Todd began a new message series entitled “Skills for Success.” This series is based on the verse in Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NIV) that says, “skill will bring success.” What are essentials skills in the spiritual development of your life?

Today’s self-help books tend to have a similar theme: all you need to succeed is desire and determination. However, the wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, wrote in Ecclesiastes that “skill will bring success.” Work smarter, not harder. One of the skills is learning how to deal with the negative people in your life.

SKILLS FOR SUCCESS: DON’T LET THE CYNICS GET YOU DOWN

Message by Todd Lester – March 26, 2017

Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NIV) If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.

FOUR CYNICS DAVID FACED BEFORE GOLIATH

1 Samuel 17:1-52

1. HIS FATHER OVERLOOKED HIS POTENTIAL (The Barrier of Delay)

1 Samuel 17:12-15 Now David was the son of a man named Jesse … he had eight sons … David was the youngest son. David’s three oldest brothers stayed with Saul’s army, but David went back and forth so he could help his father with the sheep in Bethlehem.

2. THE SOLDIERS CONSIDERED IT IMPOSSIBLE (The Barrier of Discouragement)

1 Samuel 17:8-11 Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. “Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called … “Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.

1 Samuel 17:16 For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army.

1 Samuel 17:23-24 As he was talking with them … David heard him shout his usual taunt to the army of Israel. As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright.

3. HIS BROTHERS QUESTIONED HIS MOTIVES (The Barrier of Disapproval)

1 Samuel 17:26-29 David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? … But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men, he was angry. “What are you doing around here anyway?” he demanded. “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!” “What have I done now?” David replied. “I was only asking a question!”

4. THE EXPERTS DOUBTED HIS ABILITY (The Barrier of Doubt)

1 Samuel 17:32-33 “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!” “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”

Todd: “In life there will be people who will say, ‘…You’re an amateur.’ I want to remind you that Noah built the ark that saved the world, and he was an amateur. Professionals built the Titanic.”

The word “amateur”:  1784, “one who has a taste for (something),” from French amateur “lover of,” from Latin amatorem (nominative amator) “lover,” – amateurs do something because they love to do it; professionals are paid.

1 Samuel 17:17-18 One day Jesse said to David, “Take this basket of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and carry them quickly to your brothers. And give these ten cuts of cheese to their captain.”

HOW TO DEFEAT THE CYNICS IN YOUR LIFE

1. REMEMBER THEY ARE NOT GOD

Proverbs 29:25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.

Isaiah 8:13 Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble.

2. DON’T GET DISTRACTED

“Every opportunity comes with opposition.”

Nehemiah 6:3-4  I replied by sending this message to them: “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?” Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply.

Matthew 10:26 “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.”

3. NEVER ATTACK BACK

Proverbs 11:12  It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbour; a sensible person keeps quiet.

1 Peter 2:23  He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

4. STAY FOCUSED ON GOD AND HIS PROMISES

1 Samuel 30:6  David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God.

Psalm 118:6  The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?

For Sermon discussion resources click here:    Mar 26 Sermon Resources

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