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Begging for a Blessing

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
April 25, 2021 8:00 am

Begging for a Blessing

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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They abandon their families, abandon their children, because they are abandoning the blessing. Dr. Tony Evans tells men who fail to pass on a spiritual heritage to their children that it's not too late.

I don't care how long you've been defeated as a man. Jesus Christ is standing over you today saying, Get up, because Jesus loves you. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans. Author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. Blessings come from God, but not just from God. Today, Dr. Evans will touch on the importance of the blessings we pass on and what to do if they were never passed on to us.

Let's turn to Genesis chapter 25 as we join him. Fatherlessness dominates our cultural landscape today. 40% of all children in our country are raised without their biological father.

In the African-American community, 72% of children born are born to single parents. Whether you're looking at crime statistics or dropout statistics or teenage pregnancy statistics or poverty statistics, over and over and over again, the dominating reality of fatherlessness overwhelms us. Now fatherlessness comes in many shapes and many forms. Some are fatherless because they've been abandoned by their father. Their father sired a child that they were not willing to take responsibility for. Other forms of fatherlessness is that the father may be there, but he might as well not be there because he's not accepted the responsibility of fatherhood. And so what we have developed is a generation of young people, children, who are growing up in a fatherless environment, and so they go seeking pseudo-fatherhood, things that look like it could be a father for me, whether it's a gang or whether it's their posse or their homies or whether some other influence that's not in their best interest. Fatherlessness has become the daunting, overwhelming, painful reality of our culture that is fraying us.

When God created man, before he gave him a wife and gave him children, he gave him the responsibility to act on his behalf. But now we have men who are simply satisfied to say, I'm not happy. Let me take a moment to talk about happy. I'm not against happy. I'm for happy. You should want to be happy.

There's no benefit to being miserable. On the other hand, happy is not your first order of business. Your first order of business is to be responsible, whether or not you're happy, because the measure of a man is his acceptance of responsibility under God as he seeks to be happy.

But what we are having today are men, because they are no longer happy, abandoning responsibility. And so we are finding ourselves enveloped in a cursed environment because of the crisis of fatherlessness. In our passage today, we have a son begging for the blessing of his father. Esau is begging for a blessing. You must strip your mind about the casual use of the word bless. We say, you know, God bless you. I bless you.

We use the word fairly casually today many times. But when Esau was asking daddy to bless him, he wasn't just saying, daddy say, I bless you. No, the blessing was speaking about something else. It was speaking about the continuity of the covenant.

A symbol for the word blessing was covenantal continuity. Let me explain what I mean. It is my hope that every head of a household here has a will. If you do not have a will, you're not operating responsibly. A will simply says, this is what I want to happen with what I've been entrusted with to pass on to the next generation. Not having a will is not going to keep you from dying. Many people say, well, I don't like to deal with wills because it reminds me of death.

Well, you need to be reminded. A will speaks of an inheritance, usually related to stuff. In fact, folk gather when wills are read, with their fingers crossed, hoping that there's a little something something in there for them.

Or more importantly, a whole lot of something something in there for them. In our story, Jacob, the younger, wants the blessing. So he concocts a plan with his mother, Rebecca, to steal the blessing from the older son, Esau. And so while Esau went out to hunt to get food in order to bring it back to his father for him to get the blessing, Rebecca told Jacob, look, what you do is you go get me a goat.

I'll cook the meal. You go put on your brother's clothes because your father can't see. It says his eyes were dim.

He won't be able to see. You go in there with your brother's clothes and you bring the meal that your brother's supposed to bring and let him bless you. So Jacob does that. He goes gets the goat.

The mother cooks the goat. He goes puts on his brother's clothes. He walks in. His father, Isaac, says, who's that? Who's that?

Who's that? And Jacob says, no, it's me. It's Esau, your oldest son. He says, I have your food. He says, come close to me. He says, now you feel like Esau, but you sound like Jacob. It says in verse 23, he did not recognize him. And so he blesses him.

I'll talk about that in a moment. All I want you to get now is how critical the blessing was. He was willing to join partners with his mama against his daddy in order to get it, because this thing involved his future. And this raises the question, because obviously Jacob is wrong and Rebecca is wrong, because they're tricking Isaac. Yet, throughout the Bible, God praises Jacob and not Esau, even though Jacob is doing the wrong thing.

The question is why? Well, you need chapter 25 to answer that. If you go back a page to chapter 25, verse 27, when the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field.

He's the athlete. Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. Now, Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for game, because he's the athlete, and Rebecca loved Jacob. When Jacob had cooked stew, because he's hanging with mama, so when he had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and was famished, starving. So Esau says to Jacob, verse 30, please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished. Verse 31, Jacob says, first sell me your birthright. Sell me the rights of the firstborn, and I give you some need. Esau said, behold, I'm about to die.

I'm so hungry. So of what use is a birthright to me if I'mma starve to death? And Jacob said, first swear to me that you'll give me your birthright, the rights of the firstborn. So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went on his way.

Here it is. Thus Esau despised his birthright. Esau thought so little of his birthright, he was willing to give it up for some food. As far as Esau was concerned, stay with me, there was no connection between my birthright and my blessing.

My birthright is over here and my blessing is over there. But when you read Hebrews chapter 12, verses 16 and 17, it says don't be like the immoral, godless Esau who sold his birthright for food. The problem with Esau is he was only present-oriented. He only wanted what he wanted now because he wasn't thinking about the future later.

One of the problems we have among men is they're present-oriented. I'm not happy now. I don't want the responsibility now. It's all about now.

It's not all about now. It is about you passing forward the blessing that is the divine statement of God from you to you and through you because you are future-oriented. He gets tricked, but God doesn't interfere with it because he didn't value his birthright. Now you may say, I don't have a birthright.

Oh yeah, you do. If you've accepted Jesus Christ, you've been born again. You possess a birthright. There are rights and privileges that come with your new birth, but those rights and privileges incur responsibility. And sometimes you'll be happy and sometimes you won't be happy, but that's what that's got to do. Sometimes you want to work and sometimes you don't want to work.

You better get up if you want to eat. In other words, responsibility has to function whether or not happiness is part of the equation, although there's nothing wrong with being happy. But that means you must be future-oriented if you're going to pass on the blessing. So what does that blessing include? We'll find out when Dr. Evans returns to continue our message in just a moment.

Stay with us. Nearly a decade ago, Dr. Evans released his instant bestseller, Kingdom Man. And today we're excited to announce his long-awaited follow-up book, Kingdom and Rising, filled with authentic stories of struggle and heartfelt personal loss. Tony takes us to God's Word to show men how to clear all obstacles in the journey that leads to living a life of influence and impact.

Replace hopelessness, boredom, and regret with power, significance, and influence. Get Kingdom and Rising for yourself or for someone you love. Make the great gift for husbands, sons, fathers, cousins, pastors, athletes, coaches, and more. Grab yours at TonyEvans.org or at your nearest bookstore or online retailer. Men, it's time to rise up and claim your culture for Christ.

The future of our families and our society depends on men stepping up to their God-given responsibility as leaders. And that's why we want you to have a copy of Kingdom Men Rising as our gift. Just visit TonyEvans.org before the end of the week, make a contribution toward Tony's ministry, and we'll say thanks by sending the book your way along with all 12 full-length audio lessons in his current series, Kingdom Men Rising. And if you're interested in digging even deeper or to help you share this material with your family or small group, be sure to check out the companion Kingdom Men Rising Bible study. Again, that's TonyEvans.org. Or call 1-800-800-3222, where resource team members are standing by around the clock.

I'll have that information for you again after part two of today's lesson. Here's Tony. And so we have Esau begging for a blessing. I mean, he's saying, please, Daddy, there are men here today. How many men here today were raised by single parents? You were raised by a single mother. You were raised by a single mother, numbers of you.

And that's becoming more and more common in our culture. And praise God for the great job that so many of our single women do. But all a mother can be is the best mother she can be.

She was never meant to have dual roles when there should be a man in the picture. He says, Father, bless me, because that's what the Father is supposed to do. He's supposed to pass it on. And the next generation should feel God all over them.

If you've got kids in your house. Father, bless me. Not Mama, bless me. Father, bless me.

So that I become the boy, I become the person that I was meant to be. Pass on God to me and all the stuff that goes with that, but pass that on to me. Now, what did the blessing include? In chapter 27, we're told, first of all, his father kissed him, verse 26. Please come close and kiss me, because the blessing included an intimate touch. He says, here's the blessing, my son, verse 28 and 29. May God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of earth, of the abundance of grain and wine. May people serve you and nations bow down to you. May you be master of your brethren and may your mother's sons bow down to you.

Cursed is he who curses you and blessed are those who bless you. God reached all the way back to the Abrahamic covenant. Abraham passed it on to Isaac. Isaac is now passing it on to Jacob, where it should have been passed on to Ethar, who turned away his birthright.

You know what the covenant was? You know what the blessing was? Divine favor moving forward. Divine favor moving forward. The blessing was future inheritance from God.

Please notice the language. May God do this, may God do that, may God do that, may God do that. See, that's where the blessing is missing. We're just saying, I want you to do this and I want you to do that. Oh, you want to be a doctor, you want to be a lawyer, you want to be an engineer, you want to be a teacher.

Nothing wrong with that. But the blessing was what God would do. I want God to do this, I want God to do that, I want God to do the other. It was about God, God, God, God, God.

Not just what I want for you or what you want for you, but what God wants for you. That was the blessing, because it would happen because of God. You look at the amount of focus we give to our kids for athletics as fathers and men. I mean, we're not too tired to take them to practice. We're going to get them to practice. We're going to cheer when they throw the pass, catch the ball, make the tackle, or hit the home run. We're going to cheer. And then when they mess up, they go, oh, that's okay, that's okay.

Come on, you get back up there, get back up there. I mean, we champion the cards for athletics, even at our inconvenience. Even though we tired, we didn't work all day, we're going to make sure they play ball. We're going to make sure they play ball because that's making them, you know, that's making them a man. But when it comes to blessing them spiritually, we're nowhere to be found.

We're like the abominable snowman, footprints everywhere, but we just can't find them. At the heart of the blessing was passing on divine favor. Notice the content of the favor. The content of the favor is that God is going to set things up for you, God is going to go in front of you, and when He does that, you will be master, He says.

People will serve you. I share with our men's fellowship why I love being a man. I simply wake up in the morning excited to be a man, okay? And I hope you ladies are excited to be a lady, but I ain't talking to y'all now.

I am, I wake up in the morning just, just, yes, I get to be a man another day. Now let me tell you why I love being a man. I love being a man because I get to name things. See, before there was a woman, and before there was children, God told Adam to name things. He says, God brought the animals to Adam, and whatever He named them, that was its name. God didn't name them, God brought them, which is what's wrong with prosperity theology, because that tells you to name things God didn't bring.

So that's not what I'm talking about. But God brought the animals, and He named them. He called the elephants, and the dogs, and the cats, and the anteaters, and He named them, and whatever He named them, that was His name. He even named His woman. Because God brought Eve, and He said, she shall be called. So He was naming things.

That's why you should be proud, ladies, to carry your husband's name, because he's supposed to name you. So when a man is operating under the blessing, and under the covenant, and under the rule of God, he gets to name things and master things within the sphere of his calling, not anything, within the sphere of what God brings. But God has to bring it. And when you bless the next generation, you're giving God permission to bring it for their good. And so they wanted, He wanted the blessing.

It was a declaration of divine favor, of divine provision, of divine protection, and of divine dominion. Whenever you see a caterpillar, it's got a glorious future. Now I know what you're looking at right now ain't much. When that thing cocoons, it's gonna be pretty, and it's gonna take flight. We got a generation of children who don't take flight. They're still crawling, because they've never been blessed. They've never had the blessing stand over them, to affirm them, and to speak God into them, not just stuff for them, but God into them who will bring them the appropriate stuff. Your will must be more than stuff.

My will must be more than stuff. It must be God and the transfer of divine favor. When I was growing up in Baltimore, we went duck-pin bowling. Now things were pretty rinky-dink.

This wasn't high-class bowling. And a lot of times, machines didn't fully work. So pins, sometimes all of them wouldn't get picked up.

So some would still be laying down. Other times, machines would pick them up, and one would drop out of it and fall back down. There was this guy. Now you couldn't see him. All you could see is his feet. And all he went was from lane to lane picking up pins that the machine couldn't get. So he run into this lane, run into that lane, run into this lane.

He picking up stuff that got knocked down, and that the machine couldn't pick up, so the next person could bowl. I don't care how long you've been knocked down. I know somebody who can pick you back up and set you right again, because he wants you to have the blessing.

The forward-moving favor of God commuted to you, so you can commute it to yours. I've told the men how much I love Rocky V. And I love all the Rockies, but I really love Rocky V. In Rocky V, Rocky is retired, because he's gotten bruised and beaten, his eye is bad. He can't fight anymore in Rocky V. He comes across a young upcoming fighter named Tommy Gunn. And Tommy Gunn has admired Rocky Balboa as he followed his career. And so they meet and become friends, and he says to Rocky Balboa, Rocky, Italian stallion, will you train me?

Well, I could say, boy, yeah, I can stay in the fight game by helping you, so yeah, I'll train you. So Rocky works with him, and Tommy Gunn goes up the ladder, up the ladder, up the ladder, up the ladder, and becomes the heavyweight champion of the world due to the influence of Rocky Balboa. The movie comes down to the last 15 minutes. The whole movie zeroes in on that last 15 minutes. See, Tommy Gunn has now become the champion of the world and has gotten to his head.

So he's gotten a lot of money now, and he's gotten a lot of attention, a lot of notoriety in the news. So Tommy Gunn is living large, and he doesn't need Rocky anymore. In fact, he gets belligerent with Rocky. In that last 15 minutes, they're in a gathering, and Tommy Gunn hits Rocky Balboa's wife's husband, his brother-in-law.

I mean, he clocks them and knocks them down because of some argument they were having. Then Tommy Gunn insults Rocky and insults Rocky's son. Then Tommy Gunn dares Rocky to do anything about it. Rocky tears off his shirt, and the rumble begins. They out in the street fighting each other. It's a street fight.

The problem is, Tommy Gunn is too young, too strong, and too fast. And so while Rocky is doing the best he can, he can't keep up with this young guy, and so it comes down to a punch that Tommy Gunn throws, and he hits Rocky, and he sends Rocky down in the gutter beating man. While in the gutter, while down and out, Rocky remembers.

Up on the screen above his head, it shows what he's thinking. So he thinks back to Rocky I and Rocky II, and he remembers Apollo Creed and how he fought and became champion of the world. And when he remembered Apollo Creed, he tried to get up, but he couldn't. Then he remembered Clubber Lang, Rocky III. And our Clubber Lang had beaten him, but how he fought back to win back the championship, and when he remembered, he tried to get up, but he couldn't. Then he remembered Ivan Drago, the Russian monster, and how he went over to Russia and defeated him on his own turf so that the Russians were singing the national anthem. And he remembered that, and he tried to get up, but he couldn't.

But then he remembered somebody else. He remembered his old coach, Mickey. Now, Mickey had died in Rocky IV. Mickey was already dead, but he remembers Mickey. When Mickey was standing over him, saying, get up, get up, get up, you bum, because Mickey loves you. Now, that's when the music came on.

Dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum. Music comes on, and Rocky Balboa, he stands up, he shakes it off. Tommy Gunn is walking off in the distance. Rocky Balboa looks in the distance and says, yo, Tommy, one more round. He found strength he didn't have and power he didn't possess, and he was able to defeat the young buck. Why was he able to defeat him?

Because he remembered somebody who had died, who had then come alive again to remind him of what he could do. I don't care how long you've been down in the gutter as a man, how long you've been defeated as a man. Jesus Christ is standing over you today saying, get up, get up, get up, you bum, because Jesus loves you. So it's time to take your stand and be the man and father God has called you to be. But the only way to connect with that calling is through a personal connection with Christ, which begins by admitting we can't make it to heaven on our own. From there, His sacrifice on the cross is the only way to bridge the gap between our failure and God's forgiveness. If you've never made that connection, visit tonyevans.org today and follow the link that says Jesus.

There, Dr. Tony Evans will explain everything you need to know about what it means to be a real Christian and how to start a brand new life. In the time we have remaining, I want to mention that today's lesson is part of Tony's powerful series called Kingdom Men Rising. There are 12 full-length messages in this collection containing bonus content we won't have time to present on the air. As I mentioned earlier, it's yours as our thank you gift when you make a contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching on the station. Along with it, we'll also send you his just-released companion book, Kingdom Men Rising. Time is running out on this special offer, so visit tonyevans.org today to get the details and make the arrangements. While you're there, you can also request the comprehensive Kingdom Men Rising Bible study to use on your own or to share with your small group. Again, that's tonyevans.org. Or reach out to our resource center at 1-800-800-3222, where team members are always on hand to help you.

That's 1-800-800-3222. There are times when the path ahead of us may look impassable. Next time, Dr. Evans will remind us how God has established a record of helping His children successfully navigate treacherous ways. I hope you'll join us. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-25 15:51:19 / 2023-11-25 16:01:28 / 10

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