7540 Lyndon B Johnson Fwy Dallas, TX 75251
Saturday, 4 PM Sunday, 9 AM & 11:15 AM
8000 Western Hills Blvd Fort Worth, TX 76108
Sunday, 9 AM & 11 AM
6401 Parkwood Blvd Frisco, TX 75034
Sunday, 9 AM & 11 AM
6400 K Ave Plano, TX 75074
Sunday, 9 AM & 11 AM
The Fort Worth campus celebrates five years as a campus by looking at what God has done and how our only right response should be to go and tell others of what Jesus can do for them as well.
Engaging With the Bible
Christmas Eve 2018
Special Christmas Message from Todd
9 Things I Learned at "Seminary"
Commitment Is the Key to Change
Enjoying The Benefits Of Your Faith
The Mode of Our Helping Matters
Fort Worth Evening With The Elders
Evaluating Your Relationship With God
An Ounce of Mother Is Worth a Ton of Priest
Romans 5: Gifts From God
Dignity of Responsibility
Are You a Fool for Believing in God?
The Cost of the Cross
A Prophetic Word for the Mission
What God Has Done and What We Must Keep Doing
Life’s Slot Machine
Put on Humility
Good morning, friends. I want to start off this morning by telling you about a little vacation my wife Lindsay and I went on last summer with the rest of my family. Like any good Texan, when it got hot we went to Colorado where it's cool. We spent an entire week up there. We went to go to the mountains where it was going to be cool and cold outside, but we really did not spend much time in the actual mountains. We stayed just outside of a little town called Fairplay. Fairplay is nestled in a valley that's in between two big mountain ranges.
The reason we spent all of our time down there is we discovered, "Hey, there are more things to actually do down here than there is up on the top." So we had a good time. Little-known fact that the national burro festival takes place every summer in Fairplay, Colorado. So if you want to go and see the donkey celebrated, go ahead and schedule that for next summer. It was a great time. They do this crazy ultra-marathon where these people run like 50 miles dragging… They can't ride it. They have to drag the burro along. We saw that. It was fun to see what that was all about.
Also my nephew had recently trusted Christ. He's 10 years old. There was a little lake out there outside of the city, so we went out there, and my older brother and I got to baptize him, which was really fun. Then there's wildlife everywhere. So we were driving around trying to find elk and deer, and we actually saw a moose. Those things are huge! If you've never seen a moose, they're massive.
Then, of course, in the middle of a valley in Colorado there's going to be a river, and in any river in Colorado there are trout. Me being the fly fisherman that I am, I spent a good bit of time fly-fishing. We had an amazing time, making all of these memories all throughout the week, and it was really fun. It wasn't until the last day of the trip that we actually started to make our journey up toward the top of the mountains.
If you head through the valley and begin to go up to the mountains, you get to this pass called Hoosier Pass. If you pull off to the side, there's a trail that takes you across the side of the mountain to this amazing scenic overlook where you can see the entire valley. So we get out of the car, and we're walking through what seems like forever as the canopy is all over us. Eventually, we bust through the tree line and we get to this spot, this scenic overlook, where when you turn back you can see the entire valley. It was beautiful.
Even though we didn't do much as we were up there at this scenic overlook, it was probably the most fun we had the entire vacation. Let me tell you why. It's because from up there we could see all of the places in the valley where we made amazing memories throughout our trip. From up there, way off in the distance we could see… We were like, "Hey, look. There's Fairplay, population 100. See it? This is awesome. It's right there."
Then, "Oh, there's the little lake where we did the baptism, and here's where we saw the moose, and here's where we were catching the trout in the river." It was probably the most fun we had the entire vacation to spend some time up there looking back over this valley where we had made all of these memories together on our vacation.
The reason I start there and tell you that story is as a campus, Watermark Fort Worth, as a church, we are at a moment in time that is a scenic outlook moment for our campus. Most of you probably don't remember or don't know that five years ago this month Watermark Fort Worth was started, and over the past five years we have seen, month in and month out, week in and week out, God do amazing things in our body, people's lives being drastically changed.
So, first, it's the five-year anniversary of our campus that makes this a scenic outlook moment, and then also later this year we're going to be transitioning out of the Ridglea Theater over into our new home. So it just seems appropriate right now in our history as a church to stop for a moment at this scenic outlook time in our history and look back and really celebrate and recognize and give thanks to God for what he has done in our body.
So we're going to do that this morning. It's going to be really fun to celebrate. I can't wait for what's coming. As we talk about what God has done, we're then going to transition the second half of this morning and talk about what we must continue to do if we want the next five years of our church to look anything like the first five years have.
How we're going to dive into that this morning is looking at a story in the Old Testament, specifically in 2 Kings, chapter 7. This is an amazing story that's hidden somewhat in your Old Testament, so it's going to be fun to talk about it this morning. It's a story about four men in a city who are desperate for a way out of their current situation. It focuses on four men in particular. To understand that, we need to understand the context of what's going on in the story.
These four men are located in the city of Samaria. Samaria is at war, and they are not winning. The army of the enemy has surrounded the city and completely cut them off. What that means is all of the supply routes that would have brought food and water and other supplies into the city have been completely shut off, and also there's no escape route. Resources can't come in, and people can't come out.
What happens when you spend a few weeks or longer in that situation? You run out of food. You run out of water. And then what do you do? You can't resupply. We learn, as we begin to read in the chapter before the context of what's going on here, that it had gotten so bad…the people were so hungry, they were starving so badly…they looked to something to meet their needs that no one in their right mind would ever do.
It says that in their hunger, in their starvation they began to offer up one another's children to eat. They turned to cannibalism. Just imagine for a moment. How hungry would you have to be to go to that drastic reach to get some food? You would have to be near death. For these people, it was their last hope, and they did a crazy act to try to find some food to satisfy this hunger they had. They were desperate for food.
It's at that point that this story turns and talks about these four men. We'll pick up in verse 3 as we begin to talk about this. We'll start there. It says, "Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the [city] gate…" These four men have the disease of leprosy, but even more troublesome is that they are stuck right where all of these people are, in the city, literally starving to death. So, they were at the entrance of the city gate, right there in the front of the city.
"…and they said to one another, 'Why do we sit here until we die? If we say, "We will enter the city," then the famine is in the city and we will die there; and if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us go over to the camp of the Arameans.'" Let us go to the enemy camp. "If they spare us, we will live; and if they kill us, we will but die."
Here's what happened. These men who are starving to death got so desperate, and as they're talking to each other they said, "Hey, look. If we stay here, we're going to die. Whether it's right here at the front of the city or in the city we are going to die, but we know a place that has food. We know a place that has water. We know if we go there there's a good chance that this army, these people there who are enemies will kill us, but maybe they won't. We're going to die anyway, so let's give it a shot."
Essentially, what they said was, "Hey, we're sick and tired of being here. We're tired of being hungry. So do you know what we're going to do? We're going to get up, and we're going to go to where we know there is food, and by chance maybe we'll get to eat." That's us. That was us. That was you. What I mean by that is there are some in this room who at some point over the past few years have literally been starving, but for most of us it's not actually starving for literal food that's our case, but we have been starving.
We have been hungry to know that we're loved. You've been hungry to know that you matter, that you have value, that you have worth. You've been starving to find some way to be set free from this addiction that keeps weighing you down, some way to have hope where there has been no hope in your life, some way to know, "Can something come of this marriage that reflects in no way the joy that I hoped it would?"
We were stuck and desperate in the same way that these men were. Many of you, most of you have come, have seen a place where food was readily available to come and see God meet your needs, and you've come and done that. That's what these lepers decide to do. We'll keep going in the story. It says because they knew where there was food they decided to go there.
"They arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Arameans; when they came to the outskirts of the camp of the Arameans, behold, there was no one there. For the Lord had caused the army of the Arameans to hear a sound of chariots and a sound of horses, even the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, 'Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.' Therefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents and their horses and their donkeys, even the camp just as it was, and fled for their life."
We can't miss what's happening there. This army was on the verge of victory, and there is no explainable reason for why they would up and leave. There is no explainable reason for why this camp would be empty of people but filled with supplies, but we see the reason why. It's because God showed up, and he made a way where there was no way. He provided food when there was no opportunity to eat.
God had made this provision for them to come up, and it says the lepers then came to the outskirts of the camp. Imagine this for a second. You're hungry. It doesn't take much to imagine that. I'm hungry right now. We have a term for whenever we miss a meal. What happens a few hours later in the day? We're not just hungry; we get hangry. It affects us. These men had not eaten in days, if not weeks, and they're coming up…
These people had just left. This army had just left, and now they're coming up to the outskirts of the camp. You can imagine. As they get close they start to smell something. It smells like bacon. Have you ever smelled bacon in the morning, like when you had a late breakfast? Someone wants to have brunch, which means, "I don't want to get up early and meet you for breakfast." So you go to have brunch, and you get there and you're starving and you walk in and smell the bacon, and you're like, "Oh, that's going to be so good."
Imagine you hadn't eaten in two weeks and you start to smell it, but also it's kind of unbelievable, like, "There should be people here." These men are thinking, "There should be people here." You could imagine their reluctance as they carefully approach the first tent. They're like, "I wonder if they're inside." They begin to peek in, and they see that nobody is there except the breakfast that's prepared. They go in and huddle up and start eating. They're like, "Oh, this is fantastic." They're like, "And we haven't heard anybody. Maybe they're really gone. What else is here?" They're like, "I'm still ravenous. What else is here?" So they split up.
"When these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they entered one tent and ate and drank, and carried from there silver and gold and clothes, and went and hid them; and they returned and entered another tent and carried from there also…" They went from tent to tent to tent with all of this food and all of these things to drink that were satisfying the starving appetite they had.
I can imagine one of them going to one like, "Hey, guys! We've got lamb chops over here!" They're running over there, and the other one is like, "Hey, this one has zucchini." They're like, "What's in the next one?" So they go over and look in the next one. They're going back and forth, and they're just enjoying it. Then they stumble upon a part of the camp that had water heated up, and they were able to take a bath. There were all of these clothes there, and they put on fresh clothes.
How good that would feel after being trapped in a place with no resources for weeks. They're like, "Oh, this is awesome." You can see as they start to get their bellies full…they have a satisfied appetite for the first time in weeks, a month…just the tears that might be coming down their faces as they look at each other. They're like, "I can't believe this." Hugging, high-fiving, celebrating all the food that was there. They're like, "We'll never be hungry again. Look at all this stuff."
That is also us. That is us. That is you. If we look back on the past five years we have been here in Fort Worth as a church, we see over and over again how God has provided in crazy ways just like that. This doesn't ever happen if these lepers, if these starving men never admit the fact that they're hungry and that they need to get out of their current situation and go to somewhere that they might find food. This never happens.
What's so fun is that this church has become known as a place where people can admit that they're struggling, where people can admit that they're hungry, to the point that we have been identified in the community as such. My friend Gary Stroope was talking to somebody a year or two ago about where they go to church, and they asked Gary, "Where do you go to church?" and Gary said, "Watermark."
Their response was amazing. They said, "Oh, that's the church where people go if they struggle with pornography." Yes, it is. And adulterers and addicts and people who were angry and people who struggle with same-sex attraction and [fill in the blank], people who are lonely, who are hurting, who feel they have no value. This is where they come, because this is a place where it's safe to admit you need help, and it has been a place to find help, to not be stuck in your struggle, to see God show up and provide things the world doesn't think is possible.
So when I talk about this, I don't mean this is the place where we boast in our sin and say, "We do this and it's okay to do that," but I am saying this is a place where as people have had the courage and the faith to say, "I am not well," they have entered in and seen God show up and bring them to a place where they are well. Over the course of the past five years, if we look back, we've seen God provide for people who are lonely and depressed fellowship and community and companionship.
We've seen people who have been hurting from harms done to them find healing in a way that's only explainable because God showed up. We've seen people who were struggling in addictions to alcohol or drugs or pornography, whatever it may be… We've seen God show up and lead them to freedom. We've seen people who were without hope in life… We've seen God show up and bring them to a place where they're no longer recognizable because of how much joy they have because God showed up in their life.
So as we wrap this scenic outlook moment for our church as we are five years in, I think it is only appropriate for us to take a few minutes to look back and see how in the same way that God provided the food as the solution to the hunger for these men, God has provided through Christ the solution for so many, for all of the needs we have experienced.
I could spend the next 30 minutes trying my best to explain to you how God has done that, and it would fall short. I don't want to try to explain to you anymore how God has met our needs. I want us to see it for ourselves. I want us to see it by giving you the opportunity to see some very courageous and faithful people share how they were hungry and how God showed up and met their need. Let's look at that now.
Isn't that something? I don't know if there's a more beautiful sight than to look back and see the desperate need of our situation. You could literally see it on the faces of some of my friends and how overwhelmed they are with how God has shown up in their life, moving them to tears, moving us to praise. I walk through here every single week talking to you, either on a Sunday or different environments throughout the week, and it is story after story.
Whenever we were preparing for this Sunday to talk about sharing cardboard testimonies, I asked the staff… I kind of gave the vision for what we were wanting to do this morning, and I said, "Okay, I need you to send me the names of people you know who have had their lives changed over the past five years." Within minutes, not just the 20 stories you just saw but 100-plus stories came in to the point that literally I said, "We have enough. We don't have time to follow up with everyone. We have more than enough." It is amazing how God has shown up.
You could imagine those four men sitting together with a full belly, no longer hungry, no longer thirsty, clean, probably lounging on the best furniture they could find in that camp, and just saying, "Look around, guys. Look around. We have more than enough. We'll never have to go anywhere else. We have more than enough right here."
Then something happens in the story. I don't know if it was based on where they were sitting or what happened, but at some point I imagine them, in all of their excitement of joy for what they had, looking out at the horizon with a full stomach, seeing the city from which they came, the city where they know people by name who are starving, who are still living there without hope, without knowledge of everything that's around.
I can see them looking at each other and going, "Guys, not only do we have enough; we have enough for everyone. We have enough for everyone to come and eat and be satisfied, to no longer be hungry, to no longer be thirsty. We have all we need." It says in the story they looked and said to one another, "We are not doing right." Meaning, "We can't just sit here and keep all of this food to ourselves. There are people who are starving."
"We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent; if we wait until morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come, let us go and tell…""Let us go back to the city where there are people who we know by name who are starving right now and tell them there is food for all. There is enough for everyone."
It's funny that in the story these men didn't come to that realization, they didn't decide to go and tell until they remembered the condition of the people in the city, because you only go and tell people something you know they need to hear. Right? That's where we are at danger. There is much to celebrate. There is much to gather around and give thanks to God for, but there is a danger, and that danger is that we don't realize the need that exists in our city, the need for Jesus that exists in our city.
After all, we live in the great state of Texas. We live in Fort Worth where everybody is a good ol' boy and grew up going to church. There is no need to tell people about Jesus because everybody already knows. That's somewhat of a mindset I can slip into, because we think that right here in the Bible Belt everybody knows, but that is not the truth.
If you would have asked me, "Out of every 10 people you meet, how many of them do you think identify as evangelical Christians?" I probably would have said 6 or 7 out of 10. I feel like most people in this area know Jesus, but that's not reality at all. According to the 2010 census looking at Tarrant County, only 3 out of every 10 people you meet identify as evangelical Christians.
That was a shocking number for me to look at, to realize there are that many people right here who don't identify as someone who places their salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, but it wouldn't shock me if it's even lower, because for the longest time if all I had to do was check a box on a form to tell people what faith I was, I would check "Evangelical Christian," but I had no idea what the truth of the gospel was.
At the end of the day, if someone asked me about why I thought I had a relationship with God or would go to heaven, I would say, "I know I struggle and do some things, but I try to do good." I would have said something that was based on everything about me and my works at the neglect of placing faith truly in the work of Jesus Christ on my behalf.
I think there are a bunch of people in our city who use Christian language but have no idea what it means to be saved by faith alone in Christ alone. There is much work to be done. We may live in a churched city, but we do not live in a Christian city. There is a great need out there of people who need to know about what you have found. They need to know how God has provided for you, how God has met your needs and how he can and desires to meet their needs as well.
One other fact that helped me realize how desperate the need of our city is is that there is a large growing segment of our population that has no religious belief whatsoever. Think atheist, agnostic, identify with no religion whatsoever. From the year 2000 to 2010 that number grew from half a million to 800,000 people right here who have no idea what they're missing out on in Jesus Christ. Who's going to tell them?
After all, we have more than enough. We've seen God show up. We've seen God meet our needs to be whole, to be valued, to be found worthy, to have friendships and companionship, to be set free from things that weigh us down. We've seen God show up. So let's not just talk about the need of our city. If we're going to go and tell, most of us aren't going to do so from a platform. We're going to go and tell through individual relationships.
Let's not talk about this city in theory. Let's talk about people you know. Do you know anyone who's struggling? Do you know somebody who's hurting? Do you know somebody who wishes their marriage was stronger than it is? Do you know somebody who's caught up in worrying what other people think about them, who are marked by anxiety and worry? Are you doing right?
Are we letting our joyful response of realizing that we have all we need in Christ overflow into letting them know we have all they need in Christ and if they would come and see who this Jesus is they, too, could experience the same joy we have in seeing those needs met? In the same way those four starving men realized they had all they needed so they went and told the city, we too must go and tell.
If we want to continue to see the next five years of our church experience the amazing things we've experienced over the first five years, we must, with all the more passion and zeal, go and tell the people we know of what we have found so they too can have the choice to respond. Going and telling people largely only happens through the context of relationships, so before we go and tell the people we must go and get to know them.
It's hard to tell somebody who needs Jesus about Jesus if you don't know what need exists in their life. So I want you to think about this morning…Do you know people? It should be a cause of motivation for you if you look at the relationships that exist in your life and you don't have a single friendship with someone who doesn't know Christ, if you don't have a single friendship with somebody who's struggling.
If you end up there, you're in a similar spot to what these four starving men were in, and you're not doing right. That's okay, but may the reality of understanding how desperate our city is, how people are starving, and how you have the food they need to be satisfied… May that understanding move all of us to be more intentional and more personal, to get to know people. Why? Because we love them.
Because we love them, the greatest thing we want to tell them about is Christ and to invite them to come and see who this Jesus is and to belong to a body, to belong to a church, to have community and all of these other things around them. So we must go and tell. Let me quickly jump back into the text and paraphrase for you how this story ends. The lepers acted on their conviction. They didn't just talk about going and telling the people; they actually did.
When they did, they came to the one person who could get the message out to the city quicker than anybody else. They go to the king's household, and they say, "Hey, you're not going to believe this. I know y'all are starving. Check this out. There is an army camp full of food, enough food to satisfy every single person in the city. There's more than enough for everyone." Do you know what the king's reply is? Do you know what he says? "I don't believe it. It's too good to be true. There's no way this could possibly happen."
So the king, thinking that it's too good to be true, identifies a few scouts who he sends out to go to the camp and see if it's true. These men go out, and they're like, "What they're saying is true." They come back and tell the king, and the king tells the people of the city, and their response is what anyone who truly recognizes the fact that they're starving would do when they find out there is food at a certain place: they go.
It says the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans, which means they went and ate and drank and were satisfied. They were no longer hungry. They were no longer thirsty. God met their needs, and God wants to meet your needs as well. There are three groups of people in the room this morning, and how you respond to what you're hearing this morning is really based on what group you're in.
The first group are those of you who hear this story about these lepers, these starving men, and you see testimonies of how people were trapped with different needs in their hang-ups in their lives, and you don't identify with any of it, because at the end of the day your life is pretty good. You have a good job. Your marriage is doing pretty well. You get to eat out a few times a week. You have reliable transportation. You're enjoying life. You can take a good vacation to Colorado every year. What you need to know is that the comfort of your life may be the very thing that's keeping you from having the greatest need in your life met.
The Scripture says that there is no one who does good, that all of us fall short of the glory of God, that all of us have a need to be forgiven, not just for forgiveness' sake but so we can be brought into a relationship with God, with the Creator of the heavens and the earth who wants to give us a life of joy that can only be experienced when we walk in a relationship with him. If you're in that camp this morning, I would encourage you not to let this message roll off your back but to consider your need for forgiveness and your need for a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The second group of people in the room this morning are those of you who from the very first moment we began talking about these men who were starving and how they had a need and were tired of being stuck in it and desperately wanted more than anything else to no longer be where they were…you identified with them, yet you've not come to a place where you've seen the completion of their story be the completion of your story.
You're still in a spot this morning where you are without hope. You're concerned that your marriage may never become what God has always intended for it to be. You're caught up in an addiction that no matter how hard you want to break free from it you're just not able to. You are very acutely aware of what you are hungry for and what the needs are that exist in your life, but you've not yet taken the step to publicly admit it, to even admit it to yourself that "Hey, I'm struggling. I'm hurting, and I need help."
What's likely keeping you from doing so is the same thing that kept me from doing so eight years ago: fear…fear that if I'm really honest about how I'm struggling people will see me as a burden or that people will judge me or that people will reject me or fear that you'll be looked at as kind of odd because you're the only one who struggles with that. That's what kept me quiet for so long. That's what kept me quietly struggling with pornography from the time I was in high school to a few years after college.
What it took for me to overcome that fear was being in an environment around some other men who had the faith to be honest, who had the faith to say, "I, too, once was a struggler" or "I am a struggler, but this is how I am moving toward Jesus to have freedom become a reality in my life." When I began to admit that I needed help and move toward Jesus, I began to move toward being set free and am set free in the same way that all of my friends are who you heard from this morning.
So if you're in that camp where you are acutely aware of what you are hungry for, of what your needs are, I want you to know that God can meet your needs. God desires more than anything else to meet your needs, to bring you to a place where you are satisfied and need nothing else apart from Christ. So I want to ask you this morning to respond in faith, a faith that overcomes fear, and to declare that you need help, that you're struggling.
There are many tents here as a part of this church where you can come and see God satisfy those appetites, those needs, those desires in your life. Maybe you're at a spot where you're caught up with an unhealthy habit in your life. Call it an addiction, call it whatever you need…something that is destructive and you want to move past it, but you just simply don't know how, or harm has been caused to you to such an extent you just can't seem to believe you could be loved.
I pray that you're with us tomorrow night at re:generation where you'll see a room full of people, fellow strugglers, coming and realizing that Christ can bring that freedom, that Christ can bring that healing and restoration into your life as well. If your marriage is not moving up and to the right, if you're on this downward slope, I pray that you're here on Wednesday night with us. Come and join us at re|engage and see God show up and meet the needs for you to understand what each of your parts are in your marriage and how following Christ is the solution to your marriage becoming everything you wanted it to be.
If you're in your 20s and 30s, come and join us on Tuesday nights at The Porch and see the greatest thing you could give your life to pursuing and join an army of young adults who are with us who are giving their life to going and telling people to come and see this Jesus. Maybe you've been in church your entire life, and you've known about this Jesus, but something is missing, and it's that you don't actually know how to have a relationship with him.
Join us for Equipped Disciple where we want to walk with you and help show you how to have a daily walk, a daily relationship with Jesus Christ. Open up your Watermark News. It is littered with tents, with environments, with opportunities where you can show up and be fed and see God satisfy all of those needs in your life.
Then there's the third group. The third group is those of us who have been on this journey together, and it has been a fun journey; those of us who have been here to see God person after person, week after week, drastically meet the needs of other people, fellow strugglers as us who are no longer strugglers because of the way God has shown up in their lives. That's the rest of us who are in this room, and we have a responsibility to do right. Yes, do right.
It's to understand the reality of our city, that we live in a city that may be churched, but it is not Christian and it is full of people who desperately need to know about Jesus Christ and how in trusting him and following him every need they have in their life can be met and they can have that joy and peace and contentment in him. We have to be faithful to do that.
Do you know who's having the most fun in the room this morning? It's all of the people who are connected to the testimonies that belong to the people who shared, because they were there. We've been on this journey. They were there in those moments when someone raised their hand and said, "Hey, I'm not well. I need help." They were a part of how God showed up in their life and began to meet the needs they had, to show them, "Hey, there's food here. Let me show you where to find it, where you can eat," and have walked with them.
Those 20 stories are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more. As a part of that, as we're at this scenic overlook moment, I don't want us to miss the opportunity to look back and see the entire valley, to see everything God has done, so I want to ask some of you to help out with something. Over the past five years, if you've been here any length of time…the whole time or a week, it doesn't matter…
If you've been here and have seen God show up and your life has been changed because of Jesus Christ, as a testament not to us but to his work, to him showing up and meeting those needs in your life, would you stand up? Just look around for a moment. It's amazing. It's amazing what God has done. It's amazing what God wants to continue to do, but it's only going to happen… The next five years are only going to continue to look like this if we are faithful to do our part, to go and tell people to come and see. So let's pray and thank him now and then stand as we close in worship.
God, thank you. Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name give glory according to your lovingkindness, which is seen all over this room. Thank you for my friends who had the courage and the faith and the joy to stand up here in front of this room today and declare how they were in desperate need for help and then how you showed up. I pray that we would never grow tired of celebrating what you're doing.
I also pray we would never forget the condition of the city in which we live, the desperate need people have, that people are lost and walking in darkness, that there are people out there who are hurting and lonely and without hope and how you want to use us to be the messengers to go and tell them where they can come and find food that they can eat to be full, to be satisfied.
I pray this morning, God, if there's anyone in this room who is currently there you would give them the courage to reach out, to declare, "I need help," and that they would be amazed about how you will show up in their life. God, help us to never forget how good you are. Help us to remember that we don't need to go anywhere else, that you are enough, so we will stay in your presence where there is satisfaction to be found. Remind us of that now, God, as we celebrate your work in our body and are reminded of that truth. We love you, amen.