Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Running the Race, in the Same Lane
Pastor Bryan Johnson
It is my whole-hearted belief that David defeated Goliath because Saul had the eyes to see the baton into David’s hand and David was a good target to hit. Though Saul wasn’t a genius king, he and his son Jonathan both knew how to find trustworthy people to pass the baton to. My hope today is to start with identifying how to be a good “incoming runner.” The goal is to focus in on what it took for Saul to put the baton in David’s hand to defeat Goliath. Next service, I’ll identify what made David a good target and give some keys for young people to prepare themselves to “receive” the baton for advancing the kingdom of God. You’re welcome to stay for next service, or I’d suggest catching the podcast (nwcpodcast.org). Let’s recall the basic story of David and Goliath and then get into some of the “grown-up” background information of the story of David and Goliath.

A Quick Refresher
Philistine Army on the N side of the valley, Israel on the S side (1Sa 17:1-3)
Goliath the 9 foot giant steps out and issues the challenge: A Duel at High Noon, Winner takes all (1Sa 17:4-10)
Israel is terrified, and delays 40 days and nights (1Sa 17:11, 16)
David is sent to the battle line to bring lunch to his brothers (and a commander) (1Sa 17:17-22)
David finds out what’s going on and gets an audience before the king (1Sa 17:23-36)
David persuades Saul to let him fight Goliath and takes his sling and stones and defeats Goliath (1Sa 17:37-52)

Haven’t you ever wondered how a teenager got an audience with the king at the frontline of battle? I can’t imagine one of my junior high or high school boys, in Iraq, delivering lunch to some soldiers getting to walk into a 5 star generals tent let alone President Obama’s tent, and getting to strike up a conversation – especially in regards to fighting themselves!

What did Saul know about David?
• He was spoken highly of by a peer who worked in Saul’s court: “skillful musician, mighty man of valor, one prudent in speech, handsome & the Lord is with him” (1Sa 16:18)
• He was a worshipper… when David worshipped, God’s presence brought peace. (1Sa 16:23)
• He was trustworthy enough to be part of the King’s court. (1Sa 16:21)

What Saul didn’t know about David
• David would be the next king of Israel.
• David would display greater courage and lead Israel better than Saul.

What did David know about Saul?
• His worship refreshed Saul
• His submission was necessary due to Saul’s office
• That Saul would hear him out because he was one of Saul’s Armor Bearers. (1Sa 16:21)
• Armor bearers make great baton holders.

So how do we (the elder generation) prepare to pass the baton to next generation?
1. We need to know God’s mission for us on the earth is bigger than us working alone.
• This requires a commitment to winning the battle for God’s glory, not our own!
• The Great Commission (Mt 28:19-20)
• Jesus gathered help to carry out His Father’s mission! Its my opinion that all the disciples except Peter- were teenagers! (Mt. 17:24-27)
• 12, 70, 11+1, 2… numbers of people working together throughout the New Testament on God’s work. 12 disciples, 70 sent out, 11 apostles +1 elected apostle, 2 missionaries: Paul and Barnabas
2. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we identify targets for the baton.
• What young person around you worships with their whole life?
• Who is submitting to their parents/authority figures well?
• Who is gathering faith and has a rising passion for God’s work?
• Who is taking responsibility for what they’re given?
• Our mission is to recognize and release Davids, not to restrict or repress them.
Caution: Don’t be too hasty to choose the popular, socially acceptable, well-mannered young person – measure by how much they live and are like Jesus. Measure by their fruit…
3. If you found none, make one.
• Commit to mentoring, praying for, and investing in a youth (in age, or a new believer).
• Create accountability and expectations for them to be strengthened.
• Lead them into becoming more like Jesus and about His work carried on.
4. If you found one, give them the baton – joyfully.
• You’re work isn’t over, you’re still part of their team.
• Pray for them often.
• Cheer them on with encouragement.

We’re running the same race, in the same lane. Our goal is to win as a team. Our mission is to expand the kingdom of God while we’re this side of Heaven, and to pass the baton before we leave for Heaven! Jesus’ kingdom must go forth and you and I are responsible for raising and releasing Davids. Are you in?

• What stuck out to you as we revisited the story of David and Goliath?
• Of the four steps, where do you find yourself wanting to grow?
• Who is the young person or young believer you’re going to began investing in?


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