"I have a little friend, her name is Jenna and she's a hero. This precious girl for decades has suffered from deteriorating sinuses. She has probably not had a healthy day in her life for 20 years. In fact, on a regular basis maybe annually they have to come in and peel her skin down off her face and go into her sinuses and do work on her sinus cavities. And then to make matters worse, she has a horrible two year battle with hepatitis. And then she had a terrible personal, but terrible tragedy happened in her life. It was so hideous and so wrong. But every time I talked to Jenna, she's filled with joy."

Family Discussions:

  1. Can you recall a recent storm in your life and how do you normally act to the wind and the waves?
  2. Call attention to a fellow family member or to a friend who was faithful to God in a recent stormy period and compliment that family member or that friend for how they handled it.
  3. Why is faith in the storm so important for us to live and to learn?

Transcription:

00:13          Hey, this is an awesome devotional today from an awesome passage in scripture. This is just fantastic. This is a day when Jesus took his 12 followers, his disciples, on a little boat ride that they'll never ever forget. And as my friend and my mentor, Dr. Howard Hendrick says, "it's one thing to have the boat in the water, but it's something else to have water in the boat.' This was the day the boat was filled with water. We're looking at Mark chapter four verse 35. On the memorable date. He said, "when evening came, Jesus said to them, his disciples let us go over to the other side of the lake. So leaving the crowd, they took him along with them in the boat just as he was, and other boats were with him. And there arose a fierce Gale of wind and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus himself was in the stern asleep on the cushion, and they woke him and said to him, teacher, do you not care that we're perishing? And he got up and he did something amazing. He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, hush, be still. And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And Jesus said to them, why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
 
01:37          You know, I have a little friend, her name is Jenna and she's a hero. This precious girl for decades has suffered from deteriorating sinuses. She has probably not had a healthy day in her life for 20 years. In fact, on a regular basis maybe annually they have to come in and peel her skin down off her face and go into her sinuses and do work on her sinus cavities. And then to make matters worse, she has a horrible two year battle with hepatitis. And then she had a terrible personal, but terrible tragedy happened in her life. It was so hideous and so wrong. But every time I talked to Jenna, she's filled with joy. She's filled with peace. She's filled with happiness. I mean, what a blessing that girl is. And she's gone through more pain and more suffering than I think almost anybody that I know.
 
02:34          And so I called Jenna, said, Jenna, you know, how can you stay? How does your faith stay so strong? Why aren't you complaining? And she said this to me. She said, I have reckon my life is a fight. I can either fight God or I can fight to make good out of it. She said, I have chosen the latter. I consider the pain I face very small in comparison to the great things God is doing with my life. She says, my emotions make me mad or sad or depressed, but I've got to override my emotions and stop and think what is true. The truth is that my life is his and he is a faithful father no matter what. And I can always say every day, I love God. You know what? Jenna had one step up on the disciples the day they stepped into the boat with Jesus. You know, storms don't destroy a Christian's faith. They test it. They strengthen it. Thank you Jenna, for passing the test and showing us that no matter how big the storm is, that we find ourselves in, Jesus is always in the boat.
 
03:49          And here's the questions for today. Can you recall a recent storm in your life and how do you normally act to the wind and the waves? And the second question is this. Everyone, if you're in a family right now or your business location, wherever you are, call attention to a fellow family member or to a friend. If you're studying this together, a friend who was faithful to God in a recent stormy period and compliment that family member or that friend for how they handled it. And then here's the third one. Why is faith in the storm so important for us to live and to learn? And the thought for today is this. The family, the home is the place that if it's done, like Jenna, can calm the mini storms on this earth.

"I've got a really good friend that I admire a lot. His name is Neal Jeffrey, and when Neal was born, he had a speech impediment that made him stutter profusely. He also was a great athlete. In fact, he was the quarterback of a great team in Kansas city, but Neal couldn't call the plays."

Family Discussions:

  1. Why are you such a tiny seed of faith, such a powerful thing?
  2. Describe the most received faith that you possess in your heart. What's it like in you?
  3. How can you take that mustard seed that is in you and fertilize it with the Word of God?
  4. How can you fertilize it until it becomes a giant tree for God?

Transcription:

00:14          This is a great parable today. Jesus was so incredibly brilliant without a doubt the most brilliant man that ever lived. But he would tell these stories that would confound the wise. In fact, they do confound the wise even today. But they were so simple that even the youngest even the least can understand them. Today's parable, you've probably heard it's a great one. It's in Mark chapter four and it starts in verse 30 and here it goes. "And he said, how should we picture the kingdom of God or by what parable should we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which when sown upon the soil, the way it is smaller than all the other seeds in the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade."
 
01:11          I've got a really good friend that I admire a lot. His name is Neal Jeffrey, and when Neal was born, he had a speech impediment that made him stutter profusely. He also was a great athlete. In fact, he was the quarterback of a great team in Kansas city, but Neal couldn't call the plays. He would step up to the line and the running back would actually have to call the plays 'cause Neil could not say, "down, set, hut hut." He couldn't even call the plays in the huddle. The receiver would run on the field with a new play from the coach. He would step in the huddle and he would call the plays. And so Neil would just look around the huddle and smile at everybody. Walk up the line. He would take the snap, he would look at the nose guard in front of him, the nose tackle him and he would just grin at him and then all of a sudden that center would hiked the ball.
 
01:58          Well, you would think that that man would have never become successful. I mean, if you can't even get the words out of your mouth, guess what? Stirring a tiny seed of faith, stirring a little bitty mustard seed of faith in Neal Jeffrey's life. And I will tell you, he's one of the most magnificent teachers I've ever heard in my life. He ain't only played college football. He won the conference championship in college football. He went on to play professional football as a quarterback. Don't ever underestimate what faith can do.
 
02:28          I'm married to my hero. You know, Debbie Jo grew up without a dad. Her dad was killed when she was four years old. He was a test pilot for the Navy. A fabulous man. In their home, honestly, her brothers will tell you today was chaotic. There were drugs. Literally marijuana growing in their yard. Her Brothers had trouble with the law and they're magnificent guys today. But back then, drugs and alcohol were everywhere. And so picture this young, beautiful girl growing up in that house and you would probably say, you know what? That girl didn't have a chance. I mean, imagine what that girl would probably do with her life. Well, don't go too far because at age 15 that precious little girl in that home went to a Christian camp and she saw the crucifixion of Jesus and he came into her heart and he turned her life upside down. And that little girl has become one of the greatest spiritual heroes to me in the world. Teaches Bible studies to our staff. Teaches Bible studies to women in the neighborhood. They just come out by the dozens to hear her teach the word of God. Don't ever underestimate. Don't ever underestimate what a tiny speck of faith can do in your life or in the life of your home.
 
03:43          So here's the questions for today. Why are you such a tiny seed of faith, such a powerful thing? And the second question is this. Describe the most received faith that you possess in your heart. What's it like in you? And the third question will take it home. Listen to this. How can you take that mustard seed that is in you and fertilize it with the Word of God? How can you fertilize it until it becomes a giant tree for God? And here's the lifeline of this encouraging devotional. Home, family is the place were mustard seeds are planted and grown the best.

" Have you seen them? They are everywhere. There's enough of them in the air to eclipse the light of the sun. If they were all packed together. There are more of them than there are people that count them. There as many as snowflakes in a blizzard. What are those things? Seeds."

Family Discussions:

  1. Why does God compare his word to a little tiny seeds?
  2. How can a heart be a garden?
  3. How can your heart be a garden that produces the fruit of God?
  4. How can you make your home a garden just like that?

Transcription:

00:14          I call today's Bible study, "Little Bitty Seeds." And this is probably the most famous of all of Jesus' parables. Man, what a storyteller he was. And every time he told a story, it had some incredible heavenly meeting. This is the parable of the seeds and it's in Mark chapter four. And we're going to start with verse three. Jesus was speaking, he said this, listen to this. "Behold the sower went out into the field to sow. And as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road and the birds came in and ate it up. Others seeds fell on rocky soil and the ground around it did not have much soil. And immediately it spring up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scarce. And because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns and the thorns came up and choked it and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell into the good soil. And as it grew up and as it increased, it yielded a crop and it produced 30, 60, and a hundred fold."
 
01:21          Have you seen them? They are everywhere. There's enough of them in the air to eclipse the light of the sun. If they were all packed together. There are more of them than there are people that count them. There as many as snowflakes in a blizzard. What are those things? Seeds. Little tiny seeds and man, our nation is blessed with more seeds than any nation that ever lived. Almost every motel and hotel room in America has a book full of seeds. There's a Bible in a drawer. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thousands upon thousands of TV stations and radio stations across this country and literally around the world. They spread the seeds on invisible radio and television currents.
 
02:07          Man, the internet is proliferated with seeds. There's churches on almost every street corner in the country, like 453 denominations to be exact. If you can imagine that. But where are the gardens for the seeds to grow in? They don't seem to grow too well in Hollywood these days. Although I've got some friends out there in Hollywood who are very godly people and they give their career away not to appear in certain movies, but generally speaking, what comes out of Hollywood is not very good seeds. You know, there's many, many, many more R rated movies out today than there are G rated movies. There's more PG 13 movies that PG movies by far.
 
03:00          And then in the schools, man, the courts have kicked out the seeds in the schools. They kicked out prayer. The courts kicked out the 10 commandments. They kicked out and God, they've kicked the Bible out of schools. And then prime time television. Man, Oh man. Seeds don't grow well on prime time television anymore. The only mention of God you'll probably hear on most prime time television is when someone gets mad or someone gets scared and they scream out and God's name in vain. So, where did the seeds grow anymore? Where do you find God's seeds growing? And the answer is phenomenal. They grow in hearts like yours and they grow in homes like the home you're living in today. They grow when you push the world away and you say God, you are my God. You're the God of my home. You are welcome in this house and you're welcome in the house in which we live. You're in charge here, God. Grow here so that others can come and eat out of our garden.
 
04:01          Here's the questions for today. Why does God compare his word to a little tiny seeds? And second question is this. How can a heart be a garden? How can your heart be a garden that produces the fruit of God? And the third question is this. How can you make your home a garden just like that? And here's the thought for the day. Let's make this home that we live in the most fruitful garden in all creation.

"Last summer, a young man came up to me named Connor. Connor was a proclaimed agnostic. He says "I don't believe in God." And he was a brilliant young man. And I just handed him my watch. I said, "Hey Connor, how'd that watch get there?" And he said, "well, obviously somebody made it.""

Family Discussions:

  1. How do you describe the fatherhood of God?
  2. How does it make you feel when you grasp the thought that God calls you his family?

Transcription:

00:13          Everyday when I get to do these devotionals with you, I'll read a new verse and I'm like, "that is the greatest thing I've ever read in my life!". And you know what? It is the greatest thing I've read in my life because it comes from God's word. We're in Mark chapter three and Jesus says something astounding. In verse 33 of chapter three it says this, "And Jesus answered them and said, who are my mother and my brothers looking about at those who were sitting around him? He said, behold, my mother and my brothers, for whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and my sister and my mother."
 
00:54          You know what? I have some of the greatest conversations, you know, in events that I get to do and especially at our sports kamps. Last summer, a young man came up to me named Connor. Connor was a proclaimed agnostic. He says "I don't believe in God." And he was a brilliant young man. And I just handed him my watch. I said, "Hey Connor, how'd that watch get there?" And he said, "well, obviously somebody made it." And I said, "Connor, did you see somebody make that watch?" And he said no. And I said, "how do you know somebody made that watch?" He said, "Because obviously dude, somebody made that watch." And I said, "Connor, you're right. Because that watch has like five volumes of information. Somebody brilliant had to take all those volumes of information. They packed them into that watch." And then I pulled a little cell off the inside of my mouth.
 
01:41          In my old days, Microbiology has taught me that when you take a cell and you put it under microscope, there are 10 million volumes of information in that cell. And I said, "Connor, that's as much information is in the space shuttle with five computers and 2.5 million parts all packed into a cell of which you have a hundred trillion space shuttles in your body." I said, "so Connor, if you know that somebody made that somebody brilliant with five volumes of information, who made that cell?" And he said, "uh, it came from another cell.'" I said, "where'd that one come from?" He said, "it came from another cell." I said, "where'd that come from?" And he said, "from another cell." I said, "where did the original cell come from?" And he said, "God must've done that."
 
02:33          That night we were out into the stars. I was speaking to the kids about the majesty of God, and we were looking up at 100 billion galaxies with each over a hundred billion stars in each galaxy. I mean, God built it all. And science is literally on their knees today at God's magnificent creation. And Connor walks up to me after the presentation that night because in his heart he knew that that design had to have a designer, that that creation had to have a creator. And Connor came up to me in just cold honesty. He said, "so what's the point?" And I said, "Connor, the point is that God wants a family and God wants you to be in his family."
 
03:16          I have a picture here of my family in the early days, my precious wife, Debbie Jo, who I adore, and my four children years and years ago, and man, they were the happiest days of my life. Being a dad and a family is the greatest thing for me of all. But you know what? God wants a family and you know Jesus, no doubt he came to earth to let us observe the heart of God because Jesus' family consist of those who loved him enough, to accept him in his heart by faith, to love him and to live for him. And of all the people who ever lived, he chose you and gave you the grace to accept his invitation to come into your heart. So as a believer, welcome to the family. And don't ever forget that grateful kids honor and obey parents who love so generously. Only a fool can take that kind of love for granted.
 
04:17          Here's the question for today. How do you describe the fatherhood of God? And question two, how does it make you feel when you grasp the thought that God calls you his family? And a great thought for the day to take around with your day is this gratitude is shown by love and by obedience.
November 26, 2019

A House United - Mark 3:22-26

" I have more fun getting to be friends with Gary Smalley and he writes some of the greatest books I guess, that have ever been written on marriage. On how to build a husband-wife relationship that not only lasts, but that really gives glory to God along the way. Today Jesus' teaching in Mark chapter three verse 22 through 26 is brilliant about being in a relationship in a home and a family as a child, as a father, as a mother, as a husband, or as a wife. "

Family Discussions:

  1. Has Satan been speaking into your ears lately to cause strife in your heart towards a family member?
  2. As Christ forgave you, can you forgive them the same way?
  3. Will you forgive that person today and not let the sun go down on your anger again? A
  4. How can you, whether your husband or wife, grandmother, grandfather, son, or daughter, how can you contribute to a united family and a united home today?

Transcription:

00:14          I have more fun getting to be friends with Gary Smalley and he writes some of the greatest books I guess, that have ever been written on marriage. On how to build a husband-wife relationship that not only lasts, but that really gives glory to God along the way. Today Jesus' teaching in Mark chapter three verse 22 through 26 is brilliant about being in a relationship in a home and a family as a child, as a father, as a mother, as a husband, or as a wife. This is great day for Jesus when he calls out the rulers who accused him of something awful. We're in a chapter three and we're beginning with verse 22 and it says, "The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, he is possessed by Beelzebul. And he casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons. And so Jesus called them to himself and he began speaking to them in parables. And Jesus said this, how can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished."
 
01:33          You know what? It was extremely difficult to upset Jesus. He invented self-control. He invented peace and calmness under stress. This was a day, however, when the scribes kicked over the beehive to accuse the Holy Spirit that filled the savior to accuse him of being filled by the spirit of Satan was the final battle cry. Jesus' response was that their declaration was unforgivable. You know his line of defense was as a true and it was true then, and it's true today. A house divided against itself can never stand. That's why Satan will pull out all the stops to divide your house. The most powerful institution that God possesses on earth is a family. A home that is united in the love of Christ and sold out to follow him.
 
02:27          I see families like this all over America, in the world, families that are united in Christ, and they're like lighthouses to the community. So Satan whispers in your ear, you know, he says things like this, you know, your parents aren't being fair. Your little brother stole your flashlight. Your big sister called you a liar behind your back. You know, guys, your wife is not all she's meant to be. She's not all she supposed to be. Your husband makes the same mistakes over and over again. Have you heard his voice in your ear lately? And so list of accusations goes on and on for a lifetime. And you know what? If you listen to Satan and you begin to believe him. Then there's strife in your relationship. Then there's a wedge that forms between you and the person that you're mad at. And you know what? If left unchecked, that wedge becomes bitterness. It becomes anger. It becomes fighting. And eventually you have just the thing that Jesus said would never stand a divided house. So God's voice on the other channel in your ears says, Hey, forgive. God's voice says don't judge the other person in your home and your family. God's voice says, be patient. God needs a house united. It's your greatest lighthouse to your community.
 
03:44          So here's the questions today. Has Satan been speaking into your ears lately to cause strife in your heart towards a family member? And here's the second question to ponder. As Christ forgave you, can you forgive them the same way? Will you forgive that person today and not let the sun go down on your anger again? And then the last question is a big one. How can you, whether your husband or wife, grandmother, grandfather, son, or daughter, how can you contribute to a united family and a united home today? And here's the lifeline for today. Unite your family at all costs.

"My mind races back to some of my experiences in the prisons meeting inmates and guys and women who have literally been completely transformed by giving their life to Christ. I remember one that I didn't meet but it was an interview actually on Larry King Live and it was an interview of an inmate in Texas named Karla Faye Tucker. "

Family Discussions:

  1. What is Jesus saying to you when he says that new wine needs to be put in new wineskins?
  2. Why is it all too easy to put new wine into an old wine skin and to continue to live like a non-Christian when you call yourself a Christian?
  3. How does living in the flesh living coronally living in the world like everyone else?
  4. How does it damage the cause of Christ when you and I do call ourselves a Christian?

Transcription:

00:23          Hey, I can't wait to share this devotional passage with you today. This one is phenomenal and I know you're going to be able to relate to it like I do. We're in Mark chapter two at this great book in the greatest book of all time. The most historically accurate. The most scientifically accurate. Archeology has proved the Bible over and over again. Prophecy proves the Bible is undoubtedly, undoubtedly the Word of God. And in Mark chapter two, verse 21 and 22, Jesus makes this amazing statement. He says, "No one sows a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise the patch pulls away from it. The new from the old and a worse tear results. In the same way, no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the wine will burst the skins and the wine is lost and the skins as well. But one puts new wine into fresh wineskins."
 
01:22          You know what? 2 Corinthians 5:17 is a similar verse. It says, "If anyone is in Christ, he or she is a brand new creation. Old things are passed away. Behold, new things have come." I was just talking to a high school friend of mine the other day and you know what, three months ago this friend was trying to commit suicide. But I had the privilege and the joy of leading this friend to Christ and man, you talk about a change. One of the most joyful, happiest young men I've ever met in my life. Making straight A's in school, reconciling relationships with his mom and dad, and example to all of his friends. I mean, when he accepted Christ into his heart, it didn't make him a better person. It made him a brand new person.
 
02:09          My mind races back to some of my experiences in the prisons meeting inmates and guys and women who have literally been completely transformed by giving their life to Christ. I remember one that I didn't meet but it was an interview actually on Larry King Live and it was an interview of an inmate in Texas named Karla Faye Tucker. And this beautiful young woman was about to go to, I suppose, the electric chair because of a previous murder. When this woman years before had been in on a drug deal and she was heavily under the influence of drugs and in her craziness under drugs, she had been accomplished to a terrible, terrible crime and she was going to receive the death penalty for that. But on that day, on that interview with Larry King, it was the greatest witness for Christ on television. Honestly, I've ever seen in my life.
 
03:08          That woman was so transformed by the spirit of Christ and you could see that he literally was living inside of her heart. And I don't know what Larry King did after that interview, but I will tell you, I could see in that man that he was moved like he never been before, as was the rest of America who saw that woman who had been completely transformed by her relationship with Christ. You know, becoming a Christian is not simply raising your hand in church, walking down an aisle, getting baptized or going to church. Although those are good things and they're all signs of a changed heart. But becoming a Christian is new wine in a new wine skin. Everything changes. When the people see you, they see Jesus in you. You love him. You live for him. You would die for him. And you would be able to say confidently, as Paul said, toward the end of his life, he said, for me to live is Christ. And to die is gain. Becoming a Christian is metamorphosis. It's a Caterpillar becoming a butterfly.
 
04:17          And here's the questions for today. What is Jesus saying to you when he says that new wine needs to be put in new wineskins? What does that metaphor about? The second question today is this. Why is it all too easy to put new wine into an old wine skin and to continue to live like a non-Christian when you call yourself a Christian? And the third question is this. How does living in the flesh living coronally living in the world like everyone else? How does it damage the cause of Christ when you and I do call ourselves a Christian? So, here's a thought for the day. The acid test of true Christianity is how you treat the members of your family.
November 23, 2019

A Two-Way Mirror - Mark 2:8-9

"I have a great friend who was an F-16 top gun pilot. In fact, he was top gun twice and everything he does, he does according to the book. I mean the guy is precision to perfection. He's an American Airlines pilot trainer and is very successful in what he does. Everything by the letter. Everything by the book. Everything done exceedingly well. He has a great wife and a great family of three fantastic daughters. But one day, one of his daughters brought home something that my friend would never have imagined happening in his home. She brought home the news that she was pregnant and indeed she would seem soon give birth to a beautiful baby. "

Family Discussions:

  1. How did Bob's relationship to Jesus, the dad, how did his relationship to Jesus make his decision so immediately obvious?
  2. How does Jesus' death on the cross make you want to reciprocate to your family, to your closest friends with the problems that they have or the way they've offended you today?
  3. Why do we hold grudges in our home, in your marriage, in your parenting, in your kids, to your parents? W
  4. Is there anyone you need to forgive today?

Transcription:

00:13          It is great to be back with you again today. And I am so excited to share these two Bible verses with you because they are gigantic in the life of a father, mother, son, daughter. Whatever you are in school or in business, this speaks straight to your heart today. We're in Mark chapter two, and we're in the scene that we were talking about yesterday where these guys lower their friend down through a pallet, through a hole in the roof they dug to get him in front of Jesus because the guy was paralyzed. But Jesus does something unusual. The first thing, is very unusual, that only God could do by the way, but the first thing he does is he forgives the guy's sins. Later on, he heals the guy. But he starts getting some criticism from the Jewish leaders because to forgive sins, he was claiming to be who he was - God in the flesh. And of course, the penalty for that was blasphemy and the penalty of death.
 
01:09          And scripture says in verse eight of chapter two, "Immediately Jesus aware in his spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves. He said to them, why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts, which is easier to say to the paralytic, your sins are forgiven or to say to the paralytic, get up, take up your pallet and walk." You know, forgiving sins, only God can do that. We know that. And thank God, but what a price Jesus had to pay to forgive us of our sins. That was absolutely the most difficult thing I'm sure that ever happened in all of eternity. But I see it all the time in homes. I see it in friendships.
 
01:56          I have a great friend who was an F-16 top gun pilot. In fact, he was top gun twice and everything he does, he does according to the book. I mean the guy is precision to perfection. He's an American Airlines pilot trainer and is very successful in what he does. Everything by the letter. Everything by the book. Everything done exceedingly well. He has a great wife and a great family of three fantastic daughters. But one day, one of his daughters brought home something that my friend would never have imagined happening in his home. She brought home the news that she was pregnant and indeed she would seem soon give birth to a beautiful baby. She wasn't married, she had a boyfriend, but she and the boyfriend just to call a spade a spade just fell into sin and she became pregnant and brought the news home.
 
02:55          Bob had a choice and I know you've got choices like this today, as well. You know, he could put her out on the streets. He could say, Hey, too bad, you know, you made a mistake. So, you know, take your mistake and go deal with the consequences or as some people do, which is a grave mistake. He could demanded that she get an abortion. So his reputation is a dad, wouldn't be stained. But for this friend of mine, the choice was easy. He also could say to his daughter, Hey, my love for you is unconditional. I don't care what you do or what mistakes you make, you are still my daughter and we will care for you. And we will care for that baby is if that baby we're our own. Well that daughter went on to make great decisions and to raise that child in a wonderful Christian family and that child is going to serve God I'm sure for the rest of that child's life.
 
03:51          So here's the questions to you and I today. How did Bob's relationship to Jesus, the dad, how did his relationship to Jesus make his decision so immediately obvious? And then the second question is this. How does Jesus' death on the cross make you want to reciprocate to your family, to your closest friends with the problems that they have or the way they've offended you today? And then talking about the family. Number three question. Why do we hold grudges in our home, in your marriage, in your parenting, in your kids, to your parents? Why do we hold grudges? And Hey, is there anyone you need to forgive today? So here's the thought for the day. You know, the gift of forgiveness is a two way mirror. We reflect to our family what we see in the eyes of our savior.

"I met an interesting guy one time named Larry and Larry is a helicopter mechanic for the Ohio state highway patrol. You know, Larry's been a Christian for many years and he has walked with God with a peace in his heart that only a true Christian understands. The helicopter pilot that Larry serves is a pretty high breasts highway patrolman that spiritually is paralyzed."

Family Discussions:

  1. Why does so relatively few friends bring their friends to Jesus?
  2. Who's the Larry in your life that needs to know Jesus today?
  3. How can you lower your friends through the roof to see Jesus?

Transcription:

00:13          This morning we're in one of my favorite passages of scripture. I love watching friends who bring friends to Christ. This is one of the great accounts of what real friends do for their friends. Chapter two verses two through five. Look at Mark and here it says, "and many were gathered together so that there was no longer any room, not even near the door. And he was speaking the word to them and they came bringing to him a paralytic." If you can picture this scene carried by four men "being unable to get in because of the crowd. They removed the roof above him and when they had dug an opening in the roof, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying and Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, son, your sins are forgiven. I say to you, pick up your pallet and go home."
 
01:07          You know, I met an interesting guy one time named Larry and Larry is a helicopter mechanic for the Ohio state highway patrol. You know, Larry's been a Christian for many years and he has walked with God with a peace in his heart that only a true Christian understands. The helicopter pilot that Larry serves is a pretty high breasts highway patrolman that spiritually is paralyzed. That is until Larry came along and the highway patrolman did not know Jesus Christ in the least, but Larry prayed for him and he invited him to church for over a year. But a last to Larry's dismay, the highway patrolman was elusive and rebuffed the mechanic over and over again. Finally, one day, Larry invited the officer to an event that I was speaking at in Three Rivers Stadium. There were 55,000 men in Three Rivers Stadium in the old Pittsburgh Steelers day when they played at Three Rivers.
 
02:02          But during the event that day, the highway patrolman actually gave his heart to Christ along with thousands of other men. It was a crazy, amazing day in Pittsburgh. But you know what? That day, that highway patrol name has never been the same. His spiritual paralysis is gone. His sins are forgiven and he is a happy man today. So watch out! If you're driving down the road and you hear a helicopter overhead, it might be Larry and he probably will still give you a ticket. But you know what? Across America and around the world, friends are still bringing their paralyzed friends to Jesus. The same way those guys in Capernaum brought their friend, dug a hole in the roof and lowered their friend so that Jesus could heal that man and forgive his sins. You know what? Jesus is visiting your town today. Who do you know that needs a ride to see him?
 
02:59          And here's some questions for you today after this great passage. Friends, take friends to the movies. We know that. Friends take friends to sporting events. Why does so relatively few friends bring their friends to Jesus? And the second question is this. Who do you know? Who's the Larry in your life that needs to know Jesus today? Third question is this, over the next year, how can you lower your friends through the roof to see Jesus? And here's a thought for the day. When a family member is hurting, let him see or let her see Jesus in you.

"My next door neighbor Gary Smalley, who I just absolutely love, told me a story one time. I think he said it was true, but it sounds a little fishy to me, but it's a story about an ice fishermen and one of the great lakes up near Wisconsin. Lake was frozen solid. And so the guys would go out and they put huts all over the ice and then they drill a hole down in the middle of the ice and actually catch fish and pull them up through the hole."

Family Discussions:

  1. Why did Jesus choose 11 of the 12 men He chose to be his fishermen to be his disciples?
  2. What does fishing for men mean?
  3. Go around and ask each other, one quality that you see in each other that Jesus would identify as the reason he would choose each person to be his fishermen. 

Transcription:

00:14          Today back in the book of Mark. We're still in the first chapter. Two great verses to share with you today. I can't wait to get into the study. We're looking at chapter one, verse 16 through 18 and it talks about Jesus choosing his disciples. And it says this, "as he was going along by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, follow me and I'll make you fishers of men." Verse 18 says, "immediately they left their nets and followed him." My next door neighbor Gary Smalley, who I just absolutely love, told me a story one time. I think he said it was true, but it sounds a little fishy to me, but it's a story about an ice fishermen and one of the great lakes up near Wisconsin. Lake was frozen solid. And so the guys would go out and they put huts all over the ice and then they drill a hole down in the middle of the ice and actually catch fish and pull them up through the hole.
 
01:11          On this one particular day, this one fishermen had a golden retriever. His favorite pet golden retriever in the hut with me. If you can picture the scene on a very cold day. And he gets a nibble on his line and pretty soon the fisherman pulls up this gigantic massive fish. He tries to grab me with his hands. The fish slips away back down under the ice. In the excitement, the retriever dives for the fish. He misses the fish and disappears under the ice. For 60 perilous seconds, the fishermen mourn the loss of his dog who had disappeared under the ice and then just down the ice just a few yards away. He heard the scream of another fisherman in a hut nearby as the golden retriever popped his head up in the ice, the hole in the ice in the other fishermen's hut. Can you imagine what the fisherman thought as he was looking for a fish and he saw a dog popping up in his hut?
 
02:07          Anyway, I don't know about that story Gary, but I loved the eager fishermen. I love to fish. I've got a friend and he is an eager fisherman. He every day he takes his lunch hour to go fishing. But you know, what's really fun for me is to travel to football teams and baseball teams and the NFL and professional baseball and to go to college teams and almost every single locker room that I go into almost every chapel, whether it's college or the pros, there's a fisherman. There's one guy who is just absolutely committed to Christ. There's some of the best players in baseball, some of the best players in football, but they are fisherman. And then we're going to do a chapel and sometimes they'll bring 20 or 30 or 40 guys with them to the chapel because the fishermen are so eager. I do high school Bible study. I just did one last night. And I meet with these guys for years as they go through high school and they're always built around one solid committed Christian Guy and his friends who want to come and see what makes his life so happy.
 
03:14          So the questions today are this, why did Jesus choose 11 of the 12 men He chose to be his fishermen to be his disciples? And second question is a good one. What does fishing for men mean? Think about your environment you're in. And number three says, go around if you're sitting at a table with your family or you're sitting in an office watching this, ask each family member or each guy or woman who's in your study, one quality that you see in each other that Jesus would identify as the reason he would choose each person to be his fishermen. Why would he call that person? So compliment the people around you and tell them what you see in them that makes them somebody that Jesus would choose efficiently. And the thought for the day is this. Be an eager fisherman wherever God takes you today.

"I'm blessed to be married to an amazing woman who was the messenger for our football team back in Dallas when we played for SMU. She would be the messenger of our team. We'd run into stadiums around the country and we played some great teams in those days - in Michigan and Auburn and Tennessee and Arkansas and Texas. But every time we'd go into a stadium and play, Debbie Jo would lead us doing hands springs and backflips going into the stadium."

Family Discussions:

  1. As a Christian, how are you like John the Baptist chosen as a messenger to represent Christ?
  2. What character qualities does God want for Jesus as a modern day messenger?
  3. As Paul Revere warned of the British attack on America, how can you warn your friends and your family of Satan's modern day attacks as you present Christ?

Transcription:

00:14          I am really excited to begin this morning, a several day study of the book of Mark. Mark is the second Bible in the four gospel accounts of Jesus's life. And we read from gospel history that Mark whose mother was also named Mary, literally grew up in the middle of the action of the early church and the life of the disciples after Jesus' resurrection. I mean this guy was in the middle of it all. He also traveled with Paul and Barnabas. You can read through the book of Mark, a whole lot of Peter's personality. So we know that Mark was a friend of Peter, and in about 55AD, just 20, 23, maybe years after Jesus' resurrection, this great gospel account, incredibly accurate, dedicated to the purpose of showing the deity of Christ was written. So, if you're excited as I am, let's get into the study.
 
01:06          Today we're in chapter one and we're going to be looking at verse one through four. And it says this, "the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the son of God as it is written in Isaiah the prophet," and he quotes Isaiah and he says, "behold, I send my messenger ahead of you who will prepare your way, the voice of the one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight." John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. You know what? I grew up memorizing a poem and I think all the old guys can relate to this poem. Lots of us memorize it around the country, but it's a poem about a messenger. Somewhat like Paul Revere. I mean someone like John the Baptist and his name was Paul Revere and this is part of the old poem that we memorized.
 
01:59          If I can remember some of this, he said, "listen, my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere on the 18th of April in 75 hardly a man is now alive. Who remembers that famous day and year? He said to his friend, if the British March by land or sea from the town tonight hang a lantern, a loft in the Belfry arch of the North, the church tower as a signal light, one if by land, and two, if by sea." You know, he's gotta be one of the great American heroes. I don't think he'll ever be forgotten. Paul Revere was the chosen messenger that told the American soldiers, the British were coming and America was ready to fight for the death for independence as a nation. What an honor. You can almost hear the general saying, you know what, we can depend on Paul Revere. I can almost hear, you know, they're talking about their words of faith and assurance. Imagine the honor of being chosen to be the messenger. And by the way, some historians say it was actually William Daws and only the poet made Paul Revere famous. But whether it was William Daws or Paul Revere, one and was chosen as a messenger.
 
03:05          You know, I'm blessed to be married to an amazing woman who was the messenger for our football team back in Dallas when we played for SMU. She would be the messenger of our team. We'd run into stadiums around the country and we played some great teams in those days - in Michigan and Auburn and Tennessee and Arkansas and Texas. But every time we'd go into a stadium and play, Debbie Jo would lead us doing hands springs and backflips going into the stadium. And it was pretty fun going behind her and the cheerleaders. And now, after 38 years, I'm her cheerleader and I'll be her cheerleader til the day she dies. The chosen messenger.
 
03:45          I have another friend who was a chosen messenger. His name was Dan Roberts. Dan was a great country music writer, songwriter wrote for Garth Brooks and Garth loved Dan. And because of his integrity, Garth would use Dan to open up for him and lead the way as Garth toured the world and some of the great concerts in the middle of his great career, Dan was the, was the messenger. But can you imagine being the, really the honor chosen by God to open up for not a football team, not for a music star, but for Jesus? Can you imagine the honor I chose you, John. You can almost hear God say, I chose you John the Baptist to lead the way for my son. I chose you to pave the highway to prepare the coming. My son will only come to this earth once in all of history to live as a man and die for people's sins. And you know what? His second coming will be so majestic, I won't need an Envoy.
 
04:48          Here's the questions for today. As a Christian, how are you like John the Baptist chosen as a messenger to represent Christ? The second question to think about today is what character qualities does God want for Jesus as a modern day messenger? And thirdly, as Paul Revere warned of the British attack on America, how can you warn your friends and your family of Satan's modern day attacks as you present Christ? Interesting questions, huh? Can anything, here's a thought for today. There is even a way to be John the Baptist in your home, in your school, in your business. Consider your role in that and embark on that fantastic chosen ride today.
 

Load more

Play this podcast on Podbean App