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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Uninvite THESE 'Guests' From Your Mind

Steven Furtick - Uninvite THESE 'Guests' From Your Mind

Steven Furtick - Uninvite THESE 'Guests' From Your Mind
TOPICS: Christmas

This is an excerpt from: By Invitation Only

To me, there couldn't be a better message for the Christmas season: the miraculous in the mundane. God shows up where he's invited. Now God is not Vince Vaughn. He's not Owen Wilson. He won't crash the wedding, but if he's invited... God will show up in your car if you invite him. I know this isn't good for business and I probably shouldn't say this while we're busy building buildings and all of this, but you don't even have to come to church to meet with God. I want you to come. I'm glad you came. I think it's powerful when we get together. Please keep coming. It would suck without you. But if in your car you decide, "My commute is my chapel," God will turn your Camry into a tabernacle. The presence of God will show up in your Acura. He'll come wherever he's welcome.

That's why we lift our hands when we come in church. We want God to know, "You're welcome, God". One of my friends wrote a song one time that said, "We welcome you with praise". Did you know that your praise welcomes God's power? When you reach out to him like a little child in weakness, the Word of God that was there in the beginning flows through the corridors of time and changes the most desperate situation. He'll show up in a valley of dry bones. If you speak the Word, if you prophesy to the bones, the breath of God will show up and blow through the dry bones, and the bones will come together and the flesh will cover the bones. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us". The Word went to the wedding, because the Word wanted the world to know, "I'll show up wherever I'm welcome".

Have you welcomed Christ into your Christmas season? He won't invade it. Jesus will let you go through this whole season where you celebrate the Savior stressed out if that's what you want to do, but if you invite him in, the Prince of Peace will come in. You know what? Whatever you welcome is what you have to live with. I know the Bible says Jesus was invited, but it's interesting, because sometimes we invite everything else into our lives but him. We invite stress into our lives, and the stress we fight in January is the result of the money we spent in December. We invited it. Sometimes depression comes. I know depression can be a chemical thing. I'm not saying you always create your depression, but sometimes when you're discouraged, you're discouraged because you invited discouragement with your thoughts.

They ran out of wine, and they were running low. Have you ever been running low? Good thing Jesus was there. Good thing the source of joy was in the place where the wine ran out. Mary knew where to go. I love Mary, because she goes up to Jesus... This is pretty powerful. Really this is a passage about expectations. The guests are there, and they're expecting another glass. They're walking around with red cups that are empty. Not for Christmas. It's not Starbucks either. They're walking around, and it's dried up over there at the bar. Their expectations are not being met.

Jesus is supposed to be in the synagogue, and he's not. He's at a wedding. He's supposed to look like Thor, and instead he came down looking like Charlie. Jesus is here, and they don't recognize him. He's just chilling at a wedding in the situations of everyday life. This is like Jesus showing up in your carpool line. This is like Jesus showing up in your kitchen. God will do the dishes with you if he's invited. I'm not even saying you have to quote Philippians 4. I'm just saying if you will invite God in with your attitude, he'll come in, but to invite him in you have to have room for him, so there's some stuff you have to say, "You're not welcome here".

Let me list a few unwelcome guests: fear, intimidation, offense. "You're not welcome here. I'm welcoming the presence of God in my heart and in my life". Mary says something only a mom can say. She asks Jesus to do something in the form of a statement. There's no question mark. She goes, "Hey, there's a situation. They have no more wine". Jesus says, "Woman, why do you involve me"? Write that word down. Invited is the first word. Involved is the second. We're going to talk about what to do when joy is running low, when the wine runs out. He was invited, and now Mary is trying to get him involved, and he doesn't want any of it. He said, "That's not my problem". "Woman, why do you involve me"?

Watch what Mary did. There's a little Christmas song that says, "Mary, did you know"? Well, she knew. She knew who to go to. She knew what to do. That's really the question, isn't it? Do you know where to go when your joy is running low? They're running low, and now they're about to get in the flow. Instead of arguing with Jesus... It seems like he doesn't want to do it. Do you ever ask God for something and it seems like he won't give it to you? You're like, "God, just give me your joy this season. I miss this person, and I'm disappointed in that person, and I'm feeling low. God, give it to me". She comes and says, "Here's the situation, Jesus. There's no more wine". "Here's the situation: my heart is broken. Here's the situation: they left me. Here's the situation: I'm not feeling it. Here's the situation: I don't have the money to do what I wanted to do. Here's the situation".

She says the situation, and on the surface he seems resistant. I've been preaching this passage for 15 years, and this is the first time I ever saw what I'm about to show you. I always read it and it was like an abrupt change to me that she goes, "They're out of wine," and Jesus goes, "Who cares? Why do you involve me"? and then Mary turns to the servants, not to Jesus... She doesn't turn to him; she turns to them, because she knows he's not going to get involved until they do. She can beg. She could cry. She could put a maternal guilt trip on him, but he's not going to do it.

There's something about Mary. She had been in a situation one time before. If you will remember, the angel appeared to her when she was just a teenage girl with a virgin womb. When the angel said unto her, "You're going to bring forth a son, and his name is going to be Jesus," she said, "How is it going to happen"? The angel said, "Don't even worry about it. The Spirit of God will overshadow you, and the power of the Most High will come upon you, and you will give birth to something you don't even understand, for no word from God will ever fail". Mary said, "I am your servant. May it be to me as you have said". There's the common word. "I am your servant".

Now let's go to John 2:5. Jesus isn't a baby anymore. He's not a promise anymore. He's a man standing at a wedding, and the people are out of wine. Mary turned to the servants and said, "If you'll get involved, he'll get involved. Do what he tells you. Don't make it complicated. It's really simple. Do what he tells you". Here's the part I like. It says, "Nearby..". Everybody say, "It's right in front of you". It's not some spectacular thing. That's our problem. We're looking for the spectacular. The Bible says, "Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing". Common jars used for an everyday purpose.

Jesus said, "I want those, the ones everybody walked by without even noticing. That's what I want to use to reveal my glory here in Cana of Galilee, a town so insignificant it's not even on the map, at the wedding of a couple who are not even named. In this moment, I want to reveal my glory. I want to take an ordinary moment and do an extraordinary thing". "We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that the excellency of the power of God is not of us". Six stone jars, the kind they used to wash their hands in, the kind they put their dirt back in. He said, "Bring me those". Then he told them after they went and got the jars... They're heavy too. They hold 20 to 30 gallons. These are big ol' jars. He tells the servants to bring them over. Then watch what he tells them to do next. He tells them to fill the jars with water. Not with wine but with water. They needed wine, but he pointed to water.

We want God to show up in great glory, and he comes looking like a baby. We want God to do something spectacular, and he starts with something small. Could it be that you will miss Christ this Christmas because he is hiding in the common? I'm preaching right to somebody. You've been asking God for something that's right in front of you. I'm the best person to preach about this, because I get a little bit "Grinchy" at Christmas. This year I hit an all-time Scrooge level that I never hit before. I love the church part of Christmas and the story and all that. I just get all weird around Christmas time. I don't know why. I had great Christmases growing up and everything too. I can't even blame it on my upbringing. That would be convenient, but I can't even do that. It's just Christmas.

Something about Christmas makes me stressed out. I told the kids the other day, "We might cancel the whole thing this year. I just want y'all to be ready. We might not do anything this Christmas. Y'all have plenty of crap, and you can go play with that. You can put a bow on the crap I bought you last Christmas, if you can even find it". That's how I lead my family spiritually. I'm just trying to be an example to the flock over which God has made me overseer. The kids kind of looked at me like, "Oh". Nobody said a word.

A couple of weeks later Holly was putting up the tree. I give her all the glory. Let's be honest. How could she not love Christmas when her name is Holly? She is set up for this holiday. She put up the lights. She put up the stockings. Joanna helped her. I think Nicole came over and helped. I didn't help her. I was upstairs writing my sermon for Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Elijah is 11 now. He comes upstairs and goes, "All right, Daddy. The tree is up. The lights are up. The stockings are hung. Come on downstairs. I'm going to teach you how to enjoy Christmas this year".

The boy had made me coffee. He had the Chris Tomlin Christmas album playing through Spotify all through the house. We went around. He said, "You have to go through the front door". He didn't mean to, but he accidentally locked us out of the house, so it wasn't a good start. We banged on the door for a little while. We got in, and I looked at it. I'm happy to report to you I'm doing better this Christmas. I'm wearing my red Christmas J's to preach to you in honor of our Lord. Jordans for Jesus on Christmas Day. It's the common stuff. I think kids know stuff. "If I get Dad involved, he'll enjoy it".

Some of us stand at a distance waiting for God to give us joy while God is waiting for us to rejoice. God said, "I'll give you joy if you'll rejoice". Why don't you just start clapping your hands right now, Lake Norman? Right now, UC. Right now, Rock Hill. Right now, Ballantyne. Right now, Blakeney. Come on! Welcome his presence in your situation! We welcome you, Lord. Let your joy flow this season.
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