Levi Lusko - 800 Pounds of Grace

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If you have a Bible, turn to two places with me, Isaiah chapter 40 and Matthew chapter 10. Isaiah 40 and Matthew 10. You may want to jot those down. Title of my message is 800 Pounds of Grace. That's the title. You jot that down. I want to read to you a selection of versus from Isaiah 40 starting with verse 12, where it says, "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, measured heaven with a span, and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Behold the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales; look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing. All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless".

And then in verse 22 it says, "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. "To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal"? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing".

And then in Matthew 10, and this is a New Testament reading, we find in verse 29 Jesus speaking. "You can buy two sparrows for only a copper coin, not even one sparrow falls from its nest without the knowledge of your Father. Aren't you worth much more to God than many sparrows? So don't worry. Your Father cares deeply about even the smallest detail of your life". We're going to be spending the next seven weeks engrossed in a collection of talks that we're calling creed. Everyone say the word creed. Creed. The word creed is a Latin word, or credo, that just means I believe. So when we say creed, we're just actually nailing down what we believe. And the purpose of a creed is to basically articulate what is at the core of calling yourself a Jesus follower.

What is the engine that runs that? What does that actually mean? To say I've given my life to Jesus, or to say I'm a Christ follower, or to say I'm a Christian. What is contained within that? What are the beliefs that are wrapped up in that? And what we're going to be doing is answering that question. What is at the core? What is the essence of being a Christian? Or to put it another way, what's the irreducible minimum. Because there's so many different things that we could talk about. There's so many different things that we could speak about. So what is that which it can't get any further down then that. That's essentially what a creed seeks to do.

And we're specifically, out of all the different creeds, we're going to be looking at something that's been called the Apostles' Creed. Not because it was written by the apostles, per se, but because it's an encapsulation of that which Jesus' followers communicated at every single turn. So what we're going to do is going to start by just putting the whole thing up on the screen, and we're going to read out together, if you feel comfortable, you can read it with me. I'm going to read it out loud.

If you want to you can say it with me, and it's an opportunity for us just to begin by scanning this that we'll be looking at and using as our outline and syllabus for the entirety of this collection of talks. And if at any point as we're reading you go, ma, what does that mean, well we're going to get there. You just come back to church next week. We're going to get there. And if somebody else goes, like, well, what does that mean exactly? Or something that goes ding, ding, ding, that confuses me, or any clarification there, then do come back to church. Because we're going to get there. All right? So here's what we are talking about when we say the Apostles' Creed.

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

There's a story that's told that comes from Asia. I think India specifically is where it originated, and it's often told with a Buddhist bent to it. But it's a story about five men encountering an elephant. And these five men were all blind, and they all stumbled upon the elephant at the same time. Now how that situation came about, it begs so many questions. Like who were these people, and how did they meet this elephant. But of course, as the story goes, we're not given all of that back story. We're just given that five blind men walked into a bar. No they didn't walk into a bar, they bumped into an elephant. Maybe it was at a bar, we're not positive. But they all interacted with a different part of the elephant, and someone afterwards interviewed them and asked them what is an elephant like?

That's something that's essential to the story. They'd never seen an elephant before. Well, of course they were blind, so of course how would they ever see an elephant? But they were asked to describe what's an elephant. And because the first guy had stumbled into the elephant's trunk, and that's the only part that he got to touch, he said an elephant's a lot like a snake. It's like this long crazy thing that can twist every which way, because that was what he was touching. And the other one was near the back leg, and he described an elephant as a tree trunk. That's what an elephant's like, an elephant's like a tree trunk, because that's what he was touching.

And the other man who was at the center of the elephant, and he said an elephant's like a wall. He was just touching elephant stomach, which to him just felt like his big leathery wall. And so that's how he described an elephant. And so the point is that no one of them, based on what they were touching, could exactly get their head around what an elephant was, because they were all touching different pieces and parts of it. Now of course when that's told in a different setting or context, maybe the application might be different. But I think it's actually an appropriate beginning to the conversation about why would there be such a thing as a creed in the first place. And the answer is that the Bible has roughly 1 million words in it.

So just get your head around that for a second. And when we talk about I'm a Jesus follower, all right, what does that mean? Well, I believe in the Bible. All right, well there's a lot of verses in the Bible, and what exactly are we talking about? And what exactly am I sending the students in our church off to college, and off into life, like what is it exactly that you believe? What is at the core? And certainly we believe in the infallibility of the Bible, and we believe it's all God breathed, and we believe like Jesus did a higher view of scripture. And we're not going to have a lower view of scripture than our Savior. Because there will be those, oh, what about this part, or what about that part?

Well, let me just say something. If Jesus believed in the Bible, and we're talking about Jesus referring back to things like Jonah, hard parts of the Bible to swallow. Like Jonah. And he referred to Jonah as being actual historical, and put it on the same shelf of truth as his Resurrection. So when we start picking and choosing what parts of the Bible we like or don't like, and it becomes a little bit like a buffet, where we're kind of going through the Bible perusing for blessings, but certainly not liking certain things that are going to be more difficult to our modern sensibilities, or our sense of understanding, with the gasp, 40 years that we've had on this earth that we can't possibly believe that's true.

And now all of a sudden we're doubting the whole thing. It really becomes like a house of cards, right? Because if Jesus put Jonah on the same shelf of truth as his Resurrection, then where we're a quite a dilemma. And so when we talk about the million plus words in the Bible, it became quickly apparent to Jesus' followers soon after he left this world to go back to heaven, as we just said ascending back to the right hand of the Father from which He will come again to judge living in the dead. So it's really narrowed this down. What is this saying?

And so what we have in the creed that we just read is roughly 100 words that gives us the gist of the million words. It takes this big book and it nails it down into a bite sized, pocket sized, manageable frame of reference that we can say, what is it we're talking about if we call ourselves believers in the God of the Bible, if we say that we're followers of Jesus?

Well, here's what it means, and here's what it means, and here's what it means. And in these three paragraphs, here is what I believe about God the Father, here's what I believe about his son, and here's what I believe about this Holy Spirit, all the way into the end of the age, we're given the gist of it in a rather bite sized fashion. And the need was readily apparent in the year 140 AD when the first format of this creed that we just read was first put into motion. It was known as the old Roman creed, and it was developed in the city of Rome. Good one. And two things drove the creed being formed, and those two things were persecution and heresy. Persecution and heresy. A heresy, on the one hand, people began to look at the Bible, and well here's what I think that means, and they began to teach different things than what Jesus had communicated.

So heresies began to pop up about what here's what I think is really going on. Here's what I think. And so a different doctrine, a different gospel, a different body of teaching began to pop up here and there. And then the second thing was persecution. There was imperial persecution, there was of course still Jewish persecutions happening. And let me tell you something. People really want to know what they're believing if they're going to die for it. If I'm going to die for this, what am I going to die for? And so what they sought to do is to nail down and to codify and to put into a bite sized manageable packet what exactly it means to call yourself a follower of Christ, or a part of the body of Christ.

And so there were many different creeds. There were actually some creeds that are in the Bible, believe it or not. There's a creed in Philippians. The first creed that ever existed was Jesus Christ is Lord. Jesus Christ is Lord. It was the first and earliest creed. 1 Timothy chapter 3 is another example of a creed in scripture. It talks about Christ being seen by angels, received up in glory, manifest in the flesh. It's a cohesive statement. And this creed that we call the Apostles' Creed, it actually is an enlargement on the baptismal formula that Jesus gave to us at the end of his life on earth, before he ascended back into heaven. You know that that passage.

If you've been baptized in this church, it was spoke, and we baptized you in the name, singular, one God, of the Father the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, all three distinct persons, but one God. Not names of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The name, singular. One God who is revealed to himself as Father. You're just like, wait, I have a question, I don't understand that. Yeah, me neither. Right? But that's what God has told to us, and that's what God's revealed to us all throughout the Bible, beginning to end. Even creation when God said to Himself, let Us make man in Our image, it's intertrinitarian communication and community. God was modeling for us what he asked of us that we would be in community as his followers.

Is it possible to be a Jesus believer, but not to be a part of a local Church? Of course, but certainly not what God had in mind for you. And not what he himself modeled for you, even within his own relationship, and were made in his image. We were made for relationship. That's part of the DNA and the makeup of us spiritually and physically as well. And so what we have in the creed that we just read that we're going to be looking at is basically, I baptize you, Matthew 20 and 19, in the name of the Father, Jesus said to do this, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But we're saying, well, who is the Father, and what do we believe about the Son, and what's important to know about the Holy Spirit, and what is he doing in the earth until Jesus does comes back, as the second paragraph says he's going to. I know this is a lot. Some of your eyes are enormous. All right?

Now, you say to me, Levi, there's a lot of different creeds, so why would we pick this creed out of any of the creeds. Well, just as the Lord's Prayer has been called the prayer of prayers, this creed has been called the creed of creeds. So we're choosing to go with that. Plus Martin Luther said of this famous creed, the Apostles' Creed, he said, and I quote, "Christian truth could not be possibly put into a shorter and clearer statement," than these 100 words. If it's good enough for Martin Luther, good enough for me.

Now what is the creed good for? Here's a really important distinction. It is a consolidation, not an incantation. I need you to understand that. Some of you might have grown up in a religious context where this was almost like a Harry Potter spell that could be said into the darkness. But it is a consolidation. Do you get that? It is something big shrunk down into a little packet. It's fat guy in a little theological code, right? So this is what we have here. That's the creed. You heard it here, folks. This is God giving us the Tommy Boy gospel account of what, you're welcome, God bless you. I'll be here all week. All right? Thank you, you like that? So that's what we have. We have here a consolidation, not an incantation.

And I make that distinction because during the Middle Ages, it became the practice of monks in monasteries to began to repeat this at intervals throughout the day. And that led to almost a mindless reciting of this as though it were somehow a magic formula or somehow something that would just saying it in and of itself would have meaning or value. Which of course some of the things we're extolling in it certainly are not, hey, are there worse things you could be saying to yourself? No. Yes. Yes. Would it be bad to say this? No. And I would actually encourage you to memorize it. In preparation for the series our family, we memorized the entire creed. It just took us four weeks or so adding just a little bit at a time, and it's really a fun thing for us as a family to memorize them.

This is what we believe. This is what we really know. But its value is in consolidation. It's syllabus, right. It's created a syllabus of what we're saying we believe for Jesus' followers, but not an incantation. So this isn't something like saying it seven times a day, you guys, like wow, did you hear her? Cry Gabriel, get a gold star. Yes. What a good, nor is it punitive. Almost like, I think sometimes some of us perhaps grew up in a context where it was like, as discipline we would say something like this. Right? It's not meant to be disciplined, it's not meant to be punishment. What is it? It's education. We're saying, what do we learn? Here's what we learn, and there's value for our soul, there's value for minds.

That help out? That was just my sort of crash course before we began. To which you might say, all right, would would be the value then of all the things you could possibly spend time. Why do you feel that God would have us to spend, why is this worth our time? What's the value proposition? What you're really trying to say, I know you've never put it this way is, what's in it for me? And I think that there are a number of reasons, but let me boil it down to these four. First of all would, of course, be that this is an evangelistic tool. At least that's how it's been wielded throughout church history. An evangelistic tool. Because even as we declared these things, as we declare these truths, there's power these statements. Just seeing them on the screen and reading them out loud about who God is, what His Son has done.

This is the gospel, so of course you can't communicate the gospel without believing the Holy Spirit is going to use that to produce the saving of souls. There might have been someone in the church this week or at church online who even as we said that, God brought you to a place one step nearer saving grace. One step nearer salvation. You walked in here one way, but something loosened in your heart as you heard about Jesus Christ being crucified, died but then after being buried rising again on the third day, and ascending to the right hand of the Father. Chills down your spine as you think about the day when He's going to come again to judge the living and the dead. Hello.

So it's use, of course, would be evangelism, and we as a church every time we gather, everything that we do moves towards a moment of calling people who feel stranded in sin, helpless and stuck, hopeless and lost, full of despair and anxiety. But coming to life and liberty in Jesus Christ. And so we would spend this time, these seven weeks, this collection of talks would have as a goal that there would be an evangelistic thrust to this. That we're doing what anyone would do if you ate at a new restaurant or found a new app, or bought clothes from a new store, you'd recommend it to a friend. Throughout the weeks of this series you can expect me to profusely, unapologetically, and hopefully clearly recommend Jesus Christ to you as the savior of your soul, as the lover of who you are, not who you wish you were. Who you actually are. That he wants to work in your life.

And I hope you'll know as you consider the people that you bump into in life, the people who you know, that you'll think about who you could have with you in the weeks of this series to be sitting beside you as they would hear someone on a stage, imperfectly but with all their heart, point to Jesus Christ as the only hope of humanity. And as we of course give on ramps for people to say, hey, I'm in. I want to give my heart to Jesus, too. Would that be cool? And we're going to be going like, no, you can't. Seats taken. Joking! We're going to say come on in, there's room for one more. Anybody with me on that? All right. So that would be like a potential good. So someone could get saved. That's awesome. How about education? For those of us who have made that decision to give our lives to Christ, to actually buckle down and learn, and figure out and understand what the Bible says, and why we believe what we believe, and what these things are that matter.

So of course, education and growth and sanctification as Jesus' followers. But then I think it's also valuable for unity. For us to understand there is a lot of churches in the world, but the powerful thing about this is it really, really shows where there's unity. What out of all those who believe this or believe that, or wherever, there's a unifying and clarifying that we can agree on these things. We may not agree on every point of how this is done and how that's done. But at the end of the day, we can look at the whole world and go, hey. Hey, look. Do you believe these things? We do too. Then guess what, we're a part of the God's family, too.

We're a part of the holy or Catholic church, or is it's better rendered, this is universal work of Jesus' followers all around the world who trust Him and follow Him, and it's powerful in unity. That we can say, hey, look, we don't agree on everything, but we agree on this. And then we have more in common than we do apart. So there's a powerful work of unity that it is. Plus I think this is the last one I'm going to really spend just a second on. Because actually this isn't even my message. We haven't even begun to fight. We find in it an anchor to the past. A rich, a rich anchor to the past of all those since Christ ascended to heaven who have called themselves, lived on this earth and died and called themselves Jesus' followers.

For since the year 140 AD when the old Roman creed really began to give way to this expression of the creed, we as we said those words are linking up with 1900 years of people, who with oxygen from their lungs have spoken out those words as a statement of their faith. That's pretty cool. I'm like in awe that we would get our turn at the wheel. Because just as we one day will go to heaven, they're there now. And they had their turn on this earth with the baton in their hands. And the question I guess they're asking and the world's asking is, what are we going to do with the baton of this gospel message that's in our hands right now, that angels desire to look into? All I'm trying to get to see is we're living out dead men dreams, right?

So let's not mess it up. Let's give it all we got while we have our turn. And then the day will come when we will hand this baton on. Unless Christ comes back in our lifetime. So that's really kind of in a nutshell, what the creed is, and why it matters. And there's also this. I mean we could talk about how I believe that what you believe determines how you behave. So there is a value in looking into these things. There's a value in, I hope if I've given anything as the time that I've had the chance to serve as your pastor that I've hopefully raised your love of God's word. That I hopefully have, the greatest compliment you could give is that it makes me want to dig into God's word. Makes me want to understand it more. Makes me want to search these things out.

And so I believe in a high view of scripture and understanding these things more than that just living it out, though. Because you can know a lot but not do anything with it. So hopefully it's like, oh, that's awesome. Now go do something about it, dummy. Hopefully that's what you get from me, too. So you love me a little bit, hate me me a little bit more. It's OK. I got thick skin. And then I do. Because I go on the internet. Sometimes. All right, so this is kind of the last thing I'm going to say introductory, then we'll jump right in. And this is just, let this ring in your heart. A.W. Tozer., he said that "A church will only be as great as its conception of God".

And so this would be a reason that we're going to spend some time on these matters, so that our conception of God would get bigger, so that God can do more through us. What are we going to talk about today? We're going to talk about I believe in God the Father, almighty, creator of heaven and earth, in a message I'm calling 800 pounds of grace. My outline is just two simple things. So real easy to get. First we're going to talk about God as a mighty creator, then we're going to talk about him as a merciful father. Mighty creator and merciful father. There's an old idiom that you've probably heard and come across, and the idiom is a question. And the question goes like this. Wait, where's my hairbrush, no that's not it. Where, oh where does an 800 pound gorilla sit?

And before you answer that question, I don't want to hear any answers. I want to present for your consideration as you think about where an 800 pound gorilla could sit, an 800 hundred pound gorilla. Actually is probably more like 600 pounds, because that's as big as they get, but you get it. An 800 pound gorilla. He's thinking, where am I going to sit? Where am I going to sit? Where is a chair big enough to handle my weight? Where does an 800 pound gorilla sit? And the answer, of course is, any where it wants to. And it's not going to ask to you. It's not going to check with you, it's not going to ask if someone was sitting here. Whose coat does this belong to? That fool is going to sit down wherever he wants, and you are going to get out of his way. No, I was sitting here. Right? You're going to move, right, because he will sit wherever he wants.

If you look in the dictionary, an 800 pound gorilla is defined is "one that is dominating or uncontrollable because of great size or power". In other words, God is the 800 pound gorilla, par excellence. I mean there's nobody, the description we read in Isaiah, does it not present God? Could it not just say, Isaiah 40, God's awesome, and really huge, and does whatever He wants. That's what he was really saying. He's uncontrollable, he called the stars out by name. Casual The sun is 92 plus million miles away from us, and is the closest star that we know about. And this morning, if it's not cloudy where you are, you could stand and feel the warmth from it. 92 million miles away, and you can feel the warmth of it. And it's not even that big of a star.

You know that? There's a star called Betelgeuse, and Betelgeuse is not only a show that traumatized my childhood, it's also a star that is 700 times bigger than our sun. They could fit a million earths in the sun, but Betelgeuse is the biggest star we found, and it's 1,700 times bigger than our sun. Did you know they estimate that there are stars so big that it would be able to fit our entire solar system inside of them. And we have this universe that we know is enormous and expanding, and they estimate it's 46 billion light years across the universe. And the Bible says, God measures it with the span of his hand. And it all came out of his mouth. And that's why the scripture said, who are you going to in that category? Right? Who thinks they're in his weight class? And it's just a joke. It's a comic joke to speak of God as anything but a mighty creator.

And Bible speak, by the way, in Bible speak heaven and earth is shorthand for everything that exists. So is there something? Yeah, he made that too. When we say I believe in God the Father Almighty, omnipotent, all power, He created everything that's ever been a thing. If there's a thing that you could think of, you're like what about that thing? He made that too. And if, by the way, James Webb, the telescope that's going to replace Hubble. That's going parked a million miles away from us, and be opened up and unfurled, and hopefully see, they say, as far as to where or wherever the universe came from. Science calls it the Big Bang, Genesis says God spoke. But however you call it, there was an explosion. And I'll bet you there was a Big Bang, too.

And so we have all that is, and they say that James Webb is going to be able to see to wherever that was. It's so powerful, the optics on James Webb that if it was on the earth it would be able to see not only a bumblebee on the moon, but detect its heat signature, too. That's my face I make when I hear stuff like that. The heat signature of a bumblebee on the moon from the earth. Follow NASA on Instagram, there's some stuff, man. It's coming, it's amazing. SpaceX, the first crew capsule. NASA, my friend who's an astronaut is telling me they're gearing back up to be back on the moon in five years, on Mars in 20. It's unbelievable. But all the stuff that we see while we're out there, breathing in our little suits that give us just a few minutes out there, God's like, yes, spoke it, so. Mighty creator of heaven and earth.

Nehemiah 9:6 says, "You alone are the Lord". How many lords are there? "You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that's on it, the seas and all that's in them. You give life to everything and the multitudes of heaven worship you". Now of course it takes faith to believe in God, because you never met Him and I never met Him face to face, because we would melt. There's that, right? Why doesn't God just peek out and show us? Because it would be like Indiana Jones and the Raiders Lost Ark. It would be nasty. We would need a mop, OK? So that's why. And also because it's impossible to please God without faith.

So what does it take to believe that God is the creator of the heavens and the earth? Listen to me, it takes I believe. Credo. It takes a creed. It takes I believe. But even if you don't believe that there's a God, listen to me, you're still exercising faith. For it's been said and well said, I believe in God, and I don't believe in God, are both statements of faith. So to believe that an intelligent being created all that there is, or to believe that nothing created something, both take faith. And Hebrews 11 verse three, says it's "Faith that empowers us to see that the universe was created and beautifully coordinated by the power of God's words! He spoke and the invisible realm gave birth to all that is seen".

So we believe... what do we believe? That God created the world, and why do we do that? Based on the clues. We can't find proof, but we can find clues. And look into it, there is overwhelming evidence to build a case for the existence of God, and that God created the world, and that God created you. And that's what the Bible says creation tells us day and night, and as we look into the evidence within our own souls, the questions that we ask, all of that, we find clues to help us make the faith filled decision to believe what the Bible says about who God is, and that is the all mighty creator of everything, including yo-self. All right?

But what the creed then goes on to suggest, and what the Bible attests to, and the reason we went from Isaiah 40 to Matthew chapter 10, is that we're not left there, unbalanced, like a body builder who skipped leg day, or a professional cyclist with tree trunk quads and Tyrannosaurus arms. What we have is a balance filled out symmetrical picture of God, not only as the mighty creator, but also amazingly our merciful Father. That that mighty creator, who calls out the stars and in a basket can measure all the dirt that's on the earth, he also has condescended in humility to love tiny little, built out of dust, filled with his lungs, if he snaps his fingers is bigger than Thanos, right, the whole world never was.

He snaps this fingers, I'm telling you something, the moment he wills it your heart starts beating, Bubba. Right? You big and strong with a big bank account? One stroke, it's over. I'm telling you something. One car, it's fleeting, it's a vapor. You and I are not powerful. God is not impressed with the strength of a man. In 100 years it's like we were never here. 1,000 years the etching on your tombstone isn't even legible. I'm telling you something, God is powerful, God is Almighty, God is strong. But that powerful, rich dynamic, God's your merciful Father who counts little birds falling. Counts every bird that dies on this planet, and you mean more to him than a bunch of birds. That God also invites you into this loving relationship, this beautiful dance, this incredible life where you get to call Him Dad.

How did Jesus tell us to pray? Oh mighty mega God who builds everything. No, no, no. He should. You shouldn't even get to talk to Him, nor should I. He said, if you want to pray, don't be using 9,000 theological words to impress everybody with your amazing biblical grammar. O, Father, God, mighty Lord. Mm. My sigh was deep. He's like awesome. Cool. Wow, look at you go. If you want to pray, pray like this. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. You're in heaven, but you're my dad. Now two things, of course, he gives us as earthly dads. Those of us who have had good dads, we immediately are happy in some ways, because we think man, of God's like my awesome dad. Or maybe not your dad, maybe someone else's dad. Maybe a good father that you knew or have seen depicted.

What is God like? God's like a good father. But I love also on the other side of that, it tells us who want to be good dads, what should we be like? If we want to be good dads. Be like God. What do you see God do? Be like that. All of this power, but what do you choose to do with it? Serve us, love us, care for us. And I love in it then we get redemption for those who perhaps you did not have that father. In God the Father you have you have the father you never had. All of us have in him and a mighty, but merciful father. And not just any father, this is the part that really gets you. Not just any father. Your adopted father.

That because of what his Son did, you've been invited into the family to have the same relationship with the mighty creator that Jesus, His Son, demonstrated for us when He was here on this earth, that we get to come and based on the Son. Because the Son gets to Him like the friend, I'm telling you, if you're good with my kid, you're good with me. He's, you know what I'm saying? If you understand how much the Father loves the Son, and what are you doing here? I'm with Jesus. Cool, come on in. You hungry? You see what I'm saying? That's the invitation that the Father gives you. And He's chosen to adopt you into the family based on what his Son Jesus did for you on the cross. And an adopted father had a choice, and didn't have to invite you in.

So if you're a Jesus follower, you have a father who wants to be your father. He wasn't stuck with you because that's just you came out, and that's well, I guess I got gotta take care of you. Another mouth to feed. No he went through all the trouble to adopt you and bring you into a relationship with him. What am I trying to get you to see? I'm trying to get you to see that God is mighty. Right? Mighty 800 pounds of might, 800 pounds of sit wherever He wants. Does whatever He wants. Doesn't check with anyone. No one's like Him, no one's even in the same conversation, and with all that power coursing through Him, power that He could use to rip your arms up, He instead spread His arms out on the cross, and chose to die for you, to save you, to lavish His love upon you.

I'm telling you, with all of his 800 pounds, He chose to give you grace. And that's what's so amazing about our great God. But that sword, it cuts both ways. Because if we want to acknowledge Him as our maker, that then acknowledges that He also must be our master. Can't have one without the other. What if you said, Levi, come in, but Lusko stay out. Wait, hold on. Because all of God's attributes are who He is, not what He does. So you can't acknowledge God and have him as your father, but without then having him as your creator.

And that then makes you accountable, which is why I think so many people are eager to reject there being a God, because they realize deep down that then makes them accountable to him as God. But it doesn't need to be that way. The bridge between the two, you can't do anything about the God as you creator. But you don't have have him as your father. That's up to you. And what bridges that divide the answer is your faith. If you're willing to put your faith in Him, you get to be called sons and daughters of God. Would you bow with me in prayer?

Father, thank You for this time studying your work, and thank You for this rich opportunity You set before us to examine our faith, and then to make an entrance into this life of faith that we get to stand in. And I pray for everyone at every location, even now, who's heard this message and has watched sunsets, and has lied awake at night asking big questions that no other animal, no other mammal, no other fish, no other bird asks. Questions about guilt and forgiveness, purpose and direction. Wrestles with injustice in the world, that honestly make no sense if we're just the product of chance. We care passionately about people's rights not being trampled upon. That's because we recognize the dignity and the value of being made in Your image. And those things on the inside of the secret signature of our soul pointing to you as our supreme Savior. There's the kill switch that when pulled, that relationship when not there causes us to always be haunted by a question we have no answer to. And I thank You for my friends here in this moment who are going to make a step towards You with faith, and will find You flooding in to give them grace.

If you're here, as we're praying every location, church online, and you would say, you know what? I don't have a relationship with God, but I want to. I want that creator to be my loving father. If that's you I'm describing, I'm going to say a quick prayer, and I'm going to ask you to pray it with me. And as you pray it out loud after me, the church family's going to pray with you, just to show you that we embrace you into the family. As you say these words, make them your own. God will hear you. Right there in your soul. Say this.

Dear God, I know I'm a sinner, and I can't fix what's broken. Thank you for Jesus who died for me, and rose from the dead. I make Him my Lord. In Jesus' name I pray.

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