"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.

"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.
November 12, 2019

The Faith Family - Romans 4:16

"Think about being adopted by a wealthy dad. A dad with all the toys. A dad with all the stuff. Man. What an enchanting idea."

Family Discussions:

  1. What does it mean to be adopted by God?
  2. What does it mean to be in this same family as Abraham?
  3. What does that mean The family of faith?
  4. When a grateful son is truly grateful?
  5. How does he act towards the family that by grace adopts him?

Transcription:

00:14          Hey, another beautiful day in the Ozarks. Yes, it is. We're in Romans chapter four today, verse 16, and it says this, "For this reason, it is by faith in order that it may be in accordance with grace so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. Who is the father of us all." This is called the faith family and you know what? Think about this. Think about being adopted by a wealthy dad. A dad with all the toys. A dad with all the stuff. Man. What an enchanting idea. You know, and this is why I love burnt orange. When I walked on the football field at SMU years ago, there were these big, fast, incredibly talented, blue-chip five star athletes all around me who towered over my six foot, 200 pound frame.
 
01:08          You know, they had the moves, they had the jumps, they had the biceps, they had the scholarships. But Hayden Fry was the head coach in those days, the Mustangs. And you know, although I was like seventh team, defensive nose man as a freshman, the gap took a special liking to me. I have no idea why, but somehow in his heart, he adopted me my sophomore year and maybe it was just that was too stupid to give up. But the first game, my junior year, he started me and he never put me on the bench again. He took me to Ohio state, to Michigan state to Tennessee, to Texas, to Arkansas to, you know, a bowl game where we beat Oklahoma and even tried to take me to the Hula bowl, until kind of the regulating committee found out that I was just a little too small by their standards.
 
01:53          But I'll forever be grateful to that man. I played my guts out for him. I love that man 'til I die. And you know what? If we were playing on the turf in Dallas, Texas on Saturday afternoons with a free college education, man, it was better than sitting on a bench on the sidelines and paying a jillion bucks to get educated. Imagine the difference between spending forever in heaven where the weather's always clear instead of forever in hell, where the weather's always hot and humid. You know what, man? The Bible in your room tells the adoption story from cover to cover. Daddy, God was so crazy about his son that he wants you to be just like him. As it was with Abraham so it can be with you.
 
02:47          And here's the questions for today. What does it mean to be adopted by God? What does it mean to be in this same family as Abraham? What does that mean The family of faith? And then this question is awesome. When a grateful son is truly grateful, how does he act towards the family that by grace adopts him? And here's the lifeline for the day. Isn't it great? Gratitude builds commitment. Commitment builds of obedience. Obedience builds countless blessings. Take it home, man.

"I was in seventh grade, I believe, maybe sixth grade. I was in junior high and I'd lied to my mom. My daddy and mom came home from a two day trip and it was Friday night when I lied to my mom. And my daddy simply said to me on Sunday, "bring me my belt.""

Family Discussion:

  1. What does that do to encourage you in your trials?
  2. How can you help somebody that's in your life who's going through a trial right now?

Transcription:

00:14          Today I want to tell you about the last spanking with a belt I received and that was from my dad, but it wasn't the last spanking that I ever got in my life. Revelation three 19 is insightful. He says this, he says, "those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, therefore be zealous and repent." I was in seventh grade, I believe, maybe sixth grade. I was in junior high and I'd lied to my mom. My daddy and mom came home from a two day trip and it was Friday night when I lied to my mom. And my daddy simply said to me on Sunday, "bring me my belt." For three days I suffered. I don't remember how hard that man whip me, although he could swing a belt pretty well. But I do remember dreading the discipline. That wasn't the last discipline in my life. I've needed a whole lot more since and I needed more, by him even then.
 
01:11          But you know, God has unique ways of disciplining somebody. God allows trials in our life to discipline us. And I have certainly had a lot of those and probably in store for a whole lot more because discipline brings us to our knees. Discipline makes us look up. Discipline helps keep us humble. And you know what? Discipline isn't fun for me. And discipline I'm sure is not fun for you, but discipline as it says in John 15 chapter one, "God uses to prune the fruitful tree so that you can bear more fruit." I remember when I got leukemia and I'm sure that, you know, God didn't intend for me to get sick and die. But anyway, he allowed that discipline in my life and I was studying John Chapter 15 and I remember in verse one, it says that God prunes the tree so it can produce more fruit.
 
02:04          And the greatest days of my life had been since the death sentence of leukemia and discipline is really a great thing because let me tell you something, if you're going through discipline right now, I'm going to tell you there's one thing that every great athlete that I ever met has in common. If you're going through something right now that is incredibly serious trial in your life. You know, where there's, you know, depression or sadness or you're going through something at school or in your family, your workplace that you think is too difficult to bear. Every great athlete I've ever met has one thing in common and that is scars. They've all got scars. Great ones, They've all been through discipline. And I'll tell you about the temptation that not the temptation, but the trial that's in your life. Temptation comes from Satan.
 
02:57          God doesn't tempt. But the trial that's in your life is that God is giving you the master's degree. In every great man and in every great woman that you'll ever meet has been in this classroom called the master's degree. The master's degree is a classroom that's full of sweat. It's full of drops of blood. It's full of men and women who God has used to do great things. But in that classroom, the master is teaching. In that classroom that you're probably in right now. And I mean right now the teacher is not absent. He is the master and he's going to give you the degree. And at the end of the degree as you live a life of discipline through this difficult trial that you're in. He's going to say at the end of the course when he places on your head, the crown of life, because you're faithful, he's going to say, "well done thou good and faithful servant. Come into the eternal list with me." And so my question for you today is this as you look around you and see your heroes in the master's degrees. You look around and you see all you have in common with the greatest folks that ever lived with scars on your heart and your body. What does that do to encourage you in your trials? And if your with somebody doing this study, how can you help somebody that's in your life who's going through a trial right now?

"How do you like your tea? Do you like it hot or do you like it iced? I don't know anyone who likes lukewarm tea, but I know a lot of people who love it hot and a lot of people who love with cold and I'm one of them that likes it either way."

Family Discussions:

  1. What do you need to do to take a lukewarm heart and to make it a heart that's unmistakably red hot for Jesus in your school, in your place of work, and in your family?

Transcription:

00:13          How do you like your tea? Do you like it hot or do you like it iced? I don't know anyone who likes lukewarm tea, but I know a lot of people who love it hot and a lot of people who love with cold and I'm one of them that likes it either way. Revelation chapter three verses 15 and 16, talks a little bit about being lukewarm. In fact, it has a lot to say about being lukewarm. John is writing under the inspiration of God through the voice of the angel and God is speaking firmly to the Church of Laodicea. But I believe he's speaking firmly to me and speaking firmly to you. And he says this, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot, but because you are lukewarm and neither hot or cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."
 
01:02          And I believe some of the translations say I will vomit you. I will regurgitate you out of my mouth. It's a foreboding passage, isn't it? I remember coaching at Texas A&M. We had a player and this player was something else. He was big. He was strong. He was fast. I mean he exceeded his peers by light years. But he wasn't hot, he wasn't cold, he was lukewarm. And he drove the coaches crazy cause he had so much talent. But he gave, it didn't give terrible effort. He just gave pretty good effort and I don't think he ever started, although he was good enough to go in and play in the national football league. And that's just a small slice of what I believe God is saying here. And if this passage makes you tremble, it makes me tremble too because just as it is with tea. Just as it is with a good Dr Pepper, you know, hot is good. Cold is good, but lukewarm is just is just awful.
 
02:02          And that's what God is saying about my life and your life in Christ. You know, I think one of the tragedies of Modern Day Christianity is the tragedy of being lukewarm. And unfortunately, I believe that most of the standard of most of the Christians who claim the name of Christ is to be just a little bit better than the world is. You know, if the world is PG thn we're going to be G. But when the world became PG 13, we became PG. And when the world became R rated, we became PG 13 rated. And when the rural became x-rated, we became R rated. That's exactly what God is saying here. Keeping up with the Joneses, you know, comparing myself to other people and thinking I'm righteous just because I'm a little bit better than the Pagan who doesn't know Christ at all. Well God's word is clear in this passage.
 
02:58          You know what a little of selfishness is too much. A little bit of greed is too much. You be hot, that's good. You be cold, then you'll be food for the devil. But you'd be lukewarm. And it literally gags God. And I don't know about you, but this scripture fires my engines and it causes me to look very firmly in the mirror and say, "Joe White, which one are you?" And I hope you're saying the same thing today. So the simple question today to discuss with yourself in prayer, to discuss with the people that are with you is where are you today? And what can you do? What do you need to do to take a lukewarm heart and to make it a heart that's unmistakably red hot for Jesus in your school, in your place of work, and in your family? What do you need to do to have a heart that's red hot for Jesus?

"I remember the time when my kids were young in my house that our TV set broke. Boy did that make me mad. Not exactly. I was so mad. I couldn't seem to find the phone number for the TV repair man. I was so mad. I kept forgetting to get it fixed. I was so mad. I was so mad. I think it was probably the greatest thing that happened in our home since we started our little family."

Family Discussions:

  1. When we pray to God lead us not into temptation, what are we asking for?
  2. If God doesn't tempt you, how does temptation come to us and what are the results?
  3. Besides television, what other sources of temptation do we expose ourselves to in our iPods, in our video games and in the voices that we surround ourselves with our friends?
  4. What is the difference between trials and temptations?

Transcription:

00:14 Man, would you let somebody into your home who's had way too many of these to drink? Would you let somebody come into your house who has not just a play gun like this one, but a real gun shooting real bullets wildly at people and drawing blood? Unfortunately, most American homes do that over and over again every single day. Listen to what James has to say in chapter one and verse 13. James speaks straight to the heart of families. When he says, "let no one say when he's tempted, I'm being tempted by God. For God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he's carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin and when sin is accomplish, it brings forth death." I remember the time when my kids were young in my house that our TV set broke.

01:05 Boy did that make me mad. Not exactly. I was so mad. I couldn't seem to find the phone number for the TV repair man. I was so mad. I kept forgetting to get it fixed. I was so mad. I was so mad. I think it was probably the greatest thing that happened in our home since we started our little family. You know, television, you can call it attempted vision, temptation, vision, something like that. The average American home pipes over 880,000 rapes and murders and acts of violence, beer, commercial, sexual innuendos into the minds of each man, woman and child every single year. Then we wonder why in the world we're tempted to argue. Tempted to lust. Tempted to fight all the time. You know, William James, the father of modern psychology says there's nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will actually believe it.

01:58 Is it any wonder why one out of five Americans now have a sexually transmitted disease and teenagers aids doubles every 14 months or why more college students die of alcohol-related deaths than the number who are going to graduate school? At least according to USA Today. Is it any wonder that the homes are breaking a part at the foundation. Good night folks! Turn the thing off and find the love of a family again. In Matthew six it says, "Blessed is the pure in heart for they shall see God." Let the bird sing in the trees, let the home come back to the purity of the word.

02:40 The questions for today are this, when we pray to God, lead us not into temptation. What are we asking for? And number two, if God doesn't tempt you, how does temptation come to us and what are the results? And then the third discussion question, besides television, what other sources of temptation do we expose ourselves to in our iPods, in our video games and in the voices that we surround ourselves with our friends? And then lastly, what is the difference between trials and temptations? And the lifeline today is this, how can we help each other as a family fight temptation in this home and in our private lives? Man, let's be that. Encourager to each other today.

"When you approach the Bible like a love letter, the Bible will become the favorite letter in your life."

Family Discussion:

  • Why is spiritual discipline so much more profitable than bodily discipline?
  • How do you train your faith?
  • What kind of faith workout schedule do you want to keep?

Transcription:

00:06 Okay. All right. Are you a workout freak? Do you love to train with these things? Well, I must confess I do, but I want to read you something today that will put it all in perspective. We're in first Timothy chapter four, verse eight and it says this: "For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things. Since it holds promise, not only for the present life, but also for the life to come." Olympic weights, health clubs, Taibo, step aerobics, crunches, abs of steel, jazzercise, nautilus gyms, goals gyms, swimming workouts, diet plans, jogging workouts, biking workouts. We are a health and fitness crazed America. Every year, I suppose tens of billions of dollars and tens of billions of hours are spent on health plans, training plans, diet plans. The result: most boys I meet think their biceps are too small and one in four or more girls, they say suffer from some kind of an eating disorder.

01:24 Fitness is important. Don't get me wrong. Eating healthily is a good thing. But what would happen in America? In fact, what would happen to your home? In fact, what would happen to you if we trained our souls like we trained our bodies. Bible-cise, souls of Steel, Bible Club, God's gym, memory workouts, spiritual growth plans. Forgive the slapstick, but the concept is straight from scripture. Bodily discipline is of little benefit comparatively. And when overdone, bodily discipline can become an absolute idol. But spiritual discipline is profitable for all things. Psalms 1, and the kids and I memorized this a long time ago, but it says it so well: "Blessed is a man who doesn't delight himself in the ways of the wicked or the scoffers or the sinners, but he delights himself in the law of the Lord. And in his law, he meditates day and night." To meditate on the word, you've got to memorize the word, to meditate on the word, you've got to memorize it. You've got to study it. To study the word you've got to read it. To read it, you've got to open your Bible often. To open your Bible, you've got to have a heart that's excited, just plain excited about loving God and knowing God and living a life that has him in the middle of everything. It changed for me when Dr. Hendricks, one of my mentors and one of my heroes said, "When you approach the Bible like a love letter, the Bible will become the favorite letter in your life."

03:07 Here's the question for today. Why is spiritual discipline so much more profitable than bodily discipline? And then secondly: How do you train your faith? And then thirdly: What kind of faith workout schedule do you want to keep? Here's the lifeline for today. Lord, give me a heart that wants to know you more.

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