1 Kings 3:16-28 The wisdom of Solomon (TU15/041)

thanks so much Anand maybe you also in all as you heard the riddle and wondered how you would solve it and heard the verb wise answer of King Solomon we’re calling the series and Solomon history’s richest man and I’m sorry to disappoint you if you come along today with the express purpose of hearing we justify that and give you my calculation of his net worth and so on but actually I was I tried to do that a couple of days ago and I realize I was incompetent II but actually you are the experts and here’s my challenge for you I would love to have a valuation of King Solomon’s estate with the tools that you have at your disposal but just to give you an idea of just how wealthy this man was just late look over chapter 4 chapter 4 verse 21 Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the ephrata stood and the Philistines to the board of Egypt they bought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life Solomon’s provision for one day was 30 cause of flour and sixty cause of meal 10 oxen 20 pasture-fed cattle a hundred sheep besides dear gazelles robaxin fatten foutre always not worth mentioning at his dinner table he had dominion over all the region west of the freighters from teeth faster Gaza over all the king’s west de freitas he had peace on all sides around him duden Israel lived in safety from Dan to Beersheba every man under his victory and his vine and under his fig tree all the days of Solomon Solomon had 40,000 stools of horses for his chariots and twelve thousand horsemen and so on and so on he was an extraordinarily rich man he was extremely powerful man as we’ve read he had piece of every side and presided over a huge number of vassal states he was a great architect I had the privilege of traveling to the Middle East couple years ago when things were less hairy and visiting some of the archaeological works on cities built by King Solomon and they all get to the UNESCO World Heritage number one rated sites because they’re quite incredible for their architecture he was known for his military power so he had we read 40,000 stools of horses for his chariot before then Israel had been confined to the hill country they were fighting fit they were good at running up a hill but they couldn’t hold their own on the open plains around Megiddo but Solomon realized that the way to control this was to build chariots because you could cross vast areas very quickly so he was a major military figure i’m solomon was an incredibly wealthy man i’m looking to you to tell me just how wealthy by next week but actually he was also a very wise man and the thing that is celebrated most clearly in the biblical account about Solomon is his wisdom wisdom is not the same as intellect which we say prize today is not the same as IQ I want us to spend some time in this first study on Solomon looking at exactly what his wisdom was what is true wisdom and actually his wisdom is linked to his prosperity the fact that he was very successful is no doubt connected to the fact that he was wise but wisdom means more than shrewdness or business acumen we’re going to be looking at the wisdom of Solomon the wisdom of the Gods the wisdom of the Lord Jesus Christ and you get a great summary of it just at the end of chapter 4 maybe you could turn there and I love some of the comparisons here just by which the author emphasizes just how wise this man was God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore said that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt he was wiser than all other men wise than Ethan the ezra height and Herman calcio and Dada the sons of Maho now I love this we don’t know who these people are but it’s as if you were to think of that the cleverest people that you know say a Garry Kasparov oh yeah who’s better at chess than him Carol Carol Vorderman yeah his mental epitope was much better than hers you think of the cleverest people that you can think of and say the Solomon trumps all of them then we get specific about his lip the output verse 32 he spoke 3,000 proverbs you can read some of them in the book of Proverbs in the Bible and his songs were 1005 I love that it’s not even as if he’s just rounding up in here about a thousand he raped a thousand and five songs and he spoke of trees this will plead some of the botanist here from the Sidra in lebanon to the hyssop that grows out the wall he spoke also of beasts and birds of reptiles and fish he was the renaissance man he was the horticulturist he was the student of the

zoological realm he was an incredibly wise man but I want us to see one two three four five six things about this wisdom of Solomon firstly it is a very valuable thing to be wise it’s perhaps more valuable than to have all the rich as we read of all of the money in the city wisdom is very precious and Solomon realizes this when he is asked by God a question I wonder what what you would say to this chapter 3 verse 5 at Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said ask what I still give you that is the equivalent isn’t it of rubbing your lamp and a genie coming out and saying you’ve got three wishes well it’s almost the equivalent you believe up one wish but the advantages this isn’t just the genie this is the God who made the world one wish what would you wish for what would you choose solomon says this verse 8 your servant is in the midst of your people whom you’ve chosen a great people too many to be numbered or counted for multitude give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people that I may discern between good and evil for who is able to govern this your great people it pleased the Lord that Solomon ask this and God said to him because you’ve asked this and I’ve not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies but as after yourself understanding to discern what is right behold I now do according to your word I give you a wise and discerning mind so that no like you has been before you and unlike you should always after you I’ll give you also what you haven’t asked which is naana so that no other King so compared with you what would you like I’d like wisdom because you’ve asked wisdom you can have wisdom and be very wealthy as a bonus but wisdom was the right thing to ask for it was the right call says god that is the most precious thing that you could possibly have you were given the choice would I rather have an extra two hundred thousand of the bank account or be a little bit more wise God thinks the right answer is the second option wisdom is very valuable but notice here wisdom is altruistic who is able to govern this your great people give me a wise and discerning mind so that I may discern good and evil to govern them so i’m solomon doesn’t just say please make me clever give me a high IQ so that everyone is impressed by me and so actually i can make the right investment choices and then i’ll be able to make myself very wealthy now he answer wisdom first and foremost in order to govern well as a king and noticed that right government isn’t just about being clever it’s not just about having the best economic think tank who can think their way out of the eurozone crisis or whatever it might be actually in the Bible primarily wisdom is a moral category about knowing the difference between what is good and what is evil give me a wise in discerning mind he says to discern between good and evil we get a wonderful example of that don’t we with this these two women fighting over the live child bring me a sword he says cut the living child in two and then you can have half each it’s a brilliant answer out of this riddle immediately that the woman gives the line woman gives the child to the tree mother and notice verse 28 all is so heard of the judgment the King had rendered they stood in all of the king but they perceive that what do they perceive they perceived he was a jolly clever came he sold a very tricky riddle that’s true but the text says that they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice see wisdom isn’t just about being clever it’s about name what is right about knowing the difference between right and wrong in a practical solution you wouldn’t find the wise person tucked away as an academic just enjoying the books and lighting some kind of esoteric theory for his own amusement at the truly wise person is seeking to serve others and trying to make right moral judgments what would be good in the situation and what would be evil it’s valuable altruistic moral practical and it is a great blessing and just look down at verse chapter 4 verse

20 and ask yourself how many countries of the world you think this could be said of children is 0 as many as the sand of the sea they were populous they ate and drank and were happy just the throw a line actually but happiness ratings they’re one of the metrics aren’t they by which the the economy is trying to work out how country is doing and always it turns out paradoxically that the richest countries are the most miserable and some village in outer northern Sweden where it’s dark for half of the year and about one hour of daylight at this time of year and then suddenly paradoxically everything extremely happy and they will send their advisors to fly out there and find out what the secret is but the secret here is that here’s our people governed by a king who does what’s right there’s just this people live morally the right way and with that comes security and peace safety and great contentment it is a great blessing to be governed by a king who is so wise and then my inference from chapter 5 chapter 4 verse 34 throw a dotted around a bit my influence from chapter 4 verse 34 is that this kind of wisdom is quite unusual people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon from all the kings of the earth who’d heard about his wisdom it’s rare enough that people take notice not many people are as wise as this well I want to turn over cup pages we going to daughter out a bit less and drill down at the beginning of chapter 10 what we get a summary of some of these same themes and I think we can enjoy it because it is the arrival of the Queen of Sheba I should really a primed simpe the organist to play this for us like when we did indianna jaymes and he kindly played us the Raiders March but he hasn’t been forewarned but you know the famous chain the arrival of the Queen of Sheba and often played for possessions at the end of weddings well here is the Queen arriving I don’t think to an organ tune but appropriately enough you can imagine that in your in your mind and she’s an example actually what we just read about of people of all over the world hearing of this of the wisdom of Solomon and coming to see and that is what she does when the Queen of Sheba chapter 10 verse 1 heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord she came to test him with hard questions I love that she’s not so easily impressed i’ve heard you’re a wise guy i’m not so sure so I thought up the hardest exam paper that anyone has ever been set and I’ve come to and sit the exam with you I’ll be in vigil ating make sure you didn’t get out your mobile phones look on google and see how you did and but just as an incentive to make sure you concentrate on the exam verse 2 she came with the very great retinue with camels boeing spices and very much gold and precious stones and i guess to impress solomon it’s going to be quite a big present haven’t used it what do you buy for the man who has everything but she tries her best she came to Solomon she told him all that was on her mind and Solomon answered all her questions there was nothing hidden from the king that he couldn’t explain to her and when the Queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon the house that he built the food of his table the seating of his officials the attendance of his servants their clothing his cut bearish his burnt offerings that he offered in the house the Lord there was no more breath in her first of two famous phrases that come from this passage literally it took her breath away the first time anyone’s ever said that in literature and it was about the cream of Queen of Sheba marveling at how wise this man was look out and see if you can spot the second well-known phrase verse 6 she said to the king the report was true that I heard in my own land of your words in your wisdom but I didn’t believe the reports until I came and we’re own eyes and see it and behold the half was not told me or to translate I wasn’t told the half of it first it comes anywhere in literature I don’t think she’s talking about the baby at this stage was until the half of it but about his wisdom and then sheshe sunrises what we’ve already seen your wisdom and prosperity surpassed the report I heard happy at your servants happier your men who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom blessed be the Lord your God he’s delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel because the Lord lovely saw forever he’s made you King that you may execute say

my dear again justice and righteousness it is a great thing to be wise it’s valuable God thought it more valuable than had he asked her riches or a long life what would you choose i wonder if God gave you that question what would you like me to do for you wisdom was the right answer where’s the not to be self-serving but to serve others say that I may govern this great people says Solomon and to govern them not just with brilliant economic insight but with right moral judgments to know the difference between what is good and what is evil even in practical situations like settling disputes for people who come to you and that kind of wisdom will at least that kind of wisdom in your king is a great blessing people for all of the world come and see it so unusual as they came to find out what made Solomon say wise but the last point there on the sheet is really the most important one which is to say that true wisdom comes from God should be obvious didn’t it but it wasn’t that Solomon studied hard or had exactly the right combination of genes in his two parents that came together to give him that neurological advantage it was the God asked him a question what would you like he said please could I have some wisdom and God decided to give it to him it was God’s gift of wisdom and it wasn’t so much just a gift to him as a gift to all of the people my favorite verse we were studying this last year in our small groups here in Helens my favorite verse came to be chapter 9 verse 9 so I chapter 10 verse 9 sorry I hear the rustling of pages think he should be on the same page still so chapter 10 verse 9 blessed be the Lord your God says the Queen of Sheba visiting from afar who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel because the Lord loved Israel forever he’s made you King just think about that versal moment because God loves Israel the nation he made you King to give Solomon wisdom wasn’t only a gift for Solomon but it was a gift for all of the people who lived in his country in fact it was a sign that God must really love that country to give him a government like this everyone’s happy everyone’s at peace everyone is ruled justly there’s no corruption there’s no more compromise and I think we scarcely can imagine what that’s like I’m not being particularly down on David Cameron or present government but we don’t have any concept of a government that’s without corruption where wisdom is always altruistic when they politician ever seeks to feather their own nests or line their own pockets we’ve barely a concept of a king whose first and foremost their decision is what is morally right an economic system governed entirely by moral judgments we can’t imagine that and actually Israel could barely imagine it because it is a very rare thing even within their own history and tragically it was quite a temporary thing even in Solomon’s day these are the high days the high points of Israel’s history but actually in just a couple of chapters time everything begins to unravel and in the next generation there’s a civil war there after Israel and the naught is ruled over by King off the king who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord King Caesar themselves kinky were kinky a greedy for gain kills Kings who are willing to make moral compromises for expediency in fact if you read only one kings you’ll find news that you recognize from the Western media it looks much much more familiar the Bible’s not raised tinted on ieave it nazar thing doesn’t come around very often once in a lifetime actually once in the entire history of a nation a king like this and even this king stuffs up we’ll see why in two weeks time you can probably guess from the title Solomon’s wisdom Solomon’s worship Solomon’s wives and the plural is ominous and that will be his downfall but its god-given it’s beautiful you wanted I read this and say I want to go

like this I think at the sweep tur and successor jeremy corbyn tells us people 12 government like this whether or not they’re naive to put their trust in him for such high hopes but people want integrity and moral goodness can he deliver I wonder and the Bible say wisdom truism is very very rare but it comes from God and it’s found securely and permanently only in the Lord Jesus the wonderful way about the way that by was written is because God is in charge of all of history he plans all of history to teach us the lessons of the gospel so even hundreds of years before Jesus comes more than 900 years before Jesus and the time of Solomon God as he plans history he’s already explaining what Jesus we like so earlier on in the book of 2 Samuel God promised her David Solomon’s father that his son would sit on his throne forever ever since David we’ve been expecting a son of David it will be an eternal King and Solomon of course is our first hope because he is a son of David and he does pretty well we’re thinking this could be the king he lost forever it turns out not as was in a couple of chapters so then we start following the line maybe it’s the son of the son of David or the son of the son of the son of day we start a massive genealogy and of course the Jewish people were very keen to do this tracing meticulously the lineage of David to see who this King might be and the long comes King Jesus if you doubt his genealogy read the first chapter of the New Testament where you is traced all the way back to Solomon and to Davis and here comes King Jesus at the son of David the greatest Solomon the wisest King that ever lived in houma hidden says the New Testament all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge but notice that doesn’t mean just that Jesus is clever are they my guess is that he would beat you at Scrabble if he challenged him to a game it’s not cheese just that Jesus he’s rich though now is the king of all creation of course he’s more prosperous than Solomon ever was as the whole of the nation’s or his inheritance but it doesn’t mean Jesus has something that is precious and altruistic to serve others he has right moral judgment he knows the difference between good and evil and he proposes to govern his kingdom along those lines no corruption but justice peace security and just a glimpse at life under Solomon makes me think I would like to live under an administration like that one so along comes Jesus saying I’m the king the son of David would you like to be in my kingdom as I rule with justice and righteousness and peace and the wise answer is yes please please come back this week we’re looking at Solomon’s worship hits construction of one of the wonders of the ancient world the Temple in Jerusalem we’re not just going to look at the architectural designs but what the temple was for and once again how that pointed us forward to the Lord Jesus I never leaders in prayer as we finish the Queen of Sheba said blessed be the Lord your God who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel because the Lord loved Israel forever he has made you king that you may execute justice and righteousness and heavenly father how we can copy that same prayer and say it must be that you loved us forever that you would choose to give us such a king such a rare and wise and altruistic King as the Lord Jesus Christ all having read this glimpse of history we were very attracted to the idea of living in his kingdom and we pray that you would help us to follow him and trust in him for Jesus name sake amen you you

Learn How To Trust God's Timing with Rick Warren

– I want to say Merry Christmas to all 19 of our other campuses on four different continents Would you just clap and say Merry Christmas to all of them? (congregation clapping and whistling) God bless you, guys This is the 39th Saddleback Community Christmas services of the last 39 years I’ve done all 39 of ’em and this year, Saddleback has grown so much, we’re offering 105 Christmas services (congregation cheering) Right I’ll be checking into the hospital the day after Christmas (congregation laughing) Actually, I’m not gonna try to do all of them live Can’t do 104, five services without using a little bit of video But if you’re new to Saddleback, inside your program there a thing called message notes It’s kinda a little cheat sheet if you’ll pull it out It’s kind of a direction of where we’re gonna go in our service this year I have studied the Christmas story my entire life I mean, for over 50 years, I’ve studied the Christmas story But this year, when I went to begin studying the text of the Bible and the Christmas story, I saw something I’ve never ever seen before It was a new discovery to me And what I saw was the emphasis on the word time Using the different translations of scripture, I saw that there are 16 different references to time and timing in the Christmas story, that God had a timetable for Christmas Now, having the right time, having a sense of timing is important in so many areas of your life Most of the stress in your life comes from poor timing Either you’re in a hurry or there’s a delay and both of those things can stress you out, being too fast or too slow On the other hand, one of the keys to success in life is wise timing and when you do the right thing at the right time, it just works On the other hand, can you say the right thing but say it in the wrong time and it’s a disaster? Yeah Can you do the right thing but do it at the wrong time and it’s a disaster? Yes Timing is everything Timing is the difference between a good joke and a bad joke Comedians have great timing Timing is the difference between when they play one baseball player, a professional one, a pitcher, $80 million to throw a ball and they won’t pay another guy, an amateur, any money to throw the ball It’s the same two and three-quarter inch ball, it’s the same number of feet from the pitcher to the batter The difference is the $80 million guy has a better sense of timing They’re paying him $80 million for timing The difference between a great leader and a poor leader is not just knowing what to do but knowing when to do it The timing is everything The difference between a speaker who holds your attention and is interesting and a boring one, the difference those two is (laughs) timing (congregation laughing) Had you there for a minute (congregation laughing) Now what is the birth of Jesus tell us about God’s timing in your life? Well, this is really important so I want you to write down these five truths, great truths, about God’s timing in your life It’s gonna lower your stress, it’s gonna raise your success if you’ll understand how to cooperate with God’s timing So let’s look at this Number one, what do we learn from Jesus’ birth about God’s timing? That God has a timetable, number one, God has a timetable for everything that happens God has a timetable for everything that happens This is taught all through the Bible In Ecclesiastes 3:1 it says this There’s an appointed time for everything and there’s a right time for every activity under heaven Says, there’s a right time for everything There’s an appointed time Look up here on the screen In another translation, Today’s English Version, Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses God has a timetable for everything and He even had a timetable for Christmas Look at the next verse, Galatians chapter 4 in the Bible, verses 3 to 5 says this When the right time came, God sent His Son to earth, born of a woman and living under the law, so that His Son could pay for our freedom from the law, set us free, and adopt us as His children into God’s family That’s what God sent Jesus to do, to show us what God’s like, to save us from our sins, to adopt us into God’s family But notice the phrase, when the time was right, God sent His Son

Christmas happened at just the right time What made it the right time? We don’t know Why 2000 years ago? We don’t know Why not 2000 years earlier? I mean, God had been telling the world, I’m gonna send a Savior for thousands of years, but He waited a long time before He sent Jesus Or why not 50 years from this year to send the Savior? We don’t know why it was the right time but God says it was the right time to send Jesus Now that leads me to the second truth, write this down God does not tell us the details in advance He has a timetable for your life but He doesn’t tell you the details in advance Ecclesiastes 3:11 says this God has given us the desire to know the future And He always does everything just right and on time, but people can never completely understand what God is doing Everybody agree with that verse? Yeah, why, because God is God and you’re not For me to try and understand God’s timetable is like an ant trying to understand the internet I don’t have the brain capacity If you could understand why God does everything God does, you’d be God Now He says that God given us this desire to know the future Have you noticed all the crazy things people try to do to figure out the future? Tarot cards, palm reading, tea leaves, astrology, all kinds of crazy things trying to figure out the future But the Bible says, God doesn’t let us know the timetable Why? Why didn’t God just tell you everything that’s gonna happen in your life right up front? Well, I think there are two or three reasons First, it would overwhelm you, probably scare you to death You couldn’t handle the truth, to quote Jack Nicholson (congregation laughing) (laughs) Second is you’d probably abuse it If you saw everything that was gonna happen in your life, go, I don’t like that part I’m gonna change that Kinda like Back to the Future We’re gonna change history before it even happens But the real reason God doesn’t announce His timetable to you is He wants you to trust Him He says, Just live one day at a time Trust Me, I’m a good God I’m a loving God Everything I do in your life is for love, but you just gotta trust Me In Acts chapter 1, in the Bible, the Bible says this, Jesus said in verse 7, You don’t get to know the time Timing is the Father’s business Now the subtext of that is it’s none of your business So you’re just not ever gonna know stuff in advance You don’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow in your life much less the rest of your life God has a timetable for your life but He doesn’t give you the details in advance Now here’s the third thing we learn from Christmas is that God is never in a hurry and He’s never late God is never in a hurry and He’s never late He’s always on time His timing is perfect Now, the reason for this is because God is on a different wavelength than we are God has a different view of time because God is timeless Now this is kinda hard to understand God is not bound by time He’s not limited by time God can be in the past and the present and the future all at the same time Your view of time, my view of time happens because we happen to live on a planet called Earth that circles 24 hours, every 24 hours it rotates and every 365 days, it goes around the sun So you have marked your life in 24 hour days and 365 day years If you lived on Mars or Pluto, your concept of time would be very very different And God doesn’t live on a planet so God is timeless Einstein wrote a lot about this, the space-time continuum and how it’s very different than what we typically think about time God is never in a hurry and He’s never late Now let me show you God’s understanding of time Look up here on the screen 2 Peter, the Bible says, chapter 3, verse 8 Never forget this: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day Does that sound like the way you treat time? That’s the way it feels when I’m waiting for a meal (congregation laughing) Okay, that feels like a thousand years sometimes But no no, we don’t think in those terms God’s timelessness that I’m talking about has big implications for your life So let’s just go back When God created you, He puts a dream in your heart Most people start off with a dream, what do they want to do with their life They have a vision, a big vision, a big goal They have some kind of dream or plan or project that they want to do with their life, their vision What’s the vision God has given you? Now I’ve talked to tens of thousands of people

over the years and I’ve discovered that while everybody tends to start off early in life with a vision, here’s what I’d like to do with my life Here’s what I dream of doing Then as life goes on, more and more people give up on the dream before it’s accomplished They give up on the vision They give up on the goal because it doesn’t happen fast enough Some of you have had your dream battered Some of you have had your dream bruised Some of you have had your dream broken And some of you, out of discouragement and disappointment, have buried your dream You’ve given up on it God doesn’t want you to do that If God gave you that dream for your life, it’s gonna happen It just has to happen in His timetable, not in yours Let me show you one of the great promises of the Bible It’s this next verse Habakkuk 2:3, God says this about your dream, about your vision, the one that He gives you The vision will happen at the right time that I have appointed It moves steadily toward the goal It will not be proven false If it seems slow or delayed, just wait for it It will certainly happen It will not be late Some of you need to write that Bible verse down on a little three by five card and put it in your visor, on your bathroom mirror, on your windshield or in your refrigerator door so you see it everyday, to not give up on the dream that God has given you Because He said it’ll happen Now, if it’s your dream, you just made it up, well then God’s not obligated to do that But if it’s a dream that God has put in your heart You go, I know God made me to do this, I know I’m wired to do this He says, you just need to wait patiently It will happen It will not be late One of the hardest truths that we all have to learn, I’ve had to learn it a thousand times We have to actually relearn it over and over and over is this God’s timing is perfect My timing is imperfect I always want stuff now When I started this church 39 years ago, I was 25 years old When I started this church, I was in a hurry I was just in a hurry to get everything, and God says, no, it’s not all gonna happen Slowly, steadily, the vision will be fulfilled And one of the things you have to learn is that God is never early in your life God is never late in your life God is always on time It’s a big lesson And here’s the fourth thing that we learn, write this down Is that God’s timing, while He has a timing and it will happen at the right time, God’s timing is not always convenient God’s plan for your life and God’s timing for your life, it’s a good plan It’s for your benefit It’s a loving plan but it doesn’t mean it’s painless and it doesn’t mean that it’ll always be easy No, God’s plan is not always convenient God’s timing for your life is always your best but it’s not the easiest For instance, Jesus’ birth Jesus’ birth was not convenient for Mary and Joseph I mean, think about this Here’s a young couple Jesus is going to have, is gonna be born Mary is not had sex with Joseph Who’s gonna believe that story? Would you believe that if your teenage daughter comes home, Hi Mom, I’m pregnant I’ve never had sex and the baby is God (congregation laughing) Oh yeah (humming “Twilight Zone Theme Song”) (congregation laughing) But an angel appears to Joseph, goes, She’s telling the real story And then in the middle of all of this, the Caesar of Rome, Caesar Augustus, decides to throw a census And he says, Everybody has to go back to the town that they were born in to be registered for this census of the Roman Empire Now let’s put this in perspective He’s not saying you’re gonna get counted wherever you are If tomorrow the government made a rule that in America, everybody’s gonna be in the census You’re gonna be counted but you have to tomorrow go back to the town you were born in, it would be chaos in America Everybody trying to go back to the town that they were born in Every plane, train, automobile would be booked Every highway would be filled ’cause everybody’s trying to go back at the same time for a census And so the day before Mary delivers, she’s nine months pregnant, Joseph goes, Honey, I gotta put you on a donkey and we gotta take a trip to Bethlehem Okay, that’s not convenient Those of you ladies who’ve had babies could probably give us a testimony what it might feel like if you are, the day before you’re gonna deliver,

gonna take a long journey on the back of a donkey That wouldn’t be convenient And then when she gets to Bethlehem, she’s never had a baby before, she has to deliver her own baby by herself without her mom, without her aunt, without a midwife, in a barn with a bunch of animals This is God’s plan and God’s timing because the Bible says Jesus would be born in Bethlehem It was not convenient But it was a bigger plan than Joseph and Mary had ever planned for their life and their baby and it was a better plan It’s not convenient A lot of stuff God does in your life, but it is bigger and it is better Everything God has done in my life has been bigger and better than I ever imagined when I would just trust Him in it So God’s timing is not always convenient The Bible tells us in Luke chapter 2 that at that time Caesar Augustus ordered all people under Roman rule to return to their hometown to register in a census So Joseph took Mary with him to Bethlehem and by this time, she’s very pregnant and in Bethlehem the time came for her to have her baby None of that was convenient Now there’s a fifth truth that we learn We learn that God has a timetable for your life, that He doesn’t tell you the details in advance, that He’s always on time He’s never late but He’s never in a hurry That it’s not always convenient And then here’s the fifth thing At the right time, God can do anything instantly At the right time, God can do anything instantly God can do more in one millisecond than I can do in five, 10, 20 years of my entire life of the wrong timing At the right time, God can do it instantly so He doesn’t worry about time ’cause He doesn’t need time to accomplish what He wants to do In Isaiah 60:22, God says this I am the Lord, so when the right time comes, I will make it all happen, how? Quickly Circle that, quickly When, I’m God, so when it’s the right time, I’ll make it all happen quickly Now this is hard for us to accept The most difficult place for you to be in life is in God’s waiting room In God’s waiting room Some of you are in God’s waiting room right now What is God’s waiting room? When you’re in a hurry for something to happen and God isn’t That’s God’s waiting room Some of you are in a hurry to graduate Some of you are in a hurry to get married Some of you are in a hurry to start a family Some of you are in a hurry to launch a new business, to close a big deal Some of you are in a hurry for a big goal, a big dream, a big accomplishment Some of you are in a hurry for all kinds of different things and God isn’t And you’re seeing the time getting shorter and shorter, you go, God, there ain’t a whole lot of time left This is either gonna happen or it’s gonna not God doesn’t need a lot of time ’cause He can do everything instantly Quickly It’s not like, well, I need two years to get this project done He can do it, God can do more in a second than you can do in a year You say, well if God can do everything quickly, then why do I have delays in life? Well, God allows delays in your life for two reasons Number one, to test your faith Will you trust Him? And second, to build your character To test your faith and to build your character You see, while you’re working on your project, your goal, your dream, your vision, God’s working on you and God’s much more interested in you than in what you’re trying to accomplish ’cause you’re not taking your accomplishments to heaven but you are taking your character And sometimes God says, yeah, I intend to give you what I’ve promised you I intend to answer that prayer I intend to fulfill the vision, but you’re not ready yet You need to grow up You need to man up and be a godly man You need to be the woman, the strong woman that God intends for you to be I want you to grow and when you’re ready, then it’s gonna happen A lot of times we think we’re waiting on God for something to happen, like a prayer to be answered God says, you’re not waiting on me I’m waiting on you I’m trying to prepare you I’m testing your faith Will you trust Me? But I’m also trying to grow you up because the blessing I want to give you is so much bigger than you can handle right now You’re not ready for it You can’t handle it yet In Isaiah 49:8, God says this At the right time, there’s that phrase again That phrase is used about 96 times

in the Bible, at the right time At the right time, I will, not might, I will answer your prayers Another thing you have to learn in life is that a delay is not a denial There’s a big difference between no and not yet Now, immature children don’t know the difference You tell a kid, Not yet, they start crying and having a hissy fit because they think it means no They don’t understand a delay is not a denial And God is saying, I intend to do these things in your life that I’ve given you the vision, the dream to do but you’re just not ready yet and at the right time, I will answer your prayer God’s often waiting on us Now why is this important? Because when you’re in God’s waiting room, you fall temptation to all kinds of negative emotions When you’re in a hurry for something to happen and it isn’t happening yet, I want to get married I want a husband Somebody as sexy like Rick Warren (congregation laughing) Don’t pray that That would be a bad prayer I’m in a hurry God, I’m in a hurry And God says, Kinda cool your jets a minute At the right time, the right place, My timing is perfect But when there’s a delay in your life, it can create all kinds of negative emotions You start worrying, you start stressing out, you get anxious, you get irritable, you get spiritual ADD You can get envious You can get jealous You go, Hey, he got a promotion and I didn’t get the promotion She’s having a baby I’m not having a baby She got engaged I didn’t get engaged He’s starting a new business, it’s taking off What about mine? And all these kind of negative emotions can come into your life and then you get frustrated and then you start having a pity party So what does God want you to do when you’re in the waiting room of life and you, ’cause you’re gonna go through it many many times God is not a vending machine where you put in the prayer and then you pull the thing and you instantly get it There’s always a delay The delays are by design The delays are by design to teach you to trust Him and to grow up in your character So what does God want me to do while I’m waiting on God’s timetable for what I want to see happen in my life? You do four things You do four things and I want to spend the rest of our time just looking at that God gives us in the Bible four phrases These are Old English phrases from the King James Version of the Bible and they are these He says, fear not, fret not, forget not and faint not Fear not, fret not, forget not and faint not Let me explain these to you because this is what God wants you to do when things don’t happen as fast or as slow as you want them to happen Number one, write this down Fear not When things don’t happen in your timetable, fear not means trust God Fear not, to fear not means to trust God The opposite of fear is faith When you fill your life with faith, then you don’t have the fear Fear goes out the back door And so when you, the more you trust God, then less you’re gonna be afraid The less you trust God, the more you’re going to be afraid In Mark 5:36, Jesus says, Don’t be afraid Just trust Me Now this is such a big message in the Bible that it’s there 365 times The phrase, fear not, is in the Bible 365 times God says, Fear not, fear not, fear, don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid 365 times That’s one for every day of the year He’s saying, I want you to get the message I never want you to be afraid You just need to trust My timing Trusting God is the number one stress reliever in your life, and the more you trust God, the more your stress is gonna go down The less you trust God, the more your stress is gonna go up And so what you want to do is pray a prayer like this, Psalm 31:14-15 I trust You, Lord I trust in You, Lord You are my God and my times are in Your hands Have you ever prayed a prayer like that? You might want to memorize that verse and pray it every morning And you get up and go, I trust You, Lord You’re my God My times are in Your hands What does that mean? God, I got more to do today than I’ve got time to get done I have so many appointments there’s no way I’ll get it all done Help me sort it all out Do what matters most and not worry about the rest My times are in Your hand I surrender my schedule, I surrender my calendar,

I surrender my agenda, my times are in Your hand And that means I’m not gonna fear I’m gonna trust You Another, by the way, stress reliever is when you ask God for something in prayer and the Bible says you can ask God for anything in prayer, but when you do, don’t set the time limit on it When you do, don’t determine the deadline Don’t dictate the timing Leave the timing up to God That’ll lower your stress Look at the next verse, Psalm 69:13 I pray to You, Lord, so when the time is right, please answer me and help me with Your wonderful love What a great prayer Say, God, I’m praying to Ya and here’s what I need, and you mention what you need You need a new job or you need a raise, or whatever you need I pray to You, Lord, and when the time is right, please answer me What you’re saying is, I trust that You know better timing than me I’m telling You what I need but I’m not dictating the timing on it That’s trust That’s fearing not, but trusting God Now the second thing you want to do is fret not and fret not, if you want to write this down means to be patient To be patient and humble To fret not means to be patient and humble The word fret is an Old English word that just means worry And when you fret, you get all stressed out, you get anxious, you get irritable, you get worried, you fret, you fuss, you get all, you’re in a bundle of nerves It is, fretting is the opposite of patience Fretting is impatient When you fret, you are impatient And we worry all the time and we worry because things are either happening too fast and that’ll cause some people worry I can’t handle this change It’s too fast Or we worry because things are going too slow Come on, God, speed it up Can’t we get to where I want to get? I’m asking Ya, I’m praying, I’m asking for all this I don’t know if you ever realize this but waiting patiently on God is actually a statement of faith You’re complimenting God When you wait patiently, you’re going, God, I trust You I have faith in You I’m waiting on You and I’m humble I’m dependent upon You See, we don’t usually mind waiting if we can gripe about it But God says, No, I don’t want you to not only don’t fear, don’t fret Don’t gripe, don’t get irritable The Bible says it like this in Psalm 37 Wait and trust the Lord Don’t fret Don’t fret when others prosper or when their dishonest plans succeed And don’t get angry or upset It only leads to trouble When you get fretting, it’s gonna lead to a lot of other negative emotions in your life Now I want you to circle, if you’re taking notes, circle the word others It says, Don’t fret when others prosper What does that mean? It means you’re looking at somebody else and that’s causing you to worry One of the big reasons you get stressed out is ’cause you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people She just got a new job I didn’t He’s got a better lawn than we do They got a new car Every time you compare yourself to others, you’re being foolish because you’re one of a kind You’re not them They’re not you God has a plan for your life and your plan for your life is different than their plan and if you’re trying to be their plan, you’re gonna miss the plan for your life And so when you compare, those people are getting ahead, they’re getting, that guy got the promotion, I didn’t And you start fretting You start worrying Now here’s the problem You know what the problem with worry is? It’s totally worthless Any second you spend in your life worrying you’ve just wasted that second because worry can’t do anything Worry is worthless Worry can’t change the past Not gonna change the past Worry can’t control the future Not gonna control the future All worry does is make the day miserable It is stewing without doing It’s like sitting in a rocking chair You’re going back and forth, back and forth You’re not making any progress, wasting a lot of energy Any second you’re worrying, you’re wasting energy God says, Don’t fret Don’t worry Instead, just be patient and be humble Look at this next verse Philippians 4:6 Don’t fret or worry, God says Instead of worrying, pray Now that is a good alternative ’cause prayer can change things Worry will never change anything but prayer can change things Don’t fret or worry Instead of worrying, pray

Let your petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers I love that Shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns This last year was an incredibly frustrating year to me personally As most of you know, I had a lot of health problems I have a very rare disease that I’ve had for many many years, least 25 years Been to Mayo Clinic and John Hopkins and UCLA doctors have all worked on me And this year with the medicine I’ve been taking for 25 years stopped working and I was ill much of this year That meant that a lot of the things that I planned to get done on my agenda, on my list of stuff to accomplish in this year, it didn’t happen Now, I could have gotten all frustrated by that I could have been fearful and I could have been fretful But I wasn’t I wasn’t stressed out at all about it Why, because I’m one of those at the right time kind of followers of Jesus Christ My times are in His hands I’m not worried about it And if all the stuff I planned to get done this year didn’t get done but I’m trusting God, He could get it all done in January the next year in an instant He can do more on His time than I can do in my timetable So I didn’t stress out about it I didn’t worry about it I didn’t fret about it I just go, My times are in His hand God knew before I was born that this particular year I was gonna have a tough year with some chronic illness stuff And so it didn’t stress me out because my times are in His hands You see, patience is actually related to humility Look up here on the screen The Bible says this 1 Peter 5:6, Humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand, so that He can lift you up at just the right time God looks out on earth, looking for people who trust Him, who will depend on Him That’s called humility God, I’m depending on You instead of depending on myself And He goes, There’s a woman who’s humble I’m gonna raise her up I’m gonna lift her up I’m gonna give her a new status I’m gonna give her a better position, more prestige, more power I’m gonna give her more influence Because she humbles herself, I’m gonna lift her up Let me show you this verse in another translation Look up here on the screen In The Message paraphrase, So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs Don’t act like you’re somebody you’re not Just be authentic, be the real deal God’s strong hand is on you And He’ll promote you when? When? – [Congregation] At the right time – [Rick] When? – [Congregation] At the right time – At the right time He will promote You know what, that’ll do a whole lot more than hiring a PR company You don’t need to go hire an image consultant, start marketing yourself and trying to get yourself, climb the ladder of success, because if you could climb the ladder, it may be leaning against the wrong wall But if you are content, say God, I’m just gonna trust You with this I’m not gonna fear and I’m not gonna fret, but I’m gonna be patient and I’m gonna be humble, God says, That’s the kind of person I like to give a promotion to I could give you a hundred illustrations from my own personal life about that verse That you don’t have to know the key men in life if you know the Man who holds the keys And I know God and He can do anything He wants to do and He can open doors or close doors I could give you so many illustrations of that I don’t have time to do it So the Bible says fear not and the Bible says fret not, just relax and trust God and be patient But the third thing God says is this, write it down Forget not What does that mean? He says, There’s some things I don’t want you to forget that while you’re waiting, while you’re in God’s waiting room, you’re waiting on Me to do the fulfillment of this dream, I want you to focus on what I’ve told you in My Word I don’t want you to forget what I’ve already told you So write this down Forget not means study God’s promises Study God’s promises This book, the Bible, is God’s Word to you Did you know that in this book, there are over 6000 promises of God to you? Can you name one of ’em? Can you name a single promise of God to you? If you can’t even name it, how in the world can you claim it? How can you take advantage of it? It’s kinda like this If I’ve got an insurance policy and I don’t know what it covers and I’m in an accident, I am gonna be fearful and I am gonna fretful and I am gonna stress out ’cause I’m gonna go, Oh man, I gotta pay for all this But if on the other hand, I know what the insurance company has promised to cover,

I get in an accident, I go, I’m not worried about that Insurance company’s covered it This is the policy on your life and if you don’t ever read it, you don’t know what God’s promised to do in your life No wonder you’re stressed out No wonder you’re worried ’cause you don’t know what God has offered to do if you’ll trust Him So, the third thing you gotta do is forget not and that means you need to go study this book There’s over 6000 promises, as I said Let me show you a couple verses The Book of James, chapter 1 in the Bible says this Verse 25 If you keep looking closely into God’s perfect Word, that’s the Bible, that sets people free Jesus said the truth will set you free And you keep studying it and you don’t forget it and you put it into daily practice, you will be blessed by God in some of what you do Oh that’s not what it says It says, if you do those things, you’ll be blessed by God in what? – [Congregation] All – All you do You might circle that word I just had to check that out for myself The Bible is written in the New Testament, written in Greek I’ve had six years of Greek I went back and looked up that word You know the word in Greek, all, it means all (congregation laughing) He says, I’ll bless you in every single area of your life What does He say? If you look at closely at My Word, that means you read a little bit of this book everyday That’s looking closely And then He says, and then you study it That means you write some stuff down The difference between reading and studying is you use pencil You go, oh that’s a good verse I need to write that down Now you’ve gone from reading to studying And then He says, and then you remember it That means you memorize it Have you ever memorized a single verse of the Bible? Because if you haven’t, God can’t call them to memory when you’re stressed out Those promises you don’t even remember You go, I know it’s somewhere in there, there’s a promise about this But if you’ve memorized it, God can bring it to mind Go, oh man, my stress just went down And there’s a thousand other uses too And then He says, and then you put it into action You will be blessed by God in all you do So, friends, this next year, you got a choice You want to be stressed, you want to be blessed It’s your choice God says, You get to choose You want to be stressed, you be blessed? What’s the key to being blessed? You read, you study, you remember and you do what this says And He says the more you do it, the more you’re gonna be blessed in all you do This Christmas as your pastor, as your spiritual coach, I want to give you a Christmas gift that’ll last you the rest of your life This is the best possible gift you can get As a promise that everything else you do in life, you will succeed at doing You say, you gotta be kidding me No, and not only that, you’ll be happy too You say, what’s that promise? Well, look at the next verse You want to be happy, you want to be successful? Here’s what the Bible says, Psalm 1:1-3 Happy are those who find joy in obeying the Word of God, the Word of the Lord and they study it day and night In other words, they follow it They are trees that grow strong beside a stream and they bear fruit at the right time What’s that mean? You’re gonna be productive Your life will be productive You will bear fruit in your life at the right time Your life will be productive Your life will be meaningful Your life will be significant if you’re obeying the Word of God He says, you’ll be like a tree by the river You’re not drying up In other words, you don’t flake out You don’t blow away It says, they will succeed in everything they do Now friends, either that verse is true or God is a flat-out liar You gotta just decide, am I gonna believe what God says or am I just gonna doubt it? And if you don’t believe that verse, you have to take an X-ACTO knife and cut it out of your Bible and throw it away He says, you will succeed in everything you do if you’ll do it My way Let me recommend to you that you trust not your feelings but you trust what God says because eternity is a long time to be wrong It’s like you’re wrong for the rest of eternity Oh Fear not, fret not, forget not And then God says, There’s one other thing I want you to do when My timetable is different than your timetable, when you’re in the waiting room of life, when things are delayed or things are too fast

or too slow and you’re not and you’re stressed out by it He says, Fear not And He says, Forget not And He says, Fret not And then He says, Faint not Now that’s an Old English phrase Comes out of the King James Version of the Bible, faint not It means don’t quit It means don’t give up It means keep on keepin’ on Be determined, be diligent Have endurance And He says, just ’cause things don’t happen right away, keep on keeping on Keep on keeping on Look at this verse, Galatians 6:9 We must never get tired of doing what is right and doing what is good, for at the right time There’s that phrase again, God’s timing At the right time, that’s God’s time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up or quit Question In this Christmas, what do you feel like giving up on? I mean, if you’re really gut level honest, if you let us crawl inside your mind, what do you feel like giving up on? Some of you feel like giving up on your marriage, if the truth told It’s dead and going nowhere I can’t get on with it, I can’t get out of it You feel like giving up on your marriage Some of you feel like giving up on your career I have tried and tried and tried It just isn’t happening Some of you feel like giving up on your dream Some of you feel like giving up on your kids or a friend or a goal Some of you feel like giving up on yourself You’ve thought about taking your life And I want you to know that a thousand years before you were born, God knew that you would be sitting in Saddleback Church on Christmas Eve or Christmas week this year, so God could have me say this to you as your spiritual coach Don’t Don’t Don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t you dare The light is at the end of the tunnel You may be just around the corner Don’t don’t give up Now is the time, He says We must never get tired, for at the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up Don’t give up Look up Look up Look up to God Now you’re gonna need a spiritual family, that’s called the church, to help you through the tough times of your life There’s gonna be a lot of times in your life you feel like giving up I’m so glad I didn’t give up on God but I’m also glad that God didn’t give up on me so many times in my life You need a family Now I want to close by talking to you about two times in your life where God says it’s always the right time to do this We can’t say this about a lot of stuff but there are two things in life that God says is always the right time to do these two things And the first one is it is always the right time to come back home to God It’s always the right time to come back home to God Look at what the Bible says, Acts 3:19 Now, now is the time to change your ways and come back to God so He can wipe away your sins and pour out showers of blessing to refresh you You need a little refreshment in your life? You feeling a little dried up? You feeling like there’s no, no fresh refreshment in my life I need some renewal, I need some revival, I need some refreshment in my life Come back to God Come back to, you say, Rick, you don’t know what I’ve done I don’t need to know I don’t have to know I don’t care to know Why, because it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done or who you’ve done it with or how long you’ve done it, God says, I still want you to come back to Me You say, well, isn’t God gonna like scold me? I’ve been away from God for months or years or decades Look at the next verse The Bible says this And here’s what God will do if you come back to Him God says, With deep love I will take you back With deep love I will take you back No matter what’s happened, with deep love I will take you back We started this service talking about love came down God is love With deep love I will take you back You see, God isn’t mad at you God is mad about you No one will ever love you more

than the Creator who made you God the Father created you Jesus the Son died for you God’s Spirit wants to live in you No one will ever love you more With deep love I will take you back But you know what? As pastor and has talked, as I said, to thousands of people, I know that some people just can’t feel God’s love And I’ve thought about it a lot Why is it that they can’t feel God’s love? ‘Cause I feel God’s love all the time Why can’t they feel God’s love? And I’ve discovered it’s because they’re listening to different voices Now, if you listen to what other people say about you, you’re gonna get down If you listen to what you tell yourself, you’re gonna get down I want to give you permission to stop believing everything you tell yourself ’cause it’s not true You lie to yourself more than you lie to anybody else I’ll say it again You lie to yourself more than you lie to anybody else You tell yourself things are better than they really are when they’re not and sometimes you tell yourself they’re worse off They’re not as bad as you say they are You’re not a really of that a judge of you Feelings lie You may have just eaten a bad burrito (congregation laughing) Now you may be in God’s waiting room and you’re still waiting for something to happen that just hasn’t happened and you’ve dreamed of it but it hasn’t happened yet But I told there are two things it’s always the right time for Number one, it’s always the right time to come home to God no matter how far you’ve drifted away The second thing it’s always the right time for is to accept the saving grace of Jesus Christ, which is why He came at Christmas and died on the cross and rose again on Easter It’s always the right time to accept the saving grace of Jesus Once you understand it, it will be foolish to procrastinate the very thing you need to live for eternity and to be reconnected to the God who made you So you do it like right now I mean, right now Look at the last two verses, what the Bible says about receiving the grace of Jesus Christ 1 Timothy 2:6 And the Bible says this God, Jesus, gave Himself to pay for the sins of everyone That means me, that means you We’re included in every Did you realize, do you know that all the things you’ve ever done wrong have already been paid for? Even the sins you haven’t even committed yet, like the ones next year and then in the next 10 years and in 20 years Every one of your sins have already been paid for Maybe you don’t know that That’s what Jesus Christ came to do Jesus Himself gave Himself to pay for the sins of everyone He is the proof that God wants all of us to be saved All of us I don’t care if you’re Buddhist or Baptist or Hindu or Methodist or Muslim or Mormon or Catholic or Jews or atheist or agnostic or no religion at all I don’t care any of that The Bible says He wants, God wants all of us to be saved Doesn’t matter what your religious or ethnic or financial background is He says He wants all of us to be saved And that proof came at the right time At the right time That’s what Christmas is all about Last verse, 2 Corinthians chapter 6 God says this to you This hour is the right time This hour is the right time to receive My grace This is the day of salvation The day of salvation is now Today I’m ready to save you I mean, like, like right now I have had the privilege of helping tens of thousands of people step across that spiritual line It would be my honor and my humble privilege to help you do that right now So let’s bow our heads I’m gonna pray for you as a pastor and then I’m gonna invite you to pray with me to God a prayer of salvation Father, this issue of time and timing and delays and rushing really creates stress and anxiety in our lives especially when we forget how much You love us And it creates enormous pressure

when we forget how that You know what’s best for us You know us better than we even know ourselves ’cause You made us And we forget about how You’ve taken care of us in the past, even when we totally ignored You You’re a good God Father, today there are a lot of people here that I care about who are waiting for something to happen in their lives and it hasn’t happened yet And I pray that today that each of us will come back to You, will receive Your grace, will begin to trust You for the timing, the right timing in our lives I want all of these people, everybody in our church family and all of our guests that we’re so happy to have here tonight I want every one of these people to be blessed, not stressed in the new year Now you pray You say, What do I say? Doesn’t matter what you say What matters is not the words but an attitude of humility Just tell God you need Him Be humble Say, I really don’t know what to pray Okay, I’ll pray a prayer and as I pray this prayer, you can say, Me too, God What Rick’s saying, that’s me That represents my heart, okay? Just say something like this God, I admit that I often get stressed by the timing of things in my life I don’t like to be rushed and I don’t like delays And there’s some things in my life that just move way too slow And there’s some other things in my life that move way too fast And God, I need Your help to stop fearing and fretting and forgetting and feeling like giving up Would You please forgive me for all the times I’ve impatiently rushed ahead ’cause I was in a hurry and I made a dumb decision? And would You forgive me for all the times that I’ve tried to control the situation and have even tried to control other people? I’m sorry I want to learn to relax God, I want to learn to relax and trust Your perfect timing Help me to remember that You’re never late, that I don’t have to run ahead of You, and that You’re always on time That Your timing is perfect That You can do more at the right time than I could ever do on my own effort in an entire lifetime Jesus, Jesus, thank You for coming to save me at the right time Thanks for Christmas I want to come back home to God and I want to receive Your saving grace So please, please save me I don’t even understand it all but I’m asking You to save me Save me from myself There are things about me I don’t like but I just can’t change Save me from my sins Save me from my mistakes God, save me from my stress Save me from my sadness, my loneliness, and all the other things, the worries and the shame or guilt and anxieties I need salvation in every area of my life Thank You that You want to save me I want to learn to trust You everyday and trust Your timing And I want to live in Your love and peace for the rest of my life I humbly ask this in Your name, Jesus, amen – Thanks for checking out this message on YouTube My name is Jay and I’m Saddleback’s online pastor I want to invite you to take your next step by checking out our online community or help get you connected to a local Saddleback campus Three things we have to offer you right now First, learn more about belonging to our church family by taking Class 101 Second, don’t live life alone and get into community with others by joining an online small group or a local home group in your area Third, join our Facebook group to be more engaged with our online community throughout the week Take your next step and learn where a local campus is near you by visiting saddleback.com/online or email online@saddleback.com Hope to hear from you soon

Steven Lawson: The Preached Word and Reformation

Well, what a wonderful evening this is for us to spend together, here at the Ligonier conference. I love these Ligonier conferences, and what they mean to my spiritual life, and I’m sure to your spiritual life as well The subject that has been assigned to me is the preached Word and reformation. The Reformers were many things. The Reformers were master commentators. They were prolific authors They were elder statesmen. They were churchmen They were precise exegetes. They were profound letter writers. They were so many things, as they shaped the times in which they lived But the number one ministry of the Reformers, was the preaching of the Word of God. And if you had reduced them to but one ministry, if they had to give up every other ministry and they could only take and claim one ministry, they would’ve taken the pulpit. Because it was by the pulpit and by the preaching of the Word of God that they ignited the Reformation We should not be surprised by this, because this has always been God’s primary, ordinary, means of grace. Which is the preaching of the Word of God. Throughout the Old Testament when God spoke to His people, He raised up His prophets. And He spoke through His prophets and they preached the Word of God. God had only one Son, and He made Him a preacher And He came forth preaching the Word of God, as no man has ever preached, who has ever walked this Earth He called 12 men to be around Him. And when He sent out His 12 disciples, He sent them out to preach the Word of God. He did not send them out to be dramatists. He did not send them out to be, even singers. And there is a place for the singing, and there is the place for various means of communicating the Word of God, but they are secondary to what is primary. And what is primary is the preaching of the Word of God If you take the book of Acts, one out of every five verses in the book of Acts is a sermon Or it is a powerful witness that Paul is giving And the way the church in the first century exploded in the ancient world was primarily through the preaching of the world of God And down through the centuries every time that there has been a new era in church history, it has been when God has raised up preachers of the Word of God You can go century by century, epic by epic, era by era, and those mountain peak times, the Reformation, the Puritan age, the Great Awakening, the evangelical awakening, the Victorian era, the evangelical era. It has all been launched by God unleashing a new generation of red-hot, Bible preachers. There is no exception. And it has been by the preaching of the Word of God, that God has ushered in His greatest seasons in church history. And so, tonight, as we consider the preached Word and Reformation, we want to think about the inseparable link between preaching and the Reformation It was Edwin Dargan, the professor of homiletics, in the nineteenth and twentieth century at Southern Seminary, said “The great events and achievements of the that mighty revolution,” referring to the Reformation, “were largely the work of preachers and preaching, for it was by the Word of God, through the ministry of earnest men, that the best and most enduring work of the Reformation was done.” And then Dargan went on to say “The relation between the Reformation and preaching,” “The relation between the Reformation and preaching may be succinctly described as one of mutual dependence.” The Reformation was dependent upon the preaching of the Word of God. And so, tonight, I want to take an outline from a very noted professor

of preaching. His name was John Broadus. He was the first professor of preaching at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was a card-carrying, five-point Calvinist, and one of the early presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention, who said it would be easier to remove Mont Blanc with snowballs, than to remove Calvinism from the pages of Scripture. Yeah, go ahead and clap He gave a series of lectures that were transcribed and put into a book, called “Lectures on the History of Preaching.” He began with the birth of the church, he concludes in his day in the nineteenth century. And when he comes to the Reformation, before he talks about Luther and Calvin and Zwingli and Bullinger, and the rest of the Reformers, he identifies four marks regarding the preaching and Reformation And I want to take those four headings, and I want to establish those as we give thought to the preached Word and Reformation And what John Broadus said is that the Reformation was number one, a revival of preaching, period And by that, he realized that at the time, at the birth of the Reformation, preaching had virtually vanished from the scene. The very pulpit itself had been moved over to the side, and in the very center of sanctuaries throughout Europe, and England, and Scotland, and the rest, there was the altar from which the Mass was served It was very symbolic, because the preaching of the Word of God was so rare, that it basically did not even exist. Little homilies were given, which were nothing more than talking about Aesop’s fables, and all other kinds of religious superstitions, and old wives’ tales. And it was being spoken in Latin, which was the language that the common person did not even understand And when the Reformers came on to the scene, the Reformers burst on to the scene preaching the Word of God. And they reestablished the primacy and the centrality of preaching. The Reformation was a glorious era, as God raised up a new generation of those who preached Concerning this era, Dargan said among the preacher — among the Reformers, preaching resumed its primary place in worship. The exposition of Scriptures became the main thing And we have a saying “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” The main thing in the Word of God is the preaching of the Word of God. And that is exactly what was established and reestablished in the Reformation I want to talk about Martin Luther for a second, and then I want to talk about John Calvin, for a second, and how they exemplify the reestablishment of preaching back in the church. Martin Luther was principally, according to Martin Lloyd Jones, quote “Preeminently a preacher,” close quote. In fact, virtually all of the Reformers were heralds of the Word of God While he was professor of Bible at University of Wittenberg, Luther preached the Bible twice every Sunday, and multiple times throughout the week Wherever he traveled, he was expected to preach Pulpits immediately opened up to him. And wherever Luther was found, Luther was found preaching the Word of God. In 1528, which was in the aftermath of the black plague, in that year Luther preached at least 200 formal sermons. You can do the math on that, that’s an average of four sermons per week The following year, in 1529, he preached 18 times in the course of 11 days, surrounding the Easter season. And Luther said, he confided, “Often I preach four sermons a day.” It is estimated that in his lifetime, Martin Luther preached more than 4,000 sermons

And we have 2,300 of those sermons still intact And Luther spent much of his time writing what was called, postals, which are written manuscripted sermons that other preachers and other men, who had not been properly trained, could take the sermons that Luther wrote, so that they could then go, and step into their pulpits, and preach the sermons that Luther has written for them to preach When we think of Luther we so often think of him as a professor, we think of him as a hymn-writer. We think of him as a catechism-writer And all these various ways, but it was in the preaching of the Word of God that Luther most found himself in his ministry And then John Calvin. He was a prolific preacher In fact, John Calvin would be virtually the poster child for expository preaching. John Calvin preached twice on Sunday, he would preach from the New Testament on Sunday morning He would preach from the New Testament (or a psalm) on Sunday afternoon. And then Calvin would preach Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to a packed house, at Saint Pierre’s Cathedral, at 6 a.m. in the morning And he would preach verse by verse through Old Testament books, every other week. So in the course of, from Sunday to Sunday, he would preach either nine or ten times, day by day, by day, by day, by day. Calvin took Geneva by storm. By the preaching of the Word of God. And on the 400 year anniversary of Calvin’s birth. He was born in 1509 in the year 2000 — excuse me, 1909. Emile Doumergue, who was his foremost biographer at the time, made this statement. “That is the Calvin who seems to me to be the real Calvin, the authentic Calvin, the one who explains all of the other views of Calvin. Calvin the preacher of Geneva Molding by his words the spirit of the Reformation of the sixteenth century.” And Doumergue went on to say “While Calvin has come to be remembered as a theologian who recovered the doctrinal landmarks which had been buried under the debris of confused centuries, or as a powerful controversialist, whose name opponents have sought to fasten upon beliefs which they judged odious. The truth is, that Calvin saw himself, first of all, as a pastor, in the church of Christ And therefore, as one whose chief duty must be to preach the Word,” close quote J.H. Merle d’Aubigne, who was the great church historian of the Reformation, back in the eighteenth century, noted that the very heart of the ministry of John Calvin, the very engine that was driving the ministry of John Calvin in Geneva, was his pulpit ministry preaching the Word of God I can give many other examples with Zwingli and Bullinger, and many of the rest. But the point is, number one, that the Reformation was a revival of preaching, period. And this says to me, if we are to have another Reformation in this day, there must be the restoration of the primary, ordinary, means of grace in the church today. What we have today, I am afraid, is so little preaching We are canceling Wednesday night services, we are canceling Sunday night services. We are shortening the time of sermons on Sunday morning. Is it any wonder that church is becoming so weak? And one primary reason is, there is so little true, authentic, preaching in churches today. And it has lead, not only to weak congregations, but it has led to weak

preachers I feel that most preachers never reach their potential as a preacher, and remain on a level of mediocrity. And I would consult — have you consult “Why Johnny Can’t Preach,” which is the title of the book. It is because they preach so little If you’re trying to learn how to play the piano, do you think more practice or less practice would help you? If you were trying to learn how to play the violin, if you were trying to go on the PGA tour and be a touring professional, do you think more time practicing or more time practicing would help? Well, the answer is very obvious Because, you would need to stand on your feet, and be able to preach more, in order to grow in your capacity as a preacher, to open the Word of God, and to proclaim the Word of God with greater precision and power If we’re to see a Reformation again in this hour, and in this day, as they did 500 years ago. There must be a revival of preaching again, in this hour The church is suffering, not because it has too much preaching, it is suffering because it has too little preaching. We want everything except what is primary, and with everything that is being added to churches, it is pushing out the primacy of preaching. Number two, not only was it a revival of preaching, it was a revival of biblical preaching Because it’s not just preaching that we need We have enough hot air as it is, in pulpits In fact, it could be argued, we need less preaching, not more preaching, if it means more of what we have. The Reformation was a revival of biblical preaching. It was a revival of expository preaching, a form of preaching that had been dormant for virtually a 1,000 years. There’s a reason why they call the Dark Ages, the Dark Ages. John Broadus writes “Instead of long and often fabulous stories about saints and martyrs and accounts of miracles. Instead of passages from Aristotle and Seneca, and homespun subtleties of the schoolmen, these men,” referring to the Reformers “preached the Bible.” The question was not “What did the pope say?” or even the church fathers say. The question was “What does the Bible say?” “In the 16th century,” Broadus explains, “The preachers one great task was to send forth the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Word of God.” In 1516, the year before, Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg door. In other words, 501 years ago Erasmus published his Greek New Testament He had gone through the monasteries of Europe, he had gathered together as best he could, the manuscripts in the original Greek language Copies of copies of copies. He pulled together the best version that he could at that time, had it published. And it has been well said that it was Martin Luther who hatched the egg that Erasmus laid There was now a Greek New Testament, by which the Reformers could study the Word of God in the original language, and become even more precise, in their handling of the Word of God. Martin Luther was a strong Bible preacher And the scholars confirmed this, that he was a straightforward biblical preacher Fred Meuser, who is a foremost Luther scholar, on the preaching of Luther said “With Luther came, what many interpreters call a ‘totally new form of sermon,’ the expository sermon Luther almost single-handedly resurrected

biblical exposition from the grave.” Luther’s method was to take a text of Scripture, and to open it up, and as he would do so, week after week, after week, after week, he actually took books in the Bible and preached through books in the Bible. Imagine that. Imagine preaching the Bible as God wrote it. God did not send the Bible as a topical index God sent the Bible in 66 installments. The Bible is not a collection of verses, the Bible is a collection of books. It is a library of 66 books, and the Reformers actually took God so at His Word, they began to preach through books in the Bible. And as they did so, they could avoid no verse, and no subject. They had to preach the full council of God, as they did so Martin Luther preached verse by verse, section by section, through Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, 2 Samuel, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum. Sounds like a homeschool convention, almost. Sorry Alright, I have three sons. Andrew, James, and John, OK? And I have a daughter named Peter, so, I’m making fun of myself, here Zephaniah, Haggai, Malachi, Habakkuk, Zachariah That’s just the Old Testament as he preached through. In the New Testament Luther preached sequentially through the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, Matthew 11-15, Matthew 18-24, Matthew 27-28, the entirety of the gospel of Mark, Luke chapters 15-16, John 1-4, John 6-8, John 16-20, the book of Acts, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, 1 Timothy, 1 John, 1 Peter, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews Listen, these Reformers gave themselves to the pulpit, they gave themselves to the exposition of the Word of God. It was what was deepening their well, in the knowledge of the Scripture And as they were preaching, they weren’t lecturing, they were preaching. And they were bringing the Scripture to bare upon the lives of the people, and they were doing so with persuasion Martin Luther said “A good preacher invests everything in the Word.” Luther said “The pulpit is the throne for the Word of God.” Luther saw the pulpit as the throne of God in the midst of church, and there was to be an open Bible upon — well, there goes the message There was to be an open Bible on the throne, and God ruled in the church in the center place of the preaching of the Word of God, and the Reformers went and fished out the pulpit from the side of the sanctuary, and they brought it back into the very center, so that every sightline in the entire sanctuary intersected at an open Bible, in a pulpit, as the Reformers stood behind that pulpit And just a historical footnote, the first thing that Martin Lloyd Jones did when he went to Wales to pastor his first church — because they had so much drama going on in the church, as they had a social gospel — the first thing Martin Lloyd Jones did was to nail the pulpit to the floor So it could not be moved out for any other so-called ministry in the church. And said this church will make it or break it by the preaching of the Word of God. Luther said “Every time the church gathers, God’s Word needs to be preached, or Christians should not even come together at all.” That would shut down about half of the programs that we have in churches. If the preaching of the Word of God is out of place, then something

is amiss. Luther said “I take pains to treat a verse, to stick to it, and to instruct the people so that they can say ‘This is what the sermon was about.'” And as Luther spoke to the other preachers of his day, he said “Give me Scripture, Scripture, Scripture, do you hear me? Scripture.” We don’t need less of the Bible in our churches, we need more of the Bible in our churches We don’t need — pastor, we need less of you, we need more of the Word in our sermons. John Calvin. John Calvin was a world-class Biblical expositor. Calvin preached systematically through entire books of the Bible, predominantly He would start with chapter one, verse one He would work his way through entire books of the Bible. And by this method, he gave the full council of God T. H. L. Parker, who was the leading authority on Calvin’s preaching, said “Sunday after Sunday, day after day, Calvin climbed up into the pulpit in Geneva. There he patiently led his congregation, verse by verse, through book after book of the Bible.” James Montgomery Boice said “Calvin had no weapon but the Bible.” Calvin preached from the Bible every day, and under the power of that preaching the city began to be transformed As the people of Geneva acquired knowledge of God’s Word, they were changed by it, and the city became, as John Knox called it later, “A new Jerusalem.” Parker says “For Calvin the message of Scripture from the pulpit is sovereign. Sovereign over the congregation, sovereign over the preacher. Calvin’s humility is shown by his submitting to the authority of Scripture itself.” And so as Calvin preached on Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon, Monday morning, Tuesday morning, Wednesday morning, Thursday morning, and Friday morning. Calvin preached as during his exile in Strasbourg, through the gospel of John, and through Romans. He returns to Geneva in 1541 for his second tenure in Geneva Listen to the New Testament books through which John Calvin preached, and I’m going to give you the number of sermons that he preached from these books He died in a harmony of the gospels. What a way to die He had preached 65 sermons in a harmony of the gospel. Book of Acts, 189 sermons. 1 Corinthians, 110 sermons. 2 Corinthians, 66 sermons. And he’s just literally going verse by verse, phrase by phrase, through these books in the Bible. Galatians, 43 sermons. Ephesians, 48 And these Ephesian sermons were so impactful As John Knox was there in Geneva at the time, that when John Knox is on his death bed, he calls for his wife to get copies of Calvin’s sermons through Ephesians, and read those sermons, and read him into glory, as he was dying 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 46 sermons. 1 Timothy, 55 sermons. 2 Timothy, 31 sermons. Titus, 17 sermons. And then through the New Testament — through the Old Testament, throughout the week. 6 a.m. in the morning, and during the winter it was 7 a.m. because of how cold it was. Genesis, 123 consecutive expositions Deuteronomy, 201 consecutive expositions Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Judges a short series, we don’t have the number 1 Samuel, 107 sermons. 2 Samuel, 87 sermons 1 Kings, we don’t have the exact number. And the reason we don’t, there was a paper shortage in Geneva at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and Calvin’s — the transcripts of Calvin’s sermons, and professional stenography was virtually invented on the front pew of Geneva, taking down every word of what Calvin said That when they had a paper shortage, they went into the library and at that point, Calvin’s sermons had long since been forgotten, they sold the paper to merchants, to turn it over on the backside and write out their bill of

sales, and for the paper to be thrown away Job, 159 consecutive expositions. Individual Psalms, all we have is 72, but we know that there are more than 72. Psalm 119, 22 sermons Isaiah, 353 consecutive verse by verse expositions, through Isa iah. Jeremiah, 91 sermons. Lamentations, 25. Ezekiel, 175 sermons. Daniel, 47. Hosea, 65. Joel, 17. Amos, 43. Obadiah, five. Jonah, six. Micah, 28. Nahum, we don’t have the number Zephaniah, 17 sermons. This would empty the average church today The relationship between the preached Word and Reformation, it was the preached Word that was the high octane in the tank of the churches of the Reformation. Calvin said, “The minister’s whole task is limited to the ministry of God’s Word.” In other words, the preacher has nothing to say, apart from the Word of God Calvin said, “When we enter the pulpit, it is not so that we may bring our own dreams and fancies with us. As soon as men depart even in the smallest degree from God’s Word, they cannot preach anything but falsehoods, vanities errors, and deceits.” That’s sola Scriptura. It wasn’t just a doctrinal conviction, it was the very philosophy of their preaching, and the very philosophy of ministry that drove them Calvin said “A rule is prescribed to all God’s servants, that they must not bring their own inventions, but simply deliver as from hand to hand, what they have received from God In other words, the preachers saw themselves simply as middle men. They received it from God, and their study in the Word of God, and then they spoke what the Scripture had said They understood they weren’t the cook in the kitchen, they were merely the waiter or the waitress bringing the food out They weren’t the author, they were simply the delivery boy, bringing the message from sacred Scripture. The same can be said of Huldrych Zwingli, in Zurich, as he began preaching through the gospel of Matthew and many other books in the Bible. And the English Reformers, the same can be said of them. In 1534, Thomas Cranmer sent out to all the bishops, for all those who would stand in pulpits, quote that “From henceforth all preachers share purely, sincerely, and justly preach the Scripture and the Word of Christ and not mix with them man’s institutions, nor make them believe that the force of God’s law and man’s law is alike.” So, it was a revival of preaching. As the Reformers burst onto the scene, preaching the Word of God. Yes, they wrote commentaries Yes, they wrote catechisms. But they stood tallest when they preached the Word of God And it was also a revival of Biblical preaching They were men like what Spurgeon would say later of John Bunyan. “Why the man is a walking Bible, prick him anywhere and he bleeds Bibline.” That’s what the Reformers were, they were just walking Bibles, they open their mouth, Scripture comes out. But third, not only was it a revival of preaching, and not only was it a revival of Biblical preaching, it was a revival of controversial preaching The Reformers shook things up. The status quo could no longer remain the same. They stepped into the pulpit and they butchered sacred cows. And the reason is, is because they preach verse by verse. They couldn’t jump over any passage. They had to address every hard saying of Christ. They had to teach every doctrine in the Scripture. They had

to bring every exhortation that was found in the Word of God Critical issues were confronted. No truth was withheld. And after centuries of silence and neglect, the full council of God, now, is being brought to the people of God, by these Reformers. Martin Luther was a provocative preacher, you understand that? He was, according to Broadus, “An intense personality.” He said “His words were half-battles.” Luther would say in his own words, “Wycliffe and Huss assailed the immoral conduct of the papists, but I oppose and resist their doctrine. I affirm roundly and plainly that they preach not the truth, to this I am called. I take the goose by the neck and set the knife to its throat.” That’s controversial preaching That’s the anti-Joel Osteen Luther said “The pope and his proud prelates do not believe.” He said “We must not build, we must not hold our peace, but must confess the truth and say that the papacy is accursed The emperor is accursed. And all that departed from Scripture is accursed.” Luther said, “From the year of our Lord, 1518, to the present time every Maundy Thursday at Rome, I have been by the pope excommunicated, and cast into hell.” He said, “But I still live.” “For every year on Maundy Thursday, all heretics are excommunicated at Rome, among whom I am put first and chief.” And he wore that as a badge of honor. At the end of his life, he said “I desire to be as well known in hell as I am in heaven.” Give us some preachers like this. Give us some preachers who aren’t tripping over their skirt to get into the pulpit. Do we want a Reformation? Then we’re going to have to have a revival of preaching and a revival of Biblical preaching, and a revival of controversial preaching, or we will not have it And what about Calvin? They ran him out of town after only two years. You know that he arrives in 1536, he only lasts until 1538 He fenced off the Lord’s Table, he would not allow those to come to the Lord’s Table, who were living lives that were not consistent with the supposed confession of faith in Christ And he preached the purity of the Word of God, and they ran him out of town on a rail, they gave him an apple and a roadmap and sent him on his way Calvin said “A pastor must have two voices One in which he speaks to the sheep, and one in which he speaks to the wolves.” That’s Titus 1:9. An elder must be able to teach sound doctrine, and to refute those who contradict. And so, if we’re to have a Reformation in our day, it’s going to take a certain kind of preacher. It’s going to take a Biblical preacher, who preaches through major swathes of Scripture, and who is controversial Who shakes things up. Who is the most loved and the most hated man in town. Who is loved by the sheep and hated by the wolves. Because of his preaching of the Word of God And finally, preaching of the Reformation It was a revival of preaching. It was a revival of Biblical preaching. It was a revival of controversial preaching. And it was a revival of preaching the doctrines of grace Virtually, to a man, the Reformers held firmly to the sovereignty of God and salvation. And they preached it from the pulpits, of course

they did, because they were Biblical preachers And if you preach verse by verse through books in the Bible, it is unavoidable The doctrines of sovereign grace are from Genesis to Revelation. And these preachers preached the doctrines of grace. Broadus would say “The doctrine of divine sovereignty and human salvation was freely proclaimed by all the Reformers. Protestantism was born of the doctrines of grace.” And in the proclamation of these truths, the Reformation preaching found its truest and highest power. The power of the gospel will still reside in the great truth of salvation by sovereign grace Let the humanist and the ritualist go their several ways. But let us boldly and warmly proclaim the truths which seem old and yet are so new to every needy heart of divine sovereignty. They were Augustinians. They preached what Jesus preached. They preached what Paul preached, what Peter preached. They preached what Isaiah preached. They preached what Psalmist preached. It was the Word of God that was flowing out of them You remember when Erasmus did not like the preaching of Martin Luther, and he wrote a book called ‘Freedom of the Will.’ And Luther did not immediately respond, and everything thought “Well, Erasmus has backed Luther into a corner, and has won the debate.” And after a long — wait, Luther comes forth with his magnum opus, ‘The Bondage of the Will.’ And he says in the introduction “Oh, Erasmus The reason why I have waited so long to respond to your book is I kept waiting for something better from you.” And Erasmus was the leading humanist of the day. He was a renaissance man, par excellence And Martin Luther said in the introduction, “Erasmus, with your towering intellect, and with your towering vocabulary, and with your towering literary abilities, and for you to teach what you teach on the freedom of the will,” he said “is like serving dung on a silver platter.” That’s just the introduction Yeah, it was. And Luther, after he refutes all of Erasmus’ errors, he says “I have many generals at my beckoning call, who have many soldiers in their troops, with many arsenals But Erasmus I only need to call to the forefront but two generals: the apostle John, and the Apostle Paul.” And he said “I will now marshal my arguments, and present to you the sovereignty of God in salvation, and may God give you eyes to see and a heart to believe the very truth of the Word of God.” And with that Luther now marches through the writings of John and the writings of Paul and presents a case that has never been refuted Yes, these Reformers were strong in the doctrines of grace. And John Calvin, does anything need to be presented tonight about Calvin’s commitment to the doctrines of grace? I have so many pages here, I have not the time to read on Calvin. But I’ll just give you one, from his sermons on Ephesians 1, verses 3-4. This is what John Knox was sitting under when he escaped Bloody Mary and fled to Geneva. Calvin said “We shall never know where our salvation comes from till we have lifted up our minds to God’s eternal council, by which he has chosen, whom he pleased, and left the remainder in their confusion and ruin. Now then, it is no marvel that some men think that this doctrine is to be strange and hard. For it does not fit in at all with man’s natural understanding. Of course, it is antithetical to the flesh. If a man asks of philosophers,” and he goes on to say “Well,

the philosophers will give you one answer,” but he says, “If we ask of God the truth on this matter, God will give us the truth. And the truth is that God has set His heart from eternity past upon those whom it pleased Him to choose and has passed over the rest.” And so much more could be said, about their preaching of the doctrines of grace. But they did not hesitate. They did not skirt the issues They preached these grand, glorious truths, taught throughout Scripture. No wonder Mary Queen of Scots would say that she feared the preaching and prayers of John Knox more than the marching armies of Europe. These men were powerful as they preached the Word of God So if we’re to have another Reformation, there must be back in the center of the church, the pulpit. And a man who stands behind that pulpit, who does what the prophets did, what John the Baptist did, what Jesus did, what Peter did, and John did, and all of the disciples did, to preach the Word of God I’m going to give Charles Haddon Spurgeon the last word. Spurgeon said “We want again Luthers, Calvins. Men fit to mark eras. Whose names breathe terror in the foeman’s ears We have dire need of such men in the church today, whence will they come to us? They are the gifts of Jesus Christ to the church, and will come in due time. He has power to give us a golden age of preachers. And when the good old truth is once more preached by men whose lips are touched as with a live coal from off the alter, this shall be the instrument in the hand of the Spirit for bringing about a great and thorough revival of religion in the land.” Spurgeon said, “I do not look for any other means of converting men, beyond the simple preaching of the gospel, and the opening of men’s ears to hear it. The moment the church of God shall despise the pulpit, God will despise the church.” “It has been through the ministry of preaching that the Lord has been pleased to revive and bless His churches,” close quote. So if we’re to have a Reformation in this day, we must come back to old paths. If it’s new it’s not true. We must go back to old paths And the god-ordained means by which His church will be first and foremost blessed, it will be by the primary ordinary means of grace, by the preaching of the Word of God and God opening the ears of the people to hear it Let us pray. Father in heaven, would You send a new generation of preachers into the pulpits of Your — in this land, and around the world And would You restore the preaching of the Word of God as You did in the days of the Reformation? Lord, I pray that You would give us mighty men, heroic men, men who are walking Bibles, men with tender hearts, men who have a voice to speak to the sheep, and a voice to speak to the wolves Men who will attach themselves to the Word of God, and to preach the great doctrines of grace. And will You give us men in these days who will be controversial, who will be polemic. Who will be defenders of the faith, and guardians of sound doctrines. And who will be shepherds, who will feed the sheep as they preach through the Word of God And Lord, may You show yourself to be so faithful as Jesus said “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Father we pray this in Jesus’ name, amen

E1 – CROWD CONTROL Series – Crowd Control

learn from me I wasn’t the best because I kept my cane I was the best because the crowd loved me in the crowd and your when your freedom I will win the crowd I will give them something they’ve never seen before we are starting a new series crowd control and for those of you who don’t know me I am Stacy I am pastor Derek’s wife and he is down in Virginia he’s speaking out of church down there so I’m holding down the fort and had the privilege of starting kicking off this new series crowd control revelations on the power of a crowd as you saw in the clip and you also saw on the clip the Hebrews 12:1 is the series text but we have a crowd of witnesses that are cheering us on as a body of believers here on earth and there is as we have seen probably just last week in Baltimore there is a dynamic in the power of a crowd and there that’s powerful it can be used for good and it can be used for bad and you know we see the riots that are used for the bad part but we also see did you see the picture where there were citizens that said they were going to take back their city and they were standing in a line protecting the police did you see that so that’s the power of a crowd for the good we also know for those sports fans the home court advantage you know there’s power in the crowd so but for Christ’s followers there there’s power in a crowd for us and this is what this series is all about is crowd control we we’re going to take a concept from each of the each of these weeks in the series about a concept from Hebrews 12 about this cloud of witnesses crowd in the cloud of witnesses where we can get inspiration instructions so that we can walk and in wisdom of the word not in wisdom of the world so the concept that we’re gonna start off today with is looking at how Jesus drew a crowd there I’m gonna redo several scriptures that are not in your outline but mark 634 if you’ve read any of the Gospels you’re gonna see that everywhere Jesus went there was a crowd following him they loved him Mark 634 says Jesus saw a large crowd and called them to him he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd Luke 8:40 the crowd welcomed him they were all expecting him Luke 937 a large crowd met him Luke 11:20 7 a woman was calling out in the crowd blessed is the woman who gave birth to you they were so they were thankful for Mary for giving birth to him because they loved him Luke 1937 the crowd praised God for all the miracles that he had done so these are just some examples of the people’s perception of Jesus leading up to hit the the Passion Week up to his betrayal and murder plot and as his influence grew we know that it went from this cheering fan club to a very fierce mob who totally turned on him but today we’re gonna focus on not necessarily the persecution of the crowd but we’re going to focus on the season of favor that we believe that the church is in in America right now it’s a small 1/2 a favor that we think America really we as Christians we need to leverage all the influence that we have to draw people into the crowd of believers so that when the different times come they know they’re equipped and they’re ready to handle what’s going to come so it is in order for us to leverage that influence it’s imperative that we look at Jesus life so that we can apply what some of his personality traits to our life so that we can also attract a crowd so like I mentioned prior to Jesus betrayal he was a rock star so before people flogged him people actually flocked to him excuse me and so there are many reasons why that we’re gonna look at today why people were so drawn to him so that we can apply in our life and maintain crowd control in our lives and the life of the church so he Jesus shone his light for everyone Tech in your theory I mean your worship guide there Matthew 5:14 and 3:16 says you are the light of the world

a city on a hill cannot be hidden neither do people light a lamp and put a bowl over it no instead they place it on a lamp stand so that everyone in the house can see and it says it goes on to say in the same way let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven you’re gonna hear me say that often that they may see our good deeds and so that they can praise our Father in heaven so keep that in mind so what kind of light are we putting out there maybe as individuals as the church we’re going to talk about those today and today’s message is entitled emojis of the church now how many of you know what an emoji is okay if I said an emoticon does that help everybody anybody else okay for those who don’t know it’s the little smiley faces or all kinds of faces and little pictures that you can send when you’re texting people okay Oh somebody’s like oh okay I got alright so we we use those all the time in my family we could just send one little face back to each other or like five faces at the same one just like you know so we’re gonna use some emojis today so those of you who don’t know what emojis are you’re about to be well informed alright so first the emojis that we’re gonna talk about is the kinds of light that we might be putting out as a body of believers so are we a dance club light those of the little emojis okay a dance club light might be just flickering on and off flickering without focus in and out in and out that’s not the light we want to be showing are we ahead light shining in people’s eyes okay that might be blinding somebody with the truth like you know people beatin somebody over the head with a Bible saying you’re a sinner well that’s really gonna win them but what so we don’t want to be the the headlights shining in someone’s eyes are we a flashlight in the dark how many of you have ever done that little thing where you turn off the light and you put the flashlight right here and that all it shows is like the it looks creepy like you know these are the kind of people that want to tell everybody about there’s demons and you know the devil is out to get you okay well that’s not what we want to do either or are we a lighthouse now there was no emoji for a lighthouse so that’s what you do you make them up a light and the house white house all right so these are the kind of people that we want to be we want to be the lighthouse kind of Christians because it calls people to safety people from all over can see it calls him to safety and then we could point him to God just like that verse said let them see our good works our good deeds so that then we can point them and praise the Father in heaven so Jesus was a light to the world and he drew people to himself he did not polarize or criticize the disconnected or the downtrodden or really the difficult people he drew them to himself but sometimes we’re called to draw people to us as well but sometimes I think we’re completely unaware of how we come across now how many of you have ever seen some people that are totally unaware of their surroundings okay a few of you that means probably you are one of those people no but I think two of the places that I have seen this the most where people are completely unaware of their surroundings is the grocery store and the airport and I have examples so like at the grocery store when I’m at the grocery store I’m usually on a mission and I am like I don’t like just you know oh but a lot of people apparently do have plenty of time to go and shop I’m like in and out get my stuff you know so but you’re coming around the corner and somebody’s looking at all the tuna and they’re just standing there with their little basket and you know there’s three diamonds and there’s Bumblebee and Starkist and goodness there’s solid white and chunk light and salt and there’s oil and water and they’re standing there just forever and you’re getting like two feet from them and all of a sudden they choose their one they step right out in the middle to put it in their basket and you bump into them because they were unaware that you were coming they then they look at you like you’re the one that’s one aware I was like sorry get out of my way I don’t do that because I am a lighthouse but the other time is like in the airports have you ever seen when they’re like standing in the middle of the aisle like all these people playing five planes of just D playing and all these people crowds and throngs are going through and somebody’s just standing there looking in the middle and then they start to walk off they go like this and like everybody just tramples over them and they look like they’re irritated with somebody else but I have a funny story that just recently I was flying and we were flying on JetBlue which is like awesome because each seat has this own little TV screen right in front of you and so I’m sitting in the middle Dericks sitting over here and you like sit on the aisle because you know so he can spread out and there was this lady this small little lady sitting next to the window and so on the well I’m sitting just in the middle watching my TV and you know like that has on the armrest it has the little controls so you have like channel controls and and then brightness level on that stuff so this lady apparently she thought I

was gonna try to you know cheat off her journal that she was right now because she was like hovering over like this didn’t want me to say anything so but apparently she realized that I was not really interested in her journal and so she started relaxing a little bit so she said she was sitting back and all of a sudden I’m just reminded my own business Derek sleeping minding my own business watching my little TV and I’ll descend the channels just start changing just like continually like 15 times and I’m going I look over at Derek’s channel and his you know he’s sleeping it’s just nothing and then I look over at hers and hers is just still on that you know more leg room that little original screen and mine are still just changing I’m awesome I’m like what in the world and I look down and her elbow is on my controls totally changing my channels and so I was laughing and I wanted to like elbow my husband I go look at this this is hysterical she’s completely unaware so um so then if that wasn’t enough I was gonna see how long it was gonna go and all of a sudden I see it you know the word brightness comes on a screen all those little dashes where it is so it goes brightness mmm nothing my screen went blank she turned off my screen turned off my TV totally unaware so then I’m laughing a little bit even harder and I’m I didn’t say anything to her I was just gonna wait until her elbow moves I was like put my little brightness back on turn my TV back on but she was unaware it’s sometimes I think that’s how we are as Christians were unaware of maybe things that we say of our actions of sometimes even our face when somebody says something to us like oh I mean you know but we need to not be unaware we need to be aware of our surroundings as the body of Christ so John 3:17 says he did not send his son into the world to condemn the world because the church has done plenty of that have we not as and and today I’m preaching to the choir I know because our church is awesome at this kind of stuff but I do there’s always we’re good at something we can always get better so but our church is not condemning at all we that’s one of the things that people say about our churches that were so friendly so again I know that this is the choir um excuse me but so we are supposed to as the body of Christ shine our lights for everyone to see for the world to see so what are the you know we need to be able to shine our light so that they can see the personality of Jesus Christ because we represent him so I’m gonna show you some emojis today that we might maybe communicate as a church like if the church was sending out text what emojis would they use so let’s look at some of the mogees we might be very happy and like wink face and oh we love you with the hearts and our eyes we’re so happy that you’re here we’re angels here of course we’re gonna pray for you and we’ll just kiss you kissing you we are loving the people here okay so those are some of the mogees the faces of jesus that we might see but the big idea today is that the church is the face of Jesus you can write that and your notes the church is the face of Jesus and a lot of times we hear plenty of messages about being the hands and feet of Jesus and that’s important going and doing and doing something for people but today we’re gonna talk about the face and that is the personality or the being of Jesus and to be the face we need to have his personality or to reflect his reflected personality his look appearance his countenance his values his love and then we will have that same success that Jesus did and drawing a crowd to him we want to draw the crown 2nd Corinthians 3 verses 17 and 18 it says now this now the Lord is a spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there’s freedom there’s not bondage and baggage and all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect glory of the Lord the glory is the weight of who God is it’s his personality and as the Spirit of the Lord works within us we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more so it says as it as it works as he works within us we become more and more like him it doesn’t mean the longer you’re a Christian the more you are separated from the sinners and you know y’all are just sinners and I’m I’ve been more and more around him know it says the more we were around him the more we were supposed to reflect him as long as this at work within us so we’re called to take on his likeness and keep changing until we become more and more like him so how do we become more like him or how should the church look more like him well today we’re gonna talk about five personalities but before we do that or five not five personalities but five personalities of Jesus I want to connect with you how Jesus is the church and the church is Jesus so an acts 8 verses one through three this is talking about Saul before he had his Damascus experience and I’m where he’s persecuting Christians and it says and Saul was there giving approval to his death on that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and America and Samaria godly men buried

Stephen and mourned deeply for him but Saul began to destroy the church going from house to house he dragged off men and women and put them in prison he was the biblical times Isis I mean that’s what’s happening now and Saul was that kind of person go on to x9 verses 1 through 5 it says meanwhile Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples he went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus this is the part where I’m gonna just read fast so um so that if he found any there who belonged to the way whether men or women he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem as he neared Damascus on his journey suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him okay Jesus was tired of his persecution so he decided to shine this big bright light that he was not being a lighthouse he was gonna shake him and he did he felt Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him Saul Saul why do you persecute me now he had not persecuted Jesus in the flesh because he was not on the earth at that point he said who are you lord Saul asked I am Jesus the one you are persecuting so he had been persecuting Christians and bringing them out and trying to put them in prison and kill them and you know Jesus said no enough that’s me you’re persecuting me so Jesus is so closely associated with the church that he takes it very personal so if Jesus is the church and the church is Jesus then we are supposed to be reflecting and showing his personality and representing him as ambassadors for him so we need to take action so we’re gonna look at five personalities of Jesus and I’m gonna help you with emojis because it’s emojis of the church so number one he the one first personality trait of Jesus was that he was incredibly authentic and real Philippians 2:6 says he didn’t consider it quality with God something to be grasped but he lowered himself and became like one of us so Jesus was not he didn’t have all this pomp and circumstance he wasn’t you know King James and speaking I mean he might have spoken to King James because that’s what they spoken but he wasn’t speaking King James today you know he there was no majest majestic robe or you know stately crown or he didn’t wear a kimono but that was closest thing to a robe um he didn’t have special bodyguards you know he was just real some of some examples to verses that show what authentic authentic looks like is Matthew 23 verses 2 & 3 it says the teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses seat so you must obey them and do everything they tell you but do not do what they do for they do not practice what they preach they’re not authentic they’re fake that’s what the Pharisees were doing they were trying to make themselves look so much greater when you know look at the next verse Philippians 2:3 it says do not do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourselves we’re supposed to consider others better than ourselves and sometimes that’s so difficult for people to do I know just living as a pastor’s wife and pastors family and we have a lot of pastors pastoral friends with you know big mega churches churches down the south and you know they’re their congregation puts them up on this big pedestal and I am so thankful I have bragged on our church because I mean y’all honor your pastors but you don’t have everybody you don’t have them up on us this big pedestal because we should never no one should ever be on a pedestal except for Jesus we I’m normal just like you I’m a sinner just like you my kids that’s why we tell stories of the stupid things that our kids have done or the stupid things that we’ve done because we’re like I don’t want anybody thinking that my kids will be perfect cuz they’re not and neither are yours my kids are just normal like you know we’re we’re no better than you we might have more responsibility but we’re no better so that’s the kind of stuff that that’s another thing that was a trait that people love about our church is that we’re just real like we are willing to say you know we’re real and we make mistakes and we do stupid things too so we need to as a church continue to be that authentic authentic we need to be we need okay we need to be real that’s what we need to be all right number two Jesus was incredibly relevant so when we read the Bible now we don’t look at it necessarily as totally relevant to us because he talked about like seeds and sprouts and you can see the little emojis up here and leaves and trees and she Ram goats whatever but if he was living today he would be talking about movies and sports and money and family and sex because that’s what’s relevant to today so we need to take that into consideration and be relevant excuse me Luke 15 one through three says or one or two says now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to

hear him but the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered this man welcomes sinners and eats with them if sinners which is me and you FYI if sinners wanted to be the sink wanted to be with the single most holy and the perfect man that to walk the earth then he had to be relevant with them he had there was something about him that they wanted to be around so we need to take that into consideration as well 1st Corinthians 9 22 says whatever a person is like I try to find common ground with him so that he will let me tell him about Christ and let Christ save him so if it passes Dirk has this phrase about what he’s gonna speak on it and it needs to pass the who-cares test or the test of you know how is this gonna help me on Monday through Saturday so that’s why he speaks on real felt needs things that are relevant to us today and how many of you were here for the under the influence series or any of it okay that was a series but he was a little nervous to speak about it at first because we have an as a church we have an evangelistic call on our church we want to draw people in that don’t know Christ and that we call the pre believers we want to draw those people in so it’s a little you know we again we don’t want to be the the blinding truth where people are like this like you know the first time they come in and we’re talking about demons however it’s that’s what the Hollywood is showing that’s what the devil wants Hollywood the devil wants to be the first one to introduce people to demons and how big bad scary demons in his little minions you know I don’t mean the little yellow cute minions the mito we those not not those but I tell you I will tell you this those the devil’s minions have about as much power as those cute little yellow minions they have none because in the power of Jesus Christ they they tremble at the name of Jesus they have no power in the name of Jesus so we don’t have to be afraid of his big bad scary demons but that’s what the devil wants to tell the world he wants to get them scared of demons and minions not the little ones because they’re cute but he’s trying to you know influence the world himself but we as a body of believers need to take that and say no we’re gonna influence them first so it’s just it’s like with them when our kids went into public school we wanted to be the first ones to influence them on sex because they were gonna hear about it at school for sure and then we’re gonna hear a warped view and the world’s view and so when when you are sending your kids to into an environment where you don’t want them to learn something that you don’t want them to learn then you have to be proactive and tell them first and that’s it’s a really important important message there is – we have to talk about things that are relevant so if Jesus was relevant we need to be relevant so the next slides I’m going to show you are some texts some funny text from parents who tried to be relevant and some of them epically failed but some of them were very funny so I’ll move out this way so here’s the this that you can see the little emoji at the top it says that the child says oh geez chocolate kiss with eyes watching over you lol it’s a poop with eyes mom oh I thought it was a chocolate kiss lol haha definitely a poop mama bear I’m so sorry you know so that’s a little poop it’s a little muji son you’re in big trouble why because you’re texting me in your school while you’re in school are you serious you texted me first I have done that I actually texted Mallory one time and she got her phone taken away she’s like I was my mom texted me and showed her the check I was like my dad um mom where are you leaving Walmart halfway home why sweetie you brought me to Walmart with you Oh oh darn be there in a bit hmmm I think there’s something wrong with my phone I don’t think my texts are going through yeah they’re getting through well how can you be sure okay here’s here’s some little phrases that the parents trying to be relevant what does idk ly and ttyl mean I don’t know love you talk to you later okay I’ll ask your sister that’s what they mean I don’t know love you okay um okay here’s another epic fail your great-aunt just passed away lol why is that funny it’s not funny David what do you mean mom lol means laughing out loud oh my goodness I sent that to everyone I thought it meant lots of love I have to call everyone back so here’s mom this is something I would pull don’t forget to unload the dishwasher did you finish your homework we have to go to your grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving dad and I talked we were going to buy you a car next month you are oh my gosh thank you no we’re not I just wanted to make sure you’re getting my text that was cruel here’s mom I’m learning how to hashtag that’s great mom hashtag conversation was son she didn’t even use

the hashtag she wrote it out please don’t text me for the next hour I’m going to be on the treadmill I wasn’t planning on texting you what did I just say don’t text me so those are people who were trying to be relevant but it was also enjoyable do we not have fun laughing at that a little bit okay well that’s my next point is that Jesus was incredibly enjoyable we want to have fun in church Church should be the funnest place on the planet better than Disney World I know that’s a stretch but hey it should be the case but imagine if more churches were so fun wouldn’t more people want to come yes of course they would people loved to be around Jesus children especially mark 10:16 says he and he took the children in his arms put his hands on them and bless them children love people who are enjoyable they you know one of my biggest rewards as a principal is when I’m sitting downstairs and guest central and you know families come in and there look I see one of my students and they’re holding their parents hand you know and they see me and they let go their mom’s hand they run over me with their arms wide open grab me around the legs to me that is like such a great reward because kids can pick up on a fake they can tell if you really like him they can tell if you’re really enjoyable and they don’t really like being around people that are not enjoyable children loved to be around Jesus so he had to be enjoyable um do we have emojis for the enjoyable yes Jesus was like the life of the party that’s the laughing out loud laughing crying kind of emoji he was he was like awesome people loved to celebrate him he was the life of the party um children’s love children love to be around him sinners skeptics I mean like all kinds of prostitutes tax collectors they all love to be around him the people that didn’t like to be around him or the fake people the religious people the Pharisees the inauthentic people they didn’t want to be around him but everybody else followed him he couldn’t get rid of him he had to like leave the crowds and he’d go to another crowd and then he’d try to leave that crowd to go be with Jesus and another crowd to follow him so people were always following him do people follow you do they see what’s you know are you enjoyable do you see do you think you represent him well and I think Christians and the church should be the most enjoyable people on the earth we have the joy of the Lord but Nehemiah 8:10 I’m skipping ahead to the last verse there but Nehemiah 8:10 says for the joy of the Lord is your strength we have a joy inside of us that we need to be able to share with other people this is one of my favorite life verses it please yes T’s 8:15 and it says so I recommend having fun because there’s nothing better in this world than to eat drink and enjoy life eat drink and be merry hello that’s awesome I love to eat that way they will fit they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work that God gives them under the Sun so it this was a wise Leon Solomon wrote is this Ecclesiastes it says so I recommend having fun be enjoyable lighten up laughter is good for your soul was good for your you know it’s like medicine to your soul so Jesus was the kind of person that if you were going on a trip and you had to just you wanted to take somebody really fun Jesus would be the kind of person you’d want to take and I think sometimes we think that Jesus maybe talked at people but if people wanted to be around him so much he had to actually listen so Jesus was real he was relevant he was enjoyable and number four he was incredibly accepting so in this point I want to tell you that if there’s any religious people in here I might slightly step on your toes a little bit and I’m not apologizing for it because if you’re a religious person then well we love you and we accept you too but Jesus and Jesus is it was pure holiness he loved everyone so we have some emojis he loved everyone he would wink and kiss and everybody just loved him you know and he loved everyone and he loved everyone of all colors of all nationalities these are the new emojis that came out with all different colors of brown and yellow and black and if there was purple polka dotted or speckled he loved them too he loved all people and his holiness did not drive people away but it drew people to him and again we’re supposed to be like that so he he didn’t condemn sinners I mean he didn’t even condemn sinners who got caught with her hand in the cookie jar you know I mean he loved them and he accepted them for who they were he then that after he accepted them first then he said go and sin no more he didn’t say you’re a sinner come to church no that’s not gonna get people to church he had you know we he had such a personality that was so loving and

accepting of others that when he was around them they just they flocked to him they’d wanted to be around him and and he didn’t like I said he didn’t condemn people but I think the church has gotten so blurred lines where we think that we’re supposed to be the condemned errs of the world we are not called to be the Holy Spirit we’re not called to be the judge and jury for people we are called to accept we’re called to love John 16:8 says the Holy Spirit’s job is to convict the world of its sin of God’s righteousness and of the coming judgement it does not say Stacy fry or connect me to church is the Holy Spirit Junior we are to love and accept and our job is to be the face of Jesus not the Holy Spirit mark 2 verse 15 and 17 3:17 says while Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples for there are many who followed him when the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors they asked his disciples why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners and that day tax collectors were like you know does scum of the earth on hearing this jesus said to them it’s not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick I have not come to call the righteous but sinners Jesus loved everyone sinners he would love you he would love me he would love anybody else that had the big bad sins so let me just say this man is the only one that puts degrees on sin God does God sees one sin as a thousand sins it weighs the same to him God sees you know a little white lie it’s a lie that’s a sin as opposed to a murderer I mean the Bible says and I can’t real where it is but it says if you even hate your brother you’re as you’re like a murderer so hating someone murdering someone it’s all the same sin and we think you know in in this day when there’s so much talk about you know homosexuals and transgenders or whatever you know just watching them on the news there was some kind of gay rally or whatever and of course they get a clip of this man who was saying we don’t have the same father and somebody was saying yes we do we were all created the same he was like no we don’t have the same father I thought are you winning that person are you winning that Herta he was trying to be the Holy Spirit convict them of their sin tell them they’re sinners let me just say I would like to beat them over the head with a Bible to that man and say you’re just as much of a sinner do you not get that you’re judgmentalism is just as much of a sin as somebody who’s walking in sin and it doesn’t mean that we’re going to accept people and just let them live their life know after we’re supposed to bring them in here and then let the Holy Spirit do his job to convict them of their sin so if we have homosexuals and transgenders and wires and gossipers and judgmental people and religious people thank god that means that we’re doing something right as a church we want those people in here it just means that they are broken that they are disconnected that they are that they’ve had a rough life how are they ever gonna know Jesus if we don’t shine our light let them see our good deeds so that then we can point them to Jesus they’ll never get in here and I tell you Jesus did this so awesome we need to be more like him in every way we need to embrace per imperfection we always say that we are the perfect perfect Church for imperfect people so if you if you’re perfect here you might need to leave cuz you’re gonna ruin our imperfect Church here we have a great thing going here in this imperfect church because that’s the way it should look nobody is perfect in this world everybody is full of sin you’re full of sin you’re not righteous newsflash neither am i it’s like none of us are but wait so why would we just because man puts degrees on sin why would we look at somebody else and say oh I can’t accept them if Bruce Jenner walked into this church we would accept him we would help him we would try to minister to him we want to try to help him get healed of the broken places in his life but we would accept him there are so many people that are broken out there and if Jesus would accept them then so should the church amen and it’s something that people you know like that’s why we have the hassle-free guarantee here at church is that people want to know that they belong somewhere before they’ll ever believe so we accept all kinds of people we accept you know all kinds of colors I love the total colors in our church it’s awesome I grew up in Alabama it was like black or white how boring is that I mean I like black and light brown and dark brown and cream colored and you know there’s all kinds

of it’s awesome so I love our church I think we have the best church on the planet I really do I mean again we have a lot of pastor friends they have huge churches whatever we go down there and it’s awesome and I literally Darren eyes look at you like oh I want to get back to our church I love our church we are so grateful for this church so Romans 15 7 says accept one another then just as Christ as Christ accepted you in order to bring praise to God it says accept him to bring praise to God we are praising God when we accept a broken person when we accept them and love them for who they are we don’t have to love their sin because God doesn’t love ours he doesn’t love my sin one time my father-in-law when I was when we were younger and they were just coming getting no and he goes you are the skinniest glutton I’ve ever met I was like you just called me a skinny sinner and I had to work on that that’s my little sin my one and only sin just kidding Yeah Yeah right she knows me well so but we are accepting of all kinds of sinners it doesn’t matter what yours is it doesn’t matter what mine is we’re all sinners and we all need to be working around out of course and that’s what we’re here for in church is to work on getting better and reflecting more and more like Jesus so um I want to tell you story Dylan who was here when Josh Monti spoke last summer I believe it was you might not remember but you might remember a story okay couple people but he just he just shared his testimony last week at arc and he was telling that he was the 19 year old kid he had been abused he had been he was just broken he was miserable he was ready to just check out he visited a couple churches and you know he came and sat down and some some man came right up to him he thought oh I’ll introduce myself and he stuck out his hand and the man said you’re in my seat get up okay so that was his first experience that’s not really reflecting Jesus so then he went to another church as well and and got the same kind of condemnation and judgment and he didn’t look totally you know he’s not necessarily what you would look at trying to think that he was once he he wanted to be accepted okay so he kind of stood out in the crowd and so he said one last-ditch effort somebody had told him about this church that was meeting in a high school and so he went to the church and he saw this lady coming to him and he thought I’m just gonna give one last shot he was a totally expecting judgment condemnation and so he held out his hand to this lady and she pushed his hand out of the way and she grabbed him and hugged him and accepted him and that day changed his life from then on out he was ready to kill himself that afternoon he was ready to just check out of life because he was miserable and the lady accepted him and showed him other people and accepted they accepted him and you know and it changed his life and he’s now a pastor of a growing church and he’s doing awesome because someone accepted him that’s how our church is we accept people I had a friend recently who was telling telling me about a friend that she invited on Easter and she said she goes Stacie she’s gonna stand out in the crowd she’s had a hard life and it shows and I said that’s great and she goes no but she’s really gonna stand out in the crowd I was like how long will you bring her on that’s awesome our church are so good at this our church accepts people and loves and hugs with people and we were a huggie Church we have people in our small group I won’t mention any names Bob but we have people in our small group they were like the first time I came in I was like why are all these people hugging me oh my gosh and now his father really he’s like hey how are you how are you know he’s hugging and loving on people too because people want to feel loved we’re just loving and huggy so um so Jesus was real he was relevant he was enjoyable he was accepting and the last one is he was totally amazing totally amazing we have he wasn’t just this you know pep talk got his pep talk guy he wasn’t just cool calm and collected we think you know he’s probably just always like this and these thousand these my father sent me and I mean yeah he was he did say that but he had to be really enjoyable he was amazing he did miracles we have some emojis that so like he was amazing like wow oh my gosh you know explosions going off around him but the things that we’re going on around him were miracles he performed miracles that were so awesome and some of them were very a little bit unorthodox some of them were extraordinary but people still thought he was amazing they’ll still wanted to be around him like here an example of in John 9 verses 1 through 41 is the full story but this is the guy who was blind and in a crowd Jesus walks over and he’s wanting to heal the guy and he spits in the dirt makes the mud pies and wipes them on the guy’s eyes ok yeah thank you so true can you come to second

service for me right cue a same part okay you know is right I mean it was gross but then that guy went off that Jesus said go and wash it off so he goes to wash it off and he was healed and then of course because it was a Sabbath day the Pharisees the religious people were all mad because they started talking to this blind guy or formally blind guy and they were like well Jesus says he claims he’s the son of God and he does this and he’s and they’re trying to accuse him and trying to get this blind guy to like say oh yeah why I don’t I don’t want to see anymore yeah cuz he’s a bad guy no the blind guy what does the blind guy say he goes listen all I know is that I was blind and now I can see he is saying I don’t really care that he spit in dirt and made mud pies and stuck him on my eyes I can see that’s all I want so let me tell you a story about a couple here in the church Rick and Terry Lopez they’re right here and they’re awesome I did tell them I was gonna tell him tell about their little story not everything but when they came to this church they were a broken couple their marriage was failing they had a past they had history they had some issues that they had to work out they were they wanted to be accepted they want to be loved they needed some love okay so they came and they started they allowed God to work in their lives they allowed God to work in their marriage they were students of marriage they got marriage counseling they did marriage small groups and they’re in our marriage small groups this semester and we’re like y’all couldn’t leave this group you’re awesome I mean they’re changed people but they didn’t go around beating people over the head with hey you need to get in church because you’re a sinner no they just let God’s amazingness if that’s if you can allow me that word his amazingness shine through their lives and their testimony so they would just talk to people they would just tell people you know yeah we’ve been going to church and it’s really helping her marriage or I don’t know what they would say but just you know I mean Terry is just so sweet you could just talk to her for days and Rick is awesome he just he’s very cool calm collected we have Rick isms in our in our small group because he says all these funny things but what happened was that their friends started seeing the amazing testimony in their lives they started changing from the inside out and people started going oh my gosh all I know is that I want what they have and sure enough Glenn and Linda came to church with him Kevin and Angelica which you saw their marriage testimony came to church because of Rick and Terry’s amazing testimony they didn’t have to beat somebody over the head they just showed what God was doing in their lives and from those two couples that came to church with them they invited other people and then they came and then those people invited other people and then another couple came and just from Rick and Terry’s Testament there’s like 10 couples here just because God’s amazing work in their lives so thank you for shining that light for being that light house because that’s what God does he uses people and you may be thinking gosh I think he can use me that way I’m I’m I was the captain of the football team I’m the head cheerleader and I’m a successful businessman and I’m successful businesswoman you know yes God can still use you but let me just tell you he specializes and using ordinary people that is why I am standing here today let me just tell you some verses here I’m gonna I’m gonna skip the verses you can look as you can see those verses that have the miracles of signs and wonders following Jesus but I wanted to tell you acts 4:13 if we can I don’t know if it’s in the oh it it should be in there so this is when Peter and John were going around they were doing miracles and they were preaching to crowds and like this that day 5,000 people got saved in this one day and so the Pharisees were again they were they were they didn’t know what to do with them they wanted to stop them they wanted to you know Nix them and they made an interesting comment in acts 413 it says when they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled ordinary men so the Greek word for Orden he is idiotape do you hear a root word idiot okay which means ignoramus unlearned ordinary person unschooled or an idiot okay so they were unschooled ordinary idiots men and it says the Pharisees were astonished and amazed they took note that these men had been with Jesus one moment in the presence of Jesus and you can be changed for a lifetime one moment in his presence can change you forever first Corinthians 1:27 is my life verse as well and it says but God chose the

foolish things of the world to shame the wise I like the version that says God chose the simple things of the world to shame the wise he chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong I used to always say to Derek I’m just so simple I don’t have all these big major thoughts I’m just simple and then I found this person I was like haha he’s gonna use me to change the world you know um but God specializes in using ordinary people simple people I’m not calling anybody foolish in here I like to stay this simple but God can use you he can use each one of us and each one of us has a sphere of influence that we can be able to shine our light so that we can accept people and love them and be real and relevant to them and enjoyable so that they can come to know Jesus they will never come to know Jesus if we are not these things and that is what we’re called to do so I want you to you can put your notes away and you can stand up you know you may be thinking I want God to use me I want to be amazing I want to have a better emoji that I’m showing out to everyone to my friends and my co-workers my family I want to be a better face of Jesus and the best way you can do that first of all the only way that you can do that is be a part of Jesus family and I want to give you up an opportunity right now in just a minute to be able to come into the family of Jesus Christ because that’s the most important thing that will start changing your life forever one moment in his presence can change you forever it can change your lifetime it can it can get you on a new direction of where you’re going so with every head bowed and eyes are all your eyes closed please I want to give you an opportunity to say I want to be in the family of Jesus Christ I want to I want to have Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior amount of my life so that I can be amazing and show other people how awesome God is in my life if that is you I want you to just raise your hand and and look up at me and tell me that you want to be part of the family of Jesus Christ I see you thank you that’s awesome I see you several ladies there I see in the back that’s awesome thank you lord I see you that’s so great I see right there thank you that is it’s the most important decision you will ever make this will change your life forever one moment in his presence will change you forever your life is now set on a different course when you pray that’s prayer if a church if you will just pray this with me and with our new brothers and sisters in Christ dear lord I thank you that you died on the cross for me I thank you that you loved me and accepted me in the middle of my sin I confess you Lord as my Savior my king my brother I ask you father to anoint my life to let amazing things happen in me so I can reflect your glory in Jesus name I want to pray for a second group of people I want to pray for our church as a whole that if you want to be a better face and emoji so to speak of Jesus Christ and you want to do a better job of maybe even reaching out to more people or having a holy boldness I want to pray for a double portion anointing on our church because we already have an anointing seriously on our church of being this these kinds of people of representing Jesus Christ well but I want a double portion that is art we’re living in the end days we don’t have a lot of time to get more people in the kingdom of Christ so if you want to do a better job or have more boldness of just being a better ace to the Church of Jesus Christ I want you to raise your hand and I’m gonna pray for all of us this all over the room that’s so awesome lord I just thank you Lord you see the hearts and the hands that are raised to you father we want to we just ask for a double portion anointing we want one moment in this church as soon as people walk in the doors of our church that their lives will be changed forever that they would feel your love as soon as they walk in the door they would feel your acceptance father we asked for an anointing in Jesus name that we would be an evangelistic church that we bring people in to know you that our lives would reflect your glory and your personality in your face and your love father I ask that your presence would be on each one of these people you would give them a holy boldness to be able to go to their friends and their family and their work and not beat them over the head with it but show how amazing you are what emoji emoji emoji you are Lord Jesus I thank you Father for your anointing in our church and I ask that you would just continue to multiply it in Jesus name I thank you Father for our church we have the best church on the planet and I’m so thankful that you gave us each person in here and I ask that you have blessed them as they’re going out today in Jesus name and everybody said amen let’s give God glory

God's Word Never Returns Void (Isaiah 55:10,11)

that portion of Scripture that we use for this worship service is Isaiah 55 Isaiah chapter 55 the text that God gives to us this evening is found in verses 10 and 11 Isaiah 55 ho everyone that thirsteth come e to the waters and he that hath no money come ye bye Andy yay come buy wine and milk without money and without price wherefore do you spend money for that which is not bread and your labor for that which satisfy if not hearken diligently unto me in a that which is good and let your soul delight itself in fatness incline your ear and come unto me here and your soul shall live and I will make an everlasting covenant with you even the sure mercies of David behold I have given him for a witness to the people a leader and commander to the people behold thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God and for the Holy One of Israel for he hath glorified thee Sikhi the Lord while he may be found call ye upon him while he is near let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return unto the Lord and He will have mercy upon him and to our God for he will abundantly pardon for my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways suck the Lord for as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts for as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven and returneth not thither but water if the earth and make it that bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth it shall not return unto me void but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it for ye shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands instead of the thorns shall come up the fir tree and instead of the Brier shall come up the myrtle tree and did shall be to the Lord for a name for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off may God bless our reading of his word to our understanding and greater appreciation the text that God gifts to us tonight now the tenth and eleventh verses of Isaiah 55 verses 10 and 11 there we read for as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven and returneth not thither but watereth the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth it shall not return unto me void but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it the historical context is important to understand it is the setting of the children of Judah in Babylon captive thinking in spite of what they have heard God say to them that he would be with them and blessed them thinking that

God could never fulfill all the promises that he gave thinking that it was utterly impossible just as they looked at the promises that are recorded here there’s others in the chapters especially since chapter 40 but just think of what he’s already said here in verse chapter 55 look by wine and milk the most expensive things usually it’s just water by wine and milk without money and without price how can you ever do that they look at their experience as captives in Babylon and they look at the what the Prophet said in the last part of verse 3 the sure mercies of David he will remember his covenant and it’s an everlasting covenant we don’t have a king we don’t have a kingdom how can this ever be they looked at themselves the serious ones now and they looked at what their sins and the sins of the nation had brought upon them and again their homes are a pile of rubble there’s no hope or evidence that they’re ever going to go back and restore them the place of worship is destroyed the key symbol of the altar of burnt-offering where they were shown that there was forgiveness of sins the only picture that they had of the forgiveness of sins was one of the pile of rubbles they’d not brought sacrifices for how many years and even prior to their being in captivity many times the temple was closed and the Prophet says God’s going to abundantly pardon you how can that be abundantly pardon us he takes those promises and their mindset is you can talk all you want profit impossible so ever since verse 8 the profit has been trying to show to them don’t put your thoughts and what you think as limits and restrictions on God’s promises God says to them I know what your thoughts are and I know what your ways are but my thoughts are not like your thoughts and neither are your ways like my ways in fact as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways and my thoughts far higher than yours you’re got real thoughts and you’ve got real ways but they’re not where mine are and now in our tax to Ed’s and when I make a promise when I speak a word it’s sure an amen and then he uses the example the illustration that was very well understood we see it now to today snow and rain he uses that illustration to demonstrate the power of a word God’s Word God’s Word to them as a nation God’s Word to us as a congregation God’s Word to every believing soul to each one so powerful that he says it never returns to me without having accomplished the purpose for which I’ve sent it so we consider God’s Word never returning void first we look at the yellow of the illustration that’s easily and quickly done and understood second

the reality the power of the word and then finally the comfort and the lessons to be learned the figure three things three very simple things the rain and snow fall they fall that’s first obviously they fall from the sky and they land on the earth and they enter into not only the earth but the atmosphere of the earth and then it says in verse 10 that they returned not thither the we must not assume or presume that the prophet and the holy spirit don’t understand evaporation he does they do but he’s taking an illustration and he says the rain and the snow fall and they enter into the atmosphere of this earth and into the earth and soil and even into the subsoil they become a part they don’t go back to God and into heaven they come down and they land here number two very quickly following that they have an effect there a fact is that they water the earth they bring moisture moisture to the soil the farmers are very interested in how much moisture falls they want it measured but they want to know how much of it enters into unfrozen ground they don’t want to see it runoff into the ditches and then run into the creeks and the lakes they want to know what’s the subsoil moisture they want to go be able to go down a foot and then two feet and then three feet and they want to be able to measure this the moisture and the soil down there because when the Sun comes out in the spring and the top layer of the soil becomes dry and dusty they want to know that what’s the soil the moisture content down below so that the plants that are growing there will send their roots down what is it way down the corn sends its roots sometimes five feet down what’s the moisture content down there they water the earth that’s what the rain in the snow do they water the earth then the third thing that happens is this it maketh to bring forth and bud and then with it it gives bread to the eater and seed to the sword it maketh to bring forth and bud the tense of the verb indicates ongoing action it never stops it’s an ongoing action of watering bearing eating it is interesting that when it brings forth and bugs and produces fruit the the the fruit have two purposes very interesting bread to the eater that’s what we’re most familiar with but something that all of us who aren’t farmers aren’t going to be thinking about it used to be that when you were a farmer and you raised crops you had to make a decision when harvest time came what portion of the harvest was going to be set aside and reserved for sowing next year and then the rest you could use to eat but you never wanted to consume it all because then you would have nothing with which to sow next year seed for the sower and bread for the eater bring forth and bud God designs all of his creation along those lines instruments of his power to provide provision for his creatures that’s the illustration the reality verse 11 so shall my word be

a word normally my mother thought that her words didn’t even get into the heads of her children words seemed to go no further than their sound but God’s word has a power has a power tremendous power the word that God is referring to is the things that we’ve already Illustrated his promise that they will be able to buy wine and milk without money and without price his promise of an everlasting covenant his promise of the sure mercies of David his promise of abundant pardon that’s the word of promise that God gave it’s a word that spoke of the things that God had done and would do a word that was spoken by prophets he communicated that word to his people through the prophets we know further he communicates that word through His Son Jesus Christ he communicated those same promises through the apostles and he continues to communicate ongoing today that same promise that same powerful Word of God is that which is communicated through the preaching of the word one is saved actually saved saved from sin save from hell by hearing Christ through the preaching for the Saints of the old dispensation it was a promise of the coming of Jesus Christ the Messiah it was a promise that meant a lot to them they were looking forward to that for that salvation for the reality of forgiveness for 4000 years in the whole of the old dispensation there was that’s altar of burnt-offering well ever since the days of Moses but before that in the garden God gave that promise that a seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent there were promises all the time but what about the reality it is no wonder that now at about 700 years BC so 3,300 years 3,300 years have taken place already and in still God says I’ve maintained this promise it’s really not any wonder that they would begin to wonder really really you see it over and over but really notice there’s a difference between the illustration and God’s Word in the illustration we read that the snow and rain come down from the heavens and return not thither they don’t return but here the Word of God returns in fact it does not return void empty it returns with something by accomplishing that which he purposes so the word is different than the illustration the word is a power it has a tremendous power it may not be all that we think because God attaches this understanding to the accomplishments of his word it will accomplish what I please it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it what that tells us is

this when god’s word goes forth it does return to him it does bring forth fruit it does accomplish that which he purposes it may not always be as we expect it may not always be as we want it’s a word that brings the knowledge of the forgiveness of sins and the blood of his son but it may bring that home not to all of our children but only to some Abraham saw that already in his grandson didn’t accomplish what Abraham wanted it to but it accomplished what God wanted it to and it returned to him it brought returns it shall accomplish that which to which I have sent it it will not return to me empty unsuccessful on accomplishing it does precisely what I sent it to do that’s what God is saying now maybe that’s a bit easier for us to understand and this is this shows to us the importance of the faith that God gives to us in every page and in every statement that God makes in all of his holy scriptures so that we go to the very first page of the Bible and we immediately even as little children come to understand understand clearly the power of God’s Word he speaks and it is done hey children how did God create light remember how did God create light he said he said he spoke he said a word let there be light and there was light so that Psalm 33 6 and 9 make it very clear that the way in which God created was after he had created on that first day that that mass that water a mass that was without form and was void he spoke he called out of it he first called out of nothing and it was but then after that he called out of that watery mass everything that he had created let there be the firmament to divide the water is above from the waters below let the waters below be formed into a globe into a sphere and let the dry land appear let the water and the land separate from one from another and let the dry land produce fruit bearing plants and grass fully grown he spoke and it was done he commanded and it stood fast we come to understand then that God’s word has power tremendous power very interesting that’s the way it was in creation and that’s the way God says it is to take place in recreation he speaks and there’s tremendous positive fruit bread to the eater seed to the sword the second thing that makes the power of

god’s word if ur n’t than the illustration is this he points it out in verse 13 sometimes there’s dandelions in the yard and everything is dry so we artificially put water on there or God sends a good soaking ring and the dental ions get bigger there’s a thorn bush you water it and what do you end up with a bigger thorn bush but the nature of God’s Word is very different it takes a thorn and it transforms it the power of God’s Word is that it is capable of taking something that is not good and making it good a thorn into a fir tree a briar into a myrtle tree something negative becomes something positive the power of God’s Word as it’s carried by the Holy Spirit is that it is capable of taking a sinner conceived and born into the sphere of sin having communicated to it the sin of Adam the guilt of Adam it’s a thorn it’s a briar that’s what we produce but the power of the word is that when that word enters into the understanding and then by the power of that spirit into the heart of that child there’s a transformation into that which is something good and profitable and beneficial a miracle takes place that doesn’t take place in the realm of creation that word well generally it takes a black heart a heart of stone and it makes it a heart of flesh it takes something that is closed to the truth and it makes it open to the truth when we exercise ourselves when God’s Word is brought to us yes it can be preaching but it can be sitting in your chair or at your desk or additi at your table and God forbid it be one of those times did you say let’s quick read the Bible a minute and pray and then we can all get up and go but it be those times where you read and the spirit communicates and the unrepentant is convicted remember how we just sang from Psalm 19 it has the power to impart to us

believers things about ourselves that we don’t know about ourselves every single one of us especially when we’ve hit some age of maturity have an understanding about ourselves we think we know ourselves but spiritual maturation says there’s parts of me that maybe others know a whole lot better than I do I don’t know myself so then you know how the psalm goes this is how we sang it what man can know his wicked heart his evil heart what man can discern all his sin all cleanse me Lord from hidden hidden faults show me show me the parts that I don’t want to think about show me the parts that my sinful nature has deceived me concerning it maybe things that that my husband or my wife for my children have been telling me but I’ve I’ve denied it I don’t see it make me to know and the word the word has that convicting power to enlighten us about ourselves now it does that in the way of humbling ourselves it humbles us it makes us know the first step for being opened having your eyes open to hidden faults is the realization that I don’t know myself as I and you’re humbled humbled before the majesty and the brilliant lights of God’s Word and you ask him to shine shine within and show you so that you can realize and confess the word is a power to convict our conscience it has the ability to make an idol worshipper god-fearing and that’s not just the heathen that were converted it has the power to make us aware of the idols of our lives it has the power to take one who is by nature fearful and make them courageous it has the power to take the obnoxious nature’s out of our souls and change us into something blessed that blesses it can take those who are always sappers takers and make them givers it can take a nature that’s demanding and make it patient and a servant it has the power to take those that are often given to different anger oh we never show it when we’re out but how about inside the house and teach us to be peacemakers it is the power to make complainers very very thankful who count their blessings and they close their mouths to complaints it takes the weeds that are always popping up and makes them good plants obstinate sea becomes

firmness for the truth somebody who is always trifling and light you can make them a delight and beautiful and useful God’s Word is still working it’s not just initial conversion it’s ongoing conversion and it’s the power of that word to transform each one of us constantly just as powerful as God’s Word was on creation week it’s a miracle that takes place in that catechism room and the preaching and in the quiet meditation of his word and so when he says I will abundantly pardon and our nature is but look at how horribly filthy and dirty and continually dirty I am I’m not just once dirty I keep producing dirt I’m still inclined to all evil I’m incapable of doing any good in myself and that word says but you’re forgiven abundantly and the soul that hears God say it it’s not what they wish it’s not what others say but it’s God saying it you know when God says it then that soul says his ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts then it has to be true it has to be God’s Word is powerful now the text specifically only speaks of the positive power of the word we often use the expression it doesn’t return to Him void and it accomplishes the purpose for which he sends it we often are inclined far more often than not to use this passage to refer to what we would call the negative effect of the word it goes forth and it hardens goes forth and there’s not those who heat it and there’s not conversions then we say well God’s Word never returns void did accomplish what he wanted it to do they’re harder and there is no doubt that that is implied that is implied but that’s not what’s on the surface and that’s what’s not in the heart of this passage of the word of God it’s talking about the power of God’s Word in our lives so now third point what’s the implications of this number one we have no reason ever to be disheartened or discouraged when the word does not produce the fruit that we want again that might not have the emphasis in the passage but it’s implied so that when we do mission work in Maine in Alamosa Valley San Luis Valley and Ella mosa in Tucson Birmingham Alabama in Ghana then we must not be discouraged or disheartened in the work what we really have to do is just stop our

mouths and our thinking and and take what he just said my ways are higher than your ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts and we don’t know the judgment day alone will tell us what the power of that word accomplished may be not in numbers and maybe not souls that are gathered in instituted congregations but let’s know that it never returns to him empty it accomplishes the purpose for which he sends it and that may be that some are hardened but it’s also great likelihood that other churches and other souls are strengthened and encouraged by the fruit of the word it goes forth we ought never be disheartened or discouraged number two when there is the kind of fruit that we enjoy then may we always walk so humbly that we never attributed to a personality to a preaching style to us never the power the only power is that of God himself it’s a divine power it prospers in the things we’re – he sends it it’s a mighty creative word omnipotent and irresistible and we don’t add anything to our own salvation and we don’t add anything to the efficacy positive efficacy of his word in a catechism room and a congregation of worshippers in a mission field it’s all of God third because the word has that kind of power then thinking again of Romans 10 13 14 and 15 that it goes forth according to his sending even those who call on him shall be saved but they don’t call on him unless they believe in him and they don’t believe in him unless they hear him and they don’t hear him unless there be a preacher and no one preaches unless he sent equally each step equally important that sending that tells us this that in all of the work of a catechism room of a pulpit of a mission field of elder calls to admonish in the form of discipline or in the work of evangelism all that the church must do is send the word present clearly the power of the word set forth what God says the Scriptures especially is that important in discipline the church does not use trackers the church doesn’t spy the church presents the word that’s all and in light of what God says his word can do what more do we need we don’t need trackers and we don’t need to spy it we’ll do what he wants it to do he has the power to use that word

just teach as clearly as possible just preach just carry and communicate the word as clearly as possible and pray because if you know it’s his power and not yours then you not only present clearly but you pray to Him who alone is able then there’s no notches on belts then there’s no comparison of size and fruits it’s not of us it’s all of him for it if God’s Word is this power and it does then every sincere child of God is going to put himself in the position of hearing that word it is not you gotta be in church it’s not it many people go to church and go to hell Protestant form churches too it’s coming with a humble heart a heart that’s aware that I’ve got issues I am sinner I am depraved I’ve got hidden faults I’ve got secrets within that I don’t even know myself but it’s for his glory that I allow myself to be under the scope of his word praying praying always oh lord teach me open my eyes not only to the power of sin but to the power of salvation show me cleanse me cleanse me from my how does God cleanse he shows you where the dirt is so you change so you repent so you exercise yourself and those virtues that are the opposite it means it means that we never say this is the way I am I can’t help it but we identify ourselves and the personality types that we are but we always say Lord sanctify me make me holy work on me so that my personality type is a sanctified personality so that I learned that if I’m an active person my activities to his glory so that if I’m a quieter person I’m a quieter person for his glory I learned how to do all things for him finally this if elders and ministers and missionaries present and pray then sit under the ring and the snow of God’s Word and pray drink in his promises and as you’re drinking those promises that you read every day and that you’ve got you can recite Psalm 23 in Psalm 27 and Isaiah 40 and there are so many different verses that the wonder of those verses keep growing and the beauty of the promises and the truths in them become ever brighter and more wonderful pray that you may become more and more

under its influence and that you’ll never stop marveling at the wonder of the cross and the power of the forgiveness a fifteen-year-old may say God abundantly forgives but he doesn’t quite say it like a 25 year old or a 55 year old or a 75 God abundantly pardons and his mercies are sure amen Oh Lord our God may the power of thy word be that which we experience humbling comforting strengthening assuring giving us hope joy in Christ’s work O Lord our God on us this week so that the wonder of the supper of the Lord may be that which we experience ongoing throughout the week when we hear memorial services and thy word bride when we listen to each other when we do our devotions when we open the scriptures may not be mechanical but may it be that which brings forth and buds thanks thanks for thy grace to keep forgiving us sinners in Jesus name we pray amen

Ecclesiastes 11:1-10 – Life is Hard, but God is Good

Thank You Darien and team that’s that was fun yeah hey um if you would if you don’t mind opening your Bibles to Ecclesiastes chapter 11 if you need a Bible if you need a pen if you need a paper to write on hold your hand up high we’ll be glad to provide one for you free of charge if you don’t have a Bible keep it take it home with you all right seriously please yeah STIs chapter 11 we got tonight and then next week we’re gonna do Ecclesiastes 12 and then guess what we’re done with the Cleese yeah STIs yeah that’s this kind of an accomplishment you guys if you’ve stuck through every week I admire you but then we’re gonna go to a new book should I tell you what it is okay Joshua yeah it’s gonna be pretty cool that’s pretty cool they’re all pretty cool all right learn the Word of God um hey just a quick commercial Before we jump into the text tonight this Saturday we’re having our church work day and we only do this like once a year and what we do is we try and get a whole bunch of volunteers to come out and we have two campuses now and we have a list of all these projects we try and get done and if we can do them then it doesn’t take money out of our budget right plus it’s really neat opportunity to come together to work with people you meet new people you get to serve god help the church so if you’re interested in that no pressure just an invitation you can sign up over at the information booth after the service or you can sign up online but it’s this Saturday I know we could still use some more volunteers so if hey God’s calling you to do that come on out we’d love to have you all right so question let’s start off with a question what is in your life this is one you’re gonna raise your hand and I’ll call on you okay in your life like what’s the greatest unexpected unanticipated surprise that you ever had think about it for a minute and half darian it was she’s gonna have a baby oh that’s a pretty big one that’s gonna be tough to top that one but hey children are blessing from the Lord so what else unexpected wonderful surprise yes oh when God and you’ve experienced this God answering prayers they’ve been praying for someone salvation yeah that’s beautiful too okay that tops pregnancy I think yes yes I’m sorry Gina so when you’re really lost and struggling praying and feeling that peace that direction that calmness that you get from the Lord yeah that’s sweet ooh nice some good answers yes uh-huh oh okay and that surprised you she’s been praying for her mom kind of hostile to God but she’s been praying in her mom’s gonna come to a Christian concert with her so got a softening her heart and working in her heart beautiful what else I thought of one nobody said mind yet yes oh she’s just are you surprised at that that he’s so wonderful is that what you’re saying oh he didn’t know anybody could be that great Wow I mean ever Sinisa never said that about me honey yeah all right come on unexpected are you no double-dipping yet sorry we’re single dipping first anybody else unanticipated surprise yes the moment that God called him out of his evil life and delivered him from a very wicked life amen anybody else well I was thinking about this with my wife you know what big surprise what wonderful surprise that was unanticipated well my son and daughter-in-law got married when they were 20 young and they were they went a few three months after just a few months after their wedding they were in Hawaii on a trip and they called us up from

Hawaii and guess what they said that was a surprise but a great one probably the best one that’s one of the best ones I’ve ever had so Darren did you have one more you want to share yes just when God answers our prayers sometimes even when we least expect it all right second question this is for you just to think about on your head okay what’s the worst surprise we’re not going to share these but what’s the worst unanticipated thing that’s ever happened to you kind of changes the tone doesn’t it my wife and I we’re talking about this too we both had the same one back in 2008 first day of school my wife’s going back to school we get a phone call from her mom we just talked to her folks the night before on the phone and her mom calls and said build the n’s day I just had a massive heart attack doesn’t look good she gets home we jump in the car we’re driving down there we get another phone call he’s going yeah definitely the worst surprise on our list and I’m sure if you’ve lived long enough and maybe if you’re not even that old you’d have something similar on your list do you ever feel like life’s a little out of control a little unpredictable like sometimes life is hard you ever feel that way man you look around the world today and what’s going on more than ever I’m feeling it feels chaotic and crazy as we read through Ecclesiastes it seems that Solomon felt that way too he’s had kind of a a negative look on like everything’s vanity it’s all striving after wind right and he wrote counseled he wrote these words down to be passed on and you know he wrote down some advice some some human counsel some wisdom Under the Sun right to cope with life’s unpredictability but as we examine Solomon’s wisdom tonight we’re going to discover that as believers in Jesus Christ we can have a perspective we can have a peace that goes beyond this this human wisdom this human understanding and these worldly ways and it can help us to cope with life’s unpredictable happenings and it’s it’s hardness and so our subject tonight is the unpredictability of life when our subject is that we would learn and we would grow in our trust in the sovereign goodness of God that we would trust in the sovereign goodness of God and we’ll talk about that before we jump into the text would you pray with me again let’s just ask the Lord to speak to us tonight Heavenly Father we just praise you for who you are thank you Lord Jesus for all you’ve done for us on the cross Holy Spirit we invite you now to work in this place in our hearts and our minds illuminate your word to us help us to understand it help us to believe it and help us to apply it to our lives tonight we know you will speak to us please help us to hear and to listen and to respond in faith reveal more of yourself to us tonight Lord we want to know you more we need to know you more and let all this be done to your glory Lord amen amen so again every time I get up and we talk about this I want to make sure we understand Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived except for the Lord Jesus right and yet unfortunately through his life he drifted away from the Lord and he got into a lot of bad stuff we know all about his wives and idolatry and all this stuff right and then he decided to go on this experimental journey to try and figure out what life was really all about and how to really experience true satisfaction and that’s what he’s been recording here well we have to remember that everything he’s writing down is from the perspective of under the Sun right which means from a worldly perspective from a human perspective not from a divine holy spirit-inspired scriptural perspective so everything he writes we have to sift through that filter of understanding right so that’s the context of what he’s writing about so let’s look at the first point we’re in Ecclesiastes chapter 11 the first section tonight I want us to look at is all about life is unpredictable but God is in control let’s look at verses 1 to

6 to start with cast your bread upon the waters for you will find it after many days give us serving to 7 and also to 8 but you do not know what evil will be on the earth if the clouds are full of rain they empty themselves upon the earth and if a tree falls to the south it to the north in the place where the tree falls there it shall lie he who observes the wind will not sow and he who regards the clouds will not reap verse 5 as you do not know what is the way of the wind or how the body with child so you do not know the works of God who makes everything in the morning so your seed and in the evening do not withhold your hand for you do not know which will prosper either this or that or whether both alike will be good let’s just stop right there again the first thing we see in this section is that life is unpredictable but God is in control and the first part of that we look at we see that we don’t know what’s going to happen that phrase you do not know occurs four times in those verses we just read you do not know you do not know you do not know so let’s look at the first verse cast your bread upon the waters have you ever heard that phrase before I have but it’s interesting as I research it nobody knows exactly what it means I’ll give you a couple of common popular definitions cast your bread upon the waters some people think it meant like investing in a shipping venture sending your ships out to sea and that you’re gonna have to send them out and wait a long time and patiently wait for them to come back with the return the idea is that it’s wise to work for a return that won’t be immediately experienced that’s one definition some commentators think that cast your bread upon the waters means always be ready to do good and do as much as you can wherever you can because someday you’ll be rewarded for it some of this sounds like kind of popular wisdom of today doesn’t it and either case the idea is pretty much the same do things now for the possibility of being rewarded for them later nothing’s for sure but do things now so maybe later on something good will happen to you but you don’t know for sure and then in verse 2 we see another expression here give a serving to seven and also to eight if you do not know what evil will be on the earth keep it serving to seven and also to eight again nobody’s exactly 100% sure what he meant by this someday if he’s in heaven I believe he is we’ll get to ask him could mean use all of your opportunities in life’s carefully because you don’t know what calamities might come and it’s wise to have contingency plans makes sense others think again it has to do with generosity be generous to others while you’re able to do so because there may come a time when you need them to be generous back to you sounds like sound advice but why why do all of this the underlying premise of all of this is that because you do not know what evil will be on the earth we don’t know what bad things will happen but I asked you earlier what was the worst surprise in your life I’ll bet you you didn’t know that was gonna happen that’s just the reality of this world it’s unpredictable we don’t know what bad things will happen and so Solomon’s advice is cover all your bases do whatever you can to try and avoid or minimize those things happening it’s kind of like life is a roulette wheel you know you spin it but before you spin it put as much money on as many numbers as you can chance to have a better chance of winning and then verse 3 isn’t this interesting if clouds are full of rain they emptied themselves upon the earth and if a tree falls to the south or to the north and the place where the tree falls there at shall I it’s like okay wow that’s interesting he wrote it for a reason some things are inevitable and as I was talking to my brother Ron right before the service some things can’t change clouds bring rain wherever a dead tree falls that’s where it’s gonna stay it ain’t gonna go anywhere else right some things are just inevitable in life and some things will never change or can’t be changed once they happen and he goes on in verse four he says he who observes the wind will not sow and he who regards the clouds will not weep reap in other words if you wait in life until everything is just lined up perfectly you’re in control of all the variables in the details if you’re going to wait till that point you’re never gonna do anything so what Solomon says in other words someone summed it up and said the one

who waits for certainty waits forever and again we see in verse five and you do not know what is the way of the wind or how the body works of God who makes everything you do not know there’s no way that we can know which way the wind is coming from and where it’s going Jesus said the same thing about the Holy Spirit if we did all those firefighters up north right now would have a better time fighting those fires if they knew which way the winds were going to be blowing but they don’t and just like we can see a baby developing a mom’s womb you know with ultrasound all we can actually see it now but we don’t understand how it happens or why it’s happening we just see it occurring it’s a miracle it’s already begun how exciting in the same way Solomon’s saying we don’t know what God is gonna do we said we have a lot of information in his word and we know how the story ends but in the middle sometimes we can’t understand his ways we don’t know what he’s going to do God’s Word says his ways are much much higher and different than our ways and same with his thoughts there’s no way we can know what he’s up to what he’s gonna do next why he does what he does sometimes it’s unpredictable we don’t know and so in verse 6 he continues he says so in the morning saw your seed and then the evening do not withhold your hand for you do not know which will prosper either this or that or whether both alike will be good he’s saying so listen be diligent work hard day and night don’t be a slacker cuz you never know what might pay off for you do you hear that that maybe in all of this the mystery the chance the hoping the unpredictability of all of it we don’t know what good things are gonna happen either Solomon saying we don’t know what’s gonna happen that’s bad we don’t fully understand what God’s gonna do we don’t know what bad things are gonna happen and you know at face value you read this and you go you know that’s some pretty good advice for life and it is from a human perspective and there’s lots of people in the world living by this kind of a mindset and with these beliefs diversify your investments be generous you know the good that you do is going to come back to you work hard and it’ll pay off for you don’t those sound good so according to Solomon life’s unpredictable we can’t know what’s gonna happen and so we should do all we can to try and have the best chance for things to go well for us but is that how God designed life to be is that the reality for those of us who’ve put our faith in Christ that was a rhetorical question the answer’s no no let me tell you what’s more here’s what God has according to God’s Word we know life is not random life is not predictable life is not out of control God has a plan God has a plan for you for me for us for the church for the world for eternity and we see you jump back to verse 5 here just for a second the second half of verse 5 we start to see a little hint of faith from Solomon just a glimmer of spiritual wisdom as he starts to recognize God he says you do not know the works of God who makes everything the works of God who makes everything there’s some deep spiritual truths in that phrase number 1 we recognize that God is at work God is at work in this world jesus said he was at work because his father was always at work in the world God is at work today some folks believe God created the world they just kind of stepped away and leaves it alone and is not involved anymore that is not what the Word of God says God is actively working in our world and it says here in this phrase – that the God who makes everything yes Solomon you got it right God created everything everything in the universe in the heavens and on earth and under the earth and you and me God created it all John 1:3 all things were made through him and without him nothing was made that was made so God is at work in this world he created everything and if that’s true that means that he has control over it the special word is sovereign sovereign means absolute utter total Authority power and control God is

sovereign over his creation psalm 115 3 says but our God is in heaven and he does whatever he pleases God’s in control and we also read in his word that he has a plan for us Isaiah 14:24 God said surely as I have thought so what shall come to pass and as I have purposed so it shall stand in other words God is working out a plan that he started at the beginning in before beginning of creation it since eternity he’s had a plan a divine perfect holy plan which he is executing in our time it’s gonna culminate in his will finally being done he’s doing it and so as believers as those of us who’ve put our faith in Jesus Christ and believe this is the Word of God we don’t make decisions in life we don’t react to circumstances in life based on what’s happening to us at the moment or assuming it’s chance or luck or just odds or trying to figure it out in our own worldly wisdom we live our lives by faith faith in Him not in ourselves or anybody else no matter what happens to us how unpredictable it may be we understand we believe we cling to the hope that God is in control he’s got a plan I don’t understand it sometimes I don’t like it sometimes sometimes I might even argue with him to change it a little bit but it’s true for me and for you we walk by faith not by sight Paul wrote in second Corinthians 5:7 and so we have to trust that God is in control let’s do our first discussion question tonight could we our second one actually huh how can understanding and knowing and believing that God is in control impacts how we react to circumstances and how we make decisions and how we view life how can understanding that God is in control impact how we live what do you think yeah bill it can give us peace for sure yes how else yes run confidence not in ourselves but in him right yes love it yes Tyrion we can have hope peace confidence hope yes we have hope yes Scott oh can give us patience I’m still working on that one myself but that’s a deep one man yes Gregg motivates us to be obedient and when the God’s got it in control I love that yes do you know comfort yeah think about that you guys when something really really unexpectedly terrible happens if you really truly believe and put your faith that God’s in control what kind of comfort can you get from that somehow he’s got a reason yeah Richard the end can no longer justify the means I could take 10 minutes try and dissect that but imma let that sit in your minds and trust the Holy Spirit is gonna reveal to you I think that’s not really good yes so you can trust him more yes yes sir you don’t have to what’s your name Isaac what a great name man Isaac says you don’t have to lose joy that’s a great point too John did was that yours John Oh trust sorry John don’t you hate that when you got your hand raised and then the person like right before you says your idea Paul one more Paula have you been watching me lately we tend to react to our circumstances and sometimes do stupid things or crazy things that actually could make things worse because we feel like we have to be in control because we don’t trust the guys in control so let me ask you personally this thinking question just for yourself does life feel out of control to you right now I’m sure for some of you tonight you’re going don’t you even know and some of you is like not too bad right now been there in the past whatever are you struggling to try and make sense of some of the things that are happening in your life or maybe in this world right now are you living in fear of what might happen or what might not happen listen if you are here tonight you’ve put your faith in Jesus

Christ you can trust and have confidence that your heavenly Father is in control he’s got a plan you don’t have to freak out you don’t have to worry you don’t have to try and figure it all out you don’t have to take charge to try and make something happen he is in control the one who created this world the one who created you he loves you he knows what’s going on in your life and he’s in control he’s got a plan isn’t that comforting and we know this a lot of times we know this up here but forget it down here or we knew it yesterday I forgot it today hopefully remember tomorrow life is unpredictable nobody can argue that but God is in control can you remember that there’s two things I want you to remember tonight that’s the first one life is unpredictable but God is okay thank you second point let’s look at the next section of verses the second point here is life is hard but before it’s too bad it wasn’t original but I was like this just fits perfectly life is hard but God is good look at verse 7 with me truly the light is sweet and it is pleasant for the eye to behold the Sun but if a man lives many years and rejoices in them all yet let him remember the days of darkness for they will be many and all that is coming is vanity verse 9 rejoice o young man in your youth and let your heart share you in the days of your youth walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes but know that for all these God will bring you into judgments therefore remove sorrow from your heart and put away evil from your flesh for childhood and youth are vanity we’ve heard that word a lot haven’t we let’s break this down life is hard but God is good in the first part we see here what Solomon’s communicating is that suffering is inevitable suffering is inevitable verse 7 light is sweet but remember the days of darkness for they will be many that’s nice isn’t it he says yeah there are happy things in life things to enjoy but they’re gonna be hard times bad times painful times confusing times times of suffering and disappointment and discouragement and Solomon says there gonna be lots of days like this just out of curiosity I envy you now pretty much we’ve all had them right it’s just a part of life it is inevitable he’s right I was thinking for Deanna and myself about some of our dark days obviously the one the one that one year 2008 I won’t go into all of it but we thought my dad was gonna pass on cuz he was fighting cancer suddenly BAM her dad Pam three months to the day later than my dad passed on that was a pretty bad year some dark days 2007 went through a period of unemployment I know some of you can relate to this those are some pretty dark days and we’ve had some health issues in the past or we all have them I know we could share stories probably for a long time about our dark days we’ve had some wonderful days of light right now we’re kind of in a season of light but we’ve had enough dark days that we realize what we might as well enjoy this now because we know more dark days are coming have you reached that point in your life where you know not to ruin the good days but we know the dark days are coming Solomon’s right it’s sobering life is hard not all the time not every day but life is hard can deny that you know we shouldn’t be surprised at this the Lord Jesus himself John 16:33 in this world you will have tribulation tribulations of fancy word for problems hard times we shouldn’t be surprised at it and I love it verse a at the end you know Solomon just in case we forgotten what he’s been saying for the last ten chapters it’s all vanity striving after wind waste of time futile thank you Solomon I almost forgot I started to dig out of the pit of depression but you put me right back in it yet in spite of maybe even in the midst of the dark days the second thing we see is that God provides blessings God provides blessings jump with me back

to verse 7 truly the light is sweet and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the Sun light is good imagine living in this world with no light first think about blind people this is what they have to deal with you know we were just a couple weeks ago we were up in Alaska on vacation beautiful place up there but a lot of the days it was overcast kind of rainy a little bit it was still beautiful but a few moments and more than that a couple for a couple of times during a couple of days the Sun broke through oh my gosh what’s it not more beautiful when the Sun just I’m not making this up my wife was with me the Sun came out it was just made everything so beautiful light is good I’m not making this up after the service you can meet with my wife in the foyer and she’ll tell you okay who doesn’t like to see a sunrise or if you don’t like to get up early who doesn’t like to see the sunset some of you can do both you know it is good it is beautiful it’s a blessing light is a gift from God he created it Genesis chapter 1 right it’s a good gift from a good God if he gives to us and James says in James 1:17 that every single good thing in this life is a gift from our Father in heaven every good thing do you sometimes forget that every good thing that’s why we can thank him all the time for the littlest things it’s all from him so God reveals his goodness to us through his blessings that’s just one example light and all that comes from that let’s brainstorm just for a second what are some of the good things with which God has blessed you tell me a good thing that God has blessed you with your children yeah for sure huh I’m glad you feel that way too yes oh just what I was saying yeah how about that he saved your soul that’s a good one too what other good things has God bless you with yes Josie grandchildren and great-grandchildren Wow I don’t know what that’s like I suppose a grandchildren are cool great-grandchildren must be really great yes hero the gift of evangelism I wonder who has that to be able to go out and tell other people the good news about Jesus yes yes sir yeah a family both your natural-born family your church family we’re family here yes yes health boy my wife always says she doesn’t realize how badly she felt until she starts getting better and makes her appreciate when you’re healthy you know yes anybody else want to share a blessing a good thing that God has blessed you with I know there’s more come on yes a job yeah again you don’t really appreciate those sometimes tell you without one yes yes Sofia just the ability to feel feelings to have compassion for other people yeah it’s a wonderful gift anybody else want to share our gift yes over here there’s the church plant I planted her tonight just to be here with her family here tonight hearing the Word of God and worshiping the Lord yes thank you Ryan oh there we go yes what a good man he’s a newlywed fairly how long you guys been married Oh is that still a newlywed okay you’re still a newlywed good for you the point is if we take the time and I hope that you had something at least one thing that you could think about in your life that is just a sweet good blessing from God just a reminder that God is a good god he’s a good god he blesses the children with good things and maybe you’re even in the middle of a dark time right now this is the the paradox even in the midst of a terribly dark time there are still some good things if nothing else there’s still sunrises and sunsets and I’ll bet there’s more than that if you if you take the time to look at them that’s just the mercy of God we continue Solomon recognizes another of God’s blessings and verses 9 and 10 youth youth says they’re gonna rejoice Oh young man in your youth you know enjoy life y-yeah you’re young carpe diem right I love this description here let your heart cheer you in the days of

your youth walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes you know do you remember what it’s like to be young of course some of you say I’m still young okay do you remember what it’s like to be younger like a kid is what I’m talking about I grew up in Minnesota and I still have to just these warm fuzzy memories especially during the summer when there’s no school you know there’s just like you don’t have any worries no cares freedom every day can do what you want and I remember a couple of years I just lived on the golf course because we lived right by a golf course I could just golf every day all day long from sunset to sundown I remember lying on the hills and just looking up you know the breeze clouds clouds floating by you remember those feelings every night we’d play kick-the-can till it got dark and mom and dad called us in just that freedom that that the excitement of youth you know no worries every day you’re enjoying these new experiences and having new feelings and and learning new things and some would say and enjoy that season why you got it it’s good it’s a blessing from God it’s how he created it but he says but just remember this is the third point God will judge God will judge for all these God will bring you into judgments did you know that we’re all going to be accountable for the lives that we’ve lived whether you’re young or old rich or poor a believer or not we’re all gonna stand before the Lord in judgment now if your believer let me just reassure you your sins have been cleansed and covered and forgiven in Christ so you won’t be judged on your sins but as believers we’ve still going to be judged but how we’ve used the talents the resources the time the treasures in this life for his kingdom for the purpose of rewards Paul wrote for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ and Solomon gets it says just remember and all your good times you’re having especially when you’re young but all your life you’re gonna be accountable for a judgement is coming because God is good good not only in giving us good blessings but he is good in the sense of being holy perfect righteous sinless fair just God is good like that and because he is good he can’t allow sin rebellion rejection to go unpunished because of his goodness he can’t deny his own nature and that is why he sent His Son Jesus to the cross right I mean we know this we’ve all done enough bad things we’re all sinners before a holy perfect God and there’s nothing that we can or could ever do to fix that situation and that’s why God did something so unbelievably sacrificing and painful he sent Jesus his son to this world as a human being and Jesus lived the perfect life that we could never live right perfectly and yet he’s still willingly by his own choice out of love for you and me went to the cross and gave His life poured out his blood for you and me to pay that penalty so that we didn’t have to and just as he said he was buried and he rose from the dead proving who he was and what he said was all true and basically it’s available to all of us every one of us here in the world who ever lived in all of history whoever chooses to put their faith in Christ is saved and his sacrifice is counted for you that is the goodness of God he’s good and because his goodness he has to judge sin but also because of his goodness he paid the price for those who wouldn’t be willing to say to receive it how good is that there’s no more good than that and so it’s amazing I think God reveals his goodness through his blessings and through his judgment but the bottom line is God is good god is good and in the end I just love the end of verse 10 what

is he what’s the last word of verse 10 in your Bible thank you just in case you haven’t forgotten what’s Alan’s perspective is on all of it this is is still always a time remember he’s looking at it from a human worldly perspective so life is hard it is and maybe it’s not right now but it will be again but God is good he’s really really really good all the time even in the midst of hard times there are always signs of his goodness evidence of his goodness you know I told you probably the hardest thing that we’ve had to deal with was was my father-in-law Bill’s death it was just so unexpected I talked with him the night before on the phone actually I didn’t talk to him DeeAnn talked to him on the phone I was too tired to go to the phone you think I’ve had head trips about that I don’t like talking on the phone tell him I said hi see him soon and the next day BAM and we’ve wrestled with that you know okay it’s not expected we know God is good what good could come out of that we were just talking about this we don’t know maybe maybe it spared him a lot of suffering you know my dad went through cancer and so he suffered for like three years and my mom had to take care of him maybe that spared my in-laws death but we can’t know for sure there’s a lot in this life that we don’t know or understand right but there is a lot that we do we know a lot what do we learn from tonight one God is in control – God is good right you guys gonna remember that tonight those are the two things I want you to remember I want you to go home and go to sleep thinking about these in the morning what was that message about oh yeah God’s in control and God is good two things we know for sure guys in control and God’s good in spite of all the stuff we don’t know so the way to cope listen the way to cope with the unpredictability and the hard times of this life is to understand and trust in the sovereign goodness of our Heavenly Father that is how you’re gonna get through you’re not gonna understand but you know two things okay God’s in control of all this madness and I know he’s good when life throws it surprises at at us whether it’s good ones or bad ones we need to remember life is hard but God is good god is good do you trust him right now tonight right in this moment do you trust God okay tomorrow or next week or next month or next year when something unexpected happens at one of those terrible surprises are you still going to trust God then I hope so part of the battle is deciding upfront before we get to those times this is how I’m going to respond if you have to make that decision right in the midst of the tough times oh it’s a lot harder so we’re gonna decide here and now tonight we know two things God’s in control god is good no matter what this life brings I’m going to cling to those things and that’s I’m gonna make it through that’s what’s gonna carry me through to Eternity and someday when we get to heaven remember those feelings I was describing about being a kid carefree no more problems it’s gonna be like that multiply two zillion times lasting forever doesn’t that sound good I can’t wait and that would be just as excited as Harold because he’s got a taste of it already but until then my brothers and sisters we have to cling to what we know God’s in control and God’s good amen let’s pray thank you God for your word tonight lord I pray through your spirit you would just let these truths sink down deep into our hearts and our minds and our souls that we know you are God and you are in control of this madness of this life in this world it’s all moving according to your plan to your ultimate destination and goal and we know beyond

a shadow of a doubt because of what you did for us on the cross that you were a good God who loves us help us to remember these things and believe them Lord not only for ourselves but let us carry this message to others in our lives about who you are and what you’ve done for us and how great it is what we have to look forward to in the future our hope our comfort our peace our strength our joy our purpose for living just praise you and we thank you for your word tonight Lord and I look forward to meeting Solomon in heaven one day and sin saying dude it wasn’t all vanity man it was all Jesus that’s what it’s all about it’s his name we pray amen

Intel OpenVINO™ Toolkit 安裝教學|IEI Mustang-F100-A10(CC字幕)

IEI PM Malcolm 今天很高興在這裡為各位介紹 IEI FPGA 加速卡 hands on Mustang-F100-A10的F100 裡面的F代表FPGA A10代表FPGA的型號Arria 10 這張卡搭配Intel 推出的OpenVINO toolkit 就可以進行深度學習推論的加速 OpenVINO toolkit是Open Visual Inference and Neural Network Optimization的縮寫 是Intel 提供的開源SDK 將知名的Frameworks訓練好的模型 優化成Intel平台上可以執行的推論格式 它的異構特性可讓它在Intel不同平台之下 進行深度學習的推論加速 比如 Intel CPU、Intel Integrated GPU 還有FPGA及VPU OpenVINO toolkit包含了 Model optimizer 轉換用不同Framework去訓練的Model 可以讓它變成Intel加速硬體使用優化的格式 Inference Engine 是一個 C++的API 可以進行深度學習推論程式的呼叫 另外還有優化的OpenCV 以及 Intel Media SDK去做一些解壓的工作 下圖是Intel OpenVINO toolkit的工作流程 裡面可以使用Intel Media SDK將影像解壓縮 使用OpenCV進行影像預處理 接著用預處理完的影像 再呼叫Inference Engine進行推論 接著再使用OpenCV進行影像後處理 比如說加上圖像上需要的註解 最後再用Intel Media SDK將影像進行壓縮 傳遞去Server儲存到雲端 OpenVINO toolkit的範例裡面包含許多 物件辨識、物件偵測的分類 以及有許多預訓練的車輛偵測及年齡性別偵測功能 下載OpenVINO toolkit可以讓使用者熟悉這些操作介面 TANK AIoT development kit 是Intel 官方認可的OpenVINO使用平台 裡面有預安裝的OpenVINO toolkit 是一個OpenVINO toolkit ready platform 可以直接使用IEI Mustang系列的加速卡 進行深度學習的開發 如果想了解更多TANK AIoT development kit的開發訊息 可藉由前往這一頁提供的相關網站得到更多資訊 接著我們來進入 Mustang-F100-A10 安裝OpenVINO toolkit的流程 主要分為三大步驟 第一個是準備事項 包含確認OS以及kernel版本 以及下載需要的安裝套件 第二步是安裝 安裝OpenVINO toolkit SDK 以及 Mustang-F100-A10的Driver 第三步是安裝完成後 執行一些範例來確定安裝是否正確 這裡的OS是Ubuntu 16.04.3 Kernel是4.13.0.45這個版本 在這之前我們已經使用下方指令預安裝了 下面兩個Kernel Linux image extra generic 和 Linux headers generic這兩個Kernel版本 接下來進入TANK的介面 來確認OS與Kernel版本 這裡我們先使用最高權限 輸入密碼以後 先複製指令 來確認這個Ubuntu的版本 現在看到的Ubuntu版本是16.04.3 接下來會利用下面這個指令來確認Kernel的版本 這個Kernel版本是14.13.0.45 generic 接下來再回到簡報 在這個步驟我們需要下載OpenVINO toolkit的 SDK 在下載的時候 需要進入到這個頁面 裡面會有註冊及安裝的順序 我們來點開這個頁面 在這裡,左下角會看到藍色的註冊及下載

完成註冊及下載動作以後 就會得到一個OpenVINO toolkit SDK的檔案 下一步就可以進入到Mustang-F100-A10 driver的下載 一樣這邊這個連結可以進入到IEI Download center 進來以後可以看到這裡有一個 hddlf_1150的壓縮檔 這個就是Mustang-F100-A10 driver的檔案 接下來進入到TANK的介面 來看一下安裝流程 這裡先把兩個檔案都先下載完成,放在Download資料夾 可以看到 hddlf_1150_sg_1的壓縮檔 以及OpenVINO 2018.4.420的SDK壓縮檔 接下來回到Powerpoint slide跟各位繼續介紹 在這裡呢 接下來的安裝步驟其實很簡單 先把OpenVINO toolkit SDK解壓縮 裡面會有GUI安裝介面 進行OpenVINO toolkit的安裝 再來是解壓縮 hddlf_1150_sg_1 這個Mustang-F100-A10 Driver 一樣先解壓縮完再進行安裝 再來是偵測FPGA 輸入aocl diagnose指令 如果看到DIAGNOSTIC PASSED 就代表FPGA卡,已經成功安裝完成 最後的步驟,會進行Sample Program 測試 現在進到TANK的操作介面 一步一步安裝給各位看 首先先移動到Download的資料夾裡面 進入到Download資料夾裡面以後 就來進行OpenVINO toolkit SDK解壓縮 這會花一點時間,因為這個SDK超過2 GB 現在解壓縮完成 接下來再貼上這個指令 這樣我們會進入到解壓縮完的OpenVINO tookit路徑裡 接著執行這行Shell檔 主要這個Shell檔是安裝一些Intel CVSDK dependency 提醒各位安裝時要記得取得網路連線 這一步驟開始進行OpenVINO安裝 這裡有安裝格式,是GUI 現在跳出一個GUI的安裝介面 依序的打勾,按下一步 這裡會出現裡面安裝的一些套件 按下Install 現在安裝已經完成

接下來執行這兩個指令 這兩個指令主要是要初始化OpenVINO的環境 可以看到這裡有OpenVINO environment Initialize 到這裡代表OpenVINO toolkit已經安裝成功 安裝完會自動連到OpenVINO官網 這邊先關掉 在這裡再一次進行OpenVINO初始化 這個指令是要先指定安裝Driver的路徑 這行指令執行的原因是因為 這裡是初始化OpenCL的環境 接下來這一行就輸入 aocl install 來安裝Driver套件 這邊代表安裝完成 我們來檢查PICe的介面,有沒有得到這張卡片 現在Altera已經找到了 代表在PCIe有搜尋到這張卡片 最後是鍵入 aocl diagnose確認 driver是否有順利安裝完成 這邊如果各位看到 DIAGNOSTIC PASSED 代表卡片已經順利安裝完成 接下來會安裝一些 OpenVINO裡面的範例程式 看它運行的狀況 首先先到範例程式安裝的位置 執行Build Sample這個Shell檔案 這邊代表檔案已經Build完成 這邊會有一個提醒 Build已經完成 Build完成的Sample檔案會出現在以下這個路徑 接下來執行幾個簡單Sample Program來看一下 FPGA運行的狀態 首先在執行OpenVINO Sample的時候 在這個環境的 initial 都要再做一次 這裡一樣有指定一個路徑 就是我們Driver的位置 這邊一樣執行這個Shell檔 初始化這個OpenCL 如果OpenVINO toolkit裡面使用FPGA要執行這行指令 接下來我們移到一個範例裡面執行看看 這裡有使用到aocl acl0這個指令

這個指令之前有跟各位提到 在FPGA卡裡面會支援各種不同優化的BST 這裡可經由PCIe把它更新成想要用的格式 比如說這裡是用 FP16 Generic AlexNet GoogleNet VGG aocx檔案 接下來執行這個程序 在這裡可以看到,如果是使用FPGA -d 代表Device 這裡下的指令都必須變成HETERO:FPGA,CPU 因為是第一次執行,所以必須要做一些設定會比較慢 這裡看到整個運行結果已經出來了 可以看到Throughput 是126 fps 這是第一個範例 接下來執行第二個範例 第二個範例是車種和車牌辨識分類的範例 一樣先把優化的BST檔上傳上去 上傳成功以後 再執行範例的Shell檔 看到-d (device)就會出現指定HETERO:FPGA,CPU 這裡可以看到檔案執行的效果 目前是使用HETERO FPGA和CPU的加速 達到每秒142 fps 可以看到這裡進行車牌偵測,車子是黑色 最後再進行一個範例 這是一個接攝影機的範例 先上傳BST的檔案 上傳成功以後 再進入到飯粒的資料夾裡面 進完資料夾直接執行FPGA的範例 在左上角可以看到執行的Frame rate是65張左右 可以抓到人臉的辨識 按Esc跳出 以上是今天安裝教學的介紹 希望經由今天Hands on的內容 各位可以順利使用Mustang-F100-A10 以及OpenVINO toolkit 開始進行Deep Learning推論加速開發 如果有任何使用上的疑問,歡迎到我們的官網 或聯繫我們,我們的研發團隊會盡快與您聯繫 解決您使用上的疑問 謝謝,掰掰

Google Cloud Next Amsterdam '17 : "Introduction to Google's Severless Analytics Platform"

TINO TERESHKO: My name is Tino Tereshko I come from Seattle, which some people have described in the past as the Amsterdam of the United States Kind of, I guess So I want to, first of all, thank everyone for being here, and investing time in coming here, and listening to us, and having conversations with us, because I heard earlier today that people in Amsterdam have no time So it’s especially important for us to recognize the investments that you guys have made to come here and spend time with us So real quick, before we get started, let’s take a selfie, especially the people here in the front On three, I want you to raise your hands, to smile, to clap, whatever you want Just make it interesting, OK? And I’ll put it on Twitter later So let’s do it 1, 2, 3! AUDIENCE: [SHOUTING] Hey! TINO TERESHKO: That’s good That’s good Thank you So I’m here to talk about analytics and the various spectrums of analytics that are possible today with the advancements in technology by Google and by others But let’s start with a quick little story You probably have seen these little cars driving around with a 360 camera on top of them that say Google Maps on top of them For the past 10 years or so, Google has been mapping the entire world, or as much as possible, and externalizing that information through Google Maps, through Google Earth You’re able to take a little yellow stick figure and put it anywhere in the world and walk through the neighborhoods I do that with neighborhoods that I grew up in that I haven’t been there in a while But the interesting thing is this is, of course, a massive data collection and optimization problem And it really speaks to how heavily invested in data Google is itself But the interesting thing here is, up until recently, up until the last four or five years, this was just imagery, right? You couldn’t– and then maybe coordinates and things like that You couldn’t really gain as much insight as possible from this But with advancements in AI and with advancements in commoditization of computing hardware and improvements in computing power, especially in AI machine learning, we’re able to derive further information from this imagery So, for example, we can understand that the business has turned over, right? There’s a new business in place there So we can go into Google Maps and update the place of business Or maybe this sign was wasn’t there before Maybe it was a two-way street, but now you can’t go this way So it’s very important for us to tell you that you can’t go down this road So all of this, of course, is done automatically through our AI learning capabilities And so this right here is probably the worst kept secret in Silicon Valley Google is very serious about analytics It says so in our model It says, Google’s mission is to– gosh– organize all the data that’s possible in the world and present it for bad or good, for everyone, right? And so Google has built a number of technologies that it uses internally to organize this information And the premise of Google Cloud Platform is to be able to externalize these technologies, and the lessons learned, and the power of compute for your benefits So you can run alongside Google, leveraging the same Google investments and technology and innovation for yourselves as well, which hopefully accelerates your pace of innovation, accelerates your iteration, allows you to deliver faster, better, more interesting features to a lot of your customers And the fact that Google has been a data-driven company for such a long time and has built these services that allow you to do some really powerful things with data analytics has made it fairly easy for us to become a machine-learning company as well This chart probably needs updating But essentially, for the past five or so years, virtually every single product and service that Google has has become, in some ways– and often, in many ways– AI-driven, right? So if you use Google Photos, for example you can very clearly understand the type of inference that occurs on your content automatically, right? It allows you to create stories based on just the imagery that’s happened and the ability to pull out metadata about that imagery But, of course, you can have too much of a good thing, right? Going back to that example where Google has generated a whole lot of photos of a whole lot of streets around the world, and if you need to go back in time and process all that information, that is a very serious computing power So you can have too much of a good thing, right? You can have too much of a requirement

for AI, especially for inference, which is asking the model what the model thinks is happening So in the last few years, Google has been faced with a problem, a serious problem, right? We have too much demand for inference And we we’re faced with having to expand into dozens and dozens of new data centers And if you’ve ever seen a picture of a data center that Google operates, these are huge things They’re bigger than this venue here So it’s a serious investment It takes time It’s complex So we implemented Tensor Processing Units– TPUs– and now, we’re on version 2.0 TPUs are specially optimized for matrix algebra that allows you to essentially infer results of an AI model Essentially, TPUs allow us to save a whole lot of energy And so these are live inside of Google for the past several years They’re intricate They’re delicate And they’re really important to our infrastructure So on to a little bit more practical terms When I talk to data scientists, AI experts, machine-learning experts, they tend to say, in day-to-day activities of what they do, some folks tell me, well, I have to operate an HBase cluster, because that’s where our data is kept Or I have to take data from Hadoop, run a Hive query, create a cohort, and feed that into a model that lives somewhere else Or I have to run a bunch of SQL queries before I can even feed anything into my model to randomize samples, and so on and so forth So ultimately, folks tell me that 90% of really true AI machine learning workloads involve pure data science or maybe even data engineering, right? So when you’re faced with complex problems like that, it’s really important to try to minimize complexity wherever it’s not necessary So this is really something interesting to keep in mind You can get lost in the noise very easily But then, according to Gartner, a whole lot of projects that try to create big data infrastructure, Data Lakes, end up failing I’m not sure how accurate that statement is, but it’s quite possibly true Right? So it’s very hard to do big data in 2017, right? Hadoop’s complex HDFS is complex You need to have a lot of expertise So how do you compute this? If you want to be an AI-driven organization, and [INAUDIBLE] data science, but 90% of data science projects fail, that’s kind of a daunting proposition, right? So I like to use this Jenga analogy You guys are probably familiar with Jenga, right? It’s basically a game where you pile on wooden bricks on top of each other And you pull out a brick from here, and you put it on top So you want to think about data infrastructure as entirely interdependent Bricks on top depend on bricks on the bottom, and you want to have a very clean Jenga tower so it doesn’t topple So at the bottom, you could think about this as baseline architecture What I mean by that is you want to have good networking You want to choose a good public cloud provider or two You might want to have a really good data center, right? You want to get that right And on top of that, you want to have really good compute, Virtual machines, servers, containers, and good storage object storage, for example And that aids you in developing your good applications and databases that power these applications So in order to have good applications, you probably need to have those two right Only then you can start thinking about a proper data warehouse You can certainly do a data warehouse without getting all that right But it really helps you to have the foundational blocks stacked up before data warehouse You’re probably going to say, Tino, data warehouse is kind of an old term We don’t use that anymore We have a data lake Sure But sometimes data lakes kind of get stale, and they turn into data swamps But you drain the swamp, and you have everything right And now your data lake is so big, you can call it a data ocean now Fantastic Well, let’s just– you know, let’s just summarize all that, and just use one umbrella, data, large body of water I coined that You can ask me to use it But that’s mine, data large body of water And once you have data large body of water set up, then you can start thinking about AI machine learning There are some exceptions you guys saw earlier today And I can talk about them some more But that’s really the lesson here And of course, it’s a Jenga tower analogy, so if you build a bad Jenga tower, it’s probably going to topple, hence the 90% of all data lake projects fail

That’s the lesson here OK, so now that I’ve scared you sufficiently, let’s talk about what a modern data analytics stack looks like There’s probably a whole lot of attributes that you can identify that you can say, this is what has to be in a modern data analytics stack So I have four that I want to talk to you about The first one is separation of storage and compute And that is a little bit of a loaded term So let me quantify exactly what’s happening here Separation of storage and compute is really a solved problem It buys you so many options when you’re designing your system If you don’t have this, and you are operating on a decently sized scale, you should look into this yesterday It’s just the pros and cons of having this attribute are just tremendous in your favor, right? So this is a solved problem Get it done Here’s what I mean by pure separation of storage and compute It’s exactly that, right? There’s a fine line between processing and compute storage And that fine line actually represents a very powerful networking, networking that can talk, that allows every node within the data center to talk to every other node within the same data center, at 10 gig, all at the same time, right? So Google’s data centers last reported have over a petabit of bisectional bandwidth per second per data center So that’s kind of a requirement You have to have good networking But ultimately, in practical terms, you can have your various storage layers, whether you have BigTable, which is our– Google’s NoSQL database You can have BigQuery storage, which is our data warehousing data lake storage Or you can have Object Store, where you keep your cat videos And you can have Google Cloud Dataflow, for example, which is our batch and stream processing unified programming model and engine, access all of those, regardless of where they live Or potentially, you can have BigQuery SQL, which is standard, run SQL queries on all of those– not cat videos, but just ignore that for a second And you can have your own Hadoop and Spark clusters run on top of that information as well So I’m not discounting the significance that Hadoop and Spark have in today’s environment The momentum behind these projects is phenomenal, right? So we have Google Cloud Dataproc, which is our fully managed Spark, Hadoop and Flink service The awesome thing about our service specifically is that you can get clusters very, very quickly– 90 seconds Hopefully you guys see that over there 90 seconds is 99th percentile from the moment you push the button to the moment your cluster is live, ready to use That’s very fast, especially within– you know, if you’re coming from your own on-premise private data center space, the typical numbers that I hear involve six to nine months, sometimes even longer So 90 seconds is just a phenomenal change, right? It enables so many options And, of course, we have pay per minute, right? So you can shut this thing down after 20 minutes if you’d like to You save the results into storage That’s where the state is And because we have fully [? femoral ?] preemptible VMs– which, kind of disappear every once in awhile in exchange for 80% off of list price So you can have very quick Hadoop clusters that you can shut down whenever you want, because you pay by the minute, and you actually don’t pay a whole lot for it And so the idea is that Hadoop doesn’t really keep a lot of state Unless it’s intermediate state, state lives in storage, right? Initial state and output lives in any of these storage pieces The other really big point here is that data silos are bad You’re playing the game of telephone with data when you’re moving data around needlessly, ultimately, you’ll end up with multiple copies of data And a funny thing happens When two data scientists try to get the same answers to the same problem using the same data, if that data lives in other places, they’ll come up with different results I’m still not sure how that happens But data silos are bad, amd separation of storage and compute allows you not to deal with that So here’s another different analogy that I can use Well, first, of all, I apologize, especially to the CXOs This is– you know, we don’t think of you that poorly from these stick figures But ultimately, this is what your potential organization could look like Even at a startup, you can have this type of delineation And you can have your various bits of data living inside of the query, all the way from very, very raw data that comes from application databases and services, to data that’s potentially sensitive that you don’t necessarily want to have floating around everywhere,

to real-time dashboards, things that tell you the state of your business, and all the way to data that you can potentially want to externalize from your infrastructure to your third parties, to clients, because they find use in that So they all have different roles here And the nice thing about our separation of storage and compute, just like with Google Docs, or Google Sheets, where you can, in [? Place ?] share information and share collateral with other folks within your organizations outside, you can do the same thing with our data lake– data body of water– services So IT and Ops could potentially have the overreaching role of this organization They want to own every single data set They want to administer that That’s fine And so in our Access Controls, they say, I’m the owner and everything, just like in Google Docs But the data engineers may only need to have your access to the really raw data sets, the really important data sets, because you don’t want to mess that up But then, they’re the ones that are creating dashboards They’re the ones that are creating these data sets And so they have editor access to that And, of course, the obvious follows Right? Your executives get a real-time dashboard in View mode, and you can even share in [? Place ?] without having an FTB server In [? Place, ?] you can share your data with third parties, so they can run SQL analytics in real time without having to do a whole lot of work on top of your data So it’s pretty awesome And I’ve showed this already Data silos are bad It’s a relic of old architectures– tried to avoid that ourselves So the second aspect of modern analytics I want to talk about is this concept of serverless And of course, you’ve heard of the various terms that– or the various contacts within which server is mentioned So the most confined definition of serverless is– it’s actually Cloud Functions, tiny little pieces of code that execute one at a time But the industry has been extending this buzzword further into identifying some things that have a very high level of abstraction, some things that are fully managed, that essentially allow you to use a [? femoral, ?] very, very scalable piece of compute, and only pay for the resources that you use So our serverless analytics kind of central piece here is BigQuery Actually, I was on the BigQuery team before recently, and it’s an amazing product If you haven’t used it, you should definitely look into it BigQuery is our fully managed analytics data warehouse It does have separation of storage and compute It has a very, very powerful storage engine that’s self-optimized, that self-heals It tries to understand how you’re using the storage and burns a whole lot of CPU and RAM to optimize the storage for your workload It does that on your behalf So it’s kind of opinionated in that regard And of course, that storage component allows you to share data within your organization or outside of the organization in very elegant ways without having to copy that data around On the other side, BigQuery has a compute engine It’s basically Dremel And Dremel– you can go read the paper that’s published by Google Dremel executes SQL queries in real time, very fast analytical workloads And BigQuery has an incredibly high level of abstraction You never have to touch hardware You never have to define storage or compute, or really, not a lot of configuration there And that’s on purpose, because we want you to focus on what’s important to you So let’s take a look at what BigQuery looks like, if you haven’t seen it So this is the BigQuery UI, which is one of the many ways you can interact with BigQuery And at first, it doesn’t really look all that exciting It kind of looks aged a little bit, kind of like Gmail from 2004 But just like Gmail from 2004, when you had what? A gigabyte inbox right away? When you were yelling at your grandma when she sent you a 30-megabyte video because your inbox would explode, and now you get a gigabyte That’s amazing And so just like Gmail in 2004 hides a whole lot of complexity and a whole lot of power underneath the hood and a simple UI, BigQuery does the exact same thing So let me show you So this is– right here, BigQuery petabyte is a data set, kind of like a database that BigQuery has And I’m going to click on this sales partition table here, which is a table that we made up It’s not real data We did it for the purposes of demonstrating the power of BigQuery So there’s nothing super special about it I’m going to look at the schema here of this table What you see here that’s really, really interesting– so it’s typical, order execution, when it happens, how much But here we have actually nested structures, like we have an array inside of the table It’s pretty awesome

So you can have an array of an array, JSON-like structures that are very, very complicated, or very simple But it kind of allows you to have interesting relationships with your data here So that’s a schema If I’m going to click on what the table looks like, you’ll see here that the table size is a little bit over a petabyte It’s a decently sized table And that looks like a trillion rows, a trillion rows in this table So the most sensible thing to do with this table is to try and query it live So I’m going to– I have this saved query here So I just push the big red button that said, Wrong Query Oh, no! I has the cache turned on So we’re going to not cheat We’re not going to have cache But if you look at this query, the only thing that I’m doing here to really cheat is that this petabyte table has three years worth of data We’re only doing– we’re only calling one month of partition But otherwise, it’s querying a whole lot of data And it’s got a join It’s got a big old regular expression It’s got a window function, everything you can possibly imagine in a typical query, right? Mixed bag– oh! Looks like we’ve finished this in, you know, 16 and 1/2 seconds So this table didn’t have anything special There’s no keys There’s no indexes We didn’t do any optimizations, really, outside of what the BigQuery service itself provides in terms of automation and optimization All we did was load that data into BigQuery So that’s the demo here So let’s talk about what exactly happened So I know– I’ve ran this query before, so I know how much resource it takes to execute this query in under 20 seconds So it’s about 3,000 cores So you could potentially take that data set, and if you have 3,000 cores lying around, you’d deploy that, assuming you have similar software to BigQuery, you can execute that You can run your own demo of that, if you’d like And so that’s really what we did right we rented 3,000 cores from Google for the length of the job So let’s think about this in virtual machine terms Virtual machines take minutes to start You get per hour billing, maybe per minute, maybe And virtual machines– it’s hard to get 3,000 cores very quickly Right? So what BigQuery allows you to do is to go from 0 to 3,000 for only 16 seconds– 20 seconds– and you get the equivalent of only paying for what you consume Now, the asterisk here is that BigQuery charges not per second It charges for the amount of data processed But that’s a great proxy to think about when you’re trying to relate this to virtual machines But that’s all fine and dandy The really key benefit of serverless is that you get a whole lot of power for very short periods of time And you don’t even care that that’s happening All you care about is you have data, you wrote a interesting SQL query, and you push the big red button, and you want to get the results That’s what you care about Like, sometimes you might want to geek out and think about that But ultimately, this is where you live And that’s the benefit of serverless, really So that’s a lot of power, very short bits of time And of course, if you want to extend that to TensorFlow and machine learning technologies, our fully managed cloud machine learning engine service allows you to do the exact same things on top of TPUs and GPUs So you can rent– ultimately, you can rent lots and lots of resources for short periods of time without having to worry to stand up those resources, manage those resources in order for you to train your TensorFlow models And once the model is complete, you can take that into your own environment You can take that into Google Cloud platform and deploy it, or even on your mobile devices, for example And you might have seen this already in other talks But the one exception to that whole Jenga analogy that I’ve used earlier is that there has been a whole lot of research done by Google and by other technologies to train models on large bits of data Google has a good amount of data, right? So we’ve taken our investments in technologies, and we’ve externalized them through simple APIs, rest APIs So any developer can use them, implement them inside of your application Now you have an AI-driven application And you can certainly get that next round of funding, if you say AI in your name So the third aspect I want to talk about is real time

Real time analytics is also a solved problem There are certainly use cases where you can have batched nightly analytics hourly But you have a very easy path to getting analytics on data as it occurs And this is a very typical path that our organizations take Now, Spotify has blogged about this quite extensively, and other companies, of course “New York Times” is an avid user of this right here It’s a very high levels of abstraction across three services that allow you to move data from the moment it occurs in your application, to the moment that you have precomputed analytics You have a dashboard you’re trying to develop here And to the moment that you want to have real-time access to SQL, to your analyst, your data scientist who has data– all of that is built. You just have to implement it And it’s a very popular way of doing things today The last thing I want to talk about is ETL I have to do ETL sometimes, and I don’t really find that necessarily too enjoyable It’s a means to an end There is no glory in it So ETL should be easy We should just get that in as quickly as possible, have it as clean as possible, and focus on value again So I’m going to give you a quick demo of what I’m talking about So I have this dataset here called [? Citibank ?] Data It’s just a bunch of rows I actually took BigQuery’s public data sets, and I exported them for this demo So just a bunch of information And I ran this– I’m going to run this BigQuery job It’s going to take this– oh, I need to update my CLI I need to– basically, I’m taking that data– and hopefully, the Internet holds up– and I’m going to load it into BigQuery for a quick analysis Wait a minute We’ve got an error Oh, no No, I’m kidding I made that– So it looks like the error says, at position 751, there is closed double quotes that have something inside of them All right, well, I’m going to go to– let’s go to that line This is the line that it’s talking about Hmm Oh, I see what it is So I have this quotation here, and inside of it is an escape character that BigQuery doesn’t like for some reason And of course, there is an RFC on it that says, for comma delimited values, you can only escape quotes with other quotes And BigQuery is very pedantic It likes RFCs So it rejects your data So what do we do? Well, we have this other tool called Dataprep that you can leverage today And I’m going to create a job inside of Dataflow that will hopefully recognize that information So I’m going to go ahead and go through the flow of importing that file inside of Dataprep There it is It’s going to load that file in, or at least some part of it, and then it’s going to run some statistical analysis to understand what exactly is going on It’s going to try to understand what the data looks like– did I do that? Yep It’s going to try to understand what the data looks like, if there are outliers, if there are errors, if it’s going to try to parse this information, and so on and so forth So it looks like it created this thing for me here And this is basically an ETL job, right? I have the file, and it’s going to create a job And this is the recipe that it’s going to execute, which is very simple You can certainly make that more complex So we’re going to look at the data and see exactly what happens here Now we wait But the idea here, again, is that the– wow, it’s taking really slow I did not have enough content prepared to fill this time But ultimately, what is going to happen is it’s going to take that bad row that I threw in there, and it’s going to recognize that row And it’s going to say, hey, that is actually an escape character It’s not conforming to an RFC But we definitely think it’s an escape character So– wow– live demos don’t always work, I guess So let’s forget about that You’re just going to have to take my word for it So with a tool like Dataprep, you have one click ETL You can take ugly data that’s, you know– if it works You can take ugly data that doesn’t conform to any standards, and you want to– you don’t want to write Python code or anything like that

You just want it in one place for you to analyze So Dataprep is a fantastic tool for that Under the hood, Dataprep actually creates Apache Beam pipelines It creates these recipes that turn to Apache Beam pipelines, and then executes them on top of Google Cloud Dataflow So you are familiar with that technology This is actually a pretty cool way of doing things So Dataprep is awesome So to very quickly summarize, the practice of data architecture or data infrastructure is moving very, very quickly But there are pillars that emerge that become very obvious wins very, very quickly And these pillars can simplify your life And this is kind of like, can I have things simpler, cheaper, and faster? Yes And this is because the architectures fundamentally change You can save money and get more That’s the lesson here So that’s really the four things that I’ve identified I’m sure you can find many, many more I’m going to close this on saying that, you know, the whole concept of serverless– the idea here, again, is that we want to provide the highest level of abstraction possible We want to automate all the noise, all the tinkering, all the things that are not really that important to you You don’t want to tinker Abstract that away, automate of that away, and give you a surface that allows you to create value So instead of doing very little value and a whole lot of tinkering, we want to flip that equation on its head So we want to give you the ability to create a lot of value in very little tinkering And that’s what serverless means So I thank you very much But before we finish, I’m going to have Geoffrey and Constantijn come on stage We’re going to have just a quick little fireside chat where we can take questions from each other and from the audience as well Geoffrey comes from RTL, and his organization implemented some interesting analytics workloads on top of Google And Constantijn is from a services partner that helped Geoffrey implement this Please [APPLAUSE] Thanks for coming, guys Geoffrey, can you tell me more about your organization? GEOFFREY VAN MEER: RTL, yeah RTL is not only a TV broadcast So it’s a multimedia company So we have also a lot of digital assets Nobody knows, but RTL Group is the largest content uploader on YouTube in Europe And we work a lot with the Google products, also in ESL’s domain, in [INAUDIBLE] domain, and also, in the big data domain TINO TERESHKO: So when it comes to big data specifically, it’s a big data session What have you guys done? What did you implement? GEOFFREY VAN MEER: We store the data in the Google storage Contstantijn helped us with building the– we have a Spark platform, so he built the platform based on Dataproc And we have BigQuery on top of that So it’s in our distribution of products that we have implemented And it helps us in all various ways It’s very transparent It’s easy to use the setup I can go to my business stakeholder and tell him exactly which query takes that much long It costs me so much euro If you want to have it faster, no problem I can put more machines on And you can have it faster That’s the decision, up to the business That makes it really transparent We’re all really, really powerful TINO TERESHKO: So it sounds like your business, with the help of Google Cloud Platform, was really enabled to perform better analytics and more data Can you talk about it more? GEOFFREY VAN MEER: Yeah What I like about it is that you bring the decision back to the business If they want to have it faster, you can have it So it’s of their decision If you have it within 15 minutes, I don’t mind We’ll make it short in 15 minutes It costs a little bit more, but it’s their decision It’s not an IT issue It’s a business decision That’s what I like TINO TERESHKO: That’s fantastic And so, I’m aware that you guys are leveraging Google BigQuery Can you talk more about this particular piece of our infrastructure? GEOFFREY VAN MEER: Yeah BigQuery helps us a lot in our grow intelligence maturity So, like every company, we have a set of reports that helps you by measuring how many customers you have, how many revenue you have, and blah, blah, blah But then it happens that customers go away, cancel their subscription, or the revenue drops down So reports tell you about what’s happening

And then you want answers on why people left, why cancel their subscription? Then you have to go into the data And it helps business people to query large data sets, finding answers on why people left What was the behavior before they left? So it empowers, again, business people, not a group of data scientists They can create They can do a lot Now, business people, you give access to large data sets and finding answers on the problems you see over a rise in your reports Very powerful TINO TERESHKO: And I wish– you know, I wish big data buzzword was actually called holistic data, because it allows you to store very raw information about what’s going on with your applications, how your users are interacting with your application So then further down the line, you can have your analysts understand specifically what the behaviors were and why they left your platform GEOFFREY VAN MEER: Yeah And when you have those answers, then you can ask data scientists to make predictive modeling But it’s the step in between that you want to have a broader audience in your company, people in the business– marketeers, salespeople== have also access to launch data sets And it’s really important to make that grow also to AI and machine learning TINO TERESHKO: Yeah Which leads me to my next question What’s your take on AI machine learning? What are your plans, and what are the opportunities within your organization? GEOFFREY VAN MEER: We are a total video company, so we have a lot of content, video content That’s what I like about RTL So we analyze the content, the video, because it tells me about the quality of the content So we have a lot of content that must help me, but what is the– I want to quantify the quality of the content So I use also the video APIs But we also install TensorFlow and Keras to have a better understanding of what’s happening on screen And that generates a lot of metadata, tags, labels that helps me also in my recommendation So I can prove that a little more I need to have a better understanding of the quality of content TINO TERESHKO: We haven’t forgotten about you, Constantijn So Constantijn was one of the job men that did a whole lot of the heavy lifting on this project Can you tell us more about what you’ve done? CONSTANTIJN VISINESCU: Yep When I started with the project, they already were using Hadoop and Spark But they had their own on-prem cluster with a fixed amount of machines So that was also– for starters, it was very expensive, because it was always on 24/7 And that meant it was– either it was not big enough, because they wanted their data now, or it was standing around costing money doing nothing And it also meant there was one cluster So if two people at the same time wanted to do something with the data, they had to wait for each other And, yeah, there were multiple data scientists, multiple data engineers, and also, multiple data analysts And, yeah, if one of them is using the cluster, the others are not doing anything useful for RTL And at the same time, I also noticed that keeping your own Hadoop and Spark cluster up and running can be quite labor intensive And, yeah, RTL would much rather spend that effort doing useful business things, than running after their Hadoop Spark cluster So I suggested we could move them over to Dataproc for starters And yeah– and then they could stop worrying about maintaining them, and at the same time, like the example showed, if you want a 100-node cluster right now, that’s fine And if your job only takes 10 minutes, then you’d throw it away If there’s three people that want to do something at the same time, you spin up three clusters, and then you throw away three clusters So you can just keep working And, like Tino said also in the slide, if you separate the data from your compute, three people want to work at the same– want to work on the same data set, that’s also fine, because you’re not tied to get one data set that lives over in that one cluster TINO TERESHKO: How long did your project take? CONSTANTIJN VISINESCU: The whole project was several months But it also included mostly understanding the data One of the nice things about using Google Cloud was that setting up the infrastructure basically took me 15 minutes, because I’ve done it before But i can just click– I want a cluster, I uploaded their data to– I uploaded their data to Google Cloud [? desk ?] set, and one of their existing Spark jobs that they were already running on Premise And within 15 minutes, I had working infrastructure And I could start spending the rest of the time actually analyzing the data and figuring out what to do with it rather than babysitting the infrastructure TINO TERESHKO: So going forward, what would be your recommendation, if you were going to implement this type of infrastructure in the future? CONSTANTIJN VISINESCU: Well, if you already have Spark, you can just take your existing Spark jobs that usually work on HDFS and put your data in Google Storage,

so you get the date of separation Cloud Dataproc comes with integration for Google storage, basically the same way you use HDFS So you can just put your data in Google storage, take your existing job, and change the output from HDFS to Google storage and just run it And that’s a great first step TINO TERESHKO: Any other comments either one of you would like to share about the project? GEOFFREY VAN MEER: In a [? SQL ?] sense, it’s easy– relatively easy– to manage So you can allocate your time more on business problems So the maintenance is relatively easy It’s very transparent And what I also like is that each– as you explained, data scientists come to the office in the morning, they spin up at the cluster, and here they go So they’re not interfering with each other And they use all the same– the old cluster, all the applications on there, so they can play around And today, data starts, I want a cluster of 10 machines And tomorrow, I’ll do a different type of algorithm, and I’ll spin up a cluster of 50 machines after them And I know exactly, as a manager, who was using what So I can also say, you burned too much, lower down, or spin up TINO TERESHKO: Fantastic Constantijn? CONSTANTIJN VISINESCU: Yeah, that’s– like Geoffrey said, that really helped their data scientists And it also helped later on the project, because the original project used Spark to put their data into an existing– pre-process their data into a normal SQL database But that means that sometimes that, when some of the data engineers are busy, I literally told them– heard them tell one of the data analysts, like, can you please not do your work until 2:00 in the afternoon, because I’m busy using the database? And, yeah, like, I understand from a technical’s perspective, because, the data engineer was just keeping the database very busy But you don’t want that So instead of putting the data into a normal database, we put the data in BigQuery, as you saw And RTL has lots of data because, like Geoffrey said, there’s a large multimedia presence on the Internet from RTL, not just the RTL label, but multiple labels And that literally generates billions of data points And I can just put those into BigQuery I don’t even have to aggregate them anymore So before, all the data was aggregated, and you could only get the reports that the aggregation was specifically made for And now all the data is just in there And yeah, there are some premade aggregations to make things easier on the users But it’s basically do whatever you want And again, because it’s serverless, as long as you don’t request more compute power than Google has, like, you don’t make Google crash, then they can go nuts TINO TERESHKO: Fantastic [LAUGHTER] And we challenge you to do that [LAUGHTER] So we have a few minutes to take questions from the audience So please raise your hand, and there will be a microphone coming around Please, right here AUDIENCE: Thank you What’s the difference between BigQuery and Spanner? TINO TERESHKO: Fantastic question So BigQuery and Spanner are used extensively internally at Google and by our clients The easiest way to think about it is BigQuery is great for analytics, whereas, you know, things like aggregating lots of information And Spanner is a fantastic tool to create an application or to have an operational database They go hand in hand together Yeah And they actually both speak the same standard SQL language Any other questions? Please CONSTANTIJN VISINESCU: You have another question over there TINO TERESHKO: Yeah GEOFFREY VAN MEER: Over there AUDIENCE: Your 20 second query of what was it? 3,000 nodes? What’s the money being spent? TINO TERESHKO: That’s a great question So that particular query cost about $10 to run So the query has two pricing models, specifically One is paper job, as I did And for folks who are at a larger scale, who have specific use cases, you can pay a flat monthly fee that includes all your queries Good question AUDIENCE: Hi Like a lot of BI departments, in our company, we’re a bit of a bottleneck when it comes to data preparation So Dataprep looks cool, because we can put that out there How difficult would it be to productionize the output of Dataprep? TINO TERESHKO: That’s a good question In terms of productionize, you want to put this into a place where analysts can work on it AUDIENCE: Sure, selected analysts might get 20 files

They do their thing And then we’ve got 6,000 files that we need to run through a nightly process And so that kind of production, I think– TINO TERESHKO: Yeah, that is an intrinsic– that’s exactly the use case for Dataprep So it’s an intrinsic quality of that service CONSTANTIJN VISINESCU: Actually, we had to do pretty much the exact same thing at RTL One of the nice things about BigQuery is that, next to its native custom drivers that are really fast, it also has an existing ODBC driver And it speaks standard ANSI SQL So it can talk with anything that can talk SQL over ODBC And that is basically– anything that calls itself a data analytics tool can talk with it So at RTL, the main tool for business intelligence is Business Objects And I just set up an ODBC query And within a couple days, Business Objects could talk the BigQuery and no one would notice the difference And there’s also several other tools with RTL, just their own departments using their own tools And as long as they can talk ODBC with standard ANSI SQL, then it just works TINO TERESHKO: We’re essentially out of time, but we’ll take one final question, right there Thank you AUDIENCE: Thanks for taking my question So, a lot of analytic projects live in an IT landscape, not just a Google landscape Can you say something about how to roll out into production both code and infrastructure? And how do you see integration with existing, let’s say, applications and deployment pipeline? So I’m thinking, so how do you use this stuff with Git? How do you roll all that stuff? TINO TERESHKO: Yeah CONSTANTIJN VISINESCU: At RTL, we had– our pipelines were in code There’s two out there called the Air Flow and that’s also from Apache And that allows you to model all your data pipelines as code So there’s jobs in there like, spin up a cluster, run these Spark jobs, spin down the cluster, and take the output from that Spark job and put it into BigQuery That’s all code And that code lives in a Git repository And there’s a Jenkins on top of that Git repository So if I commit to master, Jenkins runs the tests If the tests look good, it automatically puts it to the accept environment And if I hit the button, the same code goes to production TINO TERESHKO: The value of ecosystem that creates orchestration and monitoring, things like that can’t be understated So Google specifically invested in partnerships and in supporting open source technologies like Airflow that we’ve extended into our services And if there are technologies that are compelling that we don’t know about, we want to know about them as well Thank you, folks I think this is– we have run out of time But thanks for your time Great And thank you as well [APPLAUSE]

[JA][Keynote] All bugfixes are incompatibilities / @nagachika

So the next Keynote will be spoken in Japanese I guess, so if you forgot to bring your translator please pick one at the second floor -Is it okay? -Yes It’s a pleasure to be here [applause] Good morning everyone Did you enjoy the first day of RubyKaigi and the party on the road street? [cheers] That was a crazy party and I’d like to say hello in English before starting my Keynote presentation since this is an international conference and the public language here is English In fact, at first, I planned to present my Keynote in English but I didn’t have enough time to prepare for that, I’m sorry I’m very honored to be here in front of such big number of Rubys from all around the world I’m very grateful to organizers and staff Thank you I hope you enjoy the RubyKaigi and the beautiful sights and great foods in Fukuoka city Okay, now I’d like to switch to Japanese Since this session deals with lots of the most difficult topics [laughter] From here on, I’d like to speak in Japanese Before I start talking about the topic of this keynote – “all bug-fixes are incompatibility”, I have an important notification to share about the RubyGems.org website that I would like to share At yesterday’s Ruby 3 progress report I think Mr. Shibata made an announcement, but recently the RubyGems.org account was hacked and a malicious Gem was released as a package Recently, we added multi-factor authentication to the RubyGems website so if you have a RubyGems.org account, please protect the ecosystem by not sharing your password with others, not using a weak password and also by making sure to turn change your settings to make use of multi-factor authentication With that said, that is the latest update from RubyGems.org Now, it’s time to return to the keynote I’m sorry for the long preface First, I would like to introduce myself I work as “nagachika” and do many things I’m a Ruby committer, and, I’m also a Ruby stable branch maintainer So, I think version 2.6.3 was released yesterday from the 2.6 so that means that I have now switched to maintainer of 2.6 Separate from open source activities and software activities, I also am in charge of writing something separate from software which is the ‘Ruby trunks changes’ blog I read the Ruby’s repository commits daily and write a short comment in Japanese there I started doing this in 2010 so it’s been 9 years? 8 years? Well, it will become 9 years around summer of this year I also live in Fukuoka now, and am apart of the Rubyist community at Fukuoka.rb where we have weekly meet-ups with other organizers such as Mr. Uzura and Mr. Oda Since I have continued using TensorFlow, which is a library of numerical operation systems, I have also become the organizer for the Fukuoka chapter of the user group named TFUG What I’ll talk about today… oh! Sorry about that What I’ll talk about today is about what’s involved in being a stable branch maintainer So what does it mean to provide maintenance for Ruby’s stable branch? I would like to talk about branch models and maintenance policies So, people like Shibata-san and Usa-san have talked about this before at RubyKaigi and another conferences so some of you may have heard this before, but I’ll explain it here again First is Ruby’s branch model

With Ruby, development is mainly done in a branch called the “trunk” or main branch Ruby’s repository has been using Subversion for many years so the main branch became known as the trunk It’s the master branch to something called Git From this, stable branches like 2.5 and 2.6 are cut from the trunk and after that, bug fixes and more are basically done for the trunk, and we provide maintenance for the stable branch through backporting Basically, we cherry pick from Git This means we don’t bug fix from the stable branch or merge fixes back to the trunk Each stable branch always has one person who is its maintainer I am one of them and so is Usa-san There is also a Release Manager that you can see on the screen by the trunk and Naruse-san is doing this job The release manager’s job is to break new stable branches from the trunk and turn these new stable branches into packages like 2.6.0 and so on that are released They also have the important job of managing the release of new versions every year This includes releasing previews and providing release candidates by particular dates so people can know when they will have access to the latest features So, there is a period of waiting after the release of a stable branch then I take over maintenance for the newest stable branch, and the previous stable branch I maintained is then passed onto Usa-san and this flow is continued every year But there was a little exception this year Japan entered a new era becoming the Reiwa era and we knew this would be announced in April so we released version 2.6.3 with a compatible Unicode for the era the day before yesterday in April and Naruse-san was in charge of this So, every year, we take one branch and slide it over to the next maintainer meaning that branches will eventually not have a maintainer This is the end of the life for this branch and will not be maintained thereafter Basically, the branch will have died That’s our work flow There is also something I didn’t write on the screen that is called the security maintenance phase but I won’t go into explaining what that is today So to summarize the work of a stable branch maintainer, there are two big parts to their job One part of their daily work is providing maintenance by backporting bug-fixes from the trunk into stable branches The second part of their job is using the stable branch to release stable packages that change the third line of digits for the stable version One other important job is the handling of security issues by ensuring they release fixes whenever there is a vulnerability report Security fixes needs to keep up with all versions so it requires working with the people involved with each version and good cooperation However, I will not talk much more about that today. Today, I’ll be focusing mainly on backporting This is the work we usually complete everyday So, again, the daily work of a stable maintainer is to monitor the trunk and backport bug-fixes from the trunk to the stable branch when necessary That’s the job However, even if I see what has been added to the trunk everyday and see something that should immediately be backported, it’s not that simple Firstly, we need to leave it there for a while, so we can’t backport everyday, and because of that we use a bug tracker called Redmine in Ruby, and this is apart of the stable branch maintainer’s job So, Redmine is hosted at the address on-screen

and it’s used to suggest new features for Ruby and to bug fix issues So, the stable branch maintainers also use this ticket to help manage where it is necessary to backport As I mentioned earlier, Ruby development always begins by making fixes from the trunk and backporting them to stable branches so if you’re an ordinary maintainer or more likely, a committer, you will see an open ticket For stable branch maintainers, we work with closed trunks that have been completely bug fixed so we deal with looking at closed tickets Among the tickets that need to be backported, we will then backport these and leave the ones that don’t need to be backported So I thought this ticket had a really good report so I’ve chosen it On-screen now, this one looks good for stable branch maintainers since it says which version this occurred in very clearly and which version it won’t occur in as well so we’ll backport this Actually, this information is also useful when investigating where the cause of a fault actually is For a stable branch maintainer, this is also useful since it shows which branch requires this backport So I’ll go back for a moment and you can see on the right that there is a backport field for us to manage whether or not this backport is needed or not You don’t have to edit this directly yourself but if you want to request that this bug fix is needed and not been completed yet, you can search for the related ticket and make a request to have this backported You can also make a request here if you can’t find the related ticket but want it to be backported Just open the ticket and make your request When doing that, we recommend to change the status to closed so it makes things easier to find So once more So looking back at the branch model again, we have two stable branch maintainers here but we don’t work on this full-time work and instead we do this as volunteers If you tried to do backporting work for multiple branches alone, I think that it would be unrealistic or almost impossible So, how long do we provide maintenance for each version of Ruby? How many people are needed as stable branch maintainers? Also, how often should a new Ruby release be available and when is best to release a new stable branch? It depends on many things So with our current new stable branch, this minor version of Ruby, we release it almost every year We have two people work as maintainers and a person also doing security maintenance so currently, each version’s stable branch receives maintenance for about 3 years When we thought to extend this, we thought about releasing a new Ruby every two years but decided it probably wasn’t a good idea That’s because everyone wants a new Ruby each year, right? Well, not everyone [laughter] We thought if we extend the period between releases, there is probably a sense of motivation to add new features and functions for the new release of Ruby However, if we extend the release period, there is a risk that Ruby’s improvements will be slowed down So extending the interval between stable branch releases is maybe not a very good idea So if you want to maintain the stable branch of Ruby for a longer time, you will need more manpower I think a new stable branch maintainer will be needed Also, I don’t want you to misunderstand and think I want to quit being a stable branch maintainer but since we all hope for Ruby to continue being used for a long time, it will be necessary to welcome new generations of maintainers I think this is important in the long run Human beings also become more weak and vulnerable with time

[laughter] so if nothing’s done, the average age of Ruby committers and stable maintainers will increase each year, and I’m not saying young people are better or anything but they are necessary for the future So with that, I would now like to talk to anyone here considering becoming a stable branch maintainer in the future and I have a message for you Actually, I’m really interested to how this will be translated in English so please tell me later Well, I’m just trying to give advice from my experiences So you may be wondering what requirements are necessary to become a stable branch maintainer, and this is quite difficult and hard for me to say specifically I’ve thought about it and when considering Ruby implementation, you don’t have to know everything about Ruby deeply but it’s definitely necessary to have at least a wide, base level of understanding for Ruby implementation Also, as I said earlier, stable branches are maintained for 2 to 3 years One person needs to be in charge of at least one branch for a whole year In that sense, I think it is important that you understand the importance of working continuously And moving onto the main part of today’s talk, understanding maintenance policy is also important Speaking a bit about this maintenance policy, it is basically about backporting bug fixes You want to fix bugs at the stable branch so you maintain the stable branch by backporting bug fixes It is a policy saying you will backport fixes but won’t backport new functions, spec changes or any backports that are incompatible I think it’s very simple It lets you sort out what “maintenance” specifically is and for the Ruby branch model, it means backporting bug fixes from the trunk That means that maintenance is from the continuous commits and series of commits at the trunk You look at each one and decide whether or not it is needed That is central to providing maintenance for the stable branch It’s the main job Of course, if there are commit conflicts when trying to backport that need to be fixed or something has been completely rewritten, there are times when we need to basically make a brand new patch This probably comes from whether or not the fix we took from the trunk was needed or not so besides that technical side of things, it is necessary to just carefully examine each commit at the trunk and have the ability to decide whether or not something is needed So, we focus on bug fixes that is separate from feature changes and have to take in many considerations to make judgements So, today I would like to give an example of this The example I have is from a discussion for software called IO.read and is from 2 years ago IO.read is a program that reads files then finds character strings by specifying the first argument by file name or character string then reading the contents of a file You can specify the size being read or ask for everything to be read It can be used a lot for carelessly written scripts or for things like one-liners Also, this is RDoc This is a copy of a document, but look at the part that is underlined in red For IO.read, if the pipe character comes first in the first argument, When the first character of the first argument is a pipe symbol Interpret as a command after removing the pipe symbol Do it and read the output So now IO.read can actually execute the command

I think some people already know this well, but we had a problem with this about two years ago and even if you know about it, you might not have realized some things Some people may pass over an unreliable input into the IO.read’s first argument and this ticket is open, isn’t it? The open ticket’s behavior is the same, so if you pass over an unreliable input to certain places, the command is executed by the input given from the outside, and a dispute will occur to question if it has a vulnerability This is certainly vulnerable from the application’s side, but it may not be vulnerable for Ruby’s side so someone may be doing something wrong And we considered if we should ban this or release some sort of notice to warn people about it two years ago However, at this time, we decided that we won’t completely ban this for open tickets or with IO.read So I think this problem still exists There was also another problem back then which was fine for IO.read but was about if we should worry or not if something was open or if the impact was too big However, there is also a method called File.read This succeeds IO files as a fact making it a method to only succeed IO.read So the state of things stays the same But IO is fine That’s because IO is a comprehensive class that expresses all IOs But isn’t this file class also a class to create file systems in a file? Yet, it’s kind of strange to execute a command for this if we use file.read and it’s a bit unexpected, right? This is very good so for File.read, there was talk that it we should forbid this pipe This is 2.5.0- Excuse me This is something discussed just before the release of 2.5.0 Certainly, it is strange that the command is started by File.read and was planned to be stopped but when we looked this up in the github source code, there was actually a pipe written to the first character of File.read and it was literal So it’s not a malicious act and there was already an example of using a command using file.read to write a pipe and it worked as expected So just before the release of 2.5 and after the preview we released, we thought it was bad to change this behavior now We were convinced to stop allowing this behavior that we clearly all expected to fail but if we change it now, the person using this application would no longer be able to use it So what we thought was 2.4 is working normally so we will just issue a warning for 2.5 Although IO.read and file.read are the same method, if the receiver is not an IO, try to not execute the command Wait, that’s not right So we gave warning for 2.5 and said if you use 2.5, we know that file.read commands aren’t running so we expect that applications and libraries will act the same way That’s why, as of 2.6, you cannot execute commands again So, if you are using version 2.6 now, we will stop file.read from executing commands In this example, it’s not really a bug but something strange well it does seem like a bug but this is an incompatibility since if you fix it, it will break the application It’s kind of a gray area between if it’s a bug fix or an incompatibility issue but if I had to choose it’s closer to being about changing specifications and that’s why I shared this as an example

To change topics, I have been in charge of six stable branches in the past and for this presentation, I tried to count how many backports I had committed per stable branch By the way, these are only what I have done but you can see there was so many for 2.0.0 and 2.1 and then slowly decreased And there is a good reason for this Excuse me So I did a lot with 2.0.0 and 2.1- Oh, that’s right I had to read over everything to create this presentation by the way [laughter] Of course, I didn’t read it in great detail and used my memory for some of it but if you look at the backports around 2.0.0 now, I probably did a little too much backporting and I was probably still pretty inexperienced Also, at around 2.0.0, my memory isn’t perfect but the tool I was using to backport back then wasn’t what we have now where we can now backport multiple commits from a single ticket The old tool had us backport commits one by one due to limitations so that’s why 2.0.0 had that many backports Anyway, at that period, I usually backported around 200 times each year and I think that sounds like a reasonable number Then, you can see 2.5 had hardly any backports in comparison so it’s made me think I could have worked a bit harder last year after seeing this Next, I’ll talk about something a bit embarrassing for me as a stable branch maintainer It’s about the mistakes I’ve made and the lessons that can be learned for future maintainers I’ll share some specific examples here like this ticket from around version 2.0.0 It was a backport to improve performance If you look at the ticket, it’s to fix an unexpected GC The problem was that a GC should have been done once but instead, it was being done twice So it was definitely some kind of bug that was suspicious and the problem it caused was it was slowing things down So, essentially it was about improving performance Well, it was also just about fixing the problem I guess it was fixing a bug with the result ending up improving performance It’s okay if you can’t read this but just to get a feeling I added a member of the structure and increase the conditions a bit, and I fixed it after working on it a bit There isn’t much in there, but taking a quick look, or even reading closely, you’ll see it’s actually fine as it was and that my actions where probably not that safe looking back But at that time, I just thought if someone said to backport something, I will just backport it then However, I caused an error in the Windows version of CI so in the end I had to revert what I’d done The lesson from this is, first of all, we don’t backport to improve performance Strictly speaking, there was something suspicious as shown on the notice for the ticket, and if there is a bug that needs to fix then we should fix it, but that ticket’s focus was mainly about improving performance Performance improvements are not what we should be fixing at the stable branch We need a new stable version if we want to increase speed which comes from the trunk, and the stable branch is about maintaining compatibility We backport those and if there’s a bug, it’s their problem So I don’t think I should have backported that ticket The following example is also around 2.0.0,

and as the title of the ticket says include + include + alias_method + super behaviour had a bug in the method lookup with some difficult prerequisites in there What happened was when the method to call out super was being searched for, it entered a recursive state and there was a bug in the stack Although there’s similarities between method lookups and constant lookups, and it’s similar how it searches for what constant should be called as a reference, there are various types to “include” or “prepend”, so complex conditions are often intertwined This is particularly seen with heavy use of meta programming like Rails that causes these weird cases This is also just to get a feel of the situation but it wasn’t enough to take into consideration the problem so we added arguments to the function to understand it and created more condition divergents It was something like that I also backported this However, this is also the place with the added arguments and maybe it would be normal to have a class or module there, but it was nil It’s very rare for it to be nil so by using specific syntax or more so, by creating specific conditions, the nil was no longer considered nil It gave access that caused a memory violation that made a segmentation hold, then made a bug report to be fixed in the next stable version What I want to say with this example is that about method lookup and constant lookup They often come together with these kinds of additional corrections I think that there are many cases which are very complicated from how they are mixed together so even for the people in this room who know a lot about this stuff, it is still difficult for them and it’s quite common to accidentally create bugs In this case, the original stack overflows so it’s a pretty serious problem which is fine or I should say, it can’t be helped, so if this is a really rare case, if something creates more and more bugs or if it’s something that can be avoided that is a little more subtle, it will cause a problem elsewhere if we bug-fix another area in this situation That’s why we need to wait a bit to see how things go before we add in a backport Next, I’ll talk about refinements Refinements are actually very similar Refinements call out different methods in the lexicals or outside scope so this is one kind of method lookup This ticket is pretty old from 2.0.0 Excuse me, this actually isn’t a backport but it’s before its release It’s a pattern match for three equals signs (= = =) and it has an operator So when there’s a pattern match to the conditions for the case statement in the “when” section, and it creates a “= = =” method This is written on the document and internally, it’s implying it calls on methods So, refinements have an effect on the lexical meaning the methods being called on are not having an effect on each other But in this situation, it’s being indirectly called on so we thought it should be affected by refinements and fixed it However, even though refinements should work on methods that are working indirectly we got the impression that there were increasing amounts that didn’t start like this So this one isn’t a backport but is shown before release and I didn’t think things through enough so after the release of 2.0.0, we detected a segmentation fault and needed to add a correction through a backport to fix this So this wasn’t broken by a backport and it wasn’t my fault but something like this did happen

so what I want to say is refinements is similar to method lookup and can easily cause bugs I think it’s also not a matured feature and needs more time I’m nervous to say that with Matz-san right over there [laughter] But either way, it’s in version 2.0.0, 2.1, 2.3 and with each version, we might think this is effective when calling indirect methods, and if people agree, it will keep increasing in the future so the scope of the effect will keep increasing and each time I see this, I think it’s a change in specifications I understand it’s difficult to decide between a bug or a change of specification, so refinements become a tricky question Of course, I’m not saying you shouldn’t use it So I’m going to continue this heavy discussion by talking about a correction to a syntax error In Japanese, these may be called reference operators or conditional operators, but this is an operator that uses question and colon marks to make an additional branch so in the value area you can see it’s calling a do-end block method that’s causing a syntax error This is a problem so of course, it needs fixing When fixed though, it made a new syntax error which says rescue inside the Hash literal Here is another saying there’s an error in the heredoc for hash literal So why is this? The top is a conditional operator So it’s using a question mark and colon and you can see the hash literal also has the colon symbol as well So it’s the same type of colon but you might think they are different, right? For parsers, it’s the same as a token And this isn’t always true but they might flag different contexts to separate them like this So by playing with the colon part of the reference operator, and it’s really painful seeing the Hash literal be affected by this, we use parse.y which is a complex Ruby syntax implementation So with the colon in a different place, you can flag when the same type of object is in a different place with a different meaning and everyone writes method calls in arguments for method calls, right? So, there is a block on those method calls and in that, there’s a bunch of method calls calling out to each other Stepping back, you have a big nest structure that needs special staff to manage the structure within the parsers So if a Ruby parser writes using Bison or Yak and is used to that even when it’s so difficult, it’s more difficult for the Ruby parser to read even if they’re used to it There is also one more issue when a syntax combination becomes incredibly big You can write method arguments in a arbitrary way so it doesn’t matter how you write it Generally, it’s very rare to see a bug from this It’s only occurs when a person writes something like that It’s difficult to do all that in a test comprehensively and for now, I think it can’t be done So don’t think it’s okay to use this code when considering coverage since it will cause bad combinations Therefore, if you want to comprehensively test everything to detect something, it is very difficult One more important point is that syntax errors are very severe errors to face Ruby is a flexible language meaning you can put any module into any method, but when you notice there is a bug, you can write a monkey patch and even without having the issue at hand in your library or application, by reading that script for the monkey bar prior to the event, there are cases where things can be averted But with syntax errors, it happens when a file is being loaded

so there is nothing that can be read to prevent it That means that monkey patching can’t be done causing a big impact That makes it easy to cause big problems This also makes backporting for syntax errors very difficult It might be bad to not fix it but it’s just as bad to cause more syntax errors by fixing the first syntax error And I have many more examples of syntax errors including this one on mandatory keywords for Ruby 2.1 When I was maintaining Ruby 2.1, mandatory keyword arguments generally had their default value included but that’s been omitted now So we couldn’t write the default value then Anyway, I entered 2.1 and was really surprised by this way of method definition If you didn’t use parentheses for the method definition argument, it caused a syntax error I didn’t know why it wasn’t fixed before release but it was fixed in Ruby 2.1.2 since it was a big problem Then after that, with Hash it has the same colon [laughter] so there were bugs with Hash literal that came out like you’d have a syntax error writing “if” This is another bug notice that was released with the same fix so I think it had a big impact So in this case, it’s a bit subtle but to sum it up, the colon in the mandatory keyword argument and the hash literal colon had the same effect where fixing the top, created an error at the bottom Looking at both and considering which is more important, which do you think is more important from your impressions? Probably writing the top one was the initial mistake but ignoring that since it can’t be helped, the top one will cause significant problems. The bottom ones can be rewritten if need be So the top one is more important here But we need to remember this was written during Ruby 2.1 and there were mandatory keyword arguments in 2.1 So, considering what was in that world at the time, the code was probably not used for applications and libraries in the form of a mandatory keyword argument And that’s because it would have caused syntax errors With a syntax error, it isn’t about if things can pass through or not since it simply isn’t running, meaning that people using this don’t exist With that kind of thought process, the effect on the top one in the current world would be nothing so the bottom is more of an issue Basically, we need to consider the timing of things, the mandatory keyword arguments and I guess there isn’t an option to do nothing in this situation so because of that, it makes me think how I should have really looked carefully Basically, more than the syntax for a mandatory keyword argument that wasn’t being used at the time, I should have focused more on the hash literal which would have had a bigger effect However, that wasn’t a choice back then so I wasn’t wrong I have other syntax errors [laughter] that shows the danger of parse.y It’s in the title but it’s about the lambda writing style for the arrow By having this together with a “do end” block, it made a parse syntax error occur With that, there is some detailed information written here and it’s hard to absorb since the top three ones are hard to see how they are all connected to make a syntax error but the bottom ones are fine So, what’s the difference? [laughter] Well it only happens in very rare cases And if this code review came now, I’d just tell them to add the parentheses [laughter] Also, one more important point is that it clearly says what versions this is happening on Looking at it, it even happened on 1.9.3 which is pretty old and

I think the trunk for this was Ruby 2.3 so I was maintaining 2.2 In the end, I just ended up fixing it, thinking it’s a syntax error but as you can see it caused a bunch of new syntax errors which I guess can’t be helped since parse.y is dangerous So, what can be learned from this is firstly, parse.y needs to be used with caution and this bug existed since Ruby 1.9, right? That’s like 4 or 5 years that is existed That syntax was constantly creating that error So if we leave syntax errors like this for so long or don’t realize them sooner realistically…ah, also I should say that this syntax error can’t be avoided so it probably couldn’t load either So along that line of thinking, gems, libraries or applications using the syntax that caused an error probably don’t really exist Or maybe, when writing this code, people writing this realized they needed the parentheses to avoid getting a syntax error so I agree you should just add the parentheses [laughter] I think with that kind of effect, it realistically comes out in production and was not used in any codes anywhere up to that point So thinking like this, this kind of bug is actually not that much of a big deal So it doesn’t mean we don’t need to fix it but other bugs we saw had a bigger impact than this so we need to think carefully about what we are doing Now, this is the last one I’ll show The title says that when loading fifo, the process is blocked and a different thread stops running By the way, fifo is a Unix style OS with a fast-in fast-out queue for processing messages and the queue looks like files meaning it does have a file system That means it can read methods like “load” and “require” Also, Ruby is GVL Matz-san said GIL but I use GVL meaning “Global VM Lock” It means that a particular thread will only run when it has the right lock and IO is blocked with this It has a function where if you have to wait, it will release and run a different thread So with “require” or “load”, when reading a file, it will open it and a different thread will start being able to release But if you open something, it should come straight back, right? This means it wasn’t being released However, fifo will block all of these Even when something is open, it will release so just looking at this modified main section, it’s a lot of words, but this area is easy to understand for people using GVL or at least they know what to do so it is a very beautiful looking patch The reason is because the bug and the correction match so well So, it’s an easy patch to understand and definitely a bug So, I’d want to backport this a lot But if I do that, you’ll notice there’s a multi-thread that is particularly heavy that’s running and with YAML.parse, it seems to slow everything down The reason for this is using YAML.parse, it has “require” running in the background in the encoding So with the previous open, it wasn’t unlocked so it was undone I said but open isn’t only used to open a file but to see if there’s a file, which is what it was for in this situation It’s been modified a bit now I think But anyway, what’s happening is when many RubyGems are used, there is something called load pass They are directories to nominate if Ruby.rb files can be read So it searches through in order to see if something exists and if it can be opened or not

Then, if a single file has a “require” on it, it will attempt to open it multiple times and each time, the thread is changed, meaning that the thread for a heavy CPU is changed over, does some work before returning back and opening the next one making it slow down significantly So if you look up opens at the trunk, you might think it’s fixed for efficiency and it’s then backported to the stable branch but it’s corresponding with a revert I did say initially that performance issues were not apart of fixing the stable branch, but realistically, if an application just isn’t running at all and can’t be used, we need to consider what to do Situations with this type of regression sometimes do need to be properly fixed One more thing about what to be learned from this is no one can load fifo, can they? [laughter] The previous ticket was written in a way that made it seem like it wasn’t sure if it’s a bug or not so no one said to backport this I just looked at the patch and thought this was a good one to backport [laughter] So you should learn that if there’s a problem with something that no one is using, you shouldn’t backport to try and fix this So that was my final example To summarize the lessons I wanted to get across, don’t backport performance improvements Also, don’t backport fixes for long-standing bugs Well, not “don’t”, but put it low on your priorities Also, be careful when using parse.y, method lookups and refinements Also, don’t backport fixes when no one wants them So to summarize it all in one phrase, please just be practical I think I’m pretty fundamental and strictly follow things like keeping the trunk at its best even if it means adding incompatibilities to ensure we work in the best way possible, but to become a good stable branch maintainer, you need to be a bit more relaxed I guess you could say or I guess cautious By thinking practically, you don’t want to just leave bugs as they are and if there are people at a disadvantage from a bug, you should do your best to fix it So for the people who create new functions from the trunk like Sasada-san yesterday who shared some of the new functions, I think that deep down they have the most ambition to make Ruby the best it can be Meanwhile, the stable branch managers are working differently and don’t need to think about making the best stable branch by maintaining it too much The kind of motivation you need to have is related to giving stability to users, apologizing for any bugs that occur and offering new packages That’s the work we do so we work hard to fix the issues that our actual users are facing We then need to have a pretty calm and collected reaction to users If something happens where a person has an issue with an application, or if they ask for a fix to one of their problems, it will change how things work and something might stop working For example, if an application with a larger user base suddenly stops working, it’s up to the stable branch maintainer to provide for the larger user base and we need to place a priority in these situations We then need to apologize and explain that the bugs in someone’s project may be a demerit to them but if we fix it, it will cause demerits for an even bigger user base and we cannot do that We need to sometimes say things like this So, we need to think of what’s best for the biggest amount of users and work like that as stable branch maintainers That’s my lesson to you after my 6 years of working as a stable branch maintainer That’s the end of my keynote. Thank you for listening [applause]

Build effective OEM-level apps on Android Things (Google I/O '18)

[MUSIC PLAYING] DAVE SMITH: Well, good afternoon, everybody Oh, come on I got nothing? Good afternoon, everybody! [APPLAUSE] There we go There we go Well, thank you so much for spending your time with me today My name is Dave Smith I’m a Developer Advocate here at Google working on the Android Things platform And I’m here today to talk to you a little bit about building apps for the Android Things platform and how you can be more effective in the apps that you build using the Android SDK So whether you’re new to Android or whether you’ve been building Android apps since the beginning, targeting Android Things devices– it has some subtle differences from what you may or may not be used to in working with Android Understanding these differences is what will ensure that you can build better apps on the platform But before we jump into too much of that, let me just do a quick overview of what Android Things is, maybe for the uninitiated So Android Things is a fully-managed platform for building connected devices at scale It’s a variant of the Android platform that is optimized for use in embedded devices It enables you to build apps for embedded in IoT using the same Android SDK and Google Play services that you use to build for [INAUDIBLE] mobile You can develop apps using the same tools, such as Android Studio, to deploy and debug your apps to devices as well It includes the Android Things Developer Console This is a place where you can securely manage your software stability and security updates for your devices You simply upload your apps, choose the OS version that you want to run on your device, and then deploy those updates to those devices over the air Security updates are even deployed automatically to those devices for you Android Things also supports powerful hardware that’s suitable for edge computing and production, capable of driving artificial intelligence and machine learning out to the edge This hardware is packaged into system-on modules that make it easy for you to integrate into your final production designs So when you look at all these things together, the process is a little bit different than when you were building apps on a mobile device Building a typical app for Android devices means distributing a single app binary– through the Google Play Store, typically Apps have to work on multiple devices made by multiple OEMs targeting multiple versions of the Android operating system, typically requiring you to do various compatibility checks and other things like that to make sure that your app runs well across that entire breadth of the ecosystem With Android Things, you are the device OEM You control when the OS on your device gets upgraded, and the various apps that are bundled into that system image along with it And you do all of this through the Android Things Console instead of through the Google Play Store This can greatly simplify your code, because you don’t need to incorporate a lot of those same compatibility checks But there are some things to consider that are going to be a little bit different Let’s start with displays In Android Things, displays are optional They’re supported, and you can use the full Android UI toolkit to build applications that have a Graphical User Interface, whether it’s touch-enabled or not But we’ve removed a lot of the default system UI and disabled or reworked some of the APIs that assume that graphical displays are in place, because many IoT devices will not have these pieces, and we don’t want to place those requirements in there The best example of this in practice is App Permissions So in Android Things, permissions are not granted at runtime by the end user, because we can’t assume that there’s a graphical display to show things like this dialog And we can’t even really assume that user granting specific types of permissions is appropriate for an IoT device So instead, these permissions are actually granted by you, the developer, using the Android Things Console, OK? So as the owner of your device, you’re responsible for taking control of the apps that run on this device, and the permissions that those particular applications have, OK? Now, because of this, permissions may not be granted by end users So that means you don’t necessarily have to check whether or not those permissions were grant– or you don’t have to request for those permissions to be granted at runtime But since they are still granted dynamically, the best practice is still for your code to verify that you have that permission, OK? Because that permission could have been revoked by one of the console users, and you don’t want your application code to behave improperly in those cases So you’ll still want to have checks like this one in your code when you are accessing dangerous permissions that could be granted or revoked

by the console, but you won’t have to include the code that requests those permissions upfront from the end user Not doing this will result in the same security exception that you would otherwise see by trying to access those protected permissions if, in fact, that permission is disabled Additionally, in Android Things 1.0, permissions are no longer granted automatically on reboot This is something that we did in some of the earlier previews and is no longer the case So that means that as a developer, you can’t simply just reboot your device to try and get all those permissions brought into your app automatically You have to actually use the tooling to make that happen So during development, what you’re going to want to do is provide the -g flag when installing the applications on your device And this will grant all the permissions requested by your app by default Android Studio actually does this for you automatically So whenever you click Build and Run out of the IDE, this process is taken care of for you But if you want to do this from the command line, you’re going to have to add that flag yourself Another option is to use the [? pm ?] [? (grant) ?] command to individually grant or revoke permissions inside of your application You can do this during development, or maybe just to test what the individual behavior is of a certain permission if you deny that inside of your application If you prefer to use the Gradle command line, or perhaps you’re running automated tests or other things where the IDE is not involved, you can actually add this to your build.gradle file using an adbOptions block to apply that same -g flag any time your application is installed Speaking of UI, we should probably talk a little bit about activities Most developers think that activities are essentially screens So if we remove displays, why do we need to keep them around? And it turns out that activities are a little bit more than that An activity represents a component of user focus in Android For devices with graphical displays, that does mean that it will render the contents of the view onto the window But even for devices without displays, activities also handle all of the user input events, whether that’s coming from a touch screen input– or maybe it’s a game controller or a keyboard– or any other external input device that you may have connected All of those events are going to be delivered to the foreground activity So even without a graphical display, activities are still a very important portion of Android user interface, even though the user interface might not actually include the Graphical UI It’s important to note, also, when we’re talking about activities that activities are still vulnerable to configuration changes the same way that they are on Android So as an Android developer, you’re probably used to, at least at some point, having to deal with an orientation change of a device and having that destroy your activity and recreate a new instance of it That’s effectively a very common configuration change on Android mobile devices While on Android Things, that specific instance probably is not very common– if it would happen at all– there are still a number of other configuration changes that might still happen on Android Things devices Things like changing the default locale or connecting or disconnecting a keyboard– a physical keyboard– from the device All of these events have the same net effect in that that activity will be destroyed and recreated if it happens to be in the foreground So generally speaking, if you’re working with activities on Android Things, the same rules apply to activities in terms of the logic that you put into those components They’re effectively just as fragile in terms of their lifecycle So you’re only going to want to have view-based logic or user interface-based logic inside of these activities Try not to put too much additional state into these components You’re going to want to push that out into other parts of your application Android Things even uses activities to launch your primary application as part of the boot process We do this using the HOME intent, which is the same intent that’s used to trigger the App Launcher on an Android mobile device This intent starts your app automatically on boot– and specifically the activity inside of that application– started automatically on boot And in addition to that, if that application crashes or terminates for any reason, Android is going to restart that application automatically So this becomes the main entry point into your application that is automatically managed by the Android Things platform So we don’t want to forget about activities just yet Couple other things about Android Things devices Android Things devices are also relatively memory-constrained when you compare them to an Android phone

A typical Android Things device may have 512 megabytes of RAM or so Compare that with the multiple gigabytes of RAM that you would have on an Android phone– like, say, a Pixel or a Pixel 2 What this translates to for you, the developer is that there’s actually a much lower per-process heap size for your individual application So if you’re not familiar with this idea, Android sets a fixed heap level on every application running on that device, and it’s significantly lower than the total available memory on that device And since the Android Things devices are relatively memory-constrained, that per-process limit is significantly lower than it would be on an Android phone Because of that, if you’re porting code from an Android mobile device over to Android Things, you just have to realize that if you’re using the same amount of memory in your app, there’s going to be a lot less free memory in that same process available to you, OK? So you have to keep that in mind And you also want to realize that this can also translate into a significantly larger amount of garbage collection events happening as you allocate new objects, OK? So you want to keep a close eye on object allocations, how often you’re doing object allocations Because you may run into that ceiling much more quickly than you otherwise would on an Android device, or you might see the garbage collector kicking in quite a bit more The Memory Profiler in Android Studio is a really great resource to help you keep an eye on what’s going on inside your memory It will allow you to track those allocations over time, as well as see, overlaid into it, the individual garbage collection events So you can get a really good idea of whether or not your application is allocating too much memory and causing trouble Some of the things that you can do to help understand your device a little bit better is use some of the ActivityManager methods to do some inspection on the memory capabilities of your particular device So for example, you can use the MemoryClass attribute on ActivityManager This will give you the exact heap size that’s available to your application The value that is returned is the value in megabytes That is how much memory you have The largeMemoryClass attribute is what your application would have if you added the large heap attribute to your manifest I would caution you against doing this on Android Things Generally speaking, because Android Things devices are memory-constrained, the MemoryClass and the largeMemoryClass of these devices are generally configured to be the same value So adding this attribute to your manifest is essentially not going to do anything, OK? You also want to inspect the low memory threshold of this device to get a sense for what that actually looks like When the available memory on the device falls below that memory threshold, the device is in a state that we call memory pressure And we’re going to talk a little bit more about what that means and why it’s important in a little bit, but just keep it in mind for now So I want you to notice something else about this diagram that I had up before Because of this per-process heap limit that’s a fixed value for a single application, if you try to put all of your application code into a single process or a single APK, you’re going to be severely limited in your ability to fully utilize the memory that is available on this device, OK? Now, keep in mind, with Android Things, the only apps on the device are your apps So you should be able to take full advantage of those memory resources as much as you possibly can The way to do that is to split your application into multiple processes, OK? Because that limit essentially will apply to each one of those processes individually So if you can federate the design of your application out into multiple components that are actually running in separate APKs, you’re going to have a much better ability to fully utilize the memory available on whatever device that you’re running To make the most effective use of our device, we’re going to break this app up into multiple APKs, with the primary activity running in the foreground and additional apps running in the background with support services running inside The additional benefit of running this architecture is that it actually insulates these various components from one another So in this scenario, if a crash happens in one of these components, it’s localized just to that element And it won’t bring down your entire application and have you have to restart all of that from the beginning So you can manage those individual issues just within that component and leave the rest of the applications or components running on your device to be unaffected It also means that you can launch or relaunch these components individually as needed by your application So if you don’t need to load everything at once at boot,

you can launch various services and components just as you need them Now, it turns out the decision to put some of your components into background apps has consequences as well Android treats foreground and background processes a little bit differently, and we need to be aware of what’s going on under the hood here Android marks application processes by priority based on how closely they are related to the foreground application And this is very important because of a system process known as the low memory killer The low memory killer is a process that is constantly prowling in the background, looking for new processes to devour Its job is to ensure that the free memory on the system is available to the foreground app at any given time So if the foreground app needs new memory and the device happens to be in a system of memory pressure, low memory killer is going to go hunting around for processes that it can terminate to allocate that memory back to the foreground, OK? On an Android device– like a typical user-driven Android device– this can be somewhat of a nuisance to developers, because their app may get terminated from the background But at some point, the user’s going to relaunch it later, and everything will be fine On Android Things, the low memory killer could mean that you have critical device functionality that is being terminated out from underneath you, and you didn’t even know it Perhaps there’s a device driver running in that service and Android killed that because it thought it was low enough priority in the background, OK? So something to keep in mind as you’re moving through this In addition, Android Oreo introduced execution limits for background apps So applications can no longer be started into a background state They must either be launched from the foreground app or bound to it in some way So because of these two things, there’s a number of different common ways that you may or may not have used in the past to launch components into the background, OK? And we’re going to walk through those a little bit So the first that you might be familiar with is using the BOOT_COMPLETED broadcast to listen for a final boot message coming from the Android framework saying that the system is up and running, you can launch other apps if you would like Do not use this on Android Things The primary reason is because of those background execution limits, your background services actually can’t be properly started into that state In a lot of cases, it won’t even work, OK? And in addition to that, this background broadcast– this BOOT_COMPLETED broadcast– is very unpredictable in terms of its timing In a lot of cases, this BOOT_COMPLETED broadcast actually triggers much, much later than when the home intent and the home activity are fully up and running in the foreground, OK? So if you’re trying to synchronize between these two things, it’s not a very good mechanism to rely on In addition, I would recommend you don’t use startService For a similar reason, startService is limited by those same background execution limits unless you are starting a service in foreground mode Now, foreground services require you, as a developer, to actually build in a notification that would typically display to the user when that service is running Well, we took away the system UI where that notification would display, so you end up doing a bunch of work for displaying the service that doesn’t actually gain you anything And in addition to that, there are some difficulties with started services when it comes to managing their lifecycle A started service– if that crashes for some reason, you don’t have a direct connection to understand that that occurred and that you need to restart that service so that you can manage that process a little bit better Now, Android does have this thing that services can return this START_STICKY attribute, and that’s a way for applications to tell Android that this service is important, and if it crashes or terminates for some reason, I need it to be restarted However, Android usually only does this about once or twice for a given service before they just sort of give up and realize that at some point, the user will launch this app again Maybe this will start again and everything will be fine, OK? That type of thinking doesn’t go well for those background services that have critical functionality in them– like a device driver, OK? So we recommend you use bindService instead By using bound services, this gives the background processes an active connection to that foreground app, OK? So you have a good indication of when that service is running and when that service has died for some reason so that you can manage that, relaunch it if you need to, do any of those things This also has the added benefit of a built-in communication channel between the applications that are bound So you can do some more direct communication with that service without having to use intents or other mechanisms

like that to pass data back and forth So looking at this diagram again, one of the other important reasons to use bound services is that pure background applications– like those that would have been started by BOOT_COMPLETED or just startService on its own– are very low priority on the scale, OK? Whereas bound service applications are almost as high priority as the foreground app They are literally the highest priority you can get without being the foreground app So this ensures that those background processes stay safe from something like low memory killer if the device ever does get into a memory pressure situation, OK? So you get better management of those services, and you get better protection from a memory management perspective All right, let’s take a look at what this would actually look like in code So I have just a basic example of a service here that has a device driver inside of it In this case, this is just a device driver to take some button inputs and convert them into key events like they were coming off of a keyboard All of this logic can be fully encapsulated into this external service and can run on its own So we can build this service component And then from the foreground app, we can construct an intent to that service component, and we can bind to it Notice that I’m doing this from the Application class and not from the primary activity Remember our discussion from activities before and the lifecycle associated with those If this is a service that needs to be as persistent as possible, we want to bind to it from a component that is expected to be around just as long, OK? So that you don’t end up with lifecycle issues where your activity gets destroyed, recreated, and you’re rebinding to that service unnecessarily Doesn’t necessarily cause a major problem, but it’s not the best idea In addition, with bound services, this also means that you get this feedback mechanism coming through the service connection callback So when you bind to a service, you provide this callback as a service connection And when the service is up and running, you will be notified through the onServiceConnected method So you know exactly when this is now something you can interact with or communicate with if you need to In addition, onServiceDisconnected tells us anytime that service stops unexpectedly– maybe because it has crashed or something else has occurred And at that point, we probably need to take a look at restarting this, especially if it’s running some critical functionality on our device So we now have the information we need to properly manage this functionality from within our applications, which we wouldn’t get with started services or other of these more independent mechanisms So here’s a final picture of that architecture again Android is going to manage for us automatically that foreground app using the HOME intent It will launch it automatically on boot, and it will relaunch it if that application crashes for any reason And then our application code can then manage these additional background support services through the bound service mechanism All right, the last thing that I want to share with you today are just a couple of quick tips on doing this type of development from within Android Studio, or within the development tools So you can manage multiple APKs from within a single Android Studio project by adding each additional package as a new module You can add multiple modules to the same project, and all of those modules can represent an APK or an individual app process This allows you to manage all of your code in one place, even though they’re technically separate apps Now, by default, Android Studio does not allow you to deploy an app module that does not contain a launcher activity, or an activity that has that main launcher intent filter on it This doesn’t work so well for background service apps that don’t have any activities at all in them in some cases But you can modify this behavior For a background services app, you can edit the run configuration and simply adjust the launch options for that particular module, set that target to Nothing instead of Default Activity This will enable Android Studio to deploy that service-only app to your device, and it won’t complain You can also do this from the command line And one of the advantages of doing it this way is that Android Studio does require that you deploy only one module at a time– by selecting that module from the run configuration list in the UI So if you have an application that’s constructed of four or five different modules all as individual APKs, it can be a bit cumbersome if you have to try and deploy them all individually all the time One of the advantages of using the Gradle command line is that by default, when you run a command like installDebug with no other modifiers, it builds and installs

every module in that project So with one command, you can deploy everything on the latest version to that device And you can still do individual modules, if you would prefer to do that, by just adding the module name to the command as well Once you’ve got the modules on the device, the other thing you can do directly from the command line that isn’t really supported in Android Studio today is the ability to start those individual components, whether their activities or services So using the am shell commands, you can trigger those services manually if you want to test out some of that behavior independently from the rest of the system, even though they may be managed by the foreground app in production All right, so let’s quickly review some of the tips that we’ve gone through here today Don’t assume a graphical UI Design for your memory constraints on these devices Break your app up into modules Bind your background services to the foreground app Don’t use started services And use the Gradle command line if you want to have more control over deploying your modules to the device Now, if you’re just as excited about Android Things as we are, I want to remind everyone that we’re doing a scavenger hunt here at Google I/O. If you visit the link here or use the Google I/O app, you can follow the instructions to find various items around the conference And once you’ve completed those challenges, you can then receive a free Android Things developer kit to take home To learn more about Android Things, visit the developer site and make sure to visit the Codelabs, office hours, and other demos that we have here in the Sandbox Also be sure to visit Android Things with Google.com to find featured community projects and additional sample code You’ll also find a lot of the sample code available for some of the demos that we have here at the conference on androidthings.withgoogle.com as well So thank you, everyone, for your time today, and I’m really excited to see the apps that you build with Android Things [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING]