John Gray - Heart And Soul
1 Corinthians chapter 13, I'm reading from the new King James version starting at the fourth verse. Love suffers long: it is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not parade itself. It is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. It never fails.
I wanted you to keep that. For those who don't know, we've been in a series called love taps. How many people have been here for the first two parts of love taps? Have you been blessed by it? I wanna go to the third part tonight. This is love taps part three, heart and soul. Heart and soul, heart and soul. Love taps, part three. Go ahead and just gently tap somebody next to you, just a love tap. Tell 'em it's a love tap, it's a love tap. What is love? While we're tapping, what is love? What is love baby, don't hurt me don't hurt me stop, okay. We're gonna have a lot of fun tonight, so if you're a visitor, I'm sorry. It's just one of those Wednesdays. It's super bowl week. We're gonna have a good time. And on behalf of our pastors, we're so grateful you're here.
Speaking of super bowl week, this Friday, the NFL-sanctioned super bowl Gospel celebration is happening right here at Lakewood Church. Make some noise. You can get your tickets, I'm sure we have something out in the foyer. You can get them at ticket master and all of that. You wanna be here on Friday night. It is one of the few family events, 'cause I heard there's a lot of stuff going on in the clubs, but we love Jesus, so I know y'all won't be there. Y'all will be at the house, just watching TBN, amen. This is one of the few family events. You wanna be there. David and Tamela Mann are going to be there. Who else is gonna be there? Lecrae is gonna be there. I will be there. Anthony Hamilton will be there, Lalah Hathaway, Cece Winans. Yolanda Adams will be there, who else? Natalie Grant will be there as well. It's going to be amazing. Lady Gaga will be, just kidding, kidding, kidding. But if she did come, we'd be glad to see her and all of that.
What is love? I Corinthians 13:11 is an interesting scripture, because depending on who you are and your level of maturity, love can mean any number of things. How many people thought they were in love before, and then, of course, something happened, and you realized you didn't love them after all, amen? Couldn't stand 'em, wanted to throw some hot grits on 'em, but didn't wanna go to jail, amen. You thought it was love, but as my wife says, it might have been just a misunderstanding. Depending on who you are and your maturity level, love could mean any number of things at any given point, because depending on your perspective and your experiences, love could mean something altogether different from someone else with a totally different set of experiences.
I Corinthians 13:11 says when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things. Tonight, I wanna talk about love in its purest form, a love that reaches your heart, that touches your soul. I've been talking about love taps in different areas and how particularly God wants us to engage one another in a very cynical culture, in a very, very myopic culture where we're more self-absorbed, and how God wants us to love particularly those we don't agree with, those that we don't care for, what does the scripture say? Then also, how we love one another. Fellas, y'all had an assignment.
How many men took that assignment from last week? You had to engage your wife's passions. Lemme see the fellas that followed through at least once, lemme see that. Ladies, were you blessed by your husband's attempts? It was all right, I mean, he tried, but. He needs to come back next week. Well, ladies, your assignment this week is to tap into his passion. Hey, fellas, hold me down. I'm tryna help you out. Ladies, it's time for you to take care of that man. This is super bowl week, so you know what that means. Bless him with some chicken wings, some mountain dew. You know that's a biblical meal on super bowl Sunday. He will mount up on wings as an eagle, mountain dew and wings, Bible. Put a little something on for him and just kind of walk in front of the TV. Just bless him, bless him, amen. Little love tap.
What is love? I remember the first time I thought I loved somebody. I was 13 years old. Anybody remember the first person they thought they loved? You was in love. I was 13. There was this girl, her name was Iris, and we had study hall, and I did not know her last name, and I did not care. She was so nice to me. This was in a time when I was really not feeling good about myself. I didn't think that I was an attractive kid. I had braces, I had alopecia, so I had bald spots. My teeth were so far out of my mouth, I didn't talk, I whistled. Look good to me, girl. You better stop it girl. Stop it, girl. It's not that funny, people. Stop laughing at me.
But even though I didn't feel really good about me, she treated me like I was just this amazing person. And it wasn't anything impure. It was just a pure place, and I had gotten up enough nerve. I was gonna tell her what I felt. I had practiced in the mirror, laid out my clothes. Remember when you used to lay out your clothes before school? Put your shirt with the pants, put the belt with it, put your shoes on the floor, just look at it. I'm gonna kill 'em with it, I'm gonna kill 'em. This was back when we used to put creases in our pants. I ironed that crease so tight, it was crispy. Put the starch on there, put the spray starch on there. My mom was like, something's on fire. It's like, it's cool, mom, I'm pressing my jeans.
Got to my seventh grade study hall, waiting on her. She did not come to school that day. I know! I was ready. I had my note. Do you like me, check yes or no. Actually, I'd gotten so many no's, I stopped putting no. I was like, do you like me, check YES or maybe a little later, you know, a couple years of something. Still had that nerve, so I waited the next day. She didn't come back. A week went by, never came back. Turns out, she transferred. I don't know where she went. I was ready to sing all kinda songs. I can show you the world shining, shimmering she never came back. And it was funny, because I didn't even know her, but I loved her. The reason why I loved her is because I loved how she treated me. Even though I didn't feel like I deserved to be esteemed in that way, she treated me with a level of respect and kindness, and everybody else was making fun of me.
She made me feel like I mattered. And I said, no matter what she says, even if she tells me, eww, I don't like you, look at your teeth, eww, look at your hair, eww, it didn't matter. I had already run through the scenarios, and no matter what she says to me, I've already made up my mind about that girl. Now, I'm getting ready to shift it, and some of y'all gon' shout, because I never got a chance to tell her what I felt. But there is a letter that you got. It's actually 66 books, a letter written by the One who loves you the most, telling you from A to Z, from Alpha to Omega, from Genesis to Revelation, everything that they've got planned for you, if you would just spend a little time with Him.
He loves you so much that he has chosen to love you, and he knows you. A few of y'all didn't even catch that, because some of you, particularly you some of the things that we have done are not very lovable, and the things that we've done in our life are not very kind, but somehow, he did not change and has not changed his mind about us. He is so ferocious in his love and so committed in his love that he has pursued us out of eternity into time, and he has loved our very heart and our soul.
Talk about a love tap. Somebody give God a great praise if you know that I'm talking about a love that will never fail. That doesn't always translate into human relationships, because the scripture says love never fails, but people will fail you. Someone's like, amen! She mad, mmhmm. Here's the thing. My wife said something that was really deep, and I had to catch it. She was like, real love graduates. And I was like, whoa, hold on. And she was saying it in response to something I shared with her, and maybe this will help you. But I told her that the man that she married on December 11th of 2010 was not the man that manifested on December 12th of 2010 and the 13th and subsequent days and years.
There were things that were unveiled and things that were unfolded and things that were revealed. Some of them were good, others were not. There were things that she had to learn about me, things that I didn't even know were there, things that had been locked up and hidden for years at a time, and they manifested inside of this thing called a marriage, and she had to determine, now that I've seen this, do I still love, and by her presence and her commitment, the answer was yes.
When you have a love that's on the heart and soul level, it will graduate with every version of you. Write this down, you want a love that'll graduate. That means when you change, when you grow, when you mature, the person or the people, whether it's a spouse or the people that are in your close circle, they will graduate with you. You don't want somebody that wants to hold you hostage to where you used to be, or what you were when they met you, because that doesn't allow for growth, amen?
Somebody say heart and soul. What I've learned is that love is not a feeling. It is not a feeling. Feelings are a component of love, but they are not the totality of love. Love is not simply an emotion. It has an emotional component, but that is not love in its totality. Actually, love is mathematical. Somebody's calling, get the phone. Love is an absolute. It is a truth. God is love, according to 1 John. Love is a science. It can actually be measured. How can you measure love? You can measure love in blood and water, write this down. You can measure love in blood and water. There's a scripture, if you'll go with me to John chapter 19, John chapter 19. John chapter 19, verse 17.
I wanna talk about a love that has pursued you and I, that is so overwhelming that it should carry you and propel you for the rest of your life, because this is the kind of love that the father has pursued you with, that he loved you so much that he gave himself in the form of his son so that he could have a relationship with you. This is a love that is of the heart level and of the soul level, 17th verse, and he, bearing his cross, went out to a place called the place of the skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.
Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross, and the writing was Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. This love that we have been recipients of, this love from Jesus Christ, to us, it's freely given, but it cost him blood and water. It cost him a few love taps. In fact, there were more than a few, because the Bible says he was crucified. And so a nail had to go into this part of his wrist, not so much the hand, but in the wrist to keep the arm up. Love tap, and not just one, but the other one, too, love tap, and then through both feet, love tap.
While he was slowly dying from asphyxiation, because crucifixion makes your lungs collapse, there's a very strange medical condition, and I'm sure Dr. Paul would be better suited to speak on it, but I've gotta give you this idea of what it cost for you and I to be in here right now, because I need you to understand that Jesus just didn't put his words behind it. He put his heart and soul into loving you and I, and because he put his heart and soul into it, we need to love him with our heart and our soul.
The Roman flogging or scourging that Jesus endured prior to being crucified normally consisted of 39 lashes, but it could have been more. The whip that was used, called a flagrum, consisted of braided leather thongs with metal balls and pieces of sharp bone woven in or intertwined with the braids. The balls added weight to the whip, causing deep bruising and contusions as the victim was struck, deep bruising. That's interesting, because Isaiah 53:4-5 says, he was wounded for our transgressions, and he was bruised for our iniquity. The chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.
Just by the way, if you came in here with a sickness in your body, the Bible says that Jesus took care of that on the cross. So you need to go ahead and receive that promise. The pieces of bone served to cut into the flesh, and as the beating continued, the resulting cuts were so severe that the skeletal muscles, underlying veins, sinews, and bowels of the victim would be exposed. The beatings at times were so severe that that alone could have killed you, you wouldn't survive it. But those who did survive would go into something called hypovolemic shock. It's a term that refers to low blood volume.
I'm getting ready to bless somebody in here. Jesus was beaten so badly, he lost so much blood, that the heart started pumping faster, trying to get blood to the critical areas of his body, but there was not enough blood to get everywhere, and so what happens is sometimes, you will collapse or you will faint, and now you realize when Jesus was carrying the cross up the hill, he fell down and the cross fell, and a man named Simon had to actually pick the cross up, because Jesus couldn't do it himself. He was having a physical reaction to the level of love that he was committed to on your behalf.
Some people are clapping. Others are trying to figure this out. I'll go a little further. The heart would race to pump blood that was not there. The victim would collapse or faint due to low blood pressure, the kidneys would shut down, and the person would experience extreme thirst as the body desired to replenish the fluids that had been lost. Anybody remember in John where Jesus said, I thirst? His love was actually science. This love was so deep that this is not an emotion. You can quantify the love of Jesus through what he went through for you.
When you wanna talk about a love tap, a heart and soul love, a love that is mature, a love that is unfolding, unyielding, unrelenting, that is constantly unveiling and showing itself strong, you wanna talk about Jesus, who loves you through every version of yourself. He is unwilling to stop loving you, even though you and I many times don't wanna love him, we don't wanna honor him, we don't wanna obey him, but in his love, he has already given everything he has just in case you turn.
There is evidence from scripture that Jesus experiences hypovolemic shock because he fell and collapsed while he questions carrying the cross. Simon had to help him. He asked for water. He said, I thirst. These are literally the examples of the love that gives everything, your heart and your soul. How many of us wanna be loved on a heart and soul level? How many of us have gone through relationships believing that somebody was going to love us heart and soul, mind, body, and spirit, only to find out that they can only give what they have capacity for.
Many of us have been victims of the Savior syndrome, trying to put people in a place that only Jesus could fill. Prior to the end of the crucifixion there heartbeat caused by the hypovolemic shock, and it would cause the fluids to gather around the heart, in what is called the pericardial membrane. It was called pericardial effusion. I went and studied this, 'cause I wanted to make sure I understood scientifically and medically, what my Savior did for me. Because he didn't just die. He died having his heart pierced, and his soul wounded, and he traded his life for mine.
So when I think about a love tap, him on a cross and his life for mine, what excuse do I have not to love you? Should I stop loving you because we don't agree politically? Should I stop loving you because we don't look the same? I have more melanin in my skin than you? Perhaps you have more money than me? Or because we have different denominational backgrounds? Are these reasons enough to stop loving? No, when you love somebody heart and soul like Jesus did, anything that was a separation, no longer exists. Where there were walls, there are now bridges.
Let me help you to understand, this is the power of Jesus Christ. When you understand the revelation of you and I don't have an excuse not to fight to love one another. It's real quiet over here. And that's okay, but I'm gon' tell you this. I've made the decision in my life, looking at the revelation of what Jesus did, and how he died, that I cannot look at you, as if you are optional.
What is a heart and soul love? A heart and soul love is committed to you, even if you're not committed to me. I'll pray for you. It'd be great of you prayed for me, but if you don't, I'm still gon' pray for you. Because Jesus was interceding for me, when I wasn't even thinking about him. When you realize what's been given for you, you won't be casual coming through these doors. You won't just sit down and be like, I hope they sing a song I like. If they don't sing anything you know, you'll be singing along off-key, not because of the song, but because of the joy that's in your heart. Because you understand the level of sacrifice.
Somebody say heart and soul. The Bible says that a soldier pierced Jesus in his side and he bled blood and water. Write these two questions down. What's in the blood? And then what's in the water? What was the blood representative of? The blood had to be shed, because the Bible says, without shedding of blood, there's no remission of sins. Something has to die. But the Bible says, he was wounded for our transgressions. The word wounded in Hebrew means defiled, somebody say it's defiled. Defiled means cursed. So literally he was wounded, he was wounded or defiled, or made unclean, which means at some point on the cross, Jesus became you and I.
Is there anything more profound than somebody that steps in front of somebody else and takes their bullet? We call that person a hero. Oh help me Holy Ghost. It's one thing to take a bullet for a friend. But who steps in front of a bullet for their enemy? The Bible says in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. Imagine a picture, of the people that were in front of the cross, who were like, that's right, you can save everybody else, you can't save yourself. Crucify him, keep him right up there! While he's on the cross, Jesus said, forgive them Father. They don't know what they do. He took a bullet. He took a cross! For the people that were in front of him, just in case, a week later they realized, oh my goodness, I think we just killed the Messiah. And just in case they turn and repent it, he gave his heart and soul, he gave his blood, his sweat, his tears.
Somebody say, what's in the blood? Your salvation is in that blood. That's what's in that blood. What's in the blood? When you see the cross, and you see the blood dripping, every time it drips, you need to thank God, because every drop of blood was enriched with salvation. It was sin fighting against the holiness of Jesus, and his blood overtook the virus of sin. The inequity of mankind, Jesus took that and he overcame it. What's in the blood? Your salvation is in the blood. Your future is in the blood. Your deliverance is in the blood. Your healing is in the blood. Your authority is in the blood. Your promise is in the blood.
The Bible says he bled blood and water. What's in the water? Somebody say: what's in the water? Here's a thing about the enemy. The enemy will always come after your water supply. You gotta write this down, I'm not gon' be long tonight. The enemy wants to come after your water supply, cause if he can cut off your water supply, he can catch you. Why? Water is always symbolic of the Word and the Spirit of God. The enemy wants to cut you off from the presence of God. He wants to cut you off from the water of the word, and from the presence of God.
But just in case you do have water, what happens if you in the ocean, and there's some blood in the water, 'cause Jesus bled blood and water? You know, if you get in the ocean and you got a cut, you better get outta there, you know why? Be careful who you bleed around, because some people, they look like they're there to help. But if they catch you bleedin', you're gonna realize that they're not a sheep after all, they're a shark. See, because fellow sheep would have grace for another sheep. See, we're sheep without a shepherd. And if I'm bleeding, then I need to know that I got brothers and sisters that are not going to expose me, because I'm wounded right now.
There are times when I've been wounded, and I've shared that wound with the right people. But then there are other times I've shared it with the wrong ones. And they became sharks. And they didn't seek to bind up the wound, they actually took a bite, and made the wound bigger. Help me Holy Ghost. Be careful who you bleed around. Because some people will feed on your wound, because they'd rather watch you bleed out. Than break through.
What is in the water? What's in the water, write this down. What's in the water? The word is in the water, life in is the water, and everything that's ever been spoken over you is in the water. Some of y'all need to get in this word, this word is your water, you wanna know the promises of God over your life? You've got to read the word, because whatever the word says, then you can count on that and you can remind God of it. What's in the water? The water is the word. Life is in the word, your promises are in the word. But be careful of the sharks, cause sharks will circle. Before you know it, the wound is bigger.
Ah, but if you've got the right people that love you, they'll bind up your wound. Jesus binds up the wounds of the broken. Anybody, any witnesses that can say when you were broken, it was the love of Jesus, whether supernaturally or through people, that bound up that wound? Gentlemen, I want you to write this down. I want the fellas to write this down, and ladies, I want you to keep it in your heart. But fellas, I want you to write this down. Proverbs 7:26. Read the whole Proverbs 7 this weeks fellas. It talks about the adulteress woman and how she identifies who she wants to take out. Proverbs 7:26 says, for she has cast down many wounded. And all who were slain by her are strong men.
Fellas, guard against sharing your heart with what looks like a sheep, when she's actually a shark. The Bible says, her house is the way to hell, leading to the chambers of death. What's in the water? Be careful. Because, the Bible says, she goes after the wound. So fellas, the enemy is looking for anything in you that's wounded. And he's hoping to get you to open up to the wrong one about where you're wounded. And if he can get you to open up, then you'll give your heart. And eventually after your heart, if you're not careful, your soul will follow. It's real quiet, you can't say amen, 'cause people gon' be in your business tryin' to figure out what's going on in your happy home!
Why am I talking about this? Because the Lord showed me something very clearly about what the enemy has been trying to do, by creating tension and strife and drama and all the things that preceded in 2016, and why in 2017, none of it can follow you, because the blood was a barrier between 11:59 P.M. And 12 A.M. And so the blood is on 2017, and it is the year of yes, as our pastor has declared. But it's only yes, because of what Jesus did. Jesus bled blood and water. And so what we need to do is offer blood and water to our brothers and sisters.
What do I mean by blood? The first thing is, this is important in today's society. Every human being that you will ever see, has as much value to God as you do. I'm gon' set that right there. Every human being, you will ever see, has equal value. I know it doesn't, I know you might not like that statement. But the people you don't like, God still loves. The people who don't believe what we believe, God still loves them. His love has not changed, they are all his children. I never forget.
Let me tell you something. You know, Jonah was racist. He did not like Ninevites, didn't like 'em. God said I want you to pray for them, he said, no! And I love Jonah, but watch Jonah, at least Jonah, I don't like 'em. And I'm not praying for 'em, 'cause I know if I pray for 'em, they gon' repent, and you gon' forgive 'em. And I don't want no forgiving Ninevites. God said, I really need you to pray for 'em, and I'm like, I'm gone, I'm gettin' on a boat, I'm goin' on a cruise, you can't find me! He grouped a whole nation, because of his experience with a few. He had a issue with their blood.
So he got in the water. But God can find you in the water. Of course, we know what happened. He just in the fish, he said, this is crazy, I'm just in here, this don't make no sense. Okay, I'll do it! God wanted Jonah to know that your personal dislike for a nation, has nothing to do with my love for them. I still want them. And I'm gonna pursue them. Until we love everybody the same, we don't love like Jesus.
Write these two down and then we're gon' be done. I'd love to talk about the Romantic side of love, we'll have to get to that one another time, but how do we know we love God? How many of you here would say you love God? Let me see your hands. You love God. You love God? You don't love God? What's wrong wit' you? You don't love God? How do you know you love God? Somebody talk back to me real quick. How you know you love God? Cause he woke you up this morning? That ain't how you know you love God! That's how you know he love you! He's like, woke me up this mornin'! I like that though, that's good.
How do we know we love God? Here's how you know. I'm just gonna give you a couple scriptures, and then you gon' have to walk out this scripture. This is your assignment. For the next seven days. You gon' have to, this is how you know you love God. Number one, you obey his word. John 14 and 15. What does it say, "If you love me, keep my commandments". You can't just talk a good game, you gotta be about it. If you really love God, you're gonna have to obey his word. Number two, how do you know you love God? You've got to love people. Mark 12 and 31, and not just the people you like! Oh I know God make you mad, don't he, he like, you gotta love the people that you can't stand! 'cause there's times that I couldn't stand you, but I loved you, woke you up anyway!
Mark 12:31, Jesus was talking about the commandments that you need to keep and he said, look to the people to the left and right of you if you can. Look behind you, if you can. Those are your neighbors. Those are your neighbors, ask them. Ask 'em, you need some'n? Look some of y'all, I don't, don't ask me for no money see, 'cause I don't get my direct deposit 'till tomorrow. I mean it's superbowl week and I got bills, see it's the first of the month. The rent is due on the 5th, but they want theirs on the 3rd, 'cause of the way my lease is set up.
How do we live more like Jesus, Brandon? How, Jane? How we gon' live more like Jesus, if we don't look out for one another? And they will know that you are my disciples when you have love for one another. According to Paul, I have to do a better job of loving people that are different from me. And not just a perfunctory, hey, how you doin', but a genuine, are you all right? What can I do? Can I help?
I don't want a surface love, cause Jesus didn't do surface miracles, he didn't just cast up here he's like, you're healed. Open your eyes. Stretch out your hand, I'm tired. Lazarus, get up! It's gotta go. Jesus was intimately interested in the details of people. He loved people from his heart. So much so that he died so their soul would be saved. Love taps. Heart and soul. Your assignment for the next seven days, is to love people the best you can, because you have a revelation of the type of love you are a recipient from Jesus Christ.