Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Cross City Worship at Home | April 26, 2020 | 11 am

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- Hello and welcome to Cross City Church at Home.

We normally have five different venues,

but right now, as we worship from our home,

we have thousands of venues.

If you're watching on Facebook or YouTube,

drop a comment and let us know

where you're watching from,

and if you're on our website,

we're introducing a brand new experience today.

You can see the notes, follow the scriptures,

and interact all in the same place,

or you can make it full screen

and watch it just like you've done before.

You know, when we're worshiping

from these different places,

we can't actually hear all the voices singing together,

but we remember that God hears us as one church.

Our worship still matters, so let's sing,

and let's prepare our hearts

for God to speak to us

during these next few moments together.

Let's pray.

Father, we thank you for who you are

and what you mean to us.

Father, I pray that as we worship together

and hear your Word, that you would speak to us,

and we would know you.

It's in your name we pray, amen.

- We said this from very early on

in this stay-at-home season:

We've temporarily become one church

with thousands of locations.

You've made your home a house of worship,

even though we're in many different places.

I'm so glad,

that we've continued to worship together

and have online content together.

Each week we've had the chance to talk to new people

who have joined us for worship.

And if you're watching with us for the very first time,

I want to connect with you.

Click the guest link,

watch the video

and let us get to know you as you get to know us.

One of the things that I love about Cross City

is how well we stay connected.

God designed all of us to be in relationship with others

where we can be grounded

and growing together,

and I can't think of a time

when we've needed to stay connected more than this time.

Even though we can't meet in person,

our groups are meeting online

and they're open to anyone.

We've even started new ones right now

so click the link to get started today with us

and don't let another moment go by

without being connected

when we all need it the most.

No matter what's happening around us,

we're still the church.

We're still worshiping, serving

and giving together.

We've been delivering food

and ministering in lots of different ways

and your giving makes all that possible.

If you've never given online before,

it's easy to do so.

Just go to

Do that today

and be a part of what God's doing through us.

You know, no one ever gets to the end of life

and says, "I wish I'd valued relationship less."

How would we live our life differently

knowing how vital relationships really are.

Today in the Word we're continuing our "Wish I Knew" series.

Now that's got North Campus pastor Kent Wells

to bring our message.

Over the last year and two months,

that North Campus have been thriving,

and Kent in the middle of it all.

So we welcome Kent Wells as he brings the word today.

God bless you.

- Good morning Cross City fam

and anybody else who's jumpin' in to watch us today.

It is so good to have you on here.

We're talkin' about relationships are real.

I don't know about you, but I'm a social creature,

and I love people.

I love to hug people, I love shakin' hands,

I love all of those things,

and so this really is a tough time for us.

But man, you know people are social.

You look at Facebook and Instagram and all that stuff,

they put everything that they possibly can out there.

But here's the deal.

No matter how unreal relationships get at times,

they are still the realest real

that we experience every day.

They really are.

Relationships show us the good, they show us the bad,

and they show us the ugly in all of us.

So this whole corona thing,

it has definitely tested the strength

and the flexibility of some of our closest relationships,

those that we have that live inside of our own address.

Even today, if you were to go and do a Google search,

1.3 billion results if you type in

just that word relationships.

So it matters.

Man, even Harvard agrees.

Harvard Health Publishing, look at what they say about this.

"A relative lack of social ties

"is associated with depression

"and later in life cognitive decline

"as well as with increased mortality.

"One study which examined data

"from more than 309,000 people

"found that the lack of strong relationships

"increased the risk of premature death

"from all causes by 50%,

"an affect on mortality risk roughly comparable

"to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day,

"and greater than obesity and physical inactivity."

Relationships definitely carve a path towards life

or towards death.

So today, as we look at relationships,

turn with me if you would

to the book of Philippians, chapter two.

That's where we're gonna be today.

As we jump into this, man,

I cannot wait to see what God does

as we talk about relationships today.

Here's what Paul says to the Philippians.

He says, "Therefore,

"if there is any encouragement in Christ,"

and those two words, they matter, they matter,

because from this point,

everything else that I'm going to say,

it hinges on you and I being in Christ.

So in Christ is the only way

that all of this works inside of his power.

So it goes on to say,

"If there's any consolation of love,

"if there is any fellowship of the Spirit,

"if there is any affection and compassion,"

and Paul says, in verse two, "make my joy complete

"by being the same mind, maintaining the same love,

"united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

"Do nothing from selfish or empty conceit,

"but with humility of mind, regard one another

"as more important than yourselves.

"Do not merely look out for your own personal interests,

"but also for the interests of others."

Man, we live, really and truly,

in a very selfish world,

but Paul is tellin' us here, as believers,

as those of us who are in Christ,

we need to pay close attention

to the best and the worst of relationships

around us because why?

If we're in Christ, we want others to be in Christ.

So today, let's look at it.

Let's look at four avenues to be real

inside of any relationship.

Let's look at it, let's spell it out

just using that word real.

But before I get there, let me ask you this question.

This question, John brought it up

in our teaching time the other day,

and it blows by mind, but it says this.

How in the world does Paul,

who's at the bottom of maybe his life in that situation,

sitting in a prison cell,

how does Paul write something so well

about the heights of human relationships

while being, really and truly,

in the deepest, darkest, maybe even dungeon of his life.

So today, man, let's look at,

number one, if you were to keep up

with all of the points that we make today,

number one, man, respect paves the path to humility.

Look at verse three again.

It says, "Do nothing from selfish or empty conceit,

"selfishness or empty conceit,

"but with humility of mind,

"regard one another as more important than yourselves.

"Do not merely look out for your own personal interests,

"but also for the interests of others."

Man, when you think about respect,

respect paving the way to humility,

then humility has everything to do with honor,

and honor has everything to do

with appreciating and esteeming someone.

So kids, here's the deal, talkin' to you today.

How do you honor Mom and Dad?

If they tell you to jump in

and to go clean your room,

or if they ask you to do the dishes,

you jumping in and being obedient to doing that,

guess what, that's honoring them.

You know who else that honors?

Man, it honors God.

God is so pleased when you do the things

that your mom and dad are telling you to do.

If you didn't think it was that important kiddos,

I'll tell you this.

In Exodus chapter 20, in the 10 Commandments,

he says it's very important.

And then, if you go to the New Testament,

in Matthew 15, Jesus reiterates.

And if that wasn't enough, then Paul, in Ephesians,

he reiterates it.

It's amazing when we do those things

to honor and to love our parents.

Even right now, I know that Don and Shara Green,

just great friends, love them to death,

but Shara, her mom is in a really strong battle

with Alzheimer's right now.

But just in keepin' up with her

and just seein' her heart on that

and goin' to check on her mom

as much as she can,

even sitting outside the window to love on her,

man, that is honor.

Honoring those loved ones in those later years of life,

even when they go into a season,

even with Alzheimer's, man, God honors that.

The Bible also talks about another way

for us husbands and wives,

that we're supposed to love and respect each other.

In our Connection class, we just started a brand new one

called Love and Respect,

and we set the other night on Zoom,

and we just had some great time in our Zoom meeting

talking about loving and respecting each other.

But maybe you're not a kid

and maybe you're not in a marriage situation right now,

but here's what Peter says to everyone.

Peter says to honor all people.

Timothy says, in I Timothy,

that we should honor the leadership of the church.

He also goes on to say that we should honor our employer.

Then Paul also says to the Romans

that we should honor one another above ourselves.

Man, that is a, that's a noble task,

it's a hard task at times,

because this whole world just tells us,

man, we need to look out for number one,

and usually the world is sayin' we're number one.

Man, you wanna really know how to honor people

and live humbly?

Do a study in the book of Proverbs.

There are so many Proverbs for each one of these.

Look at this: communication issues,

maybe some of you, you have problems

just talkin' and communicating with people.

Man, relationships issues, financial issues,

health issues, love, marital, parenting,

personality, encouraging others, self-control, sexuality.

Selfish, conceited people only look out to honor themselves.

Man, and so that whole book of Proverbs

is telling you how to look out for other people,

how to live inside of being connected with others.

Even James, in chapter three, verse 16 says this,

"Where jealousy and ambition, selfish ambition exist,

"there's disorder in every evil thing."

So here's a question for you.

If respect paves the road to humility,

what are some of the roadblocks in our lives

that block us from living in true humility?

What are some ways that we can show

more respect to the people that are around us?

Man, think on those things.

Man, point number two today,

encouragement is the highway to joy.

Man, the highways or byways,

I always ask Carlie when we're goin'

to her volleyball practice,

I always ask her, you wanna go the highways or the byways?

What I'm asking her is,

do you wanna go the quicker route,

do you wanna go the more chill and easy, relaxing.

Now that she's tryin', she's driving and stuff,

we're just tryin' to figure out

some of those best ways.

But if you are looking for joy in your life,

man, the cool thing about that is,

this is the highway to it.

Look at verse two, he says this, he says,

"Make my joy complete by being of the same mind,

"maintaining the same love,

"united in spirit, intent on one purpose."

Here's a question for you.

Sad but sometimes it's easier to add the dis

than the en to the word courage.

Man, it's so much easier at times.

Why is it easier to add discourage instead of encourage?

More times than not, with the news around us,

so many times, those things,

it's easier to talk about

those things that are discouraging,

those things that are sad.

Maybe we need to rethink some things in our own homes.

Moms and dads, maybe it's how we talk to our kids.

Grandparents, you're out there,

maybe it's you just continuing to love

and to be that parent,

but you parent in a different way.

Kids, maybe it's how you respond

to your friends and your teachers in your Zoom classrooms,

how we respond to people we work with.

Maybe with social media, the things that we post out there.

We got so many different platforms,

but what are people seein'?

Are they seein' encouragement,

are they seein' discouragement?

Are they seein' joy and happiness,

are they seein' maybe some of the things

that take 'em down a different path?

You see, real encouragement drives people

to have courage in themselves.

Discouragement verses encouragement,

man, discouragement kills relationships,

encouragement heals and builds 'em up.

Discouragement leads to fear.

Encouragement leads to faith.

Discouragement shows us, at times,

and puts us on display,

but encouragement shows Jesus.

You look at it, and discouragement seems so hopeless.

If you look at the news today, it seems so hopeless,

but man, when we encourage other people,

we give 'em hope.

Sometimes it shows our impatience

when we're discouraging,

but encouragement shows patience.

Man, it can end life, or it can bring new life.

Man, that abundant life that John 10:10 talks about,

discouragement says you can't,

encouragement says you can.

My mom used to say when I would say

that I can't do something,

my mom would always say,

"Can't never could 'til he tried,"

and in that, she was tryin' to encourage me,

and hey, to keep goin', to keep goin',

and keep goin'.

One of the people here at Cross City

who is always, in all of my years of bein' here

has been such a huge encouragement to me

is David Littlefield,

and just in finding out the news this week

about him losin' his daughter,

man, I had to reach out to him,

because of all of the years

that he's reached out to me

and encouraged me in student ministry,

and now up north.

I just had to reach back to him and just to say,

"Man, I've been so impressed

"with how you've handled life,

"and even this, in losing your daughter."

Encouragement, it goes so long.

Maybe it's connection with people during this time.

Maybe you need to find a Connection Group.

Maybe you need to find a group of people

that you can do life with, and to talk to them

about these different things

that are coming your way.

It can be difficult, even in your own homes,

24/7 with the same people.

I'm pretty sure Abby, Carlie, and Brooke

are probably sick and tired of me bein' there 24/7,

but to learn to connect with them

on a whole new level,

man, it's somethin' that all of us

are currently tryin' to do better at.

I just wanna encourage you to do that today:

connect with people even outside of your crew.

How can you do that?

Find the best avenue,

whether that's a Zoom meeting,

whether that's just walkin' out in your neighbor

and meetin' some new people, whatever that is.

But if you're discouraged right now, guess what?

Discouraged people discourage people.

Hurt people, they hurt people.

But the Bible says, if we're in Christ,

that we're Jesus people,

and Jesus people should love people.

That word joy, J-O-Y, it starts

with a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Russell this week reminded me that the J-O-Y,

Jesus, others, and you, it's gotta be in that order.

It can't be you, others, Jesus.

That doesn't even spell joy.

Joy is a choice.

You may not agree with God all the time,

but you can choose joy in all of your circumstances

and all of your situations.

Got a question for you.

Go back and think through,

even in these last few weeks,

have you spent more time encouraging people

or discouraging people?

What are some of the ways to stay on the path

to bein' positive and encouraging people

most of the time instead of the other?

Think about how you can do that this week.

Man, make a new course for your life.

Point number three, availability and attention

are the keys to showin' real love.

I don't know if you have a Tile on your key chain.

We are notorious, at least one in our home,

is notorious for misplacing their keys.

So, if you've got a Tile on there, guess what?

Man, you can punch that button,

you can figure out where your keys are.

Just like if you have no keys,

you've got no availability, you've got no ability

to go do whatever it is that you need to do.

You've gotta find your keys first.

But guess what?

Attention and love, and those are the keys

to really and truly showin' people

that you're available to them,

that you love 'em, you wanna spend more time with them.

The Bible says,

"Therefore if is any encouragement in Christ,

"if there is any consolation of love,

"if there is any fellowship of the Spirit,

"any affection and compassion,"

so your availability and your attention,

those are the greatest gifts that you can give.

And not just bein' in a room, right.

It's not just bein' side by side by somebody.

It's actually caring, it's actually reaching out,

it's asking 'em questions, it's engaging them.

It takes time and availability

to encourage people, to love 'em,

to have fellowship with people,

to show affection and attention.

Man, us huggers, we really are,

we're having a tough time right now.

Maybe you gotta find some people

that you're able to give compassionately to them.

Maybe find somebody that can help.

Man, my dad was a truck driver, Harold Wells,

his handle on the CB was Big Red,

and he was gone a lot, but I'll tell you this.

Every time that there was something

for him to be there for me or my brother

or my mom, man, he was always there.

I can always remember some of those bigger moments in time,

my dad was always there.

You see, Jesus' love for people in the gospels,

man, he found all kinds of roads,

and on those roads, here's what he did in Matthew:

he healed the sick.

Man, with Lazarus, he raised the dead.

Man, the beautiful pictures that he fed the hungry,

he had compassion on these people,

and when you show compassion,

they will always remember it.

Mark six says that he saw them as sheep without a shepherd.

Man, he cast out demons,

he crossed cultural boundaries

with the Samaritan woman at the well.

He prays for people.

In his high priestly prayer in John 17,

he's prayin' for you and for me,

all of those years ago.

In John 3:16, so compassionate,

the Bible says that he gave his life for us.

So maybe today, you jump off of technology.

Maybe you just turn it off.

Maybe you turn off the iPad,

you turn off the TV for your dinners.

It's one of those times, it's a great moment

to be able to be all in.

So turn those things off

so that you can spend time, be available.

If availability and attention to people are so vital,

then what are those things that keep us

from giving the best of our time

to the people who need it most?

Man today, set those things aside.

Last point today: the cross paved the road

to restoring relationships.

Verse five says, "Have this attitude in yourself

"which was also in Christ Jesus,

"who, although he existed in the form of God,

"did not regard equality with God

"a thing to be grasped,

"but he emptied himself, taking the form of a bond servant,

"and being made in the likeness of men."

Verse eight, "Being found in appearance as a man,

"he humbled himself by becoming obedient

"to the point of death, even death on a cross.

"For this reason also, God highly exalted him

"and bestowed on him the name

"which is above every name," in verse 10,

"so that at that name of Jesus,

"every knee will bow,

"of those who are in heaven and on earth

"and under the earth,

"and that every tongue will confess

"that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father."

You see, love took Jesus to the cross.

Love today, man, it's been so redefined.

Man, let's allow God's Word to define it again.

Look at me, look at it with me in verse,

I'm sorry, turn to I Corinthians chapter 13.

I Corinthians is a, 13,

is really considered that love chapter.

More times than not you hear it

when you go to weddings and things like that.

But with this, I Corinthians 13,

it's talkin' about love

inside of all of the relationships we have:

dating relationships, family relationships,

any kind of relationship at all,

these are key words that happened, need to happen.

Look at verse four, it says, "Love is patient,"

it says, "love is kind.

"It is not jealous, love does not brag.

"It is not arrogant.

"It does not act unbecomingly,

"it does not seek its own,

"it is not provoked.

"It does not take into account a wrong suffered.

"It does not rejoice in unrighteousness

"but rejoices with the truth.

"It bears all things, believes all things,

"it hopes all things, it endures all things."

In verse eight it says this: "Love never fails."

The Jesus kind of love,

the love that we can have for others in Christ,

those two words that we mentioned early on,

in Christ, love never fails.

So to be patient means were long-spirited.

Man, it means that we will suffer long

for the people that we love.

To be kind it means to be gentle

and to be helpful in all areas.

Not jealous, it means we're not moved with envy.

To not be arrogant means

that we can't be puffed up with pride.

Does not act unbecomingly, it's not rude,

it's not dishonoring, selfish.

Man, a lot of people are selfish today,

and if selfishness is one of those things,

confess that to the Lord and say, "God, help me."

It says also that "it's not provoked,

"it's not easily angered or irritated.

"It keeps no record of wrongs."

Man, if there are those people,

even inside your bubble at your address,

and you've been keeping that long list

of those things that you don't like,

or those things, ways that you've been hurt,

it's gonna be hard to get past that

if you're always keepin' that record of wrongs.

"Not rejoice in unrighteousness,"

it means it takes no pleasure

in the things that are bad or wrong,

or the things that aren't what God

would want us to be a part of.

"It participates in God's favor, his grace,"

and then to say that, "it bears all things,"

it means it fights through,

it continues, the I dos continue

through the good, the bad, and the ugly.

"It bears all things, it hopes all things,

"and it endures all things."

At Brooke and I's, when we got married

all those years ago, Dr. Allen Reid,

he stood on the stage, and as he married us,

he told me that day, he said,

"Kent Wells, you will use this more times

"than you will ever think about

"in your married life."

But I don't think it's just in married life.

I think it's great to hear it at a wedding,

but these 12 words, man, they're great,

even today, to say them to the Lord.

Here they go, you ready?

"I am sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me, I love you."

Man, those 12 words, they really could,

they could cover over a multitude of things.

It really is, it's a humbling process

to come to that place

where you understand that you're wrong,

you understand that you still love that person,

and that you need that person to forgive you.

Man, I love the illustration that happens

with this verse right here, Ecclesiastes 4:11-13.

Man, this is just a great example,

a reminder of what this verse is talkin' about.

But look at it, it says,

"If two lie down together, they keep warm,

"but how can one be warm alone?

"And if one can overpower him who is alone,

"two can resist him.

"A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart."

As we made this little illustration, man,

I've got three cords that bring this

from the very top down.

I just wanted that to represent God, the Father,

Jesus, the Son, the Holy Spirit,

because man, if those three are in that tight bond,

and they really are, inside of our relationship with him,

and then no matter what these other relationships are

that we have here,

maybe this is husband and wife,

maybe this is boss and you,

whoever these other relationships are,

man, if we can be tied into those

through our love for Jesus Christ

and our relationship with him,

man, a beautiful picture that a cord of three strands

cannot be easily torn apart.

So maybe today you're sittin' there

and you're goin', man, my relationship

is one of those things

where it's not really tied in to Jesus Christ.

It's not really reflective of the Lord.

You can change that today.

You can change that today.

Relationships, they matter.

So if you're here today

and you're tryin' to figure out,

we go all the way back to those two words

that we started with earlier: in Christ.

Man, if you are Christ Jesus,

he said in John 14:6,

and he's talkin' inside of relationships, right.

He's got some disciples that are there with him,

and man, they're tryin' to figure out what's next.

Jesus looks at 'em and he says,

"Hey, I am the way, the truth and the life,

"and no one comes to the Father except through me."

So maybe today you're sittin' there

and you're goin', man, how in the world

do I start this relationship?

Right now, man, it's just me again the world.

There's no cord of three strands.

It's just me tryin' to hold on to all of this stuff.

Allow God to do that.

Allow what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross.

That is a great picture, what Jesus did on the cross.

Jesus was preparing their hearts,

that what he was about to do on the cross,

he was tellin' them, "This is the way, follow me.

"I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life."

Only Jesus can say that,

and so if he's the way today,

then you need to trust him.

Follow him from here on out,

inside of all of your relationships,

working relationships, your family relationships,

dating, marriage, your kids, all of that.

If he's the way, then follow him.

If he's the truth, man, we need to know it.

We need to be able to tell other people what truth is,

because truth, it doesn't always make people happy,

but it always brings people back to who Jesus is,

and if he's the life,

why would you want any other?

If he truly is the life,

why would you want to waste your life

doing anything else?

No one, at the end of their days,

are gonna sit there and wish that they,

and wish that they had spent more money,

wish that they had spent more time doing this.

They're gonna wish that they would have spent

more time with their family, more time with God,

more time on what's most important.

So maybe you're here today and you're sayin',

"Man, how do I start that, how do I get in Christ?"

I'm gonna pray a prayer today,

and if you're sitting there at home

and you would say,

"Man, I'm ready to jump into this,"

and maybe it's a, you repeat this prayer after me.

Beautiful, beautiful opportunity right here today,

even in the comfort of your own home,

that you would be able to pray this prayer,

and today begin a brand new journey with Jesus Christ.

Let's pray.

God, today I pray,

as we've been talkin' about relationships,

I thank you that what you did, Jesus,

on the cross for us,

man, you opened full access

to us having a relationship with God our Father.

Thank you Jesus for doin' that.

Thank you that we can go straight to the Father in prayer

and we can ask him those things in our lives

that we know need fixing.

We can ask him to help us

inside of all of those things.

The beautiful picture, for those of us as believers,

is that when we ask Jesus into our lives,

man, the beautiful picture is we get the comforter,

we get the one, the Holy Spirit to come

and to help us in those deepest, darkest times of need.

So if you're here today and you would say,

"Man, today is that day that I'm ready

"to ask Christ into my life," pray this prayer.

"Dear Jesus, today I tell you that I have messed up.

"Today I tell you I know that sin

"has gotten in the way of my relationship with you,

"and today, I ask you to forgive me of those sins.

"Today I ask you to cleanse me,

"I ask you to make me brand new.

"Today I ask you to step out of heaven

"and into my heart and into my life.

"Today I want you to take all of me.

"What you did for me on the cross,

"it is enough for me to be able to trust you

"for the rest of my life,

"and today, as I trust you,

"I want you to help me with all of these relationships.

"I can't do it without you.

"I trust you with my life.

"Thank you for that forgiveness.

"I was so wrong in how I was livin',

"and today, I want to live for you

"and all things that are right and what are good."

Jesus, we pray all of these things in your name, amen.

- In Matthew chapter seven, Jesus said that a man

who hears his words and acts upon it

is like a wise man who builds a house on solid rock.

It'll be longer, but it's gonna be strong,

so when a storm comes, the house will remain standing.

But a man who hears his words and not act upon it

is like a foolish man who builds a house on sand.

It's quick and fast, but when a storm comes,

he's gonna be devastated.

So to help you process the application

of God's word in our life,

we're gonna put some questions for you

that you can discuss with your family and friends

who are sitting beside you.

But whatever it is, we wanna encourage you

to just really talk about this very important subject,

because some of us here perhaps

are going through some relational stress,

because we've been so cooped up for so long.

Or perhaps some of us are being lonely right now,

and we need to reach out to somebody.

But whatever it is, we want to let you know

that we're in it together in this season right now,

and so if you need to talk to somebody,

please reach out to us.

You can contact us through

You can click on talk to a minister,

and we'll make sure that one of us

will contact you right away.

So we thank you so much for joining us today,

and we look forward to see you again next week.

Until then, stay safe, and God bless you.

The Description of Cross City Worship at Home | April 26, 2020 | 11 am