Generational Blessing

David Stockton
Series: Generational Blessing

Video (Jim Watkins): 

“In terms of a legacy, let me recite a saying that I picked up out of a book that said, 'Push back against the age as hard as it pushes against you.’ I look at life, and most people do, I think, in four quarters. You know, there’s 1-20, 20-40, 40-60, 60-80. In that first quarter of life, 1-20, I thought I knew God, but as I reflect on it, fortunately, God knew me. As I look back at some of the reckless decisions and shameful behaviors that I had during that time of life, I realize that he was really giving me cover. I wouldn’t see that until hindsight. After I had accepted the Lord and I look back on my life, and I look at all of those times that things could have just gone off the rails—even to the point of death—and think that the Lord’s hand was upon me, saving me for a relationship with him.

“I was married, starting to raise children, trying to get established in my career. It was toward the end of that second season when I went and met the Lord. That was a significant change in my life, It was interesting. My wife told me that after I came home from that week all zealous, that I would be tested. She said, ‘Expect that you will be tested.’ Well, the following week I found out that I was going to lose my job—it had been eliminated. So, during that second season, after I had met the Lord, he had other things in mind for us, and brought us into the desert.

“In that third season I began to go deeper in my faith. I started getting involved in Bible studies, I started teaching Bible studies and facilitating them.

“The fourth season, which is the one I’m in right now, things were good. Empty nest. Kids were gone, off the payroll. Things were good there. And then there was a speed bump. My wife got breast cancer. During that period, I never got mad at God. ‘Why is going this way? Why does it have to end this way?’ I thought The Lord’s will in this will eventually be apparent to me. 

“It was an opportunity to take my relationship with my wife even deeper. I can remember a few days before she died, I asked her, ‘Are there any wounds that I’ve caused that I need to ask forgiveness for?’ 

“It was one of those priceless moments because she said, ‘I’ve never felt more loved.’ Little did I know when we had that conversation that within two or three days she’d be gone. So it was a nice way to end our life together.

“So after several months, I talked with Mark Buckley and said, ‘Mark, you know, I’m feeling isolated and kind of lonely. I’d like to try to find a companion.’

“His answer was straight out of Genesis. He said, ‘It’s not good for a man to be alone.’

“As an example that you can teach an old dog new tricks, I went online, used social media, went on Christian Mingle, and connected with my second wife, Angie.

“In terms of an overarching theme, I think I can only respond to that in the current time. I can’t go way back and say, ‘This was my theme going forward,’ other than, at the time, I wanted to be a good father, a good family man, I wanted to be full of honesty and integrity in my life; but as I look at an overarching theme now in terms of how do I want to finish and how do I want to finish strong, I think that theme would be: Build on the past, always be consciously grateful for what the Lord has done in my life; and whenever there’s a scintilla of doubt, just look back on how he’s gotten me through so many problems. The Lord has always been there. He’s never failed me. And I know he’ll never fail me in the future.”

Amen to that. We are starting a new series called “Generational Blessing.” There’s going to be a lot more of that. We ‘re going to try to get some perspective from the Bible, but we’re also trying to get a little perspective from some of those who have walked a great many years in this life, and walked a great many years with Jesus—learning things. It’s going to be interesting. A little sobering, hopefully, at times—a little humbling. But it should be really good.

We actually have four things that we hope this series produces in us as a church family. We want to resist our culture’s urge to honor the young and famous, and try to figure out how to be more biblical and honor the old and humble. It’s definitely the way of the Bible. We want to engage with and embrace those outside of our generation. We’re hoping this series will stimulate you to say, “Man, I want to call somebody who’s older or younger and find the riches that are there in that multi-generational life.”

The church is made up of every tribe, every tongue from every corner of the earth, from every age. The Bride that Jesus Christ died for and is drawing together is a bride that literally is not just millennial and baby boomer. It’s all ages since the beginning until the end. There will be people that are a part of that Bride of Christ, part of that heavenly body that come from every age. It’s just mind-blowing. And God’s vision is always so much bigger and broader than ours.

Another thing we hope is that we will begin to acknowledge and appreciate the frailty and brevity of life that will let the winds of eternity blow in and, though we can’t comprehend them, we’ll let them stir in us and help us understand that really our life is very short, very frail, very brief and very precious. Every breath is a gift. Every day is a gift and can be used in good ways and ways that aren’t so good.

And another thing we to happen is that we will get to know Jesus more, as always. We want to grow more dependent on the faithful Rock of Ages. Set our feet more firmly into that Rock that has been faithful for all time and will be faithful forevermore.

That’s what we’re hoping for. Trying to build our lives on the good things. We know that there are different generations, even alive today. I just had the opportunity to go camping with Jim Watkins, the guy on the video. He’s the chairman of our elder board. He invited me—he’s invited me multiple times to go to the Black River, fishing with him. It hasn’t worked out, but then this year it did. I told a little bit of those stories. But it was incredible to be with a guy who’s in his mid-seventies. He drove his truck until, literally, you couldn’t go any further because he had run over so many trees. We were like, “What’s that smell?” Well, basically, that’s trees under us that are burning because we’re just romping right over them.

We get there and everyone gets their heavy backpacks on and we hike down this mountain about an hour and a half. He’s just leading the charge, no problem. It was really amazing to be with a guy who’s fortunate enough, by God’s grace to be at that age and still really healthy in a lot of ways. But he does have a weakness. I was following him down this trail. We were just hiking and hiking. Again, I’m going, “Man, this guy is so incredible.” And I hear a rattle snake. It’s rattling really loud. But he just kept marching through. He has been bitten by a rattle snake in the last year. And I’m thinking, “Man, this guy is so tough that not even a rattle snake moves him.” He’s just walking right by. And I saw the rattle snake. And I was just,  “Ahhh! Jim! A rattle snake!”

He came over and he was poking it and prodding it. He’s like, “Yeah. Look at that rattle snake.” 

I’m like, “Man, this guy is hard core. He’s really hard core.”

Later on, I was asking him, “How many rattle snakes have you seen out here?”

He said, “I’ve never seen any rattle snakes. Maybe one time when I first came, thirty-five years ago or something.”

I was like, “Wow. That’s crazy,”

So, then when we’re hiking out, there were four of us, and Jim’s leading the way. We’re all trudging through and he’s having no trouble. We get to the top and we’re just about back to the  car when, all of a sudden, I hear that rattle again. I was freaking out and saying, “Rattle snake! Rattle snake!”

He’s like, “What’s that?”

He turned around and I was like, “There’s a rattle snake right there!”

This thing was just so loud. And Jim comes over and he’s like, “Wow! There he is!”

And I go, “Jim, can you hear that?”

He goes, “It’s making noise?”

I was like, “It’s screaming at us! It’s so loud!” I turned on the camera and I was like, “Listen to this!”

And the first time he didn’t have a hearing aid in and he couldn’t hear it, which makes sense. The second time, he had his hearing aid in, but whatever the frequency, he couldn’t hear it. He literally looks at me and says, “Maybe that’s why I haven’t seen one in thirty-five years!”

I was like, “Oh, my goodness!”

We were about done with the trip. But I vowed that, any time I’m with Jim I’m staying right next to him because I don’t want him to get bit by another rattle snake.

I tell that story, One, because it’s amazing what he is able to do all of that, but I can’t emphasize to you enough what a privilege and blessing I feel right now to have somebody like Jim in my life. I’ve told him this numerous times and, this isn’t a surprise to him, but just to have a guy like that who’s rooting for me, cheering for me—and he’s the chairman of an elder board. So, in my position, I have a bunch of volunteer elders who are all just trying to say, “We just don’t want this guy to fail. How do we keep correcting him when he’s getting off and encouraging him when he’s not?” They are literally trying to make me succeed in everything I do. It is such an honor and a privilege and a joy and a strength. I’m so thankful for it. 

Jim and I have had many talks. We’ve been on adventures together. It’s just so rich. And if you don’t have something like that, I would encourage you to start praying very, very fervently that the Lord would bring something like that into your life. And if you’re saying, “Everybody older than me is dead, because I’m really old,” then go ahead and pray that the Lord would start showing you who you could be that for. It is so needed and necessary in this Christian life, let alone life in itself. We need each other.

Our goal at Living Streams is to be a multi-generational church, which is the most miserable way you can do church. Right? It’s like, “Let’s be all young with our everything and then at least the young people are happy.” And the old people are grumpy. “All right. Let’s just make it a little  more old with everything. We’ll get the old people happy.” “Let’s be multi-generational.” Then everybody’s unhappy. Right? I mean, that’s basically what we’ve said. “Okay, Lord, we’re going to be multi-generational.” But it’s because we believe there is a treasure and a richness there that we desperately want. It’s worth whatever kind of discomfort or misery we might go through.

The generations that we know are alive today: 

The Traditionalists born before 1945. Again, the dates aren’t quite as important, they’ve discovered it’s more the collective experiences that that age group has gone through. The Traditionalists went through World Wars, the Great Depression, and they remember when they got sliced bread, I guess. 

The Baby Boomers are those who remember living through Vietnam, the Cold War, Civil Rights Movement, Moon Landing, Woodstock and when they got their first TV.

Generation X. Both parents worked a lot, so less supervision. Music Videos changed everything. And they remember when they got their first computer as a family.

And then the Millennial generation. They remember all the technological advances. They remember when they got their first phone. Facebook, Instagram. The world got a lot smaller because of the ease of travel and communication. This is their shared experience. You guys keep thinking I’m going to make fun of them. “You said Millennials, where’s the joke?” It’s all right. We’re trying to honor everybody right now. I’ll make fun of you later.

Generation Z. Those that are born from 1996. Basically, there are four necessities of life: Air, Water, WiFi, Food. Basically, that’s it. “Food is okay, as long as I’ve got WiFi.” Their online personality and relationships are just as important as their offline in time spent and investment. Now, I don’t think anyone would actually say that at this point. But it’s kind of interesting that they’ve always lived with kind of an online personality. So the two of them are very important. Their interactions in both places are very important and they shape them differently than the other generations.

Again, when the Bible is talking, it’s not just talking about America in 2019. It’s speaking things that are relevant way beyond America, way beyond our generations that we can name at this point: every age, every nation, every tribe, every tongue. 

I want to turn to Psalm 90, if you would. We’re going to work through Psalm 90 a bit. It’s a Psalm by Moses, which is weird if you know anything about the Psalms. It’s the only Psalm by Moses. All the other Psalms are written by David, or a lot of times were at the same time that David was alive or just after that with Asaph. This Psalm by Moses had been preserved by the Israelites into the Psalms. It’s been preserved by both those involved in Judaism and Christianity today. 

Psalm 90 is the start of a new book of Psalms, Book Number 4 of Psalms, which, if that doesn’t make sense, do a little research. It’s kind of fun. A little breakdown of the book of Psalms. 

We don’t know exactly, but Moses was probably old—real old. What we know of him, he was about eighty when he started his relationship with Jahweh, the God of the Bible. And so, it’s after that, between 80 and 120, somewhere in there is when Moses was probably writing this thing. You’ll see how that makes a lot more sense as we go through this Psalm. 

Psalm 90: 

1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
   throughout all generations.

Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Moses starts out and we don’t know what is stirring in him that is causing him to pray at all, or to pray specifically in this way. You guys know there are times in your life where all of a sudden you’re stirred to pray. Maybe you have a need or lack, or maybe you’re just feeling caught up in something you’ve seen that’s beautiful, and so you’re stirred to pray. But then, what you pray actually is also coming from what you are experiencing in life. We don’t know exactly, except that he’s old. And he’s come to this point where the intensity of his mortality is great. He’s probably thinking about death a lot more than when he was younger. 

There are people in this room who are at that stage. They are thinking about their mortality. It is yelling at them. It’s tapping them on the shoulder. “Hey. Hey. Hey.” All the time. Now, all of us know that life could end at any minute, but Moses was probably in that stage where he was dealing with the reality of death. And he’s saying, “God, you have been a refuge to every generation. I know that you are way bigger than I could ever comprehend. That you are not just my God and the God of my time, but you are the God beyond time.”

And he even talks about, “You are ageless, going back. Timeless, going back. Timeless, going forward.” This is an interesting concept for Moses to be grasping. This is eternity, which is a very, very vast concept that causes even our great scientists to stumble and kind of falter in trying to explain eternity. Basically, no beginning and no end. 

That’s different that you and me. The Bible teaches that we are not eternal. It might sound funny, and, obviously it’s semantics. We don’t inherit eternal life from God, even though that’s what the interpretation is. We inherit everlasting life. The difference is that we have a beginning. God has no beginning and no end. We have a beginning and we have no end. 

Moses is grasping in this moment the reality of God being timeless, not ever dealing with mortality. Not ever dealing with limit. Not being finite. 

Then he goes on to say:

You turn people back to dust,
    saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight
    are like a day that has just gone by,
    or like a watch in the night.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
   they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new,
    but by evening it is dry and withered.

Again, Moses is trying to be in this moment, and he’s saying, “Not only are you eternal and immortal and limitless, but when I look at humanity—pitiful. So brief. So frail. So small.” And he’s just caught up in this reality. He knows that death is coming at any minute, no matter how hard he fights, no matter how much he flexes, no matter what he does, he can’t beat it. And he’s been experiencing it little by little his entire life. 

Death is not something that’s brand new in his life. Death is something that’s always been there. And we, mankind, though we think we’re so fit and strong and big, we’re just like a blade of grass that grows up in the morning and is gone in the evening. 

And then he says: 

We are consumed by your anger
    and terrified by your indignation.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.
All our days pass away under your wrath;
    we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
    or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
    for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
    Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.

So here, Moses is speaking to the pain of life, not only is God limitless, immortal, infinite, and we’re so brief and frail, but this existence that we have here in life is rough. It’s full of pain, challenge, loneliness, loss,  heartbreak. Welcome to church, everybody, Hope you’re really getting built up by this. 

And he says,“You know, I understand that this is linked to our sin, that we hurt each other, that wars happen, that people are brutal and angry and spiteful. Not only do we have pain in our bodies, but we inflict pain so often.” He’s just being honest. It’s like all of this truth is being presented to him and he’s not rejecting or ignoring it. He’s just embracing it.

It’s funny. In Ecclesiastes Chapter 12, there’s another writer in the Bible. He speaks to aging. He speaks to old age, It’s the wisest man, Solomon, who is writing. 

In Ecclesiastes 12 (NCV), he says it this way:

1 Remember your Creator
    while you are young,
before the days of trouble come
    and the years when you say,
    “I find no pleasure in them.”
2 When you get old,
    the light from the sun, moon, and stars will grow dark;
    the rain clouds will never seem to go away.
At that time your arms will shake
    and your legs will become weak.
Your teeth will fall out so you cannot chew,
    and your eyes will not see clearly.
Your ears will be deaf to the noise in the streets,
    and you will barely hear the millstone grinding grain.
You’ll wake up when a bird starts singing,
    but you will barely hear singing.
You will fear high places
    and will be afraid to go for a walk
Your hair will become white like the flowers on an almond tree.
    You will limp along like a grasshopper when you walk.
    Your appetite will be gone.
Then you will go to your everlasting home,
    and people will go to your funeral.
Soon your life will snap like a silver chain
    or break like a golden bowl.
You will be like a broken pitcher at a spring,
    or a broken wheel at a well.
You will turn back into the dust of the earth again,
    but your spirit will return to God who gave it.
8 Everything is useless!
    The Teacher says that everything is useless.

We can read this, and I think everyone is here because they are somewhat able bodied. We kind of laugh a little bit, even though some of us might feel a lot more of this than others. But this is real. If you’re ninety, maybe you can laugh at this, but it’s a different kind of laughter because you’re feeling it. 

Every one of these things is just a reminder that death really is what’s happening. Death really is a reality. And, just like Moses is describing, our life lives under the shadow of death. There is a curse over this life.  It’s true. Adam and Eve were in the garden and there was paradise. There was no death, no pain, no sorrow, no shame, no guilt. There was none of these things that he describes. And then, one day mankind, Adam and Eve, decided to trust something other than what God had said. Whether they trusted the word of the serpent, whether they trusted their own discernment and understanding. Whether Adam trusted Eve or Eve trusted Adam—it’s hard to know exactly. But they trusted something other than what God had sad. And immediately there was a curse on this world and this life that we endure every day.

Now, by God’s grace, God said, “Let us not also let them eat of the tree of life and let them live forever under that curse. But let us get them out of the garden so that, at some point, they will die so that they can once again be free from the curse.”

Moses is alluding to the curse, the reality of death and the shadow, and that death is having its work in us each and every day.

He goes on in Psalm 90, in light of all of that, the agelessness of God, the frailty of humanity and the curse that we live under, this is what Moses prays for, what he asks for towards the end of his life:

12 Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

He doesn’t pray, “Lord, could you make my hip stop feeling like that? Or could you just give me one tooth back so I can chew? Lord, will you just take me away and let death come right now?” He doesn’t pray any of those prayers. He says, “Lord, will you help me to know how best to use each one of the days that I have left?”

It’s sad, I think, to the Lord and maybe to Moses, that we would have to wait until the end of our life to pray prayers like that. Hopefully somehow we can stir up a little bit of that understanding. Then he also prays:

13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
    Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    for as many years as we have seen trouble.

I think this is a very interesting prayer here. Again, he doesn’t pray that God will take away the reality of death and what it works in our bodies and in our lives. But he says “God, I pray that as death increases, as the pain of aging increases, I pray that your joy, your unfailing love and your gladness would increase at a greater rate; because I know that you are more than enough for me. You were more than enough for me when I faced Pharaoh and the Egyptian army. You were more than enough for me when I faced the Red Sea. You were more than enough for me when I walked through the wilderness with no food or water. Lord, you’re shown how sufficient you are. That you really are the I AM. And I pray that now, as I face this whole different kind of enemy, I pray that once again you would be more than enough for me.”

That’s a beautiful prayer. It’s the kind of prayer that I’ve been praying for my daughter, Bella, who’s in a wheel chair. I would love for the Lord to heal her and not make her go through a lot of the things she goes through, but when I prayed those prayers, it just felt like ‘eh. And I remember at one point I was stirred by the Lord to pray a prayer like this:

“God, I just pray actually that you would heal her in the way that’s most significant for her relationship with you. And I’ll just butt out, if that’s okay.”

And I felt like the Lord said, “Now, I hear you. Now I hear you. You don’t even know the moment I have set up between me and her.”

I said, “Okay. And I’ll just do my best to fill her with joy and love and gladness so that she can overcome whatever hard may come.”

And it’s true for all of my kids, not just her.

And then he goes on to pray one more prayer:

16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
    your splendor to their children.
17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
    establish the work of our hands for us—
  yes, establish the work of our hands.

He first prays that the Lord would teach him to number his days, to make the most of them, to have a wisdom for how to use them in a wonderful, beautiful way. But then he prays not that God would remove all the pain from his life, but that God’s sufficiency would be more than the pain. That’s a prayer that God loves to answer, by the way.

And then the last thing he prays is that, “God, somehow, in light of all of this, you would produce something from my life that lasts beyond my life. I just want something I do to be meaningful for those who come after me. Establish the work of my hands.

The way he says it there, “May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children.”

“Lord, I pray that you would do something in me that helps my kids and their kids and their kids all be able to pray the same thing that I’m praying. Lord, you have been a dwelling place to every generation.”

Moses could think of the stories that had come before him, how God had been so faithful. He’s praying that now his kids and their kids would look at his life and think, “Wow, God, you have been faithful.”

And I love it that he’s kind of ending his prayer with the beginning. He’s saying, “Lord, establish the work of my hands.” 

And yes, we know Moses for a lot of other things, but in this Psalm, the very prayer that Moses prays God actually preserves in answer to his prayer. Do you see what I’m saying? He prays, “God, let something that I do, something of my life last beyond my life.”

And God says, “Well, I’m going to take this prayer you just prayed and I’m going to make that the very answer to the prayer you just prayer.”

And now, four thousand years later, we’re reading this prayer—preserved, established by Moses and God together. And I pray that we would be able to pray in that way, that we would have that picture of eternity. The parade of history is going past and we can only see this one section, about seventy or eighty years. And maybe we can look back and say, “Yeah. I heard some stories from before. Yeah, I can see the future a little bit, what’s going to happen.” But it’s still so small. And yet, God is above. He’s kind of like up in the blimp and he sees the end from he beginning, and ever twist and turn and corner. 

Moses is teaching us that, when we pray, we should try to get up with God and get a picture of what sovereignty sees, what eternity sees, and pray those type of prayers. So we can take this prayer and measure it against the prayers that we’re praying, and see if we’re too focused not he here and now—the momentary. If we’re too caught up in the economy of this world instead of the economy of heaven, and learn to pray prayers that God really wants to answer.

Why don’t we do that now. Bow your heads and close your eyes. We’ll take a moment here:

Lord Jesus, we do pray that, right now in this moment, Lord, pray that you really would breathe your breath on us, that you’d help us see things the way you see them. That you’d open our eyes to our blind spots. And Lord, you would put some prayers in our heart that are worth praying. Prayers that will honor you and bring you glory. I pray this in your name. Amen.

I want to show you one more illustration. Many of you have probably seen this. It was done by a man named Francis Chan. He was trying to give an illustration of forever vs. today. He did it pretty smooth. I’m obviously not, right now. I’m going to try this one more time. Boom. Look at that. Pretend this rope goes on a long way, way further than it went. This is forever. Basically, we’ve got this rope and it goes on forever. And that’s our plan. God says that we’re created forever. We have this life in this body, but once we die, our being exists on. God intended it that way because he wants us to experience life to the full and life to forever. That’s the way we’re made. This is what we should be thinking about. This is what we should be worried about. Instead, this is what we’re worried about. We spend all of our life, energy, time, really trying to make the most of this [tiny portion of the rope] instead of making the most of this [the whole rope]. 

The illustration is that same thing that Moses said, “Teach us to number our days.” Teach us to realize how insignificant this life is, this seventy, eighty, ninety years is in comparison with what you’ve made us for. Now, the marvel of Scripture is that what happens in this life affects the rest of this, so this is important; but, for some reason, we get so focused on this, and I think God is just going, “What are you doing? I want to talk to you about this and you’re saying, ‘We just want to talk about this.’”

But there’s something about this small section that the Bible teaches is so vitally important. Because there are two ways that we go into forever. One is forever in life. The other is forever in not life—in death. Heaven and hell is the way that they’re described. And it’s not a popular thing to say, but the Bible is very clear that what you do with Jesus Christ in this life affects what your forever is going to be like. God created hell not for people. The Bible is very clear. He created it for the devil and his angels. And yet, those people who reject Christ, who do not surrender to the love and forgiveness of Christ, God says, “Well, I’m not going to force you to receive my life. If you want to be without my life, I’ll honor that. But you’re going to have to do it over my dead body, literally, the body of Christ.” 

And some of us still, in our stubbornness and pride think we’ve got this all by ourselves. I’m hoping that, somehow, the light of all of this breaks some of that pride and you’ll come to Jesus and receive the life, the forgiveness that he wants to give.

I love the way that hymn says it. I thought this was so great. In Christ, if you’ll come to him, if you’ll surrender to him, you’ll receive “pardon for sin and a peace that endures.” And then you’ll receive God’s own presence to “cheer and to guide you along the way.”

Most of us are here because we’re experienced that. And the only one keeping you from Jesus right now is you. 

We’re going to finish with communion. We’re all going to take a piece of bread and a cup and hold on to it and we’ll take it together. If you are someone who is not surrendered to Jesus, this is a golden opportunity for you. What we do with this is remember Jesus’ broken body. He was broken so that we could be made whole. And his shed blood. He allowed his blood to be shed on that cross so that we could be washed clean, past, present and forevermore. So we take this and we remember Jesus. We invite Jesus to come in again. But if this is your first time, you could take this and invite Jesus to come in for the first time. And he will come in and he will fill you with cheer, gladness, love, and forgiveness. And he’ll lead you to life everlasting

As they are passing this out, just take a moment and talk to the Lord. Confess your sin. Confess your forgiveness. Just allow him to speak to your heart in a moment of silence.

As I was praying this morning for all of us, especially those who are here that don’t really know Jesus or haven’t really surrendered, I just had a picture that I think was from God, of someone who just kept going down these streets and running into dead ends. I don’t know if you keep trying new things, thinking they’re going to bring you new life and they just keep ending up as dead ends. But the way of Jesus is a path that shines ever brighter to the perfect day. It doesn’t end. Jesus wants to take your hand and lead you down that path, if you’re ready. If you’re ready to say ‘no’ to all the other dead ends.

So Jesus, we do come to you right now. We’re all at different stages in our relationship with you. But I pray that, as we remember your broken body, you really would come and fill us. That you would shape us and form us to be more like you. Thank you for your broken body.

Let’s take the bread.

And Jesus, I pray that you would also come once again and cleanse us. That you’d just wash away all of our shame, all of our guilt, all of our fear, all of our self-righteousness. That you would just make us clean and you’d help us to believe it, as well.

Let’s take the cup. 

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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV®,
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture marked NCV is taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.