Follow Me | TBN

Follow Me

Watch Follow Me
February 7, 2021
27:28

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
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  • ♪ The day when life begins
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  • - The title of mymessage is "Follow Me."
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  • 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, follower,it's used on 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 on Facebook,you have friends.
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  • Someone summed upsocial media this way.
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  • I kind of liked this,different platforms.
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  • Instagram, you're saying,my life's a party.
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  • If you're on Snapchat,you're saying,
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  • my life is a quirky TV show.
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  • If you're on Facebook, you'resaying, my life is great.
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  • And if you're onTwitter, you're saying,
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  • we're all gonna die.
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  • I mean, really, people arevery negative on Twitter.
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  • A lot of critical, harsh tweets
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  • that people shoot at each other.
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  • People like to attackone another on Twitter.
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  • And of course, then youhave all of the people
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  • that follow you andmaybe they retweet you.
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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, wouldn'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 shall be calledthe children of God.
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  • Perfect tweets.
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  • No, 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,
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  • He had a tax collector,and He had a zealot.
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  • Now, we have to understandwhat these terms mean.
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  • We understand a fishermen,but what is a tax collector
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  • and 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 the occupyingpower there in Israel
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  • at that particular 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 later,who 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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  • 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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  • Christians shouldbe marked by love,
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  • not by always being right.
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  • And when I say by being right,
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  • I mean sometimesin their own mind.
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  • If you find yourselfshouting at people,
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  • well, I just was shoutingwhen I said that,
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  • I'll lower my volume.
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  • If you find yourself,always 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 characterizedand identified
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  • by our love for God andour 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 His brotherAndrew 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, "Andthey left their nets at once
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  • and followed Him.
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  • A little further up the shore,
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  • Jesus saw Zebedee'ssons, James and John,
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  • in a boat repairing their nets.
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  • He called them at once,and they also followed Him,
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  • leaving their fatherZebedee in the boat
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  • with the 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 in 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 has puttheir faith in Christ
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  • is technically a saint,but in modern usage,
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  • a saint is someextraordinary holy person.
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  • So they weren't saints in thatway, nor were they scholars,
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  • nor were they sages, theywere hopelessly human,
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  • they were remarkablyunremarkable.
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  • But they were availableto the Master's call.
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  • Now, Simon and Andrew
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  • had been disciplesof 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 them,as 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
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  • from John 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 John arealso mentioned,
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  • and they're given this specialtitle, the Sons of Thunder.
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  • I sort of see James and Johnas two outlaw bikers, you know,
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  • coming up and beingcalled 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 a 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 a fieldwhen he was called by Elijah
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  • to carry on theprophetic 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, teachthat 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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  • So when someonecomes 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, say, Pastor,
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  • I wanna 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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  • 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, wheneveryou 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.
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  • Jesus says in Luke 16:10,
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  • "Unless you are afaithful in small matters,
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  • you won't be faithfulin large ones.
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  • If you cheat even a little,
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  • you won't honest withgreater responsibility,
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  • so be faithful inthose little things."
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  • As we make our way throughMark 1, after this,
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  • Jesus goes 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.
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  • It's interesting, thephrase that Jesus used
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  • to the demon was "be quiet,"or literally "be muzzled."
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  • By the way, that's asame phrase He used
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  • when He rebuked the storm.
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  • Remember that story?
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  • He went up and said tothe storm, "be still."
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  • It's that samephrase "be muzzled,"
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  • because He was sayingto the devil "stop."
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  • The devil's sort of like acrazy dog, ready to bite.
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  • Be muzzled, stop, be still.
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  • 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 gonna see
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  • that He had power over sickness
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  • and even powerover death itself.
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  • But the most important thing
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  • that Jesus hadpower over was sin.
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  • He and He alonecould forgive sin
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  • as they would soon discover.
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  • So yes, He was God, but He wasGod walking in a human body
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  • of flesh and blood.
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  • And He grew tiredand He was hungry
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  • and experience allof those things
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  • that we experience physically.
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  • So the next movementin this story
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  • as Jesus needed somefood and some rest,
  • 00:09:17.611 --> 00:09:20.714
  • so they take them home tothe house of Simon Peter,
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  • bringing us to thisnext point, which is,
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  • we need to bring Jesus home,because 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,invite Him to be a part
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  • of every 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."
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  • Well, as it turns out, Peter'smother-in-law was very ill.
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  • 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.
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  • And so Jesus heals herin Mark 1:31, saying,
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  • "He took her by thehand and lifted her up,
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  • and immediately thefever left her."
  • 00:10:17.303 --> 00:10:20.140
  • Well, news traveled fast.
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  • Everybody shotout a quick tweet,
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  • and there were evensome posts on Instagram.
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  • Not really, but it soundslike it, because in moments
  • 00:10:25.612 --> 00:10:29.683
  • literally the whole cityis there at the door.
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  • Mark 1:32, "Thatevening after sunset,
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  • the people brought to Jesus
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  • all the sick anddemon possessed,
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  • the whole towngathered at the door."
  • 00:10:38.758 --> 00:10:42.095
  • That brings us now to Mark 2,
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  • and Jesus is gonna showthe primary reason He came.
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  • Not just to cast out demons,not just to heal the sick,
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  • not even to raise the dead.
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  • He was coming to forgive sins.
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  • And there's nothingmore important
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  • than having your sin forgiven.
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  • As I say this, am I speakingto somebody right now
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  • who is not sure iftheir sin is forgiven?
  • 00:11:05.518 --> 00:11:08.788
  • You're haunted by thingsyou've done in your past.
  • 00:11:08.788 --> 00:11:11.825
  • It keeps you up at night.
  • 00:11:11.825 --> 00:11:13.626
  • You've tried toself-medicate, as they say,
  • 00:11:13.626 --> 00:11:15.829
  • with alcohol or drugs, andnumb yourself to the pain
  • 00:11:15.829 --> 00:11:19.532
  • of what you've done andthe harm and the pain
  • 00:11:19.532 --> 00:11:22.469
  • you've brought intoother people's lives.
  • 00:11:22.469 --> 00:11:24.370
  • I want you to know Godcan forgive your sin,
  • 00:11:24.370 --> 00:11:28.041
  • and I'm gonna tell youhow in a few moments.
  • 00:11:28.041 --> 00:11:30.443
  • Now let's go over to Mark 2:1.
  • 00:11:30.443 --> 00:11:35.215
  • "When Jesus returned toCapernaum several days later
  • 00:11:35.215 --> 00:11:38.785
  • the news spread quicklythat He was back home.
  • 00:11:38.785 --> 00:11:41.888
  • Soon the house where Hewas staying was packed
  • 00:11:41.888 --> 00:11:44.090
  • with visitors, andthere was no more room,
  • 00:11:44.090 --> 00:11:46.426
  • even outside the door.
  • 00:11:46.426 --> 00:11:48.161
  • While He was preaching the Word,
  • 00:11:48.161 --> 00:11:50.697
  • four men arrived carryinga paralyzed man on a mat.
  • 00:11:50.697 --> 00:11:56.035
  • They couldn't bring him toJesus because of the crowd,
  • 00:11:57.137 --> 00:11:59.038
  • so they dug a hole throughthe roof right above His head.
  • 00:11:59.038 --> 00:12:02.776
  • And they loweredthe man on this mat
  • 00:12:02.776 --> 00:12:05.478
  • right in front of Jesus.
  • 00:12:05.478 --> 00:12:07.947
  • Seeing their faith, Jesussaid to the paralyzed man,
  • 00:12:07.947 --> 00:12:11.951
  • 'My child, yoursins are forgiven.'"
  • 00:12:11.951 --> 00:12:15.555
  • Bringing me to my next point,
  • 00:12:15.555 --> 00:12:17.490
  • we need to work together
  • 00:12:17.490 --> 00:12:19.092
  • if we wanna bringour friends to Jesus.
  • 00:12:19.092 --> 00:12:21.594
  • Four guys, they wanna gettheir friend to Jesus.
  • 00:12:21.594 --> 00:12:25.598
  • He needs a physical touch.
  • 00:12:25.598 --> 00:12:27.600
  • They can't get in the house.
  • 00:12:27.600 --> 00:12:28.902
  • It's packed, wallto wall people.
  • 00:12:28.902 --> 00:12:31.371
  • So they lower himthrough the roof.
  • 00:12:31.371 --> 00:12:32.806
  • Now, this is kind ofhard for us to understand
  • 00:12:32.806 --> 00:12:35.041
  • in the 21st century,
  • 00:12:35.041 --> 00:12:36.576
  • but in the first century,the roofs were flat.
  • 00:12:36.576 --> 00:12:40.413
  • There would be an outsidestaircase leading to the roof.
  • 00:12:40.413 --> 00:12:43.583
  • Sometimes people wouldsit up on the roof
  • 00:12:43.583 --> 00:12:45.952
  • like a little patiogarden of sorts.
  • 00:12:45.952 --> 00:12:48.721
  • So they get upon the roof andthey start digging through it,
  • 00:12:48.721 --> 00:12:52.058
  • digging through the straw.
  • 00:12:52.058 --> 00:12:53.726
  • And meanwhile, here'sJesus inside the house
  • 00:12:53.726 --> 00:12:56.262
  • speaking to His audience,listening to His every word,
  • 00:12:56.262 --> 00:13:00.133
  • all of a sudden, a littledirt clod falls to the ground.
  • 00:13:00.133 --> 00:13:03.136
  • A couple more fall,some straw comes down.
  • 00:13:03.136 --> 00:13:06.105
  • A shaft of light breaks through,
  • 00:13:06.105 --> 00:13:07.640
  • another shaft oflight comes through,
  • 00:13:07.640 --> 00:13:09.976
  • and suddenly thisman is on this mat
  • 00:13:09.976 --> 00:13:12.979
  • with four guys withropes, letting him down.
  • 00:13:12.979 --> 00:13:15.748
  • He's maybe swinging backand forth a little bit,
  • 00:13:15.748 --> 00:13:18.084
  • and he's put rightin front of Jesus.
  • 00:13:18.084 --> 00:13:20.553
  • Maybe the guy layingthere went, hey,
  • 00:13:20.553 --> 00:13:22.755
  • and Jesus said, "My child,your sins are forgiven you."
  • 00:13:22.755 --> 00:13:27.760
  • But I love the fact thatthese guys worked together.
  • 00:13:27.760 --> 00:13:30.897
  • They cooperated.
  • 00:13:30.897 --> 00:13:32.165
  • And if we wanna seepeople come to Jesus,
  • 00:13:32.165 --> 00:13:35.034
  • we need to work withfellow believers,
  • 00:13:35.034 --> 00:13:37.971
  • because we need to joinour efforts together
  • 00:13:37.971 --> 00:13:42.008
  • and we'll get a lot more done.
  • 00:13:42.008 --> 00:13:44.043
  • We are much strongertogether than we are alone.
  • 00:13:44.043 --> 00:13:48.481
  • My next point is, oneprays, another shares,
  • 00:13:48.481 --> 00:13:50.683
  • but God does the work.
  • 00:13:50.683 --> 00:13:52.385
  • You know, when aperson comes to Christ,
  • 00:13:52.385 --> 00:13:54.087
  • it's a chain of eventsthat connect together
  • 00:13:54.087 --> 00:13:57.423
  • resulting in a conversion.
  • 00:13:57.423 --> 00:13:59.359
  • Maybe it's a seed sown ina heart during childhood.
  • 00:13:59.359 --> 00:14:02.595
  • Maybe that seed is watereda little bit later.
  • 00:14:02.595 --> 00:14:05.198
  • Maybe they encounter aChristian they don't even know
  • 00:14:05.198 --> 00:14:07.600
  • who says or does something thatmakes an impression on them.
  • 00:14:07.600 --> 00:14:11.137
  • Then finally, someone takesthe time to share the Gospel.
  • 00:14:11.137 --> 00:14:14.207
  • We're all part of a chainthat God orchestrated
  • 00:14:14.207 --> 00:14:17.377
  • to bring someone to the Lord.
  • 00:14:17.377 --> 00:14:19.279
  • As Paul writes in1 Corinthians 3:6,
  • 00:14:19.279 --> 00:14:22.515
  • "I planted, Apollos watered,"Apollos was another preacher,
  • 00:14:22.515 --> 00:14:27.787
  • "but God gave the increase.
  • 00:14:28.388 --> 00:14:29.923
  • So neither he who plants isanything nor he that waters.
  • 00:14:29.923 --> 00:14:32.992
  • It's God that givesthe increase."
  • 00:14:32.992 --> 00:14:35.361
  • And notice that Jesusimmediately got to the heart
  • 00:14:35.361 --> 00:14:38.197
  • of this man's problem, becausethe heart of the problem
  • 00:14:38.197 --> 00:14:42.201
  • is the problem of the heart.
  • 00:14:42.201 --> 00:14:44.003
  • This man neededhis sin forgiven.
  • 00:14:44.003 --> 00:14:46.639
  • It was even more importantthan being healed
  • 00:14:46.639 --> 00:14:49.042
  • of his paralysis.
  • 00:14:49.042 --> 00:14:51.010
  • Cain Minninger, afamous psychologist,
  • 00:14:51.010 --> 00:14:53.546
  • said if he can convince patients
  • 00:14:53.546 --> 00:14:55.348
  • in the psychiatric hospitalsthat their sins were forgiven,
  • 00:14:55.348 --> 00:14:59.419
  • 75% would walk out the next day.
  • 00:14:59.419 --> 00:15:03.189
  • Think of that.
  • 00:15:03.189 --> 00:15:04.190
  • And Jesus can forgive sins.
  • 00:15:04.190 --> 00:15:06.693
  • Now, they react properly.
  • 00:15:06.693 --> 00:15:08.728
  • They say, "Wait,what do you mean
  • 00:15:08.728 --> 00:15:10.530
  • your sins are forgiven you?"
  • 00:15:10.530 --> 00:15:12.332
  • And they asked the question,
  • 00:15:12.332 --> 00:15:13.633
  • "Who can forgivesins but God alone?"
  • 00:15:13.633 --> 00:15:17.337
  • And the answer is no one.
  • 00:15:17.337 --> 00:15:19.906
  • Some people would say, you know,
  • 00:15:19.906 --> 00:15:21.040
  • Jesus never claimed to be God.
  • 00:15:21.040 --> 00:15:23.176
  • His followers cameup with that later.
  • 00:15:23.176 --> 00:15:25.545
  • Uh, that is not true.
  • 00:15:25.545 --> 00:15:27.447
  • Jesus did claim to be Godon multiple occasions,
  • 00:15:27.447 --> 00:15:30.950
  • and this is one of them.
  • 00:15:30.950 --> 00:15:32.452
  • And if Jesus were not God,He would have said something
  • 00:15:32.452 --> 00:15:34.754
  • along the lines of, that's agood point, and I'm not God.
  • 00:15:34.754 --> 00:15:38.124
  • But no, He forgavethat man's sins.
  • 00:15:38.124 --> 00:15:40.593
  • In fact, in Mark 2:10, he says,
  • 00:15:40.593 --> 00:15:42.428
  • "'I'll prove to youthat the Son of Man
  • 00:15:42.428 --> 00:15:44.430
  • has authority on earthto forgive sins.'
  • 00:15:44.430 --> 00:15:46.399
  • And Jesus turned to theparalyzed man and said,
  • 00:15:46.399 --> 00:15:49.202
  • 'Stand up, pick up yourmat, and go home.'"
  • 00:15:49.202 --> 00:15:51.738
  • That was a clear claim to deity.
  • 00:15:51.738 --> 00:15:54.040
  • Jesus was God.
  • 00:15:54.040 --> 00:15:56.142
  • We don't wanna miss thatvery important point.
  • 00:15:56.142 --> 00:15:59.946
  • Now we shift gears to afinal movement in our story.
  • 00:15:59.946 --> 00:16:03.549
  • Go to Mark 2:13.
  • 00:16:03.549 --> 00:16:06.119
  • "Then Jesus went outto the lake shore again
  • 00:16:06.986 --> 00:16:09.622
  • and taught the crowdsthat were coming to Him.
  • 00:16:09.622 --> 00:16:12.291
  • As He walked along He sawLevi, son of Alphaeus,
  • 00:16:12.291 --> 00:16:16.262
  • sitting at the taxcollector's booth.
  • 00:16:16.262 --> 00:16:18.631
  • Jesus said to him, 'FollowMe and be My disciple,'
  • 00:16:18.631 --> 00:16:22.869
  • and Levi got upand followed Him.
  • 00:16:22.869 --> 00:16:25.838
  • Later Levi invited Jesus andHis disciples to his home
  • 00:16:25.838 --> 00:16:29.542
  • as dinner guests, alongwith many tax collectors
  • 00:16:29.542 --> 00:16:32.678
  • and other disreputable sinners."
  • 00:16:32.678 --> 00:16:36.115
  • Levi, also known as Matthew,and I already mentioned him,
  • 00:16:36.115 --> 00:16:40.353
  • collected taxes for Rome.
  • 00:16:40.353 --> 00:16:42.355
  • Again, Rome was anoccupying force.
  • 00:16:42.355 --> 00:16:46.125
  • They're forcing their willupon the people of Israel.
  • 00:16:46.125 --> 00:16:50.029
  • So Levi, or Matthew, forsome reason we don't know
  • 00:16:50.029 --> 00:16:53.533
  • decided to work for the enemy.
  • 00:16:53.533 --> 00:16:56.736
  • He would be thought of as atraitor, like a Benedict Arnold,
  • 00:16:56.736 --> 00:17:00.339
  • a turncoat, even a backslider.
  • 00:17:00.339 --> 00:17:02.708
  • How dare you work forthese horrible people
  • 00:17:02.708 --> 00:17:06.212
  • who are oppressing us andcollect taxes for them.
  • 00:17:06.212 --> 00:17:08.948
  • There was some good money in it,
  • 00:17:08.948 --> 00:17:10.917
  • but I don't know if that'swhat motivated Matthew
  • 00:17:10.917 --> 00:17:13.386
  • to work for Rome.
  • 00:17:13.386 --> 00:17:15.054
  • But it's interesting thathe seemed to have gone
  • 00:17:15.054 --> 00:17:17.623
  • out of his way tooffend his fellow Jews.
  • 00:17:17.623 --> 00:17:20.660
  • And also he would havebeen familiar with Jesus,
  • 00:17:20.660 --> 00:17:23.963
  • 'cause Jesus wasdoing His ministry
  • 00:17:23.963 --> 00:17:26.399
  • right around that region.
  • 00:17:26.399 --> 00:17:27.834
  • Being a tax collector, Matthewwould sit at his table,
  • 00:17:27.834 --> 00:17:30.837
  • he was aware of whatwas going on around him.
  • 00:17:30.837 --> 00:17:34.006
  • And we also know that he wasa great student of Scripture,
  • 00:17:34.006 --> 00:17:37.877
  • because he began topiece things together.
  • 00:17:37.877 --> 00:17:40.680
  • We know he was a greatstudent of Scripture
  • 00:17:40.680 --> 00:17:42.615
  • because when we read his gospel
  • 00:17:42.615 --> 00:17:44.817
  • it is filled with OldTestament prophecies.
  • 00:17:44.817 --> 00:17:48.221
  • There's 99 Old Testamentreferences in his gospel,
  • 00:17:48.221 --> 00:17:52.291
  • showing how Jesuswas the Messiah.
  • 00:17:52.291 --> 00:17:54.660
  • So this is a man whoknew the Word of God,
  • 00:17:54.660 --> 00:17:58.030
  • but had chosen torebel against it.
  • 00:17:58.030 --> 00:18:00.766
  • But there was somethingthat Jesus said and did
  • 00:18:00.766 --> 00:18:03.402
  • in this moment when he saidto Matthew, "Follow Me,"
  • 00:18:03.402 --> 00:18:06.639
  • that softened his heartthat had grown so hard.
  • 00:18:06.639 --> 00:18:11.244
  • Why do people turn from God?
  • 00:18:11.244 --> 00:18:13.513
  • Why do people turnfrom the church?
  • 00:18:13.513 --> 00:18:16.449
  • It's an interesting question.
  • 00:18:16.449 --> 00:18:18.084
  • Maybe because atragedy happened.
  • 00:18:18.084 --> 00:18:20.119
  • I've heard people say,well, this tragedy happened,
  • 00:18:20.119 --> 00:18:22.822
  • I lost a loved one, or somethinghorrible happened to me
  • 00:18:22.822 --> 00:18:27.093
  • and I've lost my faith.
  • 00:18:27.093 --> 00:18:28.694
  • I don't have faith anymore.
  • 00:18:28.694 --> 00:18:30.163
  • Well, you might be surprisedto hear me say this,
  • 00:18:30.163 --> 00:18:32.265
  • but maybe it's goodyou lost that faith,
  • 00:18:32.265 --> 00:18:35.735
  • because a faith thatcannot be tested
  • 00:18:35.735 --> 00:18:38.538
  • is a faith thatcannot be trusted.
  • 00:18:38.538 --> 00:18:41.807
  • And that's not a real faith.
  • 00:18:41.807 --> 00:18:43.409
  • But some people turn awayfrom God because they say,
  • 00:18:43.409 --> 00:18:46.746
  • well, I saw hypocrisy.
  • 00:18:46.746 --> 00:18:49.215
  • That person was not a goodrepresentative of Jesus Christ.
  • 00:18:49.215 --> 00:18:53.519
  • Well, look, I know there arehypocrites in the church.
  • 00:18:53.519 --> 00:18:56.822
  • I often say the church isfilled with hypocrites,
  • 00:18:56.822 --> 00:19:00.293
  • but there's alwaysroom for one more.
  • 00:19:00.293 --> 00:19:02.762
  • I'm kidding.
  • 00:19:02.762 --> 00:19:03.996
  • But seriously, we'reall gonna fall short.
  • 00:19:03.996 --> 00:19:06.132
  • We're all gonna mess up.
  • 00:19:06.132 --> 00:19:07.967
  • But here's what Iwanna say to you.
  • 00:19:07.967 --> 00:19:09.802
  • That excuse, and that'sall it is, an excuse,
  • 00:19:09.802 --> 00:19:12.505
  • will not hold wateron Judgment Day.
  • 00:19:12.505 --> 00:19:15.141
  • When you standbefore God Almighty
  • 00:19:15.141 --> 00:19:17.210
  • and He asks you what you didwith His Son Jesus Christ,
  • 00:19:17.210 --> 00:19:19.745
  • and you say, well,I didn't accept Him
  • 00:19:19.745 --> 00:19:22.114
  • because there were hypocrites,
  • 00:19:22.114 --> 00:19:23.616
  • you think that'sgoing to help you?
  • 00:19:23.616 --> 00:19:27.019
  • Jesus never said, follow Mypeople, He said, "Follow Me."
  • 00:19:27.019 --> 00:19:31.290
  • Put your eyes on Christ, that'sexactly what Matthew did.
  • 00:19:31.290 --> 00:19:35.995
  • Now he watched Jesus,clearly he admired Jesus.
  • 00:19:35.995 --> 00:19:39.899
  • He would love to have beenone of the followers of Jesus,
  • 00:19:39.899 --> 00:19:42.602
  • but he would never thinkof being so presumptuous
  • 00:19:42.602 --> 00:19:45.805
  • and going up toChrist and saying,
  • 00:19:45.805 --> 00:19:47.406
  • uh, don't know if you need atax collector in your crew,
  • 00:19:47.406 --> 00:19:51.844
  • but I would love to join,
  • 00:19:51.844 --> 00:19:53.112
  • 'cause he would be surethat Jesus would say,
  • 00:19:53.112 --> 00:19:55.848
  • sorry, I'm not that desperate.
  • 00:19:55.848 --> 00:19:57.483
  • Hit the road, Jack, don'tcome back no more, no more.
  • 00:19:57.483 --> 00:20:01.520
  • But no, he was shockedwhen Jesus came to him
  • 00:20:01.520 --> 00:20:05.124
  • and called him.
  • 00:20:05.124 --> 00:20:06.092
  • Look at verse 14 of Mark 2.
  • 00:20:06.092 --> 00:20:08.661
  • "As Jesus walked along,He saw Levi sitting."
  • 00:20:08.661 --> 00:20:13.566
  • The word that is used herefor saw is very suggestive.
  • 00:20:13.566 --> 00:20:17.470
  • It means literally togaze intently upon,
  • 00:20:17.470 --> 00:20:21.507
  • to stare, or to fix one'seyes constantly on an object.
  • 00:20:21.507 --> 00:20:26.912
  • You ever had someone stareat you, just staring?
  • 00:20:27.913 --> 00:20:31.284
  • Almost lookingright through you.
  • 00:20:31.284 --> 00:20:32.718
  • So here's Matthew'ssitting at his tax booth.
  • 00:20:32.718 --> 00:20:35.421
  • Most people when they walkby would avert their gaze.
  • 00:20:35.421 --> 00:20:37.957
  • They don't wanna makeeye contact with him,
  • 00:20:37.957 --> 00:20:39.859
  • or they would glare at him.
  • 00:20:39.859 --> 00:20:41.594
  • And here comes Jesusfrom a distance,
  • 00:20:41.594 --> 00:20:44.497
  • Jesus is looking at him.
  • 00:20:44.497 --> 00:20:46.432
  • Jesus doesn't breakeye contact with him.
  • 00:20:46.432 --> 00:20:49.068
  • Jesus comes right up to him,
  • 00:20:49.068 --> 00:20:50.803
  • looking at him,staring intently.
  • 00:20:50.803 --> 00:20:53.572
  • And then he says thosetwo words that reverberate
  • 00:20:53.572 --> 00:20:56.242
  • the soul of Matthew, andthose words were "Follow Me."
  • 00:20:56.242 --> 00:21:00.413
  • Wow.
  • 00:21:00.413 --> 00:21:01.781
  • Jesus is calling me?
  • 00:21:01.781 --> 00:21:04.083
  • Jesus wants a personlike me, a traitor,
  • 00:21:04.083 --> 00:21:07.219
  • a turncoat, abackslider, a failure?
  • 00:21:07.219 --> 00:21:10.356
  • Yes.
  • 00:21:10.356 --> 00:21:11.857
  • And it's interesting becausethis phrase, "Follow Me,"
  • 00:21:11.857 --> 00:21:15.194
  • can be translated"walk the same road."
  • 00:21:15.194 --> 00:21:18.798
  • It would be almost as thoughJesus said, walk with Me,
  • 00:21:19.899 --> 00:21:23.569
  • come with Me.
  • 00:21:23.569 --> 00:21:25.338
  • Don't just standbehind Me and follow.
  • 00:21:25.338 --> 00:21:26.972
  • No, let's walklife's road together.
  • 00:21:26.972 --> 00:21:29.909
  • And by the way, that wordis in the imperative mode,
  • 00:21:29.909 --> 00:21:32.745
  • meaning it's not just aninvitation, it's also a command.
  • 00:21:32.745 --> 00:21:37.116
  • It's also in the present tense,
  • 00:21:37.116 --> 00:21:38.951
  • meaning you start it and youcontinue in it habitually.
  • 00:21:38.951 --> 00:21:43.522
  • In other words, Jesus is saying,
  • 00:21:43.522 --> 00:21:44.857
  • allow me to loosely paraphrase,
  • 00:21:44.857 --> 00:21:46.325
  • Matthew, I want you tofollow Me each and every day.
  • 00:21:46.325 --> 00:21:49.628
  • And guess what? He saysthe same to you and to me.
  • 00:21:49.628 --> 00:21:52.698
  • Not just follow Me onceand then you're good.
  • 00:21:52.698 --> 00:21:55.401
  • No, follow Me eachand every day.
  • 00:21:55.401 --> 00:21:59.138
  • Affectively, Jesussays, hey, Matthew,
  • 00:21:59.138 --> 00:22:00.940
  • I don't want you to justbe one of My disciples,
  • 00:22:00.940 --> 00:22:04.543
  • I want you to beone of My friends.
  • 00:22:04.543 --> 00:22:07.513
  • And did you know Jesus offersthat same invitation to you?
  • 00:22:07.513 --> 00:22:10.683
  • We often view God as harshand austere and angry.
  • 00:22:10.683 --> 00:22:15.955
  • Nothing could befurther from the truth.
  • 00:22:16.756 --> 00:22:18.023
  • God is loving, Godis compassionate.
  • 00:22:18.023 --> 00:22:20.292
  • God is caring
  • 00:22:20.292 --> 00:22:21.761
  • and He wants to enter intoa friendship with you.
  • 00:22:21.761 --> 00:22:23.829
  • You can bear your heart to Him.
  • 00:22:23.829 --> 00:22:25.431
  • You can tell yoursecrets to Him.
  • 00:22:25.431 --> 00:22:27.800
  • He will bear His heart to you.
  • 00:22:27.800 --> 00:22:30.736
  • He will reveal Hissecrets also to you.
  • 00:22:30.736 --> 00:22:34.440
  • Jesus said in John 15:15,
  • 00:22:34.440 --> 00:22:37.143
  • "No longer do Icall you servants,
  • 00:22:37.143 --> 00:22:39.311
  • for a servant doesn't knowwhat his master is doing.
  • 00:22:39.311 --> 00:22:41.781
  • But I've called you friends,
  • 00:22:41.781 --> 00:22:43.516
  • because whatever I'veheard from My Father
  • 00:22:43.516 --> 00:22:46.485
  • I've made known to you."
  • 00:22:46.485 --> 00:22:49.288
  • Yes, follow Me.
  • 00:22:49.288 --> 00:22:51.257
  • Follow with Me.
  • 00:22:51.257 --> 00:22:52.491
  • Start and finish.
  • 00:22:52.491 --> 00:22:53.759
  • Don't just do it at thebeginning of your life.
  • 00:22:53.759 --> 00:22:55.895
  • Do it through your life,right till the end.
  • 00:22:55.895 --> 00:22:58.097
  • I love how theapostle Paul wrote,
  • 00:22:58.097 --> 00:23:00.032
  • "I finished my race with joy."
  • 00:23:00.032 --> 00:23:02.902
  • Keep following Jesuseach and every day.
  • 00:23:02.902 --> 00:23:06.105
  • And look what happened,verse 9 of Mark 2.
  • 00:23:06.105 --> 00:23:09.942
  • "Levi," or Matthew, "gotup and followed Him."
  • 00:23:09.942 --> 00:23:13.779
  • I'm in.
  • 00:23:13.779 --> 00:23:15.281
  • He had thought aboutthis for a while.
  • 00:23:15.281 --> 00:23:17.183
  • He never thought hewould be called by Jesus,
  • 00:23:17.183 --> 00:23:19.151
  • but the moment Jesussaid, "Follow Me,"
  • 00:23:19.151 --> 00:23:22.121
  • Matthew said, "Yes,sir, I'm on board.
  • 00:23:22.121 --> 00:23:24.323
  • Let's go. Wheredo you wanna go?"
  • 00:23:24.323 --> 00:23:26.292
  • I love that.
  • 00:23:26.292 --> 00:23:27.226
  • Now, there's a little detail
  • 00:23:27.226 --> 00:23:28.794
  • that is left out herein the Gospel of Mark.
  • 00:23:28.794 --> 00:23:31.530
  • And as a matter of fact,
  • 00:23:31.530 --> 00:23:32.865
  • Matthew doesn't mentionin his gospel either,
  • 00:23:32.865 --> 00:23:36.302
  • but it's an importantthing for us to know.
  • 00:23:36.302 --> 00:23:38.604
  • Luke fills us inand he tells us,
  • 00:23:38.604 --> 00:23:41.040
  • "Matthew left all, roseup, and followed Him."
  • 00:23:41.040 --> 00:23:45.511
  • You have to understand,tax collector,
  • 00:23:45.511 --> 00:23:47.213
  • that's a pretty sweet business.
  • 00:23:47.213 --> 00:23:49.114
  • He was making good money,
  • 00:23:49.114 --> 00:23:50.783
  • because a tax collector notonly collected taxes for Rome,
  • 00:23:50.783 --> 00:23:54.753
  • he also collected extramoney for himself.
  • 00:23:54.753 --> 00:23:57.890
  • So he was leaving anaffluent, luxurious lifestyle
  • 00:23:57.890 --> 00:24:02.294
  • and all the friendsthat went with it,
  • 00:24:02.294 --> 00:24:04.964
  • but he could have cared less.
  • 00:24:04.964 --> 00:24:07.666
  • And I think it's interestingthat in his own gospel
  • 00:24:07.666 --> 00:24:09.969
  • he doesn't mention whathe gave up for Jesus.
  • 00:24:09.969 --> 00:24:13.172
  • But it is mentionedto us by Luke.
  • 00:24:13.172 --> 00:24:15.774
  • I think of all the disciples,
  • 00:24:15.774 --> 00:24:17.810
  • Matthew materially, atleast, gave up more.
  • 00:24:17.810 --> 00:24:20.779
  • I mean, yes, Peter, James,and John gave up their nets
  • 00:24:20.779 --> 00:24:25.451
  • and their fishing business,
  • 00:24:25.451 --> 00:24:27.152
  • but hey, this guy gaveup a lucrative career
  • 00:24:27.152 --> 00:24:31.857
  • and gave up everythingto follow Jesus.
  • 00:24:31.857 --> 00:24:33.959
  • He may have lost a career,but he gained a destiny.
  • 00:24:33.959 --> 00:24:37.630
  • Just as surely as Jesuslooked at Matthew and said,
  • 00:24:37.630 --> 00:24:41.267
  • "Follow Me," Jesus is sayingthe same to you right now
  • 00:24:41.267 --> 00:24:45.137
  • wherever you are.
  • 00:24:45.137 --> 00:24:47.606
  • Hey, maybe God has beenspeaking to your heart
  • 00:24:48.507 --> 00:24:51.277
  • through this message.
  • 00:24:51.277 --> 00:24:52.711
  • I want you to know
  • 00:24:52.711 --> 00:24:53.979
  • that Jesus Christ diedon the cross for you.
  • 00:24:53.979 --> 00:24:57.182
  • He shed His blood onthe cross for you.
  • 00:24:57.182 --> 00:25:00.185
  • And you know what?
  • 00:25:00.185 --> 00:25:01.420
  • It wasn't nails thatheld Him to the cross,
  • 00:25:01.420 --> 00:25:03.055
  • it was love for you.
  • 00:25:03.055 --> 00:25:05.591
  • God loves you and Godhas a plan for your life.
  • 00:25:05.591 --> 00:25:08.961
  • And Christ wants to comeand live inside of you,
  • 00:25:08.961 --> 00:25:12.164
  • but He will notforce His way in.
  • 00:25:12.164 --> 00:25:14.366
  • The same Jesus whodied in the cross
  • 00:25:14.366 --> 00:25:16.435
  • and rose from thedead three days later
  • 00:25:16.435 --> 00:25:18.837
  • is standing now at the doorof your life and He's knocking
  • 00:25:18.837 --> 00:25:22.107
  • and He saying, "If you'll hearMy voice and open the door,
  • 00:25:22.107 --> 00:25:25.477
  • I will come in."
  • 00:25:25.477 --> 00:25:27.046
  • Would you like Jesus Christ tocome and live in your heart?
  • 00:25:27.046 --> 00:25:30.349
  • Would you likeyour sin forgiven?
  • 00:25:30.349 --> 00:25:32.751
  • Would you like to fill thatbig hole inside of you?
  • 00:25:32.751 --> 00:25:35.955
  • Would you like to haveyour guilt removed?
  • 00:25:35.955 --> 00:25:38.123
  • And would you like to have thiscertainty that when you die
  • 00:25:38.123 --> 00:25:40.960
  • you will go to heaven?
  • 00:25:40.960 --> 00:25:42.227
  • If so, I'm gonna leadyou in a simple prayer,
  • 00:25:42.227 --> 00:25:45.331
  • and I would ask that youwould pray this prayer,
  • 00:25:45.331 --> 00:25:47.800
  • out loud if you like, after me.
  • 00:25:47.800 --> 00:25:49.902
  • This is a simple prayer
  • 00:25:49.902 --> 00:25:51.737
  • of asking Christ tocome into your life.
  • 00:25:51.737 --> 00:25:53.872
  • So again, if you want Jesusto come into your life,
  • 00:25:53.872 --> 00:25:57.209
  • pray this with meright here, right now.
  • 00:25:57.209 --> 00:26:00.646
  • Pray these words, Lord Jesus,
  • 00:26:00.646 --> 00:26:03.148
  • I know that I am a sinner,
  • 00:26:03.148 --> 00:26:05.484
  • but I know thatYou're the Savior
  • 00:26:05.484 --> 00:26:07.853
  • who died on the cross for my sin
  • 00:26:07.853 --> 00:26:10.556
  • and rose again from the dead.
  • 00:26:10.556 --> 00:26:12.925
  • I turn from my sin now
  • 00:26:12.925 --> 00:26:15.361
  • and I choose to follow Youfrom this moment forward.
  • 00:26:15.361 --> 00:26:19.665
  • In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
  • 00:26:19.665 --> 00:26:22.768
  • Hey, did you justpray that prayer?
  • 00:26:22.768 --> 00:26:24.536
  • Maybe you felt somethingreally emotional.
  • 00:26:24.536 --> 00:26:26.972
  • Maybe you felt nothing.
  • 00:26:26.972 --> 00:26:28.474
  • I'll tell you this, theday I prayed that prayer,
  • 00:26:28.474 --> 00:26:30.576
  • I didn't feel anything,but I look back and I know
  • 00:26:30.576 --> 00:26:33.345
  • that is the day Christcame into my life.
  • 00:26:33.345 --> 00:26:36.048
  • And if you prayed thatprayer and meant it,
  • 00:26:36.048 --> 00:26:38.684
  • God heard it andHe's answered it
  • 00:26:38.684 --> 00:26:40.986
  • and you are now a child of God.
  • 00:26:40.986 --> 00:26:43.489
  • I wanna send toyou a New Testament
  • 00:26:43.489 --> 00:26:45.591
  • that's simply called "TheNew Believers Bible."
  • 00:26:45.591 --> 00:26:48.460
  • It's designed forsomeone like yourself
  • 00:26:48.460 --> 00:26:50.462
  • that just prayed that prayer,
  • 00:26:50.462 --> 00:26:51.897
  • asking Jesus tocome into your life.
  • 00:26:51.897 --> 00:26:54.066
  • It's a very friendly translation
  • 00:26:54.066 --> 00:26:55.801
  • called the NewLiving Translation,
  • 00:26:55.801 --> 00:26:58.103
  • and it's filled with hundredsof notes that I wrote
  • 00:26:58.103 --> 00:27:00.973
  • almost as though youand I were sitting down
  • 00:27:00.973 --> 00:27:02.908
  • over a cup of coffee andI was just breaking down
  • 00:27:02.908 --> 00:27:05.644
  • what it means to livethe Christian life.
  • 00:27:05.644 --> 00:27:08.781
  • Let me send thatto you at no cost.
  • 00:27:08.781 --> 00:27:11.350
  • Thanks for watching.
  • 00:27:11.350 --> 00:27:12.918
  • And until nexttime, God bless you.
  • 00:27:12.918 --> 00:27:16.889
  • ♪ This is the day
  • 00:27:17.356 --> 00:27:20.192
  • ♪ The day when life begins
  • 00:27:20.192 --> 00:27:20.192