The Legacy

You can accomplish amazing things when you follow your dreams.

Douglas Poole
Feb 3, 2019    38m
In this sermon Pastor Douglas Poole closes out the series Wide Awake. He shares the ending of the story of King Saul and Prince Jonathan. While both men died, one died in fear and disgrace, and the other died while bravely living his dream. He also uses real life stories to illustrate what you can accomplish when you have the faith and courage to follow your dreams. Video recorded at Clearwater, Florida.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Douglas Poole: 00:02 Well Hey, good morning and welcome. It's Super Bowl Sunday, right? And yesterday was of course Groundhog Day, and so I checked the news on this and understand that Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, and so it means that spring is going to come early. And like when I heard that news I was, oh, thank you, because I just don't know how much more this 70 degree weather I can tolerate. I just can't wait for it to be hot and humid around here again. So anyway, that darn rodent. Anyway, I'm glad you're here.

Douglas Poole: 00:41 And I was, I think it was this last week, as we're saying here that Stephan [inaudible] is going to come. And he's up in Minneapolis, and he was on staff here at one time, and he is going to speak next week. And he's going to help me do this series about the power of human connection, and how God uses it in such beautiful ways in our lives to lead a full life. And I thought, man, if anybody could help me in this, it's Stephen. And so I thought, how do I get him down here? And then I saw, was it last week or the week before? There was a hundred and five degree temperature difference between Minneapolis and Tampa, and they had a picture on the TV screen of it. It's like I did the snapshot of it, you know, and it's like, I know how to get him down here. So they had, you know, the temperature in Minneapolis and the temperature here, a hundred and five degree difference. And I texted and sent it to him and said, hey, you know, suppose you could come down next weekend. and teach? I And he's like, yeah, I think God wants me to. So he's going to be here next weekend with that. And you know, I'm looking forward to having him here, and it's one of those things where I encouraged him, don't just be here, bring somebody with you for next weekend and for the series. All right. I think I've gone down this rabbit hole far enough. How about I offer a quick prayer and we're going to wrap up this series, we've been in together, called Wide Awake.

Douglas Poole: 02:02 So let's pray. Father, we drove in here in the fog. And some of us Lord drove in, it wasn't just the fog outside the windshield that was concerning us, it was the fog inside of our mind and our soul, and looking for some clarity. And so Father, I pray that you would speak into us with your grace, and that you would clear up any fog that's going on inside of us. And Father, thank you that we're here, because it is here in this space that so often week after week, we encounter your grace in such fresh and new ways. And Lord, that's what we all need is a good drink of grace, so made it abundantly and freely be poured out upon us. Both in this room, and to those who are watching this service on Facebook this morning, that the same would come for them in whatever situation, whatever setting they happen to be in. And we ask this in Jesus' name. Everybody agreed and said, Amen.

Douglas Poole: 03:07 Alright, well one of the things that the leaders of our church, my family, my close friends know about me is that I have a pretty good appetite for reading. And so I pretty much always have my nose in one kind of a book or another. I love the learnings that I get. I love being challenged in my thinking. Sometimes I love, you know, mystery and intrigue, and I love things that inspire me, and I get it through reading. So I read and I read, more and more. And so I was trying to figure out, like, why do I enjoy reading so much? And so I was able to trace it back to two sources. The first is my mom, she was a ferocious reader, always. And so, I think if there's such thing as a reading gene, she gave it to me, so I got to reading gene. And the second thing is I've told you when I was a kid, I was the hospital for twenty eight days, and then on bedrest for like six months. And this was in the days, there was no video games, I mean, Pong hadn't even been created yet. Some of you young folks are saying, Pong, what's Pong? But Pong had even been created yet, and there's only three TV channels, and so really all there was to do is, like, read. So I would read, and I'd read, I remember Jack London's Call of the Wild, you know, became one of my first inspiring books that I dove into. But my sister, a younger sister, she also got the reading gene from mom. But she and I read books entirely different, we're polar opposites. When she reads a book, like it's a mystery, the first thing she does, she reads the last chapter. Right? Yeah, listen to groaning . Yeah, she reads the last chapter, she says, I want to know how it ends, I want to know if it's worthwhile reading, and I want to know whatever. Like, yeah, whatever sis. But me, I read books the way God intended. You know, I start on the first page, and then I make my way through to the end. Because I love trying to figure out what's going on, what's taking place, and kind of lead me there. So I'm just curious, there's not a right or wrong on this. But how many of you here today, probably now you don't want to admit it. You read like my sister, you know, you want to read the last chapter first? You know what? Every service the hands only go up to about here, that's about it. And so the rest of you, either you read like me, or you don't even read at all, so you can't even vote. I don't know what it is.

Douglas Poole: 05:33 But I say this, because today we're going to go like to the last chapter in this story that we've been looking at for the last five weeks, I guess it is. We've been in a series called Wide Awake. And we've been learning what I think are some remarkably powerful and life changing principles from the life of a warrior prince, his name is Jonathan, and his story is contained in the pages of scripture. But we've only been looking at one moment, just one moment in his life. And so you may be wondering, how does this story end? Alright, so we're going to go to the last chapter, and I'm going to tell you upfront how the story ends in two words. You Ready? He dies. Don't we all, right, don't we all. But the beauty of his story is this, he really lived before he died, and that's what makes his story so, so, so beautiful. And that's what we're talking about in this series Wide Awake. How do we, before our obituary is read, how do we fully become the person God has made us to be? How do we pursue these dreams he's put in our heart, so these dreams are realized. Because I think what a terrible thing it would be, you know, to get to the end of your life and realize you never really lived.

Douglas Poole: 06:58 So we're going to go to the end of Jonathan's story here today. And Jonathan, all we've been looking at is one battle he engaged in the course of his life as a warrior prince. And I want to remind you, that you know, he's a prince in Israel. They are oppressed by a neighboring nation called the Philistines. And the Philistines are about as vial and unthinkable and despicable as you can imagine, they practiced child sacrifices. And when they would conquer other countries, they would take the children from these countries, and sacrifice them on alters to their gods. And when they would conquer other countries, and they would bring them in as their slaves, the things that were done to the women who are brought in are unthinkable. And their [inaudible] in the borders of Israel, and unless Israel rises up and fights, their fate will be like every other country around them. And Jonathan, the prince, his Father is King Saul. The prince, we've been reading his story, he has the courage to step up and to engage in a battle when the odds are overwhelmingly against him, and he has a victory in this battle. And that's what we've been looking at for last five weeks.

Douglas Poole: 08:16 But as you know, right, wars are more than one battle. Wars are made up of battle, after battle, after battle, skirmish, after skirmish, after skirmish. And so Jonathan has this dream of his people being set free from this oppression. His Father, King Saul, has a dream, but it's a different dream. His dream is about himself. I'm going to be a king, I'm going to rule over this with authority, and my will will come out in this country the way that I want it to be. And so King Saul, his Father, puts together an ill advised, poorly strategized, plan to engage the Philistines in a battle, and he takes his son with him. And because it was so poorly planned, they soon find themselves overrun by the Philistines, and surrounded by them. And slowly, man by man, his armies falling. And they're closing in because the loyal soldiers had surrounded King Saul, and surrounded Prince Jonathan, to protect them to the end. And soon, they see what their fate is going to be. And before the Philistines can get to King Saul, he realized I am not going to allow myself to fall into their hands with their propaganda, he takes a sword and he falls on it and takes his life. Meanwhile, his son Jonathan fights against these overwhelming odds, to the very end, until finally he too is overrun and outnumbered in his life is taken. So not quite the, and he lived happily ever after, ending we were hoping for this warrior prince.

Douglas Poole: 09:54 But then word of his death, word of his death gets to Jonathan's best friend. And his best friend is another warrior, and the king apparent, his name is David. And he had an instrumental impact on the history of the nation of Israel, King David. But David is, like if there's such a thing as a true renaissance man, he was that. He was a warrior, an artist, a scholar, a leader with this huge heart for God. And he was the kind of man who could handle a pen, or a harp, or a sword you know, equally well. And so when word gets to David, he composes a poetic lament, on behalf of Jonathan. I'm going to read this lament, and then we're going to unpack it, and we're going to talk about legacy today.

Douglas Poole: 10:43 In Second Samuel chapter one, beginning at verse number seventeen. This is the lament that King David writes, and you can follow along if you got scripture, or we'll put it up on the screens for you, "David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar): “A gazelle[a] lies slain on your heights, Israel. How the mighty have fallen! “Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice. “Mountains of Gilboa, may you have neither dew nor rain, may no showers fall on your terraced fields. The shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil. “From the blood of the slain, from the flesh of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied. Saul and Jonathan—in life they were loved and admired, and in death they were not parted. They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. “Daughters of Israel, weep for Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and finery, who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold. “How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights. I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women. “How the mighty have fallen! The weapons of war have perished!”

Douglas Poole: 12:26 So Jonathan, this warrior, he had this beautiful, beautiful dream of setting his people free from the oppression of the Philistines, but he would not live to see the final fulfillment of that dream. He was the one who set the wheels in motion by stepping into battle, and it would be his best friend David, who would make this dream become a become a reality for them. And I just want to say at this point friends, something for us to remember in this moment. Is that we can never, never, forget that these dreams that we chase, of these good things we're going to do, with the people are going to become, we never ever do it on our own. But every single one of us benefit from the work and the dreams of those who've gone before us, that somebody before us paved the way. Somebody before us had courage, they sacrificed. And so whenever you chase the dream that is a worthy dream, if you're going to become the person God calls you to be, and do what God calls you to do. It's never, ever for you alone, ever. It is always for you and others because everything you do in this life, it doesn't just impact you, it impacts others. And their lives, for better or for worse, are affected and impacted by the dreams we pursue. And any worthy dream is always going to inspire others.

Douglas Poole: 13:59 So Jonathan's dream that he dreamed, you know. If I can just have the courage, and we read about this battle, to step into this battle in spite of the overwhelming odds. And if I can defeat the Philistines, it's not just freedom for me, I've got kids. I want my kids to grow up free, I don't want to raise my kids with the fear that one day the Philistines are going to sacrifice them on an altar. I don't want to raise my family to fear someday they're going to capture my wife. So it's for more than just me, my kids will benefit, my wife will benefit. And then he realizes, and so will all my friends I grew up with, they too will be free. And not only my friends, but all of my countrymen. Then I think he realizes and won't the world be a better place if the Philistines weren't ruling, and doing all the damage and destruction. Yes, he realizes it's so much bigger than me, it impacts so many more people than me. That freedom it's not just for me, it's for all people. And anytime you're pursuing a worthy dream, you know that others are going to benefit from this. For better or for worse, our dreams are going to impact others.

Douglas Poole: 15:19 Saul had a dream, I want to be king, I want to rule over everybody. It was about me, I'm going to build my kingdom. They're going to do what I want, and I'm going to have the final say. In his dream that he is pursuing, he then engages in this poorly strategized, ill advised battle, and they're overrun and all the men with him die. You see friends, he had a dream, it wasn't a worthy dream. Not only Saul lost his life that day, you realize because of the decisions he made, his son lost his life too. Then all these loyal men who'd been around him were disaffected by this dream he was pursuing, and all these men lost their lives. And then you have grieving widows, and grieving children, grieving family members. You see, your dreams always impact others, it's always bigger than you. And for better or for worse what we do, the dreams we pursue, it's not just going to affect us. It is always going to impact others.

Douglas Poole: 16:30 Number of years ago, a pastor who was a friend, we were both pursuing our dreams. We're both going to build prevailing churches, and we had this dream like with our spouses, our spouses are going to be our soul mates and something more than a roommate. They're going to share our souls, and we're going to raise our kids, and they'll be whole and healthy kids. And we were pursuing our dreams. But then somewhere along the way his dream changed, because a woman in his congregation expressed an unhealthy interest in him. And he allowed his imagination to go places he never should have allowed it to go, and then he acted out and then not just acted it out, but it became a full blown affair, and then he got exposed. See he had a dream, it was for himself, but then all of a sudden I didn't just affect him. Because it disaffected him and he lost his job, and that's what happens to pastors, you lose your jobs. And so then pastors start, I guess, selling real estate and used cars and insurance. I don't know why, but that's what happens, you know, to pastors. The damage wasn't just him, you realize. We all know either from firsthand experience, or we've seen it happen to somebody we love. The damage it does to the soul of a spouse, and then to the kids. Because all of a sudden then his kids are like, okay, whose place are we at this weekend? Are we doing Christmas Eve, Christmas Day with dad, mom, where are we going on this? What's this going to look like, as they're starting to negotiate deals? See, the ramifications of a decision, of a dream that's being chased, it always impacts others. Then it impacted an entire church, it impacted people who had trusted him to lead them. They put their faith that he would lead them in the right way, and then they begin to question their very faith, the foundations of their faith. And the ramifications went out and out.

Douglas Poole: 18:25 But the dreams that we pursue, it's always bigger than us. The impact is always going to effect more lives than just ourselves. But when you give yourself to something that is greater than yourself, and that is inspiring, friends. Others begin to pursue their dreams, because a life that is touched by God's grace, is always going to touch others lives with God's grace.

Douglas Poole: 18:50 So listen to how Jonathan is described. Verse nineteen, it says, "He is the glory of Israel, a mighty man." Verse twenty-two says, "He was courageous. It says his bow did not retreat in the face of overwhelming odds." He could have found an escape, he could have ran for his life, he could have retreated. But this guy was so courageous, in overwhelming odds, I'm going to stand by my Father. Verse twenty-three, "He was loved, and he was gracious." Friends, Jonathan was loved after his death, because he did so many loving things for others while he was alive. You get that right? That's why he was loved after his death. He was called beautiful after his death, and he was called beautiful after his death because he did so many beautiful things for others while he was alive. He inspires others after his death, three thousand years later we're talking about this guy, and being inspired by him. He inspired others after his death, because he lived in inspiring life.

Douglas Poole: 20:01 And this is why you must live a life wide awake, this is why you must pursue these dreams God has put in your heart, of who you are and what you are to become. Because it's not just about you, it's about others who will be impacted by the dream God has put into your life. Do you realize there are children all over this planet who are being exploited, who are abused, who are abandoned, and who are left all over this globe. And this is going to go on for generation after generation after generation, until some follower of Jesus wakes up. And says, enough is enough and does something about it in pursuit of the dream that God's put in their heart. There are people who are drinking polluted water, millions and millions of people, and they're getting sick and they're getting dying, and this is going to go on for generation after generation, after generation. Until some follower of Jesus decides to live a life wide awake and says, I'm going to give my life to doing something about this. There are this day, it's Superbowl Sunday, and you've probably been reading in the paper how women are being flown to Atlanta from all over the country by their pimps. And these women have been victims of human trafficking, and their bodies are going to be sold to whatever man, can pay the highest amount of money, and this is going to go on for generation after generation to generation. Until some follower of Jesus wakes up and says, I'm going to lead a life full of life. My life is going to matter. My dream is going to make a difference for others. There are people this day who have no idea of their value to God, and they're going through life discouraged, and feeling like they have no significance, no purpose. Because they don't know they matter so much to God that he sent his one and only son Jesus to a cross for them, and he gave his life for them, and he rose again that you might have a life that is full and meaningful. The life that is the life. Friends, your life will always, always the life you choose to live, it's always going to impact others for good or for bad.

Douglas Poole: 22:07 And by the way you will dream of, and you will create, what you love. You understand that right? Whatever it is you really love, that's what you're going to dream of, that's what you're going to create. So if you really love yourself, you'll build buildings, and dedicate them to yourself. If you really love yourself, you're going to spend your resources on yourself. But when you love people, you give yourself to the people you love. It's more than about you, it's about others. Which is why friends, Cypress, I want to say this again, and underline it, underscore it, so we never forget it. We are building a church, not for us, but for others. That is what we're doing. That others might know the grace of God that has impacted our life, and we're building a church that's not to satisfy our desires and wants, but a church that is going to get God's grace to more and more people. That's who we are, and what we're about. I was reminded of that this week. A man who served as a mentor in my life for decades I think, died, Art Dunphy. And he and I used to meet once a week, I think 15 years we would meet once a week, and we just would pray. We pray for you, pray for our church, pray for the future, and pray for things. He taught me so much about God, so much about what prayer is really all about. And I remember, I thought this last week when the occasion, that when I was like in my thirties when Art came to the church. And we were actually across the street in the studio in those days, and Art was my age, I'm 63. He was my age when he first came, and. I thought, well this old man is not going to stay around here long. I realized how young he was, but anyway. And he did, he and his wife, and those were the days we had like an organ and a piano to sing to. Just like all churches, almost all churches of that day. And so it was during that time we decided, you know, we're going to kind of change things up, and we're going to do some different. And we decided we're going to bring these things in, you know, drums and guitars, and like heresy happening here. I mean, it seems normal now to everybody, like yeah, you should have seen it back in the day. Oh man, the church wars that happened over drums and guitars. But anyway, we decided we're going to bring it in, and so we brought it in, and new music like you're experiencing here. And so we did it, and I remember I was going to meet with Art after that first Sunday for prayer, and I couldn't wait to talk to Art about this revolutionary thing we did. Because we are so hip and we are so cool, you know, we have drums and a guitar in a church back in the day. And so I met with Art for prayer, and I said, Art, what'd you think of the music on Sunday? He was from the northeast, "I didn't like it at all." What? I didn't like it at all, way too loud, made my ears hurt, and I don't like the music. I was like, oh no, did I just do heresy, did I do something terrible here? Oh no, now what? You know. And Art said, then he said, but that's all right. He said, because the music is not for me. He looked at me, and I was in my thirties, and said, I see all these young people like you coming to this church. And I watched them singing and worshiping God in the service, and he said, we need more of this, and he said, so keep playing this music, it said it's not for me. He said, the music that was for me was decades ago, that's okay church isn't about me, it's about others. I was like, wow Art, I hope I remember this. You know, this truth that it's not about me, I'm not doing church for me. And so now I'm 63 and sometimes the music is pretty loud, it kind of hurts the ears a little bit, and sometimes people my age and older will come to me and say, the music is just too loud. So I just remember the words of Art, and I reach in and say, well, here's some earplugs, because it's not about you and me anymore. It's about the next generation, see, I want to build a church that my grandkids love coming to, that's what I want to do. And that they're excited about what's taking place, because it's not about me, we're building a church for others. I guess I probably said enough about that, haven't I, I should move on. Amen? Amen.

Douglas Poole: 27:05 Alright, let me wrap up the series now with this, please hear me. Please hear me, okay? Friend, the fact that you are alive today, it means that there is something God has for you to do that is beautiful and good for you and others. As long as you have life and breath, it means there's something God is wanting to do. I don't care what your past has been. I don't care what's currently going on. You have a hope and you have a future. That's who our God is. And because you are alive, there's something God has assigned for you, that is good and that is beautiful, to do for yourself and others. But you have to believe that that is true, or it never will be. As long as you refuse to believe that that's true for you, it's not going to be, so you've got to begin by believing this is true for you. You were created to live a life that is beyond what you have imagined. That's what the scriptures say, more than you can imagine, so can you even begin to imagine that God's got a life for you bigger than you've ever imagined? It blows my mind, because I can imagine a pretty big life. And then to hear the life God really has for me is beyond anything I've imagined to this point, and the life that God has for you is beyond whatever you have imagined i`t could be at this point, that's the kind of God that we serve. But most of us, we've not imagined this, we don't imagine much. And we don't imagine much because of that dadgum voice in your head, that voice that every time you begin to imagine that maybe you could be something more, you could do something good for God's kingdom. That voice that kicks in that says, you're not enough, that you're not good enough, you're not smart enough, you're not talented enough, you're not connected enough, so a life of significance it is not for you. It is for somebody else, because you're not enough. And as long as we listen to this terrifying voice, friends, do you understand the good that God is wanting to do in this world is not going to happen.

Douglas Poole: 29:24 See, God created you on purpose, for a purpose, he did. There's things God wants for you to do, that is going to impact and help others, that is not going to happen as long as you believe these voices in your head that tell you about your past. You see, for better or for worse friends, the life we live, it comes from our imagination. Because that's the life we create, what we imagine it to be. Just two weeks ago, some man in south Florida takes a gun, goes into a bank and assassinates five women. Because they were women, and because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. That stuff doesn't happen unless somebody first imagines that that could take place, and so he imagined that kind of violence, and he went and he created what he imagined. Friends, it can be for the good as well, because people don't just go and build a home for habitat for humanity without first imagining that maybe just maybe their life can make somebody else's life better. Because I imagine my life can make it better, I'll go help build a home for somebody. These book clubs we're starting, people don't just lead a book club without first imagining. Maybe just maybe my life, I could build some relationships with people. And I can help some people to walk forward in the life that God has created for them, you imagine this first. People don't serve in our children's ministry, or in our student ministry, without first imagining. Maybe just maybe I could make an impact on the next generation. Maybe I could spare the next generation some of the scars that I'm carrying. Maybe just maybe I can be an influence, I could mentors somebody in the next generation. You imagine these things first, and when you imagine these things, you begin to create them.

Douglas Poole: 31:17 But the thing that is keeping so many of us, is that voice in our head that tells us, it's not for us. That as soon as God inspires us to be something and do something, there comes another voice that says, no, it can't be you, look at your past, look at what you have done. You're not good enough, and you're not talented enough. Somewhere and somehow we have to let God speak into our imagination, because the place that God tends to speak to us to create a better future, is in our imagination. Some of us, we've just got to let God speak into our imagination. The Prophet Jeremiah was seeking God, and he wanted to live a life wide awake like we've been talking about for five weeks. And so God says these words to Jeremiah, Jeremiah 33:3, God says to the Prophet, and to you, "Call to me, I'm going to answer you. And I'm going to tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know". Friends, most of us tend to think of prayer as asking God to solve our problems, or telling God what we want, and what we need, right? It's as if God missed the fact that you need a job, or God missed the fact that you want a spouse. So we pray as if God's been missing the point, that this is what I need God, so pay attention. Amen. God is saying this in the scripture, call out to me, call out to me, I'm going to answer you. And when I answer you, I'm going to tell you great and unsearchable things you don't know. Isn't that a beautiful promise? Friends, what Art taught me is one of the reasons you need to be in prayer, is because prayer is is two way communication. And so God is saying, here in this scripture. God is saying, I created your imagination as a place that I can put my hopes and dreams for the future into. So God says, you can talk to me about the small stuff every time we meet, or you can listen, and I'm going to let you in. If you listen, I'm going to let you in on what I'm thinking for your life, what I want to do. And it is so great, it is beyond anything you can know.

Douglas Poole: 33:43 Then that voice kicks in that says, not you, not you, maybe somebody else, you're just dreaming. No, you're not just dreaming, God's just speaking into your imagination. So the Apostle Paul echoes the same message in Ephesians three, verse twenty. He says these words, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. The movement of Jesus is a movement of visionaries and dreamers. So let God speak into your imagination, listen to his voice. You were created on purpose, for a purpose, and it is more than you currently imagine it is. Whatever you think it is, it's more. It's more because you are able to exceedingly more. So friends, when you put your trust in the person of Jesus, God puts his spirit in you, and your spirit awakens. And you have hope, and you have a future, regardless of what has happened. And when the spirit of Jesus is placed inside of you, suddenly you find the willingness to dream again, and let him speak into your imagination. And then when his spirit is in you, you find the courage to risk and to step into the unknown. And you discover it's not just about me, it's others, my dream is for others. Because your life always impacts others, and you step into this space of this life that he is calling you to, but you got to trust him.

Douglas Poole: 35:28 For five week I feel like I've been wrestling for your future, for your destiny. Telling you something more, to trust him. And it all begins by putting your trust in the person of Jesus, the Jesus who gave his life for you. And here's the beauty he gave his life for you, when you give your life to him, then he really gives his life to you. It's a life of fulfillment, it's a life of hope, it's the life of a future, it's a life of overcoming, it's a life of new beginnings. You see, sometimes we think about Jesus, and giving our life to him, it's so we can save ourselves from eternal and regrets, and that's a good thing. But do you know it's also to save your life today from regrets, save your life from despair, save your life from shame, save your life from hopelessness, to live the full life he's called you to? And it all begins by giving your life to him. So maybe you've been here in this series now for the last five weeks, you've been hearing about this Jesus, and the life that is life. If you've never given your life to him, do it today. Just tell him, Jesus, I give my life to you.

Douglas Poole: 36:43 Alright, let's pray, and then you can make your way out on the patio. Please hang out for ten, fifteen, minutes, meet at least one person that you didn't know coming in, okay? Alright, our Father in heaven, help us to believe this is true, that we have a hope and a future. Regardless of where we are, or how we got where we are, we have a hope and a future. You're the God of new beginnings. Help us to believe that you created us on purpose, for a purpose. And Father, would you speak into our imaginations? Would you silence that voice in our head that keeps telling us it's too late, we're not the one, we're not enough. Would you speak into our imagination and remind us, or tell us, who we can be, what it is you want to do through us in this world. And I pray Lord, that we would find the courage to step into that space with you, not only for ourselves, but others. And Father, I pray for any this day who are here who've been hearing about Jesus, and have yet to just put their trust in him, to give their life to him. I pray this moment they, just right where they're seated, would just be praying to say, Jesus, I give my life to you, I want this life, I want this life, I give my life to you. And so Father, I know you've answered that prayer, of a heart that cries for you, without hesitation or reservation. And I pray they would step into the life you've called them to. So Lord, for this life, we thank you. And then Lord for the conversations we'll have on the patio, the chili we'll consume, we thank you Lord for that as well. And everybody agreed and said, Amen. God bless you Cypress.

Recorded in Clearwater, Florida.
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Cypress Meadows
2180 North McMullen Booth Road
Clearwater, Florida 33759
(727) 725-4570