IF I ONLY HAD COURAGE
COURAGE – The Greek word translated “courage” and “good cheer” means literally “boldness and confidence.”
“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.” Winston Churchill
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Nelson Mandela
COURAGE TO STEP OUT
6 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command ̶be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:6-9
COURAGE TO FOLLOW CHRIST
● In Baptism
1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Romans 6:1-4
Martin Luther was famous for fighting against sin and Satan by preaching to himself, “I am baptized! I am baptized!” He saw the visible, external act of baptism as an objective pointer to the invisible, internal reality of new birth and the faith through which we are saved on the basis of Christ alone.
● “Being discipled” or “discipling” someone.
● By going on a mission trip.
● By sharing your faith.
8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead… Philippians 3:8-10a
COURAGE TO FIGHT
11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:11-12
13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
The Whole Armor of God 10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:10-18
COURAGE TO SAY NO
The Bible is filled with stories of men and women who had the courage to say no and God honored them.
COURAGE TO LET GO (SURRENDER)
So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord! Psalm 31:24
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Next steps for me today…
● Have the courage to surrender my life to Christ today.
● Have the courage to follow Christ in Baptism.
● Have the courage to step out on faith.