Description of Masculinity – Part V

Audio: Dean Beezer

“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant ‘To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”

Here she is! We have just pulled her from the bed of another man! What a disgrace! This woman must die! The great prophet Moses had commanded in the scriptures that such a sin must be judged by death! What say you, Jesus the righteous? The sequel of a life of courage will typically present itself in this format. There are those instances where established tradition, authority, and expectation will have to be circumvented in pursuit of a higher principle. It is in such situations that the virtue of courage shines brightest. Jesus, our master teacher has instructed us concerning discerning “when” the virtue of courage is fundamentally necessary.

In our previous study, we noted the “what” of courage. In that study, we stated “Being submissive to our Father’s will sometimes bring us into conflict with this world.Courage is radical submission to the will of God. It is that stance of defiance and disposition of resistance to anything which brings us out of alignment with God’s will. Since this is what courage entails, let’s briefly look at an observable principle concerning “when” the virtue of courage will be necessary.

Courage is the capacity that allows us to take risks, make sacrifices, and be, as Martin Luther King Jr. said regarding Christian faith, “dangerously unselfish.” We will find that courage will become necessary “when” our resolve concerning a conviction or fundamental godly principle is challenged. Without a firmly held belief system, courage becomes unnecessary. Conviction precedes courage! There will be people, places, and perspectives that will cause us to question our commitment to those first principles. However, courage helps us to withstand and grow through ongoing pain, suffering, isolation, and related difficulty. Righteousness requires it, and the Bible commands us to be bold and courageous more than 25 times. God takes courage and its lack very seriously.

Jesus in his response to the angry, passionate mob, eager for justice, contended with three (3) common sources of human spinelessness. These are; 1) a dominant perception or ideology concerning reality; 2) the impression and expression of reality as interpreted and experienced by many and 3) the weight of a global/public/peer opinion concerning reality. In our next study, we will critically evaluate these key traits to demonstrate how we can use Jesus’ example to display the virtue of courage, “when” the time comes.

The Solution to Loneliness

Audio: Abigail Barrett

A young deer lies helpless as the blood oozes from his chest

 onto the green mat of the orchard. He sighs deeply

and says to himself,

“Dying is hardest when you’re dying alone.”


Many of us are like this young deer. We are suffering in some way and maybe the hardest part is that it feels like we’re facing it alone. Even an abundance of wealth while going through physical suffering, pales in comparison to the missing touch of a hand or the sob of a companion offering some solace. In times like these, loneliness may seem worse than death itself. Like Elijah in 1 Kings 19, we may feel like we are left alone, and it would be better for us to die.

Normally, we expect the elderly to most experience loneliness (think of that widow who “died of a lonely heart”), but a study conducted by Harvard University found that during the COVID-19 pandemic those hardest hit by loneliness are older teens and young adults (Walsh, 2021). Isn’t that interesting? In a time when youths have so many avenues of social media interaction, one would think they would be less affected by loneliness than the elderly. It seems something is not working right.

The same study offers that a robust social network is the answer to this loneliness epidemic. I would further add that this strong social community is best nurtured through the church. The church has the greatest opportunity and resources for accomplishing such a robust social network. A survey conducted by UNICEF found that, after hospitals, worship centers were among the main mechanisms sought out by young people in times of mental distress or depression. This cements the fact that the church (a worship center) is positioned as a place for nurturing social wellness.

Why does the church hold the greatest opportunity and resources? Because of the Holy Spirit of God. Not only is this true at an individual level (the Holy Spirit says, He is with you always, Matthew 28:20), but on a communal level we find the Holy Spirit has the power to break all the bonds of loneliness that we may feel. Ephesians 4:3-4 charges the church to “…keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit… “

Paul reveals to us in 2 Corinthians 1 verses 3 to 4 that the God of all comfort, comforts us individually in all our troubles, so that we can in turn comfort one another with the same comfort we receive from God. By reading the Gospel of John, we understand that comfort from God is provided through His Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 18, 26; John 15:26).

Young people are suffering from loneliness right across the world and it is up to you to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit to bring fellowship and unity. 

It is with this mindset that youth leaders and engaged youth can transform their social interactions and weekly meetings into life-changing encounters! Young people are suffering from loneliness right across the world and it is up to you to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit to bring fellowship and unity. An hour of meaningful youthful engagement would do the lonely heart much better than four hours of aimless browsing through social media or online gaming. Young believers should make it their priority to assemble together where they can, whether online or in small groups. This is what kept the early church in their time of great persecution (…all that believed were together and had all things common, Acts 2:44). This is what will rescue us from loneliness in this time.


God’s answer to Elijah sitting lonely under his juniper tree holds true for us today, “I have others also who are still standing with you!” Let us seek to nurture these relationships we have in the body of Christ.

Footnotes:

The impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of adolescents and youth. (2020). UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean. https://www.unicef.org/lac/en/impact-covid-19-mental-health-adolescents-and-youth

Walsh, C. (2021, February 17). Young adults hardest hit by loneliness during pandemic, study finds. Harvard Gazette. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/02/young-adults-teens-loneliness-mental-health-coronavirus-covid-pandemic/

Sex is not the Ultimate – Day 4

Audio: Claire Walker
 Psalm 107:9 ‘For God satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness’. 

Some would say that sex at times is overrated. Though in culture many will disagree that it is overrated in one breath. They often times agree that sex is not the ultimate, the oxymoron is too great to trust. This is the secular way of thinking…yet not two stones shy from the sexual philosophical views of the Church – The Body of Christ. Does the Church anticipate similar things? Do we not think sex relinquishes all sexual lusts and desires? Can we agree like the famous actor – Tom Cruise, that sex eradicates all confusions? Does it really? Is sex the answer, the long-awaiting antidote, or after receiving it, do we still yearn either for more or something more satisfying? And if we yearn for something more fulfilling then sex is truly not the ultimate.

King Solomon in all his wealth and glory and explorations and privileges, said it was all for naught and the result led only to vanity and vexation of spirit. Biblical records showed he had loved many different versions of women. So much so that he got for himself, seven hundred (700) wives and three hundred (300) concubines [I Kings 11: 1 and 3]. He, like most persons, had an insatiable desire for sex. Was it the answer to spiritual quests in his life? Was he content after? It doesn’t seem so. He said he saw it all, but it was all in vain and only made him angry and perhaps empty [Ecclesiastes 1:14]. And so, even with a thousand women, sex has proven to not be the ultimate. The converse would also be true, had it been for a woman. And yet there is still a longing in the soul, I believe Solomon pondered.

His father David did write though: ‘For God satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness’, [Psalm 107:9]. So, if sex is not the ultimate, what is? What can wash away my sins? What can make me whole again? What can satisfy and make me fully clean – nothing but God’s divine and ultimate WORD. The ultimate is that which completely satisfies mind, body and soul. Our soul is from God and eternal and so can only be ultimately whole with content from above, which is from the eternal GOD.

“The importance of having a Godly discussion about Singleness”

Day 3

Audio: Claire Walker

Hosea 4:6 My people perish for a lack of knowledge. “Ignorance is no bliss” this old adage goes without saying. God through Hosea chided Israel for the corrupt and ineffective leadership of the priests. One of which is the rejection of God’s knowledge by the priest. Not only did they refrain from seeking out God’s words, but they also refused to share and adequately teach the people they are set to lead.

Hosea being God’s mouthpiece declared that the lack of information will cause the people to be destroyed. The same is true in the church today, in regards to what singleness is. There is little to no teaching about this God given gift. If the church continues to be silent then a teacher of no-good intent will do that which the priest is supposed to do.

It is important to have Godly discussions on singleness in the church arena for more reasons than one.

1. It promotes Godly awareness and consciousness to the blessings and benefits of how to develop that relationship with God, as also, awareness of what singleness really looks like and how to function effectively within the body of Christ.

2. There also needs to be a Godly highlight of the significance of being chaste. And to maintain sexual purity in its true sense. Not just to abstain from intercourse but to also be pure in mind, speech and conduct.

3. When a single person is armed with the relevant information, they will live fulfilled single lives. Thus, entering into marriage in wholeness. This will eliminate a lot of marital problems.

4. Godly discussion of singleness helps to eliminate frustration and gives the impetus to unfold the beauty found within the gift of singleness.

Let us purpose to be bold and assertive, never shying away from an opportunity to help our brothers and sisters. We help by having healthy and Godly discussions about singleness so as to raise awareness of the beauty in the gift of singleness.

Why is Singleness a gift?

Audio: Claire Walker

WHY IS SINGLENESS A GIFT!?!” – Day 2

Christmas and birthdays are the most anticipated times in most people’s lives. This is so because of what these times come with. These seasons traditionally come bearing gifts that will be enjoyed and most times benefit the receiver. A gift is something that is not worked or paid for but rather given freely and should be freely received.

A gift is given with good intentions, such as to make the receiver filled with happiness. The giver expects the receiver to unwrap the package and indulge in the content. There is also an anticipation that the receiver will take best care of a gift that is tangible to ensure longevity. 1 Corinthians 7:7 I would that all men were as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian brethren to correct some issues of marriage and singleness. He being a single man not by God’s command but by choice shared his wishful thinking with the brethren. He desired that all would be content and find great benefit in singleness as he did. But he went on to quickly declare that every man has his proper gift. What was Paul saying?

Proper gift speaks to each individual having their own special gift. Singleness is a gift, why?! because no one went and bought it or achieved it. The believer must realize that our lives are not ours and that nothing is permitted outside of God. Therefore, if one is in the state of singleness then God gave it. Colossians 1:16 For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible… (to include marriage and singleness).

The latter part of the verse says “all things were created by Him for Him” so singleness is a gift given to us for the glory of God. How? Paul says in 1Corinthians 7:32 He that is unmarried careth for things of God how one should please God. Singleness was given for however long to glorify God. It is a gift that should be unwrapped and enjoyed. No gift is intended to bring misery, especially a gift coming from God. The beauty about this giver is He enables the receiver to extract the full use of the gift. We will never know the beauty of the gift of singleness unless it is unwrapped and explored.

Each man has his own special gift, God did not ask if you want it, He just gave it because omniscience knows the great benefit instore. Make a decision to start seeing singleness as the gift it is.

Defining Singleness

Audio: Claire Walker

1 Corinthians 7:7 I would that all men were as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.


According to the KJV Bible Dictionary Singleness is the state of being single, unmarried or separate from all others. It is the opposite of doubleness, complication, or multiplicity. In other words, “singleness is not having a covenanted intimate partner, call wife or husband. But is a gift that must be timely explored”.


In everyday life there are forms that we regularly encounter and need to complete for various transactions and reasons. On these forms is often the field that says “marital status” giving two options: 1. Married 2. Single. The ability to read is not widely the problem but interpretation to give the correct answer is. Why? Because culturally, though a lot of people may not be married, they are in an intimate relationship. Quite often these relationships are going for over 5 years. So, what do I choose; married or single? Their struggle to choose an option is as a result of the inability to sufficiently define and interpret their status.

The correct definition, interpretation and knowledge of singleness is not just a cultural issue but has also widely become a religious issue. May I be more specific to say “a Christian issue”, and sadly so. In order to fully appreciate anything, one must have adequate knowledge and understanding of what it is, how it functions, and also the value and benefits of the thing.


Across the arena of the church there is an unfair, socially debilitating way of looking at singleness. The concept is skewed because singleness is not taught adequately and as a result the sufficiency of understanding is not unfolded. This leaves too great a number of singles, including youth and older members, to agonize and grieve their state while failing to fully enjoy the beauty and fulfilling enrichment that singleness entails.


As Christian believers we must first acknowledge and embrace the fact that “Singleness” is a gift and the giver of this gift is God. He will not withhold any good thing from us. Therefore, we must make that conscious decision to appreciate God’s purpose and plan by trusting the process.


Prayer of confession:
Lord, forgive me for not appreciating the giver and the gift of singleness. Wash me from an agonizing, impatient and grieving state of mind in relation to my single state. Now, help me Lord to embrace the timely unfolding of the beauty and rich fulfillment of this gift. Help me also to be patient while trusting your will. In Jesus name.
Amen!


Day 31 – Finally, Brethren…

Audio: Malik Ewan

Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 

We conclude this devotional with this charge from Philippians which we all must adopt. We must endeavour to have our minds occupied with purity. Not that we are idolizing purity, but we are keeping out every seed of impurity and unrighteousness from our heart.

This is how we will maintain what we’ve spent so much time getting right – by keeping our minds stayed on good things. Our minds are so programmed that we become and portray anything we meditate on. Therefore, we should fill our thoughts with the Word, spiritual songs and spiritual content. 

We can’t predict what curve balls the devil and this world will through us in this life. We can however decide what we will allow our thoughts to entertain and thereby emulate. 

Sexual purity is possible. You can be restored if you have failed. You can maintain when you are purified in Christ. What’s left is to always abide in Jesus for apart from Him we can do nothing.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are pure, think on these things.

Day 30: Affairs of the Heart

Audio: Malik Ewan

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. 

It will ride with you

It will die with you

It’s your best friend

And your worst enemy –

The heart

How can you believe with all of it

When it is full of deceit?

Why does your praise cease

When it gets down with defeat?

Only one thing is sure –

God’s word is truth

So trust God’s word

More than the heart within you

When it comes to sexual purity, our human hearts cannot be trusted. Our heart finds every way of convincing us that it is okay to sin, that we will get back up after this one time, and that we will never do it again. So devious can the thoughts of our hearts be, for Jesus warns that from the heart proceeds adulteries, lasciviousness, fornications, and all sorts of evils.

So singles please think twice the next time you feel so in love that you want to say, “You have my heart.” If the Holy Spirit is not both resident and ruling there, then that heart is a trap to everyone involved.

Instead, God’s word is truth, and it is His word that must try our hearts until it becomes like His. Then we can safely offer our hearts to that special one. Is your heart under God’s control today?

Let’s pray…

Day 29- Stewardship of the Body

Romans 14:12: So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Audio: Malik Ewan

Sexual purity is a delicate fruit. God is the one from whom it springs up in our lives but we are like the hired servant who is entrusted to take care of it.

My grandfather was a lover of flowers and a farmer. From my holidays spent there I remember he would be up early tending to the plants, pruning them, watering them and eventually waking me up out of bed to rake leaves. Now raking leaves under six to eight mango trees is no mean feat. It would leave me feeling as if I had earned a month’s wages in one day.

It is that same kind of stewardship that is needed to maintain our bodies and minds in a state of sexual purity. Day to day we must go and pluck out the weeds and remove the pests that come to destroy. We must put a fence around our minds and bodies that will keep out all invaders. Maintaining sexual purity is hard work but it is necessary.

Now imagine if you gave your friend your favourite fruit to keep for a short while. You go about your business and when you come back eager to partake of that fruit you are presented with something that’s bruised, tarnished, eaten out and full of maggots. None of us would be pleased! And neither will God if when He returns He finds our bodies filled with impurities in our flesh. Surely, he will be angry against the one to whom He has entrusted this treasure.

What account will you give of yourself before God? Let us maintain and preserve our sexual purity.

Day 28: One Wife, One Husband

Audio: Malik Ewan

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 

Sexual purity is not discarded at the altar, it is as much relevant for married couples as it is for singles.

Scriptures teach time and again that it is God’s plan for one man and one woman to come together in sexual union in marriage. So important is this institution that it is likened to the love that God has for the church.

Growing up and reading this verse often made me wonder who had the greater charge – the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church, or the wife to submit to her own husband and honour him? When you look around though it seems that husbands tend to shrug off this commandment while wives seem to wrestle with submission.

It is needful for husbands and wives to remind themselves of these Godly principles regularly to guard against sexual immorality. When this pure love is not exercised and experienced by both parties, it becomes the soil for the seed of immorality to set in. Many marriages have failed because one or both stopped loving as Christ does.

When you love your spouse as Christ does: you resist the sexual temptations of all others, you do not turn to someone else when your spouse causes you some hurt, you do not deprive or spite your spouse by withholding sexual pleasure, you simply do nothing to grieve their heart.

Marriage is the most sacred place of expression of sexual purity. Let us maintain the highest standard in marriage.