Monday, April 27, 2009

Men: Heart-Guardians of the Family

The following are the notes from my teaching at Conway Celebration Church's 2009 Marriage/Family Conference:

Text: Genesis 19. Lot’s story has much to teach about the job of men to walk in personal holiness and to protect their families from treasuring anything but Christ.

I. Progressive Sin. Lot’s backsliding:
Ø Moved tent as far as Sodom (Gen 13:12)
Ø Dwelling in Sodom (Gen 14:12)
Ø Sitting in the gate in Sodom (Gen 19:1)
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners,nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2

II. Men Affected. Lot is described as a righteous man, who does show some good works as proof. But his life is clouded with a lack of wisdom and good judgment that affect him negatively. He wasn’t affecting the culture; the culture had affected him and, therefore, his family.
...and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
2 Pet 2:7-10
A. Righteous. Lot showed hospitality (just as Abraham did in Gen 18) to the strangers,
and even attempted to protect his guests from the lust-crazed mob.
B. Affected By Personal Sin. Lot’s actions reveal dulled senses and lack of spiritual
wisdom:
  • Offered his 2 daughters to the violent, perverted mob (v8). (ESV Study Bible footnotes call this “a shocking, cowardly, and inexcusable act [even if he intended this only as a bluff, or expected the offer to be rejected]”)
  • His future sons-in-law didn’t take his warnings seriously, showing a general lack of respect for him (14). Do we joke around too much, as fools, to the point that we aren’t taken seriously or respected as men of God? God has not called us to be fools, or “Homer Simpson Dads,” fulfilling the world’s stereotype of men – lazy, foolish and unworthy of respect.
  • When told to take his wife & daughters out of harm’s way he “lingered,” showing his love for the worldly environment and a general disregard for his family’s physical and spiritual well-being (15-16). Amazing! We see the error in Lot easily; what about us? Do we linger with the things of God to the spiritual ruin of our families?

III. Families Affected. A man’s sins don’t just affect him, but negatively affect those around him (especially his family).

  • Future sons-in-law stayed behind and were killed.
  • His wife looked back and was killed; she started the escape but did not have the grace to finish. Lot had led his wife to this ungodly place and had not prevented her from falling in love with it. He had not stood guard over her affections, directing them to the Lord.
  • His daughters escaped to safety, but revealed ungodly practices in the cave, and a lack of trust in God for their future.

Other examples of men’s sins affecting others: Adam, Eli & his sons (1 Sam 3:11-14).

IV. Sovereign Mercy of God. V16, vs21-22. 2 Pet 2 – “the Lord knows…”
We praise God for this care! But our goal should not be to escape by the skin of our teeth into heaven; lingering and losing loved ones along the way.

V. Men Protecting Their Families.
A. Wives. Husbands washing wives with water of the word. (What Adam failed to do)

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Eph 5:25-27

B. Children. Children are arrows to be aimed. A warrior skillfully aims his arrows;
To aim is to set the direction:
“to position or direct (a firearm, ball, arrow, rocket, etc.) so that, on firing or release, the discharged projectile will hit a target or travel along a certain path.
2. to intend or direct for a particular effect or purpose” (dictionary.com)

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Ps 127:3-5
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Eph 6:4
For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. 1 Thess 2:11-12
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deut 6:6-9
The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. Prov 29:15

C. Protect From What? Men must protect their families from treasuring the world system; protection from Idols and Ideas! Discern what is shaping their minds and affections. Protect, shape, cover; don’t leave exposed!
· For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ 2 Cor 10:3-5
· Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect Rom 12:2

D. What Will Result if We Fail to Protect? What will we treasure if we don’t treasure
Christ? The world system: pleasures, riches (Babylon – Rev 18 & 19).
· For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matt 6:21
· For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Matt 12:34
Men need to be heart-guardians, not legalism producers! Morality is not the goal; Treasuring Christ is the goal.
· Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

E. Treasuring Christ! Raise up hearts that delight in God and his glory.
· And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matt 22:37
· Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts. Jer 15:16
· Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26
· And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. Col 1:18
· So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God 1 Cor 10:31

1. We must MODEL this before our families, confessing when we make idols; show
our families hearts after God.
2. We must realize that this is an impossible task apart from God’s grace. He alone
can give our family members (and ourselves) new hearts that treasure him alone.

2 comments:

luke said...

Best message on men I've ever heard in my whole entire adult life (I heard some good ones when I was a kid... errr).

Seriously, I was really blessed by this message. My wife, Dawn, was too!

CCC is the place to be! (when in the state of no teeth)

cary said...

thanks for the encouraging words bro!