Some Good News

1 John 1-9Brothers, this is good news. Our forgiveness doesn’t depend on how we feel about it. If we have genuinely confessed our sins to God, he is faithful. The weight of this good news is on Christ’s atoning work and God’s promise… not on your feelings.

That’s good news because sometimes we can beat ourselves up for past sins. But God doesn’t want us to walk in shame and guilt… especially when he’s provided such a wonderful salvation that offers forgiveness.

Neither does he want us to continue sinning, and so the blood of Christ also does the work of cleansing us from present sins in our lives. God is good indeed.

Read 1 John 1:5 – 1 John 2:2 for the context.

Walk in the Light Brothers,

Are You a Four-Plus Man?

Four Plus ManHey Guys,

Yesterday I heard a phrase that has really gotten my attention. The teacher was encouraging his men to become “four-plus men.” A “four-plus man” is one who engages with God’s Word at least four times a week.

For us to avoid being conformed to the world around us, we desperately need to renew our minds in order to transform our lives (Rom. 12:2). This takes discipline and intentionality on our part. And, it takes a long view of time, for changing from a temporal perspective to an eternal perspective is not a quick fix.

And so, I want to encourage you to become a four-plus man. More than four is great, but use “four-plus” as your banner to remind you of the direction you want to move.

Now, as an encouragement to the rest of us, what Scripture have you read in the last day or two that has really blessed you? Share it with us in the comments below and let us know why it impacted you.

Your brother in Christ,

John Maxwell on Sexual Temptation

appleSeveral years ago our men’s Bible study took a look at how to pursue godliness in the face of temptation. It was a very helpful study and definitely hit us where we all live. The “relevance” factor was high.

To be sure there are many temptations men face every single day. But certainly sexual temptation appears to be most “in our face” in the culture in which we live. It seems everywhere you turn you are met with temptations in this area of life. As a mentor of mine once said, “Our culture does not cultivate Christian character.” That is the understatement of the century.

To kick off our study we watched a video by John Maxwell speaking on the subject of integrity. It was a great message with a much insight. Below is part of the outline from his message. By the way, if you’re interested in using the study we used, it was entitled, “Being God’s Man in the Face of Temptation,” (and it was a great one). You can learn more about it by clicking here.

Grace and Truth,

John Maxwell’s ten guidelines for handling sexual temptation

1.) Run

“Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)

2.) Accept responsibility

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Every time we choose righteousness, we not only become closer to God, but stronger in our ability to resist temptation.

3.) Be accountable: Dr. John Maxwell’s list of accountability questions:

* Are you spending time alone with God?
* Are you in studying the Bible?
* Are you praying?
* Is your thought life pure?
* Have you seen something you shouldn’t see (movies, magazines, Internet)?
* Are you misusing your power on the job? At home?
* Are you walking in total obedience to God? (Remember, partial obedience is disobedience.)
* Have you lied about any of the previous questions?

4.) Listen to your wife

5.) Be on guard. Try John Maxwell’s practical steps:

* Seldom travel alone.
* When you have to travel, call your wife every night.
* Talk positively about your wife to others.
* Choose friends wisely. “Bad company corrupts good character.” ( Corinthians 15:33)

6.) Determine to live a pure life today.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

7.) Realize that sexual sin assaults the lordship of Jesus Christ in your life.

“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!” (1 Corinthians 6:15)

8.) Recognize the consequences of sexual sin.

“But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself.” (Proverbs 6:32)

“For the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life.” (Proverbs 6:26)

9.) Think about your children.

10.) Get a new definition of success.

John Maxwell’s definition: Success is having those who are the closest to me love and respect me the most.