We want you to know, brothers and sisters,[a] about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege[b] of sharing in this ministry to the saints— and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us, so that we might urge Titus that, as he had already made a beginning, so he should also complete this generous undertaking[c] among you. Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you[d]—so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.[e]
I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act[f] of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something— now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have. I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written,
“The one who had much did not have too much,
and the one who had little did not have too little.”
Commendation of Titus
But thanks be to God who put in the heart of Titus the same eagerness for you that I myself have. For he not only accepted our appeal, but since he is more eager than ever, he is going to you of his own accord. With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his proclaiming the good news;[g] and not only that, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us while we are administering this generous undertaking[h] for the glory of the Lord himself[i] and to show our goodwill. We intend that no one should blame us about this generous gift that we are administering, for we intend to do what is right not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of others. And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found eager in many matters, but who is now more eager than ever because of his great confidence in you. As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker in your service; as for our brothers, they are messengers[j] of the churches, the glory of Christ. Therefore openly before the churches, show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.
a. 2 Corinthians 8:1 Gk brothers
b. 2 Corinthians 8:4 Gk grace
c. 2 Corinthians 8:6 Gk this grace
d. 2 Corinthians 8:7 Other ancient authorities read your love for us
e. 2 Corinthians 8:7 Gk this grace
f. 2 Corinthians 8:9 Gk the grace
g. 2 Corinthians 8:18 Or the gospel
h. 2 Corinthians 8:19 Gk this grace
i. 2 Corinthians 8:19 Other ancient authorities lack himself
j. 2 Corinthians 8:23 Gk apostles
There is always a reason. Not being willing to say what your reasons are is not the same as not knowing them. Truth is always present. Truth is always available. You simply need the courage to face yourself, explore your motives and confront your insecurities. Until then, you will only enjoy a false security in the thought that your darkness is a mystery to others. Your darkness is mystery to no one. We all have darkness, but not all of us have light.
In first-century Palestine, the way Jesus treated
women was considered revolutionary.
When she became a teenager, her father made the arrangements. This was the custom of the times. Mary would be married to a carpenter, Joseph, the son of Heli. From birth, Mary’s role in life was set, for she was born female to a Jewish family. Yet her role in history was to be extraordinary. God chose her to be the mother of Jesus.
Woman of courage
When the angel Gabriel came to Mary, she was initially troubled by what the angel’s appearance might mean. The angel reassured her, explaining that she was the one chosen to be the mother of Jesus.
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:34-38)
Though she knew she was facing shame and humiliation, Mary, in faith, willingly submitted herself to God’s will. She understood that it was possible that Joseph would not marry her. She would be considered damaged goods. Mary acted in great courage and faith.
“So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea…. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.” (Luke 2:4-5) Illustrations by Jody Eastman
Though God protected her by showing Joseph in a dream that he should accept her in marriage in spite of her being pregnant, the story of her pregnancy was out. Nevertheless, Joseph faithfully married an already pregnant Mary. A legacy of raised-eyebrow, finger-pointing gossip would follow them and Jesus throughout their lives.
Jesus Christ honored his mother throughout his life and at his crucifixion. Mary was at the foot of the cross. When Jesus saw her there, no doubt in shock at what she was witnessing, he compassionately let her and John know how she would be cared for after his death and after his resurrection:
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother. “Dear woman, here is ‘your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:26-27)
Jesus’ honor and respect was not reserved simply for his mother. It was extended to all women—an attitude largely unexpected and unknown in his culture and time. Jesus, unlike the men of his generation and culture, taught that women were equal to men in the sight of God. Women could receive God’s forgiveness and grace. Women, as well as men, could be among Christ’s personal followers. Women could be full participants in the kingdom of God. Jesus offered full discipleship to women.
These were revolutionary ideas. Many of his contemporaries, including his disciples, were shocked. Women were overjoyed and grateful, of course, and many dedicated their lives to his service. Let’s take a look, from the historical narratives in Scripture, at a few of these women of faith and how Jesus dealt with them.
Mary of Magdala
In the early days of Jesus’ ministry, one of the most unusual examples is the devoted following of Mary Magdalene. Among the group of women who traveled with Jesus and his 12 disciples was Mary of Magdala (Luke 8:2). Mary is almost always mentioned first in a list of the female disciples of Jesus Christ. She may have been one of the leaders of that group of women who followed Jesus from the outset of his ministry in Galilee to his death and afterward.
The risen Jesus appeared to her first. It’s ironic that in a time when women could not be legal witnesses, Jesus Christ chose women as the first witnesses of his resurrection. As British writer Dorothy L. Sayers said: “Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man—there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronised: who never made arch jokes about them…who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension: who took their questions and arguments seriously” (Are Women Human?, page 47).
Mary and Martha
Jesus Christ taught that women were just as responsible for growing in grace and knowledge as men when it came to being one of his followers. This is clearly expressed in Luke’s account of Christ’s visit to the home of Martha and Mary, who lived in Bethany, a village about 2 miles from Jerusalem. Martha had invited Jesus and his disciples to her home for a meal. But while Martha was busily preparing to serve her guests, her sister, Mary, was listening to Jesus along with the rest of his disciples.
“‘Martha, Martha, the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’“ (Luke 10:41-42)
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:38-40)
Martha seems to have been the older sister and head of her own house. Jesus didn’t chastise Martha for being busy serving, but he told her that her sister, Mary, was the one who actually had her priorities straight. “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (verses 41-42).
Jesus expected women as well as men to learn from him. Jesus did not feel that women’s work— or men’s work, for that matter— wasn’t important. He was not saying it is wrong to be diligent and careful about our responsibilities. Christ was saying we should get our priorities straight. Women were called to be disciples of Jesus, just as men were, and women were expected to fulfill their spiritual responsibilities, just as men were.
A daughter of Abraham
Another fascinating account is Luke’s story of the healing of a disabled woman—on the Sabbath day, in the synagogue, right in front of the synagogue ruler. The healing not only shows Christ personally contrasting his new way of life with the old legalistic, pharisaical restrictions, but it also shows his deep regard for women.
On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. (Luke 13:10-13)
The ruler of the synagogue immediately protested. He indignantly told the people there were six other days they could be healed. This was his means of chastising Christ for what the religious ruler considered as breaking the Sabbath. Was Christ intimidated by these words? Not in the least.
“You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” (verses 15-16).
Jesus Christ not only faced the wrath of the Jewish leaders by healing this woman on the Sabbath, he showed his regard for her by calling her a “daughter of Abraham.” “The idea of being a son of Abraham was common enough. Jesus used that term in reference to Zacchaeus a few chapters later in Luke. But Jesus with this one modification of the phrase—from ‘son’ to ‘daughter’—raises this formerly pitiful woman to a new status,” say authors Ruth A. Tucker and Walter Liefeld (Daughters of the Church, page 31).
Before his most venomous critics, Jesus publicly showed his concern and high regard for this woman, someone whom others had probably seen for years as she struggled in her affliction to come to the synagogue to worship God. Someone whom they may well have shunned because she was a woman and because she was disabled.
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’“ (John 19:26-27)
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The Bible doesn’t specify just how many women traveled with Jesus and his male disciples, but Luke records the names of a prominent few, and mentions there were “many others.”
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household: Susanna: and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means. (Luke 8:1-3)
Think about these remarkable words. Here were women not only associating with Jesus Christ and his male disciples, but traveling along with them. Also, notice that at least some of these women—possibly widows—had control of their own finances. It was out of their generosity that Jesus and his disciples were at least partially supported.
Although Christ worked with the cultural traditions of the first century, he ignored the limitations that had been placed on women by their culture. Women were free to follow him and to take part in his ministry to the world.
All are one in Christ
In Christ we are all children of God. As the apostle Paul wrote: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28).
Paul’s significant words, especially where they concern women, are bold even now, and certainly were astonishing in the time he wrote them. This was another of Paul’s transitional statements showing that a new covenant relationship through Christ had begun.
Now we have a new life in Christ. All Christians have a new relationship with God. Through Christ, we—both male and female—have become God’s own children and one in Jesus Christ. Christ is calling all—men and women—to repentance and a new way of life. Jesus showed through personal example that it’s time to put aside the old biases, the feelings of superiority over others, the feelings of resentment and anger, and to walk in newness of life with him and through him.
Many of you are striving to be women of faith. Many of you, like the bent-over woman healed by Christ in the synagogue, have to overlook some discrimination as you faithfully worship God and serve him. Don’t get discouraged and give up. Jesus Christ calls you equal in every way in his sight, and heirs to his promises. And, as you humbly follow him, Christ will use you in his service.
And, for those of you who haven’t taken that step, just as he freed that poor woman from Satan’s debilitating physical affliction on her, Christ promises to free you, and all his “daughters of Abraham” who repent and follow him. Jesus Christ wants you in his kingdom.
Historian Ruth A. Tucker is a visiting professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Dr. Tucker has also taught at Calvin College and Fuller Theological Seminary. She holds a doctorate in history from Northern Illinois University and is a popular speaker at seminars and Christian conferences. Her books include Daughters of the Church (with Walter Liefeld) and Guardians of the Great Commission.
Question: You have said in several of your books that the Bible shows that Jesus Christ had an unusual sensitivity toward women.
Ruth Tucker: Jesus certainly did have a remarkable perspective and attitude toward women. He was the Messiah, and he had come to bring the kingdom of God. He had come to live and to die and send a message to the whole world. He needed to mobilize all of those who would believe, all of his followers, including women as well as men.
We read about the 12 men who followed Jesus, but there were women in his company as well. Mary Magdalene and the other Marys followed him and carried the message of who Jesus was. What these women did goes along well with Jesus Christ’s great commission that he gave before he died.
The men and women who followed Jesus had that great commission. It was not a commission that should cause people to rival each other in leadership or prestige or position and power, but rather a commission that calls for servitude.
The great commission is radical. It demands sacrifices and self-denial and calls for servanthood. Unfortunately in the church today, often following the management model in the world, we look for prestige and power, even as followers of Jesus. We may not intend that, but often that happens.
Q. Can any woman today— whether she is a young mother with several children, or perhaps a mother whose children have grown up and left home—serve Christ?
A. Absolutely. Any woman, and any man, should reach out to follow Jesus. We have such an incredible heritage of women reaching out in their communities. Often, when they have little children, they will involve the little children in their ministry. They will get their adolescents, teenagers, all involved in the ministry as well. This can be done in the family setting. It can be done in groups.
We have women reaching out, often in social service ministries, helping others, meeting the needs of others in the community, but bringing the message of the risen Savior at the same time.
Q. As you know, Paul refers to the older women teaching the younger women. How do you feel older women can serve the younger women in the church?
A. Older, more mature women in the faith certainly can teach younger women and less spiritually mature women in the church. This ministry should also include women who may not be closely associated with the church, but in the community, who may have an interest in knowing more of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Women working together to serve in the community have been a major factor in church growth through the generations. When women reach out to other women, to other families, they help and encourage them and also bring the gospel message at the same time.
Women, young and old, ought to see themselves as they read the pages of the New Testament, that they are there, and that they have been there through the generations, following the command of the great commission.
Often, women are the ones who carry on the faith. That may be partly because men have been secularized more than women. Men are out in the marketplace, out in the workplace and in the world. They are often challenged in their faith more than women. Women have traditionally been in the home. They are the ones rearing the children. They are the ones passing along the faith.
Women have to see themselves from New Testament times on through history in this role. God has especially used women, given them a gift of faith from the very women at the cross, for proclaiming the resurrection down through the centuries. We must continue that in our neighborhoods, not just in our homes, but in our communities.
Today, women are going out in the workplace; more and more. I am concerned that passing on the faith in the family and in the neighborhood may be getting left behind. As women are getting more secularized and involved in their own jobs and positions, they find their time more and more .limited.
As women, we need to hang on to our heritage, and encourage men also to be involved in bringing the gospel into the home and into the community, carrying on that great commission, to preach, teach, disciple and baptize.
Q. Yes, women are busy, but economic realities here and around the world have forced many women out of the home into the labor force. How can these women find time to serve?
A. I think they need to serve the Lord wherever they are. I would challenge working women that the workplace is a wonderful place to carry out the great commission. When Jesus said to go out to all the world, certainly the workplace is one of those places to reach out and simply share the faith, even as Mary Magdalene did, telling others about the risen Savior whom she had encountered.
On September 30th, I saw COURAGEOUS, a movie about men answering God’s call to Fatherhood. Who knew this is where the study was taking me – taking you? I didn’t. but I’m so glad I stuck with it. I hope you are too. See a couple of movie trailers below.
Courageous movie trailer
Courageous – Opening scene Yes, folks, this is how it begins and it’s a pure emotional and spiritual rush from this scene on!
Courageous – “When did you first think of yourself as a man?” I will note here that I first thought of myself as a “full grown” woman in my early thirties – when I began to focus on and follow the Word of God. Before then, I still thought of myself and referred to myself as “a girl.” I loved this question and discussion!
Courageous – “You are a rich man!”
Courageous – Finishing Well I had a conversation with a cousin a month or so ago. She mentioned how she was not set up well in life – her parental models were destructive and debilitating. I told her I wasn’t set up well either, but that didn’t stop me from doing better. I intend to finish well and by the grace of God, I will.
This movie moved me enough to share the below message on the movie’s Facebook page. I’m sharing again because I know my situation is all too common – hence the need for such a movie and movement:
I absolutely LOVE this movie! Half-way through, I knew it was the BEST movie I’ve seen all year – one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. I’m single with no children (yet) and waiting on God to bring me my husband. I had a father who was abusive with his actions and childlike in his thinking. He didn’t love, he didn’t serve and he didn’t provide. I grew up thinking that men had no real value as husbands or fathers. It wasn’t a conscious thought but it was there. Over the past 12 yrs or so, God has been reworking my mind and my heart in terms of how I view men, relationships and marriage. He has gotten me to the point of being able to SEE what His true plans are for husbands/fathers, wives/mothers, the family unit and the relationships that bind them – starting with each person’s relationship with God. While I was watching COURAGEOUS, I KNEW I was watching a keepsake for my family. I knew I was watching a movie that I would share year after year with my husband and our children. God has blessed you with such a gift and opportunity – thank you for being obedient and following through and sharing it! Continue to walk in your blessings. – LaShawnda Jones
Courage Studies by LaShawnda Jones on the My God and Me Blog
God created mankind to love and trust Him. From the beginning we struggled against doing just that. We want everything to make sense in our heads, not our hearts. We want to attribute reality to the things seen with the eyes and discount what our spirit is telling us. Trusting God completely requires letting go of our independence, our sense of superiority and our ego. We must become childlike and eager for the blessings He wishes to bestow upon us and the life He has outlined for us to live. It takes courage to let go of the hefty physical things of life and reach for the eternal spiritual elements of life. It takes courage to trust God, His Word and His plan for us – especially when He hasn’t shared the daily details of every situation. However, in trusting Him, the details that can trip us up cease to matter.
It takes courage to reason with God
God has a case against us. You may not know it, but you are born of the seed of the first man that disobeyed God and forfeited his right relationship with the Lord Almighty. As natural descendants of that man, Adam, we are heirs to his sin. In Isaiah Chapter One, God lays out his case against mankind – against His special people, Israel. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you are a spiritual heir to God’s promises. In verse 18 of Isaiah Chapter One, God invites us to talk to Him. To reason with Him. To present ourselves to Him. Even though our history says we are condemned and deserving of punishment, God’s Word says we can be cleansed, redeemed and restored.
Isaiah 1:18 “ Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “ Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword”; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (NKJV)
It takes courage to act — to perform God’s word in your life.
God is speaking to you. He’s telling you to do something. Don’t take His words lightly. Whatever action He is requiring of you, He will back it up with His performance. Believe that and act now! Don’t make the mistake of trusting someone else’s contrary word (something in direct opposition of what you know God has spoken to you).
Isaiah 55:10 Rain and snow fall from the sky and don’t return without watering the ground. They cause the plants to sprout and grow, making seeds for the farmer and bread for the people.The same thing is true of the words I speak. They will not return to me empty. They make the things happen that I want to happen, and they succeed in doing what I send them to do. 12 “So you will go out with joy and be led out in peace.
Jeremiah 1:11 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” 12Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”…17 “ Therefore prepare yourself and arise, And speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before their faces, Lest I dismay you before them. 19 They will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the LORD, “to deliver you.” (NKJV)
Number 13:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.”
Numbers 13:30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants; and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (NKJV)
Matthew 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary was engaged to marry Joseph, but before they married, she learned she was pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Mary’s husband, Joseph, was a good man, he did not want to disgrace her in public, so he planned to divorce her secretly. 20 While Joseph thought about these things, an angel of the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, descendant of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the baby in her is from the Holy Spirit.21 She will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus,because he will save his people from their sins.” 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the Lord’s angel had told him to do. Joseph took Mary as his wife,25 but he did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to the son. And Joseph named him Jesus.
It takes courage to see beyond our circumstances
It’s so easy to get caught up in the problems of the moment; the fears for your life, the concerns regarding your children. We are blinded from God’s promises and blesses by the daily circumstances that weigh us down. The Word doesn’t say that we shouldn’t have painfully consuming life situations, on the contrary we are to count all our trials and sorrows as joy. The Word tells us to keep our focus on Jesus Christ. To follow Him and be His disciple. In doing that, we will live a daily life that honors God and transcends our circumstances.
John 9:24 So for the second time, they called the man who had been blind. They said, “You should give God the glory by telling the truth. We know that this man is a sinner.”
25 He answered, “I don’t know if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I see.”
26 They asked, “What did he do to you? How did he make you see again?”
27 He answered, “I already told you, and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his followers, too?”
28 Then they insulted him and said, “You are his follower, but we are followers of Moses.29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this man comes from.”
30 The man answered, “This is a very strange thing. You don’t know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes.31 We all know that God does not listen to sinners, but he listens to anyone who worships and obeys him.32 Nobody has ever heard of anyone giving sight to a man born blind.33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
It takes courage to go where God instructs you to go
Abraham is someone I believe my life has been modeled after (during my thirties anyway). I, too, was told to go to an unfamiliar land and trust the Lord’s provision. I know friends, family and casual observers thought I was crazy for moving to New York City six years ago with no job, no contacts, no resources and no savings. I questioned my own sanity – for a couple of years! Now I know that God had (and has) a plan. He has His own way of working things out in me that will bring about the results He desire. I’ve grown so much spiritually in these years that I can’t even explain the upward arc with any detail. To God be the glory for all that He allows me to do and become!
Genesis 12:1 The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land I will show you. 4 So Abram left Haran as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. At this time Abram was 75 years old.5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and everything they owned, as well as all the servants they had gotten in Haran.
Acts 9:3 So Saul headed toward Damascus. As he came near the city, a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 4 Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”
5 Saul said, “Who are you, Lord?”
The voice answered, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6Get up now and go into the city. Someone there will tell you what you must do.” 8 Saul got up from the ground and opened his eyes, but he could not see. So those with Saul took his hand and led him into Damascus.
It takes courage to wait
Waiting is a painful. It sounds passive, but it’s really a way of activating your faith and keeping it engaged. When you wait on the Lord, you are saying that you know, understand and appreciate that whatever He has for you is what you want. You are telling Him that He and His blessings are sufficient and temporary substitutes have no place in your life (after all anything you can do for yourself is only temporary). God wants to bless us to the fullest of our ability to receive.
Isaiah 30:18 The Lord wants to show his mercy to you. He wants to rise and comfort you. The Lord is a fair God, and everyone who waits for his help will be happy.
Psalm 123:1 Lord, I look upward to you, you who live in heaven. 2 Slaves depend on their masters, and a female servant depends on her mistress. In the same way, we depend on the Lord our God; we wait for him to show us mercy. 3 Have mercy on us, Lord. Have mercy on us, because we have been insulted. 4 We have suffered many insults from lazy people and much cruelty from the proud.
Galatians 4:4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child.And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
It takes courage to speak
The power of life and death is in the tongue. God spoke the universe into existence and we have only to speak to form our own lives. Such power can be frightening! What if we get everything we speak of? No worries, if you are righteous because the blessings of the Lord do not come with added sorry and He will make sure you are able to handle what He gives you. Still scared? Then perhaps you aren’t speaking life. Talk to God and He will certainly clean up your speech to make your words more effective.
Jeremiah 1:4 The Lord spoke his word to me, saying: 5 “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then I said, “But Lord God, I don’t know how to speak. I am only a boy.”
7 But the Lord said to me, “Don’t say, ‘I am only a boy.’ You must go everywhere I send you, and you must say everything I tell you to say.8 Don’t be afraid of anyone, because I am with you to protect you,” says the Lord.
9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth. He said to me, “See, I am putting my words in your mouth.10 Today I have put you in charge of nations and kingdoms. You will pull up and tear down, destroy and overthrow, build up and plant.”
Learn God’s Word and Learn More About Yourself
God is calling warriors who have the courage to Hear, See, Believe and Obey Him; the courage to Seek Him, Follow Jesus and Receive the Holy Spirit; and the courage to Build, Maintain and Restore Relationships. All in all, we need courage to Trust God.
Courage is needed for so much of life, this study is only a small portion of the scope of situations we need to be brave for. We are all warriors – we may not feel like it or look like it, but that’s what our God is calling us – Mighty Warriors, Men & Women of Valor, More Than Conquerors! There’s a reason for that – we aren’t intended to be passive wimps.
In looking for God’s warriors in the Bible, we learn that none of them look or sound like we think they should – like our Hollywood-influenced popular opinions. They are not able or qualified to do the required task on their own. That’s the beauty of God’s plan – it’s not about us! It’s not about the warriors, aka the workers. It’s all about God! Everything He calls us to do in the Kingdom of Heaven is for His glory – we do what we are told in order that others may come to know the greatness of our God! Hallelujah! We, the warriors, are only symbolic; God is the True Fighter. He has already won victory and has already made a way for His victory to manifest in our lives. When we struggle with impossible situations, circumstances, pains, betrayals, anger, hatred, bitterness, unbelief, lack of knowledge, etc… When we struggle with all that, we show the world (people who intersect with our life) where we are and where we came from. However, when we overcome all that, we show the world what our God does for us every day. And what He does for each of us, glorifies Him in the highest. It takes courage to trust God in His infinite wisdom. It takes courage to live in Christ.
Be courageous, mighty warriors – you Godly men and women of valor!
courage: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
relationship: a connection, association, or involvement; an emotional or other connection between people
I think I’ve been working towards this study for a few years now. Looking forward to compiling it all summer. And I’ve been building it statement by statement for the last few weeks. Ultimately is formed from the prior “COURAGE” studies, however it encompasses everything I write about – RELATIONSHIPS.
Our primary relationship is with God. We have to know and understand His word in order to properly interact with Him. Once we understand the importance of “right relationship” with God, we pursue it continually. More immediately in our physical world, we have a proper working model of a “good” relationship. Our human relationships are to mirror our primary spiritual relationship. I hope this compilation of God’s Word helps you with your relationship with Him and with people.
Be blessed and live your life to be a blessing.
It takes courage to love
love: a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection
1 John 4:7-11 Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become God’s child and knows God.8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.9 This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his one and only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. 10 This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God’s love for us. He sent his Son to die in our place to take away our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us that much we also should love each other.
1 John 4:18 Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear, so love is not made perfect in the person who fears.
1 Corinthians 13:2-8 …if I do not have love, then I am nothing. 3 I may give away everything I have, and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned. But I gain nothing if I do not have love. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.5 Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. 6 Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. 7 Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures. 8 Love never ends.
The courage to commit
commit: to give in trust or charge; consign; to consign for preservation (to hand over or deliver formally or officially; to transfer to another’s custody or charge; to set apart for or devote to); to pledge (oneself) to a position; express (one’s intention, feeling, etc.); to bind or obligate; to entrust, especially for safekeeping; commend (to entrust; give in charge; deliver with confidence)
Proverbs 16:3 Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed. (NLT)
Psalm 37:3 Trust the Lord and do good. Live in the land and feed on truth. 4 Enjoy serving the LORD, and he will give you what you want. 5 Depend on the LORD; trust him, and he will take care of you. 6 Then your goodness will shine like the sun, and your fairness like the noonday sun.
Acts 20:32 “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.
John 15:13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
It takes courage to prepare
prepare: to put in proper condition or readiness; to lead up to by some preliminary action
1 Chronicles 22:5 David said, “We should build a great Temple for the LORD, which will be famous everywhere for its greatness and beauty. But my son Solomon is young. He hasn’t yet learned what he needs to know, so I will prepare for the building of it.” So David got many of the materials ready before he died.
Esther 2:12 Before a girl could take her turn with King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments that were ordered for the women. For six months she was treated with oil and myrrh and for six months with perfumes and cosmetics.13 Then she was ready to go to the king.
Esther 3: 13 Then Mordecai sent back word to Esther: “Just because you live in the king’s palace, don’t think that out of all the Jewish people you alone will escape.14 If you keep quiet at this time, someone else will help and save the Jewish people, but you and your father’s family will all die. And who knows, you may have been chosen queen for just such a time as this.”
15 Then Esther sent this answer to Mordecai: 16 “Go and get all the Jewish people in Susa together. For my sake, fast; do not eat or drink for three days, night and day. I and my servant girls will also fast . Then I will go to the king, even though it is against the law, and if I die, I die.”
Matthew 25:1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to wait for the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise.3 The five foolish bridesmaids took their lamps, but they did not take more oil for the lamps to burn.4 The wise bridesmaids took their lamps and more oil in jars. 5 Because the bridegroom was late, they became sleepy and went to sleep.
6 “At midnight someone cried out, ‘The bridegroom is coming! Come and meet him!’ 7 Then all the bridesmaids woke up and got their lamps ready.8 But the foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9 The wise bridesmaids answered, ‘No, the oil we have might not be enough for all of us. Go to the people who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “So while the five foolish bridesmaids went to buy oil, the bridegroom came. The bridesmaids who were ready went in with the bridegroom to the wedding feast. Then the door was closed and locked.
It takes courage to build
build: to construct (especially something complex) by assembling and joining parts or materials; to establish, increase, or strengthen; to mold, form, or create; to base; found
1 Chronicles 22:11 David said, “Now, my son, may the LORD be with you. May you build a temple for the LORD your God, as he said you would.12 He will make you the king of Israel. May the LORD give you wisdom and understanding so you will be able to obey the teachings of the LORD your God.13 Be careful to obey the rules and laws the LORD gave Moses for Israel. If you obey them, you will have success. Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid or discouraged.
Matthew 16:18 So I tell you, you are Peter. On this rock I will build my church, and the power of death will not be able to defeat it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; the things you don’t allow on earth will be the things that God does not allow, and the things you allow on earth will be the things that God allows.”
Ephesians 4:22 You were taught to leave your old self—to stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self becomes worse, because people are fooled by the evil things they want to do.23 But you were taught to be made new in your hearts,24 to become a new person. That new person is made to be like God—made to be truly good and holy.
Ephesians 4:25 So you must stop telling lies. Tell each other the truth, because we all belong to each other in the same body. 26 When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day.27 Do not give the devil a way to defeat you.
Ephesians 4:29 When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.30 And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes.31 Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil.32 Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.
It takes courage to acknowledge our sin
acknowledge: to admit to be real or true; recognize the existence, truth, or fact of; to show or express recognition or realization of
sin: any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, or lapse
Psalm 32:3 When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long. 4 Day and night you punished me. My strength was gone as in the summer heat.
5 Then I confessed my sins to you and didn’t hide my guilt. I said, “I will confess my sins to the LORD,” and you forgave my guilt.
James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you. When a believing person prays, great things happen.
It takes courage to hold others accountable
accountable: liable; obliged to accept responsibility; subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; responsible; answerable; responsible to someone or for some action; answerable
Leviticus 26:40 “‘But maybe the people will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors; maybe they will admit they turned against me and sinned against me,41 which made me turn against them and send them into the land of their enemies. If these disobedient people are sorry for what they did and accept punishment for their sin,42 I will remember my agreement with Jacob, my agreement with Isaac, and my agreement with Abraham, and I will remember the land.43 The land will be left empty by its people, and it will enjoy its time of rest as it lies bare without them. Then those who are left alive will accept the punishment for their sins. They will learn that they were punished because they hated my laws and refused to obey my rules.44 But even though this is true, I will not turn away from them when they are in the land of their enemies. I will not hate them so much that I completely destroy them and break my agreement with them, because I am the LORD their God.
Revelation 3:19 “I correct and punish those whom I love. So be eager to do right, and change your hearts and lives. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with me.
It takes courage to repent
repent: to feel sorry, self-reproachful, or contrite for past conduct; regret or be conscience-stricken about a past action, attitude, etc; to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one’s life for the better; be penitent
2 Corinthians 7:8 Even if my letter made you sad, I am not sorry I wrote it. At first I was sorry, because it made you sad, but you were sad only for a short time.9 Now I am happy, not because you were made sad, but because your sorrow made you change your lives. You became sad in the way God wanted you to, so you were not hurt by us in any way.10 The kind of sorrow God wants makes people change their hearts and lives. This leads to salvation, and you cannot be sorry for that.
Revelation 2:16 So change your hearts and lives. If you do not, I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword that comes out of my mouth.
Revelation 3:2 Wake up! Strengthen what you have left before it dies completely. I have found that what you are doing is less than what my God wants. 3 So do not forget what you have received and heard. Obey it, and change your hearts and lives.
It takes courage to forgive
forgive: to grant pardon for or remission of; to give up all claim on account of; remit; to grant pardon to a person; to cease to feel resentment against; to cancel an indebtedness or liability of
Colossians 3:12 God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. 14 Even more than all this, clothe yourself in love. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking, because you were all called together in one body to have peace.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you should be in agreement, understanding each other, loving each other as family, being kind and humble.9 Do not do wrong to repay a wrong, and do not insult to repay an insult. But repay with a blessing, because you yourselves were called to do this so that you might receive a blessing.
Ephesians 4:31 Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil.32 Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.
It takes courage to restore relationships
restore: to bring back into existence; to bring back to a state of health, soundness, or vigor; to bring back to a former, original, or normal condition
2 Corinthians 7:11 See what this sorrow—the sorrow God wanted you to have—has done to you: It has made you very serious. It made you want to restore yourselves. It made you angry and afraid. It made you want to see me. It made you care. It made you want to do the right thing. In every way you have regained your innocence. 12 I wrote that letter, not because of the one who did the wrong or because of the person who was hurt. I wrote the letter so you could see, before God, the great care you have for us.13 That is why we were comforted.
Not only were we very comforted, we were even happier to see that Titus was so happy. All of you made him feel much better.14 I bragged to Titus about you, and you showed that I was right. Everything we said to you was true, and you have proved that what we bragged about to Titus is true.15 And his love for you is stronger when he remembers that you were all ready to obey. You welcomed him with respect and fear.16 I am very happy that I can trust you fully.
It takes courage to continue and maintain relationships
continue: to go on after suspension or interruption; to go on or keep on, as in some course or action; to last or endure
maintain: to keep in existence or continuance; preserve; retain; to keep in an appropriate condition, operation, or force; keep unimpaired; to keep in a specified state, position; to affirm; assert; declare
Colossians 3:23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
James 1:2 My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, 3 because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.4 Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need.
James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily,20 because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants.21 So put out of your life every evil thing and every kind of wrong. Then in gentleness accept God’s teaching that is planted in your hearts, which can save you.
Ephesians 4:2 Always be humble, gentle, and patient, accepting each other in love.3 You are joined together with peace through the Spirit, so make every effort to continue together in this way.4 There is one body and one Spirit, and God called you to have one hope.5 There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.6 There is one God and Father of everything. He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything.
Ephesians 4:13 We must become like a mature person, growing until we become like Christ and have his perfection. 14 Then we will no longer be babies. We will not be tossed about like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be influenced by every new teaching we hear from people who are trying to fool us. They make plans and try any kind of trick to fool people into following the wrong path.15 No! Speaking the truth with love, we will grow up in every way into Christ, who is the head.16 The whole body depends on Christ, and all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part does its own work to make the whole body grow and be strong with love.
Ecclesiastes 8:15 So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.
“Be strong and brave [courageous]. Don’t be afraid of them and don’t be frightened, because the Lord your God will go with you. He will not leave you or forget you.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:6
It takes courage to seek God
Deuteronomy 4:27-31 The Lord will scatter you among the other nations. Only a few of you will be left alive, and those few will be in other nations where the Lord will send you.28 There you will worship gods made by people, gods made of wood and stone, that cannot see, hear, eat, or smell.29 But even there you can look for the Lord your God, and you will find him if you look for him with your whole being.30 It will be hard when all these things happen to you. But after that you will come back to the Lord your God and obey him,31 because the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you. He will not forget the Agreement with your ancestors, which he swore to them.
Deuteronomy 6:5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.
Psalm 119:9 How can a young person live a pure life? By obeying your word. 10 With all my heart I try to obey you. Don’t let me break your commands. 11 I have taken your words to heart so I would not sin against you. 12 Lord, you should be praised. Teach me your demands.
Jeremiah 29:11 I will give you hope and a good future.12 Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you.13 You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me!14 I will let you find me,” says the Lord. “And I will bring you back from your captivity.
Matthew 6:30-33 Don’t have so little faith!31 Don’t worry and say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’32 The people who don’t know God keep trying to get these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them. 33 Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well.
It takes courage to follow Jesus
Psalm 119:1 Happy are those who live pure lives, who follow the Lord’s teachings. 2 Happy are those who keep his rules, who try to obey him with their whole heart. 3 They don’t do what is wrong; they follow his ways.
Ruth 1:16 But Ruth said, “Don’t beg me to leave you or to stop following you. Where you go, I will go. Where you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.17 And where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. I ask the Lord to punish me terribly if I do not keep this promise: Not even death will separate us.”
Matthew 10:34 “Don’t think that I came to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 I have come so that ‘a son will be against his father, a daughter will be against her mother, a daughter-in-law will be against her mother-in-law. 36 A person’s enemies will be members of his own family.’ — Micah 7:6
37 “Those who love their father or mother more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. Those who love their son or daughter more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. 38 Whoever is not willing to carry the cross and follow me is not worthy of me.39 Those who try to hold on to their lives will give up true life. Those who give up their lives for me will hold on to true life.40 Whoever accepts you also accepts me, and whoever accepts me also accepts the One who sent me
Luke 9:23Jesus said to all of them, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing to give up their lives daily to follow me. 24 Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me will have true life. 25 It is worthless to have the whole world if they themselves are destroyed or lost. 26 If people are ashamed of me and my teaching, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and with the glory of the Father and the holy angels. 27 I tell you the truth, some people standing here will see the kingdom of God before they die.”
Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me but loves his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, or sisters—or even life—more than me, he cannot be my follower. 27 Whoever is not willing to carry his cross and follow me cannot be my follower. 28 If you want to build a tower, you first sit down and decide how much it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job.
John 14:19 Because I live, you will live, too.20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and that you are in me and I am in you. 21 Those who know my commands and obey them are the ones who love me, and my Father will love those who love me. I will love them and will show myself to them.”
It takes courage to receive the Holy Spirit
Luke 11:13 Even though you are bad, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Acts 2:2 Suddenly a noise like a strong, blowing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.3 They saw something like flames of fire that were separated and stood over each person there.4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak different languages by the power the Holy Spirit was giving them.
Acts 10:44 While Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who were listening.45 The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been given even to the nations.46 These believers heard them speaking in different languagesand praising God. Then Peter said,47 “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we did!”48 So Peter ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey my commands. 16 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helperto be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he lives with you and he will be in you.
1 Corinthians 3:15 But if the building is burned up, the builder will suffer loss. The builder will be saved, but it will be as one who escaped from a fire. 16 Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person, because God’s temple is holy and you are that temple.
It takes courage to work
1 Chronicles 28:20 David also said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and brave, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, because the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or leave you until all the work for the Temple of the Lord is finished.
Haggai 2:4 But the Lord says, “Zerubbabel, be brave. Also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, be brave. And all you people who live in the land, be brave,” says the Lord. “Work, because I am with you,” says the Lord All-Powerful.5 “I made a promise to you when you came out of Egypt, and my Spirit is still with you. So don’t be afraid.”
1 Corinthians 3:5 Is Apollos important? No! Is Paul important? No! We are only servants of God who helped you believe. Each one of us did the work God gave us to do.6 I planted the seed, and Apollos watered it. But God is the One who made it grow.7 So the one who plants is not important, and the one who waters is not important. Only God, who makes things grow, is important.8 The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose, and each will be rewarded for his own work.9 We are God’s workers, working together; you are like God’s farm, God’s house.
Romans 16:3 Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, who work together with me in Christ Jesus4 and who risked their own lives to save my life.
Ephesians 2:10 God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.
Philippians 1:21 To me the only important thing about living is Christ, and dying would be profit for me. 22 If I continue living in my body, I will be able to work for the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 5:12Now, brothers and sisters, we ask you to appreciate those who work hard among you, who lead you in the Lord and teach you.13 Respect them with a very special love because of the work they do.
It takes courage to serve
Joshua 24:14 Then Joshua said to the people, “Now respect the Lord and serve him fully and sincerely. Throw away the gods that your ancestors worshiped on the other side of the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord.15 But if you don’t want to serve the Lord, you must choose for yourselves today whom you will serve. You may serve the gods that your ancestors worshiped when they lived on the other side of the Euphrates River, or you may serve the gods of the Amorites who lived in this land. As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
Psalm 100:2 Serve the Lord with joy; come before him with singing.
Philippians 1:18 So I am happy, and I will continue to be happy.19 Because you are praying for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ is helping me, I know this trouble will bring my freedom.20 I expect and hope that I will not fail Christ in anything but that I will have the courage now, as always, to show the greatness of Christ in my life here on earth, whether I live or die.
Romans 12:1 So brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship.
Romans 12:9 Your love must be real. Hate what is evil, and hold on to what is good.10 Love each other like brothers and sisters. Give each other more honor than you want for yourselves.11 Do not be lazy but work hard, serving the Lord with all your heart.
1 Timothy 6:3 Anyone who has a different teaching does not agree with the true teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that shows the true way to serve God.4 This person is full of pride and understands nothing, but is sick with a love for arguing and fighting about words. …5… They think that serving God is a way to get rich.
6 Serving God does make us very rich, if we are satisfied with what we have.7 We brought nothing into the world, so we can take nothing out.8 But, if we have food and clothes, we will be satisfied with that.
It takes courage to stand
Exodus 14:13“Don’t be afraid! Stand still and you will see the Lord save you today. You will never see these Egyptians again after today.14 You only need to remain calm; the Lord will fight for you.”
Matthew 10:32 “All those who stand before others and say they believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they belong to me. 33 But all who stand before others and say they do not believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they do not belong to me.
Ephesians 6:13 That is why you need to put on God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing.14 So stand strong, with the belt of truth tied around your waist and the protection of right living on your chest.15 On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong.
I Corinthians 10:13 The only temptation that has come to you is that which everyone has. But you can trust God, who will not permit you to be tempted more than you can stand. But when you are tempted, he will also give you a way to escape so that you will be able to stand it.
1 Corinthians 16:13 Be alert. Continue strong in the faith. Have courage, and be strong.14 Do everything in love.
James 4:7 So give yourselves completely to God. Stand against the devil, and the devil will run from you.8 Come near to God, and God will come near to you. You sinners, clean sin out of your lives. You who are trying to follow God and the world at the same time, make your thinking pure.
Philippians 1:27 Only one thing concerns me: Be sure that you live in a way that brings honor to the Good News of Christ. Then whether I come and visit you or am away from you, I will hear that you are standing strong with one purpose, that you work together as one for the faith of the Good News,28 and that you are not afraid of those who are against you. All of this is proof that your enemies will be destroyed but that you will be saved by God.29 God gave you the honor not only of believing in Christ but also of suffering for him, both of which bring glory to Christ.
Galatians 5:1 We have freedom now, because Christ made us free. So stand strong. Do not change and go back into the slavery of the law.
It takes courage to defend God
Philippians 1:15 It is true that some preach about Christ because they are jealous and ambitious, but others preach about Christ because they want to help.16 They preach because they have love, and they know that God gave me the work of defending the Good News.17 But the others preach about Christ for selfish and wrong reasons, wanting to make trouble for me in prison. 18 But it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that in every way, whether for right or wrong reasons, they are preaching about Christ.
1 Peter 3:15 But respect Christ as the holy Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have, 16 but answer in a gentle way and with respect. Keep a clear conscience so that those who speak evil of your good life in Christ will be made ashamed.17 It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing wrong if that is what God wants.18 Christ himself suffered for sins once. He was not guilty, but he suffered for those who are guilty to bring you to God.
Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the Good News, because it is the power God uses to save everyone who believes—to save the Jews first, and then to save non-Jews. 17 The Good News shows how God makes people right with himself—that it begins and ends with faith. As the Scripture says, “But those who are right with God will live by faith.”
It takes courage to fight
Jude 1:3 Dear friends, I wanted very much to write you about the salvation we all share. But I felt the need to write you about something else: I want to encourage you to fight hard for the faith that was given the holy people of God once and for all time.
1 Timothy 6:10 The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have left the faith, because they wanted to get more money, but they have caused themselves much sorrow. 11 But you, man of God, run away from all those things. Instead, live in the right way, serve God, have faith, love, patience, and gentleness.12 Fight the good fight of faith, grabbing hold of the life that continues forever. You were called to have that life when you confessed the good confession before many witnesses.
2 Timothy 4:6 My life is being given as an offering to God, and the time has come for me to leave this life.7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
It takes courage to live in peace
Philippians 4:4 Be full of joy in the Lord always. I will say again, be full of joy. 5 Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind. The Lord is coming soon. 6 Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks.7 And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Romans 12:17 If someone does wrong to you, do not pay him back by doing wrong to him. Try to do what everyone thinks is right.18 Do your best to live in peace with everyone.
Hebrews 12:14 Try to live in peace with all people, and try to live free from sin. Anyone whose life is not holy will never see the Lord.15 Be careful that no one fails to receive God’s grace and begins to cause trouble among you. A person like that can ruin many of you.
2 Corinthians 13:11 Live in harmony. Do what I have asked you to do. Agree with each other, and live in peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
1 Thessalonians 5:13 Live in peace with each other.14 We ask you, brothers and sisters, to warn those who do not work. Encourage the people who are afraid. Help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.15 Be sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to do what is good for each other and for all people.
16 Always be joyful.17 Pray continually,18 and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not hold back the work of the Holy Spirit.20 Do not treat prophecy as if it were unimportant.21 But test everything. Keep what is good,22 and stay away from everything that is evil.
“Be strong. Don’t be afraid. Look, your God will come, and he will punish your enemies. He will make them pay for the wrongs they did, but he will save you.” ~ Isaiah 35:4
“You are my servants. I have chosen you and have not turned against you. So don’t worry, because I am with you. Don’t be afraid, because I am your God. I will make you strong and will help you; I will support you with my right hand that saves you.” ~ Isaiah 41:9-10
How Goliath and the Israelites saw Goliath (the enemy)
Then Goliath, a Philistine championfrom Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! He wore a bronze helmet, and hisbronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield. (v. 4-7)
How Goliath taunted the army of Israel
“Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!”
When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.
For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army. (v. 8, 11, 16)
How David (servant of God) saw Goliath (the enemy)
“What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” (v. 26)
What David’s people thought of him and how they saw him
Eliab: But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men, he was angry. “What are you doing around here anyway?” he demanded. “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!” (v. 28)
King Saul: “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”
“Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” (v. 32-33)
What David thought of himself
But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” (v. 34-37)
How Goliath taunted David
Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. (v. 41-44)
Why David fought
David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (v. 45-47)
Every time I read this story, my heart swells with home team pride! 🙂 Everyone saw David as the unfortunate underdog, but he knew that the LORD he fought for made him a conqueror! There is POWER in our knowledge of God. There is STRENGTH in knowing what God will do for us and bring us through. There is VICTORY in defending the honor of God and those associated with Him.
Think of how the enemy (Goliath in this situation) taunted the Israelites. He terrified them with his presence, his apparent dominance of the situation and his words. He had esstentially defeated the army of Israel before they even went to battle. Imagine that! The army of Israel was the Army of the Living God – as such they were guaranteed victory, but in their minds, they were no match for the “Philistine Champion from Gath.”
How are you viewing your enemy? Do you listen to what your enemy says about themself or are you listening to what God says about you?
David was not intimidated. David did not look at the physical situation. What David proclaimed was: (1) I am a servant to the king, (an anointed king postioned by God), (2) the Philistines defied/disgraced the armies of the Living God (the offense was deserving of death), (3) the battle was the Lord’s, (4) the Lord will conquer His enemies, (5) all will know the Lord rescues His people.
Honestly, what more do we need to know for our own personal battles? See Ephesians 6:12.
Our victory is already written in God’s Word. We need to stand firmly on His Word in order to continue to walk in victory. To “stand on the word” means to know and believe the Word – you have to trust the Word of God. It’s your belief and trust in God that allows Him to carry you victoriously through your battles.
Encourage others and share your victory over Goliath in the comments.
The Bible explores many types of courage. We learn through these explorations what God is looking for in the warriors He selects for His army. He is looking for people who have the courage to be humble, who have knowledge of their weaknesses, but are nevertheless very strong in their faith and trust of God.
You are already more courageous than you know.
I will share a couple of verses for each “courage” statement. I urge you to read and study the chapters associated with the verses for fuller context and understanding. And to strengthen yourself in the Word of God. Be blessed, you mighty warrior!
(New Century Version used for this study.)
It takes courage to hear God.
Genesis 12:1 The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land I will show you.
Isaiah 6:8Then I heard the Lord’s voice, saying, “Whom can I send? Who will go for us? “So I said, “Here I am. Send me!”
Matthew 11:4 Jesus answered them, “Go tell John what you hear and see: 5 The blind can see, the crippled can walk, and people with skin diseases are healed. The deaf can hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is preached to the poor. 6 Those who do not stumble in their faith because of me are blessed.”
It takes courage to see God.
Daniel 10:7I, Daniel, was the only person who saw the vision.The men with me did not see it, because they were so frightened that they ran away and hid. 8 So I was left alone, watching this great vision. I lost my strength, my face turned white like a dead person, and I was helpless.
Daniel 10:16 I said to the one standing in front of me, “Master, I am upset and afraid because of what I saw in the vision. I feel helpless.17 Master, how can I, your servant, talk with you? My strength is gone, and it is hard for me to breathe.”
18 The one who looked like a man touched me again and gave me strength.19 He said, “Daniel, don’t be afraid. God loves you very much. Peace be with you. Be strong now; be courageous.”
When he spoke to me, I became stronger and said, “Master, speak, since you have given me strength.”
It’s takes courage to believe God.
Jeremiah 29:10 This is what the Lord says: “Babylon will be powerful for seventy years. After that time I will come to you, and I will keep my promise to bring you back to Jerusalem. 11I say this because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.12 Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you.13 You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me!14 I will let you find me,” says the Lord. “And I will bring you back from your captivity. I forced you to leave this place, but I will gather you from all the nations, from the places I have sent you as captives,” says the Lord. “And I will bring you back to this place.”
Romans 10:9If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved. 10We believe with our hearts, and so we are made right with God. And we declare with our mouths that we believe, and so we are saved.
It takes courage to communicate with God.
Judges 6:11The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak tree at Ophrah that belonged to Joash, one of the Abiezrite people. Gideon, Joash’s son, was separating some wheat from the chaff in a winepress to keep the wheat from the Midianites.12 The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!”
13Then Gideon said, “Sir, if the Lord is with us, why are we having so much trouble? Where are the miracles our ancestors told us he did when the Lord brought them out of Egypt? But now he has left us and has handed us over to the Midianites.”
14The Lord turned to Gideon and said, “Go with your strength and save Israel from the Midianites. I am the one who is sending you.”
15But Gideon answered, “Lord, how can I save Israel? My family group is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least important member of my family.”
16The Lord answered him, “I will be with you. It will seem as if the Midianites you are fighting are only one man.”
17Then Gideon said to the Lord,“If you are pleased with me, give me proof that it is really you talking with me.18 Please wait here until I come back to you. Let me bring my offering and set it in front of you.”
And the Lord said,“I will wait until you return.”
It takes courage to obey God.
Genesis 12:4 So Abram left Haran as the Lord had told him… At this time Abram was 75 years old.
Judges 6:25 That same night the Lord said to Gideon, “Take the bull that belongs to your father and a second bull seven years old. Pull down your father’s altar to Baal, and cut down the Asherah idol beside it.26 Then build an altar to the Lord your God with its stones in the right order on this high ground. Kill and burn a second bull on this altar, using the wood from the Asherah idol.”
27So Gideon got ten of his servants and did what the Lord had told him to do. But Gideon was afraid that his family and the men of the city might see him, so he did it at night, not in the daytime.
It takes courage to walk in faith.
Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to test all of you as a farmer sifts his wheat. 32I have prayed that you will not lose your faith!Help your brothers be stronger when you come back to me.”
Luke 22:41 Then Jesus went about a stone’s throw away from them. He kneeled down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take away this cup of suffering. But do what you want, not what I want.”43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him to strengthen him.44 Being full of pain, Jesus prayed even harder. His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.45 When he finished praying, he went to his followers and found them asleep because of their sadness. 46 Jesus said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray for strength against temptation.”
Galatians 3:5 Does God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you because you follow the law? No, he does these things because you heard the Good News and believed it.
6 The Scriptures say the same thing about Abraham: “Abraham believed God, and God accepted Abraham’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.”7 So you should know that the true children of Abraham are those who have faith.
God is calling warriors who have the ears to hear Him, eyes to see Him, heart to believe Him and the faith to obey Him. He gave us his Word to enCOURAGE us – to strengthen us on this journey of life – to Him – through Christ – that we have been called to undertake. There may not be one warrior in the God’s Kingdom that looks, sounds, or acts the way you think they should. That’s not your concern. Your concern is: Am I the warrior God has called me to be? Am I hearing Him? Do I see Him? Do I believe? Am I obedient? Do I go to the Father for clarification and support?
When you do your part, God is able to manifest His plan for your life. Through your life, God will be glorified. That’s what this is all about. It’s all about God! Everything He calls us to do in the Kingdom of Heaven is for His glory – we do what we are told in order that others may come to know the greatness of our God. We, the warriors, are only symbolic; God is the true fighter. He has already won victory and has already made a way for His victory to be fulfilled in our lives.
Next time we begin with the “courage to follow Jesus.”