Roughing It | TBN

Roughing It

Watch Roughing It
November 29, 2020
27:29

Pastor Levi Lusko from Fresh Life Church teaches the Bible and brings a message of hope.

Closed captions

Roughing It

Show timecode
Hide timecode
  • MUSIC
  • 00:00:00.686 --> 00:00:38.057
  • Genesis chapter 28, we have beencamped out here in this text
  • 00:00:39.859 --> 00:00:45.098
  • for a few weeks.
  • 00:00:45.198 --> 00:00:46.499
  • And it's been so wonderfulhaving God speak to us
  • 00:00:46.599 --> 00:00:49.102
  • through it.
  • 00:00:49.202 --> 00:00:50.269
  • And we've been justlearning so much
  • 00:00:50.369 --> 00:00:51.671
  • about God's plan thatreally dovetails perfectly
  • 00:00:51.771 --> 00:00:54.373
  • with the Christmas story.
  • 00:00:54.474 --> 00:00:55.675
  • We're going to readversus 10 through 18.
  • 00:00:55.775 --> 00:00:59.645
  • It says, "Now Jacobwent out from Beersheba
  • 00:00:59.745 --> 00:01:03.382
  • and went toward Haran.
  • 00:01:03.483 --> 00:01:05.518
  • So he came to a certain place.
  • 00:01:05.618 --> 00:01:07.753
  • And he stayed there all nightbecause the sun had set.
  • 00:01:07.854 --> 00:01:11.791
  • And he took one of thestones at that place
  • 00:01:11.891 --> 00:01:14.427
  • and put it at his head.
  • 00:01:14.527 --> 00:01:16.529
  • And he laid down inthat place to sleep.
  • 00:01:16.629 --> 00:01:19.165
  • Then he dreamed, and behold, aladder was set up on the earth.
  • 00:01:19.265 --> 00:01:23.769
  • And its top reached to heaven.
  • 00:01:23.870 --> 00:01:26.105
  • And there the angels of Godwere ascending and descending
  • 00:01:26.205 --> 00:01:30.409
  • on it," so if you can picture aladder with the angels cruising
  • 00:01:30.510 --> 00:01:33.713
  • up and down on the ladder.
  • 00:01:33.813 --> 00:01:35.882
  • "And behold, theLord stood above it
  • 00:01:35.982 --> 00:01:38.684
  • and said, 'I am the LordGod of Abraham your father
  • 00:01:38.784 --> 00:01:41.454
  • and the God of Isaac.
  • 00:01:41.554 --> 00:01:42.722
  • The land on whichyou lie, I will give
  • 00:01:42.822 --> 00:01:44.824
  • to you and your descendants.
  • 00:01:44.924 --> 00:01:47.160
  • Also, your descendants shallbe as the dust of the earth.
  • 00:01:47.260 --> 00:01:51.197
  • You shall spread abroadto the west and the east,
  • 00:01:51.297 --> 00:01:53.900
  • to the north and the south.
  • 00:01:54.000 --> 00:01:55.868
  • And in you in your seed, allthe families of the earth
  • 00:01:55.968 --> 00:02:00.573
  • shall be blessed.
  • 00:02:00.673 --> 00:02:02.008
  • Behold,'" and this promise,I want you to let sink
  • 00:02:02.108 --> 00:02:04.143
  • into your heart this Christmas,no matter what's going on.
  • 00:02:04.243 --> 00:02:06.679
  • Because I know everybody's--
  • 00:02:06.779 --> 00:02:07.947
  • we've got a stackeddeck, you know?
  • 00:02:08.047 --> 00:02:09.515
  • We have people who arelike, I love Christmas.
  • 00:02:09.615 --> 00:02:11.517
  • You are like Will Ferrell.
  • 00:02:11.617 --> 00:02:12.752
  • You are just rabidabout it, you know?
  • 00:02:12.852 --> 00:02:13.986
  • It's like, Christmascarols, yes, that's
  • 00:02:14.086 --> 00:02:16.155
  • how we spread cheer!
  • 00:02:16.255 --> 00:02:17.523
  • And others of you are like,can these holidays please end
  • 00:02:17.623 --> 00:02:19.392
  • because eggnogmakes me nauseous.
  • 00:02:19.492 --> 00:02:21.093
  • And I'm just reminded ofhow my life isn't a Hallmark
  • 00:02:21.194 --> 00:02:24.363
  • card, right?
  • 00:02:24.463 --> 00:02:25.932
  • And I just want you to know thatregardless of whether you're
  • 00:02:26.032 --> 00:02:28.134
  • at one extreme or the otheror somewhere in the middle,
  • 00:02:28.234 --> 00:02:30.570
  • here's what God promises you.
  • 00:02:30.670 --> 00:02:32.505
  • "'I am with you.
  • 00:02:32.605 --> 00:02:33.839
  • And I will keep you,wherever you go.
  • 00:02:33.940 --> 00:02:36.742
  • And I will bring youback to this land,
  • 00:02:36.842 --> 00:02:39.011
  • for I will not leaveyou until I have
  • 00:02:39.111 --> 00:02:41.347
  • done what I have spoken to you.
  • 00:02:41.447 --> 00:02:44.550
  • Then Jacob awoke from his sleep"because this was all a dream.
  • 00:02:44.650 --> 00:02:47.987
  • And he said, "'Surely theLord is in this place,
  • 00:02:48.087 --> 00:02:52.625
  • and I did not know it.'
  • 00:02:52.725 --> 00:02:54.460
  • And he was afraid, and he said,'How awesome is this place.
  • 00:02:54.560 --> 00:02:59.732
  • This is none other thanthe house of God.'"
  • 00:02:59.832 --> 00:03:03.469
  • And don't miss this.
  • 00:03:03.569 --> 00:03:05.004
  • He says, in verse 17, "'Andthis is the gate of heaven!'
  • 00:03:05.104 --> 00:03:10.676
  • So he woke up early thenext morning," verse 18.
  • 00:03:10.776 --> 00:03:13.713
  • "He took the stone thathe had put at his head.
  • 00:03:13.813 --> 00:03:16.649
  • He set it up as a pillar.
  • 00:03:16.749 --> 00:03:19.018
  • And he poured oil on top of it."
  • 00:03:19.118 --> 00:03:23.356
  • And Father, we just praythat on this Christmas Eve,
  • 00:03:23.456 --> 00:03:27.393
  • as we hush our hearts for justa moment from the craziness
  • 00:03:27.493 --> 00:03:31.097
  • of shopping, and baking, andhosting, and sometimes wanting
  • 00:03:31.197 --> 00:03:36.535
  • these holidays toend, and sometimes
  • 00:03:36.636 --> 00:03:38.137
  • having moments so special thatwe wish they would just go on
  • 00:03:38.237 --> 00:03:40.606
  • forever, and regularlife could be like that,
  • 00:03:40.706 --> 00:03:43.643
  • and we just thank You,that in this moment,
  • 00:03:43.743 --> 00:03:45.478
  • we are under Your gaze.
  • 00:03:45.578 --> 00:03:46.445
  • You see us.
  • 00:03:46.545 --> 00:03:47.680
  • You care about everysingle one of us,
  • 00:03:47.780 --> 00:03:49.282
  • no matter what's going on in thecraziness of life, and stress,
  • 00:03:49.382 --> 00:03:53.052
  • and health, and family,and plans, and difficulty,
  • 00:03:53.152 --> 00:03:56.389
  • and disappointment.
  • 00:03:56.489 --> 00:03:57.923
  • And we believe thatYou're here with us.
  • 00:03:58.024 --> 00:03:59.992
  • And that You havesomething to say to us.
  • 00:04:00.092 --> 00:04:01.861
  • And we pray thatthat would happen.
  • 00:04:01.961 --> 00:04:04.063
  • And we ask that if even oneperson has come into our church
  • 00:04:04.163 --> 00:04:07.733
  • this Christmas, maybein Portland, Oregon,
  • 00:04:07.833 --> 00:04:10.303
  • sitting in the back,maybe came in by themself
  • 00:04:10.403 --> 00:04:12.672
  • in Salt Lake City,and just wondering
  • 00:04:12.772 --> 00:04:14.874
  • what the meaning oflife is, whether there
  • 00:04:14.974 --> 00:04:18.311
  • is a God who even caresabout us, or knows our name.
  • 00:04:18.411 --> 00:04:21.480
  • And yeah, I justpray, God, that you
  • 00:04:21.580 --> 00:04:22.882
  • would touch heartswith your love
  • 00:04:22.982 --> 00:04:25.351
  • today, draw us to yourself.
  • 00:04:25.451 --> 00:04:26.952
  • And we ask this inJesus' name, Amen.
  • 00:04:27.053 --> 00:04:30.589
  • Amen.
  • 00:04:30.690 --> 00:04:32.024
  • Title of my message thisChristmas is "Roughing It,"
  • 00:04:32.124 --> 00:04:35.628
  • "Roughing It."
  • 00:04:35.728 --> 00:04:36.962
  • And of course, we havehere, Jacob roughing it,
  • 00:04:37.063 --> 00:04:39.198
  • sleeping on a rock for apillow, terrible choice,
  • 00:04:39.298 --> 00:04:42.535
  • should have swung by REI onhis way out of town, obviously.
  • 00:04:42.635 --> 00:04:45.638
  • They have much betteroptions these days.
  • 00:04:45.738 --> 00:04:48.474
  • But camping is--
  • 00:04:48.574 --> 00:04:49.809
  • I have a love-haterelationship with camping.
  • 00:04:49.909 --> 00:04:52.378
  • I love the idea of it.
  • 00:04:52.478 --> 00:04:53.412
  • And usually, I hate most of it.
  • 00:04:53.512 --> 00:04:55.247
  • Anybody with me at all?
  • 00:04:55.348 --> 00:04:56.649
  • You're like, I'm just willingto admit, I don't love camping.
  • 00:04:56.749 --> 00:04:58.951
  • I realize I'm ruining allMontana credibility here
  • 00:04:59.051 --> 00:05:01.554
  • in this admission.
  • 00:05:01.654 --> 00:05:02.455
  • Now, I want to like it.
  • 00:05:02.555 --> 00:05:04.023
  • I just, every time I getout into the midst of it,
  • 00:05:04.123 --> 00:05:06.092
  • I realize how much I'mgrateful for my bed.
  • 00:05:06.192 --> 00:05:08.427
  • And I only really likecamping to the extent
  • 00:05:08.527 --> 00:05:11.130
  • that I recreate a homeexperience in the woods,
  • 00:05:11.230 --> 00:05:14.467
  • right, so much!
  • 00:05:14.567 --> 00:05:16.168
  • Like, I foundmyself wishing there
  • 00:05:16.268 --> 00:05:18.938
  • was a battery-poweredwaffle maker, you know?
  • 00:05:19.038 --> 00:05:21.207
  • At that point, you're like, youshould really just stay home,
  • 00:05:21.307 --> 00:05:24.443
  • right?
  • 00:05:24.543 --> 00:05:25.644
  • It's like thecomedian Jim Gaffigan,
  • 00:05:25.745 --> 00:05:27.113
  • he talks about how we workhard 50 weeks of the year
  • 00:05:27.213 --> 00:05:28.948
  • to pretend and live likewe're homeless for two weeks.
  • 00:05:29.048 --> 00:05:31.617
  • And we spend a lotof money to do that.
  • 00:05:31.717 --> 00:05:33.352
  • But Jacob went camping, butnot because he loved it,
  • 00:05:33.452 --> 00:05:37.623
  • because he had no choice.
  • 00:05:37.723 --> 00:05:39.191
  • If you're not familiar withthe story of the Old Testament,
  • 00:05:39.291 --> 00:05:41.127
  • here's this guy Abraham, fatherof faith, or so he's called.
  • 00:05:41.227 --> 00:05:44.230
  • Only, at the time, hewas just a random guy
  • 00:05:44.330 --> 00:05:46.098
  • that God got a holdof and said, I'm
  • 00:05:46.198 --> 00:05:47.600
  • going to use your family todo something spectacular.
  • 00:05:47.700 --> 00:05:50.436
  • You're really old, Abraham.
  • 00:05:50.536 --> 00:05:51.537
  • You're going to have a son.
  • 00:05:51.637 --> 00:05:52.905
  • That seemed unlikelyuntil it happened, right?
  • 00:05:53.005 --> 00:05:54.874
  • God's promisesalways come to pass,
  • 00:05:54.974 --> 00:05:56.876
  • even though in themiddle, they never
  • 00:05:56.976 --> 00:05:58.511
  • look like they're going to.
  • 00:05:58.611 --> 00:06:00.179
  • And here's this baby, Isaac.
  • 00:06:00.279 --> 00:06:01.547
  • And Isaac has a wife one day.
  • 00:06:01.647 --> 00:06:04.717
  • And they have twins.
  • 00:06:04.817 --> 00:06:06.051
  • And the twins arenamed Esau and Jacob.
  • 00:06:06.152 --> 00:06:09.121
  • The Bible tells us that Esauwas really hairy and outdoorsy.
  • 00:06:09.221 --> 00:06:13.926
  • He went to the monstertruck rallies, right?
  • 00:06:14.026 --> 00:06:16.695
  • He ate beef jerky,didn't even unwrap it.
  • 00:06:16.796 --> 00:06:18.497
  • It's like, dude, theplastic's still on it!
  • 00:06:18.597 --> 00:06:20.065
  • Don't even care, I'msnapping into a Slim Jim.
  • 00:06:20.166 --> 00:06:21.801
  • You're like, dude, right?
  • 00:06:21.901 --> 00:06:23.102
  • Jacob was repulsed byhis older brother, Esau.
  • 00:06:23.202 --> 00:06:26.372
  • Esau, like I toldyou, was very hairy.
  • 00:06:26.472 --> 00:06:28.908
  • And so that wasliterally his name.
  • 00:06:29.008 --> 00:06:30.709
  • Esau means hairy, right?
  • 00:06:30.810 --> 00:06:31.710
  • Thanks, Mom, right?
  • 00:06:31.811 --> 00:06:32.878
  • It's like, younamed me hairy, why?
  • 00:06:32.978 --> 00:06:34.079
  • You were like alittle Chewbacca baby.
  • 00:06:34.180 --> 00:06:35.748
  • I don't know what todo with you, all right?
  • 00:06:35.848 --> 00:06:37.616
  • Jacob was an indoor guy.
  • 00:06:37.716 --> 00:06:39.452
  • He liked to cook.
  • 00:06:39.552 --> 00:06:40.886
  • You could find him Pinterest,bookmarking recipes.
  • 00:06:40.986 --> 00:06:43.022
  • I'll save this for later, right?
  • 00:06:43.122 --> 00:06:45.124
  • And they had nothingin common, really,
  • 00:06:45.224 --> 00:06:48.060
  • except that they both wantedtheir father's approval.
  • 00:06:48.160 --> 00:06:50.763
  • They both wanted the blessing.
  • 00:06:50.863 --> 00:06:52.198
  • They both wantedto be the favorite
  • 00:06:52.298 --> 00:06:55.301
  • and to be the one to take andcarry the lineage of Abraham,
  • 00:06:55.401 --> 00:06:59.104
  • Isaac, onto their life.
  • 00:06:59.205 --> 00:07:00.706
  • But now, there wasa fork in the road.
  • 00:07:00.806 --> 00:07:02.174
  • So there was sibling rivalry.
  • 00:07:02.274 --> 00:07:04.677
  • And Jacob decided,you know what?
  • 00:07:04.777 --> 00:07:07.146
  • To heck with this firstborngets all the blessing stuff.
  • 00:07:07.246 --> 00:07:09.415
  • And he decided to deceive, andlie, and swindle, and cheat.
  • 00:07:09.515 --> 00:07:13.052
  • His brother was stronger thanhe was, but he was sneakier,
  • 00:07:13.152 --> 00:07:15.788
  • you know?
  • 00:07:15.888 --> 00:07:17.389
  • So he was always coming up withplans, and working the system.
  • 00:07:17.490 --> 00:07:19.024
  • And basically, he succeededin getting a lot of what
  • 00:07:19.124 --> 00:07:22.695
  • his brother would have had.
  • 00:07:22.795 --> 00:07:24.530
  • And his brother decided,well, you know what?
  • 00:07:24.630 --> 00:07:26.665
  • You might be smarter than me.
  • 00:07:26.765 --> 00:07:27.633
  • But I'm going to kill you.
  • 00:07:27.733 --> 00:07:29.034
  • So we'll see how thatworks out for you, Mr. IQ.
  • 00:07:29.134 --> 00:07:30.970
  • And their mom-- thisis all true, right?
  • 00:07:31.070 --> 00:07:32.771
  • You think yourfamily's messed up.
  • 00:07:32.872 --> 00:07:34.173
  • Look, the Bible's justfull of messed up people,
  • 00:07:34.273 --> 00:07:35.674
  • just like you, OK?
  • 00:07:35.774 --> 00:07:36.942
  • And the mom overheardEsau strategizing.
  • 00:07:37.042 --> 00:07:39.812
  • When Isaac dies, I'mgoing to kill Jacob.
  • 00:07:39.912 --> 00:07:41.514
  • And she says, bro, youneed to get out of here.
  • 00:07:41.614 --> 00:07:43.682
  • You need to get out of town.
  • 00:07:43.782 --> 00:07:44.950
  • Go live with my brother Laban.
  • 00:07:45.050 --> 00:07:46.819
  • Go live with your uncle.
  • 00:07:46.919 --> 00:07:48.053
  • Now that footnotewas 500 miles away.
  • 00:07:48.153 --> 00:07:53.292
  • This is not a guy who has alot in common with Bear Grylls.
  • 00:07:53.392 --> 00:07:57.296
  • But she just shoves him outthe tent flap in the night
  • 00:07:57.396 --> 00:07:59.965
  • and says, get out of here.
  • 00:08:00.065 --> 00:08:01.433
  • And he, as we stumble intothis passage, Genesis 28,
  • 00:08:01.534 --> 00:08:04.737
  • has made it about 40 or 50miles into a 500-mile journey.
  • 00:08:04.837 --> 00:08:09.575
  • When the sun set, hehad to go to sleep.
  • 00:08:09.675 --> 00:08:11.777
  • He didn't have a headlamp.
  • 00:08:11.877 --> 00:08:13.112
  • This guy did not knowhow to make a fire.
  • 00:08:13.212 --> 00:08:15.381
  • And so he just liesdown on a pillow.
  • 00:08:15.481 --> 00:08:17.182
  • And really, you know in thosemoments when you go to sleep,
  • 00:08:17.283 --> 00:08:19.552
  • or you try to, andyou replay your day.
  • 00:08:19.652 --> 00:08:22.221
  • And you're just literallygoing, shouldn't have done that.
  • 00:08:22.321 --> 00:08:24.957
  • That was a mistake.
  • 00:08:25.057 --> 00:08:26.058
  • Man, why did I write that email?
  • 00:08:26.158 --> 00:08:27.960
  • Why was I like that again?
  • 00:08:28.060 --> 00:08:29.161
  • Why did I do that again?
  • 00:08:29.261 --> 00:08:31.096
  • Why did I get so huffy?
  • 00:08:31.196 --> 00:08:32.197
  • Why did I get so hurt?
  • 00:08:32.298 --> 00:08:33.532
  • I catch myselfsaying that to myself
  • 00:08:33.632 --> 00:08:35.568
  • going into conversations.
  • 00:08:35.668 --> 00:08:36.902
  • Don't become thatversion of yourself.
  • 00:08:37.002 --> 00:08:38.571
  • Don't do that.
  • 00:08:38.671 --> 00:08:39.805
  • Every time you dothat, it goes badly.
  • 00:08:39.905 --> 00:08:41.373
  • You know that age-old advice,if you want to gather honey,
  • 00:08:41.473 --> 00:08:43.776
  • don't kick overthe beehive, right?
  • 00:08:43.876 --> 00:08:45.277
  • But sometimes just kickingthe beehive feels so good.
  • 00:08:45.377 --> 00:08:47.446
  • And you know when you say that,this is what's going to happen.
  • 00:08:47.546 --> 00:08:50.149
  • But you just findyourself doing it anyway.
  • 00:08:50.249 --> 00:08:52.217
  • That's Jacob lying there,going, why did I end up here?
  • 00:08:52.318 --> 00:08:55.788
  • How did I do this?
  • 00:08:55.888 --> 00:08:56.956
  • It's my brother.
  • 00:08:57.056 --> 00:08:58.057
  • I lied to my dad.
  • 00:08:58.157 --> 00:08:59.058
  • I betrayed the trust in my home.
  • 00:08:59.158 --> 00:09:00.859
  • I created so much division.
  • 00:09:00.960 --> 00:09:02.861
  • And he would havethought, at that moment,
  • 00:09:02.962 --> 00:09:04.463
  • the last thing anybodywould have ever thought
  • 00:09:04.563 --> 00:09:07.333
  • would be that he was going tohave a meaningful encounter
  • 00:09:07.433 --> 00:09:09.835
  • with God.
  • 00:09:09.935 --> 00:09:11.403
  • He admitted, once God showedup, God, You're in this place.
  • 00:09:11.503 --> 00:09:13.973
  • And I didn't think you were.
  • 00:09:14.073 --> 00:09:15.374
  • I didn't think You'd wantanything to do with me.
  • 00:09:15.474 --> 00:09:17.610
  • Why?
  • 00:09:17.710 --> 00:09:19.178
  • Because that's what we feellike when we're at rock bottom.
  • 00:09:19.278 --> 00:09:20.512
  • God, how could you wantanything to do with me?
  • 00:09:20.613 --> 00:09:23.349
  • But what he discoveredis what you need to know.
  • 00:09:23.449 --> 00:09:26.352
  • And that is God will stopat nothing to reach you,
  • 00:09:26.452 --> 00:09:29.955
  • even though you have nothing tooffer him because God loves us.
  • 00:09:30.055 --> 00:09:34.293
  • He doesn't wantanything from us.
  • 00:09:34.393 --> 00:09:36.295
  • He has everything for us.
  • 00:09:36.395 --> 00:09:38.330
  • So God invadesJacob's camping trip.
  • 00:09:38.430 --> 00:09:42.167
  • Here he is, roughing it.
  • 00:09:42.267 --> 00:09:43.602
  • And he experiences a momentin the presence of God,
  • 00:09:43.702 --> 00:09:46.839
  • too wonderful toeven articulate.
  • 00:09:46.939 --> 00:09:49.274
  • Not even Thomas Kinkadecould paint this scene.
  • 00:09:49.375 --> 00:09:51.977
  • I mean, he'd probably try.
  • 00:09:52.077 --> 00:09:53.545
  • The ladder, and the angels,and God up in heaven speaking--
  • 00:09:53.646 --> 00:09:59.018
  • it's just too wonderfulto even think about.
  • 00:09:59.118 --> 00:10:01.453
  • But in this text is a clueabout how God's Kingdom works.
  • 00:10:01.553 --> 00:10:06.392
  • And it has everythingto do with Christmas.
  • 00:10:06.492 --> 00:10:10.429
  • The key is the statementJacob made in verse 18
  • 00:10:10.529 --> 00:10:14.366
  • when he said "This isthe gate of heaven."
  • 00:10:14.466 --> 00:10:20.572
  • Now, you have tounderstand, the narrator
  • 00:10:20.673 --> 00:10:22.875
  • who is writing thebook of Genesis
  • 00:10:22.975 --> 00:10:25.110
  • has already used that phrase.
  • 00:10:25.210 --> 00:10:27.846
  • And so now, whenwe read it, we're
  • 00:10:27.946 --> 00:10:29.381
  • meant to think backto what he showed us
  • 00:10:29.481 --> 00:10:32.418
  • the first time "the gateof heaven" was used.
  • 00:10:32.518 --> 00:10:34.920
  • Now, when was that?
  • 00:10:35.020 --> 00:10:36.388
  • It's Genesis chapter 11,verse 4, a story you probably
  • 00:10:36.488 --> 00:10:40.392
  • know well if you grew upanywhere around church
  • 00:10:40.492 --> 00:10:43.696
  • or vacation Bible school.
  • 00:10:43.796 --> 00:10:45.230
  • This is one of those storiesthat most of us have heard.
  • 00:10:45.330 --> 00:10:47.599
  • "Then they," all thesepeople, "said to themselves,
  • 00:10:47.700 --> 00:10:50.869
  • 'come, let's build ourselves acity with a tower that reaches
  • 00:10:50.969 --> 00:10:56.341
  • to the heavens so that wemay make a name for ourselves
  • 00:10:56.442 --> 00:11:00.813
  • and not be scattered over theface of the whole earth.'" Your
  • 00:11:00.913 --> 00:11:05.851
  • attention, please, this littlestory took place in a city
  • 00:11:05.951 --> 00:11:10.923
  • called Babel.
  • 00:11:11.023 --> 00:11:13.058
  • And for the rest of the story ofthe scriptures, again and again
  • 00:11:13.158 --> 00:11:17.730
  • and again, that will be acharged phrase, Babel, Babylon.
  • 00:11:17.830 --> 00:11:22.301
  • All the way to the end,it's a competing stream
  • 00:11:22.401 --> 00:11:25.804
  • to what God's calling people to,a competing stream to what God
  • 00:11:25.904 --> 00:11:30.809
  • has said He would do.
  • 00:11:30.909 --> 00:11:32.344
  • You see, God created us tohave a relationship with Him.
  • 00:11:32.444 --> 00:11:35.681
  • Death, and disease,and pain, and betrayal,
  • 00:11:35.781 --> 00:11:39.718
  • and sin, and hurt--
  • 00:11:39.818 --> 00:11:41.553
  • all of these thingswere never supposed
  • 00:11:41.653 --> 00:11:44.022
  • to be a part of our story.
  • 00:11:44.123 --> 00:11:46.091
  • It was when sin enteredthat suffering began.
  • 00:11:46.191 --> 00:11:49.328
  • It was when sin enteredthat death showed up.
  • 00:11:49.428 --> 00:11:52.397
  • You have Adam andEve walking around.
  • 00:11:52.498 --> 00:11:54.199
  • And they're makinglove, and eating fruit,
  • 00:11:54.299 --> 00:11:56.135
  • and naming animals.
  • 00:11:56.235 --> 00:11:57.736
  • It's a place of creativity, andexpression, and relationship,
  • 00:11:57.836 --> 00:12:01.340
  • and bliss until sin.
  • 00:12:01.440 --> 00:12:04.576
  • Moments after sinenters, you have Cain
  • 00:12:04.676 --> 00:12:07.012
  • rising up and killing Abel.
  • 00:12:07.112 --> 00:12:08.714
  • You have Adam and Eve hiding,and lying, and blame-shifting,
  • 00:12:08.814 --> 00:12:12.618
  • and pointing.
  • 00:12:12.718 --> 00:12:13.752
  • There's friction, andtension, and betrayal,
  • 00:12:13.852 --> 00:12:16.622
  • and pain, all because ofsin, which is why God said,
  • 00:12:16.722 --> 00:12:19.658
  • don't sin.
  • 00:12:19.758 --> 00:12:20.292
  • Don't do this.
  • 00:12:20.392 --> 00:12:21.326
  • Don't, just obey what I've done.
  • 00:12:21.426 --> 00:12:22.227
  • Listen to me, carefully.
  • 00:12:22.327 --> 00:12:23.629
  • Whenever we choose tosin, we choose to suffer.
  • 00:12:23.729 --> 00:12:27.232
  • The day you eat of it,you shall surely die.
  • 00:12:27.332 --> 00:12:31.703
  • The soul that sins, the Biblepromises, shall surely die.
  • 00:12:31.804 --> 00:12:36.008
  • And so God says,when we did sin,
  • 00:12:36.108 --> 00:12:38.110
  • I'm going to dosomething about it.
  • 00:12:38.210 --> 00:12:40.045
  • I'm going to send forth My Son.
  • 00:12:40.145 --> 00:12:41.613
  • Listen to me.
  • 00:12:41.713 --> 00:12:42.981
  • God promised Christmas from thevery first page of scripture
  • 00:12:43.081 --> 00:12:45.851
  • when He said, I'm going tosend My Son to be a Savior.
  • 00:12:45.951 --> 00:12:48.487
  • He'll be stronger than Hulk.
  • 00:12:48.587 --> 00:12:49.621
  • He'll be faster than Iron Man.
  • 00:12:49.721 --> 00:12:51.323
  • He'll have bigger bicepsthan Captain America.
  • 00:12:51.423 --> 00:12:54.126
  • He's going to crush thehead of the serpent.
  • 00:12:54.226 --> 00:12:56.461
  • He's going to crushthe head of the dragon.
  • 00:12:56.562 --> 00:12:58.797
  • He's going to die forthe sins of the world.
  • 00:12:58.897 --> 00:13:03.135
  • That's God's plan.
  • 00:13:03.235 --> 00:13:04.436
  • What are we supposedto do until that day?
  • 00:13:04.536 --> 00:13:05.938
  • Spread out in the world,find places to live,
  • 00:14:05.731 --> 00:14:09.268
  • beautify the world.
  • 00:14:09.368 --> 00:14:11.203
  • Enjoy the goodness thatstill exists in even a broken
  • 00:14:11.303 --> 00:14:14.273
  • creation.
  • 00:14:14.373 --> 00:14:15.474
  • Spread out, wait for Me.
  • 00:14:15.574 --> 00:14:17.309
  • Spread out, wait for Christmas.
  • 00:14:17.409 --> 00:14:19.578
  • Trust Me, live for Myglory, live for My name.
  • 00:14:19.678 --> 00:14:24.616
  • And that brings us toGenesis 11, where people say,
  • 00:14:24.716 --> 00:14:27.786
  • we don't want to spread out.
  • 00:14:27.886 --> 00:14:29.321
  • We want to gather.
  • 00:14:29.421 --> 00:14:30.289
  • We want to clump together.
  • 00:14:30.389 --> 00:14:31.790
  • We don't want to live forYour name and wait for You.
  • 00:14:31.890 --> 00:14:34.059
  • We want to live in Babylonand make a name for ourselves.
  • 00:14:34.159 --> 00:14:37.896
  • What were theyessentially saying?
  • 00:14:37.996 --> 00:14:40.065
  • Well, if you coulduse your imagination,
  • 00:14:40.165 --> 00:14:42.267
  • our relationshipwith God could be
  • 00:14:42.367 --> 00:14:44.136
  • symbolized by this light bulb.
  • 00:14:44.236 --> 00:14:46.104
  • Our connection with heaven, ourbeing in fellowship with God
  • 00:14:46.204 --> 00:14:50.208
  • could be basically comparedto a light bulb that
  • 00:14:50.309 --> 00:14:52.644
  • has a string that's just outof reach, that none of us
  • 00:14:52.744 --> 00:14:56.481
  • could quite get our hands on.
  • 00:14:56.581 --> 00:14:58.483
  • Why would I use that analogy?
  • 00:14:58.583 --> 00:14:59.985
  • Well, the Bible says, allof us have sinned and fallen
  • 00:15:00.085 --> 00:15:03.488
  • short of the glory of God.
  • 00:15:03.588 --> 00:15:06.358
  • So wholeness, whateveryou want to call it,
  • 00:15:06.458 --> 00:15:09.061
  • health, bliss on the inside,that ache that we can't quite
  • 00:15:09.161 --> 00:15:13.999
  • shake no matter whatwe have and no matter
  • 00:15:14.099 --> 00:15:16.068
  • what possessions wehave, that which we want
  • 00:15:16.168 --> 00:15:18.637
  • is always, so tospeak, out of reach
  • 00:15:18.737 --> 00:15:20.772
  • because we've fallen short.
  • 00:15:20.872 --> 00:15:22.107
  • We're separated from aperfect God by our sins
  • 00:15:22.207 --> 00:15:25.777
  • and we can't doanything about it.
  • 00:15:25.877 --> 00:15:28.313
  • He says, I got this.
  • 00:15:28.413 --> 00:15:29.548
  • Just trust Me.
  • 00:15:29.648 --> 00:15:30.682
  • What do we essentially do?
  • 00:15:30.782 --> 00:15:32.050
  • Let me help you understandwith a visual picture
  • 00:15:32.150 --> 00:15:34.586
  • and demonstration.
  • 00:15:34.686 --> 00:15:35.954
  • This here is a pieceof exercise equipment
  • 00:15:36.054 --> 00:15:38.924
  • that is found in a lot ofgyms around the country.
  • 00:15:39.024 --> 00:15:41.560
  • And it is calleda Jacobs Ladder.
  • 00:15:41.660 --> 00:15:43.795
  • And what you do isyou connect yourself
  • 00:15:43.895 --> 00:15:45.430
  • in with this little safety belt.And then you basically just
  • 00:15:45.530 --> 00:15:48.867
  • start climbing.
  • 00:15:48.967 --> 00:15:49.835
  • Except, when youhave the harness on,
  • 00:15:49.935 --> 00:15:51.770
  • it pulls back at you.
  • 00:15:51.870 --> 00:15:53.572
  • So the better you do,the more you're hindered.
  • 00:15:53.672 --> 00:15:56.708
  • The better you do,the more you're
  • 00:15:56.808 --> 00:15:58.677
  • unable to go forward becauseas you pull on the leash,
  • 00:15:58.777 --> 00:16:01.913
  • it causes the ladderto be released faster.
  • 00:16:02.014 --> 00:16:05.384
  • And so you can neverget to the top.
  • 00:16:05.484 --> 00:16:07.619
  • But what they weredoing in Genesis 11 was
  • 00:16:07.719 --> 00:16:10.122
  • they were climbingup a ladder, saying,
  • 00:16:10.222 --> 00:16:12.024
  • we're going to getour way to God.
  • 00:16:12.124 --> 00:16:13.992
  • And commentaries talk abouthow the Tower of Babel
  • 00:16:14.092 --> 00:16:17.062
  • was a ziggurat.
  • 00:16:17.162 --> 00:16:19.097
  • Well, we'd think of theMayans or the Aztecs--
  • 00:16:19.197 --> 00:16:21.633
  • basically, a religiousstructure with stairs on it.
  • 00:16:21.733 --> 00:16:25.504
  • And they weren'tactually physically
  • 00:16:25.604 --> 00:16:27.105
  • trying to get to heaven.
  • 00:16:27.205 --> 00:16:28.340
  • What they were using wastheir own religious attempt
  • 00:16:28.440 --> 00:16:30.575
  • to get to God without havingto trust in God's plan.
  • 00:16:30.675 --> 00:16:33.245
  • Why?
  • 00:16:33.345 --> 00:16:34.579
  • Because trusting in Godcauses us to be humble,
  • 00:16:34.679 --> 00:16:36.715
  • trusting in God causesto have to use faith.
  • 00:16:36.815 --> 00:16:39.051
  • None of us want that.
  • 00:16:39.151 --> 00:16:40.318
  • We want to be like BruceWayne, and climb the mountain,
  • 00:16:40.419 --> 00:16:42.320
  • and pick the purple flower,and do something wonderful
  • 00:16:42.421 --> 00:16:45.290
  • for ourselves.
  • 00:16:45.390 --> 00:16:46.458
  • So we want tobasically get to God
  • 00:16:46.558 --> 00:16:48.627
  • or get to heaven onour own two feet.
  • 00:16:48.727 --> 00:16:51.496
  • So we would muchrather climb a ladder
  • 00:16:51.596 --> 00:16:55.067
  • to get to heaventhan trust in God
  • 00:16:55.167 --> 00:16:57.402
  • to make the difference for us.
  • 00:16:57.502 --> 00:16:59.371
  • Problem is, the faster wego, the more we'll pull back.
  • 00:16:59.471 --> 00:17:03.308
  • The higher we climb, the morewe realize we can't get there.
  • 00:17:03.408 --> 00:17:07.546
  • And what we're looking for, andlonging for, and chasing for,
  • 00:17:07.646 --> 00:17:11.049
  • no matter how much money,how much fame, how much
  • 00:17:11.149 --> 00:17:14.052
  • sex, how much alcohol--it always just
  • 00:17:14.152 --> 00:17:16.688
  • remains perpetuallyon the higher shelf.
  • 00:17:16.788 --> 00:17:20.125
  • We just can't quiteget-- come, let
  • 00:17:20.225 --> 00:17:22.627
  • us make a towerfor ourselves that
  • 00:17:22.727 --> 00:17:25.263
  • will get us back to heaven.
  • 00:17:25.363 --> 00:17:26.798
  • But it's impossible.
  • 00:17:29.668 --> 00:17:32.137
  • And Jacob, when he said,this is the gate of heaven,
  • 00:17:32.237 --> 00:17:37.542
  • what he was saying inthat was, he was saying,
  • 00:17:37.642 --> 00:17:40.946
  • so that's how heavenactually works.
  • 00:17:41.046 --> 00:17:43.849
  • Because the word Babelor Babylon, it actually--
  • 00:17:43.949 --> 00:17:48.220
  • [panting]
  • 00:17:48.320 --> 00:17:49.087
  • I'm just trying to--
  • 00:17:49.187 --> 00:17:49.588
  • [laughter]
  • 00:17:49.688 --> 00:17:52.257
  • Babel actually meansgate of heaven.
  • 00:17:57.062 --> 00:18:00.932
  • They said, we founda gate a heaven.
  • 00:18:01.032 --> 00:18:03.001
  • We're going to getthat on our own.
  • 00:18:03.101 --> 00:18:04.703
  • And when Jacob was lyingthere, he hadn't sought God.
  • 00:18:04.803 --> 00:18:08.306
  • He hadn't lived a good life.
  • 00:18:08.406 --> 00:18:09.708
  • He had hurt people.
  • 00:18:09.808 --> 00:18:11.610
  • He had done bad things.
  • 00:18:11.710 --> 00:18:12.744
  • But God invaded his story.
  • 00:18:12.844 --> 00:18:15.580
  • And with a pictureof a ladder that
  • 00:18:15.680 --> 00:18:17.415
  • did not come fromEarth to heaven,
  • 00:18:17.516 --> 00:18:20.585
  • but came fromheaven to Earth, He
  • 00:18:20.685 --> 00:18:23.588
  • showed him God invitingJacob to be part
  • 00:18:23.688 --> 00:18:26.391
  • of Him fulfilling His promises.
  • 00:18:26.491 --> 00:18:28.827
  • He saw God inviting Jacob tobe a part of Him bringing him
  • 00:18:28.927 --> 00:18:34.366
  • to heaven.
  • 00:18:34.466 --> 00:18:35.834
  • And when he said, this ishow Babel actually works,
  • 00:18:35.934 --> 00:18:38.770
  • this is how the gate ofheaven actually works.
  • 00:18:38.870 --> 00:18:40.705
  • It's what we do to get to God.
  • 00:18:40.805 --> 00:18:42.274
  • It's what God's willingto do to get to us.
  • 00:18:42.374 --> 00:18:46.678
  • And the reality is I thinkall of our experience
  • 00:18:46.778 --> 00:18:48.613
  • could bear witness to the factthat our own Towers of Babel
  • 00:18:48.713 --> 00:18:52.250
  • can't do for us what God haspromised to do, no matter what
  • 00:18:52.350 --> 00:18:55.921
  • we would look to to thinkthis could reconnect me,
  • 00:18:56.021 --> 00:18:58.657
  • this could make me truly happy.
  • 00:18:58.757 --> 00:19:00.091
  • I mean, I think a lotof us think, well,
  • 00:19:00.192 --> 00:19:01.826
  • if I just had a little bitmore money, I'd be happy.
  • 00:19:01.927 --> 00:19:04.196
  • I was listening toa podcast this week
  • 00:19:04.296 --> 00:19:06.064
  • by Dr. Laurie Santos from Yale.
  • 00:19:06.164 --> 00:19:08.600
  • And she was pointing to the factthat no matter how much money
  • 00:19:08.700 --> 00:19:11.803
  • you have, you alwayswish you had some more.
  • 00:19:11.903 --> 00:19:14.973
  • She did a research studywhere she asked people,
  • 00:19:15.073 --> 00:19:17.709
  • how much money would youhave to make to be happy?
  • 00:19:17.809 --> 00:19:19.778
  • And she found that, allacross the board, people
  • 00:19:19.878 --> 00:19:21.846
  • who made about $30.000,they would usually say,
  • 00:19:21.947 --> 00:19:24.749
  • if I could make $50.000a year, I'd be happy.
  • 00:19:24.849 --> 00:19:27.385
  • But people who made $50.000a year didn't say, I'm happy.
  • 00:19:27.485 --> 00:19:30.789
  • I make 50k.
  • 00:19:30.889 --> 00:19:32.023
  • Those chumps at 30,they don't-- no.
  • 00:19:32.123 --> 00:19:34.492
  • The $50.000 person saidthat they needed $100.000.
  • 00:19:34.593 --> 00:19:39.097
  • They could just think of thingsthey couldn't do right now.
  • 00:19:39.197 --> 00:19:41.666
  • But if I could make$100.000, I'd be happy.
  • 00:19:41.766 --> 00:19:43.335
  • And guess what, thepeople interviewed
  • 00:19:43.435 --> 00:19:45.370
  • who do make $100.000,you know what they said?
  • 00:19:45.470 --> 00:19:48.240
  • I would need 250.
  • 00:19:48.340 --> 00:19:49.474
  • If I made $250.000 a year,then I would be happy.
  • 00:19:49.574 --> 00:19:55.280
  • The podcast went on.
  • 00:19:55.380 --> 00:19:56.414
  • And they pointed to thefindings of two Nobel
  • 00:19:56.514 --> 00:19:59.884
  • Prize-winning researchers,who actually looked into it,
  • 00:19:59.985 --> 00:20:04.789
  • and found that happinessplanes off at $75.000.
  • 00:20:04.889 --> 00:20:09.194
  • Once you make $75.000, if youwere only making 20, or 30,
  • 00:20:09.294 --> 00:20:12.864
  • or 40, you will feel alittle bit happier every time
  • 00:20:12.964 --> 00:20:15.600
  • you get a raise until $75.000.
  • 00:20:15.700 --> 00:20:18.136
  • But at $75.000, it kindof plateaus and stalls.
  • 00:20:18.236 --> 00:20:21.206
  • And no matter how muchmore money you get,
  • 00:20:21.306 --> 00:20:23.008
  • you don't find too much moreperceived sense of happiness
  • 00:20:23.108 --> 00:20:26.811
  • that comes from it.
  • 00:20:26.911 --> 00:20:28.079
  • They even went on tointerview people who
  • 00:20:28.179 --> 00:20:29.948
  • made as much as $500 million.
  • 00:20:30.048 --> 00:20:34.052
  • And they said, you know, ifI could just make a billion,
  • 00:20:34.152 --> 00:20:37.155
  • I think at thatbillion dollar mark,
  • 00:20:37.255 --> 00:20:38.823
  • there would reallybe some-- what is it?
  • 00:20:38.923 --> 00:20:40.558
  • It's a stairwaythat's never ending.
  • 00:20:40.659 --> 00:20:42.661
  • It's always thinking, if Icould just get one more rung,
  • 00:20:42.761 --> 00:20:45.163
  • if I could just get to thatstring, if I could just get--
  • 00:20:45.263 --> 00:20:47.666
  • if I could just-- if I could--
  • 00:20:47.766 --> 00:20:49.601
  • that's a Babel approachto spirituality.
  • 00:20:49.701 --> 00:20:51.903
  • That's a religiousapproach to spirituality.
  • 00:20:52.003 --> 00:20:54.306
  • It's what I do for God.
  • 00:20:54.406 --> 00:20:55.440
  • It's what I do for me.
  • 00:20:55.540 --> 00:20:56.941
  • It's what I can make happenwith my own two hands, which
  • 00:20:57.042 --> 00:20:59.744
  • is why, I think, toyou, I think that you'll
  • 00:20:59.844 --> 00:21:02.047
  • agree what is much better isthe ladder that God gives us
  • 00:21:02.147 --> 00:21:07.585
  • in the Christmas tree.
  • 00:21:07.686 --> 00:21:09.020
  • It's a ladder that's muchbetter that God gives us
  • 00:21:09.120 --> 00:21:11.956
  • in Luke chapter 2.
  • 00:21:12.057 --> 00:21:13.325
  • Because in Luke chapter2, what do we find?
  • 00:21:13.425 --> 00:21:15.493
  • We find this simplecouple, Mary and Joseph.
  • 00:21:15.593 --> 00:21:21.466
  • He's a carpenter.
  • 00:21:21.566 --> 00:21:22.334
  • She's this young girl.
  • 00:21:22.434 --> 00:21:23.735
  • They end up in Bethlehem becauseof a problem with their taxes.
  • 00:21:23.835 --> 00:21:27.272
  • And verse 6 says, "So itwas, while they were there,
  • 00:21:27.372 --> 00:21:32.143
  • the days were completedfor her to be delivered.
  • 00:21:32.243 --> 00:21:34.479
  • And she brought forthher firstborn Son,
  • 00:21:34.579 --> 00:21:37.415
  • and wrapped him inswaddling cloths,
  • 00:21:37.515 --> 00:21:39.851
  • and laid him in amanger because there was
  • 00:21:39.951 --> 00:21:42.220
  • no room for them in the Inn.
  • 00:21:42.320 --> 00:21:44.322
  • Now, there were, inthe same country,
  • 00:21:44.422 --> 00:21:46.257
  • shepherds livingout in the fields,
  • 00:21:46.358 --> 00:21:49.094
  • keeping watch overtheir flock by night.
  • 00:21:49.194 --> 00:21:51.663
  • And behold, an angel ofthe Lord stood before them.
  • 00:21:51.763 --> 00:21:56.968
  • And the glory of theLord shone around them.
  • 00:21:57.068 --> 00:21:59.704
  • And they were greatly afraid.
  • 00:21:59.804 --> 00:22:01.706
  • Then the angel said to them,'Do not be afraid, for behold,
  • 00:22:01.806 --> 00:22:05.777
  • I bring you good tidingsof great joy, which
  • 00:22:05.877 --> 00:22:08.613
  • will be to all people, forthere is born to you this day,
  • 00:22:08.713 --> 00:22:12.951
  • in the city of David, aSavior, who is Christ the Lord.
  • 00:22:13.051 --> 00:22:17.622
  • You will find a babewrapped in swaddling cloths,
  • 00:22:17.722 --> 00:22:21.659
  • lying in a manger.'
  • 00:22:21.760 --> 00:22:23.395
  • And suddenly, there waswith the angel a multitude
  • 00:22:23.495 --> 00:22:26.231
  • of the heavenly host,praising God and saying,
  • 00:22:26.331 --> 00:22:30.168
  • 'Glory to God in thehighest, and on earth, peace,
  • 00:22:30.268 --> 00:22:36.174
  • goodwill toward men.'"
  • 00:22:36.274 --> 00:22:37.575
  • Amen.
  • 00:22:37.675 --> 00:22:38.543
  • What does Luke describe?
  • 00:22:38.643 --> 00:22:40.311
  • Luke describes what Jacobwas given a picture of.
  • 00:22:40.412 --> 00:22:44.315
  • Luke describes what Jacob, eventhousands of years removed,
  • 00:22:44.416 --> 00:22:48.920
  • was allowed to seein advance, a ladder
  • 00:22:49.020 --> 00:22:51.356
  • opening up from heaven toearth, a portal opening up,
  • 00:22:51.456 --> 00:22:54.759
  • a true gate of heaven, notone based on what we can do,
  • 00:22:54.859 --> 00:22:58.296
  • not based on what we earn, notbased on what we can obtain,
  • 00:22:58.396 --> 00:23:01.900
  • not based on us makinga name for ourselves.
  • 00:23:02.000 --> 00:23:04.702
  • But a ladder opening up peaceon earth, goodwill toward men.
  • 00:23:04.803 --> 00:23:09.407
  • Jesus has come.
  • 00:23:09.507 --> 00:23:10.508
  • Jesus has shown up.
  • 00:23:10.608 --> 00:23:11.376
  • [applause]
  • 00:23:11.476 --> 00:23:12.644
  • The ladder had come, theChristmas ladder had shown up.
  • 00:23:12.744 --> 00:23:17.048
  • And here's the bestpart of all, we
  • 00:23:17.148 --> 00:23:18.883
  • don't have to do anything toearn it because, listen to me,
  • 00:23:18.983 --> 00:23:22.520
  • Jesus turned the lighton, on his way down.
  • 00:23:22.620 --> 00:23:26.324
  • A light shone in the night sky.
  • 00:23:26.424 --> 00:23:29.093
  • And here to two people, whofound themselves camping,
  • 00:23:29.194 --> 00:23:36.501
  • no room at the inn, sothey slept in a cave.
  • 00:23:36.601 --> 00:23:39.204
  • Mary, Joseph, andJesus were roughing it.
  • 00:23:39.304 --> 00:23:41.973
  • The first to hear of thegood news of his birth
  • 00:23:42.073 --> 00:23:45.143
  • were shepherds keepingwatch out in the field,
  • 00:23:45.243 --> 00:23:48.346
  • to shepherds whowere roughing it.
  • 00:23:48.446 --> 00:23:51.416
  • They, like Jacob, neverthought anybody would
  • 00:23:51.516 --> 00:23:54.352
  • want to do anything with them.
  • 00:23:54.452 --> 00:23:55.587
  • Shepherds were theoutcasts of society.
  • 00:23:55.687 --> 00:23:57.288
  • It was a job no one wanted.
  • 00:23:57.388 --> 00:23:59.657
  • They weren't trusted.
  • 00:23:59.757 --> 00:24:00.692
  • They were ceremonially unclean.
  • 00:24:00.792 --> 00:24:02.894
  • You would lock yourdoor if you saw
  • 00:24:02.994 --> 00:24:04.662
  • a shepherd pulling up next toyou in your Camelac Escalade,
  • 00:24:04.762 --> 00:24:07.465
  • right?
  • 00:24:07.565 --> 00:24:07.966
  • [laughter]
  • 00:24:08.066 --> 00:24:09.334
  • Because it was justlike, oh, hey, watch out.
  • 00:24:09.434 --> 00:24:10.635
  • I see the shepherds are here.
  • 00:24:10.735 --> 00:24:12.303
  • And so it was kind of like--
  • 00:24:12.403 --> 00:24:13.605
  • but to shepherds, toyou who feel like you're
  • 00:24:13.705 --> 00:24:16.241
  • at rock bottom, to you whofeel like you have nothing
  • 00:24:16.341 --> 00:24:18.543
  • to offer God, I'm telling you,no matter what you've done,
  • 00:24:18.643 --> 00:24:21.079
  • no matter where you'vebeen, Christmas is for you.
  • 00:24:21.179 --> 00:24:23.348
  • The ladder has come down fromheaven for you, not a ladder
  • 00:24:23.448 --> 00:24:28.453
  • that you have toclimb up and obtain,
  • 00:24:28.553 --> 00:24:31.089
  • but a ladder that's come down.
  • 00:24:31.189 --> 00:24:33.224
  • You see, the pointof the story is not
  • 00:24:33.324 --> 00:24:36.194
  • that Jesus came to pointus to a new ladder.
  • 00:24:36.294 --> 00:24:38.429
  • Here's a new thingyou need to do.
  • 00:24:38.530 --> 00:24:39.964
  • Jesus came to be our ladder.
  • 00:24:40.064 --> 00:24:42.033
  • Jesus came to comedown from heaven.
  • 00:24:42.133 --> 00:24:44.669
  • He came down to earth.
  • 00:24:44.769 --> 00:24:46.304
  • The Bible says that "we do nothave a high priest who cannot
  • 00:24:46.404 --> 00:24:49.574
  • sympathize with us.
  • 00:24:49.674 --> 00:24:50.975
  • He was, in all points--" thisis Hebrews chapter 4, verse 15,
  • 00:24:51.075 --> 00:24:55.179
  • "tested and temptedlike we are."
  • 00:24:55.280 --> 00:24:58.683
  • And yet He was without sin.
  • 00:24:58.783 --> 00:25:00.418
  • He became a man.
  • 00:25:00.518 --> 00:25:01.786
  • He, so to speak, roughed iton our earth as a human being,
  • 00:25:01.886 --> 00:25:04.889
  • leaving the glories of heaven,living in this broken world.
  • 00:25:04.989 --> 00:25:08.192
  • He became one ofus so that we could
  • 00:25:08.293 --> 00:25:10.061
  • have the hole inour heart filled,
  • 00:25:10.161 --> 00:25:12.630
  • so we could be giventhe hope of heaven.
  • 00:25:12.730 --> 00:25:15.199
  • But it's better than that.
  • 00:25:15.300 --> 00:25:16.768
  • You see, being a Christian andfollowing Jesus is not just
  • 00:25:16.868 --> 00:25:20.738
  • waiting to die.
  • 00:25:20.838 --> 00:25:21.673
  • There's more.
  • 00:25:21.773 --> 00:25:23.207
  • You know, I think about how,sometimes, gifts that we get
  • 00:25:23.308 --> 00:25:25.810
  • will disappoint.
  • 00:25:25.910 --> 00:25:27.412
  • Maybe you did your best to giveyour friends and family a gift
  • 00:25:27.512 --> 00:25:29.213
  • that, when theyopen it up, they're
  • 00:25:29.314 --> 00:25:30.114
  • just going to freak out.
  • 00:25:30.214 --> 00:25:31.115
  • But sometimes, we miss the mark.
  • 00:25:31.215 --> 00:25:33.351
  • Now a couple of years back, Isaved this story in the news
  • 00:25:33.451 --> 00:25:36.521
  • because it wasjust so hilarious.
  • 00:25:36.621 --> 00:25:38.122
  • You probably heard about it.
  • 00:25:38.222 --> 00:25:39.457
  • This waitress, she wasa part of a contest
  • 00:25:39.557 --> 00:25:42.527
  • to see who could sell themost beer for a month.
  • 00:25:42.627 --> 00:25:44.762
  • This was in Florida.
  • 00:25:44.862 --> 00:25:45.997
  • Who could sell the most beer?
  • 00:25:46.097 --> 00:25:47.298
  • Who could push the moston their customers?
  • 00:25:47.398 --> 00:25:49.467
  • And she won.
  • 00:25:49.567 --> 00:25:50.868
  • And the prize, she was told--the manager kept telling them
  • 00:25:50.969 --> 00:25:53.204
  • the prize was going tobe a brand new Toyota.
  • 00:25:53.304 --> 00:25:55.607
  • And she was super excited aboutthat until she got brought out.
  • 00:25:55.707 --> 00:25:58.943
  • The day of the prizebeing giving out,
  • 00:25:59.043 --> 00:26:00.678
  • she got brought outto the parking lot.
  • 00:26:00.778 --> 00:26:02.380
  • Everyone was there cheering.
  • 00:26:02.480 --> 00:26:03.548
  • And she got broughtout the door.
  • 00:26:03.648 --> 00:26:05.049
  • And here's what shewas handed, a toy Yoda.
  • 00:26:05.149 --> 00:26:07.418
  • [laughter]
  • 00:26:07.518 --> 00:26:09.220
  • She was given a toy Yoda.
  • 00:26:09.320 --> 00:26:11.723
  • That's terrible, a toy Yoda.
  • 00:26:14.325 --> 00:26:17.962
  • The manager thoughtit was hilarious.
  • 00:26:18.062 --> 00:26:20.431
  • She didn't thinkit was so funny,
  • 00:26:20.531 --> 00:26:22.300
  • so she quit and sued him.
  • 00:26:22.400 --> 00:26:23.635
  • And they had to take herto a Toyota dealership
  • 00:26:23.735 --> 00:26:25.436
  • and give her anyToyota she wanted.
  • 00:26:25.536 --> 00:26:26.804
  • Thank God, there isjustice in the world.
  • 00:26:26.904 --> 00:26:29.107
  • [applause]
  • 00:26:29.207 --> 00:26:31.309
  • And I thought about thatwhen I saw on the news
  • 00:26:31.409 --> 00:26:33.511
  • that the number one plush toybeing sold this year in a baby
  • 00:26:33.611 --> 00:26:36.848
  • toy Yoda.
  • 00:26:36.948 --> 00:26:38.316
  • But that girl got agift that disappointed.
  • 00:26:38.416 --> 00:26:40.418
  • She thought it wasgoing to one thing.
  • 00:26:40.518 --> 00:26:42.086
  • And it was much worse.
  • 00:26:42.186 --> 00:26:43.254
  • So here's the thingabout Christmas.
  • 00:26:43.354 --> 00:26:44.155
  • It doesn't disappoint.
  • 00:26:44.255 --> 00:26:45.723
  • It's the gift that keeps ongiving because he doesn't just
  • 00:26:45.823 --> 00:26:47.191
  • want to bring you toheaven when you die.
  • 00:26:47.291 --> 00:26:48.693
  • He wants to bring heaven toyour soul while you live.
  • 00:26:48.793 --> 00:26:51.596
  • It's better than youcould think it would be.
  • 00:26:51.696 --> 00:26:56.634
  • The wonder of Christmas is thatit's not about us obtaining.
  • 00:26:56.734 --> 00:27:00.705
  • It's not about usdoing some great thing.
  • 00:27:00.805 --> 00:27:03.508
  • The bad news thisChristmas is that you
  • 00:27:03.608 --> 00:27:05.410
  • can't earn God's favor.
  • 00:27:05.510 --> 00:27:07.745
  • The good news this Christmasis that you don't need to.
  • 00:27:07.845 --> 00:27:10.815
  • Jesus already has done it all.
  • 00:27:10.915 --> 00:27:14.485
  • He accomplished everythingnecessary to turn the light
  • 00:27:14.585 --> 00:27:17.488
  • on over your head so that, thisChristmas, every single day,
  • 00:27:17.588 --> 00:27:22.627
  • you can approach walking withGod, living in this world,
  • 00:27:22.727 --> 00:27:25.897
  • doing all that you've done, notgoing, oh, God, are you happy?
  • 00:27:25.997 --> 00:27:28.766
  • God, are you happy?
  • 00:27:28.866 --> 00:27:29.600
  • MUSIC
  • 00:27:29.734 --> 00:27:29.999