Courage

When you hear the word courage what comes to mind? Maybe it’s the image of a firefighter running into a burning building to save a young child, or maybe a solider running into battle or against an enemy or to protect their fellow troops. Maybe courage is the image of a student standing up to a bully, or a single mom making it through yet another day. Maybe a wheelchair bound person navigating their way through the mall, or an older person willing to get on Facebook, or maybe that missionary sharing in a foreign land. Whatever your image of courage, courage is the setting of our intention to move forward regardless of the circumstances. Courage is bravery, valor, gallantry, nerve.

Courage is exactly what is needed to live and love like Jesus. Over these past few weeks we have been challenged to soak in the love of Jesus:

1 John 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Because of Jesus’ great love for us, we ought to love…

1 John 4:11-12 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Now being Jesus is our example, we should do this loving like Him. We should love our families like Jesus, love our church like Jesus, love our community like Jesus and love our world like Jesus. We have gone into depth with each of these areas, but actually living out this love is going to take courage…the brave stride forward regardless of the circumstance.

It’s not easy to love like Jesus. This kind of love is sacrificial, selfless, thinking more of the other than self.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Jesus’ kind of love is not natural and that is why it takes learning and practice. When God was challenging Joshua to move forward with God’s unique call on Joshua’s life, God said this:

Joshua 1:7-8 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

We need to keep learning from God’s Word, and read about Jesus and life as a Follower of Him. Let those words soak in and change us. As well, we need to get out there and practice.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

So go for it…practice the good work of loving like Jesus. It will change our world and it will change you.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

So let’s go for it!! Together let’s show our families, our church, our community, our world Jesus by loving like Him!!

Courageously Loving Like Jesus with you,

Mike

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