"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.

"I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day.

I'd rather one would walk with me than merely show the way.
The eyes are better pupil and more willing than the ear.
Find council is confusing, but example is always clear.
and the best of all the preachers are the ones who live their creed."

Family Discussions:

  1. Describe a family member that you know and admire who has walked his talk or maybe point out to a walking sermon quality that you see in each family member that you've got.
  2. Why is it so devastating for non-believers to accept Christ into their heart when they see a Christian who doesn't practice on Saturday night what that person sings about in church on Sunday morning?
  3. What is an area that kind of you've recognized in your walk where you need to walk your talk better?

Transcription:

00:14          Man, in the book of Romans. Awesome. This is a crate study today. It's in Romans chapter two, verse 21 through 23 and it says this, "You therefore who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one should not steal. Do you steal yourself? You who say that one should not commit adultery. Do you commit adultery? You who have idols? Do you rob temples? You who boast in the law though you're breaking the law. Do you dishonor God?" Mother Theresa used to say, "witness always and use words when necessary."
 
00:51          My daddy's favorite poem was this. It's called, "I'd rather see a sermon than hear when any day." It says:
I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day.
I'd rather one would walk with me than merely show the way.
The eyes are better pupil and more willing than the ear.
Find council is confusing, but example is always clear.
and the best of all the preachers are the ones who live their creed.
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I can soon learn to do it. If you let me see it done.
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the sermons you deliver may be very wise and true.
But I'd rather get my lesson by observing what you do.
For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there's no misunderstanding and how you act and how you live.
I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day.
 
01:42          What a great poem. Maybe you can memorize that too. And here's the questions for today. Describe a family member that you know and admire who has walked his talk or maybe point out to a walking sermon quality that you see in each family member that you've got. Everybody's got one quality like that pointed out. And then secondly, why is it so devastating for non-believers to accept Christ into their heart when they see a Christian who doesn't practice on Saturday night what that person sings about in church on Sunday morning? And then, um, take it home with this one. What is an area that kind of you've recognized in your walk where you need to walk your talk better? And here's the lifeline that Mother Teresa, it said so well witness always use words when necessary. Isn't that great?
 

"It's a war to identify your body as a temple of the Holy Spirit and to keep all substances out that would deface or cause it harm."

Family Discussion:

  • Can you describe the spiritual battle that you're in right now? How are you winning that battle?
  • What does the phrase fight the good fight mean to you today?
  • Do you feel it's worth it to fight for such a cause? And why do you feel it's worth it to fight the good fight of faith?

Transcription:

00:06 I was talking to an eighth grade friend the other day that I admire a lot. He's a great Christian kid. And he said, you know what I like about football? And I said, what? He said, you can go out there and you can run over people and not feel bad about it. Well I know you ladies probably don't understand that, but for guys, this crazy little sport (In fact I've seen is a pretty good girl powder puff players, so maybe you do get excited about it), but this sport teaches you to fight the good fight. First Timothy Chapter One verses 18 and 19 says a lot about fighting the good fight. And Paul says this to Timothy in this great book: "This, I command you and I trust you, Timothy my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you. That by them you may fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in their faith, fighting the good fight."

01:11 Way back when, years ago, when I was playing this crazy game in college and I was playing nose-tackle, our undersized team and believe me, we were undersized, but every year we played the number one team in the nation and then the number two or three team in the nation. Texans were the national champions. They'd went 38 straight games and then the University of Arkansas. In fact, we didn't beat them for the four years I played. And the coach that I played under, he didn't beat them for 13 years, but those two Saturday afternoons every single year with Texas and Arkansas were 60 minutes of all out war. Man, we fought for our lives, for every yard of astroturf and Bermuda grass. My body still aches literally from the punishing hits I took from these guys that were on their way to the national football league. But we never won the championship. But you know what? We did win a much bigger prize. We learned to train hard and we learned to fight as a team. Even in the face of insurmountable odds, we learned to fight for our lives. That is precisely what following Christ is all about. It is world war three. Don't tell me it's easy to establish a standard that you won't have sex with your eyes or with your hands, with your body outside of marriage. When a great movie is out that is promiscuous, or you're in love with a promiscuous partner, or you get caught up in the moment. It's a fight to stay pure. So Paul says, and I say men fight the good fight. It's a war to identify your body as a temple of the Holy Spirit and to keep all substances out of that temple that would deface the temple or cause it harm.

03:04 Fight the good fight, Paul says. There are a few challenges on earth that are more difficult than establishing and keeping goals in a lifestyle of godly character in the wake of our nation's current amoral trip into the jaws of hell. Fight the good fight. It's a cause well worth the sacrificial effort. I've read the last chapter, I've read about the victory party. It will be abundantly more, way more than the price you've paid to get there. Fight the good fight. Can you describe the spiritual battle that you're in right now? How are you winning that battle? And this question: What does the phrase fight the good fight mean to you today? And then lastly: Do you feel it's worth it to fight for such a cause? And why do you feel it's worth it to fight the good fight of faith? And here's the lifeline. Today, the goal of our life is to love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

"It's time to empty the trashcan. Don't you think?"

Family Discussion:

  • What all have you been thinking about lately? What's your mind been dwelling on and are any of these thoughts that you're having disturbing, if so, are any related or reinforced by your media diet?
  • What practical steps can you take to renew your mind and to set your mind on things above, not on earthly things? What arguments are you likely to hear from your peers in school, in the locker room, in business, or even in your home as they watch and listen to what they watch and they see you watching and not watching what you watch.
  • What are you going to do to turn the off switch on the media stuff that you're involved in?

Transcription:

00:06 I'll never forget as a little kid growing up the family chores; we'd clean the bathroom and make our beds and clean the room and with much coercion we'd empty the trash can out. I tell you trash cans are good if they're empty, but if they're full they can sure stink up the house. That I think the great thing about this book we're studying in Colossians; sometimes it's tough to hear, but boy, it is good, and it helps us clean out the trash in our mind. Well, chapter three starts off with a couple of verses that I think about a lot when my trash can gets full. And sometimes its just bad thoughts and sometimes it's just worry and despair. But Colossians 3:1-2, here's what it says: "Therefore, if you've been raised up with Christ, keeps seeking the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things that are on the earth, setting your heart on things above."

01:11 Have you ever found yourself thinking about something that's just kind of twisted or off-color and you wished you could turn your brain off? It feels almost impossible sometimes, doesn't it? Even when we're sleeping, the wheels of our mind are turning. And although there's no "off" button inside our head, we can redirect our thought life. Paul was so convicted of this. Then in the first two verses of Colossians 3, he tells us what things should take center stage in the theater of our mind. And note how Paul words it. He said, "since then you've been raised up with Christ. Set your heart on things above. Set your mind on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things."

01:57 Unfortunately, it is so easy to, to get our mind off track and to get the trash can of our mind full with worldly junk and sinful stuff. This is especially true when it comes to our ears and our eyes; and then stuff that's contrary to scripture. Probably, something that's way too common is just the media trash. Garbage in does equal garbage out. Some coaches call it "gigo"- garbage in, garbage out. Not always in behavior, but often in our thinking. And the key to setting our minds on things above is two-fold. First, we've got to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Romans 12:2, if you've never memorized it, here's what it says: "be transformed in the renewing of your mind." This occurs when we diligently meditate on God's word. Get those verses, memorize them, meditate on them, it'll change your mind. And then equally important, you got to avoid those things that war against your faith. Reading the Bible and watching trashy movies like Desperate Housewives and South Park and about half the sitcoms, they just don't mix. It's like oil and water. They can't mix. Christians often fail miserably at avoiding harmful entertainment. For example, the statistician George Barna found in his research regarding television viewing that believe it or not, more Christian kids on a percentage basis, that's 42% versus 33% more Christians watch MTV than Non-Christians. No wonder why so many of my teenage friends struggle like crazy with thoughts of lust and rebellion and anger and self-destruction.

03:51 But Philippians 4:6 goes even further in offering guidelines for our thought life. In fact, I believe it's Philippians 4:8 actually, Paul explains that our mind should focus on things that are pure and right and true and lovely, things of good repute, things that are excellent and things that are worthy of praise. Today's media sometimes qualifies, but more often than not it doesn't and when it falls short, we should get what our minds don't have. And that's a click to the "off" position. Turn it off.

04:24 Here's the questions for today. What all have you been thinking about lately? What's your mind been dwelling on and are any of these thoughts that you're having disturbing, if so, are any related or reinforced by your media diet? And then secondly: What practical steps can you take to renew your mind and to set your mind on things above, not on earthly things? What arguments are you likely to hear from your peers in school, in the locker room, in business, or even in your home as they watch and listen to what they watch and they see you watching and not watching what you watch. What are you going to do to turn the off switch on the media stuff that you're involved in? It's a tough question isn't it? Here's the lifeline, here's the thought for the day. Discuss with a trusted Christian mentor or friend or somebody in your family the struggles that you faced regarding your thought life, and identify a plan that will succeed against this battle and help you more consistently think of things above. It's time to empty the trashcan. Don't you think?

"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.

"A true Christian is not just saved, he's transformed."

Family Discussion:

  • What does it mean to crucify the old self with Christ in a practical way?
  • Why is Christ not just a compartment filed away in the life of a radically saved Christian? What does it mean to have Christ living in you?
  • Is He on the throne in your heart today? And how can you tell if he is and if Hes' not? How could you have Him live there right now?

Transcription:

00:05 Have you ever imagined what it must have felt like to be crucified? Jesus will give you a chance in the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years of your life to do that. It's in Galatians 2:20. If there's one verse you want to memorize, it's this one. Here's what it says. "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me."

00:43 The Bible talks about two kinds of people. It talks about natural man and spiritual man, and natural man lives for me. All of life's decisions revolve around me, and without the strong work of Christ, this life ends up in a great big, confusing mess, a s many of us know. Spiritual man on the other hand has given his will, has given his heart to Christ. In the spiritual man, Jesus is in control. He's not just savior, he's Lord. He's not just in the front seat, he's in the driver's seat. You're not just in church, you're in love with the one who's head of the church, Jesus himself. You don't just have a bible, you have a love letter. He's not just a compartment in your life, He's in the middle of your life. He's not just a file in your filing cabinet marked 'Jesus' that you take out every Sunday morning, He owns the whole filing cabinet. In the spiritual man's life where there was confusion, there's harmony. Where there was bitterness, there's compassion. Where there was immorality, there's purity. Where there was guilt, there's forgiveness. A true Christian is not just a better man, not just a better woman. A true Christian is a new man, a new woman. A true Christian is not just saved, he's transformed. He's not just going to heaven, he's living like he's already there.

02:12 So here's the questions. What does it mean to crucify the old self with Christ in a practical way? And then this question: Why is Christ not just a compartment filed away in the life of a radically saved Christian? What does it mean to have Christ living in you? And then this question: Is He on the throne in your heart today? And how can you tell if he is and if Hes' not? How could you have Him live there right now? And here's the lifeline for the day, and go ahead and memorize it: I've been crucified with Christ. It's no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.

"It's never too late to be a hero to somebody."

Family Discussion:

  • Describe the magnitude of God's love as shown through his willingness to adopt Paul as his son.
  • Why does a true Christian follow Christ in all things forever?
  • What does one do if he's fallen back on his old ways of living? How can that also become Disney World again?

Transcription:

00:04 Boy, if you think the best days in life are not ahead of you, being a granddaddy has got to be the greatest time in the world for me. I just went down to the Disney store and bought Thumper for my little Maggie. In some ways, I never want my grandkids to grow up, and in some ways, I know they're going to grow up, but I pray they'll grow up with somebody a whole lot like you who are listening to these devotionals today. You guys, it's never too late to be a hero to somebody. God is never finished with you. Listen to this, Paul is writing in chapter 1 of Galatians in verse 22 after Paul's conversion. I mean, he was the worst of the worst. And then all of a sudden he met Jesus and Jesus created in him a heart that loved God as much as any man who ever lived. He says this, "I was still unknown by sight to the Churches of Judea, which were in Christ, but only they kept hearing. 'He who once persecuted us, is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy' and they were glorifying God because of me."

01:21 Whether you're 16 or 60, a preacher or a prostitute, when you give your heart to Jesus and his Holy Spirit enters your heart like a welcome springtime rain upon a dry, parched farmland soil. Everything changes and you become somebody's little hero. And if it's real, it stays changed permanently. You know, the masterpiece of a life truly saved becomes more and more valuable, more and more like Jesus, more and more loving, more joyful, more peaceful, more patient, more kind, more self-controlled. With each anniversary of that spiritual birthday that turned a wasteland into a majestic work of God.

02:07 Your heart becomes Disney World, where nobody grows up and everybody's holding hands and laughing and smiling all day long. You know, radically saved Christians don't profane God or go spend money on filmmakers who do; radically saved Christians don't delight themselves in gossip or in coarse language or pornography or sexual sin. Radically saved Christians don't return the masterpiece of their Jesus-sized heart to the wasteland of the heart of the heathen. As Paul's epic epistle here bears witness to God's ability to radically change the heart, so your life is working to bear witness to someone else who will look at you and see the heart of Jesus. What Walt Disney did to that wasteland of Florida to turn it into Disney world, God does to the heart of someone who, no matter where you are, gives their whole heart to him.

03:09 Here's some questions today. Describe the magnitude of God's love as shown through his willingness to adopt Paul as his son. And why does a true Christian follow Christ in all things forever? And then here's the last question: What does one do if he's fallen back on his old ways of living? How can that also become Disney World again? And here's the thought for the day, and it's a scripture from Matthew 7:16. Jesus says, "you'll know them by their fruits and the fruit of a godly man, the fruit of a godly woman is the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control." So bear that fruit today.

"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.

"Satan is a master at enhancing your first glimpse of sin and disguising the results of that sin."

Family discussion:

  • Why does the term the "angel of light" fit so perfectly as Satan's style of temptation?
  • Can you think of a sin you faced lately that looked really fun at first? But the more you evaluated it, the more you saw Satan in it?
  • How can you tell for sure if it's a sin?

Transcription:

00:04 Did you ever wonder why sin looks so attractive? Why some of the worst things that can happen on this earth looked like the greatest things of all? Well, Second Corinthians chapter 11, verse 14 has the answer. And it says this, "for no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." As I've said before, my email box is full everyday of letters that I get from guys in our men's conferences and from high school students and college students. But some of them say the most amazing things over and over again. Like the one recently that I read that says, "I know the Bible says sex before marriage is wrong, but my boyfriend and I love each other so much and it seems so right. Something so beautiful can't be wrong, can it?"

01:06 The Budweiser commercials on television, man, they really do look like fun. You know, those parties on those sandy tropical beaches, those hot cars, those hot girls and all the laughter and fun make drinking look really cool. And man, the way those gorgeous young beauties fall in love on TV every night and then they head off to those steamy bedrooms with the cute new guy on the set. It really makes you want to go find one of those and try it yourself. You know that business deal that looks so attractive and yet, you know, there's dishonesty behind that business deal. It just seems every reason to rationalize and to go make that deal and take that deal. Somebody says, "hey, smoke this joint." "Take this cool pill," "drink the shiny bottle, man, if it feels good, go for it." You know, no one ever in his right mind ever said that sin doesn't look like fun in its early stages, but no one has ever set out to become an alcoholic on his first drink, no one ever thought they would become a heroin addict when they smoke their first marijuana joint.

02:19 No one in their right mind ever wanted their high school girlfriend to become pregnant and then face the guilt of walking out of an abortion clinic together on their first heavy kiss. No one ever wanted to build his entire business on dishonesty, but Satan is a master at enhancing your first glimpse of sin and disguising the results of that sin. That's why he's called the angel of light. That's why he's called the master of deception. That's why he is your number one enemy. He's your number one enemy. And here's the questions for today. You know, why does the term the "angel of light" fit so perfectly as Satan's style of temptation? And then secondly, can you think of a sin you faced lately that looked really fun at first? But the more you evaluated it, the more you saw Satan in it? And then this last question. How can you tell for sure if it's a sin? And then, here's the lifeline for today. How can a young man keep his way pure? Psalms 119:9 says, by keeping it according to the word of God.

"The family should be a reflection of a wedding ceremony with Jesus Christ."

Family Discussion:

  • What does it mean to you that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?
  • How do your eyes and ears allow filth into the temple?
  • How do you give your temple to the housecleaning that God's spirit deserves today?

Transcription:

00:06 You know, I'll never forget when my hero, Dr. Howard Hendricks, said when you read the Bible, read it like a love letter. It changed everything for me. And so we opened the love letter from God again this morning. And we look at Second Corinthians chapter 6, verse 16 and 18 and it says this, "what agreement is there between the Temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said, 'I will live with them and walk among them and I will be their God, and they will be my people. I will be a father to you and you will be my sons and daughters,' says the Lord almighty. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit."

00:56 I'll never forget it. I'll never forget as long as I live. It was the most beautiful wedding I've ever been a part of in my life. I've gotten to, you know, officiate countless weddings over the years. But the most beautiful one of all was a girl named Candi. And you know what? That precious girl had $100 to spend on her wedding. That was her totaled wedding budget. That's a true story. Candi worked at our camps. And although she was poor, she was rich. One of the richest girls I've ever met. A guy fell in love with her, wonderful man, but Candi said, you know what? I can't marry you until my grandmother dies. I've been called to sit by my grandmother's bedside until she dies. Three years later, her grandmother passed away and went to Heaven and Candi turned to that man and she said, now I'm ready to marry you. She took her hundred dollars and went to a rummage sale and she bought an old wedding dress. And all summer long, she sewed and sewed little costume plastic beads on that wedding dress, which she walked into our outdoor chapel at our camp.

02:05 It was autumn and all these sugar maples that my daddy and I had planted in this chapel, were turning all these beautiful colors of red and yellow and gold, and as Candi walked down that little outdoor aisle to meet this man who'd been waiting for her for three years, all these leaves began to fall all around her feet and she literally walked on a bed of the most beautiful star shaped flowers you've ever seen in your life. It was so breathtaking. The guy was just speechless. I was speechless. In fact, I was so overcome with awe and wonder and beauty. I forgot to pronounce them man and wife. It was a true story and I forgot to say the groom can kiss the bride and then somehow in the closing prayer, I recovered and in the prayer turned it into a "the groom can kiss the bride" prayer, and they kissed and they were married and they walked away and they are living happily ever after.

03:01 And you know, what man? As breathtaking as Candi's wedding scene was it pales in comparison to the wedding that has taken place in the temple of your heart because it is there in your heart that your soul is married to the Holy Spirit of God. You know, Michelangelo could paint a more beautiful interior in $1 billion sepulchre, than the wedding chapel of your heart that God had crafted for the dwelling place of his Holy Spirit. You know, man, that's why someone who loves God doesn't watch pornography on the computer screen or movies and television stuff that's gotten nudity and profanity in it. You know, that's why we're selective with our music and with our conversations. You know? That's why we don't pour alcohol and drugs and tobacco in our bodies. You know, that's why scripture calls you to a high standard of living because it's God that lives in your heart; your body's a temple of God's spirit. And so here's the questions for today. What does it mean to you that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit? How do your eyes and ears allow filth into the temple? And then lastly, how do you give your temple to the housecleaning that God's spirit deserves today? And then this one for the family, here's the lifeline. The home, the family should be a reflection of a wedding ceremony with Jesus Christ.

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