Levi Lusko - Ride the Lightning
Man, Life Church, it is so great to be with you. Who's excited to be in God's house this week? So good. I am such a fan of what God is doing through Life Church. And I don't say that word lightly, I'm truly a fan. I'm watching what God's doing from afar, just so excited, so engaged. And think about it, the church to God was worth Jesus. He spent Jesus. Like you, when you were lost in sin, you were worth Jesus to God. And so I think that we should give our lives for what God's gave the Son, His Son's life for? Anybody with me? I'm a fan, I'm a fan of Life Church.
God gave His Son's life to build it, and I'm gonna give my life to help add to it. I'm grateful for what you guys are doing and the way you're leading the way in so many ways. But especially as a young pastor looking at this church and seeing how you've gone and built and fought for people, and it's just so inspiring. And what we're doing at Fresh Life is, oh so much. We owe so much to you because everything that God does through you, you're doing. If you're giving here and serving here at your church, everything God does, as we get encouraged by the open... We get encouraged by using the Church Online platform. This is crazy, this should just blow you away.
At our church in Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, Utah, as we do Church Online every single week. People make decisions for Christ and digitally push that button to raise their hand up, and if you understood how God sees it, remember Mario Brothers? When he would get the coin and go one up over his head, you know? Rar rar rar rar. He gets bigger? Every time someone gives their life to Jesus at our church, using a tool that you guys gave away, that's credit to your account. So just so you're aware of what God is doing, and we're just one small example of the thousands of churches around the world who get to use the stuff that you give away. 'Cause who does that really? And that all comes from, of course, the leadership that God's raised up.
And so I think we ought to honor Pastor Craig and Amy Groeschel, there's no one quite like 'em, and Jenny and I are so thankful for them and the way they lead in their home, and the way they lead in the church, and the way they pioneer and just the tireless energy. And so I'm so thankful for 'em. And really grateful to be with you again as when I got to come the first time with Eyes of a Lion, that mini series was so much fun. I love it. And this time, the series that we're in, if you're just comin' in now, it's called Blood and Thunder. And we're talking about the recipe for revival. We're talking about how when God does something where He just moves in power, there's this multiple dimensions to it. And really you can understand it through a statement Jesus made. Jesus said that we ought to be as harmless as doves but we also ought to be as cunning as serpents.
That's one of those strange Jesus sayings that you nod your head to but you're like, "I have no idea what that means". That happened all the time. Jesus would be like, "The way I go you know, and how I'm gonna get there you know". And all the disciples were like, "Yes". But Thomas would raise his hand and be like, "We have no idea where you're going, and we have no idea how you're gonna get there". But I, for one, am grateful. Though people call him Doubting Thomas 'cause of this, I'm grateful that Thomas asked all those questions because Jesus clarified. He's like, "Oh, here's what I mean. I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life, and no one comes to the Father except through me".
Come on, let's hear it for Thomas askin' the questions, right? And especially when we think about Millennials and younger, if we, as those who are a little bit older, can understand all the questions they're asking, that's a good thing. Let's just teach them to ask it with the right spirit. 'Cause that questioning everything thing can be a game changer. And that's how innovation's done, and why did we do it this way? And it'll be, "Well that's just how we've always done it". Actually explain and maybe they'll go, "Well, 'cause it seems like you could actually". Listen, young people, if you ask it with the right heart, you're asking others could help us unlock something brand new and it could be how we change the game on all those things. So, it's pretty cool when those sorts of questions get asked. If I were there when Jesus said, "Um Jesus, what does it exactly look like to be harmless like a dove and be cunning like a serpent"? Because maybe Jesus would of said, "What I mean is, you gotta be a snake bird," right?
And you would say, my bracelet fell off. You would say, "What exactly does that mean"? And He would say, "Well, listen, you gotta worship like it's all up to me, but you gotta work like it's all up to you". You gotta be a snake bird. You see, 'cause a dove is a picture of surrender. And doves were offered sacrificially, so it was actually a picture of a blood offering. They would give blood and so that's a picture of saying, "God I need you to move in power. Change my city, change this nation, change this state. God work in my family, God, work generations from now that my grandchildren will be saved". Right? That's worship. Right? But then the snake, what's a snake do? Man, a snake's not just like surrender. Snakes are like, first of all, they're evil, but let's just sidebar that. Snakes, they got a plan. They're hunting, they're goin' to find a hot rock to lie on. They're figurin' stuff out, they're settin' traps.
Gah, you know? It's like ugh, I'm with Indiana Jones on the matter. But, I hate snakes. But I think this means then that we ought to have a mentality that's theological and logical. Meaning, we gotta work like it's all up to us but trust God like it's all up to Him. And both at the same time. So what does that mean? That means don't just pray for a job, hello, apply for a job. Don't just pray for a hot wife. Brush your teeth, pull up your pants, right? Ask a girl out. Amen from all the sisters? You gotta be a snake bird. Come on, shove your neighbor, say, "Be a snake bird". Right? Be a snake bird. And that's really a perfect picture of what we're talking about in the Blood and Thunder series. We're talking about how a move of God requires tears, sweat, and blood, and power from above. That's the only way we're gonna see what God wants us to see.
Last week, we saw a woman who poured out what she thought was perfume, but turns out, it was lightning in a bottle. She was the girl who was thunderstruck. It was a great time together. But this week, in our series as we continue it, I wanna talk to you today about how to ride the lightning. The title of my message is Ride the Lightning. Thanks Metallica, right? Ride the lightning. That's not only the title of this message, but that's also gonna be your assignment, Life Church. Your assignment from heaven is gonna be to ride the lightning as you live perpetually with this thunderstruck generous spirit, you're going to get to ride the lightning. If you have a bible, join me in two places. Matthew two and Luke two. Matthew two and Luke two. We're gonna look at two stories that are kinda connected to the Christmas story, but they both took place after the Christmas account. Two stories that kinda show us what happens when we live with this generous spirit. Because the truth is, none of us can command God's lightning. None of us are Thor. We can't raise the hammer up, you know, right? We can't command God's lightning.
I don't want you to, in this series, get the image in your head that God's lightning, His thunder, can be coerced, or commanded, or controlled. That certainly is not what we're suggesting. But what we are saying is that we can live in such a way to make our lives conducive to His power that from above is just waiting for the opportunity to move. Does not scripture say, "God's eyes are scanning to and fro on the earth, looking, looking, looking. Is anyone's heart upright towards me"? Now how do you live with your heart upright towards Him? Well let me tell you one major component of it, Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, your heart will be also".
So could you have a heart upright to God without a generosity in spirit, and generosity when it comes to your finances? I submit to you, you could not. Because you cannot have a greater heart for God than your finances bear witness. For if your finances were going there, your heart would go there. Question. When you invest in a stock, a certain stock, do you not check out that stock's performance regularly? When you buy something on Amazon, do you not track it compulsively? "Where's it at, where's it at? Where's it at, where's it at? Is it just me on that? Where's it at, where's it at? Where's it at, hm hm hm? Where's it at, dopamine? Where's it at, where's it at? Where's it at, ah heh heh, where's it". Your money went into it, so your heart followed. We care about what we put our money in.
So if God's eyes are scanning to and fro on the earth, He's goin' like, "I got lightning bolts. I wanna throw 'em down. I want my power to be thrown down". This is a picture of His power working in your life. I read recently there's eight million lightning bolts per day that strike our planet. A hundred a second. A hundred times a second lightning's hitting the earth somewhere. Hitting the earth somewhere. God wants to move in power. He's just sayin', "Give me a target, give me a target, give me a target". I'm tellin' you, generosity, here's kinda the heartbeat of the series, generosity puts a lightning rod inside your soul. It helps you get your inner Ben Franklin on. It puts a kite on a key, it puts a key on a kite, it puts it up in the sky. For a God who is constantly wanting to surge His power down, wanting to reach the earth, He desires that none should perish but all should come to everlasting life.
He's saying, "I'll use a church, I'll use somebody, who's gonna rise up in generosity? Who's gonna rise up with a passion for souls? Who's gonna say, God, here am I, send me? Who's gonna say, put the coal from the altar on my lips and cleanse me because I'm ready to go"? Who's gonna have the mentality that says, "God, here's my life, I surrender it. I give you my emptiness, I give you my future. As I go to college, as I go to work, as I go to school, put me in coach, I'm ready. I wanna be on a team, I wanna be in a group. I wanna build and expand. I wanna be a pioneer". And God, who's up there with the bolt of lightning, the power from above, He's just lookin' for that tears, sweat, and blood, so he can sort of bring what he wants to. So when you're, listen to me, when you're living that thunderstruck life out, giving the blood, that's your part. God's part is the thunder.
So when you've done all you can do and you've prayed for what He can do, you only have one job left. Wait for the rain and when it all hits, ride the lightning. Ride the lightning. And that's actually a scientifically accurate way to describe thunder. Thunder rides the lightning. Thunder follows the lightning. The sound of thunder is actual sound of lightning bolts super heating air as it pushes it's way through at the speed of light. It goes so fast it heats the air. How hot does it get? Well, we talked about last week. It gets about 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is five times hotter than the surface of the sun. So it's super caliente. So the air gets really hot, then really back cold and that causes the contraction, expansion thing, and that sound is what you're hearing. You're hearing the sound of air. Lightning's silent. Lightning's silent. It's the sound of air getting pushed away that you're hearing.
So it's chasing the lightning bolt, it's riding the lightning. That's what thunder is, and that's a beautiful picture, and that's what we'll get to do. And I'm gonna show it to you by connecting two seemingly unrelated Christmas stories. Alright? Check it out. Luke chapter two, Matthew chapter two. Here's what we read. It says, "And when eight days, were completed for the circumcision," circumcision? Yeah, I told you, blood and thunder. "The circumcision of the Child," see what I did there? Look what you made me do. "His name was called," thank you, Taylor, "His name was called Jesus". Back to the bible. Isn't that so weird how the old Taylor's dead and can't come to the phone right now? Can we just talk about how much of a weird right turn that was? I was like, "That was kinda goin' with it for a second". I was like, "Wait a minute, why did the old Taylor die? That's creepy". Shoop, some of you. Ask your kids.
"His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed," listen to this. "They brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord and to offer a sacrifice, according to what is said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves". That's two, if it's a pair, two turtle doves. We don't know anything about a partridge or a pear tree. But the true love gave to Jesus, for Jesus, two turtledoves. All right, moving right along, Matthew two now. Here's another story. It seems like it's not connected but I assure you they are. It says in Matthew two, verse one, both of these took place after Christmas already was done. I know I'm screwin' with your Nativity set here, alright, "Hold on pastor," yeah well, it's in the bible. So chill.
Verse one. "Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men came from the East to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him. And behold," verse nine now, we jump forward a little bit. You're like, "wait a minute, what happened in the intervening passages"? Herod was trying to kill Jesus so He can stay the king forever, and really, there's only two ways to live. Thy will be done or my will be done. And Herod refused to do what we must all do, and we will all do eventually, bow our knee before Jesus as King. Your only choice is whether you bow your knee in life or death. Because one day, every knee will bow, every tongue will confess. We'll stand before God and you'll have no choice but to bow before Him when you see His glory.
And so Herod did not want to bow his knee, so he instead decided, "I'm gonna kill this Jesus, I'm gonna kill this king". And so that's what he tried to do in the verses that we didn't read. But then in verse nine, it says, "Behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star," I love this, this is so cool. Underline it if you like to underline stuff, or highlight in your YouVersion app, right? "They rejoiced with exceedingly great joy". I love that, we'll come back to that, it's so good. "And when they had come into the house," see? They're not in the manger anymore are they? They're not in the stable anymore are they? Into the house, I'm screwin' with your Christmas, aren't I? Yeah, almost everything about your Christmas is wrong, God bless you.
"When they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense," what's the last one? Myrrh. Myrrh. That's a weird one. It's basically embalming fluid, all right? Thank you. I think? They didn't get that at Babies R Us, right? Funeral Supply Co. Verse 12, the bible's amazing. There's just so much weird stuff in here. You know Mary's had to smile and nod, right? Verse 12. "Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee". What's this next word? "To Egypt". Egypt. "And stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him. When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and he was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt I have called My Son".
Mary and Joseph, here, gave a gift. And then a little bit later on, we see another gift given. And I wanna talk about these gifts, 'cause that's kind of our heart here. We're talking about, in this series, how we can, above and beyond our tithing, which isn't truly giving, it's actually returning to God, what we can do by way of our life of generosity above and beyond our normal tithing, to really expand the Kingdom and make a difference in that way. How to live that thunderstruck life out. Giving the blood, believing God for the thunder. And I wanna kind of attack these two stories from three different lenses. So, if you take notes in church, which is so helpful to do, 'cause then you can remember it later, first let's talk about it from the perspective of contribution and capacity. Contribution, what you're giving, and capacity, what you've been given. Mary and Joseph gave a very small, almost despicable gift. At the circumcision of Jesus, which translation, our baby dedication would be loosely the equivalent, there's this token gift they give. Two turtledoves the text says.
Now what's interesting about that is they were actually in the law of Moses supposed to give a lamb and a dove. A lamb and a dove. But, there was provision in the law for the poor to participate. 'Cause God's heart is always, no matter where you're at, no matter what level you're at that you always can participate. That's why the tithe is so even. It's whatever you've been given, it's a 10%, or a tenth portion, the first tenth of that. So, the provision in the law said if you can't afford a lamb, which are pricey, I've never bought one, but I imagine, you could just, instead, give two turtledoves, and that's what Leviticus 12:8 says. "If she can't afford a lamb, she shall take then two turtledoves".
So, we know something about Mary and Joseph, they're poor. But still, they're participating. They're participating at the level where they could. Here's what you need to understand. God never holds you accountable for what someone else has been given. He never asks you to give what you can't give. He always measures your contribution against your capacity. But, listen to me, He actually does measure your contribution against your capacity. So what that means is, like a golfer's handicap being tabulated, what might seem like a huge gift to you or to me, as God sees things might actually be a very small gift after all. Think about this small illustration. I have two balloons here. I have one that's green and like a grenade. And I have another one that is electric red, right? And you think about it and you go, "Which gift is bigger? Which is the bigger gift of these two"? And you're like, "Well, the red one's obviously bigger, look at that".
"No, that's, oh man, wow. Look at that big giver, wow. That person gave a lot of, whoa". But there's a story in the bible where Jesus watched people give. By the way, Jesus always watches us give. And He watched them give and He saw some people come in and give big gifts. And He's like, "Wow, look, all that is happened, look at those big givers," right? And they were looking at all the big checks and, "Man look what they give out. Man, a $15,000 gift, that's huge". But then Jesus said He saw this little old lady come and she gave two mites. Pfft, think about what God wants to do through Life Church in the coming days. What does a campus cost? How many millions of dollars are gonna be spent on office supplies? Out of necessity because it's important? And the digital technology, all that. And sometimes we can almost despise our gift because we're like, "What is this gonna do"?
I remember when we were preparing for a year end offering in our church and our daughter had saved up $100, but as she was asking me like, "How much is it actually gonna cost"? And I was tellin' her the five million dollars for this and this, for this. And I could almost tell that she got a little deflated just thinking like, "What's my gift even gonna do"? But the truth is, this gift is actually much bigger than this gift. Because God doesn't measure the size of the gift. He measures the size of the stretch. You see, this gift is almost completely stretched. If I go any bigger, y'all, we're gonna have some thunder striking all up in here, give somebody a heart attack, alright? This gift though, I could go all day y'all. This thing, this person will not even feel this gift because it's not about what you give, it's about what you have that God has given to you. He measures your contribution against your capacity. He knows that the person who gives a token gift that's actually impressive by any account, you won't feel it. It would not rightly be called a sacrifice.
All of us should actually have the mentality that says "I will not give to God that which costs me nothing. He gave me everything, He gave me life, He gave me salvation, He gave me the Holy Spirit, He gave me a calling, He gave me my marriage back, He gave me a healing from alcoholism, He gave me strength, I'm not gonna give Him that which cost me nothing". If we're gonna use the word sacrifice to talk about a gift, that this is blood. If it's like, "I'm giving you, God, a gift that means something," we're gonna use the word sacrifice knowing He measures contribution against capacity. And that means, then, that just because you can't give a big gift doesn't mean you can't make a big difference. God sees your gift, and if all of us had the attitude that says, "Well someone else will give, someone else will give". Guess what? No one would give and nothing would get done.
And so all of us, of what we've been given, we're gonna give big of what we have in our hands. Second lens that we wanna come at this through is through the lens of sacrifice and supply. Jot that down. Sacrifice and supply. This was, thought it didn't seem like a big gift, this actually was a sacrifice for Mary, and I guarantee you it was a sacrifice for Joseph. Think about it. "Gosh, so we gotta get Jesus circumcised". And if I'm Joseph, like, put yourself in his sandals for a second you guys. You're walkin' up to the temple and you remember "Oh my gosh, we're supposed to give a lamb. We can't afford a lamb". And Mary's like, "We got an overdraft email from Bank of America last night. What are you talkin' about"? And he goes, "Well, we're gonna have to give the turtledoves then".
But then, as he's going to purchase them, you know part of him's goin', "Wait a minute here. Wait a second here. This isn't even my kid. This is technically Your kid. And let's think about things for a second here. What you've put me through, I'm getting made fun of, I've been cuckolded, like this whole thing that I've gotta live with, and let's talk about how somebody didn't even make a reservation for His Son's birth, right? No hotel reservation? You didn't help me out with the tax bill, Caesar Augustus, right? Oh how about the fact that we were saving for a wedding and now all of a sudden I'm takin' care of, like, where's the child support there? And I'm gonna pay you, now, an offering, This isn't even right. Right? No hotel? We had your Son in a cave. I wasn't asking for the Ritz, maybe the Red Lion of the Tribe of Judah Hotel or something".
Church jokes, guys, right? Settle down. So if I'm Joseph, I'm goin' like, "You pay me two turtledoves. I'll dedicate your son". So it was a sacrifice. And I love so much that in their heart, there's no trace of that you get. Out of their lack, having nothing, to honor God, with the very little that they had. Though it would cost them, as they would try and eat dinner, as they would try and live in the coming days, secure temporary lodging in the area, because we know they got into a house by the time the wise men came. So now, it's a stretch. Joseph is havin' to make tables, whatever he's doin' as a carpenter. "But we're just gonna honor God, we're just gonna honor God. This is our Savior, we're gonna honor God. Remember what Gabriel said, remember what God said. Let's just remember what God's done for us".
So they give these turtledoves. And they go their way thinkin' that's that. But they didn't hear it, but in heaven, God was sayin', "One one thousand. Two one thousand. Three one thousand. Four one thousand". Not many days later, ♪Ding dong♪ "Honey, someone's at the door". "Who is it"? "Um, you're gonna need to see this. There's like 300 camels out here. Like, for real. One of 'em's stretch. Camelach Escalade, it's right there. Spinners, spinners have been spinning". That's good right? So, Joseph comes out, Mary comes out, baby Jesus is in His little crib. And they open the door. We three kings of orient are, bearing gifts we traveled so far Mary's just like thunderstruck, for real this time, right? And these guys come in, and one after the other they open up chests of gold. Frankincense. The weird one, myrrh. And then they ask permission to bow down at the feet of Jesus, and then they worship, warn them to not go, "Get out of town y'all, Herod's psycho, cray-cray. Twitchy eye". They're like, "Guy's bad business. I don't know what that dude's all about. Bad deal, get outta here," right?
Okay, listen to this, listen to this, listen to this. They received the gold after they gave the blood. Why? Because five golden rings comes after the two turtledoves, Hey. So, here's what you need to understand. Here's what you need to understand. God could've given them the plan. "Hey don't worry about this sacrifice, don't worry about it. I've got these guys comin' in a couple weeks with cash for you". But God never tells us how He's gonna provide for us. But His promise is that where there's that spirit of sacrifice, He will take care of the supply. That promise is given to you in II Corinthians chapter nine, verse 10 and 11. "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way," how many ways? Every way, "so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God".
And that's Mary and Joesph. Man, they got chests of gold. Myrrh, just sprinklin' myrrh everywhere they go now, man. Makin' it rain everywhere they go to bless people. But had they had it before, the turtledoves wouldn't have meant anything. "Oh sure, you want turtledoves? You want five lamb, whatever, right"? ♪Baby back baby back, I want baby back baby back♪ You can all have ribs, right? But they did it when it was a stretch. And as you think about how you're gonna give how you're gonna above and beyond your normal giving, as you're gonna honor God for what He's done with gratitude, show it because love always gives. God's gonna, I guarantee it, allow some things that are gonna break in your life. Almost like right as you're about to do it.
I wouldn't be surprised if some of you are preparing your gift and the washing machine breaks. Dryer breaks, something goes wrong, something happens to the car, why? Because it's an opportunity to see if you're gonna trust God. That way it will really, truly be a sacrifice. Just as you're writin' the check, there will probably be somethin' that'll happen that'll cause you to think "No we shouldn't do it, we shouldn't do it, we shouldn't do it". If your hand doesn't shake as you write that check, you're not goin' big enough. I'm tellin' you something. There needs to be faith. If we don't wanna use the word faith, fine. Give some small little gift. But if we're gonna call it faith, let's go big, let's give big, let's change the world.
Let's do what God's called us to do. He will supply so that you can be made rich to do even more than you're doing today. So maybe this is why God takes it so seriously when we don't give. How seriously does He take it? Well, in Malachi, He uses the word robbery to describe not tithing. That's aggressive and forceful. And manipulative, probably, right? Really, is it? 'Cause what robbery are we even talking about? Sometimes I hear preachers talk about it and I'll actually get to thinking, I believe the text is exactly what it says, but I don't think it means what you think it says.
Does a robbery occur if you don't have anything less than you had before the robbery? Do you think God's saying "you're robbing Me" because money that should be mine isn't mine anymore? If God can't have any less, ever, did a robbery occur? I don't think so. Keep reading in Malachi. It actually says, "Test me and I'll open the storehouses of heaven and pour out on you treasure you won't even have windows to contain, capacity for". Listen, I believe what God's saying is the robbery is you robbing God of the only thing you can keep from Him, the right to bless you like He wants to. That's what you're robbing Him, You're robbing Him of the ability to bless you and to use you and to multiply you like He wants to. All right, so that's the sacrifice and supply. When we don't sacrifice, we rob Him of the right to supply.
There's one last lens we're gonna look at this through, the lens of price and privilege. There's a price to give. There's a price to change the world. It's not free to do church, it's not free to open campuses, it's not free to expand YouVersion, none of this is free. It's very expensive. But let me ask you this question. What's the value of a soul? What's the value of your soul? Because it was worth someone else giving so you could have this church to stroll into. It was worth someone else giving so you could be watching the Church Online the day you got saved. You're sitting, literally, in someone else's sacrifice right now, in the building you're in.
So there is a price, yes. But the privilege of giving always exceeds the price of giving. And that is why we bet the farm. That is why we are big thinking, big dreaming bet the farm risk takers. That's why we won't insult God with our safe thinking and small living, why? Because the privilege is really bigger than the price. And we save lives as we give. We're a part of God saving lives, literally. This church, over 300,000 decisions for Christ in Life Church history. Literally, lives being saved. Passing from death into life.
What is the value of 300,000 souls? It's gonna take millions and millions and tens of millions, though, to reach those that you still have not reached. 'Cause this church was not built for those who just are already in it. It's always gonna be a micro church and a mega world with a vision to reach those who are still outside. 'Til heaven is full or hell is empty, one of the two. And so, there's always gonna be a price. But the privilege is greater because when you think about getting to be a part of lives getting saved, pfft, pfft, say it with me, pfft. Pfft, right? You're child's in jeopardy, what will you pay? And that's the mentality of the Father who will stop at nothing to save the lives of His lost children.
Now what's so cool about the story is that we just don't see spiritually, figuratively, lives getting saved. But literally, actually, physically, in blood and life, life was saved by their gift. Let's work it through. Mary and Joseph are told to go where? Egypt. How do you live abroad when you can hardly afford two turtledoves? You fund it with a trunk of gold. You fund it by sellin' the frankincense. You fund it by sellin' the myrrh. Listen, they gave the two turtledoves, givin' the blood. God provided, with His provision when the wise men showed up with these trunks of items that were precious, He provided the thunder, and all the way to Egypt and back, they got to Ride the Lightning. Life Church, my question to you is if the wise men paid for Jesus to go to Egypt, where will your generosity allow Jesus to go, amen? Let's pray together.
Father, thank you so much for this time in Your word. Even now as we're speaking, we're just believin' You're touchin' our hearts. You're givin' us a figure, a way we can, in a sizeable way, get behind what You're doin' that will give us a greater heart for You.
At every single Life Church, as we're hearing this message, if you're responding to God, if He's speaking to you, or He's nudging you to step out in a big way, in a way of generosity to build God's house, and expand above and beyond, if He's talkin' to you right now, and you know it, would you just raise your hand up? If you're saying, "I wanna commit to, above my tithe, I wanna give in a significant way, to see the footprint of what this is doing expand, to see more lives touched". If that's you, maybe your way to come into this would say, "I'm gonna begin tithing. I can't give an offering," but you say, "I wanna begin to be faithful bringing God the tithe". If that's you I'm describing, just raise your hand up. Every location. Thank you, Jesus. Give us strength to live out what we're committing to in Your presence.
All of our heads still bowed, eyes still closed, you can put your hands down. I wanna give an invitation to anybody who's come in here today and you've never trusted Christ for salvation. And let me just tell you, we don't want anything from you. God has something for you. Salvation. The Christmas story is all about God bein' willing to come to this world so that His Son could grow up and die for you on the cross. If you're here, even if you're successful in your career. Even if you have money in the bank, even if you have everything made from a earthly perspective, let me ask you this question. Don't you feel that emptiness inside? Don't you feel like the world is not enough? Don't you lie awake at night sometimes wondering where you're gonna go when you die? Let me tell you somethin', there's a God in heaven who loves you, wants to save you. You are made for a person and a place. The person is Jesus, that place is heaven. Until you know Christ and are headed to heaven, things will never be right on the inside.
If you're here and you would say, "Man, I wanna give my heart to Christ. I'm ready to trust Jesus for salvation. I wanna be forgiven, I wanna go to heaven, I wanna live with purpose, on mission". If that's you I'm describing, would you just raise your hand up right now? Every single Life Church, just raise your hand up, raise your hand up right now. Raise them up all over the church. And if you're watching the Church Online, you can raise your hand digitally. God'll see you right where you are. Now for everyone of you, I wanna pray with you in a simple prayer as you ask Jesus to come into your heart. I'm gonna ask the church family to pray this with us, out loud. Our way of standing with you in this decision. Pray this to God. He will hear you, He will heal you and make you new. This is your day of salvation. Say this:
Dear God, I know I'm a sinner. I can't fix myself. I ask for you to come into my heart. Give me new life. Save me from my sins. Fill me with Your Spirit. Thank you for new life. I give You mine. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.