Not My Opinion

This is my name forever…” Exodus 3:15
At some point in the future there will be one final word from a Name that will end all controversy for all time. We live in an apartment building where some apartments face inward to a courtyard with a fountain. For several nights now there have been loud collections of words being spoken till the wee hours in the morning. Loud obnoxious words without meaning. Words trying to drown out other words with their own noise. Words quoting resources. Words of anger. Words of surprise. Words rolling off alcohol saturated tongues. Words from many languages. Piercing words disturbing us in our sleep. Annoyed words thrown from quiet balconies to shut down the irritating words. Words, words and more words tossed into the night from voices in the dark. As I lay there trying to sleep, often I have asked the question: “In the multitude of words where is the wisdom? There is one Word that points us to the One Name that has the Ancient Wisdom. I AM. “This is my name forever…” Exodus 3:15 Many words try to explain or explain away I AM. Look into the past; examine the present; peer into the future … the Word forever accurately represents the Name. The Word did not grasp the Name on his own. “…he became so far better than the angels as he has inherited a name superior to theirs.” Hebrews 1:4 “…God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name…” Philippians 2:9 So the next time that you hear words flowing around you, remember that this Name provides the final “say so” – the final word of I AM. “…keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus…” Hebrews 12:2 One Word. One Name. One Source. Amen!

Lonely Warrior

“No man cared for my soul.” Psalm 142:4
Men come to church for lots of reasons but deep down they are looking for acceptance. They want to know that other men care for them. It is the relationships that are forged that will keep being them back no matter what they are doing in the church. And relationships do not happen overnight! The Bible teaches that if a man is to have friends then he must be friendly toward those around him and some would put the burden of relationships on the men coming into our fellowship to check things out. But the Bible also says that men bring with them some deep wounds from their past … failures that are not easily talked about … and some unspoken anxieties about their future. What men want to know is simply this: “Will you guys still accept me even if I do not fit the mold? Will you guys still accept me even if I am unable to change as quickly as you may want me to? Let us not have such a rigid structure that it prevents things from happening. Is our greatest concern on Tuesday night “How many men will we get this evening?” One of the constant barometer checks we as leaders have to make on our hearts has to do with pride. Pride insidiously wants us to be more concerned with our own image than meeting people’s needs. Men are warriors but they can also have a side of them that is shy, distrusting or they are just plain relational impaired. Our mission is to make friends of them. Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians Church to “Bear one anothers burdens …’ [Galatians 6:2] In a nutshell, that is the essence of a men’s ministry. God’s love and miraculous things happen to men when they find acceptance amongst their peers.