A  SERMON  I  BROUGHT  AT  THER  FEAST  OF  TABERNACLES  2018,  COLLINGWOOD,  ONTARIO,  WITH  THE  CANADIAN  CHURCH  OF  GOD.


HAVING  COURAGE !


TURN  TO  1  CORINTHIANS  16: 13


“WATCH  YOU, STAND  FAST  IN  THE  FAITH,  QUIT  YOU  LIKE  MEN,  BE  STRONG!” [1 CORINTHIANS 16:13].


THIS  IS  SAYING  BE  COURAGEOUS!


“ONLY  LET  YOUR  CONDUCT  BE  AS  IT  BECOMES  THE  GOSPEL  OF  CHRIST:  THAT  WHETHER  I  COME  AND  SEE  YOU,  OR  ELSE  BE  ABSENT,  I  MAY  HEAR  OF  YOUR  AFFAIRS,  THAT  YOU  STAND  FAST  IN  ONE  SPIRIT,  WITH  ONE  MIND  STRIVING  TOGETHER  FOR  THE  FAITH  OF  THE  GOSPEL” [PHILIPPIANS 1: 27].


THIS  IS  SAYING  BE  COURAGEOUS!


“FOR  GOD  HAS  NOT  GIVEN  US  THE  SPIRIT  OF  FEAR,  BUT  OF  POWER,  AND  OF  LOVE,  AND  OF  A  SOUND  MIND” [2 TIMOTHY 1”7].


WE  HAVE  BEEN  GIVEN  THE  ESSENTIAL  INGREDIENTS  TO  BE  COURAGEOUS!


THE  BIBLE  IS  LOADED  WITH  EXAMPLES  OF  COURAGE!


WE  HAVE  NOAH  WHO  WAS  COURAGEOUS  TO  BUILD  A  WOODEN  SHIP  OVER  A  PERIOD  OF  120  YEARS,  WHILE  HIS  SOCIETY  PROBABLY  LAUGHED  AND  RIDICULED  AND  MADE  JOKES  ABOUT  HIM.


WE  HAVE  MOSES  WHO  BELIEVED  GOD  SPEAKING  TO  HIM  OUT  OF  THE  BURNING  BUSH;  WHO  HAD  COURAGE  TO  GO  TO  PHARAOH  IN  THE  NAME  OF  THE  GOD  CALLED  “I AM”  AND  DEMAND  HE  LET  GOD’S  PEOPLE  GO.


THERE  IS  JOSHUA  WHO  LED  THE  PEOPLE  OF  ISRAEL  INTO  THE  PROMISED  LAND  TO  POSSESS  IT.  THAT  TOOK  COURAGE.


THERE  IS  RAHAB  WHO  HELP  THE  ISRAELITE  SPIES  TO  SAFETY,  WHICH  COULD  HAVE  COST  HER  LIFE  IF  DISCOVERED  WHAT  SHE  HAD  DONE.  THAT  TOOK  COURAGE.


THERE  IS  GIDEON  AND  HIS  300  MEN  WHO  ROUTED  THE  MIDIANITES;  THAT  TOOK  COURAGE.


SAMSON  WITH  COURAGE  AND  STRENGTH  BROUGHT  DOWN  THE  COLISEUM  OF  THE  PHILISTINES,  AND  KILLED  MORE  IN  HIS  DEATH  THAN  IN  HIS  LIFE.


THERE  IS  THE  LAD  DAVID  WHO  WITH  COURAGE  WAS  WILLING  TO  FIGHT  THE  MONSTER  MAN  GOLIATH.  IN  HIS  COURAGE  MANY  MISS  THAT  DAVID  WAS  NOT  PRESUMPTUOUS  AND  BIG-HEADEDNESS  WAS  NOT  PART  OF  HIS  COURAGE.  HE  TOOK  5  STONES  FROM   THE  STREAM—— IN  CASE  HE  MISSED  THE  MARK  A  FEW  TIMES.  COURAGE  IS  NOT  EQUAL  TO  STUPIDITY;  COURAGE  HAS  WISDOM.  1  SAMUEL  17.


MOST  OF  US  KNOW  ABOUT  THE  COURAGE  OF  DANIEL  IN  THE  LION’S  DEN.  YOU  CAN  READ  ABOUT  IT  ALL  IN  DANIEL  6.  A  PLAN  TO  CATCH  DANIEL  DISOBEYING  A  COMMAND  AND  LAW  OF  THE  MEDES  AND PERSIANS.  AND  PUNISHMENT  WAS  TO  BE  THROWN  TO  THE  LIONS.  DANIEL  WENT INTO  THE  DEN  OF  LIONS  WITH  COURAGE.  GOD  CLOSED  THE  MOUTHS  OF  THE  LIONS  AND  DANIEL  LIVED..


THERE  IS  DANIEL’S  THREE  FRIENDS: SHADRACH, MESHACH,  AND  ABEDNEGO. THEY  WERE  TO  BOW  DOWN  TO THE  GEART  IMAGE  OF  GOLD;  THEY  WOULD  NOT  SO  THE  FIREY  FURNACE  WAS  HEATED  UP  7  TIMES  HOTTER.  MANY  ALSO  MISS  WHAT  THESEE  THREE  SAID.  IT  WAS  “IF  IT  BE  SO,  OUR  GOD  WHOM  WE  SERVE  IS  ABLE  TO  DELIVER  US  FROM  THE  BURNING  FIERY  FURNACE,  AND  HE  WILL  DELIVER  US  OUT  OF  YOUR  HAND,  O  KING,  BUT  IF  NOT,  BE  IT  KNOWN  UNTO  YOU,  O  KING,  THAT  WE  WILL  NOT  SERVE  YOUR  GOD,  NOR  WORSHIP  THE  GOLDEN  IMAGE,  WHICH  YOU  HAVE  SET  UP” [DANIEL 3: 17, 18].


THAT  TOOK  GREAT  COURAGE!



Courage


Someone Once Said...

Courage is that quality of mind which enables men to encounter danger or difficulty with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits.... The highest degree of courage is seen in the person who is most fearful but refuses to capitulate to it.— Oswald Sanders



When you're accustomed to standing before God, kings don't matter much. Big potentates are just small potatoes when you have been standing in the presence of the Most High.— Vance Havner



Courage is being the only one who knows you're afraid.— Anonymous



SOMETIMES  IT  TAKES  COURAGE  WHEN  ANOTHER  WAY  WOULD  SEEM  EASIER  AND  MORE  DIRECT


NAAMAN  CAPTAIN  OF  THE  HOST  OF  SYRIA;  HE  GREAT  FOR  HIS  MASTER,  HE  WAS  HONORABLE,  HE  WAS  A  MIGHTY  MAN  OF  VALOR;  BUT  HE  WAS   A  LEPER [2 KINGS 5:1].  


WELL  THERE  WAS  AN  INTIAL  CONFLICT  AS  TO  HOW  THE  MAN  OF  GOD  CALLED  ELISHA,  SHOULD  HEAL  NAAMAN  OF  HIS  AFFLICTION.  ELISHA  FINALLY  SEND  A  MESSAGE  TO  NAAMAN: “GO  AND  WASH  YOURSELF  SEVEN  TIMES,  AND  YOUR  FLESH  SHALL  COME  AGAIN  TO  YOU  AND  YOU  SHALL  BE  CLEAN [VERSE 10].


NAAMAN  WAS  EVEN  MORE  FURIOUS,  IT  JUST  SEEMED  A  SILLY  WAY  TO  BE  HEALED.  HE  THOUGHT  ELISHA  SHOULD  COME  TO  HIM,  WAY  HIS  HANDS,  CALL  ON  TH  NAME  OF  HIS  GOD,  AND  “BINGO”  BE  HEALED!  NAAMAN  WAS  ALSO  UPSET  THAT  HE  WAS  TOLD  TO  WASH  IN  THE  WATERS  OF  ISRAEL;  HE  THOUGH  THE  RIVERS  OF  DAMASCUS  WERE  BETTER  WATERS [VERSES 11-12].


NAAMAN’S  SERVANT  WAS  A  WISE  MAN,  HE  SAID  TO  HIS  MASTER,  “MY  FATHER [RESPECT  TITLE]  IF  THE  PROPHET  HAD  BID  YOU  DO  SOME  GREAT  WORK,  YOU  PROBABLY  WOULD  HAVE  DONE  IT.  SO  THIS  LITTLE  THING,  SURELY  IT’S  NOTHING  FOR  YOU  TO  DO,  TO  WASH  IN  THE  WATERS” [PARAPHRASED - VERSE 13].


NAAMAN  DID  AS  HIS  SERVANT  SAID;  HE  WENT  DOWN  AND  DIPPED  HIMSELF  7  TIMES  IN  THE  JORDON,  ACCORDING  TO  WHAT  THE  MAN  OF  GOD  HAD  INSTRUCTED—— AND  HIS  FLESH  CAME  AGAIN  UNTO  HIM  AS  LIKE  A  LITTLE  CHILKD,  AND  HE  WAS  CLEAN  FROM  LEPROSY!   [VERSE 114].


SOMETIMES  IS  TAKES  COURAGE  TO  DO  WHAT  MIGHT  SEEM  STRANGE,  MAYBE  SEEMS  EVEN  SILLY,  MAYBE  WELL  BENEATH  YOUR  MENTAL  COMFORT  ZONE.  NOT  ALL  THINGS  IN   LIFE  ARE  CLEAR-CUT  WHEN  IT  COMES  TO  COURAGE.


THERE  IS  THE  EXAMPLE  GIVEN  IN  2  KINGS  6.


THE  SYRIAN  KING  WARS  AGAINST  ISRAEL.  THE  MAN  OF  GOD  WARNS  THE  KING  OF  ISRAEL  ABOUT  A  CERTAIN  PLACE;  THE  KING  LISTENED  AND  SAVED  HIMSELF  AND  HIS  MEN.  BUT  THE  KING  OF  SYRIA  FIGURED  SOMEONE  WAS  A  TRATOR  AMONG  HIS  MEN  TO  WARN  THE  KING  OF  ISRAEL.  ONE  OF  HIS  SERVANTS  SAID,  “NO  MY  KING,  IT  IS  THE  ISRAEL  PROPHET  THEY  HAVE,  HE  IS  THE  ONE  INFORMING  THE  KING  OF  ISRAEL” [VERSES 8- 12].


THE  SYRIAN  KING  TOLD  THEM  TO  GO  AND  SPY  OUT  WHERE  THIS  PROPHET  WAS— HE  WAS  IN  DOTHAN.  THE  SYRIAN  KING  GATHERS  A  GREAT  ARMY  AND  BY  NIGHT  CAME  AND  SURROUNDED  DOTHAN [VERSE  13-14].


GOD’S  PROPHET  AWOKE,  FOUND  A  GREAT  ARMY  ALL  AROUND  HIM.  HIS  SERVANT  SAID, “O  MY  MASTER,  WHAT  ON  EARTH  ARE  WE  GOING  TO  DO?” [VERSE 15].


ELISHA  THE  PROPHET  REPLIED, “FEAR NOT, FOR  THEY  THAT  ARE  WITH  US  ARE  MORE  THAN  THEY  THAT  BE  WITH  THEM” [VERSE 16].


ELISHA  PRAYED  TO  THE  LORD  TO  OPEN  THE  EYES  OF  HIS  SERVANT,  SO HE  COULD  PLAINLY  SEE  WHY  ELISHA  HAD  SPOKEN  THIS  WAY.


THE  YOUNG  MAN’S  EYES,  IN  THE  VISIONARY  EYE,  COULD  SEE—— AND  BEHOLD  THE  MOUNTAIN  WAS  FULL  OF  HORSES  AND  CHARIOTS  OF  FIRE  ROUND  ABOUT  ELISHA” [VERSE 17].


MY  O  MY,  WHAT  A  SIGHT!  AND  IN  PASSING  YOU’LL  NOTE  IN  GOD’S  SPIRIT  WORLD  THERE  ARE  HORSES  AND  CHARIOTS  AS  NEEDED.  MANY  MANY  THINGS  IN  OUR  WORLD  ARE  JUST  A  COPY  OF  THE  HEAVENLY  WORLD!


ELISHA  PRAYS  AGAIN  “LORD, SMITE  THE  PEOPLE  WITH  BLINDNESS;  AND  HE,  GOD,  SMOTE  THEM  WITH  BLINDNESS  ACCORDING  TO  THE  REQUEST  OF  ELISHA [VERSE 18].


THAT  TOOK  COURAGE  FOR  ELISHA;  HE  KNEW  GOD  WAS  WITH  HIM,  BUT  COURAGE  IS  STILL  NEEDED  AT  TIMES  TO  STAND  AGAINST  THE  ENEMY.


THEN….ELISHA  GOES  ON  TO  SOLVE  THE  PROBLEM  OF  SYRIAN  ARMIES  COMING  AGAINST  ISRAEL,  BY  SHOWING  MERCY  AND  KINDNESS—— SEE  VERSES 18-23.

 



Of Course You Can


Author Muriel Anderson says that four of the most important words in her life are "Of course you can." "I was fortunate," she wrote, "to have had a father who was good at shouting of course you can at just the right moments."

Once when she was in high school her family had moved to a city from a small town. She loved the place and wrote an article about it, wanting more than anything to have the article published in the smalltown, weekly paper. She didn't expect to be successful, though, because the paper was a weekly with a tight budget who bought practically no freelance material.

"I don't think I can get it published," I said. "Of course you can," said my dad. And she did— launching her career as a writer.




By and By


Joseph Webster walked wearily into the little drugstore in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. It was a lovely day in the late fall of 1867, but Webster looked as though he had lost his best friend. His problems had gotten the best of him, and his mood was heavy. The proprietor of the little shop was Samuel Bennett, thirty-one, who not only filled prescriptions—he sometimes wrote them. On this day, he had just the prescription for his discouraged friend. After listening carefully to Webster's accumulated burdens, he picked up his pen and began writing on a 5x7 piece of paper. In a few minutes he handed his friend a poem, one he had composed on the spot. Webster read the poem, picked up his fiddle, and began improvising a simple melody. "Hand me some paper," he said, "so I can jot down the notes before I forget them."

He played the tune two or three times, then, recruiting a couple of customers who had walked into the store, they formed a makeshift quartet and sang it. Thus the world was given the popular gospel tune:


There's a land that is fairer than day, And by faith we can see it afar

For the Father waits over the way, To prepare us a dwelling place there.


In the sweet by and by, We shall meet on that beautiful shore.

In the sweet by and by, We shall meet on that beautiful shore.



Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.

John Wayne (Conviction, Sacrifice)



Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. 

G. K. Chesterton (Life, Death)

Courage


In A Pretty Good Person, Lewis Smedes writes: federal judge had ordered New Orleans to open its public schools to African-American children, and the white parents decided that if they had to let black children in, they would keep their children out. They let it be known that any black children who came to school would be in for trouble. So the black children stayed home too.

Except Ruby Bridges. Her parents sent her to school all by herself, six years old.

Every morning she walked alone through a heckling crowd to an empty school. White people lined up on both sides of the way and shook their fists at her. They threatened to do terrible things to her if she kept coming to their school. But every morning at ten minutes to eight Ruby walked, head up, eyes ahead, straight through the mob; two U.S. marshals walked ahead of her and two walked behind her. Then she spent the day alone with her teachers inside that big silent school building.

Harvard professor Robert Coles was curious about what went into the making of courageous children like Ruby Bridges. He talked to Ruby's mother and, in his book The Moral Life of Children, tells what she said: "There's a lot of people who talk about doing good, and a lot of people who argue about what's good and what's not good," but there are other folks who "just put their lives on the line for what's right."

Bob Campbell (Action, Racial Reconciliation)


SOME  PUT  THEIR  LIFE  ON  THE  LINE  FOR  WHAT  IS  RIGHT!


YES  THAT  IS  COURAGE!


YES  ONE  COURAGEOUS  LADY  DID  JUST  THAT—— HER  NAME—— ESTHER!


QUEEN  VASHTI  IS  DEPOSED—— ESTHER  TAKES  HER  PLACE;  A  JEWISH  GAL.  BUT  KEPT  SECRET  FOR  THE  KING,  WHO  HAD  COME  TO  LOVE  HER.


A  GUY  CALLED  HAMAN  WAS  PROMOTED  BY  THE  KING.  HE  FINDS  OUT  MODECIA  WHO  HAD  HELPED  ETHER  TO  BECOME  QUEEN,  WERE  JEWS.  HE  DEVISES  A  PLOT  TO  DESTROY  ALL  JEWS. IT  LOOKS  LIKE  IT  WILL  ALL  HAPPEN,  AND  THE  JEWS  WILL  BE  DESTROYED.


BUT  ETHER  SAYS  SHE  WILL  GO  TO  THE  KING,  WHICH  WAS  NOT  TO  BE  DONE  ON  PAIN  OF  DEATH,  IF  NOT  INVITED  BEFORE  THE  KING.  SHE  ASKS  HER  PEOPLE  TO  FAST  AND  PRAY [CHAP. 4:16].


NOTE  WHAT  SHE  SAID,  “…AND  I  WILL  GO  UNTO  THE  KING,  WHICH  IS  NOT  ACCORDING  TO  THE  LAW;  AND  I  I  PERISH,  I  PERISH” 


NOW  THAT  TOOK  SOME  MIGHTY  BIG  COURAGE!


SHE  WAS  ACCEPTED  BY  THE  KING;  ORDERS  WERE  GIVEN  THAT  THE  JEWS  COULD  DEFEND  THEMSELVES—— THE  JEWS  SURVIVED——  NAMAN  AND  HIS  SONS  WERE  HANGED.


THE  JEWS  STILL  CELEBRATE  THIS  HISTORY  IN  THEIR  FEAST  OF  PURIM,  AROUND  THE  END  OF  THE  ROMAN  YEAR  ON  OUR  CALENDARS.


THE  BIBLE  IS  FULL  OF  PEOPLE  WHO  WERE  COURAGEOUS!


HEBREWS  11: 32— TO  THE  END.


WE  ARE  SURROUNDED   IN  HISTORY  BY  COURAGE;  PEOPLE  OF  COURAGE!


“WHEREFORE  SEEING  WE  ALSO  ARE  COMPASSED  ABOUT  WITH  SO  GREAT  A  CLOUD  OF  WITNESS,  LET  US  LAY  ASIDE  EVERY  WEIGHT,  AND  THE  SIN  WHICH  DOES  SO  EASY  BESET  US,  AND  LET  US  RUN  WITH  PATIENCE [ENDURANCE] THE  RACE  THAT  IS  SET  BEFORE US—— LOOKING  UNTO  JEUS  THE  AUTHOR  AND  FINISHER  OF  OUR   FAITH;  WHO  FOR  THE  JOY  THAT  WAS  SET  BEFORE  HIM,  ENDURED  THE  CROSS,  DESPISING  THE  SHAME,  AND  IS  SET  DOWN  AT  THE  RIGHT  HAND  OF  THE  THRONE  OF  GOD” [HEBREWS 12: 1-2].


………………….


Keith Hunt - November 2018