Summary: God Loves us exactly as we are.
Open with Napolean Dynomite Clip
Have you ever known someone like Napoleon? He’s a loser in almost every sense of the word. I mean sure there are some folks that aren’t popular that we may call a loser. There are poor people whom we may call losers. There are people who are just geeks that we call losers, but they are at least smart. There are those in dead end jobs that we would refer to as losers. Maybe these are not losers to you. But we could agree that murderers, rapist, robbers, Terrorists, I think all of us could agree that these are losers.
Tonight, I want to talk about losers. Specifically I want to tell you in no uncertain terms…God Loves Losers.
I was thinking the other day, I was doing my devotions, I was trying to come up with a sermon. Gradually God began to form the thoughts within me. I was having a low moment. I will give you a personal admission here. I am driven by results. I like to see evidence that I am progressing. I get frustrated with other people whom I perceive as lazy, or just slow. In my business I look at the books every month to see if we did more the last month. I like to see evidence of work.
I am no different with my work in the church. I like to set and surpass high goals. I will work night and day, read books, talk to people and do whatever I can to accomplish the goal in as little time possible. This has served me well over the years. I take pride in the fact that I get things done! Here’s the rub…while this serves me well when it comes to accomplishing tasks…ministry is not a task to accomplish.
Ministry is about people. Ministry is about meeting the needs of people. It is about teaching them about the life of God. It takes time. You have to earn trust with people, and get permission to minister to them. For some one like me, who is impatient and driven by results, these are tough times. So on this particular night I was feeling sorry for myself. Wallowing in my self pity…thinking “What a loser.” We had just had a soul fires service. I think we had 5 people there. I had tried to start a college ministry and while we had a few good meetings it did not take long for the 5 or 6 to dwindle to 3. Then Jamin started college and it was two. Then Carolyn stared work and it was one. The self pity grew and the self doubt grew and pretty soon I was having a full pity party. In my despair, God came and this sermon began to take shape.
God reminded me of a young boy whose dad’s name was Jesse. This young boy was the runt of the family. No one, not even his father, thought this young man would ever amount to much.
Meanwhile God had something in the works. Back on the other side of the country, there was a man named Saul whom God was pretty ticked with. In fact, God had hand picked Saul to be King of Israel. But He disobeyed God, and the Bible says God “regretted He had made Saul King.” Meanwhile Samuel who was a judge sitting around moping over Saul’s disobedience. I picture him having a pity party like me. Samuel just doesn’t get it.
The Bible tells us Samuel did not see Saul again until the “day of his death” (1 Samuel 15:35b). Samuel was grieving over Saul and the Lord came to Samuel and says “How long will you grieve over Saul?” Now this is the Skinner translation: God says stop you’re whining and get up off your rear.
I have a plan… Now here is where Jesse enters back into the picture. God tells Samuel to go to Jesse in Bethlehem where “God has selected a King for Himself among Jesse’s sons.” So off to Bethlehem Jesses goes and he immediately runs across one of Jesse’s sons. We’ll call him “Eljay” for short. This guy is good looking- Definitely King material thought Samuel, But God said no. “Do not look at his appearance or the height if his stature because I have rejected him” (1 Samuel 16:6) God sees not as man sees.
Man looks on the outside but God looks at the heart. Then Jesse trots out “old Abe.” Surely this is king material. But God says no. So Jesse thought- you want Shawn…definitely a good choice. Samuel talks to God…Nope not him either…Now Samuel is confused. “Surely you have another son?” he asked Jesse. Jesse replies…well I have one more but he’s out side with the sheep. He is definitely not king material.