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Who Do You Think You Are - Week 2

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"I am God's masterpiece." "God's masterpiece." "Made in Christ Jesus to do what God created me to do." "What God created me to do." "To do what God created me to do." Well, I will let you all in on a little secret about me. That is, I have always battled with deep feelings of insecurity. Some of you may say, "Well we already knew that!" Thanks! You just made me feel more insecure! I mean, it really has been something that's haunted me all throughout my life; I felt like, I'm not good enough or I'm not going to measure up, and on and on and on. In fact, in the early years of speaking, I was very, very insecure. I became a Christian in college and was a relatively new Christian when I started to teach the Bible. I hadn't graduated from seminary yet and I didn't know that much. And so, I always felt like I'm not qualified or not adequate to share the Bible. So, the first few times that I tried, I really didn't do a very good job. I used to get so nervous I would actually throw up in a bucket, in a garbage can before; I don't do that now, I just throw up in my mouth and I swallow it! Not really! I was just joking! I would blotch, my face would get blotchy and Amy would think I was going to die, I just was so nervous. So afterward, I would feel so bad, I'd be like, "Oh you failed!" And so I wouldn't go to the door, which is where the preachers went when they did a good job, so that people could come by and say, "Nice sermon Pastor, nice sermon Pastor!" Well, after about my fifth time I actually thought, "I did okay, I mean, that wasn't bad!" So I decided to go to the door and I will just be honest, I was really looking forward to people saying, "Nice sermon Pastor! Nice job!" And so, the very first lady that came up, I was standing there waiting at the door, and this little, sweet lady about so big, late 70's or so, she walked up. She patted me on the shoulder and I could just feel her about to say, "Nice sermon!" And she said, "Nice try!" Then she looked at me and she said, "If you keep practicing, you can be a preacher one day!" I just felt, I mean it drove those insecurities even deeper in to me. Maybe some of you can relate, "I'm just not like I wish I were." "So and so, they're good at this and I'm not! And I just don't feel that good about myself." It's a little bit like, do any of you watch the show, The Bachelor? Any Bachelor fans? Bachelor fans? I hate that stupid show! I can't believe..., it makes me...anyway! Every now and then though as I am flipping through the channels, I come across The Bachelor. Every single time, there's this girl in the limousine, she just was rejected and didn't get her stupid rose and so she's in there and the camera's tight and she's bawling her brains out! "Wah......there must be something wrong with me! There must be something!" And I'm going, "Yeah, there's a lot wrong with you! I mean, you just talked to the guy for five minutes and you thought he was the one you were supposed to marry! There's something wrong? Yes! Do you want the whole list of things wrong with you or just the top ten things that are incredibly obvious to me right now?" Now, maybe some of you feel like that. You've been rejected in life or you didn't achieve what you wanted to achieve and you thought you could do more and you didn't and you wake up one day going, "I feel insecure, I feel inadequate, there must be something wrong with me." If you've ever felt like that, I just want to encourage you today by telling you, you are absolutely right. Yeah, there's something wrong with you! If you're taking notes, write this down: Without Christ, there is something wrong with you. There's a lot. In fact, in our text today; Ephesians, Chapter Two, Paul is very direct, basically he says that there are three things wrong with you without Christ. I will just summarize, he says; you're sinful, you're spiritually dead, and you are the object of God's wrath. Let me say it again; You're sinful, you're spiritually dead and you are the object of God's wrath. If you're new with us, welcome to Life Church, where we're here to make you feel good about yourself! I mean, most people don't talk about that. "Oh, God loves you, God loves you, He has a wonderful plan for your life." Well, actually, without Christ you are the object of God's wrath. How does that make you feel? Let's let the Word of God speak. Ephesians 2:1, Paul says: Once you were dead (this doesn't mean you are on the side of the road in a ditch, it means you were spiritually dead). Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins... He goes on to say in verse three, the middle of the verse: By our very nature (if you don't know this, we were born with a sinful nature); he says, by our very nature we were subject to God's anger, (the New International says that you are an object of God's wrath). He says that you are subject to God's anger, just like everyone else. In verse four he said; But God, (anytime you see a bunch of bad things going on and then see those two words together, you can take comfort in the fact that at any moment when God shows up things can change). Scripture says: But God is so rich in mercy, (now watch as we do nothing and God does everything), but God is so rich in mercy, (and what did he do, help me out...and he loved us so much that even though we were dead because of our sins (what did He do? Say it aloud), He gave us life when (not what we did but when) He raised Christ from the dead. Paul goes on to say that it is only by God's grace that you've been saved! Understand this, I don't want to hold anything back and tip-toe through the tulips to make you feel good, without Christ there is a lot wrong with you. You are sinful, you are spiritually dead, you are the object of God's wrath. The good news is though, God can change everything in a moment through His Son, Christ. The first thought is that without Christ there is something wrong with you. The second point answers the question, who do you think you are? When you know who you are, you'll know what to do. Who do you think you are? With Christ you are God's masterpiece. You are the masterpiece of God Himself. You're not the masterpiece of some artist, you are the masterpiece of God. You are the perfect workmanship of God in Christ Jesus. Verses eight, nine and ten say this; and just for the record, verse eight and nine were the two verses that changed my life back when I was in college. God's Word says: God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Verse nine, it's so important: Salvation is not a reward for... For the what? All of our churches, salvation is not an award for the good things we've done. It doesn't matter how hard you try, how religious you act. Salvation is not a reward for the good things that we have done, so that no one can boast about it. Now, because of Christ who are you? When you know who you are, you'll know what to do. Verse ten tells us who we are if we are in Christ. The Bible says this, who do you think we are? Help me out, verse ten: For we are God's masterpiece. Say it again, who are you? If you are in Christ, you are God's masterpiece. Now, what has God done? He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned long ago for us to do. Now, you've got to understand this; we are not saved by our good works, but we are saved for good works. Let me say it this way: We are not saved by the good things that we have done, but we are saved to do good things for the one who saved us. We are never saved by works, so we can never boast about it. But, we are saved to make a difference and to bring glory to God in this world. If you are in Christ, it doesn't matter how you feel about yourself, "I'm not that good, I'm not that talented." No, you need to understand this; you've been made new, you've been remade, you are the masterpiece of God. But you are not just a masterpiece like a painting that goes up on the wall where people can come by and go, "Oh, that's a beautiful painting." No, you are the masterpiece of God created for the Master's purpose. I like this bumper sticker, I've seen it on several cars. It says this, the bumper sticker says: God don't make no junk! I like that! God don't make no junk! You have to say it like that, you just can't say, God don't make no junk, you have to say it right! God don't make....the problem is, every time I've seen the bumper sticker, God don't make no junk, it's always been on a junky car! I don't know what to do with that! It confuses my theological brain! But the truth is, when you're in Christ, you need to understand, God don't make no junk! You are the masterpiece of God, created for the Master's purpose and God wants you to believe this, because when you know who you are, you'll know what to do. Everybody say, "I am," say it again, "I am God's masterpiece made in Christ Jesus to do what God created me to do!" Come on now, "I am God's masterpiece made in Christ Jesus to do what God created me to do." You are special in Christ. You are the Master's creation, but not just for someone to say, "Oh wow, look at you!" You are created for the Master's purpose. In fact, the Greek word that is translated as "masterpiece" (you can jot it in your notes), is the word "poiema" and here's what it means, it can be translated as a beautiful poem. I love this, you are, with Christ, you are a poetic statement of the glory of God. That's what your life should be, a poetic statement of the glory of God. This word means the perfect workmanship, that's what you are. In Christ, you are the perfect workmanship of God. It also can be translated as "tapestry". In other words, all of these different things come together to create this beautiful picture. You are, with Christ, a poetic statement, the masterpiece, the perfect workmanship of God. And when you believe that; when you know who you are, you will know what to do. Three thoughts I pray, will drive this deep within your souls. The first one if you're taking notes: As God's masterpiece, you are created for the Master's purpose. As God's masterpiece, you exist to bring glory to Him. Psalm 139, verse 13 and following; this was David in the Old Testament, and I want you to notice how his words parallel the verses we just read in Ephesians. He says this of God, he says: God, for you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. And then he has this worship moment and he just breaks out and thanks God, he says: I praise you God because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together (see the imagery of the tapestry), when I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. (Now look at the power of this.) All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Listen to Paul say it, listen to David say it; you are the masterpiece of God, created for the Master's purpose. Paul says this: You are the masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do good things which God prepared in advance before you were even born for you to do. The masterpiece created for the master's purpose. David says, I'm fearfully and wonderfully made, I know that full well and all the days ordained for me were written in your Book before I was even born before one of them came to be. When You know who you are, you'll know what to do. You are the masterpiece of God, created to serve the Master's purpose. And this is what's so powerful in me. In all of history, in all the span of time, God decided that this little slice; this seventy years, or eighty-two years, or ninety-one years, whatever you have on earth, God decided that in this moment in history, you would serve Him best. There was no better time for you to be born with your gifts, your talents, your skills, your personality, your make-up, this was the best time in history that you could serve the Master and bring glory to Him. The problem though for so many people is they don't believe they are the masterpiece. "Well, I'm not," and "I'm just not," and on and on and on! And they don't understand their purpose. When you don't understand the purpose of a thing, all you can do is abuse the thing. Say that last part with me, help me out, "When you don't understand the purpose of a thing, all you can do is abuse the thing." When I was in the fourth grade I had a next door neighbor, her name was Missy. She was in the fifth grade, she was an older woman, she had a crush on me! She was a cougar before cougars were cool! One day, Missy came over to my house and our family, we were big into sports and especially baseball at the time. My Dad, I don't know how else to say this, but he left out a very important protective piece of equipment that a male uses to protect a certain piece of equipment! Maybe I shouldn't of said it like that, I don't know, but it was a....I will just say it, it was a jockstrap and a cup! Some of you might go, "What is it, a cup you drink out of?" No, no, no; you don't drink out of it! It's like a triangle-looking thing with holes in it. Now, why it has holes in it, I don't know, but it's just....and so, she reached down and she picked up this athletic cup and she held it in her hand. We were like going, "Put it down! Don't touch that, that's not right, you're a girl..don't!" And she looked at it and she said, "What's this?" And we were all holding our breath and she was like, "I know" and she put it to her face and she said, "It's an oxygen mask!" And she started breathing in and out! And we were like, "Oh!" So finally, I couldn't take it anymore and I picked up the jockstrap and I said, "It actually goes in this little container right here and then you put it over your head and it holds it!" I didn't do that! But, I wanted to! And we were just like, "Oh!" Help me out, the moral of the story is, if you don't know the purpose of a thing all you can do is abuse the thing! And so many people don't understand, I know it's gross, but you'll remember it! The purpose of their lives. And if you don't know the purpose of your life, all you can do is abuse the masterpiece of God. Here's the deal; life without purpose, it's time without meaning, that's what it is. Life without purpose, it's time without meaning. Life without purpose, it reduces everything down to an experiment. And that's the way many of you are living your life. You're experimenting! "Well, maybe this job will make me fulfilled, and maybe this person," and "She didn't, so maybe she will!" and "This thing might," and "This accomplishment could!" And you just go on experimenting because you don't know the purpose of your life. Here's the deal, if you don't know the purpose of a thing, don't ask the thing! Don't pick up an athletic cup and say, "What are you for?" Next thing you know, you'll be breathing through it! You don't ask the thing, you ask the one who created the thing. You are the masterpiece of God! You seek God! You ask Him! At Life Church, we like to call it your Chazown; it's your vision, it's your reason for being. We've got a whole class designed around it, because we want you to understand why you're here. The big picture is, you exist not to accumulate more things in this little slice of eternity, you exist to bring glory to God. And we all do it in our specific way. As God's masterpiece, you were created for the Master's purpose. You are the masterpiece of God, made new in Christ Jesus, to do the good things, which the Master prepared in advance for you to do. Thought number one, as God's masterpiece, you are created for the Master's purpose. Thought number two, you need to understand this; as God's masterpiece, you have everything you need to do, everything God wants you to do and you've got to believe this. As God's masterpiece, you have everything you need to do, everything that God wants you to do. In fact, this is what Scripture says, Second Peter 1:3, the Bible says that: God's divine power, (notice it's not our own power, but it's God's divine power) has given us (what? Everybody help me out, it's given us) everything we need. Let's say it again; God's divine power, what has it given us? It's given us everything we need for life and godliness. It's given us everything that we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him. It's through our knowledge of Him who has called us by His own glory and goodness. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. Think of it this way; God never calls someone and says, "Hey, you're my masterpiece, go do this"; and then goes, "Oh! I wasn't thinking!" For example, when God called Moses to deliver the people of Israel, Moses didn't believe He was a good enough masterpiece to do it. He didn't believe, 'Hey,' he said, 'I'm not a good speaker. I'm not good enough to get this done.' And God never said, 'Oh yea, I'm such an idiot! I forgot! I mean, I thought you could do it, but you're obviously not good enough!' God never ever did that. When God calls you, he'll give you everything that you need to do everything that He wants you to do. The problem is, so many people have what I call, "masterpiece envy"; they're looking at other people saying, "Well, I'm not like you," and "I don't have this," and "I wish I had..."; and when they look more at other people, they don't realize how God created them. They say, "Well, I wish I could do that!" And they don't realize what they can do! They look at someone else and say, "Well you know, I'm not like her!" And they don't realize how God has created you. "Well, I can't do this!" And they don't understand what they can do. God has given you everything you need to do, everything that God wants you to do. For example, let me just be real honest. I understand now, that because of Christ I am the masterpiece of God and I am doing right now, what was formed for me long before one of my days ever came to be. But let's just be real honest, there are a lot of things that I can't do. There are a lot of things you can do that I can't do. For example, I cannot sing worth a lick! I am horrible, the worst ever! I barely qualify as a joyful noise guy! It's a nightmare! I don't understand art, I'm color blind, I can't paint. My wife looks at art and she loses herself going like, "Beautiful, God is in this!" I'm going, "What? I don't get it, it's stupid! I don't get it!" I can't fix anything. When something breaks, it's going to stay broken until someone else comes! The only thing I can do is I can pray that God would do a miracle and fix my broken toilet. But I can't fix squat, not a thing! But, here's what you need to know, check this out; I was not created to sing and I was not created to paint, and I was not created to fix broken toilets. And when I stop looking at what I cannot do, I can see what I can do and I am the masterpiece of God created for the Master's purpose. And so are you, you are! Don't be looking at, "I don't have it, I'm not," and "I wish I was beautiful like her," and "I wish I was talented like him," and you know, "He's got hair on his head and I just have hair on my back and I don't like that!" You know, you don't do that! Look at who God created you to be and when you realize I am the masterpiece of God. I've been made new, all of the old things are gone, I'm a new creation in Christ and new creations have new purposes, I am the masterpiece of God. I have everything I need to do, everything God wants me to do. When you know who you are, you will know what to do, and you are the masterpiece of God. Review: As God's masterpiece, you are created for the Master's purpose. 2. You have everything you need to do, everything God wants you to do. And the third thought is so life-changing when you internalize it; As God's masterpiece, God uses everything in your life to bring about His purposes. He uses everything in your life to bring about His purposes. He is the potter, you are the clay, and He is continuing to shape you and form you into His masterpiece to serve His purposes. Romans, Chapter 8:28, if you don't know this verse it's a great one to commit to memory. Scripture says this: And we know that in (what? All of our churches, everybody play along). And we know that in all things, (say it again!) and we know that in all things... Let me ask you a question, does all things include the good things? Yes! Does all things include the bad things? Yes! Does all things include the things that you are so thankful that happened? Yes! Does all things include the things that you wished had never happened? Yes! Scripture says: And we know that in all things God works together for good.... ; For everybody? Actually no, no! Got to be honest with you, He works in all things to bring about good to those who love Him and who have been called according to His what? According to His purpose. If you are in Christ Jesus, you are the masterpiece created for the Master's purpose. When you realize that He is the Potter, you are the clay, and He's forming using all things to bring about good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. That will give you tremendous confidence to step into His will and know that He is the Sovereign, Good God. You can see example after example. One of my favorites in Scripture, in the Old Testament, was a young boy named Joseph who believed he was God's masterpiece. 'I'm going to be a leader and lead one day!' And his brothers were jealous and so they threw him into a pit and said, 'Let's kill him!' They said, 'No, let's just sell him into slavery.' Do you think Joseph ever said, "Oh, this is what I wanted, slavery!" No, he didn't! But, the Potter was shaping the clay into His masterpiece. He was so talented and faithful to Potiphar the owner, that he got promoted. And then one day, Potiphar's wife looked at him and said, 'You look good! I want some of that!' And she made moves on him and he had integrity and eventually she falsely accused him and then he got thrown into prison. Do you think he ever said, "Oh! Just what I wanted, prison baby, slavery wasn't good enough, prison!" But again, the Potter was shaping the clay. And through an unusual series of events, after he interpreted dreams, he was promoted to being second in charge over all of Egypt and God used him to help prepare for a big famine. And years later, his brothers came up and they said, 'Oh no, that's him; he's alive, we are dead!' And he looked on with compassion and started crying, he said, 'You don't understand, I'm your brother, I love you guys, I forgive you!' And here's what he said, he said, 'What you meant for evil, God used for Good.' God took all of that and shaped me. I couldn't do what I'm doing today had God not taken me through that and prepared me for this. God used it for good. Some of you right now, you're going through a time and you think, "I wish this wasn't happening. Painful....yes, I don't understand....yes, I wish it were different...yes; but understand this, if you are in Christ, if you love Him, if you're living for His purpose, He works in all things to bring about good. That's how good our God is. Every now and then someone will ask me, "Craig; you know, the way you were before, you were not a good person." I wasn't. Before Christ there was a lot wrong with me. I committed most of the major sins that you could commit and people will sometimes say, "Do you ever regret that season of your life?" And I need to be real careful how I answer this, because I wouldn't want anyone to go through what I went through and I wouldn't want to go through it again. But here's what you need to know; I don't regret it not one bit, because God used it to make me into the masterpiece that I am today. He even used the bad stuff I did, because here's the deal, today as God's masterpiece, doing what I was created to do; when I preach against sin, it's because I've lived in sin and it's because I know how destructive it is. I wasn't some preacher's kid who grew up in a church all of the time. I know what it's like to hurt because of sin and I'll preach against it with passion. And when I tell you that Christ can change someone, it's because I was brought from darkness to light in a moment. In a moment, in a moment! Because I know what it's like to go from being selfish and lustful and sinful and arrogant and prideful, to being transformed into a servant of God. I know the transformative power of the Lord Jesus Christ. When I tell you about it, it's because I know it firsthand. I don't regret the darkness, because it makes the light so much brighter! I pray with everything in me that you would know who you are. "I'm not good enough," and "I'm not this..."; no, no, no! With Christ, you are the masterpiece of God. Some of you, still right now, you are going to look at your life and go, "But I don't like myself, I don't like what I've become." I've got great news for you, a final thought; if you don't like yourself, let God remake you. He is the Potter, you are the clay and if you don't like yourself, let God remake you. Video: You see, one of the problems is, so many people forget that God is the Potter, Scripture says, and we are the clay. God is the Potter making us through Christ, into His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. You are the masterpiece of God, created for the Master's purpose. But, if you don't like yourself, let God remake you. This is what Jeremiah said: So I went down to the potter's house and I saw him working at the potter's wheel. He was using his hands to make a pot from clay, but something went wrong with it. Unfortunately, that phrase describes so many people's lives. Maybe you would say, "I had a dream to be at such-and-such place in my life, but something went wrong with my dream." "I hope to be financially at this place, but something went wrong with my hopes." "I thought that I'd be married, but something went wrong with my plan." "As I look at my life, I know that God had all these things intended for me, but something went wrong along the way." What do you do when you realize something went wrong? Well, you let God remake your life. He is the Potter, you are the clay. Here's what Jeremiah said after he realized something went wrong: So the potter used that clay to make another pot the way he wanted it to be. Here's the good news; God is a Potter, you are the clay. God used the same clay to remake it into what He wanted it to be. If you don't like your life, let God remake it. Through Christ, you can be the masterpiece created for the Master's purpose. Pastor Craig: All of our churches, let's pray together. Father, we ask that your Spirit would do a work in your people. That we would never be the same. As you are praying today at all of our churches, I want you to think about it. Let me talk first to those of you who are Christians. You are committed followers of Christ. Many of you, as you look at your life you may say, "I don't feel like a masterpiece. After all I've done, I feel like I'm not good enough." Let me just say, it doesn't matter what you feel like, because of Christ, you are made new. You are the masterpiece of God, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for you to do. For those of you who are Christians, if you would say, "Honestly, I want to believe it and I want to live it. I want to know the purpose for which I was created and I want to live according to the Master's purpose. I want my life to count and to give Him glory." If that's you today and you say, "Craig, would you pray that that would be so?" Would you just lift up your hands right now. All of our churches, just lift them up right now and say, "I really want that to be!" God, I do, I pray today for those who are Christians, I pray that they would overcome every insecurity this world has beat into us and they would recognize that in Christ Jesus they are new, they are a new creation with a new purpose, they are your masterpiece, created to bring glory to you. God I pray that they would understand who they are so when they know who they are in Christ, they would know what to do. God I pray they would glorify you. In all that they do, that they would see that they have everything they need to do everything you want them to do. May they believe that. Oh God I pray that they would find comfort in the fact that even though they may be going through something right now they may not like, something went wrong along the way, that you're a Sovereign God and you're working in all things to bring about good God, for those who love you and are called according to your purposes. God I pray that they would step into your purpose, that they would be fulfilled, not experimenting looking, but being confident that you have began a good work in them and you oh God, will carry it out to completion. As you keep praying today at all of our churches, there are a lot of you, if you are really honest right now you'd have to say, "There's something wrong with me, there's a lot wrong with me." And I will just say it as plainly as I can; you're right, because by nature we are all sinners. And the challenge is, so many of us, we think, "Well, to be right with God I've got to stop doing bad stuff and start doing good stuff and all of these kinds of things. But Scripture is really, really clear that you are never made right with God by the good things you do, but it is a gift of God, you are saved only by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus. For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have eternal life. There are those of you today that you said, "I would love to have a purpose, I would love to be right with God." Let me just tell you, you are not here by accident, you are here because God brought you here. Today as you call on His name, the name of His Son Jesus, Scripture says that your sins will be forgiven, you will be made band new, because Jesus is the Son of God who died and rose again. If anyone is in Christ, the Bible says, He is a new creation. The old is gone and everything is become new. For many of you, that is the very reason that you're here today; to say, "It's no longer about me! I am a sinner, I need a Savior; God, I give you my life, Jesus, make me new." At all of our locations, those of you who would say, "That's me, that's why I'm here, I give my life to you, Jesus save me and make me new." If that's your prayer today, would you lift your hands high right now! Lift them up high, now, lift them up and leave them up. I want to see you eye-to-eye. Right back over here on this section, praise God for both of you, and right back over here, welcome into God's family. Others of you, I want to see you. Right back over there ma'am, praise God for you. Others of you say, "Yes!" Right back over here toward the back, in this section up here close to me, praise God for you. Right back here sir, welcome into the family of God. Others of you say, "Jesus, take my life!" Church Online, you guys click right below me. Others of you who would say, "Yes, save me! I want to know you!" Pray with me, everybody, all of our churches, just pray aloud. Pray Heavenly Father, save me from my sins, make me new. I believe you died for me and you rose again so I could live for you. Make me new in Christ, Your masterpiece. Fill me with your Spirit so I could serve you always. Thank you for new life, I give you mine. In Jesus' name I pray! All of our churches, would you just take a moment and would you worship God, would you thank Him. Would you welcome all of those people today born into the family of God.

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Duration: 35 minutes and 59 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
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Posted by: lifechurchopen on Feb 23, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are - Week 2 Craig Groeschel

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