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365 Meditations for Men

365 Meditations for Men

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Published by Yaya Adebisi

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Published by: Yaya Adebisi on Jun 10, 2012
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05/04/2013

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Accepting Love

Read John 3:16-21.

What does love mean to you? Is it having a good job? Who are your prime
examples of love? The fellows with whom you debate the finer points of
professional and college athletics?

Often, this is how men understand love. We would rather not deal with the depth
of this emotion. Yet love means so much to us. We crave it. We thirst for it.
Sometimes we seek it in nocturnal liaisons of a dangerous kind. We seek it in
employment that works us to death. We want the closeness of love, but we seek
it in places where it cannot be found.

The most fundamental characteristic of love ought to be someone on whom we
can count at all times--someone who will stick by us closer than a brother or
sister. There will be times when human beings will fail us. But our scripture text
tells us that God's love is the most basic love. In God we have a friend who will
be a friend until the end. This friend not only hangs out with us in fun times. This
friend died for us, then rose from the dead so that we might be assured that
nothing can defeat us. This friend leads us to victory over even the ultimate test--
death.

God's love is not “cool” or mere macho showoff. God shows love in a sacrificial
way. God's love gives, even to and especially to men. Will you accept the
sacrifice?

Eternal God, I see your love in the sacrifice that you have shown us through
Jesus. I accept your sacrificial love for me--please make it real in my life. Amen.

Week 9, Monday

Called to Give

Read John 3:16-21.

What have you given today? To whom? Why?

Primary to being a Christian man is the notion of giving. We have an outlook to
give to our children. Our experiences shared with them will be invaluable helps
as they meet the highs and lows of living. We have the gift of love to share with
our women, the tenderness of our hearts and the partnership of our spirits. We
have the gift of vocation to offer to the world.

God has called each one of us, and gifted each of us differently. Your gift to the
world, through God's fellowship called church, is essential to God's work, which
is the changing of our world into God's kingdom.

Too often, men are unaware of how much we have to give. Some of us never
hear how talented we are. We never hear that we are called to give what we
have, that each of us has something special, something necessary, to give to
God's kingdom.

Jesus, the Son of God, is God's gift to you, to me and all the world. In response
to God's gift, as a Christian man, what are you giving?

You are a special man. God's special man who can contribute to God's saving
act in the world. Ask God to show you how special you are and to help you
answer the question, “What do I have to give?”

God of love and of power, I want to give because you have blessed me. Please
show me how. Amen.

Week 9, Tuesday

Expect the Holy Spirit

Read Luke 4:16-21.

What does it mean to say that “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me”? When Jesus
read those words from the prophet Isaiah, I imagine that the idea seemed
scandalous to his hearers. How dare he appropriate the words of the prophet as
his own? they must have thought. Who does he think he is? I suppose many
were irritated by his audacity, his nerve.

Yet, this promise is repeated over and over again. The New Testament is replete
with pledges that the Holy Spirit will come upon God's people. We are to await
the Spirit's coming, to expect it. When the Spirit comes, power will be given to us
to accomplish that which God has ordained for our lives.

Have you disciplined yourself to expect and receive God's Holy Spirit? Are you in
prayer on a daily basis? Are you reading the Scriptures regularly? God wants to
give you power to be the man that you can be, to save you from the dread of
powerlessness. In order to do that, you and I must ready ourselves. We must
expect the coming of the Spirit and prepare for it.

Be all that God wants you to be. Expect the Spirit to come upon you. Then be
amazed at God's miracle in your life.

God of might and majesty, I give myself to you now in expectation of your Spirit's
coming. Work in my heart so that I will be a man of prayer and a man of the
Scriptures. I pray this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Week 9, Wednesday

Proclaim Your Faith

Read Luke 4:16-21.

Your life is a proclamation. Whatever it is you truly believe is seen in your
everyday walk and talk. The way you feel about people shows in the way you
treat them. You publish your care for your family by the things you do with them.
You evince your care for the church by the way you carry out your ministry.

In the synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus outlined in advance his lifestyle and his
proclamation. Throughout his ministry the words he read from Isaiah constantly
rang true. He comforted the least and the lost. He ate with persons whom others
disdained. He released persons from the bondage of guilt by offering forgiveness
and friendship even to those considered unforgivable.

Jesus worshiped and prayed often. But it was not a worship found only in the
temple. He prayed often in private, sometimes all night, but he was not separated
from the rest of the world. Jesus let his life speak as powerfully as the holy words
of Isaiah. He not only read from the Scripture and heralded its truth, but each day
he lived its truth.

As a follower of Jesus the challenge before each of us men is to let our lives
proclaim what our mouths profess. With his Spirit upon us, we can do it. God
wants us to do it. As God's men, let us declare that we will be Spirit-led, vision-
driven agents of salvation.

O Great God, I want to live my life in a way that pleases you, that is a reflection
of your holiness. Give me the courage to keep living this way. I pray in the name
of Jesus, Amen.

Week 9, Thursday

You Are Not Alone

Read Psalms 46.

Thanks be to God! We are not alone. There is no burden that we need to carry
by ourselves. God is our strength, a very present help in trouble.

This psalm of strength and defense in times of attack is a vitally important one for
all men today. Many men feel attacked by our culture and politics and find it easy
to become despondent and angry. Because of sins like sexism, racism, child
neglect, and aggressive behaviors, a man can feel battered for things he
truthfully has not caused.

Yet if we men told the truth, we would admit that these attitudes give us benefits.
We can gain certain advantages at the expense of others. But when women and
children, for instance, cry out and blame us for unfair treatment, our manhood
becomes less than popular and our caring for women and children seems an
unfair burden.

How do we face these times with dignity and holiness? Can these troubles be
addressed without our becoming bitter, disagreeable, even threatening to those
who only want fairness?

If we remember that God is our refuge and strength, we can make it. God will not
only give strength to endure what seems unfair, God will give us creative
solutions to address the issues. We can be saved from bitterness and hostility
and move into the strength and dignity only God, in Christ, can provide.

Remember, today, no matter what, you are not alone!

God of community, give me strength to bear the burden for this day, even if it
seems misplaced or unfair. Because you are with me I know that I can see
today's problems through, and overcome them by your power. I pray in Jesus'
name. Amen.

Week 9, Friday

God Is Your Refuge and Strength

Read Psalms 46.

Trouble is a great equalizer. Every one of us encounters situations that are
difficult for us to cope with. What do we do?

We must read the psalmist's declaration with eyes of faith to realize its massive
power. “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change” (v. 2). If the
very foundations on which all life depends are altered, the writer declares that
God will still be his strength. Nothing is going to take away his reliance on his
God.

A dear friend of mine called to say that trouble had him down. He felt that he was
going to lose all that he had--why, he would not say. No matter what I said to
him, he couldn't, wouldn't accept that I loved him. He wouldn't believe that God
loved him, that even though the earth had changed and he was in terrible trouble,
he was loved.

Somehow, God broke through to his battered and bruised soul and he placed his
trust in the Lord. He now pastors a small church, has a wonderful wife and a
darling son. For a moment, he was ready to kill himself--but God's presence gave
him victory.

Are you at a low point in your life? Do you want to give up, to throw in the towel
and say forget all of this? Know, dear brother, that the God of the ages and the
universe is especially looking out for you. Whatever the issue is, whatever the
shortcoming is, you can make it. You are not alone. God's people, God's
followers, and God Almighty are for you and with you.

Hang in there today. God is your refuge and strength. Know that and be blessed.

Persevering God, give me this day the will to stay with you. Help me to believe
that I can handle anything because you are with me, and give me the courage to
act on my belief I pray and believe through my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Week 9, Saturday

Called by God

Read Isaiah 6:1-8.

There are times when we are awestruck at God's deeds. The majesty of the
stars, the birth of a child, a miraculous recovery from illness--such glimpses and
experiences remind us that the God of the universe is awesome.

How do you stack up before this awesome God? Isaiah was overwhelmed when
he was given a vision of God in his heavenly glory. We can easily see the trivial,
even sinful, nature of our pursuits when we compare them with God's majestic
deeds. That is what makes this passage from Isaiah so important for us men of
today. Isaiah was given his vision so that the Divine Drafter could make known
an amazing request: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (v. 8). It was a
crucial request because Isaiah's people were being threatened by their lack of
faith. They needed a word from God and an example of living faith.

Brother, know that God is asking the same thing of us today. So many boys do
not know how to become good men. So many women and girls do not know what
a good man looks like. The lives and souls of a people today are at stake. God
has shown us his glory in Jesus Christ. And as in the days of Isaiah, our Lord is
asking this historic question yet again: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for
us?”

The question is put to you again this day. Are you answering the call? Are you
willing to say yes?

God of love and power, open my eyes to see you and my ears to hear your call. I
know that there is no call greater than yours, no mission more important than
yours. Empower me to say with courage and conviction, “Here am I Lord, send
me!” I pray in the name of your Son, Amen.

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