Back when I first started pastoring, two brothers and their families began attending the church. The younger of the brothers (about 15 years older than me) had attended seminary and was theologically a ROCK: really solid. In time, both families would join the church and the younger brother, named Dave, would become not only an elder but the chairman of the board of elders.
By my own choosing, I sought out Dave to mentor me. From that a deep relationship of reading books, discussing the ministry and praying for the church began. This continued for several years until Dave and his wife moved away.
During that time I began preaching through (as I recall) Matthew's gospel. I don't recall where we were in that study but one week he wrote me a short note (something he did not ordinarily do). The gist of the note was to warn me about getting sidetracked and that I needed to ALWAYS keep in mind the preaching of the gospel. He wasn't warning me about preaching any passage or any book in particular, but just that I always kept in mind that, in the end, it always needs to come back to Jesus.
Particularly because of my high regard for Dave, I never have forgotten his admonition. And now I pass on to you the same challenge.
The apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 2:1-2, makes the point that he came preaching but one basic message: Christ and him crucified. People here and there will ask you or challenge you to preach on many subjects (racial reconciliation, equity, homosexuality, abortion, social disobedience, Israel, the use of alcohol, etc, etc, etc.) There is no end to what one can preach on and, as we all know, the Bible is a very thick book. But the thrust of ALL the scriptures is Christ. And everything else pales in comparison to him.
So preach the gospel: the good news that Christ came into the world heralding the Kingdom of God, and because of Christ we are now able to enter that kingdom: having been reconciled back to God, purified by his blood, our sins having been taken away thanks to his sacrifice for sinners on the cross. Preach it! Preach it! Preach it! Never stray from it.
By His Grace,