"My first girlfriend left me for my best junior high guy friend. You know, that was puppy love, but the puppy sure thought it was love. It also was a pain in my gut. I'll never forget that day. A whole lot more painful than that was when my first wife, my college bride, left me from my best friend. She had fallen in love with him."

Family Discussions:

  1. How do trials build character when God is in charge?
  2. What has been the greatest time of brokenness for you?
  3. What are you going through now and how has God building character in you through that experience of pain?
  4. Describe how he gave you hope and how he gave you hope through the pain.

Transcription:

00:14          Today's Bible study is a painful for me to give, but it's a good one and we all need it. It's in Romans chapter five verses three through five and it says this, "And not only this, but we also exalt in our tribulations knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance and perseverance brings about proven character and proven character hope. And hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts, through the Holy spirit who was given to us." Pain and promise.
 
00:48          You know what? My first girlfriend left me for my best junior high guy friend. You know, that was puppy love, but the puppy sure thought it was love. It also was a pain in my gut. I'll never forget that day. A whole lot more painful than that was when my first wife, my college bride, left me from my best friend. She had fallen in love with him. And you know what? That was true love back then and it was a pain in my heart that lasted for months. I felt months. I felt like I was going to die. It almost killed me. You know what my first wife was and is a wonderful person. As was my friend. They became infatuated with. You know what? There's no doubt that initiating divorce is wrong. It's wrong. It's wrong. But I've never blamed her. And I've never been bitter. I'm sure if I would've been the man that she needed, that would've never happened. I just bet. But I just cried my eyes out for months.
 
01:46          But in that valley, I fell completely in love with God. From that valley, you know, I've given my, today's. I'll give him my tomorrows. Because somewhere in that valley, God accepted my broken heart. And not only did he heal it but somehow in his miraculous care, he brought Debbie Jo to me. She's the greatest woman alive. And she's the mom of my four kids. And I've been married to her for almost four decades. But she has given me love and more importantly, God has given me a passion. Down in that passion, I mean that Valley of pain, God's given me a passion for people who like me, find themselves at the bottom of the Canyon with no apparent way to get out. You know what, man? I have learned a lot in my brokenness before God and I'm sure that there's more ahead, but God is at his best when we are at our worst. He'll never be closer than the day you fall on your face.
 
02:56          You know what? Pain gives us a choice. When we run to God, we get better. When we run to ourselves, we get bitter. Pain is like a golf tee to me. It could cause you to be teed up or teed off. It either makes me mad and useless or it makes my ball go a whole lot further off the tee. You see, God has this spirit who is never more ready to fill our hearts than when we're not down. And the Holy Spirit's great skill is to give us bravery, to get us out of the Canyon and to give us more deep, solid character and to give us great hope. Pain is the greatest teacher of all.
 
03:37          And here's the questions for today. How do trials build character when God is in charge? And then secondly, what has been the greatest time of brokenness for you? Or maybe what are you going through now and how has God building character in you through that experience of pain? And then the last question. Describe how he gave you hope and how he gave you hope through the pain. You know what? This is not heaven down here. Pain happens here, but how can you prepare yourself for the, during trials that lay ahead. And here's the lifeline for today. Bitter or better. It's your choice when the cruel ball of failure is hit into your court.
 

"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 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.

"I came up to Missouri and I coached this high school football team and we were mediocre at best. I mean, we trained hard, we played hard, we had a lot of fun. But we did most everything a team was supposed to do except we couldn't win." 

Family Discussions:

  1. Can you recall a time when a coach or a teacher called you onto the field or onto the court and pointed out how valuable and gifted you were?
  2. How did it feel?
  3. How much greater is it to be useful to the master and pleasing to the true head coach?
  4. What is this passage when it says "flee youthful lust and cleanse yourself of these things"?
  5. What does this say to you now about the things that you need to do to become useful to the master?
  6. How will you implement that today?

Transcription:

00:14 Hey, today I want to tell you about my favorite football player and my favorite football play that I've ever seen in my life. And the funniest thing about it was it was about a kid who sat on the bench. We're looking at Second Timothy Chapter two verse 20 through 22. You've got to capture this one. This is so incredibly amazing. It says this, "now in a large house, there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and earthen ware. In some for honor and some for dishonor, but if anyone cleanses himself of these things," Paul's talking about the purity issues. "If he cleans himself with these things, he'll be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the master, prepared for good work." And then here's the verse. "Now flee from youthful lust and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart." 'Useful to the master' ain't that a great phrase to think about being useful to the master.

01:18 Well I coached the Texas Aggies, and then I came up to Missouri and I coached this high school football team and we were mediocre at best. I mean, we trained hard, we played hard, we had a lot of fun. But we did most everything a team was supposed to do except we couldn't win. Every Friday night we got killed. 36 to 6. 45 to 14. Man, it was awful. But we kept having fun. We had this one sophomore on our team named Robert and he didn't know sick them about the game of football. He was young, he was slow, he was inexperienced. But this guy had a huge heart for the game and man, he wanted to get on the field and play. Well, one Friday we were playing a rural high school nearby called Bolivar. And again, we were getting routed, but there was one play I'll never forget. As the Bolivar Running Back was streaking down the sidelines right in front of our bench with the ball in his hand.

02:13 You know, scampering wildly towards the goal line, 10 yards ahead of our fastest defender. Suddenly from out of nowhere, a flash of red shot past me, onto the field, completely leveling the kid with the ball. And as fast as the flash had entered the field, he tackled, smeared the guy. He left the field standing innocently by my side as teammates on the sideline. It all happened so fast. The referees didn't even see it. True Story. But the opposing coach saw it and he went crazy and he should've, he was lived it. But he ran out in the field and he started screaming and yelling at me and he got the penalty. But I'll tell you that Robert, man, he was so sick of standing on the sideline watching other guys play and get trampled by the enemy that he just decided to jump off the bench and smear the guy carrying the ball.

03:08 It's been over 25, 30 years ago and I'm still laughing about it. You know, everybody wants to play. Nobody in their right mind wants to sit on the bench. You know, God wants players too. You know what? God wants guys and girls who allow Christ to purify their hearts and to stay pure by living clean for Jesus. And those kids, those students, and those adults, those businessman, those women, you know, they play in the greatest, most competitive, most exciting game ever. And that's the game for eternity and the game for men and women's souls. Uh, you know, when a coach has you play for him, when those influential eyes look down the sidelines at you in that deep welcoming voice says, "hey son, I need you come play for me." You know, you run through a brick wall to play for the guy.

04:06 You know, you can learn a lot about God on a football field. You know, the best of all coaches, the best of all coaches, best of all coaches has invited you to be on his starting team. Man, You better hurry to get on that field. The game is almost over. And here's the questions. Can you recall a time when a coach or a teacher called you onto the field or onto the court and pointed out how valuable and gifted you were? Uh, relive that. How did it feel? And then how much greater is it to be useful to the master and pleasing to the true head coach? And then this is the big one. What is this passage when it says "flee youthful lust and cleanse yourself of these things"? What does this say to you now about the things that you need to do to become useful to the master? And how will you implement that today? And the lifeline for today is this: Love is wanting to be useful to the master.

"Every part in the body is as important as every other part in the body."

Family Discussion:

  • Share a time when it was true how being someone you're not is problematic, in your life.
  • How has God designed each person in your family to be useful in your family?
  • Discuss how you will go about accentuating and bringing out the best of every person in your family and the gifts that each person here.

Transcription:

00:13 Today is so important that you and I spend a couple of minutes together because everybody is a part of a family. And you know what? I agree with Dorothy in Wizard of Oz that there's no place like home. And I want to talk about your family today. I want to ask you a question today. Have you ever felt insignificant in your home? Have you ever felt like you woke up and you didn't matter, or have you ever felt like you just didn't fit in. Well I hope this is a great encouragement to you today. First Corinthians chapter 12, we'll go with verses 18 through 20 and then verse 26 and 27. Check this out and be encouraged. Paul says, "but in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them just as he wanted them to be. And if they were all one part, where would the body be as it is? There are many parts in one body and if one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it."

01:22 We had four kids and they were as different as the four points on the compass. Two of my kids were girls and, and you know what, I now have four favorite women in my life, my two daughters, my bride and, and my mom. But I want to tell you about this fascinating oldest daughter of mine named Jamie. Jamie, unfortunately like me, is really, really messy. And her room, man, in high school was just an absolute garbage dump. I mean, just everything, all her letters she would write to all of her camp friends, stacked piled around everywhere. And she and I were like, you know, bashing heads because it was just such an absolute mess.

02:05 I called it the Blob, the room blob. And all my great lectures didn't matter. It just stayed a mess. It got messier as the days went by. To add, you know misery to that, she had all these animals that she raised and she was supposed to keep the animals on the porch. Baby ducks, baby geese, baby squirrels, baby rabbits, baby raccoons. But at night she would let them in a room and they lived in her room with her. It was unbelievable. Um, you know what? Her senior year in high school, I think it was early May, I had walked into a room and the room was clean. Everything was packed up, all in the boxes. Every poster was down off her walls. And her room was packed up for college and I crawled in to her bed, um, while she was at school and I laid there and wept and I thought, what would I give for a messy room again?

02:59 You know what? That girl is the most creative person you've ever met. You know, because sometimes messiness and sloppiness, it's just a heart of creativity. And you know what? All those little animals that she would adopt, now she's adopted kids from Africa because all those animals in her room just showed how big her heart was for people that needed to be loved and for little animals that needed somebody to love. You know what? Everybody in your family has got these incredible gifts and sometimes may come out and look like sloppy rooms. But way down deep, they reveal the heart of an incredible gift that they have. And when you see the gift in the person in your family, instead of the fault in the person in your family, all of a sudden your family starts working together like that.

03:50 And that's why Paul says that every part in the body is as important as every other part in the body. You can't do without one of the parts in your family. And here's the questions for today. Every Christian is useful in the family. Every Christian is useful in the church. And you know what, when you try to become somebody you're not, problems occur. Share a time when this was true in your life. And then the last question today is, how has God designed each person in your family to be useful in your family? And then here's the thought for the day. May be it one time or another, we've all felt like kind of a useless part of the body, but God has entrusted, a special gift to each of us. Discuss how you will go about accentuating and bringing out the best of every person in your family and the gifts that each person here.

"God filters our temptation that we might be able to endure whatever it is."

Family Discussion:

  • The temptations in life are many. What's the cliff in your life today? And what are you going to do with the truck?
  • Share with somebody about temptations that are going on with you right now and what you're going to do to find the escape route.

Transcription:

00:13 Man, it's been over five decades ago, but I'll never forget the time of my life, I was scared more than I've ever been scared before. I want to tell you the story in a minute, but first, 1 Corinthians 10:13, awesome verse in scripture. It says, "no temptation has seized you except what is common to man and God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond that which you can bear, but when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up and therefore flee."

00:46 I was a little bitty dude, probably six years old. We're on top of a mesa, a flat top little hill near Amarillo, Texas. And I found myself in the middle of a nest of rattlesnakes and four or five of them started rattling their tails around my feet and dude, it scared me literally to death. I took off running like a crazy kid, almost fell all the way down the mountain and killed myself. You know, God puts warnings on the end of Rattlesnake tails for a reason, doesn't he? Run for your life! They're screaming at you when their rattles start rattling. You know, almost every winter we hear a story of a snow skier are a snowmobiler, a snowboarder or are a mountain climber who doesn't heed the warning of the impending avalanche, and he goes out and climbs or skis anyway. And the next thing they know, they're covered by snow. And oftentimes they're never found by the rescue parties.

01:43 I remember hearing a story about a man who had a truck driving service and he drove trucks loaded with TNT. He was looking for another driver for the company and it paid a lot. And so he put an ad in the paper. He said, "wanted, a truck driver, please call this number." Three men answered the call. One man answered in, and the man who owned the truck said, "so when you're driving a loaded truck of TNT, and you come around the corner into a big steep cliff, how close to the edge can you get?" And one man proudly said, "I can drive within a foot. I've been driving trucks for 10 years. I can drive within a foot of the cliff and never fall off." And another man answered the ad, and he was asked the same question. He said, "well, I can actually hang one of the dual wheels over the edge, but my skill is so great than that that I can keep the truck on the road." The third man who answered the ad said this, "I respect TNT so much that I stay as far from the edge of the cliff as I can get." Guess who got the job?

02:47 And dude, so it is with temptation. Yes, God filters our temptation that we might be able to endure whatever it is. And He also provides a way of escape, and the man is no fool who takes the escape route and runs for his life. And here's the questions. The temptations in life are many. What's the cliff in your life today? And what are you going to do with the truck? You're going to get as close to the edge as you can get? Are you going to get as far away from the edge of that cliff as you possibly can? Share with somebody in your family or somebody in you business or somebody in your Paul-Timothy disciplining relationship about temptations that are going on with you right now and what you're going to do to find the escape route.

What's the crown that you're working for in your life?

Family Discussion:

  • What are you training for?
  • What's your spiritual workout schedule? Do you have one? If you do, describe it.

Transcription:

00:04 If you wanted to be a truly great golfer, a great golfer, or if you ever wanted to be great at anything, I mean among the world's best, well, check this one out today and maybe you can. First Corinthians Chapter 9 Verse 24-27, it says this. "Don't you know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in a game goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly. I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

01:09 The story goes of a man who wanted to be a great golfer and the story goes, I'm not sure it's true, but he went to Jack Nicholas and he said, "Mister Nicholas, I love the way you play the game. How do you play it so well? How do you win the greatest prize of all?" And he said, it's easy. Wake up with the sun. Go out and hit golf balls until your hands bleed, till you've got blisters on your hands and then go eat a little breakfast, then go back out on the range and hit till your hands are bleeding some more. And then eat lunch and then go hit golf balls until you can't hold the club any longer. Then go eat supper. And then after supper go hit golf balls until it's dark. And he said, do that for two years and you'll be among the greatest of golf.

01:49 You know what? That is the same kind of tenacity Paul was expressing when he used the phrase that I might win five times. He used that phrase in a span of four verses. What was he trying to win? What was he trying to win? What was he trying to win? You know what? I think he was trying to win souls. Paul placed evangelism over every aspect of life, he even set aside his own rights when it meant the salvation of another human being. I remember one time when much son Cooper was in ninth grade and every night that I was home, I would tuck him in bed, unless I did my other kids, and we'd memorize a Bible verse together and we'd pray together. And I looked at Cooper who was a young sprouting high school quarterback, the end of the big halls of the high school and I said "Cooper, I've got a vision for you, man. When you graduate from high school, one of your buddies is going to come up to you and he's gonna say Cooper because of you, I became a Christian." Well, he didn't want to hear that goal at night. He had other goals in mind, like all-state in football. His junior year in high school, I walked by his room and I saw something that I'll never forget. Cooper was down there leading his best friend, Jared to Christ. And you know what? I went upstairs and I waited and pretty soon here came this kid of mine up the stairs and he looked like Moses just come down the mountain of the 10 Commandments. His face was glistening. He said, "Dad." He said, "you'll never believe what just happened in my room tonight." And I said, "Cooper, what happened down there?"

03:16 He said, "dad, I just led Jared to Christ." And I said, "Cooper, that's awesome." He said, "dad, you remember a couple of years ago, you had that vision for me, you know, about leading one of my friends to Christ?" And I said, "yeah." He said, "that's the last thing I wanted to hear in ninth grade." But he said, "dad, that's all I want to do with the rest of my life." That kid just finished his Masters Degree in theology, up in Chicago and I said Cooper, I said, "man, is that more important than the state championship?" He said, yes! And I said "Is that more important than all-state and football?" And he said, "dad, it's the most important thing in the whole wide world." And that's why I believe he just got his degree in theology and he wants to live his whole life just for that cause. I believe that's what Paul's saying here when he says, "run for the prize, run in such a way that you may win."

04:03 I don't think he's talking about shooting holes in one. I think he's talking about taking people to heaven so that when you die, you'll see those people for eternity. So here's the questions today. What are you training for? And then secondly, what's your spiritual workout schedule? Do you have one? If you do, describe it. If you don't, go get one, and in the end you're going to have prize on this earth better than the prizes you could possibly get at some award ceremony or in some trophy case. And the lifeline today is this, what do you diligently work towards? What's your goal? What's the crown that you're working for in your life?

"What are your trophies today? Everything else, Paul said, except for our reliance on God and His Spirit, is foolishness."

Family Discussion

  • If you achieved Super Bowl status or some equivalent honor, where would you display your trophies?
  • Can you recall a time when some thing or some body you relied upon, let you down? Is it possible you were relying upon that thing that you wanted in place of God?
  • What are your trophies today? And where are you laying up your trophies for eternity?

Transcription

00:14 As you look around your room today, or as you look around your resume today, what trophies do you see? Today's scripture is going to help define your trophies and my trophies tremendously. Check this out. This is so good you guys. First Corinthians chapter two, verse four and five. Paul says, "and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God." That hotel room, the night before the Dallas cowboy game was filled with New York giants. They all had their Super Bowl rings. They had just won the year before, the Super Bowl championship. But on that night, I saw 30 to 35 or 36 players take off their Super Bowl rings and humbly walk down to the little place where I shared that devotional about the chain link of being a Bond Servant of Christ.

01:20 And every one of those guys had to have one of these chain links. Every one of those guys wanted everybody on their team. And everybody that was watching to know that that little leak of chain was more important to them than a Super Bowl ring. Those guys learned that and I would admit to become a bond servant of Jesus. I've see it on football fields all over the country and in basketball locker rooms, where they share the simplicity of the power and the wisdom of God, the Father to the fatherless. And all of a sudden all those trophies and everything that ever made them like the greatest, most praised athletes in the world becomes comparatively nothing in their lives. I coached with Jean Stallings at Texas A&M, this boy, Johnny, who had down syndrome and died a couple of summers ago. Johnny had been given more trophies.

02:09 That boy had been given more badges of honor than you could count. But when I went to his room the night after he died, there wasn't one trophy there, not one, because even as a down syndrome child, a boy who couldn't count to 10, Johnny knew the secret of trophies and he knew the secret of victory. He knew the secret of what really matters in life. Johnny had given all of these trophies away. Johnny knew that his trophies were in heaven. Everything else, Paul said, except for our reliance on God and his spirit, is foolishness. The questions for today are these: if you achieved Super Bowl status or some equivalent honor, where would you display your trophies? And then the next question, can you recall a time when some thing or some body you relied upon, let you down? Is it possible you were relying upon that thing that you wanted in place of God? And then discuss a time when you experienced the power of God. And then lastly, what are your trophies today? And where are you laying up your trophies for eternity? The lifeline today is this: take an inventory of the things you rely upon. If they are anything less than God's spirit, take time today and reconsider.

 

"Sometimes there is the greatest hidden wisdom in foolishness."

Family Discussion

  • What are you doing in your life that seems like foolishness to the world, but you know down deep in your heart it's the power of God?
  • What can you change in the way you're treating people?
  • How can we change that around where it might be kind of foolish to the world, but it would be absolute bullseye to the word of God?

Transcription

00:14 Maybe if you've ever felt foolish before your friends or the people in the workplace that you operate and you're just representing Christ as best you can, then this verse today is going to be encouraging to you, as it is to me. It comes from First Corinthians chapter one, verse 18 through 20. Verse 18 says this, "for the Word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. But to us who are being saved is the power of God." Man, I'll never forget when Mohammed Ali, some would say the greatest fighter of all time, was in a fight with Smokin' Joe Frazier, the heavyweight champion of the world at the time, and Ali, his deal in that fight was going to be rope-a-dope. And the rope-a-dope trick was going to be to train his abs.

01:02 I mean, his whole training before the fight was to train his abs, just thousands of crunches and sit ups and leg lifts. And then he would hover in the first few rounds of the fight and he let Smokin' Joe Frazier take on his midsection with all of his heart until Frazier was literally worn out. And then Ali took him out in one round. It was foolishness to the world. You don't train your abs to fight. You train your hands and you train your arms. But he trained his abs and it turned out to be victory. I'll never forget back in my days of playing and coaching would Bill Yeoman, the head coach of the Houston team, who invented the veer where you would literally not block the defensive tackle or sometimes the defensive end and you would option off of whatever he did. An unblocked defensive linemen?

01:50 Are you kidding me? It became the most powerful running game in the history of the sport. We had a kicker on our football team at SMU, kicked with the side of his foot. No one in football kick with a side of their foot. That was for soccer. We all kick with the front of our foot. Well, you know the rest of that story. Everybody kicks with the side of their foot today. They're breaking records at the straight oak kickers. And I'll never forget the first time in the Olympics when this guy starts jumping over backwards; you always rolled over the bar and that day and you could roll over five feet or six foot. Well, this guy comes along, his name is Spaz Bernie, jumped over backwards and cleared seven feet - foolishness to the world. But sometimes there is the greatest hidden wisdom in foolishness.

02:37 And so it is when you walk with Christ, so it is when you carry your Bible to school. So it is when you live your Bible in the workplace. So it is when you turn the other cheek in your home, when there's a fight and you're the first one to say, "I'm sorry, will you please forgive me?" It looks like foolishness when the world says fight for your rights, fight for your way. Sometimes foolishness is the heart of Christ because when he hung himself on that cross and they crucified him, and he was God, it looked like foolishness to the world. But we know now there's the power of God. So my questions to you today are these, what are you doing in your life that seems like foolishness to the world, but you know down deep in your heart it's the power of God? And then the big question of the day is this, what can you change in the way you're treating people? Your family or the way you're living your life at school or in your job that you know right now, it may seem like being cool to the world, but it's foolish to God. And how can we change that around where it might be kind of foolish to the world, but it would be absolute bullseye to the word of God? Sometimes foolishness is the wisest thing of them all.

"Teams go nowhere when they quarrel and argue and fight. They only succeed if they work as a unit."

Family Discussion

  • Name some consequences a family like yours experiences when people don't work together.
  • In the Corinthian church, what were the sources of their quarrels and squabbling? Can you see the same source in your church or in your small group or in your family?
  • Name one way you intend to become more unified today.

Transcription

00:14 Men, as an old college football coach, coaching the Texas Aggies, and then coaching a High School football and even coaching peewee football, I'll tell you, there's nothing that pleases a coach more than a team that works together well, and there's nothing that pleases a dad or mom more, or certainly God, than a family who works together well. Check this verse out today. First Corinthians chapter one, and check out verse 10, it says this: "Now I exhort you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you will all agree in that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind, in the same judgment." You know, what was going on in the Corinthian church is that same thing that goes on all over the country and all over the world in families and teams and businesses in church.

01:08 And I know it just wearies God probably, you know, brings his anger. But in the Corinthian church, you know, Paul, he had brought unity to the church and they were squabbling. You know, I'm of Paul, some say I am of Apollos, some would say I'm of Cephus, you know, and they were squabbling about who taught them. Paul says in First Corinthians 1:10, he says, "by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but you made complete in the same mind, in the same judgment." Man, teams go nowhere when they quarrel and argue and fight. You know what? They only succeed if they work as a unit. This is what Paul wanted the Corinthian church to know more than anything else. And it's exactly what God wants today's Christians to know too, you know. Our K-2 Buddy, you know, Adam Donia, he runs the K-2 basketball camp.

02:09 He just takes this team of guys to the state championship. For some, it's not by talent, you know, not by height and how high they jump, but because they've got those kids to work together. They were like one family going down the court. We used to play the University of Texas, they were the national champions every year. And I played nose man, and we knew we were going to get killed, not because they had the best talent in America, because they had 11 guys in orange shirts that came off the ball in one heartbeat. They won 38 straight games. Three of them were right over the top of my head because that team was unified under the brilliance of Darrell Royal. And so it is with a family. And if you're in a church working now or a ministry, you could take this principle and apply it and I'll tell you that you'll succeed in whatever you do in the long run.

03:06 So here's the question for today. Football teams get penalized if they spend too much time quarreling in the huddle. Don't you like that? Name some consequences a family like yours experiences when people don't work together. And then in the Corinthian church, what were the sources of their quarrels and squabbling? Can you see the same source in your church or in your small group or in your family? And then name one way you intend to become more unified today. I mean it, you can change in your heart to become more unified with the Christians that are in your family or in your team or in the church that you're serving. And here's the lifeline of the day. "Just as an athletic team must be unified to work toward a common goal, we as Christians must lay aside our petty differences and be unified in the work Jesus has called us to do." What differences have you had in your family that need to be laid aside to create unity today?

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