- Thu May 22, 2014
Our sin hurts everyone around us. From a servant's mind-set, the only questions that matter are questions like these: Is the power of sin still working in my life? Am I still angry? Am I still bitter? Do I still have that critical spirit, where everything always seems wrong? Are there areas in my life I won't allow my wife to talk to me about?
And when the power of sin is working in us, what is Christ's advice for us? Tell our wives to shut up? Cross our arms defiantly over our hardened hearts to protect them anytime someone comes near? Tell our wives to get used to it and to join us in covering it all up for the sake of the kids?
Hardly. Here's God's advice: "Be earnest, and repent" (Revelation 3:19).
Many Christian men feel that their wives should't confront their sin but instead pray for them silently. But that's God's plan for dealing with the hard hearts of unsaved husbands!
Let's be men about this. Are our hearts supposed to be no softer toward our sin--or toward our wives-- than an unbeliever's heart? Surely we can do better than that!
- Wed May 21, 2014
Jesus was wounded plenty but knew that while it's okay to be wounded, it's not okay to stay wounded.
Christ refused to stay wounded, and He didn't dwell on how He'd been mistreated (as we're so prone to do). Instead Jesus chose to be His brother's brother. He focused His woundedness at the problems around Him. By turning those wounds toward God's glory, through His pain He helped the whole world. In the end, He could pray, "I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do" (JOHN 17:4).
You, too, can bring God glory on earth by completing the work He gave you to do. You, too, can refuse to stay wounded, fixing your gaze upon the Cross, the Word, and the regenerative power of the Holy Spirit. You won't change the whole world like Jesus did, but you'll surely change that smaller world around you and the relationships that God has placed in your hands.
- Tue May 20, 2014
Sexual impurity has become rampant in the church because we've ignored the costly work of obedience to God's standards as individuals, asking too often, "How far can I go and still be called a Christian?" We've crafted an image and may even seem sexually pure while permitting our eyes to play freely when no one is around, avoiding the hard work of being sexually pure.
A search for mere excellence is an inadequate approach to God, leaving us vulnerable to snare after snare. Our only hope is obedience.
If we don't kill every hint of immorality, we'll be captured by our tendency as males to draw sexual gratification and chemical highs through our eyes. But we can't deal with our maleness until we first reject our right to mix standards. As we ask "How holy can I be?" we must pray and commit to a new relationship with God, fully aligned with His call to obedience.
- Mon May 19, 2014
When we sin, God doesn't shout, "Hell and damnation on you!" Since we're saved, He knows full well that there's now no more condemnation for us because of Christ. Remember, He personally had the apostles write that into the Bible! Jesus paid it all. Our Father isn't interested in making us pay further by adding shame after another failure in cyberspace.
God, your Father, is for you. He has plans to prosper you, and plans to give you a hope and a future, as promised in Jeremiah 29. Granted, God doesn't unconditionally approve of your behavior, but he does unconditionally love you.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and i will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, " and will bring you back from captivity." (JEREMIAH 29:11-14)
- Sun May 18, 2014
God's character does not adjust to a self-made spirituality that accepts some parts of God's truth and rejects others.
Our relationships with God hinge on our commitment to be men who embrace truth whenever it comes to us. Regardless of its source, truth must be allowed to lead us toward greater intimacy with God. This is the fundamental flow of God's relationship with a man--He brings us the truth. Contemplate Christ's words: "I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth. Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my vice" (JOHN 18:37, MSG).
The listening part that Jesus describes means taking Him at His word and leaving the results fully to Him.