Have you ever been
embarrassed by the actions of another believer? Don’t point if they’re
here with you today. Maybe their outer appearance didn’t remind you much of Jesus. A lot of you know that before
I started doing what I do now I worked in computers and worked
for Hewlett Packard Company and one of my coworkers was
socially awkward, smelly, obnoxious, and a
consistent, constant witness for Jesus among the people. And he wasn’t effective. In fact, it was much the other way. In fact, I remember one
day when somebody said does he go to your church? And I said, meh. And I wanted to lie, but I didn’t. When a fellow believer,
their outward appearance, who they are, what they
say doesn’t reflect Jesus. It’s bad enough when it’s an individual. I remember an entire church. I was just a kid and my
dad went on a missions trip and left us with our grandparents
in Rush Springs, Oklahoma at a small Assembly of God church there that my grandfather pastored. And boy did they, they were
great in all of the gifts. All the spiritual gifts, I’m telling you. Well, the ones that they identified as being important. They were really, really good at. But it was full of division and gossip and racial prejudice. In fact the church was split. If you’ve ever been through
a church split it’s terrible and usually one group just leaves and starts another church somewhere but in this little town
they’d all invested so much in their little church
and there probably weren’t over 75 of ’em that when
they split they both stayed in the same church. They came to the same, in
fact you had two aisles or two sections with a center
aisle kind of like this and one side was on this side and one side was on this side
and they hated each other. They didn’t talk to each other. In fact, they talked over
one another often times during the service and they
had a yearly business meeting and they had to bring in
the sheriff to make sure, seriously, this happened,
that there were no fights. There was no evidence
of transformed lives. Or maybe you’ve driven behind a car with a fish shaped bumper sticker. Are you familiar with that? Christian, and they
flipped you off, all right. Key indicator there is
they bought the car used. All right, that’s probably what happened. [laughing] Or maybe you’re flipping
through the television channels and you come onto a TV preacher that raising money and
it doesn’t reflect Jesus. Have you ever heard the verse, that we shouldn’t hide
our light under a bushel? Well some people should
consider going ahead and hiding their light, at
least turn the high beams down. Would you agree with me? Because we’ve missed the
whole purpose of the gospel. In John three and verse 16 it says, for God loved the world so much that he gave his only son so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life for God did not send his son into the world to be its judge. Where do we come off then thinking that we’re everybody’s judge? Jesus wasn’t sent for that. But to be its savior. It says that God so loved the world so much that he gave his son, why? So that he could die for our sins? Yes, absolutely. So he could raise from the dead proving that he was God by the
power of the Holy Spirit? Without a doubt. But he also came as an example. In fact, Colossians chapter
one and verse 15 says Christ is the visible
likeness of the invisible God. Jesus came so that we could
see what God was like. I mean in all the rest
of the Old Testament we didn’t see God, we saw
evidences of where God was and where God had been. But now in the New Testament
we have a picture of God. People say, well what is God like? Well, look at Jesus because
he is a visible expression of the invisible God. How does God respond in certain situations and with certain people? Look at Jesus because he
is the visible expression of the an invisible God. And here’s the catch. You and I are called to
be the visible likeness of an invisible God. In fact, you may be the
only Jesus that anybody sees in your workplace or maybe in your family, or your community. And so we’re to reflect
him and honestly at times I’ve been embarrassed by how little the guy that I look at in the mirror looks like Jesus. Any other testimonies to that? So in the next four
weeks we’re gonna study the book of Colossians and
we’re gonna grow in our faith. In fact, the series previous
to this we talked about our values as a church. That we believe that
everybody needs to find God and grow in their faith,
discover their purpose, and then make a difference in the world. So this whole series is gonna be about our second value which
is growing in your faith. We wanna dig deeper into Jesus. In fact, I wanna give a challenge. A lot of times when I’ll do a message I’ll give you a challenge. Especially if it’s a series. And I wanna give you a 30 day challenge. You may be reading other things in your devotions or Bible
study and that’s fine but could you add one thing to it? Could you read one chapter
of Colossians every week? And then we’ll kinda be on the same page and we’ll be growing. How many of you will join
me in a 30 day challenge, I’m gonna read for the next 30 days I’m gonna read Colossians. Okay, great that’s awesome. I believe God’s gonna transform
us from the inside out. Here’s the key verse. In fact, next weekend the whole sermon is about this verse. In fact, this verse is kind
of one of the pivotal verses in the entire New Testament. When you get this one right
everything else seems to work. And it’s Colossians two
and verse six and seven. It says, since you have
accepted Christ Jesus as Lord live in union with him. Keep your roots deep in him. Build your lives on him and
become stronger in your faith, as you were taught and be
filled with thanksgiving. And so my point is, if
we’re gonna be healthy, spiritually healthy, we’ve
gotta have deep, deep roots. Now when I read scripture,
because of how I’m wired up, I default to how could we
spread our branches further? You know even ARC and
planting life giving churches and my mantra is this, we
believe that every community on the planet needs a life giving church. Would you agree with that? And so, we’re doing everything. Because I wanna spread those, I wanna spread the
branches as far as we can but here’s the facts is that
if our branches overreach the depth of our roots, we’re unhealthy. And an unhealthy tree is easily toppled. Some of you saw that
during the last hurricane that came through here. And you saw trees that went over. Maybe the root system wasn’t deep and so it was unhealthy
and easily toppled. And so we’re gonna dig
deeper during this series into God’s plan for you. And I’m gonna take Colossians chapter one, a good portion of it, and what I wanna do is I wanna read about
eight verses right now. And a lot of times it’s
easy to zone out when we read a long passage of scripture but I want you to zone in, okay. So let’s zone in and take a look. Colossians one, one through eight. From Paul who by God’s will
is an apostle of Christ Jesus and from our brother Timothy
to God’s people in Colossae, who are our faithful friends
in union with Christ. May God our father give
you grace and peace. We always give thanks to God, the father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, when we pray for you. For we have heard of your
faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all God’s people. And when the true message, the good news, first came to you, you heard
about the hope that it offers. So your faith and love are
based on what you hope for which is kept safe for you in heaven. The gospel keeps bringing blessings and is spreading throughout the world, just as it has among you ever since the day that you first
heard about the grace of God and came to know it as it really is. You learned of God’s grace from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who
is Christ’s faithful worker on our behalf and he
has told us of the love that the spirit has given you. Okay, what I wanna do is I wanna kind of set the tone for the series. I wanna give you some
background about places and people so that we’ll kind of have a little better understanding
of what we’re talking about. So Colossians is a letter
written by Paul, the Apostle. To a church in a city called Colossae. A very real city, it’s in Turkey today. Started by a guy named Epaphras. And so Paul was a missionary. He went, traveled all
over, had a little band of people and he’d go from place to place but he’d never been to Colossae. But he had been to Ephesus,
in fact that’s where he was when he wrote this letter. And Ephesus was a coastal
city kind of like Charleston. It was in western Turkey. It was the cultural and entertainment, and trade center of the region. If you wanted to have a
good time or do business you go to Ephesus. Kind of like Charleston, okay. Paul rents a hall in Ephesus
from noon to three everyday and he argues that Jesus is
the long awaited messiah. There’s a bunch of Jewish people that are living there in Ephesus and Paul goes and he argues that Jesus is the messiah. And Epaphras, apparently,
he’s the guy from Colossae, apparently one day comes to Ephesus. He lives in Colossae which
is about 100 miles inland. Not a lot happening there. It’s kind of like Columbia. [laughing] And he comes to Ephesus which
is kind of like Charleston. Maybe for some good food. Maybe Lewis’ Barbecue or maybe
some Fleet Landing, you know. Or maybe to business or
just to hit the beach or maybe to catch a show. And somehow in Ephesus
this guy from Colossae runs into Paul’s traveling preaching show and he has an encounter with Christ and it totally transforms his life and Epaphras is the first guy in his city to become a Christ follower. It seems kind of random,
Epaphras, Colossae, first one to be a Christ follower but it’s actually very, very strategic. How many of you are the first to become a Christ follower? Maybe in your family or in your school or in your workplace? You know, sometimes it’s uncomfortable when that’s the case because the new culture you walk into is a little different than the
culture you’ve been apart of. But actually it’s strategic. Because if you’re the first God wants to bless
everybody else through you. Look at this scripture that we just read. It says the gospel
keeps bringing blessings and is spreading
throughout the world, how? By people who are the first in their area. They come to know him and the blessings of God spread and that’s the way it’s been since the first day. And so what I wanna do
since it’s a strategic thing and this life transformation. I wanna talk for a few
minutes about what happens when you’re changed by God’s grace. What does a good reflection? Epaphras has changed, his city is blessed. What does it look like when
you’re changed by God’s grace? Here’s the first thing. When you’re changed by God’s grace you see your circumstances differently. Through eyes of faith. Watch what Paul said to
Colossians in verse three. He says, we always give thanks to God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ when we pray for you. And oh, by the way, that
would be a good thing, a good place to be. He doesn’t say we weep
when we pray for you. We are sad that we’re,
no, he’s excited about him and he always gives thanks, why? For we have heard of your
faith in Christ Jesus. So I was wondering, what would Paul say if he was writing a book
to the church at Seacoast gathered here in South Carolina and parts of North Carolina. What would he say? Would he say the same thing? Would he say, I’ve heard
of your, fill in the blank. Would he say I’ve heard
of your cool building? Would he say I’ve heard
of your great music at all of your campuses? Or would he say, I’ve
heard of your cool fashion and how that every worship leader has matching holes in their skinny jeans at exactly the same place. You look at it here as you come out. I’m sitting right here,
that’s all I can see. That’s about my height, right there. [laughing] Just a thought. Or would he say, Seacoast
I’ve heard about your faith in Jesus Christ. What does that mean? What does it mean to have
faith in Jesus Christ? What does it mean to
have faith in anybody? Have you ever said,
what do you think about and you fill in the blank. What do you think about so and so, are they for real? You know ever seen
somebody that was too good to be true, maybe, and are they for real? Or somebody says, you know
what she’s straight up. You can trust her. I’ve got faith in her. Faith is simply this. Faith in somebody means
that you can trust them to tell the truth. That’s what you’re looking for. You’re looking for somebody, are they real, do they tell the truth? Faith in God and in Christ simply means that I choose to believe that
God is telling the truth. That’s all that means. You say, well of course I believe God. Do you? For example, when God says about you, for you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Or personalize it, for I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Do you believe that? Do you believe that God
is telling you the truth? That you can be a parent, that you can be an effective worker in your sports team,
whatever it happens to be, that you can do all things
even when you feel like you’re inadequate to do it. God says, you can do it. Do you argue with him about that? Or do you just go, I believe that. I believe that God tells the truth. That’s faith in Christ. Or how about this? When God says, and with
all of his abundant wealth, Philippians 4:19, through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all of your needs. It doesn’t say he might, it says he will. Do you believe that God
is telling the truth? Do you ever have a hard time believing? You know, I have friends
who are going through crisis of faith and a lot of times we go through a crisis of faith when
life doesn’t turn out exactly how we think it should for us or for somebody that’s close to us. We had a pastor that came
to visit us not long ago so we paid his way to come back here. Pastor of a large church
having a crisis of faith. We said, we want you to be
around some faith filled people. And it’s okay to admit if
you have a crisis of faith. I remember Jesus, a story about Jesus when he was gonna heal
a loved one of a guy and Jesus asked him, do you
believe that I can do this? And the guy goes, you know
I really wanna believe. Can you help me with my unbelief? Have you ever been there? And Jesus doesn’t rebuke him, he helps him with his unbelief by doing an incredible thing in
his loved one’s life. Abraham in the Old
Testament had been given a promise from God. God said to Abraham, I’m gonna
fix your infertility issues. And there’s nothing probably
closer to your heart especially as you’re young in marriage and wanting to develop your family than infertility issues. Debbie and I went through that. And sometimes it knocks your faith. And he says to him, he says you know what? There’s gonna be a family
that comes through you. And he’s 70 years old
when he tells him this. By the time he’s 99 years
old if you read his story he’s tried to make things happen himself, he’s screwed up
relationships and all of this and he’s doubting whether God can do it. And God comes to Abraham and he introduces himself in a new way. In Genesis 17:1 he says,
when Abraham was 99 years old the Lord appeared to him and said, I am the almighty God. Obey me and always do what is right. He never introduced himself as that. The Hebrew word is El Shaddai. El Shaddai, God almighty, God omnipotent. A God who can rejuvenate dead wombs and give babies to couples in their 90s. A God who can do anything
that he wants to do. And he says, that’s who I am, Abraham and don’t ever forget it. And God would say that to you and I. What do you need? If you need strength God
promises to supply it. If you need comfort God will supply it. If you need peace God can give you peace that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. If you need resources,
God will supply it okay. When you’re tempted to doubt God’s ability to do something through you
and you say, you know what, I could never do that. I’m just so frustrated. There’s no way I can do what I’m supposed to be doing right now. Or God will never do that. Or it can’t happen. You need to stop and ask
yourself, who told you that? Because God didn’t tell you that. There’ll be a lot of
people who will tell you what you cannot do, what you cannot be, and what you cannot have
and God is not the author of any of that because God is all powerful and what he wants us to do is he wants us to have faith. If you’re going to go deeper then you’ve got to have eyes to see your circumstances differently. Both yours and those around
you through eyes of faith. That’s when you know you’re
changed by God’s grace. Let me give you a second thing. You’re changed by God’s
grace when you relate to people differently,
with a heart of love. Look what he says. He says, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your what? Your love for all God’s people. I’ve been harping on the same thing for almost 32 years now. Here’s what I’ve said from the beginning. Maturity in Christ is not measured by what you know, it’s
measured by who you love. You know there are a lot of Christians that think maturity is
measured by what you know. How much do you know? How many spiritual
gifts do you operate in? And that’s not, that’s just
not what the Bible says. Maturity is measured by what you know. He didn’t say, or by who you love. He didn’t say, you know
what, we have heard of your faith and the
fact that you know all the books of the Bible
and quote the 13th chapter of Corinthians and have completed the Beth Moore Bible
study on the law of love. All six 90 minute sessions! That’s all good stuff. That’s not what he says. When somebody is digging
deeper and their roots into Jesus they start
loving all kinds of people. They start seeing value in people that nobody else sees. You know, if you study the early church and the growth of the early
church, it was amazing. It started with just a band
of a few who followed Jesus and then it just literally exploded and as it was exploding there
was intense persecution. And a lot of people have studied and say, how could it grow under
such circumstances? And most theologians
will point to two things that fueled the incredible
growth of the church. And the first thing were
epidemics, epidemics. See they lived in cities and when epidemics would come in, when disease would come
in and it would be rampant in a community, it would
kill all kinds of people. And so here’s what would
happen is the way people would deal with epidemics is they’d leave, they’d flee the cities. Just a wise thing to do. Everybody would do that
except the believers. The believers would
stay in the city centers because they knew that
there were some people who were left who couldn’t
fend for themselves. And so they would take them in
and they would care for them. That’s where hospitals came from. And they would care for
people and sometimes God would miraculously
sustain their own life in the middle of an epidemic or sometimes they would die for the cause. But the people of the
city would then come back and say, we don’t understand them. We don’t understand their culture. We don’t understand
their stories and myths but we do understand that they love people and there’s something different there. And then the second thing
was through adoption. Because in Roman society an
infant could be abandoned without penalty. Or social stigma for a lot of reasons, including just how they look. Being an illegitimate child or grandchild, a child of infidelity, of family poverty, parental conflict or just
being one of too many children. And often times people would just abandon because they did not
have the value of life. And the Christians would come in and they would adopt these kids. Much like many of you have
done in fostering kids in our area and it’s still a crisis as I read the other
day, in South Carolina. But the Christians came
in because they saw value in people that others didn’t see. Would he say Seacoast, we’ve heard of your faith in Jesus Christ and your love for all God’s people? I was in the foyer just
a couple of weeks ago and I was talking to somebody who had just gone on a mission trip to Central America. And while they were there
they visited a prison. And there were some bad
dudes in the prison. MS-13 gang members. You’ve heard about MS-13 and just a violent, violent, violent gang that started in El Salvador. And there were gang
members who were murderers in this prison. In fact, one of the guys was just a really, really, really bad dude. He murdered, he was an
assassin for the drug cartels. And so he’d murdered a bunch of people and he’s in here and some of our people were visiting the jail and this guy had come to a saving
knowledge of Jesus Christ. And they said, they saw all the tattoos and heard all about his reputation but there was something about him that was changed, that was different and the guy I was talking to said, I went and I hugged and
as I hugged him I felt something unique and I felt
the spirit of God say to me, you’ve gotta come back. Because these are my people too. You know sometimes the people that God is calling you to love
look a whole lot different than people that you enjoy loving. Would you agree with that? And yet he’s called us to
love all of God’s people. All of God’s people. You know God didn’t call
us to categorize people. He called us to love all of God’s people and God’s people come
in a variety of packages and some are easier to love than others. Even when my kids were growing up sometimes I would say to them, you’re causing me to love
you by faith right now. [laughing] Let me tell you one reason
I’m so pumped about this is because I believe that the church and Seacoast specifically can make a major dent in our society right now. Because this is an area that is lacking. I believe our society
is crumbling right now from the inside out. I am grieved about it. I don’t post as much as I want to or should probably but
there are things going on that grieve me, grieve me, grieve me. We have got such a polarized society. Polarized around politics. Polarized around beliefs. Polarized around race. Wouldn’t it be incredible if
a church said, you know what? We’re just gonna love. We’re gonna love everybody. Listen, this week, or was it a week ago, two weeks ago, or whatever. I read about Ellen DeGeneres. You heard that story, didn’t you? Ellen DeGeneres who’s a talk show host and her politics are probably way left. And she went to a football
game with George Bush who’s politics are more right. And she, a picture was taken
and she actually looked like she was having a good time. Imagine that. And then people went ape
crazy on social media. How can you be with somebody like him? And they went on and they
told all of those things and Ellen DeGeneres
comes back and she says, hey how about this? I’m actually a friend of George Bush. We don’t believe the same thing but we can actually be friends. Wow, that’s an amazing concept. Because here’s the culture we live in. We live in a cancel culture. I don’t care, and it’s not just hey the left doesn’t a cornered market on it. The other day Joel Osteen
went to a Lady Gaga concert and there were Christians that went gaga. I’m going, get a life. Joel Osteen, maybe he can love Lady Gaga in ways and help her to go deep in her. I have no idea what’s going
on, it’s none of my business. I do know this, another mark of maturity is being able to hold
contrasting views in your mind and not hating people. Not hating people. We live in a cancel culture. You do one thing wrong
and we write you off. But we serve a non-canceling God. We serve a Jesus who canceled
the record of your sin. Nailed it to the cross. And he elevated you. He doesn’t cancel you. And we need to be like that. I long for a church and
I see it happening here. Where we can hold opposing
views on a lot of issues but we love one another. And it’s not the issues that
are gonna cause transformation. It’s the love that the society’s gonna see because our society is crumbling and this stuff doesn’t work. But Jesus does work. Would you say amen? – [Congregation] Amen. – Okay, let me ask you this. Who’s hard for you to love? Does somebody come to
mind when I said that? Or maybe a group of somebodies. There’s a group of somebodies
that are hard for you to love. I want you, during our response time, to pray and ask God to
give you the eyes of faith and a heart of love. Because that’s what a
transformed person has. Third thing that happens
when you’re changed by God’s grace is you see
the future differently through an attitude of hope. Look what he says. He says, when the true
message, the good news first came to you, you heard
about the hope that it offers. So your faith and love are
based on what you hope for which is kept safe for you in heaven. Would you agree with me
that if you have hope you can recover from just about anything? If you’ve got hope. But when you lose hope,
unless you get it back, it’s game over, it’s game over. Hope is the steadfast
belief from deep down inside that things are gonna get better. That circumstances are gonna get better. That the future is gonna be better. It’s the 60 year old guy
that loses everything in a disaster. Maybe it’s a flood or a hurricane. I’ve seen these stories on TV before. They lose everything and they ask ’em what are you gonna do and he says, we’re gonna start all over
and we’re gonna make it. And whenever I hear that I
think, you know what they are. They are. It’s the cancer patient
that keeps fighting, and fighting, and fighting,
and fighting, and fighting when there’s almost no more strength they fight some more
knowing that eventually it’s gonna be better. That eventually there may
even be a cure that’s coming. It’s the man who lost his job and has a family to support and knows that new employment is
just around the corner so long as he keeps on looking. Because here’s the truth. Hope knows that what
you think about tomorrow impacts how you feel today. If you think tomorrow is
gonna be worse than today or nothing’s ever gonna change, let me tell you something,
you’ll feel bad today. But if you think there’s
a new day tomorrow, that there’s hope tomorrow,
it will lift you today. Your circumstances might
not change at all today but what you think about
tomorrow will determine how you feel today. Do you understand what I’m saying? It may be Monday, but Friday’s coming. [laughing] Have you ever done some mental time travel and it put you in a better mood? Maybe you were having a bad day and you thought about a day off, or you thought about a vacation, or you thought about
what it would feel like to lose a size or two, or
you thought about something that you’re hoping for in the future, or maybe you thought about heaven and your mood lifts, and
your outlook changes. That’s called hope. See hope is the difference between a victim and a survivor. Dr. Dale Archer wrote an
article in “Psychology Today” called The Power of Hope,
and he divide people into two categories. Psychological victims and
psychological survivors. Both had bad things happen in their life. And he said, psychological victims, these are individuals that
are passive, pessimistic, and look to the past. They ask, who’s gonna help me? They despair and are all
consumed by their loss refusing to help themselves. He said psychological survivors are those who are active and optimistic and they look to the future. And they ask, how can I help myself? They grieve, which is healthy, but they continue to persevere and fight. And he said when I figured that out it didn’t take me long to realize that my primary responsibility was to turn the victim mindset into a survivor mindset and that meant restoring
or instilling hope. See, I just believe that. I like to define myself as a hope peddler. If you came to a church hoping to hear the bad news, you came
to the wrong church. Because this is the good news. The good news, the
gospel is the good news. You have hope because of
Jesus Christ regardless of where you are, what you’ve
done, who you are, see. So how do you restore hope? Let me give you three things real quick. First you find faith, you find faith. That’s our primary value. That’s the starting point. When you realize that there is a God who is bigger than you
are and he’s working on your situation it builds hope. Bible says regardless of what
happens, Romans 8:28 says, for I know that all things
work together for good to them who are called. It’s a family promise. You may be having bad things
go on right now in your life. You may have heard bad news today. I had somebody that wrote me an email at 1:30 this morning that
had a bad thing happen. Well I wanna tell you something. Just because it’s a surprise to you doesn’t mean it’s a surprise to God. And he’s at work on a solution before you even knew that there was a problem. That’s hope, that’s good news. So find faith. Second thing you do is practice gratitude. Practice gratitude. Focus on what you have to be thankful for not on what you don’t
have or what you’ve lost or what you want. Practice gratitude. Do it every day. Remind yourself everyday, especially when you’re
going through a hard time. Third thing you do is rehearse the truth, not lies, the truth. Here’s what we like to rehearse. I’ll never get out of this. Things aren’t ever gonna change. I don’t know that I’ll ever feel better. Well who told you that? Who told you that? Let me tell you what the truth is. The truth is whatever you’re going through won’t last forever. I know that. One of my favorite
passages in scripture is, it came to pass. And I know I’m taking it out of context but that’s all right. [laughing] It came to pass. To me that means nothing stays. It passes. If you’re having a hard
time in your marriage this will pass. If you’re having a hard
time in your business this will pass. It’s not gonna last forever. There are better days ahead. And then, after those days
there’s even better days ahead because Colossians 1:27 says, living within you is the
Christ who floods you with the expectation of his glory. I love that picture of a
flood that just getting higher and higher of the expect. It says, God floods you
with the expectation of Christ’s glory. He says, this mystery of Christ embedded within us becomes a heavenly
treasure chest of hope filled with the riches
of glory for his people and God wants everyone to know it. No wonder we oughta be the
most hope filled people on the planet regardless of circumstances. Because we have been
filled with a God of hope. Over flooded and there’s a treasure chest of hope yet to be discovered within you. So if Paul were writing this to us what would he hear? Would he hear about our
faith, our confidence because of Jesus? Or would he hear that we’re discouraged because we’re believing a lie? Would he hear about our love, how we’re loving our community? We’re loving the difficult
people around us. Or would we be like everybody
else in our society? Loving people that are like us and only when it’s convenient. Or would he hear of our hope? Our great attitude that
we have today based on our hope for tomorrow. Or would we be buried in circumstances and bitter at our lot in life? Well the good news is, it’s never too late for a brand new start. Would you agree with that? It’s never too late for you 2.0. Or you 3.0, or you 5.0, or you 265.0. Whatever it takes. This could be the beginning
of the best days of your life. Would you bow with me for
prayer this morning here and all across our campuses? And I wanna do something right now that’s so critical and so important. Everybody bow. Just everybody kind of
shut yourself in with God. Because there are many of us here today who are one relationship away from changing the course of your destiny. See the things that I preached about today are promises for those who are in Christ. If you’re not in Christ it’s kind of, you’re on your own with that. But everything I said
today I believe is true based on God’s word to
those who are in Christ. The key is getting Christ. Begin a relationship. You’re one relationship from
changing your entire destiny. Not just for eternity, that’s true. But this stuff lives well in this life. And so I wanna challenge you. If you feel distant from God right now. Maybe you’ve never had
a relationship with him or maybe it’s just been a long time and you’re following
him from a big distance. I want you to make a commitment today that I’m gonna follow him. Would you just raise your hand if I’m talking to you right now? Because I wanna pray for you. Would you just raise your hand? Okay, all over this place. In the campuses, everywhere. Just raise your hand, okay. All right, I see hands everywhere. Up in the upper sections? Okay, all right, all right, all right. This is gonna be a critical day for you. I’m gonna pray for you
and I want you to pray along with me if you would right now. Father I thank you for those who have indicated a desire to follow you. Some have never followed you. Some are following you from
a great distance right now. Some of us have issues of unbelief but we’re gonna set
that aside and say God, help me in my unbelief. I wanna follow you. Just tell him that, I wanna follow you. God we recognize our sinful state. We recognize that it’s because of Jesus that we have life. And Lord right now we
choose to follow you. God I pray that your kingdom would come in their lives and that
your will would be done in a powerful way. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.