April 11, 2010
All right, everybody stand and clap your hands to the Love Train. Wow. Wasn’t that awesome, the Love Train? I want to welcome everybody here today. Remain standing. I want you to give a big round of applause to everybody in all the different environments who are watching this. We have them in Miami, and downtown Dallas, Plano, Fort Worth. Also, this will be seen nationally and internationally with our television, and also on the World Wide Web.
You know what we’re talking about today? We’re talking about love. We’re talking about getting on the love train. Anybody here need to get on the love train? Anybody here want to get on the love train? Because, let’s face it, we have a jacked up view of what love is. We don’t really know what love is.
Our culture talks more about it than any other culture in the history of the world since Jesus. Yet, we know less about it and less of what it really is than any other time in the history of the world, except when Jesus walked on planet earth. So the subject is the soul of love.
Please be seated and we’ll jump right in the soul of love. Do you need some soul and do you need some love? Because when we put our soul on the train, God will train our soul. And one of the main things He does is, He trains us in this thing called love. Love. What is love? Our culture is obsessed by it. People say, “I’m going to make love.” They say, “I love you.” Or “I love it, love it, love it.” Or they say, “I’ve fallen in love.” Or “I’ve fallen out of love.” What is love? We talk about it, but we don’t know really what it is. What is love?
Love is not a feeling. It contains a feeling. But it’s not a feeling. Love is not an emotion. It contains emotion, it sometimes results in that, but it’s not that. Love is choice. Love is conduct.
The Bible commands us to love. God says, “I command you to love one another.” That’s weird. Because if love were an emotion, how could God command an emotion? Well, all of us know you can’t command an emotion. I don’t look at my 4 kids and say, “All right, kids, I command you – be happy!” It doesn’t work that way. Love is not an emotion, it’s a choice, it’s a decision. It’s commitment on steroids.
I would argue that true love only happens when we fall in love with God. True love occurs when we respond to God’s love. And that brings up an exciting Scripture verse. You probably heard it before. And let me read it again. If you’ve not, this is a very simple verse, but it’s power-packed. 1 John 4:8. God is love. Say it with me, “God is love.”
So if I want to know love, if I want to go to a ‘soul nutha level,’ I gotta understand what God’s love is. Then He will give me the capacity and the potential to love others. Because if you look around these days at the landscape of our world, love isn’t really happening in marriages. It’s not really happening in families. It’s not really happening in dating relationships. It’s not really happening in friendships, in business partnerships. It’s not really happening. We talk a lot about it, but we don’t really do it. What is love? What is the love of God?
The love of God is the fact that God eternally, that’s right, He eternally gives of Himself to others in order to bring about blessings. That’s where love begins. Love begins where? With God.
Yeah, we can try to manufacture it, we can kind of swim in the ocean of emotion and watch a chick-flick or read a romance novel or have this dinner on the beach with the sun setting and think, “Oh, that must be love.”
Real love, I’m talking about love on a ‘soul nutha level.’ I’m talking about love on the love train—only comes from God. It only comes from Him.
Think about the love of God for a second. Because for us to understand this topic, we’ve got to understand God.
God’s love is eternal. In other words, before the earth was even created, you’ve got love. You have God’s love going and flowing, moving and grooving. John 17:24. Here’s Jesus talking. He says, “My glory, which you’ve given me in your love for me before the foundation of the world.” So love occurred before this world occurred. It’s eternal.
Notice something else, it’s also reciprocal. That’s a hard word to say. Reciprocal. What am I talking about? The Holy Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. You have love going back and forth, this reciprocal love. The trinity is all about love. Three in one, one in three. Something we’ll never ever quite grasp.
God’s love is also personal. It is personal. And here is where it gets so good. Because let’s face it, all of us have messed up. All of us have fumbled the ball. All of us have screwed up. All of us have tried to form our own track, to make our own train. And it hasn’t really worked out for us very well. We have this hole in our soul, this God gap that can only be filled with the Lord Himself. And once our soul is filled with God, once that hole in our soul is complete, then we know God personally.
Well, we can know God because God’s love is personal. You know, I’ve never locked eyes with someone, you’ve never locked eyes with someone who is not greatly loved by God. In fact, we’re loved by God so much, if we even understood it, it would fry our circuits. We couldn’t take it. That’s how much God loves us. It’s through choice and through conduct. And this is a verse that we can all identify with, because it talks about sinners. Romans 5:8. I’m a sinner and I can connect with this. And so are you. Because the word sin simply is an archery term which means we miss the mark. We miss the target. The Bible says in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love.” God doesn’t just talk it. You know, talk is cheap. He demonstrates it, man. Puts the cards on the table. He risks Himself divinely because of His love. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners,” while we were still messed up, “Christ died for us.”
Notice here, you might want to jot this down. Christ’s love, God’s love, is not feelings based. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He didn’t feel like it. What? No. Read about Him in the Garden, right before the cross, He was like, “God, if it’s Your will, I mean, let this whole situation, let this ordeal pass.” He didn’t feel like it. He wasn’t treading water in the ocean of emotion. “Oh, I feel all of this love.” He didn’t want to do it. Love is not feelings based. It results in feelings, but is not feelings based.
It’s a decision, it’s a choice. It’s personal. God loves you and me personally. Even if we’d have been the only person on planet earth, God would have sent Jesus, He would have commissioned Christ to die on the cross for your sin, just so you can have the opportunity to know Him. So it’s personal. It’s personal.
It’s also communicable. I’m giving you basically a baseline of love, a theology of love. We’re to communicate this love. Think about it just for a second. One day they ask Jesus, Matthew 22. “Jesus, what’s the deal. I mean, what’s the bottom line. What’s the net effect of all this stuff You’re talking about?”
Here’s what He said. “Love God with all your heart, mind, body and soul.” And soooouuul. That’s right. Love God with the totality of who you are. And then He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
So, when I am in love with God, when I am on the love train, when I put my soul on the train and God trains my soul, what’s the result of that? I’m going to love others. I love God, I’m going to love others. It’s about one another. We should show the love. We should have the love and we can show it and have it if, if we’ve responded to Jesus.
I said earlier that God took a divine risk. He took a major risk when He made you and me. People say, “Why is there suffering in the world?” Because God took a major divine risk when He made you and me. We have the capacity to either hydroplane over God’s love or respond to it. That’s pretty heavy. God could have made us as machinery. Or, against the backdrop of soul train, he could have made us as robots. He didn’t.
If we had been machinery, if we’d been robots, God would say, “Ed, Jump!” “Ed, lift your right hand.” What’s that? We’re the object of God’s love. And we have a choice. And obviously we’ve broken God’s heart because we’ve sinned. God knew that when He created us.
Read for example Ephesians 4:30. We have an opportunity to grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Have you ever thought about that? Just marinate on that for a second. By your conduct and my conduct, we have hurt the heart of God. Our heavenly Parent.
Hey, mom’s and dad’s. If you’re a parent, clap your hand one time. One, two, three. Yeah. Have your kids ever hurt your heart? Have the kids ever broken your heart. Have your kids ever messed you around? Yes. It’s work to have kids. And when we have kids, we cannot force them to love us. We bring them into the world. They have a choice. We’re God’s children. We’re the objects of his affection. God knows we’re going to be blessed and we’re going to be on the love train when we respond to God’s love. And then, because we’re so filled with God’s love, it spills over into every relationship in our lives.
So I think we understand already where this whole thing is going. This whole train is moving. We understand it. God has put it in print, documentation. We matter to Him. We’re loved by Him.
Let me do a quick fly-by with some Scripture verses. You can jot them down as I read. You can check them out later. Think about documentation, God has put it in print. You ready for this?
Isaiah 43:1. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”
Jeremiah 31:3. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
Some of you are like, “Why am I here today?” Some of you are like, “Why am I watching this online?” Some of you are like, “I was channel surfing and I stopped and I’m like watching this. Why?”
You know why? You don’t realize it. You’re drawn to God by His loving kindness. You’ll respond to His love. So God put it in print, documentation. But notice this. God also put it in a picture. A picture is worth a thousand words. I love pictures. I would rather look at pictures than read. I’m a picture guy. I love photo albums. Anybody here like pictures? Anybody? Am I the only one? Yeah.
God put it in pictures. God illustrated it. Some more verses. Any scientists here? Anybody here like to fly planes? Any flight attendants here? Whoa. God has an illustration for you. “For as high as the heavens are above the earth,” “You mean higher than 34,000 feet?” A lot higher, “so great is his love for those who fear him;” Psalm 103:11.
Any people in here like animals. Any animal lovers? I am. I love animals. I just love them. I love animals. God has one for you and me. Matthew 23:37, “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.”
Any moms here? “Mom, mom, mommy,” sound familiar? Isaiah 49:15 understands this. Isaiah did. “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”
Wow. Dad’s. Yeah, Fathers. I’m a father. We got a lot of fathers here. Psalm 103:13. “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;” I can connect with that.
Anybody have some friends? I hope so. Some are like, “I don’t know.” Yeah. Here’s another illustration. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13.
There’s yet another illustration, another picture, any athletes here? Any FAA’s, Frustrated All Americans? Everybody should raise their hand. Yeah. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24.
So God has put it in print, documentation. God’s put it in picture, illustration.
But check this out. He also wants us to put it in practice, communication. Communication. Is it just me, or I see everybody, you know, talking and texting, texting and talking, while they’re driving around, while they’re walking around, while they’re doing whatever. They’re just texting and talking. We communicate so much these days, but we really don’t know how to communicate. We don’t know how to really speak each other’s language.
Some are like, “Oh, Ed, I’m bilingual. I speak Spanish.” Or “I speak Portuguese.” “I speak a little bit of German.” And this and that. I’m not talking about that.
But let me tell you this story, it happened to Lisa and I, I think two weeks ago. Almost two weeks ago exactly. We were over in Europe doing some speaking at several venues. And we were with a pastor in Paris.
Well, we had to get from Paris to London, and we took the Eurostar, this train. We had to get a different ticket and the pastor goes, “Hey, there is no way you guys are going to be able to exchange that ticket in Paris.” Because in Paris, as you know, people speak French. It’s a beautiful sounding language. (Speaking faux French) I love it. I just don’t understand it.
He said, “I tell you what.” He goes, “I speak a little French. But,” he said, “my wife speaks several languages, and she speaks French fluently. I’m going to bring her with us to the train station and she will exchange your ticket.” He said, “It won’t take long.” And I’m telling you, we were right behind her, and this young lady walked up to the ticket booth, “(Speaking faux French) 9:15am.” Boom.
“Here’s your ticket Ed. Here’s your ticket, Lisa.” We were on the train.
Whoa. Because she spoke the same language as the ticket agent, it afforded us the opportunity to what? Get on the train. The love of Jesus. What’s the love of Jesus? The ticket has been paid. What’s the love of Jesus? Your seat’s reserved. What’s the love of Jesus? He’s given you a chance, an opportunity to board the train. What’s the love of Jesus? He wants us to speak in the language of love.
And I got to ask you something, are you speaking in the language of love? Do you know your language? Do you know your spouses language? Do you know your kid’s language? Your friend’s language? This person you’re dating, do you know their language, your parent’s language? What kind of language are you speaking?
Let’s go over some love languages. As I go through these, I want you to think about you. I know it’s a stretch to have us think about ourselves. I know normally we’re very unselfish and others driven, but just over the next couple of minutes, let’s think about ourselves. Don’t think about your spouse. Don’t think about your kids. Don’t think about that special someone who’s here with you. No, no, no, no. Think about you.
Five different types of language, of love language we need to understand and identify and appropriate in our lives.
Number one: talk. When you want to express love, how many people in here just start talking? (Gibberish) You just start talking. Texting, calling. How many talkers do we have? Lift your hand if you’re a talker, it’s the way you express love. Yeah. I’m that way. And if you lifted your hand, your IQ is over 180. You just gotta tell somebody. “You mean this to me.” “You’re great at that.” “I love you.” “You’re awesome.” Whatever.
The next one: touch. And guys, I’m not talking about sexual touch. No. I’m just talking about touch. I’m talking about the handshake, the high-five. I’m talking about the hug. Just that warmth. Touch. Is that you? Touch.
I want to demonstrate a new hug that I’ve invented. A new hug that I’ve invented. Come on up, right here. What’s going on, man? What’s your name, young man. (Bobby). What’s up Bobby? Does Bobby have some hair? Bobby, I would pay top dollar for hair like that. Anyway. Look at the shoes matching the shirt. Wow. You can’t teach that. All right.
Now, I think it’s cool, I mean, before you were born, Bobby, before you were a twinkle in your parents eye, here’s how most guys greeted one another. It was like, “Hey, how you doin’?” or it’d be like if you were kind of cool, “Hey, hey, soul brother,” or you know we give the five, you know, back in the day. You don’t even know how to do it, he doesn’t even know. And now, you know, for a while, “Boom, yeah, all right, you know.”
Well, as this progressed, and watch these young people, watch the entertainers, watch the athletes. It’s now gotten to the hug. I think it’s great that guys are hugging. That’s cool, that we’re hugging one another. It’s like this, you know. We go here, it kind of boom-boom, right? Sometimes 3 times. “What’s up dog?” boom-boom-boom. That’s it, and then we’re breaking. Very quickly. You know how guys are.
Well, Bobby, I invented a new hug, and I want to roll it out. Now, this hug, guys, is only a guy hugging another guy. You can do it if you’re married with your wife, or with your mom, but, you know, don’t do this hug with anybody else. Ok, they might get the wrong idea.
Ok, here’s how you do it. You come in here, ok, you shake, you go here, but then quickly you rest your head on the shoulder. Ok, now, let’s try it, let’s try it.
Ok. So Bobby! All right! There we go. Let’s start a hug-a-lution. Let’s start it right here, what do you say? Let’s start it here.
You start doing that, I’m telling you, man, things will change. But I think it’s great. Now, sometimes, though, Bobby, people come up to you and you just don’t want to hug them. You know what I’m saying to you? So you gotta be ready to block the hug. And that happens to me some. People want a hug or whatever, I don’t know why. Like, maybe I’ll be speaking somewhere and they’ll be like, “I just want a hug.” And I’m like, “I don’t want to hug this person.” So what I do is, I’ll stick this leg out like this, there’s no way they can get to me.
And then sometimes, they’ll come up to me, I’ll just go boom, like that, no, no. I’m joking. Let’s give it up for Bobby with the cool hair! Wow. Hug it out guys, come on.
You know what’s so funny, too, Bobby? I know some friends of mine, they just don’t like hugs. And I’ll hug them intentionally, and they hate it. It’s so funny. It’s so funny to do that. But some of us are touch people, and that’s cool.
How about another one, the third language: task. Task. My wife’s a tasker. How do you express love? How does Lisa express love? Yeah, she talks. Yeah, she touches. But task. Simple, practical acts of service. Wow. And when I do those practical acts of service for her, the benefits are unbelievable. Anybody in the house like to do that? A task. I’ll just do something for you. That’s the way I show it, man. That’s just me. Good for you. All these things are good. There’s none that’s like, “Oh, that’s the best.” No, no.
Number 4: treasure. What? Treasure. People who communicate love with treasure are like on treasure hunts all the time. Wherever they go, wherever they travel, they’re buying little postcards, little necklaces, little knickknacks. Maybe a t-shirt, a visor or whatever. And they’re just giving those away to people. And you can be a guy or a girl doing that. That’s the way you express your love. I’ll just give you something, a little something. My mother is like that. She’ll treasure you to death.
I was talking to someone who barely even met her during our Creative Church Conference, she and dad were here to speak, and this guys like, “Ed, your mom’s already sent me something.” That’s it.
And the 5th one, you love this: tackle. Tackle. Opportunities. I’m going to show you how much I love you by giving you an opportunity. A lot of the guys are like, “Wow, that’s me, dude.” Guys, that’s very male. That’s very, very male. Yeah, opportunity. My father is like that, and was like that.
I remember I was like 19, and Dad walked in, one day he goes, “Uh, son, I want you to speak in church.”
I’m like, “I don’t want to speak in church, dad. That’s not me. I don’t have anything to say.”
He said, “Son, I want to give you this opportunity, I’m telling you, I think you might have a gift.”
I go, “How do you know that?”
He said, “Well, when you tell stories, people laugh, and you do these sound effects. Just say something.”
It was like, I get up there, (gibberish) I’m freaking out, you know. Because public speaking will mess you up! And I’ll show you some of these horrendous tapes during our 20th Anniversary Celebration this fall. That’s a whole nother story. Anyway, let’s come back.
Identify your language of love. Identify it. Identify it. Maybe it’s number 1. Maybe it’s 3. Maybe it’s 1 and 3. Maybe it’s 4 and 3. Maybe it’s 5 and 4. I don’t know, identify it.
Number 2. Have a meeting. A love fest. With your family, your spouse, person you’re dating, your friends, or whoever, guys you play golf with. And just start talking about how you communicate your love. You won’t believe what’ll happen. Because to me, most are probably going, “You don’t understand me. You don’t get it. You really don’t comprehend.” And we stomp our feet and do all these gymnastics when we’re not speaking the same language.
Number 3, and I’m not talking about Rosetta Stone. No, no, no, no. Number 3, we need to ask God to love through us, to give us the discernment and the wisdom to speak the right language.
So, that’s your homework: identify your language, have a sit-down meeting, and then ask God for the power to do it. That’s the locomotive behind me. Loco, (siren), motive. The love we’re talking about today is crazy love. God’s love is ridiculous, that’s how amazing it is. And He wants us to share it with the world that needs it so, so desperately.
Talk. Talk. Jesus tells us time and time again how much we’re loved. How much we matter to Him.
Touch. He touches us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Task. He preformed the ultimate task, didn’t He? While we were yet sinners, because of His irrational love, His crazy love, His loco-love, His ridiculous love, He died on a Roman cross and burst forth with resurrection power. And that power is on tap, that real power to be a part of the love train, that’s the ultimate labor of love.
Treasure. Wow. We have abilities and gifts that God has graced us with. Who gave you that mind? Who gave you that desire? Who gave you that vision? Who gave you that voice? Who gave you that innovation? Who gave you that Type-A personality? Who gave you that compassion for the poor? Who gave it to you? God did. God did.
Opportunities to tackle, whoa. We put our soul on the train, and God trains our soul. He’ll take us places we never dreamed possible. Opportunity, after opportunity after opportunity after opportunity.
But let me talk about the real opportunity. The major opportunity. It’s an opportunity that I’m giving you right here in this venue, that I’m giving you watching by television or online. That I’m giving you in all of our different environments, God has brought you here for a reason, and it’s to seize this opportunity. It’s to respond to His love. The love is there.
We either, because, right, we’re not machinery, we’re not robots, and we either respond to it or reject it. The Bible says that there is going to be a day of reckoning. And some of you right now as I’m talking about responding to the love of God, you’re going, “You know, Ed, that’s cool. Some day. Some day. Some day, I’m going to respond to God’s love.”
Well, God says there is going to be a someday, it’s a day of reckoning. And in a crowd this size, the stats would show that some of you have only one more opportunity to get this right. I’m not trying to freak you out, I’m not trying to scare you, I’m not trying to rattle your cage. I’m just telling you, statistically, this could be your last opportunity. And you can respond to the love of God by simply saying, “Jesus, have your way with me.” Because when we meet Him on that day of reckoning, some of us who made this decision will say, “Hey, I made that decision. I responded to Your love. And Jesus knows us.”
Others will say, “Wow, I rejected him.” And Christ is going to say, “You know what, I tried to reach out to you as a young person. I tried to reach out to you through that person, that church, that situation, I gave you opportunity, after opportunity, after opportunity.”
And you kept saying, “Someday, someday, someday, someday.” And because you pushed me away, I’m going to give you a greater measure of what you desired on planet earth.
So the whole deal, how could a good God hurl someone to hell? God doesn’t hurl anybody to hell. I repeat, God doesn’t slam-dunk anybody in eternity. We choose that. We choose it. Have you responded to God’s love? Have you? Have you?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” That’s what it means to be on the love train.
Would you pray with me?
Some of you here need to make a decision, a choice, to follow the Lord. 4 things you have to understand. Listen to me. Every head is bowed, and every eye is closed.
Number 1, God’s love from above, it’s amazing. You’re the apple of God’s eye. He made you, he gifted you. He’s given you a capacity to either respond or to reject His love. The love is constant.
But number 2. We’ve messed up. It’s my bad, it’s your bad. We’ve done our own thing our own way. We’ve gone off-track. We’ve sinned. Here’s what God did. God didn’t stop there. He could have. God sent Jesus Christ to be the solution to all of our pollution, all of our junk, Jesus died on the cross and rose again.
Now, the 4th thing is, it’s your call. It’s your call. Because God gave His all. It’s your call to either receive it, to respond to it, to embrace it, or to say, “You now what? Someday, someday.”
And the enemy right now is trying to tell a lot of us, “Put if off, man. Put it off. Put it off. Clean your junk up and then you can do it. Put it off, put it off, put it off.”
Hey, this is your chance. Today is your day. Make this decision right where you are. I cannot make it for you. It’s your deal. But here’s how to do it. Just simply say this. Just say, “God,” to yourself, say, “God, I’ve messed up. And I simply agree with You about my condition. That I’ve missed the mark. That I’ve sinned.” Just say this. “God, I turn from my sin and I respond to Your love. I believe, even if it’s with the faith of a mustard seed, one of the tiniest seeds,” Jesus said, “I believe to the best of my ability, God, that You sent Jesus to die on the cross for all of my iniquities, to rise again. And right now,” just say that, “right now I turn from my sin and turn to You, Jesus. I ask You to come into my life. I give you everything I am and everything, everything I’ll ever be.”
Hey, if you said that with me, would you lift your hand? Every head is bowed and every eye is closed. All right, thank you, thank you. Many hands are going up. Thank you. If you said that prayer with me, thank you. Down front, in the back, way back in the back. At our different campuses. If you said that prayer with me, even if you’re watching online, or by television, just lift your hand, lift it. Lift your hand.
Now, after this service is done, after my talk is done, I want to give you a gift. It’s a book that I’ve written called The Next Step. And it’s right out back in the lobby at all of our different campuses.
And again, if you’re watching by television, all you have to do is log on to our website, edyoung.com, e-d-y-o-u-n-g.com, and we’ll send you one of these books free of charge. Life is all about this decision. Life is all about this love relationship.
Others, God, others of us have made this decision, but maybe over time, you know, the language barrier has taken affect. Maybe it’s like, ok, I’m speaking Spanish, someone else is speaking French, someone else is speaking English, and I need to get on the same page.
I look forward God, to just a love revolution that only comes from Your hand and Your touch.
So, Lord, we thank You for this time together. We ask all these things in Jesus name, Amen, Amen.