Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Man, Act Like A Man.

"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Do everything in Love." (1 Corinthians 16:13,14).  

What this verse does not at all mean is ..men, act like women.  No, be what God made you, man!  

1.     Don't act like a woman – Men of God are called to follow Christ and lead, not follow women or act like them. We need to listen to women, and for sure to spiritual godly women and then act on their biblical ideas. Godly women are called to lead too, but not lead men. Think about the Genesis three temptation of Eve in how Adam actually followed her, a woman, off into sin. BTW: Where was Adam when she was tempted in the garden? Many men still follow women into sin today. Think about how Eve, "..saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise.." (vv.6, 17) and then blew it. We men are to walk by faith, not by sight or feelings. It would appear that Eve would even desire Adams place or want to control him as his leader, yes, as a result of her bad choice (v.16 desire = longing, craving to dominate h8669).. "And you [Eve] will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you" (nlt). Perhaps this is one reason Paul said that an elder in a local church was to be the husband of one wife, instead of saying a wife of one husband, or wife of a wife. Men, please determine now that you will act like men and not acquiesce to allowing your wife to lead you around or off into sin. Too many men are so confused today, even within the church and yet three times God (in the Bible) says that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Those are His words and if He said that once then that would be enough. Too many men have bought into the world's lie somehow, but God is very clear about how we believers are to represent Him to a wayward society rather than to mess with His divine order. There is also never really a time to act feminine or partially-feminine as many famous high-profile artists and other so called sophisticated Metrosexuals tend to do. I’m not picking on the non-macho. You know what I’m talking about ...those who going beyond just being entertainingly creative and really try to look like a woman. It’s wrong but that’s so vogue in this world. Some seem to look for every opportunity to dawn a dress and behave girly (you know uber-wimpy, milk-toast, chickified, overly-sensitive-emotional even on into manipulation at times. Just beyond what God would have em be like. This world system aims to confuse and make men like girls and now so many boys and men feel they must even get a sex change just to be true to themselves). But God never create Adam and Steve in the Garden to rep Him or Eve and Bridget. Today we have teachers hitting on their students, and men with many wives or animals. Priests with boys. It seems to have become common place in the West. Why? Well, we are in the last days. God made a man and a woman so they could get married and represent the love of Christ for His Church, because any other mix to any degree would be very wrong and perverse. Never forget that Jesus was fully a man's man. Husbands, Christ (God) wants the world to have an accurate, clear picture of what He is really like so that they can choose.    

2.     Don't act like a beast – Beasts aren't gentle, they growl a lot, they bite, they shred and tear up a flock, they destroy and kill rather than build up others (see verses below). Dogs have a "I want" mentality, not a I'm here to give idea. They live for getting their own appetites addressed. Are you apart of the scratch and belch crowd even around your spouse? How does she want you to be around the home and outside… smelly, greasy, dirty, rude? If you could give a flip, your male friends might laugh—they not might mind at all, but for her that gets old fast. Yes, a beast can be so gross in what they eat, sniff, and where they visit. They aren't faithful. They literally stink to high heaven. They live solely to get their own desires gratified and never ever thinks about meeting another creature's needs. You might feel that man's so called best friend, your beloved dog, really loves you for who you are, but you have simply proven to be its regular provision source. That's all there is to it.   

I dare you if I may to do your own study on evil beasts, spiritual dogs, and spiritual pigs in the Bible. Does the Bible mean wild dogs – is it referring to lost gentiles only? You already know how lost and carnal people can behave just like animals. And there is a good reason by Jesus said, "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces" (Matt. 7:6, nasb).

Paul warned, "Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3).

John penned, "Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying" (Rev 22:14-15).

"One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, 'Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons'" (Titus 1:12, nasb). 

"But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption" (2 Pet. 2:12, nkjv).

"But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain [a murderer], have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit [covetous like most false prophets are], and perished in the rebellion of Korah [who was into prideful rebellion and leading others into that]" (Jude 1:10-11, nkjv emphasis mine). 

3.     Don't act like a child – You remember how the Apostle Paul said, "When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things" (1 Cor. 13:11, NASB). Real men don't remain in diapers demanding or waiting to be changed and fed. They've learned how to feed themselves and act much differently for they desire to mature spiritually. No matter what the crowd does, real men have made the choice against all feelings that might be contrary to be growing Christians who forgive, who love, who lead. Yes, no matter how many follow them or not – "the cross before them, the world behind them." They have learned how to walk without being conformed by evil influences ..yes walk with Christ.. and they refuse to remain as some carnally minded baby believer on pabulum. They opt never to pressure people, accuse people, or be a moucher using others for personal gain for that's simply unChristlike. They have chosen to read the red, live by it, pray the price and grow up into balanced disciples who enjoy the meat of the Word rather than just milk. You know that being in God's Kingdom is great, but they are so grateful that they want to help others into God's Kingdom. They're not into throwing temper tantrums if they don't get their way, or carrying a chip on their shoulder. No they intercede so that God's Way will win out in everything – yeah, so captives will go free. They don't whine, pout, mope, blow up, blame, hate people or say "Mine!" They see what they own as God's property. They roll up their sleeves and never expect others to get their work done for them. If someone kindly vouches for them, God's man will do his very best to make sure they never regret that or let that person down so that it wouldn't reflect poorly on their judgment. They never want to be a burden on others, but they look to God as their Source and seek to relieve people's burdens. Yes, they are out to meet needs as they point people to Jesus Christ who can meet their greatest need (for salvation), rather than live to see their own desires gratified.

 "God wants men to be free. Free to demonstrate toughness when a situation or relationship demands it. Free to display grit, strength, commitment, and decisiveness under the Holy Spirit's direction. God also wants me to be free to demonstrate tenderness, sensitivity and humility. Free to be vulnerable enough to foster intimacy and to shed tears. Authentic masculinity produces a divine elasticity in men. Finally they can lead with firmness, then submit with humility. They can challenge with a cutting edge, then encourage with enthusiasm. They can fight aggressively for a just cause, then moments later weep over suffering. Secure, free, authentic men leave a mark - on their colleagues, friends, wives, and especially their children." ~ Bill Hybels

"Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me." ~ Jim Elliot

"A man ought to live so that everybody knows he is a Christian... and most of all, his family ought to know." ~ Dwight L Moody

What I am saying is really not about male chauvinism here or about men being heartless dictators anywhere, especially in families, at work, or in the local church. It is about men acting like Jesus Christ. Therefore don't act or be religious like a Pharisee, for Christ wasn't and isn't like that. God the Father isn't religious. Don't be weak, or the weaker vessel in your marriage. Choose to be strong in the Word. Some men in our society like to hang out with the most base of characters and basically fellowship with the enemy as well.. and so much so using the horoscopes, astrologers, mediums, fortune teller physics, weegie boards etc… that they start acting like fallen angels – full of pride, deceit, perversion, and rebellion. Hey men, don't fellowship with, lie, or act like a fallen angel.. ever.  
What do real men act like?  What that verse above does mean. 
1. It means act like God created you to act. Men of God remain awake spiritually and alert (Matt. 24:42, 43, 25:13, Mk. 13:33, 1 Cor. 16:13, Col 4:2, 1 Thess. 5:6, 1Pet. 5:8).
2. They are pure and honest..."For the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence" (Prov. 3:32). "The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out" (10:9). "I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity..." (1 Chron. 29:17). Yes, men of God are careful about what they allow to enter their eye and ear gates even when others aren't watching them. People are counting on them.    
3. They are courageous due to prayer, have a right spirit, a good attitude, and proper motives as they stand firm in the Lord. God told Joshua, "...Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" (Josh. 1:9). Also see Deuteronomy 1:29-31 which commands us men, "Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place."
4.  They humbly hold to their biblical convictions with Holy Spirit steel in their backbones, and yet they can also be gentle and caring. The Bible says, "..Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord." (Eph. 6:4). "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (niv). "Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged" (Col. 3:21). "He [God] will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse" (Mal 4:6). "As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him…" (Ps 103:13).   
5. They remain strong in the Lord as they press on to maturity.
6. They get through hardship and view it properly ..not like God now hates them. God tell men to, "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?" (Heb. 12:7).
7. They pray without ceasing and inquire of the Lord before they act (not running ahead of Him or lagging behind). Jesus said, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.." (Matt. 6:33).
8. They walk in consistent victory as good examples not self-confidently, but leaning on the Spirit (no do as I say, not as I do mentality) as they are careful with all their words, "A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered" (Prov. 17:27). "Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us" (Tts. 2:6-8).
9. They lead others with confidence having their best interests at heart, and seek to win those who are open. "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls" (Prov. 11:30, NASB).
10. They take responsibility for all they do and say…
11. They count the cost, pre-think scripturally, discern, judge with righteous judgment and then they make bold moves for, "A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth" (Prov. 17:24).
12. They listen up, receive discipline, and aren't too proud to ask for advice or help when they need it, or when others they are helping need it. God tells men, "My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in" (Prov. 3:11-12). "Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old" (23:22). "The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him" (23:24).
13. They do all in selfless love, as Paul challenged, "..act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love" (1 Cor. 16:14).
14. They want the Message and Messiah remembered, not themselves and they give all the glory to God. 

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