EnCOURAGE You!

Written by gregdenham on March 4th, 2009

Sunday night’s is “Thru the Bible” at Calvary. I had a great time teaching Joshua chapter 1 this last Sunday evening. I was encouraged …

Now, I would like to, enCOURAGE, you …

 

But, first, I want you to think about something in your life that would require courage on your part.  Seriously, pause for a moment, and think of an area of your life that would require stepping out of your comfort zone. Is it speaking in front of people? Is it traveling overseas? Is it saying, “I’m sorry?” Personally, parachuting out of a plane does not excite me. I would need a huge shot of courage to do it!

 

You, see, the English word, “Courage”, comes from the French word “couer” which means “heart!” Courage, is determination. Courage is perseverance. As famed actor John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway!”

 

Okay, so we have an idea of the nature of courage. Courage is heart. Courage is stepping out of your comfort zone. Courage is doing what’s necessary, and doing what is, right, anyway.

 

Did you know that the Lord told Joshua three times to be courageous before leading the children of Israel into the promise land? Why do you think? Joshua needed encouragement, even after knowing the Lord had given the land to Israel and the message was essentially, “just lay hold of it!”

 

Yet, for Joshua, courage would still be necessary?

Stepping out of the comfort zone would be necessary?

Perseverance would be necessary?

Faith that produces work would be necessary?

 

Absolutely!

 

In keeping with those thoughts, it is important to understand the distinction between salvation and discipleship.

 

Salvation is a gift. It was purchased by Jesus on the cross. It was purchased with His life, and death, and resurrection! This means that the cancelation of the debt of our sin before God — our ticket to heaven — and every blessing that we will ever know — was purchased by the Lord Jesus and is offered to us as a gift to be received by faith. When we receive this gift, it is a miracle, the miracle of the moment that impacts our eternity. 

 

In a similar way, Israel was miraculously delivered from Egypt. However, they would need to make right choices that would require courage to lay hold of experiencing God’s promise which was the land itself!

 

You, see, discipleship for a Christian is pressing into experiencing God’s best for our life. His will. His promise’s. Salvation is a gift that is received by faith but discipleship is a choice to live out God’s will according to His Word! Like Joshua who was told that laying hold of the promise land would require courage, living life as God INTENDED requires HEART — it WILL require COURAGE!

 

Will forgiveness require courage? Yes!

Will sharing the faith with your loved one require courage? Yes!

Will standing in the strength of the Lord amidst temptation require courage? Yes!

Will stepping out in obedience to God’s call in your life require courage? Yes!

Will honoring your vows in marriage require courage? Yes!

Will finishing well require courage? Yes!

Will trusting the Lord amidst challenging times require courage? Yes!

 

Again, living life as God intended requires, heart, courage, and, yes, stepping out of the comfort zone. Understand however, that the Lord will never ask you to do something that He has not given you the grace to accomplish. The Lord is with you as you go!

 

Joshua chapter 1:

Vs. 5 “…so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Vs. 6 “Be strong and of good courage …”

Vs. 7 “Only be strong and very courageous …”

Vs. 7 “…observe to do according to all the law … that you may prosper wherever you go.”

Vs. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

I love what president Theodore Roosevelt said years ago:

 

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

 

I enCOURAGE you .. be strong and courageous … live out COURAGE to the glory of God!

 

 “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

 

 

7 Comments so far ↓

  1. Shelly Cunningham says:

    OK, I am a Greg Denham blog “groupie”. LOL

    I LOVE THE WORD OF GOD! How refreshing to come here and be washed in the truths of God’s word.

    I was just asking a friend yesterday if he knew how often you would be writing new messages. This is good!

    How I need courage. Thank you for enCOURAGING me to wait on the LORD and be of good courage!

    *******
    I’m so glad you are enjoying the entries, sis — and participating! :) Greg 2 Tim 4:7

  2. Sarah Hughes says:

    What a wonderful blog entry. Very encouraging and a true blessing for me as I continue on with my day.

    Thank You so much for posting these blog entries. Looking forward to the next one. May the lord bless your day!

  3. Marsha L. Gallup says:

    O.K. brothers and sisters in Christ.Take all the questions asked
    i.e. Will forgiving require courage? Will sharing of the faith with a loved one require courage? Will stepping out in obedience into God’s call in your life require courage?etc. etc. and replace the name of Jesus into the word courage and you will see that all we need is JESUS. Isn’t His sufficiency incredible? Why even writing this for me takes Jesus. Not to be timid or cold in Jesus!!!! Marsha Gallup

    ******************

    Wonderful insight, Marsha! Jesus IS our ALL in ALL! Greg :)

  4. Dave Thompson says:

    I’m encouraged. Thank you!

  5. Jan Bergendahl says:

    Thus the phrase: “find your courage” ususally means I may die or get hurt doing this, but it must be done–like following the Lord in a world that holds Him in contempt.

  6. Seralynn Lewis says:

    Great message on courage. One, my husband and I need right now. I will come back again and again to this posting as it is relevant all the time!! Thank you!

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    Seralynn — we will sorely miss you! But, we rejoice in the new beginning that will be taking place in Germany. We send our love, Greg and Stephanie Denham

  7. Jonathan Baxter says:

    Dear Pastor G. By reading your blog, I was really blessed by your words of encouragement.As well as ” Salvation is a gift.” Heard about your blog from a Calvary pastor in Phoenix AZ where I’m from. God bless you and your ministry.

    ********

    I’m so glad you are encouraged! God BLess you, Jonathan … Greg :) 2 Tim 4:7

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