In this message from Sunday, February 16, 2020, Pastor Jacob talked about how the weight of life is heavy but encouraged us to know that we weren’t meant to carry it alone.

City Lights Church is a contemporary Vineyard church located in the northwestern part of Richmond, VA. City Lights Church is a part of the Vineyard USA network and an ARC family member.

TRANSCRIPT

Hey there,  and welcome to the City Lights Podcast. City Lights is a church located in the northwestern part of Richmond, Virginia. For more information about City Lights you can visit us at wearecitylights.com. Now, enjoy today’s message.

How’s everyone doing today? That is awesome. Where’s Damien and Isaiah? There he is. Hey Isaiah, can you bring up my illustration? Dude, I got something special today for you guys. Actually, my team that gave me the props, they kind of played me a little bit. I’m about to show you right now. I said man I want to go workout illustration. And they gave me some 10 pound weights. I said, “Man I can do more than 10 pounds, I think.” You know, maybe not. You can put it right here. Yep. Flip it around. Yeah. Yeah. There you go. Don’t knock over the mic. There you go. That’s perfect. That’s perfect. Are they heavy? Dang you got it laid all the way back. There you go. That’s perfect. Yeah. There you go. Man, look at these 10 pound weights. Uh oh. Shoot. I can’t lift them up. Maybe they’re right. I’m joking.

All right, well, hey, like I said, welcome to City Lights. I’m so glad you’re here. My name is Jacob, I’m on the team here at City Lights, and we’re just thankful that you are with us today. We’re so thankful for what God is doing here in Richmond, Virginia. And which kind of leads me to a couple City Highlights. I have. Man, I’m corny, all right. It is what it is. We are super excited about our nonprofit check-in. If you’re having a hard time with the check-in because I actually did to have a hard time with finding us on the check in; you can always just at CityLightsVA and we’ll count that as we get our location check in a little bit more synchronized. But I also want you to know that Ken and Becky Peters who are here, right over here who are in charge of The Bridge RVA they’re two of the most awesome people that you can meet and we’re so thankful for them. They have been pastors in the Vineyard here for longer than I’ve been alive, maybe. But we’re just so thankful for everything they have done for this city for Jesus. And so we are just so honored to be able to support what they’re doing with The Bridge RVA. So you have the opportunity to meet them after the service and they’ll be right out at a table, learn more about their ministry and things like that.

And one of the thing that we want to make sure we always do here at City Lights is you know, church is not just the four walls of a building. You know, church is when you’re actually going out and making a difference. And so we want to always make sure we’re making a difference in our community and partnering  up with some awesome people can help us with that. Okay?

And the last thing I want to highlight, we have City Lights Plus step one immediately after this service. What is Plus, what is City Lights Plus? That is our membership-type class. So if you want to learn more about the church and how you play an important purpose here, we encourage you to come immediately after the service and we have some snacks and we have childcare too, so if you if you have a kid, don’t worry, they’ll be taken care of they’re gonna watch a movie in there. It won’t be Sonic the Hedgehog. We don’t got the budget for that yet. But they’ll be watching something. Okay?

But now let’s go ahead and jump into our message. We started a series last week called Stress Out. We are looking at getting stress out of our lives. Stress out, joy in. That’s what we want. Last week we talked about three big rocks that really matter in our lives. And that’s the rock of relationships, purpose, and God. And what stress will do in our lives, stress will try to make us forget about what’s really important in life. It will make us try to forget about our relationships, forget about our purpose, forget about God, and we’ll get so caught up on things that really don’t matter. And we want to be able to remember that stress has to come out and joy has to come in.

But remember, Jesus says this. “In this life, you will have trouble,” you’re gonna have trouble. See, Jesus does not say If you become a Christian, you no longer have problems. No, Jesus says In this life you will have trouble. But then he says, “Take heart for I have overcome the world.” See, we have victory in the victory of Christ.

So our theme verse for this series is found in Luke’s gospel. Luke, 21:34 says this, it says, “Be careful.” That’s important. If Jesus starts a sentence with be careful, you should definitely listen, right? It says, “Be careful or your hearts will be weighed down.” Dang, “will be weighed down.” I want you keep that word “weighed” in your head.  “Your hearts will be weighed down with carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of life.” Dang! All right, that don’t sound good. “And that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.”

Now today’s message, I really want to focus on that part of being weighed down and anxieties of life. So if you are taking notes, you can title part two of this series. Gettin’ these gains. Who in here likes to workout? Nobody. Okay. Who in here likes Krispy Kreme? Is that more what we got going on? Okay, all right. I like that. All right. Note taken. Man, how you gonna play me like this? I got this 10 pound weight.

As you can see, I got this bench press and some weights right over here with me. I have been on a journey now for a long time. For a decade now, I’ve been on a journey called #HSB. Which stands for hot summer body. I’ve been on this journey for a long time. The summer of 2017 was the closest that I probably got to achieving that goal. But then I got pregnant. What? My wife got pregnant and I just got sympathy pregnant with her. That counts, right? I just kept eating food. But that’s not the point. We’re not gonna talk about what happened, then. See, but I got a problem with the gym. I got a problem with the gym. I’m gonna tell you my problem. Okay, so it says I got the mic. I can tell you all my problems. Okay, I got a problem with the gym and working out. I feel good, I like it. It’s fun to go to the gym. But my problem with the gym is this: the next day I look exactly the same. That’s my problem with the gym. See if I went to the gym and the next day I looked like this. Yeah. If I left the gym and looked like that the next day, I’ll be in the gym every day. Come on, man, I’ll be in there. But the problem is, when I wake up, I still look like this. Don’t got any muscle. Barely can lift up the 10 pound weight, man.

See? You know, I wish when I did physical fitness, the next day I would see the results, right. So I started this journey – you think I’m joking – I started this journey of getting my hot summer body, I ain’t make it yet.

You can take Skinny Jacob off. Bye, Skinny Jacob.

I remember one time when I was 19, I went to a CrossFit gym. Has anyone ever been to a CrossFit gym or you just seen the people that do that stuff. It’s intense, right? I came there I was 19, super skinny. Walked in there, had this bright red shirt on had my headband on. I was ready, and I walked in. And everyone, every single person in this gym, guy and girl, was just ripped from head to toe like everyone looked like they were on the set of 300. I was like, “yo, where am I have right now?”

Okay, so you know, I was like, I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna get my hot summer body and I’m gonna do this. So I jumped in the group workout that was happening, and we had to do this thing called clean and jerks, right? We’re doing this thing called clean and jerks. I’m like, no problem. I got this. I can do it. And what’s the clean and jerk you may ask? So you have a bar bell in front of you and what you gotta do, you gotta get squat position. Dang, I just worked out the other day, and that kind of hurt a little bit when I just bent down. All right. Okay. Woo, gott stretch. Okay, you got a bend down you clean – Bam! – Then you gotta pop it – bam! – and then you press it up, right? That’s the workout. Easy. No problem. Easy peasy. Going to do it. Come on. In this group work out, I get in front of my weight with all these people ripped people around me working out – head band, bright red shirt – and I go to lift up the weight, I go… Let me get some more baby powder, put it on my hand, because that was the problem my grip was bad. So I went and lift it up again… Don’t do it. One more time… I can’t get up. And then also and I hear this voice said, “Hey, you in the red shirt.” I’m like, “God, is that you? Is that you got you telling me to leave this place and go to McDonald’s? Is that what’s happening at this moment?” And it wasn’t God. It was the trainer there standing on a box jump and he said, “Hey, you in the red shirt, trade your weights with the girl next to you.”

So I just said “what?” And then she was standing next to me. And she grabbed my weight for one arm – Boom Bloom – then gave me her weight – Blam! – and I just looked at her and I said, “I warmed it up for you.” I just felt like that was the most appropriate thing to say at that moment. And so then I go to do the new weight, the much lighter, I go to do them and then I lift… I said, “Hey, I think there’s magnets on the floor in my station cause I can’t lift up the weights.” Okay, then eventually – true story – the girl next to me who took my weights started helping me and showing me how to do it. But it was hard, right? Working out. can be hard! Now I actually love working out, my wife and I both love to workout; Erin’s stronger than me. And I’m okay with that. You know, we traded places in life. I cook and clean, and if we hear a strange noise in the middle of the night, she checks it out, you know? So it works for us, you know? So that’s good.

But isn’t that how stress can feel right? Like it’s like a weight that’s hard to lift up. Like you’re trying your best; you’re trying to get through it, you’ve got a goal, you’ve got something you’re trying to achieve. But then there’s just this weight, that’s just on you, and you feel like you can’t get through it.

Which leads me to my starting point. My starting point today is this: the weight of life can be heavy. Come on, man. We got some heavy things, don’t we? We have things that’s hard. Life has its heaviness. There is a lot going on. And, like a great theologian once said, you may have heard of him, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Oh, that’s Mike Tyson. Yeah, he’s a great theologian.

Okay, see we’re all facing anxieties in life. We have a plan, but sometimes our plans feel like we get hit in the mouth, right? Like that wasn’t going the way we want it to go. The weight of life can be heavy. Which leads me to my destination point: You aren’t meant to carry it alone. You aren’t meant to carry it alone. The weight of life can be heavy, but you aren’t meant to carry it alone. I got some good news for you today. You weren’t meant to carry that weight alone. You got a family. You got a community that can help you.

Now life has stress and anxieties. Studies show – check this out, this is pretty crazy -Americans on average are working 48 hours a week. So that’s eight hours more than less than 10 years ago. That’s a whole another day. That means people are adding another eight hour work day to their life, which means what? That means we’re losing sight of what really matters, right? We’re losing sight of our relationships, of our purpose, of God. We’re replacing it with other things. Much like we talked about last week, we got these things that we’re replacing, which can cause life to be heavy.

Now before I talk about the heaviness, though. Before I talk about the heaviness of life: life is good, too. There’s a lot of good things in life. I want to remind us of some of the good things in life.

Check this first picture out. We got Earth. We got Earth, right? Like, how awesome is this? We live on Earth. We live in this awesome planet. We got the ability to do all these great things because of that. Because we live on Earth, we got mountains. Come on. Come on. Who in here is a nature person? You relax when you go into nature, you love it, you know what I’m saying? I try to go on nature walks with my wife and she don’t like them. They don’t ever work out well. One time I got bit by a mosquito in Jamaica, my hand grew. It was, yeah. I’ll tell you that story another time.

But they’re great. Mountains, nature is great, but we also got mountains. And where we got mountains. Maybe you’re more of a beach person. Come on. Yeah, we’re the beach people. Come on, get me on a cruise right now. So I can get me some of those little drinks with the umbrellas in it sitting on the beach. Okay, come on. See, that’s a vacation spot. I’m from Virginia Beach, and I still know how to swim, so you know that didn’t work out for me.

But you know you know you got mountains, you got the beach, you’ve got all these beautiful things, and then you want to know what else we got? We got babies. Oh, come on, man. Like babies, man. Like the promise of life and a future. And they’re just so cute. We got we got 20 month old and she’s the best thing in the world I love her. You know you got babies. Babies, the endless possibilities. And because we have babies we also have baby shark. Come on, man. Life is great. Like we live in a world where the number one song on the radio is a baby shark. It’s a song about sharks and a mama shark, and they’re eating people or something, you know. But is awesome. And if you’re a parent in here you love this song because it gets your kid to shut up. Come on, I love me some baby shark. We got a lot of good things, right? That was it. That’s the end of my good thing pictures. I just want you guys to know, we got a lot of good things going on in our world. There’s a lot of good in the world, but stress can come into the world and make us forget about all the good, can’t it? To make us not see what God is even doing in our lives; see that God is up to something real for us.

See our weight is real, and we can’t pretend like it’s not. And I actually even made a list of heavy weights that you may feel like you’re dealing with. Maybe your way isn’t up here, right? Maybe you’re in here and you don’t see baby shark on your list because you got hurt in your life. Who’s been hurt by someone that you love? Right? Been let down. Maybe you got loss. Maybe you lost a loved one recently. Maybe it was expected, or even unexpectedly. Whatever the case may be. But it still is a weight that you feel. Maybe in here you’ve been abused before,

And I was just want to pause real fast on that. I want to pause. And I want to say that as someone who has the opportunity to be a mouthpiece for the Lord on the stage, God never wanted you to be abused. And his in his heart breaks at that and he has healing for your life. And I want you to know that.

Okay, but maybe that’s a weight that you feel. Maybe you got frustration in your life. You know, and frustration always comes from unmet expectations. So maybe you have some expectations for your life that you haven’t met yet. And now you find yourself constantly frustrated. And maybe because you got frustrations, you got some trauma in your life. You got some of distrust. You can’t trust me. Then you feel powerless. You got grief and that grief leads to regret, and that regret leads to some shame. And because you have shame, you live your life in fear. You got this weight. You got this weight on you. And it’s a weight we were never meant to carry by ourselves.

See, I got some good news. We have an amazing God that carries our weight. We have an amazing God that carries the weight. I like to be real at church, man. Like one of things that we say here at City Lights. I want you to bring your whole self the church. Sometimes the most fake place to be in the week is on a Sunday at church but I ain’t about that life. I want us to be real here at City Lights.

We do serve a victorious God. We do serve a God who’s a way maker? We do serve a God that’s a miracle worker. We do serve this God. But what happens, Jacob? When I don’t see that right now. When I don’t feel that at this moment. See we live in a space and time right now that we consider the already but the not yet. The already but the not yet. What do I mean by that? See, Jesus already came. Jesus came. He lived the life we couldn’t. He died a death we deserve. He rose from the grave. And now he sits at the right hand of God. See, Jesus came. He defeated Sin on the cross. He defeated shame on the cross. But then there’s also this: Jesus is to come again. Jesus is to come again. And because of that, if you are a believer, you have hope for the future. You have hope for eternity. Death does not scare you because you know that your King Jesus overcame the grave. See, we have that hope, but (and there’s always a big butt). But we find ourselves here in the middle of the already and the not yet. Where sin and pain and stress are still very active.

And again Jesus says, “In this life you will have trouble.” Oh, man, I got a shout down on that one. Amen. That baby was like, Yeah, you took away my baby shark picture. I was looking at that. What am I talking about?

Jesus says, “You will have trouble, but take heart for I have overcome the world.” Now again, I just gotta be real sometimes. Jesus, that sounds good. And all you’re saying, take heart. You know, like what? I’m supposed to be like Braveheart? I’m supposed to paint my face blue and wear a skirt? No one’s seen Braveheart? William Wallace? Okay, I’m the only one that’s seen that movie. All right, there we go. You know, it’s like it’s like that sounds good and all Jesus, but what does that mean? What does that mean? While I live in this tension of already and not yet. I want you to know while we live in this tension of the already and not yet where there is still sin, where these is still hurt, where there still is pain, I also want you to know that we have victory in Jesus that we can tap into. We have hope for our futures. We have faith that we can activate because Jesus defeated death on the cross. See, I’m gonna tell you this. You don’t need to strive in your life to be a better version of you. You need to position your life to be a better reflection of Jesus. And when you do that, man, you’ll see this weight go off. What are these practical steps, though? We’ll be practical today. I’m gonna be practical. What are some practical steps. How can we take heart? How can we find Jesus? Check this out. Matthew 7 starting in verse 13 says this. Jesus says, “Enter through the narrow gate.” All right, “enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life and only a few find it.”

Wait, wait, wait. Wait a second. Into the narrow gate? Wait is the gate small? Is the gate narrow? Is the road narrow? Like I don’t even know what Jesus is saying. Where’s the road? Where the road at? I know it ain’t Broad Street. That road is hell. Especially there in traffic time. That ain’t road he was talking about.

See, what is Jesus saying here? See, this verse is not about an elect group of people that were predestined to come to God. That’s not what that verse is about. Jesus is saying, “Hey, um if you want to find me, I’m right here. Like, like. I’m this way. I’m on this path. I’m in this direction. I’m right here.” See, this is not an exclusive verse, because being exclusive, being a special group of people that God would only pick is not in the nature of God. See, we see in the Bible that God is a communal God, that he’s three in one. Father, son and Holy Spirit. We see his very nature is relational. And that’s why he builds his church with people. See, this verse does not speak of exclusive. It speaks of a specific. He says, “Here I am.”

See, check this out. What if I invited you to my house, right? What if I say hey come over for dinner? I’m gonna make some lobster mac and cheese. Come on. And I’m gonna do this. And I said, come over to my house and you guys are like “Oh, Jacob. That’s awesome. I want some mac and cheese. Yeah. Um, where do you live?” I say, “Oh, I live by an elementary school, next to a Publix, and not that far from the food lion. Can’t miss it.” You’d be like, “what the heck, like, where am I going to find him at?” you know where Where is he? So you’d be mad, right? See this verse speaks about how Jesus is telling us if you want to find me, I’m right here. I give you a specific. It’s just, it’s the narrow road. It’s the small road and you just got to go one direction because broad and large is the roads that lead to all the things you don’t want to do. Large and broad is the road when you’re stressed and when you’re angry, let me just take my stress out that way. Let me just do this that way. Let me take it in my own hands. But Jesus is saying, “Hey, if you want to find me, I’m right here. Here’s my address. Here’s my direction.” See, when life gets heavy, when stress comes in our heart, large and big are the options we see around us. And check this out, this is what happens: We become overburdened; we become overburdened. And once we begin to feel overburdened, once we feel the weight that is not meant for us to carry by ourselves, the large road leads us to destruction.

I don’t normally speak with a bunch of points and stuff like that, but I felt like I wanted to give people some some detailed points today of what it looks like if you are on the large road, I want you to see this today. I got three things and you can write it down – or write it in your phone, whatever it is – three things that you can identify if you’re on the large road of destruction. And the first thing is this we start to self-medicate. And self-medicating isn’t always an extreme abusive habit or something like that. It’s not about the medication, it’s about things that we’re using to avoid the stressors in our lives. Trying to take control of things. Maybe for you. You self-medicate watching way too much Netflix. God, we’ve got a couple people. Don’t talk about me like that, Pastor Jacob, I’m just trying to watch one more show. You know instead of managing your finances or getting healthy, you just binge watch shows all day. But really you’re just watching them because you like shows but also because you don’t want to face up to the realities of life. Maybe for you, you self-medicate with drinking too much or overeating or over spending money.

Because once we self-medicate, this is the second thing we do. We attempt to normalize, we’ll attempt to normalize. Oh, this habit isn’t as bad as Sally’s habit down the street. You see what she’s been doing? Crazy. You know, this is the way I am. You know, I’ve been like this my whole life. I’m just not as passionate as other people. I’m just a little lazy, you know. This is just normal for me. I just get an attitude, right? I just I get upset faster. That’s just who I am. I just put things off and you wanna know – can I be real again. One thing that I lived in my life by – and I try to normalize it for a long time – was that I was just dumb. I tried to normalize that for my life for a long time, but I was just dumb. I mean, I didn’t learn how to read until I was 12 years old and I spent the majority of my life just feeling kind of like, just dumb, honestly. Until one day, some pastors and leaders from the local church got in my corner – and that’s why I love the local church. Because I believe the local church is the hope of the world. I think a local church that is getting in the corner of people and supporting them can change the world. And so I’m an example of it; that’s all I can say. But they got my corner and they said, “You’re made for more than that” Then I ended up getting my GED. And I was super proud of getting my GED. Because I failed that thing four times – that happened. And on the fourth time, the fifth time I passed it, right. And after that I got into a Christian leadership program called Vineyard Institute, where I got my biblical degree. And then from there I thought, I’m good. I hit my educational stride. I got it, man. You know, I’m all right. But then I still normalized. I still normalized that I wasn’t as smart or bright as other people. I didn’t have that. That wasn’t my gift. And that was my mindset. Until one day I said, man enough. Enough of that. I’m done with believing that I’m not made for something more. I’m done with believing that my life is just kind of here and not really that important. I’m done with believing that. And it isn’t because anything about me it’s just because when I accepted those things about myself, they didn’t match up to what I believed about my God. And if my God is all powerful, and if my God is all knowing, and if my God is full of wisdom then maybe I shouldn’t normalize being something that I’m not. And so I ended up going to school. I got my bachelor’s degree in religious studies, and it ended up being an amazing journey from literally starting from not knowing how to read to now having a four-year degree.nd I say that because I’m just a normal guy. There’s nothing special about me. I’m just a normal guy that got tired of accepting things about myself that didn’t line up to what Jesus was telling me about myself. See, I want you guys to know today: Don’t normalize that habit that you know you shouldn’t be doing. Don’t normalize that behavior that keeps taking you out. Don’t normalize that thing that you notice you don’t want any more because Jesus went to the cross so that you could have victory for your life. You can have freedom from your pain. You can have freedom in your life because the Bible declares who the son sets free is free indeed. And I want you to know today that you are free, through and through. See we would normalize our pains and our struggles and our stresses, and once we do that and once we normalize those things, we will feel stuck. We will feel stuck no matter how bad the situation you are in right now.

Friends, you are not stuck. You are not stuck. See, there’s always a way out. Stress out, and joy in. You are not stuck. And James, you can come down and make it real spiritual up in here with the keyboard.

Hebrews 12:1 says this, it says therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses. Check this part out. Let us also lay aside every weight, every weight. See, I used to always – when I read this verse – I used to always just jump to the part “and sin,” and I kind of forgot about this wait part. See, there’s some things that we’re carrying in our lives that are actually keeping us from the race that Jesus has for our lives.

So let’s lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us – check this out – looking to Jesus. See, that’s why our number one vision here at City Lights is that people will find Jesus because we can find him; we can look towards him. He’s a founder and perfecter of our faith, but we have to lay down the weight. Because once we’ve laid down the weight, we can see Jesus more clearly. See Matthew 11:28, Jesus tells us this, “come to me all who are weary, all who are burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and” – check this out – “you will find rest for your souls.” Who needs some rest? Man I know I need some. “For my yoke.” He says, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Three ways. Three ways for you to experience the light weight that Jesus gives you. Number one: it’s not all right right now, but it’s gonna be all right. I’m gonna talk a little bit more about that point next week. So you don’t want to miss it. It’s not all right right now, but it’s gonna be all right. It’s okay that everything is not alright in your life right now. It’s okay to know that. It’s okay. It’s fine. You still have hope. Be okay with knowing that it’s not all right. Isaiah and Damien, you guys can come down here real fast and help me with this illustration real fast. See, I got some weight right here. See? It’s not all right right now, but it’s gonna be all right.

See, my second thought is this, though. In order to experience the real light weigh, you gotta get completely honest with yourself. You gotta get honest.

Okay, so I got my weight. You know, I get honest with myself. 10 pounds is a little bit heavier than I thought. See here’s the problem, though. We’re over here, we’re doing our weight. We’re lifting. We’re trying to figure out why I’m so stressed. Why I got things in my life that I don’t want. Why I keep accepting things in my life that I don’t want to accept. Why I got these things, see you got to start getting completely honest with yourself. You gotta say, am I carrying things that I don’t need to be carrying by myself? Because the Bible says this: It says, “My Grace is sufficient for you. I am made strong in my weakness. I will boast all the more about my weaknesses.” See, once we get completely honest with ourselves, the third thing that we do, we have a total dependence on God. And what will happen is this: we’ll lift up our weights, and then God – also played by Damian – will come and grab our weights. And we will see that the weight I was doing by myself. God will lift them up for us. He carries it for us.

He has it for us. Friends, I want you to know today that you do not have the stay stuck in your weight. You do not have to stay stuck feeling like you don’t got it anymore. But once you get to a place that you say, “I’m weak and I don’t have it, I can’t carry it.” Then you experience the grace that God has for your life. When you say God, I need you. I’m dependent on you, Lord. Then you will see that you didn’t even need to lift the weights. I don’t need to be Dwayne Johnson.

See, friends, life can be heavy, right? Life is heavy, but you don’t have to carry it by yourself. You don’t have the carry it by yourself. Two thoughts to take away. 1. Jesus, He will lift your weight. And he will exchange the heavy weight you feel with his light weight. And the second thing is: get in a community of people that can champion you on and support you. That’s what you really need. Life change happens in the context of healthy relationships bow your heads we me. Let’s pray.

God. God, we thank you. We thank you, Lord, that you are strong enough for us. I even feel right now there’s some people in here that you feel like you just have a mountain of weight on you. You can feel it like on your chest, even right now. You can literally feel the weight of life that’s on you. I just feel like like the Holy Spirit is saying God’s gonna remove it. He’s gonna take it. You’re not in this by yourself. You’re not alone. I even feel like the Holy Spirit saying, “Take off your weight and pick up mine. It’s light; it’s easy.” Come Holy Spirit. Begin to speak to people right now. Come, Holy Spirit. God, I just pray for people in here, even that list that I had. You find your name on that list. You got hurt. You got loss. Shame, regret, trauma, abuse. Whatever it may be. I just feel an overwhelming sense that God is saying he loves you. And that he’s for you. And those things are not to define your life for one more moment. But he says he will define your life. He said he’ll define your life. And the way Jesus defines your life is that he gave it all for you. Though he was sinless. He still went to the cross and died for you. Though he was perfect, he still took your place because of love. Because he loves you. Not because he’s mad at you or angry but because he’s full of love. He’s full of grace and full of truth.

So, God, we thank you that stress could go out and joy can come in. If you’re in here today and you never made a decision to trust Jesus with you life or maybe you had before, but life kind of got in the way. And you’re saying, “I want to make a decision to trust Jesus with my life again.” I’m gonna count to three, and on three, I just want you to shoot your hand up in the air. I’m not gonna call you out or have you come up front. Nothing like that. I just want to see who I’m praying for. That’s why have you shoot your hand up in the air. Just so I know who I’m praying for. So if that’s you, if you wanna make a decision to trust Jesus with your life or trust him again, on three, just shoot your hand up in the air. 1, 2, 3. Bless you. All across this room. Bless you. Amen. Everyone say this prayer with me either out loud or in your heart – whatever you feel comfortable with – just say, “Jesus, forgive me for my sin. Make me new Take off this weight. Give me your light weight. Today I follow you in Jesus name. Amen.”

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