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A Tale of Two Men, Part 1

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2021 8:00 am

A Tale of Two Men, Part 1

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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April 19, 2021 8:00 am

We learn by watching examples some we’ll want to follow and others we’ll want to avoid. Join Dr. Tony Evans as he introduces us to one of each and tells us a tale of two men which takes a look at what it takes to build a life that matters.

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A lot of folk want God to do big things on a chicken coop foundation. Dr. Tony Evans talks about what it takes for men to build a life that matters.

Your foundation must be worthy of the building you plan to put on top of it. 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. We learn by watching examples.

Some we want to follow and others we want to avoid. Dr. Evans will introduce us to one of each today as he tells us a tale of two men. Let's join him. Some years ago there was a problem on my bedroom wall with a crack in the plaster. So I called the painter over to repair the crack in the plaster. He came, he removed the old plaster, he put up new plaster, he repainted it. I was happy.

I paid him. He left. All seemed well. About a month later, however, the crack reappeared. Being somewhat spiritually ticked off since I'd already paid him, I asked him to come back and to rectify the problem of the crack on my bedroom wall. He came and he redid it. Took off that plaster, replastered it, repainted it.

All looked well. About 45 days later, however, the crack reappeared, this time with this nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, and cousins. I had a family of cracks on my bedroom wall. So I thought what I needed was a new painter, because obviously this previous gentleman was not getting the job done. So I called another guy over and I asked him to fix the problem on my wall. He stared at it and stared at it and stared at it for what seemed like an inordinate amount of time, and then he turned to me and said, I'm sorry I can't help you. So I looked at him, somewhat surprised, and I said, but isn't this what you do? Oh, he said, yeah, this is what I do, but I can't help you.

I said, why can't you help me? He said, because you don't have a problem with cracks on your wall. So I looked at the cracks on my wall I was not having a problem with. Then I looked at the crack in front of me who was telling me I didn't have a problem with cracks on my wall.

I said, now just a minute. I see a crack. You see a crack.

Fact of the matter is, all God's children see a crack. There's a crack on my wall. He said, oh yeah, there's a crack on your wall.

I'm just saying that's not your problem. He says, your problem is you have a shifting foundation under your house. Your foundation is moving. So what you're seeing on the wall are symptoms of a much deeper problem.

He said, until you solidify your foundation, you will always be doing patchwork on the wall in your bedroom. Today there are a lot of cracks all around us. Cracks in our lives, cracks in our families, cracks with our kids. There are cracks with our direction. There's cracks in our economics. There's cracks in our relationships. There's cracks among the races.

There's cracks among the classes. There's all kind of political cracks. And then, of course, there's crack cracks. So there are cracks everywhere. And a great amount of time and money and energy is being spent to patch up the cracks.

And for a while, things look better, only to discover that when you give it enough time, the cracks reappear. That is because there is a foundation that is moving, a foundation that has not been solidified. We have explained that the reason that God created Adam first was that Adam was supposed to be the foundation for the family, which was to be the foundation for the culture, that it was Adam's responsibility to set the stage for where everything else was to be built on. He was to be the foundation, which is why God raised the question, Adam, where are you?

Because the foundation had moved and now everything else was in chaos. And so we want to talk today about foundations, focusing on the men but not limiting it to the men, because Jesus says when he starts the story in Matthew 7, verse 24, that this applies to everyone, but even though it applies to everyone, he focuses on two men. So the question I want to ask all the males by time we're finished is which man are you?

But then we can ask everybody which person are you? These two men had some commonalities, things that they held in common. These two men had a contrast which made them very different. And this leads to a conclusion about these two men that is riveting in its effect but transforming in its ability to change our lives. So let's start off with what made these two men alike. What compared them? What made them on the same page? Well, the first thing that was comparable to both of these men is they both shared the same dream.

They both wanted to build a house. God expects a man to have a vision. A man is supposed to have a vision of God's purpose for him and through him for the benefit of those who follow him. Every man is created to have a vision. I have called you young men to have visions and your older men to dream dreams. He only says that of the men, because the men, the male is supposed to receive from God in order to transfer it out.

So every man, the worst thing in the world is to have a visionless male who sees nothing beyond himself. Well, both of these men had a dream. They wanted to build a house. They wanted to build a house. Men are builders. They want to build things. They want to construct things, and so both of these men wanted to construct a house.

Now, in the Bible, a house can refer to one of four different things. Number one, a house can refer to your life as it is referred to here. Both men wanted to build a house, that is, to build a life of substance, significance, value that mattered. They wanted to accomplish something with their lives. Every man should want to be something, accomplish something, to build a life that matters, a life of substance, a life of significance. Every man wants to build a house. You don't just want to be here, and when you die, you don't see anything you built.

You know, you want a life that matters. Or, building a house in the Bible can refer to building a family. Families throughout the Bible are called the house of somebody, the house of David.

That means it was David's family. So, building a house in the Bible refers to building a family. No serious man walks down the aisle planning to get divorced. No serious man should be planning to abandon his children. No, you want to build a house. You want to build a home. You want to build a future for the family. You want your kids to be impacted so that they grow up to be mature, responsible adults. You want to build a house.

What? To build a house in the Bible can refer to building a ministry. The temple in the Old Testament was called the house of God. The Church of the New Testament is called the household of faith.

The word house is used of a ministry. No pastor wants to see the church decline. No pastor wants to see the messages be ineffective.

No pastor wants to see the ministry not achieve its biblical goals. Why? Because you want to build a house. The Bible talks about building the church. You want to see the spiritual growth and spiritual development of the family of God.

Why? Because you want to build a house of ministry. Or, to build a house can refer in the Bible to building a society. After all, Israel was called the house of Israel. We call it the White House or the House of Congress. What do we mean by the house?

We mean that representative entity that represents the society. So to build a house is to build a community or a society that's whole and that's unified and where the culture is benefiting the citizenry. All that is to build a house. And both men wanted to build a house.

They wanted a life of significance, they want a family that was strong, they want a ministry that was effective, and they wanted to live in a culture that was ordered, a well-ordered society. That's to build a house. Every man in here should want to build all four of those houses.

A life that matters, a family that's strong, to be part of a ministry that's vibrant, and to make a contribution to a society that's well-ordered. Every man here, every person here, every Christian here should want to build a house. So the first thing that these two men had in common was that they wanted to fulfill a dream of building a house. The second thing that made these two men alike was they both went to the same church. Now we know they both went to the same church because it says both men heard these words of mine. Now if Jesus is the preacher, it's a perfect sermon, because Jesus said they heard the words of mine. So there's no flaw in the exegesis, in the exposition, in the application of the Scripture, because they are both seated and they're both listening to these words of mine. They're in the same place at the same time, hearing the same preacher preach the same sermon. They both hear these words of mine.

That tells us something about these two men. They were Orthodox in their orientation, because they're not going listening to a cult preacher. They're listening to these words of mine. They're listening to the living Word preach the written Word, and there is no better word than that Word. So they're going to an evangelical church, an Orthodox congregation, because they're sitting in their seats. They've got their Bibles open. They're listening to Jesus Christ preach. So they were at least oriented to the Word of God, because they're both listening to these words of mine.

There's a second trait these two men had in common, and Dr. Evans will come back to talk about it in just a moment. Stay with us. God has big plans for you, bigger than you've ever imagined. You're a man of influence, strength, and great purpose.

Are you ready to live up to your highest potential? Tony Evans' brand new and long-awaited book, Kingdom Men Rising, a follow-up to his bestseller, Kingdom Man, which has sold over 400,000 copies, challenges men to sharpen their spiritual and relational skills to intentionally live with an influencer mindset in all areas of life. 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. As you read each page, you will find your soul stirred to reach for more of what God says is possible, no longer settling for a faith that just goes through the motions.

Replace helplessness, boredom, and regret with power, significance, and influence. Get Kingdom Men Rising for yourself or for someone you love. Grab yours at www.TonyEvans.org, or at your nearest bookstore or online retailer. The time is now.

Together we rise. And in celebration of the release of this much-anticipated and powerful new book, we've created a special limited-time package of resources. It starts with Dr. Evans' brand new book, Kingdom Men Rising, inspiring you to overcome temptation, find restoration from sin, and create a legacy of faith and godly influence around you. Along with the book, we're also including 12 full-length messages from the current Kingdom Men Rising series, available to you both on CD and digital download. This entire resource package is our gift to you, and thanks for your donation.

That helps us keep Tony's teaching here on this station. And if you want to explore this topic even further, Dr. Evans has created a custom Kingdom Men Rising Bible study that goes hand-in-hand with the book and audio messages. To request your copy of this powerful package, simply go online to www.TonyEvans.org, get the details, make your donation, and begin your instant download of the audio messages while we get the book and other materials sent out to you. Again, that's www.TonyEvans.org, or you can call our 24-hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222, where one of our friendly team members will be happy to help with your request.

I'll repeat that contact information for you after part two of today's message. Here's Tony. So the first thing is that they both had a dream. The second thing is that they both were orthodox in their orientation because they were willing to hear the Word of God. There is a third commonality between these two men. They lived in the same neighborhood. Now the reason we know they lived in the same neighborhood is they were affected by the same storm. It says the storm came and hit both of their homes. So that meant they were in the same vicinity of the storm. A storm in the Bible is an adverse set of circumstances.

When the Bible talks about a storm, it's talking about negative events entering into your life. So here are our two men. They both have a vision.

They both want to build a house. They both have the Word of God, because they're listening to these words of mind, and they both have some struggles, storms. But that's where the comparison ends and the contrast begins. That's where the differences between these two men are spelled out. Because verse 24 says, one man was a wise man, and verse 26 says the other man was a fool. One man was a wise man, the other man was a fool.

So that tells me a lot right there. That means that a wise man can have a dream and a fool can have a dream. A wise man can sit and listen to Jesus and a fool can sit and listen to Jesus.

A wise man can be in a storm and a fool can be in a storm. Because while they were a lot alike, there was one fundamental difference. One was a wise man and the other was a fool.

What made the difference? Their foundation. One person, the wise man, built his house on a rock. The fool built his house on sand.

Let's talk about those two different foundations for a moment. If you build on sand, that's gonna be quick. Don't take a lot of time to put sand and put a sandcastle together on a beach. If you build on rock, it's gonna take you some time. If you build on sand, it's gonna be easy. If you're gonna build on rock, it's gonna be a little harder. You got to drill through that. If you build on sand, it's gonna be cheap.

It don't cost much to put together sand. Oh, but it's gonna cost you something if you build on rock. You see, one man was willing to put in what it would take for his foundation to be strong. The other man was not willing to take what was necessary for his foundation to be strong, but he still wanted a house. This issue of the foundation is critical. When you go to downtown anywhere and you see a skyscraper being built, they will court us in off the area where the skyscraper is going to be built, and you always know how high they plan to go up by how low they drill down. You cannot build a skyscraper on the foundation of a chicken coop, because a chicken coop can't handle a skyscraper. In other words, your foundation must be worthy of the building you plan to put on top of it. You can't have a big building on a small foundation. See, a lot of folk want God to do big things on a chicken coop foundation.

They want to have a massive spiritual mansion in their life, in their home, in their ministry, and in their culture when they're not willing to dig a hole big enough to handle it. So one man built on sand and the other man built on a rock. Both men heard these words of mine, but here was the difference. It says the wise man, verse 24, heard these words of mine and acted on them. It says the fool heard these words of mine and did not act on them.

If you want to build a life, a home, a ministry, or a society, a house, it must be resting on the right foundation, and the foundation is not merely information. The difference between the wise man and the fool was their willingness or unwillingness to act on what Jesus had taught. Or put it another way, only when the Word is applied does the Word work. God's Word does not work just because you hear it preached. God's Word does not work just because you were excited about what you heard or read. God's Word doesn't work just because you said amen to what was said. God's Word does not work just because you wave your hand in the air like you just don't care. God's Word does not work just because you agree with it. God's Word is only activated to work when applied.

If it is not applied, it's still God's Word, but you won't experience what it can do until you act on it. They were listening to God's Word, both of them, but only one did something with what he heard, and therefore only one experienced what was needed to be experienced based on what is taught. It is the responsibility tied to the ability to apply spiritual truth to life's decision-making. The fool in the Bible, the book of Proverbs, distinguishes between the wise man and the fool throughout the whole book of Proverbs, the fool in the Bible is the person who has the inability or refusal to apply spiritual truth to life's decision-making. So you only know you're wise or you're a fool by the decisions you make, by the action you take, not by the information you can quote. So quoting the Bible, rehearsing the Bible, saying biblical things, speaking Christianese, all that means absolutely nothing unless there was the decision to take the spiritual truth and do something with it in this living scenario. Wisdom in the Bible is always practical because it's always tied to life's choices.

When you choose God by action, not simply by talking, then you have activated divine programming from the Word into your life situation. Dr. Tony Evans will tell us more of this tale of two men tomorrow when he continues this lesson from his current teaching series, Kingdom Men Rising. As I mentioned earlier, if you help us continue this broadcast by making a donation to the ministry, we'll say thanks by sending you all 12 messages from this series along with this powerful new book by the same name, Kingdom Men Rising. This is a limited time offer, so don't put it off. Just reach out to our resource center at 1-800-800-3222. Team members are standing by around the clock to help you.

That's 1-800-800-3222 or visit TonyEvans.org. As we've been learning, every choice we make shapes us in some way. Tomorrow Dr. Evans will tell us more about the men he introduced us to today as he explores the consequences of the very different options they pick. I hope you'll be with 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 / 2023-11-30 03:55:25 / 2023-11-30 04:03:34 / 8

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