This message was preached at Woodvale Baptist Church on Sunday the 15th of October 2017.
Becky Turney will never forget the day she married Kelly, the man of her dreams.
The two were married recently in Alaska but the day would contain some sadness for Becky because in October 2015 her 19 year old son, Triston was killed in an accidental shooting.
On her wedding day, in honour of Triston, a chair was set aside for him where the family sat with a piece of prose indicating that he would be “watching from heaven”. It was a touching tribute but it paled into insignificance as a result of what happened next!
At the time of Triston’s death, Becky shared on Facebook that her son’s passing “was a tragedy and senseless (but) Triston was an organ donor and will be able to help someone else’s life…”
Becky had no inkling of what was to come on her wedding day.
Kelly (the groom) flew a young man named Jacob to Alaska to be one of his groomsmen and then stopped the ceremony to introduce him to Becky for the first time.
Why? Jacob had been born with a rare heart condition, had undergone a number of open heart surgeries and by age 19 was in desperate need of a donor so that he could undergo heart transplant surgery.
Becky’s son, Triston, was the donor of Jacob’s life saving heart!
Becky was overcome with emotion, hugged Jacob and was also able to listen to her dead son’s heart, courtesy of a stethoscope and now beating strongly inside Jacob’s chest. One of the photographers for the day later wrote, “…nothing prepares you for the beauty of this moment. Everyone was so moved by this and I had to share this amazing story.”
And this moment happened because a man named Kelly simply loved and cared enough for the woman he was about to marry.
“This is a man at his best!” I thought to myself as I read this story. He showed his bride that he truly cared for her and was prepared to go to great lengths so she would know he was truly concerned for her deepest needs.
We men are capable of truly great moments that demonstrate our courage, passion and love.
And we are equally capable of the worst of moments when we reveal only selfishness, pride and ambition.
King David was just such a man!
As a mere teenager he takes on Goliath when the rest of the Israeli army stands paralysed by fear and intimidation.
“God will give me the victory!” he declares and in a single moment his faith in God inspires a nation to glory as Goliath crashes to the ground.
When he ascends the throne he heals the divisions that exist and makes Israel the most powerful nation in the region.
When he learns of the death of his enemy Saul he is struck with grief and leads the mourners.
This is David at his best – gracious, filled with faith and generous.
But there are low moments – adultery, murder, a divided family and revenge.
This is David at his worst.
But in spite of his weaknesses, his love for God ultimately triumphs and he is remembered as “the man after God’s heart.”
God knows my weaknesses and He knows yours.
He sees our great moments and our not so great moments.
And he also sees our hearts.
What, then, are you bringing to your relationships – to your wife, your children, your colleagues and your friends?
Are they getting the best of you or the worst of you?
Don’t be discouraged by this – God does forgive our failures but He also wants us to step up and to bring our best. And the best we can bring Him is “a heart after His heart”. Everything else will flow out of that.
So come on men – we need a few more Davids and Kelly Turneys!
This message was preached at Woodvale Baptist Church on Sunday the 18th of June 2017.
Towards the end of this message you’ll be encouraged to fill out a ‘spiritual audit’. The details are below.
It is helpful to think of the level of our loving union on a continuum that ranges from 1-10.
Use the brief assessment that follows to get an idea of where you fall on the continuum.
It is helpful to think of the level of our loving union on a continuum that ranges from 1-10. Use the brief assessment that follows to get an idea of where you fall on the continuum.
1 ——— 2 ——– 3 ——– 4 ——— 5 ——— 6 ——— 7 ——– 8 ——— 9 ——– 10
Not at all True ———————– Moderately True ———————– Completely True
Next to each statement, write down the number between 1 and 10 that best describes your response.
• ____ I am relaxed and unhurried.
• ____ I am deeply aware of God’s great love.
• ____ I appreciate and love one person at a time.
• ____ I am content amidst suffering and setbacks.
• ____ I praise and promote others easily and joyfully.
• ____ I am generous with my time, money, and gifts.
• ____ I listen for God’s voice and will throughout the day.
• ____ I forgive and let go of hurts.
• ____ I am prudent in conversations and discernment.
• ____ I am playful and able to laugh easily.
• ____ I get up quickly when I fail or fall.
• ____ I respond to criticism graciously.
If you scored mostly ones, twos, or threes, you are likely doing too much, perhaps more than God has asked you to do. You may be overloaded. The fact that you took the assessment is a grace from God. What might God’s invitation be to you today?
If you scored mostly fours, fives, sixes or sevens, then you are making progress, but you are likely still out of balance with not enough being with God to sustain your doing for him. Ask yourself: What adjustments might God be inviting me to make in this season?
If you scored eights, nines, and tens you are in a good place. Your doing for God and your being with him are well-integrated and balanced. Be encouraged.