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Men's blog

Archive for October 2013

The Heart of the Matter


“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Jesus

If the heart is the center of one’s being, involving emotions, reason, and will, it’s important to know what you have a heart for. It’s important because whatever your heart is drawn to will be what you value the most. You see men, your heart will not only follow after what it treasures, but it will also reveal itself for what it is. So, what you regard as treasure will expose the present condition of your heart. This is true of money, sex, power or whatever else you value most in your life.

The point of Jesus’ words is to show us whether our treasure – our heart – is in heaven or on earth. By focusing on this now, we will be glad that we did then. The heavenly minded person will be good for both heaven and earth, because he cares about integrity, humility, proper relationships and love on earth. By contrast, the person who does not have his heart focused on heaven may be corrupted by power and money or set his hope on fleeting things that will only disappoint in this life. For that reason, it is important that we focus on what you treasure now.

This Weeks Challenge:
Answer the following question: If the person closest to you where to analyze your life, what would they say your treasure is? Are you pleased with that answer?

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

Practicing Righteousness


Matthew 6:1-18

Good men, I have come to learn something about myself; my own righteousness is not very righteous. You see, I have a tendency towards self-righteousness. At times, I find myself craving and yearning for people to admire me. Men, like many of you, I have a need. Perhaps a better way to phrase it is that I have a want for approval and recognition. Dale Carnegie said it like this, “the desire to feel important is the strongest urge in the world.” Maybe this need for recognition, this desire to feel important is why Jesus begins the section of the Sermon on the Mount with the words, “Be Careful” (Matt. 6:1).

Throughout this section, Jesus is warning us against our greatest temptation; the temptation to act piously to bring about recognition from others. Our goal for serving the needy, for prayer, for fasting and all of our other acts of righteousness should be done to impress God alone. By practicing our righteousness in a way that is only seen by God, our Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward us (Matt. 6:4, 6, 18).

This Week’s Challenge:
Evaluate your practice of righteousness. Are you like the hypocrites who do things to be seen and recognized by others? Or do you practice righteousness out of love for God? To help answer these questions, with your next practice of righteousness, ask yourself this question, “Would I still do this if no one would ever knew I did it?”

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

Love Your Enemies


Matthew 5:43

Love your enemy! Easy to write but difficult to do. Difficult because when you have been hurt by someone’s words or actions, the most natural thing is to want that person to receive their just punishment. But, Jesus tells us that is not the right attitude to have. Our attitude toward the individual who hurt us must be love.

Love itself is not a mere emotional feeling; it is an act of will. To love someone, especially someone who hurt you, requires Intentionality; it is a choice that we must make and stay with. You see men, if we don’t make the choice to love our enemy, then we become susceptible to the opposite of love, which is hate, and hate is a bad thing. Nelson Mandela gives this advice regarding hate, “If you hate, you give your enemy your heart and your mind. Don’t give the enemy those two things.”

You see men, if our righteousness is to surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 5:20), we must show a higher standard of righteousness than loving only those who are friendly to our interest. We must also love those who oppose our interests. By loving this way, we emulate the character of our Heavenly Father.

This Week’s Challenge:
Who in your life is your “enemy”? Pray for an attitude of love toward them. Who in your life are you an “enemy” to? Show an attitude of love toward that person by asking for their forgiveness of you.

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

Resist Retaliation

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” Matthew 5:38-42

Who among you, when attacked physically or verbally, would respond in a like manner? Or if you’re like me, you might analyze the situation for days and become consumed with thoughts of what you should have said or how you should have retaliated against the person who wronged you. But here’s the thing, Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5:38-42 that kindness should come before retaliation. You see, as followers of Jesus, we are not to be part of furthering the cycle of harsh behavior. So, instead of slapping the person who slapped you, be willing to be slapped again. Instead of standing up for your rights and filing a countersuit, give up your coat as well as your shirt. Instead of opposing a mile walk, be willing to go an extra mile with them. Be willing to give to the one who asks and do not turn from the one who wants to borrow something from you. Jesus himself, at his arrest and trial, exemplified what is taught in this message.

Men, we may never literally have to turn the other cheek, give up our coat or walk the extra mile, but we must be willing to respond in a selfless way that trusts God so much that we leave our vindication to Him. In doing this, we show how much we love God and how much we love others.

This Week’s Challenge:
Think of someone who has hurt you. Instead of planning vengeance, pray for the person who hurt you.

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)