Matt Hagee - iBelieve
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I believe we are living in a world that is filled with confusion, but the God that we serve is not the author of confusion. I believe we live in a time when truth is being treated like a lie, and lies are being cherished as if they were true. I believe that this book is the anchor of the soul. And it is the compass that guides every step that a child of God takes. I believe that convictions are more powerful than culture, because one man with convictions, based on God's word, can change the culture. And the anointing of the Holy Spirit is still the most powerful force on the face of the earth. I believe that I am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
And I come from a long line of believers. I come from believers like Abraham, whom the Bible says believed God and he was made the father of many nations. Sarah believed God and she was given a child in her old age. Joshua believed God and the walls fell. David believed God and defeated the giant. Elijah believed God and fire came from heaven. Daniel believed God and he was delivered from the lion's den. They all believed! They believed that the promise of Genesis would come to pass: that the seed of the woman would come and crush the head of the serpent. I believe that that seed was Jesus Christ. I believe that he was born of a virgin. I believe that he died on a cross. I believe that on the third day, he arose from the grave, and he is now seated at the right hand of God the Father where he makes intercession for all of those who have the conviction to confess that Jesus is Lord!
But no matter what I believe, it has no power or benefit in your life until you believe, until these convictions are something you possess and stand upon. And today I share these with you because I want you to believe in the God who does the impossible. Let's read and pray. If you found Romans 1:16, say, amen. "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. For it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first, and also for the Greek".
Heavenly Father, let your Holy Spirit lead us today as we listen to your words of truth and believe in the power of your promise and the fulfillment of its plan in our life. In Jesus' name, do we pray and ask. And all of God's children said, praise the Lord.
You may be seated. One of the things that I truly believe is that we live in a world where applications change but principles never do. That's why I've chosen this logo, "iBelieve". We live in an iPhone generation. The thing about this phone is that the applications on this phone have helped us accomplish our principles much easier. The principles of communication haven't changed. People still want to reach out and touch someone. And as much as people don't want things to change, I believe that the only changes they resist are things that they don't want to change. Every other change, they gladly accept. I believe applications change but principles do not. People still want to communicate.
When I was a child, communication looked like this. How many of y'all remember these old phones? We couldn't find one that actually let you turn. You remember when you used to have to turn the number, and if you didn't go far enough, you didn't quite get the number you wanted, and then you dialed somebody's wrong number by a mistake? You'd say, "Hello, grandma," and they'd go, "This isn't grandma". Hah! When I was a child, this phone was kind of a mint green, but it faded. And it was mounted on the wall in the dining room, which really wasn't a dining room: it's just where the table was right next to the kitchen. And there was about an eight-foot cord that hung from it so mom could multitask. Not only could she talk and cook, but the eight-foot cord was kind of like Indiana Jones' whip. If you got out of line, she'd just fling it out there and get ya.
And this used to be what I called "The mood ring," because whenever you've got five kids under 12 in one house, you can raise a lot of racket in a hurry. And mom could be walking across the living room on her way to the kitchen. And she'd say things like, "Matthew, get outside," "Christopher, leave your sister alone," "Sandy, put down the brush," "Tish, turn off the TV". And then the mood ring, "Hagee house... oh, hi... of course". Don't act like I'm the only one who grew up this way. The application changed somewhere about the late 80's. All of a sudden, technology stuck that wall phone in a bag. Y'all remember these? It had a battery so hot: it could melt uranium. You could call in air strikes with this thing. Where at Becker tango six, bring it in hot. Mom and dad exchanged the diaper bag for the bag phone. And suddenly applications had changed.
Now, we've got this phone that helps us do anything and everything we want, not just communicate. You can pick up this phone and make long distance phone calls. You can pick up this phone and pay your tithes. I've seen some of you. Pastor says, "Raise your offering," and you hold up your phone. Right there. This phone is a map. The principles of travel haven't changed. Cities haven't moved around. Locations aren't any different. I remember when I left for college and I was headed for oral Roberts university in Tulsa, pastor took me down to the store, and he bought me a map. You remember these maps? You never wanted to be too rough with them, because they'd tear right on the seams. And we sat down and we talked about San Antonio and 35 north and how you could take 35 all the way to Dallas. And once you got to Dallas, you had a choice, because you could go 35 into Oklahoma city, or you could go 75 into Denison and take the McAllister turnpike all the way into Tulsa. But you had to have enough quarters to pay the fare on the turnpike.
Now you think texting and driving is distracting: try reading this while going 85 miles an hour. And if that wasn't bad enough, help me out there. Thank you, sir. It didn't matter if you stayed on 35 or you got to 75: whenever you crossed the red river, you had to pull over and buy another map, because Texas and Oklahoma weren't on the same piece of paper. And if that wasn't bad enough, you can't ever get these things to fold up the same way they were whenever you bought them. And so you just kind of took them and crumbled them up and stuffed them in your glove box. And then you couldn't get anything else in the glove box. Now the application has changed. The principle's the same. San Antonio is still San Antonio. Tulsa is still Tulsa. All you've got to do though is take up your phone, punch in the coordinates.
And the next thing you know, not only do you get told exactly where to go, but you get options. I was so mad when I found out that you could take 281 to Fort Worth and stay off of 35 altogether. That route wasn't on the map that I bought. How many of you've used your phone map to take you places you already know how to get to: you just want to see how they decide to get you there? The principles's the same. People still travel. Consider what this little device has done to the Bible. Now people have all kinds of versions of the Bible. When I was a kid, there was only one version that was anointed. It was the King James. "Yea, verily I say unto thee". There was a Scofield. There was a Dakes. Predicated on your denomination, determined the version that you chose. If you were really spiritual, you would take some time and put in, get a vision of these. I mean you can't find this stuff. I had to go searching. These are tabs.
Y'all remember the tabs that you used to put in every book. It was very important that you got it right on the first page of the book so that when the pastor said, "We're going to read Lamentations today," you'd go, "I got that". Oh, now he's in Hosea. I got you. Back to Hebrews, back to Luke. All these tabs and things. Then came along the new King James version. Then after the new King James version, there was the version for the seekers and the backsliders, the NIV. Don't take it personal! The New American Standard Bible. Then there was the cross reference Bible where you could read all four versions together. And by the time you got reading four versions of one verse, you forgot what John 3:16 said, but there it was. There's the chronological. There's the Dakes. There's the archaeological. And then giant print, because after all, it's harder as it gets older.
Now, the principle hasn't changed, but the application has. People come to church, and you say, "Stand for the reading of God's word," and the same group that was holding up their phones during the tithe, I don't know if they're checking Instagram or reading along, but they're looking down at their phones, and they type in the verse. And all of a sudden in their Bible app here comes Romans 1:16, and that's where pastor Matt is today. And there it is, any version you want. You get NIV, NASB, KJV, NKJV, Swahili and every other thing you can read. Think about photo albums. How many of y'all used to have photo albums at your house? My mother used to bring visitors over to the house. And she'd go into the closet and she'd pull out picture books, and just for hours, embarrass us. Oh, here he is eating watermelon at the church picnic.
Who takes pictures of their kids eating watermelon? Here he is with his monkey. Here he is with his dog. Here he is on an airboat, all of these photos. Photos used to be taken with cameras and film. And if sunlight touched the film, you lost the photo. And then you would go to these little drive-through picture booths with grumpy people living behind dark windows, and they'd slide it open and take your film from you, and slide the door shut, and say, "Be back in a week". Now you can take more pictures in one afternoon than you could take with ten cameras on five vacations, and keep them, and post them, and people can like them. People used to have to come visit your house in order for you to be humiliated. And now all they have to do is just search your Facebook and they can see what you did last week. And they can see what you did last month. And they can see what you looked like 70 years ago. This is the dedication of the sanctuary of hope.
Here we are at the witty. There we are. That's dad. Hey, slow down: those are good-looking people. On and on it goes, one page at a time until you find something that reminds you that applications change but principles do not. You see these two men right here, jack combs and bill Randall, they joined this church in the 70's back when it met in a building that wasn't any bigger than our prayer chapel. Back then, the principle was the same. But today, the applications have changed. Back then, there wasn't any kind of device that could live stream services. Back then, if you were at church, you actually had to go to the building.
Now there's people watching by internet, who aren't even in the same state. But they consider this to be their home church. It's a different application but we're still declaring the same gospel. Back then, there wasn't a way for you to connection with everybody all at the same time or even engage strangers that you might not ever meet. But I believe some day in glory, I'm going to walk through a door, and I'm going to see these two smiling faces doing what they're doing right there. Church, I believe in his power. Take a look at this app and tell me what you see. This is the logos for Cornerstone Church, for Hagee Ministries and Cornerstone Christian schools. These will, from now on, identify who we are.
What's the one thing that you see connecting the church, the television ministry, and the school? The cross. The cross. Why? Because it is as Paul said, "God forbid that I should boast save in the cross of Jesus Christ my Lord". It doesn't matter when you came to Cornerstone. It doesn't matter where you started watching pastor Hagee. It doesn't matter what day you signed up to go to the school. It's the cross that drew you. It's the cross that redeemed you. It's the cross that made it possible for you to become an heir and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. The street address is not nearly as important as the fact that it is upon the cross where he died and suffered that we might have redeemed: that we received all that we care to know about Jesus Christ, who he is and what he's done! Thank you, God, for the cross!
I believe in the power of God. I believe what Isaiah said in Isaiah 40:28 and 29, "Eye has not seen nor ear has heard to the ends of the earth that God is the Creator of all. He neither faints, nor is he weary. He gives power to the weak and to those who have no strength". I believe that our God is so full of power that when you're powerless, he has enough for both of you. The problem with mankind is that we've confused autonomy with omnipotence. I want to say that again. We've confused autonomy with omnipotence. You see God made us autonomous. He gave us the ability to choose for ourselves. That's why the Bible says, "Choose you this day whom you will serve". But you need to know that being autonomous does not make you omnipotent. Only God is all powerful. You get to choose, but he's the one who has the power.
I not only believe in his power, but I believe in his promise. I believe that his power is there to perform his promise in your life. According to the Word of God, Peter said to the New Testament church, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise". That simply means that if God said it, he'll do it. Ephesians 3:19 and 20, Paul writes to the church, "We know the love of Christ, which passes all knowledge, and we're filled with the fullness of God, because he is able to do exceedingly and abundantly, above all that we could ask or think, according to the power that works in us". That verse says that his power is there to fulfill his promise. And God's promise is to keep you. How does he keep you? First, he keeps you safe. This is what Paul told Timothy. 2 Timothy 1:2, "I know in whom I have believed. And I believe he is able". Say that with me. "I believe he is able". Able to do what? Paul said he's able to keep. "He's able to keep that which I have committed to him, even to the day of Christ Jesus".
Paul had committed his life to Christ. And he was telling Timothy, I believe that Jesus Christ is the one I believe in, and he can keep me. I'm thankful to God that it's his job to keep me safe. Because if that was up to me, I'd lose it every morning about 6:30 coming down i-10. Are you facing a fiery trial today? Is your marriage in danger? Is your health in need of a healing touch? Is your business searching for a solution? Remember this: God is able! Say it with me. God is able! Say it again. God is able! He is able to close the mouths of lions. He is able to stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the flames. He is able to take you through the watery trials and bring you into the Promised Land!
Listen to me closely, church. God will let you go but he'll never leave you. He'll let you go, but he'll never leave you. He'll let you go through a fire, but he won't leave you in that fire. He'll stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the flames. I believe in God's plan. I don't care how the applications change: the gifts and the callings of the Lord are irrevocable. And he has a plan for your life. It's not an accident that you're at church today. The Bible says, "The steps of the righteous are ordered of the Lord". It took 39 years to order my steps to land me right there in the middle of that platform when I received a torch of truth and the Word of God. It didn't happen over night. God said, I'm going to take you, and I'm going to use you, and I'm going to show you, and I'm going to teach you, and I'm going to empower you, and then I've got a plan for you. I believe his power is to provide his promises, and his promises fulfill his plan.
Ephesians 3:20, it says, "He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly, above all that you could ask or think with the power that works in you". Why? Read verse 21. It tells us what his plan is. It begins by saying, "To him be the glory". Say that with me. "To him be the glory". "By the church". "By the church". We are a part of his plan. We are how he gets the glory. How? It says, "In every generation, forever and ever. Amen". The purpose of this church when it started in the 70's was to give God glory. The purpose of this church right now is to give God glory. If he tarries another hundred years, the purpose of this church tomorrow will be to give God glory in every generation, forever and ever. Amen. We are a part of his plan. We are the manifestation of his power. We are the fulfillment of his promise on earth. When they recognize that he has redeemed you and set you free, then they want to know the Jesus that you profess.
I believe in his plan. I believe that his plan is not to harm you but to prosper you, not to hold any good thing from you, to make you the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath. You might not always understand God's plan. You might not always understand why you've gone through what you've been through. But I assure you God sent me here today to tell you it was a part of his plan. He wants you to know that all things are working together for the good of those that love him and are called according to his purpose. You might feel like the problem you've been through is killing you. But if you've still got breath in your lungs today, God's not through with you yet! It's part of his plan! I believe the applications may change. I don't know what they're going to come up with next, but the principles never will, because our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And that's what I believe.
Give the Lord a handclap of praise. Would you stand in the presence of the Lord. The Bible says, "Call upon me and I'll answer thee and show you great and mighty things that you know not". If you're in this place today, and you're believing God for an answer, you're believing God to make a way, you're believing God to perform his promise by his power to fulfill his plan, and you want to call upon him this morning, I want you to raise your hand right where you are and hold it high. Thousands of hands across this sanctuary. I want everyone in this room to repeat this prayer with me.
Lord Jesus Christ, today I believe in you. I believe in your power. I believe in the promise of your word. And I believe in the plan that you have for my life. Now Lord Jesus, I'm asking you... (now I want you to take a moment and just tell the Lord) I'm asking you to touch my physical body. I'm asking you to reveal your perfect will. I'm asking you to make a way. I'm asking you to meet a need. This is the moment that you have to go before the throne of God where you can find grace and mercy. And in Jesus' name, the Savior who died to set you free, is making intercession on your behalf, so call upon him. Ask him and he'll show you great and mighty things that you know not. Now continue in prayer. Lord Jesus, I thank you that you have heard me. And in faith believing, my answer is on the way, in Jesus' name. Amen.