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Summary: Men need the Church, but more important - The Church needs the men. The presence of enthusiastic men is one of the surest predictors of Church health - Growth - Giving -- Expansion. Meanwhile, a man shortage is a sure sign of congregational paralysis

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Dr. Wayne A. Lawson

Senior Pastor, Perfected Praise Worship Center

Oklahoma City, OK

bishop@perfectedpraisewc.org

www.perfectedpraisewc.org

Preached at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church

El Reno, OK – Annual Men’s Day Service

Sunday, June 27, 2010 – 3:00 p.m.

TITLE: UNTIL THE MEN COME BACK

SCRIPTURE: I SAMUEL 30:1-10

To the Angel of this House and the membership of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, thank you for thinking of PPWC during this Annual Men’s Day Service. As a new ministry in the Southwest side of OKC, we have been tremendously blessed of the Lord. We have all been blessed until this point in our Worship Experience and I am sure that the Holy Spirit will take us just a little bit higher. I must admit when I viewed this topic and tied it to the scripture text, I immediately felt challenged as to where do we go from here. I am a firm believer that when God’s people pray and the Lord presents you with a thought and a corresponding text for examination that the preacher should honor that. Knowing your Pastor as I do, I am sure that you, my Brothers of Mt. Moriah, have spent ample time in prayer and have heard from the Lord as to this Text and Thought. And the Word should be encouraging and uplifting to you today.

This is a challenging text, yet there is a two-fold point as we lift up and encourage the Brothers this afternoon. So let’s examine this thought – Until the Men Come Back. We must admit that there is a falling away of men in the Church and this is an age old problem. Churches from England to Europe to Everglades to El Reno are all asking the same question: Where are the Men?

• Women comprise more than 60% of the adults in the typical worship service in America

• Some overseas congregations report ten women for every man in attendance

• Volunteer ranks are heavily female

Men need the Church – but more important -- The Church needs the men. The presence of enthusiastic men is one of the surest predictors of Church health - Growth - Giving -- Expansion. Meanwhile, a man shortage is a sure sign of congregational paralysis and decline. So we need to address this important thought this afternoon - Until the Men Come Back.

We find King David at a point in his life that we don’t like to preach about, matter of fact most of us are unfamiliar with. There are some silent years that we try to sweep underneath the carpet as it pertains to this great King. This is where we find David in our text read in your hearing. We find David in this 30th Chapter of I SAMUEL living among the Philistines in a village called Ziklag. David, his family, and his followers have been there for the past 16-months. The constant enemy of Israel was now the temporary hometown of David. For the past 16-months David is hiding out. We wonder who is he hiding out from - the Lord. It is highly significant to note at this point that there are no recorded prayers or psalms by David during this time period. God was no longer a high priority in David’s life.

David and his men had partnered and were fighting alongside of the Philistines. However; the Philistine Generals did not trust him. They had moved closer to attacking Israel and it was at this point that David and his men had been released by the Philistine Generals and told to return home to Ziklag. David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had already raided Ziklag. They had attacked it and burned it, and had taken captive the women and all who were in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way.

On the Third Day – indicates that David and his men covered about 25-Miles a day on the march South from Aphek to Ziklag, where they would have arrived tired - hungry – and expecting all the comforts for a welcome home celebration. While David and his men were to the north trying to join the Philistine army, their own city of Ziklag was unguarded. The opportunistic Amalekites took advantage of the defenseless city, attacked it, and burned it to the ground.

So David and his men came to the city: As they came within a few miles of their city, the hearts of David and his men must have brightened. They were discouraged that they hadn't been allowed to fight with the Philistines; they are soldiers, and soldiers want to fight! But at least they knew they were coming home, and home meant all their familiar surroundings, and all their families. But that bright thought quickly turned black as night. And there it was, burned with fire: Even off in the distance they could see something was wrong. Smoke rose from their city, but it wasn't the smoke of cooking fires. It was too much smoke for that, and the smoke was too black. They wondered why no one had come to greet them afar off - where were their wives and children? Weren't they glad to see them? But when they came to the city and saw it was a ghost town, a pile of burned rubble, with no voice of the survivors, it seemed that everything was lost.

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