What does it mean to actually follow Jesus? How do you discern the difference between an authentic Christ follower and a fake one? Jesus said that those who really follow Him will be known by the fruits produced by their lives. What does that mean? Join for this message by Pastor Cal Jernigan as he describes the most basic way to be a follower of Jesus.
Well, hi everybody. Hey, and as always welcome, it is so good to have you. Again, whether you're with me here, whether you are on one of our campuses, whether you are experiencing this online, however, this is coming to you, however, or wherever you are hearing it, man, we are so glad as always that you are with us.
[00:00:17] You make us who we are. Hey, it's hard to believe, but summer is here and finally, it looks like we're going to get to go somewhere. We're going to get to travel. And I hope that you are able somehow somewhere, some way to get out of town this summer and that you and your family make some incredible memories and that at the end of the summer, you just have just a great look back over the last several months.
[00:00:40] Also, I want to encourage you please. Over the summer months, don't let your commitment to Christ or even to Central, go on vacation. The ministry goes on and we've got to stay committed to all the different aspects of it. And I encourage you to do that. So I want to get to the message by asking you a simple question.
[00:00:56] What is some time in your history of your life that you got conned? A time when you got taken? A time when you got ripped off? I'll go first. I've shared this story. It's forever indelibly printed on my mind. It happened when I was a college student over in Southern California. I had had my aspirations to buy a 69 Chevy Camaro and I found one, it was a private party that was selling.
[00:01:25] It was absolutely awesome. I could spend a lot of time describing this car to you, but it had big, huge tires. It had. It was, it was literally a flame orange. It was so tricked out bucket seats of Muncie for speed. It had a stack coming out of the header, so it was all cool. It was awesome. And I bought this from a guy and it was probably 30 miles away from the college that I attended and I literally took out a loan to get it.
[00:01:50] I paid cash for this thing, with the loan assets. And anyway, so what ended up happening was I, I bought this car and I headed home and I was just as high on the hog as I could possibly be. I was just so high on life. And yet on the way home, it broke down. It broke down on one of the LA freeways and I was stranded and whoever was with me had gone on it was before cell phone days.
[00:02:15] And I was just stuck. Long story short, it took me hours to get that car back to the university that I was attending. And here is the sad part of the story. Is that as soon as I got it back, I drove back to the guy who has shown me all the paperwork and told me how great it was and verified and confirmed.
[00:02:34] And I went to knock on the door that I was just at, where I had bought this car. And some lady answered the door and I said, I need to talk to so-and-so. And this lady had the audacity to say to me, I have no idea who you're talking about. I said, Mark, the guy that I just bought the car from, she goes, I don't have a Mark.
[00:02:53] There's no Mark here or whatever his name was. It was unbelievable. Played it out. Could not get past the front door. And, uh, I was stuck with this car. Couple things I want to tell you about this car. Number one, it absolutely never ran. It was my nightmare. The closest I got to enjoying this car was I would go out and sit in it in the parking lot of the university I attended.
[00:03:15] And it took me over a year to extricate myself from that because it had a really jacked up license. Registration was goofed up. You see, when you don't understand what you're dealing with, it is really easy. Is it not to be taken? And I was absolutely taken. I don't know what emotions go through you when you're taken, but I, my guess is we have similar emotions, you know, obviously we'd go, there's anger. That somebody duped you, that somebody conned you, ripped you off. There's anger.
[00:03:44] There's usually, and certainly in my case, there was a sense of shame and embarrassment. Like how did this happen? Anxiety was in there. A ton of confusion was wrapped up in all those emotions. And if I can be so candid, there was a sense of a desire for revenge because when you're wronged, you want to wrong back.
[00:04:02] And I'm not saying that's good. I'm just saying these are the emotions that tend to go through us. But one thing that all of us tend to have happen when we get taken is we resolve, I will never let that happen to me again. And you know, the old adage, a little ditty that goes, you know, fool me once, shame on you.
[00:04:20] Fool me twice, shame on me. Now, the reality of it is, is that we live in a world where there's a lot of deception and all of us have to keep our wits about us because deception is just absolutely, everywhere. Is kind of wrapped up in that little phrase, that Latin phrase, caveat entore, which translated the English simply means let the buyer beware.
[00:04:44] You've got to be careful because we just hear of people being ripped off all the time. You just it's so common and I don't know exactly how. You might experience this obviously often elderly people are preyed upon by scam artists who literally steal their retirement savings or life savings. People who are looking for a relationship to get involved with somebody find out that they'd actually been catfish.
[00:05:09] People who get past that stage. You hear about people who get married, have they met, they got married. And then after the fact. They discover something about the person they just married that was withheld that maybe they were deeply in debt. And they didn't know that until after they got married or that they actually had another spouse or they had kids, they had failed to mention, or they had a record that they never revealed or any number of details.
[00:05:35] And all of us can get a cold sweat going. When you start thinking about that, we're constantly warned. Were warned by banks were warned by the IRS were warned by the social security administration about phishing scams that are, that are all the time going on. And you have to constantly keep vigilant, make sure that you're not being taken.
[00:05:55] And yet not only on our computers also on our phones, we have to be careful as funny as this is funny to me, I got one of those calls. I was writing this message and I got one of those calls that basically said, Hey, we just want to notify you that your, your warranty on your car is running out, but it's not due late and you just go, how do you even find me?
[00:06:15] And, but that's the way it is. You're called by the government again. Social security calls you and says, Hey, we want to let you know that your, your social security number was used to rent a car that was used in a crime in Dallas. And we're following up because you're very likely going to be arrested. And you just go like what happened?
[00:06:35] Actually, that happened to me not long ago as well. So the question we got to wrestle with is who's actually for real these days, I mean, there's a difference between what's real and what's DISA, you know, that's wrapped up and cloaked in deception. What is real? How do you know when you actually see something that's for real. A number of years ago, a particular hotel chain ran a series of ads and they just cracked me up and I I've laughed so much over these.
[00:07:02] I just show you one to show you one of them. And it'll give you a flavor of kind of how these ads went. And my guess is you'll remember seeing these, I don't think the air anymore, but, but watch this. Raptor threes in critical mass. Core temperature is still rising. They're going to have to provide more cooling in the containment chamber.
[00:07:24] Okay. Close the flow channels. Activate the hydrogen recombines.
[00:07:44] Are you new to the team? Actually I'm with the tour group, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Somehow staying at a hotel, doesn't make you an expert at anything. And, and yet again, it's, it's the world we're living in. People are appearing to be what they're not. But the truth is credentialing matters that you actually have credentials to represent what you represent or who you represent.
[00:08:11] And I could go through a long list, but let me just say this. What would you want to be treated by a surgeon who scammed his way through med school? Of course not. Would you want a lawyer who passed the bar only because he was masterful at being able to, to cheat and to deceive? Would you want an airline pilot who literally just walked on the plane, had a, uh, pilots shirt or jacket on and just walked up and just said, hey, I'm here to fly the plane.
[00:08:38] I've always wanted to fly in. It was my moment. It's kind of like the movie Catch Me If You Can, if you can recall that movie where this guy literally was impersonating people and it it's, it's a, it's a common fear that we would have that anyone would be that bold. And we'd be that unaware that we're actually being deceived.
[00:08:56] I, in fact, I would take it so far being credentialed or being licensed is so important. I don't even want to be on the road with somebody who hasn't passed the basic driving test and has a driver's license. And when you stop to think about how much you trust people that are coming down the other side of a two lane road, that they're going to be on their correct side of the road, and they're not going to cross that yellow line.
[00:09:18] It's actually pretty remarkable. Now here's the question though, that I want us to wrestle with today and why all of this matters. How do you discern the difference between being an authentic Christ follower and a fake one? It might not be a, an issue you think about much, but I want to suggest that in this day and age, this becomes a crucial question.
[00:09:43] We've got to answer. How do you discern the difference? How do you know somebody who's the real deal and somebody who's just pretending or just knows how to speak the language or it look like, uh, like they're for real, like, look like they represent Jesus. How do you know the difference? And how would you discern that?
[00:10:02] So today what we're going to do is we're going to begin a summer series that we are so excited about. In fact, we're calling it The Credentialed Life, The Credentialed Life. And the question is, is there such a way to discern, is there a test that can be given? Is there some proof that can be sought so that you and I could know that somebody is for real, that they're not playing a game, putting on some sort of, uh, uh, you know, they're incognito and they're disguised, whatever that there's something else. You don't think this is relevant.
[00:10:37] Let me share with you the words of Jesus. He said it in this way, watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly, they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit, you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears, good fruit, but a bad tree bears, bad fruit.
[00:11:03] A good tree cannot produce or cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus is what he said, Jesus, by their fruit, you will recognize them. In fact, let's just take that last line of what Jesus just said.
[00:11:24] And let's just say, Hey, that's going to be the, kind of the key to this message. In fact, let me just say that last line, thus you'll know them by their fruits. You'll recognize them that way. That's really the key to the series that we're going to talk about this summer. And, and so here it is the words of Jesus, big idea already by their fruit, you will recognize them.
[00:11:46] So Jesus is pointing. He's guiding, he's directing. He's saying here's what you look out for here is the proof that's in the pudding right here. When you see this, you know, that it's a legit deal. Now this theme runs all throughout the New Testament. In fact, I'm going to do. A little bit of a Bible study with you today.
[00:12:05] It, we kind of look around and we see this as it's reflected in so many ways. So, but here's the idea. If you want to know what's inside a person what's invisible, how you figure that out is you pay attention to what's outside and what's visible. Let me, and again, if you want to understand what's inside and invisible, just pay attention to what's out aside and is visible.
[00:12:30] There are naturally connected. The Apostle Paul said it this way again. So incredibly eloquently. This is what he said. And this again will be the foundational passage that we're going to build this summer series out of. But let me begin a little ahead of where we're going to go, but let me just set the context.
[00:12:48] Okay. So Galatians chapter five verses 19 to 24 says this, the acts of the sinful nature are obvious. Okay. So. Th there's, there's the sinful nature. When you see these things, you know, you're seeing the sinful nature, sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery, idolatry, and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies.
[00:13:21] And the like, and then he says, I warn you as I did before that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God. They're not for real people who have those things in their life. He's just saying you got to understand that it's not a part of the kingdom. It's not part of the values of the kingdom.
[00:13:37] Then he says the word, but, but. In other words, transition. These are the ones that are not for real, but, and then he says these words, the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control against such things. There is no law that puts it in the context of what he's talking about in Galatians.
[00:14:00] Now you got to understand something. What he's saying is, is if you see these things, then you know, if you see these things, then you know, Whatever it is that you see, that's the way that you're going to know. So the fruits of the spirit in our lives are what give us credibility, no fruit, no credibility.
[00:14:19] It's that simply if you're going to in any way, represent God to anyone. And, and, and give the impression that you walk with God, then you've got to have the credentials of the spirit of God behind you. And this again is just so crystal clear. Uh, so make sure you get this, these fruits that we're talking about are our credentials.
[00:14:43] Why does it matter? Let's go back to the words of Jesus. And he was so crystal clear on this Matthew seven 21. He said these words, listen carefully. Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my father, who is in heaven. Now many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesied in your name and in your name, drive out demons and perform many miracles.
[00:15:09] Then I will tell them plainly I never knew you. Away from me you evil doers. So watch out for false prophets, be aware that there are going to be people who are going to try to dupe you that are going to try to give the impression that everything is right between them and the father and keep your eyes open.
[00:15:31] Now that the thing that keeps drawing our attention to the word keeps trying to get the spirit keeps drawing our attention to is this idea of fruit, the idea of fruit. And it's worded as the fruit of the spirit, but let's just make sure we understand what we're talking about. So let me just go and just make sure we have the foundation that we can build this on.
[00:15:52] All right. Let me begin by quoting the second chapter of the book of Acts. And we're going to go into versa. Chapter two, verse 38, where it says this. So they ask the question, why do we have to do to be saved? And Peter said, this. Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
[00:16:13] So watch this and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. See, see what was hard to get your brain around is, is that when you open your heart up, And, and you say, God, I want you that God, the Father isn't going to leave heaven and Jesus, the Son isn't leaving heaven. But the spirit of the father, the spirit of the son, we call this the Trinity.
[00:16:41] And we'll talk more about this later, but the spirit of God comes to live inside of you and literally to take up residence. And it's not just a throw away, like who cares? It's a gift. God gives you with his Spirit. He gives you all right. Now, let me take this just a little bit further. All right. Because this is something that I think is very, very crucial that we understand.
[00:17:05] And if you don't understand this, then we're going to, we're going to trip up. So let me take you, uh, to second Corinthians six, 16, where it says for we, you and I are the temple of the living God. As God has said, I will live with them and walk among them and I will be their God. And they will be my people.
[00:17:29] Now here's what you need to understand that we're being told here that when God gives you with his spirit, he gives you with his presence. He is not living in buildings. He doesn't wait for people to show up. When you give your life to God, God gives you the gift of his presence. In your heart, he out takes up residence in you.
[00:17:53] So wherever you, as a spirit filled, Christian goes to the spirit of God, goes with you. God is present. He walks and talks among you. As, as you go. He goes, that's the idea that is behind this. All right. And this is so crucial. So wherever the spirit is, what he's saying is you'll find evidence of the presence of the spirit of God in the life.
[00:18:17] If it's for real. And he's just simply telling us connect the dots, but let me just say something because when we talk about fruit, it can be a little bit confusing as to exactly what are we talking about. And, uh, let me just say six kind of important general things about the fruit of the spirit. Now, again, we could drill down much, further, much deeper on all of these, but let me just for the sake of getting an understanding, let me just establish these okay.
[00:18:43] Six important truths. All right. Number one. This is important. The fruit of the spirit is the product of the spirit. Not of us. The spirit of God is the one that creates the fruit of the spirit of God. You don't manufacture it. You don't pump it up. You don't force it out. You don't will it to be. It's just the natural by-product okay.
[00:19:08] It's not of the flesh. It's not the result of something you do now. Be very careful. I'm going to repeat a verse. I've already shown you. Because I want to show you what you and I are capable of. Okay. Because that's, what's being contrasted in Galatians five. What I can do and what the spirit can do. What I can do is called the fruit of the flesh or the spirit of the flesh or the flesh.
[00:19:30] All right. The acts of the flesh. So in Galatians five 19, just to review, we already covered this, but make sure you see this all right. The acts of the flesh are obvious. You want to know what I'm capable of. You want to know what you're capable of. You want to know you and I can produce, well, we can produce this list.
[00:19:44] All right. Sexual immorality impurity to our dollar tree, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions factions and envy drunkenness orgies. And the like. Is he leave me to myself and that's where my life will go. And I am absolutely confident had I not come to become a believer in Jesus.
[00:20:03] When I was a high school student, I was a senior. I really believe the trajectory of my life would have been radically different because I would have been a very, very different person. If you want to spot a fake looked for those things. That's what we're being taught in the scripture. So first thing, the fruit of the spirit is the product of the spirit.
[00:20:26] Not of us. Number two, the, this fruit is the natural result of being in the spirit. If you're living in the spirit, these things will begin to appear naturally. All right, you don't have to, you don't have to force them. You don't have to work hard to make them happen. You don't have to. I always say it this way.
[00:20:47] You know, concentrated orange juice does not from deep thinking, focus, orange trees. That's not what it means. A healthy orange tree. It's just naturally going to bear fruit. It just is what it does. Okay. And it's what you would expect it to do. All right. Here's the third one. And this is very, very important.
[00:21:12] All right. It's given for the benefit of others, not you. W w what did you mean? The fruit is not for the benefit of the tree. It's for the benefit of a person who interacts with the tree. This is so important to understand. God is not producing fruit in you for your own ends. An orange tree doesn't eat its own fruit.
[00:21:39] And if it did, it would be a sick orange tree, right? That doesn't produce fruit for its own consumption, spiritual gifts, just like spiritual fruit is given for the benefit of the body of Christ, the body of Christ, not your body. So whatever God does in me is for your benefit, whatever God does in you is for your benefit is for my benefit.
[00:22:00] So God works in your heart. For my good. God works in my heart for your good and that's part of being the body of Christ. And again, this is so crucial. So often it's easier to illustrate, I think with spiritual gifts. So often we think of the gifts or these were from more from my glory for my good, no whatever gifts you were given, they were given for the glory of God.
[00:22:20] All right. Benefit of others, not you. Fourth. There's nothing sudden about this fruit. And this is so important. If you have an orange tree, you know, that it's a year long process to produce. Often in the scriptures, we're going to talk about vines and vineyards. You know, it's interesting when they plant, uh, vineyards, they typically don't start from seeds.
[00:22:44] They plant a branch into the ground up a sapling, whatever. And then what happens is it takes time. It's a bit mind boggling, how much time. Because the first year, nothing, the second year, nothing. The third year, you might start to see a little bit of fruit coming out of that. Uh, about the fourth year is when you begin to bear fruit, it won't produce any food that's considered good until the seventh or eighth year.
[00:23:13] In fact, a vineyard owner suggests that it for the first 15 to 18 years of owning a vineyard, uh, it's not gonna. It's not going to be profitable. So you have to nurture this thing along for it to get to, to where it's really gonna produce it. And I think this is important because I think so often we think we can just crank out these things just, yeah, we just got to, will it. Concentrate on it.
[00:23:36] And these things are going to appear. I need you to understand there's absolutely nothing sudden about this fruit. Here's the fifth one. This fruit is only is grown only in the garden of obedience. There's no way to get this fruit other than to, uh, obey other than to let God have his way in our lives.
[00:23:53] This is how the fruits to be born. Um, we, we kind of resent obedience. We, we think of obedience as that's kind of a childish thing. That's something I'm not really into. Often the word submission goes with the word obedience. So we got, I'm not into that. I, and I do my own thing. I'm my own, you know, I'm my own boss.
[00:24:13] And I get to do that. Jesus said this in John 14, he said, anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My father will love them and will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own. They belong to the father who sent me.
[00:24:32] Obedience is, is proof that the spirit is, is in control. When I'm in control, you get the flesh. When the Spirit's in control, you get submission to God. And then the fifth one or sixth excuse me, with maturity should come abundance. With maturity should come abundance. Now, if you plant a tree and this, this just say this tree was just planted.
[00:24:55] You certainly wouldn't expect an abundant crop from it. But with maturity you would start to expect it. See, you would expect abundance from a healthy, vital living, growing organism. You look at a tree and it has no fruit on it. It's like, what, what are you doing? What are you doing? There's. There's this huge contrast and Jesus is saying simply pay attention.
[00:25:21] Do you, you see the fruit. Um, abundance with this? I'd say, well, I would say it this way. You shouldn't have to look for evidence like forensic. Look for evidence under a microscope. I mean, if you blow it up to the hundredth power, you can actually see it. It should be so obvious. You just can't miss it. When you look at it, fruit should be that glaring.
[00:25:42] Now because we're beginning the summer series. And I had spent the bulk of my time by far the majority of my time, just making sure we understand what the idea of credentialing mat means and matters and why it matters. I just want to, I just want to remind you of the primal fruit of the spirit. I say primal, because it's the first fruit it's, it's when we've talked about so much.
[00:26:03] And I think it's absolutely crucial. Let's let's go back to that list that was in Galatians five 20, the fruit of the spirit. That's what we're going to concentrate. We're going to take one of these fruits each week throughout the summer months. And here they are. Again, love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
[00:26:27] You want to know if you're actually under the influence of the spirit. God, these fruits will become obvious and the first of them is love. Hey, if there's one thing that should represent who we are, church. It should be that we should be loving people. And again, we've talked about this a number of times, because it is so crucial, but I would say this, if we can't get this one, right.
[00:26:51] And none of the others are going to come. We're not going to see the fruit of any of the other, it's not going to happen. This is so crucial back to the words of Jesus. He was asked some of the importance of the commandments of God. It really matters. Here's what he said. Matthew 22:37 to 40. Love the Lord, your God, with all of your heart, with all of your soul and with all of your mind, this is the first and the greatest commandment.
[00:27:17] And the second is like, it love your neighbor as yourself, all the law and the prophets. Hang on these two commandments. It's not complicated, folks. If you want to be the person, God wants you to be, you got to learn to love God, and you gotta learn to love people. It's known as the divine imperative. This is it's.
[00:27:36] It's not a point we can w we can, you know, can we like, can I trade this one away? Can I skip this one? Can I minimize this one. In first, John four, John said this, whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar for whoever does not love their brother and their sister, whom they have seen cannot love God whom they have not seen.
[00:27:56] And he has given us this command. Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister, sir. It is the evidence that proves that you're for real, it's just that important. In fact, I would just remind you of words. Jesus said, which we've talked about. New commandment, I give you John 13:34 and 35, a new command.
[00:28:18] I give you love one another has I have loved you. So you must love one another by this. Everyone will know that you are my disciples. If you love one another, I find it interesting that people love to mock the idea of loving one another, like, oh, love, love, love one another. Oh yeah. That that's so quaint.
[00:28:36] That's that love one another that's that's so trite. I, I just, I, I think that's just cute. That's cute. We also treat it like, it's just a given like yeah, of course I do that. Of course I do that. I mean, I can't imagine not it's just a given. Love others, Jesus said, as I have loved you, what did Jesus do? He died to himself to live for the sake of others.
[00:28:59] He put everyone else ahead of himself. It's so anything but quaint trite and a given, if we're going to let this kind of love take over, we're going to have to submit to the will of God. And we're going to have to let him give us the prompts. Now, just on a quick side note, because I feel like I need to say this love does not mean that we,
[00:29:23] never call sin sin. We never speak out against what the Bible speaks out against the law. A lot of people in our day and age love to say that if you, if you say anything is wrong, you're not loving. It is not loving to let people literally do things that God will condemn them to hell for. It's not loving how you communicate,
[00:29:43] these things will determine, of course, you know, the degree of our love for one another, but the scriptures don't condone every behavior and we shouldn't either. And as a culture moves more and more away from the heart of God, I think we've got to realize we've got to become experts at learning how to get this fruit to manifest in the way of the glory of God.
[00:30:01] So let me close this message and I want to just get really, really personal and this might get a little bit uncomfortable and that's going to be okay. I'm okay with that. But let me wrap this up by saying that when it comes to the fruit of the spirit, and now we're going to talk about the first that love.
[00:30:18] It's not what you think you do that matters. It's not how you see yourself that matters. It's not how full of this gift, this, this particular virtue. Others have to confirm it in you. Others. I have to be able to say, you know what? I know so-and-so and I'm telling you that person loves it. It's not. That's self edifying that I get to go.
[00:30:39] Yeah. I'm one of the most loving people you'll ever meet. Uh, what are your neighbors think about you, you see if you really want to, you know, so is it evident that the spirit of God is a play in my life? And that I'm for real ask my neighbors. Don't ask me, ask my neighbors. I have a self-serving bias. You have a self-serving bias.
[00:30:57] Of course. We're gonna give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. I'm one of the most loving people you'll ever meet. What are the people who work with you, think of you, how would they say you are? How do you look in their eyes? How about the people who work for you? If you have employees, how do they perceive you?
[00:31:13] That is a far more important test. So I want to close this message on a very, very difficult, challenging. I'm going to show you a video. It's a challenge to every one of us. I want to set this video up by saying that a couple of things that I think are very, very important. All right. I want to show you a video that's gone viral.
[00:31:35] My guess is you've heard about this or you have seen this. It's a tragic story. It really truly is. To my knowledge, the person who is in this video does not claim to be a believer in Jesus. I want to say that. Um, but I would say that the person you're going to see was a bit surprised to see. Uh, her behavior.
[00:31:57] All right. And how that came off. Um, and as you watch this video, I want to ask you to just ask yourself some reflective questions. Just be honest. Am I capable of this? You see, this is what I have to, I'm not here to condemn her. I was certainly condemn what she did. I'm not here to condemn her. I'm here to ask myself, am I capable of this?
[00:32:18] And the thing I think you want to ask yourself is, are you capable of this. So let me show you this video. This is what happened literally one year ago, almost to the very day. Um, It happened in New York City. And my guests is you heard about it, but let me show you the actual video. Watch us, then I'll close.
[00:32:36] Sorry. I'm asking you to stop. This video has gone viral and you're about to see why in a part of Central Park known as the ramble, this woman called New York police on a man who asked her to obey the posted signs and keep her dog on a leash. Ma'am dogs in the ramble. I have to be leashed at all times, and she was actually standing right next to the sign that says dogs and the Rambo after we reached at all time.
[00:32:57] The ramble is a wildlife habitat popular with birdwatchers like Chris Cooper. Dogs disturbed the birds, which is why he was asking her to follow the rules. She refused. Please. Don't come close to me. I've asked you to stop, please, please, please. Don't come close, please. Please call the cops. Please call the cops.
[00:33:17] My thinking was I can sort of capitulate to this racial intimidation or I can just. Do what I'm doing and continue recording. He kept recording and captured this. There was an African-American man. He's recording me, threatened myself and my dog. I'm like, I'm sorry. I can't hear you either. I'm thinking threatened by a man in the Ramble police on the cops immediately.
[00:33:48] Her false report to nine one one didn't get the response she was hoping for. Chris Cooper said uploaded the video. Someone identified the woman is Amy Cooper. The vice-president at Franklin Templeton. The company issued this statement tonight on Twitter saying they do not condone racism of any kind and their employee has been put on administrative leave.
[00:34:07] She has since apologized. Now, what about the dog? The Cocker spaniel. And you see in the video struggling while she inexplicably pulls him onto his hind legs by the collar while his name is Henry, he was a rescue dog. And the rescue organization saw in the video too. And tonight it is reporting that she has surrendered the dog back to them.
[00:34:26] Well, again, let me just say, that's just very heartbreaking and. They Chris and Amy will have the same last name they're not related at all. And the guy just say, look, I don't mean her harm, but at some point we got to start acknowledging that we live in a world that is not everything that it appears to be, and that not everyone is who they appear to be.
[00:34:48] And as they appear to be tragically, uh, loose kind of follow up to that, uh, that that episode costs Amy, her job. It costs her, her dog. It cost her, her reputation. And it also cost her her record, uh, because she was cited for making a false arrest and that's a misdemeanor and all of that. But, uh, again, not to condemn her, I want to ask you the question
[00:35:09] I would ask myself and I'm willing to close on this. What if there was a camera on me all the time? You know, I know right now there's cameras on me. I know that. I, I know I should probably be aware that what I'm saying is being recorded, but what if, just as you're out and about, somebody was literally walking around, filming everything.
[00:35:30] You do everything you say every way you are. Uh, it's, it's a very common thing that's happening now because cameras are so ubiquitous and so many people are going well. Yeah, but that's not me. I'm not like that. How does everyone else see you? How does everyone else see me? How would I try to explain a way, uh, My less than commendable ways that I can act that I'm capable of when, when I'm driving and I'm frustrated when I'm whatever, okay.
[00:36:01] These are important moments in my life and they're important moments in your life because it's in those moments that I have the incredible opportunity to either take the reins or submit the reins back to the holy spirit and go, God, I need you to take over here. I don't want to be the person that I'm capable of being without you.
[00:36:25] And my guess is you don't want to be that person either. So how are we going to figure this out words of Jesus by their fruit you will recognize them this summer. We're going to pay a lot of attention to fruit. We're going to be challenged. To be the people God called us to be, Nope, let's wrap this one up and we'll close in prayer.
[00:36:45] So God, thank you. As we weekend and week out, we are so privileged to have the word, your divine direction and instruction. Your it's forever perennial. It's fresh as if it were just written. It is so relevant, but God, it doesn't mean that just because we read it, we're going to do it. And the difference between knowing it and doing it as well.
[00:37:07] It's that 18 inch gap between our head and our heart. And God, I pray that this summer, as we talk about these things, we will truly understand that if I am going off on people, if I am writing caustic emails, if I am flaming out as I'm driving, if I am a cussing people go cussing people out or, or literally going in, in fits of tirades and whatnot.
[00:37:34] God by their fruit, you'll recognize them. And that is not what a person who is controlled by the holy spirit. Who's got love, literally from the spirit losing out of them, whatever do. Okay. So, uh, God, we just submit ourselves, check us, check our spirit, teach us as summer, how to understand the fruit that should only be produced in you and God to get us out of the way.
[00:37:57] So it can be produced in abundance. We pray for this and ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. Thank you folks.