Bible Ballistics: BBs #605 A Month Of Gratitude??? #9 Courage
On this Friday before the big “Thanksgiving” day celebration, a dear friend is being laid to rest—and she is the inspiration for this post today. Miss Carolyn was one of the most faithful, godly and courageous women I have ever known. In these last few years when I got to know her, she was frail in body, but her heart and soul were mighty before God, even though she wrestled with a chronic and debilitating ailment, but her spirit soared before God and man!, partly (I believe) because she understood what Paul reminded the Corinthians of, where our courage comes from:
“For though we walk in the flesh,
we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare
are not carnal,
but mighty through God
to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations,
and every high thing
that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity
to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
I am so grateful to God for the faithful influences that He has brought into my life, and Miss Carolyn is one of those at the top of my list of blessings and encouragers—her presence will be sorely missed by many. She was an amazing teacher, a wife, who still grieved for her beloved “Jim” (with whom she is now reunited), a wonderful mother, grandmother and great-grandmother! So many lives touched by the influence of her devotion to God, His Word and His ways!
Thank you, Lord, for those great, holy, and powerful men and women of faith that You send, and have sent, into our lives. I think this is what the author of Hebrews wanted to remind us of.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin
which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run
that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus
and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him
endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and is set down
at the right hand
of the throne of God.
3 For consider him
that endured such contradiction
lest ye be wearied
and faint in your minds.” Hebrews 12:1-3
This passage isn’t picturing some “great stadium in the sky” where the saints of God are cheering on as spectators of the events on earth—no way! It is picturing the faithful witness that God’s servants, who have just been described in the chapter 11’s ‘hall of faith’, have exhibited before the world for their good and ours!! It is referring to the testimony of faithful witnesses (witnesses which we all are—be it a good witness or a poor one—ever a witness of what/who we “really” believe); those who have run the race, fought the fight, stood their ground, and kept their eyes on the prize—Jesus! The passage goes on to remind us of the faithful example of service, love and obedience that our Lord demonstrated.
What a mighty God we serve—He not only sent Jesus to live a perfect life, pay the sacrifice for our sin, to be raised from the dead for our salvation, but He has given believers His precious Holy Spirit to dwell within us empowering us to be an example for others—yet the cost is higher for some than it is for others. Miss Carolyn paid a price for her faithful service—pain in her physical body—but she was ever pressing on for Jesus, and the people she loved—a witness to the power and provision of God –as a faithful warrior not a spectator, even with her physical limitations. She was a great teacher, a prayer warrior for so many who knew her, and I count it an honor to have been one who depended on and benefitted from her faithful prayers! Thank You Jesus!
May we ever remember the witness of our Lord, and the encouraging testimony of those He places in our path? May we strive to follow their example, ever keeping the cross in sight that we might reflect its glory, power and grace!
“For what glory is it, if,
when ye be buffeted for your faults,
ye shall take it patiently?
when ye do well,
and suffer for it,
ye take it patiently,
this is acceptable with God.
21 For even hereunto were ye called:
because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example,
that ye should follow his steps:
22 Who did no sin,
neither was guile found in his mouth:
23 Who, when he was reviled,
reviled not again;
when he suffered,
he threatened not;
but committed himself
to him that judgeth righteously:
24 Who his own self
bare our sins
in his own body
on the tree,
being dead to sins,
should live unto righteousness:
by whose stripes
ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:20-24
We have been empowered by HIS stripes which “healed” us from our sin disease! Let’s run the race that HE has set before us that we might also be found faithful in His service.
“Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery
to be equal with God:
7 But made himself
of no reputation,
and took upon him
the form of a servant,
and was made
in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself,
and became obedient
even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,
and given him a name
which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
of things in heaven,
and things in earth,
and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
Thank You Lord for the faithful witness of your servants, and the encouragement and instruction that they pass on to us. As the song says, “may those who come behind us find us faithful”! (From “Find Us Faithful” by Steve Green)!
Blessings on your day, and don’t forget to not only thank God for those special people in your life, but a phone call, note, card, email, text, or even a visit is in order to let them know how they’ve blessed you/me! Go—be thankful—spread that “attitude of gratitude”!
Amen and Amen!