A good friend of Cornerstone comes back to speak about David and four habits that make a hero.
It’s great to be back here at Cornerstone. I have so many memories. I have to tell you just being on the East Coast and going to lots of different churches over the past several years, as far as cutting edge and creativity go, this church is second to none. The ability to take that and access so much of the population is an amazing thing to pull off. I’m just humbled when I come, proud of what’s happened, and feel fortunate to have been a part of the early chapters of this church’s story. I know it’s a book that’s not even near done. Pastor Terry mentioned the series Heroes In the Faith to me a while back. He said, “Hey, why don’t you come out and do week six,” which is today, obviously.
My first thought was “Okay, week six. That means there are five other weeks before mine. I was thinking like an NBA draft pick kind of thing. That means I get the sixth pick, and it’s only Old Testament. I said, “Okay, no way I’ll get Moses.” Pastor Lewis scarfed him up with the home-court advantage. I thought, “Okay, well, Abraham, Noah, Elijah, there’s no way I’ll get any of those guys, I’m sixth. I’m going to get stuck with the talking donkey,” which might be a fun message. Heroes of the Faith, the Talking Donkey, by Ron. But I talked to Pastor Terry more recently and asked, “Hey, is David available?” He said, “Yeah, man, take David.” I said, “Wow, I get David at six?” It was amazing. That’s like the warriors getting Kevin Durant. How did that happen?
I do love David and always have. He’s a true hero of the faith. It’s a great time to talk about heroes. Think about the movies out today. All of the superhero movies are crushing it. People flock to superhero movies. I think part of that is because of what Pastor Terry brought up. It’s a crazy world out there right now. A sociologist, Mark Miller, said this about movies, “When times are most difficult, people want and need heroes. When times are good, they don’t.” I thought, “Well times are definitely tough right now.” I thought about Israel and biblically, reading about Israel. When times were bad, they would cling to God. When times were good, they lost their way.
I took it a step further. “I’m kind of like that.” When times are bad, I definitely cling to Jesus more. When times are good, often my priorities can get out of whack. So it’s a good time to talk about heroes. Unlike superheroes though, these heroes aren’t fake. This isn’t make-believe. This is real stuff, real heroes who served a real God. John Eldridge talked about this in a quote about heroes and stories, “Mythic stories help us to see clearly, which is to say they help us to see with the eyes of the heart. So cast a wide net and draw in all those stories that have ever steered your soul, quickened your spirit, brought you to tears, joy or heroic imagination.” So I hope to fire up your heroic imagination today by looking at four simple habits of the hero David.
These four habits are not like you have to work out four hours a day to be a hero like David. Or master the slingshot or memorize a book of the Bible every week. It’s nothing like that. Four very doable habits that can make you influential, even inspirational, or heroic to those around you. As we highlight these habits, let me just say, we’re going to talk about a lot of significant events in the life of David. We’re going to meet a lot of different characters from the Bible. It’s a spectrum broad look to pull out these four habits. So hang with me and we’ll talk about all these different, great stories about David. First of all, if you didn’t know, David was a powerful warrior. He was a charismatic, visionary leader, and a man who inspired other strong and capable leaders to not only join him but to follow him.
He was also a prolific poet and musician. He loved deeply and passionately. He was a man of creativity and aesthetic sensitivities. He had it all. If you gave him a personality test, he would score high in every single category. You rarely find or meet a person like that. The first habit we want to look at in David’s life was his habit of faith. Faith is a habit. Faith is a discipline. Faith is something akin to learning an instrument or working on a sport. It’s something that you practice to get better and better at. That’s how faith is. In life, we can get so comfortable, secure, or predictable that the need for faith can decrease and decrease to the point that it doesn’t get exercised anymore. We need to live lives that require an element of faith, faith in God that is, and that’s how our faith in God grows.
In the life of David, we see a hero who bet the farm again and again and again because of his faith in God. He took leaps of faith, no matter how high his position or abundant his possessions. He would take leaps of faith for God because he was so confident that God would do what he said he was going to do. In saying that, I’m not saying that faith means taking crazy chances or risks. In fact, Hebrews 11:1 defines faith for us. It says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Confidence in what we hope for and assurance in what we do not see. When you’re involved in something where you know the outcome, you walk through that situation differently.
A few years back, I was going to watch a big basketball game. I was recording the game. At work I said, “Don’t tell me who wins the game. I don’t want to hear it. I’m watching it after work.” I’m getting ready to leave work, and this so-called friend of mine says, “You’re going to like the game.” I thought, “Oh no, you didn’t just do that.” But part of me was excited. I went home to watch the game, and am pretty sure I’m going to like the game after he said that. I cue the game up and start watching. We have a couple turnovers early, no big deal. I’m surprisingly calm. We get down by 14. That’s, ‘okay guys, we got them, hang in there. We got this.’ The star player gets injured and goes out. That’s all right. Other guys have to step it up. I watched the game differently because I was pretty sure we had this one.
There’s an expression in the Bible called walking in victory. I was watching in victory. I didn’t throw anything at the TV. There were no loud expressions because I knew we had this one. That’s what faith is. Being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Speaking of basketball, there’s an element of faith in trash talking. There is a lot of trash-talking out there among athletes and there’s an element of faith in it. Is it too soon to talk about the warriors? Is it too raw? I’m trying to be sensitive. Someone said comedy is tragedy plus time. There may not be enough time here, based on what I’m feeling. I’m going to tread lightly here. Let me just say the warriors had the best regular-season ever. They have the best player and backcourt in the league. They got to Durant, and also have, the best trash talker in the league, Draymond Green. Google it, he’ll be at the top of the list. Top trash talkers, Draymond Green. He said, “I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m arrogant. I’m just confident.” The funny thing is faith is never arrogant. Faith is just confident. We just defined it. Some of the earliest, most accomplished trash talkers were David and Goliath. That’s right. You heard it here first.
Goliath had faith that he was going to win. David had faith that God was going to win. Here’s the situation, you’ve got two armies, the Israelis on one side and the Philistines on another with a valley in the middle. Goliath would come out every day, go into the valley, and taunt the armies of the living God. He would say, “If you’re the armies of living God, come down and fight me. You bunch of wimps, come on, send someone down. Yeah, I defy the armies to the living God.” Everyone would hear this day after day after day after day, but nobody would do anything about it. David, who was only 14 or 15 at this time, is sent by his dad to bring some food for his brothers in the army. David goes and he hears Goliath, and he’s enraged.
David says, “We can’t let him talk about God like that. No one’s going to fight him? I’ll fight him. I’ll go down there and fight him.” So David, this 15-year-old, goes down to fight him. The trash-talking begins. Goliath says, “I defy the armies of Israel.” He curses David and I’m not going to repeat what he said. He curses David and said, “Come here. I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals.” Ooh. Okay. David responds, “You come against me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty. The God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied this day. The Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals. The whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spirit that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord’s. He will give all of you into our hands.” Whoa. Advantage, David. Can you imagine if Draymond Green said that to LeBron James? It might have turned out differently, I’m just saying, or he would’ve gotten suspended for a full year. Something like that. But David is simply expressing his faith in God. That’s not trash. He’s expressing what he knows to be true. Goliath says, “I’m going to, I’m going to, I’m going to.” David’s saying, “God’s going to, God’s going to, God’s going to.” That’s heroic faith.
I’m not going to give the ending away to the story. You can read about it. Let’s just say this, the slingshot didn’t win the battle that day and the sword didn’t win the battle that day. Faith won the battle that day, heroic faith. Philip Yancey, a prolific writer, said, “Faith is believing in advance what only make sense in reverse.” Believing in advance only makes sense in reverse. It was hard to believe in advance that this skinny boy was going to go out and take down this seasoned warrior and gladiator. It is hard to believe that. Pastor Terry, back when I was here, back in the 20th century, shared this. I’ve never forgotten what he talked about. He had a tapestry. He showed the back of it. It’s just a jumbled, garbled mess of colors and stuff. You don’t know what it is. It’s just a big mess. He flipped it over and it showed this beautiful piece of art. That’s what our lives are. We can’t figure out what’s going on and we’re trying to believe in advance. It only makes sense in reverse. But that’s how it works out. You know, God is with us. He’s making something out of this mess. We just have to stay the course with Him.
The other thing about faith is faith covers our flaws. It’s not a license to have faults and flaws, but it does cover them. If you go back to the beginning of the Bible, the father of faith, father Abraham as he’s called, a very sketchy guy, did some squirly things, as all of them did. Pastor Terry mentioned at the outset of the series, that all these men are flawed in major ways. All the heroes of the faith in the Bible are flawed in major ways, but God still uses them. In Abraham’s case, he had such a belief that God was going to be true to what he said that he left his home, family, and country. Over and over, he did whatever God asked him to do. His faith was counted as righteousness, not his behavior or decision-making, but his faith. It was the same with David. That’s faith. One more thing about faith. You have to have faith in the right thing. It’s not just faith. It’s faith in the right thing. It’s faith in the real and living God. My mother-in-law, God rest her soul, was 75 when this event happened. She went to the medicine cabinet to get some Visine. Lurking in the medicine cabinet was some super glue. But you can tell the difference. Let’s apply the 75-year-old grandma’s vision goggles. For some of you that didn’t even change.
Me included, I’m like “Put the side up.” They’re like, “It’s up.” “Oh, okay.” You’re going to the medicine cabinet and reaching in for the Visine, and you pull out the wrong thing. You have full faith in this thing that it’s going to heal the itch in your eye. You apply it to your eye, and you know where this is going. So, yeah, I thought it was funny. I guess I have a dark sense of humor. It’s like, “You did what? You got super glue?” But the thing is with faith, we have to have faith in the real thing. There are lots of counterfeits or fool’s gold that looks so close to the real thing. Be careful as to what you have faith in, or you’ll have faith in the wrong thing. So number one is faith.
Number two, the habit of the hero David that we want to follow and emulate is repentance. Repentance needs to be a regular part of our life because we are all flawed people that make mistakes. That’s kind of a churchy word. A quick definition of what repentance is. It’s a two-step process. It means turning away from what we’re doing, that we know falls short of the mark that God has for us, and turning to God. Turn away from what we’re doing, that we know is wrong, and turn to God. Sounds easy. but not easy. Why is it not easy? We turn away from what we’re doing and we found something else, “Oh, I’ll do this for a while.” Or we turn to God, “Hey God,” but we’re still doing the thing over here. It takes heroic proactivity to truly repent, turn away from the thing you’re doing, and turn to God, to what you know He wants you to do. That’s repentance.
It’s as much about what happens to us if we don’t do that as when we do that makes us heroic. If we don’t do that often, the guilt and condemnation that we bring upon ourselves prevent us from living out a heroic life for God or doing things for ourselves or other people that we’re called to do. We can’t live a bold life of faith if we’re under condemnation. Repentance is key. I’m going to look at an example in David’s life. There are a few, but this is one you may have heard of, David and Bathsheba. David is king. He messes up with Bathsheba and tries to cover his tracks in several different ways. The mess just gets bigger and bigger and bigger.
Ultimately, David has her husband killed with the army. After her grieving period, he marries her about a year later. So often in life, we think, “Okay, that’s done. I’m okay. Nothing happened there.” Well, God sends the prophet Nathan to talk to David one day. They had a relationship; they’ve talked before. You can read about that. But He sends Nathan to talk to David. Nathan says, “Hey, David, I have to tell you about something.” David says, “What’s up?” He says, “There’s this rich guy and he has all this livestock. He has cattle, sheep, and lamb. His neighbor is a poor guy and he has one lamb. He’s raised this lamb since it was a baby. He loves this lamb like a child and the kids love the lamb. It’s like a sibling. It’s part of the family. The rich man gets an out town visitor.” In this culture, it was almost obligatory if you had a visitor, you put them up and feed them for the night. The rich man takes the out of towner in. When he goes to prepare the food, he doesn’t use one of his sheep, cow, or lamb. He uses the poor man’s lamb. David, upon hearing this is livid. “What? That man should be killed. He should pay back four times for the loss of the poor man.” Nathan says, “David, you are the man. You are the rich man.” It’s not like you are the man in a good way.
TIt’s right there in the Bible, “You are the man.” Nathan says, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says, I anointed you king over Israel and delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. If all this had not been enough, I would’ve given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in His eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife, Bathsheba, to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.” Upon hearing this, David says, “I have sinned against the Lord.” The very next line Nathan says, “The Lord has taken away your sin.” Amazing. I think God, and even Nathan saw that David was genuine with that very simple response. That was repentance, confession, and repentance. “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Confession is simply seeing things as God sees them. When Nathan laid all this out through that metaphor, David saw it as God saw it. He repented at that point. Now, why is this heroic? Let’s look at the other option. If we don’t repent, we’re left with this feeling of regret. We can’t shake that. That’s how God wired us. A bad feeling doesn’t lead to changed lives. Regret looks to the past. Repentance looks to the future and God. Regret leaves us feeling condemned. Repentance says, “With God, there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus,” Romans 8:1. Regret plagues your heart with guilt. Repentance says, “If your hearts condemn you, God is greater than your heart.” God knows everything. “He knows everything,” 1 John 3:20. In this case, David’s repentance, which was preceded by confession, was simply, “Hey, I’m going the wrong way. I see that now. I now see this as God sees it. I want to change direction.”
Repentance, David had to do that several times throughout his life that we can read about. It’s a habit of a hero. A couple of weeks ago, I called a buddy of mine and said, “Hey, man, let’s go work out.” I try to work out at least once a year. So he said, “Hey, let’s do it.” I go by his place and he says, “Oh man, I forgot to call you. I can’t do it. I got a couple coming over.” He’s a counselor. “They’re on the way. They’ll be there any minute.” I said, “Hey, no worries.” I was wearing a suit because I had been to a conference that day. I said, “Hey, do you mind if I change in here?” He said, “Yeah, no problem. Go ahead.” And I had my gym bag. Then, there was a knock on the door, knock, knock, knock. This couple comes in, I meet them, and I could tell it was a very serious situation.
I said, “All right, nice to meet you guys. I’ll see you later.” Hank thoughtfully said, “Hey, you can change in the bathroom, use the bathroom.” I said, “Okay, cool.” I get my bag. As I’m leaving, right in the hallway, there’s another office, and the door was open, no light on. I thought, “Shoot, I’ll just change in here.” I go in there to change, 90 seconds, two minutes tops. Grant it, I wasn’t authorized to do it, but I thought it’d be okay. I do that. We have a picture of a security camera here, and this isn’t the camera. You guys have seen those, that’s what a security camera looks like. Hank has one in his office. I see Hank a week later and he said, “Man, you had us cracking up last week.” I’m trying to think, was I at a party or something. Being the life, telling jokes, and stuff. I said “I don’t remember that.What are you talking about?” He said, “Oh, last week when I told you to use the bathroom, but you used my partner’s office.” I said, “Ooh.” You know, busted. That’s a bad feeling which got worse. I said, “Oh yeah, I’m sorry about that.” He goes, “Oh no, actually, it was funny. It was a very serious situation, and my video’s up there. The husband said, your buddy’s taking off his clothes.” Yeah. So anyway, it’s a benign example of, “I now saw things as God saw them.”
I saw things as Hank and this couple saw them. But I thought, “Hey, I’ll just do this myself. I know my instructions were that, but I’ll do this. It’s better for me.” A lot of self-centered things. When I realized how God saw this, my immediate response says, “Wow, I’m sorry.” There’s confession and repentance. There you go, a little confession. That’s number two. Now we’re going to number three. So far, we have faith, David was a man of faith. Two is repentance, which needs to be a regular part of life. The next one is ownership. Ownership. David was an owner who owned his stuff. By owned his stuff, I mean, he owned his good stuff and he owned his bad stuff. If he messed up, he owned it. He’d say my bad.
He had skin in the game. He put it all on the line. We see that with Goliath. When I say ownership, I’m referring mainly to his relationship with God, he owned it. David owned and took care of that. If something was wrong, he’d tried to shore it up. He tried to fix it. Some of the funniest things in the Bible for me are when people don’t own their stuff. The Bible is so true, it’s a “warts and all” book, and it shows these things. They go back to the Garden of Eden with the fall of man with the forbidden fruit when Adam and Eve messed up. After that, God said, “Adam, what’s going on?” Adam says, “Hey, not me, Eve, the woman, the woman you gave me, she made me eat.” He’s not owning his stuff. Eve said, “Whoa, the serpent, he deceived me. He’s your guy.” They’re not owning their stuff. The serpent said, “Hey, the devil made me do it.” God said, “You are the devil.”
We see this, “not owning their stuff.” I think the best example is with Cain and Abel. Cain killed his brother Abel because he was jealous of him. God seeks him out afterward and says, “Hey, where’s your brother Abel?” He says, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” He didn’t own that relationship or his deeds at all. It’s easy to not own your stuff, and these guys did not own their stuff. I think about it like a car. It’s similar to owning a car versus renting a car. If you own the car, you take care of it. You see the warning light come on, you get on that. You take care of what needs to be taken care of. You get a fender bender, you get it fixed. If you rent a car, not so much. You see a speed bump as an owner, you slow down. Rent a car, you maintain your speed or accelerate. We’ve all done it. So we have to own our stuff.
I think about the relationship part of it. With David and Goliath, Goliath is defying the armies of living God. Nobody in the armies of Israel were owning the relationship with God. This isn’t a matter of courage. I know it’s easy to say, “Well, they were afraid.” Sure they were, but they weren’t owning that relationship. It’s as if someone says something about your mama, you’d say, “Don’t you talk about my mama.” There’s no shortage of courage in that situation. “No, I protect that relationship. You will not talk that way about that relationship.” That’s how it should be with God. That’s how it was for David, as far as he was concerned. We have to be owners.
Another aspect of ownership we see in 2 Samuel 7. It says, “After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, Here, I am living in a house of cedar while the ark of God remains in a tent.” This is the ark. Do you know the movie Raiders of the lost ark? This is it. This is at a point in history where the ark was right here in Israel in a tent. David was such an owner. It’s like some of these rich professional athletes that buy their parents’ mansions because they own that relationship. They want to do something nice. That’s how David was regarding his relationship with God. Versus, if we’re renting, “Hey, this is just a short-term thing, this will do for now. That’ll do until something better comes along.” That’s a renter’s attitude, and that’s the opposite of what God wants for us with Him.
The Bible has a few caveats to warn us about this renter attitude we might have. Jesus says a couple of things too. He says, “Not everyone who calls out to me is going to enter into the kingdom.” That’s not meant to scare us. It’s meant to say, “Hey, are you just renting right now? Or are you owning?” It helps us reexamine our faith. Am I a renter or an owner here? He says, “If you deny me before others, I’ll deny you before the Father.” That’s not a threat. It’s just, “Hey if you’re denying me, let’s take another look at this. I want you to enjoy fully the benefits of a relationship with Me. Be careful you’re not just renting this.” David was a man after God’s own heart, the Bible tells us. He was an owner. Owning your faith can be heroic, not just for you, but for those around you. They see that.
The last habit that we want to try to emulate and apply in our lives is the habit of giving. Christ’s followers should be quick to give and forgive. We’re going to talk about both of those, giving and forgiving. David, you can read it throughout 2 Samuel and Chronicles, was eager to give wherever he could. He looked for excuses to give. What a great heart he had. He would give to other countries, “Hey, just send them this. Send them that.” If they would endure some kind of hardship, he would try to help them out. I think of the old acronym, joy, J-O-Y, Jesus, others, yourself. David was always others-focused, Jesus, others, yourself. That is joy. David was quick to forgive. Saul, he was the first king in Israel would be called the people’s king. He looked kingly. He was a big man. Some people think he was as tall as Goliath and think that he was from the tribe of Benjamin. They wanted a king like the other nations have. So God allowed them to have Saul be their king. Saul gets extremely jealous of David after he defeats Goliath and wins victory after victory. The people start to love David and Saul gets jealous. He started to hunt David down to kill him. He wants to take him out. He goes from the best guy to he needed to take him out because he was so insecure about David and how well David was doing.
Saul has chased David for years. What’s happening here in the verse we’re about to read, is David and his army are in a cave hiding from Saul. It’s a big cave. Saul’s army is down in the valley searching. Saul needs to relieve himself. He goes into the cave for some privacy. David’s guys see this guy come in. “Oh my gosh, it’s Saul.” They say, “David, God has delivered him into your hands. I can’t believe this. This is a no-brainer. Let’s kill him now. This is obviously God’s doing. I’ll kill him. Let me kill, no let me.” David’s men wanted to take him out. They’re excited. Let’s [ut an end to this. It’s been 10 years of being chased by this guy. David says, “This is God’s anointed. God made him king. It’s not my job to take him out. That’s something God needs to deal with.”
David goes and cuts off a piece of his robe. Then Saul goes back into the camp. David comes out and addresses Saul. He says, “Why do you listen when men say, David is bent on harming you? This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you. I said, I will not lay my hand on the Lord’s because he is the Lord’s anointed. See, my father,” and he’s talking about Saul here. That’s a term of endearment, obviously, “Look at this piece of your robe in my hand. I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. See that there is nothing in my hand to indicate that I am guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you’re hunting me down to take my life.” Just think about the years and years and years of somebody doing you wrong, and you get a chance for vengeance and you know that’s not the right thing to do, but you want to do it. David was extremely forgiving. This is an amazing example of that.
I was at a funeral recently and a son had lost his mom. It was an older person, but when you lose your mom, age doesn’t matter. He is an adult about 40 and we’re talking. He was just devastated at losing his mom, and he’s sharing things. Everything he would bring up was sad because his mom was involved in everything. I said, “We look at all of life through the lens of this one event sometimes, when this type of thing happens, and it darkens and saddens each event.” We’re looking at our whole life through this one event. We’re looking at Christmas, childhood, vacations, and everything through this one event now that mom’s not there. It saddens and darkens each one of those things. It’s a horrible time. We look at all of life through the lens of this one event, but with time, prayer, God’s presence, and healing, we begin to look at this one event through the lens of all of life, and it doesn’t hurt as much. Those other memories become comforting instead of cruel. That can take a while, but it will happen if we seek God’s comfort in those situations.
This is what happened with Saul. Saul was insanely jealous because of one event that happened in his life. He looked at everything in his life through the lens of this one event regarding David. David defeated Goliath and was promoted to military leader. He won battle after battle for Israel and Saul. They wrote a song about David because he was doing so well. That song went something like this. It’s biblical. Saul has slain his thousands, David tens of thousands. Saul has slain his thousands, David tens of thousands. The song went viral, before things could go viral, it went viral. If you read Samuel, it pops up every few chapters, and they sang the song. Saul has slain his thousands… It’s international too. It’s an international smash. A couple of times David went to other kings and countries and visited them. They say, “Hey, David’s here.” “David?” “Yeah. The David. The David from that song. Saul has slain his thousands, David tens of thousands. This is David.” Everyone loved the song. Except for one person. Wild guess, who do you think did not care for that song? Saul. Saul was no mathematician, but it’s right in the Bible.
The first time Saul hears the song, he likes the first part. Saul has slain his thousands. David, tens of thousands. He’s like, “Wait a minute. They attribute to me thousands. They attribute to David tens of thousands.” He gets very upset and says, “What next? Is he going to take the kingdom.” That one event changed the rest of his life. He was obsessed with killing David because of that one event. Saul couldn’t get by that. It ruined his life. It ruined his relationship with his family. He thought that they were all colluding with David to make David king over him. We cannot let, in our lives, one event sink us. We need to look at all things through the lens of all of life. All of God’s goodness and not let one thing trip us up. If it takes hard forgiveness, it takes hard forgiveness.
We have to do that. “When we forgive,” Lewis Mead said, “We set a prisoner free.” That prisoner is usually ourself. That could have happened with Saul. I have a quote, it says, “I am not who you think I am. I am not who I think I am. I am who I think you think I am.” Wait a minute. Let’s read it again. I’m not who you think I am. I’m not who I think I am. I am who I think you think I am. Who am I? It’s a riddle. Why am I sharing this with you? Well, I read this quote a while back and thought, “I have to solve this.” S I’m processing it and thinking, “Okay, that’s kind of true.” If I think you think I’m a funny person, I’ll be more funny. If I think you think I’m more of a teacher or a pastoral person, I will just assume that type of approach of a teacher or pastor. See what I mean? You can run that through your grid, but I found that to be true. Not that I’m a hypocrite, it’s just that life is very complex. Relationships are very complex. We’re complex people. It is inevitable. Preparing for this message, I thought about that as us aspiring to be heroes for those around us. If I think you think I’m a hero, I want to be a hero. I want to be a hero for you.
As we leave here today, many people need you to be their hero. They want you to be their hero. They think you’re their hero. We need to apply that to our lives. We’re going to share a song with you at the end of the service called, There Goes My Hero. It’s a simple line that gets me in this song. There goes my hero, watch him as he goes. There goes my hero, he’s ordinary. True heroes are just ordinary people. They’re flawed people. They’re people like we’ve been reading about. We can all aspire to be heroes to those around us, especially those that are younger. You may not feel worthy, but God doesn’t call the equipped. God equips the call. You answer the call. He will equip you to do what it takes to be a hero. You may not feel like a hero, but we need to move into that role for those around us. It will call us up as well, and life will be better for us.
Let us pray. Lord, I know we’ve got a room full of heroes here today. We say that humbly. We want to be the salt of the earth, the light of the earth, and transcend this mess we’re in right now by improving things in each and every little way that we possibly can. Help us grow in our faith. Help us move out in faith and grow as you honor those faith walks. Help us apply repentance because we all make mistakes. We don’t want those to bog us down. We don’t want to carry any grudges. Lord, help us be owners of our relationship with you. May we take care of that. If things creep in, may we fix that. Help us be givers and forgivers. Your Word says it’s better to give than receive. There’s a true joy that comes with a giving heart, and let us be forgivers as well. Set ourselves free as prisoners of unforgiveness. We don’t need that anymore from this day forward. We give you our lives, Lord. In your name, I pray. Amen.