The Church That Takes Your Breath Away - Cleveland, OH
1 Kings 10:1-10
Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions.
2 She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels that bore spices, very much gold, and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart.
3 So Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing so difficult for the king that he could not explain it to her.
4 And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon,
the house that he had built,
5 the food on his table,
the seating of his servants,
the service of his waiters and
his cupbearers, and
his entryway by which he went up to the house of the Lord,
there was no more spirit in her.
6 Then she said to the king: "It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. 7 However I did not believe the words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard.
8 Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom!
9 Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness."
10 Then she gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold, spices in great quantity, and precious stones. There never again came such abundance of spices as the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
Why did the Queen of Sheba come to see Solomon?
I. The Reputation of the Church – vs. 1a
What is your church famous for?
What does your church do well?
Do people outside of your church know it?
Why should someone attend your church?
What do you have that they want? Not what they need
We must recognize that people do things for their reasons, not ours
How do you stand out in the multitude of choices?
Your competition is not the next church
Jesus was deliberate about getting His message out:
“He sent messengers before His face” – Luke 9:52
There was a time when “packaging” had nothing to do with ministry, but not today
People want something high quality – no one forwards a mediocre YouTube video
II. The Hard Questions of Cleveland (or your city) – vs. 1b
III. Revealing the Wisdom of God – vs. 3
From your position as a ministry leader, if God promised to fulfill one request
What would you ask for? More members? Money? New building?
1 Kings 3:5, 9, 12-14
At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said,
"Ask! What shall I give you?"
9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?"
12 Behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. 13 And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally
and without reproach (without finding fault NLT), and it will be given to him.
To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.
1 Cor 2:9-12, 16
But as it is written:
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." (Is 65:4)
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep (secrets) things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
16 For "who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?"
But we have the mind of Christ.
Num 14:11-20 – Moses counseled God (Ex 32 Moses pleaded with God)
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above,
where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (Eph 2:6)
IV. The House that Solomon Built – vs. 4-5
The Lord always works through Sequence & Order & Systems
There is always Structure before Breath
And [Moses] raised up the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the screen of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.
34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
2 Chron 5:1
So all the work that Solomon had done for the house of the Lord was finished; and Solomon brought in the things which his father David had dedicated: the silver and the gold and all the furnishings. And he put them in the treasuries of the house of God.
13 indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying:
"For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,"
that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
9 Also He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live."'" 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Only a completed Body can contain the breath, spirit, glory of God
Before skin, or the covering, there must be Systems
Systems of the Natural Body
Cardiovascular – Circulatory
Endocrine – Hormones
Lymphatic – Immune
Systems of the Church
Serving / Volunteer
Empowerment / Leadership
37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him,
“Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?”
38 And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.”
39 Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass.
40 So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties.
41 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all.
The miracle was only as effective as the administration
The order ensured that everyone was fed
People could have been hurt trying to be fed
Order – Command
· Jesus brought order to the crowd
· He delegated authority to the Disciples
Assessment – walking in the midst of the situation
Evaluation & Measurement – how many people & how much food
You cannot build anything without measuring
Structure – Arrangement
Sat in groups – 100s & 50s
Sat on green grass
System – for distribution of food
All of this gave God something to breathe on – He looked up to heaven… (41)
A. The Food on His Tables
Honey Ps 119:103
How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Locust (Joel 2:25; Mark 1:6)
People are drawn to eating junk food
B. The Seating of His Officials
Moses was burdened by the weight of leading the people
I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me. – Num 11:14
Many times, the excess weight of the pastor’s burden is the burden the leaders drop
· you’re not faithfully discharging your duty, so he’s carrying your load as well as his
Ex. 18:13-25 – Moses had already appointed captains of 1000s, 100s, 50s, 10s
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you.
17 And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone.
Your pastor needs help bearing the burden
But, you must get the pastor’s spirit before you can share his burden
This is about much more than just helping the pastor
How do I get the spirit of my Pastor?
1. Take a stand with your pastor & away from the congregation
· Catch Pastor’s spirit and not the people’s, or else you die when they die
i. Aaron caught the people’s spirit and brought sin upon them
2. Your pastor must be able to speak into your life – get in your business
· There cannot be perfection without correction
i. We only want to hear affirmation & impartation
3. You must stay close enough to see his encounters (affirms & stirs desire)
· The 70 were close when the Lord talked to Moses
· Joshua stayed in the tent for Moses face-to-face with God – Ex 33:11
· The 3 saw Jesus transfigured
· Elisha saw Elijah taken up – (50 stood at a distance)
If you don’t pursue, you won’t possess
4. Ask questions to understand “Why?”
· Disciples were always asking Jesus questions “privately” about is ministry
i. Don’t ask the wrong person…
· Don’t let ‘not understanding’ interfere with your staying close
5. Don’t just “Go” with your Pastor, “Grow” with your Pastor
· Your pastor is investing in themselves to be better
· You have to get better just to stay the same
After you have Pastor’s spirit, then you can Share Pastor’s burden
Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him,
and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders.
And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied.
Burden: massa; load, prophetic utterance
· Jer 23:33-38 “The burden of the Lord” – 8x
You will say the same thing, not because you are quoting the pastor
But because you have the same spirit
Amplify the Pastor’s Vision, which is the Vision of the House
Teach the culture
Just like older siblings help with the younger siblings
Some battles the pastor shouldn’t have to fight:
2 Samuel 21:17
“You shall no longer go out with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel.”
Your Pastor is the lamp of your church
You need to keep him up on the lampstand
Your Pastor doesn’t just need any more Aarons and Hurs (Ex 17)
He needs Joshua, fighting in the Valley
Joshua didn’t quit – he told the sun to stand still (Josh 12:12)
YOU, as a Leader, must Neutralize toxic people
· Treat them like a Cancer
Cut it out before it spreads
· Identify them
Always name the “sayer” – 1 Cor 1:11
· Don’t give them a safe place
They always run in packs – like wolves
Some Miracles won’t happen until you Trust your Pastor
“Go, bring me a piece of bread” – Elijah, 1 Kings 17:11
C. The Service of His Waiters
1. John 13:5-17 – “Hand me the towel”
Phil 2:1-9 – Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
He took on the form of a servant
2. Understand Ministry Role & Responsibility based on Spiritual Gifts
D. Their Uniforms
1. “Distinctive outfit identifies a specific group” – Exodus 28:1-5
2. Uni–form “unvarying, the same with another, conforming to one principle”
2. Communicates Authority
E. His Cupbearers
1. Nehemiah 1:11-2:1 – Willing to die for, loyal (faithful, steadfast)
guard attitude around leader, understand humanity
2. Armour Bearer
1 Samuel 14:6–7
Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.”
7 And his armor-bearer said to him,
“Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul.”
· They killed about 20 Philistines
Your job is not to say “No” to your pastor & their Vision
Your job is to say “How can we make this happen”
F. The Attitude of the Servants – vs. 8
Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates,
waiting at the posts of my doors. – Prov 8:34
As a leader, an Attitude of Enthusiasm is more important than your competence to do your work
“Nothing is as contagious as enthusiasm” – Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Enthusiasm: Entheos (en + theos) “God within” or “Inspired by God”
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all you lands!
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Even God is moved by your Attitude
“Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart,
for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you.”
God invites faithful workers into His joy – Matt 25:21, 23
The Ministry of the Face
1 Thess 2:17. We, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire.
And it came to pass… that I took the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had never been sad in his presence before. Therefore the king said to me, "Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart." So I became dreadfully afraid.
Abraham Lincoln – “Every man over 40 is responsible for his face”
Leadership is not based on a mood
He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
Most of us are victims of our attitudes
If we can master our attitude, we can master our lives
He who rules his spirit is greater than he who rules a city. Prov 16:32
V. Ascending into the House – vs. 5
A. Psalms of Ascent – Psalms 120-134
B. Worship insures the Presence of the Lord in the Completed House
VI. The Increase of Abundance in Your House - vs. 10
Conclusion: Hebrews 8:5-6
“[Priest] who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said,
"See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."
But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.”
· Pattern: "A House In Order"
· The Commitment to a "More Excellent" (A+) Ministry