This June at Liquid Church, we're asking the question "What makes an authentic man in today's world?" Truth is, there is a lot of confusion in our culture about what it means to be a man. We're not talking about gender or the differences between men and women. Rather, we're talking about the differences between boys and men.
In Brian Tome's book The 5 Marks of a Man, the author argues that there is a primal code that every great man in history has pursued. It's a journey to authentic biblical manhood that you see scattered all throughout God's word. In fact, 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 says this: "Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." This verse shows us that what differentiates a man from a boy is the way he lives. These are the marks of a man, and today, we're unpacking 3 of these 5 marks of man together!
1: MEN HAVE A GODLY VISION. BOYS LIVE DAY TO DAY.
The first mark of a man is this: Men have a godly vision for where their lives are going. However, boys don't do that. Boys get up and hope the day treats them well. You need a vision to add value to the lives of those around you, and must be willing to sacrifice for it.
Take the story of Noah for example. Genesis 6 says Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Therefore, God gave Noah a vision from God to build an ark in anticipation of a great flood. God had a unique and important purpose for Noah's life!
What is your vision? Are you walking with God towards it? Proverbs 29:18 says "Where there is no vision, the people perish." So, be a man who dreams something bigger than yourself - and then walk with God and work towards it year after year. God can give you a vision that is way beyond your current capacity! Just remember that it's not beyond His capacity.
2: MEN TAKE A MINORITY POSITION. BOYS FOLLOW THE CROWD.
When we look at the story of Noah in Genesis 6:5-8, we see that God showed favor to Noah because he stood out and stood up amongst a corrupt culture. God saw that Noah was different. He walked with God when nobody else did. Like Noah, men are willing to take a minority position. But, boys want to fit in with the majority. Men are willing to stand against the cultural tide like Noah, who stood out against a culture of sexual immorality, rampant violence and corruption. Noah marched to the beat of God's drum!
Many of you likely work in pressured environments, or face pressures to fall in step with the culture at school. It may feel like you are the odd man out when you stand true to your faith. But hold on to hope and trust in God, just like Noah did.
3: MEN WORK HARD. BOYS WASTE TIME.
The last mark of man that we'll walk through today is hard work. Men work hard to make their God-given vision a reality! They take action. However, understand that hard work does't always pay off right away. For example, God told Noah to build the ark when he was 100 miles away from the nearest ocean! If you really think about it, Noah likely never even saw a boat before. The truth is, when God gets close enough to speak to you, He may ask you to do something that doesn't make total sense at first.
Noah set off to build the ark right away, even though it would be decades before he saw his work pay off. While boys are passive in nature, men take action. It's through work that God's vision can become a reality!
So, don't let your faith in God be reduced to the reality of your current circumstances. Let this inspire you: Faith is acting like God is telling the truth before you see the results. Push past the fear of the unknown, take these three marks of a man to heart - and stay tuned next week to continue learning as part of our Man Up series this June!
For additional, related content from Liquid Church, check out the resources below:
- MESSAGE: For the full message from Liquid Church's Man Up Series Part 1, click here.
- MEN'S WORKDAY & BBQ: On Saturday, June 25th, Liquid Church is hosting a Workday & BBQ for men at our Morris County Campus in Parsippany, NJ! Invite a friend and rsvp at LiquidChurch.com/WorkDay.
- LIQUID MEN'S COMMUNITY: The vision for the Liquid Men’s Community is to provide quarterly opportunities for men across New Jersey to gather as we each grow in relationship with God. To learn more and get involved, visit LiquidChurch.com/Men.