Posts Tagged ‘courage’

Ornan Who?

September 6, 2017

I want to be like Ornan.  If I were to take a poll, I doubt that there would be one in a thousand who would recognize the name of Ornan the Jebusite.  Nonetheless, he is the hero of our message today.

I need to introduce the context of today’s scripture.  David had commanded that the nation of Israel be counted.  This was something that he was not supposed to do, but he did it anyway.  God was displeased with his action and gave him a choice of punishments.  David choose to ‘fall into the hand of God”.  70,000 people were slain by an angel that God had sent to carry out the judgement.

I.  Ornan:  I Chronicles 21: 15-16, 20

And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As he was destroying, the Lord looked and relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who was destroying, “It is enough; now restrain your hand.” And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

16 Then David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, having in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. So David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces.

 Now Ornan turned and saw the angel; and his four sons who were with him hid themselves, but Ornan continued threshing wheat.

This angel had already slain 70,000 people.  It was an angel of death and destruction.  I can only imagine how terrifying the sight must have been for those who were present.

David and the elders with him fell on their faces.

Ornan’s sons hid themselves.

Ornan saw the angel and went back to his threshing of wheat.

Apparently Ornan was not afraid.  I suspect that he recognized that God was with him.  Psalms 118:6 says:

The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?

I want to be like Ornan.  I want to have a walk with God that gives me the confidence to look at the angel of death and go about the business that is at hand.

II.  Soloman:  I Chronicles 22:12-13

 Only may the Lord give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. 13 Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the Lord charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed.

We need God to give us wisdom.  Wisdom allows us to know what to do in any given situation.  We do not want to depend solely on human wisdom.  We want the wisdom that comes from God.

Of course, God has already given us much instruction in His Word.  When God gives us direction, it is clearly in our best interest to follow it.  We should live our lives in obedience to God’s Word and His Spirit.

If we are walking with God in obedience we should expect that we can be strong and of good courage.  God is with us.

I want to be like Ornan.

III.  Daniel 11:32-33

Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. 33 And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering.

Daniel is speaking here about the end times, but really, it can apply to the people of God anytime.

Those who know God shall be strong and do great things.

May we come to know God.  May we know God more.  May we do great things in His service.  May we instruct others who see the difference that God makes in us.

Under the right circumstances the ordinary can be extraordinary.

Ornan was simply  threshing wheat…..in the presence of the angel of destruction.

I have never threshed wheat.  I have never seen the angel of destruction.

I want to know God in such a way that I will be courageous and faithful whatever I may face.

I want to be like Ornan.

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A Powerful Verse

March 26, 2015

There are many wonderful scripture verses that Christians have memorized over the years.  These verses can be very helpful in times of discouragement.  One of those verses is II Timothy 1:7.  Here I am quoting both 6 &  7.

 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

I.  The Gift of God:  Romans 12:6-8

 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Each of us has received a gift from God that He expects us to use for the building of His kingdom.  These gifts are not the same.  Each of us needs to do our part.  At all stages of our life God has a purpose for us.  We are supposed to be involved in the work of the kingdom.

II.  No Fear

Romans 8:31

 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

If God is with us, what would make us afraid?  The problem is that we cannot see God with our physical eyes.  We need to believe that He is with us.  We need to have faith.  We should do what God calls us to do and not be afraid.

John 16:33

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

We can be at peace knowing that even in the midst of tribulation, or trial, that God will see us through the days of darkness.  Jesus has overcome the world and He is with us.

III.  Power:  I John 4:4

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

We do not operate in our own power, but by the power of the Spirit that dwells within us.  We have more power than we realize.  It is not our power, but the power of God to do what He has called us to do.

IV.  Love:  I John 4:7

 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

God loves us.  We love God.  God loves all people.  We should love all people.  Our actions should be motivated by our love for God and for people.  God has not given us the power of hate, but the power of love.

V.  Sound Mind/Disclipline

We are able to think clearly.  God is able to give us insight into problems.  Some translations use the word discipline instead of sound mind.  That is also good.  God is able to give us the discipline that we need to carry through on what should be done.

This one verse is a wonderfully reassuring verse that we should all use to encourage ourselves, or others as needed.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

These are the sermon notes from 3/8/15.  Any advertisements that might appear have been placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

Courage, Confidence, and Recklessness

February 10, 2010

The New Orleans Saints are Super Bowl Champions.  There were several key moments.  Towards the end of the first half, the New Orleans Saints went for the touchdown on fourth and goal.  They were stopped short.  However, they managed to get the ball back, move it downfield and score a field goal in the little time that remained.

At the start of the second half, the Saints tried an onside kick.  It worked, they recovered the ball, and went on for a touchdown, and the lead.

These calls showed the courage of the Saints coach, Sean Payton, and the confidence that he had in his team to make the gambles pay off.

What if things had gone the other way?  What if they had been unable to get that field goal at the end of the first half?  What if the Colts had recovered the onside kick, and they had gone in for the score?

Then Sean Payton would be the goat, instead of the hero.  There would be lots of people vocally criticizing the calls that they now praise.  He would be called reckless, instead of courageous.

His courage to make risky calls, and his confidence in his team, may have been a part of what inspired them to perform so very well.  The reception by Lance Moore for the two-point conversion was a beautiful example of a player going beyond expectations, as he managed to gain control, and reach across the goal line, while tumbling head-over-heels.

Congratulations to the Saints. 

It worked.

This time.

Courageous Military

October 5, 2009

The recent attack on our military in Afghanistan resulted in eight soldiers making the ultimate sacrifice.  Our military is an all volunteer force.   Everyone who enlists is aware that we are a nation at war, and there are risks.  Military personnel accept those risks in service to our country.  It is part of the job.  The courage of our military has been proven over and over again. 

The courage of our politicians, our press, all of the people on the home front, is another matter.  There seems to be a lot of vacillation here at home. 

As a society, we need to stand firm.  Supporting our military is more than waving flags, or tying yellow ribbons.  When the going gets tough we need to maintain a firm resolve to accomplish the mission. 

What is the mission?  To continue to oppose terrorist organizations, preferably on foreign soil.  We can be very thankful to our military, the Department of Homeland Security, and other law enforcement agencies, that since 911 there has not been a successful attack on US soil.

When we were focussed on Iraq, a criticism was that we should be focussed on Afghanistan.  Now that the fighting has shifted to Afghanistan, why is there not more unanimous support?

Our military is courageous.  Our support for the mission should remain firm.