Taking the Necessary Steps

Learning how God answers some prayers

There is a famous story in John 2 about Jesus turning water into wine. I think it teaches us all something about the way God meets our needs.

Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it.  – John 2:6-8

I don’t know exactly how they filled the jars with water but it appears to me that they had 2 choices.

  • They could carry the jars to the well and fill them up to the brim and carry them back, or
  • They could go to the well with smaller pitchers, fill those up, walk back and fill the larger jars, and repeat that process until it was finished.

Either way, we’re talking about a pretty good amount of work.

I did some research and if you split the difference between the 20 and 30 gallons these jars held, you get 25 gallons of water, which would weigh about 200 pounds. So each of these jars, when full would have weighed 250 lbs or so including the stone jar itself.

So, they either carried six 50 pound jars to the well, filled them up and carried six 250 pound jars back, or they carried 1200 pounds of water one gallon at a time.

Often when I pray for God to do a miracle or answer a prayer I want it done RIGHT NOW. I’m looking for those “Suddenly” moments from Scripture, and He can do that. But what if God meets needs another way too?

What if the answer to your prayer looks more like a process and the miracle you seek takes more than a minute?

You pray and ask God to “fix” your marriage. You want it fixed by the time you say “amen” and open your eyes. But what if God is fixing it one counseling session at a time?

You pray and ask God to “help” your finances. You mean give me more money or lower my bills. But what if God is helping your finances every month you create a budget?

You pray and ask God to “give” you a promotion at work. You’re expecting the boss to offer you the job today over lunch. But what if God is teaching you some things in this job so you’re ready for that job 3 years from now?

Our miracles are usually the culmination of faithfully walking to the well time after time to fill up the jars, and carrying the heavy things because Jesus asked us to.

I think my favorite part of this story is when Jesus asks the servants to draw “some” out and take it to the master. Draw some what out? They had just put water in those jars, why would they give the master water? But they drew it out and the master tasted wine.

What you put in during the miracle isn’t what you draw out after the miracle.

Be patient. Don’t get frustrated. Do what Jesus is telling you to do and…

TRUST THE PROCESS.

 

The Last New Years Resolution Post You Need to Read

4 Things to Focus on in 2017

We’re only one week into the new year, but I’ve already read about more resolutions than I care to remember. I’ve broken one resolution already, but I don’t want to talk about it.

So I won’t bore you with the same old things you’ve already read somewhere else…maybe.

This past Sunday I spoke at our church on “4 Things to Focus on in 2017.” If you’d like to listen you can CLICK HERE.

While there are a number of things you could focus on this year, I believe these 4 things will lay the foundation for everything else.

1.  Spend more time with God

Now I realize there’s almost no more cliche thing for a Pastor to tell you than to spend more time with God. But I wouldn’t tell you, if I didn’t believe it.

Pastor Chris Hodges tweeted recently,

“2017 will be the best year of your life if it’s the best year spiritually.”

I genuinely believe this to be true.

Pick a Bible Reading Plan and stick to it. Commit to pray daily. Be in Church. Surround yourself with people who are growing in their relationship with the Lord.

Look at this from the book of Matthew.

Matthew 14:22-23 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,

If Jesus knew it was important to spend time with the Father, you and I should too.

2.  Trust God More

It’s an amazing thing that God forgives our sins and saves us. I am so thankful that He is my Savior. But did you know that He also wants to be Lord of your life? He wants to lead and guide and direct our lives. Who better to do that, than the One who is writing our story?

Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not in your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”

Maybe the greatest thing you could do in 2017 is trust God beyond your ability to figure it all out.

3.  Forgive more

The 1st two really focused on you and God. The 3rd thing I think you and I should focus on more in 2017 is forgive more. Look at this:

Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

I don’t think the point Jesus was making is that you have to forgive someone 77 times, but once they do wrong for the 78th time you can write them off. I think He was trying to make the point that we should be a forgiving people.

It has been said that “Forgiven people forgive people” but I’m not sure that’s always the case. I know a lot of “christians” who can’t, or won’t, forgive others.

Jesus tells a story later in Matthew 18 about a man who owes 10,000 pieces of gold. The king calls the man in to pay his debt, but the man says, “I don’t have it to pay.” So the king orders that his wife and kids be thrown into prison until he can pay it. He begs and the king relents and cancels the debt. The man gets up and goes outside where he bumps into a guy who owes him 100 bucks. He asks for it, but the man says “I don’t have it.” So he orders that the man be thrown in jail. The king is informed about this man who was forgiven much but refused to forgive and he has him thrown in jail and tortured. That story leads me to ask this question of me and you.

What if we could only receive as much forgiveness as we gave?

The last focus for this year is

4.  Pray Big Prayers

In the book of Joshua there is an amazing story.

The children of Israel have captured Jericho and defeated Ai. So the kings in the area get scared thinking that they might be next. So they band together to protect themselves and they attack the Gibeonites. The Gibeonites call out to Joshua for help and he leads them on a march all night to come to the Gibeonites’ rescue. When they get there, they attack, defeat the enemy and chase them down. Then we read one of the most amazing passages in the entire Bible.

Joshua 10:12-15 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.

I know sometimes when we read the Bible there is a temptation to think, “well that was back then, this is now, that can’t happen anymore.” But what if you started praying big prayers just on the off chance that God could actually answer them?
Pastor Mark Batterson doesn’t call them Big Prayers, he calls them Bold Prayers. He says “God honors bold prayers, because bold prayers honor God.”

I know it doesn’t work like this, but I want to pray the kind of prayers that gets God’s attention in heaven. Prayers so bold He has to stop what He’s doing to make sure He heard me correctly. Again, I know that’s not even theologically correct, but it sure does illustrate how I want to live my life this year. I’ve been asking myself the following question to get me started.

What could I ask God for that makes me a little bit nervous?

Maybe you could ask yourself the same thing as you focus on

Spending More Time with God

Trusting God More

Forgiving More, and 

Praying Bigger Prayers!

Happy New Year!

The Power of “The 1”

This past Sunday I spoke out of Genesis 18 about the story of Abraham negotiating with God about the salvation of Lot and the “righteous” before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra. It was my contention that Abraham cared less about the 50, 45, 40, 30, 20 or 10 that he was asking God for than he cared about “The 1”: his nephew Lot.

You can listen to the message HERE.

Well, here’s what I didn’t know…

A guy in our church, Rick, has a guy he has coached baseball with over the last few months for their sons. Rick’s friend has experienced some personal tragedy during the time they’ve known one another and Rick has offered to pray for him and his family. Last week while they were talking Rick was trying to encourage his friend regarding some of the things that were happening and his friend said, “I just need what you have. You have something different and want that.”

Rick responded, “well then you need to come to my church Sunday.” And his friend said he would. Sunday rolls around and his friends does indeed show up. Rick admitted to me later that he was nervous because he didn’t know what songs we were singing or what I was going to be speaking on, and how his friend would respond. His friend stood with arms folded during the first portion of worship. I came up during a “pastoral prayer” moment and encouraged everyone to turn and tell their neighbor that God loved them. So Rick leaned over and told his friend who “kind of snickered.”

Later I started my message and our guest services team had passed out a penny to everyone in attendance. So as I’m talking about God valuing “The 1” everyone is holding 1 cent. Later I asked this question of those in attendance in each of our 3 services as they held their penny, “whose salvation are you begging God for?”

Rick’s friend leaned over and asked, “Rick, who’s your 1?”

To which Rick replied,

“You are!”

They both began to cry. Eventually their tears were more than either of them could control and then we all prayed.

Rick’s friend handed him the penny after church and said, “since I was the 1 you were praying for I guess you should keep this.” Rick took it as a reminder to pray for his friend everyday this week and he invited him to come back to church this coming week. His friend said he would.

Rick would later tell me, “this is one of those amazing stories you only hear about…and this time I get to be part of it.”

Living a life that seems “different” to those around us.

The power of an invitation.

The work of God in the life of “The 1.”

Who are you begging God for?

Worry isn’t a Way of Life (Part 2 on Worry)

Earlier I wrote about Worry isn’t Warning. You can read it HERE. I also spoke on Worry earlier this year at MPNCanton. You can listen or subscribe to the podcast HERE.

I talked in the previous post about the fact that we convince ourselves that worry is warning, but that it isn’t. Warning is warning. Worry is worry.

I also talked about the 2nd reason that we worry is that we believe it is a way of life. We think everyone worries, and it’s okay if we do too. We’ll pick up there!

——–

2) Worry isn’t a Way of Life. In fact it’s the opposite of the life God wants us to live. Worry is in fact worthless.

Matthew 6:27 “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?“

Worrying doesn’t change the situation, it just causes you a bunch of stress and fear.

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.- Corrie Ten Boom

Instead listen to this in

1 Peter 5:6-9 (NLT) So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.

Now verse 7 tells us to give ALL our worries and cares to God. Why? Because He cares about you.

But even beyond that, I love verses 6, 8-9 because it gives you permission to do something as a way of life instead of worrying.

First look at verse 8-9. Stay Alert! Watch out for the enemy…

I don’t think it’s our job to worry about the enemy. I think it’s just our job to watch out for him.

Verse 6 says, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God…”

Humbling myself under the mighty power of God…that sounds like what I do when I worship. I recognize my position and His power!

I believe you can worship away your worry.

When I worship, my attention is redirected away from what I see right in front of me to the object of my worship.

Psalm 121:1-2 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

There’s tons of context here but I want you to see the imagery of lifting my eyes up to the hills to see the help coming.

Worship is a secret weapon for you. I realize not everyone is the same, but when I get worried, or stressed. When I’m facing temptation. Any number of things. I turn on worship music. It changes the atmosphere.

Taking that thought even further Paul says this in Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Here’s that same passage in the Message paraphrase

Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG) Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

No one can pray and worry at the same time. – Max Lucado

The translators of the Message say “Let your praise shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.” You have the power to turn your worry into worship. Telling God exactly what you’re worried about and focusing on Him, His goodness toward you, and His example of faithfulness throughout Scripture, history and your life.

Let me give you a warning. I’ve counseled with a lot of people and I want to help you avoid something that many of these people had to find out for themselves.

Sometimes you can pray so much about your worries that you worry more. You can literally pray yourself in a worry circle. You can pray to God so much about the things you’re afraid of that you’re more afraid.

You can thank God so much for bringing you out that you actually get stuck in it.

That’s why I think it’s important to worship your way though worry. It takes my eyes off my worry and puts my eyes on the object of my worship.

I would encourage you to pray and tell God what you’re worried about. Thank Him for delivering you. Then worship and focus on Him and not on your worries.

I don’t know what you are worried about today, but I know that God desires to free you from that worry.

Worry isn’t warning, and isn’t a way of life. Don’t give it more power than it has.

 

 

Worry isn’t Warning (Part 1 on Worry)

I want you to read something, and then let’s talk about it for a moment. This is Matthew 6:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…  27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?“ And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin…34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

There are very few places in Scripture that are this explicit about us not doing something that most of us still do without fear of repercussions. We worry! And yet, here is Jesus saying “don’t worry about your life…Can worrying add a single hour to your life?…don’t worry about tomorrow.”

Jesus says don’t, and yet we still do!

I preached on this very idea at MPNCanton earlier this year. You can listen to the message or subscribe to the podcast HERE.

Prior to that message I asked people on Facebook to tell me what they worry about. Here were some of their responses:

  • Not succeeding
  • Making decisions or taking risks
  • If you’re doing enough
  • Getting older,
  • Unfulfilled dreams,
  • Children
  • Career choices
  • The future
  • Letting people down
  • Missing out on what God has for me

Obviously this list isn’t exhaustive but it seems that we are most worried about success, money, health, family and the future.

So if Jesus said don’t do it, but we do it anyway let’s look at 2 reasons most of us worry.

1) A lot of times we think worry might be a warning. We’ve heard those stories of someone who had a feeling or a premonition just before something bad happened, and so we convince ourselves that our “worry” is a warning that something bad is going to happen. I want to come back to this in a moment.

2) Sometimes we think worry is a way of life. What I mean is that we think as a parent we are required to worry for our kids. We think we are supposed to worry about our jobs and our future. Everyone seems to be worried about something so I guess it’s okay if we do too, right?

So let’s address each of these quickly.

1) Worry isn’t warning. The reason I can say this with certainty is because

Worry isn’t the voice of God. The voice of God is the voice of God.

When I learn His voice I won’t mislabel it as worry! If God wants to warn me of something, He warns me of something. He doesn’t give me an obscure worry that causes me to doubt if it was His voice, and that I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with what I’m feeling.

Jesus told us about a helper we would have after He left the earth.

John 14:26-27 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

He said that the Holy Spirit is our Advocate. That’s someone who is on your side. Someone who is there to help you. And when Jesus said He was leaving the Holy Spirit for us, He said that it was a gift of peace for our hearts and minds so that we didn’t have to be troubled or afraid.

So worry isn’t warning. Warning is warning. If I’m unsure whether something is a warning I would ask 2 simple questions:

  • Is this a way God speaks (to me)?Be careful not to interject that you think someone, somewhere, that one time felt something before something bad happened…has God ever specifically spoken to you this way?
  • How am I supposed to act in light of what God has warned me? I believe if there isn’t a specific response that it’s just worry and not warning. A warning is “Get out of the way, a car is about to hit you”. A worry is “This is a dangerous world where bad things happen to kids.” There’s nothing I can do with that other than to just worry.

So worry isn’t warning. Warning is a warning.

 

Millennials & the Holy Spirit

A few Sundays ago at MPNCanton we celebrated Pentecost Sunday. For those who follow the Hebraic calendar yes we did move it back one week to get it off of Memorial Day weekend. I spoke on “Pentecost, the Power of God, and the Holy Spirit”. You can listen or subscribe to the podcast HERE.

In the message I tried to be as transparent as possible regarding my own journey with the Holy Spirit. I grew up in a minister’s home and Pentecostal churches. I was in charismatic worship services from birth. I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues as a young teenager and continue to do so (if you don’t know what this is I encourage you to listen to the message at the link above or contact me so we can talk). I hold the highest rank of ministerial credentials in a Pentecostal denomination. And yet, I have struggled at different times in my life managing a tension related to some of the things I experienced in and out of those worship services and how it continues to shape what I believe about the Holy Spirit.

While there were many faithful saints in my life who modeled Christ, the Holy Spirit, authentic worship, and Christian discipleship…I watched as some people, including some of my friends in the youth group or in college, would experience various manifestations described in several places in the New Testament as “Gifts of the Spirit” and then I would watch those same people act in ways that seemed so contrary to anyone God would use. If I’m being completely honest I was just as guilty of this at times. So how could these manifestations be real coming from people that I wasn’t even sure were Christians in that moment? As I put it in my message (and reaches far beyond just Holy Spirit manifestations)

“One reason I believe my generation (and others) became skeptical of the work of the Holy Spirit is because we couldn’t rationalize how the same mouth speaking so holy inside the church could talk so foul outside the church.”

Later in life I increased my childhood obsession for answers to the question “Why?” I wanted to know how things worked, why things were the way they were, and I wanted to understand everything I could possibly understand about…well, everything. I was on a quest for knowledge and my attempt to understand all things supernatural was often frustrating.

I was again confronted with a tension between my head and my heart. My faith and my feelings. My experiences and my doubt.

I don’t believe I’m alone. I believe there are many, like me, who have experienced the power of God, the work of the Holy Spirit, or desire so deeply to do so…but they aren’t sure how to reconcile that with their doubt about these supernatural things.

The problem is that we have allowed our skepticism to turn us cynical.

We have replaced our awe and hope for the supernatural with our comfort of the explainability of the natural.

I don’t believe everything I’ve ever seen that was credited to the Holy Spirit was really Him.

I also believe that there are things I’ve been convinced wasn’t the Holy Spirit, that actually was.

I’m just trying to find a healthy balance. Not in an attempt to “quench” a move of God, but in an attempt to better manifest all of God’s nature in my life and not just the “wow” ones.

I have a personal conviction that a person’s manifested “Gifts of the Spirit” and their displayed “Fruit of the Spirit” shouldn’t cause an observer to wonder which part they are lying about. Meaning that where someone claims the power of the Holy Spirit at work in and through their lives, and it is manifested through certain gifts of the Spirit, that same person should reflect the nature of God through the fruit of the Spirit like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

This is not a call to perfection. It’s a call to authenticity.

Paul couched it this way: Right in between 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 where he lays out much of the doctrine we utilize related to gifts in our personal lives and corporate settings we find this:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

I told our campus that we are a Pentecostal church. I am a Pentecostal and proud of it. I speak in tongues. I desire the works I read about in the Bible to be the reality in our church.

I don’t think Millennials like me are afraid of the Holy Spirit. I think Millennials like me are scared to be lumped together with people that sound a lot like God, but don’t act like Him at all.

What are your thoughts on the Holy Spirit? I really do want to know.

David and Goliath

Sunday I spoke on David and Goliath at MPNCanton. You can listen or subscribe to the podcast HERE.

This is a story we all know because it transcends the church and Scripture, as culture has adopted the language and imagery for its own uses and purposes. We resonate with this story because we all feel like David at times in our lives. We feel overpowered, overwhelmed, ill-equipped to deal with our adversity, small against the big, etc. This story gives us hope that we can succeed against seemingly insurmountable odds.

There are so many things to love about the story found in 1 Samuel 17.

Here were three of my takeaways Sunday.

1) David saw his previous experiences as preparation for his current battle.

But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him.  Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:34-37a

When David was declaring to a bunch of scared military men and the current king that he would go and fight Goliath he did so with reference to his past experience against enemies of his father’s sheep. Something about his battles with lions and bears caused him to feel prepared to face this giant.

What if we viewed our present circumstances for the value they possess in our future?

What if the battles you are facing right now aren’t to overcome to you, but to prepare you?

2) David ran toward the fight, not away from it.

When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 1 Samuel 17:48

I remember in the aftermath of September 11th the stories that were written and the images displayed of those who ran into the buildings, ran into the rubble, ran into the chaos. They were heroes. Our humanity, we are told, gives us two options: fight or flight. Saul and his fellow soldiers were in hiding as 80 times Goliath called out for an opponent. David only had to hear it once to act. Then he convinced Saul that he could fight. Then he walked onto the battlefield and answer Goliath’s taunting. When the time was right he ran at his opponent.

We have a tendency to run away from our enemies, but our victory comes when we run toward.

3) Our battles are all about perspective. We are not standing toe to toe looking UP at a giant bigger than us, we serve a God who is looking DOWN on an enemy smaller than He is.

Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord‘s, and he will give you into our hand.” 1 Samuel 17:45-47

David made sure his brothers, Saul, and Goliath knew that he was aware who was fighting this battle.

Often when we face our giants we are overwhelmed by their size in comparison to us. Why not change your perspective, zoom out, and focus on their size in comparison to the God who fights for you?

There are so many other things that speak to me out of this chapter. David was only there because he said yes to his father’s request to carry grain and cheese to his brothers. Faithful service of the father will always position in the right place. Saul didn’t believe David could do it. Others won’t always recognize what you are capable of. David’s brother, Eliab, rebuked, criticized, belittled, and questioned David’s motives. When you take a stand, people will speak up against you.

It’s not just a child’s story. It’s a reminder that when we put our trust in God the giants in front of us will come down.

Forgetting Your Child

I received the following text from my wife on Sunday morning at 8:20am.

DontForgetKinley

 

Kinley is the name of our daughter & youngest child. Corrie was reminding me not to leave the house without her…

Let the confidence my wife has in me just sink in for a moment.

Corrie left our house around 7:45am with our 2 oldest boys for All-star baseball games. I was taking our youngest two to church with me. We would all meet at the ballpark after church for more games. When Corrie left Tucker was already up, but Kinley was still in her bed asleep. I assume she thought I would forget that she was in there, and not that I’m a terrible father.

Fittingly I preached from 1 Samuel 16 that morning. You can listen or subscribe to our podcast HERE.

The story of 1 Samuel 16 is about David being anointed by Samuel to be Saul’s successor as King. I spent some time focused here:

And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice…Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. 1 Samuel 16:5b, 11-13

I always thought Jesse was free from blame for not having David there because the prophet showed up unannounced. However, it appears that the prophet invited Jesse and his sons TO the sacrifice where one of them would be anointed. It appears that Jesse made a conscience decision not to bring David in from the field for this moment with the prophet of God. That seems like a big moment not to include one of your children. You could infer (though this is not in the Bible and only opinion) that Jesse didn’t think David was the one that would be chosen anyway.

He forgot his son!

Maybe Jesse’s wife just didn’t send him a text that said, “Don’t forget David” before he left.

If you’ve ever felt left out, you’re not alone. If you’ve ever felt like you don’t measure up to the people you assume God would choose, you’re not alone.

God’s got a plan, and thankfully He chooses people differently than we choose people.

The story in 1 Samuel is that God looked over the people Samuel assumed would be chosen because He wasn’t as concerned with their outward appearance or abilities as he was the content of their heart.

David was the man for the job.

It appears that in the economy of God the fastest way to the palace is faithful service in the field.

Quit eliminating yourself from consideration because you assume He won’t choose you.

Quit working harder on what you can do with your hands and focus more on cultivating your heart.

You may feel left out, but I can promise your Father hasn’t forgotten you!

New Sermon Series Starts Sunday

CachedBlob.aspx-2

 

 

I am PUMPED for our new series starting Sunday. We are going to spend the summer walking through the life and relationships of David, the “man after God’s own heart.”

The story of David has always spoken to me. I even wrote a book about him. I really believe this series has something for everyone.

This week I’ll be starting in 1 Samuel 16 and looking at David with Samuel and what God is looking for in people He uses.

Here’s info on the whole series if you’re interested.