Matt Hagee - God Is Able
If you brought your Bibles, turn them to the book of Ephesians 3, beginning at the 20th verse, as this morning we conclude the sermon series "answers, arguments and angry men" with this message "God is able". Say that with me. God is able. Read with me Ephesians 3:20. If you're there, say, amen. "Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen".
Heavenly Father, let us see in your word of promise today that you are the God who is the same yesterday, today and forever: that your power is still alive, and it is still present, and it is still for those who call upon you. So today, as we call upon your mighty name, let us see your power in this generation: that the light of your love and truth would shine in this dark hour, and remind the world that our God is the God who sits upon the throne. In Jesus' name, we pray. And all of God's children said, praise the Lord.
You may be seated. Whenever you look at this verse in Ephesians 3:20, "God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ask, think or imagine," we oftentimes, are very interested in being able to see what that looks like. I would love for you to have the opportunity to see God's manifested power and glory in this generation. The challenge with this verse is not, is God able to do it? The challenge in this verse comes when you get to the part where it says, "by the power that works in us". Say that with me. "By the power that works in us".
The power that works in us is not to bring us glory: the power that works in us, read verse 21, is to bring him glory. Who? Jesus Christ. "Him glory by the church in every generation". I'm a sixth-generation pastor. And in six generations, the purpose of the church has not changed. Trust me. The applications have changed. But the purposes haven't changed. The purpose is to bring him glory. Him, Jesus Christ, the bright and the morning star: him, Jesus Christ, the son of the living God: him, the fairest of 10,000 fair: him, the lamb who sits upon the throne and is worthy of all of our praise.
Our profession hasn't changed. He is Christ, the son of the living God. Our purpose hasn't changed, to bring him glory. His promise hasn't changed. He can do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ask, think or imagine. And his power hasn't changed. So what's changed? Us. We have become the church that Paul warned Timothy about. He said, "there will come a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, but they will heap up for themselves teachers because they have itching ears". An itching ear needs to be scratched in order to be appeased. And we have a climate and an environment in the world today that if we hear something that's less than pleasant, we ignore it.
You don't think I'm telling the truth? How many of you are following the latest medical advice you got from your doctor? No hands? Y'all are all compliant? We have an itching-ear culture. And the Bible's very clear. It says, "preach the word"! That's always been our purpose. "Preach the word". Paul didn't say, "inspire the discouraged". He said, "preach the word"! Declare it with boldness. He didn't say, "inspire a drunk". If you do that, they'll stay bound by alcohol. He didn't say, "inspire an addict". If you do that, they'll remain lost in their addiction. He didn't say, "inspire a sinner". If you do that, they'll keep right on living in rebellion. He didn't say, "inspire the weak and the wounded and the weary".
If you do that, they'll feel better for a little while. But as soon as they get back out in traffic, they're going to feel defeated all over again. He didn't say, inspire anyone. He said, "preach the word"! That means to declare the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the authority of his mighty name. Because when you preach the word, chains of addiction are broken. When you preach the word, captives are set free. When you preach the word, sinners forsake their sins, and souls are won to Christ. Lives are not improved by the preaching of the word. The lost become converted. The weak become strong. The weary rise on wings of eagles and soar into faith, because that's what the power of the Word of God does! The Word of God has power because of the cross.
In this generation, we talk about relevancy. There isn't anything that will ever be more relevant in your life than the cross of Jesus Christ. Oh, that's that old-time religion. No, it's not. It's just as current as front-page news. Why? Because without the cross, you are nothing. Without the cross, we are lost. Without the cross, we are not sons and daughters of the Most High God. This is why Paul said in Galatians, "God forbid that I should boast save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ". The cross is where strangers are the ones who were grafted into a family and become adopted sons and daughters. The cross is where outcasts became a royal priesthood. You went from being nobody to being God's representative here on earth.
The question that we should ask ourselves is: what kind of a job are we doing representing him? The cross is where you and i, not only became heirs, we became joint heirs. And you say, "well I don't understand the language". Well, the farther you get down in your genealogy, you may be an heir. You know you've got Abraham and you've got Isaac. Isaac is Abraham's heir. That's easy enough. And then you've got Jacob. Well, Jacob is Isaac's heir. But then you get to Jacob and his 12 sons, and now you don't have joint heirs, because we're splitting this thing 12 ways. Then we get down into the 144 kids.
Now, you talk about a messed-up Christmas. Everybody's getting socks if my kids come home with 144 grand kids. Here, chiclets for everybody. Merry Christmas. But the more people you add to the family, the more you dilute the inheritance, because there's just too many hands in the pot. How many of you follow what I'm talking about? And what the Bible says is that we're not heirs: we're joint heirs. It doesn't matter how many people come into this kingdom. We are treated like we are the Son of God, because he has enough to go around. There's never going to be too little of his mercy. There's never going to be too little of his grace. There's never going to be a shortage of any of the goodness of God, because my God shall supply all of my needs according to his riches in glory. And the only reason that I'm a joint heir with Jesus is because of the cross!
The cross is where his blood washed away sins that were scarlet. The cross is where my record in heaven was expunged. What does that mean? That means it's no longer readable. Oh, it's there. But whenever they go into that book, they look at it, and it doesn't have white-out in it. It's got lamb's blood on it. And they can't look at any of the accusations that the enemy brings against me, because when I gave my heart to Jesus Christ, the blood of Jesus covered every sin. It covered every transgression. "Old things have passed away: and behold, all things have become new".
My sins, which were scarlet, have become white as snow. And thank you, God, for Jesus Christ, because all of that happened at the cross. He's proven his ability to redeem through the cross. He's proven his power through creation. He's proven his power through his consistency. He's proven his power through his intentionality. Everything that he does on earth, he does because he promised he would. There are no random acts of God. He doesn't have good days and bad days, on weeks ago and off weeks. Those inconsistencies are in us, but they're not in him. This is what the prophet said: he said, "have you not known the everlasting God, the one who is the same from beginning to end, the Creator of heaven and earth? He neither faints nor grows weary. And he gives power... And might to those who have no strength".
You see, there are times when some people come and they ask you for help. And based on your ability, you determine whether or not you can or you can't. And sometimes it may not be because you don't want to, but it's because you just don't have the strength, you don't have the energy, you don't have the resource. They're asking you for power, but you've put so much out: you have nothing left to give. That's not the kind of God we serve. Our God is able.
What are you trying to say, preacher? I'm trying to tell you, I don't care what kind of problem you have today. If you bring it to me or anyone else, you will be far disappointed. But if you take it to Almighty God, he is all powerful. He saw it before you knew about it. He solved it before you worried over it. He's the same yesterday, today and forever. And he said, "call upon me". "Call upon me, and I'll answer you, and show you great and mighty things that you know not". Call upon me, and I'll move the mountain. Call upon me, and I'll make a way. Call upon me, and I'll fight that battle. Call upon me, and I'll scatter your enemies. Call upon me, because I'm a refuge, and I'm a strength, and an ever-present help in a time of trouble. Church, there is no God like the mighty God! And that is the God that we serve!
Not only is God able because of his power, God is able because of his promise. His promises endure. How many of you ever find gift cards, and you look on the back, and they didn't endure? I recall one time I took the family to dinner. And I found a gift card to an establishment here in town. I thought, "hey, we're going to get dessert tonight". And I concealed the gift card in my pocket until the end of the meal, because I didn't want the waiter to give us less service based on the gift card. You know what I'm talking about? I was going to break it out at the end. We have one of these. So we enjoyed the meal. The time came, the bill was received, pulled out the gift card, looked at the number on the bill, looked at the number on the gift card. Perfect. Just leave cash tip and we're out. Dropped it in there and said, "yeah, we have a gift card. Thank you very much". He said, "well, I'll run it. I'll be right back".
And I thought, "run it? That's a gift card. It's already paid for". He came back and he said, "sir". He said, "your gift card," he said, "it's three years old". So what? There's interest? Like I get more food or what? He said, "no". He said, "if you don't use it after a certain period of time, we start reducing the number that's on the gift card until it gets to a point..." Where I said, "okay. So how much is on the gift card"? He said, "twenty-two cents". You see, there was a promise made, but the promise wasn't kept. The promise just kept getting weaker and weaker over time, because I hadn't done anything to take action on that promise.
Let me tell you about the God that we serve. His power is present to keep his promises no matter how long it takes. This is why Paul said, "now abide faith, hope and love". These three things work together but they are different. And when you get them confused, you can frustrate yourself as to what is God doing and why. One, faith is something that you have and you give to God. "Without faith, it is impossible to please God". "Faith without works is", what? "Dead". So faith is the energy that you do the work in. Hope is what you have in the one who made the promise. So I pray in faith believing in Jesus' name. That's my work. That's my responsibility. And when I pray in Jesus' name, I have my hope in a God whose promise has never failed: that what I prayed in faith believing, he's going to do because he loves me.
"Now abides faith, hope and love: but the greatest of these is", what? "Love," because that one comes from God. Faith is what I do because I believe that he'll keep his promise. Hope is where I place my belief that he's going to keep his promise. And love is what makes it all work, because love comes from him. If he didn't love me, he wouldn't listen to me. If he didn't love me, he wouldn't keep his promise to me. But because he loves me, when I pray in faith and put my hope in him, I can believe that whatever I ask for in Jesus' name, he will do it. This is why Peter said, "the Lord is not slack concerning his promises". That means that if God said it, God is going to accomplish it. He may not do it on your schedule, but he's going to do it because he promised that he would.
What choice do you make? Commit it to him? Or keep it for yourself? When you commit your life, your resources, your time, your talent to Christ, he keeps it for you. "I know in whom I have believed, and I believe he is able to keep..." Keep what? He keeps me saved. Trust me. 1604 Is enough to cost you your salvation at least twice a week. He'll keep you in perfect peace. The promise of his word says, "he keeps them in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee". When Bible-believing Christians are more concerned about the headlines than they are the God lines, their peace is taken away, because their mind is drifting into something that God has already seen and God has already solved.
Look at the world around you, and you can have peace that surpasses all understanding. Why? Because my God is the God who sits upon the throne and he holds the mountains in a scale and the hills, he holds in a balance. He'll keep you from harm, because he's given his angels charge over you. He said, "no weapon formed against you would prosper". Paul said to the New Testament, "my God shall supply all of my needs according to his riches in glory". The same God who took care of one is still taking care of us all. His promises endure. They never run out. He is a God you can count on today! The problem that we have with his promise is not that he doesn't keep them, and not that his power isn't able to perform them. The problem that we have with his promise is when his promises have to work through us, because we would rather have him perform it for us than in us.
For example, what happens when you're a young person praying for national revival? Restoration? You want God to undo the evil things that are happening in the world. And suddenly like Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego, you find yourself in a fiery furnace. Oh, God, I wanted you to bring revival. I just didn't want you to do it like this. It's a little hot in here. What happens when you've been faithful to the God that you believe in like Daniel was, and suddenly, they make a law that says you can't pray to that God anymore? And you're getting ready to find out about his promise of deliverance. But the only way that you're going find out whether or not he delivers is you go to the lion's den. God, I want you to deliver me, just don't put me in there.
What happens when you find out about this God who controls the winds and the waves, and you suddenly see a storm in your life, in your marriage, in your future, in your family? And you say, "God, I'd rather the weather change rather than you pull me through the weather". You need to understand that sooner or later, whenever you put your faith and your hope in God, you're commitment is going to be tested. Anybody who has ever tried to persuade you, that whenever you put faith and hope in God, you don't get tested, they lied. Oh, put your faith and your hope in God. It all gets better. Not before it gets tougher. Because there's nothing convenient about commitment.
This is where you learn to trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not to your own understandings. Listen to what I'm about to tell you, because many of you need to hear it. Because whenever we talk about answers, arguments and angry men, there are a lot of people sitting in church and around the world today who are angry with God. And the reason they're angry with God is because they got their faith and their hope confused. They thought when they did it in faith, they would get it by Wednesday. And when it hadn't shown up over years, they're getting frustrated. Why? Because God promised it. Yes, he did. And what you need to know is that his promise says, "he who began a good work in you, he is faithful to complete it even unto the day of Christ Jesus". God will never leave you, but God will let you go. He said, "I'll never leave you nor will I forsake you". But God will let you go through fiery trials. God will let you go through storms. God will let you go into the lion's den.
God will let you go through the valley of the shadow of death. But he promises that when you get there, his rod and his staff, they're going to comfort you. He'll send you into a season of sickness, but he'll prove to you that he's a healer. He'll let you go through pain, but he'll prove to you that his grace is sufficient even in an hour of pain. He'll anoint your head with oil, but you're going to have to sit in front of your enemies, as he prepares a table before you. When his power is in you and his promise works through you, understand that he's going to let you go through some things in order to prove that he is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that you could ask, think or imagine, because that's just the kind of God that he is. When you cannot, he can. When you don't know, he does. When you don't have a clue, our God is able to deliver you and keep you. And his promises will endure because his word is true! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
I don't know what you've been through today. I don't know what you're walking through this moment. But I promise you this: his word is true. He is the rock. And if you will believe that he is able, and do the work of faith, placing your hope in him, you will never be put to shame. Because he is exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ask, that you could think, that you could imagine. He is a rock-solid foundation in this generation and in every other. And his word will come to pass, because his word is truth.
Can we stand in the presence of the Lord with every head bowed and every eye closed? Some of you in this place today, you say, pastor, I have to admit I've been angry with the Lord. Because I believed I would see the promise already but it hasn't been fulfilled yet. I'm frustrated because it didn't happen the way I thought it would happen. It didn't work out like I wanted it to work out. It didn't go the way I thought it should go. But today, I want to commit to him my heart, soul, mind and body, because the things that I've been keeping from him, they are keeping me from receiving his promise. And if that describes you, just right where you are, I want you to raise your hand. I'm going to pray for you.
Heavenly Father, today, I commit all of me to your promises. You have never failed me. And your love endures, and your mercy is renewed, and your grace is sufficient no matter how many times I've failed you. Today I declare that you are the God who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that I can ask, that I can think, that I can imagine. And today I'm asking you to do that in my life, according to your promises that endure forever, in Jesus' name. Amen.