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Showing Revision 20 created 11/07/2019 by Colin Preston.

  1. ♪ theme music ♪
  2. (Jason) Welcome to Hope Sabbath School,
  3. an in-depth, interactive study
  4. of the Word of God.
  5. We're glad you've joined us today,
  6. as we continue another exciting
    lesson series here,
  7. from the books of Ezra and Nehemiah
  8. about Our Forgiving God.
  9. Even when we've made mistakes,
  10. even when we've gone our own way,
  11. God is still there, loving us,
  12. ready to forgive us.
  13. And we're very happy we have
    the team here.
  14. Hasn't this been a blessed series
  15. that we've experienced?
  16. (Team) Amen!
  17. (Jason) These Old Testament books
  18. are coming alive, and we're finding
  19. practical lessons from them
  20. that maybe we had never seen before.
  21. We're also happy to hear from you,
    our [viewers].
  22. If you haven't written to us,
  23. feel free to write to us
  24. at sshope@hopetv.org.
  25. And right now we have some letters
  26. that we want to share with you.
  27. The first one comes from our friend Kanga
    in South Sudan,
  28. one of the newest countries we have
    in the world.
  29. Kanga writes and says, "Dear members
  30. of the in-depth, interactive study
  31. of the Word of God."
  32. You can tell he's paying attention.
  33. "Greetings to you from Kanga John Matthew
  34. in Wau town, South Sudan.
  35. I am a regular watcher
  36. of Hope Sabbath School; I feel impressed
  37. by your lively lesson discussions
  38. of the book of Revelation."
  39. So, he's been watching
  40. something from Revelation.
  41. "You are doing extraordinarily great jobs
  42. for the Lord in the sight of the viewers.
  43. You are building the families of God,
  44. which are scattered all over the world,"
  45. which, actually, makes me think
  46. of the story of Nehemiah,
  47. where the people had been scattered.
  48. And yet, through Hope Sabbath School,
  49. we can all come together,
  50. no matter what parts
  51. of the world we're in.
  52. And he closes by saying this,
  53. "As His children, let us focus
  54. our eyes all on Him,
  55. and we shall be victorious as He is."
  56. Thank you, Kanga;
  57. that is such a blessed and encouraging
    message for all of us.
  58. We also have Joann who writes to us
  59. from the state of Georgia
  60. in the United States.
  61. She says, "I am Joann Dustin,
  62. and I live in Georgia, USA.
  63. I'm an assistant instructor at my church.
  64. I'm very grateful for Hope Sabbath School
  65. for I learn more about God
  66. and gain more knowledge to share
  67. with my new friends
  68. and strengthen my faith to patiently wait
  69. for our wonderful Savior to return.
  70. In the New Jerusalem,
  71. I hope to get answers to all my questions
  72. and finally see my God."
  73. (Team) Amen.
  74. (Jason) Amen, Joann.
  75. We're looking forward to that, too.
  76. While we're here on this earth,
  77. we do have answers in the Bible;
  78. our Hope Sabbath School team,
  79. we do the best we can to answer questions,
  80. but we ultimately know that, in the end,
  81. we will get the full answers
  82. when we are there, with our God.
  83. And so, just as you're
  84. waiting forward to see our God,
  85. we are waiting for that moment as well.
  86. We have Nadene who writes to us.
  87. Now, the interesting thing here, Nadene,
  88. she's from the United Kingdom,
    but she's living
  89. in the United Arab Emirates.
  90. We are a global family,
  91. and as you see here,
  92. we come from many different countries.
  93. She says, "Hello, I tune into your show
  94. every week online."
  95. So, she's not necessarily watching us
    on a TV,
  96. she's watching online,
  97. which actually reminds me
  98. that we have a Hope Channel app
  99. that you can go ahead and download.
  100. Go to the App Store, go to Google Play;
  101. on that Hope Channel app,
  102. you'll get Hope Sabbath School
  103. and many other amazing Bible programs
  104. that will bless you
  105. and can help change your life.
  106. And so, just as Nadene here
  107. is watching online,
  108. download the app, and you can watch
  109. through online services as well.
  110. So Nadene says that, "I really enjoy
  111. all of the engaging topics
  112. and probing questions."
  113. The topics, the questions,
  114. this isn't just surface-level material.
  115. She says, "I recently got baptized
  116. and moved from my home in England
  117. to the United Arab Emirates.
  118. There have been a few restrictions
    here on worship,
  119. but God has been good
  120. and has provided me
  121. with many opportunities
  122. to witness to others.
  123. The church appreciates that I'm a teacher
  124. and recently started to ask me
  125. to do the lesson study
  126. on Saturday morning.
  127. At first, I found it daunting
  128. because I had no idea what to do
  129. or where to start.
  130. But, thank the Lord, I have discovered
  131. I can download your wonderful programs
  132. from Hope Sabbath School.
  133. I have received many blessings
  134. since my move to the UAE,"
  135. (United Arab Emirates),
  136. "and have also been asked
  137. to do Adventist youth program
  138. after the main sermon
  139. as well as a recent request
  140. to preach a sermon to the whole church.
  141. Thank you for your wonderful lessons,
    Nadene."
  142. Wow, so, from Hope Sabbath School
  143. to the youth program
  144. to preaching the sermon,
  145. once you start sharing the Word of God,
  146. once you start understanding
  147. the Word of God,
  148. there's no limit to what God
    can use you [for]
  149. and how He can use you.
  150. Now we have a couple who write to us
  151. from the state of New York;
    they are donors,
  152. and because they're donors,
  153. we don't want to give their names.
  154. This is not about glorifying self.
  155. We are a donor-supported ministry,
  156. and we're thankful that this couple
  157. has partnered with us,
  158. but ultimately this is not about us,
  159. this is about giving glory to God.
  160. Now, this couple writes and says,
  161. "When we think of all
  162. the soul-winning services
  163. that have been conducted,
  164. and we also think
  165. about the condition of the world,
  166. at times we ponder how long-suffering
    our God is,
  167. not willing that any should perish
  168. but all should come to repentance.
  169. Thank you for your courage
    and your vision.
  170. Keep up the good work.
  171. Your prayers will be appreciated
  172. to make sure that we don't
  173. miss out ourselves by preaching to others
  174. and not being partakers of His Kingdom."
  175. That's a pretty sober message,
  176. and we're thankful that this donor couple
  177. has shared with us.
  178. We need to remember for ourselves
  179. to be in the Word, to be studying,
  180. spending time getting close to God.
  181. And we have our last letter;
  182. it comes to us from the country of Zambia.
  183. Alvin writes to us; Alvin says,
  184. "Hi, Hope Sabbath School team."
  185. (Team) Hi!
  186. (Jason) What do we say back?
  187. We say, "Hi," back.
  188. "I am one of the ardent followers
  189. of the Hope Sabbath School lessons
  190. as they always add
  191. a new scope of understanding
  192. and a new method of approach
    to the lesson.
  193. I am a discussion leader
  194. of our Sabbath School class
  195. and am always blessed.
  196. May God continue blessing
  197. your ministry, Alvin."
  198. Praise God, Alvin, that you are
  199. leading the discussion,
  200. that you are being blessed,
  201. and we're happy that we
  202. can be part of that blessing.
  203. Another way we can be part of the blessing
  204. is through singing,
  205. and we have a Scripture song
  206. we're going to sing.
  207. Please feel free to join us and sing it.
  208. It comes from Psalm 25,
  209. a 3,000-year-old Scripture song,
  210. "To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul."
  211. ♪ music ♪
  212. (Jason) Amen. Isn't that such
    an exciting song,
  213. praising God, giving Him thanks?
  214. Well, one of the ways we can praise God
  215. is we can praise Him through prayer,
  216. and so I'd like to invite you
  217. to bow your heads as we are
  218. going to ask the Lord
  219. to be with us in this study.
  220. Dear Heavenly Father, Lord, today,
  221. as we look through an Old Testament story,
  222. help us to see something from the lessons
  223. of a couple thousand years ago
  224. that we can apply to today.
  225. Help us to see how Your forgiveness
  226. and Your love is unchanging.
  227. We pray all this
  228. in the holy name of Jesus,
  229. the One who has forgiven us
  230. and given us the power
  231. to live a new life. Amen.
  232. (Team) Amen.
  233. (Jason) Talking about the idea
  234. of Our Forgiving God
  235. makes me think about why I
  236. very much appreciate His forgiveness.
  237. And so I'd like to ask,
  238. before we get directly into the lesson,
  239. anyone on the team,
  240. or even several of you,
  241. when you think of the forgiveness of God,
  242. what do you think of?
  243. How does that impact you personally?
  244. How do you experience
  245. the forgiveness of God?
  246. Nancy, I see you kind of nodding
  247. your head there a little bit.
  248. When you think of the forgiveness of God,
  249. what comes to your mind?
  250. (Nancy) Well, God will forgive...
  251. He wants us to come to Him with anything,
  252. and He is long-suffering;
  253. He's forgiving, and He forgives me.
  254. (Jason) He forgives you. Amen. Ranela.
  255. (Ranela) I think just great relief
  256. to know that I can come to God.
  257. His mercies are new every morning,
  258. and His faithfulness is great,
  259. and His grace is His power
  260. to live an overcoming life.
  261. (Jason) Jonathan.
  262. (Jonathan) I think knowing
  263. that God's always going to be forgiving
  264. and is not going to turn His back on us,
  265. I think that gives you a freedom
  266. to actually avoid some of the problems.
  267. Like, if I know that God's not going
  268. to give up on me,
  269. then I'm more able
  270. to choose the right way
  271. because it's not like
  272. I'm hovering under His judgment.
  273. It's like He's going to pursue me
    no matter what,
  274. and so I can just turn away
  275. from that stuff and follow Him.
  276. (Jason) So the forgiveness,
  277. while it may give you an emotional peace,
  278. it also allows something practical.
  279. It allow you to make different decisions
  280. and allows you, as you said, freedom,
  281. you used the word, in your life. Travis.
  282. (Travis) I think of the Bible text
  283. where it says, "With lovingkindness
  284. I have drawn you,"
  285. so when we look at forgiveness,
  286. that's what draws us to Jesus
  287. as we know what condition we're in.
  288. And yet, He loves us, and He's forgiving,
  289. not willing that any should perish,
  290. but all should come to repentance.
  291. And that draws us; it's His grace
  292. that teaches us to love Him.
  293. (Jason) Amen. And now let's
  294. get into the Word of God.
  295. I'm going to ask Stephanie
  296. if you could start out for us.
  297. We're in the book of Nehemiah.
  298. I'd like you to read chapter 9
  299. and read verses 1 through 3.
  300. And as she reads, I want us
  301. to think about what's happening here,
  302. what's going on, and how does
  303. this relate to God's forgiveness.
  304. (Stephanie) And I'll be reading
  305. from the King James Version:
  306. (Jason) Wow, so there's
  307. a lot happening here,
  308. and I'd like someone first
  309. to unpack what's going on.
  310. What is the context?
  311. Is this a celebratory scene
  312. with a lot of music and excitement?
  313. Puia, you're nodding your head.
  314. What do you see happening here?
  315. (Puia) I see a group of people
  316. coming together in repentance
  317. and humbling themselves.
  318. (Jason) Humbling themselves.
  319. (Puia) It says they're wearing sackcloths;
  320. they're putting dust on their heads.
  321. When do people do that?
  322. It's when they humble themselves
    before the Lord.
  323. (Jason) They humble themselves, okay.
    Jonathan.
  324. (Jonathan) I was thinking
  325. that this is coming after they've
  326. been spending some time
  327. looking at the Law of God.
  328. And now they're...It seems like
  329. maybe they're really realizing,
  330. just, their corporate guilt.
  331. I mean, they're kind of saying,
  332. "Wow, Lord, we have so sinned.
  333. We have so gone all these ways.
  334. All these warnings You gave,
  335. we didn't pay attention to.
  336. All these things You've told us to do;
  337. we've done none of them."
  338. So they're really repenting.
  339. (Jason) They're really repenting.
    Yes, Pedro.
  340. (Pedro) One thing I see here,
  341. the forgiveness is something
    that is specific.
  342. You know, they're reading the Word
  343. for the first part of the day,
  344. and then they are confessing
  345. for the other part.
  346. So they're recognizing why they fell
  347. short of the glory of God,
  348. but they're confessing.
  349. And if I say, "God...," you know,
  350. my prayers, I'm coming to God.
  351. I say, "God, forgive my errors
    of the day,"
  352. I'm not being specific,
  353. and that might not help me
  354. have a change of heart.
  355. And they were looking
  356. for a change of heart, as I look there.
  357. They were wanting to be at one with God,
  358. and they were seeking from God's Word,
  359. what could have made them go wrong,
  360. and they were asking for forgiveness.
  361. It's specifically on their sins.
  362. (Jason) Pedro's making a reference,
  363. and Jonathan, too;
  364. they've done some wrong things.
  365. And I'd like to ask here on the team,
  366. let's get a little explicit.
  367. What has happened here?
  368. Someone may be watching this
  369. and may not be totally familiar
  370. with all the story.
  371. They may not have seen
  372. all the previous lessons,
  373. so, what have these people done?
  374. What is the problem?
  375. What has gone on? Jonathan.
  376. (Jonathan) For years they
  377. worshiped other gods.
  378. I mean, they were warned
  379. not to marry outside of...
    other peoples,
  380. because they would
  381. draw them away to other gods
  382. and all these different things
  383. that God had laid down
  384. for them, boundaries,
  385. these very strong boundaries,
    tough boundaries.
  386. And they, one by one,
  387. rejected all of them,
  388. and you can see how all these things
  389. that would have protected them
  390. ended up leading to destruction,
  391. and then God sent all these prophets.
  392. And so it's very clear,
  393. both their guilt but also how much
  394. God has pursued them
  395. and tried to win them back
  396. and cried out to them,
  397. and they didn't accept it for years.
  398. (Jason) Pedro.
  399. (Pedro) One thing we might not realize
    in some ways,
  400. even though this is in the middle
  401. of the Old Testament,
  402. this is basically at the end
  403. of the story of what's happening
  404. because the prophets come afterward,
  405. which are basically the prophets
  406. that came before this time
  407. telling them to stop doing
    the wrong things,
  408. stop doing the wrong things.
  409. And the prophets are speaking
  410. through the time of the kings,
  411. and we saw that the majority of the kings
  412. were rebellious kings.
  413. And at this time, God,
  414. after the 70 years they were
  415. in captivity in Babylon,
  416. they came back; God blessed them
  417. to rebuild the walls, rebuild the temple.
  418. And they're saying, "We don't
  419. want to fall into the same problem.
  420. We want to get right with God."
  421. And the best way to get right with God
  422. is to know what you're doing wrong.
  423. And the only way you can do it
  424. is through going to the Law of God
    and to His Word.
  425. (Jason) Amen. Now verse 2
  426. has this interesting statement.
  427. Stephanie's version said
  428. something about separating themselves
    from strangers.
  429. Other versions may even say "foreigners."
  430. What is this all about?
  431. What's going on here?
  432. I mean, there had been a reference
  433. that Jonathan made,
  434. something about, you know,
  435. marrying other people and worship.
  436. What's going on here,
  437. because wouldn't it be fair to say
  438. that shouldn't everyone come
    to worship God?
  439. Shouldn't they invite the foreigners,
  440. the strangers, to worship God?
  441. So, why are they separating themselves,
    the lineage? Puia.
  442. (Puia) Of course, everyone
  443. is welcome to worship God,
  444. but in this context, it seems like
  445. they have acknowledged the fact
  446. that the reason why they were exiled
  447. was because their nation
    turned against God.
  448. And so, in this context, in this verse,
  449. we are seeing that they have
  450. accepted the fact that it was their sin,
  451. not the foreigners' sin.
  452. It was their nation's sin.
  453. And what's interesting here
  454. is that they could have complained
  455. and said, "Well, you know,
  456. the people who sinned were our parents,
  457. our grandparents; it's not us,"
  458. because the people who actually came back
  459. probably were born into captivity.
  460. But yet they were not saying
  461. that it was a sin of someone else,
  462. but they accepted that it was
  463. a corporate sin as the nation.
  464. (Jason) Jonathan, yes.
  465. (Jonathan) I was thinking,
  466. in the book of Deuteronomy;
  467. it actually explains why God
  468. kicked these people out,
  469. I mean, like, some terrible things.
  470. It's sad to look and see, that, okay,
  471. God had to let some whole tribes
    and stuff go,
  472. but He very clearly warned them
  473. that, "It was because of these things
  474. that I had to kick them out,
  475. and if you do them,"
  476. which the Israelites ended up doing
  477. many of those same things,
  478. and so that's part of the reason
  479. that now they've been
  480. sent off to Babylon.
  481. (Jason) All right, so we have
    some context here,
  482. and in the end of this section,
  483. there was a statement
  484. about a fourth of a day or something,
  485. and a fourth of day.
  486. Someone want to do some math for me
  487. about what's going on
  488. and what happened specifically here?
  489. Pedro, you've got the math.
  490. (Pedro) Well, we sometimes,
  491. we look into the hours
  492. that they looked at.
  493. It was three and three hours,
  494. so, every three hours
  495. is a section of their day.
  496. If you look in the New Testament,
  497. you see a parable that Jesus talks about.
  498. They come early at the sixth hour,
  499. the third hour, you know,
    the eleventh hour,
  500. and it's their labor [time],
  501. the point that they start working,
  502. at sunrise all the way to the time
    of the sunset.
  503. (Jason) All right. Yes, Jonathan.
  504. (Jonathan) Just thinking about,
    in verse 2,
  505. and I think those strangers,
  506. they represent more than just people.
  507. We think about people, "Okay,
  508. we have to separate in order to seek God."
  509. And I think they represented
  510. also certain spiritual elements
  511. that prevented them from repenting.
  512. So, that's the way I look at it.
  513. It is not just about separating
    from actual people
  514. because God loves everybody.
  515. It is about separating ourselves
  516. from those things that keep us
    from repenting.
  517. (Jason) So, it's not so much
  518. about discrimination against others
  519. but rather, putting yourselves in a place
  520. so that we can allow
  521. the Holy Spirit to work with us.
  522. And then, as you see, after this
  523. they have, as now Pedro has informed us,
  524. three hours of a praise service
  525. and three hours of confession and worship.
  526. What do you think about that?
  527. Because I'll just say
  528. that when I first read this,
  529. I was like, "Wow."
  530. In my day, I have a lot
  531. of things I have to do; I need to eat.
  532. If you're a family, you might need
  533. to, you know, take care of your kids.
  534. If you're a student, you might
  535. need to do education.
  536. So, what is this...Is this
  537. a little radical, spending all this time?
  538. Heide, I see you've got a thought on this.
  539. (Heide) It doesn't sound like
  540. this is something that they do every day.
  541. It sounds like they selected
    a specific date,
  542. and they were like, "For this day,
  543. we're going to do this," you know?
  544. And I just was so impressed by that,
  545. because I was also like you.
  546. I was, like, "Whoa! That is a long time!"
  547. But I was just thinking how we spend,
  548. not only every day in our lives,
  549. we're in such a fast-paced world,
  550. that everything is constant,
  551. like time, we're always running
    against time,
  552. but even on the Sabbath,
  553. I was stopping and reflecting,
  554. sometimes, even for good things,
  555. we're involved in ministries,
  556. and we're so busy -
  557. "I have to go to this meeting,
  558. and then I have to go
  559. and help with this program,"
  560. or help with this - that we don't
  561. have the time to stop and do this.
  562. And I saw how important it is
  563. that God wants me to stop,
  564. and [He] says, "Get into My Word,
  565. removing the factor of time."
  566. And then stop and meditate on that
  567. and say, "God, what do You
  568. want me to learn from this?"
  569. like someone said in a previous lesson,
  570. and how can I apply it?
  571. You know, what things
  572. are hindering me from doing this?
  573. And I'm going to maybe try to do this.
  574. But I just saw that, and I was
  575. so impressed by it.
  576. (Jason) Wow, that's convicting,
    right there.
  577. Ranela, you have some thoughts.
  578. (Ranela) I was just thinking of the fact
  579. that they haven't...
  580. This is really good for them to do
  581. because they haven't had this reading
  582. and this understanding
  583. of the Word of God for many years.
  584. And so, it's interesting
  585. because they're kind of coming
    out of captivity,
  586. coming out of all the other ideologies
  587. that they've been, you know,
  588. that have surrounded them.
  589. And now God is kind of trying
  590. to wipe the slate clean
  591. and show them what the truth is,
    remind them again.
  592. And it just kind of, to make it practical,
  593. I think especially for those
    that are watching,
  594. if this is kind of the first time
  595. you're starting to understand the Bible,
  596. it is so important to spend
  597. a lot of time familiarizing yourself,
  598. understanding the whole picture
    and everything.
  599. It helps to understand the Bible
  600. as you keep going.
  601. But, yeah, it's interesting;
  602. they didn't have a background
    at that point.
  603. (Jason) Jonathan.
  604. (Jonathan) Just thinking
  605. about how many hours
  606. they were spending over there in worship.
  607. They didn't have AC;
  608. they were not comfortable.
  609. But we have to think
  610. there are some moments in our lives
  611. where we need those dramatic activities
    with God,
  612. dramatic moments with God,
  613. in order to make a dramatic change.
  614. They were in a very pivotal moment.
  615. They were coming back
  616. from their captivity,
  617. and they wanted to make changes.
  618. So, we need to make a special...
  619. to set apart special moments for God
  620. when we want to make important changes.
  621. (Jason) One of the most dramatic things
  622. I saw in here was this idea
  623. of the group coming together
  624. and doing this confession.
  625. There's a phrase, "corporate repentance."
  626. Have you heard of that phrase before?
  627. That seems like that's
  628. what's going on here,
  629. and I'm just curious,
  630. what do you think of this idea
  631. of corporate repentance
  632. that you see here in Nehemiah?
  633. Someone on the team, Pedro,
  634. you have a thought.
  635. (Pedro) Looking at this,
  636. I think this cannot happen
  637. if it doesn't happen personally.
  638. If you're not able to do that
  639. in a point of one-on-one,
  640. you're not going to be able
  641. to come into a group of people
    and expose yourself.
  642. And I want to share
  643. a little testimony here.
  644. For many years...You know,
  645. I have five siblings,
  646. and for a season of time
  647. I had a problem with my older brother
  648. because, for the same reason
  649. we see here in the text.
  650. It's interesting that it fits well with me
  651. because he was being a person
  652. that was taking me away from God.
  653. And my wife brought to me,
  654. "You see, the things that you're doing,
  655. it's like the same things
    your brother is doing.
  656. He's not uplifting you for God,
  657. but he's taking you away from God."
  658. And I restrained myself from him
  659. for a period of time,
  660. and I did that in a harsh way.
  661. And I said, "Well, I noticed that..."
  662. I didn't want to confront him
    at that moment,
  663. but later on I came to him,
  664. and we had a conversation.
  665. And I believe it was not something
  666. I could say, "You know, brother,
  667. we haven't talked for six months,
  668. forgive me, and have a good day."
  669. No, we had to take time to reconcile.
  670. It was a moment of reflection
  671. and a moment of talk.
  672. And since the moment
  673. that I had to explain to him
  674. what was happening, why I had to do
  675. the things that I did.
  676. And he realized, and he thanked me for it.
  677. And it was a good time of reconciliation.
  678. And I believe we can do that
  679. if we are experiencing
  680. those reconciliations on a daily basis.
  681. (Jason) Puia.
  682. (Puia) We're looking
  683. at a corporate repentance happening here,
  684. and I think there is power
  685. in coming together as a group.
  686. See, when we see our friends repenting,
  687. in some way, it influences our thoughts,
  688. and it's like, "Oh, my friend
  689. is repenting to God,"
  690. and that in some way motivates us
  691. or gives us more reason
  692. to also do likewise.
  693. You know, negativity can spread
    very quickly,
  694. and in the same way,
  695. positivity can also spread
  696. when we come together as a group.
  697. (Jason) Jonathan.
  698. (Jonathan) I think there's a time
  699. when decisions are made
  700. at a level where it's the whole body
  701. making the decision.
  702. I mean, it wasn't just the fact
  703. that one person worshiped other gods;
  704. it's the fact that leader after leader
  705. after leader rejected the prophets
  706. and rejected the warnings
  707. and outright called people
    to worship Baal.
  708. So when it is a communal decision,
  709. the community should probably also make
  710. a communal saying, "Okay,
  711. it looks like we did not do
  712. what we should have."
  713. (Jason) Now, this idea
  714. of corporate repentance,
  715. we've talked about it now here
  716. in the context of Nehemiah's day,
  717. but for...and I come
  718. from the United States, from the West,
  719. from a Western individualist mindset,
  720. this is kind of foreign
  721. because we have this idea,
  722. "Well, you have your sin; I have my sin.
  723. You go talk with God about your issue,
  724. and I go talk with God about my issue."
  725. But is there something we can learn
  726. from this experience
  727. that could apply for us today? Travis.
  728. (Travis) As I'm listening
  729. to everybody discussing this,
  730. there's a precursor
  731. to corporate repentance
  732. and that's recognizing corporate need.
  733. And so, when we, as a body,
  734. recognize corporately our condition,
  735. the Bible says, "Blessed are
  736. the poor in spirit,
  737. for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven."
  738. When we recognize our need,
  739. and we come to Jesus beating our chests
  740. and saying, "Lord, have mercy on me,"
  741. corporately God will pour His blessings
  742. out on the church.
  743. (Jason) Amen. Stephanie.
  744. (Stephanie) I actually see these verses
  745. as revival and reformation
  746. of this group of individuals.
  747. And I think that even our churches,
  748. we need that revival and reformation.
  749. And in order for that to happen, we need
  750. that personal revival in our lives.
  751. but then, when that happens,
  752. we're a safe place to bring others in
  753. and give them the blessings
  754. that we've experienced from our time.
  755. (Jason) Amen. We have to move on,
  756. and we need to read
  757. further on in the story,
  758. and I'd like to ask Nancy
  759. if you would read for us
  760. Nehemiah, chapter 9, verses 5 and 6.
  761. And with verse 5, just read
    the second part.
  762. There's a list of all these names,
  763. and there are some statements
    that are said,
  764. so just read the part
  765. beyond the names in verse 5,
  766. and then also read verse 6.
  767. (Nancy) Okay, and I'm reading
  768. from the New King James Version:
  769. (Jason) Wow. Amen.
  770. So, now we continue a little more
  771. into what the content is
  772. of how this worship is going along.
  773. And I'd like to ask someone
  774. here on the team,
  775. did you see any appeals here?
  776. What was the appeal
  777. that the worship leaders made
  778. to the people gathered?
  779. What was the request? Stephanie.
  780. (Stephanie) "Stand up and bless the Lord."
  781. (Jason) "Stand up and bless the Lord."
  782. Now, we say that, but what does that mean?
  783. Do you physically stand up
  784. and just wave your hands,
  785. or is there something more?
  786. What is this idea of, "Stand up
    and bless the Lord"? Yes, Puia.
  787. (Puia) I think it's more about the heart,
  788. more than just the physical standing up.
  789. I think it also has to do
  790. with moving out of your comfort zone.
  791. When you're talking about sitting down,
    it's comfortable.
  792. "Stand up," like, "Come up," you know,
  793. move out of your comfort zone
  794. and be willing, open your heart.
  795. (Jason) Move out of your comfort zone
  796. and open your heart. Yes, Jonathan.
  797. (Jonathan) I'm thinking about the context
  798. from which this all emerges,
  799. and they are coming out of a captivity.
  800. And to bless the Lord for that,
  801. I feel like, to bless,
  802. we have to bless the Lord
  803. even though those external things
    are not positive.
  804. I recently lost one of my legs.
  805. I have a prosthetic leg,
  806. and whenever people met me,
  807. they said, "How can you be so smiley
  808. when you have lost a leg?"
  809. Because while I was in the hospital,
  810. one of those who care,
  811. one of the nurses said, "I come here
  812. and I see you smiling always."
  813. And I said, "Because God is with me,
    and He's love."
  814. And she said, "How can you
  815. say that God is love?
  816. He just allowed you to lose your leg."
  817. And then I talked to her about God's love,
  818. and I blessed the Lord.
  819. Tears came out from her eyes,
  820. and she said, "You know, I am
  821. now working currently in this room,
  822. but I came here accidentally
  823. because I'm replacing somebody,
  824. and now I found the reason why
    I came here.
  825. I was about to give up on God
  826. because I lost one
  827. of my daughters recently in this room,
  828. and I couldn't understand God's love.
  829. I could not praise Him.
  830. And thank you for sharing that."
  831. So I think we have to share God
  832. and bless God even when the circumstances
  833. around are negative.
  834. And these, well, we see, they are
  835. coming out of a very negative experience,
  836. and yet they are called to bless God.
  837. (Jason) Thank you for sharing that,
    Jonathan.
  838. So even if we're going
  839. through negative or difficult experiences,
  840. as we come out of them,
  841. even as we're going through them,
  842. as in your case, we can stand up,
  843. we can bless the Lord,
  844. get out of our comfort zone
    and praise God.
  845. Now, one big element of praise
  846. is this idea of recognizing God
    as the Creator.
  847. So, why is the Creator idea
  848. so important, so connected
  849. to this idea of praise that we see here,
  850. because if you look at this section,
  851. there's a lot about the creator.
    Yes, Puia.
  852. (Puia) I think when you know your Creator,
  853. you know your origin.
  854. And when you know your origin,
  855. you know your destiny,
  856. or, somewhat, you know your purpose.
  857. See, nowadays in the public school system
  858. and around the world,
  859. students are being taught
  860. that there's no God, there's no Creator.
  861. So, with that worldview,
  862. if there is no Creator,
  863. my life is just an accident.
  864. So, I think it's important
  865. to understand here that people
  866. are called back to understand
  867. that God is their Creator, to remind them
  868. that they have a purpose,
  869. and they have a reason to live.
  870. And they have a destiny,
  871. and it's based on their Creator
    who created them.
  872. (Jason) Amen. Stephanie.
  873. (Stephanie) We also recognize
  874. that the reason we exist
  875. is because of Him,
  876. both physically and spiritually,
  877. because of His forgiveness.
  878. (Jason) Jonathan.
  879. (Jonathan) There is so much
  880. that is beautiful about God's creation.
  881. You go out in nature or someplace,
  882. and there are waterfalls, et cetera,
  883. and you're just overwhelmed.
  884. And I think that is a right representation
  885. of who God is and of His love for us.
  886. (Jason) Now, when it comes to praise,
  887. there is a difference, or, I should ask,
  888. is there a difference
  889. between praising the Lord
  890. and this idea of in spirit, in truth,
  891. and praising the Lord
  892. with emotionalism and exhibitionism?
  893. Because there are a lot of different ways
  894. we can look like we're praising the Lord,
  895. but how can we tell
  896. if we're actually praising the Lord?
  897. Is all apparent praise to the Lord,
  898. is it all the same thing?
  899. Or is there something different?
    Yes, Nancy.
  900. (Nancy) It should be based
  901. on an understanding of who He is.
  902. And I think of Job, when He said,
  903. you know, all that Job went through,
  904. and he said, "Though he slay me,
  905. yet will I trust Him."
  906. So he knew whom he had believed in.
  907. That's ultimate trust.
  908. (Jason) Yes, Jonathan.
  909. (Jonathan) I just say, I think it will
  910. look different for different people.
  911. (Jason) Okay, it will look different
    for different people.
  912. (Jonathan) Sometimes it can be tempting
    to try to judge other people,
  913. but, I mean, David was dancing around
    and all this stuff,
  914. and his wife was like,
    "What are you doing?!"
  915. But he was praising God.
  916. He wasn't worried about other people.
  917. He was just living in the spirit
  918. and praising God for all
  919. that He had done and was doing.
  920. (Jason) Travis, you have some thoughts.
  921. (Travis) To worship in spirit and truth
  922. is different than just on emotions.
  923. Part of that is, when we worship,
  924. we're praising and we're claiming
  925. the promises of God.
  926. When we come to worship God in spirit,
  927. we're coming to worship Him
  928. with an idea that we can trust Him
  929. and that His words
  930. will not return to us void.
  931. When it's emotions,
  932. sometimes it's just based on feelings,
  933. "Well, I feel good today.
  934. The music was loud;
  935. the smoke was great in church today,
  936. and I had a great time."
  937. But when the great time is over with,
  938. if we've not hid the Word of God
    in our hearts,
  939. if we've not based it
  940. on the promises of God and truth,
    then it's empty.
  941. (Jason) Now, Jonathan made reference
  942. to this idea, some people have a concept
  943. that, if you're worshiping
  944. in spirit and truth,
  945. it means a certain format,
  946. a certain style of song, a certain,
  947. dare I even say, traditional method.
  948. But is it possible that one can worship
  949. in a very apparently reverent way,
  950. very traditional, but yet could that
  951. also be emotionalism or exhibitionism?
  952. Is that also possible, too? Yes, Jonathan.
  953. (Jonathan) Jesus was referring...
  954. Okay, those words "in spirit and truth"
  955. are words spoken by Jesus
  956. when He was talking
  957. to the Samaritan woman,
  958. and she was worried because
  959. she said, "Your people say that we
  960. should worship God in the temple,
  961. in the physical temple"; she was focused
  962. on the physical activities,
    religious activities.
  963. And I think Jesus was taking her attention
  964. from the physical or external activity
  965. into the inner experience,
    the inner worship.
  966. And worship in spirit and truth,
  967. I think, when we talk about truth,
  968. we talk about the Word of God.
  969. John 17:17 says the Word of God is truth,
  970. and Jesus also claims, Himself,
    to be the Truth.
  971. So, that inner experience, where we're
  972. just worshiping God in the spirit
  973. should be regulated by the truth,
  974. by the Word of God and example of Jesus.
  975. (Jason) Ranela.
  976. (Ranela) I appreciate what he said,
  977. and what everyone has said.
  978. I think that, when it comes
    to emotionalism,
  979. there's nothing wrong with being emotional
  980. when we talk about God,
  981. when we praise God,
  982. when we think of God.
  983. And I appreciate what Jonathan said.
  984. We can't judge someone else, like,
    "Oh, are they being..."
  985. like, "Are they being sincere?"
  986. "Are they really doing that
    based on the Word of God?"
  987. We don't know, but the difference,
  988. where it gets into a dangerous place,
  989. is when emotion is the reason
  990. that you're doing it.
  991. It should be the expression
  992. and not the reason.
  993. The reason needs to be based
  994. on who God is and on the Word of God.
  995. (Jason) Puia.
  996. (Puia) I also want to make a point
  997. that there is danger, also,
  998. to go to the extreme of emotionalism.
  999. I think the question is,
  1000. who is in control?
  1001. Is the Spirit of God in control?
  1002. Some people in some worship forms,
  1003. I know...this is not being
    judgmental at all,
  1004. but in some worship forms,
  1005. people are dragged out of their seats
    against their will,
  1006. and they are forced to dance.
  1007. I've seen them, you know.
  1008. There are plenty of places
  1009. where they believe that that's
    the Holy Spirit.
  1010. But I think the Holy Spirit,
  1011. it's very clear from the Bible
  1012. that the Holy Spirit never forces upon us.
  1013. So, if in the process
  1014. of our worshiping God,
  1015. if some form of force
  1016. is taking over our own will and decision,
  1017. that's something to be careful of,
  1018. and that's not something from God
  1019. because God never forces us.
  1020. God wants us to worship out of our hearts.
  1021. (Jason) Yes, Pedro.
  1022. (Pedro) It's hard to put
  1023. worship into a perspective
  1024. because it's something
  1025. that we experience ourselves
  1026. in relation to God.
  1027. But when I look into the boundaries,
  1028. I try to look into the history
    of marriage.
  1029. That's the only entity
  1030. that you probably can have
  1031. as a different relationship
  1032. of experiencing something with someone.
  1033. And if you're cut and dried,
  1034. you're not having a relationship
    with that person.
  1035. You can say, "I'm married,"
  1036. but you're just on that ceremonial level
  1037. where you just do what needs to be done
    and that's it.
  1038. But also you cannot be too emotional.
  1039. You have to have reason.
  1040. It's that mix, that balance
  1041. of reason and emotions
  1042. that brings together
  1043. a full experience of relationship.
  1044. And I think that's the most important.
  1045. Are you experiencing a relationship
  1046. with God as you worship?
  1047. And are you growing
  1048. from this marital church in Christ?
  1049. (Jason) So, worship involves both
  1050. the emotional and the rational components,
    as Pedro said.
  1051. We need to move on, and we need
  1052. to look further in the story.
  1053. Jonathan, I would like
  1054. if you could read for us
  1055. Nehemiah, chapter 9, verses 7 through 15.
  1056. And as we read this, let's see,
  1057. how do the children of Israel,
  1058. this group gathered together,
  1059. how do they worship?
  1060. What are the statements
  1061. that are made here?
  1062. (Jonathan) All right, I'll be reading
  1063. from the New International Version:
  1064. (Jason) Wow, so, what is the story here?
  1065. What is happening in this prayer?
  1066. Jonathan just read a lot of verses,
  1067. and what are those verses
  1068. all talking about? Stephanie.
  1069. (Stephanie) It's recounting
  1070. God's faithfulness, each step of the way.
  1071. (Jason) Each step, recounting
  1072. God's faithfulness. Yes, Travis.
  1073. (Travis) It's also talking
  1074. about His power, the power of God.
  1075. Only God can part the Red Sea.
  1076. Prior to this, we talked
  1077. about their worship,
  1078. worship Him who made the earth
  1079. and everything that was in it.
  1080. And that was basically leading them
  1081. back into Sabbath worship,
  1082. to honoring Him as the Creator.
  1083. (Jason) Yes, Nicole.
  1084. (Nicole) It also talks
    about His authority.
  1085. "You gave us ordinances.
  1086. You gave us structure and rules
  1087. that we need as humans."
  1088. And so, He's awesome in that way,
  1089. that He gives us what's good for us
  1090. because He knows what we need
    when we need it.
  1091. (Jason) All right, so, His authority,
  1092. structure, power, His love.
  1093. Now, let's look through,
  1094. because there's a specific series
  1095. of statements that are made
  1096. in this retelling of God's goodness
  1097. and God's guidance.
  1098. And we're kind of going to see
  1099. how they play back and forth
  1100. between what the people are doing
  1101. and what God has done.
  1102. And so, I want to start this.
  1103. Puia, if you could read for us
  1104. Nehemiah, chapter 9, verses 16 and 17.
  1105. And you're going to see here,
  1106. I'm going to ask you,
  1107. what do the people do?
  1108. What is God's response?
  1109. So, 16 and 17, please, and you can read
  1110. all the full verses there.
  1111. (Puia) All right, I'll be reading
  1112. from the New King James Version:
  1113. (Jason) Wow. So, what did the people do?
  1114. What was their action? Yes, Stephanie.
  1115. (Stephanie) Proud, hard,
    disobedient, rebellious.
  1116. (Jason) Proud, hard, disobedient.
    Yes, Pedro.
  1117. (Pedro) I like the phrase,
    "hardened their necks."
  1118. If somebody is calling you,
  1119. you're just not turning;
  1120. you're just rejecting to go.
  1121. You know, somebody is calling
    on this side,
  1122. and I'm turning that way;
    I'm not listening.
  1123. It's a very offensive way, you know.
  1124. You're not recognizing God.
  1125. And now they are saying,
  1126. "We want to recognize You
    and Your praise."
  1127. (Jason) So, they're very offensive
    towards God,
  1128. and what is God's response?
  1129. Does He turn His neck back?
  1130. Does He say, "All right,
  1131. I'm done with you"? Nicole.
  1132. (Nicole) He loves them.
  1133. He always does.
  1134. He loves us no matter what.
  1135. And He calls them to come back to Him.
  1136. You know, He's gracious,
  1137. He's compassionate, He's slow to anger,
  1138. and He's abounding in faithful love.
  1139. He is faithful to the end.
  1140. (Jason) Travis.
  1141. (Travis) Well, I just noticed, it says,
  1142. "They appointed a leader
  1143. to return to their bondage.
  1144. But You are God," so, God
    was their leader,
  1145. but they chose a different leader
  1146. that led them into bondage.
  1147. (Jason) And yet God still returns,
  1148. and He's gracious to them.
  1149. All right, let's look at the next section.
  1150. I'd like to ask Evelyn
  1151. if you could read for us
  1152. Nehemiah, chapter 9, verses 18 through 25.
  1153. We have another story here,
  1154. and then how God responds.
  1155. So, please read for us 18 through 25
  1156. of Nehemiah, chapter 9.
  1157. (Evelyn) I'll be reading
  1158. from the New King James Version:
  1159. (Jason) So, if you heard
    most of those verses,
  1160. you almost might have missed
  1161. the one negative thing they did
  1162. because you see so much of God's blessing.
  1163. But what was the one problem?
  1164. What was the negative thing
    they did, Stephanie?
  1165. (Stephanie) They worshiped the calf.
  1166. (Jason) They worshiped the golden calf.
  1167. So they worshiped the golden calf,
  1168. and what is God's response here?
  1169. How does God...Does He cut them off again?
  1170. Yes, Pedro, how does God respond?
  1171. (Pedro) He responds with blessings.
  1172. He brings them to repentance
  1173. and says, "Here, what I have promised."
  1174. He kept His promise.
  1175. I think, even though they rebelled,
  1176. God is faithful in keeping
  1177. His promise that He had made.
  1178. (Jason) Travis.
  1179. (Travis) Since we're talking
    about prophets,
  1180. I'd just like to go back there
  1181. and kind of go dive into that story
    just a little bit
  1182. because, during that story,
  1183. God was very angry,
  1184. and Moses interceded and said,
  1185. "Lord, even if You have to take my life,
  1186. write their names in the Book of Life."
  1187. And so, there was another prophet,
  1188. like Ezra, like Nehemiah,
  1189. somebody else to intercede for them,
  1190. a powerful leader,
  1191. a godly servant, [God]-fearing leader,
  1192. who interceded for them at the time.
  1193. And it just goes to show you
  1194. that God uses people also,
  1195. godly people, to work
  1196. for the will of His people.
  1197. (Jason) We have to continue in the story.
  1198. Ranela, if you could read for us
  1199. Nehemiah, chapter 9, verses 26 and 27,
  1200. let's continue on in the story
  1201. and let's see how this relationship
  1202. goes on between God and His people.
  1203. (Ranela) Yes, I'll be reading
  1204. from the New King James Version:
  1205. (Jason) So had the children of Israel
    learned their lesson?
  1206. Nope. How did they act this time?
    Yes, Pedro.
  1207. (Pedro) I see here that they
    rebelled against.
  1208. And it's interesting that God
  1209. allowed things to take place.
  1210. Even though He brings the prophets
  1211. to take them back to the Word of God,
    they rebel.
  1212. But that's when I see here
  1213. there's a very important aspect here
  1214. on this lesson that I believe in
  1215. is that God allowed trials
  1216. to come into their lives
  1217. so they could know
  1218. that they need God to live.
  1219. And then when they recognized,
  1220. "I'm in trouble," they gave it to God.
  1221. (Jason) And now, Heide,
  1222. if you could read for us,
  1223. we're going to close off this story
  1224. with verse 28, Nehemiah,
  1225. chapter 9, verse 28.
  1226. How does the story kind of end?
  1227. Continue, if you will.
  1228. (Heide) I'll be reading
  1229. from the New King James Version,
    and it says:
  1230. (Jason) All right, so, what do you
  1231. feel about this, Jonathan,
  1232. when you read these things?
  1233. (Jonathan) The last one, I was thinking,
  1234. it kind of shows how much
  1235. God will go towards,
  1236. the lengths that God will go towards.
  1237. I mean, He doesn't want
  1238. to bring calamities.
  1239. No parent wants to do that for their kids,
  1240. but He knows that He's got
  1241. to do something to wake them up.
  1242. I mean, He has to take responsibility.
  1243. Like, when people look on,
  1244. they're going to say,
  1245. "God's doing what to me?"
  1246. But He knows that that's what they needed.
  1247. And so I think it's kind of a reminder
    we can have,
  1248. that God will go to great lengths
    to win us back.
  1249. (Jason) Nicole.
  1250. (Nicole) I was thinking, this is us today.
  1251. You know, we have all the knowledge
    of the entire Bible,
  1252. and yet we still do things
  1253. that are shameful and not in God's sight.
  1254. But if we cry out to Him,
  1255. He is faithful to forgive us.
  1256. He's faithful to be there for us
    and rescue us.
  1257. So I'm just very thankful
  1258. that in all of my fallings,
  1259. God is there to pick me up
  1260. if I just cry out to Him
  1261. and ask Him to pick me up.
  1262. (Jason) Stephanie, and then
    we'll have to move on.
  1263. (Stephanie) What I see
  1264. throughout all of these verses
  1265. is that God allows us to make a choice,
  1266. and unfortunately our choices
  1267. lead to consequences.
  1268. But He is merciful, and those consequences
  1269. will still be there,
  1270. but the mercy of us being able
  1271. to come back to Him
  1272. is part of His faithfulness.
  1273. (Jason) Malaina, could you read for us
  1274. Nehemiah, chapter 9, verse 30?
  1275. There is a specific reference
  1276. about what God does,
  1277. how He tries to reach the people.
  1278. Please read for us Nehemiah 9:30.
  1279. (Malaina) I'll be reading
  1280. from the New King James Version,
  1281. Nehemiah, chapter 9, verse 30:
  1282. (Jason) All right, so, what did God do?
  1283. How did God try to win back His people?
    Yes, Pedro.
  1284. (Pedro) Through the Spirit
    of the prophets.
  1285. That's what basically we need
    to understand
  1286. is the role of the prophet
  1287. is to bring us back to the Word of God.
  1288. (Jason) And let's actually look
  1289. at some verses about what a prophet does,
  1290. and so, I'd like to ask Nancy
  1291. if you could read for us
  1292. in the book of Amos, chapter 3, verse 7.
  1293. We're going to look at
    what a prophet does,
  1294. and then after Nancy,
  1295. I'm going to ask Puia, right next door,
  1296. to read 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
  1297. Pedro introduced us
  1298. to this idea of prophets.
  1299. Let's look at what the prophets are,
  1300. what they do, and how that can be
  1301. helpful for us in life.
  1302. So, yes, Nancy, from Amos, please.
  1303. (Nancy) All right, this is Amos,
  1304. chapter 3, verse 7,
  1305. in the New King James Version:
  1306. (Jason) So the prophets are there
  1307. to reveal His secrets, to tell us
  1308. what God is doing,
  1309. to warn us about God's activities.
  1310. Now, Puia, what does
  1311. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tell us?
  1312. (Puia) I'll be reading
  1313. from the New King James Version:
  1314. (Jason) So, when you hear these verses,
  1315. how do these relate
  1316. to the idea of prophets
  1317. and what they can tell us,
  1318. and maybe what the people
    there with Nehemiah
  1319. should have listened to before?
  1320. Yes, Stephanie, I see you
    have some thoughts?
  1321. (Stephanie) Well, it says
  1322. that all Scripture is given
    by inspiration of God,
  1323. and so, those prophets who wrote that
  1324. or gave us that information,
  1325. they were inspired by God.
  1326. (Jason) They were inspired by God.
    Yes, Travis.
  1327. (Travis) I was just thinking that,
  1328. no matter what age we live in,
  1329. as we go through the Scriptures,
  1330. the words of the prophets
  1331. are as valuable to us today
  1332. as they were to them back then.
  1333. (Jason) Now, we have
  1334. the ultimate revelation
  1335. that the Scriptures reveal,
  1336. and so, I'd like to ask Pedro,
  1337. if you could read for us
  1338. John, chapter 5, verses 39 and 40.
  1339. We have the greatest revelation
  1340. that the Scriptures give to us.
  1341. So, what is this greatest revelation,
  1342. and how can it help us
  1343. in this idea of forgiveness
  1344. and turning to God?
  1345. (Pedro) I'll be reading
  1346. from the New King James Version,
  1347. John, chapter 5, verses 39 to 40:
  1348. (Jason) So, what do you think
    about these verses?
  1349. How does this all connect together?
  1350. Nicole, I see you nodding your head.
  1351. (Nicole) Jesus, it comes back to Jesus.
  1352. It all comes back to Him.
  1353. No matter what we do,
  1354. what we say, or where we are,
  1355. we have to come back to Him,
  1356. and the Word points to Jesus,
    and that's all we have.
  1357. (Jason) The Word points to Jesus.
    Yes, Puia.
  1358. (Puia) As Jesus said,
  1359. the Scripture is about Him.
  1360. It's about Him, and when we
  1361. have Him in our lives,
  1362. that's eternal life.
  1363. (Jason) Eternal life. Yes, Heide.
  1364. (Heide) And putting that
    into perspective then,
  1365. the prophets were telling them,
  1366. "Come to Him; come to your Creator,"
  1367. and they were rejecting that.
  1368. And we sometimes are in church
  1369. or we've heard the same things
    that they have,
  1370. and yet we continue to live sinfully.
  1371. But His love is just, like, unfailing
  1372. is what I see here; it's so beautiful.
  1373. (Jason) Amen. Travis.
  1374. (Travis) So, as we make an application
  1375. to the verses that we've just read,
  1376. we see mistake, God's love,
  1377. mistake, God's love.
  1378. The Scriptures testify of God's
  1379. immeasurable, unfailing love.
  1380. (Jason) Yes, Pedro.
  1381. (Pedro) That's basically...
    the Bible is saying
  1382. God has given the Word
  1383. because He wants us to know
  1384. that He is willing to forgive us.
  1385. (Jason) God is willing to forgive us.
  1386. That's such great news,
  1387. but that news is not just for us;
  1388. it's for the whole world.
  1389. Maybe you've gone on your own journey,
  1390. like the children of Israel,
  1391. maybe you've made mistakes,
  1392. maybe you've even been rebellious
  1393. against God yourself.
  1394. I want to ask you, if maybe you have
  1395. done some of these things,
  1396. that you join me right now,
  1397. and as I pray, you go to God
  1398. and you ask Him for forgiveness.
  1399. As we see in these stories,
    in these lessons,
  1400. our God is a forgiving God,
    is a loving God,
  1401. and time after time He's willing
  1402. to take us back and to redeem us.
  1403. He redeemed us through His power
  1404. and through His blood,
  1405. and He wants to take us with Him.
  1406. So please bow your heads with me
  1407. as we pray and as we thank God
  1408. for His forgiveness.
  1409. Our dear Heavenly Father,
  1410. Lord, we have made mistakes.
  1411. Whether individually or corporately,
  1412. we have turned from You.
  1413. And, Lord, if this is the time right now,
  1414. then we ask forgiveness.
  1415. We ask for, where we have failed,
  1416. that You redeem us,
  1417. that You take us back.
  1418. Lord, You are so long-suffering.
  1419. You are so loving.
  1420. We see what You did
  1421. with the children of Israel,
  1422. and we want You to do the same for us.
  1423. Lord, by Your grace, help us
  1424. to learn these lessons
  1425. so that we can truly appreciate Your love.
  1426. We pray all this in the holy name
    of Jesus,
  1427. our Redeemer, our Savior. Amen.
  1428. (Team) Amen.
  1429. (Jason) Go out and be a blessing.
  1430. Share this with those around you.
  1431. ♪ theme music ♪