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In his wicked arsenal, the devil has a number of weapons or threats he can use to try to get us to do his will. In the past, many of God's faithful people have had to face the physical threat of hardship, persecution, or even death if they refused to do the devil's will. But these are not the only things the devil knows we fear. He knows that many who would not hesitate to die physically for what's right will buckle under his pressure if he threatens them with things like being embarrassed, being treated in an unfriendly way, or being rejected socially. He knows we're often more afraid of what others will think about us than of what they might do to us physically. And so, we must have a courage that will face any danger, whether it's a physical danger or one that is more intangible.
God's word teaches that we can find the courage we need in His strength. In fact, we can have a courage that is more than just sufficient -- it can be triumphantly victorious! Our courage can be grounded in what God has done and will do. Jesus said, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world" (Jn. 16:33). And Paul reflected this same truth when he wrote that "in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:37-39).
Doing what is right requires the highest kind of courage. None of us ever have any finer moment than when we simply choose to do what is right, standing strong in the Lord and risking whatever the devil may throw at us. Integrity is a fine and noble thing indeed. It ought to be among our most valuable treasures. There is absolutely nothing the devil has that comes close to being as wonderful and joyous as the ability to pillow our head at night with a good conscience. This week, let's be brave in the realm of spiritual things. At all costs, let's do what we know is right. When we do, we'll not only please God, but by our example we'll help others to be strong. And the devil -- coward that he is -- will flee from us.
Monday: Hebrews 11:32-40
Key Idea: True commitment to the Lord may at times require physical courage.
Questions for Family Growth: What are some of the physical hardships and dangers that God's faithful people have had to face in the past? What should be our attitude today if we are ever faced with these kinds of dangers?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:19.
Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 16:13
Key Idea: Even without any physical danger, commitment to the Lord still requires courage.
Questions for Family Growth: Other than physical harm, what are some things the devil can threaten us with if we don't do his will? Why is it necessary to "be brave" (NKJV) and "be strong" in the face of such threats?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:20.
Wednesday: Mark 8:38
Key Idea: We must never be ashamed of the Lord or deny our allegiance to Him.
Questions for Family Growth: What do you think it would mean to be "ashamed" of the Lord? If we were ashamed of the Lord, how might that show up in our outward actions? According to Lk. 12:8,9, what will happen if we "deny" the Lord?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:21.
Thursday: Revelation 21:1-8
Key Idea: Those who overcome through Christ will be saved, but the cowardly will be lost.
Questions for Family Growth: In v.8, what group heads the list of those who will be lost? What comfort and assurance are given to us in vv.1-7? What do you think is the key to having the courage to do what is right?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:22.
Friday: Romans 8:35-39
Key Idea: Through Christ, we are "more than conquerors."
Questions for Family Growth: According to v.35, what is the devil not able to do to us? In v.37, what do you think are "these things" in which we are more than conquerors? What is the basis or foundation of the Christian's courage?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:23.