Part of my devotional Scripture reading this morning was from Proverbs 27. I think this chapter could be called the “men’s ministry” chapter. There are some great texts in it. Two of them, I believe, are right on target for part of what we’re trying to accomplish in our small groups (accountability).
Proverbs 27:6 – Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
The other text summarizes a great theme of Scripture.
Proverbs 27:19 – As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.
Pursuing godliness as a Christian man is not merely trying to live a more moral life. It’s much deeper than that. It’s a “heart” issue. Jesus said that what we say, do, and think reveals what’s happening in our hearts. That’s why becoming a Christian isn’t simply changing a few behaviors. It’s about becoming a new creature in Christ. When this happens, God’s Spirit dwells within you to enable you to become more Christlike each and every day. That’s our whole purpose of existence.
How are you doing in this pursuit of godliness? I recently heard a phrase I like: God is more concerned with your direction than your perfection. Of course, the ultimate goal is perfection… but we have to start moving in that direction before we actually get there. Are you moving in that direction? Are you trying? Is that your goal in life?
Besides a new heart and the power of God’s Spirit, God has given us tools to enable us to draw closer to him and move in the direction of godliness in our lives. One of those tools is meeting with like-minded brothers who are on the same journey. Another is meeting with someone who has been called by God to build up and encourage brothers for their walk with Christ (if I can ever serve any of you in this way, please don’t hesitate to let me know). Yet another way is by regularly being in prayer and God’s Word. Here are two prayers for you to lift up to God this week…
“Heavenly Father, fitness experts claim I am what I eat. Personal sports trainers say that exercise gives me a healthy body. Lord, I understand that spiritually I am what I read. For the right spiritual life, I must read, study, and feast on your Word. To be strong spiritually, I also need to exercise what I’ve learned. I pray I will take full advantage of the spiritual training and strengthening provided by your Word.” (from Prayers with Purpose for Men)
”Dear Lord, I will open my heart to you. I will take my concerns, my fears, my plans, and my hopes to you in prayer. And, then, I will trust the answers that you give. You are my loving Father, and I will accept your will for my life today and every day that I live.” (from Prayers of a Righteous Man)
The Lord bless you brothers and may God be glorified in all that you think, say, and do today.
Grace and Truth,