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July 16, 2020 8:00 am
Ever since the Mideast peace accord between the PLO and Israel became public information other people talking to me and asking me questions. Things like is this a sign of the end times already think or is Yasser Arafat the antichrist or is the return of Jesus Christ. Right around the corner. I guess people figure because I'm a Jewish believer arm because I'm a pastor because I'm a seminary graduate because of a graduate degree from Johns Hopkins that they come to me they'll get an intelligent answer. Well, in response to those questions. I try to give people the most intelligent answer that I have to them and what I say to people and responses.
I don't know how I know I don't have a clue.
And that's the truth. I think it's much too early for us to tell all of this is going to shake our reasonably own first. When all of this is overtly very interesting to see and yet there is one thing I believe I can say that you can say with all certainty about these events and that is that when we saw Yasser Arafat and Hiscock lobbying stand on that stage in Washington DC and shake hands that had to be one of the most unexpected turn of events in modern diplomatic history. When you agree ever thought that would happen when I saw those men on the platform. I sat down and watched it I thought to myself, how did we get to this point. What is the reason. What is responsible for Arafat, the father of modern terrorism and Rob being a was a military man. The cracked Arab's goals for decades over the Middle East. What is responsible for these two guys being on this platform to get names together and I think the answer can be summed up in one word and the word is desperation. They were both desperate Arafat was desperate because the PLO is broke and after he supported Saddam Hussein don't have any friends left and is losing all of the support within the Palestinian community and Islamic fundamentalists are taking over and with the peace talks stalled.
He was basically becoming an irrelevant player in the Middle East, and he knew it. And if he knew if he didn't do something quickly.
He was going to be completely left out of the picture he wanted something he was desperate. Rob being on the other hand, the prime minister of Israel notice this alarming rise in Palestinian fundamentalism. He could see the looming specter of Iran over all of this with their emerging nuclear capability and could see the thing fragmenting and going in directions that would soon be uncontrollable and he saw time running out, and he was desperate for something so you put two desperate men who swore they'd never talk to each other never see each other never relate to each other. You put two desperate men together and you got a handshake friends, you know, Newsweek magazine said and I quote with the end of the Cold War, the world changed around them, weakening Arafat and sapping Rob being sense of security. They both acted out of a desperate sense that time and opportunity were slipping away." Desperation is a strange thing. It can make people do things they would never normally do in that interesting, you know that's true. And the reason I bring all that up is because that's what our passage is all about this morning. It's about desperate people and how Jesus Christ response to them. My goal this morning is to challenge your thinking about your relationship with Jesus Christ to cause you to ask the question in my really desperate in my relationship with Jesus Christ or something else and is God only deal with desperate people and why and what does that mean for my life. I hope you walk out it with a different perspective than you walked in.
Let's look at the passage, verse 40, Luke, chapter 8 now when Jesus returned a crowd welcome to return now from the other side.
See Galilee, for they were all expecting you.
Just then a man named gyrus came and fell at the feet of Jesus, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about 12 was dying when Jesus arrived back on the North Shore. The Sea of Galilee was greeted by man named gyrus and the Bible tells us two very important things about this man gyrus. First of all, the Bible tells us that he was a very influential man.
He was a ruler of the synagogue in Capernaum. The Bible says. Now the ruler of the synagogue was usually a man of great wealth, a man of great reputation. He was in charge of all the public services of the synagogue.
He was in charge of keeping up the facility as well. He was the one who chose who would pray and who would read the total raw and who would give the sermon in every service. He led the local board of elders that ran that synagogue made the decisions about what was going to be John and next to the rabbi. He was the most powerful figure in the town and this was gyrus, a man of incredible influence and the synagogue in Capernaum was the key synagogue in all of northern Israel. One of the major synagogues in the entire country. So this is quite a man of influence. The second thing the Bible tells us about a is that he had a very serious problem is problem is that is only daughter, a girl of 12 was dying. The light of his life was about to go out and if any of you men have a daughter I think you understand how this man feels.
If you have a daughter you know daughters are different.
You know the old saying, a son is a son until he takes a wife, but her daughters, a daughter all your life. Give her that. Now I never heard that was a great saying let's do it again, a son of the song until he takes a wife and daughters of daughter. All of her life in this great I'm so glad God gave us a girl somebody to cure me of my old age.
My boys would just sold me away in the nursing homes with the inheritance and I never hear from him again. My girls not to let that happen to me. I know it. Hey girls.
A great man. Girls is best in this man only had one how many sons he had the only had one girl and she was very sick and about to die and I imagine all gyrus had tried everything he could think of every doctor every remedy every potion and now he was really desperate in utter desperation, he resorted to Jesus and look first 41 says he fell on his knees at Jesus's feet can get a picture of this he probably grabbed Jesus his ankles. He probably had tears coming down his eyes and the Bible says he pleaded with cheese. Thank Jesus. Please come help his daughter Banas desperation will Jesus agrees to go look what happened.
Verse 42, and the Bible says Jesus went on his way. The crowds almost crushed him.
They were rounding so thick and as this happens, we meet another desperate person, a woman there was a woman who'd been subject to bleeding. This is vaginally bleeding for 12 years but no one could heal her. As a matter fact Mark says. In Mark's gospel that she had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and it spent all the money she had all these doctors instead of getting better. She got worse.
Anybody know a doctor like that. If you like that around.
And Mark five also says that she said to herself, if I could only get to Jesus and touch the role the hem of his robe. I know I'll be healed and so is Jesus in this huge crowd walked along she came up. The Bible says behind him and touched the edge of his garment. And immediately her bleeding stopped to talk to me. Jesus asked and when everybody denied it, Peter said master looked at really a lot people are all around this huge crowd everybody opening you and touching you how you figure out who touched you Jesus and I don't know somebody touched me because I know that power has gone out for me and then when the woman saw that she could not go unnoticed. She came trembling and fell at his feet and in the presence of all the people she told why she had touched and how she'd been instantly healed. And then Jesus said to her daughter, your faith has healed you go in peace I tell your friends what I read about this woman. She doesn't impress me as the kind of woman who usually did crazy things to she impress you that way.
She just wanted to, go on off and leave. She did want to admit her so she did want to make a scene. She didn't want to be known she just wanted to come to mind her own business. She impresses me as a woman was probably very reserved and very to herself that she had just done a pretty crazy thing coming to get to this crowd and get to Jesus was no easy thing. I'm sure she had to go. I hope you get out here I'm coming through you step out here mold she doesn't impress me as normally been the kind woman but that's what you what I had to do to get through this crowd, and she did it.
Why would she act so crazy so out of character because one she was desperate and as a result she got healed, grabbed a hold of Jesus is gone grabbed impersonally know. I suppose this is probably as good a place as any to stop and make an observation when I was a boy we stab say we used to say close but no cigar. And you know that saying I said to my kids all the time they hated how is sacred close but no cigar. That's exactly how I would describe this crowd, I would say they were curious about Jesus Christ. They were ashamed of him. They were embarrassed by me were turned off. I am just checking them out. Now there's nothing wrong with that. Is nothing wrong with that except that none of the crowd saw Jesus act powerfully on their behalf. Did they because they were close to Jesus, but no cigar. Now the difference is this woman she saw Jesus Christ or something great for her.
She saw him do something miraculous for her and that's because she related to Jesus differently than the rest of the crowd did they have a nominal association with Jesus. They were acquaintances with Jesus.
They were part of this crowd, but this woman turned her relationship with Jesus Christ into a personal thing. She reached out and believing faith and grabbed a hold of him and made her relationship with him, something personal and friends. That's what makes all the difference in the world in terms of a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you're here. May I say to you, and you never had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. I don't mean a church encounter Alameda baptism encounter and I don't mean a rituals encounter an auto mean a sacraments encounter in autoimmune and intellectual encounter but I need a personal encounter with the living risen Messiah of Israel. Then, if you haven't had that you dislike part of the crowd. You may be close, but there's no cigar. See, we need to reach out in faith like this woman did and make our relationship with Jesus Christ. A personal thing we need to reach out and say Jesus. I personally invite you into my life. I personally surrender my life to you. I want you to be personally a part of everything I do and everything I am and I want to turn this into something it's not a ritual and not a sacrament, and on an intellectual enterprise but is a personal relationship. That's the difference. That's what this woman did that the crowd didn't do and that's why she got what she got.
If you're here and you've never done that. I hope you're ready to do that. I hope you check the mountain been a member of the crowd long enough time to make a personal commitment to give you a chance to do that little later will come back to that, along with the story. Though verse 49 it says while Jesus was still speaking, somebody came from the house of gyrus and said your daughter is dead gyrus.
She's did don't bother Jesus anymore.
The Malone's too late. Mr. Shasta can you imagine the feelings that must've gone through gyrus when he heard that report.
Can you imagine anger at the crowd slowing Jesus down anger at this woman who took the miracle that he has little girl should have in the Bible doesn't say it, but it wouldn't surprise me if he yelled out and screamed at this woman and screamed at the crowd floating down. You want to cost me all this time you want to took the miracle that should've been my girl my little girl is dead because he you but I love what Jesus verse 50 Jesus heard the report and said gyrus will be free. Just keep on believing she will be healed. Gyrus my powers bigger than any human delay. I said I was coming to heal your daughter did not and I'm coming to heal you daughter the trust.
Wonder why Jesus let this crowd waylay him and postpone him this long so the little girl God is able. Sure he did know the girl was going to die. No wrong. He knew so why would he let himself be detained this long Jesus could adjust whatever gyrus medically disappeared. Mesmerized in the house and on the thing. I mean, why did he walk down to this crowd and let himself get so detained that the little girl.ever think about this is not an accident while he had a thing to do with what he was going to for the little girl he was going to heal the little girl didn't make any difference.
He knew that he didn't do this for little girl say he did this for her daddy's sake. This was some for her dad something to deepen and mature this man's faith. That's why Jesus let this happen. He wanted to work in daddy notice folks when it comes to great men and women of God.
How when they were in certain circumstances. They seem to see it completely differently than the people around him. Notice that the Bible take the Israelites of the Red Sea. All they could see is red say and the chariots of Pharaoh coming from behind, but Moses saw God or have doubts at the Valley of the law.
All King Saul could see was Goliath, but David saw God wasn't God there all the time. Sure soldiers to see how about in Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar sucked a big statue in the big fiery furnaces that don't bow down the Filion furnace. All the people could see was the furnace but there were three Hebrew kids who could see God and you member when Nehemiah came back to build a wall and he gathered everybody outside around the wall. All those people could see was the rubble but Nehemiah he saw God. Now why was that I tell you the answer is that God by not always giving smooth answers to these men's prayers, down through the years God had taught these men how to have a big stubborn faith. You understand what I'm saying.
God had given them adversity. God is not always answer their prayer exactly the way that answered and when they wanted to how they wanted it in the way they wanted it got a lot of cars in their roads read their lives in the Bible but as a result of all those curves and as a result of them hanging on the God around those curves and as a result of God always being faithful, even to the Kurds God and taught people like Moses and David and those boys and Nehemiah to have a stubborn and exalted faith that no amount of curves in the road could shake and that's what he wanted to teach gyrus he wanted to teach this man how to have a faith that was deep enough to could take a few curves and that's why he threw them a curve ball right here that say to you that if you're Christian here this morning. This is why God is put some curves in your life in my life.
God's trying to mature our faith does not matter to us. God has abandoned us.
God doesn't hate us God's trying to mature our faith trying to cultivate in us a mature, stubborn, exalted trust in him did know about curves in the road can shake 20s out to do. You learn that when the road straight your whole life and so many Christians that I meet spend their whole life concentrating on the curves presenting the curves that God put in their life. They resent their parents. They resent their upbringing. They resent their boss. They resent their job. They resent how other people treated him and mess them up and they go through their whole life resenting and being bitter and angry about this and not realizing that those curves were their friends. God was just using that to try to do something in them that they would be glad for and folks may I say to you that as long as God is driving the car you have to worry about curves, God's car never goes off the road. God never spins out in a curve. And so you just get in the passenger seat and buckle your seatbelt and let God drive and I promise you you'll never go off the road you may have some hairpins that you may think you're going off the road, but you will. God just trying to get you to trust in deeper. For Christians, we need to learn to look beyond the curves and looked God realize God is bigger than any curve in the curves which are sent to be a blessing to us. Stop resenting them and hating them and despising them and learn to thank God for them, because God's driving.
You got nothing to worry about.
That's what he was doing in Jarvis's life will gyrus his faith grew and it survive. Look at verse 51 it says and when they arrived at the house on his daughter's dead. Jesus did let anybody going with them except Peter, John, James, and the child's father mother me while all the people were wailing and morning and wailing the morning and Jesus said stop wailing you give me a headache. She's not bad. She just asleep and the people laughed daddy knowing she was dead.
Look these people who did people and live people, and they knew she was dead.
But Jesus said, not on your own, and he went in and he took Peter and James and John and even all these people and laugh gyrus went in with, and I'm sure in Jarvis's mind.
Jesus's promise look so unlikely. It would mean funny but you know what he clung to it.
He went in that room with Jesus even stay outside laughing with the crowd. He went in with Jesus and in response, look what Jesus did. Verse 54. The Bible says that Jesus took the handle little girl and said my child get up and her spirit returned just a word to go.
The Bible says your spirit never dies, it just leaves her body. Her spirit is going to be with the Lord as a little girl and so it came back and Jesus immediately. At once she stood up and Jesus said to them, give her something to eat and her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anybody what it happened like they could hide it right little girl walks tell me whether you say it interesting what Jesus said, give the girl something to eat.
I find that really interesting is that what you think would be the first thing he would've said the strike, you will strange thought about it this week and I thought I wonder where would he say something like that.
What would you do that well. I think a lot of it has to do with eating the other two kinds of people in the world when it comes to food there. The people who eat to live in their the people who live D. Now I don't know which one you are all tell Yama live to eat first. I love to eat. I'll eat anytime, anyplace, and just about anything.
I won't eat liver. If you ever have me over don't give you live right liver but the liver, and a few other things. Ali just about anything and I love to eat it back as soon as I get to thinking about eat lunch. I'm thinking about supper. My finish supper on think about my midnight snack and in its breakfast.
I mean I only do things in between meals. That's how my internal calendar operates anybody else like that here. My wife is a meal of fish he forgot it not skip a meal but I guarantee you I never forget a meal I may skip it.
But I didn't forget it. I knew would pass just the way I the only time I lose my appetite.
You know when it is when I get sick if you get sick enough to how much you love to eat, you know, horny, you sick your appetite goes away.
That's the one redeeming thing about the flow lease to lose weight. I lay in bed. They released him as a white praise Lord, I feel terrible when I'm losing weight.
Praise the Lord.
That means I got more ice cream when I get up I will put on anyway. Praise Lord help me throughout all the help you, but a boy helped me through the flu but anyway this girl had been sick is that she been so sick she was dead. That's pretty sick right. She probably had not eaten for days and when she came back to life. She did not come back to life. Still groggy and still feeling bad and still have an ally around for for five days until she got her strength back and felt like eating the understand the point when Jesus brought her back. She was completely healed completely up completely healthy and she was hungry and she wanted to eat. That tells me this was a 100% certified complete miracle Jesus does it. He does right all away right this girl was completely healed. She did need any recovery time.
She was hungry and that's a good sign. And that's the passage for this morning.
Great passage but it leads us to ask a very important question and that is what. Let's answer that in a few minutes.
I have left. Did you notice anything strange, anything strike you strange about gyrus coming to Jesus anything out of the ordinary say well I don't know mean the man was desperately asked that healed her daughter early to think for second gyrus was a member of the religious establishment of Israel.
True, he was a leader of one of the most prominent synagogues and old country out of the religious establishment of Israel feel about Jesus these days and well not sure. Well let's look and see turn of the next gospel. John's gospel chapter 9 if you using our copy the Bible. It's page 759, 759 John chapter 9. Let me show you how they felt about Jesus really see the story here. The man born blind one the greatest stories in the Bible or my very favorite. After Jesus healed this man. The religious leaders calling in and go tell us all about it and then when they don't believe him a call his parents in this where we pick up the story.
Verse 18 that you still do not believe the demanded been blind and that he received a slight delay sent to the man's parents. Is this your son is the one you say was born, why, how is it now, he can say what his parents answered.
We know this is our son and we know he was born live but how he can now see and who opened his eyes. We don't know. Ask him. He's a big boy. He is of age and he will speak for himself a look at verse 22 and his parents sent to us because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews. It decided that anybody look at this.
Anybody who acknowledge that Jesus was the Messiah would be thrown out all of the synagogue, and that's why his parents said I don't know what you have to pay for the big boy will tell you some parents run stick by you in a crunch love to have these parents are well they call the guy back in again. Look at the way it is. They said to him tell us once again how this all works way up and he says to why you want to be one of his disciples to wrong question. Verse 28 then they hurled insults at him and said you are this fellow's disciples.
We are the disciples of all this we know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this guy. We only know where he comes from this man says the man answered and said, now this is a remarkable thing guys this is incredible thing you don't know where he comes from and yet he opened my eyes. We know God doesn't listen to sinners… The godly people do is will nobody ever heard of a person opening the eyes of a man born blind, but he did. If this man were not from God is no way he could've done this, you guys been sitting up there not seminary too long. You need to get out here in the real world and see the way up with what's wrong with you people. To this they replied you were steeped in sin at birth. How dare you lecture us in the mail. How was Jesus is a stock with the religious establishment these days.
Let's just say he was not there favor first is that fair. Now let's go back to gyrus permitted gyrus did not get to be the ruler of one of the most prestigious synagogues in Israel by being a political idiot and stand him saying he knew how the politics work. He knew where the winds were blowing this guy was not an idiot did he realize what going to Jesus for help was going to cost him did he realize it was going to cost him his leadership of the synagogue did he realize it was in accosting his membership in the synagogue did he realize it was gonna cost him a lot of his so-called friends were going to side with their synagogue membership like this guy's parents did. Did he realize it might even cost him his livelihood in that city.
Sure he did he say when and why in the world would he do because he was what he was desperate. That's why you see when you desperate friends you'll do radical things. The title of my messages morning is God deals with the desperate, and it's not that God will deal with people who want desperate God will is just that I have found that people usually won't deal with God until they get desperate and the reason for that is that God's terms that they have to deal with our radical term.
Most people won't deal with his radical terms until they get really desperate. And that's true when it comes to salvation when it comes to accepting Jesus Christ and being born again, God's terms, a radical God demands that we admit were utterly helpless that we have about as much chance of turning our way into heaven as a cadaver has in getting up, jumping rope, that's about where we stay. God demands that we abandon all of our self-help remedies that we throw away all of our work our way into heaven ideas and that we cast ourselves 100% on what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. Plus nothing.
Now most human beings I know will try anything and everything they can before they will come to the point that they'll turn to Jesus Christ in full surrender to humble themselves and fully depend on him for salvation will try anything else they can think of first and the reason is that God's way radically cuts against our human nature and the only people who are willing to do it God's way.
Our people were desperate. And that's true of us even once we become Christians. You even want to become a believer. God's demands remain radical God demands Lordship Lordship is a radical demand. Folks what that means is that we accept the word of God is the authority for our life and the authority for our life is no longer will we feel like doing any more. That means that we accept the will of God as the North Star for our life and we plot our course by not by what we dreamed about or what our fantasy was what we always wanted to go do by the will of God. Lordship means that we seek to serve other people in this life not be served, means that we see our purpose for existence has been totally different than what we used to see. Not that people wait on us and meet our needs and care for us but to serve other people.
This is a radical thing and it's only Christians were desperate for the blessing and the honor of God that are willing to live this way cannot desperate you look… What people really care about God blessing you like to live this way to radical in Matthew chapter 5 Jesus was giving out a bunch of blessed, blessed are the blessed are the blessed are the blessed you know. He said for one of them.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.
The jammer notice he didn't say Blessed are those who nibble and sip for righteousness see nibbling and sipping involves eating and drinking just like the words hunger and thirst, but nibbling and sipping mean that I'm pretty content the way I am not really all that hungry. I'm not really all that thirsty. I can take it or leave it you will come see comes off. I get I get if I don't I don't. Jesus didn't use those words Jesus said hunger. Jesus said first those are words of desperation and a Christian was content just to nibble and sip in their relationship with Jesus Christ is knocking to see God do a whole lot in their life. God is looking for people who were desperate for him to work in their life. People were desperate enough to discipline their schedule and get off and have quiet time with Jesus Christ every day. People were desperate enough to seek the face of God in prayer on their knees and not worry what television show they might be missed. God is looking for people were desperate enough to get into a regular Bible study and if they don't get to read the paper that day because they were too busy reading the word of God. They don't worry about missing part of the paper.
Jesus is looking for people were desperate enough to get themselves in a discipleship situation where they want to grow and they want to deepen and they want to learn more, and they're willing to devote themselves and do some homework and give up some of the things to enhance their relationship with Christ. Jesus is looking for people score desperate enough to come to a church like ours and take advantage of growth opportunities that we offer and not just come into one service and then do the 40 yard dash to the automobile but to stay around and grow and learn and deepening their relationship with Christ. Jesus is looking for people who were desperate enough to say no to what their body always wants to do, so that God can use their body to honor him instead God is looking for people were desperate enough that they're willing to step up and be counted out there in this world for Christ and they don't care whether people make fun of him and laugh at them or whether people think that they're an idiot. They don't care. Jesus Christ is looking for people were desperate enough to put out the extra effort to let their life be used by God and serve other people. The inconvenience for other people.
Finally, Jesus Christ is looking for people who were desperate enough to get on their knees and pray Lord I know that this prayer might cost me a lot. I don't care.
I want you to work in my life.
I don't care what the cost is desperate for you to do that work in my life, Lord doesn't matter what it cost me is this where you are is a Christian in your walk with God or you nibbling insipid. I met so many Christians were hungry and thirsty.
Once and now they're just nibbling insipid in an account on autopilot and when they talk to about what God did in their life. They'll tell you some great things God did. But if you ask him when it was always a long time ago asking what God's done in their life lately and you have much to say because they went from hundred and Thurston to nibbling insipid in the world got more attractive to they lost that hunger for Christ to work in the life maybe that's you. If so, I got great news for you. The situation is not irreversible.
You can reverse it today if you want. Jesus Christ is always happy for nipples and supers to come back around and get hungry and thirst. If that's the way you want to be God help you be that way but friend don't expect God to do a lot in your life. If all you want to do is nibbling soon.
He didn't do much in the crowds life but he did a lot gyrus's life and a lot in that woman's life because they were hungry, thirst, that's the way God wants you.
How is your desperation quotient. How is good question about a given prayer when I had to bow their eyes closed. I'd like to very quickly as those of you here who were Christians. If you like this morning this afternoon to say Lord I really, have slid in the nibbling insipid. I know it, but I need to get back to a hungering and thirsting for you in my life. I want you to make me desperate again to see you work in my life. Lord help the world pale away help you become the central focus. The driving force in my life again if you'd like to do that. There's no looking around the body's eyes were open, I'd like you to raise your hand so I could pray with thoughts hands.
Thank you God bless you. Anybody else.come on anybody else accomplished.
Thank you. Anyone else just before we pray thank you here and you've never made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ as your personal savior. Lord I like to give a chance to do that this morning. Remember, just pressing around him and being an interest in onlooker doesn't get anything you gotta make a person just like that woman you're here and you been checking it out long enough for now. You're prepared to say I'm ready to grab a hold of make a personal thing ready to open my heart and life up and accept them as my personal savior giving a personal role in my life that I'd like to pray with you and if you slip your hand up will pray together this morning.
Anybody like to do that. Thank thank God bless anybody else. Anyone else dear heavenly father, I want to thank you for the people raise their hands this morning. First of all I thank you for the Christians who raise their hand saying that they wanted to have more of a desperate relationship with you, Lord, I pray that you would work in their hearts in honor of what they done this morning, whether it be through circumstances or whether it be Lord through the spirit of God working in her heart or whatever. Bring back the desperation to see Jesus being number one to their hearts, Lord, even though I know it's a little scary to raise your hand at a time like this and pray something like this. I pray that you would reassure them that Jesus Christ will never lead us anywhere but that we won't thank you so Lord help them with confidence to let you lead and want to pray for the folks raise their hand saying that they wanted to make you a personal part of their life now or come into their heart as their personal savior. Today, forgive their sin and reassure these people that they belong to you now and that have a personal relationship with you and the trigger to change their life. Thank you Lord that they were willing to step out of being part of the crowd and become like this woman. Thank you for bringing us here today and I pray you would change our life by what we heard here today we pray these things in Jesus name, amen