March 17, 2024 - Shine Like Stars - Pastor Adam Sapelak

March 17, 2024 - Shine Like Stars - Pastor Adam Sapelak
Living Stones Church, Red Deer, Alberta
March 17, 2024 - Shine Like Stars - Pastor Adam Sapelak

Mar 18 2024 | 00:37:11

Episode 11 March 18, 2024 00:37:11

Show Notes

Philippians 2

God created the church to shine like stars in the world. What does that mean, why and how are we to do it? Looking at chapter two of Philippians, we glean insights and learn that our attitude and ideas about the church will significantly enhance or impede our ability to shine like stars. God created us to shine, not just as individuals but at a corporate level, as a community. We must understand and embrace the idea that we are all in this together. The Apostle Paul impresses the need for us to have a rich and experiential walk with Jesus daily and that our relationship with Him should overflow into how we treat others within the church and those beyond. God created the church; it was His perfect plan for the spread of the Gospel, and when it is characterized by humility, like-mindedness, and care for others, it will blaze through the night for all the world to see.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Well, amen. Notice my subtitle here coming up is endure hardship as discipline. [00:00:13] Hebrews chapter twelve, verse seven. That's the first part of that verse. When we think of discipline, we first thing that comes to mind is punishment for something that we've done wrong. And. But that's not what Hebrews chapter twelve is talking about when he's talking about the discipline of the Lord. The discipline Hebrews twelve is talking about is more about God allowing hardships in our lives and how God uses the hardships in our lives to chip away anything in our lives that's not of him. And ultimately, what the end result is that it says in verse, I believe it's eleven of chapter twelve is the harvest of righteousness and peace in those who are trained by it. And it seems like these days, I don't know about you, but it sure seems like to me a lot of people going through some pretty intense cris in their lives. [00:01:07] These trials can get to be in our lives when they're really extreme, so overwhelming that we wonder if we're even going to make it through. [00:01:16] And I know I've asked myself and talked to the Lord about it. God, I cannot imagine how you could possibly bring any good out of what I'm experiencing at this moment. But it's amazing. It's God we're speaking to. And he says he makes all things work together for good to those that love him and are called according to his spirit, who walk according to the spirit, not after the flesh. King James has that in there, that bit. [00:01:46] But we can count on that because God doesn't lie. And we're going to start this morning on Hebrews chapter twelve. We're going to read through verses three through 13. And the first three verses of chapter twelve are just basically a transition from chapter eleven to chapter twelve. He's saying in first three verses, look at all these examples, because of all these people that have gone on before us and have done what I'm talking about in these scriptures he's writing out, he says, just look to them. You can do this. Throw off all the stuff that is tripping you up and walk the walk that God has set out before you to walk. And in chapter eleven, the author has given great examples of people who lived out their lives to the end the way that we are called to live out our lives as believers. The author of Hebrews is challenging the readers to look at these people as examples and telling his audience here that this is the faith life that God requires of all of his people. The challenge was for them to persevere under the heavy persecution that they were experiencing at this time. And he's telling them that in their perseverance that they have the promises of God and the hope of a future home. And we have these promises as well, and so much more. [00:03:02] And the readers are urged to look to Jesus, who not only exemplifies enduring faith, but he established it and he perfected it. And so let's read these verses, verse three. [00:03:18] Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners so that you will not grow weary and lose heart in your struggle against sin. You have not yet resisted to the points of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, my son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves and he chastens everyone he accepts as son. Endure hardship as discipline. [00:03:56] God is treating you as his children. For what? Children are not disciplined by their father. If you are not disciplined and everyone undergoes discipline, then you are not legitimate, not true sons or daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us. We respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the father of spirits and live? [00:04:22] They disciplined us for a little while, as they thought best, but God disciplined us for our good in order that we may share in his Holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful later on. However, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who are trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet so the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. [00:04:57] So, Father, we just commit this message to you that we're about to share here on how we are to endure hardship as discipline. Lord God, the disciplines of life, the way that we are to walk out this life, Lord God, as you allow these things to come into our lives and shape us and mold us and teach us, Lord God, who we are, who you are, and what that looks like when we come together. And I pray that you'd help us to just have ears to hear in each one of our situations, Lord, what you're saying to us in regards to these hardships. In Jesus name, amen. [00:05:36] Can you imagine what it would be like if you were to lose three generations of your family in one blinding moment? [00:05:43] How would a person survive such an event? [00:05:47] It happened in 1991 to a man whose name was Jerry Stitzer, a professor of Whitten University in Spokane, Washington. He, his wife, their four children, and his mother had been to a native american powau in Idaho, and they were on their way home when they were struck by a drunk driver who was traveling at 140 km an hour, and he hit them head on. In an instant, Sitzer lost his mother, his wife, and their youngest daughter. And in a book titled a Grace Disguised, Sitzer describes with searing honesty what it was like to be a single father, a professor, and a counselor to others, while he himself was a man full of sorrow and torn, slipping into a black hole of oblivion and often simply wanting out. One night, Jerry had this kind of wakening dream. And in this wakening dream, Jerry saw the sun was setting, and he was frantically chasing afterward, trying to going west, hoping to catch it and bring it back again. But it was a losing race. [00:06:55] The sun was gone, and he felt this overwhelming darkness closing in on him. [00:07:01] Shortly after this dream, Jesus spoke through Jerry, his sister Diane, when she gave him some enlightening advice at what he should do with this. [00:07:12] She told him that the quickest way to reach the sun is not to go west, but rather to go east, to move fully into the darkness until he comes to the sunrise. [00:07:23] It was counterintuitive, but this is what helped Sitzer find his way to recovery. Sitzer says that I discovered, now I got to see. [00:07:38] I had such a time with this thing this morning, first service. It's just like torture. I discovered in that moment that I had the power to choose the direction that my life would head. [00:07:50] That's something that I think we need to put in our little gigabyte memory in our heads. I had the power to choose the direction my life would head. I decided from that point on to walk into the darkness rather than try to outrun it. To let my experience of loss take me on a journey, wherever it would lead. That's a surrendered life. [00:08:16] And allow myself to be transformed by my suffering rather than to think that I could somehow avoid it. [00:08:25] Have you ever been in such a dark place in your life? [00:08:31] Maybe you're in a dark place in your life right now. Because I know that as a staff here at Livingstones church and the prayer requests that come in and the many people we're praying for, there's a lot of people going through some pretty intense stuff right now. [00:08:46] Regardless of how we're feeling. There's one thing that we must never forget, that is God is good. There's not a word that is created or that we know of that could even begin to express how good God is he has given us his word, which imparts faith into our hearts as we read it. [00:09:09] Revelation. When John was writing the book of Revelation, the angel speaking to him, and the angel said, to know these words are trustworthy and true, write down these words. They are trustworthy and true. No matter how dark it may be or how dark it may get in our lives, we must never give up. [00:09:28] Winston Churchill, he's a leader during World War II, and Hitler was coming, and it was looking pretty intense with this mass army coming at them, and he was challenging the people, and he said, never give up. [00:09:46] And that's where we got to be. Never give up, because God will come through. [00:09:53] Like, I know that there are times like these that they seem so hopeless, and times when we feel like we'll never see happiness again. We'll never be happy again. I remember those times in my dark moments. You just feel like at the moment, but you know that it will in time, but you feel like it won't. It feels like the light will never shine again. And it wouldn't matter if it did because you could care less. But I promise you that the light will shine, and you'll love the light as you grow in your knowledge and your understanding of who Jesus is. And in that relationship, the light will shine. [00:10:31] Know, amazing faith that you know. It says, he was made righteous by his faith. Listen to the faith that Abraham had in Romans, chapter four, verse 18. It says, even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping, believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God said to him, that's how many descendants you will have. And he never stopped believing God, even when there's no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping. [00:11:06] A key to that, a secret to that whole thing, is that God told him, this is what he would have, and that's what we can stand on till the day we breathe our last. If this is what God has said to us, this is what we can stand on. [00:11:22] When Karen and I were a young couple and fairly new believers, it was spoken over us that we were going to be trained by the discipline of the Lord, and young and having no clue what that meant, I thought, oh, yes, God is going to work with us. He's going to train us up in the way we should go. There's nothing more exciting than that. [00:11:43] He's speaking it over us. They were prophesying. They said we were going to be prepared as bread. We were going to be going into the kneading trough, and we were going to be rolled over and punched and pushed and worked over, and then he was going to set us aside and it was let us rise. Then he was going to take us and he was going to roll us some more and push us down and pound us and then set us aside. And then he was going to turn up the oven, and then he was going to let the oven get hot, and then he was going to slip us into that oven and until become golden brown. And then he was going to take us out of the oven and he was going to break us to feed the hungry. [00:12:31] That's divine discipline. That's God's hand in the lives of people, us. [00:12:39] It's common. God does this. This is how he works in our lives. [00:12:44] And in the midst of this, know, this wasn't because Karen and I were doing anything wrong. [00:12:51] This was how God takes us and shapes us and prepares us and chips off all of these things of this world that he knows they'll be in the way, or they're unproductive, they're harmful to us. He just loves us, and he's taking care of us, and he's making us who he had predestined for us to be since the foundations of the world. [00:13:15] And as a part of this training, I remember going through this incredibly dark time of depression. And as I was going through this darkness, I was feeling so all alone, because I felt like nobody could understand what, I couldn't even explain what was going on in my mind. And people, they come alongside me and had good intentions and wanted to help, but they just didn't understand what was going on. I didn't know what I was going on, and I didn't know what to do. [00:13:43] And one of the most terrifying moments in this darkness was that I wasn't sure I wasn't going to have to live with this for the rest of my life. And that terrified me because I didn't feel like I would make it. [00:13:56] But like Jerry, I remember also waking up in the morning and I would feel this every morning, feel this overwhelming darkness, cloud just settle in on me, could just about feel it physically. And then I'd carry that around all day long, and I didn't know what to do. And so the little that I did know, I found my strength to be able to get through this, through the scriptures, like James one three, where he says, because, you know, this testing of your faith produces perseverance, and perseverance finished, let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. [00:14:37] It was texts like these. And so many more that sustained me and got me through this very dark season of my life. I believed the scriptures when they said that a man who meditates on the word would be blessed, would be a blessed man meditated on a day and night. And I believe the scriptures when they said that that man who's meditating on the word would be like a tree that is planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. [00:15:06] My leaves were withering and I tucked this word and I memorized this first chapter of psalms and just believing and hoping that the scriptures, what they were saying was true. And somehow God gave me the faith to believe that they were, that they were trustworthy and true. [00:15:26] And it was my, literally medicine. Day after day, night after night, I'd wake up in the middle of the night, I'd grab that verse and I would look at it, and I would go to sleep thinking about that verse. I'd wake up and put a new one out and put it into my pocket and meditate on it day and night, learning, making myself bring my thoughts captive. That just in itself just about drove me crazy. [00:15:48] It was painful and it was very uncomfortable. This season I went through. And when the training lightened up, I was so afraid of the hand of God. I tell you, for 15 years, Karen and I, we went to church because we knew that we were to go to church. We knew that we were not to forsake the fellowshipping of the saints, and we needed to be amongst God's people. [00:16:11] But for 15 years, because the church that we were in at that time, it went through a split and dissipated. So we ran around to a few different churches trying to find a church home. And as soon as we'd go to church, we weren't there very long. And they were trying to get us into leadership. And as soon as they asked me, it was gone to the next church. But everyone we went to telling us to get involved, and we just went until we got to one where there was nothing to do. And that's where we stayed for eight years. [00:16:42] And I don't know. It was a tough season, but eventually that depression lifted and it didn't lift. Suddenly it lingered for a long time, but eventually it did slowly linger. And it's amazing learning to bring thoughts captive, meditating on the word that just got deep in me. Eventually I'd come to the point where I said, okay, Lord, I'm willing, I'm willing to get into your training grounds again. And the scriptures are true. When they say that no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who are trained by it. [00:17:32] I believe that through these scriptures in Hebrews this morning, the thing that God wants us to learn is that God is wanting us to understand that he uses discipline to produce holiness in his people. [00:17:46] As a staff, we've been praying for all your prayer requests that come in. We take them and we pray for every one of them. On Tuesdays, we break up into groups and we pray for them. And it's pretty obvious in this world, in this life, that troubles will not be gone. We're going to have problems. Jesus said, in this world, you will have troubles, but take heart. I have overcome this world, and that's why we need to pay attention and really take to heart. When James says, let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. When our trials have their full effect, we will be lacking nothing. [00:18:28] Loss is a very difficult thing in our lives, no matter what kind of a loss it is, whether it's financial loss, whether it's loss of our relationships, whether it's loss of our loved ones, whatever the loss is, loss is very difficult for us to take as people. [00:18:45] And I don't know if there's anything that is much more painful than losing the loved ones that we are very close to. And with all the amazing ministries in our church. I want to talk about one just for a minute. And it's our Stephen ministry. You can see the table when you come in. But Stephen ministry is a great ministry for these crisis, these type of cris, because you cannot match someone up with somebody that is going through these dark, dark seasons in their lives. I would never match up a novice Christian with somebody that's going through crisis because it's our natural tendency to want to get in there and fix things. And in Stephen ministries, there's such amazing training. We learn to stay out of the way of what God's doing in that person's life, and yet to be involved enough that that person feels like they're getting the support and the help and being held up like they need to be. [00:19:40] I've learned so much in the pastoral ministry through the Stephen ministry training, and this is available to all of us. And one thing that I want to say is that we all need to learn what it means to be a process orientated believer compared to results orientated. Our natural tendency is to want to see results. We want to see people fixed and healed. And so we go in there and we're going to fix this problem. But that's not what people need that are going through a cris in these big crisis. They don't just end and we train, you know, if that person falls away for a season or whatever, if it doesn't work when you're two or together, it gets worse. It's not the Stephen minister's fault because God is in the process of working things out in our lives. And this training just brings a balance to our lives. And I think that we could all really gain from that balance of knowing that, okay, God is in a process. I'm here for them to be supported, but I'm not here to fix them. And so I can support them as God is working with them. And it's amazing. The relationships that develop are very close and the support system is excellent. The Christian who's supporting people learns boundaries and just all kinds of things. And so you can stop by the Stephen ministry table there on your way out and just check it out. Just grab some information if you're curious. This ministry is good for people in our community that aren't Christians, people that are in crisis in their life, we come alongside them to support them. So if you need one, you know, somebody needs one outside of the church, inside the church, you share with them what it's about. And we're compassionate people because God has shown us compassion and some of us are overly compassionate, and we need to learn how not to be overly compassionate. And that's not easy for an overly compassionate person because James, he says, suppose a brother or sister is without clothes or daily food. If one of you says to them, go in peace and warm and be well fed, but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is that? He says, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. So we automatically figure, okay, we got to do something in every situation, but we need to stop and prayerfully consider, okay, what's the situation? Talk with the person and do it just the way God would want you to do it because he'll guide you and show you. And it's amazing experience to see it and not to be overly anxious to get in there. Pastor Paul was talking about, know that we don't stop long enough to prayerfully consider, and we jump in and judge someone. And this is the same kind of thing. We don't prayerfully stop and consider and we jump in to help someone. When we're just delaying the inedible, we can come along and walk with them. It's a process. [00:22:38] That's all I'm going to say about Stephen ministry. [00:22:44] It is God's discipline in our lives that produces the harvest of righteousness and the peace for those who are being trained by it. The people of Hebrews were grieving what they were suffering, and the writer was encouraging them to keep the struggles that they were experiencing in their proper perspective. When we're in the midst of it sometimes. [00:23:06] Pastor Paul said something to me once when I first started here, and he just challenged says, because we were doing young adults and it was just growing, it was doing so good. And he says, Mark, he says, it's never as good as it seems, but it's also never as bad as it seems. And that's great advice. Put that into our lives. It's never as bad as it seems, and it's never as good as it seems. And just sort of help us keep a little bit level on that. These people, book of Hebrews here were being challenged to look to Jesus, who endured such opposition from sinners, what they were experiencing. Jesus had experienced this, and he said to them, consider him who endured such opposition from sinners so that you will not grow weary and lose heart in your struggle against sin. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. As we read about these heroes of the faith, this should stir excitement in us because of the example of grace and resolve these people had, the lengths that they went to in their martyrdom, that they were sawn in half, and they willingly chose death for the hope of a better resurrection. And that should encourage us, because it's obviously from the Holy Spirit in their time of need, and it should encourage us that it'll be there for us if we ever need it. And when we're going through things. These people had to endure severe persecution for their faith in the earlier days, but they are not yet being called to steal their testimony with their blood. He's challenging them, and so they're challenged to realize their present hardships were a token of their heavenly father's love for them and the means by which he is training them to be more truly his sons and daughters. If they consider the opposition of sinful men which Jesus confronted and endured. [00:24:55] They were being told that this should encourage them to be able to go the distance. And so God was working out their salvation day by day, and he's working out our salvation day by day. And so verse five, six and seven, he says, and have you completely forgotten the word of encouragement that addresses you as father addresses his son? It says, no, son or my son, do not make light of the Lord discipline. [00:25:24] And do not lose heart when he rebukes you because the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastens. Everyone accepts his sons endure hardship as discipline. God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father. All sons and daughters are disciplined. And we see that Jesus, God's son, he learned obedience to what he suffered. This is really quite amazing, son. He was, he learned obedience through what he suffered and bringing many sons and daughters to glory. It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. [00:26:09] The pioneer of our salvation made perfect through what he suffered. Jesus. [00:26:14] All who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ are subject to his discipline. And it's through this suffering that we're made holy. [00:26:23] God is doing something so far beyond our comprehension. It says in one Corinthians here, it says that no what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived, the things that God has prepared for those who love him. [00:26:48] We have an incredible hope. We take ahold of verses like this. It's an amazing the hope that we have. [00:26:56] So when we're being prepared by the process of enduring hardship as discipline, we're experiencing training for the kingdom. Drawing the analogy here of earthly fathers and their sons, we're being encouraged to be submissive to the spirit of the discipline of the father of our spirits who gives us life and by the grace. It is our responsibility to let this discipline have its full effect in order that we can be trained by it. [00:27:30] I just want to say, when I was running for that 15 years, God beat me up pretty good while I was outside of these walls. It's amazing. We don't have to be inside these walls for God to work with us. I may have said no to God and his discipline, thinking I was run from it, but I was coaching hockey for twelve years and that is quite a thing. When you got kids, you got to try to keep in line, and then you got parents, you got to try to keep in line because some parents get hockey, get pretty excited and I'll tell you, they can turn on you. And so when I started coaching hockey, you learn that. And so then I had two congregations going there. I had these little kids that I had to motivate and teach and encourage and correct their attitudes and teach them the good things in life. And then I had the parents over here and I had to think, okay, these guys react like that. So I got to be careful what I say over here and how I say it and what I do because I flare up. And that went on for twelve years. But you got one good thing, budy. You had a new congregation every year you could start. Okay, I did that like this last year and it didn't go very well. So I tried going over here and doing it this way. So through those years and then I started a business and running a business. I tell you, if you've ever run a business, they say that the average entrepreneur knocks ten years off their life because of the stress in running a business. [00:28:45] And I tell you, God can get you into quite some situations if he wants you no matter what you're doing. So you might as well just say amen, father, not my will, your will be done. And just try to do what he says and walk the walk. [00:29:00] Our problem is that we have a hard time separating this world that we live in from the spirit of which we're encouraged to be transformed to. That's the hard part for us. We're so hooked into this world systems. We're hooked into this world systems by debt. And watching this social media, the propaganda that bet you 80% or more is not even true. It's just people wanting to get you. They give you headlines and stuff to get you to click so that their clicks go up, all that nonsense. [00:29:31] We're full of anxiety because of all the things that are going on in our world, allowing these cares and these concerns to choke out the things of the spirit. When hard times come our way, it's so easy for us to slip back into worldly wisdom, thinking and dealing with things the way that this world system is telling us to. [00:29:52] It's God's kids. We must let the discipline have its full effect in our lives and allow ourselves to be trained by it. [00:30:02] This is a common way that God trains his kids. And as we grow and mature that we will come to the place where we will trust Jesus regardless of what season we're in in our lives. [00:30:15] The author sensed their tendency of spiritual weakness here his readers. And in light of these truths that he's opened up to them, he's challenging them to renew their strength. He's telling them to take a new grip with their tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs and mark out a straight, smooth path for your feet so that those who follow, though they weak and lame, will not hurt themselves but become strong. [00:30:44] What it's saying here is that if we would pursue the level paths that true, righteousness demands the weakest among us would be healed. That's a pretty powerful thought. If we just take that new grip with our tired hands, we stand firm in our shaky legs and mark out a straight, smooth path, doing what righteousness demands, the weak among us will be healed. [00:31:08] Oh, we got to do it. [00:31:11] Many people are grieving loss these days. Just last week we were called this. We're always being called these days. It seems like a lot to people that are losing loved ones all ages. [00:31:22] And then we see the babies being born in the church, so many babies. And the joy that comes with the birth of these little tykes. There's nothing more beautiful than that. And then we got everything else that's happening between those two bookends. [00:31:39] And we need to know that. The number one thing is the gospel message is all about reconciliation. [00:31:47] It's about reconciling man and God. And as we walk with God and our work to have a relationship with him and stay connected to him and be reconciled to him, that's going to have people notice you're a little different. [00:32:03] And then you can give the reason for that hope that you have within you. And so that's number one thing is we need to be reconciled to God and we can't be flippant about our relationship with the Father. So he's great and we can have fun in lots of it because we can have fun with peace of mind. And so as we're reconciled to God, we're reconciling continually ourselves with the Father. [00:32:30] And as Peter in Jerusalem, Jesus had ascended and so much commotion, I can't imagine what the day was like or those days were like when Jesus died and the graves opened up and the curtain was torn, just the commotion that must have been going on. And the wonder in people's hearts and the Holy Spirit is poured out onto the believers that are waiting in the upper room. And then the community sees what's going on and they're wondering what's happening. And Peter stands up and he starts to explain what's gone on the last few days. Their eyes are open. They recognize they crucified. The son of God says, cut to the heart. They said, what must we do? And Peter said to them, repent and be baptized and you will be saved. And that's the gospel message. And the awesome thing, that God's arms are always open wide. [00:33:25] We have never arrived. Like a friend of mine said, we were newly married young Christians and we were out 100 miles house visiting them. He was my best man, actually, and I was trying to witness to him, trying to share to him with him what was happening in my life and stuff like that. And he looks at me and he goes, you know, he says he grew up in the catholic church. He says to me, he says, you know, there's nobody more righteous than the newly converted. I took me back, and I thought, wow, what's he trying to tell me here? And, you know, it's really true. There's nobody more righteous than the newly converted in the sense that they've given their lives to God, they've repented of their sins. They're accountable for what they know, and they're standing right before God. There's nobody more righteous than the newly converted. I think he was saying it like, you think you're so righteous, but it's a great truth. [00:34:16] And the awesome thing is that God says, there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We've got so much to be thankful for as believers. And I just want to throw it out there that, because I'd like to have a few altar workers come forward and come forward. About four of you. [00:34:40] Somebody stand up. There we go. I knew you would do it. A couple more would be nice, because I want to give us an invitation here, too, because I got two things going on here at the end of this message. One is we need to know the Lord. And if you don't know the Lord, I want to give you an opportunity to meet him this morning. And the other thing going on is that we're talking about the discipline of the Lord. We're talking about how God uses the difficult things in our lives to produce holiness in us. And I want to invite you that if you're in that place to come up and allow our altar workers to pray for you. If we get lots of people praying, we'll have other altar workers. You can just jump up and join us. And if this is enough, that's great, but I want to give you that opportunity. And we can't take when God is calling us. [00:35:33] I'm going to have a stand because I want to get ready to come up when God is calling us. That's when we respond. The scripture says that today is the day of salvation. And when God's speaking to you, you're hearing this message, and you understand what I'm saying. You understand that you've got to make a choice. You got to come up here and come to one of these people and say, I want to make Jesus Lord of my life. And then you're kind of scared because look at all these people. But I want to encourage you that I want to invite the people that are struggling, the people that need prayer for loss, the people that want prayer for the situations that you're in in your life. I want you to come at the same time. And so I want to encourage everybody to just hear what the Holy Spirit's saying to you. If you're in a place where you need prayer. The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective, and it's true. [00:36:28] And these people want to agree with you in prayer. They want to hold up your hands like they did Moses. And if you want to receive Jesus Christ as your lord and your savior, don't allow the enemy to keep you in that seat. [00:36:41] I want us to come forward right now, and in the meantime, I want us to pray for those that come forward and pray for each other. [00:36:52] If you don't want to come forward, talk to your neighbor there and ask them if they would pray for you. But I want to encourage you to come forward at this time and let us agree with you in prayer for the struggles you're going through, because I know there's many of us, family members and stuff, so come forward this morning. [00:37:10] Come.

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