The Seven Needs of a Man #2

17 05 2015

Seven Needs of Man #2

The 23rd Psalm is perhaps the most commonly recited Biblical passage by people in and outside of the Christian community. It is a comforting picture of the providence of God, but it is also a description of man’s essential needs. Here are those needs expressed in the context of ministering to men.

  1. Men Need to know how to God. v. 2

Boy-by-lake-e1322500982288Most men know how to find time and places to physically relax and “unwind”, but do they know how to find relaxation for their souls? For many men, even believers, there is an anxious place in their hearts concerning their standing with God. Much of our Christian teaching has left men with the impression that their security with God is conditional and that he needs to make sure he keeps his side of the bargain to ensure His eternal standing. A recent survey by Lifeway Publishing showed that 56% of “self proclaimed evangelical Christians” believe that “people must contribute their own effort for personal salvation”.* This is the common theology called “Christ plus”, meaning that even though Christ died on the cross and paid for our sins, we are responsible to add to His work with our efforts.

Much of this is a misunderstanding of the finished work of Christ on the Cross. The death of Christ brought a complete and total conclusion to the salvation of man and we can’t add anything to it. The Bible tells us that as a result, we are “complete” (Col.2:10), without anymore condemnation (Rom. 8.1) and fully at peace with God (Rom.5:1) But do believing men know this? Are they convinced that they are totally and completely on best terms with God or are they still trying to “please” Him? Are they motivated by a fear that they are still not worthy or haven’t proven themselves enough to God through prayer, witnessing, Bible study or super devotion? A phrase that is often used that perpetuates this belief is, “We need to give back to God” which connotes that even though they may be saved they still owe God everything.

Sadly, these men often fall prey to the call to sacrifice their lives on the altar of “church” life and pastors have come to rely on these men to sustain their various ministries. To aspire to the recognition as men of good standing they ultimately burn out or become frustrated when their commitment brings more exhaustion than joy. There is nothing wrong with serving but only if its done out of a heart of contentment and not fear (2 Cor. 5:14). Even Jesus knew that His efforts were nothing if He didn’t see the Father doing them first. (John 5:19)

We need to help men come to the knowledge of their true standing with God and see themselves as accepted sons rather than appreciated employees. They need to know that God welcomes them to “cease from their labors” and enter into His rest (Heb. 4:11). Lets help them know that God wants them to “rest in green grass” and sit by “quiet pools of freshwater” (Ps. 23:2 GNB). That’s what will bring rest to a man’s soul.

*Quoted by Andrew Farley, Patheos Blog, 2/15/15



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