Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
(2 Corinthians 13:5)
What a powerful truth - God is inside of us if we have faith in Him! In fact, the apostle Paul referred to Christ's presence inside of believers as the "mystery of the gospel" (Col 1:27). Think about it - the same being who created the vast universe lives inside you and me, if we have faith in Him. But this great truth also comes with great responsibility. If He is inside of us, then WE have a power even greater than ourselves. So why doesn't it always show? Because there is a battle going on between our sinful nature and the Spirit of God (read Romans 7). What's the answer? Submission. Submit to God's plan, God's truth, God's Spirit inside of us that wants to show us a better way. James 4:7 says "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." My "better men" challenge to you (and me) is that we submit ourselves to God. We'll be glad we did.
Author: Mark Dwyer
Feed What You Want to Grow
"So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me." (Romans 7:21)
You know what is right, but don't always do it (see Romans 7:10-25). It's right to let the car merge in front of you, but it's easier to act like you don't see them (or flip them the bird). It's right to handle your finances with integrity, but it's easier to run up your credit card bill. It's right to spend time with your kids, but it's easier to turn on the TV. It's right to love your wife, but it's easier to hold a grudge. Here's a practical piece of advice for all of us men - develop the habit of doing the right things, and they'll become a lot easier to do. If you want to be a kind person, look for opportunities to be kind (ie, let the car in). If you want to have a better handle on finances, set a budget and keep it. If you want to be a better father and husband, carve out time in your schedule to spend with your wife and kids. It might not be easy at first, but it will become more natural as you make it a habit. What you feed will grow (Tiger Woods gave us a negative example of this); we need to feed what we want to grow.
Author: Mark Dwyer
Brett Lilly - Campus Pastor at Compass Church (95th campus), husband, father