As is clear in our mission statement, K.I.N.G. is about helping men and boys experience and exemplify true manhood. It is our belief that when men are strong, their families, their communities and their nations are strong. But what is true manhood? What is a real man? In finding the answer to that question, it is only natural that we turn to the one who created men; for the creator of a thing always determines the purpose of that thing. One always has a specific reason for creating something, be it a car, a telephone, a medical procedure, etc. Only the original creator truly knows the purpose for which he made something.
So it is with man. Since society, or “the world,” did not create men, it cannot properly define true manhood; not unless that society is based upon and committed to the principles of God. Even man, since he did not create himself, cannot determine what true manhood is apart from his creator. This is why we have so many skewed views of manhood. Some believe a real man is a womanizer whose degree of manhood is based on how many women he has sex with. Others believe one’s manhood is determined by how many material assets he gains or by how much money or wealth he accumulates, while still others base their manhood on their ability to dominate, conquer or outshine other individuals.
But what does our creator, God Almighty, say? What did he create us to be and do? For the answer we turn to his Word, the Bible. The first man God created was Adam. Adam was the prototype, the model, the ideal man (until he chose to follow the devil instead of God and became sinful). After Adam fell, God eventually sent another prototype, another ideal man. His name was Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and he did not fall (Romans 5:15-19).
Thus, in searching for the definition of true manhood we can look to God’s two prototypes, Adam (pre-fall) and Jesus (forever). While we may still be struggling to attain all of the following attributes, in striving to be men of God, this is our first of eight goals:
A REAL MAN HAS A VIBRANT PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST
Adam and Jesus talked and walked with God. Talking with God is a form of prayer, so part of being a real man is being a praying man. Our prayers don’t have to be full of impressive, religious, theological words (Matthew 6:5-7). They simply have to be sincere and from the heart. It is in prayer that we bring our thoughts, issues, struggles, fears, insecurities, dreams, desires, requests and thanks to God. We can talk to God like we would talk to a psychologist in a counseling session. After all, he is the “Wonderful Counselor” (Isaiah 9:6). So real men let God counsel and advise them.
Real men also must have a mindset of prayer. The Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This does not mean that we are praying out loud 24/7. What it means is that we are in constant communication with God throughout the day; that all of our thoughts, actions and words take him and his teachings into account. Having a mindset of prayer – in other words, constantly being conscious of God’s presence – allows us to transfer our talk to our walk. Thus, the man who has a mindset of prayer will not easily turn away from God’s commands. (James 1:23-24).
Adam, of course, forgot that and betrayed God. When Adam sinned, his connection to God (his personal relationship) was severed, and because all human beings come from Adam, we are all born apart from God as well. We know he exists but we do not know him personally and intimately. In other words, we are spiritually dead. Our views and perspectives regarding God become distorted, corrupted and clouded by our sin. That’s why God sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. Not only did Jesus show us how a real man should live, but after living sin-free, he gave his life on the cross to pay the price for our sinfulness. When we accept the sacrifice he made, repent from our sins and receive Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of our life, that personal relationship with God is restored. We are reconnected to God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). We then become a new creation, one who is able to talk and walk intimately with God.
So we see from the very beginning that man was meant to have a personal relationship with God. When we don’t have this personal relationship with God, we don’t feel like we should; we don’t feel like God created us to feel – secure, full of joy, at peace. Nor do we act like we should and instead of walking with God, we walk in sin.
I. K.I.N.G.'s purpose is to empower men and boys to walk in true manhood
A. Only God, the creator of man, can determine what true manhood is (what he created man to be and do)
1) because society or "the world'' is separated from God, it cannot give us the true definition of manhood
2) God's two examples of true manhood were Adam (pre-fall) and Jesus (always)
II. The first attribute of true manhood: real men have a vibrant personal relationship with God
A. Adam and Jesus "talked and walked'' with God
1) "talking'' with God is prayer
2) prayer is bringing our praise, thoughts, struggles, fears, insecurities, concerns, issues, desires, requests and thanks to God
3) God is our "Wonderful Counselor,'' our psychologist who is there to hear and heal our deepest thoughts and concerns
B. We must have a "mindset of prayer'' (i.e. praying without ceasing)
1) we should constantly be aware and conscious of God's presence in our life
- nothing - no thought, no desire, no action - is hidden from God
- we must be aware not only of his presence, but of his great power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20)
- a 24/7 God consciousness keeps our walk matching our talk
C. Adam forgot about his relationship with God, about God's presence, and did not match his walk with his talk
1) Adam's sin broke his intimate relationship with God
2) We inherited Adam's state and are spiritually dead without Christ (Romans 5:12-19)
D. By dying on the cross, Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins to eternally restore our vibrant personal relationship with God
1) Jesus' death and resurrection from the dead empowers us to walk in newness of life, in intimacy with God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
III. Without a personal relationship with our Creator, we cannot walk in true manhood
A. Unplugged from our power source (God), we don't act, behave, think or feel like we were created to. Thus, we walk in sin.
I. Do even Christian men sometimes struggle with the definition of manhood? Do we sometimes (or all the time) believe the world's definition of manhood (playboy, rich guy, party guy, boss) over God's definition (holy, humble, servant of others)?
A. If so, how can/does this affect our walk with the Lord?
II. Religion vs. Relationship
A. What's the difference?
B. How is a relationship better than religion?
C. The Bible defines the boundaries of our relationship with God
III. What are some signs of a good relationship? What are some signs that we have a vibrant, prosperous relationship with Jesus Christ?
A. Behavior (our fruit - John 15)
B. Communication (Prayer)
C. Enjoyment (Joy)
IV. What are some ways to improve our prayer life?
V. How can 24/7 God consciousness improve our daily walks with the Lord?
VI. Advice for overcoming temptation
A. Understanding Romans 6 (Freedom from sin)
B. Embracing 1 Corinthians 10:13
C. Avoiding tempting situations (Matthew 18:8-9)