Kingdom Come PT. 5 - Beatitudes and the Kingdom of God

What Do The Beatitudes Mean Today, And How Can We Apply Them To Our Lives.

Tim Lundy
Oct 11, 2020    39m
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This inspiring message explores, what are the the beatitudes, and what do the beatitudes mean today? By examining how we can apply these calls from Jesus to our lives, we can glorify Him and His kingdom. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
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: 00:07 Well Venture, this weekend, we close out the series Kingdom Come. And I tell you, this study has been so helpful for me, especially during these times. As we've looked at the big picture of God's kingdom, and we've been talking about it from eternity past to eternity future, and recognizing that we're citizens of that kingdom first. And we remember 2000 years ago, Jesus launched this new phase of the kingdom called the church, that we are the extension of the kingdom, his church in the world.

Tim Lundy: 00:48 You know, one of my favorite sections of scripture, that we're going to look at today. If you've got a Bible, you can turn to Matthew chapter 5, because Matthew 5 through 7 is the longest sermon that we have recorded of Jesus. And we know that he preached much more than we have in the gospels, but in Matthew chapters 5 through 7, he's launching this sermon in a lot of ways, he's launching the description of his kingdom. And you think about it as he's doing his public ministry up until this point, he's just been preaching these little snippets, repent for the kingdoms here. He's telling people turn your life around, the kingdom is here. And then when he goes on what we call the sermon on the Mount, he's on a hillside, and there on that hillside, he launches this description of his kingdom. And you'll notice as he launches it, he does it in a way that is so counterintuitive, I think so different than any of us would do.

Tim Lundy: 01:44 Read with me as we go through this first section that we call the beatitudes. He says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. “Blessed Are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed Are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed Are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. “Blessed Are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. “Blessed Are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed Are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God. “Blessed Are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them." Now, again, we're pretty familiar with these statements, we call the beatitudes. And I've done sermon series where I've literally preached a sermon on each statement, and so we're not going to cover it in that depth today.

Tim Lundy: 02:45 But I just want us to step back and think about it in light of his kingdom, think about it in light of all the things that Jesus could have taught. As he's declaring his kingdom, notice, he's not saying his kingdom is marked by land, his kingdom is not marked by boundaries, his kingdom is marked by people. People are the indicator of his kingdom, and specifically, people who look like this, people whose lives have been blessed. And literally that word in Greek, Makarios, means these are the happy people, the happiest people out there. But when he makes these statements, he says it in a way, and he talks about categories that, as I said, it's very counterintuitive. But you know, as I've read through these again, as I've studied them this week, I think our world today, our country today, the culture today desperately need people who live like this. Let's look through each of them together, and just simply summarize, what is the character of the kingdom? What does it look like when you live like this?

Tim Lundy: 03:51 Look at the first one, "Blessed are the spiritually bankrupt, for they belong in God's kingdom." When he says poor in spirit, that word there literally means bankrupt. They had different words for poor. There was one type of poor where you had enough to get by each day. There was another type of poor that meant you had nothing, you had no assets, you had nothing you brought to the equation, you're totally and completely bankrupt. And Jesus said, blessed are the people who are spiritually bankrupt, blessed are the people that know that they bring nothing to the equation, they bring nothing to the kingdom. He says, those are the ones that belong in the kingdom.

Tim Lundy: 04:34 Now, as you look at that, why would he make a blanket statement that everybody that's spiritually bankrupt, and recognizes that, would be in the kingdom? Because you'll never come to that place of realizing you're spiritually bankrupt, apart from God moving in your life. See, it's natural to all of us, it's just natural to humanity, we all think we bring something to the equation. You can talk to anybody about their life and they go, you know, I might not be that good, but I'm better than, they always have somebody that they can point to you. If you look at any religion that's out there, every religion, other than Christianity is built upon the concept that I can do enough, I can earn enough, I can be good enough to somehow make it into heaven, somehow be okay with God, somehow with karma or the universe, no matter what it is. See, Christianity cuts across all that. And to enter God's kingdom, we're the people that recognize, I'm destitute, I don't bring anything. I've turned my spiritual pockets inside out, to show that I have nothing there. And God looks at people like that, and he says, yeah, you're the ones that belong because you recognize how much you need, what only I can give, and he did give us through Christ.

Tim Lundy: 06:01 You know, there's a second century Greek philosopher named Celsius, who couldn't stand Christianity. He felt like Christianity went against the whole Greek culture of the day. And one of his biggest charges against it, is he said, if you look at all the other religions, the other religions say that we are people who must be pure in heart first, the other religions say, we must be a people who got their lives together. He says, look what these Christians say, and this is his quotes from the second century. He says, "Listen to what Christian say. They say, whoever's a sinner, whoever's unwise, whoever's a child, whoever's a wretch, the kingdom of God will receive him. Do you not say that a sinner is he? They're the ones who are dishonest, they're thieves, they're burglars, they're poisoners, they're sacrilegious, they're grave robbers." He's going through all the things that people can do wrong. He says, these are the type of people you would welcome? In fact, the only person that could welcome someone like that must be somebody like him, that's his only explanation for it. Why on earth would you have a preference for sinners? But see, that's the beauty of our savior, that's the beauty of our God, guy's, that he said, I came for sinners, I came for the people who are destitute, the people who are bankrupt, the people who realize they'll never be able to do it in their life. Because those people, when they enter the kingdom, you know what they know, it's all about Christ. It's by Christ alone, not me at all.

Tim Lundy: 07:41 Look at the second category, he said, "Blessed are those who are heartbroken over the impact of sin. They will be comforted." "Blessed are the people who mourn." And the mourning here specifically, is I'm mourning over sin, I'm mourning over this fallen world. Remember we talked about the big picture of this kingdom, and it was created, and it was beautiful, and everything was good. But then remember the enemy Satan came, and with that choice of Adam and Eve, all of the world fell into sin. And all of us have been impacted since then, because when sin came in the world, death came in the world, and disease came in the world, and brokenness came in the world, racism came in the world. I mean, all the problems that you look at, what we're dealing with today, they can all go back to that, it's just an outworking of that moment. And Jesus said, blessed are those that when they look at that brokenness, when they look at the impact, man, it breaks their heart. They mourn.

Tim Lundy: 08:44 Guys, I can't help but think how would it change the tenor of the conversation of what's going on right now, if Christians led with mourning, if we were sad first. I mean, when you look at the issues of racism, when you look at the issues of brokenness, when you look at the issues of what happening in family, you look at the issues of abortion, any of the issues of our day, instead of leading just with anger, instead of leading with blame, instead of leading with the defensiveness where everybody's trying to either assign blame to whose fault things are or deny blame or all the argument around it. And instead of getting in all that, or instead of trying to fix it all, if we started first with just a simple admission, that this is sad, that this is not the way it was supposed to be, that we mourned over it. I think if they saw our mourning, they may then listen to the truth that comes with it. Because here's the truth, those who mourn over sin, those who see that brokenness, do you know what he promises here? They will be comforted. God loves to come alongside with them and go, I know exactly how you feel, it breaks my heart too.

Tim Lundy: 10:08 But here's the great comfort from God, it's one thing to come alongside someone and comfort them by just feeling it with them, it's another thing when you could do something about it. See, when God comes, he says, yeah, I'm broken by sin, and so do you know what I did, I paid for sin. My son died on a cross for it, I'm broken by the division of people. And so Christ came so that he could break down every wall, between every race, every nation, every person. I'm heartbroken over the impact of death, you look at Jesus crying outside the tomb of his friend, he cried over his death. But he came to make a difference, so he actually conquered death for us. Because as I look out, there's a lot of things out there that I'm broken over. But do you know what I'm most broken over? I'm broken over the impact of sin in my life. my sin, people I've hurt. And there's no greater comfort that comes than from the forgiveness that is found in Jesus Christ.

Tim Lundy: 11:21 Look at the third thing, he says, "Blessed are those who give control to God, for they get to own this planet." "Blessed are the meek." And let me make sure we define meek right. Meek is not being nice, we have created this milk toast version of meek. And we've said, Jesus is like that, you see these pictures of Jesus and Jesus is kind of like the nicest guy on the planet, and he's always smiling, he's got a little bit of glow. And we think that's what he's teaching, that everybody's supposed to walk around and just nice to each other. Kyle and my grandmother used to say, when my brothers and I would be fighting, she'd always kind of yell, hey, you play nice, play nice. And that's not what Jesus is talking about here, he's not talking about just being a nice person. Meek actually means power under control. The Greeks thought it was one of the greatest virtues, that a man in particular had to control the power in his life. And so when Jesus is talking about meekness, he's talking about who is controlling the power in the world, who's controlling the power of your life? And the people that will look at God and say, you're control. See, those are the ones that are meek.

Tim Lundy: 12:37 We live in a world, and I think this is so needed today because everybody's grabbing for power. Everybody's trying to prove themselves. And we get caught up in this delusion, if we just had a little more power, if we had a little more political power, if we can get enough power, then we can really change things around here. And in that process, sometimes we look no better than everybody else in the world. What would it look like if instead of grabbing power, we look to God and we go, you know what God, you've got the power, and you've got control. And where it gets really personal, people that are meek, they look at him and say, you have control of my life too, everything, you have control. Use the power you've given me, use the strength you've given me, use the vote you've given me, use the resources you've given me, but it's under your control. See, that's a powerful combination right there, and that's what Jesus is calling you to. He said, people that live like this, they get the earth. See, remember when he comes back again, we're not going to clouds. He says, I'm going to have a new heaven and a new earth, he's going to totally recreate this planet. I love how he puts this, because all the people today, they're using all their power to grab a little bit of this place. And Jesus says, if you'll release that power, if you'll give me control, you know what? I'll give you the whole planet, I'll give you the whole place, because I'm the God of this kingdom.

Tim Lundy: 14:11 Look at the fourth thing he says, "Blessed are those who desperately crave for all to be right, for they will be fully satisfied." Blessed are those who desperately crave, they hunger and thirst. And it's not just talking about a mild hunger, it's like there's this desperate craving for it. I don't know if you crave something, some of you are chocoholics, and when you need chocolate, you need chocolate. Or, I mean, probably I crave coffee most, every morning. Some people every so often they'll crave a beer, or something that stands out for you. A pregnancy at times, there's cravings. You know, it's interesting, my wife Lea does not like Taco Bell, mainly because she has good taste. I, on the other hand, I am all about making a run to the border. I mean, I love some Taco Bell. So very rarely do we ever eat Taco Bell together, it's interesting though, when she's pregnant, for some reason when she's pregnant, she would like Taco Bell. And I remember one Sunday, we were leaving church, and we're trying to figure out where to pick up something, we were headed somewhere, just needed some fast food. And I said, what sounds good to you? And out of the blue, she said, you know, why don't we go to Taco Bell? And I just stopped, and I looked at her and she said, what? And I said, you're pregnant. She said, no, I'm not. And I said, we're going to go get a pregnancy test. We went to the drug store, sure enough, she was pregnant. It's the only time that she would crave that.

Tim Lundy: 15:37 Now, I don't know what you might crave in life. And as Jesus is talking about it, isn't it interesting, he goes, what is it that you want the most in life? You know, for a lot of people, they crave wealth, whether they admit it or not, because we think money will satisfy. For a lot of people, we've talked about it, they crave power, they crave promotion. You know, I think as much as anything with this culture, there's a craving of fame, to be liked. I mean, how many of you live for likes on your latest posting? How many of you, that your self-worth is based on the number of followers, and there's a part of you that works so hard because honestly, you crave it. Look what Jesus says about the people in his kingdom, he says, they crave for everything to be right. That's what righteousness is, it's to be right with God and to be right with each other. They crave for that day, when they know that they're fully right with God, because of what Christ did. But they also crave that, that righteousness, that rightness, would be experienced here. He says, blessed are those that crave this, they will be satisfied. That God will satisfy the soul craving of people who want it to be right, like nothing else.

Tim Lundy: 17:08 Look at the fifth thing, "Blessed are those who put compassion into action, for they will experience it in their life." That's what mercy is, when he says blessed are the merciful, mercy is compassion in action. You can just write that down, it always goes hand in hand. Mercy is not just a feeling, mercy is not looking at it and I feel merciful toward them. Anytime you see mercy, there's also action that goes with it. That's why when Jesus, it says that he had this gut wrenching compassion for people, so he did something about it. And so people that are merciful, are the ones who are actually doing something about it, the ones who are actually out there, the ones we're actually putting it in action in different ways. And we've got to be careful that we're not just people who talk about things or feel things, we actually do things, and you do it to the people around you. That's what he taught in the good Samaritan. You don't have to wonder who my neighbor is, you don't have to wonder who I apply it to, you just apply it to whoever God's put in your path. It's compassion in action.

Tim Lundy: 18:09 And notice he said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they'll receive mercy." Now he's not talking about a
give to get scheme, that you've got to get mercy in order to get mercy, that's not how God works in it. But here's what I know to be true, and I've found this true in my life. The times when I am living out and I'm loving in mercy, when I'm merciful to others, those are the times I'm most aware of how merciful God is to me, I'm most aware pf how much I'm receiving. Guys, when I start looking at the world with eyes of mercy, I start seeing how much God gives me mercy. But you know, the inverse is true. When I look at the world with eyes of judgment, when I look at what's wrong and I want to start blaming, and I want to start getting angry, I start forgetting what all God's done. What would it change if we were people of mercy, if we looked with mercy first, in the same way that God has given mercy to us?

Tim Lundy: 19:14 Look at number six, "Blessed are those whose interior is clean and whole, for they get to see God." That's what it means to be pure at heart. It means everything in me, all that I am that flows out of me, because out of your heart flows all your life. It's not only clean, that word pure is not just talking about the fact that God cleans all our sins, but it's also talking about wholeness, integrity that you're undivided at a heart level. Blessed are those who are pure, they're undivided, They're not trying to live in both kingdoms. They're not trying to have a foot in this kingdom, the kingdom of this world, and also in the kingdom of God. They've just determined, this is where I'm going to live life, this is how I'm going to do life, this is going to define every part of my life, and it flows out of that. And noticed in that, they get to see God.

Tim Lundy: 20:10 And again, I'll just apply this to my own life. I'll be honest, there's been times, especially during this pandemic, where I can get frustrated. Because I see what's going on in the world, with all the division and all the disruption, I've seen it with the pandemic. And there's times I'll cry out to God, and I literally say to him, God, I don't see you here. I don't see you working here. I don't see you working according to the timeframe that I'd love, or fast enough. And almost invariably, whenever I don't see God out there, it's usually not a problem out there, it’s usually problem in here. I'm not dealing with my stuff, I'm living a divided life in ways. When I'll humble before him, and instead of demanding him to show up how I think he's supposed to show up out there. I just have to release it and say, okay, God, you're in control, you have the power. And even if you don't change that out there, the way I want, change me, make me your man. You know, when I'll release that to him, it's amazing how I start seeing him again. I see him in his word, I see him in my circumstances. I have that expectation, one day, I will literally stand before him and I'll get to see him face to face. And I don't have to shrink away, because I will be completely pure and whole in him. Not because of me, but because of Christ.

Tim Lundy: 21:52 Look at number seven, "Blessed are those who bring divided people together, for they are in the family business of reconciliation." "Blessed are the peacemakers." Guys, this verse, this line, this characteristic, let me say this, Christians are peacemakers, Christians bring peace in the world. It's not peace fakers, it's not a fake peace that we kind of agree in person, but don't agree in our hearts. It's not peace takers, we're not the people that come in and we immediately blow everything up. It's peace makers, people that bring in the ministry of reconciliation because that's our family business. That's what it means to be in the family of God, that's what our Father does, that's what the Son does. That's what Paul says, you're an ambassador to bring reconciliation, to bring people together, to bring relationship people who are far from God, they get to know God now. People who have been divided before, come together around Jesus Christ. Guys, we need to be peacemakers. We need to be people who bring the peace that will only come, and this is a key word that's needed in the discussion today, it'll only come through forgiveness. With all of this division, with all this going on, if we don't step forward first, as people who forgive, who extend it and receive it, this whole thing will break apart. See, that's what makes the kingdom so different.

Tim Lundy: 23:31 Look at the final characteristic, he says, "Blessed are those who get persecuted for living like this, for they belong in God's kingdom." He started with, they belong in the God's kingdom, he ends what they belong in God's kingdom. And the reality is, if you like this, if you choose to live in the kingdom of God and live with the character of God, as much as the world needs this, the world still rejects it. Because remember we're an invasion force, and when Jesus launched his kingdom, the kingdom of hell, doesn't like it. And as a result of that, you live like that, you'll experience persecution. We should expect it, we shouldn't be surprised by it, because part of this kingdom is being in conflict. But Jesus says the people who live like this, they belong in my kingdom, they have a home in this place.

Tim Lundy: 24:24 I remember one time, years ago, I did a baptism for a young girl. She was a young woman, she was about to get married. And it was interesting, because as she came in, we would give them this baptism certificate. And she came to my office to get the certificate, she wanted to get it in person. And when I handed it to her, it's just a basic baptism certificate with her name on it and handed it to her, she started crying. and she said, you don't know what this means to me. And she started telling me her story, she'd been raised in the middle East, her father had actually been an informant for the CIA, had informed on different terror groups there. And it finally got dangerous enough, they moved her family, put them in witness protection in the United States. But as part of the program, they kept placing them in different cities and areas with the hopes that her father could keep infiltrating different groups and use it to get information. And she finally reached the point when she was 18 years old, she just said, I can't live like this anymore. She said, I'm leaving. And they told her you can leave. but she left the home without one piece of identification, no driver's license, no social security, number, nothing. All of that was erased, because all of it had been manufactured. And so when she walked away and went into life, she said, I've got nothing to show for who I am, I got nothing with my name on it. And then she held up that baptism certificate, and she said, I can't tell you what it means to have my name here, to know that I'm part of God's kingdom, that I belong.

Tim Lundy: 26:09 And then I opened up a passage and I said, do you want to see something cool? And I read her the passage that said, not only is it written here, but your name's written in heaven's books, God's keeping a record there. And she started crying that much more, to know that she belonged and not just anywhere, to the kingdom of God. Guys, do we know that? Do we live like that? Do we trust it enough that we're willing to live this counter cultural way? And kind of, as we close, I want to call you just to three ways of how do we kingdom live today? How do we live like we're really in the kingdom of God, just three simple things?

Tim Lundy: 27:00 Here's the first one, just recognize this is counterintuitive to everything the world believes, because it's the invasion of a different kingdom. What we're talking about here is counterintuitive to everything the world believes, that's why this list is so different. We've studied it enough, we've preached it enough, we're kind of used to all these terms. Can you imagine being the audience that heard it for the first time? In fact, I've thought about it, could you imagine trying to be Jesus's PR agent, the guy in charge of public relations? Can you imagine sitting down with Jesus, kind of prepping him for this first sermon. Hey Jesus, you're doing real well. Man, you're trending real well across all demographics, men, women, all ages, they like you. Miracles are spiking through the roof, good job. Now let me look over your notes here. What are you going to talk about? Because this first speech, this first, you know, sermon, it's going to be really important. Can you imagine he picks up the notes and he says, okay, yeah, alright you're launching it with happiness. Oh like that, that's good, blessing, ooh, people like that. All right, what are you going with? Blessed are the bankrupt. Hm, hm, here's a thought, what if we said blessed are the wealthy? People really like wealth. In fact, what if we said healthy and wealthy, kind of catchy isn't it Jesus? No, not buying it? Okay, let's see what your second point is. Blessed, happy, are the really sad. Again, not sure this is how I'd go. Third point, blessed are the meek. You're killing me here Jesus, we need to play it powerful. I mean, as he went down the line, hey, let's look at your closing, maybe with a strong closing. Happy are the persecuted. I mean, if you were the PR guy, you would look at this and you go, Jesus, this is absolutely the worst way to launch this because it doesn't match the kingdom today.

Tim Lundy: 28:59 And guys, as startling as it was that day, it's just a startling today, it's just as counterintuitive today. That's why it's so important that as people of the kingdom, we don't go with our intuition, we don't go with what everybody else says, we don't go with what the world's teaching in every way. We come back to our King, and our King has said, this is the character of my people, you trust me, you live like this. And as you do that, here's the second thing I would say is, this is what real happiness and blessing actually looks like. This is what happiness and blessing actually looks like. That term, happy or blessed, Jesus wasn't just using a spiritual term, he actually meant happy, he actually meant blessed. Now we use blessed today, the only place you see blessed, is hashtag blessed. And personally I can't stand it, hashtag blessed, it's our way of humble bragging about the blessings in my life. And so you see people they're posting all the time, you know, here I am on my luxurious vacation with my beautiful children, hashtag blessed. You know, here redecorated my house for the fifth time, hashtag blessed. Or here I am, I just walked out of the doctor's office with my new face. Well, they won't say that, they'll say, oh, so thankful to be a natural beauty, and kind of take the picture from the side, hashtag blessed. I'll stop, I'm going to get in trouble if I keep going with it. Here's all I'd say, that's not what Jesus was talking about. He's not talking about this humble brag, blessed.

Tim Lundy: 30:39 Do you know what Jesus meant, when he said you're blessed, when he said you're happy? He actually meant the people that live like this are actually really happy, they are actually fulfilled in life. Not Jesus happy, like some spiritual happy, because Jesus said it was happy, but it's not really happy. No, he actually meant my kingdom is the place you want to live. and my people are more blessed and are experiencing more joy than anybody else on the planet. And if you don't think it's true, I just encourage you look around, who is happy today? Is anybody happy out there? I mean, as I look at it, everybody's miserable. Everybody's fighting for more, and wanting more, and divided with each other, and there's this huge scurrying for power, and for wealth, and for all the stuff. And the world tells you, you better get as much as you can and hold onto it as hard as you can for as long as you can, because the party is going to be over soon. Do you know what Jesus said? Jesus said, give your life away. Jesus said, recognize your destitute. Jesus said, mourn over what's wrong. Jesus said, be merciful, be meek. Jesus said, even when your persecuted, because my party is just beginning. I'm the King on the throne, who's launching a kingdom. What if we actually took him at his word? And we said, you know what, that is the best life, that is the blessed life, and we put it in action.

Tim Lundy: 32:17 Final point I'd say on this, is people who by faith live like this, the people who do this, they stand
out in a world that desperately needs it. Jesus said, people who live like this, your salt, your light, you're the light in the dark place. And the only way to live like this, you to have faith, you have faith in him more than what you see. You have to have faith, no matter what you're facing, to trust him and to believe him. In fact, for me, one of the greatest examples I've seen of this is a couple in our church, Greg and Annette Davis. Greg and I have served on the elder board together, just, they love Jesus, they serve so many people. But they've been on a journey as Annette has struggled with cancer. Man, as I've watched this from a front row seat, I got to tell you they are living out what it means to live by faith like this. In fact, I want you to hear from Annette, I want you to hear her story.

Annette Davis: 33:21 I'm Annette Davis, I live here in San Jose. In February, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, this is like a cancer of the bone marrow, and it's a particularly cruel beast. By the time the doctors figured it out, I had already experienced nine compression fractures in my back, and the pain of that was just so intense that no amount of painkillers could touch it. They put me in this back brace, this pink back brace. I had to take a leave of absence from work, we had to buy a hospital bed, I couldn't get dressed without my husband's help. So I can't do things that I love, simple things like gardening or hiking with friends. I'm a mom to three kids, and when COVID got thrown into the mix of this, I couldn't see them, I couldn't hug them. And my daughter had just gotten engaged, it's my only daughter, and I couldn't help her plan her wedding. My life, as I knew, it came to a screeching halt. In my life, I've just never experienced this kind of hardship, or this kind of intense suffering. And I really thought that God, you know, I just assumed he would meet me in the moment. But when this all happened, I didn't feel his presence, instead all I felt was this overwhelming fear. At the beginning, when I was diagnosed, I had a group of friends that kind of rallied together and they call themselves my band of sisters, they just committed to walking this journey with me step by step. And then I've had this, I've been just so uplifted by the prayer from Venture, from the elders, to Wednesday night. We've had so many meals left at our doorstep, groceries delivered, cards, books, flowers, so many encouraging texts, Bible verses sent, worship songs, day after day, just sent my way. My family, they look at this and they just say, they've never seen anything like that, and they're blessed by it. And for me, it's just been life giving, I've just seen all these tangible evidences of God's goodness and his tender mercy for me. I saw that he was surrounding me with people who carried me to Jesus, it's as if their faith filled in the gaps of what was in me, so that I could stand. Because I think that's what the body is for, that when someone is weak, when someone doesn't have the faith, that those that do come around and hold them up until they can walk on their own two feet.

Annette Davis: 35:49 Through all this, I've never felt more deeply loved. And for the first time in my life, I've been able to receive this love. It's changed me, I'm not the same person that I was when I started this journey. I just think of that scripture though, outwardly I'm wasting away, but inwardly I'm being renewed day by day. Sometimes when I look at my body, it's hard to keep going. And yet the beautiful work that he's done in my heart, in my faith, and the work that I see him doing in my family, and possibly other people through this, it's just so worth being part of this story. Right now, I'm in the middle of my story, so I've had six months of treatment and just thankfully my body's responded so well that the levels are showing zero cancer. I was even able to dance at my daughter's wedding, which is such a miracle because months ago, I couldn't even get out of bed. Because of the nature of my myeloma, which is treatable, but not curable, there's likely remnants in my body. And so I now have to have a STEM cell transplant, to kind of scrub out the cancer. So as I enter this next phase and I go next week for the STEM cell transplant, yeah, I'm scared, but I will March into that hospital sustained by God and by the love of his people, with hands lifted high, praising the name of Jesus, with his name inscribed on the Palm of my hand. Fully believing with all my heart, he's with me, he's for me, he will carry me, and he will be glorified through this. For me, it's about faith over fear.

Tim Lundy: 37:43 Isn't that powerful? See, that's the kingdom of God. Remember how it started? God's kingdom is not marked by boundaries, by land, by armies, by all the other things that kingdoms are marked by. He said, my kingdom is marked by people, people who live this character. And I'm telling you, when you rub shoulders with Greg and Annette, do you know what you experience? You experience the kingdom of God. This place looks more like that place because they're living by faith. See Jesus said, people who live like this, people who show this, they're light in a dark world. Jesus never had any expectation that the world would be anything dark, but he had every expectation that his people would be the light. Guys, I implore you, if there was ever a time for the people of God to live out the kingdom of God, with the character of God, it's now. May we, in the power of Jesus Christ, be that light to the world.

Tim Lundy: 39:00 Will you pray with me? Father, I do thank you, I thank you for your word, I thank you for how you move, I thank you for how you define it. Jesus, I thank you, how you preach, you preach so differently than anyone else. You teach in a way that we wouldn't line it up that way, we would be so tempted to do a message that plays well. And yet, you speak truth so directly. Lord, I pray that we would have faith to really believe you, this is the life of blessing, this is the best life. Lord, would you give us eyes of faith? Would you give us hearts that are committed completely to you? Would you give us the ability to be a light to a world that needs to see your kingdom? And we pray these things in Christ' name. Amen.



Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600