We’re back again, in the Big Room with Rachel and Damian getting us to pose for a picture with our amazing photographic genius that is Marc Gilgen!

We’re live blogging, connection withstanding, and so apologies for any spelling mistakes!

We’re reading Psalm 95:1-7:

1 O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

4 In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.

5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.

6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

Now we’re singing with Praise is Rising and How wonderful, How marvellous it’s great to sing these truths out together as hundreds of youth workers from across the country and further afield.

It’s great to have so many ministries in the UK who serve the local church; we’re now welcoming Phil from Hope, believes that we’re in a season of unity across the church in the UK.  The group was developed by Roy Crowne, Mike Pilivachi and Andy Hawthorne.  Following on from Hope 2008 we’re looking for Hope 2014, with every area of the country doing regional mission – if you want to see young people at the heart of the mission then get involved, also Mission Academies, helping young people have mission as their DNA – a big group of organisations helping enable these so that young people can dream and develop missions in their community and region.

As we leave tonight, that has a flyer to sign up if we’re interested in hearing more – if you’re not available register on the website.

An awesome line up of after-hours:

·         Chocolate tasting helping us learn about farmers and their life experience

·         Panel debate on what we can learn from the riots in the Gold Room

·         Pete James and the band leading worship for an hour in the Theatre.

Last year Damian went to see the local church in Haiti with Compassion, Sheba, a former sponsored child has come to speak to us tonight.  She is from Uganda, each morning she would make pancakes with her mum and then sell them on the road.  If they didn’t sell anything they didn’t eat.  They shared the house with animals, so one morning Sheba woke up to find half her hair gone as the rats had eaten it!  Girls don’t go to school, at the age of 12 they get married.  She worked as a child slave in Kampala for two years.  She was brought to a Compassion project, and her sponsors were a youth group who introduced her to God through their encouragement and letters.  In 2007 she graduated with a master’s degree in International Relations and Education!  She was the first girl in her village to finish high school.  To do a degree and then a masters in the UK.  To help give back she sponsors two girls from Uganda, and volunteers at the Ugandan embassy, and got to dine with President this year!  You continue to be a problem until you become a solution.

Rebecca Dear was picked out of the “hat” as the delegate to be blessed with a new iPad.

Pete and the band are back and we’re crying out, singing “Holy, Holy, Holy, I want to see you” and “Majesty, Majesty, forever I am changed by your love.”  Great poetry by Harry Baker – amazingly powerful words.  Taking time out to be honest with God, to put things right, in the knowledge of standing in his grace this evening.

We’re challenged to sing “It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

Damian is welcoming Chris Durso with an American welcome – Chris starts by saying he too is a sinner saved by grace, and that Biblically we need to shout our praise to God – the roof has just been blown off this theatre.

Chris is the youth pastor at Christ Tabernacle.  Queens, New York is the most diverse place in the world, with the most languages spoken in a particular area.  His church is a responsive church; he loves a good “Amen brother” and asks us to join in if we hear something you like.  At home someone shouts “Ride the bus” but they have no idea why!

Judges 8, especially 20 Turning to Jether, his oldest son, he said, “Kill them!” But Jether did not draw his sword, for he was only a boy and was afraid.

Have you ever noticed a problem or an issue in this world?  Anyone ever feel like you are the only person who notices this and is doing something about it.  Refer to these people as Misfits.  A misfit is one who is uncomfortable with his or her surroundings and is seen to be disturbingly different than others.  We as Christians should be misfits, we should feel uncomfortable in the world, uncomfortable that people don’t know Jesus, that there is child trafficking, that false prophets pronounce when the world is going to end – and people are buying into these lies, we should be uncomfortable knowing children are dying due to a lack of food, water and more.  We should be compelled to get involved, identifying the issue is not enough, and doing something about it is everything.  Until we bring the solution to this world, we are part of the problem of the world.

Misfit just sounds too trending, it sounds like the gospel of MTV.  This is more than a trendy term, it is a Biblical truth, 1 Cor 4:10 – we are the Messiah’s misfits.  We are misfits by default.  The question is as a misfit what makes us uncomfortable – don’t answer it yet – only because we get so caught up in the moment and the thoughts in our mind – we might not be hearing God’s heart.  What did you God create me to solve.  When the Holy Spirit answers, take it, and run towards it.  When you realise what it is you should be doing, and you don’t run towards it you think logically as opposed to spiritual thinking, but your calling is illogical.  You believe in a God you can’t see, a man who was around 2,000 years ago, a book that is alive etc.  Always allow your discomfort to propel you to change.

Life is never going to be perfect.  We’re too involved in work or church (just a little ironic), too rich, too poor, too old, too young, I mess up too often.  The only reason we have been called and given life is because of the grace of God, we can never achieve it, and we can only accept it.  We think our age has something to do with how we can respond to the call of God on our life – our age has nothing to do with it.  We think young people can do it because they’re young but we can’t, our age won’t stop us from doing something great for God.  You are of age to do something great for God.

Jether thinks he is too young, he was only a boy.  But Jether was part of Gideon’s 300 people, he was blending in the crowd, easy to show up to a conference, to show up to youth, but to step out and practice what I’ve been preaching.  It reminds Chris of David and Goliath, after David shows up to the battle scene and sees Goliath taunting the Israelites when he thought there would be a fight, but there was a glorified stare off.  David mouths off and so Saul says “you can’t kill that giant”.  David struggles with how Goliath could kill as a boy, but he was being told he couldn’t.

We should be confident Christians, not like Eeyore with melancholy, how many Christians seem to be walking around with pettiness.  Yet we have new mercies each day even though we mess up every day.  If you’re confident in who God is it will show others who God is.  When you know you can’t do it, you see God enabling you to do it because he is almighty.  David had this confidence in God, even though he was too young to be a soldier; he was able to do it because of what God had done.

So many of you struggle with insecurity, looking at others.  Settling for something other than who you were created to be is a slap in the face for God.  You were pieced together by the greatest designer ever.  You were created for such a time as this.  That’s why David could go and kill the giant.

It’s confusing that Saul asks who that boy is, and the commander doesn’t know, he doesn’t know even who his father was.  This king, this authority can speak into his life, has no idea who he is.  Too many people allow other people to speak into your life, even though they are giving their opinion on your life, even though they don’t know.  Every man is an expert on stating their opinion.  When God says something to you, you don’t need the words of anyone else – allow God’s word to be enough.  Don’t allow friends, business people to have their word taken over God.  Don’t listen to the created but the Creator.  Truth be told they don’t know who your dad is; you have a father in heaven who created you for such a time as this.  If he has told you you can why would he?

You have revolutionary thoughts but you sit on them, if everyone did that then nothing would happen.  You need to move beyond the excuses and do what God is calling.

Jether was afraid, why?  He had the opportunity to kill two kings, he missed an opportunity.  We celebrate David, not Jether, if Jether had done what he was supposed to have done he would have been greater than David, he could have killed two kings, David just killed a man representing a king.  How many opportunities have been missed in this room? I can’t hate on him too much – I can’t have a go at Jether too much – his household was funny – Gideon, his dad, was scared all his life.  He was found sifting wheat in a wine press in Judges 6; it’s like eating breakfast in the bathroom!

Jether was a product of his father, like father like son.  Some of you have grown up in households, and even though you aren’t a child, you haven’t lived with them for years, you still have the same faults as them, and you are a product of the household you grew up in.  But that doesn’t have to be the truth we live in.  We aren’t called to be like them, we’re called to be like God.

Chris’ wife grew up in a non-Christian home; they encouraged her to go out to the club rather than church.  Chris why are you taking our daughter to church?  Her grandma raised her in the ghetto of New York.  At aged 14 she found church, no one invited her, she just went herself.  Aged 16 she moved to Chris’ church.

Generational curses are broken by God, you will be consistent in your Christianity, and you won’t fail because of your parents.  You’ve always been called to be like your father.  Even at 45 and 55 you still struggle to deal with the same things your parents dealt with.  This is why Jether was afraid.  He would wait and procrastinate and that is why he missed out on this opportunity.

Originally was going to speak on something else, he felt to share this.  It is specific and unique to this place.  Why would God ask you to do what you’re being asked to do?  What father would request their child to kill people – you don’t understand Chris the things God is asking us to do – the cost of it, it is too difficult, it is too heavy so maybe it isn’t God.  Really?  Really?  That is the very gospel – a father who sent his only son to die for our sins past, present and future.  Jesus did at 33 years old as an obedient child – this is why it is not just a youth message.  God is calling us to take on.  Imagine if Jesus said no to God?  God is sovereign so he would have worked something out!  On the cross God turns his face from Jesus; Gideon should not have relieved Jether from that.  It is people who produce children, but it is leaders who produce character.  Imagine is Jesus had jumped off the cross we wouldn’t respect him, worship him, and talk about him in the same way.

Jesus is loyal because God is loyal.  Jesus is love because God is love, and faithful, firm, victorious, gallant, unfailing, unmatched, undisputed, perfect, the personification of God as Jesus is God – like father like son.  If you want to be like your Father, follow Jesus’ footsteps.

We’re going to pray tonight, God is calling out to people tonight, encouraging you to embrace what God is calling you to do.  Isa 41:10 “Do not fear for I am with you”, God wants you to follow through.

Chris refuses to be a fearful generation but a faithful generation, not a Jether generation but a Jesus generation.  Each of us has the responsibility and requirement to take on everything that God is asking us to do.  Romans 12 says by embracing what God has for you, it is the best thing you can do.  Your greatest form of worship is being obedient to the word of God that he has given you.  God says I want you to take on that responsibility so I can get pleased through that.  God is a jealous God, he wants all that worship and praise – who are we to hold back any worship or praise.

There are many of you who feel the weight of your calling, it is killing you, and you know what you have to say yes and no to, you know you have to make changes.  But remember if God is for you who can be against you.  That change is the greatest thing that can happen to you, remaining where you are at will only lead to insanity.

We’re moving into a time of worship and prayer so we’re wrapping up for tonight.

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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