The Calling of Real Men (Mark 3:13-15)

Sunday, March 18th, 2012
Sermon Series: Mark

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The Calling of Real Men

Part 1 Real Men–from the calling of the twelve in Mark 3:13-15

 

What is a real man?  Real men like blowing things up, power tools and barbecues—why do we barbecue?  Because we get to play with fire.  Given the chance, men will find ways to make cooking on a barbeque even more dangerous than it already is–squirting additional lighter fluid on the coals while cooking . . . seeing how high we can get the flames to shoot up from the grease, watching to see if we can burn a piece of food into non-existence, and so much more.

But few of us men have taken barbecuing to the level of George Goble, a teacher in the engineering department of Purdue University.  Each year, Goble and a bunch of other engineers hold a picnic at which they cook hamburgers on a big charcoal grill.  Being men and engineers, they began looking for practical ways to speed up the charcoal-lighting process.  Goble said, “We started by blowing the charcoal with a hair dryer.  Then we figured out it’d light faster if we used a vacuum cleaner.”

Now if you know anything about #1 engineers, and #2 men in general, you know what happened.  The purpose of the charcoal-lighting shifted from cooking hamburgers to seeing how fast they could light the charcoal.  From the vacuum cleaner, they escalated to using a propane torch, and then to an acetylene torch.  Then Goble started using compressed pure oxygen, which caused the charcoal to burn much faster.  By this point, Goble was getting pretty good times.

But in the world of competitive charcoal-lighting, pretty good does not cut the mustard.  Thus Goble hit upon the idea of using . . . get ready . . . liquid oxygen.  This is the form of oxygen used in rocket engines.  It’s 295 degrees below zero, and 600 times as dense as regular oxygen.  In terms of releasing energy, pouring liquid oxygen on charcoal is the equivalent of throwing a live squirrel into a room containing 50 million Rottweilers.

On Goble’s web page, you used to be able to see photographs and a video of Goble using a bucket attached to a 10-foot-long wooden handle to dump three gallons of liquid oxygen (which is not sold in stores) onto a grill containing sixty pounds of charcoal, and lighting it with a cigarette for ignition.  What follows is the most impressive charcoal-lighting I have ever seen, featuring a large fireball that, according to Goble, reached 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.  The charcoal was ready for cooking in (and this has to be a world record) three seconds.

One reporter wrote this, looking at Goble’s video and photos:  “I became, as an American, all choked up with gratitude at the fact that I do not live anywhere near the engineers’ picnic site.  But also, I was proud of my country for producing guys who can be ready to barbecue in less time than it takes for men in less-advanced nations, to spit.”

Will the three-second barrier ever be broken?  We may never know.  But there is one thing for certain–God has a plan to use men for things far greater than lighting grills.  God desires for men to love their wives in a way that should make every and all secular women envious.  God designed men to train their children so that they will radically impact this world for the Gospel.  God intends for men to lead His Church by serving, shepherding, and initiating obedience to God’s Word in every way.  God intends men to lead, to initiate, to embrace responsibility, to provide, to love, to sacrifice–but sadly, most men have lost their role and abandoned their calling.

Many churches (successful) in America today are led by women.  Most families in America are child-centered and mother-driven.  Very few are led by real men of God who die to self in order to love and lead their wives, train their children, serve and shepherd in their churches,  influence their world and actually act like God intended, to actually act like men.  Paul put it simply and directly in 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”

What does it mean to act like men?  What does it mean to be a real man?  Open your Bibles to Mark chapter 3 and take the outline in your bulletin as we continue our verse-by-verse study of this great gospel.  As we open to verse 13, Jesus is now about to call His men.  Christ is going to pray all night before He finalizes His team.  He will pick twelve disciples to be His chosen followers.  He’ll call these men to be with Him, and send them out for Him.  And He’ll give them great authority in order to represent Him.

In the process of choosing these men, today and over the next eight weeks or so, Christ is going to show us what a real man is, and what real men do.  And we’re going to buy up the opportunity to call the men of FBC, and any you invite, to rise up and dependently embrace the expectations God has for being His man.  Pray with me, His man, not our own man, her man, company man, party man, church man, fighting man, but first His man.

We will quickly discover that real men are not perfect men, but they’re men who aggressively depend, willingly initiate, and faithfully pursue God’s design for men.  Will you be one of them?  If so, then read aloud with me Mark 3:13 to 15, “And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. 14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to cast out the demons.”  Here is an important moment.  God sovereignly chooses–this time.  Yet humanly, there are reasons why Jesus picks His team now.

First  Opposition is heating up

Look back at verse 6 and you’ll see the Pharisees linking up with the Herodians in order to kill Christ.  This is serious, especially when you consider that the separatist super-religious Pharisees would never talk to the Roman-friendly secular Herodians, except that they have a need.  Under Roman occupation, it was illegal for the Jews to give a death sentence–they needed the Romans to put Jesus to death, and only the Roman-loving Herodians could get the Romans to do so.  So the Pharisees are committed to do anything to kill Christ.

Second  The crowds are too numerous

Look back at verses 7 and 8 and you will see that the crowds seeking Christ were so large that Jesus was in danger of being crushed by them.  So Christ is going to select a team of men who’ll share the work load, and will continue the work after He’s gone.  And this approach will be different–a Pharisee, by the very title, means separate one, merely an individual standing alone.  They stood separate and acted independent of the people.  But with Christianity, true followers of Christ are a part of a team, a large family—and later, each intertwined into a local church.

There are no solo saints, no patriarchal family enclaves, nor Lone Ranger Christians–you were meant to be a part of a team of believers, a family striving together for His glory.  First Corinthians 12:14, “For the body is not one member, but many.”  And this family God calls us to be a part of will be very mixed, filled with unusual people, of different races, with unique backgrounds.

Think of what it must have been like to have Simon the Zealot, a Jewish terrorist fighting against Rome, teamed up with Matthew, the Roman collaborator and ex-tax collector each on Jesus’s team.  It is amazing how following Christ can bring the most unique people together, making them even closer than family.  Plus, being a follower of Christ did not require any special qualification–these men were not wealthy, had no social position, were not politically influential nor churchmen of high rank.  They were your common blue collar working men.

Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 1:26, “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.”  Real men are not proud, John Wayne-types, or silent, Rambo-types–real men know when they belong to Christ they belong to a community of Christ-followers.  They accept they don’t have all the gifts to fill out their role as husband or father, nor all the wisdom needed to live for Christ on their own, solo.  Real men see the need, obey the command, and pursue God’s plan to be intertwined with God’s people in the church, part of a team.

Jesus’s men were drawn by the Spirit of God to pursue Christ, and they had the courage to remain with Christ in the midst of opposition.  And at the turning point of Christ’s ministry, at the mid-point of his public labors, Jesus’s will to train men to help in the work and equip men to carry on after His death.  And with this decision, the Lord is going to show us a lot of what it means to be a real man.

#1  The care with which Christ selects His real men

Verse 13 says, “And He went up on the mountain.”  Mark begins with “and”, introducing a significant event which follows on the heels of opposition and massive crowds we’ve faced earlier in the chapter.  Jesus travelled up a mountain–most likely the Sermon on the Mount mountain just down from Capernaum, or The Horns of Hittin, which are high cliffs on the northwest side of the Sea of Galilee, which many feel was the place Jesus went away to pray.

We don’t know where He went, but the text indicates it took a while to travel up the mountain.  Why?  Christ went away to a place in order to be alone, to enjoy a time of no distractions, to be away from people and the demands of ministry and life.  It’s like the young mom of four who is given a break from her children by a loving husband so she can read the Word and pray.  It’s like the working man who gets up before the house wakes up, or later turns off the TV or computer so He can enjoy Christ.

Jesus here goes off to where others won’t follow so that He can pray.  Jesus was God, yet He was also a man of prayer.  The multitudes were coming to Him, so He prays.  Back in Mark 1:35, “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.”  And here, the parallel account in Luke 6:12, doctor Luke adds this powerful insight, “It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.”

Wow, an entire night in prayer–has anyone here done that?  I’ve only prayed off and on through the night when I was sick, or pressed hard with a severe crisis, but only off and on.  I’ve prayed several times during the day for eight hours, interspersed with Bible reading and study, and that was hard work.  I still seek to pray throughout my sermon preparation, but never an entire night in prayer.  Bunyan said, “What a man is in his prayer life, he is that and that alone.”  Prayer is vital to our life, spiritual health and ministry.

Jesus is carefully selecting His main men, so He took counsel with His Heavenly Father concerning each one of His disciples.  I can imagine Christ talking to his Father about Peter and John, and the ex-zealot and ex-tax-gatherer, fanatical patriot and lost all patriotism even discussing Judas who would betray Him.  Each one of the twelve became an object of intense prayer and careful thought.  Before He chose twelve, Jesus was careful to be prayerful.  Don’t you see in this a warning to pick your friends carefully?  Your own heart and your entire ministry depend on your team.  Your companions will influence you, either becoming a force to move you to be more like Christ, or less like Christ–choose wisely.

Businessmen, do you see the reminder that it’s easier to hire than to fire, so pray, take your time, and choose wisely at the front end of partnerships and employees.  Lay pastors, allow potential ministry leaders to prove themselves through a heart of service, faithfulness, commitment and integrity, not merely talent, or personality, or mere words.  Before real men make big decisions, pop that question, move their family, or change ministry, they’re careful to be prayerful.  Christ showed great care in selecting His men by going away to spend the entire night alone to talk through each choice with His Heavenly Father.  And as a result, there is no question when He picks them, He wants them.

#2  The desire Christ has for His real men

Read the next phrase in verse 13, “And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted.”  Jesus chooses His twelve the next morning after a night of prayer.  I have always wondered how He chose.  Did He publically announce it?  First, “Peter”, now “John”?  Did He go man to man, then say, “You’re my man–you’re in the 12”?  Did He post a list, and everyone checked to see if they made the team, or were cut from the team?

My guess is the Lord went man to man, and uniquely set them apart.  But there is a definite public feel to some of the word choices here, and the lists of the men in the gospels tend to indicate a public awareness.  The word “summoned” is in the middle voice, telling us that Christ is acting in His own interest–He wanted these men, even Judas.  The Lord initiated the choice of each.

“Summoned” is a combined verb from Kaleo “to call” and pros “toward”, and has the feel of “separating from others, to come toward Christ.”  The summons is calling them to be Christ’s, to belong to Him alone.  Christ says this plainly in John 15:16a, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit.”  And Romans 8:28 reminds us we are all called according to His purpose.  This was not a call for volunteers–not calling for a show of hands.  This is not–if anybody would like to sign up for apostleship, there will be a list at a table on the patio today.

Jesus determines the call.  His summons overrides their wills.  This unique relationship is not determined by their preferences but rather by His choosing.  Discipleship was His choice, His will, the Lord’s sovereign purpose.  Jesus chose them all in perfect submission to His Father’s will after spending all night in prayer with Him.  And though it involves individuals, notice this is Jesus calling a team–those who He Himself was wanting.  “Those” is plural–He wants a group, a team, twelve men who would work together.

And I love it, when Mark tells us Jesus wanted these men.  The verb “wanted” tells us the Lord’s desire is a solid fact–Jesus had been continually wanting these men.  And it is Christ Himself who wants them.  The verb wanted is strong.  He tells us Jesus wished to have these men, He willed to have this team, He desired each one.  He was preferring these men, and He had them continually in mind.  You’ve done this in ministry–I know I have.  I see a young man, I am hoping he remains faithful, serves, grows, because I see incredible giftedness and future ability in Him–and I long to see Him trained, equipped and launched in ministry.  So like Christ, I have them in mind, and I desire great things for them.

Now based on His desire, Jesus chose the men He wanted.  His desire for His men was strong, real and genuine.  And even though this selection occurred at a point in time, the actual choosing had been done long before these men were born.  Ephesians 1:4, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.”

Real men know, 1 John 4:19, “We love, because He first loved us.”  The Lord’s men were loved, so they could love.  They were saved, so they could share about salvation.  They were blessed by a sovereign act of Christ, so they could responsibly and dependently follow the words of Christ.  Real born again men know, we rest in God’s sovereign choosing, but are fully responsible to obey His Word.

Real men don’t say, “This is not the marriage I signed up for,” but say, “Lord, this is the spouse you gave me, and I chose, now I am responsible to love, lead and link with her as one.”  Real men are humble men.  They know there is nothing in them that makes them attractive to Christ–in fact, there is so much sin about them, they realize Christ should actually hate them, but in His great love, His grace and His mercy He chose them, and this makes them humble and results in a great response.

#3  The response Christ gets from His real men

And they came to Him.”  Jesus chose them, and they radically followed Him.  The verb “came” misses the strength of the original language.  Came is a radical compound verb, hard to translate, but means they went off, to go away, to depart, and to make a break.  Their response to Christ choosing them is to definitively leave the uncommitted crowd and take their stand with Christ now as His followers.  Mark communicates that these men make a radical break.  Jesus called and they committedly came.

Here is Jesus crashing through all the rules and regulations, headed for a dangerous head-on collision with the orthodox leaders, who are now plotting Christ’s death, actually dealing with the Herodians who can convince Rome to put Christ to death.  And yet, each of these twelve men voluntarily and lovingly follows Christ.  They responded to His call with radical obedience.

Rabbis back then typically did not call their disciples, but they were chosen by their disciples, like a student would choose a college today–Rabbi Yakuv University.  But our Lord is completely different.  Jesus sovereignly and authoritatively calls them–then they fully respond.  By studying all the gospels, you learn how Christ called His disciples to Himself in five different phases.  Each gospel writer emphasized the phase which best suited his particular audience.

Phase 1 was to salvation in John 2:11, “This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.”

Phase 2 was Mark 1, where Christ calls them to be His witnesses, though they had yet to leave their occupations.

Phase 3 was Luke 5:1-11, where Peter, James and John were again fishing.  There, Jesus repeats the call to be fishers of men, and there the disciples own that following Christ is permanent and comprehensive–so they leave everything and follow Him.

Phase 4 is here in Mark chapter 3 now, where Jesus appoints the twelve to be with Him and to be sent out for Him.

Phase 5 will be in Matthew 10 where Christ gives them full apostolic authority in every way.

God calls all believers in a similar way.  First He calls you to salvation, apart from which no other call matters.  Then He calls you progressively to more specific and expanding service for His glory.  Real men know following Christ means I don’t follow other men, other paths, other desires, other preferences or other priorities.  I make a break from evil and a break from good, to follow the best.

Like Luke 14:26, no relationship supersedes following Christ, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” Or verse 27, even my own life supersedes following Christ, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”  Or verse 33 . . . no boat, house, car, computer or material possession supersedes following Christ, “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”  Real men break from everything to follow Christ.  So how did Jesus call them?

#4  The process of Christ for His real men

Read verse 14, “And He appointed twelve.”  The text says Christ “appointed twelve”–literally “He made twelve.”  To appoint is not to pull from an existing group, but “to appoint or to make” means to bring into existence.  Appointed is to do, act, create or form–to make, literally an act of creating a distinct group composed of twelve men where previously there was no such group.

The verb “appoint” is used in the LXX (Septuagint) in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created [appointed] the heavens and the earth.”  Discipleship then, under Jesus, is not what the disciples can do for Christ, but what Christ can “make” of the disciples.  Our Lord did not choose us on the basis of what we are, but what He can make of us.  Our Lord did not choose us on the basis of our merit, but on the basis of what we would become.  Our Lord is in the business of taking a nobody then, by His grace and transforming power, and making us into a somebody.  Are you familiar with this line from the old hymn, “All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, but He made something beautiful of my life.”

Jesus made twelve into His team–the twelve became a technical term for this select body of “regular blue-collar joes” who became the foundation of the Church.  Ephesians 2:19, “You are …of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone.”  Like twelve tribes or twelve patriarchs, these twelve were the foundation of this new wine work of God.  God would use them greatly.  There were more than twelve–they were not the only co-workers.  Later in Luke 10, the seventy would be sent out to preach as well.  But they were the core–a few manuscripts of Mark actually call them apostles (or sent ones) here, but it was probably a scribal insertion.  But that doesn’t mean Christ did not have a purpose for these men.

#5  The purpose Christ has for His real men

Read the rest of verse 14 and notice the double purpose, “so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out.”  Here is Christ’s double purpose for His twelve men–see it?  One purpose relates to the present—“with Him.”  And the other purpose relates to the future—“send them out.”  One purpose describes their role as disciples–with Him.  And the other purpose describes their role as apostles–sent out.  One purpose is like Mary, who sat at Christ’s feet with Him.  And the other purpose is like Martha, who worked for Christ–sent out.  One purpose describes much of our salvation—with Him.  And the other purpose describes much of our sanctification—for Him.  One purpose highlights our intimacy–with Christ.  And the other purpose highlights our intentional service–for Christ.  Christ’s men and all real men embrace the dual purposes of being called by Christ, verse 14—“so that” and “that” are purpose clauses.

FIRST–to glorify Christ by enjoying Him forever; to even now, sit at His feet and commune with your Lord and Savior, to know His love which surpasses all understanding, to know Him.

SECOND–to be used of God to make as many people like Christ in the shortest time possible, to share His person and His Gospel, to show Him off in actions and share His Words with all.

Christ-followers, embrace that you are here to 1) commune with Christ, and 2) communicate Christ; to 1) worship the Lord, and 2) work for the Lord.  And Mark makes these two purposes very clear with purpose #1.

First  To be intimate with Christ

“So that they would be with Him”–discipleship is a relationship, before it is a task.  It is a question of “who you are” before it is “what you do.”  You cannot impart what you do not first possess.  Before He sent them to do the work, He called them into a vital relationship with Him as His learners.  Disciples needed to be with Christ first to learn–to grow . . . grow in what?

1  Grow in their depth of God’s Word.  To know God’s will you must know God’s Word–know theology, know how to answer the controversial issues of our day.

2  Grow in humility, because pride is our biggest enemy

3  Grow in faith and trust of God under any circumstance

4  Grow in passionate commitment to Christ

But how will Jesus do this?  Simple:  by living with them.  Living with them is first.  Christ had a private ministry with them before a public ministry for Him.  He demonstrated how to live life before He called them to teach others how to live.  The first thing Christ did for His disciples was to involve them in the routine of His daily life:  how he lived, slept, ate, taught, listened, cared, loved, served–even how He faced opposition.

You see, you can impress people at a distance, but you can only impact them up close.  Apart from the power of the Gospel and the Word of God, you impact people in direct proportion to your personal involvement with them.  Many of us are far too removed from fellow Christians–even the lost we know, to really impact them for Christ.  God says it is required of a steward that He be found not successful, well-known, funny, or a friend–but faithful.

My greatest frustration in our church is people I see each week I want to minister to, but I can’t get to all of them.  All elders feel the same–this is why we set up RMG’s, and each of our ministries, because that’s where you can serve, and will be cared for, as God’s Word directs the body to do.  I know in my own heart I can love you best by studying days to feed you well.  But it’s still hard, cause I can’t take everyone out to Panda Express, nor be immediately available to everyone–this is what drives me to be one of the last people here on Sundays when I don’t have an appointment, because one of the great lacks in the Christian community today is interpersonal contact.

I don’t know why it happens, but if you teach a class, people can’t wait to split.  But just have some guys over for a meal and you will stay up half the night just talkin’–you can’t get rid of them.  Somehow four walls condition us against learning.  We walk into class and say, “I shall now be learned, learn me–I dare you!”  But start genuinely living your Christian life as an open book, and you’ll impact people.  The Lord lived with His disciples–discipleship is living in front of people, in a variety of settings and situations (at home, at school, at work, at play, when discouraged, when mad, in a trial, under stress, even when tired and hungry).  When people see you live for Christ during life, they’ll know Christ is real, and you will impact them for His glory.  The Lord was with His men, and real men live their faith.

Second  To be intentional for Christ

See it there in verse 14, “and that He could send them out.”  Purpose one, to be with Christ–purpose two, to go out for Christ.  “Send them out” is a verb form of the noun “apostle” used 135 times in the New Testament for commissioning or sending with a purpose—specifically, to send forth to serve God with God’s authority.  The twelve will go so that they might fully represent Christ.  They will be His proxies, saying and doing what Christ says and does.

Later in Mark 6:7, Mark says it this way, “He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.”  In order for them to represent Christ fulfilling this second purpose, there were two ways they were to show off their Lord.

1  To preach the good news of Christ—the message

In verse 14, “and that He could send them out to preach.”  To preach is to herald the message–their constant companionship with their Master would qualify them for their future work as His personal witnesses.  First they know Christ, then they preach Christ.  First they fellowship with Christ, then they talk about Christ to others.  Intimacy precedes instruction.  Preaching is to making a public proclamation.

John the Baptist preached–1:4

Jesus preached–1:14

The Leper preached–1:45

Now the disciples, soon to be apostles, will preach about Christ.  What was their message?  From Mark 1:14 to 15, it was to repent and believe in the Gospel–the saving activity of God, in Jesus.  But don’t get confused about what is happening here.  What is the message?  God is the Gospel, the person of Christ is the message of salvation.  God became man to die.  So how was this incredible message of the person of Christ disseminated?  They were with Him, ministering for Him, sharing the message about Him, and they will share it like Him.

Real men walk with Christ, live for Christ, share about Christ, and seek to live like Christ.  How will they be like Christ?  To fulfill the purpose of being sent out for Christ, they will do so with the same authority He had.  They will minister in such a way as . . .

2  To prove the authority of Christ—authority

Look at verse 15, “and to have authority to cast out the demons.”  The Greek term “authority” here is a powerful word.  “Authority” means no hindrance, capable, no obstacle–the idea is unstoppable.  Christ was unstoppable–no enemy, demon or human could hinder Him, resist Him, trick Him or stop Him in any way.  If these men are going to minister for Christ, like Christ, they’ll have to have the same authority Christ had–be unstoppable.  That meant these disciples would have to be able to cast out demons just like Christ did, verse 15, “authority to cast out the demons.”

Up until this point, it was only Christ who possessed the authority to cast out demons (1:39).  But now with the crowds and looming opposition, Jesus will confer that authority to the twelve.  We would certainly recognize this to be a unique ministry given to the twelve, and not all preachers or random believers.  Second Corinthians 12:12 even tells us, “The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.”

During Jesus’s ministry, the gift of exorcising demons was not given to all of his followers.  As a matter of fact, it was exercised by just a few of them.  It would be a grave mistake to assume that exorcising demons was a part of the average Christian’s experience then or now.  Christ gave His men real authority.  Why?  To demonstrate they were genuinely from Christ, doing the very things Christ did.

But real men today are not without power, nor authority.  Second Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”  Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

As men today rely on the Spirit of God, by the Word of God, they will experience the power of God–are you a real man?  Write down “R-E-I”–responsible, engaged, initiate.

1—FATHERS  See this outline, you will influence your children by praying for them, wanting them, calling them to serve Christ with you, and sharing Christ for His glory by being dependent upon the Spirit of God, and living by the Word of God.

2—HUSBANDS  Like Christ and His men, real men are to initiate, pursue, obey, serve, and grow under the sovereign hand of God.  Yes God is sovereign in His choice, but you are responsible to live it out in dependent obedience.  His sovereignty is never an excuse for laziness, lack of decision making, video games, and waiting to grow up someday.  Impress your wife, and start stepping up.

3—MEN  You need the best part, which is consistent time at the Savior’s feet, like Mary.  You need to grow deep in the Word–humble yourselves and admit you don’t know it like you should, and start pursuing Men of Passion, RMG, equipping classes or TC.  And godly men also serve like Martha–they give faithful, regular time to the work of Christ in the church, and seek to share Christ in the world.  Men, it is time you stepped up and got involved.

4–REAL MEN are just like the twelve.  They were thick-skulled, slow on the uptake, foolish, proud, weak in faith, fled when it was scary, and were profoundly average men–but they were used by Christ to turn this world upside down.  How did it happen?  They were discipled two ways—learning the Word, and following examples.  Get in that place where you can.

5–LADIES  Pray for your man, and singles wait for a man who is humble enough to learn the Word and follow godly examples.

6–CHURCHGOER  God is sovereign in salvation, but you’re to respond in repentance and faith–and if you don’t have Christ, you have nothing to give, nothing to show, nothing to say that will please God.  You must turn to Christ today.  Let’s pray.

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ABOUT THIS PREACHER

Chris is the teaching pastor at Faith Bible Church – Murrieta.

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