|THE MAN OF GOD
Pastor Stephen Muncherian
June 15, 1997
This morning we are talking about fathers and what it means to be a man of God. To help us get into our topic I’d like to share just a few brief statistics with you.
Why has this happened? There are a lot of reasons. But whenever we hear statistics like this - one of the major causes which is pointed out is the breakdown in the home.
Scripture and history show us that as goes the home, so goes society. The moral and spiritual condition of the society is always the offspring of the family. And generally speaking - as go the fathers, so goes the home.
There is a desperate need for Godly men who will live as examples to our youth - and society - of what it means to be Godly. The man of God is called to a crucial role in our homes, community, and church.
Invite turn to Micah 6:8 and we’re going to read this verse together. While you’re turning let me share a little of why we are looking at Micah and what he said.
Micah lived in the late 700’s and early 600’s BC in a city called Moresheth - which is about 30 miles from Jerusalem. Micah was a people’s prophet - his message is directed at average everyday people like us.
The name Micah means “Who is like God?” Micah was probably his nickname - like Armenian last names - which were given because of occupation - reputation - physical features -"Gosheegian" - "Topalian" - "Anjaragian." It was a name he earned because, as he lived in this town of Moresheth, he lived a Godly life.
You can imagine people looking around as Micah comes up the street and saying to themselves, “Here comes old, 'Who is like God?'” And this is something that Micah talks about in his book - how to live a Godly life in the community where we live. And this is the message that we men of God need to hear today.
Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Micah lists three characteristics of the Godly man - the first is....
1. TO DO JUSTICE
There once was a man who was such a golf addict that he was neglecting his job. Frequently he would call in sick as an excuse to play.
One morning, after the man made his usual call to the office, an angel spotted him on the way to the golf course and decided to teach him a lesson. The angel whispered in his ear, “If you play golf today, you will be punished.”
Thinking it was only his conscience, which he had successfully whipped in the past, the man just smiled. “No,” he said, “I’ve been doing this for years. No one will ever know. I won’t be punished.”
The angel didn’t say anything else and the man stepped up to the first tee where he promptly whacked the ball 300 yards straight down the middle of the fairway. Since he’d never driven the ball more than 200 yards, he couldn’t believe it. Yet, there is was.
And his luck continued. Long drives on every hole, perfect putting. By the ninth hole he was six under par and was playing near-perfect golf. This guy was walking on air.
He wound up with an amazing 61 - about 30 strokes under his usual game.
“Wait till I get back to the office and tell them about this!” he thought.
But, suddenly, his face fell. He couldn’t tell them. He could never tell anyone. The angel smiled.
Today there is a growing consensus that right and wrong have no absolute meanings - I can do whatever I want as long as I don’t get caught. And, how I treat others is not important - unless of course it affects how they treat me. The end justifies the means.
In contrast - in two powerful statements about love and justice - Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.... (and) You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37,38)
Those who know God know that there is right and wrong - and especially in our relationships with God and others. If we love God we will act justly towards others.
Biblical justice - defends the rights of those who are weaker and who have been wronged - Biblical justice lives by God’s declarations of the worth and dignity of man - Biblical justice is an expression of love which cares for the rights of others with the same intensity as we care for our own rights.
Secondly, Micah says that we are....
2. TO LOVE MERCY
British statesman and financier Cecil Rhodes - whose fortune was used to endow the world-famous Rhodes Scholarships - was a stickler for correct dress - but apparently not at the expense of someone else’s feelings.
A young man invited to dine with Rhodes arrived by train and had to go directly to Rhodes’ home in his travel-stained clothes. Once there he was appalled to find the other guests already assembled, wearing full evening dress.
After what seemed a long time Rhodes appeared - in a shabby old blue suit. Later the young man learned that his host had been dressed in evening clothes, but put on the old suit when he heard of his young guest’s dilemma.
Mercy - kindness - is to be concerned with the needs of the those who cannot care for themselves - to love others without any expectation of receiving something in return. Mercy really fits to fathering.
Most of us have gotten packages that say Fragile: Handle With Care. Children should come with this label stamped on them: Fragile: Handle With Care. They are the first that we should show kindness - mercy - towards.
Chuck Swindoll, in his book, “Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life” says this:
I think if we would let them talk, here’s what they - these “Handle With Care” children - would say:
Thirdly Micah says that we are to....
3. WALK HUMBLY WITH OUR GOD
It has been said, “They that know God will be humble, and they that know themselves cannot be proud.”
To walk humbly before God is to agree with Him as to our sinfulness - our need for Jesus as our Savior - to receive His salvation - to surrender our lives to Him - seeking to live in obedience to Him each day of our lives.
Ask yourself this question: As a father - as a man of God - ultimately what impact would you like to have on your children?
It was late afternoon when the boat’s engine sputtered, stalled, and refused to restart. Gallons of water filled the boat as it pitched back and forth on six-foot waves. The five Jaegers had done all they knew to do, but it wasn’t enough. An exciting fishing trip was now a thing of horror. They were going under.
Grim-faced, George Jaeger, his three sons, and his elderly father methodically tightened the buckles on their life jackets, tied themselves together with a rope, and slipped silently into the churning Atlantic Ocean.
George glanced at his watch as the boat finally sunk - 6:30 p.m. Very little was said. It grew dark. While trying to keep their heads above water - first one boy and then another swallowed too much salt water, gagged, and strangled. George Jaeger helplessly heard his sons, one by one then his dad, choke and drown.
But George couldn’t surrender. And, after eight nighmarish hours, he staggered on to the shore, still pulling the rope that bound him to the bodies of the other four - just pause and to try and imagine that sight.
George later told reporters, “I realized they were all dead - my three boys and my father - but I guess I didn’t want to accept it, so I kept swimming all night long. My youngest boy, Clifford, was the first to go. I had always taught our children not to fear death because it was being with Jesus Christ.” Before Cliff died, his dad heard him say, “I’d rather be with Jesus than go on fighting.”
In that vivid Atlantic memory, George Jaeger had a chance to witness the impact of his fifteen years as a father. The boys died quietly, with courage and dignity.
It has been said that, “The secret of good parenting is consistency.”
Being a man of God - having Godly character - is not something that we become overnight nor is being a Godly example something that we accomplish in one singular moment. Both take a lifetime. Consistently living out what is our inward relationship with Jesus Christ.
J. Hampton Keathley III - a professor at Moody Northwest says this: “If the fathers are not truly Godly the chances are neither will the children be.... Godly children who know, trust, and are obedient to the Lord do not happen by accident. Godly children are the product of parents who set their hearts aright to know and walk with God.”