I start with a quote from Matt 10. “Don’t be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don’t hesitate to go public now. Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life – body and soul – in his hands….Stand up for me against world opinion, and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven…..If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.” (Matt 10:26-8, 32, 38-39 – The Message)
Men, take note of the bold print. Jesus is asking us to stand with him in a culture with eroding Christian values, producing an increasing negative posture to a healthy masculine presence. If our priorities are self-concern,self image, self gratification and self-preservation (Albert Haase) we will never know who we are as men, according to Jesus. But if we are a committed follower of Jesus, we will know our true identity and his presence in our lives. If you are a Christian man, you don’t want to be “hollowed out,” running on a empty spiritual tank, trying to make it as a believer. I guarantee you that you will be intimidated, turn tail and run, being bluffed into silence. You don’t want to be a casualty of the cultural wars.
I confess to you men, that I am not a natural fighter, the kind of warrior that looks for a fight and wants to be aggressive with his witness. I have been a people pleaser most of my life. I am not comfortable with confronting, nor do I enjoy arguing. But having walked with Jesus for over 50 years, coming to love him more as I age, I am determined in the Lord, not to be intimidated. We have gone to far in our culture. We are losing our voice in the public square. What we desperately need are a “few good men” in every church and community who will not be intimated, but stand for Jesus when the occasion arises. I want to influence as many young men as I can.
So what is a man to do? First be clear and certain about your commitment to Jesus. Give your heart and soul to him. Second, each of us has a “sphere of influence” to be a witness. Be faithful in your vineyard. Thirdly, follow Jesus example of wanting to be a servant to all. Fourth, humbly, lovingly give your witness for the Lord when it is called for. Fourthly, let your story be his story of redemption in your life, allowing the focus to be on God’s love, mercy and kindness in your life. Oh, God raise up a new generation of warriors who will stand and fight with the weapons of humility and love.