Developing Healthy, Godly Men

Yearning for Guidance on Being a Godly Christian Man?

Ross Sawyers
Feb 18, 2024    1hr
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Are you questioning what it truly means to be a godly Christian man in today's culture? This insightful message tackles the diminishing role of men in society and provides a biblical blueprint for reclaiming your purpose. Explore the qualities of temperate, dignified, and sensible leadership exemplified by older men, and learn practical ways to mentor younger men in self-control and sound doctrine. Discover how rejecting passivity, making Christ the center, and imitating mature believers can transform you into the healthy, serious-minded spiritual leader your family and community desperately need. Find encouragement to finish strong and make an eternal impact by fully embracing your role as a godly Christian man. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

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Ross Sawyers: [00:00:00] What an amazing morning of worship, I am so grateful. Jeff and Jordan have been special friends for years. Jordan was in my youth group when I was in Florida, and then she helped us when we started the church. Jeff was there with us at the very beginning, and they just really helped establish a cool foundation for 121. So what a gift today for us to have them lead us.

Ross Sawyers: [00:00:29] If you turn your Bibles to Titus, we'll be in Titus chapter 3. Titus is at the back end of your Bible, if you're newer here, and not as familiar with your Bibles, that's where you can find it. I encourage people to follow along and track along with the scriptures, and we'll also have it on the screens for you to view as well. And then I'll work off the board today and just show you 2 or 3 things and why I do them, that may be helpful for you in your own study as well.

Ross Sawyers: [00:00:58] The Background for Titus, just by way of review. Crete is an island just south of Greece. Paul had been on the island of Crete with Titus. Several churches, young churches, had been planted on the island. Paul was leaving, he leaves Titus behind, and he leaves him behind to help establish just strong, godly leadership in the churches. There were several false opponents and false teachers that were rising up within the church, and Paul found it necessary for Titus to stay behind and help establish strong, godly leadership. Which, by the way, Paul says is the antidote to false teaching, is more and more godly leaders to be raised up, and that will counter that which is false.

Ross Sawyers: [00:01:56] We've worked our way through chapter 1, we're in chapter 2, and we're going to talk today about men in verses 1 and 2, and verses 6 through 8. Someone asked me this week when I said that, what about the women? Well, we're going to talk about the women next week in verses 3 through 5. So in Titus 2, those first several verses are about older men and younger men, older women and younger women, there's something for all of us. And when we talk about men that impacts the women, and when we talk about women it impacts the men. But just know today that my focus and the way I'll talk is to our men. And I hope it's okay, guys, today, but I'm going to challenge you, I'm going to challenge you hard, and affirm you and encourage you as well. So I hope you walk out, with conviction where there needs to be, not unnecessary conviction, and affirmation, where you hear it as well. It should be both, and, if we walk through the Scripture well in our moments.

Ross Sawyers: [00:03:01] And the way I'd like us to begin is to interview a couple of guys. So Zach and Tim, if you'll make your way out here. We are partnering, one of the things that we are able to do as a church over the years is to partner with several church plants, the starts of different churches. Zach is the pastor of a church in Brooklyn that he started a few years ago, and so we've been partnering with them for a little bit now. So it gives you an opportunity to meet him and to be able to pray for him and for that church plant. We participate in our giving towards him, and you might find yourself intrigued enough to get in, in other ways, with the church plant. So I hope that it'll be encouraging as you hear from him. Tim Green has been at 121 for years, he's on our church planting team that helps us figure out where we're going to partner in our different church plants. And I wanted you to hear from him as a way for you to be encouraged to be a part of that kind of planting or other ministries that go on at 121. So, Zach, if you would just kind of share, 2 or 3 minutes, your story. so I can just get to know you briefly.

Zach: [00:04:12] I grew up here in Texas, actually, I spent about seven years here in the DFW area as a youth pastor and college minister before God called me to start a church in New York City, in Brooklyn. And our first day as a church, me and another guy we combined, and we had two Bible studies and started the church, and then Covid hit the next day. So we've been through a lot the last 4 to 5 years. So I am a die-hard sports fan, I love basketball, basketball is my thing. I'm originally from San Antonio, so I'm still a Spurs fan, sorry. But I'm also a die-hard Yankees fan. And, you know, the Rangers, they pulled it out this year, right? So I think we helped you, we told one of our pitchers he wasn't a playoff pitcher, and then he came and dominated for you guys, so you're welcome.

Zach: [00:05:11] I have three kids. I don't know if we've got the photo of my wife up here, you'll see it up here, that's my beautiful family. And so that's my wife, Caroline, so we've been married almost ten years now. And so my eldest is Bethany right there, she's got red hair, I have no idea where she got it from. And then my other two were born there in New York. The first one, Rebecca, is autistic, special needs. And so, man, I love spending time with her and getting to know her and her language. And then, my youngest son, the two-year-old there, he's going to be a Brooklyn hooper, but he gives me the most gray hair that I've got. Amen?

Zach: [00:05:52] So, man, we started the church, you know, right when Covid hit, and so we've had some, man, we've had some crazy things the last couple of years even. So I've had our youth guy got his leg amputated. I had a worship guy get lit on fire. One of our other pastors almost died from Covid. We've had some crazy things happen, and just spiritual warfare, But I just want to thank you guys and give a shout-out to 121 CC, you guys have been really partnering with me the last year, and, man, I couldn't be more grateful with Pastor Ross, and Tim, and Elvis, and Jermaine, and these guys. Man, you guys are blessed to have some godly, godly staff members.

Zach: [00:06:38] And so, yo, so shout out to the youth, too. I think at 4:30, I'll be there too, and so I just want to invite you and the high schoolers out there and share more of the story about the Borough Church and my family.

Ross Sawyers: [00:06:53] Awesome, thank you. Tim, a brief look at your story for people who don't know you.

Tim Green: [00:06:59] Yeah. So I am Tim Green, my wife Laura and I have been around for 13, 14, or 15 years, or something like that, and I have served in various capacities. So it's been an honor to come alongside Elvis for the mission’s team or the church planning team. Something to know about, what Zach mentioned, I mean, they went, and they literally started their church the month before Covid hit. And we opened back up in March-May, you know, but they didn't open up until last week. So I should just underscore what he has gone through, but God has met them, forged them. God meets us in our furnace, right, and that's when he really develops our character, and it has been hard. Zach would never say this, but I know he's better today than he was three years ago because of all of that stuff, and it's just going to make you really powerful for the Lord.

Ross Sawyers: [00:08:00] Two other things just to note, you know, we partner with a number of church planters, and it's really important to know that different churches show up when they support different churches in different ways. Some of them just write a check and then say, you know, we're supporting you and whatever. Our leadership team has a heartbeat to get involved and to come alongside the planters because it's a lonely job. Right? They're on the front lines every day. And it is a real blessing to be able to come alongside folks like Zach and Caroline, and to be able to help train them and just encourage them. And so that's where you go to church, and that's what your leadership believes, and know that that's different. The other thing that many of you all probably already know, but Ross is a church planter at heart and it's in his DNA, so he naturally disciples church planters in ways that are really, really powerful and meaningful, and so that's an incredible blessing right at our fingertips. So, thank you.

Ross Sawyers: [00:09:16] I think that's fantastic; I may just leave on that one. Thanks. I love it. Well, one of the things we're talking about today, so we're talking about older men and younger men and the influence that either have on each other as well. So Zach, when you think about who are older men that have been an influence on you, and then who are younger men that you're turning around and that you're helping to develop to be just healthy, godly men?

Zach: [00:09:43] Yeah. I think this is a really important subject for our culture and who we are in Christ. And you see it all throughout the Scripture how discipleship is the basis of the church. And so I think of three people instantly, I think of my father, the youth pastor I worked under in San Antonio named Scott Lane, and then the pastor I served under for seven years, Daniel Sweet. And so one of the things about my dad, my dad was actually, he was atheist/agnostic in college, came to Christ, and the dude was just a solid father. He brought us up in the Scripture. He made sure he made an effort to disciple me, for the kids, and really pour into us about Jesus, which I think goes hand in hand with the church. So my dad, he's been in a church for 40 years, he's a Sunday school teacher and still does that thing. He reads the Bible five minutes in the morning and five minutes at night every day, and so I just saw that in my father. I'm 35 years old, my dad is older, he's 75 years old. One of the sweetest times I had, I actually took some Brooklyn guys down to do a basketball clinic in San Antonio this last year, and me and my dad would just kind of, he helped me do our mission trip, and it was just really cool to kind of tag team with my dad, sharing the Gospel with people and serving. And there's something special about that, especially when older people are pouring into younger people. And it makes us younger people, like, my dad doesn't have to ask me or tell me what to do, I go to him for advice because I have respect for him.

Zach: [00:11:21] And so I always talk about this when you read First and Second Timothy and Titus, you see, really you need a Paul in your life, and you need a Barnabas and a Silas in your life, someone you tag team, and then you need a Timothy or Titus that you're teaching. And there's something about that [inaudible] of people pouring into the next generation. And so I think of guys like Scott Lane, who was a youth pastor, Daniel Sweet, who I learned under, who coached me, and the things that I do. You know, it's so funny, we imitate who we're around a lot, right? You start figuring out their mannerisms. So I figured when I started preaching, I'm like, yo, I look like my pastors now, you know? And we do, we copy, as kids, they copy everything. You guys that are parents, you know what I'm talking about, right? Even the bad stuff, they do something like, oh, man, I taught them that that was not good, right? And so we're meant to be imitators, we're made in the image of God, and so having those generations teach us in that manhood really developed me.

Zach: [00:12:23] And one of the things that I love about my father and those men is how humble they are. You know, my dad, the other day, he was telling me, he's like, you know, man, I learned something while you were talking the other day. I'm like, you learn something from me, I'm the son. But it makes me want to just learn from him more, that humility. And, you know, I always talk about, even in ministry, how you want to graduate to the next stage. And a lot of churches that die, it's because the older people in the church, it's like they're still stuck in parenthood and they don't graduate to grandparenthood, and they're missing the joy of that. And, you know, I always talk to my in-laws and my parents is like, I'm like, what's it like being a grandparent? They're like, yo, we get to hang out with the kids, buy them gifts, but you do the discipline, you know? And there's a joy to that stage in life. And I think we should be enjoying all those stages as people of Christ. You know, Jesus said at one point he said to the disciples, you will do greater things than me. Yo, this is the Son of God talking to probably what's late teenagers or young adults? And I just think that's what we're called to do. You know, the Great Commission is not just for staff in the church, it's for every person in the church. Amen? And so we're called to make disciples who make disciples. And so I think that older to younger generation, it's important to have that.

Zach: [00:13:44] I teach, I actually have a couple of young men, one of them is preaching for me today, and then another one that we baptized a couple of years ago is preaching next week. And he actually came to Christ in Covid, reading the Bible, and showed up at our church and said, I've never been in a Christian church. And so for two years I've been pouring into him, and now he feels called to be a pastor and minister. So we want to send him out as a pastor at some point. You know, that's I just think that's so important, the investment in the next, the next from man to man like that.

Ross Sawyers: [00:14:16] Thank you. Tim, what about you? What's your experience with older men and younger men?

Tim Green: [00:14:22] This is not going to be any easier than it was at 8:00. You know that don't you? I did not have that role model growing up. I did not have that role model growing up. And so I didn't really know what it looked like, and I didn't live that way, at all. I mean, I grew up going to mass and then kind of was of the world, and that was how I did life, and in the middle of that had children. And so how I parented and how the kind of a husband that I was didn't reflect, even though I was going to church, didn't reflect any sort of discipleship or anything until about 15 years ago when a friend of mine said, you know, are you the spiritual leader of your household? And I was like, I don't even know what that means. And when I did find out what it meant, then I was like, oh my gosh, I am so unworthy. I mean, how I show up day in and day out is not at all worthy of being a leader in my household; my wife would have never believed it, and it would just be, it wasn't possible.

Tim Green: [00:15:37] And it was then that I started on a sanctification journey at 45, and it has been it has been really spectacular, the way that God has woven together older guys and younger guys. The guy who asked me that question was five to seven years younger than me, so I was like, man, I am a remedial learner. But it's just a testimony to how God weaves together his kingdom, to bring together older and younger guys. And I would offer this bit of encouragement for any guys or gals who are sitting in here that are saying, I've been doing this for a long time, and my secular and sacred life is not different, or it's significantly different, and I'm still living in those silos. Don't be discouraged, I mean the Holy Spirit will come down and grab you, but you have to be intentional. I mean, you've got to have conviction, you've got to really want to walk with him.

Tim Green: [00:16:42] And I love what you said about your dad, and that you didn't say it earlier, like he reads the Bible 4 or 5 times a day. Why does he read the Bible 4 or 5 times a day? So he can keep his head in his heart, woven with God every day. And if I don't do that, I'm dust, I'm going to enter a conflict and I'm going to react poorly and all that stuff. So, that has been from years of guys older and younger pouring into me. So, yeah, beautiful.

Ross Sawyers: [00:17:10] Thank you. I wanted you to hear two different pictures, because sometimes if we listen to Zach's story, it's kind of like, oh, how do I do this? It's like, kind of the perfect layout for him. And then Tim, gives us probably what most of our realities are. Most of us probably didn't have a model of what it looks like to be a healthy, godly man, and so we're all kind of left figuring out how to do that. So I want to say, looking in Titus for that today. Thanks, guys. If you have any interest, Zach is speaking this afternoon at 4:30 to our students. Jermaine will let you sit in the back, and you could observe, and then hopefully along the way, when you hear us talk about Brooklyn, you'll have a face to go with that. And if God kind of spurs an interest for you, then we'd love for you to be more engaged than you already are from a giving side. So, thanks, guys. in.

Ross Sawyers: [00:18:12] So again, we're hanging out in Crete, and Crete was described as an immoral culture and liars, like, that's the culture. I don't think that's too different from today, we live in an immoral culture, and there are a number of lies that are being propagated throughout our culture. So I think we find ourselves in a similar scenario that we read in Titus. So let's just think for a few minutes, this morning from the Scriptures, about the development of healthy, godly men. And again, I hope you find yourself encouraged today, and I hope you find yourself challenged today, I will throw some things out that I hope you'll chew on and consider in your own life. Someone earlier said to me, and so I want to be careful here, ladies, that as you hear me talk and we anchor to the Scripture, and this is not what you're living with, this can be an uncomfortable drive home today. And so if this is not what's occurring, grace, today, and we want to start where we are today, and hear what God has for us today and hopefully make a move and a step forward as we move out of today. So that would be my encouragement today, and to stick in there to hear Tim say, at 45 years old, I didn't know what a spiritual mentor was, I didn't know what it meant to be a spiritual mentor in my home. That should be encouraging today, because God has used him in amazing ways over the last 15 years, and my hunch is God used him more than he would give himself credit for prior to that.

Ross Sawyers: [00:20:07] So let's take a look at four things that I see in Titus 2, that I think can help us know what it is to develop healthy, godly men. The first is to speak and live the truth. This runs rampant through Titus, that we're both speaking and living the truth. It's not that I just live out the character and the things I see in Scripture, and I don't speak. It's not that I just speak, and then my life doesn't match up with what I'm saying. Healthy, godly men both speak and live the truth of God, it's both, and. There's not an occasion or a way to do life, where we're separating those two. And so this morning, if that brings conviction, because the speaking is not there, the way we can know we're being healthy, godly men is we're both speaking and living the truth.

Ross Sawyers: [00:21:03] Chapter 2, verse 1, "But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine." So that word but is a conjunction, so when I'm studying and I think about how I'm going to look at things, I'll look at conjunctions or purpose clauses and put a triangle around those. This is significant because it tells me that the things before it, I'm looking at a contrast now. And I know we ended, at the end of chapter 1, is we were talking about false teachers who profess to know God, but by their deeds, they were denying God. And Paul's continuing his letter, and he's saying, but as for you. So, Titus, as for you, I'm actually calling you up to be a different kind of man, and to be a different kind of leader than what is emerging from the false leaders within the church. So but as for you, and then I'm going to circle verbs, we want to know what the action is inside of the scripture. So speak, that's for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Now, that word speak is not what I'm doing right here, this is ordinary conversation, it's not preaching. Sometimes we'll look and say, well, that's the preacher's job, or it's the life group leader's job. No, he's saying to Titus, as for you speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine, and I'm going to underline this the nouns, and how what that is modifying there with the sound doctrine.

Ross Sawyers: [00:22:44] Now when we talk about healthy godly men, when Eric taught us a couple of weeks ago, the word sound is a word that appears multiple times in Titus. You can almost build the theme around it, but the word sound is the word hygiene, which means health. And so he's saying that the things that you're to talk about are the things that are fitting for sound doctrine, the things that match. The word fitting means proper, so what is sound doctrine? What is sound teaching? That's what doctrine is, is sound teaching. And whatever that is, what is healthy is what is fitting, and that's what our lives should match. Now, a way to think about this is whatever it is that I believe, it will drive and shape what I value, and what I value will drive and shape what I do. So to be healthy in the way we're taught and what the teaching is actually shapes our values. And we could back that up and look at people's lives and say, this is what their life looks like, therefore, they must value this particular thing, which means they believe something about which they value. So you can work it both ways, but a way to look in our lives and say, what do I really believe? I need to look at what I do, and what that says is this is what I value, and that is shaped by what I've been taught or what I believe is truth. And so Paul is saying to Titus, hey, look, you need to be speaking the things which are fitting for sound doctrine and that speaking is ordinary conversation.

Ross Sawyers: [00:24:30] And so this is a question I would ask our men today. Sunday through Saturday, does Jesus's name come through your ordinary talk? I'm talking about your hanging out with your buddies, you're hanging out in your home, and Jesus is the subject of a sentence that you speak just in ordinary conversation. Is God ever the subject of a sentence that you say? Now I'm not talking about just sitting down with somebody and sharing the Gospel with them, you hear me say that a lot. I'm just talking about in everyday conversation, hey, when I'm at work on Monday morning, mid-morning. Hey, you know what? I was at church yesterday and this is what God said to me in the worship yesterday. Or you should have been at my church yesterday and seen how God's name was honored in the worship. Or I was in church yesterday and we were looking at this really obscure book at the back of our Bibles called Titus, and this is something God said to me. Like, is that just natural conversation for you? And this isn't about, are you an introvert, are you an extrovert, this isn't about what your personality is, this is about just being a follower of Jesus. And when we speak words, that Jesus is a part of that ordinary conversation. Speak and live the truth, this is a healthy, godly man whose kids hear their dad talking about Jesus, and whose kids hear their dad talking about scripture and what God is saying to them in the Scripture. Speak and live, ordinary conversations about what's proper.

Ross Sawyers: [00:26:24] And this is normative, right, in anything. If you eat healthy, as a norm, you'll be fairly healthy. If you exercise and you've been taught the right things about exercise, i keep learning things that I've done wrong in my working out, I've worked out my whole life, and I've fouled up parts of my body without even knowing I was fouling them up. Now I'm learning, oh, that's how you do that, and that's why you do that. It's good, healthy teaching, I value that now I'm working on that exercise. In your work culture, someone has said, this is what we're about, this is what we believe as a culture, if you want to work here, we want you to believe this. And if you believe it, then that will be what you value, and you'll work hard because you actually believe what the culture is about. See, in everything in life, it starts with the way we are taught and the things that we believe about that which is true. It's what Paul says to Titus in chapter 1, verse 1, it's the knowledge of the truth that he's promoting, which is according to godliness. So it's just it's knowing the truth and then it produces a godly character. So we're talking about speech and a life of conduct that matches, this runs throughout. So a healthy, godly man, I say healthy because that word sound comes again and again. So a healthy, godly man. Is one where the speech and the conduct matches.

Ross Sawyers: [00:28:06] The second thing he says, and he's addressing older men in verse 2, he says, "Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance." And I would say about this, a second thing to hang our hat on is that healthy, godly men grow and mature over time. Now, we don't necessarily grow and mature because we grow older, we're talking about growing and maturing over time because of who we are in Christ.

Ross Sawyers: [00:28:42] Now read in one spot, and I did not read it anywhere else, but I'm going to roll with it, that older men are 60 and above. I was so excited when I read that, because in two months I turned 60 and I thought, I'm still in the younger man category, about to transition. And so however you think about older men and younger men. And what we don't want to be, by the way, as older men, we don't want to spend our days hanging out at IHOP, reliving the good old days. There are bigger and greater things to do in God's economy. I was talking to a buddy this morning, he's already tipped over 60, and he's more in the older man category, he just referenced recently and saw something that said that our most fruitful years as men are between 60 and 70. The second most fruitful time for men is 50 to 60, and the third most fruitful time for men is 70 to 80. You see, God has not designed us, and I'm afraid in our retirement culture we've made that mean to retire from God's work as well. And God has not designed us to tap out, he's designed us to our very last breath to be growing and maturing, to be more and more like Christ, more and more in the ways of Christ, more and more in our natural conversations, speaking the things of Jesus, more and more, being about the purposes of God. Our most fruitful years as older men are still ahead of us, they're not behind us.

Ross Sawyers: [00:30:37] So what does he say about older men? And by the way, my buddy said this morning, the good thing about older men and younger men, the older men need the younger men, so they don't get grumpy and irritable. The younger men need the older men because they can tend to do things that aren't really wise. And there is something about years that brings wisdom, that has something to offer to those who are younger. Younger and older, we need both to be working and functioning well with each other. So what does he say about the older men? This is what they're to be growing and maturing in. They're to be more and more temperate, that means moderate, free from intoxication, sober-minded, content, good with the simple. Things actually ought to be simplifying. as an older man continues to grow and mature. Dignified, that word dignified means seriousness of purpose, it doesn't mean you can't have fun. But a seriousness of purpose, that there is a weight of who I am as a follower of Jesus, and the purpose I have in life actually grows more and more serious as time passes.

Ross Sawyers: [00:31:57] I think of Tab Sims, a friend of mine that lives in Jacksboro, Texas, and he just a few years ago helped another young pastor, start a church in Jacksboro that is thriving along the way. There's a seriousness about Tab in the way he shares the gospel with people, his love for the word, and the way he serves. I just look at a man like that and say, this is a dignified man, and he just continues to grow in it. The third thing he says is to be sensible, I kind of lost track here, didn't I? Sorry about that. So temperate, dignified, and sensible, that word sensible means self-restraint or self-control. we don't let the truths of the day, which a lot of times are not the truths, sway what is the truth. They stay anchored, stay sensible, and have self-restraint. These characteristics, by the way, to me, are when a grandchild sees their granddad, that this is what they see is the character of their grandad, and they see that their grandad loves Jesus and that their grandad has a seriousness of purpose in his later years, and that their grandad, is one who's bold about sharing his faith. 75-year-old, Zach's dad sharing the gospel together, what a gift, but a seriousness of purpose. And a granddad who loves the church and grandkids might not even know why all that is, they just know this about who their granddad is. And it's sound in faith, here's that word again, healthy in the Word of God, the things of God, and trust in God. When I think about sound in the faith, I think about Darrell Jolly, in our church, and he's helping lead a mentoring one on one kind of discipling effort in our church. What Darrell does, is he loves God's Word, and he just sits with young men, and he will have a quiet time with them just to model for them how to even spend time with God. I think it's a beautiful way to help people get into the Word. It's just, hey, here's when I sit down with God alone with him in the morning, this is what I do, join me, and then you can turn around and do the same thing, we're imitators. We are imitators, and so it's a great way to imitate.

Ross Sawyers: [00:34:20] Sound in faith, sound in love, so that everything we're doing is wrapped in perseverance, and we want to finish well. A week ago, over an eight-day span, we had three men in our church that died, all three knew Jesus. I just want you to know today that whatever our age is, that we're not that far from tapping out, we're closer to tapping out than we are to having more years on this earth. And God has designed us, and called us, as older men to be as strong in who we are in Christ and as bold and serious in our purpose as we ever were when we take our last breath. It's not a fade, it is a finish strong.

Ross Sawyers: [00:35:11] I think about other men in our church. Bob Beams is sitting in here, he's 80 years old and he helped us start 121. He has been faithful all these years. One of the things the young lady told me the other day, she said, one of the ways you love other cultures is to learn their language. He's still been working and learning Spanish all these years, to love the Spanish speakers that he serves and loves so much, that's just one thing among many. I think about Mike Dorris in our church, who leads my orphan outreach, and he's retired now, but he's still heavily involved with it, and there hadn't been a lunch that I've gone with to Mike Dorris, that I'm not sharpened by the things he's learning new, always learning, and he's one of the godliest most theologically stout men that I know. And so God has called us as older men to be always increasing and growing in the character of God and in the mission of God.

Ross Sawyers: [00:36:09] There's a third thing here that we think about, and we think about developing healthy, godly, and by the way, there are scores of other men like the ones I just described, that are healthy, godly men at 121. So the third thing we think about in verse 6 is to encourage self-control, and Titus is writing this one to the young men in this church to say likewise. So here we have, just a shift here, he'd been talking about the women, that we'll talk about next week. He says, "Likewise urge the young men...." To be what? "...sensible." The only thing that Paul tells Titus to do with the young men is to urge them to be sensible. There's not a list, it's just do this one. And the word sensible means self-control, and by the laughter, clearly, we understand why this is the case. Young men tend to not have a self-restraint or a self-control. It doesn't mean they have to be not self-controlled, but there can be that tendency. And he says, look, encourage them to have self-control. Master your impulses.

Ross Sawyers: [00:37:31] In Genesis chapter 4 verse 7 it says, "Sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” So I just want to say to our young men today, and I would say this is also true for our older men because those things can overlap. But to our young men specifically, sin is crouching at the door and its desire is to master you, that is what sin wants to do. We have these different things that are against us today. Satan is the mastermind and the schemer, the world is against the things of God, and then our own fleshly desires rise up within us, and those things are against God himself. Sin desires to master our young men. And that’s what happening today. our culture is emasculating our men, our culture is diminishing men, our culture is trying to sideline men, our culture is trying to make men passive today, and it's not attractive, it's not helpful, it is detrimental. It's detrimental to culture, it's detrimental to our homes, it's detrimental everywhere it's happening.

Ross Sawyers: [00:38:48] How is Satan doing this? I'll just take a few stabs at it, and I'm going to be quick on this, so you're welcome to come back and challenge us. But I would say today that part of the way that Satan is doing this is through drinking. I know that drunkenness is a sin, and then it's not that you can drink and that's not a sin, I know that. But there's been something about being around men over the last several years that drink that bothers me, and I haven't been able to put my finger on it, they're not drunk, but the thing that my son finally helped me figure it out, and it's not that someone's drunk, but they're just not totally with us anymore. There is a glassiness in the eyes, there is a looseness in what they're doing. Not drunk, and I don't even know what the limits are, and I'm not trying to do that either. I'm just saying, but my son said to me, right, and that's because we're to be sober-minded. You see, God has called us to be sober-minded and to be on the alert because the devil is after us. And when we get just a little bit non-sober-minded, it doesn't mean you're drunk, but just a little bit non-sober-minded, we're not as alert as we used to be. We're not alert in our home. I've never forgotten the story of a man who told me, he said I used to drink all the time, and I decided I was going to quit. When I told my ten-year-old and eight-year-old I was quitting, they were so relieved because they were scared to death whenever I drank. He said, I never knew that about my children. He wasn't drunk, but something changes, and a child knows when there's a slight change in their dad. So I would just say today that alcohol has become the center of things, I don't think that was ever the design, but it seems like so much just revolves around alcohol, it is something to be enjoyed. So that'd be one thing I would say and say.

Ross Sawyers: [00:40:48] And I'm not being legal, I'm just saying I'm seeing these things destroy lives. There's a whole combination of things, gambling, I don't give a flying rip that it's legal now, it is destroying homes and it destroys young men. I can barely read a sports article anymore without a link to how I can bet on it. Any time you have to put up a billboard that says, here's where you call when you're addicted to gambling after you pass the casino, it's a problem. But we have young men that are obsessed with gambling. We have young men and older men who know more fantasy football stats than they know scriptures in the Bible, it's a problem, we are mastered by it. Pornography, online gaming, young men, I'm not talking about children, I'm not talking about children or teenagers, I'm talking about young men that spend hours gaming. Phone obsessions, money chasing, entertaining ourselves to death. We have young men that make quite a bit of money and can travel and do all those different things, and we know we have men who are traveling all over the world and finding ways they can sin in other parts of the world so that the family can't see the sin here. We have young men, 20s, 30s, and 40-year-old dads, who are going ballistic at their kids' games because they can't control their emotions and letting the teenage ref have it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:42:28] Why does Paul tell Titus to urge the young men to be sensible and have self-control? Because they can easily get out of control. So how do we do that? You're not going to do it by deciding today, I'm going to be clear-headed and sensible. It's going to come when you actually believe that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life, and he actually is the one healthy, godly man we can look to. And that Jesus died on the cross to take all your sins and mine, all my lack of self-control, he took it on the cross. And then God raised him from the dead, so he conquered Satan, he conquered the world, and he conquered sin. In doing that, in Jesus Christ, we have the power then to do the things that Paul is urging Titus to tell us to do. The Holy Spirit comes into our lives when we believe this good news, and part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control. So it's only as I linger, abide, and depend on Christ in me that self-control will start to be produced through me, and then I can counter all the things around me.

Ross Sawyers: [00:43:46] Here's the fourth thing that he says, and now he changes it to Titus and says, here's how you're to help people be healthy, godly men in the church, it's to set the pace. Titus is to set the pace, in verse 7 it says, "In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds." The word example is the word for imprint. Show yourself, be an imprint on people. Think about the men that Zach was talking about, and Tim was talking about, think about the men in your life that have made an imprint on your life. What you've seen in them or what you have heard them say, and it's made an imprint on you. So he's saying to Titus, you be an example of good deeds so that's your life and your teaching are matching. Make sure if he was saying this today, that your life in the coffee shop matches your life at home, and matches your life at your work, and matches your life at the sports facility, and matches your life at the church. And again, this could be uncomfortable for men today when you get in the car today if your life isn't matching up in different arenas, but here you make it look like something that it's not. See, what we're looking for is our lives that match up both in the way that we speak and then in the example of the good deeds that we do with purity and doctrine. There it is again, being sound in doctrine, in teaching. So for the young men, just like the older men, be sound in doctrine. Dor Titus, for that pace he's set, and then to be dignified. So it's deeds, it's doctrine, it's being dignified. That's three d's, preachers love that kind of stuff, I didn't even notice that.

Ross Sawyers: [00:45:37] And so it's being serious-minded, so that as young men to be serious-minded. Titus is to set that pace for the young and the old, to be serious-minded in sound and speech which is beyond reproach. Can I just say this? And it's a quick thing, again, you can challenge me on it. But the Scripture says, let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only a word that's necessary for building up. And I just hear men left and right that are Christian men that cuss and use words that are less than life-giving, and it's just like part of the everyday vernacular. And I want you to know today you will stand out as a godly, healthy man if your language is just cleaned up, I hear guys in the sauna and they'll be talking, and it's like talking about God here, and then the F word over here. And I'm thinking, okay, I'm not saying you're not a Christian, I mean, I'm not being a legalist about that, but good gravy. can we do something here to clean it up a little bit? And pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. If Christ has captured us, he'll capture our language. And then if this is just helpful to you today, it's insulting, but somebody said it to me a long time ago. Man, he said, you know what? When people cuss, it just shows a lack of intelligence. Can we not dig down and find a better vocabulary that is God-honoring and respectful to the people around us? "Sound in speech." that's what Paul is telling Titus. Why? "So that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us." So he is just saying, hey, look, if you live this way, your opponents will have nothing they can say. Now they will, but they'll end up looking foolish because your life matches up. They did to Jesus, but everybody looked around, and they know it's not true. So it ultimately puts the opponents to shame, to have this kind of behavior and to live this way. Again, the only way it will happen is with Christ in you.

Ross Sawyers: [00:47:47] So how do we do this? So I've been listening to these different podcasts, and they always are saying the same things that I just said, and I'm thinking, okay, but then what do we do with it? So a couple helps. I want to say today, that I want to call our men up to reject passivity. And here's a way you can reject passivity, you might be like Tim, and you don't have any idea what I'm even talking about. You have no model. You have no idea how to spiritually mentor someone, you just don't know. Well, I got an email yesterday from a guy and he said, you know, I've been doing this emotionally, spiritually healthy class on Tuesday nights, and it's really spurred my desire to have somebody mentor me. Wouldn't it be cool if, at the church, we had a matchmaking system for mentors and people who wanted to be mentored? I said that's really great, I said, can I share that tomorrow? Because we have that. And here is a picture for you, of it, I believe, do we have a...Yeah, so 1 to 1 discipleship. There are all kinds of discipleship, by the way, 1 to 1 is one way to do it. If you go to our website 121cc.com and then on it, you hit Grow Deeper, just tap on that Grow Deeper button and it'll take you to 1 to 1 discipleship. There's an application there and you just fill it out, it'll take you all of about 30 seconds and you're putting on there, I would like to mentor someone, or I would like to be mentored. So it is the easiest way today that I have for you to reject passivity is to just step in and then let us be a help. And we can get you moving in a good way so that we can be more and more healthy, godly men. We need the healthy, godly men who are currently not engaged to engage. And we need younger men who are not quite sure how to go at this, to say, I want somebody to walk with me so I can figure out how to do this, I want to be that guy that he's describing right here.

Ross Sawyers: [00:49:52] And then to dads today, there's a guy in our church, Dustin Dragos, who does a great job leading his life group and leading his family. He sent me a text on a podcast called Legacy Dads, and I've been listening to it. I think it's outstanding, so if you like podcasts, I'd say to dads today Legacy Dads could be one that you could go to, and that would be a help with these very same things that we're speaking of here.

Ross Sawyers: [00:50:17] All right, guys, here's the last thing I have to say. No excuses. We know what God says, no excuses, that's the passivity we're trying to get rid of. Own where you are, be affirmed, be encouraged, be convicted, be repentant, whatever it needs to be, and it's safe in Christ to do it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:50:43] Father, thank you today for your word and strength of it. I pray, God, that we would heed it, they're sitting there in an immoral, lying culture, and Paul is just calling these men older and younger men up into something far better that's life-giving in their character and in the purpose of Jesus. So, Father, I pray that we would be a church full of healthy, godly men, young and old, growing, being strengthened, challenged, and affirmed by each other, and more and more increasing and looking like the men you described. And God, I pray as you raise up men of truth and grace, that we'd have a deep impact on that which is false and that which is empty, and that more and more would be raised up to life in our families, in our work, and in the places that we play. This morning, work in our hearts. And then, Father, even this morning, as we respond in worship to you, that your name would be the name that we center everything on. And it's in the name of Jesus that I pray.



Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051
817.488.1213