29 Mar Real Men – Real Repentance (Genesis 12-13)
– Alright, it’s Wednesday night. Who’s excited to be here at Real Men’s night out. Love you guys, good to see you. If you’re one of the new guys you’re surrounded with the best guys, and let’s just be honest. The world has lost whatever was left of its mind. And it’s just nice to get together with some people who think alike, who have the same values, are going the same direction. And that’s why we get together. And we looked at this, we’re in the book of Genesis. We looked at the story of Noah and literally in his day, the whole world was going to hell literally. And he preached and he taught people about God and he loved him. But at the end of the day, he took responsibility, first and foremost for his family. That’s really our heart and the heart of what we’re are doing. The world is getting worse. It’s growing darker. And ultimately it’s not looking that great, but that doesn’t mean that God can’t spare you and your family, those people that you know and love and that you can’t lead them through difficult times. And so that’s why we get together here at Real Men. And for those of you who are with us, we’re glad to have you. For those joining online, we’re honored to have you as well. My name is Mark, one of the pastors here at the church, and I’m here pretty much every week, ’cause you guys are an incredibly high priority and you matter to me, your families matter, your marriages matter, your kids, matter, your grandkids matter, your businesses, your jobs, your legacies matter. We live in a world that likes to beaten men down. We’re gonna build men up. And I don’t care where you started, our hope and prayer and goal is by the end of the night, some good things have happened and there’s some hope for your future. And so the way it works, I tend to teach through books of the Bible. We’re in Genesis right now. And then I do a little leadership lesson for men. And if you don’t know this, if you’re a leader, you’re a man. The question is not, are you a leader? The question is, are you leading well, are you leading poorly? And we want to help you to lead well, and to do that, I wanna look tonight at the case study of a guy named Abraham. He’s one of the most famous people in the history of the world. He’s mentioned over 300 times in the Bible. He’s always denoted as like the father of our faith. And he’s also the prototype, the precedent, the pattern of what it means to be a man who lives by faith. What I love about Genesis, it also shows us that he’s not perfect and he makes a lot of mistakes. And what he’s gonna do as we study today, he’s gonna do something that Christians would call repentance or repenting. And let me start with a bit of a story. So here we are, we’re a Bible believing church, Christian church, and we’re part of something called Protestantism or the history of the Protestant church. It’s really curious how that kind of began. There was a monk named Martin Luther in Germany and he had been studying the Bible and realized that some of the things that the Catholic church was doing weren’t consistent with the Bible. And so he wanted to make a correction. And so he nailed what is known as 95 thesis. This is kinda like his, his 95 issues that needed to be addressed. He nailed them to the door of a church in a town called Wittenberg. My wife and I went there a few years ago to this place. And this was his declaration of these are the things that need to change. And what’s curious, the first line and what was the 95 thesis? And the 95 thesis are now considered by many to kind of be the first shot in the Protestant reformation and revolution. This was the beginning. And the first line in the 95 thesis was this, all of a Christian’s life is one of repentance. That’s that’s where it started. And what Luther was saying is if we’re gonna get anything right, we have to admit the things we’ve done wrong. We can’t just ignore the things we’ve done wrong. We need to own the things we’ve done wrong. And then we can
see them made right. And so what we believe is that nothing changes until people are honest about their faults, their flaws, their failures, their sins, their mistakes and their errors. Now as men do we like to do this? No. How many of you, now don’t raise your hand if you’re here with your dad, but how many of you had a dad grow up? He never said, I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I’m lost. I’m wrong. That was a dumb idea. Now how many of you, your mom said that for him, but he never said that. And how many of you grew up in a home where you’re like dad never owned anything. And when that happens, as the leader, you’re setting a culture that can’t have any hope because it’s not willing to deal with reality. And part of the problem in our culture today, the highest value for the Christian is repentance. I’m wrong. God’s right. I got it wrong, I need God to make it right. I sin. I need God to forgive me and help me. The counterfeit of this in our culture is not repentance. It’s tolerance. You’re not wrong, you’re right. You get to do whatever you wanna do. You don’t need to apologize. You don’t need to say you’re sorry. You just need to be proud of who you are. You don’t need God to change who you are. And so world, the highest value in the world is really tolerance. In the Bible, it’s really repentance. And so as we get into this issue, we’re gonna look at Abraham and we’re gonna see him repent. It’s something that every man needs to learn how to do. And the good news is this. Oftentimes, let me ask you this, as men why do we not own it when we just blow it? Why do we not own it? Why do we not own it?
– [Audience] Pride.
– Pride. I don’t want ’em to know, I’m imperfect. Well, they already know, right? How many of you, you knew your dad was imperfect and he didn’t need to say it ’cause you could see it. Other reasons why men, we don’t just say, oh, I blew it, that was wrong?
– [Audience] Fear.
– Fear. Oh, what are they gonna say? What are they gonna do? What are the consequences gonna be? Am I gonna lose respect in the eyes of my wife, my kids, my employees. Why else?
– [Audience] Shame
– Shame. I blew it, I shouldn’t have done that. I know better, I should do better. And ultimately at the end of the day, if someone is honest, when they blow it, true or false, we respect them more, not less.
– [Audience] True.
– True. I mean, wouldn’t you love one person running for office that just was honest. And like, yeah, that was a dumb idea. You’re like, hey, thanks for saying that. We all knew that, you know, and we can see that. So what we fear as men or what drives us in our pride as men or what pushes us in shame as men is the one thing that would actually cause us to be better leaders. And that is being honest, so that people can trust us. People don’t expect you to be perfect. But
if you’re honest, they can trust that you’ll deal with your imperfections. And so let’s look at Abraham. He blew it. I mean he gave, he tried to give away his wife and some of you are like, oh, that’s not a bad idea. No, it was praying for you brother. So here we go. So he’s the head of the household. So he’s the leader and his decisions and his sin, they affect the whole family. This is the key of being a leader, Genesis 12. Now there was a famine in the land. Crisis hits. They’re in a difficult place. He’s gotta make a decision. Abraham has got a big household.
You’re gonna learn in the next chapter 14, he’s got an army of over 300 men, just his own private army. He’s got cooks. He’s got crew. He’s got staff. He’s got livestock. He’s got gold. He’s got silver. He’s got quite an empire. And now famine hits and there’s a crisis. So Abraham went, what direction? Down. Genesis here is literally telling us not just what’s happening physically, but also what’s happening spiritually. This is a downward spiral. Things are going south. This is going in the wrong direction. Going down to Egypt, to sojourn in there, for the famine was severe in the land. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarah, his wife, he’s gonna, I mean, this, it sounds like date night. And then it takes a real curious pivot. I know that you are a woman beautiful. And you’re so adorable. You’re so, she’s in her mid sixties. She’s supposed to be a very beautiful woman. And he’s telling her you’re amazing. I love your shoes. Great hair, amazing outfit. Her name means princess. She’s high maintenance. She’s a lot of shoes, a lot of purses. Those aren’t her real eyelashes. She goes to the spa. Sarah grew up in Scottsdale. So she’s a high maintenance princess, beautiful woman. And then he says, when the Egyptians
see you, they will say, this is his wife. And they will kill me and they’ll take you. And so his answer is, say you are my sister. That it may go well with me. Well, it’s like, honey. One of us is gonna really suffer and be praying for you. I mean, he just he’s, he’s not very courageous and he’s not very chivalrous. Because of you, and then my life might be spared for your sake. Is this, how many of you, if this was your daughter, you’d be pretty ticked. God pulls a gun and you put your wife in the middle. Like, hey honey, somebody’s gonna get hurt, bad day to be you. But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with the COVID. So they got the COVID at Pharaoh’s house. They got the plague. God’s gonna keep from the consummation of the marriage. So question here, let’s just revisit. What are the mistakes? Error, sins, foolish, bad, stupid decisions that Abraham is making as the leader of his household. Just name it, what are they? What’s that? He’s lying. He’s not trusting God. He doesn’t even stop and pray. Hey God, what do you want me to? He doesn’t even ask. So he doesn’t ask. He doesn’t seek God. He lies. What else does he do?
– [Audience] Cowardice. He’s a total coward. And if you don’t see that, the guys around your table need to have a conversation with you. Anytime you’re with your wife, you’re like, it’s dangerous. Go get ’em babe. I mean, it’s just, that’s a bad idea. That’s a really, and you’re like, oh, I believe in equality. No, you’re just a coward. You’re just a coward. What else did he do that was just bad leadership. Bad decision.
– [Audience] No responsibility.
– Doesn’t take responsibility. He’s like, oh, this could be bad. I’ll just let it play itself out. Anything else? Somebody wants to get political, okay so. Anyways, we could just admit he failed. Now, if
you look at this as a father, okay. If you look at this as a father, it looks different than a husband. Some of you got the husband lens on you’re like, I don’t know, you know, maybe it was not that bad. ‘Cause maybe you’re like, hey, you know, maybe his wife was driving him crazy and you know, they were living in tents and maybe she wanted to live in indoors. If you look at this with sort of the husband hat on, now put the other hat on, the dad hat. This is your daughter. Doesn’t it get clearer. Thanksgiving Abraham comes over. Where’s my daughter? Oh, she joined a harem of a cult in another or country. But the good news is I’m fine, you know? Well, you were fine. We’re gonna fix that right now. So, let me ask you, so Abraham has made some bad decisions. He shouldn’t have gone to Egypt. He shouldn’t have lied. He shouldn’t have ignored God. He shouldn’t have tried to give away his wife. Now, if he doesn’t repent, change his mind, changes his direction, change his decision, what are some options that a man can do when he decides, you know what? I’m just gonna stick with it. Let’s be honest. And I’m not talking about you guys, ’cause you guys are filled with the spirit. You’ve never done this. I was saying, what have you observed in buddies of yours who make bad decisions and then continue with them?
– [Audience] Double down.
– Double down. No, no, no. I’m the leader. I’m the head of household. God spoke to me. I’m in the Bible. My name is Abraham. I make the decisions. Let me tell you what the art chart is. Some of you grew up in those households, your dad’s like, I birthed you, I fed you. This is my house. You’re like, oh gosh, okay. All that means is you’re wrong and loud. So he could double down. What else could he do?
– [Audience] Make excuses.
– He could make a lot of excuses. Oh now wait a minute. There was a famine. We were starving. It was a hard time. I was under a lot of pressure. You know, I had a series of bad options. He could make a ton of excuses. What else could he do? He could blame somebody else. He’d be like, well, you know what? This woman, I mean, she’s been difficult to live with. And you know what? She went along with it. She didn’t fight me on this. I mean, if she had a problem, she could have said something. If God didn’t want me to go to Egypt, he could have stopped when I was on the way to Egypt and said, hey son, don’t go into Egypt. God didn’t say anything. Sarah didn’t say anything, you know what? He could blame shift to Sarah and Abraham, Sarah and God rather Abraham could, what else could he do if he didn’t change his course, but he wanted stick with?
– [Audience] Continue to panic.
– He could just have an anxiety attack. He could have a total freak out. You have the fight flight fright kind of response. He could just get stressed. He could anxious. I mean he could, he could, self-medicate like Noah, get drunk, pass out naked in his tent. He could have a panic attack. He could just literally meltdown in the moment. ‘Cause he’s got a series of bad decisions. He could minimize the issue. Oh it’s not that big of a deal. You’re freaking out. Or he could create a
diversionary crisis to change the subject. This is what politicians do by the way. Every time there’s a problem, they create another problem, look over there. Sometimes men do this. Sometimes men will do something that is a problem. And they’re, you know, people are looking at them, wife, kids, coworkers. They’re like, well I’ll create another problem. Look over there. So there are some things that Abraham could have done. Would any of them made the situation better? Not at all. He’s not gonna get closer to God. He’s not have a relationship with his wife and he’s not gonna have the trust of the other men around him. They’re not gonna be able to trust him. ‘Cause let’s say you’re following someone and they make a series of bad decisions. And it’s obvious that they’re bad decisions and they keep going, do you wanna follow them? No way. You’re like, no you’re taking us in harm’s way. So what’s at risk here is his entire credibility as a man and as a leader. So thankfully what Abraham does, he repents and repentance is this. It’s literally a change of mind. It’s okay, God, I’m wrong. You’re right. It’s a change of heart. Like, okay, I, this doesn’t feel right. And it’s a change of direction in life. It’s like, things are gonna change. This is not right. I can’t keep going in this direction. Okay, so we’re gonna read this of Abraham Genesis 13 once. So Abraham went where? Up. Previously he went down. This is literally turning around, right? There are times in your life where you’re going in the wrong direction. And it’s as long as you’re alive, it’s not too late to turn around. It’s not too late. This is the alcoholic who’s walking into the bar and is like, I gotta get outta here. He walks out. This is the guy who’s got the attractive woman at his work that he’s really interested in. And he’s walking over to her desk and he’s like, ah, I gotta, I gotta, I can’t. I gotta go the other direction. This is literally like the direction I’m going, it’s gonna end in a lot of trouble. I gotta turn around. I gotta do something else. And he goes up, now he’s going back toward the Lord. He is going up from Egypt. He and his wife and all that he had. What he’s doing here, he’s leading. Now think about this for a moment. Abraham has a massive empire. He has land. He has livestock. We learned previously, he’s got silver, he’s got gold. He’s got farms. He’s got flocks. He’s got livestock. He’s got hundreds. Maybe thousands of people who work with him for him, it’s a massive empire. It’s so big. Like I told you, he’s got over 300 trained mercenaries in his privately funded army to defend all that he has. Can you imagine what a massive undertaking it was to move to another country? How many of you moved here from another state? And it was a situation, right? And you, and you had a truck, not a camel, right? And you had your wife and kids. You didn’t have hundreds and thousands of people and you got to leave your money in the bank. You didn’t need to carry the gold and hope nobody comes for it. So this is a massive endeavor. And what he does, he literally moves his entire household, his business, all of his operations from one nation to another. As soon as he gets there, he calls a meeting. And what does he say? I was wrong. We’re going back. How many of you have worked for this guy? How many of you have worked for this guy? He put a lot of work on you and it was all a bad idea. And then you gotta go back and you gotta redo all the work. This is like, the architect gives you the wrong plans. You build the whole house. He comes, he says, we gotta tear the whole thing down. I gave you the wrong plans. We gotta rebuild the house. What the heck? So literally they’re gonna have to work incredibly hard to go right back to where they started. So Abraham here is a leader and you need to see that this is a leadership decision and that is, am I going to own my failure? And then will the people trust me enough to follow me? Or will I continue in a direction that we all know is a bad idea. How often do we find ourselves in this position as men?
All the time. Just so you know, men live here, you lead at work, you lead at home, you lead in ministry, wherever you lead. We all arrive at this point. Do I keep going or do I do something different? If I do something different, it’s going to be very expensive and it’s going to take a lot of work. But if I keep going, it’s not going to get better. It’s going to get worse. So then we read Genesis. So Abraham moved his tent and came and settled by the Oaks of Mamre. It was an ancient historical side, which are at Hebron, and there he built what an altar to the Lord. What is he doing? He’s worshiping God. He’s doing so in front of his household, all his employees see him praying, worshiping. This is like planting a church and hundreds of people are involved. Abraham here is like the pastor for his company and his household and his extended family. And so what he does, he repents. He turns around and he worships God. They’re seeing him. Probably doesn’t tell us, but they’re probably seeing him in some position like this, you know what This is? Humility. This is Abraham saying, I’m in authority over you, but I’m under God’s authority. You know what? I didn’t ask the Lord what he wanted. And I created a lot of mistakes. So from now on, you guys need to know like I’m gonna be praying and listening and seeking God. And I don’t, I’m not gonna just make decisions by sight. I’m gonna make them by faith. And what he’s doing here, he is modeling repentance. He doesn’t just stand up and say, I’m the boss. What he says is he’s the boss and he’s worshiping God. So let me talk about a little bit about what repentance is. Repentance deals with your stuff, not theirs, okay? In our culture, we like to talk about everybody else’s stuff, but not our own. Right now, you know, social media exists in large part to criticize what other people do. Very rarely does someone get on social media and criticize themselves. We like to talk about everybody else’s failure and how they need to own it. We don’t talk about our own. Repentance is not about their stuff, it’s about your stuff. Okay? And this is where we shoot the messenger and we blame shift. If we do something wrong and somebody points it up, points it out to us, we then shift the conversation to them. Oh, well, you’re not perfect. Let me tell you what you did. Blame shifting, changing the subject, shooting the messenger. There’s a story of this in the New Testament. Jesus tells a story. Two guys come into the temple to confess sin. One guy. He knows he’s blown it. He’s so sure that he’s blown it. He can’t even look up. He’s just, he’s just devastated by all the bad decisions he’s made. And some of you guys you’re like that guy, you come in here, we know who you are, ’cause you won’t make eye contact. You’re those guys. You’re like, oh gosh, hey, tell me your story. They’re like, I’d rather not. It’s not good. I just, yeah, it’s not good. Like I just got outta rehab. I got a kid, but not a wife and not a job. Like it’s a, there’s, it’s a, it’s not a good story. Some guys walk in and life has so obviously overtaken them that they can’t even make eye contact. And they’re just kind of looking at the ground like, oh geez, how did I get here? And, and that’s this guy and he just looks down and he just broken. He just says, God have mercy on me. I’m a sinner. He’s like, I, I’m not, I’m not gonna blame anybody. I’m not gonna change this. To quote that great theologian, Chris Stapleton. I got nobody to blame, but me, he’s just there. Okay. The other guy, he’s the religious guy and he looks up so he can look down on everyone else. And what he does is he prays. But his prayer is boastful. What he says is thank you, God, that I’m not like that guy, which was probably rough for that guy to hear. And what he’s doing is he’s repenting, but not of his sin. He’s repenting of someone. else’s sin. Many men do this all the time. Tell our wife, hey, this is what you need to work on. Son is what you need to work on. Daughter, that’s what you need to work on. Employee, that’s what you need to work on. Well,
what about you? I’m the boss. Okay. That’s telling everyone else to repent, but not modeling repentance. Leadership is not just telling them what to do, but modeling for them on how to do
it. So let me ask you this, in this story of these two guys, this guy doesn’t think he’s got any sin. What is his sin? It’s pride. And pride is the worst sin of all. Pride is the sin that got Satan kicked out of heaven. Jesus comes down in humility and he doesn’t us to rise up with pride. So ultimately repentance is about your stuff, not their stuff. And it’s not that you can never talk about their stuff, but first you need to talk about your stuff. So if you get an argument with your wife, hypothetically, I know it doesn’t happen, but on the off chance it does. Before you tell her what she needs to change, you need to own what? Okay honey, let me start with me. This was wrong. This was wrong. This was wrong. And usually she’ll minister to you by adding some things you’ve missed. See, thank you for your ministry. And now I’d like to talk about you, but first I need to talk about me. Number two, repentance is about doing what is right and not controlling the outcome. Oftentimes the reason a man doesn’t just own it. He’s not sure he is gonna get the results that he wants. Right? Well, if I tell him what I did that might negatively impact me and I’m not sure I can control the outcome or I will like the outcome therefore. And the goal is this. The goal is not to control the outcome. The goal is to do what’s right. That’s the goal. And sometimes we think, well, if I tell ’em I was wrong, then you know, then what if they don’t like me? What if they don’t respect me? What if they don’t appreciate me? The answer is, ultimately you need to do what God says is right and then let God deal with them. And often, and some of you guys are high control guys. Okay? Some of you guys are high control, meaning you like to determine the outcome and the results. And if you don’t get the outcome of the results you want, you’re willing to manipulate the variables to get the outcome of results that you want. You’re high control guys. And ultimately repenting is saying, I am going to own what I have said or done that is wrong. And just so you know, for men, there are two ways that we sin. We looked at this with a Adam, there are sins of commission, where we say or do a wrong thing. There are sins of omission where we don’t say or do the right thing. So ultimately here Adam was passive. So his was sin of omission. He just sat there while Satan wrecked his marriage and his family and went after his wife. Here, Abraham has sins of commission and omission. His sin is, he goes south. He goes to Egypt. He doesn’t trust God. He lies. But his sins of omission include when the Pharaoh takes his wife and he sees his wife going into another dude’s house, what does he do? Nothing. That was a sin of omission. At that point, it should have awakened in him that husbandly instinct like, wait a minute, my wife’s going to have a honeymoon night with another guy. This is where I need to say or do something. You and I, as men we often sin through omission and we also sin through commission. And at the end of the day, the reason that we don’t like to own it, fully confess it, is because we’re not sure that the outcome will be what we want. And the goal is this. Not to get the outcome you want, but to become the man that God wants you to become. The third thing regarding repentance, repentance brings the whole truth into the light. Sometimes what people do, will partially confess. So it’s so bad. Like they know we blew it you can’t really ignore it. It’s like, it’s so obvious now, like everybody knows. Now I don’t want to tell ’em everything, ’cause it’s actually worse than they think. So what I’ll do, I’ll tell ’em a little bit and hopefully that satisfies them and we change the subject and we move on and I can kind of keep the rest in the dark. True false? This happens.
– [Audience] Oh yeah.
– How many of you are an employer? You see this all the time with your employees. How many of you are a parent? You see this all the time with your kids. Well, God sees this with his sons and it’s bringing it all out into the light. It’s saying, you know what? Okay, here it is. I’m not gonna keep part of it in the dark and part of it in the light, I’m gonna put it in the light. Here’s really what I did. Here’s where we’re at. This is the facts. Like I was dealing, I was dealing some years ago with a couple and the wife knew that, well, the husband ran the finances, for example. So she didn’t really know where they were, but she knew it wasn’t good. And I told him, you gotta repent to your wife. Like you gotta come clean. You gotta just be honest. He’s like, uh uh uh. You gotta tell her. So she’s like, okay, well I know we got the house. I know we got the car. I know we got the credit card. And he is like, yeah, I got some other credit cards too. She’s like, well how much is it? It wouldn’t have been good for him to partially confess a percentage. He needed to just be honest and get it all on the table, so that they could deal with reality as a couple. Additionally, repentance is about feeling bad and doing good. Worldly sorrow is something that Paul talks about to the Corinthians. Worldly sorrow is I feel bad, but I don’t do good. And people who feel bad, but don’t do good. They’re confusing because when they do wrong, you talk to ’em about it. What’s their response? Oh, I feel terrible. I’m so sorry. I’m sure that really hurt you. I’m sure that was difficult. Gosh, that was really wrong of me. Are you gonna keep doing it? Yeah. Yeah,
yeah. I mean, I feel bad, but not bad enough to stop doing it. So repentance is, not how many of you have been tricked by someone like that? You’re like, man, they really feel bad, but then they keep doing it. Like, wait a minute. I thought, I thought you felt bad. I do, but I don’t feel bad enough to change. And so repentance is feeling bad. It’s feeling God’s heart toward what we’ve done. And then it’s doing good. It’s changing it. It’s doing something different. Repentance is also coming clean before you get caught. And oftentimes what we do is we have sin. We’re like, you know what? I just hope I don’t get caught. Well, usually the longer you wait, what? Worse it gets. So it’s better to come clean now out and get help rather than get caught later when it gets bigger. And this is where men struggle a lot with secret sins. This is porn, alcohol, gambling, anger, whatever sort of those comfort sins are, those are the ones that tend to get men. And the goal is this, not to just manage it, but ultimately to end it. And so that’s the next point. Repentance is putting to death, what Jesus died for. See the opposite of repentance is either tolerance. It’s okay. Our management, I’m only gonna do it in part. Repentance is it was such a big deal, whatever that thing we did was, it was such a big deal that Jesus died for it. And if Jesus died for it, then we need to do what to it. We need to kill it. So if it is a habitual sin, it’s an addiction. It’s a problem. It’s a pattern. The issue is, well, if Jesus died for it, then I need to put that thing to death. And lastly, repentance is about turning around and heading north. So the whole story of Abraham, he’s literally going south. And when you are the leader, you’re the head of household and you’re going south, who’s going south, everyone with you. Like if you’re going north, they’re gonna go with you, your wife, your kids, your employees, your friends, your coworkers, your buddies. If you’re going north, they’re going with you. If you’re going south, they’re going with you. And so as leaders, we’ve gotta really take this to heart. And so repentance is, you know what? I was going south. I’m turning around and I’m heading north. And so I’ll give you guys a little bit of a story. There’s a guy, pastor Jimmy Evans. He’s one of my
pastors and overseers. And I really love and think the world of pastor Jimmy. I was doing a marriage event with him around Valentine’s Day in Texas. And he used an analogy that I thought was really good. He said, you know, he said that it’s like a canoe, right? And let’s say, you’re the leader. The question is who’s in your canoe. Are you married? Your wife’s in your canoe. You
got kids? They’re in your canoe. You got grandkids? They’re in your canoe. You got employees? They’re in your canoe. You’re mentoring other men doing ministry leading, they’re in your canoes. The question is like, who’s in your canoe? And then the question is, what direction is your canoe going? Is it going south? Or is it going north? And what happens is when we’re going south, we’re literally rowing against God. We’re going against, we’re rowing against God. It’s it’s like rowing your canoe upstream. It’s exhausting. It’s frustrating. Very rarely can you keep it on a true course? And you don’t make any progress. And if you make a little progress, as soon as you stop exerting all of your energy, what happens? You just go back to where you started and what pastor Jimmy said. And I thought was a great little analogy. What he says is repentance is turning your canoe around and going downstream. It’s saying, God, what do you want? God, what do you say? God, what do you bless. God, what direction do you want me to go? That’s all it is. And then what happens is once you and repentance is literally turning your canoe around and going downstream in the will of God, guess what happens? It’s a lot easier. Guess what? It’s not nearly as exhausting. Guess what? It’s not nearly as complicated or dangerous. And guess what? You make a lot more progress a lot more quickly because God is blessing you in helping you. And this is one of the big themes in Genesis, blessing and cursing. They appear around 80 times in Genesis. It’s one of the mega themes of Genesis. It’s a theme, blessing and cursing is that appears in Genesis more than any other book of the Bible. And the point is this, if your canoe is going south, you’re cursed. God’s not gonna help you with that. If you’re going north, then you’re blessed. You’re gonna roll with the current and God’s gonna bless that. And he’s gonna accelerate that. And let me just say this for some of you man, who have things in your life that you’re like, I don’t want to deal with that. I don’t want to change that. I don’t want to own that. Let me say this. There are guys all around this room and you’re gonna talk with one another and pray for one another in a moment. And what they would tell you is
this, as soon as they turn their canoe around, God was really gracious to them. God was very, God blessed them. There are men in this room that were addicts and now they’re business owners and it’s only been a couple years. There are men in this room who were on the brink of divorce. And now they’re happily married. There are men in this room that their children wanted nothing to do with them. And now they have a good relationship or a growing relationship with their kids. There were guys in this room a couple years ago, couldn’t even get a job or make ends meet. And now they’re in a season of prosperity. And if you ask them, well, what did you do? Actually, I just turned my canoe around. It wasn’t working. So I met with the Lord and I owned it and then I worshiped him and I turned my canoe around. And this is the heart of why we’re here as men. And want you to see this with Abraham. He’s the dominant character from Genesis 11 to 25. He is one of the dominant characters in all of scripture and world history. He is one of the most significant men who has ever lived and guess what made him great? Guess what made him great? He repented, when he was wrong, he owned it and he worshiped God and he turned his canoe around. So we’re gonna spend some time around tables. Here’s just a couple of questions and I’ll pray for you. Is anything in your life going south and needing to head
north? Meaning, you know, what direction is your canoe going? And then how can we pray for you, for you guys that are around the tables. And you’re like, you know what? I’ve made some mistakes. I’ve really blown it. My life could be a statistic, but God was gracious to me and turned my canoe around. We would encourage you guys to be honest, to encourage those other guys, to do the same thing, father, thanks for an opportunity to teach. And God I can sense the guys are wrestling a little bit it in their heart and their mind to their soul and God we’re we’re sinners. And that can either discourage us or can free us. You know what? I’m not perfect. I need help, I make mistakes. I blow it. And just because I belong to God, doesn’t mean I’m always doing what God says. And so God, I pray that these men would be able to lead in their homes and in their businesses and in their spheres of influence with repentance. And God, I just know when a dad looks at his kids and says, I’m sorry, that was wrong and that was my fault. That’s healing. When a guy looks at his wife and says, I shouldn’t have said that I shouldn’t have done that, babe. I don’t have any excuse. I was wrong. I’m sorry. It was so bad, Jesus died for it. So, help help me to put it to death, sweetheart. God, as leaders, as men, we can set a culture in our spheres of influence, starting in our home. May it be a culture of humility and not pride, may it be owning our stuff, rather than just picking at one another about their stuff. And God, would we be the kind of men that women and children and people who are having a bad day or struggle or made a bad decision would say, I wanna go talk to him. He’s honest, he’s honest about his own junk. And if I talk to him about my junk, I can be honest and he’ll help me. And so God, we want to create an environment, an atmosphere around us of humility, of grace, of progress, of growth, of integrity. And just thank you, Lord Jesus, that we can repent. That we don’t need to beat ourselves up. You already were beaten for us. We don’t need to kill each other. You already died for us. So Jesus, thank you that you took the beating so that we could get the blessing of repentance. And we just asked for the grace to be honest, and to help others to do the same in Jesus’ good name. Love you guys. Thanks for letting me teach.