Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Being culture-changing champions

At this morning’s chapel, students were challenged to become the champions that God has called them to be.

Paul Dunk of The Gideons International told students that they need to stop worrying about what they are going to do, and start focusing on what they are going to be.

“And the beauty of it is you get to be that person right now,” said Dunk, sharing three keys from the life of David, who was anointed to be king when he was just a boy.

Although David went back to tending sheep after his anointing by the prophet Samuel, “he was being very kingly” in the way he dealt with Goliath, with persecution by Saul and with the rag-tag group of “losers” who eventually became his “mighty men,” said Dunk.

“Make no mistake, he did it for the money and for the girl,” said Dunk, but there were three principles that David followed that apply to us today.

1) Choose your perspective. David had to deal with some rotten circumstances, but he didn’t give up or get discouraged. He chose to live his life through the filter of God’s word, said Dunk.

“We are getting it backwards when we use the circumstances of life to be the filter for God’s word, instead of letting God’s word be the filter for the circumstances of life,” he said. “It’s why you’ve got to read it, or life is going to choose your perspective for you.”

2) Relate to your life with vision. David’s first followers were 400 men who were distressed, in debt or discontented, he said. David would have failed if he had let himself be influenced by them. Instead, “he turned those chumps into champions” by following God’s vision for his life.

“If you are in the cave, I am going to encourage you today to fall in love with this,” he said, holding up a Bible, “and relate to your life with vision.

“The problem with our generation is that we don’t read it,” he said, much like we click “accept” to “terms and conditions” when we’re downloading something from a website without actually reading the fine print. “I am not saying people don’t hurt us,” said Dunk. “I am saying we get to choose. When God gave David an army, it didn’t look like an army, but these guys did amazing things because the word of God transformed David and what was in him, got out of him.”

3) Look for wisdom, not agreement. Students need to ask “What does God want me to do, not what can I get people to agree with me to do,” Dunk said. That means they need to turn to mentors, parents and teachers, not their friends.

“Your friends are great, but they don’t have wisdom,” said Dunk. Friends offer agreement because “they are in the same zone as you are in.” Instead, you need “leadership from experience.” Whether it’s gossip, pornography, drugs, alcohol, whatever, “if you are stuck in a swamp, you need someone who is not stuck to help you out.”

Dunk gave each of the students a copy of the New Testament but said it wasn’t for them. “This is an opportunity for you to take it out of your hand and give it to someone who does not know God. Hopefully, a year from now it will be gone and you’ll get in touch with me and I’ll hook you up.”

Dunk gave examples of how the word of God had changed lives of prostitutes and murderers, and how the Gideons’ desire is for people “to love God, love his ways, and bring his ways to everything we do.

“Gideons care about one thing,” he said. “Giving out the word of God. Because we believe God’s word changes lives. And if you can get God’s word into their hands, God can get it into their hearts.”

To read more about the work of the Gideons, visit

We were also blessed by members of the Praise Team who led us in worship with "Hosanna," "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" and "Mighty to Save."

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