Summary: Regardless of your past, God can take you on a journey to make you the man you were intended to be.
Extreme Makeover: Manly Edition
Text: Philippians 1:6 He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Intro: What does it mean for someone to be masculine? I shared a message on this a few years ago, but really felt like I needed to hit it again with some fresh perspectives. What does it mean to really be a man? How do you come to a place where you know that you really have the stuff it takes to be a man? So many males strive all their lifetimes to be manly, but often only find substitutes for masculinity. For example, courage (a very manly trait), is mimicked by bluff and swagger in order to convince others that you are not afraid. Some guys try to prove themselves through strength, gruffness, outbursts of anger, harsh vocabulary, or through their sports prowess or skill in their work. Some males hide behind intellectualism, showing little or no feeling – kind of an emotionless “Spock-like” person. Everything is academic, or elementary, my dear Watson. Others become “Mr. Nice Guy” and pursue perfection, so nobody can find any fault in them. Their world becomes safe, and people admire them and feed their egos. There are probably many other examples we could give of how men seek to find their masculinity. The problem with these is that they often hide the true man. Most men want to be known as a man’s man – rugged, tough, brave, capable – the kind of person nobody wants to mess with. That is fine, but who are you as a person? Well, I’m nobody to mess with. Okay, but who are you? I’m nobody’s fool! Alright, but who are you?
-God wants to make manly men out of all of us guys. However, we have to be willing to give up our way of coping with our fears and weaknesses and quit hiding. Ever since the Fall of mankind, both men and women have tried to hide their true selves from God and others. We must learn to move beyond our shame and cooperate with Him as He strips away all the armor, gadgets, and accessories and reveals the very core of who we are. The very thought scares us to death! To lose our identity we have built up around other things leaves us feeling like we are in the middle of that dream where we have gone to school or work in our underwear. We feel vulnerable and ashamed and just want to find someplace to hide. We think we will be humiliated if everybody finds out what we are really like deep down inside. But in our humility is our salvation. The way up always begins downhill. The way up is down on our knees before a God who already knows all about us and loves us anyway!
Prop: So, men, regardless of your past, God can take you on a journey to make you the man you were intended to be. [Ladies, God works in a similar way in each of you. This morning we will approach it from a man’s perspective, but don’t think that God isn’t at work in you, making you the beautiful person He wants you to be as well.]
Interrogative: How does God make us into the men and women He wants us to be?
TS: Let’s take a look at 4 responses that will help make a real man/woman out of us.
I. Real Men Submit Themselves to God
James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God.
-God is at work in us! But He can only do as much as we let Him do. He is God over all, but He has given us a will, which He allows us to exercise. If we bend our will to God and to what He wants to do in us, His presence and power in our lives will transform us! God is working in us to prepare us. What is He preparing us for? Men are wired in such a way that they all have a battle to fight, a beauty to rescue, and an adventure to live. We were not made to kill time. We were built for accomplishment and excitement. A man’s life should be an adventure, not a leisurely stroll.
-Before we will cooperate with God, it helps to know that it will be worthwhile. We must realize that God is committed to bringing us back to the original design He had for us. When He made us, He had an intentional plan for us. The blueprints behind our design were drawn up to achieve a specific end. Men often stray far away from the original design, so God calls us out from where we are, takes us on a journey, and restores our original identity. The person we become is not the same person people have known in the past. No! We receive a new name and a new identity. When we discover our true identity, we discover our purpose, our direction, and our passion!