Ryan is the Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Hickory, NC. He is the host of the "In The Room" podcast, and the author of 8 Hours, Or Less: Writing Faithful Sermons Faster.  

3 Thoughts For Ryder's Third Birthday

Dear Ryder, 

On the day you were born, God gave me a tremendous responsibility - raising you from a boy to a man. I'm not sure it's ever been an easy task, but these days it feels like a nearly impossible one.

 

Men in our culture are almost as rare as unicorns.

We have lots of boys. Being a boy is easy. Boys are silly. Boys are immature. Boys are irresponsible. It's fine to be a boy...when you're a boy. The problem is being a boy when you should be a man. God's called you to grow from a boy to a man, son. I know you're only three, but it's important we start talking about this stuff now.  You and I are to be God's men.

You are a strong, handsome, funny, and sensitive boy. My prayer is that God would grow you to be a strong, handsome, funny, and sensitive man. As we work towards this together, here are three things I want to share with you on your third birthday. 

1. Jesus is greater than Iron Man...and every other hero.

I know how much you love heroes. I love that you love them...particularly Iron Man. We both know that Iron Man is an amazing superhero. Jet boots, repulser rays, unibeam...he's crazy cool.

Heroes help, serve, protect, and save those in need. And as amazing as superheroes are, they don't compare to Jesus, our true and ultimate hero. Jesus is stronger than Iron Man. Jesus is more powerful than Iron Man. Jesus is a greater hero than Iron Man.

Jesus sacrificed Himself to save you, son. You're sin threatened to steal your life, so Jesus went to battle with it. Jesus climbed onto a cross where He died, and was then buried in a tomb for three days. Jesus did that for you!

Just when it looked like Jesus had lost, that your sin had defeated your hero, Jesus simply got up and walked out of the tomb! No jet boots, no repulser rays, no unibeam. He just walked out, crushing and killing your enemies of Satan, sin, and death. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America...all the Avengers couldn't do that on their best day. Jesus is a greater hero than Iron Man. My prayer is that you would trust Him by faith and follow Him.  

2. Prayer is the most powerful weapon in every man's arsenal. 

Your life is filled with weapons right now. Lightening hammers, lightsabers, and swords are everywhere in our house. It's good that you love weapons. Men need to learn to fight. Men need to be able to protect themselves and those around them. While it's hard for you to believe and understand right now, there is a weapon God has given us that's more powerful than any other - prayer. 

You're just learning to pray right now and nothing makes my heart swell like hearing your little voice talk to God. One of the things I'm praying for you each day is that you would grow to be a praying man.

Prayer is powerful. Because of Jesus you have direct access through prayer to the Creator, Savior, and Sustainer of the universe. Never forget that God hears, listens, and responds to your prayers. You can talk to God at any time, in any place, and in every season. Prayer is the most powerful weapon in every man's arsenal. Use it, son. You'll need it.  

3. Sin will be the biggest bad guy you ever fight.

Sin sucks, buddy. I see you battling it already. Anger, rebellion, apathy...it's already in you. Sin is worse than Dr. Doom. Sin is worse than Darth Vader. Sin is worse than the Crimson Dynamo. Sin is real and it wants to destroy you.

You have to resist it. You have to fight it. You have to kill it. 

Jesus has already won the war, but the fight against the sin that dwells within you remains. You have to battle against it. Daddy's going to fight beside you. Most importantly Jesus is always fighting sin with you and for you. He's won, so we fight. 

You've already made daddy so proud. You're an amazing boy and you're going to be great man. I will always love you. I will always do my best to point you to Jesus. I will always pray for and with you. I will always help you fight your sin. You're daddy loves you...more than the world.

Happy Birthday, Son. 

 

Ever prayed for something God didn't grant?

Preacher, Or Zumba Instructor?

Preacher, Or Zumba Instructor?