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Ask Me Anything

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
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September 20, 2023 9:00 am

Ask Me Anything

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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September 20, 2023 9:00 am

As we kick off a new series called, “The Man Who Had It All,” we’re looking at the life of King Solomon, a fascinating Old Testament figure whose story is a string of seeming contradictions.


Today on Summit Life, a new teaching series with J.D.

Greer. God said to Solomon, ask, what should I give to you, Solomon? Here's my question for you. What would you ask God for if God appeared to you and told you that you could ask him for one thing, anything in your life, one thing? Welcome to Summit Life with pastor, author, and theologian, J.D. Greer.

I'm your host, Molly Bitovitch. Today, we're kicking off a new teaching series called The Man Who Had It All. And who is that man? Well, it's King Solomon, a fascinating Old Testament figure whose story looks like a long string of contradictions. Solomon might be the wisest man who ever lived, but he still made some pretty dumb mistakes.

Can anyone else relate to that? If you listen to Pastor J.D. 's weekly podcast, the title of today's teaching might sound familiar.

It's actually called Ask Me Anything. So grab your Bible and we're headed back to the Old Testament today. Here's Pastor J.D. Well, 1 Kings chapter three, if you're finding your way there, I would bet that at some point in your life, you probably had to answer the question of what you would wish for if a genie in a lamp appeared to you and offered you three wishes. And of course, you were explaining the rules. You're not allowed to ask for more wishes.

You can't make anybody fall in love and et cetera, et cetera. Well, here's my question for you. What would you ask God for if God appeared to you and told you that you could ask Him for one thing, anything in your life and one thing? Because see, that's basically what God does with Solomon at the beginning of his reign as King in 1 Kings chapter three.

Check it out here. 1 Kings chapter three, at Gibeon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said to Solomon, ask, what should I give to you, Solomon? Now, before we dive into Solomon's answer, let's talk a little bit about Solomon himself. Solomon was King David's son. And in 1 Kings three, Solomon finds himself to be the newly appointed heir to David's throne. In one sense, Solomon was a man born into privilege. In another, he seems to be the product of a pretty messed up family. We know that because he was the son of Bathsheba, who was the woman that David committed adultery with and had her husband, who was one of David's good friends, murdered so that he could steal Bathsheba to be his own wife.

So that relationship was a little complicated, okay? Solomon was not David's only son. He was not even David's oldest son. So there was a lot of jealousy and infighting among the brothers about who was going to get to replace David as King. Amnon, who was David's oldest son, who should have been king, raped his half-sister. And so one of David's other sons, Absalom, killed him for that. Then Absalom, who was clearly David's favorite, got impatient for the throne while David was still alive. And so he leads a revolt to try to depose David and kill his dad and be able to usurp the throne and take it from him. And Absalom gets killed in the process. Then when David, King David, was on his deathbed and Adonijah, a third son, tried to claim the throne for his own den and attempts to marry David's favorite concubine to prove to Israel that he was up to the job of being king.

And he ends up getting killed for that. By the way, you feeling better about your family yet? Yeah? You see, I always like to point this stuff out because I know that some of you come from some pretty messed up families. Good news, most of the people that God used in the Bible do too.

Listen, your past family history does not have to define your future. God can begin a process of blessing in your family today that starts with you. And you can become a legacy of incredible blessing. Somebody greatly used by God, the way that Solomon was, and Solomon is going to show you how to get there. First, let's take a look at how Solomon responded to God's offer.

Chapter three, verse six. So Solomon replied, you have shown great and faithful love to your servant, my father David. You've continued this great and faithful love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne just as it is today. Oh Lord, my God, you've now made your servant king and my father David's place.

Yet I am just a youth and I got no experience in leadership. Your servant is among your people you have chosen, a people that are too many to be numbered or counted. So give your servant a receptive heart to judge your people and to discern between good and evil.

For who is able to judge this great people of yours? Now it pleased the Lord that Solomon had requested this. The first thing we should note is what Solomon asked for.

And then we want to talk about why Solomon asked for that. The what that Solomon asked for very clearly is wisdom. He asked for wisdom to be able to guide the people of Israel. Now I would just give a really simple definition of wisdom based on this passage as being this. Wisdom is simply the ability to see things from God's perspective. The ability to see things the way that God sees them. You can see that in two different words that Solomon uses to request wisdom. The first word is the word receptive. Literally in Hebrew, the word receptive means hearing or perceiving. God give me the ability to perceive things the way that you perceive them. Bring my mind into conformity with your mind so that even when I don't know what you say about a certain situation, I'll just think like you think.

The most common word in Hebrew that's used for wisdom in the book of Proverbs, which is the book on wisdom that Solomon wrote, literally translates as training or discipline or to come under authority. So he's saying God bring my mind under your authority to such a way that I just think like you think and I perceive what you perceive. It almost implies something like instinct.

Give me your instinct. Which leads us to the second word that he uses for wisdom and that is the word discern. I need to be able to discern between good and evil. I need to have the ability to choose between the right path and the wrong path.

Listen to this. Especially when the answer is not laid out clearly in scripture. When the Bible is clear on something, it's easy right? Bible says it, do it. Bible says not do it.

Don't do it. Solomon gets that. But you and I both know that a lot of life's biggest decisions and decisions that feel to us like the most important decisions, a lot of them are not spelled out clearly in scripture. Like who to marry or where to live or what job to take or which financial decisions are the right ones to take some time. Or even sometimes how to navigate difficult relational conflicts. There's a lot of things you're like I know what the Bible teaches about forget.

I don't know what to do in this situation. A lot of life's decisions are like that right after this story in 1 Kings 3 there's a story that gets told to illustrate the kind of wisdom God gave to Solomon. It's probably the most famous event in Solomon's life. I would bet even if you haven't been in church you've heard some version of this.

Solomon as the judge of the people because that's what the king did in those days. He goes into his first day of court and the first case that he has two women come in who are both prostitutes and who live together in the same house. They live alone in the same house. Both of them have a baby and evidently the babies look a lot alike. And one night one of them we see he says to the women he's like what's the problem and one of the prostitutes says well we have these babies that look alike. He says one night she points to the other woman she rolled over on her baby in her sleep and smothered it and it died.

And she got up in the middle of the night evidently and switched her dead baby with my living baby and she took the living baby and now she says that one's hers. And Solomon looks at the other one and says well what what happened and she says well that story is true but exactly the opposite. And so there's no other way to verify whose baby is whose and so Solomon thinks for a second and he says all right bring me the living baby. He puts it on a table he says bring me a sword he says we're gonna do the obvious thing here we're gonna cut the baby in half and I'll give half to you and half to you.

Easy solution. Well when he does that immediately the real mom who knows that it's really her baby knows she's not lying says no no they'll do that because she would rather her baby be alive even if it's not gonna be in her house she doesn't want to see it killed. And by that Solomon immediately knows who the real mother is because the real mother cares that way for her son you know to that extent. Now the purpose in what it's showing you is that there are situations where the rules don't help and God's wisdom gives you the ability to know what he wants even when it's not clear. By the way before we move on to why Solomon asked for this let me point out to you that Solomon's posture in his prayer here is exactly the opposite of what Adam and Eve had done in the Garden of Eden.

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden they had taken from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that was the forbidden fruit the knowledge of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil promised them the ability to be able to discern for themselves what was best what was good and what was evil. And what Solomon is doing is exactly the opposite saying God not only will I obey what's in your word that's clear I need to know what you think about my marriage I need to know what you think about these situations I need your ability to choose between good and evil where it's clear it's spelled out in scripture and even in those places where it's not give me that wise perceiving hearing discerning heart that's what he asked for but just as important is why he asked for it watch this verse nine so give your servant a receptive heart to judge your people and to discern between good and evil for in other words because who is able to judge this great people of yours in other words listen to this he's not asking for his sake or himself he's not asking so he can be super smart and write books and make shrewd financial decisions and make lots of money he's asking for the people's sake he said God they need me to be this you put me in this position and they need to be they need me to be this and make me this for their sake and ultimately God for your sake because the people belong to you so I'm not asking for my sake I'm asking for their sake and for for your sake in fact there are three ingredients here to Solomon's prayer that ought to serve as a template for any prayer that you pray about anything whether it's wisdom or something else here's number one Solomon prays understanding that he's little he understands he's little Solomon recognizes that he doesn't have the wisdom that he needs look what he says in verse seven did you notice this you've made my servant king and my father David's place yet I am just a youth Solomon was 20 years old here which is probably my most arrogant time of life by the way when I was 20 but Solomon recognizes I don't know what I'm doing I feel like a little kid and I don't have any experience in leadership and I just don't know what to do y'all this is so smart for Solomon to pray because God promises never never to turn away the humble who cry to him for help no matter what situation they're in or how naturally dumb they are listen if you could learn just this one thing just this one thing it would totally transform your life and this one thing it goes contrary to everything else society teaches us right now I'm trying to memorize a slew of verses about a dozen of them on this idea just to help me because it's so counterintuitive to me Psalm 146 5 for example is one of them blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob blessed is he who's helping parenting is the God of Jacob not in some new theory you're looking at or not a certain kind of school I'm sending them to or not my abilities and charisma as a parent my help is the God of Jacob whose hope for his kids or his church or success is in the Lord his God Psalm 55 verse 22 cast your burden whatever burden it is that I've got it decision making or being the right kind of husband cast that on the Lord and guess what the Lord will do when you do that he will sustain you Psalm 28 6 blessed be the Lord because he heard the voice of my supplications my prayers the Lord is my strength and my shield he's the one that fights for me he's the one that fights in me because I love that because my heart trusted in him because of that I was helped because God will never ever turn away somebody who comes to him for help he gives wisdom to Solomon here because Solomon confesses that he doesn't have it thank you for listening to summit life with pastor J.D. Greer right now I'd like to take another moment to highlight an amazing group of people our gospel partners this group of faithful supporters have literally made it possible for you to hear the gospel centered teaching that you're listening to right now they're the heartbeat of everything we do at J.D. Greer Ministries and this month just like every month we're thanking them with an exclusive resource right now we're continuing our exploration of the bible's wisdom literature with a study called goodness in the middle which is a unique journey through Psalm 23 building off of our last summit life teaching series we'd love to send a copy of goodness in the middle your way with a gift of 35 dollars or more just reach out over the phone at 866-335-5220 or head to to give thank you to all of you who choose to support the mission of summit life with your giving we are truly grateful now let's get back to today's teaching once again here's pastor J.D. you know the irony is that the smarter and more naturally savvy you are the more likely you are to miss out on the wisdom of God Kevin DeYoung says it this way if you think you're really smart you're on the path to becoming a fool but if you feel that you don't have it all together you've begun down the path to becoming wise you see there's nothing more malleable in God's hand than a humble teachable spirit and there is nothing with which God will do less than a proud and arrogant and capable hearts the way that James says in the new testament is this way God resists the proud God resists those people who feel like they have it together God resists those people who feel like they don't need his help you want to know what proud looks like it doesn't mean you're arrogant you're brash it means you never pray you never cry out to God for helping these things because you feel like I can probably if I think about this long enough figure it out and do it right God not only ignores you not only will you miss God's help he'll actually become your enemy and frustrates you he will resist you and he'll mess up the plans that you're making but when you come to him when it's humble and you recognize that you need his help he will always give grace to you blessed are those whose hands are empty because they can be filled with the strength and the help and the wisdom of God number two Solomon prays recognizing that God's purposes are paramount Solomon when he prays recognizes that God's purpose is not his own or paramount it's like I pointed out he says for the sake of this great people you know he's asking for a big thing here but God rewarded it because it was kingdom focused not Solomon focused here's my question for you what do you dream about what's your big hope for the future what do you pray about God one thing can happen in my life let this be what happens what do you dream about and why do you dream about it there is nothing wrong with asking for greatness nothing but do it for the sake of God's great name not your own you know I've lamented to you often how bad most Christian prayers are that you hear prayed in public whether we're talking about small groups or whether we're talking about church stages and I know this is just going to give you tools to judge other people in your small group and you shouldn't use it this way but you're going to do it and I can't stop you but we just first of all we fill over our I'm going to just go on a little rant here first of all we fill up our prayers with stupid cliches and platitudes that don't really make any sense you know we say oh Lord just be with us and God's like Hebrews 13 5 I promised I would never leave you or forsake you ask me something else okay that I haven't already promised or we say things like you know Lord bless this food for the nourishment of our bodies well it's certainly appropriate to thank God for your food but you don't really need to ask him to bless it he blessed it in Genesis 1 when he created it good that's when he blessed it you know I mean food comes with a blessing pre-built in which some kinds of food do if you're eating whopper with onion straws and washing it down with a 64 ounce coke I'm not sure God's going to bless that all right or our prayers are filled with endless banal repetitions oh God we just thank you God just for your presence God if you ever get bored in your small group just count when somebody prays the amount of times that you use the word just God or father all right just kind of take a little tally of it imagine if I talk to my wife the way that most people talk to God babe could you just pick up some milk babe while you're at the store just go ahead babe and just just go to the milk section babe just grab a gallon of milk and just just place it right in your cart babe babe just thanks babe just you know it's not there's nothing theologically wrong with that it just sounds what are you doing all right that's one problem I have the second problem is that our prayers are so incredibly me focused you could summarize the majority of our prayers is give me give me give me give me give me I just give me this give me that it's like we're going through a laundry list of of items we need God to pick up for us at the divine supermarket God give me this and give me that and make him behave that way and God smite her for what she said about me prayer is the means that God gives us for seeing his will done on earth prayer is a weapon of spiritual warfare it's not a heavenly dumb waiter which means that we ought to spend most of our time praying for the advance of God's purposes on earth is that what your prayers are about the way I've told you to think about it is if God answered all the prayers that you prayed in the last seven days took all of them and said yes to all of them at once at 12 if he did that at 12 o'clock tonight would there be any new people in the kingdom tomorrow how much would the kingdom of God advanced if God said yes to all of the prayers that you have prayed in the last week y'all listen there is nothing wrong with great grand audacious prayers we ought to be praying we ought to be praying more of them don't be shy it's like john newton said thou art coming to a king so with the large petitions bring for his grace and power are such that none can ever ask too much ask huge things but ask them for God's kingdom not your own this passage has been a huge one in my life personally why am I asking God to make me a great dad is it so that I can feel better about the job that I did and so that I can have kids that live close and remain or I'm asking God to make me a great dad so that I can be the kind of dad that brings up his kids to be a service to God's kingdom I thought a lot about as your pastor because I I'm praying unapologetically for the greatness of our church I'm praying that God would allow us to reach more people in the triangle than people ever thought possible I've prayed that they would it would happen in such a way that when they write the history books 100 years from now they couldn't overlook this chapter and they would say there's something that happened that changed the triangle and it was the way that God moved and brought people to faith in Christ I prayed that he would allow us to reach generations of college students to see families at the summit church raise up a godly generation of high school and college students that will go out from here whether they're government leaders or supreme court justices or missionaries or business leaders that just would change the world I'm praying that God will make our church a miracle of racial diversity and other kinds of diversity I'm praying that we can make monumental differences in countries around the world through churches that we plan people that we send out right those are all great grand things but here's the question why am I praying those things some of you if you've been here you've probably heard me tell some version of this story but God confronted me one time in my non-solomonic motives in asking a lot of these things I'm not the kind of guy just so you know that always hears God's whispering to him and it's feeling like oh yes God I'll write that down but this is one of those times where God spoke to me in a voice that was louder than if it had been audible I don't know if you've ever had that happen and I was praying for those things praying for the God to do something here at our church through our church in the triangle that would just totally transform and people would just get saved by the hundreds and the thousands in our city and after I prayed for a while it was like the Holy Spirit as he whispered in my heart he says okay what if I say yes right now to that prayer and what if I really do pour out my spirit in such a way that a hundred years from now 200 years from now they're still going to be talking about the move of my spirit in the triangle in your generation what if I say yes to that but what if I don't use your church to do it what if I use the church down the street that's your friend pastors and what if their church gets big and famous and a hundred years from now and they write the history books you don't even make it into the footnotes they're only going to talk about that church and what happened then and I don't really elevate you at all are you still okay with that no I know the right answer I'm supposed to be like oh yes Lord you must increase and I must decrease I know that's the right answer that might be the right answer it wasn't the real answer I knew I was like no it's not okay and I realized in that moment that all these prayers that I've been praying that sounded like thy kingdom come what I actually meant was my kingdom come and that began a process for me of repentance of saying God I want to pray great things but am I praying them for my kingdom am I praying them for yours there is no limit to the kind of prayers God will answer when you pray them according to his mercy and for the glory of his name and Solomon understood that and he asked according to that number three Solomon prayed believing that God would do what he said Solomon prayed believing that God would do what he said Solomon really believed that God was going to give this to him I want you to notice what Solomon grounds his confidence in right after God said ask me anything here's what Solomon said God you have shown great and faithful love to your servant my father David you have continued this great and faithful love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne as it is today now you know what that is right there listen that is Solomon reviewing the past activity of God he is reviewing the past activity of God and he is repeating back to God a promise that God had made to him and that promise in scripture was David I'm going to make your throne great and you will never fail to have a descendant sit on your throne that is the basis that Solomon is going to ground his request in this is super important because honestly y'all if I'd been Solomon right here and God had just appeared to me and said this when I was going to give him a basis for answering the prayer that I was about to pray I would have started with well God just about 90 seconds ago you appeared to me in a dream and you said I could have whatever I wanted picky swearing or take backs so I'm gonna ask but that is not what Solomon points to because he recognizes listen he recognizes there is an even stronger claim than his dream and that is what God has promised in his word this was the first message in our new teaching series called the man who had it all on summit life with jd greer jd so far this month we've spent a lot of time in the book of psalms and we're pivoting just a bit from david's writings to his son solomon or as we're calling him the man who had it all yeah solomon the man who had it all a man who I mean wisdom power wealth romance sex you know solomon is known and rightfully so is one of the wisest men who ever lived but it shows us that even for wise good people the devastating consequences that come when we allow sin to remain unchecked in our lives as you're listening to this message series and you're you're you're pondering solomon's mistakes we got a bible study we want to offer you that study is called goodness in the middle and it's a study of psalm 23 it was written by solomon's dad david you should grab a copy of this eight-part bible study right now that'll take you through one of the most rewarding and beloved parts of scripture psalm 23 you can order that today at we'll be so glad to send you a copy of goodness in the middle as our way to say thank you for your gift of 35 or more to give simply call 866-335-5220 or head over to our website at i'm molly vinovich be sure to join us tomorrow when we continue our new series called the man who had it all right here on summit life with jd greer today's program was produced and sponsored by jd greer ministries
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-29 02:57:20 / 2023-10-29 03:08:08 / 11

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