How To Act Like Men?
Blog Post by Rob Berreth
Men, this morning as I was praying God laid you on my heart and reminded me of our time together this past fall at he Act Like Men conference. I want to remind you of a few things I said and encourage you to seize this next year, to not waste it, and to plan now for how you can grow and make a difference.
Men, you are not a mistake. Your gender is not a mistake. God made women and men in His image. Both men and women are absolutely needed and essential. Your culture often doesn’t tell you this, and more often than not, denies or scoffs at this truth. As A.W. Tozer said so many years ago:
“The Church at this moment needs men, the right kind of men, bold men…We languish for men who feel themselves expendable in the warfare of the soul, who cannot be frightened by threats of death because they have already died to the allurements of this world. Such men will be free from the compulsions that control weaker men. They will not be forced to do things by the squeeze of circumstances; their only compulsion will come from within—or from above.”
This past fall during our Act Like Men’s conference we focused on four ways, or handles, or commitments that men can engage to guide themselves as they live for God’s glory, the good of those around them, and for their own good. In this coming year it is worth looking at these categories and making a specific plan about how you will engage each one by the grace of God and the power of the Spirit. All of us that love Jesus want to look more like Jesus by this time next year. Not so we are loved or saved or forgiven, but because we are.
Here are the four statements:
- Men Obey God
- Men Lead Their Families
- Men Serve Their Church
- Men Sacrifice Themselves
As a way to make this practical there are a few questions or thoughts to get you thinking about ways to integrate these handles in 2014. But before you start. Remind yourself of the Gospel. Preach to yourself the ultimate truth that only Jesus perfectly obeys God. That Jesus leads His people. That Jesus serves His Church. And Jesus sacrificed Himself utterly for all who trust in Him. Guard vigilantly from making 2014 a year of working hard to merit what Jesus has already earned. Equally fight against wasting 2014 and the privilege of growing more mature like Jesus by God’s grace.
I OBEY GOD
- To obey God you need to know what He commands, what pleases Him, etc. Pick a time and devote yourself to reading His Word. Do you have a Bible plan? When will you read? Where? Etc.
- When will you pray? What will you pray for?
- What right now in your life is not producing love for God and distracting you from obedience? Why are you doing this? What is going to change to battle this area of disobedience?
- What times do you feel most obedient to God? How can you pursue that lifestyle more often?
- Ask your spouse and/or friends about areas in your life that they see patterns of sin, apathy, etc. Make a plan for fighting these areas.
- Reflect on areas of obedience. Make a list of ways you are following God. Spend some time thanking Hom for how He is changing you.
- Plan now to do official theological and practical training in your local church. Redeemer will be launching new programs, tacks and opportunities Fall of 2014. There will be something for everyone with time commitments ranging from 3 months to 2 years with a variety of opportunities. We will be focusing on Bible and Doctrine, Church and Mission, as well as personal character and growth.
I LEAD MY FAMILY
- To lead my family I need to lead myself. Where am I not a leader of self? Think through various areas like physical and emotional health, financial responsibility, spiritual vigor, etc. What really needs to grow? What PLAN are you going to make to get there?
- If married, ask your spouse how you can lead better. Be humble and grateful that she would help you see where you can grow. Avoid defensiveness by remembering that only Jesus is perfect.
- Prayerfully seek some vision for your family. What do you want your marriage to look like next year. In five years? Same with your kids. What about your lifestyle, how you are on mission as a family? How you engage the Bible as a family? How your money is used, your time spent, your resources stewarded, etc? Write a vivid description of what you want your family to look like in 10 years. Ask your family to help. If you aren’t married or don’t have kids, ask your friends to help.
- What legacy do you want for your family? In 20, 30, 100 years what do you want your family to be known for?
- Write a vision statement with your spouse for your family. What is your families mission? What are your core values? Now, how are you going to get there? What’s your strategy? What resources do you need? Who can help you? If single, you can do this with friends, Discipleship group, or Gospel Community.
I SERVE MY CHURCH
- If you are not a member of a local church become one.
- Use your gifts for the good of the church. If you don’t know what those gifts are ask someone to help you figure it out. God has endowed you with gifts for the good of His church and they are needed. You are needed.
- Ask yourself this question: if everyone in the church gave at my level of service, giving, prayer, participation, etc would my local church be stronger or weaker?
- What do you aspire to in your local church?
- Do you know the mission and vision and strategy of your local church? How can you specifically support these things?
- Reflect on evidences of grace from this past year as you reflect on your local church. This can be ways you have served or ways you have been served.
I SACRIFICE MYSELF
- In order to do any of the above things well we need to embrace what it means to sacrifice ourselves. Remember, only Jesus sacrificed Himself completely. He also sacrificed Himself uniquely. Meaning, you don’t give of yourself for the forgiveness of sins, the reconciliation of all things, the promise of a new Kingdom. You give sacrifice yourself to make the truths of Jesus’ sacrifice known and felt.
- What is holding you back from giving yourself, like Paul says, as a drink offering? Do you struggle with laziness? Or fear? Or distraction? Recognizing and naming the specifics can be very helpful in battling.
- 2 Tim 2.3 the Spirit calls us to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ not entangled in civilian pursuits since our aim is to please the one who enlisted Him. What specifically does being a good solider look like in 2014 for you? Focus on what might entangle you or distract you. More than that, focus on what it means to want to live to please the one who enlisted you.
- What will your schedule look like in 2014? Make an ideal schedule that reflects someone who obeys God, leads his family, and serves his church.
- What other men can help fight alongside of you as you pour yourself out? If you are not in a Discipleship Group (DG) get in one. If you don’t know what a DG is ask your Gospel Community or talk with someone in the church and we can help.
I can’t say this enough, Jesus is enough. His obedience, leading, service and sacrifice is enough. We want 2014 to be a year marked with believing that truth in thought and deed and action and effort. But this is effort that is grace saturated and Gospel driven. We can take risks because in Jesus death is dead. We can step out and live differently because in Jesus we have a new identity. We have nothing to fear because Christ has conquered. May God give us the grace to “act like men” for His glory, the good of our cities, our church, our families.
Jesus Is All