Archive for February, 2012
The Quest for Authentic Manhood
MY PERSONAL MANHOOD PLAN
A Servant/Leader. This is what a real man is. This is what I want to become. This plan is the blueprint for becoming just that, a servant/leader, a man after God’s own heart. This plan is a bible based plan that utilizes the theme of the vision I was given in January 2004, after reading the bible in one year with the church as encouraged by our pastor. The vision was for a male youth mentoring fellowship to be called Men Under Construction.
A MAN UNDER CONSTRUCTION
STEP 1 Bulldoze the crooked old house.
2 Corinthians 5 :17 states, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” And Philippians 3:13-14 states, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Specifically, I need to allow God to forgive me for my past failures, forgive myself, and forgive everyone who has ever failed me. I need to glean all that I am able from my failures and use that knowledge to my benefit. It is only then that I am able to live a new life in Christ. However, I first need to realize that forgiveness does not mean that I must forget the offense against me, but forgiveness promises to never again hold the offense against the offender. A forgiving person will not seek retribution. And, although restitution is desirable, it is not demanded of, nor used as a requirement in order to forgive.
STEP 2 Build an everlasting foundation.
Isaiah 28:16 states, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily.” When I became a Christian, I was given a foundation of unconditional love. The foundation is Christ and built by Christ, and I didn’t have to work to get it. I only had to receive it. ( “He who has begun a new work in you will bring it to completion…”)1 Peter 2:5 states, “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
STEP 3 Erect walls of faith and hope.
Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Our faith and hope is built on truth. Faith and hope are intertwined and cannot be separated. Jesus was able to endure the cross because of his faith and hope. (Hebrews 12:2) We know there is truth because of the evidence we are given, although we cannot actually see the truth for which we have evidence of. This is where scripture memorization is crucial. “If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32) Walls built of faith and hope are based on knowing our standing in, and our future with Christ. Having His word to prove it is crucial to both build our faith, and our defense against the evil one. (Read Matthew 4:1-11). We need not only believe, but know why we believe. 1 Peter 3:15 states, “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, and always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
STEP 4 Choose a roof that will stand up to the elements.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:10-13) A good roof not only provides protection from the elements, but adds structural stability to the home. The Lord is our covering and our refuge. “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him will I trust.” “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge.” “Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling.” (Psalm 91:2,4,9,10)
STEP 5 Structural Integrity Tests
A good father will eventually stop doing everything for his son. He will test his son to find out if he has listened and learned. A good father will allow his son the opportunity to make him proud yet also take the risk that his son might disappoint him. There comes a point in life that God makes us accountable. When we surrender our lives to Him, He in turn teaches us how to take stewardship of that life. As we mature in Christ, we are given more and more responsibility. If we accept it, the reverence for our Father grows, and our goal becomes to please Him more and ourselves less. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
(1 Corinthians 13:11)
STEP 6 The Finishing Touches
Here is the place for character development. Here is where we need to pay attention to detail. And here is where we need to take our faith to it’s conclusion. We are put to the ultimate test and find out what we are made of. Here is where we see our true colors and find out what we truly believe. James 1:2-4 states, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” 1 John 2:3-6 states, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” How do we walk as He walked? By not only listening to our Father, but by doing His will and not our own. Jesus said, “not my will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42b) And James, Jesus’ brother reminds us “He who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
STEP 7 The Final Inspection
Finally, we are able to enjoy the fruit of our labors, if we remain faithful to the end. When we have risked all that we had for His name’s sake and completed our God given tasks, then we can hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matthew 25:23) And we, like Paul can say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8) In what condition will Jesus find me when He returns on His steed of glory?