Our kids are struggling, and now they're exposed to stuff you don't even know about because they're carrying around a phone. Dr. Tony Evans says it's more important than ever for fathers to man up and take a stand for godly values.
Since you can't control that, you better be using every opportunity you can to set the standard. 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. Sometimes life seems so complex that just making it through today seems like a real accomplishment. But Dr. Evans says kingdom men need to be looking much further down the road, throughout our lives and beyond.
Let's join him as he explains. The Bible has a lot to say about legacy, about what is passed on to the next generation and beyond. In fact, Proverbs chapter 13 verse 22 says, a good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children. Today we live in a day of societal chaos, and that chaos can be rooted back to men who refuse to build a spiritual legacy. Many refuse to man up to God's requirement for biblical manhood. And like it or not, God starts withholding the man responsible for how the legacy works out or does not.
The whole condemnation of the human race is tied to a man. The Bible says, in Adam all die. Doesn't say in Adam and Eve. Only in Adam, the man, all die.
That is because the man was held responsible. And so we're introduced in this boring passage of Scripture to a man named Asher. Asher had four sons and one daughter. And when we end the story of Asher, as you'll see, he comes out pretty good. But he didn't start that way.
You see, Asher is the seventh son of Jacob. That means he's been raised in a dysfunctional family. He wasn't raised in a good, healthy home environment.
It wasn't the kind of environment that would have been conducive to an orderly family structure. The good news that I want to give all of us here today, especially the men, but the principle applies to all of us, is that your past doesn't have to determine your future. That no matter how messed up your yesterday was, does not have to control what your tomorrow will be like. That you have an option to change your legacy. And that the legacy bequeathed to you does not have to be the legacy you dispense to others.
Whether it is your immediate family, whether it's your siblings, or those who come under your influence. Such is the case with the change and transformation that took place in the life of Asher. Well, let's go to verse 40, because we'll see four things of Asher's impact and his legacy that ought to be true of every man and every head of household who is here. All these, verse 40 says, were the sons of Asher, heads of the fathers' houses. Head of a house is a leader of a home.
Whatever Asher did when he got right so influenced his four boys that they were able to take up responsible reigns in their own families. The Bible teaches that the man is to be the head. That means the man is the one responsible. That's not just saying you're the boss, it says you're responsible. If stuff going left, you're responsible. If the kids are acting crazy, you're responsible. If the wife is off, you're responsible. You may not be to blame. It may not be your fault. But headship means responsibility.
You got to own it, even though you may not be the one responsible for it. Headship is responsibility. Headship also involves direction. It involves direction, whether it's a president or the head of a company or the head of a church or whatever. Headship means you are casting a direction so that people know which way we're going. To be ahead means that I want to be in close proximity with God so that God can speak to me by His Holy Spirit and give me direction so that those following me will have a place to go. And what that means is that you're not following the crowd. You're not picking up your direction from television. You're not picking your direction from social media because you're God's man.
So you're picking up your cues from Him. The second thing we find out about Asher's sons is he calls them choice men. That means cream of the crop. They weren't run-of-the-mill guys. Somehow in his turnaround, he said, my boys are not going to be like everybody else's sons. My boys are not going to just run with the crowd. I'm going to raise up some excellent choice.
Cream of the crop boys with one daughter. I'm going to raise them up to be the men that God has created them to be. I'm not going to let them settle. I'm not going to let the boys settle. They're not going to be just like everybody else.
They're not going to come in here talking about what my friends say if their friends are wrong. I'm not going to let them hang out with anybody because they're going to be excellent, which means I'm going to give them a standard to shoot for. I ain't going to let social media, I'm not going to let Twitter, I'm not going to let Instagram, I'm not going to let Facebook set my kid standard. I'm going to raise some choice boys up in here, up in here. That's going to be a divine standard that I give them, that I want to model before them, that I want to teach them, that I want to expose them to. He says his boys became choice boys. High character, high integrity, high standards. Have you ever been behind somebody who is blinking right while turning left? If you're blinking right while turning left, you're confusing yourself and everybody behind you.
So the idea is to craft the divine standard filtered through the head. Now we know we have many single parents and you have been given a double duty. We value you, we appreciate you, but we can never allow that to get men off the hook for the kids that they sired that they now have abandoned.
If they're not paying their bills, take them to court. They still have a responsibility to the kids. You didn't get pregnant by yourself. So he wanted to raise them to expose your kids, especially your boys, to men of high standards if they don't have one in the home, men who will leave them in the right way, not perfect men, but men who are moving right, who are not mediocre. You can't be sending them to church.
You just can't be sending them to school. You can't be sending your wife to PTA meetings while you watch football and television. No, you must be there, engaged and involved. When I go through a metal detector, the old ones, the old magnetometers, if I have keys in my pocket, it beats, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep. That means I got to back up, take the keys out of my pocket. Sometimes when I went through the old magnetometers, I had the keys in my pocket and it wouldn't beep. That's because those old magnetometers had to be set. They had to be set. And some people would set them real sensitive and others not as sensitive to determine how easily it beeped. We got a generation of young people today whose consciences don't beep. That's because nobody set them. It is the head of the household's job to set the conscience.
So they got to think through what they're getting ready to do, because something is going beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep because you set them. Because if you let the culture set them, they won't be sensitive. And you certainly don't want the public setting them.
Because the day when they go to school, you don't know who gonna be teaching them, and you don't know who gonna be in that bathroom. So that must be established, the divine standard, and walking them through the struggles of that. But you don't change the standard, you administer the standard with love and with compassion. There are two extremes out here, one is to be so compassionate there is no standard. The other extreme is to have the standard without showing compassion, and the idea is to compassionately move to meet the standard. But you don't dumb down God to make folk happy. You love folk to God. And so yes there are challenges, yes our kids are struggling, and now they're exposed to stuff you don't even know about because they're carrying around a phone, which gives them access to the whole world and you can't control that.
So since you can't control that, you better be using every opportunity you can to set the standard so that there is a beeper that goes off. Because you want choice men, not mediocre. Those who want to excel godward in whatever areas God allows them to progress in. Dr. Evans will tell us more about the importance of fighting for our kids when he continues our message in just a moment. First though, Dr. Evans says American men have been lied to and misled. Well it's time for the truth, and you'll find it in his empowering book, Kingdom Men Rising. In it, Tony squares off against today's distorted view of manhood and presents a whole new game plan for overcoming temptation, recovering from past failures, leading your family and building a legacy of faith and godly influence. We'd like to send you your own copy of this book as our way of saying thanks when you make a contribution toward the ministry of the Urban Alternative. As a special bonus, along with the book, we'll send you all 12 full length messages in Tony's companion Kingdom Men Rising audio series. Get both of these powerful resources before the special offer runs out by visiting tonyevans.org. Or let one of our friendly team members help with your request when you call our 24 hour resource center at 1-800-800-3222.
That's 1-800-800-3222. I'll repeat our contact information after part two of today's lesson and this. The thing about serving an infinite God is that no matter how much you know about Him, there's always more to learn. So whether you're brand new to scripture or an experienced ministry professional, there's something for you at the Tony Evans Training Center. You'll find online courses covering core concepts of the faith. Working at your own pace and schedule, you'll dig deep into the historical context of the book, uncover the key teachings, and learn how to apply them in real world situations. There's lots of exclusive content from Dr. Evans to keep you interested and motivated, and an online forum where you can ask questions, get answers, and collaborate with other students. The more you learn, the more you'll want to learn. Give it a try.
The Tony Evans Training Center, a world of discovery, anytime, anywhere. The third thing it says about Asher's sons he speaks in particularly of, it says they were mighty men in verse 40. They were raised to be warriors, mighty men, not mediocre men.
These are some mighty dudes. They were raised to be warriors. So you have to understand we're in spiritual warfare here. We're in a war. You now have to fight for your kids.
You have to go to war. See when many of us were raised in my generation, the baby boomer generation, and prior to that the environment supported a Judeo-Christian ethic. It wasn't perfect, but it was respected. So even if folks weren't Christians, they respected Christianity. So you could safely send your kids to school and know that the teacher was going to be reflecting your values, whether or not they were Christians, because the environment was conducive to respect a Christian worldview.
Well right now you and I live in a post-Christian era. So people are making up their own rules as they go along of what's right and wrong. So you better not just send them out to play with anybody. You do have to watch what they're being taught in school. They used to be taught creation as an option.
Now in many schools they're taught only evolution as a fact. So unless you watch that, unless you patrol that, unless we look into that, then they will be confused and convoluted when they emerge into adolescence and adulthood. And the thing about it today is they're getting that way earlier. They're getting that way earlier.
You watch TV, they got so many identities for human beings now you don't even know what to call folk. Because they're one thing today, they're another thing tomorrow, then they can switch the next day at will. So stuff is all convoluted now. That is because there is a spiritual reason, and that is as a culture abandons God, all this stuff begins to expand. Now we've got to walk people through it, we've got to love people through it, but we've got to move them godward. And so he raised warriors, you've got to go to war, you've got to fight. There used to be a time when men would walk down the street and grown men would walk down the street. There'd be some boys hanging out on the corner, and when they say a grown man coming, they would move over, just out of respect. Now when you walk down the street, you run across the board, you move over, because you ain't sure what you dealing with.
Why? Because that respect is not there. And so the violence increases, the hopelessness increases, the suicides increase, we've got all of this, and fundamentally it's traced back to the man not owning it. He says he raised warriors, men who would fight, who would battle for his kids, his family, and who would be willing to take the hit.
Unfortunately today, too many are undermining the order. I was asked not too long ago by one of our female members, she asked, why do men love football so much? Why do men love football, addicted to football? Now, a lot of women like football too, but with men it's like a craving, exactly. I literally crave football.
I just, I don't, I can't. And so the question was, why do men love football, especially the ones that ain't playing? And yet they look at it game after game, two games on Sunday, then a game on Sunday night, then a game on Thursday, then Monday night, it just keeps on coming. My answer was, because men were created to be warriors, and in football you got a war.
You got two competing armies coming against each other, bam, bam, bam, bam. And so even if you're not playing, you feel it, you feel it. When the hit happens, you go, that's because men were created to be warriors.
You were created. That's why a man's responsibility is to protect, because men were created to be warriors. So Nehemiah 4.14 says, okay, it says you're going to be a warrior, fight for your family. Fight for your kids, fight for the future, wage spiritual warfare. You take them before the throne of grace. You take them, you have devotions with them.
You pray over them, go to war, because the devil is going to war for them. He says he raised his sons to be warriors, to fight for that which was right. And then he says, fourthly, he raised them to be mentors, because he says, heads of the princesses. He raised them to be mentors. You see, a prince is a king-in-waiting.
They were raising future kings. When you play checkers, the whole goal is to get crowned. That's the whole goal.
The goal is not to get knocked off the board. The goal is for another checker to be put on top, because now you are king. And now you get to rule a segment of the board.
You get to move along. Your whole scope of operation, he says that he raised his sons to raise princes. Now, all of our boys need to know that they're kings-in-waiting, because that's what a prince is. But they had to be raised as princes so that they would be qualified to be kings. That means you must speak into your children's lives, both the kings and the queens to be. You must speak into their lives their potential, because they're a prince.
Prince is not an ordinary kid. This is a king-in-waiting, and they are to know. Even when God talks about us, he talks about, we are a royal priesthood. Jesus gives us this royal designation. We're part of a kingdom. We have a king.
I mean, you know, the Bible tells us all this royal language, says you are to speak royally. You're not just a kid. You're not just a boy. You are a prince, daughter. You're not just a girl, you're a queen, because see, when you know that you're a prince, it not only affects what you think about you, it affects how you evaluate anybody else who wants to relate to you, because you don't want nobody messing with your throne. He says they were mentored, they were raised as princes, that is, positioned for future kingship.
And so the question is, what level of mentoring are we giving our kids? And remember, to the third generation, our grandkids, many a young man has been spiritually castrated because he's not been given a sense of his royal standing in the family and most importantly with the Lord, because there's no godly male figure who loves God, who loves them, who gives them a biblical worldview and who spiritually imparts to them so that they take all of God into all of life, into all of their world. But the good news is that God can change your yesterday, no matter how messed up it is, and give you a different tomorrow. I know you've had bad experiences and you've had sins and rebellion, I know all that, but then all you are is just give yourself a name, call yourself Asher, because you've got some dysfunction in your history. But the good news is he shows up in chapter 7 of 1st Chronicles, a brand new man.
So your yesterday doesn't have to control your tomorrow. It says at the end of verse 40, And the number of them enrolled by genealogy for service in war was twenty-six thousand men. Oh, wait a minute now. We started off with one man, four sons, and one daughter. But by the time this man got through, he got 26,000 in his legacy that are ready to go to war.
See, you just can't be thinking about you. You got to be thinking about the generations behind you, and you got to build yourself an army, an army of men and women. That meant women were in it because more boys were being born. And so you got to build yourself an army. The problem is Satan has been building his army while God's army has been shrinking.
So what God is looking for are men who want to recover, men who want to get back the dignity that God created you with, who want to fulfill the role that God has given you. In Super Bowl XLIII, when Santoni Holmes caught the pass that won the Super Bowl, don't forget one minute earlier, he had dropped the ball. Ben Roethlisberger threw him the ball, and he dropped it. But then Ben Roethlisberger called him back and said, I'm going to throw it to you again, and this time don't drop it. So if you dropped it yesterday, you got kids you don't live with, kids you sired that you don't talk to, grandkids that you don't know, okay, you dropped the ball. But God's ready to throw you another pass.
And now you got to be willing to catch the ball and move from here. Dr. Tony Evans will come back in a moment with a final story about the elephant-sized challenge facing kingdom men in today's culture. First, though, a quick reminder about that special offer I mentioned earlier. If you help us carry on this broadcast by making a donation to the ministry, we'll say thanks by sending you all 12 messages in Tony's current series, Kingdom Men Rising, along with his powerful book by the same name.
This is a limited-time offer, so don't put it off. Come by our website, tonyevans.org, where you can get all the details and make the arrangements. Or give us a call at 1-800-800-3222, where resource team members are available 24-7.
Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. There's a saying that kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give. Well, as we've mentioned before, Dr. Evans believes kindness is a gift that our society can't afford not to give. Take the time to show kindness to those you meet today, and in the name of Jesus, look for opportunities to demonstrate kindness to someone who needs a touch from God. You'll help make your community a better place when you demonstrate the love of God through your acts of kindness. When your only options are bad ones and there doesn't seem to be any way out of the circumstances you're facing, Dr. Evans says there could be a godly purpose for your problems. Learn more next time as he talks about igniting kingdom prayer.
Right now, though, he's back with his closing story. There's a father who went to his son one day, and he said, boy, you've been a great boy. I'm proud of you, and I want to do anything you want me to do for you. What do you want? The boy thought for a moment, he said, Daddy, here's what I want. I want you to take me to the zoo.
I want to go to the zoo. He says, okay, let's go to the zoo. He said, Dad, can I bring a few friends?
Dad said, that's fine. He came back with 10 friends. So he put them in the van and they all went to the zoo. For two hours, they went around looking at all the cages and the birds and the reptiles and all of that. They had a fun time at the zoo. It's time now to leave the zoo. On their way out to the zoo, the little boy looks up and he says, Daddy, Daddy, what son? They're giving elephant rides.
Poor enough. Over to the side was an elephant man giving rides on his elephant. He said, Daddy, please, for a ride, I want to ride on the elephant. He said, well, we know it's hot out here.
We've been out here a long time. He says, please, please, please, please, please, Daddy, please, Daddy, please, Daddy, let me ride the elephant. He says, okay, let me see how much this costs. He went over to the guy and he says, how much for an elephant ride? Oh, he says, it's $20 a ride. Father said, let's go, time is up.
We got to go. The boy said, oh, Daddy, please, please, please, please, please, I really want to ride the elephant. He said, I know you want to ride the elephant son, but it's $20 a ride. It's 10 a year.
It's $200. That's too much money to ride the elephant, so we got to go. Daddy, I don't think you understand. Look, Daddy, it's an elephant.
I know it's an elephant son, but it's $20 a ride elephant, and that's just too much money. Daddy, I don't think you're paying attention. Look at that, Daddy. Look at that, Daddy. It's an elephant. I know it's an elephant, but it costs too much to ride the elephant. Daddy, I don't think you're listening to me, and I don't think you're looking. Look, Daddy, it's an elephant. Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, this problem is so big, don't look about the cost of your time, don't look about the cost of your energy. This problem is so big, we need some men who are willing to pay the price in order for the next generation to get a ride. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
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