1 Samuel 16

 

Did you hear about the teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put his boots on? He asked for help and she could see why. With her pulling and him pushing, the boots still didn’t want to go on. When the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost whimpered when the little boy said, “Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.” She looked, and sure enough, they were. It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on. This time on the right feet. He then announced, “These aren’t my boots.” She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, “Why didn’t you say so?” like she wanted to. Once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off. He then said, “They’re my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear them.” She didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace to wrestle the boots on his feet again. She said, “Now, where are your mittens?” He said, “I stuffed them in the toes of my boots…”

 

Have you ever had that kind of a day? A kind word would have done wonders for you.

“Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

“The right word spoken at the right time sometimes achieves miracles.”

 

We want to be a church that empowers people.

We need to give one another the power to do the will of God.

 

Ephesians 4:11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be shepherds and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

 

We think that doing the will of God is impossible. We are not worthy to be His servants. The fact is God choose to speak through us as His ambassadors.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! …And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.

 

If God has committed this responsibility to us He has also given us the skills to accomplish the mission.

The problem is we see ourselves and others through our eyes and not God’s eyes.

See what God sees.

 

1 Samuel 16:1 The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” … 4 Samuel did what the LORD said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?” 5 Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD.” 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

 

1 Samuel 16:10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” 12 So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.

 

David was the least likely to be chosen as the next king. His father did not even bother to call him in from the field. Others saw a boy, God saw a King. David probably did not even see himself as a King, but God did.

 

How do you see yourself? More importantly how does God see you?

 

We have to be open to God’s leading and speak words of encouragement to each other.

We have to see what God sees so we can become all God wants us to become.

 

My mom had a picture of me and a neighbor when we were in cub scouts and had won some race. My brother said yeah, David is a police officer now. I said, “Really”. Surprised that he had made “something” out of his life. Maybe that is what people think when they hear that Jimmy Webster is a minister.

It does not matter what other people think you can be or do. It matters what God wants you to be and do. But we have to let Him mold us.

David could have refused the anointing of Samuel and lived his entire life with his sheep.

You too can miss out on the great plans God has for your life if you refuse to obey Him.

 

Acts 18:24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. 27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28 For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

 

If Priscilla and Aquila had not encouraged Apollos what would have happened to Him?

We have to see the potential in other people and empower them to achieve their potential in Jesus.

That is exactly what Priscilla and Aquila did for Apollos.

When the youth serve, leading worship, giving a meditation, etc.

Let them know that God used them to encourage you.

 

A young lady from the youth group in Milford got married a several years ago. As she talked with Vicki she told her she remembers Vicki telling her she would make a good youth ministers wife. Guess who she married? A youth minister. Vicki does not even remember telling Amy that, but Amy has never forgotten.

Words are powerful. They also work in the negative as well.

 

Do you remember any positive words people have spoken to you?

If you are always told you are worthless, then you begin to believe it.

If you are told you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, then you begin to believe it.

That is what empowering is all about.

Are you empowering people around you or are you discouraging the people around you?

 

After my senior year of High School I was at church camp and was asked to give a devotion one evening. It was exciting to do but when it was all over I was very discouraged. I did not think it went well at all. The Associate Minister’s wife from my home church was there and came up and said what a wonderful job I had done. I told her I did not think I had done a very good job and she shared a scripture with me.

 

Romans 10:14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

 

That was almost 30 years ago and I can picture that conversation very clearly in my mind. I was already planning to go the Bible College to be a minister but her encouragement in a down time kept me on that path.

 

What if she would have said nothing and I would have focused on the negative?

Satan could have convinced me that I didn’t have what it took to preach. I may have decided that I should not go into the ministry at all.

Words are powerful. How are you using your words?

Are using them to empower or to discourage?

 

Oak Forest wants to empower you for ministry. We want you to use you gifts and abilities for God’s Kingdom.

What are your passions?

If you had all the time, money, and abilities what would you want to do for God? (Handout 2 weeks ago)

In what kinds of ministries do you want to serve God?

Let the leadership of Oak Forest know and we will do everything in our power to help you and encourage you to accomplish great things for God.

Each of us need to be on the lookout for the abilities of others.

Encourage each other to take a risk and develop the raw talent that we see.

Let’s empower each other.

 

God also wants to empower you. He wants you to know you are a somebody and you are worth the life of His Son. That is the message of Jesus coming and dying for you.

He wants to use you in His Kingdom in a powerful way

 

Ephesians 3:20 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, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

 

When we let God work in us we can do more than we ever imaged.

God sees you as a diamond in the rough. You have great potential to be beautiful if you allow Him to work in your life. But as a diamond in the rough you have choices.

 

First, you have to decide to be held by the Master. That means you need to commit your life to Him. Believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world and that He died for you. Repent of your sins, tell God you want to live His way not your way. Be Baptized. Be immersed into Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

Second, view that everything that happens in your life God can use to bring out the beauty of the diamond. A diamond has to be cut to become beautiful. Being cut on is not pain free. But the result is awesome.

 

Are you willing to put your life in the hands of the Master to be made more beautiful than you can imagine?

Then come as we sing our hymn of invitation.