Episode 2
|
April 25, 2022

Truest Truth | True Self


Do you want to know the truth about yourself? If you’re a follower of Jesus, your true identity is found only in Him.

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well hey um i'm actually super excited to be with all of you here today because
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last week was easter which like you know we expect everyone for easter but this
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is the weekend after easter which means y'all are the committed ones right so yeah yeah um well hey if you have not
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gotten a chance to meet me before my name is josh i'm one of the pastors around here i have been on staff for
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almost six years now and i have the privilege and honor of getting to hang out with our student pastors across our campuses every week but today i get to
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hang out with all of you which is awesome so today we are continuing our series called the truest truth and right
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right from the top i want to ask you a question that i think is one of the most important questions that we can attempt
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to answer in our lives and it's this who are you
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seriously think about that for a minute like who are you not
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especially for some people in here who i know like you're thinking well i do this thing no no that's not what i'm not asking what you don't ask what your job
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is who are you that's such an important question to ask and i know that when people have asked
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me that question typically this is what happens i get two lists that immediately come to mind i've got my good list over
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here i'm like i'm gonna tell people all these things because i know these are the good things about me that i want you to know and then i've got this other
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list over here that we won't talk about yet okay on this list over here normally when people are asking me who am i i say
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things like well i'm a leader i get a chance to be a leader at my job at 242 which is which is awesome i am strategic
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my mind is constantly going and i'm always thinking about the next thing um i am people have told me that i'm very
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empathetic which i appreciate and like i think that's a good thing except i know that sometimes there's a there's a
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downside to that the downside is tuesday nights at 8 pm when my wife forces me to watch this is us and i'm just sobbing
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like kate and toby are getting divorced and it it is wrecking my life right now
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it is some of y'all know exactly what i'm talking about um other things i tell people that i am naturally introverted
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i'm more calm and subdued when i'm in a room and like an extroverted person walks in because you just you can tell
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who they are i'm like god did something interesting in your life he didn't do that in my life but that's okay i enjoy
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being an introvert even though a lot of times i can't tell you how many times people have walked up to me and said something like art are you okay
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like yes i'm fine they're like you just look really ups like you want you look
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like you're about to hit someone i'm like this is just my face i'm just introverted and i'm calm i'm laid back
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it's okay i've got this whole list and i'm sure that you all do too we've got the list of the good things about us that we love
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to share with people but every so often something happens in life that is maybe
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a little bit contrary to the things on this list that we love to label ourselves with and define ourselves as
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being this literally just happened to me a couple of months ago um my wife has been saying for years that she wants us
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to go to disney world and i was like okay i'm gonna be like the best husband ever and we're gonna go to disney world especially because we don't have kids
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yet which i've heard is like the prime way to go to disney world is without kids uh so we were like okay we're gonna
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do it and we've got some friends who live like 15 minutes outside of the gate of disney so we go and we stay with them
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and they're pros they're telling us like all the hacks all the tips all the tricks in order to do disney successfully because it's not just any
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old amusement park there's like a whole process to be successful at disney people's lives have been ruined
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attempting to take their families to disney and it not go i see a lot of nodding heads right now some of you have been wounded and it's okay this is a
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safe place so we're there and we're at disney and our friends are telling us how to be successful at hollywood
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studios and they just look us dead in the eye and they're like you need to know this there's a new ride at hollywood studios
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and it's the star wars ride and if you don't ride it you are a failure and i was like
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excuse me what was that and then no seriously if you go there and you ride all the rides you go to all the
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restaurants you do all the experiences go to all the shows but if you don't go on the star wars ride don't come back
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here just just go get a plane go back home because you failed just try again next year and i was like oh this is like
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this is serious so we get there and i'm like okay all we have to do is just make sure we go on the star wars ride and we look at the
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like the magical disney app that at any point in the day tells you exactly how long the line or the queue is for every single ride and right from the get-go
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they opened up the gates four-hour wait i was like absolutely not and i was like it's okay we're gonna wait until lunch
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people are gonna get hungry and i'm gonna sneak into like a 15-minute line it's gonna be so easy but we're like 15
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minutes into the day and the app all of a sudden says the ride is down i'm like
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you're joking me right and our friends like don't worry don't worry this happens all the time it'll be back up in just a few minutes an hour goes by
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two hours goes by four hours goes by i'm getting nervous and sweating and i'm
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just like we're gonna fail disney today and our friends are gonna disown us and finally like it's to the point where
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like you can hear people in the park you can't go anywhere without hearing people saying i spent hundreds if not thousands
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of dollars to be here to go on the star wars ride and now i can't do it and my life is over people are devastated at
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disney on this day finally it's like 9 15 p.m the park's gonna close in 45 minutes and we have
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just thrown in the tower like it's not happening today we have just said we're gonna be failures and our friends are gonna have to deal with that and love us
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anyway and then all of a sudden as we're walking with our heads hanging low i hear something over next to me and i
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hear someone go and i'm thinking first of all surely someone just died because that was
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dramatic and i look over and i see this girl like deep in her phone with her boyfriend and she's and she says that she goes don't say anything just go go
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go and i was like no we pull out the app we're looking at
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real quick and sure enough the ride is open my wife and i make eye contact and i know we just i just know she's
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thinking go go go so i just take off sprinting i take like 10 steps and i'm like i've
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never been here i don't know where the star wars ride is i have no idea where i'm going but then i noticed there's like this
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pack of 20 high school girls who are surely on the track team at school and they're running also i'm like they must
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know where they're going so i just hop over and i'm running with them now with their gazelle speed
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and then i hear one of the girls say where are we going where's the ride i'm like awesome they don't know either
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at this point i'm looking around and noticing this isn't this is not like a pasture exaggeration thing from stage like no joke hundreds and hundreds of
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people are now just sprinting like their lives depend on it trying to find this
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mysterious ride that's been closed all day like i look behind me and it's like that moment you know in the lion king when poor little simba is like in the
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valley and he sees all the animals coming down he's like oh no that was me and i'm just running at full speed
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trying to find the stinking star wars ride it's dangerous at this point there are now thousands of people scrambling
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to the point to where the disney staff have now abandoned their posts they are running to like the center
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aisles connecting the areas and stuff to the different rides and they're just they're just screaming at us they're
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saying stop running stop running and i don't know what's come over myself
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but i'm just sprinting and i go no and we all just keep running
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and i'm just thinking like who am i right now this introverted person like how has this happened finally i find the
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entrance to the ride somehow my wife beat me there she's like come on she i didn't know she got like a genie
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plus pass or something like that so there's like a secret line that we got to go into some of you are like yup that's the trick and we just like walked
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right in got to experience the ride and everything it was amazing it was incredible we come off the ride and i hear like you
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know the people managing the lines saying like minimum five hour minimum five hour wait minimum five hour wait and people are just looking so sad
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that they're gonna be at disney world until four am trying to ride the star wars ride and i'm just thinking man
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i've never even seen star wars
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but it was seriously it was it was in that moment me screaming at
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disney employees no i'm not gonna stop and i'm just like that
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that action didn't line up with my list of like positive qualities and positive
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characteristics about myself to help me to define who i am and i know for a fact that every single
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person in this room every single person watching online has had those moments in life
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where you do something or you say something and you just like who am i right now
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if it's like the moment when like your baby has just been crying for like 72 hours straight and you're having
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thoughts that you're just like i should not be having these thoughts right now about my child like i'm supposed to love this child but right now i don't have it
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in me like the moments when you and your spouse have been fighting and arguing
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and you know that there's like the opportunity to like show grace and to give forgiveness but instead you just
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like stick them with another jab telling them how it's their fault and not yours the moments when you have an opportunity
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to to be an awesome employee and instead like you're looking for conflict or the moments when you you have the
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opportunity to like be respectful and honoring to your parents but instead
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you just choose literally any other option like we've all had those moments in life where we look back and ask ourselves why
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did i do it that way why am i this way why am i who i am in these moments sometimes
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and there's a section of scripture today that we're gonna be looking at it's romans chapter eight verses one through seven we're actually going to be like in
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this book in this chapter specifically for this entire series and i want you to know this that this theory that this
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this section of scripture is deep it's really it's really tough to understand and we're going to do our best today to break this down but i
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think it's important for us to understand it because it's going to help us to have a better perspective in the moments when
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when we're trying to wrestle with how do we reconcile the fact that we have these lists of qualities about ourselves that
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maybe are the ones that we don't like to share with people but they're the things they're the labels that we've put on our hearts they're the things that we've
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told ourselves are true about us and we're just trying to figure out what does this mean in terms of me being a
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wife a husband a child an employee a kid
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trying to figure out how do we reconcile these things and that's what this scripture is about so if you have your bible app if you have your bible go
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ahead and check out romans chapter eight verses one through seven
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we're gonna read through this entire scripture real quick and then we're gonna go back through and break it down verse by verse because it's a lot okay
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so verses one through seven says this therefore there is now no condemnation
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for those who are in christ jesus because through christ jesus the law of the spirit who gives life has set you
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free from the law of sin and death for what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh god
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did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering and so he condemned sin in the flesh in
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order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us who do not live according to the flesh
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but according to the spirit those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh
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desires but those who live in accordance with the spirit have their mindset on what the spirit desires the mind
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governed by the flesh is death but the mind governed by the spirit is life and peace the mind governed by flesh is
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hostile to god it does not submit to god's law nor can it do so
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what did we just read this so much right it is like these are
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the reasons why people try to read the bible like it's so confusing i can't do it like it's scripture like this but it's so important
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it's so important for us to understand this and i and i really think that in order for us to understand this scripture well we have to like have the
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context and in order to get the context of this particular scripture we have to look way back to the beginning like
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genesis very first book of the bible beginning we're looking in genesis 1 verse 31
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it talks about god's initial intention for his creation see he's just went through this entire time of creating the
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land and the seas and the skies and filling them with the animals and stuff and then after every single one of those things that he created he looks at it
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and says it was good but then he creates us
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he creates human kind in his image and in genesis 1 31 it says god saw all that
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he had made and it was very good church i need you to know this
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we are all tempted at times to think about the list of the horrible negative qualities about us that we do not like
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but i need you to know that before we were any of those things on that list that before we were sinners god intended
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for us to be very good that before we were before we were liars
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god intended for us to be good before we were cheaters or adulterers god intended for us to be good that before we were
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bad parents or bad kids or bad employees or any of those types of things god intended for us to be good before we were broken
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god intended for us to be very good
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but then sin sin enters the world and all throughout the old testament we
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see it just happening over and over and over again from the eating of the fruit from the
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tree to a brother that murders a brother to a dad who's like drunk and naked in an ark then moses murdering people and
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david is looking at women while they're bathing he shouldn't be looking at and then sending her man to the battle lines to get murdered the old testament is
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wild if you've never read it like you thought this is us as dramatic the old testament read that sucker okay
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there is some stories in there that are worth the read just because of the drama okay um
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but seriously like it's it's so important for us to see that that god's intention
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was that we were very good and for thousands upon thousands upon thousands of years
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we've just been messing it up because of sin this thing that god created his image
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that was meant to be good and connected to him when sin entered the world it separated us
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and now we have humankind and god attempting to fill the gap attempting to bridge our way to find our way back to
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god so if we were looking at that section of scripture we if we just look at the first two verses
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it says this therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in christ
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jesus because through christ jesus the law of the spirit who gives life has set you
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free from the law of sin and death there's me a few points today that i want you know if you're like a note
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taker or anything this is this is your first point for the day that i really want you to hold on to is this is that
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the truest thing about you is that your true self is found in him
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i think that we live today in a society and in a culture where we are so tempted to find our identity in everything else
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around us we're tempted to find our identity in the things that we do for our kids in the ways that we are a husband or a wife
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and the things that we do for a career even even kids and students are tempted to find their identity in like i've
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talked to little kids who are like i'm the best minecrafter of all time that's who i am
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and i'm like maybe probably not but maybe but what you are as a child of god
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your identity can be in christ jesus in fact just a couple of weeks ago i was
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i was talking with a student the student doesn't go to this campus so parents like don't worry okay uh
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and the student was telling me that you know i asked like you know the cliche question that we asked the students like what do you want to be
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when you grow up and they told me without hesitation like i want to be a content creator on
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tick-tock that's the world we live in no one wants to be football players anymore they want to be content creators that is the new
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gold standard and i was like really tell me about that like why do you want to do that and they're like because i cracked it like
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what'd you crack i cracked the algorithm what are you what are you saying they're like they're they're like there's a
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scientific way to approach tiktok so that you get viral videos and i figured it out i was like really thinking that
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this kid was going to be like yeah like 17 people watch my video pulls out his phone shows me 10 million
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people have watched this kid's video another 3 million liked it and i was like oh he really did crack it he really
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figured it out kids on cloud nine i see him the next week i'm like how's
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it going how's the content creation coming you making money at doing that because i know you can
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and he's like no i'm not doing that anymore i was like what like this kid is like
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heartbroken devastated i'm like why not he's like i'm i'm irrelevant now
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i was like why why are you saying this what's wrong what happened he's like well i posted another video
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and less than 10 people even watched it and his identity was just destroyed
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this thing that he wanted to do this thing that he was like this is who i am i'm going to be a content creator and the moment he realizes that maybe
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maybe god has a different plan for his life it's crushing
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it just makes me think like how many times do we all like face maybe not tick-tock content creation situations but situations where like we're on the
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top of the mountain because you just got the promotion at work and then you find out the next week that well the business
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just got like sold off or things are going so well at home you and your wife you and your husband have
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never been on better terms and then the kids start fighting again and everything unravels in your
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household and you're back in a valley how many times are we in this like high and low game over and over and over and
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over where time and time again we're trying to figure out how do i even just get through this life
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and when our identity is on in all these things like organizing kids schedules and making the money at work and being
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the best in my career being the best as a spouse or anything in the world anything outside of being found
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in jesus that when the valleys come they're that much more impossible to face
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the next section next section of the scripture is verses three through four let's read those let's read those really quick
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it says for what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh god did by sending his own son in
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the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering and so he condemned sin in the
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flesh in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us who do not live according to
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the flesh but according to the spirit i know it's a lot this is like the
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simplest way to explain this is what it's saying is that thing that separated us from god when
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humankind had sin enter and humankind is now over here and god is over here and there's this gap between us
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we spent thousands of years trying to fill that gap with right actions and still continue to fail time and time
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and time again literally today we continue to strive and just try to be good people and try to like be the kind person and all these things and we
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continue to just mess it up and when we try to fill that gap with anything other than jesus
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we're set up for failure that's why this section of scripture all it's basically saying is that
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jesus came to this earth to do what only he could do he was the only person capable of closing that gap and that's
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exactly what he did when he came to this earth lived a perfect life died a perfect death on a cross was
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buried for three days in the tomb and then resurrected the very thing that we the
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very event that we just celebrated last week with over 10 000 people at our 242 campuses that is the event that closed
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the gap it's important for us to remember that it's only because of what jesus did in
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fact that's our next point like if you again if you want to take a note or something like here's a note for you the truest thing about you
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is that your true self is anchored in what he did not what you
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do it's not about how good of a mom you are it's not about how good of a kid you are an employee it's not about any of
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the things that you do it's about acknowledging what he did for us in church let me tell you this isn't just a
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jesus that did something 2000 years ago for us like yes he did that that's awesome but this is a jesus who is still active and alive in our lives today
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should we allow him to be do you remember like 10 years ago
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before anyone knew the word gluten it was a simpler time i think
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today i feel like you know we're hearing all the time like you know people are like gluten-free and dairy-free and sugar-free i'm not free of any of those
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things i definitely should be um but 10 years ago before we really knew
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what gluten was it was a time when my my wife and i we were just confronted with the fact
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that my wife was sick all the time we couldn't figure out what was wrong she would go to the doctor over and over
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and over and not just sick like has like a runny nose she's like doubled over in pain can't keep anything down can't keep
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anything inside of her like hair falling out because she's becoming so malnourished and we're just freaking out
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trying to figure out what is happening and every time we should go to the doctor they'd be like you have like a stomach bug for 36 weeks what is wrong
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with me and eventually we got a diagnosis of celiac disease
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which i'm sure some of you are familiar now it's a more popular term it just means that you like your body literally
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cannot digest gluten so our entire lives revolved around making sure that she was able to like be on a diet that consisted
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of basically produce that was about it
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so when we went to this youth conference with all of our students at our church that was a little church outside of detroit years and years and years ago
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um she's battling this like this diagnosis trying to figure out how am i going to coordinate this on this trip and we get
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there and we see this friend that we have her name is tana and we're telling tan about my wife's recent diagnosis of
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celiac disease and she's like uh-uh not on my jesus's watch and i was like
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oh tell me more what do you what are you saying and she was like no no that's not that's not the identity that jesus has given
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you for this life is to have celiac disease that's not like the label that he has in like intended for your life
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so we should pray for it and i was like cool yeah let's pray for it that'd be an awesome thing and she was like no no no we're gonna pray for
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it to be healed and i was like can we do that are we allowed to ask for
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such things and she was like well we're gonna and she like comes in hot like hands on my wife's stomach and my wife's like we're
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doing this and she just starts praying really really boldly saying things like you know in the name of jesus that that she
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would be healed that at the name of jesus any form of celiac disease would be completely remedied in my wife's body
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that my wife's body would be restored to the way that god intended for it to be initially which was very good
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saying things like that she gets i'm praying and i'm like awesome that's super encouraging let's move on with our day type of thing
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and she was like no no you need to go test it i was like excuse me
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it's like do you know what happens if my wife tests this and if it doesn't go well because i do and i don't want to experience it especially on this trip
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with all these students and my wife full of this really bold faith
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she's like josh pack the kids up in the van we're going to olive garden and i was like excuse me what are we
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doing so we get there and i'm like it's okay no problem i'm going to get some pasta i'm going to cut a noodle in half and
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i'm going to share that with you and we're going to see how that goes my wife had other ideas in store
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she calls the server over and she's like i'm gonna need a basket of bread sticks
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okay my wife smashed like four breadsticks in 20 minutes
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and nothing literally from that day from the moment that we called on the
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name of jesus my wife eats more gluten than i do now
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and it's because of jesus that she doesn't have to deal with this sickness anymore yeah we can clap for jesus for sure
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so i want you to know this like it's important that we don't just acknowledge what jesus did for us 2000 years ago but that jesus is so very much alive in our
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lives today and i want you to know this also i don't claim to stand here and to know all the reasons why there are times
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that people pray for healing and it doesn't happen i like not i'll be the first person to acknowledge that and i can't tell you
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why i don't have like the silver bullet for if you pray like this or say it this way or have this type of faith this is what
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happens there's there's nothing like that in scripture and sometimes it's honestly something that i still tr that i still struggle
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with trying to figure out how does this work in our life but i know that if we don't invite jesus
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into the moments in our life when we need him then we're probably not going to look for him when he does show up
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so it's important that we acknowledge that he's still here he's still available he's still alive the songs that we're singing today are about jesus
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being alive and doing miracles in our homes today because he's capable of it
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let's wrap up this section of scripture romans chapter 8 verses 5 through 7 says those who live according to the flesh
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have their minds set on what the flesh desires but those who live in accordance with
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the spirit have their minds set on what the spirit desires the mind governed by the flesh is death
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but the mind governed by the spirit is life and peace the mind governed by the flesh is
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hostile to god it does not submit to god's law nor can it do so
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here's your final point for the day if you want to take this note if you want to know what the truest thing is about you the truest thing
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about you is that your true self is sustained with a mind set on him
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we live in a society and in a culture today where we are doing our best to numb ourselves
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every step of the way so just not have to focus or think about the world around us let's just
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let's just numb it all away and move on i was talking to my wife about this and she was like hold on before you say that
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you know you do that right i was like how dare you what are you talking about and she was like look at you right now
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i had a computer in front of me i had my phone in my hand looking at tick tock of course
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and i had the tv going also she was like you are three screening in this moment
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just trying to numb yourself out to the world around you i see some people looking at their
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spouses right now like that's you honey but we all do that
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in fact like i was like looking at this research very credible research all my research has come straight from tik tok so you know it's factual okay um
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but i i checked this one out okay it's legit uh it says this that people in their
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attempts to numb themselves out the average person checks their email 74 times a day
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anyone want to admit with me that like that is me because that is 100 me the average person switches tasks on
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their computer and their phone 566 times a day
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in an attempt to numb ourselves out and set our minds on literally actually an attempt to set our minds on nothing
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we're doing these things church i want you to know that screens money and work can numb you
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but a mindset on god will sustain you that's something that all of us need to
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practice so much so that like this is the part of the message where normally you know the pastor stands up here is like this is
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what we're gonna do this week we're gonna like have this charge we're gonna do this thing together and we're gonna like do this challenge and it's gonna be
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great and then none of us do it so today we're gonna do it
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we're gonna do a challenge in this room together and i want you to know that like if
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you're if you're brand new if this is your first time at church or watching online and you're like this feels weird
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it's okay because even if you've been coming for a long time you're probably thinking this feels weird what's he about to make us do let's just give each other permission to
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maybe feel weird for the next few minutes together and then that way we just like can agree
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we won't feel weird okay there's this thing that our student ministry does all the time that i think
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is a really helpful thing we do this thing called a sailor moment you see sela is a word that has a lots
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of meanings but one of the main meanings of it is to pause and we try to instill that type of language in the lives of our students
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all the time because they need that so much we all need that so much we need the ability to just pause
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and we took the word salon we broke it up into an acronym and we challenge our students every week
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to just take a few minutes and to have a sailor moment so today we're gonna have a sale on moment and this is all it is is it gonna
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take a few minutes and we're just going to stop
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in an attempt to set our minds on god we're going to stop we're going to we're going to not look at our phones because the notifications will still be there
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later on we're going to try to not talk to the kids and the people the spouse is
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sitting next to us and we're just gonna stop what if we took a few minutes and just just exhaled and just breathed deeply
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all the stresses of life all the stresses of the world out
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what if we took just a few minutes and we looked at the ways that jesus has been showing up in our lives even today
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just to acknowledge that what if we take just a couple of minutes and we just ask for jesus to show up in the ways that we
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still need him to because he knows and it's okay for us to ask him to show up in those ways it's okay for us to be
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bold enough to ask for the things that we need what if we take just a few minutes and we try to hear
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[Music] what if we silence ourselves just long enough to actually attempt to hear
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what jesus has to say to us today in this moment so for the next couple of minutes would you join me
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in a sailor moment as we attempt to just set our minds on god doing those things together let's take a couple of minutes
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and do that [Music]
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[Music]
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um [Music]
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[Music]
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[Music]
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so [Music]
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church [Music] church my my hope and my prayer
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is that each and every one of us would remember this week that the truest
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thing about you that your true self is found in him
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is anchored in what he did and is sustained with a mind set on him
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let's pray jesus we love you and we are so
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so grateful for who you are for what you did and what you do in our lives
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jesus right now i pray for i pray for boldness for this room i pray for boldness for the people watching online
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i pray that in the moments when we are so tempted to label ourselves [Music]
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with things that are not from you that we would simply remember that that in the moments when we're tempted to tell ourselves that we are
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that we are failing parents in the moments when we are tempted to tell ourselves that we are worthless
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that we are that we have no value that we are insignificant that we are insufficient
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in the moments when we are so tempted to take those on as our identity that we would remember
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that that was not your intention for us jesus help us to rely on you
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to remember your ability to bridge the gap to the father
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help us to be people who have our minds set on you this week jesus we love you and we trust you and
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we give this all over to you it's in your name we pray amen



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