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Posts Tagged ‘courage’

HEROES OF FAITH #3AM        FAITH TO STAND ALONE Heroes of Faith Middle

 

 

The former Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott in his resignation speech this week mentioned the first sermon ever preached in Australia and repeated the words of the sermon asking, “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits to me?” which comes from Ps 116:12. This first sermon was preached by Chaplain Richard Johnson, an Anglican minister, who arrived with the first fleet in 1788 and is our contemporary hero for today.

Richard Johnson, was no ordinary Anglican minister who officiated at births deaths and marriages. He was a passionate man of the gospel. He had a huge passion to see people born again and lived and exemplary live as a strong Christian witness in the early days of the Australian colony. Johnson stood alone because the first governor was ambivalent to his efforts and the second one was downright hostile to them. In the reign of the second governor, Johnson built a church by his own labour to seat 500 attenders because the governor refused any support for the construction. The second governor also restricted church services so that they could only start at 6am in the morning and run for 45 minutes.

In spite of these obstacles, Johnson built a church, started three schools, set up a fund for orphans, visited sick and dying people on the second fleet as it arrived and built meaningful relationships with Aboriginal people. However Johnson was not only a man of strong social welfare, but he preached a strong gospel message and passionately worked for the salvation of people’s souls. In all that we do for people in loving and serving them, if we leave them without the gospel then we have not served them with God’s love. What good is a full stomach if the needy person still faces hell in their latter end? The gospel includes care for the sick, poor and orphaned, but it includes before during and after the care the deep concern for the lost souls that have not eternal hope for their salvation.

Richard Johnson stood alone most of the time. He accomplished great things in the face of strong opposition because he was a man of faith and he lived out of principles not out of comfort.

Sometimes the values we hold put us at odds with those around us. Heroes of the faith make a stand and live out of the conviction they hold in their hearts. They remain true to the calling and the principles that they originally chose and the will not stray from them even if it is not convenient and not easy. As a Christian sometimes you will need to stand alone. God will make sure this happens for each of us. He wants to know where we stand, with Him or with popularity. Jesus words predict this in John 16:33 (AMP)  I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]

Later He says, John 15:18-19 (AMP) 18 “If the world hates you [and it does], know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love [you as] its own and would treat you with affection. But you are not of the world [you no longer belong to it], but I have chosen you out of the world. And because of this the world hates you.

So we choose to live out of principles, That is living by faith, obeying God because He is good and we love Him no matter the cost. Perhaps no man lives 100% by principles but if we choose to follow Christ then we must live the life He has called us to live and sometimes that’s lonely.

HEROES OF THE FAITH CAN STAND ALONE

Noah stood alone and obeyed God through difficult circumstances and for a very long time. Gen 6:8-14 AMP 8 But Noah found favour and grace in the eyes of the Lord.

 9 These are the records of the generations (family history) of Noah. Noah was a righteous man [one who was just and had right standing with God], blameless in his [evil] generation; Noah walked (lived) [in habitual fellowship] with God. 10 Now Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

 11 The [population of the] earth was corrupt [absolutely depraved—spiritually and morally putrid] in God’s sight, and the land was filled with violence [desecration, infringement, outrage, assault, and lust for power]. 12 God looked on the earth and saw how debased and degenerate it was, for all humanity had corrupted their way on the earth and lost their true direction.

 13 God said to Noah, “I intend to make an end of all that lives, for through men the land is filled with violence; and behold, I am about to [d]destroy them together with the land. 14 Make yourself an [e]ark of [f]gopher wood; make in it rooms (stalls, pens, coops, nests, cages, compartments) and [g]coat it inside and out with pitch (bitumen).

The way man lives without God is always sensual. If a man has no Godly spiritual leadership then he will fall into obedience to the flesh because these are the commanding appetites. Imagine the lifestyle of Noah who is building an escape craft for a disaster that no one has ever seen and cannot imagine. His fellow man is only intent on personal satisfaction and has no care. Yet Noah made a stand. He stood alone and obeyed God when the whole world around him lived on in their sensual lives. He only had his faith in God to give him hope. He had no external evidence of the coming judgement, only the voice of God speaking to him. Noah worked hard. He had no other people part form his family to help and support him. He stood alone because whenever a man takes a stand for righteousness there will be opposition.

HEROES OF THE FAITH CAN STAND ALONE

Have you have opposition in your family? Have you had opposition in the workplace? Has there been times when it would have been easier to say nothing, or to agree with the godless opinion around you. If you stand for righteousness even without speaking about your stand, you will be a standout and people don’t like that. If it looks like by your standard of behaviour that you are appearing more righteous than they are, then look out, there will be attacks. You must decide you will stand for God even if you stand alone.

HEROES OF THE FAITH CAN STAND ALONE

Hearing God’s voice is so important to assist you to take a stand. All through my study into leadership and great men and women who have accomplished significant things for God; the common factor for success is hearing God’s voice. The voice of God comes as a conviction to act and believe in a certain way. God leads us by His spirit but always in line with His written word.

Jesus will be with you all the way, there is great empowerment for those who stand up for God.

Luke 12:8-9 (AMP)

8 “I say to you, whoever declares openly and confesses Me before men [speaking freely of Me as his Lord], the Son of Man also will declare openly and confess him [as one of His own] before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied in the presence of the angels of God.

Luke 12:11-12 (AMP)

11 When they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be worried about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

 The Holy Spirit is speaking all the time. If you are hungry for truth and hungry to serve God, you will hear His voice.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. Peer pressure is the pressure we feel to conform top the crowd around us. Do you encounter peer pressure?
  2. Describe a time when you felt intimidated by others because of your faith.
  3. Looking back now, would you handle it differently?
  4. Would you make a stand for Jesus even if it cost you a real lot?
  5. How important is it to have the community of faith around you to encourage you in times of intimidation?

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A FATHERS DAY MESSAGE

For us guys we are called upon to be the leader in many situations.

We are called to be courageous and to be the answer in many different ways.

Sometimes we fail and believe we could have done a better job.

But one of the most courageous things a man can do is ask for help!

Some say, “I’m rough and I’m tough and I don’t need no help from no body!!”

EXAMPLE – MY ROLE AS A POLICE CHAPLAIN

Superintendent Geoff O’Laughlin – “We all think we are bullet proof, but we’re not and we need some one to talk to.”

Some times the hardest thing in the world is to ask for help.

It takes real courage to say, “I don’t have all the answers.”

STORY

Mat 14:22  Right away, Jesus made his disciples get into a boat and start back across the lake. But he stayed until he had sent the crowds away.

Mat 14:23  Then he went up on a mountain where he could be alone and pray. Later that evening, he was still there.

Mat 14:24  By this time the boat was a long way from the shore. It was going against the wind and was being tossed around by the waves.

Mat 14:25  A little while before morning, Jesus came walking on the water toward his disciples.

Mat 14:26  When they saw him, they thought he was a ghost. They were terrified and started screaming.

Mat 14:27  At once, Jesus said to them, “Don’t worry! I am Jesus. Don’t be afraid.”

Mat 14:28  Peter replied, “Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.”

Mat 14:29  “Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him.

Mat 14:30  But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Mat 14:31  Right away, Jesus reached out his hand. He helped Peter up and said, “You surely don’t have much faith. Why do you doubt?”

Mat 14:32  When Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind died down.

Mat 14:33  The men in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, “You really are the Son of God!”

Peter had enough courage to ask Jesus “If its really you tell me to come.”

The other disciples just sat back frozen with fear.

Look at The Sons of Thunder…. Not a peep!

What about Matthew, used to asking for tax money… not a peep!

Thomas …. Not a peep!

ONLY ONE MAN STOOD UP AND ASKED FOR AN INVITATION.

When do men think about needing help?

When they are playing footy

When they are pouring concrete

When they are carrying a load too heavy for two other normal sized guys

What about when they are having trouble finding directions? – not a hope!

What about when they are told they should go to the doctor?

What about when they are struggling with their marriage?

What about when they are struggling with sin?

What about when they are trying to win back the hearts of their teenagers that have gone astray?

For so many of us guys, we find it so hard to ask for help if it means being vulnerable. Any sign of weakness or feeling inadequate we equate with being less of a man.

BUT THE TRUTH IS IT TAKES REAL COURAGE TO REACH OUT FOR HELP.

The final outcome is more important than how I feel or how I think others will see me.

EXAMPLE

In Church if we have an altar call to respond to God for His power and answers – we will get a whole group of women out the front. Usually no guys!

EXAMPLE

When I’m at Conference and its altar call time – will I respond to the preacher and come forward to receive from God?

It’s hard… sometimes I feel like I don’t want to go … to appear liKe I haven’t got it all together. But mostly I go, because I want to open to God.

A few years back I went to see a Christian Counsellor because I was struggling  with depression. He concluded that I was fine but I needed to work through some things. I could have said I can push through… I’ll be all right…. But I wanted to be the best I can be for God. I wanted to be totally whole and strong so I can be the most use to God. So I overcame my reluctance and fear and went to see someone for help.

Peter got out of the boat – he risked failure! He did fail in a way. But really he was an amazing success!

The other disciples must have felt regret by not having a go.

WHAT HELD THEM BACK? – FEAR.

What holds you back? Does fear stop you from reaching out when you need help?

Will you sit in the boat all your life? Or will you take courage and ask for help to be a better man for God, a better man for your family, a better man for your kids.

VIDEO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OEqYwz2qhw

Will you get out of the boat? Will you be courageous enough to ask for help when you need it?

Preview of tonight

Chuck Norris is the toughest man that ever lived (in Hollywood anyway) – and he’s a real Christian too!! In today’s world God needs some very tough men to live wholeheartedly for Him. Men will you do it? Or will you wimp out?

What will you do when they come and arrest me for not marrying a gay couple?

Will you jump up and take my place? Will you join me in Prison when the next gay couple comes along? Will endure persecution? Will you turn away from sin? Will you lead your family to the cross and determine to change the world?

A father has the biggest opportunity to change the world in one generation.

Never underestimate your power dad to change the world.

Leo Tolstoy once said:  Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

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