Be Men of Courage

Men, it is easy to lose focus in life as life’s trials and tribulations build up and create stresses that we do not want to handle or just plain can not handle.  We look to retreat into our work, our hobbies, or physically retreat to get away from our families, others, and life.  Instead of acting in a way unbecoming of our Christian calling, let us look at how Paul encourages us to act in his letter to the Corinthians.

1st Corinthians 16:13-14 “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.”

Iranian_-_Cylinder_Seal_with_a_Lion_Hunt_-_Walters_42797

Be on Guard:

The further we live in life the more we realize that life is not easy, and we have to face choices that affect us and our families for the rest of our lives.  People will get hurt either physically, emotionally, or financially despite our best efforts.   Men, we need to always be aware that there is a roaring lion out to destroy us and our families.  The Apostle Paul’s counterpart, the great apostle Peter put it succinctly.

1 Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Stand Firm in Your Faith:

Stand Firm!  Put simply, don’t wilt under the ever-increasing pressure.  Not wilting is an admiral thing, but as a Christian that is not enough.  We must stand firm in our faith. Why our faith?  Again, Peter brings some additional light.

1 Peter 5:9-11 “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

Be Men of Courage:

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the proper response to it.  Without our fear, there could not be courage.  It is a word with a combined Latin and French origin denoting the heart – the seat of our feelings/emotions.  Our Christian life should never be founded in the wrong response to fear: hate, strife, division, rebellion, alcohol, drugs, adultery, lust, and abandonment of our families and wives.  Look at Moses’s reminder to God’s people before they entered the promise land.

Deuteronomy 31:6 “…Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Moses’s is reminding the people how God is faithful, and does not forsake his people – ever!

Be Strong:

Strong.  A good word.  Do the below definitions resemble you at work? At home? When you are alone to your own thoughts?

strong \ˈstrȯŋ\ adjective
stron•ger \ˈstrȯŋ-gər also -ər\ ; stron•gest \ˈstrȯŋ-gəst also -əst\
[Middle English, from Old English strang; akin to Old High German strengi strong, Latin stringere to bind tight — more at STRAIN]
(before 12th century)
1 : having or marked by great physical power
2 : having moral or intellectual power
3 : having great resources (as of wealth or talent)
4 : of a specified number 〈an army ten thousand strong〉
5 a : striking or superior of its kind 〈a strong resemblance〉
b : effective or efficient especially in a specified direction 〈strong on watching other people work –A. Alvarez〉

Merriam-Webster, I. (1996). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary (10th ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Do Everything in Love:

This may be the hardest phrase of all.  Humans have a knack of living a life of some.  We are full of good intentions with our human frailty and sin getting us in trouble along the way.  Our own soberness, our own strength, our own courage, all fall short of the mark.  Remember, God sent his Son and the Spirit to be all that for us.  We are bought with a price. We are not our own. The Christian walk is more than a simple half-truth, or a behavior when it is easy.  It is designed for us to take hold of the word and live it by truly emptying ourselves, and picking up our cross.  Without being a dedicated and willing vessel, we will limit the outpouring of God’s own power to love others and love God.  The Spirit is willing.  How about you? Be men of courage! May God bless you in devoting your daily lives to this en-devour.

 

Questions to contemplate:

  • Where are you living out your life courageously?
  • When you look at your life today, how can you devote yourself more to loving others?
  • In what areas can you ask God for help in being strong?

 

 

Bible References:

The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (1 Co 16:13–14). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (1 Pe 5:8). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (1 Pe 5:9–11). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (Dt 31:6). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Images:

Última Cena – Leonardo da Vinci [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Walters Art Museum, Iranian – Cylinder Seal with a Lion Hunt – Walters 42797, CC BY-SA 3.0