“You Can Change The World” – Ascend Malibu Fellowship, Malibu, CA

– Robert Steele

August 7, 2016

 

What’s on my heart is for us to take a moment and really think about the fact that God’s plan for our lives is that each and every one of you can change the world. Not just your home, not just your street, not just your neighborhood, but each and every one of you is probably already affecting the world positively but this morning I really want you to think about what the Bible says about the scope of, not just in this generation, but for generations to come, how we can make choices that can bless and improve the state of mankind, both in this life and in the next.

Just think for a moment about all the people in our community. There’s roughly 13,000 people in Malibu, and within 10 miles, it expands to about 140,000 people if we go into Thousand Oaks, and Agoura and Westlake Village.

How many of them do you think right now, are struggling with something and could use some help and some hope and some encouragement? How many people are dealing with an illness? How many people are dealing with some challenges with a spouse or with children?

Imagine for a moment that you go and you get invited to a meeting and you hear this presentation and somebody tells you about a way that all of those situations can be impacted and improved? That’d get your attention, particularly if you’re going through something and you meet somebody that proposes that they’ve got the solution to whatever your particular problem is. You’d be pretty excited about that, right? And if they convinced you that it’s real, then you’d go home and you wouldn’t tell anybody about it, right?

No! No, it’s our nature. When we see something that excites us and particularly when it touches us and makes our lives better, we want to get out there and talk to people about it.

Jesus was the master story teller and one of my favorite parables is this one. So Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure, hidden in a field. When a man or woman found it, he hid it, she hid it, they hid it again, and then, his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” So the person in the story here, finds a treasure here, in a field, sees it, and then goes out and finds out what he has to do to possess that treasure. And he finds out how to possess that treasure, and he possesses it. Another way that Jesus describes the idea is that, again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and he bought it. So when we find something of great value, what Jesus is encouraging us to do, is to go after it with all our heart.

What I want you to think about today is why, in this story, is the treasure hidden?

And I’m encouraging someone to answer that question.

Yes, David Callis gets the gold star. Because Jesus created us and He knows the human heart. And He knows that if things come too easy for us, then we take things for granted. I take things for granted, if things come too easy.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most precious thing in the world. And the reason why the treasure is hidden is because it’s human nature that if it was too easy, then we would take it for granted.

What I want you to think about this morning, is that, if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, this treasure is hidden in you for your next door neighbor, and your aunts and uncles and cousins, and for people that you meet at the grocery store to discover in you. And this is what’s called the great commission. This is what Jesus said in many different ways. One of the favorite ways that I love that He said it is He said, “If you love me, feed my sheep.” And what He’s talking about in this parable, you can preach a month’s worth of sermons on this parable or more but the particular aspect that we’re looking at this morning is this idea that we all have this treasure hidden within us. And it’s hidden there for a reason and we want to be paying attention to that, so that we can let those around us discover it.

Another thing that really interests me is I love how biblical concepts just work. And the word of God says that God sends His blessings on the righteous and the unrighteous, on the just and the unjust. So, there’s many, many concepts in the Bible that just work when you do them. And this concept of hiding things to make them valuable is a basic concept.

In my secular career, I have done a lot of marketing. So one of the best ways to launch a new product is to just give it to a select group of people and then have everybody else discover it from that select group of people. So, you all, are that select group of people that God has put His love and His message in your heart, so that the rest of everybody else can discover it through you.

The first time this concept hit the world was when Jesus died and rose again. Depending on which way historians keep track of it, it was somewhere between year 30 and 33, with this year being 2016, so this is about 2,000 years ago. So, by the year 197, the Roman Empire, which was the most powerful empire in the world, which crucified Jesus and persecuted Christians for many, many years, within less than 200 years, the Roman Empire, had Christians in all aspects of society, from the rich to the poor. So, by the year 197, there were Roman senators that were Christians, there were soldiers that were Christians, there were people in all walks of Roman society that were Christians.

That is the treasure that is hidden in you. And so, right now today, a lot of people talk the state of the country, the state of the world. So think about that because Rome was a brutal society. And in less than 200 years, the highest leaders of the land and the lowest people in that society had become Christians. And then only 100 years later, the emperor becomes a Christian. Emperor of the most powerful nation in the world becomes a Christian, and what does he do? He stops the crucifixions. So they outlaw crucifixions, and he outlaws the gladiatorial games. So he changes the culture. So I want you to think about that for a moment. As you’re driving home, as you wake up tomorrow, that by sharing the gospel with people, you can make the emperor stop wickedness in our nation, just by going out there in your community and talking to people about how Jesus is awesome.

Another great example of the power of just sharing the gospel with your neighbors is England. So my last name is Steele. So my people were British. And then way back when, they were German. But I also love history, and so America was once a British colony. And in the era when people were coming to America from England, they were fleeing a very harsh society. For instance, there’s lots of T.V. shows and movies made about Henry the VIII, you know, it was just normal that they would chop people’s heads off, they tortured people, that was the normal way that England conducted itself. But it was a very, very powerful nation. They eventually were the largest empire in the world, superseding the Spanish. So in the 1700’s, England was known as a pretty awful place to live. Just every kind of vice was rampant in society, plus horrific poverty and horrific child poverty. And the basic business of the country was the slave trade. So from top to bottom, England was a rough and nasty place. So how did it change? So what happened is there was a revival and these two famous Christian preachers that are known for this revival, one was George Whitefield the other was John Wesley. So with Wesley, we see his name today when you see Methodist churches but back in the day, John Wesley was a revivalist. He was a person that would have laid hands on people, he was filled with the Holy Ghost. He would have spoken in tongues. And I actually grew up as a Methodist but you don’t see much of that in Methodist church today.

But that revival that happened in England, fundamentally changed not just England but the world. So, those revivalists and that Christian culture in England, among other things, gave birth to a gentleman named William Wilberforce and William Wilberforce, like the story of the romans, was what was called a high-born person. He was born into a semi-royal family with connections, so he had access to the government and the lawmakers and he spent the last 20 years of his life convincing and petitioning all the lawmakers in England to stop the slave trade.

Now this was, the business. This was the thing that made England a world power. This is what gave them control over India. This is what gave them control over countries in Africa, all over the world. This was where their prosperity came from. And through the revival that happened from Christians, this man rose up and he campaigned with the British government and in 1833, they outlawed slavery all over the world. So the British stopped slavery in India, they stopped slavery all over the world, they ended the slave trade. And one of the things I think is beautiful about the way God works, is that the year, you can look it up, the slavery act of 1833, Wilberforce died that year. So God took him home and puts His fingerprint that yes, that’s my son, he’s done his work here.

It all started with people like us just sharing the gospel with our neighbors, and over time it propagates and changes the leadership of a nation and changes the lives and the freedom of people all over the world.

So go ahead and hit the next slide there. So isn’t that exciting?

[Responses]

Another thing that’s really interesting is that, if you watch the, quote, “news,” you know, they’ll tell you that the fastest growing religion in the world is Islam. But it’s very easy to find the truth and the facts that that’s not true, okay? So I’m actually going to start at the bottom of the slide. So, there’s a group called the Pew Research Center, P-E-W, it’s one of the most prestigious research organizations in the world, they did a study just last year where they found that Christianity is the fastest growing religion in the world. And specifically they say that by 2050, there will be more Christians in the world than any other religion.

This church, Ascend, we are privileged to be connected with several worldwide ministry organizations. So we have firsthand accounts from leaders of churches in Africa, leaders of churches in Asia, leaders of churches in China, leaders of churches in India, and we know, for sure, that in China, that there are 100,000 people a day, becoming Christians and receiving salvation. We know, for sure, that in India there are 40 to 50,000 new believers. Think about it in the last 24 hours, 40 to 50,000 new believers coming to Christ in India. And in Africa, 47% of the African population is Christian today, in fact, in some of the nations that went through some horrific tragedies, 15 and 20 years ago, many of the people who were doing the evil deeds, are now pastors, men that had machine guns, the child soldiers have been transformed, and this is real, in fact, just this last week, I got to speak with one of our leaders in Ethiopia, so these are firsthand accounts of the radical transformation and healing of societies that’s occurring around the world and it all starts with just sharing the gospel with your neighbor.

What we’re going to do for a moment, we’re going to look at the very start of the Christian movement. So in Acts, Chapter 2, the Bible says, “And the Lord added to the number daily, those who were being saved.” “Daily,” that’s a good word. Those who were being saved. So Acts, Chapter 2, is written very, very shortly after Jesus’s death and resurrection. Then in Chapter 4, it says, but many who heard the message believed, so the number of men who believed, grew to about 5,000. And then, within the second year, we see in Acts, Chapter 5, so the word of God spread, the number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Who were the priests? So in the second year, we’re still in Israel. So these are the leaders in society the people that largely petition the Romans to have Jesus crucified, the people who are the most unlikely to become Christians. So within two years of Jesus’s death and resurrection, so many people, the culture has been changed so much, that the most unlikely of the powerful are now coming to Christ.

For many years, when I’ve read this, I’ve tended to think, that this was primarily a supernatural phenomenon. But only within the last couple of months have I come to believe that it’s not actually so, there’s more going on here than just the supernatural phenomenon.

For instance, Jason taught a good sermon about David and Goliath, and how we can read that and we can think that it’s a miracle that David fell this big giant, but really when you look at it, God trained David to fell the giant. And if we look deeper into these passages, that’s what we’re seeing, is that the early Christians were doing certain specific things that was causing this rapid propagation of the word. Yes, we love the supernatural, we believe in the supernatural. I’m blessed to be able to walk with the Lord and I have seen hands laid on people and cancer leave their bodies and I’ve seen all kinds of miracles, but these passages are not talking about a miracle; they’re talking about choices that people made to bring the word of God to one another.

Jesus said, “All authority in Heaven and on earth, has been given to me, therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you, Matthew 28, okay?

Who wants to do what Jesus told us to do? Sounds pretty good to me. My experience has been that life is a lot better when I’m doing what Jesus told me to do. So that word, “disciple.” So in our society today, how often do we say, “Disciple”? It’s, unfortunately, it’s become a church-y word. So let’s look at that word “disciple” there for a second, okay?

The word, Matheteuo, and if there’s any Greek speakers here, you know, I apologize. But the word Matheteuo, means, three English words, “And make disciples.” So literal translation means “enroll as students,” okay? So that sounds more the way we talk, okay? Sign up people for a class, okay? So he’s saying, sign up people for a class, get with them and teach them stuff. But when you read the context of everywhere where the New Testament talks about disciples, it’s clear that it didn’t just mean have our butts sit in a class, it meant learn, and go, and give. Take it in, give it away. Take it in, give it away. Take it in, give it away. And that’s what the Lord has put on my heart this morning, to share with you all, and it’s where I’m being convicted in my own life, cause I’ve even opened my house up for the last three years, to bring people in, but I know I still need to be more intentional about sharing this good news, has transformed my life, this treasure that’s hidden within me with more people, that I need to constantly get out of my own head, and take that risk, and tell more and more people about the good news.

Recently in studying this word and in receiving some very, very good teaching, I have really seen these concepts ring out in the New Testament. So the first thing is, that new believers were trained quickly, okay? So it’s a part of the modern church that we have great respect for people that decide to take three, four years and go to college and get degrees. But that is not the method that was used to change the Roman Empire. That is not the method that was used to change the British Empire. The method that was used to bring change to those huge societies was new believers were trained quickly. And I think, that modern America looks in many ways a lot like Rome did, and I think modern America looks in many ways a lot like England did. And the reason why I mention both of those is for just that reason. That it looks insurmountable, the challenges look so big, people seem so closed minded. But this is again why new believers are so important. Because new believers bring a fresh perspective, you know? I’m an old dog at this point, I’ve been in church every morning for almost 20 years, you know, helping out. I’ve got some preconceived notions. So the power of new believers was the power that propagated the gospel so quickly in all those cases. And additionally, one thing that really was fascinating to me, if you read all the stories of the baptisms, they were baptized the same day. In fact, there’s one passage where it’s clear that they didn’t even eat first. So they, heard the gospel message, they declared that Jesus was their savior and that they believe that He had been raised from the dead by the Lord and they went and they put Him in the water and they baptized Him right away. So, there’s something about the speed that’s important and if you think about it, hasn’t that notion and idea sort of been attacked in our minds, that we’ve come to believe that, you know, “Oh, only a preacher can baptize; only a preacher can lead people to Christ.” That is not what the New Testament says. The New Testament says, all of you can do it and the New Testament says that all of us are supposed to show other people how to do it. That’s how it propagates quickly and that’s how it changed those societies and that’s how it can change our society. So, new believers spread the message.

The next thing that’s interesting is that, in A.D. 34, 35, 36, 37, there weren’t any churches! These people were meeting in the homes, and they were meeting in the public square, okay? So think about it: They were meeting at Cross Creek. They were meeting at Neptune’s Net. They were meeting at the Trancas Market, okay? And are you hearing me? That’s how the gospel propagated, okay? They didn’t have brick buildings. They were out in the community. And they met in homes, okay? And think about the reality of culture in Malibu, you know? Homes, the society here, is very much happening in people’s homes. So, really what has come to my spirit, is, you know, I’ve been ministering in Malibu since 2003, on and off, and I’d like to see a home church, you know, in Trancas. And I’d like to see a home church in Solstice. And I’d like to see a home church in all of the canyons in Malibu and all the hill tops and in restaurants and stores, there’s no reason why we couldn’t have dozens and dozens of them. And I believe that this message this morning I’m hoping is going to start a spark in people’s minds about this.

So, they birthed new churches quickly so, it’s not really clear in the Bible, but there are historians that have analyzed the ancient records, and they believe the average amount of time was about 6 months. That a teacher would get a small group going, train them how to teach, train them how to, with the minimum church was, and then that church would then start a new church within 6 months.

In my life, what I’ve seen is, even in a home church, people get comfortable, and the group goes and it becomes about how fun it is to hang out and worship, and read the Bible and hang out with your friends. Well, that’s not what Jesus said, He said, “Go and make disciples,” okay?

No buildings, no seminaries, no professionals. So, in no way am I criticizing seminaries and theology schools. I have been blessed greatly by many, many well educated teachers and I stand on their shoulders but in terms of spreading the gospel message fast, it’s not needed.

So, “Whoever believes in me, will do the works I have been doing and they will do even greater things than these.” So how amazing is that? Think about the creator of the universe, says that you all can do greater things than He did. So what’s He thinking about? What’s He talking about? He was only on this earth in human form for three and a half years. Jesus never actually, based on what we know, based on what’s in the Bible record, never actually went outside the boundaries of Israel.  So what He’s talking about is He’s saying that, Nelson, and Nolan, and Adam, and Cassandra, and Philip and Tony, that you all can do greater things than He did because you’re in Malibu! As far as we know, He didn’t come to Malibu, okay?

[Laughter]

Now what I want to do is talk about how great the need is for this discussion. So in the state of California, this is a pie chart, I’m a computer, tech-y guy, you know, so this is how I think but hopefully you’ll be blessed by this.

This is current data, this is 2014, again, this is Pew Research, very prestigious research organization. So they say that in the state of California that 28%, when asked what their faith is, say that they’re Catholic. So that’s the biggest block of particular belief in California. But the second one is the gray area, which is unaffiliated. So 27% of the sample size, in California, when they were asked what their faith was, said, “I don’t have a faith,” okay? So they didn’t say they were Satanist, they didn’t say that they were scientologists, they said nothing, okay? So, to me, that sounds like fertile ground. That means one in every four people you meet, has not already made up their mind. So that one out of every four people you meet is waiting for that treasure inside of you, and we’ve heard great testimonies of people who have come to adulthood who said that no one ever came up to them and asked them if they wanted to hear about Jesus. So that’s the truth. Now, Christianity is, a large part of Christianity, is it’s a battle for the mind. And we have this thing that’s always trying to tell us stuff that’s not true. And one of the things it’s trying to tell us is, “Oh, they don’t want you to bother them with learning about Jesus,” okay? It’s not true. A quarter of the people in California have not made up their mind, what they believe. That is where He said to go. Now, while we’re at it, about 20% identify as what’s called evangelicals. So this church we would consider ourselves evangelicals. Roughly, it means churches that believe in a personal relationship with Jesus and churches that are out doing missions. So those people, you know, they’re already taken care of. But these other categories, you know, 2% Hindu, 2% Buddhist, 2% Jewish, that’s who Jesus said go make sure that they know about the gospel.

If you look at it in terms of people, the group that says that they haven’t made their mind up, is 8.6 million people in California. 8.6 million people. So next time you go to the grocery store, a quarter of those people haven’t made up their mind about Jesus. The next time you’re at a sporting event, a quarter of those people. The next time you’re going to see a movie, a quarter of those people. And I guarantee you that you might have to talk to five of them, or you might have to talk to ten of them, but some of them, have never had anybody tell them about Jesus and they actually are waiting for you to be that one.

If we go to the next slide, so nationwide, about 25% of Americans identify as evangelicals. So it’s possible, that in America, that there’s 245 million people who have not accepted Jesus. And it’s hard to say what the number is, but it’s possible that it can be that big of a number. So it’s certainly more than a hundred million. And so, my story of the Roman Empire and the British Empire, the point was, that you have the ability to affect those 245 million people because of the way that Christianity ended slavery in the British Empire worldwide, was not with us going to directly to the leaders, it happened by going to the culture, through the neighbors, love your neighbor as yourself.

David Callis, Cassandra, myself, we’ve all been trained in a method called T for T, which means training for trainers. So some of the concepts and the ideas that I’m relaying to you this morning are from these materials. So in the training for trainers, that buzzword is trying to highlight the fact that when Jesus said go and make disciples, in 20th century English terms, what he was saying is, “Go make trainers who can train other people.” That is why the gospel took over the Roman Empire so quickly, because what they were doing is they were training people to train other people. So the scripture that gives us this is second Timothy, two two. That’s pretty easy to remember, right? Two, two, two. Second Timothy, two two. Where it says, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others,” alright? So my good friend Owen is sitting up front. So Owen, probably didn’t even know it, that he is what we call, a Timothy. So Owen decided to take a little bit of the time in his life and he came to my house and he has been studying the Bible with me now for almost four years and one night he had a prayer, and he said, “Lord I want to be used. Help me to be used.” And he has ended up having his socks blessed off by making this connection to these Chinese scholars and many of them have come to my house, and other places, and they’ve heard the gospel message and they go back to China. And if Owen hadn’t stepped up and been a Timothy, then that wouldn’t have happened. And I believe in my heart that those people will affect China for generations and that seeds have been planted there that will propagate throughout that culture. So good job, Owen. Nice sunglasses too.

In this one scripture, we see three generations of what we call church planters. So Timothy said, “The things you’ve heard from me, teach to reliable people, who will also be able to teach others.” So it’s not just some supernatural thing where Jesus hops from one person to the next. It’s an intentional thing where we get trained, we train others, they train others. That’s the great commission. That’s what He meant when He said, “Go and make disciples.”

So, our Father’s heart, for you, is He said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore with love and kindness, I have drawn you.” So part of my hope, when we do the worship music and we praise Jesus together, part of my hope is that, those of you that might not be feeling love, that you start feeling the presence of God and you start feeling some love and some care and some compassion. And I’ve been blessed to see so many people come in here, where I can see that they’re going through something tough, and they come in, they get the presence of the Holy Spirit, they receive some prayer and over the course of time, I see their face change, I see smiles where there was sadness before. So you have the ability to bring that to your street, to your communities, to your workplaces. The Jews call it shalom, among other things. So at a minimum, the gospel message could encourage people and can help them navigate difficult circumstances. So that’s the Father’s heart for you and it’s the Father’s heart for you to bring that to other people.

There is the issue of salvation, that the Bible teaches us, and I played a song this morning which tells a story, the Bible teaches us that He will take those that have chosen to be with Him, away. And He will do earth and everyone that chose to go with Him will be on that new earth. So, it’s not just about being able to bring the love of God to people, it’s about being able to bring them everlasting life. It’s a fairly simple thing that Jesus asks, He says in Romans Chapter 10, verse 9, He says, “Declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe with all your heart that Jesus raised him from the dead.” That’s it. That’s it. And when that happens, when somebody believes that Jesus died for their sins and was born again, resurrected, and when they believe that He is Lord, their name is written in the book of life and they will be with Him forever and have everlasting life. So that is an amazing gift that you can give to people. So the Father’s heart for the lost is, He said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. For this is good and acceptable, in the sight of God, our savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to full knowledge of the truth.” So, who does He desire to be saved?

[Light response from audience]

Who does He desire to be saved?!

[Audience responds]

Who does He desire to be saved?!

[Audience responds louder]

Amen.

When Jesus taught us to pray, He said, “Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, as Earth as it is in Heaven.” So, His will is that you all, are the ambassadors of Heaven. So what does an ambassador do? An ambassador communicates, an ambassador opens doors, an ambassador helps keep the peace. So God has made each and every one of you an ambassador to the people, that he wants them to know that Heaven can exist on this earth, that life can actually get better and there can be peace and there can be joy. And he has made each and every one of you the ambassador of that peace and joy.

How many times in the Bible did Jesus mention the church? And I’m not expecting that anyone has this memorized. But he only mentions the church 3 times in two verses. But how many times does he mention the kingdom? Notice that in the story of the field and the pearl that he’s talking about the Kingdom of Heaven. That most of those parables, they don’t say the church is like this, the Kingdom of Heaven is like this. So 102 times, Jesus mentions the kingdom. So which one are we supposed to pay more attention to, the church or the kingdom? The kingdom. So the hint here, in the kingdom, we don’t just go to church, we are the church, okay? So there’s somebody in our head that wants us to think that the point is to try and get people to come here and hang out with us on Sunday morning. That’s not the point. The point is for all of us to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to them out there. And what I’m hoping happens, is I’m hoping that this is a meeting where we get together and we encourage people and we love on people and we teach people how to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to those out there and if some of them choose to come here and hang out with us on Sunday, that’s great but that’s not the agenda. The agenda is to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to them, out there where they are. So in other words, if we do the Kingdom right, we’ll do church right.

On the next slide, so, don’t want to diminish that the church is important. The church is important. Christ shed his blood for the church to purchase us as his pride. The church is a part of His Kingdom. However, if we try to build the church exclusively, the kingdom suffers. Build the kingdom, and you build His church. Jesus said, “You make my disciples, I’ll build my church.” So that’s Matthew 28, Matthew 16.

[Clapping]

You make my disciples, I’ll build my church. Who’s clapping?

[Audience responds and claps]

Doesn’t that feel good? Can’t you feel the Holy Spirit there? Because one thing that’s fascinating to me about the spiritual walk, is that I’ve been playing piano since I was 5. I don’t forget how to play piano. But I need to come among you all, read the word, and be reminded of these things, because there’s something out there that’s constantly trying to get us to un-remember these things. And that’s one of the reasons why we meet and why we have teachers is because we have to constantly remind ourselves against that thing out there that wants us to get things out of order. And we do see this in Christianity, that there’s so much focus put on, quote, “The Church.” And Jesus said, “You make my disciples, I’ll build my church.”

The idea here, is that the big circle is the kingdom of God, okay? And the church is part of the kingdom of God. But this morning I want to focus your hearts because, think about how simple it is to ask somebody. Like for instance, one of the best, you can always look for the opener. So I have a good friend I grew up with and about five, six years ago, he said, you know, I’m thinking about taking Prozac. And, it was a common thing, and there was a time when such medicines have their place. But in this particular conversation, I was hearing the prompting of the Lord and I said, “Well, I’m here to support you in that. But why don’t you try going to church four times before you start taking medication,” okay? And this was a guy I grew up with so I was able to speak into his life, and that person went to church four times, somebody asked him if he wanted to receive Christ, he became a Christian and we’ve never talked about depression again and five years later, he’s never taken any medication and again, I’m not saying that there’s not a place for medication, but in that particular example, what I want you to hear is that I could hear the spirit in the question. He was coming to me, asking for advice, and I said, I felt that I had the Holy Spirit on me and I said, “Why don’t you try going to church four times,” and what he found was that the Holy Spirit and Jesus in him, solved whatever the struggle was that was happening. And we can bring that to everybody. That’s the kingdom of God. That person became a church attender and a tither, okay? But I didn’t say, “Hey, why don’t you come to my church.” He actually lived 400 miles away. I said, “Why don’t you try a church?” Now, I did Google some local churches and try and direct him but it wasn’t about me trying to get him in my church, it was about me bringing him the Holy Spirit.

Lord, I just thank you for this morning, I thank you for each and every one gathered here. I just thank you for this ability to come before you and to worship your name and to read your word. I thank you for the ability to share your love with our friends, neighbors, our communities, our nation. I just ask that you move in our midst Lord, move in our hearts. We just say this in Jesus’s name.