December 28, 2019

Cry of Victory - Mark 15:37-39

"Let me tell you, from what I understand from history, the veil that covered the Holy of Holies in the temple was a veil, it was so thick that it would take more than a team. Two teams of horses pulling in opposite directions to rip the veil. The veil was the place that separated the mercy seat of God in the Holy of Holies, in God's temple in Jerusalem from all the people of the world."

Family Discussions:

  1. Describe your personal feelings about Jesus' work on the cross.
  2. How would you get to God had the veil not been torn in two?
  3. How in the world could you ever approach a Holy God?
  4. Describe your feelings about the privilege, the honor that you've been given by the act of love.

Transcription:

00:13          Hey, I'll never forget the day my little college team at SMU beat Oklahoma in a bowl game. I mean, we went in the locker, we went crazy. The cries of victory were just incredible, but compared to the cry of victory that we're going to talk about today in this devotional it was but a tiny peep. In fact, you can't even hear it. But this cry of victory was the greatest cry victory of all time. We're in Mark chapter 15 and verse 37 it says this, "and Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last and the veil of the temple was torn into from top to bottom." Verse 39 says, "when the Centurion who was standing right in front of him saw the way he breathed this last, he said, this man truly was the son of God." Jesus' cry was to tell a style. It's paid in full. Your debt is paid in full. It is finished. I've done what I came to do. His final grueling act of crucifixion was over. The veil was torn in two.
 
01:21          Let me tell you, from what I understand from history, the veil that covered the Holy of Holies in the temple was a veil, it was so thick that it would take more than a team. Two teams of horses pulling in opposite directions to rip the veil. The veil was the place that separated the mercy seat of God in the Holy of Holies, in God's temple in Jerusalem from all the people of the world. The only way you could get into the Holy of Holies was the high priest. The ultimate Jewish religious figure could go in once a year and he, after all the washings and purifications, according to the ceremonial rites, he could go in and plead for the mercy and the sins of the nation.
 
02:08          But on this day, when Jesus cried, it is finished. It's done to tell us that over the veil of the temple was torn in two. And men and women, you know what that means? Do you know what that means? That means to you and me that we, based on the blood of Christ, that is in our hearts as believers. We can enter the Holy of Holies and we can come to the mercy of God. Every time I say that I tremble. In the book of Hebrews, it says that we can approach the throne of grace with confidence. And I don't know about you, but every time I read this passage, it humbles me to my knees. That we can literally in the name of Jesus, close our eyes, or leave our eyes open in our days of our greatest sorrow. When this world crushes us as it does or in our days of greatest joy and victory, we can slip in before the mercy seat of God because Christ was the ultimate sacrifice. And his blood gave us the rights to go in before a Holy God and to say, God, I need you. God. Please forgive me, God, I give you my life.
 
03:24          And here's the questions for today. You know, as Jesus did that, as Jesus literally made God's lap as a father accessible to you to come to, describe your personal feelings about Jesus' work on the cross. And the second question today is this, how would you get to God had the veil not been torn in two? How in the world could you ever approach a Holy God? And then the third question is this, now that you can approach God with confidence as it says in Hebrews based on the blood of Christ, describe your feelings about the privilege, the honor that you've been given by the act of love. And then here is the lifeline or the thought for the day. A family that prays together stays together.

"One of my favorite writers, Chuck Colson, and one of my favorite books, 'Loving God', talks about an Asian monk named Telemachus back in the days of the Roman empire. The cruel and perilous Roman empire. Telemachus one day heard the voice of God in his heart. And God said, Telemachus, go to Rome."

Family Discussions:

  1. How does Telemachus and his act of incredible life sacrificial bravery remind you of what Jesus did on the cross?
  2. How does Barabas' good fortune remind you of what Christ did for you? And then the third question is this.
  3. What do you think Jesus meant when he said, no greater love has any man than to lay down his life for his friends?

Transcription:

00:14          The scripture today is the pinnacle of human history. It's a moment in the life of Christ that would literally shake the foundations of the world. We're in Mark chapter 15, and we're in verse 11, and it says this, "But the chief priest stirred up the crowd to ask Pilate to release Barabas for them instead. Answering again, Pilate said to them, 'then what shall I do with him whom you call the King of the Jews?' They shouted back, 'Crucify him! Crucify him!' But Pilate said to them, 'Why? What evil has he done?' But they shouted all the more. 'Crucify him! Crucify him!' So wishing to satisfy the crowd. Pilate released Barabas to them. And after having Jesus scorched, he handed him over to be crucified."
 
01:07          One of my favorite writers, Chuck Colson, and one of my favorite books, 'Loving God', talks about an Asian monk named Telemachus back in the days of the Roman empire. The cruel and perilous Roman empire. Telemachus one day heard the voice of God in his heart. And God said, Telemachus, go to Rome. I can only imagine the feeling that this dear old godly man had as he walked up the Appian way, that so many hundreds of Christians had marched into Rome knowing that they would soon be slaughtered for their faith in Christ. He walked straight into the Colosseum. And as the gladiators were out in the Colosseum killing people, In fact, Fox's book of martyrs says that some days in the Colosseum of Rome in the first and second centuries under Domitian and under Marcus Aurelius and under Nero, some days, 5,000 Christians would be slaughtered in the Colosseum of Rome for their faith in Christ.
 
02:02          So Telemachus walks into the Colosseum. The gladiators are slaughtering people and he screams with a voice that silences the crowd. He screams in the name of Christ. Forebear. The crowds begin to call him names and jir at him. So he jumped over the wall onto the dirt floor of the Colosseum where the gladiators were out in battle. And he looked up at the proconsul of Rome and he said the name of Christ forebear. Well, the second time he said it, one of the gladiators took his sword and he slashed him across the chest and as Telemachus fell to his face in the dirt of that Colosseum joining the other martyrs for the faith. With one last burst of energy, he raised his head from the dirt and he said in the name of Christ forebear. And he put his head down and he died. One by one, the people in the crowds began to walk out of the Colosseum until the Colosseum was empty. And history testifies to the truth that that was the last day of the gladiator killings in the Colosseum of Rome. That man, it ended that tradition.
 
03:13          So the questions today are these, how does Telemachus and his act of incredible life sacrificial bravery remind you of what Jesus did on the cross? And then secondly, what does or how does Barabas' good fortune remind you of what Christ did for you? And then the third question is this. What do you think Jesus meant when he said, no greater love has any man than to lay down his life for his friends? And here's the thought for the day. Love is love when it's strong enough to die for.

"Believe it or not, in an age where people were exchanging gold coins, where there were no credit cards, where there were no checks, where there were no computer, the Bible talks about the day that one man will have at his controls every economic transaction in the world. That there will be a computer system so technically advanced that every transaction that you make would be linked together through a scanner and would go to one central computer system."

Family Discussions:

  1. How is our credit card system of today and our drive for materialism leading maybe even you and your home into the alarming of the mark of the beast?
  2. Knowing what you know about scripture, what do you need today to realign your life and your priorities?

Transcription:

00:13          Man, what a day to be alive as you read the scripture of Revelation and you see the times that we live in and you see some of these things literally coming true in our midst. It is such an encouragement to me as a follower of Christ. When you see the little UPC code on the bottom of every item that you buy at the grocery store, and as they run that UPC code across the scanner, do you know what that's doing? Do you know what that's telling us about? And what the book of Revelation reveals in chapter 13. Listen to this and see if this doesn't open your eyes to scripture like you've never had your eyes open before. In Revelation 13, verse three, it begins to talk about the unholy trinity. You know, the Holy Trinity is the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. But the unholy trinity, revealed in the book of Revelation is the Trinity of the Dragon. That's Satan. The beast. That's the antichrist and the prophet of the beast who causes all people to worship the beast. Revelation 13 three says this, "and I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain." I believe that beast is trying to mimic Jesus here. The antichrist, trying to mimic Jesus. "And his fatal wound was healed and the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast." And then skipping down to verse 16 through 18, it says this, "and he the beast, the antichrist, and he causes all the rich and the poor, the small and the great, the free and the slave to be given a mark either on their right hand or on their forehead. And He provides that no one should be able to buy or sell except the one who has the mark. This calls for wisdom, let him who has understanding, calculate the number for the number is the number of a man. And the number is six, six, six."
 
02:00          Believe it or not, in an age where people were exchanging gold coins, where there were no credit cards, where there were no checks, where there were no computer, the Bible talks about the day that one man will have at his controls every economic transaction in the world. That there will be a computer system so technically advanced that every transaction that you make would be linked together through a scanner and would go to one central computer system. That one man would control and then you wouldn't use your credit card to pay the bill. You would use the back of your hand or you'd use your forehead where the mark of the beast would be there and it would allow you to make that transaction. But if you don't have the mark of the beast then transaction wouldn't go through.
 
02:54          The Bible says, we will not take the mark of the beast. Do you believe that could really happen? Do you believe that that the system could be so scientific that you can have some kind of a computer chip on your hand or on your forehead that could tell enough about you. That could take that transaction to your bank account and to approve or disapprove of that transaction because you had that? Well, I will tell you something. It's happening today. We're using now hand scanners to gain interest into buildings. They're now using eye scan to verify credit cards. They're now using thumbprints even with children in schools to get their lunches as their thumbprint, identifies them and debits their account to the school system. I was in Rome, Italy, and the world conference of biometrics was in the same hotel I was staying in. As the leaders of the economic world were gathering to talk about the need for personal identity because of all the credit card fraud.
 
03:57          Men and women, what a day to be alive! As the day prophesied 2000 years ago literally is coming true before our eyes. But be for warned. Don't take the mark of the beast today and don't take the mark of the beast then. The antichrist will control everything he thinks until he's controlled by Christ. And here's my question for you today. How is our credit card system of today and our drive for materialism leading maybe even you and your home into the alarming of the mark of the beast. And then secondly, knowing what you know about scripture, what do you need today to realign your life and your priorities?
September 24, 2019

A Roaring Lion - 1 Peter 5:8-9

"I want you to meet one of my precious little stuffed animals today, little Leo. Leo the lion. Ain't he cute, soft, playful? Well, don't be lured in because Leo is not as playful as you think he is."

Family Discussions:

  1. What is it about Satan that you've already seen in your life that it makes him look like a soft little stuffed animal when behind the softness there's a roaring lion there that's gonna eat your lunch?
  2. What can you do today to get that lion out of your pen and out of your life?

Transcription:

00:14          I want you to meet one of my precious little stuffed animals today, little Leo. Leo the lion. Ain't he cute, soft, playful? Well, don't be lured in because Leo is not as playful as you think he is. We're in First Peter Chapter five verses eight and nine and it says this, "Be of sober spirit. Be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil rowls around like a roaring lion. Seeking someone to devour but resist him. Firm in your faith. Knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world."
 
00:48          One of the greatest basketball players who ever lived. I mean this guy could rebound like no one you've ever seen. I mean, he literally could have been among the two or three greatest of all time. Never achieved his greatness because he became bitter and the lion showed up. He had reason to be bitter. His wife had taken this little girl. But the bitterness became a lion in his heart and Satan literally took over and the guy couldn't even stay on a team. He couldn't even finish the season because bitterness ate him up. Because Satan like a lion began to eat his lunch.
 
01:26          I know another gentleman who, you know, Oh, he used to be the head of the family of families. I mean, the guy was making so much money. Had every, you know, sign of wealth that you could imagine for our guy to achieve.
 
01:39          One of my favorite singers of all time, one of the most beautiful voices, I think that's ever shown up on the radio, was this precious woman. And she started off in a choir robe as a teenager. Singing. She was a standout in the choir. And then somebody picked her up and took her to Los Angeles and made a record. And it wasn't long that she was the number one voice in America. Some say the number one voice in the world, but she couldn't give up her drugs. Her first designer drug showed up like a little bitty stuffed, you know, little lion pup. And it looks so innocent. It just took a little bit of the stress away and then it began to take over her mind and her life. And today she's on the side of the road. Strung out with a life history of being strung out on drugs.
 
02:47          It was in 2003 that the probably the greatest act in Las Vegas. Siegfried and Roy, you know, the, the great land tamers, the Great Tiger Tamers that were also, magician's world-class. They did feats that would just defy the imagination. And then one day one of their tigers turned on Roy and it almost killed Roy. I mean, just, you know, took his face apart and, and so it is with Satan. Don't you think that one little joint, it looks innocent. Don't you think for a second that, that one little, you know, alcoholic drink looks innocent.
 
03:29          Way down deep beneath that little stuffy, little cute soft face, there's a lion and Satan is behind that and he wants to eat your lunch. And so the question today is this, what is it about Satan that you've already seen in your life that it makes him, uh, you know, look like a soft little stuffed animal when behind the softness there, there's a roaring lion there that's gonna eat your lunch? And then what can you do today to get that lion out of your pen and out of your life?

"The man's name was Don and he kept an unusually immaculate work bench. However, one winter he found out one of his drawers was in total disarray. There was junk all in one of his drawers. He got his little four year old who was kind of mischievous little kid and he shouted out his name, Bobby! Bobby came running in, he said, did you do this? And Bobby goes, yes sir. And he apologized."

Family Discussions:

  1. For what crimes were Peter and the apostles being punished in that day?
  2. What was their response to being flogged?
  3. Why is it important to rejoice in suffering?
  4. Can you give personal examples of suffering for your beliefs?

Transcription:

00:14 You know, it's amazing. Uh, when you read the history books. In fact you can't even find it in the new history books. But in the old history books, I mean really old history books of America to read the suffering of the guys and the women who built the United States of America and what they suffered for the name of Christ. I mean, what they suffered just because they believed in Jesus so much and they wanted his name to be proclaimed in this country forever and what they went through to get us where we are today. Well, it's even more exciting to look back at the early Christians and to see how much they suffered to take the name of Christ to the world. If it wouldn't have been for their suffering and their sacrifice, you and I wouldn't even know the name of Christ today. So here we are in that suffering.

01:00 We're in Acts chapter five and the courage of these men and these women is amazing in the early church. We're in verse 41. The apostles had been proclaiming the name of Jesus. They were warned. They continue to proclaim his name. So they were flogged. They were beaten with whips and it says in 41, "So they went on their way from the presence of the council rejoicing that they had been considered worthy of their suffering, their shame for his name, and every day in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching that Jesus was the Christ." I heard a, uh, a really cute story one time. Uh, and just such a tender story of somebody who suffered unjustly. The man's name was Don and he kept an unusually immaculate work bench. However, uh, one winter we've, when we found out one of his drawers was in total disarray.

02:01 The, there was junk all in one of his drawers. Uh, he got his little four year old who was kind of mischievous little kid and any, he shouted out his name, Bobby! Bobby came running in, he said, did you do this? And Bobby goes, yes sir. And he apologized. His daddy dawned with fumed and the father and the son clean the drawer together. The next day he found the same drawer in the same disarray. Bobby, he shouted again once again, the little kid came running with big scared eyes and once again they cleaned the drawer. On the third day, when the mess appeared again, little Bobby got a spanking. After Don had sent his son to his room and when went back out to the garage to rearrange the drawer. You can only imagine how he felt when he looked closely at the shreds of paper and the bits of string and the piece of grass, the strands of hair, and he discovered that they'd not been put there by son.

03:02 after all. For right in the center of that tangled hodgepodge was a nest of cute little mice. Don shook his head and begin the long trek to Bobby's room where he knew for the next hour he would sit on the edge of the bed drying tears and trying to explain the injustices of life to a four year old who had suffered quietly. You admire those who came before us, don't ya? you know, Acts is full of Christian persecution. For what crimes were Peter and the apostles being punished in that day? And, uh, what was their response to being flogged? And here's a third question. Why is it important to rejoice in suffering? And, um, even though you probably hadn't been beaten for being a Christian, can you give personal examples of suffering for your beliefs? And here's the thought for the day. Uh, you know, speaking the truth often brings persecution in today's world as a family, determine that you will always be true to God's word regardless of the potential persecution that may come upon you.

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