GOD AND A FEW GOOD MEN!

10 08 2018

Shepherd

It is time to wake up and rise up we Men of God and be done with the things that are futile and passing away. In this wild and wacky politically correct era that we find ourselves living in, now more than ever, I believe God is looking for more than just a few good men. He is calling guys that are ready to wise up! We need to be willing to step up so we may step out and step in to the assignments that God has for us. The Holy Spirit doesn’t live within us to lull us into apathy. Men must become movers and shakers if we are going to make a dent into providing a better way for the many that are too content to follow the Leader to nowhere worth going.

 

Sheep need shepherds or else sheep don’t thrive or survive. There are other kinds of animals that run wild: wild dogs, wild horses, wild boars. There’s no such thing as wild sheep.

Sheep need guidance. Sheep tend to make bad decisions, and we’re that way too. A few years ago, in Eastern Turkey in a village, there was a flock of sheep whose shepherd wasn’t with them. The lead sheep went off a cliff. Guess what the rest of the sheep did? You’d think one of them would have said, “This sounds like a baaaaad idea to me!” We live an overstressed, hurried, exhausted, no margin for error and not having nearly enough boundaries kind of life. Instead of daring to be different, we mindlessly take our place in the conga line and become a slave to what other people think about us! We flirt with a temptation or are too entertaining with our addictions that we know will harm us, we neglect God when we should be pursuing holiness and we become too blind to notice what matters most. And before you know it, we are nothing more than a statistic of another creature that has gone over that cliff.

 

I feel like a lifeguard blowing his whistle to warn swimmers of impending doom. There are sharks in the waters and it is not enough to just get you to safety but to inspire you to also become committed to those who are splashing all around us. Jesus said that the watching world will know we are His followers by our love. I think that we have all been a little too guilty of more selfishness than service. It is easy to get so comfortable up in the Lifeguard chair that we forget why we were put there in the first place. 

 

Here are three areas to immediately address in our lives. Number one is our need to work hard in whatever we do as if we were doing it for the Lord. Too many people have become lazy in the efforts they give to their daily profession. The Apostle Paul was a Pastor but he didn’t use his flock to provide him a mansion in Monte Carlo and a Cadillac Chariot! Paul humbly continued to serve with his hands by making tents! He was willing to do whatever it took to provide for the family of God. Even Jesus modeled for us that there was no job too menial for Him. Are you an example in what you do and how you do it? Do you bring excellence to every area you are associated with? Are you teaching others that we don’t do just enough to get by because we serve a God who never cut corners with us?

 

Number two is the way that we choose to walk. A man must live so that he is a positive example to those that God has positioned all around him. We need to live a life that is known for being blameless and above reproach. If there are skeletons in the closet, we can’t hide them anymore but must come clean about them! The manner in how we do business is on display for others to witness whether we like it or not. Your wife knows how you really feel about her by the way that you treat her. Don’t expect your kids to do what you don’t do. As a man, do you make sure that everybody is present and accounted for before you embark on a journey or are you in such the hurry that you actually leave key individuals behind? May it never be!

 

Finally, number three comes down to the words we use. A man must not only support the family by working and teach the family by being a good example, but he must also take time to speak to the family members. Paul knew the importance of teaching these new believers the truths that would help them grow in the Lord. Paul dealt with each of the believers personally. As busy as he was, Paul still had time for personal counseling with the members of the assembly. While it is good for church leaders to address the larger group, spending time with people on a one-to-one basis is also needed. Our Lord was never too busy to speak to individuals, even though He preached to great multitudes. To be sure, this is difficult and demanding work but it is the rewarding work that glorifies God. Paul not only made others feel better, but he made them want to do better.

 

Nobody wants to receive constructive criticism anymore. We all want the trophy before the season even starts. My Dad once witnessed me pitching a Little League Baseball Game where I was losing 29-0! It was the day before pitch counts and I think I threw over 400 that night. When the game was over, my Dad reiterated that he loved me no matter how I played. My relationship as his son was not up for grabs because I stunk up the joint that evening. We went out for ice cream and it was there that my Father went over specific ways that I could get better. He encouraged me as he challenged me. I became a better ballplayer and man because of his investment in me, his son. It does no good if we never correct or coach. Love doesn’t mean that it condones all behavior. Love keeps the relationship strong even as adjustments must be made. If not, we are destined to become sheep who will do nothing more than following another to a premature disaster!

 

So are you up for the adventure? Will you play it safe or will you allow God to insert you fully in the game. Who will be like Jesus? Who will have the same passion as Paul? Who will be willing to redetermine the destiny of a lost lamb out there? I hope and pray that it is you and me for such a time as this. Be willing to work! Be aware of how and where you walk! Be conscience of the words that come out of your mouth! Let’s build a bridge of faith, hope and love here in Cape May County!


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