Be Courageous!

Last Sunday was such a blast, from the fellowship, worship, and the teaching of the Bible that I had to share some of my thoughts about it!

Pastor Mike talked about Acts Chapter 6-7. In these two chapters we learned about the story of Stephen the first Christian martyr of the New Testament. I encourage you to go read the story it could change your life. For me the story of Stephen challenged me to be different in my daily walk with the Lord. So many times we can get comfortable in our Christian relationship with Jesus Christ that we don’t step out and do anything courageous for the Lord. That was not the case for Stephen or any of the New Testament disciples of Jesus. Almost all of them died because of what they believed in. However, to them it was not a horrific death but a glorious one because they died for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My prayer for myself this week has been that I will not be stagnant in my relationship with my King but rather be like Stephen and be courageous and bold in my faith!

This morning I read in Matthew chapter 16 that to follow Jesus it cost everything even my life. “Jesus told His disciples, if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26 ESV) I want to be known as a man that gave up all his so called rights or privileges because I found something far greater then anything this world could offer and that is the treasure I have found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

I want to leave you with a battle cry that hopefully fires you up! I got this from one of my professors in College. It goes like this: “I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed, I have the Holy Spirit power, the die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made-I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ- I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still. My past is redeemed, my present make sense, my future is secure- I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, praise, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praise, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean in His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till He stops me and when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear!”  

Family Pastor,

            Joseph Brown