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Watch 2022 online sermons » Levi Lusko » Levi Lusko - Where History is Heading

Levi Lusko - Where History is Heading


Levi Lusko - Where History is Heading

And today, I want to begin with a question. How different would the world be or how different would your world be if you knew the future? We saw in Back to the Future, it really did impact to know if you go back, then you can go forward differently. And it didn't always work out very well, right? Because then you ended up like why is my mom married to Biff? That didn't work out so well. But the reality is that knowing the future of course, would the obvious answer is it would change what you do in the present. I love to collect stories of boneheaded decisions that people in business made that of course, they wouldn't have if they could have known how things would have played out.

Like, get this. In 1876, the company Western Union turned down the offer to buy the patent on the telephone for $100,000 saying and I quote "the telephone is just an electrical toy with no commercial value". Hello! No, they said everyone's going to hang on to the telegram. They're going to love that telegram forever. And when was the last time anybody sent anything Western Union? I realize you have to support that deposed Nigerian Prince who's going to be blessing you down the road. But then if we flash forward to 1975, Kodak created the first ever digital camera but kept it quiet and did nothing with it fearing it would hurt their control of the film market. They wanted to keep everybody on film. So they missed their chance to really get big into digital pictures. And of course, we know how that turned out for them.

In 2012, Kodak declared bankruptcy. And we still to this day are taking more than our fair share of digital pictures. Why? Because we want our phones to operate slowly. That's why. We just have billions of photos. We're like you know my whole life my entire life I have literally 30 photos of me as a child. My kids have 30 photos from every angle of every day of their lives. Enough with the photos, right? If you go to 1962, the lads from Liverpool, George and John and Paul and Ringo had a tryout before Decca Records where the recording company Decca turned them down saying no, we are not going to have you on our label. Why? And I quote, "Four piece groups with guitars are finished". And so they rejected, listen to me, the most financially successful band of all time, The Beatles.

If we go to 1977, 20th Century Fox sold all rights in perpetuity to make merchandise for the Star Wars movies to George Lucas for $20,000. Oh, they thought this is a weird movie this guy wrote. No one's going to want to wear a t-shirt with Star Wars on it or have a toy lightsaber or make their own little drone. No one's going to want a yoda backpack, right? So for 20 grand they said, yeah, you can have rights in perpetuity to make merchandise for these movies. Well today of course, the Star Wars empire is worth $70 billion. And it's estimated that 2/3 of that is merchandise alone. Then we go to the year 2000 when Blockbuster had the chance for $50 million to buy Netflix outright. They could have owned Netflix. Netflix was struggling at the time. They were based on the DVD model that would mail to you. Some of you are like, what's a DVD? Ask your parents. But that's Netflix and Blockbuster who was like the juggernaut when it came to at home entertainment had the chance to own all of Netflix for $50 million. They turned it down thumbing their nose at Netflix. We don't need you. We know how to do all this ourselves.

And of course flash forward to 2022, to all 9,000 of Blockbuster stores nationwide are no more. They do not exist. And Netflix today is worth an estimated $103 billion or so just that, just $103 billion. And then my personal favorite, in the year 1997, Yahoo had the chance to purchase Google for $1 million. And then, which they turned down. In the year 2002, they had a second chance to buy them for $5 billion. They turned it down again and today, I checked this morning. Google is worth $1.26 trillion. Who is the Yahoo now? The point is the future would be very different if you could just know what it contained. And of course, all of the smart men and women who made up those decisions were operating based on what they could make sense of in the moment. They of course, used their best wisdom. None of them wanted to make the wrong decision and neither do we.

So today, we want to answer the question where is history heading? That's the title of my message, where history is heading. I want to encourage you to make decisions based on where the future is most assuredly going to take place. Psalm 103, throughout the weeks of this series as we've been collecting the seven different Hebrew words for praise. Because if you're just jumping in, now there are seven different words in the Hebrew for praise that are in our Bibles just translated as praise. You just read it, and you maybe don't realize you're reading one of these particular words, which carries a little bit of a unique nuance when it informs how that praise unfolds. And we're trying to get better at the thing that we were created to do to bring God, glory.

And we come to the sixth today, which is used coincidentally six times in Psalm 103 and as has been our habit throughout the series let's stand to our feet as we read God's word to show our reverence and honor. I'm going to read to you a selection of it because it's a long Psalm, and I've cut it down a little bit. But it says in Psalm 103 "Bless the Lord oh my soul. And all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord oh my soul and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles". Jumping to verse 10, "He has not dealt with us".

Notice the change in how he speaking, it was personal for him, now it's us. "According to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth so great is his mercy toward those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west so far has he removed our transgressions from us". Jumping to verse 20, "Bless the Lord, you His angels who excel in strength who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the Lord all you his hosts, you ministers of His who do his pleasure. Bless the Lord all His works in all places of his dominion". He finishes this Psalm how he began. It's called an envelope Psalm because his first line is the same as his last line. Notice how he ends it. "Bless the Lord oh my soul". Come on, as anybody thankful for God's word today? You may be seated.

There's many things that are beautiful about this Psalm. One commentator described it as David's Hallelujah Chorus, sort of his magnum opus. But what I love about it is that it teaches us how to talk to ourselves. That's one comment that Martin Lloyd Jones have to say about all of the Bible, really. The Bible, it teaches us how to talk to ourselves. Left to ourselves, I don't know about you, we don't talk to ourselves very kindly. We tend to be rude to ourselves, aggressive to ourselves, mean to ourselves. And it's not helpful to speak to ourselves in such critical ways. At times, we talk to ourselves like we wouldn't talk to anybody else who is struggling. But this Psalm gives us an instruction when it comes to worship. How should we speak to ourselves? David had this to say to his own soul. Hey soul, man, you should worship God. I just love it. Because it teaches us that even the dude who wrote Psalm 23 didn't always feel like praising sometimes.

Someone commenting on this said it seems like David felt a little sluggish. David felt like, oh man, I don't know. I just kind of sit back and let everybody else worship. And then he had to give his soul a pep talk. And notice he didn't berate his soul. He didn't say man, you really suck, oh, you some big spiritual person you are. No he said, hey, hey soul, bless the Lord, and then he said bless him all that is within me. And I love that, all that is within me. Bless his Holy name. You know what that means, church? That means that you don't have to just bring to God what you're glad is in your heart. You don't have to just bring to God what you think he's happy to find inside your life. You can bring to God what's exactly going on up in your situation. You can bring to God all those corrupt thoughts, those lustful thoughts, those proud thoughts, those broken thoughts, those critical thoughts, right?

All that is within me, that's what I really got. Because sometimes if I'm honest when I'm praying and even at times when I'm praising, I find myself trying to edit and pray what I should be praying, pray what I think a man of God really would be praying about instead of what I actually got going on inside me, which at times is just small and real and frail and busted. And I'm just so glad to know God wants all that is within me. He just wants me. He just wants you. So you don't need to in your head be trying to praise like someone should praise. You can just bring all that is within me to bless his Holy name. So David starts out seemingly kind of lazy when it comes to praise, kind of sluggish when it comes to worship. But he's encouraging himself. He's coaching himself. He's a corner man for himself on the way to praising God. And you just see his heart in flaming with praise and in flaming with passion. You see him taking on his full stature, taking on his full self. He starts to look more like himself. You see the light turning on in his eyes.

And what really makes the corner is when he starts chronicling all that God has done for him. God's my healer. God's my rejuvenater. God's my strength. He makes me soar like the eagles. He has promised whether he does it in this life or in the eternal life to heal all my diseases, to forgive all my sins. Oh come on, church, if you start listening to the sins you've committed that God's forgiven, your praise will start to open up a little bit. So what happens is David begins to think right, to think right. And this is an important first step. The second phase is when he's now able and positioned to interact with other people rightly, to interact with other people correctly. Because when you think wrong, you can't live right at work. When you're thinking wrong, you can't live right in your family, in your marriage with your kids, in your relationships.

So David has sorted out in how he thinks, got to think right between me and God. And now you notice in the second section, he shifts to us. Hey, he's forgiven us our sins. He's a good God to all of us. The point is he's positioned to be the encouragement he's meant to be to other people only when he's dealt with his own heart before God. It's kind of like this. I brushed my teeth this morning. And I did it for you as much as I did it for me. You see what I'm saying? And the things that I do privately to prepare myself outwardly, I do before I show myself to the world, right? It's the story I've told before is one day Daisy, she saw that I was wearing pants and had a shirt with a collar on it. And she said I didn't know you're preaching today, Dad? I was like, ouch honey. You see I'm saying? The days that we know we're not going to see anybody, we tend to stay in our comfys all day. And that's sort of what COVID messed up. It blurred the lines.

Now y'all are just wearing Lululemon all the time. And it's just every single day of your lives it's comfy attire. But David sorts himself out on the inside, deals with his soul and with his soul's teeth brush with his soul's hair comb, with his soul wearing the right clothing. Because the New Testament says you got to take certain stuff off. You got to put certain stuff on. He now is able to begin to call everybody else out and go, hey as God's high above the Earth, so his ways are not our way, so he's forgiven us. And now, you're able to encourage other people. And then I use my favorite thing. Once David's thinking right, he's interacting with other people rightly, the third phase is he takes his rightful place in the universe. For you'll notice by the end, he's bossing around angels, right? And you're like, dude, that's bull move, David.

Considering 15 minutes ago, you didn't feel like praising God, and now you're bossing angels around? He ends the Psalm bless the Lord all you angels. what do you think we're doing? That's what we do up here. This is like yeah, we get it. But it's not arrogance. It's actually birthright. Did you know the Bible says? This is shocking. And I guarantee you they don't love it that Paul said in Corinthians, he said we will one day, judge angels that we are made to be kings and priests to our God. In his kingdom we're to rule and reign with him. And what that looks like, how that all pans out, I don't know, but it's beautiful to watch the process of praise work out in David's life. Because he didn't even feel like worshipping God a minute ago. But now, he's telling the stars what to do, which is what he was born to do and what you're born to do as well. The point is you'll never be over what God wants under you until you come under what God has put over you.

So only when David's got the praises of God in his mouth do we begin to see his birthright under his feet. Think rightly, interact with other people rightly, take your rightful place. And it all unfolds while we six different times use the sixth Hebrew word for praise, and that word is Barak. Only that is an incorrect way to say it because that's our English butchering of Barak. If I say Barak, B-A-R-A-K, you're not getting it. You have to say it like the Hebrews do. You have to say it like you got a little piece of popcorn stuck in the back of your throat, all right? That's how we Barak, that's how we get down Barak is used 327 times in the Bible. 289 of those occur in the Book of Psalms. And as I mentioned, a full six of them, it's the greatest concentration that exists in the Psalms occurs in Psalm 103. So what does it mean? Well, here's what it means, definition on the screen. It means to kneel down to bless as an act of adoration specifically. It means to praise. It means to salute or to pronounce good things upon the recipient.

In fact, unless you're reading in the NIV Bible, you will most often see it translated as the word bless. But in the NIV, you could make the case it could or should be. Psalm 103 actually reads "Praise the Lord oh, my soul. All that is within me, praise his Holy name. Praise the Lord all ye angels. Praise the Lord ye heavenly host". There is a power when it comes to understanding what it means to Barak and specifically what it means to kneel down. For the Hebrew word for the kneecap or the knee, the part of your leg that connects the shin bone to your femur is the root word for the word Barak. You literally can't say Barak or praise in this way without referring to the knee. Now why would that be? Why is there a form of praise that properly given, involves a humbling of oneself whether in the heart and for sure that's the most important part of that but that specifically seems to be connected to an outward act of getting down on the knees. Why would that be?

Well, let's just think about what it means to kneel. What does it mean to get down on a knee? And of course, for any of us who have proposed like I did 19 years ago yesterday to this beautiful woman right here. I remember that day like it was yesterday. And I was shaking like crazy. I actually forgot the ring. We went to California on a trip, and I was going to propose on that trip, forgot the ring in New Mexico, had to call a friend have them overnight it to me. And after a day at Disneyland, we went down to the beach. And I got down on a knee. Why? Because I wanted to show I was serious. I wanted to show this girl here that I meant what I was saying. And I was humbling myself before her. There was a sense in which I had never gotten on a knee before her unless she had dropped something. You know what I'm saying? I was getting down. I was like that's different, right? She sees me on my knee. And we do so to cut through, so there's a sense of regality, I suppose to it. Although it has backfired. You probably saw this on TikTak, TikTok, TikTak.

So all the kids are going to be calling it soon this guy you just finished an Iron Man and then he got a hamstring cramp while trying to propose. Look at his buddies trying to massage the Charlie horse out. But he fights his way to the ring box. He gets it open anyway. He's going to propose. He did it. He did it. He got off the bike, he swam, he ran. And he got the hand of his girl. Come on, let's give it up for this guy. That's about the funniest video I've seen in a long time. And those Charlie horses man, they get you when you least expect it. It's terrible, too. You need a little more magnesium I suppose or something. But getting down on a knee like that, it sends a message very clearly. There's other times in life when we kneel, and it's something we do intuitively. I need a little help for this one. Come on out here, faithful assistant. Let's hear it for Linux, everybody. Yeah!

Now, to talk to Lenox I'm not going to talk to him like that. What am I going to do. I'm going to intuitively get down on his level. Hey, buddy, love the Crocs in the bathing suit. Bold move, bro. Can I have a hug? See the thing about it is when I get down on Linux's level, I take my knees. So talking to a child and getting on the knees can't be separated. In fact, one commentary I came across said that maybe the reason it's impossible to use the Hebrew word blessed without talking about your knees is because if you wanted to bless a child, you would put the child on your knee. And when you would speak blessing over a child as I have just about every day of this little boy's life, I would naturally put him on my knee to bless him. Thank you for being in my sermon. You can go back to class, now. I love you, buddy. Nux, hey where's my nux?

All right, buddy. Linux, everybody. And Jesus said the greatest in the kingdom of God humbles himself like a little child. And so maybe one of the reasons God wants us to get on our knees regularly is to lower our level. It changes what you see when you're down low. It also sort of deals with the self importance that creeps into all of our egos as we grow up and get all important and all these other things. We have to rush here, rush there, all these things. And little kids, they just, they're more in the moment. They're more actively aware of imagination. And kids don't care if someone's got a lot of money or has a lot of power. They just everybody that stands in front of them is equally important.

So I think something about that getting down on our knees, getting back into the roots of that childlike faith that Jesus wants to be in all of us. It's also how you beg. You always see that in a movie. Someone maybe lost a job or did something stupid boneheaded mistake. You dropped out of college, and I'm just going to go and live in my sprinter van and do all this, come back in hat in hand. The prospect of would you like fries with that for the next 40 years just kind of kicked in. And so I literally have a friend who dropped out of school and came back in to the dean and got on his knees. Please accept me back into school. I regret the decision I made, right? It's sort of intuitive if you're begging to show a sense of urgency to say I really mean this.

You see me here. I'm on my knees before you. And that's why you find it in scripture used to describe how a leper came to Jesus, Mark 140. He came to Jesus kneeling down to him saying to him if you are willing, you can make me clean. But you also find it linked up to begging before God in prayer. As Jesus said, we are to beg literally. He said you're to keep asking, keep knocking even if he doesn't seem like he wants to open the door to keep doing so. You're not going to annoy him. And Paul said in Ephesians three for this reason, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he would grant you according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened with his might through his spirit in the inner man. And we know Paul loved the Church of Ephesus. At all the places he did ministry, and if you ever look at the back and the maps in the back of your Bible, you can literally find some of the different places Paul preached. He did more ministry in Ephesus than anywhere else.

So y'all Fresh Life are my Ephesus. Because Jennie and I did ministry at a church in New Mexico. And we did ministry at a church in California. But by God's grace, he's allowed us to remain here 15 years serving here. So I think back warmly to the other churches I've served in, and by God's grace we've traveled the world. And we've preached in lots of different places. But there's nothing so visceral to me is thinking about Fresh Life Church, thinking about you guys, this congregation that we've planted our family's roots in. And that unless the Lord rips us out kicking and screaming, and of course, we do whatever God wants us to do. I've never be so foolish as to say I'll never go anywhere else, like God tomorrow be like ha, ha, ha, got a whale going to swallow you up if you don't whatever.

So we all want to say thy will be done, not mine. But should God not, Terri, we plan to live and serve here all of our lives. But that's Ephesus to Paul, you have to understand. When he left there, literally there was weeping and hearts broken. So when he wrote back to them, he goes, he says guys, I'm on my knees for. You see it? You see I'm on my knees for you. You just you to do it. We were preaching in New Mexico a couple of weeks ago, church that we got saved in, we got married in. They asked us to come preach at the 40th anniversary celebration of this church. And I was like, of course I will. So we went out there. And the night before the celebration service was going to happen, the security guard who watches over the church building was doing his closing rounds and was fatally murdered in the church parking lot run over by a vehicle and murdered protecting the church.

And so the pastors call me and say, what are we to do? I said we have to pivot. This can't be a celebration except a celebration of the hope that is ours in Christ. And so to honor this man's legacy and to of course point to in troubled times, in grief stricken times, the hope that we have in Jesus. And the services were heavy of course, as you can imagine. It's a whole family of this man was sitting there in the second row and worshipping. But of course, for all of us, I remember doing my devotions that morning preparing to go and preach knowing emotionally what we were walking into at church with its flag at half mast. It was natural for me to just fall to my knees, fall to my knees for this family, to fall to my knees for this widow, to fall to my knees for this congregation. And God met us, and the services were draining like you can't even imagine but special as the gospel sparkles in times of grief and tragedy and pain.

No one had to teach me and Jennie to fall to our knees in that intensive care unit in whitefish when our daughter Linnea went home to be with Jesus in 2012. You can still see the bed in my mind. We walked past it just a couple of months ago when I broke my rib on the closing Sunday of movement conference because life's weird, ended up in the emergency room just a couple of days later, couldn't breathe, woke Jennie up at 2:00 in the morning. Hey every wife wants that. I can't breathe. Will you drive me to the emergency room, please? And they walked us past that room. And I was just please Lord, don't let them take me to that room. But seeing that bed there it just brought back like it was just a moment ago us falling on our knees at the sight of Linnea's bed, her little body there. Of course, we knew she's not there. She's with Jesus in heaven. But the devastation, the emotion, the pain, it forced us both to our knees.

What do you do when you don't know what to do? You fall to your knees. It's Barak. It's this adoration. It's this recognition of I have a King, and I'm your servant, and I'm looking to you for the strength. I'm looking to you for the power. I'm looking to you for my next breath. It's a powerful word for worship. And it's biblical shorthand for who your allegiance goes to. Who does your allegiance, who's your King? Everybody has a King. There's technically no such thing as an atheist. For everybody has something that's most important to them. That thing functionally is their God. Now, either your God can save you when you need him to or he can't.

And Isaiah says why would you worship something made by man's hands? That'd be so lame. It's actually very funny. He says imagine a guy chopping a tree down. It takes half of the tree, turns it into firewood and sets it aside for later. I'll use you to cook my dinner. And the other half of the tree he fashions into a God. And he falls down and worships the false God. And then with his God, he makes himself dinner, right? He says idols have mouths, but they don't speak. They have hands, but they can't reach out and help you. To live your life with anything but God as your functional most important thing as your deity essentially over you is to trust in what cannot help but disappoint you when you need it the most. To live for the approval of men, to live for money, to live for any of the things that the world chases after, but when you need them to save you, they just stare back at you talking to a volleyball, people. Classic Tom Hanks reference, all right, so got to love that.

1st Kings 1918, Elijah thinks he's the only prophet left in all of Israel. And God says, bro, I have reserved 7,000 whose knees have not bowed to bail. So it's shorthand for where your allegiance goes. This is why in the Book of Daniel, it comes up again and again and again. Because egomaniac King wants everyone to worship the gold image he's made and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down to the gold statue even though it meant them being thrown into a fiery furnace. Daniel did the same thing when praying was outlawed. If you pray, you get thrown into a pit of lions. What did Daniel do? He went into his room, and three times a day he dropped to his knees and said his prayers. It made it into the Ten Commandments, the kneeling. In fact, God said you shall not make for yourself a carved image. You shall not bow down or kneel to them or serve them. And it's also something that people did in scripture when they encountered God's glory in a significant way.

When you read the book of Ezekiel, his seeing God, he wasn't like hey, God, hi, God. He fell down before him because of God's glory. Isaiah did the same thing. Woe is me. I'm undone, I'm blown away. I cannot believe Holy, Holy, Holy different than anything I could have imagined. He and to... no one how to tell him, hey, you know you ought to do when you see the King of all glory who breathes out stars? You should prostrate yourself before him. It would be needed, first you got to your knees, and then your head hit the ground as well. No, he was just he saw God, and it was like a volcano bursting in front of him. And he intuitively fell to his... he baraked before him, prostrated himself before him. There's actually a very funny story in the Book of Revelation where John met an angel, not God but an angel sent from God. But the angel was so bright from being sent by God, that he bowed down to worship the angel.

Notice Revelation 19, "I fell at his feet to worship him, but the angel told me see that you do not do that". The Bible is so funny. Can you imagine the angel all embarrassed like oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, don't do that. That turned one of us into the devil at one point don't do that. The Angels have a vested interest in keeping small heads, right? Worship Jesus, he said worship God, beautiful. And I love this as well. There's a connection, as I mentioned, between a blessing. So a father giving a blessing to a child will pull that child up onto his lap. Or a mother blessing her child or her grandchildren will pull that baby up onto their laps. And just do that. Let me tell you, don't let your kids walk by you without blessing them. Don't let your grandkids walk by, don't let them come into your mind without speaking of blessing, speaking salvation, speaking good things, speaking God's favor over them. When you do that though, in receiving a blessing from God, by blessing God, you're opening yourself up to what he wants to do to you in the future. You understand?

I think sometimes we have a weird connotation with us like bowing low before the Lord as though he's like got this big power trip and needs that or something. But you have to understand it's not, you're being called or invited to barak him. It's not because he needs that from you. It's because he knows you need that experience from him. He knows you need that from him. And so it's not about you cowering before him. It's about his ability to anoint you with the oil of service that you need for that next round, for that next battle, for that next day, for that next assignment. Think about it. Before David who wrote Psalm one or three could go and become King of Israel, first he had to be anointed. And do you know what you have to do to be anointed with oil? You have to kneel. You kneel down, you lower your head, and then and only then can that anointing oil be poured over you. Did you know that the Bible says in James four verse six, you should write that verse down and memorize it. It says God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Now God, who as I just mentioned a moment ago is like encountering stationary lightning or having a conversation with a bursting volcano. It would be really bad for him to oppose you. You get that, right? YOU vs GOD, you don't win. They're like remember that scorched earth where that person used to be, right? So the Bible says when you're proud, God opposes you. Not great, but he gives grace to the humble. Whereas I like to try and think about it, if you would just bow your head a little bit, God could get some of his anointing oil on top of you. Why is my life so hard? Because maybe you have such a stubbornness about you, because there's an arrogance about you. So for me, I want to humble myself. I want to Barak. I want in my praise to not just lift my hands and not just dance and all these other things, confession and Thanksgiving. That should be a part of worship.

And none of these things are rigid. They're fluid, but I think as we sing, as we praise him, both devotionally on our own and corporately as we're together, having the freedom like a golfer who doesn't use the putter to drive with or the wedge to putt with but chooses from the bag the appropriate club for what is in front of him in that moment. That is we're facing the week, as we're facing the moment to know I've got these seven different clubs that one of them that is powerful to bring God's grace on your life and the anointing that you need for what you have been called to do, to know that a part of that is to bow before him as King and to acknowledge his reign as supreme over your soul. And I want to give you as we wind this down, three different things that you can have in your mind as you praise him in this way. And I just want to also acknowledge how beautiful it's been for me as the pastor of this church, alongside my wife and our team, as we lead together, to just watch God open up new freedom in our church, to watch that expression.

Some of you, it's been just that timid. Maybe it's not like full blown hand raised. It's I mean, you would do that at a Justin Bieber concert if that thing ever got rescheduled. But in church for some reason, for whatever reason we all hold ourselves real kind of rigid and to watch some of you start to t-rex it a little bit. It's just a little bit, a little, just a little freedom, just stepping into the water. I'm not mocking you, I'm telling you it's precious and it's wonderful. And some of you have even kind of starting to throw Frisbees a little bit, hands are going a little higher. But I'm just telling you there's just something about that freedom. And it's just been amazing to watch God open up that culture of worship in our church. And I really believe the world will never be the same because as God's praises in our mouth, we're thinking rightly. We're living rightly.

And then we can take that rightful place. And just if you're not convinced by any of this, and the thought of during a worship song to get on your knees for a little bit, if to you that would be like Levi, I would just be drawing so much attention to myself. Hold on, forget it. It's not about other people looking at you. Remember, remember, remember, the church experience isn't for everybody around you. And it sure as heck isn't you walking out and grading me or the worship team like I'll give that a 7.4. He didn't stick the landing. It's like or me harassing you that you weren't praising right. What we're all doing is for him. And when we keep that in our minds, when we keep that in our hearts, we're walking out of here not going how did we do or me going how did you do? But we're all saying God, how did we do? What did you think of our worship? How did you please find our sacrifice and offering acceptable to you. But if none of that convinces you, just know this. Bowing is something that was important to Jesus. Getting on his knees on the hardest day of his life was something Jesus resorted to.

In fact Luke 22, we're told in the garden of Gethsemane, he withdrew from them a stone's throw. He knelt down, and he prayed. And all of us want to be like Jesus. And so it was something he incorporated into his devotional rhythms as he sought to be a guide for all of us. And hear me saying there is freedom in this church for you to worship God standing, for you to worship God kneeling, for you to worship God dancing, for you to worship God raising your hands, for you to worship God with a shout with that Shevek that we learned about. All of these things are appropriate in their place for us to have that robust worship. It's the thing we've been called to do. And I'm thankful God gave us seven different ways to do it. Anybody else? All right, three things to have in your mind, and we're going to close this time down. And we're going to give you the chance to test the club out, right? This is that room in the back of the golf store where you get to go try that club out, and we're going to see how it feels.

All right, number one who He is. Keep in mind who He is. He is the Lord of glory. He is the King of kings. He's the creator. When we have that properly in our mind, the response of bowing before him makes a whole lot of sense. Secondly what he has done, our blessing him because that's literally how Barak is translated many times, it's bless. Our blessing to him is not the beginning of the blessing journey. We bless him because he blessed us. In fact, Genesis one is the first use of the word Barak in the Bible, and it's right after God made animals and birds and fish. And it says Genesis 121 having made all those things verse 22, God Baraked them. And with that blessing on them, they could take their rightful place being fruitful and multiplying. Then he makes man in His image, Genesis 127. And what does he do?

The next verse, God Baraked man saying now that you are rightly built with my blessing on you, go to take your rightful place, be blessed. Do what you've been created to do. Then God creates rest. Anybody grateful for rest? You should be. And when he made rest, he blessed rest. How sick is that? God Baraked rest. So this idea of this rhythm of a day of recharging and rejuvenation and worship and then returning back to all that he's called you to do, he blessed it after he made it. We could go on and talk about how in Genesis, he blessed the beginning of what we would experience in salvation through Jesus, which started through Abraham and that how Abraham at Covenant that we stand in today.

We're told in Genesis 12 two, God speaking to Abraham, I will make you a great nation. I will Barak you and make your name great. And you shall be a Barak. We will we will Barak you. That's what God said. Dave, had to make that joke. I've been waiting all week for that one. God's blessing everything, fish, animals, birds, people, Saturday. He blesses salvation through the cross. And then he calls us to bless him. But it's a response to him. So we're not starting anything in blessing him. We're responding to him. That's why it was natural for David to recount all of God's blessings as he turned them back into praise. Because anything God blesses you with that you don't praise him for runs the risk of turning into an idol in your life. And that's a risk you don't want to take.

Then thirdly, last category, what should we have in our hearts not just who He is and what He's done but what is coming. What are God's promises? To end where we began making this an envelope sermon, what would we do if we could know the future? How different would we live if we could know what's coming down the pike? How different would things have turned out for Western Union or Decca Records or Blockbuster if they could have known what was around the Riverbend. And more to the point, how different would you live this week and this next year and this next decade if you could know the future.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we can. His name is Jesus. And he is coming soon to the world he created. So we should live in light of his return. All of us got a powerful reminder of the whole naked we came, naked we shall go thing when Queen Elizabeth died. Did you watch any of that service? I mean, I realize it was 84 hours long. But I caught just enough of it to be shook. And one particular moment caught my attention. And if you didn't get to see it this is worth watching and please listen to the words that are spoken. In silence, the symbols of sovereignty will now be removed in order that Elizabeth can descend into the grave as a simple Christian soul. First, the scepter of kingly power, the crown jeweler removes the orb and finally at the end of her reign, the imperial state crown.

In turn, the Sergeant at Arms and the King's Barge Master present the symbols of sovereignty to the dean who receives them and places them on the altar of God. The symbols of sovereignty shall be removed from the coffin so Elizabeth can descend into the grave as a simple Christian, so no longer referred to as queen, just Elizabeth. Literally, this casket gets lowered down into her grave. And she's doing so devoid of any of the pomp and glitter. Those things were tools for a time placed back on the altar of God. Naked where we born and naked shall we go. To think of this, this sobers us. To think of this, cuts us back into the eternal mentality we need to be living in and gets rid of the distraction of how do we fit in, and how do we stack up, all these things that aren't going to matter one minute after you die when you are standing in a place where only one wears a crown Elizabeth, crown back on the altar of God, she was called to her in life.

Now, in death, she stands before him. This is what will help us to make better decisions, this knowledge of the future because it is whether Jesus comes back or you breathe your last and go stand before him is what is coming for us all. You remember that? I know you do. You try and put it out of your mind. But you shouldn't because the Bible says help us to know our days are numbered. Give us a heart of wisdom in remembering our end. We can make wise eternal decisions if we remember that our life here on this earth is just a vapor. I had a knife confiscated last week. It was the TSA in an airport. My family and I get on planes every once in a while. And so we have this joke we play if anyone's bag gets flagged for additional security. And the joke is we make fun of them to the entire knowledge of the room by saying it's their first time traveling, right?

First time on an airplane, sorry they don't know what they're doing because the bag gets pulled off, we go oh yeah, first time traveling. Well, my bag never gets tagged, all right? Because I'm really good at traveling. My bag is pulled off the side. Oh man, they had a field day. Linux was laughing. All the kids were like first time traveler here, right here, this guy, never been on an airplane. Jennie was like just falling over with pleasure. And it was actually disturbing. And I'm here to rebuke you publicly. So he pulls the bag over, and I'm like racking my brain like, what in the world could be in this bag? And then it hits me. Stupidly, there's a Leatherman in that bag. And it pained me to have this Leatherman taken away from me.

And I go oh, there's a Leatherman in the bag, not that zipper, not that zipper, not, yeah that's the one. He goes, what are you going to do with it? You're going to leave security and do the walk of shame and mail it to yourself. I'm like, no, I'm not going to mail it to myself. Please send it to me via Western Union. I said you can throw it away. Ah. But the x-ray made clear what was in the bag. The bag looked good until it went through the x-ray. If every day as we're evaluating difficult decisions and plans for the future, if we pass them through the x-ray of the moment when we stand before God, it will help us to make wise choices instead of just leaning into the foolish wisdom of this world that'll have us selling our birthright for 20 grand that could be spiritually speaking worth billions as we stand before him. What seems foolish to people is wise before God. And what seems wise before God in that day will seem foolish before people. So where, to answer a promise I made to you a moment ago, where is history heading? To the throne, this is where history is heading.

In fact, Revelation says very clearly "After these things I looked, and behold a great multitude, which no one could number of all nations, tribes, peoples, tongues standing before the throne and before the lamb clothed with white robes with palm branches in their hands crying out with a loud voice saying salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the lamb". And you'll notice all the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures they fell on their faces there's barak in heaven. Another part of Revelation says "Whatever rewards he had given to them in crowns when they arrived in heaven, they threw down before him there and they cried out, Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever, Amen".

Let this be the moment in our hearts that is the x-ray machine we pass all of our decisions and living through. Because all of human history is a bullet train heading to the throne of God. Anything we do that will cause us to be full of confidence on that day so that we can throw down our reward before him will be a wise choice in the grand scheme of things. And anything else is to miss out on the thing that we were created to do. Let me close by saying that Philippians 210 says that there is a day coming at the final judgment that every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. And so to choose to Barak in life is going to be a seamless transition into eternity where that's what everyone before the throne is doing. But make no mistake about it, whether you choose to live for Jesus in life or not, when you stand before him and see him in his glory at the great judgment that is coming for all of us for the Bible says to man it is to be born once and then to be judged upon death, appointed. You have an appointment. And if you don't worship God in life, you will find yourself having no choice but to acknowledge who He is.

And what I encourage you to do is to not wait until that day to do your bowing on the way to a priceless eternity, which is what the Bible describes as hell, to be separated from God forever. I take no pleasure in telling you that just as there is a heaven there is a hell. And the Bible presents it as a place that God doesn't want any of us to go to created it in His image. And so he allowed his son Jesus to be crucified for you and for me to pay the bill. Because the wages of sin assessed, so he died for your sins and died for mine. And if you trust in him and give your life to him, you won't have to worry about hell, but you also won't have to worry about living a life for your own glory. You'll be opened up to a life focused on the throne of God, focused on the glory of God. And then you can take your rightful place to do all you've been called to do. So I want to close this time out before we spend some more time singing by giving you the opportunity, if you never have to give your heart to Jesus. It would be an honor for me for us to pray with you as you make that choice. So let's bow our heads, quiet our hearts.

Jesus, thank you for loving us. Thank you for dying for us. Thank you that you condescended coming to this or coming down, bowing down for us so we could be exalted. And I pray that your spirit who's moving here would draw people to yourself.


And if as we're praying if you would say, "Levi, want to give my heart to God. I'm aware of the fact that life is racing by. It's a vapor. And I'm to be completely honest, not quite sure that when I die I'm going to go to heaven". And I want to tell you that you can be. The Bible is not about wishful thinking, it's about facts, not feelings, facts. And the facts of the matter are these. Whoever confesses the name of the Lord shall be saved. That's a fact. That's a promise. And Jesus proved that promise by coming out of the grave after he died. His resurrection though dismissed by many has never been disproven. And that's because Jesus is alive. He ascended to heaven. He sent His spirit. His spirit is the reason your heart is racing. His spirit is the reason many of you feel like this was just for you this message that God is speaking to you because he is.

And the Bible says that he knocks on the door of the human heart. And if anyone opens the door, he will come in. He will forgive your sins. He will cleanse you. He will help you to deal with all those bad thoughts and all those things and all those habits and all those strongholds in their time. But it begins with a relationship with God through faith. You say "Levi, you can't make me make this decision". I wouldn't even try. All I can do is tell you he saved my soul. And I want so badly for you to experience that grace. But the choice is yours. And I hope you make it now. So with heads bowed and eyes closed, please say this prayer out loud after me. Mean it in your heart, and God will hear you. Church family, pray with us, no one praying alone.

Dear God, I'm a sinner. I come to you with no excuses broken and lost. I'm afraid, but I believe that Jesus died for me that you love me and that the resurrection really happened. Please come into my heart, forgive my sins, be my Savior, and help me to live for you. Please fill me with your spirit and help me to orient my life around your kingdom in Jesus' name.

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