Questions Jesus Asked: Week #1

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May 16, 2020 • Beth Guckenberger

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In the Gospels, Jesus asks many more questions than he answers. To be precise, Jesus asked 307 questions. Asking questions was central to Jesus’ life and teachings — that’s how we discover for ourselves that He is the way, the Truth and the Life. This weekend, Beth Guckenberger kicks off “Questions Jesus Asked...And Is Still Asking.” This series will address moments captured in the Gospels, when Jesus asked a question, revealing a Biblical truth. In week 1, we'll explore the question that Jesus asked in Luke 12:25, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?"

Message Transcript

Hello and welcome to Vineyard Cincinnati Church, where we believe small things done with great love can change the world. We're glad that you've decided to worship with us. We pray that you will be encouraged and invite you to worship and study God's word with a hopeful heart.

Hi, I'm OJ Smith, a volunteer serving here at Vineyard Cincinnati. Thanks for joining us today. As someone that has attended the Vineyard for more than 10 years, me and my family have been blessed to be part of this ministry and its mission. We give here because we've seen the great things God has done through this church and because of our love this church. In 2 Corinthians 9:7 it says this, "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give not reluctantly or under compulsion. For God loves a cheerful giver." You know, nearly 30 years ago I learned the joy of giving. I learned the meaning of giving of my time, my tithes, my offerings, and being a good steward over my finances. You can give your tithes and offerings at vineyardcincinnati.com/give, or text the number on your screen and enter the amount you want to give. Thank you for your generosity and faithful giving. I'm going to pray over our offering. Father God, we come before You this day, thanking You for Your presence in our lives and we thank You for giving us the opportunity to give back unto You. It's in the precious name of Jesus that we pray. Amen.

Hello, I'm Brandon Lute of the amazing Facility Team right here at Vineyard Cincinnati Church. We believe God has something special for you today, and so, it's no accident that you're here. Thank you for joining us. We hope that you are encouraged even in the midst of our current reality. There's some exciting things happening at the Vineyard.

If you had $20 and you wanted to provide food for somebody in need, what would you do? If you're like most people, you'd pick a cost effective store like Walmart or Aldi and you'd go buy that person groceries. This is $20 worth of groceries purchased at Walmart. This is $20 worth of groceries purchased through your $20 registration for the Hunger Walk. Hopefully this simple visual helps you understand why we make such a big deal about the Hunger Walk every year at Vineyard Cincinnati Church. You know, every month at the Healing Center, we provide food for over 3000 guests and the Hunger Walk is a big reason why any of that is possible. Now, there are a few secrets you need to know about the Hunger Walk. The first is that for every $20 registration, you're providing this much food for people in need. The second secret you need to know is you really don't even have to show up for the event.

In fact, this year you can't show up. You get to pick your own route to walk. We'd love to see how you choose to walk. Be sure to take a selfie, whether you're walking in your neighborhood or sitting on the couch. At Vineyard Cincinnati, one of our core values is Generosity. We're giving away to the world what God has given us. So I want to encourage you to register today online. Maybe consider two registrations. How about three? Either way, all of us together signing up for the Hunger Walk, providing food for people in need. Let's be the church together, a generous church serving the people

of Cincinnati. Sign up at healingcentercincinnati.org/hungerwalk or text the word HEALING to 97000.

In the Gospels. Jesus asked many more questions than he answered to be precise. Jesus asked 307 questions. Asking questions was central to Jesus' life and teaching and that's how we discover for ourselves that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life. In just a few moments, Beth Guckenberger kicks off a brand new series Questions Jesus Asked (and is still asking). This message series will address moments captured in the Gospels when Jesus asked a question revealing a Biblical truth. And not only are we kicking off this series this weekend, but you'll also have an opportunity to get involved at the Vineyard. If you are not currently involved in a life group here at the Vineyard, now's your chance to get connected. Visit our website for details that will show you step by step instructions on how to register for a brand new e-group at the Vineyard. If you'd like to know more about the heart of Vineyard Cincinnati Church, visit our website, vineyardcincinnati.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Hey everyone. Welcome to the first of a series the Questions Jesus Asked. I am really looking forward to this series because we're going to get a chance to ask our questions to Jesus. He loves a good question asker. And we're going to get a chance to hear him ask some questions to us. And I think that beautiful exchange between what it is that he's asking us and what it is that we're asking him, that's where growth is going to happen. If you are not in a small group right now and you want to join one of our digital small groups for the next couple of weeks, we'd love to have you. Jump on the website and find out how you can find other people who are also not in life groups and form some community there. If you currently have a small group that you are participating in, you can still jump on that site and get the curriculum so that your small group can continue the conversation that we're going to start in our messages.

I think the reason Jesus asks us questions, it's because he knows that his words, the Bible says it divides our bone and marrow. It brings out of us the deeper questions that we have going on inside of us and it's going to be my attempt to be as honest with you as possible about how Jesus' questions have impacted me. I think it's far more compelling for me to tell you what it is that God has taught me than it is for me to tell you what I think God has for you to learn. That lesson became really clear to me about, well, 2007 I was writing my first book and I was really naive. I didn't have any like jump drive or hard drive. I was backing it up on, I'd never emailed it to myself. It only lived in my laptop and 10 days before it was due, I was taking that laptop with me everywhere. I went writing wherever I could and I was at my son's soccer game when I was writing, and after the game he couldn't, he couldn't see where it is that we had parked.

So I just jumped out of my car for a minute to wave him over to where we were. And in those few moments that I left my car, someone smashed the window and stole my laptop and the book was gone. And I remember calling the publishing company, Zondervan, to tell them, Hey, you know what? I didn't even really have time to do that in the first place, so probably won't be able to do this book for you, but thanks, anyway. They reminded me I had signed a contract and I absolutely needed to complete that obligation. And I can remember sitting in a hotel, I checked into this hotel to try to redraft what I remembered the manuscript contained and I was just working my way through the table of contents, honestly, crying, just I can't believe I'm here again. I can't believe I have to do this.

I can't believe how hard this was, and I was crying out to God. And I sensed Him say to me, instead of you feeling like you have to say everything that you think somebody in the world needs to know, why don't you just tell them what it is I've taught you? And up until that point, it was like I had been telling people, you know, like spiritual warfare, like the enemy took that book out of my car. But after I finished the book the second time when it was far more compelling to read, I realized it was probably a branch that was never going to bear fruit and God wanted to do a work in me and then for me to testify to it. So I want to share with you, as honestly I can, real time teaching that he's giving me about uncertainty and anxiety.

As we look at today's question, who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? We find that passage in Luke Chapter 12 it says, "Jesus said to his disciples, therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life. What you'll eat or about your body or what you'll wear, for life is more than food and body more than clothes. Consider the ravens. They do not sow or reap. They have no storeroom or barn yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable are you than birds? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" I did some informal polling this week among people I was spending time with and I was asking them about what worries them right now and how has that changed over the last couple of months.

I heard answers mainly about things like the unknown, the uncertainty about our future, that we can't predict what's going to happen and I started to wonder. My first question that I had is: Does worry come from the inside? Is it anxious thoughts or does worry come from the outside? Is it uncertain circumstances? And if all the circumstances changed, if that's what's bothering us and all the circumstances went back to what we might have considered normal, would we stop worrying? The first part of that passage says, therefore I tell you... What does he tell us? How do we hear him speak? God says, I tell you so. I'm like am I listening to what he tells me? Am I hearing him throughout the day? Cause he talks to us in his Word. He talks to us in worship. He talks to us in prayer. He talks to us through the testimonies of other people.

He is a communicator. In fact, in Exodus Chapter 33:11 he says that he likes to talk to us face to face as one would a friend. So he's communicating with us. If he says, therefore I tell you, am I listening to what he tells me? And I've been asking myself like, Who am I letting tell me things these days? Like what and what are they saying and what do, what does their messages to me have to do with my level of worry? When you have a true thought, it kind of comes in and out of your mind freely. It's, it just, it moves freely through our heads. But when you have a lie or a worry, it tends to kind of run around your mind like a hamster on a wheel. We can actually literally obsess about it.

And when you have a thought, a negative thought, a lie, some kind of worry, when it runs around your head, then we suddenly, the enemy wins, right? Because it says in the Bible he's trying to kill and steal and destroy us, and he's literally stealing our time. He's stealing our thought life. He's stealing our energy. When we have a thought like that that runs around like a hamster on a wheel and we can't let go of it. It's why Jesus talks so much about our heads, right? We read in the Bible things like set your mind on things above. Be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Take every thought captive. God knew that if we get our head in the right place, then our mouth and our heart and our actions would flow. When we get that obsessive like worry and you just can't let go of and it just runs around and runs around and runs around, sometimes you can call that like replay and when we have that ,when you have that on replay around your mind, you're literally linking arms with an enemy and he's taking things from you like joy and he's taking things from you like peace and he's taking things from you like perspective, but in contrast we can, we can instead say, I'm not going to partner with the enemy and that kind of thinking.

I'm not going to let worry just settle down in me that way. I'm going to partner, hold hands with the Gospel and in the Gospel we think, we believe the true say counteract those worrisome lies, things like he's in control or he can be trusted or he is faithful. When I find myself locked in that other kind of thinking and I worry and I feel anxious about the unknown or the future or the things I can't predict, this is, I'm just telling you the truth. This is literally what I say. I say out loud, this word that's actually in Greek. I say the word "Sozo". Sozo in Greek literally is translated as saved or salvation, but it means, but it's better to find these three things together: to heal, to save and to deliver and it's to save, heal, and deliver. It's not, it's not referring sozo.

In the Bible when we read the Greek is what the New Testament has been written in. When we read that word Sozo in the New Testament and it doesn't mean the saving where we were once in darkness and now we're in light, or we were once outside of God's family and now we are inside of God's family. It's not that one time salvation, it's that over and over response to us, Him to us when we call on Hm, "Sozo". So when I'm like all worked up about something and I'm feeling almost obsessive about worry, I go "Sozo. Save me, heal me, deliver me." Those are my choices and when I allow my mind then to get transformed by His word, when I allow my mind to be set on things above, when I allow it, when I take all those thoughts captive, when he comes to sozo me now my heart settles now.

Now I've literally like actually made room for peace to come and fill. In Exodus, God's talking to Moses about how to build a tabernacle, and he tells him basically just make a space for me and I'll come and fill the space. That's, that's what a tabernacle is, a space that God comes to fill. I think that's what his instructions are for us today. He's basically, he's saying to us today, make space for me. Make space for me in your mind. Make space for me in your heart. Make space for me in your relationships, in your decisions. Make space for me in your life. I'll come and fill that space. And what does he fill the space with? His Spirit, that brings us good gifts like love and joy, peace and patience and kindness. I've been asking myself like, "so therefore I tell you", am I making sure that this is the thing that I get all my "tell" from? Like this is the message, this is where my messages are coming from or do I do when I'm feeling kind of worrisome or anxious about something, am I picking up my phone?

Am I turning on my TV? Am I looking for messages for someone else to tell me something from a source that might actually create more, more of that kind of worry and anxiety inside of me? He wants to be the loudest voice in our head. , Todd and I, my husband and I, we were foster parents for teenage girls for almost a decade. And in that timeframe we were raising a child that was really difficult. I don't know if any of you have ever had a difficult child that you've raised in your home, but she was, she was really hard. She brought pretty much tension into every room she was in and she did not like, definitely didn't like me anymore. And we were having conflict about pretty much the same thing over and over again. So I invited this, (I was living in Mexico at the time)

I invited this Texas Christian psychologist, Dr. Kyle Miller to my house. And I said to him, Hey, watch us for a couple of days. Ask me any question, look in any closet, challenge me in any area. What we're doing isn't working and I need some help. So he listened to our exchange with her over the course of a few days. It culminated on one morning before school. She walked out of her room with this like totally rockin' mini skirt. I'm like, you cannot go to school like that. She goes back in her room to change clothes comes out and something equally inappropriate. I'm like, you still can't go to school like that. She goes into her room, eventually comes out and something that I had bought her and I said, Oh, you look beautiful. Have a great day at school. And she walked out of our house and around the corner to catch the bus and I looked at him and I said, she won and she knows she won because underneath that outfit she has on exactly what she wants to wear and she knows she went and I know she wanted, I can't do it anymore.

And Kyle drew for me on a napkin, a picture of a tree like this one and in this tree he said, I want you to imagine the foliage, the top of the tree. It's like it represents all the attitude and actions of her and the trunk of the tree represents her self image. He said, I've been listening to you for three days and all you talk to her about is the top of the tree. All you talk to her about is her homework and curfew, her miniskirt choices, what she's eating, what time she's going to bed or her cell phone usage or like you spend all your energy and time talking to her about the top of the tree. If you know anything about horticulture, if you cut off the top of a tree, it grows back twice as strong. And I said, can I get a witness?

That is exactly what's happening here. He said, the reason that little girl walked out of here in a miniskirt is cause her self image, that trunk of her tree, it's broken. She thinks herself plus a short skirt is what gives her value. That's why she walked out of here. And her self image is broken, because look at that root system. That's where we understand things that are true and in the garden of her heart, she has some things, hopefully that are true, but they're sitting next to some things that are lies. Those lies impact how she sees herself, how she sees herself, impacts her attitude and actions. And he's like, I have a prescription for you. I'm gonna encourage you for the next 90 days to not talk to her at all about any of her attitude and actions unless she's going to hurt herself or somebody else.

And he's like, I just want you to focus on making sure what comes out of your mouth are things that are true. Plant liberally in the garden of her heart, good Godly Gospel truths. And I was like, I can't talk to her about anything at the top of the tree? I can't talk to her about homework or dishes or like, you know, internet usage or boys or skirts or nothing. And he said, well how's it been going for you? I'm like, not that great. He said, just try it for me. I want to confess to you it was way harder than I thought it would be. Here's what happened. Like a couple of days later she came into the house totally complaining about our spring break plans cause she said they were really lame and I was thinking to myself, they are lame because you are a ward of the state, and I can't even take you across the state lines.

That's why they're lame. But if I said that to her, that would have done nothing but continue to add lies about her lack of value in the garden of her heart. So I instead I just bit my little tongue and said, Oh, you know what, it's going to be great. He has plans for our future and they're full of hope. And I knew I was using truths from Jeremiah 29:11 I didn't say, Hey, there's a prophet Jeremiah who said this. I knew that what I was saying was true and I watched it kind of disarm her. The next week she came home with this huge homework assignment that had like, you know, 17 pages of research that needed to have been done and a bunch of poster boards and it was all due the next morning. And on the tip of my tongue was, how long have you known about this assignment?

But I could tell she was really upset and I had an opportunity to plant a truth in the garden of her heart. And so instead of talking to her about her attitudes and actions, I said, you know what? He's before all things. In Him, all things hold together. Let's get started. And I knew I was teaching from Colossians Chapter 1. I didn't tell her that, but I knew that that was true and here's what I want to testify to you. The more that I found things that were true that I could pepper in the conversations of our household, the Bible says that it's words are sweet to the taste like honey. I watched her attract, be attracted to me. Instead of walking into the room and us feeling like two opposite ends of a magnet, she would walk into the room and saddle up to me because it actually tastes good to have someone tell you something that's true.

It's sweet to the taste. And, while we're on confessions, I just want to be honest with you. I would have to go to my Bible in the morning and go, Lord, give me something true to say. I actually need from you what I need to say that day. It drove me to believe and understand things that were true and it doesn't always happen this way and this isn't a prescription. I'm giving you, but I am going to tell you and testify to the fact that somewhere around day 80 that little girl bowed her need to profess her faith in Jesus Christ. And everything changed and it wasn't like, you know, at our house we had communion every night after that. But I can tell you that the playing field got leveled because now we were sisters in Christ, and now we have this common goal of identifying the lies that were in the gardens of our hearts and replacing them with things that are true.

Because worry lives at the top of our tree. Worry can cause us to have actions and attitudes and if we can't really will ourselves out of worry, we can't really cut the tree off, the top of that tree off, and hope that it doesn't grow back twice as strong. We, we worry because we have things in the gardens of our hearts lies that say things like He might not always take care of me. I better take care of myself. He doesn't always come through. And when those lies have fertilizer, then they impact the way we see ourselves and they impact the way we act and worry. Worries, they're at the top, and part of the part of the Christian work of working out your faith with fear and trembling is having the courage to look at lies that have become embedded into the garden of our heart.

And frankly, at some point they become part of our identity and deciding that's not who I am. That's not who I want to be. I want to take out that lie and I want to replace it with something that's true. That passage and it goes on to say do not worry. And when I read that do not worry about it, said, do not worry about. And I was like, Hmm, fill in the blank. Like do not worry about...what are the things we worry about? We worry about our kids and our finances and our bodies and our economy. We worry about our church life, we worry about our neighbors, we worry about our country. We have tons of things we worry about. It reminded me right away of Psalm 139. I know we just finished the Psalm series. I hope you continue to find yourself engaged in the book of Psalms.

One of my favorite Psalms that we didn't get a chance to study on a weekend message was Psalm 139. Psalm 139:23-24 says this: "Search me God and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts, see if there's any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting." And when I was rereading that verse, I was thinking of, this answers my question. This answers my question whether worry comes from the inside or it comes from the outside. This versus search me, know me, test me, lead me. Worry comes from the inside, it comes from inside of my anxious thoughts. Haven't you seen people who've been in terrible circumstances, right? They've been an illness or destruction or disaster like they've been in terrible circumstances and they have a sense of peace and calm about them. And haven't you seen people that look like they have everything going for them and they can't stop

wringing their hands. Worry is not about our circumstances. Our circumstances should not elicit worry from us. Worry comes from the inside and God says if we allow Him, He will search us, He will know us, He will test us and He will lead us into that way everlasting. One of the ways that I hear from God is He tends to repeat Himself with me that that's helpful for me to know that it's coming from Him. Last week I was listening to a message and the message wasn't about integrity, but I just kept hearing that word and it was used in the message, but it wasn't the point of the message. But when I finished the message I was like, Oh, that's interesting. I was keyed into, I was clued into, it was like highlighted for me, integrity, and then like the next day I was in the car listening to a worship song on my way somewhere and I heard the word integrity in the lyric.

I was like, that's interesting. And then I was in a conversation with someone and they were talking to me a little bit about integrity and I was like, okay Lord, I get it. Like I hear You. You're talking to me about integrity. I'm actually busy trying to listen to messages from You about worry cause I'm preparing a message to talk to everybody about worry. Why are we talking about integrity, when I want to hear You tell me about worry? And I spent some time with the Lord and I was concluding at the end of that time how you know what it's actually when we live the way that God asks us to, when we live with integrity, when we've done the part that we all that we can do, it brings us peace. Integrity actually brings us peace. The only thing I have control over are my life, my choices, my thoughts.

If I'm living as as God's kid, integrity, it's defined as undivided or whole. When I'm living as God's kid, I'm undivided. Then I can have peace that I've actually done my part. I am not perfect. I don't want to give that impression in any way. I'm not perfect, but I am undivided. I am determined to live on what I know;. the Bible tells me that He is good and He is trustworthy and He has control and He is sovereign. Now the rest is up to God and peace now has room in me to settle. And it's hard not to worry when we're struggling with ,our integrity because consequences lay around like landmines ready to go off and we're dancing and tiptoeing around them. Indecision and division naturally creates anxiety, but God loves us and He wants us to trust him to be wholehearted. It says in Romans Chapter 8:5-6, "Those who live according to their flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires.

But those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their mindset on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace." And that's what I want. I want life and peace. In this season. After the season, I want life and peace. So if I want life and peace, I got to reverse engineer according to that verse and I need to set my mind. I need to set my mind on the Spirit. I was speaking at this large conference in Atlanta a couple of years ago and before I used to get up in front of people, I would always pray the same thing. I would basically pray something along the lines of like, God, would you just come and show up? Would you come and would you come and show up?

Would you come and reveal yourself? I was like kind of praying that to myself backstage. And in the middle of that prayer, I promise you, I felt like the Lord was saying to me: "Umm, I've actually been in Atlanta for a really long time. I don't need to come and show up. How about you come and show up?" And man, I think, I think that's what I hear him saying to us. Vineyard family, I think He's saying come and show up. I've been about this for a really long time. I already knew this was going to happen. I'm in the middle of every storyline that you got all tied up in knots. I'm already here. Now you come and make room for me and allow me to set your mind in a place where the result will be life and peace. The verse goes on to say from Luke Chapter 12 "Consider the ravens.

They don't sow or reap. They have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than birds?" One of the things we worry about is provision, but God is our provider. He's our provider. There's a Hebrew word I like a lot. In fact, I use it also like I do English. The word is Geshem. It literally means rain. When it's raining. I always say it's gesheming. And we find that verse in a couple different places. Deuteronomy 11 it talks about the land that God is going to lead his people out of Egypt,0wWhere there had been slaves into is a land where the rain literally falls from the heaven, where the geshem is given. That would have been really confusing. Put your, put yourself back into that story. The let my people go story with Moses. You remember that story? And that story,

You have God's people who'd been enslaved in Egypt. And Egypt is where the Nile is. And back in those days, if you had access to water, you had access to power the way today we might think about oil. And so when God said, I'm going to take you my people away from all that power away from all that water, I'm going to take you someplace where there's no Nile, but when you need water, it's going to literally fall from the heaven. That would have been confusing for them, but what he was taking them to is a place of dependence because if you wanted to irrigate your crops in Egypt, it was with the backbreaking work of hand irrigation. It was dependent upon you and your strength and God said, I'm going to take you away from a place where you are dependent on yourselves. I'm going to take you someplace where when you plant the crops and they need to drink, I will literally cause the geshem to fall from the sky. You don't have to, you don't have to break your back anymore. You can trust me. I'm here for you. That passage in Luke finishes with this last verse. "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life since you cannot do this very little thing. Why do you worry about the rest?"

Probably one of the best lessons I learned on worry, I learned from a mentor of mine. She was a Mexican woman who mentored me for many years. She's currently in her mid to late eighties. And she ran an orphanage in Mexico where two girls that I loved had come from. And these little girls had been in her orphanage from a very young age into early adolescence than they'd been in my home as in foster care from adolescents now to their late teen years when this particular story happened. And somebody from their birth family gave us a call and told us that it was time for the girls to leave our protective care and go back home with them. And hear me loud and clear: I am a huge fan of family reunification. In fact, the organization, where I've been working back to back ministries is a huge fan of family reunification.

But in this particular story, that family did not have those girls' best interest in mind and it would have been to their danger to go back to them. And so I just kept hanging up on the phone every time they called to tell me they were going to come get the girls, I just hung up on them. And then one day on a Monday they called and I could tell everything was worse. They told me they were bringing the authorities on Friday and they were going to remove the girls until somebody could figure out where they go. And I hung up the phone and I called my mentor Martha and I said, they said they're coming on Friday and here's what I want you to do. Gather every document you've ever had about the girls, every medical journal, every, every educational paper, every court paper, every visitor log, nobody signed, get everything.

If somebody wants to hold court, we'll do it at our house on Friday. And then I spent about 25 hours of that week collecting my own documentation, proving that we were the stable and right environment for those girls to stay. Friday came, Martha pulls up with this really heavy bag in her backseat. She asked for help with and I thought that was a good sign cause I had my own really heavy bag. We get into the house and I settled her in the dining room where the girls were sitting there kind of anxiously waiting to see what would happen. And then the best way I could describe it too is these guys, then the family that had been threatening us pulled into the ministry campus and they were kind of like an angry mob of bees. They were screaming and swearing and shouting. And I was trying to get control of the room like, Hey everybody, 'm Beth, welcome to back-to-back and can you come in for some ice tea?

And they were just weren't even listening to me. It was chaos. So I bring them into the house. Our houses are made out of cement. So the acoustics were crazy. And they were, they saw the girls for the first time and everything kind of ratcheted up a notch and they were screaming and finally just unable to control the room. I stood on my own dining room chair and I yelled at the top of my lungs, Hey, I think Martha has something she wants to say. And everybody looked over at Martha and she reached in her bag and I was thinking to myself, get the visitor log. It's the best thing we've got. She reaches in her bag and she pulls out her Bible, (which these people did not share our faith) and she just quietly opens up her Bible to Psalm Chapter 1 and she began to read about the tree planted by streams of water and in season it bears fruit.

It's a lovely Psalm and I don't care who you are, some beautiful old lady begins to read from her Bible, you just get quiet so that like no lightning bolt comes. And as soon as she finished Psalm 1 and had control of the room, I remember thinking, I would never have thought of that, which that was a great idea. So after she had the control room, I'm like giving her the little mental message, like get the visitor log. She didn't even pause. She went right into Psalm 2, which is not nearly as quotable. She read Psalm 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. At this point everybody's kind of slumped back in their chairs. And I like political things and I was thinking to myself, we're like in a spiritual filibuster, right? I mean like there's a ton of Psalms in this book and eventually these people are going to, they're going to get hungry.

They're going to have to like go to the bathroom. Like we're just sitting here listening to her read through the Psalms. But she got into Psalm 10 and I could tell she was landing somewhere. The end of Psalm 10 says this, "You, oh Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted. You encourage them and listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of this earth, may terrify us no more." Then she closed her Bible and she said, these little girls are daughters of the King most high. You ask them where their Father tells them to be. They don't belong to us anymore than they belong to you. And the girls they, they answered in Spanish "Aqui" right here and it wasn't like everybody got up from the table and shook my hand and thanked us for years of service.

Like I don't want to mischaracterize the story. The chaos resumed. The shouting and swearing and threatening resumed. But they pushed away from the table and they started towards my door. So I just like went around them and opened it and they said some things. I never wanted those little girls to hear but they said them as they're on the way to their car and they get in their car and they go flying off of our ministry campus and I'm closing that gate and I'm thinking to myself, you've got to be kidding me. I spent 25 hours in a government office getting ready for this thing. The lady read 10 Psalms and these people are gone? What in the world was I so worried about? And I went running into the house. I was so excited. I was shouting like, you did it. You did it. I can't believe you did it, but she wasn't done yet. She took her Bible, which was like way bigger than mine and she stuck that thing in my face and she said, don't you ever forget something. This is the only sword we ever taken to battle.

And I was like, Oh, you're right. She's right.

And when I think about the season we're in and the worry we have and anxiety we have and the uncertainty we have and the struggles we have; we can be tempted to reach for all kinds of other things. But the Bible tells us, this is our sword. This is what we set our mind on. This is what will bring us life and peace.

Let's pray.

Jesus, I thank you. I thank you for who you are. I thank you for the ways in which you are intimately aware. You search us, you know us, you test us and you will lead us into the path of everlasting. We give it to you. We give you every bucket we have filled up with thoughts and worries. We give you, we give you all the things that tie up our minds and literally run around in circles until we are obsessed by the things we have no control over. We ask you on this day, if we make room for you, would you come and fill it? Would you come and bring your peace and patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self control, wisdom, mercy, discernment? Would you come and fill us with your spirit? We love you and we trust you and we pray all these things in your Holy and precious name.

Amen.

Thanks for joining us for Vineyard Cincinnati Church, where for over 30 years we believe that small things done with great love will change the world. Vineyard Cincinnati is open to everyone no matter what your thoughts are about God or church, whether you're new to church or have been around it your whole life. You're in good company with those who are exploring who God is or rediscovering what church can be. If you've enjoyed this service and want to know more about us, visit vineyard, cincinnati.com forward slash connect and someone will be in touch with you very shortly and once again, that's vineyardcincinnati.com/connect.