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I Quit - Week 4

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Hey LifeChurch and all of our Network Churches, today we are wrapping up the series called, "I Quit". With the help of God, we are going to quit comparing. Next week, we are starting a brand new series called, "Who Do You Think You Are?" And this series is so important, I promise you, will speak to you in a life-changing way. I want to help you see who you are in Christ. When you know who you are you'll know what to do. You are an ambassador, you are salt and light, you are a masterpiece of God, and you are an overcomer. Who are you in Christ? We are going to look at God's Word next week and help you see who you are. Today, wrapping up the series you are going to hear from one of my best friends, and one of the star members at LifeChurch.tv. Sam Roberts has been on staff for almost 14 years, way back in the very beginning. He's done everything from single adult ministry, creative team ministry, he's been a lead Campus Pastor; and now, Sam Roberts oversees all of the campuses. He's a great man of God, a great husband, a great daddy to four little kids. You are going to get to know him and to the power of God, you are going to quit comparing. Would you give a warm welcome to Pastor Sam Roberts! Well, I want to welcome out all of our Network Churches around the globe, all of you at our LifeChurch.tv campuses, and a special welcome to all of you at Church Online, great to have you with us as we wrap up this series entitled, "I Quit". Today, we are looking at the topic of I Quit Comparing. But, before we do that, I just want to say what an honor it is to be able to be on this stage and to be able to fill in for our Senior Pastor, Craig Groeschel. It's just...I will tell you, I can remember years and years ago, being in those seats before coming on staff, and I would think to myself; man, you know he's an amazing preacher, he's really good, but I wonder if he's like, the real deal? You know, I would wonder that, is he the real deal? You know, you kind of wonder that! I will tell you what, I've been with him 14 years now, through some of the highest of highs in the ministry and the lowest of lows and what I can tell you is he is the real deal. You are not going to find a person who is more in love with Christ, his wife or his kids, than Craig is, he is, as our senior leader, man, deserving of all of the respect and honor that we give him. In fact, in my life he's had such an impact. Many times I say that he is much like a spiritual father to me and I tell him that and he says, "Well, I actually prefer you probably call me more like a cool, spiritual big brother, more than a spiritual father!" But none the less, you know, a couple of weeks ago, I was actually out having lunch with my cool spiritual big brother and we were out eating and he says to me, "You know, I figured something out, it's new, I've discovered something." I said, "Well, what's that?" He said, "You know, I'm writing this message on, I Quit Complaining," which is actually week two of this series, and he says, "You know, I found out that if I go on the facebook and I just update my status with the question of, "Hey, what do you guys complain about?" He goes, "Two hours, I had 150 replies!" I was like, "That's brilliant! I'm going to do that!" So, I get back to the office and I log into facebook, I update my status and I say, "What do you guys find that you compare about?" Well eight hours later, I had six comments! Six! And two were from my mama! It was bad! I felt like a social networking misfit in that moment! I'm like, man really? Luckily though, the next week Craig actually posted the same question and 188 comments later, we have something to talk about, alright? You know, what I did though, I began to read through all of those comments and as I did, and these are the things that we posted, these are the things that I posted, the things that you, Church Online, put out there on that facebook post and began to realize that there are so many things that we compare. In fact, I began to realize that there's really four main categories as I looked at it and I put them there in your notes. So, if you're taking notes with us, just look at those and you know what? Check that as we begin to talk about these four different categories, if you find, you know what? I compare like that. The first thing I found was, we compare possessions, don't we? Our car, it may be that you actually got a new car last year and all of a sudden your at the stop light, and this year's model rolls up next to you and you're like, "Well, look at that! I like that, I like their wheels better!" And you know and we compare. Maybe it's our house, is it big enough? Does it look good enough? Oh my goodness, are the furnishings the way that they should be? Do we need to add on, make bigger, more space? We can begin to compare and heaven forbid you go to a show home, that will just wipe you out! And we begin to compare our possessions. If that's you, check it off. The second thing I realize is that we compare our appearances, don't we? I mean, ladies, we compare, like your hair, like does it look good? Does it look as soft and fluffy as the girl in that shampoo commercial when she does that real, dramatic, slow-motion, walking thing, you know? And the hair guys, we don't really have that problem, we just actually compare, do we even have hair? That's where it starts for us! But, you know actually, it's a little bit more about guys getting more into the whole body thing, and our build and what not. I know guys, if you're like me, you look at Craig up here and he wears those short sleeve shirts and that boy has got some guns on him! I mean, he's big right? That's why I'm sporting long sleeves today! Because I'm more in that buggy-whip category! I don't do that whole short sleeve thing! But man, we compare our appearances. If that's you, check in there, say "Yep, I can actually see that." Other thing is our performance, alright? Maybe it's in the job. It's like, "Man, my sales don't look anything like this person over here in this region and I know I work every bit as hard as they do! Why do they not look as good? Why are the numbers not looking as good? I don't get it! It doesn't make any sense!" Maybe it's that you're a mom and you're saying, "You know what, I look on at other moms and I'm like, 'Look at her, she's got both earrings in and all of the kid's faces are wiped!' This is terrible, I'm a terrible mother, what's wrong with me?" You know, but we compare in all sorts of aspects, our performance. If that's you, check it off and say, "You know what, I compare performance." The last thing I saw on those comments was that we compare circumstances many times. Maybe it's that, you know what, you haven't been able to get pregnant and everybody around you is pregnant. Not only are they pregnant, they're popping out twins and you're like, "God, what's the deal? This just doesn't seem fair! I've served you, I work for you and I don't get it! Why can't I be blessed with a child?" Maybe it's that you know what? You wished you were married right now. You fit in that category, you know, "I'm always a brides maid, never a bride" and "I wish I would have found Mr. Right by now, but he's not out there," or "Mrs. Right, I can't find...God why can't I find her?" Or, maybe it's just that your situation in life right now, you're not where you thought you should be. And you look on at people, maybe you've graduated with, or co-workers, and now they've moved on to other things, and you are just like, "God, I don't get it! Why can't I get a break?" Sometimes we compare circumstances. If that's you, check it off and say, "You know what? That's me." The fact is that comparison truly does permeate every aspect of our thinking in so many different facets of our life. You know, I graduated from college several years ago and when I graduated, the university I graduated at had this little award that they gave out every year called Marketing Student of the Year. There was this guy in my class, who, we always kind of competed with one another in a good way, we kind of pushed each other to be better. We were kind of the top marketing students and we would go at it, you know, back and forth. And it turns out, that year I ended up getting the award for Marketing Student of the Year, which was really cool and what not and neat. I could tell he was like, "Man, I should have gotten it!" Well anyway, we go on, years past, and about five years later, I bump into him out on a putting green at a golf course. So, we began to talk and what not. Inevitably, the question comes up and I say, "Well, so what are you doing nowadays?" To which he says, "Well, I'm actually a Regional Vice President of Marketing over...." and then he named a multi-billion dollar corporation. I was like oh my! Wow! He's in his early twenties and he's doing that already? Oh my goodness! And he says, "So, what do you do?" I said, "Well, I'm a local pastor actually here at a church." And he goes, "Really?" He goes, "Wow, like a senior pastor?" And I'm like, "No, not a senior pastor." "Oh!" And then he says, "Well, a lot of good that marketing degree did you!" That was right below this belt-line, right about there! You know what I was thinking right at that moment? I was thinking, I tell you what, this ping putter right here would make a good necklace around your neck! A nice little choker! That's what I was thinking! But you know what? We compare all of the time, "Am I as successful as so and so," "Do I look as good as this person," or "How do I fit in?" Where am I at on the rating scale? Where do I fall in? Why does God hate it when we compare? That's the question we are trying to answer today, why does God hate it when we compare? And what we are going to do is we are going to look at three different thoughts about why God hates it when we compare. And then, what we can do to help us not compare, alright? First thought if you're taking notes, is this, why does God hate it when we compare? The first thought is this, write this down if you're taking notes, is that comparison is the death of contentment. Write that down. Comparison is the death of contentment. We see this actually over in 2 Corinthians 10:12, when the Apostle Paul is writing this and he says: We do not dare.... Now, when you actually say that word when you're talking, you don't just say it like; oh, we don't dare. What do you say? I mean, "Don't you dare come in here!" You know, you put a little cockiness and a little attitude into a dare, don't you? "Don't you dare do that!" And so, why the strong language? Why is Paul like, 'Don't you dare do this?' The reason he does it is because he understands that comparison, in comparison, when we compare, what it does is it kills our joy and it robs our meaning and it can destroy our marriages. That's why he gets this kind of cocky language going on. So he goes on and he says: We do not dare to classify or.... Or what? Or to compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves. They are not wise. In other words, they are stupid. Why? Why does he say this? Because he understands something. That success in life is not a matter of being inferior or superior to someone else. It's not this balancing scale. What success is, it's about being who God wants you to be, and not who you wish you were. Success is about being who God wants you to be and not who you wish you were. You see, because what happens when we compare is this, we begin to build a mirage of another person. Let me show you, it kind of looks like this: We go, "You know what? I really, really like their personality, Oh, if I had her personality, she's so funny and witty and quick-witted, if I just had that!" And, "Oh, their hair is really cool, I really like that!" And, "Man, their body build," and "Well, their spouse, now their spouse really cares about them and treats them well!" And, "Oh man, their kids, did you see how well their kids obey? It's absolutely amazing!" And "Wow, their house, and their car!" And all of a sudden we just have all of these inputs coming in and we build a mirage that's just not real. It's who we wish we were, and in that it is not successful, because we are not being who God wants us to be. Craig mentioned in the opening video that I actually have the privilege and the honor to be able to serve all of our campuses here at LifeChurch.tv. One of our campuses, is actually down in South Florida in a town called Wellington. Now, it is close to West Palm Beach. Every so often, someone on staff has to suffer for Jesus and go down to West Palm Beach to check on things down there. So, it was my turn to go down and check on some stuff, so I was going down there. Pastor Larry Mayer is a great campus pastor, he's our pastor at that location. I was going down to see him and I took along with me Miles Paludan, from our Edmond Campus, and also Tommy Dawson, from our South Tulsa Campus. So, we go down there and one of our attenders down there has a nice, big boat. And he said, "Pastor, I'd love to take you out on the water and just show you a good time, take you out there and have fun, how about that? What if we do that?" I'm like, "Far be it from me to rob you of your blessing! Absolutely, let's go, let's hit the waves!" And so we get out there on the boat and we are out there on what's called the Intracoastal Waterway right, and we are cruising along having a good time enjoying the sunshine, the fellowship and talking and everything. And all six of us are out there just having a great time. Well, another boat starts to go by and we are about to cross you know, almost like two ships in the night so to speak. So, we are going by and all of a sudden somebody on the other boat goes, "Hey! Hey! Hey!" Well, when someone yells, you just naturally look over there, so we look over and there was this young lady over there that thinks, 'Now is a perfect time for me to go on and drop my top at all these guys on this boat', so she flashes us! And you're thinking, "What happened?" Well, I will tell you what we did, we did just what Craig teaches us to do; gentlemen, we bounced our eyes! That's what we did, all six of us at the same time! Like this, right! We were looking straight ahead, wasn't nobody looking back, so we're looking straight ahead. And in that moment, I thought two things, not those two things! I was thinking two other things actually in that moment. I've got to be careful with my selection of words in this story! Two things I thought. Number one; I thought, these guys man, I'm proud of these guys! All of us just bounced our eyes immediately and we're integrity filled and this is great and we are serving God! And that's good! Good deal! So I thought that. The second thing I thought was; I wonder what she's thinking right about now? I mean, you think about it ladies. You're out on a boat, I know none of you ladies in here or listening to us, or any of you at Church Online would actually drop your top and flash somebody! But hypothetically speaking, you're on a boat and you drop your top and you're showing your stuff to six guys on a boat, and all six of them go... "Oh!" What do you think? I will tell you what you think! You think, "Okay, I have lost it! It's gone!" She's probably in some support group down in South Florida, no punn intended, but I mean, it's like....yeah! It is crazy how much we compare. And I will tell you something sad though, really, and I really feel bad many times for the ladies because you know what? You find that you get compared to more than just about anybody else, because you know what? What happens is, you'll get compared to these mirages that sit on magazine covers at the check-out counters of grocery stores with these photo-shopped, airbrushed mirages that simply aren't real. But what happens? You begin to compare. And in that, we find the death of contentment. Why does God hate it when we compare? Well, as we discovered already when we were taking notes, that you know what? In comparison, we had the death of contentment. The second thing if you are taking notes, is that comparison makes us prideful. Comparison makes us prideful. We see this in Luke, Chapter 18. Jesus is telling a story here about prayer. He's talking about prayer and he's specifically telling a story about when a Pharisee, which was a religious leader, a teacher in that day, kind of a pastor-type is out praying okay. So, he begins to say this prayer, and this is what happens in Luke 18: The Pharisees stood by himself and he prayed: 'God, I thank you that I am not like these other people, like these robbers and these evildoers, these adulterers-or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' Now that is about verbose and pompous, is it not, to pray like that? But you know what? We do it all of the time. Maybe not in our prayers, but we do it a lot in our thoughts, right? Let me help you out if you're thinking, "Really, how's that?" Walmart, in the toy isle. Armageddon has started back there and you are thinking, "What on earth is going on?" You go around the corner and there, right there, is a three-and-a-half-year-old little girl throwing a crazy, wild-eyed, screaming fit on the floor. Looks like she needs a demon exercised out of her and you're like, "What has happened?" "I want the toy, I want it!" The mom is like, "Oh gosh, help us all!" And she is just freaking out, and you're thinking, "I can't believe that! Do you see the way those kids are acting? That is just, oh, they need to bring some discipline up in that home, I tell you! They need to understand how to parent! I would never...my kids would never do something like that!" People who think that way, let me tell you something about those people; they actually don't have children, definitely not a three and a half year old for sure! Right? What happens though? We begin to look on at other people's circumstance and we kind of like, "Well, I would never, I wouldn't do that!" Or maybe it's like this, somebody is looking on like, "Look at that person! I can't believe them! Smoking a cigarette, don't they know their body is a temple of the Holy Spirit? Don't they know they should just take better care of themselves? Don't they know that every drawl they have on that thing takes another two minutes off their life? Don't they understand that?" Or, "Yes, I need to order a double bacon cheeseburger with fries and a two-liter bottle of soda, and could you super-duper size that please?" "Smoking a cigarette? What's wrong with those people?" It's absurd, is it not? Because it's a form of legalism in our lives when we begin to compare our circumstances and our situation to someone else. And legalism always leads to absurdity, but we do it all of the time. Comparison makes us prideful. C.S. Lewis said it this way, and I like this. He said: We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they're really not. He says, they're proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking, there would be nothing to be proud about. I like that. Why does God hate it when we compare? Because comparison, in comparison we find the death of contentment. The second thing is that comparison makes us prideful. The third thought on that is that comparison makes us resentful. If you are taking notes write that down, comparison makes us resentful. We see this in 1 Samuel, Chapter eighteen, the Bible reads: When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine,.... Now first of all, if you're not familiar with the Bible, who is David? Well, David is this guy who actually, for Saul, who is the current king; he actually was too scared to fight this Goliath, this giant one time in a battle. Well, David came to his rescue and fought him and killed him, as a little boy with a sling. And he takes down this giant. It's that David, who trust his God that much and serves King Saul that much and is that loyal to him. It's that David, it's the same David who, when Saul, would have a tormenting spirit the Bible said, David would come and play his harp for Saul and the tormenting spirit would depart. He has served his king time and time again and proven his loyalty. It's that David that we are talking about. So, the Bible says: When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistines,... Uh oh, check this out... ...the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes. They were coming out, modern day translation; "Gentlemen, you just won the championship game in whatever sport you like!" Right? You're out there and people, you're probably riding on somebodies shoulders, Queen, We are the Champions is playing, there's confetti coming down from the ceiling, being shot out of cannons, fireworks going off! And you are the man, because you are the champion! And here come all of the cheerleaders with their palm-palms, they are about to come out and do a cheer, right? That's what's happening! They are coming in from a conquest and they have kicked some serious Philistine booty! They are coming back and here is the cheer that their little ladies say, they sing and they dance and they said: "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." The Bible says that Saul was very angry; help me out, he said that this refrain galled him. How strong that is, it galled him: 'They have credited David with tens of thousands,' he thought, 'but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?' he's thinking. And from this moment on the Bible says that Saul kept a jealous eye on David. You see, when we begin to compare, we can find that it makes us resentful. If you're taking notes, there's a thought here that I really want you to get. Write this down, because it's so important that we understand this. When we compare, here's what happens, is that we resent God's goodness in others lives and ignore God's blessing in our own life. It's exactly what happened to Saul. He began to look on and it did not matter that David had already slayed Goliath for him and that he had served the king for so many years and been so loyal, it did not matter. All he knew was they were crediting David with tens of thousands, but me with only thousands! What more could he get but the kingdom? He became enraged, he became galled as Scripture says, and he couldn't see, he could not be happy for David. In other words, he became resentful of God's goodness in David's life and he ignored the blessing in his own life. What did he have to be thankful about? How about the fact that he's king? He can do whatever he wants, he can go wherever he wants to go? He's the king! But, he ignored that and we do the same thing many times. When we let that cancer of comparison come in and just gall us and just eat us up, we begin to be resentful of God's goodness in someone else's life and we just can't see the blessing, we ignore it in our own lives. So, comparison is a serious problem that we have to learn to try to overcome. How do we do this? Well, I've got a couple of thoughts and let me tell you, if we can internalize these thoughts and they become a part of our daily living and understanding, then we can become transformed and quit comparing. So, how do we do it? The first thought is this: You have to know what you have. Write that down. You have to know what you have. We see this in Philippians, Chapter Four, verses 11 through 13. Paul was writing this under house arrest at this time, right? So a lot of his freedoms have been restricted; he has to stay in this home, he can't go and do whatever he wants to do anytime he wants to do it, and he pens these words, he says: I'm not saying this because I am in need, for I have... Help me out, I have what? I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances, he says. Now check this out, learn to be content. We have got to understand that this isn't something that just.... "Well, right, well I'm content now, I don't compare anything anymore, I don't care if I have the latest igadget, or if I have the right jeans or clothes or things, or my car looks a certain way.... I don't compare anymore." This is something that we have to learn. What does it mean? It means that through a process God takes us through, we learn the secret. We learn how to be content. Now, how does that play out in real life, day-to-day living? Let me tell you, what happens is you have a spiritual enemy, Satan, who likes to try to put thoughts in your head like, "Well you know, you really do this you know, and really you deserve better than this," And all of these kinds of thoughts. What you have to do, the Scripture says, you have to stop, you have to take that thought obedient, and make it obedient, take it captive and make it obedient to Christ. How do you do that? By knowing God's Word, that's how you do that. We have to be in God's Word daily, because in knowing the truth, we can know what the truth is and the truth sets us free, as Scripture says, from these thoughts that try to hold us captive. We have to know what we have. Take those thoughts captive, make them obedient to Christ. It's a learned process at the end of the day, okay? So Paul says: I've learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of... Help me out, of what? ...being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Him, through Christ who gives me strength. Now way back on that putting green; you know, he says; "A lot of good that marketing degree did you!" And they walk off, he walks off and two thoughts entered in my head. Number one was, "Well how sad that he actually felt like he had to say that. Number two was, "You know what, I actually know what I have, I know what I'm called to and I don't really need that." Then I began to think as I was processing this message; I began to think, what would of happened if I would have actually allowed myself to become consumed with that comparison and began to become resentful of the fact that, well, you know what? I was the one who was Marketing Student of the Year, I should be able to get into just about any corporation, do whatever I want to do, and be able to climb that corporate ladder into success, and be making tons and tons of money, and not having that, what would have happened? Well, I will tell you what, I would have missed this! Not this, like this speaking thing, because honestly, that's such a small microcosm of what I mean when I say "this". I mean, what God has done in 14 years here at LifeChurch.tv, the things that He's done inside of me as a husband, as a daddy, as a friend. What He's done inside of you, hearing the stories, time and time again, where the power of the risen Christ comes in and transforms a life. And all of a sudden, a husband who was selfish and consumed with everything materialistic comes to serve his bride and love her like Christ loved the church, and it transforms a marriage. And the kids in that family grow up in a different home environment and their generations are changed because of that. I see that all of the time across all of our campuses, at Church Online, at our Network Churches, the power of the transforming risen Christ truly transforms marriages over and over again. What else happens? I see addictions broken time and time again. Fourteen years of hearing stories of alcoholism broken, pornography addictions broken, bondage broken; because God is getting into their lives, they are turning themselves over, becoming a new creation as Scripture calls it. I could have missed out on all of this had I allowed comparison to come in and make me resentful, to make me prideful, it would have been the death of contentment. What does it mean for you? I'm not sure, maybe it's that you know what, you would stop trying to compare and go after that thing, that other thing that if I could just work harder and get this and buy that, and get that bigger house and get the pool and this and that, and just keep going and more and more and more. Maybe you would actually be able to give the time to your family that they actually want and you wouldn't miss those ball games, or that dance recital, or that anniversary, because you're so consumed with all of this, that we miss this, God's best; because remember, success isn't about being inferior or superior to someone else, it's about being who God wants you to be not who you wish you were. First thought on how we kill this comparison cancer is we know what we have. Second thought is this, if you are taking notes, you've got to know who you are. Okay? Now, this is so important of a point that actually Craig will be back next week and he's going to preach for four weeks, a series about our identity in Christ and understanding who we are. This concept is so critical to our success as followers of Christ that he's going to devote that much time to it and it is going to be transforming for us as we listen. You're not going to want to miss it. We have to understand who we are. The Book of Ephesians, Chapter 2:10, the Bible says this: We are God's workmanship.... You don't believe it yet, let's do it again! You are God's workmanship! Say it again! You are God's workmanship, you've got to say it louder, all of you at all of our campuses, Network Churches, work with me on this! You are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for you to do. What does it mean? It means you, yes you are God's workmanship! It means you are God's workmanship, you are God's workmanship, you are God's workmanship. You are born in the thought of the Creator of the universe! You are His workmanship, you've been equipped with gifts, talents, things that He wants you to see, to do. He's put you in a specific situation to be able to minister to those around you as an ambassador of His truth and His love, you are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for you to do. I pray today that you understand who you are, because in knowing who you are, you know who you don't have to be! In knowing who you are, you'll know who you don't have to be! Quit trying to be somebody you wish you were, be who God wants you to be, know who you are! This summer, I had the privilege of getting to take my wife and my four children to Disney World in Orlando. Now, I have four children, they are nine, seven, five and three. So now you know how you can pray for my wife and I! It's crazy in our house! My girls are nine and seven and my boys are five and three. And we were there at Disney World and their cast members, who are their workers that they call them there at Disney World, did this little thing every time they crossed paths with my girls. If they were walking along and my girls were walking and they were about to kind of cross paths, and one of them had to stop, they always did the same thing and it was always real dramatic, and it was kind of funny! They would stop and be like, "Well, princess, by all means!" And the girls would like giggle and laugh and they walked on, right, because truly, every little girl wants to be a princess, right? Well, I would give them some money and they would go up to a concession stand and the clerk would take the money from them and they would always say, "Well princess, what would it be for you?" And they'd always be dramatic and my girls would giggle and laugh and get their thing and go on. Well, it got to be the end of the day and man, a day with four kids at a theme park can be quite exhausting to say the least. And so we're there, and I decide, 'Well you know, I'm kind of slap-happy, and so I just kind of _____, I'm like, well I've got to figure out to get some food, and we're right out there in front of Cinderella's castle you know, we're waiting on the big fireworks show, then all of the pixie dust is going to fall over us and we are all going to sing, "It's a Small World (after all)" and all of that, and this is going to be great! And we were sitting there waiting on all of that and it's dinner time and so, I look on at my girls and I say in a real dramatic fashion, I say, "Well princesses, what would you like for dinner?" To which, one of my daughters says, "Daddy, we're not princesses!" Now, I didn't break character, I stayed in it and I said, "Oh really? And why are you not a princess?" And my daughter said, "Because Daddy, for us to be a princess you would have to be a king! And you are no king, Daddy!" I said, "You're right, duly noted! But girls, your Heavenly Daddy, He's actually not just a King, He's actually the King of Kings. And He's actually not just the Lord, He's the Lord of Lords. And you know what girls? One day, every knee is going to bow and every tongue is going to confess that your Heavenly Daddy is the King of all Kings, and that makes you one very special, one very beautiful, little princess." And with that, there little mouths drew up in a smile and their eyes began to dance, because they knew who they were. And in knowing who they were, they knew who they did not have to be. Today, with God's help, we will quit comparing. Let us pray. Father, I pray today that through your power and your might God, that you would break the bonds of comparison in our minds and God that we would become complete in you as your Word says. Today as you are praying, maybe you are here and you say, "You know what man?" You're at one of our Network Churches, one of our campuses, at Church Online, you begin to say, "You know man, I will tell you, it resonates with me. You know what, I compare in all sorts of different aspects and man, I want God's power to help me to know what I have and to know who I am! I pray God reminds me of that!" And you say, "Man Sam, that's me, would you just pray for me that I could do that?" Lift up your hands, all of you across this room, at Church Online, click right there below you, and say, "Yeah, you know what, that's me absolutely!" I'd be honored to be able to pray for us all. Father, I just want to ask that you would invade our lives and invade our thoughts daily, and help us to know and remember what we have and who we are. And God, I pray that when we know who we are, that we know that we're complete in you, that we know that we don't have to be something else. And God, I pray that you would help us to not give in to that cancer of comparison that is so easy to do. God, I pray through your power and your might you would break that bond in our life and that today would be a day we would begin to learn to be content no matter what the circumstances Father. Still praying today, man, there's those of you who are here today and you know what? Honestly, you are separated from God by comparison. Let me tell you how that works. It's like this, you say, "You know what, I'm really not that bad, I don't really need Christ because, you know, at the end of the day I should be in Heaven because, look over here at this guy, they're murderers and there's other kinds of thieves and adulterers and there's all these people in life and I'm not any of that! I'm a pretty good ole' boy actually." Well, there's another side of that coin too. Maybe you walked in to one of our campuses, or you came into Church Online and you know what? You're thinking to yourself, "If they knew what I've done here in this last, just in this last 24 hours, they would want nothing to do with me. I'm not even good enough to be around this." Let me tell you what Scripture says. It says, for it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith, not by works, so that no one can boast. You see, it's not a matter of how good, if you've been superior or you're inferior to anybody. What it is, the fact of the matter is that we've all fallen short of God's standard and we've all sinned. And what happens, what happens in that moment is that we are separated from God by our sin and we deserve a place in eternal _____, it's called hell. But you know what? God said, 'You know what? I love you. I love my workmanship so much that I'm going to send my Son, Jesus Christ, in their place so that He will die and be a sacrifice for their sin. And in that, they will know who they are. They will know that they are forgiven, that they're redeemed, that they're made complete and new.' And today, maybe God brought you here to say, "You know what? That's me! Today I say, You know what? Jesus come in, take over, be the Lord of my life, be my Savior, forgive me of my sin, help me to be a new creation in you." Today, at this moment, the power of the risen Christ stands ready to come into your life and say, "Yes, that's it! Forgiven of your sin!" Those of you who would say, "You know what, that's me today! I'm ready, turn my life over to Christ." At all of our locations, lift your hands right now! Say yes, that is me, Jesus come in! Yes ma'am, right over here, God, transform her and make her new, make her a new creation in you! Others of you say, "That is me!" Yes, right here, young warrior being born into God's kingdom! God, I pray with his lifted hand it would be a sign that you are going to transform his life and do something completely new and different! Yes, back in the far right, back over here, welcome into God's family. Right over here, yes, absolutely, welcome into God's family. God, I pray that your power would rest on them in this moment. Yes, back over here, two young princesses being born into God's family. Truly princesses now, being born of the Heavenly Host, the Heavenly Daddy, King of Kings! Yes ma'am, right here in the middle section, welcome into God's family! Absolutely! Others of you who would say, "You know what? That is me!" Yes ma'am, right here in the middle section, welcome into God's family! God, I pray that you would transform her life in a powerful way. Others, is there anyone else today who would say, that's me? Alright, where what we're going to do is we are going to pray this prayer aloud, together with those making this decision here today. So let's all repeat this prayer as a family together, after me, repeat this prayer. Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to die in my place. Help me to know that I am a new creation, that I'm forgiven, that I'm redeemed, I'm made new by you. God I pray that you would help me to know that I'm your workmanship, created in you to do good works that you prepared in advance for me to do. Help me to live my life daily for you. It's in Jesus name I pray. And everyone here said Amen! Give it up for what God's doing!

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Duration: 40 minutes and 45 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
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Posted by: lifechurchopen on Feb 22, 2011

I Quit Week 4

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