Friday, June 21, 2019

One for the Boys

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.  1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Looking around at all that goes on in this world today, I wonder what strong reactions would come from the great men and women from the Bible.  For example – men of today are way different from men 50 years ago and especially way different from Paul’s time.  In 1 Corinthians, Paul is addressing the church in Corinth.  He gives the men some pretty good advice that still holds true today. Paul gave five Imperatives:
Be Watchful– This requires a constant and consistent focus on God and our relationship with Him. This also means to always be mindful that Satan is real, and he is on the prowl – and he is after our families.  Be alert, aware, and always ready, paying close attention.  God has made men to be protectors of their family.  Men need to protect their families from physical and spiritual threats, but also anything that threatens to come into their house and take God’s place.  
Stand Firmin The Faith- With this imperative, Paul specifically gives further instruction for standing firm—in the faith. Paul doesn’t just mean your personal trust in God at this point; he means faith as in what you believe.  Stand firm and do not let the truth of God’s word be compromised.  Standing firm, when it comes to the faith, means holding the biblical ground.  It is active, not passive—not leaning or sitting or retreating but standing – and standing firm so nothing can knock you off your feet.  
Act Like Men– Acting like men is not about acting at all. It is about controlling yourself.  Conducting yourself in a manner that reflects the Lord – in the way you work, the way you parent, the way you love others.  It is intentionally choosing behavior that overrides our natural bent towards sin and selfishness.  When we don’t act like men, we hurt others that we love.  
Be Strong – The strength that Paul is speaking of here is not the physical strength that comes from lifting weights. This strength is strength in character, conduct, and life. This is not the kind of strength that is behind a strong punch and then it is gone.  This is continuous strength that comes from a source other than us. It comes from God. Men need to model this strength, and to BE this strength for their families.  That strength brings safety and peace and trust in their families.  Men also need to make sure their families know that their strength comes from the Lord. 
Let All That You Do Be Done in Love – This last imperative is very straight forward and self-explanatory.  Paul literally meant let everything you do be laced with God’s love – through you – to others.  This means self-sacrificing, others first, love.  It means that when you work, take care of your family, discipline your kids, or teach a Sunday School class, do it all in love and you will do it right. When we try to solve disagreements outside of God’s love, it is not going to be the right way.  When we try to discipline our kids out of anger instead of in God’s love, it is not going to be the right way.  Whatever you do – do it all in love.
As men, we love our families and want to be the best for them. God gives us all we need to be the men our families need and the men He wants us to be – Be watchful, stand firm, act like men, be strong, and above all, let all that you do be done in love.  

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