July 24, 2022
St. Joe Community Church
Let’s Attempt Great Things for the Lord
1 Chronicles 29:1-20
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
“The world has yet to see what God can do with a church fully consecrated to him.”
“What could God do through St. Joe Community Church?”
1 Chronicles 29:1-20
1. God Inspires GREAT Tasks! (v.1)
“the task is great” – v.1
“because the building will not be built for a human but ‘for the LORD God’.”
Great tasks are tasks “for the Lord” – it’s not about you and me, but about HIM. It’s not for me, for our church, for our city or country – but “for the Lord”
Great tasks often begin in our imaginations – they begin as great dreams
David had time to stop and dream…he is thinking about the Lord and begins to wonder…
2 Samuel 7:1-3
After the king was settled in his palace and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2 he said to Nathan the prophet, "Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent." And Nathan said to David, "Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you."
The writer of Chronicles lists the building materials David collected:
-----------------When God’s people come together - they can do GREAT THINGS…
All of God’s people are present, but 2 groups specifically named:
First in verse 1
“My son Solomon, God has chosen him alone, is young and inexperienced”
2. God calls young and inexperienced people to accomplish GREAT tasks
Common Theme in the Bible:
Technically - Adam & Eve – Rule over the whole earth
Joseph – 2nd youngest
Gideon (Judges 6) – “The Lord is with you, mighty man of valor!” – “I’m the least in my family”
David – youngest and smallest of brothers
Jeremiah – “I’m just a kid!” Don’t say that – go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you (Jeremiah 1:5-8)
Mary – a teenager
Timothy – “Don’t let anyone look down on you because of your youth”
Why does God use so many young and inexperienced people?
Perhaps you are better dreamers?
Perhaps you are better risk takers – also known as people who step out in faith?
Perhaps their perspective is better – and they see the needs more clearly (Gideon/David vs. Goliath)
Perhaps your youth and inexperience will force you to trust more in him.
When David issues his challenge for God’s people to do something GREAT – we see another group of people step up. It’s those who might be classified as “older and more experienced.” The leadership.
3. God is glorified when the older, more experienced people set the pace.
Verse 5 - Who will consecrate himself?
Consecrate is a priestly term – used to describe the function of a priest who stands before the people offering sacrifices on behalf of the people. Who will “step up and actually do something for the community?”
In this case, stepping up is giving their material possession
11 times – made provision; give, give over and above; gave, gave, had given, give; provided; willingly given; giving joyfully and willingly
This is the definition of being fully invested.
Why is it that the older more experienced people are so invested and can serve so whole-heartedly?
Because their age & experience has taught them WHO it is that is actually accomplishing GREAT things.
They know God – not just know about God.
(Young and inexperienced people don’t yet have this.)
David again reflects this
READ vs. 11-12
Notice 3 things:
a. David is searching for words….There’s no language that can fully grasp just how awesome God is
b. God is the Standard
c. God owns, controls and is above everything
What happens when the older more experienced people are really invested in the ministry?
READ v. 9
9 Then the people rejoiced because of their leaders’ willingness to give, for they had given to the LORD wholeheartedly.
What can we practically to do to accomplish something GREAT?
1. Start dreaming.
2. Expect a call.
3. Invest Fully.
4. Strive to know God better.
The scripture that Bill read earlier, "Now to him who is able," it says right at the end of that passage; 'Now to him who is able to do a measurably more than all we ask or imagined, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever, amen." That passage is familiar. And one of the things that we gloss over is it says that God is not only able to do more than we imagine. Think about that for a minute. The passage does not say God can do more than we can imagine. It says immeasurably more than we can imagine. And I don't know about you, but I can imagine some pretty amazing things. And that passage says, I think in the CSVs, it's exceedingly abundantly, more than we can think.
Just let that stew for a minute in your minds, because my hope this morning is to stimulate your imagination a little bit is to maybe get you to dream a little bit. What could we as a church do? What could we as a church do; this body of believers in Fort Wayne, in Indiana, and in the world? What could we do for God? DL Moody was quoted as saying back in the 1800s, "The world is yet to see what God can do with a man who's fully consecrated to Him." The world has yet to see what God can do through the man who's fully consecrated him. And Moody used this as his life verse. And he said, I'm going to be that man by God's grace. And that quote has inspired thousands of men and women throughout history, I believe, to do great things for God. What if we changed one word in there, and instead of the world has yet to see what God can do through a man, but through the church. Because in the New Testament we see it's through the church, the body of Christ; it's not just one of us who is like a superstar in the Christian faith. It's all of us.
That was something I had to learn as I was serving God and after college, I wanted to just be God's man, be the next Billy Graham. And it dawned on me as I was reading through the scriptures, the more and more I read, the more I read, realized that it's the church. God gifts each one of us in some different, unique ways so that together we can become the body of Christ here in this world. And it's amazing thing. So what could God do through the church that's fully consecrated to Him? Well, I just wanted to kind of get you thinking that way. Maybe God is going to speak to you in the next few minutes, maybe in the next few days or next few months. But to help prime your imagination pump, I wanted to look at one passage in 1 Chronicles.
If you have a Bible, 1 Chronicles is in the Old Testament. Turn there. If you find Samuel, you'll see Kings come after that, and then Chronicles. 1 Chronicles 29 is where we're going to look. 1 Chronicles 29 - I'm going to read the first 20 verses of that. So it's a bit of a stretch, I'll gives you a chance to look it up on your phone if you don't have a Bible or look on with somebody else. 1 Chronicles 29:1 "King David said to all the assembly, my son, Solomon, God has chosen him alone, is young and inexperienced. The task is great because the building will not be built for a human, but for the Lord God. So to the best of my ability, I've made provision for the house of my God, gold for the gold article, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron, and wood for the wood, as well as Onyx stones for mounting, antimony stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones and a great quantity of marble. Moreover, because of my delight in the house of my God, I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the house of my God over and above all that I've provided for the holy house. 100 tons of gold, gold of Ohpir, 250 tons of refined silver for overlaying the walls of the buildings, the gold for the gold work and the silver for all the silver work to be done by the craftsman." Now, who will volunteer to consecrate himself to the Lord today.
Verse six, 'Then the leaders of the households, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the King's work gave willingly. For the service of God's house, they gave 185 tons of gold, 10,000 gold coins, 375 tons of silver, 675 tons of bran, and 4,000 tons of iron. Whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the Lord's house under the care of Jehiel the Gershonite, then the people rejoiced because of their leaders willingness to give and they had given to the Lord wholeheartedly, King David also rejoiced.
Verse 10, "Then David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly. David said, 'May you be blessed, Lord, God, of our father Israel from eternity to eternity, yours, Lord is the greatness and the power and the glory, and the splendor and the majesty for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to you. Yours Lord, is the kingdom and you are exalted as head overall. Riches and honor come from you and you are the ruler of everything. Power and might are in your hand, and it's in your hand to make great and to give strength to all. Now, therefore our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name, but who am I and who are my people that we should be able to give as generously as this. For everything comes from you and we've given you only what comes from your own hand. For we are aliens and temporary residents in your presence as were all of our ancestors, our days on earth are like a shadow without hope. Lord, our God, all this wealth that we've provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand. Everything belongs to you. I know my God that you test the heart and that you are pleased with what is right. I have willingly given all these things with an upright heart. And now I've seen your people who are present here, giving joyfully and willingly to you. Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our ancestors keep this desire forever in the thoughts of the hearts of your people and confirm their hearts toward you. Give my son Solomon an undivided heart to keep and to carry out all your commands, your decrees and your statutes, and to build the building for which I have made provision. Then David said to the whole assembly, blessed it be the Lord, your God. So the whole assembly praised the Lord, God of their ancestors. They knelt low and paid homage to the Lord and to the king.'" And here ends the reading of God's word.
Before I talk about the setting of what's going on here, you may have picked it up already; I wanted you to see something in verse one, and mainly is that God inspires great tasks. God inspires great tasks. David is talking and one of the first things he says is the task is great. The task before you is great. And the definition of a great task he tells us there, because this is not for man. This is not going to be something that mankind is going to take a lot of pride in. It's not going to point to us, it's for God. That's what the Bible defines as a great task. Something for God, himself. It's for the Lord, and great tasks for the Lord begin in our imaginations. At least that's what it did for David.
If we were to go back into the scriptures you would see the time is back when the wars had kind of ceased, he was sitting around this beautiful palace that he had built for himself. And he's got nothing else to do. He's sort of just sitting there reflecting. How much reflection time do you have in your life these days? I don't know how much. We don't really do that much anymore. But maybe today, later on, get out, get some lemonade or do something, go under a tree and just don't think about much, except, "God, I just want to appreciate what's around me." David's doing this. He's in his home and he's seeing all these nice things he has - probably his granite countertops and his new cabinets, maybe. And you know, the nice stuff that he's put in and he is going, "You know, this is a really nice house, but while I'm sitting here in this house, the Arc of the Covenant is in a tent."
And in 2 Samuel the scripture tells us, "He settled in his palace and God had given him rest," and that's exactly what he's doing. He's looking around and he sees that he's got it pretty good, but God's House is kind of a tent, that's probably wearing out a little bit. So this idea comes to him, "I'm going to build God a house. I'm going to build the temple." And God in 1 Kings, even as he hears about this idea, he tells David, "You did well in your heart to plan this. This is something that I'm blessing." So, God encourages and blesses, inspires great tasks. To give you an idea of how great David's imagination is, the writer of Chronicles actually puts down the supply list for the house. It's like a grocery list. Go into Lowe's or Home Depot, by the way, go pick up some gold, pick up some silver - it is not quite that practical, but you see, and I like the CSV because it kind of converts the units they used back then to our units today. So if you look down at verse four, you'll see David is giving - he's not only giving a bunch of stuff from the community, he's also giving out of his own wealth, 100 tons of gold, 250 tons of silver.
He skipped down a little bit more, and he talks about what the people are giving in verse seven for the service of God's House. They gave 185 tons of gold and 10,000 gold coins, 375 tons of silver, 675 tons of bronze and so on. That's a lot. I think what this Chronicle is trying to tell us, this was a lot of stuff. Now, if you somehow could convert this into today's money, how much would it be? Well, gold is $1,810 an ounce. At least it was about a week ago. I don't know what it is this morning. Silver's $20.59 an ounce. So if you converted that much, just the gold and silver into today's money, David's portion would be $5.9 billion. David is giving $5.9 billion worth of gold and silver to build God's house. The people see this and they decide also we're going to give some money too.
Well, they give 185 tons of gold, 375, tons of silver, $11.8 billion the people give. Combined, I did the math, I used my calculator, it's $16.8 billion worth of gold and silver. Now, what does that compare to today? What can you build for $16.8 billion today? Well, the highest building in the world is called the Burj Khalifa, and it's in Dubai. There's a commercial with a stewardess standing, I think she's with Emirates airlines or something. And she's standing on the top of this building, that building 160 stories, tall cost, 1.5 billion. You could build 11 Burj Khalifa for the amount of money that they gave for this temple. And now, this temple is four or five stories tall. It's footprint is less than a football field. It's about half of a football field, so you have to imagine this building was magnificent.
It must have just been - it's not one of the greatest wonders of the world because it probably wasn't there when they decided, which were the seven great wonders of the world, but it was amazing. The people who built... the temple got destroyed and then Hezekiah came and built another temple. The people who laid the foundation for that temple, those who had seen the original temple were in tears because it didn't do justice. This new one didn't do it justice. David had this imagination that he wanted to do something great for God because God inspires great things. God inspires great things.
Now, there's kind of three groups of people, but really two specifically who are mentioned in this passage. There's the assembly, there's everybody together. But you see, David names a couple of different groups of people. The first one is in verse one, it says; "Then King David said to the assembly, 'My son, Solomon, God has chosen him alone is young and inexperienced.'" Solomon the one whom God has chosen is young and inexperienced. Does that make sense to you? Because it says in God's word in multiple places, not just here; God calls young and inexperienced people to accomplish great tasks. God calls the young and inexperienced.
Let that sink in because that's exactly opposite of our world, right? You're going for a job interview, if you've written a resume; I want to put the best stuff on there. "I was president of this company; I did so much of this. I did that. I did that," and my resume is 17 pages long. Probably not a good idea, but you want to put down everything, all your experience. You want to let them know, I know what I'm doing. God chooses young and inexperienced. So you're having the job interview with God, and if you bring in the long resume, you're not going to get it. Okay. He's looking for young and inexperienced people. And it's not just in this passage. If you go back in the scriptures, you find Joseph in the Old Testament; he was the second youngest brother. God used him to kind of orchestrate the events in that family.
Gideon, Judges 6, young boy, he's threshing wheat. And the angel comes to him and says, "Oh, a mighty man of valor." And Gideon's like, "I'm just a boy." He said, "That's right. God has chosen you." David, he's the youngest of his brothers. When the call goes out that we're going to choose a new leader, David's brothers all get assembled by Jesse's dad. David's not there. "Well, where's David?" "Who cares about him? He's young and inexperienced. He's out in the field right now. He's not a leader. He is just a boy." Who's the one God chose?
Jeremiah, the Prophet Jeremiah - angel comes to him and says God has chosen you. And Jeremiah's first words are, "I'm just a child. I'm just a baby. I can't do this." And the angel says, "Just do whatever God tells you to do. Go where he tells you to go. Just do it." Mary, New Testament, Jesus' mother, how old was she? We don't know her exact age, but many believe she was a teenager. Timothy - what did Paul tell Timothy? Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young. God chooses young and inexperienced people to do great tasks.
I don't know where you're at this morning, but there's a bunch of younger people here, I just want to talk to you for a minute. God chooses you guys. You are so valuable to the kingdom of God. God sees great worth in you. You might think I'm just a kid, I can't do anything. God sees that so differently. He may be choosing you. He may have already chosen you. Thankfully, I loved Bill's introduction. We have a great church. There's some young people - we've had some younger families come in, younger people come in and we've got some old people here like me, and so it's sort of nice to see that blend. But the young families come in and they're not really sure. Well, I'm new, I'm young and I'm not experienced here. Or maybe you're younger in the faith. Maybe it's a spiritual thing. I've just become a Christian; I'm an old person, but I just became a Christian, I'm not really sure what to do. Rejoice, God calls young in and experienced people.
I told Isaac and Claire and now Megan, that I wouldn't calling them from the front because those aren't their real names. Well, actually they are. But I mean, they're just an example. Brandon's up doing the sound. I mean, there's younger people who hear that voice and get involved and God calls you to that. Why, why does God use young and inexperienced people? That would be a good question. Perhaps they're better dreamers. Perhaps they can come up with stuff. Their imaginations are still fresh. You know, I'm getting older, I don't really imagine much anymore except maybe lying down later today. I can imagine that. But younger people seem to have an ability to just have a great imagination. They can think about these things and what might God do? They're better risk takers, I think. I think they're willing to take a risk.
We were on vacation a few years ago and there's a big rock in this lake that we were going to. And my son-in-law challenged everybody in the boat to go off and jump off this rock into the lake. There was no voice in me that said get up and go. Absolutely none! I was pretending I didn't hear him. I was just off to the side, but both of my grandsons in the water, up on the rock, boom, they're better risk takers. We call that in the Christian world, steps of faith. They live by faith. They're willing to take the risk. Maybe their perspective is better. I don't know. Maybe they see things differently. Maybe they see it just a little bit newer or fresher eyes. David and Goliath, right? David comes out while Goliath is there; the whole army just sitting there going like, "Man, this guy's really bugging us." And David's like, "Why are you letting him bug you?" He's got a whole new perspective. And there's the whole David Goliath encounter.
Perhaps God uses young and inexperienced people because they don't rely on their youth or their experience, because they don't have any experience. They don't have many years of living. They have to trust something else. They have to trust in God, himself. God loves that without faith it's impossible to please God. God loves it. Weakness is an advantage in the Christian faith. I hope you know that. Weakness is an advantage.
Again, we have a lot of physically younger people, spiritually younger people, and the tendency is to hang back. If you're newer here, you just came to know Christ; your tendency is to say, "I see some things going on here or what if we did this? But I'm new here. I don't want to seem like I'm kind of like talking and telling everybody what to do." Maybe that's God nudging you. And he's saying, "No, share that, share that, get involved," because God calls young and inexperienced people.
The other group of people we see here is in verse six and nine; it says, "The leaders of the households, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands of hundreds, the officials in charge." Verse nine, "Then the people rejoice because of their leaders willingness." It talks about the leaders. We call the leaders, people with experience and old - older experienced people. You've got young inexperienced people in this story, and then you've got older experienced leaders who are in this story, and they step up. David talks to the whole assembly, he says, "Who will consecrate themselves to the Lord?" That word consecrate is very interesting. It means who's going to get their hands dirty a little bit. It actually means to fill the hand. It's an idiom in Hebrew that means to fill your hand. Who's going to get their hands dirty? It was used for the priests, so the priests are going to come up before God representing the people. And they're actually going to do the worship service in front of the people. Who is willing to get your hands dirty? And it says all the leaders jump in - "I will, I will. I will." Because God is glorified when the older more experienced people set the pace; God is glorified when older more experienced people set pace.
In this case, they gave in this case, stepping up was giving you. See that 11 times in this passage - give. They gave, they gave, they gave over and above. They gave willingly, they gave joyfully... I'm not here to preach a sermon on giving. This would be a great text for that, but the point is, the older, more experienced people are fully invested. They're fully invested. David is a good example here. It says in the text that David, as the leader of the people set aside some gifts for the temple, he set aside the people's gifts. And then it said, not only did he do that, he took out his own wallet. And he said, "Well, that's what I'm going to do. That's what the people are going to do. I'm the leader I'll decide this. And here's some extra money out of my own personal wallet." Imagine that in the church.
We had a fella in our church back in Illinois, I think he was our church chairman. We lived in a box too just like you guys. For many, many years, we lived out of a trailer. In fact, they still do. 27 years now I think it is, the church has been going and they're living in a trailer. They have boxes, they pull up to the school, all the boxes, come out, sound system, whatever it is. You guys, the older people here know that drill. And so, after a while, it gets a little tiring, right. Week after week after week after week after week, Sunday's always coming, and it's like, here it is again. And occasionally, the leadership would get a little bad attitude. And they'd go, "When are we going to get a church? I thought you were going to get us a church. How come we don't have a church yet?"
They might not say it exactly like that, but it's like, what's taken so long, or how come we... did you look at that property? And the church chairman, his name was Dave; he would hear this kind of grumbling going on. And so at one meeting about two years into the church, he said, "I've got a great idea and we're going to get a church building." Everybody was like, "Yeah, this is great. We've been waiting for this." And they were like, "How are we going to make it happen?" He says, "I figured it all out." He said, "There's about 10 of us here, and we all own our own homes. Let's go refinance our homes and get a hundred thousand dollars each out of our homes and let's donate that money to the church." You could have heard a pin drop.
The comments were like, "You know, it's not so bad being in that trailer. It's kind of got advantages, really, you know," and it never came up again. But that's exactly opposite of what's going on in this text. David says, "No, my imagination's bigger than this for the house of God. I am going to give even more out of my own personal wealth." This is the definition of being fully invested. It says in verse six and nine, that the people gave willingly. But in verse 14, you look down, it's not just that they gave willingly - well, it says in verses nine, it says wholeheartedly. Wholeheartedly is a word in the original language, it's the same root word as they get the word Shalom from. They gave with a Shalom heart, in a sense, is what they said.
It's a heart of peace, a heart of contentment. If you know the meaning of the word Shalom, it's like, that's what their heart was like. It was peaceful. It was content. They wanted to do it. It wasn't under coercion. It wasn't that somebody was making them do this. In fact, look at verse 14, David says, "Who am I and who are my people that we should be able to give as generously as this?" That's his response. They give 11 billion and David's like, "Whoa, this is awesome. This is so great. Who am I that I'm even able to do this?" It wasn't at all like, "Oh gosh, here it is again, a capital campaign. Oh man, hey, let's go walk this way, they're collecting over there, let's go over here." It was like he felt honored, he felt blessed that he could be able to give that much money. He had a heart that was content and at peace, he was invested all in.
Again, let's ask the question. Why? Why are older more experienced people able to invest so much of themselves? Why? Well, I think David reveals that in his prayer. I think it's because they just don't know who God is, they know God. They know God. Look at David's prayer in verse 11 and 12, David begins praying, he says, "Yours Lord is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to you. Yours Lord is the kingdom, you are exalted as head overall. Riches and honor come from you, and you are the ruler of everything. Power and might are in your hand, and it's in your hand to make great and to give strength to all."
You see older and more experienced; those who walk with God and have a track record of walking with God know that He's faithful. They know that these words are true. David is searching for language here to just tell people or to tell God how awesome He is. He can't find enough adjectives. Yours O Lord is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty. He's saying, "God, you are beyond what I can even describe." Notice that God is the standard here too. He doesn't say God, you're powerful; God, you're strong; God, you're majestic - as if there's some other thing that we could compare God to called power. Well, I know what a lot of power looks like; God, you're like that. He doesn't say that. He says yours is the power - you define what power is. There's nothing more powerful than you. We can say that's powerful like God; that would be appropriate. But we can't say there's that God is like anything. He is power. He is majestic. He is beautiful. He's glorious. And it also says he owns and controls everything. He owns and controls everything.
I don't know, I'm a space guy. I was telling people in the first service, James Webb telescope, some of you don't even know what that is. It's a telescope, it's out like a hundred million miles from earth and it's taken pictures of deep space. You might have seen them in the newspaper, and all it's showing are galaxies. It's sort of like a celestial Zillow. You know what Zillow is, right? You're going to look at people's houses. "Well, I want to see the inside too. Or they've only got 17 pictures here. Wait, oh, look at the bathroom, isn't that nice?" And you get a chance to see what houses actually look like on Zillow. You don't just see the outside. This James Webb telescope is like God's Zillow. It's like showing us rooms in God's house that we never saw before. God owns everything. He owns those galaxies light years away. He owns everything. Everything you and I have comes from Him, everything.
What do you have that doesn't come from God? What do you have that you yourself? You know, you just kind of, "God, it's your thing?" Maybe the strength of your arms and the power you have got this for you, right? Deuteronomy would say, that even that God gave you the strength of your hands and abilities to do whatever it is you got, everything comes from God. And I don't know where you were at this morning. Maybe you need riches. Maybe your bank account is a little lower than you hoped it would be at this time. Maybe you've got some repairs in your house. Maybe it's honor you need. Maybe it's like, you don't think you're appreciated enough at work. Or maybe it's, you know, your friends are not treating you as they should. Wealth and honor comes from you; in your hands are strength and power to exalt and gives strength to all. You've come to the right place because I'm here to remind you that God is the one who provides those things. Keep looking up.
We have a lot of older people here. I'm not going to name names like I did for the younger people, but - well, maybe I will. No. But let me just encourage you, we need you. We need me. I'm an older person. We need to set the pace for the younger inexperienced people. We need to not just have our talk be talked. We need to get behind it and remind people by our actions that we do know God is faithful. We do know God is the provider of everything we have. If we're going to do something great - well, verse nine says they rejoiced. When these things happen, the people, the masses just rejoiced, the assembly rejoices because the leadership has just shown them that they're invested.
So how can we do something great? I just wanted to end with four things here. If we want to accomplish something great, I would just encourage you to start dreaming, start dreaming, start using your imagination. If God can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, at least start using your imagination. And then maybe after you do that, you can do immeasurably more. What could God do through St. Joe Community church? What needs to be done in the city of Fort Wayne in this community? Maybe it's the block party. Maybe it's, I just need to think about that block party. I know we've got a blow up house and snow cones, but by my God, if we had a few food trucks here, that'd be even better. I don't know. I don't know what your imagination is, but what is it that God could do through us? Remember, great things are for Him. What could God do? Start dreaming.
Expect a call is number two. Expect a call. God calls young and inexperienced people. Especially if you're young and inexperienced, I won't name names again, but I just do that to wake you up. Expect a call. Maybe you've already been nudged. Maybe that thing that you're thinking about, here's what we really should do here. Or you're telling your parents, "Mom, dad, here's what I think should happen here," maybe that's God nudging you. God calls young and inexperienced people. We need you. Invest fully - if you're older especially and more experienced, invest fully. Invest fully. In other words, fill up the block party list out there. And maybe that's it. Maybe that's what God's calling you to do.
I sort of harped on the snow cone machine earlier in the earlier service and said, nobody sign up for snow cones, and we had a few people sign up for snow cones. But that popcorn thing out there is still blank. So get out there, sign up for the popcorn, but invest, right. And if you're struggling to do that, if you've known Christ for a while and you don't feel like you're engaged, then the last thing and the final thing is strive to get to know God better. Perhaps you need to get to know God better. You need to realize and believe not just in your head, but in your heart, He really does own everything. He really does control everything. Even my boss at work, even my neighbor who shoots off firecrackers a month after 4th of July; He's in control. He's in control of everything. You strive to get to know God better.
One of the best ways to do that I found personally is just to memorize some scripture. Versus 11 and 12 in this passage might be a good start if you've not memorized that yet, "Yours O Lord is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty." And then pray what David prayed for Solomon in verse 18, and he prays for the people, he says, "God, keep these thoughts of their hearts and confirm their hearts towards you." And then he says in verse 19, "Give my son Solomon an undivided heart." He prays that the same word as used there as wholehearted is in the previous passage a few verses earlier, "Give my son Solomon a heart of Shalom. Give my son Solomon, a heart of contentment, give my young and inexperienced son a heart that is not pulled in so many different directions." That would be a great prayer to pray. God, give me an undivided heart. And he goes on to say, "And have him obey you fully. Keep all your commands, decrees and statutes."
You might think that one of the ways that this sermon could end would be, so therefore be like Solomon, right? Because I mean, everything is focused on Solomon. Well, if you know anything about the story and as it unfolds here in Solomon's life, Solomon did not have an undivided heart. He was very much like you and I. He sort of strayed off the path from time to time. David's prayer is answered, but not by his first generation son, but by his great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandson, Jesus, who came and had a completely undivided heart. He looked at the father, he says, "Everything I do, everything I say, I always say what He tells me to say. I only do what he tells me to do." He followed his commands and decrees perfectly. He is the perfect son of David. And so it's not to follow Solomon and do what Solomon did, but follow Jesus.
If you want to get to know God better, if you want to strive to get to know God better, the key is Jesus. Jesus has revealed who God is to our world. Strive to get to know Jesus better. That's what Paul said; "I want to know Christ more than anything in the world."
Now, to Him who is able to do a measurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to the power, His power that is work within us - Saint Joe Community Church, may God give us dreams that only he can fulfill, that Christ would be glorified in Fort Wayne and beyond. Let's pray.
Father, thank you for your word, which doesn't change. So many things are changing in our culture these days. Lord, I thank you for your word that is unchanging and it is a source of complete and absolute truth. Lord, I thank you for just the story of David gathering these supplies to build the temple. Lord, and we thank you that we can know that ultimately Jesus fulfilled all of these things. And so, I pray God that you might help us to get to know him better. Lord Jesus, might you reveal more of yourself to us as we join connection groups, do Bible studies read our scriptures. Might we serve you and invest fully in that, amen.
By Pastor Greg Byman
St Joe Community Church
November 25, 2018
Is there an elephant in your scrapbook? Your journal? Your yearbook? In a sense, these can represent first drafts of our personal history, but they don’t have to be the final draft. God warns his people against generational consequences for wrong-thinking and wrong-living (sin) but promises to lavish generational blessings for right-thinking and right-living (righteousness). In this final installment of the Elephant-free Family Life series, Pastor Greg Byman shares some insights about how a relationship with God empowers us to not only identify the generational elephants that have held back authentic communication but also break the generational sin that too easily entangled our ancestors and imperils the next generation.
B: Bible book