Matthew 13
Matthew 15

Matthew 14

Courage

  • Matthew 14:3-5 (NASB) 3  For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. 4  For John had been saying to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her." 5  Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet. 

I was watching christian TV yesterday and as I listened I heard two different preachers (who are great speakers) preach about how we can use God to be happy, blessed and get out of trouble in life.  I know that I only heard a piece of what could be a much more rounded ministry but it bothered me that we seem to have this idea that when we serve God He is “supposed” to protect us from all hurt, pain, hardships etc.  I don’t know if John the Baptist got the memo.  For that matter the OT prophets and the apostles seem to have lost this teaching as well.  Not to mention the modern day martyrs who are suffering for the cause of Christ and being killed daily.

As disciples of Christ the better approach would be to deny self, take up our cross daily and follow Jesus.  We must be willing to be like John who put speaking God’s truth as more important than freedom, popularity and life itself.  I suppose John could have said nothing about Herod’s sin, reasoning that he was doing more for God’s kingdom preaching to the masses, but somewhere in there the Spirit of God prompted John to speak up about sin and unrighteousness even when it was unpopular and dangerous…so he obeyed and paid for it with his freedom and ultimately with his life.

Not the way I want to go but I guess the question is am I willing to die to self and live for Christ?

Let’s start with baby steps…
Say yes to the Holy Spirit in the little moments He directs us.  

  • To stop and pray.
  • To write a note of encouragement to someone.
  • To give a gentle answer instead of flying off the handle.
  • To share the Good News with people who need to know (after all our life is not on the line).
  • To allow the Holy Spirit to empower us to say no to sin and yes to righteousness.
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