Some of you have happy memories of your relationship with your Father, others like me have other kind of memories. One thing that is consistent for all of those who know Christ, through Him we have a perfect father! One who loves us, redeemed us, calls us His own special children.
In honor of Father’s Day and in honor of father’s everywhere, today I want to encourage and challenge the men!
Ladies before you tune out, there is something here for you too! The qualities that God wants men to display in their lives are the same qualities that God wants for you too. As you consider God’s word to the men today, I pray that you will be encouraged to pray for the men in your life that they will be what God has called them to be!
Our goal at Kitwe Church is to see a generation of men step up and be the spiritual leaders in their homes, a generation that will teach their sons how to love their wives one day, a generation of men who will demonstrate to their daughters how a man should respect and treat women. We are the men that must step up in our communities and in our world to make an eternal difference. This will be accomplished by men who understand the Word of God and recklessly abandon themselves to obey it!
And that is why Kitwe Church exists to: Teach Adults and Children to know and obey God’s word.
Are you a man after God’s own heart? Perhaps to help answer that question we could ask this question: What do you value?
The things we value shapes our vision and our vision determines what we will give our life for. We all want our life to count, none of us want to waste our life!
There are two men in the Old Testament whose lives give us insight into what it means to be a man after God’s own heart. These men: Saul and David.
In 1 Samuel 13:14 God is speaking to King Saul through the prophet Samuel and said,
“But now your kingdom will not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over his people because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”
Saul: An illustration of what that man does NOT look like.
In our text the people demanded a king like the nations around them. (I Sa. 8:5) They did this after the prophet Samuel’s children became materialistic and corrupt (I Sa. 8:3).
At Saul’s coronation a warning was given: Don’t rebel against the commandments of the Lord. Obedience was demanded (12:13-15). This obedience would be reflected in their service to God. “Serve the Lord with all your heart.” (12:20) And then God concluded with this thundering warning: “Don’t go after empty things that cannot profit or deliver!” (12:21)
What things do people value in themselves and in others? (1 Sa. 10:22-24). So often it is the external things that we value so highly.
Saul had the external qualities that drew people to him.
- Saul was physically attractive: He was handsome and a head taller than everyone else. Saul looked like a king! (1 Sa. 10:23)
- Charming personality: He appeared to be modest and self-demeaning, when they were looking for him to crown him king he was found hiding among the equipment (1 Sa. 10:22).
But what did Saul value? To answer this question let’s reverse it: What did Saul NOT value?
He did not value obedience to God.
- He valued personal success – Saul was willing to cut corners with God’s commands for personal advancement – offering the sacrifice instead of waiting for Samuel as commanded. (1 Sa. 13:11-13). All of this was done with spiritual reasoning.
- He valued personal gain – Saul was willing to disobey God’s orders with the Amalekites because of personal gain. (1 Sa. 15:8-9)
He did not value honesty before God
Saul was not willing to accept personal responsibility for his wrong doings. He pointed to the actions of the people as excuses for his disobedience on both occasions. (1 Sa. 13:11, 15:15,21)
He did not value service to God
Saul was willing to pursue and seek the death of an innocent man (I Sa 19:2). God had said that David was the chosen replacement for Saul on the throne of Israel. Jonathan the heir to the throne, accepted God’s decision and willingly chose to serve God and David (20:13-14).
He did not value God’s wisdom (28:3-19)
Ended his life visiting the witchdoctor. What we value will lead us eventually to make decisions we never dreamed that we would consider!
The people were attracted to Saul because of his external attributes! But Saul had heart issues that God clearly saw and the people eventually came to see.
- Saul was unfaithful
- Saul was self-centered
- Saul was concerned with self-preservation
- Saul was jealous
When we come to 1 Samuel 13:14 we come to a CRITICAL TRANSITION POINT IN THE NARRATIVE!
We are told that God is going to replace Saul as king and the man coming on the scene will be a man after God’s own heart.
The following story is the unfolding and revealing of who that man is and what a man after God’s own heart looks like.
This is not a list of qualities, it is a life being lived out in real-time! The man is David.
David – an illustration of what that man DOES look like.
When God sets out to do a work and bring himself Glory, God reveals that He does not choose like man chooses. God does not value what man values. Man looks on the outward appearance of things, but God looks on the heart! (I Sa. 16:7)
What does God look for in a man after His heart?
- A man after God’s own heart is faithful in the little things, the unexciting menial tasks assigned to him. He carries them out faithfully and completely. Hours, days, months as the last born tending sheep, long hours and days with little to do. (1 Sa. 16:11)
- A man after God’s own heart is necessarily someone who would be chosen because of particular position or physical attributes. David was a red-faced youth who wore simple clothes and smelled like sheep and smoke. (1 Sa. 16:12)
- A man after God’s own heart lives in humble submission to the authority of God and the authority of those God has placed in his life: Obediently watching the sheep. Obediently carrying the lunch to the brothers serving in the army. (1 Sa. 16:19, 17:15)
- A man after God’s own heart has a heart for God cultivated by meditation on the Word – Shepherd boy (Ps. 23).
- A man after God’s own heart handles discouragements and perseveres.
- Accused of pride, insolence and self-serving motives by those closest to him. This came from his own brothers (I Sa. 17:28)
- Told that he can’t do the job because of his youth (I Sa 17:33)
- Others tried to force him into their armor, he saw it as a hindrance to doing what God was calling him to do. (I Sa 17:38-39). NOTE: This was not astonishing bravery – it was the outworking of what David really believed.
- When threatened by the enemy, he did not stop, but picked up his pace to pursue what he was convinced was for the glory of God. (I Sa 17:43-44)
- A man after God’s own heart has a heart that beats with a passion for God and His glory. Is there not a cause? Facing Goliath (1 Sa. 17:29)
- A man after God’s own heart has an unwavering confidence in God’s power and ability: Lion, bear, Goliath (1 Sa 17:33-36)
- A man after God’s own heart is not without times of fear and doubt, yet he returns again and again to his faith in God’s nature, character etc.: Acting like a madman in front of King of Amalekites. (1 Sa. 21:12-13)
- A man after God’s own heart is not perfect but he faces his failures with honesty and true heart repentance: Numbering the people, Bathsheba (Ps. 51).
What we are passionate about controls our perspective and orients our priorities. David’s passion was God!
What we are passionate about will control how we spend our time, talents and treasure. So we are back to our opening question: “What do you value?”
Let’s answer four questions that help us evaluate where we are:
- How does a man after God’s own heart respond to his authority?
- How does a man after God’s own heart respond to crisis?
- How does a man after God’s own heart respond to criticism and accusations?
How does a man after God’s own heart respond to failure?
A man after God’s own heart is someone who will do ALL the will of God:
Acts 13:22 22 But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’
A man after God’s own heart is one who has a heart inclination to obey the LORD!
Ps. 89:20 I have found My servant David;With My holy oil I have anointed him,
David fulfilled his purpose by skillfully shepherd God’s people because: He had integrity of heart, and skill of hands!
Ps 78:70 He also chose David His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds; 71 From following the ewes that had young He brought him To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance. 72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
MEN, THIS IS WHAT EVERYONE OF US OUGHT TO DESIRE! So how do we get there? Run to Christ – He is the perfect man, the perfect husband, the perfect father. He will fill us with Himself and make us like Himself!
This is why he came! This is why he died! This is why he calls men to come!
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