How we can be fathers to the fatherless

Christmas is a time for families to be together, but too many children have no contact with their fathers, says Simon Whitley.

It was one of “those” activities that got us into trouble at the dinner table. As boys growing up Sunday roast dinners were a weekly feature. Just as the meat was being carved up my brother and I would commence the ritual of scraping our knives and forks together.

As one implement grated against the other we were demonstrating two important life principles, we were hungry for good food and we understood the need for a sharp cutting edge!

It doesn’t matter if it is carving chicken, slicing bread or cutting a plank of wood, if your blade isn’t sharp you have a problem! You may ruin what you are cutting, or greatly diminish the presentation of the end product.

There is a greater effort and energy emitted to achieve a simple task. Perhaps the greatest risk of injury with a blunt blade is to personal pride. An ongoing frustration eats away at you long after you have finished cutting.…

The same applies in the things of God. Proverbs 27:17 states “that as iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.”

MPower understands the need for men to stay sharp in God. That is why MPower is the process whereby one generation empowers the rising generation of sons, brothers and fathers in Elim to be authentic men in Christ, in life and in Church.

Preparation is the key to productivity

A sharpening stone was a vital part of an ancient warrior’s battle kit. The discipline of dragging such a stone backward and forwards against the edge of his blade would make the difference between life and death as he engaged the enemy. But, the time to undertake this action was not at the frontline in the heat of the battle.

If you didn’t have a sharp cutting edge before the skirmish you had little chance of achieving one during the assault. Every warrior and every weapon, sharp!

Hebrews 4:12 describes the Word of God as “sharper than any double-edged sword”, how sharp is it in your life right now and how is it sharpening you for life?

Getting sharp, staying sharp

Angelo Dundee may not be as much a household name as Muhammad Ali, but without him, the butterfly wouldn’t have floated and the bee may not have stung! Dundee was the boxing legend’s trainer and corner man in all but two of Ali’s professional fights.

They travelled the world together, but Dundee also walked the road with him. It was Dundee’s job to keep his man sharp, fit and healthy. Much of his work was unseen, hidden away in training camps.

The Holy Spirit is our greatest trainer, He is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17) who desires to empower us (Acts 1:8) as Christ’s witnesses here on earth.

Who “sharpens” you in your life?

Who walks the road of life and faith with you? Who champions your cause, develops your character, closes your cuts (that was Angelo Dundee’s job as Ali’s corner man during bouts) and cheers your victories?

If you have someone like that in your life could I encourage you to contact them today to say “thank you” for being there. If you don’t have someone, ask someone.

Here’s how:

  • Begin the conversation, give them permission to journey with, pray for and speak into your life
  • Ensure they exhibit Godly qualities and live a life of growing faith. Check with your Pastor or Men’s Ministry Leader if you aren’t 100% sure
  • Set regular dates and times to meet, if you don’t, you won’t
  • Agree real life and faith challenging questions that will define your conversation grow your faith and measure your sharpness in the Lord
  • Allow the Bible to sharpen you through daily study and reflection
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit would empower you to remain sharp in your everyday
  • Go for it!

But could I also challenge you and ask “who’s life will you seek to sharpen?” In a world that is self-absorbed and interested in “me”, it would be easy to fall into the trap of “it is all about me receiving.” As a man of God be an example and empower others in Christ.

Lead by example

Become a catalyst that releases God’s Kingdom qualities in at least one person who lives within the orbit of your influence. Hebrews 10:24 puts it like this “Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.”

Let’s spur and sharpen each other for the cause of Christ.


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At the start of a new decade you should adopt a determined and single-minded attitude, urges Mark-Lyndon Jones.
MPower’s Nick Whittome looks at what can happen when even the smallest seed is sown
God often uses moments in life to remind you that no matter how good you think you are, it’s not all about you, explains Carl Johnston
Signing up for a half-marathon helped Alex Morgan get in shape.
When answering argumentative people, always answer in the Spirit; never answer in the same tone and at the emotional level as they are speaking.

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