Today, Pastor Gene talks about the benefits of taking a weekly Sabbath.
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Good morning! Welcome! If you are new here among us, my name is Gene and I serve here at C3 Church as you lead pastor. If you are tuning in from somewhere else, welcome to somewhere else. A recent study revealed that the average 70 year old man had spent a total of 24 years of his life sleeping, 14 years working, 8 years doing hobbies, 6 years eating, 5 years in transportation, 4 years in conversation, 3 years in education, 2 years in study or reading. His other 4 years were spent on vacations and other miscellaneous things. Within those 4 years, he only spent 45 minutes every Sunday in church. 5 minutes everyday praying. Adding up to the not so impressive total of only 5 months that he gave to God over the 70 years of his life. If you did the math on that one, you missed the point. Today we find ourselves in Hebrews chapter 4, where we will be talking about time with God. Here in chapter 4 we see that Jesus is Superior to Joshua. In Him we find our true promised rest. We run into some more awkward chapter breaks. I told you that these original books or letters of the Bible didn't have chapter numbers or verse numbers in them. Not till like a thousand years later they arrived there. So here in chapter 4 we see a continuation of chapter 3. We talked about Moses last week, it naturally leads to Joshua, Moses' protege. And then the author or preacher will begin talking about the priesthood. Jesus is the better, superior, new high priest. We're going to shelve that and save it for Bible study. We're going to talk about the promised rest today. Last week we saw that the Isrealites didn't get to the promised rest. Why? They didn't do what they were told. remember Moses, I told you, sent out the scouting party. Twelve people representing the 12 tribes of Israel. they go scout it out for 40 days then they come back and give the report. And yes, it's a land flowing with milk and honey. It's great! they have pomegranates there, giant grapes, so that two people have to carry them back. But 10 of them don't wanna do it. They say "there's giants there! they make us look like grasshoppers. they're gonna kill us!" So God's like: "come on! I'm giving you the promised land. You don't trust me?" So He kills those 10 people with a plague, and then the rest of them wander around in the wilderness for 40 years. Caleb and Joshua though did want to go. The two that did want to go, so they will end up leading the Israelites into the promised land after theses 40 years. So Joshua actually gets there, but Hebrews 4:8 tells us "Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come. So there is special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God's rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creatinthe world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey god, as the people of Israel did, we will fall." Jesus is Superior to Joshua. We're gonna talk about God's promised rest today. A rest that is found in Jesus, an eternal rest. But we'll be looking at a foreshadowing of this rest in the Sabbath. The Sabbath is one of God's instructions to us. Getting to that promised rest involves getting some instructions. Hebrews 4:1 "God's promise of entering his rest still stand, so we ought to tremble with fear that some you might fail to experience it. For this good news - that God has prepared this rest - has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn't share the faith of those who listened to God. For only we who believe can enter His rest. As for the other, God said, "In my anger I took an oath: 'They will never enter my place of rest.'" even though this rest has been ready since he made the world. We know it is ready because of the place in the Scriptures where it mentions the seventh day: "On the seventh day God rested from all his work." But in the other passage God said, "they will never enter my place of rest." So we look at Psalm 95 last week, that's what he's talking here, or she. But that place in scripture is Genesis 2. We'll talk about that in a minute, but first I'm going to assume that there are new people here today, and you're like "what's a Sabbath?" And some Christians may be confused too. It's pretty simple, in the Bible, it's a little more strict than we do it today. It's a day where you do not work. You do no work at all, and as it evolves in the Bible it gets crazier and crazier and crazier, what you consider work, we're going to look at that a little bit today. But basically, no work, you devote the time to God. Simple. Today in the Christian church we expand that out a little bit. We're not so strict about it, we just maybe don't work and we spend some time with family or friends usually. That's a Sabbath and that qualifies just fine. The Sabbath is intricately woven throughout both the old and new Testament. We see the Sabbath or this idea of it, like I said, almost in the very beginning of the Bible. Genesis 2 starting at verse 2 "On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from all His work of creation." But, it's not until Exodus that we see it instituted, the Law, to the Israelites. So, I wanna take you back to last week. I tried to make it easy and tell the stories of Moses, some of the very basic things in the beginning of the Bible. Going from Genesis and then when we see Exodus we see Moses appears there in Exodus 2. I take you up to the Passover. So if you remember the basic story, there's that plight from Egypt, out of slavery and captivity. The ten plagues, you might remember some of them. The last one where the firstborn sons die. We see the Passover feast instituted there. It's actually a part of this. So the firstborn sons are going to die except those who's door posts are covered by the blood of the Passover lamb. So this is just a shadow of what is to come in Jesus. We are covered by His blood, we'll see we don't need to make those sacrifices every year. Once and for all sacrifice, we are covered. And so what happens is they have the Passover lamb, they eat it a certain way, with their sandals on and their staff in hand. It's about making haste, they're gonna get outta there. They cover the door posts and God passes over those homes, their firstborn children do not die. So this concept of the Passover, being covered in Jesus' blood, appears in Hebrews and it's very very important. We're gonna pick up on that. The point here is that it is a day to be remembered and the Sabbath is a part of it. Exodus 12 starting at verse 14 "This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time. For seven day s the bread you eat must be made without yeast. On the first day of the festival, remove every trace of yeast from your homes. Anyone who eats breast made with yeast during the seven days of the festival will be cut off from the community of Israel. On the first day of the festival and again on the seventh day, all the people must observe and official day for holy assembly. No work of any kind may be done on these days except in the preparation of food." We also see it in the account I told you about last week. So, they leave, they cross the Red Sea, most of you know what happens, right? So the waters are parted, they get across the sea, then it closes in on the Egyptians. Also immediately the Israelites, like those kids in the backseat of the car I was telling you about last week, they're complaining. "We're thirsty! we're hungry! we wanna go back home!" Right? So that's what's going on there. So we see these miracles, the bitter water made ok to drink. We see quail, you want meat? Here you go. We see manna, bread of heaven and then the water from the rock I told you about, right? He strikes the rock, water comes out, gets it wrong the second time after 40 years, maybe he forgot? I don't know. but we see this concept of a daily bread. It's this manna that comes from Heaven. It's kinda important. Jesus references it, some interesting things happen there. It's like this flaky substance. It looks like coriander seed. I didn't know what coriander seed was, then all of the sudden I'm hearing about it all the time on like Chipotle commercials and things like that. But anyway, so I had to look it up, this is true! It happened yesterday I said: "They said coriander seed! That's in the Bible!" Heather is like: "You said that last night." So anyway, this is what happens when you get old. So anyway, it's flaky substance on the ground. It tastes like honey wafer, so Winnie the Pooh would love it there, right? So they go out and they gather up just what they need. If they take too much it rots and gets maggots in it, so it's a daily bread. Except, except on the sixth day, why? Exodus 16:23 "He told them, "This is what the Lord commanded: Tomorrow will be a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath day set apart for the Lord. So bake or boil as much as you want today, and set aside what is left for tomorrow." So they put some aside until morning, just as Moses had commanded. and in the morning the leftover food was wholesome and good, without maggots or odor. Moses said, "Eat this food today, for today is a Sabbath day dedicated to the Lord. There will be no food on the ground today. You may gather the food for six days, but the seventh day is the Sabbath. There will be no food on the ground that day." Some of the people went out anyway on the seventh day, but they found no food. The Lord asked Moses, "How long will these people refuse to obey my commands and instructions? They must realize that the Sabbath is the Lord's gift to you. That is why He gibes you a two-day supply on the sixth day, so there will be enough for two days. On the Sabbath day you must each stay in your place. Do not go out to pick up food on the seventh day."" It's about total reliance on God. The Sabbath is God's gift to you. Now it's interesting here that it's given before the Ten Commandments, before the Law. So the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 initiate the giving the rest of the Law. So a lot of the 603 other commands in there on top of the Ten Commandments. Kind of explaining, well okay, we have the Sabbath that's one of them. Well what happens if someone breaks it? What happens if someone does this? Or that? Or this, or that on the Sabbath? So you have all of these different laws and for the other commands too. Now, again, it's interesting that it appears before the Ten Commandments. Now I don't want you to get confused because some people will use this to say for other things, let's say tithing. Well we see that kind of happen before the Law, so that means we still have to do it today, and that's not what I'm saying about the Sabbath today. I'm not saying that, that's a bad, flawed argument that "Well since you see the Sabbath before the Law, well we're not under the Law, but we gotta follow the Sabbath." Nope. Not what I'm saying. But in the context of the Ten Commandments, it could be said that the Sabbath is of greater importance, it seemed that way in Jesus' day. So speaking of awkward chapter breaks, we see some of them in the Gospels, like Mark. When we get to Mark chapter 2, at the end of chapter two there's a thing about the sabbath in there and at the beginning of chapter 3 there's another thing about the sabbath in there and in luke chapter 6 the same account it's all in that chapter same thing with matthew chapter 12. so we put them all together we see some interesting things going on so the end of mark chapter two the disciples are gathering from the heads of grain and eating on the sabbath it's kind of like the manna right like they're gathering the food on the sabbath and the pharisees are quick to point it out ah you broke the sabbath so jesus says well remember what david did in the time of abiathar the high priest he ate the bread that you shouldn't eat see so sometimes there are some emergency exceptions here we get to chapter three it's the man with the withered hand jesus heals him on the sabbath now not in mark chapter 3 but in places like luke 13 luke 14 we see that jesus gives an example he says something like you work on the sabbath to the pharisees why well if your animal sometimes a sheep a donkey a cow falls into a pit what do you do if it's on the sabbath you get it out well you're working there you go there are emergencies but it's pretty serious because the penalty for it for breaking it is death you would stone someone to death if you got caught working we see this in numbers someone's gathering up some sticks and they kill them for doing it that's work but now i know everybody's like glad glad we don't follow that anymore like see a little bucket of stones here like ed caught you working come on up look anyway now in christ this is what hebrews says we're going to see it 10 1. the old system under the law of moses was only a shadow a dim preview of the good things to come not the good things themselves the sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again year after year the passover but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship in our ephesians series we saw the sister letter colossians there it says this colossians 2 16. so don't let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or sabbaths for these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come and christ himself is that reality so what is the sabbath to us now we're going to see it's a good idea but it's what's called secondary doctrine so it doesn't save or unsave you if i miss my sabbath i'm not going to hell it's not going to happen all right so it's not primary it's not gospel it's a good idea some of these laws are a really good idea i don't think the stoning thing is a good idea but whatever do i believe that i don't know anyway it's a good idea but it's not gospel first corinthians 15 so we get the gospel and then there's some other things the primary things that we must believe we must believe about jesus these other things we can have differing opinions we saw this in our corinthians series first corinthians 8 through 10 the context is that meat sacrificed to idols in romans 14 again meat sacrificed idols we also see the sabbath being talked about romans 14 5. in the same way some think one day is more holy than another while others think every day is like you should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable those who worship the lord on a special day do it to honor him those who eat any kind of food this is the meat sacrifice to idols do so to honor the lord since they give thanks to god before eating and those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the lord and give thanks to god secondary doctrine fancy speak for it ain't going to unsave you we don't have to keep a sabbath but let's just think about something for a second why is it that the sabbath seems like it's the only one of the ten commandments that's okay to break think about it for a second right god the reality of god who he is what he's all about we understand that great don't don't worship any other gods don't make idols we'd all agree right not a good idea no bueno we're not going to do that don't take the name of the lord in vain it says a bad word i'm going to call him out picking on you today not a good idea keep the sabbath let's not bother with that one honor your mother and father yeah we should do that it can be hard murder no we shouldn't do that commit adultery no lie steal covet no no no but the sabbath and actually in our culture it's the only one of the ten commandments we're actually prideful about breaking when you think about it we give approval to those who break it in our american culture we put pride over god's presence there are a few reasons i keep a sabbath it's a good idea i've noticed that my relationship with god and family time has helped bolster those relationships it's taken me deeper into those relationships i make a commitment to god and i keep it i make a commitment to my family and i keep it it's important especially if you're busy and you work a lot if you talk to a lot of pks that is pastor kids pastor's wife they won't tell you that when you take this job it feels like the church has taken your husband or the church has taken your dad so what i do is i say you know what one day a week i'm yours i do my time with god do my time with them it makes for a healthy family environment i take it on a saturday because if you work at a church you know you work sundays to most people i would say take it on a sunday right you might have other things to do saturday so take your sabbath on a sunday do your time with god your church family and your family in the afternoon it's a good idea but for me i get to saturday and that's it it's the only day i have off so if he's in school during the week monday through friday heather works too can't do a sabbath like that with them so saturday is just a practical day and also because it's in my position description it's actually a part of my job if i don't not work i'm not doing my job kind of interesting right figure that one out right there was a lot of wisdom and experience behind that decision because the leadership knows that defiance leads to destruction whether it's israel or us i've learned that no one is smarter than the sabbath even god took a break and i'm not god it's all about balance so i want to look at two sides of a coin here we need to create healthy boundaries and help you with your sabbath pass on a little bit of what i've learned here about it first thing when we try to take a sabbath there are going to be forces that try to stop us external forces and you internal forces you're going to stop yourself so let's start with the outside forces now this could come in the form of an employer a friend or family member who has forgotten about basic etiquette remember when we used to have etiquette there's some young people here so you don't know what i'm talking about what does that mean well it's the customary code of polite behavior in society among members of a particular profession or group let me explain it to you i think we've lost the concept of etiquette today now as i was preparing for this i asked my wife a question so this is what i do i prepare for the sermons there's all kind of crazy things i want to say to you so i bounce it off my wife and she says no no no so that's really what happened so we go from like two hours of craziness to a half hour of kind of not quite as crazy it's fine anyway so this is one of the things i'm bouncing off of her i say when you were a kid she's a little bit younger than me lucky guy anyway a little bit younger than me when you were a kid did you eat dinner at the dinner table like or maybe they called it supper if you're like old you know my dad called it supper yeah yeah we did that it's like okay we don't do that anymore all right you know what time was it between like five and seven o'clock exactly okay what would happen if the phone rang during dinner time specifically what would your dad say same exact answer i had in my head this better be an emergency you remember that i do or maybe what the beep is wrong with them calling during dinner time something like that i don't know maybe that's not your household it would be bad now here's the thing i'm not talking about a smartphone we didn't have them in the 80s right or the 90s they didn't exist so we actually like looked at each other's faces when we talked to them it was really an interesting concept pretty amazing right now we just text each other across the dinner table in our smartphones no no those didn't exist it's not even close the phone in my household wasn't the one like you had to do that no yeah but you had to do that with my phone right it was a black box on the wall that was really loud you wanted to get your attention all the time big long cord that always got tangled up to determine the amount of privacy that you could have on said phone right so this is a situation here it would go off really really loud it was kind of annoying so here's what happened dad would get really mad mom would get up pick up the phone you should be one of my friends rebuke no johnny gene can't come to the phone right now because he's eating supper like what are you doing right now then she'd hang up the phone and the rest of dinner would be talking trash about johnny and his family right so you didn't call anybody between five and seven because you'd embarrass your parents so he's getting a lot of trouble for trying what are you doing it's dinner time that kind of thing so etiquette basic etiquette now what i'm about to say is tough to hear because this world tells us that we're the only person in it we live in a self-centered society where social media feeds the idea that we should always be listened to immediately and we're the only one with an opinion that's it whether we're the one making the call or we're the one receiving the call sometimes people will call during dinner time sometimes they'll call when they know it's your day off sometimes they'll call in the middle of the night now a little disclaimer as far as that call is concerned i'm not talking about people who work the night shift or two people who have an understanding like close friends parents or people with that understanding who are responsible for other people or you just have an agreement you've given them permission talk about that in a minute to break this etiquette or two vampires it's okay you guys can call one another what i'm talking about no we don't believe in that at c3 church don't worry about it another email talking about a family person she almost doubled over some of the emails just imagine a family person who works monday through friday for example nine to five that's a family to be with right they want to spend family time with the and kids maybe they eat supper still right i don't know that make him put the phones away hard to believe that he put the kids to sleep at night maybe go to sleep with his or her spouse this person in a situation like this where one person is calling another in the middle of the night cutting through that important family time or much needed rest and the other picks up two sides of this coin one person has lost all sense of etiquette boundaries and care for the person they're calling and another who's arrogant enough to think that they're the only one in the world who can solve this potential problem if the person making the call really believes that god is the ultimate solution to everything they should be calling him the person answering the call needs to get out of the way so that conversation can take place i'll explain now some will say this this is a common thing what if the person is about to do something harmful to themselves or someone else the reason they might be thinking about doing that is because they haven't had the conversation with god that i might be interrupting as both a pastor and a parent i've learned that they're are times when you do have to pick up the phone the emergencies that jesus was talking about hey gene my cow's in a pit can you come help me get it up no problem even though it's the sabbath there are real emergencies yes but i've learned something there are very few real emergencies and if it's a real emergency that person should be calling 9-1-1 not me or you i've also learned that if you don't let a person cry it out sometimes you're enabling them and if you're not teaching them to go to god instead you might actually be playing god sometimes we get in the way of god we need to know when we're doing that sometimes we get in the way of discipleship kind of interesting discipleship is just as much about what we don't do as what we do there are other people in the world that person could be going to in a church context we need to be making disciples they need to find relationship with jesus and that should be what sustains them if we are further ahead than others we need to bring him along and get him to that point as a sheep matures it should be able to feed and sustain itself there are cringe-worthy statements that i've heard in church if you know me well i don't like christianese the things we say don't make sense to anybody else some of them don't make sense to me when you really think about it here's one of them i'm not getting fed when i go to church i'm not getting fed all right i talked about the coffee i see some people nodding their head and i'm not getting bad thing right do we worship at our convenience do they have coffee what's worship like all these things maybe you want hymns maybe you want chris tomlin i went through that whole thing but this one i'm not getting fed that has bothered me since the beginning heather and i never got that we never understood that one never got it when we joined c3 we were in a half gym a half gym you could see the basketball lines on the floor they put the basketball hoop up thing music was not good not good it was like 30 40 people in there but we worshipped we worshiped we stayed we liked that we didn't want the show on a sunday i wanted to be able to go to lunch with my pastor couldn't do that at all the other churches i want to build real community that's what it was all about the worship was about jesus i don't know i didn't expect to be good i grew up in catholic church the choir was terrible my dad was a really good organist but man he spent more time yelling at him than he did singing like the phone he liked to yell i'm not getting fit we're going to see in hebrews we're coming up on it there's going to be a tone of frustration that the author or preacher has we're going to talk about that priesthood he's going to mention a guy named named kizadek barely say it right got to get a running start melchizedek he's going to talk about it it's complicated so there's a digression of sorts between chapter five and six we're going to talk about spiritual growth over the next couple of weeks frustrated tired of going over the basic teachings over and over again by now you should be teachers but no milk gotta feed you milk they're frustrated because they're gonna talk about a complicated teaching be like well not you so let's talk about this complicated stuff kind of interesting talk about paul in acts right he goes to prison one time it's for two years one time in acts 16 paul and silas remember i told you about those guys they went to prison what'd they do they worshipped can you imagine paul like you know i just can't do this right now man there's no worship team how am i going to worship in here they don't have screens think about it how silly have we gotten in the church these guys worshipped in prison two years told you the context of complaining about things paul didn't he shared the gospel he wrote letters from prison joyfully prayers all throughout these letters worshiping the lord prison what do you think the home church was like this no how do you think they did that one of my theories is that they didn't have so many distractions but remember the manna i told you about this bread from heaven who's the new bread from heaven jesus he's the bread of life he is what we are sustained on he is what we are fed on not me not the screens not the camera nothing jesus nothing but him read john 6. they talk about it show me the miracles jesus like moses did and they got the bread from heaven jesus says something interesting i'm not going to pull out of context but it's kind of worth saying i believe right around verse 29 he says no you know what work god wants from you no other work except to believe in me that's the work that he wants from us that's it but he says i am the bread of life he is what sustains us we talked about this concept of the word it can mean different things there's the word of god and then there's the word like in john 1. in the beginning was the word the word was with god and the word was god he was in the beginning with god jesus we're sustained by relationship with jesus and the word what does jesus say when he's tempted by the devil in the wilderness right man doesn't live on bread alone but every word of god right so i will say this to you if you can listen to your bible or read your bible you can sustain yourself in conjunction with jesus a pastor should be discipling the body of christ to be the church now you feed them is what jesus tells his disciples sometimes pastors can get in the way of god the holy spirit and the work he does through others believe it or not i'm not the only one in here with the holy spirit in them right so i trust some of you to do the other shifts i work the sunday through friday shift some of you work the saturday shift that's okay we had this conversation in bible study because at staff meeting carolee reminded us hey i'm going to take my sabbath on friday good for you that means that we have to fill in that space the staff knows i'm off on saturday they come in and they fill in that space we have to get good at that because good church is a team effort said this before you need to know this you are the church it's not the building it's not the walls no you are the church we together are parts of the body of christ you're all important you all belong here and by the way we need people to serve coffee so if you want to do that see heather after church totally totally true i was getting serious there for a little too long some of you were like oh boy if you know me well you know i like titus the book of titus because it's like this short form leadership manual in church it's really cool and what it is is paul writing to titus and giving him some instructions this is what you are to do how you are to behave how you tell other people to behave but what's the reason for writing for this reason i left you in crete why to finish the work that remains undone what is it appointing elders in every town it gives the qualification for elders interesting paul left his disciple literally on an island very interesting to think about so that he could make more disciples that's the point that's my job disciple making teaching and disciple making speaking of teaching we see the early church exploding in the book of acts they run into some ministry issues they got to deal with it right because they didn't go to like pastor school and then figure out like the program for running the church you know what i mean like how do we do a budget what do we do you know you got to have you know the pastor you got the deacons you go to the secretary you got you know the office manager they didn't know so they're a little confused and here's what happens acts 6 1 but as the believers rapidly multiplied there were rumblings of discontent the greek speaking believers complained about the hebrew speaking believer saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food so the 12 apostles that is called a meeting of all the believers they said we apostles should spend our time teaching the word of god not running a food program and so brothers select seven men who are all well respected and full of the spirit and wisdom we will give them this responsibility then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word they need help if they're teachers in the church they need to do their job and then let other people who have other gifts do the other jobs we should be empowering not enabling when we enable our flock will burn out then we won't be available at all and i've seen this happen in church once i heard a 70 year old guy say if you don't take your weekly sabbath throughout your life you'll be forced to take them all at once at the end of it you know what initially motivated me to take a sabbath to pray more and to read my bible a lot well i found myself in the hospital because i wasn't doing those things burned out now in this particular case i really believed i was going to die it was scary really really scary i found myself struggling to find an explanation as to why i was all of the sudden so interested in him all of the sudden i'm about to meet the author and i don't even have a favorite chapter i can't tell him what that is and so with the words i could get out i asked my pastor he was there because it was an emergency it wasn't his sabbath i asked him read me the bible like i thought maybe i'd get stuck like this in a coma but please read me so he prayed miraculously i was fine about an hour later so it's great but never again would i find myself in that inevitable position and that terrified we all have to take the final exam someday if you have been here for maybe a couple months maybe you remember me talking about my friend ray ray's a really good friend of mine newman new york we were in the martial arts world together and i describe him like liam neeson or something really interesting guy like pretty fascinating really smart really cool guy did crazy things trained like navy seals and stuff you could find people when the cops couldn't figure out like a crime like they'd call ryan ray would solve it he was like a p.i kind of like magnum without the mustache anyway the old one the cool one i'll stop with the 80s anyway ray was a good martial artist if i had to describe rey with one word i would say loyal loyal that man has bailed me out unbelievable guy so ray called me and he asked me to be with him during the most important time of his life the end of it ray had been battling cancer he was right at the end of that fight ray and i didn't talk a whole lot about god before i came to christ and i don't remember him talking about god at all i remember him going to church or saying gene coming to church i think he was a nominal christian not sure i knew why he was calling me he's scared so he learned you know he knows i'm a pastor so he asked me about god and so what we did was because he's in new york right we got the whole covered thing and i have to be here and we couldn't fly him down there he's in hospice care and so i would call him every day almost let me talk for a while i talk about the bible right i try to get people there because he has his doubts at first i got to establish what the bible is it's real yes you know and try to get him to jesus step by step so we're talking maybe for a couple months except on my sabbath i'll say ray don't die on my sabbath find you and i will not die on a saturday real conversation good friend never bothered me on myself that would have been a real emergency anyway talking to him for about a couple of months and all of a sudden those phone calls turn into texts i can't talk anymore the texts get less frequent his significant other texts me i know what it is but ray's still hanging on hey gene help me ray is hanging on and i don't know why he's scared that's why he doesn't want to let go he won't let go he's suffering so i said to her can rey hear there's a lot of people if you've done work in this kind of ministry they can't see towards the end a lot of times sometimes they you don't know if they can hear you and it's very difficult and so i says yeah yeah yeah yeah okay put i'm gonna call put me on speaker ray can hear me she says he's raising his eyebrows okay good almost was this close to saying i got you right he liked to talk so much you couldn't even get a word in edgewise i'd be like you know what i mean just start talking about everything he didn't like but i didn't do that to him instead i talked to i just i have a horrible sense of humor even like in times like that like don't if you're dying you don't want me there it's going to be really bad anyway so i heather heather knows i won't tell you what i said to my dad i prayed with him i preached the gospel to him i tried my best to get him to jesus and then i read him his last rites then i said ray i'm not going to say goodbye i'm going to say see you later because i believe i will that's it i like to believe i got him there because his significant other contacted me later that evening and say said ray passed on cramming for the test may work in life for some of you but it doesn't work in death i don't want to see any of you in that spot i'll save some more for bible study but i want to encourage you with something well that was a lot i was gonna say i'm saving you guys in pastor school i learned we find out what's important to us by looking at our calendar and our checkbook now old timers are all going yeah young people and your phone what's in your phone what's in your calendar app what's in your banking app what we spend our time and our money doing is what's important to us so i want to give you a little encouragement put god in there take a little time if you can set it aside for people you know whatever it is lunch with ed well what about time with god put him in there make a pledge to god take some time building that relationship so you never find yourself cramming for the test amen now may the god of peace who brought up from the dead our lord jesus the great shepherd of the sheep and ratified in the eternal covenant with his blood may he equip you with all you need for doing his will may he produce in you through the power of jesus christ every good thing that is pleasing to him all glory to him forever and ever amen