Matt Hagee - The Sacrifice of Love
- Buy this sermon
- Contact us
Ecclesiastes says, "Two are better than one". Now if you're married and you're sitting close to your spouse, that's a good time for you to score brownie points and say "Amen". Why are two better than one? For lots of reasons. First, the thing that we see in Ecclesiastes is this: that the relationship that God creates requires work. You have to understand everything in this life requires work. There's nothing good that comes as the result of laziness. I don't care what you hear somebody promise you. If it's going to be given to you, somebody had to work to get it there. So here's why two are better than one, according to Ecclesiastes: it says, "There is a reward for their labor". They do it together: they don't do it in spite of each other.
There's a difference between "How can I help you," and "Let me do this on my own". And difference is the difference between a compliment and a competition. Because as you continue to read in Ecclesiastes 4, it says, "For if they fall, one will lift up their companion". "Their", what? "Companion," not their competitor, "Their companion". And it says, "Woe to him who is alone". Now many women would read this as prophetic, but it's just written in the words of Solomon. It says, "For when he falls". It didn't say "If". It says, "When he falls". And the thing that I read here is that it gives men freedom not to be perfect. If you get in trouble because you're a man and you messed up, you can say, "Look: God said I was going to do it. It says, 'when he falls' right there".
Now listen to this, ladies. It says, "When he falls, no one is there to help him up". Whenever your husband makes a mistake for being a human being, help him up. Don't kick him while he's down: help him up. Don't tell him, "You're acting just like your daddy and your grand daddy:" help him up. Why? Because if you don't help him up, whenever he gets up, he won't want to walk with you. Then it says, "If two lie together, they will stay warm". A man needs help getting up. A woman, she wants her husband to comfort her. And if she's going to receive the comfort that she requires from her husband, it's going to be because she compliments this man: she doesn't compete with him. It's going to be because when he goes out and he sees all of the challenges that he faces in this life, he knows when he gets home, he finds a companion.
And then, as you read on, it says, "Because one may be overpowered by another". This speaks of struggle. And the struggle is not a natural struggle. The struggle is a spiritual struggle. If God is in favor of the family, you have to know that the enemy is against the family. The devil himself wants to do everything he can to divide each and everything that God has brought together. He wants to divide denominations. He wants to divide cultures. He wants to divide individuals. And I assure you: he wants to divide your house. And if you are fighting alone, you're not doing what the Bible requires us to do in this relationship. Whenever the devil comes to you, he can overtake you.
How will the devil divide your family? When you're doing it alone. "For one can be overcome by another and two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not easily broken". What's "The threefold cord" being spoken of in the family here in Ecclesiastes? It's his, hers, and the Holy Spirit. That's how you create generational blessings, because God has a promise for each and every family that's in this room. And do you know what that promise is? That promise is you, your children, and your children's children. When the Bible speaks of inheritance, it's not talking about monetary contribution. It's talking about generational blessings: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It's talking about you, your children, and your grandchildren.
And the reason that we've got so much dysfunction in this nation is because we now have grandparents, who grew up in dysfunctional homes, that raised their children in a dysfunctional way: that are now sitting over three generations of dysfunction. Why are 80% of young people choosing to live together without getting married? Because they've seen marriage as a trap. Think about the words that you use in your household about your marriage. Think about the words that you use in front of your children about work. I don't ever complain about work in front of my kids. Why? Because when they get old, I want them to go to work. God has six things that he wants from a man, because God has one purpose for man. And then God asks the woman to do one thing.
So men, let's start with your list. How many of you've ever gotten a list from your spouse? She can text them now. When we started out, she had to write it on a post-it note and stick it on the fridge. Now she can send it via text. God's got a list for you and here it is. God wants every man, every real man, every godly man to be confident. And the world has an overwhelming lack of confidence. There are a great deal of men that do not know who they are, and what Christ is in them, and what Christ wants to do through them. But the word "Confidence," when you break it down, it really means "Living with faith". I live with a measure of faith in this platform. I've got confidence that as I walk on it, it's not going to fall. Why? Because for more than 30 years, it hadn't fallen.
Now if every other day, somebody walked out here and it collapsed, how much confidence do you think I'd have in the platform? So whenever you're living your life with confidence, it's really the measure of faith that you're living with in... Fill in the blank. There are some men, who live with confidence in the things that their father told them. I don't care how wise and how knowledgeable your father was. His knowledge doesn't even amount to what God has given you. So God expects every man to live with confidence. And that confidence comes from God, confidence in the Word of God.
Proverbs 3:26, it says, "The Lord will be your confidence". How will God be your confidence? When you walk by faith and not by sight. Where does faith come from? The Bible says that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. So what God is saying to every man is that if you're going to live a life of confidence, you have to live your life in this book. God not only wants you to live with confidence, the next thing he wants you to do is he wants you to live with commitment. God wants every good man, every godly man, to be a committed man. Said simply this way: real men don't quit. Hebrews 3, it says, "We have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end".
Nowhere in the Bible does God compliment a quitter. The Bible says, "They who endure to the end, the same shall be saved". It's not enduring until quit looks good. You only endure in the difficult times. The Bible says, "Be faithful unto death and I'll give you the crown of life". God doesn't call you to quit. God calls you to endure. And real men don't quit, but they do need to change. There's three major seasons in a man's life. There's a learning season. There's a leading season. And there's a leveraging season. Young men are in the learning season. Then there comes a time to lead when you take what you've learned and you put it work. Be but then there's a time to leverage when you take the work that you've done and you pass that wisdom into another generation so they can carry it forward.
And the reason that we have so many disconnections in our generational gaps in the world today is because the leveraging generation is not speaking to the leading generation. And the leading generation is ignoring the learning generation. So men have to endure. They have to be committed. They have to be committed to learn. They have to be committed to lead. They have to be committed to leverage. And men have to be courageous. God wants us to be courageous: and courage is not the absence of fear. Anybody, who tells you they're not afraid, they're a liar. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the willingness to address fear. Read what the Bible says. David speaking, he says, "I love the Lord", why? "Because he heard me, and he delivered me from all of my fears".
Now David is a giant killer. David has fought lions and bears. David is a man of war. When people see David walking down the street, they say, "Back up, Rambo. Here comes David". And for all that David has accomplished that people would consider brave, David says, "I am afraid". But the beauty of this statement is not that he's admitting fear. The beauty of this statement is that when he's afraid, he says, "I go to God and I say: father, this is what scares me down here. Lord, I'm walking out to fight the battle of my life, and I pray that you're with me. God, I'm going out to do something: that I'm not sure how it's going to end. And I need you to watch over me. I'm not certain about all of the steps that I'm about to take, but make sure your hand is upon me". David says, "I love the Lord, because he heard me, and he delivered me out of my fears".
Real men know who to talk to about their fears. They talk to a God who sees the end from the beginning. They talk to a God, who can move mountains of impossibility. They talk to a God, who will make the crooked way straight. God not only wants a man to be courageous, but he wants a man to be a source of counsel. God expects us to be a good source of counsel. Proverbs 11 says, "Where there is no counsel, people fall. But where there is a multitude of counselors, there is safety".
Do you know why our society is falling in so many areas? Because we don't have good counsel. The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. And without the proper perspective and admiration for God in our society, we will not have knowledge. Counsel not only comes from a proper perspective of God, but counsel also comes from a proper perspective of self. You have to know what you're good at and what you're not good at. Counsel comes from experience. If I want to know about church and preaching, I've got good counsel. If I want to know about neurosurgery, we need help. God not only wants a man to be of good counsel: God wants a man to be concerned. This is the intimacy issue. Men, it's not feminine to have feelings. Jesus wept.
Here's a man, who is so powerful that when he speaks, soldiers fall like dead men: and yet when he sees his friends hurting at the grave side of their family member, he cries. Why did he cry for Lazarus? He knew he was going to raise him from the dead. Why did he cry for Mary and Martha? He knew they were going to get their brother back. He cried because he saw them hurting and it hurt him too. God wants men to be concerned. He wanted them to care about the needs of their family and their friends. He wants them to be intimate individuals that are looking out for the needs of others. You can't be concerned if you fulfill the 2 Timothy 3:2 model that men would be lovers of themselves. If all you're concerned about is you, then you're not intimate: you're self-centered. God wants men to communicate, so do women. Women what men who communicate.
And most of the time that means more than one word. From you, sir, not her. "How'd work go"? "Fine". That's not communication. God wants you to communicate, not dictate. God wants you to share your life with the person that he sent to you to share life with. And if you're going to communicate, this is not a gender-bias statement. If you're to going communicate, man: if you're going to communicate, woman, you've got to focus. You've got to put your cell phone down and look the person you're talking to in the eye, and communicate. You've got to quit clicking "Like," and like the person you're supposed to click with. Your children want a father, who will communicate.
Your children want to hear from you what is right, what is wrong, and where to go. They need direction. And direction requires focus. It requires for you to know who's in their life and what influence they have on them. I learned this from my father. And I do it with my children. And even if they don't act like they like it, I know they love it. And the truth is, if they don't like it, I don't care: I love it. I ask all kinds of questions. What's going on at school? Who you taking to? Who you hanging with? And every little detail is something I'm using, like j. Edgar Hoover putting together a case. And when that conversation is over, I have my list. This is a good person. This one's done. This one's in. This one's out. This is nice. This is bad. And I do that because it's my responsibility.
There's six things that God wants a man to do. He wants a man to be confident. He wants a man to be courageous. He wants a man to communicate. He wants a man to be of counsel. He wants a man to be concerned. Why does he want all of these things from you? Because there's a seventh "C" that he's given you, sir. And that is he has given you charge. You are in charge, which is why those six things are so important. When God addresses the family, he speaks to the man. Why? Because the man is the head of the household. He put you in charge, so you don't have a choice. You've got to do all of these things. And there are some ladies that are upset that the man is in charge. As I said, I didn't make the rules. I just tell you what the rule book says. And you want to know why things aren't working in your house? It's because you're not playing by the rules. And the rules say, "The husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church".
Now there's some spiritual people, who want to argue that. Have you ever had a spiritual argument where people use the Word of God to try and justify their unbiblical position? They say spiritual things like, "Well my husband does not live submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ: and therefore, I verily do not have to submit to him". The survey says. Here's what the Bible says in 1 Peter: it says, "Wives, be submissive to your husbands". It doesn't say, "Wives be submissive to your spiritually-fed, Jesus-like husband". It doesn't even qualify his behavior. It just says be submissive.
And just in case you're wondering, here's, I love this word, I left it out on the first pass on purpose. But I'm going to read it real slow on the second time around. "Be submissive to your own husbands". That is awesome. Because it means that you can't submit to Lucy's husband, because you like the way he does things, and come home and tell your husband, "Well, when you start acting like him, I'll start being nicer to you". That's not how this works. He said, "Be submissive to your own husband". And then, just in case you were wondering, for all those who said, "Well he's not behaving well," it says, "Be submissive to your own husbands: that even if some do not obey the word". Excuse me, miss high and mighty? Jesus said through Peter, "If he doesn't obey the word, submit to him anyway, so that without a word, he may be won to Christ".
Think about that. The Bible is telling you, if you will love your husband like Jesus loves you, which means whenever you're wrong, he still loves you anyway: if you will love him like that, then without a word, you can win him to Christ. But if every time he's wrong, you're always putting Jesus down his throat, he's never going come to Christ and he's not going to want to be with you. "Wives submit to your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Even if he doesn't obey the word: that without a word, he might be won to Christ". And then God gives us an example of how you submit. He uses the example of Sarah. It says, "Look to Sarah, whose daughters you are".
What he's saying in this passage is, if it wasn't for the way Sarah submitted to Abraham, none of y'all would be here. And how did Sarah submit to Abraham? She called him "Lord," not loser. The guy is living in the most prosperous city in the times. He's living with generational blessings that have been passed down to him by his father and his grandfather. They've got income. They've got resources. They've got riches. And Abraham says to Sarah, "Baby, we need to leave central park and move to the sand dunes". And she says, "I'm with you. Lead on, my Lord". He goes to Egypt, because there's a famine in the sand dunes. And Sarah's now following him, going, "I told you there wasn't any good grocery stores in that neighborhood".
He walks into Egypt, and he tells the people in Egypt that this woman is his sister, because he's afraid that she's so beautiful: they'd kill him for her. Abraham created for himself a series of problems through mistake, after mistake, after mistake, as he was learning to follow God. He was learning to hear God's voice. He was learning to do his will. And the whole time, Sarah's sitting back, saying, "I'm with you, I'm with you, I'm with you". And it took a hundred years, but finally God come to Abraham and says it's time for your promise to come to pass. And do you know why that promise came to pass? Because for decades, Sarah had been speaking to Abraham, not about what he was, but what he could be. And when God's promise came, Abraham wanted to share that promise with Sarah. Why? Because he still loved her as much as he did a hundred years ago.
And the reason he still loved her is because she did it the way the Bible says to do it. She submitted even when it wasn't fun. She complimented instead of complained. She encouraged instead of criticized. She appreciated instead of compared. She was consistent instead of controlling. She nurtured instead of being needy. And whenever God said, "Abraham, it's time for you to have a son," he said, "Sarah, you're just as pretty as the first day I saw you".
You see God has a promise for each and every family in this room. And that promise is to you, to your children, and to your children's children. And there are so many families that have endured each other so long: that now that they're at that promised point, they don't want anything to do with each other. Grandparents can't see their grand kids, because it's broken. Fathers and mothers don't want to be around each other because it's broken. And God says, listen: if you'll sacrifice yourself for love, I'll break the curse and I'll bring a blessing for generations to come. How many of you in this place today know that there is a sacrifice that has to be made for love, and in your home, you're willing to do what God wants you to do to make that sacrifice happen?
If you would, would you stand to your feet? With every head bowed and every eye closed, father, today in this room, there are families, families in need of your touch: marriages in need of mending: hearts in need of restoration. Today I ask, in Jesus' name, that the Holy Spirit carry this word and plant it like a seed in the soil of every heart: that in the broken places, it would begin to bring restoration: and that every home would be filled with the joy of the Lord that makes rich and adds no sorrow.
Let every man understand what it means to be in charge, to submit himself to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to be committed to the promises of his word. Let every woman understand what it means to serve the Lord in her home: that our children and our children's children would see the foundation of the family and know that that is what makes this nation great. That's what makes life worth living. That's what makes generational blessings occur, when two people sacrifice themselves unto the Lord to love one another as Christ has loved us.
Now Lord, send a tidal wave of restoration to the homes of Cornerstone Church: that your revival presence would break out in this sanctuary: that as you revive homes, you would revive us. And as you revive us, you would change the world. In Jesus' name, we pray. And all of God's children said, praise the Lord.