"The man's name was Don and he kept an unusually immaculate work bench. However, one winter he found out one of his drawers was in total disarray. There was junk all in one of his drawers. He got his little four year old who was kind of mischievous little kid and he shouted out his name, Bobby! Bobby came running in, he said, did you do this? And Bobby goes, yes sir. And he apologized."

Family Discussions:

  1. For what crimes were Peter and the apostles being punished in that day?
  2. What was their response to being flogged?
  3. Why is it important to rejoice in suffering?
  4. Can you give personal examples of suffering for your beliefs?

Transcription:

00:14 You know, it's amazing. Uh, when you read the history books. In fact you can't even find it in the new history books. But in the old history books, I mean really old history books of America to read the suffering of the guys and the women who built the United States of America and what they suffered for the name of Christ. I mean, what they suffered just because they believed in Jesus so much and they wanted his name to be proclaimed in this country forever and what they went through to get us where we are today. Well, it's even more exciting to look back at the early Christians and to see how much they suffered to take the name of Christ to the world. If it wouldn't have been for their suffering and their sacrifice, you and I wouldn't even know the name of Christ today. So here we are in that suffering.

01:00 We're in Acts chapter five and the courage of these men and these women is amazing in the early church. We're in verse 41. The apostles had been proclaiming the name of Jesus. They were warned. They continue to proclaim his name. So they were flogged. They were beaten with whips and it says in 41, "So they went on their way from the presence of the council rejoicing that they had been considered worthy of their suffering, their shame for his name, and every day in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching that Jesus was the Christ." I heard a, uh, a really cute story one time. Uh, and just such a tender story of somebody who suffered unjustly. The man's name was Don and he kept an unusually immaculate work bench. However, uh, one winter we've, when we found out one of his drawers was in total disarray.

02:01 The, there was junk all in one of his drawers. Uh, he got his little four year old who was kind of mischievous little kid and any, he shouted out his name, Bobby! Bobby came running in, he said, did you do this? And Bobby goes, yes sir. And he apologized. His daddy dawned with fumed and the father and the son clean the drawer together. The next day he found the same drawer in the same disarray. Bobby, he shouted again once again, the little kid came running with big scared eyes and once again they cleaned the drawer. On the third day, when the mess appeared again, little Bobby got a spanking. After Don had sent his son to his room and when went back out to the garage to rearrange the drawer. You can only imagine how he felt when he looked closely at the shreds of paper and the bits of string and the piece of grass, the strands of hair, and he discovered that they'd not been put there by son.

03:02 after all. For right in the center of that tangled hodgepodge was a nest of cute little mice. Don shook his head and begin the long trek to Bobby's room where he knew for the next hour he would sit on the edge of the bed drying tears and trying to explain the injustices of life to a four year old who had suffered quietly. You admire those who came before us, don't ya? you know, Acts is full of Christian persecution. For what crimes were Peter and the apostles being punished in that day? And, uh, what was their response to being flogged? And here's a third question. Why is it important to rejoice in suffering? And, um, even though you probably hadn't been beaten for being a Christian, can you give personal examples of suffering for your beliefs? And here's the thought for the day. Uh, you know, speaking the truth often brings persecution in today's world as a family, determine that you will always be true to God's word regardless of the potential persecution that may come upon you.

"I've got a good friend and I'm kind of a second dad to this friend. And she was one beautiful little girl. She trained in acting. She had an agent. She went to Hollywood. And you know what? She never really got a part other than a few little support parts because she wouldn't read the scripts. The scripts were full of trash and because of her good looks. They wanted to put her in movies and TV shows that honestly we're against her relationship with God."

Family Discussions:

  1. Can you think of a way in your life that you're not living honestly before God right now?
  2. What is it that God's telling you that you need to change in your life so that you can be truly honest with him?
  3. What about leaving a false impression? What about telling half of the truth and not all of the truth?
  4. What's God saying to your heart about that today?

Transcription:

00:14 I think today's passage is going to encourage you in one of the most difficult things in the whole wide world. The context is in the book of Acts. It's the days of the early church. And in that day, all the Christians had banded together because of all the pressure and they decided to give everything that they had. And they all begin to live off of the community wealth. And um, and here's what happens. And by the way, the issue on this one is not money. The issue is honesty. But in verse one it says this, "but a man named Ananias with his wife's Sapphira sold a piece of property and they kept back some of the price for himself with his wife's full knowledge. And bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles feet. But Peter said, and Ananias has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back some of the piece of the land while it remained unsold?

01:11 Did it not remain your own and after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God. And as he heard these words and Ananias fell down and breathe his last and great fear came over all who heard it? The young man got up and covered him up and after carrying him out, they buried him." Um, I admire honest people. I've got a good friend, in fact, I'm kind of a second dad to this friend. And she was one beautiful little girl. She trained in acting. She had an agent. She went to Hollywood. And you know what? She never really got a part other than a few little support parts because she wouldn't read the scripts. You know, the scripts were full of trash and because of her good looks, they wanted to put her in movies and TV shows that, um, that honestly we're against her relationship with God.

02:13 She just couldn't be honest and take those scripts. So she never got one. She eventually left Hollywood. And I don't think she has any regrets about that. I have another friend who is a very, uh, noted athlete. He was offered $100,000 by a beer company to do a commercial for their beer. And he said, I don't care what you pay me. I'm not doing a commercial for your beer. I don't like your beard. I don't believe in it. And I'm not going to do that. Um, I see kids, I mean, in fact, you know what? I see lots of kids in our sports camp. I mean, some of the kids that I had admired with all my heart. They'll be in a relationship. A girl being in a relationship with a guy, and they'll realize in the middle of the relationship that that relationship's not going to honor God.

02:57 And they'll go home and they'll break up with that person because they know that relationships not the truth. That relationship would be living a lie. Um, I think they're the heroes. I think they're the heroes of this country and the heroes of this world because they're going to tell the truth. They're going to tell the truth of their life, and they're going to tell the truth with the way they walk their talk. Let me ask you a question today. Can you think of a way in your life that you're not living honestly before God right now? Let the Holy Spirit examine your heart. And I know, man, if you, if you're like me, boy, you can just, uh, you can just be really honest with God and you don't have to fear one thing. Uh, what is it that God's telling you that you need to change in your life so that you can be truly honest with him?

03:46 And then let me ask you a more difficult question. What about leaving a false impression? You know, what about telling half of the truth and not all of the truth? Um, what's God saying to your heart about that today? And here's a lifeline today, uh, as you searched your heart, um, especially in your relationships with your family. Um, tell the truth with them. Be honest with them, even if it means that you're going to have to humble yourself and get on your knees and say you're sorry and watch over the long haul, those relationships heal.

"I remember hearing on the radio years ago at the great trial of Nuremberg and I believe was Adolf Eichmann, who was being tried for overseeing the murder of 6 million Jews during World War II. And his defense was this. He said, I obeyed the law of the flag and the law of my leader, which was Hitler. Well, there was a higher law and he may have obeyed the law of the state, but there was a higher law."

Family Discussions:

  1. Have you ever had a chance to obey the higher law when the law of peer pressure or the law of culture told you that you ought to do something else and disobey God?
  2. How did they feel for you when you did that?

Transcription:

00:14 Okay. If you feel like a Christian that is in a hostile world, you're going to be encouraged by this. Today we're in Acts chapter four, and we're in verse 16. Peter and John, um, as we were yesterday, they're still in this trial. They've healed this guy or Christ as healed this guy through them. And now they're, uh, they're in the middle of, of a trial and they're going to prison and the Jewish leaders are asking them to shut up, be quiet, quit talking about Jesus. But here's what they're gonna do. The Sanhedrin is speaking, saying, "what should we do with these men for the fact that a note worthy miracle has taken place through them, is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem and we cannot deny it, but so that will not spread any further among the people. Let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.

01:06 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach it all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, whether it is right in the sight of God or to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge of that for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard." I remember hearing on the radio years ago at the, you know, the great trial of Nuremberg and I believe was Adolf Eichmann, who had, who was being tried for overseeing the murder of 6 million Jews during World War II. And his defense was this. He said, I obeyed the law of the flag and the law of my leader, which was Hitler. Well, there was a higher law and he may have obeyed the law of the state, but there was a higher law.

02:03 Now, folks, I believe with all my heart that we're suppose to obey the law of the state, but sometimes there's a higher law. Sometimes there's a higher law. Um, you know what I admire? I admire unwed moms who are pregnant. And even though the law says they can waltz into that little clinic and for maybe three or four or $500 they can have someone kill that baby. But they know there's a higher law and even though they may have to give that child up for adoption to a wonderful home that's waiting for that child and to give that child a home or they may have to go through, you know, nine months of pregnancy in a difficult childbirth. They know there's a higher law and I admire so much because they have the child and they give the child away for adoption.

02:53 There's a higher law, you know, I admire guys who are in locker rooms when the law says, you know, it's, it's, you know, wrong to pray publicly. You know, in a public place in the name of Jesus. I think that law's misinterpreted, but that's how some people interpret the law and they'll pray anyway. You see guys, you know that I know on the football fields, they'll catch a touchdown pass, they'll throw a touchdown pass and man, they know there's a higher law and they'll give glory to Christ no matter what. I even see people in the entertainment industry who proclaimed the name of Christ in a hostile entertainment world and they'll get up there and they'll win that trophy, that Oscar, that Emmy award. And they'll give, they'll give credit to Jesus in front of everybody because they know there's a higher law.

03:36 There may be a law of, of the culture, but they know there's a higher law. I loved it when Timmy Tibow was playing for Florida. He put those patches under his eyes. It would say John 3:16 or Philippians 4:13, because he knew there was a higher law. We had a kid, our camp named, uh, uh, Derek Peak and he would write Philippians 4:13 on his wristband. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He had a higher law. I remember one of our little cheerleaders at our camp. She wrote, I'm third on her cheerleading uniform. And before the season was over, she had all the cheerleaders writing that on their uniform, God first, others second. And I'm third. Heard about some students in California. It was wrong to pray. The law said you can't pray at the commencement. So they all the Christian kids started sneezing in the commencement and everybody will say, God bless you.

04:25 God bless you. God bless you. They had a way to start praying. A one student even rented an airplane with Jesus loves you flying behind the tail of the airplane in this outdoor commencement service, there's a higher law and you know what? Whatever you're doing, whatever you're doing, yeah, we want to obey the law, but more than anything else, we want to obey the higher law. What a great example of Peter was of that. Um, let me ask you a question today. Have you ever had a chance to obey the higher law when the law of peer pressure or the law of culture told you that you ought to do something else and disobey God?

05:03 How did they feel for you when you did that? And here's the lifeline today. In your mind and your heart, purpose that no matter what the cost, you're going to always obey the higher law and watch what God does in during your lifetime.

"Two years ago at one of the events I was speaking at, one of the most powerful leaders in the world came and um, and I had began to carry on a conversation with this man. And at the end of the conversation I gave this man a great big hug because he needed one."

Family Discussions:

  1. Would you give the rest of your life for one person to come to Christ?
  2. Would you give your position?
  3. Would you give your popularity if just one person came to Christ?

Transcription:

00:14 Hey, of all the people that I admire, the ones I admired the most are men and women of courage. This is one of the most courageous scenes in scripture and I hope it encourages you today. We're in Acts chapter four and we're looking at verse 10 through 12 and the context of what's going on today, you know, Peter and John had just healed or Christ had healed this man who had been lame from birth. And so they drew all kinds of attention. The next thing they know, they're in a trial and they're about to go to prison. Um, so Peter testifies this. You talk about courage. This guy's fixing to lose it all and he stands up in front of them and he says, 'let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. By this name, this man stands here before you in good health. He talking about Jesus is the stone which was rejected by you. The builders, but which became the chief cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.'

01:30 Don't want to give any names. But, um, two years ago at one of the events I was speaking at, one of the most powerful leaders in the world came and um, and I had began to carry on a conversation with this man. And at the end of the conversation I gave this man a great big hug because he needed one. And, and then I just, I just looked him in the eyes and I said, well, then go represent Jesus. Go represent Jesus. And this particular world leader, um, went out and in about more ways than I can count begin to, uh, begin to do everything he could to undermine, uh, the teachings of Jesus. And, um, and, and the principles of scripture. You know what man? It is not your title or your position that's going to be respected by men. You know, it's not the, the learning and the knowledge.

02:25 It's not your position as captain of the team. It's not your position as CEO of the company. It's not going to be your position of power that's going to impress God, but it's going to be the way that you represent Christ. And you know what? I can't point my finger at that man or really anybody else. I've got to point my finger at me. Um, and I hope you have the courage today to do the same thing. Um, you know, representing Jesus. Um, it's the most important thing in the world. You know, it ain't what we know. It ain't how big we are. It ain't how much money we have. But it's how much people see a Christ in us. Because you know what, in about a trillion years, that's all it's going to matter. I remember when I first got leukemia, I was on my way to speak to 10,000 men in Providence, Rhode Island in a hockey arena.

03:16 And God asked me a question when I was in the shower about to go out and speak. He said, Joe, would you give the last 30 years of your life for one guy to come to Christ tonight? Toughest question I've ever been asked. And you know, being selfish, I didn't want it. I didn't want to, I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to give the last 30 years of my life and say, God, take me out now. Let the cancer kill me. That one man might relate to my sickness tonight and come to Christ. But then I saw that man in heaven a trillion years from now. I saw in my mind, and I said, God, absolutely. If I have to give 30 years that one guy could come to Christ tonight, take it. You can take it all for one guy.

03:51 Well, that night, about 6,000 men came to the cross. It was the most fun nights of my life. Would you give the rest of your life for one person to come to Christ? Would you give your position? Would you give your popularity if just one person came to Christ? Well, Peter was willing to do that and that's why we're still talking about him today. And here's the lifeline today. Here's what you think about. In your family, in your home, in your business, are you willing to give it all? We were willing to lay down your life for one? Lay down your life may mean saying you're sorry. Laying down your life may mean saying to that person sitting next to you right now. Will you please forgive me? I'm committed to you. To love you like Jesus would.

"What would you do if I gave you a million dollar bill? Would you be pretty excited about that? Well, it's not a real one, but, uh, my grandkids had me get it for them the other day and I've got to put this in an envelope and send this to them." 

Family Discussions:

  1. When's the last time you shared Christ with someone?
  2. When was the last time you were in seat 34B? Described that experience, can you?
  3. Do you know anyone who's speeding towards hell right now?
  4. What's your strategy to help them slow down and to give their heart to Christ?

Transcription:

00:14 What would you do if I gave you a million dollar bill? Would you be pretty excited about that? Well, it's not a real one, but, uh, my grandkids had me get it for them the other day and I've got to put this in an envelope and send this to them. But, uh, I want to talk about the greatest gift of all. We're an Acts chapter three in verse 17 and 18. And, and just in context, Peter and John had just healed the first guy after they'd received the Holy Spirit. The power of God in them healed this man who had been crippled his whole life. Now you guys, Peter could have run for office that day. He could have, he could have taken the presidency. I mean, people were gathering around him and ready to proclaim him as God. But, uh, properly so Peter did what he should have done.

01:05 It says this, and 17. He said, "and now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance just as your rulers did also with the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets that his Christ would suffer. He has now fulfilled. All the things that were announced before that Christ would suffer. He has now fulfilled." Peter just proclaimed Jesus because to him it was more important than any title or office position in the whole wide world. You know, what? Of all the most exciting memories of my life or when, you know, God allowed me to do that. I was just thinking about one a minute ago. I was delayed on an air flight, was supposed to be flying from New York to my home in Missouri and, and we were, uh, sitting on a different plane through Orlando, Florida. And I knew in my heart that God had a reason for that delay.

02:03 Uh, even though it was going to be three hours out of the way. While I was in seat 34B. And sure enough, next to me in 34A, uh, there was a woman there, she was a business woman and she was a consultant. Brilliant lady. And she was on her way to consult for some businesses in Orlando. I just kind of started, uh, you know, reading this little Bible that I carry around with me. And, um, and somehow she became curious in what I was doing. I forget the question she asked me but I said, I said, do you ever think about spiritual things? And she started talking about her new age faith and how she was steeped in the new age faith that she was one with God and that you know, that everything was God and she didn't need Jesus.

02:43 And, and, and as she began to tell me her whole story, what happened was, was that when she was 12 years old, she went to her, uh, uh, church experience. And the guy who was leading the church, she kind of confessed your sins to this church leader. He said, you know what, if you sin before you return for your next confession time, he said, you know, you could die and go to hell. So be sure and come back next week. Well, it scared that little girl so bad that if she died between her confession times that she could go to hell. She went out on the front porch, that church to kill herself, but she was too afraid to do that. So she just ran from the church and ran into the new age philosophy. Well, all I did was just turned to this little verse in the Bible in Second Corinthians 5:21 and I handed my bible to her and she read this.

03:35 "God made Jesus who knew no sin became sin on my behalf, that I might become the righteousness of Christ in him." And then I turned to Ephesians 2:8-9 and I handed it to her and she read it. It said, "by grace you've been saved through faith and not of yourself. It's a gift of God that no one should boast." Now I turned to John 1:12. And I handed it to her and she read, "but to as many as received him to them, he gave the right to become children of God." And folks, 30 years of anger at God, 30 years of fear. Improper fear of God melted away in those three or four Bible verses. And that lady for the first time in her life saw the gift of grace. And you know what? I got to pray by that lady that day.

04:30 And um, you know what? Um, it's the greatest gift I could have given her and, and you know what you've got your seat34B. You're in seat 34B right now. You know, you're in class somewhere and you're in seat 34B and in 34A there's someone sitting right next to you that needs the gift of grace. You know, you're out there in the marketplace working. There's somebody in your company right now sitting in seat 34A and you, you get a chance to give them something that's a whole lot more than a million bucks. You get to give them the gift of eternal life. Go for it. Here's the questions for today. When's the last time you shared Christ with someone? When was the last time you were in seat 34B? Described that experience, can you? And then let me ask you this. Do you know anyone who's speeding towards hell right now? What's your strategy to help them slow down and to give their heart to Christ? And then here's a great thing to do today. Find somebody to share Christ with. Begin to pray for them and, and, uh, and ask God to give you the opportunity to share with him the greatest gift you could give them.

"You may be like the boy that I just met last summer camp. Kid's 13 years old. He was watching CNN and he saw an orphanage on the network and he goes, "you know what? I'm going to build an orphanage in Africa."" 

Family Discussions:

  1. What do you have to give in the name of Christ?
  2. What do you have to give besides your money?
  3. What are you going to do with what you've got to give to glorify Jesus?

Transcription:

00:14 Hey, if you ever wondered what the world would be like or even what your world would be like if Christmas was 365 days out of the year? Well, um, it can be. Look at chapter three of Acts. Starting in verse one, and it says this "Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer, and a man who had been lame from his mother's womb was being carried along whom they used to sit down every day at the gate of the temple, which is called beautiful in order to beg alms for those who are entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. But Peter along with John fixed his gaze upon him and said, look at us. And he began to give him their attention, expecting to receive something from them.

01:07 But Peter said, I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give you in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk." Man, it's like a root canal. It's like a spinal tap. It's like an ulcer, a tax audit, you know, pain is inevitable. But to probably, you know, to probably a whole lot of people sitting in church, there are few things as painful as listening to the preacher talk about, you know, giving your money, you know, to the church and, and you know, what's interesting about the sermons that, you know, that preachers have to give about giving money, they probably are harder for them than they are for us. But it's not that the preachers trying to make it, you know, personal gains, I don't believe that. I believe that he's just sharing the Word of God.

01:57 Um, you know, it's our obligation to give and not always obligation to give. It's our obligation to give it joyfully. I don't know anything more exciting, I mean, I really don't know anything more exciting than to take the stuff that God's given you. You know, whether it's your finances or whether it's your talent or whether it's your, you know, your, your sweat equity that you can bring to something, I don't know anything better than giving yourself away for the cause of Christ. There's nothing more joyful than that. There's nothing better than feeding orphans. There's nothing in this world better than putting clothes on people who don't have any clothes. There's nothing better than sacrificing in the name of Christ for folks who don't have as much. And you know what? You may have a lot of money and you may be able to give a lot.

02:43 And if you do, man, have fun giving it or you may be like the boy that I just met last summer camp. Kid's 13 years old. He was watching CNN and he saw an orphanage on the network and he goes, you know what? I'm going to build an orphanage in Africa. I'm serious. The kid's 13 years olds. True Story. He put up three lemonade stands and all weekend it, through the winter started working those lemonade stands. Except he would give the lemonade away. But he let people make a donation for his dream for an orphanage. Well he got a lot of donations. In fact, he got $46,000 in donations and then people who donate continue to donate. He's built this first orphanage for 20 orphans in Africa. And now he dreams to have two more. I remember one girl who didn't have a whole lot of money to our camp, but she grew her hair almost down to her waist.

03:34 And then she went to the hair place and they cut all of her hair off and made a wig for a girl who had cancer and was bald and didn't have any hair. Boy, there's a lot of ways to give alms, you know, silver and gold have I none. But what I have, I'm going to give Ya, cause what I've got is Jesus. Let me ask you a couple of questions today. You know, what do you have to give in the name of Christ? Think about it. I mean, besides this, and you know what? Even if it's a quarter, put it in the piggy bank, you know, after a year

04:10 to a lot. Uh, but, but what do you have to give besides your money? And I ask you today to make a point, make a plan. What are you going to do with what you've got to give to glorify Jesus? And, and, and here's the lifeline for the day. It's in giving that we receive. It's in dying that we receive eternal life.

"A little girl that day as she received the grace, the love, the complete peace of God. She just received the peace of God in her heart. A few nights later, we were doing our youth rally called K-Life. And she said, "I want to get baptized. When can you do it?" And I said, "right now.""

Family Discussions:

  1. If you've been baptized tell everybody that's in your family, what that experience was like for you.
  2. If someone asks you to explain baptism to them, what would you say?
  3. Why are the words repent and be baptized often linked together?
  4. In the Greek language, the Greeks use the word Baptiso for baptism which meant the dying of a garment where they would baptize or Baptiso a white garment into the red dye and the garment would come out red to taking on the properties of the dye. What does this insight give you into the baptism of you Christ?

Transcription:

00:13 Hey, I want to tell you about the best night of my life over the last 365 days. It's a night I will never forget as long as I live. But first I want to read you Acts Chapter two in verse 37 through 41 and it says this, "Now, when they heard this, they were pierced to their heart and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, brethren, what shall we do? Peter said to them, repent and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you'll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, for the promise is for you and your children. And for all who are far off as many as the Lord God will call to himself. And with many other words, he solemnly testified and kept exhorting them, saying, be saved from this perverse generation.

01:05 So then those who received his word were baptized and they were added that day, about 3000 souls." Best Day of the year for me, um, this precious girl at our sports Kamps at Kanakuk. Uh, she was a ninth grader. She was a virgin. She had been raped by a senior and worse than that, um, um, he told a whole lot of his friends about it and it had just broken her little heart. It had wrecked her world. But, um, but there at Kamp, she and her counselor. And I, uh, you know, did some counseling. That precious girl allowed Christ to fill that broken place in her heart. And, and I saw literally, I saw this girl come alive. It was a second Corinthians chapter five verse 21 where it says that Christ became our rape. He became our brokenness. He became our sin. Whatever it was, he became our pain so that we might become the righteousness of Christ.

02:06 And that little girl that day as she received the grace, the love, the complete peace of God. Although she was totally a victim, it wasn't her fault at all. Um, but she just received the peace of God in her heart. A few nights later, we were doing our, our youth rally called K-Life. And, and she said, I want to get baptized. When can you do it? And I said, right now. And, and so she grabbed her counselor and we jumped on a four wheeler road down the hill and waited out to Table Rock Lake. Uh, because that girl wanted to be baptized for her, for her newly found faith in Christ. And, and you know what? The night was dark, but there were stars all over the sky and she and her counselor, and I were standing there in waist deep water. And, um, this is a true story.

02:51 As dark as the sky was just before I baptize that precious girl, the moon, and I'm talking about the most beautiful, full orange moon you ever in your life lifted out of the trees on that little Ozark mountain side that made the lake that we were standing in and the moon and the moon. We just stood there and watched the moon rise and the reflection of the moonlight just glittered on the water and danced on her face. It was the most beautiful wedding I've ever seen in my life. Y'All, when a believer, you know, gives, gives his heart to Christ. You know that believer's baptize in the name of Jesus and, and you know what all over the world today, in fact, our missionary friends tell us that 176,000 at least new believers in Christ are baptized in some pool, some pond, some lake, some river, some church in this world, every single day.

03:45 You know, we're, we're baptized because Jesus asks us to be baptized. We're baptized in water as a symbol of the Holy Spirit, baptizing our heart into Christ. Cause when you're baptized into Christ, you're placed into the family of God. It's like in the water. The old you dies and everything that you were, stays in the water. It's like the water washes your sins. And when you come out of the water, it represents your new life in Christ. You know, if you've never been baptized in Christ, then men, you know, go to your pastor and get him to do that with you. But if you have go back to that day and live like you're walking with the full moon shining. Man, the moon is rising on your life today. And the reminder of God's reflection of his beauty is everywhere inside of you. You're the bride of Christ. You've been baptized into that.

04:41 Here's my question is for you today. Hey, if you've been baptized tell everybody that's in your family, what that experience was like for you. And if, if, if someone asks you to explain baptism to them, what would you say? And, and then this, why are the words repent and be baptized often linked together. This is a great question and repent and be baptized. Why? Why are those words often linked together? And, and, and then, and then in, in the Greek language, the Greeks use the word Baptiso for baptism, which, which meant the dying of a garment where they would baptize or Baptiso a white garment into the red dye and the garment would come out red to taking on the properties of the dye. What does this insight give you into the baptism of you Christ? And then the lifeline is this, uh, you know, there may be somebody in your family or in your world, still is not been baptized. Uh, pray about it. Kind of set a date with your pastor and then your whole family can join the event.

"Do you feel like you want to see the world change? Do you ever feel like you want to see your world change? Do you ever feel like you want to see your family change? Is there a relationship in your life that you want to see change?"

Family Discussions:

  1. How do you think it felt for those early Christians when they were so filled with the spirit that people even thought they were drunk because they were so consumed with his love and his joy and his laughter?
  2. With Peter responded their accusation, why do you think 3000 people came to Christ?
  3. Why do you think tens of thousands of people became Christians in the first generation of those people?
  4. How do you think the Holy Spirit can speak through you today in the situation that you're in with your life?

Transcription:

00:14 Do you feel like you want to see the world change? Do you ever feel like you want to see your world change? Do you ever feel like you want to see your family change? Is there a relationship in your life that you want to see change? Uh, and I'm talking about change for the better. Well, um, today we're going to help with that. In fact, hopefully we're going to help a lot. We're in Acts chapter two and we're going to start with verse one and it says this, "and when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place and suddenly there came from heaven, a noise like a violent rushing wind. And it filled the whole house where they were sitting and there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves and they rested on each one of them and they were all filled with the holy spirit and to begin to speak in other tongues in other languages because the spirit was giving them utterances."

01:03 Let me paint the picture for you. Jesus had died. He had resurrected from the dead. He had left them to ascend, to be with the father. He had promised them that he was going to send his spirit to live in their hearts. And now they're all gathered together. The disciples are there and it says that there are men gathered with them. It was Passover, the Jews from every nation. It says in this chapter under heaven, and because they were all given languages by the Holy Spirit, it says the, they all, every single man from every nation that was there, they heard the mighty deeds of God spoken in their language. I mean Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, every, you know, African dialect that was represented there, each heard the spirit speaking through these men in their language. No wonder 3000 people were saved that day. No wonder they saw God.

02:03 You know what? Um, the language of the Holy Spirit is also in the fruit of the spirit. You know, the language of the Holy Spirit is also love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self control. Hey, I believe with all my heart, if God wanted you to speak French, just like that, he could give you that language. If it was going to be to his glory. I believe God could do anything. He did it then he can do it now. But you know what? I also believe that that you can, you can change the most difficult relationship in your home today. When the Holy Spirit gives you the language of the fruit of the spirit, and that's his love. You know, I believe that you can change the most difficult relationship in your school. I believe you could change the most difficult relationship in your neighborhood or in your, uh, you know, in your company that you're working in.

02:52 If the spirit of God begins to speak his language through you to somebody else. You think Moses really raised his staff one day and the Red Sea parted. Well, I do. And I think the things that God did then God can do now. But I believe when Jesus said, you're going to even do greater things than I did. I believe the Red Sea could part any day that God wants it to and he's going to use you to part the Red Sea. When you see the Sea of lust taking over your mind, allow God to fill you with the Holy Spirit and watch him part the Red Sea. When you, when you see, you know, Satan putting you know, bitterness in your mind for somebody else or worry in your mind or fear in your mind, watch God raise the staff and part the Red Sea. When he gives you forgiveness and peace because your little heart is filled with the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit of God is literally God.

03:51 He's the one who spoke and the whole cosmos, which was created, and he lives in your heart and as he lives in your heart, He can feel your heart. He can dominate your heart. And with Christ, it says in scripture, all things are possible. So today, uh, ask him, say, God, fill me with your spirit. Take the place of everything that's going on in my life. I want to speak the language of your spirit and watch your world change. Here's the questions for you today. How do you think it felt for those early Christians when they were so filled with the spirit that people even thought they were drunk because they were so consumed with his love and his joy and his laughter? And then with Peter responded their accusation, why do you think 3000 people came to Christ? And more importantly, as the disciples went own in their ministry, why do you think tens of thousands of people became Christians in the first generation of those people? And then lastly and most importantly, how do you think the Holy Spirit can speak through you today in the situation that you're in with your life? And then here's the lifeline for the day. Um, thank God for giving you the Holy Spirit and then, and then ask the spirit to guide you today and to lead you in the most difficult thing in your life. Watch. Watch the change that happens.

"I heard an old country friend of mine say one time, "you know, there's only three things you need in life. Duct tape, wd 40 and Jesus." Well, I suppose that's true because Jesus is included."

Family Discussions:

  1. How did Jesus' departure make you stronger than even if he was standing by your side?
  2. How is the force similar to our faith? But how is the force of star wars different than our faith?
  3. What difference does it make in your life today that Jesus is praying for you?
  4. What difference does it make in your life today that Jesus, is building a mansion for you?
  5. What difference does it make in your life today that Jesus is allowing his spirit to live inside of you?

Transcription:

00:14 I heard an old country friend of mine say one time, you know, there's only three things you need in life. Duct tape, wd 40 and Jesus. Well, uh, I suppose that's true because Jesus is included. You want power? You want authority? You want strength? You want courage? Hey, get into this devotional a day and you're going to find it. It's from Acts chapter one verses nine through 11. Jesus and disciples are on the Mount of olives and he's about to be taken away. It's called the ascension. And here's here it goes, Luke is writing. He says, "after he had said these things, he was lifted up while they were looking on and behold, a cloud received him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while he was departing, behold two men in white clothing stood beside them. And they also said, men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky?

01:06 This Jesus who's been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you've watched him go into heaven." My little grandson, Dax, uh, who are loved so much. He is a big time star wars fan. And uh, you know, I remember in the first star wars movie, you know, where, I think Obi wan is talking to you know, Darth Vader and he says, if you kill me I'll be stronger. And, and what he's talking about is this new age idea about the force. May the force be with you, whatever. And of course it's, it's, it's a new age concept. It is absolutely useless. But there's something similar to that. Although this one is true where Jesus said to his disciples, I'm not going to leave you as orphans in John 14. He said, I'm going to come to you in a little while.

01:52 He said, the world will behold me no more, but you will behold me because I live. You shall live. Also in that day he's talking about he said, I will be in the father and you will be in me and I will be in you. He's talking about the Holy Spirit and you know what? The Holy Spirit, which of course is the spirit of God, is who you receive when Christ comes into your life. And, and y'all, you talk about motivation, you talk about power, you talk about hope. Now check this out. When Jesus went to be with the father, three things happen on that day. One, he went into the construction business because he said in John 14, he said, I'm going to go prepare a place for you. I'm going to go to prepare a mansion for you. The second thing that he did on that day is he begin a work in your life through the Holy Spirit.

02:45 And the third thing he did that day, he went to be with God. And as Romans eight says, he began to pray for you. He began to pray for you all the time. What would you do if Jesus came back and he literally, uh, begin to hold your hand and began to walk with you every where you went? You think you'd be powerful? You think you could be strong? You think you could overcome temptation? And what if Jesus was right over there? Next you and you saw him on his knees praying for you all the time? You think things in your life would change? You think your attitude would change? You think your faith will change? And then, man, what if, what if every morning you and I woke up and we saw this mansion, this mansion in heaven, that's going to be yours forever.

03:33 that he had personally built for you, what do you think? You think our life would change if those three things were reality in our life? Well I'll tell you something, they are. They're reality in your life. So here's the questions today, how did Jesus' departure make you stronger than even if he was standing by your side? And then in kind of a crazy way. How is the force similar to our faith? But how is the force of star wars different than our faith? And then what difference does it make in your life today that Jesus is praying for you? What difference does it make in your life today that Jesus, is building a mansion for you? And what difference does it make in your life today that Jesus is allowing his spirit to live inside of you and the lifeline for today is this live today in the power of his presence and watch what happens.

April 19, 2019

Simply Wait - Acts 1:4-9

"I gotta tell you my favorite days over the past few years have been going up to school to my grandkids and always go by McDonald's. Get in line and get a happy meal and take it to the school and have lunch with these kids."

Family Discussions:

  1. Why is waiting on God's so amazingly different?
  2. Why is it so much better to wait on God's timing?
  3. When a person receives Christ as savior and Lord, how does he know the Holy Spirit has come in to him? How did you even know?
  4. What's the evidence in your life that God is in your heart?

Transcription:

00:14 I gotta tell you my favorite days over the past few years have been going up to school to my grandkids and always go by McDonald's. Get in line and uh, get a happy meal and take it to the school and have lunch with these kids. Um, y'all were fixing to get into this book in the Bible. That is phenomenal. It is an awesome book. It's the book of acts today is going to talk about waiting. Um, and, and what waiting can do if you wait in the right way. It's acts chapter one, and we're looking at verse four through nine. It says this, "In gathering them together, he commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the father had promised, which he said, you heard from me, you know, y'all, Jesus has resurrected there on the Mount of olives. He's about to ascend to be with the father.

01:03 And He's speaking to the disciples. He said this for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. And so when they had come together, they were asking him saying, Lord, is this the time you're restoring the kingdom to Israel? He said to them, it's not for you to know the times or the part, which the father fixed in his own authority, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be my witnesses, both in Jerusalem, Judea, Sameria, and to the most parts of the earth. And after he had said these things, he was lifted up from them. And behold, while they were looking on a cloud, received him out of their sight. Waiting." Uh, I am the world's worst. Waiting at Mcdonald's for the happy meal, uh, waiting at the red light, waiting on God's promises.

01:57 Uh, Hey, what about you? Is Waiting on God for a strength? Is that a strength for you or is that a weakness for you? Ah, man, the disciples were weary from the long years of political unrest that dawned on Israel with each new day. Now their allegiance to their risen savior brought new tensions into their lives. Who would be the next to go to the Roman cross? They wanted to, they wanted an in to it all. Stop it. Come back now Jesus set up your kingdom and let us rule with you. They were saying. His reply to them was simply, wait, we don't God. That's all you need to know. I told you I'll be back. I told you my very spirit would come to live inside of you. Now wait, believe and wait growing up without a following requires lots of believe in wait time, doesn't it?

02:52 Uh, the Bible says sex is for marriage only. So wait, it's so much better that way. Getting high comes through knowing your, your God's and God is yours and, and he's going to be there in all your circumstances. Getting high comes when you hold your hands and a pure relationship. Getting high comes when you fall in love righteously. Really getting high comes when you put joy from God in your life. Getting high is when you leave the chemicals and the alcohol alone. Getting high is when you wait. Really getting highs when you believe and wait. You know, God repeats the message in our inner hearts over and over again in so many ways. Every day doesn't make any, you know, every time we listen, we're blessed. You know, every time we rushed to the front of the line and try to take a short cut on purity or shortcut on, you know, stuff we're supposed to wait on.

03:47 Every time we, we rush the front line, we get hurt. Which, you know what? The disciples are waited. And God came through. Those guys went out and turned the world upside down. Everything good is worth the wait. And, and here's the questions for today. Why is waiting on God's so amazingly different? And, and why is it so much better to wait on God's timing? And then this question, When a person receives Christ as savior and Lord, how does he know the Holy Spirit has come in to him? How did you even know? What's the evidence in your life that God is in your heart? Part of the evidence is going to be waiting. So today, uh, ask the Holy Spirit to empower you today to wait on God's best for everything in your life.

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