May 5, 2024, Message by P. Kevin Clancey

The following unedited transcript is provided by Beluga AI.

Thank you, Lord. All right, I’m going to read a long psalm to you. I’m going to read to you Psalm 18. It’s the psalm of David that he writes, kind of just talking about his life. It is actually repeated. One of the reasons I wanted to go to it is because it’s repeated in 2 Samuel 22, when David is getting old and kind of reflecting back on God’s activity in his life, and he writes this psalm. And so it appears twice in the Bible.

It appears in the Psalms, but then it appears in Second Samuel as well. And so it is the fourth. It’s 50 verses. So it’ll be a long reading. And we, as Americans, raised on technology and looking at our phones, don’t know how to listen to somebody read 50 verses. But you can do it. You can do it. All right. It’s the fourth longest psalm in the Bible. Anybody know the longest psalm in the Bible? Psalm 119. There you go. Good. 176 verses, all of which but three mentioned the precepts, the statutes, the Word of God, just as a psalm about God’s revelation and God’s Word. If you ever want to dig into Psalm 119 and do a study, look for the three verses where that doesn’t appear, but it’s three times that that doesn’t appear. Anybody know the shortest psalm in the Bible? Right before Psalm 117? Anybody know the exact center of the Bible in terms of words and chapters? Right there? Psalm 118, 117 is the shortest, 118 is the middle, and 119 is the longest. So that’s. Anybody know?

Anybody know the smallest man in the Bible? Close. But you also have Bildad the shoehite. We know, Peter. We know, Peter. That the apostles were all small because they were all in one Accord. And you are exactly right. Peter is the smallest man in the Bible because the Bible says he slept on his watch. So, yes, Peter knew that one.

All right, Peter, do you know this one? You probably do because you got a good memory, and I’ve said it before. Isaiah’s horse’s name. Isaiah’s horse’s name. Brian. You know that one? you’ll like this one. This is right up your alley. Is me, because he’s always saying, whoa, is me. So it’s Isaiah’s horse. All right, so there we go. That was just fun, wasn’t it? You like dad jokes? I got a bunch of them, Sophia. I got a bunch of them. Yeah. Oh, your enthusiasm is overwhelming. I’m going to corner Sophia and I’ll just tell her all my dad jokes. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Sydney will just. Sydney will roll her eyes and stick out her tongue. All right?

Psalm 18:

I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. The ropes of death entangled me; floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path. But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the mountains shook; they quaked because of his anger. Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth. Glowing coals blazed forth from him. He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath his feet. Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind. He shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dark rain clouds. Thick clouds shielded the brightness around him and rained down hail and burning coals. The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded amid the hail and burning coals. He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies; great bolts of lightning flashed, and they were confused. Then at your command, O Lord, at the blast of your breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare. He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me. The Lord rewarded me for doing right; he restored me because of my innocence. For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I have not turned from my God to follow evil. I have followed all his regulations; I have never abandoned his decrees. I am blameless before God; I have kept myself from sin. The Lord rewarded me for doing right. He has seen my innocence. To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. You rescue the humble, but you humiliate the proud. You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness. In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. Gods way is perfect. All the Lords promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great. You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping. I chased my enemies and caught them; I did not stop until they were conquered. I struck them down so they could not get up; they fell beneath my feet. You have armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued my enemies under my feet. You placed my foot on their necks. I have destroyed all who hated me. They called for help, but no one came to their rescue. They even cried to the Lord, but he refused to answer. I ground them as fine as dust in the wind. I swept them into the gutter like dirt. You gave me victory over my accusers. You appointed me ruler over nations; people I dont even know now serve me. As soon as they hear of me, they submit; foreign nations cringe before me. They all lose their courage and come trembling from their strongholds. The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock! May the God of my salvation be exalted! He is the God who pays back those who harm me; he subdues the nations under me and rescues me from my enemies. You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies; you save me from violent opponents. For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations; I will sing praises to your name. You give great victories to your king; you show unfailing love to your anointed, to David and all his descendants forever. (Psalm 18, NLT)

God, may the words of my mouth, the meditation of our hearts, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our rock, our strength, and our redeemer. Amen. Amen.

And so the psalms work in an interesting way. They are psalms of Old Testament poets. This is Israel’s hymnal. It’s Israel’s songbook. They were poems that were traditionally set to music to be sung oftentimes, as when Israel was ascending during the feasts and festivals, to the temple, or to the Tabernacle. They would be the songs, kind of the marching songs that they would go, and they would sing these songs, or they would sing them as the sacrifices were being made. And really, David introduces this into the life of Israel.

You don’t have a lot of Israel singing. You have a little bit. In Exodus, Moses and Miriam, they compose a song when horse and rider have been thrown into the sea. But David is the psalmist. David is the worshipper. All of our modern worship just comes from this ancient idea of sing praise to the Lord. And so David writes these poems of praise to the Lord. But because David doesn’t even know it. But David is prophetic because in many of his poems, they reflect Jesus. His experience, at a deeper level, reflects the experience of Jesus.

The most classic example is David is having a bad day. His enemies are oppressing him. He feels forsaken by God. And he writes out in Psalm 22; Jesus quotes it in Aramaic: Elohi, Elohai Lama Sabachthani. Our English translation: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And then David goes on, 1000 years before crucifixion was invented, describing death on a cross. My bones are out of joint. They have pierced my hands and my feet. And he describes the spiritual warfare that Jesus endured on the cross. Strong bulls have surrounded me.

Lions and these creatures from hell, as the Pharisees are mocking Jesus behind those Pharisees. And around those Pharisees, Jesus sees into the heavenly realms. And these demonic forces are gloating and trash talking and gnarling and can’t wait to get their hands on Jesus because they feel like this is their victory. God turns that one around. In fact, we read about it in Psalm 18, I think. And so David writes about himself and his experience. But he writes about Jesus in many of the psalms.

And then, because we all share the human experiences that David shared, and because we now share in the life of Christ, he writes about us. And so in Psalm 18, as David reflects upon his whole life and his struggles, he has four main themes that emerge in Psalm 18. And these main themes emerge in the life of Jesus. And these main themes, then, are themes for us as well. There are things that we can lay hold of. There are biblical promises that we can lay hold of. The things that God did for David.

The things that God did in and through and for Jesus are the things that God does for us as we walk in Jesus. And so there are four main themes represented in this psalm. So on your mark, get set, go. Here we go. The Lord saves. Theme number one, God is a savior. And David. In the first 19 verses of this psalm, he talks about how God saved him. The first thing. David, David. David. In David’s life, there are, I would say, four main instances of God where he kind of reflects on God saving him.

Maybe five. Let’s go with five. First of all, as a shepherd boy, David comments that from the bear and the lion, you saved me. From the bear and the lion, you saved me. As I said, protecting my father’s flocks. Mountain lions came. I mean, David must have lived in the Pacific Northwest. There were cougars and bears. They’re up here, you know. You know, we finally saw a bear in our backyard last year. And, you know, I’ve always wanted to see a bear in our backyard with this.

This condition that I saw it through the window from inside of my house. I don’t want that thing coming into my backyard when I’m sitting on my back deck. Now, from what I understand about black bears, he probably wouldn’t. They’re timid. But just in case, still, you know, I’d rather. And we did. We saw it. My wife got it on film. She filmed the whole thing. You know, we put it on social media. It was great. They might come back this year again, too, in the fall. They might come back.

That’s what they were there for. They get the last of the apples off the apple tree. Mama bear was standing guard while the cub was climbing the apple tree, getting apples. And so we saw a bear. All right, David saw a bear. He saw it closer than I did. He fought a bear. He fought a lion. Which would be worse than a bear? Well, it depends. Grizzly. Worse than a. Yeah, yeah. Black bear. Easy, cougar. Ruff. Grizzly. Say your prayers. That’s where I go. All right. David fought him. He beat him. After that.

He fought probably one of the descendants of the Nephilim, Goliath. Five stones he took out, and he slew Goliath. And I do love trash talk, and Goliath trash talks. David, he says, what, you little runtime. Israel sends out this little run. He looks at David. I’m going to cut off your head and serve your body to the birds of the field. And I love little David. Little David, just like he likes. No, this is what’s going to happen, son. This is what’s going to happen.

You come against me with sword and javelin and spear and shield. I come against you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel. And today, not only am I going to serve you to the birds of the field, but your whole army as well. Oh, I just might. I just love it. I just love it. And then he takes his little plants, one right in his skull. I don’t know if Samson died that moment or he was just rendered unconscious, because then David goes. David doesn’t have a sword.

He goes and he takes Samson’s sword, and he cuts off his head. I don’t know, man. Makes me want to go home and watch Braveheart. That’s stuff right there. All right. Then God saves David from Saul, the king, who he honored. And Saul chases him all around the countryside trying to kill David because of his demonically enraged jealousy toward David. And God delivers David time and time again from Saul. But David is in a. David and his mighty men are in a rough place.

They got Saul chasing them on one side, and they got the Philistines on the other side. And there’s just this band of guerrilla warriors out there living in caves and living off the land, being chased by Saul and the Philistines. And David says, through all that, “What, you saved me.” And finally, the last one brought upon by David’s own sin, God saves him from his own son, Absalom. And so throughout his life, David experienced God as savior. Well, how did Jesus experience God as savior? Jesus is the savior. Yes, he is.

And yet, he was raised from the dead. I can’t help thinking, I just read this talk about this. The psalms excite me. I can’t help but thinking that starting at Psalm 18:7, this is actually the vision of Jesus as he is dying, and the hounds of hell think they’ve got the Son of God. Father God comes to Jesus, comes to the rescue, and raises him from the dead. The earthquake that happened, there was an earthquake. The earthquake and trembled. The foundations of the mountains shook.

They quaked because of his anger. And I can just imagine these demons all of a sudden looking up, and smoke is pouring from his nostrils. God’s coming like a. Like a. He’s not coming like a kindly old grandfather. He’s not coming like Santa with eight reindeer. He’s coming like a dragon. All right. Smoke is pouring from his nostrils. Fierce flames leapt from his mouth. Glowing coals blazed forth from him. He opened the heavens and came down. Dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.

Mounted on the wing of a mighty angelic being, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind. David never saw that. That never happened when David was fighting the Philistines. This is poetry. But I think this is poetic, man. Prophetic. I think this is happening.

He shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dark rain clouds. The earth was covered with darkness. Thick clouds sealed the brightness around him and rained down hail and burning coals. The Lord thundered from heaven. The voice of the most high resounded amid the hail and the burning coals.

And I think he’s just raining these down upon the principalities and powers. He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies. Great bolts of lightning flashed and they were confused. Then at your command, O Lord, at the blast of your breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen and the foundations of the earth were laid bare. What if that’s just not poetry? What if that’s a literal scene at the death of Christ and all heaven?

Remember when Jesus said, when he was in the garden, he said, you know, I could call on 10,000 angels, legions of angels, but not yet.

53 Dont you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? (Matthew 26:53, NLT)

But what if those angels were ready? What if that army was ready? And at the descent of Jesus, all of heaven backs him up as he takes the keys of death and hell from Satan. And then Sunday morning rises from the dead, doesn’t it? Just anybody else but me. Just get a rush out of that. I got a rush out of that. All right. All right. Don’t look so sleepy.

Don’t look so sleepy. All right. That’s good stuff. All right. So Jesus is raised from the dead, and dear one, she saves us, this mighty God, with smoke coming from his nostrils and fire from his mouth, throwing out bolts of lightning and thunder. We pray. We started our worship service with, Lord, deliver me from my enemies. Don’t you think for a minute that God’s not going to do it. Don’t you think for a minute that God’s not going to do it, that you will be delivered from your enemies.

I love the scene in C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters” when the hero of the story, the young Christian, finally dies in war and the agony of hell, when they see him ascend to God and he looks on them, the proud and arrogant tempters of hell, and he sees them as little cockroaches, as little nothings. You know, the worst thing you can say to a person is go to hell.

But I have a feeling that one day in the judgment, we will be able to look at the demonic powers that tormented us during our lives, and we’ll be able to say to them with complete honesty, in full authority, go to hell. And they will. God saves us from the devil. He saves us from death. We had a great testimony last week of how God delivered Julie from the very throes of death, from the very at the near, you know, at the last moments or hours or days of her life.

And the light filled the room and the peace of God came and joy came, and she was delivered from death. But I want to tell you something, saints. If you don’t get delivered before your body dies, you get delivered the instant it does. And that same overwhelming peace and joy and light and glory that Julie saw, so do our loved ones see the minute that their bodies cease, but they don’t lose their consciousness.

In fact, if you could talk to them now, they would tell you, “I was more alive at that moment than I ever was before. I was more alive at that moment than I ever was before.” your dear wife, that very moment. All the confusion that had tormented her those last five years, I didn’t even think it tormented her. But all the confusion she had for those last five years disappeared in an instant. And the glory shone around her, and she was alive and more alive than she ever was before. He has defeated death.

He’s defeated sin. How about that? Yay. Two ways. He’s defeated sin, dear ones, your sins are forgiven. They no longer. There’s no longer. There’s now, therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1, ESV)

The wages of sin is death. He’s defeated that through the free gift of God, which is eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord.

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, NLT)

Your sins are forgiven. In a minute, we’re going to take this meal. If this meal means anything, it means that your sins are forgiven.

But not only has he defeated sin, dear ones, not only has he defeated sin, he’s conquered the power of sin. What does that mean? You don’t sin as much as you used to. Turn to somebody next to you and say, I see that in you. I see that you’re a better person than you were. you’re better. I asked my wife this morning in church in Bremerton. I said, am I better than I was 46 years ago? Kind of put her on the spot, you know? She could have ruined the whole sermon and said, heck, no.

But she said, yeah, you’re better. Yeah. When I met her, man, I did drugs. I don’t do drugs anymore. I don’t. God delivered me from addiction to drugs. How about that? That’s good, right? That’s good. God delivered me from addiction to drugs. When I met her, I was still chasing other girls. Now, understand, I wasn’t catching any, but I was chasing. I stopped doing that. I don’t do that anymore. I don’t do that anymore. There are three good reasons I don’t do that anymore. One, I love God, and he’s defeated the power of sin.

The other is, I love Jill, and I wouldn’t do that to her. And the third is, I’m 65 and it just ain’t worth it. It’s like way too much work. All right? He’s defeated sin. He’s defeated other sins in my life.

All right, dear ones, you need to thank God that I don’t say everything that comes up on the screen of my head in my stream of consciousness. You just need to thank the Lord that that does not happen. You might be thinking, yeah, there still needs to be some growth there, Kev.

But be that as it may, I don’t say everything that comes up on the screen, all right? I might still say too much, but I don’t say everything, all right? The Lord rewards. The Lord rewards David. In 2 Samuel 7, one of the most precious chapters in the Bible. One of the most powerful chapters of the Bible. you’ve been reading through it. God makes a covenant with David. It’s the last of the Old Testament covenants and it’s the most powerful and the biggest of the Old Testament covenants.

And it’s this, David, you’re a man after. And I love how the story goes. David says, “God, I want to build you a temple.” And says, “No, you can’t do it, David, I’ll have your son do that.” David’s like, “Ah, shucks.” And then God says, “But here’s what I’m going to do for you.” David starts his prayer with, “God, I want to do something for you.” And God says, “No, here’s what I want to do for you.” It’s like going to your dad on Father’s Day and saying, “Dad, I want to give you a tie.”

And your dad says, no, but here’s what I want to do for you. I’m going to give you a truck. It’s like, wow, what a cool dad. All right, if any of my kids are watching, I’m not going to give you a truck, and I don’t want a tie. All right, so here’s the deal. God tells David, you want to build me a temple? No, I’ll give you an everlasting kingdom; from you, there will be an everlasting king over Israel. And that was big enough for David. We now know that was even bigger.

From you, David is going to come, the king of kings, and the lord of lords. From you, Daniel sought in Daniel 7, one like the son of man coming before the ancient of days. And he sat down at the right hand of the ancient of days, and he was given what an everlasting kingdom.

13 As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternalit will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14, NLT)

And Isaiah says of the increase of that kingdom, of the increase of that government, there will be no end.

What’s Jesus going to do after he fills this universe? Make another one? There will be no end. There will be no end.

His glory grows. His kingdom grows. That’s a big promise from God. And God rewards David. David’s a sinner. He sins a couple of times. That whole Bathsheba thing, that whole taking a census thing, he sins sometimes, and God still says, no, you have a heart for me. You have a passion for me, and I will reward you. And then David rewards King Jesus, right? He is Jesus, King and Lord forever.

So at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11, ESV)

Jesus, who, although he existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but he emptied himself and became a man, even became a servant and became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6-8, ESV)

Boom, he hits bottom.

And then God turns it around and says, therefore, God has highly exalted him and given him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus in heavens, on earth, and below the earth, every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11, ESV)

Wow. God rewards you. Ever feel like you hit bottom? It ain’t done. The story isn’t over. The story isn’t over. God rewards those who serve him. And we know we’ve been promised the reward of eternal life.

We are forever his sons and daughters. We are princes and princesses, and we are co-heirs with Christ. In fact, do a meditation. Do a study on what CS Lewis calls the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the New Testament. We have cheapened the gospel to if you say the right prayer, you get to punch your ticket to heaven and go to the good place. That’s true, but that’s a bad sales job. Oh, the good place is so good. He’s there. First off, he’s there. He’s the prize.

But he says, you will be like me. You will be like me. you’ll be without sin. you’ll be a child of God. You will be pure and holy and full of joy and love and peace, and there will be no more sin and no more crying and no more death anymore. And life will be lived forever as it was intended to be. And at my right hand are pleasures forevermore. Pleasures forevermore. This is better than a 50 year vacation in the Bahamas. Pleasures forevermore. In his presence is the fullness of joy.

You know, I’ve told you before that I have some sense of trepidation about that initial meeting with Jesus that I’m rapidly approaching at 65 years old, and I realize I can’t put this off that much longer. You know, my parents made it into their mid-eighties. I may get there. I may even get into the nineties. I’m losing weight. You know, I’m trying. Or I may not make it home tonight. We don’t know. We don’t know.

But whether it’s 20 years from now, 30 years from now, 10 years from now, or 10 minutes from now, I am headed for a face-to-face with Jesus, and so are you, even you young un’s. And I remember the night I was sitting here and I began to cry. I thought, how am I going to do that? I mean, doesn’t that overwhelm you? It’s like meeting Jesus. And I was just overwhelmed with the certainty that that’s going to happen. But I love the testimony we heard last week.

I loved that when he showed up in the room, everything changed. There was no more fear. There was no more trepidation. There was perfect joy and perfect peace. The theologians, you know what the theologians call that? The beatific vision. When we experience that beatific vision, that will be a great reward. And the reward, I’ve developed a new habit. I’m always trying to figure out, how do I deal with the homeless hanging around our building in Bremerton? And I don’t know. I can’t solve the problem, right? But I don’t want to be meanie.

I don’t want to be like, you know, get off the grass kind of guy. I don’t want them camping there because I don’t like cleaning up after their mess. But I still don’t want to be the meanie. And then I remembered what Jesus said. And so here’s what I’m doing now. Here’s my new strategy. Jesus said, not a cup of cold water will be given that shall not lose its reward.

42 And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.(Matthew 10:42, NLT)

So every time I see him out there, I go into church and I get three bottled. There’s three of them.

I get three bottled waters, and I just take them out. So here you go. you’re a human being. I’m Kevin. What’s your name? Have some water. You know, I don’t know what else to do, but I do that. Because, you know what? Every time I do that, you may think, well, you’re just being selfish. you’re just doing that for the reward. You bet I am. You bet I am. You know what? If I go to heaven and Jesus says, “Hey, Kevin, you gave out 70 bottles of water to homeless people.”

Here are 70 mansions on the coast of Ireland for you. Yeah, or 70 ballparks, Mick, with great games every day and nonstop concessions that aren’t fattening ballpark food. Who knows what the rewards will be? Who knows what the reward. Hey, if you don’t like my rewards, pick yours. All right? But you know what? We even get rewards now. Now, I get it. There’s suffering in this life. I get it. But we get rewards now for obedience and faithfulness. I look at my life at 65 years old, and I go, you know what?

I couldn’t have asked to be in a better position at my age. I have three kids who love Jesus, who are married to people who love Jesus, who are raising their kids to love Jesus, who still love Jill and me, albeit out of selfish motives. They want free babysitting. But, you know, we’re still. They still include us in their lives. We’ll take it. We’ll take what we can get. I got people like you who are, like, way better to me than I deserve. You know, I love the two churches I pastor. I just love them.

I love the people who come, and they’re all good to me. They’re all good to me. A couple of years ago, they sent us to Hawaii. They sent Jill and me to Hawaii. Now, it was a little troubling that Jill got a round-trip ticket and I got a one-way. I didn’t understand that, but we were able to buy another ticket, and I got home. It was still very nice, you know, it was very nice. There are rewards. I’ll tell you what.

You follow Jesus in this life, you will be rewarded with great friends, with great fellowship. The rewards start coming immediately. The Lord strengthens us. He sustained David during his life. And David, as I said earlier, is the first kind of Old Testament example to use this source of God’s grace to be strengthened. Praise. Praise. David is strengthened by dancing wildly before the Lord. David is strengthened by worship. And when I first became a Christian, good evangelical young Life, and they taught me two very important things.

Have a daily quiet time, and in that daily quiet time, do these two things: say your prayers, read your Bible; those things will strengthen you. And they have strengthened me in the Lord. But what they didn’t teach me is to praise God and worship Him with all my heart expressively. And I learned that from the Pentecostals and the charismatics. And they taught me to lift my hands and to lift my voice and to sing boisterously before the Lord. And you know what I discovered? That strengthens me. That strengthens me. It’s the old thing, right?

Count your blessings, right? Or that old hymn we used to sing. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full on his wonderful face, and the things of this world will go strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace. And you know, not one of you walked into this room without troubles. You got troubles, you know. My goodness. You got a new adventure. you’re going to a whole new school out there.

You’re going to leave the covering and the protection of your mommy and daddy, and you’re going to live with these people from eastern Washington. And it’ll be exciting, but there will be troubles. There will be challenges, and there’s a senior project that has to get done. Oh, my gosh. And school looms over your head, and your brothers and sisters are gone, and life is going to be so lonely, and there will be troubles.

No, you’re going like, yes, you’re leaving the comfort of school, what you’ve known, and there’s going to be jobs and bosses and deadlines, and they’re not going to be. There’s going to be no more guidance counselors, and, you know, it’s going to be like, you’re fired or you’re not fired. All based on. you’re going to have to become a man. You have to grow up. you’re going to become a man. you’re going to marry a woman. That’s when the troubles start. That’s when they start, my friend. You don’t know trouble. There’s troubles.

God sustained David through his troubles with praise. With praise, He sustained him. And then Jesus is baptized. And you know what happens when Jesus is baptized? the Spirit descends on him like a dove. And then it says the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness to be tested by the devil. Thanks, God. All right, you’re starting your ministry, Jesus. Yeah. This is awesome. Miracles, signs, and wonders. This will be fun, right, Father? Well, first, you can’t eat for 40 days.

You’re going to be sleeping on rocks in the desert, dodging scorpions, and the devil’s going to come and torment you. It will build character. It will build character. You bet. Do you ever realize that the hardships you have in your life that you’re crying out to God to remove you from may be the very hardships that God put you into? You say, but the devil is here. Yeah. Do you know God uses the devil? Why doesn’t God just get rid of the devil? He doesn’t want to be, but he’s helpful to God.

God will make you strong in this fallen world. We won’t need it in the next world, thanks be to God. But in this fallen world, people do not grow without pain. What do the weightlifters say? Pain is just weakness leaving the body. You have pain. Well, guess what? God shapes you in that pain. Pain does not leave people unchanged. It makes them bitter or better. Pain does not leave people unchanged. They become bitter or better. And so God throws you into the struggle, man. I don’t like struggle. I like convenience. I like comfort.

I like ease, you know, here’s my patron saint, Saint Charmin the soft. That’s my saint. You know, I just. Comfortable. Comfortable. I have one rule. When my wife buys new furniture, you know, she has many rules because, you know, she has to. It’s like, what does it look like? How does it fit? How does it feel in the room and all that? I have one rule. I want it to be big, puffy and comfortable. She said, well, that kind of furniture is ugly. Yeah, but it’s so comfortable. It’s so comfortable.

I just want a room full of grandma and grandpa furniture. You know what I’m talking about? Those big chairs and, you know, somebody to bring me my meals, fan me, peel my grapes. It’s not life. It’s not life. God doesn’t let me live that kind of life. There are troubles. There are things. And what do those troubles do? Those troubles teach me to be a Christian. They teach me to pray. They teach me to depend on God. They teach me how to endure hardship and how to grow a tough skin and keep a soft heart.

I prayed the stupid prayer. I prayed the stupid prayer. I did. I said, make me like Jesus. And God said, great, don’t eat for 40 days. Go in the desert and have this devil beat you up for a while. Ah. Where is Saint Charmin the soft to come and rescue me? But in the troubles, what does God do? The Lord strengthens us. He strengthened the Lord. He strengthened Jesus. When Jesus went into the desert, it was the Holy Spirit who was with him. And then he fights the devil. With what?

The word of God, David fights. David is strengthened by praise. We’re strengthened by praise. We’re strengthened by the word. We’re strengthened by the Spirit. We’re strengthened by the ordinary means of grace. Coming here, sitting under the preaching of the word, worshiping God, partaking of the sacrament, and then we’re strengthened by the extraordinary means of grace where we didn’t even expect it. And God shows up and we have this incredible encounter with him. God’s God. He’s got the best strategy to make you like Jesus. Let him do it. It’s going to hurt. It’ll be glorious.

It’s going to hurt. Life’s going to hurt. Sorry, I wish I could tell you it wouldn’t. But he’ll make you like Jesus, and this story ends well. He will strengthen you. And I’ve taught you, man. Here’s the deal. Many of you have been listening to me preach to you for several years. You know Kevinisms, all right, you know Kevinisms like a pack of dogs on a three-legged cat. All right? I’m paid to be good. you’re good for nothing. You got the Kevinisms; you’ve heard them all.

All right, here’s the one I want you to remember. What’s the best prayer? Help strengthen me, Lord. Help me. Help me. Get me through this. Get me through this. So in the Psalms, David talks about verses 30 through 36, how the Lord strengthened him. And David. My goodness, David, all right, they fought war a different way back then. I mean, war has always been hell, all right? And I would say the closest thing to how they fought war would be how the infantry still fights war.

But even when the infantry fights war, for the most point, they line things up and they shoot at them, all right? Nobody shot at anybody. They threw rocks at each other, they hit each other with clubs, and they took swords to each other and they cleaved one another to death. That was brutal, exhausting work. And David spent a lifetime doing it.

You want to marry my daughter, Michael? I sure do. How do I do that? Oh, you know, take me out to lunch and ask me permission for her hand. No. 100 Philistine foreskins.

That just hurts to say that. And David came back with 200. Yeah. This is not life in Kingston in 2024, all right? No, Father. You know, some young man comes to you, Stevin, and says, I want Sidney. I dare you to give. How much do you want her, son? I dare you. All right.

But God strengthened and sustained David his whole life. And finally, the Lord gives us victory. Not only does he save us from our enemies, we have victory over our enemies. David’s boundaries never stopped expanding. David talks about this in the psalm.

He said, when the Lord was with me, my enemies fell before me. In fact, here’s David. Maybe you read this this week as you’re reading through your one year Bible, and you might have had some questions about it. We covered it in our men’s Bible study was, why was David, at the end of his life, why was taking a census so wrong? Here’s why. Taking a. Here’s one of the reasons. I think there are three reasons why taking a census was wrong. The first reason was, it is God’s prerogative.

It is only the leader of the people’s prerogative to call for a census. And in Israel, the people do not belong to the king; they belong to God. So if there’s going to be a census taken, it has to come from a prophet saying, “God said, take a census.” That’s how they did it in the book of Numbers. God said, “Take a census.” What’s David saying when he says, “I’m going to take a census”? These are my people. It’s also pride. Look how big my army is now. Look how impressive my kingdom is now.

Look at how much I’ve grown from the time I was being chased around the countryside by Saul. And the third thing, it is throughout all of David’s psalms, throughout all of David’s life, what does David say? God has delivered me from my enemies. God has given me the victory over my enemies, not by might, not by strength, but by your spirit, O God. And now, at the end of his life, what is David saying? Got the biggest army out there. I got the biggest army out there.

Hey, God, thanks for all the help getting me here, but I got it. I got it now. Nobody’s going to attack me. Look how many we got. Look how many we got. And Joab, who is not a fountain of good advice in this case, says what? Hey, man, I’ve been with you the whole way, and this is not how we’ve done it. Don’t do this thing. This is wrong. you’ve always relied on that God of yours, and I’ve seen it out on the battlefield how things turned.

I might not be a holy man like you, David, but I’ve seen your God work. I’m a warrior. I know what’s going on. I know the times we were going to lose, and we won without explanation. David, don’t do this. This is not the secret of your strength. So there’s your answer to that.

The next question is why? The first time it says that God incited David, and the second time it says Satan incited David. And I’m not going to give you that answer tonight.

I’m going to say you should have been at the men’s Bible study Thursday night. But if that troubles you, we can talk about it later. All right. But the Lord gives victory. David’s boundaries never stopped expanding during his kingdom. He had victory after victory after victory so that when his son Solomon took over, Solomon didn’t have to fight any wars. Everybody’s like, we ain’t messing with that kingdom. They were. Why does Israel want a messiah to come and restore the days of David? Because the Greeks were top dog.

The Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Egyptians, all these Middle Eastern countries take their turn being top dog in the region, being the oppressor. And for one short period in Israel’s history, they were top dog. The kingdom of David and the kingdom of Solomon, for two kings, they were it. They were the dynasty. And so they want a messiah. When Jesus comes to restore the dynasty, they want another Tom Brady. All right? They want another dynasty because David’s boundaries never stopped expanding. The Lord gave him victory, and Jesus gets victory.

Psalm 2 says, “Ask of me and I’ll give you the nations.” The Father says to the Son, “Ask of me and I’ll give you the nations as your inheritance.” you might be discouraged about how the gospel is growing or not growing in America, how it’s growing or not growing in the Pacific Northwest. But I got great news for you: the conversion rate continues to outstrip the birth rate. The conversion rate to Christianity continues to outstrip the birth rate. That means every day that you’re alive, there’s a higher percentage of born-again Christians on the planet.

As we speak tonight, Africa is becoming the Christian continent. So, dear ones, I love the phrase from C.S. Lewis, Aslan’s on the move. He’s never stopped being on the move from the time Jesus rose from the dead. There’s one. There’s one in the upper room. There’s 120. Peter gets out and preaches; there’s 3000. What? It’s happening. It’s on it. Made it all the way to Poulsbo, Washington, from Jerusalem. We’re here tonight worshiping this King Jesus who rose from the dead in Jerusalem. How did it make it to Poulsbo, Washington?

Yumping Yemeni, there were some Norwegian missionaries. Sure. You betcha. Yes, Jesus rose from the dead. He sure did. Let’s eat some Lutefisk. I’m down for the first, not the second. All right. How did Lutefisk become a thing? Somebody lost a bet. That’s what I’m saying. Why would anybody eat that? All right. Jesus gets the nations as his inheritance. It’s happening. As you and I live. All I pray, God, expand your kingdom. Got it, Kev. Doing it. While on others thou art calling, do not pass us by.

Wouldn’t it be great in my lifetime to see the kind of outbreak and revival that’s happening in other places in the world happen right here in the Pacific Northwest? Wouldn’t that be awesome? Wouldn’t that be awesome? So I’m after it. I’m after it. While on others, thou art calling, do not pass us by. Jesus gets the nations as an inheritance. God gives victory, and as I said earlier, he saves us. He saves us from sin, death, and the devil. He gives us victory over sin, death, and the devil.

We have the victory, and again, those victories don’t wait until we get to heaven. They start in this life. We get victories in this life. There are things in this life that we overcome. There are answered prayers, there are breakthroughs. There are victories in this life that happen, but they’re never going to stop happening. Kevinism, number 104: We’re playing a game we’ve already won. We’re playing a game we’ve already won, dear ones.

All right. I fell asleep. I turned on an NBA game. The NBA playoffs are on.

I turned on an NBA game when I got home from church at Bremerton, and I fell asleep. When I was a young boy, every Sunday, we’d go over to my grandma and grandpa’s house, and my grandpa, my uncle Phil and my dad would get in their three favorite chairs. Those chairs were never to be switched. Nobody ever sat in a different chair, and no child was to sit in those chairs. They would sit in those three favorite chairs.

They would turn on the football game in the afternoon, and they would all fall asleep in front of the tv Sunday afternoon with the football game going. And so my sisters would come in and being the evil people that they were, would try to turn the channel. They didn’t want to watch football. Why didn’t they want to watch football? What’s wrong with them? I never understood what was wrong with those girls. To this day, I don’t know what’s wrong with them.

They would try to change the channel and instantly, like, just like they got shot with lightning or something, all three of them. Hey, hey, hey. We’re watching that there. We’re watching that. Hey, leave that there. And I’m like, good. I want to watch the football game. Good. But I thought to myself, I thought, man, I’ll never fall asleep watching a football game. Football’s just too fun to watch. I’ll never fall asleep watching a football game or a basketball game or a baseball game. Now at 65, I come home from church between the two services.

And I sit down and I turn it on, and I think maybe I’ll just. Maybe I’ll just listen to the game and close my eyes there and lay down on the couch and just rest my eyes. Rest my eyes. And then an hour later, it’s like, I have to set. I set my alarm now so I’m not late to come to Poulsbo, because I was like, I’m going to fall asleep. Sure enough. Sure enough. If you really want to fall asleep watching sports, watch golf; those announcers are trained to make you fall asleep.

The grass is green. Soft music is playing, and the announcers. I think Tiger has a five iron. Oh, that’s a nice shot. Oh, my. Oh, my. He’s on the green. People are clapping. Bravo. Bravo. All right. How did I get there? Lord, we have victory over sin, death, Sunday afternoon naps. We have victory over sin, death, and the devil. We have everlasting life. We’re playing again. Oh, that’s how I got there. Yeah, I checked the score, and then I watched the end of the game. It’s like, who won this game, by the way?

Oh, they did. Okay. That’s who I wanted to win. Now I’ll watch the end of the game. We’re playing a game we’ve already won. And, dear ones, I’ll close with Kevinism 109. You cannot lose if you do not quit. You cannot lose if you do not quit. It won’t always be easy, but God saves us. It won’t always seem like it’s worth it, but God rewards us. It won’t always seem like we can get through another day, but God gives us the strength. And sometimes it feels like we’re losing, but God gives us the victory.

The team that won the basketball game today, by the way, was down by 18 points in the second quarter, and they won by a dozen. 30 point turnaround. Game’s not over till it’s over. Game’s not over till it’s over or until the fat lady sings. And I have no. Oh, that comes from the opera. That’s right. The opera’s not over till the fat lady sings. Game’s not over till the fat lady sings. So we’re going to sing another song tonight.

But we have no fat ladies, so I don’t know if church is ever going to end. We need a fat lady singing.

I’m losing it, Lord. It’s late at night. Help him, Jesus. Help him, Jesus. All right. On the night that he was betrayed, he took bread and he broke it. He gave it to his disciples, and he said, this is my body which is given for you.

In the same way, after supper, he poured out the cup, gave thanks to his father in heaven, and said, “This is my blood which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. It is the blood of the new covenant. Do this in remembrance of me.” And so, dear ones, come and receive the grace, receive the strength. That’s what food is for. Food strengthens us. It keeps us on our feet. There’s no healthier food.

There’s no food that will keep you on your feet better than this simple piece of bread and fruit of the vine tonight. This is health food. This is life food. So, dear ones, be thankful that Jesus feeds you with the bread of heaven. So come and eat. Thank you, Jesus.