Bobby Schuller | TBN

Bobby Schuller

Watch Bobby Schuller
December 15, 2016
27:32

God Will Get You To Your Destiny

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Bobby Schuller

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  • [congregation applauding]
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  • Bobby Schuller: All right, well, good morning.
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  • Well, hope you're having fun today.
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  • For those of you who are watching on television,
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  • we just want you to know Shepherd's Grove is
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  • a movement of God's people that are inviting new people
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  • to this celebration every day.
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  • We are living every moment in the Father's world,
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  • and we want you to come and join us.
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  • No matter who you are, we want you to know that we like people
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  • here at Shepherd's Grove.
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  • And so no matter what you're going through, we want you to
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  • know that this is a safe place to be who you are in the midst
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  • of your challenges, and become a happy
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  • and whole student of Jesus.
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  • If you're watching on TV, we hope you come down
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  • and worship with us.
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  • We're here every single morning, and we'd love to be
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  • a part of your spiritual family.
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  • Friends, would you stand with me?
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  • We're going to say this confession together.
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  • Hold your hands out like this.
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  • I'm not what I do. I'm not what I have.
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  • I'm not what people say about me.
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  • I am the beloved of God.
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  • It's who I am. No one can take it from me.
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  • I don't have to worry, I don't have to hurry.
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  • I can trust my friend Jesus and share his love with the world.
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  • Thanks, you can be seated.
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  • Today I'm really going to be speaking more from the heart,
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  • meaning that I haven't prepared as much as I normally am,
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  • so have a bit of grace with me,
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  • but I really just want to speak from the heart.
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  • I want to begin, as we've been in this series of Advent,
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  • Advent is a time in which you're waiting for something.
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  • It's a time that we acknowledge that all of us in the human
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  • condition are in a weird place of waiting.
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  • And we don't quite always know what it is
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  • that we're waiting for.
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  • And so Advent means the arrival.
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  • It means that that thing you've been waiting for has come.
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  • So, Advent is a time of training into our soul, rhythms,
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  • and a spirit of hope.
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  • And so there are four promises I wrote down that I wanted
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  • to talk about, four promises of advent.
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  • And we're talking about the third promise today.
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  • And the third promise is this.
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  • God will get you to your destiny.
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  • God will get you to your destiny.
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  • Today I want to talk about the idea that although all of us
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  • have a calling in God, too often we're focused
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  • on our calling and not our character.
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  • And that if you focus on your character,
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  • God will focus on your calling.
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  • There is a huge, looming fear in all people that, well,
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  • when it's all said and done, I didn't do anything
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  • with my life that truly mattered.
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  • Almost all of us live with a daily fear that my life won't
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  • matter, or that I need to do something spectacular.
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  • And this is a big challenge.
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  • And it seems like the wealthier our nations become, the more
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  • this existential question becomes a major issue for us.
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  • And so I just want to begin by saying this.
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  • In the kingdom of God, no matter what you accomplish,
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  • your life matters.
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  • Can we just say that?
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  • That no matter what you do, no matter what trophies you have on
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  • the wall, no matter what you can say at your retirement party
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  • or even what you can say on your deathbed,
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  • no matter what you accomplish, your life matters.
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  • Your life matters because you are loved by God,
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  • and that's very good news.
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  • And too often we think that our lives, we have to earn something
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  • to make our lives worth anything.
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  • So many of us, we're like--we're so scared that our life's not
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  • going to be mattered--that our life's not going to matter.
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  • And it does, it always matters.
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  • There is this modern thing that says do
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  • something great with your life.
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  • And you should, you should do something great with your life.
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  • But when you do something great with your life,
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  • it doesn't make your life worth more.
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  • There's a great book called "The Denial of Death" by--
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  • written in the 1970s by a guy named Ernest Becker.
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  • And Ernest Becker had this idea--he was a psychologist
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  • and a philosopher, his book won the Pulitzer Prize.
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  • And he had this idea that most of mankind was obsessed with
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  • building symbols and stories to construct in their
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  • own lives a sense of immortality.
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  • That underneath the surface for almost every human being was
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  • this looming--and he used the word "dread," this ongoing fear
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  • that I'm going to die someday.
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  • I'm so afraid of dying, and that a lot of civilization was built
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  • around constructing essentially a sense of immortality.
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  • That even though I will die, my name will carry on,
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  • or my death will have meaning.
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  • He called this journey for the human being the hero project,
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  • that all of us have this little hero project.
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  • That if we can build out of our lives this sense of heroism,
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  • well, then our lives are going to matter.
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  • And he says that this is a problem because what you're
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  • doing is actually trying to deny, distract yourself
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  • from the idea that someday, you're going to die.
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  • This is a bit dark, isn't it?
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  • It gets better, I promise.
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  • And so all of us--so, he believed that much, if not most
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  • pathology was rooted in this deep sense of dread,
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  • this fear of death that every single human being has.
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  • And he was working off of Kierkegaard, and he said the
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  • only time you can truly be healthy is when you abandon this
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  • hero project and embrace faith.
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  • And that faith that I'm going to live on beyond this life,
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  • that that's the only hope that truly makes you healthy.
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  • And the irony about this book was that Ernest Becker himself
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  • was Jewish, but he was agnostic.
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  • And he sort of laments at the end of the book,
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  • "But I don't have that faith."
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  • And I think in our modern world, science is trying to help
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  • in this role of giving meaning, but they're not doing
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  • a very good job.
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  • And he basically said, "I don't think they're going
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  • to accomplish helping give meaning to people
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  • who don't believe in an afterlife."
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  • And that's kind of how it ends.
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  • As a digression, by the way, Ernest Becker later on gets in a
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  • written conversation with a youth pastor,
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  • who actually ends up sort of converting him
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  • to Orthodox Judaism.
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  • I don't know if it's orthodox, but he came to a deep faith in
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  • his Jewish roots, and so he had some kind of faith when he died.
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  • But I guess I just want to begin there because I think many
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  • Christians who forget about the truth of heaven and the
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  • ceaselessness of the soul, and the fact that regardless
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  • of what you accomplish, your life matters,
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  • that very often we fall into the hero project trap.
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  • Many of us, we don't truly have faith in God, faith in heaven.
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  • And so for many of us, we want to do great things
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  • not for others.
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  • We want to do great things not to benefit the world truly,
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  • but in order to build our hero project, in order to distract
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  • ourselves from a looming fear of death.
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  • And I just want to challenge you that this is not--
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  • this is not the role for Christians,
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  • that Christians should not be building a hero project,
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  • that we should do great things
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  • and we should actually be heroes,
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  • but not for ourselves,
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  • and not to build some kind of symbolic immortality.
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  • We know that there is a heaven, and we know God is faithful,
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  • and we know he is our Father.
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  • And just like any Father wouldn't abandon his kids, we
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  • know God won't abandon us, amen?
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  • The more you can build that knowledge into your soul that
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  • you're a ceaseless being with an eternal destiny in God's good
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  • universe, as Dallas Fuller said, the less you worry about always
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  • doing something spectacular and fantastic.
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  • And that's a big concern, isn't it?
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  • I mean, I just feel that so many people are so worried
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  • that I'm going to die, and my life is not going to matter.
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  • And I just think about all the good people in the past who knew
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  • the Lord that had simple lives, that were farmers or that worked
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  • the same job all of their lives, but they were faithful
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  • to the gospel, and they knew Jesus,
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  • and they loved the Lord.
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  • Did their lives matter?
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  • Of course they did.
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  • Every life matters. And guess what?
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  • Not all of us are going to be Julius Caesar, or Brad Pitt,
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  • or the President of the United States, okay?
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  • There's only a handful of people in history are going to do that.
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  • And in the kingdom of God, they're the lowest.
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  • That's what Jesus teaches us, that if you want to be the
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  • greatest, you become a servant, that you become humble,
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  • and you become like Jesus.
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  • And there will be a day when we get to heaven
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  • that we'll see that that makes sense.
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  • And so I just want to begin by saying don't worry,
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  • your life matters not because of what you do.
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  • Your life matters because you're a human being,
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  • and you're loved by God.
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  • You're treasured.
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  • All right, can we just establish that?
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  • Okay, I don't mean to hammer it home,
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  • but I just want to say this on that one point.
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  • You know, I just sang here with Haven.
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  • Do you think I love Haven more because she sang with me?
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  • Do you think--do any of you who are parents love your kids more
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  • when they do cool things?
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  • No, you're proud of them, you think it's great,
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  • you applaud them.
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  • But do you love them more? Absolutely not.
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  • God does not value you or love you more
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  • because of your trophies.
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  • So, let's talk about calling, okay?
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  • But all of us do have a calling, and I just want to say four
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  • things before I actually get into the text,
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  • four things about reflections on calling.
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  • Number one, I just want to say that all of us
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  • have more than one calling.
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  • All of us have more than one calling.
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  • We always think that there's this one great thing
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  • we're supposed to do in life.
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  • I'm supposed to write a bestselling novel.
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  • I'm supposed to become the senator of California.
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  • You know, you come up with these ideas of things that--these
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  • great things that it's going to say on your grave or whatever,
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  • but let me just tell you that all of us have multiple callings
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  • all the time.
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  • That God calls us to do this,
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  • and later he calls us to do that.
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  • Think about Jesus.
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  • We always think that Jesus had one calling,
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  • but he didn't really start his ministry until he was 30.
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  • Jesus as a child was a faithful student.
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  • And then later, he was a faithful carpenter, and he built
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  • things, and he had to work with people constantly.
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  • And all of that time, God was preparing him
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  • for the next calling, which was to be a rabbi.
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  • And even then, think about Jesus.
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  • He had 12 disciples.
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  • He's from a little podunk part of the empire
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  • that nobody really cared about.
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  • He wasn't even from Jerusalem.
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  • He was from, like, the northern outskirts.
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  • You know, but that was his calling,
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  • and God used those things for major, major--
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  • obviously to change the whole world.
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  • So, you never have just one calling.
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  • Number two, every calling comes to an end.
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  • This is maybe one of the saddest things because, for many of us,
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  • when we're doing what God has called us to do,
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  • I'm doing what I was born to do.
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  • Sometimes it suddenly comes to an end.
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  • We get fired, or we get an injury or sick, or a divorce,
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  • or some twist happens in the plot,
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  • and we just weren't expecting that.
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  • And we think, "But that's what I was called to do.
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  • How could God let this happen?"
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  • But every calling comes to an end.
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  • No matter where you are in life, you are in a season.
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  • And seasons come and seasons go.
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  • And if--and that should give you hope because if you're
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  • in a place of sort of an in-betweenness, well,
  • 00:12:38.060 --> 00:12:40.260
  • God still has another calling for you.
  • 00:12:40.270 --> 00:12:44.030
  • Number three, and I already said this,
  • 00:12:44.040 --> 00:12:45.290
  • but your calling is not your identity.
  • 00:12:46.000 --> 00:12:49.130
  • You know, I may be a pastor and that's what I'm called to do
  • 00:12:49.140 --> 00:12:52.060
  • at this time, but someday I may not be a pastor.
  • 00:12:52.070 --> 00:12:55.200
  • And that's not who I am.
  • 00:12:55.210 --> 00:12:58.010
  • If what we do vocationally or what we do for a living becomes
  • 00:12:58.020 --> 00:13:01.170
  • a part of our identity, then our soul is on a rollercoaster
  • 00:13:01.180 --> 00:13:04.220
  • because if that thing gets taken away from us,
  • 00:13:04.230 --> 00:13:07.170
  • we lose our sense of who we are.
  • 00:13:07.180 --> 00:13:09.160
  • And so our life becomes fragmented as we try
  • 00:13:09.170 --> 00:13:12.190
  • and search for a new identity.
  • 00:13:12.200 --> 00:13:15.180
  • The one thing that will never change in your life is that you
  • 00:13:15.190 --> 00:13:18.230
  • are loved, that God loves you, will never stop loving you.
  • 00:13:18.240 --> 00:13:21.290
  • There's nothing you can do to change that.
  • 00:13:22.000 --> 00:13:24.050
  • That is the constant.
  • 00:13:24.060 --> 00:13:25.260
  • And if our lives are rooted in that truth, we will have a deep
  • 00:13:25.270 --> 00:13:29.170
  • sense of peace and joy in everything else we do, amen?
  • 00:13:29.180 --> 00:13:33.270
  • Number four, and this is the thing I really want you to hear.
  • 00:13:33.280 --> 00:13:38.290
  • If you're alive, you have a calling.
  • 00:13:39.000 --> 00:13:44.200
  • If you are alive, you have a calling.
  • 00:13:44.210 --> 00:13:46.140
  • I just want to say this.
  • 00:13:46.150 --> 00:13:47.270
  • You didn't miss out on your calling.
  • 00:13:47.280 --> 00:13:51.080
  • And you say, "You don't understand,
  • 00:13:51.090 --> 00:13:52.200
  • I've been given a week to live."
  • 00:13:52.210 --> 00:13:54.050
  • You didn't miss out on your calling.
  • 00:13:54.060 --> 00:13:56.020
  • "You don't understand, I went through a divorce."
  • 00:13:56.030 --> 00:13:57.260
  • You didn't miss out on your calling.
  • 00:13:57.270 --> 00:13:59.250
  • "You don't understand, I kind of feel like I've lost my faith.
  • 00:13:59.260 --> 00:14:02.190
  • I don't know where I'm going."
  • 00:14:02.200 --> 00:14:04.070
  • You didn't miss out on your calling.
  • 00:14:04.080 --> 00:14:06.070
  • You have a calling right now.
  • 00:14:06.080 --> 00:14:10.270
  • God's calling you to do something.
  • 00:14:10.280 --> 00:14:12.130
  • It doesn't matter how old you are, sick, poor, uneducated,
  • 00:14:12.140 --> 00:14:15.030
  • young, you have a calling.
  • 00:14:15.040 --> 00:14:17.170
  • Look, there is nothing more inspiring than seeing people at
  • 00:14:17.180 --> 00:14:21.170
  • the end of their rope pursuing knowledge, pursuing growth, and
  • 00:14:21.180 --> 00:14:26.000
  • pursuing God's best for others.
  • 00:14:26.010 --> 00:14:27.250
  • I remember Dennis Prager was telling a story about how he
  • 00:14:27.260 --> 00:14:30.290
  • used to visit hospice, and he said there's nothing more
  • 00:14:31.000 --> 00:14:32.270
  • inspiring than going around seeing these people who are on
  • 00:14:32.280 --> 00:14:35.200
  • their deathbed, and they were encouraging one another, they
  • 00:14:35.210 --> 00:14:38.160
  • were writing letters, they were sitting there reading
  • 00:14:38.170 --> 00:14:40.180
  • the newspaper, people who loved to learn.
  • 00:14:40.190 --> 00:14:44.010
  • These are people, I think, who had a love for knowledge,
  • 00:14:44.020 --> 00:14:47.070
  • and might even be people who understood if I've got
  • 00:14:47.080 --> 00:14:50.040
  • a day left, I'm going to use it.
  • 00:14:50.050 --> 00:14:52.220
  • Look, if you're alive, you're alive for a reason.
  • 00:14:52.230 --> 00:14:56.260
  • If you're alive, you have a calling, and that's very,
  • 00:14:56.270 --> 00:15:00.060
  • very good news.
  • 00:15:00.070 --> 00:15:01.240
  • One of my favorite movies that came out last year
  • 00:15:01.250 --> 00:15:05.090
  • was this movie "The Interview" about--
  • 00:15:05.100 --> 00:15:07.190
  • it was like with Robert De Niro.
  • 00:15:07.200 --> 00:15:10.200
  • And he's this retired guy.
  • 00:15:10.210 --> 00:15:12.200
  • You know, he did really well in his corporate world, and it
  • 00:15:12.210 --> 00:15:15.180
  • begins with him in retirement.
  • 00:15:15.190 --> 00:15:17.020
  • And he says, "You know, I've done everything.
  • 00:15:17.030 --> 00:15:18.270
  • I've done Chinese classes, I've done dating, I've done golfing.
  • 00:15:18.280 --> 00:15:22.100
  • You know, I've done yoga, I've done swing dancing."
  • 00:15:22.110 --> 00:15:25.080
  • And he said, "Now, I'm just bored to death."
  • 00:15:25.090 --> 00:15:27.140
  • And finally, this guy in the story, he goes back to this big
  • 00:15:27.150 --> 00:15:31.290
  • firm to be the intern, to be the guy at the bottom of the rung.
  • 00:15:32.000 --> 00:15:35.110
  • And plot twist here, you know, in the narrative is that he's
  • 00:15:35.120 --> 00:15:41.010
  • eventually used to coach the CEO of a company.
  • 00:15:41.020 --> 00:15:44.160
  • So, he's sort of used in this narrative.
  • 00:15:44.170 --> 00:15:47.010
  • He comes in at the very bottom just to be a servant,
  • 00:15:47.020 --> 00:15:49.060
  • but he realizes he's not at the end of his rope.
  • 00:15:49.070 --> 00:15:51.070
  • Many of you, you know, you're retired, and you might find out,
  • 00:15:51.080 --> 00:15:54.030
  • like, you just feel like you're bored, and you just--
  • 00:15:54.040 --> 00:15:57.040
  • maybe you're trying to have more fun, or travel more.
  • 00:15:57.050 --> 00:15:59.100
  • And that's great, but I just want to encourage you,
  • 00:15:59.110 --> 00:16:01.050
  • even if you're retired, you still have a calling.
  • 00:16:01.060 --> 00:16:03.170
  • And this is a good time to have fun and to be
  • 00:16:03.180 --> 00:16:06.110
  • with your grandkids, and those types of things.
  • 00:16:06.120 --> 00:16:08.260
  • You're at the best peak of your life when it comes to knowledge.
  • 00:16:08.270 --> 00:16:12.050
  • You know more now than you've ever known.
  • 00:16:12.060 --> 00:16:14.190
  • You're in the perfect place for God to use you
  • 00:16:14.200 --> 00:16:17.210
  • in phenomenal ways.
  • 00:16:17.220 --> 00:16:20.090
  • That no matter how old you are, you have a calling.
  • 00:16:20.100 --> 00:16:24.020
  • I remember when I was in college, there was this guy,
  • 00:16:24.030 --> 00:16:27.220
  • and he decided that everyone at this home near our school--
  • 00:16:27.230 --> 00:16:32.050
  • he was like, "Well, they still have a purpose."
  • 00:16:32.060 --> 00:16:33.270
  • And he went down there, and he created a prayer team.
  • 00:16:33.280 --> 00:16:35.260
  • And he started taking these prayer requests that would come
  • 00:16:35.270 --> 00:16:38.010
  • into ORU from all around the world, and he'd bring them in.
  • 00:16:38.020 --> 00:16:40.190
  • And this table of saints would sit around this table, and they
  • 00:16:40.200 --> 00:16:45.030
  • would pray by faith with power every day, spiritually breaking
  • 00:16:45.040 --> 00:16:49.160
  • chains in the lives of others.
  • 00:16:49.170 --> 00:16:51.050
  • That even though they weren't physically able to leave that
  • 00:16:51.060 --> 00:16:52.270
  • space, God was using them to break spiritual chains.
  • 00:16:52.280 --> 00:16:57.010
  • They believed and I believe that no matter who you are,
  • 00:16:57.020 --> 00:17:00.220
  • if you're alive, you have a calling.
  • 00:17:00.230 --> 00:17:03.270
  • Believe it, believe it.
  • 00:17:03.280 --> 00:17:08.210
  • So you said, "Well, what is my calling?"
  • 00:17:08.220 --> 00:17:10.140
  • And I just say I don't know.
  • 00:17:10.150 --> 00:17:11.240
  • I mean, I don't know.
  • 00:17:11.250 --> 00:17:14.040
  • Can't help you there.
  • 00:17:14.050 --> 00:17:16.010
  • God knows, and he'll show you if you listen.
  • 00:17:16.020 --> 00:17:19.080
  • But I want to say this.
  • 00:17:19.090 --> 00:17:21.040
  • Don't worry about it.
  • 00:17:21.050 --> 00:17:22.270
  • Don't worry about your calling.
  • 00:17:22.280 --> 00:17:25.110
  • Worry about your character.
  • 00:17:25.120 --> 00:17:27.140
  • If you focus on your character, God will focus on your calling.
  • 00:17:27.150 --> 00:17:32.140
  • If you work on being a Jesus kind of person,
  • 00:17:32.150 --> 00:17:35.220
  • you'll have so much opportunity come to you,
  • 00:17:35.230 --> 00:17:37.290
  • you'll have to shake it away with a stick.
  • 00:17:38.000 --> 00:17:40.080
  • In fact, people that--who have built into themselves
  • 00:17:40.090 --> 00:17:43.020
  • the character of Christ, their biggest challenge is saying no
  • 00:17:43.030 --> 00:17:46.120
  • to all of the people that want help from them.
  • 00:17:46.130 --> 00:17:49.250
  • If you become a Jesus kind of person, you'll automatically
  • 00:17:49.260 --> 00:17:53.110
  • be a healing presence everywhere you go,
  • 00:17:53.120 --> 00:17:55.200
  • and people will want more from you.
  • 00:17:55.210 --> 00:17:57.170
  • And then you're going to have to practice boundaries.
  • 00:17:57.180 --> 00:18:00.170
  • You're not going to be asking God, "What's my calling?"
  • 00:18:00.180 --> 00:18:02.280
  • You're going to be, "Stop calling me to so much stuff.
  • 00:18:02.290 --> 00:18:05.110
  • I have to say no."
  • 00:18:05.120 --> 00:18:07.150
  • If you focus on your character, God will focus on your calling.
  • 00:18:07.160 --> 00:18:11.270
  • If you focus on your character, God will focus on your calling.
  • 00:18:12.000 --> 00:18:15.280
  • Forget about your calling. Don't worry about it.
  • 00:18:15.290 --> 00:18:18.050
  • Worry about what kind of person you want to be, and God will
  • 00:18:18.060 --> 00:18:20.190
  • prepare you for the next season of purpose in your life, amen?
  • 00:18:20.200 --> 00:18:24.210
  • And that's what--I'm basing this off of the story.
  • 00:18:24.220 --> 00:18:27.050
  • I finally get to the Scripture at the end of my sermon.
  • 00:18:27.060 --> 00:18:30.280
  • There's this great Advent story, when God is
  • 00:18:30.290 --> 00:18:33.150
  • preparing the way for Jesus.
  • 00:18:33.160 --> 00:18:35.210
  • And it's this old priest named Zachariah.
  • 00:18:35.220 --> 00:18:38.130
  • Zachariah is an old man, and his wife Elizabeth is an old woman.
  • 00:18:38.140 --> 00:18:42.070
  • And he has worked in this temple forever.
  • 00:18:42.080 --> 00:18:45.290
  • They have probably maybe 1.000 priests
  • 00:18:46.000 --> 00:18:48.230
  • working in this temple, and they're always taking turns.
  • 00:18:48.240 --> 00:18:51.140
  • And what happens is every day, each team gets to roll the dice,
  • 00:18:51.150 --> 00:18:54.130
  • and one person from that group gets to go and burn incense.
  • 00:18:54.140 --> 00:18:58.050
  • If a priest is lucky, he will burn incense
  • 00:18:58.060 --> 00:19:00.260
  • in a 40-year period once in his life.
  • 00:19:00.270 --> 00:19:03.050
  • And here's Zachariah, he's in the temple, and the lots are
  • 00:19:03.060 --> 00:19:08.000
  • cast, and it comes to him, a once in a lifetime opportunity.
  • 00:19:08.010 --> 00:19:13.070
  • Thousands of people turn to look at him.
  • 00:19:13.080 --> 00:19:15.120
  • And he ascends the stairs to go into the holy place
  • 00:19:15.130 --> 00:19:18.170
  • of the temple.
  • 00:19:18.180 --> 00:19:19.270
  • And there he goes to burn incense before the Lord.
  • 00:19:19.280 --> 00:19:23.020
  • And as he's going in, it's like imagine being Zachariah,
  • 00:19:23.030 --> 00:19:25.070
  • this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, amazing experience.
  • 00:19:25.080 --> 00:19:28.150
  • I waited my whole life. I'm an old man.
  • 00:19:28.160 --> 00:19:30.050
  • I've seen thousands of priests do this.
  • 00:19:30.060 --> 00:19:32.010
  • It's finally my turn.
  • 00:19:32.020 --> 00:19:33.110
  • As he's walking up, you can hear people outside singing
  • 00:19:33.120 --> 00:19:36.270
  • and saying things.
  • 00:19:36.280 --> 00:19:38.080
  • And you might hear a roar,
  • 00:19:38.090 --> 00:19:41.290
  • I mean, it's this really intense spiritual moment.
  • 00:19:42.000 --> 00:19:45.080
  • I can't imagine being more expectant
  • 00:19:45.090 --> 00:19:47.220
  • for God to do something.
  • 00:19:47.230 --> 00:19:49.130
  • And he steps in, and he goes in, and of course there is an angel
  • 00:19:49.140 --> 00:19:53.050
  • standing waiting for him.
  • 00:19:53.060 --> 00:19:54.150
  • He says, "Zachariah, I have a message for you.
  • 00:19:54.160 --> 00:19:57.140
  • You're going to have a son, and his name's going to be John."
  • 00:19:57.150 --> 00:20:01.160
  • This is the foretelling, by the way, of John the Baptist.
  • 00:20:01.170 --> 00:20:03.240
  • John the Baptist was the man who went before Jesus
  • 00:20:03.250 --> 00:20:06.190
  • and prepared the way, a super-important character
  • 00:20:06.200 --> 00:20:09.290
  • in the story of the gospels and the story of Jesus.
  • 00:20:10.000 --> 00:20:12.080
  • And he says to Zachariah, "You're going to have the son,
  • 00:20:12.090 --> 00:20:16.150
  • and his name will be John."
  • 00:20:16.160 --> 00:20:17.250
  • And Zachariah says kind of like--he's this old Jewish guy,
  • 00:20:17.260 --> 00:20:22.100
  • and he's like, "I don't know how that can be.
  • 00:20:22.110 --> 00:20:25.110
  • I'm pretty old, you know?
  • 00:20:25.120 --> 00:20:30.010
  • And my wife, she's pretty old too, I don't know."
  • 00:20:30.020 --> 00:20:35.160
  • And the funny thing about the story is--now I'm putting this
  • 00:20:35.170 --> 00:20:38.110
  • into the story, but I assume when I'm reading this text
  • 00:20:38.120 --> 00:20:41.230
  • that this is a character issue for Zachariah.
  • 00:20:41.240 --> 00:20:44.210
  • The Scriptures say that Zachariah and Elizabeth were
  • 00:20:44.220 --> 00:20:46.230
  • righteous people, that they were good in God's eyes,
  • 00:20:46.240 --> 00:20:49.090
  • that they did what was right.
  • 00:20:49.100 --> 00:20:50.190
  • But you know, you kind of imagine that there's this doubt,
  • 00:20:50.200 --> 00:20:53.200
  • and that there's this sort of response of Zachariah to speak
  • 00:20:53.210 --> 00:20:57.130
  • doubt into something.
  • 00:20:57.140 --> 00:20:58.190
  • And I'm just--I think, you know, if it's a once in a lifetime
  • 00:20:58.200 --> 00:21:00.270
  • chance that I roll the dice, 1 out of 1.000 that I'm going
  • 00:21:00.280 --> 00:21:04.130
  • to go into the temple, then when I go into the temple,
  • 00:21:04.140 --> 00:21:06.100
  • there's an angel there.
  • 00:21:06.110 --> 00:21:07.200
  • And the angel says something, and I'm like, "I don't know,
  • 00:21:07.210 --> 00:21:10.290
  • it just doesn't seem likely, I don't know."
  • 00:21:11.000 --> 00:21:13.200
  • It seems like there might be a character issue there.
  • 00:21:13.210 --> 00:21:17.000
  • And so what I think, I think--
  • 00:21:17.010 --> 00:21:18.100
  • I think, and I'm putting this into the text,
  • 00:21:18.110 --> 00:21:20.000
  • but I think the character issue is cynicism.
  • 00:21:20.010 --> 00:21:22.260
  • I think he's a cynic.
  • 00:21:22.270 --> 00:21:24.220
  • I think he's an old man, and he's probably been disappointed,
  • 00:21:24.230 --> 00:21:26.210
  • and he probably wanted a kid, and he's been shooting it down.
  • 00:21:26.220 --> 00:21:29.170
  • And so what happens in the story?
  • 00:21:29.180 --> 00:21:31.050
  • The angel mutes him.
  • 00:21:31.060 --> 00:21:33.120
  • He mutes him until his son is born.
  • 00:21:33.130 --> 00:21:35.020
  • And the first thing he's able to say is, "His name will be--
  • 00:21:35.030 --> 00:21:38.050
  • his name will be John."
  • 00:21:38.060 --> 00:21:39.200
  • And the reason I wanted to just finish with this story is this.
  • 00:21:39.210 --> 00:21:43.060
  • God actually look care of Zachariah's character, his
  • 00:21:43.070 --> 00:21:46.180
  • cynicism issue, so that he could take care of his calling.
  • 00:21:46.190 --> 00:21:50.270
  • All that to simply say, friends, focus on your character,
  • 00:21:50.280 --> 00:21:54.150
  • and God will get you to your calling.
  • 00:21:54.160 --> 00:21:56.210
  • Look at the habits in your life, the little things, and devote
  • 00:21:56.220 --> 00:22:01.070
  • your life to becoming more like Jesus, to becoming a Sermon
  • 00:22:01.080 --> 00:22:05.180
  • on the Mount kind of person.
  • 00:22:05.190 --> 00:22:07.000
  • Do everything you can to live and be more like Jesus,
  • 00:22:07.010 --> 00:22:12.060
  • and God will get you to your calling.
  • 00:22:12.070 --> 00:22:14.030
  • And today, I just want to say you can stop worrying about it.
  • 00:22:14.040 --> 00:22:17.190
  • Don't worry about your calling.
  • 00:22:17.200 --> 00:22:19.290
  • Worry about your character.
  • 00:22:20.000 --> 00:22:22.000
  • And I'll just finish, and we've seen this quote before,
  • 00:22:22.010 --> 00:22:24.010
  • just one quote from Dallas Willard at the end.
  • 00:22:24.020 --> 00:22:26.150
  • This is his prayer.
  • 00:22:26.160 --> 00:22:28.020
  • "Lord, don't give me more success than
  • 00:22:28.030 --> 00:22:32.080
  • my character can handle."
  • 00:22:32.090 --> 00:22:34.250
  • If that's a hard prayer to pray, congratulations,
  • 00:22:34.260 --> 00:22:38.020
  • you're a human being.
  • 00:22:38.030 --> 00:22:39.230
  • It's hard for all of us to pray that.
  • 00:22:39.240 --> 00:22:41.120
  • But the harder it is for you to pray, the more you need to focus
  • 00:22:41.130 --> 00:22:44.200
  • on your character, and the less you need to focus on succeeding.
  • 00:22:44.210 --> 00:22:48.190
  • If you focus on your character, God will prepare you
  • 00:22:48.200 --> 00:22:51.140
  • for your destiny.
  • 00:22:51.150 --> 00:22:53.070
  • Don't worry about your destiny.
  • 00:22:53.080 --> 00:22:55.260
  • God's going to get you there, and it is good.
  • 00:22:55.270 --> 00:22:57.240
  • And if you trust in the name of Jesus, your future is always
  • 00:22:57.250 --> 00:23:01.130
  • bright, even when your present is dark.
  • 00:23:01.140 --> 00:23:03.180
  • If you trust in the chain breaking name of Jesus Christ,
  • 00:23:03.190 --> 00:23:08.020
  • you will get to your good destiny, I promise.
  • 00:23:08.030 --> 00:23:10.170
  • You don't have to worry.
  • 00:23:10.180 --> 00:23:12.110
  • Focus on your character.
  • 00:23:12.120 --> 00:23:14.030
  • Become more like Jesus, and God will get you
  • 00:23:14.040 --> 00:23:17.080
  • where you need to be, amen?
  • 00:23:17.090 --> 00:23:19.230
  • All right, would you pray with me?
  • 00:23:19.240 --> 00:23:24.040
  • In Jesus' name, Lord, we pray that you'd
  • 00:23:24.050 --> 00:23:25.260
  • forgive us of our sins, that you'd renew us,
  • 00:23:25.270 --> 00:23:28.150
  • and that you'd make us Jesus kind of people.
  • 00:23:28.160 --> 00:23:31.140
  • I pray, Father, that you'd fill us with your Holy Spirit,
  • 00:23:31.150 --> 00:23:34.260
  • you'd help us to understand that this is your world,
  • 00:23:34.270 --> 00:23:38.090
  • and to give us faith that no matter what,
  • 00:23:38.100 --> 00:23:40.010
  • we don't have to worry.
  • 00:23:40.020 --> 00:23:42.020
  • That you want us to do great things, but I pray that you'd
  • 00:23:42.030 --> 00:23:44.150
  • prepare our hearts and minds so when those great things come,
  • 00:23:44.160 --> 00:23:47.270
  • we have the character to endure them and fulfill them.
  • 00:23:47.280 --> 00:23:51.210
  • Lord, we love you in Jesus' name, amen.
  • 00:23:51.220 --> 00:23:55.250
  • And now the Lord bless you and keep you,
  • 00:23:55.260 --> 00:23:58.040
  • the Lord make His face to shine upon you
  • 00:23:58.050 --> 00:24:01.020
  • and be gracious unto you, the Lord lift His countenance
  • 00:24:01.030 --> 00:24:04.140
  • upon you and give you His peace,
  • 00:24:04.150 --> 00:24:07.090
  • in the name of the Father and of the Son
  • 00:24:07.100 --> 00:24:09.280
  • and of the Holy Spirit, amen.
  • 00:24:09.290 --> 00:24:12.180
  • 00:24:12.190 --> 00:24:15.260
  • Bobby: "Hour of Power" is passionate about bringing
  • 00:24:15.270 --> 00:24:17.200
  • dignity and discipleship to hurting people
  • 00:24:17.210 --> 00:24:20.070
  • all around the world.
  • 00:24:20.080 --> 00:24:21.210
  • As we're getting close to 2017, we're dreaming about
  • 00:24:21.220 --> 00:24:23.290
  • the big things we can do.
  • 00:24:24.000 --> 00:24:25.220
  • And the more support we get, the more we're going
  • 00:24:25.230 --> 00:24:27.240
  • to be able to accomplish.
  • 00:24:27.250 --> 00:24:29.080
  • Would you consider making a year-end gift to this ministry?
  • 00:24:29.090 --> 00:24:32.000
  • It would mean the world to me.
  • 00:24:32.010 --> 00:24:33.250
  • Remember as always, God loves you, and so do we.
  • 00:24:33.260 --> 00:24:36.280
  • male: My mother was diagnosed with cancer,
  • 00:24:38.250 --> 00:24:40.280
  • and we could no longer go to church together.
  • 00:24:40.290 --> 00:24:42.290
  • One Sunday while channel surfing,
  • 00:24:43.000 --> 00:24:44.210
  • I found "Hour of Power."
  • 00:24:44.220 --> 00:24:46.150
  • From that day forward, we never missed a service together.
  • 00:24:46.160 --> 00:24:49.150
  • Before my mother passed, we looked forward
  • 00:24:49.160 --> 00:24:51.230
  • to "Hour of Power" all week long.
  • 00:24:51.240 --> 00:24:53.250
  • On Sunday mornings, we greeted each other with excitement
  • 00:24:53.260 --> 00:24:56.260
  • saying, "We get to go to church today!"
  • 00:24:56.270 --> 00:24:59.270
  • A doctor told her she had 2 months to live,
  • 00:24:59.280 --> 00:25:02.050
  • but due to the nourishment of her faith through prayer
  • 00:25:02.060 --> 00:25:04.190
  • and watching "Hour of Power,"
  • 00:25:04.200 --> 00:25:06.110
  • God decided that she was to live for another 26 months.
  • 00:25:06.120 --> 00:25:09.050
  • Praise God.
  • 00:25:09.060 --> 00:25:10.280
  • "Hour of Power" provided us with the opportunity
  • 00:25:10.290 --> 00:25:12.200
  • to attend church when we needed it most
  • 00:25:12.210 --> 00:25:14.130
  • but were unable to go out.
  • 00:25:14.140 --> 00:25:16.060
  • I still look forward to watching "Hour of Power"
  • 00:25:16.070 --> 00:25:18.090
  • each week with the same eagerness as I did
  • 00:25:18.100 --> 00:25:20.090
  • when my mother was here.
  • 00:25:20.100 --> 00:25:21.260
  • I can still feel her holding my hand and saying,
  • 00:25:21.270 --> 00:25:24.170
  • "God loves you and so do I."
  • 00:25:24.180 --> 00:25:26.260
  • God bless you and everyone there.
  • 00:25:26.270 --> 00:25:29.080
  • Sincerely, Robert Dyer.
  • 00:25:29.090 --> 00:25:32.050
  • Hannah: Robert, your letter really touched me,
  • 00:25:32.060 --> 00:25:34.110
  • and I just hope that someday I'll have
  • 00:25:34.120 --> 00:25:36.180
  • that same relationship with my son
  • 00:25:36.190 --> 00:25:38.020
  • that I can sit there and hold his hand
  • 00:25:38.030 --> 00:25:40.060
  • and we could worship God together.
  • 00:25:40.070 --> 00:25:42.150
  • And I want to say that's just a beautiful thing
  • 00:25:42.160 --> 00:25:44.290
  • that you had with your mom.
  • 00:25:45.000 --> 00:25:46.180
  • Bobby: We tell these stories because we want you to know
  • 00:25:46.190 --> 00:25:49.050
  • when you give to "Hour of Power,"
  • 00:25:49.060 --> 00:25:50.270
  • you're not giving to us, to me and Hannah,
  • 00:25:50.280 --> 00:25:52.190
  • you're giving to guys like Robert and his mom.
  • 00:25:52.200 --> 00:25:55.170
  • People, many times, who can't even go to church
  • 00:25:55.180 --> 00:25:58.030
  • and people who maybe they feel burned by church
  • 00:25:58.040 --> 00:26:00.170
  • and just can't muster up the energy to go back
  • 00:26:00.180 --> 00:26:02.260
  • in the building, or people who are going
  • 00:26:02.270 --> 00:26:04.120
  • through time of despair, and we are there
  • 00:26:04.130 --> 00:26:06.190
  • to encourage them.
  • 00:26:06.200 --> 00:26:08.050
  • And it's your support that makes that possible.
  • 00:26:08.060 --> 00:26:10.260
  • And something like an eagles' donor or somebody
  • 00:26:10.270 --> 00:26:12.280
  • who gives as like a monthly thing and says,
  • 00:26:12.290 --> 00:26:14.280
  • "You know, 'Hour of Power,'
  • 00:26:14.290 --> 00:26:16.170
  • we're gonna be behind you every single month,"
  • 00:26:16.180 --> 00:26:18.010
  • that makes all the difference to us because it helps us know
  • 00:26:18.020 --> 00:26:21.020
  • how much we can do, and it helps us to be wise
  • 00:26:21.030 --> 00:26:22.240
  • and prudent with our money.
  • 00:26:22.250 --> 00:26:24.190
  • So, to all of you who continue to support us,
  • 00:26:24.200 --> 00:26:26.060
  • we are so thankful and we want you to know
  • 00:26:26.070 --> 00:26:28.050
  • that you are making a difference
  • 00:26:28.060 --> 00:26:29.240
  • in the world through your generosity.
  • 00:26:29.250 --> 00:26:31.280
  • male announcer: This week when you give to our ministry,
  • 00:26:31.290 --> 00:26:34.020
  • we wanna say a small thank you.
  • 00:26:34.030 --> 00:26:36.050
  • So, for any gift of $75 or more, we will send you this
  • 00:26:36.060 --> 00:26:40.050
  • "I am the beloved of God" blanket.
  • 00:26:40.060 --> 00:26:43.020
  • Whether a gift or a keepsake, let it remind you
  • 00:26:43.030 --> 00:26:45.280
  • that you are truly loved just as you are.
  • 00:26:45.290 --> 00:26:49.080
  • Your donations are what bring "Hour of Power"
  • 00:26:49.090 --> 00:26:51.140
  • into the hospitals, prisons, and homes of people
  • 00:26:51.150 --> 00:26:54.210
  • all around the world.
  • 00:26:54.220 --> 00:26:56.080
  • So, thank you for your support.
  • 00:26:56.090 --> 00:26:58.100
  • Call, write, or go online now.
  • 00:26:58.110 --> 00:27:01.160
  • The first Noel the angel did say
  • 00:27:05.120 --> 00:27:13.250
  • Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
  • 00:27:13.260 --> 00:27:22.120
  • In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
  • 00:27:22.130 --> 00:27:30.010