Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sunday Recap - March 21, 2010

We're into spring break season now, and our friends and their families are coming and going. Two of our congregation  J.C. Roberts and Scott Marston, aren't headed on vacation though - they're deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan. When I was preparing the message on Gideon earlier in the week, in contrast to Gideon's excuses, I was thankful that God placed me here in Valparaiso, among everyday heroes who never would call themselves that. But they are to me. Our congregation will be bringing J.C. and Scott to the throne every day until they return to us, and supporting Pam and Laura and their families.

The message began with a question - Who's your hero?

It's my contention that in today's society, we have purposefully diminished the study of our nation's heroes, and decided that children don't need to be shaped by the stories of those who have gone before. That's our loss, because it's by looking at those who stand out - warts and all - that we can see the potential for world changing lives in all of us - by God's grace and through His power. So we looked at Gideon, and his battle plan against the Midianites. It was actually God's plan. Gideon's was let's hit them with everything we can hit them with. God's plan was "I got this."

We see in the story God's attempt to shape the battle field - not the area where the Midianites were, but of the hearts and minds of Gideon and his people. God takes a 32,000 man army and shrinks it in stages down to just 300 men plus Gideon. A lot has been made over the years about the method God used. That really doesn't matter. The focus should never shift from God to the men. God could have accomplished His victory with whatever number of men He chose to. The key was not the 300.

The key was the one. Gideon.

Was he willing to obey God?

We face the same fears and doubts,just about different things. The deal for us is the same - heroism is optional, but obedience is an absolute requirement to see God's power flow through us and change the world. Had a great time all week with the message and in delivering it.

Music this week: "Lord I Lift Your name On High", "Nothing But the Blood", "Have Thine Own Way" with a video of "For the Sake of the Call" by Steven Curtis Chapman just after the message started. That man is so awesomely using the talent God gave him.

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