I’m going to start this blog with a quiz: Can you name these famous corporate sponsors? (Trust me. It will all make sense)
Who likes Flo? Who’s over her? Me too a little. Her real name is Stephanie Courtney. Stephanie was doing comedy and a bunch of small roles in TV and movies that none of you would remember when she was contacted to try out as Flo and it changed her life. Her first ad was shot 10 years ago. Do you want to know what Flo makes? $500,000 a year. She has a net worth of 5 million dollars. How many of you really hate her now?
Those two guys have made a few dollars off of their Nike endorsements, don’t you think? So who’s the number one Nike sponsor? The truth is in the numbers: LeBron James Nike deal made him 32 million dollars last year, but 14 years after Michael retired from the NBA he’s still netting 110 million a year
I recently read William Shatner’s autobiography. Actually I got it on audio and he read it to me. It’s amazing. This was Mr. Shatner’s deal with Priceline. Back in 1997, Shatner signed on to be the “Priceline Negotiator”. At the time, the Internet bubble was growing bigger and companies like Priceline were getting insane stock market valuations. Shatner reportedly insisted on receiving stock as compensation instead of cash. At the time, getting stock seemed like a brilliant move. But what he didn’t know was that there was a law about the spokesman of a company selling stock. He had to wait several years before he could do it. On paper he was worth millions but he couldn’t cash it. Then the bubble burst and Priceline shares lost nearly all their value. The stock eventually fell to a low of $1.80 per share in 2000. The price ultimately went back up, so don’t waste your pity on William Shatner.
You guessed it: George Foreman…but it was almost Hulk Hogan. There are a couple versions of this story but this is how it happened from Hulk Hogan’s perspective. Hulk Hogan and George Foreman had the same agent and the agent was approached by the grill company looking for a spokesman. The agent first called Hulk Hogan but the Hulkster wasn’t at home so he left a message. He then called George Foreman. By the time Hulk Hogan called back, George had taken the gig. George has since made $200 million dollars as the spokesman of the George Foreman Lean, Mean, Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine. Hulk Hogan instead endorsed the Hulkamania Meatball Maker.
I Want that Job
Celebrity spokesperson. What a gig. Do a couple of commercials and sit back and collect checks. I think I would really enjoy that job. Anyone with me? My wife has often said that she wished she were Flo. You and me both, babe. What does it take to be a successful spokesperson? First, you should probably be famous. Likability is certainly in there. To work consistently as a spokesperson you also need to have a certain degree of integrity, don’t you think? If you’re going to be a spokesperson it’s good if people look up to you.
Did you know God has a spokesman too? And no, It’s not Jesus. Jesus is in a whole different category. Yes, he was a man, but he was also God; so he doesn’t count. His name was David and he was the only man in the Bible chosen by God to represent him to the world. In fact, God says about David, “He’s a man after my own heart.” If you google that phrase, the explanation that you will get is that it describes a person whose likes or dislikes are similar to your own. Let me show you who I might say that about.
God might not said that about this guy but he did say it about David and no one else in the Bible is ever described that way. Not Moses, not Abraham, not Paul, not Timothy. It’s David. He’s that guy. I’m not saying this just based on this one line either. Do you know that there are more chapters dedicated to David’s life than any other biblical character besides Jesus? There are 66 chapters about his life in the Bible. Plus there are 59 references to him in the New Testament. Plus David wrote 73 of the Psalms. David is the man. He is God’s spokesman. I’d like to be that guy. I’m not that guy but we have a lot we can learn from him.
As I researched David this last week and I researched spokesmen I thought to myself, what current spokesman would be the most similar to David? Would David be the LeBron of the Bible? Would he be the the Michael Jordon? Would he be Flo? I have a couple of examples of the kind of spokesman that I think best represents the spokesman David would be.
Kobe Bryant has represented a lot of different companies over the years. Nike, McDonald’s, Nutella. He was making a lot of money for those companies until 2004. Kobe was accused of sexual misconduct in Denver and admitted to having an affair. McDonald’s and Nutella dropped him immediately.
Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps had deals with AT&T, Rosetta Stone, and Kellogg’s. Then a picture came out of Michael Phelps smoking pot at a party at the University of Southern Carolina. Those companies dropped him immediately. Kellogg’s Co. ended a reported $500,000 deal, and released a statement declaring that his druggy persona was “not consistent with the image of Kellogg.”
There are other directions I could have gone with these comparisons but I didn’t want to offend you. I considered showing you Subway’s number one spokesman and even Hertz rent a cars most famous spokesman but comparing David with Jarrod and OJ can get you in trouble if you are the pastor of a church. But listen folks, those comparisons are not far off.
Definitely Not Jesus
Yes, David was anointed by God. Yes, David became king. Yes, David literally defeated a giant. But David had a lust problem. That problem led him to marry at least 8 different women. We don’t know exactly how many he had because 2 Samuel 5:13 says “And David took him more concubines and wives…” What was a lust problem with David became a full on sexual addiction with his son Solomon. One night that lust problem got the best of David. David should have been off at war, instead he stayed home and from his rooftop, he saw a woman bathing and decided he had to have her. He sent his people to bring him to her. There are movies that have portrayed David and Bathsheba as a great love story but there are Biblical scholars who questioned how much choice Bathsheba had in all of this. A month later the test strip came back blue. David tried to cover his tracks by sending her husband home from the front lines, but he wouldn’t go inside his house. So David had him killed and then married Bathsheba.
A year later David was confronted by the prophet Samuel who said, basically, “David, I’ve looked up your search history and I found a Hyatt key in your wallet. Plus, I’ve done some study and found that it’s David in the conservatory with the lead pipe. You’re guilty buddy.”
End of David?
Let me tell you something. Those actions will get you dropped by McDonalds. Hertz will look for a new spokesman every time. Those actions might even get your name erased off of your own grill. This is worse than the reason Gatorade dropped Tiger Woods.
Despite all of this though, God still chose David as his spokesman. Some of you might be thinking that God called David a man after his own heart early on. David hadn’t even been crowned king yet. Maybe God pulled his sponsorship later on. Not true. Look with me at Acts 13. In this chapter Paul is speaking in the synagogue to a group of Jewish leaders and he’s trying to tell them who the Savior is. He’s connecting the Old Testament stories with the New Testament Jesus and as he does he refers one more time to the spokesman:
22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ 23 “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.”– Acts 13:22,23
Did you see the hear the line that defines David in there? A man after my own heart. This is thousands of years after David lived. These people knew all that David was. They knew him as giant slayer, sex addict and murderer. Still he’s a man after God’s own heart. How is that possible? How in the world is that possible? Why is God still aligning himself with this person? Would you?
Here’s why. I’ve said this to you so many times I’m guessing you’re tired of it. God doesn’t call you his own because you’re such a great guy. He doesn’t save you because you are such a good woman. He doesn’t love you based on your SAT scores or your career success. He doesn’t value you because you were more moral than everyone else. He simply loves you. Good, bad, and ugly.
Let me put it like this. No matter what you do, God will not drop his sponsorship.No matter what you do, God won't drop his sponsorship of you. #CanyonSprings Click To Tweet
What is it that made David a man after God’s own heart? For the next several weeks we are going to see if we can answer that question, but before we go, I want to give you just one reason:
David was a man after God’s own heart because he was completely open and honest and real with God.
How to be “That Guy”
Chuck Swindoll was the pastor of the first church I ever worked at and he said this about what it means to be a man or woman of God:
“What is God looking for? He is looking for men and women whose hearts are completely his – completely. That means there are no locked closet’s. Nothing’s been swept under the rug. That means when you do wrong, you come to terms with it. You care about the motives behind your actions. That’s true spirituality… That’s the first quality David had.”
No Locked Closets
I love that line. No locked closets. Do you have any locked closets? Any parts of your life that no one has access to, not even God?
- God I love you but keep your hands off my work
- God your great but what I watch and read is not any of your business
- God I want you to watch over my family but not my search history
David was a man after God’s own heart not because he never made a mistake, but because he let God into all areas of his life. When he faced a difficulty he asked for God’s help. When he faced a hard task he asked God’s wisdom. When he made mistakes, he owned them. He confessed them. He made them right.
What did David Say
One of the great things about speaking on David is that we can look at his life from two angles. We can learn about him from an outsider’s perspective as we hear the stories of David, but we can also see life from his perspective as there are 73 Psalms in the Bible written by him. We can hear his thoughts when he is being hunted by King Saul. We get to hear his broken heart when he feels abandoned by God. We can see him grieve after his affair comes to light. As we close today I want to read a few verses that David wrote that show us his openness and honesty. They show how real and authentic he is; please read them and let the words sink in:
Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.–Psalm 32
Unlock that closet. Let God in.