“Heads or tails?”, Pastor Vince Giardino asked his congregation at Gospel Light. It was Sunday morning and our pastor started his sermon out with a large hand-made coin, skillfully crafted by his wife Lori. He walked down away from his pulpit and asked a couple of folks that question as he flipped the coin high in the air. Whether the response he heard was heads or tails, he hinted that heads was a better choice. He then mysteriously added, “Hopefully by the end of the sermon, you’ll never say tails again.”
The key verses of Pastor’s sermon were from Deut 28:13-15. God wanted to bless the nation of Israel: “the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail … if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord” Deut 28:13. However, God warned the nation also with curses in the rest of the chapter: “if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord … all these curses shall come upon thee” Deut 28:15. Pastor said the warning pertains to us also: “There is an inversion that takes place if you don’t follow God’s commandments; you become the tail instead of the head that receives all of God’s promises.” When people don’t let God run their life, being the captain of their own life, they become “the tail”. Deut 28 43-44 defines what is meant by heads or tails. Another definition is give in Isaiah 9:15.
After giving examples of coin tosses used to decide a winner (e.g. prior to a football game), Pastor Giardino asked, “Christians, do you want to win … by your service to God?” We should be striving for God’s blessing, letting Him be the “head” in our lives. Pastor used a story of a stained glass window depicting an eye to remind us that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” 2 Chron 16:9. Pastor G. said, “Too many Christians are heading things up themselves; they find themselves on the bottom of things.” He strongly advised that we take advantage of the wisdom of Jesus Christ and let Him be in control, let Him be the head, allowing Him to bless our lives.
Pastor G. had us turn to I Cor 11:1-3 to find God’s order of things: “the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God”. He demonstrated the concept using nested dolls, a set of 4 painted cups of decreasing sizes. If everything is in order, we will be protected. If things are out of order, pandemonium ensues.
1.) You Need to Take the Head: Are you choosing Christ to be your head or are you the tail? “You need to choose Jesus Christ as your savior and your head”, Pastor insisted, “And be not conformed to this world” Rom 12:2. “If there is something in your life that is not in order, then there is going to be trouble”, he continued, “the head is supposed to give you direction, not the tail.” Even our church is part of God’s infrastructure, having harmony and enriching the people through fellowship and preaching. Avoiding church is like telling the Lord that his church is “nonsense”, Pastor offered.
2.) Take the Head on the Heed: Pastor recited a list of things we ought to take heed to:
- Those that act as Pharisees and Sadducees in ministry and in a lot of churchs. “The prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.” Isaiah 9:15
- Religions with an outward show of excitement, being a mile wide and an inch deep.
- “Regard not iniquity” Job 36:21, because “the whole world lieth in wickedness” 1 John 5:19.
- How you open your mouth. “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing” James 3:10.
- The duel nature of Christians. There should be a change in your life when you are saved.
3.) Take the Head for Your Health: God wants to help us. God wants us to follow his commandments “but our flesh dogs us”, Pastor grieved. We read I Cor 7:19-23 in order to understand that we are called to be the Lord’s servants, but by being such we are also His freemen. On the “heads” side of our American coins, it reads, “In God we trust”. When we trust in God, we “go into circulation” and become His servants, Pastor Giardino explained, “touching people’s lives”. Pastor said that when we make God our head, we receive “incredible benefits”. The apostle Paul agreed: “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more” 1 Cor 9:19. God uses you as a servant to win others to Him, as Paul wrote in 1 Cor 9:22, “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”Our morning service was concluded with the partaking of the Lord’s supper. Pastor read from I Cor 11:23-32 to remind us to be right with God before we share in the ordinance. “Let a man examine himself”, Paul wrote. Rey C. prayed before the bread and Peter B. prayed prior to the grape juice.