1st Timothy 2:8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.
It's tough being a father...and in honor of this special day I want to speak to those who are blessed with such a great privilege. But, as you might expect...I want to look at things from a different perspective.
Actually, I want to address not just fathers, but men in general. And even though this is a day when father's usually receive a gift of some kind...I want to speak about a gift father's should give ... a very precious gift...a gift for their children...but mostly for themselves.
It is very difficult being a man in the 2000's. And the reason I think it is so difficult is because of the way men were raised in generations past. Face it...the days of The Jefferson's, Good Times and Father Knows Best are gone. Men go places...do things...dress, act and think in ways they never would have when I was growing up.
Men today are different in many ways. And we could all make quite a list of the changes that have taken place over the past few generations. And there are many positive changes that have come about in men. But in spite of many positive changes...there are some things about men that change very little.
It has been said that almost any man can father a child...but only special ones can be a dad. And I want to say that dads are special people. I've had many heroes over the years. But my first hero was my dad.
When I faced difficult times as a youngster, none of my other heroes could help me...but dad was always there. He couldn't leap tall buildings with a single bound...but he was always there...always caring. And I know some of you could spend hours sharing wonderful things about your fathers.
And yet, there is something that was so common with that generation of men that for the most part has been handed down throughout many generations...right down to ours today... something that I think is the greatest disservice done to the men of this and future generations.
They were taught that men never show emotion...or anything that would be interpreted as weakness. Men must be strong...proud...tough! Today's men have come quite a ways since then...but yet in things that matter the most, very little has changed for the average household. I've come to believe that one of the most important things that a man can give to his child is the godly example of intimate relationships.
And of course, first and foremost would be a personal, intimate relationship with God. And the reason a relationship with God is so important is because that is what sets the stage for other successful relationships.
This text calls for men with an open commitment to the living reality of God's person and His presence. The phrase "lift up holy hands without anger or disputing" simply seeks a man who has discovered a confidence in his relationship with the Lord.
This is a man who doesn't come strutting into God's presence...but one who comes with holy hands...hands that have something happen to them. They've been transformed. This is a man who comes to the Lord with an openness and recognition...knowing that he is received and accepted by the Father...Almighty God!
Paul is saying, "I wish men were like this...men of faith and men of self control. Men who would not doubt and would not be possessed by anger. This is a biblical call to a real relationship...to a friendship with God...to be able to call Him for everything. It's a call to intimate friendship.
I like the way Jack Hayford describes it...He says: It's as if God drank coffee...and you'd feel comfortable coming to Him...and you'd pour Him a cup, and then, as you sat there you'd pour out your heart as well. Imagine it...just the 2 of you...God and son...sitting there over coffee, as friends, sharing the deepest thoughts of your heart.
A man with a real, personal relationship with God will learn that his walk with God allows for such "pouring out" ...for emptying anger, pride, lust or anything else eating at him. And God doesn't see this as if you're flinging stuff in His face...or like you're putting Him at fault...or like your failures have made it impossible to be up front with Him.
Actually, this pouring out is learning to "cast all our care upon Him for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). There is a big difference between simply being saved as great as that is and walking with God in friendship. When we have that kind of relationship God becomes included in everything in our life.
This "face to face" kind of relationship is what is at the center of Christ's heart for men. Note how Jesus, after walking with His disciples for 3 years one day said, "No longer do I call you servants...but I call you friends" (John 15:15). That is the kind of relationship Jesus wants each of us to have with Him.
Gregory Mc Donald
Bible 1st Timothy 2 Chapter verse 8