John Gray - Glory Days
Do me a favor, I never asked anybody to do this, but tonight, I'm going to ask you to hold the hand of the person next to you. Some of you are like, I'm not gonna do it. I watched them sneeze and cry during worship, they've got mucus, they didn't use hand sanitizer, I'm a germaphobe, I feel dirty. Stop it right now. Bite the bullet, hold the hand. I don't know why you came here tonight, I don't know all of your needs, I don't know any of your needs, I don't presume to know what the motivating factor is for your attendance here. But I do know that the same God that made you made me.
I don't know where you grew up or how you grew up, or what your particular life view is, but I do know that God values you the same as he values me. And that the blood of Jesus was shed for every single person in this church, and those who are watching online, watch this, and for those who don't know anything about this church, those who don't believe. That is the power of Jesus. But in here, I wanted you to grab a hand because there is a collective need to understand the beauty of humanity and the value of every other human being outside of ourselves. I wanna pray. Now you clapping but you're supposed to be holding hands. So, you already disobedient. Oh, that's wonderful, unity, Hercules, Hercules. See you around. Grab the hand, I'm gonna pray.
Lord Jesus, this is my family. Bless my family. They come from a different part of the family tree, but it's my family. Tonight I'm asking that you will give us insight in your word, to bring us together in a time of great division. God this is my prayer that you will speak to us, and let your word be what we leave with, not just the opinions and conjecture of man. This I pray in Jesus name, amen.
Can somebody now put your hands together and give God a great praise. If you'll do me a favor and go to Ephesians 6, starting at the 10th verse, I'm reading from the new King James version. To all of our first, second and third time visitors, I saw a lot of hands go up. On behalf of our pastors again, we welcome you. We're very grateful that you are here, and for coming out and sacrificing for all those who have sacrificed to come out in a midweek service. I love you all, thank God for your faithfulness. And I just wanna jump into this word.
"Finally my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day".
I don't know about you, but the days are becoming quite evil. And having done all to stand. Now, go with me quickly to John 17. John 17, starting at the first verse. "Jesus spoke these words, lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, 'Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You. As You have given Him authority over all flesh'". Somebody say all flesh. Very important for you to know Jesus is still in charge. Jesus is still very much in control. "'As you have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life that they may know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I finished the work which You have given me to do. And now o Father, glorify Me together with Yourself with the glory which I had before the world was yours.'"
I wanna talk to you from the subject, glory days. Glory days. It's real tense in here, because y'all trying to figure out what I'm about to say. I am not here to make a political statement, I'm not here to talk about party affiliation, I'm here to talk about Jesus Christ. But it would be a blind pastor, preacher or leader who would not at least acknowledge that the world has shifted. The world has changed. I must say it again, the world has changed. And that's the tension that we feel because nobody wants to talk about the fact that the world has changed. So why don't you just break the ice and just gently nudge the person next to you and say, hey, the world changed.
Last week was the combination of probably one of the most contentious political cycles in the history of our great nation. And almost evenly down the middle, people are divided. There is trouble in the land. And oh my goodness, what are we going to do? The world is falling apart, people don't agree, there's so much drama, so much hatred, so much anger, what's going to happen? Hello. It's been like this, for years. Let's get real, every four years we throw a panic attack. Oh my goodness, the person I voted for didn't get in what we don't do Jesus? He was like chill.
Tell somebody chill. Let's chill. No, sorry, that's not a Gospel song. Then there are others rejoicing, "Yay, the person that I chose, they got in". Great, how does that materially impact you? And so here now I wanna talk not to politics, but I wanna talk to the spirit of the age. Because the first scripture I gave you speaks to the spiritual dynamic that is at work. The enemy, his whole job is to steal, kill and destroy. To destroy hope, to kill faith. He wants to sow seeds of discord. And if he could do it in the church, then he's really winning. But God has a plan, and the plan looks a lot like this room.
I saw a brother over there with his hands lifted up, he doesn't look like me must be a different background. What's your nationality bro? Mexican. Where my Mexican folk at? Stand up Mexicans, stand up Mexico. Remain standing for a second while I put the word of the Lord on you. I bless you, your family, your heritage. I declare that I don't see color or country, I see kingdom. That I see you as a believer, that I see you as valuable, that the same Jesus that died for me died for you, and we are family.
Now let me come to the house and eat some food. I saw some other people with their hands up. I saw a white woman with her hands up. Where is she gone? She had her hand up, she was worshiping. So she's like me, I'm nervous. Yes. Stand up, sis. Where you from? Yeah! She's like, "Just from down the street. Not really far. It's not Mexico, just close by". No biggie, just, I'm here. All my white people stand up. Let me tell you something. I feel God in here. I'm getting ready to tell you what I'm doing. You're my family. You are not a color, you are my brother, you are my sister. We are part of the same church.
And there's more that unifies us than separates us. And I speak life to you and your family. May your hopes and dreams come to pass. And I bind the spirit of racism that has divided this nation and even the church for too long. We are family. Robin I didn't know you was white. You look mixed. Saw a black dude worshiping. Where'd he go? Threw his hand up. Where's he at? Yeah, where's he at? Yeah, there he is with the long hair. Hey. Long hair, don't care. Where are you from bro? H Town.
All the black people stand up. Wow. Hey one day when the glory comes it will be us, it will be us hey one day you are a nation of overcomers, and nothing that has ever happened has held you down, and here you are still with your hope, still with your faith, still running after Jesus, through pain, through trials, through hundreds of years of tears, you still have overcome. And Jesus is still Lord, and you still fight for everybody else I speak life to you and your family and your hopes and your dreams. And no matter what is going on in society, God has not forgotten about you.
Now, I don't mean to do this 'cause I'll be here all night doing this, every other nationality, stand up. Puerto Rican, Colombian, native American, Asian, Swedish, German. What else? Shout it out. What up Asian? I can't hear you. Salvador, El Salvador. Salvadorean. The nations of Africa, look around. We are not just one church with one type of people, we are one church with many nations, many nationalities, many backgrounds. Immigrants, native Americans, black, white, Salvadorian, Asian, Swedish, Australian, German, black, whatever else is in here, but the only color that matters is red, and it's the blood of Jesus that has unified us.
Everybody stand up, because no matter what is happening in society, God will get glory. I said, God will get... glory. Somebody shout glory. Let's give a glory praise to God. Let's take 30 seconds right there. Glory. Glory. Glory. I'm not a democrat, I'm not a republican, I'm not an independent, I'm a Christian right now. Men want power, God wants glory. I'm not gonna let the devil win, not on my watch. I won't let society define how I engage you because of the color of your skin. I won't let society break up our spiritual heritage because we may not agree on political ideology. I won't let the devil stop me from finding value and commonality even though we come from different parts of the world.
Somehow, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we all ended up in this place in this moment, because we are the church, and we will give God glory. Do you Jesus is gonna share glory with a politician? No. I don't care who's in the house, who's in the senate, who's in the oval office, Jesus is on the throne. I need somebody to shout in here. This political cycle was designed to wake up the church. I believe God is sitting on the throne, and when Tuesday happen, God is, you're ready yet?
'Cause I've been hoping for an individual to come and do what only I could do. You're waiting for government to do what the church is supposed to do. The government was never called to care for widows and orphans and to go see people in the jail-house. Jesus didn't tell the government to do that. He told the church to do that. It was Jesus who said, touch the lepers, heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons. Jesus told the church to do that. And you're waiting cheque from the government, when we're supposed to take care of each other. God wants glory.
This must be the church's finest hour. This must be the moment where we rise up and the very best principles of the heart and character of Jesus Christ begin to emerge from the detritus and darkness of the most vicious cycle designed to separate us. God is waiting on the church to be the church, to open up doors of understanding, to build bridges of conversation between divergent groups of people. We must begin to see life through the lens of people that don't look like us and don't come from us.
You think everybody in here has been saved their whole life, you think people in here aren't right now walking through places of addiction to drugs and to alcohol, you think everybody in here is perfect? No, starting from me all the way to you in the back and everybody in between we all need Jesus, we all need Jesus, we all need Jesus, we all need Jesus. Can I get a amen from the right hand side. Can I get an amen from the left hand side. Can get a amen from the center section.
See, in John 17, Jesus was praying as he was preparing to die. Say out loud, "Something's gotta die". Jesus was praying. Thank you, Lord. And he says, at the beginning of the prayer, "Father, the hours come, glorify Your Son, glorify Yourself and give Me the glory that I had before I did this work in the earth". At the end of his life, the only thing he was concerned about, is "Father, are you getting glory"?
He knew that he was about to die. And in this moment, this was not just a spiritual exchange, there was political upheaval, there was social unrest, and there was a spiritual war for the souls of men and women. Not unlike where we are today, that there is political upheaval, social unrest and a darkness that has covered the nations like never before. And where is the church? I believe that is the question that our Father is declaring from His throne. "Where is the church? Who will stand up and represent Me? Who will extend an olive branch? Who will show the world in times of darkness that the light is not coming, the light is now here?