Central Christian Church Message Podcast

I Love You But... | Intervention | Pastor Cal Jernigan

January 15, 2023 Central Christian Church of Arizona
I Love You But... | Intervention | Pastor Cal Jernigan
Central Christian Church Message Podcast
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Central Christian Church Message Podcast
I Love You But... | Intervention | Pastor Cal Jernigan
Jan 15, 2023
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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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

 Well, good morning to each and every one of you. I'm so glad that you're here. I, um, personally love days like today. Do I have anybody else with me on this? Got a few. Got a few. I, uh, I, I love it when it's raining and you have somewhere to go and, uh, to come to church and to be with you all is wonderful.

So welcome. I'm glad you're here. Also, uh, wanna welcome, uh, all of you, uh, whichever campus you're. I want you to know we're thinking about you, you matter to us, and you are us. And I also wanna welcome those of you who are watching this online. Uh, we wish you were with us in person, but we're glad that you're with us in any way that you can be.

So, uh, here's what I need you to do. Why don't you just go ahead and take out your Bible and open your Bible to Second Kings Chapter five, second Kings chapter five. Now as second King. Uh, probably about a third of the way through the Old Testament if you have a physical Bible. Um, we we're gonna get there in just a second, but, uh, I wanna put a caveat on this message before we go any further.

Here's the deal. This is one of these messages that's gonna be really, really easy to think that your spouse needs to hear. Okay. Uh, this is one of these messages that you're gonna think of somebody who needs to hear this, but not you. I, I want to be really, really clear and I want to just plead with you to understand I'm not, uh, I'm not gonna be talking about your friend in this message.

I'm gonna talk about you and I'm gonna talk about me, and I think it'd be in our best interest if we. Where we understand that this is something we are being challenged to think through. And I'll explain that more in just a moment. You'll understand. Let me begin with a word of prayer and we're gonna dive in.

So, God, I, I just thank you for this morning. I thank you for the rain. I thank you for, uh, just this, uh, way that you change, uh, our days and that you give us. Days like this where we can get up, get outta bed, be together, and hang out and just enjoy something different. So, uh, bless you for that. Father. Thank you Lord.

We pray this, we open up your Bible, that you would open up our minds, that you would open up our hearts, our eyes, and our ears, God, that we are not here to, uh, change somebody else's, uh, trajectory of their life. But we're here to change our trajectory, God, that we understand that we've gotta wrestle with, uh, what you, what you want us to do.

To that in Father, I pray and ask this. Amen. All right. So I want you to imagine something. I want you to imagine that you are about to make what you would consider a big decision. Okay? Um, it, it's, it's something you've thought a lot about. It's something that you're confident after, after you've thought it through.

That it, it's a good decision. You're making a good decision. All right. Now, I don't know what the decision's about, but you're, you just, you j you are right on the cusp of making this decision. You've, you're thinking it through. You're is about to pull the trigger and you're ready to go. Um, it, it, it could be any number of things.

It could be. Uh, a decision about a relationship, a, a relationship that you're about to enter into, uh, or it could be about a relationship you're trying to get out of. You're making a decision about a relationship. It could be about a financial matter. It it's about something you're thinking about buying, or something you're thinking about selling or an investment you're considering making.

It could be about a health issue, uh, that, uh, maybe you're making a decision that I'm gonna stop going to the doctor that I've been going to. I just don't think that doctor knows what they're talking about. So I'm gonna, I don't like what they're telling me, so I'm gonna change. It could have to do with some medication where the doctor prescribes You take this and you decide, you know what?

I'm done. I'm not taking that anymore. You're making a decision. It could be about your career. Um, you're gonna change jobs. You made a decision. You're, you're gonna quit your job and you're gonna just move you. You made a decision that you're not gonna quit your job, but you're gonna go in, you're gonna let your boss.

You're not gonna quit your job. You can let your boss have it and you're gonna demand a race. Whatever the decision. See, here's the deal. You and I will make a million decisions in our lifetime, and I'm sure that number is way lower than the actual number. Most all the decisions that you make in your lifetime have absolutely nothing to do with how your life is gonna turn out.

Really, most of the decisions we make are inconsequential and they to carry no great weight. But there are a handful of decisions that you'll make in your lifetime that will determine the absolute course of the rest of your life. There are. Fundamentally important critical decisions that we all have to deal with.

So with that side, with that in mind, you decided, and, and so before you actually pull off the decision, you decide you're gonna bring a confidant in, you're gonna bring one of your friends in, and you're gonna tell your friend what it is that you've decided to do. And so you lay it out and they're listening and they're processing and they're asking, uh, questions.

But I want you to understand that in. Scenario when you do all of that, they think or, or they know, or they believe that the decision you're about to make is a really bad one for you. So they, they heard it, they got it. They, you, they were with you, and they, and their head is going, that's, that's a bad, that's a dumb decision.

And then I want you to imagine that they decide to say nothing to you about it. That's the scenario I want you to. They know you're making a mistake. They believe it's bad. They can certainly see what you can't see, but they decide to keep quiet. All right? So then, because they don't say anything, you dive head first into this decision.

You're going for it. You commit yourself, you reach the point of no return, and then disaster strikes it. What? What comes out of this is so much different than you anticipated. It is so far less than it's proven to be so much more burdensome than you ever imagine. Everything blows up. You pay a price that far exceeds what you were expecting to pay.

And then at the end of that, you are sitting in the pain of remorse, the pain of isolation, of the pain that comes from just realizing, I, I'm confused, I'm disoriented, I'm frustrated, and I'm suffering. And when you're in that state, your friend who you confided in says to, What I'm gonna call the second worst thing that anybody could ever say to you, the second worst thing that anyone could ever say to you, and that is the sentence I could have told you.

You ever had a friend tell you? I could have told you. Now, mind you, I didn't tell you. I, I chose not to tell you, but I could have told you we, that, that thing that was a, I could have told you that was gonna turn out this way. I could have told.  that you're gonna regret that I could have told you, but they didn't.

They chose not to. Uh, I could have, but I didn't. I just decided to keep my mouth shut. I didn't want to risk you being upset with me and, um, you seem so happy with your decision. So I thought, who am I to get in your way? Let's go to Second Kings chapter five. Let's go to Second Kings chapter five. Uh, this is a fascinating story that I wish we had a lot more time to spend on, cuz I think there's so much in here.

let me just walk us through it. This little passage. I wanna show you something. I wanna cause you to think about this Second Kings chapter five. Verse one is actually gonna come up on the screen cuz I want you to see this and then we'll just work our way through the following passages. Second Kings five, one says, now Naiman, that's the key character.

Naiman was a commander of the army of the King of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly. But because through him, the Lord had given victory to Aaron. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. All right. Now I wanna just point out a couple things. I want you to see what we just discovered about this man.

Nama. You have to pick this up. Number one, he was a commander, alright? He is not a private, he is not an enlisted. He is an officer in the army. He is a commander. He's described as a great man. Highly regarded and a valiant warrior. So here's what I need you to understand. He's not your run of the mill officer.

He's not your run of the mill, you know, uh, he's not the typical man. He's a man's man and everybody knows this about him. All right? Um, and then that we got that little thing at the end, but he has leprosy now that's gonna prove to be the point. And what we're gonna deal with. He's got all these things going.

He is a force to be reckoned with. He is a kind of person that would intimidate you to be in a conversation with, unless you're pretty self-confident. All right? But he has leprosy. Now, if we jump ahead, which don't do this just yet, but I, you'll see it in just a moment when I read it, there's a couple other things we're told about him.

Number one, he directly an answers to the king of Aram. He's connected. He, he's got a seat around the table. Okay, he's got access to the king. If you read a little bit further, which we will in a moment, the king is willing to use his power to help Naiman. The king is a like, just, you're just another guy.

The king regards him highly as the people regard him highly. The king regards him. And you're gonna see, he's actually gonna write a letter, uh, that's going to put the King's authority behind something that Neiman's gonna do. Now, let's just move ahead in this story. Second Kings chapter five, verses two to eight.

Let me show you what happens. Now bands of Raiders from Aram, where Neiman's from had gone out and taken captive a, a young girl from Israel. She served Neiman's wife. Now she said to her mistress, if only my master would see the prophet who was in Samaria, he would cure him of his leprosy back home. A guy who can fix you.

Okay. The, your husband could be fit. This guy back home is a man of faith and incredible things happen when he, uh, asked God to do stuff. And, and if you could, just so she's beginning the process of going, I, I could make a difference here. Now, she doesn't say that she directly speaks to him, but he, she does speak to Neiman's wife, whom she serves.

Now, Naiman after, I'm sure his wife said, Hey, this little girl from Israel said there's a guy and why don't you so. Naiman went to his master, okay, the king, and told him what the girl from Israel had said. By all means, go. The King of Aram replied, I will send a letter to the King of Israel. So Naiman left, taken with him 10 talents of silver, 6,000 shackles of gold, uh, 10 sets of clothing, the letter that he took to the King of Israel.

Read with this letter, I am sending my servant name into you so that you may cure him of his lepro. I mean, the king is fully aligned. Naiman is fully willing, uh, they're taking the advice of this little girl. As soon as the King of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life?

Why is this fellow send somebody to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he's trying to pick a Quora with me? The King of Israel immediately goes, I can't fix this guy. What, what, what you send me, you, you want this to ha you think I and all of these objections start to flow out of his mouth. When Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him a this message.

Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there's a prophet in. . So Elijah goes, when he gets, when he goes, oh, no, no, no, he's not looking for you, he's looking for me. Send them to me. I'm sure you, you, you, you got this wrong. You've misunderstood. Now I, I, I wanna show you where Naiman becomes his own worst enemy.

I want you to understand where Naiman becomes his own worst enemy, because I sometimes become my worst enemy, and you sometimes become your own worst enemy. And I wanna show you this how it happens. Two Kings chapter five, verse nine to 12. So Naiman went with his horses and chariots and stop at the door of Elisha's house.

Elisha sent a messenger, uh, to him, to, uh, Elisha sent a messenger to say to. , go wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed. Now, understand what's happening, Elisha doesn't go to the man. Elisha sh doesn't show any difference to the man. Elisha doesn't get up and go, oh, I understand you're an important person.

You're a V I P from the country of Aram. I understand you and the king, or he didn't do any of that. He sends a messenger. He knows the guys at the door and he just says, Hey, go tell him to go do this. So the guy goes out there and he says, Hey, this is what he said. He said, go wash yourself in the Jordan.

But Naiman went away angry. And he said, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God. Wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my lepro. Are not urban and far apart of the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel. Couldn't I wash him them and be cleansed?

So he turned and he went off in a rage. Now what are we dealing with here? It's not hard to figure out, this is ego. Does he not understand who I am? Does he not get the, he sends a messenger and he wants me to go dip myself in one of their river? Where I come from, we have better water is what he's, it's just his, his whole head.

See what he's done is he's got so emotional now. He's so lost perspective. He's so like, he's just about to head back home in a rage and go home exactly as he came with no difference being made whatsoever. And I'll show you what happens next, and I want you to think deeply about this Namas servants. Went to him and said, my father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?

H how much more than when he tells you, go wash and be cleansed. So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordans seven times as the man of God had told him and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young. Boy, I want to stop here cuz you just go, oh, that's just cool man. Those guys just kind of, I want you to understand the, a couple things.

His servants, plural, not just one, several, they had to watch this, they had watch him go off in a rage, which you've all seen somebody go off in a rage and, and then he is declaring how stupid this, you know, whole deal is, I'm, this is dumb. I shouldn't have wasted my time. I'm going. And the servants are going, oh my, oh my, what?

What are you doing? What are you doing? They can see what he can't see. They, they can understand what he's not getting. And they're like, are we just gonna let him self-destruct or are we gonna get involved here? And so they decide that they're gonna talk to him. Now I need you to understand the decision to talk to him is terrifying, I'm sure for.

They're gonna call him out, they're gonna challenge him. They, they're going to, they're gonna suggest he's doing wrong. They're gonna suggest he's foolish. They're gonna s they're doing all of that, but somehow they screw up the courage, the confidence to go stand in front of this very powerful man who's inner a rage and call him out and go, you're making a.

And they tried to reason with him if he asks you to, and then you could put any number of all of these hard, crazy things. You had done that in a heartbeat. He just said, go dip yourself in the river, and you're so put out that it was his servant who told you that. And so you started to realize what's going on here.

The courage it must have taken to confront him could not have been easy. So I want to ask a question. I wanna ask you the simple question. Who sees.  when you are making or you are about to make a really bad decision and cares enough about you to show you what you don't or won't or can't see, who cares enough about you.

I think the remark, remarkable hero, the heroes, if I would in this story are that little girl and these servants who go, I can see a way to get this fixed. I got an idea of how we can get beyond this. So, and I guess if I were to put it in a different question, I'm gonna put it this way. Who loves you enough to risk your potentially nasty response to a confrontation who loves you enough?

That's go, you know what, he's in a rage and he's gonna go off. But we care enough about him that we'll take it. We'll take it. We'll stand in there for him. You know, last week we talked about this verse. I wanna, and we're gonna keep talking about this verse because again, when we talk about our church, you know, we have a couple of verses that are what I refer to as our grand aspirations.

Like wouldn't it be incredible if like, could you imagine kind of verses Philippians two, three, and four, as one of them do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, rather in humility, value, value, others above your. Not looking for your own interests, but each of you to the interests of others.

What does that even mean? What does it even mean? How do I even do that? If I were to take that verse and apply it to my life, how would it look? How does it, how does it manifest itself to put somebody else's needs above my own? I think it means a willingness to jump in where you're scared. To jump in for fear of the consequences of the jump where you're willing to get involved.

Where the thought is that it could bite me really badly, but I'm not gonna look out for my interests. I'm gonna look out for their interests. Cuz that's exactly what these servants did for Naiman is exactly what this first is representing. Don't look out. Yeah, he might go off on you and he might be really angry and he might even punish you, but.

you're gonna see in the end that he cares enough about you, that they're willing, that they are willing to risk it. So today we're gonna begin a series and we're just kicking off here. Okay? Um, it's a series that we're calling Intervention Intervention. All right? It, it's gonna be a series taken from the book of Malachi.

Now, we're not going through the book of Malachi verse by verse like we often do. We're not gonna do. Um, Malachi, if you don't know, is the last book of the Old Testament. He's the last spot prophet that spoke and then there was 400 years of silence leading up to the time of Jesus. Okay? So it's the last book of the Old Testament and, and then there was, uh, literally nothing for 400 years.

The book of Malachi is about God looking at the people and the condition of their lives.  and saying, Hey, I know what I'm about to say is probably gonna tick you off. I know you're probably not gonna wanna hear what I have to tell you, but y'all are making some seriously bad decisions. You're making some mistakes.

It, it, it, it's about, I mean, the first part of it is he's going after, uh, God's speaking to the leaders of Israel, and then it turns to the people, the leaders are making mad decisions the.  and it's an intervention. There's no, it's just God going, I'm gonna get involved here. And it's, it, it's challenging that, that's the hard part because nobody wants to have somebody tell them, you might wanna rethink what you're doing here, and yet God uses Malachi to tell the people you might want to rethink what you're doing here.

You might want to consider it a little bit more. And so, It's an intervention. Now, let me just be clear, uh, we'll review this to make sure we get it. Okay. What is an intervention? What is an intervention? Uh, it it, it's very simply when somebody decides to intervene. That's an intervention when somebody decides to intervene, which begs the question, what does it mean to intervene?

Which is the next question you gotta ask. And what I want you to understand to intervene means to come.  in between. It's to step into the situation, it's to decide I'm gonna get in the middle of it when it's easier to stand at the side and watch it develop. An intervention is when you're, you're willing to get involved.

You're, you're willing to speak where it's easier to be quiet, where it's easier to, uh, just say nothing. Now when I say the word intervention, my guess is your mind probably goes. Extreme, uh, incidents of intervention where, and you, we all can probably picture, you know, a, a drug addict that's destroying their life and their family comes around them and it kind of surprises them and everyone's there that cares about 'em and or somebody who's threatening suicide.

And, you know, those are interventions. I want to suggest that those are not the kind of interventions most of us need in our lives. Most of us need the kind of intervention na. , which is to have people in our lives that care enough about us to get in the middle of what we're doing to, to, to, to, to invest themselves in it.

Um, whatever the situation an intervention is caused because there is a behavior that is harmful, that is being confronted, but confronted because of love for the person. And fear for the consequences of not intervening. And that's a crucial point. Uh, you, you, you, you realize it's gonna be very painful too, but two not is gonna be much more painful than two.

And so you get involved. Interventions are motivated out of love. They are often painful. They are necessary. Many times they're very beneficial, and I guess I would put it this way. Interventions are a gift of insight from someone who loves you, cares about you, but they're risky. Interventions are risky.

They're risky because you have no idea how it's gonna turn out. When you jump in. You have no idea what that person's gonna think about you if that person's gonna continue to allow them to be in a relationship with them. You have no idea. Interventions. So that brings me to the big idea that I want to just plant in your head right now is just four words.

Love takes the risk. Love takes the risk. Love takes the risk.

Love jumps in. All right. Now, uh, before I finish for today, I want to just point out five quick things that I want you to think about, if you would, about the idea of interventions, and then we'll just move on to next week. All right. Here, here, five realities here. And here's the first one. Sometimes when we most need help, we, we are least aware of our need.

That's an important, important premise, and that's why it was in the.  sometimes when you most, the, the problems that are the biggest problems in your life are the problems you don't even understand. You have the biggest problems are the ones you can't see, but other people who know you and love you, see, clearly.

Speaking of not being able to see, I, I heard about this story this past, this year. It's past months ago now, but, uh, it involved. Trainer, one of the trainers, uh, uh, for the Vancouver Connects hockey team. And, uh, I'm gonna butcher this lady's name cuz I really don't know how to say it, so forgive me if you hear me.

Um, Nadia Popo Vici, she was watching, uh, Connect's game and she kept looking down at the back of the neck of the assistant coach and, uh, a guy named Brian Hamilton and he's an, he's an equipment manager for the. And he had a small mole on the back of his neck and she kept looking at it. It was irregularly shaped and it was red, brown in color.

It was possibly, um, skin cancer. Um, na, Nadia had served at hospitals as a nursing assistant, so she had seen this before and she's with her parents. She says, I need to tell him. I need to tell him. Uh, at this hockey game, it was actually in Seattle. She typed a message on her cell phone, and she waited for the game to end.

After waiting, uh, waving several times, she finally drew Mr. Hamilton's attention, placed her phone against the plexiglass. She's on the other side, and, and her message read the simple, the mole on the back of your neck is possibly cancerous. Please go see a doctor. And the words mole cancer and doctor were in red, Hamilton, looked at the message, rubbed the back of his neck and kept walking thinking, well, that's a weird person who would say something like that.

And then she began to think maybe it was just inappropriate of me. Maybe I shouldn't have done that. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything. Well, after the game, Hamilton decided to go to his doctor. He went to his doctor had it removed. When it was removed, it was biopsied, and uh, she was correct. It was a type two malignant melanoma.

She just saved his life. Hamilton um, said it this way. She took me out of a slow fire and the words out of the doctor's mouth were, if I ignored that, I wouldn't be here. Hamilton then tried to find his hero by posting a message on the team's Twitter that said to this woman, I am trying to find you changed my life, and now I want to find you to say thank you so very much.

Problem is I don't know who you are and I don't know where you're from. Three hours is all it took for word to get around. That was Nadia and. I got a picture of the two of them right here. I wanna show you. This is them. He said thank you in a tangible way to her, and the Connects said thank you to her by giving her a $10,000 medical school scholarship who can see, which you can't put your eyes on in you.

I have no idea what the back of my head looks like. I don't know what the back of my neck looks like. Who can see what you can't? Now again, don't be thinking about everybody else. This is not the point. Who's got eyes on you? Who can see what you can't see? All right? That's the first thing. Second thing, uh, and by the way, did I mention love takes the what?

What? Help me fix the risk. He, he could think I'm an idiot. He could forever. Like, what a foolish thing to do. I could regret this the rest of my life. Love takes the risk. Second one, we all need somebody who loves us enough to tell us what we need to hear, but don't want to hear, I don't want to hear bad news about me.

I don't want to hear. I don't, I don't, I don't want that. I, I don't think you want it either, but you know what? I need to hear things about me that. Change the direction of my life. You need to hear things about you. I, I need eyes on me and I need people who have eyes on me to have the courage to say what I don't want to hear as you do.

Proverb 27 6 says this, wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses what? Let me translate. People who are not your friend will just blow kisses in your face all day long. A, a friend will risk the words they'll. Okay. They'll tell you cuz love takes the risk. Proverb 17 seven says, A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

I desperately need people who will be honest with me. Here's the third truth. Sometimes you have to be hurt to be helped. I wish this warrant true, but it's just simply true. Sometimes somebody has to care enough about you to be willing to hurt you so that you can get beyond what the problem is that they're trying to deal with.

I, I'm sure I've shared this enough, but one I one last, so I had to go through the surgery on my foot. All right. I don't know what's involved. I have no idea what he's gonna do. What's shocking is I thought I was gonna be awake during the operation. I was gonna watch him do it. I didn't get to be awake.

They knocked me out, and then you stop and think about it. So I got this surgeon with the scalpels and scissors and all kinds of stuff, and there's a whole crew around. And you're putting me out, so I have to go. I'm literally gonna lose all consciousness. Well, you just do whatever it is you're gonna do to me.

You know what? Sometimes your best friend is a skilled surgeon who knows what they're doing and carefully allows you to be hurt so that you're gonna be helped on the other side of the surgery. I'm so glad I went through that. I'm so glad it's behind me. I'm so. That that problem was fixed. But I'll tell you what, couldn't have done it without a surgeon who knew what he was doing.

We all need a trusted friend who's a surgeon in our life. Love takes the risk. Uh, another truth I would say about this is the more that you don't want to hear, the more you need to listen. The more you don't want to hear what your friend is telling you, the more you need to listen to what they're telling.

and I always, I always recall this passage, it it is one, if there's certain like north star verses in the Bible that you should align your life to, this is one of them. Proverbs nine, eight, and nine. Do not rebut rebuke mocks, um, or they're gonna hate you, but rebuke the wise and they will love you.

Instruct the wise and they will be wiser. Still teach the right. And they will add to their learning. Not everyone you ever confront is gonna listen to what you have to say, but you know, a wise person will lean in, not out. A wise person will not shut down. They will open up. They're not gonna do this, they're gonna do this.

Talk to me. Help me to understand this. And by the way, the more you don't want to hear it, the more you need to hear. . All right, last one. God loves you. Now this is the crucial one. God loves you more than any person is capable of loving you. Now, let that soak in cuz that that's huge. So if you have a friend that you would trust, what I want to show you is you need to trust God more because as much as your friend loves you, God loves you more.

And, and really when it comes down to this whole issue of intervention is how much do you really believe the people that are talking to you care about you? Now, again, I, I, I can receive all kinds of criticism being the role I'm in. I certainly do. I, not all criticism affects me the same way. I, I'll tell you what a criticism from an unknown person is, nothing compared to a criticism from my wife.

If my wife says, you know, I, something I think you need to pay attention to, I guarantee. Her love for me is far more compelling than a stranger who I don't even know. So my point being, my wife loves me, but God loves me even more. So if I would listen to my wife, why would I not listen to God even more intensely?

That brings us to the book of Mala. In, in the book of Malachi, the easiest thing for the people of Israel to do, and this is the first reaction I'll show you, it's the very first verse. The first reaction is, well God, you're telling us this because you don't even love us. You don't even love if you loved us, you would not say these things you're saying to us.

Question God's motives, question his love. So if wounds from a friend are valuable, what are wounds from God? Were so, lemme just show you the first couple of verse. And we can go on, but I don't need to. I just need to show you a couple verses. Malachi one, one and two, a prophecy the word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.

He starts here. I have loved you, says the, excuse me, says the Lord. But you ask, how have you loved us? So immediately it starts off, oh, you're gonna say these things to us and you're gonna act like you love us. And then God has to begin by going, look, people listen to. For all these years, in all these ways, I have done all these things.

You need to believe I have your best interest in mind. That's where it starts. It's a resistance, a defense, oh yeah, you, you're gonna say these things, but you act like, like you. We really matter. And he says, I have loved you. I have loved you. See, see, if you begin with God, trying to speak to you, get in your dish or your grill or face, or whatever words you want to use.

And you think he doesn't care for you, you're gonna dismiss everything he says, and you're gonna believe he's against you and not for you. Rick Warren said it this way, we always get into trouble when we doubt God's love because we don't trust him. When we don't trust him, we don't obey him. And so God's not gonna do it.

So lemme just tell you. I'll give you a little glimpse. Three things. God's gonna confront that I'm gonna take an extract. Uh, next week we're gonna talk about the fact that they were settling for shallow.  relationships, shallow relationships. The second week we're gonna talk about shallow worship. Third is shallow commitment, and God's just gonna address these.

So what I'm gonna do is let God speak to us or our relationships where they ought to be as deep as they ought to be. Our, is our worship as deep as it ought to be, is our commitment as deep as it ought to be? And we're just gonna let God's word speak to us. So let me close, uh, with this, I'm gonna tell you.

Again, let me remind you, this is not for somebody else. This is for you. Okay? So I don't want you to feel like, again, that, that I'm talking to somebody who's not in the room. Uh, God's speaking to you. Who will you listen to about you? Not about them. About you, right? Keep it there. All right. So, uh, I'm gonna end this message with a silly story.

It's a true story. Uh, it happened. I'm, let me just say it happened 30 years ago, so don't email me about it, okay? All right. Gimme some. Uh, 30 years ago-ish. Uh, I took my son Jeremy and my daughter Amy, uh, camping. We went up to Big Lake and spent several days up there camping, fishing, uh, having a great time.

Uh, it was time to come home and, um, we got in a, we got in the car and, uh, I don't know, it was a Saturday morning as I recall, and I was kind of in a hurry. I'm like, anxious to get back Sunday coming. And, uh, so I'm driving, uh, the back roads of the white mountains rather quickly, not dangerously. I'm, again, I won't, I was not being dangerous, but, Faster than the speed limit, whatever that was.

And my daughter from the backseat, um, notices what I'm doing and she says, dad, you better slow down, dad. You're going awfully fast, dad. You're gonna get a ticket. That's what she told me. And I, I looked at her and I said, sweetie, you're just gonna have to trust me on this. There, there are no highway patrolmen up here.

Now you know exactly where this is going. And, uh, she goes, I think you're gonna get a ticket. I said, sweetie, I'm not gonna get a ticket. Well, I come around a corner and there's a highway patrolman and pulls me over, lights me up.  gives me a ticket. As soon as he walks away, my daughter says, okay, listen carefully.

What's the second worst thing that somebody ever says could ever say to you? Why is the second worst? I could have told you, you know what? The worst thing.  what she said to me. You know what she said to me? I told you so. . I told you so. I told you so. You see the difference between I could have told you and I told you so is I told you so somebody cared enough about you to warn you, to wake you up, to get you to see what you're not seeing.

What do you want from God? I could have told you. I told you.

Is a God who loves you. He's not gonna say, I could have, but I didn't. He's gonna tell you, and the question is, is we have the courage to go, God, okay, look, look inside me and talk to me. I don't ever want to get, I don't ever, ever, ever want to get to the end of my life. And God go, I told you so, but you would never listen.

I told you so. Don't you get there either. Let me pray. So, God, thank you for your word and for the idea of an intervention and the idea of people caring enough about us to get involved. God, I pray that we have these kind of people in our lives. We certainly need them, but God, more than that, we need you to speak truth and tell us what we don't want to hear.

Show us what we can't see. God, make us aware of what we are just unaware of. And, uh, we'll do this in your, in your word in the next, uh, couple weeks. Keep, keep us attuned to your truth and not pray for us in this, in Jesus name, amen. Thank you all for being here. All right.