Guys, I think we have all had a man at some point say to us, “I need to talk with you man to man.” When it happens, it catches you off guard, you get a lump in your throat, and you begin to wonder what you’ve done wrong! If you know what you did, you begin to think about the possible options – fight or flight! Do I run away or stick around for the action. You may start asking questions like, “Does this have anything to do with that girl? Did I take advantage of him during that last business deal? Did he find out what I said about him? Did I embarrass him at that get together last weekend? What is it???
I think Jesus was the type of guy who said to men often, “I need to talk to you man to man.” I think Jesus spoke to Peter, James, John, and the rest of the ragtag crew of disciples like this from time to time. I think Jesus challenged the religious authorities, the political power mongers, and the rich elitists in this way – “I need to talk with you man to man.” A few weeks ago my heart was set on fire! Jesus stopped me in my tracks, in my busy life, and said to me – “I need to talk to you man to man.” In that moment, I wondered what Jesus was going to say. My mind raced with all the possibilities. What if Jesus asks – “Why do you ignore this person or that person? Why do you still struggle with that sin or this sin? Do you even know me or do you just talk about me on Sundays?” I was panicked when Jesus stopped me and said, “I want to talk with you man to man.” But then Jesus, simply said – “Do you love me more than these? Do you love me more than the things you are worried about me condemning you for? Do you love me more than the sins you confess???
I said – “Yes Jesus, you know I love you more.” Jesus said, “feed my sheep, tend my sheep, feed my sheep – Be bold, be courageous, let me be in you!” And so the past couple of weeks, my sermons have been laser focused, specifically on the men of my church. Women matter too, but too many men are absent, too many men are distracted, too many men are falling away, too many men have forgotten THE WAY! And I am to blame as much as anyone for I am a shepherd in God’s field. I have not called men to be holy for fear that I might not live up to holiness myself. That stops now. I am not a perfect man, far from it, but I want to be a holy man as much as possible. I want to be known as a man that chases after God’s heart. I want to be found faithful with little, that God might, by His grace, find me worthy to inherit the true riches of heaven. I want a real adventure with Jesus! That is what “Follow Me” really means – adventure!
Every man needs a relationship with Jesus. Every man needs to find his purpose. Every man needs to see the significance of his life. Every man is looking for the Jesus adventure, even if they do not realize it yet. Every man needs to hear Jesus say, “I need to talk with you man to man.” Ever since that day, I have been trying so much more to be a “good shepherd,” to be a “godly man,” to be a “holy man.” I have a lot to learn in this life, but I only want to learn it from Jesus. So if you are a man reading this, I want to encourage you to stop and listen for the voice of Jesus. Hear him say to you, “I want to talk man to man.” I pray you hear similar as did I, “Be bold, be courageous, let me be in you!” Life is changing. Christ is changing it. And it feels right.