The Sweet Spot of God’s Success
Do you want adventure? Do you want excitement? Do you want vitality? Understand the fact that you’re not an owner; you’re a manager, you’re a steward. Receive and reflect. It comes from the Blessor. If you’re blessed, be a blessing. Be a blessing. That’s the sweet spot of God’s success. How do you become a blessing? You obey the list on the refrigerator. You enjoy the house God’s given you. You enjoy the stuff. But you obey. You trust and obey.
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Ed Young on Support
Something supernatural takes place when we’re a part of the local church. It’s the little yeses that lead to great successes.
On either side of our front door, we have two lamps. And when we got these lamps, they were clean and shiny. They were beautiful lamps. We’ve been neglecting the lamps. And last week I walked outside and was just enjoying the beautiful weather, and as I turned and looked at our front door, I was horrified. The inside of the lamps was inches deep with bug carcasses. These bugs had died, and they’d crossed Jordan. I thought, how many bugs were in these lamps? It was an interesting thing, something the Discovery Channel should do a documentary on. I wondered how many bugs. Who knows? Millions? Billions? I don’t know.
So I thought, I’m going to clean these bugs out of the lamps. This was fun. I opened up the lamps, got a vacuum cleaner, and I just sucked all of those bugs out of the lamp and into the vacuum cleaner. That was a fun thing. I felt power when I did that.
And then, when the lamps were clean, I looked at them to admire my work and thought, the lamps became jammed with bugs, not overnight, but one bug at a time. One little bug flying in at a time. Then another bug and then bug after bug after bug after bug. And then they began to make everything dirty, and you couldn’t really see the lamps very well.
How do you screw up your life? One bug at a time. One wrong yes at a time. It’s not just one big honkin’ yes and then you fall down the stairs of life. No, no, no. A bunch of little yeses lead to giant messes.
Ed Young and the Importance of Church
Are you a part of a local church? Have you said yes to church membership? Obviously I’m biased toward Fellowship Church. I would love all of you to join Fellowship Church, but I know that’s not going to happen for everyone. Maybe it’s another church. There are some great churches in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We’re in the belt buckle of the Bible belt. This is it! But don’t just test the waters; don’t just kick tires your entire life. Land the plane! Don’t just circle. Land the plane! Join a church, because there are many things you can’t do unless you’re a part of a local church.
If you take the word “church” and read the New Testament and just lift it out of the New Testament, over 90% of the time it refers to a specific local church. The church is the heartbeat of Jesus; it’s the bride of Christ. You don’t say “I do” and then bolt. You’re with the bride. You love the bride. You’re about the bride. Church attendance, that’s important. Don’t let the golf course, or a game, or a tournament, or a trip or whatever consistently keep you from the church. Now and then it’s cool to miss. We don’t check everybody off every week on a little poster and say, “Oh, you missed church last week. Shame on you. Our membership office is going to call you up and reprimand you.”
We don’t do that. But so often I’ve talked to people after services and they say, “Ed, I almost slept in today. I almost didn’t show up today. Someone invited me to play golf or go to the lake, but I said no to them and yes to church. And I am glad I did, because I needed that word. I needed it.”
Ed Young Talks About Human Nature
And we have taken that term and we have put it on human beings. Here our great God wants us to be fully human. He wants us to have big sex and enjoy this phenomenal gift. But we act like a bunch of animals. So, we’re going against God’s creative grain.
Well, it’s time that we turned the tide and start this sudden change, this revolution that will usher in greatness in all of our lives. Our sexuality is something we are before something we do. It’s not that we don’t think about sex. We need to think about it in a deeper way. God is the God of sex. He thought it up. It was given to us before sin ever entered the human equation.
In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
The word “life” in the original language is pronounced “zo-ay”. It means physical and spiritual. It means integration. It means hitting on all cylinders. And for us to do this, we’ve got to get a read on this gift of sex.
Sex is all about one-ness. It’s all about pleasure. Yes, it’s for procreation. But it’s reflective of the nature and the character of God. So, it’s my prayer that during this series that some things will just open up for you, that some things will change in your life. It’s my prayer during this series that the revolution would begin with you.
Well, how does it begin with you? Well, it starts with God. We’ve got to say, “God, I see how big, how broad, how awesome sex is. I understand the beginning and the turning. And God, I see the rescue that you have planned for me.”
Here is the great news. I don’t care how you have sinned, what you have done in this area of sex; God will forgive you. God will heal you. God will change you. God will cleanse you. And that’s what we celebrate today. Sex. It’s a God-given gift that should be used in a God-given capacity.
Revolution? Let the sexual revolution begin today!
[Ed leads in a closing prayer.]
Ed Young Talks About Profanity
Illus: Last Saturday I had the opportunity to go to see the University of Miami play Florida State. It was a very interesting game. We took our entire family to the contest. It was raining. I’m talking cats and dogs. We had to get ponchos, the whole nine yards.
And as our family was walking into this stadium, it was typical. You saw the people tail-gating, drinking adult beverages. And there was a guy about 20 years old who was urinating right where you walked into the stadium. Thankfully, our twins didn’t see that.
We kept walking and they looked at Lisa and I and they were like, “Mom and dad, was it this crazy when you guys went to Florida State?”
We said, “Yes, it was about this crazy.”
So we made our way into the stadium and found our seats on about the ten yard line. We were surrounded by the Miami faithful. Florida State has made this chant very popular, because they’re called the Florida State Seminoles. You have probably seen it before if you’re a sports fan. You might have heard it. It’s called the tomahawk chop. (Singing)
Well, the Miami faithful have their own version of this song. Now everyone, every fan didn’t do this, but a lot of them did. They would flip the bird and they would sing this at the top of their lungs: “F-you Seminoles, Seminoles, we F-you!” But they said the word.
And we got some pictures of people flipping off the Florida State faithful. Do you have that picture? There it is. [A picture is put on the side screens.] That’s not “We’re number 1.” That’s something else.
We heard the F-bomb, I don’t know, five thousand times around us. It’s interesting, because back when I went to school if someone saw a bunch of kids they would not use that kind of language. Well today, it’s on another level and people use that sort of language.
Number 2: Cultivate your relationship with your mate. Cultivate it. Don’t cultivate the relationship with a third party. That’s where the wheels come off. Man, we start sharing all this intimate stuff with a third party about our marriage about how we feel about stuff. Don’t do that. Keep it on the surface. And when you’re talking to someone else, always bring up your spouse and talk about your spouse in a positive light. The Bible says we should not even have a hint of sexual immorality. Not even a hint. And God is pro-sex. I hope you know that. He wants us to practice sex within the confines of marriage. One man, one woman together. But we’re to cultivate our relationship.
Lisa and I are revising a book that we wrote years ago. It’s already in its fourth printing. It’s called The Creative Marriage. And we simply took some principles from marriage and wrote them down in a book and it really sold like wildfire. So we’ve gone back and we’ve revisited this book and we’ve been writing over the last several weeks and tweaking it.
One of the things we talk about throughout the book is something called the MWE. Do you know what that is in marriage? It’s the marital work ethic – MWE. The marital work ethic. Some people, I think, see Lisa and I and think, “Oh, Ed, you and Lisa have been married for 24 years. I know you’re Christians and you’re leaders at Fellowship Church. I’m sure your marriage just works. It’s just automatic and systematic.”
Well, I’m sorry to rain on all your presuppositions, but no, it doesn’t just work. It’s not a natural thing because I am a self-centered person. I say things I shouldn’t say. I think things I shouldn’t think. I do things I shouldn’t do. So does Lisa. We have to work at our marriage. For 24 years we have worked at our marriage. And many times we don’t feel like working on our marriage, but we do. We’re very, very intentional about it. We’ve gone through dry seasons. We’ve gone through seasons when we were on a roll. We’ve gone through all of that.
He’s tried to communicate his love to you time and time again. He’s using this service, the songs, the video, my voice box and vocal cords right now to say to you, “I love you.”
You’ve never locked eyes with someone who does not matter to God. But so often, we like to carry around this little unpublished list of people that we think that don’t matter to God. You know what I’m saying to you. We think, “Oh, she’s not really loved by God. He’s not really loved by God.” Only, that’s not true. We’ve never seen anyone who’s not loved by God. You’re loved by God. God loves you. He’s crazy about you, and he’s waiting to hear your response.
Some of you are saying, “Well, Ed, you know, this is cool, but someday I might say ‘I love you’ back to God.”
Well, the Bible says there is going to be a someday and it’s called the Day of Reckoning. A lot of people will lock eyes with Jesus that day, and Jesus will say, “I sought you. I went after you. I loved you despite all of your stumblings and fumblings, all of your failures, all of your sin. But at every interchange, you kept your distance from me. At every interchange, you didn’t honor me. You hydroplaned over my love. You didn’t treasure my love. You trampled it.”
At this point, people say, “Well, Ed, how could a loving God send someone to hell?”
And I always say this: God doesn’t hurl people to hell. We make that choice. And Jesus will say to many, “You had it your way on earth and you’re going to have it your way in a Christ-less eternity.”
So I plead with you, don’t put it off. Respond to the love of God. Say, “God, I honor it. I receive Jesus Christ into my life. I want to treasure your love, to walk in the fullness and obedience that you have in store for me.”
Don’t remain clueless. Get clued in. Clue in to the radical, supernatural, one-of-a-kind love of Jesus.
The evil one has stolen this covenant from us and he has told us, “You know what? It’s just about feelings. And if you don’t feel love for him or her anymore, just jump into another bed; hook‑up with someone else. It will be okay over there.”
And we deal with the same junk and the same funk and our problems are multiplied exponentially because we’re going to deal with the same stuff in a bigger way, a broader way, a deeper way when we leave one marriage and get into another one. So, he has stolen it from us.
He’s also killed marriages. 50 percent of first time marriages end in divorce. 67 percent of second time marriages end in divorce. 74 percent of third time marriages end in divorce. The enemy comes to steal to kill and also to destroy.
Just talk to kids of divorce. The enemy will destroy covenant, he’ll destroy commitment, he’ll destroy reconciliation, he’ll destroy vulnerability, he’ll destroy affirmation and admiration. He’ll destroy all of these things. And he’s doing it now. Divorce wouldn’t be that bad if it was just between the man and the woman, a husband and a wife. But that’s not the deal.
There’s a ripple effect going on and it’s tearing our culture apart. But the good news is, we have the answer because we know the door. And we can rush through the door of marital fulfillment because the horsemen of marital fulfillment smell the barn, they smell the door and they’re going for it.
Last Sunday, I flew out after this service and spoke at our church in Miami where we have a Sunday night service. I took one of the twins with me, Landra.
After preaching, we went out to eat at a restaurant with several people down there, some in the ministry, and we were sitting there in one of these cool Miami restaurants. It was very, very casual. The place was jamming. I think it was some kind of Peruvian food; anyway, it was good.
Well, a high priest could go into the Holy of Holies once a year on the Day of Atonement to do what? To atone for the sins of the nation. And it was a pretty tenuous deal because the high priest had to have bells on his robe. And this guy would have a rope around his ankle, because if he misstepped in the presence of God, in the Holy of Holies, behind the door; if he walked in there with any sin or if he as unclean in any way, boom! He would just clock out. Well, the people wouldn’t go in there and get him, so they had the rope and they would just drag the body out. And Scripture tells us if they couldn’t hear the bells anymore, they would just drag the dead body out. God is holy. He is powerful. Standing in the presence of God is nothing to be taken lightly or flippantly. The tabernacle, which ultimately, of course, became the temple, was all about a door.
Well, then God decided to do something, God stepped forward in a time of history and he sent the second person of the Godhead, the Trinity, to planet Earth. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. God the Son, Jesus.
Jesus lived on planet Earth. And one day during his 36-month public ministry, Jesus said this in John 10:9: “I am the door.”
Isn’t that incredible? He said, “I am the door.”
He didn’t say, “I am a door.” He said, “I am the door.”
And then, if you keep reading in verse 9, Jesus said, “If anyone…” What does anyone mean? It means anyone. “If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out (you can say he’ll be safe) and find pasture (you can say he will be satisfied).”
You are not going to catch every person. At Fellowship Church, we have many people that show up, Prescott, and they might connect a little bit, but they never take it. That’s between them and God. But most people do. Just because I lost some fish doesn’t mean that I stop fishing. ‘Cause you have seen me lose fish before.
Prescott: Ed, he’s always hiding … that fish. He tried to eat it twice but just missed it.
Ed: What was I doing wrong, man?
Prescott: You didn’t do anything wrong. You just missed it.
Ed: It’s also great accountability to have yourself mic’d up when you miss a fish. But you know what? When you think about it, God is always listening. Every word. Every single word we say.
We’re in the boat fishing. And that’s the great thing about this awesome church. We know it’s not time to work on our spiritual tan. We know that. We know we’re here to fish. Fishermen, I’m telling you, we have these fish stories. And if you fish in great places, guess what? You’re going to catch great fish, especially if you fish with great guides. Prescott is a close friend of mine and he’s one of the best fly-fishing guides around. Google him today—Prescott Smith—and just see what comes up. The guy is unbelievable. He’s pretty much like “Ed, cast here,” “Ed, strip the fly now,” “Ed, reel in now,” and I’ve had some really, really good luck with him.
I want to get personal for a second. You don’t mind. I want to show you a quick slide show of my family’s fishing career, would you mind? That’s me. I’m 12 years old and I pulled that fish out of a freezer and made my mom take that.