Crazy People and You

Followers of Jesus are all living Christian stories of faith.

Darrell Ingram
May 26, 2019    32m
In this sermon Pastor Darrell Ingram reminds us that all followers of Jesus are all living Christian stories of faith. He teaches us that in our stories there may be difficult scenes, but that is not the end of the story. He uses scripture from Second Kings chapter four about the Shunammite woman to illustrate this lesson. He also explains that when people look in our lives and judge us, we should ignore them because they don't know our whole story, only God does. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

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This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Darrell Ingram: 00:03 No greater love than for someone to lay their life down for another. All the men and women that have given their lives so that we can come, and that we can praise and worship God the way we want to. They were willing to sacrifice for each and every one of us. I want to give a, you know, I do thank pastor for allowing me again and again to come up here and preachi. And that last, the last one Gary, I just want to give him a shout out because you know, that's pastor in Ms. Debbie's son, and you know, I just want to thank him and thank all the other two for willing to sacrifice so that you and I can be here. So I just want to give you and just give them a hand

Darrell Ingram: 01:00 (Applause)

Darrell Ingram: 01:04 It means so much to me that these guys are willing to go across the other side of the world, away from their families, away from their children, away from their loved ones to serve a country, that you and I can live free. It is so amazing.

Darrell Ingram: 01:20 Hey today's message is titled, People Drive Me Crazy, because they step into a scene of your life, they think they know the whole story, but they don't know the whole story. You know one of the saddest verses in all of the Bible is Judges chapter two verse ten, it says, "After a generation died, another generation grew up and did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel." I want you to know there's always more to the story. It wasn't that this generation that lived after Joshua in the promise land didn't know the story, they just didn't own it. Is it possible that you and I know the story of the Gospel, but yet we just don't own it? When I begin to read all these bible stories it just brought up to my mind. And some of the ones you've heard, some of the ones you haven't heard, David and Goliath and how he killed Goliath, the parting of the Red Sea, or Jesus fed the 5,000 with some crazy Cajun fish that Andrew really had to beat him down and get it... No that's not in the Bible, but I just like to get a little spice to it.

Darrell Ingram: 02:37 But one of my favorite stories, as I started reading in the Bible, comes from Second Kings chapter four. And it's a story of a woman from a place called Shunem. If you're really, really churchy, churchy, she's known as the Shunammite woman. And if you don't, don't shake your head, okay? Because nobody will know none the other. The Shunammite woman, it's all right there., and it is beginning to shine out at me. And by the way, if you don't know her Journey Church is the place to be. Okay? Because I'm telling you, we don't all know all the stuff. I love this story because it's a little more obscure, and it's a good story. So let me, let me read it to you in Second Kings chapter four starting in verse eight, There's one day Elijah went to the town of Shunem, a wealthy woman lived there and she urged him to come into her home for a meal. After that, whenever he passed that way, he would stop there for something to eat. She said to her husband, I'm sure the man who stops in from time to time is a holy man from God. Let's build him a room, and a roof and furnish it with a bed, with a table, with a chair. Honey, don't worry, honey, it's not going to cost much. I'll just get him a lamp and a chair. You know, I'll go and do whatever it needs to do. I'll go to Walmart and help him out, and buy something, and it won't be too expensive. Can you believe it, that I like this story and you look in all the Bible, and you see these stories of the walls of Jericho falling down, the resurrection of the dead, and stories you can pick out. And this one turns out to be one of my favorites. Hey, turn to someone and say, there's more to this story. Oh No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I know Alexandria, Alexandria is going to do it. Hey, turn to someone and say there's more to the story.

Darrell Ingram: 04:52 Man, there's always more to the story, there's always more to the story. You might not know that right now, when you hear somebody and you hear their story, their side of the story. And as a pastor you learn, you know men and women often come in and they tell their side of the story of what's happening in their marriage or in their life. And you here when one comes in and they say, oh, can you believe blah blah blah. Then the next one comes in and they tell their side of the story, and sometimes the story and the stories are two different things.

Darrell Ingram: 05:33 Can I preach a little bit? Can I preach a little bit? Can I get some amens, or oh no's, or oh me, or I'm falling asleep and snoring? I mean, can I get something? You see, I can preach for a few minutes, and I can talk about a snap. A snap is not a story, I'm not on snapchat, I'm not on it at all. I have it on my phone. I mean, I don't even know if it's a thing anymore, but all the kids have it and they boom, and they snap it, and it goes away. I'm not on it, I have it, but I'm not on it. I put it on my phone, the account is dead, it's not active at all. Because I really don't use it, I guess I'm not cool, I guess it's because I'm getting old. I don't act like I'm old, but I'm old. I'm more of a Facebook type of guy, not quite Instagram, not quite Snapchat, I'm somewhere towards the bottom. They have Instagram stories, they have snapchat stories, Facebook stories, but those aren't stories, those are scenes. And you can't judge a story by a scene, you can't judge somebody's life by a scene, you must be willing to see the whole story. Sometimes people step into the scene of your life, and they think that they know the story, but the scene is not the story. If you'd seen Joseph at one point in his life, in the Old Testament, you seen him in a pit. And another point in his life, you would've seen him in prison. But if you had seen Joseph at the point of his life, which was the culmination of his calling, you would see that he was saving many lives. Some of y'all need to know the scene you're in today is not your story, it's not the destination, it's a layover. Don't stop the story because you don't like the scene. It's the power of staying with it, and that God can get you through it, that's when it becomes the story. It's just the scene.

Darrell Ingram: 07:50 I don't mean to mess up your Precious Moments Nativity. Jesus didn't stay in a manger, it's just the scene, not a story. He grew in wisdom and stature in favor with God and with men. He opened blind eyes, caused the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the mute to speak, talk with authority like no other teacher ever, and they hung him on a cross. But that's not the story, that's the scene. You see the devil had a party on Saturday, but Saturday morning was just a scene. Because early, oh early, early, guys, I'm about to preach, early one Sunday morning, early one Sunday morning, the whole story began to come together. It began to do something for our life. There's more to the story, the head that was once crowned with thorns, it's crowned with glory now. There's more to the story.

Darrell Ingram: 08:59 I'm convinced that that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us when God gets done writing our stories. How we'll see the goodness, the goodness of the Lord. I feel like somebody who's in the middle, and I don't know why, but I feel like somebody in the middle of a scene today. It's just a scene, it's not your story, it's not your story. You see, you can't get to the resurrection, without going through the crucifixion. Everybody's stories start somewhere. The generation after Joshua didn't know the story, and it's hard to sacrifice for a story that you don't know. One woman in the Bible took an oil and she poured it on Jesus' head, and Jesus was moved by the gesture because it represented sacrifice. He said, wherever the story of the Gospel is told this woman's story, is going to be told with it.

Darrell Ingram: 10:15 You see, when you absorb your little story into God's big story, it becomes history. It's amazing that God has invited you and me into his story. He's invited me, me little ole sinner, broken down bethel, big boy Darrell into his story. Everybody has a story of how God spoke to them, and how God called them to do what they are doing. Where your story starts has to do a lot of what you see about your story, and how you tell it. I remember when me and Beverly got married, you know, one of the best man in my wedding, man, we were good friends and you know, and we did all these stupid things together in our lives as we were growing up. And he said, Darrell, guess what? I said, what? He said, I'll bet you, he still hasn't paid me yet, I bet you 60 bucks. I said, 60 bucks? He said, yeah, that's all I got. I'll go, okay, I'll take your bet. He said, I bet you, you and Beverly don't last six months. Thirty-three years later, oh, the story is still growing, the story is still going forward. You see, don't let someone else pull you back. Stay with the story, if God is for you, who can be against you? One thing that I'm learning, and I constantly learn, and it's been hard, is to not worry about people criticizing me, because they don't my whole story. They don't know who I am. Only God knows, only I know, God has blessed me, God has been good to me. It's not bragging, it's my story. It's my story.

Darrell Ingram: 12:08 Are you in it? Step into the story, step into the circle. When you read the Bible, you must step into the story. You can't just read the Bible without your senses. I remember in college, I was sitting down and one of the professors, you know where you got to read this book in the Bible and we would sit there and we'd read. And it had those chapters, and those books in the Bible that had all these thousands and thousands and thousands of names, and we would read them. And he said, I want you to know them. And we'd read them and we'd say, but professor or doctor whatever his name was. But we were saying, it's boring. He said, the Bible's not boring, you're boring. And I didn't understand what he was talking about. But what we do is when we go to the Bible, we just take those stories on the surface. Like David kills Goliath, and you can lose weight too. We just take them on the surface. Before he had a slingshot. God found him in the field, you have to understand that part of the story, to understand his success. To put it in proper context, David hit Goliath with a rock and Goliath fell down. Normally, that's where we stop with the story, but there's more to this story. David stood over Goliath, took a glass sword, and he used that sword to cut off his head. Sometimes, listen close, sometimes the thing the enemy uses to try to destroy you, is the thing that God will use to deliver you. Oh, don't get me started. Don't get me started talking about the goodness of God, and what God has done for us, and what God is going to do to us as he draws us in to his story. David handed that sword to the priest, and the priest put it in a temple. Years later David was on the run, and he went to the temple and he said, I need a weapon. And the priest said, the only one I have, is the one that you took from Goliath. Listen, listen, every future victory is dependent on completing your current assignment.

Darrell Ingram: 14:33 Man, we want victory in our lives, but yet we want to skip over the assignment that God gave us along the way. We want to jump over it, and get to the end so that we find the success, so we find the glory, so we find the happiness, but God has taken us through these scenes to build our story. Everything you do for God here, we'll be waiting for you in the future. If all he did was hit him with a rock, I know that story, there's more to the story. When I praise God, you need to understand the magnitude of my celebration, you don't know my story. He has been there for me, he has bled for me, he has blessed me. You don't know what God has done for me, you don't know my story and why I get excited preaching God's word, get excited to talk about Jesus. Because God has pulled me in to his story, and when I get ahold of his story, and I get to be a part of his story, that just fills me up.

Darrell Ingram: 15:53 Oh, I remember when I prayed some 30 years ago, and I prayed that God would give me the desire to be a pastor, the desire to preach God's word, the excitement to preach God's word. And I remember when Pastor James asked me some 30 years ago, asked me and Beverly, we were sitting down. And that's when Master Life was a partner, and we were sitting down in my brother and sisters-in-laws living room. And he said, Darrell, I want you to come with me. Since then, he has mentored me. Since then, he has helped me to become a better preacher. But you know what really, after that, you know what really makes me excited? It's when I look out, and I look at you, it just excites me and I want to preach. You see, there's more to the story.

Darrell Ingram: 16:43 She built a room, she was a wealthy woman. I know I'm going back and forth, you all just stay with me, I'll bring it full circle. She said to her husband let's build him a room. Her intention was to do something that would make an impact to a blessing. Her heart was, I know that this is the man of God, and this is the one that brings us the word of God. This is an important decision. She said, let me make a meal one day, it all started small, just made some beef tamales. I got to throw some aroma into it now. I mean, Elijah could have been Mexican, I don't know, and maybe he liked tamales. I like Tamales, you know, it's that aroma. In other words, put yourself into the story. And he said, Ooh, you sure can cook good Shunammite woman, and I'll be back. And he kept on coming back, and coming back, and she said, we ought to build another story. She wasn't just building a room, she was starting a story. I'm not just preaching to give a story.

Darrell Ingram: 18:02 You see, one day I'm going to tell my sons, and I have told my sons, and they're going to tell their sons the story. This is my story, and how God pulled me into his story. You see, I'm telling a story that began when I gave my life to Jesus Christ, and it didn't stop there. You see, if you gave your life to Jesus Christ, and you stop telling your story, then God should have killed you right then. Boom, took you away. We don't know a lot of the times, because we only want to see part of the story. Part of the story, where we're comfortable. Let me put it this way, how much you tell is determined by how much you trust? I can't tell everybody my story, you know, I can't tell everybody the whole story. Sometimes we don't even know the whole story ourselves. She built a room, she built her another story. It lets us know, you know, we have to let people know where the story starts, and where the story stops. There are three parts to a story, where you start it, where you stop it, and what you skip. And there's a lot of people that need to do that third one, they need to skip a lot of the story.

Darrell Ingram: 19:33 Draw a circle with me, and picture with me on the big page, how'd you get there. Now draw another circle, a little bit smaller inside of it, how'd you get there? Draw another one, how did you get there? Draw one more, how did you get there? Sometimes you only know when the story starts, when the circles start connecting, how they all start coming together. The ripple effect that it has in your life, and other people's life. She built a room, she cooked a meal., she gave an offering. Bev has no idea what she set off when I asked her to marry me, she said yes. She didn't just change her last name, she changed everything. She changed her lineage, the x's and the y's are all dependent, were all dependent on her decision. She rolled over and said to her husband, I think maybe we ought to build a room. She started a story. Let me tell you something, she had no idea what kind of story that she stepped into, where she was going. God was just looking for a way to do something for her. She had a nice house., she had a big, big bank account, she even drove a donkey named Range Rover, but she had a barren womb. There's more to the story. You see, you can be very beautiful, and very barren. You can be extremely bloated, and very empty. There's more to the story than what you wear, there's more than a story than what you weigh. There's more to the story than the neighborhood your kids are growing up in. Some of the weirdest kids, grow up in the nicest neighborhoods. I know that. Elijah lays down to sleep one night in his comfortable bed that the Shunammite woman built just for him, and he's thinking what can I do for her? And she's thinking, what can I do for him? What can I do for him? And He's thinking, God gives in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing. Her initiative met God's initiative. Elijah called her, I can't figure out why he didn't directly talk to her, but he asked his servant Gehazi to speak to her, she's standing right in the doorway. And read the Bible, it's not boring, you're boring. And he said, hey, what can I do for you? She didn't have this big long list like God was Santa Claus. She didn't give, so she can get. She had a mentality that I get to give, everything is a gift of God, why shouldn't I give back to him? Why shouldn't we give back to God? I don't need anything, I'm fine. She was fine, she was fine on the inside, but she had never had a child.

Darrell Ingram: 23:09 You see, the story didn't start in Second Kings chapter four, it started years before that. How many times did the woman try to have a baby? How many times that she had to go and bought a pregnancy test? How many times did she go to Walgreens, only to be disappointed? I want to tell the story my way. Okay? He said, next time you go to Walgreens, I want you to buy some blue paint. She said, Walgreens doesn't even have paint. He said, whatever, that's not the point. She said, you don't like the color of your room? These prophets, built them a room and they complain about the color. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, you're not painting my room. About this time next year you're going to have a baby boy, and she did. He said, God keeps his promises. I like this story so much because once she made room for God, God did something for her that she couldn't do for herself. That's the story. That's where the story started, a baby. And then it goes on, that's not the end of the story, the baby grew up to be a boy. You know those puppies grow up to be big dogs. And when the boy was out in the field one day he said, oh, I have a headache. He was really weak, he was acting real strange and the son kind of collapsed in the field. And the dad did what every good dad does, take him to his mama, that's what dads do.

Darrell Ingram: 24:53 It's a true story, have you read it? Second Kings chapter four if you read the whole chapter, don't stop in the middle, we stop in the middle of the sentence, because it preaches good. She built her room, she built another story on the house, she had a child. And when you give to God, he is going to give back to you, in a good measure, press down, shaken together. And you know what the amazing thing about when God gives back, it's not just to the top, it's running over so that it could touch those around you. You see, do you have a story, are you in God's story? You see, I'm in God's story, and when I talk about God, it begins to run over and touch people's life.

Darrell Ingram: 25:46 Oh, it's just a scene, she laid that dead boy, she went upstairs to that guest room. She went off up to where the dream, the promise originally started. She went up to that empty guest room, that second story, and she laid that child on the bed. And she went, I'm going to see the man of God, I'm going to see Elijah. She knew what to do. When you get stuck in a scene, when you get stuck in a scene, you go back to the one who started the story to begin with. So many times we want to go to someone else, when we need to be running back to the one who started the story, which is God. But we get caught up in this world, and say, oh, can you tell me about this? No. God can tell you, God can tell you. It's just a scene, the story can't end this way, she was thinking. You know she went and she found him, and Gehazi the servant says, you can't go by, you can't go see him. She pushed her way back, she was persistent, the story can't end like this. She's summoned the man of God, and he came back. And he closed the door, and he laid on top of the body, and the first time nothing happened. The second time the boys started to sneeze, he sneezed seven times, got up and lived. There's always more to the story. It's a good story because it lets you know that whatever is barren can still bring forth life, and whatever dies can come alive with one word from God, with one word from God.

Darrell Ingram: 27:38 You see, I believe in the life cycle of God's word. This crazy story about this Shunammite woman. I know what you're thinking, he had the child die, and he raised from the dead. There's always another part of the story, and I'm going to touch it real fast. You see in chapter eight, which means new beginnings. You see, after her son came to life, the man of God told her there's going to be a famine in here in Israel, you need to leave, you need to leave so that you won't die. You see the worst scenes make the best stories. Something. God has let you go through, will always bring it back to him, and what he's given you. You see a story, a story, I have a story to tell. She came back, and she came back after that seven years. And after that seven years she walked in, and all of her land and possessions had been taken and sold. She came back and she walked in and she saw the king, and the king was talking none other than to Gehazi. And he said, tell me all the things that Elijah has done, and he began to tell him the story about the woman whose son was brought back to life. If that son had never been brought back to life, what's the sense of telling the story? All kinds of women have babies. We'll he begins to tell the story, and then he looked back, he said, wait a minute, there she is. Yeah, that's her, I think it is, that's her. And she walks up, and she begins, she goes past everybody else that can't do anything for her, and goes straight to the king. That's what we need to learn, we need to go straight to the king. He says, it that true? She said, yeah, and she didn't really need to talk, because the miracle was standing right beside her. You see, there's always more to the story.

Darrell Ingram: 30:00 I've got a story to tell, you've got a story to tell. How God came, how God gave his life for you, for me. How he shed his blood, how he suffered, and gave his life so that I can have freedom, so that I could be brought into his story. If you're not a part of his story, then maybe today, whether you're here in Pineville, online, in Alexandria, maybe today you need to become part of his story. Maybe today you need to give your life, maybe today you have no hope, maybe today you have no peace, maybe today all those things have left. Start where it started, it all started at God, so come running back to him and watch the goodness of God. Because I know God is good, he is so, so good. Won't you let God be good to you?

Darrell Ingram: 31:12 Let's stand. Father right now, father we just stand and bask in your goodness, in your glory. Father, you're so, so, so good. Father, right now, whether we don't know you, whether we've lost hope, whether we've lost guidance, whether we've lost direction, we don't know where we're at, we feel hopeless. Father, help us to come running back to where it originally started, bring us back into your story. Father, it's not about us, it's about you, and how you've used us as a part of your story. Father, right now, we just praise your name in Jesus' name. Amen.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360