Theology and Practice of Evangelism - Lesson 9

H. A. L. T.

You can assume that people are, "H.A.L.T. " – Hurting, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Ministry is 24 times more rejection than affirmation and every rejection is important. We must have utter dependence on God and realize that doing ministry is hopeless if we are trying to do it under our own steam. Get on your knees and beg God to help you. Preach the text and let the text itself provide the outline. Our greatest strengths are anointed weaknesses. Most of the  work of the kingdom is done one-on-one. That’s why you want people in close community. A Christian is someone who commits all they know about themselves to all they know of God. Wesley said, “Leading a person to Christ without providing ample opportunity for growth and nurture is to beget children for the murderer.”

Robert Tuttle, Jr.
Theology and Practice of Evangelism
Lesson 9
Watching Now
H. A. L. T.

I. The Importance of Compassion in Ministry

A. Different Ministry Approaches

B. Importance of Compassion in Ministry

II. The Difference Between Good and Bad

A. Entitlement vs. Compassion

B. Understanding the Difference Between Good and Bad

III. The Parable of the Good Samaritan

A. The Priest and the Levite

B. The Good Samaritan and Compassion

1. Dressing the Wounds

2. Nursing the Wounds Through the Night

3. Paying for the Wounded Man's Care

IV. Preaching and Ministry

A. Importance of absolute truth and the Word

B. Preaching without notes

C. Loving and viewing people as God does

1. Ministry as a way of viewing people

2. Overcoming fear of rejection and inadequacy

3. Ministry as a work of the kingdom

  • In order to share the Gospel, you must know what it meant, and how people are understanding what you are saying. The gospel core is the least you can believe and still be a Christian. If the least you can believe is sufficient to get you saved, then the least you can believe is the most you can require of anyone.
  • Christianity is the only world religion with an understanding of grace. Your most important ministry will be helping people understand how much God loves them. The heart of the gospel is that God loves you. Sin happens when we attempt to live as if there is no God. God, since the fall has done everything he can to establish relationship. God wants to make himself known to you in a way that you can understand.
  • At the Fall, Satan gained control of the world. Jesus takes it back in Revelation 5 because he meets the qualifications. The core elements of the sermons of the apostles are authoritative proofs, prophecies fulfilled, God’s activities described, apostolic eyewitnesses and miracles proclaimed. You will be heard with authority to the degree you are willing to put your life on the line. You die spiritually when you rationalize sin. Wind moves from high pressure to low pressure. We access the power of the Spirit by repenting and believing. Two sins mentioned throughout scripture are self-reliance and oppressing the poor.
  • The lesson tells the story of a professor who faces personal struggles and overcomes them with the help of faith, healing, and learning to overcome sin, ultimately showing that it's possible to prevail over life's challenges with God's guidance.
  • Through this lesson, you learn the core components of the gospel message, its theological themes, and how to effectively communicate it for evangelism purposes.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into leveraging your personal, church, and wider spheres of influence to effectively share the Gospel, overcome challenges, and expand your evangelistic reach.
  • Gain insights into ministry experiences and the power of faith, prayer, personal testimony, and baptism stories to navigate emergency situations that are bigger than yourself.
  • You will learn from this lesson that you are uniquely equipped to minister to those in your sphere of influence and that the church is indispensable for your survival. By treating others with respect and recognizing each person's importance, the church can become the living, breathing body of Jesus Christ.
  • In this lesson, you will learn that people are often hurting, angry, lonely, or tired, ministry requires dependence on God and rejection is important, preaching the text is key, our weaknesses can be our strengths, and close community is crucial for doing the work of the kingdom, while leading someone to Christ without providing ample opportunity for growth and nurture is a mistake.
  • In this lesson, you will learn about Charlie Haley, a man with a pastoral background who is currently involved in retreat ministry and considering going into the mission field abroad. The lesson covers topics related to evangelism and ministry, including tract ministry, follow-up and discipleship, and the importance of love and forgiveness within one's sphere of influence. The lesson also discusses the importance of building relationships and addressing felt needs with spiritual solutions.
  • This lecture begins as Dr. Tuttle is relating a story about a lady he met on an airplane. Jesus chose people as disciples that he could demonstrate by showing and telling them, and then depend on them to reproduce what they had been shown and taught. When Jesus gets too close, we raise the religious question to change the subject. As a result of the sin in the garden, we lost our ability to perceive reality beyond the senses. The Holy Spirit came, not to compensate for the absence of Jesus, but to guarantee his presence. We hold the truth, but the world sets the agenda and has the right to ask its own questions.
  • Often, it is implied that once you commit your life to Christ, all your problems are solved. The Hebrew concept of soul is body, mind and spirit. The Greek concept is that soul and body are separate, and that soul is good and body is evil. Prophecy and spiritual gifts are essential for the body of Christ to function. In the teaching in mainline churches, there is sometimes a disconnect between faith and life.
  • Trusting the Spirit of God is the key in this lesson. By remembering and trusting the Spirit, one can be utterly dependent upon God and do the hard work in preaching. Dr. Tuttle shares his personal experience of trusting the Spirit and provides context for Paul's second missionary journey, including Paul's conversion and early ministry, Peter's vision, and the conversion of Gentiles. The Spirit of God also taught Saul how Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
  • Through a deep exploration of Wesley's Methodism and Calvin's Reformed tradition, you gain an understanding of their respective theological frameworks, evangelistic strategies, and lasting influences on modern evangelism.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the significance of Wesley's Societies, their organizational structure, theological practices, and the lasting impact on modern church practices.
  • By exploring the Ethiopian Eunuch story, you gain insights on divine guidance, Scripture's role in evangelism, and early church inclusivity, while learning to apply practical evangelistic lessons.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to effectively share the gospel through action evangelism by understanding its theological basis, applying key principles, employing various methods, and overcoming common obstacles.
  • You gain insights into action evangelism's importance, principles, and various methods, while learning to overcome fears and obstacles, and equipping others for effective Gospel sharing.

Dr. Tuttle teaches three critical points around evangelism: how to share your faith story, what evangelism is and how to approach it, and that God has more invested in evangelism than we do – He is in control. God is at work. He wants us to, "show up and pay attention [to the Spirit]," and to care about people enough to "press" them by asking probing questions about what they think and what's going on in their lives.

Evangelism is essentially about the core of the Gospel, ministering in your sphere of influence and sustaining those you reach.

Recommended Books

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Those who serve on mission fields in areas where Christian faith is not the dominant religion quickly come to understand a central truth: when one is sharing the gospel, one...

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Dr. Robert Tuttle, Jr.
Theology and Practice of Evangelism
H. A. L. T.
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] Well, actually, no. Okay, Here's the meat. Here's. Here's the meat of the lecture for today. We lack motivation. What's at stake? We do ministry, by the way. We view people. Billy Graham views people as lost. His ministry is basically salvation. Oral views viewed people as sick and out of money. His ministry was healing and seed faith. Bob Schuller views people as low self-esteem. His ministry is your precious and important. I view people as hot. It's hot out. It's an acrostic for hurting, angry, lonely and tired. By the way, you know, and the King James, you heard of the King James? There's a word called lame, translated. And the King James, a Greek word lame. Translate. Translating. The King James is hard. Go into the byways and bring in the halt. Check it out. Hurting, angry, lonely. I assume people are hurting and angry. Lonely and. So my ministry. Whenever you stand before the people. You do? What do you say you do? Minister By the way, if you people. If you don't like them. It'll show. I have. I've had students graduate, especially from Northwestern, who did not like people They could not wait to get in the pulpit and put people straight. They thought people were stupid. And they wanted to straighten them out. That will not work. Trust me, I tried it. I didn't drive very long. But it will not work. If you don't love the people, folks, please go make an honest living. Don't do ministry. Do people view their congregations or view people? Out of their own experience or out of. Like how they were brought up.

[00:02:36] I mean, why? Robert Shiller, The View, people. I'm sure it has a lot to do with your own experience. I'm just saying that what the primary motivation motivating factor has to be compassion. I'll have you do your favor. I'm gonna do your favor. I'm gonna teach you something. Never forget it. The difference between good and bad is never 180 degrees. It's about one or two degrees. I watched. I once walked into a jail. I had a prison ministry for 12 years. I once walked into a jail. A man met me at the bar and said, Preacher, God can change me. I said, Hey, man, how long you've been an atheist? I'm not an H. I believe in God. I said, No, you don't. Dear God, can't change you. You don't have a God. What good is a God who can't make a difference? Don't mess with me. God came to me. You don't have a God. What good is a guy who can make a difference, for crying out loud? I sat down and talked to this man. You know what his problem was when he was ten years old? His mother said, You're not. You are a bad boy. You need to do a 180. And he seems a little 2010, he flipped his mother off. She slapped a living daylights out of. She probably should have. He knew he couldn't do a 180. He despaired. And he spent the rest of his life in jail. I said, Son, you don't need to do a 180. You're that far from the kingdom of God. That good and bad is not 180 degrees. It's it's one or two degrees. You know what the difference is? There's one word. It exploits that one or two degrees in the wrong direction.

[00:04:12] And I hate it. It's called entitlement. I deserve. A drama automobile on the drive, on the on the motorway, on the toll road. I see somebody coming up behind me going to try to cut me off. What do I say to myself? I paid the toll. I own this highway. Do not mess with me. So I speed up. Close the gap. I get flipped off. We murder each other on Florida highways called road rage. It's called entitlement. Don't mess with me. You know what I do now? Now, whenever I get into my automobile, I see that as an opportunity for ministry. And whenever I get on that toll road, I'm looking for an opportunity to bless some party. And when I see that it happens every day, I see that car coming up behind me, back off. I flash my light at him, get on with their busy life. They thank me for the next half a mile. They feel better about themselves. I feel better about me. It hasn't cost me a minute. It's the only difference between murder and feeling good about myself is a difference between entitlement and compassion. And. One or two degrees. What are we thinking? Ministry is not rocket science. Why in the world do you see people out there who need to do a 180? We don't need to do a 180. We just need to understand the difference between compassion and entitlement. And that's what the Holy Ghost will do for you. The fruit of the spirit is compassion. You go to Israel. Go down the Kidron Valley through the Dead Sea, along the old road, the old Jericho Road. There's a four lane highway now. You can see it off in the you can see it up and down below.

[00:06:15] There's a little in there called the Samaritan End. I've been there. You read about the Good Samaritan? And you read about this man who fell among thieves. He's a Jew. Probably just. Calm down. It's it goes from Jerusalem really is high up. And the dead, say, 1200 feet below zero below sea level. It's a serious drop. And this guy probably just from the temple. Just from Jerusalem. And the priest probably just from the temple. Bipartisan entitlement. I'm too busy. And the leave it. I mean, this is the tribe that's supposed to teach people how to worship. Just no doubt fresh from the temple, probably having sung himself hoarse. Goes over and actually looks at the guy. You know, this looks at the guy and passes him by a Samaritan. We're talking ayatollah. What talk, at least Imam, let's say an imam. Comes by. Now, do you understand how much the Jews hated the Samaritans? Do you realize that the Northern Kingdom was exiled in 722? Forgive me for answering my own questions, but we're in a hurry. 722. Excuse me. Exiled into Assyria. The Assyrians took most of the Samaritans into exile, left behind only the poorest. And when the Assyrians brought people in to replace the population they had exiled. These poor people intermarried and eventually forgot Hebrew. Now the Southern kingdom was exiled when 605536. To Batman. I've already told it. Quinn. Five, eight, six, five, 16. 70 years. Five of the world's higher religions surfaced. 516. There a Bible comes back to rebuild the temple, right? Few years later, Ezra and Nehemiah show up. It's great story, readers. It's wonderful. The Samaritans come down from Samaria to help the Jews rebuild the temple. I mean, they they got the money to do it.

[00:08:51] And you know what the Jews did? They said, Thanks, but no thanks. You're not Jews anymore. You don't even speak Hebrew. Leave us alone. You know what this marriage did? I don't blame them. They went back to Sumeria, built a rival temple on Mount Gerizim for the 500 years or so before the birth of Jesus. Jews and Samaritans have been going back and forth between each other's temples, desecrating them with dead man's bones. They hated each other's guts. The priest and the Levite entitlement. That's what it'll do for you. I own this highway. Don't mess with me. Bypassed this. Man, this Jew, a Samaritan. Now, listen to this. A Samaritan stops and has what? What's the word? Compassion. Had compassion on. They hated each other. Had compassion on him. Dresses his wounds and takes him to an end. You know what the next line is? Most people miss this. The next line is the next morning. Do you know what that means? The man nursed the man's wounds through the night. Don't miss that. That's important. I mean, nursed him through the night, stayed up the night with him. And then says to the innkeeper, whatever else, put it on my account. That's what Compassion will do for you. You want to be remembered forever. We might not know your name, but you want to be remembered forever. Try on some of that compassion. When you look out of the people and you see people halt hurting, angry, lonely. And there's a Navajo saying always assume your visitor is lonely, angry and tired. A lonely, hungry and tired. Now. We've got that right. Always assume lonely, hungry and tired. Alcoholics Anonymous. If you. If you haven't been in AA. I haven't. But if you've ever been in AA, halt.

[00:11:00] I mean, that's what gets you in trouble when you're when you're an alcoholic. Hurting, angry, lonely. And to always be careful, you're most vulnerable, hurting, angry, alone and tired. Whenever I see people, I assume you in this room are hurting, angry, lonely and tired. Don't be off. Don't be offended. I'm just too old. I played with your heifer. I know that's in this room. Right. Wrong. Well, you're asking me to agree to let Sampson let Sampson tell you about playing and plowing your heifer. You know that phrase. Samson said, had you not plowed with my hair for you would have not solved my riddle. Thank you very much. Come on, folks. The Bible. We do ministry, by the way. We view people. So stop and ask yourself when you stand before the people, it will affect your ministry. How do I view these people? Do I like them? Are they spoiled brats? Are they folks consumed by entitlement? Well, perhaps they are. Has that affected your your ability to love them? Or do you see them at bottom hurting, angry, lonely and tired or whatever? I used to view people as alienated from God themselves and those around them. So I wanted to spend my life helping people. Come to terms with. God themselves and those around them. Now I see people as hard. You understand? Halt. Hurting. Angry. Lonely. Tired. You'd love my life. I've had a great life. I've already told you many times people are treated me with more respect than I deserve. But you think for one second I don't know her. Hurting, angry, lonely and tired. Can you tell by looking at me? I could break your heart. I could tell you stories out of my own life that could break your heart.

[00:13:08] You're looking at Hurting, angry, Lonely. I have been there. I rejoice at who. What God is doing in me. I love my life. My wife adores me. My children like me, but their grandchildren like me. Doesn't get any better than that, don't you think? For a moment. I don't. I don't understand. Stand. I don't understand your hurting anger alone and tired. But I understand. Hurting. Angry. Lonely and tired. My sandwich boy, especially at my age. But I know how to send. It's the tricky little stuff. I got ketchup on my pants this morning. I'm not going to tell you what I said. I've got the ketchup. I'm feeling like an old man. I've built salad dressing all over my pants. Yesterday, when I watched him iron him this morning, went down to breakfast. That ketchup? I knew I was going to do it at that. Be careful and splat right there. I said a four letter word and loudly enough was probably the person in the group got hot and I repented right then. God, I don't want to do that ever again. I'm sorry. I made myself sometimes how capable I am of sending. I told you yesterday, I'm not saving up. I'm not anticipating it. I don't want to do it ever again as long as I live. I want God calling me up. I want to be clean all the way through. I want to ring true. But don't think for a moment. I don't know. Understand Hurting, angry, lonely and tired. I don't want stand. You're hurting. Angry, lonely and tired. But I. I understand mine. I know what I'm capable of doing. I live by the grace of God. And don't you ever presume. You, too. Live. Live by the grace of God.

[00:15:11] We like motivation. We just don't want to watch this day where we see people. Most people don't see the heart. And if they do, they don't think they can do anything about it. They feel powerless. With We fear rejection. Just told you the story of the 25th man. That one story alone can change your ministry. I've seen it happen. Don't you realize it? Inherit too many trees 24 times more, more, more rejection than affirmation. Get over it. And and the rejection is just as important as the affirmation. It's really important to be rejected 24 times, and every one of those rejections is just as important as the one. Yes. All God says is show up and pay attention. Be available. Speak the word. I've had so many emergencies. I was preaching in a church in Richland, Washington. Never forget this. There was a man named Joe Harding who was headed up our division of evangelism with my denomination for many years. But before he was in Nashville, he was in Richland, Washington, and every three or four years he'd have me up to preach in his church. Great big church, wonderful church up in atrocities area, the state of Washington. And he moved. And I have a policy I always cancel when there's a changing of the guard because I might not be a part of the new pastor's vision for the direction that church needs to take automatically. And I stay ahead of the ever changing of the guard. I'm not coming. So I called up this man. I knew there was a changing of the guard to say, I've cancel. He actually called me and I said, Well, I'm not coming because there's been a change. He said, No, no, I didn't invite you.

[00:17:07] The people invited you. You've got to come. So I went broke. Morrow did the weekend, Sunday morning, halfway through the service of worship. He leans over and says, Your own. And I knew it wasn't time for the sermon. So I grabbed the bulletin to see what was going on. Now, this. This is the 2000 people in the room. Not as big as this time, but plenty big. And they had a run way out into the middle of this congregation like models, you know, and with steps going down about ten steps all around this runway. How did the end end in the middle of the congregation? And I grabbed the bullet. And you know what this guy did? This son of a gun gave me 30 seconds notice on the dreaded children's sermon. Oh, I am dying. I it's I have to work harder on my children's sermon than my adult sermon. It's hard to think like a five or six year old. And I've had four of them through my house at one time or another. Hi. I am. I'm on the radio. And I panicked. I think, God forbid from now I'm dead meat. It's too late. You got to help me now. I walk out there and there got to be 50, 60 kids sitting out there on a step waiting on me. And I had a robe on. I sat down on the top step. No idea. I'm just. I'm just. I just start to talk, to hear my head roar. God, radios don't like downtime, so I had never done this before. Never do it again. I've. I heard coming out of my mouth. How many of you kids have pets? Most of them had passed little kid kind of snuggle under my arm named Brian.

[00:18:47] So, you know they Brian but seven year old kid Brian said, Yeah, Preacher, I got I got pets. I got two cats. He said, No, strike down. I got one cat, the garage door got the other one. I said, Brian, I'm sorry. The garage door got your cat. He said, That's our I appreciate that cat's in heaven and I still got another one. I don't know where this is going, but I'm saying it's getting kind of interesting. So I said, Brian, who loves your Romanian cat more, you and me. He said, That's a stupid question. I said, Why? He said, I spend more time with that cat. And then I said, Brian, who loves you more? Your mom and your daddy or me? He said, That's another stupid question is that my mom and my dad, who love me more? I said, Why should I spend more time with him? I said, Yeah, but it's also because you a part of who they are. It's the most natural thing in the world. I should be do love that which is a part of you. You love your art. You have children. You love those children like I could never love them. You know that. This is a no brainer. Then I said, Brian, what's the biggest number you can imagine? And he said, 55 trillion. That should have been infinity, but 55, 20, plenty big enough. That was ten times the national debt back then. I said, Brian, you take your mama and your daddy's love for you and multiply by 55 trillion. And that's how much God loves you, because God has far more invested in your life than your mama and your daddy. And dismissed them. I went back to sit with their mommies and daddies.

[00:20:22] I had to stay up and preach my adult sermon out at the end of the runway, at the end of my adult sermon. God gave me this invitation to an invitation. God put this invitation on my heart. I said, We're all of you, dear people, Please repent of your sins and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ so we can all go to heaven and be with Brian's other cat who knows what it is. Would you like to know what happened? I was at the canyon for 2 hours. I almost missed my airplane. Bug. Bug? Brian goes to his mom and daddy said, What's the call to get out of Chicago? I'm going home with that man. We still correspond. That was years ago. Sometimes God just shows up. I cannot tell you how much trauma, how traumatic that was. And begging God. It's amazing what the Spirit of God can do. Just amazing. And it has nothing to do with raw intelligence. I'm not smart enough to pull that off. I'm just begging God for help. God, you don't do this. I'm dead, mate. I can put you to sleep in a New York minute. I know that about me. I'm an old seminary professor. We are boring. We got four days, unfortunately. Got to have a date, a teaching seminar, a Ph.D. They're not the smartest people. A person with a little better than average intelligence is an overachiever. Have nothing to do with Roe until March. People of that state are only page days. I have nothing to do with intelligence. It has to do with utter dependance upon God realizing how. Hopeless. It is trying to do this out of my own state. My smartest students. Many of them burned out in 2 to 5 years.

[00:22:38] This is good theology. Cannot do it out of your own state. I don't care if you've got. Three members, let alone 30. Capela. Get on your knees, Big God, to help you stay in the Word. See only absolute truth. You weigh all subsequent truth in light of that truth. You've already know I'm not a fundamentalist, but I weigh all truth in light of that truth. The only it's the only absolute truth. Preach the word. You're listening. Preach the word. Take a text and let the text itself provide the outline. All I did was open first Corinthians 13 and allow the text itself to plow the outline. I've never preached for notes. I have got notes in my study. Don't think that I'm lazy. Don't think that I'm not prepared. I work hard on a sermon. But oral aural forbade us to take notes under the pulpit. And my mentor named Larry LaCour, said, Tuttle, there's not a manuscript alive you can't master in 2 hours. And you need to go into the pulpit and you need to trust God to help you remember what you need to remember and trust God to help you forget what you need to forget that will deliver your soul. I had my back. One of my favorite preaching professors, a man named George Arthur Butterick. He was the editor of Interpreter's Bible. He preached at Madison Avenue property and Church for 28 years and was at Harvard Yard for 11 years and then came to Northwestern. And I took every class he taught. I could anticipate his next sentence. I took so many courses from this man, but he lied to me. He said, I preach a perfectly wonderful sermon. Every Sunday. The problem is usually on the way home from church.

[00:24:34] It took me years to get over that. My daddy knew this man well. My dad ran in Asia. My dad was a Rhodes scholar. Really smart guy. 100 IQ, 160. He knew a lot of important people. My daddy did. And so when my mom and daddy would come to Chicago to visit us, we'd have the buttocks over to supper down the south side of Chicago. It was like it was a learning experience for them, you know? And I remember one day after I got saved, I went home, tried to save my mother, who's a fact she looked at, but said, George, what are you going to do with Robert? He's so holier than thou, which I was. But Rick got up in his chair, walked behind me, put his hands on my shoulder and said, Lily, my mother named Lily. Lily at his age, that's the least of your worries. This church still has far more trouble with ice than fire. Just release. He lied to me about that breach in. But you helped me there. We do ministry, by the way. We view people. And if you love people however you see them, just ask yourself that question. When I'm preaching to the people, what do I say? Because that will affect the way you communicate. If you love them, it'll communicate. You cannot. And if you do not like them. You won't mean to, but you'll find a way to communicate it. Promise me. I'm begging you. Believe this. You don't mean to. But you'll find a way. If you don't like people, you'll find a way to communicate. It'll just slip out. I don't know. I don't quite know how it works, but I know there's no mechanism gone wrong. And once they let us off that jar, it's awfully tough.

[00:26:29] Now, I'm not saying it's impossible. I put the lid back on that jar. I went to the closet. I got so desperate. And the Spirit of God did a new work in me. And it changed my ministry forever. Was not until the Spirit of God enabled me to see those people as I would one day see my own children, that I really began to communicate. And they say my ministry took a turn around. From that moment on. So if you don't like people. Get on your knees. Please, I'm begging you. There is something in every one. If you're full of the Holy Spirit. God will enable you to find something in everyone that you can respond to so that when you tell them you love them, your words ring true. Don't do anything rote. We all do. I do it. It's that tape recorder. You know. Try not to do anything rote. Try to be in the moment. Try to see what? Try to figure out what's going on. Always be about that. Far from tears. Just bawling. Just cry in your heart out. Just try to be that far. Just about that far. You know, throw up all over everybody. I don't get naked in front of everybody. I'm not getting naked in front of you. But there are people out there who know me at my stinking, rotten, lousy worst, who not only still love me, still expect me to minister to them. What do you think of that? Huh? Have you heard the story about the amount digress here for a second? Have you heard the story about the old farmer in Russia and the steps of Russia and the dead of winter? Walking along the road and he sees a little bird half frozen in the snow.

[00:28:27] I heard that story. Why not? Without thinking almost. It just takes reach it down, it takes a little bird and stuffs it in the folds of his coach. Got a great big ole. Well. And Cotto stops his stuff. Stuff the bird down his coat and forgets about it. Walks an hour and a half later as he approaches the farmhouse. He feels that little bird. Revive. And. And he. Whoa! What am I going to do with it? I can't leave it in the cold. It's not revived enough to survive in the cold. I can't take it in the house I'm in. It'll beat itself against the walls. After it recovers, it starts to fly. What do I do with it now? And all of a sudden. And you'll. And you can see this. Those of you, I'm sure you've I've seen this many times, but right in the front, he sees a pile of fresh cow manure steaming in the cold. Right. He takes this little bird right up to its neck of that Commodore. Woo! And it just does that little burn wound. Wonders if he does. Oh, it feels so good, huh? Little bird throws back his head and sings at the top of his voice, singing, praising God. At which point a fox jumps out of the neighboring bush and gobbles him up. And the more more Somalis talk. More, more or less stories. Lemon. Lemon. To get you out, I necessarily your friend and the one who puts you aren't necessarily your enemy. But if you ended up to your neck, for God's sake, don't sing about it. Oh, I don't want to dress about a Tom, Dick and Harry. You got that now. But there are significant others in my life who know me at my stinkin rotten, lousy world, who not only still love me, still expect me to minister to them.

[00:30:19] And that gives my life meaning a purpose. We assume inadequacy. Well, that's a biggie. If you get them over there. Fear of rejection. To help me understand that inherent to ministry 24 times more after more rejection than affirmation. I don't have to fear it, of course, because the rejection is just as important as the affirmation. But assuming inadequacy. The parts of the body are weaker a lot. Indispensable. Some of us. Are you listening? Some of us do Ministry too well to be effective in your sphere of influence. We're a tad slick. Right. Our greatest strengths. Write this down. Our greatest strengths are our knowledge. Weaknesses. Our greatest strengths are anointed witnesses. You show me someone who attempts to do ministry out of their strength alone. Oh, they may succeed in ministry, but they'll never be terribly effective of the kingdom. Most of the work at the kingdom is not being in church done done in churches this size. And I'm not criticizing the church. Most of the work of the kingdom is not being in church done in churches. This has been doing it. It's being done in churches your size. I'm grateful for church. Is this sad? Don't get me wrong. Thank God. For the Vineyard. Columbus, Thank God. You're doing so many things well, And I am. I am inspired. Most of the work of the kingdom is not being done in churches. This is being done in churches that size. 75% of the churches in this country have less than 200 members. Maybe not, Maybe 90%. Is it 90%? 90%? BARNA Yeah. 90% of the churches in this country have less than 200 members. We thank God for churches like this. We've caught division. Someone's been obedient. Has the division. I don't think you can sustain a ministry like this without someone on their knees.

[00:32:48] Somebody. Some eyes on her knees. This place rings true to me. I like walking through rooms that look like they're not finished. A lot of this church looked like it's not yet finished, doesn't it? Right down below us. They built this five years ago offices, and they ran out of money and they wouldn't go into debt if good. So they said, you know, until God deems otherwise really good. I like that. It wasn't meant to be a youth group, but the youth love that. BE And they can put graffiti on the walls. And I like the cracks in the floor. Now, if you've got a lot of expensive, expensive carpet down there, but somebody gave those to you. You didn't go out and buy those, I suspect. But I like the cracks in the floor like that feel. We're we're still in progress. We're still in the process. We're still in the making. We're not finished yet. And, you know, if we had spent too much money on putting this just right, we'd have to quit feeding some hungry babies. I like that. A church ought to have a room or two like that. Don't you think? That says something to me. Not that you need affirmation from me, but I think I understand that. I like it. Most of the work of the kingdom. As done one on one. I told you that the evangelical revival, Wesley's evangelical revival. He would walk the streets of a small English town singing hamlet in a crowd draw or go to the market cross, preach a 15 minute sermon on death or hell, give an invitation not to accept Christ, but to fear God and flee the outcome. In the entourage, 20 to 30 people would circulate amongst those people, signing them up on the spot for a class meeting that afternoon so that 70% of the people wanted Jesus Christ in the 18th century evangelical revival, out of which the Great Awakening was born in this country.

[00:34:57] We're one one on one in class meetings. Most of the work of the kingdom is done one on one. That's why you want people in community. Close community. I mean, a lot of people come to this church. Because it's too big and people leave them alone. They can be anonymous. You know, that's true. But in a weak moment they might hear something relevant and seek and seek a closer fellowship. And they're available in the See, that's your genius. You don't care what people come to the church. First of all. You don't care, you know. So why are you and why are you coming? You are not what I wanted. But what are your motivations? You don't care what their motivations are. You just like it. The fact that they've come. Here's opportunity from ministry. I was going to tell you a story about I was on a plane. I don't have a need to talk to people on air, but I really don't. You think I do, but I really don't. The greatest gift I can give to most people on an airplane is total silence. I'm on my own. I do. I man, I'm not looking to minister to people on airplanes. I won't be left alone most of the time. I just want to pay attention. And if there's the opportunity, I want to walk through it. But I don't have a need to be in ministry on airplanes. So I'm sitting on an airplane, minding my own business. I have. I think I might have been reading my Bible. I'd really like to do that. You caught me doing it this morning. I just like to do that. And it's exciting to me. I learned so much this morning and I. Just blessed me.

[00:36:38] I got so happy and I'm reading my Bible, my mom, Bennett Young, 25 year old kid sitting next to me. Not one word. Not one word. We are on the ground in Atlanta. I am I He got out. He standing behind me. I got out. I'm opening the band, getting my briefcase out. I hear a voice behind me. Is this in one of my books? Maybe I hear a voice behind me. Would you like to know why I joined a church in Alaska? Have you heard this story? Would you like to know why I joined a church in Alaska? And I'm thinking that's an interesting question, but I don't think he's talking to me. And so I kind of dismissed it. I turned around to hand him a bag that I think is here. That's just yours. And he looks at me and said, Would you like to know why Joan Rivers in Alaska? I said, I'm saying to myself, well, this kind are too bad. We're already on a program, you know. So I said, Sure, tell me. And it's a long way from the airplane to the baggage in Atlanta, 20 minutes. He told me this story. You'll love this story. He said a year ago he was just coming home. He said, a year ago, I flew to Alaska. To visit my best friend. For ten days the day before. I'm getting ready to fly home. He takes me to his church. A church very much like this one. Same kind of chairs, maybe a little more comfortable. Yours are yours are not attached, are not back in your sanctuary. Maybe they are. They can be. Yeah, but I think these were more like theater seats and he's about get in this he's he's about halfway.

[00:38:22] Down. Sitting on the aisle and his best friend is sitting here. There's an empty seat in front of him. And seated in this seat is a very attractive, middle aged woman dressed to the nines. That's the setting. Just before the worship begins, he catches out of the corner of his eye. He sees someone walking down the aisle and the person is clean. And fairly well-dressed but has a homeless appearance. I don't know quite how to describe it. Do you think you know what I'm talking about? Has kind of a homeless appearance? Perhaps it's in the way he walked. I remember watching watching a sitting in the chair in the lobby this morning, watching a woman come through the door and watching the way she walked. She had a bit of a gap in her get along, you know, And I'm praying for her young woman. But she had a bit of a limp. Just I suspect there's something going on here. So I had a little prayer for that woman. I this guy had this homeless appearance. The woman, the very attractive woman sitting not three feet from him, you see on stand, sees this man steps into the aisle and embraces him and invites this young man to sit down next to her. What she does. Now, this guy was telling me the story. We'd like Noah to join a church in Alaska. He's watching this woman and this young man throughout the service. She's helping him understand what's going on. He can see that here, some of it going on, explaining what's going on. And then when the invitation is given, she leans over to him and said, would you like to go forward? And without speaking, he went. She goes with him.

[00:40:19] When they return. This guy is sitting there watching this. When they return, she gives him an embrace. So. Hugs him dearly. Appropriately but dearly as a mother would would hold a child. This guy, he leans over to his friend is there. Whoa. Again, I guess the moment really glad her son finally came to know God. His friend leaned over and said, I don't think that's her son. So this guy was telling me, this story has to know. This woman has already left. Hey, if he catches her going out the door and says. Ma'am. I know you're going somewhere, but I've got. I've got the asset behind you and this service. I watched you for an hour and 15 minutes with this young man. And I've got to know, did you know that young man? She said, Never saw him before in my life. He whips out his cell phone. Right there calls his mother in Atlanta, Georgia, and says, Mother. I'm not coming home. I am about to join a church. I just found a church that practices what it preaches. He and that young man joined the church at the same time. Don't you love that story? Our greatest strengths are anointed weaknesses. People who attempt to minister out of their strength. Too easily. Think that they can rely upon their strengths. I am an introvert. I'm not off the wall. But I am. Trust me. Myers-Briggs. I'm an introvert. You folks take it out of me. You have no idea how tired I was last night. I went back to my room and laid down and woke up at 10:00. Last night. I passed out. I don't drink. I passed out. I was tired. You wear me out. I think God has turned my weakness into a strength.

[00:42:47] The only way I can. I can make it. Make it out. I don't talk to people easily. My wife and I go to a party many, many times. I never say a word. I'm not rude, you understand? And I try to engage people. I want to hear them talk about themselves. Very rarely in our social circles does anyone ask me anything about myself. And I don't volunteer it. I'm an introvert. I can't help it. I love those people. And when we get to know each other, things happen. I met a guy at a party who's a psychologist for ESPN. He's a sports psychologist. He makes $500,000 a year. He's one of my new neighbors. I looked at him and said. What do you do? He said, I'm a psychologist for ESPN. I was the chaplain of the San Francisco board in Honors in 1978. They want to game. Oh, geez. Last year I didn't doing better. They won two games. I fly out from L.A. and spend the night with them the night before the game, the home games, just home games and council with them. Are these folks got problems, Bob? I'd have breakfast with them, have a little worship service, and sit with their wife during the game. Most miserable bunch of women I ever met in my life. You do not want to be a professional athlete. It is not what it's cracked up to be. It is hell. But this guy, this sports, the sports psychologist, his own ESPN all the time. I didn't recognize him. Just a little wimp of a guy. I said, Why don't we have breakfast? I have a restaurant 10 minutes where I live. The waitress thinks she's my executive assistant. I tipper really well, but I do a lot of ministry in that restaurant at breakfast.

[00:44:54] At least. Really? Two or three days a week. I'm in ministry in that restaurant, and my executive assistant, who loves me, I pray for her. By the way, she's got a spot on her lungs. But you can be okay. But she loves serving us, and she likes telling people. I'm his executive assistant. I take this guy from ESPN for breakfast. I don't know him. I don't know him from Adam. He tells me a story. He said, I've been looking for a Christian. Four years. Somebody I could relate to. He tells me a story about his youth. He had become an atheist. This is the God's honest truth. I saw him. Give up his atheism, actually. He jettisoned it. In 15 minutes. I don't remember what I said. I mean, I'm deciphering this guy. I we're close. I have. I have an old truck. 88 Ford Ranger with an extended bed which carries mushroom, compost and manure and mulch for the alley. The keys in the truck. It's the community truck. I pay the taxes on it and license it. But but if the community truck is sitting here, sitting in a little place. Everybody in the neighborhood knows it's there. The keys are always in it and the whole neighborhood neighborhood uses my truck. This guy uses my truck a lot. And it's no big deal, you know? It's just something. Something. Something I don't even think about. It's just playing to be the right thing to do. And. And everybody likes that truck who use it. But this week, he does more for me than I do for him. I mean, we really like each other. We're discipling each other. It's amazing. Jesus never went out of his way to help anybody. I travel more in a week.

[00:47:17] He didn't in lifetime. Our greatest strength, strong and honored weaknesses has nothing to do with anything. You're not smart enough to pull this off. I don't care how smart your smart you are. And the smarter you are that can that can become a problem, quite frankly. Because you're too easily rely upon your intelligence. I know I'm not stupid, but I'm not nearly as smart as some of you folks. And that doesn't bother me one little bit. Because if I was probably one bit smarter, I wouldn't be as effective. Let me show you a video like this one. Thank God, can use you. The GOP uses perfectly qualified people. Take a closer. Moses was not a great speaker. Jonah ran from God. Jacob was a liar. No, I got drunk. Rehab was a prostitute. David had an affair. Jeremiah was depressed a lot. John the Baptist was just playing for. Timothy was too young. Abraham was too old. Lazarus was dead. Sarah was buried. Naomi was a widow. And Thomas Doughty. So did Sarah. Peter lacked self-control. James and John were self-righteous. Oh, we had a short fuze. Well, so did Peter and Moses. Actually, lots of people did. God's army is imperfect. It never has been. It's the march of the unqualified. Get in line. Let me show you something else. See what you think. Watch us carefully. This is the truth. If we just turn things upside down, we can't know Colin Powell as president. I would be lying to you if I said that the Almighty wants to be your father. That God has a plan for your life. That He wants to know that you are wanted, that you can be loved. But you must know you don't deserve any of this.

[00:50:08] And I'm convinced of this because I know the heart of man. We are forever separated from God. I refuse to believe every circumstance that we can be loved by God right now because of our dependency on Christ. We have lost the connection to God. There's so much more you don't know. This is the truth. God is holy. We are not. You should know exactly the opposite is true. God is holy, but we are not. This is the truth. But there's so much more that you don't know. You have lost the emotion of God because of our dependency on Christ. We could be alone by God right now. I refuse to believe in any circumstances that we have ever separated from God. And I am convinced of that because I know the heart of man. You don't deserve any of this. But you must know that you can be loved and you are wanted. And he wants to know that God has a plan for your life. The Almighty wants to be your father. I would be lying to you if I said that you did not know God. Just turn things upside down. This. Point is difference between good and bad. Not 180 degrees. The enemy. Sometimes it's just. So subtle. And that's why Christianity is daily. I, devout Christian, is someone who commits all that no other self to all they know of God. And so if it's daily, that means every day you should be finding out more about yourself. Some of you folks could use a dose of therapy. We've said that. So you have more of yourself to commit to God. And every day we should be finding more and more about God. That's why. Every day. I can't get enough of this.

[00:52:17] I read stuff this morning I've never seen before. And how many times have I read it? Every day we find out more about God, that we have more God to commit ourselves to. But you say if you're not growing, if it's not daily, what's sufficient? What is perfection for today is not perfection for tomorrow. And you do that for two days and then a week and then a month and you can get in trouble. Wesley said thin is like oil seeping into bone. It's like cancer. It doesn't hurt until it's too late. Sometimes. I'm asking you as leaders and your churches, please, to find someone who knows you with your stinking, rotten, lousy worst. Not only still loves you, but still expects you to minister to them. And I mean, get honest. Boy. When I disciple students, you know, when I tell them, Don't make me come looking for you. You will not like it if I have. Don't you dare miss a session. Don't make. I know where you live. Don't you make me. You know I'll do it. I'll show. I have done it. I have shown up on their doorstep and pounded on their door. Heard them inside the room, Would not leave until they came to the door. I take this stuff. I don't take myself too seriously, but I'm dead serious about God. I haven't had to do that too many times. But we're going to. Do we sign a contract? Everyone on Decipher. We sign a contract. We don't sign it in blood, but we sign a contract. You will. Meet with me one hour a week for one semester. You will read the same four chapters of the Bible. You don't have to do it one day longer.

[00:54:13] While we are in a discipling relationship, you will read the same four chapter of the Bible and you will journal half the journal the day's events and half the journal what God is teaching you in the Word. Now, the first two weeks to two months, depending on who it is. I do some history taking. I take notes. I take careful notes. I have a file, a confidential file for those notes. They know where it is if I should die. The only my students who come to site know where this file is. They can come and take those notes from that file and burn them. But I take careful notes. You would not believe the stories in Israel. I have plowed with your heifer. And we get honest. And I review those notes before the before the student comes out, whoever I'm disciplined but comes into my office. So and I review them during the week so I can pray intelligently. That helps me pray intelligently. Because when you're discipling eight people, sometimes stuff runs together. And so you need to review your notes. I've never known anyone else to do it. That's just something off God's call me to do. I've never recommended it. It's just something God's called me to do. I don't think I would recommend it. Some of you, at least not that many. You might want to decide for one or two or three people maybe. That's a lot of my time. Not my time is that important, but it takes a lot out of me. Because I take that seriously. Don't mess with me. And those are my contacts. I'm still in contact with most of those people. Some of them are dead. I've been doing it for 40 years.

[00:56:01] You would know. However, a good many of them are dead. Most of them in heaven. Not all of them, I suspect. Not that I know what I'm talking. I don't want God's job. I don't care what my wife may have told you, and I won't. I've never applied for that job. I don't want judgment. I don't judge people. I let God do the judging. We can be fruit inspectors, as the interviewer used to say. I don't. I'll do. No, I don't want to do the judgment, folks. I'm perfectly willing for God to do all that. But those are those have been my lasting. Friendships over the years. Emails from someone within that group every single day. Sometimes many, no matter where I am in the world. One of those people has contacted me. I had an email from a woman this morning. When I first met her, she was £300, five foot tall, £300. Absolutely brilliant. Her name is Sarah Campbell. She would. This is her testimony. I am not revealing any secrets. You trust me on that? I'm not revealing any secrets. She was utterly abused and molested until she was 18 years old. Her father would not let her out of the house. She lived in a little little, little place out island out in the Gulf of Mexico called Cedar Key, a little clamming community. Her father was a clamor plant fish for clams. He was always in his skivvies and a wife beater. You know what? A wife beater T-shirt. Would not let her out of the house except go to school until she was 18 years old, utterly abused. Her mother allowed it to happen. She went to the University of Florida. Phi Beta Kappa in spite of all that.

[00:58:08] Came to Asbury Seminary. £300, five foot tall. Her father had died. And I've. I've what? This is what I say. I say at the beginning of the semester. I will, disciple. Six of you. If you would like to be disabled. I get up in chapel and under these circumstances. But you will have to come to me. I will not choose you. It's important. The first six to sign up. I'll disciple you for one semester. I will not choose you. You have to choose me. You have to want to do this. These are the. These are the conditions. This one was the first one on the list. She told me stories. You know what we had to do? She said, How in the world do I forgive my dad? He died. He's dead. You know what we did? We wrote him a letter. I went with her. We took the letter and put it on his grave in Cedar Key. Seven miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. She got free. Would you like to know what she is now? She is £130. Every time she loses £50. My wife Basra. New wardrobe. It was a time of celebration. She is a marathoner. She's going to do a Ph.D. with me. She finished seminary pharmacopeia of top of her class. She is now an associate pastor at the lead church in the conference. And they love this woman. She is good. She was a mouse when she walked into my office. She is now a lion. She can roar. You ought to hear this woman preach. Now, not all the stories of that good. But that's the potential. I've just. I'm her father, you know. I'm a father figure. I don't mind that the crowd out loud.

[01:00:21] I'm your father figure. Probably. I don't mind that. Her mother has accused me of molesting her. Why would anyone be interested in you? He must have something on his mind. My wife went off on her limit. Tell you. She said, Let me tell you about my husband. She has $30,000 and and debt from her. School. She's paying it off and her mother is after her every day to give her money. And her sister. She contracted herpes from sharing a toilet with her sister. She has herpes. I had to write her and say she told me she had herpes. I said, Darling, I tell you. What am I gonna do? I got herpes for life. I said, Darling, let me tell you. God has a man out there for you. Who cannot wait. To show you just how much he loves you. He will welcome that disease. Because this is his way of showing you just how much he adores you. And you got it coming. Don't you worry about herpes, for crying out loud. We can keep that under control. When I met her, she had never been to a gynecologist. Had never been to a dentist. Had never had a mammogram. Ah, ah. Whatever. You. Whatever. What? My wife had to take her. I had to take her to the doc, to the college. She'd never been. Can you imagine? Can you imagine that? Never been to a dentist. Never had her eyes examined. Just. Her father hid her in that beaten down little shack. On the side of a canal and Cedar Key. Let me tell you, you're going to hear about told her your name because you're going to hear from that woman. She thinks she can roar. Would you probably be a bishop one day? No.

[01:02:37] Server, right? She didn't want to be. Life is full of stories like that. Every one of you got stories like that. Different, but just as important, might not be as dramatic, but just as important. Don't. Don't you think that's not true? This is serious business. God wants to use our lives as instruments of grace. What do you think? Like motivation. Assume fear, rejection, assume inadequacy. I've not only given this to you. I've given it to you to share with your people. Some of the things that we're writing down are just so. In one hand, you know. There's a chapter in this book on simplicity. Read it. You promised me to do that. Yeah. Someone after Renesmee. Chapter on simplicity. Jesus was a master. Hardly ever use a33 syllable word. Large prayer, I think, has maybe two or three. You talked about bread and wine. Talked about. But past. Stuff. We understand. Master of Simplicity. Let me share a little bit of chapter when we come back from lunch. How do you address the people that have never been able to have prayed and prayed for the power that endeavor and just never received, never received the power, no strings to overcome? I mean, for me, that's maybe a big point of. Lack of faith in seeing when power just doesn't come. I know that you believe that. That comes every time when someone trespasser Trent repents puts her faith and trust in Jesus Christ. And then the low pressure and and it's easy to judge that there's something wrong with their belief or their repentance. But I don't think that's always the case. And I've just seen a lot of times where the power doesn't count that very, very good point. And I know exactly what you're saying.

[01:04:58] At least I think I do. Has a lot to do with expectation. Some of us pray believing it, but I don't know that we have many expectations. And also we've been conditioned. To judge results. In ways that perhaps are not realistic. I am nearly always surprised by the results. I don't have many expectations. I want to be faithful and I'm usually always. I'm usually surprised. Whoa. God surprises me a lot. I'm just trying to pay attention. And God brings the increase. And I. I'm amazed. I utterly amazed. And I think if we if we help people repent and put their faith and trust in Jesus. West is said to lead people to Christ without also providing adequate opportunity for growth and nurture to beget children for the murderer. Said that earlier. It may have to do with providing the kind of environment where repentance and faith. Can grow. Do not despair. Who or where you are or who are where. The people you describe. Where they seemingly repent and believe nothing happens. They're just the same old people. Help me here. What's going on? Why do some people repent and believe? And nothing seems to change? What mechanism has gone wrong? And I used to be really self-righteous about that in the sense of thinking there was something they were doing that's very easy to do, and I just don't I'm not there anymore. So what do we have in the power to overcome the power of since God's presence? The power, the power, power for living as opposed to prophecy or to oh yeah, somehow and other lives that are still in the same old rut. And having that still had the same doubts. Right, is something my wife struggles with. And she would say that that.

[01:07:36] All she can. And I believe and I think she's coming to believe, that a lot of it has to do with her upbringing and her inability to believe that God could love her without doing it. And I just find again and again, Dr. Tuttle said it 20 times in the past couple of days, our job is to teach people that God loves them. And for me, that's the easiest thing in the world to believe. It's not easy, but it's one of the easiest things. But for other people, it just amazes me. They're doing everything right. They're reading the Bible, they're feeding the poor. They're, you know, getting up early to pray. They're, you know, in fellowship and whatnot. But but it seems like that gear that isn't quite hitting is that God loves it. Because I think when you realize God loves me, that's when I've seen the lights come on. That's a great word. Let me let me speak a word of caution. And I pray to God I haven't misled you. I have an assurance that it's unusual. I know that about myself when I was first converted. As an undergraduate student in college. I know my life has changed, but. But I thought I'd go to my classes at Duke and my professors loved to pick on. New converts they just loved to deconstruct. And so these professors had heard about my experience and were hell bent to deconstruct. I'd be sitting in class. I went to seminary, for crying out loud. First class in seminary. The guy who was the grandfather of the pastoral care of moving a man named Carol Wise, said The will of God. Is everyone live a good life. He said, Every man live a good life.

[01:09:38] I'm just proud of waiting, you know? You're waiting, getting in the word I. Meryl. Tony told me to go girl at Northwestern because I was a methodist. I raised my hand. I said, Who said yes? I said, I think the world got a little more involved in that. He said, Give me an example. I said, I think it was the will of God for me to come to Garrett. He shouted at me. He said, No, no, no. You've put the will of God into a cauldron of that relationship. God didn't know Garrett existed. But first class, he wrote. He put a circle up there and a stick figure down here. Drew a line. That's God, that's human. Never The twain shall meet. The will of God to every man live a good life. First class in seminar I want to deconstruct. I got I had these professors at Duke wanted to be as an undergrad, picking on a little low undergraduate student. I was in law school, but still a low undergraduate student. And and I'm all about be consumed by doubt. I lived on a fifth floor fraternity house. I knew if I could get to my room and shut myself in the closet, I got to think about closets I could trade away and about every two or three days for three months. As a baby Christian, I didn't have any Christian friends. I didn't know I was converted for three weeks for one thing. And then I didn't have any people who talked who felt like this. And you'd see me running across the campus, up five flights of stairs into the clouds, shut the door, prayed away across the campus upstairs, the door closed in the club, shut the door, prayed away across across the campus.

[01:11:08] Here I go. Here goes. Tunnel up the cross and the closet door prayed away across and just got really it got old. I went back to Wheaton to visit with Bob Stamps. I've got a room with how efficiently this woman. But she always had me. Remember this guy named Bob Stamps? I was now the chaplain at, uh, one on the campus. I remember. I said, I think I need faith. So I had a little my little King James Bible. I had a concordance. I looked faith up and I hadn't read the thing. I didn't know. I picked up the Bible and read there. There's a lot of faith in Hebrews 11, so the only place I can pray I felt like I pray and be by myself was in the head, the John or the Bob or the Jane or whatever you want to call it. And I had a fluffy top. I'm sitting I read the part. I read Hebrews 11 all night long. And about 5:00 in the morning. So help me God. I had an experience where the Spirit of God bore witness with my spirit, that I was a child of God. And from that moment to this, I have not had a moment, not one second doubt about God's presence in my life and God's presence in the world. But I don't leave this room until I finish this. Don't turn off the television. This is really important. That has nothing to do with spirituality. That was a gift from God. Most. I'm a historian. I know history. Most of the greatest men and women of Christendom never had that assurance. Beginning with your wife, Mother Teresa. I know that I spent hours. I worked for her for three weeks in Calcutta.

[01:12:59] Work my little tail off. She never had this issue. Never met the woman, by the way. She was in the next room and she knew I was there and prayed for me. But she read her journal. She never had. John Wesley remained a hair's breadth outside of his own movement for the whole of his life. Never had this abiding assurance. He he wanted Methodist to die, not in peace, but to die rejoicing. He wanted you to know that you know that you know. And and so when methods were done, he would say, Do you see Jesus? Do you see Jesus? And most of them did. And so when he was dying, people gathered around him. They had every right and said, Do you see Jesus? Do you see Jesus? All the old boy could do was say, the best of all is God is with us. Never had the assurance. He said, I tell the whole world I have not attained the character I draw. So don't think that this abiding assurance is necessarily it does have anything to do with spirituality. I don't understand. I think God gave it to me because God wanted to keep me where you are. Ah, Keep me. Where? Where are the saints? I don't. I'm not a saint. All I am a saint. By golly, I am. I am. I'm washed by the blood of Jesus. God sees me through the blood of Jesus. I'm not. May not qualify for sainthood like some of you think, but I wash by the blood of Jesus. Anyway, that's another day. But most of the greatest men and women of history never had this abiding assurance. I don't understand. I don't know why God gave me that. And I'm humbled by it, quite frankly, I don't understand it.

[01:14:44] But do not associate that with spirituality. If somebody is willing to repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Jesus, I believe that the Spirit of God. And has empowered them. And I feel a lot of God's call on my life is to help people understand what that means and act upon that. A lot of people have not been disciple and have been called what they have been given unrealistic expectations. It's like being slain in the spirit. You had to be electrocuted. It's unrealistic sometimes. We give we give people unrealistic expectations and they set themselves up for the fall. Well, I've not had this experience, so therefore, I'm not. If nothing's happened and the doubt begins to consume them and they're right back where they began. So I feel a lot of the church's ministry is to help people like that. Be kind be good to each other, be can't be understanding, be loving. And if someone if someone is serious about repentance and faith and and the evidence is not there. Big, big, compassionate and loving as I know you are. And one day, perhaps when you least expect it, the light will go on. Well. That's what I ministers are all about. Being patient and loving. Enduring. Long suffering. If you read straight through the Bible, genesis to Revelation. These five characteristics of God come at you time and time and time again. You know what they are? Love. Mercy, justice, faithfulness and long suffering. Patients. Love. Mercy. Just rated. That's all I ask. Read you the Psalms. Billy Graham reads five times a day every day of his life. So he gets them through every month through all the songs. Cause it's timing. It. Love, mercy, justice, faithfulness, long suffering, love, justice, mercy, faithfulness, long suffering.

[01:17:02] You said through the whole. Yeah, whole Bible. Just every year. You're already through the Bible. These are the characteristics that have overwhelmed me for the last 40 years. These characteristics come at you time and time and time again. Genesis two Revelation. Okay. It's time for lunch. Who wants to pray to bless the food?