Pastor Vince Giardino began his Sunday morning sermon (03-27-11) speaking of the money shell game that is March Madness. Madness means “you are crazy about it”, he said. NBA scouts are there at the basketball tournament waiting for the next big star. Pastor said “there will always be another star … always somebody coming up, because people demand it.” It can be a singer, an athlete or other type of entertainer, but people will spend their money on entertainment. Then those people come to church and “it doesn’t have the same entertainment value, it doesn’t have that punch”, he said. Our church won’t try to keep up with the world, Pastor said, “but people’s hearts will determine how God moves in our midst.”Our pastor prayed for the sermon, “God we need your help to listen, would you quicken the ears.” Pastor Giardino then read the entire chapter 24 of Psalms before moving on to his introduction, which was to include excerpts from a famous sermon. The sermon was given by the late Dr. S.M. Lockerage in Detroit in 1976. The sermon “proclaimed the greatness of our God and King”, Pastor explained. He went on to read portions of the inspiring sermon, which declared, “The glory is all His … That’s my King!” Pastor turned that around and challenged his congregation, “Is He your King? Is He head and shoulders above anything that you would deem important in your life?” Pastor continued asking whether God is above what money can buy, what your mind can image, or what the world is trying to get high on as an escape. Pastor advised that we find instead our prayer closet, where there is “an escape for whatever you’re going through in this life.” Pastor G.’s preaching fervor soared as he spoke of our future in heaven. “I know I’m a nut, But I’m screwed on the right bolt!”, Pastor exclaimed in a moment of enthusiasm. “The bible does say that, one day, every knee is going to bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, because He is Lord. He’s head and shoulders above the rest.” Pastor asked what part does God play in our everyday lives: “Do you spend some time serving the King?” Do we bow before Him in reverence?
Pastor Giardino reminded us of an old commercial: “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” “Are you listening when God speaks?”, Pastor asked. He then read Jer 9:23, “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches”. The verse describes our world, where the wise are found in universities, the mighty in sports, and the money in the economy. Not understanding that God controls all things, men serve the King of all pride, Satan. Pastor asked, “What is glory?” It is one of the attributes of God’s character and purity that He does not share with anyone.
- The Diadem Deserved – “Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” Psalms 24:8. To glorify God means “to bring His innate glory to light … it is to put God on display and show Him off for who He is”, Pastor Giardino taught. He deserves the diadem because He had the strength to save use. “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Phil 3:21. “Your priority right now is to get ready for judgment seat of Christ”, Pastor G. preached, “Whatever you do, whatever you touch” should be funneled to glorify God one day because He gave us so much.
- The Devils Demise – Pastor read Matt 12:23-28 where the Pharisees of the time could not understand how Jesus could be King. Soon, Jesus would unfold the mysteries of His plan for our lives on earth. Pastor asked us if we were the King’s kids, bought with the blood of Christ, or are there things in our lives that cause us to be the devil’s kids. “The bible clearly shows that there is protocol, a process, by which we are to live the Christian life.”, Pastor Giardino taught, “He has made us to be kings and priests – don’t you think we should start acting like it?” “The prince of this world will be judged and it’s only by the grace of God that you won’t be judged with Him … there is a Great White Throne judgment for non-believers … and the demise of the devil will be there.”
- The Disciples Desire – is to fulfill His will, to learn about Him, and to act like King’s kids. Pastor Giardino remarked how “a saved Gentile dog now can have the desire and delight of a disciple of Christ.” He read Psalms 21 in order for us to glimpse how David, an earthly king, handled himself before the King of the universe. “Can you have the same attitude as this earthly king?”, he challenged us. David’s words, “Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.” Psalms 21:2, shows David’s sincere appreciation for his “blessings of goodness”, understanding where they came from. Pastor G. used a wrapped present to illustrate the the “perfect gift” God has for us. Just as God couldn’t wait to bless David, so also God couldn’t wait to tell us of His gift of eternal salvation bought with his death on the cross and his shed blood. “God wants to give you good gifts … more than just salvation … but your sin is getting in the way.”