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Courage! Living In Abundance. Jn. 10:10b, Sept. 2012

The times in which we live, now than ever before, have become more challenging; so different that believers must resolve to be steadfast; never to give up; never to be influenced by undesirable situations and circumstances. Every corner we turn, we tend to see, read or hear things that literally make us feel that we, perhaps had made a mistake in our Christian decision or that the journey, though tough and perhaps rough, may not be attainable. But that is not the case. It is now common to often hear or read new stories of how someone who used to  be fervent in the Lord, “mightily used of God” even to perform signs and wonders had been brought down in shame through an error of judgment, orchestrated from the other side, if only to bring God and his words and promises to ridicule. The effect is that some senior believers and even the young ones and those unbelievers who have not really known God, or who are thinking of what to do, could start saying to themselves; “well if this is what Christianity is all about, I think I will better stand aside and look”. The fact is that, that is not what Christianity is all about. Christianity is the truth and the light. It is life. It is righteousness and holiness.

These are indeed challenging times!

There is popular Song we sing today in most of our churches and meetings. It is a Hymn that says “Stand up, Stand up for Jesus”. That song was first written as a 6-stanza poem by Presbyterian pastor; George Duffield (1818-1888), in honor of his late friend Episcopal Reverend Duddley A. Tyng (1825-1858) and recomposed into the version we sing today by George J. Webb (1803-1907). The 3rd stanza of that Hymn in part says “…ye that are men now serve him against unnumbered foes, let courage rise with danger”. The inspiration came from Ex. 10:11. The Hymn captures the exact situation of the born-again Christian in our time today. If you are a pastor, minister, worker; if you are anybody who is somebody for Jesus Christ you must watch-out; you must rise and stand up for Jesus with courage. In the midst of temptations and distractions (unnumbered foes with danger) we must strive, with courage, not to disappoint Jesus Christ that had chosen and called us.

While most of us can vividly remember when we gave our lives to Christ; in as much as most of us can remember the very first day we walked into that church and became Christians for the first time, the fact remains that we are not, of the truth, the ones that chose God. Rather the Almighty God, the King of Kings, is the one that chose us (Jn. 15:16). God called us as individuals and not as a group of people; He challenges us as individuals; he assigns responsibilities to us as individuals, and consequently he will assess us even on the last day as individuals. In other words don’t worry so much about the sin of a so-called highly placed minister/pastor/worker that has chosen to eat his vomit and backslide. God will deal with that fellow as an individual. The same God will deal with (judge) you as you and not as me or as anyone else. How do I know? Search the scriptures. In 2 Cor. 5:17 the Bible says: “Therefore if any man..”. It didn’t say if any church or group of people. In Jn. 10:9. Jesus again said “I am the door: by me ‘if any man’ enter in…”. In the popular Jn. 3: 16 the scripture says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that ‘whosoever’ believeth”. In Jn. 3:6 Jesus said “Except a man”. You can see that in each case God is telling us that the account, the responsibility you have to him is an individual one and not a collective one. Therefore it is bad enough that one Christian sinned and fell from grace, the truth is still the truth; God is still the creator of heaven and earth who will hold each and every one of us accountable for all our respective actions/inactions.

Friend, no matter whatever may be going on in the body of Christ today; no matter what unpleasant news you have heard concerning whoever, don’t be discouraged. We should only look unto Jesus (not any other person) as the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). We should look unto Jesus as our role model. We shouldn’t look unto any other person(s) as role model(s). The danger in having individuals as your role models, is that when such individuals fail; we become devastated and we may want to leave the church because another mortal Man had fallen from grace.

You must resolve within you, that no matter what, you will have the courage to move forward. Jesus knew that times like this will come and that was why he counseled in Jn. 14:1, 27 that our hearts should not be troubled and we should not be afraid. In Joshua 1:8-10 God also instructed Joshua and his team to be courageous, not to be afraid because God will be with them all the time.

It doesn’t matter who has taken a fall; it doesn’t matter which fire-brand pastor/minister/worker that has been caught in adultery; it doesn’t matter who, next to you that has been found unfaithful, it doesn’t matter what attacks come your way; you must resolve not to be distracted; you just have to keep moving forward, in righteousness and holiness in the service of the living God to the very successful end.

Friend, you shouldn’t give in to negative reports around us. When you do, the reports have a way of dissipating your physical and divine energy. When your energy is dissipated, courage disappears and its place is taking over by fear. There are individuals who will always tell you how impossible things can be. They will list for you how many men of God had reached the greatest heights in their calling and yet fell to the sin of adultery and fornication. They will tell you how many people desired to be what you are presently aspiring to become and yet couldn’t make it. Those are detractors. If you listen to them you will never get to your God-decided, Jesus-facilitated destiny. Please remember that no two human beings on this planet are exactly the same. The fact that somebody failed on a task doesn’t mean that you will/should also fail when you try. Abraham was entirely different from Moses. Abraham made his own mistakes, he had his special relationship with God, but because he had a special calling that was only unique to himself, God dealt with him as Abraham. Moses was different from Joshua. Jacob and Esau were entirely different individuals. In the New Testament, John the Baptist had a separate calling from Jesus. Peter’s responsibilities were slightly different from those of Paul, James and the rest of the apostles and God related with them differently. Demas was completely different. The point I am trying to make is that we should not focus our attention on how others are running their races particularly those who are falling by the way side. When you have set your eyes on a goal and you know that it is God that is directing you, keep your focus on God, move with courage’ don’t allow the negative things that are happening around us to discourage you. 

For every backslider that you hear about today, there are thousands of others that are still standing sure in the Lord. For every pastor/minister/worker/Christian that you hear that has fallen, or gone back to his/her vomit, there are countless number of others who are still standing sure for the Lord. For every failure in any examination, there are many others who will receive the crowns of success and glory.

Our consolation is that Jesus has assured us that he will be there with us. He will not forsake us. If we refuse to be distracted and keep our focus on Jesus we will surely end/finish well in Jesus name. We need courage now! Don’t forget that the Hymn ends with a promise that says “To him that overcometh, a crown of life shall be, he with the King of glory shall reign eternally”. That will be our portion in Jesus name. Amen!

If you have not given your life to Christ please do so now for tomorrow might be too late.

God bless you. 

Pastor Fidelis Nwachukwu

RCCG Throne of Grace Parish

32 E. Washington St

Hagerstown MD 21740, USA

Email: rccgthroneofgraceparish@ymail.com

Website: http://www.rccgthroneofgraceusa.org

 

Posted on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 12:30am