The Skeleton Key to Biblical Manhood [Pat Morley]
The Big Idea: A group, a Bible, and serving someone else will solve 90% of my problems.
You love Jesus. Great. But if loving Jesus by itself was enough to achieve biblical manhood, you would’ve arrived a long time ago, right? So what’s really going on, and what can we do about it? The solution is so simple that I find it staggering! Join us and get the “skeleton key” that can solve 90% of your problems–in most cases very quickly. I can’t wait to share with you what God has been showing me this week!
The Journey to Biblical Manhood
Challenge One: Manhood
Session Three: The Skeleton Key to Biblical Manhood
Pat Morley: Good morning, men.
Crowd: Good morning, Pat.
Pat Morley: In your Bibles, please turn to Hebrews Chapter 3. Then, let’s go ahead and give a shout out today to Albertson Men’s Awakening Group. They’re led by Shannon Smith, located in Albertson, North Carolina, at the Albertson Mission Baptist Church.
Ten men, who are meeting on Tuesday nights at 7:30 p.m., and describe themselves as meeting to grow in spiritual maturity to disciple men and to have accountability in their lives. Sounds like our kind of guys, doesn’t it? Why don’t we welcome him with a warm and rousing Man in the Mirror welcome.
Pat Morley: One, two, three.
Pat Morley: Welcome men. We’re glad to have you with us. By the way, still want to encourage all you online groups to do the Hoorah too and welcome them even though they can’t see you. All right. We’re in this series. The Journey to Biblical Manhood. We’re looking at the first challenge, which is manhood.
The faith and life objectives, I’ll get to that, I suppose, in a moment. Don’t you just love it when someone tells you that what works or why what works, won’t work? I have this happen all the time in the ministry. We have this incredible No Man Left Behind model that has these prodigious and prolific results proven, verifiable, scientific discipleship results.
It’s amazing how many, how often I will have somebody who has never been to the training, never read the book, never been on the website, never read any of the annual reports, they will argue with me why what we’re doing, won’t work, even though it works. Some of you who have a product you try to sell in the marketplace, maybe it’s life insurance, and you’ll have like my father-in-law, Ed Cole, who is now deceased.
He took early retirement at the age of 60 because as the managing partner for Northwestern Mutual in South Florida, he just got so sick and tired of working with people who would argue with him about what … He is one of the greatest experts in the United States literally, one of the great experts in the United States on how life insurance works.
Then, he would have these young people arguing with him about why insurance was a bad thing to do and so forth. He just got so tired of it. Don’t you just love it when people will argue with you about why what works, doesn’t work?
It’s like the bumblebee story. The story goes that way back, sometime maybe in the ’30s, that an aerodynamicist and a biologist were having dinner one night. The aerodynamicist took out a napkin and explained why a bumblebee with a body mass of approximately one gram, and a wing surface of approximately one square centimeter, how it was scientifically impossible for the bumblebee to fly.
In other words, he was sitting down, arguing about why something that does work, why it won’t work. Biblical manhood is a little bit like this. There are so many people who don’t think it’s possible to achieve biblical manhood. They don’t think the bumblebee can fly.
What we’re doing in this series is, we’re basically debunking that. In this third challenge, we’re going … Well, it’s the first challenge, the third section, we’re going head, heart, hands. Today, we’re doing hands. Today’s faith and life objectives is that I will schedule time to spend in God’s Word, pursue friendships with godly men, and live my life according to the Scriptures.
We’re going to do a little bit of delving into this. The title for the message is, The Skeleton Key to Biblical Manhood. I’m going to go ahead and give that to you next. It’s the big idea. This is the key. What I’m about to give you, it’s the key to live a high functioning form of Christianity. All right?
A group, a Bible, and serving someone else will solve 90% of my problems. A group, a Bible, and serving someone else will solve 90% of my problems. This is how the bumblebee flies. This is how we achieve biblical manhood.
After four decades of teaching men, honestly, it’s a little embarrassing that I don’t have more to show for all my work than this, but this is it. A group, a Bible, and serving someone else. It’s going to take care of 90% of what it means to pursue biblical manhood.
All right. Let’s take a look. First, at a group. You should be at Hebrews, Chapter 3. All right. The first question is, What can we get from a small group that we can get no other way? Hebrews, Chapter 3, Verse 12. See to it brothers that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.
Now, isn’t that, really, isn’t that the flip side of the coin? That’s non-biblical manhood, right? Then, Verse 13. But encourage one another daily as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceit. A group. Ninety percent of your problems.
During the course of a normal week, you and I are exposed to an onslaught, an ongoing avalanche of skepticisms, cynicisms, absurdities, trivialities, banalities, untruths, fake news, and, unfortunately, real news.
Pat Morley: The world view behind a lot of what is coming at us, is anti-biblical manhood. There’s a little husk, a little husk that starts to form around your brain, around your heart, to that which is biblical Christianity.
The benefit of a group, the benefit of getting together with some other people, who are like-minded, who are also pursuing biblical manhood, is that what it does, is it cracks that husk, and lets the truth back in. That little husk that is trying to form around you because of this …
What does this say? So that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceit. Since all this stuff is going on, sin’s deceit, it’s all around us, all the time, and it tends to harden our hearts. One of the benefits of a group that we can get in no other way, is that it helps us crack that husk.
There are lots of other things going on here too with the group. I’ve been in eight small groups. Eight small groups. The four best small groups, they were all good, but the four best small groups that I was in, were each with one other guy.
In other words, a small group of two of us. In other words, and that’s the way I’m wired. I like the one-on-one most of all, but whatever the size of the small group, there’s not one right size, whatever the size of the small group is for you …
One of those groups was for 12 years. One was for 32 years. One was for 17 years and one was for 7 years. Three of those people are deceased now. I’ve always been attracted to all the guys because they are the ones that have the mentoring wisdom and so forth and so on.
I encourage you to make sure that if you want to achieve biblical manhood that you make a group be part of the main fabric of your pursuit. There are other reasons, like I said. I was thinking recently about got a …
I’ll start with George Bush was in town. He spoke and he talked about PTS. He said, now, as a side note, he just said, “It’s not PTSD for these soldiers.” He’s basically given the rest of his life to help the men that he sent into combat who were wounded and maimed and have PTS. He said, “It’s not a disorder. It’s an injury. PTS.”
That got me thinking. Okay, PTS. Well, and then, in business, there’s burnout. Then, there’s depression. This week, one of our leaders was talking about, in another city, was talking about how he was numb. He’s just become numb. He’s become numb in his marriage, numb in his work, numb in his relationship with God, numb.
There is some sense in which each of these things are different, but there’s another sense in which they all come from the same family. In other words, somebody’s really, really down for some reason. A group gives you, gives me, a place where we can give you psychological thought. It’s like talk therapy.
One of the best treatments for depression or PTS or burnout or numbness, is talk therapy. Getting together with somebody and just being able to talk. You and I have a desperate desire to understand and to be understood, to know, and to be known, to love, and to be loved. A group is one of the most powerful venues where we can do that.
It’s so biblical. It’s so biblical. That’s the first part of this big idea. A group, a Bible, and serving someone else will solve 90% of my problems. Then secondly, a Bible. Look at Hebrews Chapter 4, Verses 12 and 13. What can we get from the Bible that we can get no other way?
Verse 12. For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to the dividing of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. What does that mean? It just gets in every nook and cranny of your brain, of your heart, of your soul, of your mind.
It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all of creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him, to whom we must give an account.
Again, back to this idea. Don’t you just love it when people will argue with you about why what works, won’t work? Well, people will argue with you why the Bible won’t work, but those are the people usually who don’t read the Bible.
A lot of people, I’ll give you an example, this, what I have in my hand, there are four books. Well, I’m holding two volumes, there’s two volumes in each book here, but what I’m holding in my hand, weighing in at 10 pounds, and 1,521 pages, are Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion.
Now, I have heard people say all kinds of wild things about John Calvin, none of whom who have actually read John Calvin.
John Calvin begins this 1,521 page tome with these words. “Nearly all the wisdom we possess – that is to say, true and sound wisdom – consists of two parts. The knowledge of God and of ourselves.” Well, that’s the way to go, John Calvin, because what he’s doing, is he’s telling us what the Bible can do for us that we can get in no other way. The Bible gives us a knowledge of God and it gives us a knowledge of ourselves.
What do Scriptures say? It says, it judges the thoughts and the attitudes of the heart. It divides down into the soul and the marrow. Where can you get, where can you get that kind of insight into yourself? Where can you get revelation about the nature, the character, the attributes, the goodness, the greatness of God is notability, is all the omnis? Where can find that information out? We get that from the Bible, but …
How many of you have smelled the Sistine Chapel? Raise your hands if you’ve been able to smell the Sistine Chapel. A few of you. How many of you have heard someone try to describe the smell of the Sistine Chapel? Have you heard? Well, I picked a terrible illustration.
All right, let me tell you that many have tried to describe what it smells like to be in the Sistine Chapel. It’s the most beautiful musk in the world. It’s extraordinary. It’s exquisite. It’s irreplaceable. It’s ir-reproducible. It’s fantastic, but there’s no way I can describe that to you properly.
The only way to understand and experience the musty, beautiful aroma of the Sistine Chapel is to go inside the Sistine Chapel. The only way to understand the glories of God and the glories of even our own selves and the content of the Bible, is to go inside and read it and experience it for ourselves.
That’s why it’s right up there at the top in terms of what we’re trying to do, achieve this biblical, biblical manhood. What is it? It’s a high-functioning, it’s the highest functioning form of Christianity. A group, a Bible, and serving someone else will solve 90% of our problems. Ninety percent of things that are holding us back from getting where we want to go.
Finally, serving someone else. Turn with me to Luke, Chapter 22, Verse 26. Luke, Chapter 22. Don’t you just love the … Isn’t it beautiful how this all fits together? Every week, how it all fits together except when I’m fumbling around up here, but …
Luke, Chapter 22, Verse 26. What is it that we can get by serving someone else that we can get no other way? Jesus says in Verse 26, “The greatest among you shall be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves for who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves?”
Is it not the one who is at the table in the world view of the … Underneath the husk of the trivialities and things that we’re getting day-by-day, it’s the one who sits at the table, who’s the greatest. Jesus says, “But I am among you, as one who serves.” What can we get from serving others that we can get no other way?
I was talking to one of our friends this week, spent about an hour on the phone with him. He’s a man who’s struggled with depression all of his life. He actually has a brother who committed suicide. He’s going through … I’m talking about him with you, with his permission.
He’s going through a time right now. He said, “I have more anxiety in my life right now than I’ve ever, ever had before.” Then, he told me this. He said, “You know? My wife who is a very outstanding Christian woman …” He said, “She said to me the other day …” She said, “You know? You’re in this depression, but whenever you’re out doing something for someone else, you snap out of it.”
She said, “For example, those two middle school boys that you were cutting up with in the hall at the church and encouraging them …” There’s a couple of young guys that he has taken under his wing. He said, “You’re a different person when you’re with those boys.” That’s what can happen, you see, that you can get no other way when you’re serving someone else.
It’s to be like Jesus. Serving someone else, what can you get from serving someone else that you can get no other way? You actually can become like Jesus because he said, “I am among you, as one who serves.” Now, I realize that there might be a little bit of an allergic reaction to that.
Let’s turn back to Luke, Chapter 17, Verse 7. Luke 17, Verse 7. Nobody likes change, well very few people like change. Even the people that like change, change their minds, once change starts. Change is not easy. Changes. If you are a servant and somebody’s making a change, how do you handle that? How do you handle that?
Luke 17, Verse 7. Verse 7. “Suppose one of you had a servant plowing?” This is Jesus talking now. “Plowing or looking after the sheep. What did he say to the servant when he comes in from the field? ‘Come along now, and sit down, and eat.’ Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper. Get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink. After that, you can eat and drink.’
Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told him to do? What he told him to do?” Watch this. “You also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants. We have only done our duty.’” You know what the chief test of a servant is? The chief test of a servant is whether or not you’re willing to be treated like one.
Lots of people say, “I want to be a servant.”, but they’re not willing to be treated like a servant. Jesus gives us this extraordinary example of how we can be like him in serving other people. Serving other people actually doesn’t mean serving us by helping them. It actually means sacrificing something of ourselves to help those people.
Remember, somebody asked Jesus about, “Who’s my neighbor?” They’re trying to basically get out of being neighborly, loving their neighbor. It was … You know. Jesus told the story about the man who got beat up and all that and maybe you don’t know that story, but you can get that somewhere else another time.
The point of this is that your neighbor is anybody whose need you see, whose need you are in a position to meet, at that time. Now, if you see somebody in need, Peter was walking along. A beggar was asking him for money. He looked at him, and he said, “Silver and gold, I have none, but what I do have, I give you.” Then, he healed him.
You may not have silver and gold. The other thing is, you know, there are people who are joy-suckers. They just always are sucking your joy out whenever you’re around them. Sometimes, you just, “Oh my gosh! Here he comes again.” Or, “Here she comes again.”
You might have the time to listen, but you might not have the emotional margin. That’s okay. That’s okay. You’re not required to put yourself in the hospital to help some other people. All right? Look after your own health as well, but when you do see somebody whose needs you’re able to meet and you’re in a position to help them, then do that.
Then, if you don’t have, if right now, if you are in burnout or you’re numb, or you’re depressed, or have PTS, you can have PTS without being in the military, by the way. There’s lots of ways to get PTS. If that’s you, then create some emotional margin for yourself. Create some emotional margin for yourself.
You know, do the group, do the Bible, but then, if you really want to go all the way, a group and a Bible, will solve 50% of your problems. A group and a Bible will solve 50% of your problems, but today, the big idea is a little different. Today, the big idea is, a group, a Bible, and serving someone else will solve 90% of my problems.
Now, on your tables there is a half sheet of paper. It is called A Prayer for Biblical Manhood. Now, I had two ways to do this. I could have come up with an acrostic, something that I would have encouraged you to memorize, which you never would have …
…which would oversimplify biblical manhood. Or, I could just give you what I have spent. I could distill everything that I’ve learned about biblical manhood, if I could distill that down into a half page, turn it into a prayer, what would it look like? Well, that means that there are some other things that I could have said, okay? I mean, I’ve written thousands-and-thousands of pages of books, right?
There are some other things I could have said, but if I could take all of that and distill it down and come up with one prayer that a man could pray to dedicate himself to pursue biblical manhood, what would it be? This is it.
I’m going to read it out loud right now, and then if you want to, why don’t you just go ahead and just pray it. I can almost guarantee you, you won’t be sorry. I mean, I’m not trying to trick you with a prayer or anything like that.
You can pray it out loud, if you would like to. How many would like to pray this prayer with me out loud? All right, well, that’s good. If you want to pray silently, or not at all, just consider it for later, than that’s fine too. Let’s go ahead and do this.
A Prayer for Biblical Manhood. Repeat with me:
Heavenly Father, I am tired of weak, tepid faith. I am weary of leading a divided life. I want to be fully alive in Christ. I want to lead an abundant life, to know your love for me as a son, and to experience all the fruit of your Holy Spirit. So here today, I take my stand. I repent of all my worldly ways and put my faith in Christ alone.
I hereby declare that from this day forward, I will stop seeking the God or gods I want, and start seeking the God who is. Before a watching world, I pledge to lead a Bible saturated life, a devotion and study of God.
My desire is to renew my mind, to be a man after God’s own heart, to live out of the overflow of a vibrant relationship with Jesus and to each day, fully surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ. I will make it my business to live in right relationship with God, and right relationship with all people, and to exercise my gifts and calling to fulfill the great commission and cultural mandate.
I commit to live openly for the Glory of God in all my ways. I openly confess that I can do none of this, apart from your grace, Father, through Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, I pledge my allegiance this day, to lead a life of biblical manhood. Amen.
Now, what you’re going to do, is you’re going to spend the next 20 or so minutes, discussing the questions. Then, when there’s six or seven minutes left, I’ll come up and we’ll just get a few of you to recap the answers that your tables came up with. Go ahead and do that discussion now. Do we have first-timers here this morning? Any first-timers? One, two. All right.
If anybody who is a first-timer, if you come up to this card table, up in the front, we’ll pull up a few chairs. Just love to have a chance to meet you and get to know you a little bit. Okay? Let’s go ahead and take about 20 minutes and discuss the questions.
Let’s go ahead and open up the floor. The first question is, “Where do you get most of your encouragement and support to keep on, keeping on? To persevere?” Who would give an answer? By the way, what to keep mixing it up too, and let’s get different guys speaking. I mean, it doesn’t mean you can’t speak again, but let’s get different people speaking too.
Speaker 3: Morning prayer.
Pat Morley: Morning prayer. That keeps you up-and-going and persevering. Good. Great.
Speaker 4: Family and then also groups like this.
Pat Morley: Family and groups like this. Yep.
Speaker 5: My wife, first, and then my mentor.
Pat Morley: My wife and your mentor. Beautiful. Okay. Keith?
Keith: We were saying the Bible study here is awesome to come to on a Friday morning.
Pat Morley: You can speak as many times as you want.
Pat Morley: He said that the Bible study here on Friday morning is awesome. He said that the Bible study on Friday morning is like awesome! Where’s the best place to be on Friday morning, Keith?
Pat Morley: That’s great. All right. Those are kind of supporting some of the things we said. Relationships. Yeah?
Speaker 7: We talked about the outflow that comes out of relationships and out of groups and what is very encouraging in it. You have the groups and you have the relationships, but seeing the results and the outflow and the feedback is what gives you the encouragement.
Pat Morley: When you say, “outflow,” what does outflow mean?
Speaker 7: Out of your relationship, you see a better friendship coming or a dependency. They’ll come back and asking you for advice or asking you for prayer or you’re asking them for prayer.
Pat Morley: Kind of like the synergies of it and the growing and the branches and so forth. Okay. Got it. Okay. Good. Those are excellent. Art, last one.
Art: I’m the lead usher at our church. I have 41 ushers that are in my group. I find out that we all get a tremendous amount of support from each other.
Pat Morley: From each other, yeah.
Art: It’s a group of people that if you have problems, it’s good to go…
Pat Morley: A lot of affirmation for the things that we’ve been talking about this morning. Then, you can be in a group with your wife, of course. A group, a Bible, and serving someone else, will solve 90% of your problems. What is the main point today’s Bible verses are making about each of these three spiritual activities? Let’s just take three different answers. What was the Bible saying this morning about groups? Anybody? Pat?
Pat Morley: Encouragement. Encouragement comes from a group. Why? So that you won’t be, what? Hardened, by what? Sin’s deceit and so forth. That’s a great answer. Then, thank you for that. Then, second one, a Bible. The text about the Bible. What is the point the text in the Bible is making about this morning? Anybody?
Art: It’s alive.
Pat Morley: It’s alive. It is. Yeah. Brett Clemmer and the first message in this challenge talked about how he can come to this book, over-and-over-and-over again, and it is living. It’s different. It speaks to him. It speaks about him. Then, I was talking last week about … I don’t just read my Bible, but my Bible also reads me.
This is, in that text, that living in active peace, that dividing joint and marrow and so forth, judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. That’s being read by the Bible, right? Okay, that’s good.
Then, the third one is, serving someone else. What does the text say about serving someone else? What did Jesus say about himself with regard to service?
Speaker 12: Among us to serve.
Pat Morley: He said, “I am among you as one who serves.” Right?
Speaker 12: Right. Also, it brings up if something’s required of you so you don’t get the glory.
Pat Morley: If something’s that is required of you so what?
Speaker 12: You don’t get the glory.
Pat Morley: Yeah. You’re just doing what you’re supposed to do because that’s what a servant does. Great. Yes?
Speaker 13: Just as Jesus said, when he washed the feet of his disciples, Peter refused. He said, “No, I have to do this because I have to be a servant.”
Pat Morley: Beautiful illustration of the sentence that he had in our text today. But I am among you as one who serves. The point of all that is, hey, when we serve, we actually get to be like Jesus. We’re never more like Jesus than when we’re serving somebody else. All right, that’s great.
Then, third, does the prayer that we pray today express where you are today on your journey to biblical manhood? Why or why not? Anybody have any edits for the prayer? By the way, I meant to put draft at the top. This is like the first time. I just did that off the top of my head. I mean, this is going to be a document that I’m going to allow to be evolving, Christian evolution.
I’m going to allow this document to evolve so if you have edits for it or other thoughts or editions, things I shouldn’t have put in, things I should have. Yeah?
Speaker 14: We had a question about what cultural mandate means.
Pat Morley: All right. The cultural mandate is just in Genesis 117 or so. Anyways, it’s the tending the culture, taking care of creation. You have the great commission and the cultural mandate. The great commission’s making disciples building the kingdom. The cultural mandate is taking care of the culture. God calls us to build the kingdom and tend the culture. God calls us to build the kingdom and tend the culture.
We’re building the kingdom and then, we’re tending the culture. The cultural mandate is that area that includes our marriages, our families, our work, our communities, all of that. All of that is the cultural mandate. It’s God’s command to go to fill, rule and subdue the creation on his behalf and take care of it. Okay?
I guess I should do a whole talk on that, huh? How are we doing on time? Okay. Let me close this in prayer.
Heavenly Father, our dearest Father, we come to you as men who want to live out biblical manhood. Lord, help us all to have a group, a Bible, and serve someone else and we are confident that will take care of the vast majority of our problems. We will give you glory and praise for it in the name of Jesus, and everybody said.
Pat Morley: Thanks, have a great weekend. We’ll start Challenge 2 next week.