fight_the_good_fight

Sources: The Measure of a Man by Gene Getz

I need this book

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. And that’s ok. We all go through seasons of life and adjust our time schedules toward goals and productivity. One question I’ve been thinking through is how do you measure the character of a person? How can someone that seems so nice commit violent acts like Chris Watts? How do two beautiful teenage girls murder there best friend Skylar Neese? Sometimes our personalities and outward actions can cover up what’s really going on inside the heart. Righteousness and evil can be present in anyone regardless of attractiveness, occupations, wealth, friends, works, etc. What is it about? The heart. Physically, it’s what keeps us alive. Spiritually, our heart informs our beliefs, desires, actions, habits, and sows a character that makes up a person. I’m by no means a person that has this all figured out. I’m just trying to learn and blog so I can continually remind myself of the truths contained in scripture.

How do you go about making a decision?

We make decisions every day. We have choices to serve ourselves or serve others. The thinking process behind how we go about our day relating to others, giving to others, and serving others is a reflection of our heart, beliefs, and convictions. Here is a brief list of choices we could make:

Time issues

Playing video games/ helping around the house                (Pleasure vs thinking of others)

Watching TV for hours/achieving goals                            (Spending time vs investing time)

Spending- wasting time away/ Investing- going toward a goal

Relating to others                                      (Valuing your phone vs Initiative to talk to others)

Dating an unbeliever vs Waiting for God’s timing (Own desires vs trusting God)

Thankfulness vs bitterness                          (Thankful Patterns regardless of circumstances)

Spending money vs saving money             (Being a good steward of God’s resources)

Praying                                                             (Conviction that we need to pray daily)

In the word                 (Desire to be in the Word so we know God’s plan for our life and conform to his image through sanctification)

So what are all of these? Choices. This is by no means a checklist but good choices one can make based on the Word of God. It’s a desire of the new heart and what God has planned for us. It’s the Holy Spirit in us that directs us and illuminates the Word of God for direction in our lives. Below are some quotes from the book on how we are to walk.

“The degree to which we live holy lives depends upon the extent to which we keep In step with the Holy Spirit and His plan for our lives. Writing to the Galatians, Paul made this point very specific: ‘But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. (5:16)’ ”

“When we choose to yield to God, we choose to walk by the Spirit and draw upon His strength and power in order to live holy and righteous lives. ”

“When we walk by the spirit, we will reflect the fruit of the Spirit outlined in Galatians 5:22 or choose our own desires and do the deeds of the flesh outlined in Galatians 5:19)”

How do we walk in the Spirit?

The Spirit works through the Word of God and illuminates it to us. The Bible is God’s plan for our lives. He enables us to live out the truths contained in the Bible. Paul encourages believers to renew their minds in Romans 12 and not to be conformed to the world.

Maturity Profiles

1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 outlines the maturity profiles of a Godly man. Specifically, these are for deacons and leaders in the church I believe. However, anyone aspiring to be a Godly man can implement these characteristics into his life. So what are these 19 spiritual qualifications outlined in the book?

*Above reproach (A man of good reputation)

*The husband of one wife (Morally pure)

*Temperate (Balanced in words and actions)

*Prudent (Wise and humble)

*Respectable (Good role model)

*Hospitable (Unselfish and generous)

*Able to teach (Communicates sensitively in a nonthreatening manner)

*Not addicted to wine (Or other substances)

*Not self willed (Not self-centered and controlling)

*Not quick tempered (Void of anger)

*Nott pugnacious (Not abusive)

*Gentle (Sensitive, loving, kind)

*Peaceable (non argumentative and nondivisive)

*Free from the love of money (Nonmaterialistic)

*Manages his own household well (a good husband and father)

*Loving what is good (Pursues godly activities)

*Just (wise, discerning, nonprejudiced, and fair)

*Devout (holy, devoted to God)

*Self controlled (Disciplined)

Man what a list. It feels overwhelming to measure up to this type of person. I know I’m failing in so many areas. But that’s what discipleship is for. That’s what the word of God is for. The journey is a process of sanctification and growth that never ends. I know a lot of things. But sometimes fail to apply them. I’m glad I have this list and know what an optimal man of God should look like. I don’t just want to finish my own race faithfully as John Piper says. Below is a short post from Piper because frankly, I don’t think I can say it better:

Disciple Faithful Men- Piper

Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:14, “Guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” Then, a few verses later, picking up some of that same language, he tells Timothy, as part of his “guarding,” to “entrust to faithful men” what has been entrusted to him, and part of that “entrusting” is teaching them to pass the same thing on to others (2 Timothy 2:2).

Paul is telling Timothy that an essential part of faithful gospel ministry is this investment in the next generation. It is not some optional add-on. In other words, when Paul tells Timothy to “guard” the gospel, he is not just calling Timothy to protect the integrity of the gospel from the effects of false teaching. He is also calling Timothy to fight to preserve the continuation of the gospel against the effects of erosion over time, even beyond Timothy’s time.

This really should give us a different perspective on learning. It’s not just for ourselves. It’s for the next generation and the generation to come. The challenge is applying these truths to our lives and making wise decisions every day in accordance with our identity. I’m so glad I have some friends that exemplify this type of man more than I think I ever will. They are great guys and I need their example. Hopefully I can become more like them as they emulate Christ and his Character. Running the race to the very end and passing the baton on to the next generation.

 

 

 

 

 

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