The Making of a Man

Trucks, cars, guns/hunting, soldiers, cowboys, football, basketball, sledding, bicycles & motorcycles, hiking, the farm, the outdoors, the Word of God, the local church, The Wilds, evangelism, and strong preaching!  That sort of sums up my boyhood years right through my teens.  Just typing those words brings back some really great memories!  These were some of the important ingredients of growing into manhood that my parents always gladly provided (except the motorcycle) and encouraged.  There is so much I would love to share with you about each one.  My background is one of the reasons I love Ephesians 6:10-20.  Read it as a boy all dressed up in his cowboy boots w/ holster and six-shooter or as a soldier in your front yard with the neighborhood boys getting ready to take out the enemy or baling hay and stacking it up in the top of the barn on a blistering hot day or as it is so portrayed, putting on your shield, armor and sword and preparing for battle!  Read it with some umphh in your voice; with gravel in your teeth; with heart pumping out of your chest; and sweat oozing from underneath your helmet!!

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Are you ready for battle?  Is your heart still pumping with vigor?  Is this a manly passage or what?  Wow!!!  Men, I notice something that is so manly coming out of this passage that is a huge need in our lives today—-it is verse 18.  I will say it now rather than lead into it by more verbiage—–you are no more a man than when you are in earnest prayer on your knees before God the Father!!!  The dressing room for the armor of God is the prayer room.  There you put on each piece which is Christ (Next Tuesday, we will examine each part of the armor). Oh, just look at those manly words in verse 18, praying always, being watchful to the end, perseverance. That’s the characteristics of a strong man, a man of truth, faith, ready for daily conflict, and ready to defend and protect!

Men, we must be men of prayer!  For far too long, the ladies have led the charge when it comes to this awesome privilege.  I am so grateful for a praying wife and a praying mom, but oh the sight I see right now is the many, many times I saw my dad on his knees weeping for lost souls within his family, church and city, crying out for revival among the saints, adoring his Heavenly Father through intercession and supplication, and praising God for all His goodness in answered prayer and for Who He is!!!  Thanks, Dad!!  The Tonka trucks and cap pistols are long gone—but the need for men of prayer remains!!!!  How are you dressed today, men?

Rod: The Churchman

Rod

Last evening before prayer meeting, we were invited to our daughter and son-in-law’s home for supper to celebrate his birthday.  While waiting for supper to be put on the table, Andrew shared a book he had received as a Christmas gift entitled Manly Dominion by Mark Chanski.  The book’s description is as follows:

In billards, the four-ball is passive; it’s the one that gets knocked around by the other balls. Christian man, is that you? Are you knocked around by your environment, rather than taking you God-given assignment to lead? Mark Chanski’s book is a clarion call to all Christian men to face life’s challenges with Manly Dominion. It will challenge and encourage you to lead, wherever God places you, with Spirit-filled conviction. No Christian man (or woman!) living in today’s world should be without it. Read carefully, and transform your life!

As I flipped through its pages, the following two paragraphs from Chapter 18, Churchmanship, arrested me:

However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver (2 Samuel 24:24). David’s worship slogan must be ours. Church worship and service must not be engaged in passively and cheaply. We must resolve to be aggressive and expensive in our public devotion to our Lord.

Passive, “come when I feel like it,” low priority, cheap churchmanship is in an offence to our Savior when we claim to worship. How much did it cost Jesus to coerce justice to sheathe its sword against us as sinners? It cost Jesus the heavy price of his own life blood poured out on the cross. The sincere Christian thinks: the sword of justice that I deserved to have run through me for eternity in hell, ran through my Lord Jesus on Golgotha.”  (p. 149)

After a delicious supper, we headed for the service at church and truly met with the Lord in a most powerful way. The visiting speaker showed us in supreme fashion how the Lord is saving souls in some of the roughest places in the world! He shared with us the stories of thousands of people who faithfully attend church in war-torn cities and villages.  Some attend undercover with the constant threat of persecution. We were all moved by their testimonies and conversion stories. We all left saying, “What a Savior!”  But that’s not the point of this whole blog post.  I saw a genuine “churchman” last night.  I’ve been watching him for over fourteen years.  He turned 89 years old last week, shuffles when he walks, is having heart surgery today, and came to church last night in the bitter cold of 10 degrees and howling wind!!  Why?  Because he is part of the body of Christ that meets in local assembly and is not passive or cheap about his love for Christ and His body!  His devotion and resolve has always been “aggressive and expensive” and not “come when I feel like it.”

Men, look at the cross. Look at your Savior hanging there for you.  Look into the faces of the many who faithfully attend their local church under the constant threat of terror and death. Look into the face of this 89 year old man.  Are you a genuine churchman?  If so, may “David’s slogan of worship” grow within in your heart!   If not, what’s your excuse?

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)