Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 18, 2009

"This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth." Genesis 6:9-10
"The LORD then said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation." Genesis 7:1
"On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark." Genesis 7:13
When it comes to examples of fatherhood, father Noah's best! He is a great demonstration of what a godly man looks like. As I mentioned in the previous posts, Noah shows us how to "man up" by three exemplary things he did:
1) He pleased God
2) He protected his family
3) He preserved the human race
Yesterday I commented on how Noah pleased God. This morning I want to show you how he protected his family.
First, Noah walked with God.
Walking with God brings God's protection on Noah, and therefore, helps Noah protect his wife and children. As the husband and father, he is the head of his family. When the head of the family is under the umbrella of God's blessing and protection it benefits the entire family.
Also, walking with God gave Noah access to God's word and wisdom. Therefore, he was able to know God's will. Not only did Noah walk in God's will, but he shared God's word with his wife and his children. There is no safer place to be than in the center of God's will. No more secure place to lead your family.
Second, Noah worked with God.
Think about what God asked Noah to do. God called Noah to build a boat to preserve his family from a flood that would be caused by 40 days of rain. That is a big job for someone who had some experience building a boat, but it is an impossible task for a farmer who had never seen a boat - or for that matter - rain.
Scientists tell us that prior to the Flood, the earth was surrounded by a thick layer of water vapor that shielded it from direct ultraviolet rays and provided a uniform climate around the world. Apparently God created a climate-controlled planet. Every morning the earth was watered by a heavy due. It had never rained - there was no need for it. Scientists also speculate that it was the rapid condesation of that water vapor that contributed to the massive amounts of water that covered the earth.
Here is why Noah is listed as a man of faith, he obeyed a God he had never seen to build something he had never seen, to prepare for something he had never seen, in order to save his family. That is impressive. The only way a man can do a work like that is when that man walks with God. Noah did.
Third, Noah witnessed for God.
In the midst of a wicked world where no one else was worshipping or walking with God, Noah's walk and work was a strong witness to his faith. His life was a bright light in a dark world. While he worked on the ark he warned his neighbors of the impending judgment from God. Noah faithfully witnessed each day that he pounded nails and poured pitch in the construction of the ark. While his witness was seemingly lost on all the neighbors, it wasn't lost on his wife and his three sons. He brought them into faith before he brought them into the ark.
Noah "manned up" by walking with God and working for God and witnessing for God. He didn't save the world, but he saved his world - his family. What more can a man want?
What are you doing to "man up" for your family?

June 17, 2009

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Hebrews 11:6
So far this week I have talked about the need to have a godly man whom you can model your life after. I said that you need to "see one to be one".
Yesterday I identified one such man, Noah, of the Old Testament. He is the first man on record to have a boat, a real big boat. And he may have been the last guy who could really afford a boat. Anyway, I mentioned three manly things that I admire about Noah and this morning I want to talk about the first of those three.
The first manly thing that Noah did was to please God.
Our current model of manhood says, "Go after whatever pleases you. Life is about the pursuit of pleasure."
It was precisely because of that attitude that Noah had to build the Ark. Everyone other man on the face of the earth was living for pleasure and doing whatever he pleased. That did not please God. In fact, it so offended the holiness of God that He decided to send a flood and wash away all the wickedness.
Enter, Noah.
In stark contrast to all the wicked men chasing their lusts, God saw Noah living life to please God. That was all He needed - just one good man who was committed to pleasing God.
As men, you and I have people we have to please. You'd better please the wife and the family and you'd better please the boss. Those are givens. But above all, the primary way to "man up" is to please God.
So, how do I do that?
Let's learn from a man who did it.
First, to "man up" takes faith. ".....without faith it is impossible to please God...."
Everyone believes in something, so by definition, everyone has some sort of faith. But Noah knew that his faith needed to be anchored in God. For Him, God, who was unseen, had to be more real than the people and things he did see. That takes a spiritual connection with God. Noah had that, and he had it because he was righteous. It is sin that separates us from God and clouds our spiritual vision. Noah keep sin out of his life and remained righteous. How did he do that? By obeying God. God is pleased when we demonstrate our devotion to Him by doing what we know He wants us to do. It takes a real man to live out the invisible in visible ways. Noah did - and it floated his boat!
Second, to "man up" you need to "diligently seek Him".
Everyone is seeking something. Some men chase fame. Some chase fortune. Some chase females. Noah chased God. He was not content having God as a casual acquaintance. The more he discovered about God, the more he wanted to know. He believed in a personal God Who knows us and wants to be known by us. Noah understood that there is a God-shaped hole in the center of our being that nothing else can fill or satisfy. When the world around him was living like hell, Noah was chasing heaven. That takes a real man!
Third, to "man up" you need to believe that pleasing God is life's greatest reward. Every guy has his eyes on some prize. The prize may be a position or a promotion. It might be a pleasure or a possession. But the real question is, "when I get this prize, will it be worth it"? If you are going to devote blood, sweat, tears, and time to win a prize, you better hope you don't get disappointed. Noah wasn't disappointed by pleasing God. Noah, at this very moment is enjoying his reward. Actually, so are we! Because he chose to obey God and build the Ark, he survived - and so did we. Noah got the earthly prize AND the eternal prize.
The best way to "man up" is to please the "MAN". Noah shows you how, so you have no excuse. "Man up"!