- SEEKER: First and foremost, a Champion seeks after God. His ultimate goal is being so in tune with God that everything he does flows out of that relationship. He hears, feels and knows God’s heart and desires. He is guided by God’s spirit and longs for God’s ways and love to be known and experienced by all. He wants joy and happiness for himself and others and he knows that seeking God is the key.
- FIGHTER: Yes he competes. He strives. He works to get better. He wants all that he does to be the best because he knows his life, others and the Cause are at stake. His fight however is for God. And his number one enemy is satan and his own flesh that keeps trying to feed him lies of doubt and unbelief.
- LOVER: The great drive to protect and fight comes from his deep love. It wells up in him so much that he does things any ordinary person would instinctively turn and run in fear. A champion is the greatest lover on earth!
- SERVANT: A true leader is a servant leader. Jesus himself said, “the greatest one among should be…like the one who serves.” And a leader by definition champions others by serving and using his life… skills, talents, personality and resources…to help others.
So have you ever bombed a test?
Retakes for Growth
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
- What do you think Levi was thinking when Jesus asked him to “follow me and be my disciple”? (Why me?…amazed…but thankful…sensing love?)
- Who are you most like in this interaction? (Crowd, Levi, other disciples, religious person, other sinners). Why?
A Life Changing Invitation
When Jesus calls you it is not just so you can break free of the disease of sin in your life and enjoy the love of God in your life. It is ALSO an invitation into the Rescue Mission.
What is controlling your life?
If you are like me you may think at first, “Nothing! I’m good. No worries here.”
- Relationship with the opposite sex?
- Outburst of anger or selfishness?
- Habit that you know is wrong or not healthy?
- Friendship or peer group that is steering you down a wrong life path?
If so, the questions is “Do you want to break free from it?”
Just like the man who was controlled by an impure spirit, by faith in the power of Jesus, we can get free from those impure spirits controlling our lives.
- Cry out to Jesus (v.23 “the man cried out”). Believe Jesus has the power to overcome what is holding you.
- Submit to God (James 4:7) “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
- Resist the attack– How?
PRAY: Jesus I need your help right now with ______________. I’m tired of the control it has had in my life. I submit and humble myself before you that I can’t take it anymore but I know You can. I speak against __________ that has been tormenting me. In Jesus name it is gone from my life. God by your power I will run from any temptation that is trying to pull me down and I will resist my own fleshly desires that are not honoring to You. Grant me the faith to know, love, obey and pursue You, Jesus as my greatest treasure!
READ: Mark 1: 21-28
Can you imagine what would you have been thinking and feeling if you saw this scene just go down? When you think about it, this encounter could have been taken directly out of the latest paranormal movie today. Honestly if I was there when this happened, I would be out the door in five seconds.
Jesus Has Authority
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. – Colossians 1: 15-17
We Have Authority
“When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases,” Luke 9:1
Could it be that something is controlling your life and your not even aware of it?
It may not be something demonic, but could it be something you have allowed to creep in slowly that now has control over you? Ask yourself:
- Did I used to have a desire for the God that has slowly declined?
- What do I now think about most of the time? Is it all about me and what I want most of the time?
- Is there something “impure” or that doesn’t honor God or others that you know you shouldn’t be doing, but you keep doing it anyway?
I will outline in the next devotion some ways God gives us to break free from those things in our life. Until then, tell God about it and if your willing to post what has been controlling you, share it below or at least send me a message and I would love to encourage you as you begin to break free from it.
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit,
but test the spirits to see whether they are from God…
God who is in you is greater
than the [evil] one who is in the world.”~ 1 John 4:1-4
Jesus’ personality and spirit captivated people. This was so evident because many not only came to Jesus themself, but some took it further and brought those they love and care about to Him. (v.30,32). One of the awesome things about Him is it doesn’t even matter what you look like or how unpopular you are. Jesus proved He is willing to cleanup any insecurities we see in our body or our heart (v.40). All we need to do is come to Him with a heart of faith.
➡️ Do you really believe in Jesus enough to bring people to Him?
➡️ Do you believe in Jesus enough to come to Him yourself?
PRAY: Jesus I know you are willing to touch my heart and make me clean and new. I ask you now and receive your words that I am healed. You have made me new, and are continuing to make me newer too. Use me as well to bring others to You.
READ: Mark 8:31-36
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
- Do you have in mind human concerns most of the time or are you focused on what God is concerned about?
- What have you been trying to “gain” from the world at the risk of “forfeiting” your soul?
Fathers. We have seen good and we have seen bad.
Society is hungry for strong fathers; men who selflessly lay down their lives for the sake of their wives and children; men who forsake self-interest to support their families and their neighbors; men who encourage and discipline; men who laugh and cry; men who know that, to do these things well, Jesus must be their ultimate treasure. -Humble Beast Records
Some of us can celebrate those men who have poured in our lives and modeled well positive attributes of a true loving father. Others either cringe at the thought or mourn the failings of the first male in our life. Even then, most of us probably land our sentiments somewhere in between.
So if you are a young man reading this, may you either be encouraged by this video and be sure to thank your own dad or pray to God to help equip you to be the kind of man portrayed in it.
Whether you like rap or not, I believe you will love this video!
Note: This an adaptation of a blog written by Jon Acuff by the same name. You can check it out here.
Please stop saying your too busy
Please don’t tell me you’re too busy to spend time alone with God and then show me your perfectly detailed fantasy football team.
Please don’t tell me you’re too busy to read your bible everyday and then give me intricate plot details about the six shows you’re watching.
Please don’t tell me you’re too busy to pray and then update your social media accounts incessantly.
We are a busy people. Our clocks are thin and tired, our schedules full and bloated.
But somehow we find a way to give our time to a host of wonderful distractions.
There is a reason the average 21-year-old has played 10,000 hours of video games.
There is a reason the average American watches 35 hours of television a week according to Nielsen.
There is a reason American companies lose an estimated $6.5 billion during the 15-week fantasy football season.
Time is a squirrely thing. It only goes where you tell it to go. It has no mind of its own. It won’t naturally gravitate to things that matter. It always looks for the easy way out.
This summer, I dare you to not waste it. What if not waisting it meant only doing 15 minutes more of something meaningful for your growth with God? I’m talking about 15 minutes. I don’t care how busy you are, you have 15 minutes hidden somewhere in your day.
I dare you to rescue that tiny amount each day and then watch what happens this summer.
Time won’t find you. You have to find it.
And when you find it, you will find more of God in that time.
The Man Card
Closing the Gap
“In a perfect world, every older man should see a younger man’s need for mentoring and step in. The sad reality is that most the time a young man will have to initiate the relationship.” – Cory Smith
- What man is being intentional now to mentor you that you need to thank or be more intentional towards yourself?
- If you don’t have a mentor now, who could you contact to ask them if they would consider mentoring you?