Posts Tagged ‘Discipleship’

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” ~ Proverbs 12:15

Most men are long rangers, says Ronnie Roque, founder of Who me be a leader, the word counsel is like a slap in the face to them.”

What is it that keeps a fool from being wise?

His way is right in his own eyes. He thinks he is in the right in everything he does, and therefore asks no advice, because he does not apprehend he needs it. He is confident he knows the way, and cannot miss it, and therefore never inquires the way. The rule he goes by is to do that which is right in his own eyes, to walk in the way of his heart. He makes his will his law. He is a fool that is governed by his eye, and not by his conscience.

What it is that keeps a wise man from being a fool?

He is willing to be advised, desires to have counsel given him, and heeds and gives attention to counsel—what has been said, being reserved and restrained in manner when it comes to his own judgment and having a value for the direction of those that are wise and good. He is wise (it is a sign he is so, and he is likely to continue so) whose ear is always open to good advice.

To learn more about a wise man please watch Ronnie’s Youtube video.”

Excerpts taken and revised from Matthew Henry Commentator.

The late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, had many hit songs, one hit was, “Man in the mirror.” Here are a few lines to the lyrics of the song:

“I’m gonna make a change, for once in my life. It’s gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference, gonna make it right . . .

I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways. …”

In today’s video, Ronnie Roque, talks about the change that God asks His children to make. Ronnie says that men should have a conviction to want to change, they shouldn’t be conformed to this world and they should surrender lordship over to God.

Men, listen to the video and be challenged to come into the real presence of God and learn how to invite the Holy Spirit into your lives to remove anything that doesn’t look like Jesus.

How do you make that change:

  • You find a place where you can get good Bible teaching.
  • You put spiritual truths into practice
  • Begin to use practical observation for your life’s issues

“If we say God is life, how can we live apart from him?” That is the question Ronnie Roque asks in this video.

Ronnie continues teaching from Patrick Morley’s book, “Pastoring men.” In today’s segment, he sheds light on some of the obstacles that keep men from God’s training. One of the biggest obstacles being, he feels, is the lack of a young boy being trained properly at home, growing up and appearing to be sucessful leads him to feel that he doesn’t need training. Some of the other obstacles Roque shares are:

  • being successful in life
  • your job
  • your education
  • your thoughts
  • your money

Often times when we or society views us as a “success” we feel that we are fine and need not do anything other than what we have and are already doing, but Ronnie says that “Man knows enough about God to know that he has a problem with God.”

“A man who is eating or lying with his wife or preparing to go to sleep in humility, thankfulness and temperance, is, by Christian standards, in an infinitely higher state than one who is listening to Bach or reading Plato in a state of pride.” ~ C.S. Lewis

“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Prov. 22:6, NASB

In this video, Ronnie shares that it is his desire for every professing Christian man to be trained.

How does a man become trained?  Watch the video as Ronnie gives you three steps to becoming a trained man.

“Our job as teachers is to explain the Bible, not explain it away.  A great Bible teacher is not a great teacher of the Bible, but a teacher of the great Bible  We use Scripture to explain our experience, not our experience to explain Scripture.  Without the Bible to guide you every path not obviously evil will seem obvious worth while.” ~ Patrick Morley {quoted by Ronnie Roque}

Three steps to becoming trained:

  1. Daily reading of the Bible
  2. Study the Bible
  3. Trust the Word of God
“And remember a life unexamined is a life not worth living.” 

Ronnie Roque continues his teaching from Patrick Morley’s book, ‘Pastoring men.’  In this particular video, Ronnie talks about the importance of a man being adequately trained giving reference to 2 Tim. 3:16 .  Mr. Roque feels that a man is trained properly in the area of discipleship when he is capable of leading himself spiritually first and foremost.”

On the other hand, he feels that an untrained man or rather a man who isn’t discipled has problems with taking his issues before God.  This man professes to know the Lord, but has yet become comfortable in going to him on his own behalf.

“Spiritual reformation of society starts with a spiritual reformation of men,” Ronnie quotes.

What does a disciple look like you may be asking?   “A disciple is called to walk with Christ, equip to look like Christ, and sent to work for Christ,” he goes on to say.

Points to remember:

  • We can give men what they need if instead of looking at the data, we look at  God’s direction.
  •  An untrained Christian is no better  off than an unskilled laborer a high school drop out.  He simply won’t enjoy as much of the abundant life as a man who has been discipled.

Steps to becoming a trained man by Patrick Morley

What is a Quiet Time?

In our Christian culture we hear a lot mentioned about a device called “the quiet time”. A quiet time is a routine period, usually at the beginning or end of the day, in which five, fifteen, thirty minutes, an hour or more are set aside to read and study God’s Word, pray, and possibly perform other spiritual disciplines. For example, sometimes I sing hymns (no one besides God would want to hear), journal or read devotional materials.

Actually, the Bible calls for continual prayer and Bible meditation. “Pray continually” (1 Thess.5:17). “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Eph. 6:18). “His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2).

The quiet time, then, is an accommodation to an overly busy culture. Nevertheless, the concept of setting aside a regular time for concentrated meeting with the Lord can greatly enhance anyone’s walk with God. In fact, without it, it is questionable if you can really have an ongoing relationship with Christ.

How much time should you devote to daily quiet time? If you don’t already have a quiet time, why not consider giving five minutes a day to read one chapter of the New Testament (read one chapter a day five days a week and you will complete the 260 chapters of the New Testament in one year). Then, say a prayer like The Lord’s Prayer, or you could use the ACTS acrostic (A-adoration, C-confession, T-thanksgiving, S-supplication). Consider setting a maximum time limit for devotional life, rather than a minimum. This will keep down the guilt. Later, if you want to increase the time you spend, fine. Many spend 15 or 30 minutes. It is not uncommon for some to devote an hour, and some invest as much as two hours. But start with a realistic goal. The best length of time is the one you will actually do. Don’t bite off more than you will chew.

How often should you have a quiet time? Shoot for five days a week. Don’t expect to make it every day (allowing for early morning meetings, glitches, etc.) You wouldn’t expect to eat once or twice a week and be healthy. Neither can you feed your spirit only once or twice a week and expect spiritual health.

When and where should you have a quiet time? Pick the time of day that you are most alert-your quality time. Give God your peak concentration. Also, it’s probably best to have a routine time and place. It’s the same principle your mother taught you about your schoolwork.

What if you don’t feel like having a quiet time? From time to time I don’t “feel” like listening and speaking to God-but I do it anyway. What if God said, “I don’t feel like meeting with you today either.” You would think he doesn’t love you very much. Whenever a man tells me that he doesn’t feel very close to God the first question I ask is, “Tell me about your devotional life.” Often the problem is just there. If you don’t feel like meeting with God, I suggest you substitute discipline for a lack of natural interest. In time the “feelings” and natural interest will return.

Since the two principal activities of a quiet time are reading the Bible and prayer, let’s look more closely at these two.

Reading The Bible

The Bible is God speaking to man. The Bible communicates the truth of God to men in search of ultimate reality. The God who is, is revealed in Scripture. The Bible, then, is the starting point of a life with God. He is rich who dwells upon God’s Word. Psalm 19: 7-11 says this:

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

A friend in the publishing business tells me that only 30% of college graduates never read a book again after graduation. Reading and study have largely been replaced by television and video. For the Christian, however, reading and study open the door to communication from God.

Frankly, after more than twenty years of following Christ, I find I no longer read my Bible. My Bible reads me. On its crinkly pages I see myself-my motives, my ambitions, my longings, my pain, my sufferings, my sins, my hope, my joy. As the rustling pages turn I see God-His love, His forgiveness, His birth, His death, His resurrection, His sovereignty, His holiness, His character. I love my Bible. I love the Bible because I don’t have to worry about receiving “flash updates” or corrective bulletins.” I don’t have to worry about factory “recall.” I don’t have to be concerned about whether or not a “retraction” will appear in tomorrow’s version. I love my Bible because it is true, and truth doesn’t change. In a world awash with change, I’m glad to have an anchor, a solid rock upon which to build my life.

Prayer

Prayer is man speaking to God. God wants us to pray. Prayer is how we communicate with God.

When a friend of mine became deathly ill with cancer, another friend asked me how he was doing. “He’s a very sick boy,” I said. “I guess the only thing we can do is pray.”

“No,” he corrected. “The thing we can do is pray.” What gave his statement added authority was that he offered this advice just six months after his own wife of 26 years had died from cancer. Another friend was going through a crisis at work. “I’ve tried everything I can think of. I guess I’ll pray.”

Why is prayer often the last thing we do and not the first? Why don’t we pray more? First, we don’t pray because we’re not sure that prayer really works. If we really believed God hears and answers our prayers, we would pray all the time. If we really understood prayer, it would be the principal habit of our hearts. It would be our first resort, not our last.

Second, prayer is hard work. One day I was in the car with Bill and Vonette Bright. At the time Vonette was the chair of National Day of Prayer-she even got Congress to make it a law! I nearly ran off the road when she said, “Prayer is hard work. Sometimes I find it hard to concentrate. My mind wanders.” Well, I already knew that was true for me! But I didn’t know it was true for one of the world’s great prayers! What an encouragement! Prayer is hard work. At times it’s hard to stay focused. Also, no one holds us accountable to pray.

Prayer is the currency of our personal relationship with Jesus. However, it does us no good if we leave it on account. We must make a withdrawal and spend some of it through prayer. Pray with a pencil-the benefits of seeing how God has worked will be well worth the efforts.

Prayer changes things. However, God doesn’t answer petitions that are not presented. If we go about solving our challenges in our own strength, we rob God of the glory He wants for Himself. He would rather us come humbly before the throne of His grace so that He can give us mercy and help in our times of need.

Prayer changes us. Prayer breaks strongholds. Prayer determines the destinies of men, their families, their communities, and their nations. Only an army of men on their knees can turn the destiny of America back to God. It’s time for us to get on our knees and fight like real men!

Reflection and Application

1. How important is Bible Study? Can you think of any other way to become a Biblical Christian other than by studying the Bible? I can honestly say that I have never known a man whose life has changed in any significant way apart from the regular study of God’s Word. Why not consider making a commitment to study God’s Word as an exercise of spiritual discipline?

For example, in our quiet time you could read a chapter a day from the New Testament as already mentioned. Or, you can purchase a one year plan to ready through the Bible at your Christian bookstore. Personally, each year I read through The One Year Bible in a different version- it only takes 10 to 20 minutes a day. If you want accelerated growth, read your Bible with a pen and pad nearby. Write down questions about passages you don’t understand. Then ask your pastor or a Bible teacher what God meant in those passages.

2. What is your prayer life like? Is prayer a significant part of your life? Do you sense a close, personal communion with Jesus when you pray? Or is your prayer life more limited, mechanical and unrewarding?

3. What kind of commitment do you currently have to a quiet time with Bible reading and prayer? What kind of commitment are you prepared to make? This may be one of the most important decisions you will ever make.

To read this article in its orignial writing please visit Patrick Morely’s blog: Man in the Mirror.

Please view the trailer to Patrick Morley’s new book: Man Alive

 

In this video Ronnie talks about the danger of letting things slide. Failure come in many different ways. One way is being passive. This passivity leads us to falling as men and the ones that suffer are our families. Men, I want to challenge you to have the guts to make the hard choice to do what is right for the benefit of the kingdom and your family.  But first you need to know the difference: if you never know what wrong is, then how will you know what is right?

 

If the fall of man were to have occurred in our times, one can hardly conceive of the consequences. I would imagine that the American Civil Liberties Union would immediately file-suit against God and in defense of Eve and her husband Adam. The suit would probably be pressed on the grounds of an illegal eviction, “and after all”, we would be told, this alleged sinful act was performed in the privacy of the Garden, and by two consenting adults. But most of all, we would be told that the crime and punishment were totally out of proportion. Could God really be serious in what that account claims to report? Because of a mere bite of some ‘forbidden fruit’, the man and woman are evicted and will sufer a lifetime of consequence? More than this, due to this one act, the whole world and all mankind continue to suffer the evils about us.

In last weeks video we talked about procrastination being a willful act of delaying the doing of something that should be done. This week I wanted to bring it from the perspective of a wife, so I decided to ask my friend and co founder of Life Change Ministry which is the umbrella of Whomebealeader, Cynthia Davis, to come and talk to us about what a wife should be doing when she has a procrastinating husband. So men, in this video pay attention to what being is said so we can better help our wifes be better managers of our homes and may God bless you and keep you is our prayer.

Procrastination is the act of willfully delaying the doing of something that should be done. In this video Ronnie talks about the affects that procrastination can have on your life and your family. Although the Bible does not specifically talk about procrastination, it does address the issue of delaying things that are necessary. Proverbs 15:19 warns us against laziness and being slothful. Colossians 3:23 says that whatever you do with all your heart to work for the Lord and not for men.

So, men if you find yourself being a procrastinator, remember that we all must give an account to God based on what He has entrusted to us.

 

This week we are going to take a look at the conclusion of Charles Swindoll’s message about mental barriers that prevent us from hearing the voice of God. Second Cor 5:17 says we are a new creature once we accept Jesus as Savior,  however, we still have our old nature and old habits dwelling within us. Thus far what we have learned about the mind is that it needs to be cleansed, renewed and strengthened in order for us to truly be men of God.

Charles Swindoll:

Along with the mental wall of habitual resistance, the humanistic reasonings that give it strength, and the proud, lofty reactions that keep the truths of Scripture at arm’s length, there are actual thoughts, techniques, and devices we employ that push away God’s Word and His promptings. Let me be specific.

Some of us have formed the habit of  getting even rather than overlooking wrongs done against us. So when we come across scriptural instruction that requires an alternate plan, our inner reaction is “No way!” When God’s counsel encourages us to be generous, to release rather than to keep, we can think of half a dozen reasons it won’t work. It’s like having a “Murphy’s Law” mentality that is immediately ready to spring into action. This keeps us from deciding favorably toward God. That’s a mental barrier.

A vital point I don’t want you to miss is that we really have no reason whatsoever to keep serving our secular mentality. We have been freed. Gloriously freed!

Before salvation we had no hope. We were victims of all those impulses and defenses within us. But at the cross, our Savior and Lord defeated the enemy. He said, “It is finished,” and it was!! No longer does sin reign as victor. But, you see, our old nature doesn’t want us to believe that. It resists all messages that would give us freedom, “All renewed mind information is to be muffled,” commands the sinful nature within us. And with every effort, it puts up a wall, guards, towers, and thoughts to turn all such input away.

Do you realize what our old nature resists the most? It is revealed in 2 cor 10:5: “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” When that happens, the “renewed mind” is in full operation….. and it is marvelous! At that moment, servanthood is neither irksome nor a thing to be feared. It flows freely.

When Jesus Christ truly takes charge of our minds, bringing our every thought captive to Him, we become spiritually invincible. We operate with supernatural power. We walk under God’s complete control.

 

Excerpted from “Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living, pg 84-86, 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll.