Monday, October 16, 2017

Becoming an "All-In" Man, 1: Courageous Men

Question it: What makes you want to give up & move on, rather than waiting for the right thing for the right reason?

Read it: Acts 2:1-4 (NIV) 1  When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Understand it: THIS was the beginning of the Church. The Holy Spirit was showing up just like Jesus had promised. In Acts 1, Jesus told them to go to Jerusalem and WAIT for the promise that was coming. He told them to wait. He spoke to them with authority, but also with expectation, knowing what was coming if they did what He had said. He knew their inclinations to move on when things didn’t go their way, or in the timing they expected.

All of the disciples had been told many times what would happen to Jesus, even though they had their own ideas of what Messiah should be. They wanted to political rescue, but Jesus came to restore an even greater Kingdom & purpose. They deserted Him in prayer. They fled when He was taken captive. They denied Him when questioned. All but one was absent at the cross. Peter resorted back to what he had known before. He turned back to a previous occupation.

Knowing all of this, Jesus told them to wait. He knew they’d be challenged. He knew they’d be tempted. He knew their inclinations to fix things, and if they couldn’t fix it, to abandon it. But He knew what was on the other side of the waiting.

Men are created & called of God to be courageous, to wait & believe, even when all else is calling or pushing them away. From the beginning in the garden, Satan has attacked the purpose & leadership of men. He uses those closest to them, thus causing them to question their own leadership, value, and influence. When they give into those questions, it’s a lot easier to turn & go.

God has called each of you as men to stand up, courageously, in Him. When you are weak, He is strong. When want to go, know that the enemy has gotten wind of something great on the other side. Don’t give up what God has for you, even before you see it & receive it. Wait expectantly. Trust completely. Stand confidently. Be courageous.

Study It:

2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV) 16  Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

Galatians 6:9 (NIV) 9  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Revelation 2:3 (NIV) 3  You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

Acts 26:22 (NIV) 22  But I have had God's help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen--

James 1:2-4 (NIV) 2  Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3  because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Live It: What will I do with this?

1.    Where in my life am I tempted to back up, sit down, or even quit?

2.    What is it about waiting for things to happen that is the hardest for me to accept?

3.    What has God taught me through the moments that I’d have rather called it “done”?

4.    How is my faith & trust in Christ evident when I am faced with a situation, even close to home, where my buttons are pushed?

5.    How can I stand courageously when it feels like I’m attacked & beaten up in the “world” I’m trying to lead?