Skip to content

Tag: servant

The Incredible Pact of David & Jonathan

Today we are jumping back into our study of the book of 1 Samuel. And it’s been awhile, so before we get into today’s passage, we probably need a quick review of what we talked about last.

We’re currently at chapter 18 of 1 Samuel, and the young lad David, has just defeated in quite a heroic fashion, the Philistine giant Goliath. But David should have never even been in this battle. King Saul was the Israelite champion – and if anyone should have stepped up to fight the Philistine giant, it should have been him! However, it seems fear had solid grip on Saul and all of his men, and none of them had the courage to face Goliath in battle.

As for David, he was only at the battlefield to deliver some goods to his brothers (who were in Saul’s army)  and to bring back the latest news to his father. But when David heard Goliath’s defiant boasts against the Lord and he saw how no one dared to stop him, David took action and asked to go fight the giant.

Even though David wasn’t even old enough to be in the army, he was still confident that God would help him defeat the Philistine champion. After all, God had helped him defeat both lions and bears in hand-to-hand combat on multiple occasions while he was protecting his father’s sheep.

And so after some time, after seeing David’s confidence, King Saul agreed to let David fight Goliath. And, well, you know the story.

Armed with just a sling and five stones, David killed Goliath and cut off his head with Goliath’s own sword – and the entire Philistine army fled from the Israelites who chased them all the way home.

It’s one of the most famous stories the entire Bible.

But we need to remember that the story of David & Goliath doesn’t just stand alone. It’s actually just a chapter of the bigger story of King David – and David is just a chapter in the bigger story of God’s interactions with His people. 

And that’s what we’re going to see in our passage today.

Leave a Comment

The Humble King

On Wednesday this week the world watched as the United States inaugurated their 46th President. For some, it was a day of celebration and joy – for others, it was a day of frustration and anger. But either way, this inauguration was, and will be, a significant milestone in the history of the United States.

But today I want to talk about another Inauguration Day – one that is equally or even more significant in world history. It just so happens as we’ve been reading along through the book of 1 Samuel that we’ve arrived just this week to witness the Inauguration Day for the First King of Israel – King Saul.

We’ve been leading up to this moment for the past few weeks. We saw three weeks ago how the people of Israel had rejected God as their king! Although God had rescued them from slavery in Egypt and had given them the blessings of the Promised Land, it seems the Israelites no longer wanted to be led by an invisible God – they wanted a human King to lead them like all the other nations around them.

Now of course, God warned them that having a human king would make their lives that much more difficult – human kings take and take and take – but even with that warning, the people insisted and so God decided to give them the king that they so badly desired!

Then two weeks ago, we were introduced to that first King-to-be – a tall and handsome man named Saul. Saul was out looking for his father’s donkeys who had wandered away from the family farm, and in the search for the donkeys, God led Him to cross paths with the prophet Samuel. God had told Samuel earlier that he would send him a man from the tribe of Benjamin and that man was to become Israel’s first King. And so, as Saul approached Samuel – looking for advice as to how to find his father’s donkeys, God told Samuel that this man, Saul, was the man that would lead His people, Israel.

With that knowledge, Samuel then invited Saul to a banquet as the guest of honor, and invited Saul to spend the night at his house – eventually explaining to Saul how God had chosen him to be King. In fact, the next morning as Saul was heading home, Samuel took out a flask of olive oil and anointed him as King of Israel.

Now as you might imagine, Saul could hardly believe what Samuel was saying – I mean, who was He that God should choose him as King? Why, just yesterday he was wandering the hillsides looking for lost donkeys! And now God wanted him to be king over Israel? 

And so Samuel gave him a series of signs to prove that what He was saying was true. Samuel told Saul exactly what would happen on Saul’s journey home – who he would meet, where they would be going, even what they would be carrying – and of course, everything happened just as Samuel described. 

One of the final things that Samuel said would happen was that the Holy Spirit would come upon Saul and change him into a new person and that He would prophesy along with a group of prophets that He would meet along the road.

And that’s just where we’re going to pick things up today – with Saul on his way home – the anointing oil still dripping down his head – about to meet this group of prophets. Our passage begins in 1 Samuel chapter 10, starting at verse 10.

Leave a Comment

Chasing Donkeys

Well, we’ve been reading through the book of Samuel and we’ve now made it to chapter 9. And even though this book is called “The Book of Samuel”, Samuel actually isn’t the focus of the majority of the book.

Of course, as you’ve noticed, in the first 8 chapters, the story did revolve primarily around Samuel (around his birth, life, and ministry) – but for the next 46 chapters, the focus shifts… and Samuel becomes more of a supporting character, while others take the centre stage.

And that shouldn’t be too surprising because as we noted last Sunday, the era of the Judges has now ended (with Samuel being the last of them) and a new era of Kings is about to begin.

Last Sunday we read how the people of Israel no longer wished to be led by Judges – they wanted to have king like all the other nations around them. Mind you, they already had a King – God was their King – and in reality, they were rejecting God as their King – not Samuel as their judge.

But to make a long story short, even though God knew that human kings would never serve Israel as well as He did, none the less, at their insistence, God choose to grant them their request and He agreed to give them a King.

And that’s just what we’re going to read about today.

1 Samuel chapter 9, verse 1 begins like this:

There was a wealthy, influential man named Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. He was the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 His son Saul was the most handsome man in Israel—head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land. 1 Samuel 9:1-2

And I’ll just pause here for a moment because this is kinda interesting. In the chapter just before this, the people of Israel asked God to give them a ‘king to lead them’, right? They didn’t want to be led by an invisible God, they wanted to be able to see their king leading them into battle! They wanted a king that would look like a king.

And this fellow Saul certainly fit that bill! He’s was just the kind of man you’d expect to be king! As we just read, he came from a wealthy, influential family. He was good-looking – in fact, he was described as the most handsome man in nation! And on top of that, he was a goliath of a man! – standing head and shoulders taller than anyone else! He was tall, dark, and handsome – and wealthy to boot!

If the Israelites wanted a king that looked like a king – Saul would certainly be on the short-list! But of course, being a king isn’t all about appearances, but I just found it interesting that as far as appearances go, Saul was just about as Kingly as they come!

Anyways… let’s keep reading and let’s see what else we can learn about this Saul fellow. Verse 3

Leave a Comment

The Husband’s Role – Christlike Servant Leadership

Last week we began looking at the church in your house! In case you weren’t here and you didn’t realize you even had a church in your house, let me briefly recap what we talked about.

We started off with the reminder that as followers of Jesus Christ – we are the church. The church isn’t a building – it’s not a weekly event that we attend. The church is people. It’s God’s people.

So you are the church. I am the church. Anyone who has put their trust in Jesus is the church. And we’re not just the church on Sunday mornings. We are the church 24/7 – 365 days a year.

We’re the church on Sundays and on Mondays. We’re the church here at the hall and we’re the church in your living room. Where ever you find followers of Jesus – that’s where you find the church.

That means, that if you are a Christian today – then there is a church in your house. Perhaps not at this exact moment because you’re here right now – but when you are at home (which is the majority of the time) there is a church in your house.

And so my question to you last week was, “Does the church in your house look like the church that meets in this hall?”

You hear about athletes putting on their game face – well, I think Christians often put on their church face. When we arrive here Sunday mornings, we all look good and righteous and God-honoring and all that… (We’re not yelling or cussing or fighting with each other) And that’s all fine and good, but when we go home, we take off the church-face and we resume our ‘normal life’ – which unfortunately, is often really no different than any one else in the world.

But God did not call us to be the church for one hour each Sunday morning. We are to be the church every hour of every day all year round. In fact, I would argue that it’s maybe even more important that we live like the church at home more than anywhere else because that is where our lives will have the most impact. We will have more influence on our families than we will on anyone else.

Our role in the church in our house is way more significant than any role any of us will ever play in our local congregation.

So it’s really important that we understand what our role is and what our responsibilities are in the church in our house. Because if you don’t take up your role and your responsibilities in the church in your house – then who will? No one.

Leave a Comment

The Measure of Success

I think it’s fair to say that everyone wants to win. Everyone wants to be a success. That’s hardwired into us. No one wants to be a loser. No body wants to be a failure. We all want to succeed. We want to do well.

And we see this in every aspect of our lives. When we play sports, we want to take home the championship trophy – not just the participation award. When we play board games or video games, we say we play for the fun, but still, we want to win. In war – no one goes into battle being okay with losing –  if we’re going to fight, we want the victory.

We want to succeed in our careers. We want to have succeed in raising our kids. We want to succeed at being a good husband or a good wife.

We even want to succeed as Christians. Nobody wants to be a lousy Christian – we want to be a successful one. We want our church to succeed. Clearly there is something hardwired into us that drives us towards success.

But the challenge in all areas of life is knowing what determines success. We have to know what the objective is.

Because if you’re a football player, successfully running the ball to the end of the field is a measure of success – but if you’re a golfer, it’s not. You’ll probably get kicked off the course if you’re out there tackling the other golfers, stealing their ball and running it down the fairway.

We have to know our objective – We have to know what constitutes success in whatever it is that we’re doing. If we don’t know what the objective is – if we don’t know what determines success – then we’re gonna have a really hard time being successful.

As a church, we need to know what determines our success. Are we successful because we’ve outgrown this space and need to move to a larger space over at the Hall? Is that success? If we get to the point where we need to build our own building, is that success? If we get to the point where we offer more programs and have greater attendance and have more baptisms and have a bigger facility than Crossroads – is that success? Or are we measuring success the wrong way?

We need to know what determines our success – or we may spend all of our time and our energy and all our effort trying to be really good…  at the wrong thing!

And this totally applies to each one of us personally. We already mentioned how every one us wants to be successful in life. We want to be a successful in our work, we want our marriage to be a success, we want to raise our kids successfully and I think, as followers of Christ, more than anything, we want to be a success in that. At the end of our lives as we stand before God, I think each one of us wants to hear God say “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

So it’s really important that we know what determines our success. To use our golf analogy, I don’t want to spend my life running running the golfball down the fairway, weaving around and dodging the other golfers like a football player (and being really good at that) – when all along I should’ve been practicing my putt. I want to know and do what it takes to be successful in God’s eyes – because that’s what really counts.

So today, I want to do two things.

Since this is the last service in this building before we move over to the Hall, I want to talk a little bit about how we can have success as a church. How will we know if we are being successful? Are we successful just to keep existing? Are we successful when we reach a certain number in attendance or dollars or sq footage or new believers? What is the measurement of success for our church?

And then, also being New’s Years Day, I want to talk about what it means for you to have success in  this new year. What do you need to do in order to be successful in 2017? Were you successful last year? What’s the measurement of your success?

Leave a Comment

Leadership Roles in the Church

This morning we begin chapter three of 1 Timothy. We are about midway through our Call of Duty series – our look at Paul’s letter to Timothy to find our responsibilities as Christians. I don’t know how you feel about this sermon series so far, but for me – it has been very challenging. It has been challenging to study and try to learn just what it is that God wants us to know through this book. It’s been challenging to then accurately pass that lesson on to you – to make sure that what I’m preaching is what the Bible says – not my own ideas or the ideas of the culture around us. And then it’s been challenging to apply all this to my own life and to the life of our church. So as I said, It’s been a very challenging series for me – and I hope you’ve been challenged as well.

Now today, I think we are going to continue to be challenged. Today we are going to be looking a little more in depth at God’s design for the leadership of the church. Now of course, Christ is the head of the church. He is our ultimate authority in all things. We can read about that in Ephesians 5 or 1 Corinthians 11. But I think we all understand and accept that, so I won’t spend spend a lot of time on that point. But where I want to look this morning is at the human leadership of the church. How has God designed the church leadership to function? What are the roles that God has set out for us? And are we following God’s design in our church? And what difference does it make in your life anyway? These are the questions we want to look at this morning. So let’s being with a word of prayer.

1 Comment