lhc reconciled wk11 webedit 1

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bjbjLULU Reconciled: You + Who April 1st, 2012 John Bishop Outline: Reconciled: You
+ Who John Bishop April 1st, 2012 [VIDEO] John: (VO) It s hard to imagine that at times
the lives that we create, our families, our houses, our careers, that they won t last
forever. But the Bible is really clear, our lives on this earth are temporary. Genesis
3:19 in fact say, You were made from dust, and to dust you will return. It s a sobering
wakeup call, really, that we need to make this one life count for more than a career,
or more than education, or more than a possession. And while day to day our lives feel busy,
filled with activities, and filled with worries about tomorrow, our focus, at times, can be
centered on the things that are temporary and then we lose sight of what s eternity.
Our lives can be, and should be, marked by purpose, things that will last far beyond
our physical years on this earth, and that the choices made with a constant sense, a
burning in our heart, that really what matters is not about just today, it s not about just
tomorrow, but what s beyond the grave. What will matter for eternity. Let s be reminded
today that we all are, in fact, just dust in the wind. [END VIDEO] [SONG - DUST IN THE
WIND John: He did all right. Hey let s give...you know, I want to really appreciate our worship
team. All of our musicians and vocalists are all volunteers, and so to take a weekend.
And I also want to thank our sound technicians and people in the lighting room and the tech
room that you don t see, that literally gave up an entire weekend to come and to serve,
and ushers and all that. Can we just appreciate the volunteers at the church? Thank you guys
so much. My name is John and I get the honor, really, of leading this church and helping
us to continue walking on this journey called faith. And continuing to learn about this
God that is Jesus. And I m excited for all that God is doing. And we ve been in a series
called Reconciled and some would say, wow, that s a long series and I would agree with
you it is. It ll officially be one of the longest we ve ever done. And the bottom line
to the series is one Greek word, katallasso, and this word is about...it s taking two things
that are not compatible and something has to change in order for compatibility to happen.
And so the thing is, the Gospel of Jesus as God, think of a key. You take a blank key,
you cut it, and you make it specific to your house. The key that s made for your house
won t fit on another house. God has cut and bruised his son to make Jesus compatible so
that we can be reconciled to God. And we need to learn that there s a difference between
religion and reconciliation. There s a difference between the Gospel of Jesus, which is about
grace, and legalism. And I just want to talk about this. And I want to spend some time.
We ll wrap up this series next weekend. We ll wrap it up on Easter weekend. But I want
to take a moment and I just want to talk about, about You + Who . Because the real bottom
line to reconciliation is always you plus who. It s...we talked about forgiveness, we
talked about giving the gift of no condemnation, and we ve gone...a lot...and I pray and ask
if you missed some of the talks, go online. You can actually download them and you can
podcast, and just listen to them. Because I think that we ve got to get this deep into
our hearts about what matters to God. And I m encouraged today in so many ways, and
I just want to take a moment and talk to you about, God wants us to focus on what s eternal,
not what s temporal. And for you and for me, that means like getting the dust out of our
eyes in so many ways. Arthur Blessitt, he s actually been...I call him every Sunday
morning before I preach and that...since I met him...and he s prayed with me for the
message and for you and for the church. He s so excited to be here with us. And his pray
is always just that God would bless and that people find faith in Christ. And he shared
with me a couple weeks ago, a story that I just can t get out of my mind. I actually
did a devotional called Dust In My Eyes because he, he s traveled, you know, almost forty
thousand miles around the world, walking with a cross. And he shared with me that there
s times in the journey where, in a desert or in a jungle he d get mosquitoes, or in
a...and he would end up with dust in his eyes. And he said the problem with...when the dust
is in your eyes, you have a tendency to want to stop and be done, right. And when he was
sharing this about his own journey, it made me think of my own journey and how often times
I get dust in my eyes. Because there s a financial problem. And all of a sudden I m focused on
that which is temporal, I m not focused on the eternal. I m...or a relational thing happens.
Or pain in your life happens. Or loss in your life happens. Or, whatever it is, it s in
this journey God is calling us. And he said something, he says, I said well what do you
do? And he says you know what, I don t focus on the dust, I continue to walk one more step
toward the next one person that needs to know about Jesus Christ. And I thought about that
for me, and I thought about that for you. And this talk, I want to talk about, what
does it mean, you plus who. And what does the Gospel mean in our lives. Because I think
so often we, we don t really fully grasp what the Gospel is, so we re going to kind of rewind
and look at the verses in 2 Corinthians, and this word, and then we re going to talk about
how everyone is part of the mission. That we all need to get the dust out of our eyes
so we can see what matters to God. Let s pray. Father, I pray as we go to Your Word, and
I pray as we think about our lives, God, would You, for those of us that are followers of
Jesus, would you spark in our hearts a deep sense of revival? Would You renew in our hearts
a deep sense of Your presence? God, this is Passion Week and this is the week where Jesus
entered into Jerusalem, and I pray that Jesus could, in a sense, the passion of Jesus could
reenter into our hearts. That what matters would really matter. That it wouldn t be just
what we say, but what we do with what we know. I thank You for every person here. God, may
You grant every person the blessings that they hope for. God, may You help us to take
one more step and when the dust is in our eyes that we wouldn t focus on the dust, but
the next one person that will spend eternity somewhere. We love You Jesus, and I pray this
in Your name. Amen. Amen. Okay, look, we re going to go to 2 Corinthians. If you have
your Bibles, and I really encourage you to get your Bibles, bring them, and we re going
to go to 2 Corinthians chapter five, and he says, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he
is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! Next verse. All this, all this newness,
all this stuff, all this...I mean you think about this as when you re in Christ it s all
new and when that happens it from God who reconciled, katallasso, us to Himself through
Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, you plus who - next verse, that God was reconciling
the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men s sins against them. And He has committed
to us the message of reconciliation. Last verse. We are therefore Christ s ambassadors,
as though God were making His appeal through us. And Paul uses this word implore. It s
like this, almost like he s plead, he s begging us, and pleading. We implore you on Christ
s behalf, be reconciled to God. This is the message of the cross, this is the message
of the Gospel. And so often I have this tendency to somehow like want to get over it. Like,
well can we move onto the next thing. But Jesus said it clearly, that we are ambassadors.
He says that we are witnesses to Jerusalem, and to Judea, and Samaria and to the ends
of the earth. In Acts 1:8 He says...and when Jesus said it, He meant it. When he said in
Matthew 28, to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, He meant it. And when he s given us this ministry
and the message of reconciliation...and you think about this. The God that spoke the creation
of the...He spoke everything into existence. Think about this. He spoke it. He didn t use
a hammer, He didn t call, He didn t...in six days He just speaks it all into existence.
That same God, because of sin, died on the cross. But didn t just die on a cross, the
Bible says He became - He who knew no sin - don t miss this, He became sin for you.
So all of the sin, for all of the world, for all of time, Jesus became that, so that when
sin died and He rose from the grave, we, then, by faith in Christ, can rise with Him. That
s the essence of baptism. That s why it matters that when you go under the water the old person
dies symbolically and then your raise to new life. And I know that God has a plan, and
I know that God wants us to get in our minds. And I read a story this week that so encouraged
my own heart that...it s from Time Magazine. I have no idea when it was published. But
the story, they say is a true story, and it s four pictures. The first picture is in western
Kansas with this huge field of wheat. Like as far as the eye could see, this just wheat
field. And then the second picture is a picture of, in the wheat field, right in the middle
of the wheat field, is a house. And inside of the house is a mother, and the mother,
on the look of her face, is distressed. And she s distressed because her little boy left
the house and got caught up and got...he left and was in the wheat field. And so she s totally
distressed, like where s my son? You can imagine, so can I. And then the third picture is after
her husband and her searched, then the third picture is neighbors searching. And after
the neighbors searched, then they searched all the way until dark and then the next morning
they gathered again with a new approach and a new plan. But they gathered, and they actually
held hands across...as far as you could see, you could see people holding hands all the
way across, and walking across the entire wheat field. Hand in hand. But the fourth
picture is the one that struck me the most. Because it s a picture of a father standing
over the body of his little boy. Because the little boy wanted to come home, but he couldn
t see above the wheat. And the father wanted his son, but he couldn t see his son. And
so it was only in searching. And beneath the picture, this fourth picture it says, Oh God,
if only we would have held hands sooner. I thought about that for me, I thought about
that for you, and how God has given us this message, this beautiful message of the cross.
Not a message of religion. Not a message of, you gotta do this or you gotta be this or
you gotta dress this. It s a message of just everyone. It s a message for everyone. Everyone
comes in the same way. Through faith in Christ. But it s not just I come to Christ, it s God
wants me to understand that I ve got this message now that I...He s committed it to
us. I mean if I was God, I m not committing a message that that s important to people.
I m thinking I m going to have angels do it, and like a church called Church of the Angels
or something, and you can come and see an angel tells you about Jesus. I mean there
has to be a better way, right? But God has entrusted the message of the Gospel of Jesus
to people that are broken, to people that end up getting dust in their eyes and getting
tired. He s committed it, and there s so many people. You think about this. How many people
that you know and that I know, they re lost in a field with no way home? And they want
to come home. They just need someone to search for them. They need someone to go after them.
And so it s a you plus who message, and I want to ask you, number one, are you reconciled
with God? Have you actually made a commitment to Jesus Christ? I m not asking if you ve
attended church. I m not asking if you went to catechism. I m not asking if you grew up
and, you know, you somehow...well my parents took me to church, and so I ve been in church
all my life. I m asking have you, personally, surrendered your life, you, to Jesus Christ?
Have you personally believed that He is God, that He died on a cross and rose from the
grave? And have you surrendered your life to Him? And secondly, who? Because once the
you gets into your heart, you can t not share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And I think that
we have to join our hands and we have to search and we have to continue to understand that
he s entrusted to us this message of reconciliation. Look at this verse. Take your notes, these
are just like talking points, and write this down. Number one. Everyone is included. This
is all about everyone. Everyone is included. It s not just about a pastor, or a team, or
elders, or...it s everyone. It s you plus who, it s everyone. Look what Jesus says in
Matthew nine, Jesus one time said to His disciples, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers
are few. Here s Jesus looking over a field and saying, man, there s so much. The harvest
is ripe - in other words people want to come home to the Father s house - but there s so
few people searching. Can I just pause. I think sometimes I get this way, and I think
that, I just want to remind us, okay. What God has done here at Living Hope is...you
know, we say...what are the two words that we say? Say it like you like really mean it.
Yeah, okay. Only God. Right. And only God is what it s about, right. I went to a conference
some years ago and a very prominent speaker and he was sharing, and it was a little bit
of an indictment to the church. But what I think we forget, is most churches, they don
t see people come to Christ. Because they re so, I think, caught up in religion and
caught up in legalism and caught up in comparing and caught up in not accepting, that you come
there and you don t... He shared about an evangelical denomination, ten thousand churches
in this denomination. Seven thousand churches had not one person the year before, in 2006,
not one person came to Christ. Seven thousand churches. He said the other three thousand
churches, that only an average of one came per church. That s not the way that God intended
it. Jesus came to save the world, not to condemn the world. And when we get this in our hearts,
and that s why we re spending so much time talking about this because it matters so much.
And we need to be about reaching our city. And we need to be about storming the gates
of hell. And we need to be about not letting Satan throw...when he kicks the dust in my
eyes, I just need to keep reminding him, hey, hey, by the way, let me just go to Revelation
and tell you what s happening for you. A little more than dust for you. Okay? And so don t
let the temporal trump the eternal. Don t allow your heart to be discouraged. Don t
give up. Don t somehow get to the place where it s like, well...let me just...keep the fire
burning. You plus who, keep the fire burning in your heart for Jesus Christ. And God will
use you to change the world. Number two, write this down. Everyone is included, but also
everyone is important. Everyone is important. Everyone is included, in other words the mission
is for all of us. But this is the one that I think we need to know, everyone is important.
How many grew up, ever like in high school, or where somebody like nicknamed you, or labeled
you? Like do you remember getting the labels like, Junior, or, you know I read about a
guy that...a little boy that was like a year and two months or something, and wasn t walking.
And so his parents nicknamed him Scooter. And that nickname carried all the way through
until he was an adult, right. I want you to take thirty seconds, turn to the person next
to you...if you re watching this online...what s the nickname that you remember? When you
were growing up, do you remember having a nickname? And really keep in mind you re in
church. Okay, go ahead. Oh, the one o clock service has a lot of labels. I should have
known. So check it out. When I was growing up, I had a couple different labels, and one
of them was, when I was in third grade I had to have glasses, you know, and so I had...I
mean, when I was in third grade, okay. The black rimmed glasses that are really popular
today? Yeah, not so much then. And so I wore these glasses and I remember walking in, and
it was like, there s three of us like clustered, talking, you know. And so I was called Four
Eyes, right. And so I like went out on the playground and smashed my glasses and put
them in my pocket, and you know, all the glass and everything. And I remember because you
don t forget a label. You know, and some of us, and I just want to remind the students
especially. In your lives people don t forget names. And they don t forget this whole thing
of like...so for me, I didn t forget it. My mom kept asking me where my glasses were,
and I m like, oh, I left them here, I left them there, I kept sort of lying to her. Sort
of, I guess, kind of, and...now good labels can happen as well. The first time I ever
taught the Bible, um, Pastor Neal came up to me and he says, the day I led my grandpa
to Christ, he says, God s given you a gift to teach and you need to never stop teaching
the Bible. You need to never stop preaching about the Word of God and about Jesus. And
so sometimes labels are good. There s other times they re not so good. And Jesus was always
about labels. It s weird. He like took someone s name and changed their name around. And
He gave people labels. He called Peter, Peter was...but before he came to Christ, before
he was a follower of Jesus, his name was Simon. And so He changed his name. God changed Abram
s to Abraham. So all through the Bible you see this like labeling thing. And I think
perhaps two of the best, most profound labels that we can know is...salt and light. And
I want to give a little context. I ll put the verse up on the screen. Jesus said, You
are the salt of the earth. Now, when Jesus said this, You are the salt of the earth,
just let me give you a little con...I m going to give you a little assignment to reach Matthew
five through seven this week. It s the Beatitudes. It s the longest sermon. It s called...we
call it the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus preached and He, on the Beatitudes, He s like...you
know, He basically took the values of the day and He turned everything upside down.
He says, you know, instead of like revenge, instead of like an eye for an eye, you re
going to forgive people. Instead of like paying back, you re going to actually bless someone
that hurt you. Now, He took and gave us these values and He says to the disciples, You are
the salt of the earth. After He tells them the new value system, after He gave them basically
a new world view, then He says to them...and isn t it...it s like totally counterintuitive.
Then He says, You are the salt of the earth. And salt was...it was about preservation.
It s the way we would know...like refrigeration. We would refrigerate something. They would...the
way they would preserve or create thirst, I want to just say this. Salt is about what
s inside. Light is about what s outside. Salt is about being. Light is about doing. Salt
is about the character inside you. Light is about guiding someone to Christ. Salt is about
creating thirst. Let me just...it s about you...salt doesn t talk, by the way. And salt
s never about itself. You think about it, I ve never gone ever to a restaurant and just
ordered, can I just have a bowl of salt? Can I have like salt instead of spaghetti or,
no. Salt enhances things, and we are called the salt of the earth. In those days, salt
was valuable. For us, you think, you re the salt of the earth, like what does that even
mean? But, and to them, to the listener s ear, salt was like, Jesus was making a statement
of value. You matter. Salt was...there have been, wars have been fought over salt. France
at one point was bought with salt. Soldiers in that culture were paid with salt. And Jesus
is making a statement about value, about being. He says, I m giving you these system. Where
do think...and when He came on the scene, when Jesus... You know, Jesus has done more
for women s rights than any person alive. When he came on the scene, when Jesus came,
women were treated horribly. And Jesus said we re all equal. He says we re all equal.
And I think about that and I think about Jesus, it s like salt is, it s about visible and
visibility. It s like, here it is until it comes out of the shaker and then it enhances.
But you notice salt doesn t talk. Have you ever seen a salt shaker talk? If you have
then I...just don t know what to tell you about that. Salt just does what it does. My
daughter, Katie, I m just proud to say that she has super strong values and convictions.
But I ve never...she s got the strongest convictions and judges people the least of almost anyone
I ve ever met. And, you know, she made a commitment to sexual purity. But I never heard her judge
anybody, all the way until she was married. You know what, you know why I say that? Because
she is like, she was salt to people. Just, she just enhanced and loved and accepted,
but also lived the values that Jesus Christ died for. That s what God wants. He wants
us to come to the place where the values that He died for become my core values. That I
would be quick to forgive. You know, He says, Blessed are those who mourn, for they will
be completed. Blessed are those who are gentle and lowly, for the earth will belong to them.
Blessed are those who are hungry, they will receive it in full. And He talks about, God
wants to bless. And so he just takes this whole thing, he turns it upside down. And
I think, and for my life and for your life, the thing about salt is, salt has to die...I
ll put this whole thing on the screen. Salt has to die to itself in order to invest itself
in something more glorious than itself. Salt has to die to itself. Salt s about saying,
you know, I m a follower of Jesus. It s not him but it s...Jesus will live through me.
Salt s about saying, you know, I m going to humble myself before God. And I just want
to encourage us and ask, at what point, how are we doing? How is the saltiness of your
life? Now, the flipside is, you can be, you can have no salt or you can have like some
teenagers do. Have you ever gone to a restaurant and you go to put the salt on and the entire
thing falls out? Yeah, so some, you know, person decided I m going to play a joke and,
and so you can like over-salt something. You can...there s this tendency of just, just
live the values that Jesus died for and God will do the rest. And here s the third thing
I want you to write down. Is, everyone is invited. Everyone is invited. Look what He
says. You are the light of the world. You are the light of the world. Jesus makes a
statement about light, and makes a statement about...salt and light are both about influence
and about impact. It s about influencing the world and impacting the world. Now I Just
want to encourage us. Again, for those of us that have walked with God a long time.
It s easy to become sort of medioc...accept mediocrity for my faith. It s easy to kind
of slip into a, eh. The people that are the most passionate about Jesus are the ones that
find grace in God and faith in Christ. All of a sudden they re like, are you kidding
me? Like, I can actually be forgiven? And I pray that we never lose that sense of knowing
that you re the light of the world. See it s Christ in you, but then it s Christ s light
is through you. Salt is about being, light is about doing. He goes on to say, in verse
fifteen, Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on
its stand. It s like he s talking about, you re the light of the world. Like in that culture,
they would light a light, an oil lamp and then put it in a place, a prominent place
in the house where everyone would benefit the most from it. And light would always guide
you to something. Light always compels you. It dispels darkness. Then He says, In the
same way, let your light shine before men. I just want to tell you, because there s a
word here. I m not going to go to it, but there s a word where it s like...it means
in the Greek that God has strateg...He s set you aside in your job. You think that you
re a doctor or a nurse, or construction worker, or you re a business owner. But what God has
done is He has put exactly, everything about your life is uniquely and divinely, He s positioned
you to be light to your world. And so often, because of the dust which is pain, because
of the dust which is rejection, because of the dust, because as a student your parents
got divorced, because of the dust, it stops me from taking the next step towards someone.
So you plus who is, I have to not look at the dust, I have to not look...and I have
to realize that God has allowed these things to happen so that I can reach the world. So
that my story can be told. So that I cannot light my light, so people don t see me, they
don t see John, they see Jesus. Let your light shine before men, verse sixteen, in the same...in
the same way that they may see your good deeds and not praise you, praise your Father in
Heaven. And I love that. You know the pronoun in this passage is emphatic, which means,
basically what Jesus was saying to His disciples is, you are the only light in your world.
You are the only salt for the earth. You are the only one. And you look back over your
life, you think about this. Some of you are here right now because someone invited you.
Someone was salt and light enough that you saw their life and you said I want what you
have. And you came. I remember before I ever even...before I ever even thought about being
a Christian, after I made a false profession to Jesus, I got to see what Christianity really
was. And, Duane and Trinette, we were in the Air Force, McChord Air Force Base. And Michelle
was pregnant with our son, David, and Trinette was pregnant with their son, Matthew. And
what I remember the most is, and here I m a guy that, you know, I m completely like
who cares, skeptical, didn t, you know. And I remember looking at Michelle and all this
baby stuff. And seven months into their pregnancy, and they were basically both to be due the
same time. Seven months into her pregnancy Trinette lost her baby. And because it was
an Army hospital, there s all kinds of different things about that, but she was like, she was
like...I mean I m devastated for her and thinking like, wow. And you know what she cared about?
She obviously cared about losing her son, who wouldn t. But she cared more about not
stressing Michelle out so that Michelle wouldn t lose our son. And I remember, as I look
back, at the time I didn t like pick up on this. Like wow, she s a Christian. But as
I look back and think of the times that God put salt and light in my life. I remember
seeing Trinette and thinking, wow. Because that s not...it s counterintuitive. It s not
normal. That s what faith is. It s looking at a story, and I remember her like totally,
every day, calling, are you okay? Concerned. At the hospital when David was born. When
her son should have been. s like she didn t let the dust in her eyes, which was the
pain of the loss, stop her from taking the one step toward someone that in essence was
me and she didn t even know it or think about it. Because that s what light does. Light
is just light. And salt is just salt. You don t sit and calculate it. It s like God
has strategically, He s put you in a place, and He s put you right in your world where
He wants you to reach everyone that you can, just by being and doing. And so often I stop
that. And so often I forget this. And so often I get so about the temporal that I forget
all that God wants to do in my life and in my heart. And, a couple unavoidable truths
about purpose. You have a purpose, friends. God has a purpose for you. And God s purpose
is for you to be light to your world. The other purpose is this. I thought about this,
what can I do, in my life, what can I do that will help people connect with who I believe
in? What can I do to help people connect with who I believe in? Which is Jesus. What is
it? And I think for all of us, we need to be about that. And, you know, when you think
about your life, like so many of you right now are thinking, you know, I don t really
have anything to offer. Or I don t real...not one person in the Bible would have thought,
well I have something to offer God. Look at Jessica Lane. Do you think she ever, six years,
seven years go when she came to Christ, do you think she ever would have thought, you
know, I m going to be a Kids World pastor? Leader? Director in a mega church? See God
wants to use your life, and there s purpose in your life. And it s to be salt and it s
to be light. It s to guide people. Next weekend, next weekend is going to be a big weekend.
I can tell you because I ve seen it hundreds and hundreds of times. You ll bring your friends,
they ll see a pool, they ll hear some music, they ll hear the Word of God, they ll respond
to Christ. And then they ll get up out of their chairs, in their clothes, and ask Jesus
Christ into their heart and symbolize that with water baptism. It will happen, because
I ve watched it happen about seven thousand times in the last seven years. And I know
God will do it. The question is, what will you do? You, some of you, need to be baptized.
You need to take the step. Who? Who is it that you ll bring with you with the invites
that you ll have. About ten thousand of them that we got. Because it matters. God wants
to see our city saved. When you go to the bottom line of the church, the bottom line.
The bottom line is not a building, the bottom line is not a budget, the bottom line is people
who matter to God. You plus who. And it s time for me, for you, to take the dust out
of our eyes so we can see what matters to God. Would you pray with me? And I want you
to see some stories. But I just want to pray with you really quick. Would you pray with
me? Right now? If you think about in your life right now, you, you. No music. No coming
forward. Just you right now. Right now. Are you the one in the field? Right now, are you
the one right now in this field and you want to go home, and you feel afraid, and you feel
alone, and you need God in your life. And at this very moment would you surrender your
life to Jesus Christ? Right now. You re the one that He came for. He s searching, He loves
you. The Bible says if you just confess with your mouth and believe in your heart God raised
Jesus from the dead and you re saved. Will you do that? You ll make peace with God and
nothing will ever be the same for you. Just pray with me. Just pray this prayer. Dear
Jesus, Jesus I believe You died for me. I believe You rose from the grave. Tell Him
that. I believe You re God. Right now I ask You to come into my heart to save me. I confess
that I have sinned. Tell Him that. I confess I ve sinned and I ask You to forgive me. I
repent. I m coming home. You are my God, and I am Your child. And with your heads bowed
just for a moment, just raise up your hand if you prayed with me just now. Just raise
up your hand. Yeah, just raise up your hand. All around the auditorium. If you prayed online,
tell one of the pastors. Now I just want to take a second and I want to thank God for
what God and God alone does. Right now. And God, right now, God has reconciled people
to Himself. You are the you that Jesus came for, and I want you to see a couple stories.
Then I m going to come back up and lead us in a...something that I think will be super
important as we wrap up our series. Okay? All right, take a look. [VIDEO] Nicole: I
started coming to Living Hope Church, um, back in 2004. Um, I was pregnant with my daughter
and I was about eighteen years old. My friend, Mandy Belisle, had invited me, um, who was
also pregnant and a few years younger than me. It was kind of a rough time in our life
and we came to God to ask for forgiveness and to start a new life with our children.
It was an amazing time. I immediately felt very, very bonded with the church and all
the messages touched my heart so deeply that it s not even really explainable. Mary: (w/Christina)
I have been coming to Living Hope for a little while now, and, um, my family has been struggling
with a lot of, a lot of stuff that a lot of families go through. Um, but something just
told my heart that this was where I needed to be. So I kept on coming to church and,
you know, kept on praying and they, they had the chair situation where we could come and
put somebody that we needed to pray for and wanted to encourage to get, get a relationship
with God. And so I put my daughter s name on a chair. And she didn t come. And I still
kept coming and praying, and, um, she went through some, some things and I came in. And
one of the senior pastors sat me down and I cried and he prayed. And, um, I m happy
to say, you know, she s staying in a women s mission now in Astoria, and comes to church
when she can come down and, and I don't know. I had the opportunity to take her to a Christian
concert with her and her people that she is living with. And just to see her get up and
have her hands up and praise God without looking around, without caring who, who saw her express
her love for God. And that to me is just, I m just proud of her. She s going to be here
Easter and she s going to be baptized. We re going to be baptized. And, and I just can
t wait to see all the things God s going to keep doing in our life, and I know it s going
to be great things. David: I was invited to church quite a bit by my girl s parents. I
dodged it a lot due to the fact I was in active addiction. Um, I used to be a really hardcore
meth addict. Um, I was too busy during the days chasing after the drugs and consequently
enough, I would stick a needle in my arm every day. Um, that was who I used to be. Um, I
used to not like church. I used to not want to care who God was. I used to beat myself
in the head to almost being unconscious because I didn t want to live anymore, because I didn
t love myself anymore. Um, God touched my life, I came to this church, and I ve learned
to humble myself, I ve learned to love myself. And, um, as of today I ve got eighty-two days
clean and sober. Um, that s because I have God in my life and every day I start my, my
day out with God. That s my higher power. That s who I choose to give my life to. Paula:
Saw Living Hope, how it all started, is he saw Living Hope, my husband and my mom and
I, um, transform me. And we had attended another church but not regularly. We were, it was
more of a chore to go to church. And so my mom one day drove over to Living Hope and
got the hours. She attended Living Hope before us and, and kept coming back every Sunday
with good news, and with good news. And so she said she as going to get baptized. And
I recorded her, videoed her, and hundreds of people getting baptized that day. And just
cried. Oh, just cried. Uplifting. It brought me back to when I was baptized. Um, on August
17th of 95. But had let gaps come in between the road that I was trying to live back then.
And so my mom brought that back out into the family and, um, so November when she was baptized,
um, we haven t missed a service, um, since because of her. And the, the spirit and the
holiness that has just come through. Our attitudes have changed. Um, and February 24th my mom
passed away and still, to this day, we come because of her bringing Jesus back into our
life to, um, get us reconnected. Nicole: I can honestly sit here and say that because
of Living Hope and because of all the wonderful people, um, I, I don t, I don t have any regrets.
And I don t have anybody that, um, I need to forgive. And that s, that s truly amazing
for me and that s what this church has done for me. Mary: I just encourage anybody, anybody
who has something missing in their life, or something, something going on where they don
t know what to do. They need to just keep coming and they need to pray and they need
to believe. God does great things. I m seeing it happen in my life. And that s about...so
I m so proud of you, Christina. Christina: Thank you, Mom. David: I m going to get baptized
on Easter, you know, that s something that s, never would have even thought of it. But
today I can t wait. I can t wait to go underneath the water. Um, I ve been through a lot but,
you know, it was all worth it, because it s made who I am today because now I have God
s love and
I m happy to share that. [END VIDEO] John: I...the day we forget what it s about is the
day we stop being a church. And I have to get the dust out of my eyes, okay. Because
so much, I ll look at what s not going right, or Michelle s sick, or this or that or whatever.
And I ve got to keep walking one more step in this field where people are lost. I don
t want to stand over someone and say, man, I wish I just would have, I wish I would have
talked to them. I wish I would have risked. And so I want to, I want to actually invite
David up. Come on up, bro. I want to ask you a couple questions. I m going to put this
picture up on the screen. I just found out last service what it was. Put that picture
up really quick. David: That s all my booking photos from Clark County Jail as of 2003.
I went to jail nineteen times through my addiction, and that s what it is, right there. That s,
that says it all. John: And that s who he was, but then about three months ago or so
you came to Living Hope, and you said...tell us what you said, when you felt, what you
felt when you came here. David: I ve been to other churches before, and when I came
here, I was accepted. I got tattoos on my face, I got bolts in my ears, you know what
I mean. And I ve been to other churches, you know, and I, I was...I was pretty much shunned
away. But when I came here it was like coming home. John: So awesome, man. And I know you
re passionate about people finding grace and finding Jesus. David: Very much. John: And
tell me about the Only God sticker thing. David: I got a bunch of the Only God stickers
and I got them on my coffee cup, I got the, the wrist band right here, I got it on top
of my coffee maker, on top of, you know, on my clocks and my mirrors in the bathroom and
stuff, and...hah...you know, and as I was explaining a little while ago to Pastor here
is, I put those up in case I wake up and I ever suffer from amnesia, because that way
I know where to start. John: Isn t that beautiful? When you see yourself differently, you ll
see others differently. And when you see others differently you ll do differently. When you
do differently God will be glorified, people will be saved, the name of Jesus will be lifted
up. And one day, one day, we ll cross from this life to the next. I mean I sat in the
back watching him. I met him...David and I talked after the last service, and I just
couldn t stop crying because I m like, this is what it s about. It s about David. Until
now it s David plus who is going to bring? And this is the picture of what honors the
heart of God, and so can we give him a hand? And how many more people, how many are in
the fields and, Jesus said the fields are, they re ripe under harvest. And I would love
fore Jesus to say, but at Living Hope the workers are many. They re not few, they re
many. So what we re going to do is, we re going to, I m going to have you come up and
just, stations all over. If you re online, I want you to write the name. There s a piece
of tile. And the tile just represents, if you ve ever seen a mosaic it s broken pieces
of glass or tiles or whatever. And together, one tile by itself is like, who cares? But
the tiles altogether they form a beautiful piece of art. And so what we re going to do
is take these tiles, hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of these tiles, who have
the names of people on them with red Sharpie pens. Someone that you know, a father, or
a mother, or a son...perhaps today yourself, that you came to Christ. I just want you to
write a name or, or as many names, whatever you want. And then we re going to take and
we re going to create a cross for next weekend. A mosaic. Because the most beautiful thing
about a cross is what it s made up of. People that are broken. People like me, and people
like David, and people like all of us that just need Jesus. And when we get that, we
get everything. But if we don t get that, we get nothing. And I m going to ask you take
and light a candle. To think about the person. The name will be a permanent reminder. We
re going to mount this cross somewhere where we ll never forget this series that we ve
been in and what it really is all about. And then a candle. I want you to light a candle.
I want you to think, I will be light to this person. We need to die to ourselves so that
the life of Jesus can live fully through us. It s about being. It s about doing. It s about
God being glorified. Let me pray for us. Father, I pray for our city, oh, I pray for people
watching online from all over the world. I pray for people that will, that this week
will take the risk and invest and, God I thank You that I was lost and You found me. And
sometimes I forget how incredible Your grace is, and how beautiful the Gospel is. Thank
You that, God, this weekend You re reminding us, thank You from me, David s story reminded
me. The video encouraged me, but meeting him inspired me. And I just pray that Jesus, You
would help us to never lose the passion for people. That we d fight for what matters,
and the rest of it s just dust. Help us to keep walking one more step toward one more
person who matters so much to You. The city is Yours. Help us to go, to reach, to love,
to be light, to be salt, to be Jesus. Just come as God leads you, church, and you can,
all around the auditorium, write a name on a tile, candle, and let s worship, let s sing,
let s think about what God
is going to do next. [CLOSING SONG] hO&~ gd4r gd4r gd4r gd4r gd4r h@qj hmRA hmRA Lu Anne
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