– Welcome to Sandals Church.
My name is Becca Boganwright.
I'm so glad to be with you and so grateful that you would invite us into your home.
At Sandals Church, ourvision is to be real with ourselves, God, and with others.
And if you're just joiningus for the very first time, we would love to know who you are and where you're joining us from.
Would you do us the honorof heading to move.
sc/new, just giving us a littleinformation about who you are, so we can connect with you.
For those of you who arewatching live, online, today, don't forget to leavea comment in the chat and share this message withanyone who will listen, because we know now, more than ever, how important it is to get a message of hope out and of thisvision of being real, to anyone and everyone who will listen.
It's been incredible, overthe last several weeks, that we've been able to dothis and connect with people in 79 different countries.
And this would not have beenpossible without those of you who give to Sandals Church.
So we wanna say thank you for being a part of the movement of God, through our church.
You can give at any time, online, by heading to give.
And we are super excited, because, today, we're starting a brand-new series, hearing a message from ourlead pastor Matt Brown, about how to elevate ourlives by focusing on the hope that only our God can give.
And as we start our time together, we're gonna be singing a few songs, remembering that worshipingGod is not about where we are.
It's about who God is.
So would you engage in this time with us? Would you join in? Would you sing? Would you clap, as we worship God, joining with people all over the world? – We wanna invite you all, right now, to join in lifting up our good God.
Right now, let's let go of our fears.
Let's let go of our worry.
And let's celebrate hisgoodness and his faithfulness.
I don't know where you're at, right now.
Maybe you need to kick off your slippers, set down your coffee, because we're about to have a little dance partyfor the Lord, all right.
So let's get those hands going.
Let's sing, when the night has fallen.
(upbeat music) ♪ When night has fallen ♪ ♪ When fear is common ♪ ♪ Still you're calling me ♪ ♪ When faith is lostand my hope exhausted ♪ ♪ You will be my strength ♪ ♪ When my mind says I'm not good enough ♪ ♪ God, you're enough for me ♪ ♪ I've decided I'm not giving up ♪ ♪ 'Cause you won't give up on me ♪ ♪ You won't give up on me ♪ ♪ Your love is holdingon, and it won't let go ♪ ♪ I feel it breaking out like an echo ♪ ♪ Your love is holdingon, and it won't let go ♪ ♪ I feel it breaking out like an echo ♪ ♪ Echo in my soul ♪ ♪ Soul ♪ – In every season ♪ In every season, you keep repeating ♪ ♪ Promises to me ♪ ♪ Whoa ♪ ♪ And there's no stoppingwhat you have started ♪ ♪ Until it is complete ♪ ♪ When my mind says I'm not good enough ♪ ♪ God, you're enough for me, yeah ♪ ♪ I've decided I'm not giving up ♪ ♪ 'Cause you won't give up on me ♪ ♪ You won't give up on me ♪ ♪ You're love is holdingon, and it won't let go ♪ ♪ I feel it breaking out like an echo ♪ ♪ Your love is holdingon, and it won't let go ♪ ♪ I feel it breaking out like an echo ♪ ♪ Echo in my soul ♪ ♪ Soul ♪ ♪ In my soul ♪ ♪ Soul ♪ ♪ When my mind says I'm not good enough ♪ ♪ God, you're enough for me ♪ ♪ I've decided I'm not giving up ♪ ♪ 'Cause you won't give up on me ♪ ♪ You won't give up on me ♪ ♪ Your love is holdingon, and it won't let go ♪ ♪ I feel it breaking out like an echo ♪ ♪ Your love is holdingon, and it won't let go ♪ ♪ I feel it breaking out, breaking out, breaking out ♪ ♪ Your love is holdingon, and it won't let go ♪ ♪ I feel it breaking out like an echo ♪ ♪ Your love is holdingon, and it won't let go ♪ ♪ I feel it breaking out like an echo ♪ ♪ Echo in my soul ♪ ♪ Soul ♪ ♪ In my soul ♪ ♪ Soul ♪ – Woo!- Woo! – God, we look to you for our strength.
We turn our eyes to you.
Right in the middle of the storm, God, we raise our highest praise to you.
♪ I raise a hallelujah ♪ ♪ In the presence of my enemies ♪ ♪ I raise a hallelujah ♪ ♪ Louder than the unbelief, yeah, yeah ♪ ♪ I raise a hallelujah ♪ ♪ My weapon is a melody ♪ ♪ Oh yeah ♪ ♪ I raise a hallelujah ♪ ♪ Heaven comes to fight for me, yeah ♪ – [Bek] Come on, sing this out.
♪ I'm gonna sing in themiddle of the storm ♪ ♪ Louder an louder ♪ ♪ You're gonna hear my praises roar ♪ ♪ Up from the ashes, hope will arise ♪ ♪ Death is defeated ♪ ♪ The King is alive, oh ♪ ♪ Hallelujah ♪ ♪ I raise a hallelujah, yeah ♪ ♪ With everything inside of me ♪ ♪ Oh, Almighty God ♪ ♪ I raise a hallelujah ♪ ♪ I will watch the dark days flee ♪ ♪ Oh yeah ♪ ♪ I raise a hallelujah ♪ ♪ In the middle of the mystery ♪ ♪ I raise a hallelujah ♪ ♪ Fear you lost your hold on me ♪ ♪ Whoa ♪ ♪ I'm gonna sing in themiddle of the storm ♪ ♪ Louder and louder ♪ ♪ You're gonna hear my praises roar ♪ ♪ Up from the ashes, hope will arise ♪ ♪ Death is defeated ♪ ♪ The King is alive ♪ ♪ Oh, he's alive, he's alive ♪ ♪ Almighty God ♪ – Right where you are, sing this with us ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ – Come on, right where you are.
♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ In the presence of my enemies ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ Louder than the unbelief ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ My weapon is a melody ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ Heaven comes to fight for me ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ In the presence of my enemies ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ Louder than the unbelief ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ My weapon is a melody ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ And heaven comes to fight for me ♪ ♪ Sing a little louder ♪ ♪ I'm gonna sing ♪- Come on! ♪ In the middle of the storm ♪ Come on, declare this out! ♪ Louder and louder ♪ ♪ You're gonna hear my praises roar ♪ ♪ Up from the ashes ♪ ♪ Hope will arise ♪ ♪ Death is defeated ♪ ♪ The King is alive ♪ ♪ I'm gonna sing ♪ ♪ In the middle of the storm ♪ ♪ Louder and louder ♪ ♪ You're gonna hear my praises roar ♪ ♪ Up from the ashes, hope will arise ♪ ♪ Death is defeated ♪ ♪ The King is alive ♪ ♪ He's alive ♪ ♪ I raise a hallelujah ♪ ♪ I raise a hallelujah ♪ ♪ I raise a hallelujah ♪ ♪ I raise a hallelujah ♪ – Yeah! – Amen!- Jesus! – Father, we raise up a hallelujah.
Let praises ever be on our lips to glorify your beautifulname, Jesus, amen.
(bright music) ♪ Ah, ah, ah ♪ ♪ Ah, ah, ah ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ (dramatic music) – Hi, and welcome to sandalschurch.
My name is Matt Brown, and I'm the pastor here, at Sandals Church, and I am so excited that you joined us, today, for church.
I mean, the reality is, what are you gonna do when you live in California, man? These crazies don't wantus to go to the beach, don't want us to have any fun, right, so you got to check out church.
Look, I am glad that you are here, today, just tuning in withus, connecting with us, and my Sandals Church family, thank you so much, praying for you, and I want this series.
I don't know where you are.
I don't know what you're going through.
I don't know what's happened in your week.
I have not had a great week.
I don't know if you've had a bad week, a bad day, a bad month.
I mean 2020, not a great year, amen? Can't hear it, but I'msure you gave me one.
I just want this series toelevate you and lift you up, so no matter where you are, man, if you're in an emotional funk, if you just, like me, youjust feel just cooped up, kept in, and you're ready to let it out, this is the series for you.
And today, I want to talk about how Jesus can elevate my life when I feel discouraged.
I've been discouraged a lot, lately.
A lot's been going on.
Things haven't been going my way.
I haven't been having the things that I want to happen happen, and I get discouraged.
And I want you to know thatno matter where you are, no matter what's happening in your life, Jesus can elevate you and lift you out of whatever you feel stuck in, whatever you feel surrounded by, or whatever you feel overlooked by.
Jesus can lift you out of that, right now, in this series, and I want you not only to think about yourself, but I want you to think about somebody that needs this series.
We're gonna be in the book of Philippians.
In every sermon, excepttoday, we're gonna start with a story of Jesus, and then we're gonna getinto the book of Philippians, and Paul, from prison, is gonna lift us up.
So how can Jesus elevate my life when I feel discouraged.
If you're not discouraged, save this for later.
Jesus can elevate my lifewhen, write this down, when I'm ready to listen.
I know a lot of you, you're like me.
And you get frustrated when you feel like God's not listening.
I want you to know Godis always listening.
We're the ones that almost never listen.
You see, so many of us, weget frustrated in prayer, because we feel like God's not hearing us.
And oftentimes, the problem isnot that God doesn't hear us, it's that we're not hearing him.
When I turned 40, which was unfortunately, a couple of years ago, and those years arerunning by more quickly than I would like, I realized, at 40, that I gotta live differently.
I went through a major, major heartache, with a personal friend at Sandals Church.
We had a falling out.
I had discipled him, ministered together, and the whole thing blew up.
And I realized that I neededto change some things.
Three things that I wanted to change, for the next 40 years of my ministry, assuming I'm gonna bea pastor till 80, amen? Let's all hope not.
Three things I realizedI needed to change, number one, I need to listen better.
You see, as a leader, Ioftentimes find myself wanting to share how I feel, and Iwant people to listen to me.
I realize I don't listen well.
I wanted to listen better, love more, and lead more incredibly.
I wanted to listen, love, and lead.
Those were the things Ineeded to change in my life, but it all started, thetransformation had to start with me shuttin' up, andme starting to listen up, and say, God, what do you want to say? God, I want to value you, and I want to value others when they talk to me.
I'm good at talking.
I was terrible at listening.
So let me just ask you.
Some of you don't believe in Jesus.
If Jesus spoke to you, are you ready to listen? Or would you just put it off.
Oh, that was just gas.
That's something I ate, yesterday, for dinner.
That couldn't be God.
That's just my conscience talking to me.
That's just my mom.
That's my grandma, who grew up in church.
That's her old sayings talking to me.
If Jesus spoke to you, today, would you be willing to listen? Let me just ask you.
How is God gonna change your life, if you won't listen to howhe wants to change your life? You see, as Americans, we want to be heard.
But as Christians, weneed to learn to listen.
So we look at the Gospel of John, chapter five, in verse one.
It says: Afterward, Jesusreturned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holidays.
Inside the city, near theSheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches.
Now I hope, one day, we had to cancel our tripto Israel, this year, 'cause basically, fun iscanceled, amen, in 2020? No fun, no fun for you, no fun for anyone! So we had to cancel our trip to Israel.
One of my favorite things, God willing, we ever get to go to Israel, together, is to go to this place.
We know exactly where this place is.
Some of you, you're like, oh, the Bible's all made up.
Let me tell you something, this place ain't made up.
I've been there.
I've stood there.
I've been there.
It's a beautiful place.
And one of my favoritethings to do when we go there as a church is to ask oneof our worship leaders to sing “Amazing Grace, “in this beautiful church, built right over the top of this pool.
And it's amazing.
Every time we do it, wewalk into this church, and Sandals Church, right, we just take over.
Everybody goes in there, andI push our worship leaders, because I can't sing, right.
If I started singing, everybody'd run out.
I push them up there.
Come on, sing, sing, sing! It's amazing.
We started singing “Amazing Grace.
” We started singing “It is Well.
” And the next thing youknow, Muslims are comin' in.
Jewish people are coming in, just travelers from all over the world.
They're not Christian at all.
They just come in, sit down, and you watch people cry.
It is such a gorgeous, beautiful, awesome place, and I hope you get to go there, before you go to heaven, because it's as close to heaven on earth as Ithink we're gonna get.
It's just one of thoseplaces that I love to go.
I never miss it when we go there.
I've been there, and everytime I go to Jerusalem, I go to this place.
It was a special place then, and it's a special place now.
So here we are, near the Sheep Gate, with the pool of Bethesda.
Crowds of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, they lay on the porches.
People would come to this place, because they believed it wasa place of magic healing.
You see, they didn't know why, but in the city of Jerusalem, the city of Jerusalem's a mountain city.
So think about that.
How on earth do you build a mountain city when water flows to the lowest point? So how do you have a city on a mountain? Well, here's the amazingthing about Jerusalem, is it has all kinds of underground rivers.
And the city is fed, miraculously, by water you can't see, and so here's what happens, as water moves underneath the city.
From time to time, the waterin these pools would bubble up, and then it would swirl.
And here's what people believed.
If you were the first personafter the water was stirred, to get in, you'd be healed.
And so people that werecrippled, sick, blind, lame, they would lay there, for weeks, months, some of them, years, wantingto be the first person, because what they thought is, you had to be first, in orderto experience the miracle.
And so here's this individual, that Jesus is going tochange their life forever, who's waiting for a falsehope, waiting for someone else to do something that they can't do.
So here's what we know nowadays, is water swirls around, and it wasn't angels.
It's just water pressure changing.
And so we had a false hope, but they all lay there, by the porches, waiting for the water to stir.
One of the men, lying there, he'd been sick, underlinethis, for 38 years.
Man, you and I, we've beentrapped in our houses.
I mean, if you live outside of California, you get to do what you wantto do, but in California, we gotta do what the governor says.
We gotta do.
That's just where we are, and that's who we are.
So we've been trapped inour houses for eight weeks, eight weeks, right? I've looked at all the books.
I've watched every showI wanna watch on Netflix.
Like, I'm done.
I don't want to stare at another screen.
I don't wanna have another Zoom meeting.
Thank you so much forwatching my face, today.
I know some of you are fed up with it.
But, man, I've only done eight weeks.
Eight weeks, that's it.
This guy has been sick for 38 years.
I can't do eight weeks.
Eight weeks, I'm goin' nuts.
He's done 38 years.
And some of you, especially those of our Sandals people in L.
County, when you heard the countyannounce you got to shelter in place, for three moremonths, you're like, I'm gonna shelter you in place.
You know what I'm saying? And you had some crazy thoughts.
Like, some of you just went crazy.
I had people tell me, I'mjust gonna get the COVID.
I'm just gonna get rid of it.
Like, we were all afraid of it.
Now you're like, no, no, just give it to me.
I wanna be done, so I can be free.
Isn't that amazing? In eight weeks, we've gonefrom I don't want to get sick to just get me sick, so Ican get out of the house and not be afraid anymore.
This guy's been there 38 years.
38 years, he's been sick.
He's been lame.
For 38 years, he's suffered.
And here he is, beside this pool of water, and he believes if he canjust get in the water, he'll be healed.
So there he is lyin', and Jesus saw him.
Isn't that amazing? This guy's not the only personthat's around this pool, but this is the personJesus wants to talk to.
Let me just ask you.
We got about, I don't know, 25, 40, 000 people watching.
What if this whole thing today is just so Jesus can talk to you? Like, all of us are just on your trip.
This is your bus, and we'veall gathered together, just so you can hear from Jesus.
So there's all these people, all these hurting people, all these sick people, and Jesus says, “I want to talk to you.
” When Jesus saw him, and he knew he'd beenill, for a long time.
He could tell, in the same way that you can tell when somebody's been battlingan illness, for a long time.
You can tell somebody who'sbeen homeless for a day, versus somebody who'sbeen homeless for a year.
You can tell.
Your eyes can tell you the story that you don't need to hear.
And he asked him.
He said, “Would you like to get well?” One of the things I wantto encourage you to do, if you're new toChristianity, is just read through the Gospels.
That's Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and just underline thequestions Jesus asks people.
You see, I know a lot of you, you say I've got all kindsof questions for God.
I've got all kinds of questions for God.
I got all kinds of thingsthat don't make sense, that just don't seem to addup, and when I get to heaven, I'm gonna give God a piece of my mind.
Well, let me ask you something.
You think a lot about thequestions you have for God? What if you thought about the questions that Jesus has for you? And Jesus says, “Wouldyou like to get well?” Would you like to get well? And you know why Jesusasked this question? 'Cause some of you rightnow are lying to yourself, and you're telling yourself, I want this COVID thing over, and the truth is, youreally like complaining.
You really like being a grouch.
Some of you really like not going to work.
Some of you have gotten really, really comfortable in suffering.
And the truth is, you'vegotten into a rut, and if you had to change, maybe you wouldn't change.
You wouldn't like to change.
So Jesus says, “Wouldyou like to get well, ” 'cause not all of us want to be well.
Some of us just want to complain.
Some of us just want to moan.
Some of us just want to gripe.
Some of us just want to be critical.
Some of us just want to be mean.
Jesus says, “Do you want to get well?” Do you want to get well? Just because somebody is in a hospital doesn't meanthey want to get well.
You know that doctorstell me, all the time, doctors at our church, thatit's hard to get people to actually follow their prescriptions? Did you know that whenpeople go to a hospital, and the doctor makes a diagnosis, people oftentimes don'tlisten to the doctor.
They don't even go to the pharmacy.
A certain percentage of peopledon't even go to the pharmacy to get the medication thatthe doctor said they needed.
And then some of us, what we do, is we go and get the medication, 'cause we got a small copay, and we spend the five bucks.
We spend the 10 bucks or the 20 bucks or whatever your copay is.
But we don't finish the medication.
What's the last words outof the doctor's mouth? Make sure you finish all your medication.
Do you know why we don'tfinish our medication? We don't want to get well.
As Americans, it's beenproven that we are better at feeding medication to ourpets than we are to ourselves.
You know, if Fido's sick, you're gonna make Fido takeevery single pill, why? 'Cause you could lie to him and stick it in cheese, like I do.
That's what I do to my dog.
She has no idea she's taking medicine.
She just thinks, oh, I got string cheese.
Bumph, there you go.
But you take better care of your dog than you do of yourself.
And the truth is, youneed to ask yourself, do you want to get well? Do you want to get well? Do you want to get healthy? Do you want to get healthy? I mean, some of you havebeen sittin' on your butt for eight weeks, and youhaven't walked outside once.
You haven't exercised once.
Do you want to get well? No, I just want to gripe and complain, blame God, blame everybody else.
Jesus is asking, “Doyou want to get well?” He's saying, “Listen to me, I can elevate your life.
” But Jesus is not gonna liftyou if you're not ready to fly.
He's asking you, do you want to get well? Now I'm not Jesus, but youknow what drives me crazy? Wasting my time with peoplewho don't want to change.
Wasting my time.
Moms will drag their teenager in.
Teenager has no desire to change.
They say, well, he's gonna listen to you.
No, they're not gonna listen to me until they want to change.
Some of you, yourmarriage is on the rocks.
You drag your husbandor you drag your wife, you drag your mom, yourdad, you bring 'em in, listen to the pastor, man! They're not gonna listen to anybody until they want to change, until they want to get well.
You see, if you don'twant your marriage healed, how am I gonna heal it? If you don't want your finances healed, how on earth is Jesus gonna heal it? If you're not ready to change, why is God gonna waste histime trying to change you? You gotta listen.
Jesus says, “Would you like to get well?” Number two, Jesus can elevate my life when I am done with excuses.
Man, some of you, you'reso good at excuses.
You got 1, 000 reasons whyJesus can't change your life.
Jesus says, “Would you like to get well?” The man says, “I can't.
” You think that's news to Jesus? Obviously, you can't.
He didn't ask if you can get well.
He asked if you want to get well.
He says, “I can't, ” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool “when the water bubbles up.
“Someone always getsin there ahead of me.
” Some of you are 60 years old, still blaming your father for your life.
You haven't lived withyour dad for 40 years.
What are you doing? Do you want to get well? You've got to leave your parents life.
And you gotta create your own life.
Some of you are like, well, I got divorced.
I'll never fall in love again.
Man, you gotta leave that last marriage, if you want the marriageGod wants to give you.
Some of you like being stuck in your pain, and Jesus says, “Did you want out?” He says, “I can't change, and I have no one.
“I grew up poor.
” Or then we have the -isms, right.
Everybody loves the -isms.
I can't change.
I can't be who God's calledme to because of racism, because of sexism.
Oh, socialism, right? Oh, capitalism! We always love the -isms.
Jesus says, “Do you want to get well?” What do you want? You see, some of you, man, you wouldn't fly if anangel came next to you and said, hey, let's go, let's go.
You're just stuck.
You've gotten used to livingat a level that is far beneath anything God's evercalled you to do or to live.
“I can't, sir.
“I can't, ” he said.
“I got no one.
” I'm a single mom.
I'm a single person.
Man, I'm lower income.
Man, I have no income.
I lost my job.
I lost my business.
Jesus, you can't possibly change my life.
I didn't even get a stimulus check.
That's how much God hates me.
I didn't even get a stimulus check.
Right, and that's whatyou're telling your friends.
Of course, course, I didn't get a check.
All your friends got a check.
You didn't get a check.
You're like, I could changeif I got a stimulus check.
Then you get the check.
Well, it's not the amount that I thought.
I can't actually change.
I can't actually be different.
Hosea 4:4, this is a powerful verse, and I want you to listen: Don't point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame.
You know what our world'sspiritual gift is? Pointing the finger.
Don't do it.
Don't point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame.
Don't do it.
You know who God's talkingto, in Hosea, chapter four? He's talking to priests, his priests, and he's calling them to account.
It's his people, his leaders, and he says, “I'm talking to you.
“Don't blame everybody else.
” And that's what we love to do, right? We love to blame everybody else.
I would've stayed married ifmy wife would've done this, my husband would've done that.
I would've been a betterparent if my kids liked to play the sport that I like to play.
I would've done better with money if I'd have been given more opportunities.
I would've done this.
I would've done that.
And it's constantly neverever, ever your fault.
Our culture is allergic to responsibility.
I can't, sir.
I can't change.
I can't, I can't! One of the verses we're gonnago over, in this series, is I can do all things inChrist who strengthens me, and I never want you to forget it.
Jesus isn't asking whatcan you do on your own.
He's saying, what can we do together? What can we do together? Don't point the finger at somebody else.
Don't blame somebody else.
This is Jesus talkingto you, and he's saying, “With me, everything's possible.
“What are we gonna do together?” And you're like, “Well, I can't, “'cause nobody will help me.
” Man, some of you, you're just swirling in a world of emotional pain.
And you can't see anything right now.
And maybe you've movedon from blaming your ex, from blaming your parents, from blaming your boss, from blaming another ethnic group, and now you've graduatedto the ultimate blame game.
You blame God.
I want you to know that there's a guy in the Bible named Job, andhis whole life fell apart, because Satan asked Godto let him torture him.
Think about that.
Can you imagine rightnow, Satan's in heaven, and Satan's like, hey, you know what, I want to mess this dude's life up? And this is what Satan said to God, “Job only loves you, 'causeyou always bless his life.
” “And if he loses all of hisblessings, he will curse you.
” And Satan said, “I could prove it.
” And so God gave Satan permission to just wreak havoc on Job's life.
Lost all of his property, losthis house, lost his animals, lost his kids, everythingwas taken from Job.
Listen to this: In all of this, Job didnot sin by blaming God, by blaming God.
Look, it's easy to blame God.
It's hard to take responsibility and let God change your life.
I just want you to know, right now, that COVID-19 is notjust happening to you.
It's happening to everyone.
God has not singled you out.
You are not Job.
We're just in a crappy year.
That's what 2020 is.
2020 is just a crappy year.
That's what it is.
And we're all in this together.
And everybody's driving around, crazy, acting like there'snobody else on the road, acting like nobody else isgoing through this, right.
We've all seen, now, peopleare not nice anymore.
People are rude in the grocery stores, pushing people over.
Man, an ice cream store, on the East Coast, had to shut down the day they opened, 'cause people are so rude, can't even be nice for ice cream.
That's how upset everybody is.
“But in all of this, “Job did not sin by blaming God.
” Let me ask you this.
Who are you blaming for keeping you from the life God wants to bless you with? Who are you blaming? Where does your fingerpoint when you get upset? Because until you're willing to do this, okay, Lord, I'm ready to change, and I can't do this onmy own, and I need you, until you do this, Jesus can't elevate you.
He won't elevate you.
You see, heaven beginswith accepting the hell that you've placed yourself in.
If you want to go up, you got to look at where you've gone down.
You gotta look at that.
Next, if I want Jesus to elevate my life, if I want him to lift me up, if I'm discouraged, if I'm overwhelmed, if I'm upset, and Iwant him to lift me up, I'm done, I'm done, today, Lord, I'm done with this, if I want him to elevate me, I have to be obedient tohis commands, obedient.
I want you to look at this passage.
This guy doesn't even know who Jesus is.
He doesn't even know who he is.
Jesus told him, “Stand up!” Stand up, he's crippled! He can't stand up.
He's lying down.
He can't even get upand get into the water.
He can't even roll into the water.
Jesus says, “Get up!” Right, some of us can't evenget our kids out of bed, and there's nothing wrong with your legs.
And you're like, Lord, yougave me these children.
It's your fault.
You gave me these kids.
Jesus told him to stand up, pick up your mat and walk.
I love to quote this first one, when Tammy won't leave a party.
It's my favorite Bible verse.
Tammy, arise, pick upyour mat and go home, 'cause he wants to go home.
She never thinks it's funny.
Nobody ever does, but I keep saying it.
Instantly, instantly, the man was healed.
You see, Jesus says what's impossible with men is possible with God.
God can do anything, anything.
But some of you won't lethim do anything in your life.
God can do anything, but you won't let him doanything in your life.
Instantly, the man was healed.
He rolled up his sleepingmat, and he began walking.
But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders objected.
They said, “Hey!” They said to the man who was cured, “You can't do that on the Sabbath!” You see, it was illegalfor you to carry your mat, because it was considered an act of work.
“You can't do that.
“The law does not allow youto carry that sleeping mat.
” But he replied, “The man whohealed me, ” underline that.
“The man who healed me, “he said, 'Pick up your mat and walk.
' “And you know what, Iwas healed, so I obeyed.
” Some of you, you need to underline, so you'll never forget it.
This man doesn't even know who Jesus is, and he's more obedient than you are, and you call him your Savior.
He doesn't even know who he is.
Well, I don't know, some dude.
But you know what? When somebody yells at me, and I'm healed, I listen, I listen.
“Pick up your mat and walk.
” “Who said such a thing, ” they demanded.
And the man didn't now.
He doesn't know who Jesus is.
He just knows a miracle happened, so he listened to the guy, because Jesus disappeared into the crowd.
Isn't that amazing? Isn't that amazing? Why are you living the life you're doing? Why are you going against, listen to me, cultural norms, expected norms? Why is it that you'redoing something different from everyone else? He said, “Because thisman, Jesus, told me to.
” Man, this week, I wasat a press conference.
And, I mean, I'm tellin' you guys, there was news media fromall over the place, man.
I actually said, out loud, I said, oh my gosh Telemundo's here? I said that out loud.
Out loud, I said that, pray for me, and one of the, you know, lovely reporters said, “What, you don't like Mexicans?” I was like, “No, I just didn'tthink they would ever care “what I had to say.
” Right, Telemundo is gonna report what I'm gonna say in Spanish.
I couldn't believe it.
I was overwhelmed.
And so everybody has to go up to the mic.
You go up to the microphone.
I know I have a mic in my hand, but you go up to the microphone, and you take off your mask, right, 'cause we're all COVID-aware.
You take off your mask andyou speak in the microphone, and you're supposed to say your name and where you're from and why you're here.
And there was eight of us, eight pastors.
So pastors come up, I'm Pastor So-and-So.
I pastor So-and-So Church.
I come up.
I'm Pastor Matt Brown, pastor of Sandals Church.
Telemundo! Right, you know, right, and I go.
And this guy named Jimcomes up to the microphone.
And this is what he says.
Now I've known Jim fora total of two days.
I've spoken to Jim fora total of 10 minutes.
I know nothing about Jim, except that he's married, except that he has a couple of kids, because I saw his photo behind his back, while we were doing a Zoom call.
That's all I know about Jim.
I don't know anything about Jim.
This is what Jim says into the microphone.
He says, “Hi, my name is Jim.
“And I'm a homosexual who was delivered “from my sexual sin by Jesus Christ.
” I was like, wow, I should've reallyrethought my introduction.
Right? Man, do you ever wish you got a do-over? Man, I'm Pastor Matt Brown.
I pastor Sandals Church.
Jim goes out there, slingin', boom! I was a former homosexual whowas delivered by my sexual sin by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that's why I'm here today.
I was like, wow! And he just launched in.
He wanted people to know why he was there.
He wasn't there, because he wants to gather together for worship, 'cause he wants to sing a couple songs, and he wants to shake hisfriend's hand at church.
He wants to gather togetheragain with the church, because Jesus not only saved his soul but delivered him from hissin, and he was obedient.
He was obedient.
“So why do you keep callingme Lord, ” Jesus says.
Listen to this, “If youcall yourself a Christian, “why do you keep calling me Lord, “when you don't do what I say?” You know why Jim lefthis homosexual lifestyle? Because he met Jesus, and he felt like that's what Jesus told him to do.
And we're all so afraid, and we love everybody.
Of course, we love everybody! Sandal's vision is not to hateourselves, others, and God.
That's not our vision.
Of course, we love everybody, but we're not loving if we don't call people to the truth, and Jesus said to this guy named Jim, do you want to change your life? He said yes, and he changed his life.
And this week, as I've been working with the governor'soffice, listen, church, I've met several homosexualmen who've had an encounter with Jesus, and he's changed their life, this same Jesus who heals people who are crippled and lame for 38 years.
That same love thatcalled that man to walk, that same love can change you forever.
And I saw it before my eyes, this week, and I was reminded this is why we gather.
We gather not because we're Christians.
We gather because Jesussaves and Jesus delivers.
That's why we gather.
It's not about, oh, we miss each other.
Oh, I hate Zoom.
Oh, I hate watching Matt on the screen.
We wanna gather, becauseour Lord and Savior calls us to gather, and he callsus to worship together, and he calls us to preach his Gospel.
That's why we wanna gather.
You see, Jesus saves, and Jesus delivers, and listen to me, my fellow Californians, that's why marijuana clinics are open and the church is closed.
That's why, in our state, your kid can get an abortion, but they can't go to the dentist.
You need to think about that.
Jesus not only saves.
He delivers, and he changes, and he goes against whateverybody else is saying.
He changes lives, andhe can change your life, just like he changed my life, just like he changed Pastor Jim's life, just like he changedthis crippled guy's life, for 38 years.
But why is it that this guy, who doesn't even know who Jesus is, is more obedient to you, whenyou tell all your friends who Jesus is and was and whathe did and what he can do? Why is he more obedientin confusion and ignorance than you are in the midstof your deliverance? Why? Now I know this lastpoint's gonna be hard.
And you're like, I thoughtthis sermon was elevate, right? And it's gonna go from elevate to deflate.
You're like, oh my gosh, you had us! We were excited, and nowyou're gonna bring it down.
But listen to me, listento what Jesus does.
Jesus changes this guy's life forever.
38 years, he's crippled.
38 years, nobody cares.
38 years, he doesn't evenhave a friend to get him into a pool of water to be healed.
Jesus heals him and runs away, right? Jesus can elevate my life when I elevate my fear of God.
You see, I get overwhelmed by life when I am underwhelmed by God.
It's okay to love Jesus and fear God.
As a matter of fact, thosetwo things are biblical.
And many of you do not fear God, because you are underwhelmed with God.
You have no idea who God is.
You have no idea how powerful he is.
Jesus, afterwards, hefound him in the temple.
I want you to know, some of you, you tell people you found Jesus.
You didn't find Jesus.
Jesus found you.
He found the man.
When my kids were little, I hated it, man.
They'd always get lostwhen I was watching them.
It's like, you get lostwhen Mom is watching you, not when Dad is watching you.
And I would search frantically, and I was never afraid our kids was lost.
I was afraid of their mother, right? Tammy can be scary.
And I'd find my kids hiding somewhere, in the clothes rack, oron a level somewhere else.
I remember, one time, I found Madison.
She's three years old.
And she was in a sectionof the store we weren't, and I found her, and rightwhen we made eye contact, Madison says, “Daddy, I found you.
” I said, “You found me?” And she said, “Yeah.
” You see, Madison wasn't looking for me.
I was looking for her, andsome of you run around, and is tellin' people, I found Jesus.
No, no, no, Jesus found you.
He's the one on the hunt.
He's the one trying to save.
He's the one seeking that which is lost.
He found you.
“But afterward, Jesusfound him in the temple, “and he told him, 'Now youare well, so stop sinning.
'” So stop sinning.
Look, you're gonna hearabout Sandals Church trying to feed all kinds of people, in the next coming weeks.
I wanna feed bellies.
But I don't want to feedbellies and forsake souls.
We have to do both.
Jesus doesn't just heal the body.
Jesus doesn't just minister to the body.
He saves the soul.
Listen to what Jesus says.
He found him in temple, afterward, he said, “Now you are well, so stop sinning, “or even something worsemay happen to you.
” Something, I want you to thinkabout things that are worse than 38 years, 38 yearsof being handicapped, 38 years of going hungry, 38 years of being isolated, 38 years of being looked over.
For most of us, that's unbearable.
We can't even do eightweeks, with Netflix! Jesus says there are worse things than being lonely and injured and unable to care foryourself, for 38 years.
He says, “Stop sinning “or something worse may happen to you.
” Man, wouldn't you like to have known what this handicapped guy who was healed, wouldn't you like toknow what he was planning to do with his newfound freedom? Some of you, man, you gota whole list of things that you're gonna do, assoon as COVID is over, and many of those things are not godly.
What are you doing? What if the whole purpose ofCOVID is to stop your life, so Jesus can start your soul again? What if that's what this isall about, stopping our lives, so we can start a relationship with Jesus? But many of you, all you're worried about is how you can go back to sinning, as soon as you can getback out of your house.
Jesus says there areworse things than death.
In Matthew 10:28, Jesus says, “Do not fear those who can kill the body, “but cannot kill the soul.
“Rather fear him who candestroy both the body “and the soul in hell.
” Listen to me, friends, the worst thing that canhappen to you is not death.
It's spending an eternityapart from Christ.
I lost one of my best friendsin the world, this week.
It was one of the worst days of my life.
But I want you to knowthat I have such comfort, I have such joy, knowingthat I shared Christ with my friend Bob.
I shared Christ with him.
I baptized him, in the Jordan River.
And although my heart achesfor the physical loss, I know my friend Bobis a spiritual victory.
You see, there areworse things than death.
There are worse things than sickness.
The worst thing that can ever happen to you is spending aneternity apart from God.
What if this whole COVIDthing is simply God trying to get you to make the decisionyou know you need to make? Paul says this in Philippians.
In this series, we're in Philippians.
He says: Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but now much more in myabsence, listen to this verse, continue, underline that, that means never stop, never stop, continue towork out your salvation with fear and trembling.
Some of you say, well, Pastor, I thought fear was a sin.
Yeah, fear of anything over God is a sin.
But the reason many of you are sinning, it's not because you don'tbelieve that God is love.
It's because you don'tbelieve God should be feared.
That's why you're sinning.
And so you do what you want to do, and you feel like there's no consequence, because we live in a worldthat's allergic to consequence, that's allergic to responsibility.
Here's why fear of God is important.
When I elevate my fear of God, God elevates my love for others.
Leviticus 19:14, everybody loves to throw Leviticus under the bus.
Leviticus is like the Bible'sfavorite punching bag.
Everybody hates Leviticus.
Leviticus has somepowerful scripture in it.
Leviticus 19:14 says: You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind.
Why, why? But you shall fear your God.
I am the Lord.
Do you know why so many of ourkids are treating one another with such just utter disdain? Do you know why racism is spiking, once again in this country? It's not because wedon't have enough laws.
It's because we've lost our fear of God.
You see, you don't pick onsomebody who's different.
You don't pick onsomebody's who's disabled.
You don't do those things, not because you fear them.
You don't do it, becauseyou fear the Lord.
You see, when I elevate my fear of God, God elevates my love for others.
That's what he does.
Leviticus 25:17: You shallnot wrong one another, but you shall fear your God, for I'm the Lord your God.
That's what he says: I'mGod, and you listen to me, and you treat people the waypeople should be treated, because that's what I said.
That's what I said.
I love this next one, Levitcus 19:32: You shall stand before the gray head.
That's me! You should standup before the gray head and honor the face of an old man.
Our culture despises the aged.
And we honor the young and the ignorant.
I was talking with achurch member, this week, who's heartbroken, because theirchild won't listen to them, and this is what the father, in tears, said to me: Why is it that mychildren don't understand that I love them and wantwhat's best for them? Why is it that they listen topeople who bring them harm, and they don't listen to theone person who loves them? And part of the reason isour culture despises aging.
And we worship youth and not God.
Lastly, when I elevatemy fear of the Lord, God elevates the blessings in my life.
It's right there in front of you: Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord.
God will bless you.
Look, you want God to elevate you, then you need to elevateyour fear of the Lord.
You need to do it, because one day, you're gonna stand before God, and you're gonna give an account, and you need to be ready.
You need to be ready.
There's a young man in our church that I believe is called to ministry.
He's 19 years old, andlike all of us at 19, we tend to sin and get lost in the world.
And I know we're supposedto social distance, but I texted him this week, and I said, can we get together and talk? Because I believe in this young man.
I believe God wants todo something in his life, and so I texted him.
I said, hey, let me know when you're home, so I can come talk, and he texted me, and he said, I just got home.
I said, great, I'm outside.
I want you to imaginebeing a 19-year-old kid and having to talk to the pastor of your 20, 000-member church, who's come over to your house, just to discuss your wayward ways.
I walked right throughhis house, wearing a mask, all the germophobes, and we met outside.
And I challenged him.
And I said, I am here, today, because I am worried about you, when you stand before God.
And I want you to know that I'm worried about all of you, and I'mworried about all of us.
If you want God to elevate you in heaven, you need to let himelevate your life on earth, and you are not called tolive like everybody else and love like everybody elseand act like everybody else.
You are called to live, love, and learn like Jesus.
That's what you're called to do.
And that's what thisseries is gonna be about.
It's not about puttin' your head down, lookin' at everybody else, blamin' everybody else, but it's about looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
And I want you to know, no matter what you've done or where you've been or whoyou think you are or aren't, Jesus Christ died on the cross for you, and he wants to elevate you, today.
He wants to pull you out of the hell that you've placedyourself in, and he wants to prepare you for the heaventhat he's called you to.
That's what he wants to do.
But he will not lift you upuntil you lift your eyes up and you listen to Jesus.
You obey Jesus.
And you change your life.
That's up to you.
Look, I'm praying for you.
Don't miss any of these weeks.
I think they're gonna beuplifting and encouraging.
And I believe God wants to doa great thing in your life, during this series, called Elevate.
Please know I'm praying for you.
Please know I love you.
Please know God wants tominister to you, right now.
Some of you think God's nowhere.
Man, he might be right next to you as you look at your pool of suffering.
He's right there, and he'sready to change your life.
And we can do that, Sandals, even on a screen.
Even on a screen, God can do that.
So stay positive, stay connected, and stay in your faith in Jesus Christ.
Let's pray together.
Heavenly Father, we pray in the powerful, mighty name of Jesus, God, that you would lifteveryone, right now.
I know some people are listening, right now, in their car.
They're listenin' on their headphones.
God, some are listenin' infront of a screen or a TV.
And God, we've convinced ourselves that, that we can only changewhen we're gathered together in a real church setting.
God, you don't needanything but our attention, to change our lives.
So, God, whatever we needto change, right now, I pray your Holy Spirit would speak to us, and we would get our life right with you, in the mighty, powerful name of Jesus, so you can elevate us all.
We pray this in yourname, Jesus Christ, amen.
(gentle music) – Hey, church, what a greatmessage for this season.
Here, we have something reallyexciting for you, today.
We are gonna sing a new song.
It's called “Song of Surrender, ” and you may have heard us already sing it, but we're gonna invite youto sing it with us, today.
The “Song of Surrender, ” for short, we've dubbed it “S.
, “which is a cry for help.
Our help, church, comes from him, him who is able to doexceedingly, abundantly more than what we could everconceive, imagine, or dream of.
And so I want you tolift your voice with us, as we cry out to him for help, today.
♪ Almighty God, would you come ♪ – God, we want you.
♪ We want you ♪ ♪ Oh Lord, we seek you ♪ ♪ With a song of surrender ♪ ♪ We need you ♪ ♪ And we turn toward you ♪ ♪ With a song of surrender ♪ ♪ And we're called by your name ♪ ♪ You've called us to pray ♪ ♪ We're here to seek your face ♪ ♪ Lord, we love you ♪ ♪ We adore you ♪ ♪ And humble our hearts, here before you ♪ ♪ So hear from heaven ♪ ♪ Your people praying ♪ ♪ God, forgive us andheal our nation, yeah ♪ ♪ Oh ♪ – Now sing, we want you.
♪ We want you ♪ ♪ Oh Lord, we seek you ♪ ♪ With a song of surrender ♪ ♪ We need you ♪ ♪ And we turn toward you ♪ ♪ With a song of surrender ♪ ♪ We're called by your name ♪ ♪ You've called us to pray ♪ ♪ We're here to seek your face ♪ – [Steve] Sing it out, we love you.
♪ Lord, we love you ♪ ♪ We adore you ♪ ♪ We humble our hearts, here before you ♪ ♪ So hear from heaven ♪ ♪ Your people praying ♪ ♪ God, forgive us ♪ ♪ And heal our nation ♪ ♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ Bring heaven, healing, mercy, freedom ♪ ♪ Whoa, oh, oh ♪ ♪ Forgiveness, redemption, revival, salvation ♪ ♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ Lord, we love you ♪ ♪ Oh, we love you, Lord ♪ ♪ We adore you ♪ ♪ Oh ♪ ♪ So hear from heaven ♪ ♪ Your people praying ♪ ♪ God, forgive us ♪ ♪ And heal our nation ♪ ♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ Bring heaven, healing, mercy, freedom ♪ ♪ Whoa, oh, oh ♪ ♪ Forgiveness, redemption, revival, salvation ♪ – Come on, sing it out.
♪ Whoa, whoa, oh, oh ♪ ♪ Bring heaven, healing, mercy, freedom ♪ ♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ Forgiveness, redemption, revival, salvation ♪ ♪ Oh ♪- Thank you, God.
– There's nothing too hard for God to do.
No matter what's going onin your life, right now, you can put your trust inhim, for God is faithful, and he's able to do it.
Let's sing to him, rightnow, just one word.
♪ Just one word ♪ ♪ You calm a storm that surrounds me ♪ ♪ Just one word ♪ ♪ The darkness has to retreat ♪ ♪ With just one touch ♪ ♪ I feel the presence of heaven ♪ ♪ With just one touch ♪ ♪ My eyes were opened to see ♪ ♪ My heart can't help but believe ♪ ♪ There's nothing that God can't do ♪ ♪ There's not a mountainthat he can't move ♪ ♪ Oh praise the name that makes a way ♪ ♪ There's nothing that our God can't do ♪ Woo! ♪ With just one word ♪ ♪ You heal what's broken inside me ♪ ♪ With just one word ♪ ♪ And you revive every dream ♪ ♪ Oh ♪ ♪ With just one touch ♪ ♪ I feel the power of heaven ♪ ♪ With just one touch ♪ ♪ My eyes were opened to see ♪ ♪ My heart can't help but believe ♪ ♪ There's nothing that God can't do ♪ ♪ There's not a mountainthat he can't move ♪ ♪ Oh praise the name that makes the way ♪ ♪ There's nothing that our God can't do ♪ ♪ There's nothing that God can't do ♪ ♪ There's not a prison wallhe can't break through ♪ ♪ Oh praise the name that makes a way ♪ ♪ There's nothing that our God can't do ♪ ♪ Whoa ♪ God, we choose to believe.
We choose to step into thismoment now, your faithful.
♪ I will believe for greater things ♪ ♪ There's not power likethe power of Jesus ♪ ♪ Let faith arise ♪ ♪ Let all agree ♪ ♪ There's no power likethe power of Jesus ♪ ♪ I will believe for greater things ♪ ♪ There's no power likethe power of Jesus ♪ ♪ Let faith arise ♪ ♪ Let all agree ♪ ♪ There's no power likethe power of Jesus ♪ ♪ I will believe for greater things ♪ ♪ There's no power likethe power of Jesus ♪ ♪ Let faith arise ♪ ♪ Let all agree ♪ ♪ There's no power like his power ♪ ♪ There's nothing that God can't do ♪ ♪ There's not a mountainthat he can't move ♪ ♪ Oh praise the name that makes a way ♪ ♪ There's nothing that our God can't do ♪ ♪ Oh, oh, there's nothingthat God can't do ♪ ♪ There's not a prison wallhe can't break through ♪ ♪ Oh praise the name that makes a way ♪ ♪ There's nothing that our God can't do ♪ ♪ Oh, oh ♪ ♪ Whoa, oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, oh ♪ ♪ Whoa, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, oh ♪ ♪ Whoa, oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, oh ♪ ♪ Whoa, oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, yeah ♪ ♪ Ah ♪ – Church, there's nothingthat our God can't do.
And even in the midst ofall that we're facing, sometimes, it's hard toknow what he's doing.
But trust me, he's moving in our midst.
And let's recall the goodthings that he has done, when we sing this out, I've seen you move.
♪ Oh, Lord ♪ ♪ I've seen you move ♪ ♪ You move mountains ♪ ♪ And I believe I'll see you do it again ♪ ♪ You made a way where there was no way ♪ ♪ And I believe I'll see you do it again ♪ ♪ I've seen you move ♪ ♪ You move the mountains ♪ ♪ And I believe I'll see you do it again ♪ ♪ You made a way where there was no way ♪ ♪ And I believe, oh, I'llsee you do it again ♪ ♪ I've seen you move ♪ ♪ You move the mountains ♪ ♪ And I believe I'll see you do it again ♪ ♪ You made a way where there was no way ♪ ♪ And I believe I'll see you do it again ♪ ♪ I'll see you do it again, oh, oh ♪ ♪ I'll see you do it again, yeah ♪ ♪ Oh faithful God ♪♪ I'll see you do it again ♪ – Yeah! Yeah! Woo! – I'm so thankful for this reminder that God is more than capable and that he can and he stillis moving in our lives.
One of the ways that God continues to move is through his people.
We just heard an incrediblemessage from Pastor Matt Brown, about the importance of community.
We want you to have people in your life.
We want you to have thepeople that are there for you in the mundane, to live outthis vision of being real, no matter what, in the joysand in the tragedy of life.
Would you help us find your people if you don't already have them? You can get connected to a group by going to move.
sc/groups, to find out how you canfind your people, today, and join a group onlineor start one yourself.
We're so thankful that, during this time, we also have access to messages like this so that we can be reminded of the hope that we have in Christ.
And this only happens because you give.
Thank you for giving to Sandals Church so that we can still be together, even when we cannot occupythe same physical space.
Thank you for continuing to bea part of what God is doing, because when you give to Sandals Church, it's not just about finances.
It is about being a partof the movement of God and seeing lives being changed.
And because we want to see lives changed, we want you to share thismessage, let your friends and family know aboutSandals Church online, and we'll see you rightback here, next week.