January 21, 2019

It is Monday and I feel blessed to be alive and able to serve the King of Kings today. I hope your week has started off well and that you are excited about how God is going to use you in the life of someone else. That is my prayer for each of you today, that you might not be consumed with your own problems and difficulties, but that you might look for someone who you can touch and help today!!

I have a couple of different topics I want to address this morning and let’s start with today. I’m sure you know today we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the U.S. This was a man who left behind an amazing legacy. Dr. King was a man who was willing to put his life on the line for what he believed in. I have always been impressed by his courage and determination and his dream. May we be reminded of the dream that one day all races would be treated fairly and equally as we are seen by God. I believe God loves all of us no matter the color of our skin or the country of our origin. Jim Denison, as always, does a good job of encapsulating the day and why we remember Dr. King in his article titled “How to leave a legacy that matters.” Shouldn’t that be our dream and our goal as well? Are you just here to work and pay taxes and die or do you want your life to count for something? I believe most of us would say yes, I want my life to matter, I want the world to be touched and moved because I lived. And yet for many of us we have given up on that dream or we have become cynical and don’t believe it can really be accomplished. I am here today to tell you that you still have time to leave a legacy. But that legacy will not be one to be proud of without some effort on your part. I understand the desire to just sit down and rest and take it easy. As I get older that temptation reaches out more every day. And granted, I can’t do what I used to do but is today going to be a day that increases your legacy or is it just another day to mark off the calendar on your way to the grave? It is up to you to decide. I want today to matter for eternity! I hope you do too!!

There is another topic that has made headlines recently and that is the issue of masculinity and in particular what is called “Toxic Masculinity.” I ran across an article from Family Life called “Lose the Toxic, Not the Masculinity” which I would recommend for your reading today. The author addresses the recent commercial by Gillette in a very open and candid way. He looks at it in light of the recent #metoo movement. This is a very deep subject which I don’t have time to delve into completely but I see several things here which need to be clarified. The first is that the Bible is very clear about gender. Genesis 1:27 (ESV) says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” It seems pretty clear that God is gender specific. Our society and culture have lost their way when it comes to masculinity and femininity. We go on to read in verse 31 it says, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Sin and man have taken what God created and corrupted it. It is because of sin that we even have to address the topics of toxic masculinity and gender neutrality. For too long men have behaved badly and treated women less than they have a right to expect. That is not true masculinity. Just like we are created equal in terms of race, we are also created equal in terms of gender. We are all to be treated fairly and equally. There is no room at the foot of the cross for unrepentant racists or for men who abuse their spouse. There is no place in our homes or churches for men who do not, “love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25 ESV) Men are called to love and protect, not hurt and abuse. But let me also stress that we need men to be men. We don’t need men who refuse to lead their families in the way of the Lord. We don’t need men who refuse to accept their responsibility to provide for their families. We need men who will be a dad that loves his wife and cares for his children. We need men who will teach their families to pray and read God’s word and will model that for them. We need strong men who will stand up for what is right and not back down to evil and sin, men who will stand up for what is right with passion and courage. May we never lose what it means to be masculine. May we celebrate it as much as we do femininity in women.

Don’t forget that we are in the middle of our 90 Days of Prayer. Pray specific prayers and ask God to speak to you through His word. Thanks to all who joined in last Saturday to Fast and Pray! Also thanks to the dozen that showed up to Prayer Drive through our community. Obviously some thought it was unimportant or a waste of their time but I know for a fact it had an impact on all who came and spent time in prayer. We need even more who will begin to take the time to go out into our community and pray for those who are lost and hurting. As my group drove down streets near our church, some I’m ashamed to say I don’t remember ever driving down before, I was moved by home after home and duplex after duplex of families who need a Savior. I prayed for children and families and seniors and the hurts and pain behind those walls. I consider it a privilege to pray for them and I will continue to do so. I also prayed that God would give us a way to reach out to those people, many who are without a church home and many who are lost without any hope for eternity. That should break our hearts. And yet, as we drove down street after street I was reminded of how much more difficult it is to reach people in the society we live in today. Yes, it was cold outside but on a Sunday afternoon we saw almost no one outside. Everyone seemed to be huddled inside their safe (or not) little abode. Cut off from their neighbors and the world around them. Often their only social interaction is through the internet or their cell phone. May God help us reach them even still!! Give us a heart for the LOST!!

Last Word:Happy Birthday this Friday, to my youngest child, Olivia Jordan Hixon! We love her and thank God for her and we could not be more proud of her. God willing, this time next year she will be in medical school (already accepted) and also have a new last name (she said Yes). So it’s a big year of change ahead for our baby!!

I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?