Manly Monday Meditations2
On this regularly-updated post (every Monday) you will find a thought or two about true manliness in light of God's word. These thoughts will be drawn from the previous week's New Testament readings (from our "5-on-5" Bible Reading Plan). I hope you will...
1. Prayerfully read with us through the New Testament in 2020.
2. Prayerfully consider the current "Manly Monday Meditation".
3. Leave a comment (e.g., thought, prayer, request) about the readings and/or the meditation.*
4. Check back the following Monday for a new meditation.
(* the system requires comments to be approved, so I apologize for
the delay in comments appearing)
May God grow us closer to Him and to one another!
January 20 [Mark 9-13]: How easy it is for us as men to “[argue] with one another about who [is] the greatest” (Mark 9:34). Even if we don't do so out loud, inwardly, it's tempting to compare and judge; it's tempting to push others down in order to lift ourselves up, or to be spiteful and envious when others seem to be pushing us down. Do you sense these temptations in your own life, even traces of them? But Jesus shows us a very different path. He made it clear that, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all?” (Mark 9:35) If we claim to be His followers, we cannot look to the world's example: “...those who are considered rulers of the [nations] lord it over them” (Mark 10:42). Christ is clear about the distinctiveness of his disciples: “...it shall not be so among you.” (v. 43) We are called, not to be supreme, but to be servants and slaves (vs. 43, 44), beholden to God and a blessing to others. Stunningly, we do this by looking to Jesus' own example. In fact, His “ransom” (v. 45) sets us free for a very different kind of life (cf. Galatians 2:20); a very different mindset, one not of pride and comparison, but of humility and compassion. Who has God called you to serve today, as you look to the pattern and power of Christ?
January 13 [Mark 4-8]: We often want to be productive as men. But first, God wants his word to be productive in us. Our prayer should be, "God, let your word 'bear fruit' (Mark 4:20) in my life." But such a harvest always begins with vision; with spiritual eyes to see Jesus for who he truly is. "Who then is this...?" the disciples asked (4:41). They were so often blind to the truth (6:52; 8:21). But aren't we as well? What obscures your vision? To see the truth about Jesus, to experience real freedom because of his grace and power, is to be desperate for his presence. The once demon-possessed man "begged that he might be with [Jesus]" (5:18). Only Jesus, through his death and resurrection (8:31), can change our heart-defilement (7:20), the inward condition behind our sinful behavior. Thankfully, wonderfully, Jesus is full of compassion (6:34; 8:2). As you reach for and experience that compassion today, let the word "bear fruit" in the very way Jesus encouraged, "Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” (5:19)