May 11, 2018
Imagine that you were given the opportunity to sit miles above the earth and observe the world from God’s perspective. You see all the wars, all the poverty, all the substance abuse, all of the injustice, you can see it all.
Then suppose you were given 1 Million Dollars with which to combat the world’s problems. The only catch is, you can only invest in one endeavor, one issue, one problem… what would you attack? What issue would you attempt to resolve?
I spent the better part of last week in the country of Guatemala with leaders from Compassion International. There is something about being in a 3rd world country that magnifies the issues at hand.
How do you fix that? Is the solution political? Is there an economic solution? Perhaps education would help? While all of those things can certainly be improved upon.
To me the answer was crystal clear - the common denominator between hundreds of boys and girls living in poverty in Guatemala and around the worlds - was simply the absence of fathers.
STAT: One study by the California Department of Education (Not a conservative institution) showed that 98% of behaviorally challenged students were emotionally damaged young boys whose one common characteristic was the absence of a father.
Simultaneously, they discovered that when fathers were actively involved in the life of child the kids were 46% less likely to use drugs 27% less likely to use alcohol and 52% less likely to skip school.
STAT: Of the 27 Deadliest school shootings (all perpetrators were male) in American History 26 of the shooters had one thing in common - no Father in their life.
ILLUSTRATION: His his book, “Faith of the Fatherless” The Psychology of Atheism, psychologist Paul Vitz demonstrates how the major proponents of modern atheism were from homes where the father was either absent or abusive. He looks at 19 case studies including Voltaire, Thomas Hobbes, and David Hume, Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Joseph Stalin, and Sigmund Freud himself. In each case, the “defective father” hypothesis holds.
STAT: Simultaneously - Studies show that if a child is the first in a family to get saved there is a 3.5% chance that everyone else in the family will get saved. If it is the mother, there is a 17% chance that everyone else will get saved.If it is the father, there is a 93% chance that everyone else will get saved.
Tony Evans was right -
As goes the man, so goes the family
As goes the family, so goes the church
As goes the church, so goes the community
As goes the community, so goes the nation
So if you want to change the nation, change the community
If you want to change the community, change the church
If you want to change the church, change the family
If you want to change the family, change the man
CONTEXT: So it shouldn’t surprise us that right in the middle of the Bible we find the book of Proverbs, which has as it’s primary goal to turn BOYS into MEN OF WISDOM.
It also shouldn’t surprise us that according to Steve Farrar - the number one battle strategy of Satan is to: Neutralize the Man.
Man was created and placed in the Garden with 3 basic purposes.
In Genesis 1:26–31 Man was created as a Reflector, a Leader, and a Cultivator.
Genesis 1:26 (ESV)
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
ILLUSTRATION: Man bears the image of God as a
mirror bears the image of man. It takes all that it is given and
re-presents what it receives. Mankind was the one species in all
creation capable of accomplishing that.
2. Man was to be a Leader
Man was given dominion over all of the created order. He was commanded to subdue the earth and have dominion over it. Man was designed to reign under God for the good of his fellow man and the glory of his Lord.
3. Man was a Cultivator
Genesis 2:15 (ESV)
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
There was an innate desire within a man to take something and improve upon it.
But then God said something for the first time - IT IS NOT GOOD. It is not good for man to be alone.
JOKE: A Deacon tole me that at that point, God brought man a chimpanzee, a gorilla, a orangoutang - but Adam said, “God that isn’t exactly what I had in mind - I wanted someone who can rub my back, cook gourmet food, always look beautiful and attractive in my presence… God said, “Adam that will cost you and arm and a leg…” To which Adam replied, “what can I get for a rib?”.
Woman was taken from the man and brought to the man to compliment him. She wasn’t a replica with different plumbing - she was different. As a matter of fact the Bible says God MADE the man, but it says He FASHIONED the woman. He fashioned her and brought her to the man. Together God said they were VERY GOOD.
But man sinned. Incidentally - have you ever noticed, who God came looking for after the fall? Who fell first? Eve! But listen to Gen. 3:9
Genesis 3:9 (ESV)
9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
Now that Adam had believed the word of Satan over the word of God…he was fallen, broken.
SOLOMON IN PROVERBS - seeks to help us get back to God’s original design for masculinity: SO THE MAN OF WISDOM -
Like the moon you have no light of your own, but as you stand before the sun, you shine with it’s glory.
If you want to be a man of wisdom - seek the Lord, learn from him, spend time with him.
You see that CONTRAST drawn throughout proverbs.
Proverbs 10:8 (ESV)
8 The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
ILLUSTRATION: Like a good steak - allow your
heart to marinate in His word. Let HIS essence infuse your
Sit under HIS Word in HIS presence - until people cant be around you without sensing something of Him.
Proverbs 9:9 (ESV)
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
There are some men who come to this church week after week and
it make ZERO difference. They aren’t growing, changing, learning…
there are others who are significantly different today than they
were 9 months ago.
Here’s the deal - it has nothing to do with the sermon - it’s the person.
Jesus was not called an image bearer
Colossians 1:15 (ESV)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Jesus always sought to reflect the image of God.
Jesus could say - you see me, you see the Father.
MEN - Are we able to point to you and tell our sons and say, “God is sort of like... that guy”.
Receives and Reflects…
Notice how submission always precedes progress and authority…
Proverbs 3:5–10 (ESV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and (THEN and ONLY THEN) he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. (THEN and ONLY THEN) 8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then (THEN and ONLY THEN) your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
A wise man understands how authority works. You see the world’s view of authority is very different from scriptures view.
Scripture portrays the man who has the most authority as the one who is MOST under God’s Authority. (REPEAT)
The biblical definition of a man is a male who is operating under the authority of God.
A male who is NOT operating under God’s authority has not yet graduated to manhood.
Tony Evans said, “A man’s self definition is intricately tied to his spiritual subordination”.
Matthew 8:5–10 (ESV) tells the story of Jesus coming to Capernaum…
5 When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.
This is one of only two times Jesus said someone has great faith - this guy who understood authority.
The Christian Man is supposed to be a King operating under the Sovereign Rule of Christ. Those under his authority are supposed rest in peace and security. But when a man rejects his office, and God’s wisdom... he abuses his strength, rule and authority.
ILLUSTRATION: God’s Authority is like an Umbrella - it doesn’t stop the rain from falling but it can protect you from getting wet.
Adam as the King of Eden should have ruled over the serpent, drove him out of paradise, but rather he cooperates with evil. And when God came around rather than taken his punishment like a man, he tried to direct God’s anger at the woman.
ILLUSTRATION: When my son was born I gave him a pocket watch and knife and I had engraved on that watch, “Pro. 31:4” IT IS NOT FOR KINGS OH LEMUEL.
Why? Because that is saying that a King who is under the authority of God understands that there are some things that all the other boys can do… but it’s not for him.
You are under the authority of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Your expressed authority will be in direct proportion to your experienced authority.
Receives and Reflects…Submits and leads…
When a man walks with God he God CULTIVATES HIM and HE cultivates the world around him. As a result he has the marvelous ability to improve practically every aspect of his life.
Proverbs 28:20 (ESV)
20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
Notice how as this man is faithful to the Lord, the Lord sees to it, that he abounds with blessings!
Look at Proverbs 31. We are accustomed to the Proverbs 31 woman, but notice her husband…
Proverbs 31:10 (ESV)
10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
This man highly values and prizes his wife. How do you think that effects her? Ladies do you think it would make a difference in your life if you lived with a man who consistently treats you as more valuable than any treasure in his life?
Proverbs 31:11 (ESV)
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
This man creates an environment of trust and respect and as a result his wife reaches her full potential. As a result he and his family benefits.
Proverbs 31:28–29 (ESV)
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
Notice that this man encourages his wife, he builds her up, his children follow his lead.
LISTEN: The Godly man improves things, he adds value, he makes them better. Can I ask you an honest question... how have you improved the things you have served in?
ILLUSTRATION: I had a guy at my last church griping and complaining about his wife. How sorry she was, how ineffective she was… I said how long have you been married to her? He said 15 years… I said, well if she had deproved that much… you must be one sorry leader.
LISTEN: Here is how it works - Exodus 34:23–24 (ESV)
23 Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel. 24 For I will cast out nations before you and enlarge your borders; no one shall covet your land, when you go up to appear before the Lord your God three times in the year.
You get under Him and He takes care of the rest…
If you come under my authority - I’ll fight your battles.
Proverbs 10:9 (ESV)
9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
Do you see that? You focus on following the Lord, and God will focus on making your way secure.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate Man. Maximum manhood. The perfect Model. The complete Hero.