Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 16, 2015
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. John 21:1-2
Courage needs community in order to thrive. The company of other Christians is an incubator of boldness for my belief in Jesus. When I engage with other hot hearted lovers of the Lord it energizes my faith. Whether standing together in corporate worship or gathered together in a conference around our common commitment to Christ—I am compelled to follow my calling. In a recent board meeting, each person shared a painful struggle and told how we could pray for them. My heart swelled with uncommon courage to pray in faith. Courage feeds on courage.
Post cross and resurrection the disciples could have dispersed, but they stayed together. Why? These diverse Christ followers had newfound courage in their risen Lord and in their love for each other. Peter the recovering denier, Thomas the former doubter, Nathanael the quiet, but faithful follower—the ambitious sons of thunder (James and John) and two humble, behind the scenes, left unnamed disciples—made up the core launch team for Christianity! What they lacked on their resume, they made up for in faith and courage. Together they were unstoppable!
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
How do you engage with other Christ followers? Worship, Bible study, prayer, suffering, service projects, Sunday school, community groups, board meetings, vacations and mission trips are all good opportunities to give and receive courage. Christianity is not an individual sport. It is a team sport. It is much more like soccer than golf. Your giftedness, skills and experience may feed your self-reliance—but you and others are better off when you are not aloof. Unselfish relational engagement protects you from a “me only” focus and frees you to boldly follow the Spirit’s lead.
We all suffer in silence from time to time. It requires courage for us to break our mute misery and seek the support of others who understand—who even experience the same struggles. Experts are another source of strength. Professionals can give us a third party perspective that contributes to our comprehension and courage. Our confidence grows when we can grasp the “why” behind the “what” we are experiencing. Like the first disciples we need to first see Jesus—then feel the loving support of friends. Courage comes from Christ and growing together with His followers!
“Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Mark 6:50).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, keep me close to your children so I can courageously engage our culture with Your love.
Related Readings: Ezra 7:28, 10:4; Ezekiel 22:14; Acts 23:11, 27:22-25; 1 Corinthians 16:13
Post/Tweet this today: Courage needs community in order to thrive. #courage #wisdomhunters
Additional Resource: 7 minute music video- Kim Walker: Where You Go I Go
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