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This past weekend we were joined by special guest Gary Haugen, founder and president of International Justice Mission, who shared God’s heart for justice, explored the cost of following Jesus, and explained why as believers, we will all have to make a choice between being safe and being brave.
Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
There are two ways to respond to fear . . .
You can either 1) seek safety or 2) seek courage. You can seek a different situation or seek to be a different person. If you truly examine the New Testament and Church history, you’ll see that Jesus is in the business of making people braver, not so much in making situations safer. In fact, He often uses uncomfortable, challenging, uncertain, daunting, and unsafe situations to make His people braver, to build their character and their reliance upon Him. Why is He so relentless in offering us uncomfortable and unsafe situations to make us braver? Because Jesus knows it’s more fun to be brave. More precisely, there is no joy when there is fear. He understands that our lives will be small and sad if we live in constant fear.
The most frequent command in the Bible: “Do not be afraid.”
Did you know that this single phrase, this command, appears in the New Testament over 70 times, not including variants like “fear not,” or “do not fear”? It also appears well over 100 times in the Old Testament. Why does He give this command so often? Because He knows our natural inclination is to seek safety in the face of danger and discomfort.
Jesus wants to make you brave because bravery is required to do His work in the world. Being a light in dark places is scary. It’s uncomfortable, it will make us targets for hostility, ridicule, and alienation. Being the hands and feet of Jesus is an honor, privilege, and true blessing, but it is not easy. Jesus warned us of this (Matthew 10:22, 24:9; John 15:18–27, 16:33). In a fallen world, a world of sin and lies where Satan roams around like a lion seeking to devour all he can, the work of Jesus is inherently dangerous. So sooner or later, this is the choice that following Jesus eventually asks of us: Do we want to be brave or do we want to be safe? We can’t be both.
Quote to Remember: If my life of following Jesus doesn’t feel dangerous, I should probably pause and check to see if it’s Jesus I am following.—Gary Haugen
This Wednesday we’ll be closing out Missions Week as our missionaries take over the whole service, share testimonies and God stories, and Pastor Doug leads a panel discussion.
Join us this weekend as we kick off our study through the Book of 1 John. In this study, we’ll explore the incarnation of Christ and our call to love as we find out what it truly means to walk in the light of Jesus and live as His follower. As we seek to serve and share the gospel through Love South Florida, we’ll discover why the credibility of the message can’t be separated from the lives of those who proclaim the message. In our first study in this series, Pastor Doug will share from 1 John 1:2–2.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.