In Sunday's sermon we'll learn about Daniel's courage in serving the Lord. In Daniel 5 the king of Babylon sees the writing on the wall. Daniel job is to tell him what it means. It turns out the writing is a message from God stating that the king's time has run out, his evil behavior demands judgment, and he will die that night. For Daniel to proclaim that message to a king could result in instant execution, but he faithfully told the truth.
It takes courage to live like a Christian today. Jesus never said it would be easy to be a Christian. Jesus says, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). Jesus goes on in the next verse, "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it." It sounds like being a disciple of Jesus can be pretty dangerous! What are some ways it takes courage to be a Christian?
It takes courage in many parts of the world simply to follow Christ. Christians are being physically persecuted, oppressed and even killed because of their faith in Jesus in places in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Christians are even being targeted in our own country, as seen in the recent church shooting in Charleston where nine people were killed.
It takes courage to speak the truth about faith and morality. In our culture people believe there are many spiritual paths that lead to God. People don't want to hear the New Testament's message that Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6). Behavior the Bible teaches is sin has become acceptable and is even accorded the status of a civil right.
It takes courage to witness to those who don't know Christ. We may face rejection and ridicule from people who don't want to hear what we say.
It takes courage to tithe. The Bible teaches that God's standard for faithful giving is giving 10% of our income to the Lord's work. We're afraid if we make that commitment we won't be able to pay our bills or buy the things we want or do the things we want to do. We have to have courage to believe that God will provide.
It takes courage to give our time and energy to serve God. People may not agree with what we do and oppose us. An example is our church's GUMBO Homeless Ministry, where city and business owners have opposed our members serving the homeless in the various sections of town.
It takes courage to be a Christian, but God, if we have the faith to serve him, gives us the courage we need. Find out more about having the courage to live our faith this Sunday at First Baptist Riverside, traditional worship at 9:00 a.m. and contemporary worship at 10:45 a.m.