Participants: Dee Casper
Series Code: TWH
Program Code: TWH000008A
00:30 John 5 and I'll begin in verse 5.
00:38 John 5, beginning in verse 5,
00:40 "Now a certain man was there
00:42 who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.
00:45 When Jesus saw him lying there,
00:47 and knew that he already had been in that condition
00:49 a long time, He said to him,
00:51 'Do you want to be made well?'
00:54 The sick man answered Him,
00:56 'Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool
00:58 when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming,
01:01 another steps down before me.'
01:03 Jesus said to him,
01:04 'Rise, take up your bed and walk.'
01:07 And immediately the man was made well,
01:10 took up his bed, and walked."
01:14 I'd like to begin with a word of prayer
01:16 and then we will begin the message.
01:19 I'm going to kneel. I invite you to bow your heads.
01:26 Sweet Jesus, thank you for this high privilege
01:29 to be able to come into your presence this morning,
01:33 I'm asking very simply
01:35 whether You would do for these people what I cannot,
01:37 and that none of us would soon forget the manifestation
01:41 of the power of God through the story of Jesus.
01:47 This is my plea and I ask this in Jesus' name.
01:52 Amen. Amen.
01:57 This morning's message is entitled,
02:00 "Do you want to be made well?"
02:03 Do you want to be made well?
02:06 It's based upon some principles found in a book
02:09 that has been life-changing for me, called
02:11 "The Hidden Half of the Gospel" by Paul Coneff.
02:13 He's been interviewed by Shelley a few times I believe,
02:17 and he's actually gonna be coming here in a few weeks,
02:20 and we'll talk about that at the end of the message,
02:22 but powerful book in communicating
02:24 how Jesus has suffered in a multitude of ways
02:27 that most of us wouldn't imagine.
02:30 We know that He suffered physically,
02:32 but to know what He endured on our behalf
02:34 in all of our wounded areas is mind-boggling
02:37 and life-changing and so I look forward to going
02:40 through those principles with you this morning,
02:42 but I wanna kind of give some background here.
02:44 We have this thing called war plans' events
02:46 and war plans' trainings
02:48 that we do it on UnScene Media Group.
02:49 Kind of exposing what's going on behind the scenes,
02:51 now the enemy's warning against us
02:53 and how God is trying to protect us.
02:55 One of Satan's favorite war plans
02:56 is to set us up to be hurt,
02:58 so that he can whisper his lies in first person language
03:01 that I'm not good enough,
03:02 that I'm worthless, I'm not pretty, et-cetera.
03:05 These lies then create negative feelings,
03:08 so he can set us up to medicate those feelings
03:10 and hurt ourselves.
03:13 And then he seeks to have us see ourselves
03:15 as nothing more than the negative thoughts,
03:17 feelings, and behaviors,
03:19 that have come from when we were wounded.
03:21 So in short, he sets us up to be hurt,
03:24 and then he sets us up to hurt ourselves.
03:27 So I wanna talk about woundedness this morning,
03:30 and it's heavy, it is.
03:34 It's not an easy topic to cover,
03:35 it's not an easy thing to go through,
03:37 but I pray that this is something
03:38 that is helpful for us and can actually bring healing,
03:41 not just remind us of bad memories.
03:43 Now, some of my experience, I want to make this brief.
03:47 I, my parents got divorced when I was three or four,
03:50 somewhere around that age,
03:52 and my mom had been married once before,
03:54 had a child with that first husband,
03:56 and then remarried and they got divorced,
03:58 he moved to Florida with her son,
04:00 so she now wasn't near her son because the father got custody.
04:04 She remarries, but I was actually at the wedding,
04:08 my mom looked like she had a watermelon
04:09 stuffed under her wedding dress.
04:12 I was at the wedding and eventually,
04:17 my dad was the caretaker for my great grandfather
04:19 and he had Alzheimer's and being in an environment
04:21 like that with a newborn which is difficult,
04:24 and mom had kind of fostered
04:26 this difficult upbringing though,
04:28 I'll cover here in a moment,
04:29 but enough things had taken place
04:31 that she decided to leave, and dad got custody,
04:35 and she would tell you that was in my best interest,
04:37 and so would he, and so would I.
04:39 But she remarried, and the man that she married after my dad,
04:42 her third husband, beat her up really bad.
04:45 Really, really bad, and my grandfather,
04:47 my dad's dad, lived just a couple of miles from there
04:49 and dropped me off that morning,
04:50 mom opens the door,
04:51 she's purple, she's blue, she's swollen,
04:53 she's not the person that I know.
04:55 And so in my childhood, at the age of three or four,
04:58 and then at the age around five,
04:59 I had two severely traumatic experiences
05:02 that basically set me on a course to have a life
05:04 that isn't gonna be what God intended for it to be.
05:07 I started stealing at the age of five,
05:09 I started lying continually.
05:12 I just wanted to be in control because I didn't feel safe.
05:16 And so my experiences with instability came in
05:19 and caused me a lot of difficulties.
05:21 Now the reason why my mom was set on these trajectories
05:24 because when she was born,
05:26 her parents got divorced soon after,
05:27 and the mom abandoned her, completely left her,
05:30 and this is a really unique thing to happen
05:32 that many years ago, 50 ago.
05:35 And it was devastating to my mom as a child
05:38 to feel unloved and rejected by her mother.
05:40 Now why does this matter?
05:42 Well, it matters because our view of God is largely rooted
05:46 in our experience with our parents.
05:48 So if you have a negative experience
05:50 with your parents,
05:51 it's very likely that you're going to have a view of God
05:53 that is very negative and unhealthy.
05:55 So my mom is rejected by her first mother,
05:59 my grandfather remarries, and the woman that he marries,
06:01 they legally adopt her so that she can be the legal mother,
06:04 but never fully treats her as if she's her daughter.
06:07 So my mom has felt as though
06:08 she's been rejected by two mothers.
06:10 So the idea of the nurturing love of God
06:13 is just foreign to my mother
06:15 because of this, totally foreign.
06:17 And so she's running to physical relationships
06:20 to try to fill that hole that she has in her heart.
06:23 She's actually been married and divorced seven times.
06:26 And by the grace of God, she's found Jesus.
06:31 Jesus is the eighth husband.
06:34 And it's a miracle, and it's a huge,
06:36 huge gift from heaven for her and for our family.
06:39 So she has finally found what she was looking for all along,
06:42 but she wasn't afforded that in the home setting.
06:45 Her parents went to church eight days a week
06:47 and everybody in the church loves them,
06:48 but their kids really wrestle with them.
06:51 And so it's a situation that, there's these sins have,
06:54 not full blown hypocrisy, but the sins of intimacy,
06:58 and genuine care, and concern,
06:59 that the parents show to people in the church,
07:01 the children wish they've got to show that type of concern,
07:03 and care, and intimacy, you understand?
07:06 So this is my experience growing up,
07:07 but this is why this is,
07:09 how this works as far as our view of God
07:11 being largely rooted in our experience of our parents.
07:14 In the Bible, in the beginning, it says,
07:15 "It's not good for man to be alone,"
07:17 and there's a reason for this.
07:18 There are things in the covenant of marriage
07:20 experientially that we learned about God,
07:22 that we can't learn otherwise.
07:24 I can preach a booming sermon on this,
07:26 but I cannot fully know these experiences
07:28 because I'm not a married man.
07:30 And so with this being the case, my, the two,
07:36 the mother and the father are bringing components
07:38 and aspects of the character of God
07:40 in pouring that love into the children,
07:42 but if one of these fails them,
07:44 it gives a picture of that side of God
07:45 in a more weakened sense.
07:47 This is actually one of the reasons
07:48 why God hates divorce because it depicts disunity
07:51 in the Godhead before the children.
07:54 And when there's so much love between the two parents
07:56 that they wanna create life,
07:58 they wanna pour that love into a created being,
08:00 this is what the Godhead went through
08:01 when they created us, very similar.
08:03 They created us to love us, to pour love into us,
08:06 and to populate in earth with people
08:08 that looked just like Jesus.
08:10 But when parents fail us, we're set up to be hurt,
08:15 and we're set up to misunderstand
08:17 who God truly is, did that make sense?
08:20 Now, God can make all things new.
08:22 God can restore, God can redeem,
08:24 but it sets young people up for difficulty.
08:26 That was my experience,
08:28 that was my mother's experience,
08:29 but what I want to do now is cover the experience
08:32 of two people in the gospels
08:34 before I go into what Jesus Himself went through.
08:36 I want to see how Jesus dealt with people who were wounded.
08:40 And I think there's gonna be some lessons for us
08:42 and even some rebukes for us
08:43 in how Jesus handled these situations.
08:46 The first story we had in our scripture reading,
08:47 it's in John 5.
08:49 There's a man at the pool of Bethesda,
08:50 and he's been an invalid for 38 years.
08:53 It's a really long time.
08:55 Desire of Ages gives us some additional insight
08:57 that he's in this condition because of a lifestyle of sin.
09:02 So this man is wrestling heavily with shame,
09:05 with guilt, and condemnation,
09:07 because he's reaping what he sowed in his life.
09:12 We're also told in Desire of Ages
09:13 that he's the most helpless case there.
09:16 So just imagine,
09:18 that when you're having this experience
09:19 of being the most helpless case there,
09:21 there's a tradition that was going on in that era
09:22 and I don't know if it's true or not,
09:24 but it certainly was a tradition,
09:25 that when the water is stirred in the pool of Bethesda,
09:28 it's actually an angel that stirs it,
09:30 and when this takes place,
09:32 the first person in the water is going to be healed
09:33 and made well,
09:35 but what do you think the chances are of this man
09:36 getting in that water
09:38 if he is the most helpless case there?
09:40 It's not gonna happen.
09:41 So because it isn't going to happen,
09:44 this guy gets another chance and it's an amazing one.
09:47 Jesus strolls up to this guy and asked him a question
09:50 that's just, it's just radical, really.
09:54 He asked him an overwhelmingly obvious question, He says,
09:58 "Do you want to be made well?"
10:01 And this man could be very strongly tempted to say,
10:03 "Do I want to be...
10:04 Look at me."
10:06 This guy's legs are spaghetti noodles.
10:08 He's not capable of supporting his own body weight.
10:11 It can't happen.
10:13 His muscles have gone to atrophy,
10:14 but yet this man in this condition,
10:16 Jesus has the audacity to ask this guy
10:19 if he wants to be made well,
10:20 of course, I want to be made well.
10:23 But that's not the answer the man gives him,
10:24 and the answer that the man gives,
10:26 gives you evidence into the experience of the man.
10:30 When Jesus asked him, "Do you want to be made well?"
10:34 He ends up spouting off all these things
10:36 for why he can't be made well.
10:37 "Oh, when there's a stirring in that water,
10:38 there's no one to put me in."
10:41 But that wasn't the question Jesus asked him.
10:44 Jesus did not ask you, "Why aren't you well?
10:47 Why can't you be made well?"
10:48 I asked you, "Do you want to be made well?"
10:53 And the answer he gives tells you that, no, he doesn't.
10:56 He doesn't believe that he can be made well
10:58 because he deserves what he got,
11:01 you're understanding?
11:03 This man's shame and condemnation
11:05 is about to deprive him of healing,
11:07 and his only chance of healing,
11:10 but something happens, he notices that
11:11 there's something about this man, Jesus,
11:13 and he ends up,
11:14 the next thing that Jesus tells him is to rise,
11:16 take up his mat, and walk.
11:18 And this man has a decision to make.
11:20 Now does anything about his surroundings tell him
11:22 that he's going to be able to rise,
11:23 take up his mat, and walk?
11:26 But he has a choice to make, doesn't he?
11:28 Ellen White comments on this in Desire of Ages 203.
11:31 She says that,
11:32 "Jesus had given him no assurance of divine help."
11:35 Notice that Jesus doesn't walk up to the man,
11:37 shake his hand, and say, "Hi, my name is Jesus.
11:39 I also happen to be God.
11:40 I have all power in heaven and on earth.
11:42 And I'm here to heal you, buster."
11:45 Jesus doesn't say that.
11:46 He gives him no assurance of divine help.
11:48 She says, "The man might have stopped to doubt,
11:51 and lost his one chance of healing."
11:53 If this man laughs in the face of Jesus,
11:55 he will never walk again, ever.
11:59 She continues,
12:00 "Through the same faith
12:02 we may receive spiritual healing.
12:04 By sin we've been severed from the life of God.
12:07 Our souls are palsied.
12:10 Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life
12:13 than was the impotent man capable of walking."
12:17 We're just as helpless.
12:20 She continues,
12:21 "There are many who realize their helplessness,
12:23 and who long for that spiritual life
12:25 which will bring them into harmony with God,
12:27 and they're vainly striving to obtain it."
12:31 Have you ever been there?
12:33 Making promises to God that are like robes of sand,
12:36 vainly striving to obtain.
12:39 Take yourself out of this mess.
12:40 "And in despair they cry," as Paul does in Roman 7,
12:42 "O wretched man that I am!
12:45 Who will deliver me from this body of death?
12:48 Let these desponding,
12:49 struggling ones look up" she says.
12:51 "The Savior is bending over the purchase of His blood,
12:54 saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity,
12:57 'Wilt thou be made whole?'
13:00 He bids you arise in health and peace.
13:03 Do not wait to feel that you are made whole.
13:06 Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled."
13:08 This guy wasn't looking for some
13:10 holy mojo feeling in his legs
13:11 before he decided to try to stand up.
13:13 He had to make a decision when he felt nothing.
13:16 All he had was the word of God in his midst.
13:19 Now what he came to realize was that was enough.
13:23 Doesn't matter how I feel,
13:25 what I think about my situation,
13:26 all I need to get out of this mess
13:29 is to hear what the word of God says about my condition.
13:33 And he took Christ at His word and he stood.
13:36 "Put your will on the side of Christ.
13:38 Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word
13:41 you will receive strength.
13:43 Whatever may be the evil practice,
13:45 the master passion which through long indulgence
13:47 binds both soul and body,
13:49 Christ is able and longs to deliver."
13:54 This is really good news for you and I
13:56 because we've made a mess of life.
13:58 Let's just be honest with ourselves.
14:00 We have made an absolute shipwreck of faith, most of us.
14:04 Our lives, our souls are palsied
14:07 because of the decisions that we have made
14:09 and yet we're told that Christ is able
14:11 and longs to deliver.
14:14 Doesn't matter what you've done in that sense.
14:16 Christ is capable of redeeming us,
14:18 but here's the real question.
14:20 Do you want to be made well?
14:24 Some of us may believe that Christ is capable,
14:26 but we don't feel worthy enough to desire to be made well.
14:32 The real issue here that Jesus was asking this man
14:34 had to do with his identity?
14:35 We're gonna cover that more as we go.
14:37 He's asking this man to exchange identities.
14:40 "He will impart life to the soul
14:42 that is 'dead in trespasses.'
14:43 He will set free the captive that is held by weakness
14:45 and misfortune and the chains of sin."
14:49 So here's my question for you this morning.
14:51 Do we cling more to our diagnosis
14:53 than we do to what Jesus has done to set us free?
14:56 Could phrase it differently,
14:59 is our identity tied more to what has been done to us
15:02 or what we have done to ourselves
15:05 than to what Christ has done for us?
15:09 That's the real question.
15:11 Again, do you actually want to be made well?
15:16 Jesus deals with heart issues is what I see here.
15:18 Jesus doesn't show up to this guy
15:20 and correct his behavior.
15:22 Jesus doesn't come up to him and say,
15:24 "Look, I can't get baptize you
15:25 with all this self-pity foolishness.
15:27 Come on, man." Jesus doesn't do that.
15:30 Jesus goes to the great heart issue
15:32 that lies within this man,
15:34 and in dealing with the heart issue,
15:36 this man receives a restoration
15:37 that he never envisioned for his life, ever.
15:41 It's not the behaviors
15:42 that's the problem in the people in our lives
15:44 that we're worried about, that we're concerned about,
15:46 even our fellow church members.
15:48 The behavior is evidence
15:49 that something is going on in here.
15:52 And if we start going in on the behavior
15:54 and trying to strong arm
15:56 and manipulate them into obedience,
15:57 we're going to lose them.
15:59 And even if the behavior falls by the wayside
16:02 and praise God for that,
16:04 the problem is they're still wounded.
16:06 And they're gonna run to something else
16:08 to numb their pain.
16:09 Jesus understands this
16:11 and this is why He deals with heart issues
16:13 and you'll never believe this,
16:14 when someone's healed of their heart issues,
16:16 they no longer have a need to act out.
16:20 That's how the gospel works.
16:21 Now turn with me to John 4.
16:23 I say turn with me,
16:24 I'm just gonna overview for time's sake,
16:25 but the next sections found in John 4,
16:29 Jesus is embarking upon a journey,
16:32 at the beginning of the chapter here, it says,
16:35 that He was going from Judaea to Galilee.
16:39 And He kind of, there's this weird line here,
16:42 that's in the next verse that says,
16:45 "But He needed to go through Samaria."
16:48 Now, for those of you who are aware,
16:50 there's not a whole lot of good warm fuzzy feelings
16:53 between the Samaritans and the Jews.
16:55 There just aren't, all right?
16:57 If someone told a Jew
17:00 that we need to go through Samaria,
17:02 their response would pretty much be,
17:03 "Uh, the gross."
17:06 They have cooties,
17:08 their noses are shaped the wrong way
17:11 and they're certainly not deserving of eternal life.
17:15 And yet Jesus, it says, "Needs to go through Samaria."
17:21 Because there's a wounded woman there,
17:23 and the kingdom of heaven does not discriminate,
17:25 even though the people of God do.
17:29 Jesus shows up to this well
17:31 to meet this woman and it's this,
17:33 really perplexing interaction to her
17:35 because Jesus doesn't come in here,
17:38 guns blazing, and say, you know,
17:39 "What's with all these husbands, woman?
17:41 I can't baptize you
17:43 if you're gonna keep messing around with these men."
17:44 Jesus doesn't do that with her.
17:46 In fact, the way which Jesus
17:48 embarks upon this process of healing this woman
17:50 is by being vulnerable with her,
17:53 and asking her to help Him with His own needs.
17:57 And He asked her, "Would you give me some water?"
18:01 She can't believe it.
18:02 She says,
18:04 "What are you, a Jew,
18:05 coming and doing talking to me, a Samaritan woman?"
18:09 Jesus begins to tell her that what He has to offer her
18:12 is vastly better than the water she's coming here for.
18:14 Now what hour of day
18:15 is this woman coming to this well, by the way?
18:18 High noon, it's blazing hot,
18:21 no one in their right mind is gonna show up to this well,
18:24 this hour of day, and that's why she is there.
18:26 Her water pot is her means of escape from reality,
18:30 from the pain that she's feeling in her life.
18:32 This is where she goes to get away from all the stuff
18:34 that is tearing her up inside, till she gets away.
18:38 And Jesus tells her,
18:40 "The water that I have to offer you
18:41 is far better than what you're doing
18:43 and what you're taking here."
18:45 And He starts to get her attention and she says,
18:47 "Sir, I want this water.
18:51 I want what it is that you have to offer."
18:53 She's finally willing to accept the water of life from Jesus.
18:57 And then Jesus goes in.
19:01 He doesn't ask her, "Get a glass.
19:03 Grab a pitcher. Head to the fridge."
19:05 You know what He asked her?
19:06 He says, "Go, call your husband."
19:09 Shots fired, right?
19:13 And this woman doesn't know what to do with herself
19:14 and she kind of startles
19:16 and kind of stammers a little bit,
19:17 she's, "Well, I don't have a husband."
19:19 And He says, "I know. You've had five husbands.
19:23 And the guy you're shacking up with now is not your husband."
19:26 He reads this woman like a book,
19:29 and yet He still loves her, and He's still with her,
19:33 and she doesn't know what to do with this.
19:35 Now the way that she tries to get herself off the hook
19:38 is she tries to change the topic,
19:39 you ever do that?
19:41 Mom and Dad put their finger on the real issue at hand
19:43 and you're just not going to deal with that right now,
19:45 and so you ask about anything you can find.
19:47 Well, the way that she changed the topic
19:49 is by doing something that
19:51 is really easy to do in our church,
19:53 instead of healing our own brokenness,
19:55 we start getting addicted to religious controversy.
19:57 So what she does is she says,
20:00 "Well, you know, you Jews say
20:02 that we have to worship on this mountain and but..."
20:04 And she starts running into religious controversy.
20:06 She could have just easily asked Him,
20:08 "So what are your thoughts on women's ordination?
20:11 What are your thoughts on the nature of Christ?"
20:15 "What do you think about the lunar Sabbath?"
20:16 Or whatever, she could go to any controversy she wants,
20:18 but here's the point, beloved.
20:21 Her first means of escape from the pain
20:22 she's feeling in her life is her water pot.
20:24 But the second is the one where it starts to get
20:26 itchy for some of us, religious controversy.
20:30 Now I'm not gonna go in on this, I love to,
20:32 especially at academies,
20:33 but I'm gonna be friendly today.
20:36 We need to be careful with this stuff, yeah?
20:40 There are people who are, be nice,
20:45 there are those within our ranks
20:46 who are finding their identity by winning arguments with folks
20:50 about stuff that really doesn't matter all that much
20:52 in the scheme of the plan of salvation.
20:55 There are components of our doctrines
20:57 that are under dispute
20:59 the aren't super, super clear, not black and white,
21:02 and we need to study these things out
21:03 and come up with our conclusions,
21:04 but the spirit in which we have those dialogues
21:06 is everything.
21:07 And if you're just looking to argue with people,
21:10 don't bother.
21:12 Young people are leaving our church
21:14 because of this foolishness
21:15 and I speak this from experience.
21:18 Not my experience,
21:19 but having to counsel tons of young people,
21:22 they're sick of this.
21:23 They get it, and we can't keep going there.
21:28 People are finding their identities
21:29 by being cannibals on chat forums.
21:32 We're supposed to be vegetarians.
21:35 We don't eat meat, or people, or fellow Adventists.
21:39 Amen. Amen.
21:40 I'll leave it at that
21:42 but religious controversy was the second thing
21:43 that she ran to, but what I love about
21:45 this story is this woman,
21:47 she leaves her water pot with Jesus.
21:51 When Jesus heals her of her heart wounds,
21:54 she doesn't need the water pot anymore,
21:55 she doesn't need religious controversy anymore,
21:58 and the immediate instinct she has is to run home
22:00 and tell everybody that she can find,
22:02 that this man knows everything about me
22:04 and He loves me anyway.
22:07 She doesn't need a church training.
22:09 She doesn't need to be scared
22:10 into doing evangelism at a local church.
22:12 When people find healing of their genuine heart wounds,
22:15 you can't keep them quiet.
22:18 You want our church to be active in evangelism?
22:21 Let's find healing.
22:23 'Cause to be honest with you, even if we brought people in,
22:25 we're gonna hurt them because we got issues.
22:28 We need healing.
22:30 We need to see ourselves as we truly are.
22:32 We desperately need Jesus, all of us.
22:36 But this woman when she found healing from Jesus,
22:39 she left that water pot with Him
22:40 and she went on her way.
22:42 Jesus is asking you today, "Leave that thing here.
22:46 Leave that water pot, you don't need it anymore.
22:50 I can give you what you need."
22:51 So that's the first two stories.
22:53 Now, what I really wanted to cover this morning
22:55 wasn't actually those.
22:56 I just think it's a helpful preface.
22:58 What I want to do now is walk through
22:59 the story of the life of Jesus.
23:02 What are the things that Paul Coneff points out
23:04 in his book
23:05 and in his ministry in general?
23:07 I'll give you a little bit of background.
23:08 A year ago, just over a year ago,
23:11 at the end of February last year,
23:13 I've been told by a friend of mine
23:14 in the summer of 2014
23:16 that I needed to read Paul's book,
23:17 and I was like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah."
23:19 You know, other people have wounds
23:20 and that's for them
23:21 and I thought about even reading the book
23:23 for their sake, not for mine,
23:24 because I thought other people had problems.
23:26 Yeah, that's why I'm in ministry
23:27 because I don't have problems, everybody else has problems,
23:29 that's why I'm in ministry to help them with their problems.
23:31 And I told people for years that no side effects,
23:37 no harmful effects came from what happened to me as a kid.
23:40 I was just sure of this
23:42 because I never cried myself to sleep, right?
23:44 I never had any of those issues,
23:46 but I was controlling, I was mean, right?
23:49 I was always right about everything.
23:51 I didn't ride roller coasters, I didn't do unsafe things
23:53 because I wanted to be in control and feel safe,
23:57 because of what I went through.
24:00 And because of what I saw.
24:02 But what Paul did, so anyway, I didn't read Paul's book,
24:05 I didn't buy it and God in His mercy,
24:08 Ellen White talks about this, when we don't deal with things
24:10 as God wants us to, you know what happens?
24:13 It comes back around.
24:15 And it'll come back around again if it needs to,
24:18 and if that doesn't work, guess what happens?
24:20 It comes back around. You know why?
24:21 Because Jesus needs to go through Samaria, that's why.
24:26 He's going to find us
24:27 in God forsaken lands to remind us
24:29 that we need Jesus and so Jesus in His mercy,
24:33 sends Paul Coneff to my kitchen a year ago.
24:37 My friend does website stuff for him
24:39 and slides and things for him,
24:40 and he said, "Hey, Paul's coming to 3ABN."
24:41 I said, "Have that guy come over,
24:43 and that would be great."
24:44 'Cause I thought I knew what this stuff was about.
24:46 And then Paul starts running through his stuff,
24:48 I'm someone who's read the Bible
24:50 from cover to cover like nine times
24:52 and so I have a basic understanding
24:53 of what's happening in scripture.
24:55 Not a really, really good one.
24:56 I'm not claiming that, but just, generally,
24:58 when I hear stuff, I kind of have an idea
24:59 of where someone's going with something.
25:01 But what he did with the life of Jesus blew my mind.
25:05 I had never thought of Jesus this way at all.
25:08 And in the moment, I knew, he said something.
25:11 He said that, "Everyone's addictions
25:12 that we're feeling in our lives
25:14 are us trying to numb pain that we're contending with."
25:18 And in a moment, I knew that
25:19 whatever this guy's talking about,
25:20 is what I've been looking for my whole life.
25:22 I don't know what it is, I don't know how it works,
25:24 but I want to know more
25:26 and we're getting ready to the General Conference
25:28 and have some ASI meetings
25:29 and meet with General Conference departments
25:30 and stuff, Mark and I were,
25:32 and I was started listening to Paul's videos on YouTube,
25:35 and I kid you not, it was like,
25:36 someone yanked back the shower curtain,
25:38 and I saw a deed that I didn't know existed.
25:40 For the first time in my life, I saw who I really was,
25:43 not who I thought I was.
25:45 And I came to better understand
25:46 how I was hurting the people around me.
25:50 And I realized I need healing.
25:52 God loves us enough to tell us the truth,
25:54 not to discourage us, to cleanse us, to set us free.
25:59 And so then I read Paul's book and it helped even more,
26:02 but what I'm about to cover now is what,
26:05 some of the things that he brings out
26:06 and how Jesus literally did suffer in all points
26:08 as we have, and yet was without sin.
26:10 That's gonna blow your mind.
26:12 First thing, Matthew 1,
26:14 "Jesus was conceived out of wedlock, " in verse 18.
26:16 By the way, I'm gonna give a handout
26:18 to Selestine to email to the church.
26:20 People take pictures and stuff of the slides
26:22 and try to write really fast, just sit back,
26:25 and enjoy the ride, I'll send you the notes, okay?
26:27 Just so you can better absorb what's being shared
26:29 and you don't lose anything along the way.
26:32 "Jesus was conceived out of wedlock."
26:33 Now for my parents, in 1985, this was a scandalous thing,
26:36 growing up in Southern Baptist circles,
26:38 for my mom to be pregnant before she married this guy.
26:40 It's a really big deal, right?
26:42 Causes shame,
26:43 it causes difficulty in those circles.
26:45 Yep, but imagine in Jesus' day, right?
26:48 There is this, this jab that the Pharisees
26:50 and Sadducees have towards Jesus.
26:52 I think it's in John 6 or 7, where they say,
26:54 "We know who our father is," referring to Abraham,
26:57 and, you know, what they're really doing?
26:59 They're taking a jab at Jesus
27:00 with his ambiguous earthly father.
27:03 And Jesus is conceived out of wedlock,
27:07 and even Joseph,
27:08 a righteous man wrestles with this.
27:11 He's gonna put Mary away quietly
27:13 'cause he doesn't just know how to handle this.
27:15 Thankfully, an angel intervenes. Amen.
27:17 But just imagine being in Mary's shoes.
27:20 Holy Spirit, huh? What's his name?
27:26 This is what she has to go through.
27:28 No one in the world will understand this woman
27:29 and what she's going through.
27:31 Thankfully, God intervened,
27:32 but Jesus already has this as life,
27:34 so Jesus went through this to be able to sympathize
27:37 with my parents when they went there.
27:38 Now is that sanctioning sex outside of marriage?
27:41 Of course not, but He knows what their woundedness is like.
27:45 You understand the difference?
27:48 Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
27:49 how many people are in this room
27:50 who are the children of pastors,
27:52 elders, teachers in a church school?
27:54 How many people are pastors' kids, elders' kids,
27:58 children of school teachers?
28:01 Yeah, you had to go through a lot of pressure, don't you?
28:03 As a child in those environments.
28:05 Because it's assumed that you had to be
28:08 who people expect you to be, not who you are.
28:13 There's this yoke of identity that's thrown on you for a call
28:16 that you never asked for.
28:18 Dad asked to be a pastor,
28:20 God called Dad to be a pastor, not me.
28:23 And I'm counseling pastors' kids,
28:26 one of them is a famous TV preacher,
28:27 not someone from 3ABN,
28:29 and these kids are going through
28:31 so much difficulty with identity,
28:33 with having to be perfect in front of everybody,
28:35 that they can't fall or fail in anything
28:37 because then Dad's gonna hear about it.
28:39 Mom's gonna hear about it.
28:40 It's crippling the yoke that they're contending with.
28:44 Imagine Jesus.
28:47 He's the Son of God.
28:50 If He sins or stumbles in word, thought, or deed,
28:54 the entire plan of salvation is over,
28:56 and He will never see the Father again.
28:59 You think Jesus knows anything about pastors' kids syndrome?
29:01 100%. You know why?
29:04 Because you go through it, He did that for you.
29:07 He went through that for you.
29:09 In Isaiah 52:14, it says that,
29:11 "He was beaten beyond the point of recognition."
29:16 This man is acquainted with being beaten
29:18 and physically assaulted.
29:20 Anyone here that's been hurt by somebody like that?
29:22 Jesus understands.
29:24 You know why He went through this?
29:25 To be able to sympathize and comfort my mother
29:28 who was beaten beyond the point of recognition.
29:33 He did that for her. He did it for you.
29:36 Isaiah 53, "He felt totally unattractive."
29:39 There's nothing about the appearance of Jesus
29:41 that's going to draw us to Him, nothing.
29:44 Through the movies, you get it all wrong.
29:47 If you wrestle with inadequacy in your appearance,
29:49 feel like you're not good enough,
29:51 Jesus is acquainted.
29:53 "He was despised and rejected by men," verse 3.
29:56 You've ever had to deal with rejection?
29:59 It is crippling. It's awful.
30:03 He was acquainted with grief.
30:04 Jesus did not have an easy life for 331/2 years
30:07 and the last couple of weeks were bad,
30:09 His whole life was filled with hardship, read Desire of Ages.
30:12 Even His childhood was difficult.
30:14 Sin bothered Jesus, really bothered Him.
30:17 Selfishness really bothered Him.
30:20 In His grief, people hid their faces from Him,
30:23 and He was despised and no one esteemed Him.
30:26 You ever had those moments of need
30:27 and when you're just dying for someone
30:29 to be there for you, there's no one to be found?
30:31 Even get rejection
30:33 and being despised in the midst of that?
30:34 Jesus is acquainted with that.
30:37 He was tempted to feel alone in His grief just for you
30:40 'cause there are times
30:42 when you feel alone in your grief.
30:47 "He was overwhelmed with sorrow and grief."
30:50 You've ever been there
30:51 where you're just thinking to yourself,
30:52 "God, I don't know how much more of this I can handle."
30:55 Is this thing over soon? I hope so.
30:57 I just can't keep going. I just can't.
31:01 Jesus has been there.
31:03 He felt stricken and smitten by God and afflicted.
31:05 Did you ever felt like every fire
31:07 we dart from heaven is coming in your direction?
31:10 Jesus knows what that's like.
31:14 He was wounded, bruised, chastised again,
31:16 and received many stripes unjustly, of course.
31:21 He took abuse and was quiet about it.
31:22 Maybe somebody in this room
31:24 has been physically assaulted by someone
31:25 and they were even threatened and told,
31:27 "If you tell anybody, I'm coming for Mom.
31:30 You tell anyone, I'm coming back for you."
31:32 So my mom got, thankfully, the cops intervened.
31:35 If you've ever been there,
31:36 Jesus took abuse and was quiet about it.
31:38 To be able to resonate and sympathize with you.
31:41 He's been in prison, and in court,
31:42 He was found guilty for things that He never did.
31:45 Did you ever to deal with false accusation for something
31:47 that you never ever did?
31:49 Not only just meaning like you didn't take the trash out,
31:51 mom got on to you for it and you got grounded.
31:53 I mean, heavy stuff and you got nailed for it
31:55 and nobody would believe you that I didn't do it.
31:59 Jesus went through that, for you.
32:02 These people had been in prison for 35 years
32:04 only to be found out that they didn't do it.
32:07 All they do is open the door and tell them,
32:09 "Good luck" to reintegrate into society.
32:10 It's an awful, awful process.
32:12 Most of these folks don't know how to handle freedom.
32:15 They've been so controlled for 30 years,
32:17 they're safer on the inside than
32:18 they are on the outside in their spiritual lives
32:20 because they don't know how to handle freedom.
32:24 Jesus was falsely accused for their sakes.
32:27 He died childless, was never married.
32:30 He died for things again that He was totally innocent of.
32:34 Psalm 22, "He felt forsaken of God
32:37 and that God wasn't helping Him or hearing His prayers."
32:40 Who hasn't been there, right?
32:41 We talked about that the last time.
32:43 The silence of God, that you feel that
32:47 when you pray to God,
32:48 it's as if your prayers has hit the ceiling
32:50 and laugh at you on their way back down,
32:51 have you ever been there?
32:53 Jesus felt smitten and afflicted by God
32:56 and that His prayers were not being heard.
32:59 He prayed three times for the same thing
33:01 because He wasn't getting the answer
33:02 that He was wanting, you ever been there?
33:04 Just wrestling persistently with Jesus?
33:10 He remembered that other people received help
33:11 when they prayed, but that moment,
33:13 He wasn't feeling like He received help
33:15 or was being heard, you ever been there?
33:17 Have you ever had it where testimonies are just crippling
33:19 and painful to you?
33:22 Everybody else has got testimonies about
33:23 the faithfulness in God in their life, when I pray,
33:25 I get cricket sounds.
33:28 I get nothing to my prayers, you ever felt that way?
33:32 Says in Psalms 22 that Jesus is acquainted with this.
33:35 "He was despised by people and was ridiculed
33:39 and people mocked Him for being a child of God."
33:42 You ever had to deal with just flat out persecution
33:44 and hardship, just for wanting to follow Jesus?
33:48 Jesus was ridiculed for being a child of God,
33:52 just for you.
33:54 "He felt totally exhausted and empty
33:55 because of all that He was going through
33:57 and He had no strength left."
33:58 Again, Jesus, I have nothing left to give.
34:02 How much longer is this gonna go on, really?
34:05 He went through that for you.
34:08 Jesus didn't have to go through these things.
34:11 Right, like the plan of salvation
34:13 could have been achieved by this man
34:15 walking into the temple
34:16 and being offered as a sacrifice,
34:17 and yet Jesus chooses to suffer like you.
34:22 To be your perfectly sympathetic high priest,
34:24 He went through that for you. His life was not easy.
34:29 "He was stripped of His clothing
34:30 and cried out to God for help."
34:32 Jesus was not sexually abused,
34:34 but He went through something very similar
34:36 to sympathize with people
34:37 who were sexually abused.
34:40 You've even been assaulted by somebody?
34:41 Stripped of your clothing and cried out to God for help?
34:44 Jesus went through this for you,
34:47 to heal you, to provide for you in those moments of darkness.
34:52 He came to see that He was heard
34:54 and that God did not hide His face from Him
34:56 and was filled with praise
34:57 and I believe we can have that same experience.
35:01 Matthew 2.
35:02 He was a refugee and had to flee His homeland
35:04 because of political problems and violence.
35:06 I'm not going to get political this morning,
35:08 but I sure hope you're not gonna get political.
35:11 Our position on this topic of people being displaced
35:14 because of violence and politics
35:16 should only come from the word of God.
35:19 There are people in our ranks
35:21 that are drinking political kool-aid
35:22 from the right and the left,
35:23 that is not what Jesus is asking of you.
35:25 Matthew 25 is not asking what CNN or Fox News says.
35:29 Matthew 25 is asking you to be fair for people
35:33 when they have needs.
35:34 That's all it says.
35:36 What would Jesus ask you to do now?
35:38 What are they asking you to do?
35:40 Politics is rampant in the church
35:41 and out of the church.
35:42 Don't let them make up your mind for you.
35:44 Think for yourselves. Amen.
35:46 Jesus is asking all of you to be Biblical and that's it.
35:50 That's it.
35:52 You don't owe them anything, but you owe Jesus everything.
35:56 Matthew 4, He was tempted to doubt His identity
35:59 as a Son of God again.
36:01 This is where it starts.
36:03 This is where the airplane lands
36:04 in your living room.
36:05 He was tempted to provide for His own needs
36:07 instead of trusting God to provide for Him,
36:08 you've ever been there?
36:10 Had a situation like King Saul waiting on Samuel to show up.
36:13 Samuel doesn't show up,
36:14 so He offered his own sacrifice,
36:15 it's okay, it's a religious thing.
36:17 God didn't show up on my timeline,
36:18 so you've ever been there?
36:19 You've tried to fulfill the promises
36:21 of God for yourself
36:22 because God doesn't show up.
36:23 He made the promise, but He must have forgotten
36:25 that He made the promise, so I better fulfill it for Him,
36:27 you ever been there?
36:29 We'll be real with ourselves this morning.
36:31 Jesus was tempted to do so.
36:33 Thankfully, He succeeded so that we can succeed
36:35 in His strength.
36:36 He was tempted to cover Himself with food when stressed.
36:40 Watch out now.
36:42 Don't ask me about
36:43 cinnamon crunch bagels from Panera.
36:45 I don't want to go there this morning, all right?
36:47 Jesus was tempted to comfort Himself with food
36:50 because there's many of us that wrestle in the very same way,
36:52 that we try to overcome our loneliness,
36:55 our feelings of rejection, abandonment,
36:57 of feeling unloved, and we run to food
36:59 to make ourselves feel better.
37:01 Jesus overcame on our behalf.
37:04 I'm really glad that I can't snap my fingers
37:06 and create a cinnamon crunch bagel from Panera.
37:09 His temptation was way harder than mine, all right?
37:11 I had to get in my car
37:12 and drive to Maryland or Carbondale.
37:16 He was tempted to be driven by pride and approve His worth.
37:18 Did you ever have somebody get in your face
37:20 and tell you what you aren't?
37:23 And your first instinct is to clench your fist and hit back.
37:27 Jesus stood. Jesus did not retaliate.
37:31 He overcame so that we can overcome. Amen.
37:34 But He went through this for you
37:36 'cause He knows that you battle with it too.
37:38 Whether you'll be honest with yourself this morning or not,
37:39 He knows.
37:41 And that's why He went through it. Amen.
37:43 He was tempted to do physical harm to Himself,
37:45 to throw Himself off the temple.
37:47 Anyone here has dealt with cutting, with burning,
37:49 with attempted suicide?
37:50 Jesus was tempted to harm Himself,
37:54 to be able to overcome, so that you can overcome
37:56 when you're tempted in the same ways.
37:57 Amen. This is serious, man.
37:59 Young people are really wrestling with this
38:01 all over our country.
38:03 Really wrestling, they want to be in control mainly,
38:06 have some form of control
38:07 when they've been deprived and hurt.
38:09 He was tempted to give up His faith in God
38:11 to receive everything that this world has to offer.
38:13 Who hasn't been there, right?
38:16 The enemy tries to offer you the world on a platter.
38:20 All I'm asking for is just to acknowledge me.
38:23 Let me have the throne of your heart.
38:28 Matthew 14, "A close friend,
38:29 a relative of his was brutally murdered."
38:31 Did you ever lose somebody unjustly?
38:33 Run by a drunk driver?
38:36 Reckless driver?
38:38 Family members are killed because of gun violence?
38:40 Some other incident?
38:42 Jesus lost a very close friend and relative of His, unjustly.
38:46 John the Baptist was beheaded unjustly.
38:50 Mark 3, His own family thought He was out of His mind.
38:54 You ever been there?
38:55 Adventism cost me something.
38:59 I wasn't born in a bubble where everyone says,
39:01 "Happy Sabbath," and I still don't know
39:02 if vegan cottage cheese loaf is,
39:04 but when they eat that thing too,
39:05 I wasn't born in that environment, right?
39:07 Becoming a Seventh Day Adventist
39:09 was hard for me,
39:10 my family still misunderstands me.
39:11 Thankfully, not my parents,
39:13 but it's a very difficult thing for me,
39:15 they think I've gone crazy, they don't know what I'm doing.
39:17 I was homeless, for goodness sakes.
39:19 I've gone through financial problems.
39:20 I had someone tell me, "Just go to college, Dee,
39:24 just make something of your life."
39:27 I travel the country and share the gospels, people.
39:29 I'm being told to make something of my life.
39:33 They've got ways to hurt
39:34 as that nobody else can, don't they?
39:37 Their knives go way deeper, way deeper.
39:41 Jesus went through that just for me, just for you,
39:43 if you've gone through the same thing.
39:45 John 7, "His own brothers mocked Him
39:47 and didn't believe in Him."
39:48 You ever have a family member speak unbelief
39:50 into your experience?
39:52 Cripple you growing up.
39:55 Jesus had brothers who did that to Him
39:56 and I praise God for the fact
39:57 that James and Jude are converted, yeah?
40:00 God changed their lives anyway.
40:04 But He still went through it.
40:05 Matthew 26, "He wrestled
40:06 with accepting the will of God for His life
40:08 and with being willing to go through His suffering
40:10 as a result."
40:11 You ever have the will of God look like the most repulsive,
40:14 scary, and unattractive thing you've ever imagined?
40:17 And yet you know that's exactly where God wants you to be?
40:20 Jesus knows all about that.
40:23 He begged God three times to change His mind,
40:29 for you.
40:31 When you wrestle with accepting the will of God for your life
40:34 because it's just scary, it's uncertain,
40:36 you don't know what to do.
40:37 Jesus overcame in this area just for you this morning.
40:40 Just for you.
40:43 He was betrayed by a close friend.
40:44 Have you ever been stabbed in the back
40:46 by somebody you just thought would be there for you?
40:49 Jesus has, just for you, was betrayed by a kiss.
40:54 Maybe you had a marriage fall apart
40:56 because someone was unfaithful in their wedding vows.
40:58 Maybe you yourself have been unfaithful to your wedding vows
41:00 and lost a marriage because of that.
41:02 Maybe you've been betrayed by kids
41:04 because Mom or Dad cheated on Mom or Dad
41:06 and tore the family apart.
41:08 Jesus was betrayed by a kiss to be able to sympathize
41:11 and help people who were betrayed by a kiss.
41:16 He was abandoned by His friends in His greatest time of need.
41:18 Have you ever been in that situation?
41:20 You're just sure that people will be with you
41:23 when the world falls apart around you,
41:24 whenever that's gonna happen in your experience
41:26 and you're sitting in dust, in ashes,
41:28 and you've got nobody to be found.
41:31 You ever been there?
41:33 He thought they'd be there, they weren't.
41:34 Peter, James, and John,
41:36 certainly they'll be there for Jesus.
41:39 Where are they when He needed them most?
41:46 One of His closest friends lied about Him
41:48 and even denied that he knew Him.
41:50 He didn't receive a fair trial,
41:52 was lied about to secure His conviction.
41:54 Again, He went through that,
41:55 so people who go through the same thing.
41:57 He was spit on and abused by religious leaders.
42:00 Anyone in this room has been abused by religious leaders?
42:02 Sexually, physically,
42:04 maybe they just destroyed your reputation
42:06 in front of the church body.
42:07 You ever been abused by church leaders?
42:09 Religious people?
42:11 Jesus went through that just for you.
42:13 The very people He came to save
42:15 and the people who knew the most about Him spit on Him,
42:19 abused Him, and tried to destroy His credibility
42:22 before the people.
42:24 He went through that for you.
42:26 Gossip is destroying your existence in a church.
42:28 He took care of that just for you.
42:31 Matthew 27, one of His closest friends commit suicide,
42:34 just right at two years ago, my cousin committed suicide.
42:39 There's three of us on my mom's side of the family.
42:40 My first, my half brother from my mom's first marriage,
42:43 my cousin, and me, that's it.
42:47 And my cousin Josh,
42:48 he'd gone through a lot of hardship
42:49 and just wasn't all that hip on God
42:51 at this stage in his life, he was really hurting,
42:54 and the only thing he had going left
42:55 for his life right now, was a relationship.
42:58 That's all he had going for him.
43:00 And the girl breaks up with him,
43:02 he goes to the restaurant and the bar,
43:04 wherever she was working and he begs her,
43:05 "Please, take me back.
43:07 Will you reconsider?" And she says, "No".
43:09 And he went out in the parking lot
43:10 and ended his life.
43:12 Josh is gone. He's gone.
43:18 The weight of the world was just too much for him
43:20 and he couldn't go on anymore.
43:23 Jesus has lost people.
43:25 You ever lost a family member because of suicide?
43:26 And it's just heartbreaking.
43:28 You don't know what to do and you're wrestling with this.
43:29 Jesus knows what that's like.
43:32 "He was tortured alive,
43:34 He was tempted to doubt His identity as a Son of God.
43:39 And He felt forsaken of God and abandoned to suffer alone
43:41 and He felt totally unappreciated by those
43:43 that He was giving His life for."
43:45 You ever been there, parents?
43:47 Pouring out your life onto the drags
43:48 and what you get from yours,
43:50 your kids is just total disrespect,
43:52 total lack of appreciation.
43:54 Jesus went through that for us. Went through that for you.
43:56 How about you, kids?
43:59 Trying to sacrifice for your parents,
44:00 trying to help them,
44:01 and you get nothing in response.
44:03 Jesus went there just for you.
44:05 Now in Isaiah 53:11, says that,
44:08 "Jesus saw the labor of His soul
44:10 and was satisfied and by His knowledge,
44:14 my servant shall justify many."
44:16 Jesus went through these things on our behalves,
44:19 and this is the amazing thing to me.
44:21 Jesus' life, again, was not easy.
44:24 He went through this awful experience
44:26 for 331/2 years,
44:28 every bit of it, for you, to have a complete
44:32 and a whole amount of suffering just for you.
44:37 Before He went through it, He calculated the cost
44:39 and He was satisfied.
44:41 While He's going through it, He's calculating it,
44:43 He's satisfied and even after having gone through all this,
44:46 He's still satisfied, for you.
44:52 Now in Hebrews 4, and I want to close this story,
44:54 right at Hebrews 4,
44:55 and then I want to have Mayri sing for us.
44:57 But in Hebrews 4, it says this,
44:59 Paul knowing the context
45:01 of what Jesus went through on our behalves,
45:03 knowing this whole story, you know what He says?
45:06 He says, "Seeing then that we have such a high priest
45:08 who's passed to the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God,
45:11 let us hold fast our confession."
45:13 This is not the time to be running away from Jesus
45:15 when you've been hurt.
45:17 "Hold fast your confession,"
45:18 He says "for we do not have a high priest
45:20 who cannot sympathize with our weakness,
45:22 but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin."
45:26 And do you know what He says next?
45:28 "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace."
45:31 You don't have to be ashamed to come to Jesus any more.
45:34 You can come to Jesus, broken, wounded, messy,
45:38 it doesn't matter.
45:39 "Therefore come boldly to the throne of grace
45:41 that we may obtain mercy
45:43 and find grace to help in time of need."
45:45 That's yours this morning.
45:48 There's... Maybe you can't talk to your pastor,
45:49 maybe you can't talk to your parents,
45:51 maybe you can't talk to your friends,
45:52 or your spouse because it's just so bad
45:54 and so crippling.
45:55 You can talk to Jesus.
45:57 Now I want to tell a story really briefly,
45:59 then I will have Mayri sing.
46:01 So I was sharing this,
46:02 I was sharing at a youth camp meeting
46:04 for the Georgia-Cumberland Conference last summer,
46:08 and they had around campfires after the regular meetings
46:10 and they had an evening meeting for the kids
46:12 around the campfire.
46:13 And I've been told that this young man
46:14 there had a very difficult life,
46:16 but I didn't know the full, full background
46:17 that he'd just gotten out of jail.
46:19 Turns out, he's 14 years old,
46:21 grew up in an urban environment in Knoxville.
46:23 Really violent area,
46:25 I didn't even know that existed,
46:26 'cause I'd lived that far from Knoxville for three years,
46:28 but the neighborhood is so dangerous
46:30 that he's afraid of being killed
46:31 just by being on his front porch.
46:34 This young man has been in prison from the ages of 14
46:37 through 17.
46:39 He's released on a Thursday from prison.
46:42 His mom's life has been filled with instability,
46:44 she lives on the streets,
46:46 he just went into the same stuff
46:47 so he could survive in this environment,
46:49 and when he gets out of prison, he wants to live with Dad,
46:51 he wants a change, he needs to get his life together,
46:54 he wants to do something different.
46:56 Thankfully, his dad is not a Seventh-day Adventist,
46:58 but his dad's neighbor is a Seventh-day Adventist.
47:01 He's a layperson, not a pastor, not a Bible worker,
47:03 he's a layperson,
47:05 and he's giving Bible studies to Dad,
47:07 the step mom, the little brother,
47:08 and the other little brother.
47:10 And in giving Bible studies to them,
47:12 he invites them to this camp meeting.
47:14 So this young man gets out of prison on a Thursday,
47:17 they show up to the camp meeting
47:19 and my meeting on a Friday.
47:21 Do you know what message I was preaching?
47:24 This one.
47:26 And I told him the same thing I just told you.
47:28 Maybe you can't talk to your parents,
47:29 maybe you can't talk to your pastor,
47:31 maybe you can't talk to anybody,
47:33 you can talk to Jesus.
47:34 Jesus has been through what you've been through,
47:36 so that it's safe, so that you would come boldly.
47:39 And I said, "You can come to Jesus,
47:41 you can give it all to Him."
47:42 I didn't know anything else about what happened after this.
47:45 This young man comes to me the next day, we have a hike.
47:47 He says, "Man, that message is just so powerful.
47:49 Thank you so much for that."
47:51 And I thought, "Well, praise God."
47:52 And I knew he was tuned in, even though it was dark,
47:54 you know, and we just had a campfire,
47:56 I could tell that this kid was tuned in,
47:57 but I didn't know how much and what was going on.
47:59 So he leaves this meeting, and he goes to his tent,
48:04 and he literally just pours his heart out to Jesus,
48:07 he tells him everything, you know, everything.
48:11 This is how I've been hurt,
48:12 these are the decisions I've made,
48:14 and why I've hurt people around me
48:15 and, Jesus, I'm just giving it all to you.
48:17 Please cleanse me, heal me,
48:19 just I want to start over again,
48:21 and he said it felt so good.
48:24 And in that moment, this kid found a freedom
48:26 that he hadn't found in his life.
48:29 He has a parole bracelet,
48:30 GPS bracelet on his ankle at these meetings.
48:33 Changed his life radically to see
48:35 that Jesus has been through the same things,
48:38 that he can tell Jesus everything,
48:39 changed his life.
48:42 But for some of us, stability is scary.
48:47 My mom was addicted to instability,
48:49 that's why she got out of her marriages so quickly.
48:52 And this young man, a day and a half after this,
48:56 just in a moment of just thoughtlessness and fear,
48:59 he cuts off his ankle bracelet and violates his parole.
49:02 They find him and they throw him back in.
49:05 But just think about the story of this kid's life,
49:08 he's in prison from the ages of 14 to 17.
49:11 He's out of prison for like 48 hours,
49:14 and within 12 hours or 24 hours of him getting out of prison,
49:18 he's at that meeting, and hears that message,
49:20 and makes that commitment to Jesus.
49:23 You think Jesus is going to come find him
49:25 in that prison and remind him of the decision you made?
49:28 For some of us, that's the safest place to be.
49:31 The distractions aren't there, the temptations aren't there,
49:33 all you have is time to think and to surrender
49:36 and go through these things with Jesus.
49:39 That was not a failure for the kingdom of heaven.
49:41 This kid has what he needs, amen.
49:43 And you should pray for him.
49:45 His name is Braxton, pray for this young man.
49:48 But this thing works, folks.
49:50 The gospel is true.
49:51 Jesus had to suffer just like you to offer you healing
49:56 and reconciliation and what no one else can give you, amen.
50:00 Human sympathy can't do that for you,
50:02 drugs cannot do that for you, only Jesus can heal us
50:06 and it's His suffering that makes
50:07 that healing sufficient and complete, amen.
50:10 I'd like to have Mayri close with a song for us,
50:13 then I'm gonna have a closing prayer after that.
50:16 Powerful, powerful song called, "If we're Honest."
50:30 Truth is harder than a lie
50:35 The dark seems safer than the light
50:39 And everyone has a heart
50:42 That loves to hide
50:49 I'm a mess and so are you
50:52 We've built walls nobody can get through
50:57 Yeah, it may be hard,
50:59 But the best thing we could ever do,
51:03 Ever do Bring your brokenness,
51:08 And I'll bring mine
51:11 'Cause love can heal what hurt divides
51:15 And mercy's waiting
51:18 On the other side
51:24 If we're honest
51:28 If we're honest
51:33 Don't pretend to be something that you're not
51:37 Living life afraid of getting caught
51:42 There is freedom found when we lay
51:45 Our secrets down at the cross,
51:48 At the cross
51:50 Bring your brokenness,
51:53 And I'll bring mine
51:55 'Cause love can heal what hurt divides
52:00 Mercy's waiting
52:03 On the other side
52:08 If we're honest
52:13 If we're honest
52:20 It would change our lives
52:24 It would set us free
52:29 It's what we need to be
52:44 So bring your brokenness,
52:47 And I'll bring mine
52:49 'Cause love can heal what hurt divides
52:54 Mercy's waiting
52:56 On the other side
53:07 If we're honest
53:11 If we're honest
53:16 If we're honest
53:29 That's what Jesus needs from me this morning,
53:31 it's honesty.
53:33 Again, we began the message with a question,
53:35 "Do you want to be made well?"
53:37 Yes, it's difficult.
53:39 Maybe the things you're going through in life
53:40 are because of what you did to yourself,
53:42 and you feel that you deserve it.
53:44 Maybe because someone did something to you
53:46 and you still feel that you deserve it
53:50 or you don't feel that you deserve
53:51 when something was done to you.
53:52 Whatever category you find yourself in,
53:54 this morning, Jesus wants you to know that it's safe.
53:58 "You can come to me with those things
54:00 that you can't come to anyone else to," amen.
54:02 You can come boldly today.
54:05 I'd like to close with a word of prayer,
54:06 then I want to share one more thing
54:08 after the closing prayer,
54:09 about an upcoming opportunity to actually take action
54:12 about what we've heard, but I'm gonna kneel,
54:14 and I'd just like to close with prayer and, yeah,
54:19 invite you to kneel if you'd like to join me.
54:24 God in heaven, I thank you that Jesus did not just come
54:29 and suffer physically for a span of a few hours.
54:34 Your whole life, Jesus' whole life was filled
54:37 with suffering and why?
54:40 Because we live lives that are filled with suffering.
54:44 And if suffering was complete, He did that just for us.
54:50 God, I pray that this would cause us
54:52 to come boldly this morning.
54:54 I'm praying specifically
54:56 if there are people in this room
54:57 that want to be made well,
55:00 that want Jesus to make them new,
55:03 and heal them of these wounds
55:04 from what has been done to them,
55:06 what they've done to themselves.
55:09 In the privacy of our heads being bowed
55:11 and every eye closed,
55:12 I just invite you to raise your hands to heaven.
55:17 Jesus, we're asking today that you would make us well.
55:23 We're going to rise, and take up our mats
55:24 and walk, solely because of the word of Jesus,
55:28 solely because of the faith of Jesus,
55:31 and the belief and sufferings of Jesus.
55:34 We ask that you would cleanse us
55:35 from all unrighteousness.
55:37 And that we would be willing to receive
55:38 new identities today,
55:41 no longer based upon what someone has done to us
55:44 or what we've done to ourselves.
55:46 That's solely based upon what Christ has done for us.
55:51 We thank you that this is possible through
55:53 the gospel of Jesus Christ.
55:56 And we ask these things in Jesus' name.