Don’t Waste Your High School Years
Brody Holloway | Christian School Retreat
The way you interact with the people around you is important. The way you live in your school or workplace matters. Let’s live our lives in light of the Gospel. In this session, Brody walks through 2 Samuel 23, discussing what we can learn from David’s actions. Care about others around you and take initiative to share the Gospel with them.
Don’t waste your youth being distracted by the world. Live your life in such a way that draws people toward Jesus.
- 2 Samuel 23
Read The Transcript
Turn to 2 Samuel 23. You are all Christian schools you all brought your Bibles, didn’t you? Alright. No? Alright, here’s what we’re gonna do. I wanna talk to you this morning about your… So let me get this straight. We’ve got LCI here. And that’s high school, right? We’ve got Trinity here and that is eighth grade. Only eighth grade?
Okay, alright. How blended together is eighth grade and high school at Trinity? Y’all in the same building?
So at eighth grade, you’re top dog in the middle school. You should be proud of that. Some people are like, “No, not really. The teacher is the top dog.” Good answer.
So here’s what I wanna talk to you about. I wanna talk to you about your impact in your school, whether you’re eighth grade, ninth grade, 10th grade. LCI ninth and 10th grade here too or just upperclassmen? Ninth through 12th? Okay. So regardless of where you’re at in school, I wanna talk to you about not wasting your years in school and you’re like, “Oh boy, this is gonna be like a motivational talk,” but I wanna talk to you about doing something that’s gonna matter five years down the road, 10 years down the road, 20 years down the road and even 100 years from now. Because the reality is, most people are not gonna be remembered 100 years from now, nobody’s gonna know, like I’ve got a picture of a guy who was my great-granddad and he died when I was in the second grade. That was on my mom’s side, I’ve got a picture. And his name was Jacob, and I can remember him a little bit, he’s a pretty good dude from what I’ve been told, but when you’re in second grade, you don’t remember a lot about second grade, right? And the things you do remember are kind of funny. And then on my dad’s side, my great-granddad died when I was 17, his name was Leroy. That’s a good name, ain’t it? Leroy. So… Is your name Leroy? That’s a good name. You should, I thought about… I thought about naming my kid Leroy, I actually did, and my wife said, “Oh no, that would be mean.”
But so that guy, Leroy Holloway was his name, and Leroy died when I was 17. He’s a pretty good dude. The only thing I really remember about Leroy was he was a farmer, he farmed, he had a big farm, and I remember me and my brother, we’re out playing Army around the farm, going through the corn fields, with our BB guns and I remember we shot Leroy in the back of the neck with a BB gun, and then realized what we had done after we had done it and ran and hid, but we, oh man, y’all probably don’t know what a whooping is, do you all know what whooping is? When I was a kid, you’d get a whooping, now, if you get a whooping today, I think you might… Somebody might have to go to jail or something.
But anyway I remember we got a whooping over that but I remember Leroy and Jay, Jacob, I remember Leroy, and Jay, I remember them, but I don’t know that I could tell you much about what they did. You know what I mean? So your life is gonna be lived. And then it’s gonna be gone. And for you, it’s like at your age, it’s hard to think, “Man, I don’t really think about what it’s gonna be like for my life to end.” You don’t… Most teenagers, not all. I know some of you, this is not true, most teenagers don’t think about death, your own personal death, maybe you have a grandparent die, maybe you have a parent die, maybe you have a friend that dies, and so you’re confronted with death at some point by the time you are a teenager, you’ve been confronted with death, those two guys, two of the first times I remember really being confronted with death, particularly the one that died when I was in second grade. I remember seeing my mom and my dad cry because this man was dead, and I remember thinking, “Huh, death is like this sort of heavy thing,” you know what I’m saying?
And so it might not be easy for you to think about, “Okay, I’m gonna live 50, 70, 90 years somewhere in between probably, and then I’m gonna die, but right now I’m a teenager, so let me just have a good time and do the teenager thing.” But you can think about the fact that you’re gonna get one shot at this grade, one shot, you get eighth grade one time, you get 10th grade one time, you get 12th grade one time. You get to do it one time. Now, some of you maybe have to do it twice, but for the most part, one time. You may have to take summer school, you may have to take some extra classes. You may have to take a class over. And then that’s it. You don’t want… When you’re like, seniors, am I right? You don’t have to Amen me or nothing like that. But am I right? You can’t go back and do ninth grade over again. That’s a done deal, man, that’s done. That is gone.
And so I wanna talk to you about looking from this side, where you are right now, looking into this school year and determining right now, I’m gonna do something with this school year that matters when May rolls around, and I’m gonna challenge you not to live like 95% of Americans live, which is with a sense of entitlement, where we go into each day saying, “What do I get from the world? What do I get from my parents? What do I get from society? What do I have coming to me? What’s in it for me?” But rather, you live your life in such a way that every single day of your life, you say, “What can I give other people to make their day better? To make their life better.” Most importantly, for those of us that are Christians, “What can I give for the sake of the Gospel that’s going to matter in Jesus’s name today and next month, and when May rolls around.” I want you to live your life like that, ’cause if you can live your life like that, that will matter. In 100 years from now, other people will have been affected that you don’t even meet because of the way you lived your life in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I wanna challenge you with that this morning.
3 Principles We Can Learn From King David
So 2 Samuel 23—this is a portion of the story of David’s life. All right now, so when I talk about the life of David, what’s the first thing that jumps out in your mind? David and Goliath. What’s the second thing?
Is it king, is that what he said?
Bathsheba. Look, everybody’s gonna say Goliath and Bathsheba, like you’re remembered for your greatest accomplishments and you’re remembered for your biggest mess-ups, right? In your own life, when you think back a day, a week, a year, you probably remember things you did right, things you did wrong, a lot of in-between stuff you don’t think about, but there’s a lot to David’s life. And David is a guy you can learn a lot from, especially men, I wanna challenge you to learn from David’s life, study David’s life because it’s so fascinating.
A study of the life of David is way better than an evening spent playing Fortnite, I promise you, I promise you. And somebody’s like, “Huh! No, not really.” Yeah, trust me, this guy’s life is amazing. And as a young Christian, I studied the life of David, and it really shaped the way I see the world. Ladies, you should study the life of David because you can learn in that what it looks like when an imperfect man pursues the Lord over the course of his whole life, even though he makes mistakes and he has failures, over the course of his life, he pursues Jesus, you get to see what that looks like.
So, as men, we can learn from David and sort of learn how to be like him, and as ladies, you can learn from David and see what a godly dude looks like, and then do all of that remembering that David is what the Bible calls a type of Christ. Now, if you’ve taken some sort of literature class, which I’m assuming you have. I’m talking to like two schools here, lit, you gotta take lit, some of you are like, “I love literature,” some of you are like, “Oh, I dread that class.” I always liked it. I always liked it.
When you study literature, have you ever had to learn the word foreshadow? Do you all know what foreshadowing is? Yeah, foreshadowing. So, foreshadowing is when something’s happening in the right here and in the right now in a story, but it’s pointing us towards something that’s gonna happen later. David’s life foreshadows the life of Christ, so David is not perfect, David makes mistakes, but David’s life foreshadows and points to Jesus who’s gonna come along later, and he is gonna be perfect. So, when we learn a lot about David and learn a lot about David, we can learn a lot about Jesus, and that’s a really cool thing.
Any time you learn about Jesus, that’s a good thing, you study David and learn about Jesus, that’s a doubly good thing. But when we go into the story that I wanna read this morning, there’s three things that I wanna get out of the story, three points, and I want you to listen for them, and if you’re a note taker, I want you to write these three things down, and I want you to talk about them and share in your group and ask yourself, “How am I gonna apply these three things in my life and live these three things out today, and on the way home, and next week, and all the way until May?” whether May for you is just a transition into the summer or May for you is graduation and a transition into like adult life.
How am I gonna live out these three principles? And these are three principles that will matter for you today, and they will matter for you when you’re an old man like me, and they will matter for you when you’re 80 years old, they will matter going into eternity, three principles I wanna show you. So, a little background of the story that we’re gonna pick up with you, we’re gonna pick it up in verse 13, here’s a little background of the story. The story’s gonna highlight these three guys, and let me tell you about these three guys.
3 Mighty Men
These three guys have lived their life with great faith, and great faith leads to great action, and so they are men of faith, they trust the Lord, they believe in God’s promises, they believe that if God is for you, it don’t doesn’t matter who’s against you, you believe that young people, if God is for you, it doesn’t matter who’s against you. The world is gonna come against you over the next 20, 30, 40, 50 years, but if God is for you, that doesn’t matter. And these men believed that, and so because they believed that, they acted on that, and because they acted on that, they did great things, powerful things, acts of faith that God blessed.
When you act in faith and you live in obedience to God, he’s gonna bless that, he’s gonna grow you, he’s gonna do great things through you. And so, these guys actually, the way that they lived their lives out in great faith is that they were men of war, they were men of action, and typically what they were doing is they were fighting for innocent people, they were fighting for those who couldn’t defend themselves, they were fighting against pagan people who wanted to advance a very dark, sick, twisted agenda on the world, they were fighting against these guy… Those people, and these guys did great feats of strength, great feats of valor, you can read about them, they’re actually referred to as like the chief of the mighty men. That’s a pretty cool name, ain’t it, fellas, men? If somebody’s like, “Hey, you know Ben? You know Josh? You know Justin? You know Tyler?” “Yeah, I know that guy,” “You know, he’s the chief of the mighty men,” that’d be pretty cool, ain’t it?
If that’s the way people described you, like it’d be hard not to walk around feeling pretty legit, like, “What’s up, fellas? I’m a mighty man. Hey, ladies, I’m a mighty man,” like you’re like… I don’t know what these guys, but I think these guys have pretty humble personalities, and we see it in their actions. So, let’s pick the story up in Verse 13. “And three of the 30 chief men went down and came about harvest time to David at the Cave of Adullam.” while when a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim these guys are were following David.
David is sort of like a war leader, like… So he’s hiding in these caves because there’s a powerful army in charge, a powerful wicked evil army has taken over the land, and David and his fighting force are living in the caves, they’re sort of like… If you ever heard the term guerrilla warfare, guerrilla warfare means you’re not… You’re like you’re not an army that’s fighting for a government or a king, you’re sort of like a band of renegades. And so, they’re living in these caves and they’re going out and they’re fighting against wicked people, so David’s living up in the caves, these guys are hanging out with him.
Verse 14, “David was then in the stronghold and the garrison of the Philistine was then at Bethlehem, and David said longingly, ‘Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate.” So, here’s the this setup for the story. David and his dudes are up in the cave, there’s a city about 12 or 13 miles away called Bethlehem, you’ve probably heard of it, and Bethlehem was under siege. Do you know what siege means? It means the enemy had overthrown the city, so the women, the children were all enslaved, most of the men of the city would have been killed, it’s a bad situation, and this enemy army is in charge of the city.
Well, in the middle of the front of the city, right by the gate, there’s a well that has really good water, but more importantly, that well represents something, it represents freedom, it represents God’s favor. Now, did any of you… Do any of you have a parent who served in the military?
Okay, cool. Quite a few of you. Now, you understand when I say this, that when you see the American flag, like before a football game and the national anthem is being played, there’s something that that flag represents, doesn’t it? Like you feel a sense of patriotism and especially my dad didn’t serve in the military, my granddaddy was on Omaha Beach, he served in the army in World War II. And I grew up with a sense of like owing something to others who have fought for it, so the flag in that sense is a symbol. Does that make sense? Does that make sense? For Christians oftentimes People wear a cross. I wonder by show of hands, does anybody have a cross necklace, cross tattoo, cross charm, cross… Okay you’ve got a cross somewhere Okay, cool. So we do that as Christians. Why do we do that? What does the cross represent? We sing about the cross, and we think about the cross. It represents something much greater than that little emblem, doesn’t it? It represents Jesus and what he did for us. So in our lives, oftentimes, there are things, there are symbols of something greater, symbols of something greater.
So for David, the well in Bethlehem represented freedom, it represented God’s favor, it represented his homeland, it represented so much, and it was under control of the enemy, you guys tracking with the story, the enemy has taken control. I want you to imagine like a group of combat soldiers and the enemy has crept into the camp and taken over their base and torn their flag down and stomped it in the ground, and they’ve hoisted their flag, the flag of the Taliban, the flag of ISIS whatever. And I want you to imagine soldiers from a distance looking at that, where their brothers have fallen and men, have died they’re not okay with that, they wanna get that flag down and hoist their flag back up, you’re following the story. Does that make sense. That’s what’s happening here. So David says, Oh, he says, longingly “I wish I gotta could have a drink of water from the well in Bethlehem,” this is not like saying, longingly, I wish I could have… Whatever your favorite food from Taco Bell is. You ever have that Craving? Late at night, we are driving we are in a car about a week ago, me and my family and it was late, we needed to get something to eat, we’re driving through the city of Knoxville, Tennessee, and coming through there, there’s is food everywhere. And somebody said, longingly “Oh, I wish we could find a Taco Bell.”
And then all of a sudden there was a Taco Bell that’s like a happy feeling. We’re going to Taco Bell because they keep that drive-through open late. I love some Taco Bell. This is not that kind of, Oh, I wish I could have that. This is a deep longing, this is something down in his soul. Now watch what happens? Watch what these guys do? Verse 16, “Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and carried it and brought it to David.” One verse, I think that was one verse. Yeah, one verse, not even a whole verse. Half a verse, sometimes when you’re studying or reading the Bible, a half a verse will say a whole lot you know what I’m saying? A half a verse will say, you’re like, that’s just like one little sentence no, that was like a whole story, these three dudes, these three guys. What are these guys names? I’ll tell you, Josheb, Eleazar and Shammah, Josheb, Eleazar and Shammah. You can read about them in the first half of the chapter. These three guys, they hear David say what did David say he wanted? Water from the well. They hear that, okay. They perceive that, they hear it.
And I don’t know which one of them starts the conversation one of them is like, “Hey, dude look, David said he wants water from the well of Bethlehem, let’s go get him some water.” Okay, I want you to understand the well was surrounded by a Garrison, which would mean like a platoon, a Brigade, we’re talking about hundreds of soldiers, how many of these guys? Three. They’re like, “Let’s go and get him some water.” I wonder if one… I don’t know, I wonder if one of them was like, “You know, there’s a bunch of guys down there we’ll have to fight our way in,” or if they were all like… Or was it more like, “Dude listen I got an idea, let’s go, let’s go on a midnight run and go down to the Bethlehem drive-through and kill a bunch of those dudes, and get some water for David. That’ll be awesome.” I don’t know, was it like that or was it more like real thoughtful, this will be a challenge, but I think we can do it and it will mean a lot to David, I don’t know. But they did it. 12 miles from the cave to the well, 12 miles back, 24 miles. That’s almost a marathon okay. These guys go 24 miles to get what? A little bag of water, they didn’t have canteens they didn’t have bottles, they had bags that made out of animal skin. They get him a bag of water. They fight their way through, had to probably go up against terrible odds to get that water.
But they were determined, here’s the first two principles you’re ready, if you’re note taker write them down, if you’re not remember them in your brain right now, we’re gonna make sure you get these first two principles that will change your school, will change your family, will change your life. Number one, number one, learn to discern the needs of other people. What does discern mean? Pay attention, care about, care about other people. Learn to recognize the needs that other people have, so many people y’all…
Listen, so many people are focused first on self, then on others, learn to be a person that cares about other people first. What is the opposite of this? The opposite of this is to be a person who is entitled. What does entitled mean? Entitled means like if I have a sense of entitlement, it means I’m saying people need to do something for me, but if I’m discerning the needs of others, it means I’m saying, what can I do for others? You see the difference. And really, that’s the only two options. There’s not a third category, it’s not like, “I don’t really discern the needs of others. I don’t really just worry about myself, I’m kind of in the middle, sometimes I care about others, sometimes I care about myself,” but at any one given time, it’s one or the other, and if you’re not caring about or thinking about other people, then it’s all about you, and we’re all guilty of that, I’m guilty of that. Guilty as charged.
1. Care About Others In Your School
So, the first principle is learn to care about other people at your school, even on this trip, there are people who struggle with anxiety, depression, who struggle at home because they get talked down to, who have been abused when they were younger, maybe even currently, you need to discern the needs of other people, there are hurting people around you at any given time on any given day, you got hurting people close by, close by.
Talking about to my children, I got kids that are y’alls age, I got kids that are older, I got a lot of kids, I got five kids. And I say, pay attention at school, pay attention to people that look, they wear it on their face, they look like they need somebody that just gives a rip about them. Jesus, you know, Jesus loved people, he cared about people, somebody cares about you, even to put you in the school you’re in. Let’s love each other. Let’s be a school that’s identified by our love for one another.
Jesus said, “You know what, you wanna know how people around you will know that I’m real? By the way you love each other, by the way you care for each other, by the way you take care of each other.” That’s how people… Well, people won’t know if Jesus is real or not, at least they’ll know if he’s real in your life by the way you love each other, so care about each other. In order to do that, the first step you can take is just pay attention.
Let me give you some practical ways to pay attention to needs of others. Listen more than you talk. Look around. Be aware of your surroundings. At any given moment, just look around the room. I’ll tell you another way to be aware of the needs of other people. Pray for other people. When you pray for people, God will line you up with specific needs that those people have, and be a school, be a class, be a person that cares more about other people than you care about yourself.
Because I’m going to tell you something. In either one year or five years, you’re gonna enter into a world that does not care about you at all, don’t care about you, world don’t care about you, world wants to gobble you up, consume you, spit you out, waste you, use you, and discard you, but Christ as you can go against that, you can care about other people, you love other people, it starts with paying attention to their needs.
All these dudes, I don’t know you guys are passing by, David’s like, “Man, I could go for some water from the well of Bethlehem,” marathon, sword in hand, coming back with water, bloody swords, muddy, sweaty, bloody… “Here you go, David, got you some water,” say what? Have you ever been around somebody that’s like that? I remember… I don’t remember who did it, I think it was a guy who works here named Mike McCray.
I remember one day I was like, I was tired, it’d been a long week, late nights, you see, late last night, wasn’t it? You’re out there acting like lunatics on that swing at midnight, jumping up and down stuff, we play hard, we play late, it was the next morning, and I didn’t have any coffee that morning, I remember I came in, I had to teach, I think, with some of our staff and I was like, “Man, I would love to have an Americano with an extra shot of espresso from Starbucks, black, half the water, strong.” You know, you all know what I’m talking about? You know what that drink is? It’s Stout. It’ll make your ears wiggle. I’m awake. It’ll make my heart flutter. Okay, I’m good to go, about…
So, the closest Starbucks is about, I think about 30 minutes from here, and it’s one of them ones that’s in a grocery store, it’s not even a real Starbucks. Well, Mikey showed up about 45 minutes later, walked in and said, “I got you something.” Y’all, if I believe you could get saved more than once, I would have called on the name of Jesus and got saved again right there, [chuckle] I was so happy. But you can’t do that, you know that, right? That’s a one-and-done kind of deal. So, instead, I just rejoiced, I was like, “Thank you, Mikey. Thank you, Jesus.” You ever have somebody do something for you like that just out of the blue? Like, “Where did that come from?” I remember I was in the sixth grade, sixth grade is a good year, isn’t it? You’re just kinda clueless in life, am I right?
Sixth graders, man, they’re just kinda bouncing through… Literally, there is no more clueless group in humanity than sixth graders. I love them. I love them to death. I’ve already… I’ve already raised three or four of them. I love sixth graders, clueless. They might… You might see… They might wet their pants, they might put their shoes on the wrong feet or they might know algebra, you just don’t know what you’re gonna get with a sixth grader, am I right?
The teachers, too, the teachers are like, preach. [laughter] It’s that transition from elementary school into middle school. Sixth graders, there’s a lot of things you can describe sixth graders by, things like, they don’t know, unless somebody tells them, that it’s time to wear deodorant. Sixth grade, you need to put deodorant on, it’s time, and you wear clean clothes, you need to take a shower, bath at least once a day. Like, sixth graders, I love sixth graders. I remember when I was in the sixth grade, clueless bouncing through life. At school, who knows what was going on?
When I was in sixth grade, you didn’t change classes yet, I went to school like in a stone age. Back then, elementary school lasted ’til sixth grade, junior high, there was no such thing as middle school, junior high was seventh grade, eighth grade, ninth grade, senior high was 10th, 11th, and 12th, that’s what it was everywhere. All the old people here can remember that. And I remember I’m in sixth grade, so in sixth grade back in the day, you were at the pinnacle of the elementary food chain, you were like the great white shark of the elementary school. You know what I’m saying? Like, you’re at the top.
Now, I remember, I don’t know if you have this at your school, but the intercom system… At my school, the intercom system it was linked to every room, I remember the intercom there was… Came over the intercom and said, “Ms. Roberts?” and she said, “Yes,” and she said, “Would you send Brody down to the office for checkout, please?” It’s like 10 o’clock in the morning, which means I’m leaving, I’m out, I’m going home, baby, I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t know, but I’m leaving school, and that’s all I knew, and I skipped and hopped all the way down the hall to the office, I walked in.
And one of my mom’s sisters, one of my aunts was there, and I said, “What are you doing?” and she said, “We’re going shopping.” And we drove an hour to the city. You know you’re in a country when you got to drive to the city, and when I say city, I mean like a bigger than average town. They had a Walmart, she bought… Have you all ever heard of GI Joe? She bought me $80… In 1981, $80 worth of GI Joe stuff, y’all same deal, if I could have got… I wasn’t a Christian yet, that should have brought me to saving faith in Jesus that day. I should’ve known… There was a God and he was real.
I remember coming home just… And I remember we’re driving home and I remember saying to her, “Why you do this?” and she said, “‘Cause I love you,” and I came from a family, we didn’t have much. Big family, literally didn’t have much. I’m not just making up the story like every other public speaker does. Y’all always say, “I grew up poor.” I wasn’t poor, we ate, we had three meals a day, it was… But I didn’t have much toys, I remember she said, “’cause I love you and I knew you would really like this.” I was like, “You think?” Sixth grade Brody never got over it, man. I see that my aunt all the time, I’m like, “Aunt June, thanks for taking me to get them GI Joe toys in sixth grade.” She was like, “You know, that was almost… That was like four decades ago.” I’m like, “I know, you changed my life.”
You ever have somebody do something for you and afterwards, you’re just like, that was incredible. Maybe it’s something big, maybe something little. Like learn to be someone who gives and does for people, who’s our greatest example of this? Jesus. The Bible says in Philippians 2, “He was equal with God, is equal with God, is now exalted with God.” Yet he let go of that, humbled himself, and served us all the way to death. He said, I didn’t come to be served but to serve and you can’t pay me back. It’s a free gift called eternal life, paid for with my blood, that’s the Gospel.
But too many people, even in the church, don’t discern the needs of others, but rather they say, “What can everybody do for me? What does everybody owe me? What do I get out of the deal?” It’s not just a kid issue, this is an adult issue, it’s in my peer group, it’s every generation. That’s the first principle.
2. Take Action. Take Responsibility.
So they discerned his need, second principle is they took action, they took responsibility, learn at a young age to take responsibility. In other words, don’t always wait to be told to do something. Learn to take responsibility. Take initiative. Have you ever heard that word, initiative? This is the idea that you’re a doer, you’re not a waiter, you don’t sit back and wait to be told, do something, don’t waste your life. Don’t waste your time, be someone who advances and takes initiative and makes the world a better place, and makes your school a better place, in the moment, make your classroom a better place. Take initiative, take responsibility, take action. Don’t sit back and do nothing.
Don’t be somebody that does nothing but expects something. Let me tell you something, young people, and the Bible is full of this principle, other than the free gift of salvation that God gives you, other than that, that is the only free gift in this life you can expect to get. God’s grace bestowed on you gives you salvation, you should never expect anything else in this world to come to you for free, learn to work for what you get, learn to take action, learn to earn your A, learn to earn your position on the starting team. Don’t expect because you showed up as a participant that you should get an A or you should get playing time, or somebody should give you accolades or like give you mad, like props, earn it.
Work for it, get up early, stay up late, go hard all day, give yourself time to play and enjoy, whether it’s video games or your hobby or whatever you’re into, do that, enjoy it. But when it’s time to work, get your work done, work at school, work in sport, work in music, if that’s your thing, work at home, pull your weight, don’t be dead weight, you will either be… In this life, listen to me, you will either be an upward pull, in other words you’re helping people to be better, or you will be a downward push, you’ll hold others back, you’ll push people, you’ll be dead weight, learn to do your part, man. It’s a life principle. It’s a life principle.
And the scripture is full of it. Read the Proverbs and learn it. You gotta take action. Read Paul’s letters to Timothy as a young pastor where he says, take hold of these things, fight for these things, pursue these things, these are words of action, the Christian life is a life to be lived in action moving forward, not sitting back, hanging back, God gives you salvation, it’s free, take it, and it’s never free again to be a Christian, every day, it costs you everything to pursue Christ, love others and change the world. And you need to have that mentality.
3. Point Others Toward Jesus
Third principle, this is where the story takes a crazy twist. Second half, Verse 16. Let’s just read verse 16 again, “Then three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate and carried it and brought it to David: But he would not drink of it.” Isn’t that interesting? Did that seem offensive? Rude? Does it seem rude? It does to me, he wouldn’t drink of it, he poured it out. Say what? Anybody got a water bottle? Like a full… Oh, wait, wait, wait, I got one. I was drinking water while you’re… Alright, here we go. I’m really thirsty right now. So, timeout. Here’s what David did. I need a volunteer that will run for me. Come on. What’s your name? Luke? Is Luke that kid that every school’s got?
Okay. Listen to me Luke, I got a job for you. I am literally dying of thirst. My life depends on you taking this bottle of water. And this room simulates, you’re running a marathon. I want you to run five laps around this room as fast as you can, and then bring me that water back. He’s a runner, this ain’t nothing. Come on Luke. Get it Luke. Get it baby. Come on. Be the man, Luke. Is that all you got? Is that all you got? Come on Luke. Turn up the throttle baby, turn up the throttle. Turn up the throttle. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Get it Luke. Get it Luke. Get it Luke. Hey you’re running so hard. One more lap. One more lap. One more lap. This is it. This is it. Run. Run. Run. Come on Man. I’m dying up here. I’m dying. I’m dying. I’m dying of thirst. I’m gonna die, Luke. I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die. Give me, give me, give me, Luke. Thank you so much. Thank you, man. That water is so good. Thank you. Thank you. What in the world just happened? Did you see me pour that water out?
That was rude. Luke risked his life. He was running across six lane inner states, he was running through a war zone. He was running through Walmart on Black Friday. That’s what that was. What just happened? Why would I pour that water out? Look at the next phrase in the sentence. Look at the next phrase in the sentence. My Bible’s all flipped up and turned around. Look at the next phrase, verse 16. “He poured it out to… ” Say it with me, “to the Lord.” Everybody say, “Lord.”
That’s why you live your life for the glory of God, for the sake of the Gospel, for the name of Jesus. Why would David pour it out? Because in the olden days, there was a specific type of worship offering. When we think of worship, we typically think of singing songs and praise. In the olden days, there was a type of offering, it was a worship offering, where you would take a drink and you would pour that drink out. And it was a way of saying to the Lord, “I’m offering you this as a gift.” All of a sudden, the value of that water didn’t go down, did it? It went up. Are you following what’s happening here?
These guys risked their lives, like Luke just did, they bring the water to David. David looks at that water and he says, “This water is way too valuable for me to just drink it, I’m gonna worship the Lord with this water.” And as bad as he wants to drink that water and all that it represents, he pours it out because that’s a greater act with that water, than even drinking it would be. He pours it out to the Lord, and said, “Far be it for me, Oh Lord, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the man who went at the risk of their lives?” Therefore, he would not drink it.
What’s the third principle? Live your life in such a way that you drive other people towards Jesus, so that their lives are lived in worship of Jesus, because of your influence on their lives. What a principle. What a principle of mamas and daddies and young people could get this. What a principle, if we as pastors and teachers and leaders will get this. What a principle is if you as an eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th grader, would get this. If we would live our lives where we look at other people and say, “How can I live my life so that these people will see Jesus more fully, more clearly and love God more?”
That’s my goal for other people, they’d know Jesus, they worship Jesus. The action of these men who discern the need of David, took action to do something about it, ultimately drove David to worship God, worship God. What a cool idea. What a cool idea. And I wanna challenge you this year, as you go through the school, what an incredible way to start off the year. But as you go, to get to come and spend a couple of days, a few days here, it’s swell, that’s awesome, man. Don’t waste this, going back with the only memory you got is, I rode a swing, I went down a river, I shot… That’s awesome. That’s why we have this stuff.
But leave here, this is a spiritual retreat more than it’s a recreational retreat. And we want you to go back and I want you to love each other well, so that people know what Jesus looks like inside of you. I want you to discern the needs of others, and say, “What can I do to help people today?” I want you to take action in making it happen, and your life, when you do those things will help others to worship Jesus. And you’ll be a school and a class that worships Christ, loves the Lord.
There’s an old hymn that says, “only one life and it will soon be passed, only what’s done for Christ will last.” Only one shot at middle school, it will soon be past. Only one shot at high school, it will soon be past. And what’s done for Jesus and done for others in the name of Jesus, that’s all that’s gonna last, I can tell you that. I had an incredible high school athletic career, nobody cares. Nobody cares. Nobody. I had a mediocre high school academic career, that’s being generous. Nobody cares now. Live those things that you do in academics, and in sport, and in social life, in such a way that it’s not about you, but it’s about others and the advance of the Gospel in the name of Jesus, and then all those things will live on. And have a lifelong impact in your life and in other people’s lives. Got it? Alright, pray with me. Let’s pray.
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