Devotional: Jesus Looked Beyond Appearances

September 25, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional No Comments

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!’

Then Jesus answered his thoughts. ‘Simon,’ he said to the Pharisee, ‘I have something to say to you.’

‘Go ahead, Teacher,’ Simon replied.

Then Jesus told him this story: ‘A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?’

Simon answered, ‘I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.’

‘That’s right,’ Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.

‘I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.’ Then Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’

The men at the table said among themselves, ‘Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?’

And Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’

– Luke 7:36-50

 
It’s easy to reject someone because they appear different from us. To the Pharisee who hosted Jesus in this story, the woman who anointed the Lord’s feet was a sinner… Her reputation in the town had been sullied; her past was littered with one-night stands. Nobody of high reputation, especially not this religious leader, would want to be seen with her. Yet Jesus allowed her to anoint his feet with perfume, cover them with tears and wipe them with her hair.
 
Why did Jesus do this? Because he looked beyond this woman’s past and saw her future. He knew she ‘loved much’ because she had been forgiven much. His parable and his sharp rebuke of the Pharisee (vv.41-47) bring his actions—and the lessons we’re to learn through them—into razor-sharp focus.
 
How would you have responded if you had been present that evening? Or, to be more pointed, who do you respond to people who are different from yourself–people with lighter or darker skin, people who speak with a different accent, people whose bad reputation precedes them? Remember, Jesus loved and accepted love from someone just like that. And today he wants those who follow him to show the same kind of love. Jesus looked beyond appearances. He shunned stereotypes. Just as Jesus did, look beyond such a person’s past or his or her differences. Look toward that person’s bright potential future–complete forgiveness of sins and eternity with Jesus Christ.
 

This devotional is an excerpt from the PK Study Bible. For more devotionals and encouraging resources, download the FREE Promise Keepers app. (Download for iOS or for Android.)

Devotional: Jacob & Laban

September 23, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional No Comments

“…for he said, ‘The Lord watch between you and me, when we are out of one another’s sight.'” – Genesis 31:49

The relationship between Jacob and Laban is tragic—and all too familiar. This verse essentially says, ‘I can’t watch you all the time, so may God watch you when I can’t.” While many people mistakenly read this statement as a blessing, it is actually filled with skepticism and veiled accusation.

How sad that men’s behavior breeds antagonism and mistrust. So many things drive us apart that we have to work overtime to build bridges. Although the suspicion and antagonism between these men had more than enough basis in behavior, the end result was still tragic. How much more tragic are the divisions between us that are based on tradition, race and other things. Only the power of God at work in men who love him can overcome the barriers that separate us. Do something today that actively builds a bridge to someone to whom you may not otherwise relate.

This devotional is an excerpt from the PK Study Bible. For more devotionals and encouraging resources, download the FREE Promise Keepers app. (Download for iOS or for Android.)

AR Bernard Joins Pastoral Advisory Board of Promise Keepers

September 21, 2020By PK ManagerBoard, News

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — A.R. Bernard, spiritual leader of the Christian Cultural Center in New York City, has joined the pastoral advisory board of Promise Keepers (PK). Founded in 1990 by former University of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney, PK is calling men back to courageous and bold servant leadership by sparking a movement that will mobilize millions of men to follow Christ into today’s broken world as changemakers for their families, churches and communities.

A.R. Bernard is the spiritual leader of the Christian Cultural Center, a church in Brooklyn with over 37,000 members. Bernard has been named the #1 religious leader in New York by The New York Daily News. He is a member of the board of directors of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. He is the author of the bestselling book Four Things Women Want from a Man. The New York Times described him as “The Power Pastor,” noting that “The reverend’s intellectualism and distinctive brand of man-up Christianity draws a wide audience to his church, the largest in New York.”

Bernard had this to say about Promise Keepers:

“Being a responsible male in modern America is a full-time job and a tough one at that. Never before in the history of humankind have distractions been so plentiful and temptations so prevalent. Even well-intentioned men can become caught up in seemingly “harmless” behaviors that can quickly turn destructive.” Promise Keepers is not only calling men to man up; it’s providing the resources and relationships to empower men to live for Christ.”

Ken Harrison, CEO of Promise Keepers, had this to say about Bernard joining the board of Promise Keepers:

“A.R. Bernard has built a strong congregation of godly men by focusing on the four things God wants most from them: maturity, decisiveness, consistency and strength. As part of our board, he’ll help Promise Keepers to equip and inspire men to stand strong and stay focused on what matters most in light of eternity.”

ABOUT PROMISE KEEPERS

Founded in 1990 by Coach Bill McCartney, Promise Keepers is one of the most significant movements of God in the history of the church. In 1997 alone, Promise Keepers packed 22 NFL stadiums and gathered 1 million men for Stand in the Gap: A Sacred Assembly of Men at the National Mall in the District of Columbia.

On July 16-17, 2021, 80,000 men are expected to gather from across America and around the world at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys, for its annual stadium event.

The organization’s mission is to empower men to live out their God-given identity and purpose today and destiny tomorrow by serving their homes, workplaces and communities with integrity and influence.

www.promisekeepers.org
https://www.facebook.com/promisekeepers/
https://www.instagram.com/promise_keepers
https://twitter.com/PromiseKeepers
https://www.youtube.com/user/PromiseKeepers

Why Worry?

September 15, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional No Comments
Luke 12:22-34 – “Why Worry?”
 
Worry infects all members of society. In today’s turbulent culture, people worry about their health, their wealth, their jobs, their families and their futures. Jesus understood our tendency to worry. That’s why He addressed the issue head on. The Lord not only commanded us not to worry, he told us why we shouldn’t. Consider the following points:
 
  • Worry ignores God’s faithfulness. If God feeds the birds and clothes the flowers, doesn’t it make sense that he’ll provide for us?
  • Worry ignores its own limitations. Has anything ever changed for the better because we worried about it? Of course not! Yet we worry as though the mere act of worrying will somehow make a difference.
  • Worry ignores God’s love. Unbelievers, like fatherless orphans, worry about the future. But God’s children don’t need to worry. The God who gives life also cares for his own.
  • Worry ignores the present. When we worry about the future, we miss out on the blessings of today.
The next time you find yourself worrying, turn to this passage. If you’re still anxious after reading it, then ask yourself which of these four things you’re ignoring. Consider how different your perspective might be if you didn’t ignore them.
This devotional is an excerpt from the PK Study Bible

Prayer for a Nation

September 12, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional
Daniel 9:1-19
 
Make no mistake about it: Life is difficult, and there are no detours to get us around life’s trials. We’ll all encounter them. So the question of our lives is not, ‘How can we avoid hardship?’ The question should be, ‘How can we hold on to God when times get tough?’ In the face of great adversity, Daniel grabbed hold of God and refused to let go. How did he do it? Daniel prayed. And within his prayer we find an example that we’ll do well to follow.
 
First, Daniel’s prayer flowed from his knowledge of God and God’s Word. As Daniel examined the Scripture he discovered that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. The realization that this time would soon be completed drove the prophet to his knees.
 
Second, Daniel’s prayer was filled with confession and repentance. Notice that he prayed not only for his own sins, but for those of the nation. God had disciplined Israel because of its sins. The only way the nation could move forward was for each individual to turn from his or her sin is the same confusion and repentance. Realizing that, Daniel poured out his heart to God.
 
Third, Daniel pled for mercy. He didn’t demand. Instead, he humbly asked God to extend mercy to a people who didn’t deserve it.
The church today needs men who will pray as David did. Indeed, prayer is our only hope.
We need men who are devoted to praying for themselves, for their families, for their church communities, and for their country.
This devotional is an excerpt from the PK Study Bible

Pastor Tommy Barnett Joins Pastoral Advisory Board of Promise Keepers

September 2, 2020By PK ManagerBoard, News

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — Pastor Tommy Barnett has joined the pastoral advisory board of Promise Keepers (PK). Founded in 1990 by former University of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney, PK is calling men back to courageous and bold servant-leadership by sparking a movement that will mobilize millions of men to follow Christ into today’s broken world as changemakers for their families, churches and communities.

Tommy Barnett is the global pastor of Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona, one of the largest churches in America. He is the founder, with his son, Matthew, of the Los Angeles Dream Center, as well as the chancellor of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and the former chancellor of Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. Tommy and his wife Marja have three children — Luke, Matthew and Kristie — seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Barnett had this to say about Promise Keepers:

“Throughout my life, God has continually inspired me to dream bigger, reach higher, and trust Him for far more than I could imagine. He’s done that by driving me to these two questions: “What if?” and “Why not?”

“When I think about the men of America, I think, ‘What if the men of our country were sold out to God?’ ‘What if they were the husbands and fathers God empowered them to be?’ ‘What if they stood without fear for righteousness and truth in their churches, communities and companies?’ Central to seeing that kind of uprising of men is Promise Keepers. It’s the missing link between ‘what if’ and ‘why not’ for men, and I’m convinced that more than ever, we’re going to see God do amazing things through Promise Keepers.”

Ken Harrison, CEO of Promise Keepers, had this to say about Barnett joining the pastoral advisory board of Promise Keepers:

“Throughout his life, Tommy has been focused on God’s clear call to find a need and fill it, to find a hurt and heal it. Today there is no greater need in our society than for men to band together and encourage each other to become authentic men of God. And there are no greater hurts to marriages, families, and communities than those which occur when men fail to live as real men of God. Tommy’s insight will be critical as we seek to meet the needs of more men in more ways than ever before.”

ABOUT PROMISE KEEPERS

Founded in 1990 by Coach Bill McCartney, Promise Keepers is one of the most significant movements of God in the history of the church. In 1997 alone, Promise Keepers packed 22 NFL stadiums and gathered 1 million men for Stand in the Gap: A Sacred Assembly of Men at the National Mall in the District of Columbia.

On July 16-17, 2021, 80,000 men are expected to gather from across America and around the world at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys, for its annual stadium event.

The organization’s mission is to empower men to live out their God-given identity and purpose today and destiny tomorrow by serving their homes, workplaces and communities with integrity and influence.

www.promisekeepers.org
https://www.facebook.com/promisekeepers/
https://www.instagram.com/promise_keepers
https://twitter.com/PromiseKeepers
https://www.youtube.com/user/PromiseKeepers

God’s Children

August 28, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

“‘I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.’ And he worshiped the LORD there.” – 1 Samuel 1:27-28

Hannah knew her son was a gift from God, and she could give him back to God. Hannah couldn’t guarantee how Samuel would turn out. But Hannah trusted God with her son’s life, saying, ‘For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.’

If you have a child, think of what it would mean to give that child to God and to see yourself as a teacher and shaper of a human soul who belongs to God. When you talk to him, when you reach out to correct some behavior, when you decide to take him to church, when he asks you a question, you are responding to God’s property.

The thousands upon thousands of decisions you make in regard to your child through his or her lifetime shape a living soul whom God has entrusted to your care. You may not have given your child back to God like Hannah did in these verses, but that doesn’t change the fact that he or she is God’s gift to you. Why not stop right now and pray verse 28, inserting your child’s name in the first sentence: “So now I give_____ to the Lord. For his or her whole life he or she will be given over to the Lord.”

If you have no children, think of the young people and others whom you come into contact with. All people, no matter what their age, have been created in God’s image and deserve the dignity of that position. Keep in mind that when you respond to another person, you’re responding to God’s child.

A devotional from the Promise Keepers Study Bible

Promise Keepers Reaches 1 Million Men from 65 Countries and All 50 U.S. States through Its Free Global Digital Experience – Next Events & Initiative Announced

August 21, 2020By PK ManagerNews, Promise Keepers Event

Thousands More Participate Daily as Word Spreads and Men Watch the Event on Social Media, Partner Sites, and the Newly Launched Promise Keepers App.

 

Encore Presentation Planned for Friday, September 11, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — Promise Keepers, the men’s ministry founded in 1990 by Coach Bill McCartney and known for their massive stadium events, brought the power of that stadium experience to homes, churches, universities, military installations, Salvation Army locations, and prisons across the country and around the world through its first-ever online Global Digital Experience July 31 and Aug. 1, 2020. At that event, Promise Keepers not only announced their 2021 national event, they also announced a new nationwide imitative for October and debuted a wealth of resources for men.

The Global Digital Experience reached men in 85 countries (including Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Costa Rica, Fiji, India, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Ireland, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, Uganda, U.K., and Zambia — to name a few) and all 50 states. The worldwide reach of the event was accomplished through livestreaming, hundreds of simulcast locations, and partner organizations that simulcast the event through their own social media platforms.

The Global Digital Experience is available on-demand, and thousands of men are watching the sessions daily. So far, the Global Digital Experience has reached 1 million men — including over 750,000 who participated on both days. We also have the potential to reach millions more through our influential partner network.

Vance Day, president of Promise Keepers, said:

“When we announced the Global Digital Experience six weeks ago, we had a strong sense that God was calling us to more — to reach more men with more ministry in more places. As Paul says in Ephesians 3:20, ‘by his mighty power at work within us [He] is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of — infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes.’ And this is precisely what God has done — taking an event designed for 80,000 in one place and transforming it into a planetwide event that would reach millions — including nations where Christians are actively persecuted like China, Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia. And this is just the beginning. To God be all the glory.”

The Global Digital Experience convened some of the world’s most powerful communicators and worship leaders, but with a difference.

As Ken Harrison, CEO of Promise Keepers, said at the beginning of the event as he invited the men to “buckle your chinstraps:”

“We’re going to take on issues in a real way the way real men do. This is not going to be churchy. We’re not trying to make you more moral. We’re not trying to make you more religious. We want to tell you that we found grace and joy through our Lord Jesus Christ; that the way to be a better man is to be a better disciple of Jesus. And when you become a better disciple of Jesus, then you become the man you’ve always wanted to be.”

“You won’t become the man you want to be through self-effort, through self-help, through a strong will, or by trying to obey some rules somebody somewhere told you that you need to do. The way you become the man you want to be is by knowing Jesus Christ, the grace and joy He has.”

“I know some of you out there feel like you’re not good enough for Jesus. I’m telling you that you are. You’re going to hear some authentic stories from men who have failed, but who have been brought up by the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s going to be amazing what He can do in your life.”

Other notable announcements at the Global Digital Experience include:

Post Event Follow-up: Men are already digging into the post-event follow up resources to connect them in community and with tools to help them in all areas of life. The New Believers Guide is reaching hundreds of men through an email sign up on our homepage and within the app.

Our Bible Study is a free resource for churches and individuals and available as a PDF download and as an interactive feature in the Promise Keepers’ APP with the ability for men to engage in discussion questions and provides suggested action steps. It has been requested over 2,500 times and will be released shortly.

The app and along with the private Promise Keepers’ Facebook Group are both growing in numbers of registered users and men engaging in the content and the community.

Global Digital Experience ENCORE Showing Friday, Sept. 11, 2020: This program distills the best of the two-day event into five power-packed hours. Promise Keepers is also adding translation into 20 languages for the Encore Presentation.

Promise Six Unity Sunday Oct. 25, 2020: Promise Keepers takes its name from the seven key promises of a godly man. Promise Six states: “A Promise Keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity.” Because of this, Promise Keepers is mobilizing to energize men across the country to reach out in their communities to tear down the walls of racism, division, ignorance, and prejudice and be at the forefront of meaningful dialogue and meaningful change.

Promise Keepers App Launched for iOS and Android: The app is a “digital brotherhood” that will connect men across geographic, generational, and denominational lines so men can connect and grow and do life with each other. The app provides an ignition point for relationship and discipleship while providing real-time help for issues that men face.

Nicole Stark, Director of Marketing and Operations at Promise Keepers, said:

“The new era of Promise Keepers we began last year combines the best of classic Promise Keepers with the possibilities afforded by the latest technology. Think about it as the difference between analog and digital. Today, digital integration not only allows us to do stadium events, but it also allows us to provide the full spectrum of men’s ministry: a catalytic event that sparks fellowship, discipleship and change-making teams of men in communities everywhere, working together to impact the core of our culture — and we will continue to do ministry 365 days a year even after the event ends. We are meeting men where they are — in church, at a friend’s watch party, on social media or through an app.”

For more information about the resources, the app, or to register for the encore event, visit PromiseKeepersEvent.com.

ABOUT PROMISE KEEPERS
Founded in 1990 by Coach Bill McCartney, Promise Keepers is one of the most significant movements of God in the history of the church. In 1997 alone, Promise Keepers packed 22 NFL stadiums and gathered 1 million men for Stand in the Gap: A Sacred Assembly of Men at the National Mall in the District of Columbia.

On July 16-17, 2021, 80,000 men are expected to gather from across America and around the world at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys, for its annual stadium event.

The organization’s mission is to empower men to live out their God-given identity and purpose today and destiny tomorrow by serving their homes, workplaces and communities with integrity and influence.

www.promisekeepers.org
https://www.facebook.com/promisekeepers/
https://www.instagram.com/promise_keepers
https://twitter.com/PromiseKeepers
https://www.youtube.com/user/PromiseKeepers

Washington Post Covers PK 2020

August 13, 2020By PK ManagerNews, Promise Keepers Event

Thirty years ago, a Christian men’s movement began as a meeting of dozens of men with a prominent former football coach. Its biggest moment was a gathering of hundreds of thousands of people on the Mall in 1997. Now, Promise Keepers is attempting to make a comeback, but not in the way it had planned.

On Friday, the evangelical organization began its free, two-day event online, bringing together men from more than 65 countries to hear from former sports figures, Christian musicians and famous pastors and authors. Organizers originally hoped to draw 80,000 men to a stadium outside Dallas for their first major arena-based event in close to a decade.

“We’re showing this to a huge conglomeration of churches in India — it’s going to be translated into Hindi — and all over South America, translated into Spanish, and it’s also being translated into Polish,” said Ken Harrison, the organization’s unpaid chief executive since early 2018. “What seemed like a huge disappointment ended up being a huge blessing.”

He said about 500 churches in the United States are planning to host public simulcasts of the virtual event, with others choosing to keep their plans private in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event — prerecorded mostly in Nashville — was to feature messages from Dallas megachurch pastor Tony Evans and Indiana-based Christian counselor Steve Arterburn and the music of contemporary Christian artist Michael W. Smith and American Idol finalist Danny Gokey.

Harrison said he expects some women who are “curious” will watch and be able to see for themselves what Promise Keepers is about. But the official response to registrants — estimated at more than 1 million — discourages men from watching with the women in their lives, at least at first.

“We encourage men to participate in the event in a mens-only setting initially,” it said, citing the merits of women-centered events. “There is a different dynamic when men hear these messages together versus in a setting with women/wives/daughters/friends. We encourage men to invite their wives and other ladies to watch in a second session after the men have been able to watch together.”

Read the full story at the Washington Post.