Where Are Men Who Stand Upon God’s Word? :: By Nathele Graham

I’ve heard it said that there’s no better gift a father can give his children than loving their mother. That’s a wonderful sentiment, and there’s truth in it. There’s a better gift…first love God and pass that love on to your children. When men love God, they desire to please Him. A man of God takes responsibility. Many men today, both young and old, don’t understand that God gave them a great responsibility. They are to be leaders, breadwinners, husbands, and fathers. How do I know? The Bible tells me so.

The example begins in Genesis. God created everything in six days, and Adam was created on that day. The first commandment of God was given to Adam for his protection, and it was Adam’s responsibility to be sure that command was obeyed.

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).

Unfortunately, that command would be violated.

God knew Adam needed a companion and showed Adam that he needed a “help meet.”

“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18).

The companion for Adam would need to be special, and Adam needed to understand that there was no helper for him among the animals. God caused all of the birds and animals to go before Adam.

“And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:20).

We may enjoy our pets, but they can never fill the love, companionship, and joy of a Godly husband and wife. God put Adam into a sleep and took the woman from his side. When Adam beheld her, he was in awe.

“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:23-24).

There you have it. The basis of marriage: a man, a woman, and faithful love for each other.

When God’s ways are honored, life is better. Paradise was lost because God’s truth wasn’t respected. God told Adam that he wasn’t to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which meant Adam had the responsibility to be sure Eve understood God’s command. Unfortunately, Eve listened to the serpent’s lies, rejected God’s truth, and ate the forbidden fruit.

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Genesis 3:6).

God entrusted His command to Adam and expected him to uphold it. Instead, when Eve was beguiled by Satanic lies, Adam listened to her rather than God. Lust will always bring about trouble if you don’t allow God’s word to guide your choices. Disobedience brought temporary enjoyment, but eternal pain. God wasn’t surprised by the disobedience, but He had made it clear to Adam that eating the forbidden fruit would bring death. Adam had to face the result of his sin. That’s a high price to pay for a temporary pleasure, but God had been clear about the wages of sin.

After Adam and Eve ate, their innocence was gone and they hid. You cannot hide from God. He knows every sin you’ve committed, and you must take responsibility for your actions. Although Eve was deceived, God held Adam responsible. He called to Adam, not Eve.

“And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” (Genesis 3:9).

God knew where he was and what had happened, but Adam had to face the sin. Since then, there’ve been generations of men who don’t stand firm upon God’s word and women who compromise. Still, there have been strong men and women who honor God in spite of challenges. We need more men today who honor God above the lust of the flesh. Many men treat God’s word with disrespect, and God holds them responsible for not being the shepherds of His word. Don’t get me wrong. Eve had her share of the blame and faced death just like Adam, but it was Adam whom God had created first and given the responsibility to be sure his wife understood.

After the fall, Adam and Eve had children. Those children, grandchildren, and so on have gone on to make a practice of sin. We all sin, so we cannot point fingers at others and look down upon them. Through the ages, though, there have been men who understood their calling from God and have stood firmly upon His word. Where are those men today? Where are the men who study God’s word and instill His truth into their wives and children?

Even though human standards accept sin, God’s standards have never changed. Instead of saying no to a compromised family relationship, men are willing to turn away from responsibility and allow their wives or girlfriends to rule the roost. Many women have set low standards, and many men willingly live down to those levels. “Marriage? Let’s just live together.” I know many women who expect nothing of a man, and he stoops to her low standards. “Don’t worry about working and paying the bills”, she says. “I’ll earn the living, raise the kids, and I don’t expect anything from you. I’ll lead the family spiritually, so you don’t have to attend worship or read the Bible.”

Eve’s legacy lives on. Scripture teaches a better way.

“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2:11-13).

Paul wrote through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and from this we understand that God still has an order of authority. God definitely uses women, but Adam was given the responsibility of keeping God’s command. Men today still have that responsibility.

Are you a Christian woman? Then don’t compromise. Remember that if you let a man into your life who is less than a God-fearing man, you’re allowing your children to be influenced by sin. Just as Eve was beguiled by the Serpent who represented the forbidden fruit as something to be desired, you too can be beguiled by the lust of the flesh. Christians cannot control the way the world behaves, but we can control the way we behave. If you choose a man who won’t get a job to support his family, sees nothing wrong with having extramarital affairs, and has no love of the Lord, then your children will suffer. Your sons will use him as an example of a man, and grow to be as irresponsible as he is. His example to your daughters will be a low standard for a husband. The example you should set for your children is God’s.

There are still men today who honor God and aren’t ashamed to follow Him. They use God’s example as the standard by which to live. Satan is chipping away at moral standards today, but the battle began long ago. Paul wrote much about the Spiritual battle. He encouraged men and women to walk close to God.

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

Christ gave the example of love, and needs to be first in the life of everyone who claims to be a Christian.

Marriage was established in Eden and is an example of Christ’s love for His followers. He willingly sacrificed Himself for His Bride, and that is the example of a man’s love for his bride.

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:25-26).

I can tell you from experience that when a man loves his wife in this way, she is blessed beyond measure. My husband was such a man. He held God’s word as authority over his life and drew me into a closer walk with my Lord. He took his responsibility as a husband and father seriously, and his love was deep. His children can use him as an example of a man of God.

Now, a word to you men who aren’t married. You have a great responsibility too. From Scripture, we see that the Apostle Paul wasn’t married; but once he met Jesus, his life honored God in all things.

“For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that” (1 Corinthians 7:7).

Because he wasn’t married, he was able to freely go on his mission trips and not worry about supporting a wife and children. His singleness wasn’t the go-ahead for him to sow his wild oats and live a life of sin. He served God and kept himself away from sin.

If you’re single, there are many services you can do for God. For example, there are many boys who need a Christian man in their life for an example of how to be a man of God. Many men who accept Christ for salvation have come from the Satan-ruled world and need to be guided in the ways of the Lord. There are ministries that can be done easier if you aren’t distracted by family obligations. Let God lead you, but remember to follow Him in all parts of your life. Let God rule your life, not sin.

Men need to be vigilant over their lives and keep walking the narrow path set before them.

“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13).

The phrase “quit you like men” is a bit odd to our modern ears, but it means to be brave. It’s translated from the Greek word “andrizomai”, a verb that means “to make a man of or make brave; to show one’s self a man, be brave.” Being a man means more than attaining a certain age. It means shouldering responsibility. It means loving your wife and children. It means not being ashamed to stand firmly upon God’s word. As the song says, Rise up, O men of God!, Have done with lesser things; Give heart and soul and mind and strength To serve the King of kings. (First verse from “Rise Up O Men of God” by William Pierson Merrill)

Where are the men who aren’t ashamed to take a stand for Jesus? It seems as if they are few and far between. They are out there. It’s time for them to rise up and take a stand.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos”— God breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.

The Price of Your Soul :: By Nathele Graham

 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

What tempts you? We all have our weak points and quite often fail in our walk with the Lord. Temptations can cause us to wrestle with ourselves as to whether or not to give in to the lust or be strong and resist the temptation. If that temptation involves sin, giving in shouldn’t be an option in a Christian’s heart. It’s natural for a person to want certain things, but those “things” shouldn’t rule our lives.

Hollywood is filled with people who want fame and fortune, but are never satisfied and crave more. So many of them commit suicide. I’ve heard many interviews in which these rich and glamorous people have stated that they had sold their soul to the Devil to gain their celebrity status. Some interviews are even interrupted by the demon who possesses the star. How sad. In reality, these people have gained nothing.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37).

The temporary riches of this life aren’t worth the price of eternity in Hell.

To our human minds, there are some people who are beyond salvation. Many people come to mind who just seem evil. Maybe they are. Maybe they have lusted after the things of this world, which is run by Satan, for so long that they are consumed by their lust. Satan’s lie hasn’t changed over the years. When he deceived Eve, he accused God of lying and repressing her and Adam.

“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).

Today we see movie stars, rock stars, sports stars, and others who are idolized and worshipped. They have money, fame, and are as gods. When they die, and they will, they leave it all here. Those who lust after the riches of this satanic world have paid the price of eternal death. Is there any hope? Nobody is beyond the love of God.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Jesus met a man in Gadera who had a legion of demons possessing him, but cast those demons into swine and released the man from their power. There are only two eternal choices, and they must be made on this side of the grave: Follow Satan or follow Christ. Satan wants you to die, but Jesus Christ gave His life for you to live. No matter what you’ve done and no matter how long you’ve lived in your sin, the blood of Jesus will cleanse you and give you eternal life. When you accept His sacrifice, you need to turn away from your sin and move away from the temptations of lust. Take up your cross and follow Jesus.

What does it mean to take up your cross?

Many people think it means to face problems in life without stumbling or grumbling. That could be. Jesus certainly faced the challenges He encountered and didn’t stumble or grumble. Maybe it means to take responsibility for what you’ve done. People who were crucified usually had committed one crime or another and paid the price by being crucified. For instance, the Gospel of Mark says Barabbas faced crucifixion because he committed murder among other crimes, but the people voted to free him and crucify Jesus instead. In that day and time, people saw many people carrying their cross on the way to being executed and were well aware that the cross meant death. Jesus had made it clear that those who followed Him had to take up their cross.

“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34).

Jesus didn’t mean that anyone who follows Him must be crucified, but it does mean that we must deny “self.” Denying self is not the same as self-denial. Self-denial is when you choose to fast for a day or deny yourself certain things. Denying self is when you turn the lusts of the flesh that cause you to sin over to Christ and turn away from them. When we accept Christ for salvation, all our sins are forgiven, but that’s not a free pass to continue in sin. Satan knows how to cause a person to stumble. If alcohol addiction, drug addiction, pornography addiction, etc., is your sin, you’ll find strength in Jesus to turn from it.

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:16).

When Jesus gave His life, it was a once-for-all sacrifice for sin. He paid the price to redeem your soul. Take up your cross, deny self, and follow Him.

The longer we walk with Jesus and deny our carnal lusts, the easier it is to stay on that narrow path and follow Him. You have to choose to grow stronger by keeping your eyes on Jesus.

Athletes have their eye on the goal of winning a race and train to win. They know what’s required to reach that goal and are willing to deny themselves. They go to bed early then rise early to train for their race. They exercise to strengthen their muscles even if they don’t feel like it. They eat a diet that’s designed to help them gain strength rather than cheeseburgers and fries. This is all part of training to succeed. Christians also need to train.

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

When a person accepts Christ, their goals in life should change. Instead of lusting after a shiny new car or a prettier girlfriend, the goal should be to honor Christ. Maybe you have a goal to get rich. God doesn’t have a problem with a Christian having money, but what if His will for your life isn’t that you be rich? Then you take up your cross and deny self and submit to the will of God. His plan is always the best.

You train to walk your Christian walk by knowing Christ. We learn to know Him better by studying Scripture. From Genesis through Revelation, we need to study Scripture. Do you have time to study God’s word? You do if you take up your cross and deny self. Most people find time to watch TV or spend time with friends. Most of what you watch on television is not of God and can cause you to stumble. Commercials put temptation in front of you…buy a new car, drink that beer, buy those fancy clothes. If you spend time with worldly friends, they won’t help you walk in the ways of the Lord.

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (2 Peter 2:9-11).

News programs are filled with people who despise the government and who are self-willed. These things aren’t edifying to a Christian, and we need to look at all things through the lens of Scripture. Make a habit of praying. Not the “name it and claim it” prayers, but the Lord’s Prayer type of prayer. Seek His will in Scripture and through prayer. Then deny self and walk His path.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

Present your body and self-will to Christ, and don’t be swayed by the ways of the world.

You’re valuable. No matter who you are, how old you are, or where you live, you are valuable in the eyes of the Lord. When Adam sinned, God could have washed His hands of humanity and just let Adam and Eve die in their sin and started over. That’s not the nature of God, and eternal separation from His creation wasn’t His plan.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

God didn’t want Adam to sin but knew he would. He doesn’t want you to sin, but knows you will. That’s why Jesus took up the cross and shed His blood. Accepting His sacrifice is the only way to gain eternal life. Stop choosing sin and choose righteousness through Jesus Christ.

The temporary pleasures found in the lust of the flesh will never bring happiness nor peace.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

Jesus paid the price to redeem your soul on the cross. Take up your cross, deny self, and follow Him.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.