Here, you will be strengthened and encouraged through the powerful Word of God. The Men of Valor Podcast seeks to illustrate how to lead by example as men share real-world application of God’s word in their lives.
Hearing and Doing the Word – EP29 (Rev. 3:1)
I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
Hi, Pastor Bob here. Welcome back to the Men of Valor podcast. The verse for today is from the book of Revelation, chapter 3 verse 1, and it states. “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.”
So, the big Super Bowl game is over - and following up from the last podcast, were there any events that impacted you or your life? If not, I pray the Holy Spirit will reveal something today that will. One thing that interested me was the number of spectators that could attend the game was limited to 25,000 people. But the 55,000 capacity stadium looked packed! So what's the story behind that? I found out they actually sold 30,000 cardboard cutouts of people for $100 each. You can have your face printed on a lifeless cardboard cutout, and they would sit you in a seat just like you were there! That way, the stadium looked full, and perhaps your friends could see you sitting at the big game if the camera quickly scanned your area. Wow! Super Bowl bragging rights without all the travel hassle!
"We were created in God's image to do God's work, which will exalt Him when we do His work!"What I was convicted of though - and perhaps you will also be - is how many times in my life did I go to church because it was Sunday, and I gave God the same honor as if I just hung a lifeless cardboard cutout of me in my seat? I would read and hear scriptures about - “Go! Make disciples of all men!” “Go! Get out of the boat!” “Go! Move in faith, the harvest is plentiful!” “Go, because the laborers are few!” - and the messages bounced off of me just like they would a lifeless cardboard cutout.
We were created in God's image to do God's work, which will exalt Him when we do His work! We're not created to just sit and talk about it and never do the work - I mean, going back to the football analogy - no one goes to the game to watch the team huddle! I've never heard fans go, “Man, did you see how excited and organized they were when they huddled up? Then the way they broke out of the huddle was amazing! And then they went to the line of scrimmage, got in the playing position, and when the quarterback got under the center, the entire team stood up, went back, and re-huddled, and they just kept doing that for 30 minutes. Then they had halftime, and then they did it for another 30 minutes.” “That's ridiculous!” you say.
"That lifeless old cutout person now cannot contain himself from sharing the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, because his heart was transformed!"But here's the question: how many plays or scriptures over the years have we heard called and explained in sermons, and then we break as a team by leaving the church and never run a play all week that we just heard about? And then we return next Sunday and here another play call, and then we leave that service! And then we come back and huddle up again next Sunday, and then the next Sunday after that - week after week, month after month, and unfortunately in many cases year after year. But praise God! Through His grace and His mercy, sometimes He takes us lifeless cardboard people and breathes new life into once-dead figures as Christ enters the person. First Corinthians says: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come.” That lifeless old cutout person now cannot contain himself from sharing the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, because his heart was transformed! His life testifies that it is no longer I who live, but Christ that lives in me. He starts loving people as Christ continues to soften his heart. He sees people completely different: he sees them as lives destined to spend eternity in hell unless...
Who Will Be The Winner? – EP 28 (Col. 2:15)
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross
Hi, Pastor Bob here. Welcome back to the Men of Valor podcast. The verse for today is from the book of Colossians chapter 2 verse 15 and it states, “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
Wow, big weekend coming up! Super Bowl weekend. According to the media, this is such an important event. I read the average ticket price is about $14,000 and commercials are over $5 million for 30 seconds. Obviously, this is a super important event for the world. For the next several days, hours upon hours will be spent talking and listening to reporters about what's gonna happen as these two opposing forces meet each other. How much passing, how much running, defensive strategy, point spread, all the yada yada yada stuff with the game. All the hype. This must be a life-changing super important event for the millions of people that’ll watch it. It's gotta be, if it's worth over $5 million for the advertisers to pay for 30 seconds.
I just have a few questions for you. What was the score of the 2018 Super Bowl and who played in it? How about even the 2019 Super Bowl? -And how much more importantly is this question- How did those games affect your life? My guess, not at all. But now let me tell you about this future meeting of two opposing forces that will impact your life big time.
Matthew chapter 24 verse 27 says, “As the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man Jesus Christ.”
And 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 8 says, “And when the lawless one Satan will be revealed, when the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.”
“But for the good fish, the righteous followers of Christ, they will be saved!”Jesus will destroy His and our opponent Satan by the breath of His mouth. How overpowering is Jesus Christ when matched up against Satan? This isn't even going to be a contest. The end result is already written in the book! So what I just described in the Bible is the beginning and the end of the contest but importantly, what does Jesus say about the contest and how it will affect you drastically depends on what team you are on.
In Matthew 13, Jesus says the End Time, (the end of the game) will be like fishermen that bring in a large net full of fish. They separate the good fish (those people who live for Christ, the righteous people) from the bad fish, (the wicked people, those who never lived for Jesus or just went through religious actions such as going to church because it's Sunday) and He says the angels will throw the bad fish into a blazing furnace (sounds like hell) where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for eternity. But for the good fish, the righteous followers of Christ, they will be saved!
“But to those who are believers, we are anxiously waiting for Him.”In another area in the Bible, Jesus said it would be like pulling weeds in a field at harvest time. The weeds (the people that don't follow Jesus Christ and His Word) they’re tossed into a fire and burned again (once again sounds like hell). However, those who are righteous completely through the blood Jesus Christ shed on the cross, will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of God for eternity.
So you may be asking -just as people have for 2000 years- “When’s this kick off time for this? When exactly will this return take place?” Well, the Word says that only the Father knows that date. However, with the warning signs given in the Bible and the state of the...
Change The Default Setting – EP27 (Gal 2:20)
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
Hi, Pastor Bob here. Welcome back to the Men of Valor podcast. The verse for today is Galatians chapter 2 verse 20. It states, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
"My default setting was always...me!" Recently, I was trying to adjust something on a computer - which is always a big deal for me - and I noticed it always brings me back to the same page. As I checked it out, I learned it was because there was a default setting taking me back to that page. The definition of a default setting is: A pre-selected option that's adopted when no alternative is specified by the user. Then I asked the Holy Spirit, ‘Show me my default settings before You graced me to see my true life and self.’ I could see very clearly: My default setting was always...me! No matter what subject I was searching for in my head, my thoughts always came back to the same page with a big headline named, “Me.”
Success, number one, achievement - were goals that the world taught most of us. In sports, we learned: If you win, you get a trophy. (You actually had to win in my days to get a trophy.) And along with the trophy, you got recognition!
Man, I can identify with those apostles at the Last Supper arguing, “Who's the best?” We did that all through grade school, high school, college, work, sports, grades, sales bonuses - me, me, me! Without saying it, I always wanted to see if I did better than others. I learned ‘Success and prosper, and people will treat you well. They’ll serve you before they serve others - and you will be highly thought of through life.’ The song in the seventies by Whitney Houston, “The Greatest Love of All,” says, “The greatest love is to love yourself.” That was an easy one for me, and perhaps it is for you?
Just two simple tests for you - if you think you're over that “me” setting: Who do you look for first when you're in a group picture? Or, how many of your sentences start with the words “me” or “I?” They sure often did for me, and I notice they do for many many people.
As the Holy Spirit started to touch me through the Word, and I would read things in Matthew like Jesus saying, “Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.” And He would say, “Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant.” And again He would say, “Whoever humbles himself as this child - he's the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” And then, after washing the disciples feet instead of them washing the Son of God’s feet, Jesus said, “If I then, the Lord and teacher, washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet.” As the Word came alive and continued to grace me, He gradually opened my eyes to the truth! Jesus said, “The greatest love is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.” I spent most of my life thinking the greatest love I could have was for me!
"The default page of “me”... thankfully started to switch as I cried for God, and He graced me and continues to transform me..." After having my default page of “me” most of my life - and thinking everyone deep down has that same page - I remember being so convicted several years ago in a leadership class. I remember Pastor sharing when she gets her bonuses at her job, her first thought would be, ‘This is really gonna bless the people in the kingdom of God in Honduras.’ Those kind of thoughts were never on my page! My default setting immediately went to, ‘Man, now I can get a new car. Maybe even a new boat, or take another family vacation.’ Such a difference - such a different search engine bet
The Healing Vaccine – EP26 (Luke 5:31)
Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
Hi, Pastor Bob here. Welcome back to the Men of Valor podcast. The verse for today is from Luke, chapter 5, verse 31. And it states, “And Jesus replied to them, ‘It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick…’”
I know this is not gonna shock most of you, but I saw a couple shows recently and the people said that there's this disease going around affecting many people all over the world! Some people, when they get it, they go on with their life normally - usually younger people, but not always - and it doesn't change their behavior at all. Some others get it, and it stops them almost immediately - usually older people but definitely not always. And some people, they take precautions because they don't want to die with this disease, while others live their life as if this disease really doesn't exist or matter. Apparently, this disease started outside the United States - and it spread very quickly. In fact, it's been proven that you can get around carriers of this, and it can be transmitted, and you can be corrupted by it! People from all over the world have been infected by it! Sort of reminds me of the verse in 1 Corinthians 15 that says, “Bad company corrupts good character.”
The great news, though, is that there's now a vaccine that stops this disease. By definition, a vaccine stimulates the production of antibodies that provides immunity against the disease. You would think everyone would rush to get that vaccine, but that's not the case. Many have concerns about this vaccine affecting their lifestyles - and they don't want that to happen.
"Man’s sinful nature always wants what he cannot have - always!" I bet you've heard the name of this highly contagious, very deadly disease. It's called: sin. This disease started in a Garden thousands of years ago when God said to Adam and Eve, ‘You can eat of any tree in this entire paradise except one tree. That's the only command I give you!’ They didn’t have Ten Commandments or 613 laws to obey - they only had one! And what did they do? They disobeyed. Man’s sinful nature always wants what he cannot have - always! And they transmitted that sinful nature to every person.
That disease - that sinful nature - has killed many people since the first sin in the Garden. But praise God, several years later, He sent the only antibody against that disease called sin, that ever existed...it's grace. Grace - through this one and only Son the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
"...a truly converted Christian will have no desire to return to his habitat of sin!" When someone truly gets inoculated with this grace, it totally changes their life! They have lived their entire life swimming in sin, and yet they didn't realize it until the grace of God opened their eyes. It's sort of like a fish doesn't know he's wet until he’s taken out of the water! Then the fish will flop around, desperately trying to get back so he can swim in its original water habitat. However, a truly converted Christian will have no desire to return to his habitat of sin!
"Pray that God will grace you...you will see the fullness today of...sin - and that your eyes are open fully to the vaccine of the blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." What an amazing, transforming gift our Heavenly Father has given to us that live in this new covenant! The price for this new life was high - it cost the life of His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But why did Jesus do this? He says in John 10:10, “‘The thief [the father of sin, disease, and death - the devil] has come to steal, to kill and destroy; but I have come that they may have life,
Living A Holy Life – EP25 (2 Timothy 1:9)
2 Timothy 1:9
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.
Hi, Pastor Bob here. Welcome back to the Men of Valor podcast. The verse for today is from 2 Timothy chapter 1, verse 9. And it states, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,...”
Any day now, the local fire truck will drive by our houses with Santa Claus announcing that Christmas is coming. When you look closely at the truck, the red paint, and all the chrome, and the tires shine as if they're brand new. Sometimes in the parades, the shining trucks even have people throwing candy for the parade spectators, with the fire sirens blaring or playing Christmas music as they go by. They absolutely look great and cause excitement as they buzz by. But in a short time, everyone goes on with their day and quickly forget about that truck passing by.
But the real question is this: What purpose were the fire trucks created to perform? Was the purpose to look good, impress people and carry Santa Claus? Or...is the real purpose that they were created for to save lives? If you were ever in a fire, and you were rescued or your house saved, I believe you would think about that event every time you saw a fire truck.
In many ways, the fire truck is sort of like the church. Many churches have become places that have beautiful buildings. Some churches get people excited, but in a short time, many people go back to their lives and forget by Sunday night what even happened on Sunday morning at the service. And some churches have become social gatherings. Or some are places that people feel required to go to every Sunday so they get that checkmark on their imagined behavioral report card that God has.
"The church was created to continue to do the work the Lord Jesus did...Save dead, sinful men from going to hell!" But the question is: What purpose was the church created for? The church was created to continue to do the work the Lord Jesus did when He was on Earth! That work? Save dead, sinful men from going to hell! It was created to do the same work Jesus instructs His disciples to do in Matthew chapter 28, verse 19 and 20. “...Go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded.” And in Matthew 10:8, Jesus tells His disciples, “Go! Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
Hmmm...Get people saved from going to hell? Get people healed? Teach obedience to the Word of God? And cast out demons through the power of the Holy Spirit? Wow! That sure doesn't sound like most churches I've ever experienced in my life!
"The true church is...a family of individuals with different giftings that God uses to be His hands on earth..." You know the true church is the pillar and foundation of the truth of God. The true church is not a building. It's a family of individuals with different giftings that God uses to be His hands on earth - to set the captives free of the bondage of sin and darkness that is so prevalent in this world. Since coming to United Faith Church and hearing the truth of God's Word, many people have been rescued as the Lord Jesus Christ has touched them. Just as remembering being saved from a fire every time you see a fire truck, the true believer will remember the Lord’s grace and mercy every day, when they open the Bible,
Do You Know the Way? – EP24 (Matt. 7:14)
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Hi, Pastor Bob here. Welcome back to the Men of Valor podcast. The verse for today is from the book of Matthew chapter 7, verse 14, and it states: “But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
The other day as Janet and I were taking a walk, a car driven by an older gentleman (who probably didn't have a driving app on his phone) asked us the following questions: “Hey! You know where this restaurant is? And can you tell me how to get there?” If someone asked me about the library, I may be stumped on how to get there, but I do know where most of the restaurants are and I know how to get to most of them.
Usually, if we know where a place is located, we have a pretty good idea of how to get there. However, sometimes you can answer “yes” to the first question but have to answer “no” to the second one, because you don't know how to explain it to that person how to get there. Okay, I got a question for you - Can you think of any time that you would answer: “I don't know where that place is, but I can tell you how to get there”? Take a minute and think about that and come back to the podcast.
“...Heaven! No one knows where it is, but the Bible gives us the directions on how to get there.” The answer to the question is: Heaven! No one knows where it is, but the Bible gives us the directions on how to get there. Not only that, it gives us some description of what it's like and most importantly, it tells us who lives there: the Lord God Almighty and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit live there!
Revelation 21:3 says, ‘I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be with their God. ‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”’ Revelation also describes Heaven as “pure beauty,” “streets of transparent gold,” “gates of pearl,” “walls decorated with precious stones.” It also says, “...The city doesn't need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” Hallelujah! Can you imagine that?
“It truly is not a one-minute prayer, but it is a lifetime of love and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Father.” So the question is this: how do you get there? The Word of God and the true Church where the true gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is taught gives us very clear direction on how to get there. It truly is not a one-minute prayer, but it is a lifetime of love and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Father. I encourage you to go to our church website - unitedfaithchurch.org - and read the discipleship article and take the steps described in that article to learn about our Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit in a true believer. Truly, you will find it is the one destination that matters. We can guarantee you this - one of these things will happen to you in the future: either the Lord Jesus will return, or you will die during your lifetime before He returns. Either way, I pray that you end up in that heavenly destination with the Lord, the Heavenly Father, and the other saints.
Heavenly Father, You are such a good, good Father. Thank You for sending Your Son the Lord Jesus Christ to pay for our sins through His obedience to You on the cross. We thank You for the reward to those who love, obey, and follow You - to spend eternity with You in Heaven. What an amazing God we serve! God bles