|Message by Sam Powell|
Throughout the pages of the New Testament, we are given the story of Jesus calling men to follow him - to be His disciples. These “calls” to men are recorded and paint a picture of the varying responses that we can easily relate to today. From such examples as the fishermen of Mark 1, to Peter in Luke 5, to Paul in Acts 9, we see the lives of ordinary men transformed to become truly extraordinary. While not all will heed the call of Jesus, for those who do, God fills them with blessings and purpose beyond measure. This class will explore the amazing call of Jesus to all men to be the leaders God is calling us to be, to have the courage to be transformed, to be holy, to be filled with godly confidence and ultimately to be His faithful, zealous disciples.
"Husbands and Fathers" is an open group on Facebook and can be found by clicking Here or searching "Fathers of Courage International" on Facebook.
Over the years Jeff spoke many times to the congregation and to his home Ministry Center in the western suburbs. Here are 12 of our favorite sermons. Though it is peaceful to hear his voice, we can honor Jeff's memory best by learning and growing from the messages he preached.
Just like the title suggests, this book unveils how God shapes a man through the journey of life. The book in short is about the six stages of Manhood and sites passages from the bible where the six Hebrew words for “Man” are used. We discover through the book about where we are at on our journey, where we have been, and where God is leading us. I believe the wisdom and insight we can gain from this book will guide you to be the Man of God you seek to be.
To purchase click on book image
Spanning the seasons of life from teenagers to senior citizens, several men’s groups within the Northern Worship Center of the Boston Church of Christ gathered for a grand buffet breakfast and a feeding from God’s Word centered on the theme, “Courageous.” Even at 8:00 A.M., 40 disciples and 21 of their friends gathered to share a meal and powerful sharing from Mike Jones and Peter Hirmer.
Mike Jones, left, attacks an opponent in the U.S. National Fencing Championship
Few in the audience were aware of Mike’s skills as a fencer as he shared about courage to follow a dream. He shared of how he abandoned a dream from his childhood- only to see it fulfilled after being a Christian for 19 years. Mike’s dreams to be an Olympic athlete were dashed when he failed to reach the medal round of the U.S. Nationals as a high school senior. Mike kept his swords and awards in his basement until Eric, his then preteen son, asked about them.
Mike decided to renew his fencing skills. He shared how re-engaging this dream as an adult was scary, and how the counsel of spiritual men helped him keep this dream in proper perspective and balance in his life. Mike recently placed fifth nationally in épée competition within his age range.Peter’s story was also one of courage – as he moved from his personal nightmares to God’s dreams for his life. After years of stumbling with alcohol and drug abuse, Peter became a disciple in the 1990’s, along with his wife. Having stopped his drug abuse when becoming part of God’s Kingdom, Peter shared how even the occasional glass of beer or wine continued to be an escape from the intimacy that he desired with his family and with God. Crediting a Sunday lesson by Willie Flores about addiction, Peter began attending a chemical recovery program with his discipleship partner. He shared how even as a participant in the group, he doubted his need for it.
Peter’s breakthrough came as he spent a night in prayer. He then spent time the next afternoon sharing with his wife how he saw that his use of alcohol had been a barrier to connecting with her in a deeper way.
Wyndham Shaw tied the two messages together and brought the messages home in a challenge for us to men of courage in our convictions in a world where personal conviction is dissolving in our cultural desire to be inclusive to the point of compromised truth and acceptance of every kind of belief except the Bible. He illustrated it with the USA Today article that showed how Hollywood had stripped the recent hit movie about Jackie Robinson of its true roots in faith in Jesus.
- “This was really a tremendous time. The personal sharing was absolutely courageous.” – Steve Rosenbaum
- “All the stories blended by the Holy Spirit made for an impacting day! My neighbor loved it especially the personal and vulnerable sharing!” – Wyndham Shaw
As men we are told we need to be independent, Lone Rangers, but God made us to sharpen one another as iron sharpens iron(Proverbs 27:17). Just like Jonathon needed an armor bearer who was with him heart and soul, so we need each other to fight along with us.
If you are in need of an armor bearer, the study below will help you to find one.
The purpose of this lesson is to address shortcomings in our city ministry—there are drifting relationships AND one-way or non-reciprocal relationships. We will look at the example of Jesus in the first part of the Gospel of Matthew, focusing on three points:
- The Power of Initiation
- Importance of Being Involved In Each Other’s Lives
- Finding Your Armor Bearer
The Power of Initiation
- Jesus went to call people, who respond and followed (vs. 18-22).
- Jesus “went”, “taught”, “preached” and “healed” (vs. 23).
- News spread. People then came to him (vs. 24).
- Contagion Reciprocity: geo-Galilee, Syria, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, across the Jordan, needs—diseased, hurting, paralyzed, seized and possessed.
- Only Nazareth appears not reciprocal (Luke 4:14-30), which is why he left so soon (Matt. 4:13). Why do you think they did not exhibit the same attitude about Jesus as the other groups?
- From now on there are people are looking for Jesus (8:1-4, 5-13)
The Importance of Being Involved in Each Other’s Lives
Matthew 8:14-17, 9:9-13, 10:1-4
- Jesus “saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed”, and responded with healing.
- She responded to his initiation with service (8:14-15).
- This is another example of the power of reciprocity
- Jesus continued to go to new places (tax-collector booth, homes of sinful people) and controversial people like Matthew followed him (Matt. 10:3)
- Side note A: Do you see a pattern about the people that Jesus’ focused on and those whose needs he met in between?
- Side note B: Do we sometimes focus on highly needy people and avoid people that can reach more people?
Finding Your Armor Bearer
1 Thessalonians 2:10-20, 4:1-12
- Paul’s relationship with some of the Thessalonian Christians was like father/child—encouraging, comforting and urging (1 Thess. 2:11-12).
- Again, notice (from what Paul feels) the power of reciprocity (1 Thess. 2:19-20)
- Over the course of our lives there are at least eight areas where we struggle for objectivity and authenticity. Paul mentions holiness, purity and lust as it pertains to our bodies. (1 Thess. 4:3-8)
- He also covers ambition, our private lives and the respect that we engender among outsiders (1 Thess. 4:11-12)
- The suggestion is that there are, besides spouses, around three people who we can count on as mentors/father figures, peers or leaders. Some of them will be lifelong and even faraway where others will be local or situational. They will help us with these categories of questions:
1. What are your strengths?
2. What are your known weaknesses and blind spots? “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.”(Lam 3:40).
3. What are your struggles? (Such as sin, addictions, areas of grief, psychological issues, broken relationships, etc.)
4. Family life: What are the dynamics of your marriage like? How are your children doing?
5. What are your lifelong aspirations?
6. Questions related to flexibility to go and meet a need in God’s kingdom (being called) versus unwilling to step beyond your comfort (entitlement).
7. What mode (or mood) do you go into during stress or strong disagreement?
8. Time: what are your responsibilities and extended commitments? (income streams, boards that you serve on, ongoing education and other time consuming efforts)
- Without an armor bearer to help us with personal challenges we are at best living in an echo chamber with our own thoughts or worse—regurgitating the minds of thoughts and attitudes that lock us into defeat or disappointments.
- Write down (for you to keep) the names of people who you fight alongside with
- Write down the names of those who you would like to initiate this kind of relationship with