Saturday, October 7, 2017

Man of God: Consider Growing in These Ways As You Lead at Home
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Godly men love God and pursue His Word with constant vigilance. Not in our own strength, but with God’s daily supply of sufficient grace, and with His constant forgiveness when we fall short and fail, we continually strive to worship Christ, magnify Him, and refocus on the duties He requires of us. And the greatest environment where we can live out godliness, and where we will have the most lasting impact in this life (and for generations to come!) is in the context of the home. Men, we are leaders in our homes. And as we lead, consider growing in these five specific ways.

Man of God: lead by DYING DAILY.  When God gave you the new-birth, the heavenly-birth, indeed, the second birth, you really began to live. But paradoxically, when God gave you life, it required your death! You died to yourself. Moreover, Christ summons all of us to die daily and to take up our cross and to follow Him. Dear brother in Christ: how can you die daily? Specifically, in your context, in your home situation, with your wife, with your children (or grandchildren!), with your neighbors, in your local church sphere, how can you die daily? Is there one thing that you could put off while replacing it with a very specific, tangible, selfless duty that would encourage and bless your wife (or children)? Doing the dishes? Taking out the trash? Writing a note to your wife and children? Making coffee for your wife? Coming home from work, shelving the iPhone, and giving full attention to the kids (or, your wife) and lavishing them with affectionate love? Dear men: we are called to love by dying to self. Let’s grow & excel in this!

Man of God: lead by ENLARGED PRAYING. God called the people of Israel to open their mouths wide and then God promised: “I will fill it” (Ps 81:10). Do you pray small prayers or big prayers? What if God were to say “yes” to all of your requests? Consider how much would really change? Honestly. What about your neighbors? Family members? The most hostile, postmodern, anti-God co-worker that you may have? What about the millions of souls that need conversion in our land? What about the shutting down of all Planned Parenthoods? What about God converting your children at a young age?What about God giving you wisdom to generously support a missionary? Man of God, I trust that you pray, but how can you enlarge your prayers so that we can ask big things of a big God. Remember: God does far more abundantly beyond all that we could ask or even think (Eph 3.20). Let’s enlarge our prayers and see God mightily work!

Man of God: lead by ROMANTIC DATING.  You may be married -- and you may be happily married. But dear man of God, the duty belongs to you to cultivate and maintain the embers of romance in your marriage. Romantically date your wife. You have married up! God gave you a gift in a wife. God declares: he who finds a wife finds a good thing (Prov 18:22). When was the last time you got her flowers? When was the last time you took her to her favorite restaurant? When was the last time you asked her specific, open-ended questions probing deep into the recesses of her heart (what excites her? What scares her? What blesses her? What is is most enthralled with regarding God’s attributes? etc.). When was the last time you lit candles and played her favorite music for an evening of romance, affection, and selfless giving of oneself to another? Dear man of God: it’s not your wife’s duty to romance you, you are the leader and the God-given privilege is yours to romance your wife. So date her and romantically date her with heartfelt passion and genuine affection!

Man of God: lead by FAMILY WORSHIP. In our society of bustling busyness, man of God, I ask whether or not you lead in regular, consistent, God-centered family worship? Do you lead and pastor your family well? It doesn’t matter if you have theological training or if you don’t have all the answers or even if you are a “really busy man.” The priority is and always will be the souls that God has entrusted to our care for the specific time we have them (our wives and our children). You are the resident “in-house-pastor.” Do you gather your (whole) family and praise Christ in song? Do you gather the family and read the Word together and discuss it? Do you gather the family and pray together with intentional gatherings of Christ-exalting worship? God deserves to be worshiped, in our homes, by our families, on a daily basis! Men, let’s lead by fulfilling what just might be the greatest and most important duty God has given to us in this life. Don’t just do it for me, for you, for your wife, for your kids, but for “generations to come” praying that your kids would do it with their kids and so on. May you leave a legacy of a family who gathers together to worship Jesus together on a daily basis.

Man of God: lead by ENHANCING JOYFULNESS. Your home may be a place of warm and inviting joy. But how can you enhance joyfulness? How can you grow in your understanding of what true joy really is? Joy is not synonymous with giddiness or feeling positive. Joy, biblically defined, intimates a deep-rooted and unshakable confidence that God is perfectly in control -- in all things. Thus, we can really be joyful at all times and in all circumstances. So how can you cultivate this in your home? How can you remind your kids of this when a kid picks on your child on the schoolyard? When another team slaughters your daughter’s volleyball team in a tournament? When your child studied hard but didn’t do well on that particular exam? How can we cultivate and enhance and remind our families of biblical joy rooted in God through all things that happen. When you drive and behold a full moon in the clouds, how can you remind them of God’s greatness and rejoice? When you drive to church to worship the Risen King with the saints, how can you remind your family to rejoice? Dear man, I trust you already are joyful. But how can you grow and enhance joyfulness in your home environment? May the Lord help us to be joyful men.

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