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6/5/22 Sermon Transcript / Cracked Pots

Pastor Randy (00:12):

Good morning. Good to see everybody once again. Appreciate so much you tuning in online or here in the room. We're always glad to have you with us this morning. Before I move on and first of all, I want to give a shout out to Mr and Ms. Cobb. David and Mrs. Cobb, who watch us I'm told, every single week. And they're all the way up in Hurricane, West Virginia. I love the name. I just wanted to say their hometowns. Oh, we got somebody... They're here. Are you the Cobbs? Well, my goodness.

I honestly didn't know you were going to be here. What are you doing here? You supposed to be in Hurricane West, Virginia. Well, this is a double treat. The Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways. We're going to give you a shout out anyway, though. Thank you for that. So a real quick, I'll call it a financial update because you who are a part of the body of Christ here, you deserve to be able to stay in touch with that. And so I know our leaders get updated weekly, but I want to just kind of update everybody. As of the close of the month of May, you have generously given $1.2 million to the ministry of this church. So we praise the Lord for that. That's sort of a...

If you don't have anything to compare that to, that's a relative number, but that also represents about 57,000 a week that you give. To put it in perspective, we are ahead of budget going into the summer, which is a fantastic place to be, actually. We are grateful and humbled to be able to know that going in, and that's not a thing to be complacent about. But it's a thing to say, one more reminder that God has big plans for the future in his kingdom here in Summerville and beyond. We also have a thing we encourage everyone to do and that is to give to what is called the Unified Missions Fund. And if you can put that up there, guys. Right now, this year, and this is above and beyond your tithes, this is you designated, just what it says, unified missions in however you give.

And that all goes straight out to the mission field. 12% of the other number 1.2 million, 12% of that goes straight out to the mission field is our church tie. This all goes, and there's a pie that it proportionally goes out to. So that's the next slide. It might be hard to see that, but the blue, the majority of it goes straight out to international missions. 17% also goes to North American missions and 17% stays here for what we call Acts 1:8, like the impact weekends and the ministries that we do here. And the funding for mission teams in some respects and all goes into what we call Acts 1:8 ministry there. And then the remaining 4% is state missionaries and our local association of Baptist churches there. So when you give a dollar, it all goes straight out to those five different mission organizations or funds there also.

Here's where we're not quite where we'd love to be here. That's a good number, but compared to where we were last year with that number, we are a little behind. So my encouragement is if you can see fit, and if you can, above and beyond your tithes and offerings, just make out a little separate gift to go to the Unified Mission Fund. We'll be receiving that all up to the end of the year. And where we would love to be at the end of that is like 130, 140,000 because that's about where we were last year, actually. And so just a quick encouragement and a thank you for giving so generously there. Let's pray.

Lord, we've already seen your hand at work. I praise you for new life regardless of age. I praise you for the ability to partner with you to be on mission, whether it's here in this neighborhood or whether it's across the world. And so Lord, just continue to show us your way, to show us the path and give us the faith and give us the courage just to walk through that. And we'll give you the glory. In Jesus name we pray. Amen. All right, well, we all have our duties to do during the week, right? We all have jobs to go to, or we've got things at home to be doing. We've got family members to take care of. Some of those are task. Some of them are chores. Some of them are just flat out J-O-B. I have to do this. It's just part of life, right?

But then we also, if you're a Christ follower, we have this, I'll call it a supernatural ministry and it is why your heart is still beating and why you are still breathing. It is in fact who you are, but also it is the expression of what you do relating to who you are. We call that being on mission for God. And there's this beautiful illustration of that in 2 Corinthians, chapter four verses five through 12. So if you're there already, thank you. Thanks for bringing your Bible. There's some Bibles into pew racks here in the room, turn your device on. And at home, grab that Bible or get your iPad or whatever you normally get into the scriptures because this is such a rich passage that I don't want you to miss some of the meaning. The problem is we are us, right?

We are like sinful people and we're such a ball and a contradiction of motives some days and purposes some days and thoughts and actions. We know generally who we ought to be and how we ought to behave in regard to that. But there are some days, we take over and we don't get the job done and then we feel like failures, right? It's what do we do living in the gap. We know this is where we ought to be, but if you're like me many days, I'm here. And then it's like, how do I, if I am able to bridge this gap. And so that's what 2 Corinthians for, five through 12 is all about. In verse one, the context of all of this, Paul, Apostle Paul is writing to this church in [inaudible 00:07:24]. And can I tell you this?

They are struggling. They are trying to figure out how to be Christ followers and they're failing as much as they're getting it right. And this is the second time he has come to him with some good advice. And so this time he says, let me remind... The New Living Translation of verse one says, you have been given this ministry. This isn't something that you earned, this is something given to you just because God wants you to have the thrill of partnering with him in what he's doing in this work. And so then it's because of this, he says, stay the course. That's my term of that. Just stay faithful. And that's such good news to us. And also, what we're going to do with today for a few minutes, y'all, is what do you do when your righteousness is very rickety? What do you do when your godliness is really gimpy? What do we do with the gap between who we're supposed to be and who we really are? We can go quit and sit on sideline, or we can continue to move forward.

And this is what gets me up in the mornings. What happens when a whole big group of people just start moving forward. We are who we are, but we also are called by God to be divine messengers of a supernatural gift. And we are going to continue to walk uphill as imperfect people, but as people who are fully convinced. So we have this mission, big idea today, the mission is simply to reveal Christ, to reveal Christ. Verse five, "We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake" or for Jesus mission. So there's going to be just three points to living on mission. Okay? And this is actually a golden time to be talking about it because VBS starts tomorrow. And many of you, how many, Rhonda? Maybe a couple of hundred people are going to be living on mission as adults so that we can serve families and children and all too.

So that takes place. First, let's read verses five through seven, because the first thing about living on mission, we got to be reminded of, Hey, we experienced the power of God and that it's not even our power. I read verse five, look at verse six. "For God who said, let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." All right, let's stop right here a second. He uses light, which is an analogy all through the Bible of good or perfection or God himself. God is light, Jesus says, I'm the light of the world. He says, how do you understand who an invisible deity called God is? Just look at the face of Jesus.

And remember, Jesus said more than once, Hey, you want to know what God's like? Check him out right here. He's standing before you. He says, if you know me, you know the Father. If you love me, you love the Father. So Paul is reminding us of that. Now look at verse seven, "But we have this treasure." That's the contents. "In jars of clay," that's the container. "To show that this all-surpassing power," there's our word power, "is from God and not from us." He uses the same word later in his letter, chapter six, verse seven, if you want to flip over there. Chapter six, verse seven, he says in truthful speech and the power of God with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left. So he says, what we say can be enabled by the power of God.

In Ephesians 3:7, he wrote that letter too. A different church. He says, "I'm a servant of the gospel by the gift of God's grace given to me by the working of his power." There he says, what I say better be lit by the power of God, through the Holy Spirit, but also what I do ought to be empowered by God too. So here's our problem with the gap. We get so tied up and we get so consumed by the container, which is us that we forget how valuable the treasure inside the container is. And that is the Holy Spirit if you're a Christ follower. So that's why these jars of clay are around here to represent. And as you can see, some of them are kind of marred and some of them are already broken. Have you ever bought some of these and you'd get them home and they're cracked?

Well, Paul is saying, do not take offense to this. Paul is saying, Hey, we're all cracked pots. We're all in that problem here. And so we've laid some of these out and around just as illustrations of this is various... We get so concerned though with the outer part, which is us, how we are projected, our image, how we can be somehow useful and valuable. You know, we spend a lot of time talking about in this society, our self-esteem and everything, but we fail to remember... The only thing in the old days, they had these around, they made them. The only thing that really made this though, of any value, because this is made out of dirt, right? This is made out of dirt and water. Not a lot of value in that, but in the hands of a potter, it gets a little bit more valuable just cause it's a container.

But what really gives it value is what's inside of it. And he says, we carry around this treasure of the gospel of Jesus Christ in us. It's not about the container. It's about the treasure because we're all marred, we're all broken. And then if somebody comes along and he's kind of clumsy and he's got slippery hands, oh my goodness. Now there's especially no value in the container, but the contents are still just as valuable. We'll come and go but the good news will live forever. Hudson Taylor, who was a world class missionary a long time ago, said this, "All of God's giants have been weak people who did great things for God. Why? Because they reckoned that God would be with them." It's just that simple. We march on and we move and we advance because we reckon that God would be with us. There is a power in us that is the same power that resurrected Jesus from the dead.

The problem is we let the gap overwhelm and cause us to sit down on the sidelines. This power is not something that we generate. It's merely something that we are dependent on, we bow to and that's why you're here week after week. That's why you're watching out there week after week. We need the power of the mighty Holy Spirit. If we don't live in this attitude of every single day, come Holy Spirit. We've lost that day, no matter what we do. No matter what good works that we do. In Jeremiah 18 through 20, Jeremiah is taken by God's spirit to the house of a potter and he's going at it, he's working. He's got this clay and he's working on it and he's shaping it. You've seen this happen. About halfway through it on the wheel that's spinning, it just doesn't do right. It lumps up and it messes up. And what does he do? He just collapses it and starts over. And in that moment, God speaks to the prophet Jeremiah.

And he says, this is what's going to happen to the nation of Israel and that's your job to tell them that's what will happen. And furthermore, let me remind you, you are a piece of clay in my hands too. And so Jeremiah has that tough job. The application for us today is I do believe God still judges entire nations. And I do believe that we, the people of God have an awesome opportunity, but also an awesome responsibility to be the face of God, because we are Christ followers. And with some people who are very close to you, but very far to God. You might get one good crack at it this summer. And that's not to put pressure on you. But what it is to say is we cannot take a day off in our relationship with Jesus Christ because we are a great nation. I believe the greatest nation on the face of the earth. But we are no better, we're no more special than any other country when it comes to all lining up and examining the gap between who we are and who Christ wants us to be.

So it is time to get busy. So I guess, we all have a tendency to focus on other people, but we can't be good ministers until we focus on who we are. And y'all, I'm broken. I'm that. And nobody on the face of the earth, when you get to be there, nobody's going to put you back together perfectly. But there is this God who is all powerful and he's already created me once. And so its small potatoes for him to put me back together again, and that's called transformation. And we'll talk about that in a minute too. But we cannot overlook that we have the ability and we ought to expect to experience the power of God every single day, in a big way or a little way. In Acts 9:15, Saul has had that experience with the power of God through the Holy Spirit.

He's blinded. They lead him into town. His whole world has crashed around him. He doesn't know what's up for him. Holy Spirit speaks to somebody in another place. And he says, go minister to this guy because, and his words were, he is my chosen vessel. He doesn't even know it yet, but he is my chosen vessel. So my encouragement to all of you is you are my chosen vessels, according to God. Also by the power of the Holy Spirit. So you might as well accept it and we might as well start moving, relating to that. So the second point about living on mission is in verses eight and nine, and that's experiencing the protection of God. Okay? Power's good but when you get out there and you're serving the Lord and whatever capacity he's leading you to do, we still got to pray in another manner too.

So look, verses eight and nine, "We are hard pressed." That means forces from outside, from the society, from other areas, external pressure is on us. "On every side, but we are not crushed." We are resilient, he says. We are flexible. We've had a good case study of that in our world the last two years, have we not? We're still dealing with a lot of stuff from that, but we are learning to be flexible and to continue to live on mission, regardless of that. We are perplexed, which means confused, but we're not in despair. We're learning how to be on mission, even among uncertainty. And if we can't do that, we're not really usable anymore as a container. Look at verse nine, we are persecuted. That means hunted. Y'all we're not persecuted here. We think some days, ah, everybody... No, no, no, no, no, no. In this day when this is written, there were people actually out there under orders from the state to hunt Christians down and imprison them or worse. And the guy who wrote this letter used to be one of the worst ones.

But we are not abandoned. Some of you know Hebrews 13:5, I will never leave you. I will never forsake. You remember that one? He says, even when you're being hunted, you're not going to be hunted alone. We are struck down. That was actually a wrestling term. College wrestling, not professional wrestling. Okay. That's a better analogy. And it meant taken down because that's the goal, right? Your opponent, you start standing up or you stand and the deal is get your opponent to the mat before he takes you down. We are taken down, but we're not destroyed. We're not destroyed. We all have external pressures. We all have internal pressures. What that just simply means is, it's a daily reminder that we are weak. We are a jar. We are somewhat brittle. We can be hard on the exterior, but we're brittle. We can be broken pretty easily.

But the value of what's inside of us is what makes us resilient, flexible, get up off the mat, continue to move forward for the cause of Christ. And it's what fueled the guy who wrote this letter too. And so he even said, Paul even said, I got these afflictions. We think they're physical. I'm not really sure what they were, but he says, I got this thing. I've continually prayed for God to remove it, he's not going to do it. I finally understand that now so I'm retiring. He didn't say that. He said, so I will continue to move in advance because when I am... Remember? When I am weak, then I am strong.

When I am weak, then I am strong. Right before baptism, before we came up and y'all were greeting. I leaned over to Ms. Cheryl and I said, can I remind you that the Bible teaches God always rewards obedience? And he's going to reward this in your life. And there's going to be some other people who come to know him just because they watched you. That's a good day, by the way. That's a good day. If you visit hospice facilities, if you visit places where terminally ill people are or some hospital wards or just private homes where there's a struggle of life or death and probably there's not a remedy for that. What those folks will tell you is the presence of God is my protection. Presence equals protection.

I don't have a medicine I can take, I don't have a protocol I can do. This has happened, it's irreversible. He walked out. He's not coming back, but I do have this. I have the presence of God. And tomorrow, I'm going to get up and I'm going to do what I've been called to do because I have the presence of God. Some of you have been in other countries on missions. You've had graphic reminders of people in a lot of other parts of the world. And they'll tell you, we don't have a cure for this, we don't have money for this, we don't have a building for this. We don't have resources for this. We have the presence of God.

And that is the power of God. How many times does God, especially in the Old Testament, come to his people that he's putting in a ridiculously hard situation. Think of Moses, think of Joseph, think of Daniel. He doesn't come in with an army. He doesn't come in with a key to the prison and get them out. He doesn't change kings and magically take care of their situation. What does he do? He walks up and he says, can I remind you? I am. I am.

And that somehow was enough. So where's your place this morning? Are you in, what will metaphorically call the house of the Father? Do you know who your heavenly Father is? And do you remind yourself every single day of his presence? Because if you're in the house of the Father today, whether it's... And I'm not talking about this building. I'm talking about your relationship through the Holy Spirit with him. If you're trying your best to live in the house of the Father. We know from ancient times, that was a safe place. That was a safe place. If I can just get home, I'll be safe. Remember the prodigal son? He gets within sight and the dad's watching out the window, like he's expecting him to walk up.

And he welcomes him home. And that day he realizes it's not about the container because the container is very broken. It's about the contents. It's about what is in me. Romans 9:20-21, I'll paraphrase it for you. He goes back to the clay analogy again. And he says, you know it'd be pretty ridiculous if the potter is forming something and the lump of clay yells up at the potter and says, why are you doing this? Why are you making me this way? Who gives you the right? Said that'd be kind of silly, would it not? What's his job? The Clay's job is to be shaped and molded. Who has the authority over this? Who has the authority over that lump clay? The potter. The potter will make of him, of the piece of clay what should be. And in those two verses, he's kind of resetting our dial and say, our job is just to be faithful as containers of the best treasure in the history of the world, we call it the gospel.

And that's simply the good news about Jesus Christ, because why? Our one simple mission is to reveal Christ. Our one simple mission is to reveal Christ. Tomorrow when you get up, what will your mission be? It'll be the same as today, to reveal Jesus Christ. It doesn't get real complicated. Number three, transformation is contagious. Transformation is contagious. If we understand the presence of God in us, if we understand what that translates and manifests into in power, then we can start to understand a little bit about what transformation is. Look at verse 10, "We always carry around in our body, the death of Christ so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our bodies." We always carry around... See what he's doing here. He's confessing him himself is saying I'm sinning about every day. And that equates to death if I don't have Jesus in me. We're all in the same boat.

Without Jesus Christ, we are dead people. And he says, I act like a dead person every time that I sin. But then he going down to the bottom of that verse, he says, "I die so that Christ will be revealed." And Hey, here's one key to understanding when it says Jesus is revealed through what we do and who we are, what that really means is that's attached to reward. We are rewarded one day, maybe not today. You are rewarded one day for simply revealing and emulating and following the example of Christ as best you can every single day. That's why Paul and Philippians 3:10 says, I got one goal that's to know Jesus Christ. It's like, man, you wrote a third of the New Testament, I think you know him pretty well, don't you? You don't understand, I want to know Jesus Christ today and the fellowship of the resurrection. But also, and to identify with him and his sufferings, hence we carry around the death of Jesus in us.

All that means is we are to make it about other people. It's not about us, it's about blessing the rest. Jesus never allowed it to be about him. And if you're leading a group, whether it's class here or a family or a multi-billion dollar organization, it cannot be about you, even if you're leading. It cannot be about you. It's got to be about others. You leverage your authority for the sake of everybody else. That's the death of Christ so other people will live. And he does that. Jesus' example is perfect. Verse 11, "For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake." That means it's a daily adventure. "So that his life may be revealed in our mortal body." When he says we're carrying around the death of Jesus, that's not a morbid statement. It means we got to be willing to be sacrificial and inconvenienced in our own lives to leverage that genuine nature for the good of other people.

We've seen a great example of that today. We'll see a couple more at 10:30. We'll continue. We have in the past, you have in other places. People come to know who Jesus is and want Jesus because of the example of other people who are just trying to reveal him in the best way that they can. And it's usually not through the spoken word so much as the countenance of their lives, their nature, their character, their integrity under fire. How do they handle hardship? How do they deal with loss? How do they grieve? Verse 12, "So then, death is at work in us and life is at work in you."

When we sacrifice for the good of other people, we always are taking a stand for Jesus Christ. Luke 9, Jesus himself said, whoever wants to save his life must lose it, whoever loses his life for me will save it because here's the short of it, y'all. The Holy Spirit is manifested the most strongly in you, out of you, pouring out of you when you have surrendered your life and we sang about it this morning. When you are intentionally surrendering your life, carry the death of Jesus around for the sake of other people, to reveal Christ to other people. That does not take a degree, it does not take the ability to memorize half the scripture, it doesn't take a lot of talent, it's not age centered. It is simply a heart thing. It is a surrendered heart. Why is this true?

Why is transformation always contagious to other people? Because the people who are being transformed become confident and that doesn't come from you either, by the way. We can't even brag about our confidence that comes from Jesus Christ. Can we? But it's true. Think of the people who have influenced and mentored you and discipled you the most, they were confident. I love reading the gospels when the disciples are having these conversations with Jesus. Typically, that means talking to Peter because he's always the one speaking up, right? I love Peter because I guess, I see myself in him too much. But there's this occasion in Luke 18, they've been at it for a couple of years and this guy walks up and he represents everything they don't have in their organization.

He's the rich young ruler. He's got money. They don't have any money. He's got connections in Jerusalem, politically and legally. They don't have any of that. This guy knows people, this guy is somebody and this guy is a legitimate seeker. What do I need to have to do to have eternal life? And Jesus doesn't make it very easy on him. And he answers the first question he says, yeah, but you know, give me a little picture of it. And he says, all right, go sell everything, walk away from everything and then come follow me. Get in the truck with us. And of course, the guy can't do it. Now at this point, Peter, I think if you read 18, I think it's 28 through 30. I think Peter is agitated. I think he is halfway angry at Jesus. It's like, what are you doing? And so Peter takes Jesus aside and patiently explains to Jesus, what he doesn't understand.

Have you ever done that? Jesus, you just don't understand. This is my problem. And Peter does that and what comes out and that's why I think he's halfway upset. It's easy, he says, let me remind you, we've left everything to follow you. We've left everything. This guy walks in. We have no place to put our head. I'm tired of sleeping under the stars, we can't afford a Motel 6, let me remind you of that. We eat what people give us. We're just kind of wandering around. We don't have anywhere that we stay. This guy walks in and now he just walked out. And Jesus very patiently says back to him, the day is coming when your efforts will be rewarded. That day is not today but one day, one day.

Peter continues to blow it. He continues to get it right. He reconciles with the risen Christ. And about 10 years later, he's hanging on a cross upside down. But we're told in the book of Revelation, evidently there's this like seed of honor reserved for Peter. When we get to heaven, we'll see that. His day came later. There is a great reward. So Randy, what are you saying? I'm saying it's worth it. Ha, it's worth it. Every time you break a sweat, every time you grieve over somebody, every time you spend all your energy for the sake of Christ, any time you spend time on your knees, pleading with God for the case of other people, every time you sacrifice yourself for somebody else, it's worth it.

And it's noted. And so we have every opportunity in the world to be contagious. That means we need to be positive with our message. You look at great leaders. They had this all similar trait. Seemed like they were positive, whether it was the best day or the worst day. Harry Truman was running for president and he was considered to be an underdog. And he wasn't getting a whole lot of encouragement out on the campaign trail. And he met this one guy and he says, "Hey, I'm Harry Truman. I'm running for president of the United States." And the guy looked at him and said, "I wouldn't vote for you if you were the only person on the ballot." And Truman turns to his aid and he says, put him down as doubtful. I love that. And of course we know the rest of the story, you know. He won. He won. Our best model is Jesus, who basically did not even make his own agenda. John 3:16, God loved the world, God sent his son.

The son's just doing what the Father told them to do. So my job and your job is to move myself, my gimpy godliness onto his agenda and stay on his agenda. I have a bunch of ideas and I have a bunch of opinions, but if they're not filtered through the power of the Holy Spirit, y'all, they are useless. That's what happens too. They come to be in pieces. So where are you presently? Have you entrusted the outcome of your life and the fruit of your life to this loving omniscience savior who gave his life for you yet? Are you still trying to figure out your agenda? One of the things that I am so pumped up about is come September, this body of Christ, we're all going to be maturing a little bit in our faith because we will all be challenged at a level we have not been challenged to lately. And that is some of us going to be down the road.

Some of us will be in here. We're going to be missing some key cogs here. We're going to be crying and sending them out and saying, God, bless you, bear fruit out there. And then we're going to look at each other in here and say, well, who's going to do that job? Who's going to teach my class? Who's going to put that tent up? Who's going to do this? I guess, maybe. I need to do that, I need to help with that. People out there going to be looking at each other and says, where's the rest of us? It's kind of lonely over here. What are we going to do? I guess we'll do what we need to do, right? And the Bible says there is a maturing level every time we serve Christ. Whether it's major or minor.

So let me close out with some unbelievable scripture from the same place, chapter four, 2 Corinthians 16-18. 16, therefore we do not lose heart. Though, outwardly, we are wasting away. Inwardly, we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. For we fix our eyes, not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary. But what is unseen is eternal. We're working for some stuff that we cannot see, but he does. And as long as he does, I'm okay with not seeing it. Y'all, if you're a realtor or you're an attorney, you're very knowledgeable on the phrase, eminent domain, aren't you? Eminent domain means if you have property and it's within the jurisdiction of the United States of America. You think it's your property, but they can come in and say, we need your property. And furthermore, we're going to take your property and we are going to compensate you for that. But we are taking your property, right? Because they think they have a better idea for your property than you do.

Let's play out a little scenario here. You have some land, you got 20 or 30 acres of land, but 18 of the 20 acres is underwater swamp land. It's absolutely useless. You'd love to live somewhere else. You're tired of the snakes and the other stuff, but who's going to buy that piece of land? Somebody comes to you one day and they knock on your door and say, I want to make an offer on your land. You say, really? And he said, yeah, I've already run the numbers and I've examined it. Matter of fact, I had a hand in putting all this here and you know, it's useless. Let's be honest, it's useless. But I'm still going to buy it and I'm going to do something with it. I know the value of it, but I'm going to tell you what, because I love you, I'm going to pay the biggest price I can come up with. I'm going to leverage the house. I'm going to send my son in here and pay with his life.

Because I'm going to take that piece of land and when I'm through with it won't be swampland anymore. It will be prettier than Augusta National Golf Course. Oh and then I'm going to move you back in here and I'm going to give it back to you. That's God's definition of eminent domain. Now, are you willing to turn that down? Come on. The quicker we surrender, all of us, this broken container that is us, the quicker we get to our knees and we say, please do that. Please transform me, the better we'll all be. So that's why we have our invitations. Eddie moves around on me every week now. Just when I get used to him being behind me, he's sitting in front of him. So Eddie, come on up. We get to worship one more time. So please stand. Let me pray for you. This is your opportunity to take what is called that next step toward Jesus. And whether that's a rededication or I need to find Jesus for the very first time or I need membership.

I need to identify with the church and get on board there. Whatever that might be. Prayer is always good. We'll be down here. So let's pray. God, thank you for your love and thank you for your conviction. And Father, we need those reminders occasionally that we are broken vessels on the cusp of VBS. One of the biggest mission weeks of this entire church, we especially are grateful for that reminder that it's your power in us. It's your protection through us and the transformation that you've given us better be contagious. And if it's not, it's our fault and not yours. So God do what you need to do in us. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

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