Day 18
lent-challenge-day-18

The Cliffhanger

Scripture

On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.—Mark 11:12-14

Devotional

This is one of those moments Jesus men were following along, and I bet they were wondering what in the living world he is talking about?

Some of us know that Jesus spent most days in Jerusalem during this last week, but that he spent his evenings in Bethany, a village just a short walk outside of town. As they headed into the city, Jesus is hungry and comes across this lone tree. It was not the season; therefore, there was no product on it, only leaves. Talk about an unlucky tree.

Well, there was soon to be a lesson to follow later, and the lesson is different than you think. But these men were left with a bit of a cliff hanger wondering what the lesson was. And it is perplexing that no one asks? And I am going to leave you hanging too.

But for now notice this: a great man, who is a great mentor sometimes does not give immediate answers to all of life's questions, he presents teachable moments that make men think, ponder, reflect, and consider the impact of decisions made today and well into the future.

Today consider one man whose life and teaching either positively (or negatively) impacted your life. Reflect on who this man was, his character, and the action he took. And then choose to make one decision today that positively impacts the men in your life. Be thoughtful but act with urgency; there is no guarantee that tomorrow may come.

This week we are focusing on the discipline of brotherhood.

Your Call To Act (C.T.A.) today is:

  • Pray: for 5-minutes, about the impact of your character and life on others.
  • Share: in the comments below, one action you are going to take to leave an impact on other men
  • Do: it. Take action where you need to take action.

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169 thoughts on “The Cliffhanger

  1. Donny Lill says:

    I plan to share words of faith and encouragement to the men in my council, so they may be inspired to reach out to those in need of help during this uncertain time in history.

  2. Michael Spencer says:

    Hopefully, I have already, but show kindness and be encouraging to those I come into contact with.

    1
  3. Dave says:

    I am writing out the names of men I relate to. I will then choose at least one a day to send an encouraging text or to make a phone call to. The goal is to do this through Easter.

    1
  4. Walter says:

    I pray that my actions will reflect what the Holy spirit working through me. That I will be a positive influence to all I come in contact with.

  5. Michael says:

    In these days of uncertainty I want to share encouragement, hope, love and peace as I reach out to people today.

  6. Jay Wegiel says:

    My dec decision of trying to impact other men actually was made yesterday and begun yesterday. It’s simple yet, so far very well accepted. It’s simply to call between 2 and 4 guys each day and relate.

  7. Troy Theye says:

    My action is too stay very positive with my FAITH. That always reflects on my attitude. So going to continue to listen more and mentor those in the direction of Jesus.
    Faith doesn’t always fix everything but Faith does make everything possible………

    2
  8. Michael says:

    During this social isolation, I’m trying to be a better witness for my non Christian friends, and an encouragement for my brothers in Christ. I’ve recently been reaching out to old friends via text, to let them know I’m praying for them and to see how they are doing

    1
  9. Jim says:

    Dealing with some family trouble and it is easy to get angry and lash out. Today I will work to be measured in my comments and responses, with a focus on how I believe Christ would choose to speak and act. I will choose to be a godly example for the younger men involved.

    3
  10. Tom says:

    I will demonstrate my Faith in Christ through all situations. Be there for those who are in need
    and who are lost!

    1
  11. Eric Jensen says:

    I’m praying for and reaching out to an old friend who helped me grow and has been hurt and is angry with God. Please pray for Dave.

    1
  12. Tim Ruppe says:

    I want to live my live to bring glory to God and to impact the lives of others as they see God through me..

    1
  13. Don says:

    Continuing to pray for the men who I am and will disciple and the direction we will go. To be a positive impact in their lives.

  14. Dean Wendler says:

    The man that had the greatest positive impact on my life, and still does, is my father. He taught me how to become a man by his actions and words. Since we are in isolation, I want to positively impact other men by reaching out to them by phone, email or text. Letting them know that they are important to me and are loved.

  15. Seth says:

    I’m going to be a source of light for others in this darkness and I’m also going to be a leader for others to follow and with God being on our side!

  16. Joe Middleton says:

    We need to be the men of our time to step up and be the difference makers. God has called us all to this and I encourage all of you men to get an accountability partner and be an accountability partner to a younger man and help him walk this life and be the men that God has created you to be.

  17. Austin says:

    Had a conversation with a good friend this morning, we talked about vision, inspiration and faith, impacted both our lives. It was like God, reaffirmed our conversation with this topic ?

    1
  18. Lucas says:

    I want to pray for each one of my guys in our group. I’m especially blessed to have them in my life during this time. I pray that they see the light at the end of this dark tunnel.

  19. Sean says:

    I will send out an encouraging devotional to my men’s group this morning. Not seeing everyone is getting tough on the soul!

    1
  20. JP says:

    Through God’s grace He is using me to impact the lives of other men by leading a men’s life group and working with my church to stand up a men’s ministry. Further by sending weekly messages of encouragement via text.

    1
  21. Randy says:

    Urgent action : To ask my boss for a place to plan, brainstorm , share our day to day task and future goals. Idea being to see our plans, tasks, jobs truncated by character and intercession.

    1
    • Chris K says:

      I will send a non-believing friend a Bible, and ask him—for me—to read the entire book of John, as a start. And I will pray that the LORD will give him eyes to see and ears to hear, by the living Word.

      3
  22. Mike Sirignano says:

    Sam Tello has had a positive impact on my life. He consistently ministers to myself and others every day rain or shine.

    I have a guy at work named Kevin who is showing interest. I will reach out to him consistently like Sam does for me.

  23. Bryan says:

    Through spoken word, I will let my three brothers and my three sons know I love them and God loves them.

  24. Sheldon says:

    Pastor Outten his commitment to the study of God’s word and to present it all it’s fullness
    I commit to challenge the men of my church to commit to the study of God’s word

  25. Dave Benson says:

    There seems to be a captive audience right now in light of the pandemic. Men are looking for more than leaves right now, they need the fruit as the fruit of the world is disappearing. I had a friend leave me a voicemail this morning that he wants to visit today as he feels overwhelmed with fear. God knew that we needed each other right now. I saw a comment on here yesterday that was simple but so valuable: “Men need men to become men.” Thank you Lord for calling us to act!

  26. Ross Peterson says:

    I’m going to have prayer time with one of my seeking friends , for God’s guidance and to show leadership during this time at home with his family.

    1
  27. Kenneth McClatchey says:

    There are 2 men that impacted my life. The first, as I suspect most men would say, is my father – he instilled a strong work ethic and responsibility but the 2and man is my first pastor as a born again believer. He showed me through his actions how to love others more than myself and how to trust in Our Lord.
    Today as in everyday, I want to model that love for others and trust in Our Lord Jesus.

  28. Bob M says:

    I have been blessed with a closer relationship with God this past year. I am now sharing that journey with other men. There is hope!

    1
  29. Duc says:

    Be willing to share and total transparent on my experience with struggle and issues in my life to encourage other men that they are NOT alone in dealing with similar issues.

    1
  30. Dan Boswell says:

    It is possible for me to work illegally at this time, in our world, and originally, I planned to do so. But after prayer and consideration, I will not break that trust, and continue to learn what it takes to speak and live the truth.

  31. Kevin says:

    Thinking about my dad. There’s lots of sadness and grief still. Even after 3 years since his passing.
    Looking forward to ‘zooming’ with a couple of buds later!

    1
  32. Addison Waite says:

    I’m going to connect with a friend I have not been able to connect with for a while. Was wondering who and I got a random text from him this morning.

  33. Mark Roehl says:

    I want to be a positive influence in the lives of other guys. This could be helping them physically or providing encouragement.

  34. Stephen Rovezzi says:

    This week, week three in social distancing, has truly made me feel isolated. Me being a “social animal”, has made me ponder…what way can I help myself, but, also, help others…men and women.So I have begun calling 2-3 people on my contact list. Checking in on them, letting them know I care, if there is anything can do…positive responses. Even call backs!

  35. Gary says:

    I would hope to influence people at work because my boss has noticed a change in me since going to church.

  36. David Luevano says:

    The one action I am going to take is think before I speak. Many time I speak too soon and the word I speak are interpreted incorrectly. I need to be more clear. Praise God.

    1
  37. Brian Winckler says:

    I am going to be a team member volunteer to cook and serve food to the men on my churches “Wild at Heart ” men’s retreat. This allows them to bond and grow in Christ together.

  38. Jefferson says:

    Encourage or challenge others to give up something of choice for the next 30 days beyond something they have to give up.

  39. Rich Gorecki says:

    Interesting to think that great mentors sometimes do not give immediate answers but presents teachable moments that make men think, ponder, reflect, and consider the impact of decisions made today and well into the future. Like most men, I tend to be a “fixer” so I pray that I can become the type of man who leaves teachable moments more often than not.

  40. Dan says:

    So in these times my mind is constantly filled with the reality and fears of the Covid19 pandemic.
    My positive impact can only be to maintain proper social distancing and keep in touch with our modern technology.

  41. Ching Hung says:

    My favorite talk show host Rush.
    I want more men to be in charge of their life, keep more of what they earn, so they can support their Churches, and less government intervention.

  42. Jason says:

    Be inclusive, in a time where we are all distancing ourselves from one another reach out and encourage.

  43. Edward says:

    I am going to continue scheduling Zoom Bible Meetings and inviting the members of our church. I am praying that we all can remain connected and grow in our faith while we “shelter in place” for the next month or so.

  44. Pastor Mark says:

    I’m going to call the company commanders in my battalion to ask how their staff and Soldiers are doing…hoping to model caring leadership, especially for some of the younger commanders!

  45. John says:

    I have two, one is a friend that is struggling right now and the other is a guy at church that rarely tell how much I appreciate his leadership

  46. Bob says:

    To continue to be of service to others, using the gifts that God has giving me.
    To be an encourage others be positive.

  47. David Steinquist says:

    There are a whole host of men who have had impact on me at various stages of life. I cannot really pick just one because they seemed to show up at the right time and under different circumstances in my life. just like the verses that talk about different aspects of the body, all important at different time. I talked to one of them just recently. also, I will give a blanket thank you to all the men here. You have had an impact on my life, wheteher you know it or not. Blessings don’t just come at a time of deep need. Be blessed today.

  48. Jeff says:

    I’ve actually had many men young and old pour themselves into my life and continue to. From accountability men, men who I’ve been in small groups together, even hunting friends.
    Lord may I be the next man up to pour myself into another man.

  49. Jacob Michael Lamen says:

    As a child, The lessons I tended to learn from men were, what not to do. As an adult I tend to learn from more seasoned men how to be patient, gentle and kind. Most of these men attend my church.

    1
  50. Anthony Meschke says:

    Change my drinking habits to be a better reflection of Jesus and to be a positive example to those around me. Still struggling with to many drinks on the weekend.

    1
  51. Doug says:

    Continue to meet with Mark weekly to encourage and be encouraged by him. Reach out to a neighbor who doesn’t know Christ; in this time of pandemic he will perhaps be more open than he has been in the past.

  52. Brian Goslee says:

    I am going to call a fellow Christian friend who is experiencing career/job problems during this tough season and talk it through and strengthen and remind each other of our faith in God.

  53. Alan Hendrickson says:

    I’m going to call or text men in my life, churched or not, to let them know they are important and loved.

  54. gordon.barrineau says:

    Accept the invitation to lead the Christian Men of the Chapel at Charleston AFB. I hope to make a difference…

  55. G E says:

    I will continue to lead by example and provide a positive influence for my younger brother. I will reach out and provide guidance for him as he makes decisions and mentor him. One more action that I will take is that I will continue to make an effort to reach out to friends from school that I am now separated from. I will try to salvage some of the relationships that I still had even if it has to be through technology. I also want to write that I am thankful for many of the male influences I have had throughout my life. Two I thought of during my reading were my father for the self-sacrifice he put into my life and how much effort he put in to help me succeed. He always believed in me no matter what and showed me how to work hard. My family friend was the other one I thought about. He pushed me to work hard and went out of his way to assist me. He gained joy from seeing me succeed and only wanted the best for me.

    1
  56. Steve says:

    My Sunday School teacher as a kid. He always had a smile and was happy to see me, at church or outside of church. Most importantly, he made Sunday School fun and interesting. The Bible became alive and interesting to read.

  57. Matt R says:

    I’m going to reach out to the guys in my Men’s group today and see if there are other ways that we can connect during the stay-at-home order.

  58. David C says:

    Some 19 years ago, When I was contemplating whether or not to go on, what would be my 1st missions trip, a young, teenage brother in Christ (Jeremy) that told me to “GO, until the Lord says “No”! That impacted me then as much as it impacts me today !!!

    I’m reaching out to those today who are not reaching out to me, as God did/has done for me, and as it states in Isaiah —

    ““I let Myself be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I let Myself be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’ To the nation [Israel] which did not call on My Name.”
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭65:1‬ ‭AMP‬‬

  59. Mr. Bret says:

    Don’t be a character. Have good character. I try not to speak much unless there is a good thing to say, esp in response to someone.

  60. Ross says:

    My core group of men has kind of fallen apart over the last several months. I’m going to invite them to a Video Chat using Zoom, to see if I can pull the group back together for a weekly time to grow, share, and pray.

    1
  61. Dale Nerison says:

    Think about teachable moments in my interactions with my kids, grandkids, and coworkers. Let them ponder on principles, and possibly use analogies to make points. Try to live an example of a saved Christian.

  62. Brian says:

    I need to reach out more to some of the guys with whom I’m losing touch. That can start with a simple text right now and a commitment to get together when this social distancing is over

  63. Seare says:

    Teacher Meresa Impacted me to focus on my education.
    I will reach out to three nonbeliever relatives and I will talk to them that Jesus loves them.

  64. Eddie Ackerman says:

    I contacted my pastor and I will be praying for his prayer requests. This other ministry I am a part of is really helping me flex my spiritual muscles.

  65. Jon Brady says:

    I promise to continue to stay committed to the men in my small group. I promise to continue to reach out to them during this time of social distancing.

  66. John says:

    Sent my daughter’s boyfriend (future fiance?) a proud of you note (last week) as he took my daughter to a good hospital and supported her through the stay. Heard nothing. Asked my daughter if her boyfriend would like to join me in devotions, not well received. I won’t give up, need to find more opportunities, Lord here my prayer for both of them.

    1
  67. Brad B. says:

    One action I want to take is ask someone who thinks that I am the most successful and ask them “why do you think I am veyr sucessful” They may answer with “because you have a great job or you have a wife.” What I want to teach and or impact this person is by teaching them “HOW” I am at where I am. In the end I don’t want others remembering me by my sucess by how I became who I am.

  68. Rafael Dixon says:

    Be a Godly role model. As best I can. Not perfect but just a good role model. Good Christian, treat wife with respect, raise children and have integrity.

  69. Ben says:

    I will encourage the men in my organization today to pray, read their Bible and be accountable to another Christian man!

  70. Dave says:

    Good Lord,
    Please guide me as a sponsor for my sponsees in Alcoholics Anonymous. Please provide me the tools needs to keep these men sober

  71. Jesse says:

    Praying for other men and significant people in my life for positive relationships. Reaching out to them and being open an honest.

    1
  72. Coach says:

    I will publicly tell people how wonderful my friend and neighbor is. I will share how fortunate I am to have him living next door to me. And I will thank God for giving my wife and me the blessings of such a caring, helpful, and concerned individual.

  73. Ricky D Brittain says:

    To continue to try and reach men in our community about the power of Christ in our lives. To serve as I am needed, to always do Gods will and not my own

  74. TAYLOR T OLSON says:

    I want to be a good friend someone who is reliable and feel like I can make a difference in the lives of others

  75. John says:

    Lord, help me with the log in my eye (life) that I may help another with thier splinter in their eye (life) and let me not judge rather forgive others all for your Glory as your plan continues to be revealed. Praise to you for healing me in many weaknesses and use me as you heal others.

  76. Tom Cullen says:

    To pray for my x-bro in-law, and have breakfast with him. He lost a son out of no where. Had a brain aneurysm. Mine lost cancer. On the card he gave us he wrote, if he could only see under the veil for a moment! Day late!

  77. Walter says:

    I’m thinking of a man, now passed on, who taught me the value of forgiveness and the peace to be had from actively pursuing an attitude of peaceful living. His lessons from so long ago still resonate in my life and bring to mind 3 men I need to be proactive with. My prayer is that God would guide me into helping these men find the same lesson of peace that has been handed down to me.

  78. Will says:

    I will speak words of encouragement into the lives of the young men around me. Help me Father to build them up, not tear them down.

  79. bob plantz says:

    This is a tough one for me also. I am thinking of my dad. He has both positively (mostly) and negatively impacted my life. I love my dad and he has done so much for me that is positive, but there are some negative moments/memories/effects that he has left in my life.

  80. Rick says:

    Pray to the Holy Spirit that my walk aligns with my talk and strive to be the man of integrity God calls me to be, regardless of what it costs so those around me have a good example to follow.

  81. Denny says:

    Meeting online with a group of brothers tonight. I plan to be honest and open with them in a loving manner.

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