Last week we began to look at the life of Samson. And of all the unlikely heroes that we’ve looked at in this series – it seemed, in the beginning anyway, that Samson was actually the most likely. We read how before he was even born, God had specially chosen him and had set him apart as the hero – as the one who would begin to rescue the Israelites from the Philistines.

You’ll remember that an angel told Samson’s mom before He was born that her baby was to be a Nazarite from birth. Being a Nazarite meant that he was dedicated or set apart for God and as a sign of that, he was never to eat or drink anything from the vine (including wine or grapes or raisins) – he was never to cut his hair – and he was never to come near a dead body. Those three things were symbols of how Samson was set apart – dedicated to the Lord.

And things were very promising for Samson right from the beginning – we read that God blessed him as he grew up and that the Holy Spirit began to stir Samson or to prompt him to action as he got older. We even read about the time he was attacked by a lion and empowered by the Holy Spirit, he ripped the lions jaws apart as easily as if it were a young goat. We could clearly see that God was setting up Samson for greatness. It was starting to seem pretty obvious that God was going to use Samson in some amazing ways.

But then we read about two incidents that kinda shook our confidence in Samson. Despite the fact that God had set Samson up for greatness (or perhaps even BECAUSE of the fact that God had set Samson up for greatness), it seems that Samson is starting to become a little bit arrogant.

We read first of all how he totally disregarded his parents by insisting that he marry a young Philistine woman that had ‘caught his eye’. He didn’t even know the girl, but he insisted that she looked good to him and he demanded that his parents ‘get her’ for him. Of course, they saw the foolishness in this decision (knowing that God had specially set Him apart to rescue the Israelite from the Philistines – not to marry them) and they tried to dissuade him – but Samson had no regard for his parents advice. He did not honour his father and mother – as God had instructed in 5th of the 10 commandments.

The second incident that kinda shook our confidence in Samson was his disregard for his Nazarite vows. We read how after he killed that lion that attacked him, he went back later on and found that a swarm of bees had made honey in the carcass. And despite the fact that, as a Nazarite, he was never to go near a dead body, Samson scooped out some of that honey from the lion’s carcass and ate it. This was blatant disobedience to God’s command that he live as a Nazarite – set apart for God.

So we’re started to get some pretty serious red flags about Samson character. He seems to have no regard for authority of any kind – not his parents – not even God Himself. And you can be pretty sure that when someone has no regard for authority, disaster is just around the corner.

Well, today, we’re going to pick it up right where we left off. Samson and his parents have now arrived in Timnah to make the final arrangements for the wedding – this is the wedding that Samson’s parents had tried to talk Samson out of – but Samson wouldn’t listen to them and so the wedding went ahead. So we pick it up in Judges 14 – verse 10. Read the rest of this entry »

Samson’s Disregard

22 May 2017 In: Sermons

Well, today we’re going start looking at our final unlikely hero in the book of Judges. Now of course, we haven’t gone through each and every judge nor have we haven’t examined all the details in every story that we have looked at. But I think we’ve drawn out several important lessons from these stories and we’re going to try to do that one more time today. The character that we want to look at today is probably the most famous of all the judges. Today we’re going to start looking at the life of Samson.

Now the Bible gives us more information about Samson than any of the other judges we’ve looked at. Just to give you a comparison, a couple of Judges that we didn’t look at in this study – Tola and Jair – both have only two verse each about their lives – but Samson has four entire chapters.

So there must be something important for us to learn from the life of Samson. Which is almost surprising considering what a wreck his life was. Most of us remember Samson for his great strength – how he killed a lion with this bare hands – or how He tore the city gates right off their hinges – or how he killed a 1000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. These are the acts that made Samson famous – but what do we know about his character? What kind of a person was He? What was his relationship with God like? What was his relationship with others like? You see, these are the kind of issues that determine whether someone is truly a hero or just some big strong guy…

So that’s where I want to focus our attention this morning – not so much on his super strength and his fantastic exploits, but rather on his character. Because, we can’t all become burly, muscular weight-lifting champions – but we can all become men & women of heroic character.

Samson’s story begins in Judges chapter 13 and it begins much like all the other stories of the judges… it says…

Again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord handed them over to the Philistines, who oppressed them for forty years. Judges 13:1

If you’ve been with us for the past few weeks, this is no surprise. Pretty much every story has begun with “Again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight – so the Lord handed them over to…. so and so.” And in this case, it was the Philistines. But this is where this story begins to develop differently. Normally, we’d jump right into meeting the hero. But this time we start by meeting the hero’s parents. Look at verse 2. Read the rest of this entry »

Gideon’s Impossible Situation

19 May 2017 In: Sermons

As most of you know, we have been looking at some of the unlikely heroes in the book of Judges over the past several weeks. And so far it’s been quite a colorful journey for us. We’ve seen our left-handed hero, Ehud, defeat the fat King Eglon. We witnessed the leadership of Deborah, the one and only female judge, and with that we saw Barak following God’s leading, so long as his conditions were met. Another unlikely hero in that story was Jael who took out Sisera with her weapon of choice – the tent peg, and then last week we started looking at Gideon – the least in his clan, the weakest in his family, hiding out in the bottom of the winepress. And yet, God was able to use every single one of these people for His glory. In-spite of their weaknesses, and perhaps sometimes because of their weaknesses, God was able use them to rescue his people – showing them mercy time and time again.

And so today we are going to continue looking at the life of Gideon. We never got a chance to finish the story last week, and actually, we’re not going to finish it this week either. Gideon’s story is almost a mini-series in itself – there are several little stories within the whole story and we’re not going to go through all of them, so if you want to know the whole story, you’re going to have to read through it on your own some time maybe this week. And I would encourage you to do that, actually. Gideon’s story begins in Judges 6 and goes through to chapter 8 – and if you’re really ambitious, you can read about Gideon’s son Jotham in chapter 9.

But for today, we’re going to start right where we left off last time – at Judges chapter 6, verse 33. And in case you missed last week. God has just commissioned Gideon to rescue his people from the Midianites. Step #1 was to get rid of the false idols that the Israelites had been worshipping. God told Gideon to tear down his father’ altar to Baal and the Asherah pole beside it, and so, although he was afraid, Gideon took that first step of obedience and did what God asked. As a result, God began a change in his family, a change in his town, and a change in Gideon himself. And we’re going to see the further results of those changes today. So we start now at verse 33…

33 Soon afterward the armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east formed an alliance against Israel and crossed the Jordan, camping in the valley of Jezreel. 34 Then the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with power. He blew a ram’s horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him. 35 He also sent messengers throughout Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, summoning their warriors, and all of them responded. Judges 6:33-35

Now I’ve got to point out a couple of things before we go any further. First of all, when Gideon sounded the call to arms – who was it that came to him first? The clan of Abiezer. If you remember from last week, Gideon was the son of Joash of the clan of Abiezer. In other words – the first people who rallied to his side were his family! There are probably a few lessons that we could learn from that – but I just wanted to point that out in light of our lesson last week – how Gideon’s first little step of obedience began a change in his family. It changed his father – Joash, who used to worship Baal – and in fact, it seems like Gideon’s obedience has had an impact on his entire clan. I thought that was pretty cool.

When we decide to follow God, we have no idea how much it will impact our entire family. I know lots of you have family members who are not following the Lord right now. Be encouraged by this verse. Maybe it won’t happen over night – maybe it won’t happen for decades –  but your obedience to God can make a huge impact on your family. Perhaps that’s our Mother’s Day encouragement for today – be faithful and obedient to God – and who knows what God may do in your family through you over time.

Secondly, verse 34 I thought was really cool. It says… Read the rest of this entry »

Gideon – Mighty Hero

8 May 2017 In: Sermons

For the past couple of weeks we’ve been looking at some of the unlikely heroes in the book of Judges.

And of all the characters that we’ve looked so far, none of them have been the real famous Bible story characters that maybe some of you grew up with. If you went to Sunday school as a kid, you probably acted out the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho – maybe you saw a puppet show about Noah and the ark – there was probably a flannelgraph illustration of Daniel in the lions den.

However, you likely didn’t see any puppets acting out the story of Ehud as he lost his dagger in the fat of King Eglon’s belly. You’re not likely to have seen a kids feature skit about how Jael hammered a tent peg through the skull of Sisera. These aren’t the kinds of stories that usually make it into the children’s Bible story books. But they are in the Bible – and they are important for us to study and learn from… Just maybe not when you’re 5 years old!

But today we’re going to look at another judge – and this one is a little more well-known then some of these others. His story isn’t quite so graphic, so you very well may have learned about him in Sunday School. Today we’re going to look at the life of Gideon.

And Gideon’s story begins just like all the other judges we’ve looked at so far. They all begin the same way…

You’ll remember the cycle of sin that we’ve been talking about in the book of Judges. Israel would sin and so God would allow their enemies to oppress them. And after several years of enduring this oppression, the Israelites would repent and cry out for God to save them. Which of course, God did by sending them a rescuer – that is, a judge – like Ehud or Deborah. But then, as soon as the enemy was defeated and that particular judge died, the Israelites would go right back into sinning again and the cycle would begin all over.

And so, it’s quite predictable, that after Deborah rescued Israel from King Jabin and his commander Sisera, that Israel would again sin, and God would allow another enemy to oppress them. And this time, the enemy was a doozy. If you have your Bibles you can turn to Judges chapter 6 – verse 1. It begins like this: Read the rest of this entry »

Deborah? Barak? Jael? Nope… God!

1 May 2017 In: Sermons

Last week we began looking at some of the unlikely heroes in the book of Judges.  The book of Judges is full of some very colorful characters and provides some of the most fascinating and bizarre stories in the Bible. If you’re ever read through the book of Judges, you know what I’m talking about. It is one of the most graphic, violent books that you’ll probably ever read. So why in the world are we talking about it in church! Why is it even in the Bible?

Well, the book of Judges is an important historical record for us that shows us exactly what happens when people abandon the Lord. The moral depravity and chaos that comes when each man does what’s right in his own eyes is a shocking and sobering reminder to us all. But at the same time, the book of Judges gives us hope. It show us a God who merciful and kind. It shows us a God who takes pity on the very people who have abandoned and rejected Him. It shows us that we have a God who is mighty to save. So I’d say that’s certainly worth looking at!

We looked last week at the story of Ehud and how, after the Israelites abandoned God and were worshiping idols, God allowed the Moabites to oppress them. Well, that went on for about 18 years until the Israelites finally repented and called out to God. God answered by sending them Ehud. And the Bible describes Ehud as being a ‘left-handed’ man – which could have meant he had an actual physical disability in his right hand or at the very least, being left-handed in that culture was perceived as a weakness. There was something wrong with you. And yet, it was because of this ‘weakness’, that God was able to use Ehud to free His people from the oppression of the fat Moabite King Eglon. And I won’t recap the whole story, but if you missed it, you can find it in Judges chapter 3.

Now you’ll remember that we talked about the cycle of sin in the book of Judges. Israel would sin, God would send an enemy to oppress them, the people would cry out to God, and God would have mercy send them a rescuer (aka a judge) and he would rescue them. However, as soon as that judge died, the people of Israel would go right back to sinning and the cycle would begin again.

And as we can see in Judges chapter 4 – that is exactly what happened after Ehud died. The cycle began all over again. So that’s where we start today – Judges 4, Verse 1.

After Ehud’s death, the Israelites again did evil in the Lord’s sight. 2 So the Lord turned them over to King Jabin of Hazor, a Canaanite king. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-haggoyim. 3 Sisera, who had 900 iron chariots, ruthlessly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help.

Judges 4:1-3

There’s that pattern. Ehud dies and Israel again does evil. So God turns them over to King Jabin and his army commander, Sisera, who oppress Israel for 20 years and then finally, the Israelites cry out to God for help and He again sends them a rescuer. We continue in verse 4: Read the rest of this entry »

Ehud & the Fat Man

25 Apr 2017 In: Sermons

Unlikely HeroesToday we get to start something brand new! Over the past several months we’ve spent most of our Sundays looking at the spiritual disciplines or the healthy habits of those who follow God. These are the things that we as Christians do on a regular basis to help us get to know God and to know how he wants us to live day by day. And if you’ve missed that but are interested in learning more about these healthy habits – you can find all of those messages on my website – davetrenholm.com

But like I said, today we are going to start something brand new. Over the next few weeks we’re going to look at one of the strangest, most disturbing, most violent, most graphic books of the Bible.

I’m reminded of the Grandpa in the Princess Bride movie when he’s describing the book he’s about to read to his grandson who is sick in bed…. The grandson is expecting this book to be pretty lame, and so the grandpa says, “Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monster, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…”

Now of course, we’re not doing a study on the Princess Bride, but it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to describe this book of the Bible in the exact same way… We will find fighting, torture, revenge, chases, escapes, true love, and even miracles! The big difference is that our story is true. The stuff that we’re going to read about actually happen and it shows just how messed up mankind can be and yet how gracious and merciful God is to love us anyway.

The book we’re going to look at is called the Book of Judges. When I was trying to come up with a title for this series, my first idea was to call it “The Book of Failures” because of how messed up most of these guys were. But in the end, I decided to go with “Unlikely Heroes” because even though these guys really were messed up, God loved them anyway and despite their failings, God used them to do some pretty amazing things. And what’s more, through all of that, God used their failings to show his power and his faithfulness – and I think that’s important for us to see.

Now before we get into our story, I want to give you a little bit of the background to the book of Judges and so to do that, I want to you show you a quick little video by the Bible Project guys. These guys have a video for every book of the Bible that briefly explains that the book is all about – if you haven’t seen these before, look them up on youtube. They’re really great. 

Bible Project – Book of Judges

So that’s what we’re going to look at over the next few weeks. Now we’re not going to do a systematic study of the book – in fact, we’re not even going to look at all the different judges and all the different stories. You’re certainly welcome to read through all those on your own, but our focus for these next few weeks is primarily going to be on a just handful of these unlikely heroes – These men and women who, despite their failings, end up being used by God in some pretty amazing ways – and through that, teach us about God’s power, God’s love and God’s faithfulness.

Now I know the video touched on this briefly, but I just wanted to read to you exactly how the Bible sets the stage for these judges. Joshua and those in his generation have now died and this is what we read in Judges 2:10….

After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.  11 The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight and served the images of Baal. 12 They abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods, worshiping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the Lord. 13 They abandoned the Lord to serve Baal and the images of Ashtoreth. 14 This made the Lord burn with anger against Israel, so he handed them over to raiders who stole their possessions. He turned them over to their enemies all around, and they were no longer able to resist them. 15 Every time Israel went out to battle, the Lord fought against them, causing them to be defeated, just as he had warned. And the people were in great distress.

Judges 2:10-15

Of course, this is exactly what God had promised them. He had said way back in the days of Moses, if they obeyed God, He would bring them peace and prosperity. But if they refused to obey Him, He would cause their enemies to oppress them. And that was exactly what was happening. But even in the midst of all this, God showed them His great mercy and compassion by sending them a judge to rescue them. Verse 16.

Then the Lord raised up judges to rescue the Israelites from their attackers. 17 Yet Israel did not listen to the judges but prostituted themselves by worshiping other gods. How quickly they turned away from the path of their ancestors, who had walked in obedience to the Lord’s commands.

 18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge over Israel, he was with that judge and rescued the people from their enemies throughout the judge’s lifetime. For the Lord took pity on his people, who were burdened by oppression and suffering. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to their corrupt ways, behaving worse than those who had lived before them. They went after other gods, serving and worshiping them. And they refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.

Judge 2:16-19

And that’s the cycle we see throughout the book of Judges. Israel sins, God allows their enemies to oppress them, Israel cries out to God, God has compassion and sends them a deliverer (aka a judge), and as soon as their enemies are defeated, Israel goes right back into sinning again and we start the cycle all over.

And so that’s happening as we pick up our story in Judges 3:12-15.

12 Once again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight, and the Lord gave King Eglon of Moab control over Israel because of their evil. 13 Eglon enlisted the Ammonites and Amalekites as allies, and then he went out and defeated Israel, taking possession of Jericho, the city of palms. 14 And the Israelites served Eglon of Moab for eighteen years.

 15 But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man of the tribe of Benjamin.

Judges 3:12-15a

Now let’s pause here for a second. So here’s the first judge that we’re going to look at – this guy named Ehud – and the first thing that I noticed is that the Bible includes an unusual detail about this guy. Ehud was a left-handed man. Why do you suppose the Bible specifically mentions that He was a left-handed man? It doesn’t mention his height or his eye-color – why is it important that He was left-handed?

Well, when the Bible says “left-handed” – it doesn’t necessarily mean ‘left-handed’ as we know it. The term the Bible uses actually means “hindered in the right hand” or “bound up in the right hand”. So while it could be that his left-hand was simply the stronger dominate hand, but it could also mean that his right hand was actually restricted in some way.

Perhaps he was missing some fingers and couldn’t use his right hand. Or perhaps he had a childhood deformity. Perhaps there was some paralysis or nerve damage. We don’t really know… All we know is that he was somehow hindered in his right hand. And even if it was merely a case of having that dominate stronger left hand, in that ancient culture, to be left-handed was considered to be a handicap – a disability. It was a weakness. In fact, in some cultures, being left-handed was even considered to be a sign of some kind of evil. I found out this week that the word “Sinister” actually comes from the Latin word for ‘left-handed’.

So for all you left-handing folks, apparently, in Latin, you are sinister.

But because of this… disability… this apparent weakness… God was able to use Ehud in a unique way. Here’s why… look at verse 15

The Israelites sent Ehud to deliver their tribute money to King Eglon of Moab. 16 So Ehud made a double-edged dagger that was about a foot long, and he strapped it to his right thigh, keeping it hidden under his clothing.

Judges 3:15b-16

Here’s where Ehud has a unique advantage. Because of his left-handedness, he would be able to get past the king’s bodyguards with this concealed weapon. You see, a right-handed man would strap his sword on his left. So when someone went to see the king, the guards would naturally check for concealed weapons on the left – but not on the right. No one would keep a weapon on the right – it would be too awkward to get out – unless you were left-handed. So let’s see what happens next. verse 17

He brought the tribute money to Eglon, who was very fat.

Again, I love the details that the Bible throws in… I’m not sure how King Elgon’s being very fat impacts the bottom line of the story, but it certainly paints a vivid picture for us – especially as we see what happens next. verse 18

 18 After delivering the payment, Ehud started home with those who had helped carry the tribute. 19 But when Ehud reached the stone idols near Gilgal, he turned back. He came to Eglon and said, “I have a secret message for you.”

   So the king commanded his servants, “Be quiet!” and he sent them all out of the room.

 20 Ehud walked over to Eglon, who was sitting alone in a cool upstairs room. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you!”

(I’ll warn you – this is where it gets a little graphic…)

As King Eglon rose from his seat, 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, pulled out the dagger strapped to his right thigh, and plunged it into the king’s belly. 22 The dagger went so deep that the handle disappeared beneath the king’s fat. So Ehud did not pull out the dagger, and the king’s bowels emptied. 23 Then Ehud closed and locked the doors of the room and escaped down the latrine. Judges 3:17-23

Wow! Did you know that kind of stuff was in the Bible? That’s some gruesome stuff. But that’s what happened. The Bible is just telling it like it is. It doesn’t flower it up or make it all nice. It just says “Here’s what happened.” These are the facts – like it or lump it.

But that’s not the end of the story. There’s more. Verse 24.

24 After Ehud was gone, the king’s servants returned and found the doors to the upstairs room locked. They thought he might be using the latrine in the room, 25 so they waited. (In other words, they thought the king was in the bathroom, so they left him alone.)

But when the king didn’t come out after a long delay, they became concerned and got a key.

And you’ve got to wonder how long they waited? An hour? Two hours? You sure don’t want to barge in on the king, but how long do you wait? Well, after a LONG delay, they became concerned and got a key.

And when they opened the doors, they found their master dead on the floor.

 26 While the servants were waiting, Ehud escaped, passing the stone idols on his way to Seirah. 27 When he arrived in the hill country of Ephraim, Ehud sounded a call to arms. Then he led a band of Israelites down from the hills.

 28 “Follow me,” he said, “for the Lord has given you victory over Moab your enemy.” So they followed him. And the Israelites took control of the shallow crossings of the Jordan River across from Moab, preventing anyone from crossing.

 29 They attacked the Moabites and killed about 10,000 of their strongest and most able-bodied warriors. Not one of them escaped. 30 So Moab was conquered by Israel that day, and there was peace in the land for eighty years.

Now that is an incredible story. Wouldn’t that make a great movie? The underdog – the guy with a disability, uses his disability to his advantage, takes out the fat evil king and makes a dramatic escape while the kings servants wait for their master to come out of the bathroom! Then, in all the confusion that followed the kings death, Ehud calls together the army and it all ends with a great battle – the hero is victorious and there is peace once again in the land. Man, I can’t wait until that comes out on DVD!

But I guess the real question is, why is this story in the Bible? I mean, it’s a great story but it’s kinda gruesome and a little bit odd. What’s the lesson in there? What do we learn about God?

Well, I think there are a few things. Certainly we can see how God had mercy on the Isrealites by sending them this deliverer. Perhaps that’s even a foreshadowing of how Jesus would be our deliverer on day. But one of the less obvious things that I learn from this story, is that God can do great things through anybody. He turns zeros into heroes. He takes weaknesses and turns them into strengths.

We don’t know much about Ehud’s life or how severe his “left-handedness” was – whether it was an actual disability or merely a perceived weakness, but regardless, his “weakness” was exactly what God used to bring about the victory.

God had prepared Ehud to be exactly the way he was so that He could carry out the task that God had given him. His “weakness” was exactly what God used to make Him an unlikely hero.

And He does the same thing with us. God loves to take the weak things of this world and He uses them to show his strength. Paul talks about this in 2 Corinthians 12. He talks about how he had a “thorn in the flesh”, some kind of weakness or disability that he struggled with. We don’t know exactly what it was that was such a thorn in his flesh, but whatever it was, Paul begged God to change his situation, but God had different plans in mind. Paul says…

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9

Imagine that?! Paul boasted about his weaknesses. He pointed out his disabilities. He wanted people to see where He fell short – because it was in those weakness, those disabilities, those short-comings… where the power of God could work through Him.

What weaknesses do you have? What makes you feel unqualified or unable to serve God? What short-comings do you have that you think prevent you from being valuable to God? Well, guess what? It’s those very things that often give you opportunity to serve God in ways that you never imagined possible.

I have a friend with cerebral palsy. I first met him out at camp when he was about 10 years old. He can probably relate very well with Ehud. He’s left-handed out of necessity. His right hand really is bound up and he just can’t use it like you and I. And while I don’t expect Him to stab any fat, evil kings, I do expect that his “disability” is exactly what God will use to do some cool things through his life.

Because of his disability, he’s had the opportunity to go places and meet people that the rest of us won’t. He can talk to and relate with certain people that you and I just can’t. Throughout his life, he’ll have unique opportunities to share His testimony and tell others about the love and the power and the faithfulness of God. What we might see as a weakness, through God, will actually be perhaps his greatest strength.

What’s your weakness? What are your disabilities? Maybe you think your past discounts you from serving God. Maybe you’ve made a lot of foolish choices in your life or maybe you grew up in a less-than-ideal family situation. Does that disqualify you from being used by God? No way. Those things that you went through – other people people are going through them too. And if they can see how God helped you through it – how God has changed your life – then they can have hope that God can do that for them too. God can use you in unique ways because of your past.

You see, it doesn’t matter what your weakness are. It doesn’t matter what character flaws you have or what foolish mistakes you’ve made. Jesus still loves you like crazy and He wants to transform you into a most unlikely hero. His strength is more than enough to make up for any weakness you may have.

The Bible is full of messed up, weak people that God transformed and through His power, they do some amazing things. I mean, think about it!

• Abraham – Was old.

• Naomi – Was a widow.

• Elijah – Was depressed and suicidal.

• Jonah – was a racist.

• Joseph – Was abused.

• Job – Went bankrupt and lost everything he had, including his kids.

• Moses – Had a speech problem and he murdered a guy.

• Rahab – Was a prostitute.

• Samaritan Woman at the well – Had been divorced five times.

• Noah – Was a drunk.

• Jacob – Was a liar and a cheater.

• David – Slept with his friend’s wife and then had his friend murdered.

• Peter – (supposedly one of Jesus best friends) publicly denied that he even knew Jesus

• Zacchaeus – Was greedy and dishonest.

• Paul –  made it his life goal to imprison and kill Christians

And yet, God transformed everyone of these people into unlikely heroes – people who made a huge impact on the world around them.

And God can do that with you too. God doesn’t require that you get your life all straightened out before you come to him. He doesn’t require that you clean up your act and get all perfect. Because – let’s face it – none of us would qualify if that was the case.

No, God takes us just as we are – with our mess, with our weakness, with our disabilities – and he’s the one who transforms us.

If you look around this room today, you’re not going to find any perfect people. We’re all pretty messed up. The difference is that through Jesus – we can be forgiven. We can have hope and joy and peace. We can be transformed to become, more and more every day, like our Saviour – Jesus Christ – who, by the way, is probably the most unlikely hero of them all. We’ll talk more about that next week, but for today, I just want to encourage you that it doesn’t matter where you are in life – what weakness your have or what issues you still have to work through, our God is mighty to save. He is mighty to transform your life. He is mighty to take your weakness and turn then into strengths.

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