I grew up in church. Now to clarify, when I say I grew up in church, we met more than just on Sunday mornings. My parents took my brothers and me to church on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, and Wednesday evenings. We had youth on Monday nights, went to revival meetings, attended conferences, and frequently found ourselves at the church with mom or dad volunteering throughout the week. Believe me, when I say I grew up in church.
I heard some great and not-so-solid preaching and teaching throughout those years of growing up in church. I honestly wish I could recall more specific sermons and lessons I heard throughout the years. Unfortunately for me, I find myself remembering more of failed attempts at jokes, two pastors cursing as part of their illustrations, and comments made that would make the world blush. I digress.
Back to my main thought, because of having grown up in church, spending a year at a Christian high school, going to Bible college, and being able to participate in part-time or full-time ministry since 2002, I have heard countless sermons. Depending on how long you have been a follower of Jesus and how big of an appetite you have for listening to or watching preaching, you have heard your fair share of sermons as well. With all that said, I think you would agree that some texts and books get their fair share of attention in preaching, and others are often ignored or overlooked.
I believe Zephaniah is often an overlooked book of God's self-revelation to us. I don't think I've ever heard a message in person from the book of Zephaniah. I think it is often neglected either accidentally or on purpose because its contents are pretty heavy on the subjects of God's anger, jealousy, and judgment. Yet woven throughout these prior subjects in the book's three chapters are gems concerning God's grace, love, plans, and how we can have genuine hope. Let's be honest, after the past couple of years of experiencing Covid, racial tensions, growing opposition towards the Church, a heated election, continued political division, inflation, general life struggles, and an uncertain world stage - who doesn't want or need hope?
Our second series of 2022 is Hope Remains. In this series, I pray that the Holy Spirit would help you gain an overall grasp of the book and its place in the biblical storyline, have correctly placed faith resulting in genuine hope, and help you live with hope now as you point others to the One who is our hope.
Since Zephaniah is possibly one of the more unfamiliar books of the Bible, I thought it would be helpful to spend some time in the biblical books that set the stage for the historical setting of Zephaniah's ministry and prophecies. Towards the end of the week, we will briefly examine how faith and hope differentiate, which will prove beneficial going into our message in chapter one.
As we journey through the book of Zephaniah together, if you have any questions, please email them to me at Thomas@cornerstonego.com.
Living for our Daddy together,