Just for Them?

I’ll just go ahead and say it… “I think most men go to church for the sake of someone else.” It seems to me that many men attend for the sake of their wife and/or kids.  Look around next time you are in church, what factors do most men have in common? Are they middle-aged, married with kids? It seems to me as if so many men attend out of compulsion.  It makes the wife happy and seems morally right to raise children in the church.  How many men are there because the most important relationship in their life…. is that between himself and God?  A man that is there because he wants nothing more than to lead his children by example.  A man that will base his relationship with his wife on that of how Jesus loves the church.

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church

and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25)

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is

old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

I am not accusing or judging anyone.  I’m able to recognize this problem only because I was that man.  The fight for me to become the true man God has called me to be has only just begun.  God has challenged me by asking, “Why do I go to church?”   I’ll challenge you with the same question my brothers, “Is it only for them?”  Or, is our priority truly to become the man that God desires.  There is a shortage of these men.  Men that do more than just “attend” church.

May each of us ask God to reveal our hearts to us.  What are the things that are most important to us in our life?  Is there anything more important…  more awesome… than having an intimate relationship with Him?  Let us do everything out of a sincere love for God. Those around us, and those that we love will be blessed from this.  If you have children… “train,” if you have a wife… “give yourself for her.”

Please watch the video below.  Blessed is Best!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gl1EnyXXS0

Men of Valor

“And the angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor.” (Judges 6:12)

“You are a mighty man of valor!”  Imagine for a moment hearing God speak these words to you.  Valor defined is: boldness or determination in facing great danger, especially in battle; heroic courage; bravery.  Paul instructs Timothy to “Fight the good fight of the faith.”  Every man is in a battle everyday of his life, sadly some have chosen to no longer fight.  Others seem willing to fight but are unable to recognize the enemies schemes and tactics.

The term “mighty man of valor” was not always used in the Bible to describe spiritual men.  Being bold in the face of danger, courageous and brave is not enough.  A true “mighty man of valor” is strengthened with power through His Spirit in our inner being.  A real “mighty man of valor” knows that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them.

The story of Gideon’s army proves that God is not concerned with numbers.  God looks at “hearts,” not numbers. He is looking for believers that are disciplined, committed to obey, not afraid to face the odds that war against them.  God is looking for men after His own heart, the world needs men after His heart.  So what does it take to be or be a man of valor in everyday life?  Here are 10 possible suggestions:

No. 10:  A man of valor is man enough to admit his faults and take ownership of his sins.

No. 9:    A man of valor is faithful to his commitments and keeps his word and promises.

No. 8:    A man of valor perseveres in difficult tasks or under adversity, even when he may

                not receive recognition or appreciation.

No. 7:    A man of valor is loyal to his friends even when this loyalty may cost him dearly.

No. 6:    A man of valor recognizes that he is not always self-sufficient and that he needs the

                support of other friends.

No. 5:    A man of valor is bold when required, but also uses restraint and discretion when

                they are needed.

No. 4:    A man of valor overcomes his fear of evangelizing and is willing to share the Gospel

                with others if an opportunity arises.

No. 3:    A man of valor enthusiastically serves his family, even if he is worn out from a hard

                day at work.

No. 2:    A man of valor is willing to put his flesh to death and exercise self-control over his

                thoughts, words, eyes, and actions.

No. 1:    A man of valor is a man of prayer. He knows that God is with him, and he

                recognizes his dependence on God and his own limitations apart from God.

“But as for you,O man of God,flee these things.  Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.  Fight the good fight of the faith.” (1st Timothy 6:12)

Blessed is Best!!

Apathetic about Apathy

“But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” (Revelation 2:4)

Apathy:  absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.

My love at first… I feel that God is asking me to return to this.  Yet, it seems that love is something that should grow and strengthen over time.  When thinking of my wife and kids, I loved them “at first,”  but my love for them has definitely become stronger over the years.  Is this not also true with my own personal relationship with God?  

It is not as if I’ve failed to love God over much of the 16 years that I’ve know him.  It is just that in many ways I’d become apathetic in my relationship with Him.  The excitement and passion I once experienced had become suppressed.  He became second in my life, even third, fourth, even last at times.  

I know I am not alone in this.  Christian men too often rest in the comfort of their blessings,  failing to make “godly purpose” their #1 priority.  We do this by neglecting to spend 1:1 time with Him, failing to pray “with” our family…  we know the ways we fail. Praise God for his mercy and forgiveness.

Men, we were created to love, lead, serve, and protect.  The cost of apathy in our life is unmeasurable. May we challenge ourselves this week, sincerely asking God to reveal anything in our life that might suppress a burning passion and excitement for Him. Blessed is best!!

 “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” (Romans 12:11)

Cool Apathy Video (Click)

Don’t be apathetic about watching the video ;.)

Which Man Am I

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want,

but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15)

“No man, for any considerable period of time, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the truth.” –Nathaniel Hawthorne

I’ve often wondered what kinds of things Apostle Paul did that he did not want to do, the things he hated. In some way it has always comforted me to know that he understood (at least to some degree) the challenges with this same principle that I myself face.  How many of us according to Hawthorne, “wear one face to himself and another to the multitude?”  I personally desire to understand why many men seem intent or willing to walk out their Christian life void of deep and sincere relations with other Christian men.

I had a recent experience where a man shared with me of how his mind sometimes easily wanders during prayer.   These few simple words comforted me in the same way that Paul’s words do in Romans 7:15.  It somehow strengthens me when I hear other men talk of their challenges and struggles in life, even the simple one’s.  Not that I may in any way gloat or feel superior…  it just helps me understand I’m not alone in my own experiences.  It seems as if we (myself included) are guilty of trying to present ourselves as something we are not, wearing one face to ourselves and one around other men.

Is there another man in your life that might in some way be strengthened by hearing of a challenge you are facing?  Will it help them understand they are not alone?  Can it be used to glorify God when someone else gets the opportunity to see His strength overcome your weakness.  We need to see and share in God’s victories in the lives of other men.  Give God a chance to work through you in this way. Open up to another man about something, let him see a piece of your heart. Look forward to the opportunity to return to him one day and share the praise of what God has since done in your life. Blessed is best!!