Ben McSpadden: It is a new year and a new series, so welcome. I’m excited about the new year. This is the time of year where we re-think, we restart, we re-imagine how we’re going to spend 2020. Or if we’re a little bit more honest with ourselves, how we hope to at least get through the first month with maybe a New Year’s resolution all the way through. We’ll see how that goes, but in fact, if you do have a New Year’s resolution, I want you to get your listening guide out right now and write it in a blank space somewhere. It can be a phrase or a word...just something small because you’re going to need to circle that word, whatever that word is. If you already have one, go ahead and write it down, just a small description, and you’re going to draw a circle around it. If you’re like me and you haven’t landed on one yet, it’s okay. You’re here today, this morning, so let’s think of one right now.
If there ever was an area of life that you were thinking, “In 2020, I'd like to work on…” just write a one-word descriptor down. Maybe it was related to work, so you can write down work or career. Maybe it is in your home life; you want to like rearrange the garage. Write “the garage” down. Or maybe it has to do with finances or health, but write one word or phrase then circle that. We’re going to look at that in a second. You can draw an arrow to that...something like that except your word can’t be “word.” A real goal for you...a real hope that you have in 2020… In a moment, I’m going to share with each of you a word that’s going to impact the word that you put in the circle. No matter what your word was, there’s another word that’s going to impact that. I’m not going to tell you what that word is just yet because we want to look at reboot. Reboot is not the word, but we want to understand why are we talking about reboot.
Reboot is like a refresh or a restart. When you reboot your computer, what are you doing? There’s a couple of things that you’re maybe trying to do. There’s different reasons we reboot the computer. Sometimes there’s just some bugs; it’s not working like it should, and maybe there’s memory that’s getting hogged because there’s open programs that you didn’t know about in the background. Just things are just kind of tanking because it’s not working, or maybe you accidentally downloaded some malware, and you need to reboot to reset the system back to a known, good state that things work out. You might not solve the root issue, but you’re at least going to get it back to a known state where it’s sort of in working order. That’s one reason; that’s sort of a troubleshoot reason of why you might reboot something.
Another reason is you might be rebooting your system is because you’re changing your entire operating system, and you’ve got to shut the whole thing down because you’re going to bring back online a whole new system. So, those are two reasons why we will often reboot whether it’s for troubleshooting or we’re switching operating systems. Now I would love to tell you in 2020, whatever the challenges or goals that you have that you’re going to face, that all you’re going to have to do is turn it off and turn it back on. That’d be great, wouldn’t it? If we could reboot life, just turn it off and turn it back on. But, your life is a little bit more complicated; it’s more than 1’s and 0’s that you’re trying to get in a proper order. You’re dealing with life, and it can be messy. So when you are challenged with things and you’re trying to troubleshoot things and you’re trying to get at 2020 and your goals, it’s a little bit more complicated. There are bugs that you might need to work out; there’s malware that you need to get rid of. There’s different things in your life that you are trying to move forward in, and you’re struggling.
We’d thought we’d start off the new year with giving you some practical tips on how to reboot 2020, how to have a fresh start and how to move forward. Here’s one thing we need to look at, though, in this whole context. There’s a word that will impact all kinds of areas of life no matter what you wrote in that circle. The word that we’re going to look at in this Reboot Series is relationships. “Relationships” is what you write in that line there. Relationships, no matter what your goals are, your relationships will have an impact on your goals. If you think about it, they’re a key part of your life, whether you have some great joys that are running through your mind right now of what happened in 2019 or what you’re anticipating in 2020. There’s involved relationships if you have some great joys ahead, but if you’re looking at some challenges, often our relationships are involved in our challenges and our struggles. So, our relationships are huge.
No matter what your goal is, even if it seems like a personal goal...maybe you want to...maybe it just seems very unrelational, like I want to get a hold of my finances… Well, if you’re married, hopefully you’ve talked to your spouse about financial goals for 2020. Some of you are thinking, “You know, that’s a great conversation we’re going to have this afternoon because we didn’t get on the same page.” That’s a goal that’s impacted by relationships. If you have career goals, your career goals are impacted by your co-workers and those you work with. Even if it’s as simple as a dietary goal, a new diet plan, those that you often eat food with, they impact that. How is that going to go? Are we going to eat the same thing? We going to order different things? We going to cook different meals? Even down to that, our relationships impact our goals.
So when we think about a reboot in our relationships, it’s not necessarily that we’re starting over with a whole new network of relationships. That would be daunting for many of us, but it is a refresh and a new approach to looking at how are we dealing with our relationships that we do have. When we think about rebooting, it doesn’t just impact one area; it affects the system all across. So God, He wants us to reboot how we tend to relate to how He intended for us to relate. So we want to start with, first off, examining our relationship with God, and that’s what we’re going to look at today because that is foundational to all the other relationships. We want to consider how is our relationship with God going into 2020 because He and that relationship with Him will impact all the other relationships, which in turn impact all these other areas of our life. So, there’s a domino effect, so today we’re going to focus on our relationship with God. In the coming weeks, we’re going to look at relationships with people closest to us and then in the coming weeks, we’ll also look at, with the world around us, how we relate to them.
But today, we want to focus on how’s our relationship with God going in 2020, and what do we need to reboot about that? When we think about this, we want to be sure we reboot with Jesus as the operating system. We want to reboot with Jesus as the operating system, and we want to do that because if we operate with a different operating system, if we come back online with something that isn’t Jesus, we’re going to get different results. He’s not just an add-on. You know when you have your phone and you want to download an app, when you want to add something to it. Jesus isn’t an app; you don’t just add Him to your life. He’s actually the foundational thing. The difference between an app and an operating system is that I can go and download a map app to learn how to get from here to China, right, or wherever I want to go, but I can’t order stuff with my map app. I have to go into my amazon app, and I’ve got to shop on Amazon or whatever you want to use. There’s different...apps are limited.
They can do certain things, and some of them can do a lot of things and they’re really cool. But they’re still limited, and they can’t work without an operating system. I can’t download apps from the Apple store if I have an Android. Now, there’s conversion kits and all that, but I have to have the apps that work with my operating system. If I have an iPhone, I can’t go to the Google Play Store. Again, there might be conversion kits. If there’s techy people out there, that’s fine. You can prove me wrong...later. You get my point. You have to have a basic operating system that works for these apps that you add into later for them to work properly.
I learned about tech stuff and how it’s often just an app to our life; it’s not a foundational thing when I was in college. In college, I was a resident assistant which meant I was like a student worker for the university. I was a full-time student, but I also worked for the university living in the dorms and the apartments helping guys navigate campus life. So I did that, and my senior year, I was the Head R.A., which meant I was over all of the men’s housing at the dorm and the apartments and everything. I was over all the R.A.’s with that, and we had this training. This guy came in and trained us at the beginning of the year before any of the students showed up, and he wanted to talk about basically productivity and scheduling. So, he split us up into three groups. He split us up into the guys who use sticky notes and calendaring, like monthly calendar, weekly calendar. Then he split us up...then there’s another layer of technology, which was the 3-ring binder with the little weekly planners or daily planners you could write in all these goals and stuff. And then, there were the guys with the Palm Pilots. This tells you how far back this was. If you don’t know what a Palm Pilot is, imagine a smartphone that you can’t make phone calls, you can’t text, and you really can’t download any apps. You’re thinking, why would you want that? Believe me, it was cool back then...a Palm Pilot, top of the line.
So I’m the Head R.A., I’m supposed to be setting pace with certain things; I’m not sure where they’re going with this exercise because I didn’t have a Palm Pilot. In fact, I was all the way over here; I was sticky note guy with the calendar, monthly calendar, and so I wasn’t sure. I still don’t know exactly what he wanted to go with that because often the Palm Pilot guys that were in that group were some of our most disorganized guys. Maybe they needed that; they needed the help. I don’t know, but the lesson for me came a little bit later in the year. I go by and I’m checking on one of the R.A.’s that I’m over and seeing how he’s doing. He’s a fairly responsible guy, but he looks like his life is imploding. He hasn’t shaved, and his eyes are bloodshot. I’m like, “Hey, man, what’s going on?” He says, “Well, I’ve missed some classes; I’ve missed meetings. I’m so behind.” I’m like I didn’t know if his girlfriend broke up with him or somebody in his family died. Why is he so distracted? He said, “No, man. I lost my daily planner.” I thought, “Oh, wow.” He said, “And I have a backup planner, but they quit selling the pages at Staples, so I can’t add more pages to it. So, I’m stuck!” I was like, “Let me introduce you to sticky notes.” You know, what I realized in that was all these things are just add-ons. It’s the operating system, and in this case the person, as to whether or not they’re relatively going to be organized.
In a lot of things in our life, we can add in, but it really comes down to our life, who we are, and what we’re operating with that will impact all the other things that we can add in. We can add in a new diet; we can add in a new exercise routine. We can add in some new goals, but our foundational operating system really needs to be running the right way. The Bible talks about two operating systems; now obviously, it doesn’t use that language, but it talks about two ways that we can live life. There’s the world’s ways, and there’s God’s ways. At Hope we talk about our mission is to invite people to discover and experience God’s ways because we see it as good. It is an operating system that really works and is helpful for us in life.
The Bible clarifies these two operating systems in this one verse. It says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Those are your two operating systems. The world’s ways, and in this case it’s talking about the thief. When we read that in the whole context of the Bible, we know it’s talking about Satan, the devil, the one who is an adversary against the things of God. See, he’s been in rebellion for a long time, and he hates everything that God’s made. God created us; He wants to be in relationship with us. He wants to offer us life. He says, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came…” This is Jesus talking. “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” And yet, Satan has been at war with God and His creation for a long time, so he’s wanting to steal, kill, and destroy.
He (Satan) offers us an operating system that comes short. His operating system offers death, really, and that’s what we get apart from God. We get death, and if you want to use the techy words. We all started out...with Adam and Eve in the Garden, they ate the fruit, the forbidden fruit they shouldn’t have eaten. Right? That’s where we started, and ever since then, we’ve basically been slaves or droids to our own sin nature. Now, I’m not picking on Apple or Androids, but that’s basically a nice little techy version of what’s happened to us. We, from the beginning, rebelled against God, and ever since then, we’ve been enslaved. We just...we haven’t been free. We’ve been enslaved; we’ve been droids to a life that runs short, that ends up in death. So, we want to look to Jesus as our operating system. This is foundational.
However, often people want to treat Jesus merely as an app. They already got life figured out, but they figured out Jesus says you should be kind to people, so that’s not bad. Maybe I could download Jesus app, and I could...He can be a part of my life sometimes, but He’s not foundational. If you do that, your Jesus experience will be very limited. It won’t be...It’s not what God intended. He doesn’t really give us an option of just making Him an app or making Him an operating system; He is foundational. This is what He says. He says, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
We can go into 2020, and we can start our careers or expand our careers. We can work on our families; we can do all kinds of things. We can add new goals, but apart from Christ, it will fall short if He’s not our operating system. If He’s not foundational to all that we do, if He doesn’t impact it in some way, and so when we think about moving ahead in 2020, have we just tried to add Jesus to a part of our life or is He foundational? Does He inform all the decisions that we make? Does He inform how we operate life? Because if He’s just an app, you’re going to fall short. He said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing…” Yeah, we can expand and do different things, but apart from Him, really we’ll end up lacking purpose, lacking meaning. And in the end, it won’t lead us to the life that God intended.
We really want to make Him foundational; we really want Him to be the op...So when we restart and we re-look at life, we want to make sure are we operating with Jesus in the driver’s seat, with Him as the operating system. When you switch from an operating system to another operating system, there’s always conversions, right? There’s always updates, a new way of doing things, a new way of thinking things, and before you can actually get that new operating system, you need to understand the system requirements. There’s a system requirement with the Jesus operating system, and that is that you need to make peace with God. Making peace with God, that is a system requirement. Now again, we have rebelled against God. When Adam and Eve, when they’re in the Garden, eating that forbidden fruit, that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but that represented so many things. It represented that we wouldn’t take God at His word, that we thought that we could handle life better than what God had intended. And, we’re their grandkids, their great-grandkids, and we do the same thing. It’s in our DNA to rebel and to not take God at His word.
So, how can we take hold of this life Jesus offers? How do we make peace with God? How do we abide in Jesus, and how do we gain this abundant life? Well, first we need to admit there is a God and that we’ve rebelled against Him. If you’re here today, there’s a good chance that at least you’re entertaining the idea that God might be real. Many of you have already decided that. Many of you have the operating system, but maybe you’ve got some malware you need to work on. You still need a reboot. You need to think through, “You know, I haven’t really been taking Him seriously. I haven’t factored in that He is the operating system in my life.” We need to first admit. If we’re going to make peace with God, we need to first admit He’s there and that we’ve rebelled against Him. Nobody likes to admit they’re wrong; nobody likes to admit that they’ve done wrong. I don’t like to, but that’s a humbling thing to start off… If we want this new operating system, we have to recognize there is a God, and I’ve rebelled against Him.
Then, we need to accept that the only way that we can be made right and have peace with God is through what Christ has done by dying on the cross for our sins, to take the punishment that we deserve for our rebellion, and accepting that. So when I say, “Make peace with God,” it’s not like you’re going to have to do a lot of good works. Those are a result of having a good relationship with God, but the whole starting thing is that Jesus made a way. It was what He did, and we accept that in faith. It’s not by anything we could do, but we accept Christ in faith. We accept what He’s done on the cross, so we need to admit that there’s a God, that we’ve done wrong/we’ve rebelled, and accept what Jesus Christ has done in our place.
Then, we need to repent. We need to repent; we need to turn away from our rebellion of God and walk in the ways of God and let Him be the Ruler of our life, let Him be the operating system. When we repent, this is a key part of the rebooting process. We’re starting over with a new operating system. The Bible says that, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” There it kind of wraps up some of those concepts there. We’ve been justified by faith; we have accepted Christ and what He has done, so we have this peace with God through what Jesus Christ has done. We’ve got peace with God because of what Christ has done, if we admit, accept, and repent. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
He is a faithful God, and He will forgive us. So depending on where you’re at in life, you may be thinking there’s no way I can ever get to that place where God would accept me. It says here that if we confess our sins, if we admit how much we’ve rebelled, how far we’ve gone, He’s faithful and just. He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us. He’ll give us a new life. All these updates are going to be happening in our life, and we’re not going to get it right right away. We’re not going to get everything perfectly, but this is like the first step towards downloading that new system. You’re...we’re still going to have struggles. People are walking into 2020 right now, and some of us have the Jesus operating system. We still have challenges; we’ve still got to troubleshoot. We still need to reboot; we still need to re-evaluate what’s going on and look… And if there’s still any sin that we need to confess, because we don’t end up just, you know, accept Jesus and all of a sudden we’re perfect…
We struggle in this, but this is why we’re given that verse. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us and continue to make updates to us in our lives. With these updates, this approach of life will be from a whole new angle. The system requirements of making peace will bleed into other relationships. If we have relationships, there’s a good chance you have a relational tension in one of your relationships somewhere in your life, and we’re going to need to pursue peace. We need to make peace with God, but then we also have to make peace with others. Today, we’re focusing on our relationship with God, and so I want you to be... understand that until you make peace with God...admitting that you’ve rebelled, accepting what Jesus Christ has done, and repenting. Until you do that when you try to do a reboot and a refresh and a restart and you haven’t had...you don’t have Jesus as the operating system, you might troubleshoot some things, but you haven’t dealt with the root issue. You’ve troubleshooted, but you haven’t dealt with the root issue. Things are eventually going to crop back up. You’re not going to have the real resource you need to walk in life with peaceful relationships. You might have these self-help books that make it sound good, but you won’t have the real source of peace in your life. So, you’ve got to start there.
If you’ve downloaded the Jesus requirement, the system, but you don’t have peace, you need to go back and look and see that He’s given you the resources, and you need to seek Him out. Remember that He has made a way for you to have peace. We need to be sure that our reboot includes Jesus, even in those tough parts of our life that we really just don’t want to deal with but we know there’s something not right there. We know we can go to God and ask Him to help us. You’re part of this...help us figure out and deal with this.
As we do this system requirement and we download this making peace with God, we’re still going to have those challenges, those troubles. So there’s a major troubleshooting tip I want to give you, and that is choose faithfulness. Choose faithfulness. Faithfulness is a high value in God’s operating system. Faithfulness has to do with being reliable and in line with what is true. God is faithful because He is reliable. Truth aligns with who He is. He is the Author of reality, so He is trustworthy. Reality lines up with Him. What makes God’s reliability and faithfulness so appealing is that it is connected to His love, His concern for others. He is both reliable and loving. His love is reliable, and this is so attractive. This is so powerful and impactful. The Bible says that, “By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.” God’s steadfast love and faithfulness is what planned for our salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
When that verse says, “By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for…” God’s steadfast love and faithfulness atones for or makes right what our iniquity has done. He paid the price for our sins, our rebellion. Then it goes on to say that “by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.” So it’s His love and faithfulness that forgives us our sins when we confess and repent of our sins, and this faithfulness is a cause of rejoicing to know that this Creator of the universe is faithful and desires life for us. That’s something to be rejoiced over; it’s also...there’s a healthy fear there and that fear of the Lord helps us turn from evil. This is our act of repenting.
Many of our goals for the new year have to do with us trying to attain some measure of success in life. Interestingly, faithfulness is a high value in God’s eyes that it seems like that may be one of His measures of success is faithfulness. But success often means for us or what we hear about is just the achievement or attainment of something that we can brag about whether it’s an ability or our worth. But there were men throughout history that God saw as faithful that the world did not see as successful. His standards are very different; faithfulness is what is in line with God’s character, with His operating system, with being Christ-like and aligning with God’s Truth in all the areas of our life and how He designed reality.
Again, if we have rebooted with Jesus as the operating system, even our idea of success will change. Earlier I said to write that goal down, circle it, and there’s a relationship that’s going to impact that. God...your relationship with God impacts that goal. It will change everything about 2020 for you. Because God is faithful, He actually calls us to things that require us to act in line with His faithfulness. There’s a verse in a letter to the Corinthians that says, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” What’s really interesting here is Paul, God’s speaking through Paul; he’s writing this letter to a church, and he says, “God is faithful…” So we’re talking about faithfulness here. “...By whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son…” So He’s faithful, and He’s brought us into this relationship; He’s made peace through Jesus Christ.
But what Paul is about to talk to this church about is divisions in the church. The relationships are broken. There is not peace among them. What we get here is that we can have a right relationship with Jesus because of God’s faithfulness. We can be in fellowship with His Son because God is faithful. But Paul is basically pointing out that their relationship with each other needs to get in line with what God has made available to them in being at peace with Him. If we can be at peace with God, there is now a way we can be at peace with each other. So when we make peace with God, we now have a way to make peace with our neighbor. Again, our relationship with God is going to impact all of our other relationships. Our relationships will impact all our other arenas of life.
There’s a domino effect here. Consider a relationship right now that maybe has some tension in it in your life. You don’t have to tell anybody what it is, but you know. Deep down you probably know there is a tension there. What would it look like if there was peace in that relationship? If the tension was gone and there was actual peace? A burden would be lifted, a renewed sense of strength. You could tackle other projects, other challenges if there was peace with this one relationship. It wouldn’t be hogging some of the resources of your emotional energy. There are limits to our broken world because not everybody downloaded the Jesus operating system. I understand this. Even those who do, sometimes they upload some malware, and it doesn’t work out well. The Bible says as far as it depends on us, we should be living at peace with others. So as far as it depends on you, we need to make peace...first with God and then with others.
Again Paul is establishing how peace can be possible because God is faithful, and He’s bringing us into fellowship with His Son,Jesus, whom in other passages of Scripture is called “the Prince of Peace.” So this whole faithfulness and this whole peace thing, there’s this connection going on. God’s faithfulness opens up a way for us to have peace with Him and peace with each other. But Jesus’ example of faithfulness is also the fuel for us to be faithful to Him. In another part of the Bible it says, “But Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are His house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.” Christ is faithful over God’s house, which in turns helps me to be faithful or hold fast to the things of God. Being faithful is hard; it means you’ve got to be reliable.
Usually it’s easy to be reliable if it’s going pretty easy; faithfulness is often tested in tough times. It doesn’t come naturally for me, even though I’ve downloaded the Jesus operating system. There’s still a challenge when faithfulness is challenged, but I can be faithful because Christ was the ultimate example of faithfulness. While I was His enemy, He still died for me. He loved me so much He died for me. With that, I have now an example. I could never attain to that level yet...not in this life. I’ll be made perfect one day, but here, man, that’s a stretch. But it is definitely fuel to be able to be faithful with the things He’s called me to, to be able to be faithful to those around me, and in dealing with the world. So I know faithfulness is hard, but it’s what Christ has done for us that gives us the fuel to be faithful.
As you think about a whole new year ahead of you, are you looking at life and thinking, “I need a whole new operating system?” My… across the board, is a mess, and this Jesus thing, I need it. If that’s the case, maybe you need a reboot. You need to restart with Jesus as the operating system. Admit that there’s a God; admit that you’ve rebelled against Him. Accept what Christ has done; repent, turn--turn to the ways of God. Many of you have already downloaded that operating system, but you are troubleshooting. You’re trying to figure out how to get ahead in 2020 and how to get a better handle on this year. Again, often our goals are just troubleshooting in different arenas of life, and troubleshooting’s another reason that you may need a reboot? So do you need a refresh or revisit your walk with God? Do you need to go back to the things that you knew were right and start there and work your way forward to see where maybe you got off track?
Here’s a question to chew on this week? How can you choose faithfulness to the things God has already spoken to you about? Here’s another troubleshooting tip: If you know something you need to do because God has told you to do it, do it. That seems overly simple. Just do it. Now this is where this comes into play because that is an oversimplification. I would love to tell you just to turn it off; turn it back on. Just do it if you know there’s something you’re supposed to do. But, it’s kind of like watching YouTube videos. I love YouTube videos. You can learn all kinds of stuff. You can learn about plumbing in YouTube videos. You can learn about “Oh, it’s really simple if you use this type of plumbing material and this type of connector. You can just pop in a new pipe, and you’re ready to go when you’ve got to do that.” Maybe you did it wrong or you want to rethink it, you can just easily take it off and start again. That’s really easy. I did that in less than 60 seconds. The video was somewhere around 30 seconds; some of them are two minutes.
Super easy, right? Except in real life, you get in there, and I have all this room, all this elbow room. I can stand up here, and I can do this. In the video, they’re pretty much in the same spot, but in real life when you’re redoing a bathroom, you’re in a fetal position, and you can’t get both hands up in there. There’s like rugged concrete, and you’re scraping, and you’re bleeding. It’s not...and you can’t even see what you’re doing. So to tell you, “Hey, if God’s told you to do something, just go and do it,” I understand that’s not easy. I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos recently and understand that it’s not that easy, but when I was redoing some stuff in my bathroom, that just hit me the other night. That’s exactly sometimes...we know what we need to do, we’ve been shown it, but once we get into our specific context, I still know I’ve got to pull that thing out. It’s right there...I just can’t...and it’s going to hurt… So, I know the right thing to do, and I just need to do it. It’s just not going to be as easy as the YouTube video.
One of the things that God’s working on me...in those projects, there’s all kinds of things. Wisdom, she’s in the streets; she’s always speaking. Right? You can learn all kinds of things with your walk with God. I’m doing that; I’m learning life isn’t as easy as I thought. But what is God trying to teach me in this moment beyond just “Wear a glove when you’re working around concrete.”? Which is...I’m working with my teenage sons, and I know my pattern, my malware that I’ve downloaded at times, is when things don’t go right, and they’re there, and they were helping. Obviously, it’s their fault because I knew what I was doing. Not good, okay? But I knew going into this project that this was a moment...there was probably going to be a moment where that might happen, and it’s something I’ve been working on for a while now. So going into this project, I realize, “Ok, if things go wrong I’ve been letting my guys help me because I want them to learn, but I’m learning right along with them. If anything messes up, it can’t be their fault.” Maybe they did something, but I don’t need to...I need a different operating system; I need a different approach to life.
So, there were things I knew I needed to do, and it wasn’t plumbing. It was relating, and in that moment I knew the thing I ought to do, and so I did it. So, it was take a deep breath, pray and ask for God’s help, and coach my boys through why sometimes life isn’t as easy as a YouTube video because you can’t see things like it is in the video. I’m going to call the band up on stage; we’re going to sing a song, but as they get ready and they gear up, I want you to think back about that question. Where in your life do you need to choose faithfulness this week? Has God shown you something that you need to do? It’s not going to be easy. You know what you need to do; it’s going to be hard, but go ahead and do it. Maybe we can reboot 2020 in a good way.
Let’s pray. Lord, we are grateful. We’re grateful for the fact that no matter where we’re at in life, whether we’ve been walking with You for a long time or we still have questions of whether or not You exist, Father, that You are loving and kind and patient. And You call us to Yourself, and You offer us abundant life. Thank You for that. Thank You for giving us another year even with all of its problems and all of its challenges, but You give us another chance to walk with You and find the life that You call us to and may we help invite others into that. So, we just ask for Your help. Help us to be faithful; thank You for Your faithfulness, and thank You that we have a way to be at peace with You. We pray these things in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.