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Greg Laurie — Facing Your Giants in the Coming Year

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All right, so Hebrews 11, first Samuel 17 message title facing your giants in the coming year. You know we all have giants that we face in life. What do I mean by a giant? I mean what appears to be an insurmountable problem, issue, or difficulty. Something that may be dark and sinister prowling around the perimeter of your life or some challenge, or difficulty that you don't see ever being resolved, or maybe it's something you've tried to overcome. Of course it's a new year, we all make our new years resolutions. Someone said their new years resolution is something that comes in one year and goes out the other.

So maybe you said, I'm gonna lose weight in 2017. Oh my goodness, I had so much food given to me for Christmas. Just cookies and cakes and all this stuff. I'm gonna go on a diet in the first of the year and so you went on a diet on January first and you're not losing weight, you're gaining weight. So it's not working out the way that you hoped it would, but there's all kinds of giants we face in life. There's the giant of fear. Something that's frightening you right now. Is there something like that? Something that when you think about it your heart just kind of griped with panic, and maybe it's what's gonna come your way.

Maybe it's problems you're having at home but there's something you're deeply afraid of or maybe you're just sort of a worry wart. What if this happens, what if that happens? It's not even a rational fear but it's real none the less. Or it might be a giant of some kind of a personal sin. A certain area in your life where you are weak. A sin that you fall into over and over and over again. You'll have victory over it for a few weeks, sometimes even a month, but then it comes back with a vengeance. It might be pride, or envy, or gluttony, or pornography, or drinking, or drugs, or something like that, but it's a giant that taunts you day in and day out, or it might be a giant of threat, and by threat I mean someone is threatening you. Maybe it's a physical threat. Maybe it's a threat of a lawsuit. Maybe somebody is bullying you online. Maybe someone is writing or saying untrue things about you. Maybe someone just come and said they're gonna kill you, but it's a real threat and it's a real giant, or it might be a different kind of giant. A non believing husband, a non believing wife, a prodigal son or daughter, and you wonder, are they ever going to come to Christ or come back to Christ?

So here we are in the beginning of 2017. It's gonna be a year of obstacles. It's gonna be a year of opportunities. It's gonna be a year of challenges, and it's gonna be a year of choices, and we're gonna face giants no matter what, and I want to tell you how you can overcome your giant. How you can defeat your giant, and to do that I'm going to a very familiar story, the story of David and Goliath. Hebrews 11, look at that with me if you would. Verse 32, what more can is say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jephthah. Also of David and of Samuel and the prophets who threw faiths subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword. Out of weakness they were made strong and they became valiant in battle. They turned to fight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.

David stands out in scripture, fascinating thing that not a lot of ink is given to David in Hebrews 11 but in other passages there's so much about him. Especially in the old testament. That's why we're looking at his life together in our men and women's bible study V2, but also he's mentioned so many times in the new testament. There's a point of reference really remembered as the greatest king in the history of Israel, and it's worth noting that Jesus Christ himself said he was the son of David on more than one occasion. David, a man of contrast. He was a warrior and he was a worshiper. Sometimes people say, I'm a lover not a fighter. David was both. He was a fighter, he was a lover, he was a man after God's own heart. He was a sinner.

We all know his story well, but of course you may recall that he was one of the sons of Jesse, and Jesse lived in Bethlehem, and one day the lord spoke to the prophet Samuel, and the lord said, Saul's out, and I'm gonna replace him with another king, and you're gonna find that king in Bethlehem, so go. So they told everyone, Samuel's coming here to the city. He's gonna offer a sacrifice. So everyone show up. It's a big deal when a prophet came to town. So in comes the legendary prophet Samuel, and he doesn't know where this new king is. So he says, everybody bring our your sons, I wanna meet them and so Jesse proudly parades his seven strapping sons. They truly were the magnificent seven, and so old Samuel goes down the line. He's looking at each one. The lord says that's not the one, that's not the one, that's not the one. One stands up above the others, Eliab, one of the seven sons, and Samuel's taken with him because he's tall and handsome, and he thought, this is the one lord, and the lord said, Samuel will you stop already with judging by outward appearance. I look on the heart. He's not the one. So he goes through the whole line.

Okay, wow, I knew he was gonna come from the house of Jesse. Do you have any other boys? Jesse says, yeah there's one other. He's a little weird. Hangs out in the field. He's a musician you see. He sings songs to God, and I don't know. Well bring him in. Okay, so he calls in David, and David comes bounding in with youthful energy. The Bible tells us that he was ruddish. Which means he had reddish hair. So his coloring was different probably than any of the other sons. We would call him maybe freckle face today. So he comes in. Here comes David. He's all excited and the lord says, that's my boy. So the prophet Samuel anoints David right there. You are the next king of Israel. Okay gotta go, bye, and he leaves town. David's like, what do I do now? Jesse says, go back and watch your stinking sheep. That's what you do, and then just kinda hoped it was some kind of an aberration, but it was reality.

So David's tending his sheep, and one day his father comes and says, son your brothers are out in the battle there facing out for the Philistines, I want you to go take them some food. I want you to take them some bread and cheese. So David comes to his brothers who are part of the Israeli army who are on a face off with the Philistine army and dividing them is the Valley of Elah, and so David arrives at the front lines with his, well pizza delivery. I mean what is bread and cheese? It's pizza. So he's delivering pizza, right? How many of you love pizza? Raise your hand. How many of you hate pizza, you hate it? Get out. No there was like one person though. Really you hate pizza? I can't imagine. I love pizza. Love pizza. Anyway, so he makes his pizza delivery and his brother Eliab, that was the one that Samuel sort of favorites says, oh did you leave your little bunch of sheep in the wilderness to come see what the big boys are doing?

Meanwhile David hears some guy bellowing from the Valley of Elah, and he goes up there and looks and there stands Goliath. Nine feet six inches of solid muscle. He was as wide as he was tall. He was like a human tank, and he was covered head to toe in body armor, and he was yelling, send someone to fight me down here in the valley, and if I beat him, you Israelis can serve us, hey but if he beats me, we'll serve you, and David's reaction was, who is this guy, and why is he allowed to get away with this? Why is someone not going down there to fight him? So David volunteers to fight Goliath, and that's where our story begins. First Samuel chapter 17. We're gonna start in verse 40 and read down to verse 51, and by the way, I'm reading from the new living translation.

Verse 40, he picked up five smooth stones from a stream, and put them in his shepherd's bag. Then armed with his shepherd's staff and sling he started to cross to fight Goliath. Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him sneering in contempt at the ruddy faced boy. He roared at David, Am I a dog that you come at me with a stick? And he cursed David by the names of his gods. Goliath yelled, Come over here and I'll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals! I love David's response. David shouted in reply. You come to me with a sword, and a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the lord God almighty the god of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. A look at David's faith. Today the lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. Then I'll give the dead bodies of you men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know there's a god in Israel, and everyone will know the lord does not need weapons to rescue his people. It's his battle, not ours. The lord will give you to us.

Now notice this. As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. Notice that. He ran out to meet him. Verse 49, reaching into his shepherd's bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it from his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in and Goliath stumbled and he fell face downward on the ground. So now David finishes the job. Verse 50. So David triumphed over the Philistine giant with only a stone and a sling, and since he had no sword, he ran over and pulled Goliath's sword from its sheath, used it to kill the giant and cut off his head. When the Philistine saw their champion was dead, they turned and ran. Wow what a story, and what a victory. The will of the Philistines was broken. The will of the Israelis, or the Israelites was reinvigorated.

So what do we learn in this story about facing our giants in life? If you're taking notes, here is point number one. We all have giants. We all have giants. And by that I mean we all have obstacles, we all have problems, we all have challenges, we all have threats. We have things that we face that, well they're just a lot bigger than us. But I want you to know that whatever you're facing right now you're not the first one, nor will you be the last one to face it. In fact over in first Corinthians 10:13 it says, remember the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience and God is faithful, and he'll keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted he'll show you a way out so you will not give into it. Everybody has giants. So having said that let me also add this. Though everyone has giants, it is also true that every giant is defeatable. Every giant is defeatable. And by the way, Goliath was not always a giant.

Remember when we say giant we just mean a really big dude. Nine feet six inches. He was kind of a freak of nature. There weren't a lot of people his size, but he was a human being, and that means he was probably the biggest baby you've ever seen, right? When it came time to change Goliath's diaper I don't think anyone wanted. The dad would say, I did the last time. It traumatized me. You do it. And then one day the giant baby became a giant toddler. Man I would have hate to have seen Goliath in his terrible twos, right? And then the toddler turned into a young man and then he became an adolescent, and now he's an adult, a massive man, and I bring that up because giants start small and then they get big.

Sometimes there are things that we think we're managing in our life. Let's take alcohol as an example. You know maybe you like to have a drink. A beer with the boys, a glass of wine with dinner. It was no big issue for you. You said you have the liberty, it's great, but then you found that well, you know when you get home from work you need a drink to kinda relax and unwind, and then fast forward a little bit. Well now you kinda need a drink to get up and go in the morning, and well now you need a drink to get through the day, and one day you'll wake up and you have a problem with alcohol. In fact you are a functioning alcoholic. Maybe not even functioning so well. And you're saying, how did this start? How did this take place? And it's become a giant.

So it's a problem, and I'll tell you what, it's a big problem because I've seen a lot of lives ruined by alcohol. I mean you all know I was raised in an alcoholic home. Frankly I've never seen one good thing come from drinking. Not one good thing, but I've seen a lot of bad things. I saw all the marriages my mom destroyed. I know what it's like to be raised in an alcoholic home. I know what it's like to find my mother passed out on the floor night after night and have to care for her. I've seen this stuff up close and personal, but not just in my childhood but as an adult. And a pastor, I've talked to people who've had issues with this. It's become a problem. I know of two pastors in particular that lost their ministry because they ended up with a drinking problem. This is something we have to take seriously and be very careful of, and here's my approach to it. I don't wanna be under the control of anyone or anything but Jesus Christ. Nothing else.

The Bible says, don't be drunk with wine where there can be excess, but be filled with the Holy Spirit. So we don't need the spirits, we need the spirit in our life but maybe a little thing like that has become a big thing right now. Oh I can handle it, it'll never get the best of me. Well now it has the best of you and that little problem just became a giant. You know at Easter, back in my childhood, a lot of stores would sell little bunnies and chicks and people would buy them for Easter. Which I always thought was a curious thing. I mean, 'cause chicks turn into chickens, right? I mean did you want a pet chicken? They're not usually the best pets. Walking your chicken down the road a little leash. Doesn't usually work out that way. And bunnies are pretty much the same. And so you got the little bunnies and chicks for Easter. It was so cute and the kids loved them, and two months later you have chickens and rabbits and all of the sudden chicken McNuggets and rabbit stew is sounding very good.

Little things that were cute became big things that are not so cute. Or you might be facing the giant of another kind. Like a non believing husband, wife, or child, and you've almost given up home because you've prayed, and you've shared with them, and you've, well, nagged them. And you've pressured them, and you've done everything you can and they seem to be getting worse and further from the lord, and you wonder, are they ever gonna come to Christ? So we all have giants, number one. Number two, David knew the battle belonged to the lord. Do you know that? Your battle that you're fighting, your challenges that you're facing, your temptations that you're experiencing, listen to this, the battle belongs to the lord. Verse 47, David said to Goliath, it's his battle not ours.

So the lord will give you to us. That's why giants defeat us again and again because we face them in our own strength and we lose. You know in Ephesian six it talks about the armor of God? So we can prevail in spiritual warfare. It talks about a helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, a shield of fait, a sword of the spirit, and so forth, but before word is mentioned about armor, we're told this in verse 10. Finally my brothers be strong in the lord and in the power of his might. In other words, before you do anything else you need to lean on the lord. You need to trust in the lord. Alexander McLaren a great Bible commentator made this statement and I quote. He who has the Holy Spirit in his heart and the scripture in his hands has all he needs.

Do you have your Bible with you? Grab your Bible right now. Grab it, hold it in your hand. He that has the Holy Spirit in his heart and the scripture in his hands, he writes, has all he needs. You have all you need. God will never give you more than you can handle. You'll never be tempted above your capacity or capicity, whatever that is. Above your capicity or capacity to resist. So it's God's strength that we need to lean on. And David sites in verse 47, so everyone will know the lord does not need weapons to rescue his people. It's his battle not ours. The lord will give you to us. Listen, we're in a spiritual battle, and if you wanna win the spiritual battle you gotta use spiritual weapons. You gotta fight fire with fire.

You say, well what do you mean? We have two secret weapons in our arsenal as Christians that we rarely use. What do you think they are? Boycott and protest, no. Register and vote. There's a place for that for sure, but that's not even it. How about this? Pray and preach. Pray and preach. Pray and preach the gospel. So here's the thing. Maybe you have fear. You're overwhelmed. I don't know how we're gonna deal with this. Pray about it. Turn your worries into prayers. The Bible says the Philippians, don't worry about anything but pray about everything, and the peace of God that passes all human understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

So this is how you approach a giant. And by a giant, again, an obstacle, a problem, a challenge, a temptation, an addiction, whatever. Look at it in the light of God. Don't look at God in the light of your giant. Look at your giant in the light of God. Guess what? God's bigger than your giant, and God can defeat your giant because greater is he, it is in you that he that is in this world. And the lords prayer, which is really a template for all prayer. Jesus said, after this manor, therefore pray. In other words, this isn't just a great prayer to pray. Though it is. There's nothing wrong at all with praying our father who art in heaven. Hollow would be your name, your kingdom come, and so forth, but really it's a model for prayers.

So Jesus says when you pray, pray this way. Our father who art in heaven hallow would be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Then he says, and pray give us this day our daily bread. Now if we wrote the lords prayer would be, our father who art in heaven give us this day our daily bread. God how you doing, good to see you. Here's what I need. But Jesus says, no, don't pray that way. When you pray, stop and contemplate the awesomeness of God. Stop and worship the lord. Get your problems into perspective. Big God, small problems. Big problems, small God? Or a small view of God? My father who art in heaven. Hallow would our honor to glorify be your name. your kingdom come, your will be done. On Earth as it is in heaven, my God in heaven who happens to be my father. Who's in control of all things. Who is sovereign.

Now here's my need. Well immediately it'll change my perspective because I'm looking at God in his greatness and thus I'm seeing my problem in its smallness. So its prayer, and it's preaching to proclaiming the gospel. In a way it's sort of attack mode. Wen we preach the gospel, we are attacking. We look at our culture and it's so dark and we say, how do we change culture? You change culture one person at a time. And that happens through something called conversion. It happened to you, it happened to me, and it can happen for others whether they can become completely different people, that's why we're so committed to proclaiming the gospel here at harvest, and David attacked his giant. That's point number three. Attack your giants. Point number one, everyone has giants. Point number two, the battle belongs to the lord. Point number three, attack your giants.

You know earlier in the story in chapter 17 verse 25. One of the Israelites says, have you seen this man Goliath who has come up? In other words, Goliath now had crossed the ravine and now was on Israel's side. So it's not like Goliath was just standing in the Valley of Elah saying come on down here and fight me. He was marching right up into the camp of Israel and bringing it right in front of them, and that's how it happens. If you tolerate a Goliath, he'll take over your territory. He'll get right up on your doorstep. He'll get in your grill, as Hans likes to say. So here's the deal. Here's how you deal with giants. You don't back off, you don't compromise, you don't make deals. You attack them. You attack your giants.

Look at verse 48, as Goliath moved closer to attack, David ran out quickly to meet him. So you say okay, this all sounds very nice and spiritual, but I don't really know what this means. Okay let's get practical for a moment. Let's say you have a problem with drinking, or drugs, or pornography. Deal with it. So it starts by saying, I have a problem. See, as long as you're hiding it, you're never gonna deal with it. You have to come out and say to someone you love. Your husband, your wife, your mom, your dad, your pastor, a trusted friend. I have a problem with drinking. I have a problem with drugs. These are not autobiographical statements by the way. Someone's gonna edit this and just put it out in the internet somewhere just saying that with no explanation.

Okay so, or you know, I have this issue. Okay call it what it is. That's not just a problem, that's a sin. You're dealing with a sin. You're under the power of the sin. So you need to bring it into the light of day so it can start being dealt with. Get it out of the shadows of darkness where it has lurked into the light of day, and that brings into point number four. Finish your giant off. So you attack your giant and you finish him off. Though Goliath fell, he was still alive.

Now, think about this. David comes out with his sling. Kind of like a slingshot. My son Jonathan got his son, my grandson Christopher as slingshot for Christmas. It's like an old school slingshot carved of a little piece of wood in the V shape with a little rubber thing you pull back. He's shooting everything with it. He's just all boy for sure. So David comes with his slingshot, really a sling that he had really learned how to use because he would fight off predators with it. He'd put a stone and start swinging it around and get a lot of momentum, and then when he released it, it was like a guided missile. Went away like a bullet, and it hits Goliath, but Goliath's a big guy, and he has a helmet on but he's done. Boom, and it's interesting. He doesn't fall backwards, he falls forward, and he's laying there.

Now think of how many movies or TV shows you've seen where the hero kills the bad guy. He kills him. The bad guy's dead. Then the hero turns his back to the bad guy, right? And he's like calling someone or doing something, and then you know the scene, right? And all of the sudden the guy just stands up. He's in the frame all of the sudden with a knife. We go, oh look behind you, you idiot! David had seen all those movies. He's down but he's not dead. So he takes it to the next level, and what does he do? He goes over, verse 51, grabs his sword from its sheath and kills the giant and cuts off his head. David really knew how to get ahead in life, didn't he? No serious. Okay now think about this. Goliath was big, he had a big neck, and he had a big sword. So David pulls it up, probably both hands. Goes over and he probably, it didn't just come off all at once. He probably had to chop.

Greg this is so sickening. It's in the Bible. He had to chop his head off. Here's your choice. Kill your giant or your giant will kill you. Marginalize it, justify it so you can handle it. That giant's coming back for more man. So cut its head off. Finish it off. I don't know if you've ever caught a snake before. When I was a kid I used to catch snakes. We'd go out and find them and not venomous snakes, but little snakes like gopher snakes, king snakes, and the way you catch a snake is you know, you'll see them moving through the grass or wherever and you get up behind them and you press your foot on their neck, and then you reach down and you grab them right behind the head, 'cause they usually wanna bite you.

One thing you learn, never grab a snake by its tale 'cause they can turn right around and bite you. So and then you hold them right behind the neck and then you support their body with your other hand and put them in a bag or whatever you're gonna put them in. Now if it's a rattlesnake, you don't wanna catch a rattlesnake. You wanna back away from a rattlesnake, but if per chance you have no choice and you wanna kill a rattlesnake, there's one way to do it, and that is cut off its head. You cut off its tail, now he's really mad, 'cause you just took his rattler away, and that's his identity. They really like rattlers. So he's gonna come back after you. No, you gotta cut his head off, and I've seen rattlesnakes have their heads cut off.

You're saying, Greg, this is the grossest sermon I've ever heard. Head's coming, yeah I know, but I'm almost done. And even when you cut their head off, because there's the blood and the little brain, they have a little mouth that's still moving when it's separated from the body. You've ever seen that? So but that's how you deal with giants. You cut their head off. You kill them, or they'll kill you, and David used Goliath's sword to kill Goliath. There would be no comebacks for Goliath. So what does this mean? Practically it means your burn your bridges. Let's say you have a problem with drinking. What do you do? Take the booze and pour it down the stinking drain, and don't buy anymore, and don't hang around people that are drinking, and don't go to places where you're gonna be tempted because you know you're vulnerable. If you have drugs, get rid of them. Well I have a lot of drugs, that's bad stewardship. I'll sell them. No. Do not sell them. You will be arrested as a drug dealer. Get rid of them. Throw them out. Burn your bridges.

What about if you have an issue with pornography? Well if you're viewing it online, you need to take practical steps. Maybe get an internet filter, but those sometimes don't work as well as one would hope. Hey if necessary, get rid of your stinking computer. Seriously. You know, Jesus said, if you're right eye offends you, pluck it out. For it's better to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than to be thrown into hell with two, and if you're right arm offends you, cut it off, for it's better to enter into God's kingdom with one arm than to be thrown into hell with two. Now of course you know that's not literal, right? There's a guy with one arm and eye missing going, doh! No, I'm just kidding, but this is a picture he uses to show that we must take radical measures. In that culture, the right arm or hand was thought of as the best hand, and the right eye was thought of as the best eye.

So here's what it means. Do whatever you need to do to get rid of that sin in your life, and so if it literally meant you're not gonna carry a smartphone around 'cause you viewed junk on it, then get an old school phone that actually just makes phone calls. What a revolutionary thought. I mean there might be practical steps. Hey if you're married, tell your wife what your passwords are so she can access your account. Be upfront about it. Make yourself accountable to someone. If you're single, say, I have struggled here. You can look at my phone, you can look at my computer anytime you want. Hold me to account. You have to deal with these issues in a practical upfront way. And so David did that exactly and he cut off the head of his giant, and this gave courage to the rest of the Israeli army that then attack their enemies, and you know, in the same way that they shared in the victory of David, we share in the victory of Jesus. The greater David.

You see, Jesus went to the cross and he died for our sins and the Bible tells us that there at the cross in Colossians two, he cancelled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to the cross of Christ, and this way God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross of Christ, because Jesus dealt the decisive blow. Excuse me. I have a cold. Because Jesus dealt the decisive blow against Satan. At calvary we share in that victory. Jesus made a statement where he used one word to declare what he had done. We translated into three words. But the word he used was the word tetelestai. Tetelestai which means it is accomplished. It is completed or as we often translate it, it is finished. It's done. You no longer have to be under the power of anything or anyone from this point on than Jesus Christ. So let's review and conclude.

Number one, we all have giants. There are no exceptions. It's just a matter of what, where, or who your giants is. Number two, the battle belongs to the lord. Rest in the finished work he has done. Number three, attack your giant, force your giant into the light of day. Call on God and pray for his power. Number four, finish your giant off. Cut off its head. Burn your bridges. Break with the past, draw lines, make yourself accountable to others. I used to hang around a lot of low life kids, and we did drugs together. And I became a Christian at the age of 17. And I knew I couldn't live in that world anymore. So I got a whole new set of friends. And some people are surprised to find they keep falling into the same sins over and over, but the problem is they say I'm gonna make a break with this but they hang around the people that are still doing those things.

That is why the Bible says, blessed is a man that does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the lord. Don't hang out with ungodly people that will encourage you to do ungodly things. Surround yourself with godly men an godly women. In fact, find people that are even more godly than you and do what you can to build them up and let them do what they wanna do to build you up. That's how you're gonna move forward spiritually. You take practical steps. You know we have giants in front of us this year. In fact this year we're going to Phoenix, Arizona, and we're gonna go to the University of Phoenix stadium, and we're gonna have Harvest America. Now that is a big stadium. It's up there on the screen. Now when we went last year to AT&T stadium in Texas. That's the inside there. AT&T sat 85,000. This stadium seats around 65,000 people. You see the field down there, see how high up those seats go? And it has a roof, which is nice, 'cause Phoenix gets a little warm doesn't it? So it has air conditioning. So it's like being outdoors but you're indoors, and we're gonna do our even there, Harvest America, and not only will it happen in the University of Phoenix stadium, but it is then, the signal is sent out to live host sites around the country and around the world.

Last year we were able to reach in person on one day, 350,000 people. It was unbelievable. And we saw 25,000 people make a profession at faith to follow Christ, so that was great. We thank God for that. That was great, but guess what, that was 2016, this is 2017. We have another challenge before us, and I'm asking all of you to just start praying for Harvest America that God would bless it, and maybe you'll even come and join us and come to Arizona, come to Phoenix in what is called the Valley of the Sun, spelled S-U-N and we're praying that it will become the Valley of the S-O-N. As many people come to know Christ. We'll have the churches there supporting us, but we want our own home church to be there and you can service and usher as a counselor, inviting people to the event. It's gonna be epic. June 11th this year, and it's gonna be on us before you know it.

So let's really be praying. That's our giant that we have. A giant of an opportunity, and I wanna just close this message by saying, there's one giant that none of us can defeat, and that's called Satan. He's a lot more powerful than you or me, and that's why the Bible says greater is he that it's in you that he that's in the world. The one that's in you if you're a Christian, is Christ. The one that is in the world, that verse is referring to, is the devil. God is more powerful than the devil. The devil is not the equal of God, but he is a powerful spirit being that can wreck havoc in a life and do pretty much whatever he wants if the person is not a Christian. Satan's not afraid of artifacts or religion. You can pull our your crucifix. The devil could care less about your crucifix. Well I'll wear garlic around my neck. That'll keep them away. That'll keep your friends away. I don't know if it'll keep the devil away. Especially if you chew on it too. That really, that'll keep everyone away. Even your dog won't come around. Well I'll use some holy water. There is no holy water. None of these things work. The only power that Satan respects is the power of Jesus Christ. That's the only thing.

So that's why you need Jesus. 'Cause if you have Jesus living inside of you, God's put an ID tag on you, and it says, property of the lord Jesus Christ, and the devil respects it, but if you are not a Christian, if Jesus is not living in you, you don't have God's ID tag on you. You have a bullseye painted on you. And the devil, he can pretty much do whatever he wants. Nothing you do will keep him away. That's why you need Christ in your life. Who will forgive you of all of your sin. Maybe last year was a mess for you and you're wondering, can I ever start over again? Yeah you can. You can have a new beginning. Because the Bible says if any men be in Christ, he is an all together different kind of person. All things pass away. Everything becomes fresh and new. God will do that for you. You can put your past behind you and have a new future if you ask Jesus to come into your life or if you recommit your life to Jesus.

So we're gonna pray right now, and I'm gonna give you an opportunity to do that. Maybe you're afraid, maybe you're not sure what would happen to you if you were to die. Would you go to heaven? You don't know. You don't have that meaning and purpose in life that Jesus offers and you want it. Well I'm gonna give you an opportunity to ask Christ to come and live in your heart right now. So let's all bow our heads and pray together.

Father, thank you for loving us so much that you sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place. Lord Jesus, thank you for coming, and thank you for your gracious offer of forgiveness. And now we pray for everyone that is here and everyone that is watching. I pray that you'll speak to their hearts. I pray that your Holy Spirit will convict and convince them of their sin and help them realize they need Jesus right now, and help them to come to you, we would pray.

Now all our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying together. How many of you would say today, Greg, I want Jesus Christ in my life? I want him to forgive me of my sin. I wanna be free from the power of the sin of my life. I need a fresh start. I need a new beginning. I'm ready to say yes to Jesus, pray for me. If that's you, if you want Jesus to come into your life. If you want him to forgive you of your sin. If you wanna go to heaven when you die. If you wanna find the meaning and purpose of life, I want you to raise your hand up wherever you are and I'm gonna pray for you. God bless you. So lift your hand up high where I can see it. God bless. God bless. Hands are going up. I hope yours is one of them. If you don't know him yet, you can know him now. He'll forgive you of all of your sin. Raise your hand up wherever you are. God bless you. You're raising your hand. God bless each one.

There's some of you watching on a screen right now. Of course I can't see you there, but the lord sees you and just take that little step. Raise your hand up and say yes, I want Jesus right now. I want him to forgive me of my sin. Anybody else? If you haven't raised your hand yet, lift it now. Let me pray for you. God bless you. Now all of you that have raised your hand. If you would please. I want you to pray this prayer after me. You can even pray it out loud if you like. Wherever you are, pray this prayer after me right where you sit or stand. Pray this prayer.

Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, but I know you're the savior who died on the cross for me. I turn from my sin now, and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me, and loving me, and forgiving me. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

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