To be a Man

What is it to be a man?

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childlike ways.” – 1 Cor 13:11

As a man, you have to stand on your own two feet. You have to walk with integrity. You must do your duty before God.

Manhood is not a macho facade of “guy stuff” or an effeminate extension of caution. God our Father showed us what it means to be a man when He sent His son, a man’s man, for the world to see. A real man is, above all, Christlike. He protects the fatherless, is kind to the widow, generous to the needy, and lays down his life for his friends. He humbles himself, is a man of prayer, honors his parents, exhorts his brothers.

He walks in faith and obedience.

Jesus was above all focused on His mission (to glorify the Father). Never wavering, never distracted. That’s what the chief mandate is about–focusing on the mission. Guarding against distractions, we must fight the sinful nature and the powers of darkness on all fronts, to bring glory to the Triune God, bring all things under the dominion of Christ our King, and enjoy His fulfillment and inheritance forever.

Fasting – Denyal of the Flesh

Over seas, many Christians know the rigors of fasting on a daily basis, simply because they don’t have enough food to eat. In America, land of fast food and home of the obese, skipping meals (or forcing children to do so) is considered abusive.

The physical reality is that fasting is a marvelous means for clearing toxins from the body. Spiritually, fasting is given to us to purge spiritual toxins from our souls. Simply abstaining from food will not help your spiritual condition. When we train our minds to deny our own sinful desires and to take up the desires of Christ, we become strengthened.

In scripture, fasting is almost always mentioned in the context of prayer. This conversation and worship of God is vital to our spiritual health, In the presence of other movable objects, physics does not tolerate a vacuum. So if you spiritually fast without drinking deep of prayer and the word of God, you will inevitably drawn in some other worldly matter to fill the void.

If you are pruning sinful habits from your life, you have to replace them with Godly habits. As you sanctify your desires, putting off the old, you must put on the new.

Watch and pray, that you may not fall into temptation.

Hope and prayer

Faith, Hope and Love.

In America today, there is a lot of hopelessness going around. As Christians, we know that our God is greater, stronger higher–mighty to save, a strong tower, the great deliverer. Or at least we should.

Perhaps we do not know the hope of God as well as David did (as expressed in the psalms), because we have failed to rest on Him. Spending his life in troubled times, on the run and in danger, David learned first hand the faithfulness of the Lord. We have the fullness of the mystery of God revealed to us as it was not revealed to the sons of men in other generations through the writings of the Apostles and prophets in the new testament. The hope of the Gospel has been revealed.

Yet American Christians on the whole do not have hope, because they do not trust God. And we do not trust God because we have weak faith. Taste and see that the Lord is Good! Ask, and it will be given to you! Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.

If you will but pray, the Father of Glory will indeed grant you your desires and show you his Glory. If you will lean on Him–if you will throw the rotten staff of your own strength and leap in to the chasm where God promises to catch you–God will prove Himself faithful.

Faith, hope and love are not optional for the Christian. God will fulfill your joy if you hope in His name.

The Greatest of These is Love

Even the demons know God, and shudder. In a sense, because the Lord is Almighty Sovereign, even the demons obey him. Faith they do not have, and thus cannot receive salvation.

But we who are saved, what is Faith to us? Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and conviction of things unseen. Faith is worked in our hearts by the Father’s immeasurable grace in kindness toward us according to his love for His Son, whose we are.

But on this physical plane of consciousness, our faith is a work of love. Our love for the Father (as Christ in us) produces faith. How can you trust someone whom you hate? How can you hold fast to a branch you do not know?

As the Apostle says, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”