Sermons.love

Christine Caine - Strengthen Your Core



Hey, everybody, I am so fired up, I am so glad that you joined us this week, and I know that God has got a great word for you. And how many people here love going to the gym? Uh, yes, okay, like three people. You're like, is this a fitness show? You know, in 2006, I had my second little baby girl, sophia. And it was amazing, I had her on January the 10th, and I don't know if anybody has had a c-section, but c-sections are pretty intense, and so I had her, and I was feeling pretty good, but I was under a little bit of stress. Because what was happening was we had our women's conference in March that year in Australia, and I was doing the closing night of our women's conference. Now, this was in the biggest indoor arena in Sydney, Australia. It's a 17000 seat arena, and I started to sweat a little bit because I had just popped out my kid, I wish it was that easy.

Anyone that's had a baby goes you don't just pop out a kid, I know. I'm thinkin', and I was 40, so when you pop out a kid at 40, you deserve a gold medal, that's what I'm saying, that's what needs to happen. But I just had my baby, and then I started to think, I've got less than two months until I'm doing the closing night of the conference. And there's going to be like 17000 sets of eyes on me, and I don't want people to be thinking, I wonder if Christine's had the baby? I wonder if, like, you know, Christine, have you had the baby yet? And so I thought, I wanna look like I've had the baby, I wanna get my pre-pregnancy body back. And you might be thinking, that's very carnal, and I understand that.

So Christine, here you are, and you're bringing the word of the Lord at the closing night of the conference, and all you're thinking about is whether people are gonna think you've had the baby or not. And I know it may be carnal, and you think, well, Christine, God looks at the heart. And I know that's what scripture teaches us, that God looks at the heart, but he's the only one. Only God looks at the heart. Everybody else is looking at your body, is looking at your shoes. Some of you, now, you've tuned in TV, and the thing that's made you stop is that you really like the sleeves on this jacket. You're like, man, that's a cool jacket. That's why you stopped and watched it. And so we go through the motions, and I know we all try to be spiritual, but I was conscious of it, so I thought, you know what, I've got to get myself a trainer. Because I only had less than eight weeks, at 40 years old, to get my pre-pregnancy body back, in my own mind, this is what I was thinking.

So I thought, I worked it all out. I thought, okay, eight weeks. I know I've just had a C-section, so maybe I could sort of like, you know, scrape my body for the first couple of weeks, and then I can get to a nice little slow walk, and then I can get to a little jog, and then I can have a full-on run, and if I don't eat anything between now and those eight weeks, and I can get back into my, and so I got my trainer. And I thought, this is awesome, I'm gonna tell my trainer my plan on how I'm going to get here. So I started to talk to my trainer about what I was gonna do, and you know, I was really excited about my program of how I was going drop all this weight and look awesome.

And when I finished telling her, she laughed at me. And her name was Lisa, and she like absolutely just laughed in my face. And I said, what's so funny about that? She said Christine, you've just had a C-section. She goes do you know what they've done to you? And I'm like, ignorance is bliss, no, I've got no idea, I just know it didn't hurt, and I had an epidural, thank you, Jesus, legal drugs, awesome. I'd suggest to anyone that's having a baby, book in your epidural, it's the fourth part of the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and god the epidural. It's awesome, okay, and so, it felt awesome. I was so happy, I didn't feel anything. But they said, Christine. Lisa's going to me do you know what they cut? And then, she told me. I was better when I didn't know. I nearly passed out. I didn't faint from an epidural, like a needle like this, I nearly fainted when she was telling me what they cut in my, they cut a lot of muscles. They cut a lot, I mean, it is intense.

And so, anyway, and so she was saying that, she goes, so no, Christine, you will not be running. You won't be lifting anything. You won't be doing anything like that for several, several months. And then with that, she went over and she pulled out, this kind of like, this yoga mat. And she laid it down on the floor like this, and she said Christine, I want you to lay down. To which, at that point, I got down, and I laid down. And she said I want you to lay there. And she goes this is what you're going to do. I want you to focus in on your core. And I'm like lying there, like this. And I was tryin' to think, what's a core? Okay, I thought, there is an apple, an apple has got a core, a core don't work out anything. And she goes Christine, they have cut through muscle after muscle after muscle. And she said right now, your core is so weak. And she said if you try to run prematurely, if you try to lift anything prematurely, if you try to do any strenuous exercise, she goes, whether it happens now, whether it happens three months from now, or whether it happens three years from now, at some point, your body is going to collapse. Because your core is so weak.

If you put a strain on it without strengthening it first, and there is a disparity between your inner core and the demands you're putting on your body externally, at some point, your body is gonna collapse. So, Christine, for the next several weeks, what we are gonna do is lie on the mat. And she goes now, I want you to feel your pelvic floors. I want you to feel, I'm thinkin' someone should have told me that before I had a baby. I didn't even know I had a pelvic floor. And so I'm lying here, and she goes and I want you just to connect with your core. Eh, look at this personality type. Which part of me looks like it's going to lie on a yoga mat for any extended period of time? And I was lying there for quite, like, you know, 30 seconds, and I said, Lisa, I've been lying here for long enough. And I said I need to do something. I can't do it. She goes no, no, you've gotta strengthen your core.

And I said what's the core, what's the big deal about my core? She goes Christine, it is all the stuff that causes you to be able to walk that causes you to be able to run, that causes you to be able to lift things. It's the thing that holds your spine upright. It's the thing that enables you to move. It's your core, it's the part of you that you're supposed to strengthen in the gym that very few people actually wanna work on. And I've got a couple of my friends here that are all gonna come up here. There's three of them, and I'm gonna show you different things that you can do, and they're so, so skilled, so come up here Emma, Emily, I think Michelle's coming up, and you know they're awesome. Come up girls.

Now things that you do is that you do push ups. One is gonna do push ups, someone else please plank yourself, look they all wanna go for planks, they don't wanna do push ups. Someone else is gonna do sit ups. So you could just lie here, you could hold your plank and you can just quietly do some push ups there. That's it, beautiful, look at this. Okay so we've got this going on and you're going what is she doing? She's strengthening her core, you need a little better posture, good girl. Okay and Janine. And we've got sit ups and it's work and some of you are watching this going well I have just tuned in to a fitness show. And we have got push ups and I'm letting her go and she's strengthening, strengthening and you know what, they're begging me to stop them now. Okay girls, you can stop now. Can we give em a hand, they've been so wonderful.

So what they have actually done, is those exercises are the ones that we generally don't wanna do. We prefer to go for a run, we prefer to do all the stuff where you go mad. I just dropped all my weight, I get this thing over and done with because when I'm strengthening my core and I'm doing my ab work nobody sees it because it's under my shirt. We like the stuff that you can see, we like the instant results. I mean we don't really wanna do push ups because who does, wants to do pull ups or planks or push ups? But you don't realize you even need your core until something happens when your body collapses and you go oh wow, a core is important. And what we love to do is we love to work on ourselves from the outside in but God actually likes to work on us from the inside out. You see in the same way that we have a physical core, we have a spiritual core and I'm gonna show you from scripture what that spiritual core is.

So for this series we're gonna go to the book of Matthew, chapter 22. I love the word of God and I love the truth of the word of God. The Bible says in Matthew, 22, verse 34. But when the pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law? And he said to him: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and all the prophets. Just go wrap your head around that. A lawyer came to test Jesus. People will always try to test Jesus. You know it really isn't a smart thing to do, to try to go toe to toe with God, he normally tends to win, that's why being God is a perk of being God.

And so they came to try to trick him, to try to trap him. And so the lawyer asked him a question. He said what is the greatest commandment? And Jesus took, see in the Old Testament there were 613 Old Testament mosaic laws, aren't you glad that we have a new covenant, that we have better promises? 613, I can't even remember my name most days let alone 613 laws, you've normally broken 10 of them before you even wake up if that was the case. 613 Old Testament mosaic laws. And Jesus goes I am going to wrap these up into two. In fact the whole law of the prophets is dependent on these. All those 613? They all hinge, here is the anchor of these laws and they are simply this: that you are to love the Lord your God with what? All your heart, all your soul, all your mind.

Sound like a spiritual core? Heart, soul, mind. And then he says the second commandment is just like the first. That's very important that we note that because I think we have overlooked that. We called this the great commandment, of course it is the priMary commandment in all of scripture. Everything is summed up in this. Love God, love people. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength and love your neighbor, how? As you love yourself. And Jesus said this is how we're gonna sum up all of the law and you know what? It is astounding to me, the 613 Old Testament mosaic laws, 365 of them were one for every day of the week. We're like thou shalt not, thou shalt not, thou shalt not.

I mean thank God that we have a new covenant, thank God that we are under grace and not under the law cause we would spend our whole time, our entire life, don't do this, don't do this, don't do this and if you've come from any kind of legalistic background you know what that is like, that people are like don't say this, don't wear that, don't, and some of you, someone watching this, that's what you thought Christianity was. You thought it was a whole lot of rules of don't do this, don't wear make up, don't wear this, don't do this, you shouldn't have to have twos, you shouldn't drink, you shouldn't smoke, you shouldn't, shouldn't, shouldn't, shouldn't.

Listen! It's not about what you can't do, it's about who you know and his name is Jesus and he is full of love and he is full of grace and he is full of mercy and he is full of truth. We have been released from the law but in this context what happens was they had 365 negative ones and 248 positive laws and there was one supposedly for every part of the human body so it was just exhausting being a human being. It was just exhausting being alive but he says which one, which one is the most important? So when he said which is the first and foremost, that is in terms of what law is the most important? What is the supreme commandment? And basically when Jesus speaks to him he repeats, and here's a good little bit of Bible knowledge for us, he repeats what is the central section of what is called the Shema, the Hebrew word for hear, from Deuteronomy 6:4. So it didn't just come out of nowhere, it was there in the Old Testament.

In Deuteronomy 6:4 here, o Israel. The Lord thy God is one Lord and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soul and all thy might. And faithful Jews, at least twice a day, would recite this, what they call the Shema. They would go and they would recite this and Jesus was referring to this and in addition they they would put it in little boxes, I mean this was something that we would remember. It is the supreme commandment. Love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind. This is why I'm setting this as the foundation of our spiritual core, because this is Old Testament and New Testament and this is where I think we can see our spiritual core muscles from. What is the inner core of our spiritual life that would help determine how the trajectory of our external life. A lot of us have been struggling with our Christianity because we've tried to live life from the outside in and God says no. It starts from the inside, out. That we are to love him with all our heart, all our mind and they would wear this on either their head, and it's called a phylactery, and orthodox Jews still wear them.

Nick and I and our daughters, we just took our daughter to Israel for her 16 birthday, it was so awesome walking through Jerusalem and the old city and just seeing orthodox Jews still wearing, they would hang off their heads, the phylactery, and they would, if it was attached to a door post it was called a Mezuzah and so it's, most Jewish homes still to this day put this up. And when those that practice Judaism, they kiss their fingers and they touch that when they go in. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind. I love some of those traditions because it just reminds you all the time: what is the supreme thing I should be doing? Love God. And before I walk into this house, love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul and mind. It's hanging off my hat. I'm gonna love God with all my heart. It is with the same measure of love that we have for ourselves.

So when we are hungry, we eat. When we are thirsty, we drink. When we don't feel safe, we want protection. When we wanna sleep, we wanna be in a home. So he says hey, love your neighbor as you love yourself. The very things you want for yourself, the things you want for your own children, you want them for your neighbor as well. So then in the same way you want food, everyone should have access to food. In the same way you want water, everyone is a human being created in my image and they should have access to water. Everyone should have access to safety. Everyone should have housing. Everyone should have access to protection. So while we are living here on this earth, we are not separate to our neighbors. You cannot tell me you love God if you don't love people. You cannot tell me you love God if you are not ready to serve people. Christ followers need to be the greatest lovers of people on the earth. Jesus says hey, at your core, I want you to understand that there's a commandment, it's at your core, I need you to love God and love people. Both of those things are the same.

We've got so may issues on the earth today. Racism and violence and immigration issues and we have got so many challenges with refugees and people around the world and you know what? As Christ's followers we're to love all people. We're to accept all people. We're to be kind to all people. We are to want food and clothing and shelter for all people. God hasn't called us to come away from people but to serve people, to love people, to provide people and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, that's what God has called us to do. As Christ followers that's what we're called to do on the earth. So he says you know what? Whatever you want for yourself, that's what you should want for your neighbor. And so that means we care for them with the same intensity and the same concern, the same commitment and the same effort with the same actions that we do for ourselves. And he says guess what? Everything else in the Old Testament, all the laws of the prophet, everything from this section of the book, back.

So here we have the New Testament, all of this section, those 613 laws, that's where they're summed up. They're tied up in these two things. Love God and love people. You know sometimes you wander what is Christianity? A lot people make Christianity really complex. It is not that complicated. God says this whole book, I'm telling you, let me sum it up for you. Love God, love people. This is not complex. By this will all men know that we are his disciples. How? By the love that we have one for another. We do not need to complicate this Christian deal. God loves people. Our job is to love people. Our job is not to judge people. Our job is not to criticize people. Our job is not to point a finger at people. Our job is not to exclude people. Our job is to love people with the love and the grace and the mercy of Jesus Christ. Our job is to love people. Love people. And so at the end of the day because all of the other commandments are only an extension of these two and the details of how to fulfill these two.

Let me tell you this. Even the 10 commandments are an expression of these two. If you love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind then guess what? You will not then have any other God before him. You won't make any other idols. You won't worship anything else and you won't take the Lord's name in vain. All those things are contrary to loving him. You see if you love God with all your heart, soul and mind you'll exalt him, you'll praise him, he will be your first. You will fulfill all of the commandments by just doing that. By loving God. If you love your neighbor as yourself well, you know what, this is what you won't do.

We're just looking at the 10 commandments. You won't kill your neighbor if you love them. You won't steal from them if you love them. You won't commit adultery with them if you love them. You won't bare false witness against them if you love them. You will not covet what they have if you love them. You will even honor your parents if you love your neighbor as you love yourself. A true love for God comes out in loving people. It is so amazing how our Christian life would just get a whole lot easier if we loved people from the inside out, if we loved God from the inside out. If we stopped trying to impress God and instead we just simply loved God. God knows the real us anyway.

So many of us are trying to fake it until we make it and Jesus says hey just give me your heart. It might be a messed up heart but just give me what is really you and we can work with that and from the inside out we'll bring change and we'll bring transformation and so he says I want you to love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind. If you do that, everything else will fall into place. If you do it will all your heart, all your soul. Don't hold back any of your heart, don't hold back any of your soul, don't hold back any of your mind.

Now here is the deal, and this is what we're gonna be looking at throughout this series, so you're not gonna miss one day of this series, because the deal is most of us do love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, it's just that our heart is broken, our soul is wounded and our mind is tormented. So we end up loving God with all of our broken heart, all of our wounded soul and all of our tormented mind. So when we love God with a broken heart, a wounded soul, a tormented mind and that's how we lift him up, then we see ourselves through that lens reflected back to us.

So then we end up loving our neighbor as we love ourselves, the issue is we just don't like ourselves. And if we don't like ourselves then we're not gonna love and serve our neighbor from a healthy place. You can't make yourself love people more, you can't make yourself be kind to people, you can let God change you and then out of you, rivers of living water will flow that will bring change and transformation to the world around you, in Jesus' name.

2 Part
Hey everybody. I am so fired up to be here today. I'm so glad that you've joined us today. And I know that God is gonna speak to you in a powerful way. I'm loving this series. We're talking about strengthening your spiritual core. Just like we have a core in the natural. There's exercises you don't want to do. We're doing our sit-ups, we're doing our push-ups, we're doing our planking. We gotta sometimes I gotta stand against the wall like this for like 60 seconds, but I don't have to do that right now. But what we do is we strengthen our muscles from the inside out. That helps us to hold our head up taller, to walk straighter, to be stronger. And you don't know you need your strength until the moment that you need your strength. You often don't know that you don't have any strength until you need strength and go, whoa, what is it? And it's your core that is weak.

Well, it's exactly the same in the spirit. In the spiritual realm, we have a spiritual core and we looked at the Bible in the book of Matthew, chapter 22 verse 24. The Bible says, but when the pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. That's what they did to Jesus frequently, asked him questions to test him. Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And he said to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.

I love that. That's where Jesus just gave us the cliff notes of the whole Bible right there. He said, it all comes down to this. You need to love God with everything that you are, everything that you have. All your heart, all your soul, all your mind. Every fiber of your being is what you're to love God with. And also, by the way, love your neighbor as you love yourself. Now what we have found is that we often do love our neighbor as we love ourselves. It's just we don't like ourselves. And often when you don't like yourself, that's gonna be reflected on the way you love other people. And so we love God often with a very broken heart, with a very very wounded soul and with a very very tormented mind.

And so if you are living with your spiritual core muscles broken and fractured and fragmented, then it's highly likely that you're viewing life through the lens of that brokenness. You're viewing other people through the lens of that brokenness. You're viewing your relationships, whether it's your marriage relationship, your workplace relationships, your relationships in whatever sphere of influence you have. Often we really reflect our own brokenness on other people and if our heart's broken, you see, if you've had a breakup or if someone has just broken your heart, it really does filter the way you see everything and it filters the way you approach life. And if your soul is wounded and damaged, sometimes we can walk away, we can fake it on the outside but if someone presses that button, it comes out. It really really does come out.

And often our minds, man, if people could just get in our heads, we are so grateful that people cannot see what's going on in our head 'cause we're like, well, there's a lot of people talking in here at any one time. And oftentimes it's just tormenting. Someone watching this, you haven't slept for three weeks because you have just been so tormented and you have not known any peace and you just keep waking up at two o'clock every single morning and you just keep going round and round and round. I'm believing in the name of Jesus that the grace of God's gonna touch you right where you are. That the power of God's gonna touch you. You're gonna know the peace of God and that from this night forth you are gonna sleep and not wake up again. You're gonna sleep all the way through knowing the healing peace of the Lord Jesus Christ in your life. It is amazing how many of us are so broken and fractured because of what's going on.

So what are we gonna do? It's basically the next couple of weeks, we're gonna get on this program and we're gonna do some spiritual core muscle strengthening. So in the spirit realm, you're about to plank. In the spirit realm, you're about to do some push-ups. You're about to do some sit-ups and we're gonna strengthen that core because the stronger we are on the inside, the more effective we're going to be on the outside. And it's so crucial. So he says, love the Lord your God with all your heart. I'm not surprised that God starts with our heart. And the issue is if the Hebrews used to refer to it as the core of someone's being, the hub, the wheel of our existence is our heart because the truth is, if we're to love God with all of our heart, it means our whole life revolves around God. That's who we love.

I'm married to Nick. Nick has my heart so my life revolves around my family, my husband, my daughters and decisions I make come in light of that. Well if Jesus is our first love, that means the decisions that we make are with him at the center of everything. See, some of us, we just visit Jesus on a Sunday and he's like, what about Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday? And we just think, well, Jesus just has my spiritual life. He says, I don't want your spiritual life. I want all of your life. I want all of your heart. Because when he has our heart, he's got our life. A lot of us, we try to kinda just modify our behavior so we can do good things to follow Jesus. But he says, if I have your heart, out of your heart is gonna flow a great behavior and a life. Do you know when your heart's in something, it is amazing what you will do.

So my daughter, she's 16 and getting her out of bed in the morning, I mean, it's like trying to raise Lazarus. Every single day, every single day. And particularly if there is an exam at school. I'm like, seriously. I don't know what, she goes into this deeper sleep and we're like, okay, we're going to the tomb again today and Lazarus has to get up. But if my daughter has a shopping date with her girlfriends on a Saturday morning, I am not joking. The kid is up at like 6 A.M. With no alarm, getting ready, hair, makeup. Every item of clothing in the wardrobe is worn before we even know what we're gonna wear for the. And I'm like, I go in, I go, why don't you have this energy on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday? Oh mom, that's just school. I go, it is still the same body. But she's got no interest in going to school. She's got a lot of interest in going shopping with her girlfriends. She's my little social butterfly. She is just in the middle of everything.

But isn't it amazing when you want to do something, you'll get up at six o'clock in the morning. You will just be there. And she will do anything I ask if I ever want, okay, you're not going anywhere if all your room isn't tidy. It is amazing what I can get when she wants to go shopping with her friends. It all gets done. But you just see the same kid, the same whole situation but everything changes because suddenly their heart's in it. Suddenly their heart is in it so nothing's too hard. Cleaning my room? Yeah, mom, would you like me to go to the store for you, mom? Do you want me to pick up anything else? I'll even pick up the Doggie done. I'll do everything, mom, without you asking me because my heart's in my friends and I want to go.

See, when your heart's in something, it's the same as with Jesus. If your heart's in it and you opened your life around him, no one has to make you read your Bible. No one has to make you go to church. No one has to make you keep yourself morally pure. No one has to make you have a quiet time. No one has to make you because you want to, because your heart's in it. You're like my daughter that can suddenly get up and everyone's like, what is up with you? You're up having a quiet time? You're reading your Bible? What do you mean you're not gonna get drunk? What do you mean you're not gonna sleep around? And it's not that you're trying to be a goody little two shoes. It's just like, no, he's got my heart. He's got my heart and because he's got my heart, I wouldn't want to do anything that hurts him. Because he's got my heart, he knows what is best for me so I'm gonna stay faithful to my spouse.

I'm going to honor God in everything that I do. I know, it might not make sense and people might think I'm a little bit Cray-Cray but I'm gonna keep honoring God. Not because I'm a boring little Christian and I'm just a Christian nerd and I just wear beige and I have no personality and I never go out anywhere because I'm a little Christian. I'm just trying to be good until the rapture, hurry up, Jesus, because I really want to be bad but I'm trying to be good. And we try to turn our Christianity into this big behavior modification and it's just hard trying to be a good Christian when everyone else is having fun.

He says, love the Lord your God with all your heart. Proverbs 4:23 says that we are to keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow all of the issues of life. I wonder how your heart condition is today. Do you know all of the issues of life stem from the human heart? In every realm of life, that's what scripture says. It says God protect, garrison your heart because everything. A lot of you, you've got relational issues right now. Do you know what the problem is? It is not the toothpaste that your spouse is using or not using. It's the condition of our own heart. I wonder, some of us, how our, is the spiritual life flowing in our heart or did it get clogged somewhere? Have we become bitter? Have we become angry? Have we just become indifferent? Have we become bored? Have we allowed shame or guilt or condemnation to clog up and harden our arteries?

A friend of ours recently went and to a clinic and had a full body test and a full health assessment. And the doctors that night immediately admitted him into hospital and said, you're about to have, your arteries are clogged. If you didn't come in for a test, you could have died from a heart attack. You are headed for a heart attack. And they put a stint in his heart to allow the blood to flow through his heart and into the rest of his body in a right way. See, some of us, we don't realize we're on the edge of a spiritual heart attack. We don't realize that our spiritual arteries are about to be clogged up, that there is toxicity that is flowing through our heart. That's what bitterness, that's what unforgiveness, that's what shame and guilt and anger and lust and greed and envy and gossip and slander and got, that's what it does to your heart. It actually hardens your heart and it actually stops and thwarts the flow of the Holy Ghost going through you.

And so then out of you is not flowing rivers of living water. I wonder if I came to your house and asked your children what is flowing out of your mouth. You're all like nervously laughing. Okay, so, it's like, I can't believe this because you wonder when was the last time living water flowed out of your heart. Words of life, words of hope. Or are you just full of murmuring, grumbling and complaining? Or if I was to ask your spouse what you're like to live with? I mean, if I was to ask anyone in your family. If you're single, the, your flatmates, the people that are around you at work. If I went into your sphere of influence and I asked those people, is she fun to live with? What would they say to me? Is he fun to live with? I often ask my kids, am I fun to live with? I want to be fun to live with. I don't want to be the boring mother that they look on TV and go, well, man, I wish she'd leave. I'll tell you one thing my kids'll tell you that she's the real deal.

You know how Cray-Cray she is on TV? That's how Cray-Cray she is at home. She just really is what she is. I just love God and even if I'm deluded, I'm blissfully deluded. 30 years, they said to me, when I first started following Jesus. She'll calm down. She's just in a cult. She's just all excited. Just, she'll settle down. Well, 30 years later, I'm still waiting to settle down. I am more on fire, I am more pumped up, I am more going for Jesus. So if I'm deluded, it's a blissful delusion. But how's that happened? Because I've made a decision that I'm not gonna allow toxicity into my heart. 30 years running a global ministry, hundreds of staff in 13 countries around the world. Many many relationships over that time. Do you think I haven't had the chance to become bitter? Do you think I haven't had the opportunity to become offended? To exercise unforgiveness? To be jealous at times? To compare or to compete at times?

Of course. I'm tempted like everybody else with all of those things every single day. So I've gotta make a choice to bring my heart before Jesus, to bring my heart before the word of God and let it be a mirror to read me and say, you know what, Christine, let me tell you what's going on in your heart. You might be able to fool some of the people some of the time but you'll never fool God. You will never fool God any of the time. And so we come before him and say, I can't tell you probably for the last 18 months one of the very consistent prayers in my life has been when David, the Psalmist cried out to God, create in me a clean heart, o God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, o Lord. Take not thy Holy Spirit from me. I'm like, God, create in me a clean heart. Lord, this world is really toxic.

And if you're on social media for any amount of time, if you're in the public space for any amount of time and you are then anyone that puts their head up above the crowd, then let me tell you, you are gonna be attacked. You are gonna, everyone's gonna have an opinion about everything. And so you've gotta learn, okay, God, I need daily, I need you to create in me a clean heart. The Bible says that in the book of Ezekiel 36:26, it says, the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it? That's why when some people go, well, you know, my heart's right. I'm going, how do you know? The heart is deceitful above everything, who can know it? And God says, I'm gonna take out your heart of stone. I'm gonna put in a heart of flesh. I asked God for a supernatural divine heart exchange all of the time because you know what, I can't even trust my own heart.

There are so many times I think my heart's right. I think when I'm interacting with people, I go, well at least, and sometimes I think we hide behind that. Well, at least my heart's right. And God's like, well, you know what, it really isn't. It actually really isn't. I know you think it is but why don't you bring your heart before my word and let me read it to you. Let me tell you what's going on in your heart. Is there an issue from your past? Some unforgiveness? Is there some anger? Is there some bitterness? Is there some rejection? Have you built a wall around your heart? And you built that wall to protect yourself. Someone hurt you and you said, no one will ever do that again. I will never trust like that again. I will never love like that again.

And you have built a wall and that wall was meant to protect you and for a season, it was okay. But now that wall has become a prison and it's kept you in and it's kept God out of those places in your heart. And God says, would you give me access to that part of your heart? Would you allow me to work with you so that we can bring forgiveness to that situation? We can exercise grace in that situation. We can extend some mercy to that situation. Let's deal with that hardened part of your heart that's gotten toxic. And you try to cover it but every now and again, it's gonna come out. We can hear some of that toxicity come out. You might tweet that toxicity out. There's a sub-tweet message to somebody else who's not even really reading it. They've gone off Twitter five years ago but you're still sub-tweeting to them. And you'd be amazed how many people still have a grip on your heart if you're not gonna let God cleanse that heart all the time.

And I think it would help us all to consistently go, God, create in me a clean heart. I can't tell you how often I prayed that. Sometimes when I read reports and see some of the injustices that traffickers do to our girls in a21 and it can make me get so angry. And there is a righteous anger, don't get me wrong. There is a time to turn over those tables in the temple and say, this is unjust and I have no problem prosecuting those cases and seeing traffickers put in jail. We need to show them it is not okay to traffic human beings. But you gotta be careful that your heart doesn't get hardened. I've gotta be careful not to allow that anger and that root of bitterness to take root.

And the Bible says, it will defile you and many others. And some of us are defiling other people because of the unresolved issues in our own life. And we're doing that on social media. We're not just impacting ourselves but we're impacting others. Others of us with our gossip and our slander. It's because of undealt with issues in our own life. That root, it's taken root in our hearts. And that root of bitterness has defiled us and many others. And let's be a people of God that are not defiling the world around us. Let's allow God to do something deep on the inside of us to unclog our spiritual arteries. It is so important. Insecurity, fear, shame, jealousy, lust, greed, say, God, I need open heart surgery.

Someone, you've just tuned in and God wants to do spiritual open heart surgery on you. He is so gracious. He's so kind, but you've got to allow him into the depths of your heart and say, I don't want my arteries to be clogged. I don't want to be toxic to the people around me, whether it's to my parents or to my family or to my spouse or in my workplace, I don't want to be making people in my present pay for what people in my past did to me. I often say this. I come from a background of abuse. But you know what? If I didn't allow God to heal my heart, I would be making nick, my beautiful husband of 22 years, I would be making him pay for something he never did to me.

And some of you, people are paying for something that they never did to you. But because someone abused you in your past or maybe a father mistreated you and so now you know what? You are not respectful to an authority figure and you're trying to make them pay for something they never did. Somebody else did and you never allowed God to go deep and heal your heart. And the Bible says that he binds up the brokenhearted. How beautiful is that? It's not that our heart's unbroken. Our hearts are constantly broken, but are we willing to take our hearts to God, and say, okay, will you bind that up for me, God? Will you bind up my heart so that my heart can become strong again? And it can pump spiritual life just like your heart, a healthy heart pumps blood to every part of your body.

Well, our spiritual heart is what pumps the life of God into every circumstances. Some of us are trying to change our circumstances but we're not letting God change our heart. Unless you allow God to change your heart, your circumstances will not change. You might be able to fool some people for a little bit of the time, but eventually your heart is going to override that situation. So let God come. That is the greatest mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He transforms the human heart. I mean, this is it. You can't legislate the human heart. You cannot do anything else but allow Jesus to transform it. That's why ultimately the greatest cure for humanity is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Man, if our greatest need was for better education, God would've sent us an educator. If our greatest need was for more science, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need was for more money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need, if all of society's problems could be fixed through politics, God would have sent us a politician. But our greatest need was for salvation so God sent us a Savior to transform our heart. That's what the Gospel is all about. Jesus transforms the human heart. So would you take your heart to God? The Bible says in John 14:1, let not your heart be troubled. It's a choice.

Do you know we're living in chaotic times? We're living in turbulent times. So would you take your heart to God and say, God, I'm making a decision. My heart's not gonna be troubled and you know what, that's not easy to do. You've gotta be in the word and in the presence of God to not allow your heart to be troubled with the cares of this world. Psalm 61:2, David writes, when my heart is overwhelmed. Not if but when. So we all get to that place where we just feel overwhelmed by life. Then he says, lead me to the rock that is higher than i. You could take your heart to a rock that is higher than you. I love what he says. Cast your care on God, 1 Peter 5:7, for he cares for you. Did you know God cares for you?

Someone needs to know that today. Your God cares for you, your God loves you. And sometimes we think, God, do you even care? And I guarantee you, someone has just switched on and you were thinking that in your head and I said this and you're freaking out. You're going, whoa, is she a fortune teller? What just happened? Your God cares for you. And the Bible says in Psalm 34:18, if your heart is broken, you will find God right there. Don't ignore the condition of your heart. How's your heart today? If your heart's broken, if your heart's overwhelmed, if your heart is anxious, if your heart is weary, take your heart to God. God sees you. God knows you. God loves you. God cares for you. Your heart is safe in the hands of God. In Jesus' name. It's safe. Amen.

Part 3
Hi, everyone. I'm so fired up. I am so, so grateful that you've joined us today. I don't believe that you've tuned in by accident. Even if you think it was an accident and you're trying to change the remote control and you're like, what is going on? You are tuned in because I believe that God's got a word for you today that's literally gonna elevate your life and transform your life. God loves you so much and has a great plan and purpose for your life. In this series, we've been talking about a spiritual core and how we need to strengthen our core and how God activates change in our life, not from the outside in but from the inside out.

In the same way that we have a physical core and we strengthen that core through doing push-ups and through doing sit-ups and through doing planks and I know how much you all do those everyday, I know. And in the midst of that, if we want to walk with a good posture, if we want to have some strength and some muscles, then you've gotta strengthen your core. You gotta do a lot of stuff you don't want to do. You've gotta lift weights you don't want to lift. You've gotta do exercises that you don't always necessarily want to do. But the fact is if you want to have not only a good physique but a strong physique, then you've gotta be able to strengthen your core.

Well, in the spiritual realm, it's the same. A lot of us, we try to modify our behavior through external practices but God, he changes us from the inside out and we've looked and our text for this whole series is from Matthew 22 and it's verse 34, the great commandment. And I mean it doesn't get any better. I love Jesus and I love it in particular because he just takes very complex thoughts and simplifies them for us. For people like me that you know what, I just don't, I want the cliff notes version. Tell me what the bottom line is. The old testament has got 630 mosaic laws and God says, hey, how bout I just wrap them up for you in these two? And so the Bible says in verse 37, and he said to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.

I'm like, thank you, Jesus, cliff notes, two commandments. Everything, all the law, all the prophets, love God, love people. When people go, man, is Christianity complicated? No, no. It's actually simple. It's not easy to do but it is simple. Love God, love people. You don't have to make it any more complicated than that. Maybe you grew up in a religious system where people said you've gotta follow all of these laws, all of these rules, all of these regulations. You gotta work your way to heaven. You've gotta make yourself good enough. Look, none of us can make ourselves good enough for God. Jesus is the only righteous man that ever lived. Jesus shed his blood on the cross at calvary and rose again from the dead so that every single one of us can have forgiveness for our past, a brand new start today and a hope for the future.

There is none righteous, not one. We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I thank God though because of my new position in Christ that because of Christ's redemptive work on the cross, I am now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. It's not about my wrongness, it's about his rightness. It's about who I am in him. In him. It is so liberating to be able to live a Christianity from the inside out. And we know those three spiritual core muscles. We are to love God with all our heart, not just some of it but all of it. All our soul and all our mind. And a lot of us have had broken hearts and toxic hearts and we've decided and we've looked at it last week that we're to bring that heart before God and say, you know what, God, I need you to create in me a clean heart. In many places, God, I need you to renew a right spirit within me. God, I need you to take out my heart of stone. Life has been tough. Life has been hard so God, I need a supernatural divine exchange. I need you to take out my heart of stone and give me your heart of flesh.

And then he moves on. And he says, with all your heart, with all your soul. So now we're going from sit-ups to push-ups. We're going from heart muscle to soul muscle. And to love God with all your soul is I think the closest we can get to the seat of your emotions. And so he's saying, I want you. You know, God is a feeling God. You're allowed to have emotions. Now it doesn't mean we can always be emotionally Cray-Cray and out of control, but you know what, emotions are given to us by God. Feelings are given to us by God. And we're to love him with all of our soul. And a lot of us, a lot of us, I think this is where we misunderstand some things when it comes to our Christianity. And I think for some of us and someone's tuned in today and this is gonna be your answer.

You have wondered why you've lived a Christianity kinda like a yo-yo, up down, up down. Ever been like that? You have three really good days with the Lord and then you're like, I don't know what just happened but my evil twin sister just turned up and here I am and it's like it all goes out of control. And you're just, man, you try more. You go, if I could just fast a little bit more. If I could just read the Bible more. If I was just in church every time the doors open, and you try, try, try to do more spiritual things but nothing's changing. And you're like, God, what is going on? And you then just think, I must be beyond help. God must not be able to use someone like me and you end up just giving up 'cause you think you are just too far gone. I'm here to tell you that the issue may not be a spiritual issue. It may be a soul issue.

Now, how does this work? Do you know, let's just assume that even now I was going to have a salvation altar call and you raised your hand and you said yes, I want to surrender my heart, my life to Jesus Christ. You got up and you walked down the front because I was gonna pray with you and hold your hands and pray with you here to receive Jesus. Now here is the deal. If you said yes to following Jesus and you walked down the aisle and I grabbed your hands and if you had cellulite on your thighs, when you prayed that sinner's prayer with me, you know, the most important prayer you could ever pray, the prayer that plucks you out of darkness and thrusts you into eternal everlasting life and light.

Now, you could pray that prayer but if you had cellulite on your thighs when you prayed it, when you walked back to your seat after your soul is now saved and you're going to heaven, you are taking that cellulite with you to your seat. Your cellulite did not drop off at the altar call when you prayed that spiritual prayer. I mean, honestly, your salvation did not come with cellulite-free zone. That did not happen. And most of us, we understand that. We understand our spirit got born again but we pretty much know that until we stop eating the krispy kremes and we get on the treadmill, that cellulite might be coming to the grave with us, okay? So the only way. You cannot pray your cellulite away. You've got to work it off.

Well, we understand that with the body. We understand, okay, if I want to get fit, I've got to start eating lower carbs, I've got to start eating fresher fruit, I've got to start eating some really good protein. I've got to start walking around the block, get on the treadmill, lift some weight. That's the only way it's gonna happen. I can pray but you cannot pray away the calories, I'm sorry. I know you pray grace over your food but if there's a thousand calories in that meal, in those French fries, they're gonna stay in that French fry after you say amen. So there is no way that you're gonna pray the calories away.

Now we understand that in the natural when it comes to the body. But if God has created us body, soul and spirit. Remember, we are tripod type beings. Then, if our body is not instantly born again, why would we think our soul would be instantly born again once we've prayed a sinner's prayer? And I think a lot of the issues that we have are actually not spiritual issues. They're soul issues. So case in point, I was abused for many, many years when I was a young child so before I came to Christ. So because of that abuse, I had developed many, many patterns of destructive behavior. Because of that victimization, I was really broken. I was full of shame, I was full of guilt, I was full of condemnation, I was full of anger, I was full of bitterness and my soul was so damaged. And it was like I'd learned how to put like a band-aid. I had this gaping, seeping wound. My soul wound.

If you could look into the soul realm, if you could look into my inner man, my soul was so wounded. And you know, like a lot of people, I had sort of learned to exist. You kinda learn and you know, to hide behind things. Now you could hide behind performance. You could hide behind material possessions. You can hide behind position and title and accolades. Some people hide behind drugs or alcohol or hide behind jumping into bed with one person after the other person 'cause they're deep down looking for healing, for significance, for security. Some people look for that healing in things. Some people look for that healing in positions. Some people look for that healing in accolades and titles. We all do it differently. Some people you go, well, they've obviously got issues.

Look at them. They look like maybe a drug addict or they might look like they're swinging in and out of relationships and they're just people that maybe wear their brokenness out on their sleeve, like you can just see it. But there's a lot of people in corporate offices hiding behind mahogany desks with huge titles and large stock options that are just as broken, they just wear more expensive clothes to be able to cover it up. That's the only difference. But it's the same woundedness. And some people are on that performance treadmill at work, trying to prove something to a father that said, you'll never be anything, and their father's not even alive anymore. And then they are sacrificing their family on the altar of career because they want to prove that they're really worthy. It's a wounded soul. It's a hurting soul.

Well, I had a very, very wounded soul and you put band-aids on it. Sometimes those band-aids are pretty, sometimes the band-aids are ugly. But someone just needs to press a little bit and whoo, that pus, excuse the analogy, you just tuned in. It just seeps over everyone. And you think, I don't have any issues but I just need to ask your friend and they know. 'cause they go, don't press that button. That's a hot button. You've got people in your family and you only get together at Christmas but you know there are certain no-go zones because that is gonna set them off. If I talk about that, if I talk about this, it's just gonna whoo, and they just explode all over. What is that? It's a wounded soul.

God says, I don't want you to just visit me on Sunday. I don't want you just to visit me on Wednesday night. I want to invade your life Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday because you know what it's like when we have visitors. What happens when we have a visitor that comes to our house? We make sure we clean that lounge room beautifully, don't we? We make it all really, really nice. In fact, we even go into the bathroom. We get rid of the sandpaper. We put really nice soft toilet paper because the visitors are coming, so we got the extra ply in that toilet paper. It's awesome. We go into the kids' bedrooms and we picked up all the dirty underwear and shove it in the cupboards. We hide it all. And we just make it all look so nice. We make it look so nice. We even get the very, very good, good chocolate cookies but we don't let the kids touch them because that's for the visitors. You cannot touch. That's for the visitors.

So everything is set out. Everything is perfect and we know the exact time the visitors' gonna come. And we have already warned the children that if they even look like they're gonna fight when the visitors are there, that there is no Christmas presents for the next 45 years. Now that's it. And then the visitor comes. When do they come? At the appointed time and we're all on our best behavior. We've got our clean clothes and we've hidden all the dirty underwear in all of the cupboards. It's there but it's just hidden. We're good at that. And the visitor comes and the visitor sits and everything's really, really nice. And they've got the good cookies. Especially if you're a woman, I'm sure if you're a gentleman watching this, but if you're a woman, women just have this sixth sense.

If you're a mother, you can be looking at your visitor eyeball to eyeball but you can get this sixth sense that your kids are about to have a fight. And then without even taking your eyes off your visitor, you can give your kids the evil eye. I mean, they know they have gotten it and they know they are so busted when the visitor goes. It's just a thing that a mother is able to do. It is unbelievable. All the while, she's smiling at the visitor and everything's awesome. And then what happens? At the appointed time, the visitor just goes to the right place. The visitor just gets up at most is gonna use the restroom. And then at the appointed time, which is normally just a nice amount of time, the visitor gets up and the visitor goes. And the visitor leaves and they've barely driven the car out of the driveway and World War III starts at home and it is on for young and old and everybody's going for it.

And it happens. But phew, we kept it together for when the visitor was there. Well, this is what a lot of us are like when it comes to church. Now, not you at your church. I'm just talking about everybody else and their church. So you could be going to your church. It's Sunday morning. You're driving to church and I mean there is World War III happening in your car. I mean, it is on for young and old. You are being yelling at each other. You have used many four letter words. None of them are in the Bible and it is amazing what you have done. You're going for it. And I mean you have nearly killed your children in the backseat but you pull into that church parking lot and it is amazing. That spirit of hypocrisy, it just comes upon us all. It just lands on us.

And I mean, you've just now nearly committed murder but now you get into the church foyer and the greeter is there with the little bulletin and they hand you a bulletin and they go, how are you this Sunday? And you're like, I'm blessed. I'm blessed. I've been redeemed and sanctified and justified by the blood of the lamb. Oh and by the way, here is my cherubim and my Seraphim and they're going into children's church today. And I mean you take them down and then you're sitting in worship. And we've even got, we've even mastered this in worship. We're singing our worship songs. I love you, Almighty God. If he thinks he's getting any for the next month, it's not happening. And we just go through. And we could be singing praises to God and be plotting what we're gonna be doing and not doing. Simultaneously.

And then the pastor begins to preach and I mean, you are taking notes for your husband. You know every word is for him. And then you barely shut the car door in the parking lot and you've already hit your spouse. Did you know, did you hear every word was for you. Every word was for you. And then you drive home and at best you might keep it together Sunday afternoon. On a really good week, you might even stay a Christian on Monday. But by Tuesday, your evil twin has come out of you don't even know where and off you go again. And by Wednesday, you hate yourself because you don't want that to be your pattern. But for your entire Christian life, your whole cycle, maybe during a conference or a camp, you could keep it together for a few weeks at a time.

And then you just default and you go, what is it, God? And you try to fast more and you try to pray more and you try to do more. And God's saying, it's not a spiritual issue. It's a soul issue. Your soul is wounded. Would you let me come into your soul and bring healing? Would you allow me to come into those dark places to bring wholeness to your wounded soul? See, some of you, you've got like a double deadlock padlock in some of those areas of your soul where you've been abused, where you've been violated, where you've been hurt, where you've been betrayed. And you've made solemn vows. You've actually said, I will never, no one will ever, I won't ever, and you've locked God out of the places that he can bring healing and wholeness in your life and in your heart. And until you say, God, I want your light to come into that wounded area of my soul.

I stand before you by the grace of God as a 51 and a half year old woman. I had been abused for 12 years. I was left abandoned in a hospital, unnamed and unwanted. Had so much brokenness. And now, by the grace of God, the testimony is that I didn't have to stay that way. My soul was so wounded. I'm talking to you as someone that had gone through so much pain, so much heartache, so much betrayal. I was so full of unforgiveness. I was so full of bitterness. I was so full of shame. On the outside, it looked like there was no hope for someone like me. But I am living proof that in and through a relationship with Jesus Christ, you can start bad and you can finish good. Jesus Christ can heal your soul. He brings wholeness, he brings healing, he brings redemption.

You don't have to live like a victim for the rest of your life. We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus who strengthens us. But you've got to trust him to let him come into those wounded places of your soul and to be willing to do the hard work. It's not easy. I remember when I snapped my ACL and it's a very, I had a hamstring graft. It's a painful surgery. And the doctor came in, the pt came in the day after I had the surgery and he said, Christine, here's the deal. Your right knee is now stronger than your left knee and you can heal completely from this but most people don't. Most people with your degree of injury, because it was so bad. I snapped my ACL, tore my MCL, tore my meniscus, fractured my knee. I did it all.

He said, most people don't because the pain of recovery is way worse than the pain of the injury. The injury just took a second to happen but the recovery's gonna take a lot of months, a lot of rehab and a lot of pain. So Christine, it is entirely up to you. You can heal quickly or you can heal slowly. You can heal completely or you can heal partially. It is entirely up to you. The degree to which you embrace the pain of recovery is the degree to which you will recover. And some of you have not had the healing in your soul and you've still lived the life of a victim. You still have lived the life of someone that is being abused even though you haven't been being abused for 20 or 30 or 40 years because you haven't allowed Jesus to come in and bring healing and to bring wholeness to that fragmented part of your soul.

See, the Bible says, love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. So we have to expect some pain during healing. And the reason you've tuned in today to this is because you've tried to do the healing pain-free. It's kind of like sometimes we all take painkillers when there's a lot of pain but eventually they stop working. And some of you, you've tried all the spiritual Christian painkillers. You've tried to read all the books and you've gone to all the conferences and you go to all the services and you've prayed all the prayers and you're like, God, nothing works. And you think you're gonna walk away from God because you think the pills aren't working anymore.

And God goes, would you embrace the pain of healing? Would you allow me to come into your soul and do a deep, deep work? Would you allow my spirit to have access to places that you've locked me out of so that I can bring healing? That means you're gonna be in some uncomfortable situations, doing some things you don't want to do that are very uncomfortable for you and very unnatural until you can get healed and whole and then healthy relationships will become natural. Healthy conversations will become natural. They will feel unnatural initially but they'll get there if you would embrace the pain of recovery.

A lot of us, all we have become so accustomed to our dysfunction. That's all we know. Dysfunctional relationships, dysfunctional conversations, dysfunctional habits and we can operate there because even though it's killing us, we're comfortable in the thing that is killing us. And God says, I came that you might have life. That means you might have to be uncomfortable for a while. You're gonna be around some people, you're gonna be around some circumstances, you're gonna be around some conversations and they're so healthy, they feel unnatural to you. But eventually if I put a sick person in a healthy environment, eventually the healthy environment is gonna help that sick person become well.

Sometimes you gotta get up and away from all the other sick people, all the other victimhood mentality around you, all the other negative naysayers around you and say, I'm gonna put myself in a healthy environment. I know it's hard, I know it's painful, I know it feels unnatural but I know that greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. Christ can give me the strength to be able to have victory and healing and wholeness in my soul realm. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul. And come back in our next episode, we're gonna finish off the series as we talk about renewing the mind in Jesus' name. In Jesus' name, amen.

Part 4
Hey, I am so fired up that you're all here today. I wanna thank you for joining us today. I know that you have tuned in right on the right day on the right channel, and that God has a word for you today. We are concluding our series today on strengthening your spiritual core. We've been learning how God wants to transform us from the inside out. So many of us have thought that Christianity is a behavior modification program, as if, somehow, God came just to modify our external behavior, as if God cares about rules and regulations and just tryin' to create little robots that are going to do what he wants us to do. No, God is after our hearts, and we are to love the Lord our God with, our text for this whole series is Matthew chapter 22, and particularly verse 37, and he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself".

Isn't that amazing? This is the great and first commandment, this is the first priority of God, that you and I would love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind. Do you notice, he wasn't saying, with all of our clothes, with all of our makeup, with all of our shoes. He says, all your heart, soul, and mind, your inner spiritual core muscles, heart, soul, mind. If we could allow God to work on us from the inside out, a lot of the issues that we're having externally, they would be dealt with if we let God come and work on us internally, but so many of us, we try to think, man, if just my external circumstances changed. If, man, if my spouse would just change, everything would be better. If my kids would just change, everything would be better. If my boss would just change, everything would be, if I just had a spouse, everything would be better. If I just had kids, everything would be better. Man, if I just had a bigger house, it would be better. If I had a better job, it would be, we just keep thinking, if everything on then I would be happy.

And God says, no, no, no, actually, you don't realize, the issue is you. And God wants to change you from the inside out. And God can take broken and wounded and hurting people, and he can heal us and bring wholeness into our lives so that we can live a life of flourishing. We can live a life of peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, that's actually what we can do. And the fact is that you can live a fruitful and an effective life if allow God to transform you from the inside out. If you just try to change your behavior on the outside, if you think, man, if I could just be better, God would love me more, God could use me more. You're gonna spend your whole life trying to get good enough for God, and God's like, wow, you don't need to do that. Your righteousness is found in Christ.

There is nothing that you can do that can make God love you any more, there's nothing that you can do that can make God love you any less. Christianity is not about working to get better for God, it's allowing God to transform us out of his love and his grace and his mercy. And so a lot of us, we do love God as, you know, and we love our neighbors, we love ourselves, because the scripture says, hey, the second part of this commandment's that you are to love your neighbor as you love yourself. You cannot separate loving God from loving people. A lot of people try to do that, you know, I just love God, but I don't like people. I just really don't like people, so I don't wanna fellowship because I don't like people. People just hurt me, and people just really hurt God's reputation.

I'm like, um, excuse me, number one, you are a person, so actually, let's just go there. But some of that is absolutely nonsensical. We outwork our Christian faith in and amongst people. We're to love God, and we're to love people. Now, here is the deal, and this is where the breakdown often occurs. We do love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, it's just our heart is broken, our soul is wounded, and our mind is tormented. And so we love God with all of our broken heart, all of our wounded soul, and all of our tormented mind. And so then, we do love our neighbor as we love ourselves, we just don't like ourselves. And so when we don't like ourselves, we turn our back on other people.

And so the issue is, can we allow God to come and do a work on the inside of us, where he transforms us from the inside out so that we can love him wholeheartedly, so that we can love him fully, so that we can flourish as we grow to maturity in Christ, and then we can love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Our world is hurting. Our world is desperate. Our world is in chaos, and our world is in Christ as Christians need to grow up and to mature. Christians need to be the light of God, we need to be the love of God. We need to extend the grace of God, the mercy of God, we need to exemplify and to outwork the justice of God on this earth. You can no longer separate loving God from loving people.

So many people have tried to do that for so long in Christianity, and it hasn't been effective on the earth. We need to roll up our sleeves and get in amongst lost and broken and hurting people with the love and the grace and the kindness and the joy and the peace of Almighty God. Our world needs some goodness. And the Bible tells us in the book of acts that Jesus of Nazareth, he went about doing good. And you know what, our world needs some of us doing good. You'll only do good when you love people and when you love God. And we will stop hurting people when we start loving people. We will stop judging people when we start loving people. We'll stop pointing the finger at people when we start loving people.

It is crucial that we get this commandment down and we get it nailed, and we understand that the foundation of everything that we do in our Christian world is loving God and loving people. Stop avoiding people, stop judging people, stop gossiping about people, stop criticizing people, just love people with the love and the grace and the mercy of God. Love people, who, Christine? Everyone. Let God sort them out. You love them, and let God sort everybody out. So we're to love God with all of our heart. We spoke about that. All of our soul, and we spoke about that. And then, finally, it says that we're to love him with all of our mind.

You know, let me just tell you this, that Jesus Christ saved my soul, but the Word of God saved my mind. And I don't know about you, but my mind was messed up when I came to Jesus. And I have spent 30 years renewing my mind. I am in this word, this word is life to me. This word is hope, this word is not just a good idea. This word is not some sort of religious obligation. I don't just read this because I think, oh, you know, I need to get my time in with God. I don't just read this because I feel like I'm just checking off some check Marks with God. I'm not just reading this 'cause I think, you know what, I'm gonna get some brownie points with God. I'm not reading it because I think, oh, I have to be a Christian and, you know, it's gonna make God feel better if I read this today, as if, somehow, you know, he needs me to understand it for him to understand it better, that is not what this is about. This is alive, this is living, this is active, this is life to me. This puts life into my bones, this puts my mind right.

Romans 12:2 says, do not be conformed to this world, but be ye transformed, by what? The renewing of your mind. Not the removal of your mind. Some people think that Christians have had a lobotomy when we get saved, and that we suddenly have no brains, but he wants to renew our minds so that we can prove what is the good, what is the perfect, and what is the acceptable will of God. This word sets our mind right. Most of our minds are out of control, most of our minds do not think the right things. Most of our minds make up stuff in our head. Most of our minds, we listen to what the media says, we listen to what politicians say, we listen to what the education departments say, we listen to what our friends say, we listen to what our relatives say. If you wanna flourish in life, if you wanna prosper in life, if you wanna fulfill your purpose in life, you've gotta know what God says. It is what God says that is going to take you to your future, it's what God says that is gonna take you to your destiny.

I have the opportunity to tap into the mind of Christ. Does that not blow you away? That's better than any phd, that we have the mind of Christ, that we can set our mind on things above, not things of this earth. So many of us are so consumed with temporal things, we never think of the eternal. But you've got to make a decision 'cause your default mechanism is that you'll think it's temporal things. That's what you will always default to. You'll always default to the urgent, what's happening here and now, instant gratification, and yet scripture says, no, set your mind on things above. So you've gotta wake up every morning, and you make a decision, where am I setting my mind? What's the first thing you do?

See, some of you, the first thing you do is pick up your phone. You set your mind on social media. That isn't gonna end well that day. Some of us, before we even open the word, before we even hear a word from God, we wanna know what our text says. We wanna know what's on Instagram. We wanna know what Twitter's saying. We wanna know what's on Facebook. We wanna know what the latest news cycle is. Listen, the news cycle doesn't change. It's like one and the same six news items all day. All day, I'm like, really, how many times do you need to read it in a day? And do you realize how the trajectory of your day would change if you started it with God's word?

And if you, throughout the day, continued to renew your soul, there is no excuse anymore. We have podcasts, we have on-demand viewing, we have everything we want. I mean, you could put me on as often as you want. I know, I'm scary, but you can put me on. To have the truth of the Word of God spoken over you as opposed to the lies of the enemy, as opposed to obsessively ruminating over things of your past, things that happened to you 20 years ago, 30 years ago. Your body's here, but everything about you is back there. And you keep going over that as if somehow thinking about it more is gonna change it. Thinking about it more is not gonna change it for anybody. And what we have to do is make sure that we, we literally, tap into the mind of Christ.

God is genius, God is creative. Christians ought to be the most genius, creative people on the planet because we can access the mind of Christ. We are born again of the Spirit of God. We are filled with the Holy Ghost. And so God can teach us things we don't know. Read that, it's in the book of Jeremiah. I pray this before I even get up and step on this TV, God, let things come out of my mouth that I don't even know. It comes out of my mouth, and I go, what, that was good, that was good, you preachin', girl, that was awesome. You can, God can cause you to know things that you do not know. You know, Jesus began his public proclamation with a call to repent, Luke 4:17. From that time, the scripture says, Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near".

Now, some of you are nervous, why's she teaching repentance? Because in the New Testament, the Greek word repent, metanoia, means to change one's mind. Jesus started his public ministry with saying, hey, it's time to change your mind. Repent, you need to think in a different way. And most of Christianity is not just acting different. It comes from thinking different. And if you don't allow God to change your thinking, your acting is not gonna stay changed for very long. And we're not called to be actors. We're called to have metanoia, a change of mind. Literally, I was going this way, and I've had a change of mind, and I am now following Jesus, going this way. It's a metanoia, a change here.

Don't leave your brains at the door when you get saved. Don't think God doesn't care about your mind. He is ongoing renewing it. There's an ongoing, it doesn't just stop. Some of you have not given birth to a new idea in decades. It's time to give birth to a new idea, to change your mind, and so we go on, and we allow God to come into our mind. And our mind is, it's implicit for conversion, metanoia, change, repent, but it is also crucial for ongoing growing into Christ-likeness. And so you allow God to renew your mind through his word. God cares about us changing our minds. When was the last time you changed your mind about something? When was the last time you had a new idea about something? You ought to let God be consistently, I'm 51, and I feel like my mind's sharper now than ever.

And you know, I'm not gonna accept this declining, going backwards, in any way. I think the longer I walk with Jesus, the more like him I'm gonna become, the more of the mind of Christ that I'm gonna have as I continue to grow. Don't just have an approach like you did at school, I got that diploma, I'm finished. We continue to grow in Christ-likeness. 1 Corinthians 2:16 says, but we have the mind of Christ. That's just, blows my mind. I have the mind of Christ. Sometimes, people go, well, you know, I've got a PhD, I've got, like, six degrees. I go, well, I've just got the mind of Christ. I've got the mind of Christ, that's what scripture says. So what do we do? The word is how we reinforce this mind because these are the words of God. We must make God's thoughts our thoughts. We have the potential to think how God thinks.

Do you realize that we have the mind of Christ? We have the potential to think how God thinks. Can you imagine if we can get the mind of Christ over our circumstances? Have the mind of Christ over our relationships? Have the mind of Christ over our finances? Have the mind of Christ in every aspect of our lives? Do you know, as a Christ follower, that's your inheritance? Corinthians tells us, the mind of Christ. So sometimes when you go, I don't know what to do, God. This seems to be just so much bigger than me. Say, God, give me your mind. I have that when it comes to situations with my daughters. God, I need the mind of God on this. I'm running a global organization, A21. It's in 13 nations, 15 offices.

I need the mind of Christ to run that. I don't even, okay, God, I need your wisdom. We got several hundred staff, God, I need your wisdom for each one of these staff members. God, I need your wisdom on how it's gonna grow. I cannot rely on my own natural intellect. I cannot rely on my own natural mind. I want to walk in the mind of Christ. The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. So if you're wondering how you really think in your heart, just have a look at how you act. Because that's really what comes out on the outside. You are the net sum result of the thoughts that you think. So what have you been thinking about? 'cause if you wanna change your life, you've gotta change the way you think. Nothing changes until you change the way you think.

And so, at the end of the day, how are you thinking? I think at the end of the day, our mind muscle is the thing that takes us to our destiny. Our heart and our soul, it reveals our potential, but our mind is the thing that's gonna take us to our destiny. So how's your mind? Are you thinking God's thoughts? Are you thinking the right thoughts about yourself, or are you thinking what society, culture, tradition, or other people have spoken over you? The hugest transformation in my life over consistently, over 30 years, is that I have stayed daily focused to the process of the ongoing mind renewal in my life, to make my thoughts align themselves with God's thoughts, to make what God says about me bigger than what people have said about me. To make what Jesus has done for me bigger than what anybody else has done to me. To identify what are the lies that I have believed from my past, what have people said to me that I just accepted as truth? What have people said about me that I just accepted as truth? How am I gonna replace the lie that I believe with the truth of the Word of God?

That's what renews my mind, and that's what takes me into my destiny. The greatest battlefield you'll ever have is the battlefield in your mind. The enemy is after the thoughts that you think, because as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. I cannot overestimate to you the importance of renewing your mind, the importance of bringing your mind into alignment of the truth of the Word of God. And so at the end of the day, how we think about God, how we think about ourselves, how we think about other people, it all starts up here in our mind, and it determines how we live our lives. See, our thoughts are like a train. They will take you somewhere.

You know, when I was at Sydney university, I lived in a place called seven hills. Every morning, I would catch a train from seven hills station to Redfern station in Sydney, Australia, which is where Sydney university is located. Now, that was about a 45 minute train ride. And I would catch that train every day. Platform four at 7:30 A.M., I would jump on that train, and I would go into Redfern. I'd do my classes, and I'd come back at night. Well, this one day, I was running late. And so normally, when I would get there, I would just check the destination board, and I would just make sure platform four, 7:30, that the train was on time, that the train was gonna go to the right destination, and that's how I would catch it.

But this day, because I was running a little bit late, I didn't check the destination board. I just heard a train come into platform four as I was running up the stairs. And it was 7:30, I looked at my watch, and I thought, well, okay, that's gotta be my train. So I jumped on the train, and the doors shut just as I jumped on. I thought, yes, I made it. And then about one second later, I knew that I was in trouble when instead of the train beginning to move in that direction, the train started to move full steam ahead in that direction, and that train did not stop for one hour.

I had accidentally, because I didn't check the destination, I had jumped on a train that was a express train that was to go to a place called Katoomba in Sydney which is the blue mountains. And the blue mountains, with no stops, is one hour in that direction, my university was 45 minutes in that direction, so now, at best, I was one hour and 45 minutes away from where I wanted to be because I had jumped on the wrong train. And I'll never forget it. I got off at Katoomba station, and you've just gotta imagine, we're in country Australia now.

And I get out, and there's, the station master was standing there. And I remember, he was like, you know, it was still early in the morning, and he had pulled out a cigarette, and he was, put a cigarette in his mouth, and this shows you how old I am, and if you're from Australia watching this, you're the only ones that will know. He put a Winfield cigarette in his mouth, and I came out, the doors opened, I was so frustrated. And I went up to this man as he was lighting his smoke, and I said to him, "How did I get here"? And he just took his time. He lit that cigarette, he blew that smoke in my mouth, and he said, "Well, love, you got on the wrong train, didn't you"? And then he blew another puff of smoke into my face.

And I'll never forget it. "Well, love, you got on the wrong train, didn't you"? And I think there are times when we get to the end of the day and we're lying in bed, and we go, God, how did I get here again? I'm depressed again, oh, no, I'm anxious again. I'm angry again, I'm disappointed again. God, how did I get here again? I feel like a failure again. God, how did I get here again, you've turned this tv on today, and you're like, God, how am I sitting on this couch again, in this same old place, feeling betrayed, feeling broken, feeling hurt, feeling despondent, and here I am, again. I'm on another cycle, I'm on another addictive cycle. I've just gone back again, and you know where it all started?

God says, well, love, and he does it much more lovingly than that man did that blew smoke on me that day at the train station. But he looks at you, and he says, honey, you got on that wrong train of thought. Before you wake up every morning, the enemy will make sure that the wrong train comes into the destination of your mind. He's gonna make sure a train of depression, a train of discouragement, a train of disappointment, a train of failure, a train of insecurity, a train of fear. He's gonna make sure that train comes across the platform of your mind, but don't be like me, don't just jump on that train without checking the destination. You can be smarter. You can go, hang on a minute. That train is coming to this platform before, and I know where that train of thought's gonna take me.

I know if I think about that situation or if I think about that person or I rehearse that past failure, I know that I've been doin' that for the last 10 years, and that train has always led to depression, that train has always led to anxiety, that train has always led to hurt, that train has always led to fear, it's always led to insecurity, it has always led to doubt. So you know what, I'm makin' a decision. I'm gonna think about what train pulls into the platform of my mind, and I am not gonna jump on that train of thought, unless a train of thought comes into my mind that's gonna take me to love, to joy, to peace, to kindness, to flourishing, that's the train I am going to jump on. I'm gonna wait 'til the right train comes into the platform of my mind. I'm gonna jump on that train, and I'm gonna end up in the right destination. If you wanna change your life, change the way you think, in Jesus's name, in Jesus's name, see you later.
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