Men, How Would You Answer?

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The following question was posed today on Facebook:

Which would you rather be known as:

  1. A good man
  2. A man who is “good at being a man?”

Why?

The first thought that came to my mind was the human connotation of being known as a “good man” (#1); a morally good man, a nice person.  Nothing wrong with that, but goodness alone will not get me to heaven (Romans 3:10; 5:6-8).

Then I considered the second option and quickly said, “No.”  In every area of the world, even in my own neighborhood, there is a varied criteria for what makes up a man.  So the standard for being “good at being a man” would fluctuate like corn stalks in the wind.

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So which is the correct answer?

I chose #1.  Why?  Well, when it comes to having an absolute standard on the issues of life, you turn to the Word of God.  These passages of Scripture give us the characteristics of a good man.  Check’em out, men!

Psalm 37:23 – The steps of a good man (“a strong man, a warrior”) are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.

Psalm 112:5 – A good man (“happy; joyful; benevolent”) deals graciously and lends; He will guide his affairs with discretion.

Proverbs 12:2 – A good man (“happy; joyful; benevolent”) obtains favor from the Lord.

Proverbs 13:22 A good man (“happy; joyful; benevolent”) leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

Proverbs 14:14 – The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man (“happy; joyful; benevolent”) will be satisfied from above.

Matthew 12:35 – A good man (denotes the soul considered as the repository of pure thoughts which are brought forth in speech) out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.

Acts 11:24 – For he was a good man (upright, honorable), full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.

So men, which would you rather be known as?  #1 or #2?

The Making of a Man

Over the years I have read some good books on the subject of being a godly man.  My heart and life have been challenged and changed by these reads.  As I begin today with this Tuesday series of blog posts, “The Making of a Man,” I must make two statements.  First of all, these writings are from a desire to see men be genuine, Spirit-filled, Christlike, servant leaders . . . men of God.  Have I arrived there?  In no way.  This leads me to my second statement. To be all that God wants us to be, you and I must be humble, willing, teachable and “changeable.”  (By the way, humility is not me thinking little of myself; it’s me not thinking of myself at all.)  Therefore, these blog posts will begin with me . . . me searching my own heart, being honest before the Lord and trusting that what He does in me will be encouraging and edifying to you.  Let’s grow together to be men of God, men of the Book, men of character, men of Christ!

Since I mentioned the subject of good books, I’ll start there today.  You have heard the statement, “Leaders are readers.”  I totally agree!  Please don’t overlook the next statement by using the “I’ve Heard It Before Lens.”  Men, to be the godly leader of your wife and family, at church, at work, in recreation or any other venue of life, you must have the daily habit of reading God’s Word and letting God’s Word read you!!  The most courageous, strong, manly man is one who knows his God through His Word and applies the Word to every area of his life.

Let me give you some examples of real men who walked with God and knew His Word.  Do you think these men were sissies?  (This list is by no means exhaustive.)

Noah – What a carpenter!  What a man of faith! What an influence on his world & family! What patience and endurance! (Hebrews 11:7)

Abraham – He didn’t have to have everything laid out in front of him when God told him to depart his homeland—the guarantee of a good job, good retirement, etc.  He had a promise!  What faith!  What adventure! What courage!! (Hebrews 11:8-19)

Amram (Moses’ father) – Here’s a father who did not live in fear but faith.  He did not fear Pharaoh (the government); he feared God.  He did not fear to let his son go into the hands of Almighty God; he and his wife, Jochebed, “cut the apron strings”!!  (Hebrews 11:23)  What leadership!  What courage!

Nehemiah – Many things to be said about him, but most of all, he was a man strong in prayer who based his intercession upon the character of God (Nehemiah 1:4-11).  He stood tall because he knew his God!!  What a leader!  What a man of courage!!

Onisephrous – Here’s a risk-taker.  He was not ashamed to be identified with Paul so he could be a refreshment to his brother in Christ in prison.  Nero was not a fan of Paul nor of anyone associated with him or Christ! Onisephorus often was like a “breath of fresh air” to Paul.  What a friend!  What a blessing!  (2 Timothy 1:16-18)

Paul – Like so many in Scripture, much could be said about this man.  One thing here, he was not ashamed of the gospel!  He proclaimed it, stood for it, shared it, lived it, wrote about it, and died for it!!  What a man; gospel-saturated; all out for Christ!!  (Romans 1:16)

All of a sudden, I find myself wanting to stand up and sing . . .

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.

Rise up, O men of God!
The kingdom tarries long.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;
Rise up and make her great!

Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where His feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!

So, men, are you a student of God’s Word?  Is your passion to know God and the Lord Jesus Christ?  Do you begin your day in the Word (Psalm 63:1) and with the Word (John 1:1,14)?  Real men read the Word and let the Word read them in a real way for that’s when you become a real man!! Let’s be humble, teachable, willing, and changeable right now.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 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. (Joshua 1:8-9)  — By the way, this was written by a real, courageous man who knew his God!!   The Word of God makes real men!