Levi Lusko - Ten Coins of Marriage
The last two books that have my name on the cover are a book about marriage and a book about space, book about marriage and a book about space. Now, imagine if these two books, The Last Supper on the Moon and The Marriage Devotional had a baby. That's week three of summer reading, all right? So the title of my message is the 10 Coins of Marriage, the 10 Coins of Marriage. And we're going to take some lessons from outer space, and we're also going to take some lessons from scripture, and we're going to apply them to our marriage.
Now, in saying that, what I do not want to happen is all across our church to have those of you who are not yet married or maybe divorced or widowed, and you think I'm not married right now, so this is not my word. This is not my season. This is not my week. And you just shut your notebooks, unclick your pens, shut your Bibles, and just sort of check out for the next 45 minutes, because that would be a travesty because the best time, I submit to you, the best time... someone say "the best time". Best time... to learn about marriage, to prepare for marriage is before you're in one, before this applies to you. And so much, I believe, of the strength to withstand storms comes from the willingness to receive words out of season. A lot of us walk away from church going, ooh, I got seven words today, right? I got so much out of that. Or we leave a church stupidly saying, I didn't get anything out of that.
How do you know what you needed out of it? You mean you got 4 goosebumps as compared to 14? That means you felt like God spoke exactly to what you were facing today. But God is a God of sowing and reaping. God is a God of putting things in the ground that don't look like they have any connection to what's coming out of the ground. And so a lot of times, what we desperately need isn't going to feel the greatest. Just if you have itching ears and you only want to hear what you want to hear, right, I could pack this church to the rafters with the red meat of whatever the moment issue is and attract a bunch of people. You can get a crowd in a parking lot if you just pick a fight with somebody, like fight, fight, fight, fight. That's no way to build a church, right? And so you won't notice me coming in here every single week and just kind of pandering to whatever the big, hot, buzz thing is of the moment, but rather to speak a word from God that sometimes, guess what, isn't going to feel wonderful.
If you always love what I'm preaching, I'm not doing it right. And you're not listening right. It's going to be times when you're going to feel encouraged. It's going to times when you feel like you're broken down to the studs because there was some demo that needed to happen. There's some mold up in these walls. You don't think you got mold in your walls? You do. And so do I. And our God is a good builder. Sometimes you're going to walk out of here like you feel like you had the worst deep-tissue massage of your life. And you're like, what was that? God was like, you needed it. Your lymph nodes were full of all kind of ungodly things, right? And so God's going to work this stuff out. And so we need to be ready for what he has to say. So single people, hear me today. You need these 10 coins of marriage as much as anybody.
And whether you're a veteran marriage of four decades or you have a newbie status, green marriage of four days, right, which if that's true for you, congratulations. We're all for you and with you. What are you doing here? You should be on your honeymoon. The 10 coins of marriage comes from Luke, chapter 15. Let's stand up out of honor and deference for the word of God as we read our text today. This is not just anywhere in scripture. This is red letter, OK? Red letter means it's from the mouth of Jesus. And it's a big deal to read the words of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "Or what woman, having 10 silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost.' Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over", show me with your finger, "one sinner who repents".
And, Father, we receive this as your word, eternal, powerful, full of life. It came from your mouth, your breath, Jesus. Literally your oxygen that was expelled as carbon dioxide out of your lungs allowed these words to come. People heard them on that day. They had a very specific meaning for that day, in that moment. But they also today, God, outside of time and space, though you knew it then, want to do something in our hearts and lives today for your glory, for our joy. So we receive it as such. In Jesus' name we pray. Say with me in faith, amen. Amen.
You may be seated. I had, in the process of writing The Last Supper on the Moon, which is a book that basically takes the idea of we have dark space, dark matter. NASA uses that language sometimes, dark matter. We got dark matter in here. Anybody with me, right? There's dark matter inside of us. And that's I think what terrifies people about space, terrifies us about the depths of the ocean, is that we find the same thing that we find when we look inside for too long. That's why some people fall asleep with the TV on almost every night. It's a staggering number of people that will not fall asleep unless some noise is on in the room. A lot of us are afraid of quiet. A lot of us go from iPad to TikTok to TV to radio because we're terrified of what we're going to find in the dark matter.
And The Last Supper on the Moon was a quest for me. It was really more for me than for anybody. I could have not released it and been just as happy with it. So that would have been selfish. For me, to get a handle on my inner space, by doing what David did in Psalm 8, looking to outer space, it was a dark season. I shared about it. And I'll probably share about it more at some point, where for me to find my way through took me a lot of times waking up sweaty and terrified in the night and standing on my back deck and looking up at the stars, looking up at the moon, finding comfort and stability, knowing it's the same moon that Jesus looked up when he prayed in the night, not a different moon, the same. We don't have four moons. We don't get a new moon every 100 years.
So Abraham looked up at that moon. It's amazing to think that moon came from the mouth of God, Psalm 8 says, that he created, he crafted it with his fingertips. It stabilized me. Outer space, I found peace and strength to navigate inner space. So that's The Last Supper on the Moon. And communion was the first thing ever eaten on the lunar surface. #NoBigDeal, right? Huge deal. There's no hashtags on Threads, Levi. All right, fine. All right, so, basically, in the process of writing that book, I did way too much research, thousands upon thousands of pages, multiple visits to all the different space centers across the country, except for the one in Alabama because, Alabama.
Someone in church online is like, I'm logging off. Don't. I love you. And, basically, I was blown away when a friend allowed me to have a conversation with someone who walked on the moon. I got to talk, my wife and I got to speak to a man who walked on the moon named Charlie Duke. He literally spent days on the moon. I got to interview him, born again believer. He told me, going to the moon did not change my life. That happened much later, when I met Jesus. He said, I came home from the moon just as empty as I went. But when I met Jesus Christ, it filled the void inside of me, that the success and the high of the ultimate trip could not do for me, the ultimate quest could not do for me. But Jesus has changed my life.
And when I interviewed him, I said, what's the most annoying question? Because astronauts get asked questions all the time. They do these panels for schools, and they do these webinars, and they get interviewed a lot. And so, what's the most common question you get asked? He said, hands down, it's about going to the bathroom. That's all people want to know, right? I'm convinced we're all in third grade still, right? How do you poop in space, which is the least to me interesting question about life on the International Space Station, right? There's much better questions, how do you do a haircut in space? Because all the little particles will fly around and potentially cause, get into your eyes, get into the computer, right? That's interesting to me. How do you do CPR in space? They have to have a plan for that.
Astronauts spend six months on the Space Station. How do you do CPR when there's no leverage? You push and they go, right? So they have to be strapped down. Your feet have to be strapped down to the ceiling, which is not the ceiling. It's also the floor. Mind blown. Right, so that's an interesting question. But they do get asked a lot about poop. So let's talk about it. On the Space Station, they have a toilet that you strap yourself in. It involves suction. But on the lunar missions, during the Apollo program, there was no toilet. I mean, there was for urine but not for feces. Why? Here's why. They had to bring it all bagged and tagged back home. That'll happen when the taxpayers' dollars spends billions of dollars on this, right? Everything matters.
So these astronauts were not their own anymore. They were bought with a price. And so to consider and compare the mineral composition of the stool from day 1 to day 11 was a big difference because they needed to see the effect of space travel and the diet on what they were eliminating. And so they needed to study all this. So every time they went number two, it had to be put into a bag. Now, think about it. You're in this basically like a VW bus-sized thing, heading to the moon, a quarter million miles away. And when you have to go to the bathroom, you're in close quarters with two other people. So Charlie Duke's telling me a story. He's got John Young on Apollo 16 and Ken Mattingly. And they're heading toward space. And so they would say, guys, I'm so sorry, I got to go. Well, go ahead. No, no, I gotta go. OK, so the two would hide. They would basically make themselves as small as they could. And the person who had to go would actually take all their clothes off because it was the only way. And they would take one of these bags, like a bank deposit bag, but it had adhesive on both sides. And they would actually stick it to their bum to go.
Now, think about it for a second. Do. You're flying, somersaulting around this environment, and it's flying, too. In every sense of the word, it's flying because it doesn't go to the bottom of the bag. It just stays floating. So you have to kind of squeeze it down. TMI, for sure, right? And then you get done. You have to glue it to itself. What time is it? What day of the mission, your name, all the things. Then you get back dressed. And then you tell your friends, "Olly, olly, oxen free". And they can say, "Make the bad man stop. Make the bad man stop". And they come out. So it's day 2 of 11 days because each mission got longer. Buzz and Neil were only on the moon for hours. By mission 16, Apollo 16, which, of course, 13 didn't land because, Houston, we had a problem.
But by 16, they were getting cocky, staying for days. And what'd they do? They brought a car. They drove around. You know men were involved in this planning, right? What do you want to do when we go to the moon? We're going to drive around. It's like, really? That's the best you got? But we're going to bring lawn chairs. Right, that's what they sat on, right? Day two of the 11-day mission, Ken Mattingly finishes an evac of his bowels. All the nurses just said, amen for the language, right? And he gets done. He gets dressed. And he's like, man, that was a doozy. And then he... oh shoot. His wedding ring was missing. There's only one place it could be, guys. So he goes squishing through the bag. It's not in there. You guys see it? We don't see it. You guys, can you help me look for it? My wife will think I hooked up with a Martian or something. I got to find my ring. I can't find the ring.
So they basically give up. Mission's got to go on. He spent every spare moment of the next eight days looking for this thing to no avail. That's the exact precise energy that Jesus means for us to have here in Luke 15 as this woman frantically searches for a lost silver coin. Levi, I don't see the connection to marriage here. Oh, you should. Warren Wiersbe in his commentary writes, "When a Jewish girl married, she began to wear a headband composed of 10 silver coins to signify that she was now a wife. It was the Jewish version of our modern wedding ring. And it would be considered a calamity for her to lose one of those coins".
So let's think now... and, by the way, other commentaries point out it was probably built out of the dowry that her husband had been paid by the bride's father for this wedding to take place, which is the origin of our tradition of the bride's father paying for the wedding ceremony and the cost of it. So he would take back a portion of what was used by her dad to secure the marriage. And he would present it to her as this tiara. How cool is that, this kind of crown made up of all these coins? And it was like a symbol of their love for each other. And so that feeling, that frantic feeling, if you've ever had your wedding ring or your engagement ring spinning the sink, and your prayer life or your cursing life takes on a new level, depending on what's inside your heart, right? You know, ah, right? You got to get it, right?
And so that's the feeling of this woman, who realizes one day pulling out that crown, and they would often wear it on dressy occasions, right? And when she realizes one of the ten coins had gotten loose and gone missing at some point. When did you lose it? What a useless question to ask someone who's looking for something. When did you lose it? If I knew, I wouldn't have lost it. You lose things when you're not paying attention. So it is when it comes to heat in our spiritual journeys. When did you backslide? If you knew, you wouldn't have. When did your affection for Christ cool? When did a glass of wine with your girlfriends turn into rose at 10:00 AM every day of the week, right? When did it happen? You don't know. It happened gradually. We backslide gradually. We play with sin gradually. Jesus compared it to yeast. It's leavened. It just, it sort of sneaks in. The door is opened a little bit. And it was one night. And now it's every night.
And you see what I'm saying? We eventually see that sin unfurls itself to its full stature. There's a loss of intimacy. There's a loss of strength. There's a loss of passion. So it is between a man and a woman. So it is between a husband and a wife. And so we bring to this also the application of our own walk with Jesus because marriage and our walks with God can't be separated. Ephesians tells us that when we talk about marriage, it's actually a picture that's meant to help us understand something about the way that we relate to God. And, guess what? Your God, your bridegroom, if you'll allow me the language of the New Testament, that we are the bride of Christ, He wants to give you a crown. And He wants to present it to you with not a single coin missing the day that you stand before Him in glory. And it's not even just one crown. We could do a whole series of messages on all the different crowns.
God loves you. God loves you so much, He wants to give you multiple crowns. He wants you in heaven, in your mansion He's preparing for you to need a crown closet. And this is where I keep my crowns. I know. God just loves me so much, right? But did you know that while your getting to heaven has nothing to do with you, I want to let that sit, it has everything to do with Jesus? How you're rewarded in heaven has everything to do with you. Whether we arrive in heaven or not is about the cross and our faith in the Resurrection. The cross and the empty tomb is the only basis by which any human soul will enter into paradise. That's the gospel. But how you arrive in heaven, whether it's with fanfare and parade and reward and pomp and circumstance, has everything to do with how you walk with God on this Earth.
Some, Paul said, shall be saved as though through fire, meaning they get to heaven because it's the finished work of the cross and the Resurrection. But there's no reward. Everything that potentially would have been theirs was missed through sin and selfishness and smallness and us looking to substitutes instead of our Savior on a day-to-day functional basis and whether or not we do any of the great things He's planned for us. I'm going to need some references, Levi. I had you in mind as I wrote the sermon. And so I bring to you 2 Timothy 4:8. Paul is speaking. "Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only, but also to all who have loved", say it with me, "His appearing".
Does the thought of the return of Jesus fill you with joy or dread? Does the thought of you dying and standing before God fill you with all sorts of, like just drank too much lemon juice? Oh, I can't wait for that day. That is an acid test of your level of spirituality, for if you knew that Jesus was coming today and you would go, I'm going to need a few hours in my house to clean up, I'm going to need some deleting time in my scroll and search history, I've got a few things lying around I wouldn't want the King of all glory to see walking into my home, rifling through my Wells Fargo statement, my text thread from this morning and late last night. Paul said, "There's a crown of righteousness coming to anybody who loves His appearing".
If you're told Jesus is coming tomorrow and you go, maranatha, you go, "I don't know what that means". It means come quickly. It means yeah, dog. Right, whatever you need to say. If the thought of yes, standing before God, yes, life ending, again, that's not death wish. That's not suicidal ideation. That's I want to live. I want to serve. I have all this joy. But should I die before I wake, I cannot wait to awaken in glory. I shall still be with you. You see what I'm saying? So there's a crown coming. Do you understand the connection here? We're talking about sanctification, not justification here. We're talking about growth in our calling here. And Paul said, there's a crown coming.
So you should, in your walk with Jesus, want a full crown. What a sad thing to get two coins in your crown when God has 10 for you. Come on, church, I want 10 coins in my crown. I want everything God has for me. I don't want to give a moment over to the devil. I don't want to give anything over to sin. I don't want to have any compromise in my heart. I don't want to stand before God and be told what Fresh Life Church could have done had we lived all in, had we focused on the next generation, had we fought for that evangelistic spirit. I don't want to find out what the Lusko family could have done had we been all about the kingdom, right? You see what I'm saying? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. That should be the cry of our heart. And should Christ come tomorrow, may the clouds crack open, and may the sunlight shine down.
May we all, with glory and joy, have no regret. May we have no compromise. May we need no time to go and, oh, I need to go and tell five people about Jesus, because we lived a life of evangelism. You see what I'm saying? Oh God, I never told my sister about Jesus. Right, you see what I'm saying? We should be doing that now. We should be doing that today. And, similarly, in our marriages on Earth, with a lowercase m, because we're in two marriages if you're married in Jesus, he's the bridegroom, you're the bride of Christ. But also if we're husband and wife to a person on Earth, husband or wife to a person on Earth, we're in another marriage. And in your marriage, listen to me, the devil wants to steal coins from your crown.
So I hope by the end of this message for us all to do an inventory of our coins. In hearing this, hopefully the Spirit will awaken some desire to go find lost coins. And a year from now, a different coin will get knocked loose. So we can't ever put our hands in our pockets and go, welp, my marriage is great today, because the enemy is always seeking to erode. Nature's always seeking to reclaim what was taken from it by civilization, is it not? The critters are always trying to come in. And so we have to always be on our guard. We have to always be vigilant. And so what I want to do is out what 10 crown coins could be in marriage. This is with some imagination. And this is by no means exhaustive, but let's give a name to the 10 coins, shall we? And we'll ask, how have we lost some of our coins?
Number one, I named this coin curiosity, the coin of curiosity. Curiosity, I believe, in all of life is a super power. Some of the best marriage advice I could give you, and this is not, Jennie and I aren't 55 years married yet, but we're 19. And we've been through some things. And we've seen some things. And we've been around the world a few times. And in what we have learned that I want to offer to you, we have seen curiosity to be a superpower. That's some great marriage advice. Be curious. Curiosity, curiosity, like what's that? You know how kids are curious? What's that? All the two-year-olds are like, what's that? No one has to teach them it. They're just curious because they don't know anything. I always tell parents, relax. Your kid knows nothing, and neither do you. You'll figure it out together.
And new parents are so stressed. Oh my God, I got to get home by 7:42. Our kid has to be asleep at 7:43. They don't know that, and you don't know that. You just read some dumb book, right? OK, so chill for a second. Kid's going to be OK, right? And so curiosity, curiosity like a child... Jesus said, if you want to be great in God's kingdom, be like a child. You want to be great in your marriage, be curious. If your spouse goes freaking out, be curious about it. Instead of responding to the energy they meet you with, be curious. What's going on here? That seems like a two-alarm fire, and yet it's like an eight-alarm response. Why do we have SWAT team in our driveway? Right, it's like, just we were burning the waffles.
You know what I'm saying? Like, hold on a second. But instead of meeting it at the eight-alarm fire, ask yourself the question, I wonder what's the thing under the thing, because anger is a secondary emotion. So if you start, if you... and it takes work. You have to shift. If you need a hand motion to do that, that's great. OK, I'm shifting into curious mode. I'm putting on my curiosity hat. If you need some sort of a prop, you get down with your bad self, all right? If it keeps you from divorce court, I say you do it, OK? So curiosity, OK, I'm going to be curious here. What's going on here? What's provoking this here? What could I have done? How could I be complicit in this? Curiosity, be curious with yourself. Be curious with your spouse. It's a superpower.
Has your curiosity coin gotten loose? Are you just filling in the thought bubbles over them with what they're responding to versus the I wonder what's actually going on here? Because you see someone super triggered and pissy in an airport and you'll be like, what a jerk. But if you're curious, you go, I wonder if their wife's in the hospital. It helps you to be nice. I wonder if they just lost their job, because if they're belligerent and yelling at the hostess at Applebee's, chances are things aren't going great in their life. You know what I'm saying? If you start being curious, it puts you into a greater place of empathy. All right, so make sure you keep that firmly in your hand, the curiosity coin. There is a second coin. The coin is unity. And these are in no particular order until we get to the last because, of course, I've saved the best for last. I can't have you leaving early.
Coin number two is unity. Act with your spouse as though you're one because you are. It's so funny how much we get into trouble in marriage because we're trying to act like two, but we are one. If we're listening to God, and if we're listening to God, then He's telling us what marriage is. He's defining marriage. And He's telling us how to do it. And so for Jennie and I, we are one. We don't have separate banking, separate friends, separate things. We are emotionally, not perfectly, but emotionally, socially, sexually, financially one. There's Levi and Jennie. Hey, it's the Luskos, right? And that's us. OK, so what we need to remember is to behave like we are.
So much of the Christian life is behaving like you are. You're not trying to get to good so you can get to God. You have Jesus. Thus, you have God. Now act like you are. Act like your true identity. I'm seated in heavenly places. How would someone seated in heavenly places act? I've been given all things in Christ. How would someone act? You see what I'm saying? Don't try and get to something leveling up. Remember to act like you actually are. So I am one flesh with my wife. I need to act like it. Someone who's one flesh with someone, who's one with someone would fight for that unity, not constantly be fighting that person. So what does this look like? Rip up your second scorecard. Rip up your second scorecard, meaning you spent that, so I spend this. You got the night out with the girl, so I get my bro night. You did da-da. You did bedtime last night.
So it's all this quid pro quo, law, tooth, eye nastiness. We're one. We are one. So the better my spouse is doing, the better I'm doing. My wife and I's favorite beach game is smash ball. We just stand there with two wooden paddles and one rubber ball. And we're not trying to get a point that we win from the person. The way we score it is how high can we go together? How high of a rally can we get to? And I'm telling you, on vacations and trips, we are undefeated. I pity the fool who steps up to this. We just get that rally so high. And people, even really, really, really, really competitive people get super frustrated because we've been playing this for like 15 years. And so it's dumb, but we're good at it, right? You can get it at every ABC store in Hawaii.
You know what I'm talking about? It's this dumb mesh bag with this cheap little paddle. And it lasts like a season because it deteriorates because it's made out of bad wood in China. And so we are trying to get a higher score. So I'm not going to spike it on her because I'm trying to get the rally up. Some of you in marriage need to get the revelation. The goal is to get a higher rally. The goal is for the couple to win. The goal is for each other to win. The Bible says, if you take care of your wife, it's like taking care of your own flesh. You wouldn't punch yourself in the leg, right? Paul said you nourish your flesh. You take care of your flesh. So the better your bride is doing, the better your husband, your man is doing, the better you're doing. So fight for that unity. Live as you actually are, one flesh, as two have come together as one. Third coin, generosity, generosity, look, I'm going through this so fast. Levi, spend more time on each. Why would you buy the book if I did that?
Number three, generosity, Jesus said in Luke chapter 6, "Give, and it shall be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom, for with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you". This is a verse that's often rightly used in a generosity moment within a church, used to talk about, hey, look, as we give this offering, as we give our tithes, we should give with the mindset of receiving. And God gives want to bless us. And that is thoroughly biblical, tip to tail, except it's inverted. In truth, you've already been given. Therefore, you should give. And because God is so good, he gives more anyway. And then the cycle repeats, all right? But it, actually, if you read it in its native habitat, Luke chapter 6, it's a relational verse. It's a verse about forgiveness. It's a verse about restoring. It's a verse about reconciling. It's a verse about having ought with someone. It's a verse about dealing with people.
And so let's apply it that way in marriage. A lot of times we want things. I want respect. I want you to remember. I want you to recognize. I want you, but what are you giving? Be generous in your marriage, not just with finances, with affection, not just with lavish gifts that you purchase to wow them and blow them away. How about just in generosity of remembering, that they said this, that they liked that, they appreciate this. These little things, they matter so much more than the big wow moments that look great on an Instagram Reel, you know? Look what I did, this big razzle-dazzle Hallmark movie thing. OK, that's amazing. You're awesome. You kind of did that more for you than for them, right? I'm old school, man. I'm not all about that first look. I want to see that groom snotting up there at the altar. I think those things are really good. I think there's some power in that, right? And so being generous, remembering that little, I picked up my towel, I made the bed, I just noticed that you like it when I did this, being generous with each other's love languages, not just in using your love language. How's that coin going for you?
Number four, intentionality, intentionality at approaching your marriage like it's a bespoke suit and not some one-size-fits-all job from H&M. Your marriage is like going to Milan, Italy and having someone measure every, your right shoulder's shorter than your left shoulder. And this rib cage is funny. This rib has been broken a lot. I think it's broken right now, all right? And so you don't get to go wakeboarding like you did when you were 22 at 41 is the moral of the story, all right? So I caught an edge, people. I got a lidocaine patch, though. It's helping me out as I preach this message. Not supposed to be preaching. Thanks, Kevin.
So the truth is I've broken this rib so many times, though, I've lost count. There was a Slip 'N Slide. There was a snow shovel. There was the trampoline park. There was a bicycle last year. And then this one makes five, right? I think if I get a punch card, the seventh one's free, though. So I'm really excited about that. So yeah, if I get a suit made, they're going to have to accommodate the wonk factor of my rib cage. And that's OK because Geppetto would make me a custom suit. At H&M, it's small, medium, large, extra large. Take what you get. Don't throw a fit. Get in line, sucker. You have a return? I weep for you, seventh level of suffering. God's plan for your marriage is not H&M. It's Italy. And intentionality, says God, what is the calling on our home? What's the calling on our marriage? What's the culture of our marriage supposed to be like? And how can we best live out your calling on our marriage as it pertains to your plan?
I'm telling you, we are already actively saving. So excited about our year-end offering. God's been good to us in some investments we've made, some things that have happened. And I cannot wait to continue to see the calling on our life in our house to build this house. There's a calling we've heard from. Have you heard from heaven for your marriage? You mean I can do that? So far as I can tell, the Bible says you have not because you ask not. So have you asked, God, what would tickle Your heart in our marriage as we live it out every day? What a thought to get out of bed every morning knowing you're not just in a medium suit that fits badly, but your marriage is a custom-tailored garment built just for you. It moves with you. It drapes on you. It fits you just right because it's been tailored for you by the Holy Ghost, who is dreaming about your home from before the foundation of the world.
I like the thought. I live every day. We get out of bed every day going, God, what's your plan today? Father, what do you have for us today? What do you want our family... and there's times when God will just squeeze my wife's heart, our heart, and say, that one's for y'all. That's for y'all. You can't meet every need. You can't bless everything. But there's some times God says, I want you to bless them. There's an emphasis. We just feel that steering. It's kind of like a rumble strip. When you get away from it, you feel it. And God guides you, if you're listening, back to it, back to true north, back to center. Isn't that a wonderful thought?
Intentional, I just dare for you to find that intentionality coin and stick it up in your crown and put some superglue on the back of that thing. And don't let your marriage be like your cousin Ralph's marriage. Well, that's how marriage goes in my family. You know what? Normal is broken. I say we be different because we are a peculiar people. We are God's own people. We are God's chosen people. Difference, fine. It doesn't need to be like everybody else because, you know what? If what everybody else was doing was working, marriage wouldn't be in such shambles in our day. I think we need to hear from heaven. I think we need power from on high. I think we need God to whisper. I think we need God to lead, intentionality, to pursue the plan of God, the calling of God for your marriage. It's liberating.
Number five is humility. We're at the halfway point, which can only mean I need to hurry up. Humility cannot be overstated. If there is something that can cause God to oppose you, I want to avoid it. And that's pride. I'm not a smart man, but I know it's bad to have God oppose you. He wins a lot. All He does is win, win, win. And every time He's in the building, everyone's hands go up. By the third song, y'all come in here pretty tepid. And humility is that condition that invites blessing because God gives grace to the humble. Humility is the thing that will unlock so much favor in your marriage. Men, if you've never humbled yourself to your spouse and told them the way that you're weak, told them about the bad dream, told them that when they say such things, it makes you feel small, you are missing so much favor because you think you need to be a big, strong man.
But there's nothing stronger then humility. There's nothing sexier than humility. Instead of bluster and bravado and this, just say this. I'm so scared. And I'm opening myself up before you. I want to be naked and unashamed, not just in my body, but in my heart. And you know what they'll want to do? The same. And when you're humble and when you're vulnerable, when that coin is high in your crown, we can do anything with God's strength because God's given grace to us as we humble ourselves together. So humility, humble yourself. Some of you, you're barreling towards marriage, flame out. And that could all stop if you would just humble yourself. Turn from your pride. Turn from your stiff neck. Turn from your "I have to be right". Humility is an important coin we must not neglect.
Number six, intensity, this is where we talk about sex. Why does tequila get you drunk faster than beer? It's more concentrated. There's more water in beer. It's intense. If your marriage isn't satisfying sexually, you have to ask the question, is it diluted? Are you diluting your sexual appetite by pouring water in that doesn't belong to you? Any other body besides the body of the person that you became one body with is not your body to look at, to lust at, to fantasize about, to pleasure yourself while thinking about. That's not your body. That's water from someone else's spring. And you need to enclose your fountain. This key Jennie gave to me on our wedding night. She was given it in fifth grade and told, save your body for your spouse. And she did that. And she fought for me, to give me this key.
And to the degree that I let my eyes, my attention wander, I'm drinking from other fountains. So how can I think that the intensity will be preserved through the exclusivity that's part and parcel to God's plan? So the cultural lie that you can look but not touch, that whatever, whatever, whatever, all you're doing is eroding the significance and the power of what God has for you through your spouse. And the little foxes are the most problematic of the foxes. There's a raft of verses I could tell you. So intensity, fight for the intensity, the imagination, and the pleasure of, let the fountains of your love be only for this person. This is a coin that must stay high in our crowns.
Number seven, community, community... Proverbs 17 tells us that "A friend loves at all times, but a brother gets born for adversity". There are people in your life who are meant to be friends. There are people in your life that are born to be brothers. Wisdom knows the difference. I am not brothers with all of you. I mean, we're brothers and sisters in Christ. I'm going to say something that's going to rock you. We can't all be best friends. Sorry. We can't all be best friends with each other. We can't all be best friends. We're not all brothers. Jesus wasn't bros with everybody. He had 500 who loved him, 70 who adored him, 12 who were mostly with him, and 3 who were born for adversity, Peter, James, and John. He had to hear the Holy Spirit tell him, you can't invest in every relationship the same.
That's not bad. That's OK. We're all loving each other. But we have to hear from God who are our people. If you don't have a crew, a brother born for adversity, some friends who can encourage you, right, I mean, sociologists will tell you you cannot literally even be friends with more than 100 people on this Earth. And what's overwhelming about our phones is that they give us a sense of proximity to more people than our souls can actually relate to. I know they're your friend on Facebook, but they're not. You have friends who love at all times. And you have brothers and sisters born for adversity. And you've got to figure that out.
And you've got to make sure the right people are put into a controlling interest in your life because, as pastor Craig Groeschel said, "Show me your friends, and I will show you your future". You cannot live right when you're doing life with the wrong people. You can't. You're going to be steered. You're going to be influenced. You're going to be taken off your habits. You're going to be taken of your character. You're going to be taken off your integrity. It will happen when you're not paying attention slowly. But you're going to look up one day, and you're going to have drifted. And you're going to go, dang, that lifeguard tower I was basing my place in the waves with is a long ways away.
How did I drift? I was surfing with the wrong crew. You have to continue to ask yourself, who are my people? Who's in that brother and sister category? And if it's not people madly pursuing Jesus, there will come a day when you won't be either. It won't happen today, and it won't happen tomorrow. But you'll look up one day and be a little salty, a little disenfranchised, a little bit cynical, a little bit jaded, a little bit, what, intoxicated. And it's just going to... here's your moorings. You're just going to loser, loser, loser. And one day it's like, when did that happen? I, at one point, wanted to raid hell with a water gun. But you were hanging out with people who mostly just wanted to get high. And you'll blink. And you'll be standing before God presenting crowns. And you're going to get one that doesn't have any coins in it. Oh, you're going to get there if you're in Christ.
Number eight is levity. God wants your marriage to be fun. My wife and I love and adore making fun of each other. It's like our favorite thing in the whole world. You know our series, You in Five Years, we do every five years? Do you know where that came from? When my wife and I are in public and we see someone who's the most absurd human, at Under the Big Sky last night, the guy with the cowboy boots in a thong with the cowboy hat just walking confidently through the crowd, our favorite thing is to just, without anybody around us knowing it, just go, you in five years? That's where that series came from. I mean it's been changing lives around the world, present company included. God's redeemed what the devil meant for evil. But the origin story is us making fun of each other. We'll see some super old dude with his pants hiked up to his nipples. And she'll just go, you in five years, right?
It's just the culture of our marriage is based on levity. There's nothing I love more than making you laugh. That's why we have a podcast. It's so I can professionally get paid to listen to you laugh, right? I just love it. If I can make her laugh, I want our home to be levity. What we do for work is very intense and involves a lot of seriousness. And someone's in the ICU. And you need to talk to this person whose child was just killed in a motorcycle accident. And now you've got to preach and their souls in heaven and hell. And I'm telling you, levity goes a long way. First responders have some of the darkest senses of humor. The more intense your day job is, the more sick and twisted you become in your off-duty life. Is it not true? Levity, this is biblical, though. I have a place to blame this in the Bible.
Proverbs 17, "A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones". I tell Dallas Jenkins all the time... and, by the way, we're going to be linked up with the Chosen Con later this year. We're going to be doing church services live from Chosen Con with all the actors from The Chosen. And it'll be linked up only to Fresh Life Church location. So that's coming this fall, by the way. But we're not putting it online. So if you don't come to church, you're going to hell, all right? So I told him, I said, he said, you want it online? I said, nope, I don't want it. I just want people to come to Salt Lake City and Victor and Portland, Oregon and our Montana locations and come to church that weekend. I'll be in Dallas at Chosen Con with all that crew. And it'll be beamed into only our location. So you've got two options, go to Chosen Con, get to Fresh Life. All right, so I tell them all the time, though, the reason I think the show has struck such a chord is they show Jesus with a sense of humor.
What's wrong with every other Jesus movie that shows Him like He's constipated all the time? The Bible says He was the most joyful person who ever lived. And a merry heart is good for you. Does your marriage have fun? I'm going to quote Heath Ledger. Why so serious, right? Come on. Come on, man. That's just, come on. My only question I ask when they're talking about who they're going to hire, I'm like, are they a fun person? I know they have competency. I know you're looking at a character. You did the criminal background check, checked to make sure they're not a pedophile and serial killer. Awesome. But are they awful to be around? Could we hang out together? And if not, eh. And can you shut it off? Can you shut off all that? If we get together and all you just want, eh, you know, I'm going to be like, well, you know, the funeral home called, and you're due back. Chill the crap out, right? All right, levity, you can't let me preach during my preaching break. I tell you right now, I didn't even shower today.
All right, number nine, responsibility, responsibility... have you taken responsibility for your marriage? Or is it just all out of your control? I have a red flag I throw up when I hear people talking about their marriage as though it's like an inanimate object they're not connected to. Oh, my marriage is not doing so good. You're half of that, right? Oh, you know, marriage is in shambles. I don't know how it's going to go. Like, so you have no control? Ah, just fell out of love with her. Marriage is you. How are you? What are you doing? What are you going to do? Oh, the coins all fell out. Pick 'em up. Right. Take some responsibility. No one can love your husband for you. No one can take your wife to bed or lose her forever but you. And if you don't take her to bed, someone will. If you don't date your mate, the devil will find someone who will. You need to take responsibility for your life. You need to take responsibility for your future. You need to take responsibility.
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders build in vain. But you still got to build, homie. Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. But that doesn't mean that you get to put the Red Bull away. You still need to watch. You still need to build. You still need to work. You still need to fight. You still need to forgive. You still need to care. You still need to show up. Are you showing up in your marriage? Take some responsibility. Say about your marriage, this won't fail because of me. It might fail, but it will not fail because of what I did or didn't do. Do your best. Keep fighting. But they might not reciprocate. Do it anyway. But they always... doesn't matter. Still do it. Be able to say one day, hey, the marriage fell apart, didn't work, but I fought until it was over. And then I fought some more. And then I tried some more. Keep going. You never know what God could do.
Take responsibility. And then we end with this, authority, authority, authority in marriage, authority in your home, God's authority, God's authority. This is where you recognize, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. This is where Ephesians 5:21, we submit to one another in the fear of God. You together put your marriage under God's authority, where you say to God as man and wife, God, the answer is yes. Now, what's the question? God's on the speed dial? Automatic yes. He's calling, wants what? People are always like, why do you do this? Why do you go here? It's like, because God said so. That's all I need. That's literally all I need. I will go anywhere. We will live anywhere. We will do what He wants us to do.
I was telling the worship team a minute ago about my first speaking engagement that was outside of my job. It was a Chinese Christian church seminar on parenting. I wasn't married yet, but God wanted me to do it. The invitation came. I felt that nudge. I don't need this. I don't need fancy. I don't need a lot. I want what God has for me. That's what you and your spouse need to live under. I want God's call for my life. We together want God's authority to be over our home. We want to be planted in God's house, flourishing in His courts. And we're still going to be praising Him. You cut the power? We'll worship in the dark. You take away our food? We'll worship God with little. We'll worship God with much. I've been broke. I've been not broke. The second one's better. But, you know what? I will worship God, whether I have or whether I don't have, because Paul said, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Amen, somebody. Let's get our marriages under the altar. Let's get our marriages under the oil. Let's get our marriages into a posture of worship. Let's worship God together. Come on, let's live our lives out, submitting to one another in the fear of God. I'm afraid the church has lost its wonder. I'm afraid the church has lost its fear, where we can so flippantly criticize the bride that Jesus Christ shed his blood to build. The church is this. The church is that. Be careful how you talk about His bride. Is it perfect? No, because I'm in it. Is it perfect? No, because we let you come in. But is it precious? You better believe it is. Let's fear God. Let's love each other. Let's keep doing it. And then one day we'll be standing before Him, hearing Him say, hopefully, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord".
Now today, some of you hearing this, you're like, Levi, I don't even know if I got my headband left, much less any of these coins. And if you're saying, we have all of our coins in perfect check, you suck and probably need to find another church. And I don't want to read your email, OK? Feel loose. But if the Holy Spirit is saying to you, I know what coins we need to work on today, you might feel overwhelmed because there's six that have fallen out, but I'm going to pick one up and put it back in, you're my kind of person because God's not after perfection. He never has been. He's after openness to His hand. He's only ever been looking for a space to fill with His power, a space to fill with His grace, a space to fill with His love. I wonder if there's some married people who would say today, I want my coins back. Stand up to your feet.
If you've got a coin to get back up in your crown, stand up to your feet, all of our locations, right there at church online. Stand up. Come on, that's humility. That's strength. Come on. Let's cheer these on. That's a step of faith. That's a nudge in the right direction. That's a move in the right direction. And I'm right there with you. Before we pray, let me just tell you, on the ninth day of the 11-day mission, Ken Mattingly got his ring back. Here's how it happened. With the hatch open, spacesuits on, he was going outside to get a canister of film that was mounted outside the Apollo spacecraft. He was on a tether. Charlie Duke was his spotter. Charlie Duke is the guy I talked to. Ken Mattingly is floating out the window to get this canister. And just as he goes out the hatch, Charlie Duke, distracted for a moment, a flash of light in his peripheral vision, goes, what's that flying over there? And he realizes the ring, wherever it had been lodged the whole time, had just gotten knocked loose and was flying towards the open craft exit hatch. He knew he had one chance to lunge for it in zero gravity, just lunge for it, flying, before it would be out of his reach and gone forever in the infinite void of space.
So without saying anything in the radio because he didn't want to give false hope, he just lunged for it and missed. And it kept flying exactly out the middle of the door. But Mattingly, who was outside the hatch at this point, unaware to this, had his back turned. It bounced off the back of his helmet, redirected, and came back in the open door. And Charlie Duke said, thank you very much, silently put it over his pinkie, and kept it until the end, when they had unsuited. And he casually handed it to Ken, goes, "Found your ring". Why do I tell that to you? I tell that to you because if the gospel is true, lost things can be found. And those of you who are embracing God's call to get all your coins, God says, I got your ring. I can redirect it. I'm bringing it back. I can bring dead things to life. I can bring lost sons back home. I can bring lost sheep back home. And I can find lost coins in Jesus' name.
Thank you, God. Thank you. Thank you, God. Spirit's, moving in our hearts, moving in our lives, thank you for this show of humility all across our church. Bless these marriages. Bless these coins as you help us see them by sweeping the house, lighting a lamp, and searching carefully. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for calling us back to You, back to true north, back to what matters, back to the foundation. We're your church. We're your bride. We love you, God. We need you, Lord.
Well, there's some hidden sin. There's some hidden sin in hearts. So right now, why don't you just confess that to the Lord? Confess, confess, confess, lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning. Let your joy be turned to gloom. Let Him heal you. Let Him break bones that He might set them properly. Confess those things to Him now in your heart. And commit to take some time this week to confess to your spouse. It might be hard. It will be hard, but it's the only shot of a better future. Thank you, Lord. If you're here today and you've never trusted Christ for salvation, I'm going to give you space and time. Everybody else sitting down, why don't you stand up with me as we conclude this gathering?
If you're here today and you've never trusted Jesus for salvation, we're not talking about crowns now. We're talking about heaven and hell because your entrance to heaven is based solely on the finished work of Christ. And if you're here today and you've not surrendered and accepted His grace, to be given forgiveness and a clean slate and a new life and a new start in Jesus, you can. The gospel goes out free. Up until your last breath, you can trust Jesus as He leads you. But the trick is knowing that what you feel now might not ever happen again. A lot of people say, I'll do it later. I'll do it when I'm older. I'll get right with God eventually, never knowing that we cannot guarantee that sense of the spirit leading us to it. There were two men crucified next to Jesus. One cried out, and one died, hardened. So you could even be blowing through your final opportunity and not realizing it. So all I'm saying is if today you hear His voice, surrender leads to salvation.
So with heads bowed and eyes closed, all across our church and church online and podcast and all the ways and all the things, God sees you. He loves you. He's calling out to you. Would you open up your heart to Him? I'm going to pray a prayer. Our church family is going to pray with us. This can be your opportunity to repeat this after me, but not to me, to God, accepting grace. Say this. Say:
Dear God, I know I'm a sinner. There's no excuse for that. But thank you for sending Jesus to die in my place, to rise from the dead. I believe He stands at the right hand of your throne. And today, I submit to you as Lord, forgive me. Cleanse me. Help me in Jesus' name.