Saturday, June 18, 2016

I Sought For A Man...

I Sought For A Man…
Ezekiel 22:30
Dr. David L. Brown
First Baptist Church of Oak Creek Wisconsin

Ezekiel 22:30 “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”

Outline

I Sought For A Man…

I.      That Has Learned to Lean
II.    That Has Learned to Lead
III.  That Has Learned to Love

Introduction

Manhood is under attack in America! I read an article by David L. Goetsch called Neutering The Male of The Species: The Feminization Of American Society. Feminists are neutering the American male and the American male is letting it happen. In his book, Missing from Action: Vanishing Manhood in America, author Welden M. Hardenbrook writes: “Over the years I have had the privilege of working with the broad spectrum of men who can only be found in America. No matter who they have been—capitalists, communists, college students, dropouts, Christians, atheists, blacks, whites, young, or old—they have had one problem in common. They have suffered to one degree or another from the touch of the feminizing forces that have taken over the land. These men have not been sure what it means to be a man…They are men who refuse to take responsibility. Their passivity and inaction ensure that…leadership in their homes belongs to their wives.” Hardenbrook might have added that it isn’t just in the home where men are no longer leaders.”

Today is Father’s Day. God is seeking for men, biblical men. I want to address that the qualities of biblical manhood and fatherhood are. Being a man, functioning as a man, taking responsibility as a man, thinking like a man, acting like a man, working like a man, all of these are prerequisites to being a good Father! You cannot be a good father until you are a good man, biblical man. God is seeking biblical men.

I Sought For A Man…

I.      That Has Learned To Lean [upon the Lord]

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

        A.    For Salvation
Eph. 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

God has designed men to be “in control and to “make things happen.” However, this can be a disadvantage. It is often difficult for a man to yield to the control of the Holy Spirit & accept Christ as Savior and let Him be in control of his life. A good man realizes he is under the authority of God.  

Leans on the Lord…

        B.    For Strength  
Isaiah 40:30-31 “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

Leans on the Lord…

        C.    For Supply  
Phililippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

To be sure, the Lord expects us to be diligent! Solomon wrote, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might….” Ecc. 9:10. God expects a husband and father to provide for his wife and children.  Remember however, it is God who gave you your brain and gifts. It is God who gives your health. It is God who will see you through the challenges of life if you will look to him! Our Lord taught his disciples to pray – “Give us this day our daily bread and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. (Mat. 6:11 & 13).  

It is God’s design that a husband and father provide for his family. Paul wrote to Timothy –“If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Tim. 5:8).   

Considering all of that, we need to remember we belong to God. Psalm 100:3 reminds us – “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”

Our Creator wants what is best for us (Jer. 29:11). The Lord is to take TOP priority in our lives and when that is true, He will see our needs are met. Mat 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Leans on the Lord…

        D.    For Soundness (Reasoning/Wisdom)
There are two sources of wisdom in the world – God’s Wisdom and the corrupt wisdom of Satan (James 3:13-18). Obviously when you need wisdom the place to go is to the Bible and find out what God has to say. We read in James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” This is the one of only two prayers any person can pray which the answer is always yes! Calling on the Lord for Salvation is the other – Romans 10:13].

Going to the godless world for wisdom is dangerous. We are warned in 1 Corinthians 3:19 that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God….” God blesses those who refuse to seek and follow the council of the ungodly (Psalm 1).

A good man, a biblical man has learned to lean. I Sought For A Man…

II.    That Has Learned to Lead

    A.    His Flesh  
When we get saved, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. We have a new nature. Ephesians says, “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24). Yet, know this you still have the “old man” or the flesh. Verse 22 of the same chapter says “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.”

A biblical man learns to lead by rejecting the “flesh” and walking is the Spirit. Galatians 5:16-17 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Galatians 2:20 reminds us, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Men, we have to lead our flesh or our flesh will lead us! We need to walk in the Spirit!

A biblical man is a man who has learned to lead…

    B.    His Family  


Ephesians 5:23 says, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” Headship is NOT being the dreaded dictator. To be sure, “the husband is the head of the wife.” However, he is to be the loving leader. A body only has one head. All of the other members function per the direction of the head.

That does not mean the woman is inferior. The ground is level at the cross (Gal. 3:28) to be sure! However, God has established a chain of command that is to be followed. We read of it in 1 Corinthians 11:3 “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

Men, listen: Headship is not a privilege as much as it is a responsibility! The hardest think you will ever do is be a good biblical husband to your wife and a good biblical father to your children.

In about 1252 B.C. Eli was the High Priest and judge in Israel. He took good care of the Temple, but not his own children. He had two sons named Hophni and Phinehas who are said to be sons of Belial (1 Samuel 2:12). They had sex with the servant girls of the Temple and took meat from the people that was meant to be used in sacrifice (1 Sam. 2:15-17 & 22). Eli knew all about what his sons were doing and even talked to them (22-23). But that was NOT enough. God expected Eli to stop their behavior (1 Sam 3:13). He refused to step up to the plate and stop his sons. As a result, God killed his sons. When hearing the news, he fell off of his seat and dies after judging Israel for 40 years.

 Men, God expects you to lead your wife and family. God expects you to have your wife and family in order!

I Sought For A Man…

III.            That Has Learned to Love

A.      The Father (the Lord)

Mark 12:30 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

1 John 5:1-3 “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.   3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”

B.       Their Families
I have written an entire chapter on a husband loving his wife. Suffice it to say that God admonishes every husband to love his wife. Ephesians 5:25 & 28Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”

Just for the record, the love as used here is far more than affection or erotic love.  It is more than emotional feeling or satisfaction. What is in focus here is agape love. The essence of agape love is goodwill, benevolence, and willful delight in the object of love. It means that you are going to seek the welfare and happiness of the person loved. That means that my effort will be to make the object of my love secure, content, and comfortable.

What about the children? Shouldn’t we love them? The answer is yes! However, there is no direct command telling dads to love their children like there is concerning the wife. However, there are passages that indicate it is the proper norm to love your children. Paul indicates that in the last days men shall be lovers of themselves and not their children & family. The phrase “without natural affection” (Rom. 1:31; 2 Tim. 3:3) is a translation of the Greek word αστοργοι - astorgoi which means without family love.

There is more. Proverbs 13:24 says that a father who loves his children son will chasten him diligently. It is the Hebrew word used for love of family. Again in Proverbs 3:11-12 is the Lord corrects those He loves “even as a father the some in whom he delighteth.”

A godly father loves his family.

C.      The Fallen

James 2:8 says the “royal law according to the Scripture” is to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” A biblical man is concerned about the souls of those who are unsaved. He lets his life shine before men so they can see his godly character and he opens his mouth and shares the Gospel so they have the opportunity to be saved (2 Corinthians 5:17-20).

    D.    The Fellowship (with other believers in the body)

It begins with worshipping together at church - Hebrews 10:24-25And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

It continues as you serve together - Paul thanks God “For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Phil. 1:5).

It build us up as we “sharpen” each other’s iron - Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” When iron is rubbed against another piece of iron it shapes and sharpens it. Similarly people can help each other improve by their discussions, criticisms, suggestions, and ideas.


Conclusion

I Sought For A Man - A man of God is one…

I.      That Has Learned to Lean
II.    That Has Learned to Lead

III.  That Has Learned to Love

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