Promise 1: The Test for Tough Times

January 31, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Promise 1: Honor

A Promise Keeper is committed to honoring Jesus Christ through worship, prayer and obedience to God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit.

One test of a man’s greatness is what he grabs for on his way down. Job clung to his belief in God’s deliverance. Even in the deepest pit of despair Job knew his Redeemer was alive and would not abandon him. Job believed that even though his disease would probably bring about his death, he would see God with his own eyes after death. His heart yearned to do so.

Where is your center of gravity? What (or who) do you hold on to when you feel your stability slipping? To understand Job’s response in this tough time, read the comment about Job in Job 1:1. What we do about God in the normal times determines what we do about the tough times.

“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” – Job 19:25-27

The State of Masculinity as 2020 Dawns

January 27, 2020By PK ManagerCulture

3X – The number of men aged 25-54 who no longer work has almost tripled since 1950.

68% – The percentage of Christian men who view pornography regularly.

Ages 11-17 – The ages of boys who are reported as being pornography’s greatest users.

1 in 4 – 19.7 million children–more than 1 in 4–live without a father in the home.

79% –The vast majority of suicides–79%–are male.

9 in 10 – 93% of individuals incarcerated – more than 9 in 10 – are men. 85% of them have no father figure.

Our nation is in crisis because men have lost sight of their God-given responsibilities. That’s why we’re building on the past to reignite a new movement of Promise Keepers.

You can help encourage other men to stand strong in the faith. Together, we can change the future.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 ESV

More than ever, America needs a revival of godly men. Our nation faces problems that can only be overcome when men of integrity — promise- keeping men — fulfill their destinies as godly husbands, fathers, and leaders. That’s why we’re calling on men everywhere—all of us—to fall on our faces in repentance for past failures, then boldly rise up and STAND STRONG as the men God intended us to be.

Join us July 31-August 1, 2020, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Just like the iconic Promise Keepers conferences of previous years, we’re going to shake the foundations as we worship together. We’re going to drink deeply from the Word of God. And we’re going to return home as changed men. Through Fire Teams—small groups of men in each church linked by a smartphone app —we’re going to stay connected like never before. Together we will bless our families, strengthen our churches, and transform our communities.

We won’t rest until we’ve brought radical revival to this country. And we need you to join us.

Purchase tickets online.

What Does Satan Want?

January 22, 2020By PK ManagerCulture, News, Values
This article appeared in the Christian Post.

 

 

We cannot become successful followers of Jesus until we understand that we have an enemy who works tirelessly to turn us back to our sinful nature.

Scripture has quite a bit to say about Satan, yet most Christians are ignorant about him. God has written some adamant warnings about our enemy, and we need to heed them carefully. Many Christians are under constant attack by him but have no idea of the battle they’re in. They think their lack of joy, broken relationships, and failures in life originate with them, when in reality their troubles are because they are following the voice of the enemy of their souls but are completely unaware of it.

Satan is a liar and murderer. This part of him comes from his true nature, which, according to the Bible, consists of arrogance, vanity, envy, and selfish ambition. When we act in such a manner, we align ourselves with Satan as enemies of God. This is why the mark of a child of God is humility and absolute surrender to our Lord.

Paul got to the essence of this idea in Philippians 2:3, where he wrote, “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.”

What Does Satan Want?

Satan hates God with all of his being. God is perfect and untouchable…but we aren’t. So Satan goes after God’s children – you and me. He gets us to hurt one another and turn our backs on our Father.

Why do we let this happen? Satan is crafty. He disguises his hatred and pretends to be our Father’s friend at first. Once we let him into our lives, we start to hear subtle whispers that appeal to our egos:

  • Why did your Father give your sister that gift instead of you?
  • Look at your brother. He always has to get all the attention. Your brother likes art, and everyone tells him he’s so good at it! I think art is disgusting and offends God, don’t you?
  • Look at your sister studying science. Everyone knows that your God disagrees with science…You should say something about this to your brothers and sisters. She shouldn’t be allowed to come around.

The lies start to get more specific as Satan becomes entrenched in our lives, because hatred can’t really take root without self-loathing.

  • You’re so ugly. Look at how your sister looks down on you.
  • Your brother is smart, and you’re stupid. He thinks he’s better than you.
  • You’ll feel better if you drink this or snort that.

And finally: Why do you go on living? No one likes you anyway. At least if you were dead, they’d appreciate you. They’d feel bad for how they’d treated you.

The Good News

God has already defeated Satan! Sometimes we get this idea, probably from other religions, of an equal duel between good and evil happening in the heavens. This is not the case. Satan was defeated and cast out! The only duel now is for your heart and mine. Satan can’t touch God, so he attacks His children. And he does this by exploiting our sinful nature. He does it by appealing to the pride in each of us.

With the Fall, sin became our nature and four great separations occurred, according to Genesis 3:

  1. People became hostile to one another. Adam blamed Eve.
  2. People became hostile to nature. Nature became cursed and became a source of labor for him.
  3. People became hostile to themselves. Adam felt shame and hid from God.
  4. People became hostile to God. When God asked him what had happened, Adam blamed God, saying, “The woman You gave me did it.”

It’s no surprise, then, that Satan exploits these separations. He seeks to push our flesh in its natural direction, toward hatred of one another, nature, ourselves, and God. As James wrote, “If you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t brag and deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic” (3:14–15). The Spirit of God unifies and makes peace, while Satan divides. When we create unity among others, even at the expense of our own ambition, when we authentically build others up, and when we serve, we display the Spirit of God. When we gossip, slander, act out of jealousy, and create division, we show that we’re following the voice of Satan, acting as enemies of our Savior and Creator.

What does Satan want? He wants to hurt God by separating Him from His children and by separating His children from one another.

How Can We Tell When Satan Is at Work?

Satan can perform miracles and cause people to do so (2 Thessalonians 2:9–10; Revelation 13:13–14). Many Christians have been led astray by false teachers who have performed great signs. How do we tell the difference?

  • When the Spirit of God is at work, all the glory goes to Jesus. When Satan is at work, the glory goes to people.
  • The Spirit of God always brings peace. Satan always brings stress and anxiousness.
  • The Spirit of God always brings unity and equality. Satan seeks to divide and elevate some people over others.
  • The Spirit of God always brings clarity. Satan brings complication and confusion. “How can we really understand what truth is?” ask his servants. It’s the same lie he told Eve at the beginning. “Did God really say…” (Genesis 3:1). Yes, He did.

When the church is divided, the cause is often false leaders in the church who, out of ignorance, laziness, or greed, complicate the gospel, adding some form of works, tradition, or hierarchy. This allows one group of people to elevate themselves over another, selling out the free gospel of Jesus and controlling others. Jesus is not unaware of their schemes.

Believers who are walking in obedience to God’s Word have nothing to fear because they are protected by Christ. “He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves” (Colossians 1:13). However, when we knowingly commit sin, we open ourselves up to Satan’s deception.

We must exercise patience with those who are not walking with Christ, because their minds are blinded. “Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil’s trap, having been captured by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:25–26).

To those who have the truth, the arguments of unbelievers are senseless, but we mustn’t condemn them or curse them but pray for them. Only prayer and patience will unlock the minds of unbelievers so they can see the truth.

How Do We Fight Him?

As we will see time and again, Scripture calls us to be in a fight. The first call is to fight against Satan.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. (Ephesians 6:11–13)

Satan is a liar. His power comes through appealing to our pride and our flesh. If we’re surrendered to God, Satan has no hold on us because our lives will be shielded by the armor of God. We want to know who he is and what his schemes are so that we can recognize when he is deceiving us or others. We too often engage the lie rather than the liar.

Life according to the flesh, which is under perpetual harassment by Satan and his lies, always brings pride, discord, and division. Life according to the Spirit always brings humility, peace, and unity. Satan uses the same tactics he did thousands of years ago because they have always worked. He moves among us, appealing to our pride. These are still his main temptations to God’s people.

Now we see the immense responsibility that God has given to each of us. We must humble ourselves so that we can fight. Once we know what is wrong with us and who our enemy is, we are ready to become the people God has called us to be. 

Ken Harrison is CEO and chairman of Promise Keepers. Today, Promise Keepers is calling men back to bold servant leadership as change makers for their families, churches and communities. Harrison is also CEO of WaterStone, a Christian Community Foundation that oversees donations of millions of dollars a month to build God’s kingdom. After starting his career as an LAPD street cop in South Central, he spent nearly two decades in commercial real estate. Married and the father of three, Harrison has a new book, “The Rise of the Servant Kings: What the Bible Says About Being a Man.”

Stand Strong

January 22, 2020By PK ManagerUncategorized

In a world fractured by division and desperate for answers, Promise Keepers is calling on men to STAND STRONG. This is the theme for our 2020 event, and it’s a rally cry for men to rise up as one body in the name of Jesus and begin radically serving our communities, neighborhoods, and homes like no generation has done before. Together, we can redefine the future

Across our nation, moral values are giving way to “anything goes.” Our society is changing — and not for the better. Men have lost sight of their purpose. Marriages and families are crumbling. In response, Promise Keepers is calling men to STAND STRONG. We’re challenging men to fulfill their God-given destinies as husbands, fathers, and changemakers. But we need your help to do it. We’re trusting God to raise $2,700,000 to help:

• Invite thousands of men to join us in Texas for our next national conference.

• Spread the word to pastors and churches across America.

• Lay the groundwork for small groups of mencalled “Fire Teams”in every church
   to bring lasting change to our nation.

As 2020 begins, please renew your support by sending a gift today.

We’re Asking 1,000 People to Give Monthly

We’re praying that God would raise up 1,000 people to give monthly to advance Promise Keepers’ mission. We call these friends our Legacy Partners. Through their monthly gifts, Legacy Partners provide a critical financial foundation for ministry to men.Please consider this opportunity to be part of Promise Keepers’ core ministry team by giving monthly. Simply call 866-776-6473. You will have a profound impact in the lives of many men.

Promise #1 HONOR

January 18, 2020By PK ManagerValues

A Promise Keeper is committed to honoring Jesus Christ through worship, prayer, and obedience to God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The world is experiencing the devastating effects of having a lower standard of manhood. The deterioration of societies, both nearby and around the world, has reached an all-time high.

Statistics show that we are on a path of self-destructive behavior. That must change. Yet that change will not occur unless men stand strong in the roles God designed them for.

However, many men feel they are unable to be the men they know they need to be (great husbands, fathers, and leaders in their churches). They try to live vicariously through others. One of the primary ways they do this is through sports. They become fanatics . . . men who will wear another man’s jersey with another man’s name and number on the back of it. Any man who must wear another man’s name on the back of his shirt may need to ask himself how he views his own manhood, his own work, his own honor or integrity.

When the Promise Keepers began their work, they distinguished themselves with a list of Seven Promises that they asked men to adopt. The first promise: A Promise Keeper is committed to honoring Jesus Christ through worship, prayer and obedience to God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. This promise sets up the other promises by using the term honor.

When we honor something, we give it prominence in our life. This promise means we must give Jesus Christ the place of honor in our lives. He must reign as our Lord and Master. Our desires, ambitions, and plans must give way to His will for our lives.

The remarkable thing is that when we honor Christ, we also become men of honor – worthy of respect and admiration from those around us.Proverbs 21:21 teaches, “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor.”

Today, resolve to be a man who honors Jesus Christ first and foremost in your life. As you do, He will empower you to stand strong and you yourself will become a man worthy of honor.

Since our founding in 1990, Promise Keepers has challenged men to keep seven promises. Learn more.

Promise Keepers’ New Initiative Challenges Christians to Pray Daily for the Hearts of Men Nationwide

January 9, 2020By PK ManagerNews

Important update: Due to the impact of COVID-19, the Promise Keepers 2020 Conference has been moved to a virtual event. The contents included in this post may be out of date. Read the details here.

“7:31” Campaign to Strengthen Godly Leaders Across Generations

Promise Keepers (PK), which will host its first national gathering in more than 20 years July 31-August 1, officially launched the “7:31” prayer campaign to challenge individuals to unite in prayer twice a day at 7:31 and petition God to move, convict and awaken an intergenerational audience of promise-keeping men.

“Revival begins with God and takes place within the heart,” said PK CEO and Board Chair Ken Harrison. “We know that the potential impact of the Promise Keepers 2020 event is fully dependent on how much it is based on and blessed by God’s guidance and the stirring of the Holy Spirit. That’s why we’re urging everyone who desires to see the men of America changed by the Lord, to get on their knees twice a day and pray.”

PK asks anyone who is eager to witness a Spirit-led awakening among men to set two daily alarms for 7:31 a.m. and p.m.—or both—on their phones, computers, watches and tablets, to serve as reminders to pause and pray for:

  • The Holy Spirit to move powerfully in the hearts of men;
  • Men to hunger and thirst for righteousness;
  • Men to hunger for the Word of God;
  • Men to cherish their wives, love their children and serve their churches;
  • Single men to walk in purity and make a war against sin; and
  • The Promise Keepers 2020 event to have a powerful impact on countless men.

“Imagine what could happen if thousands of voices across multiple time zones rise Heavenward and petition God to change our nation by transforming the hearts of men?” asked PK President Vance Day. “We expect in faith for God to do a great work in the hearts of not only those who will be coming to the PK event but all who will be impacted by their commitment to Christ, including their wives, children, parents, friends, churches and colleagues.”

Individuals who participate in the “7:31” prayer campaign are invited to receive updates and encouragement about the movement and the event by following PK on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

At Promise Keepers 2020, men from all walks of life will be encouraged, equipped and empowered to stand strong as better husbands, fathers and workers in their God-given roles as leaders. World-class speakers, Bible teachers and musicians will guide attendees to the Word of God and toward biblical manhood with messages focusing on PK’s Seven Promises of Honor, Brotherhood, Virtue, Commitment, Changemaking, Unity and Obedience, which have been foundational to the movement since its founding in 1990.

Promise Keepers 2020 tickets are now available.

What Exactly is Humility?

January 9, 2020By Ken HarrisonCulture, News, Rise of the Servant Kings, Values
This article appeared in the Christian Post.

Humility is clear eyesight. It is the ability to see things as they really are. A successful follower of Christ is humble. He places the needs of those in his care above his own. He doesn’t get his identity from what he has accomplished. He gets it from God.

Our flesh and our old nature see through a lens of self. We perceive things based on how they affect us. Pride distorts how we see the world. It causes our identity to be based on our accomplishments or lack thereof.

The thicker our lens of self — our pride — the less we see things as God sees them, which is how they really are. This is evident in the musings of a crazy person. As G. K. Chesterton described in Orthodoxy, a madman looks at himself as the center of all things. If he were to recognize that no one actually is focused on him, he would be infinitely happier because his world would suddenly become infinitely bigger. 

Pride shrinks the universe to a tiny world in which we are the god. As we die to self, we are able to see the world more clearly, as larger and more wonderful than we can comprehend. Pride is a miserable state because we don’t really inflate ourselves or our value. Instead, we shrink the universe to meet our limited imaginations.

Because we are fallen and therefore see things through our pride, we have difficulty judging ourselves properly. The more wicked people are, the higher their opinion of themselves tends to be. In order to properly judge ourselves, we must look at things from outside our own perspective. The way we react to things tells us where we are in our walk with Christ.

The insignificant things of daily life are the things that show us who we are. They show what spirit possesses us. It is our most unguarded moments that show us whether we walk in the Spirit or in the flesh. How do you react when you’re tired, hungry, cold, irritated, or stressed? Here we see what Jesus meant when He said, “Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much” (Luke 16:10).

People often mistake confidence for pride. Actually, the most confident people are usually the humblest, such as the great saints Abraham, David, Joseph, Paul, and Apollos. The Bible calls Moses, who led an entire nation out of slavery, the humblest man on earth (Numbers 12:3).

Let’s look at some aspects of a humble person. Search your heart. Do these characteristics look like you?

■ No longer compares himself with others.

■ Seeks no recognition for self.

■ Sees every person equally as a child of God and honors him or her as such.

■ Enjoys hearing others praised, even if he is forgotten.

■ Forgives.

■ Lives a life marked by patience.

■ Relationships are known for peace and unity.

■ Constantly encourages others.

We see humility as a virtue, but it is really the symptom of something else — the Holy Spirit reigning in a person as self has become less. The holiest is always the humblest.

Pride doesn’t always show up as arrogance. It can appear as self-loathing, shyness, obsession with guilt, or anger. This is because pride always comes from a focus on self.

I once confronted a Christian who was living in sin, and he yelled at me, “Don’t you think I feel bad about it?” I asked him what his feelings had to do with anything. Pride thinks that feeling guilty is some sort of penance. Guilt without repentance disregards those whom your sin has hurt. It is just a continued focus on self, simply flipping from arrogance to self-loathing. It’s all self.

Humility grows as our Lord is revealed to us. As we come to know the Savior and look up into His face, we become more aware of our own depravity. Not in a self-deprecating way, but with the gratitude of a child who realizes that he is completely dependent on God and that God loves him and has promised to never leave or forsake him (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5).

Ken Harrison is CEO and chairman of Promise Keepers. Today, Promise Keepers is calling men back to bold servant leadership as change makers for their families, churches and communities. Harrison is also CEO of WaterStone, a Christian Community Foundation that oversees donations of millions of dollars a month to build God’s kingdom. After starting his career as an LAPD street cop in South Central, he spent nearly two decades in commercial real estate. Married and the father of three, Harrison has a new book, “The Rise of the Servant Kings: What the Bible Says About Being a Man.”

How Christians Should Speak to Kids and Culture on the Gender Issue

January 6, 2020By PK ManagerValues

By Todd Wagner

Given the media’s choice to largely ignore the story, you may have missed the details about a recent court case in Dallas centered on the custody of a seven-year-old boy. The mother of the boy said that he should be identified as a girl, claiming he made that decision himself at the age of three because he liked Disney princesses and so-called “girl toys.” She saught sole custody to “transition” the boy against the father’s wishes, and administer hormone treatments as the child neared puberty. She also wanted a court order to forbid the father from calling his son “son,” speaking his name, or referring to him as a “he.” The father said that the boy still wanted to be a boy while in his custody (in fact, the mother’s own paid “experts” testified that he “does not identify with only one gender”). He also accused the mother of contributing to his son’s perceived confusion by telling him that “monsters only eat boys.”

Thankfully, after a jury recommended 11-1 to confirm the mother as sole custodian, the judge has intervened by ruling that joint custody will be maintained. The judge’s ruling will at least temporarily slow down the likelihood of the boy soon beginning harmful hormone therapies which would have suppressed his natural development. It is, however, easy to imagine a different judge deciding the opposite, perhaps in a state without the governor and other top politicians speaking out against it.

Here’s a not-so-bold prediction: cases like this will come up again, and the judges sometimes will decide differently, in ways that will harm children and set dangerous precedents for others. So, if you “identify” as a Christian and as a mature adult, how should you respond?

For starters, if you have kids yourself, be a parent. It is your job to be the adult. Children will be childish, by definition. They think like children (1 Corinthians 13:11). They are not reliably knowledgeable, reasonable, or wise. They lack life experience, a firm grasp of reality, and the ability to make decisions of ultimate importance. In fact, they are legally not allowed to make any major decisions on their own, and any such agreements they try to enter into are not binding.

You are to teach them and guide them through this early stage of life. You will often, quite literally, save them from themselves. If a kid wants to put on a cape and jump off the roof because they say they are a superhero, you don’t affirm them in that decision no matter how passionately they believe they can fly. You can try to reason with them by explaining the facts of what the consequences might be. But if they don’t listen to reason (and they often won’t), you don’t just throw up your hands and let them experience those consequences. You protect them because you love them. You are the parent and parents are there to protect, not enable.

The progressive “experts” of the day say the loving thing to do is to embrace a child’s self-proclaimed “gender identity” (a new term), and give them drugs to block puberty (and likely make them permanently infertile) so they can later more easily “transition” by surgically removing healthy organs. Considering that 80 to 95 percent of kids with gender dysphoria end up identifying by their true birth/genetic gender after puberty, helping kids prevent puberty in order to change genders seems like an especially twisted form of lifelong abuse.

In addition to being a parent to those in your own family, you need to speak up for what is universally right for all members of the human family, and especially those who have no powerful voice of their own (Proverbs 31:8-9). A key strategy of those who seek to redefine truth or promote progressive postmodern ideologies is to try to bully those who disagree with them into silence. That’s why we have a “cancel culture,” the advancement of the idea that “words are violence,” and countless other efforts to curtail free speech and civil discourse both online and off. A loud and vocal few can sound like a majority when the majority is too afraid to speak up. The resulting “spiral of silence” leaves multitudes afraid to acknowledge the “emperor has no clothes” even in the face of his obvious nakedness.

Speak up now, lest we are soon in a world where courts do say that it’s illegal to call your son a “son,” and judges decide for you how to raise your kids. By speaking with conviction now, you can at least take comfort in knowing it wasn’t your silence that made the abuse possible.

Finally, above all, you should love people in word and deed. Every single one of us has areas where our natural tendency is to stray from God’s design for our lives. All of us have “gone astray”; each of us has areas where we have “turned to our own way” (Isaiah 53:6). None of us is without need of admonishment, encouragement, and help. When we meet someone who is struggling, we meet ourselves, and we should lovingly point them towards the same truth we want them to use for our encouragement. That especially includes the Truth that making choices which go against God’s desires will not bring ultimate joy, peace or fullness of life.

To speak is to love. Love without truth is not loving, and truth spoken without love will not be heard.

The greatest Truth we must continually share is that even when we do make foolish or rebellious choices, God still loves us. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He made provision for our sin, so that we don’t have to remain a slave to its consequences in this life or the life to come. His love waits for all who seek it. Let’s make sure we daily speak of God’s love and model its effects, so that we may make it known to every human who has lost their God-given identity as a son or daughter made in His image.

Todd Wagner is the senior pastor at Watermark Community Church. He is the author of the book Come and See and has a weekly podcast, Real Truth Real Quick, on life, leadership and the world we live in.