SURRENDERING OUR DOUBTS | CornerstoneSF Online Service

SURRENDERING OUR DOUBTS | CornerstoneSF Online Service

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Hey there friends. My name's Jonathan, Youth Director here at Cornerstone Church, and I'm very excited for today's Sunday service. If you're new here, how about you take out your phone and you text "SayHi" to 97000 and a member of our team will reach out to you and get you plugged in. So have you been here for awhile then? You know what I'm about to say? Let's go ahead and share this message. You can actually share by hitting the link below or whatever platform you're watching and just share it with a friend, family member, coworker, whoever it may be. So last week we actually revealed and talked about our brand new website that I'm actually really excited about.

If you haven't checked it out, you can go ahead and do so. Now we've put all of our media, whether it is our past Sunday messages, some worship, Phil in the Blank, FaithTracks, Faith Moments, Kids Ministry videos, Youth Ministry videos, whatever it may be, and so much more we have it all in one place for you to go watch, engage with our community. Um, if you're, if you're new, it's a beautiful way to just check out, what is Cornerstone about. So check it out, share with a friend, family member or coworker. So before we hand it off to the worship, which I'm excited about, starting May 2nd, our Youth Ministry is actually to be gathering in-person together with church at Riordan as the 10 o'clock service is going on, we're going to be gathering with the youth in the library. Um, and I'm very excited for it.

We're obviously we're going to be having our precautions that due to COVID and everything, you know, social distancing, masks, and all that good stuff. And I'm so excited for what the Lord has in store for us. So do keep that in prayer, but I'm very excited. So, with that being said, band, kick it off with some beautiful worship.

Good morning, everybody. Welcome to our Online Service. Let's worship the Lord together this morning. We thank you for them.

Be with us in this remaining time as we dive into the Word, may we be receptive to what You have for us. Great to see everyone. This is a Pastor Terry in case you're joining us for the first time here at Cornerstone in San Francisco. Uh, next to me is, uh, my oldest daughter, who's also Chloe Cahill, our Director of Outreach. That is, she coordinates our church's outreach. And, um, there's a couple of things that she's going to be sharing that we're pretty excited about, but I do want to remind everyone just kind of where we are with church and where we're going.

And ah, you know, I know this is an incredibly unique time, uh, in fact we--. We keep saying it, but I can't ever remember in my lifetime, anytime, quite like this one, it's kind of in comparable, but from a church standpoint, um, you know, we're just kinda kinda move with the, the way things are opening up. We're going to do it as best as we can as wisely as possible.

Some of you are aware that we've started to increase, uh, our gatherings at the Riordan campus. And part of that is a lot, having to do with just wanting to create some more community and opportunity for in-person worship. But at the same time, we feel so committed to the, uh, the online service and realizing that so many of you, that's going to be the primary way in which you're able to share in church right now. And that's great, that's fine too, and that's why we're pouring our heart and do it. But I do want to do want to ask Chloe a little bit about that special thing that I was telling you about because it's where I'm excited about it.

We actually, this whole month is dedicated to Second Chance Month, which is all of April. And it's actually a partnership with Prison Fellowship and Pastor Terry and myself a couple of weeks ago, were able to chat with Pastor Jon Kelly, who's one of the representatives at Prison Fellowship, and we just want to share a little bit from our conversation on what that could look like within our church. Hey, Pastor Jon. This is the Famous Pastor Jon. Thank you, Pastor. Good to meet you as well.

You know, I think with us, as we enter into this, this, I would say a new chapter with Prison Fellowship and trying to understand what our place is and what our role is. It's one of those things that can be kind of daunting. Like where do you start? Where do you begin? And I know that you've worked with a lot of churches before and you have seen kind of what works.

Yeah. The good thing about second Chance Month is that it's something that everybody can latch on to. Awareness is huge. Churches don't realize one in three adults in America has a criminal record. Like even you, I guarantee you, if I said, do you know someone that's not Pastor Jon, that has a criminal record? You probably like, yeah, I know somebody.

If I said, do you know someone who has, who's been a victim of a crime? You probably would like, yeah, I know someone who's been a victim of a crime. And so the question is, is how do we, um, how do we step into that as the church? And the Bible has so much to say about, you know, prison in general, like Jesus was incarcerated. Paul wrote most of new Testament Epistles while incarcerated. And what really Second Chance Month is it's a month as given to highlighting the barriers, um, that men and women with criminal records currently face, whether they're in prison or out of prison and doing whatever we can to help remove barriers.

Um, so that men and women who come home, um, or incarcerated can lead productive lives, God honoring lives. As a prison fellowship, as we have a Second Chance Month, there's so many things we do. That we offer, um, to help you not reinvent the wheel.

We have material to help churches work through that. You know, so the church can offer things that the government and no agency can offer. It's not as simply talking about the Gospel. Yes, we know the Gospel, what the church offers that is crucial to not returning is healthy relationships. Um, you know, in this day and age, when you cut on a news and it's another new story about who got shot, which house got on fire, or who got broken into. And if you look in the country and it's like, you know, here's what the Republicans are doing.

Here's what the Democrats are doing. And here's why our country's so divided. It can be so discouraging, as if God isn't doing anything. The Lord is doing so much, but this is never highlighted. And this is a great opportunity to highlight some of the great work and Christians aren't perfect, but we strive to do life together and pursue Christ. It's messy.

Forget what records or addictions let's Christian together. It is most People, you know, if people think the solution of like, when I was going to go to another church. It's messy, everywhere. You know, to really get down and know each other and do life together. It's messy, but it's all for the glory of God. Oh, it wasn't that great.

You know, I, I'm pretty excited about, you know, the church becoming a part of the Second Chance Month with Prison Fellowship. It's a ministry that I particularly find a resonance with. I just think it's, they're doing an amazing job. One of the things that I think you were able to appreciate as you were listening to Pastor Jon there share in our little interview is that I think that some of the things that we were talking about it's maybe even more relevant now than ever, just because of the things that have been going on with the culture at large.

I mean, the church plays a really important role potentially in being peacemakers and life givers and part of the solution. I mean, everybody, and I don't mean everyone, but there's a lot of, of. Just tension and stress and polarization and anger. And I, I get some of that, but the fact is that the church of Jesus has always been called to be bridge builders as much as possible, right? As much as possible. And so I think it makes, uh, initiatives that like the one that we've, we were kind of wanting our church to participate in here, maybe even more important, you know? Um, I think it is, it's a way of tangibly putting our faith into action, but in a positive solution oriented direction that emphasizes the unity that we share in Christ and that common love that binds us together. You know? And so it's about, it's about surrendering things so that God can do things.

Speaking of surrender, I want to mention this - well actually Chloe will mention it. So actually, as we enter in, we're going to be hearing from one of our own pastoral team members Odalis, as she continues to share on what it looks like to surrender surrendering in our doubt. And so with that, we're just going to pray and ask the Lord to be over our time.

Father, we are so grateful for the opportunity to hear your Word. We ask that we would just take this moment and these next couple of minutes and just use this time to really invest in what you have to say to us Father. We pray this in your name.

Jesus. Amen. All right.

Enjoy. Hello, if we haven't had the chance to meet yet. My name is Odalis, I'm part of the Pastoral Team here at CornerstoneSF. I'm so glad we have this time to share it together.

I'm usually leading worship at, uh, our Riordan in-person gatherings, our online services, um, and, and those in-person gatherings that we've been able to start. Hopefully you've heard about that. Uh, they have been such a breath of fresh air, just, uh, it feels like a, a renewal almost in this spring season. As we move out of winter into spring, it also feels like we've shed sort of the winter of 2020, a for lack of a better term and entered into a new season together. I have so enjoyed gathering safely in person. And speaking of spring, uh, it's also, conveniently a great time to adopt a dog.

Uh, some of, you know, I wanted a dog for a long time. There's just cute puppies being born into the world. There are wonderful furry friends of the shelters just waiting to be adopted. Um, and it's also very competitive, but I've wanted a dog for years.

And as time has gone by, I've just sort of waited for the right timing. You know, I'll, I'll get a dog when the time is right. When I have enough space in my, in wherever I live, when I have enough time flexibility in the schedule, when I have enough confidence in my budgeting to make sure that I am, you know, paying for all the things that needs to be paid for, because it is, you know, it's almost another member of the family in some ways, right? All of these enough categories when I'm ready, when I'm ready, when the time is right.

All this time, just believing I'm going to have a dog, I'm going to have a dog. And I, um, I give genuine thanks to God. Um, all of those enough categories are checked off right now. And I'm super grateful because now I get to, I get to really search for the, for the right dog and find the right friend.

And I've been hounding pardon the pun, the SPCA website, pretty much daily, just waiting for the right dog to appear. I even thought I found our new furry family member and I, I just fell in love with this dog I had found, I hit apply. I got so excited. I started to think of all the things we were going to get. And unfortunately, like I said, it's very competitive.

Uh, and uh, another family was blessed with that wonderful looking dog. So no Turincio pup just yet. And as much as I am so excited and long for a dog, um, there's a part of me that doubts or wonders it'll ever actually happen.

Picturing it still, for some reason, feels so far away, maybe the anticipation, maybe all of the searching and not finding the right fit just yet rationally. I know it's about timing. It's about being selective, but not picky about the type of dog, but again, there's this doubter in me that then when it stays sort of feeling complicated and like it's taking too long, that wonders, man, am I even going to be a good pup parent? Will it be worth it for the eventual heartbreak that comes from having pets. Drama, drama? Right. Okay. Not really. I share all this to say, I genuinely had to turn this to the Lord.

I cared that much about getting this right about doing it well, and I had to pray to the Lord. To just submit myself to His timing, to ask Him, to guide us to the right dog and open the door and help me to not get too emotionally invested before we get our yes. In that sense. And it has been a faith exercise for me.

It is. I understand. You know, a, a joyful faith exercise, as opposed to some of the other ones that we learned along the way, but an exercise no less, um, more seriously doubt is something that sits with me often. Um, I, I work hard in life to look for silver linings and to consider what ideal solutions might be, because I know my default tends toward being critical. Um, it tends toward being, uh, so realistic from things that I often end up drifting away from the possibilities away from dreaming away, from really, truly believing. Um, my faith is one that wrestles, wrestles with my own place, with believing enough with, um, with, uh, really finding the, the, the joy and freedom in it.

But one of the graces in my life is that the Lord has worked His patient plan in me. And over time, the grip of doubt has lessened and the grip of faith has strengthened. And as things go here in our time, I get to share not about my hunt for a dog, uh, but about this aspect of life, about doubt and faith and what it means to surrender our doubts to the Lord. What does it mean to wrestle in our faith? With an honest doubt, it's easy to view doubt and faith separately, but I believe they're quite connected.

And we have a lot of examples in the Scriptures of people who, who believed and yet questioned who wrestled in that space. Doubt and faith are not incompatible. They are not opposites.

In fact doubt can actually strengthen our faith when we learn to live surrendering it to the Lord. Attentive, open to the Holy spirit, committed to the long haul. It's not a fix. Jesus said, blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. He didn't say blessed are those who never doubt. And so I'm really looking forward to sharing this time together and, and hearing what the Lord has to say to each of us.

And it will be, it'll be specific, you know, and I, I believe that He will speak specifically to us. I'd love to pray and then we'll dive right in. Lord, we welcome You here in this time, on this Sunday, as we're moving into spring, as we're in the season of, of just natural change and also of changing our world, God, You know all of the burdens that, uh, and the pains God of the questions of our joys, God, You know of all of it, You're in every detail. And as we are here in this time, considering faith and doubt wrestling and questions, Lord, we just ask for Your spirit to be present and for You to speak to us Lord, to meet us in our lives. As you know, all the details anyway, and speak to us, help us to hear You in this time.

Jesus, we're attentive to Your voice and we pray these things in Your good and beautiful Name. Amen. Amen. So for me, it seems super fitting that we are in this topic here coming off of Easter.

The passage we're sitting with is from the Gospel of John chapter 20. Uh, it's coming right off the heels of the crucifixion. The end of chapter 19 is, uh, Jesus's burial. He has just died and Good Friday, uh, or I'm sorry, Easter Sunday is essentially John chapter 20. Um, it begins with Mary Magdalene discovering the empty tomb.

She runs to tell others, John and Peter run to the tomb to see it themselves. Jesus has gathered Jesus's followers start to gather and He reveals himself. Um, they didn't know yet that He had been resurrected. Uh, the over the course of the 40 days that follow from Easter Sunday is when He reveals Himself resurrected and conquering the grave. He revealed Himself one at a time to individuals like Mary Magdalene and then also to larger groups, 500 of them at once at one at a certain point. And so on the evening of Easter Sunday, this first day, this incredible revelation of, of what Jesus had been talking about all along, um, this first day of the week, uh, the followers of Jesus are gathered.

They're gathered they're in a room. The door is closed, they're afraid. They don't know what's going to happen.

Their leader and their friend has been murdered. Uh, how could they know what was coming? Um, but still they gathered anyway, out of commitment, maybe out of love, maybe out of having heard rumors now from some of the others, these initial individuals who had seen the resurrected Christ, then Jesus appears in the room. He doesn't use doors, the resurrected Jesus didn't need doors. He appears and He speaks peace and He breathes on them. And that breathing moment reminds me of creation.

It's this beautiful, full circle, illustration how God breathed life into humans at the start of creation and brokenness separated us. But Jesus dealt with the problem of sin and restored us back to God. You see this beautiful mirror image here, the breath at creation, the breath at the start of the new creation. And then He invites them to partner with Him in this work. It's an amazing moment. It's a truly, it's just a spectacular moment in the scriptures to read.

It's just a few us who says that precede the time we're going to share together. So definitely read them. Yeah. Um, but in this amazing moment, somebody is missing. Somebody is not there. Our good friend now affectionately referred to as doubting Thomas.

Let's read together from John 20 verses 24 to 29. I'm reading from the ESV. Now Thomas, one of the 12 called the twin was not with them when Jesus came, He came there on that first Easter Sunday. So the other disciples told him we have seen the Lord, but he, Thomas said to them, unless I see in His hands, the Mark of the nails and place my finger into the Mark of the nails and place my hand into His side, I will never believe. Eight days later, this is now one full week later, the second Sunday, His disciples were inside again. And Thomas was with them.

Although the doors were locked, Jesus came in and stood among them and said, peace, be with you. There's that thing about the doors. He said, peace, be with you. Then He said to Thomas, put your finger here and see My hands and put out your hand and place it in my side.

Do not disbelieve, but believe. Thomas answered Him, my Lord and my God. Jesus said to him, have you believed because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. So when we're looking at this passage, when we're considering in our time, what it means to live, surrendering our doubt through our faith, the first thing we should probably do is define what we're talking about when we're talking about doubt. As we're exploring it, it's a part of growing faith because it includes and contains our questions, our searching, our wondering that natural . Inquisitiveness and also

the deeper layers of it. Uh, it's the openness and also the feelings of needing to be sure of, of needing to know often it can be rooted in painful experiences, uh, or in loneliness. Uh, Dostoevsky is quoted saying, "It is not as a child that I believe and confess Christ Jesus. My Hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt."

So this furnace of doubt, actually feeding and solidifying, clarifying his confession of faith in a similar way that it did for Thomas. And as we'll see together, the Lord can take an honest, open doubt and work through it redemptively to grow our faith. For the purpose of our time together.

Let's also just take a minute to define faith as the scriptures talk about it. Um, they do teach us that it is better to believe, even as we wrestle, it's better to have faith than not. Uh, Hebrews chapter 11 is great for this, verse one. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen.

Hoped for and not seen. Right? Very clear that there's a lack of certainty and faith. Um, even as we strive for it, even as we believe, and we feel sure we feel convicted, right? There's still, we haven't seen it. It's a hope. And then in that same chapter, verse six and without faith, it is impossible to please Him, Him being God. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and He rewards those who seek Him.

So within the few verses in this chapter, we're seeing faith is something that we believe and we hope for, and we haven't seen it. And so there's, there's always, there's always this open, this open-endedness to discovering it and understanding and growing in it and we should pursue it. And God rewards those who pursue faith, even in it, all of that questioning, right? It's almost two sides of the same coin.

So while we're talking about faith, while we're talking about doubt, what we're not going to talk about is a critical doubt. That's not what we're talking about when we're exploring doubt as a part of faith. This critical doubt is a one that seeks to dismantle and disprove.

It's not looking to believe, but it's actually looking to disbelief. The doubt of Thomas wanted to believe he wrestled honestly and openly, but he struggled with the death of Jesus, the death of all, he expected Jesus to represent. He was looking realistically at what happens when a person dies. I don't blame him. We can put ourselves in his shoes.

We didn't know about the resurrection. They didn't know they on Good Friday. They had no idea what was coming on Sunday. All they saw was the agony, the heartbreak, the tragedy of an innocent man dying a criminal's death. We can, we can, have some sympathy maybe for their lack of clarity on what was coming.

It's a vital lesson for us because in the pockets of life, where a doubt questions and wrestling, get a grip. If we work through it, we should work through it in faith and toward faith and we should work through it. We make it a goal to believe rather than disbelieve or disregard, no matter what we shouldn't isolate ourselves in those places either. It's like the cry of the father in Mark nine. I believe Lord help my unbelief. It's both.

We bring our doubt into faith, almost integrating our doubt into our faith instead of trying to keep the two separate or resolving doubt outside of faith, we bring our questions open and we wait for answers as the Lord will give them not as we come up with ourselves. And as we're doing it, we make sure that our intake is good, Godly, and helpful. If we want to believe, then we need to listen to voices that help us understand and believe not ones that disprove.

Doubt left to its own devices can end up becoming a hindrance to faith. And for Thomas, he ran the risk of overfeeding his doubt and damaging his faith. He was away when Jesus first revealed Himself to the disciples post resurrection. He missed it because he was not with his people. And we don't know all the reasons why.

G. Campbell Morgan, who's a wonderful commentator, he proposes that Thomas was an agony after Good Friday, after the, uh, the crucifixion of Christ. That Thomas in the pain of losing Jesus in the pain of, um, maybe also the shame of saying he would die for, and with Jesus, this noble declaration. And then when push comes to shove, when the heat was on, he ran away. Right? We can only imagine the, the whirlwind, the swirl, the storm of, of agonizing emotions that they felt. But the reality is that with all of that, he should have been there.

He should have been with his people. He should have been there. I believe it's part of why the Scriptures take such time to note that he was absent. So when we're in these places of wrestling, of questioning, of pain, of even the agony, let's not allow our doubt or the things that are feeding it to keep us back, to keep us away.

Instead when we wrestle with our faith, we should double down on being where we should be on these positive and godly sources. Being at church consistently, reading the scriptures consistently, praying, journaling, getting counsel from people who are further along and more experienced in the faith than we are. And when we're doing these things being fully present, that's how we move forward in and toward faith, as opposed to away from it.

We're told if we ask, seek and knock, the door will be open to us. Well, we need to be at the door. We need to be at the right door.

And Jesus' response. Jesus. The risen Jesus makes that second visit on that second Sunday, just for His beloved doubting Thomas. If we look at the work of Jesus, His earthly ministry, He does something specific in each encounter He makes. In the various healings, in the teachings in, uh, even the larger scale miracles, nothing is copy paste. There's no simple repetition.

So, for example, if we're looking for a unique impact here, we can look at the miracle of the multiplication of fish and loaves. Jesus performs this miracle twice. Uh, He performs it the first time to a group of Jewish people. And after He multiplies the food, the leftovers that are collected are done so in 12 baskets. Now 12 is a number that the Scriptures use to represent and symbolize the tribes of Israel, the people of God that are defined through the Older Testament, it's also the same reason there are 12 disciples. The number itself, isn't the meaning, but it's symbolic of what God is trying to communicate, which is Jesus as King.

Jesus as the King of the people of God. And so the second time that Jesus multiplies the fish and the loaves He does so to a crowd of non-Jews, of Gentile, and when all the leftover food is collected, there are seven baskets of food leftover and seven again is, is a symbol it's symbolic it's representative in the scriptures of completion. This, this representing Jesus as King not just of the Jews, but of all, all who would believe even those of us who wrestle with doubt.

Right? So Jesus, isn't doing things the same thing twice. I, I can't, I don't think so. Um, if He does please send, cause I would, I would love to dig into that and find out what the Lord is trying to say through it. Right? So generally speaking, we're looking at it, the fact that Jesus returns on that same first day of the week to that same room that they gathered in, it tells us something, this moment is not just Jesus returning to hang out with the ones who saw Him on Easter Sunday.

They benefit from it anyway, but He's there on that second Sunday for the one who was having a hard time believing for the one who missed it. Right? If Jesus is the good shepherd who leaves the 99 to get the one, we have this moment here as well. Jesus enters the room. No doors needed.

He appears and speaks peace, doubt, and fear may disturb us. But the peace of Jesus will guard our hearts and minds. He enters, He speaks peace.

He turns to Thomas and responds, almost correctively, word for word to Thomas' expression of doubt and honest wrestling. You wanted to see where the nails were in My hands. You wanted to put your hands in these wounds of Mine. Here I am Thomas. Believe.

This matters. It matters so much when we're wrestling with doubt. This doubt, this wrestling does not exclude us from the attentive, love and care of Jesus.

He doesn't push us away when we question, but building a bridge between our faith and our doubt requires trust and openness to His way as the primary building blocks, it's not going to be on our terms, but it's going to be on His. For example, Proverbs three, verse five teaches us trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding, right? The scripture is basically guaranteeing that we are not going to understand everything. We are not going to have all of the answers and when we lean on Him instead of our own understanding when we can come open-handed and choosing faith, even when we're not feeling it, even when we're wondering, even when we're questioning, especially when we're questioning, we find that over time as we let God work His way, we find we can make the same declaration that Thomas did. My Lord and my God, from the honest wrestling of a hopeful doubt, or comes a declaration, succinct, precise, and transformative.

This is how we know that Thomas was honest and open in his wrestling in faith because when he encountered the risen Christ in all His splendor and power and peace, his wrestling soul settled, he settled. And I acknowledged my Lord and my God. It's a declaration of belief.

It doesn't mean that all of Thomas' questions were answered. It didn't mean that he would never wrestle or struggle with doubt again, but identifying Jesus for who he is and recognizing the life-changing reality of his power is what it looks like. It surrenders our doubts to His grace and His truth. The beauty and power of this passage continues in this final section here, Jesus receives Thomas's declaration, and then He looks at him in a way that I often picture Jesus looked at the people He encountered full of love and acceptance and kindness, and yet calling them up and forward, correcting us from going astray. Jesus looks at Thomas and gives what G.Campbell

Morgan referred to as His final beatitude, blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. This is a beatitude, that unlike the other ones, didn't apply to the people in the room that heard it. At other times when Jesus used these, bless it are the poor blessed are the meek. Blessed are you Simon Barjona.

They applied to the people who were both there listening, and of course, to us who are reading the Scriptures later on, but this beatitude did not apply to anybody in the room who heard it. They were there, they saw, they believed. They heard the words come out of His mouth. This beatitude is for us. It is for, and to us.

The risen Christ looked down the passage of time to all who would follow from the first churches that gathered after He ascended. You can read all about it in the Book of Acts, how belief in Christ and His power changed the world changed people's lives all the way through the passage of time, down the centuries. Everything that has happened over 2000 years, and it's a lot, even the last two years has been a lot. In every single moment looking down to us, to those who will go after us.

Blessed are you who struggle to believe, seeing so much in the world around you and yet longing to believe more fully. Blessed are you who wrestle with life's hardest questions ones whose answers sometimes come with time, but sometimes the questions that are never satisfied on this side of eternity. Blessed are you who have been hurt, who have lost, who grasp for a tangible handhold to your faith, amid all of the things that poke at it and prod and make you wonder and question who long for your faith to be more real, blessed are you who have not seen and yet believe. Jesus saw us in that moment when He spoke those words and He sees us right now, right in this moment, He came and died for each of us. That we would be delivered from sin and delivered from the brokenness.

We were born into the brokenness that we found our way into His love. It's so great that nothing can separate us from Him, from us, for us who surrender our doubt to His great love, surrender our fixation on having clear answers to everything in our instant internet world. Surrender even our fear of what those answers might be. Our hesitation, our concern around them. And when we choose to trust, to declare Him, my Lord and my God, we find ourselves exactly there.

Blessed are you who have not seen and yet believe. Blessed are you who doubt and question, and yet choose to fight to believe. In the same way that the Lord turned Thomas' doubt into a stunning declaration of faith. He can use our questioning places, our wrestling places, redemptively to grow and deepen our faith. May that be the case for us. May we find Him, look for Him, meet Him, realize His Lordship, that He is God in those places.

And may we be patient in the meantime. The band is going to close with is an invitation for us to do exactly this, to sit in the space of question of honest, open question of doubt, and to invite Jesus in. To direct the questions, not at ourselves, in our circumstances, but to the Lord. It's written by my favorite songwriter, John Foreman, who has a way of sitting with these dualities in life, life, and death, beauty and pain, gain and loss, belief and doubt. And sitting with these, all of these above moments, they don't have easy answers, but we can acknowledge the reality of them and in doing so leave room for whatever response the Lord is going to give us, we position our hearts to receive and to listen in the meantime.

And I'm going to pray for us to do just that. Uh, but first we'll have our time of giving. I would love to pause for it. Uh, you can give online on the app. Uh, you can mail in a check, um, but this is, this is important and it matters. I just affirm those of you who, who make this a practice, a discipline in your life.

And I wanted to encourage specifically those of us who maybe haven't tried that, and I want to encourage you to do so. Humbly. Tithing has been a discipline of practice in my life that has changed my entire relationship to money, to responsibilities, to what ownership even means. And God has used it redemptively to give me freedom in different areas and to answer some of the doubt in my own life.

Um, and so I wanted to offer that to you, uh, with love and with humility. So that being said, I would love to pray. Let's pray together to prepare ourselves, um, to sit in the space of this song. And then Pastor Terry is going to come back around at the end to bless us as we go. Lord God, our Lord, our God, we thank you.

That in all of our humanity, You love us, You see us, You welcome us. And You invite us to bring You in to all of these questioning places. Lord, we thank You that You saw us there in that moment. And we thank You for this encouragement You give us this, uh, this challenge sometimes God, but more than anything else, this life giving beatitude blessed are you who have not seen and yet believe. Lord that we don't see You with our eyes.

That we struggle though. We wrestle. We want to believe. And so we bring You ourself, ourselves in this song, we come openly and we give You our hearts. Give us a softness to hear You in this space and to give You ourselves, You know our questions learn and we invite You to be the one that answers them.

Rather than leaning on ourselves. We lean on You and we want to make the declaration in every aspect of our lives. My Lord and my God, You are good.

And we choose You in this time. We pray these things. Jesus, and Your good and beautiful name. Amen.

Amen. Amen. Let's choose Him and let's sit and receive the song together.

What a week we've had. What a blessing, you know, to be able to, to share a song that invites us into wrestling with, with things that sometimes we know we struggle with. And I think every now and then we will find ourselves in a place of genuine doubt. And one of the things we learned today is that, you know, that kind of honest faith at wrestling with God it's okay.

He'll find us, he'll meet us. He loves us, but I'll tell you something that He loves just as much, if not more. Well, Bible says it. Without faith.

It is impossible to please God. I mean, God loves faith. He loves it. When we, we trust Him.

The Lord loves it. When we articulate our belief in His faithfulness, when we praise Him, even when things don't make sense, when we are willing to doubt, yes, even our doubts and believe the things that God has for us. Right? That , ah boy, you want to talk about unlocking things. Lord, I ask that You would give us more faith than ever to trust You in these crazy times of ours. Help us to trust You with the uncertainty that's around us and the fears that are within us.

Lord, we just, we just want You to be present where our eyes are turned towards You. Fill us with faith. We want to surrender our doubt. We want to embrace faith.

Yes. That's what we want to do. You know, he's so good. And he's so God, and he wants us to sow good and he wants us to sow God and my prayer, as you know, it is that He would keep you in every way, spirits, soul, and in your body, especially in the mind right now, because that's where so much of the battle is won and lost Lord.

Uh, Don't ever forget how greatly loved you are. Surrender. Yeah. That's our invitation in Jesus name. Hey, it's Chloe and Micah. Just a couple of things before we go.

If you didn't get a chance to hear a conversation with Pastor Jon, we would love for you to still get involved with Second Chance Month. This is a great way to partner with Prison Fellowship and to also get involved with outreach and two other things that have to do with Kids Ministry. We have our Clubhouse, Virtual Clubhouse Hangout that's happening for six year olds all the way through fifth grade.

So make sure you check it out. And we would love for more people to come see new faces as we film, some more new content for Kids Ministry. So if you've had a longing to be either in front of the camera or behind the camera, please let us know. All right, Micah, you want to wave us out? I'm sorry. By last night,

2021-04-28 02:24

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