We’re going to spend the summer with Tim Keller and some of my favorite sermons.
You so encouraged me with your enthusiastic response last week — he has so impacted us not only through his sermons but through his life. Nearly every one of you had wonderful things to say, and I lost track. But here are just a couple of early responses and a late one from Laura that made me smile. He left us 1,000 free sermons, and as one of you said, “His words are more precious now that there are no more.” Rebecca has been posting a new daily Keller quote on her whiteboard at work. But here are just a couple of your responses.
I’m so happy about your choice to highlight Tim Keller’s sermons. I have been feeling so sad over his loss which is surprising to me. It just seems that this world is so full of evil men and he was a bright light amongst the darkness. I didn’t agree always with everything he said, but I adored his preaching style and his intellectualism combined with grace. He always made me think and see things from a different perspective. He showed me such a different way to deal with others instead of the fiery, often mean, fundamentalism I grew up in. I followed him on Twitter also and saw a profound difference in what he said as he neared the end of his life. He became more direct, not pulling any punches, yet he spoke the truth always with a beautiful graciousness. Many people pounced ferociously on his tweets at the end, but my heart thrilled that someone was not afraid to speak the truth even if it caused people to be angry. I marveled that people could be so angry at him when he only spoke truth with love. But they did the same to Jesus. I think it’s very interesting to see how a man behaves and speaks as he nears a certain death. Would to God I could have that boldness now, coupled with great love for God and the souls of men.
Some of my favorite quotes are these that I still need to work deeper in–
“If you were a hundred times worse than you are, your sins would be no match for his mercy.”
“To be loved but not known is superficial. To be known but not loved is our nightmare. Only Jesus knows us to the bottom and loves us to the sky.”
“The only person who dares wake up a king at 3:00 a.m. for a glass of water is a child. We have that kind of access.”
“When Jesus Christ was in the garden of Gethsemane and the ultimate darkness was coming down on him and he knew it was coming, he didn’t abandon you; he died for you. If Jesus Christ didn’t abandon you in his darkness, the ultimate darkness, why would he abandon you now, in yours?”
Boy did he have a way of picking apart scripture and making it make sense to me!
Keller made sure his sermons were all free on Gospel in Life before he died. How grateful we are! Go to this link to listen to this week’s sermon, but first, we will look at the Scripture passage on our own.
On a personal note, thank you for your prayers for my outreach preaching locally — the 1st of 3 lectures. We had a good turn-out with many unbelievers. I fear I might have been over their heads, but I must release that to the Lord. Please continue praying on the next two Fridays at 10 central. You are such a gift to me.
1. What comments have you on the above?
2. How have you experienced wisdom, or power, or mercy from the Lord this last week?
Monday: God’s Command and Saul’s Response
3. Read 1 Samuel 15:1-11
A. What does God tell Saul to do?
B. What does he actually do? How do you see “selective obedience?”
C. What does the Lord say and why? Think about this!
D. What does Samuel do? What do you see in him?
4. Read 1 Samuel 15:12-23
A. Whose honor is Saul after according to verse 12?
B. How do you see self-deception in Saul in verse 13?
C. What is the evidence in verse 14?
D. Who does Saul blame in verse 15?
E. What does Samuel tell him in verses 16-20?
F. How does Saul plan to make this up to the Lord in verse 21?
G. What does Samuel tell him in verses 22-23?
Tuesday: “The Ability to Know the Truth Yet Not Know It Because You Want to Do It”
5. Listen and take notes through Keller telling the story of not wanting to believe anything is wrong with his car. Share highlights and anything that penetrated your heart.
6. Keller defines self deception as: “The ability to know the truth yet not know it because you don’t want to do it.” If you are willing, share where you tend to do this, or an example from your past. What have you learned from this about the danger of self-deception?
Wednesday: Making Ourselves Big
8. Listen up to his final point: “How Do Your Heal?” Share highlights and anything that penetrated your heart.
9. How did Saul blame others? How have you done this and then been shown your fault?
10. What was his point with the story of Tom Howard, the brother of Elisabeth Elliot?
11. Why do we want to make ourselves big in our own eyes? How have you done this?
Thursday: How To Heal
12. Listen to the end, take notes, and share highlights or anything that penetrated your heart.
13. What did Keller mean by “Come to grips with grace?”
Friday: “Don’t talk so loud, people are watching!”
When Paige Benton Brown covered this, the above was her memorable paraphrase of 1 Samuel 15:30.
14. Read 1 Samuel 15:24-34
A. What evidence is there that Saul is remorseful but not repentant?
B. How does God finish was Saul failed to do. Why, do you think?
C. What do you see in the heart of Samuel?
15. What is your take-a-way and why?