What's going on, Mercy Hill? How are y'all? It's good to see you. I'm excited to be here with you. Y'all, I'm a little emotional. That was awesome.
Those songs were amazing. I'm just like, I remember thinking, Jesus, church, all this was just stupid years ago. God has saved me, man.
I don't know if you remember what it was like to not care. Isn't it amazing that this is good news to us? And if you're not a believer, don't you want that to be true? Don't you want some of what we were singing about to be true?
I'm just amazed by the goodness of God in my life. My name is Tanner. I am planting a church with my family and some of my best friends in Norfolk, Virginia. Amen, somebody. The last time I was with you, we were five people. We're up to 15 adults, okay? And I'd love to show you a picture of the team. Check out our squad right here. That's us.
And not pictured is 14 kids, okay? So we got a one-to-one ratio almost here. So please pray for Port City Church. Yeah, we're so pumped.
God has been just doing some really cool stuff. You know, the three big prayer requests was just that we would get in the 20 to 30 adult range. So I do believe there are a few people still in our midst who are going to come who don't know it yet.
I believe that. We're about 60% funded, so we appreciate your prayers and that and continue to ask to pray. And then also, yeah, we're praying that for the good of our city, we would be at least 40% non-Anglo before we go public there.
It's a majority minority city and we are pumped. Last thing I want to say on behalf of my family, me and my wife, and just our team is just thank you to everybody here at Mercy Hill for all the investment over the years, every campus pastor, every sermon, every friend, every staff member, student leader, all my students. We love you guys so much. And we got a few months left. We're here through until June. The next time we'll be up here is getting commissioned as a team in May.
So we're here. Take us out to coffee. If you saw somebody on that picture and you're like, I want to talk to them. I love them. Hug them. Tell them you love them. We would love to talk to you. And to Pastor Andrew, man, I know you're probably on a plane. Listen to this.
He's going to the Middle East right now to see some people from our church. And man, I love you and you took a chance on me. So whether you're looking at me right now, I know it's making you uncomfortable, but I'm telling you I love you.
So like 3,000 people. But I do. And you are the man and I'm really thankful for you. Praise God for you. Mercy Hill. You're always going to have a special place in my heart.
I love you. Hey, so we are moving forward in our Jesus is better sermon series. We're in Hebrews chapter three. You could turn there. The big numbers are chapters.
So look for the big three and then we're going to start in the small seven. Okay. And in God's word today, what we are going to see is that God is going to warn us. Somebody say, take care.
Take care now. And now a warning is different than a threat, is it not? A threat is you better not do X or you going to get Y. A warning is please don't do X or Y is going to happen. And I love you and I am pleading with you. A warning is a plea from somebody who loves you. And God loves us very much. And he's got a warning for us.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, the Proverbs say. And he's going to warn us this weekend. Y'all here's our main idea. If you're taking notes, hard hearts don't enter rest.
Y'all would just sing about it. Next week's sermon is all about rest and I'll give you a sneak peek. Rest is not just in a place.
It's in a person. Amen. Somebody that's deep and pastor Andrew is going to have a great word for us. This weekend is more about the hardness of heart being something to watch out for and to learn from, from God's word.
Okay. So we're going to read our passage. If you want to read along with me in your word, here we go. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for 40 years. Therefore, I was provoked with that generation and said, they always go astray in their heart.
They have not known my ways. As I swore my wrath, they shall not enter my rest. Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day as long as it is called today that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
For we have come to share in Christ if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt, led by Moses?
And with whom was he provoked for 40 years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. Okay, if you just read that in your Bible or maybe even on a phone, what you might have noticed is like the the structure of it was a little different. It looked like a song was in it.
Okay, that's because there was. It was Psalm 95. Psalms are just songs, people. Before it sounded real cool and stuff, they were just singing the Psalms, baby, the original hymn book. And in Psalm 95, it is dialing back to a story with Moses in the book of Exodus chapter 17. So it's like a song based on a story from that time period in Israel's history.
All right, so it's kind of like three layers. You got Hebrews, you got the song, you got the lesson from the story. Are you with me? So the question is, why is the author quoting that song about that story? That's a good question, right?
Thank you for asking that. Here is why they're doing it, okay? Everything in the Old Testament goes back to the Exodus. Somebody say Exodus. The Exodus is when the Israelites were physically slaves in Egypt and God brought them out, okay? He brought them out.
Ten plagues, Passover, Red Sea, done, okay? He brings them out and he didn't just want to get them out, amen, somebody. He wanted to take them to the promised land going all the way back to Genesis 15 and he had to go through the wilderness to get to the promised land, okay?
And that's the thing about the Lord. He's not always just about trying to get you out of slavery. It's to get you into the abundant life. Redemption is about not only getting out of slavery but being brought to an abundant life. The destination is the goal.
Getting out of slavery is just the beginning. So in the in-between, we got the wilderness. So what happens in the wilderness is the people who saw the Red Sea split, the people who saw the ten plagues lost their minds in Exodus 17. They lost it. They stopped trusting God. They started testing God. They hardened their heart. They stopped listening to him which sounds crazy. The place where it happens is literally called Massa and Maribah and if you look at the little footnote in your Bible, it says that means testing or quarreling and it became a pattern for how they related to the Lord. Instead of trusting him, they tested him.
Instead of listening to him, they quarreled with him and that sounds crazy after what they've seen, right? That is why the author of Hebrews is quoting that story. He is saying we believers have experienced the new exodus. We have exited our slavery not to a physical bondage but to a spiritual sin-slavery. Amen, somebody. When the cross of Jesus Christ happened and the resurrection were brought out of slavery and he's taken us to that wonderful place and in the in between we walk with Jesus in the wilderness.
Somebody say the wilderness. So right now whether you've been walking with Jesus for five minutes, five years or 50 years, you are in the wilderness with Jesus and in the wilderness God is warning you, pleading with you, do not harden your heart. Are y'all tracking with me? So what I'm hoping we take away from this message, if you're a follower of Jesus, whether you feel like you're five minutes from eternity or 50 years from eternity, okay, is don't harden your heart. And God is not only going to warn us, he's got a gospel prescription coming for us in this passage which is amazing.
And if you don't follow Jesus, part of the plea from God himself, he is begging you don't harden your heart. Open your heart for the first time this weekend. So what we're going to talk about is the community that strays. We're going to talk about the community that stays and then we're going to apply it, okay? So here we go. Let's talk about the community that strays. In the passage we just read, there are three major warnings kind of wrapped up all under the don't harden your heart.
So let's start with the first one. The first warning is do not harden your heart. Do not harden your heart.
It said it three times. It said if you hear his voice, don't harden your hearts as in the rebellion. God is begging us not to do that. No matter the circumstances you're in in the wilderness, don't harden your heart. So what does that mean to harden your heart? What can we learn from that story about what it means to harden our heart? What we saw was a posture of doubting, questioning, and the Bible even says testing.
This is what I would say. A hard heart is a settled disposition of closed offness to God. It's shutting off listening to God.
It's kind of like a predetermined no. It's like me when I walk into Costco and people try to give me something. I don't know about y'all. And if you work at Costco, God bless you. If you sell stuff at Costco, double blessing on you. Y'all know what I'm talking about?
They like have it sectioned off. You got to walk by them. And I'm like, eye contact, eye contact. Ah, it don't matter if they offer me like $10 million just for standing on X marks the spot.
I wouldn't do it. I go around the backside. I just, I predetermined. I'm, I just don't, I'm here for the samples people and like a big box of body armors. Okay. That's all I need. It's just, please let me get it. I don't, I'm, I'm not listening. But like, we want to help you, sir. No, I'm sorry.
Okay. The heart and mind has no disposition to listening. A hard heart is a rebelling heart. This passage actually connects a hard heart with an evil and unbelieving heart. A hard heart is linked to unbelief, both of which are expressed in not trusting God. At the end of the day, the hard and unbelieving heart is unconvinced. It's an unconvinced heart. It's a heart that is not convinced of God's goodness.
It's a heart that is over it. And what's so puzzling for those Israelites is like out of all the people in the world, y'all had the most reason to be convinced to never have questions. Y'all, if you go read this thing, they get up out of Israel, out of, uh, uh, Egypt. Thank you, somebody. And then one chapter later, they're singing the song of Moses.
The original worship set is in Exodus 15. It's incredible. I mean, they're out there. You made a way when our backs were against the wall and it looked as if it was over. You made a way.
And now we're standing here only because you made a way. And they're like, I'll see you next week. Won't he do it? Oh, he did. And he did it.
I'll see you next week. And they walk out and they're like, where's the water at though? And here's what's crazy. The Bible says God led them to where there's no water. That's what the Bible says. God led them there and they lost their minds. They're picking up tomatoes like, Hey, Moses, where's the water? They lost it.
They were, they were like done. Y'all, how much more the follower of Jesus who is on the other side of the cross. Romans 8 32, he who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all.
How will he not also with him, graciously give us all things. So it makes no sense to harden one's heart logically. And y'all the hard heart isn't like diametrically opposed to God, like an atheist or something. It's not a category of I don't even want to talk about God.
It's the one around the community who's sitting in teaching who's there and is over it. They've grown unimpressed with who God is. They yawn at the cross and listening is done.
That is a hard heart. Mercy Hill, are you convinced here today of God's goodness? And are you walking in that kind of convinced trust? The second warning, the heart can go astray. Verse 10 said that therefore I was provoked with that generation and said, they always go astray in their heart.
They have not known my ways. There's the word provoked. If you have your Bible, I encourage you to circle that. And that might instill a question in your mind. How can God be provoked?
Right? Isn't he all knowing? Didn't he know that was going to happen? How can God be provoked? And what you've got to understand is that God is so big and holy and good. And in some ways he's incommunicable is the theological term, but he chooses to reveal himself in ways we can understand.
So you get the image of a friend being like stirred up, surprised, frustrated with something. And what we've got to understand is we got to balance that with the fact that the Bible says that God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He's overflowing with patience. God was not that day and is not today a moody God.
Amen, somebody. He's good and loving and overflowing with patience. And in this story, his anger is an expression of his love. There comes a point where, where the loving thing to do is to oppose somebody in that love. And the text goes on to say that, that they go astray in their heart. What does that mean? Going astray?
What does that mean? Can we go astray? I remember standing on this stage saying, God will keep you because he's the keeper.
Not because you're keepable, but because he's the keeper. Amen, somebody. That is the testimony of the Bible.
Okay. That is very clear. If you are in him, he will keep you. So when we read verse 14, I'll show it to you one more time. For we have come to share in Christ if indeed we hold our confidence firm to the end.
This is the truth. God will keep those who are in him. God will keep those who are in him. The text isn't saying if you make it, you earned it. If you made it, you were given it. The making it is the demonstration that you were given it and had it. We don't make it in our power. We make it because he gave it to us. It's not once saved, always saved.
We've said this a lot in the series. It's if saved, always saved, right? Believe or be encouraged. If you are his, you can't be snatched from his hand. Go read Psalm 121. You cannot go astray. So why does he say that?
What is the author trying to do? One pastor said it like this. In what sense can there be a falling away or a turning away from God if we never truly belong to God?
One simple answer is that there can be a real and painful falling away from a fiance that is not a real falling away from a wife. There's a sense in which you can be around him but not in him. And this weekend, that is a warning. And I think the warning should cause us to examine and consider, am I around but not in? Do I know Jesus Christ? Am I following him? Is my heart captivated by his goodness? Did I cross over that line?
And if not, please do it. He is begging you to do that. And if you are in him, you don't turn your nose up at a warning. You're like, okay, let me examine some stuff. Lord, let's go.
You don't get out of shape and try to like freak out over how these things, how do these tie together? You're humbled by the doctrine. You're not hard-hearted by the doctrine, right, when you allow it to go from your head to your heart.
Amen, somebody. Third warning, sin is deceitful. Verse 13 said this, but exhort one another every day as long as it is called today that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
So the heart can harden and the heart, you can be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We're going to talk about the fact that it's deceitful in a second. You know what that means? It means, like, deceit gets this idea of using somebody or something, right?
Like, like, Palpatine using Anakin. It's like they're not for you, they're for themselves. They're deceiving you. Hear me, Mercio family, sin is not your friend. Sin is not our friend. Sin isn't a trivial list of bad things you do. If you ever, if you ever start thinking sin isn't a big deal, okay, just give me that green light to have the last 48 hours of your highlight reel in your head put up on any of our Mercio campus screens and we'll just, sin's not a big deal then, right?
Let's just throw it up there. That would make me never want to come back to Mercio Church if mine was up there, okay? That kind of points out what sin is like. Sin isn't some list of stuff we should cut, like excess carbs. Sin is like the fog that blurs the sun, like the cancer that eats at our cells, like poison that poisons your blood. In some sense, to sin is to be anti-human. It is not human to sin in some sense. We are made in God's image to reflect and mirror that image, but in our sin it's like we turn inward and make ourselves the center, I at the center, and it corrodes our life from the inside out. That's what sin is. And sin is also deceitful. That means it looks good.
So it packs a punch of damage, but it doesn't always look that way. Like some things we know are sinful, clearly tempting, trying to entice us, but sometimes you don't know that that's happening. That's kind of the point. Deceived people don't always know that they're deceived, right?
I mean, your feet can be in the same spot, but your heart drift. One of my friends, a good friend of mine, sister of mine, she was bringing up this example like a pet tiger. It's like if somebody came to your group this week or your Bible study with a pet tiger, it's like, hey guys, I got a pet tiger. It's really good to me. You're seeing cut marks. You're seeing like it's always like just measuring up your head, like just yawning. It's like you're bleeding on the spot. You're like, isn't it cute? If you were a good friend, you would be like, that thing's dangerous. What is wrong with you? And in some sense, what the passage is doing is physically manifesting sin and saying it has that kind of intentions for your life, right?
We wouldn't play with it if we could see it for what it was. So what does it look like when your heart is being deceived into hardening itself, right? Well, let's think about the Exodus story. Remember, I told you God led them to where there was no water, so life was hard. When life got hard, they hardened their heart. What we need to take from that, y'all, is in the wilderness, life will not always be easy.
That's not an excuse to harden our heart. The biggest thing I see sometimes in the lives of Christians is when life gets impractical to follow God, we feel entitled to indulge in sin. We think sin will be better to me in this instance than God.
The godly path is a costly path. I'm gonna give in to that lust or that gossip or finding my identity in that or giving is hurting too much or living missionally, it's costing me too much. It's too hard and the hardness leads us to harden our heart and then we think sin is our friend.
In that moment, listen to me, family, don't harden your heart when life gets hard. Sin is not your friend. I don't know what's going on in your life.
There's no situation where sin is your friend. Sin made your life a mess. It's trying to deceive you and it will leverage your circumstances to do it. And our culture and our world will be like, you kind of deserve it. You deserve a new identity.
You deserve a reset. You go, go for it, you know. And it's leveraging that. It's not always trying to shipwreck your life. It's just trying to get you to stop trusting God.
Game over at that moment. When life gets hard, don't harden your heart. Humble your heart before God.
When life gets hard, we need to humble ourselves and not harden our heart. Beware the deception of sin. And you get the sense in this passage that things are going to snowball one way or the other. They're going to snowball towards unbelief and distrust or towards belief, right?
Towards testing or trusting, right? And God is graciously warning us and He's even more loving than just to warn us. He's going to give us a gospel prescription for how to avoid this.
Isn't this amazing? After everything bad we just talked about, shouldn't we want a prescription one time? Lord, what do we do?
Let's talk about the community that stays. Verses 12 and 13 said this, take care brothers lest there be in any of you an evil unbelieving heart leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day as long as it is called today that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Y'all, we got a gospel snowball towards trust and belief here if we will follow it. It's all of us look out for our own hearts if there's any evil unbelief in it and then we look out for each other and exhort one another.
That's what we're about to talk about, okay? So take care of your own heart. Proverbs 4 23 talks about guard your heart for from it flows everything you do. You need to memorize Proverbs 4 23 if you haven't before. It is so good. Take care of your heart.
Watch it. You need to remind yourself what's most important about you today, tomorrow, and every day for the rest of your life is is your heart convinced of the goodness of God and walking in convinced trust. It don't matter if your boss pats you on the back today.
It don't matter if your kid appreciates you in comparison to is your heart convinced of the goodness of God. That is what's most important and we should orient our lives around that reality and not the other ones they meant somebody, okay? Now let's talk about this other part where it says exhort one another every day. Somebody say exhort one another every day.
That's what we're about to talk about. So what does exhort mean? Who do we do it to and when do we do it?
Does that sound good? So exhort, what does it mean? From a definition standpoint the the Greek word covers a range some of your Bibles might even say encourage one another every day, okay? It's kind of like a range from encouragement to like a pushing in a certain direction. I don't think direct rebuke is in mind.
It's more like a come on, you know? So here's how I'd say it. Exhortation is a loving encouragement with a direction in mind, okay? Think sports encouragement. Think coaching. When you're at a game you say come on Rick.
You're not saying love you bro. You're saying hit the ball Rick, right? Like you're you're encouraging Rick, but the message under come on Rick is hit the ball Rick. Does that make sense? So it's like I am asking you to hit the ball by encouraging you. That's kind of like exhortation.
Does that make sense? And and like any good coach sometimes exhortation is specifically applied to a person based on their tendency and their story. So like some kids in these little leagues and stuff they just need to be told hey son breathe. Like that's your exhortation and then other people they'll get up the shoot free throws just stiff leg.
Hey bend your knees. Oh yeah. So it's just it's just what does that person need sometimes comes into play. So the question is what are we being exhorted towards?
Well what is the series called? Jesus is better. Y'all what it all gets back to is that Jesus is better no matter your circumstances. Mundane day, suffering day, tempting day, Jesus is better. That's the kind of encouragement and exhortation we need. Just to be reminded that God is good.
Exhortation is the way God is trying to tell his church look at one another and say let's go after Jesus. We got this. Let's go. I think about the best exhorter in my life and she goes by the name of Samantha Hoag.
Is she about to turn tomato red right now? Y'all so this is a good example. With my story, my background, my sin, my weakness, I can feel threatened cornered easily. I can feel like a caged animal a little bit and I take things personally sometimes and we were in a situation recently where I was grossly misunderstood by somebody and I think my body temperature was about 15 degrees you know whatever the right unit of measurement is in about five seconds and I was just like oh for the God in my head I'm like warning warning warning bad things and I'm like outwardly I think I showed a little bit like I was like hey I think you really misunderstood me you know and I kind of I said it maybe in a sharper tone and then I'm beating myself up and I'm in the shame cycle of I'm a pastor it should I shouldn't take it personally personal and and Jesus and he's better and and I'm just all you know and I just say to my wife hey did you notice that I was tightening up in that moment she's like yep I was like what were you thinking I was just ready for her to be like it's you know don't give me to give me advice teach me you know what she said I just want to put my hand on your back and say I love you and you got nothing to prove and you're awesome and I was and God loves you and there's grace and it's not always about how well you handle the situation it's just your love man you're good and I was like thanks for exhorting me sister in Christ uh that's an exhortation you know it's just an encouragement it's not it's not be better it's Jesus is better she didn't look at me and say get over it you shouldn't worry about that here's a verse cacao she wasn't teaching me she was exhorting me she was encouraging me and saying you got this in the name of Jesus right this is not exhorting one another to be good is to remind one another that Jesus is better we got this let's go after Jesus he is worthy so who do we exhort somebody say one one another yeah we about to talk about the one another so you need to memorize Romans 12 verses 4 and 5 okay there are 59 one another statements in the New Testament it all kind of that's a big one it says that we are members of one another okay and they are a big deal want to know why I thank God in the scriptures set the church up the way he did globally and locally it's because he is after a family bought by the blood of Jesus and when it comes to how a family operates and I know not everybody is from from great biological family situations you know but the blood of Jesus redeems a lot and you're brought into his family and it's a new thing and when you are brought into his family there's this phrase that gets said a lot in families it's like mom why I gotta love him and every mom looks at that kid at some point after all the practical reasons says because they're your brother there's just an is-ness because you just are kid like I don't know what to tell you that's your brother that's why you love him there's no practical reason God gets God gets glory from the is-ness because the is-ness is rooted in the blood of his son and we grow in this process but he gets the glory we do the one another's because we are one and our doing them flows from our being one not from feeling one we got to be very careful because we can start to excuse our lack of obedience with the lack of feeling something but we can't excuse that that inconvenience doesn't excuse disobedience the local church is a big deal God wants you to feel familial sibling gospel responsibility for your brothers and sisters in Christ in a local church God is localizing and giving a name and a face to who you need to love love her forgive him you know like bear that burden confess sins to them it's localizing it in a way that that our hearts are allowed to grow and if we don't submit ourselves to that and to one another under the blood of Jesus we have a way of avoiding what God would use to grow us let me ask you a question and this is for people Mercy Hill is your home okay if you're new God bless you do you go to Mercy Hill Church or are you a part of Mercy Hill Church those are not the same thing because when you go somewhere I got my list of when I'll stop going you know what I mean if Andrew gives a couple sermon series I don't like we out you know if this album's a bust we out you know like and again this is for the faithful I'm not I'm not I'm not talking to to new people but I'm just like hey what God is after is a is is a New Testament newness okay and an isness with weird uncles and all and if you're like I've been telling you here is who's the weird uncles it's like might be you and me man okay it might be us and we don't do these things because we feel like one another but because who God has made us this brings this is the light to the world it's not that we are a people who don't need to be exhorted it's not that we're a perfect people who all have the same interests is that the only thing that explains that group right there is the blood of Jesus and the way they're operating together y'all the one another's aren't optional in the Christian life they're fundamental to the Christian life they're fundamental we need one another don't go to a local church be a part of one be a part of one and that's why we talk about the weekender a lot here we want that's the first step okay when do we exhort the bible said exhort one another every day somebody say every day I heard a preacher say not Monday not Tuesday not Wednesday Thursday every day every day what's on your list of everyday things right now for me is vitamins it's a struggle y'all it's a struggle I might be losing years of my life as we speak there's a very short list of things you got to do every day this is one of them now I'm not telling you to set that alarm for exhort and then you see it at 9 p.m and you look over at your spouse and you're like technically you're in my family of Christ as well I'm about to exhort you in the name of Jesus don't be doing that okay what what God's after is kind of just like a flowing process of like hey let's go after Jesus I want to know why I think we struggle with this so much y'all we're so afraid to be labeled a legalist or a hypocrite I think this I think Satan just shuts down the church by just saying don't be a hypocrite pow short circuit we don't know what to do dude since when are we in this thing because we're good at something or because we we we have like a resume to bring to the Lord we don't exhort because of who we are but because of who Christ is we don't encourage it it says more what the person's being encouraged towards than the person doing it this is not about you in a loving way that's what I would say a question I think application wise for us would just be this am I exhortable does anyone have the green light or the keys in your life to just encourage you and exhort you there's one person in our church who I think is the best at this I'm not going to say their name because they also would turn tomato red but when I first met her she would always do this thing where she was like hey give me a word give me something what's the Lord teaching you and at first I was like she quizzed me like what is happening right now and then I realized over time no no no what this person recognized is that she needs something from you she wanted like what do you have in the spirit to give me what have you been learning from God's word and y'all there is a blessing in being exhorted and being an exhorter and you need both you need to be one giving something to your brothers and sisters saying come on Rick and you need to be the one receiving the come on Rick does that make sense there's so much joy on being both ends of that y'all if you never exhort it's not because you love people too much you don't love them enough too much exhortation may be pride but not enough may be fear if we're frozen we might be in fear and if we're eager to do this we might be prideful and both just put them in check and y'all it's as simple as hey can you exhort me right now give me some truth I'm just whiny and gossipy and I'm in my best friend the other day he called me and said I am struggling to love my wife right now and I got some resentment in my heart can you pray for me he didn't need no teaching he knew what he needed to do he just said help me help me he knew partially maybe the power will come through me vocalizing that and a brother in Christ praying for me and saying something to me and that's such a good example of what I think God wants to do I think I dream for port city and mercy hill where we just have like a gospel algorithm through one another we got so many algorithms coming for our throats y'all with all kinds of weird articles what God's trying to do through his church is make sure the loudest voice in your life is truth and love and identity and encouragement and it's through your brothers and sisters that's what God's trying to bring us do we have enough word in us to have anything to give people and are we in close enough proximity to people to be able to give it to them it's powerful y'all no pet tiger sin zone that's what we after here okay that's what we after y'all let's close by talking about this let us hold on to Jesus together let's hold on to him together y'all this passage is so powerful it has so many implications and I want us to just leave here snowballing towards trust not towards testing and I want us to remember that before God calls you to hold on to him he's already held on to you right we got to remember that God will keep you we don't serve a cold stagnant distant God here today we serve one who is near and alive and pleading with us to come near to him check this verse out verse 12 take care brothers lest there be in any of you an evil unbelieving heart leading you to fall away from the living God can I tell you something radical God is alive today on your worst day when your kids don't listen when your marriage is struggling when work is mundane God is alive Jesus did not stay dead he is risen believer the Holy Spirit has sealed you and he is alive do not harden your heart sin is not your friend in that moment on that day turn to the Lord another verse that was in there two or three times I hope y'all go back and read this one it's so loaded therefore as the Holy Spirit says today if you hear his voice did y'all keep noticing that can I tell you something else radical I don't know if you've ever been in church before today you have heard God's voice not because of who I am but because of who he is the testimony of his word when it is just spoken in the way he made our hearts we just can come alive by the spirit you have heard God's voice it kept saying today if you hear his voice do not harden your heart so I had this up my sleeve for the last like 30 minutes you just heard his voice so please don't harden your heart please don't harden your heart if you are not a follower of Jesus I want you to know that God wants to live life with you he wants to rescue you not from a physical place called Egypt but a location in your soul called dead in your sin and he wants to bring you to life and make you like a new baby in him spiritually and you're going to grow up and it's going to be amazing and he wants to live every day of the rest of the wilderness journey until that wonderful day where it's your faith has made sight y'all the bible says we see dimly now but then face to face while dimly you get to walk with him and that's what you're invited into I can confidently tell you any life with Jesus in the wilderness is better than any life without him I don't care how hard it gets this is better and I beg you I plead with you do not harden your heart if this is the first time hearing his voice open your heart to him repent and believe put your trust in Jesus Christ live convinced of his goodness and do not leave here today without talking to that Christian friend or family member or one of our prayer counselors who brought you we got baptism coming up in a few weeks I don't know what it is but hopefully it's on the screen look at that it's amazing it's amazing we'd love for that to be your first step of discipleship to Jesus y'all last thing it said in there last thing it said I really wanted y'all to see it says therefore I was provoked with that generation it said they always go astray in their heart they have not known my ways y'all phew phew phew phew phew phew phew phew phew phew phew phew phew y'all we've seen God's ways his ways are to come as a man not to tell us how to get better but to come to make us new to come all the way to grow up live the perfect life he he dies on the cross he resurrects he sends the spirit he wants to keep you he wants to help you he's got the prescription for you he is you, he's got the prescription for you, he is with you. That is God's ways and he loves you. Meditate on his ways. He does not deal with us according to our sins nor repay us according to our iniquities.
Amen, somebody. God is not like us, friends. He's so holy and so good. Mercy Hill, Port City family, today if you hear his voice don't harden your heart. Will you pray with me? God we love you so much. Lord thank you that you just have made a way in my life and in so many lives.
Lord may we not harden our hearts. Thank you that you keep us. Thank you God that you keep us.
Thank you that you invite us to yourself. Thank you for brothers and sisters. Thank you for a family. Thank you that that when they speak to me sometimes it's like you are through them. Thank you that every second matters on this side of eternity in the wilderness. Thank you, God. Thank you. We long for that day and we are glad to walk with you now. To live is Christ. To die is gain, Lord.
Thank you. I pray for my friends that have not put their trust in you, Lord. Would they see that life with you is better and would they not harden their heart. And for those of us who are in Christ, if if we are thinking sin is our friend here today in some way, in some area, in some nook, in some cranny of our life, would you get it out quickly? And will we become a community, a family, Lord God, that's exhorting one another every day. We love you, Lord Jesus. We pray this in your name. Amen.
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