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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Chris Hodges » Chris Hodges - Do You See What I See?

Chris Hodges - Do You See What I See?

Chris Hodges - Do You See What I See?
TOPICS: Christmas

All right, who's glad to be in church today? Anybody? Yeah, me, too. It's so good to see you guys. A big hello to all of our campuses, our locations all across the great state of Alabama. I love every single one of you guys. To the men and women in the Alabama Department of Corrections, we're so glad you guys are along for the ride, as well. What a privilege it is to bring this service and everything we are as a church into more than 20 of those facilities across the great state of Alabama. To those of you guys that are watching online, somewhere around the world, we're so glad that you're with us, as well. Grants Mill, come on, like you've never done it before, show some love, show some big love. Here we go. It's awesome. And you guys enjoy "At the Movies"?

I thought it was in a spectacular 3 weeks where we shared the gospel of Jesus through stories and through redemptive movies, and I thought I'd give you a report on how many gave their lives to Jesus, that let us know. So, these are actually names and addresses, not hands raised, but actually names and addresses, or they filled out something online to let us know that they gave their lives to Jesus. Now, if I tell you, you've gotta really celebrate. You can't, like, "Oh, that's pretty nice". I want you to celebrate like it was your daughter, or your son, or your sister, or your cousin, 1,017 people gave their lives to Jesus. Woo! Come on, give Jesus a great praise. I know, I know.

So, and that's why we do it, and so we don't always have totally evangelistic messages or series throughout the year, but that definitely is one of them. And if you were one of those who made that decision, you probably already heard this from your campus pastor already, but be sure to take your next step, which is to follow the Lord in water baptism. Your decision is a personal, private decision, but Jesus says, "I want you to go public with your faith. He does that through water baptism". "I don't think I understand that". Don't try to understand it. He asked you to do it. Just obey him, and that happens after every service. If you do not come prepared, we have everything you could possibly need, all the hair products, towels, change of clothes, everything for you to be water baptized today.

So, just be sure to get those instructions at the end of the service, and you need to get involved in a local church, all right? That's part of the Bible, as well, but he says, "Now, I want you to find a family of believers and grow in your faith," and we think this is a pretty good one. And if you're still not a member of Church of the Highlands, and you'd like to consider it, kick the tires and find out if this should be your home church, that is what step one of the Growth Track is. So, step one is just telling you who we are as a church. I'll share the personal story of our church, what it means to be a member, and you'll get to meet your campus team, and there's child care and food, and it's tonight at 6 o'clock at every location.

Today, I want to talk to you a little bit about what we're gonna do next week, and next week we'll have our legacy offering. It's a once a year over and above our regular giving offering that we give away. So, every single bit of it we're gonna invest around the world, and we're gonna invest right here in our local cities. I always say it this way. We're gonna touch people who are hurting and reach people that have never heard, and we're gonna do everything we can to really go over and above. You need to know that this is not, this is not fun to any of our budgets or our missions. All of that's been paid for. In fact, can I say this? And I say this from my heart. You guys have been so incredibly generous in a year that has been so difficult for so many. You guys continue to be so faithful in your generosity to the degree to where we still run everything that is Church of the Highlands.

All of our budgets, all of our buildings, in fact, even this year, we built three brand-new buildings with cash, and we do that with about 60% of what you give, so that we can invest in things around the world. And this offering next week is just more opportunity. So, we kind of restrain ourselves from all the opportunities and just kind of give at the speed of your generosity, but we have a lot of opportunities to make a difference around the world. And I just want to say a big thank you. But pray and ask God what you're supposed to do. And next week, it will not be an event other than we're just kind of a moment of worship, and we give, and then we're gonna have a regular Christmas message next Sunday. But today, I wanted to approach next week on a different little angle in a way I've really never done before, and that is I want to talk to you about just kind of the stories behind some of those things because of this verse.

This verse kind of messed me up over the past couple of weeks while I was preparing for today. The Bible says a man with leprosy came to Jesus, and I want you to notice how Jesus responded. This man with leprosy came, and I want you to just kind of picture this story in your mind. So, he's full of leprosy. Everybody else is running from the man. And he kneels and begs Jesus. "I know you're God, so I know you can do it. I just don't think you want to. I know you can, but if you're willing. You can make me clean, if you're willing". And that thought, just that thought of a man saying, "I know you can, but I'm not sure you will". The Bible says it filled Jesus with compassion. In some translations of the Bible, it uses the word indignant. And it doesn't mean indignant in the way that you would be mad about it. He was so just moved like something inside of him, it just bothered him so much in a good way that he knew this man needed help, and everybody else was running from him, and Jesus's heart was moved.

The word "compassion" come with passion, feeling. So, something happened. The Greeks believed it was called the seed of pity. It was the thing you feel when you see something, and you think, "My God, this cannot stay this way". And it bothers you so bad that you'll do anything in the world to do something about it. That's the word. I want to submit something to you, that while I talk a lot about strategic giving, because I'm a strategic kind of a guy. I'm a list guy. I'm a task-oriented guy. I like everything tucked in and in order all the time, and we're going to continue to do all of that. In fact, I was even looking back at some of my messages to you, and they're always about, you know, being planned and premeditated, and don't wait for your feelings.

Make a choice. And, you know, kind of live by principle, not by... there's a whole other side that actually says no, actually should be moved deep in your gut where you can't hardly stand something. You probably don't even know this, but before we used the term legacy in our church, for those of you guys been around a long time, we actually identified our missions giving, our, basically, the missions arm of our church, we called it Points of Passion. So, probably, for half of this 22-year journey, it wasn't called Legacy. It was called Points of Passion. These were areas that we were doing them not because it was strategic, not because it could give you a big E-R-O-I.

And I did a message three or four weeks ago called E-R-O-I, eternal return on the investment. Like, no, no, no, it was like we can't stand it. We can't stand that it's in this condition. We were moved. I'll tell you a story that you probably don't know. I could tell you the times, I actually made a list of stories. I've storied myself to death this past week. I looked at every picture of the history of the Church of the Highlands. I was kind of reliving moments, and I cried. I had a cry week. Y'all ever had a cry week? I'm not a crier. I cry one time a year. I cried every day this week, y'all, just preparing for this message, just looking back at these stories.

And I reminded myself, for instance, just one of them, that right before I decided to move to Birmingham to start this church, what actually started the fact that I would even consider leaving my home church in Louisiana to come start this church was the year before I came when one of our pastors on staff at Bethany, my home church in Baton Rouge, one of the staff pastor's daughter, two-year-old daughter, got cancer and got brain cancer, and they sent her to St. Jude's. His name was Casey, Casey and Stacy Hennigan, and the little girl's name was Haven. And so Rick Besap, my buddy, who we were on staff together, he pastors a church in Little Rock now. We took our day off and said, "Hey, let's just drive up to Memphis". It was a 5-hour drive from Baton Rouge. "Let's drive up to Memphis and go see Casey and just bless him, and love him, and let him know we're supporting him". So, we took our day off to do that, and we got up really early. Got there just before noon, and little Haven was actually in treatment, and we could not go see her yet.

So, we asked if we could get a tour of the hospital. And I don't know if you know this, but it's not really an inpatient hospital. It's like more of a treatment hospital, and they treat them, and they send them to housing after that. So, it actually has very few beds where they spend the night. So, the morning starts out with... and I can't get this memory out of my head, but they have, the lobby is filled with little red wagons. And when the kids come in, they put them in these little red wagons, and they just kind of pull them to try to keep them in some kind of a playful mood while they get ready to get hooked up and receive all this chemo. And you're watching this, and it just, it's hard to handle all by itself. And then they brought us up to... my recollection, it was the fourth floor, and it was a floor of children that were there that were orphaned because of their cancer, because their parents just decided, we can't take this journey with you, and they just dropped them off and left their kids like forever. Like, there's a whole floor of orphaned kids because of their disease.

And I'm just sobbing, I'm just sobbing, like, I cannot believe this. Well, I'm in the blood bank room. I'm hooked up, giving, like, what do you need? Like, you know what I'm saying? You're moved. I actually said, "I'll do anything". I came home. Tammy will tell you this is the truth. Came home. Can't even look at you, all right? But I came home, and I built a resume, 'cause I was gonna resign at Bethany, and I was trying to get Saint Jude to hire me. I said, "I'll be a janitor, I'll be a chaplain, I'll do anything. I want to be around these kids the rest of my life". And it was the first time in my life that I ever considered not being at my home church. I never even let it enter my mind. And then God used that while we were in prayer and fasting, and God spoke to me, gave me the vision, a vision of what I'm seeing right now. I actually saw this room. It looked just like this.

And that's why we built Grants Mill to look like this, because I saw this in my mind's eye. And, of course, y'all know the rest of the story. We moved to Birmingham, but you may not know that that's why, today, at Church of the Highlands, our ministry to special needs children is called Highlands Haven, after little Haven. She lost her battle with cancer, but the reason why they exist is because it wasn't a line item, and it wasn't a budget. It was a story. It was something that happened. It was like this man covered up in leprosy coming to Jesus. And one of my challenges as a leader is that we're big, so it's very easy for you to look to the next person and say, "Well, they got this". Or it's easy to even go just through all the different things we do. Okay, it's "At the Movies". It's getting ready to be Christmas, okay. Okay, now it's Legacy offering. Offering.

Okay, now it's getting ready to be 21 Days of Prayer, and we just kind of go through them, and they're kind of line items. They're not. They're stories. And I'm desperate, not so you'll give more. You already give, I already told you, you're the best in the world. You literally are double the national average in your generosity. That's not the point. I want you to feel it with me. Like, if you call this place home, I want you to be on this journey with me, and I want to see the pity. I want you to be filled with compassion. How do you do that? There's another story where that phrase is used, where Jesus went, and I just want you to notice he had to go there to physically see it, like I had to go to Saint Jude Hospital, throughout the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, healing every disease and sickness. But when he saw, he had compassion.

Well, that's the challenge is that you're never gonna get to see. Like, most of you are never gonna get to go overseas, and especially today it's harder than ever before. But I know this. If you did see, it would mess you up. Like, most of us have never been in our prisons. We're in 20 of those facilities. I've been there. I've been to Tutwiler. Shout out to Tutwiler. I hear they go crazy. The ladies go crazy when I just say, y'all want to give it up for Tutwiler one time just for fun? But y'all are fun to preach in front of, but nothing like them. All right? I'm saying, I'm not trying to hurt your feelings; but, man, I can't even think, because they're shouting me down the whole time, amening. When they praise God, it's every hand, every person, like the whole time. Y'all are awesome, but not like them. But anyway I'm just letting you know, okay. But it's different, having been there, and there's a bunch of you that I wish you would go through the process to get cleared just to go in, just to see. You'd never be the same.

So, I'm thinking this week, well, how can I help people see that are never gonna get to go to see? Like, how am I gonna do that? Because I know that if you could see, you would understand that next week, and what our giving does and all of that. It's not a day, it's not an offering, that's not what it is. It's something in our gut that's just so desperate to figure out how to do that. It reminds me of this story in the Bible where Jesus, the disciples left Jesus to go run an errand. It's one of the few times Jesus is alone. So, he's thirsty. He goes to a well. Some of you know the story in John chapter 4. There's a woman standing there. In culture, men don't speak to women 'cause, actually, they consider themselves so much better, you wouldn't even give them the time of day. And then Jews didn't speak to Samaritans. There was racial tensions going on. Jesus breaks through both gender and racial barrier.

That's why I love him so much. He breaks through racial and gender barrier and starts talking to the lady. She's shocked by that. And he says, "Hey, would you draw me something to drink"? And she was happy to do that. And he says to her, "You know that if I gave you the water I have, you'd never thirst again". Well, that gets her attention. Of course, he wasn't speaking of physical water. He was talking about the change he could make in her life. She's listening. And he says, "Hey, by the way, are you married"? She goes, "No, I'm not". He goes, "That's right, you actually have already been married five times, and you're shacking up with somebody now". And she realizes, "How did he know that? Sir, I perceivest thou to be a prophet". Like, when she realizes, right, like, he just read her mail.

And just then, the Bible says in verse 27, the disciples walked back up. And it says they're surprised to find him talking to the woman for the reasons I already told you. But John points out that nobody asked him, "Can I do anything for you, Jesus"? And no one even asked why he was talking to the lady, so she leaves while they're not doing some things. So now it's Jesus and the disciples at the well. She goes back, it says to her town, but it's just around the corner. It's a village. And she tells her townspeople, "I think I found God. I found Christ. I think I found", he told me, he read my mail, "I think I found Christ". So, the town comes out. So, they... and it doesn't tell us how many. My mind pictures 50 to 100. And this woman in front, "He's still there, he's still, come on, hurry". And there's this pile of people, and the disciples and Jesus are standing there.

Now what would you do if 100 people are approaching you to find out more about God? Well, I'll tell you what the disciples did. Meanwhile, while it's happening, the disciples said, "Hey, Jesus, let's go to PF Chang's". I mean, like, they're missing it totally, right? So, a town's coming, and they want to go to lunch. So, since they brought up food, Jesus says, "Hey, guys, I have food to eat that you know nothing about". And they are so missing it that the disciples said, "Could someone have already brought him food? Did you eat? You were supposed to wait until we got back". Are you seeing this? I know it's crazy. And he goes, "No, my food is to do the will of him who sent me to finish his work. You guys keep saying four months more, then the harvest. In other words, let's just do it another day. We can help these people another day. I'm hungry now". And Jesus says, "Bro, I just wish you could see what I see, because you're not seeing it".

And my point is if they could miss it, who lived with him, could we? Like, could this whole thing called life going on around us, and all the blessings that has happened to Church of the Highlands, which are enormous, is there a chance that we can even miss it, like, just because we couldn't see it. And one of the challenges I have is I just wish you could go with me to some of these places. I wish you could sit in a Small Group that happened 2 weeks ago over at the Greystone campus, with a volunteer, to a girl who came to our midweek student meeting for the first time, and admitted to the volunteer that she was just getting ready to take her life that day. But because of the encouragement and the participation of a volunteer, a mom who just decided to be a part of the Greystone student ministry, and be there at midweek, instead the girl gave her life to Jesus, and the girl that was supposed to be dead is now alive.

That's a real story, that's a real story, that's a real story. That's a real one. That's a person. There is no funeral going on this week because of that. Like, that's... and it's important to, like, not forget, especially in a big church. That's my challenge is big. It's many. But no, no, it's really that girl. 'Cause if we're not careful, we'll never feel responsible for what we don't see, and then we'll never reach what we cannot see. So, I'm gonna try to help you see it by taking you on a little journey, and I need 3 hours. But I've got 15 minutes, okay, and I've entitled this message today, "Do You See What I See"? And I did that because it's Christmas. "Do you see what I see? A child, a child". Okay, I never figured that out, by the way. "Shivering in the cold. So, let us bring him silver and gold". Like, I bought a blanket.

Anyway, so anyway, never understood that. You cold? Here you go. This should make you feel better. All right. So, we have this thing next week, this Legacy offering. And normally, I would just tell you, here's what we're doing, here's what we're doing, here's what's gonna make a difference. I'm gonna try to do it in a different way today. Because here's what we're doing. I mean, in our church, we are starting at least two new locations next week that we didn't initiate. They've come to us in two new cities. I'll announce that very, very soon. We are gonna continue to get those that are portable into permanent. That's gonna happen. We did three this year. We had three locations. Went from portable to permanent, and we paid cash for them all, by the way. Praise God for that. And we're gonna do three more next year in Opelika, and we're gonna do it in Alabaster, and we're gonna do a location in the city of Huntsville. Right now we're in Madison. To God be the glory.

And Oxford and the Shoals. Like, we're working on all that. That's gonna happen. Again, my fear is that just happened so fast, and almost automatically we forget. So, let me show you a picture. So, this is my favorite picture ever taken in the history of the church. This is 2003. We're 2 years old. We had a, we called it the office complex. Wasn't that creative? The office complex. And it had 230 seats. But more than that came, as you can see. These are people sitting on the stage, sitting on the floor. Y'all, this is a Wednesday night in the summer. So, people were so hungry for God, they were sitting on the stage. In fact, we had speakers in the parking lot, because this was before digital technology and stuff. We had speakers in the parking lot like a drive-in movie for those who at least just wanted to hear the message, 'cause they couldn't get in the room. That's a true story. And there was such a hunger for God. And back then, we were talking about the church that we could see.

The church that, actually, we see today. Like, we saw some things. In fact, we called it, "The Church That I See". And I'm gonna read you what we wrote almost 20 years ago. "I see a church so attractive and so refreshing that the building struggled to contain the increase". This is before we had other locations. I see a church where people have found a relationship with God instead of religion, where living for God is no longer an obligation. It's a heartfelt desire. I see a church where people are continually taking steps in their spiritual journey, with the goal of reaching new heights in every part of their lives. I see a church full of people who are growing in God and discovering that God wants to use them to make a difference, where every person is experiencing the kind of fulfillment that only God can give. I see a church where God uses ordinary people, Dream Teamers, small group leaders, the church staff team, serving the people of our city so that, in turn, they would open up their hearts to God.

I see a church so compassionate that people are drawn from impossible situations (this is before correctional ministry) from impossible situations into a loving and friendly circle of hope where answers are found and acceptance is given. The church that I see is a church so committed to raising, training, and empowering a leadership generation and young people, church planters and pastors, who would go from this place and change the whole world. That was before HG. I see a church who never stops searching for lost people, because God never stops searching for us. I see a people so kingdom minded, that they will count whatever the cost and pay whatever the price to see revival sweep this land. The church that I see realizes that none of this can happen on our own. Instead, we are a church that is committed to prayer and dependent upon the Holy Spirit. I see a church where Jesus is famous, and all the glory goes to Almighty God.

Come on, give God some praise today, everybody. And, honestly, we still see it. I believe the local church is the hope of the world. I think if there's ever a time to get involved in your local church, it's now. In fact, just yesterday, one of my buddies sent this new data that came out about the difference that church makes. And I say this to confront all the haters that are even watching online right now, saying the church doesn't care, the church isn't compassionate, the church is judgmental. Just not true. Christian philanthropy accounted for 70% of all American philanthropy in 2022 at 300 billion dollars just this year alone. In fact, Christians outgave the U.S. government in addressing global poverty. That's right. Say what you want, but the church, take the church out of the world and watch what happens. God's called us to do something that's more than just us. Can I hear a great amen, everybody?

But that's the part you probably see. Because, like, we live in this world. You see your campus. You guys at Southwest are in your building, and Woodlawn, and Grandview. Like, that's easy. But what about this area? Like, Dream Centers and Christ Health Center, and the Correctional Ministry, and the local ministry partnerships that we're gonna get involved with. I want you to feel it, and I would love for every one of you even to come this Saturday just to see it. Even if you're not involved in it, to giving hope, where tens of thousands of kids and families are going to be served. And it was the most genius idea by our team to not just go out into the city and pass out gifts, but instead invite the moms and the dads to come in. And don't give it to the kids. Give it to the mom and dads. And then wrap the presents with the moms and dads, and let them pick out age specific toys for their kids, but then let the moms and dads go home without Church of the Highlands, so that we're not the hero in the story.

They are, and families are built, and kids can go, "Thank you, Mom," not "Thank you, Church of the Highlands". They call on you and all throughout the day this coming Saturday, this is what's gonna happen. Those moms and those dads are gonna get prayer and receive Jesus. Like, I want you to see it. Like, if you knew her and her story, it would change probably everything. Things like our national missions. Yeah, we're gonna get to this. This is what's gonna happen next Sunday. We're gonna start new churches. That's what we do. We plant churches. We help. In fact, this year we planted 63 more churches across America. That brings our total to 1,057 churches started across America since we began. Paise God for that, yeah... See, some of y'all are so used to hearing that, it's like, yeah, only 63.

Do y'all know our 1,057 churches that we planted since the beginning of Church of the Highlands, we were church plant number one, and then we started this organization that helped church planters. We give about seven million dollars a year away to church planters, that those same church planters, just the ones we planted, the 1,057, just this year gave 184 million dollars to missions, just this year. Come on, we turned our seven million, makes sense to me. But that's a big old number. So, let me show you a person: this guy. So, believe it or not, this is a mug shot, but it's also one of our church planters. I don't know if you recognize him, but he's also one of our pastors. So, Mayo sent me this last night. He said, "PC, send them this".

So, I don't know if you know this, but he played football at Auburn, was a star linebacker, went on to the NFL, got arrested for a drug related charges, spent 5 years in prison, found Jesus, read his Bible for 16 hours a day in prison, knows the Bible as well as any human I know. He gets out, but he's on probation, ankle monitor. He can only go one mile from his house. There is only one church one mile from his house. I'll give you one guess which one it was. I met him right over here in the lobby in front of the theater in 2013 when he showed up for what you should be showing up for, and that is step one of the Growth Track, 'cause he was checking out if this should be his home church.

He was undecided after step one, but he was in the shake your hand line that I do after these. And he came up to me, and he goes, "Why should I join this church"? And I've never said this to somebody. I said, "I'm gonna be a daddy to you. I'm gonna pour my life into you. There's a leader in you, and you're gonna change the world". I didn't know his story. I didn't see his ankle monitor. I said, "You're gonna change the world one day". He enrolled immediately in Highlands College, graduated with honors, came on our staff, worked his way up, all the way to the lead team, and this year this man became this man and started a church in Atlanta that's only about 2 months old. Come on, give God praise!

That's a story. That's what I'm talking about. This is the hardest place to help you see, honestly. It's hard to get people moved toward international stuff right now. And it's the place where we can actually make the biggest difference, and it's now the place where few of us are ever going to go, and it's so unfortunate, because your life would be changed if you saw a family living in a refrigerator box. It just would. And, unfortunately, most of us will live and die never, if you want to set a bucket list goal, make sure, before you die, you go on some kind of cross-cultural missions experience. And we're rebuilding that program here at Highlands, so that everyone can see it, not because, actually, when we go there we help. We actually get in the way, but you need it. You'll pray differently, give differently, serve differently. Like, your worldview will change completely, if you can get involved in international missions.

But this year, one of our... as always, when you give next week, we're gonna give to Bible translations, because it's crazy how almost half of the world still lives in what's called biblical poverty. They're going to live and die and never have a copy of the Scriptures in their language. There's still thousands of languages with no... and we're not doing much, but we're doing 17 of them. It's not the 2,000 that's needed, but when we give, there are 17 people groups in about 2 years, they're actually going to have their very first copies of the Bible. We're trying to do something. Right, everybody? And church planting and training Christian leaders. But what you don't know, why I'm so moved by it is a story.

In 1991, I'm a youth pastor in Colorado Springs, and I bring a group of students to Russia. It was the Soviet Union at that time. I didn't know it was actually 2 weeks before the end of the Soviet Union. I was actually, had my feet in Moscow 2 weeks before the end of the Soviet Union. We would've never had those students in there that close to the coup. We just didn't know the coup was coming. But Gorbachev was opening up the Soviet Union for the first time. Christians were going in, sharing the gospel. And I've never, to date, seen more desperate people. Y'all, I preached in a place called Pushkin Square, jampacked full of people outdoors. I didn't speak but, like, 7 minutes, and, like, everybody gave their lives to Jesus.

So, we had cases of Bibles in Russian, and we started opening and giving all the converts a new Bible, but we got mobbed. I'll never forget this as long as I live. They started ripping the Bible in half, just so they could have half of it. Pages were coming out. "Can I have four pages for myself"? They didn't even care what section it was. I never... and then a Soviet soldier walked up to me, like, a Soviet soldier. And he has tears streaming down his face. He said, "I just gave my life to Jesus. I didn't get a Bible". And I prayed with him, and I desperately tried to find if we could find one more. I think one of our missionaries gave up their personal copy of the Bible to give this Soviet soldier; and when I did, tears coming down his face. I'll never forget this. He took his hat off and gave it to me. Like, this is a Soviet... like, his name is written in here, and he gave it to me. This sits in my office every day to keep me reminded of the story so that we do everything we can.

You say, "Chris, why do we try to run the church on 60-something percent? So, we can put...", 'cause 17 is good, but 18 would be better. Like, if we could get more translations of the Bible to more people, more people would give their life to Jesus, but they have to have God's Word. Are y'all with me, everybody? And it goes back to a story. It goes back to a story. There's one more, and it won't surprise you. Like, when we give, this is my personal right now favorite. I think America needs revival. I'm gonna preach on it to you soon, because I've been studying revivals. I don't have time right now, but I've been... ask Tammy. I'm nonstop studying revival right now, and there are two things that are consistent in almost every revival that's ever happened.

Look at me, y'all. America needs revival. We're in trouble. We're celebrating the slaughter of children, fighting for the right to do it, more confused and perverted, don't even know who can have a baby or not anymore. I'm telling you, America needs revival. Are y'all listening to me? America needs some revival. And, historically, two things have always happened. Massive repentance and a movement among college students. You study every revival. It happens in 18-to-25-year-olds, generation of young leaders. Did you know there are 5,000 colleges and universities in America? Twenty-two million college students. Four percent profess Jesus. And I'm telling you God's gonna move. I was studying how Harvard University, I can't wait to bring you this message, founded in 1636 by the Puritans for one express purpose.

This was the first stated purpose of Harvard University. You ready for it? To be plainly instructed and consider well that the main end of your life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ. That's cool. It is worth clapping for, but they didn't stay there. In fact, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, Cambridge, just to name a few, were all started as Highland Colleges to train Christian leaders. There's history that the eighth president of Yale University, when there was not one single confessing Christian at Yale University, the grandson of Jonathan Edwards, who came into Yale as the eighth president, and three massive revivals broke out. Twenty-five percent of the student body got saved, and half of those went on the mission field. And I'm telling you we need that again. I read about the Northfield Revival that came out of Princeton, Princeton.

In 1878, the Northfield Revival. In fact, after the Northfield Revival at Princeton, they came up with what's called the Princeton Pledge, and it was, "We hold ourselves willing and desirous to do the Lord's work wherever he may call us, even if it be on foreign lands". And you say, "Chris, then what happened"? They didn't set it up to protect it against all the attacks and all the liberalism. Of course, those are some of the most liberal places in America today, which by the way, our board of directors and our team is working. I put them on assignment. We have come up with a plan that to our knowledge has never been done in America before, where we endow not the function or the operations of it, of our college, but we're gonna endow the values and doctrine of our college, so that if the values or doctrine ever changes, the money goes away, and nobody's gonna let that change, because we're gonna make sure that a hundred years from now, we're still following God's Word, God's way, and we're not gonna change. That's right.

Billy Graham said this: "If a group of students gave themselves totally to Christ and began living for Christ, no matter what the cost, you could change a generation". And that's why for Tammy and me, we tithe at Church of the Highlands. We don't tithe to Highlands College. We tithe to the church, but we're giving, I'm giving my time, I'm traveling, I'm speaking to, I'm doing everything I can to... why? Because I think we need revival. And I'm telling you God's gonna send us one in our lifetimes, and it's gonna happen among college students, and that's why I'm personally going down to Auburn, and to Tuscaloosa, and speaking to our students, because I believe it's happening. What do you see? What do you see?

I'll tell you this. If you don't see anything, you're only seeing your own life. And I'm not saying it's not real. And I'm not saying it's not even painful. I'm just saying it'll mess you up, if that's all you see. I don't know anybody who had a worse life than the Apostle Paul. The poor brother, every place he went, was getting beaten, whipped, imprisoned, shipwrecked, snakebit, spent a night and a day in the open sea. Like, the brother had a bad life. And he goes, "It ain't bad, not back for me". He said, "I'm not looking at all that. I'm looking at something else. I've got my eyes fixed on something".

And he says in 2 Corinthians, so we don't look at the troubles we can see now. Rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen; for the things we see now are going to be gone anyway, but the things we cannot see, the things we're focused on, it's gonna last forever. And I want this message for you for two reasons. It has nothing to do with next Sunday. I hope we give like crazy, by the way. I'm gonna be honest with you. I hope we give like crazy. I hope it's a record Legacy offering, but that's not what today was all about. Today this is why you're on the planet, to be moved, to walk through... go to the restaurant today and see that server who just have a different look of concern on her face than normal, and something inside of you speaks. You say, "I'm gonna do something special. I'm gonna bless her today, move with compassion".

And I want this. Because if all you see is your own life, you're living a miserable life, and you can live so much more. Now I'm gonna do something It just was an idea. I think it's a cool idea. I think if I had you focus on this message not just for 30 minutes, but for a week, and pray through what moves you, it would actually latch. So, on the right side of every row, real quickly, no one can get up. On the right side of you there's a bucket. Grab it. Whoever is on the right side of all the rows, grab it, send it down your row, please. Just take a card. You're not turning these in. This is just for you. It's just for you. 'Cause I'm trying to take you through the steps of what I do. Like, I write all this stuff down. I sat in my office, and I said Bibles, students, new campuses where people get saved. Like, I write stuff down.

So, what, of what I shared with you today, moves you? And here's what It's just a card. It's just a tool. Write something down. Students, like I'm gonna, PC, it's those children and students here at our own church, that's what I'm moved by. Now, it's those college studies. It's what I'm moved by. It's the prisons, PC, it's the prisons. Like, what are you moved by? Chris, we've gotta get the Bibles. We've gotta get the Bible. What are you moved by? It's that perpetual purpose trust. Let's be the first to protect our universities, so that 100 years from now, 100 years from now, Highlands College looks like what it looks like today. I'm gonna, that moved me. Would you write yours down? And just keep it. It's just a tool. And put it somewhere where you see it every day, maybe. It's your quiet time and just pray over it.

God, for students. God, for Bibles. God, for this perpetual purpose trust. God, we're going to be one of the first to protect values, vision. And so, Father, I pray today that it be more than a message that goes into our head, but one that goes into our hearts. And I'm asking you, Lord God, just to let us all be people who are moved with compassion, because we want to be like our Lord Jesus. That's what we want. That's what we want. So, move us, I pray.

Heads bowed, eyes are closed. If your life is just about your life, I'm telling you, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for you, honestly. But you need to know if you gave your life to Jesus, and not just became a Christian, but you served him, like, served him, like, got involved in your church, and like I'm gonna live a life bigger than myself. Those problems probably will not go away, but your life will be so much better, and you will get a home in heaven, and you won't have to pay for your own sins. I cannot recommend anything more in the world than to go head over heels in love with Jesus and surrender your life to him. And it begins privately with a simple prayer, then publicly with baptism. And some of you are here today, and you just wandered in this service, or maybe you're backslidden, and you need to pray this prayer. So, let me lead you right now. Close your eyes and just whisper this:

Jesus, I'm miserable. I've gone without you. I'm living without you, and today I'm surrendering to you. I want you to be the Lord of my life. I'm gonna follow everything you say. I'm surrendering completely. Come live inside of me. Holy Spirit, empower me to live the life you intended me to live. With all of my heart, I'm gonna live my life for you, for you. Thank you for setting me free. In your name I pray, amen.

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