Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Beginning: A Very Good Place to Start

     As I mentioned in the last post, this week will begin to take a look at what a “real man” and a “real woman” look like.  I’ve spent the past few weeks matching different points on each together into groups of the same topic, and more recently have started to look at the first few deeply and finding extra verses of scripture to go along with them.  Here are the first two:
"A real man understands and lives according to the basic purposed for which he was created: to worship, honor, and serve God."
     And, for the ladies:
"A real woman seeks to make God her number one desire and the Lover of her soul, knowing that only He can fully satisfy."
     Because the pages didn’t originally give the points any particular order, I decided that these two should be first in line.  It makes sense to do this given that before we can become real men and real women for Christ, we must first make sure our relationship with Him is in the right place.
     The guys’ point says that we should live according to the basic purposes for which we were created.  This statement goes along with the age-old question, “What is the meaning of life?”  Fortunately for us, we know that the true meaning of life isn’t to be a success in man’s eyes, but to instead worship, honor, and serve our Lord and Maker.  Two verses of scripture that go well with this are Romans 12:1-2 and Deuteronomy 6:5: 
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." – Romans 12:1-2, ESV
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." – Deuteronomy 6:5, ESV
     The first step to becoming a man or a woman of God is to know that our true purpose in life is to praise and follow Him faithfully.  Worship, honor, and service could all be grouped together to be "living for God", but there are certain differences that separate them from one another.  Worship is something many of us don't fully understand.  Some believe it to be simply that few minutes in church that we sing a songs, but it is much more than that.  Worship doesn't just end once the last chord is played, nor does it start with the first note on the piano.  Worship is yielding ourselves to Christ and coming into His presence.  It's standing in awe at who He is and praising Him for all that He's done in our lives.  Honor is knowing that we aren't just Christians on Sundays.  We're Christians all throughout the week and live our lives displaying that.  We honor God in how we live our lives in accordance with His commandments each day.  Service comes as a display of thanks towards our God for all that He's done for us.  It should come from our hearts and not to show off to others.  All of these things put together allow us to follow God in all areas: with Him, with others, and finally with ourselves.
     Two verses that compliment the woman's point are found in the book of Psalms:
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." - Psalm 37:4, ESV
"Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you." - Psalm 73:25, ESV
     The most important thing for anyone is that Christ is number one in their lives.  Anything that is placed above God is an idol.  It doesn't matter what you chase after; nothing else could possibly satisfy other than Christ.  Keeping God number one in our lives is important because in His word he tells us "I will never leave you nor forsake you."  He alone will always be there to supply our needs.

     In our culture it can be easy for women to try to meet the world's standards of success or beauty.  This is why it's especially important for women to place God in the number one spot of their lives.  With so many desires pulling at the mind, keeping Christ as the greatest desire puts everything else in a better perspective.  He doesn't want women (or men, for that matter) to desire to meet the world's standards more than they want to meet His.  Christ died for our sins.  All the world does is seek to pull us away from Him.

     This week, try to keep these points in mind.  Understand the place God has in your life, and live your life accordingly.  Starting with this allows us to know where our strength comes from so we can better live out our lives according to His will.