Rewind Part 1
July 15, 2018
Pastor Ed Young
When we hear the word “discipline,” our minds rush to overbearing principals,
domineering coaches, and demanding parents. For many, it has a negative connotation. But discipline is much more positive and can be the one thing that helps us discover the amazing path God has for us. In the first message of this series, we go way back with Pastor Ed Young for a powerful look at three areas of self-discipline that will help launch us into a life-changing future!
This week we’re beginning a brand-new series called: Rewind. Now when you think about “Rewind” you think about the past, you know, going back, and I decided to go back. I’m talking about way back into my past because I started preaching about 30 years ago. And we’ve come across some old tape of me delivering certain sermons. So, I want you to see these sermons because basically the same thing that I talked about 30 years ago is the same thing I’m talking about right now at Fellowship Church. The time was somewhere in the ’80s and the place was Houston, Texas. At the time, Second Baptist Church, that’s the name of Dad’s church, was probably the most attended church in North America. Lisa and I helped start Fellowship Church in 1990, so this was two years before our church actually kicked off. I wasn’t speaking at the main service on Sunday morning, this was Sunday night. So, if you hear me say “night,” we had Sunday night church. So, this is the message I did – Philippians chapter 4, verse 13 – as we go back to 1988, way, way back there. Let’s check it out.
– As we begin together tonight, turn around and introduce yourself to someone you don’t know and give them a smile and a fellowship of excitement welcome.
– This guy here was our, back in the day we called him our Minister of Music. Boy that sure is a nice sport coat he has on! This sanctuary seats around 6,000 people legit, and that’s a massive, massive place. I’m just thankful that God gave me an opportunity to speak in a place like that and to grow up in a great Christian home like I did. Oh, there’s old Eva Walters. Eva is a great, great girl. Lisa and I have known Eva for probably, I bet we’ve known Eva for 35 years. She still is singing solos at Second Baptist, Eva Walters. And that was like, that song there, that for us was like rocking, I mean, that was on the cutting edge. ♪ He never failed me, he never failed me yet. ♪ ♪ He never failed, he never failed me. ♪ It’s a great song, it’s a great song. We had her sing that one day at our church. I want you to check this out: trombone, trombonist out, look at this guy. It was so choreographed; the services were so well planned you couldn’t be a second or two late. When the choir stopped, boom, you had to get out of your seat and make your way to the pulpit and we sat in these throne chairs, you’ll see these throne chairs, it was kind of uncomfortable. You’re sitting up there and everyone’s looking at you, and like, what do you do, and all of a sudden, man, when it’s your time, they give you that holy nod, boom, you better be there. Man, my heart’s beating right now. Look at me, I’m nervous as a cat.
– Father we thank you for the opportunity of worship. I ask that you would clear out everything from our hearts and minds except what you’re going to say to us. Father, you know I have nothing to say, but you have everything. Speak to my heart and every life here, for we ask all these things in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. If everyone would turn in your Bibles to the Book of Philippians…
– Now you know what’s so interesting about that is, I assumed – I wouldn’t do that now – that everyone had a Bible, which is interesting.
– Philippians chapter 4, verse 13. And as you’re turning, I want everyone to stand. Everyone on the platform, the choir, everyone stand.
– I want everybody to stand right now, we’re going old school back to 1988. Everybody stand at all of our campuses and do these hand signals.
– Because before this sermon is finished, we will all memorize this verse, we will never forget this verse. In fact, we’re going to even know and learn some hand signals that go along with Philippians 4:13. Now hold your Bible in your left hand, hand signals with your right hand. The verse says…
– “Says, says,” I sound Joel Osteen. “It says, it says.” Do I sound like Joel, am I just joking?
– This is my Bible. I am what it says I am, I have what it says I have. Amen.
– The verse says, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Now watch me very carefully. I, everyone, I, can, shake your head, that’s right, can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. That’s great, one more time. It’s going to be a little tricky, instead of using the word “I,” I’ll say my name, Ed, you say your name, Ralph, George, Susie, whatever. Still using the hand signals, one, two, three. “Ed can do all things through Christ who strengthens Ed.” Thank you.
– Look at these guys. Is that hilarious? They’re into it, aren’t they? Yeah, you know what they were saying, they were saying “Finally a young guy’s on stage”
– Let’s give a round of applause, everyone, on that, that’s unbelievable. I was eight years old when I prayed the prayer and said, “Jesus Christ, I ask you to come into my life.” Now when Christ came into my life at eight years of age, at that time Ed Young had the power walking around with him at play, asleep at night, at school, wherever I was, I had the power, I had the resources available in my life to do all things, to do everything. And as we look at the book of Psalms, we see that the Lord tells us that the steps of a man and the steps of a woman are established by the Lord. “The steps of a man are established by the Lord,” the Bible says, “and He delights in their way.” That means for my life, Jesus Christ has footsteps that are magnificent, they’re adventuresome, they’re not always easy. A lot of people think, well I received Christ. I’m an angel, no problem, everything is hunky-dory, roses, oh yeah. No, sometimes those steps are difficult, but Christ has established steps for every heart, every life here.
– That’s a great point because sometimes you hear people talk about, you know, your breakthrough is going to happen or you’re just one miracle away. Well yeah, I understand that, I understand a breakthrough, I understand a miracle, however, God’s breakthrough and God’s miracle looks a lot different than a miracle I would have selfishly. The Bible says in Romans 8:28, “God causes all things to work together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” It doesn’t mean that all things are good. Some things are horrible. Some things are tragic. My mother was in the hospital, she suffered, had a hellacious time in the hospital for years. Man, we prayed for miracles, for breakthroughs, breakthroughs and miracles, are you going to say that we don’t have enough faith? That our family doesn’t have enough faith? No way, so her breakthrough was when she went to be with Jesus. It wasn’t on this side of the grave. So just be careful about, you know, hopping on the miracle bandwagon and the faith bandwagon. Just because you have faith doesn’t mean everything’s going to work out the way you want it to.
– And the question we need to examine tonight is: how can I, how can you discover these magnificent steps the Lord has planned? How can we do it? We just all of the sudden say, “Well Christ, I feel like you want me to step there,” whoomph, there’s another step way over here, whoomph. We can’t do that. The only way I can find those steps is by doing one word: the word is called discipline. Discipline, when I say the word what do you think about? I think about school, I think about my father in a few circumstances. The word discipline – he had a belt called Black Beauty – he would take ‘discipline’ out upon my posterior now and then. So, the word discipline is very important in the Christian life. And tonight we’re going to look at three areas of discipline, and before we leave, as I said, we’ll understand how to take Philippians 4, verse 13, take that verse, apply it to discipline, and we’ll know for sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I’ll know it, you’ll know it, on how to be victorious in the Christian life, and it centers, again, around the word discipline.
– Watching myself, you know what’s interesting, someone asked me this past week, how long did it take you to find your voice, to find who you are. It’s very important that we understand who we are. I didn’t really find out, I mean I didn’t really feel like I found my voice, in watching this I can see it, until I was probably 40, 40-something. You know here, I was way, way, way, way too tight. You can hear some of the sound effects, some of the gestures, some of the storytelling, but because the environment was so rigid and so tight, I just never felt like I could go for it like I do now, and I’m happy about my environment. I’m happy about my background, because had I not had that discipline (and I’m talking about discipline in this message) you know, I wouldn’t be the man I am today. So, we thank God for our past, and we need to realize that God was using things in our past to form us and to mold us and make us into who we are today.
-Three areas of discipline I want to touch on very briefly. The first area, and I want you to write these down if you have a pen or a piece of paper, pencil, whatever, because we’re going to come back and use this little outline. Roman numeral number one…
– Roman numeral?
– Spiritual discipline. We as Christians must have spiritual discipline. The Bible says that Jesus Christ has something unique that he wants to communicate to you and to me every single day that we’re alive. If I knew that God was calling me on the telephone, well I’d be right there, “Hello?” You’d be the same way. The Lord wants to communicate himself to us every day, but if we do not give him an opportunity, to discipline ourselves to have time where we have Bible study, where we pray, where we get involved in church, so he can speak to us and show us those abundant steps he has planned for our life, it’s impossible, it’s impossible for you or for me to truly know the exact footsteps that our Lord wants.
– That’s the importance too of a quiet time, a time where you read your Bible and pray.
– So, we know that’s a basic principle, that we should be disciplined spiritually. Now look at the life of Jesus Christ. The most disciplined person who’s ever lived and ever will live, a man of balance. When he was in the temple at 12 or 13 years of age, we read about him in Luke, then there’s a big gap, and then we see Christ, about 30 years of age, being baptized by John the Baptist. There’s one verse that describes Christ’s life from when he was 12 years old until when he was 30. What is that verse? “And Jesus grew in wisdom,” that’s spiritual discipline, “and in stature,” that’s physical discipline, “and in favor with God and man,” that’s relationships. And those are the three areas of discipline that we’re going to discover tonight. The first one, Roman numeral one, we need to have spiritual discipline. Number two: we must have physical discipline. Turn in your Bibles to the book of 1 Corinthians, chapter 6, verse 19.
– Yeah, they’re sneaking around, they’re kind of skipping church. They’re skipping, they’re not smoking cigarettes back there, they’re just relaxing back there, look. I caught them, because I used to hang out there some. Look at them, look at them.
– 1 Corinthians 6:19, physical discipline. What does the word of God say? Verse 19, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
– Little King James version, wow. I’m glad that was saved, that.
– Here the Bible tells us, folks, that our bodies are a temple. If we receive Jesus Christ, it’s like I’m walking around with a big old steeple on my head. My body is a dwelling place, your body is a dwelling place for the Holy Ghost, for the Lord. And how do we treat this body? How do we treat this body? If you look at most Americans, we’re jamming Cheetos, Moon Pies, Coca Cola, chicken-fried steak, all this greasy Tex-Mex food in our bodies, and we say, “Brother, I’m ready to serve the Lord” and our big pot bellies hang over our belts and we say, “Wow, I’m kind of tired. I don’t know if I can serve the Lord.”
– Hey, hey, hey, it’s Fat Albert.
– We need to treat our temples properly. And I’m talking about diets, I’m talking about watching what you eat. The first 21 years of my life I ate everything in sight. I mean, milkshakes, peanut butter, steak, I would drink a big Coke every day. Well my wife majored in home economics education at Florida State University, she began to study about foods, how they relate to your body, and in the last six years, I’ve eaten properly. Now I’m no health food fanatic, I don’t walk around saying “Lisa, would you pass the bean curd and carrot juice?” I’m not like that, and I’m not asking you to be like that, but we need to take care of our temple. You’re saying “Ed, what in the world are you talking about?” I’m saying for us to maximize the abilities, the bodies that Christ has given us, we have to eat properly. Vegetables, fruits, chicken, fish, stay away from red meat, stay away from Blue Bell ice cream.
– Whoa, whoa, hello, I love ice cream. Ice cream is my favorite dessert. I love ice cream, now I stay away from it, but now and then, okay.
– Now you can reward yourself maybe once a week, once every other week with a steak or Blue Bell or cheesecake, something of that nature. But if you make that a constant diet, you’re going to be in trouble. You can’t really be used. Christ will say “Ed, here’s that footstep for you.” And we say, “Lord I cannot lift it up because I had some Haagen-Dazs last night and I’m trying to lift it up and I’m feeling bad.” Also, under physical discipline is exercise. I think for a few of us here tonight, that was the first exercise, doing the hand signals, that you’ve had in three or four months.
– That is funny! I have to laugh at myself for that one, that’s pretty funny, Ed.
– And don’t leave here today and say, “Well Ed Young told me to go crazy, to freak out, to turn into some kind of bodybuilder searching out health food stores.” No, I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is we need to exercise to get our heart rate up at least three or four times a week about 20 minutes a session. If you weight lift, weight lift. If you run, run, aerobics, aerobics.
– You’ve got it! We’re going to shake up those calories.
– Whatever you do, do that, do it consistently. Be disciplined physically. Remember our bodies are a temple, and if we’re disciplined physically, we are on our way to finding out, remember the footsteps. And we’re on our way to understand Philippians 4:13 that says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” But if we abuse our bodies, if we say, “Well, Christ, I’m just concerned about the spiritual side, I can do it in my body, whatever,” we’re going to be in big trouble. The third area of discipline is found in 2 Corinthians. 2 Corinthians chapter 6, verse 14 this time, 2 Corinthians chapter 6, verse 14. This is Roman numeral three on your outline: discipline in relationships. Remember, Jesus Christ grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. We have to be disciplined spiritually, disciplined physically and disciplined in our relationships. Verse 14, 2 Corinthians, chapter 6, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” What does that word mean, unequally yoked, is that a giant egg? That’s what I used to think about. A yoke is a big old wooden thing, and it’s for oxen. It’s for oxen. Now if we want to translate this verse in our language, the Lord is saying do not yoke together a with a…
– Wait, wait, I did some sound effects. That’s pretty good, that’s funny.
– You cannot yoke together an ox with a donkey. Why? Because the farmer’s going, wait a minute, the donkey’s going over here, he’s bucking, he’s going over, it’s crazy.
– I mean if you were going to tell me back then that I would’ve had the opportunity to write a book on that very topic, I’d have gone like “Man, you are crazy!”
– And that’s the situation when we have our best friends, the people we date, the people we hang around with, the people we do things with socially on a very close nature, when they’re non-Christians. They are going to pull me away, they’ll pull you away from where you should be. And I see this over and over and over again. I see a teenager, they say “Wow, I want to date that girl! She’s beautiful, she has a nice personality. Well, I can change her later.” I see singles, “Look at that girl, look at that guy. He has everything I want in a guy.” Well, is he a Christian? “Well, you know, I can kind of influence him later. I’ll start to bring him to church.” “Well sure, I can have my best friend as a non-Christian, he doesn’t influence me, no big deal.” Satan loves to trap us, he loves to entangle us in these relationships, and if you want to miss the steps that God has for your life you make your best friend a non-Christian.
– I really saw this lived out when I went to pretty rugged public schools, and then due to playing basketball at Florida State, and being around so many people who were not followers of Christ. So not only did I see the difference that I’m talking about, I have lived it and noticed the results of when you live one way or another, because I’ve kept up with some people from college and high school who have chosen to do relationships their way, and man, their lives aren’t doing very well. Conversely, I know a few who’ve done it God’s way, those who’ve put their feet in Christ’s footsteps that he’s established relationally. Wow, it’s great, those who haven’t, it’s been tough. The best testimony is becoming a believer as a young guy and living the life, that’s the best testimony, it’s not living like Hell and then all of the sudden finding Heaven, I mean that’s great, but that’s what, to me that’s the best testimony.
– Now I’m not at all saying that we should not have friends who don’t know the Lord. We need to have more and more people that don’t know Christ. We need to go outside these stain-glassed walls and win the lost to the Lord, because like one percent of all lost people ever walk into the doors of a church. But what I’m saying is, the people we date, if you’re single, the people, if you’re a couple, who are your best friends, your intimate friends, they must be born again. They have to be! Picture a Christian as a 1988 white Lamborghini…
– Now here, I didn’t even know this, I hadn’t seen this message in 30 years, but I was talking about the Lamborghini, relating it to a sports car, and several times, you know, I’ve done that on stage, and I’ve also written another book about that called Rating Your Dating While Waiting for Mating. So, it’s kind of funny to hear me say these things and now they’ve turned into books, it’s kind of funny. God has a sense of humor.
– This is how most Christian guys, Christian girls date. They’re a Lamborghini, and they read the verse “Do not be unequally yoked with non-believers.” This Lamborghini’s looking for another sports car, a Ferrari, a Corvette, and they’re saying “Wow, I’ve got to set my standards high, I know I’m not supposed to be unequally yoked with non-believers…” and all of the sudden, they’ll hear in the distance something coming. “Oh, it’s a moped.”
– That’s funny.
– “A brand-new moped, who’s that driving the moped? Wow, he or she is nice looking, they’re good people…” Guess who it is, it’s Satan. Satan says, “Come on, Lamborghini, go ahead and link up with me.” The Lamborghini looks, doesn’t see a car, hear a car for miles and miles, “This is my only chance, I better marry him, I better marry her now,” and what happens? They link up and the Lamborghini, he’s made, he’s designed to cruise. He wants to go. And this moped, is holding this Lamborghini back. It just kind of holds back and all this combustion starts coming across in the engine, they kind of veer off the side of the road, they have engine trouble, the radiator’s messed up…
– Look at those people, is that hilarious? Look at the mustaches, whoa.
– And guess what happens. About two days later, the Lamborghini’s sitting there and then in the distance, he hears a red Ferrari, and that Lamborghini says, “Ah, if I’d only waited I could’ve had the Ferrari. I could’ve had the Ferrari! We could’ve linked up together and I mean, we would’ve cruised over 200 miles an hour.” That’s what we do, we play games with ourselves. We play games with ourselves. We don’t wait, we’re not patient. And single guy, single girl, if you set your standards high the way Jesus Christ wants you to set them, in your dating relationships and just your normal friendships, you’re not going to have as many dates as you would otherwise. You’re not going to have as many dates. You’re going to sit at home some nights. But let me tell you something, the Lord Jesus is preparing someone for you, if you have the desire to be married, who is unbelievable. This guy, this girl will knock your socks off. But you’ve got to wait, you’ve got to wait. Satan’s going to come by and give you a moped, maybe a Ford pickup truck, and you say, “Well, that Ford pickup truck is pretty useful,” but he wants you to settle for that Ferrari. We are fine-tuned machines. I’m made in the image of God. You’re made in the image of God. He wants us to cruise, to be so well-tuned, and the way we have to do that is to have Christian friends. Our best friends must be Christian friends. “Well Ed, wait a minute now, I have a good friend, my best friend I’ve had since college or since I been in high school, and this guy, this girl, is not a Christian.” You need to back off that relationship. You ask God to give you the wisdom to back off, and you need to pray specifically for Christian friends. I had never done that.
– You know that’s just so true about Christian friends, and you know, so many people watching this right now, your best friends are not believers. You are and they’re not and they’re pulling you away. And here’s the deal, you don’t even realize you’re compromising, yet you are compromising, you’re missing the best. You need to have people in your life who speak light into you, people in your life who push you, people in your life who are here and you’re like, man I know they have the same foundation as I do. Following the Lord will cost you something, but if you don’t follow Him, it can cost you everything.
– I was in college thrust into a totally pagan environment. We had 500 people in our dorm, we had a full bar, a full bar I repeat, at the bottom of our dorm at Florida State University. I was the only person that went to church in our dorm. I had no friends. I finally said, “Lord Jesus, bring a Christian friend into my life.” And when I started praying for that, boom, boom, boom, these people started coming up. Now if I had just said, “Well, Ed, you know, if it feels good do it! Ah, this guy’s nice, this girl’s a nice girl,” I’d be in big trouble, and you would be too. So, we have to be disciplined in our relationships. We’ve got our outline going now. Three points: #1 spiritual, #2 physical, #3 relationships. Well how in the world can I have the discipline to put all these things into practice? I’m not strong enough, I’m a sinner. “For all have sinned” – you’re a sinner. We’re not strong enough to be disciplined about working out, about reading our Bibles, about hanging around with just those Christian friends, we’re not disciplined enough. I’ll fail, I’ll mess up.
– This is very important because it’s all about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. That’s where the power is. We can’t conjure it up ourselves. It’s the gospel inside of us that gives us the octane to make these decisions, so every time I preach I always try to share the gospel. What’s the gospel? Death, burial and resurrection, because if I’m not preaching the gospel – watch Oprah or Doctor Phil or go to an Anthony Robbins seminar – because without the gospel we’re toast!
– Two points of application, two points of application. Application#1: I want everyone now to set three attainable goals in each of these areas. Set three attainable goals in each of these areas. Let’s look at the spiritual side. Commit for one month to spend 15 minutes a day in prayer and Bible study for one month. Make that commitment, 15 minutes a day for one month, if your life is not changed, I’ll do four flips off this platform, because I guarantee you it will work. That’s attainable goal number one. Attainable goal number two, look at the area of your physical life. For one month, I will try to eat properly. Vegetables, remember? Fish, chicken, I’ll stay away from the Blue Bell, from the chicken-fried steak, from the tacos at La Nina. Set that goal. Now you can reward yourself, I’ll give you two times a month, just two times in four weeks where you can go off your diet. And listen too about this diet, I eat like a horse, I eat everything in sight, but I try to eat the right foods. If you eat the right foods, you’ll be okay. Now the third area, the third area is in relationships. This one I want to give you two months. An attainable goal, I will only date a girl, I will only date a guy who is all out for Jesus Christ, I’m talking about, not a person who says, “Oh yeah, I’m a Christian.” Then they’re going off to this bar or that bar and messing around, you know those types. I’m talking about people who are growing in Christ, because he created us to live together in marriage, to have companionship. And if we say “Lord, forget your way, I’m going to do it my way, I know how to do it,” we’ll run into a brick wall. So, for two months, on this relationship goal, I’m going to date just Christian guys, Christian girls. If my wife and I are going out all the time with a non-Christian couple, I am going to cultivate a Christian couple. How do you do that? Get involved in the Sunday School class here, that’s the greatest way to meet Christian couples. My wife and I have met hundreds and hundreds of couples, people that have so much in common with us, and where do we meet them? Not at a bar, not at some wild place, we met them here in the house of God.
– Same thing is true here, you want to meet the right people, “How do I meet the right people?” Just start serving, getting involved. Back then we had Sunday School classes, here it’s serving in small groups.
– In the church, three goals: application number one: set an attainable goal. Just write those goals out by each of those roman numerals. Now this second aspect is really where the rubber meets the road. This is where we take the verse Philippians 4:13 and apply it to where we are. This is what we have to do. We have to say, “Jesus Christ, you give me the strength, you give me the discipline in every one of these areas. I can’t do it.” And this might take you or me praying five or six times a day for that discipline. “Lord, you gave me the discipline to work out. Give me the discipline to meet with you every day. Give me the discipline to have that Christian friendship.” We can do all things, right, all things through Christ who strengthens us. One of my good friends here, Peter Morrano, is a man who smoked for 20 years. He tried mail-order contraptions, he tried nicotine gum, he tried all this stuff, until finally about two months ago, he said, “Lord, I’m going to give it to you. You give me the strength to stop smoking.” And for the last two months, he’s not had one desire for a cigarette. You see, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, but we have to rely on the power of Jesus Christ, remember, this power is in my life, it’s in your life, we have to tap into it. We have to tap into it. Discipline. Discipline. It only comes through Jesus Christ.
– I know in a crowd this size, in all our different locations, whether you find yourself in Miami or our campus in Southwest Florida in North Port, maybe you’re in downtown Dallas, Celina/Prosper, maybe Grapevine, Fort Worth, Southlake/Keller. Maybe you’re at one of our prison campuses, maybe you find yourself at Allaso Ranch. Maybe you’re saying, “You know what, Ed, I really need discipline in one of these three areas spiritually, physically, relationally.” If you do, just pray this prayer with me, just say: “God, I want to tap into your power, into your strength. I only have this power because of the gospel, because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. I die to myself, and I give my life completely and totally to you. Give me your octane, your horsepower, to do what you want me to do. To put my feet in your footsteps. And Lord I know that great things are going to happen. We believe this, and we thank you, God, for this and for this victory in Christ’s name we pray, amen.” Now, next time I want you to join us again for another episode of Rewind, because I’m even going farther back into the archives of my life. Hope you enjoyed it, I did for the most part. I’ll see you next time.