Job - Renewed Will

Jobs will is renewed as he once again looks towards a mediator for hope.


Warning: The following content is an automated transcript and may not be correct.

Hi, everyone, and welcome back to Church of the Bible. Now that I've been quiet, my voice wants Anita cough.

Some announcements before we begin. This Wednesday, we will be in Exodus chapter 18 in our Bible study at 06:30 P.m. Mountain time. And then just want you to say Merry Christmas as we start coming up. It's going to be something I say every week because I don't want it to be a one day event for us, right?

Even though in the secular world it is. This is a season right now for us to be joyful, for us to be grateful for our Lord and Savior, be grateful for what he has done. So as part of our celebrations, you'll notice behind me we have redecorated just as we enter that spirit of celebration. Also, we have this week will be our second week of Advent. We'll play that video here in a minute, but next week, I still need I think actually Shawnee and I are going to do it next week, but we do need the following week, number four, two more people.

You would volunteer to do it, please let me know. Let's get together, figure out how to make it work for our final week of Advent before our Christmas Eve candlelight service. And then let me pull up my calendar here just to make sure I have the dates. And I'm looking a month in advance. But I also want to begin planning and letting people know I think I deleted it.

No, here it is. I have in January some fire training that begins the 20th sorry, 19, 20th and 21st in St. George, where I'll be staying there. So there will be no Bible studies that week. And I'll let you know if we're going to have church on that weekend.

But that Friday, Bible study will be canceled. So kind of just looking out, trying to give enough notice, and I'll put it in my reminders to start reminding everybody again come January. But I wanted to put that out there now. So with that said, I think that's everything for our announcements. Let's jump into our advent.

The second week. This week, we have Ms. Rhonda and Shawnee. They did the Advent together and did a great job. So let's go see what the Scriptures revealed to us about this in this week, about the first coming of Jesus.

Last Sunday, we lit the first candle in our Advent wraith the candle of peace. We lit it again this morning as we remember that the same Jesus who was born in Bethlehem will come again to fulfill God's promise of peace.

The second candle of Advent is the candle of healing and forgiveness. Our world is broken by sin. God promised to send one who would mend our broken hearts, make our lives whole, and set us free from our sins.

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hid their faces. He was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering. Yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by Him and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray. Each of us has turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on Him the inequity of us all. Isaiah 53, verses three through six.

We like the second candle to remember that God gave us Jesus Christ to set up free, to set us free from sin and make us whole. The angel told Joseph, you will give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

Let us pray. Thank you, God, for the forgiveness and healing you give us in Jesus. We ask that as we wait for all Your promises to come true and for Christ to come again, that you will remain present with us. Help us today and every day to worship you, to hear Your word and to do Your will by turning from our sins and forgiving others, as you have forgiven us. We ask this in the name of the One who was born in Bethlehem and gave his life for us.

Amen.

Amen. May everyone who hears this, this week or even after, may you receive the gift of eternal life. May you experience that forgiving love, mercy and grace that God has offered. We did a song last week, and this week as well we'll have it again. But in that song that Zion told us on Christmas morning, god had sent us salvation.

So maybe you received that gift in this season. With that said, we're going to pray and go to our worship service. And you'll notice each week leading up to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, which is a Sunday this year, you'll notice we'll have we'll be adding in more Christmas music in place of our normal worship songs. But you'll also notice, beginning next week, we will have an extra song in rotation just as we ramp up our celebrations and whatnot. So with that said, let's pray, let's go to worship, and then I'll see you guys in a few minutes.

Father, we thank you this Christmas season, this month of December, as we remember the birth of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, whom we love so much, we're so grateful for, because of what he did on our behalf. Lord, I pray as we go through this month that we will be joyful, we'll be celebrating, we will have reason in our hearts to go tell people what really happened, what this holiday is really all about. And I pray as we go to Your word, Lord, that we will be reminded of what you did, that we will be filled with your spirit that we will not only hear it, but do it. I pray, Lord, that you will open our ears and our hearts and our minds that we can worship you today in spirit and truth we love you. In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

A restless generation we're turning over every stone hoping to find salvation in a world that's left us cold. Can we get back to the altar? Back to the arms of our first love? There's only one way to the Father and he's calling out to us, to the gap. If it looks like freedom to the old man, it feels like home to the skeptic.

It might sound crazy to believe in God who loves in a world where our hearts are breaking and we're lost in the mess we made like a blinding light in the day of night. The gas pole, the gaspole that makes away.

It's the good news for us all. It's greater than religion. It's the power of the cross. So can we get back to the altar? Back to the arms of our first love?

There's only one way.

The amazing news of the Gospel is not that we can receive Jesus into our lives, but that he's already received us into his. In my own life it means forgiveness when I know I deserve the fall it called me out of my darkness and carried me to the cross. In a moment, my eyes were open. In that moment, my heart would change like a blind day light in the dead of night it took us oh, the Gospel that makes away angels we have heard on her sweet, why your joy, your strains go wrong? What?

The glass untie. Your hair is on.

Mary, Joseph, land your name while our hearts in love we raise hope in excel shepherds kept there watching over silence by night and behold throughout the heavens. But I show my holy light that hail I, savior, tell it. On the mouth the humble Christ was born and God sent off salvation that blessed Christmas.

Tell it on the mountains over the hills and everywhere go tell it on the mountains but Jesus Christ is over go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.

Amen. Jesus Christ is born so last week we took a break from the book of Job and we talked about the heart. What is in it? What is it even right? We talked about our will.

We talked about how corrupt we are.

We're going to get back into Job today. But I think we can also think about our hearts as we continue through the book of Job. Last time we two weeks ago, when we were in Job, chapter 15, we had seen again that his friend has come in, his oldest friend. He says, I'm older than your father and he really berated Job. You lost me.

Can you guys hear me? Yeah. Not real good. Not real good.

How about now? Yes. Okay. I don't know what happened with our tech. Hopefully it just stays because I didn't change anything.

It just came back. Maybe my Internet's going in and out, so shoot, I forgot where I was. He was berated. He was humiliated. He was told he's not wise.

He's not smart. He doesn't know what he's talking about. He's not listening to conventional wisdom. He was told that he's not right, which we talked about. His friend saw the same thing that Job has seen, that we see.

None of us are right. That's the problem. Our hearts are evil, and they're wicked. They're disastrous. According to Jeremiah 17, not only does it deceive us, it says it's disastrous.

But where Jobs France saw condemnation, saw only destruction because of the natural state of Job's heart. Job had seen hope few chapters earlier. He had seen a mediator, a high priest, somebody who could go between us and God.

But we've also seen, and we will see tonight Job through this. He's getting worn out. He's getting beat down. And we're going to see that he gets a little bit lower, gets beat down a little bit more. But we'll also see that his will is renewed.

He has a new resolution. He has new found hope. And that is the hope I want to proclaim to everybody today, especially this Christmas season. So let's read Job chapter 16, verses one through five. Then Job answered and said, I have heard many things like these.

All of you are miserable comforters. Is there a limit to windy words? What provokes you that you answer? I myself also could talk as you. If you were in my place, I could join against you with words, and I could shake at you with my head.

I could encourage you with my mouth, and the solace of my lips would ease the pain.

Okay, so there's some stuff going on here. He answers, he's hurt, and he begins, I have heard many things like these. So Job's first response to his first friend's second speech is, you're not telling me anything new. You're not telling me anything we don't already know. But there's a problem with our wisdom, and we need to remember where Job's coming from, a place where what his friends are telling him is not only the conventional wisdom of the day, but it's the same wisdom that he himself has believed in, has taught, and instructed others with.

Now that he's going through what he's going through, he is beginning to realize, wait a minute. Perhaps there's something wrong with this wisdom that we have held to something's not right. Because what I believe, what my wisdom dictates, is not what's happening here. So he says, I've heard it, and you are miserable comforters. What did his friends originally come to him for?

When? At the beginning of Job, after he went through everything. And in chapter three, his friends had come, and they sat in sonics. And they came with the pretense who comfort him. That's what they were there for.

They were there where that's what they say they were there for. Let's put our arms around you, let's comfort you. Let's help you through this at good friends. But from the first words that left their mouths, they have said nothing of comfort, but have only sought to condemn him. And they have sought to do it by just speculating to what his sins were and just telling him in general what you must have sinned to outright condemning him.

They've called him a liar. They've called last chapter, they called him a hypocrite. They've told him that he's mocked God, that he's done something. So they're miserable comforters. They came with the proclaimed intent to comfort, but all they have done is condemned it's like they're trying to you know they are because they're actively looking for his sin.

Guys, if we're going to go and comfort someone, perhaps the best thing we can do is be silent in our wisdom. We aren't very wise people. We're not. But there's something to be said about just having a presence, a comfort and presence, someone who's not there to try and make it better or tell you what to do or condemn you or figure out the problem. But they are just there with you, right?

Job doesn't have that. He's going through this alone. Sure, he has friends there. I said a few weeks ago, with friends like his, who needs enemies, he's going through this alone. And verse three is his statement.

His question is, I love it. Is there a limit to windy words? His friends who are poor comforters, their speeches are sometimes more lengthy than Jobs. And three to four times now they've asked Joe, when are you going to stop being a windbag? When are you going to stop with your long, eloquent speeches?

And he just wants them to shut up. Is there a limit to your windy words? When will you sit down, be silent and leave me alone? And I think Job is at a point where if his friends all stood up and left him there, he would be better off, he would be more comforted without them than he is within there. And what provokes you that you answer, now, let's go back a little bit to our own lives and people who have said harsh things to us, and you just want to say to them, what have I ever done to you?

What have I ever done or said to deserve a response like that, to be treated in this way? And this is where Job he's at this place now where he says, what have I done? What provokes you to treat me this way, to try and condemn me rather than maybe question our wisdom? And part of this is in chapter 15. They call him a hypocrite.

A lot of these other sins, they told him, well, you have hidden sin. You've done this or you've done that. Whether he could argue it or not is one thing, but they've called him a hypocrite, a person that has been their lifelong friend. And how do you come back from that if my entire life in front of you, everything I've done you've known me my whole life. If that is not enough evidence of my character that you need to turn around suddenly and call me a hypocrite, what has provoked you to that?

And he tells them, you know, I you know, let's turn the tables around. I could talk as one of you. If you were in my place, I could be like this. I could join in my words against you. I can try and beat you down and make you feel bad.

But he says, you charge me. I'm going to use a quote from Pastor Trap here. He says, you charge me for slighting the consolations of God and pretend to come to comfort me. But such cold comforters I have seldom met with. For instead of abating and allying my sorrows, you do all you can to increase in height in them.

And is this your kindness to a friend?

Job? He's in pain. He's in so much pain. He's getting beat down, and he just wants to be done. Let's look at verses six through 14.

He says, If I speak, my pain is not relieved. If I cease, how much will leave me? Surely now he has worn me out. You have devastated all my company, thus you shriveled me up. It became a witness, and my leanness has risen up against me.

It testifies to my face. His wrath has torn, and he has been hostile toward me. He gnashed at me with his teeth. My foe sharpens his eyes against me.

God delivers me to an evil one, and he cast me into the hands of the wicked. I was at ease. Then he broke me into, and he seized me by my neck. Then he shattered me and set me up as a target for him. His archers surround me.

He slashes open my kidneys, and he does not have compassion. He pours out my gall on the ground. He breached me, breach upon breach, and he rushes at me like a warrior. I have sowed sackcloth on my skin, and I have inserted my pride in the dust. My face is red because of weeping, and deep shadows are on my eyelids.

I meant to go through 14, and I just kept going.

I want to read it. You know, if we took Job right now and turn it into a movie, it would be an R rated movie.

But that joking and humor aside, realize who Job is talking about right now. He's not talking about his friends. He is talking about God. This description is what he's describing God doing to him. It would be an Rrated movie.

He feels trapped here. No matter what he does, if he speaks, his grief is not relieved. He says, if I cease, how much will leave me? So he's in a point where if he talks about his sorrows, if he talks about what's grieving him, everything going on, those who are with him, they find ways to take his words and turn them around on him, to condemn him with them, to trap him with them. And so speaking does nothing to ease him.

And even so, there are just some sorrows that are so painful that talking about them makes them worse, about if I sit here in silence, he says I'm trapped. How much will leave me? Will anything go?

He's at a point where he's stuck between a rock and a hard place. No matter what he does, it can't get better. He says, I have been worn out. He has worn me out, and you have devastated all my company. Job, in more words than not, has said, I'm lonely, I'm tired, I'm lonely.

There's no one here for me.

Rather than surrendering to God, acknowledging a relationship here, acknowledge in a struggle, he instead admits defeat. But he's deflated.

Guys, job is at a point here that almost all of us need to come to. Job, chapter one. It talked about job's righteousness. He was an upstanding man, a man of mortal character. But there's a problem with Job that chapter one and chapter two did not address.

And that problem with Job is the same problem his friends have. He's built a framework, right? They've taken a box and they've written on that box, rules in how God has to rule his kingdom, how God has to function. And they've taken God and they've put him in that box and they've taped it shut and said, if anything happens the way that we've dictated with our framework, it must be gone. And anything outside of it, we don't even question it.

And Jobs theology right now has been work based. But because of what he's going through, he's beginning to question his theology. Notice not God. He doesn't question the existence of God, he doesn't question his sovereignty. Instead, he's beginning to question his theological framework.

But in the meantime, as he's going through this, he's still describing God under the lens, under the worldview of the framework he's already confined him to. And it won't be till the end that Job has a full come around. But we've seen, we've seen little blips of Job's eyes beginning to open. And Job, at this point, he's not aware of who God really is and how God operates. So he believes God has worn me out, he has worn me down.

He's done these things that the verses will go on to describe. He says that my friends have devastated my company. He says I'm shriveled up, I'm shriveled up. Everyone hates me. He's going into a woe as me type trip here.

He says he tears at me. In his wrath. He hates me. My adversary sharpens his gaze upon me. Here's the reality.

Job is in conflict right now, and he's in a supreme conflict. But his battle is not with his friends. His battle is not with his circumstances. His battle is not even at the unknown, but it's with God. And more specifically, his battle is with his conception of God, how he views God, how he believes God to operate.

And guys, if we are not willing to actually get to know God and how he operates, but we just dictate in our minds how he should operate, we will be in conflict with Him every time he does something we think he shouldn't. Let me give you a great example. I talked with an atheist a few weeks ago. Now, I can't put a number on it, but it was recently enough to come to my mind right now. I spoke with an atheist who told me that even if God was real right, he's an atheist.

He doesn't believe in God. But even if God was real, he says I could not follow him. Well, why not? If you could acknowledge that there's a chance he's real, and let's assume he is for this conversation. So you can acknowledge he's God.

He's creator and ruler and everything, why would he not be able to follow him? And they say, because I can't follow an immoral God. Wait a minute. What's immoral about God? What has he ever done that's immoral?

And their response I challenge you guys to try this once. Find someone who believes God is immoral and ask them why. The answer is almost always the same. I've heard it hundreds of times. They default to the Great flood.

How can a bean who wiped out everything on Earth, all living life except for those on the Earth, how can that be immoral and loving God? They say what they fail to acknowledge is that it's moral because God said so. It's moral because God knows the hearts of men. It's moral because there is only one person who has the right to judge and sentence humanity, and that's God. And it's funny.

How can an atheist be mad at God for that if they don't believe in Him? It's not that they don't believe in Him, but they have taken a concept of God and they've built a framework and said, because of this framework I have, I can't follow God. And Job is here right now. He has a framework of God, and he is judging God based on this framework, how he thinks God works. And he is now being confronted with it.

Now, some commentators, some other pastors, they believe that Job is actually seeing Satan here. I mean, let's look at what Job says. You've shriveled me up. Myleeness has risen against me. His wrath has torn.

He's hostile toward me. He gnashes at me with teeth, my foe. He thinks he's talking about God. And he calls God his foe. Sharpens his eyes against me, gape at me with open mouths, struck my cheeks with disgrace, have masked themselves together against me.

Think of who he's describing here. Is this God? No, this is Satan, the enemy. So Job is he's projecting what's going on to him upon God and not recognizing that there is an enemy who is responsible for this and in God's sovereignty, he's allowed it to happen. But it is not God who is at Worth job.

It is Satan at worth job.

As I was reading this today, I had a question that made me stop in the middle of preparing and I actually had a wonderful minute. Why would God allow this?

We believe in a loving God, a graceful God, a merciful God, and we see everything Job is going through. And you want to ask why I think God's, sovereign God. I don't believe that God has done this to prove a point to Satan. If we go back to chapter one, it almost seems like it's a bet. Satan says, I have rule over everything, and God offers up Job.

Well, have you considered my servant Job? Right. God initiates this entire thing, not Satan. God initiates it. And surely it's not to win a bet or prove a point to Satan.

But what if it's to teach Job?

As we get to the end of Job, you'll see that he becomes a powerful catalyst for preaching the gospel to his friends. He changes in his area the worldview of how God works. They go from believing in what we've called since we started this cash drawer gospel do good, get good, do bad, get bad. God is much bigger and much more powerful than this.

Let's continue here with verses 15 through 22. He says, I've sowed sackcloth on my skin. I have inserted my pride in the dust. My face is red because of weeping and deep shadows are on my eyelids. Although violence is not on my hands and my prayer is pure.

O Earth, you shall not cover my blood and that there be no place for my cry for help. So now look. My witness is in the heavens and he who vouches for me is in the heights. My friend scorn me. My eyes poured out tears to God and argues for a mortal with God and as a human for his friend.

Indeed, after a few years have come, then I will go the way from which I will not return.

Oh, wow. Job is he went from a place where he was beat down. He just talked about how tired he is, how lonely he is, and all of a sudden there's some renewed hope. Right. Job is beginning to see through his framework for God and see a little bit of how God actually operates.

So he says, I'm mourning in the ancient world, putting sackcloth on your skin, shaving yourself, putting ash on your head. Or letting it fall on the ground and in the wind. These are signs not just of somebody who has sorrow, but these are signs of deep sorrow, deep anguish. Deep anguishing. He even says to describe my face is red.

I'm crying so much. I'm weeping. My face is just red. My eyelids are heavy. He's in a place of true sorrow, true brokenness in church.

We cannot approach the grace of God, the throne of God, until we have true brokenness of our hearts. Till we come to a point where we are so broken we can look to God and accept what he has. And he does this. He says right now in verse 19, my witness is in the heavens, and he who vouches for me is in the heights.

I find this interesting. He is once again looking for somebody who can go between Him and God, somebody who can vouch for him, who has seen everything, who knows the account. And right now he doesn't see the grace of God. He doesn't see we're going to see that here in a few minutes. He doesn't see the grace of God yet, but he sees that his hope is in heaven.

I find that interesting. He is beginning to look not to his works. He's beginning to look skyward toward God. My hope is no more in my argument with my friends, in my debate. I may never even be vindicated in this life.

I may die with everyone who knows me believing I'm wicked, I'm a sinner, I'm whatever. But in heaven, that is where my hope is. This is a hope that we all should have, that we're not fighting against God. He's fighting for us. He's working for us.

Our hope is in the heavens, not in anything that this earth offers us, right? He believes he has a righteous witness in heaven that will vindicate him as all the evidence was revealed. I believe that I have a right to switness in heaven who has done it all for me. There's nothing that I need to put on trial other than whether or not I've had faith in Him. And we're going to see this as we continue with chapter 17, verses one through five.

My spirit is pulled down, he says, my days are extinguished. The graveyard is for me. Shirley Mockery is with me, and my eye rest on their provocation. Please lay down a pledge for me with yourself. Who is he who will give security for my hand?

Indeed, you have closed their mind from understanding. Therefore you will not let them triumph. He denounces friends for reward so his children's eyes will fail. I want to spend some time here, and if we go no further, that's okay. I want to spend time here on what he says.

He says please. Verse three. Please lay down a pledge for me with yourself.

What is Job asking right now?

He's asking for grace. He's asking for a. Bond to be paid to free him from whatever he would be convicted of if you were put in trial. But when he says, Lay down a pledge for me with yourself, he says, God, I can't make this right. I can't do anything.

I can't work enough where I can't pay the price. I can't convince you to relent from your judgment on me. So if there is any way to make it right any way to correct the problem and bring peace between you and between me then it must be on your part. Will you, God, pay the bond for me to bring peace?

How beautiful. What Job foresees here? Job is he's not a Jew. In fact, he probably lives about the same time as Abraham. But he's never met Abraham.

He's not a member of this family who has been enlightened with the word of God. He knows nothing from the Scriptures. And yet in his heart he foresees a need that I'm a sinner. I can't fix it. Can you do?

He's never heard the name of Jesus. But I assure you if he had got to hear the name of Jesus who wouldn't be born for another 2500 years? And what he had done, he would call upon him a week ago or a week and one day ago last Saturday, I was in St. George and I met a person who is searching right now who was looking for answers.

And one of his questions, he wants to know, what about a person? He's not even arguing the innocence of this person but he wants to know what if there's a person in a civilization that we have never yet uncovered we don't know about who has never heard the name of Jesus Christ? Can he be saved? How can he be saved if he has not heard the name of Jesus to call upon it?

Look no further than Job.

The issue with salvation isn't whether or not we know the name of Jesus. And I think it's critical to know the name of Jesus. I believe there's power in his name. I believe that he is the only name under which we can be saved. But it's not in the name as much as it is in the heart, right?

Look at the divide between those who die and go to hell and those who die and go to heaven. And it's their heart. Those who die and go to hell, they either don't believe in God they've suppressed the truth of God or they believe in God. But they believe that they can be worthy enough to enter into the gates of heaven based on their own works and their own merits, their own religious rights. And look at those who die and go to heaven.

Job wasn't from the family of Abraham. He didn't know the promises of God. But in his heart, he knew that there was a God. In his heart. He knew that he wasn't righteous.

And in his heart, he knew that his only hope was in God, and he trusted in that. He trusted in God to lay down the pledge for him.

And I can be sure that Job is in heaven today because he trusted in what God could do. He wanted to worship God. His heart was after God's own heart. And how beautiful that is that someone who may never speak to a Christian can still look to God and be saved, can call upon the name of the Lord, can fall on his knees and say, oh, God, in whatever language he speaks. I know by the evidence of creation of the visible world that you are there.

And I know, oh God, that I'm not worthy, but please have mercy upon me. Please do something to make this right.

Romans talks about the Gentile who has a law inscribed on their heart, and they are all into themselves right now. Job, he's in a place of despair. He's in a place where he is beginning to realize, I have no hope in what I can do. But rather than give up, he looks to the heavens and he says, god, rather than me trying to figure out how to make this work, can you help me? Can you do it?

And he believes that he will, and God will give him that. Near the end of the book, as we enter into a season right now that we should be rejoicing, we should be singing glad tidings, shouting from the mountaintops and rooftops and in our cities, you need something to be joyful for. And so I want to ask right now to all who are hearing this, do you have something to be joyful for? Or are you, like Job, sitting in a pit of despair right now? I'm going to give you a benefit today that Job never had.

And that benefit is, I'm going to tell you the name by which you can be saved, the name which will bring you peace, the name which will bring you salvation, the name which will bring to you reconciliation between you and God. And that is the name of Jesus Christ.

Because if you are in despair right now, you know there is no way out.

You know in the pit of your sins and your sorrows and everything you've done that you are powerless. But Jesus is not. And Jesus says, if you would just trust in me, trust in what I did, trust in what I can and will do, and make me king over your life, he says, I will save you. He says, I will give you peace. I will give you salvation.

And he even says, I will send my comforter to you. So let's turn our despair around. Let's turn our anguish around. Let's have this month, this Christmas, something to celebrate. And that something is Jesus Christ.

And the hope that he has given us that begins with admit and that you are a sinner, that you cannot save yourself, right? That you are depraved your heart. We talked about the heart last week. Your heart is wicked. It's deceitful.

It only looks toward evil and evil things, but also believing that God Himself in the form of Jesus Christ, he stepped down into darkness, into this creation, to give it light, to live perfectly and to die for you.

It says in two Corinthians five that he was made to be sin who knew no sin, so that we could be the righteousness of God. Our sins were nailed to a wooden cross. And it says in the Scriptures that he rose again from the grave. He gave us victory over death through his life, through his death and his burial and resurrection, that if you would confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that he was raised from the dead, you will be saved. And I beg you today, plead with you.

Let's have something to celebrate. Let's have your salvation. And if you're ready to do that, I'm going to give you a chance here in our closing prayer. But before then, I want to remind everyone that immediately following the closing prayer, we have communion that's here in Zoom, or some of us here in person, but those on Facebook or YouTube or the website mobile, wherever you are, we want you to have the Lord separate with us. So please jump into Zoom, join us for communion.

And for those of you who are given your life to the Lord today, send us a message, let us know, call us, do something to let us know, and let us celebrate with you, especially now, in this season of celebration. Let's pray. Father, I admit that I'm a sinner, that I cannot save myself. Lord, I know that my ways are wicked, I know that they are evil. And the desires of my heart are continually sinful.

And, Lord, right now I may be in despair. I may have depression, I may have a range of emotions in my life, but I know, Lord, that you can fix all that. That you can replace my anxiety with peace, my depression with joy, my despair with hope. That you can replace my loneliness with the comforter, the holy comforter, even the Holy Spirit. Because you came down, you lived a perfect life.

You died for my sins, and you rose again the third day. And I believe that in my heart. And so I ask you to be my Lord and my Savior to give me this gift. And I thank you. And Father, I pray that anyone right now who has you in a framework that dictates how you must operate, or dictates that they must operate in a certain way to earn it.

Lord, I pray you will open their eyes. I pray that you will show them there's no hope in those theological systems, but show them the only hope is in you. So this Christmas season, your name would be Glorified, that we could celebrate and show with joy from the rooftops. We love you in the blessed and holy name of Jesus Christ. Amen.