Shark“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NIV)

I recall a story from an old leadership magazine that talked about Christian Growth. A young man who worked in a store filled with aquariums explains that the most popular fish is the shark. If you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium. Sharks can be six-inches long yet fully matured. But if you turn them loose in the ocean, they grow to their normal length of eight to ten feet.

This experience is somewhat like many Christians I know. I’ve seen some of the cutest little six-inch Christians who swim around in a little community puddle. The little puddle tends to be those church friends they are most comfortable with and present the least amount of challenge. But if you put them into a larger arena – into the whole creation – only then can they rely on God’s power and strength to become mature and fulfill His plan for their lives.

Through the ministries of Men’s Ministry Catalyst, we weekly challenge men to become the spiritual leaders in their homes, churches, and communities. If ever there was a time when godly manhood needs to be expressed and experienced it is now.

We are disappointed to see so many guys who do not claim the promises in Scripture. There are many guys struggling with life and aren’t claiming God’s promises.

A quick review of some thoughts one of my former associate’s and I developed will help remind us of the promises God gave us that should never be forgotten.

We are His sons: “I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of Me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.’” Psalm 2:7-8 (NIV) Think about it. We are children of the King and yet we sometimes act like we are powerless and without promise or hope.

We are His servants: “It is the Lord your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him.” Deuteronomy 13:4 (NIV) Mary, the mother of Jesus, had the right idea, “‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.” Luke 1:38 (NIV) It’s an honor to serve our great God.

We are His stewards: I don’t know about you, but the most important words I could ever hear from our God are the same ones Jesus gave to his disciples in a parable, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” Matthew 25:21 (NIV) Taking care of those things God has placed in our care is critical. We show appreciation to God for His blessings by being good stewards.

We are His soldiers: “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:1-3 (NIV) My friends, put on the armor of God and fight the good fight. If ever there was a time to stand up for our faith and values, it is now.

Personal Application:

Romans 12 give us a great definition of what it means to be a disciple. Please take a few minutes to digest all the truth in this chapter.

Jim Grassi, D. Min.