In Part 1, we determined that to be effective for God, love of God and others must be our first and primary focus as Christian men. In Part 2, we stated that to be effective, we must believe. If we don’t really believe Jesus is who he says He is, and we are who He says we are, what use can we really be to the Lord? But even if we love God and others, and if we believe in Jesus, we will not be effective if we do not (really) obey God.
God calls us to action. He speaks in many ways, but all men are called to some sort of obedient action. Without putting action behind our love and our faith, we can have little effect at all, much less be deemed effective for the Lord. You might ask, “Who would do this?, i.e. who would say they love Jesus, and believe on Him for salvation, but not act for him? Well, let’s see…maybe me, maybe you, maybe every Christian man at some point? Peter denied Christ and ran. Moses hid in the desert. Jonah went the opposite direction of Nineveh; and on and on… But at some point, all defiant or immature runners will go through a gut check. At some point, God breaks us down, provides clarity (vision and truth), and we have to be real with ourselves and Him. Looking back over time, God called and we either genuinely loved, believed and served, or we wasted the time we were given, to the detriment of our spirit and others’ souls.
In the New Testament book of James, the author gets right to the point in Chapter 1, verse 22-25: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
Where are you at today in regard to obedience? Maybe teaching some, serving on committee, working at the food kitchen some? Maybe even being a deacon or elder, i.e. a man with position? For a good twenty years of my Christian life, about every five years, the Lord would show me with clarity the reality of my heart; that I didn’t harm Him, I said good things about Him, I read the Bible, and served at church, but really I was incredibly ineffective when it came to the advancement of God’s Kingdom. I loved the Lord. No doubt about it. I believed on Him unto salvation. I served in His name. But I was not all in, not surrendered, and not obedient. My faith was small and my actions, although busy, were ineffective. This literally changed in a day. God works that way. What seems impossible (simply hidden) for decades, He can change in a moment. For me, it started with a simple question that God placed on my heart, “If Jesus is who He says He is, and I am who I claim to be in Him, what is really possible?” This question became a desire, that spawned a pursuit, which developed faith. Ten years later all I can say is “WOW!” and my conclusion is that Jesus is real, faithful, deep, and powerful today for changing lives; that His literal words — as written in the Bible AND delivered by the Holy Spirit — are truth; that He is LIFE now and eternal; and that the peace He promises defies understanding. Obedience is now the natural response of my spirit that He has developed in me (my flesh sometimes interferes but my spirit always says, “Yes”).
We can ask this question individually, i.e. do we hear, obey and act? As a group of God’s men we can ask the same question collectively. If we are collectively hearing, obeying and acting effectively, why are babies murdered daily in our country before they are born? If we are acting, why are our schools devoid of God’s Word and our children not taught Jesus’s truths? Where are the Christian men leaders speaking out about these issues and so many more? Will this be the year of clarity that we look up from our inward denominational focus groups and realize that the next generation is going to Hell while we ‘serve’? Or will this be the time when clarity comes, those who ‘have ears to hear’ hear, HIS Christian men see that Jesus is who He says He is, and we get about doing the Father’s business with purpose? Discuss this with your men’s group this month. As for you and your group, will you really obey and serve?