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Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to motivate the hearers to affirm to others that the Holy Spirit is calling "Willing Listeners" to help show His people their way.

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18 January 2009

U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris

Fortress Chapel

F.O.B. Sykes

Tall-afar, Iraq

BIG IDEA: The Holy Spirit is calling "Willing Listeners" to help show His people their way.

REFERENCES: Second Sunday after Epiphany; Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV): “the eye is the lamp of the body; Note about 1 Samuel: At one time, the first and second books of Samuel formed a single book. They were separated in the Greek translation for the Hebrew Scriptures known as the Septuagint (about 250 BC).; Genesis 6:5,11 (KJV) “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” … and the earth also was corrupt before God; and the earth was filled with violence

1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20); Isaiah 5:20 – “… will call good evil and evil good ;

**Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 (A Wisdom Psalm); 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51 (On the previous day, Andrew and Peter, both disciples of John the Baptist, have become Jesus’ disciples. The Baptist has said to them: “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”(36); 1 Samuel 3:10 (ESV) And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”; Romans 10:14-15 (NIV) How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?; Luke 5:1-10 (ESV) The Calling of the First Disciples;

I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (ESV)

II. READ THE PERICOPE: 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (ESV)

III. READ THE TEXT: 1 Samuel 3:10 (ESV) And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”

IV. PURPOSE: To motivate the hearers to affirm to others that the Holy Spirit is calling Willing Listeners to help show His people their way.

V. SERMONIC THEME: “Jesus is calling”

VI. INTRODUCTION:

Good morning FOB/COS Sykes, during my sermon preparation, I came across a story about a dying preacher – and of course – it got my attention. According to the story:

An old 504th BfSB Chaplain was dying. He sent a message for his IRS agent and his JAG Officer (both chapel members), to come to his home. When they arrived, they were ushered up to his bedroom. As they entered the room, the chaplain held out his hands and motioned for them to sit on each side of the bed. The chaplain grasped their hands, sighed contentedly, smiled and stared at the ceiling. For a time, no one said anything. Both the IRS agent and JAG Officer were touched and flattered that the old chaplain would ask them to be with him during his final moment.

They were also puzzled because the chaplain had never given any indication that he particularly liked either one of them.

Finally, the JAG Officer asked, "Chaplain, why did you ask the two of us to come?"

**The old chaplain mustered up some strength, then said weakly, "Jesus died between two thieves, and that’s how I want to go, too.

Just as the chaplain, in the joke was observant of signs of the times, many of us can attest to the fact that we are currently in the season of Epiphany,…

… And in the minds of non-Liturgical Christians – Epiphany is best known for falling between Christmas … and Resurrection Sunday!

The season of Epiphany is about revelation – and opening spiritual eyes and ears - to see who Jesus is, what he does, and what he says.

Neither the crib nor the cross alone can truly explain the significance of Jesus. Therefore, during the season of Epiphany, Christians everywhere discover the meaning of the “crib” and the meaning of the “cross” through Jesus’ life and mission.

For Jesus’ life gives us details of the meaning of the manger and the cross, while His resurrection reveals the significance of His life. In the readings for this Sunday we find model examples of people who listen to God

However, If we think Epiphany is a tour of discovery about Jesus ONLY - we’re missing the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (M-RAP) Vehicle.

Because the season of Epiphany is also a tour of self-discovery. For the Christian faith is about SPIRITUALLY seeing and hearing the Call of our Savior, through the Holy Spirit, and following His lead.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 1: In reference to spiritual sight – in the New Testament, Jesus often warns … when the spiritual eyes are blinded, man lies in terrible darkness.

a. For don’t you remember … Jesus said in Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV): “the eye is the lamp of the body.

b. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness”.

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