"You too can expect rewards of love beyond your wildest dreams."

Family Discussion:

  • Why is putting others needs before your own so difficult to accomplish?
  • Why does unselfishness bring so much joy to a relationship?
  • How can you begin today to prepare for the most important relationship in your life?

Transcription:

00:06 As you can probably tell, I'm not much of getting dressed up. I live in the hills here in the Ozark mountains and we don't have to dress up very much, but every once in a while, I'm asked by some dear bride-to-be or some groom-to-be to put on this old tacky robe and to do a wedding. And you know what? I really don't mind getting dressed up for a wedding because it's just awesome. I'll tell you the devotional today is the deal for weddings that stay alive forever. Listen to this. We're in Philippians 2 and we're in verse 1. It says this: "Therefore, if there's any encouragement in Christ, if there's any constellation of love, if there's any fellowship in the spirit, if there's any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in Spirit, intent on one purpose." And then it goes on and it, and it gives the key to happiness. It says: "do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind. Let each of you regard one another as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interest of others. Have this attitude in yourself which was also in Christ Jesus, who although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but he emptied himself by taking the form of a bondservant and being found in appearance as a man and being humbled as appearance as a man, He became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."

01:44 Man for almost, I guess, the past 30-something years, I've had the indescribable privilege to get a 50 yard line ticket on the most amazing arena where talent, charm, and character are displayed like no other place on earth. The players were both male and female. The male team is all dressed in well tailored Tuxedo uniforms. The female team is in exquisite evening gowns. The star of the show is dressed in a pure dazzling white gown. Her beauty is beyond my ability to write. By now, I'm sure you've guessed that the event is a wedding. You know my 50 yard line seat as the guy who gazes with envy into the bride and groom's misty eyes. It gets to hold their hands together and invites them to say two words: I do. These moments have been too numerous to count over the past two decades, and here's the most amazing part of all. Almost all of the weddings I have officiated for featuring a bride and a groom that marry each other because they met on our summer staff, our Christian sports camps and fallen in love here, every single one of those are still not just married, but they're happily married. Nationally, about half of our marriages end in divorce, and a good number of those that stay married aren't truly happy. The difference between those that I've been blessed to closely witness, and the rest, is the daily reality of these few simple verses of scripture. If you'll study them, if you'll apply them diligently and daily in your life, if you'll sacrifice for 'em between now and your wedding day, or if you're already married for the rest of your life, and you too can expect rewards of love beyond your wildest dreams. Have this attitude in yourself, which was also in Christ Jesus.

03:42 Here's the questions for today. Why is putting others needs before your own so difficult to accomplish? And then the second question is: Why does unselfishness bring so much joy to a relationship? And then the other question is this: How can you begin today to prepare for the most important relationship in your life? And here's the thought for the day. It is in giving that we receive and it is in dying to ourselves that love can truly live. Start today.

"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.

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