Matt Hagee - Home is Where the Heart is
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Today we're going to ask and answer the question, "Where is your heart"? Because your heart will tell you what you're giving your life to. Matthew 6, Jesus said, "Where a man's treasure is, there will his heart be also". Some men treasure their careers, which is why they invest their life there. Some women treasure the potential titles that they could get, which is why they pursue them. The Bible says that the heart of the fool is in the ends of the earth.
The Bible says that the carnal mind of man is at war with God. Why? Because here on this earth, we have a hall of fame for sports heroes. We have all kinds of accolades and awards for individuals, who do all kinds of things that don't matter an ounce in eternity. But we never celebrate real heroes. We never celebrate true treasures: real heroes, like a dad, who tucks his kids in at night: a father, who prays over his family: a man, who gets up and goes out and pays the bills. I don't know if there would ever be a hall of fame for men like that. But I assure you, you are enshrined in the hearts of your children and your grandchildren, because you are the true heroes of the United States.
We look at an actress, who can pretend for 45 minutes in a movie, and we give her an award. But we never take the time to honor a true treasure, which is a woman, who possesses the feminine grace that the Word of God talks аbout: the kind of feminine grace, according to Proverbs 31, that says, "She does him", "Him," who? "Her husband and her children good and not evil all the days of her life". The world we live in tells a woman, "Go break the glass ceiling. Go be a senator, go be a prime minister. Go be a president". And all of those things are wonderful. But they're worthless if you don't do what God wants in your house. And the reason that it's important that we make this decision is because our children and our grandchildren are watching.
Seventy-three percent of young people today do not live inside the covenant of marriage. Why? Because they watched their parents and their grandparents throw it away. There are, now, fathers, who were raised by single mothers, who were raised by single mothers and were three generations deep. And today, just like Joshua, we've come to a point of decision. Joshua says it clearly. He says, "If it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose", say that with me, "Choose". Each and every day, we have a choice to make. "Choose for yourselves whom you will serve". Each and every individual, every father, every mother, every son, every daughter, has to choose whom they will serve.
And Joshua says it plainly. "Choose you this day whom you will serve". And once you make that choice, the next thing that you have to do is take courage. Say that with me. Take courage. It's an action. Courage doesn't come: courage has to be taken. You're not going to go to sleep a coward and wake up courageous. You've got to do something active to take courage. You've got to make up your mind that what's in this book about you is true. Why? Because the world that we live in is filled with discouragement. It's trying to discourage every man from being what God created him to be, which is a man. A red-blooded, decision-making male.
The Bible says it in Genesis, "And he created them male and female". Male and female. And if you're going to be a man of God, you have got to take courage, because this world wants to discourage you. It wants to tell you, "Don't be what God created you to be: you can from a messed up, broken family". Well guess what? We all do. I'm here to testify today: my family is broken. My family is messed up. And I'm thankful for it, because God can't use perfect families. The Bible is called "A seed". And a seed has to be planted in broken ground before it can produce a harvest. And so if you're sitting in here today, and you say, "Well, I don't know if God can do anything good with me: my family's broken," that's perfect because that's where he wants his seed to go so that the harvest of your future is greater than any pain in your past.
Don't be discouraged today. Take courage today! Don't look at your situation and say, "We're the only ones". No, we're all in the same boat, folks, because your broken family is built up with broken people! And I don't know anybody in this world that's ever lived and died perfect except for Jesus Christ! Isaac, flawed. Isaac did something that every father should learn from. And it's not what you should do: it's what you shouldn't do. Isaac overexaggerated his problem and it caused a family crisis. You say, "What do you mean"? Go read Genesis 27. In the 1st verse of Genesis 27, Isaac looks at Esau, and he says, "My son, I'm dying. I cannot see. This could be my last meal. Go quickly. Kill that I may eat. And then I will bless you with your inheritance," Genesis 27.
Now you know what's wrong about that? Isaac didn't die until Genesis 35, twenty years after that melodramatic speech. That's two decades of your death bed. He is overexaggerating his own situation for the purpose of attention. And he got it. Esau took off running. Esau went out to go kill the deer. Esau went to go do everything dad said, because dad's dying, and dad's going give me my inheritance, and I've got to get it today. No, you don't. You've got 20 years! But not only did Isaac hear this, Rebekah, his wife, heard this.
And when Rebekah heard this, she did something that shouldn't be done by a parent either, but she's from a flawed family. You know what she did? She played favorites. Sometimes we mess up our family because we overexaggerate our problems. Other times we mess up our family because we pick and choose our favorites. She ran over to Jacob's tent, and she said, hey, dad's getting ready to kick the bucket, so here's what we're going to do. She said, while your brother's out hunting, you go kill a goat. And I'll fix the food. You just take the goat hair and you put it on your arm, so whenever he touches you, he thinks you're him.
Now let me just stop right here. If goat hair is what you feel like, groom yourself, man. But Isaac overexaggerated the problem. Rebekah, she played favorites in the problem. And you know what they did? They divided brothers. And while Jacob and Esau restored their relationship before the end of their life, they buried the hatchet, but the handle is still sticking out. So don't think that the problems that are in your family are only going to affect your family. They could go on for a long time. Abraham, flawed. Isaac, flawed. Jacob, flawed. Jacob had a messed-up family, twelve kids. They sold one.
Now I don't know what your kids did Friday night, but I promise: they ain't that bad. What did y'all do over the weekend? We sold Joseph, just got tired of him. We tried to fake his death, but decided we'd turn a buck, and so we sold him. Don't worry, dad. If your kid came home late, you're all right. Simeon and Levi. Jacob enters into an agreement with an entire village. And Simeon and Levi don't approve of the village because of the way they treated their sister. So they go into the village and they kill every man in the town. Judah, one of Jacob's boys, got his daughter-in-law pregnant, because he thought she was a prostitute. I'm telling you: this stuff is Jerry springer-story-line stuff. Maury Povich would love this family. He'd be like, "The survey says, 'it's yours'".
Not only do you take courage, but you've got to walk in agreement. This is where it gets real, because Joshua said it this way, "Choose for you is this day whom you will serve". "As for me," it was a personal thing. "As for me and my house," then he said what? "We". "We". It went from "Me" to "We," which meant that Joshua's family was walking in agreement. Now the definition of "Agreement" is not where everybody sees it exactly alike. The definition of "Agreement" is when everybody understands the role and the purpose that they're supposed to play, and they sacrifice their plan for God's plan. That's agreement. This means that a man and a wife have to be in agreement. Sure, they do. But what happens if you're in disagreement with God? "Can two walk together unless they be agreed"? We walk by faith.
So in this walk that we're taking with God, if we ever get out of agreement with his plan, guess who's wrong? Not God: you! And God left his plan for the family right here in this book. He said it simply. He said, "The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church". And the point of the matter is this: until you're willing to accept the role that God created for you to play, you're not walking in agreement with him, which means your family cannot walk in agreement with you. A man, who is the head of his family is submitted to God: just as Jesus Christ is submitted to the Lord. The husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church.
Sub mission is how you accomplish the mission. Jesus didn't do what he wanted. Jesus did what God said. He said, I don't speak unless the Lord gives me permission to speak. I don't go unless he sends me. I don't do unless he allows me. When Jesus knelt and prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked that the cup would pass, and then he submitted himself, saying, "Nevertheless, not my will be done but yours". So if you are a man of God, stepping into the role that God wants you to play, if you're in agreement with his plan, you have submitted yourself to doing what God wants you to do with your family, not what you want to do with it. And father, if you're the head of the family, that means the wife is the neck.
And here is one of the problems that we have in America today: physically, when your head works and your neck is broken, you're paralyzed. And there are a lot of families that cannot function because there's a disconnect between the head and the neck. And the only way that it gets back into functioning, and moving, and being what God wants it to be is in agreement. Ma'am, you need to understand something. You don't walk in agreement when you like what he's saying. You walk in agreement because God told you, "Wives submit to your husbands, as unto the Lord". Not when you like what he's got to say. "I think we should go on vacation". "I agree with that: praise the Lord". And when he says, "I think we should spend less money," you don't go, "Well what are you doing down at the office"? No. You walk in agreement, because submission is how you accomplish the mission.
And let me tell you something: whenever a husband and a wife are walking in agreement, not only does God bless that relationship, but God teaches the children how to follow. I didn't show up last night, I was raised. And one thing I knew about being a kid in my house is if you ever wanted dad to agree to anything and everything, ask him after 7 o'clock on Saturday night. Because after 7 o'clock on Saturday night, dinner is over and sermon mode is on. And what do most men do when they have a focus other than what's happening around them? They agree to everything. I mean there's a reason why Kendal comes to me at 10 o'clock and goes, "Can we talk"? I'm like, "No. I'm in a very weak state right now. I want to go to bed". She's like, "Can we do this, and this, and this, and this"? "Yes". Then in the morning, she says, "Do you remember what you said"? I'm like, "Oh, no".
Well in the Hagee house, if you went to dad after 7 o'clock on a Saturday, you could get anything. He'd be looking over his sermon notes, and you'd walk in and say, "Dad, I want to have 400 friends over. I want to turn the backyard into a lake. I want to water ski, skeet shoot, and ride horses all at the same time". He'd say, "Fine: just check with your mother". And being the little terrorists, I mean the little children that we were, you'd go find mom. And the first thing you'd say to mom is, "Dad said. He said I could have over 400 friends, I could turn the backyard into a lake, I could water ski, jet ski, skeet shoot, and ride horses all at the same time with ice cream".
And now because we're working mom against dad, and dad against mom, mom's got a decision to make. She knows dad's studying. Does he interrupt? "Now John, this doesn't sound like something you would say, but I just want to check, because Matthew said you said". Rather than have that fight, she just says, "Well honey, we'll talk about it later". "No, mom: dad said". And then whenever there's a disagreement between the head and the neck, you know who's in charge? The kids. Well let me tell you where we learned how to follow. We learned how to follow when the head said, "Yes," and mom said, "You'd better:" or the head said, "No," and mom said, "You'd better".
You see, wife, you are an influencer. You either add to the leadership or you take it away. And whenever the leader says it, and you echo it, kids go, "Got it". Why? Because that's when fun and games are over. Because if the head and the neck are connected, then the arm works really, really well. You've got to make a decision. You've got to take courage. You've got to walk in agreement. And I say this in closing, you've got to be there. You've got to be there. The Bible tells us very clearly: it says, "Fathers, you train up your children". If you're going train them, you cannot be absent. You've got to stand there watching over them, working with them, leading them, guiding them, holding their hand, teaching them, training them, walking them through. You've got to be there.
Deuteronomy 6, God tells the fathers in Israel: he says, "And you, fathers, shall teach diligently your children. Talk with them when you sit". Did you hear that? Talk: don't text. "Walk with them when they lie down and when they rise up". God was telling the fathers in Israel, everything you do on a daily basis, find a way to connect it to the plan and the purpose of God in your child's life. And you can't do that if you're absent. You've got to be there. And I can speak to this from personal testimony: I am who I am today, not because I went to seminary, not because I got a good education, not because I sat through some type of self-help seminar. I am who I am today, because I had a father who was there. And you say, "Well that's easy for you. He's that way because of how he was raised". No, he's not. He wasn't raised like I was raised.
I was raised by a father, who was there. My grandfather was a pastor and he dedicated his life to service and ministry. But he was one of the individuals in that generation that felt like the more time you spent at God's house, the less time you needed to be at your house. So in my life, my father put his family first and the church second. In his life, his father put the church first and the family was just there. I'll give you just one simple example. My father went to college on a university scholarship. He started playing football in the middle school. From middle school, he went to the varsity at the high school. When he came out as a varsity captain and an all-city player, his face and his picture were on the front page. Sports writers would follow him week-to-week, game-to-game, talking about the influence he was having on his team.
When they threw the homecoming dance, they threw it in honor of him, because he's the captain of the football team. And yet, dad never went to a game! That's how he was raised. I'll tell you how he raised me. He didn't miss a practice, forget a game. Hobby middle school is at Vance Jackson and Huebner road. That's where I went to middle school. Every afternoon at 4 o'clock, the 7th grade boys would stumble out of the locker room looking like drunk ducks. We didn't know how to wear football pants. We were trying to run. And as we'd take laps around that field, there's an oak tree that sits in the middle of an empty space across from the football field.
And there would be this 5'8 figure leaning up against the trunk of that tree, not because he didn't have something else to do, but because I was the most important thing that he had to do that day. You see he was telling me, "Son, you are where my heart is". "Where a man's treasure is, there will his heart be also". As much as he wanted to do for God, as much as he wanted to do for Israel, as much as he wanted to do to change the world: there were five of us that he said, "My heart is with you". And that's why we're all here in this church today. Because when he said, "As for me and my house," he led his house to serve the Lord.
So today, as you hear this message, don't think because I don't come from a perfect family, God can't do anything with me. You're just the person he's looking for. All he wants you to do is make a choice today. No matter what, no matter what opportunities the world gives you, no matter how far you can go climbing some ladder of success, don't put that ladder of success in front of God's personal plan for your life, which is to invest your heart in your household, to teach your children the truth of his word, so that like Joshua, you can say, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".
Would you stand? You're here in this sanctuary today, and you say, pastor, my house needs to make a decision. Right now, we're living for the things of the world. But today, we need to choose to live for God. If that describes you, I want you to raise your hand right where you are. I want everyone in this place to repeat this prayer with me:
Lord Jesus Christ, today I come before your throne, and I submit myself and my home to your word. I'm asking you today, to heal the pain of our past and move us forward to the promises of our future. I thank you for the seed of your word that has been sewn in our hearts. And today, we receive the harvest of tomorrow on the promise of today. We will walk in faith with you. We will walk in agreement with your word. We will serve you, heart, soul, mind, and body, because you have blessed us and made us your own, in Jesus' name. Amen.