Teen Challenge Visit - November 2015

you know I love what I do even at times

when you know things don't always go

according to plan then again life

doesn't always go according to plan you

know changes get come at you sometimes

at the last minute you have to make

adjustments and um you know just God is

so good is the word good doesn't even

cover it it really doesn't it really

really doesn't and you know to see the

men up here singing the last two songs

that we did at the cross and healer I

have to share this we've been practicing

them now for a few weeks those are the

only you guys are the second quiet

second congregation and we've actually

done those songs for and the way that

they just did healer I was sitting there

like yes that was awesome you know

there's a couple little tricky parts

that kari jobe really throws into that

song but bless you guys man I'm so proud

of you I mean that from the bottom of my

heart I'm not just saying that I mean

that you know you know we we do a lot of

things in team challenge from six

o'clock in the morning when the guys get

up to breakfast the cleaning Louise can

testify to a lot of this we I guess you

could say we run pretty hard you know

and throughout the day I mean there's

different circumstances outside

circumstances family kids court lawyers

medical issues all kinds of stuff that

come up in the enemy tries to use those

things as distractions to really take

their focus away from what they're doing

you know it never fails and it seems

like anytime you know when you when

you're when you're running with the

enemies not attacking you doesn't need

to he knows right where you're at you

know but as soon as you step out of that

camp you say no I'm making a different

change I'm doing something different in

my life or you got a big bullseye on you

or what when a blessing a big blessing

something a big breakthrough a

significant breakthrough and you'll walk

with Christ something that God is about

to give you well bless you would do in

your life is coming all that attack

comes on to tomorrow i leave for El

Salvador six o'clock in the morning I

have a flight this has been a week of

stretching between preparing everything

so that I can go away and go away on

vacation and not have to worry about

things back here I'm also going to

hopefully if God shows me that it's the

correct time I'm going to be proposing

to my girlfriend now amen amen I met

around a missions trip three years ago

we've been talking back and forth a lot

of Facebook a lot of texting that kind

of stuff but you know I need to go down

and just confirm it by spending a little

bit of time with her and hopefully going

to visit an orphanage and do some other

things to some sightseeing but you know

I know that that blessing is coming in

today from the time I woke up I was

finishing this message up last night and

just everything like well my thoughts

were all swirling in my head like okay

I'm packed I got all this stuff the guys

are gonna be on choir oh I forgot this i

forgot that and then you know pastor

Jonathan who is our director was going

to be here today as I said he had an

emergency come up he called me about

five minutes before and he said I have

to turn around and go home I'm not going

to be there I need you to do the

presentation in this bad i said okay let

me jump on this and let me jump on the

phone booth put the cape on and come

back out you know so the one thing I can

say about teen challenge let me rephrase

God has used to team challenge to teach

me how to be flexible how to take every

thought take everything so seriously I

mean before they be a day when I be in

the back you know saying I can you

believe he did this I can't believe he

called me two minutes before who does

this and you know I can make every

excuse i mean we're people right i mean

we we get our feelings hurt and the next

thing you know we're saying the next

thing you know you're like where did

that come from so anyway I kind of went

off a little bit off of my topic but

I'm gonna be sharing today you know I

God has a way of confirming things you

know when you're not sure about

something I don't I used to believe in

coincidence I don't anymore there's no

such thing it's just God orchestrating

something that you really didn't

understand how it was gonna come or how

it was gonna happen and we could choose

to call it coincidence no that's just

God working behind the scenes and if he

told you what was going to happen you

probably we would mess it up because we

do you know one thing I one thing I've

learned in teen challenge two is at any

time I want to hear God laugh I just

need to tell him what my plans are and

it's amazing he just has her way of

proving me wrong all the time you know

but the one thing the most important

thing that God revealed to me through

this ministry is that there is a God and

I'm not him and that Jesus Christ did

for me what I am completely and all of

us are completely incapable of doing for

ourselves and I will be it's a privilege

to serve it really is you know it's not

always easy but it's a privilege so I'm

gonna I wasn't sure what I was going to

share on I kind of went back and forth

with a you know in prayer and meditation

and reading and I'm like what am I going

to share what am I going to share on and

I told pastor Jonathan that I was going

to share on second Corinthians now

second Corinthians 5 17 is the first

scripture that all these guys have taken

so for a scripture that you learn when

you come into the program it was almost

like that the rocky montage kind of

scripture you know and I i was going to

preach on chapter 5 11 through 20 and I

wasn't sure if I was going to do it and

then acquire that we were on last week

the pastor shared a brief devotion

because we had the entire service he

shared a brief devotion on that I said I

get it that's what I'm going to share on

so if you would open up your Bibles to

second Corinthians 5 17 and just like to

open up in a word of Prayer Heavenly

Father Lord

I just thank you Father for each one of

the lives the family members that are

represented in this congregation today

Lord by the way I prayed that you would

open hearts that you would open minds

father the more importantly that your

word would go forth that it would have

its way as it always does Lord father

your word is sharper than any

double-edged sword it cuts through

Maryland bone whether it has its way it

never comes back void note I just prayed

that you would remove me from this

equation Lord God Father that your word

would just go would come forth through

my lips look I just use me as your

servant has your vessel today but we

give you all the glory and honor and

praise for all that you've done in the

service so far Holy Spirit thank you for

your presence here today I just ask that

you would continue to minister to hearts

and to the people here father thank you

for the blessing of my brothers and

their love Lord and their commitment to

follow you Lord God and thank you for

their hard work and their diligence

little gun and preparing just a those

the songs logo for the gift things that

you're bringing out of them loga that

they had no idea that they even had

father thank you for all of this Lord I

asked for a blessing upon this

congregation Lord God that you would

continue to to bless the Ministry of

lying to Judah Loew god the father we

just thank you for the gifts and the

givers log on father just at the that

the gifts would go forth and multiply

Lord God I just thank you for the

peripheral support by the god of those

who just travail in prayer for for loved

ones who are addicted Lord God or pray

for the Ministry of Teen Challenge

probably just thank you for all that in

Jesus name Amen so for anyone who hasn't

read first or second Corinthians in its

entirety I'd encourage you to do so when

you have some time I know most of the

guys are probably ready we have to do

Bible projects and that kind of stuff

but I I like Corinthians because it

reminds me of me my old me you know how

I was even though it was a letter to the

church in Corinth it reminds me of

how I was I was like the the city of

Corinth in many many many ways I was

idolatrous I was spiritually morally

corrupt I indulged in every pleasure

that I could find in with up with a

longing for more and the city of Corinth

was a lot like that I mean obviously we

can't read through the whole book we're

just going to touch on a short part but

i do want to touch on a couple of points

just to kind of set the stage for second

Corinthians 5 in first Corinthians we

learn that Paul had established this

church during a second missionary

journey the Christians in Corinth were

mostly Gentiles Corinth was a large

seaport in center of trade in the area

which if you can imagine any larges

probably like Boston in a lot of ways

you know very diverse a lot of different

cultures a lot of different religious

beliefs which you have like a big mixing

pot of all of this stuff going on a lot

of and again a lot of sexual immorality

a lot of idolatry it's just hey it

reminds me of some of the cities like

gosh I can't think of a few places that

I used to run and do the wrong things in

and it reminds me of those kind of

places which is why I think it touches

me so much but being a new church the

believers were spiritually mature in

many ways and were undisciplined they

were more concerned about fitting in

with the Society of Corinth and trying

to blend these values into their own

Christian lifestyles that the church had

become divided it was I guess you could

say was in disorder the results in Paul

writing first Corinthians was to

confront this behavior and even more

specific with the issues within the

church now in second Corinthians we

learned that false teachers had sprung

up in the church and we're misleading

the converts and dividing the church

from within these men were denying

Paul's Authority and even his right to

be able to discipline people within the

church as his authority as an apostle I

mean he could write you a letter and

Paul just had a way of writing a letter

and letting you know hey man this is

what you guys are doing wrong you know

and there was people that were

challenging that within the church scene

who's this guy you know

he was forced to write this letter to

defend his ministry and his authority

but he also used it to encourage those

who are suffering during this time and

through other trials in their lives as

we read in the beginning of chapter 5

but most importantly he writes to

explain the true nature of Christian

doctrine and ministry to its people and

he's he had we picked up pick up in

chapter 5 verse 11 through 21 then

chapter 11 reads therefore knowing the

fear of the Lord we persuade others but

what we are is known to God and I hope

it is known to your conscience we are

not commending ourselves to you again

but giving you cause to boast about us

so that you may be able to answer those

who boast about outward appearance and

not what about was in the heart for if

we are beside ourselves it is for God if

we are in our right mind it is for you

for the love of Christ controls us

because we have concluded this that one

has died for all therefore all have died

and he died for all that those who live

might no longer live for themselves but

for him who for their sake died and was

raised from now one therefore we regard

no one according to the flesh even

though we once regarded Christ according

to the flesh we regard him thus no

longer therefore if anyone is in Christ

he is a new creation the old has passed

away behold the new has come all this is

from God and through Christ reconciled

us to himself and gave us the Ministry

of reconciliation that is in Christ God

was reconciling the world to himself not

counting their trespasses against them

and entrusting us entrusting to us the

ministry I'm sorry the message of

reconciliation therefore we are

ambassadors for Christ God making his

appeal through us we employ you on

behalf of Christ be reconciled to God

for our sake he made him to be sin who

knew no

that in him we might become the

righteousness of God so what does this

portion of Scripture really say what

does it mean one thing I've learned in

in Teen Challenge is well and through

training and just biblical studies is

that it's very important to keep

everything context three most important

words in reading Scripture context

context context so starting at 11 we

read that therefore knowing the fear of

the Lord we persuade others but what we

are is known to God and I hope it is

known to your conscience well what does

the fear of the Lord mean you know I

read that on my fear of the Lord I'm

spoke that I'm supposed to love God

what's fear of the Lord you know well

this doesn't refer to the feeling of

being scared or terrified it refers to a

healthy reverent fear of Christ

displeasure at the choices we make in

the sins that we commit we are known to

God all that we do everything God sees

it all before we even do it he already

knows what we're thinking we should have

a healthy reverent fear of this and know

that God knows this and one day we're

going to have to give an account when we

stand before him however this fear

actually gives us a strength and a

courage to stand against our human

reasoning and resist the urge to send as

Christians we know the difference

between right and wrong our conscience

and the Holy Spirit speak to us of this

in a chapter and verse 12 we are not

commending ourselves to you again but

giving you cause to boast about us so

that you may be able to answer those who

boast about outward appearance and not

about what is in the heart you know I

know I had shared that most of us I

think just in human nature we always

want to look good on the outside you

know that way we look good to everybody

you know I know that sometimes those

days that I'd walk into church dress

like I am now I may look good on the

outs

but i'm really i'm tore up on the inside

you know like Cody had shared in his

testimony this morning I was praying

with him and talking to him early in the

parking lot and you know just I've been

there I know I know what he's going

through I know the attack that he's

going through different circumstances

but I know when you're in the pressure

cooker and you're trying to press

through and everything's coming at you

and it's just it's hard to break through

my encouragement to him was I said

listen you get up behind that pulpit you

share what's on your heart you let God

move you through that I guarantee when

you leave that service you're not going

to be the same way when you went in so

how do boasts about outward appearance

the world's method of evaluation has no

place in the church typical

representatives of the world take pride

in their outward appearance relying on

themselves the love money power prestige

Paul encourages to take a stand for the

truth of the gospel and be more

concerned about Christ popularity than

our own and 13 through 15 we read for if

we are beside ourselves it is for God if

we are in our right mind it is for you

for the love of Christ controls us

because we have concluded this that one

has died for all therefore all have died

and he died for all that those who might

live no longer live for themselves but

for him who died for their sake and was

raised now as an early Christian and

released student in the program I'd read

something like that but I have no idea

what you're saying it kind of repeats

but the more that you read it in the

more that you study on and the more that

you look into it during times of

personal prayer worship public worship

we should be seeking the presence of God

at all times that's what we should

strive for you know it's not about

outward appearance it's not a boat well

I want to be the person in here dancing

the best or i want to be in here the

person guinean whoo you know the best

it's not a performance we should be

seeking the presence of God whether we

are engaged in

private worship of public ministry we

always need to be doing this we need to

be living for God and serving others not

ourselves Christ died for us for me and

for all of you here today in the most

staggering thing I can't even like fully

wrap my brain around it is is that even

if it was just us here today us in the

entire world Christ still would hung on

that cross think about that even if

there was just two of us here he still

would have hung on that cross I can't

even I can't even fathom that you know I

mean you look at like situations where

you know maybe there's a situation where

out of a million people you know it's

like okay well I know that a couple

hundred thousand may have to pass away

but I can help these ones no no when I'm

gonna help them all I'm gonna die for

everybody I just amazing you know that

fact that my grandfather used to have a

saying he said you know what if that

doesn't set you on fire then your woods

wet and listen if that fact that it did

you know what I'm saying you know I'm

trying to go with this right i mean if

that doesn't get you excited for god and

his love for us I don't know what else

would you know oh goodness ah as

Christians we should be living to please

Christ not the world not our friends and

not even our families especially if it

comes to compromising our belief in

Christ and the gospel of grace we should

never be compromising we should be

staking a stand and saying no no no you

need to sit down because I need to

really explain this to you in chapter 16

we read from now on therefore we regard

no one according to the flesh oh wait

I'm

yeah I'm right from now on therefore we

regard no one according to the flesh

even though we once regarded Christ

according to the flesh we regard him

thus no longer what Paul is saying is is

that we as Christians we need to use

biblical wisdom with spiritual judgment

and insight into looking at people's

lives and situations we're so quick to

say oh my gosh can you believe that they

did this enough everything else and

rather than seeing what's going on with

that person what's God doing in his life

like it would have been real easy for me

to when Cody called me this morning said

hey man I'm feeling too good and I knew

we felt okay I've been around the

ministry long enough to know did he say

and I said well what's going on he said

well I gotta iron my shirt I'm gonna put

you out of the outside that's when I

knew I said okay there's something more

at work here and I said listen man you

know the team needs you I need you you

know and he said well okay and on the

way here I could see that something was

going on with them you know but it

needed him to have discernment and be

able to look past the immediate issue

into really okay well what's going on

with this brothers it is he going

through like a spiritual attack I mean

we're always in attack but sometimes

it's like warfare going on you know and

as he shared in his testimony today I

mean yeah he's going through it but he

still got up here and proclaimed what

God's doing in his life and praise be to

God I guarantee you're gonna walk out of

here different than you then you came in

I don't say that to boast about myself

that I use great discernment everything

else I'm saying that through biblical

wisdom through reading a God's Word and

more importantly from spending time with

being in a program like Teen Challenge

weather and it it doesn't need to be

Teen Challenge gonna be here in the

church you know I know that I've come to

know pastor Greg fairly well and I'm

looking forward to even getting to know

him even more

but I know that there are there there

are different groups counseling sessions

different things and there's different

resources here in the church that people

can take advantage of bible studies

classes discipleship programs things

that maybe you're sitting here today and

some of the stuff I'm reading like you

well I don't really understand

everything and no I honestly I can't say

that I love everybody no but not

everybody does it right at first the

more that you spend time in this word

around godly people that have been the

carrier either a pastoral mantle or some

kind of just spiritually mature people

within the church jump in their back

pocket spend time with them you don't

need to have all the answers the answers

come in time if we have experienced the

true love of Christ we should be

compelled to stop viewing others

according to worldly standards and if

we're unable to do this we got to ask

ourselves why if you've experienced the

love of Christ and you're not able to to

carry that and share that with someone

who is hurting maybe just walk by him on

the street me like whoop what are we

afraid of we should be asking ourselves

why what we really need to ask is what

is it about me that makes me unable to

love this person not what is it that

makes this person unlovable every day

I'm being reminded of taught how to view

all this from the same point of God's

grace in Christ's love just cuz I'm up

here sharing the word does not mean I am

exempt from looking at some people to be

like me I just do not understand you you

know there's I'm just keeping it real

I'm being transparent you know god were

you know Oh sometimes that's why he has

me in teen challenge cuz I I was a you

know I don't I never loved everybody I

love me some me I was one of those guys

like I love me you know

for me to have to love someone else as I

love myself too you're asking a lot but

through situations circumstances and men

that God has put in my life that are in

teen challenge and the teachings and the

wisdom that I've SAT under I've been

able to as Tom use the term chiseled

it's such a great term when you think

about that like a sculptor you know and

I can only imagine how the clay feels or

the rock feels getting chiseled or like

the tree feels when it's getting pruned

it's getting sniped you know that's a

whole nother scripture I mean a whole

nother sermon anyway let me get back to

the point here so 17 we read therefore

if anyone is in Christ he is a new

creation the old has passed away behold

the new has come when we accepted Jesus

Christ as our Lord and Savior through

our belief that he is the Messiah and

Son of God we would join it the

spiritual union with him through his

death and resurrection all of creation

is being renewed and it is all all of it

not some little bit this is and that's

not know all of it is under his

authority as followers of Christ we are

new creations and we're taking part in

all of this we have been redeemed we

have a new covenant with God and a new

body clothed and his righteousness once

our conversion has taken place we are

beginning a new life at the old life a

new life from the moment of conversion

from the moment that that takes happen

from the moment that you accept Jesus

Christ to come into your heart you

proclaim him as your Lord and Savior and

he comes in to you we'd ones with you he

sits upon the throne of your heart and

you've made that conscious decision

you've repented from your ways and

you've said this is the way I'm going to

walk i'm not going to walk the old way

anymore this is a new me today i make it

a new decision as soon as we've done

that as soon as we've done that we take

place in this new life this new creation

were not the old person

the old is gone the new has come all

this is from God reading on in 18 all

this is from God who through Christ

reconciled us to himself and gave us the

Ministry of reconciliation that is God

was reconciling the world to himself not

counting their trespasses against them

and entrusting us in trusting to us the

message of reconciliation I meant when I

first came in and read I heard the word

reconciliation like the heck is that I

didn't even know what the word meant so

I looked it up I'm going to share the

definition to for anyone else who may

not know it the definition of

reconciliation is reconciliation is the

establishment or restoration of a loving

fellowship after estrangement is anyone

ever estranged from a family member what

I mean is strange i mean like something

has come something's come in the devil's

come in in some way shape or form he

said this family is going to be divided

you don't agree with this you don't

agree with this your actions upset this

person you can dex you can forgive them

you can't accept forgiveness and all

this other stuff does anybody

experienced that in their last maybe not

now but in their lives now or in the

past i can testify to that myself if i

can make it through it when i was 21 how

much time do we have that it's okay huh

about keep it brief when i was 21 i

began using crack-cocaine amongst other

substances but um i had broken into my

dad's house he stole a bunch of jewelry

and i justified it because of the life

that I had as a kid the things I blamed

him for unforgiveness so on and so forth

bunch of reasons as a result

um my stepmother in him it basically cut

me off you know I didn't long story

short I didn't talk to my dad for 20

years and he had twin girls my twin

sisters that I never had the opportunity

to meet I you know my stepmom wrote me a

letter you I tried to write a letter and

said well you know i'm i am sorry but

dad did this to me as a kid and she was

like when you grow up you you write me

again so it was after probably about

five years in ministry team challenge i

had gone down to i was getting ready to

go to my first mission trip to el

salvador and i was a little nervous

about taking the trip and I reached out

something just different little signs

like I said there's no coincidences God

has a way of just stop saying green sign

whatever that may be but it kept coming

up about you know reconciliation and and

I heard somebody preach about you know

you need to make things right you know

and other people saying on the life's

too short how is your dad doing have you

heard from him different things so I

said you know what I'm gonna reach out

so i wrote my mom my stepmom on facebook

now and talk to her in 20 years she

writes back she said what took you so

long i'm like wow well i thought you

didn't want to hear from me anymore you

know she said no you know life's too

short people change your sisters are

dying to meet you your dad may take a

little bit longer to come around but you

know he still loves you and um why don't

when you get back let's set up something

you can come over and meet you meet the

girls and everything else so I got back

from El Salvador I did that my father

walked in he hugged me and in that

moment it was like I had never left

that's a ministry of reconciliation

that's like what God has for us that's

how God wants to view us that's how r a

pastor isn't that how he wants us to

come back to him I don't care how long

you been gone I don't care what you've

done I don't care how dirty you are I

don't care what filth you've been laying

and I don't care what pigs you've been

rolling with I don't care what you've

been eating I don't care what

had to do what's important is that

you're here now the last three years

I've had the opportunity to learn how to

be a big brother to be a son again my

sister's I was at their high school

graduation they went off to college I

was able able to establish a

relationship with them before they went

to college they text me snapchat me

Facebook me like seems like every day

but it's probably more like every other

day because they're busy there in med

school I'm a very proud big brother and

my father passed away in July um these

aren't tears of sadness it really tears

of joy because God gave me something

that I never ever ever ever thought was

possible I never thought the forgiveness

that I never thought I would receive

that forgiveness from my father the fear

kept me so bound up and so gripped in

the guilt and the shame that was half of

why I used but because of me coming back

to God because of some of the work that

I've done growing a little bit mature

reading the word using wisdom sitting

under the Council of wise people I had

the opportunity to make things right and

be there while with my dad as he's dying

of cancer and be there for my step mom

when she's like how do I tell your

sisters what are we gonna do I got the

they're still in college I don't want

this to ruin the year she's asking me

for advice and not only asking me she's

listening to it she's accepting it and

that's you know what I mean just amazing

amazing

you know the entire plan of salvation

and history of redemption is god

centered Romans 1136 tells us for from

him and through him and to him are all

things i love that word all not some a

little bit no all to him be the glory

forever amen it is all from him through

him and for his glory he is bringing us

back to him reconciling us through

Christ we are no longer estranged from

God because of what Jesus Christ has

done Ephesians 2 19 so then you are no

longer strangers and aliens but you are

fellow citizens with the Saints and

members of the household of God there's

no other house I'd rather be you is

anyone here estranged from a family

member I know I asked this already but

is there anyone here I just want to

encourage you guys don't don't wait

don't wait there's a Ministry of

reconciliation that is given to us it's

not just God's reconcile reconciliation

to us it's an example that we need to

put into practice in our own lives the

word even tells us that if we can't

forgive others how can your father in

heaven forgive you in knowing this we

are entrusted with the message of

reconciliation and we are responsible to

share it with others it is not meant to

be kept a secret we should be shown this

from the rooftops there's a way back to

God you just have to accept Jesus Christ

he's our risen Lord and Savior he died

on

he rose again he's got a victory over

the enemy death cannot defeat him I told

you I was bringing it today guys oh how

so like the Lord and now my favorite

portion of it therefore we are

ambassadors for Christ God making his

appeal through us we employ you on

behalf of Christ be reconciled to God

for our sake he made him to be sin who

knew no sin so that in him we might

become the righteousness of God last

week at the choir I was on I heard the

pastor sharon a definition of an

ambassador and i always pictured an

ambassador like you know the

representatives we have in other

countries they sit in our consulate they

make decisions the consulate area is

sovereign state of the united states but

the definition of an ambassador is this

and in an official envoy a diplomatic

agent of the highest rank accredited to

a foreign government or sovereign as the

resident representative of his or her

own sovereign government appointed for a

special and often temporary temporary

diplomatic assignment an authorized

representative or messenger or messenger

an unofficial representative or symbol

of something basically like the similar

something mean like the shamrock is a

symbol of the celtics some along those

lines like the cross is a symbol of

christ we serve a sovereign god and if

we belong to him than our citizenship

isn't here it's in heaven

our government is in heaven our King is

in heaven unfortunately in increasingly

more and more in today's society heaven

in God in the name of Jesus Christ of

the foreign citizens not only in our

country but in our homes in our

communities in our workplaces and in our

schools can't even say Merry Christmas

anymore right am I wrong I mean you can

say Happy Halloween happy st. Patrick's

Day you can't say Merry Christmas come

on what I mean really you think about it

like what is society coming to have we

come so far have we come so far Hebrews

13 14 says for here we have no lasting

city but we seek the city that is to

come we look forward to heaven coming

now I'm not gonna I'm not going to

preach fire and brimstone here but all

you have to do is turn on the news turn

on a radio station and I'm just going to

say that you know I believe that we're

living in a lot closer to the end times

and most of us really want to accept and

that in itself is another sermon so I'm

going to move on but if there was ever a

time when people needed to be reaching

out to other people family members

people in work neighbors if there was

ever another time for ambassadors of

Christ to rise up and stand up and say

you know what I'm going to leave church

today when I come back here next week

I'm going to have invited 10 people to

come to church with me all of these

chairs are going to be filled and not

only that i'm going to tell every single

person at least one a day one a day

whether it be someone at random

Ranger on the street whether it be

someone in my workplace whether it be

just somebody on the phone whenever I

get the opportunity i'm going to tell

somebody about Jesus Christ that's what

being an ambassador is I just read the

definition and appointed for special and

often temporary diplomatic assignment

and off the rise we're all authorized

not only are we authorized we've been

commanded to do it it's our

responsibilities as followers and lovers

of Jesus Christ

I know sometimes the guys will testify

to this sometimes I step on people's

toes oops most of the time I'm stepping

on my own or I'm putting my foot in my

mouth and I hope that this isn't one of

those times but being a guess usually a

guest speaker could probably get away

with a little bit more than the house

speaker can so if I step on someone's

toes I do apologize but I do know that

sometimes listen I can go like this all

day long I kicked myself all day because

of what I think sometimes what I say I'm

like man I wish I could take that back

but I would encourage you I know that

there's probably some people are sending

a saying he's not talking about me I'm

an ambassador you know I i love jesus i

do my best i'm in church today but what

are you doing when you're not in church

right I'm just asking for honest

reflection before you came to church

today this weekend yesterday how many of

your family members did you invite to

come to church with you you know or is

it just that it was too uncomfortable to

make the phone call and you knew you

thought you knew what the answer might

be rather than giving them the

opportunity to say well no you know I'm

busy or something like that when you

leave here today how many people are

gonna tell about Jesus Christ that's

what I want to hear amen amen God has

trusted us with the Gospel message yet

many of us forget about it as soon as we

leave the church or on monday or at work

we shrink back from the very

opportunities he gives us to witness to

people he puts people in our path in our

life to say hey you tell him about me

please and you know you know because you

get that feeling like I should really

tell them about Jesus and excuse me lady

you know the way you're talking to your

kid I really you just really need to

love them and show them the right way

you know what I mean

obviously with gentleness in respective

think its second Peter 315 always be

prepared to give an answer for the hope

that you have but do this with

gentleness and respect we should always

be prepared to share the gospel message

with people I wrote down a couple of

quotes to that I just want to share this

one's from Michael Dow it it was a great

quote says Jesus is only willing to

stand up inside of someone who is

willing to lay down willing to lay down

surrender lay down your life pick up his

another call from Andrew Murray says do

not strive in your own strength cast

yourself at the feet of the Lord Jesus

and wait upon him in the shore

confidence that he is with you and works

in you strive in prayer let faith fill

your heart so you will be strong in the

Lord and in the power of his might maybe

some of what has been shared today has

struck a chord I guess what I mean to

say is is that even mature believers

have a way of stepping back I think it's

human nature we want to keep ourselves

safe we want to set boundaries for

ourselves and there are healthy

boundaries but sometimes we can almost

go back so much that we don't even

engage with people anymore we're happy

in our own lives we're happy with the

way that things are going we don't want

to upset the apple cart so to speak we

don't want to make waves what I've just

shared as an ambassador for Christ we're

required to do that blending in with the

world is not going to make it any easier

true believers don't blend very well we

don't you know my brothers we go out we

do a lot of work in the community some

of these guys have been not these

particular guys but I've been around on

the program a long time I've seen a lot

of things I mean we've had our guys

staying out in front of a store and a

note you know information about the

program people come by like all you guys

are Christians

she spit on him I heard that out I got

mad I I mean like I said I don't always

love people I wasn't always saved but

you know maybe you've come to a place

where you're very comfortable your

content in your within your ministry of

reconciliation you're comfortable in

your position is speaking to those who

want to hear about Christ people in the

church in fellowship with in the

churches the most blessed thing that you

can have because we all need that type

of support but there's a world out there

that need to hear about Jesus Christ

maybe maybe you don't socialize well

maybe you get an anxiety maybe you like

to stay in your house maybe there's just

something that you need a break through

into doesn't need to be addiction maybe

it's just a point in your life when you

said man I'm kind of mediocre I'm kind

of lukewarm I want to step out a little

bit more I just don't know how God knows

what you need maybe you're here today

and you don't know Jesus Christ as your

Lord and Savior maybe you've just

started coming to the church you know

and maybe I know I accepted Christ when

I was a little kid in youth group I went

to youth group for the girls and for

skiing and roller skating and I was

never discipled though I didn't know

what it meant to be a follower of Christ

I didn't know what it meant to be a

Christian I didn't know what it meant a

lot of these things meant I didn't sit

under you know godly men someone like

pastor Greg or pastor Jonathan or the

other men that I have in my life as a

circle of accountability but in you have

an opportunity today we're all going to

have to give an account this tent this

body that we have I didn't read that

part in earlier in second Corinthians

but this all fades away it's temporary

there's a greater there is a greater

place that is available the pain and

suffering of this world is just fleeting

if you haven't had the opportunity to

accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and

Savior into your life I encourage you to

do so today maybe you've backslidden

maybe you're just coming back to the

church maybe you're trying to find your

way back and it seems like when you're

praying there's a cement wall over your

head I've been there too and you need to

press in you need someone to just just

say you know what I want to go up to the

altar but I don't want to be the first

one but if someone else goes up i'll do

it if that's the case i'm the first

person who will join me we should all be

up here on our knees thanking God for

His goodness for His grace and for his

mercy