Friday, July 5, 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 and also to always be mindful that Satan is real, and he is on the prowl.  Be alert, aware, and always ready, paying close attention.  God has made man a protector of his family.  Men need to protect their families from physical threats but also spiritual and anything that threatens to come into their house and take God’s place.  
Stand Firm- Clarity is a must to be able to stand firm.  This directive is there to focus the urgency God has given to men so that it will be directed toward things that matter and used in a way that partners with what God is trying to accomplish. Just as a lineman in football will dig his cleated toe into the turf to leverage his forward momentum once the ball is snapped, so the phrase “stand firm in the faith” leverages our watchful urgency over those we love. Note there is a location for standing firm—in the faith. Paul doesn’t just mean your personal trust in God at this point; he means faith as the body of truth that has been entrusted to us in the Word of God.  Standing firm, when it comes to the faith, means holding the biblical ground without compromise.  It is active, not passive—not leaning or sitting or retreating but standing.  
Act Like Men– There are many different opinions of what act like menmeans.  But the one guideline that matters the most is what the Bible says about it.  Men and women may be equal, but they are not the same.  They are meant to complement and complete each other.  One’s weakness is another’s strength.  Men are meant to provide secutiy and protection for their families, responding and not reacting, in a non anxious way. 
Be Strong – Men are comfortable showing their strength but this imperative has little to do with strength.  This kind of strength is lasting, not momentary.  This is meant to be ongoing strength, and it comes straight from God. 
Let All That You Do Be Done In Love – As men – fathers, husbands, sons, friends – let everything you do be done in love.  Everyone you touch with your words and actions, let it be done in love, not anger. There is no guarantee that this will make everything perfect but it is the way God commands men to act.  In love.  Some men may have a problem with that, thinking it makes them seem too soft. But love doesn’t take away manhood. Doing everything in love does not make a man less manly.  In fact, it makes them more manly.  A godly man, tempered by the Holy Spirit, is never more manly than when he balances his life and relationships with strength (not harshness) and love.  A father who has a love relationship with his children can – with the Holy Spirit’s help – discipline in love.  A husband who loves his wife – with the Holy Spirit’s help – can also respond in love in every situation with her.  Being a man is acting in love in every way.  It is not weakness.  It is the greatest strength.  Nothing is stonger than love.
Although these words from Paul can be meant for everyone, for men, this is a call to action.  

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