Episode 1
|
7 September 2022

Simple | Know God

As people, we love to complicate things. But following Jesus is actually quite simple. First, we need to know who we’re following.

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good morning 242 how are we
0:05
good hey we just got done traveling as a
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family and uh I don't know about you so
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we traveled out of the country and you
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get your passports and everything and I
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discovered how complex traveling is
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because I don't know how many times I
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think it was three different times I had
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to fill out documentation where I had to
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actually write down all five family
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members
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passport information
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now my thought is shouldn't this be in a
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system somewhere like this should be a
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much simpler process and what you'll
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discover if you get to know me is that I
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don't like complex like I think simple
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really is the answer in many situations
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however psychologists will tell us that
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we have this thing called complexity
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bias you ever heard that word
0:45
complexity bias is our tendency to
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believe that the complex Solutions are
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the right Solutions and The Simple
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Solutions simply can't be the right
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solution so we are more likely to engage
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in complex things than we are to engage
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in simple things Confucius actually said
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once that the life is actually quite
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simple we're just intent on making it
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complex
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let's think about dieting for a second
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I'm not going to ask you how many people
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are on a diet or been on diets but
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Studies have shown that the average
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American
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will be on 126 different diets in their
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lifetime
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that's a lot of diet so I thought sure
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that can't be there can't even be that
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many diets so I went online sure enough
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there are I found a web page that listed
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in detail 100 different types of diet
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plans you can go on to lose weight
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you do realize how to be healthy right
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move your body and eat healthy food
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it's pretty simple
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but we make a really complex
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we make everything complex and I think
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even in our faith we have a tendency to
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make our following of Jesus
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more complex than it needs to be
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not only as individuals but I'll be
2:02
honest the church does it
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means to say the global church is a
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really good job of over complicating
2:08
what it means to be a follower of Jesus
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in fact in the gospel of Matthew Jesus
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says come follow me Jesus said
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and I will send you out to fish for
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people
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so what's Jesus asking of us
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just follow me
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that's it it's not a big laundry list of
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things he says follow me and then he
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says I will do this other stuff I will
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make you a fisher of people but your job
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is to just simply follow me
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so you hear this word disciple in church
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world we don't often use that word in
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other contexts you don't hear of of like
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Disciples of garbage men or or Disciples
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of lawyers but you hear Disciples of
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Jesus
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a disciple is basically just a it's a
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fancy Church term that quite literally
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means one who learns from a teacher
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or a rabbi it's a follower of Jesus so
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when you hear that term disciple think
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follower of Jesus and I want to be very
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clear as we as we jump into this series
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what we're talking about we're talking
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about a follower of Jesus it doesn't
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mean that you've arrived
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it doesn't mean that you've you've
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become perfect it doesn't mean that that
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you have reached a destination you have
3:16
nowhere yet to go follower of Jesus is
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one who's continually on the move
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in fact I want to share just a very
3:22
simple Continuum with you real quick so
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this Continuum kind of shows us the kind
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of a journey of a maybe an average
3:29
follower of Jesus right at some point in
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time you're born all of you have been
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born that means you're on this Continuum
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of somewhere
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and at some point in time you you meet
3:39
Jesus
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and hopefully you make a decision to be
3:42
baptized and we're usually still kind of
3:44
self-focused we're what we call
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Consumers of Faith at that point but
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then we become a little more Kingdom
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focused and then not only we're a
3:52
kingdom folks especially in the business
3:53
of making disciples ourselves but none
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of those points along the way are
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destinations
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they're they're next steps along the way
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so you could be anywhere on that
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continuum
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and be a follower of Jesus
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which is why here at 242 we're just
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concerned with helping you take your
4:13
next steps with God
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concerned with Where You Are
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we're concerned with where you're going
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I don't care if you've been a follower
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of Jesus for 20 years you just heard his
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name for the very first time today
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you need to know that you belong here
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now some of you have convinced
4:31
yourselves that if they only knew my
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story
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if they only knew my background the
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thoughts of my Minds the things that
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I've done the only knew my past if they
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knew the horrible things that I've done
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they would never accept me
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I I need you to get that thought out of
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your mind
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and I need you to know that that no
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matter what
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there is no one that belongs here more
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than you
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no one
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because we all have a next step to take
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and maybe your next step is to meet
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Jesus
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maybe your next step is to disciple
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someone else and and send them out to
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make more disciples I don't know where
5:06
you're at and I'm not worried about
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where you're at I'm just worried about
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where you're going are you becoming more
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like Jesus it's not complicated
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it's actually quite simple
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what's your next step and let's take
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your next step
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that's why we call this series simple
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it's because we really believe that
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following Jesus is indeed
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simple
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so over the next four weeks we're going
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to talk about three different topics and
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I know you're like four weeks three
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topics is Tony bad at math yes I am if
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you have your Bibles uh John chapter 17
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I love free to to put your fingers there
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we're gonna we're gonna kind of start
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there and we're gonna we're gonna end
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there but I think we're going to be able
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to take this this first really important
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step of what it means to be a follower
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of Jesus but would you pray with me as
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we get started
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Lord God we uh
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man we're thankful
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we're thankful to be loved by you to be
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embraced by you to be called yours to be
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to be chosen by you
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or we're so very thankful to just be in
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your presence right now and
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and God we want you to make your
6:12
presence known
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that through all the things that the
6:16
people are doing today myself and the
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worship team and our campus pastor
6:21
and our leaders here
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or we pray that you make yourself known
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that you are the loudest voice in the
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room
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the most abundant presence in our lives
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right now God that we just we just
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encounter you today and when we walk out
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of these doors we just we just know you
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more
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it's in Christ's name we pray
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amen
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it wasn't long before
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before Jesus was arrested that he says
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these words in John chapter 17.
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this is a part of a prayer of his he
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says now this is eternal life that they
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know you
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the only true God in Jesus Christ whom
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you have sent this is eternal life how
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does he Define eternal life
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that they know God
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it's pretty simple
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Jesus says eternal life is this that
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they know you the one and only God
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it really is quite simple
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so here's our simple big idea of the day
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a follower of Jesus
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knows God
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a follower of Jesus is one who knows God
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in order to kind of paint this picture I
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want to jump way back in time we're
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going to go back to the time when when
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babies were sitting down rivers and
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baskets okay it wasn't all the time but
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Moses mom did it because the Egyptians
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were killing the the babies of the
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Jewish slaves
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so in order to save her child she she
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puts Moses in a basket and sends them
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down a river
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and she sent him down a river and hopes
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that someone would find Moses and and
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raise him as their own so he could
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survive and sure enough someone does and
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it happens to be Pharaoh's daughter
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so Pharaoh's daughter finds this baby
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says I'm going to raise this child as my
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own that's beyond she wasn't going to
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raise someone else was going to raise
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the baby it was just going to be called
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hers so so she decides to go find a
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Jewish woman to to raise this baby and
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lo and behold she ends up with Moses's
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mom
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so so Moses grows up in Pharaoh's
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household
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raised by his own mother so you can
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imagine what kind of identity crisis
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that he's wrestling with in his life
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here
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because not only is he he raised in the
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oppressor's household
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but he's also being raised with the
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understanding that he's part of the
8:39
group of people being oppressed
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so as he enters into young adulthood you
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can imagine how much this kind of kind
8:46
of weighed on him and and he wrestled
8:48
with this throughout his life and and
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one day he goes out and he sees an
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Egyptian Soldier mistreating and beating
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a Jewish slave and he
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freaks out
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we call an overreaction if you want but
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he ends up killing the the Egyptian
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Soldier
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and of course then he begins to get
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really scared because a pharaoh finds
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out he's in trouble so he takes off and
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he runs away to this place called Midian
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in the Midian he meets a young lady by
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the name of Zapora marries Zapora so
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it's a family and works for zipporah's
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father named Jethro and and helps ten
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sheep and that's what he does for 40
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years
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for 40 years he runs away from his past
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as he hides from the fact that he took a
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life he hides from his his Brokenness
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and the pain of his past for 40 years he
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successfully ran away from it until one
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day he's in the wilderness he's tending
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sheep and he comes across a bush that is
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on fire
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how it's it's a weird kind of fire it's
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not the bush isn't really being consumed
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the Flames are just kind of residing in
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the bush and and a voice comes out of
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the Bush and it's God himself speaking
9:53
to Moses he said it tells him to take
9:55
off his shoes for the ground that he
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stands on his Holy Ground and they're in
9:58
that place he has this this interesting
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and fascinating encounter with the
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Living God
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and in that God gives them this this
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command this this order this charge on
10:10
his life in chapter 3 verse 10. God says
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so now go
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I'm sending you to pharaoh to bring my
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people to Israelites
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out of Egypt now we just covered a lot
10:22
of Moses's story
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there's a lot of baggage and a lot of
10:26
stuff that's taken place but
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this is a big call right I mean you
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understand like the the weightiness of
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this call like not only is he he being
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called to free God's people he's being
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called to go back to the place that he
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ran away from back to the place that
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that will remind him of all the pain of
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all the heartache of all the difficulty
10:45
that he wrestle with everything he tried
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to escape from for 40 years God says I
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want you to go back there I want you to
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free my people now
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this is a huge call
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and I think of Moses in this moment I
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realize that maybe Moses isn't too
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unlike us
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because we too find ourselves wrestling
11:02
with our past
11:05
we wrestle with our pains we wrestle
11:06
with our failures or our lack of success
11:08
we wrestle with our sinfulness we we
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wrestle with how we've fallen short and
11:12
we begin to ask ourselves a question how
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would God ever call me
11:17
how would God ever ever put a big call
11:20
on my life and some of you you've heard
11:21
the whisper of God in your life
11:23
you've heard God whisper into your ear
11:25
that maybe just maybe he has big plans
11:27
for you
11:29
but the weight of your past is heavy
11:34
and you wrestle with this idea that how
11:35
in the world would God
11:37
actually called
11:40
me
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and you just don't buy it
11:45
you don't buy the idea that God has a
11:46
plan for your life and I don't think and
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Moses didn't either
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because listen to how Moses responds in
11:52
verse 11.
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but Moses said to God who am I
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that I should go to pharaoh and bring
11:59
the Israelites out of Egypt
12:02
to be honest with you
12:04
I asked that question every day
12:08
every day of my life I resonate with
12:11
Moses here
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because there are so many people who are
12:14
more gifted than me
12:16
so many people have more experience and
12:18
more talented and more wisdom so many
12:20
people that could I that I think this
12:22
could be a better Pastor for you
12:24
and I wake up every day wondering God
12:26
why did you call me to this why did you
12:28
place me here
12:30
and I'm sure some of you have wrestled
12:31
with that before
12:32
you're like God how did you how did you
12:34
get me to this position like why am I
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here there are so many people that are
12:38
better at this than me I'm just not
12:40
worthy and this is what Moses is saying
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but listen to this isn't God's response
12:45
in the next verse
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God said
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I will be with you
12:51
and this will be the sign to you that it
12:53
is I who have sent you when you have
12:55
brought the people out of Egypt you will
12:56
worship God on this mountain
12:59
what a great promise
13:02
I mean Moses is basically told by God
13:04
look it's not about you
13:06
I will be with you
13:09
what a what an amazing promise in your
13:11
life
13:12
that the presence of God is with you
13:15
I mean if anything's going to fill the
13:16
void of your ineptitude or your lack of
13:18
skill or Talent or experience it's the
13:21
presence of God in your life
13:24
this is what I hang on to
13:26
what an awesome promise how could this
13:29
not be enough for you to just move
13:30
forward in the call that God has on your
13:32
life
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apparently it wasn't enough for Moses
13:36
because after this question of like God
13:38
who am I he he begins to have even more
13:40
questions in fact there's four more he
13:42
says God who am I
13:44
and then when God answers that question
13:45
says I promise I'll be with you he says
13:47
well then who are you
13:50
and then he says well what if they don't
13:52
listen to me
13:54
oh God I don't really speak that well
13:58
and God shot every single one of them
13:59
down and then finally I think Moses
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becomes honest
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like most of us need to become honest
14:06
and he says just send somebody else
14:10
to send somebody else
14:13
Now understand that God has given him
14:14
the promise that he would be with him
14:16
and Moses is saying it's not good enough
14:19
it's not good enough just send somebody
14:21
else find somebody else the creator of
14:23
all things the creator of the universe
14:27
has called him to this amazing
14:29
opportunity in his life and Moses
14:31
basically basically just bulks at it
14:33
have you been there
14:36
if you had God like place this call in
14:38
your life or prompt you to do something
14:40
and you basically just just balked at it
14:42
because you believe the Brokenness of
14:44
your past more than you do the promise
14:45
of his presence
14:48
maybe for you what you need to wrestle
14:50
with is the promise of God's presence
14:52
just isn't enough for you
14:56
and I think this is where Moses was
15:00
the promise of God's presence just was
15:03
not enough for him to move forward if
15:06
you're familiar with Moses's story he
15:07
did go
15:09
Aaron was with him to help him but he
15:11
did go on this crazy Journey
15:13
he went to pharaoh and he says hey let
15:15
God's people go in in Pharaoh
15:18
um did not relent as we would expect him
15:21
not to because you understand that
15:23
having slaves was important to their
15:25
economy in their livelihoods so to just
15:28
let them go was not something he was
15:29
just going to do on a whim
15:31
so God begins to show up through Moses
15:34
and these these plagues there's this
15:36
swarm of locusts frogs hail storm water
15:39
turned to blood
15:41
God demonstrated his power in so many
15:43
different ways through Moses but but
15:44
Pharaoh just kept saying no I'm not
15:46
going to let my people these people go
15:48
until God took the life of the firstborn
15:51
of every family in Egypt
15:53
and then Pharaoh was like fine get out
15:56
so Moses and all the Israelites like
15:58
they they headed out of town
16:01
and they were free for a short time
16:04
because then eventually Pharaoh decided
16:05
I'm going to chase after them because
16:07
I'm going to I'm going to re-enslave
16:08
them and they chase them down they
16:09
pinned them between the Red Sea and the
16:11
Egyptian Army and everyone's throwing
16:13
their hands up in the air because oh my
16:14
gosh it's over we've been caught like
16:16
we're going back into slavery
16:18
and then God wasn't done
16:21
God had Moses extend the staff over the
16:24
Red Sea and he
16:25
got parted the waters and the Bible
16:27
tells us that that they walked through
16:30
that sea on dry land
16:32
and they get to the other side and and
16:34
they're being pursued by the Egyptian
16:36
Army and
16:37
and God just closes the walls of the
16:40
water back upon the Egyptians and now
16:42
now the Israelites are free
16:45
now the Jewish people are free we've
16:47
seen we've seen all throughout these 30
16:48
chapters of the book of Exodus now like
16:50
this amazing presence of God with the
16:53
people
16:54
the God has shown up and done some some
16:55
amazing phenomenal things but he's not
16:58
done yet
17:00
eventually Moses finds himself on a
17:03
mountain just like was promised early on
17:04
in the book of Exodus when he when he
17:06
called him to this thing he says I
17:07
assure you will stand on this mountain
17:09
and you will worship me
17:11
Moses finds himself on top of this this
17:13
mountain engaging with and connecting
17:16
personally with God
17:18
and this is when he receives the Ten
17:20
Commandments unfortunately the
17:22
Israelites at the bottom of the mountain
17:23
took it upon themselves to create this a
17:25
golden calf because they wanted
17:27
something tangible that they could
17:28
worship
17:29
and when Moses comes down Moses is upset
17:32
God is upset and God says yes you will
17:36
continue your journey of the promised
17:37
land but I will not go with you
17:43
it's a big deal
17:45
I mean that seem like a big deal on the
17:47
surface because he says I'll send an
17:48
angel instead but but this is a big deal
17:50
so we're 30 chapters into the story now
17:54
so chapter 33 verse 3.
17:57
this is God speaking he says go up to
17:58
the land flowing with milk and honey but
18:00
I will not go with you
18:03
because you are a stiff-necked people
18:06
and I might destroy you
18:08
on the way
18:11
again it may not seem like a big deal
18:13
because God still he still has already
18:15
said he's going to promise an angel go
18:17
with them but but this is a big deal for
18:19
Moses listen to how Moses responds
18:21
Moses said to the Lord you have been
18:24
telling me lead these people
18:26
but you've not let me know whom you will
18:28
send with me
18:29
you have said I know you by name and and
18:32
you found favor with me
18:34
if you are pleased with me teach me your
18:36
way so I may know you and continue to
18:38
find favor with you remember that this
18:40
nation is your people
18:42
and the Lord replied my presence will go
18:46
with you and I will give you rest
18:50
so Moses pushes back right he's
18:53
basically says I want Clarity who's
18:55
going with me like is it going to be you
18:58
or is it going to be some Angel is going
19:00
to be something else like he he wants
19:03
Clarity on exactly what's going to
19:05
happen and God answers my presence will
19:08
be with you
19:11
verse 15.
19:14
then Moses said to him if your presence
19:17
does not go with us do not send us up
19:20
from here
19:23
how will anyone know that you're pleased
19:25
with me and with your people unless you
19:27
go with us
19:28
what else will distinguish me and your
19:30
people from all other people on the face
19:32
of the Earth
19:35
like what distinguishes them from
19:38
everyone else is what the presence of
19:41
God
19:42
that's what Moses is saying the only
19:44
thing that distinguishes us from Every
19:46
Other Nation God is your presence
19:50
and basically what Moses is saying is
19:51
you better not be fooling me
19:54
this better be you that's going with me
19:56
like I'm not going to go with some angel
19:58
or somebody else like you need to be the
20:00
one who's present with us God
20:04
you do you see the shift
20:07
and the difference that we see in Moses
20:10
this wasn't the same Moses 30 chapters
20:12
ago
20:13
30 chapters ago it didn't matter if God
20:15
was with him or not he didn't want to do
20:17
it
20:18
like he wanted God to find somebody else
20:20
to go free these people
20:22
now it seems as though the only thing
20:23
that matters is the presence of God the
20:27
Moses isn't even concerned about what
20:28
the next step is
20:30
he's only concerned with who's going
20:32
with him
20:34
do you see the shift
20:37
I mean Moses was once a man who didn't
20:39
think that God's presence was enough
20:43
and now he's a man who knows that God's
20:45
presence is everything
20:47
he went from saying I won't take this
20:49
step even if you're with me
20:52
so I'm not going to take this step
20:53
unless you are with me he went from God
20:55
you are not enough to God you are all I
20:57
need
20:59
like what
21:01
what makes that change
21:05
well it's simple
21:08
30 chapters made that change
21:11
time made that change
21:14
the difference between the chapter 3
21:16
Moses
21:18
in the chapter 33 Moses
21:21
is that Moses knew God
21:25
that he spent time with God
21:27
that he worshiped God
21:29
that he was intimate with God he knew
21:32
God and because he knew God he realized
21:35
how important God's presence was
21:38
now for some of us we don't really know
21:40
God
21:41
like we know about God
21:44
we don't really know God and because we
21:47
know about God God's promise of his
21:49
presence isn't enough for us
21:51
so we stand still on that Continuum we
21:53
talked about we don't we don't really
21:54
take that next step yet because we're
21:56
not convinced of his presence or at
21:58
least the importance of his presence but
21:59
when we know God
22:02
when we know God
22:05
his presence is all that matters
22:08
so when God says this is your next step
22:10
we take that step why because God is
22:12
with us
22:15
now here's the amazing thing we we
22:17
Circle back to this John chapter 17
22:19
passage to be read earlier to remind
22:21
ourselves of verse 3. and this prayer
22:24
Jesus says to God the father now this is
22:28
eternal life that they know you
22:30
the only true God in Jesus Christ whom
22:33
you have sent
22:36
The Giver of eternal life
22:39
Jesus says eternal life is defined by
22:41
what by knowing god
22:44
and knowing him
22:46
and if you want eternal life you find it
22:48
by knowing god and you know God by
22:50
knowing Jesus you see Jesus turned
22:52
everything on its head
22:54
let's look back at verse two and three
22:56
together
22:57
it says for you granted him being Jesus
23:00
authority over all people that he might
23:03
give eternal life to all those you have
23:06
given him Jesus is The Giver of eternal
23:08
life
23:09
and then he defines it for you
23:11
now this is eternal life that they know
23:14
you
23:15
the only true God
23:17
and Jesus Christ whom you have sent
23:25
eternal life
23:26
is a gift
23:28
that Jesus offers you
23:30
and the way in which we receive that is
23:33
by knowing god
23:35
and the way that we know God is by
23:38
knowing Jesus
23:39
to know God is to know Jesus to know
23:41
Jesus is to know God you see Moses had a
23:45
rare opportunity
23:47
to have an intimate real like knowing
23:49
relationship with God
23:52
but Jesus offers that to all of us
23:56
he offers you the opportunity to have a
23:58
real relationship with with him
24:02
not just to know about him but actually
24:04
actually to know him
24:06
and experience the the realness of the
24:10
promise of his presence in your life
24:14
that this is an offer that has been
24:16
given you a follower of Jesus
24:18
knows
24:20
God
24:22
and we know God through knowing Jesus
24:27
and we do that through scripture reading
24:30
we do that through prayer we do that
24:31
through what you're doing right now you
24:33
would earn worship corporately together
24:36
these are the the small steps that we
24:38
take to to just know God more
24:43
you see I think Moses's story honestly
24:46
if we if we looked at it parallels many
24:48
of our own
24:50
there's somewhere along the line we
24:51
began we started by saying God your
24:53
presence is not enough
24:56
but the more you spend time with God
25:00
the more you know God
25:02
the more you worship God
25:04
the more you pray to God
25:07
you find yourself realizing how
25:09
important the presence of God is and
25:11
eventually you don't say God your
25:13
presence isn't enough you say God your
25:15
presence is all I need
25:18
presence is everything
25:20
so what's your next step
25:23
that Continuum we showed you earlier
25:25
like you're somewhere along that line I
25:27
don't honestly care where you're at
25:30
I do care where you're going
25:32
are you taking your next steps to be
25:35
more like Jesus
25:37
how the Bible tells it to be transformed
25:39
into the likeness of Christ are you on
25:41
your way
25:43
are you taking your next steps
25:46
and for some of us our next step is just
25:48
simply no God more
25:53
and we know God through worship
25:56
we know God through engaging in
25:57
scripture we know God through
25:59
prayer
26:02
friends what I want for you what I long
26:04
for you is that when God calls your name
26:07
when God puts something in front of you
26:10
that seems bigger than yourself
26:12
that your response isn't
26:14
God your presence isn't enough
26:18
my prayer is that whatever he puts in
26:20
front of you whatever he asks you to do
26:22
is that your response is God
26:24
yes because
26:26
your presence is all I need
26:29
would you pray with me
26:32
God we uh we thank you for your presence
26:37
or sometimes we forget that where we are
26:39
you are
26:41
that you are present in our midst you
26:43
are you are present right here right now
26:46
right here in the Brighton campus
26:49
Lord you are you are present right now
26:51
in the Saginaw campus
26:53
Lord you are present right now in the
26:55
Monroe campus
26:57
Lord you are present right now where
26:59
anyone is watching online
27:05
and your presence is enough for us
27:10
so Lord today
27:13
we just open ourselves up to you
27:17
and we allow your presence to be enough
27:21
over the rest of our time together Lord
27:24
would you just um
27:26
make your presence known
27:31
maybe hear your voice
27:35
may we see your glory
27:38
maybe feel your presence
27:42
and God very simply
27:45
may we know
27:48
God
27:50
amen
27:55
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