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2021 online sermons » Levi Lusko » Levi Lusko - Unshackled Spirit

Levi Lusko - Unshackled Spirit

Levi Lusko - Unshackled Spirit

I'm going to bring to you a message that I'm calling unshackled spirit. Unshackled spirit, this is sort of my preparation for us all as we get ready to take this sacrificial step of generosity. You can't just jump into stuff like that. A good trainer will not let you just begin a hard workout without stretching some stuff out, getting on that foam roller a little bit, so if you have a Bible, acts chapter five is going to be our foam roller. This is going to limber us up. This is our spiritual calisthenics, getting us ready for what we believe, that God is going to do through us all in this moment. Jennie and I had the chance recently to take a trip to California, and we were there for Thanksgiving, and we got to introduce Lennox to his great grandfather, whose wife just recently passed away and Lennox had never got to meet him.

So from six feet away, we were spatially spread out across the patio. It was pretty special to see four generations there in that moment. The problem with being in California, and I have all the love in the world for every one of you in California, is that right now you can't go in restaurants. You can't you can't eat in restaurants, you can only order in restaurants, but then they all have set up on the curb a couple tables, or they've been very creative. It's unbelievable to see the amount of... I mean if those two were deliberating when they were buying their restaurant space, do we have a patio, do we not have a patio? You're kicking yourself if you went without the patio in these days. But it's incredible to see how restaurants have figured this all out. And every morning on this trip, I would wake up before my family, because something's wrong with me. And even without an alarm clock set, I wake up at 6 o'clock, and if I try and go back to sleep it doesn't work.

So I would just roam the streets, and get some work done, and have some time with Jesus, and work on messages or whatever else I was doing. And I found a bakery that was pretty close to our hotel that had pretty good coffee. And just about every single morning I would find myself there, because they had this big patio and the sun would come up, eventually. Now when you say California, you think it's going to be super warm, but most mornings when I was out and about it was about 40, 41 degrees. And I'm out there, I think I have a photo here, working and trying to prepare my message. And I'm sitting here at this table, and you can see back here, the sunshine is right there. And I'm freezing, my fingers literally were going numb, and so I would just start hitting the wrong keys on my writing tablet. And so I was just like hastening the sun, and every day, about like 7:00, 7:02, 7:03, the sun would finally get over this, there was this red structure, this red building, and the sun would finally crest that building. And then instant warmth, there would be like a 15, 20 degree difference from just being in the sunlight.

So here I was trying my best to get out of the shade. I was trying to stay away from the shade, because the sun brought me warmth. I have you there in that moment, because here in act five, what we're going to see is just the opposite. We're going to see people doing absolutely everything they can to get into the shadows, to get into the shade. I was trying to stay out of it, they're going to try and get into it, you'll see why, acts chapter five, verse 12. And through the hands of the apostles, many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord, in Solomon's porch. Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women. So that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also, a great multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

Pause right there, what do we have here? We have dynamic breakthrough, where you have the church operating at peak performance. Where you have these two absolute threats to darkness operating simultaneously. You have evangelism, and you have generosity, you have the church full of the Holy Spirit that Jesus said would come upon them. He called it, and I said the word dynamic intentionally, he said, you shall receive dunamis, this word that we get our English word dynamite from. This is dynamite power he said, you shall receive power, dunamis, when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, but also to the ends of the world. The church was all in, they were giving, they were sharing, and so there was such a charged atmosphere of faith, as generosity and evangelism powered by the Holy Spirit caused the church to be this spitfire we were born to be, and so dynamic. Breakthrough was so powerful, so prolific, that people were getting healed by shadows, y'all. Ridiculous.

And of course, we don't mean healed by shadows. We mean God used that as a touch point for faith. It's similar to when the woman in the Gospels reached out and said, if I could just touch the hem of Jesus's jacket, I believe I could receive power. And it wasn't the jacket, it wasn't nothing Holy or special about Jesus's jacket. It wasn't like after his crucifixion that the soldier that ended up with that piece of his clothes, because he gambled for his clothing, wasn't like when he put that on all of a sudden his bad knee got better. It wasn't the jacket, it was just a touch point of faith. Jesus said, I see your faith, your faith has made you well. So God is always looking to use faith, always looking to bring his power into a life. And when he finds faith overflowing like that, someone willing to put themselves out there, he's able to use it. So here we have people just believing that the faith will make them well. And so indeed, the shadow of Peter, it's like a backwards Groundhog Day, right? Where the shadow's touching people, and all of a sudden dang, right?

Someone say in the chat, dang. It has to be all capitals D A N G. When I really mean something, I put a space between every letter. So it's D space A space N space g space. Ain't nothing but a G thing. All right, so we have dynamic breakthrough, which is immediately followed by demonic backlash. That's what happens, read The Book of X. You have dynamic breakthrough, when people are doing what God calls them to do. And so what does the devil do, who's threatened by these things, there's demonic backlash. So you will always see, any time you see in your life, or your church, or in any ministry, any time you see in the world, you see dynamic breakthrough, you can almost wait for it. 1/1,000, right, like thunder and lightning go together, you will always see a demonic backlash to dynamic breakthrough. And so what do we see in verse 17? Then the high priest rose up. I'll have you know, this breakthrough came from the religious people.

So those who purport to follow God, at times, can be used by the enemy. It can be from those who are claiming to follow Christ that we see the opposition come up. So the devils not just willing to try and oppose the church from the outside, he's also willing to come at it from the inside. The high priest rose up, and all those who were with him, which is the sect of the Sadducees, and they were filled with indignation. That's an interesting word, indignation. Many translations will actually translate indignation to jealousy, but it's not just jealousy. It's actually jealousy masquerading as righteousness, which is one of the most dangerous and lethal forms of jealousy, because it's jealousy pretending to be pious. It's jealousy pretending to have a purpose. The same word, indignation, was used of Judas Iscariot, who was the one who was stealing from Jesus, and stealing from the Ministry team, who would go on to betray Jesus when he saw a woman give a great sacrifice. She did what many of the people of Fresh Life Church are going to do all around the country and world this very week, give a great gift, pour it out of Jesus's feet. He was indignant, jealous, and covered it up with piousness.

So he said to Jesus, why this waste? Shouldn't this money have been sold to give to the poor? That's exactly what is happening here. These who should be the most excited about what God is doing in the world, these who represent God, these who are the high priest, the religious elite of their day, filled with indignation. Because essentially, they were not getting the attention they wish they were getting. They were not getting recognized. Peter, this common, untaught fisherman, who's been with Jesus. What makes him think he's so special? I got a shadow too. That's what these high priests were saying. I throw a shadow to. They couldn't say that, because if they actually said, hey, I have a shadow, I should be getting attention. You all should be liking my sermons. Everybody would see for what it was. But instead, they masqueraded their jealousy, they dressed their jealousy up with, here's what we think is wrong with this, and here's why this isn't working, with this indignation. And then verse 18, it says, they laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night, an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said, go.

Stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life. And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought out. OK, this is so funny. So they come in like, we need to get those apostles out and give them another tongue lashing. So they sent their little stooges to go to the prison and get them. But the officers, first 22 came, and did not find them in the prison. They returned and reported saying, indeed, we found the prison shut securely, and the guards standing outside before the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside. Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priest heard these things, they wondered what the outcome would be. I bet they did. So one came and told them while they were pondering these things, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people. All right, we just give God some praise for 10 seconds real quick? Because this is so funny.

And we're going to come back to this, and we're going to come back to the persecution, we're going to come back to that situation in just a minute. But we started this journey, the spitfire fun journey, some weeks ago talking about Kickstarter. And I began by telling you a couch story, a story about how I bought a couch that was going to be crowdfunded. And you know, I figure that a lot of you probably assume that my stories are embellished, and it's like the fish story, that a fish gets bigger, and by the time multiple worship experiences, probably gets crazier. But I'm just going to tell you the truth. That probably happens sometimes. But that couch story, I got done preaching, and the weekend was over, and my wife said, I can't believe you didn't tell the craziest part. I was like, what part? She goes, don't you remember the lawn furniture? I forgot about the lawn furniture. You see I got so excited when the company finally sent me a tracking number for this new couch, that I gave my old couch away. And you got to make space for the new. And so the old couch got picked up and is no longer there, because that day, or any day now, that couch is coming. And it didn't come for a couple more weeks. And so my wife was not pleased. And she said, what are we going to do?

And so I brilliantly brought all the lawn furniture in from our patio, and so for several weeks while we waited for this unbelievable holy grail couch with an extension cord stapled to, just go listen to the first sermon, a wing and a prayer, and you listen to my stupidity, but that story did get crazier, and I forgot all about it. All right, so Kickstarter, but where we began in the scriptures, was in the Book of Exodus. And those of you who have the kit that you've been mailed or you received, it has this verse from Exodus chapter 35 on the bottom of it because the building of God's house as it initially began was crowdfunded. And it turned out a whole lot better than my couch, man. It was unbelievable, the people brought what they had. You had young people bringing stuff, you had old people bringing stuff, you had single people bringing stuff, you had widows bringing stuff. You had people giving what to them was a huge gift, you had people giving what to other people would be a small gift but represented a huge gift, because for them to give a small gift was a huge deal in the light of their total budget.

God always looks, not at the portion of our gift, but the proportion with which it represents the entirety of what we've been entrusted. So you might give a gift today that is not impressive to someone else, but God is lit up because it is a big gift to you, it's a sacrifice to you. And I would just say, keep giving and you will watch that grow. Not only because you become safe to bless, as generosity breaks the back of greed, but also because I believe you're wiser as you spend what remains with a heavenly mentality over it all. There's a wisdom that protects you and also blesses you. And so this Tabernacle project from Exodus was crowdfunded. And what was the last verse that we read that day? It was Exodus 34:38, when the Tabernacle was finally built, everybody got to participate. Just like the spitfire, fire fell by night. In the sight of all the House of Israel, throughout all their journeys, they had this pillar of fire to guide them by night, and the pillar of cloud to guide them by day.

So that's where the story ended. God's people were generous, and the spirit fell. Spirit and generosity, these things always go hand in hand. And there was a visible sign in the sky, fire in the sky as a result of this. God was with them in all the generosity, they could know where to meet with God. He was at that Tabernacle, he was at that house. Now the purpose of that was to point toward The Book of X to where we're in today, this unfinished story of the church that God is building. The Tabernacle not only pointed towards, but was paving the way for, God to send his Holy Spirit, the pillar of fire, into all of our hearts. And that's what Pentecost is all about. That's what Acts chapter 2 was all about. There appeared to them, when God's house became clearly known as the church, this mystery of the church, divided tongues as of fire and one set upon each of them. Now what I realized as I was studying this week, in preparation for this time of giving and this time of seeing God move through the Spitfire fund, was that it wasn't like a bunch of fires appeared on each of their heads, it was one fire that divided out.

The presence of the word division is where you can see that comes from. And when I looked at the original language indeed, this fire showed up that divided out. So one fire, just like in the Exodus story, this pillar of fire which represents God's spirit, which represents his glory, this fire showed up and to every single person present that day it divided up. What is this? It's multiplication. Because division is just multiplication backwards. So God was multiplying out, taking one thing, and dividing it out. It's multiplication every single person, and I love it. You could see that clearly when you look at it in another translation. The passion translation, which is a paraphrase, looking at the language and then giving a dynamic equivalence into our culture today puts it this way. It says, then all at once a pillar of fire appeared before their eyes, is separated into tongues of fire that engulfed each one of them.

Now what's beautiful about this picture of Pentecost, of God building the spitfire of his church, is that it was limited when it was just a pillar over the Tabernacle. Because there is one place, there is one location, where no matter where you are in the world, if you want to be with God you got to get to that structure. You've got to get to that building, you've got to get to that house, and if you can't get there well sucks to be you a little bit. But what God was always moving towards was not one building, not one structure, and not one geographical limitation, but a people. This has always been the mystery. This Colossians chapter 1 verse 27 is the mystery, the mystery of the church, which is what? Christ in you, the hope of glory. It's not one pillar of fire above a tent, above a Tabernacle, no matter how cool that was. It's all about every single one of you each having your own individual pillar of fire. And not just to rest above you, but to come live inside of you. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would be in you, and be with you, and come upon you.

So here's the thing, when the pillar of fire rested upon the Tabernacle, it was so crazy and so thick the Bible says Moses couldn't even go in. Moses couldn't even enter. And so there was always a limitation, there was always something missing. But here's the thing. The Holy Spirit can do what Moses couldn't do, he has come in you. He is with you, he will never forsake you. So here's the beautiful thing about this all, is that here we live in a time when some buildings we can't go in, when there are places that we can't go, where there are some gatherings we can't be a part of. But the Church of Jesus Christ can never be cancelled. The Church of Jesus Christ can never be stopped. It was never about a building, it was always about a people. And we are spread out around the world. You might not be able to eat at a restaurant in California, but Jesus's Holy Spirit is still inside of you. The fire is still inside of you. He's still building Spitfires today. And in every age, and in every time he will, until Jesus returns in power and glory, and we will be with him and live with him forever.

I'm a little bit excited about it, I'm so sorry. But the efficiency of the plan was beautiful. Because with one structure, it could never do what he intended to do, reach the whole world. And when you start multiplying out, you can cover more ground. How is the church going to get to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the world if there's just one structure everybody's got to go to? But with that pillar of fire divided out, and the multiplication, you can now get to the fulfillment of the great commission. As Leviticus 26:8 puts it, five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put 10,000 to flight. And just like we saw in the Tabernacle building, just like we've seen in crowdfunded projects throughout history, as everybody watching this broadcast, as everybody listening to this message contributes something, I'm telling you, it just gets more powerful. It just gets more loud. It just gets more dynamic. We can cover more ground, come on, we can do this. But we got to work together, it's going to take every single one of us to pull off this Spitfire fund.

But the problem is we get comfortable. And so these disciples, they had the great commission, now they have the Spitfire upon them. But it took agitation for them to get out of their comfort zone. These followers of Jesus, even after Jesus ascended to heaven, an angel had to come down and go, hey man, you guys are just looking up into the clouds. The church loves to just look up into the clouds.

And angels came down like hey, Bubba, don't you got work to do? Don't you need to go down, isn't there a message to tell? And left to its own the church will always default towards cloud gazing. What do you think this verse means? What do you think about these? Should the baptismal water be 84 degrees or 91 degrees? Should the communion juice be leaded or unleaded, right? We have a gospel to get out. We got people to reach. There's time and place for conversations about methodology, but let's never stop being a rescue mission. Let's never stop being about the Great Commission Let's never stop fighting for those who are stranded in sin, to find life and liberty in Jesus Christ. So then and now, it takes a little agitation. Which is one of the reasons I believe in a sovereignty. God allows the demonic backlash to follow up the dynamic breakthrough. And it is what allows us to be inspired to do the thing he called us to do. For example Acts chapter 8, after another period of breakthrough, there was what? After breakthrough there's... Backlash.

Now Saul was consenting to Stephen's death, at that time of great persecution arose against the church, which was at Jerusalem. And they were all, say it with me, scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Therefore, those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. The persecution ended up being the best thing that ever happened to the early church, because they might have just stayed in Jerusalem and gotten cozy, stayed in Jerusalem and gotten comfy. But it was the persecution, it was the demonic bray, it was the demonic backlash that caused the next dynamic breakthrough. And the next crying out for God's help, and the next crying out for in faith, and sometimes it's those hard times that gives us the impetus to lash out in faith again, that allows them to be that next breakthrough. And guess what? The same thing happened with the actual Spitfire airplane.

We heard an absolutely brilliant message last week from my friend Paice about how the factory started to be targeted. The Spitfire factories in Southampton were targeted by the Nazi bombers, because they were threatened. Any enemy will always target what he's threatened by. So if there's an area in your life that he's going after, you shouldn't go, well maybe I shouldn't have been doing that thing, no, no this listen. He goes after it because it's a threat. So he went after the Spitfire factories because he was threatened by them, Hitler was. And so that's how it always goes. So what did the Beaver do? Have you been with us from the beginning? The minister of aircraft production was Lord Beaverbrook, who was nicknamed, usually behind his back, the Beaver. And the Beaver realized, man, as long as we rely on a few factories to put these airplanes out, we could always be in jeopardy because the Nazis will always target those things.

So what did he do? He did one of the most important things that was ever done during the Battle of Britain, he dispersed manufacturing. He dispersed manufacturing through the creation of what he called shadow factories. He put things into the shadows. And these shadow factories, they would take a massive factory, there was one that was a big factory in Birmingham, that was in one giant complex, and he spread it out into 23 different buildings in eight towns. Another factory in Vickers had 10,000 employees, it was one structure, and he broke it up into 42 different buildings. Now you're like, where do you get buildings like that? Here's where you get them, ready? You get them out of laundries, garages, bus stations, glove factories, steamroller plants, strawberry basket manufacturers, and even homes. He took every structure he could get his hands on, and they were converted into these shadow factories that would shadow the work that a manufacturing plant would do to produce one part. And this strawberry basket facility would actually be shadowing that, and then would be retooled to create that one piece.

So you could never take out the factories, because you just took out one little building, or one little garage, or one little auto manufacturing area, and it just took out the part that created this one little piece, and they would just pop another one tomorrow that could do the same thing. And you had people who would say, hey. Wealthy people would say, hey, I got this big house, you can have a room in this house. And you could create the propeller in this part. And some people were like I don't got an extra room, but I will build a freaking addition. You had literal people building additions on their properties, on their manor, so a piece of the work could be done at their house. You had the Spitfire plane being built in hundreds and thousands of locations. There were thousands upon thousands of pieces to every single airplane, and they were all being built by thousands of thousands of different people, from every class of society. From those who could afford to have a structure on their manor, to those who could just show up, and every day make rivets. They had crews that would work day, they had crews that would work night.

And so the interruption of production could never actually take place, because no one building was responsible for the total creation of this airplane. It took an army, it took a village, it took a nation galvanized by the idea and the symbol of the plane that saved the world, that would be a threat to our enemies and a shield for our homes. And they all said, you can use my building. All I do is do laundry, but not today, baby. This today is going to be a part of something bigger than my own little life. You can use what I have in my hands towards a bigger cause. You had people coming together, creating a workforce built out of every segment of society. Beaver then realized, well we finished the problem, because they started turning these suckers out. They took a hit at first, but soon they actually exceeded pre-dispersal output numbers. They were cranking out six complete Spitfires every single week, and there was a matter of where do you store them? Because before the dispersal they would just store them in these big buildings at RAF airfields. But he realized seeing them, they were all together. All these planes were together.

Again, same problem when we finish these planes they're all together and they could all again be taken out. So he had a dream that he called the Robin's nest. And the Robin's nest was scattered and isolated, doesn't sound like COVID-19? Scattered and isolated. He said we can't keep the planes together, So we're to scatter them, and we're going to isolate them, and we're going to tuck them into garages, and we're going to tuck them into barns, we're going to tuck them into these shelters that are going to be Robin's nest for these precious baby airplanes, until they get brought by the ATA girls to the front lines where they could be flown. I couldn't help but think about these shadows and these nests, these shadows and these nests, these two things coming together. Psalm 57 verse one says, have mercy on me, Oh God. Have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I just want you to know that we are in the Robin's nest, we're safe under the shadow of his wings. Our father has taken care of us, he's got a plan for us. We might feel like I'm being torn apart, I might feel like I being stretched to my capacity. I don't know how much more of this I can bear.

What new developments are going to come in 2021? I just got news for you, you are safe under the shadow of his wings. There is shelter for you. He's already gone ahead into your future, he's prepared for you. He's prepared for what's to come. So what was supposed to kill the Spitfire, the enemy targeting the manufacturing facilities, actually made it stronger. The backlash always backfires. So we see breakthrough, the enemy comes against it. All of us get scared, Holy crap how are we going to make it through this one? This trial, this difficulty, this issue, this lack, this uncertainty, this opposition, this new challenge, this new thing, right? So we're excited. The dove has descended, like at Jesus's baptism. And then what? Sent into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. It's always the dove and then the devil, it's the dove and then the devil. It's the it's the glory and then the gory. I'm telling you, that's ministry. That's life, that's following Christ. It's breakthrough on the mountain of transfiguration coming straight down.

And guess what? Teacher, there's a demon possessed kid that none of your disciples can cast out. Oi vey, he would want to say. It's the dove and then it's the devil. I'm telling you, we're going on 15 years at Fresh Life Church. It's the best of times, and the worst of times, and the best of times. But here's the thing, the enemy always overplays his hand. Because when he responds to the dynamic breakthrough with his demonic backlash, God always has a plan to cause what the enemy meant for evil to accomplish his good perfect plan for our life and for the story of the gospel. So the targeting of the Spitfire caused there to be actually more Spitfires in the world, not less. And I think the same thing is true for our church. I think about the hardship of having to navigate Fresh Life in these past months of this pandemic. And to be told by the state that we want to honor you can't gather, and you got to close buildings, and how do you do this thing, and how is that going to go? You mean our gatherings are sort of like our bread and butter, and so you think like, how would these last months have gone for the church? How would it go for the story of the gospel when you can't gather people to tell them the story of the gospel?

Well, how about this? Since March 15, the start of the pandemic, we have had the gospel message beamed out through our live church online opportunities. And people who will watch the message on demand after the fact, we have had this message go out into 4,528 cities, 4,528 different cities for people who have been able to log on. And you think about globally as it continues to spill out, we've been able to reach out the number is 128 different nations of people have logged on and joined us in this house. Come on, we get struck down and we rise up stronger, we rise up better. We have seen the dispersal of manufacturing. We were one house in 13 locations, now it's all across the world. We're seeing people logging on, what? The spitfire is within them.

It's not about one building, it's not about one house, we look forward to the day when everywhere we can gather again and it's different, and all that. But we're not waiting for the pandemic and to engage and do what God has called us to do, we're doing it right now. God is touching people, building his bride, saving people, healing people, engaging people, enlisting people. Unshackled spirit, unshackled spirit, that's the story of Acts chapter five. These men were thrown in jail, so what are they doing outside preaching? What are they doing outside preaching when they were supposed to be behind bars? And how about the fact that when the soldiers came to get them, the doors were locked. The doors were still shut. The bars were still across the jail cell. They're outside preaching, and the doors that should have held them back are still bound firmly in place.

Now I love that God chose to do this miracle this way, because you know he can open doors. Amen? God can open doors. In fact, in Acts chapter 16, Paul and Silas will get put in jail, and while they're worshipping earthquake happens, the doors bust open. And they're brought out of the jail cell through open doors. So I believe God can open doors, but what I love about Acts five is that God brought them out, and for whatever reason had the angels leave the doors securely shut. So whether they were able to pass them through the bars, or whether they will be able to shrink them down to itty bitty like Stuart Little and get them out like honey I shrunk the apostles, we don't know exactly. But we do know that when they came looking for them, the doors are still shut. Nevertheless they're out there preaching. Y'all I love this, because we did pray and ask God to send the pandemic away, to open the doors and let us do everything back like we... but God said in his own sovereignty and purposes, I'm going to leave the door shut and reach the world. I'm going to leave the door shut of this trial and do my purpose. I'm going to leave the agitation of this demonic backlash and do good work. I'm going to glorify my name by allowing this thing to remain and do what I want to do through it.

I love that God can calm the storm for his child, but God can also calm his child while the storm rages. And so whichever he picks, we get to watch his plan unfold. Crisis is our catalyst, and these initiatives that we've come up with, that we've put out there as things we would love to fully fund. If all God's people come together, these dreams beyond that of the ministry that we're going to do, and the ways that we're going to pave the way for the future ministry of Fresh Life to continue to expand, to continue to touch more lives. The way that we're continually, as a church, through our tithes and offerings going to in an ongoing way do the things that God's already doing. This is our way to say, we're not going to choose when the doors are finally open to begin to do these things. Because the heavens want to pour out power on us right now. God intends, even in these days while the doors remain shut, to like never before for poor out his mercy on the earth.

I want to give you three words in a moment that I hope and pray would mark your spirit as you give, and mark your life as you participate in these days. But first, as promised, let's return to the scene of the preaching apostles who should be in prison, as we finally find the religious leaders deciding what to do about them. Verse 40, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. They said, with all due respect, we are the Easter people, and hallelujah is our song. So if you're going to kill us, kill us. But we're going to preach about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead until our last breath. And the three words that I've pulled from this final part of the story that I hope would your heart as you give, are kindness, boldness, and gladness. Kindness, boldness, and gladness.

I see a kindness in the apostles, in that this ministry was all done so that they could get salvation to other people. They didn't need to suffer, they were already saved. They didn't need to go through any of this and get beat, they could say, I already got salvation for me. Y'all this isn't about us getting some blessing for ourselves. I believe God will bless your finances, can bless your finances, and wants to bless your finances, and your life, and your soul, and your emotional health, and your relational health, and your family's health. I believe God wants to pour out blessing on you, but that's not really what this is about. This is about other people. This is about more people. This is about to other villages we must go. I'm hoping that there's a kindness upon your heart as you give these gifts, believing God, I'm not just doing this to get. I don't I don't give to get, I give because I've already received.

Now I want other people to receive, and if you want to bless me on the back end, which I believe is your character, then so be it. But I'm not in it for that. There's a kindness, I'm about other people receiving. And then secondly, the boldness. You cannot deny that upon the apostle there's a boldness to their spirits. There's a dynamic, energized enthusiasm. They're fired up, they're fearless, it's hard to even believe this is the same Peter that was denying Jesus just a hot minute ago when a servant girl said, don't you know Jesus? He's like nope, I don't, never heard of the guy. It's like, who is this man who's lit on fire? He's a man lit on fire. He's a man who had a piece of that pillar of fire show up in his soul. And I'm praying that you, with a boldness, would give and would live for the name of Jesus. A boldness for, a passion for souls, and that it would require a boldness to give this kind of a gift that you're going to give of what you have been given. That it would take faith for you, that it would represent a sacrifice for you, that there would be a boldness about your life.

And then Thirdly and finally, a gladness. That gladness is going to need to be there. The disciples counted themselves extremely blessed to be beaten for the name of Jesus. All I'm trying to say is if you participate in a breakthrough, what's going to come for you is backlash. So there's going to need to be a gladness, whatever happens next. Whatever happens on the back, as you put yourself out there for God to work in your life, you make yourself an increasing target to the enemy. I speak that over every one of you in the room, I speak that over every one of you at home. As you put yourself out there to watch God move through, you more and more become hostile to the enemy who's going to come after you. And so what I'm praying would mark your life would be a gladness, and then when something goes bump in the night, you are not only prepared for it, you are ready for it. And there's an instantly hot, sort of worshipful, response to it. That you rejoice that you would be counted worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus. Kindness, boldness, and gladness.

In a moment I'm going to pray, and I'm going to ask for God to do all of that and more inside your journey. But a couple of the particulars, the spitfire fund is now open. And with you watching on the device that you're on, I'm not going to ask you to do it while this is happening, but at some point today, or all the way up until the last day of this year, you can grab that spitfire fund drop down from the giving page at Fresh Life Church and participate in this moment. And what we're going to do, is we're going to contact you when you give that gift, and we're going to ask you how many adults would like to receive a card with a pin on it, like the one I'm holding in my hand that you can also see on the screen here. And these are beautiful, and they have an actual Fresh Life spitfire on don't with the elliptical wings. And this card has been aged by hand, by someone on our team, with prayer in their heart for you and for your story. And this little pin's a reminder you can wear, you can have someone in your life to see and to remember the Holy Spirit spitfire power inside your life. But then on the card there's a space for you, on the back of it, to write down one word.

And we're asking everybody with this gift, as you put it into God's hands, that you would put some request. Something in your life, this line could be a name, that you're praying for someone's salvation. A husband, a child, that you're praying for a spouse, you could write a spouse down. Or it could be some attribute, or part of your life. You have some breakthrough you want to see happen, a stronghold torn down, a struggle that you don't want to struggle with anymore, thorn in the flesh that's hard for you to carry. Your word is your word, and it is personal, and it is up to you. I'll just encourage you to be really careful with your word, because I'm holding my 2020 card that I wrote down from last year's offering at this time a year ago. And I made the mistake of writing the word adjust down. That I wanted, in 2020, to have to adjust. And I said God, I want to adjust. And I am so sorry that I ever wrote that, but you don't tell me God doesn't answer prayers. Has this year not been an opportunity? I'm not writing down patience this year, you know what I'm saying? But you get what I'm saying, and I really do believe that we're going to watch God move in our lives in these days.

We'll let you tell us how many adult pins you'd like to receive. The reason I say adult pins is because I want you to understand that the kids get wings too. We're giving out wings to adults, and guess what? Every child in the Fresh Life house, every child who participates who's given a gift, we got some wings for you too. And these wings are beautiful, and they are colorful, and they are so fantastic I might be tempted to want a kid's wing because they might even be cooler. They're like the ones that you used to get on airplanes back before they became plastic, because these are enamel and they are beautiful. And we want every child to know that regardless of what their gift was, the size of it that might impress someone or not impress someone, that your gift matters, that your gift makes a difference, that you are a part of this too. One of my favorite gifts that was ever given to the spitfire fund back in the day in England, was a gift by Pamela Weeks. Pamela Weeks started a spitfire fund, and gave what would be probably a very meager contribution, but she encouraged all of her friends in Liverpool to give too. And when asked why, she said, because my daddy's in the Air Force. And every penny we give makes a difference, because it's going to help purchase planes to chase Hitler. And if we give enough, then maybe our daddies will get to come home.

And I want every child in the Fresh Life house to know your father is pleased by what you contribute towards this spitfire fund too. It was a little boy's lunch the fed the 5,000 in Jesus's hands, and he will use your gift to make a difference. So we'll ask you when the gifts come in, make sure you put an email address when I asked you for one so we can ask you how many adult pins, how many kid pins, and for every gift we're going to send those to you so you can have them to wear and remember. And you can write down, kids, your word too, and all kinds of great stuff. Now I've been saving this entire series my favorite spitfire story. Out of all the myriad gifts that came in that formed 13 million pounds, enough to purchase 2600 Spitfire airplanes throughout the entirety of the Second World War, perhaps the most remarkable donation to a Spitfire fund came from 2,500 British officers, who were prisoners of war in a German prison in Wartburg, Germany, outside Wartburg, Germany. And this particular prison, it wasn't like a concentration camp as much, they were allowed to work. They were each given jobs in the prison, they were actually given meager wages for the work that they did.

And these 2,500 officers who were prisoners of war in this prison, they decided in hearing about what was happening, to one month take every penny they earn from the backbreaking work they were doing in the prison, to give their gift that would go towards a Swedish Red Cross account. Only through back channel communications and letters in and out of the prison, they actually arranged it. When the Germans, who gave their gift and deposited it into that Swedish account, had no idea that money was then transferred into a Spitfire fund. And this group of incredible soldiers all got to pick the name of their airplane. And they bought enough, they gave enough money for them to purchase an entire Spitfire airplane. And they chose, for the airplane they got to name, the two words unshackled spirit.

And I just love the idea of these men behind bars, behind enemy lines, using German money to fund an airplane that would be used to win the war from behind bars. And that's sort of the dreaming and thinking about one of my most emotional spitfire projects. You've looked through this and seen it, but one of the most emotional to me is this Pando project. You saw during the offering moment a little bit ago, and I'm actually holding one in my hands here. This is one of the Pando devices, that is even now in prisons in Arkansas, this week will show up in prisons both in Florida and in Arizona, and by God's grace should we all give like I'm praying we give, we, Fresh Life church, we're going to put these into the hands of 5,000 prisoners across the country. And what's incredible about them, is that they're $20 a tablet. And that's pretty astounding. And so for us to be able to give out $100,000, they're estimating that over the course of a year three different prisoners will have one of these devices in their cells, in their hands.

And what can God do through 15,000 inmates, who are not only going to receive that salvation, but hopefully tell other people about it. Come on, put it in the check, unshackled spirit. We're believing for freedom we've been set free. And I love it, I love that. I love that, I wish I could talk about all 32 initiatives some more. But before you give, and we'll sing out one more time and I'll pray for you, I want you to look at what we believe God's going to do through a very special grant that we're going to give, that's very close to my heart as well. To the Flathead Indian Reservation Ministry called Family First. My name is Patrick Madden, Jr. I am Upper Kalis Bay and Bitterroot Salish from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian reservation. My name in the language of my people is..., which means song of the thunder.

There are three tribes, the Bitterroot Salish, which was removed from the Bitterroot Valley here in Western Montana in 1891 to the reservation. There is the Upper Kalis Bay or the upper Pend d'Oreille, commonly known as the Kalispel. And also the lower band of the Ksanka Kootenai, this is part of the Aboriginal territory which extends all the way up into Canada. Our tribes have intermingled through the area, but officially in 1855 our tribes struck the Hellgate treaty with the United States government, and we created the Flathead Indian Reservation. I'm the program manager for the Families First program, our vision is prevention and reunification. We have a lot that have been undervalued. They've been undereducated, they feel underappreciated. A lot of them didn't even finish high school and they started having families. And they just really haven't been given a chance. We like to help these families with anything that might prevent them from living in a healthy or successful manner, such as maybe helping them with a bill, even putting food on their table. And we just like to invite the families to come in and to work with us.

My wife and I were invited to attend the Fresh Life Church in Polson. Pastor Killingsworth called me and was asking about, maybe is there somebody in the tribe that might need a certain donation that could be made by the church? And I'm like, listen my grant just took a hit, this year we're not going to be operating with our support of services, we're not going to be able to help our clients like we were in the past. And so we just warmly welcome that. I firmly believe that the church is still ministering that message of how to find the path, and that's directly through Jesus Christ. And so as the tribal people see something like this, that the church is still there, that the church is still there to help, and to love, and to minister to the people, that it can help with the reconciliation process.

And if all, I would bring all I have to you, And if you are the chosen son, can I come as I am to you? And if you are the calming king, In this kingdom that we can't see, if you are the holy one, can I come as I am to you? And it's such a testimony right now to our tribal leadership. Our tribal council is looking at this right now, and they're scratching their heads going, what? We're actually getting donations from a church that wants to help tribal families? And how did this happen again? And so to be able to tell that story and to tell the connection with the church, it's just such a beautiful testimony for Fresh Life, beautiful testimony for our personal lives, and basically all glory to God.

Come on, let's thank the Lord for that. We asked them what the Families First grant that was lost, as things change in regulations, about things that they were not going to be able to do in 2021 because of the loss of that revenue, and they talked about how it was clothing. It was fixing windows that would prevent people from having their children taken away. It was it was food, it was it was these simple things that we take for granted every day.

And I'm really excited to preach the gospel and see people know that Jesus is the bread of life, but it's hard sometimes for people to hear about how he's the bread of life if they don't have actual bread to eat. And we ask what that total was, and they said that the grant money they're not going to have that would prevent them from doing those things in the coming year was $47,000. And so we said on your behalf, that should God do this work that we are believing he's going to do, we're not only going to give that. We're going to give $50,000 towards this ministry in this coming year, and we're going to believe God is going to continue to open up doors for us to even be more through the Indian reservations in the coming days.

Let me pray for you, every single person participating. Just lifting your heart up to God, you could through the posture of your hands show that. Raise your hands up as well if that's your choice. I believe that empty hands are the only kind of hands that can receive a gift, so when we give empty hands to God like that, when we hold up our hands saying, God I give you me, I give you my life. I give you my heart. I believe God can move a minister in us.

And I pray, father, for your blessing on these people, whose hearts beat in sync with yours. To say I want hungry people to be fed, I want naked people to be clothed, I want broken windows in a cold climate to be repaired. We know the reservation in particular, and prisons as well, have been hit hard by COVID. Peoples even normal freedom has been taken away. And in these days, God, we want to be about your father's business, our father's business, your business. We're not waiting for a better time, we're not waiting for a time that makes more sense on paper. No, we're not going to wait to get this in place, or that in place, and then I'll be generous. God, we want to be about that now, and trust you now, in this crisis, in these moments. I pray for kindness, I pray for boldness, I pray for perfect gladness upon your people. Fill us afresh with your spirit. Do more than we could ask or think. Bless these gifts, and these your children, in Jesus' name.

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