Relationship Priorities | Sandals Church

(gentle music) – Hey guys, welcome to Sandals Church, where we’re all about
this vision of being real. And if you wanna take that
vision a little bit deeper, go to our podcast called “The Debrief” at where you
get to hear Pastor Matt just dive deeper into
this vision of being real. But thanks so much for joining
us today, enjoy the message. – Hey Sandals Church, I’m super excited because you are in for
something special today. Look, a couple of years ago
I met this guy from Ireland. Man, it sounds like a
Lucky Charms commercial, but he is so awesome. His name is Andrew McCourt and
he’s a dear friend of mine. Both Tammy and I we’ve
been praying and asking God to expand our friendships, literally, with pastors all over the world, and God sent us Andrew. And he’s here this weekend
to bring us a word, and he’s gonna wrap up our
series on how to never be alone. And so I just want you to
give him a warm welcome and cheer him on as you’re gonna hear a life-changing message from a
friend who’s changed my life. So let’s give it up for
Pastor Andrew McCourt. – Hey!
(audience cheers) Wow, Sandals Church! It’s good to be here. And you need to listen
carefully to this accent today ’cause this is an Irish accent, and when you get to heaven you’re gonna talk like this, everybody. ‘Cause this is the way God talks. The way I hear him, anyway. So good to see you, are you
enjoying yourself today? (audience cheers)
Good. Well, I wanna put a massive thank you out to Pastor Matt and Tammy
for having us here. They are great people. I got to meet Pastor Matt
about two-three years ago and we’ve developed a friendship. He’s a really cool guy. And I got to bring him to
Ireland this year, you know? And you know Pastor Matt, he
does that whole Iron Man thing, but when I brought him to Ireland he got to meet some real men,
you know what I’m sayin’? We run on Guinness, people. No, we don’t.
(audience laughs) So he’s a great guy, we
just love this church. This is a super church, everybody, yes? (audience cheers)
Let’s be encouraged. I’ve been to enough bad churches to recognize a good church, everybody. And this is a great church
and so we just wanna thank you for having us here
today, what a privilege. I’m here with my wife Isabelle. Isabelle, would you stand up? Okay, she hates me doing this. Oh yeah, that’s her over there, okay. (audience applauds) And Isabelle is from France, ooh-la-la. (audience laughs)
Okay. And all of that’s working, ’cause we’ve got four kids, everybody. Four kids, yeah. Four, no more, that’s our motto. Four, no more. Back in Ireland, they didn’t
know if we were good Catholics or sloppy Protestants, that’s
a lot of children, everybody, they just didn’t know
what what’s going on. And so we’ve got four children. We’ve got Ben, who’s our oldest. He’s gonna be 23 this month. And he was with us on
vacation in the summer with his girlfriend. She’s great, she’s on
our staff at Bay Side. And he got to the Sacre-Coeur in Paris, in wonderful Paris, everybody, and he dropped to his knee,
he brought out the ring, and she said, “Oui,” yes. Yeah, it means we’re getting rid of a kid! (audience laughs) That’s so good. And then we’ve got Dan, he’s 20 years old. He’s studying at UC Davis. And then I’ve got my only girl
in the world, my only girl. Her name is Abigail. And Abigail means father’s
joy, father’s joy. And that’s what she is to me, that’s what she is to me,
my only girl in the world. All the fathers in the
room will understand this, but the only reason I moved to America was so that I could buy a gun. (audience laughs)
That was it. Yep, right there. All the dads, yes? (men exclaim) And I’m not scared to use it again. (audience laughs) So that’s Abigail. Then we’ve got Nathan, who’s 14, and he’s playing soccer right now. He’s a soccer boy, he loves that soccer. So we’re thanking God for our family. I’m thanking God that we are here in the United States
of America, everybody. And it’s so cool and a privilege
(audience applauds) to be here in Sandals, to be able to close our your series on the cure for loneliness. And you know that God has
a cure for loneliness, and it’s called relationships? God wants us to be in relationships. But the problem today in
the world that we live in with Facebook and Instagram, social media, with all the gatherings that we get into, we’ve got so many relationships,
we need to prioritize them. And we’re gonna be
talking about that today, how do we prioritize the key
relationships in our life so that we never end up
in this lonely position. There’s a great verse from the scriptures, and it’s from the Book of
Psalms, and it simply says this. “Teach us to number our days,” God, help us to do this, “that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Lord, we only have so many days, we’ve got tons of relationships, help us, Lord, to prioritize
the time that we have. So if you’re brand new here to Sandals, you’re gonna have a little sermon outline, it’s a piece of paper there
with some writing on it. It’s got some blanks in it. And if you’re here and you’re brand new, maybe you don’t even
know how you got here, maybe you just thought
you were going to Costco and you took the wrong
turn and you ended up here. Well, that’s just a little thing that you can write in some of the answers. It’s not a quiz, it’s not
like I mark it at the end and give you extra homework
if you got it wrong. It’s not like that. It really is just a guide to
how long I’m gonna preach. (audience laughs) So if I’m 30 minutes at point one, order pizza, everybody, okay? It could be a long day. But it’s just a simple way
of helping you remember some of the salient points from today. So are you ready to do this, everybody? (audience cheers)
Okay. That’s good. Hey, you guys are good. 11:45, you’re good, lots of coffee in you, that’s why you’re like, okay. So priority number one is
my relationship with God. My relationship with God. You’ve gotta hear me, everybody. We can have a relationship
with the living God. That is pretty cool. I mean, if I was a personal friend of Steph Curry from the Warriors, I think I might just slip
it in today’s sermon. If I knew Steph Curry and he
and I were homies and buddies, I would slip it in. If I knew Bill Gates,
the founder of Microsoft, I’d probably slip it into the sermon. But here’s the reality,
everybody: I know the living God. You know the living God
if you’re a Christian. That’s the best boast in all of the world. That’s the best follow
you’re ever gonna get, it’s the best friendship
you’re ever gonna have. Everybody, we know God. And it’s a free relationship. He has made it free for
us, you can’t earn it. Pastor Matt and I, we’ve
got a mutual friend, and his name is Shawn
and he’s a great guy. And Shawn’s got a heart for Ireland and one time his wife Sonny
got a trip to Ireland, but Shawn had to stay here in America. And when she was back in
Ireland after a church service, she was in downtown Dublin and she was having lunch
in this bar/restaurant, and she looked over at
the table across from her and she was like, “Wow.” And she rang her husband
Shawn immediately, back in the United States, and said, “You will not guess what famous Irishman “is sitting across from
me in this restaurant.” And he said, “Is it Bono?” And she said, “No no, it’s
even more famous than Bono.” “Wow, who is it? “Is it Andrew McCourt?” No, he didn’t say that. Who is it? And then she said it’s this guy here. It’s Conor McGregor, everybody,
it was Conor McGregor. And if you don’t know who he is, he’s just a very quiet,
shy, reserved Irishman and doesn’t say much at all. And they were like, wow. And this is what Shawn said. “I’ll tell you what to
do, is get the Visa card “and give it to the waiter “and let’s pay for his lunch
and all of his friends, “that would be a cool thing.” Call the waiter, give him the card. A couple of minutes later she felt someone stand behind her. Thinking it was the
waiter, she turned around, but it was Conor McGregor, and he was holding her Visa card. And he said to her, “Thank you
so much for your kind gesture “of wanting to pay for my lunch today. “But you can’t pay for my lunch here.” And she said, “Why not?” And he said, “Because I own the place.” (audience laughs) “I own the place.” Look at me, everybody. God owns the place! God owns everything. And it’s free for you. Everything is on the house. ‘Cause when Jesus died on the cross, he said, “It is finished.” And you can’t earn your way
into a relationship with God, buy your way into a relationship with God. All you can do is receive his friendship. It’s free, it’s so cool. And how do we keep that friendship and that relationship with God to a fresh? How do we do it? Well, we do it through
a thing called prayer. Anyone in here, you like to pray? A lot of women putting up their hands. Come on, you guys. I mean, come on, let’s be honest, I don’t hear many women
come to me and saying, “Pastor, my husband prays far too much. “We’re always late to everything “’cause he’s in the house
praying and praying and praying. “Oh my God, can’t get a word out of him “’cause he’s always talking to Jesus.” I mean, let’s be honest. Would anyone like the
idiot’s guide to prayer? The idiot’s guide to prayer,
here it is, everyone. What is prayer? Prayer is about three words, and it’s wow, it’s help, and it’s yes. If you’re going, “How do I
make my prayer life so good?” Well, just wow, help, yes. First of all, start with wow. Come to God and go, “Wow, God,
you’re actually listening.” That’s pretty wow. The Creator of the universe is not too busy to listen to you. I mean, that’s it, God wants
a relationship with you. I just have the belief that when God goes to the heavenly fridge to get milk, my photo is on the fridge, everybody. Yes? It’s just like, wow,
God is interested in me. God is so awesome. God is omnipresent. He’s like my mother, he
seems to be everywhere, okay? He’s incredible. God is the God who is
the alpha and the omega, which means he’s the
beginning and the end. God is so wow that he
finishes before he starts. That’s cool, everybody, that’s cool. God is standing at the finishing line while he’s at the starting line. That’s pretty awesome. And everybody, when you get
the wow of God in your life, then it helps you with the help. Stop going into prayer starting with help. Because when you do that,
you make God that small. But when you see God this big, suddenly, your problems
begin to shrink, yes? God can really help you with the help when you get on with the wow. And the last one is yes. Make sure that in prayer,
that when you’re talking, it’s a relationship. God is talking to you, not
only you talking to him. And make sure your answer is always yes. Is that good? Okay, so we do it through prayer, but we also do it through
God’s word, the Bible. Now, when I say the Bible, it doesn’t make me a
raving fundamentalist. It just means that I’ve got
a moral compass in my life and the ultimate guide for truth. And God speaks to me through his word. Imagine this, that if you knew every single morning when you wake up you would have a personal
text message from God, would you get up earlier? I think I would get up earlier. I wonder what God said to me this morning. Well, you get that every day. It’s called the Bible, everybody. It’s God’s text message
to every single person. And the Bible is how we hear from God and keep the relationship
passionate and intimate. And you need to read the Bible ’cause it’s also gonna help
you with your battles in life. So I said I’m Irish, and Irish means that we’re at the top of
the food chain, everybody. It just means in the League of Nations there’s Ireland right up here. Obviously the United States is number two. But I would say, (laughs) a joint second is gotta be Scotland. Scotland, everybody. Is there any Scottish in the house today? Put up your hand if you’re Scottish. Security, take their pictures right away, and be careful during the
offering with these people, okay? (audience laughs) And I used to live in Scotland,
Scotland’s a great place. And I went to visit this place, it’s called Wallace Tower, Wallace Tower. And it’s there to
commemorate a great Scotsman by the name of William Wallace. And he is otherwise known as, who? (laughs) Braveheart, that’s right. “Braveheart,” yeah, we’ve
all watched the movie. “They may take our children
but they’ll never take our “whiskey.” That’s right.
(audience laughs) It’s a very confusing movie. ‘Cause it’s an Australian
acting as a Scotsman and it’s all shot in Ireland. How confusing is that, everybody? But if you go to that tower,
if you go to that tower, as you’re winding up,
halfway up you get to see the original sword that belonged to William Wallace, Braveheart. Look at it here. Now, to put it in perspective, the blade is 4 1/2-feet long, 4 1/2 feet, and with the handle, that
sword was 5 1/2-feet long, 5 1/2 feet. Everybody, that’s how you
kill the English right there. That’s how you do it,
calm down, you Americans. (audience laughs) But this is the truth, it’s kind of sad. That sword was built for battles and now it’s stuck in a box. Look at me, your Bible was
not made to live on a shelf. Your Bible was born and
created to be put in your hand and for you to use it every
single day of your life. The Bible actually says about itself in Hebrews four, verse 12, that the Bible is like
a double-edged sword that cuts through all
the junk in our lives. All the bad attitudes. You wanna have a good attitude? You read the Bible. You wanna keep your life on track? You read the Bible. The Bible says is like daily bread. It’s more important than the meals that you’re gonna eat today,
it’s having the word of God. So my number one relationship is with God and I do that through prayer
and I do that through his word. That’s priority number one. Priority number two is this. My relationship with me. This is very important. The relationship that I have with myself. I don’t know if you’ve ever
looked at stuff before, stuff that you’re familiar with, maybe a thing you’re really familiar with. And you’ve looked at it many times but suddenly you look at it
another time and it’s like, wow, I never saw that. Now you Americans, you
love your ice cream. You’ve got some great ice
cream here in America. Baskin-Robbins, everyone? Yeah, yeah. Your 31 flavors, 31 flavors. I don’t know if you’ve looked at the logo and seen before the 31 is in the logo. Have you seen that? Everyone look at it. See there the BR, in the middle, the 3-1. Who’s never seen that before? Who never saw that before? Look at all those hands going up. People are going, “This
is an incredible church. (audience laughs)
“It’s so deep, this church. “Oh my goodness, they only
bring in the best of preachers. “Look at that.”
(audience laughs) You’re gonna forget everything else but you’re gonna remember the 31. You’re gonna text your mother right now. “We’re going to Baskin-Robbins today “and I’m gonna point something
out you’ve never seen “and I’ll blow your mind.” (audience laughs) Hey, another one’s Amazon. You all know the Amazon logo? Well, everybody, that’s not a smile. That’s an “We deliver from A to Z.” (audience cheers) Look at people, they’re like, “Ah! “This guy’s Buddha, he’s Buddha. “There’s light coming off
him, he’s just incredible.” It’s amazing. You say you can have a
relationship with God, and they’re like, “Whatever.” Look at Amazon, “Wow!” (audience laughs) All right, okay, all right. Boy, people are like minions. Ahh.
(audience laughs) Hey, over in Europe, we like our chocolate,
we like our chocolate. And you get it here, this
particular chocolate, once a year from Costco. They bring it out, Toblerone. You know the triangular one that really hurts your mouth
when you try to bite it? That one there. But I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed on the Matterhorn there,
that is the Matterhorn, can you see the bear, everyone? Have you ever seen the
bear on the mountain? Look, there’s a bear on
the mountain, it’s cool. But this last one, for
me, this is the best one. This is the best one, okay? A lot of people have seen this before and never noticed it, look at this here. I mean, look at that, for
years people have looked at and they’ve just seen a
soccer ball, soccer ball. Look at this, are you watching carefully? It’s a football, everybody! It’s a ball and you
kick it with your foot, that’s what you do, come on, America! (audience laughs) God has sent me to you (audience laughs) to convert you. What’s the point of all of this? Because reality is you can’t have a relationship with you if you don’t know who you are. And you’ve looked at
yourself a lot of times but you know what, you’ve
probably never seen yourself through the lens of God. When God sees you, he sees
who you really are, why? Because he is your maker. I’m gonna tell you God’s
will for your life. God’s will for your life is that you would vacuum with a Dyson. It’s the bagless vacuum
that maintains its suction right until the last suck. It’s incredible, everybody. But if you wanna know about a Dyson, ask Sir James Dyson who designed it. God designed you, he knows
you, he knows how you work. God comes in three person. He’s God the Father, God the
Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This is good theology. Is everyone okay with this,
or you wanna do more logos? (audience laughs) Listen, God the Father, God
the Son, God the Holy Spirit. And this is what happens. The Bible says that when
we are not a Christian, when we don’t have a
relationship with Jesus, we are dead in our sins. Ephesians chapter two. Dead. It doesn’t dress that up. We’re dead, either alive or dead. But God won’t leave us like this. So God the Holy Spirit comes to us and what happens is God the Holy Spirit quickens our conscience
and attracts us to Jesus. He woos us to Jesus. God the Holy Spirit wants
us to meet God the Son. And he brings us to Jesus
because Jesus died for us and can cleanse us from
all the junk in our lives. And then Jesus the Son wants
us to meet God the Father. Ain’t that so cool, everyone? God comes in three persons. God the Holy Spirit, God
the Son, and the Son says, “No one can go to the
Father except through me.” John 14, verse six. And Jesus brings us to the Father, and the Father loves us and embraces us, and then the Father says, “I want you to meet someone
you’ve never met before.” And we’re like, “Who’s that, who’s that?” And he goes, “You. “You’ve never met you before. “You’ve met versions of you. “You’ve met profiles of you. “You’ve met Instas of you. “But you’ve never really met you. “I’ve designed you and
I want to introduce you “to the real you.” And where do we find the real you? Here it is here, 1 Thessalonians 5:23. It says, “May God himself,” Father, Son, Holy Spirit, “the God of peace, sanctify
you through and through.” Look at me, God wants to
change us deep inside. Not a surface job, not cosmetics. God wants to do deep inside of us. But note what God does and
how he explains who we are. He says, “May your whole spirit,
your soul and your body,” in the Greek, your pneuma, your spirit, your soul, your psyche, and your body, your soma, “be kept blameless at the
coming of our Lord Jesus.” You see, God wants to change us. Can everyone say the word regeneration? – [Audience] Regeneration. – It’s a really important
Christian and biblical concept. God wants us to be, John
chapter three, verse three, he wants us to be born
again or born from above. A brand new start in our lives. But he says, “I’m gonna do
this on three different levels “right inside of you. “I’m gonna do it in your
spirit, I’m gonna start there. “And then I’m gonna move to your mind, “your soul and your emotions. “And then I’m gonna move to your body. “We’re gonna do that last.” Note how God does it. So number one is that God
gives us a reborn spirit. When we enter into
relationship with Jesus, this is what happens. We call out to God, “God save me.” And boom, in a moment God the
Holy Spirit comes from heaven, comes inside of us, and what was dead comes alive and we become God’s ZIP code on earth and we become the temple
of the Holy Spirit and I personally carry the
presence of God inside of me. In a moment. I move from dead to
alive, blind to seeing, from death to life, from the kingdom of darkness
to the kingdom of light in an instant, everybody. It’s called an event. But the next one’s a challenge. Because God moves us from a
reborn spirit to a renewed mind, which is not an event,
it’s a process, everybody. How many people wish that a brand new mind was just an event? But it’s not, it’s a process. Because God wants to take us on a journey from mood swings to mindsets. How many people need that journey? You need to get out of mood swings and you need to get into mindsets. “Setting our minds on things above,” Colossians chapter three. And God wants to do that
because God really understands, “Before I can do something in your mind, “I’ve gotta get something
alive in your spirit.” So God sets us alive on the
inside, he renews our mind, and the last thing that God does is that he repurposes our body. But can I tell you this? Here in California, we
have a different theology and it’s all upside down
and it doesn’t work. ‘Cause California says this. If you wanna feel brand new, if you wanna feel brand
new what you need to do is start with outside, not the inside. And what you need to do
is start with your body. If you wanna feel better
about yourself, join the gym. And joining the gym is good, but it’s a losing battle, everyone. You’re fighting gravity and
everything’s going South, (audience laughs)
everything’s going South. That’s what’s happening
to your body, okay? And then also, California,
after the gym it’s like, well, we need to do more, and we all like in California
a little bit of nip and tuck. A little bit of nip and tuck, okay? The belly button used to be here but now it’s right here,
but I’m feeling good. (audience laughs) Nip and tuck. And the theory goes that
if you get a new body, you’ll think better
thoughts about yourself and you’ll feel free on the inside. Yes? And it is good looks, good thoughts. That’s not, people, it doesn’t work. Listen to what the Bible says. The Bible says we’re dead in sins, let God touch you on the inside and you’re gonna have
an inner resurrection. You’re gonna come alive. And then, because of
what God reveals to you, you’re gonna think new thoughts about him, new thoughts about yourself, and then finally you bring
your body to the party. (audience laughs) But in our world today, the body is king, and we have this whole
fight about identity. Everybody, identity doesn’t
start with your body. It starts with your spirit,
within it moves to your mind, and then you submit your body
to the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you with me, everybody? That’s how you have a
relationship with yourself. You know who you are. God the Father, God the
Son, God the Holy Spirit. We are spirit, we are
soul, and we are body, and in that order. Priority number three is my
relationship with my spouse. My relationship with my spouse. Now, single people. All the single people,
all the single ladies. No, sorry, all the single people. You’re ready here? Don’t tap out on me now, this is not a moment to
check your Instagram. Because this is important. Back to that previous point. If you’re a single person and
you’re going, “You know what? “Yeah, I’m interested in dating, “and I would like to get married,” this is so important. You’ve gotta understand who you are ’cause if you don’t know who you are, you can never introduce
yourself to somebody else. Can I go full Irish with
you here for a second? I’ll go full Irish. See this language of like,
“Oh, he makes me complete.” That’s nonsense. (laughs) That’s nonsense. Reality is the biblical priorities
is God makes us complete and we bring a complete
person into a relationship. Because two halves don’t make a couple. It takes two whole people
to make a couple, yes? So this next point, the
whole thing about spouse, this is your moment to go, and
for married people as well, this is your moment to go, “You know what? “We’ve gotta hear this “’cause this is gonna teach us so much.” I wanna ask you the question, where is the best place to
learn to fly a helicopter? It’s when it’s on the ground,
not when it’s in the sky. You wanna learn all the stuff
when you’re on the ground. That’s when you wanna
learn about marriage, it’s actually when you’re single. It’s so important. So let’s read this verse. It says, “For this reason, “a man will leave his father and mother,” this is really important. Look at the word leave. A man will leave his father and mother. If you are the parents of teenagers today, this is good news, everybody. ‘Cause God has designed our kids to leave. Can I hear an amen from anybody, okay? (laughs) They’ll soon be gone, hallelujah. And if you’ve got a
45-year-old in your house, leave this verse on their pillow
tonight, would you do that? In the name of Jesus, just
encourage them, all right? “And will leave his father and mother “and be united to his wife, “and the two will become one flesh.” And all the men said. Sorry. Men, this means sex. (audience laughs) That’s what it means, okay? And I can just throw this in here. See this little ring here, see this ring that I have
in my finger, see this ring? This is God’s key into
the sexual playground. (audience laughs) You’ve got a key into the gate and you can go in there like yay! (audience laughs) Down the slide, whatever
you need to do, seesaw. Enjoy yourself in there, okay? That’s God’s playground. (audience laughs) You can just have fun. But if you don’t have one of these, you’re climbing over the
fence and you’re a trespasser. (audience laughs) Amen?
– Amen. – Y’all with me, everybody? Thank you, 11:45 you’re
incredible, you really are. (audience laughs) “And the two will become one flesh. “This is a profound mystery “but I’m talking about
Christ in the church.” Wow, what has Paul done? Paul in the New Testament has gone to the beginning
of the Old Testament, he’s grabbed the verse
from the Book of Genesis, and he has said, “This
is God’s will for you.” God’s will for you is
to leave your parents, be united to a woman, listen to this, and have sex, and that’s good. It wasn’t like when
they had sex, they went, “Oh my word. “Gabriel, what are they doing? “What are they doing in the garden?” He was like, “Yeah, that’s really good.” But what’s the whole point of this? Listen. This is all about Christ
and the church, everybody. About Christ and the church. You see, when a couple stand at the front and he goes “I do” and she
says “I do,” we do, wonderful. That’s so cool. Actually, that is symbolic of
what Jesus did on the cross when he died for you and he promised that he would never
leave you or forsake you. You see, in life, I have commitments, but I’ve only got covenant with my wife. This is really important
that we get this, people. You see, my daughter
Abigail, when she was young, and she was small and she used to fit on
those little pink dresses and she was so beautiful, she used to come up to me and she used to sit in my knee sometimes and look me in the eye and
she would say this to me, “Daddy, I will never leave you.” And I used to look at her and think, “You’re a little liar.” (audience laughs) ‘Cause someday, when
I’m sitting in the house polishing my gun,
(audience laughs) some stupid boy’s gonna come to the door. (audience laughs) Listen to me. I love my daughter, but
it’s okay for her to leave. When she’s 50. (audience laughs) I love my boys. It’s okay for them to leave. They’re designed to leave. But there’s one person in
the house that can’t leave. And that’s Isabelle. She can’t leave ’cause
I’ve got all the keys. (audience laughs)
No. She can’t leave, people,
I can’t leave either. You know why? Because I never made
covenant with my children. Parents get this, this is so important, the priority of life. I never made covenant with my children. I only ever made covenant with Isabelle. And this is really important as well. I never made covenant with the church. I love the church, I’m
committed to the church, the church in America,
the church in Ireland, the church across the world. I never made covenant with the church. There’s only one person that
made covenant with the church, and that was Jesus that made
covenant with the church. And Jesus says to me, “Andrew,
you look after your bride “and I’ll look after my bride.” A business person out there, listen to me. This is really important for you today. You never made covenant
with your business. You made a commitment to your business but not a covenant with your business. And the reality is if your business is getting all your energy,
all your creativity, all your management and
leadership capacity, and getting all your fun, and you’re coming home and being grumpy and not taking care of your spouse, you’re having an affair. Are you enjoying this or should
I go back to the fun stuff? (audience laughs) You didn’t make covenant
with your business. You made covenant with your spouse. And sir and madam, I know you’re so good and
you’re so uber talented and I know that you’re
running the universe and you can make your company grow. But if your marriage is not getting the same level of attention, something is out of order in
our whole list of priorities. This is gonna sound kinda Disney-esque, but this is important. My dad is one of my heroes. My dad is wow. My dad left Belfast
when he was 16 years old and joined the Royal Marines. Any Marines in here, any Marines? Come on, let’s give it up for them, okay? Wow. (audience applauds) My dad joined the Royal Marines, he became the middleweight
boxing champion of the Navy. And while he was in the
Marines, incredible story, he became a Christian. He find Jesus and also find
my mom, it was pretty good. And he came back to Belfast,
and quick history lesson. At that time when he returned in 69-70 to become a police officer, our country descended into chaos. Protestants and Catholics were fighting. It was open conflict, daily
shootings and bombings. My own street was blown up as a child. It was carnage. And in the same year, my father, it was a case of mistaken identity. A young soldier was called for backup as my dad was in pursuit
of some terrorists who’d robbed a bank. My dad was just in plain clothes as a police officer, as a detective. He had his gun drawn. And a young soldier that was meant to help just got freaked out and
thought my dad was a terrorist. And he shot him from a
distance of about 10 feet with the most powerful rifle in the world. It hit him there in the chest and went straight through his body, a high velocity bullet. Went straight through his chest, almost severed his
right arm from his body, and left a hole the size
of two fists in his chest. We just don’t know how
he lived, but he lived. He lived, people, it was the grace of God. A few years after that, well, he just took a medical discharge, became a pastor and
planted a church. (laughs) But he’s now in his mid 70s. And can I say this, he’s probably having the
best season of his life. Why? Because my mom’s not too well. She’s still got her sharp Irish mind. Her killer wit. She’s still got all of that. But physically, she’s not good. And my dad is like her carer. My dad is looking after her and getting her a wee cup of tea. That’s what we get in
Ireland, a wee cup of tea. Getting her a wee cup of tea and does the dishes and tends to the house and passes her stuff all the time. And I sit and I look at my
father when I’m back home and I’m going, “I think
God is really proud of you. “You’re not on national television,
it’s not ‘The Bachelor.’ “But you’re a real man.” Because it’s one thing to stand
at the front of the church as a young man. As a young man, just excited. A little rampant and going,
“I do, I do, I really do. “Please hurry up, I do.” But it’s another thing
after 53 years of marriage to say, “I did.” Are you with me, everybody? That’s what God is looking for, that’s what God is looking for. (audience applauds) So I’ve got a relationship with
God, a relationship with me, a relationship with my spouse, and then a relationship with my kids. My kids are really important. It says in 1 Timothy five, verse eight, Paul writes to the young man and he says, “Anyone who does not
provide for their relatives, “and especially for their own household, “has denied the faith and is
worse than an unbeliever.” What Paul says here, you can be going to
church, tithing to church, have Christian verses
all around your house, and have a fish on the back of your car. But if you’re not looking
after your family, you’re a pagan. It doesn’t matter, you’re
not looking after them. This is a really, really big deal. Everybody, in life I have
lots of opportunities, but I’ve only got four children and I only have a certain
window of time with them. So a few months ago, I’m
sitting in the house, and it’s been a busy season at church, I’ve brought work home. It’s never a good idea,
I’ve brought work home. And in my mind I can justify it, I’m answering Jesus’ emails, I’m a pastor. Heaven is in contact with me and this is so important
that I do this stuff. I’m falsely, sometimes you
think that if I wasn’t alive, the kingdom of God would grind to a halt. And it’s nonsense. And anyway, I’m sitting in the front room and I’m doing these emails and I’m feeling the pressure
of stuff that I need to do, and my daughter walks over to me. And my daughter is a
big “Mary Poppins” fan. “Mary Poppins,” yeah. One day she’s just gonna
come down from the sky with an umbrella, everybody. And she loves that movie and she loves the row of
white houses in London where she lived. And this where Mary Poppins worked. And she says to me, my daughter says to me while I’m trying to do
these emails for Jesus, she said to me, “Dad, come on. “Let’s get online and look at
some really expensive houses “in Kensington, London.” I’m like, “What? “I’m here to help Jesus. “Heaven needs me.” Thank God I had to
(mumbles) close my laptop, jump over in the sofa
with her with my iPad, and before we knew it we were Googling and looking at a $45 million
home in Kensington, London. And I’m looking at it, “Yeah, your mom and I
could have this bedroom.” Swipe, “Yeah, this could be your bedroom. “Yeah, the boys could be
outside in a cold shed, yes. “We could do all of that.” Knowing the whole time
that we’ll never be able to afford that house. But knowing as well, more importantly, that I will never have that moment again. And parents, God wants you to have a
relationship with him, yes. God wants you to have a very
solid God-view of yourself. And everybody in this room, we’ve gotta believe in the
things that God believes in. Even in we’re single, we
need to believe in marriage, that it comes from God. And you know what,
again, if you’re single, you’ve gotta believe in family because it’s the very fabric of society. In a world today that’s
throwing all of this stuff up in the world, you know what? It’s not about preaching, it’s about modeling something to them. Not perfect families, but parents that have life and priorities. It’s important. (audience laughs)
Thanks mom. Thanks for clapping, that’s good. Here, and the last point. Isn’t it great when a preacher
says, “The last point, “this is the last point.” It’s like hope comes into the room. It’s like, “There is a God.” Priority number five. My relationship with my world. And this is probably one
of the most famous verses in all of the Bible. And look at it here, it says, “For God so loved the,” what? Everyone say it, for God so loved the. – World.
– World. “That he gave his one and only Son, “that whoever believes
I him shall not perish “but have eternal life.” That’s what God believes in. And I love this. God loves the world. Christians, this is important. Mr. and Mrs. Christian. God loves the world. I know it’s jacked up,
but God loves the world. And it’s not our job
to sit in our lazy boy with our remote control and be watching CNN or Fox
News or whatever you watch, and Jesus doesn’t watch either of them ’cause he watches the
BBC, that’s what he does. (audience laughs) And it’s not our job
to sit in the lazy boy and shout at the television, “Ah the world is going
to hell in a hand basket. “Ah it’s so awful, it’s so terrible. “Ah it’s ungodly, it’s so whatever.” They’re lost, everybody! They’re lost. They’re doing things that lost people do. Lost people do lost stuff. They’re completely lost, they don’t know. And our job is not to shout at them because God didn’t sit
on a lazy boy in heaven and shouted at the earth. You know what he did? God got a body, he came to earth, he moved into the neighborhood, he lived with people, broken people. He cried with them, he
reached out to them. He loved on them. He got skin quite literally in the game. That’s the job of the church. There is a whole bunch of people that just feel so far from God. And God said, “I wanna bring you in.” I used to feel far from America. As a little boy, the first
time I ever came to America was 40 years ago last month. First place I ever came to in America was Minnesota. (laughs) You gotta start at the
bottom and work your way up. No, I’m only joking. If you’re from Minnesota, we can pray for you at
the end of the service. (audience laughs) And that big ball in the
sky is called the sun. But I remember being there,
I actually had a great time. I remember how we got from the airport to the house that we were staying in. You know how? We were put in the back of a truck. Yeah! No safety belts or anything like that. And we survived. Yeah. So good. But little did I know as a little boy that God would call me to this
great nation to serve him. I didn’t realize that. And it was five years
ago that we clearly knew God had called us, and we started the whole
process of applying for a visa. America was in a post-9/11 world and we needed to get a visa. And getting a visa to come
to this country is a big deal and it’s like filling out or
writing out the Bible by hand, there’s so many forms
to get done, everybody. But we got a visa and we came to America. And then we came to America and then we were told the
best thing you could now is get a green card, get
yourself a green card. So then we applied for a green card and it’s like writing the
Bible by hand three times. It just takes so much work. But everybody, we got a
green card, I’m legal! Ain’t that good, I’m legal. I can be here today, that’s good. And there’s a certain irony in it. America says to an
Irishman, “Come over here. “And you Irishman, we’ll
give you a green card.” We do green, we handle green, thank you. (audience laughs) So we got a green card
and then someone said, “You know what, there’s
something else you should get.” I’m going, “Ooh, what
else is in the party pile? “What else should be go for?” And they said, “You should
get a Global Entry card.” I’ll get myself a Global Entry card, then. So I went to San Francisco Airport, had an interview with the Officer Wu. She was incredible. And I got myself a Global Entry card. And it was only this summer that I got to try it
out for the first time. So I was flying back from Ireland and I was on an Airbus A380, everybody. And we landed at San Francisco Airport. Now, you gotta get this. An Airbus A380 is the largest
passenger-carrying aircraft in the world. There’s over 600 people on that plane. That is half the population of Ireland. Half of Ireland were on the flight. The Kelly’s, the Murphy’s, the Shawn’s. They’re all on the flight. And it seemed like five more of these had landed at the one time. And at an international airport, you’ve got your Customs and Immigration. And as we walked towards it, I gotta say, the line was chaos. It was like back to Canada, everybody. And there was three sections for the line. There was the section for
the United States citizens with their little blue passport. And there was the rest of
the world in the middle. And then there was another
section over to the right. And I looked at the United States one, it was, even though you all live here, to get back into your own
country, the line was crazy. And the rest of the world, I could not believe the size of the line. It was like the children
of Israel in the wilderness and Moses was at the front
going, “Let my people go!” It was just insane. But then, I took out my Global Entry card. (audience laughs) And I became a higher life form. (audience laughs) And I just nodded to all
the United States citizens. (laughs) How you doing? And I turned my nose up
at the rest of the world. (audience laughs) And I didn’t walk over to a line ’cause there was no line
for the Global Entry card. No line. There’s not even an officer
’cause they trust us over there. (audience laughs) And I just walked over
with my Global Entry card and I swiped it into a machine. The doors opened and I walked through. And I looked back at everybody
else and went, “Losers!” No, I did not. Listen, and that’s what Jesus
did for you on the cross. You fell far away from God. You thought, “I’m never gonna get in. “I know all my sins, I know all
my past, I know all my junk. “I don’t know to sign, I
don’t know what to fill in. “I don’t know who’s gonna be my reference. “I don’t have the money,
I can’t make this happen.” And Jesus said, “I did it all for you “when I died on the cross. “Your debt is paid,
all the forms are done. “Here’s a divine entry card. “You’re in, forever, it’s free!” He loves this world and he loves you. And some of you might still
be sitting there thinking, “I’m far from God.” Simple question. How do you know that? Does anyone have God’s address? Where does God live, if
you’re so far from him? I’m here to tell you today,
you’re not far from God. ‘Cause you know where God lives? In a Sandals campus right here. You are so close to God. I mean, you’re really,
really close to God. You’re just one prayer away. And I wanna give you that
opportunity to pray that prayer. You see, a whole bunch
of people in this room, they’re not perfect,
they’re just forgiven. A whole bunch of people in this room, they’ve prayed the prayer before that just leads us into that
number one relationship, the relationship with God. And you might be here
going, “Andrew, Andrew. “I don’t know all the rules.” You don’t need to. “Andrew, Andrew, I can’t give that much. “I can’t give a kidney.” Don’t worry, that’s next week. (audience laughs)
No, I joke. No, but listen. That’s not it about. It’s a simple step of
faith that just says, I wanna start a relationship with God. I never had one before but
I wanna start it today. And it involves one prayer. I’m gonna pray it right now, and I’m gonna invite
you to pray it with me. You don’t have to pray it out loud, you can just pray it into yourself. Are you ready to do this? If you’re not yet a Christian,
you wanna become one today. So I want you to close your eyes, I want you to bow your head, and I want you to say these words with me. Dear Lord Jesus, thank you
that when you came to earth, you died for my sins. And I confess I’m a sinner. Jesus, would you take my
past and give me your future? Jesus, would you take my sins
and give me your forgiveness? And Jesus, would you take
all my dreadful decisions and become the God of all
of my future decisions and be my Lord forever? Again, with your eyes closed, head bowed, in just a moment I’m gonna
ask you to raise your hand if you prayed that prayer
for the first time. But when you raise your
hand here at Sandals, the lights don’t flash, your picture doesn’t go on the screen, and you don’t have to do the
river dance with me on stage. Nothing like that. When you raise your hand, it’s me and you. It’s just a small sign of
the big decision you’ve made. So if you’re ready, if you prayed that prayer
and you really meant it, right now put your hand
up in the air, come on. Lots and lots of people
putting their hand up. Come on, bleachers as
well, let’s be courageous. Put your hand up if you prayed that prayer and you became a Christian today. That is awesome, incredible. You can put your hand down. Father, I wanna thank you
for every single person who’s made that decision today to start a relationship with you. I pray, Lord, that this
would be the first day of the rest of their eternal life. And I pray it in the name of Jesus, amen. – Here at Sandals Church
we really do believe that this vision of being
real can change the world because Sandals Church is a nonprofit that operates from donations
from people like you. Because when you donate, your
money goes to creating places for people to be real all over this world. So man, I would love for
you to be a part of that. And you can make a donation today by clicking the link on this
video or going to So join us and join what God is doing through this vision of being real, and have a great deal. (gentle music)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *