This post brings no deep exposition of a passage or concept – only an admonition to the young men who might read this. I have had you on my heart for some time now, and so I am taking this opportunity to share a short word with you – an admonition. Guys: we need men not boys. Seriously. There is a huge shortage of men in our churches currently. Our culture is destroying the foundation of biblical manhood, and we have adopted it as our own. There are plenty of over grown boys that have a man’s body, but the maturity level of a middle schooler. Where are the men who will lead? Where are the men who have been equipped to lead? Where are the men who are passionate about the gospel? Where are the men who dig deep into the riches of God’s word and show themselves approved? Where are the men who walk by faith through grace in newness of life in Christ?
I am not here to give you a guilt trip. The Lord knows we have been given many a guilt trips that have produce nothing more than failed good intention. No. I am here to challenge you and myself in the grace of Christ Jesus – to quit you like men [1 Sam. 4:9]. However, I am also here to tell you: you can’t do it. Man at his best – in all his works – is vanity [Psalm 39; Ecc.].
Be consumed with Grace [Romans]
If you are to be the man of God, then you must know and understand grace. You must be growing in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Understand the meat and heart of the gospel. My brothers, if you do not know of Grace then your attempts to be a man of God will be futile. I encourage you to jump into the book of Romans and stay there a while. Let each word and chapter soak in. Understand what the apostle Paul is teaching in regards to the wondrous work of Christ’s grace. Know that grace is not just the power to do God’s will, but it is Christ in you the hope of glory [Col.1]. His life lived through you – your life in exchange for His. As you have received Christ Jesus so walk ye in Him – by faith in His work done for you [Col. 2].
Study to show yourself approved [1 & 2 Timothy]
In order to grow in grace, one must study God’s word. All of life is to be enjoyed to the fullest for God’s glory but how often is time in the Word not a part of the equation? Our hearts are extremely good at blurring the lines between Christian liberty and plain futility. Don’t’ read this and go: “ok, what do I have to give up in order to do this?!” No. Just dig into God’s word. Spend some time there, brother. Don’t just read it; study it. Read books on it. Dig deep into the text that is before you in the scriptures. Ask other godly men what it means. Read men who have gone before you that have tried the scriptures and found them to be true. Become a theologian. You don’t have to be uber smart to do so. Just pursue Christ with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Think about it. Let it soak into the very core of who you are. Give your strength to it. Let your heart be consumed by it. You will find that all of the sudden you desire more of it. The line between futility and freedom in Christ is no longer blurred, and you spend your days in pleasurable pursuit of Christ in EVERYTHING you do.
Paul challenged Timothy – a young pastor who was most likely in his twenties – with two letters. In those letters, he challenged him in his belief system that directly related to his character and leadership of others. Timothy had to study and fight the good fight of faith. Paul challenged him with what I like to call man language: study, fighting, and strong character. Let that man language soak deep into you. Grow in grace as you study. Be a modern day Timothy who was strong in the grace of Christ Jesus and entrusted to faithful men who are able to teach others also.
So, I close: we need men of grace not boys who play [1 Cor.13:11].