"I love my church and I love my pastor and every church needs a pastor needs a leader. Uh, but have you ever wondered when you're, you know, at a wedding ceremony or you're in your church, why, you know, your pastor or leader wears a big beautiful, you know, robe? "

Family Discussions:

  1. Discuss the role of your church leader. Who is he? What is he and what does he not?
  2. Why does Jesus not need any man to connect you to God?
  3. Why is he completely sufficient to be your high priest?
  4. How does Jesus qualify to be the link between you and God?

Transcription:

00:14 Hey, I love my church and I love my pastor and every church needs a pastor needs a leader. Uh, but have you ever wondered when you're, you know, at a wedding ceremony or you're in your church, why, you know, your pastor or leader wears a big beautiful, you know, robe? Well this passage, they said something about that. It's Hebrews Chapter Seven and just verses 25 through 28 and it talks about the real priest and here's what it says. "Therefore, since we are able also to save forever, those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them, for it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens who does not need daily like those high priests to offer up sacrifices for, for his own sins.

01:14 And then for the sins of the people. Because he did once for all when he offered up himself." Of course it's talking about Jesus. The priest of all. "For the law appoints men, as high priests who are weak with the word of an oath, which came after the law appoints a son made perfect forever." You may want to get your Bible and read that passage over a couple of times. You know, some do wore coats and some wear ties and some wear, you know, long black robes and that's okay. And some wear shorts with neatly pressed, you know, white round collars, some appear in shirtsleeves and some have ultra fancy colors in their attire. I just tell my pastor to tuck his shirt tail in, you know, some are PhDs, some are doctors of divinity, some are bishops, cardinals, pastors, preachers, teachers or fathers. You know, one's called the pope, one's the president of a large association of churches.

02:09 One as a church of 20,000 people. One has 52 members, but no matter what their title, and again, I look up to our church leaders, but no matter what their title, no matter what their attire, they only have one thing in common. They're all men. They're all men. They're all born of the flesh and they'll all die in the flesh without Christ, none are divine in and of ourselves. None can go to God alone, all go to God the same way you and I go to God, we all approach God directly on the avenue of faith, paved by the sacrificial blood shed on a Roman cross on a hill called Golgotha by the one the only, the supreme, the divide, the one for all the sufficient high priest named Jesus. Whether you're Protestant, Catholic, evangelical, charismatic American, African, Asian, European, Indian. You know, we all go to God the same way.

03:12 The same way is Billy Graham went to God the same way that the pope went to God. We all go to God. In Jesus's name, we go directly. We all need churches, but we don't need a church to pray. We all need church leaders, but we don't need a church leader to pray. We love our prayer books, but we don't need a prayer book to pray. All we need is Jesus to pray. All we need is to go sincerely reverently with faith in Jesus' name. Hebrews is clear. He is our high priest. He is our intercessor for God. He is our guide to the throne of God himself. And here's some great discussion questions. If you're with somebody to study with, and I hope you're doing these with your family, discuss the role of your church leader. Who is he? What is he and what does he not? Yeah. And then secondly, why does Jesus not need any man to connect you to God? Why is he completely sufficient to be your high priest? And then lastly, how does Jesus qualify to be the link between you and God?

"Besides guarding our heart in regards to falling TV messages, we need to impact the entire media culture."

Family Discussion:

  • How often do you wrestle with prayer for individual media personalities?
  • Why do you think many Christians never pray for these individuals?
  • What scriptural promises assure us that God not only hears us when we pray, but that God will answer our prayers? What are the keys to seeing that our prayers affect change in our culture, and most importantly, affect change in our mind?

Transcription:

00:06 Sometimes the simplest things are the greatest things of all. This little verse today is super simple, but it is super helpful. It's in Colossians 2:4, and Paul says this: "devote yourself to prayer (isn't that simple?), keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving." Talk about trivia, did you know that falling TV sets kill about four children every year? This was actually cited in the September 1998 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics. As I read about that study, it sort of made me wonder how many other people are dead because of television, not because they fell on their head, but because they fell on their mind. Consider the statement that somebody said once, this very famous person who said, "I personally worry more about television than any other form of media because it's so pervasive and it's a primary babysitter and a value transmitter for many children."

01:16 The constant barrage this person said of violence and explicit sexuality reinforces the loosening of human bonds, undermining the evolution of a mature person. For many people, it's affecting not just what they think about, but also how they think. Well, that was expressed by Hillary Rodham Clinton when she was the wife of the president of the United States. It's not just evangelicals who worry about television, even television mogul, Ted Turner who began CNN and other Turner broadcasting networks, this is what he said, believe it or not: "as a parent with five children, I don't need experts to tell me that the amount of violence on television today can be harmful to children" and not just children. He didn't say that, but not just children, but adults. But he said "television violence is the single most significant factor contributing to violence in America." Ted Turner said that. In addition to these concerns, I'm concerned that television can have a devastating spiritual consequence. I wonder how many people today are no longer serving Christ because of something they saw on television or saw in a theater or heard at a concert. The Christian bashing is unbelievable. The sexually explicit material that leads to perversion and ultimately rebellion against God. No one knows for sure how many have literally washed out spiritually. But man, we know it happens all the time. Besides guarding our heart in regards to falling TV messages, we need to impact the entire media culture. How we do that? I think there's a number of ways, but none are more important than prayer. And that's why the apostle Paul says, "devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and being thankful." Later in the chapter, he compliments a fellow believer by saying he's always wrestling in prayer for you. Are you wrestling in prayer for our nation? Are you wrestling in prayer for Hollywood? Are you wrestling in prayer for individual actors and actresses and musicians and the insiders in the industry? We can make a difference. God has promised us that, but not until we hit our knees first. And most importantly, wrestle for prayer in your mind.

03:45 Here's the question today. How often do you wrestle with prayer for individual media personalities? And why do you think many Christians never pray for these individuals? And then the third question: What scriptural promises assure us that God not only hears us when we pray, but that God will answer our prayers? And I can think of five references right now. And then: What are the keys to seeing that our prayers affect change in our culture, and most importantly, affect change in our mind? And here's the lifeline for today. Make a list of six or 12 or a couple of dozen media personalities and begin to pray for one person every day. Be specific one time I was watching the Oscar awards and I begin to pray for this certain guy who was singing this song that had just won the Oscar. And I began to pray for him. And later on a few years later that man actually became a Christian. That's a true story. And I met him and I told him I'd be praying for him for years; ask the Lord to bring them to his son and give them a burden for purity and for wisdom and for wholesomeness. God can change anything through prayer.

"Have you ever wondered how many Hershey's kisses are made every day? How many m and m's are made every day? How many tootsie rolls? How many Dunkin Donuts? "

Family Discussions:

  1. If God could accomplish everything he wanted to accomplish anyway, why didn't he give us the gift of prayer?
  2. Why did Jesus, being God's son, why did he pray to God the father?
  3. Why is prayer such an important of our life?
  4. What do you prefer the most and why is that the center of prayers?

Transcription:

00:14 Have you ever wondered how many Hershey's kisses are made every day? How many m and m's are made every day? How many tootsie rolls? How many Dunkin Donuts? Today I'm going to tell ya, uh, and I'd love to eat this kiss right now, but, uh, mom always taught me not to eat, I mean, talk with my mouth full. So I'm going to wait. Uh, but we're in John 16, verse 23 and 24 again the last night of Jesus's life before his crucifixion. And in a very sobering moment, he speaks to the disciples and he says this, "In that day, you will not question me about anything truly, truly I say to you, if you ask the father for anything in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you've asked for nothing in my name, ask and you will receive so that your joy may be made full."

01:06 Well, every day, at least, almost every day, somewhere in America, 2,739,726 Dunkin Donuts are made. 17,600,000 tootsie rolls are made and MnM's reps over a hundred million a day. 2 million. When every 60,000 Hershey's kisses are made every day, and believe it or not, every day, Americans read the comics to the tune of 79 million Americans every day, while 86 million Americans read the sports page. Man, I don't know how many families do what you're doing right now every day, but I'm afraid you may be in a heavy minority. How many do devotionals together every day as a family boy, it's a good bet that the satisfaction you'll receive from studying God's word, whether you're doing it by yourself right now or with your family will outlast any bag of m and m's you'll ever eat, even if you are a slow eater. Do you can be sure of one thing though Jesus prayed every day that he came to earth and and taking time to pray

02:21 daily is without a doubt the most important thing you'll ever do, especially if you're praying from scripture. You know, you know, donuts don't make happy families. Prayer does. Tootsie rolls don't buy love. Prayer does. M and m's don't make dreams come true. Prayer does. Jesus said prayers are best when they're honest, when they're from the heart, when they're simple and when they're not done for show. And Best of all, he promises that God hears and answers all of them in his way, in his time. You know, prayers are only hindered when they're selfish prayers. Without faith in our savior. How's your prayer life today? Here's some questions for you. If God could accomplish everything he wanted to accomplish anyway, why didn't he give us the gift of prayer? And y'all that is a great question. And then secondly, why did Jesus, being God's son, why did he pray to God the father? And then the third question man is, is why is prayer such an important of our life? And, and lastly, what do you prefer the most and why is that the center of prayers? So the lifeline for the day is, man, pray together with your family as often as you're together. Don't miss the opportunity.

Remind each other that during strong winds and dark night that Jesus won't be a second too late, and the family is where we encourage each other to walk through the storms.

Family Discussions:

  1. When was the last storm in your life?
  2. When did Jesus appear? Can you remember that?
  3. Why do we fret when Jesus doesn't immediately solve our problems?
  4. Why does he wait sometimes to calm the storm?
  5. What should we do when the night is dark and the winds are blowing? What are we supposed to do?

Episode Transcription:

00:14 Hey, this devotional we're going to do together today hits me right between the eyes, and I hope that it is as good to you as it is to me. We're in John chapter six, verses 16 through 20, and scripture says this, "When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake where they had gotten into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had road three or three and a half hours, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, and he was walking on the water, and they were terrified. But he said to them, "It is I. Do not be afraid."

00:59 You know, didn't Jesus set things up perfectly? Well, boy, I tell you what he did this night, and he's setting up perfectly for me today. You know, there had been a lot of talk about faith over the last few days. You know, we've done a lot of talk about faith in these devotionals. Well, now it was time to go to the faith laboratory. He knew that there was no better laboratory for faith than in a boat at night in a giant ocean-looking size lake and in a storm. The conditions were ideal. And I'll tell you what, I bet my bottom dollar that the moon wasn't even out. This was the place where fear was in full bloom. You know, winds make the leaves rustle in the tree. Strong winds blow roofs off houses. You know, Dramamine hadn't been invented yet. These guys were literally scared sick. Jesus waited for their prayers to come deeply from their heart. You know, faith's finest hour is when it's stretched to the breaking point. I know too well. I can almost hear those disciples calling out desperately for their Lord and master as the water began to fill their boat and stories of sea monsters from their childhood fill their imaginations. Then Jesus appeared, and there was calm. You know what an old southern preacher one time said in my childhood, "You know what? Jesus may not be there when you want him to, but I'll tell you what, he'll get there right on time."

02:28 And here's the question. When was the last storm in your life? And when did Jesus appear? Can you remember that? And the second question is this, why do we fret when Jesus doesn't immediately solve our problems? And then the third one is why does he wait sometimes to calm the storm? And then lastly, what should we do when the night is dark and the winds are blowing? What are we supposed to do? And then here's the lifeline. Remind each other that during strong winds and dark night that Jesus won't be a second too late, and the family is where we encourage each other to walk through the storms.

My daughter didn't date a lot, just kind of audited the whole dating thing, but I prayed for that girl's husband thousands of times. Some days I would take a whole day of the week, week after week after week, and I would fast and pray. And I would pray for one thing. I'd pray for her husband because I knew that God had somebody really special for a very special little girl.

Family Discussions:

  1. Have you ever given up on God through prayer?
  2. Is there a prayer that you willing to pray for 20, 30, 40 years?
  3. Is there something that you're willing to dedicate your life to?

Episode Transcription:

00:14 Have you ever prayed for something like day and night for years and years and then given up and said, man, you know what? I don't think God is even hearing my prayers. Well, I hope that today's passage will encourage you, man, like it encourages me. I've thought about this so many times, and I've watched this come true in the most dynamic ways you could ever imagine. Luke 18, one through eight, it says this, "Now, Jesus was telling them a parable to show that at all times, they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, 'In a certain city, there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect men, but there was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.' For awhile he was unwilling, but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection; otherwise, by continually coming, she will wear me out.' And the Lord said, 'Hear what the unrighteous judge said. Now, will not God bring about justice for his elect who cry to him day and night, and will he delay long over them? I tell you that he will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, he will find faith on the earth."

01:36 And I can relate so well to that. I have a brother-in-law. His name is Danny, and I love Danny a lot. Danny didn't know Christ. He was my wife's brother, and a delightful guy. Danny had a tough childhood. His Daddy was killed when he was a little boy, and he had a tough childhood, but I prayed for Danny for over 20 years. I mean on my knees at night, holding Debbie-Jo's hand countless times, I prayed for that man.

02:06 And I'll never forget the day, I was sitting on a golf course out there in Scottsdale, Arizona, that I was able by the grace of God to lead Danny in prayer into a relationship with Christ. When I was 17 and I asked Jesus into my heart, you know, my brother Bill didn't appreciate it. And he kind of used to ridicule me a lot, but I prayed for Bill. Man, I prayed for Bill. I love that man, and I think it was about seven years later, when Bill's little boy was in the hospital, suffering from epilepsy and diabetes, I got to pray with Bill, and I got to lead Bill in a prayer.

02:43 I used to pray for Jamie's husband. My daughter didn't date a lot, just kind of audited the whole dating thing, but I prayed for that girl's husband thousands of times. Some days I would take a whole day of the week, week after week after week, and I would fast and pray. And I would pray for one thing. I'd pray for her husband because I knew that God had somebody really special for a very special little girl. And I remember the time that that man came, and he asked me for Jamie's hand in marriage, and what a special guy he is. And I wept, not because my daughter was getting married, but I wept because God answers prayers, persistent prayers. And so I pray that you're encouraged to pray consistently for whatever it is that God has put on your heart. Don't give up because he's not giving up on you. My questions for you today is this. Have you ever given up on God through prayer? Is there a prayer that you willing to pray for 20, 30, 40 years? Is there something that you're willing to dedicate your life to? And if you do, if you'll pray for it every day, and if you'll even fast and pray over that prayer, get ready to have the biggest smile on your face you could imagine when God answers that prayer before your very eyes.

I love coaching because it's there on that football field that guys realize that they've got a platform. They've got a platform to share their faith. The reason they put on a football uniform is because that's their chance for people to look to them, not on the field, but off the field to see the witness of Christ in their hearts.

Family Discussions:

  1. When you're at school, which of your actions make a good sermon?
  2. When you're at home where it counts the most, what are your actions that make a good sermon?
  3. Which ones speak the loudest?

Episode Transcription:

00:14 You know that sometimes the tiniest little verses in this Bible or the biggest verses of all. This one today's about that long, but it's huge. And it's in Luke chapter 14, verse one, in Scripture says this, "And it happened that when he went into the house of one of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, they were watching him closely."

00:36 There's a little poem that we train our staff with every summer at our camps. And you know what? Watching those guys get it and watching those big, you know, college athletes begin to appropriate this little poem to kids, it's just, it's just so much fun. It's just awesome, and the poem says this, "There are little eyes upon you, and they're watching night and day. There are little ears that are quickly taking in every word you say. There are little hands all eager to do everything you do. And there's a little boy that's waiting to be a grownup just like you. You're the little fellas idol. You're the wisest of the wise. In his little heart about you, no suspicions ever arise. He watches you devoutly, watching everything you say and do. He's the little boy who's waiting to be a grownup just like you."

01:29 You know the reason I love coaching, you know, the teenage football camp, K2 football camp. You know the reason I love coaching the Texas Aggies. You know what? I love coaching because it's there on that football field that guys realize that they've got a platform. They've got a platform to share their faith. The reason they put on a football uniform is because that's their chance for people to look to them, not on the field, but off the field to see the witness of Christ in their hearts.

01:56 The reason I love to speak to the NFL teams, and speak to college teams and the basketball teams, or baseball teams, you know, in major league baseball is because it's there in those chapels that those guys realized that their sport is the platform for their faith. You know I love the college dancers and the college cheerleaders and the women's volleyball players and basketball players that come in and train at our camp because it's there they realize that they've got a platform to share their faith. And, you know, you may just be walking down the hall of your high school, and you make think nobody's watching, but I tell you they are. You may just be another guy in another pedestal in the marketplace in which you work, but there's people that in that place there, watching you closely every single day.

02:43 And you know what's great about that is, man, someday you're going to go to heaven, and you're going to be shocked because there's gonna be people from that same hallway, from that same office complex from that same college team you're playing on, and they're going to be in heaven, and you don't even know it. And they're going to come up to you, and they're going to say, "You know what? I saw Christ in you. I was watching you closely, and because of you, I'm in heaven today.

03:11 So here's the questions for you today: when you're at school, which of your actions make a good sermon, and when you're at home, when you're at home, where it counts the most, you know, what are your actions that make a good sermon? Which ones speak the loudest? And then the thought for the day is this. The greatest sermon we'll ever preach is a sermon we preach that has no words and has no sounds. It's the sermon of the way we live our life.

January 28, 2019

Our Father - Luke 11:1-4

You ever seen a locker room of grown men cry? You ever seen a team walk off a football field and take a knee on the 50-yard line after, after a tough August practice and watched a team's eyes filled with tears? Well, I have. In fact, I've seen it many, many times across this nation in NFL locker rooms and college football fields where I get to share that one thing, just a two word phrase, "our Father".

Family Discussions:

  1. Those disciples had probably prayed all their lives, why do you think all of a sudden they come to Jesus asking him to teach them?
  2. Some say the Lord's prayer is a kind of a how-to pattern, but what does this mean when you practice the Lord's prayer?
  3. Why does the Lord's prayer never get old? And what is it today about the Lord's prayer that touches your heart the most?

Episode Transcription:

00:13 You know, there's something written on this stone that I'm holding today that has probably changed more lives than anything that's ever been written. It comes from Luke chapter 11, verse one through four, and it says this, "It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples to pray.' And when he had said this to them, Jesus said, 'When you pray, pray like this. Our Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us, and lead us not into temptation.'"

01:03 You ever seen a locker room of grown men cry? You ever seen a team walk off a football field and take a knee on the 50-yard line after, after a tough August practice and watched a team's eyes filled with tears? Well, I have. In fact, I've seen it many, many times across this nation in NFL locker rooms and college football fields where I get to share that one thing, just a two word phrase, "our Father". And guys on those teams realize that they've got a dad, and that they've got a dad who's in heaven, a dad who's worth saying, "hallowed be thy name," a dad who you believe his kingdom will come and his will will be done on earth as it is in heaven, a dad that will give you your daily bread each day, a dad who will forgive your trespasses, a dad who's worth reflecting that to forgive others, a dad who will lead you not into temptation, a dad who will deliver you from evil.

02:04 You know what? When guys on these college teams realize that they've got a dad like that, and when they fall tenderly and love with a dad like that, yeah, I've seen it more times than I can count. I've seen grown men cry. And you know what the most fun part of all is? It's at the end of those devotionals when so many of those men, I mean on teams that you watch play on Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon and Monday night football when those guys, weeping, come up for a hug. And you know what? They don't come up and we have a little paddle in the back. I mean, they come up and those great big 300-pound guys will throw their arms around an old dude like me because I hug them like a dad. I hug them like the dad that they never had, and every time when I hug one of these fatherless players after they've received Christ in their heart, and they have realized that they too have a dad that now they've got a dad sitting in those stands cheering for the every play they play, whether they score or whether they fumble the football. As I put my cheek into their neck and I hug them with a big daddy hug, I say to them, I'll say, "You know what, Justin, I'm not your daddy, but if I was your daddy, I would be so proud to have a boy just like you. "

03:27 I've heard people converted to Christ with two words of that prayer. When they read the words "our Father," and they said, "That's all I need to know. If he's our Father, he's worthy of my life."

03:42 And so my question to you is this today: you know, those disciples had probably prayed all their lives, why do you think all of a sudden they come to Jesus asking him to teach them? And then second question is this, some say the Lord's prayer is a kind of a how-to pattern, but what does this mean when you practice the Lord's prayer, and why does the Lord's prayer never get old? And what is it today about the Lord's prayer that touches your heart the most? I think the greatest gift as far as a lifeline for the day goes that I get to have at night is I get to take Debbie-Jo's hand before we go to bed each night, and I get to pray for her. Today then take time to hold hands with the people in your family and pray together. It's the greatest time of the day.

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