Robert Morris - From Broken to Blessed
All right, we are in a series called, Blessed Families, and we talked about The Broken Family, Adam and Eve. We talked about The Blessed Marriage last weekend. This weekend, I want to talk about, From Broken to Blessed, and I want to remind you that we all came from a broken family, Adam and Eve. And again, not referring to divorce, referring to the brokenness of sin. All right? I want to show you four stages that we all go through to go from broken to blessed, because we're all born broken. So, we're going to talk about how to go from broken to blessed, all right?
So, these are the four stages. They all have two words, each point, and the second word is "me" in every point. So, hopefully you can remember these four points, all right? Number one, the stage is "Give me", Give me. This is where we all start, every person, every baby, every spiritual baby, every marriage. We all start with "give me". Let me show it to you in the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:12. "And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me. Give me the portion of goods that falls to me". Now, let me say this again. Every baby starts here. Every baby starts, "Give me". Every child starts here.
We desire, as parents, for our children to grow out of the "give me stage". Would you agree? Some of us are thinking, yeah, I've got a 27 year old still in the "give me" stage. Some of you might be thinking, I've got a 45 year old and I'm married to him! All right, but let's not talk about that, all right? But, we all start here. We also start here spiritually. Maybe you've never thought about this, but we are born again, so we are spiritual babies. And I want you to understand, God doesn't resent that, that we're in the give me stage as spiritual babies. He doesn't resent it. You don't resent it when your newborn baby wants a bottle. You don't resent that baby, because you're not expecting any more out of that baby than to just be a newborn baby.
In the same way, God's not upset because we start out in the give me stage. If you think about it, many of us get saved out of selfishness, and I want you to think about it. We get saved because we don't want to go to hell. We get saved because we want God to clean up the mess that we've made. We get saved, many times, out of a "give me" mentality. In other words, many times we don't get saved, people don't give their lives to Jesus so they can do something for God, it's so God can do something for us. Right? And again, I'm trying to tell you, God's not upset about this. He understands. He does want us to grow up.
Paul had to address this to the church in Corinth and say you're still babies, and by now, you ought to be teachers. You ought to grow up. You do need to grow up, but we start with the give me stage. Okay, same with marriages. Marriages start in the give me stage. The husband wants the wife to meet his needs, and the wife wants the husband to meet her needs. Now, there are some needs that God has designed a husband can meet in a wife, some needs that God has designed that a wife can meet in a husband, but you have to understand, there are some needs that only God can meet. And if you're looking for your spouse to meet the needs that only God can meet, you're going to be disappointed.
This give me spirit, you can see it throughout the Scriptures. Let me show you another famous give me in one of the disciples that you know about, the one who betrayed Jesus. Matthew 26:14-15, "Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, 'What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you'? And they counted to him thirty pieces of silver". Give me, that's where we all start.
You know, Debbie and I have grandchildren, and we love our grandchildren. Our grandchildren are obviously wonderful. They're maturing, they're growing, but they're still children, so they're in the give me stage. We love to do things with our grandchildren, but here's what I've noticed about my grandchildren, we never get to do what I want to do. We always do what they want to do. They never say to me, Pap-Paw, you're such a good Pap-Paw. What would you like to do today?
So, that's the first stage, "Give me". Here's the second stage, "Use me". Use me. Now, I'm gonna shock you. There is a use me" that is pure and from a mature standpoint, and we're going to get to that, but I'm gonna phrase it a little differently than this. But, the second stage we move into is use me, and it's not a good use me. It's "use me so I can be seen, or significant, or feel important". This is the next stage that every Christian goes through: "Give me", and then, "Use me".
It's, we talked about a few weeks ago, fame, how fame entered in after the fall. It's that wanting to be significant, wanting to be seen. Let me say it another way. We say give me because of selfishness. We say use me because of selfish ambition. Philippians 2:3 says, "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself". Now, I'd underlined selfish ambition. Here's the reason I underlined it. That's two words to us in the English. In the Greek, it's one word. It's only one word. It's in the New Testament seven times. Sometimes it says self-seeking. James 3:14 says about self-seeking.
Okay, but here's the point I want you to notice. When the Bible talks about ambition, it puts the word selfish as a part of it. Now, please hear me, because people say, Well, isn't there a good ambition? Listen, not according to the Bible, because here's why. The definition of ambition is self-seeking self-promoting. So you say, "Well, wait a minute, what about someone who has drive"? That's great. That's great if they have drive, but why? See, when I'm looking at training young men and young women in the gospel and in ministry, I literally am trying to beat selfish ambition out of them, because I know it's there. Every person's born with it. And, that's where we move into. We move into this give me stage, and then we move into this use me stage.
Let me show you a verse. This is talking about Simon the magician. He sees the laying on of hands and the giving of the Holy Spirit from Peter and John, and then this is what he says to them, Acts 8:19. "Saying, Give me, give me, this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit". In other words, "give me something so I can feel significant, so I can have power".
Okay, let me relate this again to a marriage. In a marriage, we start out like, give me something so I'll feel good about myself or so I'll be happy, and then we move into, you're not meeting my needs, you're not making me happy, so I need to do something to make me happy. Now, think about this. Now, I've done a lot of marriage counseling. Most of the marriage counseling fits around "he's not meeting my needs," or "she's not meeting my needs". That's the give me phase. But then, the next step they move into is, okay, I've realized I'm not going to get happiness out of this person, which I thought I would, so now I need to do something to be happy. This is normally when divorce occurs. A person begins to try to do something to get happiness, and happiness does not come from "something", it comes from "someone" only. His name is Jesus.
Okay, so in the Prodigal Son's life, this is when he left, to do something that would make him happy. Luke 15:13, "And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal, or sexual immoral, living". That's what that means, sexually immoral. Okay, so he decides to do something to make him happy. How many times have we seen people go through this stage? Many times it happens at about 10 years in a marriage, just to say that. I'm not trying to scare anyone, I'm simply saying you need to press into God. Normally, I've watched around 10 years in the marriage, and then sometimes at 20 and 30 as well, all of the sudden they get tired of, "this person's not meeting my needs, so I'm going to try to find my needs met somewhere else".
Now, we're talking about the family, so let me say something about marriage. I like to say things that shock you. One is, it causes you to think. Secondly, it's just fun, okay? But, God did not create marriage to make you happy. Some of you are thinking, It's working! Okay. Here's why God created marriage. God created marriage... ready? Here's another shock: to kill you. Some of you are thinking, It's working! It's a slow death, but it's working! Okay. In essence, yes, He created marriage to make you happy, yes. But, He knows that the only way that you'll ever be happy is if you die to self. So, He created marriage to kill you.
Think about it. God creates Adam, and He thinks, Okay, the only way he'll ever be happy is if he's not selfish, if he dies to self. So, what can We do to get him to die to self? Oh, I know! Let's make him live with someone. And let's make her... listen, I love this phrase, the opposite sex. Yeah, let's have him live with someone who's opposite of him. That'll drive him crazy. And then, she needs to die to self, too. So, if living with the man doesn't kill her, let's give both of them children. That will for sure kill them!
So, we go from the give me to the use me stage. Here's the third stage, Search me. Now we're beginning to move into maturity: Search me. In Luke 15, in the Prodigal Son's life, the change came, Verse 17. "But when he came to himself". Let me say it another way: when he began to search his own heart, when he began to search himself. This is the way the psalmist says it, Psalm 139:23-24. "Search me, O God", this is probably a Scripture you've memorized or heard at some point. "Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me, and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me". This is when we stop focusing on someone else meeting our needs, or what's wrong with our spouse, and we start focusing on what's wrong with us.
You know, it's amazing when I talk about Blessed Families or blessed marriages, here's what many of us are doing. We're thinking, Way to go, Pastor, fix him. I'm glad you're gonna preach on family and marriage, cause she needs it. Can I just say something' real straightforwardly to you? You're an immature believer. You're immature, because the maturation process is that you stop focusing on give me and use me so I'll have focus and attention to me, to search me. I don't want to anymore search and see what I can find out what's wrong with him, I want to find out what's wrong with me.
If you really want a blessed marriage and a blessed family, fix yourself. Work on yourself. Quit trying to work on the other one. Let God take care of that one. Fix yourself. And so, this process is when we begin searching. I want you to think about this. I remember one time saying to the Lord... He was getting on to me about an attitude. And I said, "Yeah, but did You see what she did"? And He said to me, "No, I was just looking at you". And He gave me this little vision that I've never shared with the church, and I want to share it with you. I want you to think about if God had a tube, and He put that tube over you, and He was watching you from heaven, everywhere you went, everything you did. And then He sees you throw a fit, and He says, "Hey, hey, hey, that's not right"! And we say, "Yeah, but God, did You"? "No, I'm not looking at her right now. I'm looking at you".
See, I'm not responsible for anyone else's actions. I'm only responsible for my actions and my reactions. By the way, God could have put that tube over His Son, and every action and every reaction was perfect. Even when they nailed Him to the cross, here's what God saw. God saw His Son say, "Father, will You forgive them? They don't know what they're doing". See, this is a sign of maturity, when we stop telling God, "Look what they did to me", and we start saying, "God, search my heart. Search me, try me". Search, search, that word, search.
I got to thinking about that word, search. Our son, James, when he was about two and three years old, went through this little phase of hiding, and we would have to search for him, and I mean search for him. And, he was really good at hiding. You know how a child will hide, and you can go in a room... first of all, they hide and you can still see them, you know? But they don't think you can see their legs sticking out from under the bed, but you know, and then they get a little smarter and realize you can see. Okay, but you can go in a room and you can say, like, "Is James in this room"? You know, and you hear this, He-he-he-he, and so you know he's there, you know?
Okay, he never "he-he-he'd"... never. And, he was quiet. I mean, it was just crazy, you know? And he would hide and, I mean, it scared us. And literally, I'd go in rooms and say, "James, I'm not playing anymore. And if you don't come out right now, I am going to spank you. You understand? Right now, come out"! He wouldn't come out. But my point is, I thought about this word, search, and I thought, we used to have to search diligently. Think about if you lost a child in a mall or something. Some of you men have done it, but your wives don't know that yet, but... And you just, you frantically search. Okay, here's my question. How diligently are you searching your own heart? Cause that's what David said - Search me, search my heart, try my faults, and see if there's any wicked way. This is a sign of maturity.
Here's the fourth stage, is "Make me". Make me. See, we start with "give me", we move to "use me", but it's for the wrong reason. We then start saying, "God, search me, I really want to have purity on the inside". And then, we move to "make me", and let me just fill in the blank here, "a vessel fit for the Master's use". Let me say it another way. "Make me a servant, to my spouse, to my family, to the church, to You, Lord".
Let me show it to you in the Prodigal Son's life, Luke 15:19. "I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me...", there they are, those two words, "Make me like one of your hired servants". Now, you know what I actually think he's saying? I think he's actually saying, "I know I'm your son, but make me a servant. I never had a servant's heart or a servant's attitude. Make me".
Now, when we talk about the Prodigal Son, sometimes we could have the tendency to say, "Well, that really doesn't relate to me. I've never gone into sin like that". Remember that this father had two sons, and did you know that the same attitude that was in the younger son was in the older son? He just didn't leave home. You remember where the younger son started, "Give me the portion of goods that falls to me"? Give me, we all start with give me? That's the very first stage? Watch what the older son... remember, the younger son comes home, the dad throws the party and the older son won't go in? Watch what the older son said. Luke 15:29, "So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time, and yet you never gave me'". He's still in the give me stage. "You never even gave me a young goat that I might make merry with my friends". By the way, the father's response, Verse 31, "And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours".
Can I tell you the answer to the maturing process and that give me attitude that we all have? God is trying to tell us, "Listen, it's not what I can give you, it's that you can be with Me. And when you're with Me, everything I have is yours. It's not even that I need to give you something to make you happy anymore. You're happy because you're with Me. But when you're with Me, everything I have is yours. You get it all when you're with Me".
I was thinking about this series, Blessed Families, and I want to just remind you that the word blessed means happy. The word blessed, there's a Hebrew word for blessed and a Greek word. The Greek word is makarios, and it means happy. If you go to the Beatitudes, and Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are you when you are persecuted for My name's sake, all of the blessed, Blessed are those who seek God, all of that. Okay, listen. Well, it means happy. So when we talk about being blessed, we're not talking about financial blessings or anything like that. I'm talking about happy, just being happy, being happy, joyful, happy.
Some people, I feel, actually feel guilty when God starts blessing them, because they've come from such a brokenness that they don't feel worthy. Well, you need to know, first of all, you're not worthy, but you believed in Jesus, who is worthy. And the Father wants to bless you, just like you want to bless your kids, same way. The blessing really doesn't have anything to do with you or your performance, it has to do with Him and who He is, His nature and character. But I got to thinking about this blessed and the word makarios, and I want to just share in closing a phenomenal, phenomenal testimony.
I mentioned Pastor Jack Hayford a moment ago. About seven or eight years ago, Pastor Jack was walking. He walks around in his neighborhood in the mornings or the evenings for exercise and to pray and things. And he was walking, and he just had this thought, just, a thought came in his mind. You know, years ago he'd had a golden lab, and he just thought, I'd kind of like a golden lab again to walk around the block with me. Had that thought. And then went right on, never thought about it, didn't think about it for more than that one statement.
A few days later, this is when his first wife, Anna, was still alive, they were driving to a vacation home they have out in the country. They came up over a hill. There was a car parked on the side of the road. They could see a man saying to a dog, Stay, and then he got in his car and drove off. And they thought, I think that man's abandoning that dog. And they drove up, the dog was just sitting there, and another car was coming the other way, and the lady stopped and said, Did you all see that? It looks like that man abandoned that dog. And they said, We did. And they said, We have a home nearby, and so, we'll take him and call the vet, call the shelter, see if someone's missing him. Maybe give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he had found the dog himself and thought, no, the dog needs to go home, and this is where I found him, and you know, he'll go back home, you know, or something. I don't know.
So, Jack went over to get him, and he was just... you know, you can see it in your mind. He's just wagging' his tail, and big smile on his face. And so, he named him Mak, short for makarios, which means happy. And so, he gets this dog, puts him in the back seat, takes him to the vet, says, Hey, has anyone filed for a lost dog, or asked? No. They called the shelters. They check him out when he's there and he said, He's already had his shots. You know, the dog is in very good health. He's one to two years old. It's just perfect, because he's out of that puppy stage where he chews through everything.
And a few weeks went by, and no one called. And so, they thought, Well, this is just a gift from the Lord, you know? And so, then he's walking again one day and he's got the dog beside him, and he came to that same place, and he remembered that just a few weeks earlier he'd had that thought, I'd like a golden lab to walk with me, and now, here's the dog, you know? And then, he had this thought. Why would I think that God would arrange all of those details just because I had the thought that I wanted a dog? And he said, As soon as I thought it, he said, the Lord spoke to me and said, Why wouldn't I arrange all of those details? Why wouldn't I, to bless you?
Here's what I want to say to you. Quit thinking, "Why would God want to bless me"? Start thinking, "Why wouldn't God"? The God that sent His own Son to die for you and to purchase your salvation, why wouldn't He want you to have a blessed family?
Like, I can't even tell you how many times I go through that cycle where I start out saying, God, give me, but I end up saying, God, make me into Your servant. Make me a person that You can use. And I pray that you pray that as well today, and I also pray that God uses our families to be a blessing to every family that we meet. Thanks so much for watching. We're going to continue this series next time.