get Well? (Mark 5:21-43)
Without Conflict There Is No Story (Mark 6:1-13)
The Pointer (Mark 6:14-29)
Chaos and Solitude (Mark 6:30-34, 53-56)
Giving Up Control (John 6:1-21)
When I AM Speaks, You'd Better Listen (John 6:24-35)
Ron Lavin is a popular speaker and prolific writer who served congregations in Indiana, Iowa, Arizona, and California. Membership in his Davenport, Iowa, parish increased by over 2,000, while more than 1,000 new members were baptized during his pastorate in Tucson, Arizona. Ron has written 28 books, including the CSS "Another Look" series: "People Who Met Jesus," "Abba," "Stories to Remember," "I Believe; Help My Unbelief," "The Big Ten," and "Saving Grace."