"Counselors that'll meet each other at Kamp and then they'll marry each other. But one of my favorites of all of our marriages is this couple that are married. They're raising kids together. But three years ago, they were ready to kill each other." 

Family Discussion:

  1. Who is it in your life that you need to love like that?
  2. Who is it that that may be the hardest to love, but that you need to watch God do a big miracle as you begin to love that person like Jesus would?

Transcription:

00:13          You know, here at Kanakuk at the sports Kamps and Kids Across America, I get to see some of the greatest relationships. Counselors that'll meet each other at Kamp and then they'll marry each other. But one of my favorites of all of our marriages is this couple that are married. They're raising kids together. But three years ago, they were ready to kill each other. I mean, three years ago, there was so much strife in their marriage. I mean they had already thrown in the towel, but then they went to counseling and God showed up as they begin to replace the insults with kindness and they replaced the anger with forgiveness. And now they're walking hand in hand and loving each other socks off. Listen to what first Peter Three, eight and nine said, if you've got a dad in your life or a brother or an employer, employee or spouse and you just, you know, you feel like they're just ridiculing you or they're like your enemy.
 
01:09          This should it encourage you? It sure does. Me Listen to what first Peter says, chapter three, verse eight and nine. "To sum it up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, humble in spirit, not returning, not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead. For you were called for this very purpose that you might inherit a blessing." One of my favorite things in sports, you know, as I get to share with teams around the country and college and pros is after the game. You know, before the game, they're getting fired up to smash each other. And during the game they're doing that. They're trying to take each other out. But after the game, the Christian guys will get together and they'll get in circles. It happens all over the league and in NFL. The cameras don't show it.
 
02:03          You know, the TV producers, they're uncomfortable with prayer for some strange reason, but these teams, after they play each other, the Christian guys, and sometimes you'll see 20 or 30, 40 players out on the field. As Christian brothers holding hands and praying together after the game because that's what scripture says to do. It says to love your enemies, to pray for those who persecute you. I used to admire my dad so much, but one of the most admirable things about him was the way he forgave my brother. He was going through some awful times as a teenager. And he ran away. And my daddy was so mad when he left home, but when he came back, I remember he walked in my house and he had this big, beautiful smile on his face. And the first thing my daddy said to him, even though he had been, you know, evil or battered, you know, when he left. But the first thing my daddy said to him, he said, I wouldn't, I wouldn't trade $1 million for that smile. And when my daddy died, my brother was sitting at his grave and he said, my daddy was my best friend.
 
03:08          So my question for you today is this. Who is it in your life that you need to love like that? Who is it that that may be the hardest to love, but that you need to watch God do a big miracle as you begin to love that person like Jesus would? Go, hug somebody today.

"Trust and Thanksgiving for whatever circumstance you're in will stop everything."

Family Discussion:

  • Who are you trusting today?
  • How do you give God thanks even when you feel like your life is being persecuted.
  • How do you think God feels when you give him all the glory?
  • How do you think God reacts when you give him Thanksgiving no matter what kind of circumstances you're in?

Transcription:

00:06 I want to tell you today about one of the greatest encounters with a college student I've ever had in my life. But first I want to read from second Thessalonians chapter 1. I'm going to read two or three verses in this. Skip down to verse 11. This church is getting severely persecuted and boy, I don't know if you feel persecution, if you feel lack or wont, or you just feel like you can't trust anything or anybody. If your faith and your trust are getting challenged today, this one's for you. In verse 1 Paul says this: "Paul, Silas, and Timothy to the Church of the Thessalonians of God, our father and the Lord Jesus Christ, grace to you and peace from God, our father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We are always to give thanks to God for you brethren, as it is only fitting because your faith is greatly enlarged in the love of each one of you, toward each other grows even greater." In verse 11, he says: "to this end we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling and fulfill every desire of goodness and the work of faith with power so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in him according to the grace of God, our father and the Lord Jesus Christ." The question I want to ask you today, whatever you're going through; and you know what, you and I are probably going through a lot, but, who are you trusting? I'm telling you what man, everybody's got to trust somebody.

01:47 We were at the University of Southern California and we were doing one of our campus outreaches and the kids literally rushed into this theater in the middle of the campus, packed the theater out, and I built that cross and then hundreds of students came down to the cross to give their lives to Christ. But the most interesting part of the night for me was this: after the event, I went to the middle of the campus to wait for a ride. And this student came riding up on a bicycle. He was an Asian student. And the spirit of God inside of me said, "this guy needs to talk to you." He was carrying one of the books that we give away at the events. And I knew he had been there, and he got off his bicycle and he wanted to talk. And I said, "how'd it go for you tonight?" And he said, "man, I can't trust anybody." This guy had received persecution in his home I found out later. And his dad had broken his trust and he said, "I can't trust anybody." And I took this guy in my arms and right there in the middle of campus, he just began to weep in my arms. And I said, "you know what, you've got to trust somebody. We trust Jesus with your life." And he did. He trusted Christ with his life, gave his life to Christ. But then later that night we went to In-and-Out burger to get a burger and a milkshake before I flew back to Missouri, and you know what? The Guy who took me there also couldn't trust, he also had been persecuted and he couldn't trust. And I told him about Proverbs three, five and six that you can trust in the Lord with all your heart, that you can lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways you can acknowledge him. Proverbs three, five and six, you can trust God. Believe it or not, the cup of the milkshake that I was drinking had a bible verse on the bottom because the owners of In-N-Out burgers are Christians. And they put a verse in the bottom of every cup. And I said, "did you know there's a verse in the bottom of every cup?" And he said really? And I turn the cup up after I finished the drink. And the verse was, proverbs three, five and six. It's a true story. He said, I give up. He said, I will trust God if you'll put that verse on the bottom of that cup for me, no matter what's going on in your life. Trust and Thanksgiving for whatever circumstance you're in will stop everything.

03:55 And I'm going to ask you this. Who are you trusting today? And secondly: How do you give God thanks even when you feel like your life is being persecuted. And then this one: How do you think God feels when you give him all the glory? How do you think God reacts when you give him Thanksgiving no matter what kind of circumstances you're in? The lifeline for today is this. God has been so gracious that our joy should overflow with thanksgiving and our trust should be in him no matter what.

"I know of nothing else that has to happen before he returns to take his children and his true followers home."

Family Discussion:

  • How do you want to be living when Jesus returns to claim his followers?
  • How does his impending return make you evaluate your lifestyle today?
  • How does a child of the day behave differently than a child of the night?

Transcription:

00:06 Have you ever wondered why we spend so much time studying this little book and why this book is so incredibly important? Today we're going to underline that, and in fact, I think we're going to put it in neon lights that not only is this book the wisest book that was ever written, it is the most accurate book that was ever written. Check this out in first Thessalonians 5:2 and 4-8. It speaks although written 1900 years ago about something that's going on today. Paul says this: "For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. But you, brethren, are not in darkness that the day would overtake you like a thief for you are all sons of light and sons of the day. We're not of night nor of darkness. So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do they're sleeping at night and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober. Having put on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet of hope and salvation."

01:29 Every conceivable circumstance points to the biblical prescription of the impending day when Jesus will return and gather his children and take them from this fallen earth and into his eternal safety. We call it the rapture - when the Christians will literally be taken from the earth in an instant. This little computer insert with these little computer chips on it; not check this out, with current computer chip technology, one man, which the Bible speaks of as the antichrist in scripture, could easily laser tattoo every human on earth and control every economic transaction and everyone in the world. And it says this in Revelation, it says: "and he the antichrist causes all. The small and the great, the rich and the poor, the free and the slave to be given a mark either on their right hand or on their forehead and he provides that no one should be able to buy or sell except the one who has the mark. This calls for wisdom, either the name of the beast or the number of the beast and the number is six six six." Interesting. A cashless checkless society where one man could control every transaction on earth with one little *boop* scan in the hand on a computer. There's another prophecy that is incredibly interesting to me from Revelation and it talks about, I believe, the military army that will be coming in from the East in the final battle of Revelation. Red China is heavily involved in the military affairs in Iran, for example. The giant communist nation is thirsty for the vast reserves of oil in the Middle East. Israel and the United States stand squarely in the way of a military takeover and an encyclopedia Britannica volume four page 94 says that Red China boasts an army of 200 million. It's amazing. And then you look in Revelation and it says this, "and the sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the Great River Euphrates that it's water was dried up, did he might prepare the way from the kings of the east." And then in revelation it also numbers of the armies, in 9:16 it says, "and the number of armies of the horsemen was 200 million. I heard the number of them." Amazing. Talking about one army from the east coming in for the final battle, 200 million. Is he talking about the Chinese army? You know, I'm not positive, but it's more than interesting that the number is the same. And folks, there are dozens, literally, of other fulfilled prophecies of the return of Christ and the rapture of the church that are being fulfilled before our very eyes today. I literally believe that Jesus could return tomorrow scripturally. I know of nothing else that has to happen before he returns to take his children and his true followers home.

04:33 And here's our questions for today. How do you want to be living when Jesus returns to claim his followers? How does his impending return make you evaluate your lifestyle today? And then the last question is: How does a child of the day behave differently than a child of the night? Here's the lifeline. Plan your life like he won't return for a hundred years, but live your life like he's coming back today.

"A true sincere Christian is solidly warned not to be partners with somebody who is not truly a sincere Christian."

Family Discussion:

  • What do you think God is saying to you personally about not being unequally yoked?
  • How can the desire for love or friendship or the desire for money blind you to this command in scripture?

Transcription:

00:04 Man, this book we're studying together has got so many treasures. There's so many promises in this book, they're countless. But there's also some commands in this book, and you know what, God is not timid about his commands. And if we would listen to this one today, I can think of hundreds of conversations I've had over the years of of pain and heartache that they would be saved if we just listened to this one. Second Corinthians 6 verse 14 through 16, this command like all the rest of the scripture is to protect us and provide for us. Here it is. "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers for what do righteousness and wickedness have in common or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the Temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God, as God has said, I will live with them and walk among them and I will be their God and they will be my people."

01:17 Can you imagine two oxen unequally yoked, one is aggressive and one is lazy and how awful the ride would be behind that cart of those oxen. That's the picture of the devotional today. And you know what? I can think off the top of my head of half dozen conversations I've had in the last couple of years, you know, with businessmen and businesswomen who've yoked themselves unequally with an unbeliever, a believer making a partnership or a deal with an unbeliever. And when the money showed up and the company began to grow, the unbeliever showed his colors. And even though he might've said he was a Christian, he truly wasn't a follower of Christ. It didn't have the same values. And the partnership broke up and the company disappeared in debt. And lawsuits often ensued.

02:09 And then there's the teen cards that I get it at the youth rallies that I do. And the college events that I do where they fill out these cards and they tell me their stories and the stories of being unequally yoked are heartbreaking. Here's one that said, "Joe, my friends told me that by getting high, my problems would go away. That wasn't true at all. First we tried speed and then pot and angel dust and LSD, although I only tried LSD one time. It was an experience I will never forget. It literally blew my mind." And then there was another one that said, "Joe, he told me that he loved me and like all the rest we'd get married someday. He talked me into sex and then we broke up. I was crushed. I felt like I had 200 knives going through my heart. And another one wrote me and said, "you know what? I began to hang out with the wrong friends. They were always partying and drinking. And before long they took me down with them."

03:15 Unequally yoked, paired up with an unbeliever, scripture carefully and clearly warns that's a mistake that will bring us down every time. You know what, a Christian has got a witness to the laws, you know, no doubt. But a true sincere Christian is solidly warned not to be partners with, not to be boyfriends with, girlfriends with, to date, to fall in love with somebody who is not truly a sincere Christian. You know what? This passage is a clear warning from God that if you don't listen to like, the two oxen trying to pull the cart in opposite directions, you know, it'll fall apart every time. And here's the question today, what do you think God is saying to you personally about not being unequally yoked? And then secondly, how can the desire for love or friendship or the desire for money blind you to this command in scripture? And then this takes it home: If you find yourself unequally yoked today, what do you need to do? And then the lifeline today is this, men, keep the yoke of family going strong and make it a relationship of give and take where you give more than you take. It'll make your family strong as all get out.

"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.

"The Bible speaks clearly of our future in heaven, and it says that there's going to be crowns for those who build their life on the solid rock of Christ."

Family Discussion:

  • What is the foundation of your life today?
  • What does the gift you're making for Jesus look like today?

Transcription:

00:14 Peak into your future today, you'll see what it's going to be like for the rest of, not your life, but for eternity. Watch out for this devotional, today. First Corinthians chapter three, verses 12 and on, it says this, "if any man builds on the foundation using gold or silver or precious jewels, or wood and hay and stubble, each man's work will become evident because it will be tested by fire and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. Now, if the work that he has built remains, he will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, he will suffer loss, yet he will be saved, yet as through fire." I'll never forget when this young friend of mine was on a stage, at a university play and he was the lead character.

01:07 But in the play, he was unable to give and receive love. But when the curtain fell at the end of the play, he stepped out and somebody handed him two dozen red roses and he said to a girl that he loved out in the audience. He said, "you know what, my character in the play was unable to give and receive love, but there's somebody sitting out there who I want to give my love to for my lifetime." And then he said, "Jamie, will you marry me?" Well, that friend is named Mandy Brainer and he's now my son in law, and the girl in the crowd was named Jamie. And you know what? When he gave her a ring, he didn't give her this. He didn't give her cubic zirconium. He didn't give her plastic. He gave her a diamond because he wanted to symbolize that their marriage was going to be built upon the rock.

01:58 Believe it or not, when I married my precious Debbie Jo, a guy in my wedding, an old college football buddy of mine, had given my brother $50 to pull out a Mickey mouse ring when I ask for the ring. And it happened. I asked to the best man, my brother, for the ring, and he handed me a Mickey mouse ring for the wedding. My wife could have killed him, but you know what? I didn't build my marriage on plastic. Anymore than you'll build your marriage on plastic, and so much more our life. You know what, the Bible speaks clearly of our future in heaven, and it says that there's going to be crowns for those who build their life on the solid rock of Christ. There'll be the crown of glory. There'll be the crown of life, there'll be the crown of righteousness, there'll be the crown of the victory.

02:50 And all of those crowns are built upon that your life is lived on the solid foundation of Christ. So, what's your future gonna be? Uh, what's your eternity going to be like? Certainly it is Christ alone who will save us. Certainly that, but the Bible teaches that someday we get to lay those crowns at Jesus' feet and we get to celebrate for all of eternity. The rewards for which you lived your life, building on the solid foundation of Christ and Christ alone. And my questions to you are this, what is the foundation of your life today? Is it trophies, little trophies that will fade, that'll fall apart in a few years? Or, is it the future of the trophies in the whole foundation on Christ? And the lifeline for today is: what does the gift you're making for Jesus look like today? Does it resemble a diamond or does it more resemble a piece of plastic?

"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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