Good morning. I pray the grace of God delivered you through all the storms and trials of this past week and that you were able to enjoy some rest and quality time with family, friends and God.
Please, don't be distracted by this weeks topic and think it does not apply to all. Just because it says "man" at the end, does not mean it does not also apply to women, boys or girls. This topic applies to all. With that being said, let's dive into it.
Most of life hit me at an early age. What I mean by that is, that I started almost everything early in life. I say this because I am having reference to the "I'm a man at 18" syndrome. I caught this illness at about 14, instead of 18, but we all have had it or will have it coming up. You know what I am talking about. It is that attitude where, when we turn 18, "of legal age by the worlds standards", we think we know it all and no one can tell us anything we don't already know or show us anything we cannot already do. For me, this was a time that I allowed the world to dictate the standards of a man. I did my best to live up to those standards and then some. The world will tell you a man is measured by how filthy his mouth is, by how much he can drink, by how he can dominate others or maybe even by how "brave" one is. I was the poster boy for their cause. At 6'1, 360 pounds, I was the power eater, drinker, belittler, lifter and bully the world would look up to or suffer the consequences. I was known to make the statements, "I am god", or "if you aren't god, you better stay out of my way". To make sure others knew I meant what I said, I made sure they heard of how I picked up the front of a car out of a ditch and rolled it on to the street, or how I would play around in the weight room leg pressing close to 1100 pounds. I say NONE of this to brag, but to illustrate the point, I was a "man", in the wrong eyes. To think back at that person now brings me to tears again. What makes you a "man", or "grown"? Can you relate to some of the things I have mentioned here?
God's Word, once again, provides direction as to how we should conduct ourselves when we think, "we are all that". Paul, writing to the church at Philippi, in Philippians 2:5-8 says, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6> who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7>but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8>And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus". Being grown, or a man has nothing to do with our size, or age. Or how we dominate others, or even ignore them. It is a mind set. It is knowing that there is always someone bigger, stronger, smarter, faster, better looking or just better, in whatever other category we think we hold the corner of the market on. Christ, God in the flesh, did not come in royalty and throwing His weight around, but in a spirit of humility and service to others. The Bible says, "He was obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross". The maker of all there ever was, all there is and all there ever will be, was obedient and humble. The world has, and often does, call these characteristics week and meaningless, but if the creator of all that is, or will be, had them and lived them out, shouldn't we? One of the best, if not the best compliment I think I have ever received, came from a deacon at the church I attend. He said, " you are always so humble". To know the old me and the current "under construction" me, that statement is amazing. It proves God's change in me and shows how He can take a sow's ear and turn it into a silk purse (sort of speak). In closing, I just want to remind anyone who does not already know that the day will come, when we all will bow and confess Jesus as Lord, no matter what kind of a "man", we are or are not. Read Philippians 2:9-10.
Remember: When you are trying to measure up to being a “man, or woman”, it is not the worlds judgment to fear, but God’s judgment will be the final say.
Until next time, please pray for each other and me, and I will continue to pray for each of you. Love in CHRIST,
Bethel Baptist Church