How to React to Stressful Times | Sandals Church

How to React to Stressful Times | Sandals Church


– Hello everyone, welcome
to Sandals Church. My name is Tim, and I’m the worship lead at our Sandals Church Eastvale campus. – And my name is Vivi,
I’m one of our youth leads at our Hunter Park campus,
and we are your hosts today. And so we just wanna say thank you so much for joining us for this weekend service. And no matter where you’re watching from, we are so glad you’re here. – Sandals Church exists as a place for you to learn how to be real with yourself, and with God, and with others, especially as we’re all experiencing church from home for these few weeks. – And maybe you’re watching on your own, one of our live services,
but we would love for you to hop on the chat right now so that you can connect with others. – Yeah, and if you’re
watching in your household, maybe you’re all gathered
around one TV or one device, please take a few minutes
once the message wraps up to talk about it together. – And if you have kids,
we have a whole service planned just for them at
kids.sandalschurch.tv. And it’s super easy, you can
get them set up right now on a different device, or
you can just have them wait until after service. – Yeah, we’re gonna get started
with a time of worship now. And we wanna encourage you to sing along, or just let these songs and the words be a comfort to you over
the next few minutes. – And then we’ll go right
into this weekend’s message with our lead pastor, Matt Brown. But we are so glad that you’re here. – Wherever you’re joining from, we invite you to sing out
loud, we invite you to clap. It’s gonna be a good time to worship as we sing out loud to
the faithfulness of God. (upbeat instrumental music) ♪ Come let us worship our king ♪ ♪ Come let us bow at His feet ♪ ♪ He has done great things ♪ ♪ See what our Savior has done ♪ ♪ See how His love overcomes ♪ ♪ He has done great things ♪ ♪ He has done great things ♪ ♪ Oh hero of heaven, You
conquered the grave ♪ ♪ You free every captive
and break every chain ♪ ♪ Oh God, You have done great things ♪ ♪ We dance in Your
freedom, awake and alive ♪ ♪ Oh Jesus, our Savior,
Your name lifted high ♪ ♪ Oh God, You have done great things ♪ (upbeat instrumental music) ♪ You’ve been faithful
through every storm ♪ ♪ And You’ll be faithful forever more ♪ ♪ You have done great things ♪ ♪ Yeah ♪ ♪ And I know you will do it again ♪ ♪ For your promise is yes and amen ♪ ♪ You will do great things ♪ ♪ Oh God, you do great things ♪ ♪ Oh hero of Heaven, you
conquered the grave ♪ ♪ You free every captive
and break every chain ♪ ♪ Oh God, you have done great things ♪ ♪ We dance in your
freedom, awake and alive ♪ ♪ Oh Jesus, our Savior,
your name lifted high ♪ ♪ Oh God, you have done great things ♪ ♪ And hallelujah God above it all ♪ ♪ Hallelujah God unshakable ♪ ♪ Hallelujah You have done great things ♪ ♪ We sing hallelujah ♪ ♪ Oh hallelujah God above it all ♪ ♪ Hallelujah God, unshakable ♪ ♪ Hallelujah You have done great things ♪ ♪ You’ve done great things ♪ ♪ Oh hero of heaven, you
conquered the grave ♪ ♪ You free every captive
and break every chain ♪ ♪ Oh God, you have done great things ♪ ♪ We dance in your
freedom, awake and alive ♪ ♪ Oh Jesus our Savior,
Your name lifted high ♪ ♪ Oh God, You have done great things ♪ ♪ You have done great things ♪ ♪ Oh God, You do great things ♪ (upbeat instrumental music) ♪ I can’t go back to the beginning ♪ ♪ I can’t control what
tomorrow will bring ♪ ♪ But I know here in the middle ♪ ♪ Is the place where You promise to be ♪ ♪ I’m not enough unless You come ♪ ♪ Will You meet me here again ♪ ♪ ‘Cause all I want is all You are ♪ ♪ Will You meet me here again ♪ ♪ And as I walk now through the valley ♪ ♪ Let Your love rise above every fear ♪ – Let’s go. ♪ Like the sun shaping the shadow ♪ ♪ In my weakness Your glory appears ♪ God, I cry to you, today! ♪ ‘Cause I’m not enough unless You come ♪ ♪ Will You meet me here again ♪ ♪ ‘Cause all I want is all You are ♪ ♪ Will You meet me here again ♪ ♪ No, I’m not enough ♪ ♪’Cause I’m not enough unless You come ♪ ♪ Will You meet me here again ♪ ♪ ‘Cause all I want is all You are ♪ ♪ Will You meet me here again ♪ God has me prepared to
sing these words to you. May we make this a declaration today to remind ourselves and
all those that can hear that we are not forsaken,
we are not forgotten. But God, that You are with us. You go before us and behind us, and you journey through
the valley with us. You are good, loving and close, God, so we sing to You today, come on. ♪ Not for a minute ♪ ♪ Was I forsaken ♪ ♪ The Lord is in this place ♪ ♪ The Lord is in this place ♪ ♪ Come Holy Spirit ♪ ♪ Dry bones awaken ♪ ♪ The Lord is in this place ♪ ♪ The Lord is in this place ♪ Not for a minute! ♪ Not for a minute ♪ ♪ Was I forsaken ♪ ♪ The Lord is in this place ♪ ♪ The Lord is in this place ♪ ♪ Come Holy Spirit ♪ ♪ Dry bones awaken ♪ ♪ The Lord is in this place ♪ ♪ The Lord is in this place ♪ ♪ Oh Lord, you’re in this place ♪ ♪ You’re close to me ♪ ♪ Working hard ♪ ♪ Oh ♪ ♪ We believe, oh ♪ ♪ Come everything ♪ ♪ Lead us, oh ♪ ♪ ‘Cause I’m not enough unless You come ♪ ♪ Will You meet me here again ♪ ♪ ‘Cause all I want is all You are ♪ ♪ Will You meet me here again ♪ – God made us right where we are. As we worship You, meet
us right in the place where You find us. In our fear, in our worry,
in our panic or our distress, meet us in that place. (slow instrumental music) ♪ Lord bless you and keep you ♪ ♪ Make His face to shine upon you ♪ ♪ And be gracious to you ♪ ♪ Lord turn His face toward you ♪ ♪ And give you peace ♪ ♪ Lord bless you and keep you ♪ ♪ Make His face shine upon ♪ ♪ And be gracious to you ♪ ♪ Lord turn His face toward you ♪ ♪ And give you peace ♪ – We all agree by singing amen. ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Oh ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Lord bless you and keep you ♪ ♪ Make his face shine upon you ♪ ♪ Be gracious to you ♪ ♪ Lord turn His face toward you ♪ ♪ And give you peace ♪ Do you agree with me? Sing amen, amen, amen. ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ With one voice we sing ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ We ask God, let it be so, amen. ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Oh ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ – So can anything ever
separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer
loves us if we have trouble? Or calamity, or are persecuted? Or hungry, destitute, in danger,
or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours
through Christ who loved us. Because He is for us. God is with us, and God is for us. Receive this blessing
over you and your family. ♪ May His favor be upon you ♪ ♪ And 1000 generations ♪ ♪ And your family and your children ♪ ♪ And their children, and their children ♪ ♪ May His favor be upon you ♪ ♪ And 1000 generations ♪ ♪ And your family and your children ♪ ♪ And their children, and their children ♪ ♪ May His favor be upon you ♪ ♪ And 1000 generations ♪ ♪ And your family and your children ♪ ♪ And their children, and their children ♪ ♪ May His favor be upon you ♪ ♪ And 1000 generations ♪ ♪ And your family and your children ♪ ♪ And their children, and their children ♪ ♪ May His presence go before you ♪ ♪ And behind you, and beside you ♪ ♪ All around you, and within you ♪ ♪ He is with you, He is with you ♪ ♪ In the morning, in the evening ♪ ♪ In your coming, and your going ♪ ♪ In your weeping, and rejoicing ♪ ♪ He is for you, He is for you ♪ ♪ He is for you, He is for you ♪ ♪ He is for you, He is for you ♪ ♪ He is for you, He is for you ♪ ♪ He is ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ May His favor be upon you ♪ ♪ And 1000 generations ♪ ♪ And your family and your children ♪ ♪ And their children, and their children ♪ ♪ May His presence go before you ♪ ♪ And behind you, and beside you ♪ ♪ All around you, and within you ♪ ♪ He is with you, He is with you ♪ ♪ In the morning, in the evening ♪ ♪ In your coming, and your going ♪ ♪ In your weeping, and rejoicing ♪ ♪ He is for you, He is for you ♪ ♪ He is for you, He is for you ♪ ♪ He is for you, He is for you ♪ ♪ He is for you, He is for you ♪ ♪ Yeah ♪ ♪ He is for you ♪ ♪ God is for you ♪ ♪ And He’s with you ♪ – I wanna invite you to
engage with us in this moment. To lift your hands, extend them upwards, or place them out in front of you, and let us sing this blessing over you. Sing it over your health,
and over your family, and over your loved ones. Receive this blessing from
God who is our Father, and who loves us with an everlasting love, an unfailing love, that’s how He loves us. Sing this with us. ♪ May His favor be upon you ♪ ♪ And 1000 generations ♪ ♪ And your family and your children ♪ ♪ And their children, and their children ♪ ♪ May His presence go before you ♪ ♪ And behind you, and beside you ♪ ♪ All around you, and within you ♪ ♪ He is with you, He is with you ♪ ♪ In the morning, in the evening ♪ ♪ In your coming, and your going ♪ ♪ In your weeping, and rejoicing ♪ ♪ He is for you, He is for you ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ You take what the enemy meant for evil ♪ ♪ And You turn it for good ♪ ♪ Yes, You turn it for good ♪ ♪ You take what the enemy meant for evil ♪ ♪ You turn it for good ♪ ♪ You turn it for good ♪ ♪ Oh we sing now ♪ ♪ You take what the enemy meant for evil ♪ ♪ And You turn it for good ♪ ♪ You turn it for good ♪ – In faith we sing ♪ You take what the enemy meant for evil ♪ ♪ And You turn it for good ♪ ♪ You turn it for good ♪ Let’s declare this into our lives, we’re now, come on, you take. ♪ You take what the enemy meant for evil ♪ ♪ And You turn it for good ♪ ♪ You turn it for good ♪ ♪ Oh ♪ ♪ You take what the enemy meant for evil ♪ ♪ And You turn it for good ♪ ♪ You turn it for good ♪ ♪ ‘Cause I’m gonna see a victory ♪ ♪ ‘Cause I’m gonna see a victory ♪ ♪ For the battle belongs to You, Lord ♪ ♪ And I’m gonna see a victory ♪ ♪ I’m gonna see a victory ♪ ♪ For the battle belongs to You, Lord ♪ ♪ ‘Cause I’m gonna see a victory ♪ ♪ I’m gonna see a victory ♪ ♪ For the battle belongs to You, Lord ♪ ♪ I’m gonna see a victory ♪ ♪ I’m gonna see a victory ♪ ♪ For the battle belongs to You, Lord ♪ ♪ You take what the enemy meant for evil ♪ ♪ And You turn it for good ♪ ♪ You turn it for good ♪ Only you can, God, we sing to you! ♪ You take what the enemy meant for evil ♪ ♪ And You turn it for good ♪ ♪ You turn it for good ♪ ♪ ‘Cause you take what
the enemy meant for evil ♪ ♪ And You turn it for good ♪ ♪ You turn it for good ♪ We raise our voices
together, we sing, you take! ♪ ‘Cause You take what
the enemy meant for evil ♪ ♪ And You turn it for good ♪ ♪ You turn it for good ♪ Yes You do God, yeah! We believe that, we declare that, we sing that together as Your church. Pray these things in Jesus’ name, Amen. (upbeat techno music) – Hey guys, thank you
so much for joining us at Sandals Church on sandalschurch.tv. Super glad you’re here. And I just wanna say to all
of our Sandal Church members, I miss you, I can’t wait
to gather together again, but I wanna say hi to
all of our visitors, man. We’ve had all kinds of people
from all over the world who’ve been comforted by the
ministry of Sandals Church, so thank you so much for those of you who contribute and give,
and help us do what we do. We love you, and we wanna
welcome all of our guests. Today I wanna talk to
you about how to react to a stressful time. Look, the reality is, we’re all reacting. Some of us are reacting positively, some of us are reacting negatively, but it’s impossible to not react. And so I wanna look at,
in this difficult time, I wanna look at one of the
most difficult passages in the Bible to understand. It’s a passage found in Luke 16:1. And Jesus tells this
story to his disciples. And if you’re a little
confused, don’t panic, so were the disciples. There was a certain rich man. You’re like, “Great, that’s not me.” Okay, hold on. There was a certain rich man
who had a manager, right? That’s most of us. Most of us are not rich people, but we work for somebody
who has more money than us, or more authority than
us, or more power than us. It says, “One day there
was a certain rich man “who had a manager who was
handling all of his affairs.” Think about it, life’s great. Nothing could go wrong, my boss is rich, they got plenty of cash,
nothing can ever happen to me. Then one day a report
came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money. Now we don’t know what
happened, but there’s a rumor, there is something going on,
there’s some chitchat, right? There’s some gossip, and it comes to the rich man’s attention. And so the employer
called him in and said, what’s this I hear about you? Get your report in order, because
you are going to be fired. Now think about that. A lot of us are worried about our jobs, or worried about our financial stability. His boss says, “Hey,
you’re going to be fired, “so you need to work for
me and get things right, “because I have to deal with you.” So think about that. He knows he’s fired, he
knows he doesn’t have a job. Now the manager thought
to himself, “Now what? “What am I gonna do that
my boss is fired me? “I don’t have the strength to dig ditches, “I’m too proud to beg. “I know what I’ll do, “to ensure that I have plenty of friends “who will give me a home when I’m fired.” And so he invited each
person who owed him money to his employer to come across
and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, “How much do you owe my boss, my master?” The man replied, “I owe him
800 gallons of olive oil.” So the manager told him, “Take that bill, and quickly
change it to 400 gallons. “Now how much do you owe my employer?” He asked the next man. He said, “I owe him
1000 bushels of wheat.” The manager said, “Take
that bill, and change it “to 800 bushels of wheat.” Check this out. This is one of the most
bizarre texts in the Bible. It says the rich man had to
admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And then Jesus says, “And
it is true that the children “of this world are more shrewd “in dealing with the world around them, “then are the children of the light.” Jesus tells us this story, because there are stressful
things that happen to us, and there are stressful
things that happen around us, and we need to learn how to respond. So in stressful times,
Jesus wants me to, okay? And I don’t know if you
can write these notes down, but I want you to remember this. In stressful times, Jesus
wants me to think creatively. Think creatively. The manager thought to himself, underline these words, now what? Now what? Instead of doom and
gloom, this is the end, we’re all gonna die, you
need to use your brain that God gave you and think creatively. He says, “My boss has fired me, “I don’t have the
strength to dig ditches.” You know what he’s saying? I’m too old to go back to manual labor. Okay, that’s where some of us are. Some of us are young enough that we could go do manual labor. We could go do something else. I love this next line,
super authentic here. He says, “And I’m too proud to beg.” Look, here’s the reality,
in your situation right now, your physical abilities
are gonna limit you, and your pride is gonna hold you back. So deal with your pride,
acknowledge your limitations, and think creatively. Hebrews 10:24 says this,
“Let us think of ways “to motivate one another to
acts of love and good works.” One of the reasons we gathered
here together as a church is to be creative. How can we do good things? How can we do better things? Now, I wanna challenge you. Some of you are locked in home, with your husband and your wife, and you’re getting way more quality time than you signed up for. I wanna challenge you right now, don’t be critical, be creative. Don’t be critical, be creative, right? It’s not the critical
spirit that we listen to, it’s the Holy Spirit. So don’t be critical, be creative. You got kids getting
on each other’s nerves. She touched me, he touched me, right? And some of you, your wives
are like, “Social distancing.” You’re like, “Oh my
gosh, what is going on?” Don’t be critical, be creative. I wanna challenge you. Think creatively about a couple of things. Number one, daily routines. Daily routines. You’re like, “Oh my gosh,
I can’t go to the gym.” That doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. “Oh my gosh, my favorite cereal was out.” That doesn’t mean you can’t have cereal. Look, I went to the cereal isle. All the sugared cereals, gone, ’cause apparently people are not worried about health in this crisis. All the cereals, the wheat
cereals, the Kashi cereals, they’re stocked, they
got too many of those. People are like, “No, I’d rather die “than eat healthy cereal.” Right? Examine your daily routines. You might have to
organize your kids’ life. And let me tell you, they’re
not gonna organize themselves. They’re not gonna come to you, “Mom, dad, we’ve decided
from 08:00 to 09:00 p.m. “We’re going to be annoying. “And then from 09:00 to 10:00
p.m. we’re going to fight, “and then from 10:00 to 11:00, “we’re going to really
pester you and bother you.” So what you have to do, is you have to organize
your daily routine. Some of you, you don’t know
what to do with yourself. Because for most of your
life, every decision, every day is made for you. Now you have all this time, and because you haven’t sat down and said, “You know what? “I’m gonna be creative with this time.” You’re just scrolling through Netflix, looking at shows that
you’ve already seen twice. So examine your daily routines. Man, if you’re a mom, let
me tell you something, you don’t need fast food. You got plenty of time, make your kids. You have time to teach
your kids how to cook, how to participate, how to actually wash a dish so that it’s clean, right? Sit down with your family and figure out new routines, new ways
of working together. Another thing is family time and chores. When are we gonna be
together, and when, amen, do we need to be apart? But we gotta talk about, look, I got 20 year olds that live in my house, we got a teenager that lives in my house. We have to have a talk about expectations. Like Tammy and I don’t go to work, we’re still going to work, and then it’s not our job to come home and serve the 20 year olds, amen? It’s our job to work together, and we all need to get in this together. The next is finances. Look, you’re gonna have to look at some things you don’t need. What are some things you’ve
been spending money on. Some of you, you have
subscriptions to services you forgot about. You got time to actually look
at your credit card statement, to look at your ATM statement and go, “What am I actually spending my money on?” So reevaluate your finances. We all gotta admit, there’s stuff we’ve been spending
money on that was stupid. So cut that out, get rid of that. Next, some of you are worried
about losing your job. Look, some of us are going to lose jobs, but there are other industries
that are gonna create jobs. Amazon is hiring 100,000 new employees. Think about that. Everybody’s sitting at home, they don’t know what to do, so they’re ordering a bunch of stuff. Maybe that’s what you need to do. And you’re like, “Well, I’ve
never worked at Amazon.” Look, it’s time to be creative. Next, think about maybe grocery stores, think about home refinancing. Man, there are gonna be more refinances than you ever thought or imagined. You’re like, “Well, I never worked “in the finance industry before.” Look, we’ve never been
in a pandemic before. It’s an opportunity to be
creative about what you could do. And let me just tell you, as
somebody that hires people, I would much rather have a hard worker who’s open to listening and learning, than someone who knows what
they know to do and is a pain, you know what I’m saying? And so there’s gonna be a lot of people that are willing to teach you, if you’ll just work
hard and do a good job. So think about that. Don’t throw your hands up in
the air, but think creatively. He said, “I can’t dig
ditches, and I’m too proud, “so I know what I’ll do. “I’m gonna go, and I’m
gonna find all the people “that owe my master money,
and I’m gonna cut their debt, “so that they’ll take
me in when I’m homeless, “and I’m kicked out.” Next, we gotta be creative about the way we think about church. Now one of the things that
I used to be criticized for all the time, was
how Sandals in on screen, Sandals is on screen. And that’s unbiblical, and that’s ungodly. Well, guess what? Thank God we were creative. Thank God we thought out of the box. Because now there’s a lot of churches that wish they would have done that. And let me just say this, not every church is gonna make it. I mean, you think it’s
hard for you to change? Let me tell you something, it’s 1000 times harder
for a church to change. So be willing to think differently about your church community. Look, God is in control, and He has us in this season for this time. He’s not surprised by this pandemic. He’s not surprised by COVID-19. He knows exactly what was gonna happen, and He knows that we
don’t need a building. What we need is each
other and faith in Him, and we need to gather around
that, and rally around that. Next you need to think
creatively about conflict. Look, let’s be honest, the
more time you spend together, the more conflict you’re going to have. I can’t even stand spending
all day with myself. I drive myself crazy. I get on my own nerves. And you’re gonna be stuck
in a house with people, and let me just say this. Man, I was on the phone
with a pastor friend of mine yesterday from Ireland,
and he just challenged this. He said, “All you people in California.” He says, “You guys are
all stuck in your homes, “for the next couple of months.” He’s all, “In Ireland,
we call that a vacation.” He’s like, “You have
swimming pools and sunshine.” He says, “We’re stuck
inside of stone houses, “and it’s raining all day, every day.” Like, they’re going nuts. So thank God, those of you
who live in California, we might get some sun here pretty quick. So be creative about conflict. Next, this is huge. Think creatively about space. Like we can’t hang out with
each other all the time. I mean, social distancing,
thank God it’s like from the president,
sometimes we need that. And you just tell your
kids, “Mommy loves you, “but I need you to go to your
room for like six hours.” No, make sure you have food and clothing, and you can’t lock ’em in there forever, or you’ll be on the news. But it’s okay to tell your kids, “Look, I love you so much,
but I need to not be poked, “touched, passed gassed on, right?” “I need not all of those things to happen “for about five minutes, and so I’m gonna “put you in your room.” And listen to me, it’s not child abuse to put your kid a room and say, “I need you to be quiet and creative “like the pastor said, for an hour.” Man, it might be the
best moment of your life. And you just tell ’em, “Blame Pastor Matt, “we all need a little space.” But even husband and wives need space. Man, I don’t know about
you, but Tammy and I, we don’t like the same movies. We don’t like to watch the same shows. And here’s the truth is, I gotta watch what she wants to watch, ’cause there’s no sports, right? So she gets to win. So we gotta figure that out together. Here’s what I want you to know. Write this down, desperation
can lead to innovation. It can. And so this might be the opportunity where God gets you to finally change what you needed to change a long time ago. This might be the place where He gets you to look at something a
little bit different. Here’s what I’m hoping for. Whether you’re Republican or a Democrat, you all know our healthcare
should be better. Here’s what I’m hoping. I’m hoping that through this process, desperation is gonna lead to innovation. One of the things that I
was super excited to see is the president mandated
that there’s no longer laws between states in regard to healthcare. That’s been one of the
biggest problems we’ve had, is each state has its
own way of doing that, and he just nationalized it. If you’re a doctor that’s
certified in this state, you can work in that state. I’m really hopeful that
they’re gonna figure out, this is a better way
to care for all of us. You see, desperation
can lead to motivation. And so I’m hopeful for that. Next, Jesus wants me in
stressful times to live wisely. Look at this text. The rich man had to admire
the dishonest rascal. Now, he’s not saying that’s okay, we’re gonna get to that in a minute. He’s not saying it’s good
that he was dishonest. What he’s saying is, it’s good
that a dishonest, immoral, unrighteous, non-God-fearing person, listen to this, was shrewd. You see, we don’t use that word anymore. And often times we think of it, nowadays, as always negative. But shrewdness is actually a command. Jesus says that we are to
be as innocent as a dove, and as shrewd as a snake. Do you know why a snake
needs to be shrewd? Because it’s got one chance to strike, and it’s gotta be very, very
careful when it does that. So we gotta be shrewd. Here’s the way we should
translate it, wisely. You should live wisely. Now, when you look around, when
you’re at the grocery store, are people being wise? Like there’s no shortage of toilet paper, what are we doing? What are we doing? And I just gotta say, if this is the end, dirty drawers are the
least of my worries, okay? I’m not gonna be like, “I
can’t meet Jesus today, “’cause I got dirty underwear.” I don’t care, I just wanna meet Jesus. So just think about it. And by the way, most of the
world doesn’t use toilet paper, we’re gonna be okay! So be wise when you go
to the grocery store. Some of you are just panicking and spending money that
you’re a little short on, buying stuff you don’t need, and some of it might rot. Like I was cracking up man. So store shelves were
empty, vegetable isle, full. People looked at broccoli,
“I’d rather die.” I would rather die than eat broccoli. I would rather have
COVID-19 than eat broccoli. I’m not kidding you. I don’t know what your
grocery store was like, but my grocery store, if you
were in the fresh food section, the actual real food,
you would have thought there’s no crisis at all. Like you go to the beer section,
the coke section, right? Empty. I watched people carrying
out carts of Budweiser, “They’re not gonna make this anymore.” Yeah, they’re gonna make
it, so you need to be wise. And eggs, what are you guys doing? Eggs last a long time. It’s not the bird flu, okay? That’s not what this is. Our chickens are fine, our chickens are gonna keep laying eggs. Don’t panic. Don’t panic. And maybe hand a roll of
toilet paper to somebody. And say, “Jesus loves you,
here’s a roll of toilet paper.” Right? So be careful, the Bible
says, how you live. Underline this next,
don’t live like a fool! And if you’re a millennial,
a college student, listen to me, you gotta be wise! What is going on with
college students in Florida? “We don’t care if we get
COVID-19,” you will if you get it! Man, and that wasn’t a
good moment, but I’m like, “You what we need to do? “Maybe we need to collect
all those spring breakers, “and I got an idea, let’s
put ’em on a cruise ship.” And just you know what? You’re in the Lord’s hands, right? And I know we can’t that,
and that’s terrible, and you’re all gonna send emails, but it was a sinful thought this week. I’m just saying, you gotta be wise. You gotta be wise. So be careful how you live,
don’t live like fools. Now some of you, you’re gonna be foolish ’cause you’re stubborn. You’re gonna be stubborn. And let me just say this, I hope and pray that what the president has done, what our governors have
done, is an overreaction. We need to all pray that’s what it is. But what if it’s not? You better just sit
back and think about it. And let me tell you something,
if you’re a Christian, you believe that one day you’re gonna stand
before God and be judged. A lot of people think that’s
a joke, you know it’s not. So don’t know how this is gonna end. So what we need to do,
is we need to be wise. Be careful how you live,
don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. That is a command. You don’t have this verse in your notes, but the next verse is, making
the best use of your time. Are you doing that? I’m not saying you
can’t watch any Netflix, but I’m saying if that’s your whole day, if video games are your whole day, have you made the best use of your time? Look, these days are evil. These days are evil,
and we need to make sure that we continue to do
what’s right and good. Do not be foolish, but understand
what the Lord’s will is. Now here’s the problem. Jesus says that the people of the world are shrewder than the people of the light. You know what that means? This is Jesus, your Jesus,
the Jesus that loved you, the Jesus that died for you. Hold on, ’cause I’m gonna
preach to you, right? You need to hear this. This is Jesus, and what He’s saying is, people who don’t believe in Him sometimes are smarter
than the people who do. And you know why that is? ‘Cause we say dumb things as Christians. “Well, God is in control!” Yeah, He is, but what has
He placed you in charge of? Huh? Jesus take the wheel! Not if you’re driving. You wanna be on an airplane,
and the pilot comes on and he says, “I have just
let Jesus take the wheel.” Like I love Jesus, but I
want you to fly, buddy. I want you to do that. So God’s in control, but
your decisions matter. Your decisions matter. And so we gotta have faith,
but we gotta be wise. We gotta be wise. So God’s in control, but what
has He put you in charge of? Some of you are saying,
“Jesus take the wheel.” But He wants you to drive
the car you’ve been given. Proverbs 19:3 says this, “People ruin their lives.” People do, by their own foolishness, and then they’re angry at God. You see, you have to make wise decisions. Especially, Paul says, in this evil time. We gotta be careful. Colossians 4:5 says this, “Live wisely among those
who are not believers.” Listen to me, if you go to Sandals, please don’t say stupid things to people who don’t know God. Can I just tell you,
when you say to someone who doesn’t have a personal
relationship with God, “God is in control.” That makes no sense, that
is not helpful in any way, they’re scared to death. They’re scared to death. You need to provide comfort for them. You need to listen to them,
and you can give hope to them. But don’t just say blanket statements that don’t make any sense. Try to live wisely among
those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. If you have an opportunity to share it with somebody, then do it. I would say this, instead of
saying, “God is in control,” let’s all practice this one. I’m trying to honor God by
being wise in this crisis. I’m trying to honor God by being wise. Listen to me, you don’t honor
God when you do dumb things, that doesn’t honor God. And some of you are like, “Well,
I don’t feel like I’m wise. “I don’t feel like I know what to do.” Look, none of us have been
in this situation before. James says this, “If you need
wisdom,” which, who does? Right?
I do. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to You. He will not rebuke you for asking. Look, when it comes to God,
there’s no bad questions. God, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what You want me to do. I’m telling you, God wants
you to think creatively, and He wants you to act wisely. Act wisely. So let’s just take a
moment, let’s just stop. And just right now in
your own way, just say, “God, I don’t know what to do.” You just say, “God, I need
your help, I need wisdom. “I need wisdom for my family,
I need wisdom for my job, “I need wisdom for my future. “God, I don’t know what to do. “And every time I look
online or I watch the news, “one expert is saying one thing, “and the next expert says another thing. “So God, I need you right
now to give me wisdom.” Can I just tell you, as your pastor, the thing I’m praying
for the most is wisdom. I am not nearly as
concerned about getting sick as I am about screwing this church up. That’s what I’m concerned about. I have no doubt, when this thing is over, there’s gonna be lots of
people left at Sandals Church. I wanna make sure Sandals Church is left, so I gotta make good decisions. I gotta make smart decisions, and I need God’s wisdom,
and you need the same. You need the same. And you need to be thinking, “Lord, help me to be
wise in this situation.” Next, here’s what Jesus wants you to know, about this dishonest, really knucklehead, who got fired by his boss. He wants you, write this
down, to connect relationally. Can I just be honest? I’m just gonna come at you. I love you, I care for you,
but I’m gonna be real with you. Especially if you go to Sandals Church. If you’re new, and you’ve
never watched me before, this is not to you, okay? You get a get out of jail free
card, you’re not in trouble. But if you’ve been
going to sandals church, and I have been begging
you, challenging you, imploring you to get in a community group, and you have not done
it, you’re in trouble. You’re in trouble. Look, you know what Tammy
and I were doing last night? Tammy and I made dinner,
and we drove 30 minutes, 30 minutes to deliver food
to two senior citizens who’ve been Christians
longer than I’ve been alive, but they’re not connected to a community that can minister to them. Think about that. You see, you can know all the right things and still be very lonely in Christianity. And some of you, you don’t
have anybody to call, anybody to check up on you. You need friends. And you need friends that are Christians, because you know what
Christian friends will do? They’ll risk it all to serve you. That’s one of the things
we’re gonna be doing, I don’t know how long
this thing’s gonna last. But one of the things
we’re gonna do as a church, is we’re gonna serve people. We’re gonna serve. Okay, COVID-19 doesn’t give us permission to not serve people, to
not care about people. And we need to do that as Christians. We need to connect relationally. Here’s what the dishonest, and in Greek, it actually
says unrighteous person, said. So he’s not righteous, he
doesn’t believe in God, he doesn’t follow God. Here’s what he says, “Ah, I
know what I’ll do to ensure “that I have plenty of friends “who will give me a home when I’m fired.” Here’s what he’s saying, he knows this, that when money runs out, friends don’t. When money runs out, friends don’t, and some of you are very lonely, and this is your opportunity
to get in a community group, to join a group, to start a group, to begin circling around
and talking with people, and connecting with people. To quit just coming to Sandals Church, or watching Sandals Church, but to actually become a
part of Sandals Church. When you read Genesis chapter one, everything’s good, everything’s
good, everything’s good, and then God says, “It is not
good for man to be alone.” It’s not good for you to be alone. Can I just say this, your favorite TV show is not your friend. Your favorite news media
host is not your friend. Jesus says, “I’ve called you friends.” Here’s what Jesus says,
that the greatest act is when a friend lays his
life down for another. That’s the kind of friends
God wants us to be, there for each other no matter what. I know what I’ll do, I’m gonna make sure I
have plenty of friends. Some of you have been living for money, and you’ve made a ton of money
and you have no real friends. You need to change that. Proverbs 11:30, the seeds of good deeds become a tree of life. A wise person wins friends. If you’re smart, you know you need people. And if you’re married,
that’s not enough people. Ecclesiastes says, “Yeah,
two is better than one, “but three are even better.” You need more friends, you
need different friends, you need people who speak into your life. Galatians 6:2 says this,
“Share each other’s burdens.” Do you know why all of the
selves are empty in your store? It’s not because there’s not enough. Look, America doesn’t
have a starvation problem, we have an obesity problem. We got so much food, we got too much food. The reason the shelves
are empty in your store is not because there’s
a shortage of stuff, it’s because there’s a shortage
of love and friendship. And people are concerned about themselves. Galatians 6:2 says this,
“Share each other’s burdens, “and in this way obey the law of Christ.” I was at the grocery store,
just getting some stuff that Tammy asked me to get. People are panicking. I mean it was like
NASCAR, people were like going through the isles
with their shopping carts. And I saw this little old
lady who could barely walk, and she only had a few things in her cart. And it was almost like the
shopping cart was a walker. And she got up to buy the
few things that she got, a couple of frozen pizzas. And I just can’t imagine. The president said people
that are 65 and older, you need to shelter at home, because you’re the most vulnerable. This gal was at least
20, 30 years past 65. Super elderly. And she’s confused about
how much was charged, she was confused about what to do. And everybody’s so focused on themselves, nobody sees an elderly
woman who needs some help. And I just went up, and I just
said, “Hey, can I help you? “Do you not have enough money?” I said, “I can pay for it.” Whatever you need, I’m here to help you. And she was a little startled. You know why,’cause
nobody does that anymore. Said, “How can I help you?” And everybody’s afraid to touch her. I said, “How can I help you?” And all it was, is she wanted to pay cash, because she didn’t have a credit card. That was it. And she was confused. Very simple, very easy. And I helped her pay, and
I counted out her change, and I gave it to her. And I said, “Do you need me
to help you to your car?” And she said, “No, thank you, thank you.” And the lady behind
the cash register said, “That was really sweet.” And you know, it wasn’t. It should have been just really normal. Just really normal. Share each other’s burdens. Can I just say this? Some of you right now, the
Devil is speaking to you, and here’s what you’re saying, “Why is God letting this happen to me?” You’re making this whole
crisis about yourself. It’s not about you. It’s happening to all of us. Some of us are more affected,
some of us are less affected. But it’s not happening to you. That’s what the Devil does,
is he whispers in your ears, and he says, “You’re the
only one that’s suffering, “this is happening to you.” We gotta share each other’s burdens. Here’s the last point. And a lot of people
struggle with this passage, because here’s what they can’t get. Why would Jesus point
to a dishonest manager, why would he point to an unethical person, as somebody that we need to act like? And here’s why, they don’t read all the way down past the story. So Jesus talks about him. He is repeatedly referred
to as the dishonest manager. Look, he got fired for what he did. His owner laughed at him. He’s not ethical, but
at least he’s shrewd, at least he’s trying to be smart. Here’s how this story ends. Last point, act ethically,
do what’s right. A pandemic does not give you the right to steal, to lie, and to cheat. Act ethically. Look at verse nine, Jesus
says, “Here’s the lesson.” If you’re confused, He just told a story. I don’t know what to think
about this, here’s the lesson. Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. To benefit others and make friends. Can I just say this? What happens if our money
at some point is no good? That could happen. You know what is always good? Friends. It’s always good. Jesus says, “Here’s the lesson,
use your worldly resources “to benefit others and to make friends, “then when your possessions are gone. “Then when your possessions are gone, “they will welcome you
to an eternal home.” Here’s the shift. Jesus is talking about
a tough time on earth, and now all of a sudden he’s
talking about eternal life. He says this, “If you are
faithful in little things, “you will be faithful with large ones.” I don’t know how big
this crisis is gonna get, but let me just say this. Human beings and Christians
have faced far worse than this. If we can’t be faithful in this, we can’t be faithful in what
God wants to bless is with. He says that, “But if you were dishonest “in the little things, you won’t be honest “in the greater responsibilities.” What did the dishonest manager do? He was skimming from his
boss, then he got fired, and guess what he did? He skimmed more, he stole more. And if you were untrustworthy
about worldly wealth, then who will trust you with
the true riches of heaven? Here’s what Jesus is saying,
if you can’t act ethically now when you’re under stress, God is not gonna bless you in heaven. It’s not gonna happen. So what that means, is I Matt Brown can’t just think about Matt Brown. I have to think about my
family, our church, our city, our state, the world. I can’t just make it about me. I have to act ethically. And if you are not faithful
with other people’s things, then why should you be
trusted with your own? Wow. Can I just say this? Everything you think is yours
is loaned to you by God. You say, “Well, I earned it, I made it.” No, no, no. You only earned what God
gave you the ability to earn, and you only make what God gave you the creative ability to make. It’s all His, it’s all on loan from Him. Here’s what He’s saying. If you want something of your own forever, then you need to be faithful with what He’s blessed you with here and now. You need to be faithful. Some of you’ve never noticed this, and you’ve been a
Christian your whole life. You know what the very next verse is? The very next verse, you
cannot serve two masters, because in the end you will
love one and hate the other. Jesus says you cannot
serve both God and money. You see, the dirty rascal,
the dishonest manager, he lived his whole life about money. And because of that, in
the end, he got fired. Now Jesus says, “Look, I
gotta give it to this guy, “he’s dishonest, he’s unrighteous, “but at least he’s creative,
at least he’s shrewd.” And he says, “Hey Christians,
you need to be creative, “and you need to be crude.” Not crude.
(chuckling) You need to be creative,
you need to be wise, but you need to not be
like him in the other ways. You need to be ethical, you
need to do what’s right, and here’s why. I know this is a crisis, and some of you are very, very worried
about what’s gonna happen. Here’s what we really need to worry about is standing before God one day, because most of us are gonna
live a long time through this, and we’re gonna forget about
how we acted during COVID-19. We’re gonna forget about all that, but nothing is forgotten in Heaven. And it’s all written in books, and one day you’ll stand before God. And you’ll have forgotten about COVID-19, and God says, “You remember that time “you stole propane from 7-Eleven? “Remember that time
you stole toilet paper? “You stole toilet paper, and
you already had six rolls “at home, but the person
behind you had none? “Remember that time when you
bought six crates of eggs, “and you don’t even like eggs? “The family behind you, they didn’t know “what they were gonna do for
food the next five days.” And here’s what the Bible says. For we must all stand
before Christ and be judged, and we will receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have
done in this earthly body. One day you and I will stand before Jesus. Look, if you’re not a Christian,
you won’t be able to stand. No one can stand before
the holy, almighty, all powerful and all perfect God. But listen to me, if you’re a Christian, you will be able to stand, because of your faith and
trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible says there is
no longer a condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Condemnation means death. You’re not gonna die,
but you will be judged, and you will stand before an almighty God and be held accountable for how you lived. So let’s live ethically. Let’s act ethically. Let’s connect together. Let this moment be the moment where we actually become
who God’s called us to be. And so I just wanna end with
two things, two challenges. For those of you who can give, continue to give. Sandals Church is just
like any other business. We’re not a business,
we’re a family business. And I know some of you are struggling, if you can’t give, don’t give. And we wanna be able to reach
out and minister to you, if you find yourself in a
time of need, let us know. But if you can give, give. This is not a time to hoard,
this is a time to be generous. You need to really pray
about this parable. And then next, I just wanna
invite you into worship. Look, you got plenty of time. You can Netflix later, you
can watch a movie later, you can do all kinds of things
for the rest of the day, but this is your moment right now to gather with your church and to worship. To worship. It’s always been my dream
to have 500 church campuses. That was my dream. Somebody DMd me last week
on Instagram, and said, “Pastor Matt, right now
there are 500 churches “and more all over the world.” There are people gathering
with us right now from almost every continent,
every country on earth, and they want to worship with you. One church in many locations, worshiping the one true God. So don’t miss this
opportunity, don’t click off. And even if you’re not musical,
and you’re not a singer, just sit and listen as we sing together as one church, to the one true God. I love you, thank you so much
for listening, God bless. (slow instrumental music) Man, I know that is truth
that many of us needed today, that we’re not slaves,
not just to fear, not to anxiety, not to the unknown, that is why, Sandals Church,
We are so glad and grateful that you joined us this week, because we need to be reminded
of is truth that many of us needed. – Yeah, these are challenging
and uncertain times, and we want you to know
that we are here for you. – And if you need prayer for
any reason, please let us know. You can send us a message
at [email protected], and just know that just
because we’re not present with each other, does not
mean that we can’t have a presence in each other’s lives. And is that what we want to do
here as a Church for you, every single day, this week. That’s why we are gonna have
weekly programming at live.sandalschurch.tv. So be sure to check it all out,
spread the word. And we’re so excited to see you
back next week. (slow instrumental music)

11 comments

  1. I feel like I should point out that the people on the beaches in Florida are for the most part not Florida natives. Those are tourists on spring break. Not our fault they didn't want to cancel their vacations.

  2. Great service just what we needed to hear!! God Bless everyone and hopefully All of us will continue to have faith and do our part.

  3. For all those who call themselves a Christian, I'd dare you not just to be ethical, but to be righteous in all you say and do.

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