Summary: The Courage to Swim Against the Current - Jer. 38:1-13

The Courage to Swim Against the Current - Jer. 38:1-13

Illustration:To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

Elbert Hubbard.

Illustration: Where Am I Going?

Pastor Rick - Crown Of Life Church

From Zalomes Bridge to the World


It’s comforting to hear that even Albert Einstein had a brain cramp

now and then.

One time, for instance, he was taking a train to an out of town

engagement. The conductor stopped by to punch his ticket, but

the great scientist preoccupied with his work, explained that he

couldn’t find his ticket. Not in the coat pockets, not in the


The conductor said, "We all know who you are, Dr. Einstein. I’m

sure you bought ticket. Don’t worry about it."

As the conductor moved along, he looked back to see Einstein on

his hands and knees searching under the seats for his ticket. The

conductor walked back, "Dr. Einstein, please, don’t worry about it.

I know who you are."

Exasperated, Einstein looked up and said, "I, too, know who I am.

What I don’t know is where I’m going."

For those moments when you’re not sure where you are going,

remember that God does.

"A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone

understand his own way?" Proverbs 20:24

Too many people live more by fear than by faith in our world today. Let us examine the life of one Ethiopian man who had great faith and courage to rescue a man of God from the pit at a time when Jeremiah was out of favor with the king. Most friends are fair weather in nature, not this man. Ebed-Melech is a great example of an ordinary person with extra-ordinary courage.


** Salutatorian Refuses To Keep Silent about Faith In Her Graduation

Speech **

After winning a hard fought battle over an attempt to censor religious references from her speech, Shannon Wray delivered her non-censored salutatorian speech on Friday during the Hollidaysburg Area High School graduation ceremony. Shannon was represented by Mat Staver, Erik Stanley, and Joel Oster of Liberty Counsel, a Religious Civil Liberties Legal Defense Organization, in her fight against the censorship of her speech.

By graduating as salutatorian, Shannon earned the opportunity to give a speech during the graduation ceremony. The school asked Shannon to speak about the past, including how friendships helped her get through

high school. Shannon is a dedicated Christian, and she felt that she could not give the speech without talking about how her best friend, Jesus Christ, helped her through school. In the speech, Shannon said, "He, even more so than the people I love, has been there every day, never forcing me to do anything, but always encouraging me to stretch my limits and strive for the best He has to offer. His name is Jesus; He is my greatest friend." She went on to say, "It is because of Him that I have achieved and succeeded, and, no matter how much knowledge

Hollidaysburg High has bestowed upon me, I would know nothing if I didn’t know Him."

The school, after reading a copy of Shannon’s speech, censored the above statements, and prohibited Shannon from making other religious references in her speech. Liberty Counsel then contacted the school, and informed the school that censoring Shannon’s speech of religious content violated the Establishment Clause, Free Speech Clause, and the Free Exercise of Religion Clause of the United States Constitution. On the eve of filing a Temporary Restraining Order in Federal Court against the school, the school agreed to not censor Shannon’s speech.

1. Ebed Melech had the courage to approach the king and at the risk of his own safety request to speak favorably about Jeremiah. He said, "My lord, the king, these men have acted wickedly in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet." (Jer 38:9) Be bold enough to speak on behalf of godly people even when it is not a popular thing to do. Many a man proclaims his loyalty, but a faithful friend who can find, wrote Solomon in Proverbs. Ask the Lord to help you to be a bold friend who will advocate for people in need even if it means risking your own reputation.


A famous Methodist evangelist named Peter Cartwright was known for his uncompromising preaching. However, one day when the President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, "Old rough and ready," came to Cartwright’s church, the elders warned the Pastor not to offend the President. In those days, the President had great power to influence a denomination for good or bad. Content, that their Pastor would not say anything to discredit their church, the elders retired to the back of the sanctuary. When Cartwright got up to speak, the first words out of his mouth were, "I understand that President Andrew Jackson is here this morning. I have been requested to be very guarded in my remarks. Let me say this: "Andrew Jackson will go to hell if doesn’t repent of his sin!" The entire congregation gasped with shock at Cartwright’s boldness. How could this young preacher dare to offend the tough old general in public, they wondered. After the service, everyone wondered how the President would respond to Cartwright. When Andrew Jackson met the preacher at the door he looked at him in the eye and said, "Sir, If I had a regiment of men like you, I could conquer the world!" When we appreciate the power of the word of God and the Holy Spirit speaking from the lips of people with conviction we will make eternal differences.

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