Going all in with God will challenge us to close the gap between our beliefs, words, and actions.
(silence) My motives in terms of just what I want to do, I want to again, challenge us to be more all in for the Lord, but it’s also to prepare us for Easter and where we’re going these next two weeks. And what we’re going to do, remember we spent a number of weeks talking about John the Baptist and his ministry, and last week we talked about his death. And some of you may recall how Jesus was impacted by that death and how he experienced… Remember, we talked about how Jesus decided to try to get away because he was impacted by the loss of John. And so I wanted to use this teaching as an epilogue, okay? It’s kind of a concluding word, you’ll see. It’s a passage that’s not often associated with John, but it actually includes a reference to him, but the real benefit for us is going to be what it shows us about how Jesus modeled how to love God.
And it’s an example for us to be all in. I call it, closing the gap, closing the gap in our life with God. I want us to be thinking about that. And I love this teaching, this is from John 10, you can see it in your handout, your Bible, your Bible app, and this is what I would like to do, I want to look at the passage and watch how Jesus responds, okay? And then we’re going to draw from that life. But this is a great way also just engaging the scripture, so let’s just determine right now to learn together and to be open to the Lord together. So in John 10, when we move through this passage, it says this, “Now it was now winter and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah,” you see that? The festival of dedication.
Now the festival of dedication which is known as Hanukkah, most of us have heard of Hanukah around Christmas time, right? That’s when it occurs. By the time of Jesus, it was one of the festivals that was celebrated by Israel. But here’s the thing, if you go back and you read the older Testament, it wasn’t one of the three great original festivals that were given by God in the older Testament. If you were to go back and study, you’ll say, “Where is Hanukkah, where’s the… It’s not in there. The three that are there, Passover, which is when Jesus is going to get crucified, Passover, right? The feast of Pentecost, many of us have heard of Pentecost, book of Acts, second chapter. It talks about what happened on the day of Pentecost, but that was a feast of first fruits. And then the feast of Tabernacles.
Those were the three big feasts for Israel. They were given by God through Moses in the law as a way for the people to remember the Lord’s goodness, and so they were embedded in the national life of Israel. But when you look at this you go, “What is that?” That’s actually Hanukkah. Where did it come from? It was something that was actually in between what we might call the older Testament period and the new Testament. During that period when the Greeks had taken over the region and the land, the second temple had been totally violated and it was profanely treated by a Greek king ruler named Antiochus Epiphanes. At that time, there was a revolution that occurs. A rebellion occurs in Israel, led by a man named Judas Maccabeus. That period, the Maccabean period, what he does is he ends up overthrowing Antiochus, this is right before the Romans come, because the Romans follow.
There was a miraculous part of that experience when… We called the Maccabean period, just stay with me on this. There were some unique things that happened, and since that time a miraculous deliverance, and that’s why you’ll see things that are associated with light, right? During the Hanukkah Christmas season. That particular festival had been celebrated since that time, and it was a celebration that was characterized by light, by singing of songs, by palms and rejoicing. And it was also a feast that occurred in December. And so I want us to be aware that what we’re reading about right here, the Bible is telling us is happening in Jerusalem, in the temple, in the month of December, at the feast of lights, and it’s connected to a special time in the history of Israel.
And so when you watch this exchange, what we’re going to notice is, when it’s happening is important, it’s winter time so they’re walking underneath what is known as Solomon’s Porch, that’s the part of the temple that was covered, right? It provided some type of shelter because it was colder at this time of the year. We’re told this exchange occurs at the time of the festival of dedication, so we’re given the specific time when it occurs. Oh, and by the way, it will be the final time that Jesus will visit Jerusalem prior to the next time that he comes. And the next time that he comes in Jerusalem, will be the time when he is ultimately, after he is welcomed in the temple entry, the last time he will come will be what will be Palm Sunday and then it will end with his crucifixion, right? That will be the space. So the next time Jesus comes to Jerusalem after this, will be that time.
This is the second to last time Jesus is in Jerusalem when this confrontation takes place. Let’s watch and learn from it, I think you’re going to connect with what Jesus is saying, he’s going to make some amazing claims. It says in verse 23, he was in the temple, you’ll follow there, walking through the section that was known as Solomon’s Colonnade, remember I just mentioned that sheltered portion of the temple. The people surrounded him and they asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, then tell us plainly.” And I don’t want to run past this too quickly, let it speak. Look at it with your mind’s eye for a moment, take this time and try to focus into the scripture. Let’s bring it to life in our own selves. Jesus is surrounded, he’s walking in the temple and he’s got his disciples with him. He’s moving under this large section of the temple in Jerusalem known as Solomon’s Porch, Solomon’s Colonnade, right? And all of a sudden, there’s a mass of people that surround him, and they hem him in, this large group, maybe it was hundreds of people.
And they begin to insist that he answers a question, right? And that question is this, “Are you the Messiah?” And it was straight, remember this was a mixed group of people that were around him, in that group of people that hemmed him in. Again, imagine a mass of people around Jesus. There were people who were critics of him who didn’t believe him, there were people who were his enemies, there were people who were sincere, there were disbelieving people, there were intrigued people, there were compelled and the curious, there was the haters and the honest seekers, they were all there around him. Everybody though was interested to hear Jesus answer that question. It seemed like the time had come, “We want you to tell us plainly, enough of this beating around the bush and your metaphors and all these other things. Are you the Messiah? We want to know, speak it now and tell us what do you say?”
And again, there were other times where, because again, the prevailing conception of Messiah was that he was going to be the great deliverer who was going to free them from Roman bondage, remember they were being ruled by Rome at the time. And then in the promise of the scriptures, he would then in turn, take Israel from being what they call the tail and turn them into the head. So their idea was that whoever Messiah was, was going to be a political revolutionary leader in the same way that Judas Maccabeus had been a smaller version of a Messiah setting the nation free from the Greeks. But now we’re talking about the promised one who is going to exercise power and fulfill all the promises that have been given to the prophets, you got that? So that’s what they’re thinking. And so they say, “Jesus answered this question.”
Now listen to me, before you look at the answer, there were times where Jesus was very direct with people. For example, one time when Peter in Caesarea Philippi, Jesus is having this conversation with his disciples and he says, “Who do people say that I am?” And they start giving a variety of answers, right? Elijah, prophet, et cetera, et cetera. Then Jesus says, “Well, who do you say that I am?” And Peter says, “I believe you are the Christ Messiah,” Christ and Messiah are interchangeable terms. “You’re the Christ, you’re the Messiah, I believe you are the son of the living God.” And then Jesus responds by saying, “Simon son of John, Simon. Barjona, flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father, which is in heaven.” He received that.
In this particular case, watch the kind of maneuvering and language Jesus uses, watch how he works this and let’s learn from it. Jesus replied, “You’re asking me if I’m Messiah,” again, hemmed in by a large group of people, surrounded, “I have already told you and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work that I do in my father’s name. I have already answered your question in my works, in my ministry and in my actions, but you don’t believe. Are you not listening to what I’m saying by the very way that I am living?” Verse 26, “But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, they follow me. I give them eternal life, they will never perish.” Jesus uses the symbolism of the shepherd that he had used so many times. “No one can snatch them away from me. When they hear my voice, they recognize God in me, they recognize who I am. For my father has given them to me and he is more powerful than anyone else, and no one can snatch them from the father’s hand.”
And then Jesus makes the statement, the answer to the question, and I want us to see the majesty and the mystery of it. Look at that verse, verse 30, what a statement, “The father and I are one. There is no gap,” Jesus says, “between myself and the father.” And he’s not even talking about oneness in terms of purpose and mind, if you see the word and how it’s used, it’s even higher than that. He’s basically saying, “My father and I are one in essence and one in substance.” It was a startling declaration, inexcusable if, listen, he was anything other than what he claimed to be. The audacity of that statement in that place, the way he made it, if it wasn’t true, and if he knew it wasn’t true, it makes Jesus an utter liar or the most deceived man who ever walked the earth. That’s why someone like C. S. Lewis later on will say, “Honestly, when we look at the life of Jesus Christ and the words that he said, we really don’t have the option of just calling him a good teacher.” It’s the one option he doesn’t give us, a good man and a good teacher, because of the claims he made as God’s unique son.
He basically says, “You have to decide, will you have me for who I am or reject me?” Jesus ups the ante so high, right? He does. Because if he knew he wasn’t that, then he was lying. If he truly believed he was and he wasn’t, then he was mentally deranged. And yet the words of Christ, the transformative touch of Christ, the good that has come from Christ, I know we hear a lot today about all the evil things that are done in the name of Jesus historically, there wouldn’t be an orphanage without Jesus and his followers, that’s where they were started. Hospitals by Jesus and his followers, universities for the most part, the kind… You take away some of the Greek schools, you have so much good, certainly in our country, so much of learning but hospitals and orphanages… I mean, the good things that have been done in the name of Christ, that’s not even mentioning the transformation of the soul and the countless ways in which people have been turned from ways that are destructive to ways that are life-giving.
I mean, I’m not even going to try to make the case for Christ, here’s the point, when he says, “I and my father are one,” stay with me on this one, look at that 31st verse, what does it say happened? “Again, the people picked up stones to kill him.” Again, imagine what’s going on. Jesus says, “I say to you, I and my father are one.” And they hear that and people start murmuring, “Did you hear what he said?” Some are going, “But is it possible?” Others saying, “It’s not possible, he’s making a claim,” and they begin to reach for the rocks. They begin to push to the sides where the rocks would have been, maybe rocks that had been already there on the outskirts, they begin to grab the stones. They reach for them and he knows what is on their mind, Jesus said, “At my father’s direction,” listen, okay? “At my father’s direction, I have done many good works, for which one are you going to stone me?” “At my father’s direction I have done many good works, for which one are you going to stone me?” They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy because you a mere man claim to be God.”
They had read it right, knew what he was saying. Jesus replies, and by the way what he replies, he quotes from Psalm 82 like can obscure reference in the 82nd Psalm that nobody would have even thought of. On the spot, Jesus takes the conversation and turns it into a direction that none of them could have anticipated. Look what it says he does, he says, “It is written in your own scriptures that we all believe, that God said to certain leaders of the people, “I say that you are gods.” In the sense that in the bearing of the words of God, they became in a certain way God-like, right? For they were the instruments from which the message of God came to the people. And so Psalms 82 says, there’s an element of being God-like when you convey the message of God. Jesus says essentially, “Look, before you these rocks and then react to my claim I want to ask you this question, ‘If they could be called gods in the scripture for simply being messengers of God’s word, how much more is it justified of me as I have been sent by my father uniquely as his son?'”
So Jesus is basically saying, “If you really look at the logic of the claim, it’s not that big of a reach for me to say what I’ve just said if I am who I say I am. And you know the scriptures cannot be altered, so if those people,” verse 35, “who received God’s messages, they were called gods because they were messengers of God’s word, then why do you call it blasphemy when I say that I am the son of God? After all the father set me apart and sent me into the world.” It was as if Jesus was saying, “There has never been anyone like me, you know it, you’ve seen it with your own eyes. What was true of them in some small way, is true of me in a larger, more profound and direct way. Listen, it is not as big of a leap as you think, God is working among you even now, the father is present, I and my father are one.”
And then look, “Don’t believe me unless I carry out my father’s work. But if I do this work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, and even if you don’t believe me, right? Then you will know and understand that the father is in me and I am in the father. Did I answer your question? Do you understand? You asked and now you have your answer.” They understood what he was saying, but they did not believe what he was saying. What does it say in verse 39? “Once again, they tried to arrest him but he got away and he left them.” I would say that the reason he got away and left them was because his time was not yet come. You remember in the garden when they come to arrest Jesus, they literally will fall away. Literally the presence of Jesus is so intense in that moment that they fall away, and that’s when Peter starts to fight and Jesus says, “Stop, put the sword away, let it be, it is necessary. It is the right thing in this time. Let it be.” He has settled that already in his heart, not my will but yours be done Father, remember that moment?
Jesus submits himself as the lamb of God, it’s a choice he’ll make but that choice was not made in this moment. And he left them in a scuffle and the debate that breaks out, Jesus leaves. And there’s no attempt on his life, it will come later. But look at verse 40, these two verses that are often not appreciated, just stuck tucked in underneath. And it connects all the way back to where we’ve been. Look at this you guys, it says, “And he went beyond the Jordan river near the place where John was first baptizing, and he stayed there a while.” This is amazing because what it says here is he leaves Jerusalem and returns to the very region of the Jordan, the place where John had first baptized him. John one, you read about it, the place where he had first been identified as the lamb of God, right? And as God’s very son by John. So Jesus leaves Jerusalem where essentially he is rejected and leaves the town and crosses over, and where does he go? He goes back across toward the Jordan where John had first baptized. It was also the place again where Jesus had first been called the lamb of God, and first described as God’s son.
And John is dead, of course, but I love the reconnect to John, the Baptist. It’s like an all in full circle going all the way back around. And then look what it says, because again… Verse 41, it says, “And many people followed him. John, he didn’t perform miraculous signs, they remarked to one another, but everything he said about this man has come true.” Now, I’ve read the Bible many, many times, it’s so funny I never really appreciated, I don’t think I even really noticed that verse before. I’m sure I read it, but thinking in the context of John the Baptist, it says, “And many followed him and John did perform miraculous signs, they remarked to one another,” you see that? “But everything he said about this man has come,” what? “True.” In other words, we’re being told there’s no gap between John’s testimony and how they experienced Jesus. There’s no gap, there was no gap between how John has said, this is who Jesus was and who they were now experiencing him as. John’s words were proven true, they were not hyperbole but reality.
And look what it says in verse 42, “And many who were there believed in Jesus.” I love the ripple effects of the all-in man, even after his death. Do you see that, how cool is that reverberating? They said to themselves, “John didn’t do miracles, Jesus does. Everything that John said, though, even though he’s gone, everything that he said about Jesus, it’s true.” And many believed. How cool is that? I love that passage. Okay, some of you are baseball fans, some of you may not be, but in baseball some of you know… I was having these conversation with my wife, I’m doing a little shift here, but there’s a reason for it. In baseball there’s this thing called the seventh-inning stretch, a lot of times people aren’t even aware of it. If you ever go to a baseball game, you wouldn’t even know what people are talking… It’s like, what are they doing? But the seventh-inning is typically different than other times in the game, because in baseball, we get nine innings. In the seventh inning, all of a sudden people get up and do something called the seventh inning stretch, and at almost any major league baseball park you would go to, in the seventh inning, people will get up in the bottom of seventh and they start singing a song.
That song is what, so we know? Take me what? Take me out to the ballgame, okay? This is what they do, they stand up and they, (singing), that’s the seventh inning stretch. What in the world does that have to do with this message? This is the seventh inning stretch. I have 10 minutes to share with you how I would like us to take this passage and apply it. But I want you, not to sing take me out to the ballgame, but I want you to stand up and stretch out and say, “I’m all in for Jesus.” Go ahead, let’s do that. Stand up, stretch it out, all in for Jesus. Yeah. We’ll never forget doing this in the gym at Reardon. Okay yeah, and now we’re going to finish up. So here we go guys, we’re going to finish this up. This is for the note takers and for those of us who are engaging, here we go. So here we talk about closing the gap, that’s the point? There was no distance, Jesus says, between himself and what? The father. There was no distance between what John said Jesus was and who the people experienced him to be. So here’s what I want to submit to you, please let’s pursue this.
Here’s the first one, let’s talk about how to close the gap. All in goals, number one is this, let’s tighten the gap in our relationship with the father and let’s stay close to the Lord. Let’s seek alignment in real and heart felt ways. Jesus said, “I and the father are what? One.” In these two weeks as we head into Easter, let’s really zero in on the cross. Come on, let’s be intentional about our faith in Jesus. Let’s not skim the surface, let’s seek to close the gap. The real life in Christ is always a relationship as much as a set of beliefs, more and more people are unfamiliar with the beliefs of Jesus because the scriptures are discussed less and less. But as a people who live in the promise and life of Christ, we need to be extra intentional about reconnecting ourselves relationally with God. Jesus said, “I and the father are one.” The Lord calls us into places of a deeper life with him, that’s why we try to go ahead and just do something like Rise and Shine.
And even in the coming two weeks, right? The idea of Rise and Shine ramping off at this message and heading into the Palm Sunday weekend, and then out of the Palm Sunday weekend into Easter, is designed to help us build momentum so that we take our Christian life seriously, come on you guys, seriously, in a way that is really getting effort into it. In a culture that has so many voices that are calling to us, calling us here and calling us there, seeking our attention in ways that suck up hours of our life, they do, the Lord is calling us to be serious about our walk with him, and none of you would be here if you weren’t at least committed to that or very open to it. To be all in for the Lord requires thou intention, I’ve never seen any relationship really flourish without intention. And I’ll add one more phrase to that, without intention and attention, both are needed.
This is the perfect time heading into these couple of weeks to choose to be intentional about our faith, to be an all-in person who is seeking, listen, to close the gap between ourselves and the Father. Shrink the gap, tighten the gap, take it more serious, take your life with him seriously, be intentional about connecting with the Lord. Listening for his voice, being open to God in ways that you wouldn’t… Listen to me, there is a unique blessing and opportunity at this time of the year. And I’ll say this from time to time, but I really believe that there is a unique blessing and opportunity at this time of the year that is not there at all times of the year, because so many people are turning their hearts towards the cross in every part of the world with intention. Every part of the world, Asia, and Africa, and all the continents lined up everywhere, people are turning because the message of Jesus like that leaven, has gone into the world.
And some people don’t have the ability to do what we’re doing, freely worship him. They can’t, they have to worship him behind closed doors. They have no freedom to gather, we do. I want us to prayerfully consider tightening our relationship with the Lord and using the momentum of Easter that naturally draws us towards the cross. Start with this weekend, but build into it and then really be intentional about preparing ourselves for Easter. To celebrate with people again, all over the world, the goodness in a life of Christ and God’s love for us in giving us his only begotten son. Hear me out, it’s time to tighten our spiritual focus, tighten your spiritual focus and listen for his voice. What did he say? “My sheep know my voice.” When they took up stones to stone him, he said, “You cannot hear me. My works are clear, but you cannot hear me.” Can we hear him? He is speaking. Any area of your life, do you need the voice of the Lord to speak? It’s opening up.
Secondly, on the all-in, closing the gap, something else that occurred to me, and just stay with me on this, remember we’re in the eighth inning right now, let’s tighten the gap, decrease the space between our beliefs, what we say we value, look at this, and our words, how we speak and our actions, what we do. May they increasingly by grace reflect unanimity, oneness, alignment. I was out with my wife last night walking, and I was in an area of the city where there was just all kinds of people talking. And I can only tell you that I was struck, and maybe I’m just one of those guys that once I start listening for something, I hear it everywhere. I could get it, just the way God made me. Sometimes it’s not good, actually, it’s not helpful, sometimes it’s okay. But I was listening to people walking and I was struck by how many people were swearing, cursing. How profane and crass the culture has become at every level.
So casually just saying things, they were just filler words; the Lord’s name in vain, F this, mother this, I mean, I was struck. And once I started hearing, I heard it everywhere. Maybe you hear it regularly on your job, I don’t know how that works, but I thought, Lord, I’m going to ask, this year I want to really contend for us to be a people who love you and who represents you by sometimes what we do not say. That we speak good words, that we are choosing not to participate in the anger or in the looseness or the profanity of a culture, but we choose to be a people of good words, not in an arrogant, self-righteous way, simply because apart from the Lord, who are we? But I thought about the speech that we use, and also I’ll say this for sure, the speech that we use to one another in our homes, that needs to reflect Jesus. There are certain things that are out of bounds, unacceptable, demeaning words, swearing.
I know the culture is saying it all the time, everywhere, every social media outlet, every entertainment piece, everywhere, from the top of the government all the way down, I get it. Everybody’s angry, I get that too, but we are not to be this way. It is not to be so Jesus among you. May we be a people who seek… And I want to stick that point back up there, please, I can’t tell if it’s there or not, to tighten the gap between our beliefs, our words, and our actions. What we say we believe, how we talk, and what we do, this affects how we work, how we relate to one another at home, what boundaries we choose to have. And honestly, this is the last thing, I wasn’t even planning going here, diet. What we put into our minds is what comes out. So James, we’re told it is not right out of the same fountain for there to come sweet water and salt water at the same time. God wants us to be a people who contend for life-giving words. And there will be people who will see Jesus simply because of our actions, what we do not do that everybody else is doing. Again, and what we do not say to pile on or just jump in, by the absence of things, we actually can honor the Lord as well.
Last thing I’ll say, because I want us to line up in a way that even our critics grudgingly admire, that’s what was happening with Jesus. Jesus said, “Okay, I know you don’t like me, I got that, but can you point anything in my life that looks anything different than the father?” And they said, “No, the only thing that we can point to is what you’re saying, because you aren’t what we believe you are saying you are.” That’s the thing that they can point to, but they could not… Jesus said, “But can you look at my life, do you see anything other than the living reality of God coming out of my life?” They said, “No.” I mean, they wouldn’t acknowledge it, but they really couldn’t criticize it.
Last thing, leave it here. Let’s close the gap between our belief in Jesus and our willingness to testify to his reality in a way that is genuine. I put different words there, each one of them meant something to me, genuine, loving, impactful, intentional, that’s what John did, you see it? Everything is coming to a close right here anyway, right now. We’re bringing all-in in a sense, we’re going to look at Jesus next week, and then the resurrection. This is the last time we really will mention John, but when you get down to it, I love the fact that it ends this way. Because what did John do, what did he do you guys? He pointed people to Jesus. And okay, I don’t know if you could see it, but it hit me so hard, he was dead and his words were living. His impact was living, and people were coming to Jesus even after he was dead thinking about John, such was the impact of his words and his life. Think about what that means for some of us. He was always pointing people to Jesus, oh, and by the way, when he pointed them to Jesus, they were not disappointed. They were not disappointed.
He lived up to his ability, Jesus did. So for me, this sets us up for Easter, because, as I mentioned, I want a stir reared in us, Cornerstone at Riordan. To invite people into a life with him, and specifically to be more invitational this Easter. My wife and I were having this conversation, and she told me she has some cards made, she told me what she was doing about inviting people, and I committed her in the Lord. I said, “That is both courageous and wonderful, all at once that you would do this.” Our job sometimes will be just to point people to Jesus, that may sound little, but it is not. John pointed people to Jesus, and then there’s a reverberation of that that comes back around. Do you see what’s going on here? Some of us, this is our time, this week. I think today, we need to go ahead, make the invitation if we haven’t done so already, follow back up with it if we have, think about who the Lord wants us to point towards him, who does he want us to point towards him? And use these two weekends as the opportunity to follow through on the good intention.
Don’t stop with just a good intention, perhaps there’s a name or names of people, coworkers that you’ve begin to build relationship with. And part of you is going, should I, should I not? I’m a little bit afraid, what would it mean? I don’t know, it might feel awkward. Take the risk, invite them, tell them, “Look, I’ll get the free tickets for us. I’ll do it, just come.” Because here’s why, what we found is this, when people actually come to the Lord’s house and there’s something like a presentation like we’re doing, two things tend to happen, one, they actually like the experience because it’s a good experience. But two, they get a little less afraid about coming to church. And then sometimes God actually rocks their world and changes them as he has some of us forever. And then our words live on down to generations. John’s words were pointing people to Jesus even after he was dead, can that be the case with us? Who is supposed to live because of our words spoken, pointing people to Jesus in our lives?
I suspect everyone in this room is meant to be a speaker on behalf of Jesus in the relational circles that you have. And you may be the person that ultimately ends up, whether it’s through a posting, an email string to a group of friends or coworkers that links them up to an invitation. What is it that God… Take our faith, close the gap, let it go, give it away, invitation. We’re going to have a closing time of giving, and then we have a worship song that we’re going to do a little bit differently as we close the service up, we’re going to close it up just a tad different, Odalis will tell you in a moment what that looks like, but I’m going to go ahead and pray over this word. Okay, and again, pray for us going into Easter and Palm Sunday this next week, that God would bring a harvest, okay?
Let’s pray together you guys. Lord, as we prepare to even now, invest ourselves into your words, again, I don’t know where we most connected here. I don’t know, maybe it was in the area of closing the gap in our relationship with you and then using the momentum of this time to do that. Maybe it had to do with an area that I wasn’t even thinking of really going too far into with our words, particularly that our words would be more seasoned with grace and would not reflect the crassness of our culture that so freely speaks things that are demeaning, even unconsciously using them in ways that undermine, who we are made to be in your image. Help us to be a people of good words, a benediction, and then let those words ultimately show up in the way we invite others to see you, please.
Whatever relationship circles we’ve been given, I ask that we would take advantage of that and be courageous and committed and all in, and today make a decision to create room, opportunity and invitational connection. Not to be like the man or the woman who sees their face in the mirror like in the book of James, sees something, recognizes it, hears the Lord, and then waits a small amount of time, and forgets the thing that God was trying to say, the kind of man or woman that he was, something that happens. You want us to respond to you. So maybe even before we even drive home, help us to send those notes out. Maybe we’ve already done that, maybe we’ve already reserved the seats for the friends that we are bringing. I don’t know God, all I know is you have something marvelous in store.
According to our faith, let it be done to us. Thirty, sixty and a hundred fold, we ask, for you to touch people’s lives and transform in ways that only the cross and your resurrection can. Help us to be part of your story. Seriously, all in for you, loving you joyfully. Thankful Lord, we have a campus here to use as a platform for your goodness, we’re still learning, so much for us to learn, so much of a faith venture for us to move into and Lord we’re going to have to trust you to do things we can’t do, but we want to be committed at a core level. So I ask for you to keep blessing our time of giving, I know many more are giving now online, but we’re still going to have this time. Bless our closing moments together, that we leave empowered, compelled, open to your holy spirit. So we just ask this in Jesus name, amen.