On Sunday I had the privilege of preaching the sermon for the folks at FirstBoynton. This was the first time that I have stepped behind the pulpit of a church since 1997. Before that time I preached in churches well over a thousand times. For a long time I thought I would never do so again.

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mohlerEarlier I posted my review of The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters by Albert Mohler. To provide a little more flavor about the book, below are 20 quotes from the book.

1. My goal is to change the way you think about leadership (p. 15).
2. The problem is a lack of attention to what leaders believe (p. 19).
3. The beliefs that anchor our faith are those to which we are most passionately and personally committed, and these are our convictions (p. 22).
4. We know these things to be so true that we are willing to live for them, lead for them, and, if necessary, die for them (p. 24).
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The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters. Albert Mohler. Bethany House. 2012.

mohlerAlbert Mohler is leader who deserves a hearing on the subject of leadership. He was placed at the helm of one of Christianity’s historic institutions. This institution had drifted from it’s historical moorings and was in danger of being lost by those who had established and supported it.

A young Mohler was called upon to right the ship. Withstanding intense opposition, not only has the institution turned around but it is sailing high in the seas. As a result Mohler has become a respected leader in evangelical and baptist circles. He is often sought out by mainstream media to give voice to the views of the circles.

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sproul jr

touristIn his book, The Conviction to Lead, Albert Mohler quotes from Eugene Peterson’s Perseverance: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.

Everyone is in a hurry. The persons whom I lead in worship, among whom I counsel, visit, pray, preach, and teach, want shortcuts. They want me to help them fill in the form that will get them instant credit (in eternity). They are impatient for results. They have adopted the lifestyle of a tourist and only want the high points…The Christian life cannot mature under such conditions and in such ways.

–Eugene Peterson (emphasis mine)

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C.H. Spurgeon

C.H. Spurgeon

Charles Haddon Spurgeon was born on June 19, 1834 at Kelvedon, Essex in England. He was the first of seventeen children in his family. Known as The Prince of Preachers, Spurgeon’s sermons were used of God to breathe life into countless people. In honor of his birthday, note the circumstances of two conversions that happened – one before his sermon and the other after.

Before the Sermon

On one occasion Spurgeon was to preach in a large agricultural hall. Prior to the time of his preaching, he stepped to the location at which he would stand so as to test the acoustics of the building.

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In 1863 the Irish hymnwriter, Charitie Lees Bancroft wrote the hymn Before the Throne of God Above. The hymn was comprised of six verses. I want us to focus in on the fourth verse.

Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

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Salvation is not the reward for a well lived Christian life.

–Bruce Case

Bruce Case is an airline pilot and also an elder in our church, First Boynton. Near the end of his sermon on Sunday, he made the statement that I have quoted above.

The statement serves as an important warning to many in our culture and probably in our churches.  These folks might not say out loud that God is rewarding them with salvation based on their actions or performance, but they often live and talk like it works that way.

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audible voice