Happy New Year! I hope you had a great holiday season and that your 2020 is off to a purposeful start. I took a week off from writing last week because I was still considering my next series for the Monday Memo. In 2018, I released a book titled The Power of Purple: Women of Purpose in Scripture and have wanted to do a similar book for men. I am concerned for how inactive and un-purposeful some men in the church are. For example, my team going to Kenya in February is all female. Our church choir is 80% women. I want to challenge men to overcome their fears and lethargy to become more purposeful and hope this book will help do that in some way.
At first I was considering calling the men's book Men Like Mordecai because we will get started by looking at Mordecai's purpose story. Then this week I was thinking and praying and the thought came to me that we have made Proverbs 31 a chapter about women because it describes a wife of noble character. Yet the first nine verses of Proverbs 31 are addressed to someone named King Lemuel and the Proverb's 31 woman's husband is an elder at the gates of the city. Therefore,I have decided to extract some fo the purpose material in Proverbs 31 where men are concerned and build on that from week to week.
I also don't want to write about the usual men of purpose like David, Moses, Paul, and the like. I want to dig a bit deeper and look at Amos, Ezra, Matthew, Luke, Simon (not Peter), Philip the evangelist, and Onesiphorus, just to name a few. As I did with Success in Babylon, I will then take each week's Memo and make it a chapter in my next book titled The Proverbs 31 Male: Men of Purpose in Scripture. As was the case with the Power of Purple, the lessons we learn will apply to both men and women, but the focus will only be on male case studies every week.
To get ready for our series, let me include the verses from Proverbs 31 that speak about or to men and then next week I will explain what i see in them that indicate what God requires from men who are citizens of His kingdom:
The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers! Do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings. It is not for kings, Lemuel—it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish! Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy (Proverbs 31:1-9).
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land . . . Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all" (Proverbs 31:23, 28-29).
When I first considered this series, I thought I would be able to draw on the many Memos I have already written about men of purpose, but I feel impressed not to do that. What I write in the next few months will be all new material and I am excited but a bit apprehensive that I will be able to squeeze enough purpose insight from some of the lesser lights of biblical fame. I am confident, however, that the same God who has helped me write 934 Memos to date will continue His support as I look to write a few more. I would appreciate your prayers and your feedback as we move along from week to week. Thank you and have a blessed week!