When Jesus Doesn't Seem To Be Listening

Sometimes, Jesus reacts in ways that make you scratch your head. It can be challenging. In those moments, you have a decision: lean in or bow out. Chuck Mingo explores what it looks like to lean in.

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    - God awaits you in the wilderness
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    waiting to speak to you, to encourage you,
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    to show you something new.
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    God awaits you in the wilderness
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    to spark new connections, to mend old ones,
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    to remind you you're never alone.
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    God awaits you in the wilderness to give you a break,
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    to show you joy, to bring you back to life.
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    - Man, that video says it all.
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    We want that for you here at Crossroads.
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    And so almost ten years ago,
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    we started something we simply call camps.
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    These are experiences hosted on our land here in Ohio,
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    specifically designed to take you
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    to a new place relationally and spiritually.
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    There's a passage in the Bible, Psalm 23,
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    where King David talks about being refreshed
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    or being brought back to life by God.
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    It says this: He makes me lie down in green pastures,
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    He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul.
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    And that's exactly what we want for you
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    and what we believe might happen,
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    what you might experience at one of our camps.
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    You can find more information and find
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    a camp designed for you at Crossroads.net/camps.
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    Hey, by the way, welcome to Crossroads.
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    I'm Andy and I'm so glad you're joining us today.
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    While God meets us in the wilderness,
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    He also meets us wherever we worship Him.
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    Right now this is a chance for us to connect with
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    a God who loves us by singing to Him and about Him.
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    Now, in a world just full of Spotify playlists,
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    I want to tell you why this time is different.
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    Now these songs aren't just something you listen to,
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    they're actually part of a dialog
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    and a conversation with God.
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    You can use these words to not just hear
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    a song about God, but to experience Him for yourself.
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    Let's worship together right now.
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    - Let me pray for us.
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    Lord, man, I just want to sing that over
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    and over and over because as I sing it,
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    I realize how much, how much I need You.
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    I realize just how important Your presence
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    and Your truth is to my life.
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    And so it makes me want to sit in that space forever.
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    It's such a good reminder
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    that space for You is what I need more of.,
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    space for You is what we need more of.
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    Whether we know it or not, Lord, would You
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    just impress it on our hearts right now
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    that making room for You is a good thing.
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    It's the best thing we could ever do.
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    Will we be reminded to do that more and more and more?
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    Thank You for Your presence.
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    Thank You for allowing us to offer up worship to You.
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    You're good. You're faithful. Amen.
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    Yeah. You know, for those of us who are believers
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    who trust in the Lord, making room is a habit that we have.
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    We do it in singing and coming to a space like this
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    to gather with believers, right?
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    We do it when we pray for our friends and for our family.
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    We do it when we give our resources,
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    our money to the Lord.
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    We're making space for Him to come into our lives
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    and do things that we couldn't do.
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    We're making space and we're saying,
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    "Lord, I trust you." That's what me and my family do.
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    You can do that wherever you are, too, by the way.
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    You can do that in this room.
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    You can do that from your couch. You can do that in the car.
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    You want to join me in giving, you can do that
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    at crossroads.net/give.
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    It's worship and He loves it.
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    Guys, thanks for singing.
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    Chuck Mingo is here with us today. Come on.
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    We're going to hear from him in a little bit.
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    Before we do, why don't you say hey to somebody next to you?
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    Tell them thank you for worshiping next to you.
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    You can have your seat.
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    - Hey, how y'all doing? [audience responds]
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    I got to tell you, it's really nice sitting here.
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    Got my little charcuterie.
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    Got a little something on ice. I feel like a VIP.
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    I feel like a VIP.
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    Have you ever felt like a VIP?
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    Have you ever had a VIP experience?
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    One of the experiences that I always think about
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    is when I was working at Procter and Gamble.
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    So if you are in Cincinnati, you know, Procter and Gamble.
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    If you're not in Cincinnati, Procter and Gamble
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    is a company that makes big brands like Tide
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    and other things that I'm sure you've heard of.
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    And so I worked for Procter and Gamble
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    and I was new to Cincinnati.
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    I got my first promotion and I was in sales.
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    And we were down in Dallas
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    and there was a sales meeting, and, you know,
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    it was time to leave and time to roll,
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    time to head to the airport.
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    I had my flight booked, but I got pulled to the side
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    and someone said, "Would you like to fly back
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    to Cincinnati on the corporate jet
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    with then CEO John Pepper?"
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    And I did what you did. I said, "Of course
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    I would like to do that." Delta who? US Air who?
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    Whatever who? Right?
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    And so I remember, like, walking past, like,
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    my boss's boss's boss who wasn't invited
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    to be on the corporate jet, and I was.
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    And just thinking like, "Man, this is wild."
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    And so I didn't know what to expect.
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    Never been on a corporate jet before.
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    We go to not the main airport,
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    we go to this private airport
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    and we get on the corporate jet.
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    And when you get on the jet, John Pepper, the CEO,
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    takes your drink order himself.
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    And so the CEO of P&G is preparing
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    my cranberry juice for me and coming and giving it to me.
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    And it was just this amazing experience
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    of being on that plane.
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    And then after that, after that,
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    about a couple days later, I get --
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    We had internal mail.
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    I don't even know if they still had that in companies.
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    We had internal mail, you could get
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    a physical piece of mail from someone else in the company.
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    I got internal mail from the CEO, John Pepper,
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    and it said, "Hey, Chuck, loved being with you on the plane.
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    So excited that you're part of the Procter and Gamble team."
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    Man, I felt like a VIP, a VIP.
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    Now, what does that story have to do,
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    other than I like to tell it,
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    what does that story have to do with circles and lines?
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    Which is what we're talking about in this series.
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    Well, here's what we've been talking about.
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    We've been talking about how Jesus
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    drew both lines and circles.
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    And some of us, we're lines people.
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    We are truth people.
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    We want to know what the clear line is.
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    We want people to abide by those clear lines.
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    We're truth people.
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    Some of us, we're more circle people, right?
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    We're hey, like, "There's space for everybody.
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    Like, everybody's good.
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    Like, why can't we all just get along?"
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    Some of us are grace people in that way.
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    But what we see in Jesus is
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    this interesting contrast of the two.
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    Brian talked about this in an interview
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    with Kyle Ranson on his podcast, The Aggressive Life.
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    Let's take a look a little bit of that right now.
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    - This is The Aggressive Life.
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    You're always getting people on here talk about
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    being aggressive and living aggressively.
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    This time we get the godfather
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    of aggressive living himself, you,
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    on your own podcast to drop some wisdom on us.
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    Let's jump into it.
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    I would say no matter what you think about God
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    or faith or that stuff, pretty hard to argue
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    that Jesus hasn't had a massive impact
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    on the history of the world.
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    And there's something I know that's near and dear to you,
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    so near and dear to actually tattooed on your shoulder
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    that He did super unique that I want to unpack with you.
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    And it's this idea of Jesus drawing circles and lines,
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    grace and truth. Talk to us about that.
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    - Yeah, so I have a tattoo on my left shoulder,
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    and it is the yin and yang of grace and truth,
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    kind of melded Eastern spirituality symbol
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    of the yin and the yang, with this idea
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    in John chapter one, where it says,
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    "Jesus came full of truth and grace."
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    Most people only want one or the other.
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    They only want truth. They want to draw lines.
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    Here's who's in, here's who's out,
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    here's the behavior you can have,
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    here's the behavior you shouldn't have.
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    And I'm going to draw a line.
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    I'm going to tell you about it
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    and you better step across the line.
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    That's the truth piece.
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    And Jesus was that.
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    He did have elements of His teaching about that.
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    And if you want to get close to God,
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    you're going to have to be used to drawing lines.
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    I'm sorry. Everything is not okay.
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    Everyone is okay -- Everyone is not okay.
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    All thoughts are not the same.
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    All spiritualities are not the same.
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    There is a line drawing, but Jesus also draws circles
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    and invites people into the circle.
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    And actually some people who think that
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    they're outside the lines of acceptability.
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    Jesus actually draws a great big circle
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    and includes them.
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    He's about including people,
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    accommodating certain people's things,
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    giving people grace, allowing people to have
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    behaviors, thoughts that might be unusual,
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    may not even be approved of by God,
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    but God still loves them and includes them.
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    - Man, I tell you, that's one of the things
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    that if you're going to understand who Jesus is,
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    we got to wrestle with that, and it is a wrestle.
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    This whole idea of circles and lines,
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    we're going to get into that today.
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    I don't know if you got a chance to see this yet
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    or not, but this is just an amazing invitation.
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    So Crossroads does have some camp property,
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    um, not too far from where we are right now
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    here in the Oakley site.
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    And I'm telling you, if you want to cross the line
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    to adventure and experience God in a fresh way,
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    do a camp this year.
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    I just got to tell you, my family
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    is going to be at family camp that's coming up.
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    I'm also going to be at Man Camp as I am every year.
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    Whether it's Woman Camp, Couples Camp,
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    whatever it is for you, I just want to encourage you.
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    There might be something on the other side
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    of that line that God wants to show you,
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    and it's an adventure that you do not want to miss.
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    We're going to pray and then
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    we're going to get into today's scripture.
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    Let's pray. God, I just thank You for this conundrum.
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    It feels like a conundrum, but actually,
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    I believe it's a holy mystery, this idea
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    of Jesus drawing circles and lines.
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    And I think there's something You want
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    to show all of us today, wherever we are,
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    if we're in a room, if we're in our room,
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    You want to show us something today.
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    And God, I'm praying that we would have ears to hear
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    and eyes to see the beauty of who Jesus is
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    and who He is for us.
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    And I pray this in Jesus's name, Amen.
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    All right, so let me ask you a question.
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    What would you do if you had a chance
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    to have dinner with your favorite celebrity?
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    Would you jump at that chance?
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    You know, there's this viral thing going on
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    right now in the internet.
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    And the question is, would you rather get
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    $500,000 given to you, or would you rather
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    have dinner with rap mogul Jay-Z?
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    And a lot of people, a lot of people are saying,
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    "I actually would rather have dinner with Jay-Z,
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    because he's a billionaire, and if I had a dinner
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    with him, I'm sure it would be a lot like this.
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    It would be a VIP experience.
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    And think about what I could learn from an evening
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    with a billionaire like Jay-Z."
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    Now, Jay-Z weighed in on this debate and he said this.
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    What is Jay-Z saying? He's saying, take the money.
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    Show me the money. Who's with me on that?
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    Show me the money. Right?
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    God bless you, Jay-Z.
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    I'm sure we can have dinner some other time,
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    especially if I had $500,000 to have that dinner with you.
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    But one thing's for sure, if you were with Jay-Z,
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    you would have a VIP experience.
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    And a lot of times we see Jesus
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    opening Himself to people who seem like
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    they would be the forgotten
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    or maybe they were on the outside looking in
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    and Jesus gives them a VIP experience.
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    But the story we're looking at today, actually,
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    it appears that Jesus is doing the opposite.
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    As we watch how Jesus interacts
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    with a particular woman in the Bible,
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    who we don't even get her name,
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    it would appear on the surface that Jesus
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    is actually giving this woman the stiff arm,
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    that He wants her to be on the outside looking in.
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    And we're going to wrestle with this today
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    because there's something in this for us.
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    This story shows up in Mark 7:24.
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    If you have, like, a Bible that has titles,
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    you might have heard this as
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    Jesus and the Syrophoenician Woman.
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    We don't get her name, we just get where she's from.
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    This is the story in Mark 7:24, it says:
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    And what do you think Jesus's response was to this woman?
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    What would you guess it would be, right?
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    Wouldn't you guess that Jesus would say, "She's healed"?
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    Wouldn't you guess that Jesus would say, "Go in peace"?
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    No. Actually, what Jesus says to her is this:
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    Now, lest we miss the point,
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    Jesus is giving this woman the stiff arm.
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    He's giving her the Heisman.
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    He is basically saying, "My focus, my target audience
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    are the nation of Israel and Jewish people,
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    and not dogs like you."
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    What, Jesus? Loving Jesus, lamb petting Jesus
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    is calling this woman a dog? Really, Jesus?
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    I mean, is anybody scratching their head right now?
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    You should be scratching your head right now.
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    I mean, let's ask some uncomfortable questions
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    of the Bible. Is Jesus being racist?
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    Is this because she's not Jewish
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    that He's responding this way to her?
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    Oh, here's another uncomfortable question:
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    is Jesus being sexist because it's a woman approaching Him?
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    Or how about this one: Is Jesus being classist?
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    Is Jesus being classist?
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    Is this because this woman isn't rich?
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    Well, let me give you some context.
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    Jesus was on vacation.
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    He was trying to take a break.
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    His disciples were trying to take a break.
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    In his humanness, He had reached His limit.
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    Jesus needed a breather
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    and He did not want to be interrupted.
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    He didn't want anybody in Tire and Sidon knowing who He was.
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    He had gone away from the center of His ministry area
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    because He wanted to take a rest.
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    This woman is an interruption.
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    And who is this woman?
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    Well, we know she's Greek.
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    We know that she was half Syrian and half Phoenician.
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    So, if you want to kind of locate her
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    in terms of culture and context, this is
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    she would have been a descendant of the people
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    of modern day Lebanon or Syria.
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    And this woman is an interruption.
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    We know it because Jesus says to her,
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    Ah, but you know what else this woman is?
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    As one writer put it, this woman is a mad mama
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    with meager resources who's willing to make a scene
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    to get Jesus to heal her daughter.
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    She's also that. She's willing to cross some lines.
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    And I know what it's like to have a mama
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    who's willing to do anything
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    to take care of her children.
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    I know it because I'm married to one.
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    This was years ago, the day before I was going
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    on a ten day mission trip to India,
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    pretty far away from Cincinnati, to India.
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    I'm home. I'm doing my final packing.
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    My wife and I had our three kids.
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    Our oldest was probably about six.
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    My younger son was about three
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    and our baby girl was still in arms, was an infant.
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    And I remember being upstairs doing my packing thing
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    when all of a sudden I hear this like, [sound effect]
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    and I knew it wasn't good because my wife cried out
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    and then my baby girl started crying.
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    And so I run to find out what's going on,
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    and I find my wife mangled on the bottom of the steps,
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    holding up our daughter, saying, "Take the baby,
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    take the baby. "And I'm like, " All right,
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    I'll take the baby. What's wrong with you?"
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    "I don't care about me. Take the baby," she says.
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    And I grabbed the baby.
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    And to find out the baby's fine. Nothing, the baby.
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    And what I found out was my wife fell down the steps,
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    but found a way to cushion our baby girl
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    so that she was not hurt,
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    but my wife broke her toe in the process.
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    The day before I was going to India
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    with a six year old, a three year old, and an infant.
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    It gets better.
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    We go to the urgent care,
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    because clearly something was wrong.
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    She was in a lot of pain. Foot was swelling.
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    We go to the urgent care, find out,
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    "Yes. You've broken your toe."
  • 00:33:18
    I don't know if you've ever broken your toes,
  • 00:33:20
    not much they can do for you when you break your toe.
  • 00:33:22
    They told my wife, "Hey, we would just encourage you
  • 00:33:25
    to just, you know, stay off your feet for a couple of days."
  • 00:33:28
  • 00:33:31
    And my wife was like, "What part of having
  • 00:33:33
    a six year old, a three year old and an infant
  • 00:33:36
    and a husband who's leaving for India in the morning,
  • 00:33:38
    do you not understand?"
  • 00:33:40
    Well, I think about that story because
  • 00:33:42
    my baby, six year old son is now 15
  • 00:33:45
    and my wife does a lot of volunteering at the school,
  • 00:33:48
    and my son's friends have deemed my wife
  • 00:33:50
    the coolest mom that they know,
  • 00:33:53
    which I agree with that. I agree with that.
  • 00:33:55
    And they actually nicknamed her Mama Mingo.
  • 00:33:58
    And it's such a fitting phrase for my wife,
  • 00:34:01
    because if you want to see what it's like
  • 00:34:04
    to get buzz sawed, try to come between my wife
  • 00:34:08
    and something good for her babies.
  • 00:34:10
    It will not end well for you because
  • 00:34:13
    she's a mama who cares about her kids.
  • 00:34:16
    When I think about this woman,
  • 00:34:17
    this Syrophoenician woman, I think about my wife.
  • 00:34:20
    I think about what my wife would do
  • 00:34:21
    to get healing for our kids.
  • 00:34:23
    This woman was willing to cross some lines.
  • 00:34:25
    She was desperate and determined.
  • 00:34:27
    She was at the end of herself.
  • 00:34:29
    She needed Jesus and she wanted Jesus.
  • 00:34:32
    I mean, think about what this woman must have gone through.
  • 00:34:35
    Do you think this was her first attempt
  • 00:34:36
    to try to get her daughter healed?
  • 00:34:38
    Of course not. Of course not.
  • 00:34:40
    We know she was Greek, and what we know is that
  • 00:34:43
    the way that Greek people viewed illness
  • 00:34:45
    was that something was wrong with you.
  • 00:34:47
    If you were sick, you had done something wrong.
  • 00:34:49
    So this woman probably walked around with shame
  • 00:34:53
    from her culture because they assumed that
  • 00:34:55
    something she had done was the reason
  • 00:34:58
    her daughter was in the place that she was.
  • 00:35:00
    But not only that, not only that, they also believed
  • 00:35:03
    that the way that you deal with sickness
  • 00:35:05
    is you have to find a way to appease the gods,
  • 00:35:08
    because the gods are obviously angry with you.
  • 00:35:11
    And so this would have been a woman
  • 00:35:13
    who had probably done things that
  • 00:35:14
    actually exposed her daughter and her
  • 00:35:17
    to more demonic activity in an effort
  • 00:35:20
    to try to get her daughter healed.
  • 00:35:22
    This was a woman, suffice it to say,
  • 00:35:24
    who had come to the end of herself.
  • 00:35:28
    So why does Jesus tell her no?
  • 00:35:33
    Why doesn't Jesus just say, "You are healed"?
  • 00:35:35
    Why doesn't Jesus just say,
  • 00:35:37
    "Hey, I'm going to do this for you"?
  • 00:35:40
    Again, is this something wrong with Jesus?
  • 00:35:43
    Is this different than the character of the Jesus we know?
  • 00:35:46
    I don't think so. I don't think so.
  • 00:35:48
    Here's a different way to think about this.
  • 00:35:51
    What if what Jesus is actually doing
  • 00:35:53
    is not talking about the reasons why this woman
  • 00:35:56
    can't cross the lines and be in relationship with Him,
  • 00:35:58
    but He's actually exposing the lines we draw around his grace.
  • 00:36:04
    See here's the big idea I want you to take away from today.
  • 00:36:15
    Jesus is teaching us something through this woman's story.
  • 00:36:19
    I would argue He draws two hard lines
  • 00:36:22
    and then draws a big old circle in this story.
  • 00:36:25
    First, He draws a line at self-reliance.
  • 00:36:29
    One of the things that will keep you
  • 00:36:31
    from experiencing all that Jesus wants to be for you
  • 00:36:35
    is if you have bought into the lie of self-reliance,
  • 00:36:38
    that you can actually do this thing called life on your own.
  • 00:36:42
    So notice in Mark 7:26, it says:
  • 00:36:49
    She's not coming to Jesus dignified.
  • 00:36:51
    She's not coming to Jesus trying to drop
  • 00:36:53
    the credibility of why He should know who she is
  • 00:36:56
    and do something for her.
  • 00:36:57
    She comes completely undignified,
  • 00:36:59
    completely desperate,
  • 00:37:00
    begging for Jesus to heal her daughter.
  • 00:37:03
    And I would argue that's what actually put her
  • 00:37:05
    in the best position to receive a miracle.
  • 00:37:09
    You see, I wonder, I wonder how many of us
  • 00:37:11
    miss out on miracles because
  • 00:37:14
    we don't want to be seen as needy
  • 00:37:16
    or we don't want to be seen as needing to have a crutch.
  • 00:37:20
    There's a pastor, John Stott, he puts it this way.
  • 00:37:23
    He talks about the fact that like, we are lame,
  • 00:37:25
    we are weak, we are all in need of Jesus, but he says:
  • 00:37:48
    This woman has something to teach us
  • 00:37:49
    about the lie of self reliance.
  • 00:37:52
    I know about this. I know about this.
  • 00:37:54
    I have been in a group called Men's Healthy Sexuality
  • 00:37:57
    for recovering from Sexual Compulsive Behaviors.
  • 00:38:01
    I've been in that group for about 12 years,
  • 00:38:03
    and I still go every week,
  • 00:38:04
    and I'm still in groups every week. Why?
  • 00:38:07
    Because I've learned self- reliance won't keep me sober.
  • 00:38:10
    And so if I'm going on a self-reliance track,
  • 00:38:13
    that's not enough.
  • 00:38:14
    And I have to remind myself,
  • 00:38:15
    anybody who's gone through 12 steps knows this,
  • 00:38:17
    that the first step of the 12 step process
  • 00:38:19
    is we admitted we were powerless
  • 00:38:21
    and that our lives have become unmanageable.
  • 00:38:25
    And I just wonder, I just wonder,
  • 00:38:26
    have you admitted your powerlessness?
  • 00:38:29
    I wonder, have you admitted that
  • 00:38:31
    your powerlessness over that unforgiveness,
  • 00:38:33
    that you're powerless over that fear,
  • 00:38:36
    that you're powerless if you're trying
  • 00:38:37
    to change other people, that you're powerless
  • 00:38:40
    on your own to overcome the trauma and the pain?
  • 00:38:43
    And what if, instead of trusting your own efforts,
  • 00:38:46
    you were willing to trust in the slow work of God?
  • 00:38:51
    James 4:6 puts it this way. It says:
  • 00:38:57
    That phrase, the slow work of God, is actually from
  • 00:39:00
    the prayer of a Jesuit priest who lived a long time ago.
  • 00:39:03
    I've been praying this prayer every day,
  • 00:39:05
    and I just want to share a snippet of it,
  • 00:39:07
    because it's a healthy reminder for me
  • 00:39:09
    to not lean into self reliance,
  • 00:39:11
    but instead to trust in God. He says:
  • 00:39:26
    Why is it that we struggle to trust God?
  • 00:39:29
    It's because doesn't it feel like you're in suspense?
  • 00:39:33
    It's out of your control. And guess what?
  • 00:39:36
    It's out of your control.
  • 00:39:38
    And you feel incomplete. It's a process.
  • 00:39:40
    I don't feel like I'm there yet.
  • 00:39:42
    You know why? Because you're not there yet.
  • 00:39:46
    And if you're relying on you to figure it out,
  • 00:39:49
    you're always going to be in that place.
  • 00:39:51
    But if you can allow yourself to rest in the anxiety
  • 00:39:54
    of feeling in suspense and incomplete,
  • 00:39:56
    then Jesus can do something for you
  • 00:39:59
    that you could never do for yourself.
  • 00:40:01
    And so Jesus wants to say to you today that
  • 00:40:04
    you have to go past the line of self reliance
  • 00:40:07
    if you're going to experience the circle
  • 00:40:09
    of receiving His grace.
  • 00:40:10
    His grace breaks through the barrier of self reliance.
  • 00:40:14
    But secondly, His grace also draws
  • 00:40:16
    a line at self-righteousness.
  • 00:40:19
    On the one hand, Jesus is using this woman's example
  • 00:40:21
    to come against self reliance, but He's also using
  • 00:40:24
    this woman's example to come against
  • 00:40:26
    self-righteousness as well.
  • 00:40:27
    Look at what Jesus then replies to her again in verse 27.
  • 00:40:33
    Which meant the children of Israel.
  • 00:40:34
    That's who He was referencing.
  • 00:40:41
    Oh, this sounds so offensive, doesn't it?
  • 00:40:45
    Doesn't it, just like, it just doesn't feel right?
  • 00:40:47
    But what Jesus was doing here was actually
  • 00:40:50
    mirroring the thoughts of many of
  • 00:40:51
    the Jewish people of his day about Gentiles.
  • 00:40:54
    He was actually mirroring what many of them believed,
  • 00:40:56
    including some of his disciples who saw Gentiles this way.
  • 00:40:59
    See, this woman comes begging for Jesus to heal her daughter.
  • 00:41:04
    But his disciples were also begging Jesus for something.
  • 00:41:07
    This story shows up in the Gospel of Matthew,
  • 00:41:10
    and it's really good when you look at
  • 00:41:12
    different places where a same story shows up,
  • 00:41:14
    because you get different elements of the story.
  • 00:41:16
    In Matthew, here's how the disciples respond
  • 00:41:19
    when this woman falls on her knees to Jesus, it says:
  • 00:41:28
    Now before we throw these guys under the bus,
  • 00:41:30
    remember, they were tired. They were on vacation.
  • 00:41:35
    They thought the miracle stuff was behind them
  • 00:41:37
    for a bit, that they were going to get to take a breather.
  • 00:41:39
    And actually, if that was the case,
  • 00:41:41
    then it may not have been them saying,
  • 00:41:43
    "Hey, Jesus, don't give her what she wants."
  • 00:41:45
    They might have been saying, "Jesus, would you please
  • 00:41:47
    give her what she wants so we can get on with our vacation?"
  • 00:41:50
    And if that's the case, then it makes it
  • 00:41:52
    even more uncomfortable that Jesus's response
  • 00:41:55
    to the woman at first is, "No,
  • 00:41:57
    I'm not going to give it to the dogs."
  • 00:42:00
    Whoa, whoa. See, this term was an insult.
  • 00:42:05
    In fact, one of the commentators puts it this way,
  • 00:42:07
    it says: Jews frequently insulted Gentiles
  • 00:42:09
    by calling them dogs, the wild homeless scavengers
  • 00:42:13
    that roamed freely in Palestine."
  • 00:42:17
    See, make no mistake, part of what was at play
  • 00:42:20
    in this story is an ethnic superiority
  • 00:42:23
    that some Jewish people were guilty of.
  • 00:42:26
    And I just want to say this very clearly,
  • 00:42:28
    there is still a painful reality
  • 00:42:33
    that ethnic superiority causes pain in our world.
  • 00:42:37
    And you can't read this story today
  • 00:42:40
    and not think about the ways that
  • 00:42:42
    that ethnic difference is playing out
  • 00:42:44
    in the land of Palestine right now,
  • 00:42:46
    in Israel right now.
  • 00:42:47
    But I want to tell you, it's not just limited to there.
  • 00:42:50
    We don't have to look very far to see the ways
  • 00:42:53
    in which ethnic superiority causes all kinds of strife,
  • 00:42:56
    has caused all kinds of violence
  • 00:42:58
    over the course of human history.
  • 00:43:01
    But let's unpack this a little bit,
  • 00:43:02
    because Jesus is leaning into this.
  • 00:43:04
    I know this is uncomfortable, but Jesus is leaning into this.
  • 00:43:07
    And if we're going to understand this story,
  • 00:43:08
    we've got to understand what was the source
  • 00:43:11
    of this ethnic superiority?
  • 00:43:13
    Why was it that some Jewish people would call Gentiles dogs?
  • 00:43:17
    Well, it was because at the time,
  • 00:43:19
    some Jewish people believed that the blessings of God
  • 00:43:22
    were principally for them
  • 00:43:25
    and not to be shared with the Gentiles.
  • 00:43:28
    And I want to tell you, they were half right.
  • 00:43:32
    Here's the half they were right about.
  • 00:43:34
    God had, and I believe, still has
  • 00:43:37
    a special relationship with the Jewish people.
  • 00:43:40
    God has made a covenant relationship
  • 00:43:42
    with the Jewish nation.
  • 00:43:44
    But here's what I want us to understand
  • 00:43:46
    about that covenant relationship.
  • 00:43:48
    God's plan has always been that through
  • 00:43:51
    the covenant relationship,
  • 00:43:52
    the special relationship with the people of Israel,
  • 00:43:55
    not only Israel, but the whole world would be blessed.
  • 00:43:58
    Let me show this to you in the Bible.
  • 00:44:00
    I want to show this to you
  • 00:44:01
    because I want you to understand this.
  • 00:44:03
    See, this is what it says in Genesis 12:3.
  • 00:44:05
    This is when God makes this promise,
  • 00:44:07
    this covenant relationship to Abraham.
  • 00:44:09
    He says to Abraham:
  • 00:44:21
    See, it was never just for one group of people.
  • 00:44:23
    God was going to use that group of people to bless all people.
  • 00:44:26
    That's why you see in places like Isaiah 49:6 these words:
  • 00:44:38
    Meaning, if that's all I'm doing,
  • 00:44:40
    that's too light of a thing.
  • 00:44:50
    And before we judge, before we judge,
  • 00:44:53
    we just have to admit we missed the plot
  • 00:44:55
    the same way today.
  • 00:44:57
    Who are the people in your mind
  • 00:44:59
    that you've drawn a line and said
  • 00:45:00
    they can't be worthy of God's grace?
  • 00:45:03
    Who are the people that you said
  • 00:45:05
    they are to this, that or the other?
  • 00:45:07
    They are too far from the way that I see the line
  • 00:45:10
    for them to actually receive the grace of God?
  • 00:45:13
    We can be convicted of the same thing.
  • 00:45:16
    And so in calling this woman a dog,
  • 00:45:18
    Jesus was mirroring the culture
  • 00:45:21
    to get his disciples' attention, to say to them,
  • 00:45:23
    "That is not the way My grace works.
  • 00:45:26
    That what I'm doing is something different in the world."
  • 00:45:30
    See, when he called her a dog,
  • 00:45:32
    some of His disciples would have nodded in agreement.
  • 00:45:34
    Some of His disciples may not have nodded in agreement,
  • 00:45:36
    but they would have nodded in understanding, like,
  • 00:45:38
    "Yeah, no, that's just the way we think today.
  • 00:45:40
    That's how some people think today."
  • 00:45:41
    But I want you to remember the big idea today is this:
  • 00:45:44
    Jesus is grace breaks through all our barriers,
  • 00:45:47
    and so we must choose to step over the line and receive it.
  • 00:45:51
    So what Jesus does in responding to this woman
  • 00:45:53
    is He brilliantly kills two birds with one statement.
  • 00:45:57
    With one statement He's going to break through
  • 00:45:59
    the lie that anyone could be righteous enough
  • 00:46:02
    on their own to receive grace,
  • 00:46:05
    and He's going to demonstrate through this woman
  • 00:46:08
    the only thing that actually allows us
  • 00:46:11
    to cross over the line
  • 00:46:13
    and enter into the circle of His grace.
  • 00:46:15
    Jesus tests this woman. He's testing her faith, too.
  • 00:46:19
    He wants to make her prove belief in Him.
  • 00:46:21
    Does she really know who He is?
  • 00:46:23
    Does she understand who He is?
  • 00:46:25
    Well, who is He? Who is He?
  • 00:46:27
    It's like what Jesus said, Jesus said,
  • 00:46:28
    "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
  • 00:46:30
    No one comes to the Father except through Me."
  • 00:46:32
    He wants to understand, does this woman know this?
  • 00:46:34
    And I want you to know this woman
  • 00:46:36
    passes that test with flying colors.
  • 00:46:38
    After Jesus says, "Let the children eat first.
  • 00:46:41
    It's not good to give the bread to the dogs."
  • 00:46:44
    The woman's response is amazing.
  • 00:46:46
    She answers Him and says, "Yes, Lord,
  • 00:46:48
    but even the dogs under the table
  • 00:46:51
    eat the children's crumbs."
  • 00:46:54
    What is she saying? Well, first,
  • 00:46:56
    she's rejecting self-reliance by saying,
  • 00:46:59
    "I'll take your crumbs. Jesus,
  • 00:47:02
    I believe you are God
  • 00:47:04
    and so even your crumbs can heal my daughter.
  • 00:47:07
    I believe you're God, so even your crumbs can change my life.
  • 00:47:10
    I don't need the whole loaf of bread.
  • 00:47:12
    If I can get just some of you, Jesus,
  • 00:47:14
    just some of you is better than anything else
  • 00:47:16
    the world has to offer."
  • 00:47:17
    This woman is not relying on herself.
  • 00:47:20
    She's relying on Jesus.
  • 00:47:22
    And she also doesn't come with self-righteousness
  • 00:47:25
    because she says, "You can call me
  • 00:47:26
    whatever you want to call me.
  • 00:47:28
    You call me a dog as long as you call me for dinner,"
  • 00:47:31
    like they used to say, right?
  • 00:47:32
    You can call me whatever you want to call me.
  • 00:47:34
    This woman was not caught up in what Jesus called her.
  • 00:47:37
    She was caught up in who Jesus is.
  • 00:47:39
    And man, if you are caught up in who Jesus is,
  • 00:47:42
    then grace is for you. It is available to you.
  • 00:47:47
    This woman's faith is amazing and I just wonder,
  • 00:47:51
    I just wonder, I wonder if some of us
  • 00:47:53
    are really missing out on knowing who Jesus is.
  • 00:47:56
    I wonder if we're missing out on the life
  • 00:47:58
    that He has for us, because at the end of the day,
  • 00:48:00
    we're caught up in stuff that don't really matter.
  • 00:48:04
    This woman teaches us a powerful lesson.
  • 00:48:08
    And she amazes Jesus. She amazes Jesus.
  • 00:48:12
    Look at what happens next in verse 29.
  • 00:48:16
    if you get that, if you understand that,
  • 00:48:18
    if that's the kind of faith you have,
  • 00:48:30
    Amazing. Amazing.
  • 00:48:33
    See, this woman didn't give up.
  • 00:48:34
    She recognized her unworthiness
  • 00:48:36
    and she asked Jesus anyway because she understands
  • 00:48:40
    that the gift of grace doesn't come
  • 00:48:41
    through self-righteousness.
  • 00:48:42
    The gift of grace only comes through faith.
  • 00:48:47
    What this woman had was not the necessary right pedigree.
  • 00:48:50
    It wasn't about where she was from,
  • 00:48:52
    but it was about the fact that she understood
  • 00:48:54
    we are only saved by grace through faith in Jesus.
  • 00:48:59
    So what I love about this story
  • 00:49:02
    is Jesus draws some hard lines.
  • 00:49:04
    If you think you're going to get to Jesus
  • 00:49:06
    on your own self-reliance, you will never enter
  • 00:49:08
    the circle of grace.
  • 00:49:10
    If you think that other people aren't going to make it
  • 00:49:13
    because you are more righteous than them,
  • 00:49:15
    you will miss out on the circle of grace.
  • 00:49:17
    So what Jesus does is draw two hard lines,
  • 00:49:19
    but He draws a big old circle around Himself.
  • 00:49:22
    He draws an open circle around Himself
  • 00:49:25
    for all who would come to him through faith.
  • 00:49:27
    Why? Because Jesus's grace
  • 00:49:30
    breaks through all our barriers.
  • 00:49:32
    But we must choose to step over the line and receive it.
  • 00:49:36
    See, here's the good news.
  • 00:49:38
    No matter what you are, no matter who you are,
  • 00:49:40
    no matter where you come from,
  • 00:49:42
    you can have a relationship with God
  • 00:49:45
    through faith in Jesus, no matter where you come from.
  • 00:49:48
    Make no mistake about it, anything or any way
  • 00:49:51
    you're trying to have a relationship with God
  • 00:49:53
    apart from Jesus is a hard line that will never work.
  • 00:49:57
    You can never be good enough.
  • 00:49:59
    You can never be righteous enough.
  • 00:50:00
    You can never be from the right family
  • 00:50:02
    or the right ethnicity or the right country.
  • 00:50:04
    It's not about that.
  • 00:50:05
    You can never be worthy in and of anything
  • 00:50:07
    that you say or do, or you can never be worthy
  • 00:50:10
    from anything you don't say or don't do.
  • 00:50:11
    Jesus says He is the ultimate line
  • 00:50:14
    when in John 14:6 He says:
  • 00:50:21
    But the beautiful part about that is that
  • 00:50:23
    when you put your faith in Jesus,
  • 00:50:25
    that line becomes a big old circle of His embrace
  • 00:50:28
    and you step into the grace that Jesus has to offer to you.
  • 00:50:34
    I want you to see this in places
  • 00:50:35
    like John 1:11-12, which says this:
  • 00:50:41
    But listen to what it says:
  • 00:50:42
    But to all who did receive Him,
  • 00:50:44
    notice it doesn't say,
  • 00:50:45
    but to all who are from this city,
  • 00:50:47
    or all who are from this social stratus. It says:
  • 00:50:55
    This woman wasn't a dog.
  • 00:50:57
    She was a child of God through faith.
  • 00:51:00
    And all who receive Him get the same right.
  • 00:51:04
    Look at what it says,
  • 00:51:05
    I love this verse in Revelations 3:20. Jesus says:
  • 00:51:18
    I think sometimes we think Jesus is hiding from us.
  • 00:51:21
    We think as we're calling out to Jesus, He's hiding,
  • 00:51:23
    He's ducking, he's Bobbing, he's Weaving.
  • 00:51:26
    No, you know what Jesus did?
  • 00:51:28
    Jesus, through His blood threw open the VIP lane
  • 00:51:31
    and He is saying, "If you will come to Me,
  • 00:51:33
    I will dine with you. We'll have bubbly together.
  • 00:51:36
    We'll have fig together. We'll have olive together."
  • 00:51:39
    Jesus is pursuing you.
  • 00:51:41
    Jesus is not running from you, He's running toward you.
  • 00:51:45
    He loves you and He wants relationship with you.
  • 00:51:50
    Through faith in Jesus everybody gets the VIP experience.
  • 00:51:54
    Everybody gets the corporate jet experience.
  • 00:51:57
    Everybody gets to experience what it's like
  • 00:52:00
    to be in the family of God through Jesus.
  • 00:52:04
    See the salvation He secured through His death
  • 00:52:08
    and resurrection is yours through faith.
  • 00:52:11
    And when we believe this, when we receive it,
  • 00:52:15
    when we open the door of faith and let Him in,
  • 00:52:17
    then we actually experience a life changing power
  • 00:52:22
    that changes us from the inside out.
  • 00:52:25
    Friends, Jesus's grace breaks through all of our barriers.
  • 00:52:29
    Question is will we step over the line of faith
  • 00:52:33
    and receive that grace?
  • 00:52:36
    I believe something powerful is going to happen right now.
  • 00:52:38
    We're going to have an opportunity to sing.
  • 00:52:40
    We're going to have an opportunity to pray.
  • 00:52:42
    And some of you are going to have an opportunity
  • 00:52:44
    to come to the front and receive.
  • 00:52:47
    And you're going to get instructions
  • 00:52:49
    on how that's going to work.
  • 00:52:50
    But I just want to tell you, I believe that
  • 00:52:53
    there's a reason you're hearing this message today.
  • 00:52:55
    I believe that Jesus has been pursuing you.
  • 00:52:58
    I think some of you, you've been running.
  • 00:53:01
    You've been running, but it's time to stop running.
  • 00:53:05
    And what you're going to find is that
  • 00:53:07
    Jesus has been waiting the whole time
  • 00:53:10
    with open arms to receive you, to offer you life.
  • 00:53:14
    So I'm going to invite our prayer volunteers to come up.
  • 00:53:17
    And as they come up to the front,
  • 00:53:19
    you're going to have a chance to come up
  • 00:53:20
    and pray with someone today.
  • 00:53:22
    As they come to the front,
  • 00:53:23
    they're going to take these stanchions off.
  • 00:53:25
    And I want you to just notice that these stanchions are red.
  • 00:53:28
    And one of the things we know is the reason
  • 00:53:30
    that there is now no barrier between us and God
  • 00:53:33
    is because of the blood of Jesus.
  • 00:53:35
    The blood of Jesus took the stanchions away.
  • 00:53:38
    The blood of Jesus says,
  • 00:53:39
    everybody has entry into the presence of God.
  • 00:53:41
    You are no longer separated.
  • 00:53:43
    As long as you have faith in Jesus and come,
  • 00:53:45
    you can receive grace today.
  • 00:53:48
    You can receive life today.
  • 00:53:50
    You can receive salvation today.
  • 00:53:52
    You can receive healing today.
  • 00:53:55
    And so this is going to be an opportunity for you.
  • 00:53:58
    Maybe you've never done that.
  • 00:54:00
    Maybe you've never made that step of saying,
  • 00:54:01
    "Jesus, I want to receive Your life."
  • 00:54:03
    Then if that's you, then in a moment, in a moment,
  • 00:54:05
    you're going to have an opportunity
  • 00:54:07
    to get up out of your seat and come down the front.
  • 00:54:09
    You're just going to go to the volunteer.
  • 00:54:11
    You're just going to say, "I want to receive Jesus."
  • 00:54:14
    And if you say that to them,
  • 00:54:15
    they're going to just lead you through a prayer
  • 00:54:18
    because you do not have to leave
  • 00:54:20
    the same way you came in here.
  • 00:54:23
    Now maybe some of us we took this step years ago,
  • 00:54:27
    or maybe we took this step months ago.
  • 00:54:31
    But man, something's grown stale.
  • 00:54:34
    There's something of the life of Jesus
  • 00:54:36
    that somehow it seems like in some ways,
  • 00:54:38
    maybe we have put ourselves back behind a velvet rope.
  • 00:54:42
    But I want you to know that the grace of Jesus
  • 00:54:44
    isn't a one time experience, that it's meant to be
  • 00:54:46
    an ongoing experience for you.
  • 00:54:48
    And so if that's you, if you're like, "Man, I want that,"
  • 00:54:50
    then you're just going to come up
  • 00:54:52
    to the prayer volunteers too.
  • 00:54:53
    But you're going to ask them, "Hey,
  • 00:54:55
    I want to be restored in Jesus."
  • 00:54:57
    And if that's you, then they just want to pray with you
  • 00:54:59
    and agree with you that you can have a restoration,
  • 00:55:01
    that today can be the refreshment for you.
  • 00:55:03
    Today can be the beginning of something new in your life.
  • 00:55:06
    And they just want to pray with you
  • 00:55:08
    and agree with you that that's possible.
  • 00:55:10
    I tell you what, that woman received what she asked for
  • 00:55:16
    because she knew who Jesus was
  • 00:55:18
    and she believed in what Jesus can do.
  • 00:55:22
    And so whether you want the life of salvation
  • 00:55:24
    or whether you want a refreshment,
  • 00:55:26
    that's all it takes.
  • 00:55:27
    All you have to do is believe
  • 00:55:29
    that Jesus is who He says He is,
  • 00:55:31
    and that He will do what He says He can do.
  • 00:55:34
    So, I'm going to invite us to stand and I'm going to pray.
  • 00:55:37
    And then for some of us, maybe we just want
  • 00:55:39
    to sit in this moment and continue to worship.
  • 00:55:41
    For others of us, I want you to make your way to the front.
  • 00:55:43
    Don't hesitate. Don't think about it too long.
  • 00:55:45
    If God is drawing you, then come,
  • 00:55:51
    receive Jesus, be restored in Jesus,
  • 00:55:55
    and get all the life that He has for you.
  • 00:55:57
    God, I just pray that in all of our locations,
  • 00:56:00
    online too, that people would just say yes in this moment.
  • 00:56:05
    Whether it's reaching out via the chat
  • 00:56:07
    to a prayer volunteer online,
  • 00:56:09
    or coming to the front of a room,
  • 00:56:12
    You would do something in this moment,
  • 00:56:13
    Jesus, that only you can do.
  • 00:56:15
    That woman left change and her daughter was changed,
  • 00:56:17
    her legacy was changed.
  • 00:56:19
    Would You do that today
  • 00:56:20
    as people take this step of faith? In Jesus name, Amen.
  • 00:56:27
    - As Chuck said, there's always more
  • 00:56:29
    that we can get from God, more lines,
  • 00:56:31
    more opportunities for us to take steps
  • 00:56:33
    with Him and towards Him.
  • 00:56:35
    And we believe that God is inviting all of us
  • 00:56:38
    to go deeper with Him and we would love to pray for you
  • 00:56:41
    and to bless you as you take a step further with God.
  • 00:56:44
    We have a whole team of people, real people
  • 00:56:46
    like friends of mine, like Jamie and Tierra and D-Man,
  • 00:56:50
    and more real people who would love
  • 00:56:52
    to connect with you, to talk with you, and to pray for you.
  • 00:56:55
    You can go to crossroads.net and chat in.
  • 00:56:57
    I promise you, these are not bots, they are real people
  • 00:56:59
    and they would love to pray for you right now.
  • 00:57:02
    You can also email me directly
  • 00:57:03
    at Andy.Reider@crossroads.net
  • 00:57:05
    and I'd love to connect with you and to pray for you as well.
  • 00:57:08
    Now, before we go, there are a few events
  • 00:57:11
    for our Crossroads Anywhere community
  • 00:57:12
    that I want to put on your radar.
  • 00:57:14
    First, Crossroads is coming to Florida.
  • 00:57:17
    Next Saturday the Anywhere Team and myself
  • 00:57:19
    will be in Sarasota connecting with our community there.
  • 00:57:21
    And then the following Tuesday, this is the big one,
  • 00:57:23
    March 5th we will be in Orlando
  • 00:57:26
    joined by Chuck Mingo and Crossroads Music.
  • 00:57:29
    They will be playing live at the Pillars Loft
  • 00:57:31
    in Winter Garden in Orlando,
  • 00:57:32
    and we'd just love to spend the evening
  • 00:57:34
    hanging out with you.
  • 00:57:35
    We'll have amazing live music,
  • 00:57:38
    we'll have drinks and appetizers throughout the night,
  • 00:57:40
    and most importantly, you'll also have a chance
  • 00:57:42
    to meet other community members
  • 00:57:44
    from Crossroads Anywhere across Florida.
  • 00:57:47
    It'll be on Tuesday, March 5th at Pillars Bar.
  • 00:57:49
    Head to Crossroads.net/anywhere for more info and to RSVP.
  • 00:57:53
    We really would love to see you there.
  • 00:57:55
    And the second thing I want to talk to you about
  • 00:57:57
    is coming up and it is called Anywhere Weekend.
  • 00:58:00
    Now last year we did this for the first time.
  • 00:58:02
    It was crazy.
  • 00:58:03
    We invited our entire Anywhere community
  • 00:58:05
    from across the globe to come together
  • 00:58:07
    in Cincinnati for a weekend.
  • 00:58:08
    And guess what y'all did? It was amazing.
  • 00:58:11
    The weekend quickly became a launching point
  • 00:58:13
    for our entire Anywhere community,
  • 00:58:15
    and so we're doing it again this year,
  • 00:58:18
    and it's going to be way bigger and way better.
  • 00:58:20
    Join us in Cincinnati, July 19-21
  • 00:58:23
    for a weekend of live worship and teaching,
  • 00:58:26
    from amazing food and fun.
  • 00:58:28
    Whether you're six, 16, or 60,
  • 00:58:31
    you can make new friends from around the globe
  • 00:58:33
    and learn how to experience more of God
  • 00:58:35
    right where you are, wherever you live all year long.
  • 00:58:39
    Head to Crossroads.net/anywhere and sign up.
  • 00:58:42
    As always, hey, thank you for joining us today.
  • 00:58:45
    We don't want to be something that you just watch.
  • 00:58:47
    We want to be a community that you are a part of.
  • 00:58:50
    We'll see you back here 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 most VIP experience you’ve ever had?

  2. Have you ever felt rejected or “stiff-armed” by Jesus? Where in your life have you struggled to connect with Him?

  3. What lines or barriers have you set up around Jesus’ grace in your life?

  4. How has Jesus’ grace broken through those barriers?

  5. What aspect of Jesus’ character do you struggle to trust in or believe in?

  6. What’s one step you can take this week to strengthen your faith in Jesus?

  7. Let’s end with prayer. You can say something like, “Jesus, thank you for the challenges you offer us. Help us break down the barriers we’ve put up between us and you. We want to know you more. We want our faith to grow. Amen.”

More from the Weekend

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

  • Think of a situation where you feel powerless. What would it look like to trust Jesus in it?
  • Who are people you have been judgmental of, or deemed unworthy of Gods grace?
  • How would your life look different if you allowed your faith in Jesus to supersede your faith in yourself?

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

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Mar 2, 2024 58 mins 58 sec

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