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2021 online sermons » Levi Lusko » Levi Lusko - A Wing and A Prayer

Levi Lusko - A Wing and A Prayer

Levi Lusko - A Wing and A Prayer
TOPICS: Prayer, Protection

Levi Lusko: Hey, Levi and Jennie here. And we're so excited that you're tuned in to this message from Fresh Life Church. This is the kickoff for the Spitfire fund. And we're talking about how the British people all came together to build these airplanes, just like the children of Israel came together to build the Tabernacle. And how we're fighting together, from the whole Fresh Life family online, every single part no matter where you're tuned in from. We're dreaming together about what it can look like as we end this year to be positioned to see God do even more in 2021.

Jennie Lusko: That's right. We're so excited as a family and as a Church to get to be a part of what God is building as we're giving above and beyond what we normally give. And to get to invite you to be a part of that is really exciting and super special.

Levi Lusko: Yeah, regardless of where you're at and what that could look like. We talked about how the British people would know that they could give it was only six pence, it could buy a ribbet. If they had this many shillings it can purchase so many screws. Or you had 2000 pounds it could purchase a whole Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. But the whole plane takes every one of those pieces. And your gift this year could look like $50 or $500 or maybe you can give a gift of $50,000 or more. Whatever it looks like. It's about us all coming together with this vision. And people are going to be giving on December 6, but you can participate at any point between now and the year end. And we just welcome the collaboration that's going to come together as we all dream about what the Spitfire fund could look like in God's hands. God bless you, thank you so much for praying about what your part could look like.

This is the Spitfire fund, and it begins right now. If you have a copy of the scriptures, join us in the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament. We'll be jumping around a little bit, but I want to start with a title of a message that I'm giving to you called a wing and a prayer. A wing and a prayer. That's the way we talk about something that is we're trying it, and I don't know how this is going to work, but we're just going to give it our all. We are coming in on a wing and a prayer. Not at all what you want to hear your pilot say over the intercom as you come in on approach. We're coming down at 30,000 feet, and we are hopefully going to make it to the airport on a wing and a prayer. It's like excuse me, what did what did he just say. Yes, I would like one more bag of peanuts, just yes, right. And we're going to look at in the scriptures in just a moment what is unquestionably the first example of kickstarting something ever.

I don't know how your experience has gone with Kickstarter. I've had good, I've had bad, and I've had the ugly. The ugly would be the couch for sure, right Jennifer. The couch would be the ugly. I was so excited about this couch that I saw on Kickstarter. It was different moldable pieces to it that you could put together. You could take it upstairs easily. You could have in different configuration. It was a smart couch, which was so exciting for the plugging in of devices. A smart couch, what are you talking about? Take my money, please. And so I did. And I was one of many people who backed it. And then the time came when it was fully funded. And then the time came and was supposed to deliver. I probably got 97 Kickstarter update emails with all the reasons why their factory in Taipei and this problem and Ralph and then you know finally, it finally shipped. And was like I have shipment notification. And that was just the beginning of troubles.

This was now, oh the truck got broken into, and your package was the only one that got stolen. I mean it was shipped, but did it? Did it really? Because that's not how UPS usually rolls, and I don't think. And I mean it was, I'd I kid you not, I think a full 13 months after I was supposed to have it, that a broken and battered box, or collection of boxes I said I should say, arrived on our doorstep. And long story short, none of the pieces assembled properly. There were things that were supposed to go into each other they were male to male that should have been male to female. And here's what the best part of all was. What they meant by smart was that they had staple gunned an extension cord underneath the bottom of this couch. And an end of it, I'm not even joking, just stuck out the end of it. A big nub of an extension cord. It was like, oh you can plug anything you want into this couch, and it is a smart couch. And so my wife that, was the first experience she ever had with my foray into Kickstarter. She was not, shall we say, a big fan. And anytime I mentioned the words she kind of gives me the look it's like is it going to be like the couch, is it going to be like the couch.

We still have that couch by the way. I fought tooth and nail with that company to get every piece that was supposed to come. And I refused to throw it away only out of principle because of the anguish this couch has put me through. So it's in Lennox's room. So we're going to see something that is Kickstarter gone right. And this is the spirit of a lot of people coming together on a project that is at the heartbeat of Indiegogo and Kickstarter and GoFundMe that has gone the world over. But this is really honestly where it all begins. This is Exodus 25. Just to bring you up to speed, the children of Israel have come out of Egypt. And they are going to eventually go into the Promised Land. But before they do that, God wants to cast vision to them.

So their first stop is to Mount Sinai. The same place where Moses originally had God speak to him out of the burning bush. And it would have been an incredibly emotional encounter for him to hear God say, hey, remember when I called you? Remember when you were a scared shepherd, and remember how I made some promises to you? And have I not brought you out of Egypt, and delivered you and carried you on eagle's wings? And now as Moses comes full circle, and now is standing in the goodness and the promises of God, God begins to tell him and the people of Israel by extension, how this new society is supposed to operate. How they're going to be a light to the whole world, how they're going to be a blessing to every single nation. And so one of the things that God has them do is prepare the Tabernacle. And here's exactly how God says this building project is going to go.

This is Exodus chapter 25, starting in verse 1. It says then the Lord spoke to Moses saying, speak to the children of Israel that they may bring me an offering from everyone who gives it willingly with his heart, you shall take my offering. And he tells him some of the items that they're going to bring. And then in verse 8 he says, and let them with these things they've given, make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is the pattern, someone say pattern, the pattern of the Tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it. And then in the passages the separate that to what we're going to read next, he gives them more details about what the pattern is. And what the things are that are going to be made, from the table, to the tent, to the outfits the priests would wear, to the basin, to the altar, to how the Ark of the Covenant would be. Every single piece and part, candlestick and part of the inventory of this Tabernacle that they're going to make is described in excruciating detail.

And then the offering time finally comes in Exodus 35 and in verse 20, this is now a whole 10 chapters later. And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing. And they brought the Lord's offering for the work of the Tabernacle of meeting, for all its service and for the holy garments. They came both men and women, as many as had a willing heart. And they brought earrings, and nose rings. Rings and necklaces. All jewelry of gold. That is every man who made an offering of gold to the Lord. And every man with whom was found blue or purple scarlet thread, fine linen, goat's hair, red skins of rams and badger skins brought them.

Everyone who offered silver or bronze brought the Lord's offering. Everyone with whom was found acacia wood for any work of the service brought it. All the women who are gifted artisans spun yarn with their hands and brought what they had spun of blue or purple scarlet or fine linen. And all the women whose hearts were stirred with wisdom spun yarn of goat's hair. The rulers brought onyx stones and the stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And spices and oil for the light, for the anointing oil, for the sweet incense. The children of Israel brought a free will offering to the Lord. All the men and women whose hearts were willing to bring material for all kinds of work which the Lord, by the hand of Moses, had commanded to be done.

And Father, thank you for these verses. Thank you for these stirring stories of Your servants who did such beautiful things. Took such normal items and offered them to you. And in your hand, these little things all added up together to something that were far more than the sum of their parts and pieces. And I thank you that in the years of our Church, the now almost 14 years of our Church, we have watched you do the same again and again and again. And we are grateful, we are eager, we are excited as we stand in this historic year, God, a crazy year, a stressful year, a wild year, an unpredictable year, but a year where we have watched you move in power. And where you have proved yourself faithful. And where we believe you are working in our midst. And we're like never before. What is needed is the people who call themselves by Your name to live without fear, but rather trusting in you. And living lives of faith and beauty and service in this world. That we know we live in and serve but is not ultimately our home. So I pray You would help us to keep our hearts and minds on You. And I ask this all in Jesus' name. And we say together amen.

It was June of 1940, exactly 80 years ago this summer, that Hitler accepted the surrender of the nation of France in a boxcar in a moment that marked what was to be just about the end of democracy in Europe. With now a full third of Europe under Nazi control. Britain remained the final holdout, the final gleaming example of democracy in all of the continent. And Britain was in it alone. You see America viewed, right or wrong, the war as Europe's problem. And so scarred and traumatized by the effects of World War I, the Great War, they wanted nothing to do with it. They viewed it as Europe's problem, you guys got to deal with it on your own, though Roosevelt kind of knew and sensed and tried to awaken everybody to the growing danger that was Adolf Hitler, that was this whole Nazi empire that was brewing, that was building. America was for the time being out and would remain out until the events of Pearl Harbor. And so here is basically all of Nazi Germany bearing down on England.

And Winston Churchill was the one who knew that England needed to stand up. What Germany wanted to happen, suspected would happen, and hoped would happen, was that Britain would do the same thing as France had done. And that it would just be to surrender without a fight, and he could continue. Churchill knew that he had to stop Hitler. That Hitler had to be stood up to. And that if Hitler wasn't stopped from taking over England, both England and the United States and the rest of the world, in his words, would sink into the abyss. He knew that Hitler was a tiger. And you don't turn a tiger into a kitten by petting it. He knew that appeasement was an absolute fantasy. And so he knew that Hitler had to be stopped from taking over England. Under no condition must England surrender.

And really, the whole fate of the world now was hanging in this one question. Could Nazi Germany be stopped from taking over Britain. Which Hitler was already drawing up plans for an invasion. He called it Operation Sea Lion, because it was going to be amphibious and aerial. And it all was contingent and predicated upon could he achieve air superiority over the UK. And for that to happen his air force, the Luftwaffe, had to be able to take out Britain's Royal Air Force. And that means that the only thing then ultimately standing in the way between England and Germany, thus between Nazi Germany and the whole world hanging in the balance, was this airplane right here. The Supermarine Spitfire. Which coincidentally, had taken its maiden voyage, and then its first flight ultimately after production.

This is Mark 1 of a series of Mark versions of it that were to be released. On the day that Hitler entered the Rhineland and the world really began to see that he had evil stirrings inside of him that were completely as opposed to everything he said publicly on his PR campaign about how he was just the nicest guy ever. And so this plane that was released that was faster and more agile, climbed quickly, went 400 miles an hour, had eight machine guns. That really was released at the time when England needed it the most. It was what was standing in the way from Hitler achieving air superiority over England, and thus the world descending into, hello, the abyss. If he could control the skies over England, he could take England out. Like the devil, Hitler knew that if you want to get a choke hold, first you got to get a strong hold. And the strong hold is always that elevated position.

And so he sought to control the skies over England. But fortunately, the Supermarine Spitfire was unleashed in the skies. And it has been rightly called the plane that saved the world. The plane that saved the world. Because of this plane and the other planes that flew in the Royal Air Force of the time, Churchill and the UK managed to keep Hitler at bay all throughout the 57 days of the Blitz, where the Nazis rained down day after day after day for 57 days in a row. Bombs on London, the six months of the Battle of Britain. And basically kept Hitler from taking over, even at times it was like a razor thin edge, but kept Hitler from taking over England.

Thus on June of 1944, just four years later, from British soil that had been kept from him, the Allied forces were able to launch successfully the Operation Overlord, which of course, eventually led to the tide turning and Hitler losing all of Europe. But it started with this airplane. A plane that was in its day much more than an airplane. It became a symbol. It caused people to experience the power of, first word we're going to write down today, vision. This plane, it cast a compelling vision. It was more than a plane, it was a symbol. It was the symbol of grace, gallantry. It became a symbol of triumph and courage, of sacrifice and innovation. This airplane, the Spitfire, became essentially synonymous with the British spirit of refusing to be bullied, of refusing to capitulate. And even if we do go down, we're going to go down swinging. And these will be moments marked by our finest hour. It was said that this airplane was going to be a terror to our enemies and a shield for our homes.

And it's that that gave the British people such a galvanizing identity throughout these horrific days, of which in the period of the Blitz alone, 30,000 people just in the city of London lost their lives from bombs raining down on them. And yet that spirit of continuing on and keeping calm, of carrying on, that resolve and that we have to do what we can that marked what we think of when we think of the Battle of Britain, and that resolve of the British people all throughout that incredible time. Until America finally got the memo and came along. They kept things held down firmly. It inspired vision. And that's what we see in the Exodus account. We see people, before we talk anything about what they did to give, and what they rose up to do, we have to see that it was all in response to compelling vision. God said, and I quote, "I'm going to dwell among them".

Who would not want to give towards that? God's promise for there to be a place where He would meet with them. Because as we read about it happening, was all going down at Mount Sinai where it was so scary. And there was flashes of lightning and terror. And the people kind of stood at bay. But what God was saying here was that I'm going to show you a place that I'll dwell with you, a place where you can come to me with Me. I want you to have a place where you can have an identity as My people, and to know that there's going to be hope. Somewhere to go to ask for forgiveness of your sins, somewhere to go where you can know I will hear your prayer. The God of all Creation, I will meet with you at this spot. You can know I will be there to hear your prayer. And really, I think that's ultimately what we're giving towards as a Church, as a people.

As we together, as Fresh Life Church, all of us give throughout the year. As we give our tithes, as we're faithful to bring our offerings, what where giving towards is a vision, a vision of a place that's marked by a people who are called by God's name. Who believe so strongly in a call to see those who are stranded in sin find life and liberty in Christ. It's bigger than a building, it's more than a webcast. It's about people being called out of sin, called out of darkness, called out of fear, and called to know Jesus. And I mean marked by Jesus, and to carry the gospel of Jesus into the world. It's a vision, a vision that in the World War II era, caused there to be so much fear of this airplane. Of what it was like to be in a dogfight with a Spitfire, how was so much more agile than other planes. So much more faster, or how it took off so quickly rose and ascended so beautifully? How it was such a terror that it gave comfort to the Brits who would hear the sound of it.

They knew that they had these aircraft in the air that were fighting against the Luftwaffe planes that were coming in to drop bombs on their head. They knew that they had a safety net over them, a shield over them. But it also was a terror to their enemies. And the Germans actually were so afraid of the Spitfire that they would actually lie. If they were shot down by a Hurricane or any other plane that was sent against them, they would be like when they would talk about it later, what was it, for sure a Spitfire. It's like it actually wasn't a Spitfire, but it gave them such street cred, oh you got shot down by a Spitfire. And so there was like a reported story, they get shot down but they would just make it up. Like it was a Spitfire. It just terrified them. One of the most chilling statements that came out of this era was the Achtung Spitfire that the German pilots would say into their radios if they saw a Spitfire coming, Achtung Spitfire, watch out Spitfire. They would warn each of this plane.

And that's what God said to Moses. He said as you go into this land, as you go to develop this place, I'm going to consider to be fear in the hearts of your adversaries. And that's indeed what they found when they got to Jericho, they were scared of Jericho, but Rahab said our hearts melted like water when we found out that you were coming against us, because we know you have God who's on your side. And that's how we have felt these years. The things we're doing, yes, they're scary and they're big, they're bigger than we are. But we know that the One who goes before us is greater than the one who's in the world, the One who lives inside of us. The things that we speak against, the life that we caused that comes from the name of Jesus that's preached that causes the enemy to flee in terror, that's a vision. That vision is something that's bigger than any one of us. It's this house, it's this dream of what Fresh Life could be and what it can mean, especially in these days as it's just expanded the reach.

And people from all around the country are more and more getting the vision and becoming a part of it, planted in the house, to make a difference. To see it transform their lives, and to believe that it can and will continue to touch people all over the world. And from that compelling vision, came second word, contribution. People couldn't help but want to participate in and to be a part of that. As the story goes, the Royal Air Force, of course, had this incredible plane that people were emboldened by. That's the good news. The bad news is they were incredibly, hopelessly, embarrassingly outnumbered. At the start of the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe had 2,600 airplanes, and Britain only had 650. So they had more than 4 to 1 against them as they would show up to try and defend their little island. And so what they began to see happen was people were so excited about this Spitfire dream that began to mark their resolve during this period of time, that people began to want to help make it possible to speed up production and make more.

Lord Beaverbrook, and that's his real name, and we'll get to know this cat a little bit more throughout the series because he's amazing. And his name is Lord Beaverbrook. He had me at Beaver. His role was the Minister of Aircraft Production. And he was approached by the mining millionaire Harry Oakes. And Harry Oakes, this all came on the heels of Dunkirk when the Spitfires were vital in protecting the skies to keep this evacuation flowing. After France surrendered, we had to pull out all these soldiers that were stationed in France, British soldiers. And so you know you've seen the movie, fishing vessels and everybody did what they could. But the unsung hero of course was the Spitfires that kept the skies clear while this incredibly huge targets we're sitting there on these boats they could have easily been taken out.

And so many people became inspired that this millionaire, who had a mining empire, he approached Lord Beaverbrook and said, how much would it cost for me to buy a Spitfire you guys could can make one if I were to give him more money to do so. And he said about 5,000 pounds was the sum. And so right on the spot he cut a check for 5,000 pounds. And goes, I'm sold, you need another Spitfire, I'll do right now. And when word got out and began to be spread in newspapers and around town that this had happened, more people said I want to be part of that too. And other business leaders and other individuals began to pony up to say, hey, I'd like to. And so people were catching on to this. They opened up Spitfire funds. These accounts that were opened up all over Great Britain where people could, if they wanted to, donate towards the Minister of Aircraft Production having the resources at his disposal, because that was one of the big things that England needed. That was one of the things he kept writing to Roosevelt, we need to borrow money, we need to borrow aircraft carriers, we need to borrow planes. We have such a finite resources, we need your help. Trust me, it's going to help you down the road. Sort it out, please help us.

And so the British people were leading the way in that in donating towards these Spitfire funds. In all, by the time the funds were closed at the end of the war, 13 million pounds was the sum that was given, which purchased 2,600 airplanes. And it's been called the greatest catalyst for a single fundraising drive anywhere in the 20th century. And it's the only time in British history where civilians voluntarily sent money to the government, above and beyond their taxes. Above and beyond what they were already paying for infrastructure and for roads and the post office and the police department and all the things that we give towards in a civilization. And that's the thing to me that's so powerful about this Exodus account. Not that it happened. Not that the Tabernacle was done. Because it's easy to forget that that was done voluntarily.

Every single person gave this money. But what was powerful about it, not just that they were able to accomplish it, which is no small feat considering just the gold alone was 2000 pounds of gold involved in making the Tabernacle, but that it was done voluntarily over and beyond the giving. Because as you read the rest of Exodus, you see there's already tithes in place. There's already offerings where they had to give certain things. There's already the normal giving these people were going to do who had come out of Egypt and had a finite number of resources that they had access to just like you and I do. And yet now, after that was already laid out, here's how the tithes are going to go, how this is going to go, here's how that's going to go. Then he said, hey, and we're going to build this place where people can meet with me. A place where my presence can dwell. A place that, ultimately, would lead to an end in the vision of that we get to have now looking backwards, be the Church of Jesus Christ, the house of prayer for all nations where anybody could come and experience the life changing power of the gospel.

And be a part of a community of people called out from the world to live with our citizenship in heaven, immune to being destroyed by the trials that come our way in this world. Because we know at the end of the day, our lives are hidden with Christ and God. And so we can give ourselves up to the service of this world. And here's the amazing thing. They were already giving the normal level. Then God said, to make this happen, I want anybody who would like to give above and beyond that to come bring resources. And people began to give contributions. They didn't have to, but they were stirred by the vision and they wanted to. Their qualifications to give were twofold. You had to have a stirred heart and a willing spirit. A stirred heart and a willing spirit. If you look at those phrases in the original Hebrew, it's basically you had to be roused and responsive. Come on, I wonder, are you roused and responsive. Are you numb to the fact that there's a world that needs Jesus, a world that's lost, cities that need food to be given, and people need to be clothed. We need to be roused and responsive.

We don't have to do that, we get to do that. It's our desire to do that. God's still waiting for those. God's still wondering today, as He looks on this Fresh Life weekend. And every single person at every single stream at every single watch party, God's asking the same question, are you roused and are you responsive? Do you have a stirred heart and a willing spirit. And that's what I'm praying with more and more. Mark our house, mark our lives, mark our families, mark our homes. Mark all of us as we end one year and begin another. As we come to the end of what has been a tumultuous year, a divided year, a year of pain, a year of loss, a year of challenge, a year of difficulty. A year where it would be easy, just to go you know what, let's just have a nice encouraging end of the year. But no I'm saying, are we roused and responsive? Are we stirred and are we willing? Do we want to see God do more? Do we want to see God touch this world? Do we still believe in the dream? Do we still believe in the vision?

Do we still want to be a terror to the enemies, a terror to darkness. That we bring light. That was one of the greatest moments of encouragement in my life was when I told a friend of mine that one of my ways of responding to grief, or responding to our daughter dying going home to heaven, was that I would be alone in my car, and a lot of times I would just be yelling no, no, no. I just felt such pain and such sorrow that when I was alone, it was a way to vent the sadness and the sorrow. Just to say no. And he prophetically spoke over made that that's exactly what the enemy was going to be saying when he saw what God was going to intend to use the darkness and difficulty of our pain to unleash on this world. And it's been our desire to walk in light with that prophecy. And to never shirk back from an opportunity to encourage if it's one parent who's just lost a child, or through writing a book or encouraging, anybody we can speak to that word on the subject of hope. And people always say, thank you for being willing to go there. But I'm always like, are you kidding me?

It's an honor and a joy to see God use what was meant for evil bring about good. And I wonder if not in 2020, if this is not the time for us to see God overturn the darkness and the pain and the difficulty so many have walked through, for us to rally and to respond by saying we are the Church, and we are here to help. We are God's Plan A to change the world. It's time for a Spitfire fund, it's time for us to fight for there to be a shield over our homes, and a terror to our enemies. The enemies taken too much and wants to take more. And it's time for us to stand up and say no more. It's time for us to stand up in the name of Jesus, and say greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world. The devil does want to steal and kill and destroy. But Jesus brings life, and life in His name, that's more abundant.

And so I love that we get to be stirred by a vision and make a great contribution. But not just the contribution of a mining millionaire like Harry Oakes. What I love is that there is room in this for participation. That's our third word. All across the board, all across the spectrum. Whatever tax bracket you find yourself in. Whatever means you have access to. When the Spitfire funds opened up, yes there were big businesses, and we're inspired by those stories who gave big checks and had the ability to do so. Wealthy individuals who are able to really move the needle forward and fund entire planes, or whole fleet of planes themselves. But there are also many people, the second gift that was ever given, the one that actually began to cause the gift to get traction. Because the first one was just the establishment of a premise, but then someone, when they opened up the funds, gave a 50 pound gift. Just 50 pounds. It wasn't 5,000 pounds, not 300,000 pounds like the biscuit magnate was able to give later on. That's a cookie by the way, biscuits are not cookies. It's a whole thing.

Anyhow. It was 50. And the thing about someone who's going to give a 50 pound gift, that's going to cost them something. I could have used that for something else. And that inspired the kind of generosity that really was just normal people doing what they could. Every family considering how can we engage in this Spitfire fund. And the most stirring to me was the fact that records are told of many, many gifts coming from extremely poverty stricken places. From zip codes from parts of town where there was not a massive amount of means. The poorer parts of towns, people really rose up and gave the small gifts they could here, the small gifts that they could give there. I came across a letter in my research. I've been researching, I have been on a historic bender. This is like crack cocaine for me. What do you want to know.

There was an eight-year-old girl who sent just 15 shillings along with a note that says, here's the money I've raised in my box. And I will send more when my box is full again. And she went to work raising what she could to contribute to this Spitfire fund. I see that kind of sweeping across the board opportunity for participation in the Exodus account that we read. Yeah, there was gold. And we're going to need gold, he said. We're going to lots of gold. I told you, 2000 pounds of gold was needed. And there was also three tons of silver that went into all the things that were needed in the Tabernacle. But you know what? There was also thread. And there was also yarn. And there was also olive oil. And there was also purple cloth. And there was also things that were made out of acacia wood. And as I read the story, there was also women taking earrings out of their ears. And so you had a people who had a lot giving a lot. You had people who had some giving some. You had everybody doing something. And that was the power.

The power was that everybody participated. Everybody was a part. Nobody said, oh let just the rich people do it. No one said, well, everybody's doing something so there's no need for me to be a part of it. No one said, well, so many are doing it, I need what I have more. There was just a spirit to say we all have to do something. None of us can do everything, but all of us can do something. And that is what God loves to bless. God loves it when he sees everyone. Here's my gift. Here's my ability. Here's what I have. Of what I have, that is what I'm going to choose to give. And over the years of our Church, as we for almost 14 years have fought to continue to preach the gospel and to give the Scriptures out faithfully. And to engage and to encourage and comfort and to do the practical things that will make the cities that we live in places where God's peace is felt, as we've sought to do that, we have watched people who have means give back.

And you know what we've also seen? We've seen people who have very little give very selflessly, and very sacrificially, and very generously. And we have seen it not be about any one person, but all of us together saying, hey, here's what I've been entrusted. I want to have part of this. I want to be a part of this. I want to have ownership in these things. And that's ultimately to me what's so special, is our final fourth word. And that word is identification. And Identification is what we get to be a part of as we all contribute to this spiritual Spitfire fund. You see, what they would do whenever the 5,000 pound mark was met and a full Airplane was able to be paid for, was that they would name the plane in honor of the city where the funds had come from that funded that aircraft. And they actually would put a little plaque on it that would say Yorkshire, or it would say Bradford, or it would say Birmingham, or it would would be a little town. Or if a business was a part of it, they took up collection. Every employee that they would name the plane after that.

There were 17 different planes that were named after places in Ireland, after Belfast. Newspaper ran a story about this. Funds came in from America, including from the research company that helped treat the man who invented the Spitfire, but then died of cancer before ever getting to really see it take on this life. That company gave, and they got to name a plane. People had children that died in the First World War, they would name planes and give sums to have a plane flying towards the enemy protecting their home in the name of one of their sons that had died in the first war. It just became this galvanizing thing. And as these planes flew with names of cities, with names of places, with names of companies, with names of families on them, that was a mark that they were a part of this. They were represented. Whether you gave five pounds or eight shillings or whatever you gave towards it, you knew you were part and parcel of that. Identification marked that.

I was a part of making that happen. And that's what I believe we get to do regardless of what we've been entrusted with as we give. Whether we have a lot, or we have a little. As we as a Church come together and use our gifts and use our abilities and contribute, whether we're charged with giving the oil or giving the acacia wood or giving the gold or giving the silver or giving the purple cloth. And you're like, I know how to make yarn out of goat's hair. Wicked. We all have something we can do. None of us can do everything, but all of us can do something. And it's not about a few gifted people. With apologies to Churchill, who talked about so much being so to so few. And yes the Spitfire pilots who died in the line of duty were amazing and heroic and should be remembered and should be celebrated, but it was the British people that did that. It was every single person. It was every single mechanic. It was every single person who gave towards these funds who was a part of making this happen. And we get to be identified in it as a simple reminder of it.

I loved that as they all gave towards the Tabernacle being built in Moses' story, one of the details that's given was that the priest, the high priest was to wear this wicked cool vest thing, breastplate thing, was to have 12 stones put into the center of it. And the touching detail is given, and each of those 12 stones stands for one of the tribes of Israel. And sort of like the name on the Spitfire, as he stood there in the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement. As he would administer and pray for the people and accept the sacrifices and their normal ties that they would give, they were identified there as a part of these things. And I loved that as the Church of Jesus Christ as we follow him, that we are identified. That he has told us his own, with his own hand, he has written our name on the palm of his hand. We have identification. We're a part of something big. We're a part of history.

And in the years of our Church, the almost 14 years now, the sum of the lives that have been touched and lives that have been reached is so incredible to think about. And every time I come across it as we're like keeping the updates of the stories of what God's done, it marvels me. And we're celebrating now, you heard it in the moment where we came around giving this a little bit ago that we've hit this massive mark of 21,700 people who have made decisions for Christ. 21,700 people. Those are souls. Those are people. Those are stories with names and pain and trauma and difficulty. Those are just the ones who have told us. As we say, hey, you can click this form if you've made that decision. Hey, you can actually register to receive a Bible. But not everyone does that. Our own operations pastor was telling me that in these last months we've not been able to have physical volunteers in Deer Lodge Prison. But every single week, we're sending the DVDs in that get circulated.

So any of the inmates that want to watch our program, and God bless every single one of you who are in Deer Lodge who's watching this right now on DVD. And normally we would actually get to count the hands that are raised, we don't have any idea what God's doing. But the Holy Spirit does. And God can't be chained, God can't be locked out by even a COVID lockdown. And so we believe that God is continuing to touch people. So when we say 21,700 individuals that's just the ones that we have a record of. Not including those who will watch a little bit of a sermon but never get to the end actually make that faith decision public to us, but we know God's using them as a little snippet goes out on TV here and God continues to do this. But listen, we're a part of that. Our name is on His hand as He does that. We are a part of every single thing that God does as you give towards that. You're a part of it all.

So what was the end. You heard me say that Britain kept the soil of their shores intact at great cost and at great difficulty for those four years so that Operation Overlord, the events of D-Day, could be launched from those same soils. From there, freedom could bring forth that would eventually lead in World War II ending. How about in Moses' day? Well, the people all gave and they did what they could. Their identification, participation, contribution towards this great vision. Exodus 36 then says in verse 4 that all the craftsmen who were doing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work he was doing, and they spoke to Moses saying, the people bring more than enough for the service of the work which the Lord had commanded us to do.

So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp saying let neither man or woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. And the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done, indeed too much. What an incredible response that so many people doing their part, doing what they could, not letting the reasons why they shouldn't or why other people can afford to more, but everybody doing what they could, caused everything that needed to get done. And I'm believing that as more and more of us are embraced by this vision and participate doing what we can, doing to participate in what is undoubtedly the most important thing that can be done, and that is people finding out that there is a God in Heaven who loves them. And knowing that if they have a relationship with his son Jesus Christ, they can not only experience a better life here on Earth but have the promise of life after death, that we all can be a part of that.

And as Jesus continues to do what he's called to do, that the project will be completed. That we will see people saved all around the world, and then the end will come. And that's what this all points towards. It all points towards Jesus. You see in Exodus chapter 25, we're given this little detail. We didn't read it, but in the most holy place, in the center of the Tabernacle building, there was these golden angels that were spread out over what's called the mercy sea. And that represented God's throne in heaven. Because like I told you, this is all a pattern. I heard you say it out loud, pattern. It was built after a pattern. But for something to be built after a pattern, there has to be an original it was patterned after. And everything that was being made here in this environment was all patterned after what we lost access to in the Garden of Eden.

When Adam and Eve sinned, we were severed from our connection to heaven. And that's what this was going to be a picture of us reattaining. But the only way that could happen was through blood being shed. And on that mercy seat, blood had to be placed every single year pointing towards the day when Jesus Christ would spread his arms out upon the cross. Basically, this whole story of Moses and the people building this box, it was all God promising to do what He intended to do ever since we sinned. And that is come down in the person of Jesus to make us right, to make us whole. To do for us what we could never do through religious achievement on our own. Through a divine accomplishment, he would pay for our sins. And we would be saved not on a wing and a prayer, but we would be saved because of the blood of Jesus Christ, and His blood that's under the wings that cover that the throne of God in glory even now. And that He from that location of heaven is praying for us.

And so we have great confidence, forgiven, healed, saved, whole, to be sent out into a world that desperately needs Him. To do our part, to do what we can, so that more and more people would come into contact with this light. And that's what I'm praying God would grip you with. And in the coming days, we're all going to be praying about, every one of us at the Church are going to be praying about what's our contribution. Is in an earring? Is it a bar of gold? Is it 5,000? Is it 8 shillings? But I'm asking for every single person a part of the Fresh Life House and online family, to pray about what we can give above and beyond our normal tithes that we are happy to give every single week just to continue to watch this normal work that's happening continue to happen.

But to say, above and beyond that, what would. And we're going to be, trust me you're not going to want to miss it next week, rolling out and telling you more about what the Spitfire fund initiatives are going to be specifically. We're so excited about all of that. Stay tuned. But on December 6, my prayer is that over and above our normal giving, that every single one of us as a Church would give sacrificially doing our part to participate in what God will do supernaturally that we will get to walk in. So for now, my prayer for you is that you would say God, honestly, what do you want me to give? I'm not going to tell you what to give. All I'm asking is that you would ask God what he would have you to give. If He tells you nothing, give nothing. But I would just ask that this week, and in the coming weeks you would give honestly the time and space in your life to say God, what would you have my contribution to be. To make a difference in this day. Let me pray for you.

Father thank you so much for what you've done, for what we have watched you do. We're so excited about how we even believe this year, so many of us who gave towards the 2020 giving at the end of the year, have been held up even in ways we don't even understand, by the way our hearts are tighter on a connection to heaven because of what we did. We set ourselves up for what was going to be a far more difficult year than we knew. A far more difficult start to a decade than we could even really comprehend. And God, we're so grateful. I've thought so often of the way that those gifts have gone before us. And given us strength God. The power of that generosity that changed us and marked us. And the way you've used it to do incredible things. And so we're so excited at the advent of this as we break that bottle of champagne over the bow of this season for our Church.

We're excited, we're eager to see what you're going to do through the gifts that come together through the multiplication that you love to multiply. Each of us doing what we can being faithful. In a way, you're going to use it to do so much through us, to be a blessing, like You intended for Your house to be build. A Tabernacle that spoke of bread, that spoke of light, that ultimately points to Jesus. And so we know you're continuing to give bread and give light to the whole world. We want to see you do it through us, but God we also are eager to see the stretch, to see the change, to see the difference that's going to come inside of us. Inside our homes, inside of our lives. The way it's going to mark just even the spirit and atmosphere of our homes and hearts and lives to have heaven be at that priority place as we end this year. While the whole world freaks out and fights and divides God, let us be marked by Your name, and let generosity rise up.

And while we're praying, if you're watching and you've never yet made a decision to follow Jesus, maybe you've been religious, known things about God, but you've never had a moment in time or you invited him to come into your heart. I want to give you space and time to make that all important decision. You see I grew up in Church knowing things about God, calling myself a Christian. But then there came a moment just before my freshman year of high school, where I realized I knew a lot about God but didn't know him personally. And I became aware of my sin like I never had before.

I began to sense almost like my heart beating out of my chest, and I just knew I needed to get right with God. I felt guilty I felt alone. I felt scared and I felt like I needed him I sensed he was knocking at the door of my heart. And so I made that decision to open up my life to Jesus, to ask him to come in to forgive me, to make me a new person. And he did that. He met me there. It's the best decision I've ever made. And if you've never yet said yes to Jesus, I pray this would be the moment that you would make that decision. And he would begin to make all things new inside you. So with heads bowed, eyes closed, I'm going to pray a prayer. And if you're ready to make Jesus the Lord of your life, say it with me. I'm going to ask the Church family to say it with us. God will hear you and come into your heart. Say this, say:

Dear God. I know I'm a sinner. I can't fix myself. But because of the cross. And the Resurrection. I believe you can. I turn from my sin and myself, I turn to You. Thank you for new life. I give you mine. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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