"My mind races back to some of my experiences in the prisons meeting inmates and guys and women who have literally been completely transformed by giving their life to Christ. I remember one that I didn't meet but it was an interview actually on Larry King Live and it was an interview of an inmate in Texas named Karla Faye Tucker. "

Family Discussions:

  1. What is Jesus saying to you when he says that new wine needs to be put in new wineskins?
  2. Why is it all too easy to put new wine into an old wine skin and to continue to live like a non-Christian when you call yourself a Christian?
  3. How does living in the flesh living coronally living in the world like everyone else?
  4. How does it damage the cause of Christ when you and I do call ourselves a Christian?

Transcription:

00:23          Hey, I can't wait to share this devotional passage with you today. This one is phenomenal and I know you're going to be able to relate to it like I do. We're in Mark chapter two at this great book in the greatest book of all time. The most historically accurate. The most scientifically accurate. Archeology has proved the Bible over and over again. Prophecy proves the Bible is undoubtedly, undoubtedly the Word of God. And in Mark chapter two, verse 21 and 22, Jesus makes this amazing statement. He says, "No one sows a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise the patch pulls away from it. The new from the old and a worse tear results. In the same way, no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the wine will burst the skins and the wine is lost and the skins as well. But one puts new wine into fresh wineskins."
 
01:22          You know what? 2 Corinthians 5:17 is a similar verse. It says, "If anyone is in Christ, he or she is a brand new creation. Old things are passed away. Behold, new things have come." I was just talking to a high school friend of mine the other day and you know what, three months ago this friend was trying to commit suicide. But I had the privilege and the joy of leading this friend to Christ and man, you talk about a change. One of the most joyful, happiest young men I've ever met in my life. Making straight A's in school, reconciling relationships with his mom and dad, and example to all of his friends. I mean, when he accepted Christ into his heart, it didn't make him a better person. It made him a brand new person.
 
02:09          My mind races back to some of my experiences in the prisons meeting inmates and guys and women who have literally been completely transformed by giving their life to Christ. I remember one that I didn't meet but it was an interview actually on Larry King Live and it was an interview of an inmate in Texas named Karla Faye Tucker. And this beautiful young woman was about to go to, I suppose, the electric chair because of a previous murder. When this woman years before had been in on a drug deal and she was heavily under the influence of drugs and in her craziness under drugs, she had been accomplished to a terrible, terrible crime and she was going to receive the death penalty for that. But on that day, on that interview with Larry King, it was the greatest witness for Christ on television. Honestly, I've ever seen in my life.
 
03:08          That woman was so transformed by the spirit of Christ and you could see that he literally was living inside of her heart. And I don't know what Larry King did after that interview, but I will tell you, I could see in that man that he was moved like he never been before, as was the rest of America who saw that woman who had been completely transformed by her relationship with Christ. You know, becoming a Christian is not simply raising your hand in church, walking down an aisle, getting baptized or going to church. Although those are good things and they're all signs of a changed heart. But becoming a Christian is new wine in a new wine skin. Everything changes. When the people see you, they see Jesus in you. You love him. You live for him. You would die for him. And you would be able to say confidently, as Paul said, toward the end of his life, he said, for me to live is Christ. And to die is gain. Becoming a Christian is metamorphosis. It's a Caterpillar becoming a butterfly.
 
04:17          And here's the questions for today. What is Jesus saying to you when he says that new wine needs to be put in new wineskins? What does that metaphor about? The second question today is this. Why is it all too easy to put new wine into an old wine skin and to continue to live like a non-Christian when you call yourself a Christian? And the third question is this. How does living in the flesh living coronally living in the world like everyone else? How does it damage the cause of Christ when you and I do call ourselves a Christian? So, here's a thought for the day. The acid test of true Christianity is how you treat the members of your family.

"A fine college student athlete came to my office to talk about God. The guy was lost. He was so incredibly lost. He had caused two abortions. He had drank alcohol, like a fish in a pond. In his search for meaning in life, he scuffed the idea of a personal loving God, and he had paid a dear price for his wrongdoings."

Family Discussions:

  1. How can you explain God's amazing tender grace?
  2. How should that grace motivate you?
  3. Why is that grace so hard to comprehend?

Transcription:

00:14          This super scripture today is from Romans 3:23-25. It says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but being justified is a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in his blood through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness because the forbearance of God has passed over the sins previously committed." This is awesome. Hey, you want a gift? You want a free car? You want a brand new car? You want to Porsche? Do you want a Lamborghini Diablo? Do you want a Lexus? Do you want a MasterCard with unlimited spending and no bills to pay ever? You know what? The very heart of scripture, and that's where we find ourselves today is this amazing, overwhelming, unparalleled, unmatchable gift from God to you.
 
01:18          Fall short? In the scripture that means you could never ever get there alone. Justified? In this verse that means your sin and debt is paid totally. Gift? That means without charge. That means it's free. Grace? That simply means undeserved completely. Redemption? That means bought with a price. That means bought with his blood. You know, last week a fine college student athlete came to my office to talk about God. The guy was lost. He was so incredibly lost. He had caused two abortions. He had drank alcohol, like a fish in a pond. In his search for meaning in life, he scuffed the idea of a personal loving God, and he had paid a dear price for his wrongdoings. He was a mess. His first wife was a stripper. She left him for another man. His daily agony was in comprehensible. But as we began to talk, he pitched many unanswerable, stereotypical questions about God. Like how could a good God allow suffering and evil? You know, how could a tribesmen who never had a chance to hear get to heaven?
 
02:31          It was all just a smokescreen from the heart. That was elusively longing for a real relationship with his creator. I've heard the conversation in many ways a thousand times, but as if I had planned it at that moment. Then I began to explain to him from scripture the indescribable love of a good father for his son. My daughter and my precious grandson came up in a tiny camo hat and tiny camo PJs. She placed that tender precious grandson in my arms and she spoke for baby. She said, granddad, I want to go hunting with you. Man, I held that baby in my arms and I was just overcome with a deep sense of a dad's love that I can't express on paper. The college athlete saw the picture of God's redemption unfold before his eyes. You know what? He had no more questions. That night he gave his life to Christ and he has decided to give his life to purity so that others might see the truth of this wonderful passage in scripture.
 
03:37          Here's the questions for today. How can you explain God's amazing tender grace? And how should that grace motivate you? And why is that grace so hard to comprehend? And here's the lifeline for the day. Grace is getting what you don't deserve. Mercy is not getting what you do deserve.
 

"The resurrection of Jesus men and women is the crown jewel of history. It is the most written about the most provable, the most factual, the most life changing event in all of classical literature and in all of history. The resurrection of Jesus indeed sets Jesus apart from every other figure of religion or belief that ever lived."

Family Discussions:

  1. What difference do you see the resurrection as it has made in the history of the world?
  2. What difference does the resurrection of Jesus make in your heart as a follower of Christ today?

Transcription:

00:14          Have you ever wondered why Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and life. No one comes to the father except by me?" Have you ever wondered what separates Jesus apart from every other religious figure who ever lived? Luke chapter 24 one through nine tells you why, and it says this, according to the eye witness accounts, Luke writes this, "but on the first day of the week at early Dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared and they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. But when they had entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing. And as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he is risen. Remember how he spoke to you while he was still in Galilee saying that the son of man must be delivered into the hands of criminal men, sinful men, and then be crucified. And on the third day rise again and they remembered his words and they returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the 11 and to all of the rest."
 
01:26          The resurrection of Jesus men and women is the crown jewel of history. It is the most written about the most provable, the most factual, the most life changing event in all of classical literature and in all of history. The resurrection of Jesus indeed sets Jesus apart from every other figure of religion or belief that ever lived. And here's why. Number one, when Jesus was crucified, he was crucified under the Roman government. It was a crucifixion unto death. It always meant a crucifixion unto death. Two Roman coroners would examine the lifeless body after he'd been dragged down from the cross, and they would sign his death certificate according to the Roman law. And if they were incorrect in their assessment of his death, then they would be crucified for their mistake. Number two, he was prepared according to the Jewish custom of burial, which meant that he was wrapped with a hundred pounds of spices and wrapped with linen cloth when he was laid in the tomb. Number three, a very large stone and historians have classified that stone that was put in front of his tomb as a stone that would weigh about one and a half to two tons. A stone was put in front of this tomb. Number three it says a Roman guard was placed in front of his tomb and some would say it was a Jewish guard, and whether it was a Roman guard or whether it was a Jewish guard, it was a gourd that was taught to die on duty.
 
02:51          The Roman guard was a group of 12 to 16 highly trained men trained to defend a piece of ground against an entire invading army. The Jewish guard who some would say was guarding Jesus' tomb was a guard that was dispatched in groups and if one of the men under Jewish law went to sleep on duty, the entire guard was burned alive with the fire started with the guard's own clothing. Next, Jesus was buried in a private tomb. He was buried in a place that everyone knew where it was. It was the private grave of Joseph of Arimathea. He was flogged before crucifixion, a torture. They would render a man within an inch of his own death. Somehow he carried the cross up the Hill. Somehow he took the crucifixion. He was died, he was buried, but on the third day, something happened. Something happened on the third day that changed the world. Something happened on the third day that took 11 men who were cowards. 11 disciples who fled for their lives. Something happened on the third day that changed those men's lives and those men became the testimony of Christ of the world. 10 of those 11 men went out and died martyrs' deaths.
 
04:02          According to history and tradition. The other one died in exile. But because of that day, there had been more hospitals built in his name. There've been more orphanages built in his name. There've been more hungry mouths fed in his name in third world countries throughout this world. He not only ended slavery in his name in America, but slavery in the entire free world. There has been more life change in the name of that one man. More goodness done more people's lives and hearts change. More families healed, more marriages put back together than the name of any other man that ever lived. That man's name was Jesus Christ. And the faith on which you build your belief system is the faith in that day that that man rose from the dead. Just as he said he would. And here's my question for you today. What difference do you see the resurrection as it has made in the history of the world? And more importantly, what difference does the resurrection of Jesus make in your heart as a follower of Christ today?
 
September 2, 2019

The Only Way - Hebrews 9:24-28

"The Jewish religion had a practice whereby once a year the high priest would enter the holy of holies and among other ritualistic practices, he would place the blood of a goat upon the mercy seat before God is an offering for the sins of his people." 

Family Discussions:

  1. What verse in this passage today or what I do in this passage today, kind of refutes the kind of, the new age idea that you'll come back to life someday is someone else in a later life?
  2. What passage do we read today that refutes the idea of reincarnation as somebody else?
  3. How does today's passage explain Jesus' blood sacrifice for us?
  4. How does today's scripture redefined Jesus' statement that he is the only way to God?

Transcription:

00:14 Hey, of all the stuffed animals that I get to have in my life as a granddaddy of small children, grandchildren, the little lamb is surely my favorite because it says a lot about God and in God's relationship with us. Today we're in Hebrews chapter nine and we're in verse 24 through 28 and it says this, "For Christ did not enter a holy place, made with hands a mirror copy of the true one, but into heaven itself now to appear in the presence of God for us, nor was it that he would offer himself. Often as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, he would indeed have to suffer often since the foundation of the world. But now, once at the consummation of the ages, he has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

01:11 And in as much is it as appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment. So Christ also having been offered once to bear the sins of many will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin to those who eagerly await for him." You know, the Jewish religion had a practice whereby once a year the high priest would enter the holy of holies and among other ritualistic practices, he would place the blood of a goat upon the mercy seat before God is an offering for the sins of his people. This offering was good for one year and was only good for the Hebrew people that he represented. You know, it is a tragedy that leaders like Joseph Smith and Brigham young have traditionally taught the Mormon followers that the blood of Jesus only partially sufficed for the forgiveness of your sins, but that you had to accept Joseph Smith in a strict lifestyle of religious practices and a rigorous list of works to complete Christ work on the cross.

02:17 It's an equal tragedy. You know, that Mohammed would teach that there was no sacrifice on the cross, that Jesus, even though he believed Jesus was born of a virgin, didn't believe and teach that Jesus died on a cross. So the only way to get to heaven was through a list of good works. And so it is with other world religions all over the world that offered a diversity of manmade ideas. You know, coming back to Earth in heaven in a better life, you know, based upon the whole now good you were or how bad you are in this life. Jesus Christ in the purest form in this book alone, uh, you know, from genesis to revelation with nothing added to it clearly teaches that Jesus has sacrificed, was singularly sufficient to pay for our sins. All nations, all people for all time, like all that one must do to be able to take advantage of is credible.

03:16 Work on the mercy seat of God is to have faith in him, to give him your heart, not another religious leader, but Christ your heart, and to let his spirit come into your heart and change you so that you can live for him forever. At that point, you're a child of God. At that point, the blood of the lamb has completely forgiven you of your sins. Now you want to please him now your delight in keeping his commandments. You know, a true follower of Christ wants to please the one who saved him. Now you want to tell others about him. Now you can spend eternity in heaven and now this little animal's going to be your favorite too. So here's the questions I want to ask you today. What verse in this passage today or what I do in this passage today, kind of refutes the kind of, the new age idea that you'll come back to life someday is someone else in a later life? What passage do we read today that refutes the idea of reincarnation as somebody else? And then how does today's passage explain Jesus' blood sacrifice for us? And then how does today's scripture redefined Jesus' statement that he is the only way to God?

"A father with a lot of kids, that's who God is."

Family Discussion:

  • How does this Bible verse motivate you to tell others about Jesus Christ?
  • How does this passage of scripture changed your perspective about God's heart?
  • Where would you and I be if God wasn't so generous with his invitation to come to him and be in his family?

Transcription:

00:06 Today I want to tell you about the biggest basketball player that ever came to our sports camps and the biggest family that I've ever heard of, and they were one in the same. But first I want to read from First Timothy Chapter Two verses three through six. This verse is awesome and it shows you the heart of God. Check this out. In verse three it says this: "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God, our savior, who desires all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth." And then verse five says this: "There is one God and one mediator also between God and men, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time."

00:58 We called him Tomahawk Tom Hun. He was six feet 11 inches tall when he played basketball for Kansas State. He was a counselor at our sports camp here and he had a tremendous love for kids. His huge Kansas smile and his warm gentle ways, gave him personality that was more contagious than the chicken box. Everybody at Camp loved this guy. Crazy as it sounds, there was one more thing that was more remarkable about Tom than his size. He had 22 brothers and sisters. That's right. There were 23 kids in his family. That's one less than two dozen. One more than a complete offense and a complete defense in football combined. Four basketball teams plus three managers. Tom said as many as 20 of he and his siblings lived in the home at one time. He said they would sleep four to a bed. That was the rule in their small Kansas farmhouse, but this 23-some would wake up early every day, do the farm chores and then they, they would pile on their own school bus and they would whisk off to school. Man, I love big families and some of the best families I know are big families. But what's cool about God is that God wants a big family too. He wants a big family so bad that he sent his son to the earth to pass out adoption papers and to pass out invitations. Look man, he wants you in that family and he wants the girl who sits next to you in geometry class and he wants to the kid who plays third clarinet in your band, and he wants the biggest defensive end on your football team. In fact, he wants the whole school. He wants the guy who's sitting next to you in the cubicle, in your business office. He wants the woman who you work with in the marketplace that you work in. He wants a big, gigantic family. In fact, he desires that all men and women are in that family, and all they've got to do is to hear the call, to lay down their pride and to receive Christ as their personal lord and Savior. A father with a lot of kids, that's who God is. A father with a lot of kids. He won't be satisfied till he gets them all, and you and I get to be the messenger of that invitation.

03:27 Here's the questions for today. How does this Bible verse motivate you to tell others about Jesus Christ? And then secondly: How does this passage of scripture changed your perspective about God's heart? Where would you and I be if God wasn't so generous with his invitation to come to him and be in his family? And then here's the lifeline. Oh, remember this verse. God is patient and slow to anger, not wanting any to perish, but for all to be saved and to come to repentance.

"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.

"An on-fire Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit. He does and says things you hope that you'll never forget."

Family Discussion:

  • How do you describe a heart that's filled with the spirit of God?
  • What is the difference between Jesus as resident and Jesus as president in your life?
  • Why does God want us to be filled with the spirit every single day? Why do you want it be filled with the Holy Spirit?

Transcription:

00:05 Your heart and your mind are a lot like a balloon and there's ways that you could fill that balloon and there's ways you can let the air out, and not just yours, but somebody else around you. Check this out in Ephesians chapter 5 verses 15 through 21, and it says this: "be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise making the most of your time because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of God is and do not get drunk with wine, where is dissipation, but be filled with the spirit speaking to one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God, even the father, and be subject to one another in the fear of the Lord."

01:14 If you take the air out of a balloon, it'll collapse in an instant. And of course you put an empty glass under a gushing, faucet and the air dissipates just as quickly. You scratch an old dog behind the ears and it's wagging its tail, will tell you that its heart has just been filled with love. When Jesus comes into your heart, the day you become a newborn Christian, his spirit is in you forever. And that moment of salvation is when you become God's daughter or God's son and he becomes your dad. And then, when you're baptized or placed into the family or the body of Christ and the Personal Holy Spirit, now he makes his home in your heart. It's when he fills your heart. And so if that is true, you know, if you can say, Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit, then why do Christians sin? Why do Christians hate, why do Christians fight? Why do Christians speculate the bad side of somebody else? I don't know, why are Christians unhappy? You see, just as a glass with a sip of water is mostly just air, or if a balloon only has a puff of air in it, it will never fly. A heart filled mostly with me or self or flesh will never be happy. But to be filled and to be filled with the Holy Spirit means to be controlled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. It will naturally make you smile. A spirit filled Christian that sings a lot, a Christian who's filled with the Holy Spirit forgives quickly, a Christian who's filled with the spirit, not only sings praise in church, but he has nice things to say about people all the time. If it's an a negative word or a harsh thought, the Christian who's filled with the spirit, he takes it over immediately captive to Christ, and away it goes. Though you only received the spirit of Christ once, you can be filled with the holy spirit anytime you ask God to forgive your shortcomings and to give you a whole new heart by giving yourself to him in prayer. So what Ephesians is saying is this: a drunk man is filled with alcohol. He does and says things he hopes that no one would remember. Likewise, an on-fire Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit. He does and says things you hope that you'll never forget.

03:42 Here's the questions for the day. How do you describe a heart that's filled with the spirit of God? And the second question is: What is the difference between Jesus as resident and Jesus as president in your life? And the third question is: Why does God want us to be filled with the spirit every single day? Why do you want it be filled with the Holy Spirit? In fact, right now, why do you want to be filled with the spirit? And here's the lifeline: A car filled with gasoline can take a long trip, a heart filled with God can take one happy home.

"Like the stars of the sky, so is the love of God. There's no end to the love of God."

Family Discussion:

  • Why should our love for God grow deeper as the years go by?
  • What is the breadth and length and height and depth of God's love?
  • How do you compare the every deepening love for a person in your family, with the ever deepening love of God?

Transcription:

00:13 Okay, I'm not much of a cook, but I love to get in the kitchen. And the main difference between my wife's cooking and my cooking is that she always measure stuff. Well, I just throw stuff in the bowl and it doesn't come out so perfect all the time. But today I'm going to tell you about something where there's no end to how much you can measure. You just can't measure what we're talking about today. This is a Ephesians chapter 3 verse 14, and it Paul says this: "for this reason, I'm on my knees before the father from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your heart through faith, and that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge. That you may be filled up to all the fullness of God."

01:16 My wonderful long-time friend, dear Dr. Horace Wood, was 93 years old when he gently closed his eyes for one final nap, as he instantly passed from this world into the arms of his savior that he had cherished for 80 of his 93 years on earth. I never saw a man so much in love with anything or anyone. Every time that doctor would begin to talk about Jesus, big old tears of affection would stream from his eyes. Every night he went to bed with a little recording playing at his bedside of a great preacher. Talking about Dr. Woods first loev, the breadth and length and height and depth. Man, I've only been a follower of Christ for probably 40 years or something like that. But my love for him and his word grows sweeter and deeper and honestly more intimately fulfilling every year of my life. The breadth and length and height and depth. In a very similar way I think my love has grown from my little bride for 36 years. The more I know about Debbie Jo, the more I love her. I liked her the first time I met her, I really did. And I loved her the first time we kissed. And I knew in my heart that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I loved her more when I kinda hid her engagement ring in a little Cracker Jacks box to hand it to her to ask her to marry me. My love grew fonder was she walked the aisle in gorgeous white wedding lace. My loved increased by leaps and bounds when she brought our first child home from the hospital. I'll never forget that. You know, you get to the bottom of love. You can't get to the top of God's love. You can't reach your arms around it. God's love, that's what it is. He's love. That's who he is. And God is so magnificent. The longer you love him, the longer you love someone through him, the more you see how much more there is to see. In the city on a clear starry night, you can see about 3000 stars. Out in these country Ozark mountains, you can see twice as many it seems. This last year, atop a 10,000 foot volcano in Maui, I'm positive I saw 10 times that many stars. I could have gazed for a week and never seen them all. Astronomers tell us that we have about a hundred billion stars. Some say as many as 400 billion in our milky way galaxy. Who knows? And we're only one of 100 billion galaxies in the known universe.

03:55 Have you lost your mind yet? Well, like the stars of the sky, so is the love of God. The higher you get with him, the more you see, the more you see, the more you want to know. There's no end to the love of God. And so the questions today are this: Why should our love for God grow deeper as the years go by? And then this question: What is the breadth and length and height and depth of God's love? And then here's a question. How do you compare the every deepening love for a person in your family, with the ever deepening love of God? And here's the thought for the day: Search for the deeper love in the people that you love too.

"Jesus died to give anyone who believed in him, Jew or Greek or Gentile, salvation forever."

Family Discussion:

  • Who are the people who might feel on the outside that you can bring in?
  • What did Jesus do to bring us near to God?
  • How can you emulate the head coach, that's Jesus, in how you treat people around you?

Transcription:

00:06 Do you like Cinderella stories as much as I do? My Little Maggie, my little granddaughter and I, when she was about four or five, we watch Cinderella probably 20 times, but I want to tell you a Cinderella story today, around this funny little ball and around this funny little game. But the scripture that we want to look at today is Ephesians 2:12 and 13: "Remember that you who were at that time separated from Christ, excluded from the Commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenant of promise, having no hope and without God in the world, but now in Christ Jesus, you who formerly were far off from Christ had been brought near by the blood of Christ."

01:00 Use your creative imagination and suppose with me for a moment that there was a college football player named Mike. He was runningback on a smaller college football team. He was good, but he never got the exposure necessary to allow him to be drafted in the National Football League. This was a big disappointment because he truly believed he had the talent to go professional. Nevertheless, Mike found himself watching the majority of the season on television. The Denver Broncos experienced many injuries to three of their runningbacks with only a couple of weeks left in the season. To Mike's amazement, they called him for a tryout. He made the squad and and he was even able to play a few downs. The Broncos put it all together that season. They went to the Super Bowl (remember, this is just a story) but they won the big game, and these players, one by one, received their Super Bowl rings. He thought to himself, "I'll never get a ring. I just came on at the end of the season and didn't even play that much." Not only did he get the ring, he got his name on it and he posed in the team picture. He received full rights as a Super Bowl champion, even though he was added to the team late in the season. This is the same way God has treated those of us who are not Jewish. Before Christ's game, we were not part of God's chosen people, but today we're part of his plan, and that's because of the work that Jesus did on the cross. He died to give anyone who believed in him, Jew or Greek or Gentile salvation forever in Christ. We're all a part of the Superbowl team. Isn't that fun?

02:42 Here's the questions. This section of scripture speaks of unity. So here's the question. Who are the people who might feel on the outside that you can bring in? What did Jesus do to bring us near to God? How can you emulate the head coach, that's Jesus, in how you treat people around you? And here's the lifeline for today:The Lord doesn't care how late in the season you were added, you still get full rights as a member of his team.

"My guilt became his burden. My shame became his sacrifice."

Family Discussion:

  • What did it mean to God to make his son a curse for you?
  • How does that fact grip your heart right now?
  • What can you do to thank him for such an overwhelming act of love?

Transcription:

00:06 Hey, have you ever had a bible verse that literally broke your heart? I mean, that just drove you to your knees in tears? Today I want to share you with you one that broke mine. We're in Galatians chapter 3 verse 13,14, 22 and 26. Listen to this. In verse 13 it says this, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us, for it is written, cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree. In order that in Christ Jesus, the blessing of Abraham might come to the gentiles so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. But the scripture has shut up everyone under sin so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe, for you are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ."

01:07 That's awesome! Over 700 years before Jesus became a living reality and his sacrificial death on the cross became an eternal invitation, the Prophet Isaiah described God's intentions and his method in intricate detail. In chapter 53, he prophesized this: "He was pierced through for our transgression. He was crushed for our iniquities. The chastening of our wellbeing fell upon him, and by his scorching we are healed, by the stripes on his back we;re healed. All of us, like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned his own way, but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon him. But the Lord was pleased to crush him, putting him to grieve, if he would render himself is a guilt offering." Unbelievable!

02:05 I played defensive line, I was a nose man and I endured many crushing Saturday afternoons at stadiums around America. But, I'm telling you something, when I first came to grips with this verse that he became a curse for me, I sobbed literally for an hour, like a little boy who had lost his first girlfriend. Man, I couldn't squelch the sadness that welled up in my heart for this dear man who, although (this is from Philippians 2) he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but Paul said he emptied himself by becoming a bond servant and taking the form of man and being made in the likeness of man. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also, Paul said, God highly exalted Him and bestowed upon him the name that is above every other name; that at the of Jesus, every knee should bow, all because He loved me and loved you. And He wanted to have a close, personal, intimate friendship with you, with me as a father who just adopted his favorite son. His curse became my salvation. My guilt became his burden. His purity became my perfection. My shame became his sacrifice.

03:32 And here's the questions today. What did it mean to God to make his son a curse for you? How does that fact grip your heart right now? And then thirdly: What can you do to thank him for such an overwhelming act of love? And then the lifeline today is this: It has been said that a man is no fool to give up what he cannot keep in exchange for what he cannot lose.

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