Sermon Title:  God Chooses Champions

Summary: God is not concerned with things such as appearance, power, or
ability.  Rather, he is concerned with loyalty and character.  Therefore, we
should strive first and formost to grow in godly character.  That is what makes a
champion in Godís eyes.

Function:  To help the hearers to reflect on godly character, and identify areas of
improvement.

Text:  1 Samuel 16:1-13

Scripture Reading:  Luke 16:10-12


Intro:
1.  Title of this sermon can be intimidating
	a.  Most people donít think of themselves as champions
	b.  If God chooses champions, then he would he choose me?
2.  Makes me think of team captain method of choosing teams
	a.  Family Reunions, we play kickball
	b.  Team captains choose biggest, then most popular
	c.  If you not good athlete, and not popular, you were last
	d.  Makes sense, you would want to choose winners
3.  But we are talking about Godís team, he is team captain
	a.  That changes everything
	b.  God is not concerned about your ability, popularity, looks, etc.
4.  Text - 1 Sam 16 - Background material
	a.  Samuel, Godís designated judge and priest
		- He had successful career, won many victories
		- Now he is old, so he appoints his sons in his place
	b.  People wanted a king.  Why?
		- Samuel is old
		- His sons took bribes, dihonest gain, pervert justice
		- But, the reason that stands out - To be like the nations
			- Foreigner might ask, ďwhere is your king?Ē
			- Oh, he is in the Heavens.  Yea right
			- People take us seriously, king fights battles, etc.
	c.  God warned them, they insisted, God let them
		- ILL:  When I was little, I wanted Kimchee.  Mom warned me not to 
		  each, I insisted, she let me have it - It burned, I learned a lesson
		- God is letting them have their king, and teaching a lesson

I.  The Obvious Choice (1 Sam 9:1-2) (the peopleís choice)
	A.  Saulís father was a man of ďGibbor HayilĒ
		1.  Definitions:
			a.  Gibbor - Strong, mighty, valiant
			b.  Hayil - Wealth, strength, army
			c.  Mighty man of wealth - He was somebody
		2.  Saul had it all
			a.  He was tall and good looking, catch peopleís attention
			b.  Came from a rich, powerful family
			c.  Definitely king material - He was a winner!
		3.  He even appeared to be humble!
			a.  Actually, he probably just had low self-image
			b.  Low esteem and humility are not the same
			c.  As we will see, he was anything but humble
	B.  Saul had some serious shortcomings
		1.  Tendency to be disobedient
			a.  13:8-14 - Concerning the sacrifice
				- Supposed to wait for Samuel
				- Didnít, so did it himself
				- Why not?  After all, he was king
			b.  15:1ff - Concerning Agag and Amelekites
				- Was supposed to destroy everything
				- Stubbornly claimed he actually DID Godís will
				- As a king, he ďalteredĒ Godís instructions
				- He blamed the people
		2.  Was concerned about his ďimageĒ
			a.  He confessed, yet tried to justify himself 15:25
			b.  Was not concerned with displeasing God (15:25, 30)
			c.  He was concerned with ďlooking kinglyĒ
			d.  Thatís why he kept Agag and the spoil
				- Parade them in front of the people
				- Would have been great display for King Saul
		3.  He didnít seek the Lord
			a.  14:35 - Author says this was his ďfirstĒ altar
				- He already had several military campaigns
				- Get the idea that worship of God not his forte
			b.  The only prayers of Saul recorded are to get Godís favor 
			      in military battles - self-centered
			c.  Godís will did not guide Saul
		4.  How could this happen?
			a.  Saul seemed the obvious choice
			b.  Appearances can be deceiving
	C.  ILL:  For example, beautiful dart frog in South America
		1.  Brilliant beautiful colors, many would want to catch one
		2.  So poisonous, just touching one would kill you
		3.  Natives touch their darts to their backs to make poison darts
		4.  Something so beautiful so full of danger and death
	D.  God is not concerned with looks, ability, size, 
		1.  Nor education, intelligence, income, house, car, clothes, hair
		2.  Many in the world are very concerned with these
		3.  God is concerned with something much deeper

II.  The Unlikely Choice (16:1-13) (Godís choice)
	A.  A team captain would not have chosen David first
		1.  Eliab would have been first, then six other brothers
		2.  Not even Davidís father regarded David as a choice
		3.  16:12 - Polar opposite of Saul
			a.  David was probably just a teen
			b.  He was ruddy
			c.  He had beautiful eyes (long eye lashes?)
			d.  Get they idea he was a fair/pretty boy
		4.  Some may have said that David would have been a pretty girl
			a.  Not what you would consider a warrior
			b.  Definitely not king material.  Not intimidating.
	B.  What quality did David have that God was looking for?
	      (13:14) - A man after Godís own heart.  What does this mean?
		1.  Faithfulness
			a.  Doesnít mean David was perfect
			b.  Davidís concern not his appearance, but God
			c.  Spent much time in prayer, and wrote some down
		2.  Integrity (Psalm 78:70-72)
			a.  Heb.  ďTomĒ - Integrity, blameless, full, whole, complete
			b.  Davidís heart was whole, completely devoted
				- He same when no one was watching him
				- He was trustworthy, dependable
				- The pasture was his testing ground . . . 
			c.  See a hint of his integrity early on (16:19; 17:13-15)
				- He was anointed king, what did he do?
					- Shop for new wardrobe?
					- Go crown shopping?
					- Throw away staff & take a bath?
				- He went back to the sheep, had a job to do
			d.  Lk 16:10 - Faithful in little is faithful in much
			     - Thatís integrity
	C.  But what about strength, looks, popularity, ability?
		1.  That is not what makes a champion on Godís team
		2.  Itís whatís on the inside that counts
		3.  ILL:  David was like a Geode
			a.  Not very impressive on the outside
			b.  Beauty is on the inside
			c.  Inner beauty comes out when hammer on Geode
	D.  When they began to hammer on David, could see what he made of
		1.  Didnít become a glory seeker when anointed
		2.  Didnít seek revenge when he had a right to
		3.  Wasnít self centered
		4.  Faithful served God whether in pasture or on the throne

III.  Our Choice
	A.  What does this mean for us?
		1.  What does story about a teen anointed have to do with me?
		2.  Draw out principle to live by
	B.  Principle:  God is concerned with character
		1.  Teens:  You are forming your character right now
			a.  Donít say, ďIím just a teen and insignificantĒ
			b.  David was a teen, Mary was a teen, Timothy was young
			c.  Be the BEST Christian teen you can be
				- Whether in a pasture, or in school, or at home
				- As a son, daughter, brother, sister, freind, student
				- Be godly, faithful, integrity
				- Be honest, trustworthy, kind, dependable
			d.  This is what makes YOU Godís champion
		2.  Adults:  Character development never ends
			a.  2 Cor 3:18 - We are being transformed into his image
			b.  It is a life long process
			c.  Be the best Christian spouse, parent, employee, friend
		3.  Remember God is concerned with character
	C.  ďCharakterĒ in Greek - Imprint, image
		1.  Col 1:15 - He is the image of the invisible God
		2.  Rom 8:29 - We are to be conformed to the image of his son
			a.  WWJD - We think and act as he would
			b.  He even gives us help through the Spirit
				- Tit 3:5 - Renewal
				- Eph 3:16 - To gain strength
				- Gal 5:22 - To bear fruit of Christian character
	D.  Choose Godly character above all else
		1.  Not about being in with the popular crowd
		2.  Not about having right hair style, clothes
		3.  Not about keeping up with the Jones, new car, house, plaything
		4.  Itís about growing in godliness

Concl:
1.  Arenít you thankful that God is the team captain?
	a.  His team is the winning team
	b.  Have you gotten on his team (invitation)
2.  If you are on his team, you are a champion
	a.  Not because of your ability, popularity, looks, money, education, etc.
		- In fact, you have have all of these, and still be a loser
	b.  You are a champion because he lives in you
		- When his character shows through, that makes you a winner
	c.  He has overcome the world, therefore you can overcome the world
3.  Instead of concentrating on our ability, letís concentrate on growing in godly
chracter.
4.  That is what makes you Godís champion


Questions for Small Group Discussion