Eric Hankins preaches on being faithful in the small things

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Eric HankinsEric Hankins, pastor of First Baptist Church in Oxford, Mississippi, preached in chapel at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) on August 28.

Hankins earned a Ph.D. in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas, a Master of Divinity in biblical languages from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Louisiana College.

He preached on 1 Samuel 17 and encouraged students to be faithful in the small things.

The sermon focused on the story of David and Goliath. Before defeating Goliath, David obeyed orders to deliver cheese to a commander in the Israeli army. Hankins believed that this seemingly unimportant task was actually a significant detail about David’s life.

“If you want to change the world, you have to carry the cheese,” Hankins said. “If you want to win the battle, you have to watch the sheep. … If you want to fulfill your anointing, you have to be faithful in the small things.”

Hankins’ message was intended to encourage seminary students to carry out God’s mission. He noted that the “narrative ends with Israel in pursuit of the nations.”

The audience was reminded that God’s grace provides whatever is necessary to take Christ to the ends of the earth.

Six seasons of David’s life according to Hankins were smallness, strangeness, subornation, solitude, stasis and suffering.

“[God] is doing an tremendous preparatory work in you,” Hankins added. “You have to be willing to listen to what he is saying to you.”

Hankins believes that Christians have to be prepared to serve in obscurity as they follow God.

“In this season of great discomfort … develop a deep dependence on God,” Hankins said. “David learned to be a psalmist … he learned to go deep with God.”

“You’ve got to cultivate your time with the Lord,” Hankins explained. “The more difficult your circumstances become the more necessary that time is.”

Students were encouraged to “put the fame of Christ on display and to call others in that same kind of saving relationship.”

“If you will be faithful in these things, faithful in this season of seminary, my prayer is that at the proper time God will absolutely reveal the fullness of how your little life fits into His amazing master plan,” Hankins said.

The SEBTS community dedicated a portion of the service to praying for David Platt, the newly elected president of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern, Bruce Ashford, provost of Southeastern, and Tony Merida, associate professor of biblical preaching, led the prayer time.

To view this message online, please click here.

To view photos from chapel, please click here.

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