Jesus loves you. A lot. But just like every great relationship, there will be challenges as you grow together. Come and explore the 3 types of people who rarely step up to that challenge. And the simple way not to be one of them.

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    - Hey, welcome to Crossroads.
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    I'm Andy and I'm so glad that you've joined us today.
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    You're actually joining us for our second week
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    studying a book in the Bible called Mark.
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    Specifically, we're going to look at
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    how lines, circles, and Jesus all closely relate
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    and come together in this book.
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    But first, we're actually going to spend
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    this next bit of time worshiping together.
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    This is a time of singing songs about God and to Him.
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    But we also believe that worship
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    isn't confined to singing songs or just singing songs
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    in one room at one time together.
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    One of the beautiful things that I'm learning right now
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    is that we don't all have to be in the same place
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    physically to experience God together.
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    Now, a couple of weekends ago,
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    I actually experienced this personally.
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    I was out solo camping and I got a text
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    from a Crossroads community member in Nepal.
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    It was a video of his son and his friends performing
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    a Crossroads music original worshiping in Nepal.
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    And I had a beautiful moment in the middle of the woods,
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    being led in worship by a member of our church,
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    literally on the other side of the world.
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    So wherever you are right now, this is a chance
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    for you to have a few minutes with
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    the God who loves you more than you can know.
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    - You may not know it, but what you just said
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    is Scripture, it's not new words created in 2024.
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    You just said Scripture.
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    Our our team wrote this song right from a scripture.
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    It's been near and dear to my heart for many years
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    because I needed to choose to believe it.
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    So it became an anchor point for me.
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    It's James 1:17 in the Bible.
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    It says every good gift and every perfect gift
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    comes from above, it comes down from the Father of lights.
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    What you're in right now, online and in this room,
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    you're surrounded by many people who believe that.
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    I believe that, that every good thing in my life
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    has a source to it,
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    and that source is the Creator of all. It's God.
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    You may not believe that. You're in the right place.
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    You came in here wanting more,
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    and you're surrounded by people who would say,
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    "I found more. He's a good God, a provider,
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    a good source of all good things."
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    And as I just watch in the room,
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    I can't see you online, forgive me.
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    But as I just watch in the room, I could see
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    some of you seeing those words in that first song
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    or the second song, or even that song just now,
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    Anything That's Good and some of you just lit up with a smile.
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    Because for you today, it's easy to say,
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    "Oh, yeah, I remember.
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    I remember God providing me this.
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    I remember the friend who invited me here.
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    I remember the loved one I'm standing next to.
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    I remember my first child,
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    or I remember acing that test," whatever it may be.
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    Some of your faces lit up as we sing this.
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    Others of you still chose to sing,
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    even without a smile on your face,
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    because where you're at in life right now
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    says this is a hard choice to say He's good.
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    It's a hard choice to show up and believe in a good God.
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    When I'm in that space, I need to hear stories.
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    I need to hear stories of those who are around me
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    saying, "Here's where He's been good in my life."
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    Because their stories remind me of
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    how He's been good in my own life.
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    They help me see it.
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    It's one of the benefits of us gathering together
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    as we get to share stories.
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    And so one of the best places we collect those stories
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    as a church is out on our base camp.
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    Anybody been to camps before? There you go.
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    So we have this space out at camp
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    where we just can collect your raw, uh, unedited story.
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    We call them dumper stories.
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    Why do we call it a dumper?
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    Well, because it's an outhouse.
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    And why would we put a recording in an outhouse
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    for people to tell their very personal story?
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    Well, because we're Crossroads.
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    And so there's a literal outhouse.
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    It's not a functional outhouse. Take it easy.
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    But it's a literal old outhouse.
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    And people can go in there any moment that
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    they want out of camp and pick up
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    this old military grade phone and speak into it,
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    their raw, in the moment response
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    to seeing God's breakthrough and God's goodness.
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    And so whether it's with a smile today or a stern choice,
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    I want you to hear some stories of God's breakthrough.
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    We're going to keep worshiping.
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    You're going to hear a couple of these stories
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    collected in that, stories of breakthrough,
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    stories of God's goodness.
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    - This is my fourth camp.
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    Two Man Camps, a Couples Camp, and now Father Son Camp.
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    I came out of Couples Camp seeing the power of God
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    move in my marriage, and I brought my son
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    to Father Son Camp hoping to see that same change,
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    but knowing that life with my son
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    has been hard as raising a son is.
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    And letting go of baggage so that
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    we can continue to grow as God wants us to.
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    And I found out during solitude that
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    my seven year old is carrying and sees his baggage.
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    And it gave me the realization that my expectations for myself,
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    my expectations for him, are outlandish,
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    but am now realizing that by holding on to my baggage,
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    I'm forcing him to hold on to his too.
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    And we both need to let our baggage go
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    so that we can help each other to grow better
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    as father and son and as followers of Christ.
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    And that's my big takeaway from this weekend.
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    - I wasn't expecting to have a breakthrough in the woods.
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    We were asked to close our eyes
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    and to let God just tell us what we needed.
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    When I closed my eyes, I saw my daughter's headstone,
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    and I heard, "She is Mine." And I lost it.
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    I cried so hard because I realized that
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    I have been so angry at God.
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    I kept hearing, "She is Mine, she is Mine."
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    And I realized that my daughter was always His
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    and the short amount of time that I had her heartbeat
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    and I had her body, and I had so much love for her
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    that she was never mine. She was always His.
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    So that's what I'm leaving at camp: fear and anger.
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    And it is such a burden off of my chest and my heart.
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    I'm so grateful to have this opportunity.
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    - I'm in Puerto Rico interacting with
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    one of the partners that we have
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    that we partner with with Go Trips.
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    And this house was recently completed
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    by a bunch of Crossroads folks.
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    For this house we were the first one in,
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    we're the last one out working here
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    since a natural disaster a couple of years ago.
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    And I'll tell you what, that's part of why we do Go Trips,
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    because people's lives get changed,
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    not just on the other side of the world
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    or outside of America, but actually in your life.
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    Hey, why don't you try something new?
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    Why don't you try getting outside your comfort zone?
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    Why don't you try blessing somebody else,
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    giving them a hand up in life?
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    In the process, you just might find
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    your life change as well. Go someplace.
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    - Now, like BT just said, life change happens
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    when we go and when we move.
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    And if you're interested in that life change
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    for yourself and being a part of life change
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    for someone else across the globe, you can check out
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    all of our Go Trips at
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    Now, I have experienced this in South Africa,
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    in India, in Nicaragua, and actually this year
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    I'm going to experience it fresh again in Puerto Rico.
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    Would love for you to join me
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    and the Anywhere team this December.
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    I mean, it's December in Puerto Rico.
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    Come on, find a trip that works for you and go.
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    Now part of what you just heard in worship
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    are stories of life change from real people
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    who experienced God at one of our camps.
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    Now, what are camps?
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    They are unique Crossroads events
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    hosted on our land in Ohio,
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    specifically designed to take you to a new place
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    relationally and spiritually.
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    We have over nine different camp experiences,
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    so whether you're a man, woman, couple, student,
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    veteran, senior who can't sleep on the ground anymore,
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    hey, we have something for you.
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    So wherever you live, we want you to come
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    and experience this for yourself.
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    You can find out more information and sign up
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    for a camp at
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    Now, we've been talking a lot about life change,
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    and life change happens through going
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    and experiencing something new with God,
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    but it can also happen through the practice
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    of living generously, specifically financially,
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    through the tithe.
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    What we mean by that is that a lot of people
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    in our community practice the biblical concept
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    of the tithe by giving 10% of their gross income
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    back to their local church.
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    And if that sounds crazy, hey, stick with me here.
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    Twice in our history, in October of '19
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    and October of 2022, we did a teaching series
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    called The Blessed Life that explains
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    why we believe what we believe about God and money
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    and, man, what happens when we put God first in our lives,
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    as evidenced by how we manage our money,
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    that He shows up in our lives in profound ways.
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    Most of the people who experienced The Blessed Life
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    said it was some of the most refreshing,
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    invigorating, biblical teaching they've ever heard,
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    and it was about money.
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    Here's a story of one person whose life
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    was impacted by The Blessed Life.
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    - My name is Arturo Minera. You can call me Arturo.
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    I didn't grow up in church.
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    I grew up in Miami, Florida.
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    My family moved up here when I was ten years old.
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    My parents separated shortly after moving up here,
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    but it was at that point where now my mom
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    being a single mom with her four kids,
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    giving, when it was explained to me,
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    the youth pastors would have these sermons
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    about here's how you give when you don't have money to give.
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    The foundation of how to give back for me
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    wasn't financial because just contextually,
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    I didn't have always a dollar to give
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    in that bucket that some churches would pass around.
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    It was giving of time and talent.
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    So I would get involved in like the worship team.
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    I had already, in my head, I was already thinking,
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    "I am giving. What do I need to do with my money
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    that I'm not already giving with my time?"
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    My rationale was God's giving me money. Great.
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    Now I can do something with that,
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    pay my bills and everything.
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    But God, you're still getting 10% of me,
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    so that should be enough."
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    That was the posture in my heart for a good amount of years.
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    It was just a thing you had to do.
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    So what changed for me then was a couple things.
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    Going back to my wife and I, on the verge of getting married.
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    We went church shopping for a year.
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    We landed on Crossroads.
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    And wouldn't you know it, the first teaching
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    that we arrived to was The Blessed Life series.
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    The way I remembered it, it gave us this analogy
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    of this rainforest somewhere that he stepped into,
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    and it was almost magical in how here
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    you're constantly being poured on with rain, with dews,
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    and you step out and it's almost like magic.
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    And it was through that language of like,
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    man, there's there's an invitation God gives us
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    to live in this blessed life.
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    And it's kind of silly how humanity tends to,
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    for whatever reason, step out of it.
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    It was a great foundation for my wife and I
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    for a lot of things, because as newlyweds,
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    as new parents, and then when it comes to giving,
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    it was just a fresh look at here's what would happen
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    if you considered giving as much as you could back to God.
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    And then when we step into it, we've seen the fruits
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    and we've seen it in all parts of our life.
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    Why would we give that up? Why would we stop now?
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    We decided to start giving, and some of those things
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    that we started to see was more peace.
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    The first couple of weeks were very rocky.
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    I could really only say a couple weeks because
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    peace of knowing that God covered us financially,
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    God covered us at home.
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    There's a lot of personal things
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    that we were very concerned about.
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    As soon as we started giving with this changed mindset,
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    this changed perspective, willing, changed perspective,
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    we just saw a lot of fights that could have happened,
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    just not, kind of aligned us in a way that
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    when we did things, we kind of sensed that
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    we weren't doing it alone.
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    So what was important to me was, and for my wife,
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    was knowing that being part of a community
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    that was all in on giving, financially giving in these ways
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    was something that made my wife and I feel
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    more comfortable about doing together.
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    I see now God is showing up with another thing
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    that I didn't trust.
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    I didn't --I didn't know who to trust with my finances.
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    I didn't know who to trust with this whole concept of giving.
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    I put my trust in Him and once again,
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    surprise, surprise, He shows up.
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    - Hey, I know Arturo and that is what happens
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    when someone truly puts God first in their life,
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    as evidenced not just by where they spend their time,
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    but where they spend their money.
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    And Arturo found things like
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    peace that surpasses understanding.
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    He and his wife drew closer together.
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    He got answers from God about questions that he had.
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    In short, he saw God's blessings in his life.
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    And did you hear what he said at the end?
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    The fact that he was part of a community of people
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    who were committed to giving in this way,
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    encouraged him and his wife.
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    And that's true. That's what happens.
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    You are surrounded by people who put God first
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    in their finances, and God regularly uses those people
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    to change the world through Crossroads.
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    Just last week, over 40,000 people heard
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    the gospel preached at our Super Bowl of Preaching.
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    This is faithful people who tithe and give
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    and make that and so much more possible.
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    And for anyone who tithes at Crossroads,
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    we have something called the Blue Team.
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    And if that's you, I want to encourage you to sign up
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    and join the literally thousands of people
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    who are already on The Blue Team.
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    The Blue Team is for self-declared tithers,
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    so we take your word on it.
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    We don't check your w-2s or anything.
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    And you don't have to be wealthy.
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    Crossroads doesn't have any corporate sponsors,
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    just normal, faithful people.
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    So when you sign up, you'll be put on the list
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    of people who regularly get special information
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    about what's happening behind the scenes
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    here at Crossroads, and specifically
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    who are asked to pray for those things
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    and the mission that God has given us.
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    Every year around this time, we also send out
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    an annual Blue Team sticker,
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    and we're about to do that this year.
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    So if you are a tither, then please sign up ASAP
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    at so we can get that to you
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    and have you on the list.
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    And if that's not you, hey, please hear me here,
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    you are still welcome.
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    We know we have people at all different phases
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    of their spiritual journey, and we are so glad about that.
  • 00:30:02
    And you can still support the work that God
  • 00:30:04
    is doing here at Crossroads at
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    Now, just as God invites us into a blessed life,
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    He invites us into life with Him.
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    We're in our second week of studying the book of Mark
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    together, and Alli is diving deep into
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    how Jesus invites us into relationship.
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    - Some of us see lines as divisive,
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    limiting and restrictive.
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    Others see lines and think, "Sweet,
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    now we know exactly where to go and what to do."
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    In their purest form, lines provide clarity
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    about the space between two points.
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    What if I told you that Jesus
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    was really good at drawing lines?
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    He was all about challenging people to something better.
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    Jesus constantly challenges people
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    to step over the line to receive more.
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    When we choose to step over the line Jesus draws,
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    we are stepping into more of his goodness.
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    Circles, on the other hand, they're just lines that curve.
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    A circle shows us where
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    the energy is concentrated in the middle.
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    A circle surrounds and identifies what is valued.
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    Everyone wants to feel valued and known.
  • 00:31:30
    All throughout history, Jesus has been weaponized
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    or minimized by people who want Him
  • 00:31:35
    to fit into their circle, club, or the in-crowd.
  • 00:31:39
    Jesus drew His own circle, and it turns out
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    it was bigger than anyone could have ever expected.
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    Whether you resonate more with lines or circles,
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    Jesus calls you to step into
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    more of His concentrated goodness.
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    Jesus wants all of us to step over the line
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    into His giant circle.
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    - Hey, everybody. I'm Alli.
  • 00:32:03
    It's great to be with you this weekend at Crossroads.
  • 00:32:06
    And we are in the Gospel of Mark, looking for
  • 00:32:09
    the fullest picture of Jesus that we can possibly get.
  • 00:32:13
    Why is this so important?
  • 00:32:14
    Whenever I read the Gospels, I'm always asking God,
  • 00:32:17
    "Make sure I see the real Jesus
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    because I want to know Him, which helps me love Him."
  • 00:32:23
    And it actually also helps us understand
  • 00:32:25
    what might He be doing in our life every single day.
  • 00:32:29
    And today we're going to talk about that
  • 00:32:31
    a little bit in depth in the context of relationship.
  • 00:32:34
    What kind of relationship is Jesus after
  • 00:32:38
    for you and for me in our life every single day?
  • 00:32:43
    I think there's a line that He is inviting all of us
  • 00:32:47
    to step across into a very specific
  • 00:32:50
    kind of relationship with Him.
  • 00:32:51
    Some of us haven't seen that line.
  • 00:32:53
    Some of us are hiding from that line.
  • 00:32:55
    But I think some of us step across a line
  • 00:32:58
    into a brand new place with Him.
  • 00:33:00
    Let me pray for us.
  • 00:33:01
    Would You speak to us personally about
  • 00:33:03
    where we are with You, what what our relationships are like?
  • 00:33:06
    And I'm asking that You would invite
  • 00:33:08
    every single person who's present with us here
  • 00:33:11
    or online to step into a new space with You.
  • 00:33:17
    In Jesus's name, Amen.
  • 00:33:20
    Well, we've got -- we've been using this concept
  • 00:33:22
    of circles and lines to think about
  • 00:33:24
    some of the complexities of Jesus, who He is,
  • 00:33:27
    what His character is like, what He does in our life.
  • 00:33:29
    And through the gospel of Mark, undoubtedly,
  • 00:33:32
    when we look at how Jesus relates to other people,
  • 00:33:34
    we see both of these things.
  • 00:33:36
    Some of us love the idea of Jesus being circled Jesus,
  • 00:33:39
    you know, inviting everybody in Jesus,
  • 00:33:42
    all up close, come closer, come near everybody.
  • 00:33:46
    And He is absolutely that.
  • 00:33:48
    And He also draws some lines.
  • 00:33:50
    And as I look at the Gospel of Mark, I see this theme
  • 00:33:53
    that shows me how Jesus invited everyone into His circle.
  • 00:33:58
    Mark writes about a very specific word that
  • 00:34:01
    as you're reading the book with us,
  • 00:34:03
    I hope you are in the app.
  • 00:34:04
    I'm reading Mark through the app. I
  • 00:34:06
    hope you are as well.
  • 00:34:07
    Mark repeatedly talks about crowds, crowds,
  • 00:34:12
    crowds, crowds everywhere Jesus goes
  • 00:34:15
    it seems that there's a crowd gathering around Him.
  • 00:34:18
    And this theme goes all throughout the gospel.
  • 00:34:20
    And to me, it's indicative of just how many times
  • 00:34:23
    Jesus welcomed in, invited in, and let Himself
  • 00:34:27
    be around a whole bunch of people.
  • 00:34:29
    And when He did that, He didn't draw a lot of lines.
  • 00:34:32
    And these weren't just any crowds.
  • 00:34:34
    They were kind of like a crowd that I was in
  • 00:34:36
    maybe a year, year and a half ago, I took my girls
  • 00:34:39
    and we went to an FC Cincinnati soccer game one night.
  • 00:34:42
    A friend gave us tickets,
  • 00:34:43
    and right as we approached the stadium,
  • 00:34:46
    this huge thunderstorm broke open.
  • 00:34:49
    I mean, like enormous.
  • 00:34:51
    And right as we're going up the steps.
  • 00:34:53
    Now, some of you get caught in the rain
  • 00:34:55
    and your skin looks dewy and you get beachy waves.
  • 00:34:58
    I look like my cat when he falls in the bathtub.
  • 00:35:02
    So this -- I'm super distracted.
  • 00:35:04
    We're walking up the stairs and the rain is pouring down,
  • 00:35:06
    and I don't really realize
  • 00:35:08
    until it's like 10 seconds too late,
  • 00:35:10
    we just join the stream of people,
  • 00:35:12
    that they had cleared the seats.
  • 00:35:14
    So everyone in the stadium was crushed into
  • 00:35:17
    the circle where all the concessions and bathrooms are.
  • 00:35:20
    And it was like scary crowd, like,
  • 00:35:24
    nobody can move, people in your face, on your back.
  • 00:35:27
    I'm trying to keep a hold of my girls.
  • 00:35:28
    I mean, it is a literal crush of people kind of crowd.
  • 00:35:32
    And we were like that for about an hour.
  • 00:35:35
    And you could tell the crowd wanted something.
  • 00:35:38
    They really wanted that game to start.
  • 00:35:41
    They wanted to get back to their seats.
  • 00:35:42
    And nobody, nobody wanted to be
  • 00:35:45
    right up in each other's faces.
  • 00:35:46
    But we all were there for the same reason.
  • 00:35:49
    That's exactly what some of the crowds were like around Jesus.
  • 00:35:52
    I think sometimes when I read the word crowds,
  • 00:35:54
    I just think like, "Oh, it was a couple dozen people."
  • 00:35:57
    No, it was that kind of crowd. It was a crushing crowd.
  • 00:36:02
    People were very interested in being near Him
  • 00:36:05
    because of how Jesus drew circles in a crowd,
  • 00:36:08
    because of how He invited people into His space.
  • 00:36:12
    Jesus was very freely interacting in the crowd.
  • 00:36:16
    All through Mark, whenever you see that word,
  • 00:36:19
    watch what He does.
  • 00:36:20
    Jesus never once rejects, belittles, demeans a crowd.
  • 00:36:27
    He actually engages very freely with them.
  • 00:36:30
    Jesus meets needs in the crowd,
  • 00:36:32
    like real practical needs.
  • 00:36:33
    We get stories all the way through this gospel
  • 00:36:36
    of Jesus doing things like feeding people dinner,
  • 00:36:38
    like, literally thousands of people
  • 00:36:40
    He provides food for in a crowd.
  • 00:36:42
    He heals lots of people.
  • 00:36:44
    That's why people wanted to get close to Him,
  • 00:36:46
    because they wanted to touch Him.
  • 00:36:48
    They wanted to be close to Him.
  • 00:36:49
    They wanted to drag their friends to Him in a crowd.
  • 00:36:52
    And Jesus was patient and welcoming and inviting.
  • 00:36:56
    He regularly taught the crowd because
  • 00:36:59
    He got super bummed out that they didn't
  • 00:37:00
    have good leaders who were giving them
  • 00:37:02
    regular encouragement and instruction.
  • 00:37:05
    Jesus seemed to kind of love a crowd.
  • 00:37:08
    He certainly loved the people in the crowd very, very freely.
  • 00:37:12
    Now, I think this is one of the things that
  • 00:37:15
    we do pretty well in this community.
  • 00:37:17
    I think that's why crowds can sometimes gather at Crossroads.
  • 00:37:21
    Because this has been my experience.
  • 00:37:23
    I've been in this community 23 years, 23 years.
  • 00:37:25
    I have never once felt unwelcome
  • 00:37:30
    or I have never, ever, even, even when I knew
  • 00:37:33
    not one person here, I've never thought that
  • 00:37:37
    anyone was after something from me.
  • 00:37:39
    I've genuinely felt invited into many things over the years.
  • 00:37:43
    That's exactly how Jesus interacted
  • 00:37:45
    with people in the crowd.
  • 00:37:46
    And if that's real, you know, we talk about camps
  • 00:37:49
    and trips a lot around here, and if you decide
  • 00:37:52
    to go on one of those, no one's going to check
  • 00:37:54
    to see if you've been baptized
  • 00:37:56
    or what your theological convictions are.
  • 00:37:58
    You know, Jesus didn't do that with people either.
  • 00:38:01
    When he was in mass numbers of people,
  • 00:38:04
    He invited them closer to actually meet real needs,
  • 00:38:08
    to actually engage exactly where their lives were
  • 00:38:12
    at that time, and try to be a blessing to them in the crowd.
  • 00:38:16
    He generously gave what actually mattered to people.
  • 00:38:20
    He never represented a crowd as a terrible thing,
  • 00:38:23
    but it is a one dimensional thing.
  • 00:38:25
    The kind of relationship you can have with somebody
  • 00:38:27
    who's in a crowd is not complete, right?
  • 00:38:31
    You might see what's true. It's just not complete.
  • 00:38:35
    And I think about that whenever I speak,
  • 00:38:38
    whenever I teach, I just think,
  • 00:38:40
    I really strive to be authentically myself,
  • 00:38:43
    like to talk like I would to my friends or my coworkers,
  • 00:38:47
    to say what's honest and real about my life
  • 00:38:50
    and about my relationship with Jesus.
  • 00:38:52
    I really do strive to do that.
  • 00:38:54
    But at the same time, if you came home with me,
  • 00:38:59
    you would see something entirely different. Right?
  • 00:39:02
    You would see a bunch of new layers.
  • 00:39:04
    If you came home with me you would see how I talk to my kids.
  • 00:39:08
    You would see how we did family meeting on Sunday night.
  • 00:39:11
    You might wonder why there was Yahtzee
  • 00:39:12
    in the middle of my kitchen table 365 days a year.
  • 00:39:16
    You might hear what's on my Spotify playlist
  • 00:39:20
    or how I do my calendar.
  • 00:39:21
    You might wonder who I spend time with, you know,
  • 00:39:25
    marked out, like, some of my friendships
  • 00:39:27
    and how I engage those.
  • 00:39:29
    There's just layers to all of us.
  • 00:39:30
    There's layers of complexity to who you are
  • 00:39:33
    and how you put your life together that you could learn
  • 00:39:36
    if we went home with each other,
  • 00:39:38
    if we engaged in each other's lives that way.
  • 00:39:40
    Anybody wondering why I have Yahtzee
  • 00:39:42
    in the middle of my kitchen table?
  • 00:39:43
    Yeah, I threw that one out there, and I thought,
  • 00:39:48
    "I wonder if they're wonder why I have Yahtzee."
  • 00:39:50
    It's not just our favorite game, but I've noticed
  • 00:39:52
    it's exactly the right length,
  • 00:39:53
    pro tip for anybody who has teenagers,
  • 00:39:55
    it's exactly the right length of game
  • 00:39:57
    to get my kids to say yes to.
  • 00:40:00
    Like it only takes like eight minutes
  • 00:40:02
    to play a game of Yahtzee.
  • 00:40:03
    So it's how I get my my teenagers to stick around
  • 00:40:06
    the kitchen a little longer.
  • 00:40:07
    "Oh, why don't you just sit down?
  • 00:40:09
    Let's play a quick game of Yahtzee."
  • 00:40:10
    It's like, "Okay, fine."
  • 00:40:12
    And they sit and then we can talk.
  • 00:40:14
    It like holds them in the kitchen longer,
  • 00:40:15
    so it's my thing. I bet you --
  • 00:40:17
    I'll bet you I've played 20 games of Yahtzee this week.
  • 00:40:20
    This week alone. Promise you, not making it up.
  • 00:40:22
    I have four kids, so what does that work out to?
  • 00:40:24
    You know, five games a kid. That's probably about right.
  • 00:40:27
    Anyway, we have these layers of things about us
  • 00:40:31
    that make us who we are and how we live our life.
  • 00:40:34
    And while Jesus engaged lovingly and freely in a crowd,
  • 00:40:40
    giving what was real and true and good,
  • 00:40:42
    it's also true that you can't get
  • 00:40:45
    the complete picture of who He is in that setting.
  • 00:40:48
    It's exactly the same as it would be for you or for me.
  • 00:40:52
    Jesus cannot be fully known in a crowd,
  • 00:40:55
    and throughout the book of Mark, we see this line drawn
  • 00:41:00
    between the crowd and another group of people in His life.
  • 00:41:04
    And as a matter of fact, if you read very carefully,
  • 00:41:07
    you're going to notice that the crowd
  • 00:41:08
    is often mentioned right alongside these people,
  • 00:41:11
    almost like a contrast to them.
  • 00:41:13
    And so Jesus draws this line between the crowd
  • 00:41:17
    and another group who seems to actually know Him.
  • 00:41:21
    And that group of people is always referred to
  • 00:41:24
    distinctly as His disciples, His disciples.
  • 00:41:29
    Now that word is very specific.
  • 00:41:30
    These guys were also His friends.
  • 00:41:33
    They were also His traveling companions.
  • 00:41:35
    They were also likely people He had known
  • 00:41:37
    for a lot of his life, but they were His disciples.
  • 00:41:42
    And that word appears in contrast and next to
  • 00:41:46
    what Jesus would do in a crowd
  • 00:41:49
    versus what He would do with His group of disciples.
  • 00:41:52
    This kind of relationship that the Bible calls disciple
  • 00:41:56
    is a very important and specific distinction.
  • 00:41:59
    As a matter of fact, it exists across a certain line.
  • 00:42:05
    And I believe that that's the line
  • 00:42:07
    that Jesus is interested in each of us crossing,
  • 00:42:11
    where we come out of the crowd of people
  • 00:42:13
    that He loves, that He gives to,
  • 00:42:15
    that He welcomes, that He wants,
  • 00:42:17
    and we cross a line, and now we're a disciple.
  • 00:42:22
    And these two groups are very distinctly different,
  • 00:42:24
    and they get different aspects of who Jesus is,
  • 00:42:27
    and they know him at different levels.
  • 00:42:29
    This is a critical kind of relationship,
  • 00:42:32
    one, so much so, that it's exactly what Jesus said
  • 00:42:35
    in His final words here on earth before --
  • 00:42:38
    After He had been raised from the dead
  • 00:42:40
    and He had interacted with His disciples,
  • 00:42:43
    here's what He says to them, His final words:
  • 00:43:02
    Jesus said, go to the nations, go to the crowds,
  • 00:43:06
    go, gather crowds, you're probably going to need to.
  • 00:43:09
    But also what we're looking for is making disciples.
  • 00:43:12
    We're looking for the people in the crowd
  • 00:43:15
    who will step up and out and cross the line
  • 00:43:18
    into a relationship that's much deeper,
  • 00:43:21
    where you get, what did He say?
  • 00:43:23
    Taught everything that I've commanded You,
  • 00:43:26
    and surely I am with you.
  • 00:43:28
    This is the relationship where you're with Jesus.
  • 00:43:31
    You're going where He goes. You're doing what He does.
  • 00:43:34
    You're you're learning His ways,
  • 00:43:36
    the way that you and I would
  • 00:43:37
    if we followed each other around for the day.
  • 00:43:41
    Disciples follow up close.
  • 00:43:43
    They see the rhythm. They see the heart.
  • 00:43:45
    They get exposed to how Jesus prayed
  • 00:43:47
    and connected with His Father, where He went,
  • 00:43:50
    what His mission was, why He was doing it that way.
  • 00:43:52
    All of that stuff is the life of a disciple.
  • 00:43:56
    And can you catch a glimpse of it in the crowd?
  • 00:43:59
    Sure, you absolutely can.
  • 00:44:00
    But you have to be careful, because sometimes
  • 00:44:03
    what you see of someone in the crowd,
  • 00:44:05
    you can even misinterpret, right?
  • 00:44:08
    You can see a thing in the crowd,
  • 00:44:10
    and you can assume it's about one thing.
  • 00:44:12
    And then when you get to know the person,
  • 00:44:14
    you realize, "Oh, that's what that really was."
  • 00:44:18
    And it's exactly the same with Jesus.
  • 00:44:20
    So we can glimpse Him in the crowd
  • 00:44:22
    and what we see is true, it's just incomplete.
  • 00:44:25
    And our knowledge, our deep knowledge of Him,
  • 00:44:27
    is waiting in this relationship called disciple.
  • 00:44:32
    So if that relationship exists and it's good, you know,
  • 00:44:38
    if your goal is to know as much of God
  • 00:44:40
    as you probably possibly could,
  • 00:44:43
    why aren't we all doing it, is the question.
  • 00:44:48
    And to understand ourselves a little bit better,
  • 00:44:51
    I want to share with you something that happened
  • 00:44:53
    when I was in seminary.
  • 00:44:54
    I was taking a class that was actually partly online,
  • 00:44:58
    and I had to turn in a paper.
  • 00:45:00
    And there was like a portal where we had to upload it
  • 00:45:02
    and check like, yes, this is my original work,
  • 00:45:04
    and submit it, little submit button.
  • 00:45:06
    And so I go to turn in this paper
  • 00:45:08
    and there's a two question quiz.
  • 00:45:10
    It's like you must, you know, must answer
  • 00:45:12
    in order for the submit button to, you know, pop up.
  • 00:45:15
    And so the two questions were:
  • 00:45:18
    how much time did you spend on this paper?
  • 00:45:21
    And the multiple choice was 0 to 4 hours,
  • 00:45:23
    five to 9, or 10 plus. And you had to pick one.
  • 00:45:27
    And then the second question was a lot more interesting.
  • 00:45:32
    The first option, now I want you to imagine
  • 00:45:35
    what might you do if you saw this?
  • 00:45:38
    First option was: I'll take an A right now, thanks.
  • 00:45:44
    The second option was: I'll take what I've truly earned.
  • 00:45:51
    And the third option was: I don't know what this is,
  • 00:45:54
    but have a great weekend!
  • 00:45:57
    And you had to pick one in order to submit the paper.
  • 00:46:00
    So I chose one. I submit the paper.
  • 00:46:03
    I come back into the class on Monday morning
  • 00:46:05
    only to learn that that was absolutely real.
  • 00:46:09
    That question was absolutely real.
  • 00:46:12
    You either picked the I'll take an A, thanks,
  • 00:46:15
    and your grade was recorded.
  • 00:46:18
    Or he was going to grade your paper
  • 00:46:19
    for whatever you were actually going to get.
  • 00:46:22
    You all, the class exploded, absolutely exploded.
  • 00:46:26
    And we were to discuss this openly,
  • 00:46:29
    like with each other,
  • 00:46:30
    what we were thinking, what we were feeling.
  • 00:46:33
    And most people were going like,
  • 00:46:34
    "I had no idea that that was real. What?
  • 00:46:38
    I've never seen that before."
  • 00:46:40
    Some people were just flat out annoyed.
  • 00:46:42
    "I put ten freaking hours.
  • 00:46:44
    You mean to tell me if you put half an hour into that paper,
  • 00:46:47
    you could have gotten an A on it if you picked that option?"
  • 00:46:49
    Yep. Absolutely right. You definitely could have.
  • 00:46:53
    It was utterly real. And it was a total setup.
  • 00:46:58
    It was a total setup by our professor to set us up
  • 00:47:02
    for our reaction to this life altering relationship
  • 00:47:08
    that we are offered in Christ.
  • 00:47:12
    When we're told there's a way that
  • 00:47:16
    your sin can be utterly paid for,
  • 00:47:18
    and you can walk freely into the power
  • 00:47:21
    and the goodness and the life of God
  • 00:47:23
    in the Kingdom of God,
  • 00:47:24
    no matter what you've done in the past.
  • 00:47:28
    Sometimes our responses are a little complicated. Yes?
  • 00:47:32
    Like, unexpectedly complicated.
  • 00:47:34
    And that was what the discussion forum was all about,
  • 00:47:37
    because he was trying as an object lesson to go,
  • 00:47:39
    like, "How did you really feel about the fact
  • 00:47:41
    that you didn't pick that option
  • 00:47:43
    and your neighbor got an A? You know?"
  • 00:47:45
    I mean, it was -- it was infuriating to people.
  • 00:47:47
    And I got to tell you, the reason it was so explosive
  • 00:47:53
    is because only three people out of the entire class
  • 00:47:57
    picked I'll take an A, thanks. Three.
  • 00:48:03
    That's incredible. Three people picked that option.
  • 00:48:09
    I happen to be one of them, by the way. Ha, ha, ha.
  • 00:48:13
    I was like, yeah --
  • 00:48:14
    I think it was really like my straightforwardness.
  • 00:48:18
    Well, that's what it says.
  • 00:48:20
    I just, okay, yeah, I'll take it.
  • 00:48:24
    If that's real, I'm in. You know?
  • 00:48:26
    I'm pretty, I'm like a very straightforward person.
  • 00:48:29
    And I just went on the off chance that's real,
  • 00:48:33
    I'll go for it.
  • 00:48:34
    Three of us, three of us.
  • 00:48:37
    And I stayed pretty quiet because
  • 00:48:39
    we were really being hated on.
  • 00:48:41
    People were all up in their feelings about this.
  • 00:48:46
    And it's amazing how complicated,
  • 00:48:50
    how complex that question can be to answer.
  • 00:48:53
    But it all boiled down to one thing.
  • 00:48:55
    As I listened to the discussion that was going on
  • 00:48:57
    in the class what it boiled down to that day
  • 00:49:00
    is that everybody had their own version
  • 00:49:02
    of what they thought they might lose if they pick that option.
  • 00:49:08
    I might lose self-respect.
  • 00:49:10
    I might lose respect of the professor.
  • 00:49:13
    What if this is some weird test of character
  • 00:49:16
    and I get tossed out of seminary?
  • 00:49:18
    Like people were crazy.
  • 00:49:19
    It was all kinds of crazy explanations.
  • 00:49:23
    And it all boiled down to if you didn't pick that option,
  • 00:49:27
    it was because you had some version of something
  • 00:49:30
    you thought you would lose if you did.
  • 00:49:33
    Now, I want you to listen to the line
  • 00:49:36
    that Jesus draws between the crowd and the disciples.
  • 00:49:40
    It comes from Mark chapter eight.
  • 00:50:05
    Not only do we see Him again making this distinction
  • 00:50:08
    between the crowd and disciples,
  • 00:50:11
    but He's calling to the crowd saying,
  • 00:50:13
    "Do you want to come? Do you want to come?
  • 00:50:16
    But there's just one thing you should know."
  • 00:50:19
    And he gives us the heart of the reason
  • 00:50:22
    why we get complicated around this answer,
  • 00:50:25
    because we don't want to lose something.
  • 00:50:29
    And from the vantage point of the crowd,
  • 00:50:32
    it looks like we might.
  • 00:50:33
    When we think about crossing the line
  • 00:50:35
    into a deeper life with Jesus and really following Him,
  • 00:50:39
    maybe the heart of our objection,
  • 00:50:41
    no matter which person is answering,
  • 00:50:43
    the heart of the objection maybe boils down to:
  • 00:50:46
    what if I lose something?
  • 00:50:51
    What if I'm not willing to risk what it looks like
  • 00:50:55
    I might lose in this equation of crossing that line?
  • 00:50:59
    And the life of a disciple is really risk
  • 00:51:02
    after risk after risk to step across the line
  • 00:51:05
    and find out is it real? Is He good?
  • 00:51:11
    Is He there? Did He mean it?
  • 00:51:15
    Do His words about money or sex or friendship,
  • 00:51:21
    do they work in my life?
  • 00:51:23
    Do I find more life if I try to move that direction?
  • 00:51:27
    And the life of a disciple is asking that
  • 00:51:29
    and crossing the line over and over and over again.
  • 00:51:32
    But the truth is, from the vantage point of the crowd,
  • 00:51:35
    it looks like every time we cross the line,
  • 00:51:38
    we might just lose something.
  • 00:51:41
    And so we stay in the crowd, we stay in the crowd,
  • 00:51:45
    and we never experience the upside of a life with Jesus
  • 00:51:48
    because we we can't know it until we cross the line.
  • 00:51:53
    And we just have a limited view in the crowd.
  • 00:51:55
    And I think there's three places that we can be
  • 00:51:57
    in our life that make it especially difficult,
  • 00:51:59
    three different places you could be tonight,
  • 00:52:04
    that you could be in one of these places.
  • 00:52:06
    And I just got to tell you, I feel you.
  • 00:52:08
    I have been in all three of the places
  • 00:52:10
    that we're about to discuss, and we see them all
  • 00:52:14
    also in the book of Mark.
  • 00:52:16
    And when you're in these places, the line,
  • 00:52:19
    crossing the line to try to come into
  • 00:52:22
    a closer relationship with Jesus
  • 00:52:24
    doesn't look as good as it sounds.
  • 00:52:26
    And one of those places is when you're really, really low,
  • 00:52:30
    when you are down low. And I'm a realist.
  • 00:52:35
    I know that there's people in here tonight
  • 00:52:36
    who would say they're in a season or a day
  • 00:52:38
    or a week where they're just feeling low.
  • 00:52:41
    There was a woman in the book of Mark, chapter five,
  • 00:52:44
    who was at the lowest point of her life,
  • 00:52:46
    and she goes into the crowd around Jesus.
  • 00:52:48
    Here's what it says:
  • 00:53:20
    Now, this is a good crowd story, right?
  • 00:53:23
    Even her being in the crowd that day was a big move.
  • 00:53:26
    If you had been this woman in that culture,
  • 00:53:30
    you would have spent over a decade
  • 00:53:31
    being declared unclean, which means
  • 00:53:34
    you're outside the normal rhythms of every aspect
  • 00:53:38
    of life in the Jewish culture and community.
  • 00:53:40
    She was, for all practical purposes,
  • 00:53:44
    a pretty much on the outskirts, or an outcast
  • 00:53:47
    of her culture and her community.
  • 00:53:49
    And so she probably wasn't even supposed
  • 00:53:51
    to be in the crowd that day.
  • 00:53:52
    So I want you to picture an FC kind of crowd,
  • 00:53:55
    like, a crushing crowd, and she takes the low place,
  • 00:53:58
    does some kind of army crawl, and comes up to Jesus
  • 00:54:02
    and touches the hem of His cloak.
  • 00:54:07
    And lo and behold, Jesus, like He does so many times,
  • 00:54:10
    actually gives something amazing in the crowd.
  • 00:54:14
    He heals her. Her body is healed.
  • 00:54:17
    She actually gets what she thought she came for.
  • 00:54:20
    And the crowd offered her the cover
  • 00:54:22
    she wanted to do it, right?
  • 00:54:23
    She didn't want to take the risk because it was a risk,
  • 00:54:26
    make no mistake, it was a risk for her to be there.
  • 00:54:29
    And the crowd gave her just the cover she needed,
  • 00:54:31
    not to do what? Experience more rejection,
  • 00:54:36
    more disappointment.
  • 00:54:41
    Over and over and over again
  • 00:54:43
    she had been to doctors, that's what it said.
  • 00:54:45
    She had been repeatedly disappointed,
  • 00:54:48
    not healed and rejected.
  • 00:54:49
    And the crowd, was offering her the cover to not take a risk.
  • 00:54:53
    And she comes up to Jesus and touches the hem of His cloak
  • 00:54:56
    and actually gets something amazing.
  • 00:55:01
    I think this woman would have been,
  • 00:55:02
    on the quiz in my class, I think she might have been
  • 00:55:06
    the one that said, "I don't know what this is,
  • 00:55:08
    but have a good weekend."
  • 00:55:10
    Like, can't even see the line.
  • 00:55:13
    Can't even imagine that there's more for her.
  • 00:55:16
    But Jesus knew there was more.
  • 00:55:18
    So listen to what He does next. It's so interesting.
  • 00:55:21
    She was probably happy to slink away,
  • 00:55:24
    but Jesus, huh-uh. No, sir. Here's what He says.
  • 00:55:28
    He pushes on His disciples. "Who? I just felt that.
  • 00:55:31
    What's going on here? Who did that? Something happened."
  • 00:55:35
    And they're like, "Dude, people are pressing against you.
  • 00:55:38
    What do you mean?"
  • 00:55:39
    And he's, like, insistent.
  • 00:55:41
    And here's what it says:
  • 00:55:52
    She crossed the line. She crossed the line.
  • 00:55:55
    She came up out of the crowd, trembling with fear.
  • 00:55:59
    When you are low in your life, it takes trembling
  • 00:56:02
    with fear to drag yourself to Jesus.
  • 00:56:05
    And I think the real risk here is hope.
  • 00:56:09
    Yeah, sure,
  • 00:56:11
    the crowd prevented her from having to risk rejection.
  • 00:56:13
    But even deeper than that, even deeper than that,
  • 00:56:17
    would she consider hoping again, hoping for a life
  • 00:56:21
    that she hadn't had for more than 12 years?
  • 00:56:25
    And she finally crosses the line.
  • 00:56:27
    And here's what happens.
  • 00:56:37
    Jesus had far more for her than a life in the shadows.
  • 00:56:41
    That day when he pulled her up,
  • 00:56:43
    when she came and fell at his feet and told that story,
  • 00:56:45
    you know what would have happened?
  • 00:56:47
    Way more than her physical healing.
  • 00:56:49
    She would have gotten her family back, her community back.
  • 00:56:51
    She would have been able to go to temple again.
  • 00:56:53
    She would have been able to completely rejoin her life
  • 00:56:56
    by doing that kind of testimony that was authenticated
  • 00:57:00
    by Jesus in front of that crowd, and He knew that.
  • 00:57:03
    He wanted that for her, but she had to cross the line.
  • 00:57:08
    She slunk up and got the little bit that she came for,
  • 00:57:11
    and Jesus was like, "No, there's more.
  • 00:57:13
    I want you to cross the line."
  • 00:57:17
    So if you're here today
  • 00:57:18
    and you're in that low place in your life, I get it.
  • 00:57:22
    I actually get how it feels
  • 00:57:24
    to not want to get out of bed in the morning.
  • 00:57:26
    I get what it means to look, try to look into your future,
  • 00:57:30
    and all you see is like a black curtain
  • 00:57:32
    in front of your face. Can't picture a thing.
  • 00:57:35
    I understand.
  • 00:57:38
    I'm only asking you to entertain the possibility
  • 00:57:41
    that that view will never change if you stay in the crowd.
  • 00:57:45
    The only way, the only way you get
  • 00:57:48
    a different vantage point on the life that Jesus offers
  • 00:57:52
    is to cross the line
  • 00:57:54
    into actually following Him as a disciple.
  • 00:57:58
    Okay, okay. So down low is one place
  • 00:58:02
    that's really hard to cross a line from.
  • 00:58:04
    And the next place is up high. Up high.
  • 00:58:10
    When you're sitting up high,
  • 00:58:11
    it's hard to even see there is a line.
  • 00:58:14
    There's a group of people all the way
  • 00:58:15
    through the gospels that Jesus speaks to,
  • 00:58:17
    nd it's His harshest words, and they are the people
  • 00:58:20
    who were sitting very high up in the culture of Jesus's day.
  • 00:58:23
    They were the religious teachers.
  • 00:58:25
    They were the religious leaders, teachers of the law,
  • 00:58:28
    scribes, Pharisees, all of those words
  • 00:58:30
    would kind of encapsulate this sort of ruling class.
  • 00:58:35
    Now their culture was totally wrapped around
  • 00:58:37
    their faith, which ours is not.
  • 00:58:39
    And so maybe some of these people in your life
  • 00:58:41
    are like, I don't know, social media influencers
  • 00:58:45
    that manage to get a million followers, right?
  • 00:58:47
    And so now they have, they've got advantages.
  • 00:58:49
    They're sitting at the top of something.
  • 00:58:51
    Maybe they're just leaders or beautiful people
  • 00:58:53
    or wealthy people, whatever.
  • 00:58:54
    Maybe you just exist in a crowd and you're like,
  • 00:58:56
    "I don't know, that guy just always seems
  • 00:58:58
    to come out on top."
  • 00:58:59
    You know, there's just some people that are like that.
  • 00:59:02
    And if you're in a place where you are constantly up, high,
  • 00:59:08
    this is a very, very hard place to cross the line
  • 00:59:11
    and become a disciple of Jesus.
  • 00:59:13
    Now why would that be?
  • 00:59:15
    Let's read Mark 12. Jesus says this:
  • 00:59:39
    Jesus says, "The crowd's working for them.
  • 00:59:44
    Why in the world would you step out of the crowd
  • 00:59:47
    when every time you step in it, you get the place of honor?
  • 00:59:50
    You're the one on top.
  • 00:59:52
    You're the one that gets all the good stuff."
  • 00:59:54
    And it's really hard to see that
  • 00:59:56
    there's a life beyond a line with Jesus,
  • 00:59:59
    that there's actually more good stuff to get.
  • 01:00:02
    That doesn't compute a lot when you spend your life at the top.
  • 01:00:06
    It can be a dangerous place because
  • 01:00:08
    you can't even really imagine that there is a life.
  • 01:00:11
    And frankly, a lot of times when you're
  • 01:00:14
    consistently at the top, you're like, "I earned this."
  • 01:00:20
    These were definitely the people
  • 01:00:22
    in our discussion forum that were going,
  • 01:00:24
    "Like, I put ten hours of work in.
  • 01:00:27
    When he grades my paper, I had better also get an A."
  • 01:00:32
    And the truth is, that's the truth sometimes. Right?
  • 01:00:35
    There are people who ride the top,
  • 01:00:38
    it's just that when you're always up there,
  • 01:00:41
    you lose sight of the line
  • 01:00:43
    that is pretty far down below you.
  • 01:00:46
    And I started thinking about this.
  • 01:00:48
    There are no, like, I want to share another story
  • 01:00:52
    with you from the gospel of Mark,
  • 01:00:53
    where there's some religious leader that finally
  • 01:00:56
    comes to Jesus across the line,
  • 01:00:59
    and there's not one there.
  • 01:01:03
    Most of them never did.
  • 01:01:06
    We get a glimpse of one and one of the other gospels
  • 01:01:08
    who's really compelled toward Jesus,
  • 01:01:11
    and the best he can do is show up at night
  • 01:01:13
    under cover of darkness and start asking some questions.
  • 01:01:16
    And that's good.
  • 01:01:17
    In my book, he probably did end up as a follower,
  • 01:01:19
    maybe he's the one.
  • 01:01:21
    But in any case, we don't have a wonderful story,
  • 01:01:26
    and there's probably a reason why.
  • 01:01:30
    And I started thinking about my most favorite,
  • 01:01:34
    like, followers of Christ that I've known in my life.
  • 01:01:36
    And they had practices. They all have little practices.
  • 01:01:39
    I started to pick this up, I don't know, years ago,
  • 01:01:42
    just again, talking to people,
  • 01:01:44
    knowing them more intimately in their life.
  • 01:01:46
    And I want to share a couple of these with you
  • 01:01:48
    because I think it's a great way to,
  • 01:01:50
    even if you're in an amazing phase of your life,
  • 01:01:53
    which God bless you, I'm happy about it.
  • 01:01:55
    But we just need this, we need these regular rhythms
  • 01:01:59
    of coming down low so we can see the line
  • 01:02:02
    and we can cross over with Jesus
  • 01:02:04
    so we don't go thinking
  • 01:02:05
    we're building our own life at the top. Right?
  • 01:02:08
    And so all, all of my favorite Jesus followers
  • 01:02:11
    have all had these little practices
  • 01:02:13
    that only them and Jesus really ever knew about.
  • 01:02:16
    And they were all little practices of dipping down low.
  • 01:02:21
    One is a woman that I've known
  • 01:02:23
    for many years here at Crossroads.
  • 01:02:25
    She's incredibly gifted in many different ways,
  • 01:02:27
    and she serves on the facilities team
  • 01:02:29
    and she cleans the toilets.
  • 01:02:32
    And I said, "What are you doing?"
  • 01:02:35
    And she's like, "It's good for me to remember
  • 01:02:37
    that I'm not above this. This is my practice.
  • 01:02:40
    This is how I do it." Wow.
  • 01:02:43
    I know somebody else who at her office
  • 01:02:47
    she was a vice president of somewhere or other.
  • 01:02:50
    And her practice was a communal printer
  • 01:02:53
    that was shared around their group,
  • 01:02:55
    and it was always out of paper.
  • 01:02:57
    And nobody knows what toner is.
  • 01:02:58
    Nobody knows what toner is.
  • 01:03:00
    And so she took it upon herself
  • 01:03:02
    to understand how to replace the toner.
  • 01:03:04
    And then every time she passed the printer,
  • 01:03:06
    she would check the paper tray and refill it
  • 01:03:09
    so that the whole group always had a functioning printer.
  • 01:03:12
    Now, a lot of you who are, I don't know, below 35
  • 01:03:16
    are like, "Why would you ever print something? What?"
  • 01:03:20
    Back in the day, we used to print things out
  • 01:03:23
    and it was a real pain when there was no paper in the tray.
  • 01:03:25
    And she took that on for years,
  • 01:03:28
    the vice president of their division
  • 01:03:30
    refilled their toner and paper.
  • 01:03:32
    Not her job, but her regular practice between her and God,
  • 01:03:37
    of a way of coming down, dipping down,
  • 01:03:39
    making sure she wasn't living her life at the top.
  • 01:03:41
    I'll tell you mine.
  • 01:03:44
    Now, if you knew me, if you followed me home,
  • 01:03:46
    you would know that I actually hate to cook.
  • 01:03:50
    I like to bake, but I hate to cook.
  • 01:03:53
    I feel like you either like one or the other.
  • 01:03:54
    Do you think that's true?
  • 01:03:56
    I don't know, maybe there's some crazy people that like both.
  • 01:03:58
    So I like to bake. I hate to cook,
  • 01:04:00
    but I have four kids, family of six,
  • 01:04:01
    so I deal with food all the time.
  • 01:04:04
    I feel like for many, many years, all I do
  • 01:04:06
    is prepare food for other people to eat.
  • 01:04:09
    And so I adopted this practice between me and Jesus
  • 01:04:13
    many, many years ago because I noticed
  • 01:04:15
    my own tendency to take the best piece for myself.
  • 01:04:20
    I'm like, "I'm the one who's been standing here all day.
  • 01:04:23
    I'm going to take the best brownie."
  • 01:04:25
    And pretty soon I adopted this practice with Jesus,
  • 01:04:28
    where every time I plated something, divided something,
  • 01:04:31
    cut something up, shared a serving, every time
  • 01:04:34
    I had to choose pieces to go on people's plates,
  • 01:04:37
    I would choose the lesser of the two.
  • 01:04:41
    And it was just my daily practice with Jesus going,
  • 01:04:44
    "I can dip down.
  • 01:04:46
    Yes, I'm in control of this food situation,
  • 01:04:49
    and I can take the lesser piece."
  • 01:04:52
    So it was just these little practices
  • 01:04:54
    that we can adopt in our life for real,
  • 01:04:56
    that actually, even when everything's fine.
  • 01:04:58
    And again, bless you if you're in a season
  • 01:05:00
    where you're at the top, enjoy it,
  • 01:05:03
    and dip down because you can only see,
  • 01:05:06
    you can only feel the reward of a life in the Kingdom
  • 01:05:10
    when you actually set aside
  • 01:05:14
    the reward of the life that you've got here.
  • 01:05:17
    And so the line becomes a little bit more apparent.
  • 01:05:21
    Okay. So, last place. We've done up high, down low.
  • 01:05:25
    And now the middle, obviously, is the third one.
  • 01:05:31
    Pretty much covers all of us, that's the point.
  • 01:05:35
    But from the middle, the crowd who's in the middle
  • 01:05:41
    struggles to cross the line
  • 01:05:42
    for a completely different reason.
  • 01:05:44
    Now these are regular old, decent people,
  • 01:05:47
    which is almost everybody, right?
  • 01:05:49
    Almost everybody would say, like, "I go to my job,
  • 01:05:52
    I do my schoolwork, I take care of my kids.
  • 01:05:55
    I try to be a decent neighbor.
  • 01:05:56
    Like, I'm a regular, old, decent person."
  • 01:05:59
    I feel like the crowd for this person makes us feel good.
  • 01:06:05
    It makes us feel like we're all in this together.
  • 01:06:08
    There's no line necessary.
  • 01:06:09
    You're good, we're good. We're all good here. Right?
  • 01:06:12
    I actually need you to tell me
  • 01:06:13
    that we're good about something,
  • 01:06:15
    because I made what I now know to be a huge mistake.
  • 01:06:19
    And I just want to feel like we're in this together. Okay?
  • 01:06:22
    So, like, six weeks ago, I got lured into some ads online.
  • 01:06:28
    I feel like they targeted me because I'm in Ohio,
  • 01:06:30
    where it was 92 days in a row of gray and 39 degrees.
  • 01:06:35
    And it was like sunshines and bathing suits.
  • 01:06:39
    And I actually purchased a bathing suit online in January.
  • 01:06:44
    I'm just going to tell you right now,
  • 01:06:45
    it's a big mistake. Do not do it.
  • 01:06:48
    Am I the only one that should not be
  • 01:06:50
    trying on bathing suits in January?
  • 01:06:52
    Can I get a show of hands? Not a great idea.
  • 01:06:55
    And I just feel like that's exactly how the crowd,
  • 01:06:58
    like, I need you to tell me
  • 01:06:59
    that I'm not the only one in the boat.
  • 01:07:02
    We just ate 14 Christmas dinners in a row.
  • 01:07:05
    It's not the month to be buying bathing suits,
  • 01:07:07
    but I feel like I got entrapped.
  • 01:07:09
    I did it, it was a mistake.
  • 01:07:10
    And we're all in that boat together, you know?
  • 01:07:12
    We look at each other and we're like,
  • 01:07:14
    "Um hum, um hum. Bad idea."
  • 01:07:16
    My husband was like, "What are you doing?
  • 01:07:18
    That's a terrible idea."
  • 01:07:19
    Anyway, the crowd makes us feel like,
  • 01:07:23
    whatever it is, we're all in this together.
  • 01:07:25
    We're good.
  • 01:07:26
    Surely God can't want something beyond
  • 01:07:29
    the good things that I'm trying to do
  • 01:07:31
    and my good intentions.
  • 01:07:33
    He can't surely want something beyond that, can He?
  • 01:07:38
    At least I'm not like that guy, jerky superior guy,
  • 01:07:41
    or her who's down low all the time. I'm good.
  • 01:07:46
    Jesus had some words for a crowd
  • 01:07:48
    with a ton of people in the middle,
  • 01:07:50
    a lot of decent folk in this crowd.
  • 01:07:52
    It was his biggest sermon.
  • 01:07:53
    Mixed listeners from all over the place.
  • 01:07:56
    Tons of good, decent folks.
  • 01:07:58
    And here's what He says to them. Take a deep breath.
  • 01:08:24
    I never knew you. I never knew you.
  • 01:08:27
    Guys, knowing Jesus is the privilege of the disciple.
  • 01:08:33
    Knowing Jesus does not happen in the crowd.
  • 01:08:36
    Knowing of Him, knowing about His ways,
  • 01:08:38
    getting a glimpse of Him,
  • 01:08:39
    even receiving good things from Him.
  • 01:08:41
    Yes, all of that, and wonderful.
  • 01:08:43
    And knowing Him to the point where we are able
  • 01:08:48
    to follow Him into what He is doing
  • 01:08:51
    because that's what His Father is doing,
  • 01:08:53
    and that's where the life of the Kingdom of God is.
  • 01:08:55
    That is the privilege of a disciple.
  • 01:08:59
    And that's the kind of relationship that Jesus wants
  • 01:09:01
    with you and with me and with everybody that
  • 01:09:05
    He welcomes and loves into the crowds around Him.
  • 01:09:09
    And I know I joked about saying whether you're down low
  • 01:09:12
    or up high or in the middle, it's pretty much all of us.
  • 01:09:15
    But it is true, because no matter where we sit in our life,
  • 01:09:19
    it's never actually going to be easy because
  • 01:09:21
    it always looks like the potential to lose something.
  • 01:09:26
    Whether it's your own self-respect
  • 01:09:28
    or the reputation of people around you,
  • 01:09:30
    nothing the middle crowd hates better
  • 01:09:32
    than somebody who tries to leave it, right?
  • 01:09:35
    You're a hater. You're too extreme.
  • 01:09:37
    What do you mean, it's unnecessary?
  • 01:09:40
    We're all good here.
  • 01:09:42
    It never looks easy from the vantage point of the crowd,
  • 01:09:47
    it's always easier to stay, but life as a disciple
  • 01:09:50
    is crossing that line, not just once,
  • 01:09:52
    but over and over and over again,
  • 01:09:54
    and slowly realizing along the way
  • 01:09:57
    in little snowballing ways that
  • 01:10:00
    every time you cross it, it's not actually a loss.
  • 01:10:06
    That your life becomes more and more and more alive,
  • 01:10:11
    and that the losses you feared,
  • 01:10:12
    they're actually weirdly gains in the Kingdom of God,
  • 01:10:16
    that there there is nothing happening
  • 01:10:18
    that isn't better than it was before.
  • 01:10:21
    And it's a slow process,
  • 01:10:24
    and it takes so many times crossing over that line.
  • 01:10:27
    And I believe that there's a line
  • 01:10:29
    that God has put in front of you.
  • 01:10:31
    I believe that every single one of us, from up high,
  • 01:10:34
    from down low, from somewhere in the middle,
  • 01:10:36
    that there's an opportunity to cross the line
  • 01:10:38
    into a greater level of disciple of Jesus.
  • 01:10:45
    And it might be the very first time
  • 01:10:47
    that you've ever said, "I want to follow You."
  • 01:10:49
    And it might be the 175th time.
  • 01:10:51
    It might be the 12th time on the exact same issue.
  • 01:10:54
    And you keep hopping over the other side of the line,
  • 01:10:56
    and now we're going to go back again. That's fine.
  • 01:10:58
    Jesus offers that to us, free and clear,
  • 01:11:02
    no matter what has happened in the past.
  • 01:11:04
    And I want you to think about what that line might be
  • 01:11:07
    while I give you a visual that I hope encourages you.
  • 01:11:10
    I had a dream over a decade ago, and I don't remember
  • 01:11:15
    what I thought about it at the time,
  • 01:11:17
    but it was so striking to me.
  • 01:11:18
    It was so encouraging to me that I wrote it down.
  • 01:11:20
    And for some reason I never forgot it.
  • 01:11:22
    Do you ever have dreams like that
  • 01:11:23
    where you just return to them in your mind?
  • 01:11:25
    Hopefully it's a good one. This is a good one.
  • 01:11:27
    And I want you to have this visual in your mind
  • 01:11:29
    as you think about what line you might want to cross
  • 01:11:33
    into a new space with Jesus.
  • 01:11:35
    So I was a soldier on a battlefield
  • 01:11:38
    and night was about to fall.
  • 01:11:40
    So the battle had kind of died down.
  • 01:11:42
    And I had come into this space where I wasn't very protected.
  • 01:11:45
    And so I chose this like little bush that I,
  • 01:11:48
    I was like, "Oh, this might hide me for the night."
  • 01:11:51
    And, but I'm going to be exposed.
  • 01:11:53
    Like, it kind of hid me, but not really.
  • 01:11:55
    And night fell and I got super stressed,
  • 01:11:57
    and I knew that the light was going to come up
  • 01:12:00
    and I was going to be exposed,
  • 01:12:02
    that I wasn't really hidden where I was.
  • 01:12:05
    And so I made a decision as the dawn came
  • 01:12:09
    and I decided the best thing I can do is actually
  • 01:12:13
    to stand up above the line of sight of this bush,
  • 01:12:15
    because then maybe, maybe, just maybe,
  • 01:12:18
    there would be somebody that was in my company
  • 01:12:21
    of soldiers nearby that could help me.
  • 01:12:22
    So I'm just going to pop up.
  • 01:12:24
    That's the best thing I can do.
  • 01:12:25
    So the dawn comes and I do that,
  • 01:12:28
    I pop up above the line and I'm terribly nervous.
  • 01:12:31
    And I think I'm probably going to get shot.
  • 01:12:33
    And then everybody around me, hundreds of people
  • 01:12:38
    in the same uniform that I'm in, stand up all around me.
  • 01:12:43
    I was completely surrounded the entire night
  • 01:12:46
    by my own soldiers, on my own company and my own team.
  • 01:12:52
    And I say that to say that from
  • 01:12:54
    the vantage point of the crowd,
  • 01:12:55
    it always looks like it's going to be a loss.
  • 01:12:58
    It always does.
  • 01:12:59
    And when you choose to cross the line
  • 01:13:01
    into a new place with Jesus, what you will find
  • 01:13:05
    is that He will never leave you alone.
  • 01:13:07
    There will always be people.
  • 01:13:09
    There will always be people that He surrounds you with
  • 01:13:12
    and there's life everywhere that you look.
  • 01:13:16
    And all through the night, I was convinced that
  • 01:13:19
    what was going to happen was death,
  • 01:13:21
    and instead what I found was life.
  • 01:13:25
    And so as I leave you here today,
  • 01:13:28
    I want you to look for this line.
  • 01:13:30
    There's a bright orange line.
  • 01:13:33
    And now, if you're anywhere at any of our sites,
  • 01:13:36
    you will see a bright orange line when you leave this.
  • 01:13:39
    Maybe you saw it on your way in.
  • 01:13:40
    Maybe it wasn't even there.
  • 01:13:42
    Maybe you weren't looking for it.
  • 01:13:43
    Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't.
  • 01:13:44
    But you're certainly going to see it on the way out.
  • 01:13:47
    And if you're at home, find a line.
  • 01:13:49
    This is a moment for you and God.
  • 01:13:51
    You got a hardwood floor or a threshold of a doorway,
  • 01:13:55
    you've got some kind of line around you,
  • 01:13:57
    and I want you to consider crossing it
  • 01:13:59
    and having a moment with God where you tell Him,
  • 01:14:02
    "This is the line I'm crossing." Let me pray for you.
  • 01:14:08
    Father, thank You for dealing with us so individually.
  • 01:14:10
    I pray that every heart here would know
  • 01:14:13
    beyond a shadow of a doubt, the line
  • 01:14:16
    that You're inviting them to step across.
  • 01:14:17
    And I pray that You would give them
  • 01:14:19
    the courage to cross it.
  • 01:14:23
    And I ask that You would meet them,
  • 01:14:24
    surround them with life. In Jesus's name. Amen.
  • 01:14:30
    - Jesus is putting lines in front of all of us,
  • 01:14:33
    and He's inviting us to cross those.
  • 01:14:35
    He has good things on the other side for you and for me.
  • 01:14:38
    I don't know what area of your life it is,
  • 01:14:40
    if it's your relationships or your marriage
  • 01:14:42
    or your career or your friends, I don't know,
  • 01:14:44
    but God has good things for you.
  • 01:14:47
    And I want to encourage you to be bold
  • 01:14:48
    and take that next step and cross that line.
  • 01:14:51
    And these moments aren't meant for you to walk through alone.
  • 01:14:54
    I'd love to connect with you personally
  • 01:14:55
    and pray for you and help you get connected
  • 01:14:57
    to others in our Crossroads community.
  • 01:14:59
    I'd love if you'd email me at
  • 01:15:01,
  • 01:15:02
    let me know what your line is
  • 01:15:04
    and how I can be praying for you.
  • 01:15:05
    And whether or not you just chose
  • 01:15:07
    to cross the line and go deeper,
  • 01:15:08
    there's just a few things I want to put on your radar
  • 01:15:10
    that are meant to help you grow.
  • 01:15:12
    I'd highly recommend you check out one of our upcoming cohorts.
  • 01:15:14
    These are asynchronous, meaning you can just do them
  • 01:15:17
    when it works for you on your own timetable,
  • 01:15:19
    and you get to do them alongside other people.
  • 01:15:22
    They involve small daily challenges,
  • 01:15:23
    some weekly input and training,
  • 01:15:25
    and way more to help you get traction
  • 01:15:27
    in a specific area of your life.
  • 01:15:29
    Starting in just a few weeks, we have
  • 01:15:31
    21 Days to Build a Marriage That You'll Love.
  • 01:15:33
    That's led by my wife, Rachel and I,
  • 01:15:35
    and 21 Days to Dating Better.
  • 01:15:38
    You can find more information about these
  • 01:15:40
    and sign up at
  • 01:15:42
    Lastly, the Anywhere team is coming to Orlando
  • 01:15:46
    alongside Crossroads music
  • 01:15:47
    and we want to spend the evening with you.
  • 01:15:50
    We'll enjoy live, worship and music,
  • 01:15:51
    along with drinks and appetizers throughout the night.
  • 01:15:54
    Most importantly, you'll have the chance
  • 01:15:56
    to meet other community members
  • 01:15:57
    from Crossroads Anywhere in Florida.
  • 01:15:59
    We cannot wait to see you there!
  • 01:16:00
    Head to for more info.
  • 01:16:03
    Hey, thank you for joining us.
  • 01:16:04
    We'll see you back next 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! This is the group part of the Bible Challenge, so your questions are based on specific Bible passages from the weekend message. Each week, your group will discover what God might be saying to you, and how you can respond through a group discussion.

  1. What’s the latest ad you’ve encountered online that really tempted you? What about it was appealing?

  2. What stood out to you most from the message?

  3. Where do you see characteristics of the crowd in yourself? What about characteristics of a disciple?

  4. Where do you see Jesus being invitational with the crowds? Where do you see Him challenging them?

  5. Read Mark 5:25-34. What does Jesus’ interaction with the bleeding woman tell you about His character? What does that reveal about how he might interact toward you?

  6. Where in the crowd are you standing right now? Up High, Down Low, or in The Middle? Why do you place yourself there?

  7. How does your position in the crowd influence your interactions with Jesus?

  8. What’s the line you believe Jesus is inviting you to cross right now? What would it look like to step over?

  9. Let’s end with prayer. You can say something like, “Jesus, thank you for the ways you pursue us and love us. Thank you for the ways you challenge us. Thank you for always wanting a deeper relationship with us. Give us the courage to step over the line into becoming your disciples. Amen.”

More from the Weekend

Bonus Questions! Check these out if you’re on a roll and want to go a little deeper.

  • What are you worried about losing when you think about stepping over the line Jesus’ draws?
  • Where in your life do you allow comfort or safety to override your pursuit of Jesus?

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

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Got it! Enjoy your discussion.

Feb 24, 2024 1 hr 16 mins 15 sec

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