Central Baptist Church
Friday, August 17, 2018

Morning Worship Sermon

  
COURAGE
Joshua 1:9
 
Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good       courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy     God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
 
What Is Courage?
 
          Courage is not the absence of fear.
          Who needs courage to face a toothless enemy, but you do need courage to : stand against intense opposition
                             risk life and limb for your loved ones
                             risk life and limb for a cherished principle
 
          Courage is necessary when you must get past your fears to achieve some worthwhile goal.
 
          Ill. -   Watching the news Tuesday morning there was the story
                   of a mother’s courage.
               -   A tiger had somehow escaped his compound by jumping
                   over a mote and a 12’ fence.
               -   The mother rounded the corner to find her 4 year old
                   daughter and the tiger standing face to face.
               -   Very courageously the mother calmly walked up to her
                   daughter, picked her up and backed away.
               -   When asked in a later interview, “Were you afraid?”
               -   Imagine her reply!
         
          Folks, courageous men are not fearless men.
          Fearless men may simply be stupid.
          Courageous men are those who face down their fears and triumph despite them.
 
 
2.
          Courage instills confidence in a person regardless of what he might be facing.
 
          A person without courage cannot be an encourager.  This is one of the reasons so many people today are so discouraged; so few courageous people exist to encourage them.
 
          As Spiritual Champions, God is calling you to be courageous.
 
          A courageous man knows that only Jesus Christ can enable him to face his fears and equip him to be a real man of courage.
          He realizes that through Christ he can face anything.
          He remembers that the degree of his courage will determine how much God uses him in the present crises of our day.
 
          Courageous Spiritual Champions stand tall above others and God can trust them :          with anything
                             through everything
 
Where Are All The Courageous Men?
 
          Let’s look at Daniel.
 
          Daniel was a man of God who lived as a captive in a place called Babylon.  Now Babylon was a very :    sensual
                                                                   pagan                   place.
          Daniel was not a compromiser like most of the other captives, he stood for what he believed, even when he stood alone.
 
          Daniel’s courage is what God used to distinguish him as a great leader in Babylon.
          The one quality that set Daniel apart from the other Jews was courage.
 
3.
          Courage has always set one man apart from the masses and Spiritual Champions must be men of courage if God is going to use them in a significant way.

          Let’s look at some ways Daniel demonstrated his courage in the midst of the pagan culture that surrounded him.  As we look at them, remember, Babylon and America are very similar; therefore, these lessons from Daniel’s life are very applicable to our own life.
 
1.  Determine In Your Heart :  “I Will Follow God.”
 
          Daniel determined he would follow only his God. 
          He would not defile himself with the king’s choice food.
          He submissively sought permission from Ashpenaz to refrain
from :         eating
                   drinking               the king’s food in order not to defile himself.  Now this could have cost him his life, but he lived by his spiritual convictions and determined he would follow only his God.
 
          The Spiritual Champion determines in his heart, “I will follow God.”
          Will you choose to follow God or will you choose to defile yourself?
          You :          are
                             will be                 offered many opportunities to compromise your spiritual convictions.
 
          Stand, even if you have to stand alone!
          It takes more courage to say “No!” to the pressures of our godless culture than to say “yes” to them.
 
          As you take a courageous stand it will ignite a spirit of courage in others.  As Daniel took a stand it encouraged the three Hebrew boys to take a stand.
4.
2.  Depend On The Lord For An Alternate Plan
 
          God gave Daniel an alternate plan.
          God is :      gracious
                             merciful               to a courageous man.
          When you’re faced with a critical decision about whether to cave in to compromise or stand with courage, ask God to show you His alternative.
 
          Just saying “no” is not good enough, a positive alternative needs to be offered.
 
          A Christian alternative is not compromise.  It is God’s way of rewarding us for standing with courage.  He gave Daniel such a plan and He will give you one when you need it.
 
3.  Develop A Conviction : “When I Honor God, I Know He Will Honor Me.”
 
          Daniel was a man of conviction who never considered compromise.
 
Daniel 1:9 “Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.”
 
          Why did God do this?
          Daniel had demonstrated courage by sticking to his spiritual  convictions.  He could have compromised, but he didn’t.
 
I Samuel 2:30 “Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said   indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk      before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me;     for them that honour me I will honour, and they           that despise me   shall be lightly esteemed.”
5.
          God honored Daniel and his three Hebrew friends because they honored Him.
 
          God is still looking or men who will honor Him.
          Will we be like Daniel?
          The world is crying out for some 21st century Daniels.
 
4.  Declare God’s Message To Others
 
          God continued to bless Daniel with great :       insight
                                                                                      understanding
when others could not interpret the king’s dreams, Daniel could. 
 
          Without a spiritual revival in this country, the handwriting is on the wall for America
          God’s judgment will be fierce.
          America is defaming God and exalting herself, unmindful of His statutes.
 
          God needs some Daniels to trumpet the message of :
repentance
revival                           to America.
          We need Spiritual Champions who will declare God’s message in their :      families
                   communities
                   schools
                   churches                        and in the political arenas of America.
          Whatever your sphere of influence in life, use it courageously for Christ. 
          The Lord will use men of courage.
 
 
 
 
6.
How To Be Used Of God
 
          A man’s courage determines how much God will use him.  Courageous men are used by God to make a difference.
 
          As your courage is strengthened, will you make yourself available to be used of God?
          As a courageous Spiritual Champion, you can be used of God to :
 
1.  Lead Your Family In Godliness

          Fellows it takes courage to lead a family toward God.
         
          It takes courage for a family to follow the ways of Godliness rather than the ways of the world.  Going with God means you will be going against the world.
 
          As the tension increases, the temptation will be to compromise, but do not compromise!  Go on with God!
 
          As the spiritual leader in your family :
have the courage to go on with God
lift His standard high
         
          Remember you leadership in the family is not up for vote, you’re not out to win a popularity contest, your task is to lift the standard of God high so that His ways are clearly seen and followed specifically.
 
          Let your family catch godliness from your leadership!
 
2.  Speak God’s Truth To Others
 
          A courageous Spiritual Champion will be available to God to speak His truth to other people.
7.
          As you are filled with Godliness, God will use you to speak to others.  Never back away from declaring a positive word about Jesus Christ.  Declare boldly that Jesus is the only way to God.
         
          Whenever God opens the door, speak God’s truth with courage.  Wouldn’t you want someone to have the courage to do this for you?
 
3.  Turn America Back To God
 
          God wants you to make a difference in America.  We need to :
pray
fast
repent                   so that God power will once again be poured out.
 
          Exercise your right to vote.
          Remember courage is contagious.  People are drawn to men who will demonstrate courageous leadership.
 
          Never discount the power of what one man can do.
 
          God uses Spiritual Champions, men of courage, men who have faced their fears and accomplished great things despite them.
 
Daniel 1:1-7 “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
          2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with    part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the     land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels       into the treasure house of his god.
          3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that          he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's         seed, and of the princes;
8.
          4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and    skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and        understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in    the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the      tongue of the Chaldeans.
          5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat,          and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years,        that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
          6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel,       Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
          7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave      unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of       Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of         Abednego.”
 
          A young lady wrote this poem based on Daniel 1:1-7 :
 
                   “It’s Time”
 
          It’s time to take a stand,
          save your home and land.
          Although you’r only one,
          the battle has been won.
          Stand for faith and truth today,
          to this world show the way.
          In everything you go through,
          for God alone stand true.
          Though the world has much to give,
          for the Lord only I’ll live.
          Making known God’s only way,
          fiving in purity and honor each day.
 
 
9.
          God is looking for 21st century Daniels to stand with courage in our : families
          schools
          communities                
          political process
          churches                                 and in our country.
 
          Stand with courage and God will stand with you!