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REDISCOVERING BIBLICAL MASCULINITY

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                                    REDISCOVERING BIBLICAL MASCULINITY

                        Antonio Baldovinos | House on Fire: Revival Begins in the Home

 

 

I am saddened by the state of affairs in marriage and in family.

Never before in history have so many children been voluntarily abandoned by their fathers. Never before have so many children grown up without knowing what it means to have a father.

I believe that fatherlessness is the leading cause of the decline we see in a child’s-well being in our society. The result is a tremendous loss of self worth and identity.

There is an aggressive attack on boyhood and manhood: masculinity, and girlhood and womanhood: femininity.

 

Here are some others issues I see:

  • Maturity compromised: Men having adult bodies but really immature.
  • Fathers who are only friends: Men who wanted a father to be a friend lead in the same way. Their efforts at parenting are like their efforts in high school—to be liked and accepted rather than to influence and guide.
  • Men marry later and later: The average North American man is getting married at 29 years old.
  • Fantasy life: Men in extended adolescence engage others in an artificial world (pornography, video games and social media).


This epidemic is not necessarily men’s fault. The devil has worked overtime through various ways to destroy masculinity and bring confusion so that men don’t lead but become weak.

The reason why this is so important is because everything reproduces after its own kind (see Genesis 1).

GOD CREATED MALE & FEMALE COMPLEMENTARY

God created male and female. We are both of equal value in His sight, with equal dignity and equal status, but we are different, with different roles. God made us complementary, not just within marriage but for life. In every part and aspect of male and female.

God made man to take the initiative. In sex for example, it is he who penetrates the female. Her body is built to respond to his initiative. He takes the first step and she responds. Her body, her soul, and her spirit respond.

In reproduction, it is the male sperm that takes the initiative. The male is active and the female responds. This tells us that the male is responsible and the female is responsive.

Even when the original sin occurred, Eve sinned first and Eve was held responsible, however Adam was held responsible first. Men are held responsible for the state of their GARDENS (homes).

MASCULINE MANDATE

Let’s look at God’s original intention and mandate for man:


“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Gen. 2:15)

 

Man’s initial mandate was to tend and keep. What does that mean?

“Tend” means: to cultivate, care for, manage, look after and attend in making something grow.

“Keep” means: Take charge, to guard, protect and sustain the Garden that God has created.


MAN’S EXAMPLE IS JESUS – THE GOD-MAN

Let’s look at the example of Jesus through the book of revelation. John gets taken to heaven:

 

“But an elder said to him “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals. 6 “And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns, seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God.” (Rev. 5:5-6)

 

We see Jesus as a lion, and we also see him as a lamb.

LION: Aggressive, strong, and it conquers. It’s a Fighter, a protector. A lion is admirable for its ferocious strength and imperial appearance.

LAMB: Meek and a servant. A Lamb is sheared for wool. Harmless. Kind. A lamb is admirable for its meekness and servant-like provision of wool for clothing. Sacrificed.

Throughout scripture we also see Jesus’ example of being tough yet tender.

TOUGH: protecting, working, fighting for their family.

TENDER: gentle, serving leader, cherishing his wife and children.

A man should be tough FOR his family and tender WITH his family.

Mature Biblical masculinity expresses itself not in the demand to be served, but in the strength to serve and to sacrifice for the good of woman and family. Jesus said, “Let the greatest among you become as the youngest and the leader as one who serves” (Luke 22:26).

It’s time to rediscover this original intent for men—all men, single or married. Even through sin and generational curses this is still the original mandate for men: to serve and to lead.

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To Learn More Go to: www.antoniobaldovinos.org

HOW TO BE TRULY GREAT

                                          HOW TO BE TRULY GREAT
                                        Antonio Baldovinos | Leadership

 

God invites everyone to be great in His kingdom. He put within each of us a longing to be great and successful. We cannot repent of this longing, but may have to repent of seeking after it in a wrong way.

There is much confusion, pain, and disillusionment related to what a great and successful life is. We need a biblical definition of success. Our humanistic culture defines success in terms of receiving recognition from people and being in a position of influence with great finances.

Many need to expose the fantasies and vain imaginations about how big their individual impact will be in man’s eyes and how much recognition they will receive.

God invites us to greatness without regard to our outward achievements or the size of our impact. It is based on the development of our heart in love, meekness, and revelation.

           Principles For Biblical Greatness

1.     Focus on being great in God’s sight rather than in the sight of men.

2.     Based on our heart responses, not on natural gifting’s and resources.

3.     Will not be fully seen until eternity.

ASSIGNMENTS

People get discouraged if they have a wrong perspective on what they are supposed to be doing. They are told to pursue greatness in their life and they often misinterpret it in terms of having a large individual impact. This causes despair to those envisioning only a big outward venture.

God gave each person an assignment that will lead to his or her greatness with eternal rewards. This is based on the mental, physical, emotional, and financial capacities that He gave each. We will be rewarded according to what God entrusted to us. We are not accountable for what we do not have. Some have despair over what they do not have and neglect to use what they do have.

If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. (1 Cor. 3:14)

 

The definition of a great and successful life is found in doing God’s will and in hearing Jesus say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21). All can succeed in their God-given assignment.

Greatness is within the reach of all in the grace of God. Jesus is committed to our long-term greatness. He has a tailor made plan for our eternal success; we need to cooperate with it.

A SUCCESSFUL LIFE: KEY AREAS TO FOCUS ON

God is focused on the size of our heart responses whereas we are usually focused on the size of our impact. Our individual impact may not be large numerically, but we can be successful before God by growing deep in love, being faithful, and walking with a servant heart.

 This is the best place to start or to get back to. It truly is the safest place to be and stay. No matter the size of your influence, your influence will always be great in God’s sight as you set your heart to please and honor Him.  

THE SECRET TO LIVING FROM THE OVERFLOW

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THE SECRET TO LIVING FROM THE OVERFLOW

Antonio Baldovinos  | Excerpt from Living from the Inside Out

Too many Christians live their lives dictated by their outside experiences instead of the inner relationship with God. This thought may even be a foreign concept to you.

In Western cultures, we are so focused on feeding our minds and living out of our emotional realities than from the inside out with the Spirit of God.

What if this was not the correct way to live?

What if this was upside down and inside out? Would you change it?

I believe God is calling every one of us to a new orientation— a new way of living where the inner self with a vibrant spirit affects the outer self.

Spiritual growth occurs as our primary orientation for life makes a shift from natural experiences (our physical appetites, senses, and emotions) to our spirit.

We are spirit beings; we live in a body and posses a soul.

There is a great mystery that takes place when we give our lives wholly to Jesus.

The Holy Spirit (life Himself!) comes and we become born again. John 6:63 says, “It is the Spirit who gives life.” This is supernatural life that we get from the inside. Our spirit comes alive as the Holy Spirit comes and resides in our spirit.

This is mysterious and glorious all at the same time. This is the way forward in the Christian life. In Scripture the terms “to be led by” and “walk in” the Spirit are how we are to live from here on out.

CUP OVERFLOWING

I want you to picture a cup for a second. Your inner man is like a cup. The Spirit of God lives inside you and communicates with you; spirit to Spirit.

The Bible often uses phrases like:

  • “…my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:5)
  • “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace…”(Romans 15:13)
  • “Be filled with the Spirit…” (Eph. 5:18)

Why is this so important? This is so vital for our Christian walk because we are meant to live like this.

Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.“ (John 7:38)

Think about that. The Spirit of God is like a river flowing within us!

To be Spirit-filled is to have the Holy Spirit – the “oil of heaven” poured from God’s throne into your own being. This is why your inner really should overflow to affect everything outside!

Smith Wigglesworth once said, “We are no good if we only have a full cup. We need to have an overflowing cup all the time. It’s a tragedy not to live in the fullness of overflowing. See that you never live below the overflowing tide.”

This new book, Living from the Inside Out is entirely focused on helping, supporting and giving insight into living from this inside reality affecting our outside lives. This is the victorious way to live!

Living from the Inside Out comes out Monday, October 20 with worldwide release e-tailers. 

If you would like to read a preview click on the image below:

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OPPORTUNITIES ARE LIKE BUS STOPS: How to stay focused

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          OPPORTUNITIES ARE LIKE BUS STOPS: How to stay focused

                               Antonio Baldovinos | Leadership

Opportunities are like bus stops. There is always another one coming.

Focus is a key ingredient to fulfilling goals, plans and destinies. 

Effective leaders put “first things first”. There are many things that can distract you. So re-signing up almost daily to your flight plan is critical. Things like crisis or opportunities try to take us away from our focus. 

You can’t ignore the urgent or the really important matters but you must learn to say “no” to other activities, even those that may seem urgent. “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.   

Decide early on what is the highest importance and have the courage to simply say “no”. The best way to look at this is to have a bigger “yes” burning inside you. The enemy of “the best” often distracts with  “the good.” 

In my estimation most people have a lack of focus because they lack vision of where they want to go. Consequently they lack the discipline to get there. 

The basic problem is that their priorities are not implanted because their hearts don’t have a vision burning inside. When you have a vision burning inside you, you are unstoppable and no temptation, emergency, carrot opportunity will deter you from where you are going.

The person who has vision knows the destination and will make every appropriate decision to get there. 

When we want something, we can develop or establish a laser-like focus on it. So aim at only one thing, not multiple things. If something gets in the way that doesn’t support your vision, avoid it unless God has asked you to take it on. 

Effective leaders have focus because they have vision and the discipline to get there.

Here are some key points to help you stay focused: 

1.)  Start with a vision. Create an image of where you want to go. Write it down.

2.)  Make goals and create a plan to get there. Simple and easy.

3.)  Focus on your strengths, not shortcomings.

4.)  Zero in on your vision and work hard.

5.)  When bus stop opportunities come that don’t serve your vision “don’t jump on the bus”. Resist the temptation.

6.)  Remind yourself of your vision when it’s tough, or other things come up. If you didn’t reach your destination; keep the image alive of where you want to go.

I hope you enjoyed this. If you would like to receive regular updates and be connected with me more, simply subscribe to my email list.

WHAT IS THE HAMSTER WHEEL OF LIFE AND ARE YOU IN IT?

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              WHAT IS THE HAMSTER WHEEL OF LIFE AND ARE YOU IN IT?

                      Antonio Baldovinos | Excerpt from Living from the Inside Out

 

Is this all there is to life? What are we really looking for? Have any of these thoughts come to your mind?

I have asked this question many times. All of humanity is asking and seeking to fulfill what they are here for. 

People keep looking in places that will never fulfill their deep longing. It goes on and on and on, a continual living from the outside in, chasing every type of physical and emotional pleasure that can never satisfy.

FEEDING FRENZY

Humanity goes on its unending feeding frenzy, devouring anything within its reach that promises some measure of gratification.

Yet mimicking the folly of a hamster on its wheel, regardless of variety or volume of consumption, the torrent of want cannot be quelled and the gnawing ache persists.

The unprecedented abundance of resource together with the rise of technology has created an environment that has awakened the incessant want of the human soul in heightened measure.

All of humanity has the same inner ache for the infinite; whether Christian or not, we can be defined as having this vast, gaping need in all of us.

There is a fundamental hunger for communion with the infinite God that absolutely nothing else can fulfill.

WHAT FASCINATES YOU?

In this day and age we diagnose our need for fascination and consider our options.

We look to entertainment, fame, power, work, money or relationships. We may even turn to religion. Even religion only deals with the external conditions instead of the heart.

We try everything, but our efforts will all fall short.

Unfortunately, people may not realize that nothing can satisfy their hunger until they have tasted and have experienced and know the love of the Father God, the satisfaction and fulfillment of their inner longing.

It is time to stop looking in all of the wrong places.

God Himself is what we are looking for; the God of the universe, the Uncreated God, your Creator. He is our longing. He is our ache.

I’m not talking about a bunch of hype that is frantic in some sort of worship service and is oftentimes only an outward appearance of fulfillment. I’m talking about the ecstasy that fills your very soul with the beauty and glory of God.

J.I. Packer says, “Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place of their own accord.”

Once we come to searching the depths of God, all the big issues in our life fall to the wayside. They seem so insignificant in comparison to knowing and searching out God.

AW Tozer says, “The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems.”

Friends, we are all looking for the Infinite, Eternal God. He is waiting for us as well. This is the encounter of a lifetime that has the potential to last for eternity. The choice is up to us.

Now choose Jesus!

8 PRINCIPLES EVERY SINGLE PERSON SHOULD KNOW BEFORE MARRIAGE

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8 PRINCIPLES EVERY SINGLE PERSON SHOULD KNOW BEFORE MARRIAGE

Antonio & Christelle Baldovinos | Marriage & Family

Hindsight is looking back at a situation that has already happened, evaluating if something went well or not. Here are some principles that will help singles not only prepare themselves for marriage, but do so without regret.

PRINCIPLE #1: VALUE YOURSELF

There is a value deficit in both men and women. We don’t value others because we don’t value ourselves.

You are worthy.

PRINCIPLE #2: MAXIMIZE YOUR SINGLENESS

Do not SEEK a mate, but SEEK God. The word single actually means to be whole. So seek God to be made whole and look for another person who is also whole, as you are.

PRINCIPLE #3: DO NOT PURSUE A RELATIONSHIP UNTIL YOU’RE READY FOR MARRIAGE

Dating for sport is playing with hearts and is dangerous and sinful. The intent and purpose of dating is for marriage. If you want to marry, you are in preparation right now. Every decision you make, both good and bad, will determine how prepared you are.

PRINCIPLE #4: HE INITIATES – SHE RESPONDS

Finding a great life mate is an intentional pursuit.

Men: Pursue purity of heart and life. Become proactive, intentional, and find a woman of godly character.

Women: Pursue purity of heart and life. If you are interested in a man who is pursuing you, let him know where he stands with you.

PRINCIPLE #5: RESURGENCE OF HONOR AND GODLY COUNSEL

In our culture, 18 year-olds are independent. However, the Bible says a man leaves his father and mother to be joined to his spouse. Parents are responsible before God for their children and so parents provide their children with their covering until they go under another one.

God promises that when we honor our parents, “It will go well with you.” (Eph 6:3). Parents probably know you better than anyone.  If parental counsel is not an option for you, find a godly couple and ask them to mentor you.

PRINCIPLES #6: DATING REDIFINED- COURTSHIP

Today’s dating culture is just “practicing” separation and divorce. You start to not “like” someone anymore and so you separate, while most likely you have already given your heart away to that person.

“Do not to awaken love until the time is right.” (Song of Songs 8:4)

PRINCIPLE #7: HAVE REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS

Even as you are not perfect, neither will you find someone who is perfect. You attract what you are. Be the type of person you want to attract, and you will!

PRINCIPLE #8: ONLY INVEST IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH SOMEONE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO ENTIRELY

Invest your time on that person that you find attractive physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and in ministry gifts.

To learn more on this subject, you can purchase the teaching CD by Antonio and Christelle called “Kingdom Relationships” where you will hear in-depth teaching on “8 Principles of How to date God’s Way.”

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#1 REASON JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS

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#1 REASON JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS

Antonio Baldovinos | Excerpt from Relentless Pursuit

 

 Why did Jesus die on the Cross? We believe that He did. But we need to know the why behind the what

Before Jesus died on the cross, He prayed what is called the High Priestly Prayer. The crescendo of His prayer is found at the end of John 17. 

There is nothing like this prayer in the entire Bible—Jesus is praying for His glorious Bride—us. The manner in which this prayer ends is a volcanic explosion that directly precedes His going to the garden to die. 

In other words, this prayer and desire of Jesus contain His final thoughts and one of His last requests to God as He went to the cross. The prayer expresses His very motives and heartbeat for dying: to be with us.

Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which you have given Me; for you loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them (John 17:24-26).

Here we find Jesus consumed with extravagant passion as He starts this prayer with the words: “I desire.” Please don’t take these two words lightly or skim over them. These powerful words display heart-rending emotion of the greatest kind. 

Jesus knew He was about to die on the cross, yet all He could think about was His desire for us. He was filled with burning passion as He laid down His life for His beloved Bride. He was fiercely and jealously consumed with desire over us. 

This was not casual love, this was costly life-surrendering love because He desired one thing—us. Jesus asked His Father that those who love Him could be with Him where He is. He passionately prayed that the love that He has, feels, and knows from the Father would be given to us. Jesus desired that we would feel and know that same love. God is capturing the Church with this love. 

Many will say that Jesus died on the Cross-for our sins, to acquit us of the penalty of sin.

Some may say that Jesus died on the Cross out of obedience to the Father. Others may say it could have only been Jesus, the God-man because we needed a man and sinless God to take care of the penalty of sin. While these are correct, the ultimate reason why Jesus dies was for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross and its shame (Heb. 12:2). He removed anything that hindered love.

He went to the Cross out of great desire over us. He had to have us!

What is our response back to His great pursuit?

 Antonio Baldovinos, Relentless Pursuit

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OUR CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS

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How did we get to where we are? The exaggerated depravation of society and the escalation of sin is unlike anything in this century. Everything is being challenged in the name of tolerance; marriage, family, the Gospel, salvation, grace, and much more.

 Mankind has gone through various cycles. We go through cycles of belief, conviction, assumption and finally turning away from God. You can see the reflection of this in people, homes and nations throughout history. A short study of the nation of Israel can show you a portrait of mankind and its various cycles. 

“About the time the original 13 United States were being adopted into the new constitution, in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish historian had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior.

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:  

  1. From bondage to spiritual faith;  
  2. From spiritual faith to great courage;  
  3. From courage to liberty;  
  4. From liberty to abundance;  
  5. From abundance to complacency;  
  6. From complacency to apathy;  
  7. From apathy to dependence;  
  8. From dependence back into bondage"1

Our current state of affairs is not a political issue; it’s not a marriage issue or even a sin issue. It is knowledge of God issue. The knowledge of God is truly the central issue before us in this hour. The cycles of nations and homes is really based soley upon what we know and how we view God and whether that view is right or wrong.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” (Hosea 4:6, emphasis added)

Society is in a battle of ideas. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says that “we cast down arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God”. This is the war of ideas between truths of God verses lies. Truth of what God is like and what He is not like. Truth of what His ways are and what they are not.

People have been trained over time, their conscience seared in many ways to take what they believe as truth. They will argue tooth and nail for what they believe. But lies have crept in and replaced the truth of God, even in the Church because the truth of God has not been preached or lived. The disciplers of this generation has been TV, magazines, sports stars, movie stars, musicians and the education system along with the most devastating… a fatherless home.

Over the generations we have lost our lofty view of God. We have a low view of God and if we have a low view of God, we will eventually make Him to be like what we think He should be. 2 This is what we are living in today. We have in many ways made Him to be like us. We say, “He should be like this. He should act like that. God is love (our definition of love), therefore He should do this, etc.” We are therefore making ourselves to be smarter than God. The result is that God is devalued in being God. We convert Him to be what we think He should be rather than who He is. This is the beginning point of idol worship because we worship ourselves.

Romans 1: 21 “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

In summary, the current state of society is due to the lack of knowledge, our low view of God and our high view of us. We think we are essentially good. We have not glorified God as God; therefore our thinking has become futile and our hearts foolish and as a result turn to sin in its most vile ways, with a continual lust for more. The thinking becomes gray and sin becomes tolerable.

What we need in this hour is a change of our view of God. We need a revelation of how magnificent, glorious and wonderful He really is! How do we change the way we think? We need to renew our mind by beholding what God is like and come in line and obey His ways. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. Meditating, beholding, and coming into alignment with what God is really like is the greatest need and this is where we need reformation. Not only does viewing God rightly change everything, we will also become exhilarated and never be the same again!

To end, A.W. Tozer reinforces this by saying, “The decline of the knowledge of the holy has brought on our troubles. A rediscovery of the majesty of God will go a long way toward curing them. It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate. If we would bring back spiritual power to our lives, we must begin to think of God more nearly as He is.” 3

  

Endnote:

  1. 1. Life Cycle of a Country, ww.1215.org/lawnotes/work-in-progress/country-life-cycle.htm
  2. Tozer, A.W., The Knowledge of the Holy (San Francisco: Harper, 1961), p. 3.
  3. IBID, 31.

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