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Matthew 18:1-14

Chapter number eighteen, and we’re going to start in verse number one Gospel of Matthew Chapter one or I’m sorry, chapter 18, starting in verse one, we’re going to go through to verse number 14. Today we are in a series called Front Lines. This is a series that is focused on making sure that we get our homes in order spiritually, and by saying that we’re certainly not trying to insinuate that your homes are not in order. But what we want to do is invite you into the possibility that the Holy Spirit would want to work through you and reveal that maybe there are some things that could be adjusted, maybe some maintenance that needs to be done, or maybe a complete recall of how we are orchestrating our homes and how we are taking care of our marriages and discipling our children. And for those who are single, how you are actively participating in the community by the means of which God has given you in your life. And so we want to invite you into that conversation. And so today we’re going to hit the gospel of Matthew Chapter 18, starting in verse number one. I’m going to ask you one more time if you would please rise and stand in honor of God’s word for our initial and primary reading of it today. At that time, the disciples came to Jesus saying, who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven and calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever humbles himself, like this child, is the greatest and the kingdom of Heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin. It would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world for temptations, to sin for it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes. And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away, it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin cut it out and throw it away, it is better for you to enter life with one eye, then with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire. See that you do not despise one of these little ones for I tell you that in heaven, their angels always see the face of my father who was in heaven. What do you think if a man has 100 sheep and one of them has gone astray? Does he not leave the 99 on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the 99 that never went astray. So it is not the will of my father who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. You may be seated. Like I said, I’ll reiterate frontlines as a series where we’re focusing on getting back to leading our homes well and getting them in order. Spiritually, two weeks ago, we looked at the necessity to shut down the gateways to the world into sin in our own homes that sometimes we allow things in that influence us and entice our flesh and pull us away from the Lord. Last week, we looked at humility being the key to one of the key components to loving the Lord, our God with all of our heart and loving others as we love ourselves. And so today we’re going to focus on what I believe is one of the key issues that keeps us from leading our homes or leading our homes into spiritual order, as Christ has commanded of us. The key issue that we run into is found inside of us. The key issue is often behind my failure to get my home in order, spiritually, the failure to do so is that I myself am not right with God. I’m not saying that that salvation isn’t there, although if that’s the case, I would pray the Holy Spirit would bring a revelation to the fact that you need to be born again. But what I’m saying is in when when our relationship with God is not right, that’s going to flow into the rest of our household. We multiply what’s going on in our heart? If it’s purity and holiness by the power, the Holy Spirit, then people will mimic that because we’ll see the love for the Lord and those depend on the Lord to receive that themselves. But if it’s malice and hate and it’s bitterness and it’s lust and it’s all these other things, then that will multiply as well. You can’t lead someone to some place that you haven’t been yourself. You can’t actively lead people into healthy spiritual relationship, with God, if you yourself are not healthy. OK, we have to allow the Holy Spirit to change us, to sanctify us so that we can be made right with God. Now we’re made right, legally declared righteous because of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the grace of God. But if our relationship is out of alignment, then we depend on the Holy Spirit to bring us back into alignment. It seems to be that often when a person is not right with God, they have something that they’re holding on to or or there’s some sort of relational disruption in the relationship with God. It all seems to come back to a lack of understanding of just how much God loves us and the fact that he views us as his children. Because if we have a sin issue with those, really, if we have a sin issue, it’s a love issue. We love the sin more than we love the father. And this happens because we lose sight of how bad sin really is and how much it offends a holy god. And we lose sight of it because we lose sight and we forget about how much God loves us, because if we realize how much God loves us, then he protects us, then we wouldn’t want to love sin more than we love God, and we would fall in line with obedience. So let’s go look at verse number three here, it says. And I truly and Jesus are saying this truly. I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever humbles himself, like this child, is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Now there’s a lot in these two verses as it pertains to understanding how God sees us. He sees us for what we have been legally declared to be in heaven, and that is his kids. We have been adopted into the family of God. A believer in Christ is one of God’s kids. It doesn’t matter how long they have declared their faith in Jesus and walked with Jesus as Lord and Savior, that person is treated as a precious child of God. Every single one of them. Verse six says, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Jesus not holding back here. So what’s happening here is Jesus is presenting this great juxtaposition. At first in the first few verses, he’s talking about pulling this child up and talking about how we treat children in the context of actual physical children. But now he is clearly shifting. To talking about us as children, God’s children. The key phrase in this text being those who believe in me. So let’s read verse three and four again because it tells you how to become one of these children, one of God’s children. Calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them. And he said, Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever humbles himself, like this child, is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Now I have a slide up here. I want to break down these verses for you and and really investigate what it takes to become one of these children of God. As we look at this, here’s what it says. Truly, I say to you unless you turn. OK, not word turn is Struff Fiti, I don’t think I’m saying that, right, but just flow with me. OK. OK. And that word means to turn around. OK, so it means to turn around so you could easily replace that with the word. Repentance. OK. Truly, I say to you, unless you repent and become like children now, the word children here is paidia. And it can also be rendered servant. OK. How many of you now are going to go home and call your children’s little servants? OK. Truly, I say to you, unless you repent and become like servants of God, you will never enter. Now, if you have to enter something that means what your current state you’re on the outside of it, you’re born on the outside of the Kingdom of God. Was that fair? Blame Adam and Eve. It’s really your fault, too. And my fault. But we were born outside the kingdom of God by our own sinful nature. Now, in part of that is we inherited it from our sinful fathers. And part of it is that we willingly participated. So in order to enter the Kingdom of God, that means you’re on the outside of it. To start with, you have to walk in. Whoever humbles himself, we spent a good deal of time talking about this last week, but this is an abandonment of human thought and personal status and right, you’re accepting the right to only seek the bottom of the pecking order. That’s your only right. You have no right to seek the top of the pecking order, the middle of the pecking order, or even like halfway up to the middle. You’re basically saying I’m going to go to the bottom, and that’s my only right. It is a radical change. It is a conversion, it is starting over again or what we know in other biblical terms as being born again. There’s only one way in to the Kingdom of God. And it goes by the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s being saved by grace through faith, and God does the saving, and he does it through his son, Jesus. You don’t come blasting into heaven as an adult, you do it crawling on your knees as a child. And when I mean that, I don’t mean an age. I mean, Mental, spiritual mentality and emptiness that you’re completely dependent upon God for all of your righteousness. You squeeze in like the camel through an eye of a needle. Now, here’s what we have to know before you learn how to become a good father, whether this is an earthly father or a spiritual father, whether you disciple someone or you actually have children before you learn how to become a good father, you have to first learn how to become a good son. And before you learn how to become a good mother, you first have to learn how to become a good daughter. Seems like there’s a lot of people trying to enter the Kingdom of God as adults. Spiritually independent, religiously gifted, full of themselves, not just cocky, but full of self-esteem and self prosperity, and all my wisdom that I’ve gained from the full of worldly knowledge and most notable of all, in control. The problem we’re trying to enter the Kingdom of God this way is that your credentials get revoked. You can’t storm in there with your worldly knowledge and all of your experiences and all of your earthly credentials and think that that’s going to get you into heaven. There’s a lot of people trying to get into heaven, trying to get into the Kingdom of God as they are as adults. And there is a sign above the door that says adults do not enter. You have to literally go back and become born again, and that means you have to admit I’ve done it all wrong, that righteousness is as filthy rags. I have nothing that I can offer God. I am completely, spiritually empty and dependent upon him and his grace for my salvation. And I have to leave all of my loves for this world behind and crawl in on my knees. And Jesus says that’s the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. So how do you become a son versus five? Whoever receives one such child and my name receives me? Well, you humbly love the Lord, your God with all your heart and you love your neighbor as yourself. The the two most important commandments. Well, how do you do this? No one has ever loved the Lord God with all their heart and mind and soul, even for a fraction of a second. You may have affectionate feelings toward the Lord God, but you have not loved the Lord God with all your heart, mind and soul, even for a fraction of your life. We don’t love others as we love ourselves, not even for a fraction of a second. How is this even possible? What’s possible by the grace of Jesus to the power the Holy Spirit? Again, we can’t do this on our own, we ask God to help us, we empty ourselves of ourselves. So the cries may live inside of us. Turning to Christ in repentance requires humility. You can’t repent unless you first admit I was wrong. Everybody practice saying it out loud. Three two one, I am wrong. It hurts a little bit, doesn’t it? The willingness to go back and be born again, you have to admit. I messed up. You can’t storm into heaven with all of your accomplishments and your knowledge and your trophies. You have to admit that everything you accomplished is hogwash. Just like the Apostle Paul said, I’ve got all these accolades. And he said, it is all literally Poop. In comparison to knowing Christ. I’ve sinned against a holy God, and I need to go back and be born again by the power of this His spirit. You don’t storm into the Kingdom of Heaven. You crawl. As a child now, what is it like to be God’s son, God’s daughter, God’s child? Well, number one is you are secure. Now I’m not talking about you’re secure in your own skin and you’re secure in yourself, but you are eternally secure in Christ, Jesus and anybody that comes along and tries to mess with you to draw you away from Christ via temptation has something coming to them. Verse six. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me now, that’s you and I to sin, and we’d be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck, going to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Now, little ones is affectionately Christians, you and I. Now this shows us two things specifically shows us the true nature of the danger of sin. God takes it seriously. Now, God certainly not advocating for a physical harm, but notice that he’s like, if you touch one of my children or you hit one of my children and you got something coming, no. The problem he’s addressing is if you tempt them to sin. He looks at that as a high treason. The other thing is, this is the true danger that awaits those who tempt Christians to sin. Causing a Christian to stumble one of God’s kids is mistreating one of God’s kids, and God is clearly ticked about that. Now, let’s be clear, that does not lift or acquit the responsibility of the actual sinner, who still has a punishment to pay for their sin. Oh, wait a minute, if they’re a follower of Christ, that punishment has been paid for on the cross. But there is a special judgment awaiting those who handed that Christian the tools and convinced and entice them to sin. To attack a Christian is to attack Christ. What happens when something comes after your child? Better be ready to throw down. Don’t mess with my kids. Now, if they deserved it, that’s another thing. Go ahead. But don’t mess with my kids. This is in essence, what Chris is saying, don’t mess with my kids. Don’t you dare. Try to entice them away from me. This is a good parent, righteously defending his children. You and I. And that’s how God sees you. Son. Daughter. You are his the Greek word here for to stumble is scandalized, it’s where we get the root Latin to English word scandal. He’s talking about enticing, trapping or influencing a Christian, a believer in such a way that leads him to sin or makes it easier for him to sin. Now, this person that has done this has committed to sin he’s committed a sin. It’s, you know, they’ve committed two sins with one stone. They sinned against the Christian, they’ve also sinned against Christ and the punishment. Well, it would be better to die a horrible death and experience the judgment for this especially, you know, it’s better to go swimming with the fishes, with the cement boots than face this punishment. Now, the question is, who is he talking to here, is he talking to the unbeliever that times and entices the Christian to sin? Well, let’s not forget where all this started, it started with an argument amongst to the disciples. Twelve individuals likely Judas being the exception. Saved by the grace of God. Christians. And here they come, arguing and debating about who is the greatest. They were provoking each other to anger, resentment and bitterness. Let me prove it to you. This isn’t the first time they had the conversation and then they had it again at the Lord’s Supper, and then one of them got their mommy involved and says, I would like one son on one side and the other on the other side. So this was an issue they were provoking each other. He’s talking to them. Which means he’s talking to us. He’s not talking to unbelievers, he’s talking to you and I. He’s talking about each of us every time that we don’t want to be alone in our sin, so we take someone along with us on the journey. He’s talking about us every time we fail our children by not teaching them the word and allowing the world to influence them. See sin is possible by both commission or commission and omission. Commission is when you commit the sin, you actually perform it and then omission is not doing something that you have been commanded to do. So every time we don’t do what Christ has asked us to do and what has He asked us to do? Matthew twenty eight to go and make disciples. So if I have children in my own home, I’m failing to do then great commission in my own home. Then I’m sinning by omission. He’s talking about us every time we provoke our spouse. I’m not talking about the little teasing that, yeah, that’s fun to do in a marriage. Whenever you tease each other, I’m talking about, you know, their buttons and you push them because, you know, they’re going to get mad and you want them to get mad. Little quiet in here. When you provoke your spouse to anger. When you use something against them as a personal attack. It’s the same thing. He’s talking about us every time our laziness lowers the drawbridge and let something into our home. It’s easier just to let them watch, continue watching that garbage than shut it down. He’s talking about us every time we make excuses for the spiritual apathy or even apostasy of our lives in our own home. He’s talking about us when we invite a co-worker or fellow church member into our gossip. He’s talking about us when we invite people into rebellion. He’s talking about us when we draw people’s attention to ourselves, rather than pointing them to the glory of God in Christ Jesus. He’s talking about us when we draw people into our anger so that we have this thing called shared events. One of the greatest tools of the enemy, especially in the body of Christ. One that is so and so and I want to I don’t want to be alone in my anger and later on in Matthew, 18, even though the Jesus has given us a formula on how to deal with offenses, I’m going to choose rather to go build an army of people that will hear my story and then they will have a shared offense so we can sit around the table together and be like, Oh yeah, that guy is an idiot. I don’t like him and now you got 20 people mad over what happened with one person and then what happens that one person? The Lord offers the Holy Spirit, offers an opportunity for reconciliation. They go, they work things out. Oh, it’s miscommunication. Yeah. You didn’t say jerk. You said door. I misheard you. I’m so sorry. They make up. And then what do you have? You have two people that reconciled and like each other, but you got 20 people that still hate that person because that person that reconciled doesn’t go back to those 20 people and say, I’m so sorry, I shared with you all my grievances and we’ve made up who actually does that. They don’t do that. So they allow the 20 other people to hate us, other people through a shared offense. Stupid. And right there in the Bible, after what we just read it said go to the person that you offended and we’ll do every stinking thing, but. This is what we do. He’s talking about us when we keep our mouths shut about the things that can hurt someone. Sometimes I post things on Facebook. Sometimes people don’t like them. But when I feel like the Holy Spirit has prompted me to say warning. I don’t want to stand before him someday and say, why did you keep your mouth shut about something that was hurting my body? Because he’s talking about us. What a great twist of events that at the same time, God’s kids are being protected and we’re the problem because we’re also the one causing God’s kids. To sin. Every child of God is precious to the kingdom and harming them in any way is a capital offense. And I don’t just mean like slapping them in the face, I mean pulling them away from the relationship with the Lord by enticing them to send. Parents, when we don’t provide what our children need to flourish and grow spiritually, we are guilty of this sin. When we don’t teach them the scriptures, when we don’t protect them from the world’s lies and listen, I don’t mean shelter them necessarily. I just mean that whenever they have questions and things have been presented and they’ve seen things that we don’t sit down, take the time to actually walk them through what the truth is. When we don’t prioritize Kingdom ways, we’re doing this, we’re provoking them to sin when we deny them their basic spiritual rights as children of God, to be discipled and to be cared for. This is loving others as you love yourself because you want to be cared for, we all want to be cared for. They need to be cared for. I want to read you an excerpt out of the MacArthur New testament commentary, beautifully written, really shares the heart of this is says God’s children can also be caused to stumble indirectly. That is the broad category of danger about which Paul specifically warns parents, saying Do not provoke your children to anger Ephesians 6:4 by such things as showing favoritism, demanding unrealistic achievements, being critical, overprotective or over permissive parents can frustrate and exasperate their children and drive them to angry reactions that are emotionally and even spiritually damaging, not allowing children to make their own mistakes now and then neglecting them, sometimes because of church commitments and showing little interest in their opinions and concerns can bring the same tragic result and rebelling against their parents attitudes and practices in such matters, as those children often rebel against their parents beliefs and moral standards, as well as siding against them on virtually every issue simply to vent their resentment and assert their independence. Spouses, friends, co-workers and fellow church members can also be indirectly caused to stumble into sin by treating, by being treated insensitively and loving and unkind ways. Boy, doesn’t that. Isn’t that a picture of society right now? A judgment, there’s going to be a lot of people that are shocked at that, actually when they fail to take care of God’s kids, that they will find out that they were not serving the Lord at all. Matthew, 25, 41, then he will say to those on the left, apart from me, you coerced into the eternal fire. Prepare for the day that one is angels for. I was hungry and you gave me no food. I was thirsty and you gave me no drink. I was a stranger and you did not welcome me naked and you did not clothe me sick and in prison and you did not visit me. Then they will also answer saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty? Or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison or not minister to you? Then he will answer them, saying, Truly, I say to you as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. It’s not simply enough to avoid openly sinning in front of those who look up to us, but we must also, at the same time, lead them to righteousness. Those are two different things. Not just. Not sinning, but leading them to righteousness, we have to do both. Failing to teach our children righteousness is causing them to stumble just as much as outright sinning in front of them or provoking them. God sets the best example because he never leads others to sin, in fact, he protects them from it. Matthew, six 13, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Have we considered that it’s necessary at times to even restrict our own liberties for the sake of leading others to righteousness? Let me give you an example. I know it’s sort of a cliche example, but hang with me. Do you maybe have the conviction that you can drink alcohol as long as you don’t get drunk? OK, that’s fine. That’s biblically permissible. And that’s your own personal choice, that’s fine. But should you drink in front of the person that struggles with alcoholism? Certainly not. Failing to follow through on our responsibility is a crime in itself. I have a responsibility to my brother that if he struggles with alcoholism, sure, I may have the personal liberty to drink as long as I don’t get drunk, but if I’m doing it in front of a brother that struggles and he’s sitting over their palms, sweating. And it’s taken everything inside of him not to order a beer. He knows if he orders one beer, he’s going to order 10. And he knows that that means the next day he’s going to hit the hard liquor cabinet. At his friend’s house. I may have the liberty to exercise within with with with good conscience to be able to drink, but if I’m enticing my friend, what am I doing? I’m enticing one of these little ones to stumble. And insert any scenario into that, any liberty, even in the scriptures, say this is permissible, but if I’m doing it in front of somebody else, then I’m enticing them and it’s making it more difficult for them to repent in the walk and freedom that I myself am guilty of this. Parents, what happens if you don’t feed your kids? The state get angry, yes, they get angry, but what happens, state comes and gets them, you get prosecuted. What happens if you leave your child unattended in a hot car on a summer day? You go to jail. It is a crime to fail to meet the most basic human needs. For the person that’s responsible of them, so why don’t we, as Christians, look at their spiritual development the same way? Because God does, and he takes it so seriously that he says that for any of you that failed to do this, it would be better for you to be thrown in the depth of the sea with a millstone around your neck and face what you have coming. I I think he takes this really seriously. I’m just I’m just kind of gauging that by the language there. I don’t think I have to go to the Greek to understand that God takes this very seriously. It’s incriminating in the kingdom to fail to provide pastoral care, to forgive and to provoke to rebellion. When we fail to restrict our own personal liberties for the greater need of discipling our children, whether that be our physical children or people that were discipling in the church or brother or sister in Christ, we are guilty of spiritual neglect. And it is incriminated in the kingdom’s justice system. Now, here’s the second thing. Of what it’s like to be a son. You’re not alone. You’re never alone as God’s child, you’re never alone, you have been adopted into the largest family ever. How many of you have a large family? It’s just cray cray at Thanksgiving, OK? This is the largest family ever eternal family. How many of you like to get away from your family? You can’t get away from this family. It’s eternal. OK, just get used to it the way it is. This eternal kingdom calls you son and daughter your co-heirs with Christ in the Kingdom of God. That is the highest title that any human being can wear. You can search for a CEO. You can search for president, you can search for for, for whatever you want. But son of the living God, daughter of the living God, that’s his title, you can have. You didn’t earn it? None of us did. It’s the highest title. Often times we like the idea of not being alone as it pertains to how a community of believers, you know what benefits we can get from it. None of us like to be alone. We like to have camaraderie, but not being alone is a good thing. But at the same time, we often don’t think about the fact that if it is true that we’re never alone, then at the same time, what also is true is that none of our decisions or our actions are ever left to just our own benefit or demise. Everything we do affects other people. Let’s look at verse number seven. Woe to the world for temptations to sin for it is necessary the temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes and if your hand causes. If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away literally knew a guy one time that did that. Literally cut his hand off. It is better for you to enter. I’m not saying you do that, by the way, I’m actually presenting that as crazy. OK, so anyway, sorry, cut that out of the stream. And if you’re a hand or foot causes you to say, cut it off throw it way, it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to send, turn out and throw it away, it is better for you to enter life with one eye. Then with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire, see that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven, their angels always see the face of my father who was in heaven. What do you think of a man who has 100 sheep and one of them has gone astray? Does he not leave the 99 on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it truly, I say to you, he rejoices over more than over the ninety nine that never went astray. So does the one who does the will of My Father, Who Is In Heaven. One of these little one should perish. Despite how much we would like to believe that we are on an island and the things that we say and the things that we do, whether public or private do not affect other people, that is simply not true. Christians, we have to we have to wake up and realize that our personal holiness matters, not our own, that we achieve through our flesh. That’s the law that the holiness that’s been imputed to us from Christ Jesus. John Owen and his book The Mortification of Sin in a believer, said this… be killing sin or it will be killing you and likely killing others. What we do in private or in public with our eye, our hand or our foot, they actually affect other believers. The eye, how you see things affects other people. The hand, what you do. Affects other people. Your feet, how you walk and where you walk, it affects other people. Because they’re watching. Definitely, children are watching. How many of you your kid came across and they said a word that maybe was a little edgy vocabulary? And you who had school taught you that word, mom. When it was you and you knew that it came out of your mouth and they heard it. I guess maybe just me. OK. It’s not just better for you that you have just one eye enter instead of entering hell with two. It’s better for all the people that are affected by how you see things. The seriousness of this, I cannot I cannot grasp fully to communicate with you, with English words for you. It’s like a domino effect. You are always look at your life, how you’re conducting yourself, how you’re reflecting an image of glory of Christ as you’re the first domino in this long string. And when you do say and you talk certain ways, you’re the first domino that falls and it will affect not just your kids, but generations to come. How many of you and don’t raise your hand? This is a private question. Would like to buck the trend of your generation’s. How many of you would like to buck the trend of what came before you? Not in a dishonoring way, but in a way that says I would like to start a spiritual heritage. One of which will last for generations, thousands of generations to come, even potentially if Christ may terry his return. You have an opportunity to do that. But there’s a reason why so many fail because they depend on their own strength trying to storm into the kingdom of God like they got it all together. Let me tell you, son, how things work around here. Now, the best thing we can do is we can crawl into the kingdom on our knees, in humility as a child completely dependent upon God for everything. You want to lead you lead by humility. You don’t storm the gates of heaven, you crawl in. You have an opportunity to start a new heritage, or maybe you had a great heritage before you and you have an opportunity to build off that. How many times does a generation have the opportunity to build on a heritage that came before them? It’s rare. But you have that opportunity. You go and do it. Christ is there to help you. And it’s worth it. We are failing our kids, we are failing our generations, we are failing our family. If we don’t take the bull by the horns and do this now. Honestly, for some of us, that means that we need to repent and ask for forgiveness, for how we’ve led our family to this point. That we felt that’s crawling into heaven on your knees. Humility asking for forgiveness. Repenting. I pray that Christ enables us through his grace to do exactly that for the sake of our homes and for the sake of our children. Because listen, my child may be my children may have opportunities of being great athletes, being great students, being great employees. But I’m going to tell you, at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is that they are just fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ, that they are expanding the kingdom through the influence that God has given them by the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s the only thing that matters. All the other things are great, but they are supplementary. They’re supplementary to the number one thing. Are we leading them to that? Or is all that taking a backseat to all of the other things as we live vicariously through all their achievements? We have a choice, guys. We have a choice and today starts your opportunity to turn it over if you need to do that at this point. Let’s pray. Father, we thank you in Jesus name. For your word, and we thank you for. For the authority of your word. God, as I speak today, I pray God, it’s not my words, the things that I have said that changes hearts, but it is it is your word, the truth of your word and the Holy Spirit that transforms lives and hearts. I pray, father, that your spirit would draw us to a heart of repentance right now. It doesn’t feel good to be convicted, but it is necessary and it is a gift. So today, Lord, I received that gift, and I pray that my friends in the room, as many of them that would open themselves in their heart would receive the gift of conviction. That Lord, where we have gone wrong, we would repent and we would trust more fully on you. For the grace that we need to lead, our homes are well. Lord, we are living in a war zone. It does not take very much to look to the left, to the right. To see all the things that are coming against our kids. And our culture trying to influence our lives. And Lord, it comes back to knowing the scriptures, knowing the truth and having a relationship with you only made possible by the cross. And by the grace of God. So, Lord, I pray right now. For my friends in this room. Whether they are earthly fathers or mothers or their spiritual fathers and mothers, or they’re going to be fathers and mothers at some point, I pray, Lord, that you would prepare their hearts right now, number one to receive your conviction. Whether their homes are slightly out of order or a complete disastrous mess, we’ve all been there. I pray you would convict them. And I pray by your grace, you would forgive us. And I pray, Lord, that we would receive it with with fertile soil in our hearts and then it would take root and grow, and then it would be true genuine, honest repentance. That we would turn around or we would turn away from our apathy and leading our homes and that we would intentionally. Care for the spiritual needs of our kids. I pray, father, where there are gaps because we’re not right with you. I pray, Lord, right now you bring conviction and awareness by your Holy Spirit. And Lord, I pray God for my friends in the room, any of us, that would say, I’m not right with God, I have not. Been walking. Right, with the Lord, I pray the Lord would draw them to a healthy, real, genuine repentance that we would repent first. Lord, we are thankful for your forgiveness. We’re thankful for your grace. Lord, I pray more than anything that through our mistakes and our shortcomings that you receive, the glory that you take, the things that we do that are sin and you, you, you turn them to your own good and you make it so that you receive even more glory. Father, I pray for every home represented in this room. I pray that you would be the God of that home. The God of that home would not be as one instituted by culture, as one instituted by systems. Lies and deceit. But it would be the Lord God reigning over our homes. That our idols and our graven images that we have constructed in our hearts or even physically Lord would be torn down, and that father, as we go into 2022 to our whole mindset, would be turned towards honoring the Lord God and God alone. Father, would you make us into what you want us to be so that you may receive the glory? So that this generation will have shoulders to stand on. And they don’t have to correct the pendulum from all the mistakes that we made. Father, it is possible. But it’s only by our reliance upon your grace and your power that it can be. And I have rather I pray, lastly, that for those of us that have tried to march into heaven with our worldly knowledge and our accomplishments and our control. Lord, that we’d be stripped of that and realize that it’s all hogwash. In comparison to knowing Christ and then we would come into the kingdom. Crawling as children. Completely and utterly empty and dependent upon the grace of the Lord. Completely dependent upon the grace of Jesus to make us righteous and the mercy of God to forgive us, of our sins and Jesus Christ. Would you bring that awareness and show us how critically important it is for us? For our sake and for the sake of the generations that preceded. We thank you for that in the name of Jesus, amen. But you rise and stand. As we get ready to worship. How many of you I’m going to ask for honesty here? This is the safest place, to be honest. How many of you would say as we close this series? I’ve got some work to do. For the sake of my home, how many of you would say, that’s me, raise your hand. As a notion of repentance and truthfulness in front of the body as most people in the room, so know this, I do that for this reason. Number one, it’s good for the heart to repent publicly. I admire and raised by not by example, but by. I need to do things to OK. But it’s good for you to repent publicly because then people see that. But also, as you’re looking around, you’re not alone. OK, now don’t let that fuel your tank of excuses on why you should delay this. Say, Well, you know, I’m just trying not to be at the bottom, you know? But see that we’re all in this together. You’re not in a room full of people that are holier than thou and have all this figured out, and you’re just the only one that can’t get it all together. No, you’re in a room full of people. It’s just as screwed up as you are. I don’t really mean that. Well, kind of. But you know, but you’re in a room full of people that still want the same things and the same struggles. OK. We do this together. We walk through the war zone together. Amen. So as we pray and worship the Lord, seek God, what is he asking of you and your home for 2020? Here’s my recommendation don’t come storming in. Especially that we have a tendency like we get all fired up, we’re like, you know what? Things are going to be different around here. You walk in and you’re like, Get your Bible out, get your Bible out. Get your book. No, no, no, no. Don’t go on. Don’t go military. If you haven’t, I’m just going be honest with you. If you haven’t led your home ever or you haven’t led your home for two years, no one’s going to accept your leadership right off the bat. You got to earn it. So you’re going to come in, you know, the first thing that you need to do is not come in and tell everybody, get their Bibles out and start studying is that you need to get on your knees and say Family, I’m sorry, I failed. When you do that leadership. And authority and credibility begins to be transferred back when it’s authentic, when it’s authentic. So men. And a lot of ways we failed our homes. Let’s be honest. We’re not doing what we’ve been asked to do. And we make every excuse in the book and we pass the buck and we let our wives carry all of the pressure. But we’re given the responsibility. And it just like when God went in the garden. After Adam and Eve out to see Adam and Eve, it said, Who do you look for? Eve, then first he went looking for Adam, because I put you accountable. So I’m putting it on your head. And for those of you and father mother homes, it’s on our head mothers, single mothers. It’s on your head. We have a high responsibility and God takes it seriously. When are we going to take it seriously? My prayer and my hope is that by the grace of God, if we haven’t been taken as seriously in our homes, we do so now. Don’t come in storming the gates, saying things are going to change around here. You need to apologize. You say I went wrong. That’s how you show them how things work in the kingdom. Amen.