Vantage Point Week 2: Game of Thrones

Sermon Transcript

Well, good morning to everybody and, also, good morning to those who watch via the internet and our mobile app. History tells us a story of a young man, who was probably in his late teens or early 20s, whose father, Antipater, had just given him control of Galilee. To get to that moment, you’ve got to sort of understand what’s happened. The Maccabees revolted against the Seleucids many years before that. The Seleucids were Persians that had come in and taken control of Jerusalem. The Maccabees were a group of people that learned how to fight a guerrilla warfare and were able to take down the Seleucids who fought in a lot more bulky types of environments, used cavalry and infantry. So, this guerrilla warfare was able to take these people out. And, eventually, the wrestled control of Jerusalem back, and we have what’s called “The Maccabean Revolt.”

Well, the Maccabees actually conquered more land than David and Solomon had done during their reign. One of the areas that they conquered was Idumaea. Idumaea was a place where the descendants of Edom lived. If you know your Bible there’s Jacob and Esau. Jacob was the chosen line, and Esau wasn’t. Esau became Edom. So, the Edomites, when they came in and they conquered the Maccabees, they made every man and kid get circumcised in adherence to the Torah. If you didn’t do it, they killed you.

Well, over time, a gentleman named Antipater, who was an incredibly good fighter, realized that, as a good fighter, he gained favor with the Maccabees. And, over time, Rome came in. So, there was this competing thing in the area of Jerusalem where there was Jewish law and Jewish culture, and also Roman law and Roman culture. Antipater realized that to be successful, he needed to not only be good with the Maccabees, but he also needed to be good with Rome. So, he aligned himself, at one point, with Pompey. Well, as Pompey’s star started to wane, and Julius Caesar started to rise, he moved his allegiance, as anybody who understands how to work with dictators and tyrants does, to Julius Caesar.

What we know is that Julius Caesar had an affair with Cleopatra, Mark Antony was drowned, and many historians believe that Antipater might have been the one that drowned him, but he definitely had a hand in getting him drowned. So, Julius Caesar loved Antipater. He called him to Rome to give him control of a large part of that area. Well, Jews came into the chamber with him and said, “You can’t give him power because he’s of the wrong line. He’s of Edom. He’s an Idumaean. You can’t give him the line.”

Well, Antipater realized that if he didn’t say something or do something, he might not have his moment. So, what he did is he opened up his tunic and revealed his body to Caesar. He said, “Do you see all the scars on my body? These were all won in defense of Rome.”

Julius Caesar looked at the Jewish people and said, “Get out of my chamber. Antipater, what title do you want for the region?”

Now, Antipater was smart. He realized if he would’ve said king, that would’ve been a no-no, because the Jews would’ve never accepted him. And it also probably would have been a little bit of an insult to Julius Caesar, who was Caesar at the time. He said, “Call me procurator.”

Julius Caesar said, “Done.”

So, Antipater went back to the region and now, as procurator, he took his son, who was this young man in late teens or early 20s, and said, “Galilee is yours. Go rule.”

Well, this young man realized that in Galilee there was a thug group of freedom fighters that was led by a gentleman named Hezekiah. They were very skilled in guerrilla warfare. So, this young man took a couple thousand of his troops and asked Rome for a couple more thousand, and decided to go into Galilee to take this group out.

Rome loved the ego, they loved the ambition, but they knew that he was marching to certain death. Because, when you fight a guerrilla warfare, you have to have big numbers to win. And he had about the same. Well, what Rome didn’t know is that this young man was an incredible horse rider. Back then, you didn’t have saddles. This wasn’t Bonanza. You really rode the beast back then. He was a great wrestler. And his father had taught him guerrilla war. He went in and he killed every single one of Hezekiah’s troops. He lined up all the leaders of Hezekiah’s group, along with Hezekiah, and he beheaded every single one of them in a display of power and force to let everybody in Galilee know there is a new sheriff in town.

The Sanhedrin, which was the court of the Jews at this time in Jerusalem, said, “We can’t let this stand. This man has done a military overreach. He should be tried for murder.”

Well, when this young man heard that the Jerusalem court wanted to try him for murder, he told Rome, “I’m just going to go into Jerusalem and kill everybody.”

Rome said, “No, no, no. Bad idea. Bad idea. Don’t do that. Here’s the reality, young man. The high priest is Hyrcanus. Hyrcanus is our puppet. We’ve placed him there. He’s the high priest of the Sanhedrin. Hyrcanus will exonerate you if you go in front of the Sanhedrin.”

So, after multiple times of convincing him not to go into Jerusalem and take everybody out, this young man, with a number of his people that were fighters, went into Jerusalem to appear before the Sanhedrin. Well, when he walked in front of the Sanhedrin, it went berserk. One gentleman stood up and said, “Look at who’s just walked in. Everybody comes to our court dressed in black and with their hair disheveled, showing mourning, looking for mercy from the court. And this man has walked in in a purple robe, as if he’s some king or monarch. We must try him for murder. Because, if we don’t, he will come back and kill every single one of us in the future.”

Well, it was a carnival. Hyrcanus, that day, decided to disband the Sanhedrin and told this young man to get out of town. Over a couple of more months, he convinced the Sanhedrin to exonerate this young man. True to form, he came back into Jerusalem at some point and he killed every single person on the Sanhedrin, except for Samaes, the one that had stood up and said how bad of a guy he was. He thought, “If anybody can see who I am that good, he must be a pretty good guy. So, he can live.”

Who was this young man? Well, we’re going to learn in just a minute, because we’re going to read the Christmas story through his eyes this morning. Before we do that, though, you know how I like to do this, especially for people that are new. I like to tell you what we’ve been doing and what we’re doing in our current series. We’re in a series called “Vantage Point.” What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to read the Christmas story through the eyes of the characters that were a part of this story.

I believe so much in this, because I think when we read Scripture, oftentimes we go to Scripture for our reasons, not God’s reasons. We’ve got problems, struggles or whatever, so we’re going there to get something for ourselves. I think God has allowed Scripture to be written to you and me in story form in so many places with people so that what we can do is we can enter the story and start reading the story through the eyes of the people that are in the story. What we start to see is we get outside of ourselves and we start really seeing what’s going on, which helps us to see ourselves and, ultimately, to see God more. So, that’s what we’ve been doing and that’s what we’re going to do this weekend as well.

So, who was that young man? Well, you may know him as a king. You may know him as “the Great.” But, this young man was Herod. That’s who he was. You may say, “Why did he take so much time to tell us this stuff and talk to us?”

Because I’m convinced, and I’m convinced because of my reading and my studying, that Scripture was not written to you and me. It was written for you and me, but not to you and me. It was written in a time and a place where there were many things that didn’t need to be said that were understood. If we would’ve gone to Germany, maybe even today, but definitely in the 70s, and we would’ve said, “9-11,” everybody would’ve known you were talked about a Porsche. You say “9-11” here today, and we have a totally different understanding. Because certain things don’t need to be said. They’re just understood. That’s called high communication. That’s not the communication they use in Denver, by the way.

But, high communication means that you are communicating to people in a way that they understand what’s going on. So, to understand the biblical story, everybody knew who Herod was when Matthew wrote it, but you and I need to have a little bit of a refresher and understand who this guy was. So, let me tell you who this guy was in a nutshell.

He was a savvy, ego-driven, enemy-destroying, womanizing, emotional genius. That’s who he was. So, let me explain what I mean by that so you can understand a little bit more about Herod when we read Matthew 2 today, together as a church.

Herod was so savvy that he realized his dad, Antipater, had been unable to wed the political with the religious, because his dad was an Idumaean, and so was Herod. Well, Herod was so savvy, Hyrcanus, the high priest, had a granddaughter. And what did Herod do? He married her. So, he sort of wormed his way into the right lineage by marriage, because this guy understood he wanted to be king of the Jews. He wanted to rule it all. Very, very savvy. Very ego-driven. Everything, every decision, was based on his ego and based on what he wanted.

Enemy-destroying. If you said anything bad about him, if you did anything or crossed him in any way, he took you out. In fact, not only did he take you out, he took wives and children out. That’s how enemy-destroying he was. Julius Caesar said, “I would rather be Herod’s pig than Herod’s son.”

He was a womanizer. He was married to about 10 women. One of the things he boasted of is he said, except for the one marriage that was politically expedient, “I don’t marry women for what they can do for me, I just marry women that I like, that I can grab and do what I want to do with.”

He was emotional. He flew off the handle all the time. Nobody could control this guy. But, man, he was a genius. I mean, he was a political and religious genius. He knew how to use religion, he knew how to use the things that people did to get their attention, and he knew how to use power with Rome. This guy was so good that he would tell Rome they had a bad crop that year so he could not give taxes to Rome, and then he would cut taxes for the people. So, what he would do is he would get favor for them. Then, at other times, he’d work Rome against the people. This guy just knew how to keep power and he knew how to rule.

Not only that, but he was a prolific builder. In fact, he built the second temple that we read of in Scripture, and almost everybody in antiquity will tell you that it was probably the most beautiful and ornate building of the time. But, look at all the stuff that he built. He built Masada. This is up on top of a mountain near the Dead Sea. You take cable cars up there. When I go to Israel with people, we’ll go there. We’ll walk around. You could spend weeks there. It’s so big and vast. It overlooks the Dead Sea. This was a fortress that he built for if there were times where there was siege or other problems. He built that.

Not only that, but he built the Herodium. He built the entire mountain. This mountain didn’t exist. He built the entire mountain and built a fortress inside of it that he could live in for up to a year or two with no outside help because of the crops that were inside and the aqueducts that brought water into that place.

Not only that, but he built Caesarea Maritima, a huge theater, a hippodrome, and a seaport. He used concrete to build a port that rivaled every one of them in the Mediterranean for the day. This guy was brilliant. I mean, he was unbelievable; the things that he pulled off in his lifetime.

But, he was driven by fear and driven by conspiracy. Because, if you ever noticed in your life, if you’ve got a lot of stuff, you’ve got to really watch out and hold that stuff. Right? I mean, it gets you white-knuckled. Well, this guy was really white-knuckled. In especially the latter part of his life, he was driven by fear. In fact, this guy was so nasty that, when he died, he put in his will — because he knew nobody would cry and everybody would be like, “Yes! Herod’s gone!” — to go kill people in all the towns around Jerusalem so that people would be crying to mourn his death.

That’s a beautiful guy, isn’t it? I mean, he was something else. Well, this is Herod. So now, when we read the biblical text, we’re going to be able to see a little bit more of what’s going on. Hopefully, we can read a little bit through his eyes. You can peer through the eyes of this man because now we understand a little bit more of who he was. And, believe me, the First Century would’ve absolutely known who this guy was.

So, let’s get to work here. Matthew 2 says, “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king,”

Now, you might’ve read that before and you might’ve thought, “Herod. Whatever,” and gone right on through. But now you have a real understanding of who Herod is. And we see here that it’s after Jesus was born. This isn’t where the shepherds come. Look, I’m not trying to bust up anybody’s nativity scene. Everybody’s like, “Chip’s the nativity scene destroyer every Christmas.”

I’m not trying to do that at all. Keep your nativity scenes. We have one at our house. It’s no big deal. I’m just trying to teach you the Bible here. Don’t kill the messenger. Anyway.

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king,” — I want you to look here — “behold,”

Now, here’s what I want you to do when you read Scripture. When you read Matthew — because Matthew uses this as a literary device. I want you to make a promise. When you read Matthew, I don’t care if you’re at your house alone and nobody’s there and you’re just reading Scripture. I want you to verbalize when you’re reading Matthew. When you see the word “behold,” I want you to go, “Behold!”

Okay? I want you to do that. What that’ll do is it’ll draw your attention to Matthew telling you, “Hey, you need to pay attention here.”

So, “Behold!”

Come on. See, the guys on the internet were screaming. They’re like, “Honey, check this out. Behold!”

Then you all are like, “Behold.”

So, anyway. You’ve got to say, “Behold!”

“Behold, wise men...” — this is Magi. These are pagan, occultist magicians — “...from the east came to Jerusalem,” — saying something.

Well, I want you to understand. These wise men — again, I’m not trying to destroy your nativity scene. There weren’t three. You couldn’t have traveled from the east to Jerusalem with three. It wouldn’t have worked. You’d have been killed and they’d have robbed you and everything else in the desert. It wouldn’t have happened. This is a caravan of hundreds of people. There’s hundreds of people that have come from the east. Now, I want you to imagine that all of a sudden these people roll into Jerusalem, this caravan of people. And you already know about Herod. He is cray-cray. Right? You know that. So, these people roll in and you know everybody in town is like, “Ooo. I wonder what’s going to happen.”

Well, when they say what they’ve come for, you should have the moment where the Bible should go, “Dun, dun, dun!”

Because here’s what they say: “‘Where is the one that’s been born king of the Jews?’”

He couldn’t be born king of the Jews. He was an Idumaean. He knew he was the illegitimate king, but he called himself king of the Jews. Here, these people have walked in and say, “Hey, we’re looking for the one that’s been born king of the Jews.”

That’s when you go, “Dun, dun, dun!” because you know. It’s like, “This is not going to be pretty. We know how Herod rolls. We know how he thinks. We know what’s up.”

Herod knows the story well. He goes to the temple on a regular basis. He’s been inundated with religion. He understands it. He knows that the Jewish people believe that one day there will be a king, and he knows he’s not it. He knows he has married his way in. He’s wormed his way into a right line, but he knows he’s not that person. These wise men show up, these pagan, occultist people, with probably crazy looking clothes and everything. They come in and say, “We want to know where the one who’s been born king of the Jews is.”

Not only that, but they say, “And we saw his star, not Herod’s.”

“‘We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’”

Well, you should know what the response is going to be. It’s not going to be positive. It’s not going to be all excited. It’s not going to be rainbows and butterflies. It’s going to be ugly. What does Matthew tell us? Exactly what we should expect.

“When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled,”

“Nobody’s taking my throne. I know how to take out pretenders to the throne. People come asking for the king of the Jews? I’m the king of the Jews.”

He’s troubled. He goes into that fear and to all those things. Then Matthew tells us, “And all Jerusalem with him.”

Everybody’s like, “Just go back to your house. Just let this play out. This guy is a madman. Just put your head down and let it go.”

Okay? So, everybody’s troubled.

“Assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people,” — Herod has no idea what the Bible says. He’s “king of the Jews,” but he has no idea where anything is in Scripture.

So, he calls he chief priests and scribes of the people, and he says, “Where is this Christ going to be born?”

He wants to know. He’s got guys there, a caravan full of people, coming to see this child. He knows what he wants to do. He’s going to take this child out.

“Where’s he supposed to be born?”

They said, “Well, in Bethlehem of Judea. It’s written by the prophet. It’s found in Micah.”

It says, “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

See, the wise men, the Magi, have followed a star that they saw from a distance to exactly where they thought the star would take them. Jerusalem. Isn’t that where a king would be born? Right? How about God in this one? In the Old Testament, God says, “Don’t look at the stars.”

In fact, He condemns it. Yet, He puts a star in the sky for these people so He can get them to Jerusalem. And what’s really cool is the star can get them to Jerusalem, but it takes the Word of God to get them to Jesus.

He says, “They’re going to be in Bethlehem.”

Well Herod, then, summoned the wise men secretly. Why? Because, if he went out and said, “Alright, guys. Go find the messiah,” then, all of a sudden, he’s not the king anymore. They’re looking for the king. He knows he can’t do that. He can’t do it in front of them.

He calls them in secretly. He’s like, “Guys, come on in! Man, have some biscuits and gravy.”

This is southern Jerusalem. He says, “Come on in. Hang out, you know? Just hang out with me a little bit. I just want to know something. About what time did this star appear?”

Why is he doing that? He wants to know about how old this child is. This is a savvy guy. He’s smart. The wise men, these Magi, they don’t know who Herod is. They’re just in there like, “Yeah. These biscuits and gravy are good, man.”

So, he says, “So, what time?”

And he gets that information from them. He sent them to Bethlehem. He’s like, “Yeah, guys. Go and search. This is a great idea. I am all for this. This is a great idea. Go. When you’ve found him, come back and hang out, man. We’ll have some good times. We’ll go down together. I’ll worship him myself.”

Somebody said it perfectly: “Yeah, right.”

See, you’re following the trajectory. You’re seeing through Herod’s eyes right now.

It says, “After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold,” — listen — “the star that they had seen...”

So, on their way to Jerusalem, they saw a star. Now that they have left Jerusalem, they see the star again. What’s Matthew telling you? Jerusalem is dark. There’s no revelatory stars in Jerusalem at this time. That’s why he says, “Behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.”

And then what happens is they come in and they offer this child gold, frankincense and myrrh, which is financing Mary and Joseph’s trip to Egypt that they will undertake in just a few minutes. And the myrrh would have no more value in all of the world than it would have in Egypt, where it’s used for embalming the dead, which is what the Egyptians do. God knew their need and financed it before they left. And then they have a dream that said, “Don’t go back to cray-cray. Go home.”

Well, Herod hears what’s up, and what does he do? He sends soldiers into this town of Bethlehem, and he kills every male child under two years old. Jesus is probably about a year and a half at this point when this goes down, but he kills every kid two years and younger to take them out. So, what can we learn here? Trying to read this through Herod’s eyes, trying to see what he’s seeing, because this is what Scripture wants you and me to do. It wants you and me to ask the question, “Is there any Herod in me? Am I going to be the occultist, Magi, Gentile star-watcher and worship Jesus, or am I going to be like Herod and want to take him out?”

Because those are really the options that we get when we read this story. So, what can we learn here, looking through Herod’s eyes? Well, first of all, we can learn that the Christian story has been sanitized by you and me. We’ve made it nice and neat and comfortable. We’ve got our porcelain nativity scenes with the gold painting. It’s all nice and whatever. It’s sterile. Look, I’ve got some at my house, so I’m not just getting on you. We’ve got some at our house. But, we’ve made it nice.

“Oh, it’s just this nice, little story.”

It’s not a nice, little story. At all. It’s about tyrants that want to take out the Christ-child and kill kids. It’s about poverty. It’s about oppression. It’s about leaders that don’t care about people. It’s all of it. It’s about a young girl that ventures her reputation for purity to have God’s Son. It’s about a man who has to take on the heat for marrying a woman that’s found with child. It’s about a kid that will grow up and be called a bastard son. It’s messy. It’s ugly. It’s nasty. It’s exactly the world we live in, and thank God Jesus came to that and not to some sanitized place.

Don’t sanitize it. Let it be what it is. Let it be in all of its richness. Let it be in all of its flavor, because that’s where we start to see what’s going on. Herod sees Jesus through the eyes of, “I want to take Him out.”

It’s not a pretty story. It’s an ugly story. But, it’s an ugly story that ultimately gets redeemed, and the people out of the ugly story can be called children of God. Not only that, but knowledge isn’t relationship. Herod knew a lot about religion, but he didn’t have a relationship with God. The chief priests and scribes, they knew the Bible inside and out. They knew exactly where Micah was at. They knew exactly where to find where the messiah would be born. These people knew the Bible inside and out, but, when the Magi showed up and said, “We’re here to find the one born king of the Jews,” the chief priests and scribes didn’t even take a five and a half mile walk to make sure that the things that they were reading weren’t happening five miles down the road.

They knew a lot, but didn’t know God. So, I’m being honest. I’m not trying to get on anybody’s toes. But, I think we all — and I’ll start with me. Chip, when you read the Christmas story, is it possible that you could know a lot about God, you could know a lot about His Word, and not know Him? It’s a sobering thought. Don’t sanitize it. Let it sink in, because God’s after relationship. He’s not after rule-keepers. He’s after relationship. He’s after intimacy with you and me. He’s after us spending time with Him. It’s not about church.

Keith Green said it great. He said, “Going to McDonald’s makes you no more a hamburger than going to church makes you a Christian.”

Knowledge isn’t relationship. The third thing — and this is going to be tough for a lot of us in here today — is that Christ does not conform to the power structures of this world. There’s no way around it. Matthew has totally set it up that a little baby, born in obscurity and in poverty, is the ruler of the world, not those that are in control. And I want you to listen to me, because this is really huge that we understand this. The power structures of this world, at their base core — and that’s every power structure, every country and every people in this world — is to keep the franchise going.

That’s the base of it all. They’ve got to keep it going. And we are willing to kill to keep the franchise going. Jesus says, “That’s not the way it works at all. That’s not the way my people are. My people turn other cheeks. My people go second miles. My people love enemies. We don’t conform to the power structures of this world.”

Jesus doesn’t conform to the power structures of this world. And listen to me and hear me well: If you find yourself, as a Christian, finding some power structures, wherever they are, that you feel comfortable with, you have compromised your Christianity to some degree. Hear me, because the story is subversive. The story is much deeper than putting together a little thing, doing the thing and making it all nice and dandy. It’s a very deep story. Is it going to be the Christ-child? Are we going to fall and worship Christ or are we going to snuff Him out?

Because, here’s the real question that it ultimately leads to for all of us: What’s my throne? What’s my throne that I am unwilling to give up to Jesus? What is it? Because we all have some Herod in us. Will we be Herod, or will we be the Magi? Because, see, when you hold onto that throne, whatever it is — power, ability, talent, position, finances or whatever it may be. Have you ever noticed that all you do is live in fear and anxiety to make sure you keep ahold of it? That’s a terrible life, holding on, white-knuckled.

“I don’t want anybody to get this. I don’t want anybody to get this. Don’t take it from me. Don’t take it from me.”

So, when Jesus comes along and says, “I’m going to take the throne,” they’re like, “Ah, you’re not getting it from me!”

But, listen to me. If you give it up to Him — it’s His throne. It’s not yours. If you give it up to Him, it’s the best life you can ever live. Because now you don’t have to hold on and try to keep the throne. You let Him have the throne.

Let me explain it a little better. You all know I love Kentucky basketball. Anybody who loves God should. Anyway, I love Kentucky basketball. So, a lot of times I can’t watch basketball because I’ve got stuff to do like preach. You know? It’d be great.

“Chip’s not here today. He’s at home watching Kentucky basketball. We have somebody coming in to preach.”

You’d be like, “What? That Pagan.”

Some of y’all say that anyway. Anyway, the reality is that oftentimes, when I’ve recorded it, I cheat. I flip my phone on the way home and look and see. I go, “Alright. We won.”

Well, can I tell you something? When I know that we won, when we’re down by eight with four minutes left on TV, I don’t have a problem. I don’t have a problem at all, because I know we won. Now, the fear and anxiety that I’d have watching that game if I didn’t know that we won is different than when I know that we won. Do you follow me on that? Okay.

He’s won. Read the end of the book. He’s won, which means you don’t have to hold onto the throne. You can give it up and let that fear, that anxiety and all that garbage that we hold onto go. You know how it is, too. We give it up for a little while and then we’re like, “Hey, God. Look over there at Jim. Look at him. He’s got a throne.”

Right? That’s what we do. So, what’s your throne? What’s my throne? Because I think the Christmas story, reading through the eyes of Herod, calls us to take a real strong inventory inside. But I can tell you this: Giving up the throne is the best place to be. Let Him take control of the things that need to be taken control of. Rest in Him.

Let’s pray.

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You so much for the truth of Your Word. I thank You, Lord, that You don’t sanitize things. I thank You, Lord, that we’re not reading some myth that somebody made up. It’s so real and it’s so rich and so honest. I just pray, Lord, for a moment we would just stop and think through what we’ve heard, and ask, “Lord, what are areas in my life that I’m like Herod? Search me, O God, and know me. Show me. Expose those ways to me. And help me, Lord, to ultimately foster a real relationship with You that’s meaningful.”

Lord, if there’s anybody in here that doesn’t know You, doesn’t have a relationship or wonders if they do, Lord, I pray that they would just stop where they’re at right now and say, “God, I want to have a relationship with You.”

And Lord, when we end this service, that they would jump up and go find somebody with a Grace shirt on, or a Grace name tag, and say, “Hey, I want to go forward with this thing. I want to know.”

But, Lord, for those of us that maybe have sat in church for a long time, maybe it’s time to really have a moment, here at Christmas time, of reflecting honestly about where we’re at and what are areas in our lives that we need to give to You, for Your glory and for Your honor.

So, Lord, I pray that we would do that. And I pray that over this next week we would really allow You to search our hearts and to know us. So, I pray that as we leave, You would watch over us and protect us, that You would lead and guide us, and that You’d bring us back safely to when we meet again. And I pray, Lord, that You would continue to build in this church a heart for the unchurched that wants to be intentional neighbors that reflect Christ.

So, Lord, we just love You, we praise You and we honor You. You’re such a good God and a loving Father. In Jesus’ name we pray, and everybody said, “Amen.”

Give the Lord a big hand clap. Tell Him you love Him. God bless everybody.

John Flowerree