“Christian Courage”, From John Piper (Sovereign God, Hope in God, With God)

Christian Courage from John Piper

Christian courage is the willingness to say and do the right thing regardless of the earthly cost, because God promises to help you and save you on account of Christ. An act takes courage if it will likely be painful. The pain may be physical, as in war and rescue operations. Or the pain may be mental as in confrontation and controversy.

Courage is indispensable for both spreading and preserving the truth of Christ. Jesus promised that spreading the gospel would meet resistance: “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name” (Matthew 24:9). And Paul warned that, even in the church, faithfulness to the truth would be embattled: “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30; see also 2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Therefore, true evangelism and true teaching will take courage. Running from resistance in evangelism or teaching dishonors Christ. There is a kind of cowardice that tells only the truths that are safe to tell. Martin Luther put it like this:

If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point. (Quoted in Parker T. Williamson, Standing Firm: Reclaiming Christian Faith in Times of Controversy [Springfield, PA: PLC Publications, 1996], p. 5)

Where then shall we get this courage? Consider these pointers.

FROM BEING FORGIVEN AND BEING RIGHTEOUS – “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1). “Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven'” (Matthew 9:2).

FROM TRUSTING GOD AND HOPING IN HIM – “Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD” (Psalm 31:24; see also 2 Corinthians 3:12).

FROM BEING FILLED WITH SPIRIT – “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).

FROM GOD’S PROMISE TO BE WITH YOU – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

FROM KNOWING THAT THE ONE WITH YOU IS GREATER THAN THE ADVERSARY: -“Be strong and courageous . . . for the one with us is greater than the one with him. With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles” (2 Chronicles 32:7–8).

FROM BEING SURE THAT GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE BATTLES – “Be strong, and let us show ourselves courageous for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God; and may the LORD do what is good in His sight” (2 Samuel 10:12).

THROUGH PRAYER – “On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul” (Psalm 138:3; see also Ephesians 6:19-20).

FROM THE EXAMPLE OF OTHERS – “Most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear” (Philippians 1:14).

Source: Desiring God

“Christian Servant Leadership -Quotes, and Scripture” from C.S. Lewis & Servant Leaders (humility, shepherding, servant of God)

True Leadership; Qualities of a Leader, Quotes from Servant Leaders and Scripture. 

Qualities of a Strong Leader; Quotes of C.S. Lewis 

• You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

• Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

• Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.

Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.

• Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.

• The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.

• We are what we believe we are.

• Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.

• The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

• If a man thinks he is not conceited, he is very conceited indeed.

• There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.

• The Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.

• No good work is done anywhere without aid from the Father of Lights.

• It is not your business to succeed, but to do right; when you have done so, the rest lies with God.

You must ask for God’s help. … After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again.

• God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.

• Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.

Quotes on Leadership from Servant Leaders

“The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.”–Robert K. Greenleaf

“One of the problems with discipleship is you can’t hide…You have to be a Godly person”. “Natural temperament always has a dark side because it participates in your idols”. “Unless you’re really a Godly person, discipleship will not work because people aren’t going to believe you”. “You can’t lead them where you are not yourself”. —Tim Keller

The three Cs of spiritual leadership are Character, Competency, and Confidence. Character must lead.” “Humility is the most important attribute of character”. “If you lead with confidence, your competency is going to be exposed.” “The hardest person that you will ever lead is yourself”. “A good leader is a great listener”. –Tom Holliday, Alexandria Presbyterian Church

“A true shepherd leads the way. He does not merely point the way.” — Leonard Ravenhill

“It takes more than a busy church, a friendly church, or even an evangelical church to impact a community for Christ. It must be a church ablaze, led by leaders who are ablaze for God”. —Wesley L. Duewel

“The heart of the learner is humble, the student is not above his master, he must learn to lead, Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-25 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it”. You offer yourself to Him. We do that to the Power to make ourselves Holy. Without Effort. It is His Effort. Not our own. It is Divine Power.” —Tom Holliday, Alexandria Presbyterian Church

“The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.” —John Stott

“Never when in authority rebuke anyone in anger, but only when anger has passed away; and so shall the rebuke bring forth good fruit.” – Teresa of Avila

“The first order of things to be changed is me, the leader. After I consider how hard it is to change myself, then I will understand the challenge of trying to change others. This is the ultimate test of leadership”. – John Maxwell

“The very first thing which needs to be said about Christian ministers of all kinds is that they are “under” people as their servants rather than “over” them (as their leaders, let alone their lords). Jesus made this absolutely plain. The chief characteristic of Christian leaders, he insisted, is humility not authority, and gentleness not power”. –-John Stott

“The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.” – John Stott

“According to Scripture, virtually everything that truly qualifies a person for leadership is directly related to character. It’s not about style, status, personal charisma, clout, or worldly measurements of success. Integrity is the main issue that makes the difference between a good leader and a bad one”. –John MacArthur

“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me”. —Jim Elliot

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” –-Martin Luther King Jr.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way”. —John C. Maxwell

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“God ultimately raises up leaders for one primary reason: His glory. He shows His power in our weakness. He demonstrates His wisdom in our folly. We are all like a turtle on a fence post. If you walk by a fence post and see a turtle on top of it, then you know someone came by and put it there. In the same way, God gives leadership according to His good pleasure.” —Matt Chandler

“A true and safe leader is likely to be one who has no desire to lead, but is forced into a position of leadership by the inward pressure of the Holy Spirit and the press of the external situation. Such were Moses and David and the Old Testament prophets. I think there was hardly a great leader from Paul to the present day but that was drafted by the Holy Spirit for the task, and commissioned by the Lord of the Church to fill a position he had little heart for. I believe it might be accepted as a fairly reliable rule of thumb that the man who is ambitious to lead is disqualified as a leader. The true leader will have no desire to lord it over God’s heritage, but will be humble, gentle, self-sacrificing, and altogether as ready to follow as to lead, when the Spirit makes it clear that a wiser and more gifted man than himself has appeared.” — A.W. Tozer

Scripture on Leadership

But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
John 10:2-4

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. Luke 22:26

As each has received a gift, employ it in serving one another, as good managers of the grace of God in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10

(God said…) “He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, like the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain.”

But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.
Matthew 20:26

He must become greater; I must become less.
John 3:30

Select capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain–and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
Exodus 18:21

“Speak Oh Lord, Into This Day”, a worship poem from L.Willows (Heart Dedication, Invocation, Be a Blessing)

Speak Oh Lord, Into This Day

Speak Oh Lord, into this day
we long to see, to walk in Your way.
unbind us each from yesterday’s loss
and find us near in Your Holy Cross.

Take our hearts, they are Your own,
Call the ones from faraway roam-
Cover with songs that whisper “Home”.

Pass again in Holy Birth,
give all recall of Your Worth-
bless the nations of Your earth.

We, as Love spires reach to You,
with prayers that call each voice into view.
May Thy Kingdom come and bless the Way.
Speak Oh Lord, into this Day.

© 2021 Linda Willows

Psalm 27:4 —One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.

Psalm 27:8 —You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.

Ezekiel 34:26 —And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing.