Saturday, March 17, 2012



Our Text For Today: 1 Chronicles, Chapter 11 – The events of 1 Chronicles 11 took place in about 1048BC when King David was 37 years old.

While you turn to our text for today, allow me to make a few statements and read a key verse of scripture to set the stage for this morning’s message, “Nevertheless”.

If we don’t believe in it, we can’t believe for it.

If we don’t believe in it, we won’t work for it.

Key Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. (NKJV)

What a person believes will affect what they are willing to attempt.

Three Questions For Today

1. What Are We Believing?

2. What Are We Saying About What We Believe?

3. What Are We Doing About It?

This past Thursday morning I met with a group of men from our church at 5:40 a.m. for early morning prayer and bible time. Afterwards, as is normal each week, several of us went to IHOP for breakfast. When we finished eating and solving the world’s problems it was time for me to get home and pick up the family for a “Spring Break” mini-vacation day trip to Houston. My son-in-law who is currently serving in the US Army in Afghanistan just received a new assignment and is on orders to report to Seoul Korea no later than July 15th of this year.

Many of you know that while he has been deployed my daughter and their 5 children have been living with me and Brenda. Although we don’t like to see families separated you can imagine that we have certainly enjoyed this opportunity and benefited by getting to spend this time with our daughter and grandchildren.

Since they are on relatively short orders, still separated by a great distance, my daughter is left to get things in order for the move. Currently Jake, her husband, is not scheduled to arrive back into the US until the end of June. That does not give much time to sell cars, pack household goods at Fort Hood, arrange for storage, settle family affairs and prepare the family for a major culture change. Pray for them … I know they’ll do fine … but I do covet your prayers.

At any rate, this past week’s spring break time has been a bit busy and Thursday was the day we set aside to take the family to Houston for lunch at one of our favorite Korean Restaurants. Everyone was excited as it was their first point of introduction to their forthcoming adventure.

Well, wouldn’t you know it … just like the scriptures say: “We may ponder our path but it is the Lord who directs our steps.”

When I was leaving IHOP on Thursday morning, while standing and talking in the parking lot about to go home and get the family and leave for Houston, I encountered a young man, 28 years old, out of a job and down on his luck. When I first saw him walking across the parking lot I felt compassion on him. Me, him and another man from our church talked in the parking lot for a while, asking questions and giving him some encouragement.

We talked about Jesus, Church and his future but I knew in my heart that I could not just leave this young man in the parking lot without giving him some greater opportunity to begin a life change. I asked him to get into the car and come with me. The least I could do was spend a little more time with him in hopes to make some more lasting impact and connection.

In the car I continued considering what direction God wanted me to take with this young man. He had such a familiar story, common to so many young men and women - growing up in a broken home, drugs, alcohol, jail - disappointments, lies, broken promises and failed commitments to change - Family won’t let him back in and yet there is nowhere else to go. I’ve heard it all countless times before and yet each time it breaks my heart and moves me to hope again.

This young man needed more than 10 bucks and a God bless you … he needed a chance - a plan - a real opportunity to change.

Driving down the road I called Kyle Trahan, pastor of COTR South in Groves. It wasn’t too many years ago when Kyle was the young man who needed somebody to believe in him and give him another chance to change. When we got to COTR South Pastor Kyle was waiting on us. I told Kyle that I wanted him to share his testimony and pray for this young man which he did and it was powerful. Then I told the young man to show up this Sunday morning at COTR South for Sunday School at 9:30 and Church service at 10:30.

He asked if he could get a ride and Kyle told him that if he wanted to be there he could invent a way to be there. He said that when you wanted a ride to buy drugs or get alcohol you always made calls, talked to buddies, family, strangers and told them some story and found a way to get what you wanted … now if you really want to change you can call those same buddies, family, or get strangers to give you that same ride only this time it is to church and you don’t have to lie about it. I thought that was good advice.

I told the young man that I was not finished with him for the day and that I wanted him to go back to mid-county with me. We left and on the way I continued to minister to him. He opened up and shared a lot about his life. He knew our jail ministers by name and even mentioned that “Papa Rex” had prayed for him last August in the County Jail. I told him that Pastor Kyle was “Papa Rex’s” grandson and he had spent years praying for Kyle to experience a life change.

It was late but I didn’t want to leave him all by himself for the rest of the day so I called a man in our church who occasionally uses day laborers and ask him if he could pick this young man up and work him for the rest of the day. I told him that I was going to pay him a day’s wages - we argued about that for a while because he wanted to pay him himself - we couldn‘t agree so I finally dropped it.

It was close to noon and the young man was going to need to wait for about 45 minutes before he could be picked up so I arranged for him to wait at McDonalds inside Wal-Mart, gave him some money to eat on, went ahead and gave him a day’s wages, and had him call his sister to begin making amends. I told him that he needed to change his approach to being a giver instead of a taker. I told him to offer to buy his sister a few groceries to replace what he would eat if she allowed him to stay and buy them even if she did not let him stay.

He really liked the idea of blessing his sister since he said that was one of her complaints and needs. I heard him talking to her and she seemed to soften towards him. I prayed with him again and let him out at Wal-Mart to eat lunch and wait to be picked up. He was all smiles. I reminded him of church on Sunday and told him to meet me at my office on Monday morning at 9am if he wanted to take advantage of this chance to change. He said OK and I left.

When I got home we loaded up the car and took off for Houston. I only told them that I had been helping someone and that was, as it always has been, more than sufficient. When we were just about to cross the Old and Lost Rivers I got a phone call from my friend who had been looking all over Wal-Mart, McDonalds inside and in front of Wal-Mart, around the parking lot and in the restrooms for this young man … he was nowhere to be found. He told me that he and one of his day workers, the former chapel trustee from Jefferson County jail, would make one more sweep in efforts to find the young man before heading back to work. I thanked him and hoped that he was still waiting. But you know what … he was not! For whatever reason, and I’m sure there was one, there always is … the young man was nowhere to be found.

Now you’ve got to realize that this is not my first rodeo and not my first disappointment in helping someone and hoping that they would take the opportunity which I am willing to pay for to get out of their rut and begin a better life. Like I told him:

Every road leads somewhere – life is not rocket science – you know where you are headed … if you don’t want to go back to jail, don’t go down that road.

With all of the disappointments I have experienced in these matters, what makes me continue to help, continue to hope, and what will motivate me the next time? It’s all because of what I believe … and believe me … I believe God is not finished with this young man yet!

I was disappointed … Nevertheless!!!

Have you found 1 Chronicles 11 yet?

1 Chronicles 11 (NIV)

4 David and all the Israelites marched to Jerusalem (that is, Jebus). The Jebusites who lived there

5 said to David, "You will not get in here." Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, the City of David.

* David did not believe about himself what the Jebusites believed about him - later the Jebusites changed their minds

* Paul evidently did not believe what others believed about him, in fact,

Acts 28:6 … they changed their minds and decided he was a god. (NLT)

* We are not limited by what others believe about us or by what the circumstances say should happen … but:

We are often limited by what we believe and do about God’s plan for life.

Things may not always work out the way I hope … but without hope I might quit working on some things which would have worked out if I had only kept working.

The things I choose to believe not only continue to give me hope but raise my hopes again and again to expect miracles. Certainly I have not batted a thousand - but the victories I have won and the miracles I have seen have been well worth every investment I have made in regards to my faith.


I imagine one day I will get to tell you the rest of the story about this young man and the miracle of change which took place in his life.

This week I am going to ask you to plan ahead and be ready to help someone else - expecting a miracle every time you pray.

What you believe will affect:

· What we are willing attempt

· What we are able to endure

· What we are empowered to overcome

And we can overcome even our own disappointments when we believe God.

What Are You Believing?

· What a person believes is defined by what they say

· What a person believes is confirmed by what they do

You may be disappointed in life but Nevertheless - Believe!