"I'll never forget the football game where my coach grabbed me at down at SMU and he put me on the field. I'd been sitting on the bench and he put me on the field. He said, can you pursue the football and I said absolutely."

Family Transcription:

  1. What does it mean to be pure in Christ, and then what does it mean to pursue the purity that in the blood of Christ on the cross you've already obtained?
  2. What does that mean to you?

Transcription:

00:13 If you've ever been challenged and loved the challenge as I do, this is the challenging of all challenges in scripture. We're in First Peter Chapter One verses 13 through 16 and it says this, "therefore, prepare your minds for action. Keep sober in spirit. Fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the holy one who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior because it is written. You shall be holy for I am holy."

00:55 Of all the unforgettable nights I'll never forget this. When we were at Texas Tech University, 2,500 students showed up for one of our college events where we build the cross. And by the grace of God over the last 10 years, I think we've been to 170 university campuses, the middle of football fields and gymnasiums and theaters.

01:12 And this night was, was like none other. 1800 students came down to the cross and they began to kneel. I mean, the Greeks and the geeks and the freaks and the football guys and the women's basketball team and you name it, the campus was there and the students begin to kneel on the floor of this coliseum. It was awesome. And as I was out there, you know, hugging students and drying tears, there was this one female student, about that tall, big, beautiful brown eyes and beautiful brown hair. And she came up to me weeping and she said, can you help me? And I said, please, yes.

01:54 And then I took this precious little love letter in my back pocket. And I said, you know what princess? I said, it says right here in 2 Corinthians 5:21 "He became that sin and he gives you his righteousness. He gives you his purity. He took everything that happened to you. And then after that night, so many terrible things she got involved in. But He took all that and he gave you his purity and I said, you're the bride of Christ. That means you're the bride of Christ. And she received the grace of God. I mean, you could just see her visibly receiving the purity of Christ and when she received Christ as her Lord and Savior gave her heart to him and y'all, it was like this beautiful white veil just fell out of heaven on her face. I mean, nobody could see it, but she could see it and I sure could see it. Out of the reverence of our imagination, she became holy.

02:47 She became pure because that's what scripture says and you know what in your holiness scripture implores you to pursue that holiness. I'll never forget the football game where my coach grabbed me at down at SMU and he put me on the field. I'd been sitting on the bench and he put me on the field. He said, can you pursue the football and I said absolutely. I wasn't fast enough or big enough to pursue anything, but I told him I could pursue it and I got to start the next two years just because I love to pursue, and that's exactly what Peter's saying here, holiness is what you are. In Christ you're pure. In Christ, you're forgiven. And now you get to pursue that which you already are. So you've got sin in your life. Hey, everybody does. But their pursuit is holiness. Our pursuit is purity. Our pursuit is to be what that girl became that night when Christ took over her heart. Isn't that awesome? Talk About for a second with whoever you're with. What does it mean to be pure in Christ, and then what does it mean to pursue the purity that in the blood of Christ on the cross you've already obtained? What does that mean to you?

"I remember the time when my kids were young in my house that our TV set broke. Boy did that make me mad. Not exactly. I was so mad. I couldn't seem to find the phone number for the TV repair man. I was so mad. I kept forgetting to get it fixed. I was so mad. I was so mad. I think it was probably the greatest thing that happened in our home since we started our little family."

Family Discussions:

  1. When we pray to God lead us not into temptation, what are we asking for?
  2. If God doesn't tempt you, how does temptation come to us and what are the results?
  3. Besides television, what other sources of temptation do we expose ourselves to in our iPods, in our video games and in the voices that we surround ourselves with our friends?
  4. What is the difference between trials and temptations?

Transcription:

00:14 Man, would you let somebody into your home who's had way too many of these to drink? Would you let somebody come into your house who has not just a play gun like this one, but a real gun shooting real bullets wildly at people and drawing blood? Unfortunately, most American homes do that over and over again every single day. Listen to what James has to say in chapter one and verse 13. James speaks straight to the heart of families. When he says, "let no one say when he's tempted, I'm being tempted by God. For God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he's carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin and when sin is accomplish, it brings forth death." I remember the time when my kids were young in my house that our TV set broke.

01:05 Boy did that make me mad. Not exactly. I was so mad. I couldn't seem to find the phone number for the TV repair man. I was so mad. I kept forgetting to get it fixed. I was so mad. I was so mad. I think it was probably the greatest thing that happened in our home since we started our little family. You know, television, you can call it attempted vision, temptation, vision, something like that. The average American home pipes over 880,000 rapes and murders and acts of violence, beer, commercial, sexual innuendos into the minds of each man, woman and child every single year. Then we wonder why in the world we're tempted to argue. Tempted to lust. Tempted to fight all the time. You know, William James, the father of modern psychology says there's nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will actually believe it.

01:58 Is it any wonder why one out of five Americans now have a sexually transmitted disease and teenagers aids doubles every 14 months or why more college students die of alcohol-related deaths than the number who are going to graduate school? At least according to USA Today. Is it any wonder that the homes are breaking a part at the foundation. Good night folks! Turn the thing off and find the love of a family again. In Matthew six it says, "Blessed is the pure in heart for they shall see God." Let the bird sing in the trees, let the home come back to the purity of the word.

02:40 The questions for today are this, when we pray to God, lead us not into temptation. What are we asking for? And number two, if God doesn't tempt you, how does temptation come to us and what are the results? And then the third discussion question, besides television, what other sources of temptation do we expose ourselves to in our iPods, in our video games and in the voices that we surround ourselves with our friends? And then lastly, what is the difference between trials and temptations? And the lifeline today is this, how can we help each other as a family fight temptation in this home and in our private lives? Man, let's be that. Encourager to each other today.

"I knew a guy named Richard one time who was just talented as all get out. You know, I'll never forget him. He came to our Sports Kamps from Oklahoma when I was a little kid. He was the fastest kid in Kamp. He was the fastest kid I'd ever seen run a race and nobody could beat him. That is until the summer that Sam came to Kamp."

Family Discussions:

  1. How do Paul's words encourage you today?
  2. When we tend to quit sometimes when, you know, when Sam gets the lead, what did we do?
  3. What are some of the Sam's in your life that make you feel discourage?
  4. How are you going to finish strong even when they get in the lead?

Transcription:

00:13 Are you about to finish school? Or finish for the holidays? Or maybe finish a job? Or to finish an assignment? Or maybe even finish life? Not knowing how many days, you know, are ahead of you. Today Paul has got some great words in Second Timothy Chapter Four, verse five through eight about how to finish. We're always finishing something. Check this out. If you want to know how to finish. He says, "but you be sober in all things. Endure hardship. Do the work of an evangelist and fulfill your ministry." For Paul is talking about himself. He said, "I'm already being poured out as a drink offering and the time of my departure has come. I fought a good fight. I finished the race. I've kept the faith. In the future, there's laid up for me, the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the Righteous Judge will award me on that day. And not only me, but all those who've loved his appearing."

01:17 Paul was finishing his life. He knew he was just about to be killed and he said that he would finish and he would keep the faith. You know, I knew a guy named Richard one time who was just talented as all get out. You know, I'll never forget him. He came to our Sports Kamps from Oklahoma when I was a little kid. He was the fastest kid in Kamp. He was the fastest kid I'd ever seen run a race and nobody could beat him. That is until the summer that Sam came to Kamp. You know, Sam was on Richard's opposing team and Sam was one step faster out of the starting blocks. His first 10 yards of the race were like lightning. And I watched Richard as Sam race three or four times, and every time Richard got sixth place, not second or third, but six.

02:04 You know what happened? You guessed it. When Sam took the lead, Richard would quit. He couldn't stand the idea of second, so he'd quit. He never even crossed the finish line. Oh, you know, my First Year in coaching, I was fortunate to coach at Texas A&M, and our slogan during spring training in those days was "Finish Strong." It was that simple. Gene Stallings was the head coach. Still a great friend to this day. But man, when he would say finish strong, I mean every drill, every play, every down you could hear coach Stallings and one of the coaches say, finish strong, finish strong. You know, we didn't want any Richards at Texas A&M University. Um, you know what, man, life is so much like a track race. It's so much like a football game. You know, you get knocked flat, you get, you know, belittled.

02:53 Uh, you know, Sam is always there to take the lead away. You get discouraged. You want to running. But the runner who keeps his eyes on the prize and keeps his legs pumping to the finish line, wins the most important race every single time. God guarantees it. All we've got to do is finish strong. And here's the questions for today. How do Paul's words encourage you today? Finish strong! When we tend to quit sometimes when, you know, when Sam gets the lead, what did we do? Finish Strong! And then what are some of the Sam's in your life that make you feel discourage? And how are you going to finish strong even when they get in the lead? The lifeline for today is this: Fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith because the crown of righteousness is awaiting the one who does.

"When you approach the Bible like a love letter, the Bible will become the favorite letter in your life."

Family Discussion:

  • Why is spiritual discipline so much more profitable than bodily discipline?
  • How do you train your faith?
  • What kind of faith workout schedule do you want to keep?

Transcription:

00:06 Okay. All right. Are you a workout freak? Do you love to train with these things? Well, I must confess I do, but I want to read you something today that will put it all in perspective. We're in first Timothy chapter four, verse eight and it says this: "For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things. Since it holds promise, not only for the present life, but also for the life to come." Olympic weights, health clubs, Taibo, step aerobics, crunches, abs of steel, jazzercise, nautilus gyms, goals gyms, swimming workouts, diet plans, jogging workouts, biking workouts. We are a health and fitness crazed America. Every year, I suppose tens of billions of dollars and tens of billions of hours are spent on health plans, training plans, diet plans. The result: most boys I meet think their biceps are too small and one in four or more girls, they say suffer from some kind of an eating disorder.

01:24 Fitness is important. Don't get me wrong. Eating healthily is a good thing. But what would happen in America? In fact, what would happen to your home? In fact, what would happen to you if we trained our souls like we trained our bodies. Bible-cise, souls of Steel, Bible Club, God's gym, memory workouts, spiritual growth plans. Forgive the slapstick, but the concept is straight from scripture. Bodily discipline is of little benefit comparatively. And when overdone, bodily discipline can become an absolute idol. But spiritual discipline is profitable for all things. Psalms 1, and the kids and I memorized this a long time ago, but it says it so well: "Blessed is a man who doesn't delight himself in the ways of the wicked or the scoffers or the sinners, but he delights himself in the law of the Lord. And in his law, he meditates day and night." To meditate on the word, you've got to memorize the word, to meditate on the word, you've got to memorize it. You've got to study it. To study the word you've got to read it. To read it, you've got to open your Bible often. To open your Bible, you've got to have a heart that's excited, just plain excited about loving God and knowing God and living a life that has him in the middle of everything. It changed for me when Dr. Hendricks, one of my mentors and one of my heroes said, "When you approach the Bible like a love letter, the Bible will become the favorite letter in your life."

03:07 Here's the question for today. Why is spiritual discipline so much more profitable than bodily discipline? And then secondly: How do you train your faith? And then thirdly: What kind of faith workout schedule do you want to keep? Here's the lifeline for today. Lord, give me a heart that wants to know you more.

"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.

"What great selection skills Jesus had. Don't you think that's why he chose you?"

Family Discussion:

  • Can you name two or three adjectives that would describe your grip on God's word, and two or three adjectives that God would describe with you?
  • How does a young Christian become steadfast and dependable?
  • Why are people who have a steadfast grip on God's word so admirable?

Transcription:

00:06 You remember back in kindergarten when you would draw your hand on a piece of paper with a pen? Well today we're going to do that again, and then we're going to show you something really cool about that. But first I want to read from Second Thessalonians chapter 3, verse 1-5. It Paul says this in this amazing little book: "Finally, brethren, pray for us that the Word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified just as it did also with you and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men. For not all have faith, but the Lord is faithful and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. May the Lord direct our hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ."

01:14 Our theme for the day is steadfast, so solid, immovable, dependable, loyal, steadfast. If you could outline your hand on a piece of paper, kind of like we used to do once upon a time, and write one adjective on each finger and on your thumb to describe your grip on God's word, what would the adjectives be for you? How would God describe your lifestyle in following him? Would the indications be, wishy-washy, hypocritical, undependable? Or would they be courageous, focused, and strong? A while back, a hero of mine, a 17 year old friend of mine, made a super difficult decision to break up with his gorgeous girlfriend because he knew that she wasn't what she needed or he needed to be spiritually strong and the relationship wasn't leading to a godly future. It was good for both of them. My friend has done so many decisions like that. He steadfast. He's walked away from countless parties where alcohol and drugs showed up and he's even led some of his friends to Christ by being a solid example on the high school campus. Out on the Texas ranch or on an Ozark rural form where words are few and character is measured by the work you do and the way you walk your talk, the biggest compliment you can receive is when an old cowboy tells someone that he could turn his back on you and never give it a second thought. Jesus had hand-picked 11 guys that he knew he could leave with the high calling of telling the world about him when he left; although they had fallen in the past, he knew he could turn his back on them and they wouldn't let him down. What great selection skills he had. Don't you think that's why he chose you?

03:26 And here's the questions for today. Can you name two or three adjectives that would describe your grip on God's word, and two or three adjectives that God would describe with you? And then secondly: How does a young Christian become steadfast and dependable? And then thirdly: Why are people who have a steadfast grip on God's word so admirable? And the lifeline for today is this: as you make decisions and hard choices this week, describe those choices with an adjective that depicts your character as you decide which road you're going to take.

"More Christians have been killed for their faith in the 20th century than in all the others."

Family Discussion:

  • What did persecution do to the cause of Christ in that day?
  • Why does difficulty make the gospel message go out even more effectively?
  • What do you have inside of you that would enable you to face persecution with boldness?

Transcription:

00:06 One of the most challenging books I've ever read in my life is Fox's Book of Martyrs and to hear the stories of those who suffered for the sake of Christ before us. But, as you probably know, suffering didn't stop in the first century. Today we're going to talk about that in First Thessalonians 3:1-4. It says this: "Therefore, when we could endure it no longer, we thought it best to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's fellow worker in the gospel of Christ to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we've been destined for this, for indeed, when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction so that it came to pass just as you know."

01:07 More Christians have been killed for their faith, believe it or not, in the 20th century, the one we just finished 10 years ago, than in all the others. Every day, somewhere in the world, Christians are martyred for their faith. In fact, the 20th century had far more Christians die for their faith in Jesus than in any other previous century. The grizzly way they died, if you read the stories in some of the Muslim countries and some of the communist-influenced countries, it makes your flesh crawl with horror. Christian persecution has always seemed so far from us - not so today. Our nation is literally turning against Christians. Here are some very recent legal actions that were taken against Christians. In the famous case of Brandon vs the Board of Education, in a district, a federal court saw that nothing can be more dangerous than an adolescent seeing the football captain, the student body president, or the leading actress in a dramatic production participating in a communal prayer meeting in the captive audience of the setting of a school. Unbelievable. A child in Kentucky was told that she could not submit her chosen drawing for an independent school project because she had drawn a cross. An Arizona teacher disciplined a second grader in class for typing the word Jesus on her school computer during a computer lab. You believe that? In Virginia, the Department of motor vehicles refused a pastors request to have "For God So" on his license plate. Six students in Illinois were detained in squad cars and threatened with mace because they prayed around the school's flagpole. I believe we're only seeing tip of the iceberg. If Jesus doesn't return first, you and I will see increased hostility towards Christians and towards our belief. If you believe in pro-life now, if you believe that abortion is sin, a crime, murder, you're labeled a narrow-minded anti-abortionist. If you believe in only man in woman marriages, you're scorned as a homophobic bigot. If you believe devoutly in Jesus, you're called an uneducated freak. The media mogul Ted Turner said publicly that Christianity was for losers. Being martyred for faith in Christ is getting closer and closer to home every day. But I see kids across this country who disagree. I see students across this country, I see business leaders across this country who carry their bibles and wear their crosses and they live it with passion and they live it in faith, and they're not ashamed of the Gospel.

03:51 So here's your questions. Today as you read the pages of scripture: What did persecution do to the cause of Christ in that day? Why does difficulty make the gospel message go out even more effectively? And with this question we'll close: What do you have inside of you that would enable you to face persecution with boldness? And I want to just tell you, go for it. Here's the lifeline today. Hot fire tempers a band of steel. It makes it strong enough to carry a sharp edge. The hot fires of persecution put the edge for the Christian's lifestyle.

"It was in his falling on that track that he became a success."

Family Discussion:

  • Why are we really weak when we become really strong?
  • Recall a time when some circumstance looked like it weakened you, but through that circumstance, God made you stronger than you were before.
  • Why is God at his best when we are at our worst?

Transcription:

00:13 Well I'm excited today to tell you about another one of my heroes, but first of all, I want to read you a letter from one of my greatest heroes, the apostle Paul in Second Corinthians chapter 12, verse 10. He says, it so simply and so clearly, check this out today. He says, "that is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties; for when I am weak, then I am strong." When I was speaking in Washington DC at the national day of prayer on behalf of America's teenagers, I was with one-time Congressman Jim Ryan, one of my heroes, and I recalled with him the heartbreaking time I watched him get tripped up and fall on the track in the Olympics in Munich, Germany.

01:08 It dashed his hope for the anticipated gold medal that he always wanted to win. He had been the best miler in the world for 15 years, but I'll never forget the sight as he laid flat on the ground as a pack of less talented runners passed by him and took the gold, the silver, and the bronze away from him forever. But Jim, as he always does, he only smiled kindly as we talked about that day in Washington, and he said, "you know what? That was the greatest moment of my life because it was on that day, as I lay on the track and I lost the race, that I truly gave my heart to Christ and begin to really live the life that God wanted me to live." Do you think Jim Ryan would trade the gold medal for his family of solid Christian kids and his wonderful wife Anne, who loves him for his Christian character as much as any woman alive loves any man? You think he'd trade that gold medal for the seat in Congress that he held for so many years that is godly heart gave him to represent Christ to this nation? You know what? I don't think so. It was in his falling on that track that he became a success. It was in his weaknesses that he became so strong. It was in dying that that man was born into eternal life and someday he'll see that eternal life. I'm sure of that.

02:34 Here's the questions today. Why are we really weak when we become really strong? and just think about pride and humility in that question. And then: Recall a time when some circumstance looked like it weakened you, but through that circumstance, God made you stronger than you were before. And then this last question; this is awesome. Why is God at his best when we are at our worst? And the thought for the day is this. When I'm strong, then I tend to lean on me. But when I'm weak, I tend to lean on God.

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