I’ve walked with God for over 30 years, and a few biblical teachings have changed my life. Too many preachers never find, or forget that, the point of every sermon should be Jesus and his life changing, transforming message. Every lesson should be based in and built on the Word of God. The truth of the Bible and the power of the Holy Spirit change lives, not my experiences, traditions, or doctrine.
I’ve listened to men and women preach God’s word and others preach their own ideas and interpretation of God. I love this verse tucked away in the Gospel of John. As Jesus finished his last sermon to his close friends, he said:
“This is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17.3 ESV)
Eternal life and its transforming power are found in knowing God, becoming his intimate, intentional friend. I can know about Him, study about where He went, and what He said through holy men over the centuries and remain unchanged. Charles Spurgeon said, “There are scores of professors who have just enough religion to make them miserable.” Eternal life, lived now and enjoyed forever, is found when I know God personally, through his Son Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Some Christ-followers have seen his shadow and followed his footsteps. Others, like Abraham, walked with God for years and through daily decisions learned to call God their friend. For these men, theology means studying God, not studying the study of God. Charles Spurgeon said it this way:
“If Christ is not all to you He is nothing to you. He will never go into partnership as a part Savior of men. If He be something, He must be everything, and if He be not everything He is nothing to you.”
From these men and women comes the cornerstone of my personal mission. To Know God and make Him Known. They have climbed the hills of faith and spent time alone with God. They have passed the tests and lit torches atop those hills, casting a light on the path believers will find and follow. These preachers learned that our responsibility as Christ-followers is to interpret our experiences by the unchanging, dynamic Word of God in a world that is much more comfortable taking God’s Word and altering it to fit their experience or preference.
These are some of my favorite links and the most influential lessons I’ve discovered on my journey of faith. Each of these podcasts were distributed freely, so I invite you to download them and pass them along to those who will come after you. You can click on the link and listen online, or right click, and select the “Save File” option. Save the file to your hard drive and then import it into your favorite MP3 player. The Father Heart of God links to a written copy of the teaching. The podcast version is available for a small donation from the website.
John Dawson | YWAM International President | The Father Heart of God
More than any other, this lesson transformed my life. John presents the loving, forgiving heart of God, a God that wants to walk with us. God is not a cosmic, uninvolved taskmaster. He lives, loves, forgives, and empowers us to live a transformed life. This lesson was presented at Last Days Ministries Discipleship Training School in the early 1980s . More from Last Days Ministries here.
Ray Vander Laan | An Hebrew View of Jesus and the Bible
How we understand a story is influenced by our mindset and our culture. The Western mind is logical, rational, linear. The Hebrew mindset is much more visual and pictorial. Understanding our biases, and the original intent of those who wrote the Scriptures, opens the door to a deeper experience with God and his Word. These files are in .zip format. Click the link to download the file to your computer, then unzip the files, and import them into iTunes.
Dean Sherman | YWAM Foundations Series | Spiritual Warfare
Dean Sherman teaches regularly at Youth with a Mission (YWAM) discipleship training schools (DTS). These podcasts are balanced and biblical. Dean Sherman treats spiritual warfare as a reality for Christ-followers. He doesn’t minimize the reality of spiritual struggles in the believer’s life, nor does he overemphasize it. More YWAM Foundational Teachings here.
Mark Driscoll | Mars Hill Church Seattle | Spiritual Warfare Seminar
Presented to the pastoral staff of Mars Hill Church, Mark’s excellent research and balanced biblical presentation of the reality of the spiritual battle faced by every believer. More Mars Hill, Seattle podcasts here.
Brady Boyd | New Life Church, Colorado Springs | Change the World
In the first few months of 2010, Pastor Brady Boyd preached a set of challenging messages to his congregation. The challenge was to take Jesus’ command to take care of the poor, give to those who are in need, and make disciples of all nations starting in your own backyard. The church adopted a neighborhood in Colorado Springs and set out to change the world of those who were closest. You can find more from New Life Church here.
Change the World – We are the Salt and Light – Part 1
Change the World – Our Calls to Widows and Orphans – Part 2
Change the World – Like a Good Neighbor – Part 3
Change the World – World Changing Women – Part 4
Change the World – Traits of a Servant – Part 5
YWAM DNA Series Podcasts
Over the past decade, the missionary organization, Youth with a Mission (YWAM), committed to podcast some of the essential teachings that are part of their culture. As Darlene Cunningham describes, the group has come to view themselves in the same light as the people they serve with the gospel. YWAM is a tribe, a group of believers who have a unique culture and a specific calling and identity. In a world that seems to push us toward uniformity, a pressure that often bleeds into the Church, YWAM’s perspective is refreshing. They honor God for their unique calling and share the lessons they’ve learned. These podcasts talk about priorities important to all believers and will encourage and challenge your faith.
Darlene Cunningham and David Hamilton: Biblical World View Part 1
Darlene Cunningham and David Hamilton: Biblical World View Part 2
Darlene Cunningham and David Hamilton: Biblical World View Part 3
Loren Cunningham: Conditions for Knowing and Hearing God’s Voice
Loren Cunningham: The Importance of the Bible
Joy Dawson: Spiritual Authority
Joy Dawson: Waiting for the Fulfillment of a Promise
A Changed Heart | A New Life | A Reason to Live
From different sources, these last few messages answer complex questions clearly: the balance between faith and works, who is the Holy Spirit, and how do Christ-followers identify the purpose of the Church in a postmodern world. Transformational truth never changes.
Affection Based Obedience: Jason Ma, Firekeep.com
Mission Based Discipleship: Ed Marcelle, the Resurgence
The Church: a City in a City, a Tribe of People who do Life Differently: Mark Driscoll
The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit from the Gospel of Luke: Mark Driscoll