Filed under: Manly men of history
Men, may we learn from this example and be deeply moved to love Jesus Christ.
From the conclusion of Bunyan’s autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners:
I find to this day seven abominations in my heart:
1. Inclinings to unbelief.
2. Suddenly to forget the love and mercy that Christ manifesteth.
3. A leaning to the works of the law.
4. Wanderings and coldness in prayer.
5. To forget to watch for what I pray for.
6. Apt to murmur because I have no more, and yet ready to abuse what I have.
7. I can do none of those things which God commands me.
These things I continually see and feel, and am afflicted and oppressed with; yet the wisdom of God doth order them for my good.
1. They make me abhor myself.
2. They keep me from trusting my heart.
3. They convince me of the insufficiency of all inherent righteousness.
4. They show me the necessity of flying to Jesus.
5. They press me to pray unto God.
6. They show me the need I have to watch and be sober.
7. And provoke me to look to God, through Christ, to help me.
by Caleb Hancock
John Bunyan was a man of great faith. As I have studied his life and works recently, I have come to respect this man’s trust in God. In the face of great trials, including imprisonment for proclaiming Christ, he believed Romans 8. He knew that suffering would come, but He trusted that God was in control of every circumstance that he found himself in.
Check out this quote from Bunyan,
“If, therefore, when thou hast fled, thou art taken, be not
offended at God or man: not at God, for thou art his servant,
thy life and thy all are his; not at man, for he is but God’s rod,
and is ordained, in this, to do thee good. Hast thou escaped?
Laugh. Art thou taken? Laugh. I mean, be pleased which way
soever things shall go, for that the scales are still in God’s
How is it possible for this man, who suffered much more than many of us, to look at bleak situations and face them resolutely? Because he was a man of great stature and fortitude? Because he had a great mass of wealth to throw at any problem that he faced? Because he knew powerful men who would come to his aid?
John Bunyan found his refuge in God. And God had revealed to Bunyan that he was working all things for his good. Read Romans 8:28-30 with me,
“28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
God has called you, if you have confessed your sins to Him, repented of them, and placed all hope for salvation in Christ! This passage reveals that He then works all things for our good, to conform us to the image of our Savior.
Bunyan trusted and believed in this passage. And as men in America, we need to follow suit and not complain when adversity comes, but be satisfied in God, knowing that He gave His only Son for us, because He chose to love US!
How amazing is God! How good He is! Let’s live and die for Him like John Bunyan.
by Travis Maples
This is the title of John Piper’s biographical sketch of Adonirum Judson. I want to encourage anybody and everybody to read Christian biographies. They serve my soul in more ways than you can imagine and Piper has sketched out the lives of several men that will certainly inspire you to see and savor Jesus Christ more and more. After all that’s what the author of Hebrews does for us in chapter 11 right? Beginning with Abel and ending with Rahab, the author systematically draws out a very short biographical sketch of those that had gone before and lived lives of extraordinary faith. His intent was to encourage people by pointing out the lives of the dead. He uses their lives to supplement his initial definition by showing how they practically put faith into action. There’s an intended response when we read biographies like these, it should have an effect in our souls when we see the way the those that have gone before us lived for another person in another place. That person is Jesus and that place is heaven. “Therefore”, Hebrews 12:1 tell us, “since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” But not forgetting the most supreme biographical sketch we look to “Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy tha was set before him endured the cross”(Hebrews 12:2).
For further reading on the exhortation to read Christian Biography click here. Here is a list of biography products that Desiring God has made available. I’ve read most of them and I have to say my personal faves are George Mueller, Adonirum Judson and Charles Spurgeon.
by Mike Plewniak
— A definition of courage from Webster’s 1828 dictionary: COURAGE, n. [L., the heart.] Bravery; intrepidity; that quality of mind which enables men to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits; valor; boldness; resolution. It is a constituent part of fortitude; but fortitude implies patience to bear continued suffering.
— An example of courage by Dr. Al Mohler. For those who follow his blog, or are familiar with his history, this is his recounting of the events that took place after he became President of Southern Seminary. He was persecuted by faculty, students, and the media. He was mocked and hated. And he had a resolute boldness to trust in God, His Word, and to do the right thing even though it wasn’t popular.
Men, we need courage like this. Courage to stand with boldness in the face of suffering and persecution. We need courage that God’s Word is true and will prove itself true throughout history. We need courage to do the right thing. Let’s pray and ask God for this kind of courage!
Filed under: Books, Leadership, Manly men of history, Roles and Relationships
by T Maples
I’ve just finished reading a biography “Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey: The River of Doubt” by Candice Millard. It’s a step by step account of the former president’s rigorous expedition through the Amazon Rain Forest. I will say I have a new respect for the man. He was a rough and tough sun of a gun, however he didn’t grow up that way. Millard paints him as a sickly, asthamatic, weak little boy. He didn’t let that define his life though. He fought to discipline his body and when it came time he raised his kids in the same fashion.
“So determined was Rooselvelt that his children grow up to be strong, fearless adults that he had said that he would ‘rather one of them should die than have them grow up weaklings.’ To ensure that none of them would ever be the kind of of weakling he himself had been before he had resolved to ‘make’ his body, Roosevelt had put his children through frequent and, for some of them, terrifying tests of physical endurance and courage. Most of these tests took place during what came to be known in the Roosevelt household as scrambles, long point-to-point walks led by Roosevelt himself. The only rule during these walks was that the participants could go through, over, or under an obstacle, but never around it…’If a haystack was in the way we either climbed over it or burrowed through it. If we came to a pond we swam across.’ Roosevelt used these scrambles, as well as other, seperate excursions, to attack his children’s wilderness fears, which he referred to as buck fever– ‘a state of intense nervous excitement which may be entirely divorced from timidity.’ (Pg. 202)
Roosevelt made a discipline out of killing fear and cultivating courage, he put his kids in situations that they had to face their fears. In fact he proactively attacked fear, he didn’t give it the chance to get a foothold in his life. Are you aware of “buck fear” in your life? Let’s attack it, let’s put it on its heals and keep driving it back. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear…”
Filed under: Manly men of history
by Mike Plewniak
This is a quote Bill Kittrell used last Sunday in his message at CCK. Great quote. Great message.
“Zeal in religion is a burning desire to please God, to do His will, and to advance His glory in the world in every possible way. It is a desire which no man feels by nature – which the Spirit puts in the heart of every believer when he is converted…A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit. He only sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed up in one thing; and that one thing is to please God…He burns for one thing; and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God’s glory.” JC Ryle