Leave Your Boyish Ways

Stirring words for boys and men by Owen Strachan:

The boy-man is selfish, young, immature, addicted to games, immune to responsibility, foul-mouthed, and weak. He’s overwhelmed by adulthood, so he chooses to stay in some sort of boyish fantasy. He doesn’t want to build big things, meaningful things, like a family, a six-decade marriage, a socially and personally profitable career, or a gospel-driven church or missions effort. He wants to make music, play games, follow sports, flirt with girls, loaf through life, bend the rules so he’s not accountable or inconvenienced in his selfishness, and ignore the need to help others.

I want to suggest that wherever you can as a young man or one involved in any way in training young men, you point them toward manhood, maturity, adulthood, responsibility, ambition, strategy, vision, focus. Yes, it can be fun to be boyish. But you know what’s far more satisfying? Becoming something. Becoming something greater than you are. Becoming a man. Building stuff… Continue reading Leave Your Boyish Ways

Don’t Wing It

Those who are called to speak the word of God, whether in public or in small groups, must learn to have quiet hours of contemplation. They must know how to be alone with God before they can go out to speak.

Those who can’t find the time to converse with God in private are not fit to speak about Him in public. For what would they say unless it is given to them by God? And how are they to receive from God if they don’t have the time to quietly wait before Him?

Continue reading Don’t Wing It

Downward Mobility

What does it mean to live as Jesus lived?

No one took Jesus’ life; He laid it down voluntarily. Did you notice the progression of events? Jesus has existed for eternity in heaven with God the Father, His equal. He chose to be born on earth in order to become a servant and to sacrifice Himself for the redemption of all mankind. Each step along the way took Him deeper into a sort of downward mobility that seems foreign to our way of life today. While we are constantly looking for how we can move up, get ahead, and break out in front of the pack, Jesus continued to surrender more of Himself until, ultimately, He gave up His own life…

[This] explains exactly what it means to live as Jesus lived. We are to decrease to ourselves on a daily basis in order that Jesus might increase in our lives. More of Jesus, less of me! We lose our lives in order to find His way.

David Putnam, BREAKING THE DISCIPLESHIP CODE

Confounded

Jesus exploded onto the gospel scene with these radical words: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matt. 4:17b). Repent? I can hear the Pharisees now: “What are we repenting of?” They were the most religious people in the history of organized religion. Not only did they abide by the Ten Commandments, they added 613 rules and regulations to ensure they obeyed every detail of the Law. Yet Jesus began his earthly ministry in this context- telling them to repent. Can you imagine their consternation? Can you envision their faces? We know from the gospels that they were appalled at this man who was telling them to repent of their religion for religion’s sake. He was about to show them a whole new way.

David Putnam, Breaking the Discipleship Code

Discipleship and Karate

On our way home from dinner yesterday night, Pastor Noel was talking about karate. Now the one thing I know about karate is that I don’t know anything about it. That’s the reason why I was so struck with the parallels he drew about karate and ministry.

In karate, the higher level you attain, the more gentle you are with the people around you and the more you treat everyone right. That’s because you don’t have to prove anything to anyone. You are secure with your karate skill level.

Whenever you see karate people who are loud, aggressive, and showy, you’ll know that they are new, untrained, and immature. They seem to feel the need to show off so people will recognize their skills.

The same thing with the ministry. The higher you go, the gentler you become. The more you do in the kingdom of God, the more it makes you a humble person. Mature people don’t have to prove themselves to anyone.