Sermon – Masculinity: The Toxic and the True (1 Timothy 2:8 – 2:8) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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1 Timothy 2023

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Sermon 4 of 18

Masculinity: The Toxic and the True

Tom Sweatman, 1 Timothy 2:8 - 2:8, 5 February 2023

Tom continues our series in 1 Timothy preaching on 1 Timothy 2:8. Focussing on this verse, we see what is expected from men in the church in how they are to serve. What does it mean to be a man in the church from a biblical perspective?

1 Timothy 2:8 - 2:8

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Now, turn with me in the bibles. I'm gonna be reading from 1 Timothy in chapter 2. Reading the whole chapter, and Tom will then take us through our next sermon in this series. So 1 Timothy, chapter 2.

I urge them, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people. For kings and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and please has got our saviour who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is 1 god and 1 mediator between God and mankind, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people This has now been witnessed too at the proper time. And for this purpose, I was appointed a herald and an apostle. I'm telling the truth, I'm not lying, and a true and faithful teacher of the gentiles.

Therefore, I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. I also want the women to dress modestly with decency and propriety adoring themselves not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or impels or expensive close, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man. She must be quiet.

For Adam was formed first, then Eve, And Adam was not the 1 deceived. It was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety. Tom? Alright.

Thanks, Rory. And if you could keep the Bible open in front of you, so you can look down at these words that we're going to be looking at together this morning. As Rory said, this is a series that we have been working through in this letter of 1 timothy, written by Paul the Apostle, to this young Church Planter Church pastor in our emphasis. And we've come to chapter 2 and we are only really going to be focusing on verse 8 of that chapter today. Now I know some of you may only be here because you wanna hear the end of chapter 2 preached, but we're gonna slow right down.

Now 1 verse at a time and Christmas 20 27, we're gonna get to the end of 1 72. Okay? No seriously. We are we are gonna do that over the next couple of weeks, but really significant what Paul says to men in verse 8 of chapter 2, and we thought it would be worth unpacking that properly together. So let's pray as we begin that shortly.

Heavenly, father, we do thank you for your words and we thank you that it has all been breathed out by you and inspired by the holy spirit and it has been preserved and looked after over the generations and it has come down to us on this day. And we thank you that all of your words is useful for correcting us and for rebuking and for training and for encouraging us in righteous living And we pray that as we have a think about this this wonderful verse verse 8 of chapter 2, which is only a few words, and yet so profound in its implications. We pray that you would help us, particularly the men of this church, to understand the calling which your word lays upon us. And we ask it in Jesus' name, amen. Now some of you will or will know the phrase or will have heard the phrase toxic masculinity.

Toxic masculinity. It's a phrase that seems to mean, although the definitions of it do vary. A certain type of manly behavior which does harm to society. A certain type of manly behavior, which does harm to society. That's a definition of it.

An example of it would be the sort of thing that has come out of the the met police recently where you may have heard there's been what SAP groups of some male officers who've been sharing abusive pictures of women, women in vulnerable situations, and have been enjoying the sort of power play of being able to share those nasty pictures. Another example would be the in cell community online. If you've heard that phrase, it's short for involuntary celebrate. In other words, it's a community of online men who consider themselves unable to attract women, and therefore, they hate women. So because they can't seem to find a woman who will love them, they direct hatred and vitriolic language at women online and in cell community.

It might also be the sort of thing that's associated with Andrutate, if you know that name. And some of the behavior that he's into and the things that he shares and the way he talks about possessions and manliness and women and all kinds of things. That that's That's 1 way of thinking about this phrase toxic masculinity. There's a certain type of behavior which attracts some men and seems to thrive on abuse and horrible language about about other people. The trouble though with phrases like toxic masculinity is that in the wrong hands, they can become quite sinister.

So certain types of manly behavior do harm to society, where no 1 would argue with that definition. That's undeniably, undoubtedly true And as I've just tried to show you, there's examples of that everywhere. But what that can turn into in the hands of some commentators is that even to be a man is harmful. If you are a man, you will be a doer of harm in some way or another, or at least There's very little positive vision for men. Very little positive.

There's only things that they can't do and wrong things that they shouldn't do. But very little offered by way of a positive vision for men. This week, I googled what is a man. And there is nothing these days. I mean, it is it is unbelievable, really.

There is nothing these days about biology or chromosomes or any of those sort of basic definitions of what a man is. It's only sort of philosophical. But here's 1 that I picked up from 1 website This is this is from a you know, this is not an exaggerated quote. This is picked up from a mental health charity. This is their online website some mental health charity for people under the age of 25, so young people.

And it says this. A man can be many things and not all of the characteristics and issues associated with being a man are particularly positive. So that's the that's the opening definition. What is a man A man can be many things and not all of the characteristics and issues associated with being a man, a particularly positive. From toxic masculinity, body image, and the pressure to sleep around, to facing criminalization, homelessness, and more Men that need our support to fight stereotypes and become their best selves.

If you identify as a male, Remember that no problem or issue is too big for you to deal with. That is the definition of what is a man from a mental health charity and you notice that there is nothing positive there at all. That is that is full of the negative things that are associated with some types of masculinity. And I think that's really problematic, isn't it? Because on the 1 hand, it's saying that we must fight stereotypes, and on the other hand, it's perpetuating a stereotype that there is actually nothing particularly positive about being a man.

It's a sort of toxic thing to be. And this is why we so desperately need to turn to the word of God when we take our definitions. Undoubtedly, in timothy's day, there were some men in the church behaving in a toxic way there was a toxic masculinity going on in the church in deficits. We've already seen that in chapter 1. There were men who were pretending to be spiritual But devoting themselves to arguing and myths and false doctrines and endless gene allergies, they were forbidding people to do certain things which God had declared to be okay to do sort of a toxic male culture in the church.

And Paul is not afraid to confront that head on and to tackle it and to call it what it is. But he also wants to give a positive vision for men in the church. He wants to say something positive about what men are called to be and what they can be. In the church. Isn't that what Versa is all about?

Therefore, I want the men everywhere to pray. Lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. Now last week, if you were here, we looked at verses 1 to 7 and we saw that Paul was urging Timothy to lead the church in evangelistic prayer. He wants this church in ephesus and all churches around the world to dream big, to pray big, to have an evangelistic concern for the peoples of the world. And now in verse 8, he takes those principles and he applies them to men.

Men, I want you to pray the sorts of things that I've just described in verses 1 to 7. And in verse 8, the word man really does mean man. It's not the general word for all of mankind in verse 5. Look down verse 5 for those 1 god and 1 mediator between god and mankind. It's not that word again.

It's a different word which really only means men. And he says that men, this is the calling laid upon you by god to be those who pray. Be those who pray. A man can be many things. And not all of the characteristics and issues associated with being a man are particularly positive.

Paul would say, In some cases, that's absolutely true, but let a man be this. A man of holy Christ honoring, evangelistic prayer. There are all kinds of things that men are called to be, all sorts of things that they might want to put their energies into. Paul says, let this be the calling that excites you most. To be a man who prays.

And just for clarity's sake, here is 2 things that that doesn't mean. It doesn't mean that women can't pray. So in 1 Corinthians 11, and in many other places in the new testament, it is just assumed that in Christian Church Life, both men and women are involved in prayer. It's not saying that women can't pray. Secondly, this verse is written to men but it is for everyone.

It's 2 men, but it's for everyone. And that's because church is a family. So maybe this illustration will help. It would be like if we got a letter through our front door that is addressed to me to Tom Sweetman lives at this particular address. And it's about my my car.

My car needs an MOT. It's a it's a letter reminder that I need to get my car MOT. Now although that letter is addressed to me, It actually is relevant to everybody in my household. So I will want to read that with Laura I want to explain the contents of it to Laura because it affects her as much as it affects me. She needs to use the car.

The kids need to use the car. So even though it's got my name on the front, it's in 1 sense, to the whole family, is to the whole household. Okay? And I need that because then she can keep me accountable. So you can send me a text during the week like, have you rang the mechanics?

Why haven't you rang the garage yet? The MOD expires tomorrow. The DOT expired today. We're now driving around illegally. If we crash with the kids in the car, we're gonna be in big trouble.

Okay? So she can keep me accountable. In other words, it's addressed to me, but it's relevant to the whole house and it's good for everybody in the house to know about it. Okay? That I think if that helps is what's going on is what's going on here.

And it's quite a big point. Church is made up of people in relationship. And although the lord calls us to do things, he calls us to a sort of way of living as a family. And therefore, we all need to know how we are all called to live because we are a church together. Does that help?

So that's 2 things. Definitely not saying that women can't pray. And although it's written 2 men, it is for everybody because we all need to know. Okay. So what is he saying here in verse 8?

Well, let's just break it up, break the sentence up into 3 chunks. Firstly, we're gonna look at the bit where he says, I want the men everywhere to pray. Then secondly, I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands, And then thirdly, I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. So firstly, I want the men everywhere to pray. That's what he says.

Therefore, I want the men everywhere to pray. Now that word want in verse 8, is actually a little bit weak and it doesn't convey the authority with which Paul is making that statement. So in the older translations of the bible, like the King James version, it says therefore, I will the men everywhere to pray. I will it. In other words, this is more than a preference here.

Paul isn't saying this is 1 way of doing things and it's the way that I I happen to quite like. He's connecting that to his apostolic authority. He's saying, I will it as an apostle of Christ and therefore, Christ himself wills it. This is not just my preference. This is a command laid down by God.

I will, the man everywhere to pray. And notice that this is not just a cultural thing for the people in ephesus. What does he say? I want the men wear to pray. Where does he want them to pray like this?

I want them everywhere to pray. And this is connected to what we saw last week Do you remember if we were here that massive global vision that Paul gives for prayer? I want you to pray for people all across the world in all kinds of different positions Jews and gentiles, kings and purpas, I want you to pray for them all because God loves them all. He's concerned for them all. And now Paul is saying, yeah, and wherever the gospel goes, and wherever churches are planted, and wherever there are men anywhere in the world, in church, I want them to pray like this.

And if he wants this for men everywhere, It means he thinks it applies to all kinds of men. So he knows that some in the church are gonna be more like Esoel. You know his story. They wanna go out hunting in the field. That's the way their manliness expresses itself, bow and arrow, dead deer butcher it.

But he knows that there will be others in the church who are more like Jacob. Who would rather buy his game from Tesco and cook it at home himself. Okay? And notice none of that has anything to do with the masculinity in this verse? It doesn't matter what sort of man you are because there are all kinds of men in the church.

But this does have to do with our masculinity. I want the men everywhere and of all kinds to pray. Wanting to pray. And notice as well that this is not just a command for the first century. It's not just a preference It's not just for ethicists, and it's not just for the first century.

The sense of his words in verse 8 are not I want the men everywhere to pray in a 1 off statement, but I always want the men everywhere to pray. In other words, Paul is saying, this is my will now and will always be. And so even if you're reading this letter, 2000 years on from when I wrote it. I want you to know that's still what God wants. Here is the will of God for men across the world in every place where churches are, I want the men everywhere to pray.

That's the first thing he says. Secondly, he says, I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands, lifting up holy hands. And so now he's going to qualify what sort of prayer that men should do. He said he wants them to pray everywhere, but what sort of prayers should they pray? The first thing he says is lifting up holy hands.

Now in the old testament, when you read through the psalms, it won't be long before you come across that posture. You know, the people who've got in the old testament would very often pray with uplifted hands. And that was a way of expressing both worship It was a way of saying we love you God. We honor you God. You're holy.

We want to bow before you and lift up our hands in your presence. And it was also a way of expressing dependence upon god because when you lived up holy hands, you reveal them to be empty. Don't you? You show they're empty. You need God to give and to fill.

So it's a way of saying we love you and we need you. And although this isn't particularly about posture, the actual raising of holy hands, neither is posture completely irrelevant. So to give you an illustration, I remember 1 of the 1 of the sort of Clearest memories of my dad growing up was when we were at school and he would take us to school, But at home before we left the house, he would always go into his room and he would get on his knees and he would pray over his bed on his knees, praying. And I remember seeing him from behind, praying in his room, in his suit ready to go to work. And I remember thinking at the time something like, you know, here here is my dad who's the head of the home He's wearing this suit.

He's going to work and yet here he is on his knees before the day begins. He just just just praying. And the point of that is not that being on your knees makes your prayers more holy and not that lifting up your hands makes your prayers more to be heard. The point of that is, I knew that he was praying. In other words, there was something I learned about him there that I wouldn't have learned if he was just quietly praying while buttering his toast.

Do you see what I mean? I wouldn't have known I wouldn't have seen what he was doing. I wouldn't have seen the neediness in him because he would just be quietly praying in his mind, buttering his toast. But to see him on his knees, communicated something about him that he thought that we needed God for the day. And that is what Paul is saying for the church, the point is when you are gathered as a church, let it be obvious that you pray.

I think that's the thing. Let it be obvious that you pray. Not in a faricycle. Look at me. Look how long we pray.

Look at our prayers. But however you do it, you've got to make it clear in your meetings and in your homes that you need God That's the point of the posture thing. I think that prayer needs to be a recognizable part of your life together. It needs to be something seen. It needs to be known that you do it.

However, exactly it it looks. So lift up hands, he says. But the main thing really is lift up holy hands. Holyness is the thing that he's most interested in. In verse 1 of chapter 2, he dealt with who to pray for, In verse 2, he dealt with what to pray, and now he's talking about the spirit in which men should pray.

In what spirit should they pray? It should be in a spirit of holiness. And that will be important when it comes to next week as well when Paul begins to talk about women and how they should dress. And what we're gonna see there is that he is not really concerned about the length of their hair or the quality of their jewelry. He is mainly concerned about the quality of their deeds, the quality of their life.

That's the burden here in chapter 2. It's holiness. It's not the outward. It's not the posture. It's not what jewelry that we wear or don't wear.

It's holiness. That's what he is concerned about here. The men are called to be holy. Now to be clear, he's not saying that the men have to be perfect in order to pray. But rather that they should live consistent Christian lives, they should be whole people.

So if you turn over with me to 1 timothy 2, and chapter 3. Here's what Paul says when talking about elders. He says, here is a trustworthy saying whoever aspires to be an overseer, desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach And in some translations, that's the overseer is to be blameless, and elder must be blameless. Now he doesn't literally mean that an elder must be without any sin in their lives because that disqualifies every single 1 of us.

What he's saying is that an elder should be a whole person should be a person of integrity. There shouldn't be 1 thing at work and 1 thing at home and 1 thing in church. There should be an overall Christian consistency about their lives. So that when they pray, it's not an act. It's not a show.

It is actually an overflow of who they are. Their whole Christian people. That's really what he's saying. To pray with holy hands is to pray as a man who is trying by the grace of god to live as a Christian in every area of their lives. It's not just a show and it's not an act.

And particularly, he wants the men to pray without violence. In their hearts without anger. It's quite interesting that 1 Timothy 2 verse 8 can also be translated lifting up clean hands. I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up clean hands. And that's helpful because in the old testament, clean hands meant blameless.

So it was the opposite of having blood on your hands. You know when you've got blood on your hands, what does that mean? It means you're guilty, It means you are violent. It means there's anger in your heart. You are not to pray with blood on your hands.

But to pray with clean hands, holy hands, to pray without violence. And that is the third part of the sentence, isn't it? I want the men everywhere to pray, to pray lifting up holy hands And then thirdly and lastly, without anger or disputing, let's see it all again. Therefore, I want the men everywhere to pray lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. And this is where I think it really would have hit the church.

Because as we know, there were false teachers there and they thrived on this Christian way of living or non Christian way of living. They loved these displays of spirituality, but what they really wanted was to exclude and divide and to argue and to break apart community. But Paul is saying, prayer must be holy by which I mean it must be without anger. Men are to pray with open hands and not with clenched fist, open hands and not clenched fist. And it's worth saying a little bit about the gender the gender stuff here because we might wonder why why does he pick on this for men.

Why does he say lift up holy hands without anger and disputing? Why is that where he goes? Well, it's not because that women never struggle with anger. But more because This sin is somehow more connected to men, isn't it? With all the nuances in place, And I know there's exceptions to every rule, but it is generally true that men are more drawn towards.

Anger and disputing and rivalry. More drawn towards having to be seen as strong. More likely perhaps to dig in when they should say, sorry, to take up weapons when they should lay them down. Pride in men often means back up hostility or just a sort of quiet simmering rage. And I think Paul is connecting men with that particular sin here in the church and more broadly.

So how do we pray without that? What does prayer look like without anger? And disputing. It's 2 things I think he says. Firstly, it means don't pray angry prayers.

Don't pray angry prayers. You might remember a couple of weeks ago, Pete was talking about these, I think, mainly American preachers whose whole ministry is built on angry preaching. So it's shouting from the platform supported and cheered on by loads of other angry men that real Christian elders don't have facial hair. That is apostolic not to have facial hair, but to have a beard is not a Christian thing to have. And I mean, it's wild that there are ministries like this in the world.

But if you watch it and you can see it online, it's so angry. The whole preaching is angry. And angry preaching is gonna lead to angry praying. The prayers are just gonna sound angry. Let's extreme example.

Some of you may have listened to a podcast series by Christianity Today called The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. And it was a long feature length podcast about, well, about the rise and the fall of Mars Hill Church and Mark Driscoll, who was the pastor of the church in those in those days. And 1 of the interesting things on the podcast near the end was that they'd interviewed some of the younger men who worked with Mark Driscoll closely over the years. And they said that they they felt angry all the time working with him. They felt angry all the time because the whole ministry was defined by who they were against.

You know, so that church up the road is too liberal. They're the enemy. That pastor over there, he's the enemy. These people in the congregation They're the enemy. They've got to be chucked out.

They've got to be gotten rid of. The whole thing was angry. And 1 of the men said that he came home 1 day after a particularly horrible meeting. And his wife just said to him very gently, I've I've never seen you more angry than when you started working for that man. In other words, there's a sort of angry spirituality where everything is about who we're against and who's the enemy.

It produces is angry preaching and angry praying. And Paul is wanting to say, don't pray angry prayers. But also he's wanting to say, don't pray peaceful prayers with anger in your heart. Don't pray peaceful prayers if you've got anger in your heart. And of course, in reality, the 1 will always lead to the other 1.

If we've got anger in the heart, it will come out in speech and in prayer. That's all in verse 8, isn't it? Have a look again. Anger is a sort of hard thing disputing is anger going public, isn't it? Anger is something that you have in your heart.

When you dispute, it's anger on display. In other words, hostile feelings will always lead to hostile actions and that will produce a sort of angry Christianity. And Paul is saying, my brothers, We cannot pray in a way which pleases God if we are angry with other people. Let me try to illustrate with a Bible example. If you've got a Bible on, you do turn to Mark chapter 9.

This is an amazing little scene. It's after the mount of transfiguration. So Jesus has just come down from the glorious mountain and he finds really a disaster at the foot of the mountain. So in verse 14, It reads this in Mark chapter 9. When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them.

As soon as the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. What are you arguing with them about? He asked. And then in the middle of the story, Jesus performs this incredible healing for this young boy possessed by a demon. And then in verse 28, after Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately Why couldn't we drive this demon out?

He replied, this kind can only come out by prayer. What were the men doing? When they should have been praying. They were arguing. They were engaged in religious arguments trying to solve their problems on their own, being proud and hostile to other people, And do you see how that had hindered their ministry?

Being angry and arguing had caused them to be ineffective in ministry. They couldn't pray and heal the boy because they were arguing anger in the heart reduced their impact for Christ in the world. Same kind of thing in 1 peter 3. Remember, we looked at this together as a church. 1 peter 3 verse 7 HUSBands in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as ears with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Those connections are very, very important. Mark is saying that the disciples were angry and therefore couldn't do ministry. Peter is saying that if you are cruel to your wife, don't expect your Christian life to flourish. And Paul is saying, men, if you have got anger in your hearts and we lift up holy hands and pretend that we can pray, then don't expect to be heard. And this is why it's really good that we've got the Lord's Sapa today that we're gonna be taking the Lord's supper together at the church lunch because that is an opportunity for us to root out anger.

It's an opportunity for us to come to that loaf and that juice together. And to remember what Christ died to achieve. You see, this is our Jesus who went to the cross and got blood on his hands so that our hands could be made clean. He went there and suffered the anger of men who hated him so that the anger in the hearts of men could be taken away and replaced with peace and reconciliation and love. That's what the Lord's table reminds us of.

We are not just men who have to define ourselves by being angry. We are now brothers and fathers in the lord together. And so brothers, can I ask, is there, is there someone that we need to reconcile with before we pray? Is there some simmering anger in the heart that has perhaps been there for some time? That we just honestly need to deal with before the lord, that we need to bring to our prince of peace.

And ask him to wash us clean again so that we wouldn't have to pretend any longer to be Christian men of peace. When actually there is anger alive in our hearts. We don't want that contradiction, do we? We don't want that. Is there something we need to bring to the lord today?

That's the challenging side of this application. Secondly, though, I think men, we can be encouraged. We can be encouraged by Versailles in the church. You know, we're not perfect in any of these areas, but neither are we wovenly guilty of every new testament sin. I think where there is cause to be encouraged we ought to feel encouraged.

And to be honest, as we think about the men in the church at home groups, And at the Reliable Men's Ministry and at the prayer meetings, men do pray. We do have praying men in the church. We do have men who want to, you know, even though their failures and get things wrong, they want to lead their homes with prayer. They want to raise their voices in prayer in the church. And so this cause for encouragement, we mustn't just think these verses are here to beat on men all the time.

But rather where there is something to celebrate that God is doing, we ought to celebrate it. And so be encouraged, it is great that we have so many men in the church who want to pray, who want to pray. And also by way of encouragement, it might be that there are some men here thinking, I would love to do more of this. But I just don't feel I've got theology or I don't feel my words are very good. Or whenever I pray, I just stumble and get things wrong and I just want to be quiet to be honest.

But can I say this calling in verse say is really nothing to do with how articulate your prayers sound or how much theology you know? It's it's about holiness and being honest before the lord and wanting to pray. I mean, there's a couple in the church. I won't name them because they are still in the church. And I think they're a terrific example of this.

So we had a home group probably about a year ago where we split up into men and women. And we were talking about the subject of leading and being a man. And this particular person said, to be honest, when it comes to theology, my wife is much sharper than me. She knows the Bible better than I do. She can explain Christian things better than I do.

But I've noticed in my relationship the way I can lead is by being the first 1 to say, shall we pray about this? Because he said that her instinct is just to reason it all through. She knows theology, she knows what should be done. But he's thought the way I can lead this is by saying, let's pray. Let's pray about this.

I can't explain it as well as you I don't know the doctrine as deeply as you, but I can try to be the first to suggest that we pray. And this is what Paul is calling us to, to be men who pray who lift up holy hands in prayer. And just a word also to the women by way of application. As as many of you do already, please do encourage men to be those who pray. The very worst thing to do would be to take this sermon and to use it as a stick with which to beat a prayerless man in your life.

Please don't do that. Please don't do that. But rather, could you commit to praying for the men in the church, that we would be those who pray, that we would be holy that we would put down the pathetic expressions of pride, which lead us to be angry and hostile and want to split things apart. Please pray that we wouldn't be like that, but that we would lift up holy hands and be men of prayer. A man can be many things.

And not all of the characteristics and issues associated with being a man are particularly positive. That's a sad that's a sad vision for men, isn't it? Open the bible up and what do we find? We find a positive vision for men. We find a type of masculinity that has nothing to do with hobbies, or dress sense or what we like doing with our weekends, but a masculinity that is good for the church and he's good for society and he's good for our hearts to be men who pray.

So many things that we can put our energy into, sport education and music and art, and we should we should go for it. That's what we enjoy. But let verse 8 persuade you that to be a man who prays for life in his local church and in his home is the most exciting calling that you can ever have laid upon you. To be 1 who prays. Let's bow our heads.

And I'll give you a moment just to reflect on that. Quietly and to pray before the lord, and then I will lead us in a prayer. Further, forgive us, please, for when we can be be proud and angry and we can give ourselves to disagreeing and disputing instead of to prayer. Forgive us for lord, for when we try to pretend, for when we lift up holy hands, praying, all the while knowing that there is anger in our hearts. We thank you that the lord Jesus died to make our hearts clean again.

We thank you that as we look at him hanging on the cross, the prince of peace but anger is removed from our hearts. Please help the men of this Church lord to be to be holy men, men who loved pray and who love Jesus and who love peace. We thank you for the so much for for your living word which speaks to us, challenges us and encourages us. And we pray that you would help us as men in this church to put these things into practice in Jesus' name. Amen?

Preached by Tom Sweatman
Tom Sweatman photo

Tom is an Assistant Pastor at Cornerstone and lives in Kingston with his wife Laura and their two children.

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