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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Matt Hagee » Matt Hagee - Words That Work For Fathers

Matt Hagee - Words That Work For Fathers

Matt Hagee - Words That Work For Fathers
Matt Hagee - Words That Work For Fathers
TOPICS: Power of Words, Fatherhood, Father's Day

If you would, please stand for the reading of God's word and turn to the book of Micah, the 6th chapter and the 8th verse, as this morning we speak to fathers and continue in our series "Words that work and statements that don't" with a message entitled "Words that work for fathers". Today it would seem that we take a moment of pause from our regular schedule to honor individuals that are very important in every one of our lives. But the truth is that it's no moment of pause at all because dads deserve honor each and every day. The Bible says, "Honor your father and your mother that it may be well with you".

Today is indeed marked on the calendar as father's day. But dad's, today we're speaking to you because you have a very important role to play in the future of the world. Whether you know it or not, you're the ones who can change history. And you're doing it each and every day. The reason is because your children, while today they only represent a portion of the population, soon they will take your place and be 100% of the future. And when they do, they will be whatever you trained them to be. This morning we consider words from God's truth that work for fathers. And today I am speaking to some of the best of the best, because you have chosen a righteous path.

And I'm here to tell each and every father in this room how desperately we need you. Your sons need you. Your sons need you to show them what it is to be a man of God and how to live your life for your family. Your daughters need you. They need you to be the arms of embrace that wrap around them and bring them comfort and confidence in a world that can be overwhelming. This church needs you and churches all over the country need you to be willing to take a stand as a leader and do what is right in the eyes of God. God needs you. God needs you to raise a banner of truth so that the world will know where to go. God needs you to be willing to trust him and take him at his word. God needs you, when you're overwhelmed, not to turn to something other than him, but to cast all of your cares upon him because he cares for you.

You say, well I don't know that all that's true. Listen to me. God has a role for you today. Your family may exist without you. The world may survive without you. But nothing works like God intended it to until you, dad, are there. We need you. Today we consider words that work for fathers. And it's my prayer that you hide them in your heart: that whenever the time comes and life's challenges face you, you know exactly what God would have you to do. If you found the book of Micah 6:8, say, amen. Let's read it together. "He has shown you, o man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God"?

Heavenly Father, you have given us words today that will not return void. These words work because you spoke them. Now give us the courage, as men of God, to put them to work in our lives: that our children and our children's children may see the blessings of God from generation to generation. In Jesus' name, we pray. And all of God's children said, amen.

You may be seated. Today, from God's word in the book of Micah, we see an affirmation for men. And it's an important thing to point out because we live in a world that fails to affirm men. As a matter of fact, right now, the culture is at war against men. We live in a world where the truth has become a lie, and a lie has become a truth. And if you're willing to stand up for truth, you're considered close minded. I'll give you a very real case and point of that. It's just something that seems to have settled into our society. But if you were born a natural male, and you choose to behave like a man, you're close minded. I mean how dare you make a decision. How dare you speak your mind. How dare you stand up for what you believe in. How dare you like red meat and not kale.

Kale, if you cover it in coconut oil, it's a lot easier to throw away when you scrape it out of a pan. We live in a world that has chosen to wage war on masculinity because they want to do anything and everything they can to take away the confidence that is to be instilled in the individual who is to lead the household. But men, God affirms you. If he didn't affirm you, he would not have said to you that he requires something of you. Your earthly father may not have affirmed you. You may have been rejected by individuals who should have loved you. You may have been left out when you should have been brought in. But God affirms you today. He says, here's what I require of you. Here's what I want from you. I want you to do justly. Simply stated, I want you to do what's right.

And people often want to debate, well, what is right? Let me tell you something. It's not complicated. Right is not relative. Right comes from God's word. James said, "To him who knows to do right and does it not, to him it is sin". There may have been a time in your life when you didn't know right from wrong. But the second that you encountered Christ, you began to understand right. And once you know right and choose not to do it, it's sin. God says, "To do justly, to do what's right, to love mercy". Say that with me, to love mercy. You know what I love? I love lunch. And you know that I love lunch because I look forward to lunch. When I haven't had lunch, I'm thinking about what is for lunch. And when I've had lunch, I'm thinking about how much I liked lunch. And this kind of just continues until the next time I get to eat guess what? Lunch.

Now how many of you are hungrier now than you were when I started preaching? When the Bible says, "Love mercy," it's God's way of saying, you need to look forward to the next time that you get to forgive somebody. You need to enjoy the idea that because God first loved you and he forgave you, you have the privilege to forgive others of the transgressions and the offenses that they have done in your life. And you say, I don't know if I can do that. Well let me tell you, if you don't, you will divide generations. You will separate fathers and sons, brothers, sisters, mothers and wives. Love mercy. Love mercy because God did. He loved it so much, he gave you his only begotten son: that when he died, you could become his. And then, "Walk humbly". "Walk humbly".

I know a lot of people who are really proud of their humility. Just think about it. But when you walk humbly with God, you do what you do for him and no one else. It doesn't require accolades and affirmation because you recognize that why you do what you do is because God has done something for, and in, and through you. That's what God requires. And God affirms you as a man because he wants you to accomplish these things.

Men, you need to know today you are indeed wanted. All of hell wants you. All of hell wants to ensnare you. They want you to hold onto bitterness rather than love mercy. They want you to be fearful of the future, because you're still dealing with the past. They want you to be chained with addiction so that they can use those same bondages to bring it to your son or your daughter in a generational curse. They want you tempted with lust, and temper, and greed, and prejudice, and violence, and any other vice you can name, because Satan knows that if he can wound you, he can stop the household. You're the head. And anything with a head wound doesn't function right.

So Satan wants you. He wants you to ignore your son. He wants you to ignore him so that the rejection that gets sowed into him will cause him to look for affirmation and acceptance in any other form of behavior. He wants you to ignore and walk away from your daughter, so that whenever you walk away from her, she will walk towards any other man. He wants you to reject and leave your wife, because the second you do, you have shackled her to the chains of poverty, you to be the provider. Satan wants you. But the good news is so does God. God wants you. And it doesn't how much hell is haunting you. If God is for you, who can be against you? God wants you, men. God wants you to do what's right. And you say, well according to James, it's "To him who knows to do right and does it not..." Well let me give you some more specifics. God also told us in Ephesians, "Love your wives".

So God wants us to love our wives, is it right to do that? Yes. You say, well I love her. I told her on the day we got married forty years ago and I ain't changed my mind. God wants you to love your wife. God wants you to demonstrate to your children what it means to love God's word. God calls you the prophet of the household. He says that you are a royal priesthood, a holy nation. In Colossians 3:21, he gives you instructions not to provoke your children but to show them what you should do. God considers you the priest of the household. Those are two very different roles. When you're a prophet, you get God's word and you bring it to people. This is what the prophets in the Old Testament did. Samuel was a prophet. God spoke to Samuel. Samuel spoke to Israel.

When God uses you as the prophet in your household, God expects you to get into his word, and then you bring his word to your family. But then God also wants you to be a priest. And a priest, unlike a prophet, didn't bring the word to the family, but he brought the family to the Lord. You see when Israel needed a sacrifice, they went to the priest. When Israel needed the prayers, they went to the priest. When Israel needed someone to go to God, they talked to the priest. Jesus Christ, according to the book of Hebrews, has become our high priest, so that there is no longer a need for those things. But God looks at you, dad, and he says you're the priest of the household. You bring that family to me. You bring them to my house. You bring them to my word. You bring them to me in prayer. And then God also expects you to provide.

Now here in this world, according to the currency of men, we think that provision is measured by a bank account. But in God's economy, it's not. Indeed God expects you to work and he wants the work to be a blessing to your family. But when God looks at provision, he goes much deeper than the balance in your bank account. God expects you to guard. He expects you to gird. And he expects you to guide. Three g's, guard, gird, guide. Say the first one with me, guard. Now guarding used to be a lot easier than it is today. Fifty years ago, if you needed to guard the family, you just locked the door, you loaded the gun, and if it crawled through the window, you shot it. They wouldn't even open up a case. They'd just say, was that the wrong address? Yes. Okay: get him out of here.

Now, guarding is a whole different ball game. Why? Because there are so many things that technology has allowed to come into your house that you don't even know are there. Now we've to guard everything. We've got a password for the WIFI. We've got a lock for the remote control. We've got spyware for the computer. We've got GPS that can control the car. We've got a background check and a blood test for the babysitters. We've got a private investigator following the boyfriend. And we've got a mediator giving us the opportunity to come to a compromise on what music, wardrobe, and color of your hair is going to be this week. There's all kinds of things you've got to guard against.

Fifty years ago, birds were the only thing that tweeted. Now all kinds of creatures can do it. It used to be that you used to have television equipment to be on television. If you didn't have a camera, and if you didn't have a broadcast contract, and if the FCC didn't approve the content as being appropriate for all ages, and if the permission of the viewer at home didn't turn you on, on the day that you were on, at the time that you were on, at the place that you were on, then people didn't get to see you. Now everybody's their own broadcast network: thanks to iPhones. And they'll put up, and say, and do, and be anything, and invade your home and are talking to your children much more than you know. They're on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

So whenever it comes to guarding, you have got to get in your kid's lives and stay there. You want to hang out with my kids, you better really like me, because we're going to spend a lot of time together. You say, well, they're young. That ain't going to change when they get old. You want to date my daughter, buy three tickets to the movies. Don't worry: I'll sit in the back. Y'all can sit up front. Parents hear that kind of talk, and they say, well, you've got to set some boundaries. You've got to. You've got to really respect their space. Let me give you some very clear instruction about boundaries. Boundaries begin with bills. When they pay the bills, they get boundaries. As long as you pay the bills, they don't have boundaries.

Well there's safe spaces. The safest space is to be where I said when I said or beware when I find you. Well that's old fashioned. Well, it works. You've got to guard your children and don't apologize for doing it. But not only is there guarding: there's girding. Say that word with me, gird. Now that's an old English word that we don't get to hear a lot of these days, because there's not really a modern purpose for it. But here's the truth about girding. Girding was whenever a man was wearing a belt. And in the time of the Bible, most of the men wore lose-fitting garments. They wore togas and robes and things of that nature because it was the most accommodating in the climate.

But whenever it came time for action, when a man was going go out to war, what he would do is he would loosen his belt and he would take up all of those lose garments, and he would make sure that they were out of the way and not impeding any of his movement. They weren't going to trip him and they were not going to become a place that an enemy could grab and pull him down. And so he would loosen his belt, he would pick up his garments, he would tighten his belt. And this action of loosening, gathering and tightening was girding. This is why we read in Ephesians 6, to have around your waist, the belt of truth. If you're going to succeed in spiritual warfare, if you're not going to be hindered in your movement, if you're going to be effective in combat and not pulled down by the enemy, then your belt must be sincere and true. "Gird yourself with truth".

Now that's a different teaching, but you get the picture of what it means to gird. There's a balance between guarding and girding. Why? Because we live in a society that has guarded their children so much that the kids don't know how to do anything like give themselves a drink of water. That's fine when you're five. But when you're 18, you ought to survive. People say, well I just want to protect and shelter and take care of my kids. What you need to know is that there is a difference between contained and trained. There are a lot of people who can contain their kids until they get out of the house. But the only way that you're going to know whether or not they're trained is if you turn them loose.

You say, well what do you mean? The other day, I was at a park, and I was watching a man with a dog. And he'd throw a retriever's toy, and he would give this dog signals. And he would whistle at him and make him stop, and make him turn. And then the dog would only go and retrieve upon command. And the man was being asked about the dog. And he said, "Well, I've trained this dog". And then he had a kennel sitting over on the other side of the park. And somebody said, "Is that dog trained"? And he said, "No". And he said, "Well let's get that dog out and see what he did". And he took the door off of the kennel. The dog ran out and went everywhere. Come, sit, stop. The only thing that would have caught that dog was a bullet.

Believe me: no dogs were hurt in the telling of this story. But it hit me, as I watched that man take both of those dogs, one trained and one untrained, and put them back into the kennels and lock the doors. When they were both contained, you couldn't tell the difference between them. But it was when they came out of containment that training kicked in. And there are a lot of guarded and contained kids that need to be trained before they get out of your house. So how do you train your children? One, you train them by your behavior, because they will do what they watch you do. Two, you train them by allowing them to become more responsible the taller they get. There is a time when it's important for you to do everything for them. But there is a time for them to learn what it means to do something for themselves. Why? Because some day they're going to have to go and accomplish that big, bad, nasty "W" word, work.

And if you don't teach them how to work before they leave your house, they won't work after they're gone. That's why we've got a generation of kids that are walking out of college and walking into professions that have nothing to do with their degree plan. Oh, it's the economy. You want to know what a bad economy was? Go back to 1929 and talk to people who went from being lawyers to broom pushers. Was bad. And do you know how they got out of it? They worked their way out of it. They didn't complain that nobody needed their services anymore. They just learned a new job and went after it.

Now we've got a generation that we've done everything for. We've fed them, and we've clothed them, and we've taken care of them, and we've shown them, and we've bought their car, and we paid for their school, and we gave them our credit card. And then they graduated, and we said, "Get a job". And they went, "No". And that's got to change. You've got to train them. And people look at me, and I'll tell you, I have lived a blessed and I have lived a privileged life, because I had a father that was willing to work. But let me tell you what he did for me. He started picking cotton when he was eight. Well, he gave me four years off. And when I was twelve, he made me go unload trucks. And it was a family business so there wasn't any labor laws. Don't call CPS. I survived. But I didn't need a job to help pay the bills. I needed a job because I needed to learn what this "Work" thing was.

People say, "Well why did you decide to come work at the church with puppets"? Because if you've ever unloaded rotten onions, puppets are a lot more pleasant than onions. It didn't take me too long on that loading dock to know I need a new job. Lord, I feel the call. There's air conditioning over at that church. Yes, Lord, I'll serve you there. But it was work, and it was training, and it was preparation. And now at 38, I know that the only thing that comes before success is struggle. And I'm not discouraged when it gets tough. I just believe that the tougher it gets, the better it's going to be when I get there. I didn't get that from Nintendo. I got that because I was trained. I was girded, prepared for action.

Not only does got expect you to gird and prepare, but he also expects you to guide. He expects you, dad, to say things to your children that will give them direction: that will tell them the way that they should take, because that's what your Heavenly Father does. The best way for you to guide your children is to show them how well and how closely you follow God. 1 Corinthians 11:3 says that the head of every man is Christ. And when your children see you submit your life to the leadership of Jesus Christ, they are not afraid to follow the leader, because their leader is doing the same. Now when men hear what God expects, the first thing that naturally jumps into their spirit is, you can't expect that from me because you don't know how I was raised.

And certainly there are stories all over this room of absentee fathers, and fathers who weren't there because they passed early, or dads who just simply walked out on their responsibility, or dads who were not godly men, or dads who raised children the wrong way. But let me tell you something. Your Heavenly Father has given you his word of truth. And the Bible says, "The truth will set you free".

Today, regardless of the past that you had, you have been set free, because old things have passed away and behold, all things have become new. Your earthly father may have shut you out, but God, your Heavenly Father, has brought you in. Your earthly father may not have been there. But your Heavenly Father has never left you. Your earthly father may not have shown you much love. But your Heavenly Father loves you unconditionally. Your earthly father may have never prayed with you. He may have never blessed you. He may have never shown you what to do. But that doesn't mean that you have to walk in that way, because your Heavenly Father has opened the windows of heaven and poured out upon you blessings that you cannot contain.

The yoke is broken! The burden is lifted! The shackles are shattered! Your generational curse was canceled at the cross! And whom the son sets free is free indeed! Men, God wants you. And in the balance of this service, I want to show you three fathers that God uses in the Bible that could speak to us today. One of the things that we've done with God's word is we've tried to convince ourselves in this modern world that this ancient book doesn't have a lot of relevance. That's not true. The more modern the world gets, the more relevant this becomes. And so today I want to show you three fathers that God blessed in a very real way. The first is a faithful father. And the portrait of a faithful father, in my opinion, is found in The Book of Job. Whenever we meet Job, the Bible says that Job was blameless and Job was upright.

Now men, I'm not going to ask you, because I know that you're proud of your humility. But ladies, how many of you know truly blameless men? Okay. Just checking. I asked the first service and three people got up and walked out. It was funny. Nobody's blameless. Everybody's got something wrong with them. If you don't think so, ask your mother-in-law: she'll tell you. And yet, the Bible says Job was blameless. And Job had seven sons and he had three daughters. And the Bible says that Job sacrificed for his seven sons and three daughters regularly. That means he did it faithfully.

Now there are things that we men do on occasion. Maybe we occasionally get up and read. Or maybe we occasionally take the time to pray. But when the Bible says that Job did this regularly, it meant that this was his habit. He would bring ten animals. And for his seven sons, he would sacrifice for each of them an animal. And for his three daughters, he would sacrifice for each of them an animal. And the Bible says he did this because he wasn't worried about them, but he wanted to cover them with prayer, because he said, maybe it is that one of my children has cursed God in their hearts. He didn't have anything to indict them for: he just wanted to make sure that they were covered by his spiritual covering.

And so doing this, this process of the sacrifice, it wasn't just some quick and easy, "Now I lay me down to sleep, watch over my baby please Jesus" prayer. Sacrificing was a process. It took time. It was an investment. It took capital. He had ten animals for each one of his children. And I know that there are fathers in this place today that just like Job, on a regular basis, you invested yourselves in your children. You did what the Bible required of you. You might not be perfect, but before God you're blameless because according to his truth of guarding, girding, guiding, you did your job when you had the chance. But just like Job, you found out how quickly life can change. Job was faithful. Job did it right. Job didn't deserve his outcome. But some day it just isn't fair.

And Job receives the news that no father wants to hear. They don't tell him that one of his children has passed. They tell him all ten were in one house having one feast when the roof caved in, and they're all gone. Imagine Job's agony. In spite of his faithfulness, he's standing at a loss. He invested in them. He provided for them. He protected them. He prepared them: and yet, they're gone. Some of you today have seen your children snared by the enemy. You've seen your baby wrapped in the bondage of drugs. You've been faithful: and yet, the world has lured your children, your son, your daughter, into the far country. And though they live and breathe, it feels like they're gone. You've been faithful but life has been cruel. And in your faithfulness, you wonder, what do I do? How do I carry on?

When the details of the story are so overwhelming and painful that you can't even begin to express them, all you can do is contain them. You begin to wonder, how am I going to get through this? Well I invite you to see what Job did. The Bible says that there by the graves of his children, Job wept. Say that with me: "Job wept". Men, there is nothing wrong with grieving. There is such a thing as good grief. The Bible says Job wept. But when he wept, he didn't get mad, and say, God, why? He didn't look up into the heavens and say, I sacrificed for each of them, and I asked you to watch over them, and this is what you gave me in return. He didn't walk around in circles and decide that God had failed and he was no longer going to remain faithful to the God who had given him all things. Instead, with his grief, rather than allow it to become resentment, he lifted up his hands and he began to praise the Lord.

And he said, God I don't understand. I really wish I had an understanding like you do. But your ways are not my ways and your plan is not my plan. So all I can do while I stand here and grieve is say that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, but blessed be the name of the Lord. In my good times, you're still God. And in my bad times, you're still God. And I believe that as long as you're God, then you're watching over me. And he who began a good work in me, he's faithful to complete it even unto the day of Christ Jesus. So God, the world may give up on me, but I'm not giving up on you! You say that doesn't make sense. No, it doesn't. But it makes a way. When Job lifted up his hands in his hurt season and he blessed God, the Bible says that God rewarded him with a blessing. And the Bible says in the end of Job's story, it says, "Now the Lord blessed Job". Say that with me, "Now the Lord blessed Job more in his latter days than in the beginning".

And you say, well what about the kids? He gave him seven more sons and he gave him three more daughters. And you say, well if he had seven and he got seven, that's not double. Yes, it is. God didn't give him replacements: God gave him additions. You say, well how do you figure that? Remember I told you last week, "This earth is the temporal home: heaven is the eternal one". When I get to heaven, I'm going to walk down a street, and I'm going to see a mansion for Abraham. And I'm going to see one for Isaac. And I'm going to see one for Jacob. And then there's going to be one that says "Job". And when I walk into the front door, I'll look in the family room, and there's not going to be seven chairs for seven sons: there'll be 14 chairs for 14 sons, and there'll be six chairs for six daughters. And at the head of the table will sit one man with 20 children for all of the ages. And what he lost for a little time down here on this earth, he gained back in glory. And now that he's got it again, of that time, there shall be no end!

So the message is, dad, when life isn't faithful to you, you be faithful to God. Not only are there faithful fathers, but there's forgotten fathers. Jesus told us the story of a forgotten father. In the book of Luke 15:11, he speaks these words, "And a certain man had two sons". Now this is the story of the prodigal. And we know what the prodigal decided to do. He wanted his inheritance early. He went and he spent it all. He found himself face down in a pigpen. And he decided he would get up and come home. And the Bible tells us that on his way home, "While he was still a great ways off, the father saw him". Now the only way that a dad could see you coming a great ways off is if he was looking for you. And so in the story of the prodigal, we not only have a wayward son, but we have a forgotten father.

You say, how do you know? Because on the day the boy left home, dad watched the way that he went. And on the day that he came back, dad was still looking. Now what we don't know is how long was the father forgotten. Did the son go off and just have a weekend? Or was he gone for decades? Regardless of how long it was, dad was faithful to keep watching, and keep waiting, and keep hoping, and keep believing that some day that boy would come home. There are fathers in this place today who feel forgotten. They've watched their children walk out of their lives. And they keep watching, and they keep waiting, and they keep wondering, when will they come home?

I want you to know, while the world may forget, God forgets no one. He said, "I am the friend that sticks closer than a brother". When others walk out, I walk in. When you're looking for an embrace, I'll be there as the glory and the lifter of your head. I'll restore what the enemy has tried to destroy. David said that "Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers them out of them all". He said, "Train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old, he'll not depart from it". If you're a forgotten father in this place today, and your children on earth have forgotten you, I assure you, in the name of Jesus, by the hand of the Holy Spirit, they can be placed under house arrest and brought back to the place where they abandoned you. And God can restore the relationship that you've lost, because with God all things are possible!

And I close with this: there's the father who got a second chance. Now men, earlier, I asked your wives or your mothers, or mothers-in-laws if they knew any blameless men. Now I'm going to ask you a question. You know any men who need a second chance every now and again? What I really meant to say was we don't always get it right. But the good news is God finds a way, a miraculous way, to give us a second chance. Here's the story. The father who got a second chance is named Jacob. In Genesis 45:26, Jacob's sons come back to tell him that the son he thought was dead is alive. Now we know the story of Joseph, but here's the situation. Jacob favored Joseph so much that he turned the hearts of his other children against him.

You say, how do you know that? Well, they saw him coming one day, and they said, "Behold the dreamer cometh. Let's kill him and see what becomes of the dream". How many of you would say that's a little extreme for sibling rivalry? Now if you know the story, you know that they didn't kill him. They sold him into slavery and they sent him to Egypt. But they took his garment that his father gave him. They covered it in blood and they took it back to dad, and cruelly told their father, your boy is dead.

Now think about the years that Jacob spent grieving. Think about the times that he paced the floor at night, longing to hold Joseph, and thinking to himself, it's my fault. I did too much for him. I loved him too much. I favored him. I didn't allow the others to have a place in my heart. I turned them against him. Oh, if I could see Joseph again. Oh, if I could hold Joseph again. Oh, if I could take back the mistakes that I made and we could be a family again. And suddenly, his sons come after a trip to Egypt where they recognized Joseph and they know he's still alive. And Joseph tells them, go tell my father that I'm alive. They come and they see Jacob, and they say to Jacob, "Your son Joseph is still live. He is the govern of the land of Egypt". And it says, "Jacob's heart stood still".

Say that with me, Jacob's heart stood still. And then the next words are "And Israel said". Say that with me, and Israel said. Now what's so big about these words right here in scripture? If you know anything about the life of Jacob, you know that Jacob was the heel catcher. He was the deceiver. He was the supplanter. He was the one who had to flee and run from his home, because he had stolen his brother's birthright, and Esau wanted to destroy him. And one night while he was on the run, God and Jacob engaged in a wrestling match. It says that Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord. And just as day was about to break, the angel of the Lord said, turn me loose.

Now when you're wrestling with an angel, you've been at it all night and you haven't let go, that's intense. And Jacob says, "I will not let go until you bless me". So what was the blessing that he got? He got a new spiritual identity. The angel of the Lord said to him, "Your name will no longer be Jacob". Jacob means deceiver. Jacob means heel catcher. Jacob is your natural character. "Your name is now Israel," which means prince with God. Now listen. All of Jacob's life, he had two characters. He had Jacob with his natural tendencies to deceive, and to run, and to hide, and to do all the things that Jacob wanted to do. And he had Israel, which was born of God and meant prince with God.

So whenever you see the Bible say, "Jacob did this" and, "Israel did that," what the Bible is telling you is that the character of God in him was speaking up. And here's the point: Jacob wanted a second chance with Joseph more than he wanted anything. And when he heard that God was going to give him that second chance, his flesh got so full of fear, he said, I just don't know if I can go look at him. But rather than stay there like he wanted to, the Spirit of God woke up in him and said, "It is enough... I will go and see my son before I die".

There are men in this room, and you know better than I do what your natural character is. You know what your tendencies are. You know who you are without God in your life. And you know what God has done in your life. And maybe you're here today, and you're asking God Almighty, give me another chance. Give me a chance to make it right for the times that I wasn't there. Give me a chance to take back what I said that I shouldn't have said. Give me a chance to mend and build a bridge where I've built a wall and a barrier. Give me a chance! I believe that God will. But when he does, don't let Jacob get in the way. Don't let your natural man tell you "No". Swallow that pride and let the Spirit of God arise in you, and say, it's enough. The pain of the past needs to go away. The bitterness of yesterday needs to die. And I need to walk forward in the love of Almighty God, because this is what God has given me to do. And I am going to give God the chance to give me a second chance, in Jesus' name.

Now here's what happened. The Bible says that Israel went and he saw Joseph, and he ran to him, and he wept with him, and he kissed him, and he held him in his arms. You say, well, "How do you know that God gave him a second chance"? Because in Genesis 48:12, it says, "And Israel", that's Jacob, "He brought the sons of Joseph up onto his knees and he blessed them". No father lets a grandfather take their son onto his knees unless everything is all right between dad and grandpa. God wants to bring your family together like that. And he can and will do it if you'll let the Spirit of God make a way where there seems to be no way. Men, God wants you. He wants you to do justly. He wants you to love mercy. He wants you to walk humbly. And even if the world is against you, God is for you. And if God is for you, who can be against you? God bless you, fathers. Heaven is cheering for you loudly. Happy father's day.
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