This is the second part of our summer campaign to become more like Jesus.
John the apostle encouraged his readers with this word “Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is”. 1 John 3:2
That is a very encouraging thought, our journey of faith is towards becoming more and more like Jesus and one day when we see him we’ll be like him.
Our world needs Jesus (we need his wisdom, his love, power and grace) and that is why the work of the Holy Spirit is to transform us to become more like him in thoughts, words and actions.
Throughout the month of July we have been exploring ‘Be loving’.
Our aim as we journeyed through the month was to do “small acts of kindness that made a difference to someone’s world”.
As we journey out of July we still want to continue being loving and doing small acts of kindness whilst we journey into August where our focus turns to being ‘BRAVE’.
When Paul the apostle wrote to his young protege Timothy he encouraged him with these words “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline”. This is an amazing gift from God that we need to cherish, understand and walk in.
God has given us a gift that empowers us, fills us with love and floods our life with self discipline so we can be effective followers of Jesus
There are so many things in our world that can bring fear into our lives and the truth is unless we deal with those real fears we can stagnate in our faith and life journey. It is a known fact that fear will steal our hopes and dreams and leave us bankrupt.
Whilst it is not a scriptural fact the statement fortune favours the brave is a sentiment that rings true even for followers of Jesus because unless we take certain brave steps of faith we’ll never see or experience the corresponding actions that come from those steps.
If we allow it, fear will so easily paralyse us and stop us from experiencing the flourishing life that God wants and has planned for us.
So during the month of August we want to continue to experience the enabling power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Jesus said ‘you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and become my witnesses’ Acts 1:8.
Jesus knew for us to be true representatives of his kingdom we need to be empowered from heaven and that is why being brave is the default setting for followers of Jesus but that is never bravery from our own efforts or in the absence of fear or challenging situations.
When we talk about being brave it is not tricking ourselves into feeling better. It’s about inviting the Holy Spirit to create courageous patterns of thinking, feeling, and living within us.
Being brave is being ready to face and endure danger or pain and showing courage in the midst of challenging and difficult situations. Being brave can sometimes mean speaking up, taking a stand or opposing an abusive person or power that is destroying rather than building others.
Being brave can also mean something as simple as speaking and sharing the truth when it might not be what people want to hear or simply offering to help those in need and praying with someone who needs the help of God in a given situation
A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:4
©adapted from an article by Jessica Van Roekel on ibelieve.com
In 2014, researchers found that emotional states can be transferred from person to person via what scientists call “emotional contagion.” Emotional contagion explains why some people cry when they see others crying. In a more positive sense, it also explains why we are apt to act in courageous ways when we see others being brave, like someone going over to comfort someone upset brings more people into that comforting space.
Being Brave can be contagious and as we focus on bravery during the month of August we want to explore small acts of bravery that can make a difference to someone’s world and also help ourselves to reflect God’s grace towards others.