Let’s go get God’s mind on this topic we are calling uprising. If you have a Bible, I want you to turn to Jeremiah 3:19, and then we are going to go through Jeremiah 4:4. It’s the heart of God’s Word towards men.
We are going to see a decision by men when it comes to sonship. We are also going to see the consequences of that choice. We are going to see that there is a chance for a second decision to be made.
In Jeremiah 3:19, God says: “I myself said how gladly I would treat you like sons.”
I want to stop right there. Whether you are a believer or you’re not; God wants you as a son.
- Mon May 1, 2017
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Some holidays come and go with little circumstance. Others are little more than an inconvenient bank holiday (think Columbus Day). Then, there’s Mother’s Day, which is a road bump en route to Father’s Day, right? Think Mother’s Day is another Hallmark marketing strategy to boost sales of sappy cards, and dust-collecting knick-knacks? Is it a day to make the obligatory visit with your buttoned-up shirt and flowers in hand? Has Mother’s Day become a joke?
Not to God. In fact, an argument could be made that it’s the one holiday we are commanded to honor. Not even Christmas and Easter have the distinction of being a commandment to celebrate.
Taking it 364 steps further, the Bible says numerous times to “honor your father and mother,” which means not just on one day, but every day. If you do, there’s a promise of reward.
- “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” -- Exodus 20:12
If we are really honest with ourselves, I’m guessing the majority of men don’t give enough credit for their moms. But they should. I’m sure there are exceptions, but moms deserve a lot more than a one-day token holiday.
They carried us inside their wombs for nine months, and endured the birthing! That alone deserves a medal of honor. And, that’s only the very tip of the iceberg. If we think about all the mothering that goes on in life, there’s nothing even close to what moms do for us. Nobody can argue that moms give significantly more sacrificial love than men or kids, on a daily basis.
Honoring you mother synonymous with loving God. Did you realize that? In 1 John 4:20, the Bible says essentially that “you can’t love me and not love others.”
We at EMM encourage you to think of ways to honor your mom throughout the year. Consider motherhood a celebration of life itself! So for the upcoming holiday, here are some fresh, and not so fresh but tried-and-true, ideas:
- Tue Mar 21, 2017
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In a study by Men’s Health it was revealed that the top two ways men stay connected with friends are texting (#1) and “get togethers” (#2). The reason we prefer these ways are twofold: texting fits the factual, short, bottom line style of communication we appreciate and “get togethers” feed our need for closer, interpersonal camaraderie and connection with each other. Whether it’s just the guys or the guys with the gals we usually huddle by gender and “dive deeper.” Guys usually assemble around wherever the meat is being grilled and sample it with a beverage in hand. At the same time, the girls keep it real in the kitchen while prepping for the meal and talk about, well, everything. That’s where the similarities end because guys do not talk about everything.
In fact, guys prefer to keep it on the surface when we get together. We stick to sports, work updates, kids sports, house projects, power tools, cars, working out, and our favorite recreational pursuit. So let’s get this straight: in the one setting with the most potential power in our lives to build strong friendships we, by habit or by choice, keep things on the surface? Exactly. Like a bunch of icebergs, we present the tips of our lives while the big stuff causing emotional heartburn, relational pain, or spiritual darkness (like our marriages, temptations, families, finances, and inner demons) stay buried, unprocessed, and unresolved. We leave with full stomachs and empty souls, more lonely than when we first arrived because no one knows what’s really going on in our lives. The irony is that most of us spin it at these gatherings and say when asked “It’s all good bro.”
Excerpt from Kenny’s book, Dream. Available here.
The Velvet Touch
Jesus crashed the mental hard-drives of “religious” men.
A big reason why their spiritual processors could not run the Jesus application was because he made a habit of connecting with sexually immoral, physically unclean, and non-Jewish people. He broke their rules about first and second class citizens and he was not acting very “righteous” in his associations. This practice put them into spiritual vertigo: dizzy, destabilized, and desperately trying to make sense of him. The ease with which he floated from the Temple, to the country side, to synagogue, and, then, to the “sinners” district raised eyebrows and ignited plenty of gossip. His credibility as a spiritual leader was eroded by these dubious junkets. The Father, on the other hand, was rejoicing saying, “That’s the way Son! Exactly!” God’s Son was moving the Kingdom forward not just in shady back alleys of first century Palestine but also in every other place where those starving for acceptance were found. The lost were being found while the “found” just got more lost.
There’s an “F” after the “SHI” and before the “T” and, yes, I did it on purpose. I am exchanging the secular phrase for a sacred principle, the silly for the serious, and if I pressed your buttons then mission accomplished. What remains are the two words every believer must consider if they claim to be a follower of Jesus – holy and shift. See for yourself.
“If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NCV
That’s some major shift going down. Oops did it again. Key word here? Everything. God says he wants all of you versus parts of you. Get that. Life with God requires change in God if the relationship is working the way he designed. God himself is telling me in strong, simple terms that when he is at the center of my life I don’t get to pick and choose my changes of life and lifestyle. It’s positional.
“Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46 NIV
By contrast, if we do call him “Lord, Lord” we will be moving, exchanging, changing, or adjusting our ways for God’s ways on a regular basis. Why? Because when you are connected to Christ shift happens (of the holy sort). The red letters of Jesus in your Bible clearly state one unequivocal fact: change is ground zero of the spiritual life. We dispute this reality of spiritual life internally because personal change is often emotionally uncomfortable for us and requires new character we don’t presently have. Or we flat out disagree with God because we don’t want to give up that attitude or behavior. The result is self styled Christianity, patterned around our comforts, where we live out of spiritual and non-spiritual boxes as the context suits us. Both approaches fall short and neither passes muster with God.