"It was at our sports kamps and there was a scrimmage between two great teams. One team had a young man from Boston, he was an inner city kid and he lived in one of the poorest places in the country. But this 19 year old young man had an incredible love for a woman he was going to marry. But there was a drive by and that old car came by the front of that inner city house and a gun was stuck out of the window of that car."

Family Discussions:

  1. What is Jesus' sacrifice for you mean to you?
  2. What is it about the name Jesus that makes it the name above every other name that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord?
  3. How can you, in some small way today in your home, in your business, in your university, or in your school?
  4. How can you be a little bit like that boy from Boston today who took the bullets for his girlfriend?

Transcription:

00:13          If this was the only Bible study that you and I ever had the privilege of getting to do together, and trust me, the privilege is more mine, than it is yours. It would be this Bible study today. It was the darkest hour of all time, but it was the pinnacle peak hour of all human history. In John chapter 15, starting in verse 33 scripture says this, "when the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. At the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice. 'ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI', which is translated: 'My God, my God. Why has thou forsaken me?'" At that moment in history, Christ became sin.
 
00:58          At that moment in history, every creepy crawly thing that we've done against a Holy God literally became a part of that dear man's sacrificial offering. You know, I get to see events like that. Not to that degree, but in small ways. I get to see people doing things like that. I'll never forget the football scrimmage. I'll never forget it. It was at our sports kamps and there was a scrimmage between two great teams. One team had a young man from Boston, he was an inner city kid and he lived in one of the poorest places in the country. But this 19 year old young man had an incredible love for a woman he was going to marry. But there was a drive by and that old car came by the front of that inner city house and a gun was stuck out of the window of that car. And five bullets were shot at this precious innocent girl that was sitting by this young man's side. But not one bullet hit her because this young man dove across her lap and he took all five bullets into his neck and into his back. Not one of the bullets fortunately hit his spinal cord and he actually lived to play football again. But what a story of sacrifice, man. What a story of love.
 
02:23          I heard a story one time and I didn't know the man but there was a platoon that had to go fight in a very difficult war in Vietnam years ago. And the father of this soldier went over to fight and he was there for a year and somehow he survived, although tens of thousands of soldiers died in that awful war. Then the platoon was asked for another amount of soldiers. The father had come back to America to safety. But his son was in the second round and the father went to the officer and he said, 'if I go, can my son stay home?' And the commanding officer granted his request. So the got to stay home and safety and the father took his place in the battle. Boy, it just, it just fires you up, doesn't it? To see people who live and die like that.
 
03:11          And so my question to you today is Christ died in your place. What is Jesus' sacrifice for you mean to you? And secondly, what is it about the name Jesus that makes it the name above every other name that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. What is it about that name? And the third question is this. How can you, in some small way today in your home, in your business, in your university, or in your school, How can you be a little bit like that boy from Boston today who took the bullets for his girlfriend? And then the lifeline is two words - I'm Third. I'm Third is the motto of the kamps that I get to be in. God first. Others second. And I'm Third.

"About 10 or 12 years ago, my wife and I in our sports camps were able to adopt 19 schools in Haiti. And so every day we have the privilege of loving and feeding and educating these 5,800 kids down there in Haiti. Men, of all the things that have ever happened around Kanakuk Kamps, you know, the Kamps that, I mean, the schools in Haiti bring smiles to our faces like none other."

Family Discussions:

  1. What is your interpretation of Jesus' metaphor of the camel in the eye of the needle?
  2. Why does our excesses keep us from really enjoying a full enrich relationship with God?
  3. What action can you or your family take to comply with Jesus' command here?

Transcription:

00:13          This devotional today that I get to share with you really puts a smile on my face because it's about some of the most beautiful kids in the world. About, Oh gosh, 10 or 12 years ago, my wife and I in our sports camps were able to adopt 19 schools in Haiti. And so every day we have the privilege of loving and feeding and educating these 5,800 kids down there in Haiti. Men, of all the things that have ever happened around Kanakuk Kamps, you know, the Kamps that, I mean, the schools in Haiti bring smiles to our faces like none other. Every Christmas we get to take Christmas gifts to every single child. We've been doing this for years and years and to see these kids, you know, like take a pack of Lifesavers and eat the first Lifesaver they've ever eaten and get their first Christmas gift from Papa Noel. You know, what they call Santa Claus down there in Haiti. And then to get to share. You know what Christmas is really about with those kids, not Santa Claus, but you know Jesus Christ born on earth. It's the joy of our lives.
 
01:21          You know what Jesus has something to say about you and about me and about our kids in Haiti and around the world. Listen to Mark chapter 10 verse 24 through 27. Here's what scripture says. "The disciples were amazed at his words, but Jesus answered it again and said to them, children, how hard is it to enter the kingdom of God? It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. They were even more astonished and said to him then, who can be saved? Looking at them, Jesus said with people, it's impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God."
 
02:08          You know, being really transparent, honest with you, I don't need a bite of food. I mean, I hardly take a bite that I don't think about our kids in Haiti. They are so happy with a bowl of beans and a bowl of rice every day. It just breaks my heart to see the circumstances that they're in and not just our kids that are little schools in Haiti because really they're doing pretty good compared to most starving kids in the world. But God has a word to us and I believe his word is, and you know what? Everybody in America's rich, by the way, if you think you're very, very poor, I will tell you that the kids that we get to work with here at Kids Across American and Kanakuk, many of our kids, 7,000 of our kids come from inner cities and they will tell you because they have a chance to know Jesus. They have meals every day. That even though they are the poorest in our country, they're rich compared to the kids of Haiti whose parents live on about 11 bucks a week.
 
03:02          But he says, for all of us in America that are rich, he said, you've got to be willing, like a camel who would walk up to the city Gates over the wall villages of that day, and there would be a little opening just to the side of the city gate that a camel couldn't get through with anything on his bag. In fact, the camel would have to get down on his knees and they would have to unload the camel and then he could go through the eye, the needle, what they call this little hole in the gate, on his knees without anything on his back. And then they could reload him. Once he got through the gate.
 
03:35          The word picture is clear. You know, a rich man. Here we are in our country and in the Western world. Jesus said, we must be willing to give it all to give everything we've got. The heart has got to be willing to let go. And you know what? The more you let go, the more the kids of Haiti and the rest of this world are going to be blessed. And through our gifts, those kids are going to get to know Jesus because they're going to know it was the hand of Christ that unloaded our baggage off our camel and gave it away to them in the name of Jesus.
 
04:09          Here's the questions today in this perplexing, thoughtful gospel. What is your interpretation of Jesus' metaphor of the camel in the eye of the needle? And the second question is, why does our excesses keep us from really enjoying a full enrich relationship with God? And then the third one, what action can you or your family take to comply with Jesus' command here? And here is the lifeline. You know, families that give together, stay together. People that give generously are the happiest people in the world.

"How did marriage get here and what's married supposed to look like? Well, Jesus makes it clear in this passage that God invented marriage and he invented it to be with one man and one woman who would live together forever. One man, one woman together forever."

Family Discussions:

  1. What does 'from the beginning of creation' mean in terms of Genesis 1?
  2. Why is it so important to our understanding of the Christian faith and the institution of marriage?
  3. If you're putting a price tag on that name that's written on your heart, or if you're married to the name that's already there, what would it be?
  4. What would the price tag of your marriage be and what would it be worth to you to protect it?

Transcription:

00:13          Do you know that just a few years ago, NASA sent up a satellite called the WMAP satellite and it begin to film the creation. They took this incredible hundred billion galaxy cosmos of ours and they put it in their computers and they ran it back and they saw that it all came from zero. Imagine 100 billion galaxies coming from absolute nothing. We believe that God spoke and a hundred billion galaxies came flying out of their mouth. And you know what? NASA has proved it in that same computer rendition of the creation. They saw that as 100 billion galaxy cosmos traveled, get this, over a billion light years. I mean defying every known law of physics and science by light years. It said that we traveled as a cosmos over a billion light years in the first trillionth of a second. Listen to what Jesus says in Mark chapter 10:6. I mean, scripture is so scientifically on target, "but Jesus said to them, because of the hardness of your heart, he wrote you this commandment that from the beginning of creation, God made Adam and Eve, male and female from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife and the two shall become one flesh." There are no longer two but one flesh.
 
01:46          A few years ago, RadioShack had this commercial that says, "You've got questions. We got answers." And you know what? RadioShack has a lot of answers, but I think scripture pretty much claims that truth. When you have questions, they're here. How did we get here? When did man originate? How long have we been around? Where did it all come from? What is marriage and what's marriage supposed to look like? You got questions, he's got answers. How long has man been here? Well, according to Jesus, man has been on the earth since the beginning of creation. That's Genesis chapter one. How did man get here? Well, if you look as Darwin did at the human eye, even Darwin himself in his book, 'The Origin of Species', he said to suppose that the eye, with all of its inevitable contrivances for adjusting focus at various distances for admitting various amounts of life and for the correction of sphere and chromatic aberrations is the product of evolution. Seems I freely confessed absurd in the highest degree. Even Darwin himself admitted that evolution in terms of human vision is absolutely absurd.
 
02:59          And how did marriage get here and what's married supposed to look like? Well, Jesus makes it clear in this passage that God invented marriage and he invented it to be with one man and one woman who would live together forever. One man, one woman together forever. You know, people say, well, if you're in love, sex is okay or if you, you know, if you think you're going to get married sex is okay, or in any, you know, orientations, sex is okay. When scripture is clear that God wants that that very special relationship between a man and a woman to be designed for marriage and for marriage alone. To last, I watched my daddy and my mama love each other for 66 years and I saw him literally die. My daddy died in my mother's arms and at the end of my daddy's life he was still honoring the wedding ring and even wearing for all those years. So, if you've got questions, he's got answers.
 
03:56          Here's a couple of questions to think about today. What does 'from the beginning of creation' mean in terms of Genesis 1. In the creation account, when Jesus said for the beginning of creation, God made Adam and Eve, male and female. And question two is why is Genesis 1, the creation account of Genesis, why is it so important to our understanding of the Christian faith and the institution of marriage? And then the third question, if you're putting a price tag on your marriage, either one you already have or your future marriage, as I told my sons they had a girl's name written on their heart and someday that name of that incredible woman would show up. But if you're putting a price tag on that name that's written on your heart, or if you're married to the name that's already there, what would it be? What was the, what would the price tag of your marriage be and what would it be worth to you to protect it? And here's the thought for the day. Only a creative God could build something as valuable and worth protecting as a godly marriage relationship. Be careful!

"People say, you know what? There's no objective morals, just differing opinions. There's no absolute truth. It's whatever you think is true. One person will say to you, you know what? Come on. It's just a little drink. A little drink won't hurt you, a little alcohol. Or a guy may say to you, if you're a girl or girl may say to a guy, you know what? Hey, don't be so frigid. Sex is okay if it's safe. Voices. They're everywhere, aren't they? They, they give you so many mixed messages these days. It's so easy to get confused and to begin to question your own beliefs. The question is who are you gonna listen to?"

Family Discussions:

  1. How can your family help each other listen to the right voices and not to some of the other voices who tell you what's right and wrong?
  2. Compare and contrast Jesus' words to the words of the world around you. A
  3. Whose voice makes more sense to you and whose voice you're going to listen to today?

Transcription:

00:14          You know, I've entitled this devotion today, "Who are you going to listen to?" And it is a biggy as my friend Neil Jeffrey says. We're in Mark chapter nine. We're starting with verse two, and here is what scripture says. "Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and brought them up on a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them. And his garments became radiant and exceedingly white as no longer on earth can whiten them." And then we'll skip down to verse seven. It says, "then a cloud formed and overshadowed them. And a voice came out of the cloud and said, this is my beloved son. Listen to him."
 
00:59          You know what? What's right for you may not be right for me. You know what? Truth is relative. If it feels good, do it. If there are any number of ways to get to God. They're saying to you now. People are saying. You know what? It made me pornography to you, but it's art to me. People say that. People say, you may call it profanity, but I call it freedom of speech. People say, you know what? There's no objective morals, just differing opinions. There's no absolute truth. It's whatever you think is true. One person will say to you, you know what? Come on. It's just a little drink. A little drink won't hurt you, a little alcohol. Or a guy may say to you, if you're a girl or girl may say to a guy, you know what? Hey, don't be so frigid. Sex is okay if it's safe. Voices. They're everywhere, aren't they? They, they give you so many mixed messages these days. It's so easy to get confused and to begin to question your own beliefs. The question is who are you gonna listen to?
 
01:59          You know, fortunately God gave all authority to his son. Fortunately, Jesus speaks very clearly in his words. Fortunately, God wrote Jesus' words down in a book, and fortunately you're fortunate enough probably to have one or two or three or maybe five of your own. You know, Jesus' words are so welcoming and so reassuring in days like these. He said, "I am the way, I am the truth. I am the life. No one comes to the father, but by me." And you know what? John 6 says, Jesus, you have the words of eternal life. If you love me, you'll keep my commandments. He says in John 14:15. He says, he who overcomes shall inherit these things and I will be his God, and he will be my son, in Revelation 21:7. He said, don't you know that your body's a temple of the Holy spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you're not your own. He says, for you have been bought with a price, therefore, glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
 
03:08          Man, God's word comes through today as strong as it did that glorious day up on that mountain when Jesus was transfigured, and he heard the audible voice from the sky. This is my son. This is my beloved son. Listen to him. Listen to him. Here's the questions for today. Isn't this great? He says, how can your family that's around you, How can your family help each other listen to the right voices and not to some of the other voices who tell you what's right and wrong? And then secondly, compare and contrast Jesus' words to the words of the world around you. And then here's the last question. To make it personal, whose voice makes more sense to you and whose voice you're going to listen to today? And here's the thought for the day. As a family, hold each other accountable to keep the ungodly voices out of your home.
 

"We used to ski as a family in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. And sometimes we would take all of our young life kids and our young life clubs to Steamboat Springs to ski. And we had more fun and we took lots of Kanakuk kids over the years. But when you go from Missouri to Steamboat Springs, you crossover a pass called Rabbit Ears Pass and Rabbit Ears Pass is 9,400 feet high. And it is the watershed of the United States of America"

Family Discussions:

  1. If Jesus asked you that faithful question, "who do you say that I am?" How would you respond?
  2. What does it mean when Peter said, you are the Christ? What does the Christ mean?
  3. Why did Jesus say, why did he say "I am the way I am the truth and I am the life. No one comes to the father except by me."?

Transcription:

00:14          Today's devotional is absolutely amazing. This is a devotional. In fact, there's one statement of this devotional day that is absolutely gonna patch your hair. It's in Mark chapter eight, and we're going to begin with verse 27. It's a conversation between Jesus and his disciples. And listen to what one of them says in verse 27. Scripture says, "and Jesus went out along with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way, he questioned his disciples and he said, who did the people say that I am? They told him, saying John the Baptist. Others say Elijah, others say one of the prophets. But he continued to question them." And here's the question. "He said, who do you say that I am? And Peter said to him, you are the Christ, the son of the living God."
 
01:12          You know what? We used to ski as a family in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. And sometimes we would take all of our young life kids and our young life clubs to Steamboat Springs to ski. And we had more fun and we took lots of Kanakuk kids over the years. But when you go from Missouri to Steamboat Springs, you crossover a pass called Rabbit Ears Pass and Rabbit Ears Pass is 9,400 feet high. And it is the watershed of the United States of America. Every drop of rain that falls on the West of Rabbit Ears Pass goes to the Pacific and every drop that falls on the East goes eventually to the Atlantic. The watershed divides the nation as far as water and moisture's concern. This passage is the watershed of Christianity.
 
01:57          You know, the Muslims say that Mohammed and sufficient works is the way to God. The Mormons say, Joseph Smith's teaching and sufficient works are the way to get to God. The Jehovah's Witnesses say that sacrifice of Christ is only part of the equation. It gets one to God for eternity. You name them, Joseph Smith, Muhammad Charles Tate Russell. They all recognize Jesus as a great historical and religious figure, but their beliefs on Bible doctrine and the saving blood of Jesus are on the opposite side of the watershed from Jesus' own words about himself. On Jesus' side of the watershed are some staggering claims that true Christianity must accept completely. One, He is the fulfillment of all old Testament prophecy about the Messiah. Two, he as he says in John 14:6 is the only way to God. Three, He is fully God, 100% God in the flesh. Four, He is the complete atonement for our sin. His death on the cross was sufficient. And five, the Bible is the Word of God. It is his complete word to mankind. And you know what? Revelation makes it clear. Nobody adds anything to this word.
 
03:21          So who do you say that He is? Well, Peter answered correctly and upon that belief that Jesus was the son of God. Jesus built his church on that belief and on that faith, and that's where his eternal family stands. So here's the questions today. One, if Jesus asked you that faithful question, "who do you say that I am?" How would you respond? And then secondly, this is big. What does it mean when Peter said, you are the Christ? What does the Christ mean? And then thirdly, why did Jesus say, why did he say "I am the way I am the truth and I am the life. No one comes to the father except by me."? It's a big claim. And he lived it and he died it. Here's the lifeline. To believe in him, is to love him. To love him, is to follow him. To follow him is to obey him. And to obey him, is to walk with him forever.

" 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.
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.

"Men, you hear it all over school and you know out there in the malls. Man, she's hot. Every magazine, it seems like, specially for women. If I could only lose 10 pounds. You know, where I hear the statement by girls. You know, my daddy always reminds me of how fat I am. You know, your husband and wife, honey, you know, you ought to shape up a little. You know, or somebody would say in a family, if only we had a car that was just a little bit shiny or just a little bit, you know, newer. "

Family Discussions:

  1. If you allow or if we allow in our office family the focus of Hollywood to make us focus our eyes on the external?
  2. Describe the insecurities and stress that focusing on the flesh brings out in our life.
  3. How can we limit the impact of that Hollywood way of thinking?
  4. What can we do to change that?

Transcription:

00:14          I hope our Bible study together brings you a whole lot of comfort and a whole lot of peace. If you feel like that you're trying to, somebody is trying to squeeze you into a mold of perfection or you feel like just society in general and the expectations that around you are trying to squeeze you and trying to make you perfect and you're weary of that. I hope this devotion will help you a lot. It's in 2 Corinthians chapter four verse 16 through 18 and it says this, "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away. Yet inwardly we're being renewed day by day for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on that which is unseen for what is seen as temporary. But what is unseen is eternal."
 
01:09          The title is devotional is 'Beauty is Only Skin Deep." Men, you hear it all over school and you know out there in the malls. Man, she's hot. Every magazine, it seems like, specially for women. If I could only lose 10 pounds. You know, where I hear the statement by girls. You know, my daddy always reminds me of how fat I am. You know, your husband and wife, honey, you know, you ought to shape up a little. You know, or somebody would say in a family, if only we had a car that was just a little bit shiny or just a little bit, you know, newer. Man, lusty TV show size two dresses, Playboy centerfolds, low cut blouse, a 17 inch biceps, flat stomach, fat-free thighs. Men, do you feel like we're driving ourselves nuts with our obsession to be perfect? Whatever that is.
 
01:58          You know, on the surface perfection while the, you know, the morals of our country and the morals of people who have slipped to a state unthinkable to true believers only a generation ago. Folks, the Psalmist takes us back to the starch reality. Psalms 103 says this for man, his days are like, grass. "As the flowery fields. So he flourishes, but when the wind passes over it, it is no more. And its place acknowledges it no longer." You know, can you imagine the freedom we would find in our lives? Instead of a size two dress, we concentrated on a Jesus size heart. Instead of 17 inch biceps, we focused on Jesus size biceps. You know, if we encourage spiritual growth in each other, as much as we stretch the growth of our muscles. Just think how enormous our love for God would be. You know, if our comments to each other, especially in our families, were focused on encouraging and purifying our hearts is instead of purifying our bodies. Imagine how congenial our homes would be and are pleasant, you know, our thoughts would be. You know, there's no doubt man. Beauty's only skin deep. And the sooner we abandoned our speciation with the kind of the outer shell and concentrate on the beauty of our hearts. The more harmonious our lives would be and the lives of those around us in our family.
 
03:24          So my question is this today. You know, if you allow or if we allow in our office family the focus of Hollywood to make us focus our eyes on the external? and then describe the insecurities and stress that focusing on the flesh brings out in our life. And then wrapping it up today. How can we, in this home, how can we limit the impact of that Hollywood way of thinking and what can we do to change that?

"Can you imagine living in a place where the heroes are a famous comedian from Russia, a famous fiddle player from Japan, a famous group of acrobats from China, and a great famous group of singers from Ireland or on billboards all over town? This is Branson, Missouri. This is where I live. And man, we got more billboards and brochures and pamphlets than any place in the world."

Family Discussions:

  1. What kind of love will attract your friends to Jesus?
  2. What kind of motivation does the reality of this devotional today give to you?
  3. Describe someone you know who displays a 'Jesus lives here' billboard that you will be attracted to.

Transcription:

00:13          Can you imagine living in a place where the heroes are a famous comedian from Russia, a famous fiddle player from Japan, a famous group of acrobats from China, and a great famous group of singers from Ireland or on billboards all over town? This is Branson, Missouri. This is where I live. And man, we got more billboards and brochures and pamphlets than any place in the world. Well, guess what? You're a brochure too. In fact, you're a billboard. Listen to this. 2 Corinthians chapter three verses two through four. As people watch you as they drive by down the highway of life, it says this, "You yourselves are our letter written on our hearts known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ. The result of our ministry written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God. Not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence is this is ours through Christ before God."
 
01:18          Isn't that great? You're a letter of Christ. You know, these huge lighted billboards that line both sides of the highways that lead into our highly traveled tourist town here in Branson, Missouri, number in the thousands. The billboards, literally thousands, the country music stars and they're elegant two to 4,000 seat theaters. Woo country music fans who travel here by the millions into their theaters with billboards, large enough to see from the moon. You know, marketing experts call it intercept marketing. As you drive down the road to try to make a last minute change in some travelers' schedule. They don't know which theater they're going to, but the billboards are going to get them to go to their theater on their country music, Branson vacation.
 
02:02          You know, the billboards are flashy. The billboards are glitzy. The billboards are attractive. The billboards are gaudy. They're catchy. They're nauseas. Believe it or not, you and I wear huge neon billboards around our necks on the front of our cars, on the backs of our cars, on the front doors of our houses and on the doorway to our own rooms in our house. Because as true believers, our billboards all displayed the same very simple but profound. Three word statement. Jesus lives here. Jesus lives here. Jesus lives here. You surprised? You know what? It's true. In the high school that you go to, in the university campus that your on, in the associates, in your place of business or ministry, in your family that surround you. Each and every day. Man, the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you act, and the way you treat other people makes you a billboard. Either a repulsive sign that will cause your associates to reject the message with disgust, or you'll be the most attractive piece of artwork your friends will ever see. So you're a billboard of Christ.
 
03:17          And let me ask you these questions. You know what? The song says "They'll know we're Christians by our love." What kind of love will attract your friends to Jesus? And second, what kind of motivation does the reality of this devotional today give to you? And then the last question is, describe someone you know who displays a 'Jesus lives here' billboard that you will be attracted to. Be sure and hug somebody today.
 

"This Labrador Retriever seldom leaves my side. His pure black shiny coat glistens in the sunlight as he gallantly retrieves the doves and ducks and pheasants and anything else that we're hunting together. But you know, try to take a chicken bone away from this dog and you might as well lose your hand. But if you lay a freshly cooked juicy sirloin steak on the sidewalk beside him, he'll drop that little nod chicken bone in a split second."

Family Discussions:

  1. How does Jesus' love actually replace your desire for sin?
  2. Describe the deceitfulness of sin.
  3. How can Jesus truly become your friend in your sense of fulfillment?

Transcription:

00:13          Well, today is going to be fun. We're gonna be with Chief. My best buddy here. And we're in Romans chapter 13, verses 12 through 14, and it says this, "The night is almost gone and the day is near. Therefore, let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality not in strife and jealousy, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lust. Put on Jesus today. This Labrador Retriever seldom leaves my side. His pure black shiny coat glistens in the sunlight as he gallantly retrieves the doves and ducks and pheasants and anything else that we're hunting together. But you know, try to take a chicken bone away from this dog and you might as well lose your hand. But if you lay a freshly cooked juicy sirloin steak on the sidewalk beside him, he'll drop that little nod chicken bone in a split second.
 
01:22          You know, sin is a lot like a chewed up chicken bone. It may satisfy your craving for a season, but in the end it will choke you like a hangman's noose. Listen to these quotes from letters I've received from some high school friends of mine. One said, you know what? I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway. Another one said, I never knew anything could hurt so bad as the one late night and the things we did there. Another letter said, I felt like I had 600 knives go through me. I was crushed. Another letter said, my friend told me his girlfriend had been raped and now she thinks she's pregnant. Another one says, I feel so used and ashamed.
 
02:07          Wow. It seems so meaningless, doesn't it? Why do we keep sinning like that? And you know what? The only difference between adults and students that write me so much is our sins are so much bigger and sometimes so much more disguised. But you know, drinking looks fun and sex looks fun. Satan looks cool. You know what? God knows that. So he doesn't only say he knows. He says, I'm going to give you something about a zillion times better than all of that. I'm going to give you my son, Jesus. If you'll take his companionship that I give you, if you'll take his friendship that I give you, if you'll take his unconditional love that I'll give you.
 
02:50          Now I want you to listen to some other quotes from some of my other friends. Check this out. I have fallen in love with Jesus this year. God has blessed me with the strength to stay free from drugs, alcohol, and sex. God has given me peace in my life. Another one said this, I have acquired the sense of peace that only he could bring. Do you get it today y'all? Another one says, while doing my Bible study this year, my relationship with the Lord has grown greatly. I've made new friends. My focus in life is not as much on me, but on the Lord and I become great friends with him. I used to lead a life that had no purpose. But now I've realized that my goal in life should be to love him and to spread his word. I used to rely on drugs and sex and fun, but now God has forgiven me and loves me like I've never been loved before. One man came up to me at a recent conference, he said, I've been addicted to alcohol for 20 years, but today at the cross, I've fallen in love with Jesus. And now I am free.
 
03:54          Here's the questions for today. How does Jesus' love actually replace your desire for sin? And then second question is this, describe the deceitfulness of sin. And then the big one is this. How can Jesus truly become your friend in your sense of fulfillment? And here's the lifeline for today. When something that you love is removed from your life and you feel a void, you can successfully replace it with something you love even more.
 

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