Family Talk: The Bow & Arrow


Online church, Pastor Ed Newton coming to you from San Antonio, Texas. We are so thankful that you are leaning in. Whether you are in Tokyo or you’re in Afghanistan or you’re here in San Antonio. We just say a word of thanks that you would make time and space to be a part of what God’s doing. A part of our House. Today, we continue on in our message entitled: The Bow and The Arrow. As we talk about investing in the lives of children. That is, raising children to be, not just an audience. But an army. And so we pray that God would inspire you. Encourage you to be all that God has called you to be. Not only as a follower of Jesus Christ. But if you’re a parent may you realize that these days are significant. As we thrust these arrows. As Psalm 127 says: ‘Out into the harvest field.’ We know that God is speaking to you. And we’d love to hear about how that happened. That is, we initiate and celebrate life change. And one of the ways that you could do that. That is, let us know about what God has said to you personally. Is to email us at [email protected] or you can go to communitybible.com/next-steps. And so we know that God is speaking. Moving. We pray that your hearts would be blessed. Continue to tune in to what God’s doing, a part of our House. Until we meet again, much love. Come on church. Let’s put our hands together to celebrate what God is doing in this service. (applause) Wow! Well just a quick housekeeping issue. We still got a lot of folks trying to find a seat. And so it would just do well for our ushers. Could we all. If you got a space next you. Can we just scoot in to provide easy access for some of our families. You’re seeing a lot of folks trying to get a seat. And we say thanks be to God for the problem that we got going on right now in this service. And so we just want to say a word of thanks. Just start scooting in. Creating space for these folks that are in need of an opportunity to sit down. By the way. I’m just looking for some college kids that would come sit on these couches with me. I need a cheering section this morning. And so, if there’s any college students that are going, “You know what. I’ll give up my seat. I’ll go sit up on the stage right behind the pastor. To give him about 17 ‘Amens’, while he’s preaching.” I’ll just. Listen. I’m just waiting for a couple of college kids to come on up. Never too late to come join me up onstage. Obviously, I got no takers. No takers. (laughter) Alright. And so for those of you college kids. Going once. Going twice. Thank you so much. Yeah. You’re coming. Come on man. Come on down. (applause) Just. While I’m talking. Come on down. Yeah. Listen. Let me make room for y’all. Hello. Hey! How are you? Thank you so much. Come on. Let’s just make room. This is what we do at our house. (laughter) That’s what I’m saying. So just make room. Come on. Hey, what’s up? How are you guys? Thank ya’ll. That’s what. And you got a NASA shirt on. You’re so smart. That’s what I’m saying. I love that. Come on. Just make room. Make room. Thank ya’ll so much. Hey guys. Wow! Yeah, we still got room for you guys. Now we’ve got about 30 college kids trying to come. (laughter) Come on. We gotta make room. Gotta make room. And then there’s some cushions I just threw on the floor (laughter) that you could just sit on those, if you want to. Hey, how are you? All right well you know what? Uhm. Yeah. And now this gets awkward. I’m so sorry. So let’s just make this happen however. You know. Here’s the deal. Yeah. So grab a seat right here. Fantastic. Thank you so much. Awesome! Can we just show some love to these college students for coming and hanging out with us. (applause) Alright. Thank ya’ll for coming. Oh. We’ll shake hands. Thank you. What’s up fellas? Thank ya’ll so much. Thank ya’ll for being in the House. It is. You’re only a freshman in high school. That’s okay. That’s alright. Well, thank you (laughter) for coming and hanging out with these college students. All right. Thank you so much. Oh! I love. I love what God is doing at our Church. We begin to talk about parenting today. And the challenges of that. Many of you ’empty nesters’, there’s a lot of moms and dads look at you go, “God one day. Just one day. That’ll be us.” But then those of you that are reminded by how fast time goes by. The days. The days are short. Excuse me, long. But the years are short. The days are long. But the years are short. And before you know it, they are college students and they’re gone. And therefore, we want to just. Not just survive in these years of parenting. But we want to thrive in these years. And so if you’ve got a Bible. Let’s meet in Ephesians chapter 6. Ephesians chapter 6. Are you able to multitask and turn at the same time? I know you can. So let me just share a couple interesting statements I found on social media. In regards to parenting, ‘Parenting is fun. If you’re into cooking for people who aren’t hungry. Until you begin to put everything up. And then they want to snack.’ Right? (laughter) Anybody else? Can I get an “Amen” from somebody that’s been down that road? Had that unfortunate moment happen? That all a sudden dinner’s over and they want to snack. As if your meal was not good enough. How about this one? Dialogue between mom and daughter, “Mom, what’s a metaphor?” Mom responds like, “Example. My life is a trainwreck.” (laughter) Daughter’s response, “I know, Mom. But what’s a metaphor?” Right? (laughter) How about this conversation. That happens oftentimes in our homes. Kids come home from school, “How was school?” We get nothing. Nothing. We get no response. At dinnertime, “Anything fun happen today?” Nothing. Bedtime? As the lights are trying to go out. Then, all the sudden, they start to get a little chatty. (laughter) Are you with me on that? Can I get an ‘amen’ from somebody that’s happened to before? They’re just trying to keep the lights on. Even though we’re just constantly trying to get them into bed. I love this statement, ‘Parent of one kid.’ Let me preface that. Parent of one kid looks at a parent of multiple kids and says, “I make my own snacks for my kids that are organic.’ (laughter) The other parent of multiple kids says, “Cool. My kids eat off the floor. Germs are good.” (laughter) Now my wife. Which, by the way. Can I just say this to you? You gotta understand. 18 years of marriage. My wife has NEVER spoken in this kind of dynamic. Ever. And I cannot say thank you enough for the showers of love and encouragement that you gave my wife last weekend. Thank you. (applause) Beyond words. How we have been blessed by you. But my wife said, “Ed, you make sure you tell our church this is my favorite statement of all.” All right? So this is my wife’s favorite. Little asterisk here. This is the parent receiving words from her daughter, “Mom, you’re invading my personal space.” Mom all the sudden takes a deep breath and goes, “You came out of my personal space.” (laughter) “So stop telling me I’m invading your space.” (applause) Come on. (laughter and applause) Now some of you are like, (whispers) “I can’t. I can’t believe he said that.” (laughter) Well come back next weekend. We talk about God’s design for sexuality. So thank you so much. (laughter) True story. And so, understand. What we are talking about today. Is just not conversations that we would like to have. We need to have these conversations on parenting. And so we get to Ephesians chapter 6. The Bible says: ‘Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” – this is the
first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. Father’s, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.’ Now notice these four principles. Point #1. And this will be on the screen. Notice the mandate for obedience. It’s not an option. The statement is: ‘Children, obey your parents. For this is right.’ To obey is an action. To honor is an attitude. Obedience is action and attitude together. Our children may receive our instruction. And they might be going in the, yes the, right direction. But their attitude may reveal the fact that they’re stomping along the way. Or throwing the temper tantrum along the way. Or giving the ‘back talk’ along the way. Even though
they’re doing what we’ve asked them to do. That’s not full obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. And as we think about obedience. It’s unto the Lord. It’s Colossians 3:20 that would say: ‘Children, obey your parents for this is your service rendered unto the Lord.’ That is, it’s a statement in an act of worship. As our children obey their parents. When I think about obedience. I think about the statement, ‘attitude is everything.’ Now I know you don’t come into a room like this and go, “You know what? Our Pastor was a college athlete. We could tell he was a college athlete.” But in my years from 1994 to 1998, I played on a college basketball team. It was like division 14. Nobody cared, I promise you. (laughter) We were not on Sportscenter. You’re not supposed to laugh at that. Back over here. Alright, man? (laughter) But we made it to the National Championship game. This little Christian College Athletic Association. The NCCAA. That’s what it stood for. National Collegiate Christian Athletic Association. We made it to the national championship. I was third string. I didn’t play all season. (laughter) All season. We make it to the national championship. And the only reason why I got to play, is because we were losing by 20. (laughter) First 1/2. Coach looks down towards the end of the bench and goes, “Newton.” I was like, “Me?” But in order to substitute, you had to have the towel. We had these team towels. And on the team towel, it said, ‘attitude is everything.’ I grabbed the team towel. I’m going to go in for our all-american player. Who is going to get a breather. So I come in. 90 seconds of fame. I’m on fire. I’m 3 for 3. God is Good. (applause) Revival’s happening in my heart. My moment of destiny is unfolding. And then all of a sudden I hear the horn. And now the all-american comes back in for me. (laughter) No, no, no. I’m like. I’m like, “Not not me. I’m on fire right now!” He hands with the towel. I take the towel. I’m moving in the right direction. I go to the end of the bench. And I take that towel and I slam it. Let’s just say this. It did not go well for Ed Newton at the end of the bench. As we went into halftime. It was 20 minutes of. Not X’s and O’s; of how we could pull out the victory. It was, “Newton, hear me. This program is about ‘attitude is everything’. Though you were doing what I asked you to do, your attitude did not reflect honor. The next year. And the following year. We would get these new recruits as basketball season. But our first meeting our coach would say, “Newton, show our new recruits how to properly hand the towel to a substitute.” (laughter) And I would have to give the speech on ‘attitude is everything’. Children, may we understand. And I know we got some young folks in the House. Even some young adults in the House. May we understand that obedience is an action. But our attitude is honor. And both are required in this statement of following the Lord. Attitude being honor. Point #2. Write this down. Not only do we see the mandate for obedience. #2, the means of outpouring. The means of outpouring. That it goes well with you. And that you live long in the land. That is, the commandment of God, found right at the center, the epicenter of the Ten Commandments: ‘Honor your father and mother.’ Now on either side of those
Commandments, or that commandment are commandments. That is, above. That is, that God should be first. No idols. No graven images. Remember the Sabbath. Behind ‘Honor thy father and mother’ are statements of. Yes, ‘Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. And do not covet your neighbor’s stuff.’ So why is it that at the center of the Ten Commandments is ‘honor your father mother’? Why? Because if you honor your father and mother, with the understanding that they are seeking to honor God. Then you’ll keep the Sabbath Holy. You’ll have no graven images. You’ll keep God first. You won’t murder. You won’t steal. You won’t commit adultery. You will not covet your neighbor’s stuff. At the center is this principle of: ‘If you do this there’s blessing.’ Which is why the Bible says in verse 3 that ‘it will go well with you’. Many of you have moms and dads that would say stuff to you like this, “If you don’t obey me. You need to understand something. I brought you into this world and I will take you out.” (laughter) Some of you heard those kind of words. And they would say it tongue-in-cheek. But there were those moments of like, “I don’t want to test them on this.” But as we understand obedience. Obedience has a blessing attached to it. So I need everybody to engage in this. I’m going to get you to step outside your social awkwardness for a moment. And I want you to look at your neighbor and say, “Obedience=blessing.” Say to your neighbor, “Obedience=blessing.” Everybody participate. Obedience=blessing. Obedience=blessing. Now as we talk about obedience=blessings. How many of you moms and dads understand that everything in your heart you want to bestow upon your children good gifts? But you cannot reward that behavior. And how many times have you looked at your children went, “Listen, you don’t understand what you’re missing out on. But I’m asking you to be obedient to what I’m asking you to adhere to. It’s not just about me.” Here’s the reason why. Because as we seek to be godly parents. If our children cannot obey physical, visible authority. How are they going to obey invisible authority in God? It’s our role and responsibility to help our children understand. What does it mean to be a passionate, dedicated follower of God? But obedience=outpouring. As we think about this means of outpouring. That it goes well with you and that you live long in the land. I’m about to be 41 here in a couple weeks. And one of the things that you need to know. I’m an only child. Both my parents are both Deaf. Handicap. My mom’s got Cerebral Palsy. And therefore, my mom and dad, in the fourth quarter of their life. Which they’re probably watching this right now. Via caption at the bottom of the screen. Who are big fans of what God’s doing here. But to get them to San Antonio, Texas has been difficult. Been challenging. How do you convince somebody that has lived in Florida the majority of their life, that Texas is where they need to be. Not just Texas. But San Antonio, Texas is where they need to be. (applause) And I’m like mom, dad. Assistant living place. They’re like, “No, no, no. We don’t want an assistant living place.” I go, “But it’s got a theater room.” (laughter) “It’s got a shuffleboard. It’s got three meals a day. And people that are going to love you. I want to get you to our church and our church is going to just love you.” And here’s what I’m saying. I want my mom and dad to walk in the blessing that God has provided for them. That is for their life to be upgraded. But at the moment of, yes at almost 41, I look at this promise. And I’m going, “God, I know this sounds selfish. But when Your Word says if I obey my parents and honor them. Even in my later years, married with children. There’s blessing? I want all of Your Blessing. I want to live long in the land. I want to experience the fullness of what You’re saying.” And isn’t it interesting that when God says, “Test us on these things.” He’s not joking. And therefore, may we understand, that obedience=blessing. And even at later stages of my life, seeking to honor my parents. I know there’s blessing in that. And what’s the blessing? Being able to have memories. What’s the blessing? Not only able to have memories. But be able to share stories. And for my children to know their grandparents. But there’s blessing in obedience. Our Heavenly Father is saying to our children today, “Hey listen. I know it feels as if your mom and dad might be, if you will, strict or stringent on these rules and restrictions. But it’s for your greater good.” Why? Because if there’s obedience in the physical realm. There’s going to be obedience, leading to blessing, in the spiritual realm. And so we understand the means of outpouring. Point #3. The metric in oversight. The metric in oversight. ‘Father’s do not provoke your children to anger.’ That is, the metric would be a measurement. We could take, if you will, asking our children to be obedient too far. And that’s called provoking. The original word. That is, ‘provoke’ means to irritate, agitate, or aggravate. Irritate, agitate or aggravate. A great theologian by the name of Warren Wiersbe. I put this in your notes. Gave some examples of provoking. By over protection. Modern sociologists have called that ‘helicopter parenting’. Just kind of hovering. Waiting to drop in when they need you. Some would call that ‘fishbowl parenting’. You just keep providing everything for them. And therefore here’s how the modern translation of Ephesians 6 would read, “Parents obey your children for this will keep them happy and bring peace to the home.” That’s the modern translation of that. Just obey your parents. And therefore, by us over protecting and not asking them to take full weight and responsibility for choices. We continue to foster adolescence. Which is why we have a tendency to see older adults still not operating in full maturity. In responsibility and ownership even in moments where they make mistakes. And so as we think about this concept of provoking. It’s not by overprotection that we’re to operate in. By favoritism. By discouragement. By failure to make allowance for a different career path. By neglect. By bitter words and outright physical cruelty. Many of you asked the question, “Ed, where do you struggle?” I’m so thankful you ask that question. Number five. Number five. You go, “Neglect?” No listen, I love my kids. I treasure my kids. But I got a problem. And I’m gonna confess this, in front of God and everybody. I have a difficulty coming home and turning my cell phone off. Just being real. I get home about 5:30 pm. My kids go to bed at 8 pm. I have a hard time for two-and-a-half hours shutting off my cell phone. I feel like that text message needs to be responded to. That email needs to be responded to. I need to put out that fire. And I need to continue to operate in management and leadership. But for two-and-a-half hours. Here’s the honest confession I’m having conversations with my kids, while not looking them in the face. And it looks like this, “Mmm Hmm. Mmm Hmm. Mmm Hmm. Oh, that’s awesome. That’s great.” And I’m texting. What am I saying to my kids? Now, I might not be the only one in the House today that struggles with those things. But what I’m saying is. As I have prepared this message. You just gotta know this. This is my very first parenting sermon I’ve ever given in my life. Now, let me say this in parenthesis. I’ve been the Pastor here for almost 10 months. I’ve never pastored before in my life. I’ve been the traveling preacher. That’s how I came to know this church. So when we got to Mother’s Day, it was like the very first Mother’s Day message I’ve ever given in my life. When we got to Father’s Day, first Father’s Day message I’ve ever given in my life. And dant dant dant da… My very first parenting message. Right here. Right now. In front of God and everybody. I admit, I’m struggling. (applause) Struggling. I’m going, “God, am I provoking my chil… Am I causing them to be irritated? Am I agitating this situation?” Because, as we’ll talk about. That God so desires to send out from your house the arrow. This message is entitled: ‘The Bow and the Arrow.’ It’s Psalm 127 that comes to my mind. That, ‘In the hands of the warriors are great arrows.’ There’s some warriors in this room. I’m talking about moms and dads. And our prayer is that these arrows would be able to go further in influence. That they would be able to go further into a desperate, decaying world that’s in need of hope. And it’s dark. But they would broadcast the Name and fame of Jesus. By being that bright shining light. Oh God, would You send out from our House, arrows that would change the world. And we have to learn. That we’ve just been given these children for just a brief moment. A brief moment. And that’s why it leads into this fourth principle called the ‘missional opportunity’. That is, that we would bring them up. Notice verse four, ‘But bring them up.’ That is, to nourish and mature them. Bring them up physically and emotionally. Speaking into their life. That is our duty. But what is the discipline? To train in accordance. That’s why the Bible says to, ‘Bring them up in the discipline.’ Now I gave you these analogies. The bow. The arrow. The target. At the bottom of your Listener Guide. As we talk about the BOW. This is our tool. That’s the fill-in-the-blank. The tool for discipline. The tool for discipline. The ‘BOW’ acrostic means Be consistent. Be consistent in parenting. As we talk about instilling discipline in the lives of our children. It’s the BOW. That is, the tool of discipline allows us to understand, “Okay, this apparatus of discipline is going to be the ability and the thrust that sends out the arrow.” While they’re with us, they’re going to learn some things. But may we understand in parenting. Whatever rules that you’ve implemented. We must be consistent. And I want just to sear this into your hearts today. Rules without relationship always=rebellion. Rules without relationship always=rebellion. Be consistent. The ‘O’ stands for: Own your mistakes. Own your mistakes. So when I’m talking to my ten-year-old about her sassiness back to mom? And that conversation. And I lose my cool. And go, “Listen, it’s not going to be good for you to continue on in this.” But I raise my voice. And I cause my daughter to have fear when I’m talking to her. I’ve crossed the line. Which means. I have to look my ten-year-old in the face and go, “It was not right for you to back talk mom. But it was wrong of me to speak in the tone that I talked to you with. Will you forgive me?” You go, “Ed, you asked your ten-year-old for forgiveness?” Absolutely. Let me tell you why. Because, as they grow up. When they’re 30 years old, may they understand that when it came to owning their mistakes. My mom and dad taught me that when you make a mess of it all. Or you blow it. Or you don’t do what you’re supposed to do. Be the first one to admit it. Just be the first one to admit it. Because how will our kids, as adults, have realistic conversations where they’re able to own their decisions. But instead, they’ll continue to look. And we can look into our culture. Where everybody blames their junk on everybody else. But may they be man enough and woman enough to go, “I was wrong.” And where did they learn that from? From the character and the integrity of not their perfect parents. But they’re imperfect parents that were serving a perfect God. (applause) May they learn that from us. Own your mistakes. Teach them, by modeling before them what you’re asking them to do. Not only be consistent. Own your mistakes. But may you offer words of affirmation. If the constant conversation is critique and confrontation. But not showered with compliments. You begin to get out of balance. And you, unfortunately, break the spirit of your child if they’re not showered with compliments. It’s what we said to our women in the House. Our ladies. Our moms. Our wives. We’ve said this to you, in this House. That you are beautiful on the inside. You’re beautiful on the outside. Our society does not get to define beauty. God defines beauty. And your beauty is not based upon what you own. But Who owns you. And your are daughters of God. (applause) That’s what we said to our ladies. But as we speak into the lives of our children. May they understand the words of affirmation. Now the arrow. This arrow that’s gonna go further than us. Their life is going to have greater implications than our life. As we understand the training of discipleship. The tool of discipline. The BOW. The training of discipleship is the ‘ARROW’. That acceptance comes from God. Acceptance comes from God. Our children, our young people are longing for acceptance. And many of them will sell out on their convictions, based upon acceptance. May they understand. Their style doesn’t give them acceptance. Their Savior gives them acceptance. Their stuff doesn’t give them acceptance. Their Savior gives them acceptance. And you can be trendy. But if you don’t know Jesus. Understand that everything is fleeting and fading. And therefore Jesus is enough. Acceptance comes from God. We have to be moms and dads that model that. Their acceptance comes from God. Not only does their acceptance come from God. But we have to teach our young people to be arrows by rejecting apathy. Rejecting apathy. One of the statements that has been said about this generation, “They’re selfish. They’re self-seeking. They’re entitled. They want success without diligence and hard work.” And that may be true. But here’s what I’m saying. May we be a House that speaks into our children and go, “That may be the norm out there. But that won’t be the norm in here.” We’re going to say this to you, “God has called you for so much more. And you will not operate with the mindset of ‘somebody else will do that’. But instead, when you see something that should be done. You don’t wait for something to be done. You be the solution to get it done. And you reject apathy. You be that kind of person.” (applause) Reject apathy. Not only reject apathy. But resist temptation. ARROWS. Acceptance comes from God. Reject apathy. Resist temptation. Aren’t you grateful, some of you older brothers and sisters in this room, there wasn’t Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook all that stuff while you were a teenager? Aren’t you grateful you didn’t have a digital footprint of all your stupidity? (laughter) Hello. Now there might be some Polaroid pictures floating around somewhere. (laughter) But, I’m just thankful I didn’t have that ability to record and take a photograph of. Our teenagers and our children are facing temptation like none of us have ever faced. They got technology at their fingertips. But at the same time, it’s a tool of the enemy. All at the same time. It’s a good thing. But it gets distorted by the enemy. We got to help our young people to understand. Because pornography is at every corner. We gotta help our young people understand to resist temptation. That temptation may be great. But Jesus is greater. We gotta teach them that. But usually that comes from owning our own mistakes. Do you see how this works? Rules without relationship=rebellion. We gotta be invested in their lives. Obedience to the Word. What’s the #1 ‘lost and-found’ item in churches all across America? Is it umbrellas? Not today. Because you heard the rain. Not today. But the #1 ‘lost and found’ item in churches all across America. It’s Bibles. If we are going to change the world, we got to be men and women of the Book. Of the Bible. It’s not just being in the Word. It’s the Word being in us. And that has to be instilled in the hearts of our children. And here’s the confession. I feel like every time we get together you’re like, “Man. I’m just. I’m so encouraged by our Pastor. He doesn’t have it all together.” I will not be somebody that tries to be somebody that I’m not. I’m in this with you. I can get up at 5:45 am and go to Planet Fitness and get on a treadmill. But I have a hard time getting up at 5:45 am to read my Bible. Just being real. Just being real. I could dedicate and discipline my life, in regards to physical exercise. But when it comes to Spiritual training, it’s difficult for me. My ADD kicks in. My chemical imbalances. My learning disability. All the sudden begin to flare up all at one time. Here’s what I’m saying. Obedience to the Word. My kids need to see me in the Word. They need to see me in the Word. They need to see you in the Word. But Worship is life. Worship is life. My prayer. Come on. I need a high five somebody. Come on. My prayer is that these young men and young ladies would see their moms and dads get undignified before the Lord in a worship service like this. They would see them. They’d look at their moms and dads and go, “Having a Holy Spirit fit right here in this moment. (laughter) All of a sudden they see their moms begin to lift their hands to the Lord. They see tears flowing down their face. Because they’re connecting with God. They would see their moms and dads at the altar. Not because just their life is falling apart in the moment. But they just want to give a sacrifice of Praise, “God that you’re Good.” They would see us respond in such a passionate, wholehearted, dedicated way. My prayer. Because here’s the deal. When it comes to worship. And it comes to living for God. There are a lot of things that are taught. But mostly they’re caught. Did you catch that? Caught. My mom and dad were not, if you will, outspoken in their faith. They were believers. But I realized something when I began to get set free and in regards to who I am in Christ. I gotta stop caring about what people think. And our kids need to see that in us. That we have that moment in the car where we’re singing our lungs out. Because that song begins to resonate with our soul. Worship is life. Worship is life. Now, as we sit in this room. And understand that parenting being the primary thrust of our conversation. There’s some moms and dads in this room that are just going, “I failed.” But I want to somehow, someway speak prophetically in the life of some moms and dads that have some children that are Prodigals. I was very intentional with trying to get some college students. And a freshman. (laughter) Sitting up on the stage. Here’s the reason why. Because there’s some moms and dads that look at these college kids and a freshman and go, “I wish my kid was in church with me today. I wish my kid was here. Under the teaching of God’s Word.” And one of things that we are always about. Now, we’re a big church. And I get that. But what we’re trying to do is be a church that’s real. And authentic. And transparent. And here’s what I’m saying to you. We celebrate the dude that’s been sober for seven days from drug abuse. We’ll celebrate that guy all day long. And we’ll be the people in this room. Starting from me. See, I could never ask you to be honest, real, raw and open, if I don’t do it. Which is why, every time you come and it’s like, “Wow. Pastor’s just confessing all his junk in front of everybody.” Because I’m trying to get you to do the same thing. (laughter) To be real with people. To be honest with people. But there’s some moms and dads in this room that their heart breaks. Especially this whole Family Talk. And they’re going, “I just wish I knew where my kid was at right now. I wish my kid was living for Jesus.” And I’m just going to just push the agenda of authenticity. How many of you moms and dads in this room would go, “I got a son or a daughter that’s wayward from the things of God. Or doesn’t want anything to do with the things of God. And my heart is broken.” If that’s you. Would you just stand right now? Just stand. Just stand. Just stand. And as you stand. I know this is crazy. But I’ve been thinking about you all week. You know why I’ve been thinking about you all week? Because I know the enemy. The enemy has made you feel like a failure. But I got a Word for you today. I came across this quote. Let me read it to you. This is gonna set some of you free. This is the quote, ‘It’s not your job to make godly children.’ Because guess who makes godly children? God. It’s not your job to make godly children. ‘But it is the parent’s job to make sure their children has godly parents.’ You can’t make godly children. But you could be a godly parent. (applause) And you’re saying, “Ed, I’m trying my very best.” And what I’m saying to you right now. In the Name of Jesus Christ, chains be loosed off of you. That weight of that guilt and that shame be loosed from you. To be set free from you. That the enemy would no longer have a foothold in your life to make you feel like a failure. That is not your story. But today we believe in miracles. Today we believe that you might get a phone call from one of your children going, “Mom, I’m so sorry. Dad, I’m an idiot. And would you forgive me?” I’m praying for greater things in your life today. CBC 11 o’clock hour, could we believe for miracles to happen in the lives of their children today? (applause) Could we believe that? Mountains move. Chains broken. Oh, Lord Jesus. May somebody in this House today understand that miracles can happen in these homes. And so I’m asking for those of you that are standing. I’m asking that our Church be the church, as we always are. I want you to put a hand on the shoulder of somebody next to you right now that’s standing. A mom or a dad that just needs to know they’re not alone. And let’s pray towards that end. Just, if you got to get out of your space. Please feel the freedom to do that. Let’s just pray over these moms and dads that are begging for their kids to come home. Not just to a physical house. But to God’s Presence. So God, would You do a work. Change lives. Take back what the enemy has taken from these moms and dads. It’s not too late. Set them free. If it’s drug abuse. Or it could be the fact that they’re just caught up in just seeking to be successful in the world. God, just let them know today, Your voice. Show them Your face today. God, I pray specifically I’m praying. That phone calls and text messages and lines of communication would be open. God restore. Send home the Protocols. That’s my prayer. And all God’s people said. (audience responded, “Amen”) Can we just believe that? Can we just clap and believe that together? Let’s all stand if we don’t mind. Let’s all stand. Let’s all stand together. Heads bowed. I want to just pray over us. There might be some of you today. Some of you today. That need to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And if that’s your desire today. Understand, good people don’t go to heaven. Forgiven people go to heaven. And we need forgiveness. And only Jesus can give it to you. If you’re ready to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. To become a Christian and a Christ-follower. Would you just say this to Jesus, “Lord Jesus, I’m not perfect. But I believe You died for me. Right now I’m asking You. Save me. Change me. I give you my life.” For those of you that made that decision today, for the very first time, we celebrate with you. But, only way we could celebrate with you, is that we gotta know that’s what you did. So if you made that decision today. Would you just raise your hand as tall as you can? I’m looking across this Worship Center. Just hold up your hand real tall. If you just made that decision today. Hold up your hand real tall. (applause) Ah. You’re not alone! Praise be to God. For those of you that have your hands raised. Today. Today your life has been changed. For those of you that made that decision. Everybody look right here. For those of you that made that decision. Or there’s another decision that you need to make. You need prayer? You need support? I know this is crazy. But a church like ours. Yes, you can email. Yes, you can call the church office. But here’s what I’m saying. We got this little tear off portion. And this is how we have our delivery system. You sign your name. Put some contact information. Check the box of the decision that you made. You accepted Jesus? Check that box. Got a prayer request? Write it down. And you put it in the offering box as your gift. We’ll pray over all these needs. And somebody will call you this week. But we celebrate your decision today. Together. Let’s clap our hands and celebrate what God has done. (applause)

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