Wednesday, October 14, 2009

courage to step up

Joshua 1:6 (NASB) --- Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.

Several years ago I was asked in a meeting to begin reading Proverbs each day of the month.  It was at least 14 years ago when Johnny Hunt encouraged a small group of pastors to join the journey he has been on for a long time.  I jumped in and haven't let up since.

Proverbs has been a huge encouragement to my life and it has been something that I have encouraged those I serve and those I serve with to read each day.  Would you join the challenge?

Proverbs 14:26 (NLT) --- Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children.

We have to have courage to step up to the challenges that people give us.  Bigger than that we have to take courage to step up to the challenges that God gives us.  One of the sweetest situations I found myself in last week at the leadership conference we attended was in a prayer time with several church planters.  My brother and another pastor friend led this prayer time, and these men honestly have my heart.  God has challenged me to be an encouragement to those who I have been where I have been.  Pray for EddieKen, Lloyd and others you know that are following Jesus in ways that encourage your heart.  That was a sweet time.

These people, the people who speak into your life the things of God are valuable.  They teach us and show us what courage looks like.  It is like Daniel in the lion's den or his three friends who went to the fiery furnace.  It takes courage to obey God.  It takes courage to step up.  It takes courage let your faith live out loud.  This weekend I shared with our The Community family that I am not pleased with things the way they are.  In other words, I am not pleased with just getting by or just having church.  You know that of me.  I want to move to the next level.  I want to touch more people for Jesus.  I so desire to lead our people to serve in bigger ways and to serve more often.  Yet, unless I take courage to step up none of that will happen.  Do you get that?

I am really writing this today because of another challenge that has come across my path and I am taking.  But I want to ask you to take it as well.  In the last few hours I have mentioned this commitment to a few people and some more people have made a commitment.  So, I ask you: will you memorize some scripture with me?  Memorize Romans 12.  Wait.  I have heard your excuses before.  I have heard me use them.  Yes, it is hard to do, but it is worth it.  Will you take courage to step up in following Jesus and memorize some scripture?  Why ...

  • Jesus used scripture in his battles with Satan and in leading people to know God.
  • Paul quoted hundreds of earlier references in his writings, teaching us to live by faith.
  • Martin Luther references them in his 95 Thesis.
  • Countless of us have heard and used scripture to see our lives and others lives changed.

Will you join me in this challenge to memorize Romans 12?  Ask me how I am doing from time to time.  I challenge you to have the courage to step up.

Psalm 119:11 (The Message) --- I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won't sin myself bankrupt.

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