Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Christian Manhood - Some thoughts

I got to thinking about the fact that God tells us that we were created in His image and likeness. I remembered that Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 11:7. He is talking about head coverings which I don’t want to get into right now, but he says, “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since (and here is the part I want to focus on) he is the image and glory of God.” Here God is basically saying that man is the image and glory of God. The word behind image is “icon” and the word behind glory is “doxa”. Most of us know what an icon is. It is a picture or representation of something. We are that image of God. We get the word doxology from doxa. A doxology is a word of praise. We are the glory or praise of God!

Most of us don’t feel like we do a very good job of representing God as His image and glory, but the Bible says that that is what we are. How can we improve? In 2 Corinthians 3:18 Paul writes that we, “with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

In that verse you see the same two words – image and glory. The key to showing that image and glory more clearly is to gaze on the glory of the Lord in His Word and as we do that more and more the Spirit of the Lord transforms us (the word is metamorphosis) into His image from one stage of glory to another.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Christian Manhood - Intro

When we read the first few chapters of the book of Genesis we discover something right away. That is that God created us for a purpose and yet Adam’s sin brought a curse upon us that changed everything.

First we learn in Genesis 1:26 that God created us in His image and in 2:7 we learn that we are made of the dust of the ground. First of all that is difficult to comprehend. How can God take the dust of the earth and create something that is in His image and likeness? Being in the image of God implies responsibility and requires obedience in order to display that likeness. After the fall, this became much more difficult and requires more diligence and discipline relying on the Spirit of God within us to provide what is needed to accomplish this.

Second we learn in 1:26-28 that we have been given dominion and are to subdue the earth. This means we are to have leadership and are accountable to manage what God has given us. The fall of course made this much more difficult since the creation resists our management of it. This shows up in the fact that weeds grow much more easily than the vegetables we’re trying to grow in our garden. It also shows up in the fact that things wear out, break down and in other ways cause us frustration and toil.

Finally, God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. Everything God had made He said was good except He said that it is not good that man should be alone. So we learn that marriage and family are part of God’s plan. In this area also the fall has taken its toll. It’s not easy to maintain the kind of marriage relationships and family relationships required to carry out God’s plan.

So, with these three areas we have the outline of where we are headed with the God’s Pattern for Christian Manhood study. We are going to look at what we must do to glorify God has we show forth His character and likeness. We are going to look at our dominion and leadership in the world which includes our vocation, money management and time management. And finally we are going to look at the need for moral purity and maintaining healthy and godly relationships in marriage and family.

Stay tuned.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Memorization Monday -- Promised Blessings - Comfort

This is the third verse in the series on Promised Blessings - Comfort

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hymn of the Week -- Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting

Jesus I am resting, resting
In the Joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power
Thou hast made me whole.


Jesus, I am resting, resting
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.

O how great Thy loving kindness.
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O how marvellous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.


Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings;
Thine is love indeed!


Ever lift Thy face upon me,
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting 'neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth's dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father's glory,
Sunshine of my Father's face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting;
Fill me with Thy grace.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

God's Pattern for Christian Manhood

Last Sunday my wife and I had the opportunity to begin a 13-week series of lessons in our church Sunday School. She is teaching the ladies and I am teaching the guys. The topic we are covering is “God’s Pattern for Christian Manhood/Womanhood”. I’m hoping to use this blog as an opportunity to share some of the things we are covering on the man’s side. We will provide a link where you can access notes and other resources from both of these classes. In the meantime, check back every so often to find out what we’re learning about. Feel free to post comments and thoughts so that the discussion can be broadened to include others outside the class. The next post on this subject will appear on Tuesday the 29th.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Sluggard by Isaac Watts

I saw this poem on a post by Joshua Harris the other day. I thought it is an important one for all of us men to ponder.

The Sluggard

from Divine Songs for Children by Isaac Watts

'Tis the voice of the sluggard; I heard him complain,
"You have wak'd me too soon, I must slumber again."
As the door on its hinges, so he on his bed,
Turns his sides and his shoulders and his heavy head.

"A little more sleep, and a little more slumber;"
Thus he wastes half his days, and his hours without number,
And when he gets up, he sits folding his hands,
Or walks about sauntering, or trifling he stands.

I pass'd by his garden, and saw the wild brier,
The thorn and the thistle grow broader and higher;
The clothes that hang on him are turning to rags;
And his money still wastes till he starves or he begs.

I made him a visit, still hoping to find
That he took better care for improving his mind:
He told me his dreams, talked of eating and drinking;
But scarce reads his Bible, and never loves thinking.

Said I then to my heart, "Here's a lesson for me,"
This man's but a picture of what I might be:
But thanks to my friends for their care in my breeding,
Who taught me betimes to love working and reading.

Isaac Watts

Joshua Harris preached a sermon on sloth which you listen to here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening for Sept 16

I thought this was a very interesting and challenging reading.

“Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?”
Job 7:12

This was a strange question for Job to ask of the Lord. He felt himself to be too insignificant to be so strictly watched and chastened, and he hoped that he was not so unruly as to need to be so restrained. The enquiry was natural from one surrounded with such insupportable miseries, but after all, it is capable of a very humbling answer. It is true man is not the sea, but he is even more troublesome and unruly. The sea obediently respects its boundary, and though it be but a belt of sand, it does not overleap the limit. Mighty as it is, it hears the divine hitherto, and when most raging with tempest it respects the word; but self-willed man defies heaven and oppresses earth, neither is there any end to this rebellious rage. The sea, obedient to the moon, ebbs and flows with ceaseless regularity, and thus renders an active as well as a passive obedience; but man, restless beyond his sphere, sleeps within the lines of duty, indolent where he should be active. He will neither come nor go at the divine command, but sullenly prefers to do what he should not, and to leave undone that which is required of him. Every drop in the ocean, every beaded bubble, and every yeasty foam-flake, every shell and pebble, feel the power of law, and yield or move at once. O that our nature were but one thousandth part as much conformed to the will of God! We call the sea fickle and false, but how constant it is! Since our fathers’ days, and the old time before them, the sea is where it was, beating on the same cliffs to the same tune; we know where to find it, it forsakes not its bed, and changes not in its ceaseless boom; but where is man-vain, fickle man? Can the wise man guess by what folly he will next be seduced from his obedience? We need more watching than the billowy sea, and are far more rebellious. Lord, rule us for thine own glory. Amen.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Memorization Monday -- Promised Blessings - Comfort

Here's a great verse to commit to memory. There is a purpose in the comfort we receive from God during our trials. It is so that we can help others. God's blessings are never given to us just for our own use. They are always provided for the good of others as well.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 2:3, 4

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hymn of the Week - And Can It Be

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Do we deny God by our works?

I was reading Titus 1 this morning and verse 16 struck me. "They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works." The context is relating to false teachers, but the message struck me. These people profess to know God and yet the works they do deny God. I think it would be a good exercise for all of us to take a good look at our individual lives to see in what ways our works may be denying God.

It reminds me of Matthew 7:21 where Jesus says, "not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name , and done many wonders in your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me you who practice lawlessness!'"

My heart's been challenged by these thoughts, what about yours?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Memorization Monday -- Promised Blessings - Comfort

It's important for every Faithful Christian man to have some sort of plan for memorizing and meditating on Scripture. We've been going over verses from the Navigators Topical Memory plan. I liked this approach because each verse is associated with a topic from a very helpful outline.

This week's verse is from the section Promised Blessings - Comfort

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

Have a good week.