sermon highlights

STICKS AND STONES
WEEK FIVE: ADVANTAGE
In week five of “Sticks and Stones,” Pastor Steven wrapped up the series by preaching about the advantage
David had over Goliath. As believers, we have this same advantage over whatever comes at us in life.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES:
1 Samuel 17:45-58 !
1 Samuel 21:8-9! !

John 16:33!

Romans 8:28

YOUR ADVANTAGE IS ONLY AS GREAT AS YOUR AWARENESS
-Pastor Steven opened his sermon by describing how David’s advantage was more spiritual than tactical,
saying, “It wasn’t necessarily about his technique, but it was his trust in God that gave him the advantage.”
-David, as Pastor Steven explained, wasn’t surprised by the presumed disadvantage he had against Goliath.
Instead of being caught off-guard by the size and strength advantage Goliath had over him, David recognized
it and proceeded to identify his advantage as a slinger.
-Likewise, Pastor Steven preached, ”Every believer has an advantage over spiritual opposition, but very few
act on it... We don’t need a greater advantage, just a greater awareness of the advantages we do have.”
-Pastor Steven elaborated, saying, “Opposition doesn’t prevent the presence of God, it provides an opportunity
to prove the presence of God... If nothing ever comes against you, how will you ever overcome the world?”
-Pastor Steven challenged us to embrace the phrase, “Act as if...” When we act as if we have the faith to
conquer our opposition, God will allow us to bluff our enemy until we are aware of our God-given advantage.
-Our awareness is key because after all, every unrecognized advantage is an unclaimed reward.
STOP SURVIVING WHAT GOD HAS CALLED YOU TO CONQUER
-Pastor Steven went on to say, “It is a sin to merely survive what God has called you to conquer.” When we
have an advantage as God’s children, we aren’t meant to merely survive the Enemy’s advances. We’re meant
to conquer them completely and take hold of the reward God has set aside for us.
-When David killed Goliath, he didn’t just hit him with a rock. Once Goliath fell, he walked up, drew Goliath’s
sword, and decapitated him. Needless to say, there was no doubt who conquered who in this fight.
-This stood in stark contrast to the rest of the Israelites, who were stuck in survival mode--all they wanted to do
was to avoid dying at the hands of Goliath. David however, used his advantages to decisively defeat him.
-Likewise, Pastor Steven suggested that some believers are content with simply receiving their salvation.
However, it is not enough to simply escape our sin. Through the daily process of sanctification (which means
to learn to live a holy, set-apart life), we can allow Jesus to fully eliminate the darkness from our lives.
-Jesus didn’t just defeat sin. He destroyed it. Never again would sin be a disadvantage for His children.
THE VERY THING THAT WAS MEANT TO DESTROY YOU
MAY BE THE THING GOD USES TO DELIVER YOU
-David didn’t enter the battle with a sword, but he left with one--Goliath’s. Pastor Steven used this fact to
illustrate how the very weapon that was meant to destroy David actually became the force that would conquer
his enemy once and for all.
-Pastor Steven preached that, in the same way, God will turn the Enemy’s schemes back on his head and
work all things for your good (Romans 8:28).
-Jesus didn’t just save you to make it to Heaven. He died so that you could take back territory on Earth. Even
when circumstances seem to put us an a disadvantage, God has the ability to work in all things to deliver us.
TODAY’S ATTACK MIGHT JUST BECOME TOMORROW’S ADVANTAGE
-Fourteen years after David killed Goliath, David was on a mission, but didn’t have any weapons. He came to
a priest, Ahimelek, and asked for a weapon. The only weapon Ahimelek had to offer was Goliath’s sword.
Perhaps with a smirk and a memory of how God once used this sword to deliver him, David took the sword.
-Pastor Steven preached that in a similar fashion, the very thing that looks like it will take you out today might
be the thing God uses to deliver you in the future. Because the children of God eternally have an advantage
over the Enemy, we can embrace our attacks and believe that God will deliver us time and time again.

What is attacking you today? How can you pray for God to use this for future good? reminders eGROUPS VISION NIGHT . Does it surprise you when things go badly in your life? How do disadvantages catch off-guard? 4. What is “survival mode?” How were the Israelites living in it? What made David’s approach different? 8. On the flip side. . this is your chance to do so. Pastor Steven said that David went into the battle without a sword. What does it mean to survive what God has called us to conquer? Why is this attitude offensive to God? 9. When was the last time you navigated a difficulty in your life by simply praying. What weapons do you still have leftover from your previous battles? 16. You do NOT want to miss this! You are invited (and allowed to bring your spouse and one other guest). how might you change your perspective? 10. Re-read 1 Samuel 17:45-58. What do you take away from reading about David using Goliath’s own sword to decapitate him? 12. we are asking people to sign up for an eGroup.THIS WEEK This Thursday. What are you currently up against in your own life? Realistically. How did David’s act of cutting off Goliath’s head foreshadow Jesus’ work on the cross? 13. How do you prepare yourself so that you won’t be caught off-guard when circumstances are intimidating? 5. STICKS AND STONES 1. what are your advantages? What will God use to allow you to win this fight? STOP SURVIVING WHAT GOD HAS CALLED YOU TO CONQUER 7. we need your assistance as we connect people at every campus to the right eGroup. As we wrap up this series. Please take a minute to fill out this form and RSVP for February 8-9. If not.. what is your biggest takeaway? What was the most encouraging thing you learned? What was the most challenging? How are you going to apply it to your life? YOUR ADVANTAGE IS ONLY AS GREAT AS YOUR AWARENESS 2.” What did you learn from that? If you could do it again. “God just let me survive this. but you need to reserve your spot. When David stepped to fight Goliath.. it appeared as if he already knew he had the advantage. What major battles has God won for you? How do these memories give you an advantage in your future battles? TODAY’S ATTACK MIGHT JUST BECOME TOMORROW’S ADVANTAGE 14. How do you think David felt when he first saw Goliath’s sword there? 15. but he came out with one. we are kicking off the Spring 2014 eGroups semester with a Vision Night with Pastor Steven. Take another look at the battles you’re currently fighting. Why do you think he felt so confident? Do you think he was wondering what would happen if he lost to Goliath? 3. Read 2 Samuel 21:8-9 and put yourself in David’s shoes. If you are looking to add people to your group.sermon discussion Choose one of the main topics you wish to focus on with your eGroup and use the following questions as a guide to facilitating your discussion. In which areas of your spiritual life are you settling for survival? What does it look like to “conquer” these areas? How can the group help you do that? THE VERY THING THAT WAS MEANT TO DESTROY YOU MAY BE THE THING GOD USES TO DELIVER YOU 11. Do that ASAP! eGROUPS KICKOFF 2014 On February 8-9. what are you disadvantages? 6.