Friday, March 29, 2019

Reclaiming Manhood

“Reclaiming Manhood
The path to a better world starts with one kingdom man. I know what you’re thinking: The world is a big place. That’s true. But consider the potential influence of a single kingdom man. A kingdom man has the power to change his home, which changes his family. That family can initiate change in a church, which in turn can influence an entire community. That community can influence a state, which can then begin to impact the nation. All of this transformation can begin with one man who has fully aligned himself under the comprehensive rule of Jesus Christ.

Highlight the biggest obstacles to submitting your life to Christ’s rule.

Personal habits
Family struggles
Difficult relationships
Lack of education
Limited influence
Financial challenges
Spiritual immaturity
“Misplaced priorities
Now think about the way God would respond to the obstacles you identified. Record one sentence that expresses what you think He might say.

Maybe you think your wife would never follow your leadership. Or your children would never respect your authority. Or you don’t have enough influence in your community to make a real difference. I imagine the Israelites might also have had some objections when they heard what God had commanded them to do.

Read Exodus 34:23-24.”

“Three times a year all your males are to appear before the LORD God, the God of Israel. For I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory. No one will covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the LORD your God.
What practical objections might these men have raised when God told them that they had to leave their jobs, homes, and families three times a year?

Exodus 34 outlines the Israelites’ covenant obligations to God. The chapter is full of commands about how to operate inside the land God would give to the people, and it describes the cyclical life Israel would lead. God instituted specific times each year, corresponding with the harvest, for the people of Israel to celebrate their heritage and to remember God’s great works in their past.

When the people celebrated these festivals, they would not only remember the past but would also be encouraged about the future. These regular occurrences served as reminders of God’s past, present, and future power and faithfulness.”

“If I were a farmer who lived off the land in a time when foreign powers threatened to invade and loot, I would probably be a little hesitant to leave my family and home to go to a meeting three times a year. I could easily justify skipping those times. I have to take care of things at home. I have to protect my family. I have to make sure everything keeps running properly. In fact, I might even argue that by requiring me to leave home, God was asking me to do something contrary to what it means to be a kingdom man.

How does Exodus 34:24 answer objections like these?

“I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory. No one will covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the LORD your God.
Why would attending these meetings require faith on the part of the men of Israel?

God was saying to the men of Israel, “I got your back.” Worried about your income? Don’t worry. I got your back. Concerned about your family? I got your back. Thinking about the future? I got your back. When a man commits himself first and foremost to living under the rule of Jesus Christ, you can rest assured that God will take care of the rest.

When a man commits himself first and foremost to living under the rule of Jesus Christ, you can rest assured that God will take care of the rest.
If you’re serious about being a kingdom man, all kinds of obstacles will stand in your way. Some of them might be practical. You might have to make difficult decisions about finances, time, and career. Others might be spiritual. You might have to make tough choices about your personal habits, your goals in life, and your approach to faith.”

“Being a kingdom man is hard that way. But God’s got your back. Do you really think the Lord God is intimidated by any of these obstacles? If He can take care of invading armies, I’m pretty sure He can provide for you.

The only question is whether you’re ready to take hold of your destiny and become the man you were created to be.

Present to God your biggest obstacles to becoming a kingdom man. Submit to His rule and profess your confidence in Him to bring the rest of your world in line with His lordship. Ask Him the first step He wants you to take in becoming a kingdom man.”

Excerpt From
Kingdom Man (Member Book)
Tony Evans
This material may be protected by copyright.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Adam Where you at?

“Adam, Where You At?
It was a simple enough assignment: “Here’s your garden. Work here to cultivate it. Take care of it and protect it.” Pretty simple. But in Genesis 3 everything went haywire.

Read Genesis 3:1-7. Who was tempted in these verses?

Now read Genesis 3:8-9. Whom did the Lord look for in the garden?

If Eve initially ate the fruit, why did God look for Adam?

It’s true that Eve ate the fruit. But curiously, when God came looking for the responsible party, it was Adam he called out to instead of his wife. Evidently, Adam was ultimately responsible. We read in the text, “The LORD God called out to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ ” (3:9). Notice that by using the name LORD God, the writer reasserted God’s authority that Satan had tried to subvert. But also notice that God didn’t call out, “Adam? Eve? Where are y’all?”

Even though Eve sinned first, the question was posed to Adam because he was the one responsible. Adam was accountable as God’s assigned representative to carry out His agenda in the garden.

“Instead of cultivating and protecting, Adam was the first man to exhibit a persistent problem that plagues the men of our day: silence. Up until this point Adam had been doing a lot of talking. He had been naming birds, cows, and fish. But when the snake showed up, Adam had nothing to say.

Now I know what you’re thinking: He wasn’t there! What was he supposed to do, watch his wife day and night?

You sure about that?

Read again Genesis 3:6. Where was Adam when Eve was facing temptation?

The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”

“Does that verse change your view of who was responsible for the first sin? How?

Despite the pictures you might have seen in a children’s Bible, Eve wasn’t alone and vulnerable. Her husband was standing right beside her. The whole time the snake was rapping, Adam was there—silent. Even when Eve turned to him and effectively deposed him as the leader of their home, Adam didn’t say a thing. He just ate.

The disease of silence still afflicts men today. Who is speaking about the discipline of children in the home? Women. Who are the vocal leaders volunteering for leadership in the church? Women. Who is willing to take a stand against immorality in their families? Women. There are exceptions, but too many men operate just like Adam. When it’s time to take a stand, they simply have nothing to say.

Do you feel tempted to remain silent when critical issues arise? Why or why not?

What does a man’s silence say about his view of his role in the world?

“First Adam was silent. Then he hid. In both cases Adam refused to embrace his God-given identity to rule well. Abdicating his authority, he became a follower instead of a leader. Then, when the responsibility finally caught up with him, he resorted to blaming his helpmate.

Read Adam’s response to God’s inquiry in Genesis 3:12.

The woman You gave to be with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.
What are some ways men today try to shift blame to others?

The problem keeping many men in our culture today from being kingdom men is that they have relinquished their God-given right to rule, either through silence or blame. Instead of loving the fact that they are men and therefore are responsible by nature, they flee from their responsibility. And they always seem to find a reason not to own up to what it means to be a man. As a result, men have given up their opportunity to approach the Christian life as a challenge to conquer and rule well.”

“The problem keeping many men in our culture today from being kingdom men is that they have relinquished their God-given right to rule.
Ask God to show you any areas of your life in which you are not taking responsibility. Record them in your notes.

Can I share the truth with you, friend? You’re a man. As a man, you’re responsible. You’re to take the full responsibility to rule, under God’s authority, for the blessing and benefit of everyone within the domain of your influence. You were created for this. It’s time to reclaim your destiny.

Confess the areas you identified in which you have not taken responsibility. Ask God to forgive you and to give you boldness and wisdom to rule responsibly under His kingship.”

Excerpt From
Kingdom Man (Member Book)
Tony Evans

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The First Man

“The First Man
It was all good. Everything. Without exception. In five days God created a spectacular earth with all of the features and amenities needed to live life to its fullest. On the sixth day God spoke forth His crowning achievement: man.

Read Genesis 1:26-28 and record God’s actions.

“God ” (v. 26).

“God ” (v. 27).

“God ” (v. 28).”

“God said it, God created it, and God blessed it. But specifically, God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule … ” (v. 26). This verse communicates two key ideas. First there is the image of God.

What do you think it means to be made in the image of God?

How does being made in God’s image influence the way you view your life and purpose on earth?

The plurality of “Let Us” and “Our image” refers to God’s trinitarian nature. That is, God exists in three Persons from all eternity and to all eternity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To be made in His image is to be a reflection of Him. Just as an automobile built in an assembly plant reflects the nature, purpose, and intention of its creator, humankind has been designed to reflect our Creator. That leads us to the second key element in this passage: man was created to rule.”

“Does God’s command for man to rule mean that God no longer rules? How do God’s rule and man’s rule relate to each other?

When God created man in his image, He delegated to him the responsibility to care for and manage His creation. Up until that time God did all the work. He separated the water from the land, formed the light, grew the plants, created the sun and the moon, placed the stars in the sky, and made the animals. But on the sixth day, when God created man, He turned over the stewardship of the earth to the hands of men.

What is the difference between stewardship and ownership?

Why is that an important distinction?”

“Let’s be clear. God has not turned over absolute ownership of the earth to men. But He has assigned to us the managerial responsibility for ruling it. God endowed men with the opportunity and responsibility to manage what He had made.

Read Genesis 2:15.

The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.
Why did God place Adam in the garden?

What implications does this verse have for the men God places in particular situations today?”

“Adam was placed in the garden to work it and watch over it. These two actions still hold true for the identity of men today. Despite the fact that you might moan every time the alarm clock goes off, going to work is not a bad thing. In fact, work is from God. It’s part of your identity and responsibility as a man.

For Adam, working the land meant making it productive—developing its potential. From the productivity of the land, Adam would have what he needed to provide for those within his care. For men today, working the land means providing for those under our care. We also cultivate them, making sure they live up to all God has made them to be.

Adam was also to watch over the land. The Hebrew word used here means guard or have charge of. Every man is given a certain area—his garden—to care for and protect from threat. As with Adam, God’s purpose is for each man to be responsible to cultivate and watch over what’s within his care.”

“What is your “garden”—the area you are responsible to care for and protect?

What are you doing to cultivate that garden?

What are you doing to watch over it?

Which of these functions do you sense that you need help with? Why?

Pray about the things and people God has put under your care. As you think about that responsibility, ask God for grace, courage, strength, and wisdom to cultivate and watch over what He has entrusted to you.”

Excerpt From
Kingdom Man (Member Book)
Tony Evans
This material may be protected by copyright.

A Kingdom Man

“A Kingdom Man
Listen with me for a second. Can you hear the cry for a kingdom man?

It’s in the heartbeat of every child who has been born or raised without a father. It’s in every woman’s dream that has been dashed by an irresponsible or neglectful man. It’s coming from the homes, schools, neighborhood, states, and nations that have been shattered by the absence of kingdom men.

As a kingdom man, you have been commissioned by heaven to rule on earth. You represent the King. As His representative, there is much more to you than you may have even realized.

Read Jesus’ words in Mark 1:15.”

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news!
Define kingdom of God in your own words.

The Greek word used for kingdom in the New Testament is basileia, which means authority and rule. The kingdom of God is the authoritative execution of His comprehensive rule in all creation. God’s kingdom transcends time, space, politics, denominations, cultures, and all realms of society. The primary component on which any kingdom rests is the authority of the ruler. Without that there is anarchy. Chaos. A mess.”

“Read Genesis 2:15-25 in your Bible. Record the name of God that is used in these verses exactly as it appears in the text.

Now read Genesis 3:1. When Satan referred to God, what name did he use?

Genesis 2 contains several references to God, particularly in recording the way God related to Adam. For each one God is referred to as LORD God. Anytime you read the word LORD in all caps like that, it denotes the name God used for Himself: Yahweh. Yahweh, which literally means Master and absolute Ruler, is the name God used to reveal Himself to humankind.”

“But in Genesis 3 Satan used a different name for God. In verse 1 Satan asked Eve a seemingly innocuous question: “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?” Notice that Satan didn’t refer to God as the LORD God; instead, he stripped off the name LORD. Satan sought to remove God’s titles of Master and absolute Ruler.

Why do you think Satan chose this particular way to refer to God?”

“How did that usage reveal Satan’s plans and purposes?

It might not seem important at first glance, but Satan revealed his true character in the way he referred to God. By twisting God’s name in a subtle but significant way, Satan sought to reduce God’s rule over humankind. Satan kept the appearance of religion while eliminating divine authority. He’s still doing the same thing today.

In what ways does the world deny God’s absolute rule today?

How do believers and churches undermine God’s rule?”

“How do believers and churches undermine God’s rule?

Ever since Satan issued his challenge in the garden, there has been a continual battle over who will rule humanity.
Ever since Satan issued his challenge in the garden, there has been a continual battle over who will rule humanity. When men make decisions based on their own thoughts, beliefs, or values rather than on God’s Word, they choose to rule themselves. They call the King God without recognizing His authority. Essentially, men become like Satan. Although they recognize the Creator’s existence, they seek to dethrone Him.”

“Take a look at your life. Highlight any area in which you acknowledge God’s existence without submitting to His authority.

Social relationships
Church or ministry
Personal ethics
Community involvement
Recreation and entertainment

“If we want to be kingdom men, we must fight hard against the tendency to dethrone our King. We’ve got to buck the trend of living under our own authority. A kingdom man is a male who places himself under the rule of God and lives His life in submission to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Instead of following his own way, a kingdom man seeks to know God’s will and to carry out God’s kingdom agenda on earth. When a kingdom man functions according to the principles and precepts of the kingdom, there will be order and provision. When he doesn’t, he opens himself and those around him to chaos.”

“Pray through the definition of a kingdom man in the previous paragraph. Submit to your King any areas of your life you identified that are not under His authority.”

Excerpt From
Kingdom Man (Member Book)
Tony Evans
This material may be protected by copyright.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Milk Carton Men

“Milk-Carton Men
I was walking through the various security checkpoints in a local prison where I was due to speak to a group of inmates. The scene was what I expected to see: guards, bars, weapons, and fences. But what struck me most on this particular day was the fact that each man confined behind these walls, at one point in his history, had been under the care of a man whose job it had been to lead.

Yet most of them had not only lacked a man to protect and guide them but had also suffered under the negative impact of men. In fact, roughly 70 percent of all prisoners come from fatherless homes. Approximately 80 percent of all rapists come from fatherless homes.

“Are these statistics surprising? Why or why not?

Outside the prisons the numbers are just as alarming. Fatherless homes produce 71 percent of all high-school dropouts and 63 percent of all teen suicides.2 But a man doesn’t have to physically leave to create a void in the home.

How might a father be physically present and yet still create a void in his home?

What might be some of the effects on the children?”

“In suburbia many fathers are missing in action through divorce, neglect, overindulging children in an effort to replace real parenting, putting their careers first, or loving the golf course more than their kids. Virtually every adult social pathology has been linked to either fatherless homes or homes with an absent, abusive, and neglectful man.

If those statistics fail to move you, let me see if I can punch you in the wallet. On average, taxpayers spend more than $8 billion annually on high-school dropouts for public-assistance programs like food stamps. High-school dropouts also earn an average of $260,000 less in their lifetimes than graduates, reducing our nation’s earned taxable income by more than $300 billion annually. Teen pregnancies cost American taxpayers an average of $10 billion annually in public assistance, lost revenue, and health-care costs. Our prison population has increased 708 percent since 1972 to the highest per capita rate in the world. We now spend 1 of every 15 federal dollars on prisons. Are you starting to get it? Men—real kingdom men—are on the sides of milk cartons. They’re missing, and we’re all paying the price.

“Are you starting to get it? Men—real kingdom men—are on the sides of milk cartons. They’re missing, and we’re all paying the price.
Read Ezekiel 22:30.

I searched for a man among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land so that I might not destroy it, but I found no one.
What was God looking for?”

“Kingdom men have been slowly disappearing for a long, long time. In the Book of Ezekiel we read that God released His judgment on a culture that was devoid of strong male leadership. Because no one would stand up and obey, He allowed the people of Judah to go their own way and choose their own idols. No man stood up before the people to lead them in the ways of God, and eventually God brought destruction to the nation.

If the almighty, omniscient God can’t find a man to stand in the gap for an entire nation, then real men must be hard to come by. Oh, I’m sure there were plenty of males around. But kingdom men? Not so many of those. What about now?

If God made a thorough search for kingdom men around our nation and world today, would He still come up empty? In what ways would God want men to stand in the gap today?”

“Pray today that your heart will be open to conforming to God’s definition of a kingdom man as you continue in this study. Express your desire to be the man He has made you to be.”

Excerpt From
Kingdom Man (Member Book)
Tony Evans
This material may be protected by copyright.

Greatness is Your Destiny

“Greatness Is Your Destiny
There are plenty of males in the world today who are content to slide through life, never making any waves in the world around them. Responsibility, leadership, and initiative are foreign concepts to them. And the world is suffering for it.

Our world is falling apart, not from the lack of males but for the lack of men. Real men. Kingdom men. Men who recognize that God has uniquely endowed them with the capacity and destiny for greatness. A kingdom man understands and loves this. He doesn’t run from responsibility; he runs toward it. This is the kind of man the world needs.

But the world isn’t the only one crying out for kingdom men. God is too. He’s looking for men who are willing to fully align themselves under His comprehensive rule. When they submit to His authority as their Lord, they are then willing to lead their families, businesses, and churches well. When a kingdom man shows up, everyone in his sphere of influence is affected for the better.

The time for the return of kingdom men has never been more critical. Our families need them. Our neighborhoods need them. “Our churches need them. Our world needs them.

This study is the launching pad for that kind of man—the man you always suspected you might be. Over the next six weeks you will discover what a kingdom man is and the incredible responsibility God has given to him. You’ll be challenged to live and do things you never before thought possible. And best of all, you’ll learn the biggest advocate for your becoming this kind of man is God Himself.

If you’re ready for the greatness God has destined you for, read on. It’s time for kingdom men to stand up and be counted.”

“Here’s How It Works

This study includes both individual and group study. The best way to understand how to be a kingdom man is to engage in individual, daily devotions and to participate in a Bible-study group that includes video teaching and discussion.

Each week’s study begins with a suggested process for a group experience. Each group session should follow this general outline.

• “Get Started.” Each week will begin with a brief time of discussion that helps you and your group get to know one another better and discuss what the Lord has been teaching you during the previous week.”

“• “Man Up.” Your group will watch a 30-minute teaching segment on DVD while completing the viewer guide provided in each group experience. Next your group will follow the suggested questions to discuss the truths presented on the DVD. Then you will close with prayer.

• “Hit the Streets.” Each week’s group experience wraps up with a key verse of Scripture to memorize and specific challenges to tackle as you learn more about the tools God has given you for living as a kingdom man.

The teaching segment and discussion will provide a foundation for your individual study throughout the next week. Each day you’ll read a devotion that fleshes out the Scriptures and ideas presented in your group. You’ll also complete personal learning activities that will help you apply the principles of biblical manhood. The next week you’ll come back to your group ready to begin another discussion based on the individual work you’ve done.”

“Throughout these six sessions you’ll find yourself wanting things you never wanted, knowing things about yourself you never knew, and tackling obstacles you never imagined. I pray that these biblical truths about the man God has destined you to be will work their way deeply into your heart and that your family, workplace, church, and community will feel the influence of a man who’s on fire for the kingdom of God.

Let’s get to work.”

Excerpt From
Kingdom Man (Member Book)
Tony Evans