Not long ago, a movie called COURAGEOUS came out after being preceeded by the playing of it's theme song frequently on the radio..It still gets air time so it must be inspiring many out there.. I, personally, have had a moderately 'hard' time with this whole concept of the NEED to be courageous since my temperament simply TRUSTS my LORD to know what is best and how to bring it about.. Words like 'RISK' and 'COURAGE' have not registered in my soul until recently... Now, I will tell you what it took!!
While camping this summer, I took a 'sneak peak' at the Gospel of MATTHEW since John and I will spend 30 weeks in it with Bible Study Fellowship (Google it!) this school year... I was amazed at how familiar texts I've read MANY times in the past, were seemingly JUMPING right off the pages at me! This is truly a wonderful aspect of the WORD OF GOD.. It is LIVING and ACTIVE!! I finally saw COURAGE in action as I noticed 2 individuals early in the book.. One was a LEPER.. the other was a ROMAN CENTURION.. Talk about 2 kinds of people unwelcome near HEBREWS! Obviously, lepers were NOT to mingle near healthy people! Then, of course, there were the ever-present Roman 'watch dogs,' who were no Hebrew's favorite company.. WELL, they both desired 'the touch of the Master's hand,' so to say. THUS, when He came near, neither of them was intimidated, but both showed instant COURAGE and DETERMINATION in order to access JESUS! Neither showed shame at their need, and both TRUSTED they would not look like fools!! The 'BOTTOM LINE' to this lesson for me is.. THERE IS JOY IN KNOWING I AM WELCOME IN HIS PRESENCE!! As they experienced his nearness, COURAGE arose within, causing them to not care about being unwelcome, or seeming to be 'inaapropriate,' or, should I say in today's terms, 'POLITICALLY INCORRECT!!?' What area do you want to watch JESUS work wondrously in? Are you thrilled to be near HIM at all times? Here is the text in case you have time to read it..
MATTHEW 8:1When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2A man with leprosya came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
3Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 4Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
The Faith of the Centurion
5When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6“Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
7Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
8The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith...13Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
One other principle I uncovered in this early preview was, AUTHORITY is awesome! The centurion knew it, Jesus had it, and we are children of his.. soldiers in HIS army.. AUTHORITY over the adversary is ours if only we appropriate it!! I am still like a pre-toddler (a little shaky!) as I grow in my realization of this!! Spiritual 'muscles,' like our physical ones, only develop through use and practice!! Blessings to all.. Because HE LOVES US!! Sheila