November 27, 2014

Man of Mystery, Part 4

“If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.  If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.”

1 Corinthians 3:12-14 (NIV)

To solve the mystery of men, it’s important to understand the unique needs of men.  We’ve identified three of the four basic needs from the clues found in Scripture.  They are respect, confidence, and companionship.  The fourth is what I would call a transcendent cause.  Men want their lives to matter, to make a difference, to leave a lasting mark that they were here and, as a result, made the world different and better. A man needs something bigger than himself, something that lasts.  He longs to leave a lasting legacy.  What are you doing that will outlast you?  If you desire a transcendent cause, you must choose purpose over profits.  While profits are a good thing and fuel success, purpose in life fuels significance and looks beyond our lifetime.  Real success is leaving a successor.  It is in mentoring those who will go after us and impact the next generation.  In Psalm 127, the Psalmist said, “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” I am so grateful for a father who did this!  He mentored faith for us!  It’s a lasting legacy that I so desire to leave with my own children and pray that they will continue with theirs for generations to come!  As a pastor, I have been at the bedside of many dying men and not one of them has ever asked me for their Mercedes or financial portfolio.  Billy Graham used to say that he had never seen a U-Haul following a hearse to the cemetery.  Although, I did hear about one man that asked his pastor to have him buried in his 4 x 4 dually pick-up truck!  The pastor thought it was an odd request and asked the man why?  He said, “It’s simple pastor, I’ve never seen a hole yet that my 4 x 4 couldn’t get me out of!”  What is your transcendent cause?  What is it that motivates you the most?  What will outlive you that makes life worth living?  Are you living for the ones who will cry at your funeral?  What do you want them to remember most about you?  How can you begin now to leave a lasting legacy of faith in the lives of those you love the most?  Are you allowing the lure of success and profits to rob you of the significance of God’s purpose in your life?  Who are you mentoring?  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, it’s our job to aim them in the right direction and then let go.  Ask God today how you may begin mentoring the next generation for Christ.  Live in such a way that they have an example to follow.