Finishing Well

How Can We Keep Faith As A Christian During Difficult Times?

Tim Lundy
Mar 29, 2020    45m
It can oftentimes feel difficult to keep faith as a Christian in challenging seasons of life. Daniel though was a man who held steadfast in his faith no matter his circumstances for the entirety of his life. Today's message will explore how we too can keep faith no matter what we face. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

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.

Tim Lundy (00:43):
Hey Venture. I hope that you're doing well. And I hope that as a family, you've enjoyed worship today. I know for me personally, it's been a little bit different to be able to worship at home with my family on these weekends and to have that time together. And so I'm thankful that we can do this. I'm also thankful for all the ways that you're stepping up as a church family. I'm so appreciative of all who've gone online and signed up for ways that you want to serve. We're serving not only the Venture family, we're also calling people to serve the other food pantries. I know Cathedral of Faith, I know Second Harvest and others, they need healthy workers. So I'd encourage you to keep going online and serving. Also, I am so thankful for those who've gone online and are faithfully giving to the church.

Tim Lundy (01:35):
Now we're feeling the impact of it. A few weeks in as a church, I'll just be honest with you, we have seen our giving drop off and I think for some people it's not knowing how to give. And so I'd encourage you if you've never given online before, it is safe and secure or if you are kind of like me, I'm a check writer still, you might want to just write a check and mail it in. But regardless how you give, just know that your gifts are making a difference. It's allowing us as a church to be able to impact our community. And so before we begin in the sermon today, I wanted to take a minute and just pray, pray for our time together, pray for what God's doing in our community, across the nation and around the world. Will you pray with me.

Tim Lundy (02:19):
Father, I do just thank you. I thank you for just how you're moving through your church. I thank you for in this last week, we've seen a prayer movement that has risen up and how Venture's been a part of that. I thank you for those who signed up and are helping and serving. I thank you for the worship that we have online. I thank you for the generosity of those who've given. And Lord in all of our thanks, we lay before you our request, as we recognize there are many who have lost their jobs this week. We recognize there are many who are struggling with illness. We pray for those in the medical community. I pray for those on the front line and the hospitals, the doctors and the nurses. Lord, I pray in all of this that you would be glorified. Lord, we want to see you move in a way that draws people to you. And so even now, I pray in this sermon, would you use your Word, would you use this message to make an impact for your Kingdom? And we pray these things in Christ's name. Amen.

Tim Lundy (03:19):
Well, this week, we're actually finishing out our series in Daniel. We've been looking at the stories from Daniel. We're not gonna look at the whole book. And one of the reasons we're ending is we're two weeks away from Easter. And to be honest, it's doubtful we're going to be able to worship collectively together in our Easter services. But we're planning now to have some great services. So you want to be a part of that. And I want to take the next couple of weeks to prepare for Easter, to really direct our hearts toward it. And so this week we want to finish out in Daniel. And if you've got your Bibles, turn to Daniel 6. And it's one of the most famous stories in Daniel, really one of the most famous stories in all the Bible is Daniel in the lion's den.

Tim Lundy (04:02):
And I know as soon as I say that, a lot of times we think of children's stories and Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. And we often picture Daniel as this young man in the lion's den. The reality is this is at the end of Daniel's life. He's almost 80 years old. The kingdom of Babylon has gone. The Medo Persian Empire has now arisen, and we find Daniel as an 80-year-old man having his faith tested again. And what you're going to see in this story, it really is not so much about lions. It's not so much about that one part of the story. It really is about two things, the faithfulness of Daniel and the greatness of God. Both of them stand out in this story. The faithfulness of Daniel, and what I love about him is he's one of the few characters, one of the few biblical characters who finishes well. There's something admirable about a person who lives his whole life in faith, especially a guy like Daniel who lived his life in exile. He never went back to the promised land. He never got what he was longing for.

Tim Lundy (05:14):
But he never gave up on God. The faithfulness to finish well. You know, I'm reminded of William Carey, the missionary to India. And William Carey's referred to by many as the father of modern missions. He started a whole movement. He served in India, starting in 1793 for 40 continuous years. He never went home during that time. And during that time, he dedicated himself to translating much of the Bible into different Indian languages. About 20 years into his work, he had set up a printing press and his work that was there and a fire broke out and it destroyed his equipment. But more importantly, it destroyed the manuscripts. And as Carey came and he saw 20 years’ worth of work in many cases had burned up immediately. Listen to his words as he wrote his friend, Andrew Murray back in England. Listen to how he describes it. And I love the faithfulness in it. He says the work must be done again, but we are not discouraged. We have been supported under the affliction, preserved from discouragement. To me, the consideration of divine sovereignty and wisdom has been the supporting thing.

Tim Lundy (06:33):
You hear what he's saying? Because I realize God is sovereign and He is wise, he's finding support in it. He said, I tried to understand my trial this last Lord's day, and I read Psalm 46:10. Be still and know that I am God. And from that, I dwell on two ideas. One, God has a sovereign right to dispose of us as He pleases. And two, we ought to submit in all that God does with us and to us. Man, those are powerful, amazing words. And when you see that kind of mindset, a guy that is willing to submit his life to God's sovereignty and God's wisdom no matter what he faced, you understand the faithfulness that he exhibited through his whole life. We see that in Daniel as well. We see that in Daniel's story. In fact, we're going to see in this three ways that really stood out to me how Daniel was faithful. I put them all as W's to make it simple for you and your notes. We'll see faithfulness in Daniel's work. We're going to see faithfulness in Daniel's walk. And then finally, faithfulness in his worship.

Tim Lundy (07:44):
Look at the first point in it. Faithfulness in his work. Now Daniel's about 80 years old at this point. The Babylonian empire was overthrown by the Medo Persians. And on the throne of this region of it was a guy named Darius. Cyrus is the ultimate ruler, but he made Darius an under ruler over the region that was Babylon. And Darius came, and in order to manage the land, it says that he put 120 satraps or governors over all the land. And then he put three guys over the 120, and Daniel's one of the three. Even at 80, God's using him. In fact, look how it describes it. Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps because an excellent spirit was in him. And the King planned to set him over the whole kingdom.

Tim Lundy (08:40):
So Darius looks at Daniel and even among the three, he says, this is the guy that stands out the most. This guy's excellent in what he does. And he purposed to put him over all the kingdom under Darius. That says so much about Daniel and the way that he served. It says so much about his faithfulness for a lifetime. Guys, Daniel committed himself, even though he was in exile. It would have been so easy in that moment to say this isn't my country, this isn't my land and pull back and just look out for his and his own. But Daniel served whoever God put over him. Daniel worked hard wherever God placed him. And Because of that, it benefited everyone. Now, part of what he is doing is living out the words of the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah commanded the people. He said, when you go into exile, don't go there and think you're going to be there for a short time. And don't go and just look out for yourselves.

Tim Lundy (09:39):
Look how he puts it. I love this verse in Jeremiah 29:7. He says, seek the welfare of the city where I've sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord on its behalf for in its welfare, you will find your welfare. That's a great line. Seek the welfare of the city where I've sent you. That's a line that we hold onto as a church. We believe that's our mission as well. Where God has placed us as a church, as the people of God, we are never called to just look out for ourselves. We're never called to just look inward. We're always called to be salt and light. We're always called to seek the welfare of the city of the Bay Area. That's one of the reasons during this time and during this crisis, we are committed to being part of the solution. We're committed to serving others. We're committed to using our resources, to be able to help those who are in need. We're committed in all that we do because it's part of our witness to our God. And I want to encourage you, not just in times of crisis, but one of the greatest ways that you point people to God is the way that you work. The way that you show up at your job. The way you put your effort to it.

Tim Lundy (10:52):
And Daniel is a tremendous example for us. To be the kind of workers that no matter what you're called to do, whether you're a ruler or you're somebody that serves at the lowest level, all of us as followers of Christ, we have a higher calling to that. You know, years ago, they did a study. It was a University of Michigan and Yale University did a study together. And initially they had designed it to study how do workers stay motivated if you have a lonely job or an undervalued job? And they were thinking about professions that they thought would be a struggle. And one of them they come up with was the cleaning staff at a hospital. And then they started studying different groups. They were shocked though, when they came to this one hospital in the Midwest because there was part of the cleaning staff that had a totally different perspective. They didn't just see themselves as part of the cleaning staff. They saw themselves as part of the healing staff. And so they would make an extra effort to get to know the families in the hospital. And then they would go out of their way to provide a box of Kleenex where needed or bring a glass of water.

Tim Lundy (11:58):
In fact, one of the housekeepers, whenever she would go into a room where there was a comatose patient, she would take the extra time and rearrange the pictures on the wall, hoping that maybe the change in scenery would help stimulate and help the patient. When the workers stepped back from it, they recognized there was a different attitude that was going on here. They came up with the term. They called it job crafting. They said, job crafters are those who when they come to their job, they don't just look at the job they have to do. They look for ways that they can serve and the benefit that they can bring and the higher calling in it. In fact, I love the line that they put in it. Listen, as they describe job crafters. They say people who job craft don't just reshape their jobs to make life better for themselves, but to serve others in some beneficial way. Guys, if you are a follower of Christ, all of us are called to be job crafters because we don't just serve and do our job for ourselves. We don't even just serve for our bosses. We serve for God. And God's called us in His Kingdom to look out for the welfare of our city, to look out for the welfare of your company, to look out for the welfare of your neighbor. And you look for those ways that you can serve. And we do that by being faithful in our work.

Tim Lundy (13:27):
The second thing though you see about Daniel, he's not just faithful in his work. He's faithful in his walk. And this is his character. This is the way he lives his life. And the reason I say that is because as Daniel is put into authority, there's a group that gets jealous of it. They don't like this. And so they're scrutinizing his life, looking for some way to bring him down. Look how the Scripture describes it. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground of complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom. But they could find no ground for complaint or any fault because he was faithful. Look at this line. And no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said, we shall not find any ground for complaint against Daniel, unless we find it in connection with the law of his God. Do you hear what they're saying here? They're looking at Daniel's life and they go, man, we got to find some way to bring this guy down. And as they scrutinize his life, they scrutinize his work, they scrutinize his character, the way he lives every day. And as they look at it, they go, we're not going to find it there because he lived with a high character. He lived as a man with principles and it stood out to even those who totally disagreed with him and didn't like him. They couldn't bring a charge against the way he lived his life.

Tim Lundy (14:56):
Man, that's convicting to me. I pray for each of us, especially if we're a follower of Christ, especially if we're a part of His church, we should strive to live lives like this. We should strive to have this kind of character. And as we do this and as we live this out, it speaks to the world in a way and it speaks to who our God truly is. I've always loved the words of John Wooden, the basketball coach at UCLA, probably the greatest college coach, has the greatest record. But John Wooden was also a strong follower of Jesus Christ. Listen to what he says. He says, be more concerned with your character than with your reputation because your character is what you really are. Your reputation is merely what others think you are.

Tim Lundy (15:50):
You hear him in that. He says, when you focus your life, don't worry about reputation. There's always going to be somebody who tries to bring you down. There's a whole group that they're after Daniel, but Daniel was a man of character. Focus on your character. And I want to encourage you during this time, during this crisis, during this pandemic, guys, it's during the hard times that our character is forged the most. It's during seasons like this that we learn to follow Him more and He uses it to develop our character. Don't miss this opportunity. Don't miss it for yourself. I would also challenge you, don't miss it for your kids. Our kids are watching us, how we handle this, how we talk about it. And especially while we're home together, make sure you're taking the opportunity to point them to God, to show them what God's doing to it, to show them how God's shaping us in this. It's in those times that we shape their character for a lifetime for the hardest days ahead.

Tim Lundy (17:01):
You know, one of the most powerful stories I've heard of a father shaping the character of his son comes from here in the Bay Area. So a young man named David Craft who David grew up in a pastor's household. His dad pastored in the South Bay. Maybe some of you even knew him. I read about the story. David grew up. He was a big strong 6'2", 200 pound athlete. And he went to seminary but felt like God was calling him to use athletics. And so he started working for The Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Great organization. Yet at the age of 32, he was struck down with cancer, and it ravaged his body. In fact, he went from 200 pounds to 80 pounds. And as he lay in his hospital bed in his days, he called for his dad to come see him. And his dad came into the room. He said, Dad, do you remember when I was a little boy and you used to take your arms and pick me up and hold me close to your chest? And his dad nodded. He said, do you think you could do that again? With tears coming down both their faces, his dad picked him up and he held him close. They looked at each other face to face. And David looked at his dad, and he said, I just want to thank you for building in me the character that enables me to face a day even like today.

Tim Lundy (18:41):
Guys, we have an opportunity in these days, in these hard days to have our character built by God, to build into the lives of our kids, to walk and live in a way that a watching world as they look at it and they see a faithfulness in us that is not natural to us that can only come from God. But when they see that, it points up to our God. Don't squander this season. Don't look past it. During this time, let's ask God to use this in our life to build this kind of character to be men and women like Daniel was. A man who is faithful in his work, who's faithful in his walk. Look at the third part of it. He was faithful in his worship. He's absolutely faithful in his worship. Remember the guys said to him, they said, we're never going to be able to get him on his work, we're never going to be able to get him on his character. Here's how we know we can get Daniel. He continues to worship his God. And so they come up with this plan. They run to Darius and they know that all of these rulers are very egotistical. And so they come and they go, Darius, we think you ought to pass a law that for the next 30 days, nobody should worship anyone or anything except you. You are like God. You should be worshiped. And Darius starts buying into it. That sounds like a good plan. And so he writes it into law. And if the Medo Persian Empire was known that whatever was written into law, they had a very strong legal system. So he writes it and he signs it. And as soon as he signs it, they know they have it. Here's their opportunity.

Tim Lundy (20:31):
In fact, look what it says in verse 10. When Daniel knew that the document had been signed. So Daniel knows full well this new law's in place. For 30 days, you're not allowed to worship anyone except King Darius. But look what Daniel does. He went to his house where he had windows in the upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and he prayed and gave thanks before his God as he had done previously. He doesn't change his pattern one bit. He doesn't change his worship one bit. He goes to his house, he opens the windows and he prays toward Jerusalem. And he does it three times a day. Now there's part of it you go, why would he do it three times a day? Well, Psalm 55 says that I come to you Lord and I pray. And in my prayer, I did it morning, lunch and evening. And so that was the pattern for many Jews. But the question might be why would he pray toward Jerusalem? And even in this, we're seeing Daniel's worship and his faith because he's just living out what Scripture commanded him.

Tim Lundy (21:44):
Back in 1 Kings, when Solomon was dedicating the temple and when he dedicated the temple, he had this prayer over the temple and he actually prayed about one day if people are ever in exile, what should they do. Look at the words from that prayer. Solomon says, if they sin against you, for there is no one who does not sin. And you're angry with them and you give them to an enemy so that they're carried away captive to the land of an enemy, far off or near. Yet, if they turn their heart in the land to which they've been carried captive, and they repent and plead with you in the land of their captors saying, we have sinned and have acted perversely and wickedly. If they repent with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who carried them captive and they pray to you, notice this, towards their land which you gave to their fathers, the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, then here in Heaven, your dwelling place, their prayer and their plea and maintain their cause.

Tim Lundy (22:50):
See, Solomon said if one day they are ever in exile, if they've ever been taken captive, they should pray toward the land of Israel again. They should direct their prayers toward the temple because during that time, that's when the spirit of God, He came to the temple. And so all prayers took place there. So as an act of faith, he's saying they should pray toward the temple. And here we find Daniel in exactly these circumstances. And Daniel who over the course of a lifetime, he never stopped praying. Even though he's been in exile for 70 years, he consistently three times a day, he opens his windows and he prays toward the temple because he's directing his worship. He's directing his heart toward God's Kingdom. He says, it doesn't matter what's happening in this kingdom. It doesn't matter if it's Babylon. It doesn't matter if it's Persia. It doesn't matter what's happening in my circumstances. It doesn't matter what they've commanded.

Tim Lundy (23:47):
My heart is toward God's kingdom. My prayers are toward His throne. My desire is that God would hear our prayers and act on our behalf. I mean what a powerful example for us, guys. Because we live in a day that we're not home. The reality is we're in exile here. We're not in the kingdom that we long to be in. We're a part of that kingdom being manifested, His Kingdom come. But while we are here, our prayers should be directed toward Him. And we should pray like Daniel that no matter what's going on in our land, no matter what's going on in our circumstances, we direct our hearts toward God. We direct our worship toward God. We trust Him and we're faithful in it. I would encourage you, while you are home, while you have this time, it's a perfect time to practice prayer like this.

Tim Lundy (24:44):
It's a perfect time to draw near to God. It's a perfect time to be faithful like Daniel was to God's Word and to worshiping Him and to prayer. And maybe you look at that and you go, Tim, this is what got him in trouble because he did that. Yeah. He didn't care what people could do. He directed it toward God. And so these guys that were out to get him, as soon as they see him praying, they run to Darius and they said, we've caught him. We've caught him. We told you. And because of this, he needs to be executed according to the law. And when Darius sees this, look at the impact it has on him. It shows how much he loves Daniel. Then the king when he heard these words was much distressed. He set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. Darius hears it, and he starts studying the law to see if there's any loopholes. Is there any way around this? But he realized there isn't. And so despite what he doesn't want to do, he takes Daniel and he brings him, you see in the next verses. Then the king commanded and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions.

Tim Lundy (25:56):
It's like a cave full of lions. And I don't know if you've ever been near lions. I've been to Africa and seen in different game reserves. I'll tell you, that the closest I ever got, one time I was in a zoo. And there was this old lion that was there and the bars were here and the lion's fairly close. And I don't know what got into him. Maybe he was mad at us. But this lion began to roar and I have never heard anything. It bellowed. We were kind of in the indoor hall and suddenly your ears were ringing. And I looked at it for a moment, and I thought, man, I am so thankful for those bars when I realized how powerful this one old lion was. Can you imagine being cast into a den of lions? they throw him into the den. The king declared to Daniel in kind of this last ditch effort, may your God whom you serve continually, you won't stop praying to Him, may He deliver you. And a stone was brought and laid at the mouth of the den. They roll a stone there to cover it.

Tim Lundy (27:00):
And the king sealed it with his signet and the signet of his lords that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. So they would take wax and they'd seal it to show this is by official decree. Then the king went to his palace and he spent the night fasting. No diversions were brought to him and sleep fled from him. The king is so distraught, he goes back to his palace, and he's up all night worried. Now, if you know the story, Daniel had a much better night than the king. Even though the king is in his palace and Daniel's in a den of lions, when they come the next morning and the king asks them to open it and just kind of hoping beyond hope, he calls out. And when Daniel steps out, when Danielle declares that God had protected him, he literally says, God sent an angel to protect him from the lions. And the king rejoices and in a brutal and almost horrific scene, as punishment, he takes all the men who had tricked him and he takes them and their families and throws them into the lion's den.

Tim Lundy (28:11):
This was a pretty brutal time. It just gives you evidence of it. It also gives you evidence that it wasn't because the lions weren't hungry or some of the other answers people might give. It was a miracle of God that Daniel was protected. And as I look at it, the horror of not only these men and their households, it's a good reminder to me too, though. You better be careful whatever you make your God if it's not really God. And they had made a provision, they had declared a decree to make Darius their God. And if anything is your God, you make anything at all your God, it will ultimately turn on you. Only God can be God. And the great part of this story is as it ends, you know what they're celebrating? They're not celebrating Daniel. They're celebrating God because here's the deal. When you live a faithful life, a life of faithfulness is a pointer to the greatness of our God. It forces people to look at Him and discover Him.

Tim Lundy (29:15):
In fact, this passage ends with Darius making this decree. He says, I make it a decree that in all my royal dominion, people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. And notice these lines. And these would be great verses for us to grab right now. For He is the living God, enduring forever. His Kingdom shall never be destroyed. His dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues. He works signs and wonders in Heaven and on earth. He who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions. He says, the God who's able to do this is a God that is worth worshiping. He's a God who's worth noting. And notice, there's three things that he points out in this, three things about the greatness of our God. And these are three things that I want you to hold onto today. I'm holding onto them. In a time like this, when we're dealing with a pandemic, when all this is going on outside of us, we've got to hold onto this truth about our God.

Tim Lundy (30:16):
Look at it. Just the three things that he points out. He says he is alive and active. He says, he is the living God. He is active in the world today. And I want you to grab that truth. I want you to know that truth. Guys, God is alive. God is active. No matter what goes on in the news, no matter what comes out this week, no matter what happens in the market, our God is not watching this distantly. Our God is not standing with His arms crossed, wondering how it's going to turn out for us. Our God is active in the world every single day. And we can hold onto the truth that He's active in our lives, that He's working in our lives. In fact, the second thing he points out, God is authoritative and all powerful. He says, His dominion is forever. His Kingdom will never end. He is overall. And I pray as well for each of us, hold on to this truth. He's sovereign, guys. He's all-powerful. I mean it'd be one thing to say that God is with us and God is active. But if He was a weak God, that wouldn't mean much. But to know that the God who is with us is also the God who is over us. He's the God who's over all things. He's authoritative and He's sovereign and He's using this in our lives to build our character.

Tim Lundy (31:47):
And one of the things I think He might be doing through this is He's using this to maybe strip away some of the things that we've made as God. Strip away some of the idols of our hearts. When suddenly you realize that money that we thought was there is not there anymore. And in that moment of panic that I've felt, I've also recognized maybe I've made an idol of money and found my security in it. When we think our health and our development and our technology and all the things that we think will protect us. And in a moment, it feels like it's gone. All the things that we might look to and depend on. And it's during times like this, that as scary as it might be, I think God can use it in our lives to remind us that He is God and He is in control and He's absolutely sovereign. And we can trust Him in it.

Tim Lundy (32:46):
And we can trust as well the final point in this story. He graciously and miraculously rescues us. He's a God of grace. He's a God of mercy. He's a God who rescues. And He uses miracles to do it. The same God who acted then is the God who's acting now. That's why we pray to Him. That's why we celebrate these stories. And I love the miracle of Daniel's story. But you know, the reality is as great as this story is, this miracle pales in comparison to the miracle that Jesus did. I mean if you think about Daniel's story, in this story, what is the miracle? That this man who was alive went into this cave, they sealed it with a stone and miraculously, the next day when they open it back up, he steps out again. It's a miracle that he was not killed in that cave. That's a pretty great miracle of rescue. But you know what's even greater? The story of Jesus who He went into a cave. That's all a tomb was just a hillside cave. But He went into it dead. They placed His dead body there because He had died on a cross for every single one of us. And they rolled a stone in front of that cave as well. And they thought that was the end of the story.

Tim Lundy (34:16):
But the greatness of that miracle is a dead man went in but a live man came out. And nobody moved the stone for Him. He rolled the stone away. And when He stepped out that day, He declared in that moment His power to be able to rescue all of us. He declared His power because in that moment, He overcame all of our enemies. He overcame sin and He overcame sickness and He overcame death itself. The miracle of Jesus is the greatest miracle of deliverance because it was applied not to one person but to all of us. And I hope today, no matter what you're facing, no matter what you're going through, that you are holding onto we serve a God who still does miracles. And the greatest miracle is that He has overcome for us. Surely we can trust Him. Surely we can look to Him. Surely we can hold onto Him.

Tim Lundy (35:20):
I love how Paul puts it in Romans 8. He says, if God is for us, who can stand against us? If God did not spare His own son, will He hold back anything from us? Guys, I hope today you find comfort and solace and even more, rescue in His Word. I hope today you've experienced Jesus as your Savior, that you recognize He not only died on a cross but He rose from the dead, that He stepped out of a tomb. And when He stepped out, He delivered us. He delivered any who put their faith in Him. And I'd encourage you to take that step of faith today. I'd encourage you to declare that He's your Savior and He's your Lord. And I'd encourage all of us, we need to remember what He accomplished. In fact, we're going to close out our time together by remembering it the way Jesus told us to remember it. When He was with His disciples, He gave us the Lord's Supper or what we call communion.

Tim Lundy (36:33):
And I know Murph told you earlier in the service, but maybe if you joined in late, we're going to take communion together. Now, even though we're not together here, that would be ideal and that's how we would like to take it. We're still going to be the body of Christ, taking communion. And Murph told you earlier, maybe you didn't have an opportunity, I want to tell you right now, why don't you go, get some bread, get crackers, get whatever you need. And in that, get some grape juice or wine if you have it. And even if you don't have it, just use water. Once Jesus turned water into wine. So I think He's all about substitutes. It's having these symbols to be able to remember what He did. And so as you go, I'm going to go as well, and we'll get the elements here.

Tim Lundy (37:22):
Give you a moment at home to get prepared as well. As you get ready, just to remind you as a church, we practice open communion. What that means is we open communion up to anyone who's a follower of Jesus. And so if you're a follower of Jesus, even if you're not a part of our church, we welcome you to take with us. Maybe you just became a follower of Jesus, maybe in the last few minutes. Today's the day that you've declared that He's your Savior. Then I'd encourage you to take with us as well. And when you come to communion, as Paul described it to us, it's a great time to examine your life, to really look at. Maybe I'm not as faithful as I want to be. Some of those categories that Daniel was such a great example that we realize we don't measure up. And so this is a great time to not only examine our life, but to confess that to Him. We confess it to Him knowing that there's forgiveness in what He did. And that's what Jesus wanted us to remember. He took the bread and when He gave it to His disciples, He broke it. And He said, when you take this, remember my body that was broken for you. So let's take together and remember His broken body. And then He held up the cup and He said, this is my blood. It represents his blood hat was shed on the cross, His blood that was shed so that we could be forgiven. And so every time we eat the bread and we drink this cup, we remember what He did. And so why don't we drink together in remembrance of His forgiveness? Will you pray with me?

Tim Lundy (39:24):
Father, I thank you. I thank you that you loved us so much that you didn't spare your own Son, that He was willing to die on a cross for us, that His body was broken and His blood was shed. Lord, but we thank you that the story doesn't end there, that He stepped out of that tomb, that He rolled the stone away, that He conquered sin and sickness and death. God, we live in fearful times, but we do not want to be people of fear. We want to be people of faith and we recognize we can be because we serve a God who's a God, who's a rescuer, who's a deliverer. We don't know what you have for us in this season. We don't know what you're doing in our lives. We don't know how you're going to use this to form us, to shape us, to be more like you. We pray you do your good work, but we declare together as your people, that you are our God that, you have loved us so much and that we trust you. We are forgiven because you loved us and we thank you for that. In Christ's name. Amen.

Tim Lundy (40:45):
Hey guys, let's close out by just worshiping and singing together and remembering again how much He loved us and how He showed it to us on the cross.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
Read More
Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032