Summary: God uses the unlikely of this world to accomplish great things.
Easter Sunday is resurrection Sunday, but the truth is that every Sunday is resurrection Sunday – if it weren’t for the resurrection of Jesus Christ we’d have no reason to be here today and all of this that we do is in vain. But He did rise from the dead. Jesus said He had the power to lay down His life and the power to take it back up again, and today He is seated at the right hand of the throne of God in His rightful place as the King of kings and Lord of lords!
We’re here to worship Him today! We’re here to glorify and exalt Him! Revelation 4:11 tells us that “he is worthy of all glory and honor and power, for He created all things and for His pleasure they are and were created!” You and I were created to glorify God and bring Him pleasure – that’s why we exist! And our lives are to be a constant reflection of that purpose.
Now I didn’t always know that. Growing up I knew about God and church and Jesus. I have known all my life about Jesus Christ and that He died on a cross for sin and that He rose from the dead and went back to heaven. I have heard that all my life and I believed it all my life. But none of that made any difference to me until I gave my life to Christ in salvation at the age of 21.
How did you come to this place today? I don’t mean this building or this service necessarily, but to this place in your life? And more specifically, to this place in your spiritual life or in your walk with God? Today you see me preaching, but I haven’t always been a preacher nor did I set out wanting to be one. But God had a plan for my life that I could not have imagined and enjoy more than you might know, and He has used a lot of people along the way to bring me to this place.
I accepted Christ under the preaching of Pastor Bobby Myers. He was preaching one Sunday about hell and how bad it was and I remember not wanting to go there, so I gave my life to Christ. But I never would have done it had it not been for the urging of my then in-laws who would not get off my back about going to church. The only reason I went was so they would leave me alone.
I attended that church for 2 years, but I didn’t like it. I wasn’t connected with anyone and wasn’t growing. I was working as a steel fitter at the time. My dad was a welder. All I knew was steel and making stuff. I was working for General Dynamics at the time and my crew foreman was a guy named Bobby Carpenter. Now if you don’t know steel workers, think of Buddy Scott back there. Buddy can tell you that welders and fitters are quite often a different breed of people – and I love them. But my foreman Bobby kept telling me about this church he was going to and how he liked it. He kept talking about his pastor’s teachings and about how there were dinosaurs in the Bible and I was intrigued. So I went.
When it comes to church, I have always been somewhat of a square peg in a round hole, but that church welcomed me and loved me, and they put me to work. The pastor was Billy Wright, and he is the man I consider my father in the faith. It was Bill who encouraged me to be the church’s youth pastor, and it was Bill who convinced me to give up my job to go to work at the church’s Christian school. He wasn’t seminary trained, but the man knew the Bible and preached it with conviction. All the while we were together he called me preacher man and kept telling me that God was going to use me to preach one day. My preaching today is a direct reflection of his ministry in my life. I could spend a lot of time telling you about how God used Bill to mold me and disciple me, but there will be time for that later.
I attended seminary and graduated, then pastored in Denison until 2008. I moved to Kansas in 2009 and pastored there for a short while. In Kansas my world sort of fell apart, and I walked away from pastoring and ministry. But I did more than that – I walked away from God. I’m not proud of that and don’t want you to think it’s okay to do it because it’s not. But God in His providence protected me, and during that time brought Tammy and I together. She wasn’t attending church and I had no desire to go. I didn’t want to have to deal with God about why I walked away and my anger and a lot of other garbage.