Wednesday, February 8, 2017

have the 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 to begin reading Proverbs each day of the month.  It was about 18 years ago when Pastor Johnny Hunt encouraged a small group of pastors to join the journey he has been on for a long time.  I jumped in and have been reading Proverbs and encouraging others to do the same.

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 daily.  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.  Through the years I have found myself in setting with other pastors.  Some of those have been some of the sweetest meetings I have ever had.  They were times of encouraging and being encouraged.  Prayer was a big part of those meetings where we prayed with and for each other.  When I know these people personally, the conversations will go to areas where we need to grow.  We can and should challenge each other to step up, get stronger and be better.

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 follow and obey God.  It takes courage to step up.  It takes courage let your faith thrive.  I am not pleased with just getting by or just having church.  I want to move to the next level.  I want to touch more people for Jesus.  I 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.  Early in January we talked much about making Scripture an important part of our every day lives.  We are well in to February, and that challenge must remain strong. I ask you to continue this challenge.  Continue to step up.  Scripture challenges us to do things that few others will. 

--- Jesus used scripture in his battles with Satan and in leading people to know God.

--- Paul quoted hundreds of earlier references in his writings, challenging and teaching us to live by faith.

--- Martin Luther references many in his 95 Thesis.
--- Many of us have heard and used scripture to see our lives and others lives changed.

I challenge you and myself to make sure that the Word of God remains an important part of our every day lives.  I challenge you to have the courage to step up.

Psalm 119:11 MSG
I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won't sin myself bankrupt.

NOTE: much of this post was first shared in October of 2009.

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