In this 8-part series, Dr. Michael Youssef helps us discover the complexities and implications of Jesus’ profound Sermon on the Mount message—where Jesus shares the keys to happiness by giving us the Beatitudes and teaching us how to embody or appropriate them in our everyday lives.
Preaching verse by verse, Dr. Youssef demonstrates how Jesus came to fulfill all that God taught His people in the Old Testament—showing us how to be salt and light, how to control our anger, and much more. He truly has given us all that we need to live a blessed life in Him!
I long to help those who are married to learn how to affair proof their marriage, jesus christ is teaching us to go back to the root cause that causes adultery, which causes divorce is narcissism destroying your marriage, strangling the most important thing in your life after salvation. Up next through your partnership leading the way is expanding to meet the growing spiritual needs of our nation and world. This month, generous ministry partners have committed a special June gift challenge where they have pledged to match up to $1.2 million dollar for dollar. Will you join us on the forefront of this crucial ministry by participating in the special june gift challenge, contact us to give a generous gift today? Yeah, you know, the greek mythology tells us about a beautiful youth Who loved no one until one day he saw his reflection in the water and he fell in love with his reflection. He was so lovesick that he finally wasted away and died. Then he turned into a flower that bears his name. Narcissists. I always tell you my opinion ahead of time. It’s not from the word of God. And what I’m going to tell you is my opinion. I’m absolutely convinced after all these years in ministry that the number one reason for broken homes and broken marriages is narcissism. In fact, narcissism is that the very core of all heartache and pain that comes from broken marriages. The reason why I’m reluctant to deal with this issue of marriage and divorce. It’s because it is such a highly emotional and complex issue and I’m not going to solve it in a message. But I took a vow to preach the whole counsel of God. So I can’t skip anything. But there can be no doubt that this subject of marriage and divorce touches emotions at a very deep level, at a very deep level. So my desire is not to add to the pain. Do you understand that? That’s not my desire? But as I mentioned in the last message, I long to help those who are married to know and learn how to prove fair proof the marriage, those of you are contemplating marriage. I want you to take notice and I believe the Lord jesus christ is teaching us something very important here. But before I get to the text, I want to remind you of the circumstances of the time during which our Lord jesus was ministering on earth. Because when you understand that you put things in context and you don’t jump with the text during that time, there was a raging debate among the scholars among the Pharisees, among the teachers of the law about marriage and divorce. I mean, you think that we have debates that there was a raging debate. The Pharisees always try to drag jesus into their arguments, always tried to set up traps for him to trap him. And so in Matthew 19 they come to him and trying to trap him on this issue of marriage and divorce. You know, I love everything about my Lord jesus. I love him deeper and more every day that I’ve been walking with him, but I’m absolutely mesmerized by how he refused to get trapped in their traps. Instead of answering their question about divorce, he talked about the importance of God’s original design. His father’s original design in marriage. In other words, he said, the best way to avoid divorce is to learn what God says about marriage. That is the best way to have a blessed marriage is to know what God said about marriage throughout the series of messages are entitled that deliberately appropriating the happiness in you. I’ve been showing you how God the son when he came from heaven, was trying to teach us the original intent of God the Father, in communicating what we call the old testament. There’s a reason for that because through those 1800 years, the rabbis made a mess of the word of God. They added to, they interpreted, they messed it up, they turned it and twisted it. And so our Lord jesus, God, the son is trying to show us what God the father intended all along. Instead of the mess that these rabbis have made of it, particularly on the subject of divorce. Let me show you this debate was going on during jesus’s earthly ministry. So I want to tell you about that food fight that was going on between the theologians, there were two major divisions among the jewish teachers and theologians, two major divisions. Two schools of thought. The fundamentalist camp was championed by a school called Sham I. They took the version the Theron Omy 24 1 where the Lord talks about marriage and divorce. They took that verse and they said, divorce can only take place For one cause and one cause only. And that’s adultery. Now, the translation of the word adultery in the Toronto Me 24 1 is untested. E sometimes translated indecency. one rabbi following Sam I said, let a wife be as mischievous as jezebel. She cannot be divorced except for adultery. The second group of rabbis followed. A liberal rabbi by the name of halal. Listen carefully. Hello, define the word chest and chastity or Indecency in Deuteronomy 24 1. To mean anything you want it to mean. You know anything you want to mean from burning the dinner to putting too much salt in the food. Two disrespecting your husband in public, beloved. I want to tell you, I am absolutely convinced of this. The way the definition of marriage is in this 21st century, I am absolutely certain in my heart makes God sick. So let’s look at those two verses. Turn with me to Matthew five, and 32 two verses. I’m going to read them for you. It has been said. Anyone who divorces. His wife must give her a certificate of divorce. But I tell you, here’s the equivalency between the father and the son. They are equal. You heard that? My father said no, I’m telling you. Anyone who divorces his wife except for marital and faithfulness causes her to become an adulteress. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. We saw in the last message how to affair proof your marriage. This is a continuation from the last message where he talked about adultery, namely. Our Lord wants us to go back to the root cause that causes adultery which causes divorce. He always lead us to go to the root course. Now there are two things that I believe Our Lord would be. Want to tell us here two ingredients to a blessed marriage. Two ingredients listen carefully. In fact, I share those with couples when I do marriages, which is really rare because I have some wonderful colleagues who do much better job. I thank God for them. But the two things I want you to write them down if you’re taking notes. Ironclad commitment to each other, caring communication with each other. Let me repeat these I and clad commitment to each other and caring communication with each other. Let me interrupt myself here and say something to those who are divorced or have been divorced. Please listen carefully for whatever reason. Whatever reason, that’s not the issue, I know that this is the most painful emotional experience. It is the longing of my heart, The desire of my heart not to add to that pain, but hopefully I can give you helpful lessons for the future because listen to me, there is life after divorce, there is hope after divorce, there is redemption after divorce because I believe with all my heart, there can be future joy if you’re willing to find it, that is if you do not spend the rest of your life beating yourself up. If you do not spend time well owing in your guilt and regret, once you place it under the blood of jesus and you are forgiven by God, you are under obligation to forgive yourself. If you’re willing to accept God’s forgiveness and redemption and resolution, there is a future joy. There is a future hope, that is what the gospel teaches from cover to cover. Can I get an amen? Let me get back to those two things. An ironclad commitment. I’m aware of the fact that this commitment of putting two people together, binding themselves to each other for life is a tall order and that is why the old anglican marriage ceremony says marriage is not to enter into in advisedly or lightly In Matthew 19 Jesus uses the words of the scripture from Genesis, he said that a man is to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and that works for the wife as well, leaves her parents cleaves her husband. The word cleave actually means glued glued together. Absolutely glued, that’s what it means. That glue becomes the most important bonding. That glue means that their life resolve revolve around each other just as the earth revolves around the sun and they both revolve around the Lord jesus. The reason the bible sees marriage as a picture of the relationship between the Lord jesus christ and the believers who we call the church. The bride of christ is because jesus does not love you, redeem you adopt you. Then the moment you mess up he dumps you, did you get that? It’s not Christianity, that is not the christian faith. When he writes your name in the book of life, he writes it permanently. He does not dump you the moment you mess up, he wants you to come back and repent and turn to him And he doesn’t say to you, this is the 1,275 times he came to me, he doesn’t count, he doesn’t count the times we come to him for forgiveness and for repentance. And that is why the bible says that marriage ought to work the same way. The covenant of marriage Ought not to be dependent on the whims and the feelings of one party or the other. The covenant does not become obsolete When one or 2 does not feel like keeping it. The covenant of marriage is for life. Now young husbands let me give you an advice, I cannot give much of advice to young wives because I don’t know, my wife can help you, but I can help young husbands or perspective husbands. There is a way by which you can have a blessed marriage and let me share with you our experience. I’m not gonna ask my wife to come up here because she will contradict me. But this is how it works. When we have a we actually call it vigorous discussion, just sounds nice for a preacher’s home. We don’t call it arguments, We call it vigorous discussion. And so when we have one of those vigorous discussions, we sit together, she said, she tells me what she wants. I tell her what I want. Then we compromise. We do it her way. I promise you you have a joyous marriage, because in the end, all that stuff is really ludicrous, that we argue over only persistent adultery. Listen to me. Only persistent adultery or death can break up a marriage. I believe with all my heart that God is pleased when forgiveness takes place between husband and wife. God is pleased when confession and repentance takes place between husband and wife. God is pleased when reconciliation takes place between husband and wife. But let me hasten to say that one indiscretion. Listen carefully, because I know some people are gonna write me letters, send me emails. One indiscretion is not an unpardonable sin, continuous, unfaithfulness, deliberate, continuous unfaithfulness is a marriage breaker. Now, I personally believe that this is the meaning of the text, learn to affair proof your marriage, He said, Michael, how can I do this? Well, first of all, get over your narcissism. Get over your narcissism. Why do I say this? Because the truth is we all narcissist to different degrees. We all are? He said, how do you know that? Well, if you want to overcome your narcissism, do the following. Make a study of discovering your spouse’s real needs. You get that real needs and seek by God’s power. God’s strength. God’s mercy and God’s grace to meet that need. Now there’s some people who know the spats need and the endeavor by God’s grace to provide this need or meet that need. Ah but listen to me, they expect reciprocation. That’s where the problem arises. And hurt arises when the reciprocation does not takes place. Please please, please don’t focus on what you want and need, but on what he or she want a need. I believe when you do that, you will go a long way towards avoiding the roving eye. Let me repeat narcissism is a deadly poison. And when you subdue narcissism by God’s power, you will have a job for marriage. Now you notice I didn’t say perfect marriage and say perfect marriage, there’s no such thing, by the way, young people, if you think, oh there’s a perfect marriage, it doesn’t exist. You know, people used to say to me in the past. They would say, oh it’s a it’s a match made in heaven. I said, Yeah, so thunder and lightning. There’s no such a thing as perfect marriage. But there is such a thing as a joyful marriage. Someone may say, well, Michael, I just don’t have the time or the effort or the energy to do what you’re asking me to do. Just listen to me for a minute. Okay, If you want to get physically in shape, what do you do? What do you do you exercise and you work out right? Or if you want to get ahead in your profession or your vocation, what do you do? You work at it? And you work at it daily improve, right, am I right then? Why on heaven’s name? When it comes to marriage, you don’t want to make the investment. I’ll let you answer that to yourself. So, first of all, it’s an ironclad commitment, secondly, caring communication. I chose this word, deliberately caring communication. Well, Michael was still what do you mean by care and communication? Well, let me say a doubt. Set making an unreasonable demand or blackmailing your spouse is an absolute no no. Giving your husband or wife what you want on their birthdays is a no, no, constantly using your upbringing and your past as an excuse for whatever you’re doing is a no, no. Listen, ironclad commitment and caring communications are two ingredients for a joyful marriage and that my beloved friends is how your fair proof your marriage Lift up one another encourage one another, Esteem one Another, Honor one Another. Let me tell you this. As I conclude, Sir Winston Churchill of England were great leaders of all times, was attending a formal banquet, which a lot of prominent people were there at the banquet. And after the dinner they were all allowed to ask, Sir Winston Churchill any questions they want to ask. And one question was as follows. If you were not who you are and could be someone else, who would you like to be? I mean, you can imagine people sitting there waiting knowing Churchill, his oratory and ability and all that. And they just could would. It was so curious to know, is he going to say caesar Bonaparte? I mean some of the great names, but instead his wife sitting next to him, dear clammy. And he held her hand and said, let me rephrase this question. If I were not who I am, who would I would most like to be? And he paused and he paused. He’s still holding his dear clammy, whom he loved so dearly. And finally he said, I would like to be Lady Churchill second husband. Now beloved. This commitment to building up your spouse must can only be second most important thing you do. You say? What is that first and most important thing you do. In fact the first thing you must do that’s going to help you to accomplish. The second thing is to lift up the name of jesus, lift up the name of jesus that will empower you to lift your spouse up. Let me ask you this, let me ask you, this is narcissism, destroying your marriage is being wrapped up in yourself, strangling the most important thing in your life after Salvation is being in love with yourself, making you wealth today you can open up your heart to the holy Spirit of God and he can empower you and he will none of nature’s malevolent forces strikes with greater violence than the tornado where we lived. We had five tornadoes hit our farmstead at the same time, I was not quite three years old and my dad grabbed my leg when I was two ft off the ground. There is no way that he should have been able to get me back down, but he did. When I was 12 I took an arrow in the chest. The doctors can’t believe that it didn’t go up or down from the rib and right through the heart. When I was 19 I hit my brakes on hit black ice, I did 3 360 degree turns in the highway and I guarantee you I can see the whites of the eyes of the guy coming towards me and my car straightened out and went right down the lane of where I was at, I shouldn’t be here. And all of a sudden I realized God had done these things to save me to do something. I had to get more in his word and I had to start doing things for God. I listened to the first part of dr yusef’s four part series. There was just a number of statements that were just so powerful to me. I literally wrote them down and these are some of the words that I that I wrote down. We have time for everything except reading about God. The bible is the only spiritual food to encourage us every day. We are spiritually in a family, things like that. That came out of what dr Yousef had to say. They just hit and that word of his is not just staying in his pulpit between his books, his journals, his kingdom satellite, It goes in other countries. I mean, it’s going all over the world, it’s reaching a lot of places, you know, you and I can’t go to all those places to me. It’s amazing that leading the way all these avenues to reach people and their arms are much longer than our job. And it’s working and it’s bringing more people to God and we need to get behind it. My wife and I, a number of years ago decided to get behind, leading the way what Dr Yousef in leading the way is doing is literally what God wants us to do and I would recommend to anybody to support in my life. Today, I go out and I read the new testament to try to reach people and I think I’ve planted some seeds, I live out in the country, so there’s a lot of times I’m out doing some chainsaw work, taking some trees out and I’ll have my headphones on what a great time to listen to what dr Yousef has to say because it’s actually God’s word coming to you through your partnership leading the way is expanding to meet the growing spiritual needs of our nation and world and God is reaching more people through our ministry together than ever before. Over this past year, leading the way experienced a surge of new television viewers, website traffic and live stream viewers, not to mention brand new prayer partners and the creation of online discipleship groups in hard to reach areas God is blessing and dr Yousef is pressing on to reach more people with the gospel than ever before. We are expanding to new stations, increasing navigator distribution and growing embedded field teams across the U. S. And around the globe. Large evangelistic events are on the horizon and you can be a part this month, generous ministry partners have committed a special june gift challenge where they have pledged to match up to $1.2 million given to leading the way, dollar for dollar, you can double the impact of your giving and help, leading the way, expand further into new areas for jesus amid this complex and broken world, you can help bring the good news of christ’s love to people in desperate need of the truth. Will you join us on the forefront of this crucial ministry by participating in the special june gift challenge. Contact us to give a generous gift today. Check out leading the ways smartphone app with the leading the way up. You can watch recent episodes of Leading the way, listen to sermon series as well as read special daily devotionals written by Dr Yousef. You can even watch leading the way live events on your mobile device or follow along with a daily bible reading plan to keep you consistent in your walk with the Lord, download the leading the way smartphone after your device so you can be plugged into and stay connected with what God is doing through leading the way all over the globe. Just search for, leading the way on your apple android or amazon fire device to download the app today. Right passionately proclaiming uncompromising truth. Leading the way with Dr Michael Yousef thanks you for your faithful support through your continued prayers and gifts.