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January 21, 2021 2:00 am
Too often the term dysfunctional is used as an excuse to justify bad behavior in other people. In the message "Families Are Dysfunctional...but God," Skip shares how Jacob and Laban's story can give you insight into human behavior as well as divine intervention.
This teaching is from the series ...but God.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Here's a family and all of this the legacy of dysfunction. But God is speaking in here is the obvious point, a dysfunctional family.
Never stop God from function. Never stop God's word never stop God from blessing that family and never stop God from working through that family because here in chapter 31 you is very low to move my beloved cold shoulders and the looking at you nicely anymore whispers around the tents. God speaks to Jake. Sometimes dysfunction in the family can last for generations. But Jesus can intervene to break the cycle connect with Skip Hunter today as he talks about the hope your family can find Christ through any challenge.
Right now we want to tell you about a resource that will help you build your knowledge of who God is and inspire you to follow him more faithful does God exist, and if he dies. Is it possible to know him your answer to those two questions shapes how you see the world. Skip I think once wrestled with those very questions himself, and I've been teaching the Bible for over three decades before I became a Christian and when I was new to the faith. I studied science and philosophy alongside the Bible as I studied by group confidence that God does exist. And yes, we can know him in the biography of God. The brand-new book by Skip I say you learn to remove the limits you may have placed on your idea of who God is. Everything changes when you acknowledge and believe that God is who he says here's biography of God is our way to thank you you give $35 or more today to help expand this vital teaching outreach to more people request your copy when you give online securely connectwithskip.com/offer or call 800-922-1888 is rejoice get high to put today's teaching in Genesis chapter 1 of the most dramatic passages of the Bible says and those seven years seemed not say to him because of the love that he had to work seven years. Then comes a wedding day and that wedding night, and that bride is all dressed up and he thinks it's Rachel but it's not Laban the master deceiver father-in-law switches his daughters on Jacob and gives him not.
Rachel, the girl he loved but her sister Leah. The older sister who was and is pretty.
He wakes up the next day. Turns over in the bed, and seasons later.
That's what Laban days and will how is that impossible. In those days and weddings.
Brides were heavily veiled and the husband and really get a good look except until the next morning so father-in-law pulls a switcheroo. He stressed out, deceived and the deceiver, and he's goofing around with his own daughters so he has to work another seven years to get Rachel.
Then we come. Years later to the same years of past two lives later two more concubine wives later hold onto kids later and then verse one. Now Jacob heard the words of Laban's sons selects his brother-in-law saying Jacob has taken away all that was our father's, and from what was our father's. Here's acquired all this well. Jacob saw that the countenance of Laban. That's the body language. Now it is when somebody was always looking at you kind with a nice looking all of a sudden they look at you with a scowl. That's what's happening, and indeed it was not favorable toward him as before.
So now you got these two deceivers. They spent time together at this point they can trust each other, and these false accusations are flying in the family about Jake.
I'm sure that when Jacob left home when he fled after stealing the blessing. He probably thought my glad to be out of that house.
Now I can have a normal life and yet he marries into this family only to discover it's very much the same as his first family.
I bring that up because it was an interesting study from Brown University and the researcher said this many people hope that once they leave home, they will leave their family and childhood problems behind. However, many find that they experienced similar problems as well as similar feelings and relationship patterns long after they have left their own family environment is easy to answer why that is because wherever you go you take you all that made you all that formed and shaped you all of that stuff from your background follows you around until you deal with it. The greater point is this. All families are dysfunctional. All of them. Every human on this planet has their own issues because every person has her own issues that will affect the balance of the family that therein, and it will affect the balance of the family. They marry into they take out with and I bring this up because I've heard this for years. He was a but I'm from a dysfunctional family.
My answers join the human race.
I am from a dysfunctional family. I conduct a dysfunctional family. I'm a dysfunctional human being and so are you. We don't function the way God originally intended us to function and that's because of one little three letter word called sin happened at the fall. Paul said by one man sin, death entered the world and death through sin, and it spread to everyone were all affected. So it affects every person. Thus, it affects every family every family. Some of you will remember a comedian by the name of George Burns. He lived to be a long time but is no longer with us. George Burns said happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close knit family in another city.
Can we just dispel the myth of the perfect family. There is not one were all broken, flawed individuals.
Thus, the families and faculty take it a step further. Even God's family on earth. The church is a dysfunctional family and your part of it. So, no, no, no I'm looking for the perfect church you've heard this before. If you find one, don't join it, you'll ruin it. It doesn't exist silver the early church. They were dysfunctional. That's what we should get back to be like yours are really you need to read your Bibles again read. In fact, first Corinthians, and you'll discover Paul is really writing a polemic against all of the problems in that church and how to correct those problems from not loving each other to abusing spiritual gifts to disorderly conduct of the communion table and at the love feast all the way to incest in that church congregation that they didn't deal with X dysfunctional. Then Jesus talked about his salvation and redemption, and the people who would follow him. He called them poor brokenhearted captive blind oppressed, so we are all broken were all dysfunctional people with our own issues. As JI Packer wisely put it, we are all invalids in God's hospital. Every family is dysfunctional. Was taken out of a second level pick up a step God can function in our dysfunction. All of us are dysfunctional to some degree, but God can function in our dysfunction me what other choices you have so we've read the text I told you the story about Jacob comes from that messed up weird family. He's married into this mess up weird family.
Watch this in the midst of all that verse three then the Lord said to Jake, boy, that's good to read. Then the Lord said to Jacob. Now God speaks return to the land of your father's and to your family and I will be with God says that the Jacob go down a few verse go to verse 22. In fact, and Laban was told on the third day that Jacob it flat Trileptal without saying anything anyone just left.
Then he took his brethren with him pursue them for seven days journey and overtook him in the mountains of Gilead. I think he wanted to kill him, but God had come to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night and said to him, be careful that you speak to Jacob. Neither good nor bad.
Here's our family and all of this the legacy of dysfunction.
But God is speaking and here is the obvious point, a dysfunctional family. Never stop God from functioning. Never stop God from working never stop God from blessing that family and never stop God from working through that family because here in chapter 31 you got these dirty low ask these aloof kind looks cold, shoulders. I'm not looking at you nicely anymore whispers around the tents. God speaks to Jacob.
God speaks to dysfunctional Jacob in the midst of his dysfunction and to Laban in the midst of his so I God said, Jacob. I have a truth I want to convey to you but I'm not in detail.
What is do you get your family act together and when you get a little more perfect. A little more mature then I have something I want to say the right in the midst of all this cried God speaks because God can speak to and lead people in your family who are not perfect. The perfect God works through and uses imperfect people and the holy God speaks to and works through unholy people, and here's why there are no other kind of people for God to use as if everyone is dysfunctional, then God has to function in the midst of our dysfunction of the gospel is why Paul said God has chosen the foolish things of this world is chosen the weak things of this world.
He's chosen the base things of this world hated Peter fail. The apostle Peter, did he fail and he denied Jesus three times did Jesus use them again. Moses failed lost his temper.
God used him. David failed anger, murder, adultery, God used him, Abraham, the father of faith was faithless a few times Isaac same way Jacob same way but taking failure as the final word is to fail taking failure is the final word is to fail learning from failure is to grow, so don't let your failure define you make your failure serve you use it grow from a launch from do something with. Case in point, Paul and Barnabas Paul and Barnabas went on a mission trip was a good successful mission trip at the end of it goes. Let's do it again. Barney Barnabas says okay I'm taking my nephew John Mark Paul goes no you're not. He flaked out on the last trip when I take them on trip number two had an argument was an unresolved argument became so divisive between them that they split company and there's never a record that they reconcile Paul and Barnabas. So you have two men who are dysfunctional in their little relationship with each other.
They did their heels in. They were imperfect, but they were used by God to spread the gospel of God uses to groups now to do his work. So you gotta church the church splits and others to churches to do his work. Here's my point. God reserves the right to use people who disagree with you. In fact, God reserves the right to use people who don't like you. I wish you wouldn't her sometimes and know if I would just consult me first before he blesses somebody does make life a lot easier for me but he's decided that's not a good strategy to consult Skip about much.
So he disses Nana thanks Anna blessing use and speak to and work through people that don't like you.
God reserves the right, so every family is dysfunctional and God can function in the midst of our dysfunction and here's the third and best level growth is seen spiritual growth is when we see God instead of the dysfunction you're focused on God, not the dysfunction.
Growth is seeing God instead of dysfunction. Let's begin in verse four.
Notice what Jacob does in the midst of all this. I just have to say. As we begin to read this again. I'm proud of Jacob. This boy's grown so Jacob sat and called Rachel and Leah to the field to his flock and said to them, I see your father's countenance. It is not favorable toward me as before, but the God of my father has been with me and you know that with all my might. I've serve your father and your father is deceive me and change my wages 10 times but God did not allow him to hurt me if he said thus the speckled shall be a wages flux or speckled. He said the streets will be a wages flux Horse Creek so God is taken away the livestock of your father, and given them to me. I see real spiritual growth. In Jacob, I mean leaps and bounds from his early days when he was complicit with his mom's scheme to steal the blessing to his fugitive days when he ran away and was at Bethel thinking God wasn't even with him to his confrontational days when he and Laban were negotiating which girl would be his wife. To this day still a confrontation but is very different here.
Notice always different. First of all, he brings his wives together to have an open, candid, honest, frank conversation about the issue they will agree with him. If you keep writing the story is that the up our debts in a scoundrel even stole money from us and you just do a God told you to do were with you, so we talked it out. But even more than that. He shows how he views his life.
He shows the lens through which he is focusing and processing all of the negative dad, deceptive things that have even happened to him. In short, Jacob is wearing a new set of glasses outfitted with lenses that focus on God, not on garbage. Let's call them but but God bifocals so Jacob puts on his but God bifocals. Oh yeah, there's the garbage right in front of them were he's walking through it. Walking in it, but he's gazing on God. But God bifocals and did you notice as we read this paragraph that he says about God or so, God three times. He acknowledges first of all God's presence verse five.
But the God of my father has been with me. He acknowledges God's protection.
Verse seven is your father change my wages 10 times but God did not allow him to hurt me with your employer, change your wages 10 times you wouldn't still be working for that scoundrel you think all depends if he changes them up or down right where it is inferred that Jacob had his wages change 10 times down but God wouldn't allow him to hurt me so acknowledges God's presence in God's protection and also look at verse nine God's partnership.
So God has taken away the livestock from your father, and given them to me.
I see this boy is grown-up, spiritually speaking, he's looking at the God who is functioning rather than the dysfunctionality around Jacob is wearing the same glasses that Joseph wore when he said to his brothers, you meant this for evil but God meant it for good is wearing the same bifocals. David wore when the Bible says David stayed out in the strongholds in the wilderness. Saul saw him every day.
But God did not deliver him into his hand. He's wearing the same glasses that Ezra wore in the book of Nehemiah when Ezra said they refused to listen to your voice.
They were hardhearted, but you are God. He wore the same glasses that Paul the apostle wore when he said we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to his purpose. It's those glasses. Those but God bifocals that let you see the hand of Providence a lift back the curtain and let you see the divine hand the beginning of our series I gave you a quote a little quip by James Montgomery Boyce, it bears repeating. He said if you understand those two words but God they will save your soul. If you recall them daily and live by them. They will transform your life completely. Here is Jacob's life transformed completely. This happened but God that happened but God.
This happened so God is the but God bifocals so this dysfunctional pastor is standing in front of this dysfunctional flock singlets wear those glasses from our let's find those but God bifocals and let's interpret life through that lens.
Let's realize that God is never intimidated by our flaws are failures because you can match all of that with his faithfulness in spiritual terms and in moral terms. We are all sick. Damaged scarred lame lopsided but God, but God the close of the story that comes from a book written by Richard Hossler, several little short stories in this book. The book is entitled will daylight come. He writes a little boy visiting his grandparents was given his first slingshot number those days I do. He practiced in the words, but he could never hit his target as he came back to grandma's backyard. He spied her pet duck. On impulse, he took aim and let it fly.
The stone hit its target. The boy panicked desperately. He hid the dead duck in the wood pile only to look and see his sister watching Sally had seen it all, but said nothing.
After lunch that day.
Grandma said Sally.
Let's wash the dishes but Sally said. Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today, didn't you Johnny and she whispered to him.
Remember the dock so Johnny did the dishes later. Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing. Grandma said I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper. Sally smiled and said that's all taken care of. Johnny wants to do. And again, she whispered. Remember the dock. Johnny stayed while Sally went fishing after several days of Johnny doing his chores and Sally's. He couldn't stand it. He confessed to grandma that he had killed her dock. I know Johnny. She said, giving him a huge hug.
I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing because I love you I forgave you I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make you a slave.
I have a question for you as we close, how long are you going to let that dysfunction make you a slave, how long you hide behind that title.
How long you let that title drive the rest of your life because no matter how bad things have been for you that doesn't have to define you. God is able to function in our dysfunction.
The question is will you choose to see that. Will that be the lens you live your life from dysfunction or the God who can function in the midst of I think that the best example that I can think of how God functions in dysfunction is the cross that really is the gospel world is so dysfunctional since spread to everybody. Everybody so Florida broken. The only solution was to send his perfect sinless only begotten son into this world to take all of the guilt.
All of the sin upon himself in our place so that God can bless you and take you with him to have asked God functioning at peak, even in the pinnacle of our own dysfunction and Nancy offer God makes in every generation that he will take you as you are you, as you are. He will forgive you as you are and he will make you a new person. It will change, but he will forgive you and make you his son or daughter. And then bring you with him into his kingdom forever then conclude Skip a text message from his series, but God not want to tell you about a unique opportunity to take your knowledge of Scripture to a new level.
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