"I am a Patriot and I feel blessed to live in Branson, Missouri in the United States of America. But you know what? There's a whole lot of traditions in this country that have grown up, especially in the last 60 years that are traditions of men that I don't agree with. "

Family Discussions:

  1. What is the difference between tradition and truth?
  2. What politically correct idioms bother you?
  3. How has this devotional from Mark chapter seven help you see your values more clearly and live by truth and not traditions?

Transcription:

00:14          Today's devotion will hit home probably as good as any devotional I've ever read in scripture. It's chapter seven in the book of Mark, and we're starting at verse six. It was a great day for Jesus as all of his days were great. He always won in every conversation. Verse six says this, "and he said to them rightly, did Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites? As it is written, this people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. But in vain, do they worship me? Teaching as doctrines, the precepts or the traditions of men neglecting the commandment of God. You hold to the traditions of men."
 
00:59          I am a Patriot and I feel blessed to live in Branson, Missouri in the United States of America. But you know what? There's a whole lot of traditions in this country that have grown up, especially in the last 60 years that are traditions of men that I don't agree with. I have a dear friend and he's one of the nicest young men and one of the successful guys I've ever met in my life in terms of doing what he believes God wants him to do, but he was supposed to be an abortion. And it was the desire of everybody in the family above him to abort him because he was an unwanted child. Fortunately, his mom had the courage to say no, and his mom had him. And now he's doing amazing things with his life. But the tradition says that abortions are good, fine, legal. 55-60 million babies in America have been killed by abortion in the last 30 or 40 years. But I'm glad that some people follow the teachings of God rather than the traditions of men.
 
02:01          I'll never forget, we've had like 50,000 summer staff at these camps in the last 86 years that I get to be a part of. And boy, the greatest folks. I remember one guy who was a sinner on the university of Southern California football team, Tom Debitscisus is one of the finest looking athletes you ever met. And he fell in love with one of the kampers who grew up and then was a counselor named Tori and she was like a daughter to me. And they fell in love. Well, the tradition is that when you fall in love on a college campus, then you go ahead and live together and have sex. But Tom wasn't a man who followed the tradition of man. He followed the Word of God. And then Tom got engaged at the fraternity house and the guys were like, okay, Tom, you're engaged now. Now it's okay to move in with Tori. But Tom goes, you know what, I'm not about their traditions of men. I'm about the word of God and I'm saving my sex for marriage. And he honored that girl till now they became married and now they're, you know, married happily ever after.
 
02:58          I have a little friend in our Kamp named Jordan Sparks and Jordin years ago was the American idol and it was so much fun watching Jordan carry that title. On one hand was her Kanakuk Kamp ring on the other hand was her purity ring. And wherever she went, she would be teased and challenged about their commitment to purity in sex and purity and you know, in her life and her body. And boy, did God honored Jordin Sparks for not following the traditions of men, but following the word of God.
 
03:30          You know, in a science class, anybody who takes biology, I was a premed major and studied biology for four and a half years in college. Well, the tradition is that you evolved from slime. The tradition is that you're nothing more than an evolutionary leak in the succession of apes. But the word of God says that you were made, you were designed, you were created in the image of God, which is the only scientific fact really that's plausible of how somebody got here. But the tradition says you were evolved, that you don't have a God. Well, I'll tell you one thing about the traditions of men. They won't get you to Heaven. And I'll tell you another thing about the tradition of men. They won't give you life. True life and true joy on this earth. Tradition or truth. It's a question that you and I have got to ask every single day. What am I going to do? What am I going to live by tradition or truth?
 
04:23          And here's some questions that I want to ask you. What is the difference between tradition and truth? And the second question today is what politically correct idioms bother you? And the third one is how has this devotional from Mark chapter seven help you see your values more clearly and live by truth and not traditions? Here's the lifeline for today of at home in a godly home. The truth never changes.

"I made this Bible about 20 something years ago out of a piece of pigskin and some leather from Tandy leather company and glued it to a New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. And it's been following me around in my hip pocket ever since."

Family Discussion:

  1. Describe the two edges of the sword of the word of God.
  2. Why is God's word the greatest offensive weapon that we've got as we're under the attack by the enemy all day, every day?
  3. Make some kind of a commitment to make to the word and what you're going to do with this word daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis in your life.

Transcription:

00:14 Man, I hope that you're having half the fun of watching these and doing these devotionals as I am getting to share them with you and if I can only do two with you, I'd want to do the one today and the one that we get to do together tomorrow. In Hebrews chapter four, verse 12, it says this, "For the word of God is living and active sharper than any two edged sword. Its piercing his for is the division of both soul and spirit of both joint and marrow enabled to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." You know what? I made this Bible about 20 something years ago out of a piece of pigskin and some leather from Tandy leather company and glued it to a New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. And it's been following me around in my hip pocket ever since.

01:03 And if there was only one thing that could be saved in a fire, it would surely be this. People would be first and my pets would be second. But I'd saved this of all the possessions that I have. But after that for sure. But truly, seriously in eternity. Nothing really else matters except this the word of God and I'm thankful to Dr. Howard Hendricks for some time that I got to spend with Dr. Hendricks by listening to him on tape, believe it or not, years ago. And he changed my view forever about the word of God. It's living and active and sharper than any two edged sword. Dr. Hendricks says, the Bible will come alive to you when you read it patiently. When you take your time, when you read the book, prayerfully, when you pray, before you read, during the time you read and after you read, when you read the Bible imaginatively, when you go into the jail with Paul, when he's writing the Philippians or the Ephesians or the Galatians, you imagine what it was like in that jail. The stench and the smell and what it was like to be chained to the praetorian guard that you go to Calvary with Christ.

02:10 That you go to Golgotha and you experience, what it was like around that cross as Christ poured out his life for you. You read it, imaginatively it, and then he said your rent possessively you read it to own it. You read it to put it in your heart, you read it intentionally, you read it to change your life. And then Dr. Henderson talked about, not only reading it patiently and reading it possessively and reading it imaginatively but he said, read it like a love letter. And that's the one that changed it the most for me. That when you go to the word of God, you read it like the greatest love letter you've ever gotten in your life. And I remember back in high school when I first started getting love letters from, you know, high school girlfriends. Don't tell my wife. And how you just pour over those love letters, every word dear.

02:59 Why did he say dearest love? Why did she say Love yah? You know how love letters are, but it's what it is. It's a love letter from God. And then he said, read it like the first time. Read it like you've never been there before. You've read John Three 16 a thousand times. But today when you read it, read it like you've never seen it before. For God so love the world. That's awesome. That he gave his only son that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life. Go there like as a first time of your life. Go there like it's a gold mine because that's exactly what it is. And here's my questions for you today. Describe the two edges of the sword of the word of God and why is God's word the greatest offensive weapon that we've got as we're under the attack by the enemy all day, every day? And then lastly, make some kind of a commitment, maybe even right now of what you're going to do, a different commitment you're going to make to the word and what you're going to do with this word daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis in your life.

04:10 And if you do scripture promise and I promise that it will change your life in everything you do.

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

Family Discussion:

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

Transcription:

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

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

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

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

Family Discussion:

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

Transcription:

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

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

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

"Like the stars of the sky, so is the love of God. There's no end to the love of God."

Family Discussion:

  • Why should our love for God grow deeper as the years go by?
  • What is the breadth and length and height and depth of God's love?
  • How do you compare the every deepening love for a person in your family, with the ever deepening love of God?

Transcription:

00:13 Okay, I'm not much of a cook, but I love to get in the kitchen. And the main difference between my wife's cooking and my cooking is that she always measure stuff. Well, I just throw stuff in the bowl and it doesn't come out so perfect all the time. But today I'm going to tell you about something where there's no end to how much you can measure. You just can't measure what we're talking about today. This is a Ephesians chapter 3 verse 14, and it Paul says this: "for this reason, I'm on my knees before the father from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your heart through faith, and that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge. That you may be filled up to all the fullness of God."

01:16 My wonderful long-time friend, dear Dr. Horace Wood, was 93 years old when he gently closed his eyes for one final nap, as he instantly passed from this world into the arms of his savior that he had cherished for 80 of his 93 years on earth. I never saw a man so much in love with anything or anyone. Every time that doctor would begin to talk about Jesus, big old tears of affection would stream from his eyes. Every night he went to bed with a little recording playing at his bedside of a great preacher. Talking about Dr. Woods first loev, the breadth and length and height and depth. Man, I've only been a follower of Christ for probably 40 years or something like that. But my love for him and his word grows sweeter and deeper and honestly more intimately fulfilling every year of my life. The breadth and length and height and depth. In a very similar way I think my love has grown from my little bride for 36 years. The more I know about Debbie Jo, the more I love her. I liked her the first time I met her, I really did. And I loved her the first time we kissed. And I knew in my heart that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I loved her more when I kinda hid her engagement ring in a little Cracker Jacks box to hand it to her to ask her to marry me. My love grew fonder was she walked the aisle in gorgeous white wedding lace. My loved increased by leaps and bounds when she brought our first child home from the hospital. I'll never forget that. You know, you get to the bottom of love. You can't get to the top of God's love. You can't reach your arms around it. God's love, that's what it is. He's love. That's who he is. And God is so magnificent. The longer you love him, the longer you love someone through him, the more you see how much more there is to see. In the city on a clear starry night, you can see about 3000 stars. Out in these country Ozark mountains, you can see twice as many it seems. This last year, atop a 10,000 foot volcano in Maui, I'm positive I saw 10 times that many stars. I could have gazed for a week and never seen them all. Astronomers tell us that we have about a hundred billion stars. Some say as many as 400 billion in our milky way galaxy. Who knows? And we're only one of 100 billion galaxies in the known universe.

03:55 Have you lost your mind yet? Well, like the stars of the sky, so is the love of God. The higher you get with him, the more you see, the more you see, the more you want to know. There's no end to the love of God. And so the questions today are this: Why should our love for God grow deeper as the years go by? And then this question: What is the breadth and length and height and depth of God's love? And then here's a question. How do you compare the every deepening love for a person in your family, with the ever deepening love of God? And here's the thought for the day: Search for the deeper love in the people that you love too.

"From a slave to sin, to a free man in Christ; from an orphan lost to the world, to an adopted son found in Christ."

Family Discussion:

  • What does it mean to be adopted by God as a son?
  • What kind of response does this incredible offer invoke in your heart towards him?

Transcription:

00:06 Well, I have a treasure chest in my house. I'm a treasure hunter and this treasure chest is full. And the treasures over the years are the letters that my kids have written me. It's the best thing I've got. My "happy father's day" cards, "happy birthday dad," the first shoes that my daughter ever wore, Cooper's little football cleats back in peewee. These are my treasures; I'm a dad, it's the greatest thing in the world. Listen to Galatians chapter 4, verse 4-7. This will blow your mind. It says this: "but when the fullness of time came, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law so that he might redeem those who were under the law that we might receive the adoption as sons. God has sent forth his spirit of his son into our hearts, crying Aba father. Therefore, you are no longer a slave, but a son. And if a son, an heir through God."

01:34 My daughter has come home from Rwanda with two adopted kids, and her palace is just a giant celebration. These kids never had a parent and now they've been adopted. Well, I've got to tell you a story about adoption. I've never formally adopted, but informally, let me tell you about one. It was a dark and gloomy day when I trudge reluctantly to the high school football field to see David, a 13 year old football player who had just been to our sports camp maybe just a couple of months before. David's big green eyes were filled with questions of doubt and sheer disbelief. As his long eyelashes, I'll never forget the picture, were laden with tears of sorrow over the drowning death of his father only a few hours before. I told David that I loved him deeply and I hugged that big old strong kid on the football field. And I said, "David, if you ever need a dad, I'm there for you man. If you want a second dad, all you need to do is call. Boy, as the next four years progressed, David's life went slowly downhill. I'd see him occasionally in our chats were always meaningful, but his life without his dad was taking its toll. He wasn't ready to take me up on the offer, but then the day came that his life fell apart. And the details are pretty confidential. His life became chaos.

03:06 I remember the phone call when it came. I was delighted. He came over to my house and he treated me like a daddy. And on that day, David gave his life to Christ. We spent so much time together the next three days, just giving him the love that he had lost for the last four years of dad. I felt for him, much like I'd felt for my own sons. You know, my emotions went to the moon and back when he prayed an earnest prayer of repentance and deterred with solidarity from his past, and he opened up his heart to let the savior in to reign and rule for eternity, and He is still living in that relationship with Christ today. So here's my question to you. What does it mean to be adopted by God as a son? What kind of response does this incredible offer invoke in your heart towards him? And here's the lifeline today: From a slave to sin, to a free man in Christ; from an orphan lost to the world, to an adopted son found in Christ. What are you going to do with that in your home today?

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

Family Discussion:

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

Transcription:

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

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

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

"Examine your imperfections and honestly thank God for those imperfections."

Family Discussion:

  • How is his power of made perfect in our weakness?
  • How did the C's and the D's and the F's of our life buffet us?
  • And then why does God show greater love when we're buffeted by him than if he allowed everything on our report card to be straight A's?

Transcription:

00:06 Everybody has their favorite Bible verses, but the Bible verse today surely is one of my very favorites. It was a bible verse that comforted my heart when I was stricken with leukemia a few summers ago. It's Second Corinthians chapter 12, verse 7-9. This one is great. I hope it'll become your favorite, too. It says, "to keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take this thorn away from me, but he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness." And then this verse, which took it home to me when leukemia was at its worst in my life, he said, "therefore I will all the more gladly boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ might rest in me."

01:13 I'll never forget the semester when my daughter Courtney was taking 22 hours in one of her last college semesters, and then working 15 hours a week trying to get out of college and get onto graduate school where she could get her degree in counseling. I remember she, she, she wanted to make all A's but doggone it, at the end of the semester there was a C on her report card. And I remember just taking her into my arms and encouraging her and saying, "you know what, Courtney, I'm so proud of you. I don't care if you made a C or whatever, because I have made so many C's and D's and F's in my life."

01:53 I can't count them. I keep making bad grades. The afflictions just seem to be more abundant all the time. I'm not proud when I fail. I'm sure not thrilled when I make a D on my report card, but I believe there's a reason for the C's and D's and F's on my report card, because those C's and D's and F's, they buffet you, don't they? They humble you. They take you to your knees. But more importantly, as this verse describes in Second Corinthians, it's our afflictions and it's our failures that take us more closely to the heart of Christ. So the questions today, and I know this verse relates to everybody because we all suffer with afflictions, we all make C's and D's and F's, but here's what's cool: How is his power of made perfect in our weakness? And how did the C's and the D's and the F's of our life buffet us? And then why does God show greater love when we're buffeted by him than if he allowed everything on our report card to be straight A's? And then the lifeline for today is this: examine your imperfections and honestly thank God for those imperfections. Because in those imperfections, you received the gift of humility.

"The tornado of time will eventually scatter our bodies into the dust of the ground."

Family Discussion:

  • What is the blind spot that you have that causes you to focus so much time and attention on our earthly time and bodies?
  • What are some ways you can change your priorities to refocus on that part of you that will live forever?
  • How can you express high value for the spirit of Christ that lives in your heart?

Transcription:

00:06 Today I want to tell you about an amazing miracle in a horrible tornado. And I want to give credit to Dr. Bill Gillham, one of my heroes in the faith for something he taught me about the scripture. Today, tornadoes are the most devastating things, square inch per square inch, I think in the world. But in this tornado, something cool happened to a friend of mine. We're in Second Corinthians chapter 5 verses 1-5. I can't wait for this, it's awesome. Listen to this, "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile, we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling because when we're clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we were in this tent, we groan in our burden because we do not wish to be unclothed, but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now, it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come."

01:25 Randy Odom, oh man, what a great guy. One of the counselors at Kids Across America, these awesome summer camps that we have here in the Ozarks reserve, especially for some of America's most deserving kids who come from the financially depraved concrete world of the urban inner city in America. And, not only does Randy love God, but he loves urban kids with a passion. One stormy day in the spring, I'll never forget when Randy pulled up in front of his trailer house at the exact moment, a tornado arrived at his front door. True story. In haste, he jumped out of his car as the door was ripped off the hinges of that trailer. He dove into his home on wheels where he was met a head on in the hallway by a flying door.

02:13 The door pinned him to the floor while his whole house literally was demolished above him. Although his house was scattered for city blocks, Randy was protected by the door and escaped without injury. You know what these, as Bill Gilliam says, these earth suits we inhabit while we visit this earth are about as stable as Randy's mobile home in a tornado. You know, we can exercise them, we can feed them, we can doctor them all we want, but the tornado of time will eventually scatter our bodies into the dust of the ground. And you know, there's no medicine or vitamin or magic potion that can keep the inevitable from happening. You know, as, as for man, scripture say these days are like grass as a flower of the field. So he flourishes when the wind passes over it. It is no more in its place, acknowledge it no longer, Psalms 103 says.

03:04 But fortunately, oh, so fortunately our spirit is protected from destruction by the spirit of Christ, if he indeed is alive and well in our hearts. It's our spirit sealed by grace for eternity by his spirit that is destined to live with God forever, unscathed, unharmed, free to live and fit for a life with a king. And, here's the question for you today. What is the blind spot that you have that causes you to focus so much time and attention on our earth suit, as Bill Gillham says, with such a limited lifespan and so little time and attention to our inner man that will live forever? And then this question, what are some ways you can change your priorities to refocus on that part of you that will live forever? And then, how can you express high value for the spirit of Christ that lives in your heart? And here's the lifeline for the day, man, what a great time to pour your heart into these little daily devotionals to prepare the part of you that will live forever.

"Christ hides himself in these just common old peanut butter jars of our heart."

Family Discussion:

  • Without Jesus, how valuable are you? But with Christ in your heart how valuable is that peanut butter jar of your heart?
  • How does that give you today the gift of humility that God would think enough of your heart, the old peanut butter jar to put his spirit in you?

Transcription:

00:04 One of my greatest heroes is Dr. Howard Hendricks, and Dr. Hendricks taught me something one time, that man, I'll think about it every time I read this passage in Second Corinthians chapter 4 verses 7-10. It says this, "but we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed, but not despairing, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the dying of Jesus so that the life of Jesus might be manifested in our body."

00:54 You know, I've got to break the routine today and just lead a major cheer in your home. I like this book we're studying together. This second Corinthians letter is just packed with God's greatest treasures. And, and you know what, speaking of treasures man, there is not, nor will there ever be, a treasure as absolutely invaluable as the mega karat diamond jewel of the Holy Spirit of Christ that hides himself in the treasure chest of your heart as a true believer and a follower of Jesus Christ. Doctor Hendrick's calls it peanut butter jars. Christ hides himself in these just common old peanut butter jars of our heart. You know, when I was a kid, my dad worked awfully hard to come home with enough money to put beans and burgers and peanut butter & jelly on the table. You know, we didn't starve, but we didn't have a whole lot of leftovers to feed our little dog Pixie, either. My mom was a champion at stretching the dollar and she'd save everything of potential value. Peanut butter jars and jelly jars, man, we drank out of those things. Her mom had taught her to save buttons, rare coins, toy marbles, trading stamps, and she'd saved stuff like that in peanut butter jars.

02:18 You know what, I remember one Friday night, we even put a handful of fireflies of lightening bugs in a peanut butter jar to make a natural flashlight for a game we were playing in the darkness of our room. Treasures, treasures in peanut butter jars. It seems ironic, doesn't it? But you know what? When I think of God putting his greatest treasure in the heart of a man who's failed as many times as I have, I feel just like a peanut butter jar - used, washed, spotless, and somehow filled with a treasure, so I can share some of the rare and priceless jewels with folks who come my way. And so it is with you. You may feel like a peanut butter jar yourself, but God thinks enough of you to fill your heart with his greatest treasure. Isn't that great?

03:08 Here's the question for today. How valuable is a used peanut butter jar by itself? And without Jesus, how valuable are you? But with Christ in your heart, with the Holy Spirit of God, living in your heart, now, how valuable is that peanut butter jar of your heart? And how does that give you today the gift of humility that God would think enough of your heart, the old peanut butter jar to put his spirit in you? How humble does that make you feel today? The lifeline for today to this: When I'm empty, if I would fall, I would break. But, when I'm filled with God's treasures, if I break and fall, it's the strongest treasure chest on earth.

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