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Immerse: Kingdoms - Week 3

My father-in-law is an intimidating man when one meets him. I remember him scaring me the very first time I met him. My wife, Julie, and I had just started dating and I went to church with her one Sunday. As I was standing in the lobby of the church, I felt this large hand placed on my shoulder. When I turned around, I looked up, and there he was, a 6’3” monster standing behind me. He put his hand out and said in a booming, deep voice, “Hi. I’m Bill.” I replied in my not so intimidating voice, “Hi. I’m Josh.” And the rest is history.

I use this story to give you a background into who this man is. Julie told me he used to tell her and her sisters when they would go out in public by themselves, “You’re not just representing yourself, your mother and father, and the Hercules name, but you are also representing Jesus. Have fun!” If I was Julie, or her sisters, I would be intimidated every time I heard him say that to me. Maybe to them, he wasn’t threatening, but the words, “You’re representing Jesus,” stand out. They’re such strong and powerful words, I’ve started using them with the youth group. “You’re not only representing ECC, me, and your parents, but you’re also representing Jesus.”

This week’s reading really showcased what happened when God wasn’t being represented well. In 1 Samuel, Eli is referred to as a high priest, which is a pretty big job for the Lord. His sons, Hophni and Phinehas, who were also high priests, should have been great representatives for God, but they were most definitely not. They engaged in inappropriate behavior and kept all the best part of the sacrifices for themselves, which is a big no-no. The thing with them is they were unrepentant for all of their sins. Because of their unrepentant attitude, God’s anger burned against them, and He put a curse on the house of Eli. This ultimately led to both Hophni and Phineas being killed on the exact same day when the Philistines defeated Israel and captured the Ark of God. When Eli heard the news, he fell backward, broke his neck, and died.

Who we represent should be one of the most important things in our lives. Jesus came to this earth to pay the price for our sins we should have paid. He was perfect and represented His Father. We not only represent ourselves, our family, our church, etc, but we also represent Jesus. How are you representing Jesus today?