Central Christian Church Message Podcast

Lest We Forget | Pastor Cal Jernigan

August 11, 2022 Central Christian Church of Arizona
Lest We Forget | Pastor Cal Jernigan
Central Christian Church Message Podcast
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Central Christian Church Message Podcast
Lest We Forget | Pastor Cal Jernigan
Aug 11, 2022
Central Christian Church of Arizona

Subscribe to Central Christian Church: https://www.youtube.com/CentralChristianAZ?sub_confirmation=1 
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Leading people to discover and fully own their faith in Jesus. That is the mission of Central Christian Church, led by Pastor Cal Jernigan based in Mesa, Arizona with multiple locations throughout Arizona.

We are a community of grace and forgiveness where everyone is allowed, encouraged, and expected to be authentic. This is a safe and practical place to come as you are and grow in your faith, but this is also a place where complacency is challenged.

You are Made For More.

To support Central's ministry and help us continue to help people discover and fully own their faith in Jesus click here: https://www.centralaz.com/Give

If you have a prayer request that we can be praying for or want us to pray with you please let us know by visiting www.centralaz.com/prayer or email us directly at prayer@centralaz.com.


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#MadeForMore #LoveBeyond #CentralAZ #ChurchOnline #OnlineChurch #CentralChristianChurch

Show Notes Transcript

Subscribe to Central Christian Church: https://www.youtube.com/CentralChristianAZ?sub_confirmation=1 
Central Student Ministries YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/CSMStudentMinistries?sub_confirmation=1 
Central Children's Ministries YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/CentralAZChildrens?sub_confirmation=1 

Leading people to discover and fully own their faith in Jesus. That is the mission of Central Christian Church, led by Pastor Cal Jernigan based in Mesa, Arizona with multiple locations throughout Arizona.

We are a community of grace and forgiveness where everyone is allowed, encouraged, and expected to be authentic. This is a safe and practical place to come as you are and grow in your faith, but this is also a place where complacency is challenged.

You are Made For More.

To support Central's ministry and help us continue to help people discover and fully own their faith in Jesus click here: https://www.centralaz.com/Give

If you have a prayer request that we can be praying for or want us to pray with you please let us know by visiting www.centralaz.com/prayer or email us directly at prayer@centralaz.com.


Stay Connected

Website: https://www.centralaz.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CentralAZ
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/CentralChristianAZ/
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/CentralAZ
Message Podcast: https://centralaz.buzzsprout.com/
Beyond The Lines Podcast: https://www.centralaz.com/beyond-the-lines
App: https://www.centralaz.com/app 
Blog: https://www.centralaz.com/blog

#MadeForMore #LoveBeyond #CentralAZ #ChurchOnline #OnlineChurch #CentralChristianChurch

All right. Well, good morning. And welcome. Welcome. All of you with me here. Welcome all of you. What whichever campus you're on or whether you're watching this online in your own home or drive or wherever you are, man. It is so good to be back. It's so good to be here. Uh, if you have no idea who I am, my name is Cal I'm the lead pastor here.

And let me give you just a little quick background. I've been on staff here for 37 and a half years. I've been the lead pastor. For the past 23 years, I've been on vacation, on a steady leave for the past, uh, the last several months between those two. And, uh, it is so seriously good to be back here with you.

And, uh, I I'm, I'm just excited about what God's doing in our church before I move forward. Those are a couple things I need to acknowledge. It would seem ridiculous not to stop and say thank you to God and thank you to some people. One of the things that's so cool about our church is I can travel. And I know that weekends are never gonna miss a beat because we have communicators like Caleb and Rachel and Tyler and Jeremy.

And yeah, let's just give it up to them. Or them because these guys, uh, they just carried it so incredibly well. And I'm thrilled about that. And I wanna mention that. I also wanna mention, I'm thrilled about this. This is wonderful to have our students in here. If you're new to us, this is kind of a new thing that we're doing.

I'll explain a little bit more in a minute, but, uh, we believe that it's critically important. That, uh, we understand that the church is always one generation away from extinction and me at my age. I want you to understand something church. I am absolutely determined to make sure that we turn this church over to the next generation and I'm committed to making sure that we do that right.

And we do it well, and that we do it in a way that honors God. And so I want you to understand you guys are. MVPs also, I know that, uh, they acknowledged us earlier, but for those of you who are on any other campus, I don't understand. I don't know. I didn't get a chance to find out why we have apparently a whole bunch of cheerleaders from grand canyon university, somewhere out here where you are, make some noise.

There you go. Hey, I don't know why you're here, but man, you're welcome here. And it is seriously great. To have you here. Okay. And one last thing I need to tell you, uh, we are rebooting. We are restarting, we are relaunching something that was so cool, but it kind of got taken out in the whole COVID deal.

And, and there's lots of details, but we're relaunching this Thursday night. Uh, our Thursday night service it'll be held at six o'clock on this campus. We have, uh, the, the whole children's ministry is ready to go. Uh, if, if you're planning to be gone on any given weekend and you want to catch the weekend service in advance, that's what Thursday night will be.

And, uh, we're really, really excited that, uh, it, we can do this now. And so because of COVID, uh, it, it's just, again, lots of reasons behind that, but we. Uh, we're, we're trusting that. Uh, it'll go. Great. So invite you to that. Now, let me just explain something because you, you, you might not understand, uh, what, what, what, what do you mean you've been on a study leave?

Uh, so I it's really important that you get this, cuz it's really crucial to our church. Uh, let me just say this, that there, there are very few things that do more damage in the kingdom of God than when a lead pastor makes bad decisions and morally fail. Uh, if you're paying any attention, you know, that, uh, uh, uh, it's, it's, it's a very common headline and, uh, the whole world just goes and lemme say it this way.

See it totally damages the pastor. It totally devastates his family, but it doesn't stop there. The D the devastation of the damage goes further. It goes, it, it, it goes to the, the church, the, the, the church gets hurt by that. Not only does the church get hurt by that the, the name of Christianity gets hurt by.

And, and people begin to mock and they, they laugh and they go these a bunch of hypocrites. And not only that, but the worst thing of all the name of God gets hurt in that. And so what happens to pastors is they get going so far so fast and they lose sight of everything that's going on around them. And, and so in our church, we determined over two decades ago that we're not gonna let that happen.

And so the board of our church put in place a thing called the study leave and they said, listen, here's the deal. Every seven. You take six or seven months off when I became the lead pastor of the church. So I pleaded with him. I said, I don't wanna be gone any given year six or seven months. So we worked out a deal that's again, two plus decades old.

Now that can we just, can I just do a little bit of this every summer? And here's the deal I'll get away. I promise you I'll recalibrate. I'll, I'll make sure that I get out of the forest so I can stare at the trees and see a bigger picture. And I promise you that I'll go away and I'll spend time alone with God and I'll make sure that I'm dialed.

But I don't wanna be gone that long in any given year. And we worked out that deal and it's worked out every summer. So if you've been around, you know, for the rhythm of our church and I look so forward to this moment, when I get to come back, I, I want you to know it's been really, really good. You go, what do you do?

I just do a lot of reading. I do a lot of listening. I do a lot of writing. I do a lot of praying. I do a lot of, I talk sometimes places and just what I do, but this is what I say every year when I come. The expression absence makes the heart grow. Fonder, sums it up for me. Now you might not have missed me and you might not care the least bit that I'm back, but I want you to know church.

I miss you. And I'm glad you're back. And it is good to be here today. So with that said, with that said, let me pray. And then we're gonna dive in. I'm gonna talk fast. What I want to talk about today is super important to us. And so I got a lot of ground to cover. So let me pray. And, uh, we'll, uh, we'll get going here.

So if I have a thank you, uh, for this church and thank you for these people, this group, that's in this room, that group that's in that room and those people that are in that living. Uh, wherever, uh, or watching on in their office wherever they are. God, thank you for what you're doing here. And, and Lord, we, uh, we really do pray that you will just move us today.

And man, man, we stay mentally sharp and stay aware and make the most of these moments. So to that end, we pray in Jesus' name. Uh, okay. So what I wanna do is I wanna, I want to talk to you about one of my favorite trilogies of movie. Uh, I wanna show it to you, but I can't because the legal broadcasting thing, we can't do that, but I want to just take you back to the Jason born series.

The trilogy. If you know about Jason born, see, it starts with what's called the born identity. That's the first one. And, and the, the whole series begins. If you just let me take you back, there's a guy floating, uh, face up in the ocean. He's got a light flashing and it is at night and a ship goes by and sees the light.

They have no idea. They fish. This guy UN is unconscious. Out of the ocean and they put him on the ship and they're trying to figure out is he alive? And they go, he's alive. And they're trying to re recover, you know, re uh, uh, help. What word am I looking for? Revive him. They're trying their hardest to get him back.

And, and then what happens is, is they, they come to the conclusion. We don't know what's happened, but some trauma has happened. Then they see some bullet holes in them. And they're trying to figure out what, what happened to this guy? Well, then what happens is he comes around. He come becomes conscious and, and as he becomes C.

He starts to realize that he has no idea what happened to him. And, and, and so he has, and this is what the whole born identity is built upon. He has a lots of identity. He, he has what we call amnesia and the entire born identity movie. And really the series is about him trying to pick up clues as to who he actually is.

He he's going, I don't understand. There's a great scene in the coffee shop, where he was talking to a girl and he says, I don't understand why I have six passport. I, I don't, they all got my picture in their different names. I don't know why I can tell you the license plates of all the vehicles out in the parking lot.

I can't, I don't know why I can tell you that that guy right there can handle himself. I don't know why I can tell you that the quickest place to find a gun is in that great truck out in the parking lot. He goes, I don't know why I know this. And so it's the movie, him trying to figure out who he is and, and where did he come from?

Uh, but more than who he is and where he is coming from. What's his purpose in life? Why does he know these things? Where's he going? Um, I, I wanna just throw an idea out here that I think applies to us. And, and it's really the essence of what I want to talk about. It's this right here. You can never become humor meant to be.

If you can't remember who you are, would you say that with me, wherever you are say that you can never no. When I say together, that means like something totally different in my head. Okay. So, uh, they're gonna put it up there. You can, you can never, you. Okay.

Follow me. Okay. Together. All right, here we go. Ready? Ready? Ready? You can never become who you were meant to be. If you can't remember who you are. So who are you? Who are you? C could you describe your identity to me? Um, E every, uh, opportunity I ever get. I, I go. Home to Albuquerque. I grew up in Albuquerque.

I, I confess to you. I love Albuquerque. I love being in Albuquerque. I love hanging out in Albuquerque. It's yeah, there. Yeah, there we go. Woo. Woo  uh, um, anyway, uh, so what happens is, and this just annoys my wife and family to no end as they were growing up, but every time we're traveling anywhere, I wanna stay the night in Albu.

and, uh, so even our kids have grown and gone and had kids. It's like my dear wife, I haul her to Albuquerque. She goes, let me just stay in the hotel. You go do whatever that thing is you do. And what that thing I do is I go down memory lane because I, I think I cannot describe who I am to myself until I understand where I came from.

And, and so what I do, and I know this might sound really weird to you, but I don't think I'm the only person here, but what I do is I, I, I go back to where, uh, I used to.  and what I mean by that is like this year, uh, we stayed at a brand. We always stayed at holiday Inn, expresses a little bit of trivia.

Okay. We always say at holiday Inn expresses and they built a brand new holiday Inn express just across the Cornell freeway from where I went to junior high school. In fact, I stood on one of the top floors and looked out and said, that's right there. That's Kennedy right there. That's where I went to junior high school.

And so what I always do is I get up really early, which I get up early anyway, but I get up really early. And on this particular year, I'm talking about this summer, I'm talking like two months ago, I got up and I walked across the bridge across the corner freeway. And I walked to my junior high school that I grew up and I walked around and I, I just looked at buildings and I was just recalling.

And I remember things from teachers and I things with, uh, friends and, and then I decided I was gonna walk the, the way I used to walk home because I had to walk home every. And, and so I did the walk and as I was walking, I was looking, I was looking at the houses and I was just remembering, and all this stuff was going through my mind.

And then I got to my house and, and I looked across the street and I remember where Tony lived. And I remember some funny things that Tony and I used to do. And then I just remember, and then I walked back and then I got in my car and, and I drove to another neighborhood where, uh, earlier in my life I lived and, and again, I grew up there, so it's two different places.

And so I went back to this other. I do the same thing. I park my car and I get out and I just start walking down the street. It's probably a recipe for getting arrested, but it, I didn't happen. I just walked down, but I got in front of my house that I grew up in. Okay. And I just stopped and I just looked, cuz I remember who lived there and who lived there.

And I remember ringing on that guy's doorbell. And I remember, and I remember I remember and running and all that stuff we used to do. I looked across the street and this is a story for a different. But I, I, I looked at the front window of Mrs. Foley's house. I've told you the story of what I did to Mrs.

Foley. I didn't mean to do it to her, but she's such a sweet lady. One day, I wanted to give her a gift. I came home from junior or, uh, uh, uh, that would be a junior high school. I came home, that'd be elementary school. I came home and, and my mom had married another guy, which is a whole nother story, had lots of dads.

And he had this big old batch of marijuana plants in our utility room. I had no idea what they. I felt like we had more than enough. So I carried a plat or plot or whatever you call that of little plotted plants over to Mrs. Foley. And she was so gracious. So thank you. You're such a sweet kid and she put 'em all in her front window and then my step came home and let's just say he noticed, I'm saying that very kindly.

And he went off on me and I had to go back to Mrs. Foley. Take Renne on my gift. I had to Ms. Foley. Trust me. You're you, Joe, won't be good for you. She dear white haired lady. And just trust me, this will be good. I know it's harsh, but I need the plants back right next to Mrs. Foley. Um, was another family. Uh, he, his name was Mr.

Williams. And, and I, I know I'm gonna date myself and some of your, you know, especially you younger folks are not gonna have any idea what I'm talking about. When I was growing up and I, it used to be on Sunday comics, but I know we don't really see Sunday comics anymore, but there used to be a thing called Dennis the Minna.

If you remember Dennis, the minis Dennis, the Minna was his character and, and, uh, he had a Mr. Wilson in his life and he used to just hound Mr. Wilson and pound him with all kinds of questions. You might remember this. Well, I, Mr. Williams was my Mr. Wilson and I was dentist, but my name was Cal and I used to go over to his house.

and just pepper him with questions. And I, I didn't have a dad and he was like, Hey, help me here. So one day he was working on his car and I started asking him, well, what's that? And, and, and he is so kind because I'm, you know, I'm just this kid without a dad. So he is like, well, son, that's a, that's a, a, that's an alternator.

What's you do? He, what, well, why does he need to do that? And I would just go through what's that, that's a, that's the air filter, what's it do? Why is it there? And I went through all these things. I was irritating them and I know I was irritating. By what happened? This is what happened. I remember it very, very clear.

This is what he said. He says, he said, Cal, I'm answering all your questions, but I don't think you're listening. And I don't think you're gonna remember anything I told you. And I said, no, no, seriously, I'm paying attention. I'm learning. And he said, I'll make a deal with you. Here's the deal. I'll I'll show you a part.

I'll explain what it is. I'll explain what it does. And then five minutes from now. I'm gonna ask you if you can remember, and if you can remember, you can keep asking me all the questions you want. Okay, man. I'm I'm like, I'm, I'm gonna concentrate. I'm gonna listen. I'm gonna memorize. Um, and he told me what it was now.

I gotta tell you, in hindsight, what he did was hilarious. It was so incredibly funny, totally missed on me at the time, but I get it now because see what he pulled out and what he showed me was a dipstick.  so clever, man. He explained it, showed it to. Put it back got me to get off. Subject came back five minutes later for the life of me.

I could not remember it was a dip stick and I realized I was a dip stick, but I digress.  so the, the thing I need you to understand is, um, there, there is incredible power. If you know who you are, there's incredible power. If you know where you came from, there's incredible power. If you can remember things beyond the day you're living that you, you could actually remember.

In fact, in fact, I would explain something. I don't know if you know this there there's, there's a word and a phrase that are repeated so many times in the Bible. The word is, remember the phrases do not forget. Remember, do not forget. Remember, do not forget. It's repeated 341 times in the Bible. I think it's second only to another command, which is, do not fear, which is 365 times this repeated all these times.

Remember, do not forget. Remember, do not forget. Why does it have to be told this so many times? Remember, do not forget. Well, let me, let me show you just a couple of passages. Just I I'm just a couple of these there's so many of them due to Romy four nine says only be careful and watch yourself closely that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as.

Got got, gotta remember, don't forget this Deuteronomy eight 11. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, your God failing to observe his commands has lost his decrees that I'm giving you to this day. The second king 1738. Do not forget the covenant I made with you. Get the point. Don't forget. Don't lose your identity about these things.

Yet. Psalm 78 11 says they forgot what he had done. The wonders he had shown them Psalm 1 0 6 21 says they forgot the Lord who saved. And, and had done great things. Well, what good is it? If something good happens to you or if you're on the right track, but you can't remember who you are or why you are or where you're going.

And, and so I'm gonna put a sentence up here. I want you to just think about this sentence. Okay. We fail. Not because we don't know better, but because we don't remember better what we know.  we, we fail. Not because we don't know better, but because we don't remember better what we know, it just slips away and, uh, it's gotta be frustrating to God how we, we are incredibly capable of remembering certain things when we just totally forget other things.

Like I, for like, when I told you about kind of cruising around Albuquerque, this. Songs from my junior high school. And I name 'em right now, but it won't matter, but I could. I and the soundtrack and, and it comes, I, can you take, you play that song? You take me right back to that neighborhood music does that to us.

Right? Certain smells, you smell that smell and immediately are transported to another place. Another time. This one is not true for you, but for me, I cannot go into an ACE hardware without going back to the hardware store where I grew.  I, I, my guess is that you can clearly remember where you were. I mean, depending on how old you are, the space shuttle, the, the planes crashing into the trade center, the, you know, the pandemic as soon as where do you remember where you were when you heard, you didn't have to go back to school?

My guess is you go? Yeah, that was the greatest day of my life. Why do we remember certain things and why does it take a smell? Why does it take a sound? Why does it take that flash? It it's. It is kind of about how we're made. So, so all throughout scripture, when God says, do not forget, he'll do something so that you won't forget.

It's like for instance, I was reading in my own quiet time. I was reading the book of Joshua and Joshua leads them across to Jordan. And then as soon as I get to the other side, God says, now listen to Joshua. I need you to stack up a stack of rocks. You put a bigger stack of rock. Why am I doing that?

Because you explain to the people that anytime they see these rocks, they're gonna remember what I did for them today on this, you take, you, you, you make sure you know it. So they did, and they would tell their children, you know what happened right here? This right here, this spot, this symbol reminds us the, the Jewish people were taught to wear what were called factories, which is a weird thing, but they used to wear little boxes, not used to, but that little, little boxes, leather boxes that would strap onto their.

And they have scripture in it, and then they strap a little, I know it sounds weird. They Strapp a box on their forehead with scripture in it. And the idea was, remember what your hands are supposed to do, remember what your head was made for. They would wear garments. And at the bottom of the garments, there would be tassels.

Do you know when they had tassels on the bottom of their garment? Well, let me just show you from scripture, uh, numbers, 1539 says you will have these tassels to look at so that you will remember.  all the commands of the Lord that you may obey them and not prostitute yourself by chasing after the less of your own hearts and your eyes, they would overly repeat things.

They would tell things over and over and over again. So you'd hear it and hear it and hear it. They would, in their worship, they would have incense and they, they would smell. So it would remind them Jesus. On the night he was betrayed, he took a couple wine and he took some unle bread and he said, this.  is my body.

And, and remember what he said, do this remembrance in, in remembrance of me, my body, my blood. Don't forget. Don't forget. So I wanna ask church just as Jason borne went through a traumatic experience. Couldn't remember who he was, had amnesia. Is it possible that we, as a church could have experienced amnesia that we've lost our memory of who we are that we, that somehow all of this has kind of shaken us, that the pandemic has disoriented us, that all of the PO polarization in politics that we've experienced over the last decade has divided us and disillusioned us.

Do you think we could be confused about our priorities when it comes to things like. Be because of how difficult the economy is. You can never become who you were meant to be. If you can't remember who you are, nor can we, oh, I'm gonna do something. I only have a few minutes. I promise you. I'm not gonna keep you long, but I gotta, I there's three things.

There's more than three. I could talk about. I'm only gonna talk about three things I'm gonna talk about. 'em very fast. You, you wanna know who we are and again, you might be new to me. I might be new to you. You might be new to central. You might have been around central forever, but you know what? If you can't remember who you are, what good.

So I wanna talk about some of the foundations. This church has been built upon. I promise y'all go fast. The first thing you need to understand is we have declared six core values as a church. This is who we are, and, and I've always described it as we drove stakes into the ground. So we're gonna hold this big ship called central that blimp.

So it doesn't drift away into something else. Let me just remind you of these. I'll go very, very quickly, but here's what you need to do. You're gonna hear a word or two, and you're gonna hear a description. The actual core value is to the description. We've reduced it down to just simple words so we can remember and not forget what these values are.

So let me fire 'em off each fast. All right. Core value. Number one, prayer, prayer. As a community of believers, we see God's guidance and direction through prayer and all that we do as a church and in all aspects of our daily lives. If we're not gonna pray, we might, let's a new church. If you don't wanna, if you're not gonna take time to pray, don't bother to walk with God.

He's trying to guide us, but we're not listening. And if you can't listen, you can't remember cuz he didn't hear. So we're gonna pray church. We're gonna pray. Second core value. All people, all people. This is how the core value reads. We're primarily we primarily exist for the sake of those who are not yet a part of the body of Christ, continuing to mature, all believers into fully transformed, committed and reproducing followers of Christ.

What does that mean? Oh, it's really simple. We're trying to help people discover Christ and then fully own the faith. So we take the great commission, which you've heard. Then Jesus came to them and said, all authority and heaven on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, son, and the holy spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I commanded you baptize and teach that that's a core value of ours.

Okay. Uh, all, all people core value. Number three, the Bible we acknowledge the Bible is a reveal truth of God, providing direction for our. We desire to communicate its truth in a manner that relates to our culture. There is no book superior to this book. There's no more perennially, fresh read you'll ever have than what you'll read.

In these words, we're, we're gonna stay focused. We're gonna stay anchored to the Bible. Fourth value authenticity. We are a community of grace and forgiveness, where everyone is allowed, encouraged, and expected to be authentic. This is a safe and practical place to come as you are and grow in your faith.

But this is also a place where complacency is challeng. See you see so often when you go to church, church can be one of the most disingenuous places you visit is one of the most dishonest places, because we put on a facade, we put on a false face, we gotta look better than we are. We're saying no, and I will never stand up here and try to project off on you.

That I'm better than I, you might think I I'm, I'm not gonna do that. I'm not going. I'm not gonna allow you to put me on any kind of a pedestal. I'm just not gonna do that because that's not who I am. And I don't expect you to do that. When I look at you, I, I want you to be who you are. And I have been who I am, and that is what that means.

Authentic, uh, core value, number five involvement. Every believer within this community is responsible to use his or her spiritual gifts, time, energy, and finances for honoring God. Through this ministry. If you, if you identify with this church, if you call this the body that you belong to, I need you to understand God resourced you to resource his ministry.

That would you have the time, the life, the breath, the energy, the leadership, the finances, all that you have, God gave you for his greatest concern, which is that people would come into the kingdom of God. That is mission. First Peter four 10 says each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms and core value, number six.

And that's where these folks come in. Future generations. We are a community where children and youth are highly valued. We sacrificially share the responsibility of raising godly children and youth. You matter to us. And I need you to understand, and I don't know if I've said this clearly. I don't know if you've got.

th this is not the future of the church. This is the church. This is the young church, but here's the deal. All of us who are older, we gotta turn this place over to these guys. We, I need you to understand I'm committed. We're one generation away from extinction. If we don't lead them well, and we don't give them leadership, this won't be here 10 years from now, 20 years from now.

there's a reason you heard the speakers, you heard this summer, it's not an accident. It, it, it's a transition that we're working through. It's not an accident. These young people are in here. It it's intentional. And I gotta tell you if you want, if you were like my age and you go, I just wanna go to church.

Like it used to be folks there's fewer and fewer of us who used to be around. People die. That's what happens through the church. If it doesn't hand it over, we're gonna hand it over. Okay. I just need you to understand something. Okay. Foundational thing. Number one, I gotta go fast. I haven't even begun to speed up.

We're dedicated to these six core values. Here's the second thing I need you to understand. We are, we are absolutely committed. Um, Or excuse me, we're called, um, to develop disciples of Jesus. Now, let, I'm gonna give you a, a quick little illustration and, uh, I want you to see what I'm doing and I want you to see this.

Please listen. I will explain a ton of what's happening or not happening in your life with this little illustration. I'm gonna draw. I'm gonna draw four circles. Okay. There's the four circles. I want to explain that all of us are somewhere on this trajectory, moving that direction. I, I want you to understand that, um, The the, the first of these circles is what we're gonna call exploring.

And I'm gonna have them put these words up. So I don't have to worry about spelling 'em well, so I can spell 'em fast. Exploring is what some of you are in here you go. I, I'm not a Jesus person. I'm not a Christ follower. I'm not, I don't even know about God. I don't know anything, but Hey, I'm here. I'm checking it.

I'm listening. You know, I don't know. I'm checking it out. Uh, that you're exploring. That's awesome that you're here, but I'll tell you what you'll, you'll never make any progress. You, if you keep coming week after week after week, and that's what you're doing, you're never gonna move forward because you have an obstacle in your path and that obstacle is this.

That's the cross of Jesus. You, you go, what do you mean? It's an obstacle. Yeah. This scripture calls at that. What people stumble over the cross. Why? Because see what you gotta get at the cross. And I'm gonna say these words intentionally.  this thing will never be, but a blockage in your life until you get over it, you see, Jesus is Christ.

You cross, you gotta get over. What does that mean? It means you just have to accept the fact that you weren't good enough and you never will be. You gotta understand the fact that you're never gonna prove you're good enough to God to be accepted by God. You gotta understand that in humility he's greater than you.

And he did it for you. Get over. It's hard cuz go. I wanna know. I wanna earn it. I wanna make sure I did. I did my part. You can't do it. If you can't get over the cross, you're gonna just stay right there. The rest of your life. I'm checking it out. Um, when you get over the cross, oh man, you enter into a really exciting phase.

It's called growing. I know you can't read that. It's growing, read it right there.  growing is when man, I fought this for so long. And then I said, yes, and all of a sudden it's like, man, the blinders fell off my eyes. I can't get enough of it. I go to church. I love the worship. I love the word. I love Bible study.

I love serving. I love giving. I love sharing. I love all of that. And this is awesome, but here's where many, many people get stuck. Because here's inevitably what happens like a dead salmon floating downstream. You're gonna end up in this circle and this we're gonna just call existing. What does that mean?

Existing? It means I don't even know why I do this anymore. You've totally lost your identity. I don't know. I go to church. I do it every week. I don't know. I don't feel right if I don't, but I don't. I don't know. I just, I kinda go through the motions. We sing, we pray, we lift our hands. We do all that. It doesn't mean.

You're just existing takes no effort to go from growing to existing. It just takes time. You win inevitably shift. You'll just, you'll just shift there and then you're gonna be stuck right there. Many people in church are stuck. They just exist. Nothing thrills. 'em nothing excites. 'em they don't get, Hey, we have a baptism Sunday.

Oh man. I'm gonna skip that one. Cuz that could go. What's wrong. You're just existing. You're just going through the motions. How do I bust out of that? Okay. There's another obstacle in your way. You gotta deal with it. There's a cross in your way. And this cross right here, it's different than that cross.

That's the cross Jesus died on get over it. He did it for you. This is your cross and you know what you gotta do with this one? You don't gotta get over it. You gotta get. That's why Luke 9 23 is so clear. If any, Jesus said just what Jesus said. If any of you want to come after me, you wanna be a disciple of mine, humble yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me, humble yourself, die to yourself.

And just go where I tell you to go follow me. You know, what, if you will do that, you will transition from existing to thriving and all of the joy that you experienced here will be put on steroid. So, what are we gonna do? What are we gonna do? We have an expression here. There's more to life than me. If you make this faith about you, you're gonna just exist.

It's gonna go do nothing for you. Okay. Let get the last one. We'll be done. I just talked about this at the summit, but let me make sure we get it. Okay. We're dedicated to six core values. We're called to be disciples of Jesus, and then we're committed to love beyond. Now again, I can preach sermons on each of these.

I promise you, I just need to say it quickly. I said this at the summit here this week. So if you were here, you already heard this. What, what does love beyond mean? See, Jesus said something as so profound. Let me make sure we see it. Okay. Uh, uh, this is, uh, John 1334 and 35, a new commandment. I give you that you love one another, uh, as I have loved you, so you must love one another by this.

Everyone will know that you're my disciples. If you love one another, anybody having a hard time, understanding what Jesus. You see, we all go. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Got it. I'm supposed to love one another. And most of us believe we're really good at that. Except the world says, you guys suck at that. You guys are the least loving people out there, and that's why the world is turning away from the church.

Cuz we don't do this. Well, we just give ourselves whole passes, giving ourselves freedom to believe that we did do well. We have a self-serving bias that blinds us. You see what Jesus said? I, a new command I give you that you love one another first off. There's nothing new about that. As I have loved you.

So you must love one another. Oh, that's the new part. As I have loved you, he died for us church. Are we willing to die for them?  because that's how he did it for us. I'm not dying for them. You see, we call this love beyond and often we'll say love beyond the align. Love beyond the limit. Love beyond the boundary.

Cuz here's what happens. This is what happens. Okay. Most of us get it. I'm supposed to love. Okay. I'll love. I'll love. I'll love to a degree.  I I'll love, you know, to, to a certain point. And then what we do is we put this line out there and we go, I'll go up to that line, but I will not cross that line. Jesus says you gotta cross the line.

See, in other words, we say, look, I'll love others. As long as it doesn't make me afraid. As long as to the limit of my fear, I'll love to the limit of my fear. I'll love to the limit of my comfort. I'll love to the limit of my similarities. If you look like me talk like me, act like me. Like me. I'll love you.

We'll we'll love. We'll love to the line, the limit of our politics. Oh, you're of that party. Get out. We'll love to the edge of our faith. Oh, you're a Muslim out. Jesus never allowed us to put that fence out there to keep us on this side. He said, don't put the fence, go beyond church. We're committed to this.

We're committed to this. We, we want church to be like heaven. And I said this so many times, I feel like it. Why don't we start practicing the, the description of heaven as given in the book of revelation, people from every tribe, tongue language nation. Why don't we just get ahead of the game it's gonna happen anyway with or without you?

Would it be better with you, but you gotta go beyond. So who are we as a church? Well, we're dedicated to six core values. We're called to be disciples of Jesus. And we are committed to love beyond okay. High amount of time. Uh, how we gonna do this? I I'm just giving I'm scratched to the surface. Okay. I'm going so fast.

And I know it's like a fire hose. We have a thing. Uh, we call discover more. Discover the more that you were made for is kind of the tagline you, you were made for more than this world's gonna ever give. But you're gonna forfeit the more, if you don't discover what God actually has for. So we have a class, it starts on every campus once a month.

And I just wanna encourage you to check it out. Okay. Check it out. I also wanna let you know, as I close, I'm gonna pray and we'll be done. I want to tell you next week, we're gonna begin a brand new series, which I, I know I say this all the time. I get it. I repeat, I get it. I'm excited. I am. We're gonna begin about a three month study of the book of James.

We're gonna go verse by verse through the book of James, it's called living a genuine life. We're gonna talk about this idea of authenticity, and here's what I want to tell you next week. I'm gonna confess to you the worst thing I think I ever did to my son. Oh, it's not gonna be a data of the year award day, but I'm gonna tell you something that I did that I do not want to tell you.

I did. It was really bad.  and it probably messed him up, but that's next week. So you gotta come back cuz if you, I'm not telling you now. Hey, uh, seriously. Thanks. Thanks so much for being here on each of our campuses. We got a thing or two to do more, but let me close this. Let me pray. And uh, don't miss next week.

Bring a Bible when you come. All right. So Scott, thanks for our time and thanks for what's happening here. Thanks for our, our young people being a part of this. Thanks for that, man. It's just awesome. God, thanks for our Thursday night service kick that's. God, thanks for these guests that we have these from grand canyon universe.

That's awesome. You gotta just pray that you would, uh, help us to understand what's at stake here. This is not playing a game. This matters, and God give us the ability to make the most of it. And this I pray in Jesus' name. Amen. Bless you guys.