Calling Godly Men!

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Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. . . . I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting (1 Timothy 2:1-2, 8).

Please note the following about this passage.

The Priority of Prayer (2:1)
The second chapter of 1 Timothy contains instructions for public worship. Paul has something urgent on his mind by using the word exhort as given under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-21). This urgency is directed to the need of giving preeminence to prayer in public worship, and may I add, to life in general (Luke 18:1). In other words, prayer is to be first in rank, to take first place in importance.

What place does prayer hold in your life or home or school or business or recreation or marriage?

What place does prayer hold in the life of your church? How about in the Sunday worship gatherings? Mid-week gatherings? Evangelism? Discipleship? Sunday School classes and small groups? Deacons’ Meetings? Awana’s? Small group meetings in homes? Men and Ladies’ gatherings? Etc.?

You can do more than pray after you have prayed; but you can never do more than pray until you have prayed (A.J. Gordon).

The greatest thing anyone can do for God or man is pray (S.D. Gordon).

The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray (Samuel Chadwick).

The Person in Prayer (2:8)
After acknowledging the only Meditator between God and man for salvation as well as prayer, the Lord Jesus Christ (2:4-6), Paul returns to public worship and the role of men (2:8).

Who are to be the leaders in prayer in our churches today?

How thankful I am for all the dear precious ladies who have given themselves to the ministry of prayer over the years! But, the church should be and must be known for the men who pray, not the ladies first. Quite frankly, the church is too feminine in many ways, and that is not a knock against ladies. Here, the exhortation is clearly laid upon men.

Men, it is time for us to be the prayer warriors, the prayer leaders, the prayer intercessors, the person in prayer!

Men are the ones to pray . . .

Everywhere – That’s exactly what it means, in every place.

With earnest desire – Lifting up hands in prayer is a natural response, a natural indication of earnest desire. Sometime take note of all the places in scripture that show the lifting up of hands as a part of praying (1 Kings 8:54; Nehemiah 8:6; Psalms 28:2; 141:2; 143:6)

With clean & committed lives – The word for holy hands refers to moral purity as well as a devoted life. Prayer is null and void if sin is unconfessed, and we not totally committed to Christ.

Without anger – Interesting that anger is mentioned here. If men are to be faithful prayer warriors, the sin of anger which so easily besets too many men must be overcome by the power the Holy Spirit and obedience to the Word of God (Galatians 5:17, 20, 22-26; Ephesians 4:26, 31-32; James 1:20). Anger is a major mental distraction to prayer. The best way to overcome anger is to pray.

Without doubting or dissension – Furthermore, when it comes to prayer there is to be unity and harmony and a proper mental attitude of faith-believing.

Men, our greatest example of prayer is the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. See Him praying in Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 14:23; 19:13; 26:36-44; Mark 1:35; 6:46; Luke 11:1; Hebrews 7:25, to name a few.

At the very next prayer gathering in your church, men will you lead?

The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day (E.M. Bounds).

God’s cause is committed to men; God commits Himself to men. Praying men are the vice-regents of God; they do His work and carry out His plans (E.M. Bounds).

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!