Saturday, March 31, 2012

Why the zeal?

My previous post dealt with "what I (as well as you) can do" to see Christian Boys become Godly Men. In this post, I want to deal with why I have this desire. And the explanation is a complex one. Because it is not merely due to the teaching of Scripture, although that is a huge part of it. But, it is also due to a lot of things that I see in life, in homes, and in churches; and practical observations I make as I see these things.

A blend of the practical and biblical reasons I desire to see this is explained here, by my friend Gage Jordan.

As I look out in the world I see a lot of boys disguised as men and a lot of men acting terribly like boys. I see boys who talk about being a man. They sadly, actually think they are a man. But what the God of the universe considers to be a real man, looks nothing similar to their portrayal. I see men who don't work and let their wives provide for their families [I understand there are varying circumstances] with no effort to chip in at all. Within their marriage they don't get a wife. They get a babysitter, a mom, and a prostitute all in one package.

Just as bad as these boys/men outside of the church, are those inside the church. Now, within the Local Church men may pay their bills, not cheat on their wives, and participate in their local gathering; but this is only scratching the surface of what a Godly man is.

So why the passion? Why write about being a Godly man? And the answer is two-fold and simple. First and foremost what I see in Scripture is God calling men to be faithful towards Him in ALL aspects of their lives, and to seek Him with blood, sweat, and tears each and every day! Secondly, is my experience of what a man who diligently seeks the LORD in all of his ways does for his family and the Local Church.


[2:1] You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, [2] and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. [3] Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. [4] No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. [5] An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. [6] It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. [7] Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
(2 Timothy 2:1; 2 Timothy 2:2-7 ESV)
We've already covered verse 2 in previous posts. But let's take a moment and walk through this text, verse-by-verse and hit on each point that the Apostle Paul makes.

  • Verse 1: Paul urges Timothy to be "strengthened" by the grace that is in Jesus. Imagine the implications! The Greek word Paul uses for "be strengthened" is a present passive imperative; meaning three things for Timothy. (1) Be strengthened NOW. Do not wait. (2) He is commanded by his teacher and Father in the Faith to be strong. He has apostolic authority directing him. (3) Timothy cannot do this on his own, but his strength must flow from Christ!
  • Verse 2: This verse is the second command for Timothy from Paul. The phrase "what you have heard from me" would have encompassed EVERYTHING that Paul had taught directly to Timothy as well as the things he had observed from Paul's teachings to others also. Timothy was to do the same Paul had done for him for and with others who were capable of carrying the same load. 
  • Verse 3: Paul commands Timothy to suffer. Weird right?! But suffering is a staple in the Christian life. It is through suffering that we are strengthened by learning to rely on Christ. It is through suffering that others observe the Gospel in our lives. It is often times through suffering that the glory of God is proclaimed! So we are to suffer BECAUSE we are good soldiers of Christ. To not suffer, would disqualify us for this honorary role.
  • Verse 4: The Christian is compared to a soldier. This makes perfect sense with how Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:12 to fight the good fight and how he says of himself later in 2 Timothy 4:7 that he has fought the good fight. We are not distracted by secondary issues. This example is given to expand on Paul's previous comment about suffering. Our sufferings and others sufferings are not to distract us. They are to push us harder to the throne of God!
  • Verse 5: The Christian is compared to an athlete. But not only an athlete, but a winning athlete. Paul gives one condition for the athlete being crowned. But another is simply implied. He must WIN! But not only win, win with honor; win having competed according to the rules. Who makes the rules for us? The Lord! The rule referred to here, however, is again the rule of suffering. Paul is emphasizing yet again that suffering is a must, not an option.
  • Verse 6: The Christian is compared to a farmer. Farmers were and still are hard workers. And in the farmers hard work, he reaps many benefits. What benefit is in it for us work hard? "The crown of righteousness" that Paul mentions is 4:8! The Christian is redeemed of God, fight's the good fight, runs the race, works HARD and reaches glory all for and through Christ Jesus!
  • Verse 7: The Christian is to think over these things. We are to ponder the commands of God. In this pondering, God will give us understanding. Oh, how beautiful a thing it is do more deeply understand God!

Compared to many, I have not been on this earth long. I'm only 22 years old, and for some, that might disqualify me to speak on this subject. But what God calls me to, I cannot deny. And I will not let anyone despise my youth. Being a "Timothy" myself, I have a "Paul". Actually I have many "Pauls". Some of these men might put themselves on the same level as me. But I'm here to say that I have learned much from them and am thankful for their diligent service to the Lord.

  • Dad: I am blessed to have been born in a Godly family. They were not always perfect, nor have they all been Christians my whole life. But for me, I cannot tell the difference. The love for God that is in me speaks to me as if I had lived my whole life under Paul himself. My dad, despite his faults, is a man who loves the Lord, loves his wife, and has loved me the way a Godly father should. He struggles for the sake of Christ to see a dying church grow, and is humble enough to come to his son for help, despite our age difference. For this man, I am forever grateful. 
  • Grandpa: My grandfather is by no means the most theologically sound man. As regards formal education, he knows little. But as regards how to stand for the Lord and how to teach a young man the ways of life, he knows much more than most.
  • Phil Fletcher: No pastor, outside of my dad, has ever given me such a chance to grow. When other men looked at me and saw nothing more than an overzealous, loud-mouthed Calvinist, Phil gave me a chance to grow in the grace of Christ. He trained me, he taught me how to love my wife, he commissioned me, and he wisely and humbly was aware of his own limits and placed me in the position I am now at my local church. There are few on earth who I respect more or am more thankful for (actually only two, as seen above).
  • Gage Jordan and Brian Kingston: These guys have to go in the same category because not only did they come into my life at the same time, but they both taught me very similar things. They accepted my zeal. They sought to teach me during my freshmen year in college. But most of all, they've been faithful friends and brothers in the faith. It's good to know that I have guys fighting the good fight beside me as faithful as these two men.
  • Cory Nelson: This guy doesn't think he belongs here. And that's okay. We can fight about it later. Cory has taught me how to keep my mouth shut. He has taught me, through his example, that a love for Christ does not always have to be displayed with outward, loud, in-your-face ways. But that it can just as passionately, just at glorifying to God be done in a quiet, humble way. Without Cory, I would be very tired, still trying to fix everything wrong in the world and by now would have lost my voice from shouting from the rooftops "repent!". For him as well, I am very grateful.

If you are a Christian, and you are not seeking to glorify God in EVERY aspect of your life; if you are not watching carefully how you walk in ALL parts of your day; if you are not making disciples for the sake of Christ, get to work! There is no time for little boys in the church of Christ whom He shed His blood to obtain. If you are a husband who is treating his wife like a housekeeping prostitute rather than your own flesh, wake up!

[12:1] Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, [2] looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)


  1. Haha you know me too well! I was not expecting to see my name listed. I thank God that He has used me to be a small part in your life. I am also thankful that God has used you to teach me how to be a more genuine person. You are Michael Kidd regardless of your context (and yes, thats a good thing). Many of us have benefitted from the way you yell at us when we need to be yelled at, listen to us when we need to speak, and lead as a thoughtful, loving man.