The Call to Remember

In Matthew 15, Jesus has just asked the disciples to feed a crowd. No, not your average holiday crowd this is a group of 4000 hungry men, then there are the women and children. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that they have not eaten in at least three days? Matthew 15:33~And the disciples said to him, Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd? (ESV) It really is true for us in our humanity, that we can be so short-sighted. Christ Jesus has already fed 5,000 men, plus women and children, with only 2 sardines and 5 pancakes (Matthew 14:13-21). In the disciples’ ailing defense, perhaps they thought since this crowd is predominantly Gentile, Jesus would not feed them as He did the Jews. 

But really, He healed them, taught them and now He won’t feed them? It just doesn’t hold water. Jesus once again asks how many loaves they have. They tell Him 7, and a few sardines. Christ Jesus instructs the people to sit on the ground, as He takes the 7 loaves and fish and says the best blessing we never heard. Sometimes we need to be broken and blessed so we can go and minister. That is part of 21-Days. Breaking off the hold of so much that we are blessed to minister freely. What has been holding you back from ministering to those that Christ has placed in your life? Are you tired, busy, overlooked?

As I read this passage, I am always struck that after the meal, they will collect seven baskets of leftovers. I always wonder, Why 7? Is it that this is one of perfection’s number, or could it be something altogether different. At the feeding of 5000, they had 12 baskets that were collected, and perhaps there were still 7 disciples who were more like me, or you, still struggling to believe: 7 baskets for 7 struggling believers. I believe the biggest obstacle to our spiritual growth is a short memory. 

Do you have a short memory? If so, I want to encourage you today, to commit to memory, Psalm 77:11~I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. (NIV) To Fortify our faith we need to hold on to our victories. I—Will—Remember! 



David — Confessions of a King — 1 Samuel 16.1-13…Handout 010820

Ever wondered how God could use you? The scriptural landscape has numerous individuals who answer God’s call. Each one is flawed and _______ so, that we can all relate. One such individual delivers profound truth to the words of Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s “The pen is _______ than the sword.” A graduate of Life U. He shares in times of somber, exuberant, melancholy, even resounding praise he will put his life to music. His name is David. 1 Samuel 16:12~…ruddy…he had __________ eyes and was handsome…(ESV) More than 50 _________ in the Old Testament are used to record his life (1 Samuel 16-31; 2 Samuel 1-24; & 1 Chronicles 10-29). Also, there are more than _____ references to David in the New Testament, making him third most after Father Abe & Ole Mo. Listen to God’s opinion, Acts 13:22~After removing Saul, he made David their king. God __________ concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ (NIV) 1 Kings 15:5~For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days—_________ in the case of Uriah. (NIV) David’s life shares wonderfully how God is the God of __________ and restoration. He’s the wonderful God of ______ chances. Jonah 3:1~Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time. (ESV) This week 3 simple, yet profound requirements to be, Used By God: Obey, _______, Wait

1) Obey __________ (16:1-4) To obey God immediately, don’t wait for all the details. Take a ______ of faith, God reveals His will 1 step at a time. Sammy and Abe are _______ examples of this truth: If we want to see ahead in God’s will, then we have to go as far as we can see.

2) Listen __________ (16:4b-7) The elders ask, “Do you come ________?” Ready to pronounce Eliab king, God says Eh-hum? We don’t know how Sammy knows perhaps a spiritual __________ or a certain ______ but Sammy knows this ain’t the guy God wants. 1 Samuel 16:7~But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance…the Lord looks on the ________.” (ESV)

3) Wait __________ (16:8-13) David, Jesse’s youngest son, may have been excluded because he was only about sixteen, therefore, too young for _______ service, a requirement for Israel’s king. (1 Samuel 8:20) When the Lord speaks we are to respond. So, do you know the _______ of the Lord? Recognizing and honing in on the His voice is one of our greatest spiritual goals. 1 Samuel 16:13~Then Samuel took the ______ of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. (ESV) David is first anointed king in _______. 2 Samuel 2:4. Later he is anointed king of Israel in 2 Samuel 5:3-4~So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a _______…before the LORD, _____David king over Israel. David was 30…reigned ___ years. (ESV)  Psalm 51:11~Do not _____ me from your presence or _____ your Holy Spirit from me. (NIV) Everyone God uses has to _____. Noah waits for 120yrs, building the ark.  Ole Mo waits for 40yrs tending sheep. As slaves, Israel waits for 400yrs for deliverance. Take-A-Step:___________________________________________



Victory

Do you hold on to your victories? As we continue on our journey through the gospel of Matthew, we come to a place where we are reminded that we must hold on to our victories (15:29-39). When we win a game we reminisce, but when we win a championship we hold fast all the victories. In our faith life, we need to grasp that victory is ours in Jesus Christ. The Bible reveals that in the end, Jesus is victorious. Not just in this life where sin persists but also in the eternal life to come. Jesus is our victor and what He gives to us is (στέφανος stephanos) the victor’s crown. The symbol of victory given to the winners in the Greek games. A reward or a prize where the victor would ascend the bema and be crowned. As believers, we are crowned as winners in the Christian life. 

Not because we were good, but because Jesus Christ overcame. This word stephanos is used in 1 Corinthians 9:25~Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown (στέφανος stephanos) that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. (NIV) Why did you get saved, going into strict training? Why participate in 21-Days? To train up our most holy faith and receive the victor’s crown. Revelation 3:21~To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. (NIV)

Moreover, in 2 Timothy 2:5 the word stephanos is used as an ornament for festivities and celebrations as in Proverbs 1:9; Proverbs 4:9; Isaiah 28:1. The stephanos was also used to honor someone publicly who had distinguished themselves in service or given to someone for their worthiness. Song of Solomon 3:11~come out, and look, you daughters of Zion. Look on King Solomon wearing a crown (στέφανος stephanos), the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, the day his heart rejoiced. (NIV) As part of the bride of Christ, I am ready for a wedding, the marriage supper of the Lamb. It is the victor’s crown worn at the parousia, the word that gives us advent or the return of our King. Jesus is crowned and He will return to catch away His bride.

Mark 7:31~Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. (NIV) Christ remains in this a predominately Gentile area, know as modern-day Jordan, where He teaches and heals many who glorify God. (15:29-31) Matthew 15:32~Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way. (ESV) 

How would you respond when Christ Jesus says, feed the crowd. He has just worked many signs, wonders, and miracles over many days. Does faith increase as we get tired, or do we become short-sighted to all Christ Jesus has done in our lives. Today, why not take the time to hold your victories? Sit down with a pen and paper and start writing the victories that Christ has won in your life. There is our salvation, our family, our jobs, homes, lives. Start considering how each of these came into our lives. I bet you end up praising Him, as you sing for joy.