WE RUN to the lost, the hurting, the hungry, to those who are asking questions and seeking truth. We will do anything short of sin to reach our friends and neighbors. We believe everyone has a seat at God’s table.

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    - Runners to the starting line.
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    - Hey, welcome to Crossroads.
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    I'm Andy, and around here we run.
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    We run after the things that God has called us to as a church,
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    and we aren't slowing down.
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    I'm excited for Brian to talk more about that later.
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    But first, we're going to get started with worship.
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    We have this time every weekend
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    to take our focus off of the craziness of life
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    and turn our attention towards God.
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    So turn up the volume, go full screen and sing along.
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    - Come on. Put your hands together like this.
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    We sing to remind ourselves of how faithful,
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    how good God is. Sing this with me.
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    - The battle belongs to Him.
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    You know, these songs we sing
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    aren't just songs that were created recently.
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    They're songs that have been sung for generations
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    and truths that we find in Scripture.
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    The song that we're going to sing next
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    is found in Ephesians 3:20.
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    It says this; I want us to read it together.
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    It's true, His faithfulness,
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    His glory endures all generations.
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    You know, I grew up singing a song in church
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    because I grew up, I'm an old Baptist kid
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    and we grew up singing Great is Thy Faithfulness.
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    And that was the song, man,
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    that just touched me every time we sang it.
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    And and it was a reminder of exactly who God is. It goes:
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    - Lord, we thank You. You're so mighty.
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    You - Whoo, I just love singing to You
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    because it just puts me in a place of
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    remembering exactly who You are.
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    It helps me to knock back the noise of life,
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    the noise of mistakes, the noise of the enemy.
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    And it reminds me that, God, You're faithful.
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    You're so good. You're so true.
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    You're so consistent.
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    And because of that, I have something to look forward to.
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    I can lift my eyes up, because You're good,
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    because You hold all things together.
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    So for that, we thank You
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    and we'll always sing to You because You're worth it.
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    It's in Your Son's name s we pray. Amen.
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    - You know, Brian Tome always talks about
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    the benefits of being outside.
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    And I get to be outside at least an hour every day
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    when I start my week, I get to dance.
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    I get my steps in.
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    I recommend it to anybody. It's so much fun.
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    - When I first started serving for Kids' Club,
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    I thought I was just signing up
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    for community service hours,
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    but I ended up finding connection with the staff,
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    the other volunteers, and especially the kids.
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    And now it's something I look forward to every Sunday.
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    - Sometimes when you just come to service,
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    you take things for granted.
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    And what I found out was how many people
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    are behind the scenes helping out
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    and how I've been able to contribute to that.
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    - When I started serving at Crossroads,
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    I thought it was going to be an experience
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    for me to learn how to do electrical work, how to do plumbing.
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    But it actually turned into finding
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    a friend here at Crossroads
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    and it became about relationships.
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    It was labor that was in the trenches,
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    but enabled me to connect with God.
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    - I found that serving here at Crossroads
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    just gives me a huge sense of purpose
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    and being able to help this community
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    spread the Word of God to people that are
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    perhaps watching this around the world.
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    It's just awesome to be able to take
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    the skills that God has blessed me with
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    and be able to give back to our community.
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    - I signed up for volunteering, I felt that
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    it was going to be maybe burdensome,
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    it was going to be long days and exhausting.
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    What I found is that it's a great opportunity
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    for me to share my gifts with my community
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    and I find myself being closer to God.
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    - Volunteering is one of the ways
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    that we run as a church, and it's an amazing way
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    to make a difference and have fun while doing it.
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    Crossroads was started by volunteers
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    and we still run on volunteers today.
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    I actually started as a volunteer 15 years ago.
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    Learn about the ways that you can get involved
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    at Crossroads.net/volunteer.
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    There are so many different things happening
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    around Crossroads depending on where you live,
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    whether you live near one of
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    our Crossroads physical locations
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    or anywhere around the globe.
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    You can stay connected by downloading
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    the Crossroads Anywhere app,
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    by selecting your location and you're all set.
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    Now another way that we run together is by giving,
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    we pool our resources to accomplish things
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    that we could never do on our own.
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    The money that goes to Crossroads
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    goes right back out to life changing work
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    both locally and globally.
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    To learn more or to give, check out Crossroads.net/give.
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    Today and over the next five weeks
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    I'm so excited because we are taking a look
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    at our purpose as a church, the things that
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    God has uniquely given Crossroads to run after.
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    This is us, it's who we are, and it's in our DNA.
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    - Talking about running after the lost,
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    running after our friends who don't know Jesus,
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    that's in our DNA as a church, as a team.
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    What does that look like for you?
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    Are there stories that you have of, like,
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    I've been run after by this place?
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    Is there something that you've done
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    or your team has done
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    that's really you've seen the fruit of that?
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    - I can share it from the beginning.
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    I would say when we had this idea to start
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    a church for our friends that didn't go to church,
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    we were like nobodies from nowhere
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    who knew nothing about starting a church.
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    But we had this idea and we just started running towards it
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    and we figured God would guide us along the way.
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    And He did. So He brought people around
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    who knew something about starting churches,
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    He led us too so that we hired Brian Tome.
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    Because you kind of need one of those pastor people
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    when you start a church.
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    So yeah, he's still our pastor.
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    And we ran towards, you know,
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    finding a place where we could meet.
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    And that's where People's Middle School came out.
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    But I think if we had just kind of had the idea
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    and didn't start moving, we probably would
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    still be sitting around our living room talking about,
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    "Hey, be nice to have a church like that."
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    - I think the people that we look up to in life
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    are always the people who were crazy enough to do it.
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    And so, you know, when you get to sit around
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    in a half circle with a bunch of folks
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    who are crazy enough to do it and me being,
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    kind of coming in on this on the back end side,
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    what I am in is a training ground of crazy people
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    who are crazy enough to do it.
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    - So the first time I ever came to Crossroads,
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    my parents brought me.
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    I was 19 years old and they had found this new church.
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    And they go, "Come with us. You're going to like it."
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    At this point in my life, I did not like church,
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    I hated church, wanted no part of it.
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    Was pretty okay with like, God and Jesus, probably,
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    but not -- but not church.
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    And so they brought me and I hated it.
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    Hated it.
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    When I walked into the atrium, there were these,
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    like, really expensive flat screen TVs.
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    They were plasmas, like, back before LCD and then LCD,
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    and they were like $1 billion apiece.
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    It's like, why are these here?
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    I sit in the service, everyone's wearing blue jeans.
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    That's not okay for church.
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    Everyone has coffee. That's crazy. No one can --
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    You can't take coffee in the sanctuary, the place of God.
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    What are you doing? You know?
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    And then they played a Dave Matthews band song,
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    and I was like, this is -- this is freaking terrible.
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    Okay, so we leave. We're in the car ride home.
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    My parents say, "You know, what did you think?"
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    I was like, "I thought it was awful."
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    And I went through all my -- all my reasons.
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    And my parents listened patiently.
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    And then they were like, "Okay, but you --
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    You hate church, so isn't that - isn't that good?
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    Don't you like coffee and Dave Matthews Band and TV?"
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    And I was like, "Uh, yeah."
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    And I came back the next week and I --
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    And I heard the gospel
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    in a way I'd never heard it before.
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    I heard people who were sharing things
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    you weren't supposed to share,
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    admitting mistakes you weren't supposed to admit,
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    and that sort of we run,
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    we'll do anything short of sin to reach people,
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    for me, that got me.
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    That was like, "Oh, I can hear it."
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    And I got to take that back to my friends at college. It's pretty cool.
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    - Years ago we had a Crossroads running group starting up,
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    and the whole point of it was to be able to
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    pair physical with spiritual, like, the tactile with the spiritual.
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    That's when we were trying to get a college ministry started.
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    And so it was the thing we were doing at church.
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    So I was like, "Well, if Crossroads doing
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    a running group, I guess I'm learning to run."
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    And so I called people I knew who were runners
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    and was like, "Will you start this group?
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    And I'll just get in it and get my friends to do it with us."
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    And so I ran a half marathon
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    and had an awful experience, coming out of both ends,
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    if that's enough information for you.
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    It was awful and I was like, "I will never do that again."
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    - [indiscernible] Nah, you don't need to, Kyle.
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    - You joined a running group to reach people for Jesus,
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    like an evangelism group?
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    - Yeah, it was the thing we were doing as a church,
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    physically running, which now I look back, like,
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    that was really spiritually insightful.
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    And so, yeah, that's actually how our uptown community,
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    like, the first official Crossroads thing
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    on the website that we did was a running group.
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    - Nice. - Yeah - That's really cool. - Wow.
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    - But I got one question I would like to throw out
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    a memory of anything short of sin moment
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    that I heard about but I wasn't around for,
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    and that's the infamous beer on stage incident.
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    [indiscernible crosstalk]
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    - You weren't there? - No, I wasn't here for that.
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    - That's happened multiple times. - Yeah. Someone tell me that story.
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    - Where I remember it was we were doing --
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    We did a series called either the Front Porch --
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    Backyard Gospel. Backyard Gospel.
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    I don't know if that was the first time,
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    but that was definitely one of the times.
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    And Brian was talking about like, "Hey,
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    I want to be the same person here
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    that I would be if you were with me on my back deck."
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    And as a part of that, he cracked open a beer
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    and he drinks it, because he's like, "Listen,
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    if we weren't here and you were on my back deck,
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    I would offer you a beer and it wouldn't be an issue,"
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    you know? And so it was really powerful.
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    But I think like the number of people
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    for whom that moment was like,
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    that's when I knew this was a place for me. It's powerful.
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    - Yeah, I've actually done that beer thing a few times.
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    I'm not going to do it this series, though I'm due.
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    I'll tell you what's amazing.
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    When you have three beers by noon
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    at church as part of your job.
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    God bless America. That is great stuff.
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    Now, some of you might be saying,
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    "Now, why would you do that? Why would you?"
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    I understand there would be confusion about that
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    and other things, that's why we're going to do a series on this.
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    Today we're going to be deep Bible,
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    so get ready for a moment, get ready for a moment here.
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    I just want to make sure you understand
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    there's no ask is coming in this series.
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    There's no ask coming after this series.
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    We have -- We want nothing from you.
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    We want something for you.
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    We have been in deep, deep growth mode
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    and we just got a high, high percentage of our church
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    that is like, "I don't --"
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    And so those have been around a while,
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    we also need a refresher who we are as a church,
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    why we do what we do.
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    I was talking with Johnny G., John Gillespie,
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    our community pastor down in Lexington.
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    Our Lexington campus is up 30% since March,
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    March till last week, 30%.
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    Over the summer church is supposed to shrink.
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    We've grown, actually all of our campuses combined,
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    we're up 24% from March to today.
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    That's really, really nuts.
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    And I want to help us understand
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    this basic stuff that's in the Bible,
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    basic stuff about churches, basic stuff about people
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    who want to follow after the heart of God
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    that actually isn't very basic anymore.
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    In fact, when someone starts doing some of these things,
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    there's confusion.
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    And I think God is confused over what we're confused by.
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    I think if we actually had early followers
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    of Christ said, "Here's what followers would look like
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    in the 21st century, "they would go," What?
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    Well, you mean they're not? What you mean not? What? What?"
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    Yeah, we've lost some things.
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    Those of us who call ourselves believers in our country
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    and at Crossroads, we're not trying to be better than other churches.
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    We're not trying to be different other churches.
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    We're trying to understand the scriptures as best we do
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    and apply them in a meaningful and aggressive way
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    in our culture today.
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    So let's pray before I go any further.
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    God help me to explain and to encounter You in a fresh way today.
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    You know, I don't really care all that much
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    how many people are a part of Crossroads,
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    but I care a lot how many people are actually
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    a part of You and Your family and are engaged in it
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    and running correctly, passionately, gracefully.
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    Help us to connect with You today.
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    Help me, God, to accurately talk about Your amazing character.
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    And I pray these things according to
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    the identity of Jesus. Amen.
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    So the story I'm going to look at today
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    is known as the Prodigal Son.
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    It's a classic story.
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    It's called the Prodigal Son, even though
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    the word prodigal is never in the scriptures
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    and even though Prodigal Son is never titled it.
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    I'm going to show this today, I was --
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    Some people this last week or a couple weeks ago said,
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    "You should share that thing."
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    I said, "Really? Didn't I just talk about that?"
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    And I went back and looked at my old files
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    and it was actually five years
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    since I've talked about this, five years.
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    The reason why it feels like to me that it's yesterday
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    is I probably reflect more on this story
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    than any other story in the Bible,
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    because I think I understand the character of Jesus,
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    the character of God in ways
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    that no other story actually paints.
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    It's really profound.
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    So we're going to jump into it today.
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    Jesus would make stories up. They're known as parables.
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    And there's only one time where He has the same point
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    told three different times in three different ways. It's the only one.
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    He starts his story, this parable off, says,
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    A woman has got ten coins. She loses a coin.
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    And she doesn't celebrate she's still got nine coins left.
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    She does everything she can to find a coin.
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    She turns up the house to find it.
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    Then goes right from there and says
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    there's a guy who's a shepherd.
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    Shepherds out watching sheep. He loses a sheep.
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    And he's got 99, but it doesn't matter that he's got 99.
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    He leaves the 99 because he wants to find the one.
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    Jesus is hitting from every angle:
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    Woman in the first story, Man in the second story.
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    Inanimate object in the first story,
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    animate object, something that's alive, a sheep in the second story.
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    And then He moves in for the close,
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    which is the longest story He's told
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    and maybe the most profound story He's told.
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    It's from Luke chapter 15.
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    I'll just read it and we'll talk about it.
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    Chapter 15:11:
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    And he said there was a man who had two sons. Let's stop right there.
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    When Jesus tells a story, normally every person
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    or thing relates to something else.
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    So we've got a man, a father.
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    This is going to be God.
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    This is the God figure in the story.
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    And then there's two other people, actually,
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    there's three kind of people in this world:
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    Those who can count and those who can't.
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    But there's two people actually in this story.
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    There is the lost son and there is the found son.
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    There is the younger son and there is the older son.
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    There is the younger brother
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    and there is the older brother.
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    Everybody in here, you're going to be either
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    a younger brother or an older brother.
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    If you're not doing that right now,
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    your inclination is to be one of these people. Let's keep going here.
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    Today, if your parents have resources,
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    it's not uncommon to ask for an early inheritance.
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    Normally happens if you've made
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    some bad spending decisions, you're totally in debt
  • 00:35:22
    and you're thinking, "Mom, dad,
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    if you've got resources you're going to give me
  • 00:35:25
    later on when you die.
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    If you want to just take my portion
  • 00:35:28
    and help me get out of this crushing debt, that'd be great."
  • 00:35:30
    Or sometimes I've known people who had parents
  • 00:35:32
    who had resources and they were going to start a business.
  • 00:35:34
    And so they asked for an early inheritance.
  • 00:35:36
    A mom or dad may or may not do that these days,
  • 00:35:39
    but they don't take it as personally
  • 00:35:40
    as they did back then.
  • 00:35:42
    What this guy is saying in that cultural context is,
  • 00:35:45
    "Mom, dad, dad, I wish you were dead.
  • 00:35:52
    I don't want to be with you.
  • 00:35:54
    I don't want to be in your household.
  • 00:35:56
    I just want the things that you have.
  • 00:35:59
    I want the blessings from you. I want an inheritance."
  • 00:36:02
    Everybody in an ancient Middle Eastern culture
  • 00:36:03
    would know that's exactly what he was asking.
  • 00:36:05
    "Don't care about you. Don't like you,
  • 00:36:07
    don't want you, just want your money."
  • 00:36:09
    This is the way most of America is: "God, don't care about You.
  • 00:36:13
    God, don't want to be in Your family. Don't want to be around You.
  • 00:36:16
    But any blessings you got, bring them to me.
  • 00:36:18
    Any nice things, bring them."
  • 00:36:20
    This is what younger brothers do.
  • 00:36:23
    Now a classic father figure in ancient culture
  • 00:36:28
    would not go for this at all,
  • 00:36:31
    would be offended, and he would power up on him.
  • 00:36:33
    Look what God does in this story, who this represents.
  • 00:36:42
    So he gets the money, his early inheritance.
  • 00:36:57
    He takes all the money and blows it
  • 00:36:59
    on wine, women and song, and then a famine hits.
  • 00:37:03
    This happens with many of us who run away from God,
  • 00:37:06
    don't want to be around Him, want the blessings of God,
  • 00:37:08
    but don't really want to be in a in a relationship with Him.
  • 00:37:11
    We go away and we're just barely getting by,
  • 00:37:14
    but then a famine hit hits or rock bottom hits
  • 00:37:17
    or something we're not prepared for.
  • 00:37:19
    And all of a sudden, oh, no, I can't. I can't,
  • 00:37:20
    I can't handle it. And this happened to this guy.
  • 00:37:22
    He blows all of his resources
  • 00:37:24
    and now he has nowhere to go, nothing to do.
  • 00:37:27
    Verse 15.
  • 00:37:45
    Now this is -- Jesus.
  • 00:37:47
    I know it's going to shock some of you.
  • 00:37:49
    Jesus was a Jew.
  • 00:37:52
    Yes, Jesus was a Jew.
  • 00:37:54
    All of his early followers were Jews.
  • 00:37:57
    They understood the dietary laws that had been
  • 00:38:00
    given to them generations, generations ago.
  • 00:38:02
    It was called kosher, being kosher,
  • 00:38:05
    not being dill, not being pickled, but actually kosher.
  • 00:38:08
    There was all these laws that were there.
  • 00:38:11
    And for whatever reason, one of these laws
  • 00:38:14
    in the Old Testament was, hey, man, God was anti-anti pig.
  • 00:38:18
    No -- There's theories as to why this was,
  • 00:38:21
    but it means being kosher means you don't eat bacon,
  • 00:38:26
    you don't eat ham.
  • 00:38:28
    The first time I went to Israel years and years ago,
  • 00:38:30
    I went down to the little hotel
  • 00:38:32
    and I had the little breakfast there.
  • 00:38:33
    And it was, like, there was no bacon,
  • 00:38:35
    there was no sausage.
  • 00:38:37
    I went to the manager and I complained.
  • 00:38:39
    I was like, "Dude, man, this is."
  • 00:38:41
    And then as he looked at me, it dawned on me,
  • 00:38:43
    "Oh, that's right. I'm in Israel at a Jewish restaurant.
  • 00:38:50
    There's no pig products."
  • 00:38:52
    Like, sucks to be you, dude. Come to America sometime.
  • 00:38:54
    So I -- This guy who is in a Jewish audience, right?
  • 00:39:03
    Again, this is a made up story.
  • 00:39:04
    But what Jesus is trying to say here, you know,
  • 00:39:07
    a Jew being around pigs, feeding pigs
  • 00:39:12
    would be like saying somebody who went to
  • 00:39:15
    vacation Bible school in a Baptist church
  • 00:39:18
    being in the porn industry.
  • 00:39:20
    Like, this is a massive fall, massive fall spiritually.
  • 00:39:25
    He not only is around pigs,
  • 00:39:28
    but he's looking at what he feeds the pigs
  • 00:39:32
    and he says, "I wish I was having that pig --
  • 00:39:36
    I wish I was eating what that pig ate."
  • 00:39:41
    This today isn't about diet, not about diet.
  • 00:39:46
    We're going to see in a moment a climax of this thing
  • 00:39:48
    is about running, running.
  • 00:39:51
    We run is a phrase we've said around Crossroads
  • 00:39:54
    for a long, long time because it traces back to this story,
  • 00:39:58
    because we're going to see in a moment here
  • 00:39:59
    that God runs. God runs.
  • 00:40:02
    And if we want to be like Him, we're going to have to run.
  • 00:40:05
    Now, there's ways that the physical world
  • 00:40:08
    mirrors the spiritual world.
  • 00:40:10
    So in the physical world, our country is getting
  • 00:40:13
    further and further and further and further out of shape.
  • 00:40:15
    Our waistlines are expanding higher and higher and higher and higher.
  • 00:40:18
    Our fitness levels are going down, down, down.
  • 00:40:21
    Our cardiovascular ability is going down.
  • 00:40:23
    I mean it's crazy, the most wealthy nation
  • 00:40:25
    is supposed to have the greatest health care
  • 00:40:27
    in the world, we're decreasing in health expectancy.
  • 00:40:30
    Where our life of living is going down
  • 00:40:33
    because physically we're not in shape.
  • 00:40:36
    Just like spiritually we're not in shape.
  • 00:40:41
    I ran across the video this last wee.
  • 00:40:43
    When I was growing up, if you're, I don't know, older
  • 00:40:46
    you might have had in your when you were in high school,
  • 00:40:48
    the Presidential Physical Fitness Award.
  • 00:40:52
    It comes from Kennedy. It comes from Kennedy.
  • 00:40:55
    And he had all these kids back in the '60s and the '70s.
  • 00:40:58
    These are clips I found from a school in California.
  • 00:41:02
    This is their basic physical education class.
  • 00:41:05
    All the guys. Right?
  • 00:41:06
    We used to have shuttle runs, 600 yard dash,
  • 00:41:09
    50 yard dash, pull ups, sit ups.
  • 00:41:12
    You had to hit these marks to get a little blue patch.
  • 00:41:14
    That was the Presidential Fitness award for you.
  • 00:41:18
    It was really, really cool.
  • 00:41:19
    As I was watching this stuff from the '60s,
  • 00:41:21
    I'm going, "What would happen if you lined up
  • 00:41:24
    every kid in the average high school?
  • 00:41:28
    Would the entire high school be able to do
  • 00:41:30
    20 push ups like we just saw there? Would anybody?
  • 00:41:34
    Would there be anybody in the high school? Like maybe one out of ten?"
  • 00:41:38
    You know, we're just - we've really --
  • 00:41:42
    We've really fallen out of physical shape.
  • 00:41:44
    And I believe, I'm not that bummed about that.
  • 00:41:47
    But I believe what God's bummed out is
  • 00:41:51
    we've bummed -- we've fallen out of spiritual shape.
  • 00:41:53
    We don't do the things early Christ followers would do.
  • 00:41:57
    We don't have the same passions
  • 00:42:02
    that Jesus and his early followers did.
  • 00:42:04
    We just kind of bolt Church on as
  • 00:42:06
    something I should go to every once in a while,
  • 00:42:08
    just kind of bolt on the the worldview of Christianity
  • 00:42:12
    instead of actually getting into the world and actually living.
  • 00:42:16
    It's a problem. It's an issue.
  • 00:42:19
    And that is part of the reason why it's so astounding
  • 00:42:22
    that we've been growing the last couple of years.
  • 00:42:24
    It's so astounding because every --all over America
  • 00:42:29
    we're going down in terms of church engagement, down.
  • 00:42:33
    Gallup recently released a poll and said
  • 00:42:36
    if you are a church attendee, isn't that great?
  • 00:42:38
    I guess if you're here today, you're a church attendee.
  • 00:42:40
    What a wonderful label. I am a church attendee.
  • 00:42:42
    If you are a church attendee,
  • 00:42:43
    for the first time in American history,
  • 00:42:45
    you are in the minority according to Gallup,
  • 00:42:49
    in the minority, it's just been going down.
  • 00:42:52
    And it's been going down in large part because
  • 00:42:55
    those of us who are engaged in a church,
  • 00:42:58
    which hopefully, hopefully means engage with Jesus,
  • 00:43:02
    we're not running.
  • 00:43:05
    We're not going to people who don't know who Jesus is.
  • 00:43:10
    That's not what we're doing.
  • 00:43:11
    We're we're gathering only for our own edification,
  • 00:43:14
    which is great. We're gathering.
  • 00:43:16
    Gathering only to be affirmed, which is fine.
  • 00:43:18
    We all need be affirmed.
  • 00:43:19
    We're gathering only be around people
  • 00:43:21
    who may think like us, and that's fine.
  • 00:43:23
    But we're not gathering,
  • 00:43:25
    I'm talking now across the nation,
  • 00:43:26
    I'm talking where Christianity is right now,
  • 00:43:28
    we're not gathering for a purpose of running.
  • 00:43:30
    We're gathering for a purpose of navel gazing.
  • 00:43:34
    We're gathering for a purpose of I don't know what
  • 00:43:37
    and the stats and the condition of our country
  • 00:43:40
    belies this. Let's keep going here.
  • 00:43:43
    All right, verse 17.
  • 00:43:59
    Remember that from Bugs Bunny? Oh, Father.
  • 00:44:03
    Most of you don't. Most of you don't know Bugs Bunny and Looney Tunes.
  • 00:44:07
    Most of you don't know the Presidential Physical Fitness Award.
  • 00:44:10
    That's what's wrong with this country.
  • 00:44:22
    So he says, "I need to to go someplace.
  • 00:44:26
    I need to get back to my dad."
  • 00:44:27
    And he starts rehearsing this thing in his mind.
  • 00:44:30
    "Father, I'm sorry. Sorry.
  • 00:44:31
    I'm not worthy to be called your son.
  • 00:44:33
    I'd rather have you dead. I told you that.
  • 00:44:35
    I'd rather have your blessing instead of having a relation with you."
  • 00:44:37
    He's practicing this speal.
  • 00:44:39
    I should. I should. I should. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
  • 00:44:41
    And he's rehearsing this speech because
  • 00:44:43
    he's going to go back to his dad to hopefully
  • 00:44:46
    just go on payroll for his dad
  • 00:44:48
    so he doesn't have to eat the stuff that he's feeding to pigs.
  • 00:44:52
    He's going to start actually moving.
  • 00:44:55
    He's going to start walking. He's going to start running.
  • 00:44:58
    Part of the issue with us is we think
  • 00:45:00
    you have to do something special to run after God
  • 00:45:02
    or to run for God or to walk with God.
  • 00:45:04
    You don't have to, you've just got to, whoever you are, where you are right now,
  • 00:45:07
    just move towards God right now.
  • 00:45:09
    Those of you who are younger brothers, just move towards God right now.
  • 00:45:11
    Just go, wherever you are, just move. Just start.
  • 00:45:13
    Start moving with whatever you're believing.
  • 00:45:15
    Maybe you're believing things that are right.
  • 00:45:17
    Maybe you're believing things are wrong. Just start moving.
  • 00:45:19
    We as a country, again, we don't move.
  • 00:45:21
    We don't move physically
  • 00:45:22
    and we tend not to move spiritually either.
  • 00:45:24
    We just dig in on what we currently believe.
  • 00:45:27
    We don't move.
  • 00:45:28
    I get made fun of like for how I work out
  • 00:45:33
    and what I wear when I work out because --
  • 00:45:35
    And those of you who work out where I work out,
  • 00:45:40
    you know what I'm talking about.
  • 00:45:41
    The shoes I wear. I wear the easiest shoes to work out in.
  • 00:45:45
    That would be whatever shoes I wore to work that day.
  • 00:45:48
    Because if I got to bring another pair of shoes,
  • 00:45:50
    stuffed in my backpack.
  • 00:45:51
    So these shoes right here are what normally
  • 00:45:53
    what I'm on the elliptical with, these shoes right here.
  • 00:45:57
    And they look great when you're in shorts, let me tell you.
  • 00:46:00
    Sometimes I forget to bring shorts
  • 00:46:04
    and I'm going to do something upper body
  • 00:46:07
    and I wear jeans.
  • 00:46:11
    I know, I know. I'm weird. I know I'm weird.
  • 00:46:14
    I forget to bring -- my kids call me the goldfish
  • 00:46:17
    because I have a memory of a goldfish.
  • 00:46:19
    I don't remember things at all.
  • 00:46:21
    So I forgot. I forgot. So I'll just.
  • 00:46:23
    Hey, the point, Brian, is not to look
  • 00:46:25
    the way you should look when you work out.
  • 00:46:27
    It's just to do something, right?
  • 00:46:28
    So I'll go over and all I'm saying is this:
  • 00:46:30
    when we can grow spiritually if we stop saying,
  • 00:46:32
    "Well, I don't know this. I don't know."
  • 00:46:34
    Just get moving. Just get moving.
  • 00:46:36
    Just, just, just just start going the way of God.
  • 00:46:38
    Don't worry about what you you did today.
  • 00:46:41
    Don't worry about what you forgot.
  • 00:46:42
    Don't worry about the mistakes you've had.
  • 00:46:44
    Wherever you are, just start moving.
  • 00:46:46
    And this guy, this younger brother, he starts moving.
  • 00:46:50
    Now, this is when it gets really good, really, really good.
  • 00:46:54
    Let's keep going here. Verse 20:
  • 00:47:09
    So I picture this guy, this lost son.
  • 00:47:13
    He's come back. "Okay. I'm sorry, Father. I'm sorry.
  • 00:47:15
    I'm not worthy to be called your son.
  • 00:47:17
    Please take me on as one of your -- Father.
  • 00:47:18
    I'm sorry. I'm humility. I'm sorry."
  • 00:47:21
    He's going through a speech and you get the picture
  • 00:47:23
    that this father, it says he sees him a long way off.
  • 00:47:28
    It's not like his father has gone on with his life
  • 00:47:30
    and then someone knocks the door and he's like, "What are you doing here?"
  • 00:47:33
    Seeing him a long way off to me indicates
  • 00:47:36
    he's looking for him.
  • 00:47:39
    It's like he's sitting on the front porch going,
  • 00:47:41
    "He left that way, probably going to come back
  • 00:47:46
    from that way if he ever comes back." He's just looking.
  • 00:47:52
    If you're a younger brother, a younger daughter,
  • 00:47:56
    He's looking for you. He's looking for you.
  • 00:48:00
    I would say He's waiting for you, which is true,
  • 00:48:03
    but waiting only in and of itself is too passive sounding
  • 00:48:09
    as we're going to say right now, because
  • 00:48:12
    when he sees this, he feels compassion for him.
  • 00:48:16
    He feels something, feels compassion,
  • 00:48:17
    not indignity like, "Huh, about time he came around."
  • 00:48:21
    Some of us have a picture of God,
  • 00:48:23
    who God just like waiting to say, ha, ha, I told ya.
  • 00:48:27
    And that's maybe why we don't hang around with people,
  • 00:48:30
    those of us who are older brothers we'll talk about in a moment,
  • 00:48:32
    maybe that's part of why we don't hang around
  • 00:48:34
    younger brothers is because we're always indignant
  • 00:48:36
    to people who aren't - who isn't a Christian.
  • 00:48:39
    We're indignant to people who think differently than us.
  • 00:48:41
    We're indignant towards people
  • 00:48:43
    who have different morals than us. We're indignant.
  • 00:48:45
    It's almost like we're just want God to whack them
  • 00:48:48
    instead of God to forgive them.
  • 00:48:50
    It's like I really think when I hear
  • 00:48:52
    the average Christian talk, they're rooting
  • 00:48:54
    more for the justice of God
  • 00:48:55
    than they are for the mercy of God.
  • 00:48:57
    Well, didn't we all get the mercy of God?
  • 00:48:59
    Didn't we just talk about grace?
  • 00:49:01
    Well, you know, I want grace for me.
  • 00:49:03
    I want all these other people to feel awful
  • 00:49:06
    for what they've done and get slapped down
  • 00:49:08
    and have their comeuppance.
  • 00:49:09
    That's the older brother, I'll get to in a moment.
  • 00:49:13
    But God, He was not like that, says He feels compassion.
  • 00:49:16
    When we talk about feeling compassion,
  • 00:49:18
    we talk about our heart, our heart, my heart.
  • 00:49:20
    Oh, I felt it in my heart, which is fine
  • 00:49:22
    because the Bible talks about our heart.
  • 00:49:24
    But here the word that's used for feeling compassion
  • 00:49:27
    is the word Splankna, which is your bowels,
  • 00:49:31
    your intestines, because it's at the center.
  • 00:49:34
    It's like at the center of your being.
  • 00:49:36
    And it actually means my bowels are wrung out,
  • 00:49:40
    my bowels are twisted.
  • 00:49:43
    That's what the father figure feels.
  • 00:49:45
    God is twisted, He's internally in knots
  • 00:49:49
    when a child who He's created is disconnected from Him.
  • 00:49:54
    And when this father sees off in the distance,
  • 00:49:58
    this guy coming, he takes this --
  • 00:50:01
    He would have had this robe, it would have been down.
  • 00:50:04
    He takes his robe and he tucks it up inside of its belt,
  • 00:50:08
    which reveals his legs, which for many of us guys,
  • 00:50:10
    we skip leg days all the time.
  • 00:50:13
    Most men do not like other people to see their legs.
  • 00:50:16
    And not only that, why did he do that?
  • 00:50:18
    He does it to run.
  • 00:50:21
    He put it, he sees his son and he sprints.
  • 00:50:25
    It's a run out. It's a full sprint.
  • 00:50:27
    The word here is dremo that's used.
  • 00:50:29
    I have a tool at home, some of you might.
  • 00:50:31
    It's a high speed little thing to buff things
  • 00:50:33
    and cut thing, and it's called a Dremel.
  • 00:50:36
    It's like a dentist tool, like, [buzzing fx]
  • 00:50:40
    I'm not sure if the Dremel was invented after this word,
  • 00:50:43
    but this is the words used, dremo, which means to race.
  • 00:50:47
    It's an all out sprint.
  • 00:50:49
    When's the last time you've --
  • 00:50:51
    I'm not-- I'm talking physically right now.
  • 00:50:53
    When's the last time you've done a physical sprint?
  • 00:50:57
    When's the last time you've even seen somebody,
  • 00:50:59
    other than somebody you're going to watch today
  • 00:51:01
    on a football field, do a sprint?
  • 00:51:05
    We don't watch people. We don't --
  • 00:51:07
    We don't see people run. We don't run.
  • 00:51:10
    And yet the image of God is that He runs.
  • 00:51:13
    You don't have to run to know God, physically run,
  • 00:51:15
    but you've got to have the attitude of a runner. I'm telling you right now.
  • 00:51:18
    If you want to follow Jesus, that means being like Him.
  • 00:51:23
    If you want to be like God, that means doing what God does.
  • 00:51:27
    And when God runs, runs to people who are far away
  • 00:51:32
    and have jacked up morals
  • 00:51:34
    and have thumbed their nose at God
  • 00:51:35
    and may be highly offensive and have squandered things
  • 00:51:38
    and maybe have hurt other people.
  • 00:51:41
    Jesus died for all of them too
  • 00:51:45
    and they're still the child of God.
  • 00:51:50
    They are still the coin that God goes, "Oh,
  • 00:51:53
    I got nine others, but this one I really want."
  • 00:51:56
    They're still a sheep of God.
  • 00:51:58
    God says, "I know I've got 99 others filling churches.
  • 00:52:01
    Great, great. But there's this one.
  • 00:52:03
    Who's going to be about this one?"
  • 00:52:06
    God is passionate about this and He goes.
  • 00:52:09
    To understand who we are, you have to understand
  • 00:52:12
    the history of Christianity
  • 00:52:14
    and how we're trying to fit into that.
  • 00:52:16
    This is not some philosophical discussion
  • 00:52:18
    I have people all the time who are like, "Why do you do this?"
  • 00:52:21
    There's a lot of things we've done that are very controversial.
  • 00:52:24
    Many of them today aren't controversial at all.
  • 00:52:26
    They're very normal today.
  • 00:52:28
    But they were when we did them, like giving out coffee
  • 00:52:30
    and you can bring coffee into the service.
  • 00:52:35
    I was crazy, I'm telling you.
  • 00:52:37
    First, you would give it out.
  • 00:52:38
    Not pay, not a cup to drop a quarter in. Give it out.
  • 00:52:42
    And you could bring it in here. In here.
  • 00:52:45
    Like you could spill it in here. Oh, my gosh.
  • 00:52:47
    In fact, we're going to have a Blue Team meeting.
  • 00:52:49
    This just reminded those of us here in the Blue Team,
  • 00:52:51
    the Blue Team are those who tithe at Crossroads.
  • 00:52:53
    We've got a great -- It's going to be great meeting
  • 00:52:55
    and there's going to be people in worship venues
  • 00:52:59
    who are going to have beer and wine and sparkling water
  • 00:53:02
    and worship at the same time. God bless America.
  • 00:53:05
    It's going to be wonderful.
  • 00:53:06
    Going to walk in here and people are going go like.
  • 00:53:10
    Bringing up bring a horse on stage.
  • 00:53:12
    A football themed Super Bowl service, an Awaited with a --
  • 00:53:19
    We did this. We had somebody --
  • 00:53:22
    We run so hard sometimes, it hurts me to say this.
  • 00:53:26
    We run so hard sometimes,
  • 00:53:28
    we take such pains to be creative and run
  • 00:53:31
    that we've had people die doing it, literally die.
  • 00:53:37
    We did a Christmas production, had 150,000 people
  • 00:53:41
    come to it the last year before we shut down.
  • 00:53:43
    And we had a woman who was running
  • 00:53:45
    and swinging from a rafter as the magi.
  • 00:53:48
    And right there she fell and died, right there opening night.
  • 00:53:58
    All of these things that we do, we do because
  • 00:54:01
    we want to be like God, make aggressive moves and running.
  • 00:54:04
    One of my seminary professors said, "Yeah,
  • 00:54:06
    if you look at the history of the church
  • 00:54:08
    and the history of missions, there's people
  • 00:54:10
    who are always pushing things, pushing the edge."
  • 00:54:13
    Whether it's William Booth and the Salvation Army,
  • 00:54:15
    which seems normal today, it wasn't back then.
  • 00:54:17
    Or William Carey and China Inland Mission
  • 00:54:19
    or whether it's, you know, George Whitfield
  • 00:54:22
    and some of the stuff we'll talk about in our Blue Team meeting.
  • 00:54:24
    But he says this, he says, "There's always unbelievable
  • 00:54:27
    criticism because people don't understand it."
  • 00:54:30
    Judson Taylor, going to reach people in China,
  • 00:54:33
    and actually growing his hair,
  • 00:54:35
    long ponytail to look like the Chinese.
  • 00:54:37
    And he's a white Englishman, like.
  • 00:54:40
    And my seminary professor said what these people
  • 00:54:43
    would say, always said to people was they said this:
  • 00:54:46
    I think God likes how I bring people to Christ
  • 00:54:49
    better than how you don't.
  • 00:54:52
    It's amazing, do you realize in the last 12 months
  • 00:54:55
    2200 people been baptized in our church? 2200.
  • 00:55:01
    Baptism means you've come to know, come to faith.
  • 00:55:03
    2200. What? What? [explosion fx]
  • 00:55:09
    It happens because there's a bunch of people
  • 00:55:12
    that still run in our church. They go, go after it.
  • 00:55:17
    And when somebody comes to know Christ,
  • 00:55:19
    their life really doesn't get just saved,
  • 00:55:22
    it gets started.
  • 00:55:24
    Look what happens with this guy. Let's keep going here.
  • 00:55:28
    He runs out and kiss him, verse 21.
  • 00:55:30
    And the son said to him, "Father,
  • 00:55:37
    He gets out his speech he's been rehearsing,
  • 00:55:39
    perfectly, by the way, without notes.
  • 00:55:42
    And the father said to his servants,
  • 00:55:43
    Hey, hey, quick, quick, quick, quick. Bring all the best robe, and put it on him.
  • 00:55:48
    Bring the best robe on him.
  • 00:55:49
    It means put my identity on him.
  • 00:55:52
    He cloaks him in his identity.
  • 00:55:55
    When you come to know Christ, you're not just
  • 00:55:57
    a new improved version of yourself.
  • 00:55:59
    God gives you a new identity.
  • 00:56:01
    He cloaks His righteousness around you.
  • 00:56:04
    He looks at you, believe it or not, He looks at you
  • 00:56:06
    the way he looks at Jesus, because you have
  • 00:56:08
    the identity of Jesus, you have the the cloak of Jesus
  • 00:56:11
    on you when you come to know faith.
  • 00:56:12
    By the way, for those of us who are younger brothers, this is a good gig.
  • 00:56:16
    You might want to give your life to Christ right now.
  • 00:56:19
    Let's do that.
  • 00:56:20
    If you want to pray, you want to pray this, let's do it right now. I'll do right now.
  • 00:56:23
    God, Just say something like God, I want --
  • 00:56:26
    I've heard enough.
  • 00:56:27
    I don't know everything, but I want it.
  • 00:56:28
    I ask you to come into my life right now.
  • 00:56:31
    Come on, ask Him. Go for it. Come on.
  • 00:56:32
    I want you to come into my life right now.
  • 00:56:34
    And I ask that You would forgive me.
  • 00:56:36
    I ask You to fill me with Your Spirit.
  • 00:56:39
    As best I can., I'll follow You the rest of my life.
  • 00:56:42
    Amen. Amen. Yeah. [applause]
  • 00:56:46
    All right, let's keep going here.
  • 00:56:48
    So, uh, and put a ring on his hand
  • 00:56:53
    and shoes on his feet.
  • 00:56:54
    Ring on his hand. Why a ring on his hand?
  • 00:56:56
    Ring on his hand because that is a sign of wealth.
  • 00:57:01
    You would seal documents with your ring and wax,
  • 00:57:04
    and he gives him his wealth back, puts it on him.
  • 00:57:07
    And shoes on his feet. Why shoes on his feet?
  • 00:57:11
    Because I expect you to run, that's why.
  • 00:57:14
    Because I expect you to move, that's why.
  • 00:57:17
    Because I got something for you to do,
  • 00:57:19
    a place for you to be.
  • 00:57:21
    When you come to Christ, He expects you to run.
  • 00:57:24
    He wants you to be like Him, and that's what He does.
  • 00:57:28
    And then it keeps going here.
  • 00:57:29
    And bring the fatted calf and kill it,
  • 00:57:32
    and let us eat and celebrate.
  • 00:57:34
    For my son was dead and he's alive again.
  • 00:57:36
    He was lost and he is found.
  • 00:57:38
    And they began to celebrate.
  • 00:57:39
    He says, hey, where's that fatted calf?
  • 00:57:41
    Time to have a party. This is great. It's amazing.
  • 00:57:44
    Let's celebrate. There's no, like, "What did you do?
  • 00:57:46
    What's wrong? What's wrong?"
  • 00:57:48
    By the way, I hear people say, well, all religions
  • 00:57:52
    and all spirituality are basically the same.
  • 00:57:54
    When I hear that, I go, like, "Okay.
  • 00:57:56
    I'm talking to somebody who really doesn't know
  • 00:57:58
    anything about religion and spiritualities.
  • 00:58:01
    That's not true at all."
  • 00:58:03
    All religions spiritualities have some of the same
  • 00:58:06
    thou shalt nots. Thou shalt not murder.
  • 00:58:08
    Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  • 00:58:09
    But like, there's a Buddhist version of this story,
  • 00:58:13
    and it's entirely different than what the father does.
  • 00:58:15
    Let me just read it to you. We'll do it real quick.
  • 00:58:41
    This is like the God figure, fear inspiring.
  • 00:58:48
    Many of us feel that God is, "Go on. Come on.
  • 00:58:51
    You're just an underling. Get on your work. Don't be lazy."
  • 00:59:07
    See a difference? You work it off.
  • 00:59:09
    Okay. I'll let you work.
  • 00:59:10
    I'll let you come and I'll let you work it up.
  • 00:59:12
    But Jesus, Jesus, God, the God of the Bible says,
  • 00:59:15
    "Oh, man, mercy, grace, riches on you right now."
  • 00:59:18
    Yeah, you're going to work. You're part of the family, that's what we do.
  • 00:59:21
    But no, you don't work your way up.
  • 00:59:23
    There's no grace, there's no mercy, there's no blessing.
  • 00:59:26
    In Hinduism there's no such thing at all.
  • 00:59:28
    You die in Hinduism, you get reincarnated.
  • 00:59:31
    And it's all based on how you work last life
  • 00:59:34
    and how you work this life to get yourself
  • 00:59:36
    eventually the brass ring.
  • 00:59:37
    This thing that's in the Bible, this God of grace,
  • 00:59:40
    this God of riches, this God of mercy,
  • 00:59:42
    this God of forgiveness, it's one of a kind, friends.
  • 00:59:44
    If you like any of this stuff,
  • 00:59:46
    then you have to love Jesus because it comes from Him.
  • 00:59:49
    It comes from His spiritual, His spiritual down line.
  • 00:59:55
    Let's keep going. Here's where it gets, no.
  • 00:59:58
    The rest of us have this inclination
  • 01:00:00
    of the older brother.
  • 01:00:01
    Let's see what an older brother is like. Here we go.
  • 01:00:24
    You think his brother would go, "Oh, awesome.
  • 01:00:26
    My brother's back? Sweet. I love my fellow man,
  • 01:00:30
    especially someone who shared my DNA. Great. Whoo."
  • 01:00:32
    No, not what happens.
  • 01:00:59
    Interesting. See what this older brother is doing
  • 01:01:02
    is he's dehumanizing his brother.
  • 01:01:05
    This son of yours, he says, not my brother.
  • 01:01:10
    This son of yours.
  • 01:01:13
    He identifies him by all the things that he's done wrong,
  • 01:01:18
    all the things that he's gone out and done
  • 01:01:20
    that were wrong with this and that.
  • 01:01:21
    And he's angry because older brothers
  • 01:01:24
    are religious people who think that God is fair
  • 01:01:27
    and we get upset when somebody gets grace
  • 01:01:30
    that we haven't gotten.
  • 01:01:32
    And actually, truth be known, truth be told,
  • 01:01:34
    we'd actually prefer the people who aren't
  • 01:01:37
    in the family of God would stay out there
  • 01:01:39
    and God would smite them.
  • 01:01:40
    We actually would prefer that. We never say that.
  • 01:01:43
    But we secretly root for the people
  • 01:01:45
    who think different things and do different things
  • 01:01:47
    and disagree, we secretly root for God to smite them.
  • 01:01:53
    We don't root, generally, for them
  • 01:01:56
    to come in the family and get rich,
  • 01:01:59
    get spiritually rich with God.
  • 01:02:02
    And this - we also are a bit bitter. Do you notice?
  • 01:02:05
    Do you notice what he says here? He says, "All these years I've served you."
  • 01:02:10
    How about all these years I've enjoyed your love?
  • 01:02:13
    How about all these years I've been in your family?
  • 01:02:15
    No, it's about works. It's I got to do the right thing.
  • 01:02:18
    I got to -- Christians don't smoke.
  • 01:02:19
    We don't chew. Don't date the girls who do.
  • 01:02:21
    We just -- We kind of -- We don't.
  • 01:02:24
    We just -- We just do this stuff like this.
  • 01:02:26
    And when somebody doesn't have my morals, woo,
  • 01:02:29
    but I'm working, that's why.
  • 01:02:31
    That's why many of us end up deconstructing.
  • 01:02:34
    We actually become unfaithful because
  • 01:02:36
    we're in this bargain with God that I do this for you and you do this for me.
  • 01:02:40
    No, God doesn't bargain with you.
  • 01:02:42
    What? Bargain with you?
  • 01:02:44
    Like He needs something you would do for Him.
  • 01:02:47
    You're not bargaining with God.
  • 01:02:49
    You bargain when you need something;
  • 01:02:50
    God doesn't need anything.
  • 01:02:52
    Yet we get bitter.
  • 01:02:54
    And it's this older brother, he's got this
  • 01:02:56
    totally whacked, really weird theology.
  • 01:02:59
    And here's the weird thing. It gets really weird.
  • 01:03:01
    The weird thing is he should have been the one who was running.
  • 01:03:10
    In ancient cultures it was the oldest brother,
  • 01:03:14
    the oldest one, who would get the lion's share
  • 01:03:16
    of the inheritance to take care of the family,
  • 01:03:18
    to employ the family,
  • 01:03:19
    to have the whole family business going.
  • 01:03:22
    And you had to take care of your family.
  • 01:03:26
    And he should have been the one
  • 01:03:27
    that actually went out to find his brother.
  • 01:03:30
    We still see this in some cultures today.
  • 01:03:33
    Back during the Vietnam War, Time Magazine ran a story
  • 01:03:38
    on somebody who was known as simply "The Brother."
  • 01:03:42
    And the story is, let me make sure I get his name right.
  • 01:03:45
    Army Lieutenant Daniel Dawson.
  • 01:03:48
    He got shot down over enemy lines and he was lost.
  • 01:03:52
    And his brother Donald found out
  • 01:03:54
    about his younger brother being gone.
  • 01:03:57
    And he sold everything he had, and he took 20 bucks
  • 01:04:00
    and left it with his wife.
  • 01:04:02
    Sucks to be her, I guess.
  • 01:04:03
    Takes 20 bucks, leaves it with her
  • 01:04:06
    and goes over to Vietnam with the picture of his brother
  • 01:04:10
    trying to find his brother.
  • 01:04:12
    And the Viet Cong let him go.
  • 01:04:14
    They respected him and word got throughout the ranks.
  • 01:04:17
    He came to be simply known as "The Brother,"
  • 01:04:20
    because they understood in their culture
  • 01:04:22
    this is what good older brothers do,
  • 01:04:25
    They go in search of.
  • 01:04:27
    Jesus is your older brother.
  • 01:04:30
    Colossians says He is the first born amongst all creation.
  • 01:04:35
    Jesus says the Son of Man, speaking of Himself.
  • 01:04:38
    He says, "I have come to seek and save that which was lost."
  • 01:04:43
    He's the first born older brother
  • 01:04:45
    and He goes into seeking mode.
  • 01:04:47
    And so when you want to be like Him,
  • 01:04:50
    you will do like Him, which means
  • 01:04:52
    actually liking people that are different than you,
  • 01:04:58
    actually loving people who have a different worldview than you,
  • 01:05:02
    actually laughing and having fun with people
  • 01:05:04
    who don't share the same morals that you and I do.
  • 01:05:10
    And we do it because it's a form of running.
  • 01:05:13
    It's a way to push. It's a way to go.
  • 01:05:15
    And it's very uncomfortable. It always is.
  • 01:05:18
    It was uncomfortable for the father
  • 01:05:19
    to tuck his stuff in and run.
  • 01:05:21
    It would have been uncomfortable for the younger brother to go.
  • 01:05:24
    But the fact that he has this response
  • 01:05:26
    shows that he's lost the plot
  • 01:05:28
    and many people in churches have lost the plot.
  • 01:05:31
    Who is the last person you told about your faith?
  • 01:05:37
    Your your prayers?
  • 01:05:39
    If you look, when you pray, how much of your prayer
  • 01:05:42
    is focused on your personal pain, other's pain,
  • 01:05:44
    ad how much is -- how many names do you mention
  • 01:05:46
    of people who don't know Christ?
  • 01:05:47
    How many people do you know who don't know Jesus,
  • 01:05:50
    if you're one of the folks in here who happens to be a Christian?
  • 01:05:53
    Is that reflected in how we operate?
  • 01:05:57
    If you're a normal American churchgoer, probably not,
  • 01:06:01
    which is why we're so anemic
  • 01:06:03
    and why our country is in the condition that it is.
  • 01:06:08
    It's not good.
  • 01:06:09
    Hebrews 12:1-2, one last thing on this running piece.
  • 01:06:24
    Run. Following Jesus is not a sedentary activity.
  • 01:06:28
    It is one that requires some vibrancy,
  • 01:06:31
    some unction, as my spiritual mentor would say,
  • 01:06:35
    requires some risk, some being a bit different.
  • 01:06:41
    This last week, last thing I'll share and then we'll be done.
  • 01:06:44
    And by the way, when you leave, we'll have a --
  • 01:06:47
    I'm going to replay that song.
  • 01:06:48
    I've asked the band to generously redo the song
  • 01:06:51
    that we did very first that some of you
  • 01:06:52
    couldn't get in here with a with a jam up of the traffic.
  • 01:06:55
    So as you're leaving, you can check that out if you want.
  • 01:06:58
    But I was thinking about this this last week.
  • 01:07:01
    I was in Pittsburgh honoring a spiritual grandfather
  • 01:07:06
    of mine who's faithful and going strong at,
  • 01:07:09
    I think, 90 and I mean going strong. Pretty impressive.
  • 01:07:13
    And I stay at a friend's house.
  • 01:07:15
    The friend's house started this business.
  • 01:07:17
    There's one in Cincinnati.
  • 01:07:19
    There's 30 of them across the country. It's a franchise that's growing.
  • 01:07:22
    It's called Peace, Love and Little Donuts
  • 01:07:23
    and these little, little donuts
  • 01:07:26
    that that he actually made by accident.
  • 01:07:29
    Because when he put the donut machine together,
  • 01:07:31
    he put it together wrong
  • 01:07:33
    and this itty bitty donut came out and he's like,
  • 01:07:37
    "That's kind of cool. I can actually take that
  • 01:07:39
    and put some toppings on it."
  • 01:07:41
    And like off to the races, away he goes.
  • 01:07:43
    He was telling me the story of when he opened up
  • 01:07:46
    his first store in the strip district of Pittsburgh.
  • 01:07:48
    This guy comes in, he was just monkeying with this deal
  • 01:07:51
    and one of these little donuts plopped out
  • 01:07:53
    and he took some cinnamon on it and gave it to him.
  • 01:07:55
    And the guy bites into this warm, fresh donut,
  • 01:07:59
    this little donut with cinnamon.
  • 01:08:00
    He bites into it and he goes,
  • 01:08:02
    he said his eyes got really big,
  • 01:08:04
    and then he ran to the front door.
  • 01:08:06
    My friend Ron is going, "Well, you're like running out
  • 01:08:08
    before you have to pay anything?" He just gave the thing to him.
  • 01:08:11
    He runs the front door. He opens the door
  • 01:08:14
    and he looks up and down Station Square,
  • 01:08:16
    looks up and down the street and then comes back in.
  • 01:08:20
    And Ron said to him, "Well, what did you do?"
  • 01:08:23
    The guy said, "Oh, my gosh."
  • 01:08:25
    He said, "Instinctively, I had to go find someone
  • 01:08:27
    to tell them, 'Get in here. You have to try one of this.'"
  • 01:08:33
    If you've been running to any doors recently?
  • 01:08:36
    You've been opening any doors?
  • 01:08:38
    Maybe it's because you haven't had a fresh taste of Jesus.
  • 01:08:41
    Maybe it's because He's gotten stale.
  • 01:08:44
    We've only had a stale version of Jesus,
  • 01:08:46
    it doesn't have any life.
  • 01:08:47
    We don't know the version of Jesus who actually runs.
  • 01:08:49
    We don't know the version of Jesus
  • 01:08:51
    who actually gives us rings and gives us identities
  • 01:08:54
    and is sweet.
  • 01:08:55
    That's what Psalm says: Oh, come taste
  • 01:08:58
    and see that the Lord is good.
  • 01:08:59
    When you actually taste Him, you drop off
  • 01:09:03
    your older brother judgmental, static ways,
  • 01:09:05
    you drop off them and you actually get in the game
  • 01:09:08
    with your dad who runs. That's what we do here.
  • 01:09:13
    We want to just be like Jesus
  • 01:09:14
    and we want to live the Bible, which means running.
  • 01:09:18
    God, thank You for how you've ran after me
  • 01:09:22
    back when I was 16 years old,
  • 01:09:23
    through an organization called Young Life,
  • 01:09:25
    at Franklin Regional High School.
  • 01:09:27
    Thank You for how You ran after me there.
  • 01:09:28
    And there's a lot of us in here just want to remember
  • 01:09:30
    somebody ran after us. We thank You for it.
  • 01:09:35
    God, we want to recommit ourselves or commit ourselves
  • 01:09:37
    to be people who run, people who not just
  • 01:09:40
    pray about things, but actually do things. Thank you.
  • 01:09:43
    Thank you, God, for showing us Your character.
  • 01:09:47
    You're so generous and so good.
  • 01:09:50
    We pray these things according to the name of Jesus. Amen.
  • 01:09:57
    - Hey, thank you so much for watching.
  • 01:09:58
    Now, Crossroads isn't just content that we watch.
  • 01:10:01
    We really believe this is a community that you can belong to
  • 01:10:04
    no matter where you live.
  • 01:10:06
    And if you're still watching right now, I think you might want that second thing.
  • 01:10:10
    Next Sunday, September 17th at noon EST,
  • 01:10:14
    my friend and teammate Emmanuel Montgomery is going to be leading
  • 01:10:17
    a time for you to connect with other members in the Crossroads community,
  • 01:10:20
    to find groups that you can join and even ways that you can
  • 01:10:24
    leverage your unique wiring, gifts, talents and abilities to make an impact.
  • 01:10:29
    And you even get a free gift card for attending.
  • 01:10:32
    Now, this whole series is about reminding us who we are as a church
  • 01:10:36
    and what we're called to.
  • 01:10:37
    And our team actually made this really sweet poster
  • 01:10:39
    to help us remember who we are as a church.
  • 01:10:42
    Now, if you have a Crossroads profile and have Anywhere selected,
  • 01:10:46
    it should be in the mail on its way to you.
  • 01:10:48
    And if you attend one of our physical sites,
  • 01:10:50
    you should be able to get those there next weekend.
  • 01:10:53
    And hey, you don't want to miss any week in this series.
  • 01:10:57
    It's going to be awesome.
  • 01:10:58
    We'll see you next week when Kyle talks about how we go.

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. When was the last time you ran (like really ran, not just lightly jogged)? What was the occasion?

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

  3. Would you characterize yourself as more of an “older brother” or a “younger brother”? Why?

  4. Do you ever struggle to believe that God is a “compassionate Father” who runs after you? Explain your answer.

  5. Where do you see Jesus running after you? Where in your life are you running away from him?

  6. What can make it challenging or intimidating to run after those who are lost?

  7. Where do you see Crossroads running? Where could you see yourself running alongside us?

  8. Let’s end with prayer. You can say something like, “Jesus, thank you for running after me. Thank you for saving me. Put the same burden you had for me on my heart for the people around me. Give me the courage to share my life and your part in it with them. Amen.”

More from the Weekend

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

  • Who is one specific person in your life right now you feel compelled to run after? What would running after them look like?
  • What’s the biggest challenge to sharing your full self with others? To pursue relationship from a place of authenticity?

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Sep 10, 2023 1 hr 11 mins 13 sec

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