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The Story - Chapter 11

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The Story - Chapter 11 – From Shepherd to King

Offering - Mark Stier & Mark Siebert Affirmation Ballot

Here’s another leadership decision.  (IDES)  How many here are still in school? We should never stop learning, but some are taking classes either in person or online. How many of you have ever taken an exam and during the exam there were answers you clearly knew but there were others you clearly did not know?  And your answer to that question clearly confirmed in the teacher’s mind that you did not know the answer.    Dr. Tim Elmore provided a list of actual answers Middle School, High School and College students gave on school exams.  Here are a few.  Chemistry Class: Q: What is a nitrate?  A:  It’s much cheaper than a day rate.  Business Management Class:  Q: What is a partnership?  A:  A ship that takes two people to drive.  Biology Class: Q: What does “terminal illness” mean?  A: When you become ill at the airport.  Business Class:  Q: Define the term “stakeholder.”  A:  Someone who hunts vampires - Buffy being the most famous.  Physics Class: Q: Is the sun or moon more important?  A:  The moon gives us light at night when we need it.  The sun only provides light in the day when we don’t need it.  Therefore, the moon is more important.  Athletic Application:  Q:  Church Preference?  A:  Red brick.[i] 

            When you read answers like these it makes you wonder if students are getting it, but then the Olivet Middle School football team from Olivet, Michigan decides to run a play and deliberately not score.  And then you know – some kids get what life is all about!  Watch this!  (Olivet Middle School Football Team Video)  This life is not about me!  This life is not about you!  This life is all about God and his Son

Saul was the first king of Israel, but he did not reflect God’s heart.  Saul was like the kings that led the nations around him.  He took the good and destroyed the bad.  God wanted a leader that would reflect His heart.  The people of Israel chose Saul!  Now it’s time for God to make His choice.  Enter the most unlikely king you will ever meet!  A 16 year shepherd boy named David![ii]   Open up your Bibles to 1 Samuel 16:1.  Do you need a Bible?  Inside your handout you will see an update concerning The Gift Shop!  We will be serving 106 children from 29 families.  We expect that total to increase to 150 children from 40 families.  Children range from infants to age 18.  Here are the gifts that we need:  Board games--especially for ages 8 and above (65 kids are eight or older) / Sporting Goods / Crafts & Art Supplies / Toys for boys:  Legos/blocks/trucks/trains / Toys for girls:  Dolls, Barbie Doll & Disney princesses / Gifts for teens:  Books, movies (12 teenage boys) Notice the two that are highlighted!  Could you bring these gifts next weekend?

            Let’s begin reading in 1st Samuel 16:1The word “mourn” is the word “grieve.”  As a human being I will never tell you it’s time to stop grieving the loss of someone or something, but God just might!  Please go to Him and listen to what he’s saying to you!  Back again at verse 1.  I am sending you to Jesse (Jesse is the grandson of Ruth and Boaz) of Bethlehem. Bethlehem keeps showing up in scripture.  Look at this map!  (Map #8)  Bethlehem is where Jacob will bury Rachel.  Naomi and Ruth will travel back to Bethlehem.  Bethlehem is the home of Jesse.  Mary & Joseph will travel to Bethlehem.  Jesus will be born in Bethlehem!  We do an outreach event in December called Night in Bethlehem.  Take a step back in time to a special night in history:  the night Jesus was born.  We convert this FLC into a Bethlehem Marketplace.  This will happen on Friday, December 6 from 5 to 9PM.  If you have little children or know of someone who has little ones – this event is especially effective.  However, we need some help!  We need some volunteers!  (Note volunteer list!)

            God tells Samuel to go visit Jesse of Bethlehem because God has chosen one of his sons to be king!  Let’s keep reading!  Find verse 2!  (Read 2-6!) I have a hard time believing that Samuel would fall for that.  The people chose Saul because he was externally impressive!  I rarely if ever recite poems, but here we go!  (Use Preacher poem)  Now, may I make an observation?  That minister needs to repent!  You can’t judge people based on their looks!  So what if this man hasn’t shaved!  Underline verse 7 in 1st Samuel 16!    I have two $20 bills right here.  One is in bad shape.  My question is bad shape or not don’t they both hold the same value?  Go to verse 8!  (Read 8-12)  Hey that doesn’t make sense.  Appearance doesn’t make for a king, but on the flip side "ugly" doesn’t either!  You can only serve God if you’re pretty!  NO!  You can only serve God is you’re ugly!  NO!  You serve God because you share HIS heart!  Apparently David did!  Go back to the end of verse 12.  (Read 12b-13) 

            David is 16. He will wait another 14 years before he’s actually King, but what David doesn’t have to wait for is God’s spirit!  God is with David!  David is described as “a man after God’s own heart!”  Now what does that mean?  AND SO WHAT GREG?  God has David’s heart!  What does that mean to me?  Are you ALL IN?  Pretend this stage is cut in half.  Here’s the dividing line! This side means I’m in!  This side means I’m out!  Now be careful how you treat people who are considered out!  Jesus didn’t treat them as the enemy!  We shouldn’t either.  Matthew 9 tells us he treated people with compassion – he saw them as harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd!  Jesus came to seek and save people who are LOST!  Lost people struggle with direction.  They don’t know which way to go or the direction they did go has led to a dead end!  BUT THIS SIDE!  This side means I believe in God and I trust what Jesus did on the cross HAS rescued me from sin and permanent death!  I am a follower of Jesus!  I am not a fan.  I am not a spectator Christian.  I don’t come for 70 minutes on Sunday!  I am His and He is mine!  I AM ALL IN! 

            Now the worst possible place to be is one foot here and one foot there!  In one word – that’s miserable!  Are you like, “There are days I believe in God and then there are times when I think He’s non-existent!  When things go my way – I’m all in, but when things go south, I’m out!”  Have you ever prayed this prayer?  (Thankful video)

May I put “being thankful” in perspective?  I received this email from my dear friend Dereck.  On behalf of the village we would like to thank the Westerville Church families that have taken many orphans in Mushayamunda village and made them their own. The blessings are many.  Here’s one!  Livison was an orphan, who was left as a little boy by his parents. They died of Aids. The father worked in a mining field for years, and never made enough money to come home. Many times he would only send the little money he got to the wife so she could look after the kids. Livison’s father contracted Aids, came home sick and passed the illness to his faithful and loving wife.   After a few years with no medication at all due to sanctions in the country, they died. Their deaths were like many other deaths. It was very painful, looking at the little ones left behind with no one to care for them or provide for them.

This is where Westerville Christian came in and did what she does best - CARE!!!!!! If the church had not agreed to walk by faith and not by sight, where would Livison be today?  This little boy you picked up years ago, was sent to school, has graduated from college and is now teaching. As you see him with his head lifted high.  Many other children are looking at him and saying, "Nothing is impossible with God.”

            Livison is so thankful to God and he’s really not received much in this world!  Livison is ALL in for God!  Are you?  Let me give you a practical example!  Livison had every reason to be afraid in this world, but he didn’t let his fear get the best of him.  When I read DAVID, I think Goliath and Bathsheba.  Bathsheba is next week.  Go to 1st Samuel 17:4.  (Read 4-11)  When it comes to the fears of this life – I’m all in with God! 

Goliath is one heart pounding, blood curdling, & knee shaking FEAR!  Jesse tells his son David – go check on your three brothers fighting in Saul’s army.  Don’t go empty handed.  Take some cheese and crackers and see how they are doing!  David does what Jesse tells him.  As David arrives on the scene he hears this.  Find verse 23!  (Read 23-24)  David will not let fear paralyze him!  Find verse 32!  David has confidence!  WHY?  GOD!  Unknown to him God has been preparing him.  Watching sheep is boring, unless a lion or a bear shows up!  David has killed both a lion and a bear!  He’s been slinging stones for years!  He’s good!  I have no doubt that God directed the stone that killed Goliath but David is the one who slung it!  God uses people!  God empowers His people.

David and Goliath square off.  Honestly this isn’t a fair fight!  David is going to kick Goliath’s butt!  Goliath looks at him and says – you are a dead dog!  I will tear you apart.  David says this.  Find verse 45!  (Read 45-46)  Wouldn’t that make a great movie?  Find verse 50! 

You either have or will or are currently staring fear right in the face.  This fear wants you to deny God to his face.  How many times do we say, I’m afraid?  I’m afraid I can’t measure up.  I’m afraid of the diagnosis.  I’m afraid I can’t live for God in this world.  I’m afraid I can’t go to a secular college and actually thrive as a Christ follower.  I’m afraid I can’t get this bully to leave me alone!  So many young people are taking their own lives!  As the church we need to go – get out.  We need to get our head’s up and look out for people - to get in the mess of humanity.  To dare to care as God wants us to.  Are you all in?  Come pray this life isn’t about me!  This life is about God using me like he used David!

Basket Weaving Shopkeepers             5-7 or 7-9pm

Sling Shot Shooter                              5-7pm

Torah School Assistants                      7-9pm

Leather Pouch Shopkeepers                5-7 or 7-9pm

Shepherds                                           5-7 or 7-9pm

Beggar                                                 5-7pm

Census Takers                                     7-9pm


A minister passing through his church

In the middle of the day,

Decided to pause by the altar

To see who came to pray

Just then the back door opened,

And a man came down the aisle,

The minister frowned as he saw the man

Hadn't shaved in a while

His shirt was torn and shabby,

And his coat was worn and frayed,

The man knelt down and bowed his head,

Then rose and walked away.

In the days that followed at precisely noon,

The preacher saw this chap,

Each time he knelt just for a moment,

A lunch pail in his lap

Well, the minister's suspicions grew,

With robbery a main fear,

He decided to stop and ask the man,

'What are you doing here?'


[i] Tim Elmore, “F in Exams” November 18, 2013

[ii] Randy Frazee, The Heart of the Story, 107

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