Spiritual Response Time

It’s so good working together and just being together. I do want to say excited about the times that we’re in right now as we’re getting ready for the conference. And I do need to announce that I’m going to be going to different churches to inspire them to come to the conference. Not only me. Marshall is going down to Broward and a few other places. Marcus Overstreet will be gone for the next three weeks, I’ll be gone. So do not think that I’m leaving. And don’t make fun when I come back, because that always happens. Oh, let’s introduce our new Minister. No, I told you this time. Okay. But I’ll be going to Greensboro to talk with them, then I’ll be going down to Miami to talk with them, and then North River in Atlanta. And it’s really just to help people come to the conference. We need to just see an amazing thing happen, and it is going to be amazing. So I’m excited to do that, so I’m telling you before. But what we’re going to do to start off today, we’re going to have a game. You guys ready for a game? Zoom people, you have a game.

I’m about to tell them to switch. I’m talking to Zoom people in this camera. I know we have about two other cameras, but Zoom people having a game. Get ready. But it’s called sword in hand. All right? So the way you got to do it now, what’s your sword? What’s the spiritual sword? The Bible. All right, so I want you to hold up your Bible right now. Hold it up. Hold up your Bible. This is my Bible right here. I noticed we got all kinds of Bibles. Okay? If you have a digital Bible and you’re on a phone or something, you got to go to make your screen black right now. And that’s same for you on Zoom, you’re home. This is Holy Spirit honor. Okay. All right, so make it black right now, because the way the game goes is I’m going to give you a scripture to turn to. Now, those who have the Bible and you can’t have your Bible already open, it’s got to be closed. Okay. And make it fair. All right, what we’re going to do, I’m going to call out a scripture, and the second you get there, you got to stand up and read it.

Okay? As fast as you can. Try to be the first one to stand and read it on Zoom. You got to be able to stay in the chat. I got it. I don’t know how. Who’s going to referee over there? The spirits with you. I’m sure somebody will. So are you ready for this? Are we ready? The passages, second Kings, 23, verse 25, 2nd Kings, 23, verse 25, 2nd King. Zoom, read it. All right. Wow, that was fast. You go, wow. Was there anyone with a Bible that was paper Bible almost there when she stood? You were there. You were there. Come on. We got to stand up for them people as well as Jake talked about last. Come on. And those on Zoom, who won on Zoom. I won’t be able to hear it back. You guys talk about it, put it in the chat. Who won? You get a million dollars. No, you don’t. Sorry about that. But anyway, yeah, there it is, Terry, and whoever did it on Zoom cash it in heaven. You’ll be able to do that. You had sword in hand. Now, the reason I did that game is how fast can you move and respond in God’s word?

Now we have digital things. We’re not as good with the paper Bibles when we all had the Scrolls. I mean of the Bible in our hands. You know what I’m talking about. You’d have to remember the books. You’d hear pages going. And remember when you first came to Church, you’re doing the fan thing. You’re just like looking around, see if it’s the Old or New Testament. You know that. Yeah. Nowadays we’re getting it so easy for us, so we really should be able to respond so much faster. Do you need a mic? I have mic problems. That’s all right. You all know how to respond. All right? So we really got to be able to it’s all right. He’s going to fix it up. Title is Spiritual Response Time. Can you respond to God’s word? And I really believe that where we’re at right now is that we can get a little bit slower in our response time spiritually, because of a lot of different things. The other day I came here. This is where we meet at Church. But it’s also where I go to the gym and where I play basketball. I haven’t played basketball for two and a half years. Since Covid, I have not played any basketball. Isn’t that sad? So I went, it is. He understands. I went to the gym and I said, I had some time. I’m going to go play. And I like to play with the old guys because the guys my age, I can handle them. All right, we’re good? I can get rid of this? All right? I can handle them. So I went to the gym, but I went kind of late, and that was smart, too. So you don’t play as many games. You know what I’m talking about. And I went to the gym and the old guy said, we’ll have another game. And the next thing you know, the young guys are over there, say, we need one more. I was like, I don’t want to play over there with you guys. You all crazy. You all knock people down. Don’t pick them up. I don’t like playing with you guys. Oh, come on over. Come on, man. Play. All right. My first time back, I didn’t want to play with them. But I played and I did terrible. Response time was not where it needed to be. Man, I was wide open on one shot.

Wide open. I put it up and this dude, about six eight, came flying from somewhere over here. And he slapped that ball out the poof. I was like, what just happened? And of course I said I should be playing with the old guys, but I got him back because we switched on a pick. And then I fouled him. I grabbed a ball, I pushed him around. He’s way bigger than me. My response time in basketball is not back yet. It will be. I’m coming. Talking to my man, right? He’s looking at me. I think that’s where we’re at spiritually because of Covid as well. We’re a little bit slow. Our spiritual response time is not as fast as it used to be. How do you know? How do you respond to things? How do you respond to things that you used to respond to quickly when you saw different parts of your life? Today’s message. I’m just going to have to share some things today. If you’re visiting today, man, this is family time. Welcome to our family. It’s time to have a talk about where we’re at spiritually and how we respond to our times, our generation, our culture.

Though our world is changing and the world is changing, isn’t it? We can’t let it stop. We can’t make our Church culture change because of the world. The word of God and his family has to remain the same through all the ages. No matter what’s going on, no matter pandemic or earthquake or whatever it is or whatever’s going on in your generation, we got to have the same spiritual response time. His power can override anything, any of those things. What’s our response you think of our world today? We have so many things going on. We have so many things going on. Here’s two pictures right here. The shootings that are going on in our nation today. If you think of what happened on the train in New York, ten people wounded. We hear of these things of shootings in Buffalo. What happened there? 13 people, ten killed. We can’t let this become our culture to where we hear about these things and they don’t move us. We can’t make it, well, this is just American culture. We have massacres. No, but what can happen is the enemy, Satan, can lull us into apathy. What’s apathy? It’s also known as indifference, suppression of emotion.

We just get hard. You know, we can never say, I really don’t care about that. We need to engage. We need to be able to say, no, I’m not going to just tune out on what’s going on in the world, but I’ve got to respond. And I think sometimes we can say, the world’s crazy out there, but then it doesn’t change us. It doesn’t take us to a place to where we pray more. I see things on the news. I can’t say I don’t care. You know what I got to do? I got to say I’m going to pray, I’m going to be more urgent. And I even think just about how this can roll right into our Church culture, too. What’s our Church culture? How we meet right now, let’s talk a little bit here. We meet in person and we meet on Zoom. And I’m so glad that we have these two things. And I have to say, when we were all online, it was pretty good. I love having breakfast with Michelle right before Church. Five minutes before Church, we’d be there having breakfast. We both have the TV already on, ready to go.

Let’s go. Got to go. Of course, we eat a lot longer before that. We can sit down. It was so calm. It was not this morning, but it taught us how to do something. Amen. It taught us how to be able to do all the online things that we’re doing and be able to have Zoom. It’s a good thing. I think we got better at producing and serving those I mean, who are shut in. We have people that are on Zoom that will remain on Zoom after the health thing totally goes away. We will still have a way to reach them. Isn’t that great? And it’s also good, if you go on vacation, you can still be in tuned with the Church. Isn’t that great? You can go to Timbuktu, now and still be at Church. That’s a good thing. But we can’t be going back and forth. I meet in person and then you can’t be on vacation every week. Do you understand me? It can’t be that you wake up, you say, what am I going to do? Am I going to Church while I might go on Zoom? I might go in person.

I don’t know. Let’s just see how it goes. I didn’t get ready early enough. I guess I’ll go on Zoom. That’s not how we approach work. We got to ask ourselves and determine what Covid has done is we do what is essential. You remember when we were really in it and we locked down and think, well, the hospital stayed open, grocery store stayed open, we had to eat. We did what was essential. And we got into all these things of what we do, whatever is essential, and we prioritize that way. And if your boss calls you in for two days of the week to go in now, many of us are working at home. Many are working at home now. If the boss calls you in, you go in to work. You go in for two days. But it can’t be that all of a sudden when it comes to Church, if we just call you to come to Church for one day, all of a sudden that’s too much for you to do. I’m talking to you and those on Zoom and I’m not talking to those who need to be there. I’m talking to you know who you are.

I’m talking to you. The ones say I was at Church. Well, how were you at Church? What did you do for God? We do this with schools. If a school calls, you go to a meeting. If somewhere else, you do all these things. But then when it comes to Church, you don’t do. And I’m not saying not to be careful. Wear a mask and do all the things you got to do. Now, don’t get me wrong, but God knows what you prioritize and what you think is essential. And he knows how you make decisions. And we can’t toggle between. Let’s just commit to being together and let’s get back on there. And then if you’re on Zoom, then put your camera on. You’re already not at Church. What are you doing right now? Some of you without your cameras on. What are you doing right now? Are you multi tasking? Are you fixing something at home, too, man, Brian really getting into it today. Out in the garden somewhere. What are you doing? You didn’t do that before. We got ready for Church. We prepared for Church. We went to Church. You see, what Covid has done is made us selfish.

It’s got us thinking about ourselves. We got to protect ourselves, and we do need to protect ourselves. But Luke 9:23 says, Deny yourself and pick up your cross. So we have to get to the place to where spiritually, we’re not letting the world water down our standards. And you know what? Covid is here to stay. We’re going to have to learn to live with this one. Before Covid, did you get your flu shots? How many times you get the flu before? How many times you got the flu in your life? We count how much time we got Covid, but the flu came from a pandemic that whole term, and we learned to live with it. And we’re going to learn and I’m saying, be careful, be careful. But let’s not let it change our culture. And today I’m going to talk in Second Kings 22, I’m going to talk about Josiah. And that was a scripture that was in the sword of hand. Josiah is going to give us a template on how we need to respond to God’s word when we become aware of God’s standards. And he shows us how to take action.

And I want to encourage you to go back and read. I can’t read all of the Kings of what’s going on, but I just want to tell you the story a little bit. If you’re ready, come with me and let me tell you the story. It says that Josiah was eight years old when he became King, and he reigned 31 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah and the daughter of Adiah in Bozkath. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the ways of his father, David. He did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Isn’t that a great description of him? But we do have to ask the text some questions. Was David his father? So why did they say David in the Bible? When you read the Bible, you do it’s good to ask questions. So why did they say he walked in all the ways of his father, David? Brian, you had said no very quickly. I don’t know who else is with Brian. He wasn’t his father. Did he do 23 and me and he found out who his father was or what was that?

He went to the gold standard. He’s right. You know why? Because his father was evil. His father was Emon. His father was evil and in Two Kings 21, Emon’s scriptural resume. When your name is mentioned in the Bible, I say it’s your scriptural. It will go down in history. Here’s his father’s resume in verse 21 as it talks about him. Amon. So he walked in all the ways that his father had walked and he served idols that his father had served and worshiped them. He forsook the Lord God, his fathers and did not walk in the way of the Lord. Josiah’s father followed Josiah’s grandfather, who was not mentioned here as well. Why? Because he was evil. Menasseh, if you read in Second Kings 21, I’m not going to read all of it, but I’ll give you a quick description of the kind of things he liked to do that were evil. He did evil in the sight of the Lord. He set up abominations that were in all the other nations. He brought what other nations had and brought it into Israel. He rebuilt high places, which Hezekiah, his father, his father tore down all the high places.

But Menasseh, Josiah’s grandfather, you know what he did? He rebuilt them. He raised up altars for Baal and Asherah. You heard of those before. Baal, I mean, this is what the other nations would worship. And he built altars. He also built altars in the temple. The Bible said, don’t ever do that. But he had altars to Baal and to Asherah and set up images in the temple of God. He made all these different places for the heavenly host. He even had one of his children, one of his children pass the fire of Molech, which was they would sacrifice their firstborn these traditions so that they could have prosperity. He did this. The world has been bad for a while. He practiced soothsaying witchcraft, consulted spirits and mediums. This is me saying at the end of Jake getting up in announcements, those of you who want to read the palm readers here today, they’ll be right out in the lobby. You can get it for half price. And imagine you feeling like that’s good, I should go today. And not being alarmed about it because the ways of the world, they didn’t pay attention to the word of God anymore.

And Josiah was born into this. Josiah was eight years old. He never saw the temple in a Holy glory because of all these defilements. But he thought that was the norm. You get it? Yeah, because that was the life around him. So let’s read some more. We’re going to read a response. So what happened? Let me tell you the story, the whole story here of the temple. So Josiah becomes King. As he gets older, you know what he decides to do? Let’s fix up the temple. Let’s get it going again. So they’re restoring the temple. And guess what? As they’re fixing up all the walls and everything, guess what they find? The Word of God. The scribes come to him. We found the Book of the Law. Now, I don’t know who hid it. I do know who hid it. Grandpa and Father hid that book. They didn’t want to listen to it, but they found it and they brought it to Josiah. We found it. Dusted off that this is the word of God. And what happens? It says here, verse eleven. Now, it happened when the King heard the words of the Book of the Law that he tore his clothes.

Then he commanded Hilklah the priest, Ahikam, the son of Shaphan Achbor and son of Michaiah, Shaphan the scribe, Isaiah, the servant of the King, saying, Go inquire of the Lord for me, for the people and for all Judea concerning the words of this book that has been found for great is the wrath of the Lord that is aroused against us. Because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book to do according to all that is written concerning us. This is spiritual response time. He tore his clothes. What was that? The strongest reaction that you could make. It was a sign of mourning. It was like saying tragedy. I’m gonna tear my clothes to show this is terrible. And then the first thing he says, We’ve got to go to God. He inquired not just for himself. God saved me. He acquired for the people. He said, we are all in trouble. This was not whether or not well, this really was your father and your grandfather. Not part of my father. No. We are in trouble. And God promised wrath. And I think sometimes we don’t like to talk about God’s wrath. We like Church to where it can just make me feel good.

Let’s not talk about what’s coming if we don’t obey God. But hell is still a place. And if you’re not a child, if you don’t surrender to God and become a disciple or remain a disciple, disciples, are you with me? We will face God’s wrath. That’s in the Bible. It has not changed and it needs to affect our response time. It affected them. He was cut to the heart because the culture had become ungodly. So I asked you, how’s your hearing? How’s your hearing right now? Are you distracted? People on Zoom? Are you hearing God’s word today? We got to stay engaged. We got to make sure that we don’t allow the world to take our full attention. And social media and everything that we can grab us is out to get us and pull our ears away from the word of God. And, you know, we got to become aware. We got to become aware of God’s Word. And Josiah was aware. What did he inquired. He says, all right, let’s go to the Lord. And he went to a Prophet. He said, we got to hear from God. I’ve got to hear from God.

What is God going to say? And God had bad news and some good news. You know, when it comes time for us to repent, we don’t want to face the consequences of our sins. Are you with me? When I messed up, I want his Grace just to cover me and not let me have to go through any really hard times. That’s a lie. I can tell myself a bunch of lies. Just have Grace, God, totally, not let there be any consequence to my sin. You know, there’s consequences to your sins. Decisions you’ve made. And I’ve made bad decisions that have hurt people I love. Loved ones, the ones that are closest to me. But thank God, there is Grace. But we’ve got to be able to hear the bad news. Josiah was able. So let’s just hear what happened. First, the bad news. You ready? Someone asked you, you want the bad news of the good news first? What do you usually ask?I want just get the bad out the way.

Let me know what’s up and look at what happens. Thus says the Lord, behold, I will bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitants. All the words of the book which the King of Judah has read because they have forsaken me and have burned incense to other gods, and that they might provoke me to anger and with all the works of their hands. Therefore, my wrath shall be aroused against this place and shall not be quenched. Wow, that’s not good. What did they do? They made idols. The Ten Commandments say that. Deuteronomy five, Exodus 20 tells they do not make an idol before me. God does not take second place. And we’ve got to be alarmed when we start putting things before God. This is the same God we serve. He’s provoked. He says, Listen, I can’t let what your grandfather, your father, and many other evil men there have done does not go punished. I will have to do what I have to do because the work of their hands. We really rely on what we make. That’s why idols are so bad to God, because we trust in something other than God, and we trust in what we make.

And I think we are so separated from this because the fact is how many items you have at home? We don’t have a wooden figure or we don’t have idols. But do we have idols, brothers and sisters? Anything you put before God and anything that you think is more valuable than God’s word? We got to be careful to make sure that the news doesn’t become more important to you than God’s Word. That we can just get all fearful of what’s going on in our world because of what politicians get going in us to be fearful about. And that’s a real thing. But does the Bible make you fearful? It should. And no man thing that they’ve made should make us fearful. Amen, brothers and sisters? If it’s man made, we can stand tall. Why? Because God is involved. But we can get self reliant. We can go to the things that we’ve made. And you have to ask yourself, since Covid, have you crossed some lines? Have you lowered your standards? You know, when we have a lot of time to ourselves, it’s not good. We talk about they’re their God. They’re their gods. But yet we have a lot of gods that come in on many different mediums.

How’s your purity been? Have you compromised? What about what you watch on TV, Netflix, or even regular TV shows? The regular TV shows are now becoming like soft porn because they’re trying to keep up with Netflix and all the rest of them. It’s amazing how you’re watching just something that used to be on. But this is NBC. What’s going on? Is our line still just as far away? You know, when you know your threshold, too, what you can watch. And I’m not saying you can’t watch TV. Don’t read me wrong here. But, you know you. You know the lines that you made one day, but then what we do is we just kind of creep. You know, sin creeps into your life because you move a line a little over here. Next thing you know, you say, it’s, okay, I can watch that. And we do that with relationships, too. And if you keep moving lines, next thing you know, you’re in immorality. Next thing you know, impurity becomes a norm. And this is real. You got to ask yourself, what am I doing? Okay, maybe it’s not the terrible things on TV, and I just picked on TV for a little while.

I can’t do all the sins, but you just apply the same principles to all the rest of your sins. Okay, but just think about it. Well, maybe, well, it’s not purity, but it’s binge watching. Debauchery. That’s a sin, too. We got to just look at ourselves and say, how am I prioritizing God? And this is what God was upset with the Israelites is that they put the lines too far back. That’s the bad news. Do you want some good news? What’s the good news? The good news was in Second Kings 22. Look at what God said through the Prophet. But as for you, King of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord. He’s talking to the Prophet now. In this manner, you shall speak to him. Thus says the Lord of Israel, concerning the words which you have heard, because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the Lord. When you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation in a curse. And you tore your clothes and wept before me. I also have heard you, says the Lord. Surely gathered Surely, therefore I will gather you to your father, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place. So they brought back the word to the King.

That’s good news. His response time changed God’s hand. And he said, but for you, because you repented. And this really relates to us. If we repent from our sins, God will give us Grace. We live in an age of Jesus now. This is the Old Testament. We have the Grace of Jesus blood that Jake shared about earlier. We have this to where we can get motivated. And what does it do to the King? Did the King just say, oh, I’m glad I made it. Everybody else is going to go down. But I’m all right now. Good. No, you know what grace does to you? It motivates you to be radical. And that took the King into an action. He said, I’m going to take action even though I heard some bad news. I heard some good news about my life. But we got to get the nation together. And he got focused and he responded to what was going on.

Before he got to hear, how did he respond? He was a madman, but he was King. All right, let’s think about that. I can be a madman, but I don’t have much power. Okay, you can say Brian’s gone crazy, but if I’m the governor and I can go mad. Now, I’m not saying anyone is mad. Don’t be quoting me or anything like this now. But if I got some power and I can get the police force behind me and I can say, we’re going to clean up Orlando, we’re going house to house. That’s a different guy, isn’t it? Well, the King had power. What did he do? First thing he did, he went into the temple and he took out all the articles that weren’t in the book of the law. All those, all the altars, all the paintings, all the Asherahs. They had all kinds of different stuff. And you know what? He probably got lots if flack because it was artwork. You can’t take that out. My great great grandmother put that in. It’s coming out. He took it out. You know what he was doing? He would take it out and burn it. He’d take the priests out, too.

He took the priest out. He took the wooden images out. He burned it and wouldn’t even keep the Ashes near the temple. Had to go dump it somewhere way out in the Valley of Kendra, in the Brook. He put it out there. He tore down the ritual booth where they sacrificed those children to Molech and all that. He crossed them out. You got to read it. It says he pulverized things. Yeah, he went for it. That is a word. He was on a rampage. It sounds like Jesus in the temple, doesn’t it? Sounds like our Lord with the whip. And then what did he do? He read this passage. And then the King, this is what it says right here, after he did all that second King 23 then the King commanded all the people, saying, Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this book of the Covenant. Such a Passover, surely, had never been held since the days of the judges. And I’m going to come back to the scripture, but I just want to talk about that first part. After he did all that, then he says, people, listen, all of us, we got to get ourselves together.

He commanded the people, we got to do what the Bible says. We go to change. You know, I always like to ask this question. If you are studying the Bible with you right now, if you’re studying the Bible with yourself, just imagine another one of you. Clone yourself for a second now, it doesn’t mean that one’s going to work and you’re staying at home. No, clone yourself just for a second. You’re studying the Bible with you right now. Are you baptizable to count all the costs? You know, we haven’t been in studies for a while. It’s been about two years. Some of us and some even more because we’ve been kind of in lockdown. You know what studies do for you? They remind you of who you say you are. But if you study by yourself, would you be able to say, you’re ready to get baptized? Jesus, Lord, we all need to be that way every day. And you’ve got to count the cost with yourself. And that’s what the King was doing. He was saying, listen, let’s get ourselves together. In Second Kings 23 21, look at what he does. Moreover, Josiah put away those who consulted Medians and spiritualists, the household gods and idols, all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book of Hilkiah, the priests found in the house of the Lord.

He didn’t just do this on the outside, didn’t just clean up the Church building and the meeting place. You know what he went next? The household to get your little shrines that you have on your side, your little place that you might have developed a little household God. And we’ve got to look at our lives. Has Covid given us some household gods? Has Covid given us some things that we do at home? You know who you really are when you’re all alone and when you’re at home, your kids can tell a story. That’s why going to Kingdom kids is a good thing. Get to see what’s going on in the household. But they erected images at home. And what are some of the things that can be erected in your life? And I’ve talked about this before. How do you relax? It’s all right to drink. Amen. It’s okay to drink, but when drinking becomes your only peace, I’ve got to have this glass of wine. I’ve got to have the beer right now because, well, it’s been a hard day and I got to unwind and I have to let my mind kind of go and all of a sudden it’s one beer, then two beer, one wine two of this and all of a sudden it turns into habit.

Next thing you know, it’s trapped you. What about your marriage right now? We haven’t been getting together in our one another Covenant relationships. And, you know, when a marriage doesn’t get any help from the outside, the reason that I’m married today and I can say I have a great marriage is because I had so many good people in our life. Michelle and I, if we did not have the people in our lives weekly, if we weren’t Christians, we wouldn’t be married or we’d have something that looked like what a marriage is, but it wouldn’t be what God wanted. But today we are who we are because we got people in our life. Marrieds, have you had anyone in your life, or is there just this kind of drama that goes on in your marriage that you’re now accepting as norm? Well, this is how it’s going to be. She’s not going to change. Well, he’s not going to change. Well, this is how it’s going to be. And we have to leave it like that. Is that what God said on your wedding day? No. Is that what you dreamed of? No. It’s a household God.

And you got to drive it out. You got to drive it out. How you speak to one another is the respect. We got to get others in there, and we got to be willing to be in each other’s lives. Amen. And the single said Amen. Just go on to the next part. Now we talk about them marrieds. Them marrieds are wicked people. Singles, do you have an accountability partner? Who’s your accountability partner? Who knows you? Who knows how you spend your money? Who knows how you party? Who knows who knows the secrets? And you got to have it. It’s good to live with Christians if you’re in a Christian household. Amen. I appreciate the brother’s household over there a bunch of brothers over there that help keep each other accountable. You got to do what’s right. But we got to have people in our lives, and we got to get all of it out in the giving, how we give to God. There’s been some spiritual laziness, brothers and sisters, it’s time to wake up, and you got to repent with your whole heart. And there’s been pride to wear don’t even come talk to me. Don’t even come talk to me.

Sin creeps in. It doesn’t creep out. You don’t say, Well, I’m just going to take a little bit away, and I’ll eventually make it over there. I’ll just take a little bit. No, you got to radically pulverize sin. You got to get it open. You got to confess your sins, and then you’ve got to get accountable people. You got to do everything to say, I am going to change. I’m going to be different. I’m going to change like Josiah and be radical. And I love this part right here. I said, come back to it to where it says here that when Josiah called them, we’re going to have a Passover. We’re going to have something great. It’s going to be incredible. And it says, such a Passover, surely, had never been held since the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the Kings of Israel and the Kings of Judah. But in the 18th year of King Josiah, this Passover was held before the Lord in Jerusalem. After we change, there comes a blessing, and they even had to go back to the book of judges. They had to go back a long way to say there hasn’t been a worship service like this.

And brothers and sisters, it’s time for us to dream about how we can be as a north region. Amen. It’s time for us to have some worship nights where we just keep singing and we’re singing loud to God. Isn’t it great when we have the worship nights and we can just sing a bunch of songs? That’s all we’re doing is going to sing tonight and praise God. It takes a little while to get the day off, but then all of a sudden you just get there and you just feel like this is like being in heaven. It’s time for us to move to those days. It’s time for us to come back together again and have family Funfest again. Amen. Time for us to come back and have the food competitions where people try to outdo each other and make different plates better than others. It’s some good eating, isn’t it? That’s the Passover. That’s who we are. That’s what the World Discipleship Summit is going to be. It’s going to be a big celebration. It’s going to be like never before. Only one of its kind. Don’t miss WDS our World Summit. It’s going to be like this.

It hasn’t been like this, we can say for sure in the last ten years. We don’t know when it will happen again. But I look forward to us having a culture to where we’re back spiritually. Amen, brothers and sisters? And if you’re on Zoom and you can’t come in person, well, I can’t hey sing at home. Disturb your neighbors. Sing loud. Let’s raise the roof off because our God is the great God. How’s your response time?

I want to close with this passage right here where it gives a description of Josiah because of how he responded. Anything that I want God to know about me is that when I’m challenged I can respond. Look at his scriptural resume on response time as it remembers him. Now before him there were no King like him. There was no King like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul and with all his mind according to all the law of Moses nor after him did any arise like him. Josiah became the King that God wanted him to be. Brothers and sisters let’s be the people that God wants us to be.

Thanks for listening to the message.

God’s Not Dead

All right. It’s great to be together. It’s been a glorious day. You see who’s talking behind the TV there, right? All right. So good to be together. God has blessed our day to be able to just look at what Jesus has done for us. So many good things going on. Even before I get into the message, I do want to share, like next week, of course, we have our missions contribution coming up. What an incredible time to give. And if you’re visiting with us, wondering what that is, we give to Argentina and we also give to the Caribbean. And next week we’ll be collecting that contribution. And members have put aside money for a while. But next week is our day to reach that goal. So that’s going to be amazing. But as we get into today, as the theme has been, God is not dead. It’s Easter Sunday. How do you like my Easter Sunday suit? You don’t get to wear suits much. It’s amazing how Easter Sunday, that’s when you get out the good clothes. I mean, I’m surprised you don’t have some hats on, sisters. I don’t know.

Put your hat on. My brother got his hat on, too. Look at that. See, it’s Easter. It’s fine for you to wear your hat and block people behind you. It’s fine. It’s Easter. Today is the day. It’s funny. My wife overheard us talking about what are we going to wear for Easter? And she said, your suit. And I said, Amen. You all know she dresses me. This is a new tie, too. Just to let you know, she helped me out. She really helped me out. But it’s really a time that we do come together and we say, okay, let’s spend some time thinking about Jesus. Let’s be thinking about what he has done for us. And today has just been so good. All the different people speaking and sharing just about the Resurrection. That’s what it’s all about. But we got to understand the power of the Resurrection. It’s what separates Christianity from any other religion. We have a savior who said, I’m going to die. And then on the third day, I’m going to be raised. And he did it. And that’s what separates us. So we’re on a journey together. We’re on a journey to understand that, to understand that story, that story’s got to mean something to you, that Jesus died on the cross, that Friday was Good Friday.

Did you have a Good Friday? Well, he died. And then the third day came and the tomb is empty. That’s so important for you to be able to tell that story about what happened on that day. I like what Jeff shared in his Communion. He says, I’ll never forget when my path crossed the Lord, when I experienced Jesus and that story began. Now, when was that for you? When did Jesus come into your life? And become part of your story. See, that’s what you got to be able to tell. This got to mean something to you, because if it means something to you, you will show up. It’s amazing how that works. I live in a condo association, and they have homeowners meetings all the time. And I don’t go. There’s so much going on. I don’t go. But it was amazing. They had this one meeting where they wanted to share about our clubhouse. And we use our clubhouse a lot. We use our clubhouse for leaders meeting, showers, baby showers. Come on, babies. We have showers at great location. It’s great. We can use it whenever we want. Then they have this thing that they sent out and says, we only want to let people that live here use it only.

They can be the only ones that enter into our little area there that we rent. That’s outrageous. Did you think I went to that meeting? I missed so many meetings, but do you think I made that one? I made that meeting along with everybody else who rents the clubhouse for us to be able to sit there and say, this is outrageous. And even the homeowner presence say, I know it’s outrageous. We just had to have this meeting. But it’s amazing how you show up for what you care about, and it’s going to be that way for God in Church. Do you really care about this story? Do you care that Jesus died for your sins? He died for our sins, and he’s part of our story. And you got to get the story right. Don’t you hate it when someone gets your story wrong? I’ll never forget. You all know that I’m from Jamaica, right? And the thing that me and Cosi grew up in the same neighborhood in Spanish Town. Right, Cosi? That’s right. All right, let me just tell the business. Let me get the business on here. I was a missionary in Jamaica, so I’ve claimed I’m Jamerican, but I say I’m Jamaican all the time.

Well, one sister on staff went up to Michelle, my wife, who I found in Jamaica, went up to her and said, how was it going to Jamaica with Brian? I know that you’re not from there. How was it? Was it hard for you? I know he’s from Jamaica, and I was like, this woman, Where did you come from? Let’s just say she got the story wrong. Did she get it wrong, baby? Yes, she did. And do you think it was corrected? Yes, it was corrected. Brian’s not from Jamaica, okay? So when we’re talking about our Lord, if the story’s not told in the right way, shouldn’t we, his sons and daughters step in and say, no, you got to get it right. The death, burial and resurrection. When I got baptized, my sins were forgiven because I said, Jesus is Lord. And then I got baptized. And for the forgiveness of my sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit and I was resurrected with the power that resurrected Jesus. When I came out of that water, I became a new creation. You got the new, improved Brian. The old Brian is gone, man.

You never knew him. Amen. But that’s my story. And we’re going to talk about the resurrection. One of the most powerful parts of that story is when Jesus rose from the dead. It’s that power that gives us the strength to take on Satan, that he can’t threaten us with death, that we have an answer for death. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. But if he did not raise if he did not rise from the dead, First Corinthians 15 says it right here in verse 16. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile. You are still in your sins, then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are, of all people, most to be pitied. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then what do we have? Our sins are not forgiven. So we’ve got to know the story well. We’ve got to be moved every time we hear it. And it means our faith is futile. That means that what we’re doing, if this is all we’re doing it for, just to have great fellowship and to have a nice club, some good refreshments, some songs, and that’s all it is. We should be pitied.

It’s so much more than that. It’s a story about a relationship with God. So it’s not just a holiday, okay? Now I get it. Easter. We’d always go to Church at Easter. And I remember growing up, my mom would make sure we get some new clothes to wear to Church. And how many of you had to go to Church as well? I had to go to Church. Why did you have to go to Church? Because your mother said, you’re going to Church. And if you grew up with your grandmother, she said, Get ready and you got ready and you went, right. But there’s got to be a shift when it becomes I want to be there for God. So for many of us that are visiting, this might be a new story, but brothers and sisters and those of us who tell this story every Sunday, every day of our lives, this is our story. So I thought that we’d go to John 20 and look at Mary.

Mary Magdalene. Who is she? Well, she’s someone who is very close to Jesus, a relationship with Jesus. She found herself on her knees weeping many times in Jesus, responding. Isn’t it crazy that this is the one that Jesus chose to be the first one to reveal that he was resurrected? That’s got to get the sister to say Amen. Amen. We’re going to look at her heart and see when we read this story, I want you to see where you are. Are you like Mary? Are you like Peter? Where are you in the story? Because as I tell this story, hopefully you’ll stay with me. Don’t leave. Don’t leave me. Because sometimes as the message goes on, you could kind of leave and go somewhere else. Stay in this story. As we look at Mary, it says here in verse one of John 20, now, the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early while it was still dark and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciples whom Jesus loved, and said to them, they have taken away the Lord out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have laid them.

So she goes to the tomb because she wanted to go and just prepare the body because it was a path. She didn’t get a chance to do that. So she had a reason to go there. And when she gets there, it’s still dark, but the stones taken away. And that alarmed her. And what does she do? She runs to Simon Peter and I love this, to the other disciple whom Jesus loved. Isn’t it amazing how stories are told? You know, when it’s your story, it’s amazing how you tell certain things. Now, those of you that read this before, you know who this is. This is John, the one who’s writing the story, the one who he loved. Okay. And we’ll see more about John a little bit. But when you’re telling your own story, sometimes you want to make sure things are clear. But right now the narrative she has in her mind when she saw the empty tomb is they. Somebody took him. It was they. What had happened? So at least this whole thing, the reason that we’re still talking about this 2000 years later is because it’s a mystery. And we got to figure out what’s the truth about this story. In her mind, it was they someone has stolen the body.

How could this happen? So she got others involved and she goes on back, look what happens. Peter therefore, went out and the other disciple and we’re going to the tomb. So they both ran together and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. Important information in the story right there. And he stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths there, yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came following him and went into the tomb. And he saw the linen cloth lying there and the handkerchief that had been around the handkerchief that had been around his head, not lying with a linen cloth, but folded together in a place by itself. This is amazing. First, of course, John gets there first. He looks in. He sees everything. But don’t you love Peter? Peter probably just like, get out the way. Let me get in here. Let me see what’s going on. And he got in there and he saw and this is suspicious. You have the cloths laying there, you have his linen folded. Now, how many of you made your bed in the morning because your mother said Jesus made his bed.

You need to make your bed. Remember that. Now, that’s where it comes from. That’s biblical. When Jesus got up, he put stuff together neatly. So if your bed is a mess right now, be like, Jesus. No, that’s not the message. But it was there and it was there and it showed that this was not someone stealing the body. Thieves are not neat. Thieves are not neat. They wouldn’t have taken off everything and then folded it together. Hang on. Do you have them? No, let’s get it right. No, they’re not neat. So they’re like, what’s going on here? A mystery. Then the other disciple, that’s John, who came to the tomb first went in also and he saw and believed, for as yet they did not know the scripture that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their own homes. Now, this is interesting because then John gets bold because Peter is in there and John goes in and it said that when he got in there, he saw and believed. But what did he believe? If it says 2 seconds later as of yet, they did not know the scripture that he must rise again.

So he didn’t believe yet about the resurrection, but he believed something. What was it? He believed that God is doing something right now. I don’t know what we’ve been around Jesus for three years and he does a lot of crazy things, things we don’t understand. He rises. He raised Lazarus, he fed the thousands. We don’t really know what’s going on. But here I am going to do this, though. John must have just got there to the point to where he says, I believe something’s going on. You know, How’d you get here today? If you’re visiting, you know God’s been working on your life. And those of you that are disciples don’t you remember the road you had to God? There are certain things that happen in your life that direct you that you got to get your life right. What are you doing? And you’ve got to pay attention to God. And it might be that God saved you from an accident. Maybe it was something where it shook you up and you almost died. How many of you almost died? When I was before I was disciple, I almost died so many times.

And I look back on that and say, that was God, how I got home when I was drinking and smoking and high and driving a car and sometimes not remembering who drove home. That was God saying, Brian, what in the world you’re doing? You’re a Minister. You look back on this one day and say, I saved you. You see, God got you here. I don’t know how you got here this morning, but he wants you to believe. But you’re going to have to go a little further, as it says here, to where the scriptures are getting involved. And I want to encourage everyone who’s here visiting. If you don’t know the story or you don’t tell the story of Jesus, I want you to get to know the story and study the Bible. And many of us have heard it. And I’m not saying you haven’t heard it because you’ve been a Kingdom kids or Sunday school or you heard this message, but have you read the Bible? Have you sat down, looked at the scriptures with someone? It was then when Gary Newton, my spiritual dad, sat down with the Bible with me. And I was very religious and knew many stories.

I was religiously proud at that time. I repented from being that person I described that God saved. And I went to churches, all kinds of different churches, and cleaned up my act. But yet I still didn’t know the Bible. I still wasn’t following the Bible. So I had someone sat down with me and shared with me, and I was able to understand what the scriptures were saying. And it was a beautiful thing. The other day we had a chance, if I could just put someone on spot here. We’re studying the Bible with Melvin over here. Melvin, I’m gonna put you on a spot. Forgive me, I didn’t tell you before. But we’re studying with him, Elroy’s with me and Archie, and we’re reading the book of John and we’re talking about Jesus, about how he’s the word of God. He’s the word in the flesh. And I’ve read that many times, but it still amazes me every time I read that Jesus is the word in the flesh and that he was with God in the beginning. And that story, I’m telling you, I can read that every time. I get chills thinking about it. Why? The word of God is powerful, and you got to allow it to get in your life.

And here, right here, where are we at in our story of the direction we have Peter, John in the tomb saying something’s going on. I believe something’s going on. We got Mary. They. She’s still at their place. They took them. He took him away. The story hasn’t finished. But then it says here the scriptures got to get involved. Let’s keep going. Here we go. Peter and John went back home, but Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the tomb and she saw two Angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet where the body of Jesus was laying. You know, this is a new view. Where were the Angels before? Maybe they were there, but they just didn’t see them. There could be Angels even here right now. How many of you believe that Angels are around us and protect us? How many believe that Angels are around us and protect us? Probably in the room right now. Maybe it was the angel to help usher you here. But hey, she was able to see. She looks in the tomb this time and she sees where Jesus was laid.

She sees everything laid there. And then she sees an angel right here and an angel at the other end of the tomb where he was laid in that bed that he was laid. And I always say that that was a vision that she saw because her heart was willing to stay and question. And if you will, it reminds me of something. Let me say what’s that vision look like to me? Well, to me, it looks like the Ark of the Covenant. Two Angels, and the word is inside the Ark right between. To her, I don’t know what it meant. It meant something was going on for her for sure. But that’s just my view that, wow. It’s interesting that Jesus is the word and the flesh. And the two Angels were right there doing the same thing right here. Something’s going on. Now the Angels speak. Then they said to her, Woman, why are you weeping? She said to them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have laid him. She’s crying. Sure. Her narrative is someone stole him. Now, when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there and did not know that it was Jesus.

Now, I just want to stop right there. Have you ever been crying, weeping? When you get to that state, you basically just pouring it all out. You don’t care anymore how many of you have wept to where you just have the ugly cry. You know, the ugly cry? You don’t care anyone watching. You don’t care about how you look. You’re just frantic. He’s like, Lord, they’re taking them away. And now she’s talking to Angels. Angels are talking back to them. They’ve taken them. I’ll go find him. And then next thing you know, Jesus is behind it. Does she recognize Jesus? No. Jesus said to him, Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking? And he probably had a smile on his face. She supposing him to be the gardener said to him, sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away. She is frantic. She is like, Listen, Jesus Gardner, I don’t know who’s talking to me. I’m talking to Angels? Just show me where he is. Show me where he is. Jesus said to her, Mary. And I think she stopped crying. She turned and said to him Rabboni! which is to say teacher. Jesus said to her, Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to my father. But go to my brother and say to them, I am ascending to my father and your father and my Go and your God. Isn’t this amazing? Isn’t this intimate? She’s crying out. She’s talking to Jesus as the gardener. And then she hears the Lord say her name. What an intimate, amazing point in history with one name, Mary. She encountered the Lord then he rose again. She did not say, who are you? You’re dead. She said, this is Raboni. This is the teacher. And she grabs onto him and clings onto him. And I think right here, he probably was like, okay, hang on. I’m in the middle of something. I don’t even know where he was before. I can’t wait to get to heaven to ask Jesus all these questions. Where were you before? I bet he was doing something. Now we know he went and preached to other people down there. That’s a whole nother lesson. And he went different places. I think she started crying, and he had to probably get a little interrupted. Let me go see Mary’s crying again. Let me go. Let me go talk to her quick. I don’t even know.

I’m asking. Was that the first one you wanted to go see? Because remember, the first miracle was because his mother said, hey, we need some more wine. I wouldn’t doubt that maybe this might have been, I don’t know. I have a lot of questions to ask. But Jesus showed up because she was crying. My question to you right now, does Jesus show up when you do? Another question I have for you? Does he know your name? How do you know if he knows your name? Well, you said, he is Lord. And you follow the Scriptures to be saved. And when that day happens, you know what your name gets put in Jesus heart. To where he can call your name. To where he can say Lynette. And you can say, that’s, my Lord. When he can say Eric. And you know that’s the Lord. Do you see what this is? This is an intimate part of the story. And we know when people we love who call our name. I remember when my mom would call my name for whether it was for dinner. She called me Come, dinner’s ready and say, Brian, come. I know what that tone was like compared to my full name when I did something wrong.

Brian Joseph Santos. I know my name. And I know when my mom speaks. I know when I hear my wife call from the other end of the house. Brian, you know when that voice of someone you love calls you. Jesus is calling you today. If you’re visiting, he knows your name. You did not come here by accident. He came so you could understand that he died for you. He came so that you’d understand that he resurrected. And that power that rose that day. That when he told her, Let go of me. Don’t cling to me. Go declare to your brother. And go declare to them that I’m ascending, that I’ve got things to do for you. I’m going to heaven. That my Father, your Father, my God, your God. And I think she ran off from there and she started telling this story. Do you think Mary could tell this story? I’m sure many were saved after she said, no, no, let me tell you my story with Jesus. And she added all the other times that she was crying at his feet. So my challenge today is are you telling the story of how Jesus rose from the dead and how he rose in your heart to give you a new life?

And I close out right here in Colossians three, one through four. I love the way it says it. Since then, you have been raised with Christ. Set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, when you also will appear with him in glory. You see, the resurrection story isn’t just for Easter. Are you with me, Church? The resurrection story is you saying how Jesus came into your life and changed your life. And you can tell this story. If you haven’t told this story recently, it’s time for you to get someone and say, you got to hear this story. We need to study the Bible. We need to sit down. Let me tell you the good news. You know why studying the Bible is so good? Because it reminds you about what you need to be doing. I love studying the Bible because then it reminds me, I’m a disciple. When Jesus called me, told me, you got to deny yourself, pick up your cross daily and follow me every day. Luke Nine, Amen 23. All of us are like, Well, I know that scripture. You do that in a study. You say it confidently. And usually we say to ourselves, yes, I better get back on my game. And that’s how it works. Every time you tell it, it gets stronger. You correct the story and you make sure that everyone knows that Jesus has risen. That’s a fact. He’s risen. In my life and what you see in my life is important because Jesus is inside of me and I have a part of this story. I’ve got to tell it whenever I can. And even if my part is small and no one notices it, it’s still important. Are you with me? Did you all see me play the rain stick today? How many people remember that I played the rain? Raise your hand if you see me. You don’t know what a rain stick is, do you? Frank said I could play it today, and he brought it for me. And during that special song, I made it rain. Do you remember that part of the song?

You don’t? Come on, let’s do this song again, everybody. I give you this illustration because you may feel like well I’m not doing much for God, I’m just playing a small part. That’s not true. Mary Magdalene was not an apostle. She was known to be sinful women like us before she met Jesus but she was the first one he appeared to when he rose. God wants to do great things through you too.

So when you get your rain stick play it well. That’s all I have for you today.

Let’s have a song.

Rivers of living water

Let’s jump on into the message at this time. As, of course, our theme is living water, we go to our theme, scripture, that kind of we launched from and look at how living water can change our lives. In John 7:38, it says, Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, Rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this, he meant the Spirit. Who knows who believed in him were later to receive.

So as it says, as the scripture says, we’ve been talking about this a while. What does that mean? It gives us a door of understanding where we’re going to look for living water throughout the whole Bible this year. That’s what we’re going to do. But I really see there’s a pattern of faith displayed throughout the Bible, and that pattern is one of God’s children are against the odds.

Or maybe God’s family, maybe the whole Israel nation is up against the odds, if you notice that. And I think that’s what he means by that belief. That’s that faith you need when you find yourself up against the odds. It’s kind of like Gideon. Remember when Gideon and judges, he didn’t really want to go up against the multitudes.

But the army has a bad dream, basically. And all of a sudden it comes true. And 300 people take out a big army. That’s crazy. But they were against the odds.

Same thing with Joshua, where they marched around the city. The walls of Jericho come down, all because a bunch of people shout and the worship teams trumpet player has a good day. I mean, that’s crazy, too. The walls come down, but yet they were against the odds. They couldn’t go through that wall, but God did it.

Jehosophat. Remember him, the King. He got the whole nation fasting because a vast army that he couldn’t take on was coming and once again, the worship team. Isn’t the worship team awesome?

I mean, the worship team, they sing a song and God takes out the whole army. That’s what it is all about. Weapons of war. Samson took a donkey bone and took out a bunch of men single handedly. I mean, if you were going to choose the weapon of war, would you choose a donkey’s jaw?

I mean, no, but God can work through the jaw or even David with a smooth stone with Goliath. We see it over and over. And it’s so easy to read these stories, even as I recount some of them and say that that was amazing. But what about your life? What’s your smooth stone?

What are you going to use when you’re faced in those odds, when God got you in that faithful situation where you need the Holy Spirit to flow, and you got to figure out, what am I going to do? This passage says that those who believe, like those guys in the Old Testament, like the scriptures, they’ll have Rivers flowing, Rivers flowing through them that will be able to make an amazing difference. But I don’t know about you. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have Rivers. Are you with me?

Matter of fact, I don’t think I have Rivers. I don’t think I have a river. Let’s get serious. Sometimes it’s just a trickle. You know, you feel like it’s not so much going on here. Lord, Lord, is that it?

Can you give me a river? Can we flow some of the spirit, but, you know, they all felt the same way in that situation. And that’s what we’re going to look at because it says here Rivers of living water would flow. A river flowing is a promise of God. When we get to those places where we don’t feel like God’s presence is with us, we got to realize we have a promise.

And this is one of the promises right here, the promise of a solution that will overcome the odds. A promise of a river that has a current. You ever jumped into a river and start swimming, you feel the current. If it’s a strong current, it’s hard to swim upstream. It takes you.

But that’s what we’ve got to feel, that that is flowing in our lives, and it’s powerful. And what does that spirit do? It calls us to go against the flow of the world. It’s like in Matthew seven where it says, Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate, and broad is the road that leads to destruction. And many enter through it.

But small is the gate, narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. We’ve got to be countercultural. We have the current of the world coming at us. But, yeah, we’ve got to go the opposite direction with the living waters flowing. Amen.

And that’s what living waters do. And that’s why we’re studying this out. Why? Because those living waters can flow and change our situation.

And as you notice, as I shared before, when we’ve got to come up with solutions, when we got to flow over a situation, how do you like our new stage? We got a new style, don’t we? Isn’t it awesome. Well, the Rivers were flowing this morning. I have to say that. Jeff said we’re setting up two TVs, so that’s what we’re going to do today.

And because we have to we have one right down here that we got. So that’s one. That’s two right here. And usually we have four. I think we had four TVs.

We’re doing two today. It’s okay. Well, let’s change it up. Let’s get creative. Let’s figure out what God is going to do.

We don’t have as many people. And, you know, it’s not a bad solution. It’s a little different feel. Got a nice little table here. Wendy made sure we got a little something on here. We need the sisters every now and then to show us.

But in life, we’ve got to be willing to change. We’ve got to get creative. Even with our small groups, we’re asking everyone to get those Rivers flowing, the creative juices just so that God can show us a way out. And he puts us in these faithful situations where we look around and when we say it’s difficult, Lord. Are you there right now? People on Zoom, are you there right now?

Has it been difficult? Some of you trying to recover from COVID and trying to know if you have COVID nowadays you don’t know and it’s always there and you’re making decisions and, you know, life can be difficult, but God puts us in some difficult situations so that he can do amazing things. And you may feel like it’s hopeless. I’m at the end of my rope. God, it wasn’t supposed to be this way. I am this age now, and I should have been making this and this shouldn’t have happened and this thing should have gone this way.

Why is it this way? And you may feel like I’m at the end Lord. You know what God wants you to do with that rope? Make it into a swing. He says, swing on it. I’ll catapult you somewhere.

I’ll show you what I want to do. He wants to create a living, water flowing situation from the throne of God so that you can be faithful. You can see God move, and that faithful situation will take you to a new place. Amen? He’ll get you to be creative to overcome your problems.

And, you know, when I get to heaven, I really want to Fellowship with some people. Are you that way, too? You read the Bible. Wouldn’t it be great to fellowship with some of these faithful people who got in those situations? And today, you know who we’re going to be looking at today?

We’re going to go to Exodus eventually, but we’re going to look at Moses’ mother and father. There’s some faithful people. And, you know, it’s pretty rough because I want tp Fellowship with them. I don’t even know their names. The Bibles didn’t say anything about their names.

We’re going to just read a little bit about what happened there. I’m going to give a little background to it. And parents, we can understand that because once you have kids, you no longer have a name. I’m actually Brandon’s father, I’m Bianca’s father. You go to the school, they don’t even know your name. They know your last name, but you’re somebody’s father or mother, so I get that.

But I’d like to fellowship with them because I like the way it’s described here. You can turn to act seven in verse 17 to 19. It tells us a little background of the story about what’s going on in Egypt at the time, he says in verse 17, but when the time of the Promised drew near, which God has sworn to Abraham, the people grew, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt until another King of Rose, who did not know Joseph.

This man dealt treacherously with other people and oppressed our forefathers, making them expose their babies so that they might not live. What was going on in that time? The Israelites are multiplying into a nation, and the Pharaoh wants to slow that process down. And the way that he planned to do that was to take the males out when they were young as babies. It continues in Acts seven.

It says at this time Moses was born. It was well pleasing to God. He was brought up in his father’s house for three months. But when he was set out, Pharoah’s daughter took him away and brought him up as her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words indeed.

You know, it says right here that his parents and his mother was in that faithful situation odds against them, and she was so faithful she was able to set him out and allow God to come on in. So let’s just take a deeper dive into the story. Let’s go back to Exodus and let’s look at the account there, and we’re going to be looking for how she overcame and how they overcame here. And we know the story. But it says here in Exodus two, one through two, and a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi.

So the woman conceived and bore son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. So I don’t know about you, but I think my kids are beautiful. But they put that in, he was a beautiful every parent thinks their kids are beautiful.

I don’t care how they look, even when they first come out and look a little funny. They are beautiful, aren’t they? Parents understand that. But it says here that Moses was like this. So what’s going on?

Well, it first says that she was able here to hide him for three months. You know how hard it is to hide a three month old. All right, baby, just stay in the closet. Shh. How did she do that? All right.

They know you’re going to have to check the closet next time. And I don’t know if they checked the house when the father was out working and they were slaves and maybe she was home on leave, I don’t know. But she was able for three months to avoid the soldiers and avoid the situation. It was under her control.

She was able to hide them, hide Moses rather, and get away with it. And basically it was in her control. When we faced tough situations, we like to think our way out of it. And as long as we can think our way out of it, we’re fine. But then she got to the end of her rope, didn’t she?

She got to where she couldn’t hide them, and it wasn’t any more new places. And she got here. But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes from him, daubed it with asphalt in pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the River Bank. And his sister stood afar off to know what would be done to him. Now, that was the faithful situation, because at that point, she knew, I can’t take this into my own hands.

And sometimes we get in situations where we cannot take it into our own hands, and that’s when God can refine us. That’s when we grow the most, when we reach the place to where God, this is out of our control. I don’t know what’s going on in your life. Maybe there’s a financial crisis that’s going on right now that’s out of your control. And if you’re in that place, well, you know what?

That’s okay. God will take you out of it. Maybe it’s a health crisis. Maybe you have some relational problems, or maybe you’re disjointed and all kinds of different things in your relationships in your world, that could be a crisis. And what she does is she gets creative, doesn’t she?

See, she had an amazing quiet time, and she read the story of Noah’s Ark. This is what happened. I’m just telling you. No? That can’t happen, huh, jason, there’s no way that could have happened.

She couldn’t have read because the guy that was going to write the first five books is Moses right there. So she couldn’t he had no reference. So when did she come up with this idea? This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to make a basket.

I’m going to waterproof it. I’m going to put my baby in it. And that’s it. That was from God. That was total trust.

And that’s why I want to talk to her when we get to heaven. Wow. Amazing faith. And you know what? It’s amazing to see that she was able to put her son into the flow of the Nile, which is crazy.

Would you want to put your kid even into one of the retention ponds around your house? Say, Lord, that is amazing to have that kind of faith. She was in a tough place, but yet she grew, and she even sent her daughter to go and watch. And I think she might have did that because she probably couldn’t just watch. She’s like, baby, you have to go out there. I am not going to be able to handle this.

You come back, you tell me. I’m going to put the baby down, tell me what happens. It’s in the Lord’s hands. It’s amazing to see the faith. And I think this is true. What looks like the end is often the beginning of our faithful story.

I think we’ve got to get down to the place to where we understand. And when you’re in a tough situation, that might just be the beginning, even though it feels like the end. When you’re up against the odds, when you feel like, I don’t know what’s going to happen. And I can totally relate to this because I just feel that way. But even making goals this year, remember earlier in the year we did a lesson about what we’re going to do as the north region and just sharing about what we’re going to do to be able to get a building.

Amen. We’re still praying for that Church. This is a plug so we don’t have to set up. And we want to be said, let’s put it in Lake Mary. And then we looked at where everybody lives in our region and we only have one person living there.

But I think God can do something. And every year for years I’ve been here, I’ve been saying we’re going to go to the campus, we’re going to get a campus Ministry going in the north. Amen. Can I get an Amen? And I said, Amen is really like, Lord, that’s a trickle.

But, Lord, please, can you change this lord? You hear us talk about just my daughter with MS. That’s a mountain. We pray, I pray.

I hope you pray that she’ll be healed. And I know that that’s never happened before, but it can. What I’m talking about, those odds come and I got to believe that this is the faithful story that God’s going to do, that God’s going to do amazing things. He’s going to do some great things, and it’s not the end. And when she put that baby down, it was the beginning.

What we’re going to do right now is I’m going to show a little scene from the Prince of Egypt. So kids, you can take a look at the screen. If you’re home on Zoom, get your kids into the room. This is the best part of the service to them right now for sure. Okay.

And for us, I’m going to show a little clip here. And I really like this clip because it kind of shows speculation, but pretty risky, what she did. Let’s just watch this. Are we ready to go? Make that switch over. Ready to go? Let’s do it.

Do you have any volume? Want me to go back? Yeah. Okay. No problem.

Good. Yeah.

(Singing) Hush now, my baby, be still now don’t cry. Sleep as you’re rocked by the stream. Sleep and Remember my last lullaby so I’ll be with you when you dream. River, oh river, flow gently for me such precious cargo you bear. Do you know somewhere where he can be free? River deliver him there. Brother, you’re safe now and safe may you stay. For I have a prayer just for you. Grow baby brother. Come back some day.

Come and deliver us, too. Come Ramses, we will show Pharaoh your new baby brother, Moses.

All right. You know, when Moses’ mother placed that baby in the Nile, now, I know that they definitely maybe added a few things of how dangerous it was, but no, there were a lot of those animals in that Nile. I thought they did a great job to show that it was God, to show that even though she thought it was the end, it was the beginning, that God was starting something through the flow of the Nile, that he could have directed that basket through that current and with the wind blowing it. And I’m sure that she didn’t live right next to the palace.

It was a little journey. At least I know that’s true. There had to be a journey for the basket to go. And I think so often when we are coming up with creative things, Lord, deliver me from this, so help me with that. We often are just so thinking about that moment, God’s just getting started.

So then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river and her maidens walked along the Riverside. And when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. When she opened it, she saw the child. And behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him and said, this is one of the Hebrew children.

I mean, right there, there was a bond. I like the way that they showed it there. He wasn’t weeping. He was actually saying, hey, mom, take me off or whatever there in the little video. But you know what? God moved in her heart. And his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women that she may nurse the child for you. And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. So the maiden went and called the child’s mother.

This is amazing. She said to her maiden, she didn’t say that to Moses’ sister, she said, go with this little girl and let her find. And it doesn’t say here, but I said, Go find the mother. What a turnaround. And now we see her feeling like she’d never see Moses again.

Moses mother, I’d probably never see this baby again. And look at all that’s happening. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, I already had that right. All right. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you wages.

So the woman took the child and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, Because I drew him out of water, isn’t this amazing? So the maiden goes back with a little sister. They go get mum.

Mum goes to the palace. And now all of a sudden, Moses, he gets a new name because he’s drawn out. But yet he gets a full ride scholarship to go to the best schools in Egypt. And not only that, the parents get money to raise them. Wouldn’t you like someone to give you money to raise your kids?

Don’t go put your kid in the retention pond. It might not work, but I’m just telling you, but isn’t it great that man, this thing turned around to the point where she didn’t have to hide them anymore. She had the seal of the Palace. Pharaohs out trying to destroy everything. And now he’s raising the answer.

He’s raising what’s going to deliver them. And that’s how our God moves. From making a new ark from doing these things. And we’ve got to believe he’s the same God today. He hasn’t changed. He does the same things.

He starts with a new beginning if we’re willing to be creative and willing to think outside of it. Gave him a new name. He was set out by faith by her for God to draw her out. For God to say, I’m just getting started. I don’t know about you brothers and sisters, but we’ve got to get to a point where we don’t feel like we’re in a comfort zone of it’s over. Nobody. God’s just getting started.

And we’ve got to be able to pray against the odds and know that God is going to give us a faith that’s going to flow and do amazing things. I really appreciate the small group leaders. And last week, what we did was we prayed. Remember? We had a prayer time so that god could just show us the flow, the living water that will come, that will be able to flow in our lives so that God can do amazing things that we can set out and faithfully see the living waters flow.

Michelle and I got a chance last week, something we thought Michelle came up with this idea we should go and pray in those areas where we know that only God can do it. And those are the goals that we shared. Let’s go to Lake Mary. And we went on to the campus. We said, okay, we’re going to pray on the campus.

And we drove around the campus. And Michelle went to that campus. She’s a graduate of Seminole State and then went to UCF. But you know what? We went around there and all of a sudden it was new.

It was like a whole new place. They had all kinds of parking. They are growing. It looked like, wow, this is a University. God is doing a lot.

Wow, this is a lot. And we drove and then we prayed faithfully. God, I think we have one student there right now. God do amazing things. Then we went down on Lake Mary Boulevard.

Little area right there. I think that’s where the sign that I showed right there, right there is where there’s some lights there. And the city hall was there. And we went and walked around there and said, look at this place. There’s so many people.

God, give us a location somewhere here. Remember, Gary Simmons shared and Jake shared that $1 they got a building. Give us the $1 building. Amen.

We need that $1 building, Lord, show us what it is. Then we even went to another neighborhood, went to Heathrow. We have no one living in Heathrow. And we drove up there and we couldn’t even get in because they got a gated community. We looked at those gates.

He said, God, open these gates, do amazing things. And I want us as a region to get on that level of faith to know that God can do amazing things, that there’s a current of his spirit that’s flowing right here in the north region, Amen? That we can do amazing things. Let me ask you this question. What does the St. John’s river, which is in our region, Amen, flows through and the Nile River have in common?

Who has the answer to this one? Who has the answer to this one? And we got one, two, three. This is for $10 million. Who has the answer?

No, I don’t have $10 million. All right. Anyway, shout it out. What is similar about the two Rivers?

They have water. Good. But that will not get you the 10 million that will get you only $100. Anyone else? That’s it.

They’re the only two Rivers that flow north. Isn’t that amazing? We have a Nile right here. I don’t know what we got to do. I don’t know if we all need to go down there and pray.

I don’t know if I need to make a big basket and all of us jump in it and we go down, let the current flow or whatever. I don’t know. We got to do something. We got to figure out what is God going to do. We got to get creative, gang.

We’ve got to feel like God. We’re going to lay it out there and we’re going to watch you be able to take us on that current that’s right here. You’re going to move in a spiritual way right here in the north region and show us what you want to do. It’s time for amazing things to happen. And as we go into Communion right now, I want us to all whether you’re on Zoom or in the room right here, let us just think and dream about how God’s going to take us through the faithful situations and that the Rivers are going to flow.

In john 14 is the promise right here, verse twelve. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the work I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father. Jesus said you’re going to do greater things. Jesus said, if you believe in me, it’s the same thing like as the scriptures. So let us believe.

And as we take the Communion, let us know that the power of the cross of Jesus dying and that amazing power of his resurrection can do the same thing in all the things we dream of today. Pray with me. Heavenly Father, we thank you that you gave us a promise, that Rivers of living water will flow through us. Lord, as we take the Communion, let us feel the current of your Holy Spirit. As we break the bread, let us know that Jesus gave his body to the plan.

As we drink the fruit of the vine, we know that this blood is what sanctifies us. Father, you raise him on the third day. No one could ever even dream up what you have done, what Jesus did on the cross. But only you. Let us find the power and the strength strength from the same story to do all that you want us to do right here we pray these things in Jesus name.