Tuesday, January 22, 2008

MAN: Not many pure hearts in that group!

"The LORD our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, 'You have stayed long enough at this mountain."
Deuteronomy 1:6
As the end of the last century approached, I was reminded of something D. L. Moody said at the end of the previous,
“I believe … four-fifths of the church is wandering around in the wilderness, far away from the cross of Calvary and the Promised Land.” Moody was commenting on the lives and character of Caleb and Joshua. Specifically he said, “… these two men … looked up yonder.” [Bible Characters: “Caleb”; Thos. W. Jackson Publishing Co., Chicago; 1902, pp.34-36]
George W. Truett added, their report was a “full-of-grace” report. [
“Jewels From Past Giants.” Pulpit Helps, January 1995, 6-7]

When I think of men of the bible, I do what others do (right after I think of Jesus): I think of Paul, David, Moses, etc. But when I take serious inventory of biblical men, four stand out: Joseph, Joshua, Caleb, and Stephen.

One reason I admire them [the same reason Moody gave] is, there’s nothing special about them. Basically, they were men like other men, who simply stood out; but they were additionally “can do” men. It seems our world lacks men of this caliber today.

Just a few years ago, the world fantasized at the character of Mel Gibson in Brave Heart; but the fact remains, his history was written by men and embellished by men. Men of Pure Heart, like Caleb and Joshua, are men of all heart; their stories written by the hand of God, through a man of God.

Look around today. Look at the devastation brought on by supposed men-of-conviction, who are not men-of-resolve. Look at the horrible decisions made in this world as the result of men who fear popular opinion.

Luther fanned the flames of revolution when he pointed the way to reformation; he swam against a huge tide of popular opinion. Our own American revolutionaries sacrificed virtually everything to secure this land for us. And what of Jesus? What did He secure for the Church? Political correctness?

Praise God some Christian men are recognize a higher standard of manhood than that foists upon us by our culture! Consider: In 1960 only 5% of American children went to bed without a father in the house; today the number exceeds 25%.

Recently a woman discovered she couldn’t obtain enough “Mother’s Day” cards to give to male inmates in her state’s prison system; on the other hand, she couldn’t give away the “Father’s Day” cards.

In a study of 11,000 crimes, no link was found between the crimes and poverty or race; a link was found, however, between the crimes and “father-absent households.”

And men continue to get women pregnant and remain strangely silent as they continue to abort their babies in record numbers.

Men who fearlessly face the bogeymen of life are invaluable to their nations, their neighbors, their families, and their churches.

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