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User Archives: Kyle Idleman

  • Time to Get Up

    Posted on March 4, 2014 by Kyle Idleman

    Kyle Idleman

    "So he got up and went to his father ..." Luke 15:20a (NIV)

    After high school graduation, I joined my senior class for a trip to Dallas, Texas. While there, for the first time ever I saw someone bungee jump. At several hundred feet off the ground, this was one of the tallest jumps in the country.

    We watched as a guy got ready to make the leap with nothing but a chord strapped to his ankles. He dove headfirst, and it was clear my fellow students were impressed.

    Trying to sound cool enough to bungee jump but too cool to actually spend the money, in that moment, here's what came out of my mouth: "I'd do that, but I'm not going to spend 40 bucks on it."

    Suddenly there was a little commotion behind me. One of the girls in my class pulled out a $20 bill and asked, "Would this help?"

    At that point, my back was against the wall. A girl had called my bluff — in front of everyone. I could've said, "Well, I'm not going to spend 20 bucks on it either," but that wouldn't have gone over well. So without stopping to consider the fact that I don't like heights, I took the $20 bill and got in line.

    As the crane lowered, I told myself: It's not that high. But once the platform was at ground level and I stepped onboard, my nerves began. The platform rose higher and higher until the crane finally lurched to a halt. I stepped to the edge and made a horrible choice: I looked down.

    Overcome with paralyzing fear, I turned to the crane operator and said, "I can't do it. I just can't do it!" But then a thought struck me, and I asked, "Would you just give me a shove?"

    Apparently I wasn't the first guy too scared to jump, but too embarrassed to ride the platform back down. The worker replied, "Well, we're not legally allowed to push someone off."

    Frustrated with his answer, I replied, "Do you have any other ideas for me?"

    "Well, sometimes it works if you just close your eyes and fall," he said, adding, "Anybody can do that."

    So I stepped to the edge, closed my eyes and I'm proud to say that ... well, I didn't so much as bungee jump, I bungee fell.

    It's one thing to say what you are going to do, but it's another thing to do it. Action is where a lot of us get stuck. We know what needs to be done, but when we step out onto the platform, we just can't move.

    This is an opportunity for an "AHA" moment. In Luke 15, the story of the Prodigal Son tells of one of these experiences. The younger son asked his father for his inheritance early, but then wasted it. After losing everything, he came to his sense and experienced an AHA moment. Moments like this always include:

    1. A Sudden Awakening
    2. Brutal Honesty
    3. Immediate Action

    In Luke 15:20 we read a simple phrase that changed the personal story of the Prodigal Son. Jesus simply said, "So he got up ..."

    He took immediate action. He recognized that it was time to get up. And unless our personal stories read, "So she got up," or "So he got up," then nothing really changes in our lives.

    I want you to see a connection between these two phrases in Luke 15:

    "He came to his senses ..." (verse 17)

    "So he got up ..." (verse 20)

    Without verse 20, verse 17 doesn't really matter.

    My question for you is: When are you going to get up?

    When are you going to join a Bible study group?

    When are you going to talk to one of your coworkers about your faith?

    When is verse 20 going to be a part of your story?

    It's time to get up.

    Dear Lord, please show me where I need to take action in my life and give me the courage and strength to move forward. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Remember, awakening happens to us, honesty happens in us, but nothing really changes unless action comes out of us.

    In what areas of life are you finding yourself stuck? Identify what's holding you back and make a plan to take action and overcome your obstacles.

    Power Verse:
    Luke 19:8, "But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, 'Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.'" (NIV)

    © 2014 by Kyle Idleman. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks David C. Cook for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Luke

  • The God Moment that Changes Everything

    Posted on January 7, 2014 by Kyle Idleman

    Kyle Idleman

    "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!'" Luke 15:17 (NIV)

    Not long ago, one of my daughters set my phone alarm tone to match that of her favorite animal. It's labeled "Horses Neighing." It should be called "Death by Stampede." At 5:30 in the morning my alarm went off and I shot straight up, wide-awake, a stampede charging through my bedroom.

    While changing it back to my standard alarm, I noticed a wide array of other options. Some of the sounds wouldn't do anything to get me up, like the one labeled "Harp." It trills a soft melody, and just listening to it makes me sleepy.

    The most effective alarm ringtone for me is labeled "Old Car Horn." Think in terms of a house alarm that you can hear on the other side of the neighborhood. Now imagine that you are sleeping inside the speaker. It's highly effective. And the great thing is this alarm has a unique backup system that's almost fail proof – my wife.

    But here's what I've discovered: the effectiveness of any alarm is in direct correlation to how much you don't want to hear it. In other words, until your desire not to hear the alarm outweighs your desire to keep sleeping—you're not going to wake up.

    Similarly, a sudden awakening takes place when God finally gets our attention. The alarm sounds, and this time we hear it. We immediately become aware of our present circumstances and the reality that something must change.

    The Prodigal Son experienced this in Luke 15. After taking his inheritance money from his father, wasting it and reduced to feeding pigs, the Bible tells us the son, "came to his senses ..."

    At this point the son sat straight up and suddenly realized what his life had become. When he ran away, he'd never thought his journey would have that ending. But now life had his attention, and he knew things had to change.

    Have you ever had a moment like this? The Holy Spirit opens your eyes, and you see something that you had somehow missed before. You have a startling realization that changes everything.

    You realize you've been trying to live out the Christian life from your own power and strength rather than out of the power of the Holy Spirit.

    You realize you weren't actually following Jesus; you were just following a list of rules and rituals.

    You realize you spent so much of your life wrestling with guilt and shame, because you thought being good enough would save you.

    And then suddenly you realize a truth. That truth has always been true, but for some reason, you just didn't see it before. Like the Prodigal Son, it was the right time and the right place, and finally realization woke you up and brought you to your senses. AHA!

    This is an "AHA" moment, and within the parable of the Prodigal Son, I discovered there are three ingredients that are present in every AHA experience.

    1. A Sudden Awakening
    2. Brutal Honesty
    3. Immediate Action

    If there is an awakening and honesty, but no action, then AHA doesn't happen. If there is awakening and action, but honesty is overlooked, AHA will be short-lived.

    But when God's Word and the Holy Spirit bring these three things together in your life, you will experience AHA—a God-given moment that changes everything.

    Today if you are finally hearing the alarm and realizing you are far from your Heavenly Father, know you can turn to Him. Luke 15 shows us that God is a loving Father who is merciful, gracious, and caring. No matter how far we wander from God, He wants to do more than just help us—He wants to save us. And it starts with AHA.

    Dear Lord, help me to see the areas of my life that need transformation. Please give me a genuine Awakening, help me to be Honest with myself, and be with me as I take Action. Jesus, I surrender my life to you, and I thank You for the work You're doing in my life! In Jesus' Holy Name I pray. Amen.

    Related Resources:


    Reflect and Respond:
    Search your heart. Consider the areas of your life that need transformation. Identify one area that needs to change.

    Create action steps that will help you change the situation. Pray for God's strength. Then take action!

    Power Verse:
    John 6:35: "Then Jesus declared, 'I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.'" (NIV)

    © 2014 by Kyle Idleman. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks David C. Cook for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Luke

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