Every sermon should be running for the Cross!
Having been involved with Pastoral Ministry for over 30 years it is hard to imagine doing anything else with the same intensity and compassion. Over the years I have worked as a Substance Abuse Counselor with various agencies to subsidies my income, but the love I have for preaching and the Gospel far over-shadows my other skills and abilities.
When God called me to ministry at the age of 13 years old, I never looked back. Preaching and ministry was all I could focus on. My pastor as I grew up was Dr. Don Lougheed at the Flint Baptist Temple, in Burton, Michigan. His statement to all the young preachers he knew was the same: “No matter where you start your sermon in scripture, your only priority is to run for the Cross!” Dr. Don said it with such compassion, and he believed that the Cross was the central point of every conversation, every sermon, and every thought he had.
I once heard the illustration and do not know where it originated: “Before the foundation of the earth the Triune Godhead was talking abut the creation of earth, mankind, and what this man should be like. Should he have a free-will, be a robot, or just someone that is a yes man? The agreement was reached he would have a Free Will to choose how he worshipped God, so the Godhead agreed that God the Father would create the world and mankind, the Son of God said since we know that a man with free will would ultimately make some bad choices HE agreed to pay the price for those bad choices (sin), and clearly the only way to do this was through the Shedding of Blood (thus have the Cross), and the Holy Spirit agreed he would lead them in the righteous path if they would listen.”
The scripture are full of great examples of people coming to a place of believing in the personal relationship with Christ. They sought an understanding of the Cross, its importance, and the personal sacrifice by Christ that it brought for each of us.
On a note found under his pillow, in prison, after his death, Watchman Nee had written “Christ is the Son of God. He died to atone for men's sin, and after three days rose again. This is the most important fact in the universe. I die believing in Christ.” He had a understanding of the importance of the Cross, for his own personal salvation experience. What is your understanding of the cross?