John Gray - Jesus Only
There is tonight, a very clear theme of the service. And I'm glad to know that the word that the Lord gave for me to speak tonight is in line with that. It seemed every song that was sung was talking about one name. Is it just me or did I hear this one man's name a lot tonight? Is it just me, but I kept hearing if he's lifted higher and higher and I kept hearing that name that it's above every name that at the name of this one man, every knee would bow and every tongue would confess. This one name I keep hearing it. It's a name that the church has become very casual with but I wanna let you know tonight, he is not to be taken lightly, for he is the great and awesome king. And that's who I came to talk about tonight.
So if you want some fireworks, if you want some shouting, if the name of Jesus doesn't do it for you, then this is the wrong service 'cause I came to lift him up tonight. I'm gonna say it again. I came to lift up the name of Jesus in his church tonight. If you will go with me to Matthew chapter 17, and I'm reading from the new King James version. And I'm gonna endeavor to speak from the heart and I'm gonna preach what the Lord has put on my heart to speak to encourage you. I'm so grateful to be sharing in the word this weekend.
And as you're going to Matthew chapter 17:1, I want to preface the sermon by saying this, each one of us in here has a unique, individual story. How you got to that chair that you're sitting in, I do not know. But I do know this, you are a story that is about to be read by the world. Your life, your experiences, your unique perspective is necessary and essential for someone else to get healed, to be delivered, to walk in freedom, to walk in newness. Whether you can see it or not, your life is a walking hope for someone else.
You may say, well, you don't know my life. I know that you're alive and I know that you're here, which means God is not finished with you, which means there's something significant for you to do. The purpose and the calling on your life is irrevocable. God has already made up his mind about you. You couldn't escape destiny, if you tried. You can't run from God, you can only run into God. Because to be able to run from him is to signify that he's not already where you're going. And since he's everywhere, all the time, you just keep bumping into him. So you might as well stop running and surrender to the plan and purpose of God. There's so much liberty.
I love what pastor Victoria said, that the Bible says, when you live in the spirit, there's peace. And so many of us travel through emotional bondage and burdens. I've done it myself, because I stepped out of the spirit and started looking according to the flesh or looking according to my ability, or looking according my limitations and looking according to my family history, as opposed to looking through the lens of Christ alone who is the cornerstone. Weak made strong in the Savior's love. Through the storm he is Lord, Lord of all. And in today's church culture globally, we have minimized this name. We have made it a byproduct when in fact, this name is the only reason we're here right now.
And I know because we are blessed to have a facility like this and beautiful musicians and ushers as pastor said it, teachers and counselors and all of these things, they are beautiful and I believe they are essential and necessary for what God is doing here. But more than all of that, none of it matters, if Jesus is not lifted up. It's interesting the things that we find passion for. We're very passionate about our sports teams and for the Texans fans, sea-hawks don't, you don't really enjoy them 'cause you were winning and who watched that game? How many, just tell the truth, don't lie you're in church.
How many of y'all it messed with your emotions? Like it messed with the rest of your day? People like, you wanna talk, no I don't wanna talk, call me back, I don't wanna talk! When you're invested in something, you and I kept saying this name 'cause I wanted to see who loves him like I do. Because the problem is we've lost that passion for Jesus. We've lost that thing, that drive, that ah, that thing that saved us, we miss that passion. We become very laid back, very casual.
We sing the songs, but do we really understand the price that was paid so we could sing these songs? Do we understand the price that was paid so that we can casually lift our hands when we choose to? Do we understand the awesome and terrible price that Jesus paid from the sixth hour until the ninth hour so that we can choose whether or not we wanna come to church or not? Ah, if we could remember the day when Jesus found us, grabbed us from certain doom and destruction, lifted us up, took us from brokenness made us whole, restored us when we didn't deserve it, covered us when we didn't own it. He alone deserves glory.
I see 9 people standing but I believe there're some others that understand that the name of Jesus should be lifted up high and mighty and above every other name in the earth. Hallelujah! Glory! We are the church. We are not a social club. We are not a gathering place. We are not a hangout spot. This is not a coffee shop. This is a supernatural gathering, where we celebrate the Savior who called us from darkness into his marvelous light.
I told you, I'm only talking about one man tonight. And if that doesn't float your boat, your boat's not leaving the shore. But tonight, I plan on lifting the name of Jesus, for at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow. Glory! I marvel at the power of Jesus to take the life for man like our pastor and say, this is the heart that I wanna promote in the earth. Watching this man of God on platforms that no other pastor has been invited on, and I know for a certainty, that was God's doing and it's marvelous in our eyes. And I believe that God keeps putting our church in a position to be seen, not because of the facility, not because of the wonderful people, but because of the heart of humility that continues to proceed from this pulpit. They keep talking about Jesus, and you can't help but elevate when you keep talking about Jesus. Trying to help somebody on a Saturday evening.
Matthew 17 says, "Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves and he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them talking with him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, Lord it is good for us to be here. If you wish, let us make here three tabernacles one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah. While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud saying, 'this is my beloved son, in whom I'm well pleased. Hear him!'"
And there's an exclamation point there, which means God was not whispering. He was not being democratic. When you're in the presence of the living God, there is no democracy, it's only theocracy, he runs it all. My pastor said, he's God of everything. He made the whole universe. There's nothing that's out of his control. When there's an exclamation point, that means there's emphasis. He didn't say, hey, it'd be great if you maybe give a listen to Jesus.
Hey, Peter, could you just simmer down, could you simmer? Simmer because I'm already sick of it. Could you simmer? You and James and John I'm already tired of it, guys stop it, okay? Because Jesus is being transfigured guys, simmer, simmer, could you maybe listen? No, God said, hey! That's my main man right there, that's my son! I love him! I'm pleased with him! You better listen to him!
That's the Negro International Version. It's in the bookstore you can purchase it after you get breakout. Just having fun. But God did draw emphasis, he said, hear him. And then the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and screamed like little girls. It says they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. See, when you read the Bible, you only think of it, kind of in that King James version, but you gotta think, you hear a voice from heaven that yells at you and says, hey, hear him! You not gonna be like, yes sir. You will be like.
They fell on their faces, screamed like girls, they were terrified. He gonna kill us! Why are you opening your mouth Peter, why don't you be quiet? But Jesus came and touched them. And he said, arise, quit crying! Don't be afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. And what I'd like to talk about for the few minutes I have is Jesus only. Jesus only. At home, online, Jesus only. If you're listening in the car, Jesus only. Tonight I wanna talk about, Jesus only.
You know sometimes in the busyness of life, it's very easy to get distracted by what seem to be essential things. I've gotta get the kids ready for school. What am I gonna wear to work? What am I gonna eat for lunch? Did I tape my favorite show? Important thing, take a picture, go ahead and take a picture. By the way, my workouts are coming along good pastor. I'm sore right now, I've been working. I've been eating salmon and grilled chicken. My wife made me spinach and corn today and so we are really working hard and I'm already on my last belt loop, so that's already a sign from God. We gon' keep it going. But we can get caught up with things that seem essential.
But there's an interesting scripture in Revelation it says, Jesus said, behold, I stand at the door, and what? Knock. Now how is it, that he's on the outside looking in, and it's his church? It's his people. They think he's in there with them. Some churches have service and have no presence. Do you understand that the great accusation of the world is that we are not consistent? That we say one thing and live another? That some prayers are answered and others are not? Do you know they are looking for a reason not to believe in you can't live your life based on people who choose not to believe, you can't make anyone believe. But the premise is very clear.
There are some places, that have all of the look of church but if Jesus is not there, you just had a gathering. But when Jesus shows up, now you've got a church. And what I want is to encourage you to make the main thing the main thing. I know you gotta make sure that your kids are well. I know you're working hard, you're working two jobs to make ends meet. You need to still yourself, get up 10 minutes earlier, open your Bible to Matthew, start reading in chapter one, fight to read a chapter a day, half a chapter, three verses, pray for 60 seconds consecutively. Fight to make Jesus the main thing.
Jesus only, here on a mountain, Peter, stone, James, replacement, John, the gift, are privy to a moment in God that no one else had ever seen. Jesus was being prepared to go to the cross. Peter, rock, hard head in the middle of a holy moment. I love Peter 'cause he's like us. When you get into a deep moment, you don't know what to do. Ah, this is nice! Did you want us to make a tent? We gonna make a tent for you, Moses, Elijah, and we gon' have sleeping bags. We don't need a tent, y'all had a tent, we're gonna be on the outside.
And so he's talking and the Bible says, while he's speaking God interrupts him. I love that 'cause you think God is always gentle and mighty and yes, no, after you. God's like, what you saying it's crazy, let me cut you off. Sometimes God wants to stop everything because we have good intentions, but we're missing the Mark. We're slightly off center. And when you're off center, you can get out of balance. And if you get too far out of balance, eventually you're going to fall. And God says before you go too far left of center, let me bring you back to Jesus at the center of it all Jesus at the center of it all from beginning to the end it's always been it's always been you Jesus. Always.
And so here, God says stop focusing on everything other than My Son. Jesus only. Why is it so hard for us to focus on Jesus only? Because Jesus existed in a time before social media. Because Jesus is not a part of the microwave generation. Jesus is not a part of the Jersey Shore crowd. He's not a part of the scandal crowd. Jesus is kind of boring. Lived with his mama. Carpenter. Working with his dad. The only thing he did bad at 12 years old, he stayed out all night, parents left, he was partying at the church. His parents came back, why did you leave us? We were worried sick.
If I was Jesus, I would be like, I'm the kid you're the parent. You should be in trouble 'cause you left me. Jesus messes with his parents and says, didn't you know I'd be in my father's house? Just messed them up. Mary was like, oh, got you didn't he Joseph? And then the story goes quiet for 18 years. And the thing is, for a little while now the church has been quiet. We've been going kind of in a circle, an evangelical circle. You see the same names. You see the same faces. We have very similar services. But the shift is about to occur. Things that have been dormant, are about to explode onto the scene, in fact, break out.
And this is a moment, where the things that have been behind the curtain, pay no attention to the man behind curtain. God's gonna start bringing it to the forefront where the sons and the daughters of God are gonna be revealed to the earth according to Romans 8:18-19, for I consider that the suffering of this present age is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us, for the earnest expectation of the creation, eagerly awaits the revealing of the sons of God.
There was a time in the earth, where it was okay to have average church, but now in the middle of a government shutdown, now in the middle of wars and rumors of war, now in the middle of neighbor against neighbor and kingdom against kingdom and violence and kids killing their parents and kids killing kids, all kinds of violence and mayhem, in the middle of all of that, God's saying now I'm about to break out in the earth and revival's gonna hit the land, and the only name that can bring revival is Jesus Christ. Can somebody give Jesus Christ a great praise?
Somebody just say Jesus only. The reason why we don't talk about Jesus a lot John is he's kind of a boring figure. He didn't have a whole bunch of girlfriends. Now Mary Magdalene, she liked him. She was like, I love you, I does. I need you in my life. And I am telling you I'm not going he is like, relax. I don't even like you like that. I already cast out all them demons, I know all your business.
Why are people so offended by Jesus? Do you know people are offended by Jesus? You can talk about anybody else. You could talk about any other religion. People'll celebrate, "That's great. You have an open mind, that's wonderful. Explore, travel, just believe in the stars and the birds and all of the beautiful things". But the moment you talk about Jesus, "See, you're trying to judge me, that's what you're doing, you're trying to judge me, don't judge me, you don't even know me! Ah-ah, you don't know me, you don't know my story, you don't know the test in my testimony"!
The moment you say Jesus, how come people don't react like that when you talk about other things? Here's why: because Jesus is truth. Can somebody give God praise, that our God is truth? He's the way, the truth, and the life. He even declared in one of his prayers, he said, "Sanctify us by your truth, thy word is truth". And we know that he was the word, John, chapter one, and one. "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God". Through him, all things were made that were made, and not one thing that was made, was made without him.
That scripture speaks of Jesus, and the creative power of his name, and the words that flow from his mouth, but that is not enough to captivate the earth. The earth does not like truth. That's why Jesus is not popular.
Think about this, this Jesus, whom we worship. Jesus, who is the head of the church. Jesus, who all these songs are talking about. Jesus is the central figure in all of human history. At one part, glorified, worshiped. On another side, hated, reviled, ridiculed, laughed at. Some say he's the Son of God. Others say, he's a figment of our imagination. Some call him healer, others call him a charlatan. Some say, Savior, others call him a manipulator. But whatever you call him, you can't deny him. Because even those that don't believe, exist in his day. So powerful was the life that Jesus lived that time itself is divided, before he was born and after he arrived.
Jesus only. We have to figure out, as a church, why we're not as passionate about Jesus as we used to be. I know you love your sports and your food, and your college football, and your TV shows, but does the name of Jesus cause your heart to skip a beat? Is there an anticipation that the real Jesus is going to meet you? In an age of moral relativism and secular humanism, the church declares that Jesus lived his life as well as any man could ever live it, and that is offensive to many people.
And we're not here to offend, but we are here to present the truth. We cannot legislate truth. We don't have to legislate truth, it's truth. It stands on its own, but we must never deny truth, or whisper the truth. We must shout it loud, and declare that Jesus is exactly who the Bible says he is, and if the example from God the Father is any indication, he's looking for some people that'll shout it out. That's my beloved son, in whom I'm well-pleased, here, him! God is looking for some churches that will lift up Jesus, that will proclaim Jesus. I'm talking about not a historical Jesus, I'm talking about not just the man, Jesus, but the supernatural Jesus, the Savior of the world Jesus.
We need Jesus back on our lips, back in our lives, back in our relationships, Jesus in our schools, Jesus on our jobs, Jesus at the restaurant, Jesus at the mall, Jesus in our heart, Jesus on our iTunes, Jesus in our headphones, Jesus as we pray, Jesus before we go to bed. We need Jesus every single day, in every area of our lives. We need Jesus as we're having fun, Jesus as we're hanging out, Jesus on vacation. We need Jesus, we need Jesus, we need Jesus, because the enemy is not taking any time off, and the only thing that can stop a lie is the truth, and so Jesus is the truth, so we need to declare Jesus over every lie of the devil, Jesus over every place of depression, Jesus over every sickness, Jesus over every generational curse, Jesus over the issues of broken heart, Jesus over your broken mind, Jesus over the pain of your past, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
And if this is not enough, this is as good as this sermon's gonna get! Until we get our passion back for Jesus, we're going to miss the root of the church. He is not just a nice man, he's not just a philosopher, he's not just a teacher. He is the unique Son of God who came to save us from our sins. This is our faith, and God declared in Matthew 17, I want you to focus on nobody but Jesus only, Jesus only, Jesus only. Why Jesus, why does his name carry so much weight? Because this man, Jesus, was filled with integrity, character, he was strong, he was compassionate, he was committed, but he was not weak. He would not be pushed over, and he would not be quiet in the face of opposition.
In fact, certain people, he confronted them right there, said, "Your father is the devil. You're full of dead man's bones, whitewashed tombs, you haven't ever even seen the Father". I mean to tell you, every now and then, you need to just let the enemy know, I'm not scared of you, and I'm not backing down, because greater is he that's in me, than he that's in the world. I know tonight is not a typical night, but every song, and this message are all pointing in one direction. It's heading in the direction of Jesus Christ. God says, I sent my son, I want you to focus on him. If he's not the head of the church, the focal point of your life, if he is not the center of gravity for everything that you do, then your life is out of balance.
Jesus, impeccable integrity, commitment to his convictions in the face of vocal and vituperative opposition, this Jesus, whose example of sacrifice paved the way for our deliverance. This Jesus, who saved us from our sins, this Jesus, who died for the sins of the whole world. This Jesus, who healed, and who saved, and who cast out every demon that he came in contact with, this is the head of the church. This is who we worship. You can't sit there like this, if you really know Jesus. This is not something to take lightly.
Jesus is looking for some people who are as passionate about him as he is about you. His passion, that's why the movie is called the passion of the Christ, not the casual of the Christ. He wasn't casual with your salvation, I won't be casual with my praise. He wasn't casual with my healing, I won't be casual with my commitment. Jesus is looking for some people that say, only Jesus will I serve, only Jesus do I worship. I lift up Jesus, and in lifting up Jesus, I find my way back. Some people say that Christianity judges people. No, it doesn't.
Jesus himself dealt with James and John, as they were going out two by two, to try to win souls, and they were trying to go through a certain city, and the people wouldn't let them. And they said, "Jesus, you want us to call down fire on them"? Jesus stopped in his tracks, and he said, "You don't know what spirit you are of. For the son of man did not come to take men's lives, he came to save them". And that's for everybody who thinks Jesus is here to judge. Jesus said, you don't have to agree with me. You don't even have to choose me, but at least know who I am. So make an informed decision.
Let me tell you something, Jesus came to open the way to heaven. You can't earn heaven, but you gotta earn hell. Do you know how hard it is to go to hell? You gotta work hard, to miss the grace of Jesus. You gotta fight every day, to run from the love of God, the forgiveness of God, the grace of God, the power of God. Do you understand, there is nobody who will ever not make it to heaven who didn't earn it? You got to earn getting there, but I'm telling you, you couldn't earn getting to heaven. Only Jesus himself gave us the ability to get to heaven.
You can't earn heaven, but you gotta earn hell. You gotta fight hard against the grace of God, and that's why he's fighting for you every day. And I'm glad that nobody in here will ever feel the separation from God, 'cause everybody in here's name is already written in the lamb's book of life. I declare it, I believe it, I know my time is up, and I say this, to encourage you as we leave. Heaven is your home. Earth is the place where you're working out your calling, but you're going back to your Father, because you came from your Father, and Jesus himself has made the way for that to happen.
Let us never forget this great king that we serve, this humble servant, servant leader, a man of integrity, and character, and strength, and conviction, who at one time would walk on water to meet you at the point of your need. This is Jesus only, and it is he alone that can save you from your sins, let me pray for you.
Lord Jesus I pray that you would bless the people tonight, to be reminded of the power of the name of Jesus. Jesus only, Jesus only, that we would stop looking for policies and plans and procedures, and focus on your presence, Jesus only. This is our faith, for without Jesus, we are nothing. And apart from him, we can do nothing. It is my prayer tonight that you would heal, save and deliver, through the power of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In your name, Jesus, I pray, amen.