Summary: (Facing the Giants—This sermon would probably lend itself well to the clip where Coach Taylor is talking to the team and says, “It means we’ve got to give Him our best in every area. And if we win, we praise Him; and if we lose, we praise Him. Either way,
Sherwood Baptist Church has one of the most dynamic media ministries of any church in America. They have produced Facing the Giants, arguably the best feature-length movie ever made by a local church. It’s a God-glorifying, excellently created sports film in the tradition of Hoosiers, Remember the Titans, and Friday Night Lights. Facing the Giants is being released by Sony/Goodwyn and will be in theaters on September 29th.
Accompanying the movie are numerous sermons by such leaders at Johnny Hunt of Woodstock Baptist Church, Michael Catt, Pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church, and Dr. Jay Strack of the Student Leadership Network. You may copy and paste the following links to access these sermons:
1. Evidence of Christian Growth (Johnny Hunt)
2. Overcoming The Grasshopper Syndrome (Dr. Jay Strack)
3. Faith to Face Your Impossibilities (Michael Catt)
4. Hearing God When You’re Hurting (Michael Catt)
5. It’s Always Too Soon to Quit (Michael Catt) URL:
6. What Does It Mean to Live By Faith? (Ron Dunn)
7. Will a Man Serve God for Nothing? (Ron Dunn)
Also, a study curriculum that accompanies the movie may be downloaded at:
Will a Man Serve God for Nothing?
(Facing the Giants—This sermon would probably lend itself well to the clip where Coach Taylor is talking to the team and says, “It means we’ve got to give Him our best in every area. And if we win, we praise Him; and if we lose, we praise Him. Either way, we honor Him with our actions and our attitudes.” Ron Dunn deals with this issue on a much deeper level looking at the life of Job. But FTG could open up the question of, “Will a man serve God regardless of the outcome?”)
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” (Job 1:6-8, NASB)
Now those were the words of God, not Job’s publicist or his mother. And God repeated them later in the book. Satan replied by asking, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” The word nothing in the Hebrew means “out of favor.” It speaks of an ulterior motive. In other words, the devil can’t understand why anyone would serve God in the first place. So when he sees someone serving God, he’s always suspicious of that person’s motives. So he said, “Yeah, I know about Job. I know that You’ve blessed him. I know that You’ve increased his substance in the land. You’ve made him the richest man in the East. Not only that, but You’ve also built a hedge around him so that nothing can touch him or all that he has.” The devil insinuated that Job wasn’t serving God for nothing—there had to be a payoff. He thought God had given Job “the Midas touch” and protected all that He gave Job.
Satan thought he knew the truth about Job. Basically he told God: “If You were to stretch forth Your hand and touch all that he has and reduce him to nothing, You would find out the truth about Job, and he would curse You to Your face. Nobody will serve God if there’s no payoff.”
I believe the theme of this book is not “Why do the righteous suffer?” but “Why do people serve God?” Will a person serve God for nothing—if there are no blessings attached or no payoff? I have to confess to you that the devil has asked a very legitimate question. It’s a question that all of us must face and somehow try to answer. Why do you serve God? Why do you go to church on Sunday? Why do you tithe?
I remember when I was in seminary, a fellow pastor nearby was having a thirteen-week stewardship campaign. They would mail letters every week to every member of the church to encourage them to give. In every Sunday School class each week, someone would testify to the blessing of tithing. The pastor preached on tithing. The whole thing was capped off with a stewardship banquet, and everyone on the church roll was invited. A dynamic preacher came in and encouraged the people to tithe, and then they all signed the pledge cards. I picked up this friend on the day after the banquet, and I could tell he wasn’t very happy. He was frustrated with the pastor who spoke—his first words to the congregation were, “The only thing I can promise you if you tithe is that you’ll have ten percent less than you did before.” The speaker proceeded by telling them they should tithe because God commands it, not because we want His blessings.