God Provides in the Midst of Change

I want to take a moment to frame this

entire time that we are experiencing and

what we have just heard here today and

put it in the purpose in the perspective

of the Scriptures because that's really

what we live in every a moment in our

lives should be somehow interpreted in

the light of the eternal words in the

eternal Word of God and that gives us a

the right perspective the right way to

interpret things and allows us then to

celebrate even in moments of a trial and

testing that great Epistle of

Philippians I'm not gonna preach on that

which is a call the Epistle of joy was

written by the Apostle Paul as he sat in

a dungeon unsure of whether he would

emerge alive or not but God allowed him

even in that moment of trial and testing

to exude a joy and a hope because his

frame was okay what advances the kingdom

how is God's kingdom being blessed what

are the purposes of God what mysterious

is what mysterious our results he is

bringing about and accomplishing he was

able to see beyond his own situation and

I know that there are mysteries that it

takes time for us to unfold them

completely and to explain them but the

Word of God gives us the right

foundation to confront these situations

and much as I wanted to escape the

scripture that I left you with when when

I left it seems like an eternity ago

three months ago and the base in the

book of Joshua or the Lord brought me

back to two that to another passage in

the book of Joshua but I yeah well let

me let me just take a moment and I know

that the time is just like flying

through us wait if I had a title for

this sermon I would say be strong and


Joshua Joshua 1 verses 1 through 9

because we see here a time of transition

as well thankfully it's not like here

the death of a leader but it is a

transition actually

to a greater life and and you know

greater productivity for the kingdom and

we are in a time of transition as a

church as well you know with Gregg's and

Kenny's leaving I mean all kinds of

considerations emerge for us in the

light of this individual who has filled

there's so many spaces in the life of

the church and how do we fill those

spaces and what does God having in mind

ahead just as I'm sure these questions

were floating in or percolating almost

in Joshua's mind as well with the death

of Moses but it says here in chapter 1

verse 1

Joshua after the death of Moses the

servant of the Lord the Lord said to

Joshua son of noon moses 8 Moses my

servant is dead Moses my servant is

going to California

now then you and all these people get

ready to cross the Jordan River into the

land I am about to give to them to the

Israelites you'll remember this theme

when I last spoke about crossing over

into a new time of a realization and of

going from provisional provisions of God

things that were kind of symbolic and

hold holding up holding off until the

true came which was the promised land

the Israelites benefited from things

that were there to hold them while they

were in the desert and now as they get

ready to cross over you know and Greg is

crossing into his own promised land of

whatever God has in his family and we

are also because the God has a plan for

this congregation as well and what he

has in store for us but he says I will

give you every place where you set your

foot as I promised Moses and I declare

that on your lives also that God gives

you every dimension that you will occupy

every challenge that you will face every

thing that you will undertake God get

made a declaration gave him a title a

legal document through his word that

success was what lay ahead

for them your territory will extend from

the desert to Lebanon and from the great

river the Euphrates all the hittite

country to the Great Sea on the west God

was very clear about the borders and the

boundaries of that great land that he

was giving them no one will be able to

stand up against you all the days of

your life and I declare that as well on

their lives as I was with Moses we could

say you know I mean as I have been with

the line of Judah and with Pastor

Roberto and this congregation so I will

be with you I will never leave you nor

forsake you we declare that on their

lives as well and and on you as well in

times of transition God says hey I am

the same people change but I'm the same

one of the great exercises of this

sabbatical has been the fact that we all

have been weaned a bit from each other

you have discovered that you know

Roberto Miranda is you know I mean I'm

relative I'm an instrument I'm a piece

I'm a pawn in God's extraordinary chess

game and that's what we all are

nobody is irreplaceable I'm not

irreplaceable never put your face your

eyes on any man on any Church on any

authority that is human your eyes must

always be said only on God for he never

changes and he's always the same be

strong and courageous because you will

lead these people to inherit the land I

swore to their forefathers to give them

be strong and very courageous be careful

to a boy to obey all the law my servant

Moses gave you do not turn from it to

the right or to the left that you may be

successful wherever you go your greatest

assurance of success will be remaining

absolutely tethered and centered and

founded on God's Word on changing

principles never compromise never

negotiate the Word of God or the

principles of God it is your only


your only point of security against the

power of the enemy is the unshakable

unchanging Word of God do not let this

book of the law depart from your mouth

meditate on a day and night so that you

may be careful to do everything written

in it then you will be prosperous and

successful have I not commanded you be

strong and courageous third time do not

be terrified and not be scared of what

lies ahead do not be discouraged for the

Lord your God will be with you wherever

you go and I will leave it there for a

moment so as I say the purpose of this

meditation is to encourage you

encouraged me encouraged our dear

servants of the Lord

Kenneth and Greg too to be secure in the

midst of insecurity to look forward to

look our place our eyes on God and to

put our trust in him he has a plan we

don't know all the pieces of the plan

but he knows I want to encourage us as a

church but also Greg and Kenneth's as

they transition and go on into their own

promised land that God has for them I

want to point as I said our face toward

that faithful providing God that never

fails us when we undertake things in his

name and trusting in him and secure that

we have examined ourselves we have

examined our motives we have examined

circumstances and that we know that we

are pursuing things with a clean heart

and with the desire to see his name

glorified for me that is the guarantee I

can never be sure that I have I'm clear

that I that I'm seeing the way I should

be seeing or deciding the way I should

be deciding but my only concern is how

is my heart as I undertake a new role a

new vision a new project am i doing it

for my own glory am i doing it for the

wrong motives am i doing it to sort of

gratify some aspect of my personality or

am i doing it because I believe that I

have heard from God and that I want to

glorify him and that I want to advance

his kingdom if I can answer in the

affirmative within myself that this is

the motivation that I have

even if I were to be wrong I am sure

that the mercy of God in His grace cover

me and that if I am wrong he will

correct me on the way and that he will

extract glory and blessing even in our

mistakes that we make what a heart has

to be clean our motivations have to be

absolutely focused on him so we must

remember the sermon that I began this

year with January this word that

exploded in my being about the fact that

we were entering into a new time that we

were walking a road that we had never

passed by before a new dimension that

was unprecedented new and and that the

solution as we went into that unfamiliar


thoroughly unfamiliar was what to keep

our eyes fixed on the Ark of God that's

what they told the Israelites keep your

eyes fixed on this Ark that will be

ahead of you with the priests walking in

front of you stay at a certain distance

that you can have the proper perspective

and keep the holiness of that Ark in in

perspective but follow it wherever you

see it going you can imagine a million

people following this distant object

that was showing them how to move and

where to go as they cross the Jordan and

went in the store into this thoroughly

unfamiliar territory and I said God is

taking this congregation into a new time

a new space a new dimension now when I

made that declaration the last thing on

my mind

I assure you was the idea that today

today and that it would be so quick

because I'll tell a little bit about

that in a second that we will be

formally announcing Greg and Candice's

departure that this was part of this

newness now we have been talking about

this and I'll tell you a little bit this

as I say about that but when I preached

I preached in a certain level of


I didn't factor in this new element of a

major piece of our life as a

congregation our leadership being absent

and having to rearrange many things in

the light of a Gregg's in

ending absence now greg has been

gracious and had had the integrity to

tell me for a long time many many months

ago I remember over lasagna you know we

we talked and he said you know Roberto

I'm I'm feeling now that God is that God

may be calling me to leave Lion of Judah

I have no plans specifically and this

time I do feel that you know this is

something very intimate very personal

that there's a very active purpose in

God doing that so I just want to let you

know I don't have any specific plans yet

or anything like that so we spoke in a

very tentative manner but I thanked him

because he prepared me in many ways and

he has always done that you know over

the years so he perhaps he has proceeded

with impeccable integrity in this

process but you know you know how it is

you can you hear certain things but you

never give it the immediacy that it

requires so that and you know and then

as the time drew near he also you know

as things became a little more specific

he told me but there were some concrete

things that he was considering and

there's some specific possibilities but

there was nothing yet

firm at a certain moment so I want to

release him you know in the sense that

he really but III tell you in my own

innocence I didn't quite when I preached

that sermon that that thing came like a

bolt of lightning into my mind this

thing I'm taking you you're walking

you're gonna be walking in a road that

you have never walked before so when I

was pronouncing these words I did not

have that in mind but indeed it is one

way that this prophecy is fulfilling

itself because this is a new road for us

I mean 20-some years of very significant

ministry where Greg and Candace have

failed very very deep deep spaces in the

life of this church and so many of you

are really he's been more of a password

to you than I have in many ways and so

definitely this is a new territory

uncharted and now we have to remake the

world in many ways and new things have

to crop up and new elements have to come

into play in this congregation but this

is just one of the many ways that I

believe that this prophet

see will be fulfilled just one

significant way there are others

although that was not what I had in mind

but definitely you can see that

aqualified and this is why more than

ever we need to look toward the Lord the

Ark to show us the way as we walk

through this unfamiliar Road the Ark of

God by the way has been made more

complex in my understanding because I

always thought as I saw it as an

instrument of power but as I've looked

into it more in Scripture it is an

instrument of intelligence as well and

in teaching and instruction the the

Bible says that we're the wings of the

Archangels met the cherubim in in the in

the ark as you can see over here in that

point of touching the two extremes of

the wings God would speak to Israel so

it's a speaking instructional instrument

as well as an instrument of incarnating

God's power so God will provide

instructions as we go both to Greg and

his family in their new situation and to

us in ours

that gives me consolation in the moment

of the of devastation that I experienced

I've also felt a strange peace and

that's why you know that's how you know

believers and people of faith can speak

about both have you ever realized that

you can be both anxious and uncertain

and at the same time peaceful that

there's a deep anchor inside of you how

do these two dimensions coexist beings

of faith and we are also emotional

neurological beings our neurology is

fallen it's biological its fleshly and

that neurology can experience

uncertainty anxiety pain all kinds of

things but then our spiritual goes

beyond time and space it is tethered to

the Spirit of God and that knows

everything is okay I've always depended

on that inner voice in my moments of

tribulation and uncertainty it is there

that says it's okay

nowhere yes you're experiencing certain

things but that's just

craziness of your human nature listen to

the other voice so I'm always excited

when I find myself in situations whose

outcome I cannot predict and for which I

don't have a solution because it

represents an opportunity for God to

come through with shining colors I wish

I had more time to just expound on that

I've told you I don't know if I've

shared with you I carry with me I don't

have it in there took it out this

morning I had it hidden somewhere a

little card that I had I had laminated

in a time of many many years ago we're

just beginning our marriage and and

there was a financial crunch that we

were facing and I was walking through

Union Square in Somerville and I don't

know from where I put my hand in my

pocket and I pulled out this card which

I had I I assure you I did not know how

it got into my hands I have no idea to

this day and and that said leave it to

the Lord I wish I'd sits inside my in my

bag leave it to the Lord and God struck

my chest with that word and all of us

also all of us and I knew that it was

all right but to this day I carried that

thirty years ago thirty years that card

because there was a an assurance of the

provision of God God was saying to me

hey don't carry that load leave it to me

and surely enough I mean I don't even

remember what the problem was at that

time God has blessed us beyond our

wildest expectations and he will bless

you and he will bless us as we

contemplate this new time that we have

before us God is a provider hallelu can

you say amen to that God is a provider

yova GA your vajira the Lord will

provide when the time comes he God has

always delighted me with the solutions

and I'm sure this time it would be no

different God never changes he remains

the same in the midst of changing

circumstances this promise of

faithfulness in the middle of changing

circumstances applies both to Greg and

Kenneth who are leaving and facing new

and unpredictable circumstances and to


who have to reconstruct many things in

the light of their absence I remember

the only church split it wasn't even a

split it was more like a annan gendered

separation good 25 26 years ago just

actually when Greg came right around

that thing I don't know if you were here

it was right after thank God that you

didn't you know the Lord had been moving

in Our Lives taking us into a new stage

of the the gifts of God we went from

being a traditional Baptist Church into

the gifts of the Spirit and we started

doing all kinds of crazy things in the

church and adding music and all kinds of

stuff by the way when we used to say you

know hallelujah or something like that

we wouldn't say hallelujah or clap will

go like this you know very very decent

very like the Queen of England you know

that was our way of being reverent

before God that changed because the Holy

Spirit visited us and that prompted a

great turmoil in the life of the church

and you know some of the founders of the

church were intimidated and concerned

and offended God started bringing new

people into the church or crazy

Pentecostals who were helping me how to

navigate this new iteration of line of

it was congregation bautista iglesia

Batista central Central Baptist Church

at that time and so you know the Lord

gave me wisdom to engineer a a peaceful

separation if there is ever such a thing

up in churches and unfortunately about

15 to 20 percent of the church left and

went with our founding pastor that I had

invited to come from Florida to take

this over this group that I did not want

just be left out there offended to fend

for themselves and we we planted a

church in Everett and that we got a

building and all kinds of great things

and and they left you know the problem

was that that 20% was the creme de la

creme this is the elite these are the

tithers they were the teachers they were

the solid conservative elements of the

church our whole music ministry went

overnight we had nothing

from having a very lovely worship team

and a choir that was very good and

highly gifted musical people we're left

music lists there wasn't such a word and

there was a time of great great sorrow I

mean for my wife and I and for the

church because I mean we had lost such a

significant part of our church and we

were like a lamb after it's been sheared

you know just we were looking like you


where's-where's a wool just just skinned

naked and you know but the funny thing

is that since we were navigating in the

Lord's timing and purpose and we'll and

as I said before when we do things we

have to make sure Lord am I doing this

with the clean spirit and with the

loving attitude for your glory and your


I want to tell you that in a year's time

we not only we had recovered exactly the

same attendance the same number of

people came in to the church new people

we had the same budget the same finances

and from that moment on about you know a

few months several months later God

started bringing some of the most gifted

musicians and that just came unsolicited

to the door of the church and since then

for the glory of God we have never

lacked wonderfully gifted musical people

from Berkeley and from all all the kinds

of places that God has anointed and you

know we have never lacked good worship

and from that time also the revelation

to come into Boston also emerged in my

spirit this dream that I had about the

Lion of Judah and our call into the city

and this vision of coming here and

leaving everything back in Cambridge and

Greg is one of the gifts and blessings

you know of that time and did these

wonderful Christians who left us would

not have had the vision for whatever

reason long story

to come into a crime-ridden place as

this was when we came here they didn't

have the attitude I mean that God gives

people in different ways for and those

things enable them to do certain things

and prevents it from doing others

annoying things are like that

but I know that that kind of separation

was necessary but

my point is that God provided beyond our

wildest dreams and he filled spaces that

I couldn't imagine how he was going to

fill them at that time but this is what

you know awaits us and you as you go as

you move actively in that conviction now

here's a couple of things that will

guarantee a positive outcome in this

present time of challenge number one I

just have intimated it already fixing

your eyes upon Jesus Christ not on men

not in changing circumstances Peter when

he started looking at the waves and the

sea and the storm and took his eyes away

from Jesus as he walked triumphantly

over the waves started sinking because

his two kisses took his eyes off of

Jesus when you look at Jesus as I focus

my hopes and as you do also on this

great provider as you saturate your

spirit with that unchanging gaze of

Jesus that does not falter does not

repent of any blessing that he has

promised you has absolute power to

provide in every situation that gives

you courage hope and his abundance of

capacity is transmitted to you as well

and the blessings and the promise of God

then become activated in your life but

you have to gaze upon him every time our

gaze may be tempted to deviate toward

the absence

that's dangerous turn it toward the

presence wow I should write that down

before I forget it keep it focused on

the Lord and number two let us be

patient as we establish our new normal

and as we go through we neverold

inevitable periods of stress and unmet

needs you know there are there are many

things that Gregg and Kenneth

have done that now you know I know for

us the English ministry you know so many

of you have been

pastured in very significant ways in a

very personal way by Gregg's ministry

and you know you may be wondering who's

gonna who's gonna take over you know

what's gonna happen on and on I could I

can I could stay here the whole time

asking the questions that I'm sure

you're asking but be patient we are

confident that the Lord would be

providing and he will show us the way

the Ark will give us instruction amen

but be patient because it's not gonna be

done overnight

you know processes are like that they

they you know what I mean the

supernatural blessing of God has to land

on human circumstances but be patient

and given give it time

exercise a long time long term vision

and God will do it by the way for your

hope and and comfort my wife just showed

me that my time is running out so don't

worry I'm uh I'm winding this down as

best as I can now number three in the

case of us here not looking so much at

Greg and Kenny's right now let's assume

you must assume the best intentions from

your leaders and authorities and give

them time to find new solutions that's

kind of a collateral of the first one

assume best intentions assume that we

know what the needs are assume that we

know what the voids that are left now

are assume that we are understanding of

the deficiencies that we have and assume

that this English ministry is a

significant and as integral a part of

what is Lion of Judah in its total body

as the Spanish iteration Hispanic

iteration all right please just inject

that into your heart this is not somehow

a second-rate aspect of line of Judah

this isn't a lovely beautiful Wow I'm so

proud of what this body represents

for the glory of God and and you are so

much a part of what God has in store for

this city and so assume that and that we

we will act accordingly and please pray

that God would give us the wisdom to

find the way to affirm you and validate

this ministry we must remember the well

mentioned how many times have you heard

about the fact that in Chinese and I

hope it's true I just say it because

other people say it but I've never

looked at Chinese myself it says that

the the character that in Chinese and

Mandarin expresses crisis it's also the

same character that expresses what

opportunity and I could see how because

sometimes crises are the moment for new

inventions new things to happen new

discoveries it depends how you navigate

crises you you you might navigate them

from a perspective of deficiency and

victimization or you may navigate them

from a perspective of sufficiency and

expectancy and celebration of what can

happen now that things have changed and

so this may be this is this moment

represents create opportunities for both

Gregg and his family and for us as well

even as we grieve the separation

opportunities for what to put to the

test and to confirm God's faithfulness

and provision it's a great opportunity

and three years from now two years from

now we may be laughing our heads off as

to how God provided and Gregg and Ken is

as well we may be watching them on

television you know the next iteration

of the PTL god forbid or something why


you know I mean it's just a it's an

opportunity to see God to show himself

absolutely delightfully faithful number

two to bring forth new leaders and new

gifts that have remained undiscovered

until now

sometimes when you leave an open space

that then only can God fulfill in fill

it you know this three months I of

absence you know I hope that they have

enabled all of us to to to need new

people to emerge I saw as a Greg was

saying new new washers here I see new

people coming aboard God do we need you

we need you and I pray that you will see

yourselves as necessary the newcomers

who are here for the first time perhaps

we need people of good heart and Kingdom

mindedness and sacrificial outlook don't

wait for us to assign you a role because

sometimes we can we ourselves cannot do

that ask Lord what can I do for you Lord

what do you want me you know I saw

Elizabeth greeting people this morning

I've seen some of you do that and peg

and others who have taken it upon

themselves just the ministry the unction

of greeting new comers do you know what

that signifies for a church like ours

that's so significant before you begin

the service instead of looking at your

iPad or whatever go and greet two people

and pray for them welcome them into the

kingdom into the church ask them is it

tell them your name asking if you can

pray for them somehow

there's a thousand things you can do for

the kingdom if you own the kingdom and

you see yourself as called to serve the

Lord this is an opportunity now more

than ever

who's gonna call some of you when Greg

might have recalled them before or

somebody else you are anointed you are

gifted of God the the what the only

thing that is required however is for

the people of God to get off their seats

to give up this idea this is my privacy

this is my time

this is my rest and to become roaring

lions for the kingdom of God you'll have

enough opportunity to rest when you get

to heaven you have millions of years to

take a long vacation now spend yourself

here on earth waste yourself here I I

personally don't want to leave this

world anything of my energy when I leave

I want to leave burnt up for the kingdom

of God I don't want one single iota of

energy in this body when I leave because

I would have expended at all for the

advancement of the kingdom of God I

don't live for myself I died already I

can I think I can this this time of

being a way I've committed personally my

life and my family in marriage and

everything to the kingdom of God told

the Lord I everything that I have owned

aspire to that you have invested in me I

want you to extract every measure of

benefit and you got to live like that if

you live like that and you begin to

express it right here in the life of

this congregation you will be a monster

I mean you'll be unstoppable for the

kingdom of God so this is a time for new

kids new ministry to be developed and

it's a time to exercise and expand our

faith only through trials and unforeseen

circumstances do we grow in our trust in

God as we are forced to rely on him and

discover that the principles of the

kingdom when exercised show themselves

to be true and effective I will jump

over many many things that I wanted to

say but I just want to leave you right

now with the words of Jeremiah chapter

29 verse 11 one of my very favorite

theme verses in all of Scripture stand

up and receive it right now stand up and

Greg and Candace as well let's get ready

I'm gonna ask the ushers as we do this

to get ready for the communion supper

just prepare everything this is like

Japanese Kabuki theater make believe

you're not seeing them get this stuff

ready here get yourselves ready because

we're going to celebrate

the Lord supper I would like Greg to

come forward also and to accompany me in

this so the Lord says to you

congregation Lion of Judah to you

Kenneth and Greg to each leader here to

each visitor to myself Roberto Miranda

who travails and suffers more than he

ought to at times for I know the plans

that I have for you I know the plans

that I have for you declares the Lord

plans to prosper you and not to harm you

plans to give you hope in the future

receive that word own it personally I

can't wait to see how that promise would

be fulfilled in this moment in the life

of our congregation in the life of our

dear servants Greg and Kenneth's so

father we thank you because life in use

and adventure life in you is never

boring life in you is never predictable

life in you is the warriors journey life

in you is an epic it is a saga of great

accomplishments and great challenges and

great suffering and great hope and


you allow us to live heroic lives and we

would not have it any other way

when we put our swords down it's only

for a moment when we enter into our

castles to rest our bodies and our

emotions it is just to prepare ourselves

for the next struggle and the next

challenge and to live an uncommon life

we would not have it any other way the

net do not ever allow us to rest for

more than just a moment and only to

recover the strength for the next stage

of the journey and please allow us to

live like that every day every second of

the existence of this congregation Lord

may we never live in the predictable or

in the generic never we renounce that

privilege right now lord allow us to

live in the blade of the sword every

moment of our lives

for your kingdom for your glory because

we know that you will be with us so

infuse in us right now a double portion

of your spirit of your joy and of your

certainty father and we thank you

because you have such wonderful plans

for us and we already revel in them in

Jesus name

Keep looking ahead

if you have a Bible with you I ask that

you turn with me to Genesis chapter 19

if you don't have a Bible with you worry

not we will be displaying the biblical

verses on the big screen above very

shortly my version might read slightly

different but very close to what you

will see up there on that screen but

we're going to be reading various verses

from chapter 19 of the book of Genesis

it's going to be verses 12 through 17

and then we're gonna skip to verses 24

through 26 so that's

Genesis 19 verses 12 through 17 and then

24 through 26 and the scriptural reading

reads the following way then the man

said to lot have you anyone else here

sons and law sons daughters or anyone

you have in this city bring them out of

this place for we are about to destroy

this place because the out cried against

its people has become great before the

Lord and the Lord has sent us to destroy

it so lot went out and said to his

sons-in-law who were to marry his

daughters up get out of this place for

the Lord is about to destroy this city

but he seemed to his sons-in-law to be

jesting when morning dawned the Angels

urged lot again saying get up take your

wife and your two daughters who are here

or else you will be consumed in the

punishment of

city but he lingered so the man sees

them and his wife and his two daughters

by the hand the Lord been merciful to

him and they brought him out and left

them outside the city when they had

brought them outside

they said flee for your life do not look

back or stop anywhere in the plain flee

to the hills or else you will be

consumed then verses 24 to 26 then the

Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur

and fire from the Lord out of heaven and

he overthrew those cities and all the

plain and all the inhabitants of the

cities and what grew underground the key

phrase here but Lot's wife behind him

look back and she became a pillar of

salt now before I begin there is

something I want you to tell the person

seated next to you when I give the

indication for it it is going to be this

God is not finished with you yet so keep

looking ahead I'm gonna repeat it and

then it's gonna be your turn okay it's

going to be God is not finished with you

yet so keep looking ahead now turn to

that person and tell them that

alright alright okay now Amen if you

remember nothing else from today's

sermon and I know you will remember

other stuff but if you remember nothing

else at least remember those words that

is the central message of today's sermon

and I have titled it keep looking ahead

keep looking ahead and I'm gonna begin

this way I don't know if you have

noticed that the last two times I have

preached here I have preached on stories

of the Bible the last time I preached I

spoke about the woman with the issue of

blood and we learned that the great

faith displayed by Veronica

that's what early Christians actually

called her Veronica was even more

remarkable than dat admirable than we

have imagined the time before that I

preached about naming the army general

who had contracted leprosy and was

healed by the prophet Elijah and that

Sunday we learned that there is much

about the perseverance named and

displayed in pursuing his healing that

we should admire and emulate today I am

going to speak about the story of Lot's

wife now I don't know if you see a

pattern here you can see where I'm going

probably already but basically in all

three cases I have preached on a

biblical story and this speaks to

something that has occurred in me more

recently in the last two or three years

I have become thoroughly fascinated with

the stories of the Bible and I have

spent some good time studying them

hoping to arrive at a better

understanding of their meaning in and

for our time now I must confess that a

motivation for my doing this has been

the realization that we today find

difficulty coming to a fuller and deeper

understanding of the meanings of these

biblical stories some of their nuances

are lost on us and oftentimes we may

sauron some important details as a

result I think sometimes we fail to

understand them properly and to

comprehend what they could mean for us

today and it is quite understandable

that this happens to us I think the

truth is that these are stories that

were told and written down a very long

time ago many thousands of years ago in

fact and they were told and written down

in a cultural context very different

from our own and in a different language

from our own and in a different area

even of the world so it is no wonder

then that we encounter difficulty

understanding their fuller and deeper

meaning when you stop to think about it

sometimes we have a hard enough time

understanding and relating to things

that occurred more recently closer to

our time little details of life from

just a generation ago can be lost on us

I'll give you an example recently in one

of my classes at the University where I

teach I try to make an analogy for my

students using the example of some

television shows I remember seeing and

that were popular in the 1990s so and I

heard an amen hopefully we hear a few

others of those so I made a reference to

television shows like Seinfeld friends

and Frasier for example and I thought it

was a pretty brilliant idea and

illustration I said then you outdid

yourself today but then the look on the

faces of my students told me something


all I saw looking back at me were blank

stares in the faces of those students

almost as of saying to me professor

Valentin I don't get that example does

not register with me well of course it

didn't you see I had

failed to take into account when

preparing that lesson plan that these

graduate students mostly between the

ages of 22 and 27 had not grown up

watching Seinfeld friends or Frasier

this is a generation that relates more

to shows maybe like Game of Thrones

madman orange is the new black The

Walking Dead and master of none for

example so my attempt at a teaching

moment using example from the 90s was

lost on them even though we were only

talking about a difference of 15-20

years here but a lot can change in 15 to

20 years apparently another example

would be talking to our teenagers about

experience with things like rotary

telephones connected to house walls

you remember those or cassette tapes

god forbid 8-track tapes I'm not talking

about that or typewriters the reaction

you might get when talking to one of

them about that is what what are you

talking about and we can continue to

give other examples about those sorts of

things and my point is that it is

sometimes hard enough to relate to the

details of life that were experienced

just 15 20 years ago right here in our

own cultural context in our own language

in our own part of the world so imagine

what it is like trying to understand the

stories of the Bible this is not easy we

think it is but it's not easy trust me

I've been trying to for many years it is

why we need to get into the habit I

think not only of reading the Bible but

reading it slowly attentively and I like

to say with the eyes ears and heart of a

curious student well here today I want

to tell

deep into the central message of the

biblical story of Lot's wife but before

I do so I want to offer three

interpretive keys that will prove

helpful in understanding this story and

I think many other stories of the Bible

so in the first place it is important to

note that biblical stories almost always

contain a moral what I mean is that they

usually contain a lesson that they are

trying to communicate they are usually

trying to make a point and we need to

try and focus on finding the moral of

the story in order to understand the

teaching it is trying to impart I say

this because sometimes we spend a lot of

time debating details and questions

about the biblical stories that miss

their point to give you an example

I googled again that now that's a verb I


googled I googled the biblical story of

Lot's wife to see what people were

saying about it and I noticed that many

people were going back and forth

debating the way in which God could have

turned Lot's wife into a pillar of salt

they were asking questions like could

this really have happened is this true

or false how is it possible that a woman

could be turned into a pillar of salt

and what proof exists of this well

whether you find them interesting or not

I want to emphasize that these questions

missed the point entirely

and they distract us from focusing on

the central message and teaching of the

story the biblical stories are

oftentimes parabolic narratives

expressing truths that are much more

than ordinary facts now that's a big

concept a lot to chew on so I'm going to

repeat that again the biblical stories

are oftentimes parabolic narratives

expressing truths that are much more

than ordinary

a fax so the questions I think that we

should be asking of them are what

inspired the telling of these stories

what is the moral of the story what is

it trying to say what is it teaching me

and how can I put that teaching into

practice in my life and this brings me

to the second interpretive key biblical

stories often leave a little room for

different interpretations and different

applications across time one way they do

this is by not providing all the details

we may want they also leave some things

inconclusive and the reason they do this

is because they want us to become

participants in their interpretation and

they want us to find different ways in

which we might apply their lesson and

finally a third interpretive key to hold

in mind is that some of the biblical

stories in the Old Testament especially

were national stories that were told and

retold across many generations among the

people of Israel they were originally

told and then eventually written down by

the leaders of the Israelite people and

often they were told during crucial

moments in the life of the community and

they were told and eventually written

down in the hope that their message and

teaching would spread widely and reach

widely among the masses of the people

across many different generations it was

through the telling of stories that the

leaders of the people would get their

message across we must remember that in

these times there was no Facebook no

Twitter no what app no emails no text

messaging no smartphones no radio no TV

no Boston Globe or New York Times etc

etc etc

so the way you made sure to reach the

masses with an important message and

memorable teaching was through the

telling of stories a good example of

this in our times could be found in the

stories told by grandfather's in our

families if you think about it many of

our grandfathers were or are good

storytellers in fact often when they

want to give you an advice or if they

want to teach you something or if they

want to give you what we can call in

Spanish only de gallo

they give it to you through a story

I still remember well my grandfather

from my father's side and we're in

father's day so I think this is very

appropriate he was very good at this my

parents would take me and my brother and

my sister to Puerto Rico every other

summer for a month they did this not

only to have his visit with family but

also to make sure that we remain

familiar with our culture with our

Spanish language and with our heritage I

still thank them for this till this very

day but my grandfather was very famous

for his stories and I recall that every

time my grandfather wanted to give me

some advice or reg ano or some sort of

teaching he would do so through a story

so usually would go something like this

he would say Ile de naka you've heard

that before right

hijo usually is trouble and you just

knew what was coming next and I must

admit that I used to hate it back then

yeah I hated it because I knew that this

was going to take like 30 or 40 minutes

at least probably longer than this

sermon will be so I would roll my eyes

and I would think inside of me Oh Lord

here goes an hour of my life but I

wouldn't say anything out loud oh no no

no no

No the thing was that up well or didn't

only have a gift for storytelling you

see he also had a gift for using like


to apply a little bit of discipline if

necessary you know what that is right so

I won't need to translate you will

probably later so I would just shut up

sit next to him and listen to his advice

all wrapped up in a long story but I

will say this I remembered most of the

advice and teachings upworld offered me

because they came with a story and this

was the medium the leaders of Israel

often used to get their advice their

teachings they are Agana their admission

and admonitions across to the people and

today I want to disclose the moral of

one of their stories because I think it

has very important teachings to deliver

to us today on this June 17th of 2018

I'm referring to the story of lot and

Lot's wife which is actually part of a

larger story about the destruction of

Sodom and Gomorrah the story goes that

one day God sent three angels to deliver

a message to Abraham the message wasn't

a pleasant one it was that the structure

was going to befall the cities of sodom

and gomorrah due to the great evil and

wickedness that was prevailing in them

in our churches we have made a big deal

of the sexual transgressions that appear

in the narrative these have gotten a lot

of attention through the years but it

should be clear that this wasn't the

only kind of offense taking place in

Sodom and Gomorrah in fact if we read

Genesis 18 and 19 slowly and carefully

we will notice it the biggest violation

God held against the people in these

cities was for their in hospitality

strangers visitors migrants and

residents were being treated badly and

without respect or courtesy hello as

much as times changed

remain the same how are we treating our

migrants in biblical times and in

ancient near in the ancient Near East

the practice of hospitality was

considered one of the highest virtues

one could demonstrate we should keep in

mind at taking care of the traveler the

poor in the needy in the midst of a

hostile desert environment could mean

the difference between life and death

so hospitality was serious business and

it was something God valued highly and

expected of his people but the people of

sodom and gomorrah were famous for their

in hospitality for their cruelty for

their coldness for their crudeness and

for their lack of care and grace the

picture what should have in mind here is

of a place that was unfriendly

vulgar crime-infested lawless out of

control and dangerous because of this

there was much suffering going on in

sodom and gomorrah and this suffering

worried God it worried him to the point

that God felt it would be best if these

cities didn't exist so he sends three

angels down to Abraham to tell him that

Sodom and Gomorrah are going to be

destroyed now I imagine that this news

was unpleasant on his own but what made

it worse and even more worrisome for

Abraham was that he had beloved and

cherished family members living in one

of those cities in particular his nephew

lot who lived in Sodom with his family

now the Scriptures don't say this but I

imagine the Abraham not only interceded

for the sparing of these cities like he

did but also for the salvation of his

nephew lot and of lots family once he

realized that God was determined to

bring an end to Sodom and Gomorrah and I

believe the prayer was answered because

in chapter 19 of Genesis

we are told that two angels appear to

lot in the city of Sodom this time and

they proceeded to tell that that the

destruction that destruction was coming

to Sodom and Gomorrah and that he should

gather up his family and leave as soon

as possible

lot according to the stories spoke with

his sons and law first but out of

consideration I think for his daughters

but they refused to believe him a little

more time pass and as the time of

destruction drew near lot was still

hesitating so the two angels appeared to

lot again and urge them saying and this

is Ben's Revised Standard Version get up

dude get up dude take your wife and your

two daughters who are here and flee this

city and I find it interesting that the

scriptures say and they do say this that

because a lot continued to hesitate the

Angels took matters into their own hands

so they grabbed lot Lot's wife and their

two daughters by hand and they brought

them outside the city then they urged

lot to flee to this to the mountains but

lot requested instead to permit him and

his family to go to a nearby nearby town

called Zohar which was actually not too

far from Sodom and Gomorrah conceding

the map and here is where things get

really interesting so you can see up

there here's Sodom and gomorrah's or

would be just slightly to the south of

the two cities and this brings me to the

part of the story I want to highlight

because the key figure in my sermon and

what remains of it is Lot's wife our

biblical story goes on to say that

before they let lot and lots family go

the Angels instructed the family not to

stop anywhere and not to look back at

the destruction that was going to come

down upon Sodom and Gomorrah and the

reason God instructed the angels to tell

this to the family was because God

wanted to spare them the agony of seeing

the destruction and devastation of these

two cities

and the people inside of them God wanted

to spare them the agony have seen the

destruction and devastation of the place

they had called home for a while and

also of the neighbors and people that

they probably had known their God was

being merciful but Lot's wife disobeyed

the mandate and as they were walking

through the hills from the city she

looked back and became a pillar of salt

as a story now through the years there

has been much speculation as to why

Lot's wife decided to disobey the

ordinance of the angels and to look back

towards Sodom the truth is that the

Scriptures don't say why remember what I

said earlier that sometimes the biblical

stories don't give us all the details we

may want and they leave some things

inconclusive in order to leave some room

for interpretation the most common

interpretation that has been has been

that Lot's wife looked back at Sodom

because she had been tainted by its

sinfulness and had become so accustomed

to it that she desired it and didn't

want to leave it behind she not only

loved Sodom but also what occurred in it

and what it represented and this is

certainly possible but we cannot

discount some other possibilities I will

note that a number of rabbinic texts

from the 8th 9th and 13th centuries

focus on the story of Lot's wife the

story also appears prominently in the

writings of some of the early church

fathers like Clement of Rome in the

first century and Iranian in the second

century and these writings

open up other avenues of interpretation

that are part of our Christian tradition

for instance they point out that she may

have felt anguish for the two

sons-in-law who stayed back and were

going to be consumed in the destruction

of the city and she no doubt would have

felt bad for the suffering this would

bring to her two daughters she also

likely had friends and neighbors she

knew and hung out with who were going to

die in the destruction she also had

established a home in a routine in that

place and no matter how bad a place may

be we always develop attachment to the

places in which we live some of the

writings also mentioned that she

cherished mementos from her childhood

and adolescence mementos that she was

forced to leave behind and abruptly so

there may have been different reasons

why she looked back towards Sodom is the

point this must not have been easy for

her and I don't know if we taking time

to think about that so a lot of times we

slammed the characters in the Bible but

take a little time to have a little

compassion here but that is also most

likely the reason why the angels from

God instructed her not to look back now

whatever the reason may have been that

led her to look back I think we can

conclude that Lot's wife committed a

fatal mistake the mistake my dear

brothers and sisters was basically this

she allowed her past to define her and

because of this she closed the doors on

a new future that God desired for her

her attachment to the past did not allow

her to move forward into a new future

that God was preparing for her the force

of her past experience paralyzed her in

the present

it did not permit her to live into a new

future filled with new possibilities she

probably thought that her life was over

or that it was going to be worse than


she may have been worried by the

uncertainty that awaited her and her new

and her family in a new land she may

have been frightened by the thought of

having to start over again in a new

place she may have been concerned about

how God was going to provide for her and

her family in this new and unknown place

you see the past was something she knew

the future was unknown so she decided to

look back instead of continuing to look

forward in faith oh but what a fatal and

preventable mistake this was you see

what Lot's wife needed to remind herself

was that God had not finished with her

God wasn't done with her so she needed

to look ahead in faith God was not

abandoning her on those hills so she

needed to look ahead in faith God had

grabbed her in her immediate family by

the hand and spared them their lives so

she needed to do what look I had God had

provided for her and her family and

protected the wild they were living in

Sodom so she needed to look ahead in

faith God had not shown any signs of

failing her or a family so she needed to

look ahead in faith just keep looking

ahead keep looking ahead that's what she

needed to do

what Lot's wife needed to believe was

that the same God who was opening up a

safe way for her and her family to

escape destruction the same God who sent

angels to alert them of coming doom the

same God who took them by the hand and

escorted them to safety outside the city

that same God was more than capable not

only of providing for them but also for

blessing them with greater prosperity

into the future what Lot's wife needed

to do was to make room in her heart and

mind for the possibility that the life

in front of her could be better and more

important than the life behind her I'm

gonna repeat that again make sure that

you remember it what Lot's wife needed

to do was to make room in her heart and

mind for the possibility that the life

in front of her could be better and more

important than the life behind her and

that's the moral to the story my good

people the moral of the story is that we

shouldn't let the pass the fineness nor

should we let it paralyze us in the

present we should remain fluid mobile

agile and open to a future that God may

be designed for us even if or when it

looks uncertain sometimes we need to

leave that little bit of room for the

possibility that that life in front of


could be more important than the one

behind us the story of Lot's wife you

see is a warning to us of the dangers of

becoming stagnant inert and complacent

it is also a warning of the dangers of

letting the past and letting our

attachments carry too much weight in our


in the case of Lot's wife it was an over

attachment to a place that kept her

stuck in place in her case it was an

over attachment to a place that kept her

from experience experiencing more life

into the future and this sort of thing

could be happening in our lives too over

attachment to things places and people

could sometimes be problematic

it could be limiting sometimes but in

our cases in our lives it could be other

things keeping us from experiencing

growth from experiencing development

from experiencing new life in some cases

it could be the past traumas of life

that hold us captive in place and keep

us from experiencing healing and freedom

no doubt the traumas of life leave a

lasting mark and they could be very

difficult to get over but we must try

try try to minimize their power and

their damage we must try and find ways

to look ahead and hope perhaps you can

tell yourself God is not finished with

me yet

keep looking ahead in other cases it

could be a physical condition or an

emotional condition like a depression or

an anxiety condition that afflicts us

that makes us miserable and that holds

us captive in place not allowing us to

contemplate the possibility of better

brighter days ahead when it comes to

depression I know how the billeting in

agonizing those can be usually I try not

to be personal I'm gonna do so here I

struggled with one of these myself nine

years ago and it was bad that was a very

dark moment in my life and I didn't know

if I could come out of it but after a

struggle of about a year and a half I

broke free from its chains and so can


whether it's an illness and injury or an

emotional condition you're struggling

with you can tell yourself this illness

this injury this condition doesn't

define me I am more than this illness I

am more than this injury I am more than

this condition and you too can remind

yourself God hasn't finished with me yet

so keep looking forward keep looking

ahead now in some cases it could be a

struggle with an addiction or a history

of substance abuse and you may try try

and try to break free only to fall back

into the addiction time and time again

and you may have experienced freedom

from the bondage of substance abuse for

a while not only to relapse more

recently and you may be feeling helpless

and you may be feeling like you are

turning into a pillar of salt being

consumed in place to you I say nothing

is impossible while you are alive there

is always a possibility of moving ahead

of moving from one place to another of

moving from a place of captivity

confinement and constrained to a place

of freedom and liberation and you too

can remind yourself that God hasn't

finished with you yet so keep looking

ahead now this may sound odd to many of

you but sometimes our own notions of

spirituality can hold us captive and not

allow us to enjoy the fullness of life

that God desires for us sometimes we

hold ourselves to such high and

ultimately impossible standards of

morality that all we do is set ourselves

up to live lives captive to feelings of

guilt and worthlessness we think that

defying God's favor and to be saved we

have to be perfect we think that we have

to be perfectly holy 24 hours a day

seven days a week

good luck with that we think that to

find God's face

to be safe we have to be holier than the

angels in heaven but here on earth and

sometimes we see everything through the

lenses of sin and everything is bad and

everything is going to hell or about to

go to hell

everything is doom and sin and tainted

by darkness and we imagine God in the

heavens with a magnifying glass ready to

pounce on us at any moment if or when we

slip and all we do with this mentality

and attitude my dear friends is that we

set ourselves up for moral and spiritual

paralysis and we deny ourselves the

opportunity to see and experience the

beauty of God's world to enjoy the

beauty of God's creation to experience

God's grace and compassion and we deny

ourselves the opportunity of rejoicing

in Jesus's declaration that he has come

so that we may have life and have it in

abundance I have come Jesus says in John

chapter 10 so that you may live life to

the fullest and let me tell you this

while we are on this subject if lot the

husband and father in our biblical story

he had needed to be morally and

spiritually perfect irreproachable and

faultless - to be saved he would not

have passed the test he would have been

doomed if you look at chapters 13 and 19

of Genesis you will discover many

questionable traits connected with lot

from his materialistic mindset so his

greed for land to his disputes with

Abraham to his hesitation moving from

sorrow to his drunken foolishness and

disgrace narrated towards the end of

chapter 19 I can go on and on and on if

you want me to lot was far from a

perfect specimen of holiness the

morality that

the point what saved lot was his trust

in God his faith in God his willingness

to make room in his life for God his

willingness to follow God and to move

where God led him to what help lot 2 was

that he had an uncle interceding for him

Abraham let's not forget that but

perfection wasn't his and neither can it

be ours so free yourself from a life of

guilt thinking you must be perfect and

holier than thou in God's eyes God

hasn't called you into a life ridden

with guilt he has called you into a life

of Grace and devotion but that is

different from a perfect life so if you

are struggling under this disappointment

of being morally and spiritually

imperfect just remind yourself that God

doesn't expect perfection from you and

neither should you and tell yourself

this God hasn't finished with me yet I'm

getting better I'm looking forward I'm

looking ahead as Billy Graham used to

always say at the end of his messages

come as you are come to God as you are

and all of your imperfections and allow

yourself the chance to experience God's

grace and salvation as it is provided to

us in and through Jesus Christ coming

towards the end now it is Father's Day

so you know I had to end with something

special for our dads well here it goes

I hope it's special

sometimes we men cede to the weird and

faulty expectations of certain cultural

customs and we prevent ourselves from

progressing in our relationships with

our spouses our children and our

families for example this notion that

man shouldn't cry this notion that men

should always be strong and not show any

sign of weakness in difficult times

what a bunch of baloney now that's not a

curse words well we can use any Church

and unfortunately this baloney can lead

to damaging effects all this leads to is

to a lack of tenderness to harshness to

repress feelings to emotional immaturity

or very emotional stunts and to

unrealistic expectations and this could

get in the way of our being able to

develop healthy sympathetic and

supportive relationships with our sons

and daughters fathers you can you can do

better than this you can be better than

this let me tell you there is nothing

more beautiful and more attractive than

a man was in touch with his tender side

I said it and my point here is that

sometimes faulty cultural norms and

expectations can stop us from developing

from evolving from growing from moving

forward with healthier relational lives

in a similar way there are cultural

stereotypes that try to suggest that

taking care of the children that

changing diapers that giving a baby its

bottle that helping around the house

that doing the laundry that helping in

the kitchen that doing these sort of

things are a woman's job well good luck

with that

you might need some of that marital


do you think you're gonna get away with

that this way of thinking about gender

roles is not only problematic it's

unjust men have historically been seen

as being providers and not nourishes but

this mentality is very limiting white

can it be both just as women can be

nourishes and providers men can be

providers and nourishes so let's get

with it fathers let's get with it these

sorts of stereotypes can stop us from

moving forward in our lives from from

progressing in our relationships and

homes so as you can see there are many

things that can turn us into a pillar of

salt there are many things that can hold

us in place and not allow us to witness

an important and possibly better

tomorrow there are many things that can

cease as and rob us of the opportunity

to live into a different future don't

let what happened to Lot's wife happened

to you don't look back don't get stuck

in place look forward look forward to

where God may be wanting to lead you so

I want to take this moment to ask you to

reflect on your life examine it examine

yourself in your situation what is

threatening to turn you into a pillar of


what is threatening to hold you in place

and to not allow you to experience a

different better and possibly more

important future whatever it is you can

choose not to look back and move forward

and courage and hope and in faith you

can remind yourself that God isn't

finished with you yet and choose to look

and move forward just look ahead just

look ahead just look at just look

you can also place whatever is

threatening to turn you into a pillar of

salt in God's hands and ask him to grab

you by your hand and lead you to safety

like he did lot and his family I don't

always make an altar call and I know

that before we had something like that

but I'm going to extend one today I'm

going to ask the whole congregation to

rise at this moment but I am going to

ask those who are struggling with

something in their lives those who are

struggling with an illness or some past

trauma or an emotional condition or an

addiction or some internal turmoil anger

or hurt whatever is holding you in place

I'm going to ask those of you who wish

to push put these things in God's hands

and you want to ask God to grab you by

the hand and help you I'm gonna ask

those people to have the courage to come

forward to come to the front of this

altar and as you do so as you make your

way here from the first floor second

floor third floor wherever you may be I

want your movement here to be a symbol

of something every step you take coming

up here to this front is going to

represent a move away from the

possibility of becoming a pillar of salt

and a move towards a new future and a

new you so every step you take coming

here will be symbolic of your refusal to

look back it will be symbolic of your

refusal to be stuck in place it will be

some Baalak of your willingness to keep

moving forward and to keep looking ahead

I'm going to ask Greg

to come up and he's gonna lead us in a

prayer of deliverance but I'm also going

to ask this I'm gonna ask the associate

pastors of our church or here to also

come up at this moment

those who are here they may also be

leaders of the church I invite them to

come up and I want some of you to stand

to my left and I want some of you to

stand to my right


and what you're going to do while Greg

leads us in prayer the rest of our

church leaders are going to simply

extend their hand out towards the people

you can extend your head out towards the

people and your extended hands will be a

symbol of the helping hands of the

angels who has scored it lot and less

family outside of the city to safety and

I ask you to put whatever is holding you

in place in God's hands and look forward

in faith


thank you that you haven't finished with

us yet Lord God thank you Lord God what

is in Christ is a new creation the old

has gone the new has come god I thank

you that you are the God who makes all

things new Lord God you the God who

lifts us out of the miry clay and puts

our feet on a rock puts a new song in

our mouths ice on the praise to our God

I thank you that you're the God who has

a new name for us who gives us a new

spirit who gives us a new heart who

gives us a new vision for our future

Lord Jesus God you have come that we

might have life and have it abundantly

lord I thank you that what has happened

to us whether it be good bad whatever a

bringing need not define us lord god we

need not look back lord god i thank you

that we can look forward in faith Lord

God knowing God that you hold our future

Lord Jesus and God it's not just a blind

Courage's because you are there you are

ahead you are leading us by the hand

into that new place and father I pray in

Jesus name Lord God for people who have

suffered things God that feel like they

can never get free that they say I'm

just gonna be this way it's just gonna

be this way forever I just I'm just

gonna have to live with it

in Jesus name we rebuke that thought

that temptation to look back and we say

God no we are new in you Lord God we

have a new future a new hope Lord God a

new plan God that you're designing for

our lives Lord God father I thank you

God that certain people men and women

among us Lord God they feel trapped and

stuck Lord God can today say God I thank

you Father that you have a new vision a

new plan I am gonna give glory to you

and my life will be a living example of

what you can do Lord Jesus living and

breathing God I pray God that you would

come against any lie in our thought that

we're stuck where we are Lord

no father we are going forward in Jesus

name Lord God Holy Spirit breathe on us

breathe on us today Lord God Oh father I

pray Lord Jesus you'd birth in us a new

hope Lord not oh my god I'm gonna father

I thank you Lord Jesus your spirit is

freshly moving here among us Lord God I

pray in Jesus name Lord God that you

would break addictions in this moment in

Jesus name

Lord Wuan where the Spirit of the Lord

is there is freedom there is freedom in

Jesus name I speak to that addiction

addiction to substances addiction to

drugs addiction to pornography and it is

broken in the name of Jesus father I

pray for households that feels stuck

Lord God for marriages that feel like

it's never gonna get better

relationships with kids that feel like

these relationships are broken forever

in Jesus name we rebuke that thought in

Jesus name Lord God father just like a

person can be born again a relationship

can be born again a household can be

born again a marriage can be born again

a family can be born again Oh Lord God

for people feel like they've just hit

one dead end after another God that

there's no new doors are gonna open I

thank you God that that's alive from the

bed your the there is a door in heaven

and the doors you open no one can shut

you have the keys Lord God in Jesus name

new opportunities god I pray for new

courage and hope in your people father

people who are afraid of trying

something new a new job a new ministry

new something that you think oh that

couldn't be for me in Jesus name it

might be look ahead

look ahead the only failure is not

trying in Jesus name Lord God but your

people would be courageous God about the

new futures ahead of them Lord in Jesus

name father I pray for people who

struggle has been shared with emotional

struggles that are you feel like you

just can't cure it there's not a there's

there's not a medicine can cure an

emotional problem a neurosis of anxiety

or depression or whatever it is and in

Jesus name Lord God there is a medicine

your Holy Spirit can infuse our minds

and our hearts with living water Lord

God and the joy of the Lord can be our

strength and the peace of God can pass

all understanding I pray we will look

forward and not back in Jesus name

god I pray God for people who are living

under the accusations of the evil one

Lord who reminds them of things they've

done that haunt them and in Jesus name

we declare that you have cast our sins

as far as the East is from the West Lord

God you have thrown them in the sea of

forgetfulness Lord God and your grace

Lord God all things are made new your

that father on Father's Day that runs

out to meet us Lord God who puts us with

a new robe and puts a ring on our

fingers Lord God and kills the fatted

calf and celebrates and says this son of

mine was dead and is alive again was

lost and is found because we're looking

forward to coming home to you

and not back to the to the the mud where

we were before no back to Egypt no back

to Egypt Lord God there is a promised

land before us and even if we have to

fight even if we have to fight

once we get there Lord God there is no

going back to Egypt in Jesus name we are

slaves no longer the one whom the Sun

sets free is free

The armor of God a solid life in dark times

so I'd invite you to open your Bibles to

the book of Ephesians chapter 6

Ephesians chapter 6 and we're we're kind

of bringing at home there's just two

more messages and we're done with the

book of Ephesians where we're almost

there it's only been a year of kind of

working through it right and here we are

so I'd like to begin by sharing a we're

getting to that famous passage about the

armor of God and before we get into it

I'd like to share a little story because

some of you might know that or maybe you

don't know that I'm Biddle a little bit

of a civil war geek sort of a history


yeah and I'm in good company here

another one of the pastors who will

remain nameless Sammy is also a Civil

War geek we even played hooky went away

for a weekend went to Gettysburg once

and I had my wife and kids looking at me

you're gonna ditch us for a weekend to

go to a Civil War battlefield like I

guess so so I would like to share a

story from that battle for those people

we might have people who don't know the

history it was during the American Civil

War in the mid-1800s when the North and

the South were fighting slavery was

really the provoking issue in this

country it was a big important war if

the South wins then there's two

countries one with slavery for a long

time and if you think race relations are

bad now they would have been even a

whole lot worse had that war turned out

differently so it was an important war

in this country's history and the north

which was the side fighting against

slavery and for the Union wasn't doing

too well

they just kept losing and losing and

losing and there was a big battle in

Gettysburg Pennsylvania and there was a

particular part of that battlefield the

whole army the northern Union army was

spread out on pretty much good high

ground in a huge three-mile line and

curving around they had a great position

but the southern army was going to try

to attack them and flank them and come

around from behind and it was a huge I

must have been over half a million men

in the Union Army there and there was a

little battalion from Maine called the

20th Maine that by a quirk of fate ended

up on the end of the line

this group of maybe 200

cultures from Maine had the privilege of

being the very last or first depending

which way you measure it the last group

of soldiers on this whole line of over

half a million men and they had a

particular position that they assumed at

the last minute of the battle called

Little Round Top a little mountain a

little hill that it was not so little

but it was sort of a rocky slope and

they were up at the top of that and the

southern army well over half the

southern army was focused on that spot

because they knew that if they could get

up over that hill they could circle

around take the Union Army from behind

destroy them and then there was nothing

between them and Washington South wins

so the commander of this little group of

soldiers from Maine

his name was Joshua Chamberlain he was a

professor became a soldier he was told

you must hold this spot at all costs you

cannot retreat at all you must stay here

if you give up if you yield the

Confederate Army will come over the

slope sweep around flank the army war

over you must hold your ground

and so Joshua Chamberlain there sit and

say yes sir I hear you yes sir and he

kept saying do you understand me he's

looking him in the eye so yeah I get the

message yeah kind of wishing him gone so

that he could get things ready cuz they

were coming finally he goes and then he

sits down with his men and he sets him

up and he says gentlemen we are going to

have to be stubborn today we cannot move

from this spot if we do the consequences

are much bigger than any of us can

imagine so he set up his men along a

Stonewall and it happened all these just

Davitt you know Brigade after Brigade

came up coming up that hill and they

were there now fortunately they're

behind a stone wall in the high ground

but it's just 200 men at the end of the

line and they resisted wave after wave

after wave of attacks reloading and

reloading and reloading until finally it

came to the poor

where they were out of ammunition they

were filling up their guns with bullets

from wounded or deceased comrades and

finally came to the point where there

was nothing left

they had not another bullet in their

guns and and they were coming again

another attack and he says we can't

fight we don't have any bullets left we

can't retreat so put on your bayonets

we're gonna have to just go at them and

we'll have the benefit of going downhill

we'll swing like a door on a point and

so these men with no bullets and their

guns just stood there decided well maybe

if we yell really loud they'll think

there are more of us and so they didn't

know how to do the rebel yell that was

more the southern thing but they did it

they stood there and as the army came up

but then they just yelled and swept down

that hill and the southern soldiers put

up their arms and surrendered and that

little xx main group 200 men now down to

less than a hundred won the battle 1 the

next day battle of Gettysburg

and even though the war went on for a

long time after that another couple

bloody horrible years that little battle

may have been the one of the pivotal

points and saving it and the key line

that I want to emphasize was when that

commander looked at his soldiers and

said gentlemen we have to be stubborn

today there are some things we cannot

give up on we can't move we have to

stand firm right here if we move then

all kinds of things go behind us and

that I believe is the spirit behind what

the Apostle Paul was writing to the

Ephesians at the end of this letter we

all know that the letter ends with this

passage we're about to read about

putting on the full armor of God and

taking our stand is because the people

of Ephesus knew that they lived in the

middle of a spiritual war their city was

the center of the worship of the goddess

Diana or Artemis and they it was a

center of paganism there was a spiritual

battle so intense that when the people

who practice witchcraft

came and burned their Scrolls publicly

the value of their magical Scrolls added

up to well over two and a half million

dollars of their witchcraft books they

knew that they were in the middle of a

spiritual battle they knew that they had

to stand firm they had to be stubborn

today and the whole book of Ephesians is

preparing the people of Ephesus to see

themselves in this spiritual perspective

to realize that there is a heavenly or

spiritual dimension to life there's a

spiritual battle going on in the

invisible realm and that they as

Christians have a part to play in it and

the all that has been talked about about

holiness about unity about the gospel

all of that leads into this final

chapter telling them we must be stubborn

today so let's read the text together

Ephesians 6 starting in verse 10 it

starts by saying finally because the

whole book is leading up to this message

finally be strong in the Lord and in his

mighty power now just take a minute

right away there remembering back to

chapter 1 of the book of Ephesus where

it says that power that mighty power

that same phrase is the same mighty

strength that God exerted when he raised

Christ from the dead and seated him in

the heavenly realms far above all rule

and authority and every name that can be

given not only in the present age but

the one to come the same power that

raised Jesus is available to me and you

and I know we may feel like again you

gotta be kidding me I'm me Lourdes just

be you see all my stuff my problems my

weaknesses God says my power is made

perfect in your weaknesses so be strong

in the Lord and in his mighty power not

your confidence not your wisdom his

mighty power put on the full armor of

God so that you can take your stand

against the devil's

games that word scheme is very

intentional it's a very unusual word

Methodius it indicates that we have an

enemy a spiritual enemy who does plot

and plan creative ways to undermine the

gospel and to attack us you know the

beginning of the fourth spiritual law

says the God loves you and has a

wonderful plan for your life it is a

fact that the devil also hates you and

has a terrible plan for your life and we

need to know that I know it's not a

positive thing to talk about it's better

know the truth

than to be a victim for our struggle the

word use there is the Greek word for

wrestling wrestling matches our

wrestling is not against flesh and blood

but against the rulers against the

authorities against the powers of this

dark world another translation is this

present darkness that surrounds us in

this world against the spiritual forces

of evil in the heavenly realms therefore

put on the full armor of God so when the

day of evil comes you may be able to

stand your ground and after you have

done everything to stand stand firm then

with the belt of truth buckled around

your waist with the breastplate of

righteousness in place and with your

feet fitted with the readiness that

comes from the gospel of peace in

addition to all this take up the shield

of faith with which you can extinguish

all the flaming arrows of the evil one

take the helmet of salvation and the

sword of the Spirit which is the word of

God and pray in the spirit on all

occasions and with all kinds of prayers

and requests and with this in mind be

alert and keep on always keep on praying

for all of the Lord's people but also

for me that whenever I speak words may

be given to me so that I will fearlessly

make known the mystery of the gospel for

which I am an ambassador in Chains pray

that I may declare it fearlessly as I

should amen

father I thank you God that we are the

Asians today and God that you are

telling us you are that commander

telling us that we must be stubborn

about some things about the gospel and

so father I pray that you would speak to

us God that it would be your spirit

speaking and your mighty power at work

in Jesus name Amen amen

so the beginning thing we need to

realize so most of us live our lives as

if the world is a perfectly normal good

place right we live our lives we go to

work we want to go on vacation to do

good things we have goals we have plans

because the earth is a beautiful place

God created it there's nice trees and

things there's ocean there's sports

there's really good Sun culture there's

all kinds of great things in this world

but what we need to realize and always

remember that this world is not the way

it is supposed to be that there has been

a rebellion in the heavenly places that

there was a spiritual being that at one

point rebelled against God

that angel that became that chief angel

the Satan the accuser that rebelled

against God and people became

collaborators with him even Adam and all

the rest of us have joined that side of

things and this world actually became

because people the rulers of this world

God delegated to people the authority in

this earth Adam and Eve were created in

the image of God that means that they

were like statues of God on earth

reflecting God's rule on earth they were

given authority and power to rule and

cultivate the earth people were meant to

rule this planet in God's name but they

abdicated that authority they rebelled

against God and turned to the evil one

and this earth became enemy occupied

territory Jesus refers to the devil as

the Prince of this world

so this world in a sense came under the

authority of that evil fallen angel it

became the dark planet if you ever read

some science fiction from CS Lewis you

know what I mean it's

planet that went dark when the devil

took over and this reminds me of another

little historical analogy if I may

indulge myself again please let me

indulge myself I like history just this

past week June 6th was the anniversary

of what day anyone know Sammy I know

you're a history geek you can't answer

it right away come on let someone else

it d-day d-day was a specific moment

January 6 1944 during World War two

where Adolf Hitler had taken over most

of Europe and France and Belgium became

Nazi occupied territory and they were

just about to go across the channel take

England and then they would have their

eyes set on the United States and we'd

all be speaking German if things hadn't

gone a different direction I am of

German descent so the language isn't the

bad thing it's all the other stuff

that's the bad thing right so Europe was

enemy occupied territory but on January

6 1944 there was an invasion in the

United States with England France the

Allies invaded the beaches of Normandy

and a bunch of young 18 19 20 year old

boys got out of boats and got shot to

take that beach and it was the beginning

of the end for Hitler now the war didn't

end that day but it was the beginning of

the end because now the Allies had a

foothold in Europe and they worked their

way all across Europe and eventually

into Germany and Hitler lost the work of

the war now in the same way this earth

in the same way but in an analogous way

this earth is enemy occupied territory

the evil one rules now all you have to

do is look out your window to know that

the world is not the way it's supposed

to be right they have to do is turn the

news on for five minutes and you know

this planet isn't right

something has gone dreadfully wrong here

there's innocent people that that die in

volcanoes there's attacks there's evil

there's terrorism there's racism there's

all kinds of bad things the world is not

the way it's supposed to be but the good

news for Christians is that our d-day

has already happened our God

our God became a man those two thousand

years ago he became one of us he went to

the cross and he took on himself he

absorbed the full evil of sin all the

penalty of sin on him on the cross the

power of death upon him three days dead

and in the grave and after three days

God exerted his mighty power and he came

out of that tomb again and won the

decisive victory over Satan sin and

death he took the beach god invaded the

earth it's the beginning of the end at

that point for the devil and the

Apostles ass okay is it over so you're

gonna set up the kingdom now we win


they can't kill you and Jesus said huh

not quite it's not for you to know the

times and dates that the Father are set

by its own authority but you will

receive power when the Holy Spirit comes

upon you and you will be my witnesses

right here in Jerusalem out in Judea and

to the ends of the world in other words

you with the power of the Holy Spirit

are gonna retake this planet for God

because this is your planet kids that's

what God's saying this is your planet

your humans I put you here and you with

my power are gonna retake it for the

kingdom of God by preaching the good

news that Jesus has paid the penalty on

the cross he's died he's risen and

everyone who repents and believes in Him

can be part of that kingdom the kingdom

that's coming on earth and one day when

the time is right Jesus will come back

from the heavenly dimension where we

can't see him but he's there and there

will be an unzipping between the

invisible dimension and the physical and

there will be the clouds of glory from

that side and the son of man Jesus will

come from the heavenly side to the

earthly side and the kingdoms of this

world will become the kingdoms of our

God and this earth will be transformed

and returned to the way it's meant to be

and there will be a resurrection and

everything will be the way it was

originally meant to be but even much

better because in the kingdom of God his

plan B is even better than plan a

sometimes so God has a plan and we're

part of retaking this planet for God

there's a spiritual war going on

coming against the enemy but we need to

remember that our situation right now is

not neutral this earth is still enemy

occupied territory we are at war we are

the army of God now it's interesting one

of the analogies that I like to use a

lot for the church is that the church is

a hospital right and I love that image

that jesus said that the healthy don't

need a doctor it's the sick right that's

us right people who know we're sinners

we come to God and say Jesus I need help

and that's what God's here for where a

hospital come with your wounds your

brokenness your saying your problems so

we believe in all that there's another

analogy though in Bible and that's that

the church is the army of God and we are

soldiers of the Cross we need to

rediscover some of these old hymns of

mighty fortress is our God and we shy

away from that because war is an evil

thing right war is not supposed to be

that's part of the sinful fall so it we

get uncomfortable making the analogy but

it's an analogy from the Bible because

our enemy is not humans it's not people

it's not Nations but it's spiritual

forces that are at work in this dark

world we are at war in the book of

Ephesians chapter 2 verse 2 it explains

that the air that we breathe is

contaminated with sin Ephesians 2:2 says

following the course of this world

following the Prince of the power of the

air which is the spirit now at work in

the sons of disobedience in other words

there's a way of this world around us

the way people do things that seems


that is not normal you know it's very

interesting sometimes when people try to

do things God's Way

everyone's like are you crazy that's

bizarre because what's normal seems

crazy because the way of this world the

way people normally operate follows the

Prince of the power of the air

this invisible sort of atmosphere that

we all breathe and there's a prince

ruling behind it that permeates the

attitudes in the worldviews and how we

operate it's a spirit that is at work in

the sons of disobedience the sons of

disobedience are all of us who have

so bade God but then God fishes us out

of that and makes us instead clothed

with Christ but we'll talk about that

later but it's important for us to

realize that our society is infused with

spiritual evil now again I don't believe

in separatism we don't it's very obvious

that we are very involved in the culture

and the society around us education the

arts politics all kinds of different

things but it's important for us to

realize that this world is not neutral

that the governments of this world all

to one degree or another are infused

with demonic lies with a love of power

and evil that the media the media the

news the entertainment systems it's like

the devil has used these as megaphones

to amplify his influence over the world

schools and universities and don't get

me wrong a big fan of school and

university I hope my kids go to one

someday right but we need to realize

that they there is evil behind many of

these in such all of these institutions

in one way or another that the enemy is

in the air the very ecology itself the

nature around us and people all people

because we have sinned have become

collaborators with the enemy who's

occupying this planet the Prince of this

world has set up a mock government in

the spiritual realm

that has to be dislodged now I don't

want to get all freaky and science

fictiony some of you who were you know

kind of knew and I have kids in the

house I don't freaking went out but the

very fact is that there is a spiritual

government in the invisible realm

surround us with organization where

there is there are rulers and

principalities it says we wrestle

against rulers authorities cosmic powers

over this present darkness spiritual

forces of evil in heavenly places as if

there are some demonic rulers or

principalities or personalities that

rule different nations and that

influence nations with their own

particular lies their own particular

temptations and sins and every nation

has demons assigned to them including

our own States regions

cities neighborhoods schools businesses

there are different governments and I

really do believe that there are

different spiritual forces in different

places there's a spiritual geography so

to speak and you can really see this I

mean if you travel you may feel when you

go to certain places that just you could

just feel it in the atmosphere there's

something different here there's

different temptations at work there's

different types of evil and spiritual

air in the place we need to realize that

there is a prince of the power of the

air but thank God again just to come

back to it that Jesus has descended like

the book of Ephesians says to the lower

earthly regions he came into this dark

world and then he suffered the cross and

God raised him from the dead seated him

at his right hand in the spiritual

invisible dimensions remember when Jesus

was risen from the dead after he said

guys I'm going to give you my spirit and

you're gonna take over the planet in the

name of Jesus by preaching the gospel

then what did he do he ascended and a

cloud emerged like a supernatural cloud

and he disappeared from view so Jesus is

still physically alive and present but

in that spiritual dimension and from

that side he sent His Holy Spirit into

this dimension so that we can spread the

kingdom on earth he is exalted to the

right hand in heaven of God in heavenly

places far above all rule and authority

power and Dominion and every name that

is named not only in this age but in the

age to come it's important for us to

realize the war is already decided okay

the war is already won our God is

already the victor over sin and evil we

don't have to live in a fearful timidity

like oh no what's gonna happen no no God

is in charge he is seated on the throne

above all else

but the battle continues and we are

called to stand firm in his power that

he sends from that other side we're

taking this earth for the rightful king

and we need to pick sides now again the

Ephesians were very sensitive to this

oddly because as I've talked about at

other times and if you read about this

in the book of Acts chapter 19 you read

about what happened when the Apostle

Paul visited the city of Ephesus that

when he was there the first thing he did

is pray for people to receive the power

of the Holy Spirit so they needed power

then the Bible says that extraordinary

miracles were done through Paul to the

point where even his sweat rags when he

was making tents he throw him in a pile

the throw away and some brilliant person

says I'm gonna pick up this sweat rag

and I'm gonna put it on my sick

grandmother and hope she's healed now

please no sweat rags I mean let's just

let Jesus heal by his power we're not

gonna sell sweat right we're not gonna

sell but God was doing crazy weird

bizarre miracles okay and then there was

this weird encounter with some people

who tried to use the name of Jesus on a

man who was demonized and he beat him up

because I don't even know who you are

I'm going to come back to that there was

a public confession where everybody who

had practiced different types of

witchcraft and different types of magic

brought their expensive scrolls into the

center and and burned them now we're not

in favor of book burnings usually but if

they're magic demonic incantations then

ya may need to throw it in the furnace

because these are things that they would

use to invoke the power of evil among

them and then finally the Apostle Paul

was preaching about Jesus and then some

of the idol makers the craftsmen began

to feel economically and politically

threatened uh-oh we make a lot of money

by making statues of the goddess Diana

and Artemis and now this guy's saying

that they're not real gods and suddenly

this guy named Demetrius got very

religious and he was like how can they

offend our faith in our precious goddess

Diana of course he's like making all

this money from it right and he's like

we're gonna get in trouble so we've got

to stop him and they gathered in a in a

theater in a Coliseum thousands of

people from Ephesus and began chanting

for two hours great is Artemis of the

Ephesians it was so dangerous they

didn't allow the Apostle Paul to go in

because the Principality over Ephesus

had incorporated into the person of the

goddess Diana now do I believe in Greek

mythology Zeus Diana Artemis upon course

not that's mythology but the devil is

not picky and he adopts sometimes

certain types of superstitions and

beliefs and takes on that personality so

they new we live right where Artemis

lives and we're gonna need some power if

we're gonna stand firm and it was not

easy because remember how it was in

those days or I've talked about this in

other sermons that if you did not go to

the idol feasts to worship the idol you

could lose your job because the union

was part of the idolatry you'd have to

go with the union to worship the idol

and in these idol feasts they would they

would offer sacrifices to the idol

they'd commit sexual immorality and if

you don't play ball you could lose your

job and even be in danger of going to

jail the Ephesians needed to know their

spiritual identity and stand firm and

that's why the book of Ephesians begins

with this amazing line and I'm going to

get to the armor in a minute so just

stay with me but it begins by saying

blessed be the God and father it says

Ephesians 1:3 blessed be the God and

father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has

blessed us in the heavenly places with

every spiritual blessing in Christ in

other words you've got nothing to be

afraid of Artemis cannot defeat you that

you have a power and an identity in the

spiritual realm that not only do you can

you move in that spiritual realm but as

I said before you could fly first-class

you have authority you have power you're

blessed in the heavenly places with it

every spiritual blessing in Christ even

though you were once dead in your

trespasses and sins God made you alive

together with Christ and by grace you've

been saved he raised you up he seated us

with him in the heavenly places in

Christ Jesus so that in the coming ages

he might show the immeasurable riches of

his grace and kindness towards us in

Christ Jesus you were dead but you're

not dead anymore if you believe in Jesus

your spirit is alive and you might be

sitting here physically but your spirit

is sitting on a throne next to Jesus and

I know something you're saying Greg

you've gotta be kidding me do you know

you know what I've going through this

week your spirit in Jesus is next to

Jesus you're seated with Christ in

heavenly places you are a new creation

in Christ your feelings are real but

they're not your reality your reality is

a spiritual power and authority and

dignity you're blessed in heavenly

places you once were darkness but now

you are light in the Lord so now we

learn to live as children of light so

that's why the whole book of Ephesians

talks about how to live out our

spiritual identity all the teaching

about being unified as a church all of

that is in a spiritual warfare context

because an army that is divided is an

army that will be defeated so our unity

is not just so we can be one big happy

family it's because our real enemy is

not the person in the church who bothers

you your real enemy is the devil who's

trying to divide you from that person in

the church so that you won't lock

shields and fight together all the

teaching in the book of Ephesians about

holiness and morality all we're gonna

see comes from a spiritual perspective

because the devil is an accuser he is

like a prosecuting attorney who does

good research about the ways we fail and

our sins and our shortcomings and he

accuses and he uses those openings to

get at us so in Ephesians all the

teaching about morality and holiness and

unity and all of that has to do with

spiritual warfare did the it talks about

remember we preached this was several

months ago how Jews and Gentiles coming

together to be one new person was part

of a glorious reality so also here at

line of Judah in a time when the devil

is trying to separate people based on

race and economics and ethnicity and

politics we are one people from many

tribes and nations and tongues

and languages not because we're just

liberal and idealist but because we all

have the same King and there's a new

kingdom on earth we have the same father

and we're a new family on earth they men

and so that's why we come together

strong against the work of the enemy

talks about holiness it says we should

no longer live as the Gentiles do that

means the collaborators with the ruler

of this world in the futility of their

thinking that we shouldn't let the Sun

go down on our anger and let that

bitterness allow the devil a foothold

that we need to stay alert because the

days are evil don't get drunk on wine

but be filled with the Holy Spirit

because this is not the time to let our

guard down to check out or to go on

spiritual vacation the days are evil we

need to stay alert

Jesus's Prayer he taught us ends by

saying lead us not into temptation but

deliver us from evil every day we put

our guard up and that's why he's saying

we have to stand firm we must be

stubborn today stand stand stand firm

put on the full armor of God so let's go

through it okay so the first one in the

armour of God that we're going to talk

about is the belt of truth put on the

belt of truth and this is that garment

that holds it all together the concept

of truth I think is so important for the

church today oh hey she found some cool

illustrations awesome thank you the belt

of truth that holds it all together we

don't want to be caught with our pants

down please it's all about authenticity

earlier in the book of Ephesians it says

that speaking the truth in love we will

grow up in all things into the one who

is our head but you know that that is a

translation that's a little complicated

because it's very unusual that verse

earlier in the book of Ephesians doesn't

say speaking the truth but just true

thing in love it's weird it's it's a

unique use of that word as if to say

it's not so much what you say although

what you say is important but who you

are it's about being authentic being a

genuine sincere Christian that you're

not playing games

no double life then we won't be infants

tossed back and forth by the waves blown

back and forth by every wind of teaching

in the cunning and craftiness of people

in their deceitful scheming the book of

Ephesians says now there were some

people as I mentioned in Ephesus who

tried to fake it in the spiritual

dimension and I referred to it but I'd

like to go back over the story a little

bit you read about it in Acts chapter 19

they were the sons of a particular

priest named

Eva I think there were seven of them

right I don't know there were a few of

them there's a bunch of these guys and

they were exorcists right there were

ghostbusters so you got a demon did you

just call me for a small fee I'll come

and take care of it and they had ink

incantations that he would use in magic

sayings and amulets and things and then

they saw what God was doing through Paul

and if I hey I'm gonna try this Jesus

trick I'm gonna try the Jesus

incantation and so there was a demonized

man a man who had a demon in him and

they came to do their Ghostbuster thing

and they come in and they say in the

name of Jesus whom Paul preaches come

out you know and you know the story

right the demon threw the man looks at

him and says yeah I know Jesus and I've

heard about Paul but who are you

have we met and the Bible says that that

man that one man overpowered the seven

sons of sceva and sent them running out

into the street bloody and with their

clothes torn and that's what really

shook the town you know why just can't

use the name of Jesus if you don't

belong to Jesus that's like identity

theft right you're using a credit card

that's not yours are saying hey wait is

this really your name on the car you

might be able to fool someone on the

Internet but you're not going to fool

the devil right he's been lying a long

time he's the father of lies and so he

can spot a phony a mile away no faking

it in the devil in the heavenly

dimension we need to be real no double

life if we lead a double life

if we're faking it the devil will eat us

for lunch

we need to walk in the light as he is in

the light and let the blood of Jesus

cleanses and make us all truth now that

doesn't mean that you're perfect right

people like oh man I just I gotta get

out of here man I got struggles I got

problem it's not about being perfect

it's about being genuine

that's why confession is so important

right you don't have to confess to me

because I just don't have time to hear

everybody's but you gotta find someone a

man or a woman of God if you're a guy

find a guy if your girl find a girl

somebody who is a man or woman of God

someone you can trust someone who knows

how to keep a secret someone who's not

going to tell you not to worry about

what you're doing but who also won't say

you're doing what and tell them what

you're struggling with walk in the truth

the devil hates truth he's the father of


he lives in darkness and he hates light

doesn't mean you're perfect but it means

you have your belt of truth on you've

told the truth

to people you're told the truth to God

and you genuinely belong to him the next

one the breastplate of righteousness it

says and with the breastplate of

righteousness in place so this is the

part that goes over the chest and the

heart and the lungs there's this great

proverb I I didn't write down the

reference I should have it memorized

like I'm a pastor and stuff but it says

keep your heart with all vigilance for

from it flow the Springs of life the NIV

says above all else guard your heart for

from it flow the Wellsprings of life the

breastplate guards your heart see God

cares about what's here about what comes

from inside us what's within us and this

is talking about righteousness that

guards our heart now we as Christians

and I'm going to come back to this at

the end we believe that we have a

righteousness that is not by our own

efforts we have a righteousness that is

given to us by faith that when I believe

in God he just credits righteous it his

righteousness just on me praise God and

he covers my heart with the blood of


and as Christians it's not about earning

your way to heaven it's about having a

righteousness from God imputed to you

now with that said the book of Ephesians

takes chapter after chapter to say God

gives you righteousness to cover your

heart but now you need to live it out so

that your life matches your faith it

says you were once darkness but now you

are light in the Lord

time to walk as children of light see

the devil lives in darkness he's the

Prince of Darkness in a way he has

authority and a right to live in

darkness and when we have areas of

darkness in our life and shadows in a

sense that is area where the devil has

access to us if we don't deal with it

and bring it into the light and confess

the way I talked about it and seek help

he belongs there

he has her right there that's what Jesus

when Jesus said the Prince of this world

is coming and in the book of John Jesus

says he has nothing in me he has nothing

in me but this is the hour when darkness


what would he mean by that it meant that

Jesus because he was without sin the

devil had nothing to grab on to no

handles no darkness anywhere with us

there's a lot of handle there's a lot of

darkness there's all kinds of sins that

he can accuse us of and we need to begin

dealing with this aggressively that's

why it says do not let the Sun go down

on your anger and do not give the devil

a foothold it's not that being angry is

sin in of itself but if we hold on to

bitterness and hate one day after

another afternoon

the devil has a right to live there he

can get a foothold in us through that a

little later in Ephesians it said but

among you there should not be even a

hint of sexual immorality or of impurity

or of greed which is idolatry for these

are inappropriate for God's holy people

you were once darkness but now you are

light in the Lord live as children of

light the point being our daily life is

spiritual what I do the way I speak the

way I handle

my relationships my attitudes the way I

deal process life around me have

spiritual implications everything about

life is spiritual sexuality is spiritual

when there is a sexual union the two

become one

it's a spiritual union it's no accident

I believe that Mary Magdalene who worked

as a prostitute needed to have seven

demons cast out of her it's almost as if

there's a spiritual transference that's

why it's so important for our sexuality

to be consecrated to the Lord in

marriage one man one woman for life

holiness we believe that sexuality not

because sex is bad it's because sex is

so good it's so created by God that it

is ordained for that relationship our

our words our spiritual Bible says let

certain things not even be mentioned

among you you ever be in a room where

someone begins to gossip and complain

and criticize and it's like you can feel

a darkness fall on the room our words

are spiritual that's why it says speak

to one another with him songs and

spiritual songs instead of complaining

and negativity Thanksgiving be filled

with the spirit and not that negativity

money is spiritual greed is idolatry

idolatry now to the Ephesians they're

thinking Artemis

Diana offering sacrifices blood

sacrifices chickens and offering that

and bulls in and doing immorality all

kinds of it he said that's what it's

like when you love money more than you

love God the way we treat money instead

of you know that the one who was

stealing steal no longer work is

spiritual but let him work with his hand

so we can share with others work is a

spiritual thing family is spiritual the

relationships of husbands and wives and

children and parents boss an employee

that we talked about all of these things

have spiritual implications if I think I

can come to church and praise and

worship and then in some other of my

life area of my life I'm doing exactly

the opposite I'm playing games with


and it's dangerous my breastplate could

have some openings cover our hearts let

the breastplate of righteousness be in

place let your feet be fitted with a

readiness that comes from the gospel of

peace can you imagine a soldier in bare

feet you know I remember I especially

appreciated this verse when there was

flooding I remember this was about 10

years ago and our basement in Dorchester

was flooded about 6 inches of water and

someone I think about 75 years ago

spilled oil in that basement and so it

wasn't just water but it was yucky water

and I remember I I couldn't find a pair

of boots anywhere in Greater Boston and

I looked everywhere I went and that was

before Amazon days when you could just

think something in the mail it to you

right and and I'm like I just need some

boots man I just need some boots and I

remember someone lent me these you know

purple polka dot boots and I didn't care

I was so happy I felt like I could

conquer the world man I got my boots I'm

gonna gonna let our feet be fitted with

the readiness that comes from the gospel

of peace we need to put on those shoes

as in athletics the right pair of

sneakers goes all the way right the

right pair of cleats well all the more

for a soldier right it has to do with

being alert being ready not letting our

guard down I think all too often and I

think we struggle with this we go

through times when we take our spiritual

shoes off we said I'm just gonna go on

vacation from God for a little while

don't get me wrong I'm a big fan of

vacation everyone needs to go please go

on vacation go to the beach go to the go

camping if you can even if you don't

have the means find a way to take a

break because you need it we need it

we're humans even God rested one day a

week right but when we're on vacation

from work or from our normal routine

we're never on vacation from God right

we can be even closer to God on that on

those down times that's called Sabbath

rest where we rest in God's presence and

you breathe deeply and renew your faith

and energy be alert don't take your

spiritual shoes off because you never

know when you have to run outside fast

keep yourself girded and ready for


the master comes he finds you dressed

and ready and doing what you're supposed

to do remembering always that I'm always

a missionary I'm always on a mission

I've always there's always something to

do the Bible says how beautiful on the

mountains are the feet of those who

bring good news keep the shoes on the

gospel of peace because you never know

when someone's going to boom be right

there next to you on a bus or in the

elevator or at work or at a dining room

table that needs to hear the gospel do

you have your shoes on are you ready or

you so checked out that those

opportunities come and go take up the

shield of faith it says in verse 16 in

addition to all this take up the shield

of faith with which you can extinguish

all the flaming arrows of the evil one

now what kind of faith does this refer

to we believe as Christians that we are

saved by faith faith in God faith in

Jesus faith in the gospel that is I

believe the foundational type of faith

we need but we need to take up that

faith every day and say God I believe

not just 20 years ago when I came to the

altar and accepted you but I believe in

you today I believe in your word today

why because their fiery darts being shot

at us in the Roman times they would

shoot arrows that were on fire and they

would have shields that were apparently

doused with water whatever that would

put out the darts right what are the

darts that are flying around us they are

thoughts that the devil can Fleck shoot

into your mind now I know that sounds

silly but it's just a fact some people

ask us can God read my thoughts because

maybe if I don't say something or know

that they asked can the devil read my


so if I don't say something he won't

know it right I hate to say this but the

devil doesn't know what you're thinking

he can even shoot thoughts into your

mind sometimes it's just a fact it's

better to just trust Jesus rather than

freak out about whether I'm saying

something so he shoots thoughts into

your mind and we need to realize that

some thoughts are not even dumb things

I'm thinking the devil put that thought

there he's whispering suggestions into

my ear now here's the question will I

listen or will I

snuff out those thoughts immediately and

say that is not of God and got to be

careful because the devil lies real

pretty right he does in the book of

Genesis we read how the devil was able

to make Eve discontent in Paradise

itself if you take a few minutes to

think about what's bothering you it's

not going to take long for the devil to

come up with a whole list of things you

can be angry about about your life about

your boss about your spouse about your

church just give it a minute and the

devil will come up with a whole list of

accusations to suggest to your mind and

we need to say that's from the devil I

rebuke that thought we need in the book

of a Corinthians talks about we take

every thought captive and make it

obedient to Christ the battleground is

in the mind that's where the battle is

going on we need to deal with our

thoughts and think this thing I'm

thinking this attitude I have is this of

God is this in line with his truth or is

it from the enemy and we need to be able

to say that is Alaia won't let myself be

brainwashed by the evil one that's why

when kids go to college you know I'm

concerned yes about the different types

of immorality that they'll face the

different temptations of different

lifestyle issues those are very

significant but an even more subtle

attack are is the worldview that will be

inculcated around them to where if you

disagree with this worldview you are a

narrow-minded bigot how can you possibly

believe in Jesus being the way to God

how narrow-minded it's those kinds of

things that's the real battle it's the

battleground to end the mind where we

need to take the shield of faith and say

I know that my redeemer lives I know in

whom I believed and I'm not ashamed of

the gospel because it is the power of

God for the salvation of everyone who

believes first the Jew then the Gentile

finally it says take up the helmet of

sell or it doesn't not quite finally but

almost finally then take the helmet of

salvation and the sword of the Spirit

which is the word of

that helmet of salvation the most basic

piece of equipment but wait a minute how

many times does a person get saved right

right you pray to accept Jesus and

you're saved once and it's done you're

saved so why do I have to take up the

helmet of salvation

I already did 20 years ago when I

accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior

look your salvation doesn't disappear

every night but your awareness of your

salvation often does right you ever

woken up and forget you're a Christian

now some people you know very religious

no no I wake and but every morning you

got to wake up and remember I'm a

Christian today I believe in God today

I'm gonna raise my hands and take up my

cross today now just because you for God

didn't mean God forgot so you were still

a Christian but I need to remember and

put my helmet on don't assume you slept

in your helmet you got to put it on and

a person without a helmet on a

battlefield is a sitting duck won't last

minutes the days are evil it's not a

time to be trying to dabble in spiritual

things without knowing Jesus that's why

getting involved in different types of

spiritism and spirituality people who

aren't Christians it's just so dangerous

tell them put on the helmet of salvation

and believe in Jesus finally it says

take up the sword of the Spirit which is

the word of God here's our offensive

weapon the sword the word Hebrews 4:12

how many people have it memorized for

the word of God is living and active

sharper than any double-edged sword

piercing to dividing soul and spirit

joints and marrow discerning the

thoughts and intentions of the heart

take that word of God

because the devil's fighting you by

shooting thoughts into your head well we

need to replace it with thoughts that

are in line with the truth of God Jesus

himself did this didn't he in the desert

he'd been fasting for 40 days guess how

Jesus felt hungry he was human folks he

was hungry the devil comes in and tempts

him with what bread the devil knows

where it itches right he knows what

you're hungry for

he's gonna offer you what you want now

is it evil to want to eat bread no

that's not evil but he's like I'll eat

bread in my way in my time I don't want

to eat your bread and Jesus said man

doesn't live by bread alone but by every

word that proceeds from the mouth of God

every time the devil came at Hope with

something if you're really the Son of

God why don't you you know throw

yourself down from the temple and he

said it is it is written you will not

put the Lord your God to the test Jesus

his answer to the devil was it is

written it is written it is written

Jesus says I'm not even going to talk to

you you just talked to the hand here

okay it is written it is written it is

written and he's saying look I'm not

even gonna argue with you devil it's

just it is written and that decides it

okay I'm gonna stay with the Bible Jesus

says this is our sword Jesus used it to

pierce the evil one and we need to

memorize some verses - if you do if

you're wondering where to start I'll

teach you one right now right now we're

gonna memorize a verse together huh how

about this one Philippians 4:13 anyone

got that one for I can do I can do all

things through Christ who strengthens me

Philippians 4:13 look we force our kids

in Awana to memorize verses right we

stuff verses into their little brains

whether they want it or not why so that

then when they're a teenager they're

going to college those verses they just

can't get away from it it's in their


ha we got it in there hey that's okay I

got no problem with that I'll bribe them

with whatever just get the word in there

for I can do all things through Christ

who strengthens me now when the devil

comes at you today and tempts you with

this or that the other thing I can't

make it I'm not a good I know I can do

all things through Christ who

strengthens me and I have an answer for

him I see you just get behind me

I can do all things through Christ who

strengthens me it's all about having

that sword and fighting and finally and

I'm going to pick this up again in my

final sermon on this in the future he

invites them to pray in the spirit on

all occasions with all kinds of prayers

and requests he says with this in mind

be alert and always keep on pray

for all the saints and please pray for

me so that I can be bold and that words

will be given to me and I could preach

the gospel boldly as I should prayer is

the way we open up we push back the

spiritual darkness that is blinding

people to the gospel you cannot convince

someone to become a Christian the Holy

Spirit needs to remove the veil as we

speak the words so that God opens their

heart to receive the word it's your job

just to speak the message and as we pray

God opens it up so that people can get

in there we need to be alert and be

praying for each other I thank God that

we have people in this church who are

alert who pay attention I know we have

people in church who wake up in the

middle of the night praying for

something and they text me Greg I was

praying for this that the other thing

I'm like wow how'd you do about that

it's because God spoke it to them

because they're intercessors where we're

all called to cover each other in prayer

that's like in that battle on the on the

wall you're covering your your

companions back pray for each other pray

for each other it doesn't matter how new

you are or what you're going through

pray for each other there's nothing God

can't do and that's when we pray we're

exercising our authority as people made

in the image of God to channel down I'm

sorry to use the word channel I'm not

trying to get new agey but to sort of

conduct down that power from the

heavenly dimension from the throne of

God into this earthly dimension and the

kingdom is spreading pray it works it's

not symbolic it's not just to make

ourselves feel good it makes a

difference pray pray pray pray pray

there's a war on

finally Lion of Judah just gonna want to

end with this we need to be stubborn the

world around us is darker than it ever

has been just watch the news there's

evil pressing around us in a thousand

subtle ways we need to stand firm in the

gospel or the enemy will find chinks in

our armor take our lives

seriously take our unity and our love

for one another seriously take our

attitudes and our mentality our words

our sexuality everything about us make

it spiritual and come into the light

before God

and I have good news for you if you feel

like you can't put on the armor if you

feel like you're not doing it well I do

have some good news for you there is

another who is put on the armor for you

two in the Book of Isaiah chapter 59 the

people of Israel were horribly aware of

their own sin and they said our offenses

are so many in your sight our sins

testify against us our offenses are ever

with us we acknowledge our iniquities if

that's you if you're feeling like I

don't I just know how short I fall a

little later it says that the whole

world around us has gone dark truth has

stumbled in the streets

whoever shuns evil becomes pray for

those who are evil and finally it says

in the Book of Isaiah 59 years before

Jesus it says the Lord looked and was

displeased he was appalled that there

was no one to intervene so his own arm

achieved salvation for him and his own

righteousness sustained him he who's he

talking about Jesus put on righteousness

as his breastplate and the helmet of

salvation on his head and then at the

end of it it says when the enemy comes

against us like a flood the Lord will

raise up a standard against him put on

the armor of God by putting on Jesus in

your life it's not about your perfection

it's about your genuine faith in Christ

and saying Lord your armor is going to

cover me today

cover my openings Bible says for it is

by grace we have been saved through

faith and this is not of ourselves so

that no one can boast

we're as workmanship created in Christ

Jesus for good works but it's all about

God's grace and favor for you that you

don't deserve and didn't earn but we

need to put our faith in Christ so as we

close this time I want to invite you

we're gonna pray if there's anyone here

that maybe you're not sure you've put

your faith in Jesus we're going to have

a prayer time and I'm going to invite

you to

when your heart to Jesus right where you

are and say Lord I want you in my heart

I want to be a Christian I want to be on

God's side of things so I invite you to

stand with me right now and stand

together a father we come before you as

your people Lord God and we know that

you are that commanding officer telling

us that we need to be stubborn today we

need to stand firm on the truth of the

gospel and Lord I pray in Jesus name

Lord that we would stand firm in the

evil day God that we would be unified

that we would be in the lights that

would be clothed with Christ and know

that we're blessed in the heavenly realm

with every spiritual blessing in you Oh

Lord God I thank you God for your mighty

power available to us and it doesn't

matter what is coming against us God

your power is greater to help us

overcome and I thank you that we don't

fight alone we're all together in this

Lord God and together Lord Jesus your

kingdom will come your will will be done

here on earth as it is in heaven

and so now with every I can ask everyone

to close their eyes and and just pray

quietly and I invite you just to let the

Holy Spirit minister to you right now

just everybody in a spirit of prayer and

know that God loves you he's clothing

you he's giving you the strength to

clothe yourself in that armor that you

need and if anyone here wants to accept

Jesus as your Savior maybe this is your

moment and I don't want to pressure you

or force you to do anything crazy but

just right where you are if that's a

decision that you want to make I'm gonna

invite you to raise your hand so that we

can say a prayer together god bless you

bless you yeah god bless you over there

yes god bless you anyone else

right where you are you can either stay

where you are or as they saying you can

come forward but I'm gonna invite you

and I see you right there and I say this

prayer with me okay I'm gonna say a

prayer I invite you to repeat this with

me it's going to be a prayer if that

comes from your own heart where you're

going to be accepting Jesus into your

heart as your Lord and Savior so

everyone's still praying with your eyes

closed I invite you to repeat this with

me dear God I thank you that you love me

I don't deserve it but you sent your son

for me to die on the cross for me and I

believe and I accept you Jesus in my

heart as my Lord and as my Savior come

in Holy Spirit and take over wash me

cream I am your son or your daughter and

I belong to you in Jesus name

and Holy Spirit I pray God that you

would cover this entire congregation

Lord God and all of us together Lord

would breathe in the grace of God right

now and know that whatever is going on

Lord God whatever we're dealing with

Lord Jesus you are here to forgive us

and cleanse us and to make us strong

Three essential chracteristics to understand the success of the believer

acerca de esta mañana la predicación

que realmente me ha motivado a predicar

el tema

es uno de los retos que como creyentes

día a día

tenemos que encarar

jamie face

y quiero comenzar con dos historias


quince años atrás

uno de mis compañeros en seminario

después de haberse graduado

y obtener uno de los lugares más altos

en su promedio un call center binner y

ugt reiteran se ven airways united eric

steele break point a rogers de ningún en

escalas me coloque habla manos después

de la graduación


y él me decía isaías después de esta

graduación voy para la india como


bueno voy a empezar una segunda maestría

seis meses después

recibimos una noticia que mientras

estaba en la india

sale un domingo en la mañana de su casa

hacia la misión

seis meses después 66 man slater mi

amigos de su caso en la india para la

misión my my friend

su esposa no se sentía bien y no le

acompaña es guay fue seinfeld e inglés

se lo llevó los dos niños

cuando llegan a cerca de la misión

fueron interceptados en décadas

el endeavour interceptó

por personas que no eran creyentes o

simpatizantes de la manera de word de

equipo fútbol y verse en word action

against the gospel y mantengan en mente

que esto está pasando seis meses después

de la graduación de terminar de manera

grotesca pensé que este grupo de

personas no creyentes y no simpatizantes

del evangelio


mataron a mi amigo

mataron a los niños

y quemaron el carro

cuando la noticia llegó a eeuu

yo me pregunte

dónde está el éxito de mi amigo

west texas en el poder de la


porque en el mundo que vivimos y el

contexto social

que es nuestro día a día define el éxito

de otra manera


el otro caso

desde un pastor

que tiene la visión de ir a un país en


en centroamérica en los años 70 en de

ser feliz

y dice que estando en la ciudad la

capital en managua

siente ir a los campos de nicaragua de

buen nivel y negro dicen de series

managua y falta de country side

y estando en los campos comenzó a ser

una obra misionera


y por 10 años todo fue fructífero

por 10 años y tiene éxito

sin sexo

el mundo secular dice que tiene éxito

porque tiene una iglesia tiene los

números y tiene las finanzas

escribí numérico y las finanzas sin ser

a pie se quiere invitar pero ustedes



en los ochentas y nicaragua

hay una guerra civil

movimiento sandinista sea denis tememos

caminen y en un momento la guerrilla

entra a esta iglesia en el buen momento

de la música


y preguntan quién es el pastor y dónde

está su familia

él se levantó yo soy el pastor y este es

mi familia

tiene fighters els tomaron a su niña de

dos años de hecho que involucró y le

dieron al pastor

para mantener tu niña viva debe salir de


y el contexto

quien me dio las órdenes para venir a

nicaragua todavía no me ha dicho que

tengo que dejar nicaragua dice de buen

rugby guardarse 6000 y nécora weston

hess natur micheli

ellos tomaron la niña

la tiraron al aire y que haya una


en vez de que un destructor

y le preguntaron al papá al pastor y

ahora qué vas a hacer

y yo le digo a la guerrilla

el sacrificio de mi hija

le va a enseñar a ustedes la profundidad

del amor de dios se temía ha tenido que

morir para que ustedes entiendan que yo

no los voy a odiar porque jesús el que

me llamó a nicaragua ha permitido esto

para que tú entienda lo que es el amor

de dios

goldman escritorio y fiscales en mejor

calidad de gasto y yo vence

como este momento se puede ver como

éxito del momento pasado y vivir ese

sexo generalmente cuando vemos una

situación de esta naturaleza

nos fijamos solamente un evento

yo soy bueno y si el barça tenga wifi es

just different

pero la 2 historia tiene un final de


en el líder de la guerrilla que mata a

mi amigo ya sus hijos en la india se

convierte al evangelio

15 años después es pastor de una iglesia

en la india

en ispaster church en india el líder de

la guerrilla en nicaragua

que da la orden para que maten a la niña

del pastor es conmovido por el amor de

esta familia se convierte y hoy en día

es pastor en los campos de nicaragua


y en regiones en 40 si dejamos la


en lo negativo en el momento parece un



al aire sin fin

pero en el plan divino de dios

un evento no define la victoria o el


texas el déficit sigue el final oficina

gestión and fine y eso me lleva al

pasaje de esta mañana

smith el pase de frontera mateo capítulo



verso 3 y 4 se ríen fort

muchas veces muchas veces perdiendo la

cabeza tenemos éxito many times

amanece yemen

a mi casa

one está preso

y él dice

y envía sus discípulos

para que le pregunten a jesús fiel era

que había de vivir

no deberían esperar a otro el world

trade center se necesita inversión


además hay licencias de seis bolsas que

me ayudaban en la huasteca por ser week

spect semanales

juan el bautista

crece en un hogar como un regalo como

una bendición para esa familia

hayden 15 steinberg ranking después

entidad se llama ley sacaría a su padre

y elisabeth su madre

zacarías es un sacerdote

dentro de esa sociedad en la que en

aquel entonces

zacarías era un hombre importante su


por ser un hombre importante que no

tenía hijos

y el y sabe su esposa

no podía tener hijos en hesse wireless

veces was in the heart tour en una

sociedad que él no tener hijos era como

una maldición

yo no me puedo imaginar la situación de


mi esposo es un hombre importante el cen

kings y más sienten que in my heart

bienes en informe and pero mi persona le

trae a él vergüenza porque no le puedo

dar un hijo

child which is where is needed regenerar

estarás en nuestros aires

muchos de nosotros queremos tener

hijos ellos varones para que el apellido

siga en el quinquenio y eso me recuerda

a mi primera experiencia con mi primera


en aquella época no tanto tan atrás

ya no se permitía al padre tal en el


viviane está dando a luz sin mí

está con su mamá

y yo estoy trabajando esperando esta

llamada de que lo que tuvo que ser

pensando que va a ser un parto rápido

que vendrá al hospital y ya para dos

antes de su regreso del trabajo estoy en

la casa esperando la llamada del


celebrando no pensando en que vamos a

jugar béisbol baloncesto lucha libre en

el teléfono es mi suegra


adivine que tuvo biblia

yo dije estuvo un varón


una niña sabe cuál fue mi reacción


de hecho mi niña jugó

escapar pero más grande fue reciben de

creer este gas

yo fui entrenador y western trainer



sólo la alegría y la alegría de jardines

finalmente reina elisabeth está


finalmente su vergüenza ante su

comodidad va a parar

james yo me imagino esa primera mañana

después de recibir la noticia de que

está embarazada

morning news

ella se levantaría por la mañana muy

erguida muy contenta muy orgullosa

porque finalmente puedo complacer mi

posición con la sociedad


pero feo más social yury de comes with

my pensionen césaire y puedo hacer a

zacarías un hombre feliz

apyme porque he dado un hijo

no voy a estar más estéril

me voy a estar marginada

no voy a ser dejada sola a lo lejos

això ley de ninguna termino mi lucha

interna y emocional si no imagine turnos

estrado les restan si pudiera mostrar

elizabeth al siglo 21

y elisabeth entrada es la primera mañana

que sabe que está embarazada

en su momento

sábado en la mañana tarde en el morning

en boston

en baster

ella entra a un beauty salon hispano

la china yuri sarran ella vendrá con su


yo estoy embarazada yo estoy embarazada

cat vícam tengo algo de que puedo hablar

a epson de jack bauer y estrés ya no

estoy imaginada dejaron de filmar yo ya

no soy menos dejar un fiesta mejor que

dios se ha fijado en mi hogar es pensar

eso en mí

y aunque no tenía hijos en invento


aunque era marginada y vender sigüés

smarter west aunque la sociedad decía

que yo estoy condenada o maldita y

vendió césar y ceder a wisin yandel

world first ella no dejó su posición de

esposa sin neverland ser persistentes

wise el sacerdote baptista

ahora bien

juan bautista nace de wones


yo creo que zacarías y elizabeth jamás


que el lugar de trabajo de juan no sería

en el templo ni tampoco se vería como


de expectación de dinero y ver imágenes

de burning y rope bill frist working en

de tiempo

ellos están zacarías y dice están

entrados en años ya que nace juan

one nace y crece con sporting grados

están esperando que va a ser juan ahora

que es adulto

usted se imagina

y tener un hijo

o una hija

que crece usted le ayuda lo desarrolla

esté esperando ha pasado la escuela

elemental ya la mira school a high


y el próximo paso es el colegio

zakaría está esperando que juan le diga

padre yo quiero entrar ahora a la

escuela rabínica

cuando dice padre

yo me ha llamado al desierto

entonces ya garcés con mi chico ya

search yo creo que con eso como no dice

en inglés se igual

pero qué

tanto dinero envuelto en su educación

de keyser el tiempo dedicado para tener

un gran futuro

y ahora este muchacho quiere ir al

desierto como anticongelante a ser el

desierto tenía tres implicaciones en

aquella época de wolfram por cage john

senden era era el lugar de muerte

un lugar de purificación perfecta y un

lugar de renacer en el país alpino su

rival river sacaría pensara

cuando va a morir

él no tiene que ser purificado porque es

mi hijo

mayer él no tiene que renacer porque yo

he dedicado mi vida para que tenga una

buena educación

no para de que este es el sitio que voy

a comenzar mi ministerio

washington faces will begin yes men


a mí me encanta

yo amo

cuando el dios creador y soberano tiene

un plan que nosotros no entendemos pero

él tiene un plan la vergüenza de saber

gara se fueran de winona les quiero

hacer los waris que hoy el desierto no

es un sitio para comenzar un ministerio

hablando humanamente jiménez que no hay

agua no hay vida en el desierto

- animales que son dañinos hermosos de

nice ones no es atractivo

no se ve bonito pero dios decide

llamar a juan

y decirle a juan venid elche

tú vas a anunciar un wing chun vas a

preparar el camino de mi hijo

los generales

donde no hay vida

donde no hay nada que te ve a ti ningún

tipo de gloria

y haciendo ustedes en el desierto verde

una gloria de gloria si no entonces no

es atractivo

no es entonces atractivos porque

humanamente queremos ir a los mejores


yo quiero es donde me vean donde me

conozcan donde yo pueda ser famoso

pero jesús bellezas necesitaba a alguien

ir en sangre que fuera suficientemente


ambos y el apóstol pablo recoge esto en

una frase en una de sus cartas en mi

paso por otro de sus formas visuales

cuando pablo dice

porque ya no vivo yo más vive grito en

porque ya no vivo yo

más vive cristo en mí y sin mí yo no

necesito un sitio de gloria

yo no quiero un sitio atractivo de unir

el extracto yo quiero que dios me llame

y dio y me envíen de ser así fue a un

desierto porque si dios me llama si dios

me enviasen él va a ser que la cosa

florezca en el desierto

whitney white en el desierto yo voy a

tener la autoridad de jeter

contra todo lo que es dañino

yo voy a poder pronunciar si viene uno

atrás de militares wenham en sterling

que va a dominar el desierto

min 7 domina jerusalén para dominar el


no se va a quedar en la cruz se va a

quedar en la cruz


para tener éxito como creyente de sexo

es bolívar

self binaria autonegación

tiene que ser parte de nuestra vida

cuando los líderes religiosos

vinieron de juan y le preguntaron

porque yo quería saber quién es este


eres tú jesús ayuda argentina salió de

mensaje eres tú elías ayuda white ya

eres tu moisés hay un moisés

él dijo no quise no

el pudo haber dicho y que se desempeñan

es bueno yo no soy elías y moisés

y jesús

pero yo estoy preparando el camino para

el hijo de dios

yo soy un gran profeta

yo soy el primo del mesías anders hansen

de mensaje mucha manera de contestar

para robarle la gloria de quien él iba a

hablar de urbem anyway si quieren ser

sus shows en south forbes pero el reto

que tenemos nosotros hoy y siempre

cuando nos viene la misma pregunta de

juan que vamos a contestar porque no es

acerca de nosotros es acerca de aquel

que nos ha llamado a este gran

ministerio ya esta gran salvación

william pérez nada


josep boix

witness testigos ustedes lo puedo


you can adversidad sobre gregory ya lo

siento creo

a mí



we are your voice

en messenger

we are just witness

de dios y padre celestial en los cielos

así sea en el desierto

así sea en la calle en weber bien de

suite así tenga más de 70 años

así sea un mujer

o sea un diácono por enrique o un

maestro de discipulado durante seis o

siete o un líder de ministerio

yo solamente soy una voz

soy un mensajero soy un testigo witness

ya que que ha de venir nuevamente por su


fest binario es auto negación

el problema continuo de luchar con

nuestro yo es este que entiendo

esperable de william spratling es él

te digo nuestro yo están tan grande

que a veces estamos robando la atención

y aquel que se levantó dentro we can

still de transcend from the way we were

sin fronteras

se nos olvida a veces

que nosotros no fuimos crucificados

que nosotros no nos levantamos al tercer

día de wazzen este browser terry days

gracias a dios' cerca

en puerto rico hay una religión

pero de el sobradillo en el sector

en el área de san juan' santurce

que lleva como nombre los mitad y mitad

imitar una profeta evangélica en los

años 50

los transfers cities y algo pasó que

ella cambió

james y comenzó a predicar que ya era

jesús en la tierra ingersoll pues sin

carné de ganar

cuando ya está en su cama para morir

ya en sus últimos días

ella profetiza

que ya se va a levantar al tercer día

three days

y eso fue anunciado en los periódicos la


bueno me murió si están las personas

esperando que me estás resucite

pasaron tres días 94 días por la

entierran de perder

su asistente quedaron recibe una

revelación en gb

revelations y dice que me está resucita


en aarón mgm su ahora él predica de

afiches mixta en aaron mitad

no hace sentido

el momento más importante

según los eruditos en la vida de juan el


es el momento en que jesús desciende al

río jordán

igual lo bautiza

la culminación he preparado el camino

yo el trabajo get the work ahora puedo

bautizarse siendo quizás grande para que

comience el ministro del hit en big en

el semestre

es el final

y una vez tenemos el seminario went to

hardhats show style

necesitamos un corazón de firma

porque para poder bautizar a jesús había

que tener un corazón de firma


wang no lo va a hacer para que le

recuerdan cómo que fue el único que

bautizó a jesús yanes ingrediente de

bieber 'never de gestión de pacto

quizás cuando lo quería bautizar

marcos se levanta nos dice que one decía

que no era digno de desatar

las sandalias


los zapatos no es tan digno

ward y en aquel entonces

cuando llegaba el dueño de la casa

era el honor para el invitado de la casa

en esa ocasión quitarle los zapatos al

dueño de la casa será un honor


esa idea como que no funciona ahora no

esa idea no funciona

imagine usted que usted tenga un court

en casa y llegan 30 personas pero ni

tipo k

- usted saliendo a la acera los vecinos

no saben qué está pasando pero está de

rodillas en segway se personan denis

quitando de los zapatos

ellos dirán el widget

o está bajo los efectos del alcohol

grande o estaba a los efectos de las


o ha perdido su estabilidad mental que

van más

no está ahorrando al que llega

pero wang no se siente

lo suficientemente digno para hacer algo


world sound en gaita

juanes está ahora en el pasaje está


peter ricketts por interesante

one tenía

dos mensajes en su vida que él predicó

uno era aplicable al desierto y el otro

aplicable a la ciudad

de ser bueno para ti

decían en el desierto


y sean bautizados en un bautismo de


en vida ese es el símbolo de la versión

freeware cachets no me imagino que las

personas que le escuchaban al predicada

así en el desierto

alguien le sugirió a él porque no vas a

la ciudad

y predica ese mismo mensaje en tres

meses en la ciudad

en ese día

lo que no sabía quién lo invitó para que

aguante mía otro mensaje en la ciudad

cuando wang llega a la ciudad

va a hacer que el palacio de herodes

y comienza predicarle al rey herodes

eres un adúltero

porque tomó la esposa del hermano sixto

es brothers white yo me imagino en la

biblia no lo dice a quien invitó a one a

predicar en la ciudad y estaría pensando

en que él y yo yo me he metido que se

vayan más el dinero porque one no está

predicando de salvación

está señalando el pecado que afecta al

pueblo este tipo ese mensaje

en la cárcel

y yo me pregunto juan en la cárcel

no tiene libertad

está solo abandonado

ya no tiene multitudes que viene a verle

al desierto de agitarse

ya nadie habla de él

ya nadie se acuerda de él neuer members


situación angustiosa situación depresiva

situación que no tiene sentido ni

situación humillante yumbel y de cómo es

posible que yo haya sido escogido para

preparar el camino

web y ahora yo estoy preso igualmente o

no tengo dignidad

aronián de ti no tengo ningún valor iron

and awards emiten en ir no hay gloria es

no hay razón para ser felices y happy

quizás one pensó

si yo preparo el camino a jesús

y yo bauticé a jesús

quizás cuando jesús escoja a sus doce

yo voy a hacer el simio de los apóstoles

y vender va a ser este plan de juan y

ese puede ser tu plan

pero este en este en este juego del

evangelio prendes 1 500 de campo no es

el plan que yo puedo construir

el plan que yo me puedo imaginar no es

el plan que me conviene a mí

no es el plan que me da mejores


es el plan para cual yo he sido llamado

aunque yo

en vez de tener una promoción ha sido


tú sabes qué

one nunca se preguntó eso hasta porque

entendió que aún estando en la cárcel de

living él nunca fue el el centro del

mensaje kiwis enero del g20 center of

the world never the reason nunca la

razón y never the reason nunca fue la

razón one cuando le envía a sus

discípulos a preguntarle a jesús

suficientes de seis bolsas quizás eres

tú el que ha de venir

wang no pregunta y pregunta jesús y te

dices cuándo me va a sacar de la cárcel

bueno tiene que enviar pregunta de jesús

sinceras quizás cuando voy a recibir mi


cuando voy a disfrutar del ministerio

van a recibir

cuando pude haber dicho jesús

quizás si te fui fiel en el desierto

de ser y ahora estoy en la cárcel y me

niego que es lo que está pasando en

directo colocamos como que nos suma

entonces mi ex en esto como que no suma

jesús más adelante quizás confort

hace una acepción de un statement bien

bien peculiar y ji ji ji

si jesús giles ya veces perdemos de

vista ese segundo sistema métrico tan

santas wim este es para representar es


cuando jesús llama a sus apóstoles

y le dice que le sigan

y dejaron en un camino de la cruz

más adelante slater de pequeño tienen un

país de lo que ellos el que quiera

seguir en poses y venimos estafado me

niegues el consell tome súplica que es

cruz y sígame enfado mí

en el siglo 21

de esta manera

jesús félix ustedes no tiene que negarse

en actos de nada

la cruz no es parte del llamado de todo

el mundo

versión más cosas

corazón de ciervo de hearts ha de ser


vive al que está a tu lado aceite de

presión de chayo tenemos un corazón de

firma güi güi jaf arts

ahora biblia el señor en esta mañana el

dios que hace mi corazón make my heart

un corazón de firme y servent

que aunque yo esté preso y aunque yo

esté en el desierto y vehemente de ser

aunque nadie ve lo que yo hago en la

iglesia viviendo una figura de enteros

tengo un corazón bartz y nada de lo que

pase en atender a pence va a dañar ese

corazón escrache que cuida porque yo he

entendido desde el principio estoy

frontini que cuando yo acepte el llamado

del señor

jane el safa con todo mi orgullo

toda mi experiencia todo mi conocimiento

en bote mis pies

y ahora he decidido que si dios me tiene

que pasar por mí

me llama un gran odio metiendo donde

quiera que sea

y yo he entendido aleluya

yo he entendido que yo estoy

comprometido a no conmigo

y yo no con lo que yo soy whitwell no en

comida fuerzas y no con mi experiencia

whitman no con la gente a winky sino con

el dios que me ha llamado aleluya


los apóstoles bandos de jesús se

desplazó sobre jeans es

y le preguntan

eres tú

jesús no habla

y nada me quitasen say the right way

jesús le dice a ellos y sus causas

vayan donde juan

y digan las cosas que ustedes han visto

ya los indecentes de giuseppe sheen y

han oído medio

los ciegos 20 donde sí

los cojos andan

los leprosos son limpiados y los sordos

oyen dejar ir los muertos son jesús

teresén y a los pobres es anunciado

elevan yo me imagino que cuando one

escucha este reporte

me imagino a one brincando en esa cárcel

mi misión cumplida

ha llegado jesús escartín ha llegado el

mesías y sus promesas ya que yo he


puedo decir como simeón cuando vio el

bebé jesús

está bien ser bonito dice se

desarrollaron ahora

despedir a tu siervo en paz

he cumplido mi misión

me imagino que el compañero desde el


está preso

never about it was never about

se trata siempre fue acerca de que yo no

puedo predicar de otra cosa

aquí en principales contenidos eso es lo

que esta mañana en la web the morning

tenemos que luchar

extracto web porque el mundo piensa


transexuales en el tercer way

yo tuve un compañero en la escuela



y eso como que no se ve como que no hay


después de muchos años después many

years later muchos años después many

many years later

esto es un viaje a puerto rico estoy de


y estoy en una pizzería

y yo veo a mi amigo

pero no me reconoció

elisa ya que yo conocí

132 libras

una cintura de 30

y usted está ahora

con mucho temor


y el médico

soy yo no yo no puedo hablar

y él me dice es permitido tú me puedes

preguntar que como lo hizo jesucristo

que eras mi hija bayern al newell's


y dice que cuando entró a la universidad

conoció a dios

y escuché un salmón en níger server

que para el creyente

el éxito no tenía límite aunque fuera la


y lo envían a la base aérea en españa se

siente de weissen spain

se puede estudiar en españa terminando

de hacer también su maestría en el

másters y entonces él me dice a mí

pues no tienes idea

donde yo hice doctorado

steve y yo estaba parado no dejamos

entrar a ese señor

y él me dice me gradué de harvard y yo

le dije a él

realmente yo soy grande

porque fíjate

para poder tener éxito en la vida

power line tenemos que tener un first

binario tiene que verse autonegación

tiene que haber un corazón de ciervo

pero también tiene que haber una

rendición absoluta

orgullosa me deja de absolut surinder


absolutamente full day

algo muy complicado en esta época

en una ocasión

esta joven se más cerca

pastor estoy

como consigo un buen nombre de dios

para empezar

yo no tengo wifi para más

esto busca en tu compañero oriundo que

informe con genial hermanos y hermanos

brothers and sisters esta joven decían

women con una lista que ahora es de 100


y bueno esa persona

esta persona está presente en este siglo

en this century todavía dios no la ha

hecho carne suma medida actor set

una revisión


sobre él

a la voluntad de vuelo y el trabajo


si no estamos rendidos

absoluto comprometidos del corazón

katz huevo de navajas veremos el


como lo que es un lugar de muerte un

lugar de purificación y un lugar de


respecto a ser ciudad space jack weiss

rivers whiting barbour vive en la web

si no tengo una revisión absoluta

cuando vengo a la iglesia

en general

no vengo buscando ver su gloria

no vengo buscando que voy a recibir en

esta mañana que va a beneficiar mi vida

que voy a encontrar en la iglesia que

puede cambiar donde yo estoy porque no

me he rendido absolutamente a dios

cuando yo vengo a la iglesia

en una conducta completamente de

rendición y de compromiso yo vengo con

mi mente mi corazón y mis ojos a ver la

gloria explícita e inclusiva de ese dios

grandes y poderosos pero no importa que

yo esté en un desierto el desierto no

puede definir al dios que yo mismo


por howie que ver sets borja women of

benjamin walking fe de comunicar el buen

with you that the jester street and in

your face of color' y bulgaria serbia

uruguay yo no quiero que dios me llame

donde yo quiero yo quiero que dios me


porque en el desierto yo voy a ver su

gloria esther and win chelsea school el

desierto va a cambiar de ser mainichi no

es para toda la vida

y si tengo que morir

gloria a dios porque he cumplido mi


porque detrás de mí viene otro interés

no hasta como dijo wang más poderoso que


esta mañana

poderoso de 120 más poderoso que yo que

puede cambiar las situaciones lavados



ríndete absolutamente al señor dios en

tu oficina

tu comunidad

para que al final de los días cuando tú

veas que él ha venido when you syderis

carmen como tú sabes que era vendido es

un examen porque los ciegos ven los

cojos andan

no importa como yo esté es nada hawaiian

eso no importa estacionar es importante

de quien yo estoy predicando

yo estoy ensayando

puedo contener si estando vivo y pueblo

si se debe ver a los meses los

beneficios los beneficios los beneficios

no sólo importante tener sesionar en por

dios quiere beneficio celestial cargas

que cuando yo llegué al cielo

bueno hay que ver aunque usted no sepa

mi nombre si vendo you know my name

diga me inhibo ser miembro más bien

se refiere el señor no señor


para que dios vea su gloria en

inquietudes que las circunstancias que

afecten yo noté que afectó las noticias

te afecta

no soy una excepción no es acerca de

nosotros estar de obras es acerca del

cristo crucificado


dios le bendiga siempre

The gift of tongues and the fullness of the Holy Spirit

we dig into this I want to share a brief

testimony and then we'll pray a little

testimony about when I was first getting

to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior

I was 16 years old and I was raised in

the Catholic Church and very grateful

for my religious upbringing I learned a

lot about the Lord and and did my

parents taught me very well but when I

was 16 I started reading the New

Testament for myself and really

beginning to discover the the reality of

what it means to have a personal

relationship with Jesus I actually was

away from home for a summer staying with

relatives in Cape Cod just a summer

vacation thing I was working with some

friends of my cousins and my cousins

attended a Pentecostal church Assembly

of God now I had never been to a

Pentecostal church but they made a lot

of noise they sang they said praise the

Lord and did all kinds of weird things I

wasn't used to all right but to play on

the softball team you had to go to

church on Sunday something like okay why


and I was seeking frankly I really

appreciated that the sermons were right

from the Bible I found that interesting

I appreciated the personal nature of

people's relationship with God it really

meant something to them worked on a

construction site with some of these

people and I knew that their language

was a little bit different from their

co-workers language and they were happy

fun people I could see there was

something good so I visited the services

and I would sit through the singing time

slightly uncomfortable but I would sit

through the singing time and then I

would sort of tune into the sermon and I

was praying and starting to get to know

God in a personal way and one day at the

end of a sermon I'll never forget it I

was 16 years old it was the summer of

1984 if anyone wants to do the math and

I was 16 years old and they the sermon

was on the topic of suffering and it was

a deep sermon about how sometimes God

allows suffering in our lives and he

uses it to form us and I thought it was

just a profound message it was right

from the Bible and right near the end of

the message there was a prayer time and

we were praying

and I felt something different I felt it

was almost like water I could feel like

starting at the top of my head and just

trickling down and I felt something I

felt a presence in the room it was a it

was an incredible moment and I remember

in that prayer time looking down at the

floor and thinking I feel something I

don't know what I feel but I feel

something special going on right now and

then during that prayer time there was a

pause and a woman in the church a very

tiny little church there were maybe 30

or 40 people there stood up she happened

to be latina and she stood up and

started speaking in a language I had

never heard before and I thought that

must be Spanish it wasn't though she was

speaking in some language that I didn't

know and no one there seemed to know but

she was speaking this message apparently

in this unknown foreign language and as

she was talking that feeling increased

right near the top of my head just

trickling down and I was like what is

going on in this room then there was a

pause and then I don't know if it was

the same woman or someone else my eyes

were closed but somebody then spoke a

message in English and it was a message

that was clearly a message from God to

the people reinforcing what had been

said in the sermon saying my children

sometimes you will go through suffering

but I want you to know that I'm with you

and that I love you and that I have a

purpose and it's like God was speaking

right through that person and the words

were like each one of them was like a

water balloon going down my body I just

felt the presence of God and I

afterwards and I found myself crying I

had never done that before in church and

afterwards they asked my cousin I said

what was that and he said oh it was a

prophetic message in tongues that was

then interpreted and I'm like well thank

you that that elucidates things now I

get it completely right and like tongues

what's that's disguise

Tong's what what do you mean in tongues

what was she speaking was she speaking

Spanish it was a long time ago and he

says no no one knows what she was

speaking and I was like well could it

have been like some other language

French Arabic I don't know he said maybe

it was the language none of us know or

maybe it was an angelic tongue and I'm

like what he says yeah maybe angels talk

and maybe it was what they speak in

heaven and I'm like wow and I'm like

woah what was then the the English

message afterwards and he said well God

revealed to somebody the interpretation

of what she had said and it was a

message from God for the congregation

and I was like oh why why would God give

a message in some language no one knew

and then interpret it into English for

people that why would God do this and he

just shrugged he says I don't know but

it's in the Bible and he pointed to me

to some text in the Bible where the

Bible talks about it and I was like this

is wild I don't know what I think about

it but it blew my paradigms because at

that time I believed in God but I

believed in God as a very special idea

and I had a faith in God and I believed

in Jesus as a wonderful historical


you know like Gandhi and Martin Luther

King in Jesus right then I realized well

Jesus might be a little something more

than Gandhi and Martin Luther King and

maybe God is not some distant concept

maybe God is right here and he can do

things and he can speak to us and he can

do miracles and he can change our lives

it blew my paradigms and marked a

definitive moment in my own spiritual

process right around that time and just

to finish the story they gave an altar

call for people to come forward and

accept Jesus and I figured I'm Catholic

I don't know if I'm allowed to answer so

I'll just pray where I'm sitting right

so I was sitting right where I was

sitting and I prayed to accept Jesus in

my heart as my Lord and Savior

went home for a weekend it was the end

of July 1984 and decided I would share

it with my older sister with whom I'm

very close and before I could talk to

her she said Greg in the two months

you've been away I've started going to a

youth group at a local Protestant Church

and I think I've discovered that

Christianity is a personal relationship

with Christ and do you think I'm crazy

and I'm like you gotta be kidding me the

same thing that I was gonna tell her she

told me and that was my final little

miracle to push me over the edge or I

said Jesus I am in and then I went back

and I started actually enjoying some of

that singing and craziness and people

crying and stuff but I share that

because that experience of hearing a

prophetic message in in tongues in a

supernatural language was it fulfilled

something directly out of the Bible

where it teaches about how to use the

gift of speaking in tongues the gift of

speaking in an unknown supernatural

language in the church context that we

need to be careful not to just make

noise that'll freak out visitors

although every now and then things can

get noisy but we need to be sensitive to

visitors but sometimes God might give a

message in a foreign language and then

turn and translate it and it'll hit an

unbeliever to the heart and they'll say

God is really among you and that's

exactly what happened to me I'd never

read that text but I lived it

and so today I wanted to talk about as

promised as advertised last week I would

like to talk about the gift of tongues

today and how that fits not just

focusing on that gift but how it fits

into God's calling to us as a people to

be a supernatural people that are hungry

to experience the presence of God among

us that's what it's about it's not about

a specific manifestation it's about a

heart that says God I want everything

that you have for me hunger for God and

taking the lid off what God can and

can't do among us amen and being willing

for him to do unusual things in my life

and in our

Church so let's pray together father we

come before you and father I thank you

for the privilege of being part of a

church that believes in you and is open

to whatever you would do among us God I

know that we are not here by accident


you brought us because you have an

appointment with us and I thank you Lord

that there is always more in you God

that each day is better than the day

before in the spirit and Holy Spirit I

pray that you would move among us that

you would speak to us that you would

bring clarity but most of all that you

would spark a hunger in our hearts for

more that we would taste and see that

the Lord is good and that we would

acquire a taste for you

bless this time we pray in Jesus name

Amen but I actually did find a picture I

don't know if we have it my land a

picture of the gift of tongues this is a

special spiritual photograph of the gift

of tongues I don't know if we can show

know you did we weren't able to get that

down remember in the email okay we

weren't able to get it next time next

time well I'll show it to you some other

time okay it's anyway it's a long story

but I want to come back to this so if

you would open your Bibles and if you

have your notebooks and want to take

notes I'm going to talk about what was

experienced in the early church in

relation to this gift how the first

Christians experienced the gift of

tongues so if you'd open your Bibles to

the book of Acts chapter 1 in verse 8

and we're just going to go right through

the book of Acts so you're ready to do

some some thinking today some learning

we're gonna go through what the Bible

has to say about this

so the book of Acts chapter 1 verse 8

the book of Acts is the historical book

about the early Christians after Jesus

went to heaven okay so it's about Peter

and Paul and spreading the church and

and how the Holy Spirit worked through

them so in acts 1:8 they had just asked

the question Jesus are you now going to

restore the kingdom to Israel they

killed you you rose from the dead they

can never kill you again

let's take over you're the new king what

could they possibly do to stop us and

Jesus said yes but not quite yet it's

going to be different than you expect I

am going to be taken to the heavenly

dimension I'm gonna send to heaven and

I'm gonna be in the heavenly dimension

in the flesh but I'm gonna send my

spirit upon you from that dimension so

that through that spirit you are gonna

take over the world okay so he says not

for you to know the times and dates of

when the political kingdoms of this

world will come under the authority of

God but in verse eight he says but you

will receive power when the Holy Spirit

comes upon you and you will be my

witnesses in Jerusalem that's where they

were and in all Judea and Samaria the

region around and to the uttermost parts

of the earth in other words Jesus said

we are going to take over the world

together Jesus says I'm not just going

to take over the world by myself I'm

gonna take over this planet through you

by sending my spirit from the other side

and I'm gonna work through you and

you're gonna have supernatural power so

the Holy Spirit is actually is key

because Jesus is calling the shots from

the throne but his through his Spirit he

is actually present among us and so that

was his plan and that was fulfilled in

Acts chapter 2 and you can bring it up

in verse 1 I don't think I'm gonna read

the whole thing but they were all

together in one place waiting for God to

fulfill his promise so they're in an

upper room about 120 of them just

waiting and praying and just being up

there together and I I imagine I don't

imagine a bunch of spiritual superheroes

by the way I imagine Peter still

remembering that he denied the Lord

perhaps a little bit of bickering going

on up there

a crying baby or two you know

so people are in the upper room they're

praying they're waiting what's gonna

happen and one day there was the sound

of a rushing wind you know some of you

know the story it was on the day of the

feast of Pentecost which was the feast


in gathering for the Jews first fruits

in gathering from the harvest though

there was a sound of rushing wind and

and the house where they were was shaken

and and then they saw a visible science

fiction like manifestation of little

pieces tongues of fire became and rested

on each one of them and each one began

speaking in a language that they didn't

know they began speaking in tongues it

was so while there it is that's a

picture of the gift of tongues right

there there you go and that's a picture

of Pentecost it's happening right there

and then anyway you get the picture

let's move on so the the fire is on them

I have and they are experiencing this

they're speaking in languages they don't

know it was such a crazy moment that the

people down below apparently it was an

upper room with it was open you know

with a porch and open windows and people

are looking up at them thinking these

people are drunk out of their minds

right thought they were completely

intoxicated and that's when the Apostle

Peter gets up and says these people

aren't drunk is you suppose it's only

9:00 in the morning we haven't had time

you know these kind of makes a joke to

open his sermon but at that moment they

heard people speaking other languages

and they were languages that they

understood right so let's say you are

from Northern Honduras you would hear

God if we're not going on up there

you know we t banoffee that's the for

the one Garifuna to God he fulness in

the room and maybe you're from from

France you hear French maybe you're from

you hear your own language being spoken

by one of them so it was a gift of the

Holy Spirit where they were actually

declaring the wonders of God in

languages they didn't know but people

there did isn't that interesting it's

the opposite of what happened at the

Tower of Babel isn't it

remember the Tower of Babel when

everyone spoke one language and God

scattered them they all spoke different


well now it's as if God is saying I'm

now bringing the whole world together

again there's going to be a new Kingdom

on earth people from every tribe and

tongue and

and language and they're gonna

understand each other in the spirit and

I'm gonna have a new humanity on earth

I'm gonna fix what the devil broke and

so they're preaching and people are

hearing the gospel and Peter gets up and

under the power of the Holy Spirit this

man who just a month or two before had

denied Jesus gets up there and preaches

a message so boldly that three thousand

people accepted Jesus that day so God's

Spirit began to move on the day of

Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out

and there was a gift of speaking in

another language by supernatural power

amen now the story continues right so

Pentecost happened but the story doesn't

end there the story just begins

Pentecost is the feast of firstfruits

the beginning of the story not the end

of the story so that event of Pentecost

even though it was a one-time event when

Jesus at the throne sent his spirit but

that spirit being sent continues to be

sent after Pentecost now then in Acts

chapter four starting in verse seven

just a couple chapters later they're

preaching the gospel spreading and then

they start getting in trouble because

they're basically saying that the Jewish

authorities there in Jerusalem had had

executed Jesus and there were some

authorities who felt that they were

being criticized they were being

attacked by this so they called Peter

and John before them they were about to

throw them in jail and they had just

done a miracle where they had walked by

a man who who was who was crippled he

couldn't walk and he would sit and he

would beg and Peter and John look at him

and say silver and gold we don't have

but what we have we give to you in the

name of Jesus of Nazareth get up and

walk they take his hand BAM he gets up

and walks he's leaping and jumping and

giving glory to God and a big crowd

comes around and they're preaching the

gospel and the authorities are like this

is getting out of control these crazy

Christians are making too much of a

splash so they called Peter and John in

and they asked them by what power or

what Authority and what name have you

done these miracles who gives you the

right to do this

and then look what the Bible says in

verse 8 it says then Peter filled with

the Holy Ghost with the Holy Spirit I

want to stop right there for a minute

wasn't he already filled with the Holy

Spirit at Pentecost he was already

filled with the Holy Spirit why does it

say Peter and then in the Greek it's

very clear that it's happening at that

at that moment just filled with the Holy

Spirit he begins to speak in other words

he had the experience once and then he

had the experience of being filled with

the Holy Spirit again and look what he

says he says you rulers of the people

and elders of Israel if we're being

called to account for an act of kindness

to a crippled man then okay I'll tell

you by what authority I did this I want

you and everyone to know that it's by

the authority of the power of the name

of Jesus the one you rejected the one

you crucified that this man has been

made well because there is no other name

in verse 12 it says under heaven given

to men by which we must be saved and

people are like wow where did he get

this some of the authorities start

looking at each other and say where did

he get this boldness and this eloquence

these are uneducated men they had not

been to school they were fishermen they

were not rabbis right and in fact the

word agreed for uneducated is II do die

these are in the old thigh and speak

each other didn't have exactly the same

connotation it means now this is I may

be an idiot i but I'm filled with the

Holy Spirit and I know what to say here

right because there was a new type of

education that would happen a new type

of equipping and capacitation that would

happen by the power of the Spirit even

an uneducated fisherman could preach to

thousands okay so it's an experience of

the Holy Spirit that continues

empowering them to share the gospel okay

and they were shocked now the story

continues like I told you there's gonna

be a Bible study here right

so if you've got your notes or if you

got your Bible Acts chapter 8 in verse

14 through 17 a persecution was

unleashed they were persecuted some

people went to jail the the Christians

had to run away and they ran from

Jerusalem to Samaria okay now remember

acts 1:8

where Jesus said you will receive power

when the Holy Spirit comes on you and

you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem

and where else in all Judea and Samaria

in other words it's going to start here

but it's gonna spread just like saying

imagine it starts in Boston then it's

gonna spread out to Metro West and and

south and Norwood and up in Chelsea and

then it's gonna go to all New England

and then it's gonna go to all the United

States and then sort of in concentric

circles going out so the way God sent

missionaries at that point persecution

right they ran away so we don't want it

to be that it's much better to send

missionary so God doesn't have to send

them for us amen

otherwise he'll send a persecution and

scatter them and send them out so anyway

so they're spread out as they go

different people were preaching the

gospel saying you know what the gospel

is too big just for Jews let's preach to

some of these messed up people in

Samaria because the Jews looked down on

the people in Samaria for a lot of

different reasons but Philip and some

others preach the gospel demons would

come flying out of people people are

accepting Jesus Samaria is accepting the

gospel so the Apostles back in Jerusalem

so my goodness we should send some

people that help out right to help you

know help Shepherd what's going on here

so they get out there and it says in

verse 14 of Acts chapter 8 that when the

Apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria

had accepted the Word of God they sent

Peter and John to Samaria and when they

arrived they prayed for the new

believers that they might receive the

Holy Spirit okay I want to I want to

know to emphasize that they prayed for

these Samaritans who just accepted Jesus

that they might receive the Holy Spirit

because the Holy Spirit had not yet come

on any of them

they had simply been baptized into the

name of the Lord Jesus so Peter and John

placed their hands on them and they

received the Holy Spirit now it doesn't

talk about what that looked like if they

spoke in tongues whatever it just says

they received the Holy Spirit

the point I want to make is that these

new believers had accepted Christ and we

have no reason to doubt that they didn't

do so sincerely but that there was a

further experience with the Holy Spirit

that they needed to have somehow they

needed more they needed sort of a

spiritual second touch so to speak now

Peter and John go and they lay their

hands on them if you ever wondered if

you're kind of new to the church why we

sometimes will lay hands on people here

at the altar right we're not doing magic

tricks right we're not being weird or

anything or just trying to comfort

people we actually believe that the Holy

Spirit flows through people to other

people and there's power in that

physical touch there's almost a

transference so to speak now we don't

believe it has to happen that way God

can touch people without someone else

touching them but there's something

special about when a person with the

Holy Spirit lays their hand on another

person and prays for them now we ask

people to do that just a little side

note appropriately the altar people who

are leaders usually men with men women

with women we try to be appropriate with

all that unless you're a pastor and then

we do our job but the whole idea is that

that you're touching people and it's

almost like it's contagious that Holy

Spirit that is in you flows through you

to that person in this case through the

leaders Peter and John so it's a very

special moment the gospel is going out

and there's no mention of tongues in

this case it doesn't say that the

Cimmerian Christians then spoke in

tongues they might have we don't know it

just doesn't say either way but it does

say that it was sort of a second

experience they had I don't know how

many people we have here from a Catholic

background or a an Episcopalian

background or a church tradition that

has confirmation in it how many people

are familiar with the concept of confer

Meishan if you could raise your hand

okay got about half of us here what it

is in the Catholic Church the language

is beautiful they believe that at

baptism and they baptize babies that at

baptism the the baby receives the Holy

Spirit we believe that that happens when

a person accepts Jesus as a as a person

who understands what they're doing but

the baptism they receive the Holy Spirit

but a confirmation or I shouldn't say

they received the Holy Spirit that

they're marked as Christians at

confirmation the bishop not like a

relative of mine you know but a bishop

bishop in the church lays hands on the

the the people and the language is that

they receive the Holy Spirit the power

and the gifts of the Holy Spirit at that

moment now this is a church tradition

that very often doesn't have any

spiritual reality to it sometimes it

does some people really they go through

their confirmation it really means

something to them for some people it's

just what you do because you're 13 right

so you do it and but whatever the case

isn't it interesting that they separate

out baptism from receiving the Holy

Spirit through the laying on of hands I

believe I think that in the early church

2,000 years ago it was happening like

this that people would accept Jesus

people would lay hands and pray for them

they would receive another experience of

the Holy Spirit and they codified it in

a liturgy that has survived the

millennia and whether or not it really

has that spiritual significance we can

see the outlines of what we read here in

the book of Acts all that to say that

once a person becomes a Christian

doesn't mean you're done spiritually it

means you're just beginning there's more

amen okay now let's keep going you with

me I know this is a there's a lot of

some of you are like Greg I'm just

trying to wake up I haven't had my third

cup of coffee yet you hang with me okay

it's gonna be all right okay okay

Acts chapter 10 verse 44 remember how

Jesus said the got the the the gospel

and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit

will spread in concentric circles going

out from Jerusalem well it goes even

further a gent

eyal and a Gentile centurion no less a

military captain then is spoken to by an

angel who asked him to seek for Peter to

come and talk about the gospel with him

in Acts chapter 10

so Peter because he had had a vision

telling him don't reject these people

just because they're Gentiles the

Gospels for everybody

Peter goes and he goes into the house of

Cornelius forbidden for an Orthodox

Jewish person to do you'll make yourself

ceremonially unclean but he says God has

shown me I shouldn't call any person

unclean God has a purpose for all of

humanity so I'm here to share the gospel

with you so Peter is there

Cornelius invited a bunch of his

neighbors and friends over the house

it's a great model for evangelism

they're over the house these are people

he knows Peter comes in and says well

I'm just gonna talk to him about Jesus

he says you have all heard stories about

Jesus he was a man approved by God who

went around doing miracles in doing good

and and talking about how people should

repent and believe in the father and he

just starts talking about Jesus in terms

that they could understand

they weren't Jewish and look at what

happens in verse 44 while Peter was

still speaking these words the Holy

Spirit came on all who heard the message

the circumcised believers who had come

with Peter were astonished circumcised

are the Jewish ones right they've been

circumcised were astonished that the

gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured

out even on Gentiles how did they know

that the Holy Spirit had been poured out

on them verse 46 for they heard them

speaking in tongues and praising God so

in other words Peters preaching he did

lay hands on anyone he's just preaching

and suddenly boom the Holy Spirit fell

on the room and everybody just starts

going nuts there start as a God praise

you thank you and some people are just

speaking in tongues and so it's like

Peter's like my sermons been interrupted

here I'm trying to preach it's sort of

like you're praying for a thunderstorm

and it starts raining you don't get

angry that the rain interrupted

your prayer right that's what you were

praying for right so it was okay that he

was interrupted because that's what he

wanted was for them to meet Jesus and be

filled with the Holy Spirit but it just

mayhem cut loose right there he says

well they're already baptized in the

Holy Spirit immersed saturated in the

Holy Spirit they may as well be baptized

in water now a couple things I want to

point out here one sometimes we can fall

into religious patterns where we think

God is always going to move in the same

way now in Samaria Peter and John laid

hands on people and they received the

Holy Spirit but here in in this place

wherever Cornelius lived further away he

didn't lay hands on anybody the Holy

Spirit just poured out sometimes we can

become religious and try to fabricate or

repeat the same experience because we

wanted to be exactly like it happened

last Sunday or just like it happened two

years ago here's a little story I heard

again I'm taking a little break from the

Bible study for this story apparently

during a electricity blackout of some

sort in New York 30 or 40 years ago

people would still could work their gas

stoves and they would sit by their gas

stoves to warm up and there was one lady

who was sitting by her gas stove and she

was a Christian and she was praying and

just as she was there by the gas stove

praying the Holy Spirit fell on her she

started speaking in tongues and was just

filled with the Holy Spirit in a

beautiful way and so guess what all the

people in her church started doing

sitting by their gas stove and praying

for the filling of the Holy Spirit

because God must move through gas stoves

they meant okay I'm obviously being

ironic the point I'm trying to make is

just because the Holy Spirit moved in a

certain way and one moment doesn't mean

that he is going to do the exact same

thing in the same way in another person

or another situation okay things are

going to be different the Holy Spirit is

compared to the wind the wind can be

unpredictable you can't control the wind

the wind is going to move and manifest

in different ways so we see that here

another thing I'll point out the people

in the room with Cornelius we're all

speaking in tongues and it doesn't say

that anybody understood what they were

saying okay it doesn't say and every one

of the rooms started speaking in tongues

and one guy over here said wow he's

speaking Swahili how did he know that it

doesn't say that the impression that we

get is that people were praising and

praying and exclaiming things to God in

their language and in another language

and no one necessarily understood what

was being said it was just a spiritual

way of expressing themselves to God it

was not being used for evangelism for

preaching or for prophecy okay it's

really important for us to notice that

that it was a little bit different from

what happened at Pentecost in that sense

okay now hang with me here the story

continues the gospel keeps spreading way

out to a town in in Asia Minor in Asia

Minor and Turkey called Ephesus so go

with me to acts 19 verse one to seven

acts 19 one two seven and so while

they're out there the gospel spreads way

out too far away we're not talking just

Boston we're not even talking Norwood

we're talking all the way down to

Foxborough do I just get it yeah

far away right to a place that would

seem very far away to people they'd

heard some things about the gospel but

it was only partial they were very much

only half informed about what

Christianity was all about because look

what happens when they arrive it while

Apollo's was at Corinth Paul took the

road through the interior arrived at

Ephesus so he's way out far away and

there he found some disciples so these

people are disciples that's a word used

for followers of God in some way and he

asked them did you receive the Holy

Spirit when you believed so they

believed in God we assume they had some

knowledge of Jesus they believed he said

did you receive the Holy Spirit and they

answered no we haven't even heard that

there is a Holy Spirit okay so in other

words they needed to take too

bullshit level one right away okay and I

think that happens actually a lot among

us two people may come and and believe

in God and have some experience but

their knowledge is very partial they

don't really understand much about

what's going on so Paul asked them what

baptism did you receive and they said

John's baptism John and he said John's

baptism was a baptism of repentance

remember John the Baptist saying repent

of your sins and believe in the one

coming after me

well Paul told him he told people to

believe in the one coming after him

that's Jesus so hearing this they were

baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus

so now they're really getting their

ducks in a row about what it means to

believe not just about repenting and

believing God but believing in Jesus in

the gospel all that and then in verse 6

it says when Paul placed his hands on

them the Holy Spirit came on them and

they spoke in tongues and prophesied and

says there were about 12 of them isn't

that a funny coincidence there's about

12 of these guys so just like God there

were twelve apostles well there's 12

Ephesians who are getting filled with

the Holy Spirit in this way what I want

to emphasize here again Paul laid his

hands on them so that happened again

they received the Holy Spirit they spoke

in a supernatural language and also

prophesied the word prophesy some people

might not know what that means

prophesy means you speak a message from

God the story I told at the beginning of

the of this message was a story about

prophecy it was a story about God giving

a message to God's people and he did it

through a supernatural language language

that was then interpreted into English

so prophecy is a message from God so

these people were speaking in

Supernatural language and also getting

messages from God so it was awesome so

the Holy Spirit was beginning to be

poured out here so we see again the this

expansion of the gospel the outpouring

of the Holy Spirit with different types

of manifestations going in outward

concentric circles out of Jerusalem and

here's what I believe there are some

people who believe that when the Bible

was written it stopped the gospel keeps

spreading but no more of the miracles

that are described in the

book of Acts my only theological

question you know for that is why why do

we believe it stops the book of Acts is

still being written right the gospel is

still spreading out around the world

until Jesus returns the gospel spread

out of the Middle East throughout Europe

now if it been throughout Asia here to

the west to the new world and the gospel

is spreading here in Boston and there's

more places for the gospel to spread so

why should we expect the outpouring of

the Holy Spirit with signs and wonders

and miracles and manifestations to stop

we still need God's power to spread the

gospel to people we still need it

there's no reason to think that the

story is over it will end when Jesus

comes back and were in heaven there will

be no need for miracles then because our

whole life will be supernatural right

we'll be in heaven but while we're here

we still need everything that God might

give us to spread the gospel with power

and that includes and that's what we're

talking about today the gift of speaking

in tongues speaking in a supernaturally

given language for different purposes

and that ability we believe still

continues today after 2,000 years now

one thing I would say is that we believe

it is a frequent that speaking in that

supernatural language is a frequent sign

of the Holy Spirit being poured out what

we believe in this church is that that

is not the only sign of a person being

filled with the Holy Spirit there there

might be people filled with the Holy

Spirit who experience just a burst of

joy or a burst of love or a healing or

the ability to prophesy or maybe they

don't receive the gift of tongues at

that moment we're not going to say that

they have not been filled with the Holy

Spirit that there are different ways

that that can manifest what we will say

is that the ability to speak in a

supernatural language is a common and

frequent manifestation of the Holy

Spirit and it's a gift that opens people

up to the spiritual dimension

a powerful way that can be life-changing

so I do believe that this is a common

gift we're not going to say it's the

only sign of people being filled with

the holy spirit so you with me up to now

now people don't have to agree with

everything I'm saying okay there can be

questions there could be disagreements

we believe we've that's okay all right

but I just wanted to present what I

believe in ice and I'm pretty confident

that I speak for our senior pastor as

well now I'd like to talk a little bit

more about this okay

if you'll go with me to the book of

Corinthians first Corinthians chapter 14

because speaking in tongues can get kind

of weird sometimes right I don't know if

anyone's ever been in a church where

speaking in tongues can get a little


right maybe in our own church we could

get weird sometimes right well we're not

the first right in the old church in the

early church in the city of Corinth

there was a church where people were not

very mature there was a lot of people

with different types of immature

attitudes and yet they were receiving

the power of the Holy Spirit and

apparently some of these people because

they had the ability to speak in tongues

began to think that they were better

than everyone else they started thinking

I could speak in tongues and this person

can I'm better than you

or maybe we both speak in tongues but I

speak in tongues better than you do

right and there was something called

spiritual pride that got into the


dividing Christians into being first

class citizens and second class citizens

and apparently in their services things

would get wild there would be people

just making noise everyone would be

yelling at the same time speaking in

tongues at the same time kind of talking

over one another and visitors were like

this is nuts right the Apostle Paul says

look the Holy Spirit does want to move

among you but God is not a God of

confusion he's a God of peace he's a God

of order and so he talked to them about

doing things in order about being

sensitive to other people and yet not

squelching the power of the Holy Spirit

I think usually

our problem as Christians is not that we

are too crazy in the spirit it's that

we're too careful to control things I

think we need to open up more not less

okay so I just want to say that from the

get-go but let's look at what he's got

to say in 1st Corinthians 14 starting in

verse 13 by the way anyone know what you

know Bible Quiz 1st Corinthians 13

anyone know what that chapter is about

first Corinthians 13 it's the famous

love chapter right people read it at

weddings and that kind of thing you know

how that chapter starts it says if I

speak in the tongues of men and of

angels but have not love I have become a

clanging cymbal or a gong a noisy gong

and he's talking about how the

importance of the move of the Holy

Spirit is love expressing itself through

miraculous manifestations and I will

tell you that when the Holy Spirit is

moving and and I have had the privilege

of being close to that or being a

channel for that there is always a

supernatural love that is transferred

you just feel an affection for the

person you know God's moving God's

moving and so love and power go together


so in verse in chapter 14 the Apostle

Paul explains about the gift of tongues

so go with me there 1st corinthians 14

verse 13 for this reason the one who

speaks in a tongue should pray that they

may interpret what they say for if I

pray in a tongue my spirit prays but my

mind is unfruitful so what shall I do I

will pray with my spirit but I will also

pray with my understanding I will sing

with my spirit but I will also sing with

my understanding otherwise when you are

praising God in the spirit how can

someone else who is now put in the

position of an Enquirer or say Amen to

your Thanksgiving since they do not know

what you're saying you may be giving

thanks well enough but no one else is

edified okay so I want to stop right

there so the Apostle Paul is talking

about the ability to speak or say

in tongues isn't that cool and I just

want to stop right there you this

language is not just for speaking it's

also for singing then things get really

interesting okay but we'll come back to

that but the ability to speak or spacing

in another language is not just like it

was an actor to to speak messages in

known languages but just a way a

person's spirit is speaking to God and

singing to God in a way that the person

doesn't even understand what they're

saying now again I just want to pause

for a minute isn't that bizarre why

would God give someone the ability to

pray or to sing in a language that they

don't even understand I don't know if I

have fully the answers but have you ever

thought about that why would God do that

why why you know why not just be in a

language that you know why would God

give you the ability to do it the

language you don't even know I don't

really have a clear answer for you on

that except that that's just the way it


amen preach it sister she does know amen

it's a language perhaps

from heaven perhaps it's the tongues of

angels right it could be a heavenly like

for some reason I can't understand

things of the Spirit completely with my

mind right supernatural things are

beyond my ability to comprehend I don't

even understand my own spirit so when my

own spirit is talking to God why not

speak a language my mind doesn't even

understand it's not anti-intellectual

it's beyond the intellect it's another


it's a heavenly dimension where it's a

portal into the invisible supernatural

heavenly dimension of my identity and my

connection with God

and it's almost like heavens being

opened up and there's a spirit talking

to spirit and my brain is taking a break

and I don't mind you guys but my brain

needs a break periodically right and

you're talking to someone who you know

is as geeky as you get when it comes to

learning in school right you know I was


but I'm not anti intellectual but I'm

saying that our spirit can commune with

God in a way that goes beyond the

intellect the Apostle Paul says it here

you maybe you know what are we saying

when we do this he says you could be

giving thanks and you don't even know

what you're giving thanks for but your

spirit is giving things you could be

praising you could be interceding it for

whatever reason you your spirit is

communicating with God now maybe you

have a hunch of what you're saying

especially when you're singing because

you just know your spirit is praising

God you don't know what he's saying but

it must be good and I can't wait to get

to heaven when I'll understand what my

spirit just said to the Lord right but

there is a communication going on now

here's a clarification the Apostle Paul

says that when you're in church you want

to be careful too if you're gonna speak

in a way that takes over the service if

you're gonna grab the microphone and

give a message in tongues or in an

supernatural language you shouldn't do

that unless you're praying also for an

interpretation like the story I shared

at the beginning of my message because

otherwise you just spoke in tongues and

everyone sitting there saying wow I have

no idea what that dude just said some of

you are hearing sermons in your own

language and you're thinking I still

don't understand what he's saying

but it's bad enough right and so the

idea is when a person is going to lead

in prayer that there should be an

expectation that if the spirits going to

move in them to speak in tongues that we

should pray for an interpretation to

that message now that does not mean that

a person is never allowed to pray in

tongues in church there are some times

during our worship time when we're all

just quietly praying to the Lord and

expressing our heart to God and I don't

know how many languages we have in this

room but even natural languages I think

we must have well over a dozen languages

here that people speak and if your

original language is Swahili I hope that

when you're praising God you're able to

express yourself in Swahili to the Lord

right or Spanish or English or French

Creole or polish or whatever language it

is and so there are

times where we're all sort of praying

and crying out to God and I think it is

perfectly appropriate at that time for a

person to pray in tongues sometimes when

we're interceding for other people and I

have to be careful with myself sometimes

I'll be praying for someone and I'll be

like god I don't know what to pray and

so I'll say god I pray that your Holy

Spirit will pray through me for this

person and maybe I'll pray for them in

tongues but then I need to be careful

because I'm other person look I say

what's going on here what was that of

course watch them turn around and say

how did you know Garifuna you know that

would be really funny right but the

whole idea is that sometimes the spirit

can pray through us but we need to be

sensitive that we're not distracting

people as we do that but I don't believe

I believe if you have that gift use it

right I don't think this is saying we

shouldn't ever speak in tongues but we

should just be aware of our surroundings

it is not anti spiritual to think about

others when you're in church

it's just loving to think how does my

experience with God affect the people

around me that's not an inappropriate

question we should be sensitive when

we're in a group but also there should

be freedom for the Holy Spirit to do

things even strange things sometimes

amen okay let me keep working on this

another point I would make and by the

way I heard an interesting story about

this a particular friend of mine who

might or might not be in this room when

she was a young woman she received the

power of the Holy Spirit began speaking

in tongues and was wondering God she'd

never even heard about it she'd never he

had heard a sermon like this it just

happened to her and she was like god I

wonder what I'm saying so she sat down

and she wrote down some of the phonetics

of what she was saying and at the end of

every line was the word Abba and she

didn't know what I meant

at the time she was brand-new is it Abba

is the Hebrew word for father and and

the Bible says the Holy Spirit cries out

through us Abba Father right so I

believe that the Holy Spirit was moving

her to talk to my father she didn't even

know it you know I wonder what else was

being said there so that's just because

I don't understand what I'm saying

doesn't mean that it doesn't have


here's another point the Apostle Paul

says that you can do everything in order

which means that when a person is

speaking in tongues they have control

over what they're doing okay I really

want to emphasize that some of us think

and some theologians who don't know what

they're talking about

call speaking in tongues ecstatic

utterance right that's what they call it

as if a person goes into an ecstatic

trance they lose control of themselves

and they start speaking in another


that's not speaking in tongues speaking

in tongues is the ability to speak

another language just like you speak

French or English or Spanish it's not a

a trance where you lose control of

yourself it's it's really normal

actually I know you he doth protest too

much but what I am gonna say is it feels

really normal

it doesn't feel in fact speaking in

tongues does not always have a spiritual

feeling associated with it it might and

and I think if a person prays in tongues

it can kind of get them into the zone

look at it this way when you pray or

when you sing do you always feel the

presence of God always no I'm most I'd

hate to even say this but most of the

time when we start praying and singing

we don't feel anything we're just

talking to God we're just singing out of

sincere obedience but we don't have

emotions associated with it

but then once you get rolling things can

change right how about a worship service

very often we start out just singing

without any emotion at all and then by

the end of the worship time we're

swimming right we're swimming in the

Holy Spirit and in emotions because you

started and eventually you entered into

a zone where your emotions are lined up

with your spirit and your mouth

well speaking in tongues is the same way

very often there is no emotion

whatsoever associated with it a person

just does it and then over time it helps

them enter into a spiritual zone where

their emotions are more sensitive to

things of the Spirit but the person

who's speaking in tongues has full

control over what they're doing if they

go into a trance and they have no

control that is the exception not the

rule that is a highly unusual thing it's

not the normal way that it happens so

okay now that's the end of most of my

Bible teaching on this but I do want to

say that at the very beginning of this

chapter the Apostle Paul says that when

you're in church you should be looking

to edify others he says but when I pray

in tongues I edit I myself it just helps

me it doesn't help me be a better

Christian than you it helps me be a

better Christian than I otherwise would

have been because that's helping me get

in the zone what do you do to help edify

yourself maybe you listen to Christian

music you read the Bible you go to

church you take a discipleship class you

listen to sermons it's the same thing

it's one more thing a person can do that

helps them connect into God and walk in

the spirit now I'd like to share some

stories if I may am i cool with that

we're just bringing it home and I just

want to share some a couple stories here

the key whether a person agrees with

every little detail of what a church

believes about this what is absolutely

essential is that every Christian brings

to God a humble attitude before him that

says God I am up for whatever you have

for me that any gift you want to give me

I'm not going to say no thank you

right there's a beautiful section where

Jesus says which of you fathers though

you are evil right if your son asks for

a fish would give him a scorpion if you

ask for bread would give him a stone if

you though you are evil know how to give

good gifts to your children how much

more will the whole that your heavenly

Father give the Holy Spirit to those who

ask him there is always more of the Holy

Spirit for those who are hungry and

asking and willing to receive and we can

trust that if God has a gift for me it's

good and we need to bring before him an

attitude of saying god I don't care how

silly it is I don't know how kind of how

crazy it is God if something is from you

I want it sort of that attitude of a

child that's

if it's if it's from you I know it's

something I want and that's how I

reacted as a as a 16 year old new

Christian we had a little discipleship

group of Catholic boys who we we adopted

a Pentecostal Episcopalian priest kind

of Casa to give us discipleship and he

started teaching us about the experience

of getting filled with the Holy Spirit

and different gifts of the Holy Spirit

speaking in tongues and I heard this I'm

16 years old and I thought hey why not

sounds like fun

you know how's that for a sophisticated

theological it was just like well some

people are doing drugs I'll do this why

not you know I just I just looked like

why not and I think that I hate to say

this guy's but sometimes that's not a

bad thing to say so it might be so why

should I speak it says well why not if

it's something God has for you why not

in that attitude so so I decided okay I

want to pray for this you know I want to

have the own by the way a really good

friend of mine who you know I won't name

his name but he's about 10 feet tall and

he's a missionary in the Middle East

okay just Inc I'm not going to name his

name though because I don't wanna give

away his identity when I first met that

person he would pray for two hours a day

everyday for missions and for the world

he was the most godly person I'd ever

met 18 years old freshman in college

right two hours a day without fail

praying for missions sharing the gospel

and he never had had the experience of

speaking in tongues and of course I was

18 and I was Rambo and I'm ready to pray

for anybody right I said hey hey brother

that's pray for this you know and he

said he says you could pray for me for

whatever I want whatever God said I've

never had that gift and so one day we're

praying together and he was actually

just about to step into leadership of

our college group at that time and I

felt led by the spirit I felt God's

presence that I felt like God wanted to

anoint him for leadership in a special

way and he happened to be really like

nasty sick with a horrible cold you know

sniffily whatever we're praying so I

pray God please heal my friend and then

I said and I said God I also pray that

you would fill him with the Holy Spirit

in a special way and give him the gift

of tongues if that's what you want to do

right now as I prayed for him and

and then we ended our prayer time I went

back to my room he came in an hour later

with a big smile and said hey Greg you

prayed for two things one of them was

answered and I'm still sick that's

that's the way he worries that's his

mind that's and he said he said this is

this is great he says now I can pray for

three hours when I run out of things to

pray I'll just let the Holy Spirit take

over he was very he wasn't a real if

he's not a real emotional person God has

made him extremely steady so he didn't

have all kinds of Tears but he was just

now he just had another another

instrument another way to pray and he's

like oh that's very handy I appreciate

this this is nice well that's it you

know he wasn't all you know he would

still himself but he had that gifts had

that ability and because he had the

attitude of God I don't even see why I

would need that but God I want whatever

you've got for me and I'm not gonna say

he was already a more mature Christian

than I was he was already a man of God

already anointed already a prayer

warrior but he just had an attitude of

God I want whatever I'm gonna need it

for what I'm called to do I need

everything you're gonna give me right so

when I first heard about this I'm 16

years old I'm hearing about it sounds

like fun pray for me guys so of course

we get in a circle and my buddy drew

played guitar and so he just played okay

we're gonna pray for you and he's

playing guitar and by the way Charles

Finney was our hero you're gonna hear

about him later and they lay down hands

on me Andy and they all had the gift of

tongues so they start praying for me and

I'm like well what is this you know I

but I really wanted it so I prayed

really hard you know and I learned as a

five-year-old in Christian preschool

that if you squint really hard it's more

powerful right I'm squinting really hard

I'm really you know it's got to happen I

don't want to speak in tongues and I

just tried it because they said just

speak so right like something we did

last week so I tried it I said oh this

feels goofy it's not real I feel like

I'm just making it up and oh like what

happened what's wrong with me and then

of course I thought well it must be that

I'm in sin right maybe I'm maybe I'm bad

I'm not good enough for God to give me

the Holy Spirit you know it started to

feel guilty and like no it's not like


God just has his timing like well

whatever then there was another time

where we did the same thing went through

the same rigmarole a couple weeks later

nothing happened finally I'm like God I

don't know I'm just gonna leave it in

your hands then after a Wednesday night

prayer meeting at this at this

Episcopalians priest church they

gathered up to pray for a couple of us

and it was a quiet quiet prayer meeting

and during this prayer meeting there

were some adults there too and two

ladies had messages for me that I

believe were prophetic messages they

didn't know me but they told me things

that they had no way of knowing that I

felt like God was speaking through them

and I just felt very peaceful and quiet

I didn't I wasn't squinting really hard

I wasn't trying really hard I just felt

quiet and I found myself just whispering

some words again I thought oh no no I'm

not gonna and and then after the prayer

meeting the lady who had prophesied to

me said you know I thought I heard you

whispering something she's like you know

God's not gonna you know force you to do

this you know just just try see if you

feel like some words are coming just try

saying them if it's of God it'll flow if

it's not it won't yeah there you go so I

was like well okay we'll see so I'm

driving home right sixteen years old

driving home but put where my parents

think in right anyway sixteen you're

allowed to drive 16 it's good right so

I'm driving and so I'm going home and I

figured you know I'm just gonna start

speaking so I start just saying some of

these words and I thought I felt so

silly I was like gods up there looking

at me like kid what are you doing I

don't understand the word yours and I

thought I must be just making this up

but then I thought I'll say a few more

words and I'll just be goofy about I

just got the next thing I knew within a

minute or two it was flowing and I knew

I'm not making this up and I'm like okay

okay now it's real okay now I can feel

the difference and so I'm just and then

when I get in close to home I start

really feeling something too I start

feeling God's presence and then I got

worried I was like am I gonna be able to

speak English to my mother when I get

home so I get out of the car and I'm

practicing right hi mom

I'm practicing so I get in the house

right hi mom you know I just had this

I'm not good at hiding things I never

have then I just and she's just looking

at me and and I go upstairs and I pray

and then I was so excited though I had

to tell her right so I come down I tell

my mother said mom guess you're not

gonna believe what just happened cuz

she's like what are you doing at this

prayer meeting because I had this look

right like what's wrong with you

like what are you doing and I was like

mom I now speak in tongues and she does

these were her literal words I don't say

that her real words don't tell your

father he'll call the child psychologist

those were her words and if she's

watching she knows she said that to me

don't tell your father he'll call the

child psychologist you know that night I

couldn't sleep I was you know the

closest thing compared to is being

intoxicated in love for the first time

you know I couldn't sleep I was just

speaking in tongues all night I would

just speak in tongues in the show what I

apparently I was speaking in tongues in

the shower the next morning because my

such like Greg I heard you speaking over

there in the shower it's getting really

strange you know and and I go to school

and someone looks at me as like what are

you on today and I'm like it's God man

and I and I just start sharing the

gospel with I just couldn't keep it in

the gospel just flowed out of me and

then I got so excited I'm like I just

want to serve Jesus all out so I read in

Charles Finney about confessing all your

sins everything you can ever remember

doing so I sat down I wrote down all the

sins I could remember and I go in my in

the bathroom right I got all these pages

and I light it on fire and and put it in

the toilet and and my parents are not

gonna throw Greg what are you doing in

there you know we smell smoke I'm like

nothing I'm just praying what are you

doing I smell smoke it's just like

Seinfeld it was it was anyway with

anyway I was just blitzed with the Holy

Spirit so and I should remember the date

that was all December 5 1984 I'll never

forget that day you know December 5 1984

the Lisa Campos anniversary and and

that's what

never forget that because it opened up a

new supernatural dimension for me now

after a week or two I came back down to

earth and I was a normal 16 years old

with moods and whatever and and but the

gift of tongues remained and the ability

to pray in tongues became a part of my

daily life that is just part of what

just as I'm doing my thing it helps me

just my spirit stay in touch with God

and the beauty of it is you can pray and

not think which is wonderful when you're

supposed to think about something else

right sometimes you need to think about

something else like when I'll be well I

don't want to weird people out but I'll

be doing things you know driving

ministering listening and I'm praying in

tongues to myself because I'm my spirit

is trying to open up to what God wants

to do in that moment and just part of

daily life it just comes in handy now

and it helps me write sometimes I feel

something usually I don't write usually

it's just part of normal life you're

walking through your day the ability to

pray incessantly so this is what

speaking in tongues is all about and

again it's not just this particular gift

what I really want to leave us with

today and I want to leave with a

testimony I'm going to read from Charles

Finney is that it's not about having

this gift or that gift it's all about

being hungry to experience whatever God

wants to do in my life whether you speak

in tongues or whether you sing or

prophesy or whatever you do if you're

experiencing the fullness of God that's

what it's about and we always should be

hungry for more

jesus said if you'll give good gifts

your children your heavenly Father give

the Holy Spirit to those who ask him

there's always more

but Jesus makes it very clear that it's

the pushy friend who receives from his

other friend remember the story it says

which one of you has a friend who comes

to you late at night knocks at the door

and says hey I've got company over I

don't have any food to give him give me

something and the friend from inside

answers and says don't bother me I'm in

bed with the kids already the guy keeps

knocking and he says he will not get up

and give him anything because he's his


because of his shameless audacity he

will get up and give him everything he


Jesus Mexican you might be a friend of

God God loves you and you love God but

unless you are shamelessly pushy with

him then your spiritual life will suffer

because God gives to those who ask he

says ask and you'll receive seek and you

will find knock and the door will be

open everyone who asks receives but we

need to knock at the door we need to be

hungry and I'd encourage you don't look

to have a particular experience in a

particular way

just look for more of whatever God has

for you and say God I am up for whatever

with you I want more of you amen now I

want to read to end this time you'll

stick with me a little bit and then

we're gonna have a moment of Prayer

but I'd like to read a testimony written

by Charles Finney who's my favorite

evangelist from the early 19th century

he would go to towns and just look at

someone and there would be a revival

with you know thousands of people

accepting Jesus and he was anointed in

fact his revivals were really the steam

behind the abolition movement in the in

the early 19th century but he was a

lawyer very intellectual and look at

what happened to him in 1821 he tells

his story it says but as I turned I was

about to take a seat by the fire he's in

his law office and I received a mighty

baptism of the Holy Ghost without any

expectation of it without ever having

thought in my mind that there was any

such thing for me without my

recollection that I had ever heard the

thing mentioned by any person in the

world the Holy Ghost descended on me in

a manner that seemed to go through me

body and soul I could feel the

impression like a wave of electricity

going through and through me indeed it

seemed to come in waves and waves of

liquid love for I could not express it

in any other way it seemed like the very

breath of God I can recollect distinctly

that it seemed to fan me like a men

swings no words can express the

wonderful love that was shed abroad in

my heart I wept aloud with joy and love

and I do not know but I should say I

literally bellowed out the unknowable

gushing z' of my heart

maybe I hinted tongues there the waves

came over me and over me one after the

other until I recollect I cried out I

shall die if these waves continue to

pass over me I said Lord I cannot bear

it any more yet I had no fear of death

now how long I continued in this state

with this baptism continuing to rule

over me and go through me I do not know

but I know it was late in the evening

when a member of my choir for I was the

leader of the choir came into the office

to see me in the state of loud weeping

and said to me mr. Feeny what ails you I

could make him no answer for some time

and then he said are you in pain I

gathered myself up as best I could and

replied no but so happy that I cannot

live that awesome now he didn't says as

I as I mentioned throughout there amen

you can he didn't speak in tongues but

he was baptized in the Holy Spirit

immersed in the Holy Spirit and that is

what sparked the anointing in him that

led to the revivals through him brothers

and sisters God has things for you and

me to do but we can't do it on our own

power you're going to need the power of

the Holy Spirit through you to

accomplish your destiny let us not hold

short with questions and doubts let's

come to God and say God whatever you got

for me I want it and I need it and it's

all about God it's not about just

electricity the love is what flowed

through him because the Holy Spirit

isn't a force but a person who exerts a

force and his love is here for us so I

invite you to stand with me

and just right where you are we are

going to end with a worship song and but

and as we do this and as we pray I want

to invite you we're just gonna take a

moment it's just in the quietness of

your own heart in your own way to open

yourself up to the movement of the Holy

Spirit in your life to the baptism and

filling of the Holy Spirit if you want

to come forward during the song you can

or right where you are you can pray this

but we're going to take a minute Holy

Father we come before you right now we

thank you Lord that you are a generous

father and that you give to all without

finding fault lord I need your power to

do what you've called me to do we need

your power to be the church that you've

called us to be and I'm gonna invite you

if you want to raise your hands you can

whatever you need to do to open your

heart to God in a physical gesture and

Holy Spirit we invite you to fall on

this gathering right now Holy Spirit

that you would whisper among us that you

would move among us like that gentle

dove resting upon your people

I might you to pray with me Holy Spirit

I open my heart to you Jesus baptized me

in the Holy Spirit fill me to

overflowing I want more of you I give

you full freedom to take control of my

life and to fill me to overflowing

whatever that looks like Lord that you

would fan to flame that the gift that is

in us right now I pray God that you

would release gifts Lord that you would

release power right now in the name of

Jesus that you would release the

anointing that you have for people in

the name of Jesus God that right now you

would unleash the full variety of the

giftings you have for this gathering

gifts of tongues gifts of prophecy gifts

of healing gifts of leadership gifts of

worship Lord gifts of administration

Lord God most of all God the gift of the

power to proclaim your word in a way

that saves souls Lord God let your power

fall on this place Holy Spirit fall in

this place we knock on the door Holy

Spirit we knock on the door Holy Spirit

we push like that shameless neighbor and

we say God give us what you have for us

Lord God we are hungry for more of you

whatever you have for us we wanted Lord

God God we repent for putting limits on

you we repent for putting boundaries

around what you can and can't do in our

lives we want everything that you have

for us Holy Spirit move move among us

Lord God

we lift up the name of Jesus we worship

The Value of One

so before I get going with my message I

just really am so excited to show you

this video this next video really shows

you all there is to know about what

happened in Pakistan but you see when I

go to these places then the Lord has

called me specifically to reach into the

Islamic nations see the greatest message

that I can preach to them is the message

of who Jesus really is the revelation of

Jesus to mankind because in the Koran

they believe in Jesus Jesus there's a

whole chapter on Jesus on the miracles

of Jesus they believe it was the son of

Mary the son of Joseph but they don't

believe he was the son of God they don't

believe he was God the Son and Jesus

says unless you believe that I am he

that I am the great I am who became a

man then you will die in your sins so

this really was one of the themes of my

message if we can just show the video




I travel to the nations but I love

coming to Pakistan

you're the most alive people I've ever



this great iron became a man


it wasn't the Jews that cheered crucify

him that killed Jesus I'm gonna say

something outrageous now it was you that

killed Jesus it was me that killed Jesus

was a sin that killed Jesus he was

saying I am the God of Abraham Isaac and




in the name of Jesus he shall go because

today is the day of salvation



you say I'm the creator of the heavens

in the air





and that Jesus is the revelation of God

to mankind praise God


whether we are eternally lost or

eternally foul







you know that just in that meeting that

one meeting alone there were 80,000

people and when I made the order Call of

salvation I mean everything's just a

blur it's just the sea of heads a sea of

people so I can't really count how many

you there how much so I rely on the

organizers because they're the ones

telling me now when I made their order

call for salvation you know I I said to

the crowds I says who prayed the prayer

of salvation and invited Christ into

there into your heart for the first time

tonight and all these hands went up I

said to the person next to me how many

people was that how many lifted their

hands for the first time to receive

Jesus and he said to me well based on

the number here I would say that's

around 40,000 people can we give God

praise come on you know when heaven is

rejoicing we cannot be silent and then

it gets better I I invited people to be

baptized in the Holy Ghost and so I said

anybody who has yet to be baptized in

the spirit of God and who doesn't speak

in another tongue now's the time to

receive this is the day of Pentecost and

you might say well it wasn't the day of

Pentecost back then a few weeks ago this

was today is that there of Pentecost

right 50 days after the resurrection of

Jesus is that their pen did you not know

that but you know it's the day of

Pentecost but the Lord corrected me the

Lord showed me there is no day of

Pentecost there are only days of

Pentecost and we are living in one of

them right now every day we live in an

era of Pentecost and the Holy Ghost has

already fallen and he's still falling

and falling and falling every every day


to everyone who believes and calls upon

the name of the law

well anyway I prayed for people to be

baptized I ask God to open the heavens

to pour out the Holy Ghost of fresh for

fresh fire to come and now I had to

build them up on on Acts chapter two I

had to kind of for ten minutes just open

my Bible and give him a little teaching

about what happened on the day of

Pentecost and so I said are you ready

are you ready to receive and so they're

saying yes I said well look God's not

gonna wiggle your tongue he doesn't move

your tongue you have to move your tongue

you know it's something but many times

to end up in the spirit you have to

start off in the flesh and when you do

everything that you can in a natural

then God puts the super to your natural

and releases the supernatural hello

and so I said right now for those of you

who are yet to speak in another tongue

just move your tongue and just begin

appraise him in what language you know

just praise him in your own tongue and

then as you move this tongue of flesh a

tongue of fire will connect with your

tongue of flesh and release a new

language hallelujah and so this is what

happened and then as I said after three

one two three now raise your voices and

I ask God to open the heavens and so I

just begin to hear this this simmering

tongue in the background just this mixed

sea of tongues and it got louder and

louder and louder and it got so loud

that all I heard were was a mass of

people speaking in other tongues and

then when it calmed down I I asked the

person next him I sort of nudged him

again so well how many people is that

so I said whoever spoke in tongues for

the first time who got baptized for the

first time raise your hand and all these

hands went up when I and I I couldn't

count the number so I said well how many

is that

and he said mmm I asked him eight that

is about 20,000 P

that just got baptized in the Holy Ghost

for the first time isn't that amazing I

mean there were only 120 people under

there Pentecost and here we have 20,000

getting baptized in the Holy Ghost

speaking of the tongues but you see this

is what was prophesied Haggai 2 verse 9

it says that the glory of the latter

house shall be greater than the former

house says the Lord and you know we go

from glory to glory the Bible says and

when the devil comes uses all your best

days are behind you I've come to call

that devil a liar I'm calling him out

and I'm saying no your best days are

ahead of you your best and your most

blessed days are ahead of you can you

say Amen and if you've gone for a season

of difficulty a season of trial who's

gone through some difficulty here hands

up who's got who's been mourning during

the night while I'm coming here to tell

you today when you stepped into church

you didn't step into just a Sunday

morning you stepped into a new season

and I'm here to declare that there's a

new season as beginning right now today

is the day for your salvation today is

the day for your miracle God as only

what God won't one day on his calendar

and that day is today and he's not a

procrastinator he doesn't wait to do

tomorrow what he can do today God is

willing to release it right now so some

of you you know you've been crying

during the night and it's been a long

night it's been a long season of

difficulty well I'm here to tell you

that the Lord says it's over you who've

been down and out it's time to get up

and over because morning has come

hallelujah turn to your neighbor and

nudge them and say morning is here

morning is here joy has come just say

good morning it's morning

crying a morning my and your front light

but joy comes in the morning the Bible

says and we are living I believe we are

living on the precipice of the greatest

revival that the church world has ever

seen and really I'm looking at all the

signs in the world right now Jesus

predicted all of the signs before his

return and I just want to read from

Matthew 23 verses 37 and 39 and here we

have Jew Jesus standing before ancient

Jerusalem and he's saying o Jerusalem

Jerusalem the one who kills the prophets

and stones those who are sent to her how

often I wanted to gather your children

together as a hen gathers her chickens

under her wings but you were not willing

and then he warns them see your house is

left to you desolate for I say to you

you shall see me no more till you say

blessed is he who comes in the name of

the Lord Jesus chastised the religious

leaders of ancient Jerusalem because

they never knew the time of their

visitation and I wonder what Jesus would

say today to the prophesied last

generation of today who do not

understand the signs of the times and

that his visitation is drawing so near I

believe all the signs for Jesus return

have been fulfilled we've seen

earthquakes we've seen wars many Wars

rumors of wars storms tsunamis how many

red blood moons have we seen all the

signs for Jesus return have been


and I believe that the Great Tribulation

is coming the Beast is coming the

Antichrist is coming but I also believe

that Jesus is holding back the storm for

us to gather the greatest harvest the

world has ever seen and it's time for

this generation to wake up morning has

come revival is coming and I prophesied

that it's already here it's coming and

it's coming to Boston and every one of

you have been brought into the kingdom

for such a time as this it's time to man

those battle stations it's time to sound

the alarm

it's time for the truths to rise the

harvest is gonna be so big it's gonna be

bigger than what any evangelist can

reach it's gonna take the whole body of

Christ you see nobody can reach

everybody but everybody can reach

somebody can you say me and I see an

Elisha generation rising up to challenge

the gods of this age the gods of atheism

the gods of agnosticism and secularism

and humanism and Islamism and every

other ISM you can think of challenging

them and saying our God is the true and

living God there is no one beside him

there is no one

and we shall demonstrate to you by fire

that he is not dead

but he is alive

to break every bondage to open every

prison door to set every captive free

can you give God a shout and I believe

it's going to happen in Boston I didn't

waste my time coming to Boston because I

saw too many cheers programs I used to

like to Starsky and Hutch but that's not

the reason why I came I was quite

comfortable living on in Paradise kids

will tell you we lived in Cyprus for 11

years right next to the sea a beach

waking up to a beach view every morning

but the Lord said your time has come at

you you're too comfortable here I'm

sending you somewhere else and he

impressed upon my heart this city of

Boston out of all the places in the

world that I could have relocated to I

came here and I believed revival is

coming to Boston I believe what you saw

in that video up there that's going to

be the site one day of Boston Common

thousands upon thousands upon thousands

of people as the heavens open and the

Spirit of God descends like fire and

people groaning in the street cut to the

heart with conviction of sin they will

cry out what must we do to be saved

and we will see a great revival and I

believe the revival that is coming is

going to be bigger and will Eclipse all

other revivals so I'm saying Lord you're

not done with America I'm saying Lord

you're not done with this nation Lord

come and visit America one more time one

more time do it again the Antichrist can

wait he can wait

until we get the job done and every one

of you has a has a calling I loved the

man who was given the oratory about the

cost of the cross and every one of us is

called to win souls I mean that is the

language of an evangelist but you might

say well I can't cross the Seas like you

brother James

another fellow evangelist another greek

cypriot his name is J John he said this

he says we're not all called to be

evangelists but we are all called to

evangelize and to Timothy four or five

says do the work of an evangelist

fulfill your ministry and I believe no

matter what ministry you have if you

don't do the work of an evangelist

you're not fulfilling your ministry

everybody is called to win souls Jesus

put it this way Matthew 4:19 follow me

and you and I will make you a a keeper

of aquarium's did he say that he said

Fisher of men if we're not winning souls

we're not following the Lord hello

but that's what the Lord was implying

right there wasn't he he says if you

follow me you'll be a Fisher of men if

you're not a Fisher of men who are you

following because if you're following

the Lord you'll be a soul winner and

that's what the Lord is calling this is

the clarion prophetic call to the body

of Christ right now you know my job when

I'm not preaching in in the mission

field I'm and I'm preaching in churches

it's to go wake up the Saints that's

part of my ministry as an equipping

evangelist there's too many Saints

asleep in the light and the Lord is

saying go away come up they need to wake

up because morning is here we need

to discern the signs of the times the

Lord's coming is imminent hallelujah and

God is getting ready to tear the veil

off the heavenlies so that what's been

held back can be released and God has a

purpose for you now you might say well I

can't cross the seas no but you can

cross the street

hello you see a missionary is not one

who crosses the seas it's one who sees

the cross you like that one it's one who

sees the cross if you have bowed your

knee at the cross if you've come to the

cross and you understand the message of

the Cross you're a missionary God had

one son and his son was a missionary he

seemed missions is not a location you

know gone are the days well I'm just

gonna set up everything I'm just gonna

go on into the mission field and be it

no you are a missionary Leonard

Ravenhill we heard he said every member

is a missionary or was that CT stud

anyway one of those greats this is not a

theological lesson so if I get my

references wrong that's why you have

pastors like pastor Greg great great man

of the word

sometimes I see Vangelis we you know

we're not teachers I can teach but you

know there are teachers we respect the

fivefold ministry we all have a place

but you see missions is a mentality

you're called to missions you're called

to be a missionary hallelujah and I want

to talk to you this morning about the

power of reaching the one the value of

the one you may not be reaching

thousands you don't have to you can

reach one

if each one reached one this church

would double and if those people reached

another one it would quadruple and it

would just keep increasing exponentially

amen turn to neighbor and say reach one

Jesus didn't just follow

he didn't just preach to the crowds he

was intent on reaching the one look at

the man of the gadarenes the man of the

gatherings in chapter 5 of Mark Jesus

just finished preaching to the crowds

and he's walking through the gatherings

and this demoniac came to him and the

Bible says that the person was demon

possessed with a Thousand Devils he had

a whole Legion and the Bible declares

that he saw Jesus and he ran and he

worshiped at his feet isn't that


not even a Thousand Devils could stop

that man from worshiping Jesus and yet

we say Oh Lord I'm tired Oh Lord you

know I've had a heavy day at work or

I've got some other things planned today

or we didn't put our alarm clock on we

couldn't wake up in time we find all

sorts of excuses oh we've got a birthday

to go to oh I've got to do overtime out

you know we find all sorts of excuses

not to worship the Lord and here we have

a man from the gadarenes possessed with

a Thousand Devils I'm telling you right

now there is no devil in hell I don't

care what problem there is it doesn't

matter how demon possessed a person is

no one can stop a person from worshiping

Jesus the king of kings no one can stop

you and the Bible declares as soon as he

began worshiping Jesus immediately of

this thing doesn't fall off immediately

Jesus set him free

immediately the Bible says he commanded

those spirits to leave and the demons

cried at all but can you send us into

those 2000 pigs over there so the Lord

said okay go I love that simple word go

carries so much authority when you say

go in the name of Jesus your problems

can't out-compete God's promises the

devils no cannot overcome gods yes

when God says yes when God says go the

problem is gone and they left but isn't

it interesting how all the people from

the villages from where that heard about

this they came running and they saw them

the man who's now free sitting down and

they and the two thousand pigs they they

heard that the two thousand pigs had run

off the cliff and destroyed themselves

they'd rather kill themselves and be

possessed by unclean spirits and isn't

it interesting how they didn't focus on

the one that was set free they were

probably focused on the two that oh but

you know Jesus they in beckoned Jesus

turn pleaded with him to leave he just

freed a man who was demon-possessed

screaming and cutting himself living

among the tombs and they commanded Jesus

go instead of praising God I reckon

there was a few animal activists in that


no by Jesus how dare you you know those

pigs those pigs matter pigs lives matter

to Jesus it's they're interesting how we

often focus on the wrong thing

Jesus was focusing on the one that one

had more value in all those 2000 pigs

put together you can somewhere in Boston

you can buy a pig a 50 pound pig for

about a hundred and twenty-five dollars

now times that by 2000 I've done the

math already Jesus figured well that one

soul is worth more than 250,000 dollars

in fact one soul is worth more much much

more than 250,000 dollars I think I

think so I have a $20 bill right here

this dollar bill $20 bill I could step

on it I could step on it right now

I could twist it it could get all soiled

and dirty but its value never changes

hallelujah it's still worth $20 and you

might life may have stepped on you and

crushed you and twisted you and you may

be stained by the troubles of life but

you still have the same value in the

sight of God because you're created in

the image and likeness of God in fact

you are worth more than all the gold and

silver in the world just one soul just

one song because that one soul was

purchased by the precious blood of Jesus

Christ and his blood is priceless so

next time that Devil says to you you're

worthless you're nothing tell the devil

you're a liar

I've been purchased by the blood of the

Lamb I am valuable to God I am beyond

measure I am God's property I belong to


so get behind me you'll no longer part

of my life in fact get under my foot our

foot belongs on the devil's neck keep it

there never give him any opportunity I

also like what our brother talked about

sanctification sanctification there's an

inner working of there's a

sanctification that is imputed to you by

the blood of Jesus

it's a work of grace you become the

righteousness of God it's a work of

grace you can't earn it you don't

deserve it

but it's given to you because of what

Jesus did at the cross he paid the price

for your righteousness but there's also

an inner working of sanctification and

righteousness where we have to learn to

walk a sanctified life we have to learn

to live out the salvation that is in us

and that's a life long journey how many

of you know so that's why I dislike this

hyper grace message which says God

doesn't see your sin he doesn't care

about sin you can sin or your past

present and future sin is under the

blood they don't matter whether you sin

Jesus paid the price even for your

future sin so just go ahead and live

like you want do whatever makes you

happy but that message is not the Bible

that's the distortion of grace because

to Titus sorry Titus chapter 2 verse 11

and 12 says the grace of God has

appeared to all men teaching us that we

should deny ungodliness and worldly

lusts and live soberly righteously and

godly in this present age so grace is

not a license to sin it's the power to

overcome sin hallelujah and if you want

to walk in the power of the Holy Ghost

you've got to learn how to live a

sanctified life there's so many symbols

of the Holy Spirit in the Bible one of

them is a dove doves don't sell pigeons

we'll settle on anything Falcons and

vultures will come along on settle on

dead bodies dead carcasses eat rotten

flesh not so with doves doves only

settle where it's clean nothing unclean

nothing dirty nothing defiled

what does that teach us about the Holy

Ghost if we really want to walk in the

power and the anointing of the Holy

Ghost we have to learn to live a

sanctified life you see to become a

believer it doesn't cost you anything

salvation is free but it didn't come

cheap and I tell my kids okay they'll

clothes that you're wearing

they didn't cost you anything the food

on the table that didn't cost you

anything it's all free

even your university fees all paid for

it's all free but it cost somebody else

something I say don't forget it may be

free to you but it didn't come cheap to

me it costs me and when you understand

the value and the cost of Christ on the

cross you not only understand the value

of your Redemption you understand the

value of yourself and the greatest value

that you can put on yourself the

greatest honor that you can give to

yourself is to live a holy life holiness

is the utmost expression of your value

your value to God and God has set you

apart sanctified you and sealed you with

the Holy Ghost so you can be sent to saw

it as a lot of s's there by the way

you're keeping track to saw in Christ

Jesus and be a soul winner hallelujah so

Jesus went after the one we need to

understand that the Bible is full of

examples the woman with the issue of

blood blind man Bartimaeus jesus went to

them the woman with the issue of blood

the Bible declares that her faith made

her whole she pressed through the crowds

let me tell you something if you want to

draw close to God you're going to come

across some resistance there will be

some pressure the devil's gonna kick

back on you but if you continue pressing

in every time

pushes on you you're gonna turn into his

worst nightmare hallelujah because

you're a carrier of the glory of God and

so Gaea there was a crowd around Jesus

just I'm gonna finish with this there

was a crowd around Jesus but that woman

continued to press through probably on

her hands and knees

because the crowds were so thick and

dense but she managed to touch the hem

of His garment and the Bible declares

immediately the issue of blood was dried

up she became whole and Jesus did a

peculiar thing he turned around and

started saying who touched me and I can

just imagine Peter James and John saying

what do you mean Lord there's so many

people here touching you they're

touching you hands all over you what do

you mean who touched me is the Lord

going a bit you know crazy and the Lord

said no no somebody touched me and the

woman just fell at his feet and said I

touched you and the Lord said to a go

your faith has made you whole there is

something about faith that causes God to

pass over a million people just to get

to you just to get to the one jesus said

have faith even as a mustard seed you

see it was on the hand of a woman that

stopped Jesus it was the hand of faith

that calls Jesus to stand still


faith is the hand that tapes from God

you see when you and I want to do

business we need money we need the

currency of money if we're going to do

business but if you want to do business

with God you need the currency of heaven

that currency is the currency of faith

without faith it is impossible to please

God but faith is not mere mental assent

faith is a fact but faith is an act it's

easy to see who's got faith just look at

their actions faith manifests faith is

visible it's not some invisible force

it's a very visible force that's

manifested in and through you hallelujah

and it moves the hand of God why did

everybody get healed it they weren't

pressing in

they weren't pressing in we got a push

we've got to keep praying until

something happens keep pushing and

pushing and pushing

that's called hunger we are too easily

satisfied you know that you know what

Smith Wigglesworth once said the great

man of God who documented raised 11

people from the dead when I first

started out as an evangelist I used to

travel with a an Australian evangelist

called Steve Ryder he's now in the Gold

Coast now I travel with him to hungry I

was with him in check and I remember

what when he was in Miami Burma even

before he got preaching somebody handed

him a dead body of a small baby baby was

dead before he even began preaching I

wonder what we would do pastor Greg were

we haven't even spoken or preached the

message if someone hands us a dead baby

what would

but this is faith he said well actually

I just lifted the baby up and he just

lifted the baby arm and said Heavenly

Father that's all he said he just said

Heavenly Father and that baby came alive

right there started coughing and crying

for the first time hallelujah the baby

was risen from the dead and so here's a

man Smith Wigglesworth 11 people from

the dead he said this I am satisfied

with the dissatisfaction until I am

satisfied again and again and again and

again you see we are too easily

satisfied like CS Lewis once said he

said we are like children playing with

mud pies in the slum when God gives us a

holiday by the sea - easily satisfied

with the crumbs when God has something

much much much bigger much bigger than

what you can imagine and God has called

you to greatness God doesn't call you to

do what you can do he calls you to do

what only he can do through you we need

to change our thinking not your neighbor

and say get rid of that stinking

thinking some people's minds are just

like concrete they're thoroughly mixed

up and permanently sinned and we need to

break those strongholds amen you see God

did not save you just so you can go to

heaven Christ paid the price for heaven

to come into you so that everywhere you

walk on this planet you can destroy hell

on earth

hallelujah that's your purpose that's

your calling to plan the hell and

populate heaven as Rana bunkie says

hallelujah Africa shall be saved and I

prophesy to you the Boston shall be




amen hallelujah I want to finish up with

this because I realize time has gone on

but there's this gonna be a special

moment I've already seen it in the

spirit you say yes there are days of

Pentecost not just one day we're living

in a day of Pentecost right now but the

book of Acts now hear this

it's not a historical book it's an

existential book it's a book of the

here-and-now God is still writing the

book of Acts he's writing your acts

what will your book of Acts say about

you and on that day of judgment God is

gonna read it out your acts and when you

meet him on that day he's not gonna ask

or how many conferences did you go to

how many Holy Ghost feathers did you

catch did you get some gold dust

see we get carried away with the wrong

thing this is the focus he's gonna ask

you did you obey my command to go and

make disciples see while we're waiting

for the whole world to come to the

church Jesus didn't commander he

commanded the whole church to go to the

whole world you see the greatest thing

that you can do is win a song because

that song is priceless Jesus says what

will a man profit if he gain the whole

world and lose his own soul what was

Jesus saying he was implying that one

soul is worth more than the whole world

the whole world priceless just reach one

just reach another soul there's nothing

worse than being lost and no one looking

for you get on your hands and knees and

be travailing have the heart of a

shepherd had the heart of God the Father

you know in the parable of the prodigal

son the heart the father was broken it

was travailing over there over that lost

son Jesus demonstrated the heart of the

father when in in the parable of the

Good Shepherd he left the 99 to go after

the 1 the value of the 1

there is value in just one soul just go

after the one you don't have to be like

me go after the one God's heart never

rests it's always looking on the horizon

waiting for a prodigal God's heart is

breaking for protocols and we must

travel with the father and we must bend

down these and when was the last time we

got on our knees and fasted and prayed

for the lost for that lost aunty for

that lost brother for that lost sister

daughter son father mother friend peer

work colleague hell is real

and you can live a good life there's a

lot of people in Hell right now who

thought they were good enough without

Jesus they thought it was just about

living a good life like Spurgeon once

said he said morality may keep you out

of jail but only the blood of Jesus can

keep you out of hell only the blood of

Jesus the sinner will never know peace

until he knows this sin is cleansed by

the blood of Jesus hallelujah so before

I go any further is there one here who

has yet to be cleansed by the blood of

Jesus oh there is a fountain filled with

blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins and

sinners plunged beneath its flow lose

all their guilt and stains is there one

here who doesn't yet know what it means

to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus

every head bowed every eye closed if

that's you if you don't know what it

means to be born again if you don't know

what it means to be cleansed by the

blood of Jesus and come into union with

Christ if you don't know where you're

going if you breathed your last if you

if your blood stopped right now and you

breathe your last if you're not sure

that you're gonna heaven if there's the

slightest doubt while every head is

bowed every eyes closed I want you to

raise your hands only I can see it

raise your hands right now if that's you

god bless you god bless you

anybody else god bless you isn't that

wonderful there are people here god

bless you god bless you let the

conviction come Holy Spirit right now

god bless you god bless you be sure do

not leave this place until you are sure

if that's you I want to do something I

want you to do something bold we're not

out to embarrass you but there's a

principle here Jesus died openly for you

not in secret he shed his blood for you

to give you life eternal life the least

we can do is stand before him in public

and acknowledge him acknowledge the

Savior if that's you I want you to stand

to your feet

those who lifted their hands we're here

to welcome you we're not here to judge

you if that's you stand to your feet and

I want to pray for you come to the front

and I'm going to lead you through a

prayer of salvation come on can we give

these people a hand of praise isn't this


we've gone after the one hallelujah

hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah you

know this is just as precious to me as

40,000 being saved just the one just

reach one each one of these people more

valuable than the whole world all the

gold and silver priceless hallelujah


that's the how much Jesus demonstrated

his love the greatest demonstration of

love the world has ever seen and even if

you were the only one Jesus still would

have come just for you is that they're

wonderful how the God who flung a

hundred billion trillion stars into

orbit created 8.7 million different

species of being goes after the weary

goes after the lost the least and the

last he goes after the one he goes after

you isn't that wonderful

hallelujah this is going to be the

greatest moment of their lives I want

you to stretch out your hands to them

some of them already crying in the

presence of God I'm telling you God's

presence is here God's presence is

manifesting God's presence is here to

bring new birth and regeneration

and I want you to look at me right now

and pray this prayer after me in fact

all of us pray but you here in the front

pray this prayer out loud from your

heart God will hear you if you pray from

your heart pray this out loud so heaven

can hear you say Heavenly Father say it

from your lips Heavenly Father I'm a

sinner I come to you now I received

Jesus to cleanse me from all sin make me

born again I accept Jesus as the Son of

God I believe in my heart that God

raised him from the dead now coming to

my life give me eternal life thank you

for saving me I am saved I am saved I

have called upon the name of the Lord

and I am saying now come and lift your

hands and give Jesus praise

stay where you are just look at me I

want to welcome you into the family of

God isn't this wonderful

your sins are washed away only by the

blood of Jesus hallelujah now now to

stay we are because I've seen this when

I'm on the mission field they get saved

they get healed they get baptized in the

Holy Ghost all at the same time we're

gonna pray for the baptism I felt that

from the beginning this is Pentecost

Sunday we're gonna pray for the baptism

I did grab Brandtner me did a video on

pray TV and where I've been getting

reports that people watching the TV

program are getting baptized in the Holy

Ghost speaking in other tongues just

watching it on TV

hallelujah it's gonna happen now if you

have yet to come into the experience of

Pentecost and what I mean by that is to

be filled with the Holy Ghost with the

evidence of speaking in other tongues

then come to the front I'm gonna pray

for you I'm gonna pray for you come to

the front I'm not talking about having

the Holy Spirit I'm talking about filled

to overflowing I don't want to get into

a theology discussion right now but if

you're not speaking in other tongues you

are not filled with the Holy Ghost we

have the teaching another time but

believe me believe acts 2 the Bible says

that we'll all feel with the Holy Ghost

and began to walk

began to speak in tongues as the Holy

Spirit gave them utterance that's what's

going to happen here come anybody not

speaking in other tongues you want the


it's Pentecost Sunday hallelujah is

going to happen

it's gonna happen I've seen this happen

all over the world I see it's gonna

happen right now come now this is how

we're going to do it this is how I I do

it I do it according to the book of Acts

real simple the Bible says they were all

in one place gathered in one a cool

doesn't it they were all in one place

in one Accord we are in one place and in

case you're thinking that this gift is

not for you it is for you jesus said if

we being evil know how to give good

gifts to our children how much more

without Heavenly Father give the Holy

Ghost to them that ask and on the day of

Pentecost Peter said this promise is to

you to your children and to those who

are afar off 2,000 years ago we were

very afar off we were those who were

afar off and I want you to come to the

Lord right now and say Lord I've heard

about your promise and now I've come to

collect it hallelujah I've come to

collect your promise this promise is for

me I who was once afar off now we're

going to raise our voices all at the

same time as they did under their

Pentecost they all pray together they

all prayed in one a cold they raised

their voices together star up in the

natural and God will put the super' to

your natural


start off by moving that tongue of flesh

and God will give you a tongue of fire

and there's a full and the Bible says a

flame sat upon each and every one of

them there is a flame with your name

here this morning right now there is a

flame with your name

so all at the same time and those who

can speak in tongues in the back let's

all raise our voices together along with

these and if you don't raise your voice

in English or Spanish whatever language

you speak start off in the flesh start

off in the natural and God will give you

a new prayer language I was in Cyprus I

was praying this prayer with a group

there and the woman said is she she got

filled with the Holy oh she she she said

i stiii here tongues I here tongues I

said speak them in the name of Jesus she

heard them but she wasn't speaking them

and I said speak she began occurring in

other tongues as the Spirit gave them

utterance so what you hear speak it out

it might start off softly some new

tongue you've never spoken before some

strange unfamiliar tongue but speak out


after three we're all gonna raise our

voices and you in the back after three

let's all pray we're all going to raise

our voices together in one Accord you

can say hallelu if you don't speak in

tongues you start off saying hallelujah

praise God just pray the blood of Jesus

the blood of Jesus whatever words you

want to use in whatever language now

after three we're all going to pray

those in tongues and those not yet

filled in tongues lift your voices after

three one two

three lift your voice father release the

Holy Ghost release come on don't stop

don't stop

Lord release the Holy Ghost Heavenly

Father Jesus you are the baptizing with

fire release the fire release the fire

release the fire release the fire

release the fire right now take it take

it there it is there it is be filled be

fell be filled be filled

be filled be filled night now thank you

I'll catch it catch it catch it catch it

catch in Jesus name be filled right now

be filled be filled be filled be filled

in Jesus name I'm gonna get down here

I'm gonna get down be fill in Jesus be

filled in Jesus name right now filling

Lord fill this man fill this woman be

filled be filled right now be filled

don't look to the person next to you

forget about the person next to you be

filled in Jesus name touch your Lord in

Jesus name

filled right now Thank You Heavenly

Father touch this man filling with the

Holy Ghost filling with the holy keep

keep praising him don't stop

Giving Birth in the Spirit

well I'm going to invite you to open up

your your Bibles to the book of 1st

Samuel Chapter 1 but as you do I just

like to begin with a little Bible Quiz

if I'm a little Bible Quiz today okay

ready ready how many people like quizzes

all right you don't have to okay there's

always there's always one or two in

every class who likes quizzes and tests

usually you don't omit that if you can

tell me what all of these mothers have

in common okay I'm not gonna offer you

prizes but you'll get the glory of

knowing the answer these ladies these

women what do they have in common

Zuba Jack olya

no Jack Alya excuse me ah Suba Jack Alya

Abijah Jedidiah and maka what do they

have in common

close close but no cigar if we believed

in cigars you wouldn't quite get one

close these are all mothers of kings who

did what was right in the eyes of the

Lord their royal mothers Queen Mother's

these are women who raised boys who

served God and led the whole Kingdom of

Israel to serve God too

now in one case actually the son had to

go against what his mother had taught

him and so is if you really know your

Bible there there's one king maka was

the mother of Oz ASA Zuba was the mother

of Jehoshaphat Jekel ayah the mother of

Isaiah Abijah the mother of Hezekiah

Jedediah the mother of Josiah but in the

case of aza and Makkah Asin makka makka

was actually a bad mother okay she

worshipped idols and so aces first order

of business was actually to depose her

as the queen mother it says he even

deposed his grandmother or his

grandmother makka from her position as

queen mother because she'd made a

repulsive image for the

worship of Ashura as I cut it down and

burned it in the Kidron Valley for

Mother's Day so okay so sometimes it was

necessary to break with what these

mothers had taught them but usually

these are people who lived out the

legacy of their mothers who took what

their mothers had imparted to them and

it multiplied through their lives to

bless the entire nation

same thing with Moses isn't it every

story it seems in the Bible of a great

man of God begins with the story of a

godly mother or grandmother who trusted

in the Lord right how about Moses what's

Moses's mother's name some of you might

have that haka bed Hoka bed Xhaka bed

right something you knew that that's

good David's great-grandmother roof how

about that you've read about roof thanks

to her we have David and David's

great-great-great great-great-great

great-grandmother Rahab

a woman who trusted God and believed in

Yahweh so these are the people who led

to great things

how about Timothy one more little Bible

quiz and then I'm gonna leave you alone

Timothy there's a beautiful verse where

the Apostle Paul is writing to Timothy

in second Timothy 1 verse 5 and he says

I'm reminded of your sincere faith

Timothy which first lived in your

grandmother Lois and in your mother

Eunice and I am persuaded now lives in

you also amen

the faith passed down from grandmother

to mother to son a son who gets two

books in the Bible named after him God

passes on anointing through the

generations this really this verse

really struck me because on my wife side

of the family we have two aunts one of

which is named Lois and the other is

named Eunice so I think someone was

reading this verse when they were naming

all the kids and there was a bunch of

them and I think of a particular story

and I want to start with this story and

then we're gonna pray

of a again on my wife side of the family

the grit my wife's grandmother in

Japanese they call her your Bachchan

Bachchan and one day kennis and I this

was in the middle of summer in los

angeles we were going to visit from from

kena's parents house we were going to

visit Bachchan and we were calling and

she wasn't picking up the phone we

started getting worried it was like 100

degrees out right and we know that she

often didn't turn on the air

conditioning because why waste

electricity when it's just me right

so we like what's going on in there is

she okay what's wrong with Bachchan

we're calling she's not picking up the

phone we're leaving messages and these

are the days you know she has one of

those answering machines where you could

hear the voice on the answering machine

you know Bachchan were worried about you

is everything okay what we're sitting

over there going through the freeways of

Los Angeles we get to the house we get

in there and she's sitting at the

kitchen table with her Bible open in

Japanese she's got her tape recorder

because her church would send her the

sermons and so she had her cassette tape

in the tape recorder listening to the

sermons and she had her Bible open with

highlighted couldn't raise all in

Japanese and she's highlighting parts of

it and she looks up at us and we're like

bojong we were so worried about you we

were calling why did you pick up and she

said well I'm praying can't you see

and we're like aren't we like the center

of your universe you know wouldn't you

pick up the foot drop anything and pick

up the phone for us it's like well I

love you kids but you know God's first

right and the blessing down the

generation and I thank God for the way a

praying mother and grandmother can pass

it down and we last week May che was

talking about Daniel in Babylon how is

it that this young man was able to stay

faithful even when he was surrounded by

evil how did he keep his values and she

suggested I bet you he learned at home

what it was to serve the Lord and how to

be faithful and I wonder what kind of

mother Daniel had what kind of father

what kind

grandmother Daniel hat now the question

that I want to address in this message

this reflection how do we see to it that

the faith passes down the generations

how do we raise a Daniel now there's all

kinds of counsel that we can talk about

and we're going to see that this relates

not just to people who have children but

to everyone in the body of Christ

because it has to do with transmitting

the faith spiritually to those around us

so don't think this just applies to

people who have biological children

we're all spiritual parents in the body

of Christ so talking about how does it

go down now there's all kinds of advice

you could get there's books you can read

and in fact we've we're looking for some

good curriculum we've got some ideas and

Jonathan is looking into some things he

can go over with the parents but today I

want to talk about the spiritual work

the first call of any parent or

grandparent which is to give birth not

just physically but to give birth

spiritually to transmit not just by

teaching an example as important as

those are but to transmit the faith by

praying the way God calls us to pray and

this is something that applies to men

and women grandmothers grandfathers

aunts uncles

this applies to all of us giving birth

in the spirit so I invite you to open up

with me to the book of 1st Samuel

Chapter one First Samuel chapter one and

we're gonna read the story of of Hannah

okay First Samuel chapter one you with

me there starting in verse one says

there was a certain man from Rama theam

a zoo fight from the hill country of

Ephraim whose name was Elkanah son of

jehoram the son of a lie who the son of

Tohu the son of zeus unlike in some of

these names huh Zef and f rhea might he

had two wives one was called Hannah the

other pen Anaya pen Anaya had children

but hannah had none remember how we

talked a couple weeks ago how God

tolerated and worked through polygamy

but polygamy was never

a happy state of affairs it was never

God's will it says in verse three year

after year this man went up from his

town to worship and sacrifice to the

Lord Almighty at Shiloh where hophni and

Phinehas the two sons of Eli were

priests of the Lord and whenever the day

came for Elkanah to sacrifice he would

give portions of the meat to his wife

but not pen ania and to all her sons and

daughters but to Hanna

he gave a double portion because he

loved her and the Lord had closed her

womb because the Lord had closed Hanna's

womb her rival kept provoking her in

order to irritate her and this went on

year after year

whenever Hanna went up to the house of

the Lord her rival provoked her till she

wept and would not eat her husband

Elkanah would say to her Hanna why are

you weeping why don't you eat why are

you down hearted don't I mean more to

you than 10 sons this dude had a very

healthy self-esteem verse 9 what when

they had finished eating and drinking in

Shiloh Hanna stood up now Eli the priest

was sitting on his chair by the doorpost

of the Lord's house in her deep anguish

Hannah prayed to the Lord

weeping bitterly and she made a vow

saying Lord Almighty if you will only

look on your servants misery and

remember me and not forget your servant

but give her a son then I will give him

to the Lord for all the days of his life

and no razor will ever be used on his

head and as she kept on praying to the


Eli observed her mouth hannah was

praying in her heart and her lips were

moving but her voice was not heard Eli

thought she was drunk and he said to her

how long are you going to stay drunk put

away your wine not so my lord Hannah

replied I am a woman who is deeply

troubled I've not been drinking wine or

beer I was pouring out my soul to the

Lord do not take your servant for a

wicked woman I've been praying here out

of my great anguish and grief and kneel

I answered go in peace and may the God

of Israel grant you what you've asked of

him and she said may your servant find

favor in your eyes then she went her way

and ate something and her face was no

longer downcast and early the next

morning they arose and worshipped before

the Lord and then went back to their

home at Rama

Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah and

the Lord remembered her so in the course

of time Hannah became pregnant gave

birth to a son and she named him Samuel

which means because I asked the Lord for

him when her husband Elkanah went up

with all his family to offer the annual

sacrifice to the Lord to fulfill his vow

Hannah did not go and she said to her

husband after the boy is weaned I will

take him and present him before the Lord

and He will live there always and then a

little later we'll skip down where she

does so she comes before Eli in verse 25

when the bull had been sacrificed they

brought the boy to Eli and she said to

him pardon me my lord as shortly as you

live I am the woman who stood here

beside you praying to the Lord I prayed

for this child and the Lord has granted

me what I asked of him so now I give him

to the Lord for his whole life he will

be given over to the Lord and he were

assuming Samuel worshiped the Lord their

Father in Jesus name I thank you for

this story I thank you for Hannah and I

thank you for the many Hannah's among us

and I thank you for your calling on our

lives Lord God as a church to pray like

Hannah did speak to us I pray open up

the eyes of our spiritual understanding

to understand what you would say to us

today we are listening in Jesus name


now to understand this story we need to

realize that Hannah

was living at a time of extreme

spiritual sterility Israel was dry as a

bone spiritually you can read about this

epic of this era at the end of the book


judges where it says that at that time

Israel had no king

everyone did as he or she saw fit people

were doing crazy things their behavior

looked more like the behavior of sodom

and gomorrah than it did of the people

of God at this time sin was rampant and

religion was dead the priest Eli was the

priest at that time and I don't mean any

disrespect but the religion he led was

just lame it had no power no energy no

vitality the people of God were not

worshiping Yahweh the way he had called

them to do the Bible says the Word of

God was rare there weren't many dreams

or visions Eli's sons were serving as

the priests at that time and they abused

their positions of priesthood by taking

advantage of the young women who worked

in the tabernacle and also stealing the

sacrifices of the people this was a time

of religious dryness religious

corruption and at the end of his life

Eli is described as extremely obese so

that he could not get up and this wasn't

meant to ridicule him his weight but to

give a picture of the spirituality he

led and his eyes were shot so he could

not see the point being that just like

him the spirituality of the people at

that time was fat and blind it was a bad

time it's a tough time to raise kids

there's a time when all of the

influences around any kids you raised

were going to be negative it was a time

of sterility and I don't think it's any

accident that we meet this woman a good

woman who is physically infertile at the

same time that the people of Israel were

spiritually infertile because the birth

of Samuel isn't just the birth of a

person but the birth of a new generation

and here's where we're gonna see how

this applies to all of us that there is

only one way to break spiritual

sterility the same way there's only one

way to break physical infertility and

that's by giving birth

not just giving birth physically but

giving birth spiritually now in order to

give birth and I'm not gonna go into too

much detail but I remember on a couple

of occasions in my own life observing

the process of child birthing right

which no matter how much they prepare

you it's a messy business right it's a

painful business because in order to

give birth there are labor pains and

there is no spiritual epidural to come I

know that when Candace and I were going

through this and I don't want to get in

too much trouble here

see what I can share but they would

teach you to have a little focal point

like I don't know if they still do this

but a focal point like a little toy like

some sort of a something that the woman

can focus on when she's pushing and so

of course we had this stuffed animal

right that we could look at that stuffed

animal lasted about five seconds before

he got grabbed it shocked across the

room I'm just glad that I didn't get it

in the face right so things got a little

messy a little touch-and-go there right

now look at how hannah is praying she's

in anguish of soul her mouth is moving

but words are not coming out like she is

in labor giving birth in the spirit I

think the text is trying to point to

that that something is coming forth and

there's a groaning there's a travail

that happens in the spirit now it's

interesting because Eli is watching this

with an unspiritual eye and what does he

think she's drunk we read that anywhere

else in the Bible where people are under

the influence of the Holy Spirit and

people think they're drunk well that

wasn't the first time at Pentecost when

they're speaking in tongues the Holy

Spirit came on them and tongues of fire

and they're praying and everyone's like

they've had too much wine and Peter's

like come on it's only 9:00 a.m. what's

going on you know well here that

happened here she's moving in the spirit

and the unspiritual eye doesn't

recognize what's going on

just thinks she's drunk when really

she's travailing in the spirit she's

experiencing what it says in Romans 8

the Spirit Himself makes intercession

for us with groanings which cannot be

uttered he me endow groaning in the

spirit there's a desperation there have

you ever come before God with that kind

of desperation that can be a powerful

thing when we cry out to God like that

and we push through in the spirit and

this isn't just for women this is for

anybody who's going to pray for a

breakthrough in the Holy Spirit in the

Old Testament it talks about the prophet

Elijah who was prophet during a time of

spiritual evil under King Ahab they were

all worshipping idols and there was a

drought for I think three years and when

it came time to end the drought the

prophet Elijah says I'm gonna go pray

and the Bible says that he sat down and

he put his head between his knees and he

prayed and again the image I'm not

trying to get all weird here and gross

but the images that he's birthing in the

spirit he prays and he asked them go

look and see if you see anything over

the lake he sends his his servant to go

look nothing

Elijah goes back and does it again prays

again go take a look now nothing one

more time Elijah prays pushing and then

he goes back and looks and what does he

see a little cloud coming up over the

water and a lie just like the

breakthroughs starting it's just a cloud

but that means the rain is coming so you

go tell that King Elijah that prepare

for rain get your umbrella we are gonna

get his hide and he starts working

because he knew the breakthrough had

happened because he had travailed in

prayer he'd pushed through like Hannah

did it's weird but it's biblical folks

in the Book of Isaiah 42 verse 14 the

Prophet says for a long time I have kept

silent I've been quiet I've held myself

back but now like a woman in childbirth

I cry out I gasped and pant this is a

biblical idea of

prevailing of praying with such

intensity where you're crying out to God

so that life will break through

sterility and as Hannah was praying she

was giving birth spiritually and she has

given her son Samuel right and Samuel

means there's a couple ways to interpret

it but the name in Hebrew Shima el

shamah you know the Shema hear o Israel

the Lord your God is one God it means

here and ale means God God heard me and

here he is Samuel Shem well God heard

and gave me this little boy now it

didn't end there

for those of you mothers who know

mothering doesn't end after giving birth

it's just getting started

and it hurts sometimes even more and she

began as this little boy by giving him

over to the Lord and that's what we

dramatized here today taking that baby

and saying god I recognize that this

baby is a gift from you and I give him

or her back to you

you know it's interesting the Hebrew

word here forgiving him over to the Lord

is actually the word for loaning loaning

the law loaning something and it's

mysterious because it's like what does

she mean by that that she's gonna come

and reclaim him after a couple years you

know she makes it very clear that no

it's for his whole life and I've thought

about that and I think this means she

realizes that this baby has been loaned

to her from God and now she is loaning

him back recognizing that she is not

mine he's been given to me on loan and

I'm loaning him back to the Lord he is

this baby is God's a gift from God and

not holding too tight but then the

question is she's leaving him there at

the temple with Eli and Eli's sons right

think about that for a minute you would

think that the church leaving him at the

temple would be a safe place not not

this temple you know what these boys

were doing these young men they would

when they would offer the sacrifices and

not aside from their sexual immorality

right there in the tent and all of that

they when people would come and offer

their sacrifices it was very clear in

the Old Testament that when you they

would burn the meat and the fat was to

be burned off and given to God because

and now for us fat is a bad thing but

for them the idea of fat is a good thing

that's a nice juicy steak right and so

the idea is you give the best part to

God and then you take the leftover meat

that's been boiled and you can give you

can eat some of it and you give it to

the priest but Eli and his sons would

come of a naughty lie he didn't do this

he was a nice enough guy he was just

impotent spiritually but his sons would

come up while they're cooking the meat

and he said give me some of that and

they would take the fork and they would

stick it in and they'd grab it out with

the fat on it and the person would say

no I'm not done offering the best part

to God and like you give it to me or

I'll take it by force and basically they

didn't even view these sacrifices is

worship they just viewed it as something

to eat in Spanish I would say they

didn't see it as alabanza they saw it as

a Geisel this was a literal Geisel a

stew they just saw this as another gig a

way to make some money and so they were

doing this samuel was growing up around

these guys I would have been a little

nervous wondering what kind of influence

is gonna happen but the Bible says that

every year she would go up and if you

look with this in verse chapter 2 verse

18 and 19 she would go up but Samuel was

ministering before the Lord of 1st

Samuel to 18 and 19 he was a boy wearing

a linen ephod which was a little priests

suit right and each year his mother made

him a little robe and took it to him

when she went up with her husband to

offer the annual sacrifice in other

words she says even though I left him

there I'm not trusting Eli and his sons

to raise my kid I would just say a

little thing on the side I certainly

hope that our church is better than Eli

and his sons okay I certainly hope we're

better than that but don't trust the

church to raise your kids right you as

the mother and the father primarily but

also the influence of family members

uncles and an abuelo sand and you have

the authority to

packed the spiritual well-being of your

kids now that was symbolized by Hannah

making the little robe every year it's a

great image of her sewing bringing it up

to him every year but in the Bible a

robe or a mantle is much more than just

a garment it has spiritual significance

doesn't it in the Bible it talks about

the robe of given to the priest their

priestly garments it also talks about

the prophetic mantle or robe we talk

about Elijah had a special robe and when

he designated that Elijah would be his


he put the mantle over Elijah and then

when Elijah was taken up to heaven what

did Elijah do he took that robe but

saying I want a double portion and he

used the robe to hit the water and it

separated the waters of the Jordan the

robe is a symbol in the book of isaiah

61:10 it says the robes of salvation

instead of a garment of hay instead of a

spirit of heaviness you've given me a

garment of praise

you've clothed me in the robes of

salvation I believe that every time

Hannah gave him one of those robes she

was conferring on him a renewed blessing

at each stage of his development she was

saying Samuel I bless you in the name of

Jesus as a little 10 year old as a

little 11 year old as a 14 year old as a

she was blessing him at each stage of

his growth we need to bless kids in

their development at each stage of their

development each stage of their growth

we don't give birth spiritually just

once to them this is an ongoing process

and I've got news for you abuelito Suzie

hos todavía lost necesitan a message I

would give grandparents your kids still

need you even when they're in their 40s

and 50s and have kids of their own and

maybe grandkids of their own

they still need you to pray for them

because that blessing is something that

is always there at each stage it's

needed because the challenges are new

aren't they the difficulties the


we need to be prayed for like to share a

story a family that had hosted me to

live with them for a couple years while

I did campus ministry when I was right

out of college beautiful family and they

shared that in the very bed that I was

using a couple years earlier their

grandmother had passed away in that very

bed and she was in the final month of

her life and her dementia had gone to

the point where she was reliving

experiences from the past have you ever

observed that that that can happen with

people people remember a childhood

language they used to speak or something

that she would relive experiences from

the past and sometimes they would be in

there and they'd be talking to her and

and she would address them as somebody

who's been dead for 30 years right and

they realized she was having a

conversation she was reliving a

conversation that she'd had 30 40 50 70

years ago it was it was wild and

sometimes they would they would stand

around feeling kind of like are we

eavesdropping is it are we allowed to

listen I feel like we're listening in on

her private life from the past but there

came a moment now some of you might

think if I ever get like that just you

know close the door don't it but in this

case she was reliving some of this she

was saying things and they realized she

was praying and she was saying father

please bless my kids my boys as they go

off to college lord I pray that they

wouldn't give in to the drinking in the

den and the bad behavior around them

drugs weren't on the radar as much keep

them from doing that guide them to godly

women that they can marry that they

would be godly husbands and godly

fathers and they're standing there

listening to their mother praying for

them when they were 18 years old wild

stuff that's Hannah praying for Samuel

and those prayers are like a blessing

that remains hovering over a life from

generation to generation

God has them recorded in heaven and they

follow us and so some of us many of us


your mothers or grandmothers are already

with the Lord there with Jesus and glory

they're perfectly happy worshiping God

but their prayers continue to hover over

you and increase from year to year and

to grow and mature as God fulfills the

purpose that he has for your life bless

them and that worked for Samuel he

became a great man of God he became a

great prophet who saw visions a priest

who led in worship and I keep in mind

his name means here's God heard but if

you think of it this way it could be a


it's Shama here el god it could also

mean not just that God heard Hannah but

that her son would hear God and Samuel

becomes a prophet pretty much the first

and most important prophet since Moses

and that really strikes me that when God

hears our voice in prayer our children

will hear God's voice in prophecy I

repeat that when God hears our voice in

prayer our children will hear God when

God hears our voice in prayer our

children would hear God's voice in

prophecy samuel was a great prophet who

was not just a prophet who heard the

voice of God with a soft heart

responding to God but he led a whole

generation to do the same

we need a samuel generation in our

society we need young people and young

adults and children who will hear the

voice of God and not listen to other

voices but they will hear the voice of

the Shepherd and respond to him and

follow him and worship God in God's way

Anna birthed kanna birthed a revival

when the Word of God was rare and you

know what he was the first prophet in a

long time but he was also the first

prophet in a whole era of glorious

prophets after him came Nathan who

prophesied to David after him a

generation or two after that came Elijah

pretty much the father

of the prophets and his his protege

Elijah who received the double portion

and Hosea and Isaiah and Jeremiah and

Ezekiel and finally many generations

later Daniel himself because Hannah

prayed it unleashed a whole era of

prophetic anointing that followed her

but it took agonizing in prayer Samuel

didn't just prophesy he led them in

spiritual warfare against their enemies

to fight against the Philistines who

were oppressing them he led them in

worship it was under Samuel that the

people of Israel discovered King David

who had it in his heart to build a

temple and then the next generation the

temple is built and the Shekinah glowing

fire of God dwelt among them who was the

mother of all the the father of all that

is God the mother of that was the woman

who prayed and agonized in prayer and

gave birth in the spirit

there was a blessing down the

generations because of what she did the

question is for us will we pay the price

if we want kids who will listen to God

when there's all kinds of other voices

and the Word of God is rare if we want

kids who see spiritual things in a time

when society is blind if we want kids

who worship God in spirit and in truth

and who stayed true to God's values even

in Babylon then we need to pray and we

need to pray in a way that gives birth

spiritually and opens up a new

generation you know it's always been

this way too even in the New Testament

before God does something for some

reason he doesn't he could just do

things if he wanted right he could just

do a revival but instead of just doing a

revival he moves

someone to pray and ask him to do

something and then he does it okay and I

don't ask me why I don't really get that

I except for the fact that maybe because

he's organized things in that way we

need to talk to him

we need to depend on him we need to work

together with him so maybe that's why

but whatever the case before God does

anything he moves people to pray for it

and you know I'm going to say something

even kind of crazy even the birth of

Jesus didn't happen without prayer think

about it when Joseph and Mary were

presenting the baby Jesus in the temple

who did they bump into there one more

Bible quiz here who did they bump into


an old man named Simeon and an old woman

named Anna it's the same name

Hanna Anna it's the same name in Spanish

it's exactly the same it in Hebrew it is

soo it's no accident that the woman who

was in the temple for four decades

fasting and praying for the people of

Israel is named Anna Hanna same name

it's because God is saying just like

Hanna gave birth to the samuel

generation in the spirit this anna and

other abuelito simeon are giving birth

in the spirit to what goes behind Jesus

coming the Word of God being made flesh

on earth amen that these two people

spent decades fasting and praying

laboring in the spirit and then at that

dedication Simeon was able to take the

baby Jesus in his hands and say Lord you

may now dismiss your servant in peace

for my eyes have seen your salvation

prepared before all nations the baby is

born he and Anna didn't give birth

spiritually physically but they sure did

spiritually right

how about Pentecost what did they do

before the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost

the people were there praying waiting on

the Lord and it's no accident that among

the disciples it specifically mentioned

Mary was there because it was time for

her to give birth in the spirit now

she'd given birth physically already now

it's time to wait for the Holy Spirit to

come in the history of revivals whatever

God does a revival on earth and changes

a town or a church for a country and

when people come to know Jesus and there

is a true change in society there is

always this kind of travail or labor in

prayer you always see it do

a little reading on any history of any

revival you've heard of the the

Salvation Army right the founding of the

Salvation Army was a man named William

Booth who was a mid 19th century

revivalist in England and it was all

about revival sharing the gospel in

helping people's physical needs and one

of the the captains under his

supervision had started a an outreach in

a particular City and nothing was

happening he was trying to share the

gospel but no one was responding he was

trying to help people but no one was

changing and he wrote a letter to

William Booth saying general booth

because their general and captain in

Salvation Army he said nothing's working

I've tried everything what do you think

I should do he got back a letter in an

envelope that had two words on it

try tears you've preached you have

wonderful programs but you haven't wept

before the Lord like Hannah did try

tears how's that those old school

revivalists well it's not just old

school folks if we want God to move in

Boston and in our society we're gonna

have to cry before the Lord we don't

have to do some childbirth thing in the

spirit it's gonna take time child labor

giving birth to children the process of

labor can be long it can be painful it

can be unpredictable we need to take

time in God's presence and let the new

generation come forth and you know I'm

so convinced of this because I see this

in in the work I get to do on the

pastoral staff here I get to see the

fruit of this almost every day I will

meet people and especially I experienced

this when I was working with the young

adults more closely a couple years ago

as things were just getting started I

would meet the young adults and a young

man or a young woman beginning to seek

the Lord with incredible sincerity and

passion and I would find myself thinking

wow I wonder who prayed for this kid

somebody prayed somebody somewhere

prayed for them and that's why this is

happening and you know in some cases I

knew who it was

because I had taught them discipleship

20 years earlier I'd had mother in class

and now I have the son in young adults

I'm getting a little old here maybe and

I'm there saying I know your mother I

know how she's prayed these years I know

how she's fasted for you and wept for

you and now here you are a man of God

prophecy ministering preaching getting

messages I'm like wasum I know who Lois

and Eunice are because I know the

timothy's among us maybe you are Lois

maybe you are Eunice that you would know

God has heard your prayer and he will

continue to hear your prayers with every

stage don't give up you have power in

the Lord because some of us yeah I see

this also not just with the the kids the

Timothy's right but I think about this

even among them our pastoral staff I

have the privilege of knowing some of

our pastoral mothers anyone remember

pastor Roberta and Medina Nancy's mother

hermana thornado those of you that are

that are newer might not have known her

but she was a woman of God where the

anointing was so heavy on her just an

anointing it's no accident that there's

the blessing that is on the matanda kids

all of them because she has prayed for


I think of Jonathan's mother I'm sorry

to put people on the spot I know if

Jonathan's here you're gonna you know

someone's gonna tell on me give me a

trouble you met Jonathan's mother in the

wedding and when he gets married next

month you gotta meet Jonathan's mother

Jesu nama harer de watashi or not I

still owe on people a dominicana

she's got the old-style Dominican prayer


it's these mothers who pray I think of

our very own somewhere right doesn't

happen by accident it's cuz there's a

mother who prayed and even when there

are prodigal 'he's

you know when i think about this a lot I

don't think about this just for the

young adults and the young men and women

who serve God but in the ministry we do

with people who are coming from the

streets people who live in shelters who

are in transition many of them deal with


on a regular basis on a Saturday morning

someone will come in there new to the

breakfast and maybe Yorick and I get to

greet them in the sanctuary we're

welcoming them and they take off their

hat and they say wow I'm in church and

they start crying and they say I haven't

been in church in 20 years and I say

you've got a mother who prayed for you

don't you and they'll say yes I do

and I'll say well this is the answer to

her prayers you're not here by accident

you're here because someone prayed for

you and brought you and God kept you

safe and you could have died how many

times but you didn't and here you are

because someone prayed for you

maybe it's the mother of the prodigal

son we don't hear much about the mother

because he was the father was at the

door waiting but the mother was in the

back room praying I think but the

prodigal come home when mothers and

fathers pray it's never too late it's

never too late do we do cos I said

unsolvable you and your house will be

saved when we pray for our kids we can

know that certainly goodness and loving

kindness will follow them all the days

of their life they will dwell in the

house of the Lord for ever and ever they

can run but they can't hide right God

will chase them and find them and bring

them back because God does it and you

may be on the receiving end of that

maybe you are that young adult maybe you

are that that Eco Pro League oh that

prodigal son or daughter and you come

into church with mom today on Mother's

Day good for you because you're coming

you're responding and I would tell you

what the Apostle Paul told Timothy fan

into flame the gift that is in you

through the laying on of hands there's a

blessing in you now just let it activate

the anointing that your parents and

grandparents had can be on you in a

double portion in your own way in your

own style your own technology but the

anointing is the same and even greater

upon your life now we are all called to

this kind of spiritual motherhood men

women we are all called to give birth in

the spirit you can be a mother without

having biological kids brother

and sisters the Apostle Paul once when

he was writing at the end of Romans he

said please greet Rufus there was a guy

named Rufus that was a good friend of

his please greet Rufus and his mother

who's a mother to me too and I think

that means that she cooked a mean you

know sancocho and stew but I probably

was more than just that it was probably

was because she also prayed for him like

a mother

the Apostle Paul himself was like not

just a spiritual father I know this is

hard for the guys gets a little

uncomfortable talking about this but he

was also like a spiritual mother to

people of the Thessalonians he says just

as a nursing mother cares for her


so we cared for you because we loved you

so much we can love people with the

spiritual heart of a mother even men can

do this in intercession the Apostle Paul

who was agonizing for the Galatians who

were drifting from the faith and he says

my dear children for whom I am again in

the pains of childbirth until Christ is

formed in you when we pray for people we

agonize we give birth in the spirit and

they become our spiritual children now

God is calling us at Lion of Judah to

not be satisfied with where we are but

to pray and to be like Anna and saying

God we want spiritual life to be born

among us spiritual life to be born

through us in our biological children

and descendants yes but also in the

spiritual children that are waiting to

be born and God is waiting for us to cry

out to him with the desperation of

Hannah and this is part of a general

move of God creation itself the Bible

says is is in eager expectation for the

children of God to be revealed the Bible

says in Romans we know that the whole

creation has been groaning as in the

pains of childbirth right up to the

present time Jesus when he talked about

the signs of the end times in the world

he said they're like the beginning of

birth pains wars and rumors of wars


volcanoes blowing up he says those are

the beginning of birth pains the world

itself is about to give birth to the new

creation the end time revival is coming

that woman Israel clothed with the Sun

and 12

crowns on her head is giving birth to

the new generation brothers and sisters

we are called to travail like Anna and

Simeon like Hanna for Samuel to give

birth to what God wants to do among us

now it says that God is looking for

spiritual mothers and fathers for royal

mothers Queen mothers doesn't matter how

old you are but God is looking to bring

forth a prophetic generation in our own

time but we must pay the price

God hears prayer he hears our voice the

question is will we hear his will we

hear that prophetic message to us

calling us to go deeper Jesus when he

was talking about prayer he said when

the Son of Man returns will he find

faith on the earth do we believe enough

to pay the price in prayer let him find

faith here at Lion of Judah when he

returns amen now it's time some of you

young adults you are here because

somebody prayed for you now it's time

for you to pray for someone else some of

you still far away it's time for you to

come close and say I've been prayed for

I'm not going to stay away any longer

I'm going to enter in to my spiritual

inheritance that is waiting for me and

some of you Hannah's need to know that

God has heard your prayer even if you

haven't seen Sam you'll be born yet

don't give up keep praying keep pushing

God will give you the answer and you

will hold Samuel in your hands you'll

give him back to God and you'll say God

heard my voice amen amen I invite you to

stand with me

and I'd like to close with a moment of

intercession many of us have people that

we're thinking of that we're concerned

about members of our own family our kids

grandkids cousins siblings nephews

nieces in our family and we need to

intercede for them right now and I'd

like to take a moment just in this

moment of prayer where you think of the

people in your family and in Jesus name

together we pray God we pray for our

descendants we pray for our families we

pray for our siblings and our nieces and


we pray God in the name of Jesus for

Spiritual Life to be unleashed God it's

not enough that we just drag them to

church sometime or or just put them in a

wanna God we want them to know you Lord

God we want them to have an experience

with the Holy Spirit Lord God we want

them to hear the voice of the Shepherd

like little Samuel did at age 10 we want

them to pray and mean it from their

heart Lord God Oh father

unleash the life of the holy spirit upon

our families some of us are might not

have our biological children but we've

got our nieces and nephews and our

relatives God we proclaim a blessing

over our family we cancel the

generational curses the idols of makka

we destroy and we pray for a

generational blessing over our families

we cancel the work of the evil one

and we declare life and abundant life

over them and father for our church God

during the pastor sabbatical Lord it

might just be three months but before

you we're going to count it as nine we

pray God that this be a time of of

gestation a time of something coming

forth and being born

father I pray you would visit him in

prayer visit this church in prayer

during this - in-between time that

Samuel might come forth Lord God that

your true

purpose for this church would be born

that the generation of Samuel that hears

you God that responds to you would come

forth Lord God we believe all of this in

the name of Jesus we we agree before you

God that we will pray we will enter into

the intercession of Hannah with faith

God knowing that you will hear us in

Jesus name

Resolve to live in Integrity

every single day each one of us is

required to make many decisions some are

very cotillion very simple and others

carry a lot more weight and have you

ever stopped to think if your actions

matter to God does what you do the

decisions you make how you handle your

affairs does God think of those and have

an opinion of how how you move in your

life and of course what's the answer to

that yes of course he does mind he

doesn't matter about what decisions and

how we act in life and the Bible says

that he created us in His image and

likeness each one of us is not just one

more being on the earth doing their own

individual thing minding their own

business and living a somewhat

meaningful life that's that's not who we


we are God created it created us to be

much more he has put in us destiny and

purpose and and he is a God that has

equipped us in many ways so he does care

how we handle our lives in a very

intimate way he wouldn't have invested

so much in us not to care right that

doesn't make any sense he does care

about the way we live and there's a

verse in some 37 that says if the Lord

delights in a man's way or a woman's way

he makes his steps or her steps firm

though he or she stumble they will not

fall for the Lord upholds him with his

hand and Daniel is one of my favorite

Bible characters as a young child I was

fascinated by hid the stories in the

Book of Daniel and one beautiful thing

is that Daniel because of his behavior

the like the verse says

because of his ways he provoked the

blessing of God what a thought that with

our behavior we provoke God's blessing

as as a verse says that the way he lived

you know taking Daniel s example

provoked that the Lord delight in him

that he made his steps firm that the

Lord strengthen him so that he would not

fall under the pressures of life and he

provoked the Lord

Daniel provoked the Lord to keep him

close and in his safe hand imagine that

and that promise is not just for others

it's for each one of us we can provoke

the Lord's blessing in our lives so

let's go to Daniel we're going to mostly

focus on the on chapter 1 verses 1 to 20

first but we will also touch on other

verses in in his story and the first few

verses of chapter 1 the Book of Daniel

set up the context in which Daniel came

to Babylon many of you know his story

but it tells us that Nebuchadnezzar and

that's a mouthful I had to practice a

lot Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon

and and possibly he was the most

powerful King in the earth the world of

his time he conquered Judah this

imperial Imperial King not only killed

or deported the inhabitants of Judah but

he also destroyed the city and Solomon's

Temple which was the pride and joy of

the people of Judah and he displayed his

despise for the God of the Jews by

taking the Articles dedicated to the

Lord that were in the Lord's temple and

taking them to Babylon and placing them

for the worship of his own gods in his

God's temple specifically his favorite

God's temple

Nebuchadnezzar adopted also the policy

of bringing and listing the most

promising young people of

lands that he conquered training them

and bringing them to Babylon to serve in

his court these young men

says in Daniel 1:4 there's the

qualifications that they needed to have

young men without any physical defect

handsome showing aptitude for every kind

of learning well-informed quick to

understand and qualified to serve in the

king's palace so they were to be trained

for three years and it was a very

rigorous and demanding training it was a

pagan education to serve in a pagan

society and at the end of those three

years they would be tested by the king


imagine all the pressure that these

young people had so verse tells six

tells us among these were some from

Judah and it lists their names Daniel

Hananiah Mishael and Azariah so these

four teenagers that were born and raised

in Judah where they had learned to

worship the God of Israel find

themselves in a completely foreign

society completely foreign environment

that they were not prepared to live in

they have been plucked out of everything

familiar to them just just put yourself

in their shoes they have been taken away

from everything that was familiar

they have lost contact with their

families their parents their other

relatives might have been killed by neck

Nebuchadnezzar or they might have been

deported in exile you know somewhere

else that they nobody knew they had lost

their faith community and had no hope of

having one in Babylon and although there

is some debate about this it is

suspected that they were also castrated

made eunuchs what what a thought you

know they really went they had a lot of

trials and tribulations to adapt to this

new society where they were living now

and if this were not enough even their

names were changed their names were

rejected and

they were changed to new names because

Nebuchadnezzar wanted a full immersion

of the Hebrew young children in this

pagan society of Babylon verse 7

continues to say the Sheep official gave

them new names to Daniel the name builds

Chasseur to Hananiah Shadrach to

Michelle Michelle and to Azariah

Abednego their Hebrew God honoring names

you know that each one of those names

has a part of it has the name of God you

know so their names were God honoring

names and what they wanted to do was to

erase their allegiance to the work to

the God of Israel and instead give them

give them a new name a pagan name that

would kind of set the worldview of

Babylon over them you know even in their

names so Daniels name just an example

which means God is my judge that's what

Daniel means God is my judge

he's changed to build Sasser which means

Bell a Babylonian God protects the king

Bell protects the king a very different

name from the one he had before and

there's nothing new Under the Sun we

know that at least justice says so and

we know it by experience and although it

is clear that Daniel and his three

friends we're in a situation a lot more

extreme than we are that we have today

that we're living in today we still have

to recognize that there are many

pressures of our secular society that

are there have some similarities with

the ones that Daniel faced and in his

time from the beginning of humankind

what has been stays Satan's strategy his

strategy has always been to separate us

from the true living merciful God that

provides has the power to give salvation

eternal salvation and an abundant life

here that has been his strategy from

from day one we know that from the

Garden of Eden that's what he has been

doing all along he doesn't mind

creating our own gods worshipping

anything that's not the true God he

doesn't mind even and we have very

sophisticated and illuminated ideas as

long as they don't as they don't point

to the Living God you know that is his

strategy and we have to recognize that

we live in a in a world of competing

ideas and worldviews you turn on the TV

you turn on your computer you anything

your child is playing a game on their

little you know tablet or whatever and

what the there's influences there in

every single thing that surrounds us

that competes or or that is in

opposition I rather say to the Christian

worldview and what is a worldview it's

the way a person sees and understands

their world and it so it it in it guides

or influences or informs our values

choices our behavior and even the way

that we define what's good and what's

evil everything everything in in our

system belief system is influenced by

our worldview and we all have one you

might say well maybe I don't have one or

but if you if you took the time to

examine yourself you would understand

yes I do have a worldview and sometimes

it's not a 100 percent Christian

worldview and what happens is that there

is an increasing globalized and

connected world that we are exposed to

on a daily basis like I said through

everything that we listen to everything

that we see it's it's there's competing

ideas and and some of these are ideas

can come into our own Christian

worldview in subtle ways and change the

way we think so that we adopt a system a

belief system that is maybe not fully

Christian in an article written last

year barniz research group reported that

only 17

percent of Christians and they define

Christians as people who consider their

faith important and attend church

regularly it's kind of a loose

definition right but that's what they

had to work with so they reported that

only 17% of people who define themselves

as Christians actually have a biblical

worldview this means that according to

this research if you do the math

eighty-three percent of people who

identify themselves as Christians in the

United States agree with ideas that are

rooted in non-christian belief systems

like new spirituality or what we used to

be called the new age or post-modernism

or any secular view of course you know

what happens according to their research

there is a certain demographic group

that is more prone to accept those

beliefs then than others and of course

Millennials and the Generation Xers are

the ones that are that they they found

out that they were eight times more

likely to accept these views than people

that had that were from previous

generations and why is that because they

have been exposed to a less

Christianized United States it's logical

right so this indicates that many people

who profess a belief in Jesus Christ

have allowed ideas that are inconsistent

with the gospel to infiltrate their

belief system and that in and we cannot

really point fingers towards somebody

else that is sometimes us well we

sometimes I know I have had to kind of

look at my ideas and and consider some

that maybe they're not exactly 100

percent Christian or a hundred percent

biblical so it's important to look at

the of those and you know examining them

these these ideas have impacted how we

view God the role that God has in our

lives and the freedom that we have to

make decisions outside of God's design

and principles

that's the you know the dangerous part

and I'll give you two very simple

examples of subtle beliefs beliefs that

have infiltrated our thinking one is I

have the right to be happy have you

heard that you know I have the right to

be happy I can do this because I have

the right to be happy we are so entitled

you know to our happiness and that's a

you know it seems like a not not a

dangerous thought but what does it do it

opposes many of the principles of

Scripture principles of love generosity

and sacrifice because then you know if

I'm if I'm entitled to my happiness I

can do whatever I do I don't have to

take in consideration other people I can

do what I want to do and that has an

impact in marriage in relationships in

the way we handle our money in many many

different areas another idea is that

what is morally right or wrong

depends on what an individual individual

person believes you've heard that too

right in other words moral values are

fluid and subjective there are no moral

absolutes as is included in you know

talk so clearly in the scriptures there

are no moral absolutes so even you know

these two apparently simple and non

dangerous or innocent ideas have creeped

into our thinking process and have had a

big impact in in our lives

although these statistics by barniz

research are you know they're very grim

in respect to the state of the church I

also am so encouraged by the many adults

and even young people who I see taking a

stand for the Lord and declaring their

their professing their love in an open

way and and you can see them you know in

in the least context inning contests for

example your there are some there that

stand up and they declare I am a child

of God and they choose the the songs

glorify the God God so you know there

are many examples in politics you know

just recently the vice president vice

president pence was ridiculed in a big

way because he he stated that he

believes in God and that God speaks to

him that he speaks to God and he was

told that he's a nut because he was

thinking that who who would in this

enlightened enlightened age think that

God speaks to us so you know there are

people out there taking a stand I hope

that we too in whatever we live do the

same thing so it is supremely important

to educate ourselves and to be aware of

the ideas that the secular society is

bombarding us with and you know I I

understand it's hard to be intentional

about examining these things it requires

time and what happens to us we are so

full of commitments we have so many

things to do that it is difficult to

really focus on ourselves and our

thinking that requires taking some alone

time and and understanding what the

world of Word of God says and and

deciding to apply it so it is a

difficult process but it is but we are

responsible for guiding you know

ourselves you know - for us to grow in

this and we are responsible for guiding

our children as they seek to understand

the world we need to understand that in

the same way that the Babylonian king

changed the Daniels and his three

friends names this that same way the

secular society is seeking to change the

Christian identity not only of us but of

our children and future generations it

is a reality there it is there's a push

to get Christians principals out of the

way and establishing a purely secular

system of beliefs in our world and so

the world is seeking to do what to

immerse us in gotten a godless value

system where God is something that's

lived our spiritual life is live

on a corner somewhere in our own private

time and it has no bearing to be in the

public eye you know and and that is has

happened in a very significant way

already and it will continue to be a

push in that direction the only antidote

that I can see for that opposes the

indoctrination of the world is what

happens in the home that's the only

antidote for that

it's that children be raised in in and

future generations also in the disciple

encoder hearts their minds and their

souls in the context of the home you

know a home that is based in prayer

where the modeling of God's principles

are applied in the in the day in and day

out in the practical things of life that

that is what really makes the difference

with and then it's with the church

coming alongside the home reinforcing

what is already taught and modeled at

home it is not the church prerogative to

raise our children it is or teach them

the principles of the Scriptures it is

the home that is where it needs to

happen and we need to invest time in

that because the time that our

children's are using in filling their

minds and their souls in other ways that

are not consistent with the scripture is

the same time that they don't have to

listen to the counsel of God and to see

his principles applied in the home this

this is I can't think of anything more

important than this that we really take

time to model the Christian values in

the home in a way that makes sense you

know according to the age of the child

and so forth and and you know I

congratulate some of many of you that

dedicate your lives also to teaching

children in the church

those of you who bring your children who

take the time and bring them to too so

that what they are already learning at

home be reinforced by what the Church

teaches so those are very good things so

our actions and our priorities at home

speak very loud for our children and

really do make a difference and as we

read before there was no part of the

four young men's training or education

that was left on planned everything

there was a plan for every aspect of

their lives including what they ate

verse 5 Daniel chapter 1 verse 5 says

the King assigned them a daily amount of

food and wine from the king's table and

look at Daniel's response to this choice

food the best food in Babylon verse 1:8

says but Daniel resolved not to defile

himself with a royal food and wine and

he asked the chief official for

permission not to defile himself this

way and again I read I repeat Daniel

resolved not to defile himself what a

powerful verse it should be a life verse

for each one of us another way of saying

it is that Daniel purposed in his heart

or made a decision based on his

commitment to do what he knew was right

before the Lord he didn't want to defile

or to contaminate himself and you wonder

where did this teenager find the

authority and the clarity of purpose

that he showed in that verse evidently

he must have learned it back in Judah

right in his home he probably saw his

parents living their faith before him

and they probably took a time to

seriously train him not only in in

practical things of life but also in

their faith Daniel also most probably

knew what the prophets had

as a matter of fact Jeremiah was a

contemporary of Daniel so maybe he heard

Jeremiah commanding the nation of Judah

to repent from their idolatry and

disobedience he must have heard the

warnings of the Lord of the destruction

of the imminent destruction of Judah if

they were to continue in their

rebellious state toward him so you know

he he had been exposed to - we can't

call it a Christian world we because

Christ was not a reality on earth at

that moment but he did have a godly

worldview the issue at hand was that

food even as delicious and an tempting

and as attractive ideas as it was

because it was the best food of the land

presented that the issue was that that

food had been presented to idols it was

a custom of the time yet before the the

king ate his food it would be presented

to idols to pagan idols and then it

would be eaten at the Kings table and

Daniel knew firsthand of the results of

his nation's disobedience he knew he had

lived through it he was he was living

the consequences of his nation's


so even as a young fourteen to seventeen

year old that's what people calculate

that he had at the time he set a

standard for his behavior in this pagan

land that now he was he had to call

forth but he had to call home it would

you know it would have been a lot easier

for him to comply and eat the food and

not make a fuss about the food it would

have been easier it would have been

easier to cave in and behind under the

pressures of his of the other young

people that probably you know in tried

to influence him to you know stop it

don't there's no that's not a big issue

let's just eat what they give us it

would have been a lot easier but what

happened his godly values and his belief

system guided him in the decision and he

acted we

integrity what an example for us you

know that such a young person could take

such a vertical stand for what he knew

was true he took a clear a very clear

moral stand before the pressures of a

pagan society Daniels behavior in this

situation is an example to all of us it

is to me and the principle is just that

firm Christian principles should precede

the decision-making and not the other

way around you know we need first to

grow in our Christian principles and

then when when situations come we can

make godly decisions that's the way it

goes we don't we don't wait to see the

fire at our door - oh I should have an X

term what you call those a fire

extinguisher I should have bought a fire

extinguisher when I was told to when I

bought this Woodhouse you know it we

have we have to there's has to be a

value system a platform from which we

behave and carry our lives some and many

people what happens we are thrown a

curve ball in life and we take the easy

road it's it's a it's a lot easier to do

that just let me do take the path of

less resistance and then and just go

with whatever comes and in its in

moments like that

like those like the one that Daniel was

experienced it that we have to know that

we know that we know what we are called

to do you know and I realize more and

more that a superficial is skin-deep

superficial religion or a religious

value system is not only not enough to

manage our lives in this world it's not

only not enough but it is also dangerous

it's very dangerous when our allegiance

to the Christian worldview is only

superficial we run the risk of acting in

ungodly ways in when you know when we're

confronted with certain circumstances

for instance how do I solve conflicts in


chips how do I maintain purity when

temptations come and buy purity not only

sexual purity purity and my finances in

the way I used my time in my thought

process how do I maintain purity when

temptations come how do I behave when I

see everyone around me

apparently everyone around me doing what

the word word of God says I am NOT to do

you know those are the questions that we

face on a regular basis and our children

our young people are facing them every


big time even from the moment they step

out of our home and get on the bus

it's a it's a reality and all of the you

that have children and/or teach children

you know that that's the way it is so

Christian conviction and worldview the

Christian worldview just doesn't happen

by accident right nothing really happens

by accident they require careful

awareness and and training let's take

the example of the training of soldiers

and of pilots you know they train on a

daily basis they read their manuals like

there's no tomorrow you know day in and

day out they cannot wait until a

challenge comes up to them oh let me see

what the manual says about this no they

have to to have it all in there in there

and it's it's a part of them when you

get on a plane for instance you are

trusting that the pilot knows what he or

she is doing right you you have to trust

otherwise you wouldn't get on that plane

recently we admired the the resolve and

the the clarity of mind of a pilot that

landed the did an emergency landed in

Philadelphia probably some of you heard

it on the news what happened the motor

and one of the motors exploded and

caught fire in midair and this woman had

the clarity of mind of landing

that plane in such a dire circumstance

you know very very dangerous those

people could have just died but she was

able to maintain her focus and put in in

plane what she had learned in pilot

school and I bet you know the people in

that plane were very grateful that she

had done a good work of training herself

right so it's the same with us in our

Christian world we we have to really

train ourselves and what is our manual

it's the Bible right and and there's a

lot of learning to do you know and I

know there are many people that are new

to to Christianity you know they're

there they're new to knowing the Lord

and it's it's hard sometimes to know

what should I do

what what am I called to do but you know

don't don't lose heart you will learn

you will learn you know the same way I

learned and everyone that has been in

the Lord for a number of years we have

learned there are many challenges that

the that life brings but you know be

absolutely clear that God was with you

and that he if he sees in you a heart

that desires to honor him he will teach

you and guide you by the hand as the

verse that we read before he will do

that so the way that Daniel approached

his request of a change of diet is also

exemplary it's also an example and a

model to us if let's read daniel 1:8

beep the second part of 8 and 2:10 he it

says that he asked the chief official

for permission not to defile himself

this way now God had counseled the

official had costs at cost the official

to show favor and sympathy to Daniel but

the official told Daniel I am afraid of

my lord the king who has a sign your

food and drink

why should he see you looking worse than

the other young men your age the king

would then have my head because of you

so the guards response is very logical

he know his King Nebuchadnezzar was

known to be a sanguinary despot

who delighted his hobby you know what

his hobby was to separate people's heads

from their shoulders that was his hobby

so he knew the garden knew what he was

coming against here and you know later

on in the story we hear of how the king

ordered the murder of thousands of

people just because no one could guess

what he had driven guests and give him

the interpretation of a dream that he

had had and had forgotten just for that

you know something totally unreasonable

and that that was in had was enough

excuse for him to kill many thousands

thousands of people it didn't happen the

Lord intervened and used Daniel but but

it was just to tell you what the Kings

attitudes were so and we also see that

behind Daniel's request to the chief

guard we see God working preparing the

way to honor Daniels faithfulness with

what with the favor of the chief of the

guards which you know again is it has to

be a miracle and it's because of what

Daniel the way Daniel acted provoked the

favor of this man but it was God's doing

the Bible is very clear that that it was

it was a gift from God so let's read

from verse 11 and on to see the strategy

that Daniel used in her in his request

because again it's an example to how we

need to conduct our business Daniel then

said to the guard whom the chief

official had appointed over Daniel and

Hananiah Mishael and Azariah this is the

request please test your servants for 10

days give us nothing but but vegetables

and water to drink then compare our

appearance with that of the young men

who eat the royal food and treat your

servants in accordance with what you see

so he agreed to this and tested them for

10 days so what happened here Daniel

demonstrated that he cared enough

about his request to propose a specific

plan and he did it respecting the

authorities over him he didn't get nasty

he said any foul used any foul language

or any curses he just came to them and

presented his case trusting that God's

favor was with him and what it happened

was that he dare to ask in order to be

able to act according to it so it's an

act of faith you know he knocked on the

door and gotten the Lord opened the door

for him so that he would be granted his

request of not defiling himself and the

result of Daniel and his friends

resolved not to be defiled by eating the

Royal fool is revealed in verse 15 that

there it says at the end of the ten days

they looked healthier and better

nourished than any of the young men who

ate the Royal food so God saw their

faithful heart and moved in their favor

and this reminds me of one of my

favorite verses that is in 2nd

chronicles 16:9 it's a great promise for

all of us it says for the eyes of the

Lord run to and fro throughout the whole

earth to show himself strong on behalf

of those whose heart is loyal to him

that's for you and for me too then the

Lord is looking for faithful men and

women who act according to his heart

their God honoring requests did not have

the logical result of making them pale

and undernourished

on the contrary they were you know

healthier looking and they looked much

better than all of the other children or

young men so the water the vegetable and

water experiment was successful in how

do we know it was successful because

birth verse 16

this so the guard took away their choice

food and the wine they were to drink and

gave them vegetables instead so that was

the end of that matter no more choice

food presented to them they were they

got what they wanted to have in order to

respect and honor the Lord and not only

that you know God gave them even an

extra a bonus and the bonus was to these

four young men get God gave knowledge

and understanding of all kinds of

literature and learning and Daniel could

understand visions and dreams of all

kinds so not only did they get what they

you know their immediate requests God

gave them even more and more than they

had asked for and it's the same for us

that's the way where God is his math is

not like ours it's a supernatural math

so the story continues saying that these

young men along with all the others were

presented before the king remember I

said that the the training should be it

was a three year training so at the end

of that they were presented before the

King to be tested to see if the training

had been successful and if they were

worthy of being of service to the King

and it says that in every matter of

wisdom and understanding about which the

King questioned them he found them ten

times better than all the magicians and

enchanters in his whole kingdom so they

were commissioned for the King's service

so the request for a change in diet in

order not to defile himself by eating

the spiritually contaminated food was

the first recorded exercise of faith in

Daniels book that's the first one it was

a small beginning in his faith journey

that prepared him for even bigger trials

that would come this is the first one

but there were many many others most of

you are familiar with the story of when

Daniel was thrown in

the den of lions right everybody knows

that from an early age we know we see

those pictures of Daniel in the den in

the lion's den and just to quickly

summarize when Daniel was around 80

years old and was serving under another

king he had distinguished himself so

much that the King thought of him just

so to place him in the second-most

powerful post in the land

so after him would have been the most

powerful men in the land would have been

Daniel but what happens when the Lord

promotes someone or or in a job when

someone is promoted what happens

sometimes jealousy and envy arise right

with a vengeance and that's exactly what

happens the other administrators got

very envious and jealous of Daniel and

they were seeking you know very fine

picking how to what to find you know

finding a reason to accuse Daniel before

the king of some wrongdoing wrongdoing

you know something that he had done

wrong and Daniel chapters 6 states that

they couldn't find any imagine that they

inspected him followed him for days but

they found nothing worthy of having him

accused of wrongdoing finally these men

said we will never find any basis for

charges again this man Daniel unless it

has something to do with the law of his

God you know

the demonic wisdom hmm you know acting

could it be said of you and me we cannot

accuse her of or him of anything

if someone carefully followed you or me

you know four days around us like

happened to you know Billy Graham there

were he had a very strong stance of

purity you know maintaining his purity

throughout his ministry

he had some journalists follow him

because they wanted to find him doing

something inappropriate so it is a

reality you know it does happen but you

and I if someone followed us would they

be able to say at the end of they're

following us that they found no

inconsistency or corruption in us that's

a good question

has someone protested about your

integrity instead of finding you a

willing partner in joining in in an

ungodly action you know that that's a

good thing if people around you are

protesting because you are you know too

good and and too and have too much

integrity say Amen god that's what that

that's what I want to hear and that

reality is that know it or not there are

people who are observing our behavior on

a daily basis you know those in our

family those are our neighbors our

co-workers our other church church

members as we go on the roads everywhere

there are people of serving us and and

making conclusions about our behavior

and we want to be found

non corrupt and you know and to be found

with integrity there's a a true story of

a pastor in London after preaching on a

Sunday on Monday he went he headed early

to to his office in downtown London so

he took the train got on the train

paid his fare and as he sat down to

count his fare he discovered that the

driver had given him too much change and

he counted it several times and he

confirmed that he had been giving much

more than what he was that he had to

receive so the pastor said in his seat

pondering several thoughts like and

maybe you find your you can identify

with those huh maybe the

is God's provision the Lord knows that

I'm short this week and money and he

knew that you know there was he needed

to give me some money or I didn't bring

a lunch but maybe I can this is the

Lord's provision for my lunch today

he got off the trolley to head toward

his office but was troubled by that

extra money that he has in his hands in

a moment he turned around and he fast

rushed toward the driver he handed the

extra change to the driver and he said

please take this money you by mistake

you gave me too much change and the

driver smiled and replied no pastor it

wasn't by mistake you see I visited your

church last night and heard you preach

about honesty and I decided to put you

to a test so the same way things like

that are happening to us people are

putting us to a test so going back to

the story being the evil minded people

that they were Daniels enemies devised

another plan they manipulated the King

in to uShip issuing a decree in those

times under their law they were not the

king not even the King was allowed to

cancel a decree once a decree was made

it had to follow through no matter what

so these men knew this about the

decrease it was announced so they might

manipulated the King and it was

announced by the king that anyone that

prayed to any God or man except to the

king would be thrown to the Lions Den

that was a decree and let's see how did

Daniel respond to this decree let if we

read verse 10 of chapter 6 it says now

when Daniel learned the decree had been

published he went home

to his upstairs room where the windows

opened towards Jerusalem three times a

day he got down on his knees and prayed

giving thanks to his God just as he had

done before

so Daniel heard the decree and what did

he do he did what he had been practicing

a lifetime he was he prayed God honoring

prayers to his Lord and thanked him for


the same that he had done in spite of

this new circumstance it did not face

him that he had to do anything

differently he did exactly the same that

he had been doing for many many years so

the accusing men knew exactly where to

find Daniel and what he would be doing

right they had followed him around they

knew so they went to his house they

arrested him and brought him before the

king to accuse him of the wrongdoing of

praying to another God that was not the

king and the the story says that the

king was very sad because the king loved

Daniel and mired him a lot but he could

not do anything because he had issued a

decree already and so you have read the

story you know the ending that God saved

Daniel from being the Lions lunch right

so he was safe from that and this

miracle in Daniels life impacted the

king so much that he issued a totally

opposite proclamation instead of

promoting praise to himself and were in

worship to where himself the king

himself praised the god of Daniel and

also those who had conspired again him

against him ended being thrown in the

lion's den that's how God acts you know

we just need to be faithful in all

situations now I'm not important not

minding how sacrif what the sacrifice we

have to make or the cost it makes

so think about this there would have

been no liens then victory if first

there hadn't been a vegetable and water

victory it was not possible to have the

Lions won without the first one the more

the simpler one and it's the same with

you and with me we first take a small

step of faith and then another and

another and that's how it works and what

happens as we do this and I've

experienced it in my own life as we take

those first steps of faith and I and

again if you are new in the in the Lord

you know there are many challenges that

face you but just take that first step

of faith the first one is accepting the

Lord as your Savior but just the steps

of faith in your daily life when when

you're when you know that there are

challenges or issues that it want to

take you separate you from the Lord what

happens when we do this our faith is

strengthened our resolve to glorify the

Lord gross and what happens again also

we receive more power and gifting from

the Lord you know the Lord knows whom he

gives gifts he knows it when we need in

a way we need to be his his gifts are

out of grace and love but he won't give

us something that he knows we are not

ready to receive so you know continue to

walk in the Lord continue to have those

steps of faith and your faith will be

strengthened and He will give you more

power and more gifting in in different

things that you couldn't even imagine

possible happen and we have a choice we

definitely have a choice you know all

young people here adults here even

children we have a choice we can choose

the life of conformity to the world or

we can choose to conform every

thing in us to the will of God those are

the only two choices we have there is no

limbo in between there is no land in one

in between one and the other you know

it's it's that's the reality you know

either we conform to the world or we

conform to God's will in our lives you

know I don't know about you but I want

you know more and more I want to live a

life of integrity a life of courage and

commitment that honors God in everything

and I definitely want the practical

wisdom of God that that only he can give

the worldly vision the wisdom is not as

good for nothing we need the wisdom of

the Lord so as I asked at the beginning

you know are you convinced that your

actions matter to God and if you are

then you have to resolve purpose in your

heart commit with everything in you you

know mind heart soul spirit not to allow

any worldly contamination take hold of

you in any way it's an easy slippery

road we don't want that to happen to any

of us and we need to glorify the Lord in

everything we do regardless of the cost

and the sacrifices that we have made and

before concluding in prayer let me leave

with you the promise found in James 1

verses 2 to 5 please listen very

attentively to these words from James

consider it pure joy my brothers and


whenever you face trials of many kinds

because you know that the testing of

your faith produces perseverance let

perseverance finish its work so that you

may be mature and complete not lacking

anything if any of you lacks wisdom you

should ask God who gives generously to

all without finding fault and it will be

given to you amen for God's promise so

let's let's pray so pray pray with me

lord I ask for your wisdom

Lord shinin me Lord strengthen me in my

belief system in my worldview that I be

able to examine myself before you and

your word and that I be found pure and

not corrupt in any way in my life Oh

Lord Lord use each one of us as

testimonies of your power and grace and

of what you do in a life that gives

freely to you and that desires to honor

you in every single way Lord make us

each one of us like Daniel that when we

face circumstances difficult challenges

in our lives especially when our moral

issues arrive arise Lord that we be

found faithful

Lord give us your wisdom your practical

wisdom Lord allow us to live in such a

way in our homes that our children

desire to have what we have that they

understand that there is nothing better

than loving you and serving you and Lord

each one of us as we we present our

children before you make of each one of

them Daniels young children young women

and men willing to do whatever it takes

to take a stand for you Lord we I ask

you that we do not underestimate your

power in the lives of our children and

our young people that we do everything

in our power to help them come closer to

you by our testimonies Lord raise up a

generation of Daniels in this house

young children young men and women who

put you first who take a moral stand

wherever they are that say no to the

influences of the world and that

transform this world

so that it honors you through their

faithfulness and obedience to your Lord

and have those Daniels be raised in our

own homes that they minister in this

same house that they change and

transform the world and use us in that

endeavor Oh God thank you Lord amen

Work is Worship

if I'd you open your Bibles to the book

of Ephesians chapter 6 verse 5 to 9

we're working through the book of

Ephesians here in in these sermons when

I preach I'm going through it and we are

almost getting to the end the book of

Ephesians ends with a powerful image of

putting on the full armor of God and

taking our stand against the devil's

schemes and struggling against powers

and principalities in spiritual darkness

but before it gets there the Apostle

Paul into the anointing of the holy

spirit teaches about the call of

Christians to consecrate their life not

just spiritually but relationally to the

Lord so he takes time at the end of

Ephesians 5 to talk about marriage and

the relationships between husbands and

wives then he takes time to talk about

children and parents and the

relationship between parents and kids

and then finally he's going to be

talking about the relationship between

slaves and masters and the point that

he's making is that our earthly

relationships have spiritual

implications the way we use or abuse

Authority opens us up to spiritual

attack from the evil one

that the proper exercise of authority

and the proper response to Authority in

our daily relationships prepares us

spiritually to be strong and to resist

the attacks of the evil one so we're

going to be talking today about the

concept of work that the way we treat

our boss and the way we treat our

employees matters spiritually amen

that work is spiritual as Felicia put up

that verse Genesis 2:15 we learn that

the concept of work was invented not by

the devil but by God himself and the

concept of work was invented by God not

after the fall of man and woman but

before work

existed in the Garden of Eden in the

world the way it is supposed to be the

Lord God took the man and put him in the

Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep

it work believe it or not is meant to be

a blessing work is meant to be spiritual

and consecrated to God now that might be

challenging for some of us to believe as

you think about your work situation

you're thinking it sure doesn't look

like the Garden of Eden

because our work situations have been

tainted by the curse of sin in the world

that now Adam had to work the land by

the sweat of his brow and there were

thorns and thistles and work became

difficult but you know what the original

purpose of God is stronger than the

effects of sin in the world and even

though work has been twisted and cursed

in a way the blessing of God remains

upon it and we are called to honor God

with work how many people here believe

that God is not only the God of Sunday

but also the God of Monday that there is

no division between that which is

secular and that which is sacred see all

too often we want to draw a line and say

when I worship God when I'm praying when

I'm singing when I'm in church when I'm

teaching the Bible when I'm preaching

the gospel that's spiritual but when I'm

at work in the office

that's secular and that's different and

God says no no no God is not just the

God of church he's the God of all

creation God is not just God on the the

altar here on Sunday morning but he's

also God at the factory in the classroom

in the hospital room in the cubicle at

the worksite Jesus is Lord and for a

Christian Jesus is my boss amen

you ever seen that bumper sticker my

boss is a Jewish carpenter right because

Jesus worked

and we work and he is our boss and

here's the questions as we read this

text that I'm going to ask can people at

work tell that you are a Christian can

they tell the difference I wants a

little story many many years ago I went

to a store that sells clothes I think

Bob's does Bob still exist even haven't

seen it forever I've given a commercial

here they're gonna pay me ten bucks for

saying this now Bob's clothing or

something and I bought my pair of jeans

right and if you buy them there they

hemmed them there for you for a buck at

that time now it would be like ten bucks

I'm sure but for a dollar or two dollars

they're gonna hem your jeans for you and

like okay that's a great deal so I'm

buying the jeans and I'm I mean I'm at

the counter this was on the North Shore

right off Route one and I say you know

so get can these get hemmed when that

when will they be ready and the ladies

looked at each other and says oh you

know technically we're not supposed to

promise them for a week but they'll be

ready tomorrow and they will be perfect

and I said really

I said yeah the lady that does this

she's amazing we don't know how she does

it but whatever we throw at her she gets

it done immediately and it's always

perfect so you can come in tomorrow and

they'll be ready in like wow awesome

about two months later a sister from

church came up to me just after services

hey Greg how'd you like the jeans like

it was you she's like yeah I was me I

worked there I don't think that was you

they were talking about that was a

sister from church and you know what her

name is

her name is loose which in Spanish means

light and I thought that is a message

from God because our people when they do

their jobs for Jesus are lights that

shine in darkness are examples of the

power of the gospel on earth and I was

so you know I felt a certain pride not a

sinful pride but uh but a God pride

pride in a job well done by someone else

of course but I'm like that was my

sister in Christ who did those genes


this reputation for doing everything

well and I think about that when we work

for Jesus not only do we do evangelism

but we also worship work is worship when

we do it for Jesus when we offer

anything to God it's an offering and

that make turns it into an act of

worship and praise every bit as much as

what we just did here today amen

so let's pray together father in Jesus

name I pray that you would bless this

word God that comes next that you have

ordained for us today and lord I thank

you that you have commissioned us and

sent us into the world to be light that

shines in darkness to praise you and

worship you from our hearts not just on

Sunday morning here at the altar but on

Monday morning Tuesday morning every day

everything we do in the name of Jesus

for the glory of God the Father speak to

us through this text I pray in Jesus

name Amen

Ephesians 6 5 to 9 I'm reading from the

ESV because I liked the way they

translated it it begins by saying

bondservants obey your earthly masters

with fear and trembling with a sincere

heart as you would Christ not by way of

I service as people pleasers but as bond

servants of Christ doing the will of God

from the heart rendering service with a

good will as to the Lord and not to man

knowing that whatever good anyone does

this he will receive back from the Lord

whether he is a bondservant or is free

masters do the same to them and stop

your threatening knowing that he who is

both their master and yours is in heaven

and there is no partiality with him amen

now this text is written to bondservants

people in slavery right so I want to

talk about this for a minute I don't

want to just skip

over it and just apply it to the

workplace for us because we might ask

the question does the Bible approve of

slavery there were some people many

times in history of this country who

took texts like this and argued that in

churches and the whole south of this

country from pulpits all around said

that God approves of slavery and they

would use these verses we as Christians

need to know how to read the Bible

wisely and intelligently and understand

what the Bible is really saying so that

when people try to twist it that we know

what they're doing that we are thinking

and receiving what the word has to say

so I want to talk about this and the

first point I want to say about this

before we get into the application that

I began with is that the Bible often

teaches us how to be a Christian in an

unchristian world okay that the Bible

often teaches us how to behave as

Christians in situations that are not

Christian situations and slavery was a

part of the Roman world some historians

believe that at the time of this writing

as many as one-third of the members of

the Roman Empire were in some sort of

slavery now in those days sometimes

people would willingly sell themselves

into slavery for a few years to pay off

the debt so there was partial slavery

there was lifetime slavery there was

sometimes they would conquer another

nation and they would enslave them as

prisoners so there were all kinds of

different forms of it but it was

extremely widespread and common in the

Roman Empire so the fact that this

scripture is teaching Christians how to

behave within this system does not mean

that God is endorsing this system any

more than God endorsed the Roman Empire

when John the Baptist gave advice to

Roman soldiers and tax collectors about

how to do their jobs in a Christian way

right remember that moment some soldiers

Roman centurion soldiers leaders Roman

tax collectors came to John the Baptist

and said what should we do we're getting

baptized now if I'm there I'm like well

you should quit your job right you're a

tax collector for an evil oppressive

Empire quit your job and do something

else okay but John the Baptist just

tells them if you're a tax collector for

the Roman Empire okay just collect what

you're supposed to collect don't use

extortion to collect too much which is

what tax collectors typically did if

you're a soldier then do your job

accept your pay don't use your sword to

extort money out of people which is what

Roman soldiers typically did at that

time so John the Baptist doesn't tell

them to stop being soldiers in the Roman

Empire or stop being tax coaches he said

do your job in a Christian way okay

now that does not mean that God approved

of Caesar or of the Roman Empire at all

in fact there's all kinds of prophecies

later in the book of Revelation against

the Roman Empire as the horror of

Babylon right so God is not approving of

a nation just because he teaches people

how to function within that nation now

another point I would make here and

Jesus by the way jesus healed the

servant of a Centurion he didn't tell

that guy to quit his job Cornelius with

Peter accepted Jesus received the Holy

Spirit Peter didn't say quit your job

the point so if they're not approving of

the government but they're just saying

be a Christian within that situation now

another point I would make is just

because God in the Bible sometimes

permits a situation does not mean that

he approves of that situation okay

sometimes God allows something to

continue it doesn't mean that he blesses

what's going on for example if you read

the Old Testament and I've had to do a

lot of explaining to my 11 year old son

lately as we go through the book of

Genesis you ever read the book of

Genesis right all the family dynamics

you know if you think your family is


you ain't seen

Yeah right and some of the reason why

the family of Abraham Isaac and Jacob

were so horribly dysfunctional is

because they practiced polygamy which

was typically practiced in the ancient

world and God blesses and works through

these families but at no point is

polygamy presented as a happy state of

affairs it's always miserable there's

always drama

there's always fighting there's always

sin but God works through these

situations so the fact that he works

through these situations does not mean

that he endorses polygamy at the

beginning of the Bible it was one man

and one woman in one garden right for

life and at one point and it gets very

confusing cuz Moses allowed divorce even

he would give certificates of divorce so

the Pharisees came to Jesus said Jesus

Moses used to give us say that a man

could just give a certificate of divorce

and we could divorce what do you say

and Jesus said well Moses permitted you

to do that because your hearts were hard

but in the beginning it wasn't that way

God presented the wife to Adam and he

said this is bone of my bone and flesh

of my flesh so even though God may have

permitted something to go on for a while

does not mean he approves it so what I'm

saying here is that these texts are

written into a situation of slavery but

God did not then nor did he ever approve

of slavery that was never good slavery

it was always a bad thing and you see it

in the Bible think about where you see

slavery in the Bible the Israelites

enslaved by the Egyptians and God

judging the nation of Egypt and the

plagues and the war and the Red Sea and

all that setting the captives free

there's other laws for the people of

Israel that every seven years they were

to release any Israelite who was in

indentured servitude the jubilee you had

to release them because slavery is not a

natural state of affairs you need to set

them free in the New Testament the

Apostle Paul tells people do not sell

yourself in slavery to pay off a loan

because you were bought with a price do

not become slaves of man slavery is a

bad thing even in this text it says that

he's writing to those who are slaves

according he tells them to obey their

masters according to the flesh the point

he's making is they may be masters of

your flesh but nobody owns your soul God

is the master of your soul that in

society there are structures that

involve subordination some just some

unjust but in God's eyes each person has

equal value and dignity both their

master and yours is in heaven and

there's no partiality with him is an

interesting little letter and again I

don't want to take too much more time on

this because I want to get into the

application I wanted to talk about but

there's this interesting letter in the

New Testament I would recommend to you

called the letter to Philemon it's one

chapter long and people never read it

unless you're in Sunday school with the

kids over there they read it right but

it's a little letter that the Apostle

Paul wrote to a friend of his because a

runaway a person who'd been enslaved ran

away met Jesus became a close friend of

Jesus but he was running away from the

authorities and the Apostle Paul is

sending him back to his owner and

encouraging his owner to receive him not

as a slave but as a brother he refers to

this man as a dear brother a fellow

human being and he says this is the man

who is my very heart and the Apostle

Paul says I'm not going to insist but

remember that you owe me your soul right

I presented Jesus to you so you better

listen to me throughout the Bible we see

that God took a timebomb and planted it

in the institution of slavery so that

over time slavery would explode as an

institution that it couldn't exist

anymore because he planted the concept

that every human being is created in the

image of God and because of that it's

only logical to say that every person is

endowed by their creator as the founders

of this country said with certain

inalienable rights the right to life

liberty and the pursuit of happiness now

the people who wrote that own slaves

but not for long because they saw the

inconsistency how can a Christian

believe that this person is made in the

image of God who is equal to me who's

purchased by the blood of Jesus with

whom I will spend eternity how can a

Christian possibly rationalize enslaving

that person and so it's no surprise to

us that the leaders of the abolition

movement in this country were Christians

the anti-slavery movement in the United

States grew out of the revivals of the

early 1800s people were meeting Jesus

and they were saying God is is setting

the captives free amen and so there were

great revivalists like Charles Finney

and in England a hundred years earlier

than us there was a Christian politician

praise God for Christian politicians his

name was William Wilberforce who said

enough and he led a movement an

anti-slavery movement in England and

England abolished slavery a hundred

years before we did because a Christian

did his job in the name of Jesus and so

it was the revivals that led the

anti-slavery movement and when Abraham

Lincoln signed the Emancipation

Proclamation guess where people were

praying down the street in Tremont

temple that's where it was announced and

that made the papers because Christians

were the ones who stood up and said this

is wrong so we cool with that does that

that makes some sense to us so want to

take a little time to talk about that

that I'm not going to charge you for

that okay that's a little extra but I

wanted us to know because sometimes we

read these texts and as Christians we

don't believe in just cutting pages out

of the Bible and saying oh well that's

old-fashioned so I'm just going to cut

that no we need to understand what God

was saying and what he's not saying when

he's went in the different different

text of the Bible amen

so you've had more questions please

approach me about that afterwards the

way we'll apply that to ourselves is the

fact that today we all are in some way

working now the question is as a

Christian how do you work and for whom

do you work now even as I get into this

I am very aware of the fact that there

are some people who are in between jobs

right now and desperately wanna work but

are having a hard time finding a job and

I was just telling someone before the

service if you are looking for a job

then looking for the job is your job and

God sees your heart there's other people

who might be physically dealing with

with health issues or with different

addiction issues until work isn't really

possible for them if that's your

situation getting healthy is your job

amen if you're a student maybe you're

paying to work well you might be paying

them but studying is your job amen you

might be 10 years old in school and

going to school and doing what your

parents tell you to do and is your job

we all work before God and it says

bondservants will be your earthly

masters with fear and trembling with a

sincere heart as you would Christ and

here's the fundamental point I want to

begin with for a Christian your boss is

now and always will be Jesus Christ you

don't go and work for him or for her or

for that company we are working for

Jesus he sees and thank God he pays very

well in verse 8 it says knowing that

whatever good anyone does this he will

receive back from the Lord

whether he is bondservant or free

Christian's work for Jesus not for

people now coming back to the text if

you look at it it says in verse 6 the

Christians should not work and it says

not by way of it it's very strange word

not by way of I service as people

pleasers now that they translate it like

that because the greek words that are

used here are very unusual words that

are only used in the bible in one other

place in a parallel text in colossians

and i get the feeling this is just my

little theory alright again i'm not

going to charge you that for this

because it's just my theory but i'm just

kidding i don't charge for anything but

i think this is slang

there's a lot of slang that people use

at work about people who do not work in

the best way right now what do you say

eh I remember I was working I was

working on a construction site 16 years

old doing a roofing and siding and I and

I was asking is it is it 3:00 yet and

the boss is like what are you a


you a clock-watcher is that were you our

kid it was good for me it's good for

Bill character right a clock-watcher

no I don't know what other phrases you

might have heard a time-waster how about

that how about the person at work who

looks really good in front of the boss

they just go along with whatever the

boss says the yes-man there's other

phrases that are slightly craft so I

won't use them slacker

you know all these things I get the

feeling this I service people pleaser

that these were Greek ways of saying

that same kind of thing basically people

who were experts in the ancient art of

looking busy right it's just an ancient

art that has been cultivated over the

centuries how to look like you're

working when you're not right anyone

here ever research that getting away

with the minimum right I'll share a

little bit later I one of my I had many

many jobs you know I've done a little

bit of everything and one of them was as

a security guard right I were security

guard at night you know I often stays

because I like to shoot people no just

kidding the security guard in a quiet

Insurance Building where nothing ever

happened right because I like to study

and the boss knew it everyone was kosher

with it I actually learned my Spanish

there speaking Spanish with people at

night but security guards are

world-class experts in sleeping on the


amen your only responsibility is to stay

awake sometimes that's your only

responsibility and it's the one thing

they become experts and how did you and

you it was really funny when I was

travelling around Latin America in in

the late 90s I was staying in a building

in Argentina I got to be friends with

the with the watchman at the door and he

in if we got talking and he started

telling me all his

of how he sits so that he people will

wake him up at a certain hour to heal

here's something he'll sit a certain way

and sleep and he'll even set little

booby traps so things will make noises

and he'll you know and and I was like

wow you know what it's one world you

know humanity is the same everywhere you

go you know time wasters I pleasers hack

slackers you name it

Christians are called to be different

amen we're coughed to eat different

Christians are called to work in the

name of Jesus I love the verse that

Felicia put up whatever you do it says

in Colossians whether in word or deed do

it all how anyone know the verse in the

name of the Lord Jesus with all your

heart the verse she put up was a

different one that do it heartily as

unto the Lord is another way whatever

you do do it in the name of the Lord

Jesus with all your heart doing it for

Jesus because he sees and he's pleased

and he's blessed by what you're doing

and that is what we're supposed to be

warranted around has anyone heard of the

great baroque classical musician called

Johann Sebastian Bach you ever heard of

him he's a Christian composer from the

Baroque period he he wrote this

classical music back in the in the 1700s

during the revivals in Europe of the

first Great Awakening and he was a

Christian and his job was to be the

worship leader and he would play Oregon

and he'd write songs and he wrote

everything he wrote he would write at

the bottom of the manuscript three

letters the letter s D G which in Latin

stood for soli Deo Gloria I think we

know what that means right solamente

adios say la gloria only to God be the

glory and he'd write that on every

manuscript some of his writing was so


that that he would put in the music it

would be beautiful music but he would

actually draw pictures with the notes

that would have a Christian message

there was a guy in college I studied

with anti-christian atheist but he

studied music and he said listening to

Bach's music that described the Passion

of Christ going up the mountain he

discovered in his thesis that this music

was not only exquisitely beautiful but

the notes formed the shape of a cross

going up a hill it's almost like ancient

backmasking it's like how did he plan

that he put pictures that were Christian

pictures sometimes in the music itself

how does a person do that only because

someone's doing what they do in the name

of Jesus with the anointing of the Holy

Spirit that friend of mine said you know

what I'm as close to becoming a

Christian as I ever have been he's

sharing that he says I'm not but I'm

close because we took a long time to

talk about I don't know I prayed for him

we talked hopefully he came around but

doing something in the name of Jesus

means that when I do something I can

sign God's name to it my name but I can

also say to God be the glory

can I put God's name on what I'm doing

doing something in the name of Jesus

means I do it by his power for his

pleasure unto his glory in the name of

Jesus by his authority by his power for

his pleasure unto his glory in the world

I tell the whole world that a Christian

wrote this song a Christian built this

deck a Christian took care of this child

a Christian wrote this report a

Christian led this school soli Deo

Gloria to God be the glory there's a

great stuck that I would recommend

called practicing the presence of God

it's written by a monk named brother


know if he had a last name but he didn't

have it when he wrote the book and he

decided I want to be a monk this was an

awfully long time ago I don't know what

year it was and he's ready to be a monk

right and do monks stuff you know pray

copy manuscripts teach the word go out

and help the poor do godly monk things

he's all excited and they assigned

brother Larry brother Lawrence to wash

the dishes for hours and hours and hours

every day his job was to wash the dishes

and for a long time he grumbled and

complained about it I don't want to wash

dishes I came here to be a monk I'm not

a dishwasher you know like dr. McCoy

that's what I'm not and he's rumbling

and he's complaining and then the next

thing you know God broke through to him

and he said wait a minute I'm gonna try

wot washing this dish for Jesus and then

the next dish for Jesus and then I'm

gonna do it for Jesus and I'm gonna pray

as I scrub and I'm gonna sing as I scrub

and next thing you know he just wanted

to do nothing but wash dishes all day

because as he washed those dishes he

felt the presence of Jesus and he

worshiped and he practiced the presence

of God doing the most menial tasks I

told you that I was a security guard

right and this is gonna be true

confession time I wasn't gonna share

this maybe I shouldn't someone might be

watching I'll get in trouble no I'm

working a security guard in a place in

Salem right I'm in seminary at this

point studying the Bible and I get a

night a job at night it was great from

11:00 at night to 7:00 in the morning

all night I'm alone I can study I just

have to get up every hour and walk

around this big facility and it happened

to be a facility that was a research

facility making light bulbs and it was a

big big dark dingy creepy haunted house

kind of factory okay in Salem huge you

know and I'd lock it up and I'm in Salem

Massachusetts right right and it was

right on the right on the parade route

for the for the pay for the witches on


saw them walk by another way night and

so I'm walking around the first week of

this and it's like 3:00 in the morning

and there's some machines making noises

you don't expect and it's kind of dingy

and it's like it's just like if I were

to write a Edgar Allan Poe horror novel

I would base it there

you know the innocent seminarian working

in the factory and then behind him Flay

you so I'm in this place and I'm working

there at night and I'm getting the


I guess you're gonna get the creeps I

feel like this is just creepy you know

I'm feeling it I'm into spiritual

warfare I'm like wow this is a really

creepy place so I decided well they make

light bulbs here so I'm gonna turn

everything on for a few nights forgive

me I've wasted a lot of electricity for

a week so but then you know what started

happening I just figure you know what

I'm just gonna start singing in praise

song as I do my tours I'm gonna start

singing and praying and I start and of

course I know I'm alone right so no I

could hear me so I'm just singing and

I've totally I've got it locked up I

know no one can hear me except the

powers and principalities and so I just

start singing in there and I started

longing for those shifts because that

that prison became a palace all of a

sudden it became a temple it started

it's almost like one night I could see

almost a spiritual light fill that place

then I stopped you know what I would do

I would turn out all the lights before

my tours now at night because I had the

tour memorized I did it a thousand times

and I would just walk around and worship

God right and I'd you know do other

things and pray and worship and that was

when God started really unleashing

Spanish in my heart because I I would

pray and worship in English in Spanish

and I felt an anointing on that and that

was before I found this church and God

was getting God moved and sometimes we

feel like our job is a prison but God

wants to move and change our mind and

our attitude so that our prison becomes

a palace and the word for Palace in

Hebrew is the same word for temple

sometimes and a temple where King Jesus

lives God wants to meet you at work he

wants to give you wisdom in what you're

doing you know they did an interesting

poll of

college students about ten years ago and

they asked these college students does

God no nuclear physics as a question and

a shocking number of students answered

saying no God does not understand

nuclear physics because he's too

old-fashioned it's just it's too

scientific for him he just doesn't get

the math right well had news for you

God knows nuclear physics he knows math

he knows geography he knows English if

you're a student and you're taking a

test just try praying first you do

anyway right you know my father used to

tell me that Greg is that fair for you

to pray if he's God like cheating for

you here is that the deal no I was

praying for God to give me wisdom

because he invented this stuff if it's

history he was there he knows what

happened if it's if it's math it's the

code in which the universe was created

he's the expert the revelation know if

it's biology well these are human beings

made in His image animals made for his

glory God knows if I'm building

something well he's the ultimate builder

and creator of the universe he's called

us to build and exercise dominion and

creation I can say God showed me how to

build this deck help me how to take care

of this difficult child if you're a

child care provider help me know how to

manage this business according to your

principles and you might be stunned by

the wisdom God would give you in the Old

Testament there's characters these guys

named bezalel and oholiab where the

Bible says God gave them a spirit of

wisdom and revelation in craftsmanship

and artistic designs and all of that and

they were anointed by the Holy Spirit to

build the tabernacle God can give you

wisdom and accounting God can give show

you the colors of heaven for your art if

you're a musician he can reveal to you

the sounds of heaven he can show you how

to build a deck that you would want to

carve in SDG into that deck because I

did this in the name of Jesus amen we

can do that we can work for Jesus and

our work becomes worship when we do and

we do it for his pleasure we do it for

you Jesus is your box

there's a great scene from from a movie

I like that if you see it every time I

mentioned a movie people watch it and

say that was really boring Greg I can't

believe you like movies like that it's

called a man for all seasons and I like

the 1966 version okay so don't watch the

new one there's an old version it's

about Sir Thomas Moore in England an

awfully long time ago but there's one

scene where Sir Thomas Moore is talking

to a young man Richard rich and this

young man was very ambitious he wanted

to be a politician in England he wanted

to be famous he wanted to be famous and

and he's asking Sir Thomas more about

this and Sir Thomas More says you know

what we're opening a school it's a

little school in the country

you're a very intellectual man Richard

why don't you be a teacher and Richard

says and Sir Thomas More tells him you

you be a good teacher maybe a great one

and Richard answers and says but who

wouldn't know it who would know it

mr. Thomas Moore answers and said you

would know what your students would know

it your friends your family God not

about not a bad audience lad right yeah

who would know it who knows it when you

do a good job I think so many things we

do at work no one's ever gonna say thank

you you do so much that no one sees and

you're taking care of things and you're

putting out fires before they start and

you're going the extra mile and your

hemming those pants and most of the time

people aren't even going to notice or

say thank you but there is one who knows

it there's a couple people it's not just

God you know it - doesn't that feel good

that feel good to do something well

pride in a job well done not for your

glory but for God's glory and that

brings me to the final part of doing

something in the name of Jesus when we

work in the name of Jesus we do it for

God's glory we announced to the world a

Christian did this and you can see

something of God's beauty and what I did

for his glory and we can do that and

know that it works like Bach wrote and

we do a good job for his glory and his

honor we don't just share the gospel at

work we should share the gospel

through our work okay I'm going to talk

about this because I do believe God puts

us in jobs so that we're mixing with

non-christians so that we can talk about

Jesus to people otherwise we're all just

in a little Christian community in

subculture we never share but it's very

hard to share the gospel with coworkers

and your boss if you're a bad worker

right that's all they know you you snake

you know what you do it's hard for me to

have you telling me the meaning of the

universe when I can't count on you to

show up on time and sloppy work defames

the gospel no proverbs 18 9 whoever is

slack in his work is a brother to him

who destroys I learned a special word in

Spanish recently or it's actually 15

years ago we were moving into a condo in

Dorchester that was being rehabbed it

was being flipped and I'm not an expert

in these things but about halfway

through the construction process I got

the feeling that the best work was not

being done right I started to suspect

that things were not being done well

right I just I just had that impression

right so I invited our very own at mano

well I won't even the the craftsmen who

built the Harrison building who lives in

the church yeah he came over there and

he was looking around this condo and and

literally tears were in his eyes and he

and he used a word that I'll never

forget in Spanish he said chop basiago

which help me chop Asiago true si algo

sobre Chaput cio chapel sale it means

what does it mean it means sloppy hack

garbage shoddy and he's like got tears

in his eyes he's like how don't people

love their work how can people sleep at

night and he's like me bastard no Bobby

Viet IKEA nasty Chaput say oh they were

in Vasudha you know my pastor killed

you know I'd like you well come on let's

relax here but he made a really good

point though and so it was good I glad

he helped me with all this Christians do

not do chapel sale right every

profession has its shortcuts and you

know in your job there's things you can

do to take shortcuts that no one will

know the difference but you know and God

knows that you took a shortcut you did

something sloppy right in our house and

we're very grateful for our house it's a

beautiful house but the window started

leaking this past week after you know

seven years or something and someone

went in there and no one had put

flashing I didn't even know what

flashing was but apparently flashing

keeps water out of windows do you put up

windows without flashing cuz it's

quicker all right and then no they won't

know the difference for ten years but

eventually but there's someone who knows

the difference right away and you know

right chapel sale no there's a

difference between a no and I'm gonna

I'm gonna use words in a creative way

here there's a difference between a

contractor and a craftsman right they

don't get me wrong

yeah someone might technically be a

contractor but there's a difference

between a contractor and a craftsman a

craftsman loves their work goes above

and beyond it goes the extra mile they

do things well for the love of what

they're doing for the glory of God in

that house where the condo was being

flipped it was a house that was a

hundred years old

and some things that had been done a

hundred years ago were better than the

things that were done right then because

people were craftsmen and doing it and

when we do our best when we take pride

in what we do God is glorified one more

little story well I've got a couple more

but another little story here I was new

at line of Judah it was called iglesia

Bautista Central is about 22 years ago I

was starting to come and and I decided

okay I want to get to know people I'm

gonna go to Lawrence and get my hair cut

in Lawrence my sister told me I was

starting to look like a geek you know

you need to go somewhere you know she

can tell me that she's like go to go to

Lawrence and have someone knows what

they're doing so I went to Lourdes and

there was a family in the church and


brother in the church who was a had a

salon he had a haircutting barbershop

but you know nice one so I go there get

my haircut and that guy happened to play

congas right and he was up up here I'll

never forget he's playing congas and I

came to church the next Sunday

and while the pastor was making

announcements he was just looking at me

nodding like this like and I could just

tell he's like yeah I'm good I'm good

I did a good job that kid looks a lot

better than he did before he came to me

man just gonna fix him up and now is

that arrogant

no that's godly pride in the glory of

God you did it for his glory and we

rejoice and what he gave us the

privilege to do doesn't that feel good

to be able to nod and know you did and

now sometimes our best is maybe not

gonna be perfect right but that doesn't

matter if we do it for God it becomes a

worship we give God our best there's

another word in Spanish I want to teach

you today haha to say haha to say help

me with this that means you give it your

all you try really hard what can I do

how do I turn pull up your bootstraps

and you just roll up your sleeves and

you get dirty and you do the best you

can do for the glory of God I'm gonna

divide that up into four peas okay four

peas perspiration punctuality

proactivity and pizazz amen what did

Thomas Edison say the great inventor of

the light bulb and the phonograph

he said that genius is is 1% inspiration

and 99% perspiration got a sweat in the

Bible and the book of Timothy the

Apostle Paul uses the images of the

farmer and the soldier and the athlete

the the rocky who drinks the raw eggs

and goes running and 5:00 in the morning

and punches raw meat and he talks about

the farmer gets up early and sews and

just does back-breaking work that God

sees that when we put on our game face

at work and we declare war on mediocrity

and say I'm a Christian I will do my

best for his glory when I decide that

there's power that flows through me

punctuality and and I want to make you

know I I kind of struggle with that too

so okay so I'm talking to me here Sarah

a goatee a worse with the youth it

talked about this great phrase that she

would use with everyone early no no no

how does she do this okay early is on

time in other words on time is to be

early for something early is on time on

time is late and late is unacceptable

right not a good phrase and like oh oh

okay you got me all right I feel guilty

proactivity there's this great proverb 6

in verse 6 through 8 if we could pop it

up proactivity Christians should be

proactive there's a great proverb that

says go to the ant you sluggard look at

an ant consider its ways and be wise it

has no commander no overseer no ruler

yet it stores its provisions in summer

and gathers its food at harvest they

don't need someone telling them what to

do they know what needs to be done and

they take proactive initiative to do it

god bless people who do that and final

pea pizzazz you know what that means it

means you dress it up a chili picante

put a little spice in it put a little

heart in it whatever you're doing make

it a little bit better than it has to be

why because it doesn't matter what they

think anyway it's what Jesus thinks of

what I think's and I'm looking this guy

did that well you didn't just dunk the

basketball your tongue was hanging out

and you you know put some Jordan into it


now finally when we work in a way that

worships God because what makes our

worship most beautiful at the altar now

the excellence is important that we do

our best the music but at the end of the

day what's it all about it's all about

love it's all about loving our heavenly

Father worshipping God is essentially

loving God in an expressive way I'd

encourage you in your job and what you

do to do it with love love for God as an

offering for him love for your

co-workers love for your co-workers do

you love the people you work with do you

care about them do they know you care

about them or do you hate them with

blood-sucking hate you think about it

there's so much drama at work right

isn't there there's office politics

there's people who are but Gregg's every

job I get everyone's out to get me you

said now maybe sometimes you are in jobs

where someone's out to get you because

the devil will try to get you there

right that might happen once maybe twice

but if every job you've ever had

everyone's out to get you maybe it's you

never heard that phrase you know it's

not you it's me

maybe it's you not them maybe there's

something you're doing that's maybe

drama follows you for a reason huh

let's think about it just want to

suggest it okay just suggesting it do

you love your boss do you love your boss

no now I know what you're saying grad

you don't know my boss well hey if

Joseph in the Old Testament could work

for Pharaoh if Daniel could work for

Nebuchadnezzar then you can work for him

or her because you're not working for

them you're working for Jesus right and

you're being such a good worker to the

glory of God the Bible says that a bad

worker in proverbs 10 26 as vinegar to

the teeth and smoke to the ice or

sluggers to those who said them you ever

brushed your tree teeth and then tried

to drink orange juice the Bible says

that's what it's like to try to

supervise a bad worker I don't want to

be like that for an employer I want

someone to be I'm so grateful I have

this person here they bless the

office we want to be people who are a

blessing to our boss

but finally I want to challenge us to do

our work and then I'm going to talk

about bosses briefly before I end do

your work with love for your clients or

the people you serve I am so grateful

for the people I have known who have

done their job for me not just because

they had to but they did it out of love

no I think of most recently a social

worker that I've been dealing with that

has found resources for an elderly

friend of mine and taking care of them

and has been on top of it and has gotten

them things that they need and and I'm

like God they didn't have to do that

they spent hours on the phone thank you

they cared that person wasn't just a

number that was a human being that was a

person last year the principal of my

sons and daughters Grammar School

retired she was a great principal Tuffle

grandmother real no-nonsense kind of

lady and when we were having a bit of a

tough time with Noah trying to you know

get him to focus you know the whole

thing these days she just sat down with

Kenneth and it's like gave us

perspective said everything's gonna be

okay he's fine

this and that and she gave advice and

counsel and comfort to Kennison me and

when when I was saying goodbye to her

when she was retiring I was like you

have blessed our family you've cared and

I found myself getting all teary I'm

like I'm a grown man at the school in

Norwood getting all teary with this you

know it was like okay stop the

conversation got a walk out of here she

did her job not because she had to but

because she loved kids and families and

parents I thank God for an insurance

agent who helped us redo our basement

after it leads you know I feel like I'm

on a commercial for Allstate or

something but Liberty Mutual does to

give credit where credit is due but this

guy went above and beyond he came he

visited he do he answered texts and

emails and I was like dude you're an

insurance guy you're supposed to be the

devil but you're like trying to help me

and he clearly dude and just didn't do

it just because he had to he went above

and beyond

I'm grateful for it I'm grateful for a

mechanic I know that is honest and I

bring him the car sometimes I had a

junker right a real junker for a while

that I was really worried about driving

the kids around in it I bring it in and

I'd say hey could you take a look and

just tell me if it needs anything I mean

you do that with most mechanics and what

are they gonna do gonna be paying

$10,000 you know like that but I knew

whatever he says is true I thank God for

him they did it in the name of Jesus I

thank God for a day care provider that

we we went to in in met in Dorchester

who loved the kids who would stuff them

with you know rice and beans and they

come home reeking of dominican garlic

and and and they loved them and and and

they would talk to them and teach them

and they'd give us input without making

us feel dumb but they give us suggestion

encouragement and they loved I felt I

was so confident that the kids were

loved and well taken there that even

when we moved to Norwood I would drive

right up Blue Hill to that place in

Dorchester for the next year because

they cares torture leaving your kid is

like now what are they gonna do thank

God that they didn't just do it they

cared they loved the kids right my

little girl was the only girl it was all

boys and she ruled that place with an

iron fist

I thank God for something as simple as a

waiter in a restaurant who makes you

feel like their dude you're doing them a

favor for letting you serve them right

you ever had someone like that have you

ever had a waiter that makes you feel

like you're imposing okay okay

whoops hello there we go all right so

maybe I said something inappropriate so

finally my mother you know I thank God

for good doctors and good nurses just

most recently my mom spent a little time

in the hospital she's home now and she

was reminiscing about when she had my

sister and me an awfully long time ago I

won't give you the number and she had

some very serious health complications

at that time and at those times they

just keep you in the hospital for a long

time and she never forgets the night she

woke up at 3:00 in the morning she'd had

the baby she hadn't seen the baby yet

she's totally disoriented totally

anxious all the hormones going just

crying and anxious you could say she

talked about the nurses

her there and just campsites and treated

her like a daughter came alongside

prayed with her I've never met those

nurses but I will in heaven because she

knew they were Christians they said Lord

bless you you know then they prayed for

her and I know I'll see those nurses in

heaven I'll thank them personally

because they didn't just do their job

they did it with love they did it as

worship to Jesus and they and God was

glorified through it hlaa more put your

heart into it and Jesus says when you've

done it to one of the least of these

you've done it unto me

I had one brother from the church when

he was about to fix something say I'll

do it as if I were doing it for my own

son my own mother

I encouraged us when you go to work and

you serve and you do your job from your

heart for Jesus he sees it and he

rewards and every little thing you do is

money in the bank in heaven God will

reward you for what you're doing now

finally if you're a boss do you have any

bosses in the room you don't have to

raise your hand but we got a few bosses

I know I know I know who you are

we got bosses in this room we got

supervisors if you're a boss I want you

to know that Jesus is the boss's boss

right a Christian boss is a slave of God

no the way you treat your employees is

the way you're treating Jesus at that

time with respect as people who are not

below you but people made in the image

of God people who deserve to hear from

your heart thank you and know that you

care about them

the Bible says stop you're threatening

stop you're threatening people think

that the way to get more out of people

to threaten them you'll get fired if you

don't do this be on top of them the way

to motivate is by leading with love and

sacrifice and integrity but did Jesus

say the Gentiles lord it over each other

but not so with you the one who wants to

be great among you should be the least

of all and Jesus modeled it when he got

down on his knees and washed the feet of

his of his disciples and he says I've

given you an example so that you should

do as I have done now people might say

but people gonna walk all over me

well do you know better than Jesus right

Jesus says the way to lead is by serving

and that works not just in church it

works in the world too now don't get me

wrong we need to be shrewd a serpent and

innocent as a dove but serving is the

way some great CEOs and you could read

books I should remember their names is

that well there's some of the most

successful billionaire CEOs very often

are Christians who believe in the value

of humility and service and taking care

of people when you are that kind of boss

you represent Lord Jesus in a very

special way to the people that you serve

one more story so many stories one no I

got two more stories so one more story

got a lot of stories today I played

cards with an elderly man when I was in

high school we did it as a community

service project and I got to know this

man and we formed a friendship band and

I kept doing it and he died eventually

at the age of 104 okay 104 we would play

cards he'd put the cards way out there

to see them and I would just somehow not

remember what I saw but he would died

104 he was from Sweden and he died in

eighteen in in 1989 so he was born and

do the math 1885 right and he one day

was telling me a story about when he was

a recent immigrant to this country from

Sweden and he worked in a factory and he

was a teenager so this must have been

around nineteen Oh something right a

long long time ago and he talked about

his boss that would go from person to

person at the machines and would would

ask about them and their families and

would tell them he was praying for them

and how that boss took help helped him

out as a recent immigrant teenager and

as this man was talking he got all teary

it had been 80 years and he still

remembered that person with tears of


we have no idea the lives we touch at

work brothers and sisters the things you

do will be remembered in heaven and on

earth for years to go and I concluded

with this we are bond servants of Jesus

when we work

in a worship of love we are God's slaves

and we work for him and God's glory

shines in the world Lion of Judah has

people we have people in the schools we

have students we have teachers we have

administrators we have Herc we have

people in the hospitals

we have administrators nurses doctors we

have people in the finance sector people

who do finance people who are social

workers we have people take care of

children and touch families we have

people who do trades and and different

types of construction we have all kinds

of people in this church and God has put

you there as a missionary to shine for

Jesus don't miss your opportunity to do

so make it count for Jesus final story

and I'll end with this I was a teacher

for a year one of my many jobs and I

worked with a guy who was not a

Christian but when he heard I was a

Christian he said oh you're a Christian

he says I remember a student I had once

who was a Christian his name was Johnny

and he was a really good kid you know

and this guy not a believer he didn't

have to tell me this he's like he was a

really good kid you know he was not very

bright but he was a really good kid he

was a great athlete you know but he

would come in and he would he would do

extra work with me and he would study

and I would give him the tests privately

and and you know really he never got

above a C and but I knew he did the very

best he could with the best attitude he

could and he says I'll never forget that

kid one day after a test I told him I

said Johnny you know I'm really proud of

you Johnny you did the very best you

could and you really worked hard on this

and you know what this boy said to him

he said and I'll change the name he said

mr. Jones I know who's number one in my

heart mr. Jones

Jesus is number one in my heart this kid

said that to his teacher and that

teacher never forgot it

and that teacher told me why so you're a

Christian like that and that's a yes I'm

a Christian exactly like that he's like

uh-huh God wants to use you right where

you are

make it count work for him it makes work

more fun too when you work for Jesus

because you know he's he's pleased with

what you do even if people don't

recognize it I'm gonna invite you to

stand with me and let's pray and I just

ending invite you to raise your hands

with me and first I want to pray for the

people who for whom this is a very

painful message because you're in

between work or you can't work for some

reason and you wish you could or you're

in a difficult situation so father I

pray God for those of us for whom this

area of life is a very painful one and

god I thank you Lord that work is a

blessing and a gift from you and I pray

for those who are looking for employment

to find it in the name of Jesus that you

would open doors before your people that

no one can shut Lord I pray for people

whose job right now is to cultivate

their own health and to get their life

in order God that you would let them

know that you're with them in the

struggle of their efforts that they make

to get healthy that they would do that

for you Jesus and that they would be an

example to the people around them and

father now I pray God for everyone who

is working and God I want to start with

students kids and college students

father I pray in Jesus name God that our

youth would shine like lights and

darkness Lord God that our kids would

gather with other Christians at school

as they have the legal right to do to

pray on campus and to be a lighthouse in

darkness and God that the work that they

do would be a witness to fellow students

to teachers and to principals Lord God

father I pray Lord Jesus for people who

work in the healthcare profession so

many people in the hospitals and in the

administration of hospitals and I pray

in Jesus name for divine wisdom to

administer health to the glory of God I

pray you give them grace to deal with

complex situations and administration I

pray God that you would use doctors and

nurses and and therapists God to come

alongside people who are suffering and

say the Lord Jesus cares about you that

the love of Jesus would shine through

their eyes and that they could share the

gospel with their patients father I pray

God for people who work in the schools

as teachers or administrators with all

the pressures going on trying to keep

them from sharing the gospel

father I pray in Jesus name that they

would teach with such excellence and

such love and integrity God that the

kingdom would come through them Lord God

that they would administer schools Lord

with the wisdom of the kingdom of God

that you raise up Daniel the way you did

in Babylon Joseph and Egypt God that we

would have wisdom to pick our battles

and what to do and how to do it and how

to say it

make us fruit as serpents and innocent

as doves god I pray for people who work

in trades Lord God who work with their


hard god that they would know that they

are following in the path of the

carpenter Jesus and that everything they

make everything they fix everything they

do they could sign it only to God be the


father I pray for people who work in

offices give them wisdom to deal with

the gossip and the sand the corruption

and the politics of the office that they

would shine like a light in those

offices Lord God Father I pray for

people who work at home raising children

and are dedicated to their homes and

father that they would know that their

job is precious and holy before you and

God that even though it might not pay

you pay Lord God Father I pray bless

your people I thank you for the people

in our congregation the hundreds and

hundreds of people who quietly do the

right thing every day and sometimes have

to work two and three jobs and no one

says thank you I thank you God that you

see what they do you see why they do it

and you are able to reward your people

bless your people Lord God uses his

lights and darkness we pray in Jesus

name Amen

Through Jesus, We are Transformed

invite everyone to turn to the Gospel of

Luke chapter 9 beginning with verse 27

Luke chapter 9 beginning with verse 27

and as you do well then if we could just

project that first slide now this is

you're gonna be hearing from a couple of

my heroes this morning I have a couple

of quotes what do you all think of this

this is from a-w toes our author of some

thirty books a hero among the Christian

Missionary Alliance the author of the

pursuit of God this is actually this is

actually almost like a personal creed

that he shares and he says what I

believe about God is the most important

thing about me what I believe about God

is the most important thing about me now

think about that what do you think when

you read that when I think about God

it's a it's a what I believe about God

is the most important thing about me

what I believe about God is the most

important thing about me we've never had

more access to people's opinions I think

in all of history than we do in the age

we're living in we we are either blessed

or cursed depending on how you view it

by a deluge of opinions on everything

from politics to lattes on a daily basis

right it seems that you can't you can't

roast a chicken or fry an egg

without posting it on Instagram or her

Facebook right or snapchat looked at

this terrific egg I fried this morning

to all 337 of my friends in an in an age

of acute individualism more than ever we

seem to struggle it's as if all of the

world has revert reverted to high school

and we just care more than ever ever

ever about people's opinions not knowing

what to think and worrying constantly

what do people think about me you know

not to believe what everyone says on

Facebook right except for y'all what

torture is saying is you can boil the

most important opinions in the universe

down to these two guys just concern

yourself with these two opinions my

beloved and you need not worry about

anything else

number one what is your opinion of Jesus

who is Jesus to you what do you see when

you see him what do you see when you see

Jesus what do you see or imagine when

you invoke his name what's your opinion

of Jesus and the other opinion you

should concern about be concerned about

is this what is his opinion what is

Jesus's opinion of you

who are you to him what does he see what

does heaven see when heaven sees you

when Jesus sees you what does he see

what I believe about God is the most

important thing about me this is

actually the first sentence of the first

chapter of a book by aw Tozer called the

knowledge of a holy and that first the

title of the first chapter is why we

must think rightly about God why we must

think rightly about God what is your

opinion of Jesus

what is Jesus's opinion of you if you

must obsess with an opinion obsessed

with these two opinions why on that


everything every decision you'll ever

make every other opinion you'll ever

hold we need to get this right and right

now there's a marketplace of ideas about

Jesus some from very well-meaning

sources and we've come to the point that

even the beloved of God even the Church

of Jesus Christ is not sure what we

believe about Jesus even as we use the

same language we don't know our minds

are not meeting we're using the name but

we're not talking about the same person

and the Lord knows how important this is

it was so important that we get this

right that God made sure

we had a glimpse of what heaven sees

when it sees Jesus and what heaven sees

when it sees those who put their trust

in him for a very very special moment

the Lord put aside the veil separating

the natural from the supernatural you

remember the story of Elijah Elisha and

his servant they were surrounded by

soldiers and and it was just the two of

them and Elisha servant was sweating

because he saw this army around them and

Elisha prayed Lord open his eyes that

you may see and at that moment Elisha

servant saw the mountains rimmed with

armies of Chariots of Fire well there's

a moment in time where the Lord does

something similar tearing away for a

moment the veil that separates the

natural from the supernatural the veil

that separates what is visible from the

invisible so for a moment we see a God's

eye view of Jesus and a God's eye view

of us we call that glimpse behind the

veil into the kingdom of God the

Transfiguration the Transfiguration

spirit of God now open our eyes Jesus

that we may see you as you are that we

may see ourselves as you behold us that

you may draw all hearts to you and they

may fall at your feet as they properly

should if they knew who you were in

Jesus name

Luke 9 verse 27 truly I tell you some of

you standing here will not taste death

before they see the kingdom of God about

eight days after Jesus said this he took

Peter John and James with him and went

up unto a mountain to pray and as he was

praying the appearance of his face

changed and his clothes became as bright

as a flash of lightning two men Moses

and Elijah appeared in glorious splendor

talking with Jesus they spoke about his

departure which he was about to bring to

fulfillment at Jerusalem Peter and his

companions were very sleepy but when

they became fully awake they saw his

glory and the two men standing with him

as the men were leaving Jesus Peter said

to him master it is good for us to be

here let us put up three shelters one

for you one for Moses and one for Elijah

he did not know what he was saying but

while he was speaking a cloud appeared

and in Vail at them and they were afraid

as they entered the cloud and a voice

came from the cloud saying there

this is my son whom I have chosen listen

to him when the voice had spoken

they found that Jesus was alone the

disciples kept this to themselves and

told no one at that time what they had

seen Transfiguration

we get to see the invisible for a while

we get to see for a special moment the

supernatural among the natural why why

was this necessary we have a clue as to

why this was so important in that this

event took place

look at verse 20 look at verse 28 about

eight days after Jesus said this after

Jesus said what now in each of the three

synoptic Gospels the Transfiguration is

preceded but what by what I will call

the most important public opinion survey

in history an exchange between Jesus and

His disciples where he asked them who do

the crowds say I am what have they been

posting about me

what stuff have they been saying that

Jesus calm what if what are what what

are people saying about me what are you

hearing out there I'm a big boy I can

take it go ahead tell me and the

disciples then shared a series of what

turned out to be very flattering and

very biblical sounding opinions about

Jesus these opinions were flattering

they were good things

and they sounded biblical but they were

wrong we could be flattering about Jesus

we could think good thoughts about Jesus

we could make biblical noises about

Jesus and be absolutely wrong about him

then they then Jesus turned to then they

replied some say John the Baptist others

say Elijah and still others that one of

the prophets of long ago

Jeremiah was mentioned in one of the

gospels has come back to life then Jesus

turned the question on them what about

you who do you say I am and in all three

Gospels it's Peter whose pipes up and

says you are the Christ of God you are

the Messiah of God Matthew records that

Peter on the under the anointing of the

Holy Spirit declared you are the Christ

the Messiah the Son of the Living God

and after Peters declaration Jesus said

you know that's awesome

I'm gonna build a church on that

declaration i'ma build a church on that

rock and and the gates of Hell will not

prevail against it and folks it's time

you heard about this and then he began

to share plainly the scriptures say at

that point on about how he was going to

be rejected and how he was going to

suffer how the Messiah was supposed to

suffer how he would be beaten within an

inch of his life he would be nailed to a

cross how he would

I and on the third day rise from the

dead and the disciples reacted the

reaction was something like this that's

not what they had in mind that was not

there that was not the that was not the

night riding in on a white charger that

they were expecting of their Messiah of

their Anointed One they were expecting a

Rambo to come in and rescue Israel from

under the boot of Rome they were

expecting things to happen in the here

and now and the very same Peter who said

you are the Messiah you are the Christ

the Son of the Living God took Jesus

aside and said god forbid even god

forbids the Lord that this should happen

to you Lord to which the Lord rebukes

him in no uncertain terms get thee

behind me Satan

the Lord would not have it even be

tempted for a minute not to take up the

cross and he responds you do not have

the things of God in mind but the things

of this earth the things of this world

you see we can say the right things in

the right words but in your heart and

mind have no idea have no sense what

you're saying or what is at stake when

we talk about Jesus we have all as a

community made some important

declarations about Jesus and about the

times we're living in these are the days

of Elijah he's coming in his crowd cloud

of glory we just sang that I think what

the Lord wants to make sure this morning

is that we are synchronizing what your

mind and what your heart is saying with

the words what we're declaring about the


and they had no idea how could they they

had to be shown they had to see for a

moment the kingdom of God manifested

before them which brings us to that

thing that happened on that mountain

verse 28 about eight days after Jesus

said this he took Peter James and John

with him and went up onto a mountain to

pray Jesus had gone up to the mountain

to pray before this time he invites

Peter James and John to tag along

Jesus had spent entire nights up on a

mountain can you imagine I could imagine

Peter and James and John saying oh cool

I wonder what goes on up there so they

went up there with Jesus and as he was

praying the appearance of his face

changed and his clothes became as bright

as a flash of lightning they saw this

mile an is the next slide this is as the

pest artists renditions I could come up

with or the internet anyway the gospel

struggled to describe this Luke says

that his appearance changed and became

as bright as a flash of lightning mark

says his clothes became dazzling white

whiter than anyone in the world could

bleach them Matthew says his face shone

like the Sun we talked about this

Wednesday night and one brother during

the Bible study says

sir if his face shone like the Sun it

means that they could not they could not

stare into it for too long his glory was

so great that the Apostles the disciples

had to turn their eyes from it whatever

Jesus is whoever Jesus is whatever they

thought Jesus was before this moment at

this moment you could knock a couple of

ideas off he's no mere rabbi he's no

mere prophet he's not just any

philosopher he's no well-intentioned

teacher he's not a disembodied spirit

they caught a glimpse of the primordial

glory of Jesus the primordial glory of

the Son of God as collusion says the son

is the image of the invisible God the

firstborn over all creation before the

worlds were called into place before

light was separated from darkness before

there was a sea before there was a moon

before there was a star before there was

lightning before the many things that

they're comparing Jesus to even existed

there was Jesus and there was his glory

and underneath his Clark Kents suit of

Jesus of Nazareth was this amazing image

this glory that once you turn back the

veil you see him as the angels do and

they never forgot it they never forgot

him near his own death Peter reminds the

church and even in their day even in

their day

Satan made sure that there were

counterfeit opinions lots of confusion

about Jesus and and Peter writes to them

in second Peter reminded the church that

had been hearing all sorts of crazy

false teachings about Jesus in 2nd Peter

chapter 1 verse 16 for we did not follow

cleverly devised stories when we told

you about the coming of our Lord Jesus

Christ in power this isn't something we

made up this isn't something that that

we had a meeting about in the upper room

and had a committee and we said this is

what we believe Jesus is this isn't

something we dreamed up over dinner we

were eyewitnesses of his majesty

three of them according to Jewish law

that's the number of witnesses you need

to make an open-and-shut case

and Jesus knew that we were eyewitnesses

of his majesty he received honor and

glory from God the Father when the voice

came to him from the majestic glory

saying this is my son whom I love with

him I am well pleased

Peter writes in his last letter before

he himself is martyred and joins the

Lord and glory we ourselves heard this

voice firsthand that came from heaven

when we were with him on the sacred


he's not just a rabbi a teacher a

philosopher or one more opinion what he

says matters

that's what the Transfiguration tells us

about Jesus now what the Transfiguration

shows us about us is probably even more

scandalous and probably even more

hair-raising than what the

Transfiguration even says about Jesus

you could come to expect this about

Jesus but if the Lord were to turn the

veil back right now at line of Judah and

we were to see each other right now just

for a moment and we am the Lord doesn't

permit that because we would go insane

if we're still using our our our our

corporal brains we'd lose our minds but

if say for a moment we got to see the

PERT you got to see the person sitting

next to you so you won't even notice

what's happening to you you'll be

freaking out your neighbor but if you

were to turn to your neighbor and saw a

God's eye view of your neighbor what

would you see because they were not

alone under the glare of Jesus's glory

two men appear in verse 32 men Moses and

Elijah appeared in glorious splendor

talking with Jesus now why Elijah and

Moses some of these reasons are obvious

they are obviously important right for

sure they are representative that here

here you have Moses representative of

the law you have Elijah representative

of the prophets and a prophetic

anointing the spirit of Elijah and of

course you have Jesus representative of

the cross and by bringing the three of

them together

you're symbolizing that the cross pays

the penalty of the law Moses and ushers

in the spirits power to all flesh Elijah

that's that's perhaps one reason why out

of out of the out of the din of heaven

the Lord should call these two to this

communion that's one reason but the

thing I think that the Lord wants us to

focus on this morning is a bit more

obvious Luke tells us that these that

Moses and Elijah appeared in glorious

splendor don't skip that too soon when

you look at the Greek that glory

language is almost to the kind of glory

it describes Jesus the discrete that

description in glorious splendor echoes

that of Jesus but it's clear these were

human beings these were on the rows am I

saying that right brother James

from Crete from of Cyprus these were on

rows men they were not angels Angelo's

they were not spirits

NUMA they were men humans mere fallible

humans dead hundreds in the case of of

Moses certainly more than a thousand

years ago but somehow there

they're alive they're walking they're

talking they're thinking god knows what

else they're doing speaking theology

having a laugh they are alive they're

alive and they are reflecting Jesus is

glory to humans to Andros to men as

human as you and me as human as you and

me Moses remember who Moses is he's a

human being with a murder on his record

you remember that who was a good 80

years old before God thought he was

humble enough to use in a stutterer at


that's Moses folks this is the same guy

fallible human being as he was who

insisted he to face he who spoke to God

face to face as a man speaks to his

friend who even as a human being you

don't have to wait for your

Transfiguration you don't have to wait

for that moment as a human being

Moses babe God show me your glory and

the Lord complies

that's Moses Elijah

what does James tell us about Elijah

James the Apostle James says Elijah was

a human being

even as we are

he prayed earnestly that it would not

rain and it did not rain in the land for

three and a half years this is a man

these are men humans humans and this is

what God has in mind for you if you let

him John years later if Peter never

forgot what he saw in the mountain

neither did John and in his first letter

to the church to the churches and first

John chapter three John writes this see

what great love the father has lavished

on us that we should be called children

of God

this means this there's a race if you

will a set of human beings that the Lord

takes unto himself and he adopts as his

own he makes you part of the family if

Jesus is his one begotten Son is one

true son the whole idea of heaven is to

have a whole huge family reunion

children of God children of God everyone

in this room without exception can be

known as a child of God what great love

the father has lavished on us that we

should be called the children of God and

that is what we are the reason the world

does not know us is that it did not know

him that was this that was the situation

two thousand years ago and Lion of Judah

that's the situation today there will

always be that gulf

they did not know us then they won't

know us now because they do not know him

but dear friends now we are children of

God by the way do you see that present


now did you catch this now we are

children of God let me say that again

now we are children of God not in heaven

not after we die not pie in the sky

right now this moment now we are

children of God the moment we surrender

to Christ the moment we say Jesus adopt

me make me yours

put grasped me onto your family that

moment you are a child of God and many

well I've heard wonderful commentaries

that the Transfiguration is

representative of what we will be once

we are in heaven and that's a wonderful

thing yes we're talking about the normal

course of business is Jesus in his

unvarnished glory very Jesus still Jesus

recognizably Jesus but clothed in

inaccessible glory and those who love


reflecting the glory of Jesus just as

Elijah does and just as Moses does but

this is happening in your heart in your

mind in your life right now and if the

veil were to be removed this moment the

children of God what would we look like

and what we will be has not yet been

made known but we know that when Christ

appears we shall be

like him for we shall see him as he is


he is and then it ends with this that

passage verse three reads all who have

this hope in him purifies

just as he is pure whoa wait a minute

think about what we just read put on

your thinking caps then we just say that

you were children of God and that we're

becoming this that we will be like him

and yet this verse all who have this

hope in him purifies himself pure off' i

themselves just as he is pure what what

is the implication of that is it the

implication of that is that somehow what

we do now has an impact on what we

become then why would it matter whether

we purify ourselves or not what you do

now what we do now

the meditation of our hearts and the

words of our mouth what we do now has

implications for what we become then now

is that clap if you want I would be

terrified you know I would bring the

mind a couple of things and wonder what

is that turning me into right now

what is that doing to Sam's invisible

self right now

you know nothing captures this

implication for ourselves and everyone

you know the next slide Melanie please

more hauntingly than this quote from CS


I don't know how visible that is to you

Anais and i i i seldom quote at length

of passage like this but i couldn't say

this better than CS lewis this is from

an essay of his called the wave of glory

he who has this hope purifies himself

why it's a serious thing to live in a

society of possible gods and goddesses

to remember that the dullest most

uninteresting person you can talk to may

one day be a creature which if you saw

it now you will be strongly tempted to

worship or else a horror and a

corruption such as you now meet if at

all only in a nightmare all day long in

some degree we are helping each other to

one or the other of these destinations

the quote continues it is in the light

of these overwhelming possibilities it

is with the all and a circumstance

circumspection proper to them that we

should conduct all our dealings with one

another all friendships all loves all

plays all politics there are no ordinary

people you have never talked to a mere

mortal there are no mere mortals in this

room nations cultures

arts civilizations these are mortal and

their life is through ours as the life

of a gnat how's that but it is immortals

when we joke with work with Mary snob

and exploit immortal horrors or

everlasting splendors and that too is

now that's you that's your Facebook

friend that's the lady of the check out

at star market those are the kids in our

passport class at Charles Towne at the

Burke and at the English those are the

people who wander in to our discipleship


that's your uncle that your aunt that's

your second cousin twice removed every

human being you have ever met what are

they becoming and what's our

responsibility what is our duty that's

what's at stake all of humanity is

literally at a cross roads across roads

with everything to gain or lose I'm

gonna sound like a 19th I'm gonna I'm

gonna I'm really gonna sound like

Charles Spurgeon at the moment I am

resurrected some 19th century preacher

but here it is I must say the destiny of

your immortal soul immortal soul you'll

never die

that's a guarantee depends on Jesus and

on Jesus alone in verse 31 these three

Jesus Elijah and Moses spoke about his

departure the literal word here is

Exodus Exodus they spoke about Jesus's

Exodus which he was about to bring to

fulfillment at Jerusalem so between the

three of them they knew that from this

point on Jesus was on his way to

Jerusalem never to return except as the

resurrected Christ the cross and his and

his resurrection are the fulfillment his

death means that the day his death and

resurrection means that death and sin

lose their power and the way to glory

the way to the scene the way the only

way to this Transfiguration is through

him it's through Jesus it's through the

cross now Peter saw this going on

scripture says that he saw Jesus's glory

and the two men standing with them and

and they were about to leave Moses and

Elijah were about to leave and all this

would be over and Peter being Peter

suggests master it's good for us to be

here let us put up three shelters one

for you one for Moses and one for Elijah

he did not know what he was saying the

word says folks of course it was good to

be here we all want to be here we all

even your neighbor who may have rejected

Jesus who may have rejected the cross

who may have rejected what he calls

organized religion your

neighbor doesn't want to wake up in hell

your neighbor doesn't your neighbor

pines for an existence like that we all

want that what what soul does not want

to live in the redemptive glory of Jesus

and these tents may have seen entirely

sensible why not but we don't get to

choose our own way it was not the path

that God had ordained not the way that

God had chosen and God would not have

God could not be more explicit so in

verse 34 we pick up a narrative while he

Peter was speaking a cloud appeared and

enveloped them in the Iranian in the

Greek the word that they use for

enveloped it's the same word that the

Greek uses for the Shekinah cloud but

Shekinah glory of God covering covering

the the Covenant the Ark of the Covenant

in the Old Testament in in Exodus that

glory fell and enveloped Peter and James

and John and they were afraid as they

entered the cloud and a voice came from

the cloud saying this is my son whom I

have chosen listen to him listen to him

God could not be more emphatic he

couldn't have made it clear I don't care

who other whatever other opinion you

hear the Lord says whatever else you

read whatever else you've heard what

does Jesus say what does he demand of

you and this is what Jesus says in John

chapter 10 he says in verse 28 I give

them I give them eternal life I Jesus I

Jesus give them eternal life

and they shall never perish no one shall

snatch them out of my hand my father who

has given them to me is greater than all

no one can snatch them out of my

father's hand I and the father are one

now if if Jesus is not Jesus what he

just said is absolutely preposterous and


it's the only way to salvation he gives

eternal life he's cornered the market on

eternal life the only way to get it is

from him

and once you there once you have it once

he has given it to you and once you say

Jesus I am yours he grabs you and no

demon in Hell can snatch you from his

hands you are yours you are his for

keeps no weapon forged against you shall

prosper before going up this mountain he

said whoever wants to be my disciple

must deny themselves they must take up

their cross daily and follow me jesus

said this whoever wants to save their

life will lose it he says whoever loses

their life for me will save it he said

what good is it for someone to gain the

whole world and lose this and lose this

and lose their very self what could be

worth that whoever is ashamed of me and

my words

the Son of Man will be ashamed of them

when he comes in his glory and in the

glory of the Father and of the holy

angels we tell people about Jesus

because the Bible the Bible does not

mince words there are winners and losers

in this with huge stakes it is his will

that no man shall be lost that all

should be saved but it requires a

surrender it requires a surrender the

simplest thing it can't be more simple

heaven cannot make it more simple you

just need to say I want this I want

eternal life I declare that you are

Jesus and you are God alone and I cannot

be saved without you take me into

yourself and adopt me as your childr and

that is enough that's all it takes cover

me with your blood make me yours you are

my lord what you say goes that's all

that it takes and then something happens

and I'll leave with this in second

Corinthians there's a beautiful passage

where Paul who ran into the resurrected

trans figured Christ on a road to

Damascus and Saul or Peter and John and

James had seen was blind for about three

days and his life changed at that point

and he writes in 2nd Corinthians chapter

3 starting with around verse 16 if you

do that today if you turn to the Lord

if you turn to the Lord whenever anyone

turns to the Lord the veil is taken away

the veil that separates you from God's

grace is taken away the veil that

separates the natural from the from the

supernatural that's taken away the veil

that separates the visible from

invisible that's removed

whenever anyone turns to the Lord the

veil is taken away now the Lord is the

spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord

is there is freedom the moment anyone

turns to him they receive freedom from

the power of sin which separates us from

the glory of God and then something

happens the Transfiguration begins your

Transfiguration the clock starts at that

moment you go from a dead soul to a

living soul at that moment the clock

begins and we are who with unveiled

faces contemplate the Lord's glory are

being transformed into his image are

being that's now that's today that's

this moment as you're sitting here

receiving that word you're being

transformed into his image

with ever-increasing glory which comes

from the Lord who is the spirit there

are people being transfigured into the

glory of God even as we speak and there

are people who are dying inside out even

as we speak

that's the Transfiguration and that's

what's at stake the primary function the

primary mission of this church as is the

primary mission of the Church of Jesus

Christ is to make sure that no one goes

to their grave without hearing this

message today without having this

opportunity making sure that every one

of us without exception it's being

transfigured into the glory of God

helping one another

becoming more like Jesus now do you know

what we mean when we say become more

like Jesus it's real and it's important

and nothing matters more


signs of God

I'll invite the worshipers up in the



I'm gonna praise the Lord


bow your heads for a moment I'm gonna

get Billy Graham ash on you

words words can be twisted and mean

different things I love what

brother James said last week you can't

even we don't even know what we mean

when we say you're a Christian it's not

I'm not asking you whether you are a

Christian I'm not asking you where your

mom or dad or brought you to church I'm

not asking you whether you got baptized

at the age of 12 I'm not I'm not even

asking you whether you speak in tongues

I'll ask you to if every well if you

could just bow your heads for a moment

and close your eyes for two reasons I

want you to look into yourself and ask

the Lord to remove the veil


so that for a moment the Holy Spirit can

show you a vision of yourself that's God

sees you if that's never been something

that you've thought about before and if

you cannot recall a moment where you

have said Jesus I surrender make me



cover me with your blood whatever else I

do whatever else happens in my life God

with all my twists and turns with all my

ups and downs whatever happens

dear Jesus give me you and give me

heaven come alive inside me come alive

inside me come alive inside me

if that's you and you're praying that

for the first time you just want to be

sure this I'm gonna invite you to raise

your hand where you are at this moment

just raise your hand and we will pray

for you I see that hand I see that hand

I see that hand I see that there keep

your hand up please keep your hand up

please keep your hand up please


let me pray this prayer over you why

don't you repeat this with me dear Jesus

say your name

without you I am a sinner without hope

with you I am your child and I will

never know death and that's what I want

I want you I want your salvation I want

your blood over me I receive you as my

god you are my Savior walk me in your

path fill me with your holy spirit and

wait for me even as I look forward to

seeing you face to face

glory to glory in heaven Jesus

The Forgotten Message of the Cross

my wife and family we arrived here in

July last year so we're like the new

kids on the block if you will we started

looking for a church we've been to

various churches just kind of spying out

the scene here the Christian scene and a

lot of people told us why you moved to

Massachusetts I mean what why not down

in the Bible Belt areas and you know

where the Holy Ghost is moving it's like

the graveyard up here the spiritual

graveyard have you heard that before

I'm kind of new to this you've heard her

so I tell them well it sounds like as an

evangelist I'm in the right place

because my God is a resurrection

specialist hallelujah so I'm believing

God is gonna raise the dead and when

Jesus says go raise the dead heal the

sick cleanse the lepers raise the dead

up I mean I didn't realize he was

talking about the church with brother

rigor mortis and sister rigor mortis and

all the little mortises but you know

there's gonna be a revival here I really

believe that who believes that there's

going to be a revival and it's coming to

Boston so we came in July and we didn't

know a single soul in Boston I don't

know many single souls in America I

don't really have many friends I just

welcome my dear friend Michael Victor in

their family they're here visiting this

morning god bless you and anybody else

if I've left you out god bless you so we

came but when Iced walked into this

church a few months ago I just felt like

I was among my own people hallelujah

I felt like I had arrived home and every

time I come here I just feel like I'm

gonna explode in the Holy Ghost so if I

explode you have to excuse me and by the

way if you

I'm into relationship I'm not into dead

religion so let's just shake off all the

religion this morning in or while I'm

preaching while I'm ministering if you

feel like dancing dance if you feel like

screaming up there scream if you feel

like raising your hands and praising the

Living God then praise Him let's just

take the limits off turn to your

neighbor and say take the limits off

this morning take the limits off

let's give religion the holy boot of

fellowship so it's greater be here and I

just sense the connection that I've made

here in this church is evidence that I

heard from the Lord when he said to me

go go to Boston and and to Doug as well

god bless you like he was the one who

told me about the church and what a

mighty evangelist he is he he's led

about three hundred thousand people to

the Lord so I've got some catching up to

do with you

I just come back from India just a

little while ago the other week in fact

I was kicked out of India they the

government expelled me the Hindu

fundamentalist party the BJP they they

someone took videos and footage of me

preaching the gospel in various cities

and they leaned on the police so I had

the police following me from city to

city they finally caught our eye they

come to arrest me and one in my hotel

room I've already gone I was already at

the airport so too bad so I was on a

plane to another city and then they

informed the police in that city and

they turned up at the meeting these

police officers and I was about to get

on and preach and there were thousands

of people I mean that those were some of

the biggest meetings we had in Vizag

Vizag abadan them if I say it correctly

any Indians here okay so you can check

me if I'm not printed making the

pronunciations anyway so they said if

you preach or pray for anyone will

arrest you so I had to hand over

service to my evangelist friend well

past a friend he did the best job he

could but as people you know responded

to the older calls and and and for that

birth to be prayed for sick people

suffering people I saw them crying I

couldn't lay a hand on them it was

torture I just couldn't pray for anybody

but I tell you what our labor is not in

vain how your labor in the Lord is not

in vain and if what we do is of God no

devil no man can stop it

hallelujah now so I said to the Lord

well the devil may have stopped and by

the way even though I was there just for

a short time 700 people came to God and

I know another thousand were waiting

there in voice actor to come to the law

I said Lord that there will may have

stolen that opportunity but how many of

you know proverbs 6 when the devil takes

he has to restore Sevenfold so I said

Lord open seven other doors where that

door is closed open seven other ones and

so now doors are started opening up but

I'm going to China I'm going to preach

in the power Singapore Philippines all

these other doors are opening praise God

because my vision is to see as the

waters cover the Seas I want to see the

gospel cover the earth hallelujah this

gospel is the power of God it is the

only answer to humanity and it must be

preached in all the world hallelujah so

before I really get going that was just

kind of like the introduction before I

really get going

I want to sing a song is that okay with

you see I kind of start with my friends

I didn't even know I could sing in fact

I was sharing with branchial SP just a

few days ago he's the one who does the

video production and because he he's

into music he used to sing he had a

little song you know I was quite

impressed I said to him well in fact

when I was in my teens I had a

and called she's French it was just a

name I didn't know any she he was French

and I said to him I used to sing in a

London club and I was signed I had a pop

career in front of me in fact there was

a meeting organised between George

Michael and me and he said that he

wanted my songs he wanted my songs he

wanted me to give him my songs so I any

of you know the history of when Greece

said no to Hitler back in around 1943

Hitler gave word to the prime minister

of Greece and says we're going to come

and invade so surrender and he had

what's called an Okie day he said okey

which means no no we are not

surrendering today so I had a naki day

with George Michael I said they're not I

said no okay any Greeks here no Greeks I

had an orchid they are saying no he's

also Greek Cypriot and if you know that

so um I thought to myself well if my

songs are good enough for him they're

good enough for me hallelujah but the

Lord had other plans you have app we

have our plans the Lord has his plans I

got saved and I got set free from all of

that corruption and I'm never pursued

that pop career but I still sing but I

don't sing in seedy clubs in smoky

atmospheres to people drinking alcohol I

just sing for the Lord hallelujah I sing

for the Lord so if we can just start the

backing track I'm gonna sing this song


I believe in God the Father Jesus Christ

His only Son and the Blessed holy spirit

distinct three-in-one I believe there is

forgiveness for everything we've done

that is why

I believe the Son of God was crucified

upon the tree laid within a borrowed

tomb not far from Calvary I believe he

rose up from the dead alive for all to


that is why all the more hours I have

made my decision I've staked my claim

I've drawn the line in the sand and I'll

not be ashamed with the world behind me

and the cross before by the grace of God

I was too low

listen I believe you must be born again

John 3:16 is true the old life can't be

washed away and everything made you

I believe the love of God and somehow

find its way to you that is why all the

more I will serve Him

I have made my decision

I've staked my claim I'll call the line

in the sand and I'll not be afraid with

the world behind me and the cross people

by the grace of God


this minute come to torment me when I am

both the neighbor has to flee no the

time will come when Christ returns again

Sunday to bend this just one day mother

whereby men can be saved I believe there

is a right or wrong a time to live and

die and the Bible is the blueprint that

all men should live by I believe I'm not

alone with my faith in Jesus Christ that

is why all the board I will sir

come on stand to your feet sing it with

me we have made our decision













ha I'm gonna serve



can you hear me there hallelujah I'm

just gonna pray Heavenly Father I just

commit this time to you lord I pray that

you invade this place Lord let your wind

blow I pray the fire of God will fall I

pray the river of God will flow and

Father let every bondage be broken every

sickness be healed every person baptized

in the Holy Ghost and every soul saved

in the mighty name of Jesus and

everybody said amen hallelujah I'm gonna

read from something that's been close to

my heart as I chapter 6 we have Isaiah

who saw the Lord and it says in verse 1

starting from the beginning of the

chapter he said I saw the Lord sitting

on a throne high and lifted up and the

Train of his robe filled the temple his

eyes were opened and he saw into the

spirit realm

he saw into the heavens and he had a

revelation that God sits on the throne

and I want to tell you this morning no

matter what trial or difficulty or

hardship you are going through God is on

the throne

and there's no lawyer that can overrule

him hallelujah there's no government

that can overthrow him there is no

police officer that can arrest him there

is no scientist that can disprove him

there is no army that can match against

him there is no power that can conquer

him because he is great in he's greatly

to be praised he is the lord of all odds

he is the king of all kings and there is

no other god beside him and notice in

verse 2 it says and the seraphim's they

cried out to one another and said holy

holy holy three Holies one for each of

the Godhead holy holy holy is the Lord

God of hosts the whole earth is full of

his glory

notice they weren't saying

love-love-love of course God is a God of

love but the revelation in heaven is

that he's a holy God there is no

unrighteousness with him and I'm tired

of hearing all this greasy grace


you know greasy grace hyper grace you

know I stand here before you today for

the hope of the gospel because the

gospel is in danger of being replaced by

another gospel a counterfeit gospel a

gospel of greasy grace and hyper grace

that says God doesn't he's not

interested in your sin your sin doesn't

bother him it's all under the blood of

Jesus you can live how you want you can

do as you want anymore

but I want to tell you that is a lie

from the pit of hell you don't have to

repent just believe you say by grace it

don't matter about sin

it don't matter whether you continue in

a lifestyle of sin well I'm here to tell

you that the Bible declares that God is

a holy God and no unrighteous unholy

person can enter the kingdom of God and

repentance is missing from the gospel in

fact William Booth the great salvation

army leader he once said he says in the

coming century he said this one hundred

years ago he said in the coming century

the dangers that I foresee is a religion

without the Holy Ghost now that's that's

another I can preach on that for another

time but I can just preach a message

just on that you see in the church the

devil has led men and women to replace

the Holy Ghost with rituals and

religious routines in traditions and

culture everything has just become

mechanical and that's a demon spirit of

religion and that the objective of that

spirit is to drive the holy ghost out of

the church and replace it with all these

rituals the mechanics procedures stand

up sit down stand up sit down stand up

sit down sing this and it's all robotic

there's no spontaneity one thing I love

about this church is they're sensitive

and receptive to the Holy Ghost they

welcomed him they recognize that he is

law and that's another point the Bible

says in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verse 16

that the Lord is the spirit think about

that the Lord is the spirit you see

there's a lot of Christians who have

accepted Jesus as Lord but they haven't

accepted the Holy Spirit as Lord hello

they acknowledge Jesus as Lord but the

Lord Holy Spirit is rejected they reject

the power of God they reject his leading

but I tell you what you cannot reject

the Holy Ghost and expect to walk in the

supernatural this whole book is a book

of the supernatural when you

move the Holy Ghost when you remove the

supernatural when you remove miracles

it's just an ordinary book but the Holy

Ghost he doesn't work through religious

routines and rituals he works through

yielded house all you got to do is yield

your heart that's all you can give him

anyway just the yielded heart that's all

he's looking for your obedience and then

he can move hallelujah but he's a holy

God and he requires holiness from us you

see grace it's not the license to sin

it's the power to overcome sin

hallelujah it's the power to live a

righteous life I'm not preaching a

salvation by works I'm preaching a

salvation by grace but God demands us to

walk in holiness and godliness in this

ungodly present age read 1 Timothy

chapter 2 verse 11 and 12 and so this is

being pushed out of the church in some

places even to the point where as

William Booth prophesied he says there's

going to be a Christianity without a

Christ not the Christ of the Bible

anyhow another Christ is being preached

another Jesus is being believed in fact

I I was looking at a video of a pastor

in a New York City mega church I won't

name any names but I heard him say this

he said anyone who thinks that Jesus is

the only way is wrong this is a pastor

of an evangelical church New York City

and then he goes on to say if you think

Jesus is the only way then you're insane

can you see the heresy that's permeating

the church folks we stand here today

with the hope of the gospel the true

gospel of God which says that Jesus

alone is Savior Jesus alone is the truth

the way and the life Jesus alone

because there's only one person that

went to the cross his name is Jesus

there's only one person who rose from

the dead his name is Jesus there's only

one person whose blood can wash you from

all your sin his name is Jesus no one

else in fact I'm looking forward to a

generation of a light I like the name

that you have for this summer's camp is

that the Elijah generation Joshua

generation maybe you should change it to

the Elijah's you know anyway I love I

believe there's an elation of Elijah's

rising up who will challenge the false

gods the foreign gods of our generation

the gods of new ageism the gods of

secularism and him Hinduism and every

other ISM you can think of atheism and

they will declare to this generation how

God is the true and living God there is

none beside him and we will demonstrate

to you by fire that he is not dead he is

alive and he sits on the throne and the

Train of his robe filled the temple and

notice in verse 4 and the posts were of

the door was shaken by the voice of him

who cried out notice it wasn't the gates

of hell that were shaken it was the

doorpost of the tabernacle in heaven

that was shaken and I believe there's a

shaking coming to the body of Christ God

is gonna shake every Church God is going

to shake the body of Christ Christ and

everything that cannot be shaken will

remain and everything that can will be

lost and I pray God shake out this

heresy and this false doctrine from the

church can somebody say Amen

and shake us from all the dead religion

and then when Isaiah saw this vision

look what what what the next verse says

in verse 5 it says woe is me for I am

undone does that sound like repentance

to you does that sound like repentance

to you woe is me for I am undone because

I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell

in the midst of a people of unclean lips

when you meet with the king of all kings

in the lord of all lords let me tell you

not going to be sitting on a stool

continuing to drink your soya latte

you're not just going to be one of these

casual Christians oh I've seen the Lord

I've met the Lord he's cool or like a an

English sort of gentleman you know Jesus

yes he's a very charming fellow family

that you can sort of invite to your home

and have cups of tea and scones with

hallelujah casual Christians end up

casualties hello we need the fire of God

we need to be touched by the fire of God

and notice that fire came after Isaiah

acknowledged his own sin you know there

are too many Christians who don't

acknowledge their sin I remember one of

the first jobs I got was a recruitment

officer working in London Houston and

then I remember saying and thinking

things that used to grieve the Holy

Ghost I I I wanted a relationship with

the Holy Ghost but as I drew closer to

him I realized that there were things in

my life he didn't like not everything we

do is accepted but you're accepted but

not everything you and I do is accepted

and so every time I felt this burden and

conviction of sin I you

to go to the restroom and just repent

you know just kneel by the throne and

just say I'll forgive me for for using

those exploitive words or Lord forgive

me for thinking that lustful thought Oh

Lord forgive me for the way I reacted to

my boss and I'd get back up and I'll go

back to work and then about an hour

later I find myself by the throne room


Oh Lord forgive me yet again and you

know there was a time of purging in my

life where the Holy Ghost you see some

people think he's a tough no he's not a


he's likened to a dove if anything he's

more like a fire there are all kinds of

symbols that symbolism that describe the

character of the Holy Ghost

but you see doves only rest on something

clean if you want the Holy Ghost to rest

on your life you've got to clean up your

behavior clean up your thought you'll

help you do that he'll give you the

grace you see when Jesus has redeemed us

from the power of sin not from the

presence of sin sin is still present

it's still knocking on your door but he

gives you the power to say no and say

yes to the Lord that's grace

the power to live a godly life and

notice when Isaiah acknowledged his own

sin and he repented then in the

following verse in verse 6 I believe

then one of the seraphim's flew to me

having in his hand a live coal which he

had taken with the tongs from the altar

and he touched my mouth with it and said

Behold this has touched your lips took a

piece of coal from the altar and touched

his lips with it the only other place in

the Bible where you will see fire being

connected to the tongue of man is on the

day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 where

the fire of God fell and divided as

on each and every one who sat there and

the Bible says they all began to speak

with other tongues as the Holy Ghost

gave them utterance

that's the only other place a tongue of

fire connected with a tongue of flesh

and they began to speak by the Oracles

of God hallelujah and I believe we're

still living in those days you know the

Lord said to me there is no day of

Pentecost and I thought what do you mean

law there's no day of Pentecost no the

Lord said to me there are only days of

Pentecost and we're still living in them

and today is one of those days

hallelujah hallelujah where the fire of

God confor he's still falling and I've

seen the fire of God fall when I was

expelled from India I went to Dubai and

I see this wherever I'm traveling

leaders heard about what happened to me

and they gathered in Dubai and we were

having midnight meetings that were

finishing work they were working all day

and they were gathering and we were

getting started at midnight and we were

going on till the early hours and the

fire of God fell on them and I believe

revival is coming to Dubai and by the

way the greatest revivals have been

where there's been the greatest

persecution persecution can't can be a

blessing and don't think that you're

just gonna we're all going to walk on

flowery beds of ease by following Jesus

that's that's another gospel that's

being preached

you know Jesus is just somebody that you

add to your life oh you know I add a job

to my my life I add a car I add a house

I add a wife I had children oh and I

just add Jesus to Jesus there's not

somebody you add your life to somebody

you surrender your life to

you give your life he becomes your life

he is never a part of your life he

becomes your life you see that's an

another false gospel where he's just a

part of your life the gospel is not

about self-improvement it's about self

replacement it's no longer I delivered

but Christ that liveth in me it's not a

gospel of self-help psychology and self

motivation and self improvement it's

actually a gospel of death and life

you've got to be crucified with Christ

first before there was a resurrection

there was a crucifixion you've got to be

identified with the cross if you want to

walk in the resurrection of Christ and

that's something the Lord showed me a

long time ago and in fact when we first

came to America I was just praying in my

lounge as I normally do in the house

that we've rented and I was saying Lord

what is it you want me to preach here

and I will continue to travel the

nations but what is it that you want me

to preach here what's the theme of the

ministry you're giving me and notice I

say the ministry you're giving me it's

not my ministry

we're not owners of anything it all

belongs to the Lord he owns it all wedge

of stewards even the opportunities

belong to him the open doors belong to

him everything belongs to him we owe

nothing it's all God's so I said Lord

the ministry that you've given me what

is the theme you want it to be known by

and you know what the Holy Ghost said to

me he said preach the forgotten message

of the Cross now isn't that interesting

he didn't just say preach the message of

the Cross he said preach the Forgotten

message of the Cross it's been forgotten

it's been covered over with another

gospel and with false doctrines and in

fact I was driving along of the

Road one day in in Cyprus where we live

for 11 years in the Middle East and as

we were driving there was a massive

rainstorm and you know the mud and the

rocks and all the debris from the

surrounding hills as always driving

through this valley it just covered the

road it was covered with rain it was

covered with debris it covered the road

and I saw cars skidding off the road

that were wrecking their cars there were

car crashes there were cars broken down

on the side and then when I got home the

Holy Ghost said to me said that's what's

happening in the body of Christ God's

ancient in their own word infallible

Word is being covered up with all sorts

of other Gospels and erroneous doctrines

it's being covered up it's being

replaced and I believe it's time for

that Elijah generation to rise up it's

time for us to rise up and answer the

call and preach the authentic gospel

message which is the message of the

cross you see if the crave Christ and

him crucified and his resurrection is

not enough then you've believed a

different gospel that's enough when you

get a revelation of the cost you will

never settle for anything less than what

Jesus purchased for you at the cross

if Jesus conquered death hell and the

grave there is nothing he won't conquer

in your life hallelujah

nothing and look what happened here the

next portion of scripture in verse 8 and

I heard the voice of the Lord saying

whom shall I send and who will go for us

see I believe there's a clarion call in

the body of Christ right now God is

still asking that question this this

question was asked 2700 years ago God is

still asking that question today in fact

let's make it personal

God is saying to you will you go for us

will you go for me will you answer the

call to go preach the gospel you see I

believe no Christian has a job but every

Christian has a ministry amen

you may be working in a bakery you're

not there just to bake bread you're

there to introduce people to the bread

of life you could be working in a

jewelry store you're not there just to

sell jewelry you're there to tell people

about the pearl of great price you are

called to evangelize you don't have to

be an evangelist like me to evangelize

jesus never commanded the world to go to

church he commanded the church to go to

the whole world so we have to answer

that call every single one of us every

single one of you is called to be a soul

winner say I'm a soul winner for Christ

see that's when the anointing begins to

flow if you want the anointing go tell

somebody about Jesus go tell him how

great he is go tell him how awesome is

go tell them that he died for you and if

you were the last person on the earth he

would still die for you and go tell them

that he died for your sin Jesus didn't

die to give us a career he died to save

the Lost

and any believer who is not concerned

about reaching the lost they lost

themselves every church that I go to and

I traveled to different places

June's churches every church that I've

seen where there's the fire of God

that's the soul-winning Church when

they're busy about their father's

business see many of us we ask for

wisdom yeah many of you here I'm sure

I've asked God for wisdom at one time or

other in your life but how many of you

know Ecclesiastes 118 says with much

wisdom comes much sorrow why is that

think about it

you see wisdom is the ability to see the

world through the eyes of God when you

begin to see the world through the eyes

of God you're gonna see a fallen

civilization you're gonna see a lost

world you're gonna see people groping

around in the dark you're gonna see them

falling into the abyss of hell and your

heart will feel the pain of the father's

heart for every prodigal that has yet to

come back home you will feel the grief

and the pain for every lost unsaved

unfound person and you'll begin to

travail in the spirit with much wisdom

comes much sorer when was the last time

we were on our hands and knees for the

Lost when was the last time we travailed

in the spirit for our our lost Uncle Al

lost our our unsaved auntie or or even

children when was the last time no

because we're too busy busy busy

everybody's busy we're too busy asking

God to bless our family were too busy

asking God to to bless our business to

prosper us about AG education a

children's education and so on and so on

and so on and we've lost God's heart you

see if a Christian is only following

Jesus because they want him to fix their

marriage they want him to to prosper

their business they want him to heal

their sick body fact that if that's all

we're going after Jesus for that's


we go after Jesus because he's worth it

we go after Jesus because of who he is

we seek him we seek his face not his

hand but when you have him you have

everything else thrown in hallelujah

everything Matthew 6:33 what does it say

seek ye first the kingdom of God and His

righteousness and you don't have to

worry about all the other things they'll

come seeking after you you'll be a

magnet for success prosperity will come

to you relationships will come to you

opportunities and jobs will come to you

without even seeking them that's the

principle of the kingdom I'm in so I'm

getting hot I've got to take this off


and so we need a checkup from the neck

up hallelujah if we don't check

ourselves we will wreck our selves see

part of my job as an evangelist is not

just to reach the lost it's to stir up

the body of Christ to go reach the loss

because not one person can get the job

done dad knows that ministers here know

that make their job a lot easier and God

and bring a new person to Christ and

bring them to the church every Sunday

this church would explode you'd need a

new building pastors hallelujah get

ready I believe it's going to happen

I believe the day is going to come in

Boston and in and through this church

that you're gonna have church services

24/7 because the harvest is so huge it's

coming I didn't come to America because

I watched so many programs of cheers oh

Starsky and Hutch

I came to America because God told me to

come and I have not come in vain there

is a purpose and I want to contribute to


coming revival it's coming there's a

revival coming and it's not just gonna

happen through what it's not happening

through one man is gonna be a whole army

hallelujah it's gonna be when the Holy

Ghost comes on us you see judgment

starts in the house I've got first when

we clean up our act and when we receive

revival then we can share that with

somebody else

you can't take somebody where you

haven't been you can't give them what

you haven't got you know the book of

Acts is not a historical book it's an

existential book it's a book for the

here and now the book of Acts are still

being written God's writing your book of


what will your book say that you just

sat at home and did nothing you see if

you're doing nothing you don't need

God's help but when you get up and you

do something impossible for Jesus then

God will help you then you will see the

supernatural but you see before the book

of Acts really got going there was a day

of Pentecost before our book of Acts can

be fully written we need our own there

of Pentecost we need the fire of God to

fall once again in the church and when

it does it can spread like rivers like

rivers I love reading about revivals you

see a true revival of God it's not it's

not contained within the four walls of

the church

it's not about Christians jumping up and

down on pogo sticks praising and

worshipping God for three hours now I

love praise and worship right but that's

not revival revival is when the power of

God gets released out into the shops

into the highways into the Bayeux ways

people sensing the power and presence of

God why they driving in their cars and

every believer becomes a minister

sharing and preaching the whole

atmosphere changes in a whole city the

whole city is permeated with the gospel

and crime rates fall Charles G Finney


to Rochester New York not far from here

in the 1800s and the crime rate fell by

75% sinners stop sinning alcoholics stop

drinking alcohol

prostitutes stop prostituting themselves

murderers stop murdering thieves stop

thieving that's a real revival when the

glory of God comes and in the Welsh

revival with Robert Evans the miners had

to retrain the donkeys that were

carrying the coal because they couldn't

understand the miners anymore because

when the miners were giving instruction

to the horses and donkeys they would

swear give all sorts of expletives and

so they repented and you know they they

came to Christ they were converted they

were full of the Holy Ghost and they'd

language changed and the donkeys and

horses couldn't understand them anymore

they needed to retrain them that's what

you call a revival and I believe those

days those glory days are coming back to

the church but why is it we don't see so

much power the Bible declares the

message of the Cross is the power of God

1 Corinthians 1:18 it is foolishness to

those who don't believe but to us who do

believe it is the power of God unto

salvation to the Jew first then to the

Greek the Greeks are in there somewhere

that's right every word has a Greek root

hallelujah Christos it comes from the

word Christ comes from the Greek word

Christos you did not know this I will

teach you I would teach you that Greek I

was walking in Boston my dad visited

here for Christmas and we were walking

along and I said to my dad there's

something wrong here

he said what What's Wrong son you've

traveled all this way and it's something

wrong with America I says yeah I said

dad there's not enough grapes

where are the Greeks anyway put that

aside but the gospel is the power of God

the message of the Cross is the power

you see when you release the message of

the Cross you are releasing the power of

God the power is all it's like a seed is

in the gospel when you release it and

that seed comes into contact it pamper

me a somebody's heart with faith it

gives birth to power you say what kind

of power power to save power to heal

power to deliver power to set you free

and I'm here to tell you God gave me a

prophetic word some of you are have been

in a season of difficulty and hardship

and trial and I'm here to tell you that

season is over there's a new season here

right now it's beginning right now the

you may have been mourning for a night

but I'm here to tell you it's morning

and joy has come elbow your neighbor and

say wake up it's morning

joy is here and you don't have to suffer

depression disease sickness

sin any situation any longer because the

gospel is for now you see the Bible

declares now is the accepted time God is

not a procrastinator

he doesn't do tomorrow what he can do

now he doesn't do next year what he can

do today today is the day of salvation

now faith is the Bible says now not

tomorrow you see a lot of believers they

don't have a problem you know believing

that God is a healing God or God is a

God of miracles that probably have his

will he do it for me will he heal me

will he deliver me from that addiction

in the book of Romans 10 verse 13 it

says those who call upon the name of the

Lord shall be saved

it doesn't say interestingly it doesn't

say those who believe on the name of the

Lord it says those who call on the name

of the Lord you may believe in the name

of the Lord and still be in bondage and

sickness and depression because you

haven't called on the name of the Lord

but when you call upon the name that's

the name of Jesus that name has power to

her and heal every sickness he has power

to turn your sin into salvation to turn

every bondage into freedom the power

that's in the name of Jesus I was just

preaching in Pakistan last week actually

I'm going to Pakistan on Sunday next

week and there are meetings organized

for me I'm preaching preaching to 20,000

people every night so people please pray

for me I I do go into some dangerous

places and sometimes I wonder how my

wife handles that so

I said to a wife don't be afraid don't

get into the feelings yeah feelings will

deceive you anybody who lives by

feelings is being deceived we are people

of faith we live by faith the just shall

live by faith I said just stay in faith

believe and pray just pray but I was

preaching there last week and I was

preaching there from my office in Boston

by video broadcast and 200 people were

saved they responded to the auto call so

it's amazing what you can do 8,000 miles

away because I might not be there but

the Holy Ghost is there hallelujah he's

everywhere and he responds to anybody

who calls on the name of Jesus that

precious named Jesus you know it's a

world of two compound words Jesus

yoshua oh ye

sores in the Greek the yah is for Yahweh

it's an abbreviation of the same God

that revealed himself to the God of

Israel Moses in that burning bush say to

them that I am Who I am

that is Yahweh so yah means God the God

of Israel and sure is salvation so when

you're calling upon the name of Jesus

you are calling upon the God of Abraham

who is salvation God who is our

salvation it's the most powerful name

but we do live in uncertain times I'm

going to sort of close with this and

whatever time of Prayer but we live in

uncertain times right now I mean look at

what's happening in the Middle East and

you know I've looked around and I

thought you know almost every sign has

been fulfilled for the return of Jesus

for his second coming or we've had

earthquakes we've had Wars we've had

rumors of wars we've had more Wars in

fact the 20th century was the most

bloodiest century of all 160 million

people killed in one century experts and

scholars say that is more than all the

other centuries put together and you

think that 21st century is going to be

any different hmm we are living in the

last of the last days we've seen blood

red moons have I done something oh there

we go we've seen practically nearly

every single sign before the return of

Jesus I believe his return is imminent

so time is short that's what I'm saying

there's never been a greater time to

preach the gospel than now we live in

the greatest era of church history right

now there's never been a greater urgency

and you know it won't be get done by one

man the harvest is too huge

even Billy Graham said the the Crusades

to which I've devoted my whole life to

will not get the job finished

but one-to-one will it's gonna take

every believer becoming a soul winner

hallelujah and that's where you're going

to see the greatest revival the greatest

anointing the greatest glory of God

cover the earth as the waters cover the

Seas hallelujah but time is short you

know when Jesus comes and we stand

before him he's not gonna say oh how

many church services did you attend he's

not gonna ask how many conferences you

went to how many Holy Ghost feathers did

you catch how much gold dust appear on

your hand he's not gonna ask any of that

thing he's gonna ask this did you do

what I commanded you to do did you go

and tell people did you preach the

gospel that was his last command before

he left he says go preach the gospel to

every creature the gospel to every

person and when that's done as a witness

to all nations the Bible says then the

end will come and on the day of judgment

think about it who what can you bring

with you when you go to heaven can you

bring your car I wish I could bring my

watch but I can't bring my watch the

only thing that you can bring with you

are the souls that you've won for Christ

that's your treasure for all eternity

the souls that you've won only blushed

what blood washed souls can enter heaven

washed in the blood of Christ so can we

just stand to our feet now I just want

to pray before we close this service I

can have the music team

now before we end in prayer there could

be somebody here who's never invited

Christ into their heart who's not truly

born again you know I met somebody in a

restaurant just two days ago red stone

restaurant in Burlington more I said to

the waiter I said are you saved this is

well I'm a Christian I says that doesn't

impress me anymore when somebody tells

me a Christian it don't impress me

anymore we're living in the last of the

last days what kind of Christian what

kind of Jesus you follow is it that sin

tolerating liberal transgender

puppy-love you know tiptoeing around the

tulips kind of Jesus or is that the

biblical Jesus the Holy Ghost filled

Jesus who was crucified resurrected and

glorified and who sits on the throne

because when you meet him you'll never

be the same again

I said if you were to die right now if

you were to breathe your last if the

blood would drain from your body do you

know where you're going he says wow I

can't be sure

I said well be sure so I exhorted him

right there and then in the restaurant

to come to Christ see God gives you

opportunities you don't have to cross

the Seas to go minister the gospel you

know you don't stand there a thing I

can't be like you you know James brother

James you don't have to be like me you

don't have to be an evangelist and

missionaries not one who crosses the

seas it's one who sees the cross you

don't have to cross the Seas just cross

the street and share the gospel with

anybody and everybody

there's no greater joy to the father's

heart I can tell you


so if you're one of those people and

you're standing there you can't be 100%

sure that heaven is your hyung and that

you're spending the rest of eternity see

there's a lot of people who thought that

were good enough that are in hell right

now though they thought that were good

enough without Jesus who are in Hell

right now with not I'm not interested in

organized religion I'm not referring to

whether you're a member of a church or

whether you grew up in a Christian

family but are you in relationship with

the Living Christ are you born again

because I asked that question I said are

you born again sis what do you mean I

said well you're not born again you're

not born again you need to be born again

Jesus says you must be born again you

can't even see the kingdom of God unless

you're born again I said I said if you

don't like the way you were born the

first time try it the second time I said

you like it better - you remember it -

get born again so if you're standing

here right now and you haven't been born

again and you don't even know what I'm

talking about then I'm talking to you

well every head is bowed we're gonna

close soon what every head is bowed

every eye is closed I want you to well

only I can see I want you to lift your

hand if you're not born again god bless

you sir

anybody else up there in the bleachers

anybody else if you're not born again if

you god bless you anybody else there's

people here who is going to get saved

are you excited there's joy in the

presence of the Angels over one


it's a great day today isn't it


so I'm we're all gonna pray this prayer

together for your benefit I'm not gonna

ask you to come to the front you can

pray this right where you are although

in my evangelistic meetings I do always

ask people to come to the front you can

come to the front if you want to but

let's just do lift their hands and pray

this together prayer from the bottom of

your heart if you pray it from the heart

God will hear you God will answer God

will save you let's say Lord Jesus I

repent of my sins I confess you are my

lord that you died on the cross that you

rose again you're alive now come into my


cleanse me from all my sin wash me in

your blood give me a new heart make me

bone again give me a new spirit give me

your Holy Spirit I choose to follow you

all the days of my life in Jesus name

Amen if that's you welcome to the family

of God

welcome go and tell somebody go and tell

somebody what you've done and come and

tell the pastor's here we want to get

you discipled your journey the best days

of your life are ahead of you your

journey has just begun

with Christ a brand new life awaits you

the greatest life the greatest so don't

leave until you've done that

can we just lift our hands and sing a

song Felicia whatever the Lord has put

on your heart and I just want to pray

for everybody before we close we've got

five minutes okay I'm in


in the high

I let our keep me live did I hold






I live


be lifted high


Jesus you are lifted




Jesus you


















in a spirit of worship

look what as I said he said when the

Lord said whom shall I send and who will

go for us as I responded Here I am send

me Here I am send me and then God said

to him go and tell these people now if

you've heard this message this morning

and you want to respond to the call to

become a soul-winner

know more about being qualified just

respond to the call God does not call

the qualified he qualifies the called I

want you to come to the front I want to

pray I'm gonna pray all all over you

in fact every person should be here but

you know you only come if you want to if

you want to be a soul winner for Christ

then you want to recommit your life as a

soul winner as a person who is committed

and surrendered unto God to go and make

disciples and win souls then you come to

the front I'm gonna pray for you and I

believe the anointing of an evangelist

is gonna come upon you your life will

never be the same again Thank You

Heavenly Father just keep it a spirit of


thank you Jesus thank you Jesus thank

you Jesus the Bible declares do the work

of an evangelist fulfill your ministry

you cannot fulfill the ministry God has

given you unless you're doing the work

of an evangelist hallelujah I'm telling

you I sent such an awesome presence of

Almighty God in this place just lift

your hands with eyes closed lift your

hands to heaven that's where your help

comes from and call on the name of the

Lord our skin for fire just like

Isaiah's tongue was touch with a coal of


ask him to touch you by the fire of

Almighty God lift your hands if you know

how to speak in tongues speak in tongues

if you don't know how to speak in

tongues I open your mouth and I'm

praying for the baptism of the Holy

Ghost to come upon you now thank you


you just keep worshiping thank you come

on lift those hands while I pray worship

and call out to God ask him to touch you

with fire

ask him to baptize you with Fire Lord

baptize these people with the same fire

that fell on the day of Pentecost in

Jesus name in Jesus name every single

one of them Lord every single one of

them touching Jesus name touch touch

every single one of them touching Jesus

pop I want somebody grabbing somebody

grab him touching Jesus name touch

charge in Jesus name right now

thank you lord that's it let the fire

fall thank you lord thank you lord

oh thank you for kennis thank you for

pastor Greg thank you for each and every

so every precious one of them fire whoa

come on

thank you Lord Jesus every single one of

them if I had time I'd lay hands on

everybody we don't but just cry out to

the Lord he'll touch you thank you Lord

touch touch touch touch him

yes Lord every single one every single


the fire of God is on you lady the fire

of God is on you lady the fire of God is

on you I see the fire of God on you

thank you Lord Jesus touching Jesus now

if you're not speaking out of tongues

just open your mouth and speak this is

the kind of service it happens


upon the name of the Lord

in Jesus name touch them all of the Lord

every single one of them touch in Jesus

name in Jesus name thank you

Parents and Children: Ephesians 6:1-4


I'd invite you open up your Bible to the

book of Ephesians chapter six Ephesians

chapter six as you know we're working

through the book of Ephesians and we're

starting to bring it home now usually

when people think about Ephesians

chapter six people have been Christians

for a while who study the Bible what is

the particular text that they tend to

think about at the end of the book of

Ephesians you can just shout it out what

is it at the end of Ephesians chapter

six that our struggle is not against

flesh and blood but against the rulers

and powers and principalities of this

dark world against spiritual evil and

heavenly dimensions so we need to take

our stand and put on the full armor of

God you familiar with our text the

breastplate of righteousness the helmet

of salvation we're going to be getting

to that but you know before that text

God talks about one of the most

spiritually important things on this

earth that prepares us for spiritual

warfare that prepares us to put on the

armor of God that prepares us to stand

against evil in any generation God takes

time to talk about the family the family

husbands and wives

kids and parents and then he also talks

about how we interact with the people we

work with which at that time there's

talking about servants people working in

the home God cares about your home your

house your family your relationships

that how we interact with one another

specifically in terms of authority

relationships about how we exercise

leadership and how we respond to leaders

at home and in society have spiritual

ramifications for us because the

spiritual world operates on legal terms

and when we abuse Authority in

relationship so we respond incorrectly

to Authority in the most intimate

relationships in our lives we open up

darkness and we become vulnerable to the

evil one God wants our homes to be

strong families people that God brings

together and then grouping them in a

family called the

Church of God is how God conquers this

world for his kingdom never seen the

movie The Incredibles there's a new one

coming out I can't wait all right that's

the one where I'm gonna I'm gonna be the

first one there the first day I don't

even know if the kids are gonna be with

me I'm gonna be there we are

The Incredibles folks God has a purpose

the family was the original God Squad

that subunit of God's army meant to

fight against the evil one and spread

the kingdom families now that applies to

everyone in the Church of God because we

all are connected to relatives in some

way right we all have parents aunts

uncles kids grandkids maybe me however

it is and now even if we are at this

time living alone

maybe our family is all in another

country and we're single well guess what

you're part of another family called the

family of the Living God and you

interact with young people and with

spiritual mothers and fathers and kids

and this applies to all of us in some

way so I invite you to open your heart

to this topic that's an extremely

sensitive topic for so many of us right

because the concept of family is loaded

with all kinds of cultural expectations

right what makes a normal family there's

one family in this church that has

posted as you walk in the front door a

reminder says remember as far as

everyone knows we are a nice normal

family implication there's no reason to

disabuse them of that lie right but our

concept of what's normal is based

usually on what we grew up with now some

of us know well what I grew up with

definitely ain't normal but it's what we

know it's our experience and it's our

expectation of the way other families

should be sometimes it's a messy

business isn't it I remember when my son

Noah was born and you know I got him out

of here so I could talk about him behind

I'm gonna be very respectful but when he

was born I'll never forget freaking out

because he was born with his eyes open

right he popped out with these enormous

soulful eyes staring at me right but he

wasn't even all the well I'm you know

this is much more information than some

of you need but immediately the head

pops out and the eyes are staring at me

and I feel like I'm in some science

fiction movie I'm like it's alive it's

looking at me like whoa and then you

know they bring Noah over to it to a

table and you know because apparently he

had you know the water in there had

gotten dirty so they needed to suction

him and do some things and just clean

then once he was basically taken care of

but he was you know newly born babies

don't look like they look in the movies

right it's kind of it's a messy business

right you know especially when so he's

laying there and they're the doctors and

everyone and Kenneth says mom you know

they're all taking care of Kenneth right

cuz she deeded some taken care of around

that moment and I'm there just looking

at Noah staring at him he's staring

right at me I start talking he turned

his head right at me he's looking

looking me in the eye freaking me out

because he recognized my voice right and

I'm talking to and then I notice he

starts scratching himself he's got these

big long nails and he's scratching

himself and the nails are dirty because

he been in the dirty white and he's

scratching really hard and I'm like I'm

like wanting to call someone and like

excuse me um can somebody and they're

all like taking care of tennis and

they're like oh don't worry about it and

I'm like um it's a scratching so I start

kind of trying to hold his little arms

down hold him down and then I let go and

he starts scratching again and I'm like

and it occurred to me this is the

beginning of him trying to do dumb

things to hurt himself and me trying to

stop him and I feel like I get the

feeling this is never gonna end it's

been ten years now you know it's a messy

business isn't it it's humbling for all

of us if you think you've got your act


well child-raising we'll cure you of

that false assumption right and maybe

you have one kid that is like a perfect

little angel that behaves well

that first child and you think it well

of course good genes good parenting you

know we got this usually God will let

you have another kid

after that to show you that no no you're

as messed up as everyone else in the

world none of us has interact together

they're tumbling for everyone in the

Bible look at how the first family

worked out right Cain and Abel things

got a little messy there and it goes

downhill from there

parenting is a messy challenging

business for everybody interacting with

parents you know even raising the son of

God even raising baby Jesus had its

complications didn't it what happened

when Jesus was twelve I didn't remember

that story how he wandered off and went

and just started chillin in the temple

with the elders for three days and Mary

and Joseph were looking for him they

finally get to him and Jesus why did you

treat us this way he's like mom and dad

didn't you know I have to be in my

father's business it was a little messy

now no sin involved right no sin he was

you know but he was being 12 and then he

came back and he said me realize you

don't wander off like that but parenting

is always messy when he was a young

adult beginning his ministry at the age

of thirty and he was preaching and he

was healing and and there was one moment

when he and his disciples were so busy

that they didn't even have time to eat

and the Bible says in the Gospel of Mark

that Jesus's family came and stood

outside to take charge of him because

they said he is out of his mind and then

a little later said Jesus your mother

and brothers are outside they want to

talk to you says who are my mother and

brothers right I don't know if Mary

really approved of Jesus's lifestyle at

that moment right now I know what most

of you are thinking you're like well of

course I would have done better right

because as humbled as we are in our

parenting for some reason everybody

still thinks they're an expert you ever

notice that and they're perfectly

willing to offer advice to whomever you

know if you do that it's okay I'm gonna

just tell you it could get annoying

cuz we all think we know better don't

you think that if you were raising Jesus

he wouldn't have run off when he was 12

for 3 days you know you'd have done

better than Mary and Joseph

you know you think so right we are

arrogant we all need to realize that we

all need God's help we are all people

who need God's wisdom that we need to

trust in him and that this is an

important thing for us to do we all have

a calling to build families and to build

the family of God now if you don't have

biological children of your own

you are still called to influence young

people for the kingdom of God

whether it's in society in your job as a

teacher here in the church in Sunday

school or just encouraging families you

know or with your nieces and nephews

some of the most encouraging guidance

and words that I have received about

parenting have come from my brothers and

sisters some of them who don't have

children of their own

but God's given them wisdom so we are

all called to this together and even if

you don't have biological children you

have parents and even if your parents

are with Jesus you are still connected

to them in your heart this relates to

all of us amen

so let's read with open hearts Ephesians

chapter 6 says children obey your

parents in the Lord and then there's a

lengthy theological explanation that

says for this is right it's just right

verse 2 honor your father and mother

which is the first commandment with a

promise so that it may go well with you

and that you may enjoy long life on the

earth verse 4 fathers and mothers

parents do not exasperate your children

instead bring them up in the training

and instruction of the Lord let's pray

father we come before you and we thank

you Lord that in this day of spiritual


where the devil seems to be targeting

homes and children and families like he

never has before

we come before you Lord as your people

and we pray for wisdom and for power

together as we open up your word in

Jesus name Amen

so it starts with parents with how we

are to interact with our parents if

you're a kid you honor your parents by

obeying them why because this is right

you almost get the feeling the Apostle

Paul is writing this expecting there to

be kids in the room and he says I'm

going to keep this real simple it's just

right to do it obey your parents how

many kids in the room any people under

18 you know you don't have to raise your

hand okay you can cool all right god

bless you we have kids in here and I

hope our kids know now we do have Sunday

school but kids are perfectly welcome to

be part of the service too at whatever

age they are know that you are an

important part of this community God

doesn't look at his people beginning 18

and up people under the age of 18 do not

have a mini soul just because they might

be smaller you are fully important in

the eyes of God and he has a calling on

your life he's got something he wants to

do with you you matter in this church

and the way you interact with others and

God makes a difference for everybody

here doesn't matter how old you are and

we need to help our kids to understand

that they need to obey their parents

simply because this is right rebellion

in the Old Testament it says that

rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft

that rebellion going against Authority

was really the devil's original sin his

sin deciding that he knew better than

God how to run the universe and when we

rebel against parents it unleashes a

poison in our psychology and in our

relationships and even in our our

intellectual life even physically

rebellion is poisonous and it poisons

the rest of our lives if we begin


against parents and we don't deal with

that attitude who are we can rebel

against next teachers coaches police

we're going to rebel against whoever

happens to be their bosses spouses

there's going to be a poison in our

relationship that's going to make it

very difficult to have stability

submitting with a healthy respect for

parents is the most healthy thing a

young person can do now if you're a

young adult so you're starting to get a

little bit older honoring parents means

continuing to take them seriously if you

have any people between the ages of

maybe 17 and say 30 in this room 17 and

25 we got some people in that range

we've got they've got are some young

adults we've got a good young adult

ministry well it's important to realize

that your parents are not as dumb as

they look they may not know if I heard

an amen from one of them they may not

know how their phone works but they do

know how the world works and we will do

well to ask for advice and listen they

know what they're doing because they

have learned the hard way they've tried

stuff that didn't work now we can either

either learn on our own we can decide to

listen to what they might have to tell

us amen why so that it might go well

with you so that you won't have to learn

the hard way now we all learn some

things the hard way but we don't have to

learn everything the hard way there are

some mistakes you never need to make

there are some disasters you never need

to experience now in life you will fall

in skinned your knee and that just

happens but there are some things you

never need to learn by personal

experience listen get some advice and

listen to them take them seriously I am

so grateful to see the way the spiritual

legacy passes

down to young adults who will embrace

the spiritual legacy of their parents

and their grandparents there's a verse

where the Apostle Paul's writing to

Timothy a young pastor and he says I'm

reminded of your sincere faith which

first lived in your grandmother Lois I

love it that a grandmother is mentioned

in that coal that lived in your

grandmother Lois

apparently the Apostle Paul knew her and

in your mother Eunice I love that she's

mentioned and I am persuaded now lives

in you also you see that anointing that

faith gets passed down from generation

to generation and it can be in you and

you can move in the anointing of your

parents and your grandparents I love

that in our young adult ministry I

really believe that they have an

attitude of embracing their spiritual

legacy in our young adults it's cool to


parents and abuelita's they have the

attitude that they want that old-world

spirituality that faith that their

parents learned in many of them in the

immigration experience and having to

take chances and suffer and sacrifice

and they're like I want that the good

news is that anointing not only passes

down it grows and it becomes even more

powerful that happens to people

unfortunately the negative also gets

passed down we'll talk about that later

but what do we do if you have parents

that are not necessarily Christians that

maybe your parents don't support you

coming to church they don't support you

seeking God the way you're doing what

then it's still possible to honor them

you know I accepted Jesus when I was 16

years old I was raised with a beautiful

Catholic faith by really good parents

and I'm not just saying that cuz I have

to they're really awesome parents I'm

not just saying that because they might

be watching me but they might they

started checking me out now like you

don't have to do that but they do they

check it out great parents but I had a

sort of my conversion experience I

accepted Jesus in my heart when I was 16

and around

same time my sister had her spiritual

experience with Jesus so suddenly my

parents had these two fanatics in the

house right I mean Jesus people with

capital you know whatever and of course

I was 16 so I already knew much better

than my parents had to do everything in

life and now I had a theological backing

for my rebellion right so of course I

told my mother everything that was wrong

with the Catholic Church and this and

that the other thing and I'm getting

driving lessons so I've got they've got

hours and hours to hear from me and over

the years I have come to see that they

they do know what they're doing and to

see that my faith coming to know Jesus

was a fulfillment of my Catholic

upbringing that all the beautiful

spiritual things sowed in me and that

spiritual background in my first

communion at my confirmation and all

that stuff it was culminated in my

meeting Jesus in that way it's not a

repudiation of my upbringing

it's an embracing of what they've sown

in me and my father the values that he

sowed in me too they're fulfilled in my

faith so even if your parents are not

part of our church you can still honor

them right you can still recognize that

that they have sown good things in you

they might be worried they might think

you're in some sort of a cult right what

are they doing there what do they do

I've seen stories I hear they fall over

they do strange things there's this

wacko gringo who says duh what are you

gonna do it's okay to realize they they

might be legitimately concerned for some

good reasons and they need to see that

no this is good this is gonna help you

grow and be a better person and be

closer to them not further away so it's

important to see that now Jesus does

warn us that he said that I didn't come

to bring peace on earth universally he

said in many cases I've come to bring a

sort of division even in families

children against parents siblings

against each other because if one person

serving Jesus and the other person is

against it there can be tension so

there's a place for that but at the same

time if we honor our parents we can get

through that okay because we gonna put

the word into practice amen you can say


what about if your parents are elderly


very you know there get really really

starting to get up there a big part of

how we honor them is simply taking care

of them and I think some those are some

of the most precious moments in the

entire lifetime when we give back in

that way but also to remember that an

extremely elderly parent still has a lot

to teach you even if you are 50 and

she's 80 she still got a lot to teach

you more than ever our elderly people

are treasures that we need to value we

need to hear from them we need to value

them not just as symbols of the

generations but know they still got

something to give but very often in the

caregiving process there's a reversal

sort of right because they need some

types of care that you need it when you

were a kid and now they're an adult even

then it's very important I believe to

protect the dignity of our elderly

parents and grandparents and I've heard

of one nursing home that has they keep

photographs of each person in the

nursing home outside the door of the

individual who's there when they were

young and healthy and so you walk down

the halls and you see right over the bed

or right over the door you see pictures

of young men in the service in World War

two and young women beautiful and doing

that and you realized that I need to

take this person seriously here this

person might be physically have-have you


weaker and not be able to not their mind

might not be what it once was but I need

to take them serious I need to respect

them and honor our parents now how about

if your parents have already gone on

from this world and are with the Lord

what then

just because the person is no longer

here does not mean the relationship in

your heart with the person ceases to

exist pastor Sam talks about this a lot

and I'm started for stealing your

thunder Sammy but he talks about when

our parents are with Jesus we continue

to honor them by living the legacy that

they taught us and every time you put

into practice what they taught you to do

you're honoring them and there

and there's this feeling of I'm not

alone as I do it I've got the

generations behind me now if your

parents maybe did not leave you a great

legacy to follow maybe they weren't

Christians maybe they didn't live the

best life people are people some people

don't we can still honor them by doing

the best we can with the life that they

gave us and every tygon you know maybe

your mom or dad maybe they whatever

maybe you don't want to imitate their

lifestyle but they did give you life and

when you use that life and you love your

kids and your neighbors and you serve

the community and you serve Jesus you're

saying I'm taking the life you gave me

and I'm using it for God's glory and in

that way I'm honoring the name that you

gave me and the life that you gave me

let's honor our parents let's honor our

elders in the church and in society

because as we do there is a spiritual

blessing over our church and we become

stronger it doesn't seem all flashy and

exciting but boy I tell ya that's where

the power is amen okay now on to parents

how are parents supposed to interact

with their kids verse 4 and I have to

tell you I was as I'm preparing that's

like how in the world I could teach on

this it's been 10 years and I still feel

like I have no clue what I'm doing right

but then what are you gonna do and we

have so many hero parents in our church

but got to do it two edges my job I have

to preach on the next text so here it is

verse 4 it says father's which in the

Greek is inclusive fathers and mothers

is is part of that parents do not

exasperate your children instead bring

them up in the training and instruction

of the Lord I love that translation

exasperate exasperate the literal Greek

is to do not provoke them to anger now

don't push them too far I think it's

very interesting that the text begins by

setting parameters around the

appropriate use of parental authority

and putting limits so is not to

go too far in a way that is

counterproductive you got to understand

that this was scandalous at the time in

the ancient world children didn't have

any rights there were not social workers

looking out to be sure children no no it

was children were like property that you

could do whatever you want to them but

the Bible doesn't view children in that

way God views children is made in the

image of God and as human beings they

are to be treated with certain respect

and they are we are not to exasperate

them and I think this has spiritual

implications because just like I was

saying that rebellion against Authority

has is it opening a door of darkness for

the evil one so also abusing authority

opens a door of darkness for the evil

one among us and that includes

especially how we treat our children

that excessive or inappropriate

punishment is not biblical now proverbs

does have some pretty strong verses

doesn't it and some of you might want to

stand up right now in quote him to me

says whoever spares the rod hates his

son but he who loves him is diligent to

discipline him Amen right

but discipline and and we don't teach

that now in our society there are

society in general is very squeamish

about any kind of corporal punishment or

spanking or like that and I don't concur

with that social movement I do believe

there is a place sometimes for

appropriate limited well administered

spanking if whatever however you want to

do it I know my mother had and we've all

got stories don't we you know my mother

had her wooden spoon if she's it she's

Italian she was you know imagine for 11

Italian really cute made a sauce she had

said am I gonna have to get the wooden

spoon out you know cuz apparently she

had a grandmother that really used the

wooden spoon she get out that wooden

spoon and start chasing me around the

house I have vivid memories she never

meant to catch me right that's it it

took get me wrong there would be little

you know the issue with the the

punishment we're going to talk about

that it's the far

the counts right it doesn't have to be

yeah we're gonna come back around okay

we can come back around to this but just

cuz the Bible talks about not sparing

the rod it does not mean that Christians

are obligated biblically to hit kids

with sticks okay any more than all the

verses about working in the fields means

that Christians are obligated to be

farmers okay now I'm not saying I'm

saying there's different ways that

people can apply things in their own

household but I'm just saying that you

don't take every proverb and a prop and

apply it with exact literal application

okay it was written in a time the

principle there is that we are to be

careful to discipline kids to teach them

right from wrong in an appropriate way

without exasperated and I think we all

know that there's a difference between

disciplining and abusing don't we

there's a line there's a line and we

need to know what that line is and we

need to honor that it is never okay to

beat up a kid it is never okay to punish

in anger and violent rage some

discipline that exasperates

is going to be counterproductive it's

going to do damage you're not going to

teach the kid you're gonna damage the

kid disciplining in anger we're we're

just venting our anger we're doing that

not for the kid we're doing that for us

just to vent right shaming or demeaning

a kid comparing the child to others why

can't you be more like your brother why

can't you be more like someone else kids

are super sensitive to that sometimes

even if you don't say it they they can

hear it

cursing or name-calling you always do

this you'll never amount to anything

don't exasperate your kids sometimes we

need to step away and give ourselves a

good time out don't we you say but after

what that but what they did they need to

be disciplined yes they do but if you

discipline them the way you're about to

discipline them then you're just gonna

create another problem now sometimes you

need to just step away take a deep

breath and then revisit the situation

and say okay let's talk about what just

happened here and then you can talk


consequences inappropriate discipline

we'll come back to this later because

discipline is part of training right but

our goal and this is what it says next

in Ephesians 6 ver right there verse 4

it says instead of this bring your

children up now I don't want to skip

over that bring them up in the training

and instruction of the Lord bring up a

kid is a very interesting word in the

Greek is the word act ref oh it

literally means food you're putting food

into that kid you're nurturing that

child you're feeding that child like a

plant that needs to grow and prosper

xref will cultivate that child realize

that you are the primary spiritual

influence in their lives not the school

not the church you are the pastor

teacher coach therapist doctor you're

the one as soon as you like I didn't

apply for that yeah isn't it amazing you

have the baby at the hospital and they

just give you the baby and send you home

and you're like you're just gonna give

it to me do you realize that I don't

know what I'm doing it's on-the-job

training right you learn how to do it

but your calling is to have that

spiritual influence here in the church

our Sunday School and our youth

ministries are not meant to replace

parents they're meant to support parents

to do their ministry meant to come

alongside them and I'm grateful that I

really see that in this church I see I

don't see families just saying here take

care of my kids for me no no I see in

this church people having an attitude of

saying I'm going to raise my kids and

the church provides structures in which

we can do that pooling our resources and

putting curriculum together in classes

but we're working together in doing that

amen and we have got parents who are

stepping up to the plate because shaping

kids is an awesome and holy ministry and

we have heroes in our midst we have

people who do this really really well

I thank God that as a young dad when I

just we just had the kids I was like I

got to talk to somebody here I gotta

start getting input and I started

looking around for some father's that I

thought you know I would like to learn

from this one or that one

and some people that are the least you

would expect people who were real

low-key who you would never notice but

who are good at how to raise their kids

and I'd sit down with him and I said

talk to me tell me stories I never

forget one father telling me a great guy

who who told me his stories and he's

someone you would never expect you would

never know who he is he said he never

studied psychology or seminary anything

like that he works and he just told me

you know I remember once when I lost my

temper with my daughter in a certain way

and then 20 minutes later I heard her

yelling at the dog using the exact same

words that I was using and he said is

that the way I sound he told me that 10

years ago and I never forgot what I say

to them they're gonna say to others take

you're not just gonna say it to the dog

they'll say it to other people someday

they'll repeat and in the influence of

talking to moms and dads and as I

already mentioned mentioned earlier

teachers aunts uncles not just people

who have biological kids but people who

have wisdom who can provide support you

see parents we have an awesome

responsibility now let's break down some

of the words of what parents are

supposed to do so it says raise them up

bring them up nurture them in the

training and instruction of the Lord the

first word there for training is Paideia

Paideia it's a beautiful word in the

Greek that does not translate easily to

English but I believe it does actually

translate better into Spanish in Spanish

there's a certain word that is used for

how you raise children it's the word

advocacy on educación I never forget

talking to someone when I was just

starting to learn Spanish this was about

30 years ago right and he was talking

about someone with bad manners and he

said Kamala educación and I was like

what a school have to do with bad


but you see the idea of educación in

spanish is that the education of a child

is not just them learning information in

school it's about their their behavior

their morality their their work ethic

their manners how they interact with

people that's all part of their

education of their it's not just

learning it's and they try to get it in

English it's their training it's that

you're training a child in how to live

el ocasion de los ninos pi there pi

there and we do that by teaching them

and I like us to put up deuteronomy 6

verse 5 to 7 if you could del toro

Gnomeo Cinco seis Cinco siete

Deuteronomy 6:5 to 7 says the following

here o Israel the Lord your God is one

you shall love the Lord your God with

all your heart and with all your soul

and with all your strength and these

commandments that I give you today are

to be on your hearts impress them on

your children talk about them when you

sit at home and when you walk along the

road and when you lie down and when you

get up amen impress them on your

children talk about them when you sit at

home when you walk along the road when

you lie down and when you get up realize

that all of life is the classroom for

the children and it begins speaking to

the parents before you can impress these

Commandments on your children they need

to be on your heart first right before

you can teach kids to love the Lord your

God you need to love the Lord your God

with all your heart mind soul and

strength the main way we teach is by


kids will copy what they see you doing

now is that a pleasant concept for all

of us I have at times observed my son

behaving in certain ways and I'll just

sit there thinking is that what I do is

that how I act and I am voting oh yeah

that's just the way you are that's where

he got it sometimes of your parents I

don't understand how can my child be so

strong-willed and those of us that know

the parent like well I figured I think I

know where she got it right right do you

think that and every day because we pass

things down sometimes Kerris will do or

say certain things and I know I

shouldn't but I just looked right over

it my beloved wife and just see and then

she does the same to me we're like see

it's going right on down the generations

it's in the Bible unfortunately sin does

pass down and neuroses and all kinds of

bad things passed down the generations

they do they do the Bible says that the

sins of the fathers are visited on the

children but thank God the blessing goes

down to a thousand generations the

blessing is stronger than the curse but

we do need to face the fact that what I

do will transmit to them that's why I

often tell parents who start coming to

church who are talking about

difficulties with children the first

order of business is to get your own

spirituality your own life moving in the

right direction if you start seeking God

and submitting to him and letting God

work on you that will be contagious to

the kids there's a reason why on Friday

night hi Kennesaw I was just talking

about you sorry then see sorry yeah you

can check the video but there's a reason

why on Friday night we have our

children's discipleship program awana

and our adult discipleship program

running at the same time because the

idea you want a family that's just

coming to Christ we want mom and dad to

get disciple too right along with their

kids because you can't give what you

don't have

amen we need to focus on me get my life

in order repent of my sins

and break the different bondages I've

inherited maybe from my generations

right many of us do things and we think

wow I'm becoming my dad anyone ever felt

like that my father his health story

here again I was dangerous because he

watches the video sometimes my father is

of German descent

he's German right and I mean second

third generation but he's extremely

organized he fulfills all the

stereotypes you would have of you know

his basement is so clean you could eat

off the floor if you wanted right his

desk was totally organized he would

clear it off between projects suppose

it'd be totally empty and he'd be

sitting there and people would be like

do you do any work you know totally

organized when we go to a hotel room the

first thing he would do immediately

unpack and put everything away in the

drawers and the rest of us how did the

rest of us in the family normally live

you just live out of the suitcase you

know you're just pull stuff out that's

what you do right I'll never forget I

was maybe late 20s early 30s I was on a

trip I got to a hotel room and

immediately unpacked and put everything

away and sat there and thought I've just

become my dad I didn't mean for it to

happen but it's happening we need to be

aware now sometimes those are good

things like you know maybe good things

defending but sometimes they're not so

good things and we're like oh I hear my

father speaker and my mother speaking

and they're negative things that we've

inherited and that's we're in Christ you

have authority to break negative

patterns that you've inherited over the

generation there's some people who say

well I have a struggle with alcohol I

drink and so did my father and so did my

grandfather and so do my

great-grandfather and now I drink well I

got good news for you you're a new

creation in Christ the old has gone the

new has come now we need to recognize

that there is an influence there but in

Jesus I'm going to take a stand and said

as for me and my household we will serve

the Lord and we confess our sins and the

sins of the generations and the father's

and say God forgive us as a family for

this negative pattern and in the name of

Jesus I break it for me and my kids and

my grandkids we will be different in the


of Jesus amen we have pioneers in this

church people who are starting new

patterns who are breaking negative ones

and are saying I'm gonna start a new

pattern for my family we're becoming

that matriarch and patriarch that

someday grandkids will say I want to be

just like them but we have to take that

stand and break it because our influence

our example is what's going to impress

the kids we need to work on ourselves

and then we need to simply be present in

order to influence our kids I remember

when we were expecting our first child I

I was like okay I've gotta learn how to

be a dad in like nine months okay so try

think of what books am I gonna get and

you know the only book I felt led to

read was a book on time management book

on time a really good one Stephen Covey

putting first things that weird and like

time management I'm expecting you know

James Dobson you know Focus on the

Family great books Charles Stanley all

these good books but no time management

and I really felt the Lord telling me I

want you to read this one and I figured

I'm sitting down and I'm talking with a

friend of mine Steven Johnson you let me

know him he's married to mate a sister

he's a pastor in Dedham and I say it's

not strange I feel God leading me to

read a book on time management in

preparing for Parenthood and he's like

well it doesn't matter how good a father

you are if you're not there right you

could be an expert but if you're simply

not there what can you do you got to

make time you have to be present to have

that influence because life is a

classroom talk about these commands when

you sit at home and when you walk along

the road and when you lie down and when

you get up so when you sit at home is

there any time when we sit at home if

you're like us you know many of us you

know both mom and dad are working you're

taking turns you're doing the handoff

here's the kid boom you run out you're

doing two is there any time when we're

just together long enough

so that there can be opportunity for

conversation just about whatever that

might come up it could be something as

simple as watching a TV show together

nowadays because of the streaming

everyone's watching their own show right

Evans got a different device watching

their show nothing wrong with that

necessarily but the beauty of watching

something together is that you can talk

about it right you can see what they're

what they're watching I remember one day

watching a TV show with and my father

was there and my sister was there and it

was hears I'm going to date myself it

was Barney Miller anyone remember that

one there's like three of you who are

like you know okay Barney might we're

watching Barney Miller and there was

this one Saints a police show it's a

normal show there was nothing bad in it

there wasn't violence there wasn't sex

or things like that but there was one

moment where there was a scene where

they were talking about how one of them

had a kid who was going to go to college

and one of the character said oh well

you know that kids good they're gonna be

sleeping around when they're there they

said really and in the show it's like

yeah what do you think you do in college

you sleep around that's what everyone

does it was just a comment that was made

it was really interesting because

afterwards my father was really angry

about that he said you remember him

telling me this I was 13 years old he's

like that gets me so angry

I mean angrier than a scene with

violence or something he says because

your sister is about to go to college

now she's gonna see that scene and she's

gonna think that that's normal in

college that gets me angry and I was

like whoa you know my dad doesn't he's

pretty even-keeled that I was 13 years

old that was an awfully long time ago

and I still remember that little

conversation about a TV show amen

it just comes up stuff comes up in life

if we're paying attention there's

opportunity to talk about the things of

life as we experience them together with

the kids of the young people just making

time to be together when you walk along

the road as you drive together talking

what are you listening to in the car

what are you talking about in the car

there's all kinds of opportunities


you deal with the commuting that we have

to do the schlepping the kids around

well there's time to talk there when you

lie down bedtime bath time book time

potty time you know we talked about that

a little earlier I know of one little

male offspring who would wax very

philosophical during that part of the

day and I learned if I happen now not

anymore right he's old enough to do

things in private but as a little baby

sometimes kids they're on the potty and

they just started to start thinking

about life now if you're there now don't

get me wrong I'm not saying you hover

over every little biological function

but if you happen to be there well maybe

when the kid just starts talking about

something you you observe the moment you

go with it now sometimes our kids become

very philosophical after the lights go

out at bedtime because they know there

are certain comments they're gonna make

they're gonna keep the day extending

just a little longer right if they bring

up Jesus with me at 10 o'clock it's very

hard for me to say just go to sleep you

know cuz I'm like well they know they

know what to do their evil little

geniuses these kids you know when you

get up in the morning it's like what

what does your morning routine look like

what kind of spirit do we transmit to

the kids in the morning right I think

it's hardest hardest at that part of the

day you're rushing you're trying to get

going but you can do this you can teach

better than you think you can you are

the pastor and the pastor of your house

and your children and you can do this if

your kids are in Sunday school or in

awana they're learning versus you can

talk them but what's the verse you're

learning you can come up with games and

activities you could you okay here's one

for you here's what any of us can do you

can read about Abraham and how Abraham

obeyed and followed God even though he

didn't know where he was going right

what does it mean to trust God then you

could say okay we're gonna do a game you

could tie a blindfold around their eyes

and do a faith walk around the apartment

right and maybe even put a treat in

their mouth as you go right it don't do

it but that it tastes good and see that

God does that for us sometimes but you

can do that right that's not so fancy

that's not so complicated

we can do this we can teach our kids and

you could take a balloon right I read

this one just recently in Dobson book

you can blow it up and then you can let

it go and let it float around and say

what made the balloon move air well just

like air God is there isn't it a great

phrase a good one yeah I just stole that

from someone but boom there's a lesson

right you can do that just like air God

is there you can't see him but he moves

you okay Wow all right trained a child

in the way he should go and when he or

she is old they will not turn from it

they'll remember some of these moments

and they'll come back to them now

Paideia does include discipline the word

Paideia for training includes discipline

in the book of Hebrews it says my son

don't make light of the Lord's

discipline and don't lose heart when he

rebukes you because the Lord disciplines

the one he loves he chastens the one who

accepts as a son so discipline is part

of teaching but that's the key moment

and the key emphasis is that discipline

is not meant to vent anger and to into

punishment discipline is meant to teach

meant to be instructive and meant to

provide guidance and that means setting

clear and appropriate limits that then

have consequences that follow and again

don't threaten things you're not going

to do I said will you do this then we're

just never going to the park again right

do you really mean that right look you

got it you got it you got to do it

things that you know you can do now

again there's a difference between

disciplining appropriately and

disciplining in ways that produce

exasperation and anxiety in the kids now

I know for our kids it takes very little

just the thought of me spanking them is

enough to like you know produce a lot of

blood-curdling you know because it's not

a phase not because because I spank hard

no I don't have to say just boom boom

just a little thing where God put

padding it's the thought that counts

because it's more the implication that


what are you doing here

there is never an excuse to beat up a

kid we can discipline and set boundaries

and there are different ways that we can

provide consequences right there are

different ways to do it

there's the timeout thing you could do

that you could take away a precious ten

minutes of video game time you could

take away TV you can there's all kinds

of different things a person you could

just do a simple talking to about why

that wasn't right the key is to just be

on top of things and be paying attention

and being appropriate with your kids

that's part of training jesus said those

whom I love I rebuke and discipline now

when he does that Jesus you see in the

book of Revelation where he speaks to

the churches like each church is a child

he starts by saying all the good things

they're doing you're doing this right

you're doing that right I'm so proud of

this but I have one thing against you

and then he brings the word of

correction if we are constantly

correcting and criticizing our kids

it becomes nagging and white noise it

doesn't go anywhere but if there's all

kinds of words of affirmation followed

by a word of Correction well then

they're ready to hear it because they

know that you love them and it's not

just constant negativity Paideia is

discipline is part of that training and

teaching now I want to talk about one

more word and then we'll bring it home

it says also bring them up in the

training and the last word there in

verse 4 is an instruction of the work of

the of the Lord now the the meaning of

that Greek is not instruction is okay

but it actually means better in the King

James admonition admonition what does

that mean advertencia warnings letting

them know that there are certain things

that if you do them there will be

negative consequences

that's where dialogue comes in have you

ever tried this with kid the kid you

tell the child what to do what not to do

and they say why how do we normally

answer that because I said so we got


now there's nothing wrong with because I

said so answer because you are the

parent and you said so and that's good

enough because I said so that's why

what's the problem with it always being

because I said so because I said so

because I said so what if they never

understand why then when they have the

freedom to do it why not he's not here

saying so anymore you know I asked why

now I can say why not if they understand

the purpose behind it there is a place

for dialogue for example especially with

media and the movies and TV shows the

kids are watching

I'll find with with Noah especially but

with both of them we'll talk about why

we edit certain scenes for them like so

my kids real into Star Trek right and

we've watched a lot of Star Trek's on

Netflix there are some scenes in some of

the series that I'm like at least a

couple years ago I'm like I'm sorry

you're just too young to see that

particular scene and he's like why I

said well because your mind and your

emotions are still forming and

developing and if you see certain sexual

scenes or violent scenes they're gonna

mark your mind or emotions in ways that

could affect you in a bad way and I want

to keep your mind and emotions healthy

and strong and so I want to wait till

you're able to process these some of

these images before you see them and

you're literally young to process those

images right now like okay no problem

whatever and then we do it because and I

explain why and I said you know what

there are some images that I that I

don't want in my own mind and emotions

right there are some TV shows and movies

things that I won't let myself watch

because of how it's going to affect me

so this applies to everyone but

especially for children when you're

growing so boom he gets it and what I

found is it even if I'm not right there

if there are certain scenes I'll notice

that they'll they'll skip through

certain things now I don't want to rely

on that right I want to make it it is

impossible as possible for them not to

see certain things but by explaining and

understanding within reason then they

can internalize because of the warnings

and the explanations we've given so that

when they have the freedom hopefully

they can apply those standards on their

own that we're not just forcing them to

do the right thing now part of that

means talking about the consequences of

decisions they make and again that's

where some discipline comes in the word

enabling you ever heard about that idea

of enabling a person maybe who has an

addiction by helping them to keep doing

something negative the idea there to

enable someone to keep doing something


means we protect people from the

negative consequences of their actions

and if we do that they'll never learn

about the negative consequence of what

they're doing and they'll keep doing it

same with children there are times where

we warn them and there are times when we

let them learn the hard way within

reason and then help them understand

that so that we don't enable them now

this is the word that was applied to a

man of God in the Old Testament named

Eli and I take these verses very

seriously he was a priest who ministered

in the house of God but he had sons that

also worked in the priesthood with him

and these sons were scoundrels they were

corrupt they would steal the best part

of the offering they would commit

adultery with the women in the who would

come and serve in the tabernacle and the

Bible says that Eli failed to restrain

his sons it's the same word here he

failed to admonish them and so God took

that very seriously

we can't abdicate our duty it's our job

to do the best we can so that our kids

will live a life that honors the Lord

now even as I say this though I think

about the parents among us who did

everything I'm talking about you

discipline them you taught them in love

you brought them the Word of God you

prayed you fasted and they're still

making some bad decisions and so as we

begin to conclude this I'm going to talk

about someone else who struggled with


the prophet Samuel at the same time as

Eli was doing his thing he was a great

prophet a great man of God but when it

came time for him to be replaced the

people of Israel said your sons don't

walk in your ways now we

know what they did or didn't do but we

do know that in some way Samuels sons

weren't living at the same spiritual

level that Samuel was living at and in

no place does it say Samuel failed as a

father it just said that he had sons who

were not making the best decisions at

that time now if you are a parent who is

struggling with that you've got kids who

have grown and and and that you love and

that you took care of and you served and

you prayed for them and now they're

making some bad decisions I do feel like

I have something that God has put on my

heart I think God wants you to know that

he knows how you feel the story of the

prodigal son is about a father a good

father who loved his sons one of them

ran away from home the other stayed home

but neither of them understood the love

of their father God is the father of the

prodigal son and daughter

he knows the pain of a parent who is

longing for his kids to serve the Lord

and they're still not home they're not

doing it now that parable ends with a

son coming home to his father and in the

story it says that the father saw him

when he was a long way off and he went

running out to meet him and the word

that I feel like I have from God for the

parents of kids who are still away from

the house of God I feel like God wants

you to leave the door open because the

prodigal is coming home that your prayer

and your sacrifice and your love for

your kids is not in vain what you sowed

in their lives will pay off open that


keep the door open cuz they're on their

way home some of you were the prodigal

son or daughter and you have come home

so you know that it happens now some of

us here might be thinking Greg I made a

lot of mistakes as a parent there's so

many things I wish I could do


and I want to invite you today to

forgive yourself please

forgive yourself in the name of the Lord

you can't change the past you can only

deal with the present

"Don't despise your mother when she is old"


I was really encouraged to see many of

you come to the open the gates event

last Friday and Saturday

God moved in such an extraordinary way

and you know the testimony of our sister

this morning was just one example of

many ways that God spoke extraordinarily

to us over that weekend and you know

many of us may have probably missed it

for whatever reason but again I want to

underscore this need that we have and I

want to call out encouragement to all of

you to you know break out of the Sunday

Blues of just coming to church on

Sundays and to let's become a committed

radical community of believers who live

for the Lord live for the kingdom live

to be fed and you know I yearn for the

day when believers and and the people in

our own congregation will be so immersed

in their identity as believers that you

know that'll be their primary way of

having fun of you know enjoying life of

doing different kinds of things that you

know that they want to come to different

kinds of activities but they'll be fed

spiritually where they'll have an

opportunity to grow in the Lord and

that'll be their commitment and their

joy will be that that they won't see a

difference between you know my private

life and my life of rest and my family

life and the life of my community my

Christian community my life and the Lord

it won't be sacrificial it'll be just a

joy to be in the house of the Lord I am

blessed and encouraged when I see so

many of you on Saturdays for example and

I'm Greg or I are leaving the church and

we see believers coming out of different

activities that we're having or on an

evening when so many things are

happening you know it's beautiful when

when a community kind of immerses its

identity in the life of being a believer

so I've been so eloquent that I forgot

why I was saying this but no it's Friday

the Good Friday service come come 7:30

we're gonna be praying I'm gonna be

remembering the sacrifice of Christ Holy

Week we call in Spanish Easter week and

we want to see you come Friday so that

we will have a nice parallel service

where we'll have English speakers and


and Spanish speakers just the

worshipping the Lord and remembering his

extraordinary sacrifice on the cross we

want to see you this Friday make it

something glorious by just accompanying

us and being here so let's go to the

word of the Lord I'm excited about this

word that God has placed in my heart

Luke chapter 19 verses 37 through 44 I'm

gonna start with what you might expect

on a day like this

Domingo the Ramos you know when Jesus

makes his triumphal entry into Jerusalem

and by the way I was remembering you

know reading the the passage that it

speaks about the Mount of Olives you

know when we went on this Israel trip

just a couple of weeks ago we stayed in

a hotel Hotel seven arches right on top

of the Mount of Olives and the first

thing that we did on the morning you

know having not slept very much and

traveled the whole night we went down

the Mount of Olives and went down the

path that for centuries it has been

believed that it is the path that Jesus

took on his way to his triumphal entry

to Jerusalem a memorable moment a

memorable occasion as we just walked in

the path of Christ going down to you

know make his triumphal as we call it

his rainfall entry into Jerusalem so

without further ado Luke chapter 19

let's begin with verse 37 it says that

when he came near the place where the

road goes down the Mount of Olives

Israel pilgrims that should make a lot

of sense to you when you see it when you

see these passages you can visualize

that when the road goes down the Mount

of Olives the whole crowd of disciples

began joyfully to praise God in loud

voices for all the miracles that they

had seen and they said blessed is the

king who comes in the name of the Lord

peace in heaven and glory in the highest

now some of the Pharisees in the crowd

said said to Jesus teacher rebuke your

disciples I tell you jesus replied

if they keep quiet the stones will cry

out now here's a you know until now this

the music is playing in a major scale

and you know it's all celebration and

simplicity in enjoy but then the music

goes into a minor scale something more

somber and the thing turns a little

darker the narrative turns darker and it

goes into a moment of solemnity and

meditation on the part of Jesus about

you know that it's not all that simple

that people are just worshipping Him and

acknowledging his messianic nature and

so it says that as he approached

Jerusalem and saw the city he wept over

it so Jesus is not so enthralled with

the affirmation of the crowd that he

cannot see another side to this whole

experience into this whole scene so he

weeps over Jerusalem and he says if you

even you had only known on this day what

would bring you peace but now it is

hidden from your eyes the days will come

upon you when your enemies will build an

embankment an embankment against you and

then circle you and hem you in on every

side they will dash you to the ground

you and the children within your walls

they will not leave one stone on another

because you did not recognize the time

of God's coming to you so you see the

other side which we often don't mention

when we mentioned you know this Palm

Sunday we we concentrate on the

triumphant entry of Jesus but we're

given a moment of intuition into his

inner feelings and we see this

contradiction jesus is aware that yes at

this moment the crowds are welcoming him

and celebrating him but soon that very

same crowd is gonna turn hostile and

abandon him and even those disciples

that are celebrating him with knowledge

of who he is are going to abandon him

well and they're going to question

everything that they have heard or seen

even and they will prove themselves

unfaithful and the kind of unstable in

their commitments and their

acknowledgments and so this is why Jesus

understanding that and understanding

that they will reject him utterly and

they will deny him and abandon him

completely with horrible consequences

that city that is welcoming him now is

welcome him him now will be destroyed

because of its unfaithfulness because

they have abandoned and they denied and

neglected the Son of God so I I want to

connect this I don't want to be a

party-pooper you know today's supposed

to be a day of celebration but you know

I I'm trying to connect a couple of

things here in my mind and you know

there's never a complication that I

don't love in Scripture there's always

something deeper to look at and I I've

been trying to connect every the past

four Sundays our sermons with a

meditation on again some that you're

probably tired of listening about my

impending sabbatical but I didn't want

to do prepare us and also to use this

opportunity to meditate on aspects of

the Christian life that are valuable and

applicable to every every stage of the

life of our congregation and every stage

in our citizenship as members of this

community that is congregation Lion of

Judah so I I wanted to today sort of

kind of combine these two things you

know the the Palm Sunday motif of

commitment to the Lord and

acknowledgment of his divinity and

Messiahship and so on with the issue of

sticking to our confessions and being

firmly grounded on what we believe even

when circumstances might deny what our

eyes see or what we are experiencing and

living by faithfulness to a word that we

have received

to what God has told us and not to live

just by emotions alone or by

circumstances I've spoken about that

also we cannot be focused and anchored

on circumstances or on a leader or even

on a congregation we have to be focused

as Jesus says on every word that comes

out of the mouth of God we need to be

faithful people not like this crowd that

one moment is acknowledging Jesus and

another moment is saying crucify him

crucify him having forgotten completely

about that confession that they made

just a few days earlier and and you see

where I'm going here that you know in

times of need faithfulness is what

grounds a congregation like ours

faithfulness on the part of believers

and I want to make it even more ample

more encompassing so we have seen that

in these past meditations you know just

to give you a sense of the pattern here

we spoke about giving to God first and

we said that you know we we need to

continue our giving continue our serving

to the Lord for his glory only and that

as we do that we are blessed so I also

spoke about leaders being a mere

servants that this church does not

depend on me on Gregory on Sam or any

other pastor it depends on the presence

of Christ amen of the Holy Spirit that

is here every day that we come to

worship Him

and we should always be focused on him

alone and I've also spoken about the

fact that unity is a is a precondition

for blessing we spoke about that you

know that God might keep us harmonious

and that even when there might not be

the presence of someone that you feel is

crucial to the stability of a

congregation that we will make every

effort to keep the the bonds of

brotherhood and sisterhood and of

harmony as a congregation that we will

work especially hard to keep our church

unified and in harmony with each other

and today I again I want to speak about

faithfulness and I was just using this

scripture as a point of departure and a

point of connection with the day but

really I want to leave

for a moment that idea of Palm Sunday

and I want to go deeper into how can we

not be like that crowd that glorified

Jesus in one moment and then the next

moment when things are complicated and

in a little dark and and complex we you

know abandon all of our confessions and

just go according to our emotions so

this image of Sunday of pounds reminds

me of another image that is relevant to

this time also these women and there are

many passages by the way in scripts that

we could use about faithfulness

connected with the Lord I I was thinking

in meditating upon the women who when

Jesus is crucified

apparently defeated apparently all that

he promised about his person and about

his victorious nature is denied by his

death and by his entombment by his

burial there's these women who remained

faithful to the Lord and you know they

they probably think that yes you know

this man that they thought was a

immortal and invincible did fail them

somehow and he is dead and he has not

been resurrected and yet they persist in

honoring him to me their commitment is

doubly significant because you know here

they are their master has died they're

convinced they're alone and they're

asking themselves how can we remove this

stone from the tomb because we want to

honor the body of our master we want to

embalm him we want to give him the the

rights that he deserves as a holy man

meanwhile the men of the tribe they're

scared they're scattered peter has

denied Jesus you know it's a scene of

fleeing and abandoning all the

commitments these women remain faithful

to the Lord and they want to honor him

and they want to embalm him and they

want to treat him some would be

important that they feel as he deserves


they're faithful they remain faithful

and they are honored by Jesus with the

first encounter with the resurrected

Lord and this is one theme that you see

over and over again in Scripture that

faithfulness in the midst of difficult

circumstances is rewarded with blessing

and greater privilege and approval from

the Lord every time I see instances of

faithfulness in the Bible

I see blessing that follows think of

Ruth for example as she remains faithful

to Naomi her mother-in-law when she

could easily have gone you know her own

way as her other companion did and she

is rewarded wonderfully by marriage to

an honorable man and by ultimately

becoming the great grandmother I think

it is or the grandmother remember of

David and then of course being right in

the center of the lineage of the Messiah

himself she being a from a pagan a

background because she was faithful to

her mother-in-law so sometimes we're

faithful in the little things God then

puts us in bigger can I hear an amen

from you yeah being faithful to little

quotidian things is really the test many

times that God places on our life as we

remain faithful to the Lord in little

moments he will put it as put us in

greater authority and greater blessing

so this whole thing of faithfulness in

the context of Jesus's entry into

Jerusalem made me think deeply of the

beauty the importance of faithfulness as

a Christian virtue I want us to think

about that for a moment

you know you might ask well what

relevance again just to connect it more

what relevance is there between that and

my impending sabbatical well as I

prepare for an extended absence it's

good to know

and I thank the Lord that I leave this

ministry quote-unquote leave this

ministry in the hands of faithful

leaders and a faithful congregation and

I want to honor you with that because I

know that the

many many faithful people here and we

have faithful pastors and faithful

leaders why don't you give them a hand

right now and give yourselves a hand as

well and that gives me peace that gives

me joy and I want to encourage you as I

am out to remain faithful to remain

committed not to me

not to any you know vain or passing

thing but to remain faithful to the - to

your congregation to the principles of

the kingdom - the word that you have

received to the charge that you have

received from your pastors to be

faithful to your congregation second

Timothy chapter 2 verse 2 speaks

precisely about this idea of faithful

servants faithful leaders faithful

people because faithfulness is so

crucial it's at the heart at the very

heart of the Christian life and the

Christian walk second Timothy chapter 2

verse 2 says and the things you have

heard me say in the presence of many

witnesses and Trust to faithful men it

says reliable men and that's all why

sometimes I and reliable people that's

the NIV yeah interesting it says this

NIV version that I have to reliable men

but the idea is I prefer the word

faithful the New King James the King

James uses that word faithful I think

it's a much more it's a more robust word

and Trust to reliable men and women who

will also be qualified to teach others

so again this this idea of being

faithful if you're gonna have anybody

serve the Lord

they better be faithful it is a scenic

one known it is a and unavoidable virtue

that we must seek don't seek necessarily

eloquence or appearance or dynamism or

entrepreneurship seek faithfulness is

that person who is leading me capable of

living a faithful life being a faithful

person when you're going to marry

someone don't necessarily look at a

physical appearance or other

affinities inquire in the heart of that

person and Seaview sends faithfulness

and ability to commit and ability to

remain tethered to a word that's been

given to you of commitment and love and

and sharing for the rest of your life is

it is an essential quality first

Corinthians chapter 4 verse 2 speaks

about that that same element of

faithfulness it says so then let's begin

with verse 1

so then men ought to regard us as

servants of Christ and as those

entrusted with the secret things of God

now it is required that those who have

been given a trust must prove faithful

if you are ever given a trust of a

leadership or responsibility in any sort

it might be something menial might be

something small and insignificant or

something sublime and easily

recognizable as a major gift to your

life for service make sure that you

commit to being faithful to stay at it

to discharge your responsibilities with

excellence to do things as the Bible

says unto the Lord

knowing that everything that you do

every moment that you spend discharging

the responsibility the eyes of Christ

are upon you and you bring joy to the

road when you do things in a faithful

excellent way I love people who are

faithful and excellent in what they do

because I know that they they they are

doing this not not for the eyes not for

my approval not so that people might see

them they're doing it just as if they

were offering a sacrifice in the Holy of

Holies before the very presence of God

and these are the people that I really

love to work with in my ministry now one

of the best references to faithfulness

in Christian service is the purple of

Jesus in Luke 19 verse 17 and it is

given in the context of a leader who

leaves and gives an assignment to his

servant upon his return you know the


this uh this CEO of a big company or of

a big institution

he's getting ready to go on a long trip

and he assembles his employees and he

says I'm gonna give you a certain amount

of resources and I'm gonna be out for a

long time I don't know when I return

but your charge is to negotiate and do

business while I come back and I'm not

gonna give you I'm not gonna micromanage

the way you handle that assignment you

do what you can just make sure that when

I come back you've made a profit from

the money that I'm giving you the

resources that I'm giving you and you

know when he comes back there is one

servant one employee let's say who has

done a great job and the CEO praises him

and you know the words he says well done

my good servant his master replied

because you have been trustworthy in a

very small matter take charge of ten

cities again this idea that when you're

faithful in the absence of anything that

can supervise you or you know approve

you or encourage you

you're just faithful because the word

has been given to you a charge has been

given to you you have embraced a

responsibility and you stay at it and

you do it with excellence and with gusto

and commitment and when the Lord comes

back and he has the opportunity he will

bless you he will prosper you he will

exalt you and put you in a higher place

that is the ultimate now in between that

ultimate moment of approval and blessing

there may be crisis in your life as a

result of being faithful but I really

believe that the end result of

faithfulness is just the blessing and

joy and an affirmation and a sense that

wow I'm so glad that I did this that I

remain faithful because when you're

faithful to the Lord in small things you

are made you're blessed in larger things

whether it's by you know more

responsibility a better understanding of

the gospel in the kingdom and enlarged

personality and increased ability to see

the beauty of the world the sublime

nature of your life

there are many blessings that come to

the person who is faithful and they're

not necessarily in terms of money or

enhanced circumstances this parable is

intended to instill in us this idea of

being faithful to Christ until his

return in his absence we are supposed to

remain faithful to his word and his


just like that Christ that comes into

Jerusalem you know it's easy to be glad

when he's there in his glory but the

Lord says hey even if difficult

circumstances intervene even if things

happen that will cloud your


even if situations come into your life

that may seem to deny my promises of

blessing to you and my divinity and my

capacity to control every aspect of life

remain faithful stay at your assignment

as I say that the word of our visions

chapter six comes to my mind you know

since when the day of evil when the dark

day when the evil day comes stand firm

stand firm and then when everything has

passed that you may be found standing

like a soldier

at his or her post that is one of the

most powerful qualities a believer can

have you know you may be eloquent you

may be you may have a great appearance

you may be able to tell great jokes you

may be charismatic and attractive a lot

of things but there's no quality more

beautiful than the quality of just quiet

dogged faithfulness I love faithful

people sometimes they're not very showy

they're not very you know kind of

attractive at first blush but there's

something in their heart it's like you

know et that his heart just fluorescent

shining through you know just

incandescent faithfulness sometimes is

easy to recognize in a person in that

they may not stand in the front of the

line but you know that when the going

gets rough

they'll stay at their place and they'll

stay by you or the stay by the

congregation that that's a powerful

thing so all of these you know

expressions of Jesus are designed to

strengthen this idea that we should

remain faithful to his words his

Commandments his assignments and the

principles of his kingdom for when he

comes back he expects us to have

remained faithful he will reward us for

our faithfulness and sometimes

faithfulness means just following the

instructions that you have received from

a teacher from a mentor from Christ in

self and not changing more than you are

given authority to I recently heard of a

of a churches so it's a little bit funny

if it weren't tragic that after their

pastor left for an extended sabbatical

when he came back they had fired half of

the staff and and without asking for his

permission and it wasn't a pretty sight

you know as a result of that I I'm not

afraid of that happening here by the way

especially not that you'll have fired me

also when I come back but you know it's

interesting because sometimes you you

know when the when the head person is

out you know all kinds of crazy things

can happen but Jesus expects us that we

need as he's out and he's not out really

because he's with us in the Holy Spirit

but as he remains there until his second

coming that his church is people through

all kinds of different processes and

conflicts and difficulties and

sufferings and trials we will remain

faithful to the words that have been

given to us amen we'll remain faithful

to this word that has been confided to

us and that has been placed in our hand

these principles these Commandments we

will obey them in every possible way we

have been given a trust 1st Corinthians

chapter 4 verses one through five says

at first Corinthians four one two five

so then men ought to regard us as

servants of Christ and as those and

trusted here's the word faithfulness

implicitly and trusted with the secret

things of God now here's the thing says

now it is required that those who have

been given a trust must prove faithful I

care very little if I am judged by you

or by any human court indeed I don't

even judge myself my conscience is clear

but that does not make me innocent it is

the Lord who judges me man it's so

important you know as we discharge our

duties whether it's in in a position in

church or leadership or just attending

church being faithful citizens of a

congregation but we know that God is

judging us not in a necessarily you know


condemned natori sort of way but simply

he is evaluating

mmm the nature and the quality of our

service to him he's uh evaluating our

heart and determining whether it is a

faithful heart whether what he has

entrusted to us is you know it is being

kept faithfully to my mind come the

words of the Prophet who spoke to

Jehoshaphat and said that the eyes of

the Lord

Rove over all the earth seeking those

who are of a perfect heart a faithful

heart to make himself to show himself

powerful and strong on their behalf God

is always searching within his people to

find those individuals who are faithful

who have this capacity to stand or

across different kinds of situations and

that to remain tethered to a word to an

assignment to a call that they have

received and and Paul says I you know

that the only thing that matters to me I

don't care you know who judges me I know

that the Lord is judging me therefore he

says judge nothing before verse 5

nothing before the appointed time wait

till the Lord comes he will bring to

light what is hidden in darkness and

will expose the motives of men's heart

at that time each will receive his

praise from God do you see this

repeating themes of an assignment given

and being entrusted to you your decision

to remain faithful as if you're doing it

for the Lord the eyes of God evaluating

your performance and then at the end of

it all when the time comes you're being

blessed and approved if you remain

faithful if you remain as if what you're

doing is on to the Lord it's not for

people it's not for even the church the

ultimate level of faithfulness and

loyalty is to the Lord and to bring

pleasure to him you know that the

essence of the character of God the

essence of the character of God is to be

faithful God is faithful in the Bible

time and time again God's faithfulness

is extolled and exalted look at Psalms

117 for example

it says in verse one and two it's a very

short sound praise the Lord all you

nations extol him all you peoples why

for greatest is love toward us and the

faithfulness of the Lord endures forever

so this psalmist sees this faithfulness

of the Lord as worthy of praise this is

the essence of his character Psalm 89

verses 5 & 8 the heavens praise your

wonders O Lord your faithfulness to in

the Assembly of the Holy Ones in other

words that the heavens praise His

wonders and his faithfulness as we

worship Him in the Assembly of his

people in verse 8 someone said oh 89 Oh

Lord God Almighty who is like you you

are mighty O Lord and your faithfulness

surrounds you so along with God's might

his creative power is equally laudable

equally praiseworthy his faithfulness

and perhaps this is why God values

faithfulness in us so much because it

reflects his own character really we

cannot be unfaithful and have communion

with God it's just it's a contradiction

in terms if you want to have community

with God and community with God you must

the flow in the same energy that he

flows and he's a faithful God he's not a

fickle God he doesn't change his

commitments in his love or his

protection he steady in his commitments

actually God is so faithful that even

when we fail and betray him he remains

faithful this is one of his most

outstanding characteristics can you

remember how many times as Israel failed

God do you think that God is committed

to Israel because they're so virtuous

and because they're so worthy of praise

and so on now God commitment is totally

irrelevant to the extraordinary

unfaithfulness of his people whom we

love and we pray for the protection but

unfortunately the Israelites have been

some of the most unfaithful I think the

most unfaithful people in the history of


because they have received us so much

and they received such blessings and yet

look at them a totally secular culture

and those who are committed also have

denied the Lord but God has remained

faithful to his people even to this day

even unto the end of history he says you

know even though my people fail me I am

true to my word I am true to my

commitment God will not be defeated in

his commitment to his people and so over

the centuries even though they have been

judged terribly because of their

faithfulness God has remained you know

committed to the land that he promised

them to bringing them back into that

land to protect them as he still does

because God is faithful how about us how

many times have I been unfaithful how

many times have you been unfaithful to

the Lord as he has called you in many

different kinds how many times have we

violated how many times have we denied

Jesus as Peter did and what does the

Lord do when Peter denies and he's there

to encourage him to take the initiative

and and you know bring him back into

ownership and and blessing and belonging

you know God is faithful even when

everyone else is unfaithful and you know

why you know why that is so because the

true nature of faithfulness is to go

against the grain of biology and

humanity to do what is not logical I

mean really that's what define

faithfulness faithfulness is a crisis

word faithfulness is relevant and

understandable in the light of things

that would incline you to do the

opposite faithfulness is a word of

praise because um you have chosen to

remain tethered to something when

everything is inviting you to abandon

the commitment it is to stay when

everybody else leaves a situation to

love when it is easier to disdain or to

abandon the object of your former love

to remain faithful when it is more

natural to transfer your loyalty to

someone who is easier and more pleasant

to follow or to approve and you get you


everything is crying you know deny him

leave abandon it's not worthy and yet

you remain faithful because you're

thinking of a higher principle a higher

commitment this is what distinguishes

God as he you know just uh sure

blesses of his extraordinary

incomprehensible counter-intuitive love

and this is what we are supposed to also

imitate when everything is crying for

our opposite behavior as I said earlier

faithfulness is a concept for crisis for

times when we are tested it is not an

ordinary word it is a word for the

extraordinary to remain faithful and

everything questions the object of your


as a pastor of 34 years I am especially

grateful to those individuals who have

remained faithful to this church through

thick and thin when when things have

gotten complicated in the life of this

congregation or when the church has made

decisions that were unpleasant or

unpopular in 34 years you can imagine

how many crises a church body goes

through how many moments of denial of

Jesus how many moments of you know

complication and on play displeasure

times when decisions are made that are

not understandable or likable and you

know I thank the Lord for individuals

that I see who have remained faithful

and those who are new yes of course but

you know what I mean you love those

people who have been with you and who

have stayed when they could have left

logically genuinely reasonably and yet

decided to remain yoked to you that's a

huge blessing and unfortunately that

kind of individual becomes rarer with

the passing of time but they have been a

blessing to me I was looking at the

pause words you know in the last stages

of his life and we don't have time to go

into all of that but I read moments when

Paul's life you know he says everybody

has abandoned me and only so-and-so have

remained faithful to me when I was

coming before a jury and the judge

everybody left me and it's a very

lyrical moment in the life of a Paul

when he's in jail and he says to Timothy

come before winter

bring me the cloak that I left Paul is

being totally confessional human and

frail and feeling lonely and is grasping

at every straw of company human company

and faithfulness and it's a moving just

a moment of great great intensity and

pathos in in Paul's life and I said how

important it is at those moments to find

somebody who will come to visit you in

jail I I read in a was I think it was

Christianity today this week about this

this man I remember his name and I want

to stop to try to conjure it but he had

made a disgrace of himself in ministry

Jim Baker that Jim Baker yeah and and

you know he was in jail he was a

committed to several years of prison and

he was cleaning toilets and all of a

sudden he hears over the phone of the of

the prison Jim Baker come to you know

the supervisors of the superintendent's

office and you know he's a mess he's

been cleaning toilets and his hair is

all a mess

he's got soap all over his clothes and

he has no time to get himself cleansed

and he's thinking what did I do what's

gonna happen to me

and when he gets he's guided by the

guards to the superintendent's office

there he finds Billy Graham waiting for

him he he had been just a few weeks

months later earlier disgraced as a

minister can be disgraced and everybody

were probably abandon him but Billy

Graham came to the prison to visit him

and put his arms around him to encourage

him and to bless him and and Jim Baker

said this is why I'm here today at Billy

Graham's funeral celebrating his look

his life and and blessing his life for

what he did for me he speaks about how

important it was for him

that moment you know it's great to have

faithful friends to have people who will

believe in you when everything else

seems you know that yeah you're not

worthy of being believed so I know

ministers are especially grateful for

people who are there when when they need

they need them so I leave you an

encouraging word a challenge to you as a

congregation for always as an individual

in your Christian life be faithful to

God even when things get difficult

people don't seek you out or make you

feel special and yet you remain faithful

things turn very hairy in in the life of

your walk in the Lord you're having

difficulty finding your place in the

church that much awaited and wanted a

place of responsibility has not been

given to you you encounter unpleasant

and immature people who criticize you or

rub you the wrong way remain faithful to

your congregation remain faithful wait

for the Lord's affirmation wait for the

moment when He will show you the way be

faithful and remain faithful when

leaders fail we will fail you not once

but many times we are human just last

night that took my breath away reading

about the the complications around the

life of a beloved pastor of America and

and I was given to you know just think

about my own frailty and the dangers of

serving God and how apt we are to fall

and to fail in our humanity and how

difficult it is for most people to see

the texture of a Christian service how

difficult it is and how how the Lord you

know really loves and appreciates even

when we fail him

but we remain we get up we continue

serving in the complexity of our


and I just pray you know I was

devastated when I see how difficult it

is for Christians many times to


the difficulties in the dangers of

ministry you expose yourself to demonic

temptation you expose your humanity to

tests and trials that most human beings

are not exposed to and how important it

is for us believers to appreciate the

the the pathos the the the dramatic

nature of service to the Lord in our

humanity and and how we we need people

who will be able to see the complexity

of Christian service and many times

pastors are not given that privilege or

that space by their congregations you

fail and you are kicked out along with

your family along with every other

situation and you're exposed in the

supposed name of integrity for getting

the grace of Christ and forgetting the

complexity and the dangers of Christian

service it is a sad thing I wish I had

the the mouth of a poet to write an

article in the light of what I see many

times in America with respect to not

seeing leaders for what they truly are

and the drama's of their service to the

Lord but when a leader fails you if they

are not necessarily how should I say you

know corrupt but they have fallen

blessed them pick them up

remain in your congregation don't just

take a turn and leave because things

have gotten rough bless and exercise

love and grace in the midst of that

difficulty remain faithful I thank the


for people who have remained faithful

across all the zigzags

of this congregation remain faithful

when there's a division in your church

when a church splits and it doesn't look

very lovely when it skirts are up to its

head and you see the insides of your

congregation bless it love it protect

that cover it stay strengthen it bolster

it while it finds its balance again

stay faithful don't just say well you

know what this church has failed me I'm

gonna go find some other Church it's too

complicated and nobody got time for that

as they say stay serve give be be the

presence of Christ at that moment

absorbed the cost absorbed the

vibrations of the shock and be a cushion

to your congregation and the Lord will

reward you when he comes the Lord will

be seeing you as you choose to stay in

that moment of nobility and moral

greatness stay when there's division in

your church stay when the leadership of

your church decides to do something you

don't like when a decision is made and

you make your maid uncomfortable I know

a lot of people in the English ministry

in the Spanish ministry were made

uncomfortable by our decision for

example to merge this 9:00 a.m. service

to an english service and some people

were offended despite our best efforts

there was a lot of process a lot of

consultation a lot of explaining a lot

of justification a lot of theological

reflection a lot of trying to place a

decision in the foundation of a biblical

values and yet some people were offended

and there was a handful that left god

bless them I understand it was

reasonable for them to leave but you

know what I think is a higher value when

your church makes a decision and you

decide to stay and you say you know what

I'm gonna choose to trust my elders and

my spiritual authorities and I will

choose to believe that they are doing

things with the best of intentions that

they have prayed over things and that

they've come to a conclusion and I will

wait until the Lord shows me the

ultimate justification for this but

meanwhile I will stay I will not vote

and get out as soon as I can

just in a huff leave and show my

displeasure and and I can't strike them

but I can surely hit them by my absence

stay learn grow become more holy become

more like Christ more patient more

tolerant and the Lord will reward you in

all kinds of extraordinary ways stay

when you when you find a church that you

like more or that has a preacher that is

better than your pastors or you find a

community that is more hip and

attractive than the one that you

presently attend stay you know

faithfulness is exercised by principle

not not by emotions faithfulness creates

character and character is everything in

life and in the Christian walk if you

jump ship from any kind of relationship

when it gets difficult or complicated

you will never grow into maturity you

will never achieve nobility of character

because maturity or greatness of

character is only achieved when you

decide to put aside the flesh for a

moment and to live by a principle higher

principle not by emotions or by impulses

you know we live in a time when

faithfulness is in very short supply

people get divorced very quickly when

things get difficult in marriage

companies fire workers without regard

for how long they have been in the

corporation or how faithful they have

been over the years employees jump from

job to job in search of higher pay or

better working conditions it's a frenzy

of replacement that we live in there's

no there's very little in in in the

modern ethos of institutions there's

little patience there's little appetite

for risk in the name of a higher

principle of faithfulness and loyalty

and love and grace churches even we

become very corporate we fire people you

know and when we need to and it's just

too bad I mean it's just part of the job

we are an institution but when you

remain tethered to higher principles

sometimes invisible to the common eye

you say Lord if I remain faithful to

this principle of the kingdom you will

ultimately bless and reward my

congregation my ministry my life as a


I'll pay the price trusting in you now

remain faithful to that person I remain

faithful to that friend don't submit to

the modern ethos of very superficial

commitments particularly as refers to

your church into the Lord I'm winding up

here but this is so many things that I I

heard recently of a church that is

opening up here in Boston and again I'm

not being condemned natori in any way

but I am I am trying to steal us against

these kinds of attitudes that are

damaging and dishonorable to the kingdom

of God so again I think it's a wonderful

wonderful brand name it's a wonderful

congregation has blessed the world in

extraordinary sorts of ways I am NOT

questioning their motives I'm requesting

their freedom to establish themselves in

the city but you know my heart was

slightly offended when I see Oh such as

such and such a church is opening up a

branch here in Boston and people flock

to it young people flock to as if it

were some sort of celebrity event and

they're questioning you know should I

stay in my church or I go there I mean

what is this is this Hollywood is this I

don't know my heart is offended how much

more the heart of the father at his

fickle church where we switch alliances

and loyalties just because there's a

better offer put on the plate and we do

not stop to think of the eternal higher

values of friendship of fellowship of

commitment of a word given

of a pact established and we're just

quick to abandon the blessings because

there's something better in the offering

is that Christianity is that the

character of God not at all

we have turned Christianity into a

celebrity thing if we find somebody who

pays us better or offer something better

or shines a little bit more we're quite

to abandon the place of our growth and

in many years of commitment and

Christian Fellowship let's not do that

let's not let's not dishonor this Lord

when we have a committed to proverbs 23

22 that is all it's an interesting

passage very little-known but it struck

me this morning as I meditated on God's

Word proverbs 23 22 listen to your

father who gave you life and here's the

the punchline and do not despise your

mother when she is old you know if I

were to give a title to this sermon do

not despise your mother when she is old

you know it's alluding to this principle

of faithfulness I can imagine

2500 years ago or more when this passage

was written a woman grown old was

probably much less attractive than a

woman of her age today probably many

teeth were missing the jaw line had

receded hair had completely gone

health conditions were extraordinarily

bad skin like parchment bad smell

foul breath in times when they weren't

any kind of mouthwashes you know what

I'm talking about I'm getting here a

little bit graphic but that's what her

mother must have looked like you know

back then when she grew old and very

easy to kind of disdain and look at and

not show to your friends that you wanted

to impress and the writer says do not

disdain do not despise your mother when

she grows off when she grows old

yesterday we went to the celebration of

85 years of a the patriarch of a clan

here the church the muck fields some of

us were there celebrating 85 years of a

man who was their father who is their

father patriarch and a mother who has a

you know is suffering from debilitating

limiting physical circumstances and this

family very distinguished family that we

loved dearly was blessed his church an

extraordinary source of ways celebrating

their dad of 85 years and you know I was

touched by that I was touched by the

fact that his family decided to honor

and to you know use a big space and to

buy all kinds of food and to dedicate

hours of blessing and praise to their

patriarch father I don't even know if

they're here this morning but um may

they hear this word they're probably

recovering from you know having invested

Roy Mike field stand

give him a hand this is this Roy Mike

field 85 years of age we bless your life

Roy and you know that's that's I was

impacted by a family honoring their

elders and not despising them not

belittling them not on their estimating

them not even looking at mistakes that

they have may have made in their life as

a parent but just honoring and this is

what we need to do with our churches and

our communities when they grow old when

they're unlovely when they're not worthy

of praise you choose to honor

you choose to remain faithful you choose

to one of that principle of faithfulness

of steadiness or stability dependability

instead of fleeing you bless you remain

you defend you protect you pastor you

lead that is that is faithfulness and

the Lord calls us this morning to that

kind of extraordinary faithfulness may

the Lord bless you and strengthen yours

you try to do that so father we yield

this time to you and we thank you

because when we are unfaithful you are

absolutely faithful help us to be like

that for your glory in Jesus name Amen

"A life that shine"

Februry 11, 2018 9AM English Message, "A Life that Shines "

visions Chapter five I have been working


through the book of Ephesians with you


little by little and we're gonna be


reading Ephesians chapter five I'm gonna


be using the English standard version


ESV and this is a powerful book about


living a supernatural life about living


in a charged atmosphere of spiritual


warfare what does it mean to be God's


special people the people of Ephesus


were not wimps they were surrounded by


the worship of the goddess Diana and all


kinds of spiritual warfare and the


Apostle Paul is saying you've got to be


sure that you are living in the spirit


because there is not much wiggle room


and so we also live in times that are


challenging that are tempting where


there's spiritual warfare and we need to


be a people that is defined before the


Lord pasady rental last week was talking


about the importance of holiness before


the Lord and this next text in Ephesians


just happens to be the next one I was


going to to preach on but it dovetails


very nicely with what he was talking


about so Ephesians chapter 5 beginning


in verse 1 Ephesians 5 verse 1 says the


following says therefore be imitators of


God imitate God as beloved children and


walk in love as Christ loved us and gave


himself up for us a fragrant offering


and sacrificed to God but sexual


immorality and all impurity or


covetousness must not even be named


among you as is proper among saints let


there be no filthiness nor foolish talk


nor crew joking which are out of place


but instead let there be Thanksgiving


for you may be sure of this that


everyone who is sexually immoral or


impure or who covets that is an




has no inheritance in the kingdom of


Christ and God let no one deceive you


with empty word


for because of these things the wrath of


God comes upon the sons of disobedience


therefore do not become partners with


them for a one time you were darkness


but now you are light in the Lord walk


as children of light for the fruit of


light is found and all that is good and


right and true and try to discern what


is pleasing to the Lord take no part in


the unfruitful works of darkness but


instead expose them for it is shameful


even to speak of the things that they do


in secret but when anything is exposed


by the light it becomes visible for


anything that becomes visible is light


therefore it says away co-sleeper and


rise from the dead and Christ will shine


on you verse 15 look carefully then how


you walk not as unwise but as wise


making the best use of the time because


the days are evil therefore do not be


foolish but understand what the will of


the Lord is and do not get drunk with


wine for that is debauchery but be


filled with the spirit addressing one


another in Psalms and hymns and


spiritual songs singing and making


melody to the Lord with your heart


giving thanks always and for everything


to God the Father in the name of our


Lord Jesus Christ


submitting to one another out of


reverence for Christ amen father I thank


you for these words may they be living


and active in our hearts as they truly




lord I pray that it wouldn't be human


message or human conversation today but


Lord that the Good Shepherd would speak


to us and that your words would be


freedom and life guide us Lord and this


time we dedicate it to you in Jesus name


Amen amen I'd like to start with a


little story that I made up okay it's


pretty pathetic here there's a reason


why I don't write stories but I'm gonna


try I'm gonna try something that I did


to try to soothe my heart after last


Sunday's horrible defeat right


needed something to distract myself


right so imagine this story I want you


to imagine once upon a time there was a


young man maybe 19 20 college student


not a particularly exceptional kid he


kind of was mediocre got C's you know


kind of did what he could kind of


hanging in there he had fun he was in


the frat clubs he was drinking he was in


the party scene he was just kind of


messing around when suddenly suddenly he


lives in England we can imagine he lives


in England when there was big news that


the King had died and they were looking


for the heir to the throne and they


discovered through fancy genetic DNA


testing that there was a true heir out


there see this young man this young


college student who was just messing


around he had no idea that really he was


adopted that genetically he was of royal


noble birth that he was descended from


the royal family even though he didn't


like tea very much just drank a lot of


beer and that he was genetically king


and now he was also legally king of all


England only problem is he was a


Cuvaison who was 19 years old he didn't


have the slightest idea what it meant to


walk like a king he was king in his


birth in his birthright legally you are


the king kiddo but I don't feel like a


king and I don't know how to live like a


king right and so imagine my little


movie that I'm gonna make a million


dollars from my little story and the


rest of the movie is about him trying to


figure out what it means to walk like a


king right you know you can't keep


crushing beer heads on your you know


beer cans on your head you know you


can't keep messing around you have time


for you to learn to walk in accordance


with your true identity now the book of


Ephesians in a very interesting way


starts with a verse that says that we as


Christians are blessed in the heavenly


realms with


every spiritual blessing in Jesus Christ


that in the spiritual dimension you are


not just a normal person you have a


spiritual identity and in that spiritual


identity you are blessed you are


privileged you have a position where you


are not just allowed to be in the


spiritual dimension you're flying


first-class amen and it goes on to say


that in him we love God predestined us


to be adopted as his sons and daughters


the word used there is not just any


child but the child who will inherit the


whole household in him it says in verse


11 of chapter one we have obtained an


inheritance that we might be for the


praise of his glory God has something


special for us whether we know it or not


it says that in him even though we were


dead in our transgressions and sins God


made us alive with Christ and he raised


us up with Christ and he seated us with


Christ in heavenly places we are called


not just to live with Jesus in heaven


but we're gonna share the throne we are


called to be part of Jesus's ruling


Court I don't understand what that means


but that is our destiny and thee we


don't deserve any of this it is by grace


we've been saved through faith all of


this is so that he might demonstrate


that God can take messed-up broken


sinful people who actually were in


rebellion against him he can raise them


up change their hearts change their


lives clothe them in royal robes and


have them share in his spiritual


authority we are living examples of


God's powerful grace that if God did it


with me he can do it with anyone that


God can take anybody and change their


life we're diamonds of His grace we're


meant to display the amazing riches of


his mercy to a stunned universe look


what God can do you are a diamond of His


grace meant to display the multifold


multifaceted wisdom of God


and to show what he can do you are his


workmanship his masterpiece it says in


Ephesians 2:10 created special for good


works that God prepared in advance for


you now it's time to learn to walk in


them and this is all about learning to


walk in accordance with our identity you


see you already are there your spirit is


already in glory your spirit is already


Noble and glorified but our brain has


not gotten the memo yet and we've been


walking wrong for a long time anyone


ever need to take lessons in in posture


for a dancing class or something like


that or in a sport where you've got to


learn how to walk all over again because


even though your body is meant to walk a


certain way you've been in the wrong


habit for a long time and that's what


Ephesians seems to be all about the


Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:1 says as a


prisoner of the Lord then I urge you to


walk worthy of the calling with which


you have been called your walk in the


Bible is your daily life how you live


your life how you handle yourself on


Monday morning at work how you handle


yourself with that boss that is so


difficult how you handle your situations


at home with spouse and kids and parents


how you deal with the different


situations you face in life your walk is


what you look like when you're not in


church how you behave when no one's


watching maybe amen and that is our


calling the Apostle Paul says I say to


you and insist on it in the Lord that


you no longer walk like the Gentiles do


in the futility of their thinking you


have the uniform of Christ on now it's


time to live that way it's time to live


appropriately with your calling we have


a high calling now this text we just


read has three different references to


the word walk okay in verse eight and if


you look with me in Ephesians 5 verse 8


it says at one time you were darkness


but now you are light in the Lord so


walk that way walk as children


of light in verse 15 and 16 it says look


carefully then how you walk not as


unwise but as wise making the best use


of the time because the days are evil


and then the first one at the very


beginning of this text in verse 1


therefore be imitators of God as beloved


children and walk in love as Christ


loved us and gave himself up for us a


fragrant offering and sacrifice to God


walking in a way that imitates God have


you ever tried to imitate God before you


have as a two-year-old you tried to run


the universe right all of us try to


imitate God in the wrong ways right we


try to take control and do things


instead of letting God be God we want to


take his place


imitating God doesn't mean trying to be


God he's trying to be like God okay what


does it mean to be like God doesn't that


sound arrogant being like God we have


the perfect example in human form what


would Jesus do you ever seen that bumper


sticker WWJD again the problem with


putting that on your car there's a


little problem with putting that on your


bumper right because it means you have


to drive like Jesus would drive even in


Boston not always an easy thing to do


what would Jesus do at home at work


under pressure in traffic on a day off


when his team loses the Super Bowl what


does it mean to walk like Jesus then no


what does that mean that people can look


in your eyes and say I see something


different about this person I see Jesus


in her eyes


I've heard of put this way and the text


talks about how the life of Jesus living


in love was a fragrant sacrifice to God


I want to live a life that smells like


Jesus right and that weird to say I want


it so that when people meet you they're


just like there's something there's


something that smells like Jesus about


this person


but to do that we need to take some


showers first so we're gonna talk about


that morally right it says live a life


of love as Christ loved us Jesus when he


had the Apostles he washed their feet at


the table remember that story and he


says I have given you an example so that


you should do what I did though I am


your Lord and your King I have taken the


position of a slave and I've washed your


feet now you do the same thing Jesus


gave his life for us on the cross and


what does he say to us if anyone would


come after me you must take your cross


and follow me


living a life of love what would Jesus


do how would Jesus love this person that


might be unlovable how would Jesus


interact with this this may be you've


got a situation at work someone's


difficult someone is is not polite to


you is unreasonable to you how would


Jesus respond if that's our question if


we think about that then that fragrance


of Christ can begin to permeate the


atmosphere of our lives now the


reference there of the life of Jesus


being like a sacrifice a fragrant


offering and sacrifice that refers back


to the tabernacle remember we've talked


about that a wise a ways back we talked


about the tabernacle where the Shekinah


glory of God dwelt in that tabernacle


and there was this glowing supernatural


fire in the tabernacle and the people of


Israel had the unique privilege of


living with holy fire they had that


privilege of bringing sacrifices and


offerings and looking at that


supernatural display of God's power and


being there and seeing that and living


in that presence but to do so God gave


them a series of very important laws


where they had to be very careful about


external ceremonial rules of holiness


you ever observed that how in people


today now some Orthodox Jews still do it


maybe they keep kosher where they only


eat certain foods and you won't eat


other foods and maybe they would have to


go through certain cleansing rituals


all day long they were thinking about


their external holiness so that they


could offer a pleasings offering to God


and the Bible says that when they offer


to sacrifice from a pure heart following


the regulations that it was a fragrant


aroma in his presence it says I love it


in the King James it says their


sacrifice was a sweet-smelling savour


before God you ever smelled that


beautiful aroma this is a theme that's


gonna come up when I was a little guy


very young my father used to smoke a


pipe before you know we really thought


about the fact that it was killing all


of us in the house but anyway he used to


smoke a pipe with really good tobacco


right now I don't attempt any of you


some of you're like Greg I'm just trying


to stop that now and you're talking


about it and we would we would sit


sometimes and be together and he would


be smoking his pipe right you know


poisoning my lungs without us knowing it


but boy did it smell good sweet smelling


fragrance right now he's quit well he


doesn't even know in his pipe you throw


it away okay well it's just for the


record we don't promote smoking in this


church but boy what a sweet smell I want


our worship to be like an incense that


goes up before the presence of God but


it's not just our song


it's our life that needs to be pleasing


in God's presence in that way that


fragrance that goes before him but now


it's not about being careful about you


know all these external rules of


holiness like in the Old Testament all


of that was a picture of our heart Jesus


said blessed are the pure in heart for


they shall see God


now it's not what goes into our mouth


that contaminates us but what comes out


of our mouth so now it's being very


careful that our heart is acceptable in


that offering we're gonna live to God


that our lifestyle our words our actions


our interactions would be pleasing in


God's sight that I wouldn't just worship


on Sunday morning but on Monday morning


and Monday night and Friday night and


Saturday that my whole week would be an


offering to the Lord a pleasing aroma


before him but the text goes on to talk


about some pretty


our teaching about the fact that some of


our deeds don't smell too good look with


me again in verse 3 it says but sexual


immorality and all impurity or


covetousness must not even be named


among you in the NIV it says there must


not even be a hint of sexual immorality


among you that that's improper for God's


holy people it goes on to say let there


be no filthiness or foolish talk or


crude joking which are out of place but


instead let there be Thanksgiving that


among God's holy people being careful


about our heart we need to get serious


about holiness in the little things as


well as the big things the way we talk


is a big deal to God the the Apostle


James said that our tongue is like the


rudder of a ship that even though the


ship is huge this little rudder steers


the whole ship if I'm talking a certain


way my life might go that way that we


need to start thinking about the way we


live the way we talk the jokes we tell


the way we interact that some things


just don't fit anymore


let there not even be named among you


you know my daughter and I went on a


field trip a couple weeks ago because


she had a project in school that that I


gotta talk more about where she had to


dress up like a character from


Massachusetts history and to our shock


she chose Norman Rockwell are the most


girly girl in all of Norwood chose to be


Norman Rockwell okay if it's a great


painter and so we went to his museum and


Norman Rockwell did a painting of the


civil rights movement I don't you know


the painting I'm talking about of the


little girl who went to the school when


they decide were gated the schools and


she went to the school and there were so


many riots against this that the police


and the National Guard had to escort her


into the school you know the painting


I'm talking about in the moment I'm


talking about


so in this painting she's walking in


this beautiful little girl in her white


dress with her schoolbooks with the


officers before behind her and on the


wall behind her


is written this a horrible you know


there's a racial slur is written on the


wall if you look at it and so my


daughter called me over and she said


daddy what what's this word what's this


word and so I and so I told her that's a


very bad insult that used to be used and


sometimes still might be but it's so bad


that we we don't even say it


I and and I thought I could have even


said the word as I was talking to her


but I said you know what I don't want my


daughter ever even to hear that word


come from her father's mouth even if I'm


teaching her it's bad there are some


words I never because it just doesn't


fit it's just not appropriate you see as


Christians now that I'm using that as an


extreme example but there are many


things that has a child of God as a son


or daughter of God there are some words


that just don't fit anymore just not me




anyone here who used to talk like a


sailor I don't know do we have any okay


we got some hands going up you don't


have to raise your I remember starting


to work on a construction site when I


was a young you know fifteen year old


and I and my cousin hooked me up with


some Christian construction workers you


know hopefully they would share the


gospel with me which they did the first


day I hit my thumb and I let out a


colorful expression of frustration okay


and the guys were like boy you think


that makes you a man because you can use


a bad word you think that makes you a


man I can throw this hammer off the roof


and I'm like these are the most unusual


construction workers I have ever met


because they said I may be a


construction worker but I'm a Christian


first right and there are some things


that I don't even need to say there are


some expressions some attitudes that


people just don't even say because it


doesn't fit anymore it's just not me


anymore I used to be darkness but now


I'm light in the Lord I'm learning how


to walk like a king and part of that


means I'm gonna learn to talk like the


kingdom I'm gonna express myself in a


way that is congruent with my spiritual


identity another story we had - my


daughter had to dress up right please


don't bother her about this


really let me have it but she had to


dress up like Norman Rockwell and if you


know Norman Rockwell smoked a pipe right


it's the pipe theme today and so I


figured okay great we'll get you we'll


get you a pipe because there's very few


distinctive things about this guy right


he's just a guy right with the pipe so


he needed to have the pipe because


that's what Norman Rockwell always had a


pipe and I told her you know he didn't


know that it was killing him back then


and so you know we'll get you a pipe and


she's like no no daddy I can't have a


pipe and I'm like no I mean you're not


gonna smoke it it'll be just a play pipe


you know it'll be that it's like she


said no daddy that would be


inappropriate it would be inappropriate


like well I guess you're right a pipe


just doesn't belong in a little girl's


mouth in school all right you're you're


right so wewe found another way to kind


of do it but some things just don't


belong anymore that wording here is it's


not appropriate it just doesn't fit in


another translation says some words are


now out of place now I'm not saying we


have to be uptight as Christians I think


Christians can joke around we can have


fun we can enjoy ourselves even a good


little peek our idea every now and then


another thing we have to be upset about


or uptight about sexuality right we can


I can even say that word in a sermon God


made that in the Garden of Eden right


but we do need to be uptight about sin


and about sinfulness and there are some


things that just aren't funny right and


and as part of it is unlearning that and


allowing our our words and our heart to


follow that our speech is a rudder so it


goes on to say some very serious things


here so if you look with me in verse


five and this is where the challenge


comes in clj that it's time for us to


draw a lined in the sand and to define


ourselves we should be different if


we're Christians right if we're


Christians people should be able to tell


you're a Christian if they can't tell


we're a Christian well maybe we need to


kind of come to the altar again here but


look at what it says in verse five it


says for you may be sure of this that


everyone who is sexually


immoral or impure or who is covetous


that is an idolaters greedy has no


inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and


of God it goes on to say let no one


deceive you with empty words for because


of these things the wrath of God comes


on the sons of disobedience therefore


don't become partners with them now


again if I go back to my my little story


at the beginning that boy who needs to


learn to live differently he might need


to separate from certain friends that


were dragging him down okay now I want


to be very clear here we don't believe


in isolationism here in this church we


believe that we need to be in the world


but not of the world right we need to be


Jesus was a friend of sinners Jesus went


over the tax collectors house he ate


with them he spent time with him I don't


think we need to be snooty and say I'm


better than no no it's none of that but


sometimes when you're in certain groups


and you are being drawn away we are


being sucked into their way of thinking


and behaving it's time to start drawing


a line in the sand even if it means


losing a friend because you have an


inheritance in the kingdom and it's just


a fact that that certain behaviors don't


you have an inheritance - you're going a


certain place and other people are going


the different way now our goal is to


share the love of Jesus with them and


win them so they'll want to go the same


way but if they're dragging you down


more than you're dragging them up then


maybe it's time for a little bit of


healthy distance okay I want to put that


out there and again I do this with fear


and trembling because I want us to be a


church that is out there that is


connecting with people so but at the


same time we need to discern which way


is this relationship going am i if i am


i influencing them or are they


influencing me and maybe it's a little


bit of both and we need to evaluate that


because it says very clearly let no one


deceive you with empty words I don't


know what those empty words could be


except somebody trying to convince


Christians that it's okay to live in two


worlds somebody trying to convince


Christians that because you're forgiven


by grace


and God loves you that it's okay for you


to keep doing the same things you always


did before it's not and so this word is


very strong we are forgiven by grace we


are sealed with the Holy Spirit and


because of that it's time to start


living that way verse 8 for at one time


you were darkness but now you're light


in the Lord walk as children of light


you're already in the light it's time to


start living that way for the fruit of


light is found in all that is good and


right and true look what it says in


verse 10 beautiful verse it says try to


discern what is pleasing to the Lord I


love a translation I think it might be


the NIV that says carefully find out


what pleases the Lord another say God


how do you want me to handle this


situation maybe you're in some very


complicated situations anyone here know


that life can get complicated maybe


you're at work and the way things are


going there the office politics or the


situation in your workplace where


dishonesty is how things were and you're


trying to think God how do I handle this


situation maybe you're in a home


situation that's very difficult and


there's tension and difficulty and


you're trying to sort it out or maybe


it's just a habit that you have that is


very hard to break and God is saying


carefully find out what pleases the Lord


it's time to say God show me what you


want me to do here what would Jesus do


how am I going to live out my faith in


this situation Romans 12:1 and 2 it says


therefore I urge you brothers and


sisters to take the first step of


offering your body as a living sacrifice


holy and acceptable to God this is your


spiritual act of worship then you'll be


able to know what God's will is you'll


be able to test and approve what his


will is that it begins with surrender it


begins by saying God I give you my job


god I give you my family God I give you


my temper God I give you my anxiety God


I give you my depression God I give you


all of this Lord


got and I invite you to show me what


pleases you in this situation he will do


it you know sometimes people come to me


and say that they feel that they're


always going to be a certain way right


maybe they say you know as Mika Rock -


sorry I see no puedo cambiado so ya see


right it's just my character it's just


the way I am


I just can't change that's not true


you can change because the one who is in


you is greater than the one who is in


the world you can change because you're


a new creation in Christ the old has


gone the new has gone you don't have to


live with this same problem the rest of


your life


some people are some of us deal with


emotional struggles that are so severe


that we feel like it's never going to


change no it can change you can have a


new normal I'm not saying you won't be


tempted the temptation might be until


until your dying day even if you live to


100 you'll be tempted in the same area


but you don't have to give in you are


light in the Lord you once were darkness


but now you are light in the Lord walk


as children of the Lord now it goes on


to talk about some very serious things


look at what it says in verse 11 it says


take no part in the unfruitful works of


darkness but instead expose them in


other words there should be a difference


or a contrast between us and between the


world you should be able to tell if


someone is a believer don't participate


in those unfruitful works of darkness


but expose them I want to talk about


this because some people interpret these


verses to mean that our job as


Christians is to go around digging up


dirt on other people like a like a


sleazy politician dig up the dirt and


then put it on Facebook and condemn them


and expose what they did in darkness but


the Apostle Paul quickly corrects us


there and says it's shameful even to


speak about what the disobedient do in


secret in other words God doesn't want


us focusing on evil I believe what he's


saying is that your life should shine in


such a way that when it comes in contact


with darkness people become aware of


their own sinfulness and struggles that


our light exposes the darkness in the


society around us not because we're


condemning or critical but by contrast


right by contrast that people can see


the difference when a person starts


changing it's not going to be easy


there's going to be what the


psychologists call a cognitive


dissonance in the people around you


because you're starting to behave


differently the people around you are


going to start saying so you think


you're better than me now that it think


you're better than me is that it oh


excuse me so you can't come along you


know and and it's uncomfortable for


people because they feel like we used to


do this together now you're not doing it


and there's this discomfort and that's


what we need to be very humble and godly


and say no I'm not better than anyone


I'm a sinner saved by grace


I'm in process I'm struggling but it's


just not for me anymore I've got a new


life that I'm moving in a new direction


want to come with me right and if people


want to great if they don't they have


free will that God has given them but


that's when there's that interaction


we're not going to always be able to be


part of the crowd now some of the


problem is that our life is not always


shining right we have plenty of areas of


darkness in our own light life and I


love the way it talks about it here it


says there is light shining arise and


shine it's time to come into the light


away co-sleeper and rise from the dead


and Christ will shine on you brothers


and sisters the light of God is the


happiest most healing place for a


Christian coming out of darkness and


saying God I'm gonna let your light


shine on me there's a great saying by a


famous jurist Brandeis the the college


is named after him he was talking about


governments and he's talking about


transparency in government and he says


the sunlight is the best disinfectant


sunlight is the best


in fact n't now I don't know if that is


chemically true but it is certainly true


in governments right open the windows


let the light in you know release


documents well I don't know about that


but whatever is appropriate right you


know just let there be transparency in


government and there's going to be less


corruption because there's light shining


right sunlight can also work like that


on certain items of clothing it's dirty


you put it in the light let the Sun just


burn that whatever it is out of it right


the sunlight heals it scares rats and


cockroaches running away the light is a


good thing for us and so that's why God


says we should walk in the light as he


is in the light and if we do that we'll


have fellowship with one another says in


1st John chapter 1 verse 7 if we walk in


the light as he is in the light will


have better fellowship with one another


because there's no more masks and fake


behavior but we're being honest we're


coming clean we're telling the truth and


suddenly there's a greater ease and


freedom between one another and the


blood of Jesus his son purifies us from


all sin when we are in the light God


takes the best medicine in the universe


the best disinfectant in the universe


and he begins to scrub away at a sinful


conscience and we begin to feel good if


we say we haven't sinned we lie and


don't live by the truth that's what


first John says right if you say no I'm


good I don't have any struggles you're


lying you're just lying we all have


struggles of some sort every one of us


there is no one who is perfect not even


one and so if we confess our sins God is


faithful and just to forgive us our sins


and to purify us from all




I invite you to come into the light and


to confess your sins to God and find a


person that you can trust a man or woman


of God who knows how to keep a secret


amen he's not going to post it on


Facebook who is appropriate not like


this person's a child and you're an


adult you


take an appropriate person a person who


can handle it a person who's not going


to be scandalized and say you did what


someone you can really talk to about


your struggles say I need help I'm


struggling with this I need you to I


need you to pray with me


and if you have ever tried that with the


right appropriate person you know that


it is the most healing thing that can


happen because suddenly they pray for


you come into the light line of Judah we


are children of light it's time for us


to walk that way amen now the text goes


on to tell us exactly how look with me


at verse 15 it says we can't do this on


our own we need to be careful how we


walk not as unwise but as wise making


the most of the time because the days


are evil have you ever had to walk


carefully in the city of Boston you


ready to walk carefully because the


roads are icy right or maybe you have to


drive carefully because there's potholes


walk carefully because we don't live in


a neutral environment the flow of the


world is going the wrong way the church


historians talk about the world the


flesh and the devil the whole world


around us is trying to sell us in there


is something in us our flesh that wants


to buy it and the devil is a great


salesman and there is a flow going the


wrong way and if we just let go we're


gonna flow the wrong way right there's a


saying in Spanish combat only case a the


water main


I can't even say the last part well so


you did for me the image is that


shellfish come out on shrimp a shrimp


that's grabbing onto a rock and in the


water and it goes to sleep just takes a


nap the current is gonna wash that


shrimp away right because if you don't


hold on if you don't walk carefully we


will go the wrong way we need to make an


effort in the midst of Darkness to


cultivate a spiritual mentality so that


my whole life is spent focused on Jesus


and there is an invitation in the next


verses and I really


want you to stay with me as we bring


this home there is an invitation to a


new zone of supernatural living where I


don't just have to be afraid of sinning


like oh I don't want to do that I don't


want to do that I don't want to do that


I'm gonna be so focused on what I do


want to do that I'm not even gonna have


time to sin anymore it's easier to focus


on a yes than a no and I'm gonna be in a


zone of communion where sin would just


be like you know I don't want to do that


because I don't want to interrupt this


zone I'm in this spiritual zone look at


what it says in verse 18 it says do not


get drunk on wine for that is debauchery


I have no idea what debauchery means so


I looked it up it's excess it's just


going overboard but be filled with the


spirit when you get drunk when we get


drunk on wine that alcohol there's a


reason why it's called spirits right


because it like fills your senses it


permeates your mind some of us more


quickly than others which is why some of


us can't even touch it right so but it


fills your mind it fills you it


permeates you and it dulls certain types


of skills and abilities right if you are


a brain surgeon please don't have a


glass of wine to calm down before


surgery right my father okay again again


I'm going to true confession time maybe


a little too much information


my father he'd be smoking his pipe and


he would have his little drink of he had


his whiskey and ginger ale he would


measure it out he wouldn't drink too


much we'd have one and I knew that if I


waited till he'd finished his whiskey I


had a much better chance of beating him


at chess or checkers


right I knew that how's my chance it was


obvious the difference right because


there was a dome this happening his


brain wasn't as sharp well when we get


to full not just of alcohol but of


anything and we get to full we can dull


our spiritual sensitivity so these next


verses are about how to be filled with


the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit if


you're a Christian is already in you and


me he's here but if I do certain things


certain practices that Holy Spirit will


fill my mind and my feelings and I


can live in that zone and here's how


there's some very clear disciplines for


us verse 19 look with me please number


one addressing one another in Psalms and


hymns and spiritual songs singing and


making melody to the Lord with your




sing sing sing sing come to church and


maybe you don't sing real well right


maybe some of us are like it's not good


for me to sing too loud you know I turn


off the mic but I'm up here there's a


reason for that right right but I'm


staying in maybe you're in the shower


cutting loose you know maybe you're in


the car you roll up the windows and


you're cutting loose sing and start by


singing in church it says addressing one


another with Psalms hymns and spiritual


songs addressing one another means we're


singing publicly we're singing amongst


ourselves it were in three different




Psalms what are the songs right the book


of songs we got a whole book of songs


right here in the Bible but God isn't


done writing Psalms he's giving us him


to where people Christians write


Christian songs choruses hymns those two


and then there's a third one in church


what's the third one


Psalms hymns and what's the third one


spiritual songs I invite you to try this


sometime you're in church we're singing


right either a psalm or a hymn up here


but there's another song that God wants


you to discover it's the song that's


going to be spiritual that's going to be


born out of your heart I'd encourage you


sometime during the singing to just let


yourself become a jazz vocalist maybe


start quiet okay please but just let it


start flowing to start singing words


that are coming to your mind in English


in Spanish in Swahili I don't care in


tongues but you're quietly singing in


the spirit and suddenly there's a song


that just starts coming I love it some


of our worship leaders here and you


might not even know it but when they


lead us in those times of improvisation


sometimes where God is giving them the


song right there it's a spiritual song


it's being written in the moment it's


being cooked right in front of us


awesome when you come to church I


challenge us don't come as a spectator


you come so that God can hear your voice


that your song will be heard but you say


God I'm gonna go today and you're gonna


hear me sing if there's one thing I do


it's be to worship you and I'm not gonna


delegate that to anyone else that's my




that's your job you sing to the Lord I


love it on Wednesday nights cuz in the


English prayer time that we do on the


other side people come to sing they come


to cut loose and every voice is heard


and that is what God is calling us to do


if we do that if we engage in public


worship it's going to be easier for us


to engage in private worship does anyone


worship during the week when you're not


in services have you ever tried this you


ever tried just turning on Christian


music in your car in your house and


singing along


it says here carry a melody in your


heart it's a lot harder to sin if you're


singing a worship song to yourself right


it's harder if you're driving and you're


singing along with a worship song and


someone cuts you off it's less likely


that your flesh might react in a certain


way and even if your flesh does react in


a certain way you're so in the zone that


you're like home man


I was just worshiping and now I you know


and so you'll read your cork correct


worship worship number two look with me


in verse o add one thing I want to say


that I think of your life as like an


atmosphere where you can dim the lights


or you can turn the lights up have you


ever found that when you're worshiping


or if you got Christian music going it's


almost like it's lighter in the room


every you you look around you like


everything looks lighter looks freer


lighten up the room number 20 verse 20


the second spiritual discipline that you


can do to cultivate the fullness of the




giving thanks when everything goes well


and when you're happy is that what it


says look at verse 20 giving thanks when


and for what they lost they fumble how


could I possibly give that giving glory


to the Lord to God the Father in the


name of our Lord Jesus Christ I'm not


saying we have to give thanks for evil


things in this world but we can give


thanks that even when the world seems


out of control even when evil things are


happening I give thanks because you are


good and your love indoors forever amen


when I'm starting to pray and I've got


problems and I'm crying out to God I can


start by saying god I thank you that


you're with me even though I don't feel


like with you I thank you that you are


good I thank you that you love me maybe


you have a job with a boss that is less


than kind God thank you that at least I


have this job thank you that you have


the wisdom to help me with this thank




it is almost impossible to give thanks


and to be in sin at the same time it is


possible but it is very unlikely because


Thanksgiving is a god-centered activity


I'm not just recognizing wow this food


tastes good I'm saying thank God that he


provided this food for me suddenly I'm


not just enjoying it I'm bringing God


into the moment I'm saying I'm seeing


every good thing as a gift from a loving


father it's not just a beautiful sunny


day but I'm saying God thank you that


you are the one who made the Sun of the


Sun Shine on me today and not just


living my life I'm living my life in the


light of God if you are struggling I


encourage you try this like medicine


five minutes of Thanksgiving set your


phone set it for a timer for five


minutes in the morning and try just


giving thanks to God for everything for


five minutes and just watch what that


does amen


be filled with giving thanks for


everything now the last one in some ways


is the most important one and this is


one is so important that we're going to


have to talk about it again next week


verse 21


look at what the last discipline so


worship giving thanks and finally


submitting to one another out of


reverence for Christ that is in the


grammar here it's very clear be filled


with the spirit here's how singing and


making music in your heart giving thanks


and number three submitting to one


another out of reverence for Christ when


I think about spirituality I usually


don't think about submitting to people


in my life but the Bible does it says we


am to submit to you not just because


you're a good person not just because


you're my boss not just because you're


my parent but out of reverence for


Christ because the way we treat other


people is the way we are treating God


whether that person is a Christian or


enough or not reverencing the people


around me that my relationships would be


spiritually full of light and that


involves an attitude of honoring the


person before me of saying that you are


an important person and I am going to


submit to you especially if you're in a


particular role in my life


and so we're going to talk about this


next week so some people are like okay


I'm making plans I'm gonna go talk about


submitting because submitting is not


usually our favorite word is it it


sounds like I do what I want thank you


very much that's a great way to not be


filled with the Holy Spirit spirituality


and Submission go together now we're


gonna talk next week about what that


means and what it doesn't mean it


doesn't mean the same as being


subservient amen it doesn't mean having


a low self-concept


it doesn't mean going along with what


everyone wants but it does mean I honor


the people that God has put in authority


in my life and I honor the people around


me with a submissive heart and together


with that comes a spiritual anointing


like nothing else so we'll talk about


that next week but I want to end with


this and I'll invite the musicians we


are light in the Lord line of Judah and


I feel like God is speaking to his


pastor Roberto last week gave a very


strong message


and this is a follow-up on that that God


is calling us to grow up as a


congregation and to go to another level


to live up to the height of our calling


and to be the people that we say we are


it doesn't mean we're perfect we make a


big deal in this church about being a


hospital we tell people come as you are


come with your struggles come with your


problems Christ will set you free


because we're the Spirit of the Lord is


freedom and I don't take back a word of


that but I want to add to that that as


we come into the light that light should


transform us so the light shines not


just on us but through us and we become


sons of daughters of light now I'm going


to invite us to a moment of prayer but


I'm not going to give a calling because


the proof will be in the pudding if this


word takes root not now but tomorrow


morning at whatever time the alarm goes


off that's when we'll know if I am gonna


choose to walk in the spirit today or


not and I want to challenge you to


really realize that you already are


blessed you are called you have an


inheritance you are destined for glory


you were dead in transgressions and sins


you were darkness but God raised you up


with Christ he seated you with Christ in


heavenly realms he has a destiny for you


and you are now light in the Lord it's


time to start living that way amen


let's do it let's stand up together


let's pray father in Jesus name I thank


you that you are the one who doesn't


just save us but also transforms us into


your likeness god I thank you that when


your light shines on us Lord that light


becomes sticky and sticks to us and


shines through us as well father I pray


that we as a church would come into your


light and let Christ shine on us and


father I lift up the areas of struggle


that we have the areas of darkness that


we deal with in the name of Jesus we


take those things God that we're ashamed


of and we take them out right now


and we put them before you and we let


your light shine on them we let your


light heal and transform and set us free


god I thank you Lord Jesus that you have


put the uniform of the kingdom on us God


filled with metals and majesty I pray


God that we would walk robed with Christ


robed with that dignity that is worthy


of the high calling we have received


Lord I pray in Jesus name God that you


would teach us to walk around singing


like crazy people all day Lord that you


would teach us God to choose to give


thanks rather than complain when it


would be so easy to complain God that


you would teach us to honor and


reverence the people in our lives rather


than rebel and look down on them god I


pray God that we would walk as children


of light and that your light would shine


through us father take us God we offer


our bodies as living sacrifices to you


God holy and acceptable that you take


our lives toma nuestra Vida zein you're


no saint oregano hottie senor para que


tu gloria brie EA and nosotros in your


that your glory would shine on us and


through us we pray all of this in Jesus



"The Gracious Attitude"

December 10, 2017 9AM English Message, "The Gracious Attitude"

let's go to the word of the Lord this


morning and invite you to come with me


to the book of the letter to the


Philippians letter to the Philippians


chapter 4 verse 5 I'm gonna I'm gonna


isolate in a sense this this verse in in


the midst of an amazing letter the


letter to the Philippians is one of my


very very favorite books of Scripture


and I hope someday maybe to have the


time to go through it as Greg is doing


with the book the letter to the


Ephesians and all these letters of the


Apostle Paul Ephesians and Colossians


Philippians particularly they they bear


a lot of affinity and that touch upon


similar themes and they really emerge


from the same spirit the same attitude


and I want to entitle this sermon if I


may as the gracious attitude the


gracious attitude and in verse let me


read actually to put it in a bit of


context verses 4 through 7 but I do want


to isolate verse 5 in particular so the


Apostle Paul says rejoice in the Lord


always I will say it again rejoice and


this is where we hit that the center of


this theme and one word it says let your


gentleness and and I want to settle upon


that word which is more than a word it's


a concept it's a principle let your


gentleness be evident to all the Lord is


near do not be anxious about anything


but in everything by prayer and petition


with Thanksgiving present your requests


to God and the peace of God which passes


which transcends all understanding will


guard your hearts and your minds


in Christ Jesus so that is some the


foundation of our meditation this


morning this word gentleness which by


the way I hope by the end of my


meditation you will realize that it's


not a it doesn't do justice to what is


behind the Apostles spirit I was gonna


say mine but really it's much more than


his mind when he speaks of gentleness


you know we immediately associated with


the kind of you know the meaner a way of


behaving which is not rough or uncouth


or impolite it's so much more than that


the word gentleness and I hope to it is


kind of a bit of a word study in in some


ways and metric would you pass me that


there's a folder in there which I forgot


to bring up and I probably will bite a


little bit out of it so this this


attitude of gentleness this this idea of


gentleness which I summarized in this in


the in the context of this title that


I've given to a sermon the gracious


attitude and you know this this


meditation emerges in my mind in in the


light of the contentiousness that the


conflictive Nisour the times that we are


living in in america and really all over


the world contentiousness is not


something that is just a typical of


america although we feel it and i think


america does somehow exemplified in a


way that is even more dramatic and more


defined and i think any other country


that we know of right now because


America is a country divided within


itself in a very very graphic sort of


way but uh in the light of the


contentiousness in the conflictive nests


I think the lack of grace that we see in


America in our time I was thinking about


it and this is meditation emerge in this


word which it's kind of an aspiration of


mine perhaps a bit because you know


there's a part of me that doesn't really


resonated with this idea of gentleness


and I've always needed to take it as a


medicine for my own character my own


temperament but you know I mean if


anything for example exemplifies this


idea of contentiousness in America right


now is this whole thing of a judge Roy


Moore in Alabama and you know these are


two Americas that we see you know in


conflict with each other exemplified by


this particular situation you know you


have the the South you have a rural


America to use that word which is a big


generalization and then you have the


East you know the the Northeast in


particular in the cities New York Los


Angeles San Francisco Chicago you know


that were the the intellectual


Washington were the intellectual capital


of America lies the intellect and reason


and and education and I know that these


are gross oversimplification but um you


know then you have this other America


which is rural


working-class America fundamentalist


evangelical America religious America


and again realizing all the nuances that


I would need to but I would wouldn't


have time to preach the sermon if I got


into all the little things that need to


be nuanced but you know there are two


Americas right now and and they are very


unkind toward each other if you belong


to one America working-class


fundamentalist evangelical whatever you


want to call it


rural America you resentful America some


would see it then you see the other side


you know generally associated with


Republicans then you see the other side


the the educated the urbanites the


younger types the northeasterners to put


in a 1-1 term you know at the democrats


blue america you you really don't you


you you see them through a dark lens


that doesn't allow for trying to put




their place and try to see how they see


the world I mean you just see the devil


you see what's wrong with this nation


and what's driving this nation to the


ground now if you belong to the other


side too you know blue America you see


red America as everything that is wrong


with America close-minded exclusive


resentful dark narrow fundamentalist


religion Allah Muslim in its darkest


manifestations and and you you there's


no place for grace either under you you


only see the the law you only see what


is wrong you only see what is


narrow-minded what it's not expansive


and open to diversity and so on and so


forth so these two sides you know they


paint in primal colors just red blue


black yellow no nuance there's no mixing


of colors you see each other from a


stark lens and the Word of God the the


the the the most beautiful values of


Scripture the heart of Christ is


completely how should I say a contrary


to that kind of attitude to that kind of


stark way of looking at people and of


deep of dealing with human situations


this condemnatory this a judging sharp


way of looking at human beings rather


the the Word of God the heart of God


what I see in Scripture what I see in


Jesus and his way of looking at human




I see these in these lenses that that


look at the human phenomena and human


situations and human beings with such


compassion such capacity to see deep


into their heart and to go beyond their




and beyond the mistakes and beyond the


sins to see the heart to see the intent


to see the dorama of the human being who


wants to do good but ends up doing bad


who loves God but somehow ends up




offending him who wants to be gentle but


ends up being rough and and so on and so




and you know what the Bible invites us


to is that that attitude of compassion


mercy identifying yourself with the


individual and the in innermost parts of


their being so that you see not only


their outward actions but you also see


their the heart you see the weakness as


you see their past you see the demons


that they're struggling with you see


what has led them to that come that


behavior you don't just take a


photograph of the moment you see a video


of the ongoing drama of that human being


and you allow yourself to see more in


them than just that dark you know vision


of their brokenness that that is the


heart of God and I see it all over and


over again in the way Christ treated


human beings and the way the gospel


calls us to act and to be like and this


is what's behind that word of the


Apostle Paul when he says let your


gentleness be evident to all and in


order to understand what Paul means you


have to go to the Greek original the


word that he used in the Greek and when


I was able to do that actually years ago


it opened up an entire vein of


reflection for me and thinking because


the word that the Apostle Paul uses in


the Greek original that I think the NIV


very inadequately translates gentleness


is the word APA case APA case that's the


the conjugation that he uses from APA


car which means gentleness yes but it


also means


moderation and means the amiable Ness


it means kindness it means softness that


means forbearance and includes the idea


of generosity of magnanimity of


graciousness here's some some thoughts


in that come from a word study that I


did on on APA case it says is it's a


Greek word that is difficult to


translate this word includes the ideas


of again gentle free from harshness


sternness or violence who forbearing


holding oneself back from violence and


especially with an effort controlling


oneself when provoked yielding equity


freedom from bias or favoritism lenient


which is mild and tolerant disposition


exerting a soothing or easing influence


on assertive fare appropriate suitable


proper Christians who are a pieas


follows these comments Christians who


are APA case do not insist on the letter


of the law but are willing to compromise


where no moral issue is at stake that's


important the pike is individual


exhibits what Matthew Arnold referred to


as a sweet reasonableness reflected in


an attitude that does not hold grudges


but always gives others the benefit of


any doubt a pious gentleness suggests


the idea of a giving way of taking wrong


rather than rather than of revenge in


the injuries we receive and you know


just a couple of things according to


Aristotle because the Paul borrows that


word really the biblical word is


borrowed from the Greek in Greek in the


Greek a pica or a pas was an entire


principle of philosophical principle and


attitude of the enlightened the human


being so Aristotle according to


Aristotle the word stands in contrast


with Acree Bodhi Caius one who is


exacting ly just you know that's the


opposite you know this is what it this


is what you


eat your spinach this is what you're


supposed to do this is the way it's


supposed to be as one who is a pea acres


is satisfied with less than his due APA


has conveys the idea that one is


satisfied with the less than what is due


finally says ApS describes the ability


to extend that to others kindly


consideration we would wish to receive


ourselves this man or woman knows when


it is actually wrong to apply the strict


letter of the law knows how to forgive


when justice gives the right to condemn


knows how to make allowances knows when


not to stand upon the rights knows how


to temper justice with mercy and


remembers that there are greater things


in the world than rules and regulations


do you get the idea that's that's the


the image so when Paul is saying let


your APA let your gentleness be evident


to all he is he's saying all of these


different things


let your generous kind for bearing


patient compassionate understanding


attitude willing to suffer a bit of loss


for the sake of the greater good in the


greater harmony to see the person in the


light of their whole context their


aspirations their intentions that the


drama's that have brought them to their


situation I was I was in a court this


week taking care of a situation and I


had an opportunity you know you go to


court and you never know when you're


when the person that you're testifying


in favor of is gonna come up and you


know watching the the court system how


you know a judge is sitting there and


has to resolve so so many cases and


seeing the kind of businesslike attitude


of the the clerks and the the lawyers


who have seen it all and you know most


the time they're absolutely bored to


death these people looked absolutely


bored to death but seeing this judge you


know having to dispense justice so


quickly and you know making a decision


in a moment's time because there's


hundreds of those cases and you know


decisions have to be made often not even


in the light of the case but in the


light of how much it would cost the




to put that person in jail not whether


they deserve it or not and you know all


kinds of how crude really the judicial


system is unable to really spend the


time to look at things in a certain way


because there are so many other


impinging factors that push the justice


system and you know instead of that kind


of simplicity the Bible calls us to to


have a generous compassionate you know a


disposition that sees beyond just the


crude elements of human behavior and and


it's a word that you know is seen in


many places but you will see their


association for examples if we go


through to James chapter three verse 17


James speaks about you know the wisdom


of man the carnal wisdom the wisdom of


the flesh and and the wisdom that comes


from God from heaven it says but the


wisdom that comes from heaven is first


of all pure then peace loving


considerate that is the same word at PS


consider it here it translated


considerate submissive full of mercy and


good fruit in partial and sincere


peacemakers who saw in peace raise a


harvest of righteousness so you see the


associations around the word considerate


it has this constellation of attitudes


that are generous and compassionate and


merciful and gentle and then also in a


in Titus chapter 3 verse 2 it says to


slander no one to be peaceable and


considerate again a PA case and to show


true humility toward all men at first


and first Peter also has that same word


first Peter 2 verse 18 uses that same


concept where it says slaves submit


yourself to your masters with all


respect not only to those who are good


and considerate APA case but also to


those who are harsh which is the


opposite of that term so you see this


this association with the word


william barclay one of the great


commentators of the Greek and an amazing


complex study student of the word says


the Greeks in this case IRA startled


defined a PA kiss-ass


justice and better than justice so it is


this idea to go beyond the strict


generic justice and to go into the realm


of a mercy to take context into account


it is more than just naked stark justice


what a person deserves some some another


scholar has said that APA case is


virtually untranslatable it is such an


encompassing complex word that is very


hard to absorb and in one particular


English word for example


so it's this gentle toleration for


others in spite of having justification


for intolerance it's a good definition


of that you know you you may be


perfectly right in throwing the book at


somebody but instead of doing that you


choose generosity and compassion Jesus


was the the perfect model as I've said


earlier for this quality this attitude


for example you see his conduct toward


the Zacchaeus you know Zacchaeus is a


he's an oppressor Zacchaeus works for


the Jay in the least in the perspective


the Jews Zacchaeus has sold out to the


Roman oppressor the Jews hated publicans


like Zacchaeus who were traders they had


sold her their their citizenship for


money and publicans tax collectors were


known for being exploiters for


exploiting their civil position of power


for gain and evidently Zacchaeus had


done that because when he repents he


says the Lord I if I've drawn anybody I


I double whatever I've taken away from


them I'm gonna give half of my earnings


half of my riches he knew that he had


done wrong and he deserved absolute


condemnation but Jesus instead of that


says hey Zacchaeus when when Jesus looks


at the chaos on that tree he reads him


and he sees this guy who's Amma


feels Oh on that tree lice if you were


just anybody else is feared generally by


people and there he is in this


undignified position because he wants to


see Jesus and so Jesus on just as soon


as he sees him there Jesus does a


scanning of his of his drama and sees


this man who despite all those things


that he's done wrong he in his heart he


knows that he is guilty and he wants


Redemption so when he hears of this man


who preaches Redemption and love and and


that there's a God who is compassionate


he says that he is my opportunity


because what the Pharisees did was just


throw the law at him as they did with


everybody else


they didn't do it for themselves but


they did it with everybody else so


Zacchaeus hears of this compassionate


preacher this man who Rio


speaks with the heart of God and you


know he wants to see him he doesn't


think that he's worthy enough of


approaching him he says if I can only


see him from afar probably maybe a bit


of grace will come into my life but


Jesus is no I'm gonna I wanna I want


intimacy with you I'm gonna go to your


house and I'm gonna eat with you and


this is what the Pharisees can't


understand because they're just naked


law they're judgmental they don't see


the drama and when they see other


publicans around other tax collectors on


Jesus as how could this man have company


with these guys who are so criminal so


exploitive you see I mean there's a lot


of people in America right now that we


could just throw all to hell literally


we could pluck them with one of these


mechanical things and we could just


throw them into the pit of hell many of


us could go there ourselves and we're


doing that because we're in a time when


you know we cannot afford the compassion


because all of us are scared and all of


us are insecure and all of us are


resentful and when you are in those


positions you you have no surplus to


exercise generosity Jesus was different


now maybe I'll have a chance to talk a


little bit about that


so Jesus exemplifies that you know in


the case of the the men who lowered the


paralytic they break the roof they


impose upon Jesus agenda they don't have


a number


but they have a love for their companion


and they have a sense of urgency so they


they they jump the line just like so


many undocumented people do and and you


cannot understand you know au job the


line I came into America legally and


you're jumping the line and so you need


to be thrown back to where you came from


it's the law you see and what America


needs is generosity because that's what


it made America great in the beginning


it is this mercy this attitude that tore


the week this this generosity and again


I know the complexity of these issues


believe me again I don't we don't have


the time to you know parse them the way


that they need to but these men who


brought the paralytic in they jump the


line there were others there who


probably were waiting for Jesus to heal


them and everything is so orderly and


these guys they tear the roof down and


you see these little pieces of hay


coming down from the roof and then all


of a sudden this bed that this make up


bed coming down and this guy saying hey


Lord heal him he needs healing and


everybody's resentful but Jesus instead


of being offended takes care of him


blesses him he sees their love for this


young for this man and so he is able to


exercise a PA kiss generosity and we


need to do that with ourselves with each


other you know what we need in in our


churches and in our societies it's not


more law it's not more definition we


have that in spades


we have clarity coming up our out of our


ears we have ways and means and bylaws


and procedures and visions and mission


statements and and you know


constitutions and all kinds of stuff do


you think that the complexity of


American the American legal system has


been able to bring harmony and peace to


this country of course not on the


contrary that's why I tell people in


churches for example we think less


define everything for every behavior


every situation we need a principal and


my years of experience in past pastoral


work have shown to me that you know


sometimes the more laws the more


procedures the more Robert's Rules of


Order that we have the more we can throw


them at each other when we're angry at


each other in a meeting and it's not to


say that we shouldn't have them I'm


saying that we should have them with a


grain of salt huge grain is actually a


big rock of salt


because only love compassion patience


looking ahead paying for paying up now


in front so that later on you can get


your way being silent in the interest of


the greater good these are the things


that can create harmony in a church or


in any human gathering it is the


compassion the gentleness of Christ it


is this idea that it is not only up to


us to defend our interests I have out


there are other players that ensure


justice in human situations in a


marriage in a church in a job when you


think that you're the only player in the


world and in social constructs you


you're mistaken


there are witnesses to every human


situation spiritual witnesses demonic


witnesses divine witnesses human people


people who are looking at you there are


principles at play there are spiritual


laws that are being exercised that also


impinge on situations and if you only


look at yourself and your opponent


fighting it out and you have to fight


for every bit of right that that is


coming to you and you think that if I


don't do that then I won't have it


you're absolutely wrong you're


oversimplifying something that is so


complex you're you're taking out the


whole mystery of the human universe


that you live in they're divine as I say


entities and and spiritual things that


are clay in every human situation and


you should always see these elements and


not just your naked situation because if


you do that then your infantile you have


to see the Word of God the promises of


God the consequences of spiritual things


at play when you're acting in a human


situation of conflict don't just see


that the comp the person in conflict in


yourself see the entire this is why I


think the Bible says that there's a that


we have a multitude of witnesses before


us it's a very complex declaration it's


not just you know eyes of people it's


with spiritual witnesses it's


generations that go before you they and


they have power and you got to see


yourself in this huge complex context


when you're resolving any kind of


conflict that's why I say don't just you


know oh you did this you did that oh you


watch the dishes last night okay then I


can wash and pray you didn't do the beds


yesterday then I will do them today this


is what creates conflicts in marriages


and and in work situations in churches


you gotta say that in a much bigger


context do the dishes ten times and


that's okay at some point you'll get


your do God will bless you you know just


just worry about honoring the Lord and


honoring the principles of Scripture


this is this this attitude that I see in


Christ you know you you you see the


Father God the Father even in the Old


Testament you know we talk about the Old


Testament the New Testament as if


there's some sort of disconnect the New


Testament is you know God matured and


now he's a more compassionate but when


in the Old Testament he was just


infantile he was immature and he finally


got it with Jesus but look at how God


how the psalmist in Psalm 103 sees God


the Father one of my very favorite


Psalms verses 8 through 14 Psalm 103


says the Lord is compassionate and


gracious as a pas slow to anger


abounding in love


he will not always accuse nor will he


harbor his anger forever he does not


treat us as our sins deserve you see all


of these ideas are included in this site


this concept that the Paul is trying to


put together in gentleness he will not


always accuse nor will he harbor his


anger forever he will not he does not


treat us as our sins deserve or repay US


according to our iniquities for as high


as the heavens are above the earth so


great is his love for those who fear Him


so as far as the East is from the west


so far has he removed our transgressions


from us as a father has compassion on


his children so the Lord has compassion


on those who fear Him and this is one of


my very very favorite verses in all of


Scripture for he knows how we are formed


he remembers that we are dust what


enables God to treat us with such


compassion mercy patience he knows what


we're made of now he knows that were


broken vessels living in this sin ridden


world and we have been broken by


circumstances by our past by even our


genealogy our our genes many times and


God sees what we're made out of and he


says pours all I mean he can't do any


better now I will tell you a little bit


later on about something else that


balances that out but really the


dominant attitude I think that the fault


posture of God is his attitude I know


what he really means or she means I know


what they want to do I know their


desires they mean well they just can't


do any better


poor soul this idea he knows that we are


but tossed so you see Jesus and


embodying that attitude you see the


father again the opposite of that


attitude of a PA case is to be


quarrelsome defensive always demanding


our rights quite to take offense quite


to go on the attack


you know we live in an era of rights


where everybody gets angry if the rights


are violated this is what's happening


nowadays with all that we all the dramas


that we're seeing right now in our


country is this idea it's we does we


want our rights


they've been violated this is this huge


explosion on the part of women and you


know oppressors and rightfully so but


you see this this sort of this recoiling


this vengeful getting back at because


there wasn't degraded gentle incremental


resistance to evil that should have


taken place over many years and that was


even cooperation and collaboration and


then when the time comes to for


correction it's really payback it is


absolute stark judgment and law applying


itself in the most unmitigated sorts of


ways and we and where are the voices


that will invite this society to look at


the complexity of human phenomena and


say wait a minute let's look at this


from a much more encompassing


perspective the one of the problems with


America is you know the church has few


voices that that can speak to the


complexity of this human phenomena that


we are experiencing politics has very


few moral enlightened people who can


speak to these phenomena that the family


is experiencing where are the fathers


and the mothers in the middle of this


horrible situation that we are living in


speaking balance and inviting the


children to see each other for what they


are broken human beings that need


correction yes but also compassion where


is that correction is that on the left


is it on the right is it in the liberal


is it in the Conservatives it is nowhere


to be found and where the voices of our


senior statesmen our elders they are


embroiled in the same kinds of drama


so there's no voice to bring order to


the family all you see is the kids going


at it full blast destroying the house


with their anger it's uncontained


because there's no nuance there's no no


genteel wise reasoning to take over and


and this is what we have you know what I


see in the the Bible is the very


opposite this this genteel gentleness is


generosity instead of going on the


attack not holding on to your rights


it's my right to do this


you know Jesus did not hold on to his


rights if Jesus would have held on to


his right we wouldn't be here what does


a Philippians two verses one through


seven say hey let there be in you the


same matter that was in Jesus Christ who


was equal to God and could have held on


to his right of being equal to God stay


in heaven very comfortable in all his


glory but he didn't hold on to his right


divine rights of kings well he didn't


hold on to his divine right of king he


gave it up and he descended upon the


world as a lonely lowly being smelly as


we all are inside and fallen in a way I


mean he was perfect yes but he walked


with the same weaknesses and limitations


of any human being he he gave up his


rights he divested himself of it he


emptied himself of all the things that


made him comfortable and came to live in


this uncomfortable frame of a human


being for our love for our salvation yes


this is the same attitude should be in


you I pray that the Lord will give me


that I pray the Lord will give you that


I know what I have to go I know what


pursues me in my quiet moments of where


I need to be as a human being as a


pastor as a husband as a father as a


friend as a citizen and that persecutes


me and it should persecute you too we


will never achieve that gentility


that-that-that-that generosity but we


must strive for it we must must ask the


Holy Spirit to give it to us every day


and if we don't set for


our selves that goal we will never


achieve even closeness to it it's not


right right will not get you anywhere


yes well it will it will get you to


being miserable I assure you the more


you insist on your rights the more


defensive you are or what is due to you


the more miserable you become the more


people dislike you and the more the


entire system which constitutes the laws


of the universe will fight against you


and would make you trip every step of


the way you will grow further and


further away from what you desire


because the whole paradox of the gospel


is that as you forsake your right you


gain more of them and that is the


essence of this whole thing you know


this is why I would define also ap Akers


as the grandfatherly attitude of the


grandmotherly attitude you know the


attitude of the grandfather the


grandmother somebody asked asked us last


night you know what why do we why do


grandparents love their grandkids so


much well you know you you've seen


enough you've lived enough you've been


broken enough you've been humbled enough


among other things some of the the


enthusiasms and the just the raw energy


have been sapped from you by the


experiences of life you can afford to be


generous you know the parents they see


the kids and say this kid is gonna be a


criminal no doubt about it look at him


you know but the grandparents say huh


come on you did the same thing I


remember when you did this and you did


that and look you turned out pretty good


you know


grandparents have this tolerant attitude


and and all the older people older


people are like that you know they've


seen so much so I you know at the table


they're not out getting the best pork


chop you know that's alright if there's


something left give it to me at the end


sometimes you know sometimes the old can


be very creepy also but generally you


know it is the case the older you get


you know the less prone you are to fight


over things that when you were 20 or 25


you fought over because you've lived


and you know so and God was an eternal


perspective you can imagine how he can


see things this guy that right now you


feel he's a perfect candidate for Hell


in a particularly hot place in it God


says know that person I'm gonna save


them he's coming into my kingdom and


you'll be surprised when you see him up


there to say welcome because God sees


things in such an encompassing way you


know I think the more you live and the


more mistakes you make the more


compassion that you should become the


more loving we should become toward each


other the more patient and you know less


willing to fight and to stand up for


your rights because you know again


you're not the only player in any


situation when you know that God also


makes decisions on your behalf


when you act according to his spirit


then you know that there are other


things and that the devil is there


watching as well to see whether you're


gonna glorify him or the principles of


the kingdom you then you know you know


that no this is this is a big this is a


big theater here that I'm playing in so


you know it is the grandfather in the


attitude it's also what I call the


pastoral attitude in the best of


manifestations you know to be to have a


pastoral heart you need to put yourself


in tune with the context of the person


you need to read into their heart before


you make a judgement you need to have


that attitude of complexity and and see


in the entire drama of the human being


and not just at the moment this is what


a so I hastened to come to the end here


so I what I want to do is just at least


in you know impart to you this idea let


me explore this value more in my life


let me explore this idea of a pas of


being gentle and generous let me say to


a couple of observations in our end of


year one only the strong and spiritually


mature can exercise this quality it


takes great strength to be gentle it's a


paradox there only the very strong can


be truly gentle


to be a PA case to be generous requires


self-assurance and emotional strength


and emotional health on the other hand


the way to acquire this emotional health


this self assurance is to practice this


quality by faith and that to continually


meditate upon it to ask the Lord to give


you more of it to make it a value that


you are want to strive for so you have


to you have to in order to exercise this


generosity this gentleness you have to


be secure in your own skin you you have


you can only do this when you operate


from a position of sufficiency because


if you are living hand-to-mouth it's


often very hard to be generous this is


what's happening in America you see


every each side sees itself as mortally


threatened and right now we see we know


and it is true to a certain degree we


are fighting for it's two systems of


value two worldviews two attitudes


toward the world that have found a


theatre to fight it out in that's what


it that's what it's all about right now


in the world as a whole it's two


paradigms to two archetypes that have


become really defined and so we know


that we are fighting it for something


that is very very valuable the real


estate of this nation and and when you


know and we feel threatened by the other


side we say we lose this we have lost


many many powerfully valuable things so


when you're feeling like that you cannot


you you're not generous when you're


feeling insecure threatened violated and


fragile it's very hard to be generous


and I think that this might explain why


Paul you know they otherwise it might


sound like a non secular some that


almost doesn't follow let your


gentleness be evident to all the Lord is


near where does that come from the Lord


is near I mean he's he's speaking about


an apocalyptic thing here and he's


talking on the other hand he's talking


about something that's quotidian and


daily behave


I think it's a connection between the


two I think when you know that the Lord


is near and and of course the word the


Lord is near can be interpreted many


ways the Lord is near to you physically


present or the Lord is near his coming


is is near there's all kinds of ways but


I think what the connection in Paul's


mind is yes that when you when when you


know that God is near you or or that the


coming of the Lord that eternity is




all of a sudden it puts the world into


context you see only when eternity is a


powerful factor in your life can you


afford to be generous if you live for


the here and now and you think that this


world is all there is and that your


career your profession the next stage of


your of ascent is what matters to you


you know you cannot be generous now if


you know that the Lord is near you that


you live in the strength of the Lord


that if you honor God he will honor you


that those who seek your destruction if


they're operating from malevolent


principles will be destroyed in the end


like Haman with Esther then you can


afford to walk in the middle of the fire


and know that God is with you if you


live in the light of eternity


circumstances don't affect you as much


and you can be generous this is what


allowed Paul to write from a prison


rejoice again I say rejoice


this man is wasting away in a prison


cell and he's saying rejoice why you can


read in the book of Philippians because


he he lived in the light of the gospel


he knew that his life had value and


meaning in the light of what he


accomplished for the gospel he knew that


if he died it would be better for him


maybe we'll have a chance to explore


that a little bit what context do you


live in do you live in the context of


eternity and the spirit and the universe


that is so complex or do you live in the


light of just now this is this cheap way


of looking at the world America I'm not


making sense maybe I do you I hope I'm


not getting too much out there that you




whose connection here see so you you


need to be positioned in strength in


order to be generous you see it over and


over again when you see the the prodigal


son versus the the good son


you know the this quarter called good


son who stayed home didn't break a plate


you know just well-behaved when his


father exercises generosity this happy


Akos toward the prodigal son that has


waited his money and goner and put a


shame into the family when when the Sun


comes the when the prodigal son comes


the wrong word by the way the wasteful


son comes the good son who stayed shows


really what is in his heart resentment


how can you


this guy has wasted all your money how


can you give him more how can you


restore him as if he had not done


nothing now the father is possessed


again remembered about the grandfatherly


attitude the father is processed with


this generous attitude the father knows


that there's enough to give to the


wasteful son and that to the good son


they both have fun they'll both they can


both live well now the the good son


lives from an attitude of scarcity


counting his little coins you never gave


me this you never allowed me to do that


you and the father's son what are you


talking about all that I have is yours


why don't you enjoy it you mean to tell


me now that you've been living like this


so and that this is what's motivating


you to be so judgmental toward you and


so lacking in generosity toward your


brother the whole thing is yours


you're gonna inherit at all why be so


cheap you see and we have to ask the


Lord father help me to understand what a


blessing I have I have the entire


universe at my disposal


you have blessed me with all kinds of


good things all kinds of promises will


follow me all the days of my life you


are committed at to me I have the


resources of the great creator of the


cosmos on my behalf


I have the power of Jesus Christ with me


now we're not mindful enough of that


and so that's why we act so cheaply in


life when you live in the light of


eternity and you see that the man


there's so many levers affecting every


situation in the world not just the one


that you press there are thousand others


you can afford to take life a little


more at ease and that of course is the


source of health and emotional health of


good sleep and vitality because most of


us we live like the good Sun you know we


come to church we're behaving well and


with everybody else go to hell you know


and instead of saying hey you know I


have this good God who has forgiven me


who's promised me all kinds of great


things has given me all these kinds of


resources and then you can afford to


lose a few things to make some mistakes


because you know that you lived from a


perspective of absolute abundance the


father forgives you he restores you he


provides for you yes you lost your job


but there's a thousand other jobs


waiting yes you made a mistake yes


somebody exploited you but success is


right around the corner yes you had a


bad experience but you're gonna grow out


of through that experience you gonna


become stronger you're gonna become


better you're gonna become wiser you see


you you adopt this attitude you you


always win it's all good as a believer


you live within this context of goodness


and if the moment is not good just wait


in a while the Sun will come out it'll


get better because you have this God


who's committed to you and then extend


that same grace to others as well I


think it's something that is the source


of health instead of the the the other


attitude which is fighting for every bit


of territory every inch I mean that's


that that wears you out man you can't


sleep well that way just learn that if


you honor God and if God is pleased with


you he will make even your enemies


inhabit in peace with you


he will turn the heart of your enemies


toward you you will be pursued by


goodness what is the psalmist saying


some 23 qin sea el viene la mesa decoded


i'm a seguir on total loss dia de vida


certainly goodness and what else and


mercy will pursue me the idea is that


will help me you know when you live a


pleasing God and God is your Shepherd I


mean he sends hounds of goodness after


you every day they'll follow you you


can't do but succeed you can't do but


grow stronger and better and wiser and


more powerful because you have the


goodness of the of God and you're


flowing according to the true laws of


the universe


not to get too deep on you all of a


sudden when you're when you're living


against the wind it wears you out


now when you live according to how God


has constituted the universe you're like


a ship flowing in according to the wind


behind you pushing you along and this is


why we have to get in sync with the


heart of Christ thank you and how he


sees and treats the world


I invite us to adopt this attitude of


goodness those who exercise and


internalize the quality of a PA kiss and




will be the very picture of emotional


health wholeness and commitment so I


pray that this morning my dear brothers


and sisters I pray for myself first of


all that God will lead us toward that




would you like to embrace that attitude


with me right now in the name of Christ


and to renounce its opposite right now


this morning I invite you to take a


moment to look inside yourself and as I


do right now with myself as the word


speaks to me say father how am i living


my life


am i living my do I have an attitude of


generosity and of patience and of


assuming the best in others do I am I


always fighting for my right ha ha from


what position do I approach my marriage


the way I deal with my children my


relationships with others friendships


and other things my family what kind of


an influence am i what kind of a


presence am i in my job am i a presence


of wholesomeness and goodness and unity


and harmony and reconciliation because I


do well be pondered under the shadow of


the Almighty or am I an element of


conflict and bitterness and back and


forth father I have I have I adopted


have I embraced this position this


posture of sufficiency having enough


that your word invites me to is eternity


enough of a presence in my being that I


can live in the light of it and I can


resolve the situation's of the now in


the light of the forever


do I know that I have so much of the


power of Christ in me that I need


revelation in order to understand it


because humanly I cannot even conceive


of how pop how much power dwells within


me and then does that power that I have


within me


invite me to be generous and patient and


to lose a lot because I know that I can


make up a lot so that the principles of


the kingdom are affirmed and honored


knowing that if I do that you will fight


for me and that if you fight for me who


can condemn me who can judge me who can


steal from me who can impoverish me


ultimately if you are on my side and you


are my favor now invite I invite our


church to be that place Lord made this


place be a place of reconciliation a


place of generosity may have been known


as a place of refuge and compassion may


it never be a place of scored


cheapness we embrace the spirit of Jesus


Christ we embrace the generosity of the




help us to dwell in that place now Holy


Spirit of God come lead us from here


with a commitment to do that do inside


yourself now you don't need to do it


physically raise your hand inside


yourself and say I'm the goddess BTT God


is speaking to me I want to live that




wanna be dumb


thank you Father thank you lord


thank you let your gentleness


the evident to all let it be such a


distinctive thing that people know you


for that that if we have a tattoo all


and let congregation line of Judah that


our gentleness be evident to the entire


city Lord is near

"It's time to grow up. Walking worthy of the calling."

December 3rd, 2017 9AM English Message, "It's time to grow up. Walking worthy of the calling."

visions chapter 4 and we've been going


through this amazing book that the


Apostle Paul wrote to a church that


existed in the middle of intense


spiritual warfare Ephesus was a city


that was a center of idol worship it was


a place where so many people had


witchcraft books that during a rot


revival they built they burnt 2.5


million dollars worth of witchcraft


books when they became Christians


that's how spiritually dark the city of


Ephesus was but thank God we believe in


a God who shines light in darkness and


he chooses to do it through the likes of


us that he raises up Christians and he


brings us together with a spiritual


supernatural mentality so he can shine


his light through us and the book of


Ephesians is all about that so we're


plugging through so we're in Ephesians 4


starting in verse 1 and the first three


chapters has been a majestic overview of


God's plan of salvation so that the


Christians would understand their


spiritual status and we'll come back to


that and now the book is transitioning


into a part where the Apostle Paul is


teaching some of the nitty-gritty


practical application of how we should


live our lives base our on our Christian


identity so we'll get into that and I'll


explain that in a little more detail


Ephesians 4 starting in verse 1 says the


following as a prisoner of the Lord then


Paul's in jail when he's writing this


and he's reminding them of it for some


reason as a prisoner of the Lord then I


urge you to live a life worthy of the


calling you have received be completely


humble and gentle be patient bearing


with one another in love make every


effort to keep the unity of the Spirit


through the bond of peace there is one


body and one spirit just as you were


called to one hope when you were called


one Lord one faith


one baptism one god and father over all


who is over all through all and in all


but to each one of us Grace has been


given as Christ apportioned it and this


is why it says when he ascended on high


he led captives in his train and he gave


gifts to men what does he ascended mean


except that he also descended to the


lower earthly regions he who descended


is the very one who ascended higher than


all the heavens in order to fill the


whole universe it was he who gave some


to be apostles some to be prophets some


to be evangelists some to be pastors and


teachers to prepare God's people for


works of service so that the body of


Christ may be built up until we all


reach the unity of the faith and in the


knowledge of the Son of God and become


mature attaining to the whole measure of


the fullness of Christ then we will no


longer be infants tossed back and forth


by the waves and blown here and there by


every wind of teaching and by the


cunning and craftiness of men in their


deceitful scheming instead speaking the


truth in love we will in all things grow


up into him who is the head that is


Christ from him the whole body joined


and held together by every supporting


ligament grows and builds itself up in


love as each part does its work let's


pray father I thank you that you call us


as a church to become like little


children and at the same time you call


us to grow up and somehow lure God those


two things go together and lord I thank


you for this teaching and I pray that we


would become as a people more the


community you want us to be because of


the truth of your word let the word do


its work among us we pray in Jesus name


Amen so the Apostle Paul is pulling out


the heavy credentials as a prisoner of


the Lord I've got something to say to


you it's almost like he


reminding them why they should listen to


him right you ever had your mother say


you know those were nine long months


carrying you and you put me through a


lot so you know better listen oh I'm


sure we mothers don't lay the guilt trip


on the Apostle Paul is pulling out his


credentials as an apostle who is


suffering for the gospel he's got


something big to say something strong to


say and he says it urging them I urge


you I beg you to live a life worthy of


the calling you have received says you


have a calling that is a high calling


now it's time for you to live up to the


name of Christian and the calling that


you have it's almost like I don't know


if any people here have Christian bumper


stickers on your car what the problem


with a Christian bumper sticker on your


car means you better drive like a


Christian right live up to that bumper


sticker but this is much more than a


bumper sticker right this is the calling


the image being given is almost like a


soldier who in the military who has a


uniform okay you have the uniform now


walk with the appropriate demeanor that


is appropriate in fact in them in some


branches of the military it's a crime to


simply be behave in a way that is


quote/unquote unbecoming an officer


right that there are certain behavior


that is appropriate for your station for


your rank you may be of royal birth but


do you walk like a king or a queen right


do you live up to the stature of your


rank and identity and as Christians


guess what you are privileged in the


heavenly dimensions in ways you might


not always be aware of the beginning of


the book of Ephesians makes it very


clear that you have been blessed in the


heavenly realms with every spiritual


blessing in Christ not only are you


allowed to participate in spiritual


warfare but you can fly first-class


you are privileged you are blessed in


the heavenly realms with every spiritual


blessing in Christ God predestined you


he chose you before the foundation of


the world that you might be holy and


blameless before him


God knew you before you even knew what


was going on that he predestined you to


be adopted as sons and daughters and the


word there is used of the heir the


person who is first in line to inherit


everything that we have a special rank


and privilege in Christ not only do you


have a ticket but you can fly


first-class now


lest you think you deserve it the


Apostle Paul had under the guidance of


the Spirit has taken time to explain


that you don't deserve any of this you


were dead in your transgressions and


sins in which you used to live according


to the the Spirit of the air that spirit


of disobedience at work in in sinful


people we were like them we were by


nature children of Wrath we were


destined for nothing but destruction we


don't deserve anything but God who is


rich in mercy even when we were dead in


transgressions made us alive in Christ


it is by grace you have been saved no


and and then he goes on to say he


doesn't just leave you there he raised


you up with Christ and he seated you


with Christ in the heavenly dimension


far above all rule and authority Jesus


invites you to share the throne with him


what a destiny and all of this has a


purpose see God's gonna take your story


your testimony and one day when heaven


and earth come together when everything


has ended and this sort of a veil over


creation is peeled back each one of us


is going to shine like diamonds in the


universe diamonds of God's grace in


order that in the coming ages he might


show the incomparable riches of His


grace expressed in his kindness to us in


Christ Jesus it is by grace you've been


saved by faith this isn't of yourselves


but you have been created


for good works that God prepared in


advance for you to do so that everyone


you do you proclaim to the universe God


is good and look what he did in me now


because of all this because of who you


are and what you're called to do the


Apostle Paul says it's time to grow up


and step up to the calling that God has


given you live worthy of the calling


you've received living appropriately


lived walking in that royal identity


that God has given you now what does


that mean to say walk worthy of the call


and usually we think walk like a king


right you know what it means here we're


gonna talk about it says look at what it


says in the next verse if he gens 4


verse verse 2 here's what it looks like


to walk worthy of the calling be


completely humble and gentle and patient


and putting up with one another in love


seeing Christianity we become great by


becoming small in Christianity we become


mature by becoming childlike alright we


talked today and I love the image I


really felt like it was prophetic


falesha sharing about her gathering in


Georgia and the joy of being like little


kids eating too much candy having those


pink drumsticks well we as we become


like children we become more submitted


to our Heavenly Father and we become


more mature spiritually childlike but


not childish it's time to grow up it's


time to grow up by stooping down


humility patience the word for patience


in the Greek I love the word macro


Fumiya macro long sumail is from the


word for burn long burn a long fuse


before the bomb blows up how long is


your fuse the length of your fuse


relates directly to the degree to which


you are walking worthy


of your Christian identity and calling


the word for forbearance being patient


or bearing with one another and love is


another very interesting word it is used


almost exclusively of what you do as a


Christian with people who are annoying


you with someone who's acting foolish or


annoying it's the word for putting up


with usually in the Bible it's putting


up with foolishness here it says put up


with one another why because one another


is usually annoying and foolish in some


way because we're human beings we're


part of a team we're called to be


together and the church is a gathering


of imperfect defective people who can be


annoying sometimes


and if you haven't had to put up with


anyone yet then you have not come very


often because someone has made a mistake


someone's annoyed you someone said


something wrong probably me at some


point everyone who needs this patience


and then it says work hard look at what


it says in verse three of Ephesians four


in verse three says make every effort to


keep the unity of the Spirit through the


bond of peace in Spanish say slowly cito


work hard make an effort at this devote


yourself to building unity in the


community of God your calling is to be


part of a community and fulfill the


kingdom of God on earth not alone but as


part of a team you can't fulfill your


identity on your own and neither can I


anymore then a great quarterback can win


a game by himself right or a soldier can


win a battle by him or herself we need


one another we're called to be together


and it says that in the book of


Ephesians early it says that we have a


glorious inheritance in the Saints the


people around you might look like normal


everyday people but guess what they're


glorious each one is called to be a


diamond of grace when the veil


is removed they're gonna shine like


angels so much that you would be tempted


to worship them if you didn't know


better we are called to be together and


the Apostle Paul makes it very clear


that this is a community that is not


just for you and people like you but


Jews and Gentiles come together people


who used to be hostile are now joined


together in Christ and we get to live


that out in a special way in


congregation line of Judah black and


white rich and poor gringo and Latino


Republican and Democrat Amen Christ


himself is our peace too by destroying


the dividing wall of hostility making


one new humanity for the glory of God we


are no longer strangers or aliens but


members of the same household with the


same father we are no longer foreigners


but we are all citizens of a new kingdom


on earth that is awesome together we get


to reveal the multi-faceted wisdom of


God who can put people together to shine


the love of Jesus on earth in a way that


you can't do alone or with just people


who are like you we are one people and


together we discover the excitement the


thrill the maturity of what it is to


really love with God's love together we


discover how wide and long and high and


deep is the love of Christ and to know


that love that surpasses knowledge and


to be filled with a measure with all the


fullness of God what an awesome calling


we have as a church we can't do it alone


we need each other for this we are one


team look at what it says in Ephesians 4


and verse 4 and look at how many times


if someone could count the word one is


repeated it says there is one body one


spirit just as you were called to one


hope when you were called one Lord one


faith one baptism one God and Father


overall of all who is over all and


through all in you know how many times


is the word one repeated anyone count


seven the number of perfection in the




so what do you have in common with the


person next to you well you've got seven


things in common with them one Lord one


faith one Hope one spirit one baptism


one we are one in Christ we are one


community joined by God not by idealism


not just by good intentions but by the


presence of the Living God and in the


very end word says one God the God and


Father of all who is over all and


through all and in all to see the the


Trinity being repeated there even God


Himself is one in three unity and


diversity all coming together and


modeling that and in imparting that to


us as his people we are on a team anyone


anyone who follows sports knows that


it's about the team right how is it that


a basketball team could lose their best


player and then go on a streak of


winning 17 games in a row not that I was


paying attention you ever noticed


another particular local team that


periodically fires one of their best


players gives them away for nothing and


then gets better how can that be


how can you get rid of your most


talented players and be a better team


because it's not about talent it's about


the team it's not about being a


superstar it's about being part of the


group and being where you're supposed to


be when you're supposed to be there and


say it's about the team it's better to


have someone with mediocre talent who


understands team than a superstar who's


going to do things their own way


walking worthy of the calling doesn't


mean you start being a lone ranger


superstar it means we finally decide I'm


going to be part of this team and I'm


going to step up to the plate and I'm


getting I'm sorry for all the football


references those who know but I'm going


to do my job because to each one in


verse seven grace has been given as


Christ apportioned it you see each one


of us has experienced specific grace in


a specific way there are certain ways


that God's grace shines through you that


it can't through me or someone else we


need each other


there are specific demonstrations of


race specific demonstrations of God's


power through each person in a different


way first Corinthians 12 and verse 7


says now to each one the manifestation


of the one spirit is given for the


common good and it lists all these gifts


of the holy spirit do you believe that


you have a special gift from God to be


used in the body of Christ and on earth


do you believe that some many of you do


some people believe it but don't know


what it is some people haven't even


thought of that yet it might be a


supernatural power that God has given


you that is yet to be discovered you


into the superhero things well maybe you


have a superpower right we've all got


our kryptonite we know what that's all


about but you also have special


anointings from God and in the book of


Corinthians it talks about supernatural


wisdom some people who are


supernaturally spiritually given the


ability to solve problems in a way that


it goes beyond natural logic


supernatural knowledge people might


receive information from God so they


just know what to do or say maybe it's


it's a faith a gift of faith so that you


can just believe that God's gonna do


something you're gonna pray for God to


provide you just know it's gonna happen


other people like I think so but you


know so maybe it's your gift


healing gifts of healing maybe you have


the ability to pray for sick people and


they get better now I got a question for


you if you have the gift of healing and


I'm sick and you pray for me


and I get healed who's the beneficiary


of that gift you or me me the sick guy


who gets healed right the gifts are not


given for you they're given to be you


receive a gift to give it to others amen


supernatural powers miracles prophecy


tongues interpretation why not also many


people have giftings that have that take


natural abilities and infuse them with


supernatural power and amplification


maybe a gift of teaching you can teach


in a way that guides people or leaving


with a special power serving there are


some offers


who when they do their job they're not


just doing it


they are anointed to do what they do


there's a gift of service a gift of




some people can cook some sancocho that


has the anointing of the Holy Spirit in


it for it is that they can raise the


dead right you know yo conozco el gouna


daya yo se hos gifts of administration


someone who knows how to organize and


plan and and and and do IT and build the


building gifts of craftsman gifts of


flower arranging gifts of dance gifts of


worship gifts of music gift of


intercession maybe God wakes you up in


the middle of the night to pray and


nobody knows about it but because you


prayed God moves on Sunday morning gifts


of mercy and kindness gifts of


hospitality gifts of generosity there's


all kinds of different gifts all these


are the work of one in the same spirit


it says in first Corinthians 12:11 and


he Jesus just the Holy Spirit


distributes them to each one just as he


determines he's the one in charge he's


calling the shots and he's giving


assignments he's giving jobs


he's assigning positions to each one of


us now if we will do our job we will


walk worthy of the calling that we've


received now look what it says because


Jesus see we have the best coach in the


universe right there really is the best


coach in the universe and in Jesus we


trust amen that he knows how to call the


shots now he's seated in the heavenly


realms but he's connected to the natural


realm through the Holy Spirit and he is


directly controlling what the church


does through the holy through the holy


spirit look what it says in verse eight


it says in Ephesians 4 says this is why


it says when he ascended on high he led


captives in his train and he gave gifts


to men what does he ascended mean except


that he also descended to the lower


earthly regions he who descended is the


very one who ascended higher than all


the heavens in order to fill the whole


universe the whole message here is as we


walk worthy of our


and become great we become low and serve


and are humble and God is saying Jesus


modeled that for you he was exalted in


the heavenly realms he did not need to


come as a little baby in a manger and


experienced what it's like to be a


little baby in a manger right he didn't


need to experience all that he was good


in heaven he was all right up there but


he humbled himself to become human he


came from the heavenly dimension to the


earthly dimension and served and lived a


human life and suffered temptation even


to the point of being crucified and


dying a miserable death and he did all


of this and therefore God exalted him to


the highest place that he might have the


name that is above all other names and


that at the name of Jesus every knee


should bow and tongue confess in heaven


on earth and under the earth that Jesus


Christ is Lord to the glory of God the


Father Jesus modeled it for us because


he came to earth conquered sin and death


and returned to the heavenly realm in


glory in majesty he now has power to


give gifts to his people now interesting


thing here it says that he took captives


right who are the captives that he took


it's a reference to Psalm 68 that we


read at the beginning of the service who


are the captives that he took because it


then says that he gave gifts to people


in Psalm 68 it says that the exalted


king after he's defeated a nation


receives gifts from people but under the


anointing of the Holy Spirit the Apostle


Paul says our king doesn't now receive


gifts but he now gives gifts to people


and you know what are some of the gifts


that he gives and this is going to help


answer the other question I asked he is


the one who gave verse 11 some to be


apostles some to be prophets some to be


he gives people to the church you know


what I believe those people are the


people that he took captive at the


beginning of this text the Apostle Paul


says I Paul as a Priss


of the Lord when the Apostle Paul got


knocked down on the road to Damascus he


was blinded and needed to be led into


the city as if he were under arrest


and the message from God said you go


into the city and you will be told what


will be done with you you who thought


you were in charge you who used to


persecute Christians no more you're my


prisoner and you'll do what I do that's


why the Apostle Paul says when I preach


the gospel woe to me if I do if I don't


preach the gospel I have to do this I'm


called to do this God has taken people


captive to serve Him and they have no


choice in the matter now don't get me


wrong they can choose how they will do


it but there is a destiny for their


lives and until they end as they resist


that destiny they're never going to be


happy because they are God's prisoner


and gods captive not just them you us in


one way or another now some of those


captives that are given to the church


are particular leaders and I'd like to


look at that together in verse 11 it


says it was he himself Jesus who gave


some to be apostles some to be prophets


some to be evangelists and some to be


pastors and teachers these are people


who serve in different types of


leadership on the team in the church the


Apostles the people who start things and


sort of supervise ministries at a


regional level there's the the


evangelists the people who help the




reach out and win souls for the gospel


there's the prophets people receive


messages from God and teach who need to


be honored in the church because God


speaks to them then there's also the


pastors and teachers that guide and


teach and help the people form their job


is to be the coach there or coach as


part of a coaching staff their job is to


help you do your job right unless you're


called to be one of these and some of


you may be but not everyone is but guess


what everyone is called to be a minister


it says in the next verse they


job is to prepare God's people for works


of service the word used there is the


exact same word for ministry


do you believe you are a minister of the


gospel in discipleship level one and I'm


giving it away for those of you that are


going to take level one so at least


you'll get one answer right on the test


I ask the question who are the ministers


of Lion of Judah right no first I asked


who's the leader of Lion of Judah and


and you know some people and I'm trying


to trick them into saying pastor Roberto


tassa Roberto is not the leader of Lion


of Judah Jesus Christ is the leader of


Lion of Judah we are a king - we're part


of a kingdom and pastored Roberto and


will be the first to tell you that he


cannot just do whatever he wants he


can't teach whatever he wants there are


some messages that are uncomfortable


there are things that he is called to


lead us to do that he would rather not


do but he's convinced in his heart that


it's what Jesus wants and Jesus is in




Alma and I call Cassel dicho en espanol


manda capodanno Marinero I don't


something like that the captain's in


charge not the Sailor right


Jesus is in charge and then my next


question is who are the ministers and


then people sometimes Oh


well pastor Roberto Greg Sammy Isiah


Sara and I'm like nah wrong


who are the men with what all the


ministers present raise their hand


please okay


some of you aren't so sure still that's


okay that's cool we'll talk we are


called to serve the Living God together


now that might not mean you're called to


preach it might mean you're called to


take a hammer and build something for


the kingdom of God maybe you're supposed


to cook a mean son go chill for a sick


person maybe you're supposed to pray in


the middle of the night do


administration teach children organize


work there's a thousand ways to be a


minister but it's all the same spirit


through us and the role of these leaders


given to the churches to be the coaches


that help the people of God discover


their calling now the goal of that


ministry is that together


as a community we would grow up and we


become the people we are supposed to be


verse 11 look with me that to equip the


people so where it was then it was he


who gave some to be apostles prophets to


the verse 12 sorry to prepare God's


people for works of service for ministry


so that the body of Christ may be built


up until we all reach the unity in the


faith and in the knowledge of the Son of


God and become mature attaining to the


whole measure of the fullness of Christ


we need to grow like a body needs to


grow what are the different ways the


body of a child needs to develop right a


child needs to become coordinated you


ever seen a one-year-old try to you know


drink milk and ever just whack themself


in the forehead with it right and


fortunately little kids are cute praise


God right that's why the lack of


coordination is actually cute right but


as a church many of us has it together


as a community we take that milk and


we're still whacking ourself in the


forehead with it


we're uncoordinated there needs to be a


unity in the faith a coordination and


unity also in the knowledge of the Son


of God it's time to grow up and


understand who Jesus is and what he's


called us to do and to grow in that


maturity attaining to the whole measure


of the fullness of Christ that Christ


would be full in us on earth that our


life would start to look more and more


like Jesus the idea is for people to


come to this church and in spite of all


of our imperfections and problems and in


competencies that they'd say wow those


people there's something different and


they might not know the word for it but


I would want them to say there's


something about Jesus in them there's


something that attracts me I can see God


in them their lifestyle their speech the


way they handle their work the way they


handle their money the way they handle


their relationships their attitudes


Church we are still very adolescent our


voice is breaking our nose is too big


for our face


we're whacking ourselves in the head


with cups of milk and it's time to grow


up in love and in unity with the


knowledge of the Son of God and to


reflect his glory Jesus is coming back


for a glorious bride without spot or


blemish that comes later in this very


letter we're gonna read and he is


working among us and it depends to a


large measure on us walk each one of us


deciding to do our job and walk worthy


of the calling that we have received


it's time to grow up you see being


childlike is good and actually mature


jesus said to Peter some amazing words


he said you know Peter when you were


young you went wherever you wanted and


you did whatever you wanted to do but


when you're old you will stretch out


your hands and someone else will dress


you and will lead you where you may not


want to go in other words the more


mature you get the more you will yield


control to another and that will be




you see when we're immature we're doing


our own thing but the more mature we get


the more we become like a little child


that says God you have taken me captive


to do your will and I will do what you


want me to do and someone else leads you


and takes you maybe even where you don't


want to go and when that happens and


when we ain't coming to that unity


Apostle Paul wrote letters very strong


letters to a church in a city called


Corinth where people were spiritually


immature they had spiritual power but


they did not have spiritual character


and they thought they were spiritual


Superman and Supergirl and they were


proud of their spiritual gifts and and


they were in competition and they would


have factions and the Apostle Paul says


you're acting like babies


you see competition and arrogance is for


the immature he also talks about being


tossed around like like a ship without


an anchor that it's like we're a boat on


the waters that is being blown away by


every wind of teaching every deceptive


teaching that comes through we just buy


into it when


we're in mature as a church and believe


me false teachings will come to try to


get the church to adapt to society and


try to get us to just go along and there


will be something attractive and


appealing and are we gonna get drawn


into everything are we gonna route


ourselves on the timeless teaching of


the word of God are we going to be


anchor less or we gonna say I know where


my faith is rooted in Jesus it's time to


grow up and love is for grown-ups


verse 15 instead of immaturity speaking


the truth in love we will grow to become


in every respect the mature body of him


who is the head that is Christ you ever


seen a baby with a really big head and a


really tiny body right it's part of what


makes them cute they're supposed to be


that way cuz they're supposed to be a


lot of brains in that head right that's


good and then the body will catch up


with the head eventually well as a


church we've got a great head Jesus it's


time to grow into our head it's time for


the body to match the head that is in


charge of us amen yes and that happens


it says by speaking the truth in love


now it's interesting because in the


original language and none of the


translations very few of the


translations get a show this but it's


it's just it's the word for speaking


isn't there it just turns the word truth


into a verb you ever heard someone take


a noun and turn it into a verb like the


word access used to be a noun and then


in the computer age we turned it into a


verb you can access something on the


computer well truth is a noun and it's


being turned into a verb here staying


instead truthing doing the truth being


the truth speaking the truth we will


grow up into the head but then sisters


truth is the root of maturity and truth


is found primarily in the Word of God


just as I was saying and we need to hold


on to that word for dear life but part


of that true thing I think also speaks


to our sense


and our authenticity it means I'm not


playing games anymore I'm not gonna put


up a Christian mask and have a different


life in the background what you see is


what you get


jesus said this about a man named


Nathaniel who was coming to him he said


behold here comes a man of truth in whom


there is no guile or no deceit he


doesn't play games he's not putting up a


mask he's the real thing now none of us


is perfect or ever will be but God is


calling us to sincerity and genuineness


and authenticity and speaking the truth


in love we will grow up into our head


love is not for children all right


babies are entirely self-centered right


they're entirely self-centered and it's


okay they're babies they need to eat


it's okay for them to cry when they're


hungry it's okay they're made to be that




adolescents teenagers not all of them


but as the you know very young


adolescents tend to be concerned more


about being accepted and fitting in as


they find their identity and that's okay


that's part of their process right and


so they're focused on acceptance because


of maybe insecurities as they grow but


love is for grown-ups love is for


grown-ups and the title of this sermon


is that it is time to grow up the


Apostle Paul said when I was a child I


talked like a child I thought like a


child I reasoned like a child but when I


became a man or an adult I put the ways


of childhood behind me for now we see


only a reflection is in a mirror but


then we shall see face to face now I


know in part then I shall know fully


even as I am fully known and now these


three remain Faith Hope and love and the


greatest of these is love love is for


grown-ups folks beginning to understand


that my calling is to a community and to


others that it's not about me it's about


the body it's about the kingdom it's


about the mission you see this in very


elderly people who've lived a long time


they've got nothing left to prove to


anyone right they really don't care what


you think anymore because what does it


matter really yeah it's all about if


they're we and we have so many people


like this in our church a Christian


elderly people who it's all about the


kingdom it's all about Jesus their


passion that's their bread and butter


it's not about them anymore it's not


about what they want or their ambition


or their recognition or I want this or I


want that it's all about us it's all


about the family it's all about the


family we're called to step up and start


thinking like that and become like Jesus


verse 16 it says from him the whole body


joined and held together by every


supporting ligament grows and builds


itself up in love as each part does its


work I've said this often the church is


not fundamentally an organization the


church is an organism a living breathing


being and the text here says that our


growth Springs from our head Jesus as if


energy flows out of him to us but then


that growth happens as each part is


connecting and the nutrients and the


power and the love is flowing between


the different parts of the body we will


as we grow we help others to grow around


us again back to the athletic imagery


the best player is the one who raises


the level of play of all of those around


him when you do your part the body grows


as a whole amen


God is calling us to step out it says as


each part grows and builds itself up in


love and the final words as each part


does its work walk worthy of the calling


you have received it's time to renounce


childish self-centeredness to realize


that it's all about the body to be like


the Apostle Paul who near the end of his


life considered it not just an


obligation to suffer for the church but


a tremendous privilege look at what he


says in Colossians 1 24 he says now I


rejoice in what I am suffering for you




I fill up in my flesh what is still


lacking in regard to Christ's


afflictions for the sake of his body


which is the church brothers and sisters


God has a strategy to change the world


he has a plan a and that plan a is the


church we are his body the fullness of


the one who fills everything in every


way that is his plan a and he has no


plan B he has chosen to use us this can


you believe that I mean some of you


might think really we couldn't do any


better there's all kinds of powerful


organizations out there no there is no


other option the church is the main show


on earth when I say church I mean


capital C churches that are built on the


truth of the word of God and brought on


Jesus that is God's way of changing the


world it's this way of doing spiritual


warfare the church is meant to be


glorious one day when the veil is


removed all the angels and even the


demons are going to say a collective Wow


so let's walk worthy of our calling


you've got something to do I don't know


what it is


but you've got something to do and when


you don't do it you leave me open just


like it again back to our athletic


imagery if you miss a block I'm the one


who's gonna get a torn ligament right


it's our job to cover our brothers and


sisters to serve in some way and you


know when you can start if you haven't


started yet you can start right now as


we end this service we're going to come


to the table together and the Lord's


Supper is a profound symbol of the


sacrifice of Jesus for us and it's also


a symbol of unity one meal around a


table with the people of God


and we are coming together at this table


and when you participate of the Lord's


Supper you're saying I believe in Jesus


as my Lord and Savior and you're also


saying I am part of this family there's


a place at the table for you now some of




might not feel like you belong you still


might feel like a visitor like I don't


know if I really fit I don't know people


don't like me I'm weird I don't know


whatever you know you know I like Prince


whatever maybe they wouldn't like me


here doesn't matter if you're in Jesus


you have been baptized into one spirit


the Holy Spirit baptizes you into the


body of Christ the Holy Spirit forces


you connects you if you believe in Jesus


as your Lord and Savior there's a place


at the table for you and as you


participate and simply acknowledge that


I belong at the table then you step up


and say I have a calling to this


community I have a calling to the


kingdom of God on earth and then right


afterwards you can look for a person to


say hi to you can look for a person to


pray for you can go there's a reception


on the other side you can go over there


and eat and meet a new person and when


we do those things we step into being


more and more the body we're supposed to


be and the power flows between us so


what do you say yeah I'm bored you


willing to try by the power of God to


live worthy of the calling that we have



Greg Bishop

Pastor Greg Bishop


Ephesians chapter 2 beginning in verse 1

if you're having a hard time finding it

again it's in those letters of Paul in

the New Testament Galatians Ephesians

Philippians Colossians go eat popcorn

right Gentiles eat pork chops whatever

you need to do to remember the order

Ephesians chapter 2 verse 1 to 10 and if

we have it to project it begins by

saying as for you you were dead in your

transgressions and sins in which you

used to live when you follow the ways of

this world and of the ruler of the

kingdom of the air the spirit who is now

at work in those who are disobedient all

of us also lived among them at one time

gratifying the cravings of our sinful

nature and following its desires and

thoughts like the rest we were by nature

objects of Wrath but because of his

great love for us God who is rich in

mercy made us alive with Christ even

when we were dead in transgressions it

is by grace you have been saved and God

raised us up with Christ and seated us

with him in heavenly realms in Christ

Jesus in order that in the coming ages

he might show the incomparable riches of

His grace expressed in his kindness to

us in Christ Jesus

for it is by grace you have been saved

through faith and this not from

yourselves it is the gift of God not by

works so that no one can boast for we

are God's workmanship created in Christ

Jesus to do good works which God

prepared in advance for us to do and

lord I thank you that you have prepared

good works in advance for us to do god

Massey has to be a theme already the

theme of Destiny of calling of the

purpose that you have for us and God I

thank you that that calling that destiny

reaches to each one of us here today

none of us is an accident

God and I pray in the name of Jesus that

your Holy Spirit would get the message

through today Lord I opened up my heart

we open up our hearts to hear the voice

of the Good Shepherd today speak Lord

because we are listening in Jesus name

Amen amen the title of this sermon is

called to shine diamonds of grace called

to shine diamonds of God grace every

time I meet a new person in this church

Saturday mornings in the breakfast I

look at that person I know this person

has a destiny to shine as a diamond of

God's grace and that's what I believe

this text is about and I want to start

with the last verse verse 10 where it

says for we are God's workmanship

created in Christ Jesus to do good works

which God prepared in advance for us to

do that's one of my favorite verses out

there all my favorite verses right every

week I say I listed my favorite right

sorry but the whole idea that each one

of us is created with a purpose and that

along with us God has created specific

things for each of us to do he's created

good works in advance from before the

foundation of the world things that only

you can do in your way and the God has

prepared those in advance for us to

discover and fulfill in God's timing and

I love that verse because in my own life

I like to think about that that my life

isn't an accident that God has stuff for

me to do stuff he's designed me to do

stuff he's designed for me to do and

that everyday is like a treasure hunt

wondering what's it going to be today

Lord what's the divine appointment

what's on your agenda for today for this

year for this month for my life that God

has things that he is set aside for us

to do that we are a people who is set

apart for a purpose the book of

Ephesians is really about that in many

ways in Chapter 1 we talked about and

this was about a month ago so I'm going


fresh our memories here in chapter 1 we

talked about how the book of Ephesians

teaches that Christians are

fundamentally a supernatural people and

I'm not trying to get weird on us but

it's a book that's talking about the

fact that as a Christian you have a dual

identity a dual citizenship yes by day

you are normal Clark Kent

putting on your your glasses in your

suit and doing your stuff but the real

you has a spiritual identity that is

already seated with God in heavenly

places that we have a spiritual dignity

as Christians a spiritual thing to do in

the invisible dimension the heavenly

dimension that is all around us it's a

dimension that god forbids people to

experiment with on their own that's why

we get a little concerned around this

time of year because different types of

spiritualism are prohibited by the word

of God but God says that as a Christian

now are you not only authorized to move

in those waters but you get to fly

first-class in that dimension that you

are privileged there that you are

blessed with every spiritual blessing in

Christ in the heavenly realm that we in

our spirit are already there that we are

a people who are blessed in Ephesians

chapter one it says that we're

privileged sons and daughters

predestined from before the foundation

of the world to be adopted as God's sons

and daughters privy to his master plan

to work in the universe and bring

everything together

under one head things that are spiritual

things that are natural that one day

it'll all come together

in a glorious consummation and we get to

be part of it that we are rich in the

spiritual realm that we are powerful in

the spiritual realm that same power that

God worked in Christ when he raised him

from the dead is available to you today

right now but Jesus is now seated at the

right hand of the Father in that

invisible dimension but he sent his

spirit from there into here so that we

in flesh and blood might be the fullness

of the one who fills everything

in every way if someone wants to say

where's Jesus you say well through his

holy spirit he's speaking to you through


I'm his hands and his feet and his voice

and his eyes not Jesus but he's speaking

through me I'm the foot I'm his body on

earth the fullness of him who fills

everything in every way we are awesome

people called do something special

called to shine his glorious grace we

are living breathing singing examples of

the fact that God is good and that is

our destiny then and now now chapter 2

takes us back a step or two because

before we really realize that we are

diamonds called to shine God's glory we

need to remember something we need to

remember that every diamond and I'm no

geologist but I understand that every

diamond was originally a piece of coal


is that true we have some science people

in the room we need to appreciate

profoundly the fact that none of us

deserves anything from God we need to

know how rotten we are to know how good

god is and chapter two is all about that

let's take a step back now this is

important because in the city of Ephesus

there were some very spiritual people

who would do witchcraft who would even

cast out demons who were not Christians

and they did it because they were

Ghostbusters because they were powerful

magic man magic women and they were

famous and they had the money and the

women and they and they were because why

because they were something special it

was all about them

and God wants to make it very clear

they're nothing it's all about Jesus

through you but remember that you also

were nothing and are nothing and that's

part of the glory of what God does

through you you and I don't deserve

anything from God but punishment now

that's important to realize and we're

going to talk about that because we need

to remember where we came from how easy

is it to forget and to become proud in

1st Corinthians the Apostle

Paul writes brothers and sisters think

of what you were when you were called

not many of you were wise by human

standards not many were influential not

many were of noble birth but God chose

the foolish things of the world to shame

the wise God chose the weak things of

the world to shame the strong God chose

the lowly things of this world and the

despised things and the things that are

not to nullify the things that are so

that no one may boast before him

remember where you came from pastor

Robert o talked about the woman at the

well who had had multiple husbands and

was shacking up at the time looking for

love in all the wrong places

no hoping that that person that

relationship could satisfy the emptiness

inside and jesus said I've got living

water that can really satisfy you

because you're precious to God many of

us were like that though many of us were

people who were looking for - to get

back at the world because of the traumas

of our life like that man we learned

about who was around the well who had

suffered misfortune in his life he'd

been born paralyzed and spent his time

blaming everyone else there's no one to

help me sometimes because we've suffered

we try to numb the pain with drugs or

with alcohol or with sex or with Netflix

or whatever it is it could provide a

moment's distraction and God found us

there and said you don't have to live

like that some of us might have been

successful maybe we were living the

American dream but we found that we were

empty inside that there are certain

things that only God can fill and we

were tortured by neurosis before God

found us as for you you were dead in

your transgressions and sins spiritually


the pastor director has been talking

about this in recent weeks that apart

from God there is a part of us that is

dead not just turned off but not living

not existence that we

might be living physically but

spiritually there is no life in us I

know for me in my own story I was raised

in a church background and I would even

pray and go to church but there came a

time when someone told me have you ever

tried inviting Jesus into your heart and

really giving your life to God and not

just being religious but experiencing a

new birth in your heart and in your

spirit and I thought well why not that

sounds fun

you know I'm 16 why not I'll try a

little did I know what I was about to

get into because when I gave my heart to

Jesus when I invited him in and he came

in it's like something in me woke up and

I would read the Bible and be like I

have that I was raised in this but I

feel like I've never heard it before

it's like the words were jumping off the

page on to me I would go back to Mass

and I would hear the words I'd be like

why didn't everyone anyone ever tell me

what this means this is amazing it was

like I had been blind and then I could

see even the world look difference I

often say this it looked to me like

everything in the world had been turned

into HD HD right the HD TV I go outside

and it's like the sky is bluer than I've

ever seen it I see people with different

eyes because something in me had been

dead and was alive again because even

though I was a nice kid nice kid right I

didn't kill anybody

nice guy right not going around robbing

banks the Bible says that you are dead

in your transgressions and sins the

Bible says all have sinned and fall

short of the glory of God and someone's

visiting today and saying but I'm a nice

guy really I'm a nice lady I do nice

things I know when I was when I was in

college there was a roommate I've shared

this story before but I loved it so much

and and he came to me and he wasn't a

Christian and he said I understand how

you people in the Christian Fellowship

need Jesus you know you got problems I

get that you know that's good I'm glad

it helps you all you people right he

says but I'm a nice guy I'm a nice guy I

I really I try to be nice to people

help out I don't do bad things really

I'm good and you know I'm just I'm

looking nodding thinking you're really

dead in your transgressions and since

but I decided not to tell him at that

moment right if I got the feeling he

wasn't really on board yet

but I did try something I tried fasting

and praying for him and you know fasting

abstaining from food for a day or two

and praying in a focused way I still

drank coffee but I've stayed from food

and and praying for him and about a

month later he came back to me and

apparently he had had some interesting

experiences in that time he had tried

experimenting with multiple girlfriends

right to see how that would work as he's

such a nice guy why not share the

goodness around right you know and he

had discovered that that is not the

wisest thing to do things went south he

came back looking kind of Haggard and

tired the hair a little messed up you

know he says you know what Greg I am the

biggest hypocrite there is I seem like

such a nice guy I seem like I care about

other people and I even thought I was

but really it's all about me it's all

about me I'm just in it for myself I

manipulate people I use people I pretend

I do this and that he says I I can't

believe I said those things to you

before and I was like okay well now

we're ready to talk you know Jesus said

the the healthy don't need a doctor it's

the sick welcome to the club

we were all dead in our transgressions

and sins when we followed the ways of

this world see the literal in the in the

original text in the original Greek it's

the ways of this age see we are living a

certain version of reality that will not

last forever we're living in an insane

time in human history

and I'm not just talking about 2017

because I think we all know 2017 is an

insane moment in human history in many

ways right there's craziness going on

well it's not just this year it's all of

human history is crazy the world is not

the way it's supposed to be they're not

supposed to be children who are over

well we're dying in the woods and don't

have anyone to help them that is not the

way God created the world

there is not supposed to be Wars and and

the crimes that are going out are on

people are not supposed to be living the

way we live towards one another God made

the earth and said it is very good but

things turned and went wrong when we and

there's a world that is twisted and

distorted and out of whack and

Christianity is all about God coming to

set things right again

there is a world system around us that

is nuts that is crazy that is out of

whack it tells us that happiness is

found in this life it tells us we can be

our own gods it tells us that we can do

things our own way and have it all it

tells us all kinds of insane things

there is a world around us that we

follow and sins that's what that which

God calls sin are normalized as

acceptable and even good and and the one

who stands for what's right the way God

wants things to be is seen as the crazy

one we live in a crazy world and we all

lived among everyone else following the

ways of this world we followed also the

ways of the ruler of the kingdom of the

air and that an interesting phrase again

that's in verse verse to what we

followed the ways of this world and of

the ruler of the kingdom of the air the

spirit who is now at work in those who

are disobedient do you know that we are

breathing polluted air now some of us

live near certain highways and really

know that vividly well right that's why

we thank God for civil service to help

us work on that but we are breathing

morally polluted air the atmosphere of

the world is contaminated with not just

moral evil but spiritual evil it's not

just a spiritual atmosphere that is

toxic and polluted and even fatal but

there is actually an organization to

that spiritual air that is around us

now haven't you felt that at some times

you go into certain places and just

something feels heavy in that area you

just feel in the air something's wrong


there's something that is not right

around me sometimes it's just an

intuition sometimes you're really

sensing the facts that there is another

reality that we can't see around us but

it impinges on the way people think and

act and behave it infuses their thoughts

their philosophies their whole systems

that are given over to it because whole

regions of the world are under certain

rulers of the principality of the air

that the spiritual dimension is actually

organized there is a ruler in that

dimension now Christians we do believe

in in a real devil in a real Satan and

again if you don't believe that just

watch the news for five minutes

I tell you what happened in Las Vegas is

not just unfortunate it is demonic some

of the suffering in the world is not

just unfortunate there is an enemy who

comes to steal kill and destroy and the

book of Ephesians throughout this whole

letter is tracing the spiritual

organization of evil in that invisible

dimension and how it influences us there

are rulers over different countries over

different neighborhoods different

conspiracies of evil that are

spiritually founded that people have

bought into that we have bought into it

says in 2nd Corinthians 4:4 that the god

of this age you see our God is the real

God right he's the god of the universe

he's the God of eternity amen amen ok we

needed a little good news though we'll

get to good news so but this age you see

we are living right now in enemy

occupied territory enemy occupied

territory Jesus referred to the devil as

the prince of this world in a sense he

has a right to rule on earth because

people have given

him that right by choosing evil and

rejecting the king of kings and Lord of

lords and that's why God became human to

invade this planet and begin a

revolution a spiritual revolution in

which the kingdom of God would spread

and overthrow the ruler of this planet

this rule the prince of this world it

says the god of this age has blinded the

minds of unbelievers so that they cannot

see the light of the gospel that

displays the glory of Christ who is the

image of God you see as people it's not

just about the devil it's not just about

the world it's about us right we go

along with it we have gone along with it

if the world is trying to sell us a bill

of goods well they have found an

interested customer in us right the

devil finds an easy target in us we want

to buy what the world has to sell we

want to believe the lies we like the air

polluted we have an original sin in us

that wants to go the wrong way there is

no one good the book of Romans says not

even one my buddy who was a nice guy

needed a reality check he needed some

humble pie and so do we if we're ever

going to discover the glory of God's

grace we were by Nature it says here in

Ephesians objects of wrath wrath now so

I use that word I mean where else are

you going to hear the word wrath except

in church

it sounds like old fashioned Puritan

speak right this is this is in the Bible

now pastor Roberto made a really good

point we don't believe that the wrath of

God is imposed we believe the wrath of

God is automatically present where there

is evil the intervention of God is to

remove the wrath but the wrath is

already there the anger of God towards

sin moral evil is fundamentally

repugnant to a holy God there is an

almost chemical reaction

between the two like hey and fire and we

were because of our sin so permeated by

moral evil we were by nature deserving

of wrath what do we deserve from God

nothing but punishment now you don't

hear that often and it's scandalous to

many of us because we have grown so

accustomed to mercy I'd like to share

another story that I also share heard a

few years ago but I'm just gonna share

it again so if you've heard it before

you know you just bear with me here

there's a professor a great book written

by a theologian named RC spruill and he

writes a book called the holiness of God

and he was a professor in an in a

Seminary and on the first day of class

he had a sort of an amphitheater of

students maybe a hundred students and he

told them now every Friday there's going

to be an assignment that will be due and

if you don't bring the assignment

completed you automatically get a zero

on that assignment ok very clear

expectations for the class

now the second week of class about three

or four students show up without the

work done and they're they're like

Professor sprawl please have mercy on us

we're really sorry them things came up

and they had stories there was this and

that and I couldn't get to it and please

just give me a couple more days and dr.

Sproul says ok it's good you can bring

it on Monday that's all right don't

worry about it

the next Friday not just three or four

students ten or twelve students come

without having their work done but

they're like oh we're really really

sorry but some things came up and we

didn't get to it but we know last week

you would you please give us a break

this week and dr. Sproul decides okay

okay you can bring it in on Monday I'll

give you a break this time the next week

a quarter of the class a third of the

class comes in without their homework

and he's like um excuse me um I only

have you know a third of the pay of 2/3

of the papers here what's going on and

then oh you know we're really sorry just

didn't get around to it but we'll have

it for you Monday and he's like wait a

minute here wait a minute

the original agreement was that the

assignments were done on Friday okay so

he started he started getting angry he

started to experience wrath okay so he

starts going down the list

he says Anderson do you have your

homework no f-zero Brown do you have

your assignment yes okay Carter do you

have the assignment no zero you do it

zero rows here and he just got out his

red pen 0ff what do you think everybody

said yeah it's not fair he said oh oh

mr. Jones you think I'm not being fair

right now well if I remember right you

didn't have your assignment either of

the other two times either so if you

want justice I'll be happy to go back

and give you the zeroes that you richly

deserved you know you see justice

becomes scandalous to us when we are

accustomed to mercy and grace unless we

realize just how bad our sin is just how

deserving of God's anger and displeasure

it is we can never appreciate how

amazing it is that God has shown us

grace Amazing Grace how sweet the sound

that saved a really nice guy who

deserved it like me right I really

deserved it I was you know you were you

were the cutest puppy in the shop and

that's why God had Grace on you no you

were the ugly one you were the bad one

that's why it's amazing grace otherwise

it's logical grace logical grace he

chose me because I deserved it had a

great resume of course he would want me

in his kingdom know what makes it

amazing is that you don't deserve it and

neither do I and that is the key to joy

and happiness I know that's gonna sound

crazy but once I know what I really

deserve from God and I appreciate what I

really get Amazing Grace how sweet the

sound that saved a wretch like me I once

was lost but now I'm find was blind but

now I see thank you Jesus it goes on to

say look what he says in verse 4

I think it is Ephesians 2 verse 4 it

says out of his great love God who is

rich in mercy made us alive with Christ

even when we were dead in transgressions

it is by grace you have been saved in

the book of Romans it says that that

this happened at great cost Jesus had to

die for us to purchase us for God to pay

for our sins how many of us would even

be willing to die for somebody maybe

you'd be willing to die for a good

person but God demonstrates his love for

us in this Romans 5 that even while we

were sinners Christ died for us he died

for us

when we hated him he died for us when we

didn't deserve it and that's what makes

it so beautiful and he made us alive

with Christ

he brought us it's like you deserve to

go to jail and instead you win the

lottery you deserve to be fired and

instead you get a promotion we deserve

to be dead and instead were alive again

thank you God that's part of why I love

ministering in settings where people

don't pretend and people sometimes

there's there some people you'll meet

who know they know I don't deserve why

should be dead I should be dead ten

times over I already was dead it's a

miracle I'm even here God has saved me

and there's a joy because we know we

know what we deserve and we know what we

get were mephibosheth at the table if

you know the story from the Old

Testament revived made alive again you

see Christians don't just need we don't

just need a reformation of life remember

the story pastor Roberto was was sharing

out of John chapter three Nicodemus came

to talk to him a religious leader and he

says good teacher we know that you're

from God and Jesus said okay let it

unless you're born again you can't even

see the kingdom of God you don't just

need a nice conversation you don't just

need a new religious affiliation you

need a resurrection you're dead rather

you need to be risen from the dead you

need a new birth in your heart and

spirit and to come alive again

and that is the beauty of Christianity

becoming a Christian is actually an

organic experience there's something in

us that springs to life again that's why

in the book of in the story of the

prodigal son the father said this son of

mine was dead and is alive again he's

lost and he was found it's like you were

blind and now you can see colors you

were deaf and now you can hear Mozart

you were you were dead and now you're

breathing sweet air again praise the


if anyone is in Christ he or she is a

new creation the old has gone the new

has come praise God it doesn't stop

there he also raised us up with Christ

he made us alive but he didn't just

leave us lying there on the on the


he also took our hand and rose us up you

know the story of Lazarus who've been

dead what was it four days in the tomb

and Jesus furious at what death had done

groaning together empathizing with the

pain of the people there cries out

Lazarus come forth I am the resurrection

in the life the one who believes in Me

will live even though he dies

come forth Lazarus and Lazarus came out

and the Bible says he was still wrapped

in the in the mummy clothes right

apparently they wrap him in and so it's

really kind of a vivid image of him

doing this there's a reason why Jesus

had unwrapped the guy let him go you

know he's free because I think

everyone's like who's gonna touch him


is it the zombie the Living Dead you

know no no no Jesus unwrap him these

Jesus doesn't just leave us there

breathing on a hospital bed now no he

raises you up he gets you out he raises

you up with Christ and then he seats you

with him in the heavenly realms now in

the Bible when it talks about someone

being seated or sitting down that

doesn't just mean they're tired and they

need a rest where is Jesus sitting what

on a throne the Bible says that God

raised Christ from the dead and seated


his right hand in the heavenly realms

far above all rule and authority power

and Dominion every name that is invoked

not only in the present age but also in

the one to come and here's the kicker

you're sitting with him now I don't know

how you picture that I don't want you to

picture it you know if you google you

know google it sometimes you find people

trying to imagine us squeezed into a

seat with Jesus you know like in a

taxicab in Latin America you know I had

that experience we're a totally full cab

and we pull up and they open the door

and I'm like oh we're full next thing I

know strong you know a person sitting

next it's like oh I guess I guess we're

not full there's there's real pro hi

there you know and it's a lady or

something it's not like that when it

says we're seated with Christ it means

we share the throne with him we share

authority with him you believe that

there is this dark kingdom of the air

all around us but the king is now seated

at the right hand of the Father he

defeated Satan by paying the penalty for

sin overcoming death he's seated at the

right hand of the Father he's extending

his kingdom here the natural dimension

and we get to rule with him in this

process we have spiritual authority


awesome that the darkness is being

pushed back the Prince of this world is

being cast out original blessing is

replacing original sin and we are

clothed in majesty now there might be

some people here who have already

accepted Jesus who are genuine

Christians who don't feel like they're

seated in Majesty ruling with Jesus but

that is your reality the rest of the

book of Ephesians is going to talk about

lining up our thoughts with our reality

in your spirit you are already seated

with Christ in heavenly realms you have

authority you have power you have

dignity and there's a purpose for all of

this we are revived we are raised and we

are restored to the status God

originally meant humanity to have back

in the Garden of Eden and here's the

purpose for it and this is the main

point of the message so I really ask you

to pay attention to this to verse 7 in

order that in the coming ages

see there's going to be another age when

this insane season of human history will

pass creation will be renewed the way

meant to be in the beginning in order

that in that coming age after Jesus

comes back he might show the

incomparable riches of His grace

expressed in his kindness to us in

Christ Jesus all of this has a purpose

you have a destiny you have a purpose in

life and before it's to do anything on

this earth your purpose is to shine as a

living breathing singing dancing example

of the fact that God can raise the dead

a diamond of God's grace we are meant to

be displayed as a beautiful jewel of God

and I actually believe this refers to a

moment in the future when when this

natural realm is peeled back and that

which is spiritual becomes visible and

you can actually see all the the

millions of angels around us that we can

see the demons coming under judgment

that at that time when this mortal is

peeled off we will be glorious who you

really are in Jesus will shine with

unencumbered glory and beauty and we

will be like diamonds that God pulls out

of his jacket and shows the universe

look at what my love can do to a person

now the beauty of a diamond is that it

doesn't have necessarily beauty in

itself it's the power that it has to

reflect and refract the light you are

meant to be a diamond that captures the

grace of God and shines that grace of

God in a way that only you can do that

you have been chiseled out by the Lord

to shine as a diamond of His grace

expressed in his kindness to you in

Christ Jesus that will be an awesome day

the Bible says angels long to look into

these things they will look at this

story you know you watch movies and

stories that inspire you that make you


any story that touches us

based fundamentally on the cosmic story

of God's rescue mission of humanity he

is the hero who sacrifices it all for us

he makes his enemies into his children

he makes dead people live and shine

again the whole universe is going to say

Wow and we will shine and show the

majesty of his grace to an amazed

universe now that's your destiny starts

now by the way it starts now

it is by grace you have been saved by

faith and even this isn't from

yourselves it is the gift of God so that

no one can boast do you and I really

know that you don't deserve anything but

punishment from God you really know that

I don't know I know sometimes to think

well I'm okay

no I don't deserve anything I have

nothing to boast about I was dead and

God found me and made me alive he threw

the life preserver and I just grabbed it

and got saved not even it's like he

found me already dead and did CPR ko ko

ko ko ko' and I'm alive again if you

know you don't deserve it stop living

like you do you have nothing to prove to

anyone you have nothing to lose if

people think you're a sinner well that's

true if they think you were dead while

you were that's the beauty of it we're

recipients of undeserved mercy and love

and there is nothing more freeing than

that the Bible says let not the wise man

boast of his wisdom let not the strong

man boast of his strength let the one

who boasts boast about this that he

understands and knows me that I am the

one who exercises goodness love and

mercy on earth that's your boast you say

I serve an awesome God look what he did

in me I was dead and I'm alive again and

now here I am and you shine for the

glory of God and it starts now the good

works prepared in advance for you you

are God's handiwork the original Greek

word for that that paul wrote in is the

word and the

here's the Greek word bow amma poem a

poem ii does that sound like a word we

might know you are god's poem you're an

expression of his creative energies what

does a poem do it expresses the soul of

the author like normal prose can't we

are created and it's the same word it's

only used one of the time the New

Testament in Romans chapter 1 where it

says that the all of God's creation

people can see God's beautiful eternity

eternal qualities from what has been

made they see the trees and the stars in

the sky and the laws of physics and they

say wow there's a God that made all this

well in the same way God has made you

and me in order to show that he is a

good God and that he created us for good

works Jesus said let your do let your

good deeds shine like a light before men

that they might give glory to your

father in heaven we have a mission to do

we have an agenda that God has written

there's things that we have been created

to accomplish to be fishers of men to be

people who build the temple of God to do

good works that God has created so that

we can be like a diamond shining for his

glory isn't that awesome

now that's a reason to get out of bed in

the morning that's a reason to push

through the dark difficult times maybe

you struggle with addictions that's a

reason to push through and get the help

you need because I've got a mission I'm

supposed to shine for God's glory that's

why we we go to the the seminar that we

announced earlier because we say I've

got all these problems and struggles but

the real me is seated in glory with the

Lord and I've got a mission to shine for

His grace and the one who began the good

work is faithful to complete it I have

things to do in the kingdom of God now I

invite us to embrace this grace of God

and to live and every action of everyday

will shout god is good and life is

filled with meaning now there might be

some people here who are not sure maybe

you're maybe you're not really sure

about all this maybe you're new to


maybe you're just starting to come and

you're not really sure have I ever

really ain't been risen from the dead

the way he's talking about maybe I'm

still dead in my transgressions and

since I want to be sure I'm alive today

is a day maybe that is written on God's

calendar for you where you can cross

over from death to life maybe God has

chosen this to be your moment to make

that decision and we're going to end

with a prayer in a moment as we've been

doing these days where we open up the

moment for us to say god I don't deserve


but I would like the life that I'm

hearing about today I want to say yes to

you I want to receive Jesus in my heart

as my Lord and Savior and I invite you

to stand with me and we're gonna take a

moment and pray maybe you're struggling

intensely and you know that you're dead

in your transgressions and sins maybe

you're not maybe things are going well

for you but there's an emptiness inside

that tells you there's more there's more

to life than this let's pray father in

Jesus name I thank you God that you have

done it all for us lord god I thank you

for your amazing grace Lord God we don't

deserve it Lord God but I thank you God

that in spite of what we deserve that

you have given us the opportunity to

know you Lord that you have given us the

chance to have a new beginning in life

to have a new song in our mouth to have

a new mission and a new purpose and to

be new in our heart and soul and lord I

pray especially I pray for all of us

first god that we would live with a

profound sense of gratitude that we

would know God that because we don't

deserve anything from you but we receive

everything from you that our whole life

can be a thank you our whole life can

shine with gratitude for what you have

done in the Lord I pray for anybody here

today who has still yet to take that

step of faith and to receive Jesus in


hearts and I pray that today you would

give them the ability to make that

decision I invite everyone to close your

eyes in prayer right now and if there's

anyone here in that situation and you

want to pray to make Jesus your Lord and

Savior I invite you to make that gesture

today by raising your hand good and high

if you haven't done it before I invite

you to raise that hand and say god I am

making that decision today to receive

Jesus into my heart is there anyone here

who wants to make that commitment God's

salvation is available to us his

purposes are being fulfilled right now

but we need to receive it by grace

through faith we need to say yes Lord I

choose to trust you today is there

anyone who wants to make that commitment

today right where you are I'm going to

invite you to take that step of faith

anyone here I see I see a gentleman

there I'm not sure if that's why you

have your hands raised maybe it is is

there anyone else who is making that

decision today anyone else now might be

the day that God has decided for you

amen I'm going to invite you those of

you that have your hands raised right

where you are to look up to heaven and

say this prayer with me right now God is

looking at you I see you and just say

dear God I thank you that you love me I

don't deserve it but I received the love

that you have for me today I believe in

Jesus as my Lord and Savior I ask you to

change me and to save me and to make me

alive again in Jesus name

amen and amen god bless you

Do not help the butterfly!: The true cost of the born again experience

Pastor Roberto Miranda


let's let's go to the word of the Lord

now and I want to I want to stay on John

chapter 3 you know I had every intention

of just going on to something else but I

I kept thinking about that encounter

between Jesus and Nicodemus and you know

it's a very rich very complex passage

full of all kinds of important concepts

that we need to explore and you know one

of them that III we may have just

glossed over it but I think it deserves

our zooming into it and focusing on it

is this idea of being born again I mean

you we hear that expression all the time

you know a born-again Christian

sometimes it's the object of great

respect when Christians speak of it

sometimes it's an object of a bit of

ridicule when non-believers speak of

born-again Christians and the born-again

experience and so on but it's really one

of the most mmm one of the most

fundamental important principles in the

Bible and that we need to dedicate that

time to it so let's let's just zoom into

that word and let me just go back a

little bit again we we talked about the

Samaritan woman in the past two weeks

and I touched on Nicodemus a bit and

nowadays you know with the Spanish and

the English service sometimes I go into

one and and I fallen sort of behind one

and the other and I'm not sure really

sometimes what I preach in one and what

I preach in the other so if you are

hearing some things that I touched on

last Sunday they will serve as

reinforcement but there's a lot of new

material that I really want to cover

with you with you so III don't think I

read the passage and let me just go to

some of the words here in this encounter

between Nicodemus and so I focused more

on the Samaritan woman but what I see is

this that this these two encounters

between Jesus and the Samaritan woman

and Nicodemus they have a lot of things

in common and it's worth of focusing on

them and even in their differences

they actually reinforced each other in

the principles that they contain and

there's a third encounter that I will

touch on at some point before I go into

another topic which is a John chapter

five and it's with this man this

paralytic who Jesus encounters in the

pool in Bethesda and you will see that

it's no coincidence that this three sort

of characters are right like one after

the other Nicodemus is in chapter 3 the

Samaritan woman is in chapter 4 and the

paralytic at Bethesda is in chapter 5

and I think that there is a unity in

these are three characters excuse me a

second grab some water here and you will

see clearly that there is a kind of a

relationship because they all focus on

Jesus number one just the figure of

Jesus the centrality of him and we see

that Jesus is very interested in

presenting himself for the consideration

of these individuals something

exceptional something unique something

that provides a process and experience

that is not attainable through any other

entity any other experience except

through him and so Jesus is very

interested in lifting himself up before

the consideration of these three

individuals and and each of these

chapters is oriented toward focusing on

the person of Jesus and you know I I

myself have been blessed and reinforced

in my own appreciation of the person of

Jesus you know you might that might seem

strange for a pastor to say a Christian

pastor but it's true that many times you

know we can kind of Jesus can become a

hazy element in the entire sort of

cosmos of the Christian faith and we do

confess that he is central but often we

do not see him really for what he is and

I have been reinforced in this idea that

we need

you know just present Jesus and and

focus on him because he's such a source

of power and transformation and energy

so to speak so let's just go quickly in

chapter 3 verse 1 John just now there

was a man of the Pharisees named

Nicodemus a member of the Jewish ruling

council he came to Jesus at night and

said rabbi we know you are a teacher who

has come from God for no one could

perform the miraculous signs you are

doing if God were not with him in reply

Jesus declared I tell you the truth no

one can see the kingdom of God unless he

is born again so there is that concept

of being born again that is the source

of this terminology that is used by so

many Christians being born again that is

the the that is where it is found and

then there are other passages in

Scripture which we'll touch on which are

development of that particular truth so

Jesus is saying Nicodemus no one

including yourself can see the kingdom

of God unless he is born again so

Nicodemus who is a religious man I mean

he this is he is a priest in a sense I

mean he's not he's not a priest but he

is a member of a governing body the

Sanhedrin which is made up of extremely

religious individuals he may have had

religious training he may have been a

rabbi himself but certainly he is a very

religious man he has a lot of religious

knowledge he is very respectable and

being a member of the governing body of

the Jewish people who are you know

essentially a theocratic people at the

time of Jesus he is an influential

highly highly experienced man in the

things of the Spirit as they as the

Pharisees understood as the Jews

understood and that is particularly

significant this is no ignorant person

regarding spiritual truths this is not a

sinner you know an acknowledged sinner

an obvious sinner like the Samaritan

woman is and that's why I say that even

even in their contrasts they do

reinforce this important element of the

house central Jesus is in house enter

and how important it is no matter where

you come from whether you come from a

very respectable background

whether you come from a religious

background that you go to church every

Sunday and so on and so forth or whether

you are a an accomplished sinner unless

you have gone through the person of

Jesus Christ and unless he has gone

through you you really do not know him

you you do not have salvation you do not

have a saving experience of the Lord

your soul is essentially lost because

it's not about religion it's not even

about sin in itself it's about what

Jesus Christ that that magnetic powerful

mysterious figure can provide for your

life and so we will see that this is

Jesus entire interest as it is also with

the Samaritan woman you know he takes

her through a journey

slowly he speaks to her he enters into a

conversation he entertains her doubts

and her questions but his entire focus

and objective is to bring her to see him

Jesus for who he truly is the savior of

the world the Son of God the the the

person that she needs to establish a and

that Nicodemus need to establish a vital

relationship with so so you know they

enter into a dialogue and Nicodemus is

intrigued and kind of baffled by this

idea of being born again what does that


does that mean that in order for me to

be safe I have to get back into the womb

of my mother he's taking Jesus literally

and I think he's also revealing the

ultimate ignorance of a person who is

merely religious who hasn't really had a

saving experience a a transformative

experience where even their intellect

and their understanding has been

impacted where the life of God is not in

them enabling them to think in biblical

terms in spiritual terms in in the

symbolic terms that Christianity revels

in so he's just an intellectual even

though he has a religious experience he

really is just an intellectual person

trying to look at the religious

experience through theological

institutional conceptual eyes but hasn't

had a spiritual activation that enables

him to understand the language of heaven

so he thinks that Jesus is speaking

literally just as the into interestingly

enough the Samaritan woman also thinks

that Jesus is speaking literally when he

says if you knew who is asking you for

water you would ask him and he would

give you water for eternal life and he

would give you water that you will never

be thirsty again it says Wow Lord I want

that water what what brand is it and and

Jesus is not speaking about physical

water he is speaking about that

enlivening satiating satisfying liquid

or essence that he provides when you

enter when you enter into an experience

with him that satisfaction that you feel

that sense of grounding that sense of

knowing who you and where you come from

and who and where to you are going this

grounding that you feel that whatever

experience you have in life whether it's

tragedy or loss or great triumph and and

advancement that it you know it's all

framed by this knowledge of Jesus in and

of human existence that it's all

relative that it's all conditioned by

eternity when you have Christ you have

this grounding you have the sense of

permanence the world is not able to just

toss you back and forth as we are want

to experience if I have a great job

wonderful I mean the heaven but if I

lose my job I'm in despair if somebody

loves me and and affirms me great I feel

worthy but if they go to somebody else

or they disdain me or ignore me then I'm

in total chaos

you know the person who has that water

of life they are they are satiated

they are grounded and so this is what

Jesus speaking about this water but

Nicodemus is not able to understand that

at all and so Jesus gets into a little

bit of an interesting dialogue with him

and so we go on and in verse 13 Jesus

you know Big D

Bernice's no one has ever gone gone into

heaven except the one who came from

heaven the Son of man now he's really

getting into the meat of the

conversation this is no longer just kind

of symbolic discussion no he's now like

he did with a Samaritan woman he is now

bringing her to the kill in the best

sense of the word

actually for the life which is he's now

bringing the attention to himself in a

very obvious sort of way just as Moses

lifted up the snake in the desert

Nicodemus would have understood that

language because he's referring to

Jewish history when the Jews were in the

desert and they were desperate dying I

think I spoke about that Sunday last

Sunday and God had Moses fashioned this

bronze serpent as a symbol of life and

he says whoever looks at it will be

healed from their wounds from these

serpents that were running around as a

actually as a punishment for the the

idolatry and the the ingratitude of the

Jews in the desert so he fashioned this

this serpent as an instrument salvation

and now Jesus rescues that from history

and brings it to himself and says just

as Moses lifted up the snake in the

desert so the Son of Man must be lifted

up that everyone who believes in Him may

have eternal life so you see that he's

changing the terms of the conversation

completely and I love that I'm gonna

just stop at that well two verses are

crucial here for God so loved the world

one of the most famous verses in all

scripture that He gave His one and only

Son that whoever believes in Him shall

what shall not perish now where I invite

you to think where does that word come

from and what does that mean in the 21st

century we read these words in kind of

this modern Christianity that we

experience and we kind of gloss over it

but if you think about it that much of

the language of Christianity is based on

this idea of perishing or being saved of

lostness or of rescue of eternal

perdition and death or eternal life or

of condemnation or justify

occasion and so what do these concepts

refer to they refer to eternal life or

death they refer to that ugly ugly word

that we have to refer to hell or heaven

and you see that you know in in the in

the whole system of Jesus and salvation

and the gospel and Christianity this

idea of of hell or heaven as an eternal

destiny for the human being is

absolutely central when you take that

away from the construct of Christianity

you're really left with one of the most

important pieces because this is why the

Son of God came it says it wasn't to

give us a better life it wasn't just to

enhance the quality of our life that

Jesus came Christianity does that in

spades yes but that's not the main

reason for the coming of the Son of Man

Jesus came to save us from hell and to

enable us to go into heaven in eternity

and that is all over for me

you know as I've studied these texts

it's just reinforced that my it's

liberated me really to speak freely and

openly about this because I that unless

we understand that we will not

understand the urgency of sharing the

gospel with others and we will not

understand the urgency of our own

situation so this language you know this

is the Son of man came so that whoever

believes in Him shall not perish but

have eternal life there is a an

equivalency here an inverse equivalence

if you will perishing eternally or

living eternally and Jesus says you know

I have come in order to give people the

possibility to escape this option and to

embrace this option and then you know he

goes on in verse 18 says well 17 is also

really good and that's fine if we don't

get to you know it says for God did not

send his Son into the world to condemn

the world but to say

the world through him what is this thing

of condemning and saving it's it's a

references to again death and life and

interesting why did I cannot why Cannot

I why I can't escape that verse it's

because in a way you know sometimes we

think Christianity is a condemning

religion it is to condemn people it is a

judgemental religion you know God

condemns people to hell Jesus you know

condemns people to hell and he says no I

mean the scripture is very insistent

that God does not want anyone to perish

this is why actually he sends his son

this is why he frames an entire system

and plan which is so simple for people

to be saved it's because he doesn't want

anybody Jesus says I do not condemn

people myself they condemned themselves

by rejecting me so he says whoever

believes in Him is not condemned but

whoever does not believe stands

condemned already because he has not

believed in the name of God's one and

only Son really what is saying here is

that people you know hell is is there by

default in a way to lose your soul is

not an active act of God almost it is

really it's there a place that you go to

when you do not choose the other option

when you do not click the box as I said

last Sunday and so everybody needs to do