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John Fuller: Isn’t that some great passion? And what a perspective from Sadie Robertson. She’s a member of the Duck Dynasty clan and is a strong advocate for boldly living out your faith in today’s culture. This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller and welcome to our program today.
Jim Daly: John, as a father of two teenage boys, I am so encouraged to hear these words by Sadie. What tremendous faith that she has and I’m hopeful that there are many other young adults just like her. I’ve had many opportunities to interact with this next generation of Christians, and they give me great courage and renewed hope for the future. I know sometimes, you can see the negatives - maybe they’re sleeping late - but I’m telling ya what, they know how to apply the Word of God, and that is an encouragement. These are tomorrow’s leaders and we who are older and more experienced followers of Christ - we need to encourage them to speak up and stand firm in their faith. And it’s our prayer that you’re doing the same for your children, your teens and young adults who will carry on the torch of God’s truth and love to this world long after we’re all gone.
John: And one practical way that kids can be salt and light to their generation is through Bring Your Bible to School Day. It’s a student-directed effort where kids from kindergarten to college simply bring their Bibles to school as a way to celebrate their religious freedom and share God’s hope with their friends.
Jim: John, it’s a wonderful program - October 4th, it’s the first Thursday in October each year, and we had, last year, about a half a million students participated. And we encourage your kids to join this year’s celebration. We are thrilled that Sadie Robertson has agreed to be the honorary chair of Bring Your Bible to School this year.
John: Yeah, she is a dynamic young lady, as you could hear from that clip.
Jim: Yes, she is.
John: And with Bring Your Bible to School Day coming up in just a couple of weeks, we’re gonna have more information about that at focusonthefamily.com/radio. Check it out, help your child get equipped and be bold for their faith. If you’d like, call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY for more. Again, Bring Your Bible to School Day, October 4th - we’ve got details for you. Get in touch and get those.
Right now, we’ll hear a special message from Sadie Robertson. She was speaking at Louie Giglio’s church, Passion City, in Atlanta, Georgia, and it’s a terrific message.
Sadie: Something my family does - it’s kind of funny. You know, we have a group text, and it’s called “Swag Fam” - pretty cool, pretty cool. Any other swag fams in the house? No? All right, then. We’re weird. We’re just as weird as we are on TV and maybe a little weirder.
And so we had this group text called “Swag Fam”. And it’s funny how, in a group text, it’s like everybody’s personality in real life but, like, extra, extra, extra. It’s like, you kind of know what to expect from everybody. So like for instance, if I’m having a bad day, and I send it to the Swag Fam, and I’m like, “What’s up Swag Fam? Like, I’m just having a really hard day. And like, this happened and this happened,” I kind of know that, like, from my sisters, they’re going to be like, “OMG, Sadie, call me.” And from my mom, she’s going to be like, “Oh, babe, I’m so sorry.” And from my brothers, I’m probably going to get nothing, honestly.
I mean, you know, how it is. And then from my dad, it literally never fails. If I’m, like, going through something - it doesn’t matter if I’m being so serious - he’ll send a text, “Well, at least you’re not that guy.” And he’ll send like, a picture that’s like, so stupid. And I’m like, “Are you kidding me? Like, I’m hurting here. Do you not see my pain?” And it’s funny.
So one day, we were all sitting around the house, and we’re just, like, chilling, and we’re all trying to come up with the funniest situation of “At least you’re not that guy.” And I took the liberty of saying the one that was like, not funny at all, you know, the last person that says a joke that everybody’s just like, silent. And I go, “Well, at least I’m not a plankton.” What? Like, why did I say that? Like, why?
And it was like, so awkward and like, so quiet. And everybody was like, “What do you mean?” I was like, “At least I’m not a plankton? I don’t know what I mean.” But we’re also so defensive in our family, and I thought, “You know what? This has to be something bad. This can’t - this has to be.”
So I look it up. And of course, the first thing on Wikipedia is this little guy - the evil villain from SpongeBob with the little - then it says the definition of a plankton. And it says it’s a small microorganism unable to swim against the current of the ocean that provides food for big fish and large whales to eat. So I’m like, “Okay, that’s terrible. Like, honestly, is there anything worse than a plankton? So I win. Thank you all, everybody, I’m winning. Good night.”
But something happened in my heart that night. It was weird. When I said that, it was almost like I heard God just speak to me, “Hey, but what if you were?” I was like, “Huh, what if I was a plankton?” This is getting weird. You know, I’m thinking just what y’all are thinking: this is the most random thing ever. But God was like, “What if you were a plankton? Are they really the lowest of the low? Could you find passion, and could you find purpose as something that seems so low but something that I gave life to?” Whoo. I was like, “Okay, sorry about that. I’m gonna go figure that out.”
So I go back to the internet. And this time I surpass Wikipedia and look at what a plankton really is, and it was astonishing. You see these plankton - Wikipedia was right - they are unable to swim against the current of the sea. They float. They drift. In the Greek language, plankton means to wander - a wanderer, okay? So they’re floating around in the ocean, which kind of seems pointless until you understand where they’re floating to and where God’s taking them. You see they start at the bottom of the ocean, in the darkest part, surrounded by the most bizarre companions that all are trying to eat them for food source. But they float past them, and they make it to the very top of the ocean to receive light for a process of photosynthesis. But then, it doesn’t stop there. The most breathtakingly beautiful part is once it receives the light, they don’t stay in this safe haven place, but they go back down to the bottom of the ocean with all those things that want to eat them, and they provide 90 percent of the ocean’s photosynthesis. And by doing that, they provide 50 percent of the oxygen that we are breathing right now. Come on, you know?
This little plankton that I thought was the worst thing that you could possibly be is actually providing life for all of us through the energy and through the light that they had to go and receive first. You know, that’s crazy. When I read that, it was kind of like a fear of the Lord moment of, like, “Wow, God. It’s so crazy how You do that - how You put these amazing little things, like messages, in the tiniest of creatures.” And a mentor friend of mine said, “You know, Sadie, what passion does is passion fuels you. It gives you the fuel to press past your fear in order to fulfill the purpose that God has called you to.”
You know, I feel like sometimes we’re a generation that we sit here on Passion City College night, and we praise God. And we sing songs. And we say, “All your promises are yes and amen, God.” But sometimes we don’t take the time to go look and see what those promises are. You see, there’s over 7,000 - 8,000 promises in the Bible. And I don’t know that I could name that many, honestly. But I want to seek because I want to know. Because when I go back to the darkness, when I go back on college campus, when I go back into the world of bizarre people around me, I want to be able to say, “You know what? God promises that He’s gonna protect me. God promises that He’s gonna give me peace that surpasses all understanding. God promises me that He’s going to be my right-hand man, and He is going to save me and carry me whenever I go there first.” You wanna know the promises when you go back, you know?
There’s a - there was a study on growingleaders.com. And I looked this up because what the plankton thing is - I thought it was really cool - it’s the biggest migration that is happening in the world daily. The biggest migration is little things receiving light to give life to the world. Interesting.
So if these little microorganisms can do it, I thought, why can’t we? I think sometimes because we’re fearful. So I looked up this study on growing leaders. And I said, what is the number one fear that college kids have today? And I like this study because it went past the normal fears that you would think of, like the ones of like, “I wonder who my roommate’s gonna be. Is she going to be super weird or super cool?” Or like, “I don’t know how to do laundry” - all these, like, kind of - I mean, I really - sometimes, like, that stuff is really a fear, but this is a bigger fear. See, what it said was they’re not happy with the direction that the country is going, and they are fearful to go into that. They are scared that they are going to sacrifice their beliefs because the odds are against them. And they want to possess values, but life has always been very convenient for them with little need to sacrifice for what is right. Hm. Interesting.
When I read that, at first I was like, “Wow, that’s awesome that that’s such a, you know, big fear.” But then I thought, “That actually really bothers me because this is something that we so have an opportunity to change. We’re scared to go into college because we’re scared that we’re gonna join the way the country is going.” So really, what - like, you’re willing to give up your relationship with God that you’ve worked on for your whole life in order to save a reputation with people that you haven’t even met yet, you know? We’re willing to risk our whole relationship for a reputation. And that’s what we’re really scared of because we’re scared of the sacrifice. It’s not a sacrifice. It’s a relationship. It’s a walk of obedience. It’s a walk of saying, “God, I want to go in college and walk with You because you’re the greatest thing that they have to offer, you know?”
And I fear that we walk into it thinking it’s a sacrifice. And do you know what people think - other college kids when they look at us, and they think they see us feeling as though this is a sacrifice and a burden on us? They’re like, “Well, why would I want to be with them?” But when we walk into there, and we’re celebrating, and we’re like, “Yes, all your promises are yes and amen!” They’re like, “Wait, what’s that?” “Yes, all your promises!” And then it becomes the biggest migration ever because it’s exciting.
There’s a parable in Matthew. It’s about the ten bridesmaids or the ten virgins. And when I was reading this, honestly I didn’t really understand it the first time I read it. So I read it again - didn’t understand it. Read it again. I didn’t understand it again. So I was like, “Okay, I’m gonna have to ask somebody.” And I asked a mentor. She said, “Well Sadie, you wouldn’t understand the significance of this unless you read up on ancient Jewish culture of engagement processes back then because that’s the coolest part about it.” So I’m like, “Do tell.” Check this out.
So in ancient Jewish history, the engagement process was a lot different than it is today. Because what would happen is the bride and the bridegroom, when they got engaged, they didn’t set a date for their wedding. So they didn’t know when it was going to be, which y’all may be thinking, “What? That is crazy because you have to prepare.” Well, they did prepare. But they weren’t going to get married until they were fully prepared.
You see, what happened was the bride went her own separate way, and she prepared in a way of like, getting - like, she bathed every day. She put her perfume on every day. She got - she had to get completely ready every single day as if that was the day of her wedding because she didn’t know when the bridegroom was going to return. So the bridegroom, what he would do is he would go off and he would prepare the home for the family, for his future wife and for his future family, and he would get ready in that way.
Well, what the bridesmaids would do is every day they would have to go get the oil to light the lamps because they were in charge of when the bridegroom would return, they would light the way to the celebration and get the whole town excited. And they would say, “The bridegroom is here! The bridegroom is here! It’s time! It’s time! We’re going to celebrate!” So it was an exciting time. And they had to be prepared to lead the way to a celebration.
So in this parable, it picks up. And what happens is the bridegroom makes his return. The bridesmaids - there were ten of them - five of them did not have the oil prepared, the other five did. Now, these lamps weren’t just like the little lamps back in the day. They were big torches that really light up the way, so they had to get jars of oil. So you really, really had to be prepared for this. And they had to be expectant of his return.
So there was a day - he came back. And the five of them were ready and the other five weren’t. And they were like, “Oh, no, give me your oil please because we don’t have it, and we can’t light the way.” And the other five were like, “We can’t. Sorry. Like, we only have enough for us. And they were like, “Ah!” So they ran. And the other five lit the way. And they say, “The bridegroom is here! The bridegroom is here!” And they all went into celebrate. And they all had a great time. Well, at the same time, the other five come running, and they’re knocking on the door. They say, “Let us in, let us in! We’re here! We have the light!” And it picks up with the Lord saying, “You can’t come in. Surely, you weren’t ready for my return. You didn’t know when the day was coming.”
They weren’t ready because they weren’t expectant, so they didn’t get to celebrate. And they - their effect on the whole town was it didn’t really light the whole way. It was an incomplete celebration. So do you all see that if half of us Christians go in, and we’re like, yes, and the other half don’t, it honestly sets this tone to the world with, “Wait, what are they trying to do?” But if we all go in together with the biggest migration of the world after first receiving the light and getting our spiritual preparation ready, then imagine the change we can make. It would be huge. It would be huge.
John: This is Focus on the Family and we’re listening to a great message from Sadie Robertson about being a bold passionate witness for Christ in today’s culture. We’ll encourage you to get a CD or the free download of Sadie’s message, or a copy of her book,, when you stop by focusonthefamily.com/radio. And here’s more from Sadie as we continue Focus on the Family.
End of Program Note
Sadie: This is a cry out from David to God. It’s in 2 Samuel, chapter 22, starting at verse 17. And it says, “He reached down from on high, and He took hold of me. He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from my foes, from those who were too strong for me. They comforted me in the day of my disaster. But the Lord was my support. He brought me into a spacious place. He rescued me because He delighted in me.” Wow.
You know, David - what I love about this is David wasn’t crying out to God from a place of “Save me.” He was crying out to God from a place of deliverance, of a relationship that he had already obtained with God way before this moment. You see, before David was saved in this moment, before he was saved from Saul, before he was saved from the enemies, before he was even saved from the giant, he was delivered from the lions and the bears as just a shepherd boy. And David actually kind of started out as “anyone but that guy.” He was the “not that guy.”
Because when Samuel, the prophet, showed up in this town. And he was like, “Hey, Jesse, let me see your kids to see if any of these people can be king.” As y’all know, Jesse went through the list, but he didn’t say David. No way, not David. He said, “So there’s no one else? No one else?” He said, “Ah, no. No, not David. Oh, yes, there is one more, sorry, out in - but he’s a shepherd boy. He couldn’t do that,” not knowing that David was out there maintaining and preparing and really in this place of prospering a relationship with God that was going to last him throughout all these other things that God was able to deliver him from because David knew the character of God when he cried out.
You see, when you read this in 2 Samuel, he calls God all these names, and they’re so intentional. “The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, my Deliverance. My God is my Rock in whom I take refuge. He is my Shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my Stronghold, my Refuge and my Savior from the violent people who save me. He will reach down and grab me from deep waters. He drew me out because my God takes delight in me, and I’ve seen it for all these years.” So he believed because he was coming from a place that he had seen.
So guys, if we want to walk in to a college campus, and we want to deliver His promises, and we want to light it up, then we have to go, and we have to receive, and we have to get our spiritual preparation ready and rooted.
You know, I was listening to Priscilla Shirer. I don’t know if y’all know her. She’s an amazing speaker.
Yes. Shout-out to my girl. And she said this really cool thing, and I was listening to it on the car ride here. She said, “All of God’s promises - it’s like, God isn’t just gonna put them in our way, and we’re just gonna like, you know, like all of a sudden just have them. But He’s gonna put them in our reach so that we can reach out and grab them.
So we’re on our way here. And I had this whole message prepared. And everything was cruising. And, you know, you’re just like, “Man, this is such a great day. Thank you, Jesus.” And then He speaks the Word to you. And you’re like, “Wait, did you just say that to me? Because I’m really confused now.” And He spoke a word to me that threw me off. I was three minutes from being here - three minutes. I was so close - almost made it. And we were driving in all this traffic, which y’all have a lot of traffic. It’s not like that in Louisiana. Wow. And so we drive past this homeless man and our eyes locked. And I just felt something in my heart that God said to me, he said, “That man, I died to take his pain away.” He said, “Go out and put it in his reach. And then you’re going to see how I feel.” I was like, “Okay, are you sure? Can somebody else do it?” I literally prayed that somebody else would do it, as I’m watching this happen.
So we keep driving. And I tell my friend that’s driving - I said, “Look, I’m sorry this is not going to make sense. I know we’re already running late, but you got to turn around. You got to turn around.” And I grab my Jesus Bible. And I walk up to this man. I said, “Hi, I’m Sadie.” Said, “I don’t have any money, honestly. I don’t have anything on me right now. But I do have this, and this is everything. And I want to give this to you.” And he looked at me, and his eyes filled with tears. And he said, “No, I can’t take that.” I said, “Well, sure you can. Sure you can. Like, please take it. Please, like, I really want to give this to you.” He said, “No.” He said, “I’m an atheist.” I said, “Okay, I’ll respect that.” So I start walking away. And I turn around, and I look at him. And I said, “Are you sure?” He said, “Yes.” So I laid the book down. He goes, “No, no, no, no, no. Don’t leave it. Don’t leave it.” I said, “Okay, why?” He said, “Please give it to somebody that will take it because somebody needs it, but it just can’t be me.”
And my heart broke. And Jesus said, “That is how I feel.” Because Jesus is extending His hand to us with truth, with promises, with something that can save us from a dark world. And sometimes we just say, “No. No, we don’t want that. We’re just going to lay here. We’re just going to stick with this life.” We just walk away! And Jesus is saying, “No, are you sure? Please take it. I died for this. Please take it.” And some of us just say, “No, we don’t want that, Jesus.” He said, “Are you sure?” He tries. He begs, but it does take us pursuing Him - it does. There has to be a moment that we have to pursue Him. And that guy knew somebody would. He knew that something in that book was good because he didn’t want me to lay it on the floor. He didn’t want me to give up on it. He saw it in my eyes that what I was holding was truth and something I believed in.
And so I challenge you, when you walk onto that campus, you beg people to take the truth. But when you beg, you better know the truth because they’re watching you. And they’re saying, “Do you believe it enough to take it on to the next person? Do you believe it enough to act it out? Do you believe it enough to give your life for it, to know how Jesus felt?” That’s heavy. ‘Cause His love is overwhelming. What He did for us is overwhelming.
John: Wow, what a moving message from Sadie Robertson, who was speaking at a young adult event in Atlanta, Georgia. Really though, this message is for all of us because what she was talking about it what it means to live authentically as a follower of Christ.
Jim: So true, John. Sadie is challenging us as followers of Christ to never grow complacent about what we believe. We can settle into our comfort zones and live as if this world is all there is. I know. You know, when I was that age, I was guilty of it too. You could stumble. You can fall. But we are called to something radically different. Man, I’m telling ya, Willie Robertson and Korie, his wife, the mother of Sadie, should be really proud of their daughter. She has such passion, and she is expressing how to live Godly lives and to push past our fears to share God’s truth with a dying world.
We must be willing to go places that are uncomfortable and sacrifice ourselves for the sake of the Gospel so that others have that opportunity to meet Jesus face-to-face.
John: Sadie is so bold in her witness for Christ. I so appreciate her encouragement, especially for that younger generation, about living out the faith day-by-day, authentically. And it’s great to have her as the honorary chair for 2018’s Bring Your Bible to School Day.
Jim: Yes it is. As we mentioned at the beginning of the program, Bring Your Bible to School Day is coming up in just a couple of weeks on October 4th. Remember that date - October 4th. We want to encourage your family to be a part of it. If your child or a student you know is interested, please register at our website so they can be counted among the hundreds of thousands of young Christians who are making their voice heard on a national level. We’ve heard from so many wonderful 13, 14-year-old young people who have done a Bible study right there at lunch - the book of John - read it out loud. It is wonderful for these kids to experience the Word of God.
Another one - we had a girl who said, “I didn’t know there were so many Christians in my class because we’re never allowed to talk about it. But on Bring Your Bible to School Day, almost everyone in the class brought their Bible. I was amazed!” Those are the kind of stories we hear about. And if you’re already participating in Bring Your Bible to School Day, let us know so we can count you in the numbers. Because when you register at our website, you’ll have a chance to win a free trip for four to meet Sadie Robertson in person at one of her events. So sign up today, to be eligible to win that.
John: And you’ll also be able to get suggested activities for each age group. All of this and more at focusonthefamily.com/radio or call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. And of course, when you get in touch, be sure to ask about a CD or download of today’s dynamic message by Sadie Robertson so you can share that with a friend or listen to it again with your kids.
Jim: And may I also ask you to consider this: give generously to Focus on the Family today, especially here at the end of our budget year, so that we can continue together working on important outreaches like Bring Your Bible to School Day. Your financial support at this time of year is so important. It helps us encourage and motivate families to become bold witnesses for Christ in your neighborhoods, schools, and communities. And if you’re able to send us a gift of any amount today, we’ll say thanks by sending you a complimentary copy of Sadie’s newest book,. If you loved her message on today’s program, you’ll love her book as well.
John: And you can donate and get that book at focusonthefamily.com/radio or when you call 800-A-FAMILY.
We hope you have a great weekend with your family and that you can join us again on Monday. We’re gonna be exploring what it takes to raise a healthy, happy child.
Sissy Goff: God gave you exactly what you need already for the life of each of your kids, even the one that’s the most challenging.
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Sadie RobertsonView Bio
Sadie Robertson is a star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty and runner up on season 19 of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. She has also ventured into acting with roles in God’s Not Dead 2 and I'm Not Ashamed. Sadie is a motivational speaker to young people and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestseller, Live Original: How the Duck Commander Teen Keeps it Real and Stays True to Her Values. She's involved in multiple business ventures, including a prom dress line with Sherri Hill, school supplies for DaySpring and a fashion line with Wild Blue Denim that can be found in Rue 21 stores around the country. Keep up with Sadie by visiting her Facebook page.