Promise 4: The Gift of a Blessing

April 11, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Promise 4: Commitment

A Promise Keeper is committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection and biblical values.

 

“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.”

– Mark 10:13-16

A number of years ago, University of Southern California football coach John McKay had the privilege of coaching his son, John. During a television interview a reporter commented on the athletic ability of young John. Coach McKay responded in an impressive way. “Yes, I’m pleased that John had a good season last year,” he said. “He does a fine job and I’m proud of him. But I would be just as proud if he never played the game.”

What a statement! McKay’s son knew that he didn’t have to excel on the football field to be loved by his dad. That means that neither a knee injury nor a season on the bench would have made him any less worthy of his dad’s love. And John could look to the future and know that his dad would love him even if he didn’t make it big in the business world. It’s that kind of parental encouragement that motivates young men like John to excel. Parents who provide a nurturing environment instead of a competitive, pressure-packed climate for their children give them the chance to make their parents proud of them for all the right reasons.

One of the most important needs a child has is the need for a father’s approval. If you’re a dad, this means that one of your greatest responsibilities is to pass on to your children an awareness of love, an awareness that each child in your family is important to you. And if you’re not a father, you probably have the chance to influence the younger generation through family, church, work or social responsibilities. Your responsibility, then, is to set the proper example of godliness for those under your influence to follow.

While Jesus wasn’t a father, he understood children, and he realized their need to be blessed. With Jesus is our ultimate example, let’s look at his blessing in this short passage.

The blessing had two aspects. First, it involved verbal affirmation. When Jesus opened his mouth and blessed the children, he spoke words that praised and built them up. Through this we learn that it is not enough for a father to love and appreciate his children from a distance. A father must express his love and affection to make it real to his children.

Second, Jesus’ blessing involved physical affirmation. Notice that Jesus ‘took the children in his arms’ and ‘put his hands on them.’ Jesus could have stood over the children and lectured to them. He could have had them sit at his feet. Instead, he wrapped his arms around them and placed his hands on their heads and shoulders. Jesus knew that nothing communicates love and acceptance like physical touch.

If you’re a dad, rivet that truth in your mind. Even if you’re a ‘hands off’ kind of man, try to discover how you could communicate more through words and through touch as a means of blessing your children. Talk to other men who seem to have a good relationship with their children to find what their method of ‘blessing’ is, and then act on it. If you’re not a dad, reflect on how you could be a blessing to the young people with whom you relate as an uncle, a brother, a church member, or even an employer. God has given us the responsibility of influencing the young people of today for his purposes and for the expansion of his kingdom.

Are You Living in Fear, Doubt, and Discouragement?

April 6, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. — Psalm 56:3

In 2 Chronicles, chapters 19 and 20, we read about how King Jehoshaphat of Judah endeavored to honor God during his reign. As a leader, he spent a great deal of his time among the people. He appointed judges to carry out the rule of law while directing builders to fortify the towns. He was a good king as he regularly reminded his leaders, “Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.” (2 Chronicles 19:7)

Jehoshaphat was also open and honest about his faith. He prayed to God publicly, reminding them not to be afraid or discouraged. But the Israelites were fearful of the battles before them. They were afraid they would lose everything to the invaders, including their lives.

Today, many folks are fearful and discouraged. No matter what battle you face, let the words of Jehoshaphat speak truth to you and bring you peace: “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:17). The truth is: the battle is the Lord’s!

Jehoshaphat’s prayer, in chapter 20, has six components that were true then and now:

  • He acknowledged that God’s intervention was the only way their nation would be saved.
  • He reminded the crowd how God had helped them through past difficulties.
  • He admitted God’s complete sovereignty over the situation.
  • He thanked and praised God for the protection He had given them and for what He would do to protect them in the future.
  • He claimed God’s promises.
  • He placed his dependence on God alone for the deliverance from their pending struggles.
  • As believers in Christ, we can come boldly into our Father’s throne room and seek His help and mercy. Whatever your struggles, whatever your situation, and whatever your financial dilemma — know that the God who saved the Israelites will save you and yours.

Personal Application

“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:25–27)

“All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:47)

Suggestion for Prayer

If you’re in a battle, struggling for deliverance, worried about tomorrow, meditate on the truths of Jehoshaphat’s prayer. Let God take on this battle and free you.

This devotional is a guest post by Dr. Jim Grassi. He is the founder of Men’s Ministry Catalyst, a ministry partner of Promise Keepers. Don’t miss the resources on the topic of fear over at his website.

What Are You Afraid Of?

April 6, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior. — Psalm 38:22

My good friend Jim Knuppe is a great pilot and holds many aeronautical records. He has flown around the world in his private planes a number of times. I remember Jim once shared a story of an encounter he had with a powerful thunderstorm just outside Denver.

The unusual air currents caused the plane to momentarily lose power and fall from the sky. Jim told me what came to mind was just that simple desperate prayer of a believer, “Jesus Help Me!” Scripture records the same prayer used by numerous kings, prophets, and disciples. Jim was spared from tragedy; the plane went on to have a safe and happy landing. God always answers this prayer… even when it’s our last.

Todd Beamer prayed this prayer. The following email I received records the spiritual strength Todd demonstrated on his fateful flight:

“JESUS HELP ME”

The Faith of Todd Beamer

“I don’t think we’re going to get out of this thing. I’m going to have to go out on faith.” It was the voice of Todd Beamer, the passenger… and Wheaton College graduate… who said, “Let’s roll” as he led the charge against the terrorists who had hijacked United Flight 93, the one, you will remember, that crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside.

The whole world knows how brave Beamer and his fellow passengers were on September 11th. But this week we learned more fully what buttressed that bravery: Faith in Jesus Christ.

Todd died as he lived, a faithful evangelical believer. In an article titled “The Real Story of Flight 93”, Newsweek reveals gripping new details from the actual transcripts of the now-recovered cockpit voice recorder. “Todd had been afraid,” Newsweek relates. “More than once, he cried out for his Savior.” After passengers were herded to the back of the jet, Beamer called the GTE Customer Center in Oakbrook, Illinois. He told supervisor Lisa Jefferson about the hijacking. The passengers were planning to jump the terrorists, he said. And then he asked her to pray with him.

As Newsweek relates, “Beamer kept a Lord’s Prayer bookmark in his Tom Clancy novel, but he didn’t need any prompting. He began to recite the ancient litany, and Jefferson joined him:

Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.”………

As they finished, Beamer added, “Jesus, help me.” And then, Beamer and his fellow passenger prayed a prayer that has comforted millions down through the centuries. The prayer that David wrote in a time of great anguish:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil……….

And then the famous last words: “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.”

We now know from the cockpit voice recorder that Beamer and other passengers wrestled with the hijackers and forced the plane to crash into the ground, killing themselves, but foiling what was believed to have been the hijackers’ plan to fly Flight 93 into the Capitol or the White House.

As Christians, we know that God can bring good out of evil. In Todd Beamer, the world witnesses a faith that held up in the extremity of fear. A faith that is even now comforting his widow and two young sons.

God answered Todd’s prayer and delivered him safely home… to Heaven.

Most of us will never have to demonstrate the type of courage Todd did in overcoming the terrorists on Flight 93, but most of us will find an occasion when we need to cry out to Jesus for help.

The world tells us to cope. Our culture offers many options, and some can be really destructive: shopping, eating, alcohol and drugs, even exercise and busyness. When we try to soothe our fears or fill our pain with activities or substances, we rob God of opportunities to comfort us, fight for us, and rescue us. We rob ourselves of opportunities to grow closer to God and experience Him intimately.

Ultimately, when times are really tough, the Lord waits for us to cry out to Him. Whether it’s a crisis of the moment or an ongoing circumstance of endurance, turn to the Lord. Ask Jesus to save you. You never know… it could be your last and greatest testimony.

 

Personal Application

What is going on in your life that prayer would help? Lean into these verses and be comforted?
“Help me, O LORD my God! Save me because of your unfailing love.” (Psalm 109:26 NLT)

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

“… The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

 

Suggestion for Prayer

If you’ve been coping through life, rather than turning to the Lord, cry out to Jesus. Ask Him for courage and strength to face your circumstances, and then let Him be your Savior, not just “once and for all”… but everyday.

This devotional is a guest post by Dr. Jim Grassi. He is the founder of Men’s Ministry Catalyst, a ministry partner of Promise Keepers. Don’t miss the resources on the topic of fear over at his website.

Coronavirus and Prayer

April 4, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.— Lamentations 3:22–23

This pandemic strikes fear and concern even in the hearts of mature believers. Let’s turn to God’s Word for comfort. The book of Lamentations was penned by Jeremiah (a.k.a. the weeping prophet). He wrote this book to teach people that to disobey God is to invite disaster. Jeremiah also shows us God suffers when we suffer.

As we dust off this Old Testament verse, we find Jeremiah sitting in a cave weeping as he looks over the rubble of a destroyed Jerusalem. A city he loved so much — God’s city — was in ruins. The tang of smoke and the stench of rotting flesh intensified the atmosphere of utter hopelessness. Some of you may be feeling the same way as Jeremiah… but read on… there is hope.

As Jeremiah took in this awful sight, he realized just how big our God really is. Jeremiah reminds us that having faith in our Heavenly Father is the only thing that can cast out fear and despair. The prophet assures us that God’s compassion will never cease. God is present with us always and we can count on Him no matter the circumstances.

What a powerful illustration for us to ponder today during one of the most serious global crises we have seen in a long time. The unprecedented response, while necessary, is causing intense fear and insecurity. In this country, not since 9/11 have we seen such anxiety and confusion. The obvious question that comes up at times like this is, what is God doing?

During the weeks and months following 9/11, masses of people flocked to local churches and places of worship looking for answers. Church attendance soared. But now we are being asked to stay home… to hunker down maybe until July and beyond. Both our sons are worship pastors in mega-churches, and they are now just doing video broadcasts with no audience. Our approach to worship and spiritual growth is changing. What can we do?

I would prayerfully ask you to consider the following:

  • Pray for our country that God would heal our land and guide our leaders (Proverbs 25:13).
  • Using social media, phones, or texting reach out to family, friends, and neighbors to comfort them with God’s promises. (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
  • To the degree you are able, physically assist people who may be older and high risk with their basic needs (Galatians 4:13–14).
  • Become a Jeremiah man/woman and consider how your prayers and words can bring about, peace, hope and spiritual focus to others (Mark 5:35–36).
  • Drop off some packaged cookies, comfort food, or notes of encouragement to the patio or front porch of your first responders and medical professionals. You should not enter their workspace. (Hebrews 3:13).
  • Operate like the First Century Church – small groups meeting through social media for fellowship and spiritual support (Act 20:7).
  • Join in pushing this email and the Pandemic of Prayer idea to your database (Matthew 4:23).
  • Utilize our vast library of on-line personal and church resources to encourage and empower you during these troubled times (mensministrycatalyst.org/resources).
  • Go to (mensministrycatalyst.org/devotional-archives/) to send out any of our 460 devotionals to comfort those around you (John 14).
  • Our ministry stands ready to encourage and support anyone wishing for special prayer, comfort, and some resources to help you through these troubling times. God is our refuge and our fortress (Psalm 91).

God bless you!

Pandemic of Prayer

As an indication of your commitment to pray for this Country and your neighbors, place a Cross in your front yard. If you are Jewish, place a Hebrew Star. Any homemade or manufactured Cross or Star will do. We all have scrap materials or can go to a place like Home Depot and get some wood or metal to make a simple symbol. If don’t have any wood or metal, then tie a “white ribbon” around a tree. Send an email to your neighbors indicating that your cross or star is an indication that you are praying for them and their families.

This devotional is a guest post by Dr. Jim Grassi. He is the founder of Men’s Ministry Catalyst, a ministry partner of Promise Keepers. Don’t miss the resources on the topic of fear over at his website.

Do You Believe in Miracles?

April 1, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, ‘If you are willing, you can make me clean. – Mark 1:40

In this fast-paced, high-tech world some people have forgotten that God is in the business of making miracles. Mankind has explored the depths of the universe and the bottom of the seas. We have modified DNA and created artificial parts for the human body. Through technology, we can supply an endless stream of information and artificial intelligence. We’ve become pretty self-sufficient. But the reality is, we still can’t create miracles. We still get into situations where we’re just stuck.

One name for God is Miracle. What man sees as impossible; He sees as possible. Before we come to a relationship with the living God, we describe unplanned situations as “chance” or “coincidence”. As believers, we should look for God’s hand in the unbelievable, impossible, and unimaginable.

Too often we let our own logic, rather than God’s spirit, take control of our lives. How many times do we miss the opportunity for a miracle because we’re determined to “fix it”? The prophet Isaiah had a reply for people who thought they could work their own miracles: “Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.” Isa. 29:14. God is amazingly creative—He works outside the realm of normal reasoning! There’s no boundary to His love, His power, or His ability.

Still, in the midst of our personal storms, it is sometimes difficult to remember that God can handle it. We too often let fear take a foothold in our thinking. The opposite of fear is faith—the faith that ultimately builds courage. Ask those who have been miraculously healed of cancer, those who have conquered their fears, addictions, and emotional issues, or farmers and ranchers who continually see God’s miracles from the soil. Ask moms and dads who have witnessed the miracle of birth. Remember the miracles in your own life…and those reported to us in the Bible. God’s Word gives us so many examples of how our Father works through miracles. It reminds us to “Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.” Psalm 105:5.

Today, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus continues to heal people. He heals bodies, marriages, broken hearts, financial messes …you name it! He is the ultimate comforter, encourager, healer, and provider. He is our advocate.

Sometimes we “miss the miracle”. Too often the power of God, through His mighty miracles gets overshadowed by the boasting of man’s accomplishments, flashy technology, or sizzling sideline stories. Don’t expect the media to report on miracles. You may have to read between the lines to see it, but you can be sure, God is still in the business of making miracles…everyday!

Personal Application:
What is God saying to you through these verses?

Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. – Acts 2:22

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… – Eph. 3:20

Suggestion for Prayer:
If you are in a jam, ask God to work a miracle in your life. He can handle it!

This devotional is a guest post by Dr. Jim Grassi. He is the founder of Men’s Ministry Catalyst, a ministry partner of Promise Keepers. Don’t miss the resources on the topic of fear over at his website.

My PK Story – A Note from John

March 27, 2020By PK ManagerMy PK Story

I went to PK in 1999 as a bratty twenty year old agnostic and came out knowing for sure who my maker was.

We were printing instruction manuals for Microsoft MSDN Subscribers back then. It was growing like crazy so a guy named Shawn was sent out to my shop to walk through and make sure that our ISO procedures were in place.

The same morning, I received a package from FedEx and it contained a hard cover King James Study Bible with a note on the inside front cover that read: “John, I know you don’t believe it…but God loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. I’ll always love you.”

It was from my high school girlfriend. I’d recently broken up with her, mostly because she had professed faith in Jesus and hoped I would “make some changes” that included no sex, booze or bad language. Upon opening the Bible and reading the note, I threw it across my office and it hit the far wall and landed open on a table.

I put my head down and kept preparing for Shawn’s visit. At 2:00 sharp, in he walked. He had a big smile and a bigger belly.

“Well hey John! This is going to be easy-peasy. Just a quick walk through and then…what’s this?” He saw the open Bible. “Well, I guess I didn’t realize you were a believer…that should make this even easier than I thought!”

Then he sat down and wanted to talk about Jesus. I faked Christian the best I could but he was relentless. By the end of our time together, he had gotten a commitment from me to have lunch with him each Tuesday for Bible study—”so I can stay in the Word and in fellowship” while I found a church home.

Hilarious.

I confessed to Shawn that I didn’t believe during our first lunch. He smiled and assured me he already knew that I was full of something other than the Holy Spirit.

We met each Tuesday and Shawn patiently answered my questions about Jesus by using the Bible. When there weren’t clear answers, he didn’t offer manufactured drivel. He would just explain humbly that some things aren’t buttoned up all nice and neat and that it’s faith that helps bridge the gap.

I didn’t like that answer, but I loved that Shawn was humble enough to be honest rather than use a million words to say nothing.

After 8 weeks he bribed me. He said if I would go to PK with him and his mens group, he would leave me alone if I wanted. And he promised I wouldn’t lose the Microsoft business if I didn’t want to pursue Jesus.

I was secretly excited, but with my usual reservations—primarily that no matter how close I’d gotten in the past to “believing,” I couldn’t reconcile it with the way the different types of “Jesus People” treated one another. Everyone seemed to think they and their little group were the only ones saved by God’s grace. I didn’t know much about much, but I knew for sure that if it were true—the Jesus thing—then he certainly wasn’t sitting up in Heaven with a referee jersey on, calling technical fouls for how deep the baptismal water is.

Those hesitations were obliterated as I saw 50,000 men from 100 different denominations, hand-in-hand praising the same Jesus from the top of their lungs! [At Promise Keepers,] the Gospel was presented simply and powerfully, and believably. The sights and sounds of it all caused my heart welled up with something new, and strong.

Later in the day I was invited to accept Jesus by responding to a classic “altar call.” I didn’t bite, I was concerned that I was getting caught up in emotionalism, so I let the moment pass.

I knew I’d wanted to claim Jesus as Lord, so letting the moment pass made me quiet and withdrawn.

On the way home I didn’t say a word, I just stared out the window hoping Shawn wouldn’t try to help me unpack what I was feeling.

Shawn pulled up in front of my house and said, “Forget the altar call, John. If you want to ask Jesus into your heart, then go in your house and walk into your bedroom and hit your knees and ask him say, ‘Jesus, I’m a mess and now I realize that it’s mostly because I don’t know you. Please forgive my sins and come into my heart. I believe that you lived, and died, and rose again and that you did it for me, I’m yours Jesus!’”

I virtually ran up my driveway and into my bedroom in order to say that very thing and much more…and Jesus has been calling the shots ever since.

I went to church the next day because they told me to about a dozen times at PK.

I didn’t know of a church by me and didn’t want to go with Shawn cuz he was 50! So I just went to the one I could see from the patio of the coffee shop I sat at most everyday.

The pastor from Irvington Baptist Church taught from James that morning and I remember loving how practical it seemed as he read it. We chatted after and get this: Sensing a prompting, he told me about a pastor named Paul and a church named Crossroads that had recently begun meeting at the movie theater in town.

It was awesome. The people were so human and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t smell religion at all…just popcorn.

They became my people, my family—my church. Paul became my pastor and my mentor. He still is.

Shawn, the man that came into my office all those years ago, wasn’t setting any records for letting the world know about Jesus. I was the 1st person Shawn ever felt like he “lead” to Jesus. Seeing me come alive in Christ over the next couple years was spiritually invigorating for him and ultimately, he and his wife left their home and jobs and moved to Mexico to do full time missionary work training pastors. They left 15 years ago and they are still there and their ministry is advancing the Gospel in wonderful ways!

I could go on in infinitum, but I’ll stop. 🙂

John

Update: COVID-19 Response

March 24, 2020By PK ManagerNews

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.  Do everything in Love.”   – 1st Corinthians 16:13-14

Our first response to the coronavirus and the real fears that so many are feeling is…

Lean into our Lord, love your families well, and stand strong on the Word of God.  Only God has the power and authority to calm our storms, give us hope in the darkness; and fill you with His peace that surpasses all understanding. 

As our good friend Max Lucado says, “It’s not a time to despair but a time for prayer.” Our prayers are with you today and we are committed to help if you need us.

Like most of the world, our lives have been deeply impacted by the important precautions and measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus. But now more than ever, we believe God is calling us to pray and to stand firm in the faith. It was one year ago that God gave PK leadership this Corinthians theme verse to represent our 2020 Conference message. We had no idea how significant it would be as we now enter into this season of uncertainty.

Here is a message PK CEO and Chairman, Ken Harrison shared on March 11:

We’re getting a lot of questions lately from people who bought tickets to the event on July 31 and August 1. We have people coming from 47 different states and several countries as far away as Zimbabwe and Norway. And I want to reassure you right now that we’re planning on being at AT&T July 31 and August 1.

We don’t know what’s going to come from all of this – the virus. We do know, though, that we don’t let our lives be ruled by fear. We know that all things work together for the good of those who love Jesus as we are called to His purpose in Romans 8:28. So I just want to encourage everyone – let’s stay in prayer, support each other and lift each other up, let’s wash our hands and listen to what people are telling us to do. And we will be praying for all of you guys.”

For a video of this update and future updates, please visit our Facebook page. 

As Promise Keepers, we honor Jesus Christ, we love our families, we disciple men, we strive for integrity, and we do our best to keep our promises…so here is our promise to you:

  • Your Safety –  We are committed to carefully monitoring all updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (SDC) and will make wise decisions regarding the safety of our PK family and friends. Currently, we have cancelled all March events and will re-evaluate our April gatherings.
  • Our PK Family – We are committed to praying for you, for our families, for our pastors, for our ambassadors, for our volunteers, for our donors, for our speakers and artists, and for our ministry partners.
  • Daily Prayer – We are committed to ministering to the body of Christ and would like to invite you to join Pastor Steve BergerGrace Chapel Church and a member of the PK Pastoral Board for a daily prayer. Pastor Steve will be going LIVE on Facebook at 7am and continuing daily until we have a breakthrough with the Coronavirus. Please share and invite others to join. We’re in this together.
  • PK Updates – We are committed to keeping you informed with regular ministry updates and sharing a collection of inspirational messages and resources from PK Leadership and our Ministries Partners.  Consider signing up to receive our newsletter or visit our website.
  • PK Partners – We are committed to your ministry and we will continue to lock arms for Christ during this difficult time. We would love to share your content and resources to bring help, hope and healing to our PK audience. Please contact Greg Tull (GregT@pknet.org) or Nicole Stark (NicoleS@pknet.org).
  • Virtual Gatherings – We are committed to hosting virtual PK prayer gatherings, informational sessions, leadership forums. Our event planners are happy to serve your needs. Please contact Lisa Aleckson (LisaA@pknet.org) or Nicole Stark (NicoleS@pknet.org) for more information.
  • The National Conference – We are committed to praying for God’s favor and provision for our National Conference and Simulcast on July 31-August 1 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.  At this time, barring a mandate from the state or national government, we plan to hold our 2020 Conference and simulcast events across the nation.
  • Marketing Requests – Marketing materials and resources are available for download and sharing at www.PromiseKeepersEvent.com. Or, contact Nicole Stark (NicoleS@pknet.org).

Personal Message from Judge Vance Day, President of Promise Keepers

These are tough times no doubt and it is so easy to lose heart but our perspective on current events is always informed by our worldview. Believers in Jesus should find a tremendous amount of confidence and encouragement if they study the Scriptures, fashioned by our Creator.

God’s Word reminds us that what he allows in his wisdom, he could easily stop by his sovereign power. We also know that every problem that passes through his hands and comes to us always comes with a promise and a provision for that promise.

We see this in James 1:2-4. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials for the testing of your faith. For it produces endurance and will make you mature and complete, lacking nothing.”

With this in mind, please be encouraged today that with every problem we face, no matter how hard and difficult it may appear, God sees it as an opportunity to grow our faith and to do something good.   

Yes, protect yourself and be wise. God does not want us to be foolish. We should not tempt him by jumping off a cliff and asking him to save us, nor should we go about kissing and hugging people who are infected. Nevertheless, we are people who are called to be courageous, kind and involved on behalf of our Lord.  The church should, or dare I say, must engage this crisis as an opportunity to show the love of Christ in how we care for others.

We here at Promise Keepers plan to engage. We will be wise, but we will engage. Absent an emergency directive from the government, we will be having a catalytic event for men at AT&T Stadium on July 31 and August 1, 2020.  If that directive comes from the government, then we will understand that in God‘s wisdom he has allowed us to execute on our contingency plans. And we will do so.

This year‘s theme is a reminder of what we must do in this crisis: we must stand strong

We believe God is calling his people into action but ultimately, we have a choice. I love the scripture found in Joshua 24:15, when God said to his people, “Choose this day who you will serve”  Just like then, we face tough times but it is our prayer that God’s people will find courage to stand up and boldly respond, “But as for me in my house, we will serve the Lord.“  

Below are the thoughts of Martin Luther as he considered the ramifications of the black plague in Europe during the middle ages. I think we should read them and pray about how God would have us each of us engage. 

Please know that Promise Keepers will move forward with our plans, while caring for those as best we can in our communities. We plan to hold a catalytic event which we pray will ignite a revival for a world that is desperate to see our God. 

Serving the Lord, 

Vance Day

PK President

Promise 3: Taming the Tongue

March 24, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Promise 3: Virtue

A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity.

 

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

– James 3:3-12

In this short passage, James bluntly addresses the issue of our speech. Read over this passage again to catch the metaphors he uses to describe the tongue. Have you ever realized what a potentially wicked thing that little muscle in your mouth is? Make no mistake about it—the words you speak are powerful beyond imagination. They expand or limit your friendships. They can make or break your career opportunities. If you’re married, they’ll help determine the quality of your marriage. If you’re a father, they’ll shape your children.
A godly man recognizes the tongue’s power to build up or to tear down. But the tongue only shapes the words that originate in our hearts and minds. Hearts that are controlled by the Spirit’s power will produce speech that builds other sup instead of tearing them down. In other words, if we want to control our tongues, we must ask God to help us control our hearts.
The book of Proverbs is filled with verses that address a person’s speech. Turn to that book and take an hour or so to read through it. As you do, highlight in some way every verse that addresses this subject. Allow the Bible’s wisdom and the Spirit to direct your heart—and your tongue.

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

Why Sexual Purity Matters: A Woman’s Perspective

March 23, 2020By PK ManagerCulture

By Dr. Sheri Keffer

Sexual betrayal is devastating. I know because it happened to me. My own story, coupled with the voices of others who’ve experienced the same thing, shows what can happen to our relationships when we’re not diligent to protect our relationship and sex life. But there is another way.

The Impact of Sexual Betrayal

In my book Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal, I share what I learned through research with 100 betrayed partners. My research revealed that 76% showed clinical symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Yet surprisingly, 88% of these same women said they would be willing to stay and work through the difficult process of healing — if the one who betrayed them would stop lying.

Men, this speaks to the incredible resiliency of the woman in your life. Most women are willing to fight for those they love. But it is critical that you understand what your wife needs from you. That’s why I recently asked 6,000 women to share their words and wisdom on the subject of sexual purity.

Most women are willing to fight for those they love. But it is critical that you understand what your spouse needs from you.

Restoration is possible, even after a betrayal. But pay attention to the insights from women [below]. They will help you avoid a disaster in your life, and your spouse will thank you. You see, to her, your sexual purity isn’t just important; it’s priceless.

How You Can Help Your Wife Feel Sexually Honored and Safe

  • Keep your word.
  • Tell me I’m beautiful.
  • Share your passwords.
  • Don’t have private social media accounts.
  • Don’t check out other women, thinking I don’t notice.
  • Take time to notice me, flirt with me, and listen to my needs so that I’ll feel cherished and protected.
  • Don’t look at porn. Honor my body by valuing my heart.
  • Look at me. In the kitchen, in the living room, and at dinner. Hold my hand. Offer a back rub or a foot rub and then let me enjoy it without expecting sex (unless I feel like initiating sex in response, of course☺).
  • Appreciate my “yes” and respect my “no.”
  • Stay present when you’re making love to me. Don’t close your eyes and go elsewhere (to your fantasy or porn library).
  • Take responsibility to rebuild trust when it’s been broken.
  • Be transparent and real in a solid men’s group that’s encouraging each other to love Jesus, their wives, and families.
  • Pray. Stay faithful in your relationship with the Lord.
  • Don’t wait. If you’re struggling with sexual purity, get help.
  • Be an example for our kids. They need to see what a healthy marriage looks like.

Dr. Sheri Keffer is a marriage and family therapist and a regular cohost of the nationally syndicated radio talk show New Life Live! Through her own personal story of recovery, she understands the trauma symptoms often associated with sexual betrayal and what it takes to heal well. She received the 2019 IITAP Outstanding Publication Award for her book, Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal. Sheri also holds a degree in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Don’t miss Part 1 of this series on sexual purity, written by Dr. Steve Arterburn.

You’ve Got to Run! Practical Advice for Staying Pure in an Impure World

March 20, 2020By PK ManagerCulture

By Stephen Arterburn

Perhaps you can identify with what happened to me. I was raised in a Christian home. We lived next door to my grandfather, whose name I carry. Grandpa and I had a special relationship. For reasons I still don’t understand, my parents allowed me to visit him without being supervised.

It was on one of those visits, at the tender age of 4, that I first encountered pornography.

The World Has Warped How We See Women

On the wall of Grandpa’s office, along with many other photos and drawings of naked women, hung the first Playboy centerfold. It featured Marilyn Monroe and was taken from the first edition of Playboy, published in 1953. That day, when I was only 4, one of the men I loved best taught me that women were merely objects for pleasure.

The women in those pictures were not equal to men. They existed only for our gratification. That is what my grandfather taught me, and that is what the world around me reinforced. It would take me half a lifetime to unlearn those pornographically induced lessons that created superficial connections and painful relationships with women.

God Has Called Us to Better Things

I share this story because no matter where you are on your journey to becoming a mature and godly man, I have most likely been there. I am grateful to have found the way out and to have found the path to becoming a real man of God.

In searching for that path, I have discovered a verse in the Bible that provides a lifetime of wisdom from God and protection from Satan’s lies. If you accept Christ as your Savior, then follow this verse. You will have an extremely good chance of living a life of virtue as a godly man who loves God and others well.

This verse is 2 Timothy 2:22: “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts” (NLT).

Porn Is Only Part of the Problem

If the latest statistics are true, and I believe they are, over 60% of Christian men are struggling with pornography. A Christian man should not look at pornography, of course, but stopping, while a good start, is not enough. This is about more than just pornography. It is about running from anything that stirs up lust or anything that could be said to “energize” lust and desire within you. That includes your best friend’s wife, the female down the hall you try to connect with “un-accidentally” every day, or a movie, or anything else that you would not want your wife, girlfriend, mother, daughter, or son to see you watch.

Stopping is a good first step, but it is far from enough. Stopping does not produce virtue in a man. You have to run from inappropriate images and connections and pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. When you pursue those things you are going after the pure gold of character and virtue. Pursuing “fool’s gold,” or the things, that arouse your lust, may look very appealing, but these are things Satan will use to make a total fool out of you.

The Key to Winning the Battle

Pursuing godliness means going after God’s standard, which means not only doing better than you used to or doing really great, but living the life of holiness God has called you and me to live. If you have ever tried living out of and into this standard of holiness, you know it is impossible to do alone. It is a never-ending battle, and winning it takes brothers who will come alongside you as fellow strugglers. You need the companionship of pure-hearted men who are in pursuit of our Lord and in pursuit of fulfilling Christ’s directive to love others well.

This is one of the biggest reasons why Promise Keepers and the opportunity it provides to build relationships with other godly men is so important. My prayer for you is that you will use the wisdom and direction of this powerful verse to cultivate a life of virtue that honors God, yourself and all those who are counting on you to do the right thing.

Stephen Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries and host of the #1 nationally syndicated Christian counseling talk show, New Life Live! He is also a keynote speaker at Promise Keepers’ 2020 men’s conference. A well-known public speaker, Stephen is also a bestselling author of many books, including Every Man’s Battle. Stephen and his family live in Carmel, Indiana, where he serves as teaching pastor of Northview Church. We’re excited that Stephen will be a platform speaker at Promise Keepers’ 2020 Conference. Need help? Call 800-NEWLIFE.

 

Don’t miss Part 2 to this series on sexual purity by Dr. Sheri Keffer.