Welcome to 2011, Grace men! My prayer for each of you who calls Grace Community home is that you would take one step forward in your relationship with Christ this year. At the turn of the new year, it is easy to make yourself and God many promises and to make lists of changes you want to make that get forgotten about somewhere during February or March. I want to challenge each of you to seek out the most important aspect of your walk with Christ that is currently needing to be developed, fine tuned, or totally revamped and take that to the Lord and ask Him to help you grow in that one way in 2011.
For some of you it will be your vertical relationship with the Father, either by learning to study the Bible, staying consistent in abiding, developing your prayer life into a kingdom prayer life, or the giving up of false gods and habits that you have been hanging on to. For others, this may mean working on your horizontal relationships with others, maybe your wives and families, leading them well. It could be loving your coworkers better and working for the glory of God at work. It may even be developing an urgency and a greater love for those who don’t know Christ that shows itself in crazy love towards them. For me, I want to continue being refined in my consistency in living a life of worship before my Father, Savior and King. The Lord has helped me take some great steps forward in this area last year but with the new transition of having a baby girl in our house, I am already learning that I need to readjust once again so that I am consistent in walking in the Spirit in all areas of my life.
Men, what keeps us from taking one step forward in Christ? We often think it requires one more thing that needs to be done, one more “plate to spin” so to speak. Let’s face it, men, we are required to spin many plates aren’t we? It may be, however, that your step forward in your walk with Christ is to stop doing something, not start something more. Ultimately, what I believe keeps us from taking a step forward in trusting and obeying Jesus is an unwillingness to accept responsibility. It is part of our sin nature and it was exemplified in Adam’s life in the garden of Eden. In Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve sinned against God, we catch Adam trying to pass the buck and blame Eve for the terrible mess they found themselves in, when ultimately it was Adam’s responsibility to lead his family well. It was Adam that God addressed in the garden after Adam and Eve had sinned. God made it clear who he held responsible. We are like Adam—if given opportunity, many men shy away from responsibility.
God’s design for a Biblical man includes accepting responsibility in all areas of our lives. What is it that often separates the men from the boys? Men are willing to take responsibility and boys are not. It’s God’s desire to see us accept responsibility as He leads us day to day. That means accepting responsibility for not just our victories but our failures as well. That means accepting responsibility for the spiritual well being of our families and for seeing that God’s name is made famous in all areas of our lives.
A great example of accepting responsibility for one’s family is found in the life of Job. Job 1 tells us that daily, early in the morning, Job would offer up a sacrifice to God on behalf of his kids in case they had sinned. Job accepted responsibility for his family in a way that caused him to seek God daily for his kids. May we as Grace men be found to have the heart of Job.
Last month I started writing about the four values that Grace Men’s Ministry holds for each man. I wrote about living courageously last month and this month the challenge before us is to be men who are known for taking responsibility. I am excited to see what God can do with a church full of men who are willing to take responsibility and take one step forward with Christ in 2011. What will your step be? Email me and let me know. I would love to know and be praying for each of you this year. May each of you experience abundant joy as you move forward this year as a man of God!
To God be the Glory in 2011!