Accelerate 2 - Soul Strength

The sermon talks about scriptures on salvation of souls.

Doyle Jackson
Sep 16, 2018    50m
In this sermon Pastor Doyle Jackson teaches us about souls. He says we have to guard and nourish our soul to live a happy and fulfilled life now, and as we move into eternity with our soul full of God. He explains that when we feel empty and exhausted it means we have been neglecting our soul, and he gives many practical tips on recharging our soul. He reinforces his teachings with several scripture on the salvation of souls. Video recorded at Columbus, Ohio.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Doyle Jackson: 00:04 Hey, I just want to welcome you to say thank you for watching online. You know here at The Church Next Door we believe that your life is important, and that's why we've taken the time to put these videos out there. I hope it's encouraging you, and inspiring you, but why not stop by sometime. Come on a Saturday night, 5:00, join us for worship. Or Sunday morning at 9:30 or maybe at 11. Either way, pick a time, and just stop by. Get to know the people of The Church Next Door.

Doyle Jackson: 00:38 This summer we have lots of opportunities to share God's love with our neighbors. It's always fun, and it's always exciting, and it's always life changing. People ask us, why does The Church Next Door do all of this? Our mission is to move people closer to God, and our vision is to meet you where you are the Jesus way, it just seems logical. But it all stems from a conversation Jesus had one day in Jerusalem, this man walks up to him. He says, what is the most important commandment a person can fulfill? Well, Jesus replied, love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment, and the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Doyle Jackson: 02:19 Car washes, hot dogs, movie nights, water and candy at a parade, even event for dog lovers are our best efforts and not just loving God, but loving and living God's way in our neighborhood. To love our neighbors, the Jesus way. Keep up the good work church. Thank you and God bless you.

Doyle Jackson: 02:51 Amen. I agree. It's exciting. It's encouraging. It always feels good to give away some of God's love, and to share the grace of God. It energizes your soul when you're kind to somebody, when you say a nice word, when you do something that's helpful, when you somehow add value to another person's life, it makes you feel good. That's because that actually ministers to your soul, because you're fulfilling your God purpose. You're fulfilling your reason for life, and your life, one of the reasons that you exist is to add value to the neighbors around you, to encourage the world around you, and to show them God's love and blessing. And that's why that feels so good. That's what we want to talk about today. We want to talk about how do you gain soul strength? How do you add value to your life? That part of you, which is really important, and is eternal. That part of you that will go on forever, that's what we want to learn about today. First though, would you do me a favor? Would you put your hands together and welcome those that are watching online? Give them a big hand clap. Awesome. Awesome. Welcome, welcome.

Doyle Jackson: 04:04 You know, today we're testing for the first time, we're on facebook live right now, and so there are people who are going to join us all across the country and at home that are just going to watch online. We're so thankful for that next level of ability that we have as a church, to share God's love practically in the world around us. So you can watch online later and see yourselves if you'd like to. It's an exciting part of what God is doing here at the church.

Doyle Jackson: 04:31 You know, when we start talking about our soul, I want to take just a brief second and help you understand that the original meaning of the word soul that we get in English comes from two words in the Hebrew, and in the Greek. In the Hebrew Bible, in what we call the Old Testament, it's nefesh, and it actually literally means breath. When God kneeled down, and breathe into Adam, he breathed life into him, and that's what soul means. Literally in the Hebrew, it's breath of life. It's about God breathing into us. In the New Testament, it carries that same identity, that same concept in it. It's just a different word in Greek, it's psuché, and it means the breath of life. So when you and I talk about the soul, we're talking about that part of us, that is our life. Now I like to break it down. I like to look at it a little bit differently, and that is that life that is in you, how you know what your soul is and how it interacts with you on a daily basis. Is it's the way you think. It's about your mind. It's about how you make decisions, because see, each one of us, we have the freedom from God to decide how we're going to live our life, and your soul is that part of you which makes the decisions. Your soul is your identity. You know this. You'll look at somebody, maybe they've passed on. Your grandma, your Grandpa, and you'd say something like this. Wow, if grandma was here, she'd really like this. She always enjoyed this kind of activity. That's because you recognize that grandma's soul would have chosen this. Does that make sense? And the last part of your soul, is the feeling part of you. That's how you understand, and you interpret the world around you, as it relates to you. It's on an emotional level. You'll walk into a place and say, this feels good, or you'll say, oh, this is kind of scary. You know, that's on an emotional level, so your soul is that part of you that helps you interpret life and deal with it on the level of your thinking, on your decision making, and your emotions. It's that part of your personhood that experiences life on that level.

Doyle Jackson: 06:58 Now, when you take your last breath and your soul leaves your body, that's the last time you have the opportunity to impact your soul. And your life at that level. So what we want to do today is we want to investigate with you. We want to give you some of the keys to help you protect your soul, and to nurture your soul. Because we're in this series right now. We're in this series, it's called accelerate, and we're taking five weeks to talk about what can we do to live a healthy life spiritually and physically to get the most out of life. And this is what we know. We all know what it's like when we feel like we're doing well, and we all know what it's like when we feel empty, when we feel vacant and we just have have no...Listen, this is what I've learned in life. Last week we talked about balance, and when my soul is low, it's very difficult for me to find balance. Last week we said if you'll find balance, if you can work on the balance part of your life, go back and look at that again. Because if you will begin to tend to your life in terms of getting every area balanced, and getting it focused and create an action plan. It'll help you, but you can't do that when your soul is spent. You know what it is to run an overdraft on your bank account. You know what it is to try to run an overdraft on your soul. It's when you just say, I'm just spent, I can't do it, I can't make a decision right now. Don't ask me to make a decision right now, I'm just so tired, I don't know why. See, that's when your soul is spent.

Doyle Jackson: 08:43 The Bible talks about this, Psalm 42. If you've got your notes, open them up, pull them out. If you've got your app, pull it out, you can follow along. Look what it says right here. Psalm 42:11, it says, why my soul are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my savior and my God." If you read all of psalm 42, that whole psalm is trying to teach you about your relationship with your soul, and your relationship with life, and how important your soul is to life. But notice there, notice that it indicates that if you will put your hope in God, if you will praise God, if you will take time to just give God your attention, it will begin to fill your soul, and your soul will begin to expand, and it will begin to rise. It'll begin to feel life again, and I want to encourage you in that direction.

Doyle Jackson: 09:42 So today what we're going to do is we're going to take some time to look at our soul. I want to begin, and I want to begin to examine with you, what did Jesus have to say about our soul? I mean, after all, we're a church. So what would Jesus have to say about our soul? He says, the value of a human soul. Listen to this, this is Matthew, the Gospel of Matthew 10:28 he says, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell." So, what's Jesus saying? Jesus is saying, our soul is an eternal nature. It's an eternal nature. Don't send it to hell. That means that you and I have the opportunity in this life to do something about the continual relationship of our soul for all eternity. That's encouraging to me, I can make an impact on it.

Doyle Jackson: 10:50 Secondly, this is what Jesus said, same book, The Gospel of Matthew, 11:29, he says, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." The verse right before this, this is what Jesus says, he says, "Come to me, come to me, all of you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." God gives you the invitation. He gives me the invitation. He gives all of humanity an invitation. He says, if your soul is spent. If within you, you just say, man, I don't have enough energy to keep going, I'm just worn out, I'm exhausted. I can't explain it. He says, come, just come to me, but notice what he says in there. He says that our soul can learn. He says, come to me. take my yoke upon you, learn for me. That means that we can learn, and if we will partner with him, our soul can have restoration and life and strength. So that means I can learn a different way, I don't have to keep going on exhausted. I don't have to feel this drain, this emptiness, I don't have to fill this void inside of me. No, no, no, no, Jesus says obedience to me, following my way, coming close to Jesus can cure all that. I'm like, Alright, I want to get on that side of the equation. I want to move in that direction. One more statement from Jesus. Same book, The Gospel of Matthew. This is what he has to say, it's 16:26, he says, "What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?" Here Jesus is saying, he says, our soul is our most valuable asset. Your soul is a valuable asset. Don't spend it, and just let it be gone. Manage it, grow it, he says, nurture it. If you come to me, I can help your soul. And I'm like, alright, I want to figure that out.

Doyle Jackson: 13:05 Because see, everybody wants more life, don't they? Everybody wants to have better thinking. Everybody wants to make better decisions. Everybody wants to feel life better so we can do that, but that means we have to manage our soul. And probably one of the most powerful passages of scripture in the Bible, that everybody knows, whether they go to church or not, they've heard the 23rd Psalm. It says, "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want." it says that the Lord is the one that shepherd's us. In first three, right there, he says that he the Lord. That is God, restores our soul. Now, why is that important? That means if today you feel like your soul is spent, if you feel empty inside, if you feel down inside, that means that God can restore it. That gives me hope. I read that, and I think that means that means God is like the Chip and Joanna Gaines of the soul. God can fix my soul. He can come into my broken life, he can look at my condition, and he can restore it. Tell me this.

Doyle Jackson: 14:16 When you think of Jesus, and the stories you've heard about Jesus, what do they tell you? They say that Jesus stepped into our world. He walked among us. Wherever he went, he looked around, he saw the people, and he had compassion on them. He touched them. He healed them. He raised them to new life. Wherever he went, he gave encouragement in life and hope. He told them, he said, if you will follow me, if you will follow me, I'll make something new. I'll give you purpose. I'll give you a whole new way of living. Like Peter and James and John, he said, I'll make you fishers of men. He says, I'll take what you know, and you've experienced of life, and I'm going to put a new twist on it and you're going to have a whole new life. God takes the broken lives that we have, and he breathes new life into us. He restores us and gives us new life. Now, what does that mean for you and I? See, God has given you freedom, he's given me freedom, we have a choice to make. Will we take that yoke on us? Will we accept that relationship? Will we draw near to him? Will we say yes to God? Will we welcomed his presence in our life? And see what he's saying is this, will you take responsibility for your soul? Will you take responsibility? What's your soul relates to? Will you relate to me? Will you let me impact your soul? Will you let me have a relationship with your thinking, with your decisions? Will you let me have a relationship with how you feel about life? Let me help you interpret the life that you have, and how you're living. See, that's what God invites us into.

Doyle Jackson: 15:54 So he gives us a warning. He tells us that you and I, we need to guard our mind and our soul. He says that we need to guard access to our thoughts, our thinking, our mind, and our soul. So let's go a little bit deeper. Let's take a little step deeper into this discussion of the soul. Let's think about what do we let impact our soul on a daily basis? What things do you think about on a daily basis? What things do you let guide your thinking? What are you doing with your time to impact your soul? In Second Corinthians 10:5, it says, "Take captive every thought." Say every. That's not just one or two, it's every thought. It says, "Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

Doyle Jackson: 16:53 So I want to give you four kinds of material that you can let impact your thinking or your soul. Alright? The first one is what I call poison, poison. Now, this is what God says in his word. He says that you and I need to avoid evil, shun evil, stay away from evil, right? It's the when you guard your soul, and your mind, you're staying away from thoughts that would be evil. The scripture says, I will not set before my eyes, anything vile or faithless. I'll not put anything before my eyes, or before my thinking, that is vile or does not have faith, that does not believe that God exists. And he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. I will not have anything to do with anything that is unkind, mean, angry, greedy. It means avoid things that gratify the lust of the flesh, you know pornography. It says, avoid things that will cause you to want to steal, to think that you could take what is not yours. Avoid things that would cause you to want to lie or deceive. See, it says avoid. Those things are poison, so that means you and I need to guard what we do, that might poison our soul.

Doyle Jackson: 18:14 The second kind of material is what I call just stuff. First Corinthians 10:23 says, all things are lawful, but not all things edify, not all things are nutritious. They're just in terms of your soul, they're just things, you know what I'm saying? The things that we read, and do, you know certain magazines will look at, or websites we'll go to. Or how about this, how about this? Those little kitten videos on youtube, I mean they may make you giggle, but they don't edify your soul, and there's a lot of those things in our life.

Doyle Jackson: 18:47 The third thing is what we call things that are healthy. Philippians 4:7-8, he says, "Things that are true and just and honest. So when you and I are involved in things, that's why we did this summer of outreach, because it teaches us kindness. It teaches us how to love our neighbor. And you know what it does? It's healthy for you. It builds you up when you serve somebody else, when you're kind to someone, that edifies your soul. There's things that you and I can do, that are healthy for our soul. And you and I have to make a decision to do those things, and not just the things that are poison, or the things that are just stuff.

Doyle Jackson: 19:25 The last one is the Bible, it's the Bible. The scripture says again and again that the word of God, it encourages us, it builds us up. That God's word will add value to our life, and our soul.

Doyle Jackson: 19:39 Now, just do a quick survey in your own mind, about your own heart, this is a personal evaluation. If you were to look at how you spent your time this last week, how much time did you spend with poison, with your stuff, with things that were healthy, and things that are from the word of God? See, the reason that I'm inviting you everyday, I say, read the Bible with me every day. Right now we're reading through proverbs. Just grab right where we are right now. Today we read proverbs nine, tomorrow we're going to read ten and eleven. Just jump in right with us, and read every day a proverb. I mean today I was just so encouraged. It says, "Wisdom, she builds her house, and she has hewn the seven pillars, and that she has prepared the meat, and she's mixed the wine." Every one of those descriptions of wisdom, is something that takes a lot of time. See you don't hewn out pillars for your home, that takes time. To raise cattle or goats or sheep, for the meat, for your table takes a long time. To prepare wine, to have joy in your home and your life, it takes time. And most of us are looking for a quick answer, but see, you and I have to guard our hearts every day. It's every day we have to tend to them. Everyday God wants you to come to him say, Oh God, I need restoration in my soul. Would you just help me? God, I can't do it on my own, and he'll do it. He'll do it. He'll add value to your life. He will encourage you.

Doyle Jackson: 21:15 I want to take a little bit of time, and I want to unpack for you a really a godly person in scripture. Someone who really saw God, but even though they were seeking God, they got worn out and they just drained their soul. This person's name is Elijah. I love Elijah, I wish had time to spend more time in this story, because Elijah so trusted God, He was in the midst of a wicked time in his nation, the king of his nation, Ahab, he decided to marry a woman by the name of Jezebel who was into witchcraft and divination. She was into all sorts of things that drew people's attention to worshiping the stars, and trying to create their own future. But she encouraged Ahab to steal land from the neighbors, she encouraged him to kill people so that he could have more. Everything about what she did was a greedy, grabbing, selfish person. She had no respect for God, nothing to do with faithfulness. Everything she had to do with was faithlessness. And Elijah was asked by God to stand up against that, in that day.

Doyle Jackson: 22:31 And God said, I've got to treat Israel as someone that I love, and I've got to discipline him. So I'm going to bring a drought on the land, I'm going to withhold the rain. So they can see that without me, they will not have food on their tables. The end of that three year drought, God said, now we're going to show them who's the God, the Lord of life, the one who brings rain. And he said to Elijah, I want you to come out of hiding, and I want you to challenge them to a duel to Mount Carmel. Elijah's like, really? Me? You couldn't pick somebody else? You know? Can I just say something? If there's days when you feel like, God, why did you pick me? Why me? I'm not worthy, I'm not. You know, that's because God has a purpose for every life, every person. This was his purpose, and he goes to Mount Carmel. He calls down fire from heaven, that everybody sees the power of God, they win this battle. And after this is over, he is spent.

Doyle Jackson: 23:33 Now what's hard about this is Elijah won, he just had a great victory. This should be the best day of his life, but sometimes when we win, we still feel exhausted and spent. You may have just gotten a promotion, and you've had to move into your new office, and you see all the work you've got to do. Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Elijah in his spent state, forgets some of the things that he knows best, and he decides to run. You know those mornings when you're like spent, and and the alarm goes off, and you're like, oh no, I can't get out of bed. I just want to pull the covers back over my head and stay here. That's how Elijah felt after the victory. It says that Elijah became afraid. Afraid, he was full of fear, and so Elijah full of fear runs down towards the desert. He goes to Beersheba, he tells his servant, you stay here. He takes another day, and goes further into the desert because he's afraid of Jezebel. She said, I'm going to kill you boy. How dare you do this? I'm going to kill you. He knew how wicked she was, and so he's afraid, he runs off in fear.

Doyle Jackson: 24:56 And see fear is one of the first ingredients of exhaustion in your life. When you become afraid about life, you need to know it's a sign, it's a warning sign. Listen, in the fast paced world that you and I live in today, it is easy to become exhausted, and then to feel depressed, to feel blah, to feel spent. And that warning sign to you is this. Listen, your soul needs to be fed. When you're afraid, you need to know your soul needs to be fed. This year we did a whole series called fearless. God wants you and I to live with less fear. He wants us to know the truth. He wants to be the Lord of life in our life. And see fear is a warning sign for you and I that we have begun to trust in our own strength, and not the strength of God.

Doyle Jackson: 25:56 That's what happened to Elijah. He stopped trusting in God at that moment, and he said, I'm going to go hide. Listen, he's hidden from Jezebel for three years under God's cloak, and now he's afraid. See, just because God has protected you in the past, does not mean that you're going to trust in him tomorrow. Choose everyday to trust him, choose everyday to trust him. He's down here, he's laying under a broom bush you know, he's ready to die. Woe is me. He begins to resent his life. This is the second ingredient. This is what I call a toxic soup of the soul. When you have fear, and when you have resentment, you begin to think about other people. And you begin to think, man, they've got it better than I do, and they begin to resent. He resents that God would have him do all this, he begins to resent all the stuff. And listen, the only cure for resentment is forgiveness. Because what resentment is really about is you're jealous that somebody else, or something else, is going better than your life. And you wish you had a different life, this is not the life I hoped for, I wanted something a little bit more Glam. You know what I'm saying?

Doyle Jackson: 27:17 The third ingredient of exhaustion that will lead to this toxic soup, is what I call low self esteem. When you're exhausted, you'll look in the mirror, and you can't find one positive thing about yourself. Then the last three items are anger, loneliness, and worry. Folks, these are the signs of depression, aren't they? These are the signs that the wheels are coming off the wagon, that I'm in a bad place. Now, listen, when you feel these things, you need to realize that within your thinking, and your decision making, and within your emotions, you are not prepared to move forward right now. You need to put the parking brake on. You need to make sure you do not make decisions in this state. You did not start new relationships, you do not buy, sell. What is it? Do not pass go, do not collect $200. You are stuck. Okay? Now why is that? Because in this state, you need to tend to your soul.

Doyle Jackson: 28:28 Hang on just a moment, I'm going to get you to the cure on this. But I've got to deal a little bit more with this before we we get to the cure. Alright? Friend of Jennifer's and mine, a few years ago, went through a divorce. It so wounded her soul. She was so broken inside, but she was wise. After that experience, after all that hurt, and all that pain. She sat down and she said, Lord, I do not know what to do. Would you show me what to do? And this is what the Lord said to Kelly and her instance. He said, Kelly, nothing. I do not want you to do anything for one year. For one year, I just want you to trust me. She did. She's just stopped everything in her life. But she kept working, she took care of her children, she's still worshiped the Lord. She went to church, but she didn't take on anything new, she didn't make new decisions, and she waited on the Lord. And then after that year, the Lord said, okay, this is the first step I want you to take. And see, God will lead you.

Doyle Jackson: 29:43 Jesus was always inviting everyone, he says, come follow me. I want to lead you into your purpose, I want to take you past your pain, I'm the Lord of life. What did Jesus say? Jesus said, I've come to give you life, and life abundantly. The enemy, the devil, satan has come to steal, to kill, and destroy. And everything he wants to do, he wants to drain your soul, so he can just steal it from you. He wants to steal it from you. He wants to take all the energy out. He wants to take all of the hope out. He wants to take it from you, and he's so angry and mean, and he wants to take it from you for all eternity. He wants to take it out, and just destroy all your hope. But Jesus said, no, I'm going to step into your world so I can relate to you, and help you, and heal you.

Doyle Jackson: 30:33 Now I want to show you real quickly four mistakes that we make when our souls are drained, when we've got ourselves to this point of exhaustion. Listen, the reason you need to know these, is because when these warning lights shine into your window. When the light on the dashboard of your car bleeps on, it says, you know, I don't know, it's too hot, or that you're running out of gas. Do you reach into the glove box, pull out a hammer, and go, I don't like that. You just bust out that light, you don't do that. You think you need to pull over, and check the gas, you might need to put a little oil in. If you've been doing that, I'm just telling you, that ain't going to work. Can I say emotionally when you and I feel this way, and we go and we get a bottle, and we just keep it drinking and drinking and drinking and drinking, drinking to forget. That's what we're trying to do. When you light one up, and say, I'll just forget for a little while, I'll feel a little bit better if I don't feel anything. No another pill, another drink, another smoke doesn't cure the soul. Another relationship, another bedroom, none of those things will cure your soul. We're going to get to the cure, but don't fall into that. Because see, that's what the mistakes lead to. Okay?

Doyle Jackson: 32:07 So here are four common mistakes, when your soul is drained. Number one, your feelings override your facts. When you're empty, you listen to your feelings, over the facts. And Elijah, what he did, was he was listening to his drained soul. He was not listening to what he really knew about God. He knew God would take care of him, but he prayed in that desert, he prayed that he might die. I've had enough Lord, he said, I'm just giving up. And he began to make a bad confession, and I see people all the time in exhaustion, they say things like that. I just don't want to live any longer, I've just given up, I'm tired. Don't do that. You are inestimably valuable to God. He loves you. He's breathed life into you. He has given you hope and a future. Don't listen to the voice of exhaustion.

Doyle Jackson: 33:20 Second mistake we make is we. We start comparing ourselves, comparison disease. We began to look around us and think, well, their house is nicer than mine. Certainly their kids are sweeter. See what I'm saying, is that's what we began to do. And this is what he said, Take my life, I'm no better than my ancestors. We start looking at other people's social feed, their life is better than mine. Listen, you can't do that. That encourages that jealousy, and it's a no, no, no, no, no, no, no, don't start comparison disease. You'll make mistakes in that. You'll look at your marriage, and you'll think, oh, I want a new one like theirs, and you go after trying to steal their mate. Huh? That ain't going to work, I'm just saying. That's why we're reading proverbs, it'll tell you that again and again.

Doyle Jackson: 33:54 Mistake number three, unhealthy expectations. We began to have unhealthy expectations. We began to think that things should be better for us. I've been zealous for you God, is what Elijah said. But they have rejected your covenant, and and broken down your alters. What, what are you saying is this. He says, you know, I've tried, but they don't want to listen, and he just gets this sad, yucky... Can I just tell you something? Can I just say something? When you're walking through your house, and the laundry is up to your neck, it's time to wash laundry. That's what the sign is. The sign is, get out the Tide, you know what I'm saying? Start loading the laundry. Listen, when you've run out of underwear, and you're going commando, it's time to wash it. When you start comparing yourself to the world around you, and you're feeling that way, it's time to start scrubbing something. It's time to start getting in there, and deal with it. Your soul needs tending to.

Doyle Jackson: 35:07 Last mistake that we make, is we exaggerate our position. He says, I'm the only one left. I'm the only parent trying in the neighborhood. God, I'm the only kid in my school that loves you. God, I'm the only person at my work that cares about you. God, I think I'm the only one left that's trying to serve you. You know what God said to Elijah? He said, I've protected you all these years, and I've protected thousands of others, I have them hidden all over the country.

Doyle Jackson: 35:49 See, when you and I get low in the soul, and we're spent. We began to think negatively about ourselves, negatively about our life, and negatively about God. We begin to think that he's weak, but the word of God says he is strong, and that he loves me and that he loves you. And he cares about you, and that your life is valuable, and that he created you for purpose. He created you for life, and he wants to breathe into you. So how do I get that? How do I get my soul going again? Alright? How do I get my soul moving? I want to give you four things to help you really get your soul refreshed, and up and going again. I want you to feel his presence. I want you to to know how valuable you are.

Doyle Jackson: 36:43 And the first thing is what I call the fellowship of the soul, because these four fellowships, you know what it is to have fellowship, right? It's when you sit with somebody, or something, and it begins to restore you, and it gives you life. And fellowship with God is the first fellowship that you and I need. It says that I'm thirsty for you God. I'm thirsty for you God. And so this is the way you do this. You just go off, and you say, God, I'm turning off the phone, I'm telling everybody I've got an appointment, I got to be alone for this time. And you just say, God, I'm here for you. Now. This is the invitation you need make, it's what I've had to say a lot of times, I'm telling you this from experience. Say, God, I'm so worn out. I'm so tired, I feel like Elijah, God. I don't even know how to get close to you, but God would you come close to me? God, would you come close to me? Do you know what God did for Elijah? God took Elijah, he took him up on a mountain, and he put him on a cleft of the rock. And he said, Elijah, hang on. I'm going to come near you boy. It says, that God blew down through that Canyon. This week we've seen the power of a strong wind, haven't we? See, just say, God, I need you to sit below all the negative stuff off of me, clean it out. God, I need you to blow into me, fill my soul again. God, I need you. If you would just welcome him. say, God, I don't know how to get any closer to you, but I know you can get closer to me. You're wiser than I am, I just welcome you to come close. Come close to me, I give you permission. Some of us have fought God for so long, we've resisted him for so long, just stop resisting. Stop resisting, have Fellowship with God.

Doyle Jackson: 38:34 The second one, the second fellowship we all need is fellowship with the word. In James it says, that I humble myself before the word. If you will humble yourself before God's word, he will teach you, he will nurture you, he will begin to work in you. So for me, what I've had to learn, is sometimes I just have to sit and read the Bible. And sometimes it takes me, oh man, it'll take me 10, 15, 20 chapters to get my brain off of all the garbage that's going on in the world around me. And it's work, I've had times when I sit down and I'll get a headache. I'm trying to read the Bible, I'm like no, I'm just tired. I'm not going to let the headache win, I'm going to sit here, and I'm going to keep reading psalms until I find something that fits me. I'm going to keep reading the good news of Matthew, Mark or Luke, and I just stay in it until I feel God speak to me through the life of Jesus, through the word. Can I tell you, when you spend time in the Bible, you're spending time with Jesus. How do I know that? Because John chapter one says, that the word become flesh and dwelt among us. People ask me all the time, how do I get to know Jesus? Read the Bible. Well, I read that. Well read it again. How many times have you watched the Star Wars movie? Give God at least that much. I mean some of us, we can quote Luke Skywalker. Well we couldn't quote Jesus if you made us. Give him more time.

Doyle Jackson: 40:20 Third Fellowship. It's the fellowship with believers. Psalm 42, it says, "I long to go into the multitude, of the House of God. I long to be among God's people." This is psalm 42, it's all about the soul. And he says, man, I'm dry and weary. If I could just get to church, if I could just get to my small group, if I could just get to where there's someone who believes in you. I know God, if I could have lunch with Billy Graham. I know he may be in heaven, but if I could have lunch with Billy Graham, I'd feel better about my life. And what is he saying? He's saying when you get around other believers, when you get around people that know God, that have a faith in God, you're like, oh man, I feel better. I can go. This is why I come to church every week, you think I come to preach, I come to be with you. I come to be with other believers in God. Other people. I need your presence in my life. There's something about gathering with the multitude, with the crowd.

Doyle Jackson: 41:24 The last fellowship, is the fellowship with creation. The psalmist says that the heavens and creation speak of God. And we've given you this image of this woman with her dog, and she's looking out over the valley. Because there is something that it does for us when we go on a walk in the woods, or we go on a hike, and we take our dog with us. And we're walking, we look out over the expanse, and we see everything there. And we began to look at it, and we're like, wow, there is something really great going on here. Somebody, this didn't just happen, something greater happened here. Like when I pull up to your house, okay, I'm not coming over unannounced. I get that. Okay? But when I pull up to your house, and I see the beautiful flowers you have outside, how you've trimmed the bushes, and you've mowed the lawn, and you've painted the door, and you've done all that. I look at that and I know the hard work that you've done. Well, when I walk into creation, I look at creation. I know something. Wow, this is cool how it made itself. No, I see in creation, someone with intentionality said, wow, if we cause the water to flow through here, it'll cause life to come up here. And if we make it drier over here, it'll speak about that. And see, God is painting a picture in creation. And when you sit there with your dog, and you talk to him. Fluffy you little pooky thing, and the dog listens to you like you're intelligent. You know what I'm saying? It makes you feel good in your soul. And this is why, because something has accepted you, and valued you, and listened to you. When you sit in nature and you ponder God's great creation, it begins to remind you, there's someone here that cares about me. I'm loved, I'm valuable.

Doyle Jackson: 43:42 And see the reason these four fellowships are so important, the reason they're so vital for life is this. Most of us, or many of us, the way we come to God is through these four fellowships, but in reverse. What happens is we start with the fellowship of creation. And we go on a walk, and we look at it. And we look at our life, and go, listen, life is crazy for me personally, but when I look at this creation, there's got to be more to life than the way I'm doing it. And somebody seems to be working out here, there must be a god. And so we begin to say, God, if you're out there. God, if you are causing all this to happen, would you just shine down on me God? And that's when we first cracked the door, in letting God in. And then we may go to work during that week, and we're talking with somebody at work. And say, you know, I went on a walk weekend, and it just, man, it restored my soul. I was down there by the river, I was out there on the trees, and I was just among nature, and I felt so good. I felt something adding life to me. That's why you go on that walk. That's why you go on that run. That's why you go do that. It's healthy for you. It's healthy for you. It's good for your body, your soul, and your spirit, and that's why we're trying to energize our life. But then you share that at work, and that person says, oh, that's so good. And you say to them, I wish I could find more of that experience. And then they say, why don't you go to church with me? And you say, well, I'll try that. And so they come to church, and they see you really worshiping God, and you're lifting your hands and they walk in.

Doyle Jackson: 45:17 It's like my friend, I have a friend, he's Catholic. And back in the seventies they invited him to go to Indianapolis. He took a group of young people from his congregation to Indianapolis, and they pull in and they get out and they walk in to this huge stadium, and they hear all these Christians worshiping God. And he's like, oh man, I've never experienced anything like this, I've been missing out on something. And he said, I walked into there, and I saw the multitude of people, worshiping people. And he said, my world was so small because I'd only known my little Catholic Church, and now I saw what it was to be with a huge congregation of believers from every denomination, from every tongue, every type, worshiping the Lord of Creation. And when people come to church with you, and they begin to experience that, and they see that again and again, and they stand in the throng, in the multitude, they begin to say, wow. They say, how do I get more of this? And they say, just open your Bible. If you'll read it on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, you'll get to know the lord of life in a very real way. And you open up your Bible, and you read the book of Matthew, and Mark and Luke, and it just keeps saying to you, Jesus,
Jesus, Jesus. And the next thing you know, one day you're sitting there and you're like, okay, Jesus, you must have been real, and I need you in my life. Would you come in, and be the Lord of my life? And the moment you do that, he breathes into you, and your soul is restored in life.

Doyle Jackson: 46:49 But this is the problem. If you don't guard your soul, if you don't keep tending to it, the waves of life will batter you, and they'll beat that life out of you. So you have to keep coming. You have to keep coming back to God, and you have to fellowship with him. You have to read his word. You have to gather with the believers. You have to celebrate him in all creation. And those things will keep restoring your soul, and that's how it works. So today, if you're weary, if you're broken, if you feel an emptiness, if there's a wound in your soul, I'm going to invite you to say a prayer with me in just a moment. And in those moments, you can begin to invite God to come closer to you again. He'll bring peace into your life, he'll bring strength into your life, and he'll begin to heal you in that. Okay? If you want to learn more about it, you can join me tonight at Deeper Life in the chapel, or you can watch on Facebook Live. And you can be a part of, what can I do more, to help my soul be strong and ready? Okay?

Doyle Jackson: 47:56 Here's the prayer for today. It's on your notes. I want you to look at it while I read it so you know what you're asking to happen in your life. It says, heavenly father, I thank you for your word. I thank you that when we live in harmony with you, we find blessing rather than burnout. We find strength rather than stress. We experience peace rather than pressure. As we give our lives to you, we look to you to restore our souls in Jesus' name. Amen. I want to invite you to stand today. And as we say this prayer, it doesn't matter if the wound that harmed your soul happened 20 years ago or 30 years ago, or if it had happened an hour ago before you left home. Okay? All it takes is one sharp word from someone that loves us, and we feel it, and we have to release it. And say, okay, God, I'm going to trust you to heal that place where they hurt me, and as you say this prayer, God will bring healing in that area. I believe it. Let's say it together. Heavenly father, I thank you for your word. I thank you that when we live in harmony with you, we find blessings rather than burnout. We find strength rather than stress. We experience peace rather than pressure. As we give our lives to you, we look to you to restore our souls. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Doyle Jackson: 49:25 I want to give you another invitation. If somehow God spoke to you today and you, want to pray a little bit more, you want to talk about a little bit more. If you'll come down here, there's always a team that'll pray with you. But before you leave, spend some time on the patio. The kid's ministry, they've been having a great time learning about how science and the Bible come together. And they've actually been working on some Bible studies this summer, they're going to show you their own stuff. Give them a high five, tell them what a great job they're doing, and just enjoy one another on the patio today. Alright? God bless you. Have a great week. We'll see you soon.

Doyle Jackson: 50:01 Hey guys, if you've enjoyed what you've been listening and been encouraged in your faith, or somehow God has answered a prayer from being a part of The Church Next Door online. Do me a favor, shoot me an email to just, or like me on Facebook. Send me a message. God bless you. Have a great week. Hope to see you soon.

Recorded in Columbus, Ohio.
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