You may have heard the exhortation to "preach the gospel to yourself". The basic idea is to focus one's mind on the grace of God in Christ through the gospel. (Some resources on what I'm talking about are this blog post by Drew Goodmanson and the sermon linked therefrom and this blog post and video by Paul Tripp.) Recently I experienced "preaching the gospel to myself" in a more literal way as I went back to the recorded sermon archives of Regeneration, the young adult ministry that I was part of in Denver.
During my time with Regeneration, I had the privilege of teaching occasionally at our Sunday evening worship gatherings. I enjoyed the opportunity to study Scripture and then bring God's word to his gathered people, pointing us to Jesus in whatever passage we were studying. Many of the lessons I taught left a long-lasting impression on my own soul.
Although I was careful to record the sermons that were preached--including my own--and upload them to a podcast that was active at that time, I could never bring myself to listen to my own messages after they were delivered. But last week, after talking with a friend about my experiences teaching and my inability to ever listen to myself, I decided to dig up those old sermon recordings out of my archives and listen to what I had preached to Regeneration years ago.
Much to my surprise, I found the messages engaging and deeply encouraging. Listening brought back fond memories of the people that were gathered together in Regeneration, of the Scripture that we had studied, and most of all of the passion I had for growing in the gospel and pointing others to Jesus.
Having been so encouraged myself by what God shared with me through those messages, I'm finally going to re-post them here on my blog. Perhaps they are only useful to me. (After all, is anyone still reading this blog after all these months and years of not posting?) But I feel like posting them is a way of asserting that my identity is in Christ, not in the quality of my work, and when in the end my work is tested by fire (1 Cor 3:12-15), all that is not burned up will be to the glory of Jesus.