Earlier, we are starting a brand new series today called who is
Jesus. And we're going to be answering that question as we dig
into God's word, seeing what the Bible says about him and what
Jesus says about himself. And today we're going to kind of focus
in on one scripture in John chapter 10, starting in verse 11. If
you have your Bibles, you can turn there with us this morning, but
if you don't have your Bibles, that's okay. All of the verses are
going to be on the screen. John 10 verse 11 says, this is Jesus.
Speaking about himself. I am the good shepherd. I am the good
shepherd. So if we ask the question, who is Jesus, one of the
things Jesus says about himself is that I am the good shepherd,
which is very interesting because when you read writings about
this time in history, when you listen to the scholars who talk
about the time when Jesus was alive of walking on the earth, all
indications, or that shepherds really did not have a great
In fact, in this culture, and this time shepherds were seen as
lowly, many of the shepherds were very poor and impoverished, many
shepherds were loners because they were out in the fields by
themselves with their sheep. And many times they were just
considered the outcasts of the community. And so it's interesting
that Jesus would refer to himself as a good shepherd. Now, we also
have to understand that when we look in the scripture shepherding,
even though it wasn't seen as, as, as having a great reputation,
shepherding seemed to be a good training ground for God's people,
God used shepherds to do great things for his glory. You look at
men like King David, look at men like Moses. They were shepherds
who God used in a powerful way. If you will remember back to the
story of David, when Samuel went to anoint the new King of Israel,
uh, Jesse David's father did not even bring David in from the
field because he just knew it would be one of his other sons that
would be anointed King.
But Samuel said, aren't there any more sons? And he said, yeah,
there's David the shepherd boy out in the field. And we see Tom
and Tom again, how this skills and the training he learned as a
shepherd, helped him, whether it was going up against Goliath,
whether it was hiding from King Saul, when he was being chased,
whether it was leading an army. David was who David was because of
the skills that he learned as a shepherd. Now I'll also want to
talk a little about sheep because quite frequently in the
scriptures, the Bible refers to us as sheep. Now, what do we know
about sheep? Well, we know that sheep, they get lost pretty
easily. Don't they? She just don't have a very good sense of
direction and sheep see, seem to wander. That's why many times the
shepherds would have to go after the sheep.
It sounds a lot like us, doesn't it. We get lost easily in this
life. We can get so distracted by what's going on around us,
whether it's the troubles that we face in the last year, whether
we get distracted by chasing things that we don't need to chase.
Listen, we've got a new puppy over Christmas and what's been so
funny. Is this dog chasing its tail nonstop. It's just going
around the room and we laugh because don't you realize that you're
biting your own tail. But so many times we do the same thing in
our lives. We get lost easily. We get distracted. That's why the
Bible compares us to sheep. Now we also know that sheep are
defenseless. If it wasn't for the shepherd taking care of the
sheep, the sheep would have no defense. They would be easy kills
for predators like wolves or co Odis.
And that's why the shepherds were there. And they would have a
staff and they would have a rod and they were ready to protect
their sheep from predators. That's why they stayed out in the
field all night. That's why they stayed with the sheep. So if a
predator came, if an enemy came, the shepherd would step up and he
would protect the sheep. Sounds kind of like us. Doesn't it. In
the grand scheme of things. We're defenseless. I think about going
to the beach during the summers. My favorite time of the year is
when my family goes on vacation to the beach. And one of the
things I love to do is I just love to stand in a lookout over the
ocean. It seems like in those moments, those are moments where God
really speaks to me. Maybe you're the same way, but what I
remember when I am standing in front of a van
Last ocean is I remember
How big my God is and how small I am. I remember in the grand
scheme of things, how defenseless I am, and I need my gun,
God, to shepherd me, to protect me. We also know that sheep sheep
are just stubborn. Aren't they? Sheep
Are stubborn creatures. They're stubborn animals. And in our
lives, we can be very stubborn too. You see, for every one of us,
we are born with a sin nature. We are born wanting to be our own
boss. We are born wanting to do things our own way. We're born
wanting to be our own. And because of that, we can be incredibly
stubborn. We know the Bible teaches us that God knows best for our
lives, but in most situations that we're in, we really think we
know the best we, we want our wants. We want our desires for us
over what God wants for us. We are stubborn just like sheep. And
we also know that sheep they're just filthy. They're dirty.
They're nasty, right? I mean, they're out in the field. They've
got these big coats and stuff gets caught
In them. And
If we really reflect on who we are, we, we like to think that
we're clean. We like to think that we're good people, but the
Bible says that
Were filthy were weren't. The Asti were dirty.
It's naturally who we are. And that's why we needed a savior.
That's why we needed the blood of Jesus is because we're just
naturally filthy. And so I think this comparison that the Bible
makes that we are like sheep. It's important. And it's a true
And just like
These sheep in a field need a shepherd to protect them and take
care of them and, and, and lead them in all of those things. We
need a shepherd as well. That's why Jesus said, I am the good
shepherd. You need a leader. You need someone to follow. You need
someone to take care of you. And Jesus says, look, it's me. I am
the good shepherd. So let's answer the question real quick. What
does a shepherd do? Because this is important. If you're taking
notes, number one, a shepherd gives direction. A shepherd gives
direction. John ten three says the gatekeeper opens the gate for
him and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls
out his own sheep by name and leads them out. What does this mean?
Many times there would be different flocks of sheep and they would
all travel together.
And so sometimes you would have multiple shepherds with multiple
flocks of sheep. And they were all at the same place at the same
time, but a shepherd who cares for his sheep, the sheep literally
know his voice. And when he calls out to them, they will follow
their shepherd. Even if there is a, another shepherd around. And
what this scripture is saying is, is that we are like sheep. We
have a shepherd and we can hear and know our Shepherd's voice. You
see, there are so many voices that are speaking into your life
right now, you have your own voice. You have the voice of the
world. You have the voice of your friends. You have the voice of
your coworkers. You have the voice of your enemy, Satan, and
they're all speaking into you. They all want to give you a
direction to go. They all want to distract you. But the Bible says
that a good shepherd gives direction.
And yeah,
If we will listen to the voice of Jesus, he will not only give us
direction, but he will give us good direction in our life. I love
the way that Psalm 23 three says it says he renews my strength. He
guides me along, right paths, bringing honor to him,
His name. The Bible says that
Jesus gods me along the right path. There is a right path for our
life. And there is a wrong path for our life. And the good
shepherd gives us direction. What does that? I mean, what it
really means is he gives us perfect purpose. Every person watching
every person listening right now, God created
Did you on purpose? And he has given a purpose and a calling for
your life.
Now, what we have to understand is that there are general purposes
for our life, and there are specific purposes for our lives. And
so many times we don't get to the specific purpose until we're
already doing the general purpose.
You may be watching. Thank you,
Man. Jason, I really wish I knew God's will for my life. I really
wish I knew what God had called me to do. Well, my question is,
are you doing the things that he's already told
You to do? If you're not
Doing the things that God has already told you to do, then why
would he tell you the specific thing that he's calling you to do?
And so the Bible teaches us. There are five general purposes to
our life. I want you to jot these down. If you're taking notes,
uh, one of them is worship. He has designed us and purposed us to
worship him. And so, uh, maybe it's getting a loan in your car.
Maybe it's getting a loan in a spot in your house and just crying
out to God and singing to him. Uh, maybe it's, it's watching
online with your family. Maybe it's coming to church on Sunday
morning. I highly encourage that. Uh, getting in a church and just
singing and worshiping with brothers and sisters in Christ and
calling out an adoring. Jesus, you are called. One of the purposes
of your life is to worship.
And the Bible also says a purpose of your life is to serve. We're
supposed to serve God. And whether that serving on a team, whether
that's serving in the community, whether that serving at one of
our large food distributions, whether that's serving someone in
your family or serving one of your neighbors that you know, that's
going through a tough time, whether that's going outside of a
nursing home and singing hymns and holding up signs that say, we
love you, God has called us to serve. We know that. And so if you
are not serving in some capacity, I encourage you to serve. There
are ways that you can serve in person at church. There are ways
that you can serve online if you're not comfortable being in
person yet, but you just have to let us know because we want to
connect you. And we want to help you serve others.
Uh, discipleship, being a disciple. A lot of times we get
discipleship confused with, um, going through a Bible study or
doing a curriculum in a small group. Those are types of
discipleship, but that by itself, isn't discipleship. Discipleship
is becoming a follower, becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. Those
things can help getting in God's word, spending time in prayer,
having times of meditation, memorizing God's word, being around
other people, uh, and being able to be in a small group. Those are
all ways that we grow in our faith. Ultimately discipleship is
becoming more like Jesus Christ. Seeing the fruit of the spirit
cultivated in our life, being loving, having joy, having peace and
patience in our lives, being kind to people. Uh, these are all
things as we get closer and closer to Jesus and become more and
more like Jesus, we are his disciple.
Uh, fourth is community. God created us for community. He wants us
to be in community. And so whether that's an in person, small
group, uh, we're going to be launching more small groups in just a
few weeks. We'll have in-person options. We will have online
options, whatever that looks like for you. You need to be in
community with other people. And then number five is, is sharing,
sharing your faith, telling people about Jesus. God has called you
to tell people about Jesus, go and make disciples, baptizing them
in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy spirit. It is
called the great commission. It's not just the great commission
for pastors, but it is the great commission for every single
person who is a believer in Jesus Christ. God has called you and
purposed you to tell other people about Jesus. It's important.
And so if you're watching and listening, thinking, what is the
specific purpose for my life? I would start there. Jesus is a good
shepherd. And he wants to lead in God. You now for also specific
purposes for your life. And I believe once we're doing the general
purposes, we can get to these specific purposes. And that is what
God has created. You specifically to do. Acts teaches us that you
were placed in a, a location during a certain Tom in history for a
reason. And so there is, or wherever you're watching from, there
is a reason that you were there in 2021. There's a reason that you
live through 2020, God placed you here for a purpose. And what we
can do is we can look at your spiritual gifts. We can look at your
passions. We can look at how God formed your personality, the
experiences that he has allowed you to have. And we can look at
those things and we can know and get a clear picture of what your
purpose is. And a lot of this we talk about in starting point, our
membership class, where we do our membership class on the first
Sunday of every month at our campuses, we're also going to be
providing an option online, starting this year. And as a part of
that, we want to help you with your purpose. Now we have to
remember that
That correction can
Also be a part of finding our direction. Can I get an amen to
that? We, we don't like to be corrected by God. We don't like to
be disciplined by God, but sometimes God uses correction and
discipline to get us off the wrong path onto the right one. The
second thing we see about a good shepherd is a good shepherd
offers protection. We see this in Psalm 23, four through six. Even
when I walked through the darkest Valley, I will not be afraid for
you or close behind me, your rod and your staff protect and
comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my
enemies. You honor me by noting my head with oil, my cup overflows
with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will
pursue me all the days of my life. And I will live in the house of
the Lord forever.
Now, Jason, do you think that Jesus offers physical protection?
Absolutely. There are times in our life where Jesus physically
protects us if it helps accomplish his will, but I'll also think
that God is more concerned with our spiritual protection than our
physical protection. The reality is is that the greatest
protection we need is protection from God's judgment. And that's
why Jesus came to be our good shepherd. That's why Jesus died on a
cross and Rose again so that we could be covered in the blood of
the lamb. When God looks at us, he sees his son, Jesus, and we can
be protected from judgment because we are, we are adopted sons and
daughters of God when we believe in Jesus,
But God protects
Us. I love this part of the verse, where it says you prepare a
feast for me in the presence of my enemies. Why does God say that?
Now, if you've ever served in the military, you'll really
understand this because when you're in battle, when you're in war,
what do you have to do when it's time
Eat? You gotta eat fast because you don't.
No what's coming at you next. That's one of the reasons that you
have these MRAs things that are
Ready to eat quickly and can be easily stored. You got to eat fast
because you don't know
What's going on around you. What the Bible is saying here
Is that
God actually protects us in such a way that we can sit down and
feast. We don't have to worry about what's going on around us
because we have a good shepherd. We have a good God that is
protecting us in each and every that we're in number three, if
you're taking notes, a good shepherd, a good shepherd provides
completely. It says, the Lord is my shepherd. I have all that I
need. He lets me rest in green Meadows. He leads me beside
peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along, right
paths bringing honor to his name. You see good shepherds provide
for their sheep and our good shepherd Jesus. He is a provider for
us as well. The Bible actually says that one of the names of God
is Jehovah Jara the provider.
Many times we get this confused. And many times we get upset and
we get annoyed. And sometimes I've even seen people walk away from
God because they've had a need that was unmet. And so when our
needs are unmet, we feel like, man, this must not be true. When
there is a gap between our expectations and reality, that gap can
be a hard place to live in. But that was always studying this
week. I read from Dr. Charles Stanley, incredible pastor, um, just
retired out of Atlanta. He still speaking and still riding
incredible man of God. But Charles Stanley writes about the
reasons that our needs might go unmet in
Our life. Maybe that
Number one, we confuse our needs with our greeds, right? Maybe
it's not something that we need that has gone unmet. Maybe it's
just something that we want that we're being greeted
Over. Maybe we're claiming scripture, but
Claiming it out of context. We've gotta be very careful. When we
dig into God's word, we have to understand the context of what's
going on. We can't just randomly pull verses out. And so maybe
the, the scripture that you're claiming has been taken out of
context, maybe he hasn't provided because you just haven't asked.
Remember the scripture says you have not because you ask not. And
so I would spend time in prayer, spend time with God, ask God for
what you need. It may be it's because we failed to do our part.
Some of the promises in God's word are conditional promises. And
God says, if you will do this, then I will do this.
Maybe we
Neglect to wait on God's timing. I'm going to tell you God's
timing may not be our timing, but God's timing is
Always perfect,
Tom. So we're not open to the Lord's method. Remember God's ways
he thinks higher than us. His ways are higher than our ways. And
just because we don't understand what God's doing, doesn't mean
that God isn't doing something powerful or maybe it's just, we
don't trust him. Maybe there has been someone in your life that,
that you love, that you care for, that you trusted in. They broke
that trust. And because they broke that trust, it has been very
difficult for you to trust other people and even trust God,
listen, I'm telling you, God will provide for you completely. It
may not be all your greeds or all your warrants, but he will
provide all your needs. My wife and I have lived this in our life.
As we have followed Jesus, he has provided all of our needs and I
believe he will for you as well.
And number four, we see that good shepherds, good shepherds pursue
relentlessly. They pursue relentlessly. I love this story in Luke
chapter 15, starting in verse four, it says, if a man has a
hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won't he
leave the 99 others and the wilderness and go search for the one
that is lost until he finds it. And when he has found that he will
joyfully carry it home, his shoulders, when he arrives, he will
call them together. His friends and neighbors saying rejoice with
me because I have found my way, lost a sheep. You see the Bible
says, if a shepherd loses one of the sheep in the field, he will
leave all the other sheep to go and find the one lost sheep. And
when he finds it, he will celebrate that the lost sheep, his
spouse, if a shepherd will do that for sheep in the field, how
much more has our good shepherd done that for us?
God loved you so much that he stepped out of heaven. He put skin
on, he became a man, Jesus Christ. And he is pursuing you
relentlessly. You are a sheep. He is your shepherd. And he is
willing to walk away from everybody else just to come and find
you. And maybe the reason you're watching, maybe the reason you
are listening today is just for right now, just for this moment,
because you know that you were lost. You know that you have walked
away from God. You, you feel alone. You feel like you have no
purpose. Listen, Jesus Christ, the good shepherd is pursuing you
right now. And he's saying, I love you. And you were failed and
you are forgiven and you were going to be made new and I'm never
leaving you. And I'm never going to forsake you. You will have an
eternity with me in heaven, but while you're on earth, you're
going to have heaven on earth, heaven in your heart.
As you walk with Jesus, Jesus is pursuing you relentlessly. And
maybe today you need to trust him to price your faith in him for
the very first time and say, Jesus, I love you. And I trust you.
I'm going to follow you for the rest of my life. If that's you
listen, I want to give you the opportunity day to follow this
Jesus that is pursuing you. So relentlessly, I'm going to pray.
Prayer of this prayer reflects what Jesus is doing in your heart
today and invite you to pray it. Along with me, pray something
like this. God I realized today that I am a sinner. I am naturally
have just been wanting to go my own way and do my own thing and
make my own decisions. Even if they dishonor you God. But today I
realized that you sent your son Jesus to save me, to be my
shepherd, to lead me, to provide for me, to protect me and to
pursue me.
God, I believe that your son, Jesus died on a cross and spelt his
blood so that I could be forgiven and set free. And I believe that
three days later, he Rose again from the grave and he is still
alive today. Jesus, you are my Lord and I trust you and I love
you. And I want to follow you for the rest of my life. And it's in
Jesus name. I pray. Amen. Listen, if that was you as the greatest
decision that you can make with your life to follow Jesus, to be
one of his sheep, to become one of his disciples. But I want you
to understand your faith. Doesn't stop today. It starts today and
we want to help you become more like Jesus. We want to help you
find your purpose. We want to help you live in your calling. We
want to help you be everything that God has called and created you
to be.
So please don't change the channel today. Don't turn this video
off without letting us know you made the decision to follow Jesus.
If you're watching on TV, you can go to our website. If you're
online, the link to the digital connect card is in the post above,
but let us know, give us a name and email address. Just some way
that we can reach out to you this week. Because one, I want to
pray for you by name and two. I want to give you some resources. I
want to give you an ebook called next steps for new believers.
That will help you become everything that God has created you to
be. Jesus. Thank you again for today. Thank you for your word.
Thank you for the truth of your word and thank you, Jesus, that
you are our good shepherd Jesus. We are your sheet.
We are following you in this new year and Jesus, we're going to
listen to your voice. We're going to listen to your call and
collectively and individually we say, Jesus, we're not going to be
distracted by any other voice in this world. We just want to hear
the voice of our separate in 2021. And we're going to follow you,
Jesus, whatever you tell us to do, whatever you tell us not to do
Jesus, we're committing a fresh and a new today to follow you with
our life. Jesus, I pray for those who are watching that are going
through tough situations and circumstances. Father, I pray in
Jesus name, you would meet people, right where they're at God,
that you would be their provider, God, that you would be their
protector, that you would be their healer and great physician.
Jesus. We're going to be careful to give you the honor and glory
for what you do in Jesus. It's in your name. We pray. Amen.

good morning. I'm Abby, thank you so much for worshiping with us at Refuge
church. Online is this your first time visiting with us? We would love to
reach out to you this week to thank you for being our guests and send you a
free subscription to right now, media, please take a moment to fill out our
connect card. If you are joining us on the Valley CWE, you can find our
digital connect card at fine. Refuge hear.com/connect. If you've been
thinking about joining the Refuge family or serving in the church, but aren't
really sure which dream team would be the best fit. Join us for starting
point on Sunday, February 7th at 9:00 AM. In this short class, you'll learn
who we are. Take a quiz to discover your spiritual gifts and where you can
plug them in at Refuge to start serving God's kingdom. Childcare is provided
baptism. Sunday is coming up on February 7th. If you or your child would like
to participate in this wonderful day of commitment and celebration, please
let us know by sending us an email to online at fond, Refuge hear.com Refuge
churches, social. Check us out on Facebook. Ben Miller, Instagram. Thank you
for choosing to worship with us today at Refuge Church where everyone is
welcome, and anything is possible. fill me to praise treasures. If you put me
back to gather the style side is fine here in Refuge family. Welcome to
Refuge Church online. We're in week two of our series, who is Jesus, and I'm
excited about what God is going to do in our midst today. I want you to know
that our pastoral team has been praying for you all week long. We've been
praying for this morning, asking God to move powerfully no matter where
you're at, no matter what you're doing, we know that the power of the Holy
spirit can change our lives. And that's our prayer. That's our hope this
morning, before we jump into God's word, let's pray and let's ask God to move
powerfully in our midst today. Jesus, we love you so much. Thank you for
today. Thank you for this opportunity, Jesus, just to dig into your word, to
learn more about who you are and who we are because of that, Jesus, we ask
that you would move powerfully in our lives. God, if there's things in our
hearts, God, that need to be removed. Would you remove them? And God replaced
them with characteristics, God that come from you. We love you, Jesus. And
it's in your name. We pray. Amen. Like I said earlier, we are in week two of
our series, who is Jesus. But before we jump in, I just want to stop a moment
and say, I've been praying for you during our 21 days of prayer and fasting.
We're at the end of week two. And my hope and my prayer for you is that you
have drawn closer
to God that you are closer to your breakthrough. You're closer to your
purpose. You were closer to becoming more and more like Jesus Christ. And I'm
going to continue to pray for you that we finish this week strong. If there's
anything we can do to help you to answer any questions, to support and
encourage you during our 21 days of prayer and fasting, please let me know.
We've done this for seven and a half years. And I believe with all of my
heart, that this is just the heartbeat of our church to start the year in
prayer and fasting. And I'm excited to see and hear the stories of what God
has done in your life. Hey, last week we started this series who is Jesus.
And we talked about Jesus being a good shepherd. Remember we want to kick the
year off talking about who Jesus is. And I want to share with you a scripture
that typically we only hear during Christmas time, but it is a very important
Bible verse about our Jesus. It's Isaiah nine verse six, it says for a child
is born to us. A son is given to us. The government will rest on his
shoulders and he will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting
father, Prince of peace. And that's where I want us to hold in on today. Who
is Jesus? Jesus is our Prince of peace. Now we get this title. Prince of
from the Hebrew SAR Shalom SAR means the one in charge. The commander, the
Lord, the general, the chief and Shalom means peace and rest and tranquility
and completeness and wholeness. So we can call Jesus the Prince of peace. But
really he is the general of peace. He is the commander of peace. And I don't
know about you, but more than anything else in my life, I need God's peace.
And I believe you do too, because Jesus is the Prince of peace. Number one,
we can, I live in peace with other people we can live with and peace with
other people, listen to what Romans 1218 says, do all that you can to live in
peace with everyone, do cool that you can do all that you can to live at
peace with people at home, with your friends, with your neighbors, live in
peace with your coworkers. Live in peace with people who think like you live
in peace with people who don't think like you live in peace with people in
your church. We are to live in peace with everyone, but here's the thing.
Peace is something that we have to work towards. Peace is an action. It
doesn't just happen. We don't just fall. And the piece we have to work at it
and people like me and you listen, we're, we're just a little dysfunctional
aren't we we're broken. And when we, because we're broken, we hurt each
other. And ultimately
that's all we need a savior because we're broken because we need to be put
back together. But because we're broken, we collide with each other. And when
we collide with each other, we hurt each other. So we have to work at living
in peace. As we get closer to Jesus, as we get closer to the Prince of peace,
what happens is that we grow in our love for Jesus. And because we grow in
our love for Jesus, we grow in our love for each other. As we get closer to
the Prince of peace, we learn because of God's word. We learn how to deal
with conflict in healthy ways. We do what the Bible says. The Bible says to
bear with one another, to work with one another, to walk with one another, we
learned to do what Jesus says. We love our enemies and we value forgiveness.
Sometimes I wonder if we really value for goodness. Sometimes I wonder if we
truly understand what it means. I have the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. And
because we have the forgiveness of Jesus, he has called us and he has
commanded us to forgive other people. It may be the way you can live at peace
with others is you have to start by forgiving them. Is there anybody your
life let's let's reflect for a moment. Is there anybody in your life that you
need to forgive? There are going to be people in your
life. They're not going to come and ask you for forgiveness, but God has
called us, commanded us to forgive them any way to choose, to forgive, to
choose, to release them, to choose, to let them go. Listen, you've heard this
before. When we forgive, somebody gets set free from prison and that somebody
is you and me. We need to live at peace with other people. Number two, if
you're taking notes because Jesus is the Prince of peace we can experience.
God's unexplainable peace because Jesus can command peace. We can experience
the unexplainable peace of God. I'll never forget being on a mission trip in
Haiti. I haven't been in a few years, but I love Haiti. I love the people
there. And I love serving alongside our missionary friend. There. We have
seen God do some incredible things in Haiti. And one year we had taken a team
down. There was a huge group of us. It was a young team. They were excited.
They were passionate. They were fired up to do some sports camp in Haiti. And
our plane landed a little bit later than it normally would have that night.
We got on a bus and we were driving across the country. And there is a lot of
unrest in Haiti. And typically traveling at night is not something that you
want to have to do, but that was the situation that we were in. And we were
driving through these villages.
We were driving through these towns and we came to one of the cities. And as
we drove through the city, the kept getting narrower and narrower. And we
came to this one road and there were people everywhere, hundreds of people in
the streets, and they were all listening to a soccer game. Soccer is huge in
Haiti and the Haitian soccer team was playing and they were listening on
radios and they were having fun and they were celebrating, but there were
cars and there were motorcycles parked all along the side of the road. And as
the bus pulled through, the, the bus ended up kind of getting nose to nose
with another vehicle. And our driver was shouting at the driver of the other
car and nobody would move in this conflict in suit. And everybody in the bus,
we started to get a little bit nervous, right? And these hundreds people that
were around, they were celebrating. They were having fun. They, they started
to come I'm over to the bus and we were trying to back up, we were trying to
get out and, and more and more people started coming to the bus and people
were hitting the bus and people started shouting and we began to get a little
bit nervous. And even some of the missionaries that were on the bus with us,
they got a little nervous too. And they got out and they were talking to the
bus driver.
They were talking to the driver of the other car. They were telling the
people that were in the crowd, Hey, there are missionaries on this bus.
They're here to help us. And we didn't know what was going to happen. But
yeah, in that moment, I began to recite a verse in my heart. The Holy spirit
brought this verse to my heart. It's in my mind, it's Philippians four, six
through seven. Don't worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything,
tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will
experience God's peace, which exceeds anything. We can understand. His peace
will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus, Jesus. And in
that moment I had peace. I had peace that everything is going to be okay. I
had peace that we were going to be able to accomplish the mission that God
had sent us for. And is that missionary told the people in the crowd that we
were here to help the people of Haiti, that we were here to share. God's love
that we were here to tell people about Jesus, that huge crowd they began to
help. They began to try to help get the cars out of the way and the
motorcycles out of the way they were trying to help the bus driver back up so
we could keep going. God moved powerfully. Well, I think it's important to
see about this
verse is that even in times where it seems like chaos is ensued, even when
times when it seems like our life is falling apart in times where we hit that
trifecta of worry, anxiety and fear in our lives, God has given us the
formula peace. He says, stop worrying, tell God your needs and be thankful.
And when you do those three things, when you choose, when you decide to stop
worrying, when you pour out your heart and say, God, here's what I need in
this moment. Here's what I need in this situation or circumstance. God, I'm
thankful for all that you've already done. God will give you an unexplainable
piece, an undeniable piece. And I think that that's what really can set us
apart as believers in Jesus Christ. I think that can be a really strong
testimony that when it looks like your life is falling apart, not only to
you, but to people around you, that you walk through life in calm and peace.
Earlier in my ministry, I had the opportunity to serve as a chaplain in
hospice and as a hospital chaplain. And I'll never forget going through my
hospital chaplain training. And they said, your number one priority. Jason is
to be a peaceful presence in stressful situations to represent God's people,
peace to people. God wants to you give you an indescribable undeniable peace.
In fact, the Bible says it's a gift. And John 14, 27, Jesus says, I'm
leaving you with a gift. Peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a
gift. The world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid. What Jesus is
saying here is that there is nothing in this world that can give you peace.
Governments. Can't give you peace. People. Can't give you peace, but peace is
a gift that can only come from Jesus. But you may be watching. You may be
listening and you're asking yourself the question, that's great, Jason, but
I'm listening to what you're saying. And I don't have peace. I am worried. I
am anxious. I'm living in fear. Why? If Jesus is the Prince of peace, why
hasn't peace been moved mountains? The way I want you to pray. And I want you
to ask her, I want you to in prayer, ask Jesus to show you. If you were
experiencing a test or a trial, sometimes we don't have peace because we are
experiencing a test in our life. Or we are walking through a trial and ask
God to help you learn from the situation that you're in. Sometimes you lack
peace because you are experiencing an attack from the enemy, the devil, and
you ask God to help protect you from that. Maybe there's some unresolved sin
or some unresolved disobedience or unforgiveness or anger. There's something
in your life that is like a roadblock. Keeping you from the peace God has for
you. Talk to Jesus, prayer,
stop worrying, tell God what you need. Thank him for what he's already done.
That you can experience that peace of mind and peace of heart that Jesus
talks about. So because of Jesus, we can live in peace with others. We can
experience God's unexplainable peace and number three. And most importantly,
the Prince of peace can allow us to have peace with God. We can have peace
with God. He may be your wife, chicken. There's never been a time in your
life where you've understood that maybe your spiritual life feels like it is
in turmoil. Maybe you feel like something is missing in your life. I want you
to play close attention to what I'm about to say, because of Jesus. You can
have peace with God. Listen to what Romans five verse one says, therefore,
since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God
because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. What did he do? Jesus
died on a cross and Rose again. Let me unpack this for you. You've got to
understand that God loves you. God loves you more than you can imagine. And
he has a plan for your life. The Bible says that God loved the world so much
that he gave his one and only son, Jesus, that whoever believes in him shall
not perish, but have eternal life, everlasting life, a home in heaven. But
here's the problem.
We people, human beings, we are sinful and we are separated from God. All of
us, myself included. We have done things or thought things are said bad
things that the Bible calls sin. In fact, the Bible says all of us, everyone
has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And the consequence for
that, the result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God. But listen,
there is good news today. God sent Jesus to die for your sins and to die for
my sins. Jesus died in our place so that we can have a relationship with God
so that we can have peace in our lives so that we could live with God
forever. In heaven. Roman says, God demonstrates his own love towards us. And
that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. But then even better
news is is that it didn't end the story. Didn't end with his death on the
cross, Jesus Rose again. And he still lives today. And he wants to change
your life. He wants to transform you. He wants to give you joy. He wants to
give you purpose. He wants to give you peace with God. He wants to change
your position before God so that when God looks at you, he doesn't see your
sinfulness. He sees his son, Jesus standing in your place. But I said, this
decision, it's a choice that only you can make. You can choose to have
peace with God because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. And I want to
give you that opportunity this morning, maybe you're watching and you're
listening. You say, Jason, that's me. I want to give my life to Jesus. I want
to ask you to pray this prayer with me this morning, no matter where you're
at, no matter what you're doing, dear God, I know that I'm a sinner. And I
ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is your son. I believe he
died for my sins and that you raised him to life. I want to trust him as my
savior and follow him as my Lord from this moment forward, Jesus, God, my
life and help me to do your wheel. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen was
you congratulations. It's the greatest decision that you can make with your
life. It doesn't mean that life will be easy, but it does mean that life will
be blessed and you get to do it with Jesus. I don't want you to change this
channel. I don't want you to turn this video off today without letting me
know, because I want to pray for you by name. I want to send you an ebook to
help you understand your next steps. And I want you to become everything that
Jesus has called and created you to be. So you can go to our website or if
you're watching online,
you can click on the link in the post above for our digital connect card and
give us a name and email address. Just some way to reach out to you this
week. So I can thank you for worshiping with us and so that we can celebrate
your life changing decision together. I'm so thankful for you and I'm so
thankful for what Jesus is doing in your life. Now, as we close today, I want
us just to take a moment and I want us to lean into worship and prayer. It's
something that we do all year long, not just in this season of prayer and
fasting, but listen, we believe that prayer is important. We believe that
prayer is powerful. And some of you that are watching right now, you need
prayer. You're going situations or circumstances in your life, and you need
the power of God to intervene. I want you to know that we are praying for
you. We are a church family that loves you. And we are a church family that
prays. And we mean it. When we say we're going to pray, and if you need
prayer for anything at all, please let us know. You can fill out the prayer
card online. Or if you're on social media, you can even post right now in the
comments below. And our team will be praying for you has ASPE, but let's
worship together. Let's pray. And if you need prayer, please
let us know. Jesus. We love you. And in this moment we worship you. Jesus, we
adore you. We cry out to you, Jesus, Jesus, we need you. We are desperate for
you to intervene in our lives. And we thank you, Jesus. We thank you, Jesus,
that you are a good shepherd, but you are also the Prince of peace. And God,
I know there are people watching right now and they are worried. They are
anxious. They are afraid and they need your peace Lord. You are the commander
of peaks. Would you move peace their way? Would they experience an
indescribable and undeniable peace in their hearts and in their lives? May
they be overwhelmed with a calm and a comfort? God that could only come from
you. Jesus. I agree with my brothers and sisters in prayer today, we pray in
unity, Jesus for you to move and only a way that you can in Jesus. We pray
that you would get the honor and that you would get all of the glory in
Jesus. It's in your name. We pray. Amen. Now go and be the church.

I'm Abby, thank you so much for worshiping with us at Refuge church. Online
is this your first time visiting with us? We would love to reach out to you
this week to thank you for being our guests and send you a free subscription
to right now, media, please take a moment to fill out our connect card. If
you are joining us online, you can find our digital connect card in this post
or at find Refuge here.com/connect baptism. Sunday is coming up on February
7th. If you or your child would like to participate in this wonderful day of
commitment and celebration, please let us know by sending us an email to
online at Fon Refuge here.com. If you've been thinking about joining the
Refuge family or serving in the church, but aren't really sure which dream
team would be the best fit. Join us for starting point on Sunday, February
7th at 9:00 AM. In this short class, you'll learn who we are. Take a quiz to
discover your spiritual gifts and where you can plug them in at Refuge to
start serving God's kingdom childcare is provided Refuge churches. Social.
Check us out on Facebook, Vimeo or Instagram. Thank you for choosing to
worship with us today at Refuge Church where everyone is welcome, and
anything is possible. moving in a way. Maker miracle promise. promise you are
here. You are here. You are here. You are you never stop working. Never stop,
never stop working. Even when
I don't see it, you work. Even when I don't feel it, you never stop working.
You never stop. Never stop working. You never stop. Stop, stop. Hey, Refuge
family. Good morning. It is Sunday, January 31st, and I am so excited about
week three of our series, who is Jesus. We're also wrapping up 21 days of
prayer and fasting today. I hope it has been an incredible experience for
you. My prayer has been for your breakthrough. My prayer has truly been that
we would experience revival revival in our nation revival in our country,
revival in our community revival in our church, family. And I just ask,
listen, don't let prayer and fasting. Stop. Now allow prayer and fasting to
be a discipline that you use throughout the year. Whenever you need
breakthrough, whatever you need God to point you to purpose. This is a
discipline that we can use to draw closer to God, anytime that we need to.
Hey, let's pray before we jump into God's word this morning, and I'm asking
God to speak specifically to your heart in your needs today. Jesus, we love
you. Thank you again for the opportunity. God, just to worship you right
where we are, God that you have given us your Holy spirit to speak to us, to
comfort us, to counsel us and to transform us. Lord Jesus, would you move me
out of the way today? God, with the words that come from my mouth only
come from you. Jesus, in Jesus, it's in your name. We pray. And everyone said
a men. We are in a series called, who is Jesus. And the reason we're starting
our year with this series is because a lot of people have different opinions
about who Jesus is. Some people think he's a prophet or a philosopher. Some
people call him a teacher or a friend. Some people call him their boss or
their Lord. Some people view him as an enemy or a joke. Some people see him
as just an option in their life. And so we've been focusing on answering this
question, who is Jesus. And today I believe that not only is Jesus a good
shepherd, not only is Jesus, the Prince of peace, but listen friends. I
believe that Jesus, Jesus is better because I believe the biggest battle we
all face is thinking that Jesus is just a good option or an accessory to our
life, but we don't believe that Jesus is better than anything else that we
could ever have. We see examples of this in people's lives in the Bible,
whether it's the rich young ruler or Anna niacin Safar, or even lot's wife,
there's something inside of us. That wonders is Jesus really better than what
I need to give up to really know him. Well, we saw it in the lives, Adam and
Eve. They weren't sure if knowing God personally was better than eating the
forbidden fruit,
the fruit that he told them not to eat. And there's a woman in scripture
named Mary of Bethany. And we see this in her life. But, but we see her
really leaning in to the idea that Jesus is better. That Jesus is better than
anything that she could experience. Because Mary of Bethany, she did
something very costly for Jesus. She took the best of all she had and she
offered it to him. She was able to do so because she believed that Jesus was
better. We're going to be in Mark chapter 14, starting in verse three. If you
have your Bibles, you can turn there with us. If you don't have a Bible with
you, everything will be on the screen. Or you can even go to bible.com or
pull up the YouVersion app. As we dig into God's word, Mark, chapter 14,
starting in verse three, it says, meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home
of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy while he was eating, a woman
came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive, a fume made from essence
of Nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head. Some of
those at the table were indignant while way such expensive perfume. They
asked it could have been sold for a year's wages and the money given to the
poor. So they scolded her harshly, Matthew 26, John 12. Also record this
story in
John. We learned that this woman is Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and
Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead. And by reading all three of the
stories, we can get a full picture of what's going on here. There was this
thank you dinner, being thrown for Jesus, for raising Lazarus from the dead
salmon who at one point had leprosy and was also presumably healed by Jesus
was hosting the party and between Saman and his family and Jesus with his
disciples scholars, there were probably 20 or so people that were there.
Imagine everyone having a good time, everyone enjoying the conversation and
the feasts. And then all of a sudden, Mary walked in and began to do
something that brought this feast to a streaking halt. Mary came in with this
alabaster flask of oil of pure North. It was very expensive perfume and she
broke the flask and she poured it over Jesus's head. And everybody started
yelling. Everybody started scolding and rebuking. Her. Why? Because this
flask was worth more than 300 denari, which would have been equal to about
300 days of wages in this area of North Alabama, where I live, it would have
been worth probably about 48 to $49,000. This alabaster jar of perfume
represented financial security for the family. If something terrible was to
happen and they couldn't earn money, this would have been their safety net.
But Mary took this valuable possession and broken important on
Jesus's head and feet in an extravagant ex-player display of love. Mary was
telling Jesus, this, this is the most valuable thing I have. And I'm giving
it to you no longer is this perfume. My security Jesus, you are my security.
Jesus. You are better. May I ask you a question? What is your alabaster jar?
What is your flask of perfume? What's the most valuable thing in your life
that if it were taken from you, you would have a loss of your sense of safety
or security or even hope. Is that your house? Isn't your job? Is that your
retirement plan? Is it a relationship? Do you sense? Jesus telling you to
surrender it to him? You will never be able to, until you realize until you
understand that Jesus is better, but Mary, she didn't stop there. She bent
down and began wiping Jesus's feet with her hair. Now in this middle Eastern
culture, a woman's hair was her glory. And many times women would bailed up
their hair and only let it down in the privacy of their home with their
husband. So what Mary did was not just fiscally irresponsible, but it was
scandalous. She was breaking etiquette. She was breaking social norms, but
she didn't care what people said. She didn't care what people thought she
wanted to offer. The best of who she was. She was displaying absolute
confidence in Jesus, but offering the perfume. She gave everything that she
I think his feet with her hair, she was offering everything that she was all
that mattered was Jesus verse six, but Jesus replied leave her alone. Why
criticized her for doing such a good thing to me, you will always have the
poor among you and you can help them whenever you want to, but you will not
always have me. She has done what she could and has annoyance did my body for
burial ahead of time, you see this special perfume was used in the anointing
and preparation of bodies that were being buried. It was costly. And it was
had such a strong smell that it helped cover the stink of death. Mary was
annointing Jesus, his body. She knew he was going to die for our sins. Jesus
had said it over and over again. Throughout the gospels, he was constantly
telling his followers that he was going to die for them. And then rise from
the dead. He talked about it so much that the chief priests and the Pharisees
knew about it, but for some reason, the disciples kept missing it. They were
thinking their Messiah was going to conquer the military, not die, but Mary
heard him and Mary believed him. And she used only the best to anoint his
body. Jesus was more than just a man who had died for her. She believed that
he was the God-man the Messiah who had raised from the dead. Mary saw him
her brother Lazarus. She knew that Jesus was no mere human being. She knew
that Jesus, this, this was better. He had a proper view of Jesus. And that's
what this whole series has been about this month, helping us understand,
helping us transform our view, our understanding of who Jesus is. So it's not
just our mirror opinion, but it's the truth of God's word. Verse 38 as Jesus
and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem. They came to a certain
village where a woman named Mary Martha welcomed him into her home. Her
sister, Mary set up the Lord's feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha
was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and
said, Lord, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while
I do all the work, tell her to come and help me. But the Lord said to her, my
dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all of these details. There's
only one thing worth being concerned about Mary has discovered it and it will
not be taken away from her. So now we're going back in the scriptures. We're
going to a time before this party, another time where Jesus was in the home
with Mary and Martha, and we see here that Mary was at the feet of Jesus. She
was hanging on his, every word. She was learning from her in John 10, when
Lazarus was
raised from the dead. We'll talk more about that. Next week, Mary was
throwing herself at the feet of Jesus weeping. And in Mark 14, we Mary at the
feet of Jesus, annointing him cleaning his feet, whether it's learning or
weeping or serving. This was the position of Mary at the feet of Jesus being
transformed by him being changed by him. So the most natural thing for her to
do do was surrender her most valuable possession to him. Just listen to what
John three 16 through 21 says for this is how much God loved the world that
he gave his one and only son so that everyone who believes in him will not
perish Church but have eternal life. God said his son into the world, not to
judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment
against anyone who believes in him, but anyone who does not believe in him
has already been judged for not believing in God's one and only son. And the
judge men is based on this fact, God's light came into this world, but people
love the darkness. More than the light for their actions were evil. All who
do evil, hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear, their sins will be
exposed. But those who do what is right. Come to the light. So others can see
that they are doing what God wants. Listen, church, family. I know these
words seem heavy and intense and they are, but it's really pretty simple. God
provided a way to know him through his son, Jesus Christ, but people through
all of time have enjoyed it. Then believe that being able to do the things
that keep us from knowing God are actually better than knowing God. And I
think, yeah, there are two things that we see. Two important things we see in
this passage. If you were taking notes, Jesus is better than what you were
afraid to give up. Listen, Jesus is better than that thing that you were
afraid to give up. It could be a sin could be an addiction. It could be
normal life stuff that just takes priority over Jesus success, greed sex
relationships. But there comes a point where Jesus has to be something better
for us. We have to realize who he is so that we can grow so that we can
mature so that we can obey. You. See the Bible said that he didn't come to
condemn the world. The idea that giving up our lives to Jesus will keep us
from living his role. The idea that trying to live without Jesus is really
living that's wrong. I love this verse in Philippians three seven. I once
thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because
of what Christ has done. Yes. Everything else is worthless. When compared
with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus, for
his sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage so
that I could gain and become one with yeah, you see Jesus is better than the
consequences you might face for bringing things into the light. The very fact
that we are afraid of bringing something to Jesus, that we are afraid of
bringing it into the light is proof that we need to expose it. Again. It may
be a sin issue. It may be something like an addiction, or it could be
something just normal that you feel foolish for saying something, but
understand this church, family, Jesus, Jesus is not a get out of hell free
card. Jesus is better. Jesus is alive. How's your relationship with God? Are
you pursuing him? Do you know him in a personal way? What's hard to imagine
is that the God of the universe is a relational God so much so that he sent
his son, Jesus, Jesus, who was without sin to become sin for us on the cross
to die. And then to be raised from the dead so that anyone who calls upon his
name will be forgiven and transformed and changed and set free. So you could
actually become what the scripture says is a friend of God. And there are
some of you watching and listening and you recognize I am doing life without
that. I want to call on Jesus. I want to make him first. I want to make him
my King savior. My Lord. I want to know him as a friend, I need his
forgiveness and you're saying, Jason, today, I turned to Jesus. I give my
life completely to him. If that's your prayer right now, I want to invite you
to pray this prayer with me. Heavenly father, would you forgive me of my
sins? Make me brand new today. I turn to you and I trust in you to be the
savior of my life and my Lord. God make me your friend so that I can show
your love in every way to everyone. Thank you Jesus. For new life today, I
give you mine and it's in Jesus name. I pray. Amen. If that was you,
congratulations. The Bible says that all of heaven is celebrating your
decision, but I want to ask you, please don't change the channel. Please
don't turn off this video without letting us know that you made that decision
because I want to pray for you by name. I want to email you some resources
this week that will help you grow in your with God. And we want to walk with
you on your new faith journey. Listen, if you've been searching for a church
family, I just want to be the first person to say welcome home. We would love
for you to be a part of our family. I would love the honor of being your
pastor. If you're watching on TV, you can go
to our website. If you're online, you can click on the link and the posts
above and we'll reach out to you this week and we'll thank you. And we'll
celebrate with you for what Jesus has done in your life. Now, today, as we
end our 21 days of prayer and fasting together, my prayer for you is that you
really would become everything that Jesus has created you to be in 2021. I
know there's a lot of junk going on in the world, but it's this. This could
be your best year yet. If it is your best year spiritually, if you see Jesus
like never before, if you make the commitment to become more like him, each,
I believe that Jesus has created you and called you to make a difference in
our church, in our community and in our world, let's do it together in 2021,
we're going to worship. We're going to pray as we end our service today. And
if you need prayer for anything, please don't hesitate to reach out. To let
us know. You can email us. You can fill out the prayer card on our website.
You can even comment in the comments below and we have a team ready to lift
up your name to Jesus, to agree with you in prayer right now, let's worship
and pray together. chase down my heart through all of my failures, who you
create. The light of the world opened in darkness
to use failures disappear when you lost your life. So I could find it. If you
left the gray behind you so I can see everything you've done. Every part
design and Jesus. We do worship you like Mary. We pour out our hearts to you.
Jesus, understanding that you are better. You are better than anything that
this world has to offer. You are better than any possession that we have.
Jesus, you are the good shepherd. You are the Prince of peace. You are better
and you are life and Jesus. We place our trust in you. In these moments. We
give our lives to you and we thank you. We thank you for what you did for us
on the cross. We thank you that we have purpose because of you. Jesus and
God, I pray that my friends and my family would walk in that purpose. This
year, I pray that we would be closer to you than ever before. God, I pray
that you would spark a fire, a fresh wind in our hearts. God, that you would
spark revival in us, God, that we would become more like Jesus, that we would
treat people like Jesus, that we would see miraculous things in our lives and
in our church and in our community, in our country. God, not because of us,
but because of you, Lord, I pray. This would be our best year yet because it
would be our best year, spiritually. Jesus,
we love you, Lord. We love you Lord. And we pray that you get all the honor
and glory. It's in Jesus' name. I pray. Amen.

Welcome back church family! We are starting a new series called "Who is Jesus?" This week pastor Jason takes us through Psalm 23 and we see that Jesus is our Good Shepherd!