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Men's blog

Archive for March 2016

Be Righteous in an Unrighteous World

We currently live in a world that is full of sin, corruption, violence and evil. We live in a world where being a follower of Christ is not politically correct and because of this many of us hide our faith. Some even become accepting of the sinfulness around us and other followers of Christ even engage in the sin, corruption and violence that have permeated our world. But we, as followers of Christ, are not called to be passive. We are not called to hide. Rather, we are called to “be strong in the Lord” (Ephesians 6:10). We are called to be righteous in the face of a sinful, corrupt, violent, and evil world. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6).

There was a time when the world wasn’t much different than it is today. In a world taken over by sin, corruption, violence, and evil, Noah was a righteous man (Genesis 6:9). However, Noah wasn’t just a righteous man, he was the only follower of God left on the earth. The Bible says he was blameless among the people of his time. This doesn’t mean that he was without sin. Rather it means that Noah wholeheartedly loved and obeyed God. He walked step by step in faith as a living example to his generation, a generation that was saturated with sin and rebellion against God. Noah was the only man alive who pleased God. It’s hard to imagine such unwavering faithfulness in the midst of such godlessness, but in the account of Noah’s life we read, “Noah did everything just as God commanded” (Genesis 6:22).

We learn from Noah that it is possible to remain faithful and pleasing to God even in the midst of a corrupt and sinful generation. Surely it wasn’t easy for Noah, but he found favor in God’s eyes because of his faith in God, his obedience to Him. Because of these characteristics that Noah showed to a sinful world, God blessed and saved Noah, just as he will faithfully bless and protect those of us who remain faithful, obedient and righteous. This is not short term journey we are on as followers of Christ, but it is a lifelong pursuit.

Now righteousness doesn’t come by our own accord, Paul writes that, “Righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:22). So, in order for us to have the righteousness of Noah and to be strong in the Lord, we have to have faith in Jesus. This faith will enable us to be righteous in a world that says that everything we do and believe as followers of Christ is wrong.

Finally, Noah was the one man who found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Gen. 6:8). Because Noah was a righteous man, because he was blameless among the people, and because he walked faithfully with God, there wasn’t just one man who was saved from the flood. Seven other people were also saved (Noah’s wife, his sons and his sons’ wives). When I read this, I see how critically important my faith is to my family and that leaving a legacy of faith is the most important thing that I can do in this world.

So, self evaluation time: Are you being influenced by the world or are you being blameless and walking faithfully with God? Will those who know say you are a righteous person?

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

Love No Matter What

Most of you know that I am a stay-at-home dad. This role is one of my greatest joys. Especially when my two year old daughter grabs my face in her small hands, looks into my eyes and tells me, “I promise I will never leave you.” Or when my five year old son stops whatever he is doing and runs up and gives me a hug and tells me he loves me. Although fatherhood is one of my greatest joys, it is also an awesome responsibility that I do not take lightly.

Now, before you read any further, I want you to pause and think about your father and the impact he had on your life. Was he a positive or negative influence? Was he present or absent? Did he show you love or was he apathetic? Was he gentle, showing you grace or was he more like a drill sergeant with a “my way or the highway” mentality?

Positive or negative, the way your father was part of your life impacts you. Having an involved father results in better emotional, academic, social, and behavioral outcomes for children. According to The Fatherhood Project, children with involved fathers are twice as likely to attend college or find stable employment after high school. On the other hand, children with less involved fathers are more likely to act out in school and engage in risky behaviors like drug use, alcohol abuse, and promiscuous relationships. 85 percent of men in prison didn’t have a dad involved in their life. 71 percent of teen suicides didn’t have a father involved in the home. As you can see, it is extremely important that dads are engaged in their families. When we as fathers engage our families we create an environment where leaving a legacy of faith begins to happen and this is the most important thing we can do for our children.

Love is the key ingredient to leaving a legacy of faith. One of the greatest things we can do for our children is to ensure that there is nothing they can do that will take away our love from them. We see this truth in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). Although the prodigal son wished his father dead, took his inheritance and left for another country, where he squandered his wealthy, his father never stopped loving him. When the prodigal came back home, his father ran to him, embraced him, and threw a party for him. His father never stopped loving him. His father didn’t hold a grudge against him. His father loved him no matter what.

You see, our heavenly Father never stops loving us; He doesn’t stop loving us when we put things above Him, and He doesn’t hold our sin against us. Instead, He loves us so much that He sent His son to die on a cross for us. This sacrifice, this great act of love, shows that God loves us no matter what and that there is nothing we can do to make Him love us less.

So, does your child or children know that there is nothing they can do to make you love them less? This week assure them of this truth. Like my two year old daughter grabbed my face in her small hands and told me that she promises to never leave, grab the face of your child, no matter how old they are and tell them that there is nothing they can do to make you love them less.

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

The Impact of Love

It’s A Wonderful Life is my favorite Christmas movie. Actually, it is one of my all time favorite movies. Undoubtedly most of you are familiar with this movie. George Bailey is a frustrated and unhappy businessman, husband, and father. With the help of an angel named Clarence, George gets the opportunity to see what life would have been like if he had never been born.

During their time together, Clarence speaks these amazing words to George, “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” Read those words again. Let them sink in. You see, I think each of us feels like George at one time or another. We wonder if we are impacting others with our lives. We get frustrated, depressed, and joyless because we think what we’re doing isn’t positively impacting the lives and the world around us. We feel this way because we are consumed with what we think to be the truth instead of seeing what the truth is.
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Now George Bailey received an amazing gift. He actually got to see what the life of others would have been like had he not been born. We will not get that opportunity in this life, but there is something that we can do that will give us hope that we are impacting the lives and the world around us. Jesus is asked by an expert of the law, which is the greatest commandment. In his answer, Jesus says, “Love God with all you got (Matt. 22:37). Jesus continues and says, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39).

So, who is your neighbor? Well, it’s your spouse, your child, your co-worker, and the person living next to you. It’s the person you see holding the “help me” sign at the traffic light. It’s the stranger you see in the grocery store, who doesn’t have enough money to pay for their groceries. It’s that person putting their last $5.00 in their car for gas. In short, your neighbor is anyone that is not you. It is anyone that you come into contact with. It is that person that you are to love as yourself and to love that person is to desire what is best for them.

Here’s the thing, loving our neighbor as ourselves doesn’t come natural for us. We are a selfish, judgmental and sinful people and too often we only want what is best for us. But when we live our lives this way, we are frustrated, bitter and unhappy. True meaning and joy for our lives come when we give, when we sacrifice, and when we love our neighbor as our self . When you do this, Clarence’s words will speak to you, “Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole.”

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