Gleaning from Samuel: Where's God in your Decisions?

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning November 5th, 2017.

A Big Challenge can lead to a Big Mistake
Sometimes we leave God out of our desires and plans. We must always go to God for guidance, especially when we face life’s challenges.

1 Samuel 8:1-22 NIV
1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice. 4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” 6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.” 10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.”

Summary of Text:
1. Samuel is old and his sons are corrupt
2. The Elders of Israel want a king like the other nations (like the Philistines & other pagan nations)
3. In this, they are rejecting God as King (neglecting their heritage)
4. God warns of the bondage to an earthly ruler (“you will cry out for relief”)
5. God’s warning is rejected

Closer look into this Text:

  • Was it permissible for Israel to have a king?
    (Yes, Deut. 17:14-20)
  • The problem: their motives are wrong
    (Forgot God’s past provision)
    (Forgot to ask for God’s guidance and help)
  • They are making a “pendulum / emotional” decision
    Result: Rejected God and sin/bondage

Deuteronomy 17:14-20 NIV
14 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” 15 be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. 18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.

Everything God Warned against - Happened (Solomon):

  • 700 wives & 300 concubines (most from other nations) 1 Kings 11:2 / Exodus 34:16
  • Taxed the nation (some into slavery)
  • Yes, built Temple for God
    But: He built shrines and alters for pagan worship
  • 4000 horse stalls for his imported horses
  • Summary of Solomon's life and reign: 1 Kings 11:6
    Result: Nation eventually splits, more bad kings...God's judgment: captivity

1 Kings 11:6 NIV
6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.

God's Way - Best Way
Again, God did not oppose Israel having a king. They went about it with wrong motives and ended up in bondage as a result.
What was the key in making the right decision?
1. Ask God out of right motives (One the Lord chooses)
2. Once chosen, He must obey God’s law

Application for us:

  • Avoid emotional decisions
  • Beware of the Pendulum mindset
  • Don’t abandon God
  • No matter how trivial you feel the decision is - live under the Lordship of Christ
  • Ask what is God’s heart? (leading, direction)
  • Heed Divine warnings (From God, Scripture, Anointed Wisdom)

Colossians 3:15-17 NIV
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Gleaning from Samuel: Standing Stones

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning October 29th, 2017.

Last week:
• Israel at war with the Philistines.
• 34000 died
• Ark of God is captured
• Eli, Hophni and Phinehas die
• The era is seen as a time when the “Glory of God had left Israel.”

Why did this happen?
• They were all living in their on ways, as they saw fit. (Judges 21:25 (NIV) 25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.”
• They lived any way they desired. (mostly - without any regard to God or His law.) This is a constant cycle...You can see it throughput the book of Judges.

1 Samuel 7:1-2 NIV
1 So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the Lord. They brought it to Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the Lord. 2 The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time—twenty years in all.Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord.

1 Samuel 5:11-12 NIV
11 So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy on it. 12 Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.

Israel took The Ark back and placed it in the house of Abinadab - for 20 years.

1 Samuel 7:2-6 NIV
2 The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time—twenty years in all.Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord. 3 So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only. 5 Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the Lord for you.” 6 When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.

REPENTED: to turn back (rid+commit+serve) = God is Lord over all.
The benefits of His reign: Shalom - provision, health, security

The test of “Am I really your God?”

Though fearful, they stayed true to God and God blessed them.

1 Samuel 7:12 NIV
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

Standing Stones:
Sacred Stones
Long before the Israelites entered Canaan, pagans in the Middle East erected sacred stones to honor their gods, to declare covenants and treaties between cities, or to honor an important event that could only be explained by the supernatural. These stones were extremely heavy and stood as tall as twenty feet high.

Gezer Stones
Although many standing stones were simple and small, archaeologists uncovered several impressive stones at Tel Gezer. The stones, which were probably put in place before 3000 BC, weigh more than 25 tons each, stand 20 feet tall, and are sunk 20 feet into the earth. Amazingly, they were probably brought to Gezer from a quarry over three miles away!

Hebrew Practice
The Hebrew word translated "standing stones" is massebah and means "to set up." The Israelites followed ancient customs by setting up standing stones as a reminder of God's covenant and supernatural acts on their behalf. The story of the stone was passed down from generation to generation through oral tradition.

Biblical Examples
On several occasions, the Bible mentions significant events that were commemorated with standing stones:

Jacob set up stone pillars at Bethel in order to remember his powerful dream, in which God reaffirmed his covenant with him (Genesis 28:18-21, 35:14-15).

Moses built twelve standing stones at the foot of Mount Sinai after receiving the Ten Commandments and other laws (Exodus 24:2-4).

The Israelites erected standing stones to remember their miraculous crossing of the Jordan River (Joshua 4:2-3, 8-9).

Joshua built a standing stone when the covenant was renewed at Shechem (Joshua 24:27).

Standing stones proclaim that God did something here. They are a witness to those who come by and see the stones, a witness of something great. These stones make people take notice and ask, what happened here. (Historical markers)

New Testament
In the New Testament, Peter builds on standing stone imagery when he describes believers as "living stones"

1 Peter 2:1-6 NIV
1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:“See, I lay a stone in Zion,a chosen and precious cornerstone,and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Thought: Peter probably wanted his readers to think of themselves as living standing stones-people who live out their faith so boldly that others take notice. As living stones, we should proudly tell about the difference that God has made in our lives.

Has God made a difference in your life? Have you met Him as Lord on His terms?

Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV
6 For to us a child is born,to us a son is given,and the government will be on his shoulders.And he will be calledWonderful Counselor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peacethere will be no end.He will reign on David’s throneand over his kingdom,establishing and upholding itwith justice and righteousnessfrom that time on and forever.The zeal of the Lord Almightywill accomplish this.

Have you experienced the mighty act of God establishing His reign in your heart?

Have you found guidance in the Wonderful Counselor?

Have you been empowered by the strength of Mighty God?

Have you met the unending provision of Everlasting Father?

Do you have the hope and inner confidence given in the Prince of Peace? If you have, be a living stone. One who proclaims the mighty acts of God. If you haven’t, why not today? Repent and make Him Lord of all.


1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NIV
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Proclaim: you become a standing stone.

As we take the bread and the cup, we are proclaiming we believe in Him who was given to redeem us back from sin and into a powerful, intimate relationship with Himself, Almighty God.

We remember what the Lord has done, what He has established, His mighty act of love. As (living) standing stones, we proclaim what has happened. Jesus died the death I should have died, paid my sin debt, and then through God’s mighty power in love, conquered death by raising HIs son from the dead. Death is defeated, the grave doesn’t hold me. I am not under the curse of death and separation from God any longer.

I remember, I believe, I surrender, I proclaim

Gleaning from Samuel: What's Missing?

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning October 22nd, 2017.

1 Samuel 4:2-22 NIV
2 The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. 3 When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.” 4 So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. And Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. 5 When the ark of the Lord’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook. 6 Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?”When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp, 7 the Philistines were afraid. “A god has come into the camp,” they said. “Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. 8 We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. 9 Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!” 10 So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died. 12 That same day a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dust on his head. 13 When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair by the side of the road, watching, because his heart feared for the ark of God. When the man entered the town and told what had happened, the whole town sent up a cry. 14 Eli heard the outcry and asked, “What is the meaning of this uproar?”The man hurried over to Eli, 15 who was ninety-eight years old and whose eyes had failed so that he could not see. 16 He told Eli, “I have just come from the battle line; I fled from it this very day.”Eli asked, “What happened, my son?” 17 The man who brought the news replied, “Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.” 18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and he was heavy. He had led Israel forty years. 19 His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains. 20 As she was dying, the women attending her said, “Don’t despair; you have given birth to a son.” But she did not respond or pay any attention. 21 She named the boy Ichabod, saying, “The Glory has departed from Israel”—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”

Summary - Tragic Story
1.Israel lost the battle-Thousands die
2.The Ark of God didn’t help
3.Eli and his sons are dead
4.The Ark of God is captured
5.The glory of God has departed

Happy Ending? What is really missing?
Why did they lose the battles?
Where’s the power of God?
Priest are dead, Ark of God is captured. Why?

Three Tragic Mistakes (they made and we can make)
1. Live anyway you feel (As you see fit)
2. Walk in to a battle without God
3. Use God as a good-luck charm

Mistake 1: Live as you see fit
Sin creates consequences
Gal. 6:7-8, James 1:14
“I got it”/ “My way” -a sin that easily entangles.
Judges 17:6, 21:25; Rom. 1:28
Effect: destruction. Prov. 14:12

Galatians 6:7-8 NIV
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

James 1:14 NIV
14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.

Judges 17:6 NIV
6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

Judges 21:25 NIV
25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

Romans 1:28 NIV
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

Proverbs 14:12 NIV
12 There is a way that appears to be right,but in the end it leads to death.

Mistake 2: Walk in to a battle without God.
The battle is real
John 10:10, 16:33; Ephesians 6:12
Is Jesus, Lord of your life? if so,
The Battle is His. Rom. 8:35-39

John 10:10 NIV
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 16:33 NIV
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Ephesians 6:12 NIV
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Romans 8:35-39 NIV
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:“For your sake we face death all day long;we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Mistake 3: Using God as a good-luck charm.
Praying for the advantage? (dilemma: self desire vs God’s will)
Test: Whose at the center of the relationship? Is God’s plans an option to yours? motives?
When trouble comes your way…God is not your rabbit’s foot.
Draw close (repent), pray, listen, obey
James 4:8, Phil. 4:6, Jn 10:27

James 4:8 NIV
8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Philippians 4:6 NIV
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

John 10:27 NIV
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

Three Right Choices
1.Live in a relationship with God
2.Battles: Walk with Him - guarded
3.Purposely pursue opportunities to share God’s love - no matter the where, when or challenge.

I Surrender Week 2

Audio from Associate Pastor Josh Carpenter on Sunday morning September 24th, 2017.

Life's most common fears:
Fear of Loss
Fear of Failure
Fear of Rejection
Fear of the Unknown

2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Fear is placing our hope in the what-ifs.

Exodus 4:1 NIV
1 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”

Why do your what-ifs matter?
What you fear reveals what you value the most.
What you fear reveals where you trust God the least.

What am I not trusting God with?

Facing the what-ifs of fear.
Acknowledge your fear and choose to trust God.

Psalm 56:2-4 NIV
2 My adversaries pursue me all day long;in their pride many are attacking me. 3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid.What can mere mortals do to me?

Facing the what-ifs of fear.
Seek God until He takes away your fears.

Psalm 34:4 NIV
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;he delivered me from all my fears.


Matthew 6:27 NIV
27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?


Victory in the Valley Week 3

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning September 3rd, 2017.

Our Valleys:
Sickness & Death
Sinful Consequences
Actions of Others
Spiritual Dry Places
Disputes or Threats
(Fear, Stress, Anxiety)

Jesus said we would have valleys (trouble) in this life. But we can have victory.

John 16:33
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

VICTORY is hard to see at times.
It is hard to see the big picture when you are right in the middle of the valley.
Genesis 50:20 (Joseph)
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

God uses (redeems) our valleys for His purpose. Our VICTORY reveals Christ.
Romans 8:28
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

The Process of Revealing His Victory
Valleys are places of revelation & growth - We learn that God is with us.
We are being changed from (valley to valley) - glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18)
To survive/thrive - embrace, know, & obey His Word

To survive and thrive - embrace, know, & obey His Word.
1. Understand: God is at work in us.
Philippians 1:6
“...he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

2. The process produces HOPE
Romans 5:1-5
Does Scripture give us an example of the process?
1 Samuel 17:1-51 (key verses 34-37)

David had HOPE.
An inner strength and confidence in the valley of death (facing Goliath) from past valleys of despair to survive and thrive - embrace, know, & obey His Word.
Where’s your faith? Do you have HOPE?

Another example of this process:
Exodus 15:20-21
Why did Miriam pack a tambourine?
She knew, no matter where God leads us, we will worship Him. For He is the protector, provider, and Savior. She was there from the Nile to the Red Sea. She grew from valley to valley.

How have you grown through the valleys?
Do you feel like a victim?
Maybe you need to reassess your valley.
How has God been faithful in your past?
God is at work in you, through you and around you for His glory.
Where’s your tambourine (your HOPE)?

Honoring Dwayne and Lynn Wilkerson

Audio from former JOY elder Dwayne Wilkerson on Sunday morning August 27th, 2017.

A note from Pastor Vaughn:
This morning we are honoring Dwayne and Lynn Wilkerson.  Selfishly sad, I have to accept the fact that they are moving to Chattanooga Tennessee to be close to their grandkids. 

Dwayne and Lynn came to JOY many years ago with a passion to see God glorified in and through their lives.  They hit the ground running, expressing love and encouragement that has been faithfully poured out on the Church body, week after week.  Dwayne served our Church faithfully as an Elder for many years.  I have experienced first hand, his wonderful encouraging words and love, from numerous text, phone calls, meetings, and his faithful Sunday morning phone call followed by a brief moment in my office before services where he'd always pray for me and for our time in the Word. Through those moments, God knitted our hearts tightly together and I have grown to greatly lean on his anointed, wise, uplifting, and compassionate words.

Most days my first phone call of the morning is from Dwayne with this simple, heartfelt opening line: "Hey there my Pastor, I just want to tell you, I love you."  What an encourager... This love and encouragement has not just been a gift to me, but to our entire Church family. We have grown stronger, been greatly blessed and benefited through having them in our lives.   I thank God for His outpouring of love through this precious couple.

I look forward to seeing what God is up to as He leads them into and through this new season.  Join me this morning as we express our gratitude for their service. Let's pray today and then continue to pray for them as they move, connect to a new Church body and get settled in to their new home.

Victory in the Valley Week 2

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning August 20th, 2017.

Our Valleys:
.Sinful Consequences
.Actions of Others
.Spiritual Dry Places
(Fear, Stress, Anxiety)

Jesus said we would have valleys (trouble) in this life. But we can have victory.

John 16:33 NIV
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

It is hard to see the big picture when you are right in the middle of the valley.

Genesis 50:20 NIV
20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

God uses (redeems) our valleys for His purpose. Our VICTORY reveals Christ.

Romans 8:28 NIV
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

The Process of Revealing His Victory
.Valleys are places of revelation & growth - We learn that God is with us.
.We are being changed from (valley to valley) - glory to glory
.To survive - embrace, know, & obey His Word
.We are instruments of His glory through His victory

Valleys are places of revelation and growth
2 Chronicles 20

Valley: Israel under attack and alarmed
.Knew they needed God
.Remembered who God is and what He had done - they remembered the story
.God gave them instructions for victory and they obeyed
.They joined the story of God's power

We are being changed from (valley to valley) - glory to glory
1. We are all in a process of growth

2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV
18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

We are being changed from (valley to valley) - glory to glory
2. We are all in a process of growth that reveals God’s love, strength and power.

Philippians 1:3-12 NIV
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. 12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.

We are being changed from (valley to valley) - glory to glory
3. Do not lose heart. For God is at work in us and through us.

2 Corinthians 4:1-18 NIV
1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Valleys are places of despair. But may we be like the Psalmist (David) who said with confidence through experience:
“I will fear no evil, for YOU are with me.” - Psalm 23
.Ask God for strength today to reveal His glory (victory) in your valley.

Personal Jesus

Audio from Associate Pastor Josh Carpenter on Sunday morning April 30th, 2017.

1 John 2:3-6 NIV
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

When we neglect God’s word, we embrace man’s way.

Galatians 1:6-7 NIV
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

My own personal Jesus
What does this 'Jesus' do for me?
- He protects my will
- He gives priority to my happiness
- He shields me from consequence

Matthew 7:21-23 NIV
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Another term: Idolatry

Isaiah 44:13-20 NIV
The carpenter measures with a line and makes an outline with a marker;he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses.He shapes it in human form,human form in all its glory,that it may dwell in a shrine. 14 He cut down cedars,or perhaps took a cypress or oak.He let it grow among the trees of the forest,or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow. 15 It is used as fuel for burning;some of it he takes and warms himself,he kindles a fire and bakes bread.But he also fashions a god and worships it;he makes an idol and bows down to it. 16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;over it he prepares his meal,he roasts his meat and eats his fill.He also warms himself and says,“Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.” 17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;he bows down to it and worships.He prays to it and says,“Save me! You are my god!” 18 They know nothing, they understand nothing;their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,and their minds closed so they cannot understand. 19 No one stops to think,no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,“Half of it I used for fuel;I even baked bread over its coals,I roasted meat and I ate.Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?Shall I bow down to a block of wood?” 20 Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him;he cannot save himself, or say,“Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”

Deception and Truth will collide

The Jesus
- He is the only way to the Father
John 14:6 NIV
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

- He offers a life transformation
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! Matthew 16:24 NIV
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

- He confronts man's will with the Father's mission
John 6:38-39 NIV
For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

- He grants us a new identity
John 1:12 NIV
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—

Our response to The Jesus
- Respond immediately
Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

- Respond with unity
John 17:21 NIV
that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Our response Is the message we will pass on to every generation looking at Jesus.

Death is Not the End: Resurrection Sunday 2017

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning April 16th, 2017.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

Matthew 27:33-44 NIV
They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews. 38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

The Death of Jesus

Luke 23:44-49 NIV
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. 47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

The Burial of Jesus

Luke 23:50-56 NIV
Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Jesus has Risen!

Luke 24:1-6 NIV
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:

Death is Not the End
Man was eternally separated from God's presence, until a provision was made.

Romans 6:23 NIV
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Death is Not the End
We will all take a final breath on this earth, but those alive in Christ will never truly die.

1 Corinthians 15:50-57 NIV
I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory?Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Death is Not the End
Because of God's love, death is not permanent. Jesus has accomplished this for us, there is no other way we can receive this gift from God.

John 11:25 NIV
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;

Stand firm! Have confident hope!
God has met us in our hopelessness and given us peace.
Press on and share this gift you have been given.
Death is not the end!

1 Corinthians 15:57-58 NIV
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


Palm Sunday

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning April 9th, 2017.

Matthew 21:8-11 NIV
A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,“Hosanna to the Son of David!”“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

The Scene:
A command to appear before the Lord.

Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread (PASSOVER - PESACH), the Festival of Weeks (PENTECOST - SHAVOUT) and the Festival of Tabernacles (or BOOTHS - SUKKOT)...
Deuteronomy 16:16

Why palm branches?

 The Route:
Jesus chooses to enter Jerusalem

Zechariah 9:9-10 NIV
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!See, your king comes to you,righteous and victorious,lowly and riding on a donkey,on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraimand the warhorses from Jerusalem,and the battle bow will be broken.He will proclaim peace to the nations.His rule will extend from sea to seaand from the River to the ends of the earth.

2 Samuel 7:12-13 NIV
When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

Matthew 20:25-28 NIV
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

The Day:
Why this day?
Lamb Selection Day

Exodus 12:3-5 NIV
Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.

The Lamb is tested for blemish
TEST 1 - The Chief Priest and Elders question Jesus about His AUTHORITY (Matthew 21:23-46)
TEST 2 - The Pharisees and Herodians question His POLITICS (Matthew 22:15-22)
TEST 3 - The Sadducees question His THEOLOGY of resurrection (Matthew 22:23-33)
TEST 4 - The Pharisees question His THEOLOGY, this time asking which is the greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:34-40)

Jesus had succeeded BEYOND anyone’s imagination.
HE HAD reclaimed the Kingdom — His Father’s Kingdom
HE HAD CONQUERED - sin, and death — death - the greatest oppressor (not Rome)
HE WAS VICTORIOUS - GUARANTEEING that we who ask Him for forgiveness of sin, we who have trusted in Him for our salvation will also be resurrected, have life and have it eternally with our Heavenly Father.

John 3:16-17 NIV
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.


What is the Church?

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning March 26th, 2017.

God Given Relationships (Not Man Given)

1. Almighty God - John 3:16
2. Jesus as Lord
3. Empowered by the Holy Spirit
4. The Body of Christ - Heb. 10:23-25

Romans 12

Church Matters
(Ephesians 4:11-16)
(Hebrews 10:23-25)
1. Part of a healthy life, strong family
2. Helps people have a deeper walk with God.
3. All should participate - be a part
4. Invite others - value their needs

The Outward Focused Christian

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning March 19th, 2017.

Micah 6:8 NIV
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.And what does the Lord require of you?To act justly and to love mercyand to walk humbly with your God.

What is good? What does the Lord require of us?
1. Act Justly
2. Love Mercy
3. Walk Humbly

1. What does it mean to act justly?
2. What does it mean to love mercy?
3. What does it mean to walk humbly?

John 4:1-9 NIV
Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. 4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

May we act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. In doing so, we inspire others to live for Jesus.


Dry Bones

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning March 12th, 2017.


Ezekiel 37:1-14 NIV
The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ ” 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. 11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’ ”

Ezekiel 37:24-28 NIV
“ ‘My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. 25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.’ ”

The people were dead - Dry Bones
The world is perishing, lost and dying
The world is chaotic, evil and in despair

Prophesy: speak the Words of God to them
Speak to the dead dry bones - Resurrected Life
Speak to the dead dry bones - life empowered by the Spirit of God

One Shepherd - who sits upon King David’s Throne
This is Jesus. He is our Lord, Savior, our King

In this story, they were given a land: Israel
Through Christ, the Kingdom of God is established on the earth.

“Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever."
Now they are minsters in the land. Living in the ways of God, revealing His nature.
This is who were are as well... ministers in the land of dry bones


2 Corinthians 5:16-21 NIV
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Speak to the dry bones!
God desired then and still desires now, to be known throughout the earth. He desires everyone to know His power, His amazing love and to be His restored, redeemed creation.

Micah 6:8 NIV
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.And what does the Lord require of you?To act justly and to love mercyand to walk humbly with your God.

As “Outward Focused Christians” we have a mission to walk in through the valley of despair as ministers of reconciliation, to walk in the valley’s of the dry bones. God is with us, He empowers us with His Spirit, as His beloved, as ambassadors of Christ.


Confronted with Culture

Audio from Associate Pastor Josh Carpenter on Sunday morning March 5th, 2017.

Culture: Customs, arts, achievements, social institutions, attitudes or behavior of a people
Josh's definition: A way of life.

The 'way' of this world. Not to be confused with God's intention.

Genesis 3:8-9 NIV
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

As followers of Christ, we are confronted with worldly culture.
Our confrontation is not with people.

Matthew 5:43-45 NIV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

John 16:13 NIV
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

As followers of Christ will we be culture consumers or Culture Bringers?

Galatians 5:17 NIV
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

Matthew 7:26-27 NIV
But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Matthew 6:10 NIV
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Colossians 3:2 NIV
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Kavanah - Direction, intention and devotion.

Philippians 4:8 NIV
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

A 'Culter Bringer' in the Text:
King Joiah's Reforms
2 Chronicles 34

The Outward Witness

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning February 26, 2017.

Colossians 4:5-6 NIV
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Outward Witness: Paul is giving instruction on how we are to conduct our conversation with those that are not Christians.
Outsiders: KJV - "them that are without"

Walk (verse 5): our daily conduct
What does it mean to walk in wisdom?

Talk (verse 6): speech that points to Christ

Luke 6:45 NIV
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Psalm 45:2 NIV
You are the most excellent of menand your lips have been anointed with grace,since God has blessed you forever.

Ephesians 4:29 NIV
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Salt (verse 6): balance and hope to a dying world

Matthew 5:13 NIV
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

1 Peter 3:15 NIV
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,


Outward Focus

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning February 19, 2017.

Colossians 4:2-4 (NIV)
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.

Devoted: To be constantly diligent.
Diligent: Working hard to accomplish a task.
Prayer: Our amazing ability to speak to God and to express to Him our gratitude, our expressions of love and about the cares and challenges of our lives and the lives of others. Prayer and worship go hand in hand.
Hebrews 4:14-16
1 Peter 3:12

If you want to live powerfully in your effectiveness to share the love of God, a life devoted to prayer is absolutely essential.
Ephesians 6:18

This word watchful is the same word that describes a guard, standing on a wall - alert, looking for the enemy.

What do we see as we walk through our day. Do we see people who need help? Do we see people who need encouragement, hope, comfort and love?

Prayer keeps us focused outward…it reveals our dependence upon God and His grace.

When we remember and truly embrace what Christ did for us through His amazing love, thankfulness is naturally expressed.

Here is a big challenge for us: We tend to spend a lot of effort and time talking about the problems of others, to others, and not to God.

Ask God to fill you with His Spirit in all wisdom.
Ask Him to help you understand who He is and how He could use you throughout your day.
Ask God to give you a greater care and love for those who are hurting.
Ask God to use you to share His love and hope.
Ask God to open doors of opportunity to share the gospel clearly.