We Sacrifice

WE SACRIFICE everything for the cause to go the way of Jesus. We believe everything we have is from God and for God. So we give our time, talents, and money. We choose to die empty.

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    - Well, hey, welcome to Crossroads.
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    I'm Andy, pastor of Crossroads Anywhere.
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    And we believe that church is bigger
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    than any single day of the week or place on the map.
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    Crossroads is a church that you can belong to
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    no matter where you live, literally anywhere.
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    We've actually got people all over the country
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    and the world and actually just heard a story
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    this week that demonstrated that just beautifully.
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    One of our regional leaders, people who acts
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    as sort of a pastor and representative of the church
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    for their part of the country or the world,
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    drove two states away, hours, hours out of his way,
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    because he heard that another member
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    in the Crossroads community was stuck in the hospital
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    long term recovery from a surgery on their birthday.
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    He showed up with cake, with presents,
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    and even with a zoom call full of friends
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    to sing Happy Birthday and celebrate.
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    I just love that level of connectedness and relationship
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    that just doesn't let geography or distance get in the way.
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    That's sacrifice. That's sacrifice to drive all that way
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    to help somebody feel loved and cared for and connected.
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    And sacrifice is exactly what Brian is talking about today.
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    How we as a church sacrifice, and as a result,
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    we get to experience more of God.
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    Now we're going to talk more about that later.
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    But first, we're going to start off with some music.
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    And these songs are our prayers set to music.
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    The first song is exactly that.
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    It's actually the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6 in the Bible,
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    in the form of a song.
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    And in that scripture, Jesus says,
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    This is the model for how we should pray.
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    So maybe if you don't know where to start with God,
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    maybe you've never prayed or said anything to Him before,
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    consider just starting with these words
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    in this song right now.
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    - Come on, sing it out.
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    - Whether you live near one of our physical locations
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    or are a part of our anywhere community all over the world,
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    there are so many ways to get involved at Crossroads.
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    The best way to stay in the know about all of them
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    is just to download the Crossroads Anywhere app,
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    enter your location and click on happenings.
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    and ways to get connected with other people.
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    Download the app and get started today.
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    One of the great things that's coming up
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    is actually a book study.
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    Actually, it's two book studies,
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    one for men and one for women.
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    Brian Tome has just released a brand new book
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    called The Five Marks of a Man: Tactical Guide.
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    And Alli Patterson has just released a book called
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    How to Stay Standing: Helping Women Build a Faith That Lasts.
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    We've got kickoff events for each of these book studies
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    that you can attend in person or online at the end of October.
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    We want you to get in a group
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    and strengthen your faith with these books.
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    Learn more or sign up now at crossroads.net/Anywhere.
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    Now, in this series, we're exploring
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    who God has made us to be as a church.
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    And today, Brian is specifically talking about how we sacrifice.
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    Now, sacrifice isn't just checking a box for us.
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    It's something we take personally.
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    But before we hear from Brian, here are a few stories
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    from real people in our community
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    about how we sacrifice.
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    - I know all of us have stories of sacrifice
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    where we've seen that happen. Share some of those.
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    - Yeah. Okay. Well, I'll start with a story from the beginning.
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    Like, we're meeting in that middle school.
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    We're doing three services.
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    Parking lot is full, we're so going.
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    We're like, "We're going to have to buy a building." And so.
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    - What year is this?
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    - I think it's two years after we started, I mean.
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    - 98? - Yeah. So, so we're like, okay.
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    So we identified that there was this
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    Home Quarter hardware store that was going out of business
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    and we wanted that building.
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    And so then we went, "Okay, well we had to get a loan."
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    And no one would give us a loan because we had no equity
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    Figure that, right?
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    So then it came down to the four families on the spiritual board.
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    So it was Brian and Libby Tome, Brian and Nancy Wells,
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    Tom and Nancy Shepherd, and then my husband Jim and I.
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    It was like, "Okay, we're going to put up
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    our houses as collateral so that we can get a loan
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    so that we can go bid on this building."
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    And then Brian goes to the auction to bid on this
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    and literally up to the last dollar
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    that we were authorized to be able to bid,
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    we got the building. - Wow.
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    - Which was amazing, I mean, that's like God's provision.
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    And we were, like, people will ask us afterwards, like,
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    "Well, weren't you concerned?"
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    And we're like, "Well, yeah,
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    I guess if people hadn't stepped up,
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    we could have been thrown out of our homes
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    and had to maybe live in apartments
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    while we were trying to build up enough equity
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    to maybe buy another house."
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    But but we knew that to reach friends
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    that we would have to sacrifice.
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    And fortunately, we didn't have to do that
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    because once we bought the building, we did the campaign
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    and a lot of people sacrificed to actually be able
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    to build out the building.
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    The one that we're in right now, actually, that's Oakley today.
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    - We tell those, like, war stories around our kitchen table
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    and the Tome family when we all get together because
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    it was for years we didn't have any toys in our house growing up
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    because all of our toys went into Kids' Club.
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    But my whole life I grew up just thinking it was normal
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    to go, like, in and out of having things
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    and not having things
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    because our family was in a mode of regularly sacrificing
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    so that there was more room for people
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    to meet Jesus at the church.
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    And so whether that was financially or like,
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    we were at church from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. most of my childhood
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    because we were doing all the jobs.
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    And at four years old, I was on the building ops team
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    as a facilities team member, as well as my brother.
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    And so, but we look back on all the sacrifices and go,
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    "Oh, that shaped who we are as adults now."
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    And so, lik, now we have our own kids,
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    my siblings and I have our own children,
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    and we're trying to figure out, okay,
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    what does it look like for us to sacrifice
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    on behalf of people meeting Jesus the way that
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    we sacrificed as kids so that they learn
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    that's just part of who we are and what we do
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    as part of the Crossroads family
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    and ultimately part of the family of Jesus."
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    - One of the pitfalls of being a church of our size
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    is it's so easy to think
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    somebody else is going to do that.
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    It's so easy, right?
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    I mean, someone else is going to make the coffee,
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    someone else is going to do that thing.
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    And also money, I know that from the very beginning
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    there's been these rumors that Crossroads
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    is funded by Procter and Gamble, or they're like,
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    there are a couple of real rich people
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    who are funding Crossroads. [indiscernible crosstalk]
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    - P and Jesus, exactly.
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    And that has never been true. That has never been true.
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    And I know that other churches even when they hear
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    kind of how our giving works, are shocked that
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    we don't have the small select group
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    of incredibly wealthy people who are making this place happen.
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    Like it's not true. It's, yeah, it's the sacrifice
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    of just regular people every day that make it happen.
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    - God takes -- He has so taken care of me
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    and my family through this place.
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    I couldn't repay Him enough for what He's done for my family.
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    And our family is not perfect
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    and I could not repay Him enough. I just couldn't, so.
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    - Absolutely. I mean, giving time in some ways
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    can be just as hard as giving money.
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    - Harder, harder.
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    - It's difficult. I've never found myself in a place
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    where I sacrificed something and God didn't give me
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    so much more in return that I could never have purchased
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    in terms of joy and satisfaction
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    and meaning and purpose and all those sorts of things.
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    That's what I got this summer, so.
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    - No, that's so true.
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    I've never felt more connected to people. Right?
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    The most I've ever felt connected to someone
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    is after we sacrificed together.
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    And the most I felt connected to this place
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    is after things like Awaited
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    or when you go hard for something,
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    something about spending yourself
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    on something that's worth it.
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    - Those stories,
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    I just love watching those stories that were on that video.
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    Story behind the story on one of them.
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    The first woman who talked, Vivien, she talked about
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    when we put our houses, we signed our houses over
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    to the bank as collateral.
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    And that's not the favorite part of that story for me.
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    The favorite part is when we told the church,
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    everyone who was in the church,
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    it was 1500 people at that at that point.
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    "Hey, this is what we have to do to to secure this building.
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    And we want you to know that your leaders here are really in
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    and we want to make sacrifices.
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    And that's the kind of people that are serving you."
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    The response wasn't the one I expected.
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    What I heard over and over again were people were offended.
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    They said, "Why didn't I get to sign my house over?
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    I'm in here. Aren't I important?
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    Why wasn't I asked to sign my house over?"
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    That's the caliber of people
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    that are a part of our church right there.
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    It's really, really stunning to me.
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    It's really amazing.
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    And they would do that not because they believed in
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    this 501c3 nonprofit organization called Crossroads.
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    They would do that or we would want to do that because
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    this is a basic thing
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    of what it looks like to come closer to God.
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    In the book of Ephesians 5:1-2,
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    I've got a lot of Bible verses for you today.
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    Can you handle them? Can you handle the truth?
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    You can't handle the truth,
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    deep down inside in places you don't know.
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    Okay, here we go. Ephesians 5:1, here's what says:
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    Let's stop right there. Let's stop right there.
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    The topic of sacrifice is very deep
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    and it can be weighty if you start from the wrong place.
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    If you think that sacrifice is about a new moral code,
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    if you think that sacrifice is now the 11th commandment,
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    thou shalt sacrifice, it will bog you down and bum you out.
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    It starts with who God says you are.
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    He says you are beloved. He says you are loved.
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    All of this stuff flows out of the love of God.
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    And so when we are imitators of God, what He does,
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    the starting place is the love of God.
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    Isn't that good news?
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    Let's keep going, verse two:
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    It's about love. We are loved by God. Jesus loved us.
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    Now we walk and follow Him, and we walk in love.
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    Jesus is a sacrifice. He is the sacrifice.
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    The first time He's proclaimed publicly as the Messiah
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    His cousin John says, "Behold the lamb of God
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    who takes away the sin of the world."
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    He is the sacrifice.
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    Ancient Jews and many modern Jews would understand
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    that way back when there was the temple,
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    and they would bring a lamb, a sacrifice,
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    and that sacrifice you would bring
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    and you would lay it on the altar
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    and the priest would slit the throat
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    and you would put your hands on that animal.
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    And as the life drained away, you would think,
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    "Man, I'm the one who deserves to die.
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    I'm the one who deserves to die, and God is reminding me here
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    that I don't have to die forever because of His sacrifice.
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    Jesus dies on a cross because He is the sacrifice for us,
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    and it is His love offering to God.
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    The only good reason to sacrifice is because of love.
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    In fact, I don't really understand love
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    if we talk about emotional things.
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    If we talk about tears with love,
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    I don't understand love because I don't cry that much.
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    If we talk about having a quiver in your liver
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    then I don't understand love that much
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    because I don't have many quivers
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    and I only have one liver
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    and I don't have much feeling down there.
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    If we're talking about, like, these spiritual warm glow
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    that comes around us, I've had that before, I guess,
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    but I don't have it very often to be clear.
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    I like emotions. I want more emotions.
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    Love can be emotional.
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    I like when God gives us a jolt of love and we feel it.
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    I like when there's a spiritual high.
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    But love is defined in this verse, it's sacrifice,
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    that's what love is.
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    We know the love of God because Jesus sacrificed for us.
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    That's what it is.
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    And when you would put that lamb on the offering
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    and it would burn, it would be a pleasing aroma
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    that would go up to God.
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    That's what that verse means
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    when it says a fragrant offering.
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    A few weeks ago, I went to a concert.
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    I went to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Oh, God bless America.
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    Now, some of you youngsters are going, "Lynyrd Skynyrd,
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    who's he? I don't -- I don't know who he is."
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    It's a they. It's a classic 70s classic butt rock band.
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    They are amazing. They're all dead, but they're amazing.
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    They are. Seriously, they're all dead.
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    Half of them died in a plane crash back in,
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    I don't know, it was 1980 or something like that.
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    Ronnie Van Zant's younger brother sings,
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    looks kind of like him, sounds kind of like him.
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    Then everybody else is a new person in the band.
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    But they killed it, utterly crushed it.
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    I forgot about how many amazing songs Lynyrd Skynyrd had.
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    And this one you might have heard before.
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    - Ooh that smell
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    can't you smell that smell
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    Ooh that smell
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    The smell of death surrounds you.
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    - Oh, it's so good. Oh, it's so good.
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    That song could be interpreted as sacrifice.
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    That song is actually about bemoaning the people
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    who have overdosed and the smell of death is on them,
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    that's what it's about, Ooh, that smell.
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    You're living your life in such a way
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    that you're going to die.
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    The smell of death surrounds you.
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    This could be said about Ephesians that I just read,
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    a fragrant offering.
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    It is a pleasing aroma when someone chooses
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    to die to themselves to sacrifice for somebody else.
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    It's a fragrant aroma.
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    And whenever you sacrifice, that is, any time you choose
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    to not do something that you could do to love somebody else,
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    it's a pleasing room to God.
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    Every time you put off gaining financially
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    or gaining in your calendar so that somebody else can gain,
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    it's a fragrant and pleasing aroma to God.
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    Ooh, that smell.
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    God wants to look at you go, "Hmm, that smell.
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    The smell that surrounds you."
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    And that smell would be the smell of sacrifice.
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    Sacrifice is what separates the talkers from the walkers.
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    It's what separates people who talk a good game
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    and appear to be spiritual
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    and maybe even have Christian bumper sticker sacrifice,
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    laying your life down is what separates
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    people who talk about God
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    and people who actually walk after God.
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    That's a defining characteristic.
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    Romans 12:1 gives us another example of this.
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    Here's what it says:
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    So when God asks us to sacrifice ourselves,
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    He's never asking us to kill ourselves, thankfully.
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    He's not asking that. It says a living sacrifice,
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    meaning I walk around as an entity
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    willing to love somebody else and lay my life down
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    and sacrifice things so that God will be pleased
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    that I'm being like Jesus, who sacrifice Himself.
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    Do not be conformed to this world,
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    but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.
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    This world is conforming you and I, it tells us
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    we always need to upgrade, we always need to have new things,
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    we always have to be comfortable,
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    we always have to have more money in the bank,
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    we always have to have more time in our calendar.
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    We have to say no to things, we have to draw boundaries
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    and we do have to say no to things and draw boundaries.
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    But many, many people forget.
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    We draw boundaries and say no to things
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    so that we can have more capacity to serve people
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    and sacrifice for people.
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    That's what love is.
  • 00:28:13
    A interesting point here, too.
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    It says this is your spiritual worship.
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    I don't know why they put that word in there.
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    And I hate to say this because
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    it could maybe cause us to not trust the Bible.
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    Every once in a while there's a word
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    that's not translated properly, this is one of those times.
  • 00:28:31
    It's very, very, very rare.
  • 00:28:32
    And it doesn't actually change whether or not
  • 00:28:35
    you should trust the Bible at all.
  • 00:28:36
    It's still not bad, spiritual worship,
  • 00:28:38
    but the word spirit in Greek is Pneuma. Pneuma.
  • 00:28:44
    It's where we have pneumonia, like, my nasal passages,
  • 00:28:48
    my spirits all clogged up,
  • 00:28:49
    just stuff in here my lungs is not working right.
  • 00:28:51
    Pneuma, that's not the word that's used here.
  • 00:28:53
    It's the word that we know for logic.
  • 00:28:57
    This is your reasonable worship is what some translations say.
  • 00:29:03
    And why do they say that?
  • 00:29:04
    They say because when you understand
  • 00:29:06
    how Jesus laid down His life for you and how He loves you,
  • 00:29:11
    and He went to a cross and as a lamb,
  • 00:29:13
    He died on a cross for you, you just go,
  • 00:29:16
    "It's just reasonable I would do that for somebody else.
  • 00:29:19
    After all, I call myself a Christ follower,
  • 00:29:21
    not a Christ believer, a Christ follower.
  • 00:29:24
    And if He loves me that much and I'm that secure in His love,
  • 00:29:29
    it just makes sense that I should be
  • 00:29:32
    a person of sacrifice because I want to be like Him."
  • 00:29:37
    Is this making sense at all?
  • 00:29:40
    You know, we want a place where people are growing
  • 00:29:47
    and that means growing to look like Jesus,
  • 00:29:50
    that means growing in love, and love looks like sacrifice.
  • 00:29:54
    You heard my daughter as well on the video.
  • 00:29:57
    Her husband -- got married to Nick Schuller.
  • 00:30:00
    That was Lena up there talking and she was talking
  • 00:30:02
    about all the the things
  • 00:30:05
    that we've had to sacrifice as a family.
  • 00:30:07
    And she -- I'm glad she has some happy memories about it.
  • 00:30:10
    It was -- many of our sacrifices have been painful.
  • 00:30:12
    We've been through four campaigns at Crossroads,
  • 00:30:15
    by the way, by the way, I'll say it again.
  • 00:30:17
    I've said it every, every weekend, I'll say it again,
  • 00:30:19
    there's no campaign that's coming after this series.
  • 00:30:22
    There's not an ask.
  • 00:30:23
    This is not like a set up for you.
  • 00:30:26
    This is just to help you understand
  • 00:30:29
    what our church is about
  • 00:30:30
    and what basic Bible stuff is about with love and Jesus.
  • 00:30:34
    And she's -- when we went into a campaign,
  • 00:30:37
    most of the time we would get rid of cable
  • 00:30:39
    and getting rid of cable back in 2000 or 2006 or whatever,
  • 00:30:42
    it was a big deal because
  • 00:30:43
    Netflix and those things weren't around yet
  • 00:30:45
    and there wasn't even antennas anymore for TV.
  • 00:30:48
    So it was like you had cable, you were done.
  • 00:30:50
    So we would get rid of cable and all these premium channels
  • 00:30:52
    and they couldn't see TV or watch it.
  • 00:30:54
    And I remember my kids going up on the landing of our stairs
  • 00:30:58
    to look out the window in the window of the apartment
  • 00:31:01
    next door to watch TV without sound.
  • 00:31:06
    I had my son on my podcast recently and he talked about
  • 00:31:11
    how it was such a point of celebration for him
  • 00:31:14
    and our family when we got to be able to buy
  • 00:31:19
    the double pack of crunchy peanut butter.
  • 00:31:22
    Who's a crunchy peanut butter fan? Come on. [cheers]
  • 00:31:24
    Who likes creamy peanut butter? [cheers]
  • 00:31:27
    Who likes crunchy? [cheers]
  • 00:31:29
    There you go. Good. Yes.
  • 00:31:31
    We were amazed because of our level of sacrifice,
  • 00:31:34
    we didn't have the cash to buy, like,
  • 00:31:37
    the double pack with the saran wrapped together.
  • 00:31:40
    And as we got to different places,
  • 00:31:42
    it was just a point of celebration.
  • 00:31:44
    But it was also a point of celebration looking back
  • 00:31:46
    that sacrifice is a part of our life.
  • 00:31:48
    It's just who we are. It's what we do.
  • 00:31:51
    In the book of Philippians 2:9 it says this:
  • 00:31:54
    Therefore God has highly exalted Him.
  • 00:31:55
    This is Jesus, highly exalted Him
  • 00:31:57
    and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,
  • 00:32:01
    that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow
  • 00:32:03
    and every tongue confess that He is Lord
  • 00:32:06
    to the glory of God, the Father.
  • 00:32:09
    Now, the beginning of this passage says, therefore.
  • 00:32:12
    In the Bible, whenever you see a therefore,
  • 00:32:14
    you should ask yourself, what's that there for?
  • 00:32:20
  • 00:32:23
    What's that there for?
  • 00:32:25
    And what it's there for is to tie up the previous statement.
  • 00:32:29
    Here's what said just before this:
  • 00:32:41
    God exalts Him, He gives Him the name above every name,
  • 00:32:45
    hyper exalts Him.
  • 00:32:47
    Still, that's the way it is today.
  • 00:32:48
    Go to any crowded room, nothing will cause more people
  • 00:32:50
    to turn around than if you say Jesus.
  • 00:32:54
    If you say, Bill, no one's going to, or Shanika,
  • 00:32:58
    no one's turning around. You say, you say Jesus,
  • 00:33:02
    because He has the name that's above every name,
  • 00:33:04
    it's the most well known name
  • 00:33:05
    in the history of the world, bar none.
  • 00:33:07
    And it ties to His sacrifice.
  • 00:33:11
    If you want to be great, you will sacrifice.
  • 00:33:15
    If you want to have a comfortable day,
  • 00:33:18
    you won't sacrifice.
  • 00:33:20
    Sacrifice is always the way to go to a next level,
  • 00:33:23
    if you want God to take you to that level,
  • 00:33:24
    versus you climbing and clawing over somebody else
  • 00:33:27
    to get to that level.
  • 00:33:29
    I say this stuff because I'm trying to preach to myself
  • 00:33:32
    because it's hard and I don't like it.
  • 00:33:35
    If you give me box number one and you say,
  • 00:33:38
    "Brian, right now, you can have comfort
  • 00:33:42
    and immediate gratification right now in this box,
  • 00:33:46
    or number two, in this box, you can have sacrifice
  • 00:33:52
    and delayed gratification."
  • 00:33:55
    Nine times out of ten, I'll take box number one,
  • 00:33:57
    like, give it to me right now. Give it to me right now,"
  • 00:34:00
    nine times out of ten.
  • 00:34:01
    But when I do take box number two,
  • 00:34:07
    I get further ahead with God and my life gets further ahead
  • 00:34:10
    because that's the path of sacrifice.
  • 00:34:12
    Momentarily, there's a step back in sacrifice
  • 00:34:16
    in terms of our fulfillment and satisfaction,
  • 00:34:19
    in terms of how we're measuring up against somebody else.
  • 00:34:22
    But man, there is an exaltation that comes with it
  • 00:34:25
    because we become more like Jesus and we get closer to Jesus
  • 00:34:28
    and it's really, really beautiful.
  • 00:34:30
    So if we're going to sacrifice, let me give you some ideas here.
  • 00:34:33
    I just brainstorming these and thinking through them.
  • 00:34:35
    What do we have to get over,
  • 00:34:37
    what do we sacrifice when we sacrifice?
  • 00:34:40
    One thing is this: We sacrifice our comfort addiction.
  • 00:34:46
    Sacrifice our comfort addiction.
  • 00:34:49
    I mean, we are addicted to comfort, right?
  • 00:34:51
    We want our pillow top beds.
  • 00:34:54
    We want our HVAC units.
  • 00:34:56
    We want the latest and greatest tech.
  • 00:34:58
    And there's nothing wrong with any of those things.
  • 00:35:01
    Nothing wrong.
  • 00:35:02
    In fact, I have the latest and greatest tech right now.
  • 00:35:04
    It was a a birthday present that my wife gave me.
  • 00:35:08
    This is an upgrade from my previous watch.
  • 00:35:10
    It has a larger screen for my older eyes.
  • 00:35:13
    It has a brighter screen for my older eyes.
  • 00:35:16
    And in terms of hiking around and doing hunting
  • 00:35:18
    and the map is easier to work,
  • 00:35:19
    its touches, a bunch of stuff like that.
  • 00:35:21
    So hear me, hear me,
  • 00:35:22
    I'm not saying let's all sell all of our stuff
  • 00:35:25
    and let's be naked someplace. I'm not saying that.
  • 00:35:28
    I mean, God is okay for you to have, to be comfortable.
  • 00:35:32
    If you have any kids, you like to bless your kids.
  • 00:35:35
    If you have any kids you want them to be well fed.
  • 00:35:38
    You want them to be have a level of happiness and security.
  • 00:35:42
    And it's okay for you to have that, too.
  • 00:35:44
    God wants that for you.
  • 00:35:46
    That's why when you choose to give it up, or something up,
  • 00:35:51
    it's so beautiful to God because
  • 00:35:53
    it's not something you have to give up like pornography.
  • 00:35:57
    No, it's something that God's okay with.
  • 00:35:59
    And then when you choose that, God says,
  • 00:36:01
    "That's really love. That's not sin management. That's love.
  • 00:36:05
    You're laying that down for somebody else."
  • 00:36:09
    And this is where some ancient forms of monasticism
  • 00:36:12
    had it so bad.
  • 00:36:13
    They thought that everything that was nice was wrong.
  • 00:36:18
    So you'd find some monastic orders
  • 00:36:21
    that would have beds without mattresses.
  • 00:36:23
    I just went to Germany recently and did a tour
  • 00:36:26
    and learned again about Martin Luther,
  • 00:36:28
    who was a Catholic monk who's responsible for
  • 00:36:31
    the Protestant Reformation.
  • 00:36:32
    And he was a part of a monastery that they were so hard core
  • 00:36:36
    they didn't even think they could have the comfort
  • 00:36:38
    of having food inside the monastery
  • 00:36:41
    that for any of them to eat they went out
  • 00:36:43
    and begged for every meal every day because
  • 00:36:46
    they didn't even want the comfort of having knowledge
  • 00:36:49
    that there was food inside of the --
  • 00:36:51
    Inside of the, not the convent, that's for nuns.
  • 00:36:53
    What's the one for -- Monastery. Thank you, monastery.
  • 00:37:00
    And that's why also many ancient monks would beat themselves.
  • 00:37:04
    They beat themselves because they're like, "I feel too good.
  • 00:37:06
    I feel too good. I've got to beat my flesh.
  • 00:37:08
    I'm going to pound my flesh because I can't --
  • 00:37:11
    I can't feel good. And my flesh represents sin.
  • 00:37:13
    And so if I'm feeling good, I'm getting too comfortable
  • 00:37:15
    and I must be sinful."
  • 00:37:17
    And that was just going too far.
  • 00:37:19
    God likes to bless His children.
  • 00:37:21
    He likes to bless you. He does.
  • 00:37:23
    And He loves when He sees His children take after Him,
  • 00:37:26
    which is being a person of sacrifice.
  • 00:37:28
    When we sacrifice, we sacrifice our temporal fixation,
  • 00:37:33
    the things that are immediate, we sacrifice that.
  • 00:37:36
    Why don't I have six pack abs?
  • 00:37:40
    Because I don't want to sacrifice a few beers
  • 00:37:43
    every once in a while, that's why.
  • 00:37:45
    Because I don't want to sacrifice
  • 00:37:47
    chocolate covered pretzels that I had last night.
  • 00:37:50
    I mean, it's just -- I would rather have
  • 00:37:53
    those delicacies than have a six pack.
  • 00:37:56
    And it's the way it is with anybody.
  • 00:37:59
    It's the same way it is when somebody actually
  • 00:38:02
    gets out of credit card debt, they get out of credit card debt
  • 00:38:06
    because they sacrifice the temporal satisfaction
  • 00:38:10
    of immediately pulling out their credit card
  • 00:38:12
    and having all their needs met and they cut it up
  • 00:38:16
    so that long term they'll stop their spending
  • 00:38:18
    and actually get some money in the bank.
  • 00:38:20
    But we don't sacrifice because we have this temporal fixation.
  • 00:38:25
    Sometimes we sacrifice to help somebody else
  • 00:38:28
    who's going to get ahead.
  • 00:38:31
    Sometimes we do things that we don't want to do.
  • 00:38:36
    I have a book coming out. It releases Tuesday.
  • 00:38:41
    And I would -- it's on -- It's two books, actually.
  • 00:38:44
    It's a study guide on The Five Marks of a Man
  • 00:38:47
    you can do with other guys and it's a re-release,
  • 00:38:49
    an updated version of The Five Marks of a Man.
  • 00:38:52
    Now, I put this here because I believe in this material.
  • 00:38:56
    I'd love you to preorder it. It helps an author a lot.
  • 00:38:59
    And you know why I feel very freed up
  • 00:39:00
    to tell you this and advertise it?
  • 00:39:02
    Because I don't make a dime on any book I sell.
  • 00:39:05
    Because the board came to me and said,
  • 00:39:09
    "We think that you should give and we should take
  • 00:39:12
    everything you ever make on publishing."
  • 00:39:14
    And I quite frankly, I didn't like it.
  • 00:39:19
    Quite frankly, if I had my own pure way,
  • 00:39:21
    I think I'd probably reverse it.
  • 00:39:22
    But you know what? I'm in submission and I get paid well,
  • 00:39:26
    thank you very, very much. I do.
  • 00:39:29
    And it was a sacrifice I was willing to make.
  • 00:39:33
    It doesn't hurt necessarily. I'm -- but I could --
  • 00:39:38
    Sacrifice is whenever you could have something
  • 00:39:41
    and you choose not to have it out of love for somebody else.
  • 00:39:46
    And when you get in a rhythm of sacrifice,
  • 00:39:49
    your walk with God goes to a new place
  • 00:39:52
    and the purpose of God also go to a new place.
  • 00:39:56
    We sacrifice also our peer competition,
  • 00:39:59
    like the old bumper sticker you've seen
  • 00:40:02
    the tongue in cheek bumper sticker:
  • 00:40:04
    He who dies with the most toys wins.
  • 00:40:06
    You know, that person knows that's not the truth,
  • 00:40:08
    but we all kind of laugh at that because we feel it.
  • 00:40:11
    "Wait a minute. What kind of watch does BT have?
  • 00:40:14
    I want that watch."
  • 00:40:15
    "Wait a minute, you have the latest iPhone?
  • 00:40:17
    Wait a minute, you have that car?
  • 00:40:19
    Wait a minute, you have what?
  • 00:40:21
    You have better clothes than me. You have a better --
  • 00:40:23
    Your kids are going to a better college than me."
  • 00:40:25
    And we feel this competition.
  • 00:40:28
    And when we sacrifice, we get out of that game,
  • 00:40:32
    we see it for what it's worth.
  • 00:40:33
    It doesn't -- it doesn't get anywhere.
  • 00:40:36
    When we sacrifice, we say to God,
  • 00:40:38
    "God, I'm playing a different game.
  • 00:40:41
    I'm playing a game of earning Your favor.
  • 00:40:44
    I'm playing a game
  • 00:40:45
    of having some some blessings in the future
  • 00:40:48
    that you'll determine to give me or not give me.
  • 00:40:50
    I'm playing the game of loving people,
  • 00:40:51
    and if I have something I can give them, that is fine."
  • 00:40:55
    When we sacrifice these things, what happens is
  • 00:40:58
    we end up knowing what it looks like to look like Jesus.
  • 00:41:03
    We end up acting like Him.
  • 00:41:05
    We sacrifice not to pay God back.
  • 00:41:08
    We sacrifice not because it's the 11th Commandment.
  • 00:41:10
    We sacrifice, not because we don't deserve nice things.
  • 00:41:13
    We sacrifice because we want to look like Jesus,
  • 00:41:16
    because He sacrificed.
  • 00:41:18
    He was in heaven
  • 00:41:19
    and He sacrificed all the glory of heaven
  • 00:41:21
    and He came and he was born in a lonely --
  • 00:41:24
    And placed in a lowly manger in Bethlehem.
  • 00:41:26
    And He lived a painful, difficult life
  • 00:41:29
    that ended horrifically on a cross.
  • 00:41:34
    And none of us will ever have to have that level of sacrifice.
  • 00:41:37
    But when we have some sacrifice of some way,
  • 00:41:39
    give some time to somebody, give some money to somebody,
  • 00:41:42
    give some wisdom to somebody, we end up looking like Jesus,
  • 00:41:46
    and we let God know that we worship Him.
  • 00:41:49
    When we sacrifice, we're letting God know that we worship Him.
  • 00:41:53
    I'm really excited about our Real Encounter series
  • 00:41:56
    that is coming up.
  • 00:41:58
    It's we're told by you, we've taken surveys again and again,
  • 00:42:01
    man, when you guys go to Israel and you preach
  • 00:42:03
    from Israel on location
  • 00:42:05
    in these places I'll probably never get to.
  • 00:42:07
    And you connect all the spiritual dots.
  • 00:42:08
    We've heard from you that you love it.
  • 00:42:10
    So we got another one coming up.
  • 00:42:11
    It's going to be really great.
  • 00:42:12
    I think it's going to be the best one.
  • 00:42:14
    It looks at Jesus and His great, great, great, great,
  • 00:42:17
    great, great, great, great, 13 generations before
  • 00:42:19
    His great great grandfather who was King David.
  • 00:42:22
    And it makes the tie between King David and Jesus and us.
  • 00:42:28
    One of the seminal moments in David's life
  • 00:42:32
    is in the Book of 2 Samuel 24.
  • 00:42:35
    He comes upon this guy's property who is a landowner,
  • 00:42:40
    and David wants to have a worship service.
  • 00:42:43
    He wants to give a sacrifice.
  • 00:42:44
    And Aruna, the guy who owns this land and owns all the stuff,
  • 00:42:48
    says, "Hey man, I'll take care of it. You're the king.
  • 00:42:51
    I'm going to get you the altar.
  • 00:42:53
    I'm going to get you the wood.
  • 00:42:54
    I'm going to get you the animals. My pleasure.
  • 00:42:56
    I'm just glad to have the king here on my land."
  • 00:42:58
    Here's what David says in verse 24.
  • 00:43:12
    Sacrifice cost you. Worship cost you.
  • 00:43:15
    If it's not costing you,
  • 00:43:18
    then you're not giving a pleasing aroma to God.
  • 00:43:22
    We've had four campaigns of Crossroads
  • 00:43:25
    where people gave sacrificially,
  • 00:43:26
    they went above and beyond their tithe
  • 00:43:28
    to be able to buy the buildings that we have
  • 00:43:31
    or put money towards them. We still have a mortgage.
  • 00:43:33
    And one of my favorite stories is people just who are heroes,
  • 00:43:37
    who no one knows their name, some of them I know.
  • 00:43:40
    In the early days of Crossroads,
  • 00:43:41
    I was like a one armed paper hanger.
  • 00:43:43
    We didn't have a big staff.
  • 00:43:45
    It was me and a couple other people,
  • 00:43:47
    and that meant I did everything.
  • 00:43:48
    I did the preaching, I did teaching,
  • 00:43:51
    I did the marrying, I did the burying,
  • 00:43:53
    I did all the stuff, right?
  • 00:43:54
    And we had this young couple that I married,
  • 00:43:56
    names were Matt and Holly, and then we had the campaign
  • 00:44:00
    and they had a hard time figuring out
  • 00:44:03
    what they wanted to sacrifice above their tithe.
  • 00:44:05
    And so they they said, "You know, we don't know
  • 00:44:08
    what we're going to do. We're kind of in between jobs.
  • 00:44:10
    Matt's getting a new job in our city.
  • 00:44:12
    We're not sure how that's going to work out.
  • 00:44:14
    We've got a bunch of stuff that's going on.
  • 00:44:16
    We're just -- We're just not sure
  • 00:44:17
    because our future is just very uncertain."
  • 00:44:20
    And they said, "I think what we want to do
  • 00:44:22
    is we're going to give our wedding rings."
  • 00:44:24
    They just got married, like, "Uh, really?" "Yeah."
  • 00:44:29
    I said, "Okay."
  • 00:44:31
    I said, "This is such a sacrifice and so beautiful,
  • 00:44:34
    would you mind if I told this story
  • 00:44:36
    and I'll just do it anonymously?"
  • 00:44:39
    And they said, "Yeah, if you think it would help
  • 00:44:41
    give people a model, yeah, that's fine."
  • 00:44:43
    So I said, okay. So I told the story.
  • 00:44:46
    And I had people afterwards came up to me
  • 00:44:48
    with the purest of intentions, said, "Hey, Brian,
  • 00:44:50
    I got a good idea. Me and my wife or me and my husband
  • 00:44:53
    are doing really, really well. We're doing great.
  • 00:44:55
    How about if when Crossroads gets them appraised
  • 00:44:59
    and sells them, how about you tell us how much they are
  • 00:45:04
    and then we'll pay Crossroads that amount
  • 00:45:06
    and on top of whatever we're going to do
  • 00:45:08
    for our campaign commitment.
  • 00:45:10
    And then you can give those rings back to the young couple."
  • 00:45:13
    I went, "Okay, that sounds. I'll run it by them.
  • 00:45:18
    Okay, fine. I'll run it by them."
  • 00:45:20
    So I'm back and I told them this idea,
  • 00:45:22
    "What do you think about this?"
  • 00:45:24
    And they were horrified.
  • 00:45:26
    It's like, "No, no. That's our sacrifice."
  • 00:45:33
    What were they saying? They were saying it's going to cost us,
  • 00:45:36
    and that's what love is, it costs and we love God.
  • 00:45:41
    And He's done so much for us, we want this to cost us.
  • 00:45:46
    I will not sacrifice the Lord that which cost me nothing."
  • 00:45:50
    In fact, wherever you are, whatever site you are,
  • 00:45:53
    you're in a seat somebody sacrificed for.
  • 00:45:56
    They went without cable.
  • 00:45:58
    They went -- they doubled their tithe.
  • 00:46:00
    They went without their next raise.
  • 00:46:01
    They went without a second home they were looking to buy,
  • 00:46:05
    whatever it was, people all different income places,
  • 00:46:09
    you're sitting here because this is embedded
  • 00:46:13
    in the culture of our church,
  • 00:46:15
    because it's the culture of Jesus.
  • 00:46:16
    And we take it seriously.
  • 00:46:18
    And that's why there's a place for you.
  • 00:46:21
    Anything good that God has ever done
  • 00:46:25
    to come through Crossroads has come
  • 00:46:27
    through people who are sacrificing.
  • 00:46:29
    And it's because any of us who have sacrificed
  • 00:46:31
    know it's because Jesus sacrificed for us
  • 00:46:34
    and gave me a shot out of His love,
  • 00:46:37
    gave me a second chance and gives me grace
  • 00:46:39
    to make it just another day.
  • 00:46:43
    When we sacrifice, we help our friends
  • 00:46:45
    and neighbors come to know Jesus.
  • 00:46:47
    We facilitate that.
  • 00:46:49
    John 15:13 Jesus says this:
  • 00:46:57
    Jesus is basically telling them,
  • 00:46:59
    "That's going to be me in about six chapters.
  • 00:47:03
    I'm going to be laying down my life for you.
  • 00:47:05
    I'm going to be sacrificing for you is because I love you."
  • 00:47:09
    There's so many ways, different ways of sacrifice.
  • 00:47:12
    This last week I was headed out to a meeting
  • 00:47:14
    at our base camp property where we do Man Camp,
  • 00:47:18
    Woman Camp, Vet Camp, Couples Camp, yadda yadda, yadda, yadda.
  • 00:47:21
    And I'm going and I see as I'm going,
  • 00:47:23
    I see out of my peripheral in New Richmond, this light,
  • 00:47:28
    I see a car stop and another car on its side,
  • 00:47:31
    flipped on its side,
  • 00:47:33
    I can see the undercarriage of the car,
  • 00:47:34
    the muffler and everything.
  • 00:47:35
    And I'm looking and I'm looking.
  • 00:47:37
    I'm going, "Where's ambulances? Where's the ambulances?
  • 00:47:39
    I don't see any ambulances."
  • 00:47:41
    And I'm thinking, "Oh, my gosh, am I the first one here?'
  • 00:47:44
    I'm seeing other cars around. No one's getting out of cars.
  • 00:47:48
    But I see two cars down, I see no.
  • 00:47:50
    So oh no, someone is --
  • 00:47:53
    Someone will handle. Someone will handle it.
  • 00:47:54
    So I get about 200 yards down the street
  • 00:47:57
    and I'm going, "No, I'll handle it."
  • 00:48:01
    So I've got, you know, a truck with bigger tires.
  • 00:48:04
    So I get in the median, I pull over, I'm going all this stuff.
  • 00:48:07
    I get over, I stop.
  • 00:48:08
    No one is yet there
  • 00:48:09
    and I'm thinking, "I'm going to be late for my meeting.
  • 00:48:11
    They're going to be waiting for me out there.
  • 00:48:13
    But this could be a crisis."
  • 00:48:14
    And there is, sure as heck you've got two cars
  • 00:48:17
    that have their airbags blown out, and they're just --
  • 00:48:21
    Two women who are just dazed and confused.
  • 00:48:25
    And I said, "Are you okay? Are you okay?"
  • 00:48:27
    I'm like, put my hand on the shoulder of the one,
  • 00:48:29
    "Are you okay? Are you okay? Are you okay?"
  • 00:48:32
    "Yeah, I'm okay. I'm okay."
  • 00:48:33
    And then finally a cop comes up and they're okay,
  • 00:48:36
    so I kind of leave and I'm leaving I thought
  • 00:48:39
    maybe I only did that
  • 00:48:41
    because I'm preaching on sacrifice this week.
  • 00:48:44
    I mean, I'm thinking sacrifice.
  • 00:48:46
    I'm thinking that was a sacrifice, at least to my pride.
  • 00:48:48
    I'm going to be late for a meeting now,
  • 00:48:51
    but I wanted to give love to these people who were hurting.
  • 00:48:54
    It was a small one. I mean, as I said, when I say it cost you,
  • 00:48:58
    it doesn't mean that it always has to hurt.
  • 00:49:00
    It just cost, it cost me time.
  • 00:49:03
    It cost me losing face with meeting,
  • 00:49:07
    being late and having to explain it.
  • 00:49:08
    It's those simple things.
  • 00:49:12
    But we sacrifice time, our prayers,
  • 00:49:16
    our money, whatever it is,
  • 00:49:18
    because we love people who have yet to come to know Jesus
  • 00:49:22
    and we want to give them an experience where that happens.
  • 00:49:25
    We want to be a part of a team, a community where that happens.
  • 00:49:29
    Michael Jordan said this. He said:
  • 00:49:48
    If we put that in the spiritual context,
  • 00:49:50
    if we have an individual goal to get closer to Christ,
  • 00:49:53
    to be more like Christ, when we're not grafted
  • 00:49:55
    into a community of faith and we're not sacrificing
  • 00:49:59
    for and in the community of faith,
  • 00:50:01
    it's virtually impossible to become more like Jesus
  • 00:50:03
    because He operated in a community
  • 00:50:05
    where He sacrificed for people.
  • 00:50:07
    And yet many of us have this brand of solo spirituality,
  • 00:50:11
    it's my opinions, my beliefs.
  • 00:50:13
    I just follow God as I hear Him.
  • 00:50:15
    And we cut ourselves off from a community
  • 00:50:17
    and commitment to a community and sacrifice to a community,
  • 00:50:20
    because quite frankly, we won't admit it,
  • 00:50:22
    you're just not spiritually mature enough.
  • 00:50:26
    You bought into this renegade I alone and God and nobody else.
  • 00:50:30
    And you know, and I just take care of myself.
  • 00:50:34
    And that's not the model of love.
  • 00:50:36
    That's not the model of the fragrant offering
  • 00:50:38
    we see with God.
  • 00:50:41
    We see people sacrifice prayer and time
  • 00:50:45
    over and over and over and over and over again.
  • 00:50:47
    We're in a building where I preach from right now in Oakley,
  • 00:50:50
    which is another example
  • 00:50:52
    of miracle God from people sacrificing.
  • 00:50:54
    The building was going up on the on the block.
  • 00:50:56
    We were going to go down to Wall Street
  • 00:50:58
    to bid on this building and a bunch of people
  • 00:51:01
    gathered in a parking lot right about
  • 00:51:03
    where I am right here
  • 00:51:05
    at the addition of the building to pray.
  • 00:51:06
    And as we're praying, before I was going to go
  • 00:51:08
    to Wall Street to bid in this building,
  • 00:51:10
    my daughter reaches up to me and we're holding hands.
  • 00:51:12
    She goes, "Daddy, we should march around it seven times,
  • 00:51:14
    just like Joshua did with the city of Jericho."
  • 00:51:17
    I said, "That's a great idea, honey.
  • 00:51:18
    Folks, here's what we're going to do.
  • 00:51:20
    We're going to march around the building,
  • 00:51:22
    and just like Joshua prayed and God blinded
  • 00:51:25
    and confused their enemies and they overtook the city,
  • 00:51:27
    we're going to pray that God blinds and confuse everybody.
  • 00:51:29
    We're going to -- we're going to really bid against."
  • 00:51:32
    So away we went. We go around this building.
  • 00:51:34
    It was very difficult.
  • 00:51:35
    I'm not going to tell you the whole whole story.
  • 00:51:37
    I will just say this. It was very difficult.
  • 00:51:39
    None of us were planning on walking
  • 00:51:41
    seven times around a big honking building
  • 00:51:44
    with a garden center chain link fence on the side.
  • 00:51:47
    It takes a long time. We weren't dressed for it.
  • 00:51:49
    Guys had chinos on and penny loafers.
  • 00:51:52
    Chinos, that's an old fashioned word for khakis. Okay?
  • 00:51:58
    My kids were, like, couldn't walk anymore
  • 00:52:00
    after the third lap and so I'm picking them up
  • 00:52:02
    and I'm walking, I'm carrying them on my shoulders.
  • 00:52:05
    My back was really bothering me then
  • 00:52:06
    and I'm feeling my disc compressed and I'm like.
  • 00:52:09
    And I think myself, "Okay, this is enough. This is enough.
  • 00:52:11
    Three, three times, three times ought to do it.
  • 00:52:13
    Three times ought to do it."
  • 00:52:14
    And then -- and then I sense from God, I hear from God.
  • 00:52:17
    And when I hear from God, normally it's this way
  • 00:52:19
    where a thought comes across my mind out of nowhere
  • 00:52:22
    that I wouldn't generate on my own.
  • 00:52:25
    And I think Jesus approves of it.
  • 00:52:29
    And He sends this thought to me and basically is this,
  • 00:52:32
    "Brian, you want Me to do a miracle for you,
  • 00:52:35
    but you don't want to sacrifice
  • 00:52:37
    and walk seven times around a building."
  • 00:52:40
    See, a lot of us want a miracle,
  • 00:52:42
    but we just want God to make things easy for us.
  • 00:52:44
    We don't want to sacrifice.
  • 00:52:47
    That's how miracles come. Sacrifice.
  • 00:52:49
    That's how love comes. Sacrifice.
  • 00:52:51
    That's how the next level comes. Sacrifice.
  • 00:52:54
    Not waiting and just hoping that something breaks our way,
  • 00:52:57
    though that can happen because God is a God of grace,
  • 00:53:00
    as we said before, He loves us.
  • 00:53:02
    But as far as a we can control a sacrifice.
  • 00:53:04
    So did the seven times around.
  • 00:53:06
    And what do you know? It's exactly what happened.
  • 00:53:09
    God blinded and confused our enemies.
  • 00:53:11
    We have people from major corporations
  • 00:53:14
    that missed their flights and offered us
  • 00:53:16
    2 to 3 times what we paid for that building
  • 00:53:18
    because God had blinded and confused our enemies.
  • 00:53:22
    Real story. Real deal.
  • 00:53:25
    Right now in Mason
  • 00:53:27
    they're celebrating their 15th anniversary.
  • 00:53:30
    15th, thank you, Mason Thank you, Mason.
  • 00:53:32
    15 years, they're celebrating their 15 years.
  • 00:53:36
    They met in rented facilities and sacrificed
  • 00:53:40
    to pay for Florence to build their building.
  • 00:53:43
    And they never were in rented facilities in Florence.
  • 00:53:45
    But Mason did that because they sacrificed.
  • 00:53:48
    And then when they got their building,
  • 00:53:50
    or their property, the same thing, they walked around it.
  • 00:53:53
    And then recently, Dayton, we bought some property in Dayton
  • 00:53:57
    and it was not going well with the developer
  • 00:53:59
    because they were like, "No, no, we don't want them here
  • 00:54:02
    because there's bars
  • 00:54:03
    and they're going to affect bar sales negatively."
  • 00:54:06
    And we put out a call and immediately people showed up
  • 00:54:10
    and walked around that Sears in Dayton seven times
  • 00:54:13
    and our real estate guy was on
  • 00:54:15
    with all these cutthroat people and in New York.
  • 00:54:17
    And he said to them, "Hey, you got to realize that right now,
  • 00:54:20
    right now, there's 150 people who are praying
  • 00:54:22
    around that building right now."
  • 00:54:25
    And he said the guy went silent on the phone
  • 00:54:28
    and he says his demeanor changed immediately
  • 00:54:31
    and we worked out the deal.
  • 00:54:35
    I think that's an example of sacrifice.
  • 00:54:40
    It's an example of going to a new place.
  • 00:54:44
    I was over in Germany, as I said earlier on,
  • 00:54:48
    and there's a guy there who's kind of a hero of mine.
  • 00:54:50
    His name is Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
  • 00:54:52
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer was one of
  • 00:54:54
    the very few Christian pastors who stood against Hitler.
  • 00:54:59
    Most all of the Christian pastors just bought his lies
  • 00:55:02
    and they wanted power and they were weak and they were racist,
  • 00:55:07
    and they went along with the Hitler agenda.
  • 00:55:08
    There's a few pastors, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who didn't.
  • 00:55:12
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer actually got thrown to jail
  • 00:55:15
    after he was tied up in the conspiracy
  • 00:55:17
    to actually kill Hitler, which I think that's awesome.
  • 00:55:21
    Pastor tries to kill Hitler. It'd be awesome.
  • 00:55:24
    And I mean, come on, who wouldn't do that, right?
  • 00:55:27
    "Aren't I supposed to love my enemy?" Not that one. [laughter]
  • 00:55:37
    And Dietrich Bonhoeffer eventually died,
  • 00:55:40
    died for his role in it.
  • 00:55:42
    And Dietrich Bonhoeffer said this:
  • 00:55:51
    When Jesus calls you, He calls you to lay down your life.
  • 00:55:57
    He calls you to stop trying to have it both ways.
  • 00:56:01
    He calls you to love people.
  • 00:56:02
    Why? Because He loved you, that's why.
  • 00:56:08
    - Hey, thank you for joining us.
  • 00:56:09
    Now, whether this is your first time checking out Crossroads
  • 00:56:12
    or you've been a part of the community for a long time,
  • 00:56:14
    there's a next step for you.
  • 00:56:16
    Don't let your experience end here.
  • 00:56:18
    We want you to stay connected and stay growing.
  • 00:56:20
    Learn more at Crossroads.net/anywhere.
  • 00:56:23
    Now, next week, Alli is talking about how we endure
  • 00:56:26
    and why that is so important to our faith.
  • 00:56:29
    And in a few weeks, we're actually going to be
  • 00:56:31
    traveling halfway around the world to explore
  • 00:56:33
    the people and places in the Bible that make up our faith
  • 00:56:37
    in a series called Real Encounters with God.
  • 00:56:39
    We'll see you next time.
  • 00:56:44
    - The story of God told through the Land of Israel
  • 00:56:47
    is written in the pages of Scripture
  • 00:56:49
    and carved by the very finger of God into the land itself.
  • 00:56:53
    Join us on a journey to discover your spiritual roots,
  • 00:56:57
    uncover the 6 essential elements of identity deep within you
  • 00:57:02
    revealed through the life of King David
  • 00:57:04
    and perfected in the life of Jesus.
  • 00:57:07
    The fourth season of Real Encounters with God: Downline,
  • 00:57:11
    all new on location in Israel,
  • 00:57:14
    new places, new encounters, Real Encounters with God.

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! The Weekend Follow-Up can be completed with a group or alone. These questions are based on specific Bible passages from the weekend message where you will discover and reflect on what God might be saying to you in this week’s teaching.

  1. When was the last time you had to give up on something you really wanted? What was it? It could be anything from a free donut to a big purchase that just felt right but wasn’t.

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

  3. When you hear the word sacrifice, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

  4. What makes it challenging for you to make sacrifices? What obstacles or mentality stops you?

  5. When you do decide to make sacrifices, what typically motivates you to make those decisions?

  6. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that it was “the joy set before him” which allowed Jesus to endure the cross. Have you ever experienced joy on the other side of suffering? Talk about it with your group.

  7. What’s something in your life right now that needs to be sacrificed?

  8. Embracing sacrifice means letting go of what’s temporary in favor of what’s long term, or even eternal. What’s one step you can take this week to develop your eternal perspective?

  9. Let’s end with prayer. You can say something like, “Jesus, thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice for us. Thank you for being real with us about what it takes. Give us the courage to think long term and make sacrifices that bring you glory. Amen.”

More from the Weekend

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

  • Does the act of sacrificing develop or deepen your relationship with Jesus? If so, how? If not, why do you think that is?
  • What is the thing that’s most difficult for you to sacrifice or let go of? Maybe it’s something that you’ve let go before, but it keeps coming back into your life. Commit to fully sacrificing whatever that is this week.

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Oct 8, 2023 57 mins 34 sec

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