The “You” You Get Stuck With


Well, good morning, everyone. That’s the response after that worship. Good morning, everyone. There we go. It’s so great to see you. I tell you, you know how to encourage a guy, but it’s so good to see you. Thank you to the worship team. Didn’t they do an awesome job this morning? Yeah. Didn’t they do an awesome job? Yeah. Well, I’m Virgil Grant. If you’re near round here and I’m the senior pastor, one of the leaders around here, we’re launching a brand new sermon series.

You in five years, and we’re going to be talking about where you’re going to be in five years from now? And the best way for me to help you to do this is for maybe you to take a little journey with me. When we celebrated my wife’s birthday a couple of months ago. I got her these two. It wasn’t letters, but it was numbers that made her birthday, you know, And they had little bulbs in them. You know what I’m talking about. Some people, they’ll take the birthday that you’re celebrating and they’ll make balloons out of it. So I just want you to think about your age, whatever that is. I’m age 56, so I would have a big five and a six up here that you’d be looking at. And then I want you to take a trip with me, and I want you to move five years forward, and I want you to put your age. And for me, I’ll be age 61 and whatever your age is, just imagine that. And I want you to begin to think about, well, what is my life going to look like five years from now when half of a decade is over in 2028? What is my life going to look like? And I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to get ready to enter my sixties. And the reason why I’m excited is that I believe that God has gone before me. I believe that God is paving the way. I believe that God is orchestrating miracle after miracle. And I believe that God has great plans for the next season of my life. And I cannot wait to see what God is going to do for an ordinary person like me. And I hope that you’re excited about your future because God wants to do something in your life.

 I sometimes think when it comes to the new year, when it comes to thinking about the future and thinking about which direction we’re going to go in, I often think times we underestimate what we can do in five years, and we overestimate what we can do in a single year. And here’s the problem with all of us. The problem with all of us is that we lose focus; we get sidetracked. It is that things are not going along the way. We think they should, and we just jump ship, and we go in a different direction. And what I would encourage us to do in this sermon series is for you to see that you can stay with something if you can catch your stride; if you would, then you can make a lasting impact. And here’s the reality. When you talk about the average church in America today, the average church pastor stays less than three years. How can you ever make an impact? Youth leaders, stay less than two years, and how can you ever make an impact? And what we’re seeing in Eastside is the longevity of staff members, the longevity of leaders. And we’re catching our stride, and God is doing something wonderful. And what we’re going to do, we’re not going to look just at the next 12 months because I think that’s too short-sighted. We’re going to look at the next five years, and we’re going to say God, what are you going to do in and through me over the next five years if I give my all to you if I get after it if I understand that you’re for me and you’re not against me. That you’ve provided every single resource that I need in order to move forward. You have given me your son. You’ve given me the Holy Spirit. You’re given me your love, grace, and mercy. And with those things, where can we go as individuals and as a community of faith? And that is what we’re looking at in this sermon series.

And so, if you have your Bible, I’d like for you to turn with me to Romans chapter 13. And if you don’t, it’s no big deal. We’re actually going to put the verses up on the screen. And by the way, when you came in today, you received a bulletin, and you’ll notice that the bulletin there’s just. Place for you to take notes. I used to put an outline and you had to fill in the blank and we put the scriptures on there. But I was convicted last fall that we needed to stop doing that and that we needed to take responsibility for our own spiritual walk. Because here’s what some of you this is your actual belief. Your actual belief is, is that I should feed you the spiritual items that you need, the spiritual meal that you need in order to be a growing Christian. And there’s a problem with that. And the problem with that is that you come once a month and it’s kind of hard to live off one meal a month. And so what I want to try to teach you to do is how to read the Bible, how to listen to the Holy Spirit, and how to pray for yourself and pray for one another. And the way that we can begin that is for you to write down the things that the Holy Spirit nudges you to write down and for you to take this. And then, we’ll look at it throughout the week and apply it to your life. Does it make sense? And so you just have to take responsibility. Romans Chapter 13 I’m going to be reading from the message, and it says this, but make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted. Now we’re three weeks into the new year. Some of you are already absorbed. You’re already exhausted. I mean, this is already convicting to you, and maybe that’s where you’re at. So but don’t get absorbed. Exhausted in what? In taking care of all of your day-by-day obligations. In other words, Paul is saying that we get so enamored and get so involved in doing the day-to-day chores that we lose track of time and doze off. Oblivious to God. Notice what Paul says. The night is about over. Dawn is about to break. And if you don’t know this, he’s referencing death. And death is coming at us at a breakneck speed. Be up in a way to what God is doing. What is God doing? God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work He began. When we first believe we can’t afford to waste a minute. Must not squander these precious daylight hours and frivolity and indulgence in sleeping around and dissipation and bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Does that sound like any family that you know, any family members? Get out of bed, get off the couch. Quit binge-watching Netflix. Here’s what Paul is saying. He said, Make your life count, and get dressed. Don’t loiter, and don’t linger around waiting until the very last minute. Don’t wait until you’re on your deathbed and decide to do something for Jesus Christ. Do something now, he says. Dress yourselves in Christ and be up and about anybody else convicted besides me.

Let us pray, Father. Give us spiritual ears to hear. Give us a heart of understanding, Father. May you speak to us, and may we apply whatever you say to us in the name of Jesus? And everyone agreed and said, Amen. Now, in five years, could you agree with me that in five years you can do a lot of good? Or you could do a lot of what? Evil, could you agree with me? Now, I just wrote down some things that you can accomplish in five years. There’s a negative list, and there’s a positive list on the positive list. Here’s what I wrote down. You can learn a new language. You can actually learn Spanish in the next five years. I mean, it’s easier than ever before. There’s Rosetta Stone, There are other courses and other apps that you can get on a website on your phone, and you could just spend a few moments every single day. And in five years, you can learn a brand new language. Now for me, I know 75% of one language, and I’m trying to get better at that. But you can learn a new language, or you can continue to just be on your phone and watch TikTok videos for the next five years. The choice is yours. But that was on my negative list, so I’m getting ahead of myself. But here we go. You could get a degree. You could take online courses. You could take night classes. You could attend a community college. You could open up a brand new realm of possibilities for yourself by getting a degree. And I would just encourage you that the degree that you get should be a degree that could actually earn income. Because we know of a lot of people right now who’s got a degree in what is a, they cannot get a job with their degree. And I’m not saying that a degree is a must for everyone because we understand that there are a lot of people who are going into trade schools and are making cash cows. Right. And so you just have to know that you can open up a whole realm of possibilities by getting a degree.

Some of you could open up a new realm of possibilities for your life by giving and developing a new skill. And you just think, over the next five years, you could develop a skill, and the skill that you developed should be a marketable skill that can help you to earn income. Another thing I wrote down is that you can master a sport. Some of you, you may like cardio. I hate cardio. I hate running. Right, Luke? I mean, we hate it at the edge, right, when we have to do that. But here’s the thing. Five years from now, if you apply yourself, you could run a marathon. I mean, just think about that in five years. You could actually develop the discipline and the diet, and the work ethic so that you could run a marathon. I wrote down this. You could read 60 books in the next five years. You understand that when someone graduates from high school, they never read a book after they graduate high school. It’s like one out of 10,000 reads a book after high school graduation. But you can read 60 books. How long is the average book today? Heath, what is it? 200 pages. And if you read six pages a day, how long does it take you to read six pages in a day? Brown Probably, what, 5 minutes or something like that. And so, if you think about this, you could read a book a month, and in the next sixty months, you would have read 60 books. I mean, I would encourage you to read history. Read biography read broadly. Why do I tell you and encourage you to read books? Is it because all leaders are what?

Readers and not all readers are leaders. And you can literally change your worldview by reading books over the next five years. What about this one? You could radically transform your soul. You could radically transform your soul you could grow closer to God than you’ve ever been before. Because what does the scripture say? The scripture says this is that if you seek him, you will do what? What does he say? And you will what? Find him. Now, folks, here’s what we think about this, is that we think, well, there’s no way that I can grow closer to God. Yeah, you can. You can begin by praying prayers. See, we think the problem is, is the unanswered prayers that we have. No, the problem is the prayers that we never prayed. Because here’s what I think is going to happen. I don’t know this to be true. I can’t find anything in the Bible, but this is just my imagination. I do what I believe. I believe that when I die and get to heaven and when you die and get to heaven, Jesus is going to welcome us. We’re going to get into heaven. And then he’s going will take me over to a warehouse. And it’s going to be bigger than any Amazon or Wal-Mart distribution center. It’s going to be a big old warehouse. Do you know what I’m talking about? Is anybody with me? Everybody with me. Say amen. All right. Just make sure you’re with me. And I want to say, God, that’s not my mansion, is it? That’s not my house. He is going to go. Oh, no, no, no, no, Virgil. These are all blessings. These are all the things I wanted to give to you. All the things I wanted to give the Eastside. But you never prayed for. See, the problem is the prayers that we never pray. See, look at what you can do in five years. You can start reading this Bible. So you go, Oh, how big is that? How thick is that? I don’t think I can ever read that. There I’m out on that. No, no, no. I’m not going to read the Bible. I’m not going to do that. Let me just say something to you.

You can read the Bible every day, read two chapters a day, read one from the Old Testament, and read one from what? New Testament. Why do I say that? Because when you get to Leviticus, you’re going to need something to relieve that reading, right? Because this is difficult. But let me tell you what will happen. You read the Bible two chapters a day, Luke. Two chapters a day, Josh, for the next five years. At the end of five years. Brett, you’ll have read the Bible through three times. You can become a person who is seeking after the heart of God. You could have memorized scripture. You could have memorized passages that when someone is irritating you when someone’s getting under your skin when your spouse is aggravating the p out of you, whatever, whenever you’re tempted to take your phone out and go to a porn site, whenever you’re tempted on a Friday night. So you know what? I’m going to have a couple of cold ones, and the next thing you know, you’re drunk again this Friday. What you can do, because you’ve studied the word of God, you’ve hidden the word of God in your life, is that when that temptation comes, you’re able to be like Jesus. Because how did Jesus resist temptation? Is Jesus doing what? He quoted scripture to the devil. That’s what you could do in five years. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing? Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to draw closer to the heart of God? I guess I’m stepping on toes. I don’t know. There’s a negative list. You could be five years. From now, you could be going through the final stages of a messy, nasty divorce. Because you’ve neglected your spouse over the last five years. Five years from now, you could be five years into a sentence. Serving out a sentence in prison. So he said, Well, that’s drastic. Well, our prisons are what friends; they’re full, they’re at capacity. So you could be serving the fifth year of a 20-year sentence. Five years is long enough to get majorly addicted to drugs, where it’s taking over your life. Five years from now, you could have worked five, six, seven, or eight jobs that you never applied yourself to, and you either quit or got fired. Five years from now, you could have an incredible mountain of debt on your credit card. You could have also gained 30 pounds of weight. You could have smoked 36,500 cigarettes between now and five years from now. Some years you’re saying, well, you’re one of those pastors who’s on people who are smoking. No, I’m not on people who are smoking because people, all the time, ask me the question, Hey, pastor, is it okay for me to smoke? And I go, Well, what do you mean? You know, can I smoke and go to heaven? And I go, Oh, yeah, you can smoke and go to heaven and get there much faster. Just keep it up, you know. In just five years, you can accomplish a lot, you can accomplish a lot of good, or you can accomplish a lot of evil. It’s up to you.

This whole sermon series is about learning to make good decisions, learning to make wise decisions, Let’s get to five years from now and be pumped up about where we are in a relationship with our spouse, in a relationship with our children, in the relationship with the Lord. I’ve been thinking about this sermon series for several months now, and one of the things I put on my phone is greatness is achieved one decision at a time. And that’s what we’re talking about, is that greatness is achieved, one decision at a time. It’s making the best decision that’s right in front of you. And then, if you make that decision, you make a great decision. You make another great decision, and you make another great decision. And here’s what I want you to do to move on to something a little bit more disappointing than Josh talked about so that you understand that the average Christ follower in America today attends church 1.7 times a month. So the average Christian today attends church less than twice a month. So you come, you skip, skip, skip, you come, come, skip, skip, skip, skip, come, skip, skip, skip, skip, skip, skip. And it’s Christmas, right? And that’s just kind of what the average American knows for me. That’s disheartening. As a pastor, it’s disheartening. Why is it disheartening for me as a pastor because what I do is I give one message, but I give it over four or five or six weeks a period of time? And so if you come in Miss Miss Miss Miss, what percentage of the message is that you’re receiving? You’re only receiving what? 20% of the message. Because this one message is spread out over several different weeks because just think about it. How much can I really share with you in 35 minutes? It’s not a whole lot. And so I take the message, and I break it down into different segments. And today, it’s just the introduction. And here’s what I want to challenge you with. You know what sporadic worship attendance creates in your life. Here’s what I’m going to challenge you to make it a priority to come to the next five weeks of this sermon series in Darryl Strawberry and see what happens. Because here’s what we know. After 30 days of practicing something, you develop a new habit. Now, let’s move to the message. Here’s my sermon in a sentence. 

The ways that you let in become the ways you’re set in

Now say that with me, if you will. The ways you let in become the way you’re set in. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, you have your ways. I have my ways, and God has his ways. Would you not agree with me? And the Bible says that God’s ways are what, higher than our ways, right? So everybody has their ways. What does it mean that you have your ways? Well, the way that you accept some things and some things that you reject shows us your ways. Sometimes you say yes, and sometimes you say no. Sometimes you’re responsive. Sometimes, you’re proactive. We just know that there are certain ways that you have. Your passions are an insight into your ways. The checkbook that you have demonstrates your ways. The history of the text messages that you’ve sent helps us to understand your ways. And here’s the thing your ways, my ways, we usually pick those ways up from our parents. And the way that you deal with conflict is the way that you see your parents deal with conflict. The way that you handle money is probably the way that your parents handle money, or you were influenced by television or social media. And the ways that we led become the ways that you’re set in. And here’s the thing you don’t like the way that you’re becoming, then you need to change your ways.

I want to do real quickly in the next few moments; I want to give you four insights from the passage that we just read. And the first one is.

Time is not on your side.

Time is not on your side. Time is not on my side. When we read Paul’s passages from Romans 13, he mentions the brevity of time to different times. And when we understand time in the Greek mindset, the great man said when it came to time are two different meanings of time. One was Chronos, which means chronological time. Like right now, it is 11:41. By my watch, I don’t know what it says about yours, but it’s 11:41. It’s chronological. It’s just a moment there. It’s not specific, it’s not strategic, it’s nothing like that. Hey, do you have some time in the future for us to sit down and have some coffee? That’s Chronos. But there’s Kairos. Is the other mindset in the Greek that tells us that time is just strategic? It was like yesterday, Rosa. I was boarding the plane to come back home from Florida after being there for a couple of weeks, and the air there, the counter. The representative for Delta came on the microphone and said, What? We’re now boarding. Where are parents with small children? Who needs extra time? And then he goes, We’re boarding first class. We’re boarding, you know, sky priority. We’re boarding everyone. And then, finally, she comes to the specific strategic time. This is your final call because why? The door is closing. And this is what Paul is saying. Paul is saying to us that Dawn is about to break. He’s referencing the end of time and that the end of time and the end of your life is coming quickly. Now, some of you are going while it’s more Bible verses in order to believe what you’re saying. Well, I’m glad that you asked. Look with me at Psalm 39:4-6.

 Lord, help me to realize how brief my time on earth will be. Help me to know that I am here for but a moment more. My life is no longer than my hand! My whole lifetime is but a moment to you. Proud man! Frail as breath! A shadow! And all his busy rushing ends in nothing. He heaps up riches for someone else to spend.

Now, you know what Paul is? Do you know what Psalm was, are saying here? He’s saying that time is near. That you live for a brief moment. It’s nothing but a vapor. Then you die. Aren’t you glad you came to church today to be encouraged? I mean, I got the gift of encouragement, if you don’t know. But look what else the summer says in Psalm chapter 39. Says these 70 years are given to us. And some may even live to 80 while you’re an old man, 80 years of age, right or woman. But even the best of these years are often empty and filled with pain. They will soon disappear, and we are gone. And then he says, Lord, teach us to do what? What does he say? Teach us to do what? To number our days. And recognize how few they are. Help us to spend them as we should. Now, some of you are in the room today. You’re 17. You’re 24. And you’re going, man. I don’t believe any of that. I got my entire life before me. Can I tell you something? You blink, and the next thing you know, several decades have passed by. You blink. And next thing you know, You’re like me. You’re in the fourth quarter of your life. And folks, listen to me. The older you get, the quicker that time goes by. Would you not agree with Paul and me and the psalmist is telling us to take inventory. Look at your life. Time is not on your side. I love what Aristotle said. He says. 

We should measure time and heartthrobs. 

In other words, we should measure time in heartbeats because we are not guaranteed the next heartbeat. The second thing, very quickly, is that

 The future you is simply an exaggerated version of the current you.

Now, what do I mean by that? Here’s what I mean by that. Is that? Sometimes when we think about the future, we think about five years from now. We are. We fantasize we have this romantic thought about the future. We think, Oh, man, five years from now, I’m going to be this and this and this and this and this and this. And I won’t be doing this. And this it’s like when you were a little kid, and somebody would ask you, What are you going to be when you grow up? And you would fantasize, and you would tell them what you were going to be. But here’s the reality. If the current you is a harsh individual who’s unkind and stingy and not generous, guess who you’re going to be in five years from now. You’re going to be a harsher individual. You’re going to be a more unkind individual. You’re going to be more stingy. Five years from now than you are today, you’re going to have some more miles on the odometer. That’s it. But if you’re generous today. Guess what? Five years from now, you’re going to be more generous. If you are kind today, five years from now, you’re going to be even kinder if you’re disciplined today. You’re going to be more disciplined. Five years from now. Because here’s what I want you to see. Here’s what I’m trying to communicate to you time doesn’t change who you are. Time only reveals who you are. Time only reveals who you are. Time doesn’t change anyone at all. And you have to understand that time is ticking. And if you don’t like who you are today, then you need to make some different choices. Because who you are today is just going to be an exaggerated version of you in the future. Look with me in Proverbs 11:27

 If you search for good, you will find God’s favor; if you search for evil, you will find his curse.

It says, If you search for good, if you look for the good in people, you look good for it, Look for the good in situations. You look for the good in circumstances. What does he say? He says, What is that? You will find God’s favor. But if you search for what? Evil in every individual, for evil, in every conversation, for evil, in every individual, what will you do is that you will find his curse. And folks, whatever you’re looking for, whatever your mindset is, that’s just going to be an exaggerated version of you in the future. Some of you’re here this morning, and you have a critical heart. Your heart is full of judgment. And the reason why you’re critical and your heart is full of judgment is that you’ve been wounded, and you’ve never dealt with the wound. That’s a sermon for another time. I don’t have time to go there. Don’t even try to encourage me to go there because I don’t have time. But, you know, your heart is wounded. And here’s what happens, is that your critical spirit is your calling card or your business card before you ever show up. Everybody sees your critical spirit. Everybody sees how judgmental and how harsh you are. And what does Jesus say in Matthew chapter seven? Verse two is that if you provide a critical judgment. Or if you provide critical judgment for everyone that you come in contact with, what’s going to happen is that critical spirit is going to do what is going to boomerang and come back to you.

You are what you eat. You are what you watch; you are your habits. And if you’re not careful, the current you will only be an exaggerated version of you in the future. But here’s the good news. And this is point number three. 

If you don’t like what you’re getting, change what you’re doing. 

Isn’t that good If you don’t like what you’re getting or if you don’t like the trajectory that your path is headed. Your life is on. Then you need to change what you’re doing. See, folks here’s the thing. Some of you back in 2017. You go, you know what? I’m going to be a different person. And back from 2017 to 2023, you look back over the past five years, and nothing really changed. And for some of you, you said, well, we just had some hard times. Let me tell you something. Everybody had some hard times. Five years ago was the worst year of my life. I had open heart surgery at the age of 51. I was working out every single day, had been working that for five years in a row, every single day. And then I go to the doctor. He goes, Your heart’s out of rhythm, and you are born with a birth defect. And no one discovered that in the first 51 years of my life. Everybody has a hard time. Everybody is dealing with hard things. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about is that you look back over your life over the last five years and the character, the person that you wanted to become, the person of integrity, that you wanted to become, the person that you want to morph into. Has it happened? Do you know what’s going to happen five years from now? You’re going to still be frustrated unless you change some things about your agenda, your habits, and your mindset. Because if you don’t, five years from now, it’s just going to be an exaggerated version of the current you.

Number four, want to land the plane. This is just the introduction. This is just the waiter coming out, and just let me just tell you about the specials. We didn’t have appetizers yet. This is just telling us about the specials. And the fourth one is this. 

Ongoing consistency is much more important than short-term intensity.

Ongoing consistency. It’s much more important than short-term intensity. Now, how do I want you to respond to this message? I want you to respond to this message with a measured amount of determination. I’m not even asking you at this point because it’s too early in the message to ask you this. I’m not asking you to write out the things that need to be changed in your life. I’m not asking you to write out the goals that you need to accomplish in order to change or to even debate the new habits. All I’m asking you to do is just to have a determined amount of determination. To have a measured amount of determination. Because of ongoing consistency. Every time Trump’s short-term flare up intensively. Now, why is that the case? Why is it that doing something on going steady, slow, measured consistency? Why does it win out over time? Why not just do something with great intensity? Why not just do something with great flare? Well, Albert Einstein helps us to understand the slow, methodical, consistent route versus the short-term flare. Here’s what he says. He’s referencing compound interest. He said that compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands compound interest earns it. He who doesn’t pays it. Think credit card. Either you’re earning 20%, or you’re paying 20%. And many of you know what I’m talking about. You’re just making the minimum payment, but your balance continues to go up because why? The impact of compound interest. The most powerful force in the universe is the power of steady consistency to build up and become strong over time. The best illustration that I’ve heard of compound interest. Is that a Domino’s? Would it be great if we had a set of dominoes? Oh, There we got a set. This is like five milliliters high. It’s like a milliliter thick. That if you take this domino and you increase it one and a half times after one revolution, you get a bigger domino, and one-half times again, you get a third one, and you keep doing that. The expert says that when you get to the 29th revolution. The domino is not a meter high, but it is high as the Empire State Building. That’s compound interest. That’s one revolution after another revolution. It’s getting bigger and bigger.

But here’s the problem. We don’t have time for that, do we? Huh? I mean, we make it to march. Reading your Bible, we make it a march to church attendance, and then we give up what you said. We’re not doing that. Well, you just throw it down because you know why. Here’s the reason why. Is that we don’t want to be here. Where do we want to be at? We want to be all the way up here. But you don’t get from there to here overnight. That’s what we want. I mean, let’s just be honest. I mean, some of you, you’re here, and you would honestly say, You know what, pastor? I hear what you’re saying. I know why you talk about compound interest. But you know what? I tried saving for one week, and it didn’t work, so I gave up on it. You know what, pastor? I tried to read my Bible once, and after having my Bible for a week, you know what? I wasn’t even a man of God after one week. I mean, you haven’t given an opportunity for a revolution to even take place. But you just give up because why? Because we’re short term attention span. See, some of you are here, and you go, You know what? I want to be bigger and better, I want to be more consistent, and I want to be a better husband. But is there just a marriage class that could take you there? Just a wand that you could, you know, wave over me, made me a better husband? No, I can’t make you a better husband. All I can tell you is that you just need to stop being a jerk and start doing the dishes. And that’ll go a long way. Some of you, you’re here, and you’re going. You know what? I just want my boss to appreciate me. Oh, I’m sorry that your boss didn’t say thank you for doing nothing. And you expect a bonus at the end of the week. See, folks here’s the thing that we want to go from here to there, and we want to take a shortcut. We want to say, is there a silver bullet? Is there a quick fix to my problem? And the answer is no. There’s no hot water that you can put on the solution or on the problem and make it work. There’s no pill that you can take. There’s nothing that you can order from Amazon that’s going to take you from this five-milliliter domino up to the one-meter domino.

There’s only one route, and that is to go through steady progress, consistent progress day after day, week after week, month after month. And you know, what will happen is that five years from now, when you get down the road in 2028, you’ll be a different person. But if you try to take shortcuts. It’s not going to work. See, here’s the title of the message today. The life you get stuck with is the life you make. And if some of you, you’re stuck with a life that you don’t like. It’s the life that you’ve made. You’ve made it. You’ve got the power. God’s given you the power to change it. But you know what? It begins at the beginning. And consistency and steadiness over a period of time. This is a reason why coming to church week after week is so important. Because what will happen is that you will begin to feel the impact of compound interest. And what will happen is that you will see something. And by the way, let me just say this. Is everybody praying that this works? The people who built it, the worship team, are back there right now. So let’s just see. And here’s what will happen over time with compound interest, with steadiness, consistency, day in, day out. This is what will happen. Yeah, that’s what will happen. But it’s up to you folks. There’s only one silver bullet in life, and his name is Jesus. Everything else is hard work. Everything else is applying yourself. Everything else is taking responsibility for your life. You can blame me. You can blame the staff for your lack of spirituality. But at the end of the day, it is your responsibility. And if you want to blame me. Stand in line. There’s a big line. Who wants to do that? Okay, listen to me. I know. Who is responsible for Virgil? I know who’s responsible for you. And you’re responsible for yourself. And I’m responsible for myself.

Would you pray with me, please? Father. Thank you. Thank you. For consistency. Thank you. That you give us the ability to take responsibility for our lives. That Father that we don’t have to play the victim card. We don’t have to blame others. And sure, others may have done wrong. Sure, others have done something they should have done. But, Father, you don’t want us to have the victim mentality. You want us to be the victor. You want us to rise up. You don’t even want us to be the villain. Folks, there are some people here today who’re villains. The villain is that they demonize and criticize every single person. And why is it to make themselves feel bigger? Father, you don’t want us to be the villain. You don’t want us to be the victim. You want us to be the victor with the risen Christ. You want us to be empowered to take control of the life and the abilities that you’ve given us so that we can rise up and push back the darkness in this community and in this region. And, Father, may we accept responsibility for our own lives in Jesus’ name? Amen.