Confidence for the Future - Deeply Satisfied and Well Rested

Psalm 23 reminds us all that God will give us rest.

Ross Sawyers
May 24, 2020    1hr 10m
In this sermon Pastor Ross Sawyers continues with the in depth study of Psalm 23, and teaches from chapter 2. He reminds us all that God is the good shepherd who will give us rest and provide for our needs. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

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This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Ross Sawyers: 00:01 So grateful for many of you that participated in a survey that we did online, And I just wanted to share with you some of the comments that were made in regard to two questions that we asked, that will help lead us into a Psalm 23 verse 2 in these moments together.

Ross Sawyers: 00:25 The survey had two questions, and the first question, I want to share some of your answers to it. And then I'll come back at the end with the second question, and share some of your responses to that particular question. And here is how was asked, how has God shown you how to rest in this time? Well, when we think about the quarantine and all the things related to COVID-19, and what's happened here the last several weeks. One of the questions we're starting to think about is, what is rest look like in this space of time? And here were some of the answers. Some it was, it gave them a focus on God for the future. For others, maybe a little restless, spiritually, maybe not so much rest spiritually, but definitely physical rest and slowing down. For others, their devotional time with the Lord has been more quality, and several people wrote that. That their time in God's word, and their time praying, and the intimacy with the Lord has grown and increased in this space. And for others, it's been a re-prioritizing time, not having to run from activity to activity. Still others, the way they've rested, it's been in just enjoying the outdoors and recognizing that it's God and his labor that counts, and not our labor. Certainly God works through us, ultimately it's his labor that's working through us. And then still another one said, you know, I haven't rested near as much as I thought I would. Another one is rested by doing some virtual counseling, taking advantage of these moments. For still others, there's been no hurry, and that's been both good for their body and soul to slow down. And this rest has provided an enjoyment with kids, and it's forced the family to slow down, to read books and do puzzles together, things maybe that were not happening as much. Extra time in the word, extra sleep. And then another one said their prescriptions have doubled, so it's not been necessarily a restful time, it's been an anxiety and fear driven time for many. It's been a time of tearing down idols in particular people's lives. Still others are exhausted, for many of you the idea of rest is not really been the hallmark of this time. With increased teaching in your own home, with work, some their work has amped up doubled down, instead of backed off, and there's not really been rest. But yet still some put, even in that scenario, their soul is still been at rest. Some are still learning how to rest, and what that would even look like.

Ross Sawyers: 03:13 I'd like for us to think about the idea of rest in the 23rd Psalm. If you'll turn in your Bibles to Psalm 23 verse 2. Last week we launched into this Psalm 23 all six verses. we read those, and then we hung out in the first verse of Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." And it's incredibly personal, this psalm, it gives us a confidence for the future. And that's our idea these few weeks, as we spend just one week at a time on each verse of the 23rd Psalm, my hope and prayer is that you'll find an incredible confidence for the future and what lies ahead.

Ross Sawyers: 03:58 And what we saw in verse 1 that our confidence is in the Lord himself, who is the good shepherd, and Jesus declares himself to be the good shepherd. He's the one that gives us salvation, and cares for us, leads us, protects us, that's what a shepherd does for his sheep. And when we began this time several weeks ago, when we went into quarantine, one of the things that I mentioned from the outset is that God has shut us down for a season of time. And he stripped away so much from us now, not everyone, but for a large number of people, there has been a serious halt to life as it was. And an unanticipated rest, depending on a person's response to what's gone on. For others, and I absolutely get it, busyness has amped up, and it's still a bit of a challenge. What I want us to see, and my prayer has been in this season of time, that would cause us to stop, and to slow down, and to reset, and to find new rhythms, and to lean in to God, as God himself is our rest.

Ross Sawyers: 05:20 The way I've titled this message is to be deeply satisfied and well rested, and I believe that that's possible in the most difficult of scenarios, as well as the most joyful and easy of times. To be deeply satisfied and well rested. Let's read the second verse of Psalm 23, "He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters." Again, verse 1 says, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." The idea of not wanting is to be utterly content in God himself. And the way we can be content in God, is to follow his lead. In verse 2, it starts to unfold what that utter contentment can look like. "He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters."

Ross Sawyers: 06:22 The shepherd, in thinking about this first part of verse 2, he makes me lie down in green pastures. Let's think about the shepherd, and what the shepherd would do. The shepherd would make sure that his sheep were able to get to the right places to be able to feed well. Now in the later winter, and in the spring, everything was lush and green and it was probably a little easier in that space of time to find those green pastures for the sheep. And just for clarity, when we've talked about the shepherd and the sheep, the sheep are completely dependent on the shepherd, dependent on the shepherd to get them where they need to be. And the shepherd would probably keep them near the village where he or she lived, and everything was green and lush in that part of the year, and that's where they would feed. They would also feed when the harvest came, and the grain was reaped and then gleaned by the poor, and then whatever was left, the shepherd would take his flock and they would feed off the remainder of what had been harvested. In the summertime, it was more hay that they would spend their time eating and getting them to. And then once there was not much left, then they would move on, the resources exhausted and they would head off to find other pastures. And oftentimes a shepherd was on the move with his flock, to get them to the best place where they could feed, and where they could rest. In the fall and early winter might be a little more difficult, shepherds would have to be more intentional in the ways that they would feed their sheep.

Ross Sawyers: 08:23 Phillip Keller, who wrote a book on the 23rd Psalm, it was a book that I read years ago. And when I started youth ministry, I had no idea what I was doing. I'm not real sure I know what I'm doing today, but I definitely didn't know what I was doing the first week that I was youth minister on staff at a church. And I'd read this book by Phillip Keller called The 23rd Psalm. And I thought, well, I'll just teach the students the 23rd Psalm, and that's what I did. And I've used this book as a resource ever since, incredibly insightful. But one thing that Keller says, and this is not the Timothy Keller in New York city, this is Phillip Keller. And one thing that Keller says, that for sheep to be able to rest and to be satisfied in those green pastures, they have to be free of four things, free of fear, free of hunger, free of pests and free of friction among each other." It sounds familiar, doesn't it? I think it's why the analogy of shepherd and sheep is one of those that God uses throughout the scripture to describe himself, to describe us. When we are free of fear, when we're not hungry, when we're not being irritated by pests, when there's not friction and relational problems, then we can be at rest. Now, God is the shepherd who gets his people to the right spot, to the grazing place, to the delightful and rich provision of what they need. God knows exactly what his people need, the shepherd knows exactly what the sheep need.

Ross Sawyers: 10:10 Now there's interesting parallels that run through the whole Bible about the shepherd and the sheep, and the provision and the taking care of them. We find in the Exodus story, when God is bringing his people Israel out of slavery from Egypt. And he's about to fulfill in those next several years, the promise that he made in Genesis 12, that he would establish a people from Abraham, and then he would establish a land for them, and they would be a blessing to peoples all over the world. And God is rescued and delivering his people, he's bringing them to a land, to a lush and green land. He's bringing them to green pastures. He's bringing them out of slavery, and he's bringing them to a land that will be theirs, it will be their land. And God is making, and bringing, them to those green pastures. We were in Israel a year ago, and this just one picture of a place where we were, and it just gives you an idea. We were there in April, and this is a picture of just how lush and green parts of Israel are. It's not all like this, but parts of Israel are this way. And it's just mesmerizing the depth of the colors of the of the green, and the freshness of it, and it's the kind of pastures that God brings his sheep towards. The shepherd does that with a sheep, and God does that with his people. There's provision in that pasture, and there's nourishment in that pasture.

Ross Sawyers: 11:50 Interestingly, when God brought the people out of Israel, and they were a bit rebellious towards him, and sheep can be rebellious. They're not the brightest of creatures, that could be insulting to us if we're not careful to have a little bit of humility and realize, oftentimes, we don't make the brightest decisions either. And when the sheep, who are not the brightest of the bunch, and then when God's people who experienced this deliverance and knew to this promise, and they were God's people, and he was bringing him this land, they got scared when they heard what was in the land and they rebelled and grumbled and complained against God. And when they did that, then they were subject to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Yet, isn't God an incredibly gracious shepherd? Because even in their wanderings, he provided for them. He provided manna for them, it was a bread like substance, and he had it available to them every morning when they would awaken. God is a provider even, and often, when we're rebellious against him, he did that for his people. And then he was able to bring them to fulfill that promise in Genesis 12, after that 40 years of wandering into Israel, which is a land of milk and honey, it is a flourishing land.

Ross Sawyers: 13:19 Now I want to propel us from that delivery in that Exodus moment, through that 23rd Psalm, "He makes me lie down in green pastures." God is the provider. He takes care of our material needs, our sustenance, and then he gives us rest, he deeply satisfies us. When we propel through that 23rd Psalm, into the New Testament, we find ourselves in the life of Jesus in John chapter 6. And this is a story that for a number of you, it's familiar, for some of you it's not. And in John 6, there's a large crowd that has gathered around Jesus. It's near the Passover time where they'll celebrate that deliverance that's described in the Exodus, and that was to be celebrated each year. And it was near that Passover time, and they were on a mountain overlooking the sea of Galilee. It's absolutely stunning around the sea of Galilee, and there's multiple mountains, and we were able to get views and maybe of what some of these things looked like and where people were.

Ross Sawyers: 14:32 And and the scripture tells us in John 6, that while this large crowd had gathered, Jesus asked Philip, one of the disciples asked him a question. He said, where are we to buy bread so that these may eat? 5,000 men had gathered on that mountain, and then family, so it was 5,000 plus. Where are we going to get food for them? He already knew what he was going to do, he is just seeing what Phillip would say. And then Andrew, one of Jesus' disciples was listening in and he had seen a child, and this child had five loaves of bread and two fish. And don't, you love that faith of Andrew, we've got 5,000 plus people, and how are we going to feed them? And Andrew brings this to Jesus, and what an intense trust he must've had to just say, hey, we've got this. What can we do about that? And Jesus tells the people to sit down, he makes me lie down in green pastures. Jesus tells them to sit down, and he gives thanks to his Father for the loaves and fish, and then it starts to get distributed to those who are seated. He makes me lie down in green pastures, those who are seated.

Ross Sawyers: 16:03 And then it says in Matthew, where this story is recorded, that they were able to have as much fish as they wanted. "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures." He had them sit down, and he provided for them, and they were actually able in this moment to have as much as they wanted, and then were told that there were 12 baskets left. Now this wasn't exactly a loaf and fish story the other day, but we did ask at 121, would you be game to jump in on helping with boxes of food for people in the community that are around our church, who are facing some difficult times with job losses? And it was awesome, because last Friday we collected, Mike and Mandy Alexander led the charge coach Alexander from grapevine high school, and in our mission team, and then several people from our church were up here serving and sorting. And just car after car was driving by, and people were coming and taking the food out of the SUVs and trucks and cars, and doing it safely, and they were taking it. And by the time we were done, the goal is to have 125 boxes for the community, there were 150 boxes full that came. And then there was more than that, so another two truckloads went to grace, which is doing a great job of serving physical needs in our community. And when I think about the way God provides, and helps us to lie down in green pastures, and to be sufficient in our needs, that he oftentimes works through his people. And right now we're in the midst of another possibility of a great opportunity to be able to continue to do the same. It's been amazing to watch God provide through our church body, through our life groups, through bigger efforts like this, to see this verse really play out in the lives of people. God is shepherding his people. And I just want to say, thank you, for the ways you continue to step up and be a part of what God's doing. It's exciting to see that. Deeply satisfied, Jesus met them where they were, they were hungry, so physically their need was met.

Ross Sawyers: 18:32 But Jesus goes on in John 6, and interestingly, he doesn't just stop with that physical provision. He then says in John 6:35, he said, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst." Jesus now takes a physical happening and links it to a spiritual happening. He was already telling them prior to what he said here, that the true bread, and he's referring back to that manna that they all knew had come down from heaven during those wandering years in Exodus. And now they get provided for through him, but he says the true bread, and the true bread that gives life to the world, is through himself. Through Jesus, who is the good shepherd. He said, I am the bread of life. I am, there are seven 'I am' statements that Jesus makes, and this is one of them. He says, "I am the bread of life." He is physically and spiritually connecting into them. Jesus is the bread of life, he's the one who gives us life. He made that possible through his body being broken on the cross, through his blood being shed on the cross, he was willing to lay his own life down as a good shepherd will for his sheep. So that his sheep, his people, might have life in him.

Ross Sawyers: 20:13 Now we wouldn't have anything to talk about if Jesus stayed dead, but God raised Jesus from the dead. And Jesus is alive, and Jesus is the one who gives life. In John chapter 6 verse 40 he says, "This is the will of my Father." This is Jesus speaking, "That everyone who beholds the Son, and believes in Him, will have eternal life. And I myself will raise him up on the last day." God is a resurrecting, God. Jesus says, it's the will of my Father, everyone who beholds the Son, everyone who sees the Son and beholds him, and honors him, and believes him, those are the ones who experienced Jesus as the bread of life. Jesus is the savior of life. Jesus is the one who raises us from being dead in our own sin, and made alive in Him. Jesus is the bread of life, he's our sustenance. That's the gospel, is to believe it. Now we're nourished in him. He makes me lie down in green pastures. The greenest pasture is in the life of Jesus, and we are described by God as being in Christ, when we believe what he did on our behalf.

Ross Sawyers: 21:32 Now, how do we receive ongoing nourishment and provision? We receive that in Jesus, primarily through the word of God, through the scriptures, through the Bible. This is God making himself known. In Psalm 1 verses 1 and 2, I was reflecting on this the other day, and I had just watched something on television the night before that was really disturbing. And I was thinking on Psalm 1:1-2, I've memorized this verse a while back in this chapter. And I dwell on it often, "How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!" And I just paused on that last phrase, "Nor sit in the seat of scoffers." And I looked up the word scoffer just to get a fresh definition, and a scoffer is someone who mocks or gears at someone. And I started thinking about what I watched on television the night before, just briefly, because I turned it off. And I realized what I was doing, I was sitting in the seat of a scoffer. I was sitting in front of someone that was mocking God. And it made me think, how often do we sit in front of a screen of any sort, in front of people who are making a mockery of God, who are jeering at God. And it really just gave me a fresh view practically of this particular verse, to not sit in the seat, even in front of a screen, not just a real person, who is mocking God. But sitting in front of a screen that is mocking God in lifestyles, in beliefs, worldview, mocking and jeering, God. I love that Brenda Sanders said a few weeks ago, scripture before screen.

Ross Sawyers: 23:43 And it's interesting that Psalm 1 transitions then, "Nor sit in the seat of scoffers. But his delight instead is in the law of the Lord. And in his law, he meditates day and night, he'll be like a tree (in verse 3) firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season. It's leaf does not wither, and whatever he does, he prospers." What he's saying is exactly what the shepherd is doing with the sheep in getting them to the green pastures, what God wants us is to have a steady diet, and a steady tasting, and in an eating, if you will, of the green pastures of his word. And that we would find delight and pleasure in the lushness of God's word, in the greenness of God's word, the freshness of God's word. And that we would just sit before him, and not before someone who's mocking him hours upon hours on a screen. But someone that actually, and we sit before God, that we sit before him and we're actually enlivened in him. Where so many of us are exhausted because of the pace that we keep, and it's been a gift to have this space to settle in. And I know still others are, are worn out from work, but I want you to know that in God's word, we're nourished and rested.

Ross Sawyers: 25:00 We want to have a steady diet of what Psalm 1:19 says, of God's word flowing through our hearts and that we would delight in it, and love it, and trust it, and be comforted in it, and find insight in it, and be revived in it. We go here to be revived, rather than the steady diet of negative social media, and the negative diet of pornography that is probably by all counts, increased in these last several weeks in people's boredom. I want you to know that he makes us lie down in green pastures, and the green pastures are in Christ himself and in the word of God. And when we nourish ourselves in those pastures, we'll not be exhausted, we'll be refreshed.

Ross Sawyers: 25:48 And the Psalmist again, Psalm 1:19, great place to hang out. He just multiple times says, God, your word, I love it, it's sweet to my taste, I delight in it, I'm revived in it, it's a lamp for me, it's a light for my path, it gives understanding to the simple. I find myself to be quite simple, and God's word gives me understanding. We're settled in God's word, deeply satisfied in him. He makes me lie down in green pastures. I'm glad that these last several weeks, I know there's a lot of challenges. One thing I'm grateful for, is that he slowed us down to make us lie down in green pastures. If you've missed on that pasture, it's not too late, it's not too late. Head to that place of deep satisfaction in Christ himself, and his word.

Ross Sawyers: 26:50 There's a second part to this Psalm, Psalm 23 verse 2. And I want to think about this as being well rested, deeply satisfied, and well rested. Psalm 23:2, "He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters." He leads me beside quiet waters. Again, the sheep dependent on the shepherd, and the sheep are fearful of water that moves quickly. So rushing water or flowing water, they're fearful of that kind of water, and they get easily agitated. They also find dirty water to be harmful to their bodies. So the shepherd then, would lead the sheep to pools of water that were still, and when those would dry up, then the shepherd would find for the sheep wells and springs, for them to be able to drink. It'll be cool and refreshing for them, there would be no rush, they'd not be hurried at that still pool of water, or that well spring. And the water gives strength and vitality to the sheep. That's not any different than us is it? We're told again and again, to drink lots of water. If you go to the gym, and I know the gyms have opened up now, so maybe some of you ventured out, maybe haven't yet. Whether you're at the gym, or a home, or you're walking, or whatever, you're just going to work, or you're working from home, so many people now will carry jugs of water to make sure they're hydrated. It gives strength and vitality to the body to drink lots of water. It's the same for the sheep, so we can relate and connect to that idea. And when the sheep were well fed, and there's plenty of water, then they could rest. Well fed, well rested, and then they can move through the day. Well-watered, then they're well rested.

Ross Sawyers: 29:07 In John chapter 4, we find Jesus encountering a woman from Samaria, and there are a lot of cultural things going on in this story, and what I want to focus on is what happens at the well. And Jesus is looking for a drink of water and he tells her, he said, Hey, I'd like a drink of water. And as they continue the dialogue in the conversation with each other, it's an interesting unfolding. Again, Jesus is taking something that's a physical analogy, a physical need of water, and then he's bringing it to an even more satisfying kind of idea. And in verses 13 and 14, after they've talked about this water and he says, hey if you knew the gift of God, you know that you ought to ask me for some living water. And then Jesus says, in verse 13, he said, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again." So they're standing around the well, it's just this woman and Jesus it's midday in the noonish realm, and they're talking about this and Jesus says, you'll be thirsty again. That's a logical statement, we know that if I drink this water right now, I'm going to be thirsty again. And that's why we drink lots and lots of water, we'll keep thirsting. He goes on in verse 14 and says, "But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” A well of water springing up to eternal life. Jesus says it, he said in John 10, when we talked about the shepherd that he came to give abundant life. There's an enemy trying to steal away our lives, but Jesus came to give abundant life. Part of that abundant life is it. He is causing a well of water to spring up within us, and that well of water is eternal life.

Ross Sawyers: 31:18 In Proverbs 4:23, he talks about our hearts and he says, we need to watch out so that our heart is flowing with springs of life, and our heart can spring with life with Christ in us. He also says in John 7, another encounter on the last day, the great day of the feast, "Jesus stood, and he cried out saying, (verse 37) if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." Yes, there is a physical need for water. But more than that, if you're thirsty, come to me, Jesus says, life is found in me, you'll be satisfied in me. Your thirst will be quenched in me, and drink, he who believes in me as the scripture said, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water. What will flow through you and me in Christ, are the living waters of his life, the living waters of his Spirit. When a person believes what Jesus did, what we receive is the Holy Spirit of God. Who takes up life within us, completely changes us, begins to live in flow through us. Our strength and vitality comes through the Holy Spirit of God, who comes through our lives. He teaches us, he comforts us.

Ross Sawyers: 32:54 In Galatians chapter 5 verses 22 and 23, it says that the fruit of the spirit, so the Holy Spirit, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." These aren't things we can try to do, and try harder to do them, these are things that only God can do through his Holy Spirit. And as we submit and yield our lives to him, and follow him, and surrender to his Holy Spirit within, the spirit will produce the life of Christ through us. The character of Jesus love, joy, peace, all the things listed here. That is a life that has deep satisfaction, and it's a well-rested person.

Ross Sawyers: 33:58 The Psalmist understood this in what he wrote about the 23rd Psalm, and he also understood in other places where he wrote Psalm 42:1, "As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." The Psalmist understood, David understood, that where our soul is satisfied Is in God himself. We know that now is through Jesus Christ, and the life that he gives. In Psalm 63:1, this might be where you find yourself, "O' God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." He knew that in a dry and weary land, that's God that he needed. God is the one where we find contentment, he's the one who satisfies, he's the one that gives rest to our soul. "He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters."

Ross Sawyers: 35:06 The second question on the survey, in what ways has God shown you how to reset in this time? People wrote these kinds of answers to reset, when we're at resting God. What is he saying? What do things look like moving ahead? These are some things they wrote, peace in his plans, to trust in his plan moving ahead, to get rid of the idols of security, control, flexibility, to be free from distractions, to focus on him, to desire more time with kids, their own kids, grateful dwelling on him, some not sure yet, some serve my family more, others care for their body, others to linger in moments longer. One person put, I can actually survive without sports and TV. Somebody else said they did a budget reset. So God says all things to us, all kinds of things to us when we're quiet before him, deeply satisfied in him, and at rest.

Ross Sawyers: 36:24 Why did God give us this season of time? I don't totally know, but I know one thing for sure, I know we can be confident in the future. I know that God takes trials, and he works through those to build our character, our perseverance, and to mold us and shape us, more to be like him. And I know it's a time for us, as for many, where we can step back and know that our confidence is in God himself, and not circumstances. We can't count on circumstances, we can count on God. I do believe this, when we start to emerge out of this time, I believe that the enemy has been mounting his forces even more heavily in this space of time. And as we emerge out, then I believe there'll be a furious rage coming against those who are followers of Christ. But I also believe in my prayer and hope is, that as Christians, that we would emerge out of this with a fierce love for God, for each other, and for anyone who is opposed to God. That our love would be fierce, that we've been rested and satisfied so that we can deeply love out of that satisfaction. And I'm grateful that Jesus Christ himself took all the dissatisfaction of his Father of our sin, and all of the unrest of a broken and sinful world, with all of its shame and guilt. And I know that Jesus took all of that on himself, so that you and I could be freed to be deeply satisfied and well rested in him in. And only in will we find our true rest.

Ross Sawyers: 38:41 We want to move everything through to the end of scripture, and we know that there's ultimately a green pasture and quiet waters awaiting us in the new heavens and the new earth, everything will be made right in the new creation. It says it this way in revelation 7:17, "For the lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes." And in chapter 22, verse one, "Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the lamb." God will bring us to an ultimate place as a green pasture, quiet waters, himself, the glory of all that will be a part.

Ross Sawyers: 39:40 Father, thank you for the encouragement from this Psalm. And God, thank you that in our most difficult spaces, and when we're rebellious and stubborn, that in your kindness as a good shepherd, you still make us lie down in green pastures, and lead us to quiet waters. When we don't know how to get there, you lead us there. And I pray God, that we would lean into you, and enjoy those spaces you bring us to. Teach us, Father, how to be deeply satisfied in you, and how to find the greatest rest in Christ alone. And God, it's in you today that we find our hope in Jesus name.

Ross Sawyers: 40:28 Let's be quiet before the Lord, and just rest. And I know it might be a challenge in your home depending on what your circumstances are, but if you can, can we just be quiet for a few moments and just allow God to do whatever he wants to do with you in this space. Amen.

Ross Sawyers: 41:18 Thank you again for gathering with us in worship online, and this has been a great way for us to continue to gather. And then we're excited about the ways that God is moving us forward, and I want to share with you our summer plans. And while there's been a lot of flexibility in a number of ways, these last several weeks, we want to continue in flex mode in following what it is that God has in store for 121. And we look forward, and are pleased, with the way he's been leading us every step of the way, and we're confident as he continues to lead us. The way that he has led us in a very specific way, is to have a multi venue approach moving forward. And what I mean by that is, we will continue with a strong presence of our online worship gatherings, continue to do everything we can to make sure those are the most meaningful, and that you can really engage and worship God from wherever you are through that online opportunity. And that has been a great opportunity for us as well as for our children. I'm so grateful for those who are leading our kids ministries, and they've continued to put out there for you the kind of resource that helps your kids to worship in an online way, just like they were doing when they were in the physical presence at this location. And so we're excited about the ways that God has used our online opportunities, and we want to continue that as one of our venues.

Ross Sawyers: 43:01 Regarding life groups, and doing life together, as we continue with those, we believe now is a great time for those who would like to be able to meet live. And we would ask that you honor the guidelines that are being given by the state of Texas when you gather. We also want to continue a strong presence among groups that will continue to meet virtually, and that's been a great ways for people to build community, and study God's word, and pray. And we look forward to continuing those two kinds of options with life groups.

Ross Sawyers: 43:41 And then in addition, we had someone suggest the other day, and I thought it was a great idea. Some groups might want to gather, for example, at 9:00 AM on a Sunday morning, and worship virtually in someone's home, wherever you meet as a life group, and then stay after the worship time together, and do what you'd normally do in that small life group gathering as you're doing life. It could be a way to worship with others, that you're doing life with in your small group community.

Ross Sawyers: 44:14 And then, we're also excited that for those who are ready and able, and are interested, that we'll begin our in-person worship gatherings at our Grapevine location. And that gathering will take place, the first one on June 7th. I want to make sure that you note, that on that June 7th day, and in these initial weeks, there will not be kids ministries at the in person location. Rather, if you would like to bring your kids, you're more than welcome, and they'll be with you in the worship center for our worship time's. And then also wants you to know, that we're being very careful to follow the open Texas guidelines for the ways we'll do life when we gather in person, and there will be subsequent videos and information that make clear to you all the detail of how we'll open up the in-person part of our worship on June 7th.

Ross Sawyers: 45:22 Well, again, it has been really cool to watch God work as we've moved ahead, and we're simply trying to continue in on the things that God has for us, the way he's working, and the new opportunities that he has for us as we move ahead. So thank you for walking in strength with us, and we'll continue to do so as we move ahead.

Ross Sawyers: 45:46 And then as we mentioned each week, a part of our worship is to give back to God. And through the generosity of your giving we've been able to continue strong in the multiple ways God's leading us, and anticipate that that will continue to be the case. So thank you for your generosity towards the Lord, and towards his church at 121. All right,63 I hope you have a fantastic rest of the day.

Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051