Man of God Top 10 – #1 Love

The #1 thing that describes a man of God is love.  I’m sure you saw this coming, how could you not.  Love is everywhere in the Bible.  We are told that God is love and that we are made in the image of God, that we are to try to live our life like Jesus (who is God), so how could love not be one of the most important things for a man of God.

I come back to 1 Timothy 6:11 “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”  Pursue love.  In other words do everything in love.  Because if we do everything in love how can you go wrong? (Yes, I realize that statement is not entirely accurate or true but you get the idea)

When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was he replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  this is the first and greatest commandment.  And second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the law and the Prophets and on these two commandments.”

Love with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  God deserves this kind of love because he is God.  There is nothing that he hasn’t done or won’t do for the goodness of mankind, including punishing us, because he loves us.  We, men of God, should live each day with an awe inspiring view of God and the love that he has for us.  We should do everything with love in our hearts.  Loving our neighbor, co-worker, friend, family, complete stranger, orphan, widow, everyone just as Christ loved us.

And here is a kicker for you.  If you truly love someone would you not want them to know the God that you know, the God that loves them, the God that saves them?  How can you love someone and not share the Gospel with them?  It is all well and good to say that you love someone, to do everything in love, but what are you doing to show God’s love (and yours) for the people that you interact with?  The greatest thing that you can do in love is to share the gospel!

There you go men.  Love.  Do it!

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Man of God Top 10 – #2 Walks With God

When I think of an example of a man of God the best examples I can think of, besides Jesus, were the disciples.  They literally walked with God.  I know that we can’t physically walk with God, but we can walk with Him in other ways.  Walk with me now (ok, a little cheesy I know…).

If we want to walk with God it means actively engaging in some of the things that we have already talked about in this top 10 list.  First, we can’t walk with God if we are pursuing the things of the world.  It is hard enough to follow God without the distractions that are out there trying to pull us away from Him.  If you want to really walk with God then you have to make Him your priority.  This may mean giving up some of the things that you have been pursuing.  Don’t divide your attention, this is too important to only do part way.

If you are going to walk with God it will probably be useful to know what direction to walk in!  You are probably saying to yourself, “How am I supposed to know that, I haven’t seen any sign posts lately.”  To answer that I am going to ask you to do something that none of us guys are very good at (me included)… ask for directions!  It’s as simple as that!  If you want to know which direction God wants you to go pray for guidance and direction.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  Isaiah 30:21

Trust me, God will give you a sign.  Sometimes you may have to ask for the directions that come with the 2×4 (because let’s face it, we can be pretty slow some days!).

The road that God puts you on is not always going to be smooth.  Spend time in His word so that you will be equipped for those bumps and potholes along the way.  The word of God is an amazing tool, use it!

Finally, if you are truly going to walk with God then you have to trust Him.  You have to trust where he is taking you.  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”   Romans 8:28  God has a good plan for you, trust Him and walk with him.

 

 

Man of God Top 10 – #3 Keeps the Word

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

I love this verse because it says so much with so few words.  The Word of God, a phrase that we hear all the time but that I think sometimes we take for granted.  The word of God is usually refering to the Bible, a book, but it is so much more!  John 1:1 refers to Jesus as the Word.  Everything God had taught his people, everything he would tell us in the Bible, was wrapped into Jesus.  Jesus was the ultimate man of God and if we want to be men of God we need to be like him.

The Bible is so much more than a book.  Yes, it has a cover and pages and words.  There are paragraphs, themes, stories and puncuation.  But, where the Bible is different from any other book is that it is the word or the living God!  Think about it for a minute.  God speaks to us through the Bible.  He can give you an answer to any question you might have through the Bible.  Everyone always asks for the answers to life’s questions…well here they are!

Being a man of God means keeping His word.  This is another multi-part commandment.  In order to keep the word, you have to know the word.  To know the word you have to spend time reading the word, memorizing the word, meditating on the word.  The great thing about God’s word is that you can read one passage this week, then read the same passage next week and God will reveal something completely new!

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

That is a lot of stuff that one book can do!  Pay attention to verse 17, “…so that the man of God cay be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  God gave us the scripture, His word, to equip men of God.  But you can’t be equipped if you don’t spend time in the word!

But there is more… “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.” James 1:22  So we can’t just read the word and study the word we have to live the word!  It is like the Jewish holy men in Jesus’ time.  They would  pride themselves in having the entire old testament memorized – WOW!  But when Jesus came he said that the did not know these men.  It is not enough to memorize bible verses so that you can regurgitate them at cocktail parties (interesting thought!), you have to truly live the word that God has given you.

So make reading the Bible part of your daily routine.  Read with a purpose, to come closer to God, to be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  Read with your wife, read with your children.  Show them that you are keeping the word of God and that it isn’t just words, that it is God speaking to us everyday.

Man of God Top 10 – #4 Trusts God

Trust is a tricky thing, especially today.  Everywhere you look there is someone trying to scam you.  It is hard to trust anyone but yourself because everyone else is only doing what is best for them.  We have to look out for number one (that would be ourselves…follow me here!).  Put your complete trust in someone else…yeah right!  I’ll trust my self to take care of myself, thank you very much.

How can God expect us to trust in him?  Does he know what our life is like?  Can we truly put all our trust in Jesus?  The answer to both is: ABSOLUTELY!  Here’s the thing; if you knew someone that knew everything about you, all the good and the bad, everything that you are going through and they said that they were willing to die for you; would you trust them?  Probably not!  They would have to be crazy!  No one is going to die for someone else unless they have something to gain from it, and let’s face it, if they are dead they can’t really gain much can they?

Your saying, “Hold on, I know where this is going…”  That’s right – Jesus.  We don’t have to question whether he was crazy or not, because he already died for us.  He had nothing to gain, and everything to lose.  But he loved us so much that he died for us.  I can’t think of someone better to trust than that!  Can you?  He already gave everything to prove his love and trustworthiness to you.  So what’s the problem?

In John 14:1 Jesus said, “Trust in God; trust also in me.”  And in Titus1:9 we are told some qualities that Titus is to look for in church elders and overseers, but this could just as easily apply to a man of God.  “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”

So God is trustworthy, Jesus is trustworthy, and the message of the gospel is trustworthy.  Sounds like some good things to trust in!  All of this comes from God, and so I come back to my title, a man of God trusts God.  It is not a superficial trust that we just give lip service to, “Of course I trust God, I’m a christian aren’t I?”.  We have to truly trust God to take care of every aspect of our lives.  Even when God asks us to do something that is hard, questionable, outside of our comfort zone, or completely crazy (at least in the eyes of the world), we have to trust Him.  He knows what is best for us.

That doesn’t mean that God will just take care of everything and we can sit back and go along for the ride.  We have to obey God, listen to God, pursue God (#9), and work our butts off for God!  A tall order?  Heck yeah it is!  But the rewards for truly trusting god and following his lead are immeasurable!  Try it, you just might like it!

Man of God Top 10 – #5 Prayerful

A man of God is prayerful.

I have mentioned it a few times now, prayer.  Ephesians 6:18 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tell us to pray about everything, all the time, in all situations (heck, Jonah prayed while inside a fish!).  It doesn’t matter that you don’t have all the fancy lingo, or that you don’t pray in a specific format; there are no rules!  Just pray.

Jesus did give us some guidelines for our prayer in Mathew 6:5-13.  These are not rules about how and what to pray but rather he is showing us what the true purpose of prayer is.  He says not to pray to be seen by men (6:5).  The purpose of prayer is not to prove that you are a christian or to exalt yourself as a prayerful man.  Prayer is to talk to God.  To worship God.  To thank God for all that he has done for you and to ask for guidance and help in your life.  Jesus tell us to pray in secret (6:6) so that it is just between you and God, your family and God, or a body of worshippers and God.  Prayer is not to be a public spectacle.

And don’t think that a prayer has to be drawn out and long to be good – no babbling! (6:7)  The best prayer is the one that is from the heart.  It could be as simple as “Thank you God!”.  I often get caught in the thought that what I have to say to God is not important enough to bother him with.  Wrong!  God wants to hear our prayers.  Jesus died so that we would be able to have that direct line of communication with God.  If you don’t know what to pray just start talking to God.  Remember, this whole christian “thing” is about a relationship with God.  When you are in a relationship with someone you talk to them right?

Pray with your families.  Husbands, pray with your wives.  One of the best ways to ensure a lasting and strong marriage is to pray together.  Fathers, pray with your kids.  What better way to show them that God is an integral part of your family’s life than to pray all the time and about all things.

Men of God are the spiritual leaders of the family.  Lead in prayer!

Man of God Top 10 – #6 Faithful

Faithful: steadfast in affliction or allegiance; firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty.

Men of God are faithful.  First and foremost, faithful to God.  We should be steadfast in our allegiance to God.  God is faithful to us, no matter what, even though we don’t deserve it.  How much more does God deserve our faithfulness.

Men of God are faithful in prayer.  “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12  We should be firm in our daily prayers.  Pray for everything, don’t ask for everything, pray.  When you have a decision to make, pray.  When you are feeling down, sick, stagnant; pray.  When you are driving, eating, or doing anything that doesn’t require your full attention; pray.  “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers.” Ephesians 6:18  “Pray continually” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Men of God are faithful to their wives and families.  God has made you the head of your family, act like it.  Be steadfast in you allegiance to your family and firm in observance of your duty to them.   Be faithful to your wives, don’t go looking for someone else and don’t let problems go unresolved, talk (I know that is hard for some of us guys, but just do it!).  Be faithful to your children.  They need a father who is strong, who will show them the way to live.

Be faithful out there men.  Don’t get distracted by something else that is easy or appealing, but stay strong and faithful to following God, praying in all things, and to your family.

Man of God Top 10 – #7 Gentle/Humble

Being a man is not about being rough and tough.  Real men are strong, and at the same time gentle.  Real men are confident, while still being humble.

“…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle…”  Ephesians 4:2

As men of God we are called to a higher standard.  We cannot be the bullies and the tough guys on the playground anymore.  We have to step out of that sterotype and show the world that real men are gentle.  Jesus tells us that we will be known by our fruits; those being love, joy , peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal 5:22-23)  Don’t hide your gentle side, or only let it out in your home.  “Let your gentleness be evident to all.”  Philippians 4:5

Too many men think that they have to be proud and arrogant, to show that they are in total control and that they can do it all.  Without God, we can do nothing; but through God all things are possible.  Remember that it isn’t you that is responsible for the good things in your life; God makes it all possible.   Be humble, show God the respect he deserves by not taking credit for the things that he does.

Go out and show the world what a real man is; humble and gentle.  A real man of God!