The reason why we’re talking about connect in this new series is because God has called us to grow together. Everybody say together, there’s so many things that are going on in society. As I said earlier, there’s so many, there’s so much division there’s Sunday morning, especially there’s so much division because you got your denomination.
[00:00:19] I got my denomination. Everybody goes to there. What they believe and we’re segregated. Sunday morning is one of the most segregated times in the week. Did you know that. You’re here, but there’s other people and I’m not saying you need to go to a place where you can grow, but God is saying that right now, the body of Christ needs to come together in unity, right?
[00:00:38] To walk together in unity, to grow together in unity, stop all of this people say, stop, hating, stop. All of this dividing, the country is divided. The races are divided. The people are divided. The government’s divide. Everything is divided. And when you talk about being divided, God is saying, I am a God of unity.
[00:01:01] There’s God, the father, the son, and the holy spirit. And they’re all working together. They all admire each other. They all work together to bring about the purposes of God in the earth. And also in your life. And so it is not a time to be divided. It’s a time for unity and for us to join together. One of the things that I just, so don’t say dislike, dislikes, a strong word.
[00:01:23] I’m gonna go ahead and say it. I hated about COVID is because it divided us and kept us home and we should have been joining together. That’s why we, as a sojourn, we didn’t stay. We didn’t stay home long. I was trying to let get everybody back together, all the Y free. You guys remember that and how you go.
[00:01:41] See, I was the one that was still hiding. I was like, they gonna find me. I work for this spot. I can’t hide behind a whole lot of stuff. You know what I’m saying? So I got, I’m working this deal, you know what I’m saying? I can’t just hide behind a tree. You know what I’m like, I see your stomach, you know what I’m saying?
[00:01:55] So I was like, so I was the one that was still hiding. So I’m telling you. All the all 10 free it’s time to get back to the house of the Lord. It’s time for us to get back to unity and us to get back to the place where we’re coming together and accomplishing the purposes of God together.
[00:02:08] I need you and you need me. We need each other to walk together for his purposes. Amen. That is how we grow. God has called us to walk together. And if there’s, and it’s a division that comes about, we need to tear all those dividing that’s dividing walls. That’s what I love about God is his love reaches around bars and around corners and reaches around boundaries over dividing lines to bring us together to the unity of the faith that God has called us to.
[00:02:38] Now sojourn church is a church of unity. We are gonna walk together in unity. I don’t care where background you come from. I don’t care what ethnicity you are. I don’t care. You tell, say, you don’t want to know my past. I don’t listen. It doesn’t matter what your past is. God is saying, as we walk together in the future, God has a plan and a, the path for you.
[00:02:57] Amen. God has a plan for you. And so that being the case, we need to walk together in unity and walk together. And I wanna tell you. If we can’t walk together in unity now you’re gonna hate heaven. that’s you ain’t gonna like it. Because there’s so many, there’s gonna be so many people there gonna be black people, white people, Hispanic, it gonna be all together.
[00:03:21] It’s gonna be like a MGA board of people because I, and I love that. I want our church to be more diverse and we are more diverse than we used to be, but I want all, I don’t care what background. I don’t care what you smell like what you look like, where you been. I don’t care what your past is. I don’t care.
[00:03:36] I want you. To connect in with Jesus and us, connect in with each other and walk together in unity, in the faith of God that he’s called us to hand in hand. And the enemy is always trying to bring division and stop it all the slander and the back talk and and all the stuff do you, can you not see it?
[00:03:56] Can you not see what the enemy’s trying to do even with our kids, with this CT and stuff that’s going on in this school. And I know some of y’all, again, y’all hate my political statements, but I’m gonna tell you enough with our kids already enough with our kids already enough with the black lives, mattered all other stuff enough of that.
[00:04:12] Let’s say that. We say you wanted those pastors say all lives matter. I’m saying everybody matters to Jesus. Everyone matters to Jesus. And until we learn that and walk together and let the spirit of the holy ghost come in and join us together and bind us together will change. That cannot be broken.
[00:04:32] God is going to do the work. Yeah. He’s gonna do the work and called us to be together. Let’s look at first crew. Look at Ephesus chapter one. We’re gonna look at verse one. Here’s what it says. This is what Paul. In verse one, I therefore a prisoner for the Lord. How many of you wanna be a prisoner for the Lord?
[00:04:49] I’m gonna just tell you this right now. Y’all look up here at me right now. I declare that you all be prisoners for the Lord. I declare today that you all are prisoners for the Lord. I declare today that you all are prisoners for the. And here’s what I mean, you have a right to remain in Jesus. Anything you say can and will be used to bring you into the kingdom.
[00:05:10] You have a right to an attorney. His name is Jesus. He came in and he died in bled for you so that you can have life. And so I’m telling you what, you have been apprehended by Christ who has apprehended you by the spirit of God. You are a slave of righteousness. You are a slave to the king. You can’t help, but be righteous.
[00:05:28] You can’t help, but walk into redemptive plan. You can’t help, but walk into his purpose because God is in a consuming fire and he is burning this morning and bringing his people to a place of unity so that revival can break out and we can have renewal in this country and bring us back to the place that God has called us to be in Jesus name.
[00:05:51] That’s what he’s called us to do. That’s what he’s called us to do. And so if you think for one minute that you wanna slide to the left, to the right slide, to the right stomp three times, I don’t care what you do, everybody know Jesus. And you know what I’m saying? Get to the place where you are coming and walking in unity.
[00:06:12] I know some of y’all been to some of them clubs and some of y’all try to act like y’all don’t know what I’m talking. You can go ahead and take your redemptive. Holy mask. Off in here this morning. Go ahead. We have in church in here this morning, up in here, God is alive. Let God arise in his enemies.
[00:06:27] Be scattered today. Let God arise in his enemies. Be scattered because God is doing a fresh and a new thing in the body of Christ. And he’s helping us to walk in those things. We gotta come together in unity. Yes. So you’re a prisoner. You’re a prisoner of the Lord. That’s what Paul said. He said, you’re a prisoner.
[00:06:48] I’m a prisoner. Yeah. And he didn’t say it as a bad thing. Pastor Vernon Uhhuh. He was saying, that’s a good thing. I’m a prisoner. I therefore a prisoner of the Lord. I can’t help, but do what God’s called me to do. I can’t help, but go where he tells me to go. I can’t help, but talk to who he wants me to talk to.
[00:07:04] I can’t help it. Why can’t you help it? Because I’m apprehended by the Lord. Yeah. I’m apprehended by the Lord, where you want me to go? I’ll go. What you tell me to do? I’ll do where you tell me I’m gonna do whatever you want me to do, because I’m a prisoner of the Lord. That’s a good thing. That’s just a few lines in the verse.
[00:07:23] We ain’t even got in all every. Prisoner the Lord urge you to walk in a manner worthy. I’m reading outta the ESP of the calling to which you have been called with all humility and gentleness, with patience bearing with one another in love. You see where he is going. He’s saying that these are things that we’re him, a prisoner, but I urge you, and he’s not talking about the individual because how many of you know that we are not the individual of Christ.
[00:07:48] We are the body of Christ. Sometimes it’s not just all about you, right? I know that’s hard to hear sometimes, but it’s not all about you. That was one of the things that when my parents, when, as we were, when my parents said to me, but Vanessa would say to our kids and I would echo her, you know how sometimes in the rap game you have a hype man.
[00:08:11] I was Vanessa’s hype, man. She’d be like, it’s not all about you. I go, Ooh. It ain’t always about you. And so she’d be like, it’s all it’s about doing what God’s called you to do. That’s right. You know what I’m saying? So we would team up together until she would say those things to me, you know what I’m saying?
[00:08:25] And then it would be a little bit different story, a little bit different. She’ turned it on me. But the deal, that’s not always about you, but it’s about togetherness is what he’s saying. You would, you’ve been called with humility. How many know would you have to have humility to walk together? Some that went over a anyway.
[00:08:44] That’s right. Nobody likes to talk about humility because there’s humiliation in the word. Nobody wants to walk and talk about humility. I remember one time, man, I was coming out at a restaurant, a very nice restaurant that somebody had invited me to. And I was thinking to myself, I love this restaurant and good.
[00:09:02] I finally. I finally, somebody finally invited me to a nice restaurant and I was, I was feeling myself. I was like, yeah, you know what I’m saying? I, and so I came back and sat down at the table and the waitress came to me and said, sir, you have a roller toilet paper that was running down from the, I had went to the restroom and had toilet paper hanging down on my shoes.
[00:09:22] And so you’re talking about feeling humiliated. That’s what Paul said. He. You stand up, at least you think you’re something? Realize that you’re no you’re don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to. Yeah. How are you gonna help somebody else? If you think you’re of yourself more highly than you ought.
[00:09:39] So your text, humility and gentleness and patience and patience have patience. Have anybody remember that song? Don’t be in such a hurry unless you’re on the interstate and you’re driving 40. When the speed limit says you’re supposed to be driving 70, you gotta have patience bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the listen, listen, eager to maintain the unity of the spirit and the bond of.
[00:10:09] Now listen to what this word means. It means that you, it is up to you and you, some of your versions say that you endeavor. That means you work to make sure that you maintain the bond of peace, the spirit of unity and the bond of peace. Look up here. I’m gonna tell you what that means. When you’re thinking about maintaining the spirit of unity, that means that you have to maintain it.
[00:10:29] Just like I have a car, I have to maintain that car. I have to change the oil, have to make sure the tires are rotated. I have to make sure to maintain it to, for its purpose, for what it is called designed to do, to take me from point a to point B and the air conditioner running as it’s doing that I have to make sure that the car is maintained.
[00:10:48] It’s on me. The car can’t maintain itself. I have to maintain that car. So the same thing with unity, if you want unity in your home husbands fathers, you help maintain the unity in your home, pray for the peace of God to come into your home. How many of you know that your home should be a safe place or Haven play for a Haven for peace people to come into?
[00:11:07] Yes. Do you hear what I’m saying? You maintain it. You fought mothers and fathers and husbands and wife maintain that. Vanessa. And I, before we were looking at our house that we’re in right now, we went with a realtor that used to be here named, was Cindy Toon. And she took us to her house and we walked into the house and she said, pastor Chris, do you hear, do you feel that?
[00:11:27] Do you feel that I go, I do. I go, what did she goes? That’s the piece of God. She goes, there’s a pastor that lives here and he’s selling this house and there’s a piece of God. You could feel it when you walk in the room, I could feel the, and Vanessa and I was like, wow, we could feel that. And we didn’t buy that house cuz he wanted way too much for that piece.
[00:11:46] I wasn’t gonna, you know what I’m saying? Zillow put me in the Willow, you know what I’m saying? I’ll look at it like yeah, he won’t way too much money for that piece. I’ll pass the piece that surpasses all understanding I’m gonna pass on. And look for the house that we’re in right now, but you know what I’m talking about, maintain the piece that’s in your home.
[00:12:09] You gotta work together as a family to maintain the piece that God’s put in your home. You work at it. Sometimes you gotta work at it, because you’re coming. Think about this. You get mad sometimes because your kids coming in and all this stuff, but do you know that your kids and even your wife and those of you to go to work, there are spirits that are trying to get on you and come into your home.
[00:12:28] Yeah. Amen. Amen. You, that’s why it’s important for you to pray over your kids. Lord, I bind all the spirits that come against Johnny in the name of Jesus. I plunge and beneath the blood of Jesus Christ that no evil shall befall them though. A thousand fall at their side and 10,000 at their right hand.
[00:12:45] It won’t come. Not them. I pray that you give their angels charge over them. Guard their mind guard, their hearts guard, their ears, guard their very person. God, I pray. You have to pray over your children and over your spouse on a daily basis. Yes, that’s good. And if you’re single, pray over yourself.
[00:13:03] Yeah. Pray over yourself. Cuz we need each other. You maintain the bond of on a peace, the spirit of unity, us walking together. That’s why God’s called us to walk together as this church. This is so during church. And I know somebody’s like, where’d you guys get that name because we were on sojourn drive, but it doesn’t mean that you come into the church and you go wander off.
[00:13:26] It means that you sojourn here. God, we believe that as you’re come as you’re here, that God has brought you here. And if he’s brought you here, then you need to settle here and you don’t need to be let consumerism come in and change your. Consumerism has hurt the church because if I don’t like the worship and if I don’t like the children’s ministry and I don’t like what pastor Chris has on.
[00:13:47] So therefore I’m gonna go find another church, man. Listen, what happened to the days of old? When you come into a church and you planted there and no matter what came your way, you were able to stay planted. And he, and she shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth fruit in its season.
[00:14:08] And his leaves, their leaves also shall not wither. And then whatever they do shall prosper. You wanna prosper, you get in a church that preach the word of God. Yeah. That preaches the truth and not tickling ears. I wanna tickle your ear. It’s nasty.
[00:14:29] I do wanna pull it sometimes and bring you to the bleeding side of caving. My mother got a hold of my ear. She was trying to take it off. She’s you can get over here, Chris, Darnell McCray, you know what I’m saying? I’m gonna pull it now. Some of you’re laughing, but God is pulling you here to this place.
[00:14:48] You’re trying to decide whether or not you’re gonna be here. I’m gonna tell you right now, we’re a church that preaches the word of God. And we believe in the. We believe that Jesus is the only way he’s the truth and the life and that he’s still the answer for the world today. And if anybody else is trying to tell you that there’s other ways and other roads and there’s other religions, and you can go, and there’s many ways to heaven, I’m gonna tell you they lying.
[00:15:10] There’s only one way to Jesus. The only way, one way to the father and is through Jesus. Amen. You won’t hear that. We are gonna tell the truth. There’s so many doctrines and so many things that are going on out there. And I’m looking at one of my, one of our elders here this morning. Paul Kramer, who’s been with us in the beginning and he’s seen the fact that we’ve got so many things going on in this world.
[00:15:29] There’s so many doctrines and stuff. The people just pre-owned the internet. That’s what our, another thing I hate about what happened with COVID. You could get on and preach about anything on the, on YouTube and any of these platforms. Is it true? Yeah. I heard the other day, somebody, I don’t know if you ver or somebody saying it to me, the other.
[00:15:43] Where a pastor got on and said that God is pro-choice. Yeah, that’s true story. I saw it from his lips and then I rewind it just because I wanted to make sure I heard what I heard I was like, God is pro-choice like he lying. God is pro his, and he backed it up with scripture. He used a scripture that said that today.
[00:16:07] I said, before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life, but he’s not gonna choose for you. So you choose and you need so therefore God is pro-choice. I was like, I wish I could choose right now. Cause I’d reach through this screen right there and bring and slap some anointing all on you right now in Jesus name.
[00:16:28] I love what pastor Terry says. Sometimes we need two different lines. We need a healing line and a slapping line. We need somebody to go through the slapping line.
[00:16:38] and the name of.
[00:16:43] Feel the holy ghost feel the holy ghost. Here’s what I wanna say to you. The reason why I’m saying this with all the things that are going on in the world and all the doctrine that’s going on, you have got to hear the truth. Yeah. That’s in Jesus. That’s right. He is the truth. He said, I am the way the truth, and the life, no one comes to the father except from him from, by me.
[00:17:03] So that’s what you need to hear. You gotta hear the truth. I’m gonna tell you this. This is the. No matter where you come from, no matter your background, God has a future and a plan and hope for you. I know the plans I have for you say the Lord, they give you a future and a hope not to harm you, give you a future and a hope.
[00:17:20] And what better to do that than with walking with the body of Christ. That’s what it says right here. I’m finish it. He says, maintain the unity and the spirit of butter. Peace. There is one body. Everybody say one body, one body, and one spirit. It’s one spirit just as you were called in the hope that belongs to your call.
[00:17:38] Let me know. Do you have a call? Say I have a call. I have a call. Say this. I have a call of God on my life. I have a call of God. Some of y’all need to stop running from that call. Stop running from that call that God has on your life. Somebody you need to stop running because God has good things in store for you.
[00:17:58] But I wanna run with people. I wanna run with people that are gonna help me in that. Yeah, because you, sometimes you try to do stuff by yourself and you’re not able to do it. But then when you get with a group of people who are like-minded like-hearted and in the same mind, in the same way, you’ll realize that God is destined and called us to walk together.
[00:18:19] As the enemy tries to bring division. Vanessa and I were talking about a couple that we loved that we care about and they had gotten separated. and Vanessa, like how long have they been together? I think it was like 20 something years and Vanessa oh no. I was like, why? Why? Yeah, it’s a tragic that they’re separating.
[00:18:36] She goes, no, yeah, that’s bad. She goes, but after 20 years they’re trained, she has them trained after 20 years. I go. That’s right. Wait, what are you talking about? What did you just say to me? Just glanced over that she’s like after 20 years you have, ’em trained, you work together. There was a time when Vanessa and I’s marriage and we told each other that we would always, some of you guys think Chris, you say these things is Vanessa know about him.
[00:18:58] There’s, she’s heard this message 20 times. So here’s the deal. We said that we would always be real to our congregation when nobody cuz we’re I put on my pants the same way that you do. I’m no, and anybody’s special is you’re on the platform. Just cuz this is my vocation and my calling, but you’re just as important.
[00:19:15] And so we, we said that we would be real, but there was a time in Vanessa and I’s marriage where we had no idea, we were, everything was coming at us. There was division, it was division. It was division. I would say apple. She would say oranges. I say fried chicken. She say spaghetti. It was just division that was going on in our home until we realized.
[00:19:33] That it was the enemy trying to divide us. And once you recognize, cuz the Bible says that we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices, once you recognize that, start praying together and bringing, coming together in unity and some healing. How many know that some of us bring baggage into the, to, into the, into the relationship.
[00:19:51] You don’t gotta hold your hand because the baggage that you’re talking about is right next to you, but you don’t have to raise your hand, but some of, we bring baggage into stuff. So I had to get rid of my baggage. She had to get rid of her baggage. Some of y’all, some of y’all looking at your spots like, honey, you didn’t bring any baggage into the, to the relationship.
[00:20:06] You lying. Everybody brings baggage into the relationship. And we had prayed and God brought us together in unity because we realized what Satan was trying to do. And you know what, John 10, 10, he is still trying to steal. Kill and destroy now, Vanessa Kelly McCray is my favorite human being in the whole world.
[00:20:25] Even after the kids are gone, it’s gonna be me and. And we ready to travel and we, babe, we ready to go travel. I have, honey will travel. I’m ready to go. We ready to do some stuff. The kids getting outta the house. I’m like, bye. Changing the locks. I love y’all I love y’all changing the locks.
[00:20:40] They’re gonna be like D who got one of those deals where you, as you push the button and the code , I’m gonna change it. I’m gonna change it. I’m gonna change it so bad where they don’t even figure it out. I’m telling you what, he’s gonna look the matrix, look you, ain’t gonna try to figure it out, but I’m telling you what God has got a plan for them as well.
[00:20:56] That’s right. Yeah. And he got a plan for your kids. Yeah. And he’s, and unity comes together as we continue to walk together in unity. Yeah. Now some of you in here right now are going through a hard time, been going through a hard time and you’re going through it alone, walking through it by yourself. You nobody, you’re not talking to anybody about it, cuz you don’t want anybody to know.
[00:21:20] But the truth is. Your problem ain’t any bigger or worse than anybody else’s problem. That’s why we gotta come together in unity. Cause you’re thinking if they knew about what I had going on, they would think differently about me. And that’s a lie for the enemy. This church is not gonna be like that.
[00:21:38] We don’t, I’m not gonna judge because Satan has already been judged. Yeah. We wanna look with eyes of compassion and you need the body of. you need the spirit of God to help you to walk through that. But if you also, we need each other. So my connect four is this connect with Christ connect. You gotta connect with Christ.
[00:22:01] You gotta cross connect, connect with the cross. Then you gotta have a power connect. Was the power you connect with the power of the holy spirit. Then there’s the people connect it’s vertical and it’s horizontal. What does that look? The cross of Christ.
Chris is a graduate of Christ for the Nations and The King’s University. Chris first joined staff at Sojourn Church in Carrollton, Texas in 1996, and has served as Pastor of Children’s Ministry, Youth and Families. In January 2020, Chris began serving as Lead Pastor. Chris and Vanessa have been married since 1998 and have four children.