Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hoping for Tomorrow While Facing Your Today!

1 Samuel 17: 45-47 "David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

Do you have big plans for the future? Maybe you're a child or adolescent and you dream about what you will be when you grow up. Maybe you are teen at or near graduation and you are thinking about education or work beyond high school. Maybe you're an adult and you're planning to start a family, changing your career, or saving for retirement. All of us try to look as far up the road as we can and have great hopes for the future. But to get to tomorrow, we've got to make it through TODAY.

When David was but a boy, the prophet Samuel anointed him to be the next king of Israel. This young, rosy cheeked shepherd boy was to become the great king of God's chosen people. But between the time he was anointed, and the time he was appointed, he had a great hurdle to overcome. That hurdle was over 9 feet tall and went by the name Goliath. On that morning in the Valley of Elah, David's future wasn't as much a concern to him as was what he faced
that day.

Someone reading this blog right now is having a hard time hoping for your tomorrow because you can't see past what you are facing today. Though your giant may go by a different name, I'm sure its just as big, and just as determined to defeat you. Maybe its your health, your finances, your marriage, bullies at school, an addiction, or the loss of a loved one. This giant is staring down at you, and you don't think you are going to make it through today.

Of course you know that David did make it past his giant to reach his tomorrow. But how? Well, he did two things. First, he reminded himself of how God had helped him to overcome his giants in the past. David remembered when God helped him defeat a lion and a bear. Just think back for a moment of times past when you faced other situations and how God, through His power and mercy, delivered you then. Guess what!? He'll do it again!

Secondly, David was not afraid because he knew that it was God's fight and not his. He boldly proclaimed to his enemy, "
All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands." Though God has brought you to this fight, and He will bring you through this fight, you should know...it is really not your fight. You are His vessel, His instrument by which He will bring Himself glory.

So count yourself blessed that God has given you front row seats, and prepare to watch Him show up and show out. Just remember that God is in control, He is mighty in battle and though you can't see it right now because of the giant you are facing, He will bring you to victory. So you can keep on Hoping for Tomorrow, While Facing Your Today!


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Try Jesus!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Mother's Faith.

Exodus 2:3 "But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile."

Pop quiz question of the day. "What was Moses' mother's name?"....(Can you hear in your head that music from Jeopardy?)...What?! You mean to tell me you don't know Moses' mother's name? Don't bother looking in Exodus 2 to find it. Her name is not mentioned there. And don't bother beating yourself up about it. I didn't know either before I was studying for this sermon and really searched for it.

Her name was Jochebed (Exodus 6:20 & Number 26:59). Isn't that amazing that as iconic of a figure Moses is all around the world, among many religions and the non-religious, his mother nearly goes nameless and largely unknown. But isn't that like many strong mothers. Their work so far reaching, yet so unnoticed. If you really look down to the foundation of many families, most churches, and throughout society, you will see...the Faith of a Mother.

Look at Jochebed's faith. She had the faith to take her son after hiding him for protection from the decree of Pharaoh to kill all the baby boys born to Hebrew women (read the full story Exodus 1-2). Then in a desparate effort to save him, she put her son in a basket and her faith in the Lord, and sent him down the Nile River. She had no idea what awaited him down that river, but she knew...God did. That's the faith of a mother.

And of course, God worked it all out. While she was lying in bed crying over her son, God was redirecting the alligators, calming the waters, and controlling the weather. Then He prompted Moses' sister Miriam to follow him down the river, gave Pharoah's daughter the notion to go down to to bathe at the perfect moment, put compassion in her heart to want to save the baby and a bright idea in her head to get a Hebrew mother to nurse him (Moses own mother none-the-less).

But when Jochebed kneeled at the bank of the river, with her baby in that basket, she didn't know all that would happen. She couldn't see that far down the river, metaphorically speaking. What gave her strength and peace to send her son down the Nile, to watch him slowly drift away from her?...a Mother's Faith.

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Try Jesus!