Eternity is rushing towards us.
You and everyone else must be ready.
I was speaking at a menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s event in South Carolina recently. Whenever events like these pop up on my schedule, they are a great time of fellowship. They always give me the opportunity to encourage and challenge men to be men.
1 Corinthians 16:13,14:Ã‚Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“QuitÃ¢â‚¬Â in this verse means to act. God is telling me to act like a man. We live in crazy times right now because the world is trying to emasculate men. However, men are different than women and women are different than men. Men are supposed to act like men, and they are supposed to be strong.
It is every ChristianÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s job to stand up for what is right and to stand against what is wrong, but it is especially the job of a man. Men are called to be leaders. They are protectors. They are called to provide security to others. And when men draw the correct line between right and wrong, it creates a shelter of safety for others.
We are living in a time when people canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even figure out which bathroom they are supposed to walk into. Men, it is your job to tell others which facilities to use. If you have a child struggling with sexuality issues, it is your job to invest a lot of time in them by studying the Word of God together and getting them through these confusing times.
I may have mentioned this story before, but I have spoken three or four times at West Point and West Point retreats for cadets. Once, I was chatting with one of the ladies who worked with the female cadets. She pointed out something so interesting that I have never forgotten it. She said she notices that women cadets will actually start to morph into men. I asked her what she meant, and she explained that they will start walking like guys and lowering the pitch of their voices to sound like men as they command their platoon or group. The entire time I was hearing this, all I could think was we already have men! Men are the ones who need to act like men. Ladies, there is nothingÃ¢â‚¬â€and I mean absolutely nothingÃ¢â‚¬â€worth losing your biblical femininity over.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Men of God are supposed to be strong and courageous. There really is no other option. As I always tell people, we have enough wimpy Christian males in our day and age. Men need to stand strong for what is right, and let the chips fall where they may.
A friend and I were emailing about the Jewish Shema (pronounced shuh-mah) the other day. The Shema is Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Men of God are different from all other men in how they interact with their families and communities. Men of God are not supposed to be like everybody else, and that is always a good thing.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
“Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
“That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Fathers are critically important in the raising of a child. If they bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, watch out! Those young ones have the chance to become biblical watchmen in the army of the Lord for their entire lives. However when fathers provoke their children, I typically meet them in prisons. Their angerÃ¢â‚¬â€and many times hatredÃ¢â‚¬â€of their fathers have sent them down a very dark path in life with a very dark destination.
One thing men need to get is a backbone. A backbone is a symbol of both strength and character. It means you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t budge. It means you know what you believe. It means you will stand strong, even if the whole world crumbles around you. Why? Because you know you stand on the Word of God and you know you are standing with the King of Kings! This confidence helps to give you that good, strong backbone.
As true men of God, we canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry about what others think of us. We must lead our lives and live in ways that are pleasing to Jesus, and no one else. When that is accomplished, Jesus will use you in ways that your heart and mind canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even imagine.
Christian men also need to be the backbone of their families, communities, and workplaces. A solid foundation of Christian men in any community will make it harder for the enemy to get that community off track.
The morning I was in Florence giving this message, I bought a familyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s breakfast. They were stunned. They couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe it. It led to a neat conversation, and they have already emailed me from Virginia Beach. But as I told the waitress that I wanted to pick up their check, the hostess overheard me. She pulled me aside and said she needed to tell me something. Her husband had shot her four times in the face, but there were no entrance wounds on her face. The paramedics couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe it when they showed up. She still has four bullets in her head! The paramedics said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“You had some angels around you.Ã¢â‚¬Â She said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nope, a King!!Ã¢â‚¬Â
It is backbone time. Look around you. We need men and women with biblical backbones more than at any other time in our history. We need backbones that are strong and straight. Backbones that have not bent over to accommodate the world. Backbones that are fortified with truth. So men and women of God, never forget that as you live this life for the Lord, you have a King protecting you at all times! Your job is to walk in lockstep with Him by living and proclaiming all the days of your life, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Long live the King!!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Until the nets are full,