"An insightful first grade teacher read to her students many wise old sayings that we've all heard since we were young. Then she'd stop each phrase just before the conclusion and she'd ask those five and six year olds to fill in kind of the last part of the phrase. Their answers have made me chuckle over and over again."

Family Discussions:

  1. Why does God put such a high price tag on forgiveness?
  2. How does forgiveness heal so effectively in here and out here with others?
  3. Who do you need to forgive today?
  4. Are you willing to do that before the sun goes down tonight?

Transcription:

00:13          Let's talk about a Bible verse that would change your world, change your life forever. This one will get you right between the eyes. It's in Mark chapter 11 verse 25 through 26. Again, Jesus teaches an amazing principle. He says this, "whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone so that your father in heaven will also forgive you of your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your father who is in heaven forgive you of your transgressions."
 
00:47          You know, an insightful first grade teacher read to her students many wise old sayings that we've all heard since we were young. Then she'd stop each phrase just before the conclusion and she'd ask those five and six year olds to fill in kind of the last part of the phrase. Their answers have made me chuckle over and over again. Here are just a few of the things that she would say. She'd say 'better safe than...' When kids said 'punch a fifth grader.' And another one she said, 'never underestimate the power of...' One kid said 'termites.' She said, 'don't bite the hand that...' One first grader said 'looks dirty.' She said, 'you can't teach an old dog new...' 'Math,' a kid said. 'A penny saved is...' 'Not much' 'Two's company. Three's...' 'The Musketeers.' 'Children should not be...' 'Spanked or grounded.' 'If at first you don't succeed...' One kid says, 'get new batteries.'.
 
01:42          You know, there's no Proverbs or wise words, more reliable and more profound than the life shaping time that God said forgive and it will be forgiven unto you. He didn't wink. He didn't smile. He didn't shift his feet when he said it. Hey, have you ever wondered why he spoke so frankly, on this subject. You know, life in the home provides the greatest laboratory in the world for the answer. Forgiveness heals. It heals your relationship with your mom, with your dad, with your husband, with your son, with your daughter. It heals your lack of joy. It heals the lack of peace that's in your heart brought down by your personal vendetta and it heals your relationship with God. No pharmacy, no hospital, no medical doctor can provide a bottle of medicine as powerful as the healing power of forgiveness. You know what? Bitterness kills. It kills your relationships with the ones you love in your home. You know what, there'll be the most important relationships throughout your life. Bitterness kills your inner joy. It kills your inner peace. It kills your daily fellowship with God. So forgive and it will be forgiven unto you. Isn't that great?
 
03:01          Here's the question for today. Why does God put such a high price tag on forgiveness? And then secondly, how does forgiveness heal so effectively in here and out here with others? And here's the big one. You guys who do you need to forgive today? And are you willing to do that before the sun goes down tonight? The thought for the day is this, forgiving hearts are happy hearts. Isn't that great
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.

"My first girlfriend left me for my best junior high guy friend. You know, that was puppy love, but the puppy sure thought it was love. It also was a pain in my gut. I'll never forget that day. A whole lot more painful than that was when my first wife, my college bride, left me from my best friend. She had fallen in love with him."

Family Discussions:

  1. How do trials build character when God is in charge?
  2. What has been the greatest time of brokenness for you?
  3. What are you going through now and how has God building character in you through that experience of pain?
  4. Describe how he gave you hope and how he gave you hope through the pain.

Transcription:

00:14          Today's Bible study is a painful for me to give, but it's a good one and we all need it. It's in Romans chapter five verses three through five and it says this, "And not only this, but we also exalt in our tribulations knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance and perseverance brings about proven character and proven character hope. And hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts, through the Holy spirit who was given to us." Pain and promise.
 
00:48          You know what? My first girlfriend left me for my best junior high guy friend. You know, that was puppy love, but the puppy sure thought it was love. It also was a pain in my gut. I'll never forget that day. A whole lot more painful than that was when my first wife, my college bride, left me from my best friend. She had fallen in love with him. And you know what? That was true love back then and it was a pain in my heart that lasted for months. I felt months. I felt like I was going to die. It almost killed me. You know what my first wife was and is a wonderful person. As was my friend. They became infatuated with. You know what? There's no doubt that initiating divorce is wrong. It's wrong. It's wrong. But I've never blamed her. And I've never been bitter. I'm sure if I would've been the man that she needed, that would've never happened. I just bet. But I just cried my eyes out for months.
 
01:46          But in that valley, I fell completely in love with God. From that valley, you know, I've given my, today's. I'll give him my tomorrows. Because somewhere in that valley, God accepted my broken heart. And not only did he heal it but somehow in his miraculous care, he brought Debbie Jo to me. She's the greatest woman alive. And she's the mom of my four kids. And I've been married to her for almost four decades. But she has given me love and more importantly, God has given me a passion. Down in that passion, I mean that Valley of pain, God's given me a passion for people who like me, find themselves at the bottom of the Canyon with no apparent way to get out. You know what, man? I have learned a lot in my brokenness before God and I'm sure that there's more ahead, but God is at his best when we are at our worst. He'll never be closer than the day you fall on your face.
 
02:56          You know what? Pain gives us a choice. When we run to God, we get better. When we run to ourselves, we get bitter. Pain is like a golf tee to me. It could cause you to be teed up or teed off. It either makes me mad and useless or it makes my ball go a whole lot further off the tee. You see, God has this spirit who is never more ready to fill our hearts than when we're not down. And the Holy Spirit's great skill is to give us bravery, to get us out of the Canyon and to give us more deep, solid character and to give us great hope. Pain is the greatest teacher of all.
 
03:37          And here's the questions for today. How do trials build character when God is in charge? And then secondly, what has been the greatest time of brokenness for you? Or maybe what are you going through now and how has God building character in you through that experience of pain? And then the last question. Describe how he gave you hope and how he gave you hope through the pain. You know what? This is not heaven down here. Pain happens here, but how can you prepare yourself for the, during trials that lay ahead. And here's the lifeline for today. Bitter or better. It's your choice when the cruel ball of failure is hit into your court.
 

"If anything on earth can surpass the value of the acts of kindness, the gift of forgiveness would certainly fill that difficult task."

Family Discussion:

  • When those you love the most look in their treasure drawer, how much of it will be filled by things that you put there?
  • What are some of those things that you've put in the treasure drawer of the people in your family?
  • What are some of the things that they've put in your drawer that means the most to you today?
  • How does forgiveness pave the way for kindness? And how does Christ's example of forgiveness make it easy for a true believer to be kind enough to forgive that?

Transcription:

00:14 It was the first birthday present I can remember from my youngest son, Cooper. I think he'd taken it all the leftover paper and ribbons and he stuffed them all in a little ball. He was probably four years old. They brought me breakfast in bed and then he said, "happy buff day dad." And I took this thing and I went, "wow, Cooper, what is it?" And he said, "it's a hand grenade!" I said, good grief. What does he want to do? Blow me up? But he's become a treasure to me. I want to talk about treasures of kindness today. We're going to look at Ephesians 4 verse 29 through 32. listen to this: "let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment so that will give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other just as God in Christ Jesus has also forgiven you."

01:28 I've saved the cards through the years. I've got stacks of them actually, they're from my kids and they're from my grandkids. "Dad, I love you" ; "dad go ahead and have a happy father's day." One of them said "ask mom, and she said it was okay." This was Cooper back when he was little. He said, "I love you dad. You're the greats. (Whatever the greats is), other kids, love you, but not as much as me." And then my little notes from my grandkids: "I love you, Pops." Can't read that one, but it's really cute. Anyways, all kindness to someone you love is doing anything to that person or for that person that just puts a smile on their face and a song in their heart. If anything on earth can surpass the value of the acts of kindness, I'll tell you the gift of forgiveness would certainly fill that difficult task. Forgiveness is overlooking a fault, saying, "That's okay. I know you didn't mean it." I just saw a letter from my daughter. We'd been having a tough time but man, she wrote me a forgiveness letter and it's a treasure that I'll keep forever. You can shrug off your hurt feelings knowing that God is forgiving you for a whole lot more than what you're forgiving that person for. Forgiveness opens the treasure drawer to your family and kindness fills that treasure drawer. For me, and I'm sure every parent, and someday, every child will agree, these are the greatest treasures of our life. A hand grenade; I'll never forget it as long as I live.

03:09 Here's the questions: When those you love the most look in their treasure drawer, how much of it will be filled by things that you put there? And the second thing is this: What are some of those things that you've put in the treasure drawer of the people in your family? What are some of the things that they've put in your drawer that means the most to you today? And then most importantly: How does forgiveness pave the way for kindness? And how does Christ's example of forgiveness make it easy for a true believer to be kind enough to forgive that? Here's the lifeline for the family. It says "I can't remember your mistakes, but I can't forget your kindness."

"From a slave to sin, to a free man in Christ; from an orphan lost to the world, to an adopted son found in Christ."

Family Discussion:

  • What does it mean to be adopted by God as a son?
  • What kind of response does this incredible offer invoke in your heart towards him?

Transcription:

00:06 Well, I have a treasure chest in my house. I'm a treasure hunter and this treasure chest is full. And the treasures over the years are the letters that my kids have written me. It's the best thing I've got. My "happy father's day" cards, "happy birthday dad," the first shoes that my daughter ever wore, Cooper's little football cleats back in peewee. These are my treasures; I'm a dad, it's the greatest thing in the world. Listen to Galatians chapter 4, verse 4-7. This will blow your mind. It says this: "but when the fullness of time came, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law so that he might redeem those who were under the law that we might receive the adoption as sons. God has sent forth his spirit of his son into our hearts, crying Aba father. Therefore, you are no longer a slave, but a son. And if a son, an heir through God."

01:34 My daughter has come home from Rwanda with two adopted kids, and her palace is just a giant celebration. These kids never had a parent and now they've been adopted. Well, I've got to tell you a story about adoption. I've never formally adopted, but informally, let me tell you about one. It was a dark and gloomy day when I trudge reluctantly to the high school football field to see David, a 13 year old football player who had just been to our sports camp maybe just a couple of months before. David's big green eyes were filled with questions of doubt and sheer disbelief. As his long eyelashes, I'll never forget the picture, were laden with tears of sorrow over the drowning death of his father only a few hours before. I told David that I loved him deeply and I hugged that big old strong kid on the football field. And I said, "David, if you ever need a dad, I'm there for you man. If you want a second dad, all you need to do is call. Boy, as the next four years progressed, David's life went slowly downhill. I'd see him occasionally in our chats were always meaningful, but his life without his dad was taking its toll. He wasn't ready to take me up on the offer, but then the day came that his life fell apart. And the details are pretty confidential. His life became chaos.

03:06 I remember the phone call when it came. I was delighted. He came over to my house and he treated me like a daddy. And on that day, David gave his life to Christ. We spent so much time together the next three days, just giving him the love that he had lost for the last four years of dad. I felt for him, much like I'd felt for my own sons. You know, my emotions went to the moon and back when he prayed an earnest prayer of repentance and deterred with solidarity from his past, and he opened up his heart to let the savior in to reign and rule for eternity, and He is still living in that relationship with Christ today. So here's my question to you. What does it mean to be adopted by God as a son? What kind of response does this incredible offer invoke in your heart towards him? And here's the lifeline today: From a slave to sin, to a free man in Christ; from an orphan lost to the world, to an adopted son found in Christ. What are you going to do with that in your home today?

"He chose you, you were picked out from all the rest. You were known before you were ever born."

Family Discussion:

  • How does being chosen by God make you feel?
  • How does it motivate you to tell lost people, who God wants in his family, how wonderful it is to be a child to God?
  • How can you get unduly confused if you try to figure out God's mysterious truths that are only meant for God to totally understand?

Transcription:

00:05 I will never forget as long as I live the day that coach Zimmerman, when I was just a fair haired walk-on, looked down the bench at me in the Air Force game when he said, "Hey, I choose you to go on that field and start for this team." It was awesome to be chosen. I'd been chosen last so many times in my life, but to be chosen to play was just incredible. Listen to what Ephesians says about you and Christ. In chapter 1 of Ephesians, verse 3-6, it says this: "blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless before him, in love he predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the kind intention of his will, to the praise and glory of His grace, which he freely bestowed upon us and the beloved."

01:17 Who chose whom? It's the question that has plagued the church for centuries and sadly it has divided churches by the thousands. And I know that Christ doesn't want division. It started 10,000 arguments. Sadly, it's caused dissension and factions and pride and insecurity. God never intended it to be so. It's the most wonderful of all the good news of the Gospel, in the biblical context. It's not what I think or Calvin thinks, the Arminians think, it doesn't matter. But in scripture, there are two contexts. Every time Paul is talking to a believer, it says, "he chose you." He chose you, he elected you, he predestined you. And by His grace, over and over again in scripture says that you get to respond to him and choose him. God's message to the believer is that he chose you. It's awesome. It's repeated often. He chose you, you were picked out from all the rest. You were known before you were ever born. You are his by choice. He saw something in you He wanted to die for. He couldn't bear the thought of spending eternity without you. But with every bit as much certainty, God's message to the unbeliever is whosoever will, may come. Read the verses - "God so loved the world that whosoever believes in him should have eternal life," John says. Revelation: "Whoever hears my voice and opens the door." In First Timothy 2, 3 and 4 he said, "God's patience, not wanting any to perish, but for all to come to repentance in us." In 2nd Peter 3:9 he says it again. "The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is patient towards you not wanting any to perish, but for all to come to repentance."

03:19 God wants a big family, so how can both be true? Hey, only God knows. But as a believer, you can be grateful and motivated; grateful that he chose you and motivated to tell those who've never heard or never listened. Like two railroad tracks, the farther you look down the track, the more you can see them come together. I can't solve the dilemma, and don't you try. But God wants you to be in his family. If you're lost, he wants you. How does being chosen by God make you feel? How does it motivate you to tell lost people, who God wants in his family, how wonderful it is to be a child to God? And then thirdly: How can you get unduly confused if you try to figure out God's mysterious truths that are only meant for God to totally understand? Here's the lifeline for today. By grace, we've been chosen and by grace we've been allowed to choose Him too.

"You'll know them by their fruits."

Family Discussion:

  • Describe the magnitude of God's love as shown through his willingness to adopt Paul, the biggest Christian hater of the day, as his son.
  • Why does a true Christian or radically saved Christian follow Christ in all things forever?
  • If you've fallen back into your old ways of living, how do you get back into becoming radically saved again?

Transcription:

00:06 Hey, if your faith needs encouragement today and you just feel how I feel like a lot of the times, just kinda down in the dumps about your faith, I hope this devotional encourages you today. It is certainly encouraging me. We're in Galatians chapter 1, we're going to do verse 13 through 22 and then verse 23; and it's the apostle Paul talking, this is incredible. He says this, "for you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the Church of God beyond measure. And I tried to even destroy it and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries, among my countryman being more extremely zealous from my ancestral traditions." And of course we know that Paul even persecuted Christians before he met Christ, but we're going to verse 15. He said, "but when God who had set me free apart even from my mother's womb and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his son to me so that I might preach him among the gentiles. I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem, to those who were the apostles before me, but I went away to Arabia, return once more to Damascus. Then three years later, I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephus and stayed with him for 15 days. But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother. Now what I'm writing to you, I assure you before God than I am not lying. Then I went into the regions of Syria and Silica and was still unknown by the sight of the Churches of Judea, which were in Christ."

02:01 If I could just paint the picture for you real quick. Paul was the most hated of all by Christians. He was probably the meanest guy in the world, the Christians. But Paul was completely, radically saved. Folks, I've seen this happen before my eyes more times than I can describe. I'll never forget this baseball player named Scott who came by to visit me. This guy was radically lost. He had overseen three abortions. They were his fault. He had married this stripper and divorced and his life was an absolute mess. But somehow in my office that day, that young man was radically saved. You know what he's doing today? That guy is helping to run a youth care facility and he is leading kids to Christ, kids who've been thrown away by society. I was in a college event the other night and there were probably a thousand students who came to the cross. The quarterback of the football team, a very successful college quarterback, led a girl down to the cross. And probably if you would've looked at this girl, you'd have said that there's probably never been a guy who's ever spoken a nice word to that girl in her life. That girl was probably the most outcast girl in that whole student body. That quarterback who had been radically saved, led that girl by the hand in front of the whole portion of the student body that was at that event. He led her down to the cross and he led her to Christ. Radically saved man, you'll do anything. I have a friend who was beaten by his dad. Beaten severely, by his dead. When he grew up, he became a Christian. He went home and forgave his dad and he led his dad to Christ. And he walked with his dad for the last 14 years of his life as best friends. Radically saved, changes everything.

03:44 Here's the questions for today. Describe the magnitude of God's love as shown through his willingness to adopt Paul, the biggest Christian hater of the day as his son. And then why does a true Christian or radically saved Christian follow Christ in all things forever? Then, if you've fallen back into your old ways of living, how do you get back into becoming radically saved again? And then the lifeline of the day is Matthew 7:16. It says you'll know them by their fruits and home is with place to show those fruits that you have in your life because of Christ.

"Forgiveness is God's greatest gift to you."

Family Discussion:

  • Why does God demand that we forgive others, just as he forgives us?
  • If there's any speck of bitterness hidden in your heart, what do you need to do to deal with that bitterness today?

Transcription:

00:06 You ever wake up in the morning with a great big suitcase, tied to your back that's full of barbells and you just can't seem to get through your day? Man, I've got a Bible verse for you today that I think is going to help immensely and helping get the backpack off your back. You'll feel just as free as the spring wind when you get the backpack off your back. Listen to this. Second Corinthians chapter 2, verse 9-10. It says this, "the reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven, if there was anything to forgive, I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake."

01:03 I'll never forget the chairlift ride in Park Cities, Utah with a counselor from our summer camp. Her name was Emily. She was a beautiful, bright eyed athlete from West Virginia. But beneath those beautiful bright eyes and that beautiful smile that just made the Utah Rocky mountains glow like a sunrise, was this heart of bitterness, this heart of just hatred and anger. And, but I'm so glad it was a long chairlift because something happened on that chairlift that I'm sure will change Emily's life forever. You see, Emily's mom had taken off with the choir leader from the school and it left Emily and her dad broken and in shambles. Emily was so bitter at her mom and the backpack she carried on her back was heavy because bitterness is probably the greatest burden that anybody can ever carry in their life. But, somewhere on that chairlift, Emily forgave her mom. And you know what, when she went skiing off that chairlift and I went snowboarding with my kids in the other direction, that little girl was finally free; free of a backpack of weights that she'd been carrying for years.

02:23 I remember another young man who came to our campus, his name was JD, and he was so bitter. He was so mad. His mom had died of cancer and he was bitter at God. He was doing just all kinds of drugs. But, somewhere during the term of that camp, he and I became friends and JD forgave. JD cleaned his backpack. JD looked at the God that he was mad and bitter at, and he saw the love of God who had come to this earth to die for his mom so his mom could go to heaven. You know, today JD is the most happily married man you've ever seen your life. He's actually living in the slums of Cairo, Egypt, intentionally giving his life to lead people in the Muslim world to Christ.

03:15 Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give, not just to somebody that you're bitter at, but it's the greatest gift you can give to yourself. Here's the questions for today. You know, Emily's sparkling eyes and contagious smile was the result of an unbridled, bitter-free heart. Why was her trip up the mountain, forgiveness, the most important trip up the mountain in her life? And then, here's a great question. Why does God demand that we forgive others, just as he forgives us? And then, men, get honest with this question. If there's any speck of bitterness hidden in your heart, what do you need to do to deal with that bitterness today? And the thought for the day is this. Forgiveness is God's greatest gift to you and it's your greatest gift to him and your greatest gift to your family.

"God loves us based on what he did for us."

Family Discussion:

  • How much love does God love you? Can you define the love that he has for you?
  • Read through those qualities of love in first Corinthians 13 and every time it says love, put God in there. And every time you read one of those qualities, put yourself in there and then give that same kind of love back to somebody else.

Transcription:

00:06 There's all kinds of great hand signals like that one, which I like, and that one, which I like, but one of the best ones, or maybe the best one in the world is that one, which is the universal symbol for love. First Corinthians 13 is just great. Everybody needs to know it by heart and it goes like this. "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but don't have love, I've become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have the faith that can remove mountains but to not have love, I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor and surrender my body to be burned but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient. Love is kind and is not jealous. Love does not. Brag is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly, it does not seek its own way. It does not delight in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But if there are prophecies, they will fade away. If there are tongues, they will cease. Where there is knowledge it will too pass away. For we know in part the prophesying part, but when the perfect comes, the partial is done away. Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

01:34 You know what's great about that? It defines a man, it defines a woman. It defines a family. Uh, my favorite picture of love over the years, uh, of all the years of my kids doing basketball and volleyball and cheerleading and gymnastics. It's one man, an older guy, who had a wife who couldn't walk.

01:54 She was very debilitated, but every game he had the wheelchair and he'd pull her up to the door and he put her in her wheelchair and he would push her to every game and give her a 50 yard line seat. I saw him love her for years. Two of my favorite counselors at Kanakuk over the years, these sports camps that I do, out of the thousands of awesome counselors we've had were two fabulous male athletes, both of them, who fell in love with and married young women, both who had diseases, who they knew one day before too long would cripple those ladies and would require probably 24 hour care. Love never fails. Love no matter what. You know, lust can't wait to get, but love can't wait to give.

02:53 And you know what's the best part about that kind of love? That's the way that God loves us because true love says, I love you, not because of what you're going to do for me, but I love you because of what I've done for you. And the more I get to love and serve my little Debbie Jo after 37 years, the more I love her. It is not because of what she does for me, but it's because of what I get to do for her. That's the magic of marriage. It's the magic of family. And you know what? That's how God loves us. And that's where it comes from because God loves us based on what he did for us. And everybody knows what he did for us. He took the head, he took the cross, he took the nails, he took the crown of Thorns, he took the whip. And he says to you, he says, I love you based on that.

03:41 How much do you love me God? And he reaches his arms out and pins them to a cross. He says, I love you this much. So here's my questions for you today. How much love does God love you? Can you define the love that he has for you? And then the second one is, read through those qualities of love in first Corinthians 13 and every time it says love, put God in there. And every time you read one of those qualities, put yourself in there and then give that same kind of love back to somebody else. You're gonna have the greatest family in the world if you'll do that every day.

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

Family Discussions:

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

Transcription:

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

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

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

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

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

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