Summary: How do we as Christians become bold in sharing the Gospel of Christ? We will pull some lessons from looking at several courageous individuals from the Old Testament.
Please note all Bible verses are copyrighted and are shown here for ease sake.
I asked at supper what were some ideas on what to talk about and William said to speak on courage. I questioned him a bit and it was courage in sharing the gospel message. This lesson is for William, today as we look at courage.
When we look at sharing the Gospel message, we see that this is so important to God that He established the role of an evangelist within the church to help equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ. In Ephesians 4:11-13.
11 And He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as [d]pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the [e]saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the [f]knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature [g]which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
An evangelist is a person who is a proclaimer of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Philip was an evangelist and so was Timothy. In 2 Timothy 4:5 Paul tells Timothy:
5 But as for you, use self-restraint in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Paul encourages Timothy to fulfill his ministry as an evangelist even if it means enduring hardship. Of course, Paul was no stranger to hardship as he worked as an Apostle and an evangelist.
When we look at these great proclaimers of the Gospel of Christ, we see an occupation that certainly requires courage. Paul for example, was stoned, imprisoned, shipwrecked and martyred, for fearlessly proclaiming the gospel of Christ.
You might think, “I have not been called to be an evangelist.” No, you may not be in an evangelist role within the church, but you are called to always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you. 1 Peter 3:15. We may not travel from town to town preaching the good news, but we proclaim within our communities that blessed hope that has been given to us through Christ Jesus our Lord!
Today, we are going to look at three courageous men and draw some wisdom from their lives that will help each one of us become more courageous in sharing the hope that dwells within us. The first man I want us to look at is a mighty warrior named Gideon.
Gideon Judges 6:11-16
11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the [g]oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.” 13 Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did the Lord not bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.” 14 And the Lord [h]looked at him and said, “Go in this strength of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” 15 But he said to Him, “O Lord, [i]how am I to save Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” 16 Yet the Lord said to him, “I will certainly be with you, and you will [j]defeat Midian as one man.”
I love this story! Israel has rejected God once again. God has lifted his hand of protection from them. Once His hand is removed, here come the Midianites to cause mayhem. They are terrorizing the countryside. Robbing the people of their food and wealth and leaving Israel in abject poverty. Life was intolerable for Israel. Finally, Israel calls out to the Lord.
Here comes the angel of the Lord into the next scene and there is Gideon hiding out in the bottom of the wine press trying to thrash his wheat so the Midianites would not come and take it from him. What is the title the angle gives to Gideon? A valiant warrior! Gideon is not thrashing his wheat in the open with his sword strapped to his side ready to take on the dirty dog oppressors who would dare try to take his wheat. He is hiding! Gideon is not buying it. If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? Where is this Lord who performed all these miracles of old? God must have gotten tired of us, because we are an abandoned people.