Day 28
lent-challenge-day-28

Real Masculine Strength

Scripture

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals — one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.—Luke 23:32-34

How does Jesus have the composure and presence to make a statement as he does at this moment? “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” I have often reflected how much inner strength is required to endure this moment of cruelty; much less still have the composure to make a declaration that is completely others-focused. Now that is a real man and real strength.

I believe many men are stumped by the best definition of "masculine strength." As people who are genetically designed to be men, I still think we are stumped by what it means to be a man. Of course, the answer is not easy to find because strong godly male role models are in short supply. Because of this, we often default to turning to a fallen world of inadequate role models to assess the distinctive qualities and features of true masculine strength. And as we all know, our culture poorly defines masculine power, and I know this because I have embraced wrong beliefs on this subject that have led me to poor behavior.

I believe we see a profound example of masculine strength in these twelve words of Jesus. I think Jesus’ posture here represents a glimpse of real power; masculine and spiritual. Strength like no other. Not strength that conquers people through authority, manipulation, or domination, but rather a paradoxical force, one that appears weak yet is superhuman to those with spiritual sight. A strength that makes us uncomfortable because our flesh wants to reject it. It is a strength we rarely witness in ourselves or others.

In Christ, I see the greatest strength at this moment, and this moment he is the model. Strength is to possess the inner power to submit to God’s sovereign plan while living through injustice while remaining focused on the eternal destiny of others. While we may not be able to understand the complexity of this moment, this is Christ’s definition of strength.

As you look for ministry opportunities today, seek to live out spiritual, not physical strength. Find ways to go low before others, think of others first, being mindful of God, and less of yourself. Strength is found in using your gifts in the most humble of ways.

This week we are focusing on the discipline of ministry.

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

  • Pray: for 5-minutes, and confess your need to look strong and to man-up before others
  • Tell: us in the comments below, one you need to do to serve and go low before others.

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121 thoughts on “Real Masculine Strength

  1. Jay Wegiel says:

    To “go low” I will tithe time to others. And I thank God for the forgiving heart that He has made in me.

  2. Eric says:

    I need to out serve everyone in my home. I need to do this with intentionality and with the fruits of the spirit. Do it without them knowing I’m doing it..

    2
  3. Ben says:

    I need to humble myself and serve even those who are I don’t necessarily care to be around and sometimes even aggravate me.

    5
    • G says:

      Lord, I pray that you can work through me and allow me to be fully myself with others. I also pray that you lead me to continue living a life free of anxiety, free of worry. I have been living my life so good recently, and I hope to continue this feeling and happiness through the rest of my life. Amen.

  4. Warren M Campbell Sr says:

    Jesus strength is always putting his father’s will above his. Always seeking to please God and denying himself. God I need this strength to overcome my flesh and to seek the will of the Holy Spirit.

    4
  5. David B says:

    Lord, help me be better able to be wrong and feel disrespected and not act out when these feelings come

    2
  6. Dave Benson says:

    These words really penetrate my heart on Good Friday. To think of Jesus saying “Father, forgive them” is quite humbling as I think how He gave himself for me. I desire to get low and love others today as Jesus modeled for me! What an amazing God that we worship and serve!

    1
  7. Troy Theye says:

    Going to just step back and listen……………………..and continue to listen to those in need in their search for Jesus and then put my Faith to the test by helping whoever it might be to help them.

    1
    • Doug says:

      Vulnerability has always been hard for me, except with my wife who knows me like I know myself, and with God. But with others, I often yield to the desire to seem strong, in charge, and all together. Lord Jesus, make me open and transparent.

  8. David Luevano says:

    I need not judge other for there is only one true judge. That is God. I will treat the youth that are incarcerated with respect and minister to them by setting an example they probably never had.

    1
  9. Dean Wendler says:

    Jesus was always putting his father’s will first (spiritual) and the needs of others (physical) before his. I need to humble myself and put the needs of others first.

  10. William Adams says:

    Strength to the physical end. Relentless is our Lord and Savior. Praise Him as this day brings back the reality of the Way, the Truth and the Life. God’s will today men. Be strong in The Lord.

  11. Bill Higley says:

    Love this thought: “Strength is to possess the inner power to submit to God’s sovereign plan while living through injustice while remaining focused on the eternal destiny of others. …. this is Christ’s definition of strength.” It takes strength to have this kind of strength.

  12. Dan Boswell says:

    When I see disaster, in my mind, I’m a first responder. But in reality, I’m much better at being in the background, doing God’s service, with love and devotion.

  13. Gary says:

    Try to put others first as jesus did,when listening to what they say.Dont be judgemental in anything they do

    1
  14. Steve Roarke says:

    Father give me the knowledge and courage to put people before me and to truly love like you love. Help me to be your faithful servant.

  15. Eric Jensen says:

    During my time of working at home (especially), I need to find more ways to specifically serve and bless my wife! One of those is that I will get out of my chair and work at least 15 minutes a day on one organizing/cleaning job every day for the rest of this month.

  16. Zach says:

    Lord help me admit when I am wrong and when I need your help. Help me help my brothers in humility and with grace.

    1
  17. Mark DuVal says:

    I need to go low with my wife at times when she insists she’s right, I’m wrong, and it just doesn’t matter to our relationship. She needs to hear she is heard and valued. I need to be more sensitive to her.

  18. Tom Nichols says:

    I really struggle with forgiveness. I know, the foundation of Christianity, right? But so many times I feel like God owes me ________ and if he or someone else doesn’t give me what I deserve, I kick and scream like a baby. My upbringing has instilled in me a very transactional relationship framework in my mind, and that goes for me and God, too. It blinds me to my faults and raises very unrealistic expectations in my life. Maybe after all these years I’m still not used to living in a broken world. Grace has always been a struggle for me. Just ask my wife!

  19. William says:

    I believe that self is one of the biggest obstacles that we men face. To put others first ahead of self is a challenge but one that we must proclaim and one that we must act on. Thank you Jesus for showing us to how to proclaim that trait.

  20. Bryce says:

    I need to use my spiritual gifts and the Fruits of the Spirit to serve and lead my family, friends and co-workers along our spiritual journeys.

    1
  21. Wesley Karr says:

    It hit me this morning that one reason I don’t regularly see godly, masculine strength is because I don’t regularly look for it. While not something I think I can always do, I am going to try to observe other men, that I’m familiar with their walk, and how they go about things as most godly men I know don’t call attention to themselves so observation may be the only way I ever see.

  22. Eric M. says:

    Be more open in front of my non believing friends with my ministry. While I know that they know that I am a Christian I still feel uncomfortable going to Church on the weekends when they come up to visit. Instead I miss the service and stay at home with them and feel badly as my heart knows I should be in Church. And, It’s NOT like they wouldn’t understand and be OK with it but instead “I” choose to just “go along” with them and stay home. So, Lord give me the strength to wear my faith on my sleeve for everyone to see and not be afraid of what they might think.

    1
  23. Robert says:

    Masculinity is so hard to get to in today’s society. I see this in our basketball guys. They don’t know what to make of it. They are conflicted between what they get in chapel and what they get from the world. I pray that I can be an example of Godly masculinity. They are always watching

  24. Mike Sirignano says:

    At the start of every podcast, pray for humility and submission. Let the light shine on God and not on me.

  25. Nick Hall says:

    I need to be a leader that will lead with compassion. Be someone that reflects the person and works of Jesus Christ, not someone that reflects the ideas and models of this sinful world.

    1
  26. Tim says:

    I need to always put others before myself..The Bible tells me in Philippians chapter 2, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself

  27. Bob says:

    To continue to serve others in helping what ever it is that they need, been doing this for a while I pray that I am able to continue this .

    1
  28. Robert Maixner says:

    I have spent the better part of my life ‘trying to look good’ – a year ago God said no more. I have had the best year of my spiritual life ‘going low’. It is often said that you truly don’t appreciate grace until you truly need it – very true. It is now so much easier to view others without judgement, build others up, put others first and extend grace. Thank you God for this change in my life.

  29. Austin says:

    Lord give me the strength to believe in faith openly, I grew up thinking /believing it wasn’t “cool” or “necessary” but I know now that it is both.

  30. Dave Wall says:

    Today we remember how you humbled yourself, Lord, – stripped of all dignity while hanging to die on a cross. May I humbly serve others this entire Easter weekend… my family, neighbors, and all whom I can connect with remotely.

    1
  31. Lewis Thompson says:

    I need to serve and Go Low today, by finding someone that may be lower than I on the totem pole and do an act of humility.

    1
  32. Coach says:

    I need to be a better listener … I need to heard the needs of others and help fulfill those needs. I need to seek understanding before questioning.

  33. Jeff Brown says:

    It’s Good Friday and I don’t like that Good part. I get it but still don’t like it. I like to think of it more as Done Friday or Dodged a bullet Friday. The sacrifice, Passover and the angel of death are not good things to consider. Gods mercy is though but I don’t think Jesus wants me sitting around dwelling on this as a good thing. It’s a nasty thing that he atoned for and he has more greatness coming. I draw strength and conviction as well as giving from this place of his return and his strength. I am his servant and commanded by him and if he says serve the poor I will. If he says serve my family I will. If he says serve my church I will. May his will be done not mine.

    1
    • Bryan says:

      Jeff, we watched Passion of the Christ for the first time last night. It is a nasty thing that was done to him to atone, pay the price, for all the nastiness I’ve done. Good that we are free from being nasty.

  34. Tim says:

    I need to be humble and show compassion and genuine concern for all…..choosing to give love just as Jesus as loved me.

  35. Davin says:

    I need to lead through being a humble (not passive) servant. Let my actions show that I lead by example and out of an overflowing cup that is full of the love of Jesus.

    • Jesse says:

      By maintaining a commitment to being a follower of him and keeping focus on today’s meanings will help me retrain a successful well-being. My involvement with a positive daily routine will enable a successful future. Hard work, relaxation, and reaching out in a successful community with helping others and recieving beneficial advice from knowledgeable individuals allows me to grow in faith in a great plan as I follow his fantastic plan for me. Maintaining the great skills I have acquired to be used for the good of the cause today is beneficial to an excellent lifestyle and for this I am thankful.

  36. Ron.M says:

    I need to listen and value my wife’s opinions (including all others) rather than always believing my way is the best way. And I need to acknowledge and act upon the opportunities that God gives me rather than ignore them.

    1
  37. Michael says:

    I struggle with not being very good with tools or not being able to fix or build anything around the house; I want to echo Paul when he says by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not in vain. I want to focus more on the gifts I do have and be a light to others around me

  38. Alan Hendrickson says:

    I need to get on the phone and call others today, letting them know you care for them Lord and that I care about them too.. be blessed brother Lewis!

  39. Darin Palmer says:

    Heavenly Father, continue to give me strength during these difficult and sometimes long days. Help me to turn to you whenever I’m feeling depressed. To know that I am loved by you is all I need on these troubled days.

  40. Mike Schurman says:

    Lord, may my dependence be in and on You alone. My I exhibit that behavior [strength] to others by my example. Amen

  41. Dave says:

    Lord…please grant me the strength to be a visible role model as a man of God. I want to be viewed as a man that believes and acts in a way that will be pleasing to you.

    1
  42. Wade says:

    I’m making the effort to check in with people; from my grandkids and 7th grade guys from church all the way to the neighbors that are older than me and living alone. It’s interesting to me how few people have asked how my wife and I are doing, especially since we are in the more impacted age group. But reaching out to others is very “Jesus-like” and so I’m pleased to do it. To Vince’s point about how few good role models there are, I say Amen!

  43. PATRICK says:

    I will humble myself and put others ahead of me. Lord, keep me humble forever and keep us all safe in these trying times.

  44. Kenneth McClatchey says:

    Jesus, “The Word became flesh”, truly the man of faith. He continually modeled the true definition of manhood by His relationship with the Father. His whole heart, soul and mind focused on the Father. ” I can do nothing apart from the Father” or ” I do what I see My Father doing”. Best of all, Jesus told His disciples (and us), “You will do greater things than these”. Lord help me to grow quickly into that kind of faith and not for the reasons of outward appearance but for the intimate fellowship with you.

  45. Christopher Keeper says:

    Sharing moments of weakness with the guys of FC, showing the you (me) can own our sins or shortcomings to help use it as a building block, a stepping stone

  46. Boyd says:

    Right now I’m most concerned with my masculine presence in my home. In the face of disciplining and keeping everything moving in the right direction, I’m not as gentle and accessible as I would like to be (thinking of others). Help me, Lord, in this.

    1
  47. Samuel says:

    It is very simple or it should be, I need to be able to forgive and move on. But it seems I am sometimes almost eager to hold a grudge and find fault when I know that I should have a forgiving heart as he has for me. God please lift me up to be gracious and find forgiveness for all in my heart and thank you for bring Robin out of destruction.

  48. Gerald Waddle says:

    I need and pray for me to get out of the way and let Him do. To not get in my own head and to let God do what He does in order for me to help others.

  49. Sheldon says:

    I need to reach out and extend a helping hand there is never a shortage of people needing help,and just prefer others before myself.

  50. Stephen Rovezzi says:

    I do ask, and will more so, offer any time or service to my neighbors that might relieve, even if a small way, any burden or chore that might assist them.

  51. Dale Nerison says:

    As an athlete (former) I derived masculinity through athletic success. However, I love how Vince redefines it for us in the example of Jesus’s on the cross. Lord, give me spiritual masculinity, sight, and awareness for life!

  52. Dave says:

    To not often inject opinion about matters that I feel strongly about. To act out of gratefulness and intention to build up. Assume the best intention by those I love.

  53. Tom Cullen says:

    I think to myself, that I would be like Peter cut off someone’s ear. They wouldn’t do it my way. I have to work real hard to stay in the moment. I as a believer, have been given the power to behave biblically.

    1
  54. Peter says:

    Same theme as past days but man up by being more other’s focused with my time and resources. Denying myself, picking up my cross daily, and following Jesus.

  55. Jeff says:

    Keeping in mind the words of Jesus: For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). And, remembering, also, as Jesus says: A servant is not greater than his master (John 15:20). Continual reflection on these words of our Lord will help to bring me low while also assisting me with denying myself and casting away unrighteousness.

  56. Ross says:

    I’ve been stuck as to next steps for my walk and ministry. So many distractions. I’m confident He will lead, even as I trust Him for direction.

  57. LAVON C LAMBERTY says:

    Our ability to forgive, or our “Spiritual Strength,” is anchored in and measured by our level of ability to live out a “self-sacrificing” life style.

  58. Jason Davidson says:

    Be truthful with myself that it is not about me and give it to my Lord and Savior who has demonstrated true servant leadership.

  59. Jon Brady says:

    I definitely need greater strength at work, to humble myself and put the needs of my coworkers first. I tend to focus only on my responsibilities and tasks. I need to be less self centered and be more willing to serve others.

  60. Mr. Bret says:

    Yes truthbomb. My physical strength or intillect can shine in worldly methods. I’m going to be more inviting to those who I may think are not like me.

  61. Duc says:

    Unconditional service with a joyful and humble heart- “get to” mentality rather than “have to” serve.

  62. Ricky D Brittain says:

    No matter my experience in a situation, I first need to be humble and listen before I ever make a suggestion

  63. OBINNA ODUMODU says:

    As I have lived my life on the surface of this earth, experience has taught me something very unique which I recently told my kids- i.e. God is love and God is time ( aka patience.) One should always use love and patience in every hard decision that is to be made. The only time that strength is to be executed is if one has given the other party adequate warning to reverse their ways of thinking; even then, strength should be planned – it should be used for a short term purpose with a pathway that leads back to love.

  64. Jon says:

    What the Lord has taught me in these times is that fear is a selfish emotion. The best way to deal with it is to look outward to see where I can help others and show the light of Christ in the process. Sometimes it’s just a simple prayer but helps me look out instead of in.

  65. John Wilson says:

    Asking others what they need instead of just serving people the way I think they need to be served. With that in mind what do you guys need – how can I serve you best? What do you see in me that I might be blinded to?

  66. Bryon says:

    Do things without expecting recognition. Trying to be sneaky sometimes helps others feel the love of God more than knowing who did something.

  67. Charles Culver says:

    This is a good time to serve and my goal is to help as many people with the three T’s. Time, Talent and Treasure, whatever I can.

  68. Troy says:

    I want to be humble before God and those around me and realize that I can’t fix everything and I do not control everything. I want to set an example of flowing with the water instead of always going upstream.

  69. Heath says:

    At work, I need to focus on putting the needs of others before my own needs. At the gym and in competitions, I need to celebrate the achievements of others more fully.

  70. Denny says:

    I need to put the past behind me. Someone I respected told me I was not worthy of ministry. I also need to shake off my doubt and fear and take a leap of faith. God, grant me courage and wisdom to follow you.

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