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Sermon of the Week 
Wednesday, December 04 2019

We are all part of one another’s story, the people, places, events and personal experiences. Most folks grow up, not understanding that it is their choice, as to who will be influential in their own world view. We choose which values we retain and which we discard in forming our own life values. That process can elevate us or bring us down. Ladies check out one another’s homes to see what they can learn in setting up their own home…. Guys are checking out your car, your gun collection, or your big screen TV….. We are borrowing from each other’s story….. Jesus came to earth so we could borrow from His story, how to live the best life possible here and in eternity too!!

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful (to us) for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness”.

One morning in 1888 Alfred opened up the paper and read his own obituary. His obituary was printed as a result of a simple error. You see,  it was his brother that had died and his name and picture was published instead of his brother. But to Alfred the real shock was because the obituary showed him himself, as the world saw him. The "Dynamite King," it said, the great industrialist who had made an immense fortune from explosives. This, was how the public saw the entire purpose of Alfred's life. None of his greater efforts to break down the barriers that separated people and ideas for the purpose of peace were recognized or given serious consideration. He was simply a merchant of destruction, and that’s how he would be remembered. As he saw himself as others saw him, It became adefining moment in which he resolved to make clear to the world the true meaning and purpose of his life. In His last will and testament—he provided an endowment of five annual prizes for outstanding contributions in physics, chemistry, physiology, medicine, literature, and peace (the sixth category of economics was added later)—It would continue to be awarded after he was gone. This would be the expression of his life's ideals and ultimately would be why we would now remember him. The result was the most valuable and sought after awards given to those who had done the most for the cause of world peace. Today, the world knows Alfred Nobel, as the provider of the "Nobel Peace Prize, which is awarded 5 times each year."

When he saw himself through the eyes of others, It allowed him to change who he was and how he would be remembered…..                                                                                Acts 13:36 "For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, he fell asleep, and rested among his fathers…”

The Bible is a mirror, which is filled with stories of people’s lives, with parables, life values and eternal, unchanging truth.

When I look at the story of David, I read his story, but as I see the good and bad, I ask myself if I am just reading about David, or am I reading my story through the life principles which God ispresenting to me through the life of David. 

I am often, just like David, oblivious to the bigger picture that God is painting for my life. I am often unaware, like he was, that God is using the delays and interruptions, the valleys and the mountain tops, the failures and successes, to shape and mold me and to refine the rough spots as He polishes the gifts, and skill sets He has given me. 

I see David falling down and getting back up… and using the experiences to rise to the next occasion. I see him as he allows his heart to overwhelm his head, as he let’s his emotions cancel out common sense, as he shoots before he aims. But with all he did, it is David killing Goliath, David and his mighty men, David the Psalmist shepherd, David the heart after God, David the flawed, the falling short, the failure, but still chosen and used mightly by God…..

And I realize that His story is written out, with all the good and bad, to help me with my story. To know that God is greater than my short comings and my failures. He chooses imperfect people, to show His power and His might. And I realize that He does this so that He might get the greater glory. 

It’s not just David’s story, it is also our story. And that story is bigger than the different places in it. We are more than our parts, because when we are weak, He is strong. When we are uncertain, He is all knowing…. Our times are in His hands….I must be careful that I don’t judge God’s working in my story, by any given place or time that I may be passing through at the moment. 

I can face the future in Faith because God has a greater purpose than any delays of the moment. Faith is believing God for what you cannot see….

I recall Linda when we first came to Key West, and she was single and all her friends were married with kids, and her concern was that she still hadn’t found Mister right in her life. I remember we encouraged her that God has perfect timing for each of our stories. And that story is already written If we will be open and receptive. Winnie then prophesied over her, and described the man God was sending to her, now we know that it described Craig perfectly, even though it would be years before they would meet….and Craig was hundreds of miles away and we had lost touch with him. Then the Lord directed Craig’s story so that he came to Key West. Our family was walking along the beach at Bahia Honda, when Chris ran up to us and said that he saw Craig and Linda walking towards us, holding hands. When they saw us they dropped each others hands, but we laughed and let them know that God had told us that day was part of what He had written, years earlier….(I think Linda would say it was worth the wait)!!!

Whose story is it?..... His Story, is working through our story, and we are the instruments He has chosen to use, and work through. He is the hand and we are the glove, that he puts on and moves with and through. The glove cannot do anything separate from the hand….He’s laying out even the small details of our lives. Each connection, each relationship, each contact….

There is a statue of Christopher Columbus in the town in Spain, where he died in 1506. At the base of the statue is a lion that is destroying one of the Latin words that were part of Spain's motto for centuries. Before Columbus made his voyages, the Spaniards thought *…..they had reached the outer limits of earth. So their motto was "Ne Plus Ultra," which means "No More Beyond." 

The word being torn away by the lion is the word,"Ne" or "no". With that word removed, it now reads "Plus Ultra." Columbus had proven that there was indeed "more beyond."

Whose story is it? It’s not just Columbus’s story, it’s you’re story and my story…. Other’s may see your story and say, “that’s all they’ll ever be, there’s no more”. “That’s all they’ll ever accomplish, there’s no more”…. “They’ll never change or be different, there’s no more”…. “Their marriage will never make it”…. But the Lion of Judah is tearing away the “No more”…from our story and if we believe His version of our story, He is letting us know that “There is much more beyond”…..

I recall when I boarded the train for Bible College, full of concern and feeling unprepared for what was ahead. I had sold my 1959 Ford Fairlane convertible with a T-Bird engine, to buy a ticket, pay off my bills and get some spending money. I had never been on a train, and I got off at the wrong stop at a loading platform, on a dirt road, in the middle of a hundred acres of corn field in Pennsylvania.

I’m thinking as the train disappears, that I had reached the end of my journey on a loading platform, by a dirt road with corn as far as you could see, and no one would ever know what happened to me… But God said “There is more beyond”….. “I didn’t bring you this far to leave you”….and as I stood there in the hot sun, a cloud of dust came down that dirt road and it was a cab, being driven by a cabbie that had attended the very college I was trying to get to. He turned off the meter and he took me to the front steps of the college, 2 hours drive away. 

I had 20 dollars to my name and the driver said, “whateveryou’ve got, That will be enough”…. Look at someone and say, “God says, whatever you’ve got is enough, I can get you there with that”….  

When Alexander the Great was getting ready to march out on his conquest of Asia, he was concerned about the families of those who followed him. He inquired into their finances during their time away from home. To ensure that they would be able to provide, he distributed crown estates and revenues among them. When he had given out nearly all the royal resources, his friend General Perdi-cas asked Alexander what he had left for himself. I leave "Hope," for myself answered the king.

"In that case," said Perdi-cas, "we who share in your labors will also choose to partake in your hopes as our share." He then refused the estate allotted to him, and several other of the king's friends did the same. When the crusade was over, those who chose hope, received far more than those who had accepted the Caesar’s other gifts at the beginning…..

Peter had been on the roof and saw a vision where God let down a sheet with every kind of unclean animal. God said take and eat. Peter was disgusted and said “No way Hosea”…. (I’m paraphrasing) Then God let him understand because someone showed up and asked him to come to Cornelius’ house. Now that’s a hoot, because Cornelius was a Gentile, and on top of that he was a Roman Centurion. In Peter’s Jewishness, those were to “Not very good” things. But Peter obeyed, they all received Christ, and were filled with the Holy Spirit. It was then that Peter wrote these words in Acts 10:34 “Most certainly I understand now that God is not one to show partiality [to people as though anyone was excluded from His blessing], v35 but in every place and time, the person who fears God and does what is right [by seeking Him] is acceptable and favored by Him”.

God swore an oath that He would stand behind His word and scripture says because there was none higher that He could swear by, He swore by Himself, to watch over His word and perform it….

God did that to guarantee that your story could have the best outcome possible as you follow His word and the inspired promptings of His Spirit within you. It is your GPS that is built into you. Peter had a vision, you may have dreams, inner promptings, words from friends and associates, or an actual prophecy. I have picked up a magazine, and the Holy Spirit spoke to me through it, or TV, or radio, but whatever, we have been given a guide within to help us in writing our story…. 

Seek and you WILL find, Ask and it WILL be given, Knock and the door WILL be opened!

Posted by: AT 12:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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