Archive for the ‘Ed Young Ministries’ tag
Because you loved me, because you spoke to me, because you said, ‘Hey, can I help you’, you paved the way for the seed of the word of God to be delivered into my life. And I became a Christian because of you.” Others here will bump into others and say, “Because you kept my child in the nursery area, it gave me the comfort and the confidence to hear the truth presented by a teacher at Fellowship Church. And now I am a Christian.”
“Hey, because you invited me to play on that sports team, I saw the difference that Christ made and, because I saw that, I received Christ.” The stakes are sky high. We’re not playing Monopoly here, Trivial Pursuit, Tiddlywinks. We’re talking heaven or hell. And let me thank you for something else. I just want to stop here and thank you. Fellowship Church is without a doubt the most unselfish and positive church I’ve ever seen in my life.
We need thousands in just those ministries. Now, in other ministries it does, but we’ll teach you the stuff. We’re here to equip you, because the pastors are the administers and you folks are the ministers. We simply take the ball of ministry and give it to you. We take care of the maintenance and you take care of the ministry. We say, you minister, you score touchdowns, you make tackles, you do the stuff, and we’ll take care of the rest. That’s the deal. That’s the biblical model. (Baby crying in audience) I feel the same way. See, we need more workers in the preschool, right now, in the nursery.
I do, though, want to give you a couple of quick perks of why you should involve yourself. You know, God does not have to say, “Well, here are the benefits, here are the perks, here are the blessings,” because God is God and He doesn’t have to, but He did. Isn’t this cool.
What would I put in my body? What would I not put in my body? Where would I go? Where were the places I would not go? I was the only 8th grader in the entire junior high to play for Spring Valley and a lot of people knew about it. But I made a choice, as a young guy, to be very intentional about my friendships and relationships. I did not hang out with the popular crowd. I did not hang out with the jocks. I did not hang out with those people. I knew them. I was kind to them. But I only had two or three friends. And I felt a lot of loneliness going to the public schools I attended. I went to very, very tough public schools. They were economically diverse and racially diverse. There were also some very tense times in the Deep South.
So, I’m going to tell you something. If you’re a young guy or young girl; if you are single adult, God never asks you to sacrifice just for sacrifice sake. Never. Never. He never says, “Sacrifice, just because I want you to sacrifice and sacrifice.” Yes, God asks us to sacrifice. But remember, there are always blessings when we sacrifice. And if you don’t believe me, just look at me. You’re looking at the result of the sacrifices and blessings that God has brought forth in my life. You are looking at the results of the blessings. Because as a young person, I stayed away from that stuff. It would get me all messed up and wheels off. I didn’t smoke the weed. I didn’t have sex with all the girls. I did not do that. At a young age, I wanted to honor God. Now I was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I made that choice.
We moved from Irwin, North Carolina to Canton, North Carolina; from Canton, North Carolina to Taylors, South Carolina; from Taylors, South Carolina to Columbia, South Carolina; from Columbia, South Carolina to Houston, Texas; from Houston, Texas to Tallahassee, Florida; from Tallahassee back to Houston; and from Houston now to Dallas.
That’s a lot of movement. A lot of contrast. I had a good time moving, because it taught me that people are people. And it taught me how to take some relational risks and to meet some different people. And that was a very exciting thing growing up.
When I was a young guy, I feel in love with basketball. Baptist churches usually have a fellowship hall and a gymnasium, so I played basketball a lot because I was at church a lot. And I think I played ball a lot because my father really enjoys athletics. And because he likes basketball and he was very good player, I played and I became a pretty good player.
When I was in the 8th grade I went to a junior high school in Columbia, South Carolina that fed the largest high school in the state, Spring Valley. It was a huge 5A school. I was so good in the 8th grade that the junior varsity coach from the high school plucked me from my junior high existence and put me on the Junior Varsity team—as an 8th grader! So here I am, an 8th grade kid, 13 years old, playing basketball for the largest high school in the state. And I’m hanging around with sophomores and juniors. That was a huge contrast!
So at an early age, I had to make some major relational and behavioral decisions. For example, who would I run with and who would I stay away from?
Doris Scoggins is to my right and to your left. Doris Scoggins was one of the original founding members of Fellowship Church. She was our first staff member after me. She volunteered for like a year before we could even pay her. Doris is the first lady of baptism. Doris Scoggins is going to be over there and if you want to get baptized, here’s what we’re going to do.
Vanessa Whitwell is going to come out after I have a prayer, and she’s going to sing a song, it’s one of my favorite songs, called “Baptize Me.” It’s a powerful, powerful song. And while she’s singing that song, you just make your way to the area where Doris is and stand there. And once the song is over, Doris will take you out, show you the changing room, the men’s area and the women’s area, we’ll give you the cool shorts and shirts and the robes and we’ll have floks out there to talk about baptism with you.
If you have made a faith decision, and you’ve never been baptized by immersion, today is your day. And I know you didn’t plan on it. This is spontaneous. But we felt led to do it and that’s why we’re doing it. And you need to do it. You need to step up and step out and just add water, because it’s a great, great thing. You’re identifying with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. So, when it comes to faith in Christ, don’t forget this now, just add water.
(Ed leads in closing prayer)
Tell yourself, “If I do so and so, here’s what I’m signing up for in the future. Here’s the pain that I will process in the future.”
Also, we need to think about the pleasure that we can borrow from the future.
Think, “Okay, if I do what God wants me to do and leave the ledge and come underneath the authority of God, I’m going to have some great pleasure. It’s just going to be amazing what God will do.”
Don’t sacrifice your future on the altar of the present. Say that with me. Don’t sacrifice your future on the altar of the present. Because we’re going to be signing for some serious pain if we jump over the edge and the ledge. We’ll sign up for serious pain.
[A video is played on the side screens. It is an interview with a man who tells of the devastating results of his father having an affair. The gentleman is almost forty, but the effects are still evident.]
When we’re under the authority of God we have the opportunity and the wisdom and the ability to convince ourselves it will happen. We can make the decision not to sacrifice our future on the present day altar. And that’s a huge, huge thing.
Also, when we’re under the authority of God, we can cultivate our marriage. As I said earlier, marriage is not the easiest thing; it’s the hardest thing. But it can be the greatest thing when we’re under God’s authority.
You never arrive in your marriage. You never say, “Okay, man, I’m dialed in. Everything’s cool. I’ve got it, no problem.”
The Holy Spirit is working in my life and yours to produce outrageous and contagious joy. That’s the bottom line. Well, there is this epic battle going on between God, who is producing joy, the Holy Spirit producing joy and some joy jammers. Joy jammers are those things that will jam your joy and mine. I deal with this funk every single day, and so do you. So, Paul is going to bust our chops. He’s going to get in our grill. He’s going to get close enough to find out what kind of cologne we have on as he talks about joy jammers. So, really, when I go through these joy jammers, it’ll tell you what joy is not. So often, that’s even a better definition than saying joy is life to the excess. Joy is tranquility of the soul.
So, let’s dig in here Philippians 2:3. “Do nothing” Paul says, “out of selfish ambition….” Uh oh, selfish ambition.
When the twins were three years old I took them fishing at a little lake and we were catching perch, a bunch of perch. They were having a good time, “Oh, look at this nice perch!”
We were catching them and I said, “Kids, throw the fish back. Don’t kill the fish. I don’t like to kill fish. Throw them back, they’ll grow bigger. Throw them back.”
So we fished for about an hour, and that was about it. I got my tackle box, took my rods and reels and threw them in the truck, drove home and put the stuff up in the garage.
Press the clock forward three days. Three days of triple degree Texas heat. We begin to smell something in the house. It was the worst odor you’ve ever experienced. We were looking under carpets, behind doors, opening boxes. “What is that?”
You’ve got the vows. They repeat the vows one to another, back and forth. You know sometimes during the wedding there’s laughter and tears. And that’s cool. But the vows should reflect Scripture. The vows should reflect our covenant God. They should reflect his character, his nature. They shouldn’t be stupid or silly.
Sometimes I’ve done weddings and people have said, “Do you mind if we write our own vows?”
“I don’t mind it,” I say, “but it better reflect Scripture in the nature and character of God. And if it doesn’t, I’m not going to do it.”
I think back to Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston. Do you remember their vows? “I promise to make you a milk shake every day.”
Let’s all vomit together, shall we? You see where it got them? The vows are important.
And then, as the vows are recited in this public venue, you’ve got the rings.
I love the exchanging of the rings and this is my wedding ring. It’s from James Avery. And it has a little bit of silver. It’s a circle. No beginning, no ending. It’s made of pure stuff, the real deal. And my love for Lisa is pure. It’s the real deal. When I take it off, am I still married? Yes! Some are saying, “Well, I don’t know.” Yes, I’m still married! It’s an outward symbol of an inward commitment. It’s the covenant symbol.
How many husbands are sitting next to your wives? Husbands, are you next to your wives? Okay. If you are, look at your wife’s ring finger on her left hand. Look at that diamond for a second. [Ed breaks out singing “Diamonds are Forever” and “Diamond Girl”]
Who did that song? Seals and Croft. I saw them in concert a long time ago. They’re a little bit strange, but I enjoyed the concert.
Share this with someone. Involve them in the loop. Talk to them. That’s what James says. James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
Basically, we’re as sick as our secrets, aren’t we? I think it’s good to try to tackle one stump at a time. You might have two stumps that are impaling you. Well, let’s just talk about one stump at a time. Just one stump. Let’s say the Holy Spirit has pointed out anger in your life, and you’re thinking, “Okay, I’m ready to put shoe leather beneath it. I’m ready to walk in deliverance. I’m ready to be freed up.”
And, you’ll go home and say, “God, forgive me of my anger. Take it from me. You’ve delivered me. I confess that in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
No, no. That’s not the way to do it. Get specific. Think about sushi. Sushi-size your prayers. You might want to pray like this: “Lord, tomorrow, I know between 9 a.m. and 12 noon, I’m going to be tempted in this meeting to rage on people, to belittle people, to tell people off, to scream and yell and shout. God, between 9 and noon, give me your grace to walk in deliverance.”
Maybe lust is the stump in your life. Well, don’t pray this: “Forgive me of my lust. Take it away. Deliver me. Amen.”
Don’t pray that. Pray this: “God, I’m going to be going out of town next Thursday on a business trip. I’ll be in a hotel room by myself, and I know I’ll be tempted to channel surf and to order an adult movie.
Keep me pure between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. while I’m in that hotel room alone, and give me the strength when I check in to tell the person working at the hotel to block those channels from my television.”
As a parent, we can’t truly discipline unless we are a true source of love. Discipline and love aren’t separate. They’re not positive and negative. They go together. There’s great connectivity, there’s great harmony there. Whenever I discipline my children, whenever you discipline your children, we’re mimicking the majesty of our Maker, which is God himself, who drew the lines. And we’re drawing the lines and we’re doing it because we love our kids. We’re doing it because we are crazy about them. And they might not applaud us at the time and go, “Yea, Mom! Yea, Dad!” But one day they’ll turn around and thank us.
As a kid, my parents were season ticket holders to watch the University of South Carolina Game Cocks play football. They always had a sorry team, but I enjoyed going to the games. There was a guy that sat behind us and this guy would get drunk every game. And here’s how he would “boo”, because watching Carolina play, you had a lot of opportunities to “boo”. But here’s how he would “boo”. (Ed mimics this man by stopping his feet and yelling) “BOOOOOOOOOO! BOOOOOOOOOOO!” And he’d just do it over and over. And if I’d a been older I’d a gone, (Ed hits fist) pish! But, I was too young. (Ed mimics again) “BOOOOOOO! Ugh!”
Why do people “boo” at football games? Like that’s going affect the coaching staff and the referee’s! It’s hilarious. Go to Texas Stadium. “Hey, Bill Parcells, you should have called another play.” (Ed chuckles) What? Bill Parcells’ has forgotten more about football than this frustrated All-American knows. You know? It’s just hilarious.