Life Verse! - “Let His Word direct your life!”
David - 1 Samuel 17:47: “...for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands."
I came home late this past Wednesday Night, but my wife Tricia was still up and she said – “you gotta watch this lady on Jay Leno!” So I did. The lady was 92 year old Rachel Veitch. Rachel is one spunky gal. Because of her health, charm and positive attitude – she has become an International Media Celebrity. Take that with a grain of salt – because I didn’t know she existed until last Wednesday Night. What has people talking about Rachel is her zest for life and her love affair with her car. No kidding here. Rachel really loves her 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente. She calls her car her “chariot.” She said on Leno that she bought the car new in 1964 for $3289.30 and has racked up 563,000 miles but the car still has all its original parts. Rachel has gone through 19 lifetime guarantee batteries from JC Penney’s. Leno had her car driven onto the stage and she literally kissed the car on stage. Something tells me that Rachel Veitch has a heart for her car! Do you have a heart for something? A heart for football, grilling, silly bands, eating out, - going back to school?
Do you recognize any of these people? I do not. I have never met any of these people. Allow me to put names with faces. From top left to right: Glen D. Lapp, Tom Little, Dan Terry, Dr. Thomas L. Grams, Cheryl Beckett, Brian Carderelli, Dr. Karen Woo, Daniela Beyer, Mahram Ali and Ahmed Jawed.[i] Here in front of you are the ten civilian aid workers. A Christian Medical team comprised of six Americans, two Afghans, one German and one Brit. All ten were killed on August 5 in Afghanistan. The New York Times reported, “Their devotion was perhaps most evident in what they gave up to carry out their mission: Dr. Thomas L. Grams, 51, left a thriving dental practice; Dr. Karen Woo, 36, walked away from a surgeon’s salary; Cheryl Beckett, 32, had no time for courtship or marriage.”[ii] The Associated Press gave these chilling details. “They hiked for more than 10 hours over rugged mountains — unarmed and without security — to bring medical care to isolated Afghan villagers until their humanitarian mission took a tragic turn.
Ten members were gunned down in a gruesome slaughter that the Taliban said they carried out, alleging the volunteers were spying and trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. Team members — doctors, nurses and logistics personnel — were attacked as they were returning to Kabul after their two-week mission in the remote Parun valley province about 160 miles north of Kabul. The bullet-riddled bodies — including three women — were found August 6th near three four-wheeled drive vehicles in a wooded area just off the main road…”[iii]
As I said, I did not know any of these people, but other people did. Glen Wheeler told me about Cheryl Beckett. Cheryl is the daughter of Charles & Mary Beckett. Charles is the Minister of the Woodlawn Christian Church in Knoxville, TN. Cheryl was remembered as beautiful, talented, and dedicated to Jesus Christ. The truth is Cheryl had a heart for God! Do you know of anyone else who had a heart for God? Turn in your Bibles today to Acts 13:16. Do you need a Bible today? Speaking of the Bible Andrew Bondurant has a special video announcement. (Show video clip[iv]) Today we are continuing a series we began last week called “Life Verse!” A life verse is a verse from scripture that directs your life! It could be one or several. Now I do not recommend finding a life verse for someone else. Wes McKenzie went home last week from church and asked his family if they each had a life verse. Wes said he wasn’t sure what his verse was so his lovely wife Tracy suggested Ephesians 5:25 which says, Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Wes responded to Tracy that her life verse should be Proverbs 21:9 which says, Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. They are hilarious! That really cracks me up, but that’s not what I had in mind. Here’s what I did have in mind. Use Paul’s sermon in Acts 13 to help you locate or determine your life verse. The sermon begins in verse 16. (Read 16-22) Cheryl Beckett had a heart for God. So did King David! The facts describing David’s life start in 1st Samuel 16. So just like last week let’s go from NT to OT, from Acts to 1st Samuel. (TOUR!) The scriptures tell us about Samuel’s birth, but not so with David. David is introduced to us an 18 to 19 year old teenager.[v] Find 1 Samuel 16:1. The truth is Jesse had eight sons. Drop down to verse 6. (Read 6-12) In allot of ways David is the ONE. I typed into Google this question. If you could meet any Bible character except Jesus – who would you want to meet?[vi] The answers ranged from Gabriel, to Paul, Satan, Jeremiah, and Joshua. Some guy said he wanted to meet Eve. Others said they wanted to meet David. Would you? The reason I ask is because of the sheer volume of Bible material referencing David. Chuck Swindoll, in his book David, Profiles in Character said, “The Bible dedicates 66 chapters to this man’s life.” Abraham and Joseph tie for second with 14.[vii] When I think of David – I can’t help but think of two other people. It’s like saying Batman – you have to include Robin. Or peanut butter – you have to include jelly. When I think of David – I also see Goliath & Bathsheba. Goliath is one of David’s greatest triumphs and Bathsheba is one of his greatest defeats! The Bible includes them both – we have time today for one. Let’s talk Goliath! The real life drama of David & Goliath is found in 1 Samuel 17. Allow me to set the table. You can’t read chapter 17 without remembering verse 7 in chapter 16. God does not focus on appearances. God focuses on your heart. You see Goliath was huge and David was dinky! (Smart Car - It’s a Benz!) Find verse 4. Goliath could have been a spokesperson for Under Armor. His bronze armor weighed 125lbs. His spear tip was the size of a 15lb bowling ball. Goliath thought he was invincible and so did the Israelites. Verse 16 tells us twice a day for 40 days Goliath taunted Saul and the Israelites – and they were terrified. But David didn’t think so! Actually David had no idea Goliath existed until his father sent him on a snack run in verse 17. On day 41 David gets his first glimpse of Goliath and he does not like what he hears. Go to verse 26. Word gets to former King Saul that David is willing to take up Goliath’s challenge. Saul’s all for it! Verse 40 tells us David picks up five smooth stones from the creek bed – and as David looks up – guess who’s towering above him! Find verse 41. (Read 41-47) There it is – there’s David’s Life Verse. “...for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands." This is how David lived his life – the battle is the Lord’s – my responsibility is to trust him! I had a friend ask me – “Have you ever heard this cliché? The Lord will not give you more than you can handle.” David is proof that the answer is yes – God will give you more than you can handle. Was Goliath more than David could handle on his own? YES! David would never have beaten Goliath without God’s direct involvement! David understood something we often get confused. The battle is not our responsibility – how we respond to the battle is our responsibility. David’s battle is standing right before him. Goliath is huge – a wide load – thick and imposing! “Goliath” means “strong.”[viii] I think there’s a better word for Goliath. How about intimidation. What is causing you fear in your life? Chuck Swindoll said, “I don’t know what your intimidating giant is today. It may relate to your job, your roommate, or your school. Maybe it is a person, a lawsuit, unemployment, a disaster…maybe even your own partner in life. Perhaps it is some fear that is lurking around the corner, sucking your energy and draining your faith. God is saying to you right now. “All I ask of you is five smooth stones and a sling of faith. I’ll take it from there. You just trust Me.”[ix]
Can we go back to Cheryl Beckett for a moment? One of the ten people killed in Afghanistan. Cheryl had a heart for God. David had a heart for God! What does that even mean? I am so happy to say that devotion for God does not mean perfection. David proved that very clearly. If you have a heart for God it means you value what God values. What is important to God becomes important to you! What burdens God – burdens you. If you sin – you don’t hide it – you confess it. You learn from your mistakes. If you have a heart for God you realize giants are all around you – but they are not as big as God. If you have a heart for God you make a decision every day you wake up or before you go to bed – God, I’m going to trust you because the battle is yours. Go back to Acts 13 and find verse 36. If you have a heart for God you begin to realize this life is not about you – we are here for God’s purposes – not our own! You start to care for people.
Do you need a reminder? Listen to I Samuel 17:54. Why did David do that? “This is what Goliath was wearing. But he’s dead and I’m alive. I’m holding his sword. Goliath can’t because he’s dead. I’m small – but he’s dead. Do you need a daily reminder to trust God? Some people carry a small cross or a penny in their pocket. I suggest - go get a smooth stone.
From top left to right:
Glen D. Lapp -- Tom Little -- Dan Terry -- Dr. Thomas L. Grams -- Cheryl Beckett
Brian Carderelli -- Dr. Karen Woo -- Daniela Beyer -- Mahram Ali -- Ahmed Jawed
[v] James E. Smith, College Press NIV Commentary, 1 & 2 Samuel, 219
[vii] Charles Swindoll, David, Great Lives from God’s Word, 4
[viii] James E. Smith, College Press NIV Commentary, 1 & 2 Samuel, 220
[ix] Charles Swindoll, David, Great Lives from God’s Word, 4