Always Remember

Steve Arterburn

 

Have the benefits of your transformed life caused the memories of your previous lifestyle to fade? Do you remember what you once were before Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit entered your life? Can you recall the darkness before you experienced the light? As you see the lost around you, are you aware that apart from God’s grace, you’d be lost too ‘ right there amongst them?

Men, you should never wallow in, or be a slave to, your past. But, don’t ever forget where you came from, and how you were brought to where you are now. Paul told Titus: ‘Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled by others and became slaves to many wicked desires and evil pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy’But then God our Savior showed us His kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit.’

You’ve lived in sin. Your heart was acquainted with pain, hopelessness, and spiritual confusion. Remember, you were saved because of the love and kindness of God’period. You didn’t save yourself. And you weren’t saved because you were good, or because your life was so resplendent that God was put in your debt.

Don’t ever forget this, guys. It will keep you humble and it will give you hope for others.

Culture Of Castaways

Steve Arterburn

Remember the Tom Hanks movie Castaway? It’s about a FedEx executive who’s plane crashes into the Pacific Ocean as he’s on his way to unclog a shipping artery in some remote part of the world. Chuck Noland’played by Hanks’survives the crash. He’s miraculously washed ashore on to a deserted Pacific island where he spends five years in utter isolation’losing touch with his loved ones and forever changing the course of his life.

 

For many men, this sounds uncomfortably familiar. That’s because the lack of communication and connection among men has created’metaphorically speaking’a culture of spiritual castaways.

 

The number one dilemma facing Christian men today is isolation. Today, more than perhaps any other time in history, American men feel emotionally and relationally isolated. Sure, most have friends and lead busy lives. But as a general condition, men aren’t connected to one another in any deep and meaningful way.

 

Yet every man feels, deep down, a longing to be known, loved, and valued as a friend by other men. Men want and need close friends, but our inability to be vulnerable with each other creates our’isolation.’ Men who wouldn’t think twice about risking in business or sports have enormous difficulty taking risks to expose what’s inside their souls.

 

Men, today I challenge you to recognize your need to be valued by other men, and seek an opportunity to connect with a friend on a deeper level.

Where Is Your Heart?

Steve Arterburn

Is your marriage a delight to you? How does it compare with, say, your career or your favorite hobby when it comes to charging your engines? These aren’t things many men think about often, are they? And even when we do, it’s tough to get past our own defense mechanisms in order to get accurate answers.

This being the case, I’ve got a more practical and concrete way for you to answer these questions. Over the next several days, keep your eye out for these particular things as they show up in your daily life:

        Does your wife’s face brighten when you enter the room?

        Do you greet and part with a kiss, or some other form of affection?

        Does she respond positively to your embrace?

        Does talking happen often and proceed easily between the two of you?

        When she’s sad, or when she’s been hurt, is it you that she seeks?

        Do you think about her when she’s not around? If so, what kind of thoughts?

Guys, the observations you make with regard to these questions will go a long way in helping you discern where your heart is at with your wife. If you find a passion for oneness and a passion for serving her, that’s fantastic! Keep up the good work.

However, if you find that the passion isn’t there, don’t blow it off. It’s not okay. You need to seek it, find it, and fan it into flame.