Discipline and Obedience

January 15, 2013

Discipline and Obedience

Man_Up

 Discipline is the focus and obedience is the key. Two words that are often quoted and misunderstood and quite frankly may very well be overused because their importance is overlooked. These two attributes are absolutely imperative for our spiritual growth and are the fundamental foundation for our spiritual maturity. They are a must if we are going to succeed in becoming what God wants us to be.

 After we come to a knowledge of our need of a savior and act on that by repenting and calling on the name of Jesus and accepting Him as becoming sin for us and receiving Him as the salvation of our souls and believing on Him we embark on a journey of continuing to be changed as we learn from God’s word and begin to apply it to our lives. We must be very careful and not become arrogant in our thinking and forget that we all are expected to continue to grow and that none of us have arrived or know all. God has a plan for all of our lives and if we will trust Him we will be able to fulfill both His will and His purpose in our lives.

 The road we are called to travel has the potential to be trying to say the least. Parts of the road will be easier than others. There may very well be times that we might not recognize the road we are on because of the difficulties we face. God takes us through a journey of establishing what we are to do. There are some things He will establish in our lives as a foundation so He can take us further. He will begin to develop in our lives some areas such as being attentive, being content, learning forgiveness, allowing gratefulness, and trusting in His security. This foundation is the beginning of His fullness being established in us.

 These foundational attributes that God is developing in us are disciplines and they are necessary changes that are contrary to our human nature. Because they are contrary to our natural human tendencies or nature the only way they are taken on to advocate substantial change is by obedience. I don’t know about you but for me that is one of the truths about God that revolutionized my life. I know that I was changed when I accepted Christ. There was a marked and dramatic difference. However what was also evident was that I still needed to grow and part of that growth was my responsibility. Obedience is the only way we learn Discipline.

 Trust God. Follow God. Be changed. Learn His disciplines by becoming willingly obedient.

 Man_Up and be the man that God wants you to be.

 Check out my new book “Here’s the Man”

and my others also “Be a Man”, “What a Man”, and “Where’s the Man”.

This life requires that we know who we are and purposefully move forward.

 

“Here’s the Man” and the others are available @

http://www.manupstudy.com

Available now from AuthorHouse @

www.authorhouse.com

You can also order these titles through your local bookseller

or preferred on-line retailer.

Here’s the Man – Innocence or Arrogance

Joseph had another dream.  This time he told it not only to his brothers but to his father.  His brothers hated him more and His father rebuked him.  I have heard others tell that Joseph was arrogant because he had to be spoiled because he was the favorite. I don’t know that to be true.  It seems to me that God has not been afraid to point out the faults of other men of faith.  However there is no announcement of one on Joseph’s behalf.  So I choose to believe on the side of innocence.  I think he just didn’t know any better.  He was simply over whelmed by the visitation of a dream and couldn’t contain it. As a matter of fact if he had not declared the dream the rest of his life might not have carried much significance. I believe the reason he was given the dream to begin with was his relationship with God.  We just can’t over look the importance of Jacob settling down in the land of his father.  That included declaring to his family the God of his father Isaac.  The innocence gave way to maturity as he endured the hardships and encountered new circumstances in life as God led him forward.  That maturity was proven as he took his place to be the man God was creating him to be. His willingness to grow and continue forward by accepting new roles and learning how to respond appropriately in given situations is the mark of maturity.  It declares one willing to make this statement.

HERE’S THE MAN

Are you innocent or arrogant?

One or the other will be declared by your life.

Man_Up and be the man that God wants you to be

You can order your copy of “Here’s the Man” @

http://www.manupstudy.com

Available also from AuthorHouse

www.authorhouse.com

Or through your local bookseller or preferred on-line retailer.

Electronic version available

 

Man_UP – Be patient and understand time

The emotions that come with the frustrations and the disappointments of life that are a result of the time involved in asking and believing and trusting for prayers and desires to be manifest can be at the very least be annoying and can escalade to overwhelming if not handled correctly. We are all going to experience things that catch us by surprise or don’t function according to our expectation. When those times occur how are we supposed act? How are we supposed to feel? What are we supposed to believe?

Those questions may sound like doubt but I don’t believe they are. Some of us have been taught that we are not to question God and there may very well be some validity to that teaching. There are times we don’t need to question God. However, until our faith grows and is established to the point that we don’t have to understand to believe or see to be able to accept, it is reasonable expectation that we would ask those questions. As a matter of fact it may be necessary for us to ask those questions. Having those questions push us to search out the answers for ourselves and establishes our faith and our belief system.

Consider this:

Faith comes by hearing the word of God.

The trying of our faith brings or encourages patience.

Hebrews says that we have need of patience after we have done the will of God to receive the result. There is often a time period between when we do what we are supposed to and receive what we expect.

James said to let patience have her perfect work. That time period that we are experiencing frustration, disappointment, discouragement, etc. really is for a purpose.

 It may not come easily. James gave more than one example of others having to wait on it.

In other words patience is important.

Two things I want you to determine to do.

1)      Exercise it – Hebrews 12:1-3

2)      Teach it – Titus 2:1-3

This is one of the hardest things for me to do and I know it is for others also. Stay focused. Stay determined. God has an end in mind and it is good.

Man_Up and be the man that God wants you to be

Here’s the Man” available @

http://www.manupstudy.com

Available also from AuthorHouse @

www.authorhouse.com

Also order this title through your local bookseller

or preferred on-line retailer.

Be a Man

November 29, 2011

Man_Up

Be a Man! Yes that is what I said. Be a Man! But what does that mean? Does it mean to not cry? Does it mean to take responsibility? Does it mean to be in charge? It just simply means grow up and that may include our masculinity being challenged.

Sometimes our masculinity needs to be challenged. Many have been taught that men don’t cry or show any emotions. Many have been taught that men are to be in control and responsible. The extremes that have been instructed in some cases are not reasonable. However it might not be all wrong. We as men are to be the head of the household. We are to consider ourselves the stronger vessel. Somebody must step up and be responsible.

When taken to extreme, the suggestion that men don’t cry is absurd. When taken to extreme teaching that the man being the head means that he is in charge of everything is absolutely silly. If taken to extreme the thought of men being responsible means accepting the consequences for things beyond their control is outrageous. In many cases these have taught as truths.

There are times men need to cry. Children cry when they don’t get their way. As men we should be able to recognize that there are situations in life we just have to face. We would like to think that we are able to do everything but we are not. When we learn how to allow others to help and that we do not have to be in control of everything life gets much less complicated. Accepting the consequences for things beyond our control may seem admirable however it is not necessary. That is not what God expects. He just wants us to follow Him.

Ezekiel was told by God that his wife would be taken from him and that he was not to cry or mourn or act in any way in distress. He was to be strong for the people. He was an example before them. To take that as men are not to ever cry or that men should be in total control and responsible for everything that happens is a stretch. Masculinity should be gauged by the willingness of one to follow God and accept the role He has for us.

There is a time our masculinity needs to be challenged. When God said he was looking for a man that was the challenge. It doesn’t mean that we have to live like the Lone Ranger or not ever show any emotion. It does mean however that we should show some progress as we mature. We may cry just not over spilt milk.

Be a Man.

Man_Up and be the man God wants you to be.

 

Do You Believe

November 28, 2011

Man_Up

Be A Man

On a recent trip to Costa Rica we discovered some things about ourselves as well as them. We say that people in general are all alike. We probably don’t realize how true that is. Although living conditions and climates and color of skin may be different we are more alike than we may want to admit. We all struggle with sin. We all have to make effort to go forward. We all have to learn to believe. We must learn to believe that we can make a difference.

God is looking for a man. God is looking for a man who will care for the world around him. He is looking for a man to dare to make a difference and obey Him. He is looking for a man who will follow through in his actions and see things through. He desires a man who would heed His strong warning and be an example in this life. He hasn’t asked most of us to go off to some foreign land but rather to be who we are where we are and make a difference. He is begging for a man who would be teachable and just learn how to trust Him. He is still searching for a man who would live a life of righteousness and holiness before Him and one who would walk the walk of faith before others. God is searching for a man who will be what God wants for him to be, when God wants him to be it and where He wants him to be. What He is searching for is someone who will give himself wholly to God. Paul said that we were to give ourselves as a living sacrifice which was our reasonable service.

In the eleventh chapter of Ezekiel we find an interesting portion of scripture. God has given Ezekiel some words to speak about destruction and then later telling that he would restore. It is what happens in between those two statements that is interesting. Ezekiel said that while he spoke Benaiah’s son died. Ezekiel fell on his face and cried with a loud voice and said God will you destroy them all? Then it was that God said he would restore.

God is looking for a man who will stand in the gap and make up the hedge for the land that He would not destroy it. Ezekiel is the man that God is looking for. His life proves it. His actions declare it and God is pleased. Again in the 37th chapter in the valley of dry bones we find Ezekiel just being the man that God wants him to be and He promises great things to be accomplished.

I’m convinced that with God’s help you also can be that man. Only believe that you can be that man.

I don’t know that anything else needs to be said. Simply know this.

You can be a man!

Man_Up and be the man  God wants you  to be.

 

What do you believe?

November 21, 2011

Man_Up

Why we act on and what we act on in faith is determined by what we believe. The word declares that what comes out of our mouths is an expression of what is in our hearts. The same can be said of our actions. We act out what we believe. It is just that simple. God wants us to understand that so we can recognize for ourselves about ourselves and others.

You might want to ask yourself this question. Do I show the most emotions about concerns of the things I feel most strongly about? Do I show the most emotional outbursts when dealing with issues I feel strongly about? Most of us would probably answer yes to that question. We would agree that the issues that we feel more strongly we are naturally going to be more animated in our responses. By those responses we should be able to determine what we really believe. If what we really believe is not right or has become unhealthy for us we should make arrangements to deal with it appropriately.

Do you react to situations because of what you believe or do you pass off your reactions by declaring that is just your nature? Sometimes we overlook opportunity to take advantage of what God is trying to show us about ourselves by explaining things away. Sometimes things are supposed to hurt. Sometimes we are supposed to be uncomfortable. Without the pain and discomfort we may not give due attention to what God is trying to establish in us. That attention allows us to establish what we believe and why we believe it. What we must be careful about is not allowing emotional outbursts to become our nature. We must not forget about self-control.

Take time to examine yourself and determine by applying the word to your life what and why you believe.

Man_Up and be the man God wants you to be.

Man_Up

In our pursuit of a balanced and successful life in Christ we have found that hope is essential to achieving the success desired. We have discovered the roles that hope plays in supplying purpose and encouragement needed to maintain focus. The explanation of what hope allows or accomplishes can be defined as peace.

Peace makes our walk in Christ not only tolerable or manageable but enjoyable. We are going to be stretched not only in what we believe but how strongly we believe. To say I believe in Christ as the son of God and the one who died for my sins is one thing, but to receive ridicule or threat or consequence for believing is very different. Most of us are very fortunate we are not placed in a position that our lives are threatened because of our faith. Some are. Without the peace and assurance of the Holy Spirit life would be impossible.

We know from the scripture that hope comes from the expectation that is given from the word of God and the fulfilling experiences that God provides. As we evaluate the accomplishments allowed through our walk with God we discover peace in the midst of the storm raging around us. God is with us and that is all that matters for His grace is sufficient.

It is through faith and patience that God performs and supplies all our needs. Faith being the action of pursuing God’s plan by applying our skills, abilities, and understanding based on what we believe and patience is the resolve to remain faithful to what we believe until God performs and fulfills and supplies. Peace comes from the experience of God acting on our behalf. We must know that God is for us not just that He is with us.

Man_Up and be the man that God wants you to be.

Hope is important

November 8, 2011

Man_Up

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. We have all heard the scripture preached about with the emphasis on the greatest of these is love. There is no doubt that love is the greatest because that is exactly what it says but we should not overlook the importance of hope in our walk with Christ. We know that we are going to be tested. We should know that at some point the very core of our belief will be challenged and when it is we will be shaken. When that time comes we are going to have to be totally convinced that God is for us and that He is able to fulfill what He said He would.

Job said even though God kill him he would still praise Him, however later he became so depressed that he cursed the day that he was born. Jeremiah became so depressed and discouraged that he said he couldn’t do it any longer. He quit until God was able to revive him to the place that he said I have to speak for it is like fire shut up in my bones. Ezekiel was an emotional wreck when he fell to his face and said are you going to kill them all. They each knew the truth. They each were subjected to the stress of their belief being challenged. They had lost or for some reason could not access hope. Life with no hope has the potential to destroy us.

It was hope that sustained Abraham when his core was tested. The word confesses that he believed that God would raise his son from the dead if needed. This same hope was the decisive factor that Jesus gave His life on the cross. He confessed that if He lay His life down God would raise Him again. Having that hope is absolutely essential for our success in overcoming this life. We are to believe that God is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. We are commanded toward strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.

Hope is important. It is brought about by exercising faith and patience. In Romans we are told whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. What that means plainly is that we must be actively involved in the process of grasping that hope that God has for us.

Man_Up and be the man that God wants you to be.

Hope for today

October 31, 2011

Man_Up

One of the most important things we need for today is hope. We have come a long way in this world as it pertains to things of lifestyle accommodations. We travel around the world relatively easy. We communicate with others around the world somewhat comfortably. However the amount of stress that is experienced by most individuals seems to be more than ever. The stress related to jobs, the economy, families, self evaluated performance seem to exceed what many can handle. That concerns me for God says that He will not allow any to come against us that we are not able to handle. So something is obviously missing. I believe that ingredient is hope.

We need to be hopeful. I am not talking about a false sense of security. I am not talking about dreams of a fairy tale life that only good things happen. I am talking about the reality that disappointments and unexpected situations will occur but that is not what defines our outcome. It is God who determines and defines our outcome. Our hope is accomplished or gained by our participation in faith and patience. By faith we act on or pursue what we believe in or for. That same belief or trust in causes us to patiently or confidently wait or endure for. That doesn’t sound very enjoyable if you are going through a severe situation right now because we all feel as though we have been faithful and that we are being patient because and we assume they both entail a continued state of suffering and that’s not what we want to hear.

Listen to these words from Jeremiah chapter 29 and verse 11 that were spoken by God to Jeremiah.  For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, plans to give you a future and a hope. They simply state that He (God) has a plan that is good and that He is for us. I believe this. Nothing will ever take the place of fulfillment. However something has to take in between and that is faith and patience. That faith and patience depends on what we believe. We must believe and I mean have it settled that God is not against us but for us. That is hope. The same hope that set Abraham apart that said God is able to raise him back to life is the same hope that Jesus said He could lay down His life because the father was able to raise Him up again and it is the same hope that you and I must possess that says what may look like the end is not the end because God has given an expected end. Have Hope.

Man_Up and be the man that God wants you to be.

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