"Just because that stuff's out there, even a little bit, can literally be stored in your mind forever. So don't be captive."

Family Discussion:

  • What are the types of hollow and deceptive philosophies that are being promoted through today's pop culture?
  • While it's one thing to read the biblical admonition, to see to it that no one takes you captive, it's another thing to live it out. How do you, in a practical way, not allow these entertainment messages that are contrary to Christ teachings into your spirit and into your mind?
  • What are the possible consequences of hiding entertainment and indulging entertainment, hiding thoughts, that applauds behavior, that applauds language and attitudes that you know are not Christ honoring?

Transcription:

00:06 Every day when we get into this Bible, I'm just reminded again about just how incomparable, just how awesome, how amazing it is, the words of this book, huge what we're doing together everyday. We're in Colossians today, chapter 2, verse 4-8. This is awesome. Paul says: "I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument for even though I'm absent in body, nevertheless, I'm with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ. Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus our Lord, so walk in him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up and established in your faith and overflowing with gratitude." And then he comes back again in verse eight, he says, "see to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy or empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world rather than according to Christ."

01:24 The deal today is, do you want to be captive or do you want to be free? Do you know that this little 2.5 pound mass of gray matter inside of your skull, your brain has about 10 billion cells, something like that. Scientists have taught us through study with the brain through the years that every cell in the brain is a little trap. Every cell that's connected by millions and billions and literally probably a trillion neurons, little highways connect the cells in your brain so that everything you see and everything you hear and everything you touch and everything you taste, every thing you smell is stored in your brain. I think that's why pornography is such an incredibly evil drug because there's a little hormone released in your brain called Epinephrin that every time you see a picture of a girl or a boy that's unclothing or unclothed in a pornographic way, that that picture is stored and it's printed like a print in a photography dark room. It's printed on that piece of paper, that thought, that pictures printed in your mind. And it can literally stay there forever. The magazines that are coming after us, the iPhones, the iPods, the iTunes, the movies the television, the magazines, etc. I'm telling you, because I know I've counseled the kids, and I've counseled the adults through the years that became captive, literally became slaves, of some of this stuff that was coming into their minds. You can put bitterness into your mind through music. You can put hatred in your mind. You can put rebellion and anger in your mind. You can put pornography in your mind. It'll ruin your marriage with your boy or a girl; or you can put God in your mind.

03:26 I remember I used to do a teen talk radio show for years with Focus on the Family. And we would be in hundreds of stations all over the country and kids would call in from all over America. And I remember one boy called me one time and he liked to smoke marijuana and he thought that a little marijuana wasn't bad. And he said, well, "God made marijuana. So it's got to be good." And I don't know why I said this, but I said, "God made poison ivy too. And God made rattlesnakes too. So you going go out and smoke them or you going to go play with them?" Just because that stuff's out there, even a little bit, can literally be stored in your mind forever. So don't be captive.

04:08 The greatest adoption story in the antithesis of that is my buddy Chris, he adopted three kids - three kids from the inner city, three kids that their lives were going south. They were going nowhere. Those three kids were literally becoming a product of the world's system, but he adopted those kids, and he filled those kids with love. He filled their minds with Christ. And I'm telling you, those kids graduated from high school. They were of the most outstanding kids in their high school and are now in college because they filled their minds with love and they filled their minds with God.

04:43 Here's the question today. What are the types of hollow and deceptive philosophies that are being promoted through today's pop culture? And then secondly: While it's one thing to read the biblical admonition, to see to it that no one takes you captive, it's another thing to live it out. How do you, in a practical way, not allow these entertainment messages that are contrary to Christ teachings into your spirit and into your mind? And then talk about this with your family. What are the possible consequences of hiding entertainment and indulging entertainment, hiding thoughts, that applauds behavior, that applauds language and attitudes that you know are not Christ honoring and know are going to abuse your temple, as God says of the Holy Spirit that lives in you? Here's the lifeline today: Write down two or three of your favorite music groups or television shows or movies. Go ahead and write them down and then ask yourself the question, Do you believe that any of these fall into the hollow and deceptive philosophy category that Paul warns you about? And if so, what do you need to do about those?

"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.

"I see a man with five smooth stones, five smooth stones that can conquer any giant in your life."

Transcription:

00:07 Men, if there was a Mount Rushmore that had the greatest images of the most powerful people in the world and you could sort of be any one of those images or your life could portray any one of those images. Let's say you had presidents like Mr. Bush or Mr. Trump or Mr. Obama. You had athletes like Mr. Tebow or Mr. Brady. Or you had great actors, you know, from Hollywood, you know Mel Gibson and others or if you had a picture of a shepherd boy, one that looked like a man named David, which one would you rather be? Well, for me, easily, if I could be anybody, first of all, I wouldn't want to be anybody but me. But if I could be any of those, I'd want to have the heart of a shepherd, because I believe as I've worked with men over my lifetime, that men with the heart of a shepherd are the most effective men in the whole wide world, especially looking through the telescope of eternity. And man, I believe with all my heart that any man that is willing, can be called by God to be a man after God's own heart.

01:25 Moses was slow of speech, but God called him. David was an adulterer. David was a murderer, but God called him. Gideon was the least and his family was the youngest, but God called him. Joseph was thrown away in a pit. He was kidnapped and thrown away but God called him. Paul was a murderer. Paul was a persecutor of Christians, but God called him. And I believe, men, that God can call you, any man whose heart is willing to have the heart of a shepherd. And I look at David through the 23rd Psalm, through the prism of the 23rd Psalm. And I see a man with five smooth stones. Five smooth stones that can conquer any giant in your life, whether it's the giant of hopelessness, whether it's the giant of depression, whether it's the giant of a difficult marriage, the giant of a difficult divorce or a giant of difficult children or giant of a difficult self-image.

02:33 We all have giants in our life. I've got many giants in my life. But I believe that David gives us the key with five smooth stones to be able to overcome any giant in the world. And the first stone that David would put in his pouch to kill the giant Goliath in your life is the stone of an undivided heart. God chooses a man with an undivided heart. David said, "the Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want anything else." The cry of a man after God's heart is "God, shepherd me exclusively so that I can shepherd others."

03:15 And the second stone is the stone of peace. David said, "you lay me down in green pastures. You lead me beside quiet waters." And I asks you, men, where do you lay your head? Where do you veg? Where do you chill out in front of a TV set? In front of Fox News or CNN news? In front of worthless movies? Or do you lay your head in green grass? The green grass of meditating on God's Word day and night. Because Psalms 1 says, if you meditate on God's Word day and night, you'll be blessed in everything you do. When you discover the joy of meditating on God's Word day and night, it's a promise. Men, you'll be blessed in whatever you do.

04:03 And the third stone is the stone of righteousness. David said in the Psalms, I go after righteousness for your namesake. A man after God's own heart has a passion for purity. Psalms 101:3 is the calling of a man after God's own heart. It says, I will put nothing unclean before my eyes. Nothing unclean before my eyes. There is no compromise.

04:40 And then the fourth stone is the stone of trust. Psalms 139 says, if I ascend to heaven, you're there. But if I make my bed and Sheol, you're there. If I take the wings of the Dawn, if I remember the greatest day of my life, God, you're there. But if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there, your hand will lead me and your right holding me. Men, the greatest trees in a man's life sprout up in the darkest valleys that you go through. I've had 24 surgeries on my body and I'm undergoing pain right now as I speak to you from another difficult challenge in my life. But I find that the greatest days of my life are when I've got cancer and when I've got, you know, facing amputation or other difficult things that have happened in my life. Those are the best days of my life because the stone of trust is believing God no matter what. God does his greatest things when we're having our most difficult days.

05:51 And then the last stone to defeat the giants in your life is a stone of hope. Psalms 84 says "how lovely are your dwelling places, O Lord. I would rather stand," David said, "in the threshold of the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." In other words, I'd rather be on the outside looking in. Where God is. David said, I'd rather be even just looking in the house of God. I put my hope in God and in God alone because Proverbs says, "hope deferred makes the heart sick, but if my hope is in God, I am never, ever even going through pain and difficulty, never, ever, ever going to lose my hope." So gentlemen, as we fight this battle together, Paul says, put on the full armor of God and dress yourself every single day in the armor of God and you will fight and you will win and you will defeat the giants in your life whatever they are. God bless you, men as we fight this fight together.

"Flee sexual immorality, and flee means run for your life."

Family Discussion:

  • Why does scripture say run for your life from sexual immorality? Why doesn't it say stand and fight it?
  • What is it about sexual immorality, whether it's lust or entering into a bad relationship, that makes it the sin that's a sin against your own body?
  • How do you need to flee from something immoral that's going on in your life right now?

Transcription:

00:14 Today's Bible verse is brief and to the point, and it hits me and probably everybody else between the eyes, squarely like a bullseye. First Corinthians 6:18, it says this, "flee immorality, and flee means run for your life. Every other sin a man commits is outside the body. But the immoral man, the immoral woman sins against his or her own body." She was 17 years old and quite attractive, and yet hadn't had a date in weeks. The phone rang. And the guy that asked her to the date, she knew was not the guy she should be going on a date with it all. But he said, hey, we're going to the movies. It'll be fine. A little red flag went up and it said, you better not. But she said, well, nothing will happen at the movie, so we'll go. As they went to the movies, she found, to her surprise, that the movie theater was closed.

01:08 A little red flag went up when he said, "you know what, doggone it. Movies closed. But, you know what, there's a bunch of friends playing down at the park. They're going to be playing some sand volleyball down at the city park. Let's go play some sand volleyball. The flag went up, but she, uh, went to the park anyway. Well, when they got down to the park, you know what? Sure enough, nobody was there. And the guy said, "you know what? Doggone it, I guess everybody's already left, but maybe we could just spend a little time visiting in the car." A little red flag went up, but again, she disobeyed the flag of warning and so they begin to talk in the car, and the next thing she knew he was over sitting in the seat by her side. He began to kiss her, flags were going up everywhere. She disobeyed the flags in her hunger for affection. She became pregnant that night and nine months later gave birth to an unplanned child. The good side of that story is however, that when the red flag went up, it said, you need to abort the child. She obeyed the Spirit this time. And she had the child. Like so many other courageous moms who have a child when the world recommends abortion. What is the little red flag that goes up with sexual immorality of any kind comes before your eyes? What are the warnings and why is it so difficult to disobey the warnings? And what is the reward when you do obey the warnings?

02:31 The story goes of a businessman who was traveling. He was alone. He was lonely. He'd been out for weeks. He and his wife were struggling in their marriage. And so he called for a prostitute. He waited two or three hours and then there was a knock at the door. When the door opened he looked in horror at the face of his grown daughter who had adopted her daddy's morals and lived her life as a prostitute. Flee immorality. Scripture says, don't stand and fight it, run for your life. It's the most devastating challenge. And sin can happen in the life of a man or a woman. And my question to you today is this, why does scripture say run for your life? Why doesn't it say stand and fight it? The second question is, what is it about sexual immorality, whether it's lust or entering into a bad relationship, what is about that that makes it the sin that's a sin against your own body? And the last question is this, in your life today as a student or as an adult, a man or woman, how do you need to flee from something immoral that's going on in your life right now?

"The Stars and Stripes are a great reminder of that freedom under God. The civil war was historic. It was a great victory for the insidious practice of slavery in America. It was the heart of a Christ centered nation that not only brought freedom from this inhumane pestilence in America, but in many ways it sent a signal to the entire world that all men should be free from the bondage of other men." 

Family Discussions:

  1. Why is bitterness such a slave master? Why is it such a slave driver?
  2. How do we hold on to bitterness? Why do we hold on to bitterness?
  3. How does forgiveness heal the wounded heart? H
  4. Who do you need to forgive today for real?
  5. How could Jesus's death on a cross help you with that?

Transcription:

00:14 Romans 12 is absolutely loaded. Just the most fantastic collection of life changing truth. Let's checkout Romans 12 verse 17 through 21. It says this, "it says, never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. And if possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God. For it is written. Vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he's thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." This is what separates Christianity from every religion in the world. Um, here at home, uh, you know, we say our pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Freedom under God.

01:24 It's better than winning World War II, Korea, you know, the Cold War with Russia, the wars and the Gulf. Freedom under God. You know, it means thinking like he thinks. You know, released from the inner voices that can enslave you in sin and trap your thoughts that bring mental, uh, you know, instability and envy and strife and jealousy and hatred. You know, the Stars and Stripes are a great reminder of that freedom under God. The civil war was historic. It was a great victory for the insidious practice of slavery in America. You know, it was the heart of a Christ centered nation that not only brought freedom from this inhumane pestilence in America, but in many ways it sent a signal to the entire world that all men should be free from the bondage of other men. You know what? There is however, a slavery that continues to rage in America, in the world today when I see it in teenagers and men that I counsel who want to kill themselves.

02:32 You know, I see it in husbands and wives who wants to divorce each other. Uh, it's a slavery that cannot be ended with the musket or with the canon. The bloodshed of a nation cannot quench its thirst. Only the bloodshed of one applied in your heart can stop its beguiling reign in the life of a victim. The slave's master is called bitterness. Your boyfriend was cruel to you. Your dad called you names. He beat you. He wasn't there. He was mean to your mom. You know, your sister wore your clothes and tore the pocket of your favorite shirt. Your football coach sets you on the bench. You know, your boss passed you over when he hired somebody younger than you. Your ex wife of, um, you know, left you in a rage and never came back again. You know, we hold the grudge like a, like a three year old holds a Butterfinger candy bar. The bitterness

03:30 we harbor burns like a hot coal inside of our hearts. It makes us depressed and we make up and we just, you know, become just the live in these ominous clouds. These grey clouds that hover in the sky over heads, looming in hazy darkness. But then in a moment of freedom, you know, we see Jesus on the cross. We see nails in his hands. We see stripes on his back saying, "father, forgive them for they know not what they do." And then we understand and we apply our understanding and then we are free. And the Stars and Stripes of victory, we're finally victorious in our hearts. And here's a questions today, you've got to take it home. Why is bitterness such a slave master? Why is it such a slave driver? And how do we hold on to bitterness? Why do we hold on to bitterness? And then today, How does forgiveness heal the wounded heart? Here it goes, man you take it home. Who do you need to forgive today for real? How could Jesus's death on a cross help you with that? And the lifeline of the day says this: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

"I want to share with you a letter of freedom that I got from a friend a while back and it says this, it says, "Dear Joe, thank you for the letter in the book that you sent me. It's great and it has helped me greatly with some problems that I've been facing lately."

Family Discussions:

  1. What was the secret of my high school friends success?
  2. Why did he fail the first time we stopped drinking?
  3. Why did he succeed the second time he tried to stop drinking it?
  4. How does this passage will set you free right now?

Transcription:

00:15 I am just so excited about this verse today. It's like my favorite. You know, there's so many of those favorites in this book of Romans, but this one's my favorite. Romans Chapter Eight, verses one through three. This verse has literally changed my life in more ways than I can tell you. It says this, "therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, weak as it was in the flesh, God did. In sending his son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh." I love my mail. I loved my letters that I get every day. And uh, I want to share with you a letter of freedom that I got from a friend a while back and it says this, it says, "Dear Joe, thank you for the letter in the book that you sent me.

01:16 Uh, it, it's great and it has helped me greatly with some problems that I've been facing lately. Can I feel myself changing every day since I decided to let God run my life? Yes. It is truly amazing. I get so excited about life now. It's just unbelievable. Before I accepted Jesus Christ into my life, I had a problem with drinking. At first I thought drinking was okay. Since I grew up around alcohol. Man, how terribly wrong I was. I tried to stop drinking after realizing I was putting myself in bodily harm. The first night of that month was one of the toughest struggles have ever had in my life. I felt that I needed to drink more than anything else in the world, but I didn't. The second night of that month I gave in. My strength was not strong enough to overcome a dependency on alcohol.

02:13 I felt like a failure that night. I knew I could not do it alone. Now as a true follower of Christ, I've tried to stop again and this time it was different. I asked Jesus to help me with my problem and to show me the way to a happy life. And that's exactly what he did when I've tried to stop drinking for the second time, it was one of the easiest things I've ever done. I actually felt no need whatsoever to have alcohol back in my system. It was amazing how much easier it was the second time, but we both know why it was so easy. It was because Jesus was finally in the driver's seat of my heart. I've never been so happy in my life and this happiness will be growing in me more and more every day. Yeah, I know there will be trials, but I also know that whatever comes my way with the Lord's help, I will be able to handle anything." Every night at our men's events, at men at the cross and every night at our college events and after dark and every night at our high school events, with pure excitement,

03:20 I see this letter written thousands of times, thousands of faces, all in different ways. Here's the questions. Uh, what was the secret of my high school friends success? And the second question is this, why did he fail the first time we stopped drinking? But then lastly, why did he succeed the second time he tried to stop drinking it? And how does this passage will set you free right now? The lifeline for today is this. When I try, I fail. But when I trust, he succeeds in me.

"I heard the story of an older man who was interviewed, who had spent four years in a Nazi slave camp, burring a huge rock tunnel through a mountain to conceal the German World War II covert bombing and missile operations. Many of his friends died in that tunnel."

Family Discussions:

  1. What makes the law of freedom stronger than the law of sin?
  2. Why does sin enslave us?
  3. Have you ever experienced the freedom from sin? What was it like?

Transcription:

00:14 Oh Baby! If you love freedom, you're going to love this devotional day. We're going to be reading from Romans Chapter Seven Verse 20 Verse 24 25 and then we're going to skip down to Romans eight verse two. This is great. Here's what Paul says, "but if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. Wretched man that I am, who will set me free from the body of this death. Thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ. So then on the one hand, I myself in my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other with my flesh, the law of sin. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." Uh, years ago I heard the story of an older man who was interviewed, who had spent four years in a Nazi slave camp, burring a huge rock tunnel through a mountain to conceal the German World War II covert bombing and missile operations.

01:23 Many, many of his friends died in that tunnel. All the slaves of prisoners were starved beyond belief and beaten unmercifully. When the United States soldiers defeated Germany and arrived at the tunnel to free the German slaves, the men literally clasped their hands together in prayerful celebration. They were free. They were free to eat. They were free to laugh. They were free to cry. They were free to go home to their families. Man, sin is slavery. Sin is handcuffs. You know, alcohol abuse becomes slavery. Tobacco abuse become slavery. Drugs become slavery. It's no fun to be a slave to anything. Who wants to be in handcuffs their whole life? But man, alas, as we continue to spin our lives in the mud. Trying to get out on her own power. Literally from out of heaven comes to the Christian soldiers of Christ, freeing hand and forgives us and lifts us from our sin and cuts the change with the Chisel of grace.

02:33 That's how my friend Diane stopped smoking. That's how my friend West stop having sex with his girlfriend. That's how rob stop using drugs. That's how bill stopped cheating his customers. That's how, uh, my friend who was having adultery stopped having adultery. He went home and apologized and begin to serve as wife and raise his kids. That's how Christ can break your chains today. And that's why Paul triumphantly says the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free. And the question today is this, what makes the law of freedom stronger than the law of sin? And then secondly, why does sin enslave us? And then talk to whoever you're with right now and talk about, have you ever experienced the freedom from sin? What was it like? The lifeline for today is this, may we continually be able to echo their historical words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr when he said, "free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty. I'm free at last." And so we are in Christ.

Load more

Play this podcast on Podbean App