John Gray - Cross My Heart
And Jesus died to end the separation between God and man. That's why the veil of the curtain was ripped from top to bottom when Jesus died. For those who many not know the significance of that, it was God saying, "I have taken the initiative in bringing you into my presence, so I tore the curtain". Now, there's another side to that cross and it's the way you handle one another.
Many of us, we love God but it's hard to love people. Can I get a good amen on that? "God, I love you. It's just some of your kids that get on my nerves". But you cannot embrace the cross of Christ without embracing people. Because that's all Jesus was about was people. His passion was people. You cannot dismiss the person next to you. I'm coming to get mine and God's like, "If you help the person next to you get there's, if you encourage them, I'll make sure that I bless you". No, I need mine, I'm here for me, and God's like, "You know, your breakthrough is sitting right next to you". No, it's not.
Wait, what? Hey! How you doing? Go ahead and look at the people next to you. Just look at 'em real quick. Just say "Hey". Say hi to the other one. Hey! That's your family, that's who Jesus died for. They are just as valuable to God as you are. And when we catch that revelation, oh, the power of this place. Because when you see the person next to you as valuable as yourself, you will fight for them differently. Let me give you some keys to crossing your heart. Keys to crossing your heart.
Number one, you can not cross your heart until you cross over. Matthew 16:24 Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me". Somebody say "Cross over". Crossing over means you literally, literally decide, "I'm going after Jesus. The world behind me, the cross before me, no turning back, no turning back", that is not just a song, it is a declaration of your commitment. Jesus said, "If you really wanna be my disciple, you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me". If you really wanna cross your heart, then you're going to need to cross over.
I'm telling someone here tonight and those who might be listening, maybe you need to make a decision. Watch this, maybe you're already saved, but you've been kind of in a middle place. Saying. "I'm not really sure what to do next 'cause this whole salvation in Jesus thing is messing up my social life. I can't do what I used to do, and even when I tried I feel guilty now. I didn't used to feel guilty when I would turn up, but now I can't turn up, I'm just on medium. I used to be on 100, but now I'm on four".
On a Tuesday, and I'm trying to figure out... You done got saved. You used to get your hair done on Friday so you could turn up in the club. Now you got your hair done on Friday, it's like. I guess I gotta go home. Sleeping all night 'cause you gone keep it right for Sunday though. You know, sisters, y'all don't sleep on y'all hair when y'all get it done. That's why your neck just be strong, just sleep standing up, just...
Somebody say, "Cross over". What I'm encouraging you to do is take a look at anything in your life that's trying to keep you from making a full-hearted commitment to Jesus. It might be a habit, it might be a person. But whatever it is, I'm asking you to consider letting it go. The prophet Elsa declared. "Let it go, let it go". They like, "The prophet Elsa? Where is that in the Scripture? I don't find that in the Scripture. I don't find that. I don't know where it is".
If there's somebody that's holding you back, you need to let 'em go, and do it in a nice way. Just be like, "I'm sorry, I'm growing up, I'm going after Jesus, this relationship is detrimental to my spirit. Thank you, bye-bye". Sometimes letting go is not a person, sometimes letting go is embracing a discipline. Should I tell 'em about tomorrow? Tell 'em about tomorrow? Okay, so I'm gonna be transparent with you. This might be a shock to you, but I've struggled with my weight. Got a little bit of a weight problem. So, after much prayer, my wife and I have decided we're gonna go full force and I've got some medical folk behind me and we're going after an aggressive plan for me to get my life in order.
And it starts tomorrow morning, so don't judge me if you see me going through every drive-through before midnight. Let me get a big mac, a single, a frosty. Let me get some nuggets. What else is open, Jesus? I just need to store it up, Jesus, just in case. I'm trying to let it go. I'm so serious. Just go past McDonalds in a week like no. French fries! People gone be eating in slow motion. This is so good! No!
What I just did is I shared with you that even though I have a passion to preach and a heart to serve, there are necessary disciplines that I need to embrace in order for my heart to be crossed. From the pulpit to the back of the church, many of us are called to embrace a new discipline in order to see the next dimension of God manifest in our lives. And for many years that appetite had held me hostage, but it leaves me tonight and I embrace a heart of discipline and I'm asking for your prayers because it's life and death for me, and I wanna live for my wife and I wanna live for my son and my daughter and my twins who are on the way.
Now, I was just speaking prophetically. My wife was like, "What? Who is it"? It's gone be you, boo. Lose this weight, girl. I got three more points, let me give you some points. Somebody say cross over. Sometimes it means letting go, sometimes it means embracing a discipline.
Number two, crossing your heart means crucifying your flesh. It's hard for that amen, it's like mm, amen. Galatians 5:24 says, "All those are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another or envying one another". Crucifying the flesh means identifying those things in your flesh that would seem to rise up against the Lordship of Christ.
Whatever's in your life that wants to be Lord, you gotta crucify it. Whatever it is. If it's TV, if it's an individual, you crucify it. If it's fear, you nail that thing to the cross and if you want, you can even get a white board, get some post-it notes, put it in the form a cross and nail those things, just put 'em on the cross. Put fear on the cross, put shame on the cross, put lust on the cross, put addiction on that cross because there's nothing that you can put on the cross that he didn't die for.
Number three, crossing your heart will cost your heart. What do I mean? Your heart is gonna become tender. Mama Dodie, it takes mama Dodie four seconds to start crying. All she has to think about is what Jesus did for 39 years ago or somebody will bring up how God healed her from end cancer or you'll hear pastor Joel talking about something and all of a sudden he'll start crying or doctor Paul, you see them start crying. That's a tender heart, and when you've crossed over, your heart will become tender to the things of God. You will feel deeper, you'll cry faster, but you'll also serve sooner.
Crossing your heart will cost your heart. You're gonna feel things you didn't feel before. When you truly embrace what Jesus did, you'll see people differently. You won't see them as an obligation. You'll see them as an opportunity. When you cross over, you will not see the burden, you'll see the blessing. When you cross over, you will see and understand that the person on the street who does not look like they had a bath in two months is as important to God as the person in the biggest house in the city. When you cross your heart.
And here's the thing, Psalm 51 and 17. It says, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart. These, oh God, you will not despise". And when you cross your heart, your heart breaks for the lost. Your heart will break for the lowly. Your heart will hurt at injustice and you will be stirred to action. Crossing your heart is gone cost you, it's gonna cost you, but it's worth it because God needs some folk with a contrite heart, a broken heart, a heart broken for humanity, broken for lost. If we go after lost souls, if we stop trying to transfer members from other churches and I'm talking to the body of Christ.
Let's stop trying to get other folk from other places. There's enough lost folk out there to fill this church 50 times a week. Let's let the people who have never heard about Jesus know there's a place where they can come and grow and be celebrated and loved and affirmed and it doesn't matter what they've done or even what they're doing but there is a place called hope and it is found in the name of Jesus Christ and there's a church called Lakewood that is an oasis of love and in here God will transform your heart and you don't have to be beat up and judged and condemned because the love of Christ will do the work on the inside. Let me give you this. These are keys to crossing your heart. Now once you've got your heart crossed, you've gotta maintain, somebody say maintain. Here's a couple keys to maintaining your heart.
Number one, guard your heart. You wanna write this one down, ladies. Guard your heart. Guard your hearts. Proverbs 4:23, it says, "Keep your heart with all diligence. For out of it spring the issues of life". Guard your heart. Everyone does not need access to your heart. Everyone cannot handle the currency of your heart. Be wise with the intimate places of your subconscious. Be wise with who you share your dreams with. These are intimates things you need to guard your heart.
Say "Guard your heart". If you're gonna cross your heart, you also need to guard your heart. Everyone does not need an all-access pass. Be wise in who you share intimate details with because some people don't necessarily have your best interest at heart, and some people will despise your humanity and stop seeing the divinity. So, some people don't need to know everything. Ask the Lord for the discernment of the Holy Spirit on who should be close and what you should share, but until he gives you clarity, guard your heart.
Number two, speak to your heart. Speak to your heart. Solomon in 2 Chronicles chapter one. There's a scripture, very profound scripture, because Solomon received unprecedented favor from God. Unprecedented wisdom and unprecedented wealth. Why? Watch in 2 Chronicles 1:11 what God said, "Then God said to Solomon, 'because this was in your heart and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or life of your enemies nor have you asked long life, but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may judge my people over whom I have made you king. I'ma give you all that and then some'".
But the first part is what I want you to catch. God gave Solomon an opportunity, ask me for anything. Said I need wisdom to judge your people, they deserve the best, I'm not the best. I need you to give me wisdom so I can do right by them. And the Bible makes it clear that God said this was in your heart. So, it wasn't a knee-jerk response. This was something Solomon had been thinking about for a while. You need to speak to your heart and you need to speak the right things to your heart.
When envy and strife and bitterness creep up, you need to speak to your heart and say, "This is not where you live. You don't dwell in here, this is the heart of Christ, and this is a heart of devotion. This is a heat of humility, this is a heart of service, and I'm gonna serve the king, and I'm not gonna allow anything into my heart that doesn't reflect the nature of Jesus that doesn't look like the character of Jesus. I'm not gonna allow that in". Watch this, 'cause when you speak to your heart, God's listening. God says because this was in your heart.