Sunday, June 21st, 2009
"Make a defense before everyone that demands of you a reason for the hope in you." (1 Peter 3:15)
*I'm switching up today's text discussion since its directly related to field service presentations (which isn't very applicable unless you're actually out in the field ministry today -in which case you won't be reading this blog. lol) So instead, I'm gonna give a brief overview of some points discussed in an awesome talk I just listened to by Br. Barr on courage ... which (in addition to preparation and study), is a vital quality to have, in order to be able to "make a defense before everyone that demands a reason for the hope" in us.
The basic meaning of courage (as used by Bible writers) is "to keep an internal strength" or "to feel held together & tightly bound as if by some unseen inner force" so that no matter what happens, or what pressure is brought to bear against us, we aren't going to crumble or throw in the towel. We are going to stand firm and faithful to God, no matter what situation arises due to this inner force or strength within us. He referred to an old 1961 Watchtower article regarding the definition of 'courageousness' based on an American College Dictionary discussion of it. "Courageousness implies a higher and nobler kind of bravery, especially as resulting from an inborn quality of mind & spirit which faces or endures perils or difficulties without fear and even with enthusiasm." He then discussed what "the secret" is to developing the kind of courage and endurance that those men and women listed in Hebrews chapter 11 had, which we also need to have if we want to maintain our courage and endurance to the end. Faith was the secret of their strength, but the basis for their faith was due to "keeping a tight grip on the word of life." (Philippians 2:16). They never left out of their minds the wonderful hope held out for them. So likewise, we also need to 'keep a tight grip' on God's Word, and constantly keep our eyes on the prize like they did. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
He referred to the following scriptures as ones to meditate on to help us in this regard...
"So that we may be of good courage and say: “Jehovah is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:6)
"Consequently, my beloved ones, in the way that YOU have always obeyed, not during my presence only, but now much more readily during my absence, keep working out YOUR own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is the one that, for the sake of [his] good pleasure, is acting within YOU in order for YOU both to will and to act." (Philippians 2:12, 13)
"Beware, brothers, for fear there should ever develop in any one of YOU a wicked heart lacking faith by drawing away from the living God; but keep on exhorting one another each day, as long as it may be called “Today,” for fear any one of YOU should become hardened by the deceptive power of sin. For we actually become partakers of the Christ only if we make fast our hold on the confidence we had at the beginning firm to the end." (Hebrews 3:12-14)
*and the last part of verse 6 (at Hebrews 3) goes hand in hand really well with today's text "...if we make fast our hold on our freeness of speech and our boasting over the hope firm to the end."