Asbury United Methodist Church
Love - Share - Tell - Serve

December 14, 2010

Today is a good day to give someone the gift of courage.

God knows that just staying alive each day requires an enormous amount of courage. The phrase “fear not” is used sixty-three times in the Bible, more than any other phrase. There are countless times in life when all of us are incredibly afraid. When were you most terrified in life? Everyone has a story. Fear is not a new emotion for anyone.

Some people are born into this world with both hands tied behind their backs. They are taught the meaning of fear from day-one. Perhaps they were unwanted from the start. Maybe the messages they received through gestures, body language and environment was, “We don’t need you. We don’t want you. You are not important. You are the cause of our problems. You bring us only suffering.”

Bruce Springsteen’s song, “Born In The USA,” reminds me of the plight some folks endure:

“The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much
Till you spend half of your life just covering up.”

I’ve known people like this. Life has so beat them down that they spend all their time just covering up or preparing for that next battle. Fear conditions all of us, and not in a good way. Like I said, God told us to “fear not” sixty-three times in the Bible.

Some people are conditioned to be greedy. I have heard it said many times that greedy people are not bad, just afraid. They are afraid they will never have enough. With this phobia, they can do incalculable damage.

So, what if…what if today we decided to give someone the gift of courage? When I was a little boy, like most kids I suspect, I did not like the darkness at all. My mother’s sister, who spoiled me rotten and doted on me all the time, got married on me and moved to Phoenix. She heard that I did not like sleeping in the darkness one little bit, so she mailed me a nightlight that someone in Phoenix had made out of a cactus. It had a little blue bulb inside and I had never seen anything like it. Every night, it reminded me of her and my room was no longer dark. The light she gave me was a gift of courage.

The word “light” is used 235 times in the Bible. Everywhere we look these days, someone has some lights turned on. The Bible tells all of us that the lamb “is” the light. [Revelation 21:23]

The gift of courage may be the most important gift that we pass along today. There is someone who needs to know that God’s family is in need of them. Someone needs to know that we need what they have to offer and we cannot survive unless they join our circle, the body of Christ.



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