Today's sermon from Pastor Kelly was one of his best. And what do you know it - it was from 2 Samuel which I finished reading last week! I LOOOVE how God always does that! When I am trying to learn and grow - He always lets me receive the same message from so many different areas or 'venues' or whatever you want to call it - I LOVE that! :) Today the lessons all tied in and came from my own reading, the pastor, mom's version of Joel Osteen's sermon, and of course my wonderful hubby, "B".
So I'm reading the whole Bible this year - I made a promise to myself and God - and I'm already in 1 Kings - so I just read 2 Samuel - and what do you know the pastor basically recapped 2 Samuel and the life of David - and I was able to hear what He took from it - and it really let me expand on what I was learning! :)
So I wanted to share the bullet points of the service *His teaching is in blue, my thoughts are in green*:
Becoming a Person After God's Own Heart
(Which is just incredible -- because I was looking for words as to what I want with my own life and what would make me feel fulfilled daily and when I heard this --- I was like that's it! I had just read about David (1 Samuel 13:14) He was a man after God's own heart - If I could be known as anything, I'd want people to know me as a woman after God's own heart. That is certainly what grandma has shown me over the years. She LOVES the Lord and everybody knows it.
Four Tests of a Great Heart - How God defines Greatness:
1. The Sin Test -- David's response was a repentent heart.
He didn't blame others, blame his circumstance or make himself out to be a victim - he simply told God, I messed up, I sinned please help me like I know you can and will. "I have sinned" (2 Samuel 12:13). God will not reject a repentant heart ever!!! This goes along with my forgiveness blog a while ago. This is what the non-christians need to hear -- or even some christians that are not growing -- God forgives, ALWAYS, so repent, and move on! He will wash away the guilt and remember the sin no longer! David was a very sinful man. and God loved Him so much - there is more writing about Him than anybody else in the Bible except Jesus. So it goes to show God uses people who will let themselves be used, He doesn't use perfect people and He doesn't EXPECT perfection! What a relief! It does not mean my standards are less, it does mean that I can be used in much greater ways because I am relatable, I won't get a big head because my sin will keep me humble and make realize that without God I'm useless and just a sinner, and it means I can do much more because I will not be strapped down by guilt or other negative chains given to me by the enemy. God uses David, a great sinner, He can use anybody!
2. The stress test: David's response was a trusting heart.
Everybody else was afraid of Goliath - but he trusted. He knew that God was always enough and was all he ever needed. What is your first response in stress? It should be to RUN to God! This is one I will be working on. David endured more stress than most people in his day and our day combined! But some of the most beautiful Psalms and spiritual maturity came out of these times. God loved him so much He wanted him to be GREAT not just average. He wanted him to continually be stronger in faith and so He would put him in situations to help his faith muscle grow. Of course that was David's choice if He would grow from the struggle or wilt and quit but He always ran to God! David knew that God would let him have great success (1 Sam 18:14) and he knew that promotion and power come from GOD ALONE (Ps 75:6). That's incredible when you really can let that sink in. Promotion and power come not from earth. God just uses whoever it seems is promoting you or giving you power -- it's really God doing it!
3. The Service test: David's response was a servant's heart. He was whole-hearted.
Did everything he did 100% with ALL his heart (Ps 119:10).
He was focused!
Scraping off of his plate whatever was not going to get him closer to fulfilling his purpose.
He was sacrificial.
2 Samuel 24:24. Everything you do for the Lord WILL and SHOULD cost you something! Looking to go above and beyond not just have our normal 'minimum mentality' aka Mediocre mentality aka average thinking!
4. The success test: David's response was a humble heart.
He ran toward God during stress - but he also ran toward God during the victory and praise. How you handle success, praise and adoration is a great test of where your heart lies. Are you you-focused or God-focused? God WANTS to make you successful --- for so many reasons - but He can use you the most when your focus is on Him and His purpose for your life.
It's all about focus --- all these things directly relate to what you focus on DAILY. Daily turns into monthly - monthly turns into yearly - yearly turns into yoru own earthly existance.
So what are you doing daily to keep your focus on God so He can use YOU to show others what He can do through a willing servant with a repentant heart, a trusting heart, a servant's heart and a humble heart!!?
2 CHRONICLES 16:9!