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ENDGAME – NOISY EXIT

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May 3, 2019

Noisy Exit
Acts 16: 16-40

Noisy but Saved!
• God will do some unusual things in your life to reorder your priorities from what you think is most important to what He knows is important.
• The jailer was at his ENDGAME, then God showed him what was really important.
• God showed the jailer that his ENDGAME wasn’t God’s ENDGAME for him.
• Sometimes before God does his greatest miracles in your life, you have to wash the stripes of the person you wounded.
• You know you’ve got real salvation when instantly the people that you’ve hurt, you turn around and want to wash their stripes.

Noisy Exit
• Even though it might get worse, Jesus doesn’t want you to get quieter and quieter.
• The devil says, be quiet about Jesus, we don’t want to offend people so, let the rest of the world go to hell, don’t witness on your job, don’t talk about Jesus, don’t be bold, don’t be honest.
• The more the enemy attacks me, the more I’m going to lift my voice heaven, I’m going to declare God is with me, I will overcome, I will make it, I will conquer, I will triumph! WHY?

1. Noah has a big exit!
     a. No matter how much the storms may hit you and rock you from side to side, God has you in the comfort of His arms.
2. Elijah did not leave quietly
3. Samson did not have a quiet exit
4. Stephen didn’t exit quietly
5. Enoch did not have a quiet exit
6. Jesus has the biggest EXIT!

The more the enemy attacks me, the more I’m going to lift my voice to heaven, I’m going to declare God is with me, I will overcome, I will make it, I will conquer, I will triumph!

Sermon Video Transcription

Richie Thornton: 00:01 Amen. And so I don’t want to waste any time in giving you this opportunity. Man, we believe in groups here. Why? Because we believe that you can’t do life alone. And so man, maybe you’re in a place like a Keith and Tanya are, and you’re going through life and you’re trying to do it alone. We don’t want you to, we want each and every person to be plugged into a small group, and we’ve made it so easy. In the chair back in front of you, there’s a next step card. If you would like to get plugged in, man. we’ll do everything in our power to find the group that’s right for you. Take the card, fill it out, you can turn it in at the Next Step Center in the lobby, and we will follow up with you as soon as possible. Also, if there’s not a card in front of you, don’t worry because it’s on our Journey Church APP. And so how many of you have a smartphone? The rest of you get, it is a 2019. So, anyway, no. But, it’s very easy for you do that, download the APP. Also you online, we have a options available for you. If you all would like to get plugged in to an online group, you can do that. Just download the APP and you’ll see the options, you can take your next step there.

Richie Thornton: 01:12 Also, we do have, I believe I’m speaking to someone here when you say, I just don’t like any of the groups that you have. Guess what? We want you to start a group then. And so we’ve got this box, called my Journey group box, everything that you need in here to start your group. We’ve got the curriculum, we’ve got the my Journey group pocket guide, we’ve got everything that you need to get started and be successful. If you would like to do this, you can pick one up at the Next Step Center this morning. Just fill out the next step card, turn it in, and you can pick up your box this morning. Whoo, you all give her a hand. Thanks.

Richie Thornton: 01:54 Well man, I’m so excited to preach the word this morning. Before I get into it, I just want to give a special shout out to several people. Pastor James, first of all for allowing me to just preach the word. Will you all give our pastor and Miss Debbie some love this morning?Yeah. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity. I never take this lightly. And also, just want to thank my small group. I’m a product of a small group. And so I want to thank my mom, Amy, Katie, Abigail, Benjamin and Holly, Dustin, Gauge, Jacob, Dylan, Jayden. I have a big family, Addie, Jenna, you know. I also want to thank those and this corner over here, my family, my inlaws, my outlaws and also my small group, and also Jeff that’s tuning in from Afghanistan. Will you all give them a hand this morning?

Richie Thornton: 02:51 So, you know, I’m excited to bring the word and typically when Pastor James asks us to preach, he usually gives us a topic and usually it’s some sort of softball topic. Like, you know, can you lose your salvation? You know, or a real softball like, you know, why does God allow suffering. Or, you know, or the softball, like, are we living in the last days? Easy stuff like that. So it’s usually a pretty, pretty simple, no problem, pastor, got It. But this time he said, when he asked us to preach, he said, you know what? you all preach whatever’s on your heart. Preach whatever you want. I said, Huh? So he said, yeah, preach wherever you want. And I got the opportunity to ask him. I said, you know, pastor, it’s not very often that I get the platform. Yeah. I said it’s even rarer that I get the opportunity to preach whatever I want. Yeah. What would you think about me preaching about small groups? He said, I think you’re crazy if you don’t. And so can anybody guess what we’re going to be preaching on this morning? Small groups. Man, you all are on fire this morning. And so the reason I’m preaching about that, it’s because it’s something I’m passionate about. I am a product of a, of a small group. And what I mean by that is, 12 years ago, you know, I was in a lifestyle of addiction. I believe that God has delivered me from that. I’ll walked that out, but guess what? He used a small group to get me where I’m at. He put me through team challenge, and man, they walk with me for a year of my life, and then a year after that. And I’ve just continued to be a within small groups, in some way or fashion for the entire time. And so you can not do life alone. And so that’s what I’m preaching about this morning.

Richie Thornton: 04:46 Now when I say small group, most people, especially if you’ve been in the church any amount of time. You probably have this preconceived idea or this notion, this picture in your mind about what I’m talking about, right? I mean, when I say small group, you’re probably thinking, maybe the Sunday school class that you used to attend. You know, you’re like, oh yeah, I know about small groups. Or, or maybe when I say small group, maybe you’re thinking about people sitting in a coffee shop, sipping lattes you know, in a small group. That’s a small group, you know. Or maybe you think about, you know, teeing up at the golf course you know. Or maybe playing disc golf, or maybe at the bowling alley, or maybe the book club, and you know, all those are examples of small groups. Or maybe for some of you, when I say small groups, you’re like, oh, we did that at my other church. We called them e-groups, you know, and look, those are all examples. We call them Journey groups by the way. And those are all examples of small groups.

Richie Thornton: 05:51 But I don’t so much want to talk about what they look like today. I want to hone in on they offer and why we’re so passionate about them. Can we do that? I mean, I want to talk about why we believe in small groups so much. And so the title of my message today is this, you can’t do life alone. Somebody say that with me say that, you can’t do life alone. And so let’s get into it this morning.

Richie Thornton: 06:14 Let’s pray. Lord, we love you. Thank you so much for your goodness, Lord, I need your help. Lord, I pray for your anointing as we look to your word. Lord, that this message would fall on good soil and it would bring good fruit in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Richie Thornton: 06:28 So from the very beginning of creation, guess what we see, that we weren’t created to do life alone. Rather we were created to do life in the context of relationship and community. Do you all believe that? We weren’t created to do life alone, but rather we are created to do it in the context of relationship and community? Genesis two verse seven says, we see that God formed man from the dust of the earth, and then guess what? It says that God breathed the breath of life into the nostrils of man, and then it said he became a living being. He became living. And so the Bible goes on to say that God planted a garden. He planted the garden, the garden of Eden. He took Adam and he placed him in the middle of the garden to take care of it, and tend it. But just a few scriptures later, Genesis two verse eighteen, “Then the Lord God said, it is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Richie Thornton: 07:29 So what I find interesting is we’re not even two chapters into the Bible and already we see God’s setting a strong precedence that guess what? We’re not made to do life alone, but in the context of community and relationship. Within two chapters, we see God’s setting precedence that say, Adam, it is not good for you to be alone, I’m going to make a helper suitable for you. And I believe we see this principle play out all throughout scripture.

Richie Thornton: 07:55 Now, I’ve often heard people say, well, well, I just don’t need nobody. And that’s probably coming from a place of pain. They’ve probably been hurt. You know, they’ve had a relationship and they’ve been let down in some form or fashion. They’re like, well, I just don’t need anybody, I’m good, just me and God. Well, can I submit this to you this morning that there was a time, there was a time in Adam’s life when it was only God and Adam. There was a time, a brief period, we don’t know how long it was. But all there were was God and Adam? He Made Adam, he put them in the midst of the garden. Adam had purpose, he was to take care and tend the garden. And not only that, it was an absolutely perfect world at this time. Sin had not entered the world yet, the fall had not taken place because they have not eaten of the fruit yet. What am I trying to say? Adam was in perfect harmony with God and with the Earth, walking in absolute purpose. And yet God looked at Adam even in the midst of that perfect situation and said, Adam, it’s not good for you to be alone. I’m going to make a helper suitable for you. What is that telling us this morning? We were never created to do life alone, but in the context of community and relationship. Amen.

Richie Thornton: 09:15 No, I can tend this garden myself. All right, try to do it yourself. You know? Here’s what I’m saying this morning, I’m not trying to say that any person can take the place of God. No person can take the place of God. Don’t misunderstand me this morning, but this is what I’m saying is we weren’t created to do life in isolation. But we were created to do it in the context of relationship and community. And guess what? When we try to do it by our self, we’re missing out on God’s plan, we’re missing out on what he’s got for us. Come on, you can’t do life alone. We’re so convinced of this as a church, that one of our core values is that you can’t do life alone. And so guess what? We strive to make relationship and community of vital part of who we are.

Richie Thornton: 10:02 Guess what? We know this. That life is richest when we live at the way that God designed it to be lived. Do you all believe that? We know that life is richest when we live at the way God designed it to be lived. I didn’t say it was the easiest. It’s not the easiest. It’s not always the most convenient. It’s not always easy to do life together. But guess what? When we begin to live life the way God designed it to be lived. Come on, the endgame is this, that we can have a rich and satisfied life when we live it the way he designed it to be lived. I’m telling you, I know that we say that saved people, serve people, and serving people are also the most satisfied people. But guess what? People that do life together, that find the right people to begin doing life with, are also very satisfied people. And so guess what? We strive to provide environments, and opportunities for people to connect and develop strong, healthy, long lasting relationships. And guess what? One of the ways we do this is through small groups or Journey groups.

Richie Thornton: 11:11 Am I communicating this morning? I want to feel like we’re having a conversation, not just me yelling at you. So this is me trying to slow down a little bit. Come on. One of the ways we do this is through small groups. We call them Journey groups. And this morning I want to give you three functions, three purposes, three things that a small group or a healthy Journey group will provide. So the first function that a Journey group provides is, guess what? It’s a place to connect. It is a place to connect. First Corinthians 9:22 says this, “Yes, whatever a person is like, I try to find common ground with him, so that he will let me him about Christ and let Christ save him.” You know, one of the things I love about Journey Church is the diversity. One of the things I love about Journey Church is that we’re so diverse. I mean, we have groups with people who ride horses, you saw that, faith riders. We have groups with people who are in recovery. We have groups with bikers, people that ride motorcycles. Some of our people have gauges and tattoos, and guess what they say, I feel so comfortable here.

Richie Thornton: 12:23 You know, we actually did a sermon series not too long ago, on what does the Bible say on having tattoos? And I’ll never forget, pastor said this, he said, how many of you all in here have a tattoo? More people raised their hand that had one that the minority said, I don’t have a tattoo. But I love that. You know, who are we? Who are we as a church, if you can’t come in here with a tattoo on your arm and worship the Lord and feel comfortable? I’m so glad that we’re open to all kinds of people. Guess what? We have young people, we have seasoned people, that’s a nice way of saying old people. We have goofy people. We have serious people. We have black people. We have white people. We have small people. We have tall people. We have groups with all kinds of people, and guess what? We have a place for everyone to connect. I’m so glad we’re so diverse. Pulse said this, I’ll try to find common ground with him, so that he will let me tell him about Christ and let Christ save him. Let me tell you, there’s something so powerful about the concept of common ground. What’s he talking about, common ground? He’s talking about what are our similarities, what do we agree on? He’s talking about what do we have in common? It may be an interest. It may be a belief system. It may be, hey, an upbringing. It may be your walk in life, a struggle that you had. But this thing about common ground is so powerful, that if we can ever find any, it creates a powerful platform for life change.

Richie Thornton: 13:55 I remember when I lived in Rustin. I was youth pastor, and I was living in Rustin, and I made a lot of friends that were from Saudi Arabia. Louisiana Tech is there in Rustin, and they have a lot of international students. And ended up making some relationships with the Saudis, and they were Muslim. And so I can remember going, and we would have like Koran studies and stuff. I’m joking, I’m joking. But we would go…somebody is saying, I can’t believe he said that. I was joking. So we would go and hang out, but me being involved in their life, I would see their religion and their beliefs systems play out. And, and there were oftentimes that I would see them pray. And what they would do before prayer, is they would go in the bathroom and they would begin to wash. And there’s a ceremonial cleansing called wudu, it’s called, wudu. And this is what these Muslims would do, they would go and they would take the water, and they would start cleansing their hands. They would cleanse from the right to the left, they would wash three times. And then this is part of wudu, they would take this water, okay, they would take the water and they’d breathe it in their nose three times, and then they’d take it and put in their mouth and swish it and spit it out. And then they take their wet hands and they would start at the hairline, and they would move backwards just like this, and then come right back forward. And then they would take their damp hands, and they would rub it behind their ears just like this. And what was all this? This was a cleansing ritual that they would do, and they would put on good, clean clothes, why? So that they could be cleaned before prayer when they go before God. So some of you this morning, how many of you say, that sounds crazy. I’ve never heard anything like that in my life. A disconnect, right? Not so much.

Richie Thornton: 15:53 Let me draw your attention to John chapter 13, do you all remember the last supper? Do you remember the last supper when Jesus comes and he begins to wash the feet of the disciples, and he took a basin and then he filled it with water and he begins to wash the feet of the disciples. And then do you remember this? He comes to Simon Peter and he tries to wash his feet and Simon Peter says this, Lord, you wash my feet? He said, may it never be, I should be washing your feet. And I love the words of Jesus. He said this, Simon Peter unless, I’ll wash you, you have no part in me. And this is what gives me chills right here. Simon Peter says this. He said, then Lord don’t only wash my feet, but wash my hands and wash my head as well. Is that common ground, or is that common ground? I remember I was driving down the street and something told me, go get Church’s. Go get Church’s Chicken, maybe it was my gut, I believe it was the Lord. I was like, whatever, I literally saw a sign in the sky. There’s a billboard right there, Church’s. I’m like, I’m going to get Church’s. And wouldn’t you know when I get there, one of my Muslim friends is there, and God just revealed this to me. He said, I don’t know why I’m here. He said, I’ve been up for 24 hours I had finals due, and I was afraid if I went to sleep, I would miss my final. So I’ve been up. He said, but something told me to come here to Church’s. I said, I know exactly why you’re here. And we began talking and having this conversation, and I said, look man…This common ground allowed me a platform to speak into his life. And I said, I know you wash and do all this, and I know you’ve got this ceremonial cleansing, but guess what? There’s a stain of sin that water will not take away, but come on, the blood of Jesus removes the sin from your head, your hands and your feet. And I’ll never forget what he said, he’s like, man, this is what keeps me up at night. He said, this is what keeps me up at night. Why did that make such an impact on his life? Because I found common ground, I found something that we had in common. I was able to use something from his worldview, to bring forth a biblical truth.

Richie Thornton: 18:09 Come on if we can ever find common ground, this is across the board, across the board. I don’t care if you’re a Muslim, if you’re an atheist, I don’t care if you’ve been going to church for 30 years. It takes common ground. Come on, what’s the common ground that you need to find? I love what Keith and Tanya shared. They said, man, we tried three groups before we found the right one. What were they looking for? They were looking for common ground. Where’s the place that we fit? Who are the people that we can connect with? Who are the people that we share similar interests with. And look, I love this. I don’t know if it was in there, but they shared, we loved every group, they said. Every group was phenomenal, we just knew it wasn’t the right one, we just knew that it wasn’t the right one. Here’s something that we push at Journey, hey, try a group until you find the right one. Our people are not going to get offended. Man, we’re so serious about this thing, we know that if you come, you’re visiting until you say, Hey, I want to join this group, I want to be a part. They tried one, it wasn’t it. They tried two, it wasn’t it. When they tried the third, they’re like, this is for us. What’d they find? Common ground. Come on, they found that common ground, and what began to happen was it created a platform. They begin to see, man, you’ve been through these things too. Man, we’re all messed up, we’re not the only ones, and it created a platform to speak in one another’s life. We want you to find common ground, why? So that you can begin to, man, pour into the lives of others and they can begin to pour into you. You can find this common ground in a life group. Journey groups are a place to connect. Say a place to connect. (Congregation) A place to connect. Find some common ground.

Richie Thornton: 19:55 Number two, Journey groups are a place to protect. Journey groups are a place to protect. I’ve got a scripture for you this morning. In First John 3:16 it says, “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” Guess what? It’s through life together that our problems become smaller. And God uses people, he uses others to bring support and encouragement to our lives. You know what? Sometimes you just got to go where everybody knows your name. I’m glad you all picked up on it. you all seen that Cheers, do you all know what I’m talking about? We actually have a Journey group named Cheers. Who’s in Cheers this morning. Woo, you all give it up for them, and so man, cheers, phenomenal. And here’s the thing, you want to go somewhere where people know your name. Guess what? You joined a Journey group, all of a sudden you’re known. You walk in and people see you, they recognize you, they know your name. But not only do they know your name, they begin to walk with you through life’s trials, through life’s ups and downs, through the thick and the thin. How many of you know that you may go through hell or high water, but it’s good to have somebody walking beside you. Come on, that’s what you can get in a Journey group. Man, they began to support you in life, and in your spiritual journey.

Richie Thornton: 21:17 So what does this look like this morning? Well, what on earth does this look like? For those of you who don’t know, my brother in law, Jeff, he’s deployed in Afghanistan right now. He’s tuning in watching right now, and we love you Jeff. We love you Jeff. We’re praying for you, Jeff. We’re thinking about you. We can’t wait for you to be home. So Jeff’s in Afghanistan right now defending our country, our freedom, while his wife and kids are here at home. And how many of you know that that is stressful on both sides? Stressful. I can’t imagine. I thank God I don’t have to walk through it, thank God for the people that do. And so they’re going through this, but Danielle shared this. She said, you know, she’s part of a Journey group, she actually leads a Journey group called The Forge. And she said, you know, there’s not a day that goes by that my family, my Journey group, doesn’t call and check on me to see how I’m doing. To see, to check on me. How many of you know that that takes a tremendous load and burden off of Jeff knowing that his family is cared and taken care of. And if there there’s a need, guess what? We’re going to step in, we’re going to do whatever it takes. Come on, that takes a tremendous load, and a tremendous stress off. She actually shared this, that if it wasn’t for my family, I couldn’t make it. Come on, you can’t do life alone. You can’t do life alone.

Richie Thornton: 22:52 Or how about The Mixers? The Journey group called The Mixers, Mr John Griffin’s group. I want to read their vision and mission statement real quick. Their vision is, Our vision is simply to provide love, friendship, assistance and emotional support to members of this group through the golden years. Mission statement, to love and help meet the needs of those in their golden years, as well as the follow through with the statement of Journey Church to bring those out are far from God close to God. That’s our Journey group, The Forge. I can’t tell you how many funerals that I’ve been to, members here at Journey and I walk in there and guess what? I rubbed shoulders with Mr. John Griffin. There’s Mr. John Griffin, I said, man, I see you at more of these than I do at church. And typically I see Mr. John there, and then there’s four or five people from The Mixers Journey group. What are they doing? They’re there supporting and encouraging, they’re protecting their people through some of the most difficult times you’ll ever go through, and that’s experiencing loss. They’re there. Can I tell you something? A few weeks ago we went to, Mr. John Griffin actually lost his brother. And I went to Mr John’s brother’s visitation, and one of the things that blew me away when I walked in there in that kitchen was Mr John Griffins Journey group, about 15 people, there supporting him during his difficult time. What am I saying? We’re going to go through ups and downs.

Richie Thornton: 24:31 Come on, one of the things we often say is this, is that we’re going to go through times of crisis and times of celebration, but guess what? No one should have to go through it alone. Let me ask you something this morning, if you were to walk through a difficult situation, are you walking through it alone? If you were like, man, this is so awesome, I want to celebrate. Do you have that group of people that’s going to come around you, and celebrate with you? Better yet, if somebody else is walking through a tough time, do they have you to come around them and say, I’ve got you, I want to encourage you, I want to lift you up, I want to support you. Or if they’re like, man, I just got this raise, or my loved one just got saved, and we’ve been praying for five years. Or man, that thing we’ve been believing God for a minute, they had cancer and now they’re healed. Or whatever it is, will you celebrate with me, can they count on you to celebrate? Come on, I’m talking about you can’t do life alone, you can’t do life alone.

Richie Thornton: 25:30 Journey groups are a place to protect, say, protect. Let me read this and then we’ll move on. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one falls, the other can reach out and help, but someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Come on, there’s going to be times that we fall, make sure that you’re not alone. Make sure you’re not alone. Likewise to people lying close together can keep each other warm. This is like the first year that my wife is not having a baby at this time right now. Hope that was okay, but how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back to back and conquer. Three are even better for a triple braided cord is not easily broken. What’s it saying? You can’t do life alone. You can’t do life alone. You can’t do life alone, I pray, come on, that you have a place to connect, a place to protect.

Richie Thornton: 26:34 And the third thing is this, Journey groups provide a place to grow. Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so person sharpens another.” We believe that every person, come on, has been created with God given gifts and talents and potential to make a difference in this world. Journey groups are a place where you grow with others to become more like Jesus, and reach your God given potential. Journey groups are a place to grow. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in some powerful church services. I’ve been in some powerful altar calls. I’ve been in some environments where there’s no doubt that I encountered the presence of God, where some things were [inaudible] and some things were imparted to me. I mean, I’ve tangibly felt like, man, there’s no doubt that God is in this room right now. But when I came out of that environment, I’m so thankful for the men and women of God who surrounded me. That helped me walk out what God just imparted with me. Guess what? That’s a small group, and that saying you can’t do life alone. Guess what? This setting is awesome, I love this setting, a lot of things happen in this setting. But do you have those people that are going to support you out there when you leave this setting? Do you have it, or is this the only community that you have, what happens right now? We’ve got to have it all throughout the week. Journey groups, they’re a place to grow. Come on, I’m thankful for the men and women of God, whom I love and respect. And guess what I know? That they want the best for me. They don’t mind telling me like it is every now and then. They don’t mind speaking the truth to me and love. They don’t mind checking on me to see how I’m doing. Hey, how are you doing in this area? I know you were struggling here. Hey, they don’t mind praying with me. They don’t mind challenging me. They don’t mind encouraging me. They don’t mind calling out my God given identity. Why? Because I’ve got a small group. I’ve got people that that want the best for me. It’s my prayer that you’ll find this. You can find it in a Journey group this morning.

Richie Thornton: 28:33 And if I can just be real with you. Journey groups are a place that we find out, guess what? We’re all just messed up. Our motto here at Journey Church is, I mess up, you mess up, we all mess up. And in a Journey group you just find out, man, I thought I was the only one, you all are struggling. I’m not making light, but I kind of am because here’s the thing, when you realize that none of us have it all together, but guess what? We serve a god who does, you can say, man, I’ll just serve God, will you serve God with me? We’ll submit to him, he’ll work the rest out, and it’s so beautiful to see life change happen. Give God praise this morning. Come on, in a Journey group, you find a place to grow. Do you have that this morning? We believe you can’t do life alone, and this is not something we came up with. Guess what? We believe it was God’s model all the way from the beginning, all the way from the garden. Just like Keith and Tanya shared, the church is like a body. The church is like a body, there are many parts, and this is what I love. It says, if one part suffers, then the whole body suffers. You may be in here this morning and say, well, I’m not hurting anyone if I don’t get involved. Yes you are. I’m not trying to lay it on thick this morning, but yes you are. Why? Because if one part suffers, we all suffer. And there’s something that you bring to the body, and something that you bring to the table, that nobody else can bring. Come on, I want you to get plugged in this morning. I want you to make a decision that you’re not going to do life alone. Why? Because life is truly better when we do it together. I didn’t say it’s always the easiest, or most convenient. But the endgame is this, find some people to connect with, find some people to protect, find some people to grow with, and then guess what? You can have the most rich and satisfying life. Amen?

Richie Thornton: 30:30 So man, maybe this morning you’re in here, and you don’t have this type of community that I’m talking about. You’ve been trying to do life all alone. You’ve been walking through and maybe you’ve experienced some struggle, some hard times, and you had to walk through them by yourself. Maybe you experienced some times of celebration, and you’re like, I just, man, I don’t have anybody’s celebrate with. We want to change that this morning. Maybe you’re in here, you want to make a decision to join a Journey group. Man, I’ve already told you how you can do it. That next step card is there, we want you to fill it out, turn it in this morning. Or the APP is right there in your hand, man, download the APP, click join a group. We want to get you plugged in this morning, where you can begin growing with people, connecting with people. I don’t know about you, but have you ever just been at that place where you’re like, man, I just wish I had some people. Don’t raise your hand, but have you ever, I want you to self-examine right now. Allow the Lord to examine your heart, have you ever said that to yourself? I wish I had some people. This is your opportunity right here. This is it, this is as easy as it gets. We want to get you connected this morning. Maybe there’s some people you’re like, you know, God’s been calling me for a long time. I’ve just felt this for a long time, maybe you’re in here, you actually want to lead a group. Man, we make it so easy for you. We’ve got the Journey group box. It’s only an eight week commitment up front. If you like it, keep going. If not, we understand, get out. It’s okay. But we want to equip you to do it.

Richie Thornton: 32:18 Here in just a moment the altar workers are going to come up. If you’re experiencing a crisis right now, and you need somebody to stand with you, we want to stand with you. Don’t go, don’t do it alone, we want to stand with you. Maybe you’d like it to make a decision to be biblically, publicly baptized. Or maybe you’d like to join this church. Or maybe you’re here this morning, you need to make the most important connection of your life, and that’s to connect with Jesus. Let me tell you there’s no connection is more important than that. If you are not born again, if you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, make it so this morning. Maybe you’d like to tell your story, whatever it is, man, we want to equip you to do it.

Richie Thornton: 32:57 So we all stand with me this morning as we get ready to pray, whatever God has called you to do, we pray that you would do it. You can come to the front and use the next step card or the APP. Let’s pray. Lord, we love you, thank you for your goodness. Lord, have your way this morning. Lord, thank you that we don’t have to do a life alone. Lord, you surround us with people to do life with. Lord, have your will in this way this morning. Lord, give people grace to step out and take the steps that you’ve called them to do. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray, and everyone said, Amen.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.

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