My three-year-old nephew is slightly obsessed with things that are a little bit scary. When he sees something that is a little bit scary, he does not run away from it as you might expect. In fact, he actually runs toward it. He is courageous. Because of his courage, he does not let his fear keep him from experiencing all of life, even the parts that are a little bit scary. What about you? How do you respond when something scary arises? Do you run or do you, like my brave nephew, courageously face your fear? This week, we are going to talk about people in the Bible who demonstrated courageous faith. These people will challenge us also to have courageous faith, even when we are scared and even when we don't understand.
Who is the most courageous person you know? Why?
1. In your own words, define courage. What does the word courage mean to you?
2. Read 2 Samuel 23:20-23. In what ways do you see courage displayed in the life of Benaiah? What was a time when you were courageous?
2 Samuel 23:20-23
There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. Once, armed only with a club, he killed an imposing Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the Three mightiest warriors. He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him captain of his bodyguard.
3. Our courage is directly related to our faith in God. Do you find faith in God to be challenging at times? Why or why not?
4. Why does it appear that many Christians are bored?
5. Read Hebrews 11:32-39. What is the benefit of being a person of courageous faith?
How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death.
But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.
All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised.
6. What are some things in your life that are holding you back from being courageous?
7. What is God calling you to do to overcome your own lions this week?
We can courageously face our lions by taking small steps of courage and serving people each day. This week, make a plan as a small group to join our m1ission team by participating in our M1 Game Day. The purpose of M1 Game Day is to provide care bags for the homeless to take to police and fire stations so that, when police officers and firefighters encounter someone who is homeless, they can provide a bag for them. To participate, your group can make however many bags you desire. Please fill gallon-sized Ziploc bags with one pair of socks, Gatorade or another sports drink, a granola bar, a bar of soap, a washcloth, and toilet paper. Then, please bring these bags with you to M1 Game Day on October 12th. If you are unable to participate on October 12th, you can deliver your bags to the Information Desk at your location the weekend of October 5th and 6th. You can register your small group to serve at M1 Game Day by clicking here.
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For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.