An Open Letter to the Men of Cornerstone

January 13, 2020

Dear Men of Cornerstone,

I wanted to take some time this afternoon and reflect on yesterday’s sermon.  As we’ve been studying the book of Acts these past several months, you may have noticed the theme of boldness continues to come up.  I have to admit that as I worked on a rough plan for this sermon series, this was not in the plan!  I have been surprised myself by how often this idea of boldness is addressed by Luke as he lays out the history of the early church.

In yesterday’s sermon, I made the point that while boldness is a call for all of God’s people, there is a special way that men are called into boldness as part of their bearing the image of God.  Remember that when God made man, he made them “male and female (Genesis 1:27).” And so while there are some common ways we all bear the image of God, there are also unique ways that men and women each bear God’s image.  One of those ways that men bear the image of God is in this area of boldness.

And yet, as I said yesterday, this is exactly where Satan attacks us.  Rather than standing up and being bold, we easily fall into passivity.  Like Adam before us, we are silent when should speak.  We are prone to inaction when we should act.  We hide when we should be seeking.  And if we don’t allow the gospel to deal with this passivity to which we are prone, we run the danger of falling into the other extreme—that of being domineering or even oppressive. In other words, we end up being bold, but for the wrong reasons.  We fight, but only for own selfish gain.  Somewhere in the middle of passivity and being overbearing, is the biblical call for all people, but especially men, to be bold.

Men, I want to suggest some ways you might consider asking God to help you be bold.

Be bold and courageous in confessing your sin.  If you are married, do you have secrets you are keeping from your wife?  If you have children, have you ever talked to them about your sin?  Do they know your story?  They need to know how to deal with their own brokenness and they are looking to you to help them.  Become the lead repenter in your home.  Make your home a safe place where sin can be freely confessed. To the young men as well, what secrets do you need to confess to your father or someone else?  Don’t hold back.  There is freedom from sin when we stand in the light of the gospel.


Be bold and courageous in prayer – especially with your family.   Prayer was the main focus of the sermon yesterday.  Men, are you leading your homes in prayer?  Are you seeking to create an environment in your home where Jesus is truly the center?  Are you leading your family in reading God’s Word?  Don’t punt on this calling from the Lord to be the spiritual leader of your home.  What do you hope to see God do in your family?  In your marriage?  Do you have a vision for what the future could look like?


Be bold and courageous in pursuing open and honest relationships with other men.  This is lacking in most of our lives.  Like the world around us, we live busy isolated lives.  If we are going to be serious about contending against the world, the flesh, and the devil, we need to lean on the body of Christ.  When Peter and John were released from prison, where did they go?  To their friends!  Men, you need friends.  This means making it a priority.  It might mean making sacrifices in other areas of your life, to create the space for relationship.


Be bold and courageous in dying to yourself.  Sometimes we are bold but for the wrong reasons.  We are easily roused to fight but for our own selfish interests.  It’s with good reason that when the apostle Paul lays out our callings as husbands and wives in Ephesians 5, he instructs husbands to be ready to lay down their lives for their wives.  Where specifically do you need to die to yourself?  What desires – legitimate or not – need to be put death?


Be bold and courageous in fulfilling your calling.  What has God called you to do? Do you know?  Are you boldly pursuing that calling?  If you are not sure what that calling is, are you boldly asking God to give you a calling?


I want to be clear that this is not a moral self-improvement project.  We cannot do any of these things in our own strength.  I am not writing to you today to beat up on you or to give you another checklist to follow.  But we do need a clear vision for what it means to be men of God, don’t we?   And as that vision is clarified, we realize how much we need to look to the cross.  Yes, we often fall so far short of where we would like to be, but we know in our weakness, we are strong.  The grace of Jesus Christ is sufficient for us.  And so it’s the gospel, it’s the Holy Spirit within us, that empowers to do these things.

If I came across as passionate as I preached the sermon yesterday, it is only because I know how badly that I need to hear these words myself.  I’ve been convicted recently in how I’ve been prone to passivity when I should have been trusting the Lord and stepping up.  There are areas of my life that have been on auto-pilot and I know now they should not be on auto-pilot.  And so as you pray for yourself, pray for me as well.  And let us together seek the grace of Jesus and the empowerment of Holy Spirit, to step into our calling of bold faith!


In the love and grace of Jesus our Savior,

Pastor Billy