Fear, Faith & Courage | Joshua 1:1-9 | August 21
The presidential election is coming and our society grows more anxious by the day. For centuries evangelicals have sought through political activism to shape lasting change in society. But politics is not the vehicle. We fail to realize that politics tends to represent culture and not the other way around. As a result, there is an epidemic of weakness that plagues the church, leaving us fearful to lead. Some of us are discouraged in ministry because we have refused to what God said to do, not because he hasn’t told us to do it. Nothing in life or in ministry ever happens apart from courage—the courage to overcome fear and the faith to live with eternity in mind.
In recent decades many Christians have responded to the moral and social decline in American society by embracing political activism. Believers are running for office in growing numbers; churches are organizing voter registration; public policy groups are proliferating; scores of Christian publications and radio programs offer commentary on public affairs. This heightened activism has yielded good results in many areas of public life, yet the impact remains far less than most had hoped. Why? Because evangelicals often put all their eggs in one basket: They leaped into political activism as the quickest, surest way to make a difference in the public arena — failing to realize that politics tends to reflect culture, not the other way around. (Nancy Pearcey,Total Truth, 18)
Key Text: 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
Fear, Faith & Courage | Acts 22:1-22 | August 28
Big Idea: Although the Bible doesn’t speak about “risk” directly, it does deal extensively with fear and control. The Apostle Paul is a “smart, savvy,courageous and sober entrepreneur,” but he doesn’t place his trust on his human ability “to get things done.” In our modern society where individual empowerment and overall innovation grease the wheels of productivity for the believer it is the reorientation of the heart and mind that allow us to put our cell phones down and ask the King, “What would you have me do?” It’s when we try to respond to the choices before by trusting in our own plans and our own designs that the real risk resides. And courage always grows in the presence of adversity.
A Prayer of Heart Renewing Hope (Scotty Smith)
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4:16-18
Key Text: “Them the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’” The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live.” (Acts 22:21-22)