Follow Me | TBN

Follow Me

Watch Follow Me
November 8, 2020
27:29

Pastor and Evangelist Greg Laurie teaches the simple yet life changing message of the Gospel.

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Follow Me

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  • ♪ This is the day whenthe lost are found ♪
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  • ♪ Oh can you hear allthe angels are singing ♪
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  • ♪ This is the day theday when life begins ♪
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  • - Hi, we're in a brand newseries that we're calling
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  • the gospel for busy peoplebased on the Gospel of Mark
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  • and we're in Mark 1.
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  • The title of my messageis follow me, follow me.
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  • Those are the words ofJesus to all people today.
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  • So I start with a question,
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  • are you a followerof Jesus Christ?
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  • Do you understandwhat that means?
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  • Now, we know the word followerit's used in a lot of ways,
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  • one way it's usedis in social media.
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  • For instance if you're onTwitter, you have followers,
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  • if you're in Facebook,you have friends.
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  • Now Jesus neverdid tweet, did He?
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  • Though He could have,
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  • the Beatitudes those would begreat tweets, weren't they?
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  • Blessed are the poor in spirit,
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  • blessed are the peacemakers
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  • so they should be calledthe children of God.
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  • Perfect tweets.
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  • Now Jesus did not tweet, butHe did have his followers
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  • and they werepretty eclectic too.
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  • He had some fishermen,He had a tax collector,
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  • and He had zealot.
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  • Now we have to understandwhat these terms mean.
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  • We understand a fishermen,
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  • but what is a tax collectorand what is a zealot?
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  • A zealot is someonewho is dedicated
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  • to the violentoverthrow of Rome,
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  • we might actually callthem a terrorist today.
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  • A tax collector was someonewho was colluding with Rome,
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  • Rome was theoccupying power there
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  • in Israel at thatparticular time.
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  • So here we have a man, a Jewishman in particular Matthew
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  • that we'll talk about laterwho was in collusion with Rome,
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  • and how we haveanother man named Simon
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  • who was dedicated to theviolent overthrow of Rome.
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  • It would be like havingdifferent parts of your family
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  • voting for different candidates,
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  • that may be true ofsome of your homes.
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  • It would be likegetting a supporter
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  • of President Trumpwearing a MAGA hat,
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  • and a supporter of former VicePresident Biden and saying,
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  • you guys work together.
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  • We know, right?
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  • Now there's a lot ofconflict and division.
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  • We just had apresidential debate,
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  • we're all aware of it,
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  • but listen to this,
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  • We are Christians and we aremembers of a different kingdom
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  • and it's more importantthan even politics.
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  • And Jesus said this,
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  • "By this shall all menknow you are my disciples
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  • "that you love one another."
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  • Listen to this,
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  • Christian shouldbe marked by love
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  • not by always being right.
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  • And when I say bybeing right I mean,
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  • sometimes they'rein their own mind.
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  • If you find yourselfshouting at people.
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  • You know, I just wasshouting when I said that,
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  • I'll lower my volume.
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  • If you find yourselfalways uptight and angry
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  • and using your social mediaaccounts to blast this group
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  • or blast that person,something's wrong.
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  • Remember you needto be glorifying God
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  • with whatever platformHe has given to you.
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  • We need to be characterized
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  • and identified by our love forGod and our love for others.
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  • Well, let's look at Mark 1:16
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  • as we continue in our series,the gospel for busy people.
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  • "One day as Jesus was walkingalong the shore of Galilee,
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  • "He saw Simon and hisbrother Andrew throwing a net
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  • "into the water for theyfished for a living.
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  • "Jesus called out to them,
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  • "'Follow me, and I'll showyou how to fish for people.'"
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  • By the way, I'm reading fromthe New Living Translation.
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  • The King James translatesthat verse as follows.
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  • "Follow me, and I'll makeyou a Fisher of men."
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  • Mark goes on to say,
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  • "And they left their netsat once and followed Him.
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  • "A little further up theshore Jesus saw Zebedee's son,
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  • "James and John, in aboat repairing their nets.
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  • "He called them at once,
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  • "and they also followed himleaving their father Zebedee
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  • "in the boat withthe hired men."
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  • So here's point number one,
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  • Jesus is puttingHis team together.
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  • Do you wanna be on Jesus' team?
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  • He was gonna choose12 men in total,
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  • and they would be themost ordinary of all men.
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  • They weren't saints, and thetraditional use of the word.
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  • Now, technicallythey were saints
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  • because a saint meansa true believer.
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  • So anyone who hasput their faith
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  • in Christ istechnically a saint,
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  • but in modern usage a saint
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  • is some extraordinaryholy person.
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  • So they weren't saints,
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  • nor were they scholars,nor were they sages,
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  • they were hopelessly human,
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  • they were remarkablyunremarkable,
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  • but they were availableto the Masters call.
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  • Now Simon and Andrew had beendisciples of John the Baptist.
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  • Remember we talkedabout him last time.
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  • He came before Christpreparing the way,
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  • and he said to themas Jesus walked by,
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  • "Behold the Lamb of God
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  • "who takes away thesin of the world."
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  • So they transferredtheir allegiance fromJohn over to Jesus
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  • but they still didn't fullyunderstand who Jesus was
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  • or what He had come to do.
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  • James and Johnare also mentioned
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  • and they're given this specialtitle, the Sons of Thunder.
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  • I certainly see James andJohn as two outlaw bikers,
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  • you know, coming up andbeing called by Jesus
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  • to be a part of the team.
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  • Again, what an eclecticgroup of people.
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  • But here's the point I wannabring to your attention,
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  • note that all of thesemen were doing something
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  • when Jesus called them.
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  • Andrew was throwing a net intothe water along with Simon,
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  • James and John were in aboat repairing their nets.
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  • And we see the sameelsewhere in Scripture
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  • people were busywhen God called them.
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  • As an example David who wouldbecome the king of Israel,
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  • was watching over his flock
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  • when he was summonedby the prophet.
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  • Moses was watching over a flock
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  • when the Lord spoke to himthrough a burning bush.
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  • Elisha was plowing in afield when he was called
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  • by Elijah to carry onthe prophetic ministry.
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  • Bringing me to point number two,
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  • if you wanna be used by God,
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  • get busy doingsomething for the Lord.
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  • Just get busy with whatis in front of you.
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  • Mend those nets, cast thosenets, tend those sheep,
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  • plow those fields, teachat Sunday school class,
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  • go on that mission trip, shareone-on-one, give that tithe,
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  • just get out and do something.
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  • Do what you can, where you can.
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  • One way to find outwhat you're called to do
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  • is maybe by discovering whatyou're not called to do.
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  • Someone comes to me and says,
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  • well, Greg, I wannabe used by the Lord.
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  • I always suggest to them
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  • that they go volunteerat their church.
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  • Go to your pastor,
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  • say, pastor, Iwanna be used by God
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  • and I'll do whateverneeds to be done.
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  • Now, hold on, you may notget the job you wanted,
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  • you might end up doingsome janitorial work,
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  • or setting some chairs up,
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  • or doing somethingmenial like that,
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  • but that's probably becausethe pastor is wanting to see
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  • if you'll be faithfulin the little things.
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  • I remember when I wasa brand new Christian
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  • and I went to Pastor Chuck Smith
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  • at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa,
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  • I was 17 years old and I said,
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  • Chuck, I'm wanna serve the Lord,
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  • I'll do what ever youguys want me to do.
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  • And they gave me differenttasks starting with janitorial,
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  • sweeping leaves, cleaningtoilets and I did it all,
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  • and I remember one day theygave me a special mission
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  • to go on for God.
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  • He said we need a new door knobfor the church office doors.
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  • So I went down to thelocal hardware store,
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  • I've never beena mechanical guy.
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  • If you want anythingfixed, never call me,
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  • if you want it broken, callme, I'll help you with that.
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  • And I looked at all thesedoor knobs in different sizes,
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  • I literally prayed,
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  • God help me findthe right door knob.
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  • And I chose one and took itback and it was a wrong size,
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  • so I failed in my mission,but it was little things.
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  • But I thought,
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  • well, maybe God wants meto be in a worship team.
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  • So I joined this worship groupand I was doing percussion,
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  • I was playing a Congo drumor something like that.
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  • And I remember standing upthere in front of the people
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  • and of course I couldn't reallykeep the rhythm very well,
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  • and I discovered this isnot what I'm called to do.
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  • Sometimes you find outwhat you are called to do
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  • by first finding out whatyou're not called to do,
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  • but here's the key, whateveryou do it, the Bible says,
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  • do it with all of yourheart as unto the Lord
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  • and be faithful inthe little things,
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  • bringing me to my next point,
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  • if you wanna be used by God
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  • be faithful in whatis before you now.
  • 00:08:42.877 --> 00:08:45.981
  • Jesus says in Luke 16:10,
  • 00:08:45.981 --> 00:08:48.483
  • "Unless you are afaithful in small matters,
  • 00:08:48.483 --> 00:08:50.485
  • "you won't be faithfulin large ones.
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  • "If you cheat even a little,
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  • "you won't be honest withgreater responsibilities."
  • 00:08:54.189 --> 00:08:57.192
  • So be faithful inthose little things
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  • as we make our waythrough Mark 1,
  • 00:08:59.227 --> 00:09:01.730
  • after this, Jesusgoes into a synagogue
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  • and He encounters ademon possessed man.
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  • Jesus cast thedemon out of the man
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  • and the people are astonished.
  • 00:09:10.438 --> 00:09:12.674
  • It's interesting thephrase that Jesus used
  • 00:09:12.674 --> 00:09:15.543
  • to the demon was be quietor literally be muzzle.
  • 00:09:15.543 --> 00:09:19.814
  • And by the way that'sthe same phrase He used
  • 00:09:19.814 --> 00:09:23.084
  • when He rebuked the storm.
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  • You remember that story?
  • 00:09:24.986 --> 00:09:26.921
  • He went up and said tothe store, be still,
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  • it's that same phrase be muzzle
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  • because He was sayingto the devil, stop.
  • 00:09:31.026 --> 00:09:33.128
  • The devil is sort of likea crazy dog ready to bite,
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  • be muzzle, stop, be still.
  • 00:09:36.498 --> 00:09:39.234
  • So the disciples arebeginning to discover
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  • the power that Jesus has.
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  • He has power over demons,
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  • and in time they're gonnasee that He had power
  • 00:09:46.675 --> 00:09:48.977
  • over sickness and evenpower over death itself,
  • 00:09:48.977 --> 00:09:52.280
  • but the most important thing
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  • that Jesus hadpower over was sin.
  • 00:09:54.182 --> 00:09:57.152
  • He and He alonecould forgive sin
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  • as they would soon discover.
  • 00:10:00.155 --> 00:10:01.423
  • So yes He was God,
  • 00:10:01.423 --> 00:10:03.324
  • but He was God walking in ahuman body of flesh and blood,
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  • and He grew tired,and He was hungry
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  • and experiencedall of those things
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  • that we experience physically.
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  • So the next movementin this story is,
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  • Jesus needed somefood and some rest,
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  • so they take Him home tothe house of Simon Peter,
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  • bringing us to thisnext point which is,
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  • we need to Jesus homebecause that's what they did.
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  • Bring Him home.
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  • Don't leave Jesus at thechurch on Sunday morning,
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  • take Jesus home with you.
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  • Hey, take Jesusto work with you,
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  • take Jesus wherever you go.
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  • And by that I mean,
  • 00:10:42.097 --> 00:10:43.631
  • invite Him to be a part ofevery aspect of your life.
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  • What a privilege for Peter tocome home and say to his wife,
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  • I have a special guest dear,Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
  • 00:10:50.805 --> 00:10:55.810
  • Well, as it turns out, Peter'smother-in-law was very ill,
  • 00:10:57.245 --> 00:10:59.748
  • apparently she livedwith Peter and his wife
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  • and yes, Peter was married,
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  • which is an importantnote, isn't it?
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  • She was very sick,
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  • and they told Jesus sheneeded to be touched
  • 00:11:07.789 --> 00:11:10.258
  • and so Jesus heals her,
  • 00:11:10.258 --> 00:11:12.160
  • and Mark 1:31 saying,
  • 00:11:12.160 --> 00:11:14.562
  • "He took her by thehand and lifted her up,
  • 00:11:14.562 --> 00:11:16.865
  • "and immediatelythe fever left her."
  • 00:11:16.865 --> 00:11:19.834
  • Well, news travels fast,
  • 00:11:19.834 --> 00:11:21.136
  • all of the disciplessought out a quick tweet
  • 00:11:21.136 --> 00:11:23.638
  • and there were evensome posts on Instagram.
  • 00:11:23.638 --> 00:11:25.573
  • Not really, but it soundslike it because in moments
  • 00:11:25.573 --> 00:11:29.644
  • literally the whole cityis there at the door.
  • 00:11:29.644 --> 00:11:32.080
  • Mark 1:32,
  • 00:11:32.080 --> 00:11:33.414
  • "That evening after sunset,
  • 00:11:33.414 --> 00:11:35.016
  • "the people brought to Jesus
  • 00:11:35.016 --> 00:11:36.718
  • "all the sick anddemon possessed.
  • 00:11:36.718 --> 00:11:38.553
  • "The whole towngathered at the door."
  • 00:11:38.553 --> 00:11:41.956
  • That brings us now to Mark 2
  • 00:11:41.956 --> 00:11:43.858
  • and Jesus is gonna showthe primary reason He came,
  • 00:11:45.360 --> 00:11:49.264
  • not just to cast out demons,not just to heal the sick,
  • 00:11:49.264 --> 00:11:53.334
  • not even to raise the dead,He was coming to forgive sins,
  • 00:11:53.334 --> 00:11:58.339
  • and there's nothingmore important
  • 00:11:59.440 --> 00:12:00.408
  • than having your sin forgiven.
  • 00:12:00.408 --> 00:12:01.976
  • As I say this, am I speakingto somebody right now
  • 00:12:01.976 --> 00:12:05.480
  • who is not sure iftheir sin is forgiven.
  • 00:12:05.480 --> 00:12:08.783
  • You're haunted by thingsyou've done in your past,
  • 00:12:08.783 --> 00:12:11.786
  • it keeps you up at night,
  • 00:12:11.786 --> 00:12:13.621
  • you've tried toself-medicate as they say
  • 00:12:13.621 --> 00:12:15.824
  • with alcohol or drugs andnumb yourself to the pain
  • 00:12:15.824 --> 00:12:19.527
  • of what you've done and theharm and the pain you've brought
  • 00:12:19.527 --> 00:12:22.897
  • into other people's lives,
  • 00:12:22.897 --> 00:12:24.399
  • I want you to know Godcan forgive your sin,
  • 00:12:24.399 --> 00:12:28.069
  • and I'm gonna tell youhow in a few moments.
  • 00:12:28.069 --> 00:12:30.405
  • Now let's go over to Mark 2:1.
  • 00:12:30.405 --> 00:12:35.143
  • "When Jesus returned toCapernaum several days later,
  • 00:12:35.143 --> 00:12:38.646
  • "the news spread quicklythat He was back home.
  • 00:12:38.646 --> 00:12:41.749
  • "Soon the house where Hewas staying was packed
  • 00:12:41.749 --> 00:12:43.952
  • "with visitors andthere was no more room
  • 00:12:43.952 --> 00:12:46.287
  • "even outside the door.
  • 00:12:46.287 --> 00:12:48.022
  • "While He waspreaching the word,
  • 00:12:48.022 --> 00:12:50.558
  • "four men arrived carryinga paralyzed man on a mat.
  • 00:12:50.558 --> 00:12:55.563
  • "They couldn't bring him toJesus because of the crowd,
  • 00:12:57.031 --> 00:12:58.900
  • "so they dug a hole throughthe roof, right above His head,
  • 00:12:58.900 --> 00:13:02.737
  • "and they loweredthe men on this mat,
  • 00:13:02.737 --> 00:13:05.440
  • "right in front of Jesus.
  • 00:13:05.440 --> 00:13:07.909
  • "Seeing their faith, Jesussaid to the paralyzed man,
  • 00:13:07.909 --> 00:13:12.113
  • "'My child, yoursins are forgiven.'"
  • 00:13:12.113 --> 00:13:15.617
  • Bringing me to my next point,
  • 00:13:15.617 --> 00:13:17.552
  • we need to work together
  • 00:13:17.552 --> 00:13:19.153
  • if we wanna bringour friends to Jesus.
  • 00:13:19.153 --> 00:13:21.623
  • Four guys, they wanna gettheir friend to Jesus,
  • 00:13:21.623 --> 00:13:25.693
  • he needs a physical touch.
  • 00:13:25.693 --> 00:13:27.662
  • They can't get in the houseit's packed wall to wall people,
  • 00:13:27.662 --> 00:13:31.399
  • so they lower himthrough the roof.
  • 00:13:31.399 --> 00:13:33.001
  • Now this is kinda hardfor us to understand
  • 00:13:33.001 --> 00:13:35.036
  • in the 21st century,
  • 00:13:35.036 --> 00:13:36.571
  • but in the 1st centurythe roofs were flat.
  • 00:13:36.571 --> 00:13:40.441
  • There would be an outsidestaircase leading to the roof,
  • 00:13:40.441 --> 00:13:43.611
  • sometimes people wouldsit up on the roof
  • 00:13:43.611 --> 00:13:45.947
  • like a little patiogarden of sorts.
  • 00:13:45.947 --> 00:13:48.750
  • So they get upon the roof andthey start digging through it,
  • 00:13:48.750 --> 00:13:52.086
  • digging through the straw.
  • 00:13:52.086 --> 00:13:53.755
  • In meanwhile, here'sJesus inside the house
  • 00:13:53.755 --> 00:13:56.291
  • speaking to His audience,listening to His every word,
  • 00:13:56.291 --> 00:14:00.161
  • all of a sudden a little dirtclod falls to the ground,
  • 00:14:00.161 --> 00:14:03.264
  • a couple more fall,
  • 00:14:03.264 --> 00:14:04.465
  • some straw comes down,
  • 00:14:04.465 --> 00:14:06.200
  • a shaft of light breaks through,
  • 00:14:06.200 --> 00:14:07.769
  • another shaft oflight comes through
  • 00:14:07.769 --> 00:14:10.071
  • and suddenly this man ison this mat with four guys
  • 00:14:10.071 --> 00:14:14.008
  • with robes letting him down.
  • 00:14:14.008 --> 00:14:15.843
  • He may be swinging backand forth a little bit,
  • 00:14:15.843 --> 00:14:18.179
  • and he's put rightin front of Jesus.
  • 00:14:18.179 --> 00:14:20.648
  • Maybe the guy layingthere went, hey.
  • 00:14:20.648 --> 00:14:22.850
  • And Jesus said,
  • 00:14:22.850 --> 00:14:24.085
  • "My child, your sinsare forgiven you."
  • 00:14:24.085 --> 00:14:27.689
  • My next point is oneprays, another shares,
  • 00:14:27.689 --> 00:14:29.857
  • but God does the work.
  • 00:14:29.857 --> 00:14:31.526
  • You know, when aperson comes to Christ
  • 00:14:31.526 --> 00:14:32.961
  • it's a chain of eventsthat connect together
  • 00:14:32.961 --> 00:14:36.531
  • resulting in a conversion.
  • 00:14:36.531 --> 00:14:38.433
  • Maybe it's a seed sown ina heart during childhood,
  • 00:14:38.433 --> 00:14:41.803
  • maybe that seed is watereda little bit later,
  • 00:14:41.803 --> 00:14:44.405
  • maybe they encounter aChristian they don't even know
  • 00:14:44.405 --> 00:14:46.808
  • who says or does something thatmakes an impression on them,
  • 00:14:46.808 --> 00:14:50.345
  • then finally, someone takesthe time to share the gospel.
  • 00:14:50.345 --> 00:14:53.414
  • We're all part of a chainthat God orchestrated
  • 00:14:53.414 --> 00:14:56.584
  • to bring someone to the Lord.
  • 00:14:56.584 --> 00:14:58.486
  • As Paul writes in1 Corinthians 3:6,
  • 00:14:58.486 --> 00:15:01.723
  • "I planted, Apollos watered."
  • 00:15:01.723 --> 00:15:04.759
  • Apollos was another preacher.
  • 00:15:04.759 --> 00:15:07.061
  • "But God gave the increase.
  • 00:15:07.061 --> 00:15:08.796
  • "So neither he who plants isanything nor he that waters,
  • 00:15:08.796 --> 00:15:12.100
  • "it's God thatgives the increase."
  • 00:15:12.100 --> 00:15:14.635
  • And notice that Jesusimmediately got to the heart
  • 00:15:14.635 --> 00:15:17.438
  • of this man's problem because
  • 00:15:17.438 --> 00:15:19.974
  • the heart of the problem isthe problem of the heart.
  • 00:15:19.974 --> 00:15:23.211
  • This man neededhis sin forgiven.
  • 00:15:23.211 --> 00:15:25.880
  • It was even more importantthan being healed
  • 00:15:25.880 --> 00:15:28.282
  • of his paralysis.
  • 00:15:28.282 --> 00:15:29.817
  • Now they react properly.
  • 00:15:29.817 --> 00:15:31.786
  • They say, wait, what do youmean your sins are forgiven you?
  • 00:15:31.786 --> 00:15:35.423
  • And they asked the question,
  • 00:15:35.423 --> 00:15:36.791
  • who can forgivesins but God alone?
  • 00:15:36.791 --> 00:15:40.428
  • And the answer is, no one.
  • 00:15:40.428 --> 00:15:42.964
  • Some people would say,
  • 00:15:42.964 --> 00:15:44.165
  • you know, Jesus neverclaimed to be God.
  • 00:15:44.165 --> 00:15:46.267
  • His followers cameup with that later.
  • 00:15:46.267 --> 00:15:49.003
  • That is not true,
  • 00:15:49.003 --> 00:15:50.538
  • Jesus did claim to beGod on multiple occasions
  • 00:15:50.538 --> 00:15:54.042
  • and this is one of them.
  • 00:15:54.042 --> 00:15:55.543
  • If Jesus were not God,
  • 00:15:55.543 --> 00:15:56.944
  • He would have said somethingalong the lines of,
  • 00:15:56.944 --> 00:15:58.413
  • that's a good pointand I'm not God,
  • 00:15:58.413 --> 00:16:01.182
  • but no He forgave that man sins.
  • 00:16:01.182 --> 00:16:03.684
  • In fact, in Mark 2:10 He says,
  • 00:16:03.684 --> 00:16:05.553
  • "I'll prove to youthat the Son of Man
  • 00:16:05.553 --> 00:16:07.455
  • "has authority onearth to forgive sins.
  • 00:16:07.455 --> 00:16:09.457
  • "And Jesus turned to theparalyzed man and said,
  • 00:16:09.457 --> 00:16:12.226
  • "'Stand up, pick upyour mat, and go home.'"
  • 00:16:12.226 --> 00:16:14.862
  • That was a clear claimthat Deity Jesus was God,
  • 00:16:14.862 --> 00:16:19.267
  • we don't wanna miss thatvery important point.
  • 00:16:19.267 --> 00:16:23.071
  • Now we shift gears to afinal movement on our story,
  • 00:16:23.071 --> 00:16:26.741
  • go to Mark 2:13.
  • 00:16:26.741 --> 00:16:27.875
  • "Then Jesus went outto the lake shore again
  • 00:16:30.144 --> 00:16:32.680
  • "and taught the crowdsthat were coming to Him.
  • 00:16:32.680 --> 00:16:35.316
  • "As He walked along, Hesaw Levi son of Alphaeus
  • 00:16:35.316 --> 00:16:39.320
  • "sitting at the taxcollector's booth.
  • 00:16:39.320 --> 00:16:41.722
  • "Jesus said to him,
  • 00:16:41.722 --> 00:16:42.757
  • "'Follow me and be my disciple.'
  • 00:16:42.757 --> 00:16:45.793
  • "And Levi got upand followed Him.
  • 00:16:45.793 --> 00:16:48.896
  • "Later, Levi invited Jesusand His disciples to his home
  • 00:16:48.896 --> 00:16:52.600
  • "as dinner guests alongwith many tax collectors
  • 00:16:52.600 --> 00:16:55.770
  • "and otherdisreputable sinners."
  • 00:16:55.770 --> 00:16:59.273
  • Levi also known as Matthew,
  • 00:16:59.273 --> 00:17:02.210
  • now already mentioned himcollected taxes for Rome.
  • 00:17:02.210 --> 00:17:05.480
  • Again, Rome was anoccupying force,
  • 00:17:05.480 --> 00:17:09.250
  • and they're forcing their willupon the people of Israel.
  • 00:17:09.250 --> 00:17:13.187
  • So Levi or Matthew forsome reason we don't know
  • 00:17:13.187 --> 00:17:16.724
  • decided to work for the enemy.
  • 00:17:16.724 --> 00:17:19.927
  • He would be thoughtof as a traitor,
  • 00:17:19.927 --> 00:17:21.529
  • like a Benedict Arnold.
  • 00:17:21.529 --> 00:17:23.564
  • A turncoat, even abackslider how dare you
  • 00:17:23.564 --> 00:17:27.068
  • work for these horrible people
  • 00:17:27.068 --> 00:17:29.470
  • who are oppressing us andcollect taxes for them?
  • 00:17:29.470 --> 00:17:32.140
  • There was some good money in it,
  • 00:17:32.140 --> 00:17:34.075
  • but I don't know if that'swhat motivated Matthew
  • 00:17:34.075 --> 00:17:36.577
  • to work for Rome,
  • 00:17:36.577 --> 00:17:38.212
  • but it's interesting thathe seemed to have gone
  • 00:17:38.212 --> 00:17:40.815
  • out of his way tooffend his fellow Jews.
  • 00:17:40.815 --> 00:17:43.851
  • And also he would havebeen familiar with Jesus
  • 00:17:43.851 --> 00:17:47.155
  • 'cause Jesus was doingHis ministry right
  • 00:17:47.155 --> 00:17:49.824
  • around that region.
  • 00:17:49.824 --> 00:17:51.259
  • Being a tax collector, Matthewwould sit at his table,
  • 00:17:51.259 --> 00:17:54.028
  • he was aware of whatwas going on around him,
  • 00:17:54.028 --> 00:17:57.298
  • And we also know that he wasa great student of Scripture
  • 00:17:57.298 --> 00:18:01.102
  • because he began topiece things together.
  • 00:18:01.102 --> 00:18:03.871
  • We know he was a greatstudent of Scripture because
  • 00:18:03.871 --> 00:18:06.207
  • when we read hisGospel it is filled
  • 00:18:06.207 --> 00:18:09.143
  • with Old Testament prophecies.
  • 00:18:09.143 --> 00:18:11.445
  • There's 99 Old Testamentreferences in his Gospel
  • 00:18:11.445 --> 00:18:15.516
  • showing how Jesuswas the Messiah.
  • 00:18:15.516 --> 00:18:17.885
  • So this is a man whoknew the word of God,
  • 00:18:17.885 --> 00:18:21.255
  • but had chosen torebel against it.
  • 00:18:21.255 --> 00:18:24.058
  • But there was somethingthat Jesus said
  • 00:18:24.058 --> 00:18:26.160
  • in deed in this moment, whenhe said to Matthew follow me,
  • 00:18:26.160 --> 00:18:29.964
  • that softened his heartthat had grown so hard.
  • 00:18:29.964 --> 00:18:34.569
  • Why do people turn from God?
  • 00:18:34.569 --> 00:18:36.837
  • Why do people turnfrom the church?
  • 00:18:36.837 --> 00:18:39.774
  • It's an interesting question.
  • 00:18:39.774 --> 00:18:41.409
  • Maybe because atragedy happened.
  • 00:18:41.409 --> 00:18:43.978
  • For people say, well,this tragedy happened,
  • 00:18:43.978 --> 00:18:46.147
  • I lost a loved one or somethinghorrible happened to me
  • 00:18:46.147 --> 00:18:50.418
  • and I've lost my faith, Idon't have faith anymore.
  • 00:18:50.418 --> 00:18:53.487
  • Well, you might be surprisedto hear me say this,
  • 00:18:53.487 --> 00:18:55.623
  • but maybe it's goodyou lost that faith
  • 00:18:55.623 --> 00:18:59.093
  • because a faith thatcannot be tested
  • 00:18:59.093 --> 00:19:01.862
  • is a faith thatcannot be trusted
  • 00:19:01.862 --> 00:19:05.299
  • and that's unreal faith.
  • 00:19:05.299 --> 00:19:06.767
  • But some people turnaway from God because
  • 00:19:06.767 --> 00:19:09.837
  • they say well, I saw hypocrisy,
  • 00:19:09.837 --> 00:19:12.607
  • that person was not a goodrepresentative of Jesus Christ.
  • 00:19:12.607 --> 00:19:16.911
  • Well, look, I know there arehypocrites in the church,
  • 00:19:16.911 --> 00:19:20.214
  • I often say the church isfilled with hypocrites,
  • 00:19:20.214 --> 00:19:23.684
  • but there's alwaysroom for one more.
  • 00:19:23.684 --> 00:19:26.153
  • I'm kidding.
  • 00:19:26.153 --> 00:19:27.421
  • But seriously, we'reall gonna fall short,
  • 00:19:27.421 --> 00:19:29.557
  • we're all gonna mess up,
  • 00:19:29.557 --> 00:19:31.259
  • but here's what Iwanna say to you,
  • 00:19:31.259 --> 00:19:33.127
  • that excuse and that'sall it is an excuse,
  • 00:19:33.127 --> 00:19:35.830
  • will not hold waterin judgment day.
  • 00:19:35.830 --> 00:19:38.432
  • When you stand before GodAlmighty and He ask you,
  • 00:19:38.432 --> 00:19:41.202
  • what you did withthis Son Jesus Christ,
  • 00:19:41.202 --> 00:19:43.070
  • and you say,
  • 00:19:43.070 --> 00:19:44.538
  • well, I didn't accept Himbecause there were hypocrites.
  • 00:19:44.538 --> 00:19:46.941
  • You think that'sgoing to help you?
  • 00:19:46.941 --> 00:19:50.344
  • Jesus never saidfollow my people,
  • 00:19:50.344 --> 00:19:52.747
  • He said, follow me.
  • 00:19:52.747 --> 00:19:54.615
  • Put your eyes on Christ,
  • 00:19:54.615 --> 00:19:55.983
  • that's exactly what Matthew did.
  • 00:19:55.983 --> 00:19:58.919
  • Look at verse 14 of Mark 2,
  • 00:19:58.919 --> 00:20:01.455
  • "As Jesus walked along,He saw Levi sitting."
  • 00:20:01.455 --> 00:20:06.427
  • The word that is used herefor saw is very suggestive,
  • 00:20:06.427 --> 00:20:10.331
  • it means literally togaze intently upon,
  • 00:20:10.331 --> 00:20:14.402
  • to stare or to fix one'seyes constantly on an object.
  • 00:20:14.402 --> 00:20:19.373
  • You ever had someone stareat you, just staring,
  • 00:20:20.808 --> 00:20:24.145
  • almost lookingright through you.
  • 00:20:24.145 --> 00:20:25.613
  • So here's Matthew'ssitting at his tax booth,
  • 00:20:25.613 --> 00:20:28.316
  • most people when they walkby would have up their gaze,
  • 00:20:28.316 --> 00:20:30.751
  • they don't wanna mycontact with him,
  • 00:20:30.751 --> 00:20:32.620
  • or they would glare at him.
  • 00:20:32.620 --> 00:20:34.355
  • And here comes Jesusfrom a distance
  • 00:20:34.355 --> 00:20:37.258
  • and Jesus is looking at him.
  • 00:20:37.258 --> 00:20:39.226
  • Jesus doesn't breakeye contact with him,
  • 00:20:39.226 --> 00:20:41.862
  • Jesus comes right up to him,
  • 00:20:41.862 --> 00:20:43.597
  • looking at him,staring intently,
  • 00:20:43.597 --> 00:20:46.367
  • and then He says those two words
  • 00:20:46.367 --> 00:20:48.035
  • that reverberate tothe soul of Matthew,
  • 00:20:48.035 --> 00:20:50.671
  • and those words were, follow me.
  • 00:20:50.671 --> 00:20:53.307
  • Wow, Jesus is calling me?
  • 00:20:53.307 --> 00:20:56.977
  • Jesus wants a person likeme a traitor, a turncoat,
  • 00:20:56.977 --> 00:21:01.415
  • a backslider, a failure?
  • 00:21:01.415 --> 00:21:03.284
  • Yes, and it's interestingbecause this phrase,
  • 00:21:03.284 --> 00:21:07.455
  • follow me, can be translatedwalk the same road.
  • 00:21:07.455 --> 00:21:11.092
  • It would be an almostas though Jesus said,
  • 00:21:12.827 --> 00:21:14.829
  • walk with me, come with me.
  • 00:21:14.829 --> 00:21:18.332
  • Don't just standbehind me and follow,
  • 00:21:18.332 --> 00:21:19.900
  • no, let's walklife's road together.
  • 00:21:19.900 --> 00:21:22.903
  • And by the way, that wordis in the imperative mode
  • 00:21:22.903 --> 00:21:25.706
  • meaning it's not just aninvitation, it's also a command.
  • 00:21:25.706 --> 00:21:30.044
  • It's also in the present tense,
  • 00:21:30.044 --> 00:21:31.812
  • meaning you start it and youcontinue in it habitually.
  • 00:21:31.812 --> 00:21:36.450
  • In other words Jesus is saying,
  • 00:21:36.450 --> 00:21:37.752
  • allow me to loosely paraphrase,
  • 00:21:37.752 --> 00:21:39.186
  • Matthew I want you to followme each and every day.
  • 00:21:39.186 --> 00:21:42.490
  • And guess what?
  • 00:21:42.490 --> 00:21:43.324
  • He says the same to you.
  • 00:21:43.324 --> 00:21:44.859
  • And that mean not just followme once and then you're good,
  • 00:21:44.859 --> 00:21:48.262
  • No, follow me eachand every day.
  • 00:21:48.262 --> 00:21:52.099
  • Paul the apostle writes in theBook of Romans 13, he says,
  • 00:21:52.099 --> 00:21:56.237
  • "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
  • 00:21:56.237 --> 00:21:59.073
  • "and make no provisionfor your flesh."
  • 00:21:59.073 --> 00:22:02.076
  • The J.B. Phillipstranslates that as follows,
  • 00:22:02.076 --> 00:22:06.414
  • "Let us be Christmen from head to foot
  • 00:22:06.414 --> 00:22:08.716
  • "and give no chance for theflesh to have its fling."
  • 00:22:08.716 --> 00:22:12.319
  • So the verbiagethat Paul is using
  • 00:22:12.319 --> 00:22:14.755
  • in put on the Lord Jesus islike, putting on clothes.
  • 00:22:14.755 --> 00:22:18.559
  • You know, like Ilike to wear jeans,
  • 00:22:18.559 --> 00:22:20.094
  • I don't know about you,
  • 00:22:20.094 --> 00:22:21.328
  • most of the timeI'm wearing jeans
  • 00:22:21.328 --> 00:22:23.631
  • and maybe a t-shirt ora comfortable shirt.
  • 00:22:23.631 --> 00:22:26.300
  • I don't like to wear shirtsthat are stiff or too heavy,
  • 00:22:26.300 --> 00:22:30.070
  • and the idea of clothing isclothing moves where you move.
  • 00:22:30.070 --> 00:22:33.507
  • And so what the Bibleis saying when it says,
  • 00:22:33.507 --> 00:22:35.543
  • put on the Lord Jesus Christ is,
  • 00:22:35.543 --> 00:22:37.645
  • make Christ a part of yourlife each and every day,
  • 00:22:37.645 --> 00:22:41.582
  • wherever you go put on Jesus.
  • 00:22:41.582 --> 00:22:44.652
  • Also this phrase followme could be translated,
  • 00:22:44.652 --> 00:22:48.122
  • follow with me, follow with me,
  • 00:22:48.122 --> 00:22:50.624
  • which speaks of companionship,relationship and friendship.
  • 00:22:50.624 --> 00:22:54.862
  • So it's not justfollow me, is do it,
  • 00:22:54.862 --> 00:22:57.231
  • if you want to or notknow, follow with me,
  • 00:22:57.231 --> 00:23:00.468
  • let's enter into friendship,
  • 00:23:00.468 --> 00:23:02.570
  • let's enter intorelationship together.
  • 00:23:02.570 --> 00:23:05.473
  • Yes, I want obedience fromyou the Lord is saying,
  • 00:23:05.473 --> 00:23:08.375
  • but I also wantyour companionship.
  • 00:23:08.375 --> 00:23:11.479
  • Affectively Jesus is saying,
  • 00:23:11.479 --> 00:23:13.047
  • Matthew, I don't want you tojust be one of my disciples,
  • 00:23:13.047 --> 00:23:16.851
  • I want you to beone of my friends.
  • 00:23:16.851 --> 00:23:19.787
  • And did you know Jesus offersthat same invitation to you?
  • 00:23:19.787 --> 00:23:23.023
  • We often view God as harshand a steer and angry,
  • 00:23:23.023 --> 00:23:28.028
  • nothing could befurther from the truth,
  • 00:23:29.096 --> 00:23:30.531
  • God is loving, God iscompassionate, God is caring
  • 00:23:30.531 --> 00:23:33.534
  • and He wants to enter intoa friendship with you.
  • 00:23:33.534 --> 00:23:36.136
  • You can bare your heart to Him,
  • 00:23:36.136 --> 00:23:37.738
  • you can tell yoursecrets to Him,
  • 00:23:37.738 --> 00:23:40.074
  • He will bear His heart to you,
  • 00:23:40.074 --> 00:23:43.010
  • He will reveal Hissecrets also to you.
  • 00:23:43.010 --> 00:23:46.714
  • Jesus said in John 15:15,
  • 00:23:46.714 --> 00:23:49.450
  • "No longer do Icall you servants
  • 00:23:49.450 --> 00:23:51.485
  • "for a servant does knowwhat his master is doing,
  • 00:23:51.485 --> 00:23:53.988
  • "but I've called you friends
  • 00:23:53.988 --> 00:23:55.689
  • "because whatever I'veheard from my Father,
  • 00:23:55.689 --> 00:23:58.726
  • "I've made known to you."
  • 00:23:58.726 --> 00:24:01.562
  • Yes, follow me, follow with me.
  • 00:24:01.562 --> 00:24:04.765
  • Start and finish,
  • 00:24:04.765 --> 00:24:06.033
  • don't just do it at thebeginning of your life,
  • 00:24:06.033 --> 00:24:08.168
  • do it through yourlife, right to the end.
  • 00:24:08.168 --> 00:24:10.404
  • I love how theApostle Paul wrote,
  • 00:24:10.404 --> 00:24:12.406
  • "I finished my race with joy."
  • 00:24:12.406 --> 00:24:15.276
  • Keep following Jesuseach and every day,
  • 00:24:15.276 --> 00:24:18.479
  • and look what happened.
  • 00:24:18.479 --> 00:24:20.147
  • Verse nine of Mark 2.
  • 00:24:20.147 --> 00:24:22.349
  • "Levi or Matthew gotup and followed Him."
  • 00:24:22.349 --> 00:24:26.186
  • I'm in.
  • 00:24:26.186 --> 00:24:27.655
  • He had thought aboutthis for a while,
  • 00:24:27.655 --> 00:24:29.590
  • he never thought hewould be called by Jesus,
  • 00:24:29.590 --> 00:24:31.592
  • but the moment Jesussaid, follow me,
  • 00:24:31.592 --> 00:24:34.428
  • Matthew said, yes sir,I'm on board let's go.
  • 00:24:34.428 --> 00:24:37.264
  • Where do you wanna go?
  • 00:24:37.264 --> 00:24:38.632
  • I love that.
  • 00:24:38.632 --> 00:24:39.567
  • Now there's a little detail
  • 00:24:39.567 --> 00:24:41.135
  • that is left out herein the Gospel of Mark,
  • 00:24:41.135 --> 00:24:43.804
  • and as a matter of fact,
  • 00:24:43.804 --> 00:24:45.205
  • Matthew doesn't mentionin his gospel either,
  • 00:24:45.205 --> 00:24:48.676
  • but it's an importantthing for us to know.
  • 00:24:48.676 --> 00:24:50.978
  • Luke fills us inand he tells us,
  • 00:24:50.978 --> 00:24:53.480
  • Matthew left all, roseup and followed Him.
  • 00:24:53.480 --> 00:24:57.851
  • You have to understandtax collector,
  • 00:24:57.851 --> 00:24:59.587
  • that's a pretty sweet business.
  • 00:24:59.587 --> 00:25:01.455
  • He was making good money
  • 00:25:01.455 --> 00:25:03.157
  • because a tax collector notonly collected taxes for Rome,
  • 00:25:03.157 --> 00:25:07.094
  • he also collected extramoney for himself.
  • 00:25:07.094 --> 00:25:10.264
  • So he was leaving in afluent luxurious lifestyle
  • 00:25:10.264 --> 00:25:14.735
  • and all the friendsthat went with it,
  • 00:25:14.735 --> 00:25:17.404
  • but he could have cared less.
  • 00:25:17.404 --> 00:25:19.773
  • He gave up all the world hasto offer and he found Jesus.
  • 00:25:19.773 --> 00:25:24.678
  • Hey, thanks forwatching our TV program.
  • 00:25:26.080 --> 00:25:29.016
  • And I wonder if you yourselfhave accepted Jesus Christ.
  • 00:25:29.016 --> 00:25:33.253
  • You know, a lot of timespeople tune into programs
  • 00:25:33.253 --> 00:25:35.222
  • like this who aren't believers,
  • 00:25:35.222 --> 00:25:36.624
  • and they're kindachecking it out.
  • 00:25:36.624 --> 00:25:38.325
  • Maybe you're laughingat it at first,
  • 00:25:38.325 --> 00:25:40.628
  • maybe you think it's not real,
  • 00:25:40.628 --> 00:25:42.896
  • but something has happened
  • 00:25:42.896 --> 00:25:44.064
  • and maybe it's somethingthat's been said,
  • 00:25:44.064 --> 00:25:46.767
  • you've suddenly discoveredyou need Jesus Christ.
  • 00:25:46.767 --> 00:25:49.570
  • You know, the day I acceptedJesus lemme tell you,
  • 00:25:49.570 --> 00:25:52.473
  • it was the last thingI planned on doing.
  • 00:25:52.473 --> 00:25:55.175
  • I didn't plan on becominga Christian that day,
  • 00:25:55.175 --> 00:25:57.745
  • but that was the day thatwas appointed in eternity
  • 00:25:57.745 --> 00:26:01.548
  • for me to believe in Jesus.
  • 00:26:01.548 --> 00:26:03.217
  • I wonder if this isnot that day for you.
  • 00:26:03.217 --> 00:26:06.654
  • You've been ease dropping,
  • 00:26:06.654 --> 00:26:07.655
  • you've been checking it out,
  • 00:26:07.655 --> 00:26:08.956
  • but now God speakingright to your heart
  • 00:26:08.956 --> 00:26:10.858
  • and you realize youneed Jesus Christ.
  • 00:26:10.858 --> 00:26:13.093
  • Would you like to haveyour sin forgiven?
  • 00:26:13.093 --> 00:26:15.896
  • Would you like asecond chance in life?
  • 00:26:15.896 --> 00:26:18.198
  • Would you like to goto heaven when you die?
  • 00:26:18.198 --> 00:26:20.501
  • Would you likeyour guilt removed?
  • 00:26:20.501 --> 00:26:22.603
  • Listen, it can all happenbecause Jesus Christ
  • 00:26:22.603 --> 00:26:25.639
  • went to a cross anddied for your sin
  • 00:26:25.639 --> 00:26:28.342
  • and then rose again,three days later,
  • 00:26:28.342 --> 00:26:30.444
  • and He'll come intoyour life right now
  • 00:26:30.444 --> 00:26:32.179
  • and be your Savior and your Lord
  • 00:26:32.179 --> 00:26:34.181
  • and the best friendyou've ever had.
  • 00:26:34.181 --> 00:26:36.383
  • Let's pray together.
  • 00:26:36.383 --> 00:26:37.685
  • Pray this after me,
  • 00:26:37.685 --> 00:26:39.353
  • Lord Jesus, I knowthat I'm a sinner,
  • 00:26:39.353 --> 00:26:43.357
  • but I believe you diedon the cross for my sin
  • 00:26:43.357 --> 00:26:46.226
  • and I'm sorry for that sin.
  • 00:26:46.226 --> 00:26:48.262
  • And I turn from it now,
  • 00:26:48.262 --> 00:26:50.164
  • and I ask you to come intomy life and be my Savior,
  • 00:26:50.164 --> 00:26:53.634
  • and be my Lord, and bemy God, and be my friend.
  • 00:26:53.634 --> 00:26:58.172
  • I choose to follow youfrom this moment forward.
  • 00:26:58.172 --> 00:27:01.842
  • In Jesus name I pray.
  • 00:27:01.842 --> 00:27:03.610
  • Amen.
  • 00:27:03.610 --> 00:27:05.112
  • If you just prayed thatprayer I wants you to know
  • 00:27:05.112 --> 00:27:06.714
  • on the authority of God's Word,
  • 00:27:06.714 --> 00:27:08.515
  • that Christ Himself hascome to live inside of you.
  • 00:27:08.515 --> 00:27:11.852
  • The Bible says thesethings we write to you
  • 00:27:11.852 --> 00:27:13.721
  • that believe in thename of the Son of God,
  • 00:27:13.721 --> 00:27:16.090
  • that you may know thatyou have eternal life.
  • 00:27:16.090 --> 00:27:19.359
  • Now lemme say,
  • 00:27:19.359 --> 00:27:20.527
  • God bless you andwelcome to God's family.
  • 00:27:20.527 --> 00:27:23.197
  • ♪ This is the day theday when life begins. ♪
  • 00:27:23.197 --> 00:27:28.202

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