September 24, 2019

A Roaring Lion - 1 Peter 5:8-9

"I want you to meet one of my precious little stuffed animals today, little Leo. Leo the lion. Ain't he cute, soft, playful? Well, don't be lured in because Leo is not as playful as you think he is."

Family Discussions:

  1. What is it about Satan that you've already seen in your life that it makes him look like a soft little stuffed animal when behind the softness there's a roaring lion there that's gonna eat your lunch?
  2. What can you do today to get that lion out of your pen and out of your life?

Transcription:

00:14          I want you to meet one of my precious little stuffed animals today, little Leo. Leo the lion. Ain't he cute, soft, playful? Well, don't be lured in because Leo is not as playful as you think he is. We're in First Peter Chapter five verses eight and nine and it says this, "Be of sober spirit. Be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil rowls around like a roaring lion. Seeking someone to devour but resist him. Firm in your faith. Knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world."
 
00:48          One of the greatest basketball players who ever lived. I mean this guy could rebound like no one you've ever seen. I mean, he literally could have been among the two or three greatest of all time. Never achieved his greatness because he became bitter and the lion showed up. He had reason to be bitter. His wife had taken this little girl. But the bitterness became a lion in his heart and Satan literally took over and the guy couldn't even stay on a team. He couldn't even finish the season because bitterness ate him up. Because Satan like a lion began to eat his lunch.
 
01:26          I know another gentleman who, you know, Oh, he used to be the head of the family of families. I mean, the guy was making so much money. Had every, you know, sign of wealth that you could imagine for our guy to achieve.
 
01:39          One of my favorite singers of all time, one of the most beautiful voices, I think that's ever shown up on the radio, was this precious woman. And she started off in a choir robe as a teenager. Singing. She was a standout in the choir. And then somebody picked her up and took her to Los Angeles and made a record. And it wasn't long that she was the number one voice in America. Some say the number one voice in the world, but she couldn't give up her drugs. Her first designer drug showed up like a little bitty stuffed, you know, little lion pup. And it looks so innocent. It just took a little bit of the stress away and then it began to take over her mind and her life. And today she's on the side of the road. Strung out with a life history of being strung out on drugs.
 
02:47          It was in 2003 that the probably the greatest act in Las Vegas. Siegfried and Roy, you know, the, the great land tamers, the Great Tiger Tamers that were also, magician's world-class. They did feats that would just defy the imagination. And then one day one of their tigers turned on Roy and it almost killed Roy. I mean, just, you know, took his face apart and, and so it is with Satan. Don't you think that one little joint, it looks innocent. Don't you think for a second that, that one little, you know, alcoholic drink looks innocent.
 
03:29          Way down deep beneath that little stuffy, little cute soft face, there's a lion and Satan is behind that and he wants to eat your lunch. And so the question today is this, what is it about Satan that you've already seen in your life that it makes him, uh, you know, look like a soft little stuffed animal when behind the softness there, there's a roaring lion there that's gonna eat your lunch? And then what can you do today to get that lion out of your pen and out of your life?

"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.

"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.

"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.

"Flee sexual immorality, and flee means run for your life."

Family Discussion:

  • Why does scripture say run for your life from sexual immorality? Why doesn't it say stand and fight it?
  • What is it about sexual immorality, whether it's lust or entering into a bad relationship, that makes it the sin that's a sin against your own body?
  • How do you need to flee from something immoral that's going on in your life right now?

Transcription:

00:14 Today's Bible verse is brief and to the point, and it hits me and probably everybody else between the eyes, squarely like a bullseye. First Corinthians 6:18, it says this, "flee immorality, and flee means run for your life. Every other sin a man commits is outside the body. But the immoral man, the immoral woman sins against his or her own body." She was 17 years old and quite attractive, and yet hadn't had a date in weeks. The phone rang. And the guy that asked her to the date, she knew was not the guy she should be going on a date with it all. But he said, hey, we're going to the movies. It'll be fine. A little red flag went up and it said, you better not. But she said, well, nothing will happen at the movie, so we'll go. As they went to the movies, she found, to her surprise, that the movie theater was closed.

01:08 A little red flag went up when he said, "you know what, doggone it. Movies closed. But, you know what, there's a bunch of friends playing down at the park. They're going to be playing some sand volleyball down at the city park. Let's go play some sand volleyball. The flag went up, but she, uh, went to the park anyway. Well, when they got down to the park, you know what? Sure enough, nobody was there. And the guy said, "you know what? Doggone it, I guess everybody's already left, but maybe we could just spend a little time visiting in the car." A little red flag went up, but again, she disobeyed the flag of warning and so they begin to talk in the car, and the next thing she knew he was over sitting in the seat by her side. He began to kiss her, flags were going up everywhere. She disobeyed the flags in her hunger for affection. She became pregnant that night and nine months later gave birth to an unplanned child. The good side of that story is however, that when the red flag went up, it said, you need to abort the child. She obeyed the Spirit this time. And she had the child. Like so many other courageous moms who have a child when the world recommends abortion. What is the little red flag that goes up with sexual immorality of any kind comes before your eyes? What are the warnings and why is it so difficult to disobey the warnings? And what is the reward when you do obey the warnings?

02:31 The story goes of a businessman who was traveling. He was alone. He was lonely. He'd been out for weeks. He and his wife were struggling in their marriage. And so he called for a prostitute. He waited two or three hours and then there was a knock at the door. When the door opened he looked in horror at the face of his grown daughter who had adopted her daddy's morals and lived her life as a prostitute. Flee immorality. Scripture says, don't stand and fight it, run for your life. It's the most devastating challenge. And sin can happen in the life of a man or a woman. And my question to you today is this, why does scripture say run for your life? Why doesn't it say stand and fight it? The second question is, what is it about sexual immorality, whether it's lust or entering into a bad relationship, what is about that that makes it the sin that's a sin against your own body? And the last question is this, in your life today as a student or as an adult, a man or woman, how do you need to flee from something immoral that's going on in your life right now?

"I want to share with you a letter of freedom that I got from a friend a while back and it says this, it says, "Dear Joe, thank you for the letter in the book that you sent me. It's great and it has helped me greatly with some problems that I've been facing lately."

Family Discussions:

  1. What was the secret of my high school friends success?
  2. Why did he fail the first time we stopped drinking?
  3. Why did he succeed the second time he tried to stop drinking it?
  4. How does this passage will set you free right now?

Transcription:

00:15 I am just so excited about this verse today. It's like my favorite. You know, there's so many of those favorites in this book of Romans, but this one's my favorite. Romans Chapter Eight, verses one through three. This verse has literally changed my life in more ways than I can tell you. It says this, "therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, weak as it was in the flesh, God did. In sending his son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh." I love my mail. I loved my letters that I get every day. And uh, I want to share with you a letter of freedom that I got from a friend a while back and it says this, it says, "Dear Joe, thank you for the letter in the book that you sent me.

01:16 Uh, it, it's great and it has helped me greatly with some problems that I've been facing lately. Can I feel myself changing every day since I decided to let God run my life? Yes. It is truly amazing. I get so excited about life now. It's just unbelievable. Before I accepted Jesus Christ into my life, I had a problem with drinking. At first I thought drinking was okay. Since I grew up around alcohol. Man, how terribly wrong I was. I tried to stop drinking after realizing I was putting myself in bodily harm. The first night of that month was one of the toughest struggles have ever had in my life. I felt that I needed to drink more than anything else in the world, but I didn't. The second night of that month I gave in. My strength was not strong enough to overcome a dependency on alcohol.

02:13 I felt like a failure that night. I knew I could not do it alone. Now as a true follower of Christ, I've tried to stop again and this time it was different. I asked Jesus to help me with my problem and to show me the way to a happy life. And that's exactly what he did when I've tried to stop drinking for the second time, it was one of the easiest things I've ever done. I actually felt no need whatsoever to have alcohol back in my system. It was amazing how much easier it was the second time, but we both know why it was so easy. It was because Jesus was finally in the driver's seat of my heart. I've never been so happy in my life and this happiness will be growing in me more and more every day. Yeah, I know there will be trials, but I also know that whatever comes my way with the Lord's help, I will be able to handle anything." Every night at our men's events, at men at the cross and every night at our college events and after dark and every night at our high school events, with pure excitement,

03:20 I see this letter written thousands of times, thousands of faces, all in different ways. Here's the questions. Uh, what was the secret of my high school friends success? And the second question is this, why did he fail the first time we stopped drinking? But then lastly, why did he succeed the second time he tried to stop drinking it? And how does this passage will set you free right now? The lifeline for today is this. When I try, I fail. But when I trust, he succeeds in me.

"I heard the story of an older man who was interviewed, who had spent four years in a Nazi slave camp, burring a huge rock tunnel through a mountain to conceal the German World War II covert bombing and missile operations. Many of his friends died in that tunnel."

Family Discussions:

  1. What makes the law of freedom stronger than the law of sin?
  2. Why does sin enslave us?
  3. Have you ever experienced the freedom from sin? What was it like?

Transcription:

00:14 Oh Baby! If you love freedom, you're going to love this devotional day. We're going to be reading from Romans Chapter Seven Verse 20 Verse 24 25 and then we're going to skip down to Romans eight verse two. This is great. Here's what Paul says, "but if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. Wretched man that I am, who will set me free from the body of this death. Thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ. So then on the one hand, I myself in my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other with my flesh, the law of sin. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." Uh, years ago I heard the story of an older man who was interviewed, who had spent four years in a Nazi slave camp, burring a huge rock tunnel through a mountain to conceal the German World War II covert bombing and missile operations.

01:23 Many, many of his friends died in that tunnel. All the slaves of prisoners were starved beyond belief and beaten unmercifully. When the United States soldiers defeated Germany and arrived at the tunnel to free the German slaves, the men literally clasped their hands together in prayerful celebration. They were free. They were free to eat. They were free to laugh. They were free to cry. They were free to go home to their families. Man, sin is slavery. Sin is handcuffs. You know, alcohol abuse becomes slavery. Tobacco abuse become slavery. Drugs become slavery. It's no fun to be a slave to anything. Who wants to be in handcuffs their whole life? But man, alas, as we continue to spin our lives in the mud. Trying to get out on her own power. Literally from out of heaven comes to the Christian soldiers of Christ, freeing hand and forgives us and lifts us from our sin and cuts the change with the Chisel of grace.

02:33 That's how my friend Diane stopped smoking. That's how my friend West stop having sex with his girlfriend. That's how rob stop using drugs. That's how bill stopped cheating his customers. That's how, uh, my friend who was having adultery stopped having adultery. He went home and apologized and begin to serve as wife and raise his kids. That's how Christ can break your chains today. And that's why Paul triumphantly says the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free. And the question today is this, what makes the law of freedom stronger than the law of sin? And then secondly, why does sin enslave us? And then talk to whoever you're with right now and talk about, have you ever experienced the freedom from sin? What was it like? The lifeline for today is this, may we continually be able to echo their historical words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr when he said, "free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty. I'm free at last." And so we are in Christ.

Jim Ryan is a great friend of mine with a terrific heart. You know, Jim was a Kansas kid. He wanted to run track, but he was too slow his ninth grade year so he actually got cut from the team. The setback enlarged his heart, and he trained even harder.

Family Discussions:

  1. How did Jesus stay out of the pack?
  2. What finish line kept Him in focus?
  3. What is the pack that is trying to pressure you right now>
  4. How can you avoid getting trapped in the pack?
  5. How can we in the home help each other be aware of the pack that each of us is in?
  6. How can we focus on the baseline?

Episode Transcription:

00:14 My heart still races when I thinking of the day I got caught in a pack of rattlesnakes as a little kid up on top of a West Texas Mountain. Today I'm going to be talking about getting caught in the pack, but about someone who left the pack for a very special reason. We're in John chapter 12, verse 23 through 28. It says, "Jesus replied, 'The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves Me must follow Me, and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves Me. Now My heart is troubled and what shall I say? "Father, save Me from this hour." No, it was for this very reason that I came to this hour. Father, glorify Thy name. Then a voice came from heaven and said, "I have glorified it and will glorify it again."

01:29 Jim Ryan is a great friend of mine with a terrific heart. You know, Jim was a Kansas kid. He wanted to run track, but he was too slow his ninth grade year so he actually got cut from the team. The setback enlarged his heart, and he trained even harder. Hours upon hours he ran every day. Running to that stopwatch, trying to make the time. They'd say, "Jim, are you in pain?" He would say, "Yes, I'm in pain, but I've learned to run with the pain." Jim was the first high school runner to break the four-minute mile. He held the world record in the mile for 15 years, but Jim never won the Olympics. I was actually in Munich, Germany, watching him run for the USA track team at the Olympics in Munich when a tragic event occurred. Jim rounded the curve for the last lap of the race, but he was caught in the pack. He was caught in this group of runners. I remember it like it was yesterday when he tripped, and he fell into the curb in sheer pain. And although he was undoubtedly the best runner in the world, he finished dead last. But his great spirit inside of him never dimmed, and he continues to be one of the greatest men I've ever known. Boy, you guys. the pack in life are the peers that surround you, the firm that surrounds you, the locker room, the team, the business community. It's the pack and getting caught up in the pack, it's what we call, you know, as kids "peer pressure." And you know what? Peer pressure kills more dreams than any other agent known to man.

03:12 Now man, here's the devotional of the day. How did Jesus stay out of the pack, and what finish line kept Him in focus? And the third question, you know, what is the pack that is trying to pressure you right now and how can you avoid getting trapped in the pack? And here's the lifeline. How can we in the home help each other be aware of the pack that each of us is in, and how can we focus on the baseline?

March 15, 2019

Blind Spots - John 9:1-7

Blind spots. It would have been a horrible accident, I'll never forget it, if my mom wouldn't have seen the car approaching at breakneck speed, just behind me over my right shoulder on that busy Texas freeway. I'll never forget it. My rear view mirror had a blind spot behind my right rear tail light because the design of the car.

Family Discussions:

  1. How do we get blinded to the truth that's around us?
  2. How can Jesus heal a blind spot?
  3. What do you need to do to let him heal that blind spot?

Episode Transcription:

00:14 You know, some of the dearest people that I've ever made are people who are born without sight. I don't know what darkness feels like, but in John chapter nine, verses one through seven, it tells a story about a man who did, and it says this, "As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked Jesus, 'Rabbi who sinned, him or his parents, that he was born blind?' Jesus said, 'Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me. Night is coming, where no one can work. While I'm in the world, I am the light of the world.' Having said this, He spit on the ground, and He made some mud with the saliva and put it on the man's eyes. 'Go,' He told the man, 'wash in the pool of Siloam,' which means the word 'sent.' So the man went and washed and came home seeing."

01:20 Blind spots. It would have been a horrible accident, I'll never forget it, if my mom wouldn't have seen the car approaching at breakneck speed, just behind me over my right shoulder on that busy Texas freeway. I'll never forget it. My rear view mirror had a blind spot behind my right rear tail light because the design of the car. Boy, have I had some blind spots, do I have some blind spots. I remember in college, you know, playing sports, playing football, you know, made me progressively self-centered. Still struggle with that. Man, I didn't know what was happening to me, but later I learned the hard way that I had a huge blind spot in my ego.

01:59 You know, I work with business guys. You know, who struggle with blind spots because the computer, and the portfolio, and the 401k and the whole money thing, you know, becomes our life. Our God. You know, I see, you know, high school kids and college kids and adults where a girl, or to the girl a guy, can become like a god, and we can love them more than we even love God. You know, you see the little boy who loves his candy more than anything. He wouldn't share it, you know, for anything. And probably the biggest challenge, you know, of growing up, of being, you know, in junior high or high school, is that popularity and being accepted by her friends can become our God. You know, we'll even forsake the love of our parents and the love of God to fit in. You know, whatever the blind spot is, you know, whatever it is that's blindfolding you or blindfolding me, you know, we don't get it until we get in big trouble. Blind spots. They're places in our lives where we can't see the truth. Blind spots or places where Satan has his way.

03:02 Here's the questions for the day. How do we get blinded to the truth that's around us? And how can Jesus heal a blind spot, and then what do you need to do, man? What do you need to do to let him heal that blind spot? And here's the lifeline for the family: man, as a family, boy, we are God's best instruments to help Jesus identify and heal the blind spots in each other. That's why gave us to each other.

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