By Robert Anthony June 17th 2023
I’m preaching tomorrow. Much of this message will be in sermon. These are simple things. Simple things that become amazingly profound when we consider the world at war and the things being fought against… God made the family. It was His invention, His creation. He thought it up. Have you ever considered that? He could have raised up 100,000 Adam’s and given them all a dozen wives to fill the earth with people overnight… many of us perhaps would have created the world this way? But God is quite different than us. He is much better, much more loving and concerned, much more patient and caring.
God made one man, Adam and He put that man alone with Him in the garden. God walked with Adam and talked with him throughout his days in the garden of Eden. Adam knew His God, His Creator – Adam knew God personally and intimately, God who was His Father, literally. Adam was alone with God some time. The Bible doesn’t give an exact time frame of how long Adam and His Father were alone together but God obviously chose it to be this way. He wanted perhaps some quality time with His son before bringing Eve into the story. And the time came wherein God decided Adam was ready to start his family and so God created Adam’s wife, directly out of his own side, God took out a rib and with it, God fashioned the first woman, the first wife, the first mother. Adam must have been amazed! Such a present from His Father! And God was very clear with that first family – everything of this earth I have given to you to rule and have dominion over – but you must choose to eat of the Tree of Life rather than the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Tree of Life will give you eternal life and you will never know sickness, pain, hunger or anything of suffering – The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil will steal from you perfection and you will be cursed, driven from my presence and death will enter into your lives. (A little commentary). CHOOSE LIFE instead of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil – and you will LIVE!
One day a Dragon came to Adam and Eve. (Serpent often in the Hebrew can be also translated Dragon. You can do a study on this… why else would God take away the “Serpents” legs and have him to crawl around on his belly? He first must have had legs? A Serpent with legs is called a… ?) The Dragon was clever and different from the other animals that Adam and Eve had encountered, this Dragon spoke of horrible and fearful things encouraging them to go against their God and Father… “Did God really say you would die?” And he tempted Eve to eat of the tree that God told them not to. What is curious about this story is that Adam was standing right next to Eve!! Read it again if you don’t believe me. Adam was standing right with her and yet he didn’t try and protect his wife!? He didn’t confront that Dragon and tell him to go away!? He didn’t warn his wife, “Honey, Don’t eat that!! You’ll Die!” I mean, Adam must have cared about his wife!? She was going to DIE if she ate that forbidden fruit! You would think Adam would speak up!? But no. Not only did Adam not speak up, Adam decided, after Eve ate the fruit and seemed to be fine, that he should try it also…. And immediately their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked! They made clothes for themselves and hide away from their God and Father. They became afraid! They had never known fear before. But after they ate from that tree a curse entered into them and they changed, right away.
God said, “Who told you you were naked!?” Knowing all things, their Dad must have been quite upset with the Devil! And paradise was lost. The curse came upon man and the separation with God started. Curious to note: Adam (and Eve) never repented. Throughout the whole of scripture there is never any reference to the first family’s repentance or even remorse…? I often find this curious. Why wouldn’t Adam protect his wife and again, Why wouldn’t he apologize to his Father for what he had done!?
It’s difficult to be a father and a husband. To say that we are imperfect would be an understatement…. But also to say that we have amazing potential wouldn’t even begin to tell the story of what God put inside of us, as men… We are capable of wonderful and powerful, heroic-acts of love and generosity, men will sometimes lay down their lives for their brothers during war or tirelessly spend their lifetimes trying to make a difference in this world. We all know the evil in men but let’s not forget to also count the good.
But the curse is real. I doubt many will argue with me that there seems to be some power at work against us, as men and husbands, and fathers. We want to do right and it’s often so difficult to do so: where does the fear come from? Why do we so often choose the thing we know we should not? And when does it end? When will we finally make the right choice and be patient with our wife, rather than losing our temper… When will we become the man we have always wanted…? We want to be hero’s to our children! But it’s hard when every day we struggle to pay the bills, find the time to be with them, find the time for our wives, churches and friends…. Life is hard oftentimes but we want to be admired by our families! We want to be their Hero! We really do…
Maybe Adam gave up on himself? Or maybe Adam never really tried? It’s hard to understand Adam when you look, not only at what he did but also what the Bible doesn’t ever record him doing… or being… Certainly there is a lot of backstory to Cain murdering his brother Abel… where is Adam, their dad, in all that?? We, as men, and husbands, and fathers, want to be perfect but we simply can not. How many of us quit? I’m afraid too many. I’m afraid after too many mistakes and disappoints, too many hopes deferred and prayers unanswered, something inside of us dies… or goes to sleep. Something that was awake and alive in us in our youth gets traded away for duty and burden, for survival and the most basic of needs. Then we forget about a legacy or a destiny, our dreams become fantasy, unobtainable and somewhere lost in the ether. Poets have written much on the subject. So where is redemption for man!? Did Adam ever find it? Jesus says, “Unless you be converted and become again as little children, you will in no way enter the kingdom of heaven.” But being converted will cost you, brothers. Truly being converted and allowing the Lord to bring you back to life!? It will cost us. Changing the status quo after so many years!? What will Eve say? Will the family go along with us?? If we taught them all to sleep, how will they cope with a sudden awakening!? But awakening we must…. We must not live this life asleep any longer! We will fail them as Adam failed them but that must not be the stories ending! In our failures there is hope! But only if we learn from them, get back up, allow the Lord to clean us off and try again, another way…. Too often we give up too easily…. Where is our heart? Where is our persistence and grit!? Men! God does not make a mistake. The scripture says, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made!” And does God make anything less than amazing!? The purposes He put inside of us… The Destiny! But few will follow Him there… It is possible but it is also going to cost us something. Nothing great comes cheap. Nothing of value and awe comes without a price. We have to trade away the lower life to receive our destiny! The scripture says, “The seed first must die for it to bring forth life!” Brothers, our families are looking up to us. Our wives desperately want us to lead them into this life, this Godly destiny and reward! But it will not come without faith, endurance and hope… It's going to take a lot of heart to get there. We will be repenting all along the way. And the repentance will be good. We have to let go of many things that are weighing us down. So forgive yourself if you must, don’t drag the past around any longer, it’s not serving you in any way! God has forgiven you in Christ Jesus, receive His forgiveness and live again! For many of us, It's time to chart a new course. It will take a little time to turn the ship around but have hope! A few days and months, a season of good decisions, choosing to walk with your God and Father and you will notice everything is changing! Has your hope been deferred? Years of prayers gone unanswered? Believe!! God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him! (Hebrews 11:6) The story is not over.
On this Father’s Day, my hope and prayer for you brothers is that you let yourself believe again! You have suffered for long enough, you have endured defeat and struggle for long enough, it’s time to live again! LIVE! Get back up on that horse and lead your family into glory with your God and Father! You can’t live with regret and shame, those things are not from your Father but of the evil one and given by this curse. But we, in Christ, are not of this curse! Live again. Convince your soul… LIVE! God will help you. Talk to Him. Do not hide anymore. Tell Him everything. All the hopes and fears, all the doubts and dreams… tell Him. He has given you the desires of your heart. He will bring them to pass. It’s going to take a lot of love. It’s going to take a lot of heart… all the love and heart you can muster and more! But your Father will help you. He will never leave you, nor forsake you… LIVE!! Tell you soul, “You’ve been sleeping long enough… COME ALIVE NOW!” And watch what your God will do with you! Your Father never made a mistake… Ever! You were made for His glory… Shine Again! Shine brighter than ever before!
Shine the glory of your Father for all the world to see!! And then, into eternity… Take them all with you… your wife, your children, those you love… It will be a life worth living… The life God always intended!
God bless you this Father’s Day, brothers… Robert