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Devoted: Who's the Protagonist?

Last Sunday, Alex York brought the next sermon in the series "Devoted: A Study in the Life of David."  This message was called "Who's the Protagonist?"

First, we got a report from four youth who went to FUGE Youth Camp.

Then Alex began preaching from I Samuel 16.

He asks the question, "Who's the Protagonist?" in this passage.

King Saul?

Saul made a choice against God, and God honors our choices.

Saul has rejected God and it brought consequences.  He's fading in significance.

Samuel?

Samuel has learned about obeying in spite of circumstances.  God doesn't fault his feelings, but still gives him a job.  My feelings don't dictate what God is up to.

-- Obeying in spite of feelings

-- Obeying in spite of perspective

I Samuel 16:7 -- God sees differently from us.  The world places value on externals.

-- Obeying in spite of not knowing the whole plan

David?

-- God's been preparing David.

He's learned humility, to defend the sheep, and spiritual leadership by being a shepherd.

Saul's servant has heard of David and says he's skillful with the lyre, brave, a warrior, well-spoken, and fine-looking.  These are already baked into his life at a young age.

God uses our lives to prepare us.

-- God's been positioning David.

God used circumstances to bring David to the king's court.

What is God preparing, positioning you for? 

God is doing the orchestrating in our lives.

God is the protagonist.

David understood it's all about God.

This is God's story.

This chapter is about God working out his plans.

God invites us into His story.

Let God be the protagonist of your story.

When God's the main character, even the hard things make sense.

This is not our story.  Even as a church, our building is not about us, but about how we can love the people of this community.

He must increase, I must decrease.

Devoted: A Study in the Life of David

Last Sunday, Pastor Ed began a new sermon series called "Devoted: A Study in the Life of David" with a message called "Obedience is Better."

Devotion is critical in the life of our church now.

We're going to get a birds' eye view of the sovereignty of God.

Sometimes it looks like coincidence.

Sometimes it looks like a direct word of God.

Sometimes it looks like dodging a spear.

Sometimes it looks like God's purposes prevailing when we mess up.

Obedience Is Better.

Historical context:

Saul was anointed king around 1050 BC.

David conquered the Philistines around 1020 BC.

David became king around 1010 BC.

David died 971 BC.

The context is the Iron Age.

The Hittite empire collapsed 1185 BC, and Egypt was experiencing political fragmentation, so there was a large power vacuum.

We're looking at Saul in I Samuel 15.

When Saul is confronted with his disobedience, he blame-shifts right away.

Partial obedience is the same as disobedience.

"To obey is better than sacrifice."

Saul acknowledges his wrongdoing instead of repudiating it.

Don't apologize with "because"!

Obedience is better than Money.

Money doesn't give security.  It can't buy what's most important.

Obedience is better than Sex.

Sex is momentary, and the consequences can be overwhelming and can fracture our relationships.

Obedience is better than Religion.

Samuel's main point here.  Religion is meaningless without obedience.

Obedience is the main point of everything.

Jesus said, "If you love me, you'll obey what I command."  If you love God, you'll obey Him.

We teach our children obedience -- so later they can obey themselves, and God.

In order to obey God, we have to first hear what He is saying.

There are things we know we need to rid our lives of.

We need to learn how to hear from God.

Summer reading: 

Hearing God's Voice, by Henry Blackaby

Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby

The Power of a Whisper, by Bill Hybels

Too Busy Not to Pray, by Bill Hybels

Reaching for the Invisible God, by Philip Yancey

Prayer, by Tim Keller

Obedience means when we get into trouble, we repent wholeheartedly.

Obedience means we say "Amen" to whatever God is doing.

Obedience means trusting that God knows better.

Amen!

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