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Summary: Courage comes from following God wherever He leads

A Call to Courage

Deuteronomy 31:6

May 6, 2001

Evening Service

A professor gave his class an assignment. They were to turn in a five-page paper. The theme was Courage. Each student was to describe the best example of courage that he or she had ever witnessed. One student boldly turned in five blank pages. The professor gave the student an A.

What is Courage?

1. Courage is grace under pressure

2. Courage is fear that has said its prayers – Karl Barth

3. Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are afraid. – Eddie Rickenbacker

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."

Biblical Examples of Courage

1. Moses before the Pharaoh

2. David as he faced down Goliath

3. Abigail as she saved the entire household of Nabal

4. Esther when she went before the king to save the Jews

5. Peter and John as they stood before the Sanhedrin

Four Realities of Courage

1. Courage starts on the inside

A. God gives us a call to obey

 God has called us to do His will in this life and in this world.

 Our convictions to do as He has called us to do allows us to be courageous

B. God gives a powerful promise that brings courage

 God goes with us as we tackle the difficult situations of life

 God promises to never leave us nor forsake us

 If God is for us who can stand against us?

2. Courage makes things right

A. God calls us to take a stand

Submit to pressure from peers and you move down to their level. Speak up for your own beliefs and you invite them up to your level. If you move with the crowd, you’ll get no further than the crowd. When 40 million people believe in a dumb idea, it’s still a dumb idea. Simply swimming with the tide leaves you nowhere. So if you believe in something that’s good, honest and bright -- stand up for it. Maybe your peers will get smart and drift your way.

 When God calls us to be His people it requires that we stand for Him 100%

 We are to be God’s change agents in this world – if things are ever going to improve in our community, our nation and our world it starts with the church being the church

B. God stands with us

 We are never alone in doing what God wants for us to do – He stands with us

 It becomes clear that God instills the courage we need to make things right in this life

3. Courage spreads like wildfire

A. Courage spreads from person to person

 Courage is a lot like wildfire – once it starts to spread and begins to move there isn’t much that can stop it

 One act of courage can move through an entire church or an entire community

B. Courage is the product of a person following God

 When we do as God wants us to do He provides for us in wonderous ways

 It is impossible to follow God and not grow in courage. If your courage is not growing, it is likely that you’re not fully doing what God has called you to do

4. Courage moves you beyond your limitations

No one could say that George Smith didn’t have courage. A daring jet test pilot in the 1950’s, back when the sound barrier was first being broken, he could face anything -- until he had to bail out of a jet going 805 miles per hour (Guideposts 1958). Though he survived, he was afraid of ever flying again. Then, during his hospital stay, a nurse gave him an antidote to fear. He took her words to heart: "Courage," she said, "is knowing the worst -- and discovering that, in God’s world, the very worst can’t really hurt you."

A. Courage allows you to realize growth

 There can be no growth without courage

 Courage gives us the extra power to move forward and take new territory for God. Courage helps us to seize the opportunities that god places in our path

B. Courage stretches you beyond where you are now

 Courage takes you to a higher level in life

 Courage allows you to serve God to the best of your ability and reach the potential that He has placed in your life

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