Grace through Tim Keller

During today’s service, we listened to Tim Keller’s sermon on John 2:1-11. I had read several of Piper’s sermon manuscripts on Romans 13 and didn’t find anything compelling, so I decided that we would listen to this one for a change. It would be a different speaking style, as well as a different Scripture passage. I didn’t even listen to the whole thing before we all listened to it together. The only thing I knew was that Keller would lay out the gospel through an exposition on Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine.

This time I had all the kids come up to the front 2 rows, while I sat behind them to watch them. Some of them, with their attention waning, twirled bracelets, played with their hair, looked at the ground, or took out their phones, but overall, they were well-behaved. The sermon was really, really good. There were so many insights I had never heard before in sermons I had heard on this passage. Tim Keller doesn’t have as much of a dynamic range in his voice, as John Piper and Paul Washer do, which just means he doesn’t raise his voice as often, not a bad thing at all, for in his preaching there is power.

[Note: I hope the time markers give you more motivation to listen to the sermon, to “look out” for certain parts] Chills ran through me as he preached on the Great Exchange from a passage that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with it on its face (34:16). He makes a very strong case that Jesus was already thinking of his death during his inaugural miracle (13:12). I was struck by his insights from years of being the minister at weddings (31:40 to 33:35). He knew how to speak to those on both ends of the marital spectrum, those who were single as well as those who were married (38:09). Wisdom saturated the entire sermon, and it was for the edification of the congregation who listened to him that day in 1996. 12 years later, our small congregation was blessed through this means of grace, the preaching of God’s Word.

This sermon was the answer to the prayer “Restore to me the joy of your salvation” (Psalm 55:12). Here is a direct link (to save to computer) and the page on which the link is located.

The Bible camp went well (it was like a retreat except at our house and no guest speaker), and though I was able to see the sinful tendencies of the kids more clearly because of the time we spent together, I was overall encouraged by the increase in friendliness among the group. I felt it as everyone had to recite their Bible verses to me before getting their meals. Through watching movies, going to the beach, talking in the car, playing Mafia late at night (I was too tired; they played on their own!), and playing soccer and basketball and hanging out at the park, I know that we became closer to one another. It was a tiring time for me and my mom, but I trust that God used our imperfect efforts to work in the hearts of LEMers.

I don’t know why they’re so averse to having their picture taken. It’s frustrating to get a decent group photo with them, but some of the pictures in the end are kind of funny:

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