Tag: Courageous

Playing Second Fiddle (Andrew)

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

The twelve apostles included “Andrew” (Matt. 10:2).

Andrew is a picture of all believers who humbly minister behind the scenes.

It’s been said that no one likes playing second fiddle, but that wasn’t Andrew’s perspective at all. Growing up in the shadow of an aggressive, outspoken brother like Peter would be a challenge for anyone. Even in the biblical record Andrew is known as “Simon Peter’s brother” (e.g., John 1:40). Yet when Andrew met Jesus, his first response was to tell Peter, knowing full well that once Peter became a disciple he probably would run the group. But Andrew was a truly humble man who was more concerned about bringing people to Christ than about who was in charge.

Andrew’s faith and openness prompted him to take advantage of every opportunity to lead others to Christ. He knew that the Lord’s primary mission was to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:6), but he led Gentiles as well as Jewish people to Christ (John 12:20-22). He had seen Jesus change water into wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11), so he knew Jesus could do much with very little. That must have been on his mind when he brought the boy with five barley loaves and two fish to Jesus, knowing it would take a miracle to feed the huge crowd with such a small offering (John 6:8-9).

Tradition tells us that just prior to his death, Andrew preached in a province in which the governor’s wife heard the gospel and was saved. The governor demanded that she reject Christ, but she refused. In anger he had Andrew crucified on an X-shaped cross, on which Andrew hung for two days before dying. Even then his courage didn’t fail. He preached the gospel from that cross—still trying to bring others to Christ.

Andrew symbolizes all those humble, faithful, and courageous Christians who labor behind the scenes. They’re the backbone of every ministry and the ones on whom every leader depends. You might never be a prominent leader like Peter, but you can be a faithful, courageous servant like Andrew.

by John MacArthur

 

The Good Stubbornness

Jonathan Cahnby Jonathan Cahn

 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

In the Book of Ruth, Naomi tries to convince her Gentile daughters-in-law Orpah and Ruth not to follow her as she returns to Israel. Orpah finally agrees, but Ruth refuses to go. When Naomi realizes that Ruth is steadfast, she lets Ruth come along. ‘Ahmetz’ is the Hebrew word for ‘steadfast.’ ‘Ahmetz’ can also mean stubborn, obstinate, courageous, fortified and hardened.

We know it’s not good to be stubborn in sin and obstinate against God, but it’s very good to be stubborn in love and obstinate for Him. It’s not enough to follow God; you must be ahmetz in your following. Like Ruth, be characterized in your walk by holy ahmetz. Be stubborn in your commitment, and fortified in your hope. Because if you’re not stubborn about what’s good, the enemy will discourage you from entering the blessing God has for you. Ruth obstinately refused to be discouraged. When the enemy sees that you are ahmetz, he too will give up. Be steadfast in faith, unwavering in hope, and stubborn in love. Be an ahmetz believer, and nothing on earth will keep you from the blessings God has in store.

Today’s Mission – Today, obstinately refuse to allow the enemy to discourage you. Be stubborn in your commitment.

by Jonathan Cahn