Posted by theplaceaz
I can still see their faces. They had that look of pity plastered on their faces like witnesses to a pending execution! The subject of their gaze was my family. It was at a Monday morning school assembly in my primary school back in Uganda. I was in 3rd grade and I, along with all the members of family, was publically beaten based on a false accusation trumped up by one of the teachers. He claimed we had vandalized the school because we lived the closest to the premises. We went home broken and humiliated for something we hadn’t done. Naturally, we told our dad. What happened next made me so proud of my dad. He marched into that school red-faced with anger and sought out the teacher who had made the accusation and had beaten us. The scared teacher had to run and lock himself in a classroom while my dad stood outside wanting to serve some justice. While I don’t advocate his methodology I applaud his courage in going to face with the one who would dare harm his family. My father did not take a passive stance when there was a threat to his family. He faced it head-on, taking his role as protector seriously. That, in my eyes, was a display of courage.
Courage is that quality that everyone and especially we men crave! The ability to face danger with seeming disregard for our safety because we are driven by a greater good! A damsel in distress, a nation or people or family that need saving! To do what needs to be done not because it is easy but because it is right. Every one of us has at some point asked the question, “Do I have what it takes? Am I courageous?” In today’s world we need courage more than ever to do the things God has called us to do! There are threats to our families all around. As the world drills into the minds of younger generations that the principles in the Word of God are antiquated and don’t apply today. When sin is not only accepted as normal but is celebrated and encouraged. It’s going to take courage to take God at his word and live as more than fans but disciples of Jesus. “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars…they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelations 21:8
The other day I was reading this very scripture. The cowardly will not inherit the kingdom of God! And so that led me to ask the question what does it mean to be courageous for the believer in Christ.
There are several examples in the Bible of courage! Peter, asked to stop preaching under penalty of death, replies, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.” Acts 5:29. Elijah, in the Old Testament, challenged the prophets of Baal to a showdown that would require some serious display of Gods power! I chose these two because of the inconsistencies in their “courage.”
Peter’s display of courage is in sharp contrast to his cowardice when he denies knowing Christ! Elijah became so scared for his life after his huge victory that he wanted God to take his life. What happens to cause these men to be bold one moment and chickens the next shows us that courage was a quality given from without and not conjured up from within! By themselves, these were ordinary men, but filled with the Spirit they were lions to be reckoned with! So for the believer:
Courage is a grace bestowed upon the believer through the in filling of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of fulfilling specific missions sanctioned by God!
What this means for me is I don’t have to muster up something from the recesses of my self. Though there may be some natural courage there for some, the source of courage is the Holy Spirit. I just need to depend completely on Christ! Joshua, the man who led the Israelites into the Promised Land epitomizes this in Exodus 33:11b. “Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting.” He stayed in the presence of God and this, I believe, was the source of His courage. If I am yielded to the voice of the Holy Spirit, I can join the psalmist in saying, “In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.” Psalm 18:21
Posted by theplaceaz
We had a great Father’s Day service at THE PLACE. From 210 fathers losing their lives in a West Virginian mining disaster to the pen strokes of Richard Nixon, we look at the roots of Father’s Day and how it is a fairly new holiday. Then, we venture into the first chapter of Deuteronomy and the words of Moses to the Israelites. Everything from early morning prayer meetings to battered and bruised marathon runners are weaved together to give a perfect picture of living a full life with Christ.