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John Gray - Family Matters

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We are the hands and feet of Jesus, and there's a miracle that's in this room tonight, and it's not an individual miracle. It is a corporate miracle, and it's not just corporate, but it is familial. It is a family miracle. How many people know that the family is under attack, and we need to fight for the integrity of family. That was a very middling applause for what is clearly the top priority on hell's agenda. The enemy is fighting against husbands, fathers, marriages. He's trying to get children. I can't stand my mama. She don't understand me. You get on my nerves, too. Get out of my face. I work too hard for you to disrespect me. Y'all don't even understand what I'm going through.

So now there's all this drama in the house, and there's drama between mother and daughter, father and son. There's all of these issues. The enemy is attacking family, and tonight, we're going to fight for the family. I said tonight we're going to fight for the family. I am not going to heaven without my family. I'm not letting my cousins burn because I don't have enough understanding and enough passion to fight for their soul. Do you understand that you didn't get to choose your family? You didn't get to choose. None of us got a chance to fill out an application. I'd like to be born to the gates' family in Seattle. That's where I want you to put me. Put the and the seed in Seattle, but give me better hair than my daddy, but what I'm saying is...

We didn't get a chance to choose our parents. We didn't choose our lineage, but we are exactly where God wanted us to be. And if you are a believer, then the blessing is on you, and if God gave it to you, you are the one that is supposed to impart, share, disseminate and declare salvation for everything in your bloodline. Can I get a good amen in here if you believe that you are the one that can change the entire lineage of your family? I'm talking about the ones that get drunk on fourth of july, labor day, veteran's day, Christmas. They just need a reason. God is saying, I'm going to give you the word of the Lord and an example in the life that you live that's going to win the people around you. And tonight, I got a lot to try to unpack.

I don't know how much I'm going to get through. If not, thank God I'm planted in this church, so I can always finish it on another week. One of the things that I'm really impacted by is that this is a family ministry. It started with pastor John and Dodie Osteen, and the legacy that they established has now touched the earth because of obedience. When nobody knew what this place was, when people were playing basketball here 15, 20 years ago, God had already set this place up to be this church. He let somebody else build it for us to occupy it. You don't want to shout tonight. You want to be conservative. That's all right, help yourself. But the legacy of this house is a legacy of miracles. It's a legacy of the supernatural. It's a testimony to homogenization, of breaking down racial and multi-generational barriers.

From the very beginning, that's what this place was, and it makes no sense for a place like this to be in Houston, not in the South, not in the West, not down here, maybe in the Northeast, maybe somewhere where it's more liberal, but not down here, but God decided, I'm going to do something unprecedented in a place you least expected it. And look at you, a recipient of somebody else's faith, of somebody else's prayers, of someone else's sacrifice, and someone else saying yes to God. We need to thank God that somebody said yes. Not only pastor John and Dodie, but to their children who are all in varying forms of ministry: an unbelievable legacy, a family legacy, and that is not lost on me.

Tonight, I want to talk about your legacy. I want to talk about what God wants to do through your family, through your household, for your marriage, for them kids that get on your nerves, and you can't do what you want because they'll call the people on you now. They got numbers to call. I feel threatened and abused by my mom. When I was growing up, I told her, mom, I'm going call the number. She said, if you can get to the phone... Try me. Try me. Try me. We've been talking about the life of David.

A couple of weeks ago, we started with give me five. How many people were here for give me five? God took five smooth stones, and here come a snot nosed 13 year-old kid talking about, you ain't bad. Nobody scared of you. And with one of his stones, took out the giant that had a whole nation terrified. One little teenage boy gave strength to a whole nation. Do you understand all it takes is one person in here to get supernatural faith to take out the enemy and it unlocks breakthrough for everybody in your row, everybody in your section? Does anybody else have faith for your row that God can do the supernatural?

All I need is one representative on each row, and it will permeate the rest of your row. At your house, even though your husband's at work, kids are upstairs, can you believe that God wants to do supernatural miracles in your house? Maybe you're listening to this in your car. I dare you to blow your horn right now. Don't scare people while you're driving. Just believe God. Wave your hand out the window. Let them know there's a worshipper on the highway. There's a worshipper on the street. There's a worshipper in this house. What we learned is God will move mountains for a worshipper. Give me five. Find three people, and give them five. High five! I'm trying to be good in here.

Then we went to give me five part two, blind ambition. Who was here for give me five part two? We learned that as king David and his men were in the back of a cave, Saul came in to relieve himself, and the men with David said, this is the moment that the Lord spoke to you saying, I'm going to deliver your enemy into your hands to see what you will do, to do what seems best to you. And God was testing the posture of David's heart to see if he was going to take matters into his own hands, even though he was anointed king at 13.

Was he going to kill the Lord's anointed? Was he going to try to manipulate it and do it in his timing and his way? Or was he going to trust the Lord for the elevation? Trust the Lord for the promotion? Trust the Lord for the opportunity to present itself in the right way? And David passed the test, and the test was not just about ambition. It was to check and see if there was any of Saul in David's heart. It was a Saul check because whatever was like Saul, God was going to have to saw. God was going to have to it off, and that's the pruning process. Many of us have been there, and pruning hurts because he doesn't cut off dead things. He cuts off things that are alive that should be dead. Woo!

That's why I saw it was hard to let the relationship go. It's hard because they had a piece of your heart. You were emotionally connected, and God said, I don't care what you feel because sometimes, it feels good. There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, that thing leads to death. I got to cut it off because I love you too much to let you die in your feelings. Don't let your feelings get you sent to hell. We talked about there is a bad ambition where you try to get what God has for you prematurely, but there's also a good ambition where you go after the thing that God has for you, but you do it with a passion and a resolve that no matter what other people say, you're going to go after what God has placed in front of you.

There's a good ambition, and it's rooted in acknowledging who Jesus is. And we learned about Bartimaeus, the son of timaeus whose name means "Impure" or "Unclean". Son of the unclean one. He has a legacy of uncleanness. One in the Aramaic meant unclean, but the Greek means honorable, so he had two things going on. He battled with the impure nature of his seed and the legacy, but on the other side, he knew he had something good on the inside. And the Bible says that he was a blind man, and he had a cloak. He heard that Jesus was walking by, and he screamed out, "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me"! And the people around him say, hey, man, why don't you shut your mouth? You're always talking. Ain't nobody hearing you.

And he said, I'm not listening to you. I don't even know who you are. I can't even see you anyway. You don't even matter to me. And he said, this is my one chance. And he didn't call him "Son of Mary", "Son of Joseph". He didn't say anything. He gave him his Messianic title I know who you are. You're the rightful heir to the throne of David. You can restore all things. And the Bible says Jesus stood still and said, that one, bring him. Everybody else was screaming, but the one who understands what I am, what I carry, that I'm the baller and the shot caller in the earth, that devils bow down when I move, that hell runs when I speak, the one who knows that I am the one, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Bring him over here.

The Bible says that this man was so full of faith and believing so much that Jesus could heal him that Jesus didn't even know what it was he needed. He said, what you want me to do for you? I want you to know that in this season, your faith is going put you in a position where you're not even going to look like the thing that you need deliverance from. And he said, rabboni, or teacher, tell me. I want to be your disciple that I may receive my sight. The moment he got his blessing, he began to follow Jesus along the road many he didn't just get his miracle and go back to wrong living. He said, once you do this, I'm never turning back. Not going back, moving ahead, I'm here to declare to you my past is over in you, all things are made new, surrender my life to Christ, moving, moving forward.

Here, in this place, you see this man declaring, no matter what I see, no matter what I'm dealing with, I'm not going back. I'm moving forward. But this David thing stays in my heart, and tonight, for the few minutes that I have, I want to talk about give me five part three, family matters, family matters. What's funny is I don't know what happened, but for some reason, my notes just left. All my notes, which means I'm going to preach what's in my heart. Help me, Holy Ghost. I said, help me, Holy Ghost. This thing started with David in a sheep field following sheep. The 8th son of Jesse. His mother's name is not mentioned, Dr. Paul. We're going to get to that in a minute.

We know that he killed a lion and a bear. He killed a giant named Goliath. We know of his victories. Saul has slain his thousands, David tens of thousands. That gets you in trouble when you got an insecure leader. Nothing does more damage in the body than people who see what you carry and can't celebrate. The Bible says that David was a man after God's own heart. His heart reminded God of himself. All the stuff he did? Yeah, that's my boy, though, because no matter what he did, no matter what he went through, he would find himself in a posture of worship. David's default setting was worship. He'd mess up in his life, worship. In the valley of the shadow of death, he'd be worshipping. He'd just start singing songs.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me, they're with me, surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever and ever, amen. I don't know if that's how it sounded, but I'm just giving you an understanding that no matter what he was walking through, he'd just sing his way through it. When he was by himself, he'd be singing songs. When he was thinking about God, he'd be with the sheep, he'd be writing songs. His posture was a lifestyle of worship.

So he had some strong points, but just like anybody, he had some things that weren't as strong, and that's why I want to talk about family matters tonight. David was known as a worshipper, a leader of men. He was a strategist, a great motivator. He knew how to fight. He knew how to praise. But he struggled with his home life, and a lot of us need to hear the heart of the Lord in this season. This country that we live in, this culture, this climate celebrates external achievement at the cost of eternal legacy. Stay a couple of extra hours at work. Go for the promotion. Why don't you kiss up a little bit? Why don't you go get this, do that?

We're always attaining, trying to get the thing that we think will give us more value, make us feel better, striving after external things to cause us to feel like we've arrived. God is saying we're losing the thing that matters most. So many parents working so hard to provide for your family that by the time you get home, you don't have enough physical strength to even ask your kids how their day was, or they're off in their room playing a video game or watching TV. You're too tired to really engage, and as long as they're breathing and have had something to eat, we're all right.

God, thank you. I gotta go to bet because I gotta get up and do this whole thing tomorrow. And we get caught up in a rat race, and before you know it, your kids have grown up, and they look like you, but they don't look like you. They have your DNA, but they don't have that same passion that you had. It's a different season now: so many distractions, so many things to grab there are attention. When we were growing up, we didn't have that much stuff. It was church, school, three channels.

I remember when CBS with do that little circle CBS special, and then Charlie Brown would come on. It was the greatest thing ever. I remember when we weren't so distracted. I remember when TV would go off. It was a simpler time. Now we never turn off. We never disconnect. We never disengage, and we're losing a generation. Kids don't even now how to sleep through the night anymore without being awakened from an alert from social media. Somebody likes your picture on Facebook. Somebody e-mailed you. Somebody texted you. Somebody liked something you did. And all of the sudden, everything else has the attention of the thing that God gave you to raise. We're losing a generation, and I promise you society and the enemy are fighting for your seed.

Let them explore. Let them share. Let them try. Let them define themselves. Just let them go. Let them float out in the atmosphere. That doesn't work anywhere else. It doesn't work. And let me tell you something, those kids, God gave them to you. They are not a burden. They are not a mistake. They are not drama. You look like your daddy. You get on my nerves. Don't get mad at them for your bad decision. They're here now. Love them. Fight for them. Maybe the reason why they look like the father that broke your heart is because God wants to break the back of the enemy when you raise this one with some integrity. Am I helping some parents in here?

God is looking for a church that understands that the most important thing to God is family. Before he established the church, he established the family. Adam, eve, Cain, Abel. He established the family. I'm a biblicist for those who might be a little liberal in their theology. I believe the Bible is right. I believe the Word of God is true. So forgive me just in case you don't believe in Adam and eve and the whole creation story. I do. I don't understand it. I'm to go ahead and trust on faith that it is what God said, and that's it, that's all.

David had a great gift and a great calling, but his family life struggled. Go to II Samuel 6:16. It's funny because as I was preparing, I felt the Holy Spirit saying, I want you to speak from your heart tonight. And I was lying, but Lord, I got points. I need to have points. I want to have points because the points. It's funny when God is developing leaders. In this season, he's developing leaders in a transparent way, showing you the process so that you realize do what he says. Just do what he says.
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