The Truth About Grace | Anchored Week 3

“Grace” is a word often thrown around in Christianity. What does it actually mean, and how does it impact your life today?

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    You were made to be brave.
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    You were born to make a difference.
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    God designed you for heart-pumping, joy-filled adventure
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    and we're here to guide you to that adventurous life:
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    Crossroads Church.
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    - Hi, I'm Brian Tome, Senior Pastor at Crossroads.
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    - And I'm Chuck Mingo, one of the teaching pastors at Crossroads.
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    - Before we get to our regularly scheduled program today,
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    let's just notice the tensions that are happening right now.
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    There is racial tensions that are happening in our country.
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    Actually, there's some of us that are really frustrated by this.
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    There's some of us who are really angry about it.
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    There's others of us that are kind of tired,
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    like, are we talking about this again?
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    I think all of us are in different places
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    and we can learn something from the coronavirus, maybe,
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    based on where you are in the country,
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    coronavirus is a big deal or not so much of a big deal.
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    And based on where you are in the country
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    and your perspective and your neighborhood,
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    the racial tensions might be a big deal
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    or might not be a big deal.
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    But the truth is, the racial stuff we're dealing with,
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    it's not going away, at least it hasn't been going away.
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    And we need to start talking about these things
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    and trying to find a better place to land in our relationships.
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    Chuck's a really good friend of mine.
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    And how are you doing right now?
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    - Yeah, man, it's been -- it's been challenging.
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    I think, for a lot of the people that I'm spending time with,
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    there's a sense of lament and grieving about,
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    man, we are here again.
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    And this is ultimately a heart issue, and I know that.
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    And so a lot of my time has just been spent
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    really just asking, God, "God, how do You --
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    how do You change our hearts in this moment,
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    all of us, regardless of where we are?"
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    I've also gotten a chance to spend some time
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    with friends of mine who are in law enforcement
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    and connect with them and pray with them.
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    I mean, as we've seen now unrest happening
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    in many cities across the country
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    and some of that turning into, unfortunately,
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    vandalism and other things.
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    You know, just getting the chance to spend time
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    with people who are on the front lines of that
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    and just listen to their challenges.
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    They're, you know, not taking days off and all of those things.
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    So there's a lot of things happening in the country right now
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    that cause my heart to be heavy, and at the same time,
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    to want to lean in relationally with people like you,
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    other people who I'm in relationship with and say,
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    "Hey, man, how do we use this moment
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    to actually get to a better place?"
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    - Yeah, relationships are the key thing.
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    I've been doubling down on just interacting
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    with folks who have darker skin tones than I am,
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    "How are you doing? How are you feeling about this?
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    How are you processing it?"
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    Walking in the shoes of somebody else,
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    or as Jesus would say, you know,
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    loving your neighbor as yourself
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    has been critical for all of us right now.
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    - That's right. That's right.
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    And it's one of the reasons why we've been talking
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    about this on social platforms and we've written --
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    you've written an article about it that I think is really helpful.
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    And you can find those things at Crossroads.net
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    because we do think that the church is meant
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    to be a resource in times like this.
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    - Yes, we thought about today preempting
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    our regularly scheduled program,
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    which we're going to get to in about a minute and a half,
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    but realized actually the content for what we're doing today
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    is actually perfect. Perfect.
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    We're going to talk about Jesus being the judge.
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    He's the judge? Yeah, Jesus is the judge.
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    That's a core tenant of what it means to be a Christian.
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    It's a core tenant of the key things
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    of what makes Christianity millions and millions
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    and millions of people seen Him that way for a long, long, long time.
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    And you've got to wonder, what would it look like
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    in our culture if we had Jesus as judge?
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    If we had Jesus who is metting out the right justice
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    and the right mercy, it would be pretty impressive.
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    - It would. It would. I mean, think about it.
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    We all want to believe that we can get justice,
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    that justice can be achieved,
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    whether we're on one side of that and we need it
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    or if we're on the other side of that where we deserve justice.
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    We want to know that it's gonna be right.
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    And Jesus makes it right.
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    I mean, think about the peace that we would have right now
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    if we knew that ultimately He was making the calls on these things.
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    And I believe He is.
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    I believe He is and wants to in our lives
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    as He gets more and more ground in our hearts.
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    And so I think today's going to be really encouraging
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    for people to hear that there is a just judge
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    and also a merciful judge.
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    - Well, let's stop talking about it
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    and let's start getting on it.
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    - In the second and third century, just like today,
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    there were a lot of opinions on what it meant
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    to believe in Jesus.
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    His followers knew this was a problem,
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    so they worked together to write formal statements
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    about what those non-negotiable beliefs were.
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    They called those statements creeds.
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    And one of the most well-known and enduring
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    is the Apostles Creed.
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    For 1700 years, these are the truths
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    that Christians have anchored themselves to.
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    - The hardest thing for people to grasp is
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    the full personality and responsibility bandwidth of Jesus.
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    When you don't just pigeonhole Him into sort of one category,
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    but you see He's got a breadth and depth to His role,
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    it solidifies your life.
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    It gives you an anchoring in the midst of the storm,
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    not just to stay where you are,
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    but to keep from being tipped over
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    and to actually get someplace in your life.
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    I'm in a courtroom right now because -- and by the way,
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    my name is Brian Tome, Senior Pastor at Crossroads.
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    And I'm in this courtroom right now because it reminds me
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    of an aspect of Jesus's personality and responsibility.
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    In the Apostles' Creed, this ancient set of beliefs
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    that followers of Christ have held for thousands of years,
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    it says that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father
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    and He will come to judge the living and the dead.
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    He will come to judge.
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    Let me tell you something,
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    I love to encourage and inspire people.
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    In fact, I think it's part of the responsibility
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    for a church to encourage and inspire people.
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    We live in a society and a culture
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    that is incredibly discouraging, that is incredibly draining,
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    that's always putting more expectations on us,
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    more demands, and grinding us down to a nub.
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    And I believe God's people should be
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    an oasis in the midst of negativity.
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    And having said that, you're going to be hearing me
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    really clearly, the main job of a church
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    is not to encourage, it's not to inspire;
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    the main job is to prepare, is to prepare you
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    for a life that is just around the corner,
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    to prepare you to understand a God
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    who is more involved in this world and your life
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    than you can imagine.
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    To make you prepared, because one day all of us
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    are going to stand before the judge.
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    And believe it or not, His name is Jesus.
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    He's not just a lovely flower power good guy,
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    He's a judge.
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    The very first time that Jesus is recording as teaching
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    something He teaches from the Book of Isaiah 61
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    and He applies this prophecy to himself.
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    Here's what it says:
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    That Isaiah passage, that's just great stuff
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    throughout the whole thing.
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    I think that we all err towards
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    grasping all the positive things,
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    how He's there to help the oppressed,
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    how He's there to help the poor.
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    And we should; God cares about all those things.
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    But I also think at the same time,
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    we're robbing ourselves of understanding
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    the full band width of the personality
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    and responsibility of Jesus.
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    All of us are tired of preachers screaming at us.
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    All of us are tired of angry white man just yelling things.
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    All of us do not appreciating going downtown
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    and people holding up signs about turning and burning.
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    None of us like the like the billboards
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    on the side of a highway that reminds us that hell is for real.
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    All of us have heard these things that we're like, ehh.
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    And so therefore, we've selectively shut down
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    out of our mind all of the truth in the Bible
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    that talks about vengeance being something that God does,
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    talking about judgment being a core responsibility
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    and part of the personality of Jesus.
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    Now, to spill this out more, let's take a look at
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    the book of 2 Timothy 4. Here's what it says:
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    This is a section of the Bible that the Apostle Paul
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    was writing to Timothy,
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    preparing Timothy to lead people spiritually
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    and he was preparing people like me to lead you spiritually,
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    preparing people like you to lead other people spiritually.
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    This is important stuff here.
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    And he says we're supposed to do our job, when?
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    We're supposed to do it in season and out of season.
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    What does it mean to do it in season and out?
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    It means when you want to do it
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    and when you don't want to do it.
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    No one ever -- I'll speak for myself.
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    I never want to tell people about the judgment of God.
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    I never want to remind people of the vengeance of God.
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    It's just not someting I get excited about.
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    I'm out of season right now, but I told you before
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    I'm here to prepare you today, friends.
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    I'm here to get you ready for a life of solidity.
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    I'm here to get you ready for the future.
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    I'm here to get you ready, it sounds cliche but it's true,
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    to meet your maker.
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    It's gonna happen someday,
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    maybe sooner than many of us believe it's going to.
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    And to do that, how do we prepare?
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    Well, by reproving, by rebuking, by exhorting, and by teaching.
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    Reproving would be to say,
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    "Hey, you're going a degree off one way or the other.
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    Just come back another degree."
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    Rebuke would be, "Hey, you're going down the wrong path.
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    Let me get you to totally switch
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    and come back the other side."
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    Exhorting, encouraging, "Keep going. Keep going.
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    You're doing well. Come on."
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    And teaching, "Here is the character of God
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    that you have to see," and I have to teach you right now.
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    I've got to exhort you. I've got to rebuke you.
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    I've got to reprove you
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    based on where you are spiritually
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    to see here that Christ Jesus is the judge.
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    He doesn't just affirm.
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    He doesn't just make you feel good.
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    He doesn't just make you smile.
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    Part of His role is to judge.
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    Well, who?
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    Well, the living: everyone who's alive right now;
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    and the dead: everyone who's been alive before us.
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    Friends, this is deep stuff.
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    We should expect -- We should expect if there is a God
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    that is above and beyond us,
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    we should be facing truths periodically that we don't like.
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    We should be facing cosmic realities
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    that cut against the grain of our culture
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    that wants to numb us down
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    and just have a stream YouTube all day long.
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    This is critical, friends.
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    Every, every single follower of Christ
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    who has fared well before the judgment seat of Christ
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    has been anchored and rooted in this identity of who Jesus is.
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    Now, let me kind of get out of my defendant seat
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    for a moment and let me maybe be the prosecutor.
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    Let me -- let me give us some evidence right now.
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    If the Apostles' Creed is right, if the Bible is right,
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    if thousands of years and millions and millions
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    and millions of followers of Christ are right
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    that Jesus is actually God, He's actually Lord,
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    He actually has a grand macro responsibility over all of us,
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    what might that affect?
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    Let's say if He's Lord, if you choose that He is Lord,
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    and the truth is, reality is He is Lord,
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    you have unlimited upside.
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    You are ready to experience the judge.
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    You are ready for whatever eternity has for you.
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    Let's say that Jesus actually is Lord.
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    You choose that He's Lord.
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    But what if He's not? What if He's just a nice guy?
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    I mean, all of us agree He's at least a nice guy, right?
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    Well, then then where does that get you?
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    Well, you still have significant upside.
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    I just ran across a study released by Harvard
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    that said that people who have faith in Jesus,
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    who attend religious services have 66% more likelihood
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    of having the right attitude during difficulty,
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    between 66% and 33%, depending on age and gender
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    So even if He's only a nice guy and you see Him as God,
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    as the judge, massive upside.
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    Your life will only improve.
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    You're not wrong; you've just made a choice
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    that's still going to give you a better life.
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    What if Jesus is really a nice guy?
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    That's what you choose, He's just a nice guy.
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    And Jesus really only is a nice guy, well, there's no change.
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    Whatever, just continue living your life the way you are,
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    having no power, having no anything, but there's no change.
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    If you believe Jesus is a nice guy,
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    and he's actually Lord, you have on limited downside.
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    Because He's not just the most loving person
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    who's ever walked the planet Earth, He is,
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    He's also judge.
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    And this is intimidating.
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    And it should be intimidating.
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    But what makes Jesus unique as judge
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    is also what makes Him uniquely qualified
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    to be on the judgment seat
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    and that's what we're going to look at next.
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    - Man, that is good news to know that I have a judge
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    I can trust in Jesus.
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    It gives me hope in the midst of all the crazy stuff
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    going on in our world.
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    We're gonna get back to Brian in a moment,
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    but maybe you're checking us out for the first time
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    or you want someone to pray with you
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    or you would just like to figure out what are
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    my next steps in being a part of the Crossroads community?
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    We'd love to talk with you, so come on and talk with us.
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    You know, even though our church buildings are closed,
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    the church is still open.
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    And I believe now more than ever,
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    our neighbors need a church.
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    They need people who are on a journey to follow Jesus
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    and places they can connect and belong.
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    And so I just want you to know you can do that.
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    And those of us who give, who tithe, actually fund
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    the kind of life change that we see happening around Crossroads.
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    If you want to join us in that,
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    you can go to Crossroads.net/give
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    or text the word Crossroads to 313131.
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    Well, let's get back to Brian
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    and see what he's up to in that courtroom.
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    - I am not wearing that.
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    You should want Jesus to be your judge.
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    Someone has to judge us.
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    Someone has to set things right in the cosmos.
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    We know there's way too many injustices.
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    There has to be a reckoning before a just God.
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    And if you're going to go before that God,
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    you want that to be Jesus,
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    because He's the one who's full of grace.
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    He's the one who understands mercy.
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    He's the one who understands forgiveness,
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    who has actually died for you to be forgiven.
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    The last words in the Apostles' Creed,
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    this belief statement that millions and millions
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    of people have been anchored to for thousands
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    and thousands of years summarizes
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    the good news of Jesus as the judge.,
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    the good news of the gospel.
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    It says that: I believe in the forgiveness of sins,
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    the resurrection of the body,
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    and the life everlasting. Amen.
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    Ominous phrase in there: the resurrection of the body.
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    Jesus was resurrected literally, physically, and historically.
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    It proves that He is God because He beat it
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    and it's a foretaste of what happens with every person
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    because He's going to judge the living and the dead
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    who are resurrected to come before His judgment seat.
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    I told you, friends, we're preparing for something here.
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    I know this might sound crazy right now,
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    but someday this going to happen with you
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    and you're going to be thankful you heard at one place,
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    at least, that's right here.
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    He is amazingly graceful.
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    He's amazingly powerful.
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    And He's beyond are even description,
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    that's why the art forms that we have
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    that try to depict Jesus
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    almost always fall way, way short of the mark.
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    But I saw one recently that I thought nails it.
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    The first depiction of Jesus where I saw it,
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    I thought, yeah, I would give my life to that guy.
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    And I've seen it a few times.
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    And every time I see a little snippet, I get emotional.
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    I want to share one of those snippets with you right now.
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    It's from a project that's called The Chosen.
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    You can get that app or you can also get it on YouTube.
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    It's fantastic.
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    I've been interacting with the producers and directors,
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    Dallas Jenkins.
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    He's given us permission to be able to show this.
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    And I love this scene.
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    It's assuming that Peter had some significant financial problems
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    and he is wearing a lot of stress
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    before a well-known miracle takes place.
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    I want you to see this because you're going to see
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    the Jesus that I know that I've never seen depicted
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    until I saw it in the midst of this production.
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    And I want you to see if you can't maybe relate
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    a little bit to the frustration or the difficulty
  • 00:19:00
    that Peter's going through in this depiction,
  • 00:19:02
    which may have been exactly historical,
  • 00:19:05
    but we just don't know.
  • 00:19:06
    History is pretty silent on it.
  • 00:19:08
    Before this well-known miracle takes place,
  • 00:19:10
    we see Peter in significant financial and relational distress.
  • 00:19:15
    He's in debt.
  • 00:19:17
    He owes taxes that he can't get caught up on.
  • 00:19:21
    And bad things are about to happen to him.
  • 00:19:23
    He's at the end of his rope
  • 00:19:25
    and he's trying to get some fish to knock down the bills
  • 00:19:29
    and it's just not working. Let's pick up that scene.
  • 00:19:36
    - Put that down for a catch, a little farther out.
  • 00:19:42
    - I don't have a quarrel with you, teacher,
  • 00:19:45
    but we've been doing this all night, nothing.
  • 00:19:55
    All right, at your word.
  • 00:20:12
    Grab the net. Grab it.
  • 00:20:17
    (struggling) Take that side.
  • 00:20:20
    (grunts)
  • 00:20:25
    Hey. - Let's go.
  • 00:20:31
    (indiscernible yelling)
  • 00:20:51
    (laughter)
  • 00:20:59
    - Simon, I told you.
  • 00:21:03
    I told you. I told you.
  • 00:21:15
    My brother and MY baptizer.
  • 00:21:20
    You are the Lamb of God, yes?
  • 00:21:22
    - I am.
  • 00:21:24
    - Depart for me.
  • 00:21:27
    I am a sinful man.
  • 00:21:29
    You don't know who I am, the things I've done.
  • 00:21:32
    - Don't be afraid, Simon.
  • 00:21:36
    - I'm sorry.
  • 00:21:38
    We waited for you for so long.
  • 00:21:40
    We believed, but my faith, how sorry.
  • 00:21:44
    - Lift up your head, fisherman.
  • 00:21:54
    - What do you want from me?
  • 00:21:56
    Anything you ask, I will do.
  • 00:22:05
    - Follow me.
  • 00:22:11
    - Maybe you're like Peter.
  • 00:22:13
    Maybe you're at the end of your rope financially,
  • 00:22:16
    the end of your rope physically, emotionally,
  • 00:22:20
    relationally, spiritually.
  • 00:22:23
    And you need a judge that's going to come to you
  • 00:22:25
    and tell you it's OK,
  • 00:22:27
    who's going to raise their gavel and go, "Not guilty.
  • 00:22:33
    Innocent. I declare you forgiven."
  • 00:22:36
    That is called grace.
  • 00:22:38
    You and I need a judge that is full of grace, full of power,
  • 00:22:43
    and has the ability to do what you and I can't do.
  • 00:22:45
    That's the Jesus I know.
  • 00:22:47
    That's the grace giver I know.
  • 00:22:49
    That's the judge that I'm looking forward to going before.
  • 00:22:53
    Maybe you've never received Him, you can do that right now.
  • 00:22:55
    Let's just pray together.
  • 00:22:58
    Jesus, I want to receive You into my life.
  • 00:23:02
    I pray right now that You would forgive me for my sin.
  • 00:23:07
    Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit.
  • 00:23:10
    As best I can, I will follow You the rest of my life. Amen.
  • 00:23:20
    If you've prayed that prayer,
  • 00:23:21
    why don't you go to Crossroads.net and chat with us.
  • 00:23:23
    We'd love to be able to help you out on next steps.
  • 00:23:25
    And for all of us, we need to be so thankful
  • 00:23:29
    for the amazing grace of this great judge.
  • 00:23:32
    Why don't we just sing to Him right now
  • 00:23:34
    and let's join our voices together from all over the country,
  • 00:23:38
    giving Him the praise, the compliments, the adoration,
  • 00:23:42
    the worship that this just judge deserves, let's do that.
  • 00:34:29
    - Thanks for singing together.
  • 00:34:30
    You know you can listen to the Crossroads Music
  • 00:34:32
    and use it to encourage you in your relationship with God throughout the week.
  • 00:34:35
    You can find it on all of your music platforms.
  • 00:34:38
    Another way you can stay connected with us throughout the week
  • 00:34:40
    is using the Crossroads app.
  • 00:34:41
    If you go to Crossroads.net/anchored
  • 00:34:43
    you can download the app, and in it follow Brian and others
  • 00:34:47
    as we journal and share what God is teaching us
  • 00:34:50
    you can get daily Scripture,
  • 00:34:51
    you can also get prayed for, all right through the app.
  • 00:34:54
    Crossroads is fueled by the generosity of people like you and me.
  • 00:34:57
    So if you want to join us in giving to what God's doing here,
  • 00:35:00
    you can go to Crossroads.net/give
  • 00:35:02
    or texting the word Crossroads to 313131.
  • 00:35:06
    Next week, Ali's going to be talking about the next aspect of The Creed:
  • 00:35:10
    I believe in the Holy Spirit.
  • 00:35:11
    You know, the Holy Spirit can be this mystical thing,
  • 00:35:13
    but she's going to demystify it and make it super relevant to your lives.
  • 00:35:17
    You won't want to miss it.
  • 00:35:18
    I'm going to be here. Are you going to be here?
  • 00:35:20
    I hope so. Have a great week.
Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend Follow Up.

  1. We usually like to kick things off light and fun, but given all that’s happening in our world right now, let’s just take a moment to honestly share where each of us are. Pick one word (seriously, just one — hyphenated doesn’t count) that describes how you’re feeling.

  2. When you hear Jesus described as a judge, what’s your initial gut reaction and why?

  3. Read 2 Timothy 4:1-2. What’s one area in your life that is being prepared to “meet your maker”? Maybe you’re in need of a small course correct (reprove), a total change (rebuke), encouragement (exhort), or to learn more about God’s character (teach). Share that with the group.

  4. What does it look like in your life for Jesus to be Lord, and not just a nice guy? Share some specific examples.

  5. Jesus is a gracious and powerful judge. What could it look like this week to experience him that way? It might even be receiving a relationship with him for the first time, or picking some area where you stop negotiating with Him. After each person shares, then someone else prays for them in that area.

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(This stuff helps us figure out how many fruitcakes to make come December)

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Jun 6, 2020 35 mins 54 sec

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