Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Characteristics of Godly Men

What makes a man godly? What is he know for? First we must begin with the One who made him. The same God who created all men in His own image desired that they would also live in His image. Each man's gifts and callings are unique. By searching biblical history, we can see the attributes of God in men of faith.

Throughout the ages God has recorded various men with different callings to learn from. First, God has called men of family. Adam showed integrity in cleaving to his wife as one flesh. Enoch was a father who was commutative with God, walking with Him closely. Noah stood righteous in a world a wicked families. Jacob was a prevailing man. “And He said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed, (Genesis 32:28).” Isaac had a testimony of a patient peacemaker, digging multiple wells despite his self-centered neighbors. Job was a wealthy father who feared God as his first priority. Manoah was a respectful, teachable man when an angel appeared to inform him of Samson's birth. Boaz was generous, and the Lord rewarded him with a wife and son. Solomon was a wise man, who asked the Lord for wisdom to fulfill his responsibility as king righteously. Steadfast Naboth was murdered on his own soil while protecting the inheritance of his forefathers. Joseph was a responsible man and took Mary who was with child to be his wife as the Lord commanded. Lazarus was a hospitable man who invited Jesus into his home.

God also called men of war. Moses was a patriot, who remained faithful to his people after an Egyptian upbringing. Caleb proved to be a truthful spy in fearful circumstances. Joshua was a courageous man, and served God as an example to the people he lead. “...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, (Joshua 24:15).” Ehud a tactic man who killed the enemies' king single-handedly. Gideon, though the least of his family, was an instrument of God's leadership and delivered Israel in an outnumbered army. “And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you, (Judges 8:23).” Jephthah was noted as a valiant captain for his bravery. Mordecai was a man of discernment, prayerfully guiding his cousin who was queen during the captivity of Israel. David was a man after God's own heart, who expressed his love for God through musical praise. Jonathan the sacrificing friend of David who gave his inheritance that God's will for David might be fulfilled. Uriah was a committed husband and soldier, doing right regardless of the situation. Nehemiah was a determined man, who led in rebuilding the city of Jerusalem against overwhelming odds.

Men of prophecy and the Church were used of God. Samuel was sensitive to God's voice. Elijah was a man of justice, and destroyed all of the prophets of Baal. Elisha was a surrendered man who requested a double-potion of Elijah's spirit to fulfill Elijah's ministry. Though his news to the king was negative, the prophet Nathan was honest. Isaiah had a servant's heart and voiced his willingness. “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me, (Isaiah 6:8).” Jeremiah was a sober man, prophesying the tragic consequence of Israel’s sin. John the Baptist was a humble man, chosen to preach the coming of Jesus Christ. Aaron testified God's holiness as a priest in the temple. Ezra was also a priest, with a prepared heart to teach the law of God. John was a loving disciple. Peter was a bold preacher. Paul was a missionary who cared deeply for the churches. As an evangelist, Philip was taught God's word wherever God's placed him. Stephen was a spirit-filled disciple, and Barnabas was named for his encouragement to the church brethren. 

No matter what the age, God used these men. In Genesis we read of youth like Abel, who sincerely offered his best, and also of Joseph who was pure before God and prospered wherever life took him. Josiah, even at the age of eight, demonstrated wholeheartedness for God. "And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him, (II Kings 23:25)." God also gave vision to young Daniel who prayed to God and purposed to do that which was right. Older men such as Simeon and Jethro are mentioned for their devotion to God and consideration to give advice to the younger. God called each man to fulfill different duties, and gave him the ability to do it as it pleased Him. God even called His own Son, Jesus Christ to be a man on earth. Jesus was a man moved with compassion for all sinners. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do, (John 17:1-4).” A godly man is a man with God living abundantly within him, equipping him to fulfill the pleasure and glory of God --no matter how different each man's life is.