Welcome back to our series for men. I encourage you to share this with the men at your parish, your brothers in Christ, and anyone God has placed in your life who you think would benefit from this series. Last week, we talked about how the world we live in is hurting. Depression, alcoholism, pornography… the list goes on and it’s obvious to see there is an attack on men in this world. As the first example to the world of God the Father, no wonder the devil works so hard against us. This week let’s begin by talking about the lies the devil speaks to us as men…
God needs us to grow in spiritual strength. For the sake of our spouse, children, friends, the people to whom we minister, and our brothers in Christ. The devil wants us to sit back and be quiet and he’s going to work so that we stay quiet. He wants us to be afraid to stand up. He wants us to think that we aren’t old enough, mature enough, strong enough. But we must stand up and be heard. He is going to lie to you and tell you that it isn’t manly to talk about God, that your masculinity offends others. He’s going to tell you you aren’t smart enough, that you don’t know enough. But those are lies.
The devil helps us make excuses. Excuses aren’t manly. Lying is not manly. Being irrationally angry is not manly. We must step away from our excuses of laziness or not being ready. We must claim our purpose on this earth to save souls. We must stand up for those we love, to lead them to their God. So you don’t feel ready? Here’s the great part: God equips us to be the men He is calling us to be for the world. So if we are going to change this world, we cannot do so on our own. Christ said that you can do NOTHING without Him. So we can expect nothing to even be able to happen until we turn to Him. But we must turn to Him. Constantly, and with everything that we are.
God loves us so much that even if it was just one of us, He still would have died to save you.
We do this by knowing Him and looking to Him. To know someone we must speak with them and the only way we’re speaking to Christ is through prayer. If you don’t speak to Christ every day, you don’t know him. If we don’t pray and meanwhile we claim to know Christ, it’d be like me claiming to know Troy Aikman or Garth Brooks. I have never spoken to these men, how could I possibly know them? I don’t know them. Think about that. Is it possible to keep a close friendship with someone that you rarely speak to? We change drastically each year. If you haven’t kept up with a friend for years, do you know them? The same thing goes with Christ. If we don’t talk to Him, we don’t know Him.
We know that God created us to be in relationship with Him. Think about the Garden of Eden. It was supposed to be perfect. We believe that God created us to be with him, to know him personally. But through sin, we created a chasm between us and God that we couldn’t repair. But He didn’t want to leave us there. He loves us so much that he worked for thousands of years through the Jewish people (AKA the Old Testament), widening his plan of salvation with us until we were finally ready for his Son. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for you and me. He loves us so much that even if it was just one of us he would have died to save you. His cross is what bridged the gap that we created between us and God. Without that cross, without Jesus Christ, we would still be separated from God. As people, you and I must accept this cross and enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ. We have to open that door.
The first step in knowing Christ is accepting the truth that He died to save you, and accepting Him as your Lord and Savior.
Jesus knows you, He loves you, and all He wants is for you to open the door and let Him in. Many of us have been to Protestant services where they will have an altar call. Some of us have felt the need to answer that call, but as Catholics, we stayed in our seats. I invite you to speak these words, right now, in prayer. It doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran in ministry, an ex-atheist, or just starting out in faith. This prayer is for all of us.
God, I love you.
God, I’m sorry for every day that I’ve failed You.
I invite you into my heart.
Forgive me. Transform me.
Make me into the man that you want me to become.
Expect change. The Holy Spirit expects you to change. God loves you where you are at, but what kind of father would He be if He didn’t expect more? There are many things that we’ve called out as not manly. Let them go.