Category Archives: Faith

A Generation Crying Out

One stumbling block in the way of so many non-Christians is that they say they are revolted and kept at arm’s length by the separatist and exclusive habits and practices of those who profess to have the faith they want.

Many of these Christians are kind, moral and upstanding, and they are calling for others to come out from amongst the people of the world to separate from an adulterous generation. I know, those are heavy words. Really it just means that the world is sinful and fallen away from God and only focuses on inward desires of the flesh.

You have heard this call. It is when you hear this call that something which you know to be true and noble in you rises. You have felt what your generation is crying out for. It is the union of your spirit with the fatherly love of the one Holy God. You acknowledge the power of that cry in your own heart. You want to feel with all men, and for all men. If you need a faith at all, it is one which shall meet that cry, which shall teach you how all men are bound together; not how some may be separated from the rest.

You will not be false to your generation. You will have no faith at all, or a faith for all mankind. Keep to that; take nothing less than that; only look again and see whether that is not just what Christ offers you.

Again, I urge you not to look at His followers, real or professing, look at Him, look at His life.

Was He exclusive? Did ever man or woman come near to Him and He turned them away? Did He not go amongst all races, into every neighborhood? Did He not go to the houses of great men and rulers; of Pharisees, of poor men, of politicians? Did He not frequent the temple, the marketplace, the synagogue, the seashore, the hillside, the haunts of outcasts and harlots? Was He not found at feasts and at funerals?

I know how deeply many of you feel and mourn over the miseries and disorder of the United States and the world—how you long to do something towards lightening ever so small a part of those miseries, rescuing ever so small a corner of the earth from that disorder. I know well how earnestly many of you are working in one way or another for your country and your friends. I know what high hopes many of you have for the future of the world and the destiny of man. I say, mourn on, work on; abate not one ounce of any hope you have ever had for the world or for man.

Your hopes, be they what they may, have never been high enough—your work never earnest enough. But I ask you whether your hopes and your work have not been marred again and again, whether you have not been thrown back again and again into listlessness and hopelessness, by failures of one kind or another, whether you have not felt that those failures have been caused more or less by your own uncertainty, by your having had to work and fight without a leader, with comrades to whom you were bound only by chance, to journey without any clear knowledge of the road you were going, or where it led to?

At such times have you not longed for light and guidance? What would you have not given for a well of light and hope and strength, springing up within you and renewing your powers and energies? What would you not have given for the inward certainty that the road you were travelling was the right one, however you might stumble on it; that the line of battle in which you stood was the line for all true men, and was marching break at the point which had been given you to hold, whatever might become of you?

Well, be sure that light and guidance, that renewal of strength and hope, that certainty as to your side and your road, you are meant to have; they have been prepared, and are ready, for every man of you, whenever you will take them. The longings for them are whispered in your hearts by the Leader, whose cross, never turned back, ever triumphing more and more over all principalities and powers of evil, blazes far ahead in the van of our battles. He has been called the Captain of our Salvation, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Lamb who was slain for the world; He has told us his name, the Son of God and the Son of Man; He has claimed to be the redeemer, deliverer, leader of mankind.

My younger brothers, I am not speaking to you the words of enthusiasm or excitement, but the words of sober every-day knowledge and certainty. I tell you that all the miseries of the United States and of other lands consist simply in this and in nothing else, that we men, made in the image of God, made to know him, to be one with him in His Son, will not confess that Son our Lord and Brother, to be the Son of God and Son of man, the living Head of our race and of each one of us.

I tell you that if we would confess him and lay hold of him and let him enter in and rule and guide us and the world, instead of trying to rule and guide ourselves and the world without him, we should see and know that the kingdom of God is just as much about us now as it will ever be. I tell you that we should see all sorrow and misery melting away and drawn up from this fair world of God’s like mountain mist before the July sun.

This passage was adapted from a book by Thoams Hughes written in the 1800s

The Courage to Stand Firm

What truth are we choosing to stand firm on? For what cause do we pour out our service and precious time?

I’ve started a new adventure and I’m about 12,000 words in. This will be my first book, and like any first thing I’m sure I’ll learn a lot while doing it. Then I’ll learn how to do it better later.

I’ve had some assistance along the way. I started with an idea and an inspirational source, then I had a professional writer help me get started with organizing my thoughts in words and placement. Then I took it from there.

I found a graphics design resource to build out the book cover and they did a fantastic job putting my articulated words into a visual eye catcher.

I’m currently having a couple more men review the current version of the book to give feedback. Of course, I’ve already had my dad review it and have incorporated some of that feedback. I’ll add a bit more too I’m sure. I haven’t even breached Ephesians 6 yet, but it will come as the Spirit moves the words around my mind and heart.

I thought today would be an appropriate time to share a small excerpt from the book as it is so pertinent for us as Christians to stand firm. Yet, we must understand upon whom we are Standing Firm and for what cause.

Our savior was courageous, and we too must be courageous if we are going to follow the example of Jesus. To be sure we will never be perfect as Jesus was. Yet, it is incumbent upon us to give it all we have and ask God to help us to have enough.

Where is the courage of our forefathers in the faith? Are we going to play the man or wilt like daffodils in the heat? It is as designed that we must have courage to endure ridicule and to lose the praise of man. For even our Lord was worshipped on the day He entered Jerusalem, only to be crucified on the next Friday! But for man, the first battle to be won is with his own flesh. The struggles of every man born into a fallen world. Here is where we start and here is where we find ourselves at mortal death.

For men, the first key component in this struggle is the truth. The truth that is Jesus and a Christian worldview.  Jeremiah 7:28 says, “And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.”  The knowledge, proper teaching and acceptance of Truth has perished. This is the sad result when men lose their courage, when a man is not manful.  Facing and believing the truth is one of the most important trials for man in this fallen world.  It is crucial to be an objective observer of what is, rather than what you wish it were.  A real man calls it like it is and refuses to look away from actual reality.  The most important truth is that of the God of the universe who created all things, came as a man to take on our sin, and then hung on a cross for it, rising from the dead three days later.  In so doing, He destroyed death, and now we await His return when He will not come humbly, but in blazing glory with His powerful angels to bring judgment on the earth and gather up His Church. 

True Manliness: The Courage to Stand Firm

Copyright 2021, Johnathan Sexton

The Call to Christian Manliness (Truth)

Internal Conflict. A state of being with more meaning for a man of imperfect nature. Yet in battle with an external force of borrowed legitimacy.

And in this life-long fight, to be waged by every one of us single-handed against a host of foes, the last armament for a good fight, the last proof and test of our courage and manfulness, must be loyalty to truth.

This is the most rare and difficult of all human qualities.

For when the truth is spoken it has been wielded as a weapon of destruction. Tearing down kingdoms and strongholds built on false doctrine and desires of foolishness.

Loyalty to truth, perfected over a lifetime, asks increasingly more of us. It sets before us a standard of manliness always rising higher and higher. Though the nature of men is of decreasing courage in the face of opposition.

And this is the great lesson which we will learn from Christ’s life, the more earnestly and faithfully we study it.

“For this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, to bear witness to the truth.”

To bear this witness against declared and open enemies is comparatively easy; but, to bear it against those we love; against those whose judgment and opinions we respect, in defense or advancement of that which approves itself as true to our own inmost conscience, this is the last and abiding test of courage and of manliness.

Copyright 2020, Johnathan Sexton

Adapted from True Manliness, Thomas Hughes

Giving Tuesday

Are you ready to give? I love giving.

I heard a saying once and I try to live by it; “If God can get it through me He’ll get it to me.”

I don’t know how theologically accurate that is, but it sure feels good to be generous.

I’m including the link for my two favorite charities below.