This Sunday, I begin a new Sermon Series entitled, "Loving Jesus... Loving Like Jesus". It is a 're-tool' on my teachings from my 2008 book- "When God Disappears'.
This sermon series has been months in the planning-- long before my announcement that the treatments for my liver disease did not work.
After my post last week, I have received, literally, hundreds of messages of prayer, hope, and encouragement. However, I have also received countless letters from people who are going through their own wilderness experiences. Some are at critical moments and crossroads in their lives.
The common denominator is the same in each email and letter-- "How can you have such hope and joy in the midst of such disappointment and sorrow?" I have tried to answer their questions as best I can, but, as with so much in my life, the real answer does not come from me.
No, I always steer back to Jesus. He is my great, unfailing source of hope. He is yours, too.
Therefore, it is NOT a coincidence that the Holy Spirit encouraged me to plan, re-write and re-use the six encounters with Jesus of which I write in 'When God Disappears'. The sermon focus and themes are new, but the meaning for each lesson in our life is the same-- No matter if you have 'gone too far' or 'feel too far gone' to make it much further... Jesus shows up.
Like my life... whenever things have looked the most hopeless-- my HIV status, heart surgery, these latest treatments- Jesus shows up in my life in powerful ways-- as only He can.
Join me on Sunday at Christ Church in Memphis to meet some pretty familiar characters in Scripture as they encounter Jesus in very familiar places- broken hearts, ailing bodies, lost directions, empty lives. Not only will we learn to "Love Jesus and Love Like Jesus"-- I promise you will see yourself and never be the same again.
I love you all.
Be Salt and Light... You Matter!
Mt 5: 13-16
Christ Church Online
Shane Stanford is a pastor, teacher and author committed to sharing the hope of Jesus Christ with the world.