Jeff Kemp completed nearly 500 passes in his decade-long career as a professional quarterback. But regardless of how accurately he threw the football, he was successful only if a teammate received it. Many men today are striving in vain to perform better as Christians, husbands and fathers when God is simply asking them to receive what he already has done for them.
“Jesus was the strongest and most courageous man ever,” Kemp said. “He was the greatest leader ever. He was the one who changed history with 12 friends and no marketing budget. Jesus said, `I can do nothing apart from my father, and I choose to say and do only the things my father gives me.’ Jesus shows us a pattern of receiving his identity and receiving his minute-to-minute guidance on how to live. That model will set us free so we don’t have to earn it.”
Kemp, who leads the ministries Men Huddle and Jeff Kemp Team, speaks to men across the nation about how they can find their identity in the finished work of Christ. Just in time for the Christmas season, he has released his latest book, “Receive: The Way of Jesus for Men.” The book grew out of the confusion he saw about what it means to be a man in today’s culture.
“The words that come to mind are busy, isolated, lonely and confused,” he said. “This sense of isolation has led to loneliness, and loneliness in an era as confused as this one can be debilitating. It’s hard to have the confidence to roll up your sleeves and play the role you are meant to play.”
Simply put, men have forgotten what it means to be a man. “Men are meant to be strong, but their strength is meant to be used for others,” Kemp said. “Our identity has always been misplaced. We try to earn it through sports, money, women or achievement.”
The message of “Receive” is for men to find their identity not through performance but through what God freely gives them.
“You can’t earn more kudos with God, and you can’t make him love you more or less by how you behave,” Kemp said. “He already loves you unconditionally based on receiving the forgiveness of Christ. Wouldn’t it make sense then that our identity as a man, as well as the strength of our identity and how we live as a man, are received through a relationship with the heavenly father, the way Jesus did it? The reason this is so hard for guys is that it’s counterintuitive — but most things in the Bible are counterintuitive.”
Even Christian men can fall into a trap of believing they can find their identity through performance.
“In general, a man believes he needs to earn things when he becomes a believer,” Kemp says. “He thinks there is a way the guys in church are doing things or a way the pastor expects things to be done. I’m not saying we don’t need to apply ourselves or that we don’t need teamwork. But the fundamental thing we are aiming to do is to get so close to God so we are listening to him and letting him guide us in how to live, which means we are receiving.”
“Receive” has 22 chapters in four sections – receive, transform, huddle and lift. It is designed for men to study with friends or in small groups, and a field guide is available. Men will enjoy the football analogies and insights from such players and coaches as Russell Wilson, Tony Dungy and Benjamin Watson.
“Jeff Kemp has been a leader of men his adult life,” CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz said. “He now provides a gameplan based on following the way of the ultimate man at the center of history.”
Anyone who orders “Receive” at www.jeffkempteam.com will receive a bonus gift of the book “Level Five Friendship.” There also is a discount with orders of 12 or more books. The book makes a good gift for Christmas or for men making resolutions for 2024.
“The message of `Receive’ is a hopeful and grace-filled one,” Kemp said. “We can receive our identity; we do not have to perform for it or earn it. `Receive’ is a message to break free, go back to the way Jesus did it and receive both identity and the way of living from the father, and you are set free from having to perform. Then you live from your identity instead of trying to earn it. “
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice