Choose Brave Introduction
by Jen Thorn
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”- Joshua 1:9
We all like stories of bravery and heroism because in that hero or heroine we see something that we lack but desire. We see someone who is noble or bold, righteous or daring, and we wish we could be like that.
Many, if not all of us, have experienced fear that has kept us from taking an unknown road. We know the kind of weakness that can make us give up or not even try. We also have experienced cowardice that makes us doubt, feel overwhelmed, and turn away from what God would have us do. So, when we read or watch stories of heroism and bravery we cheer and even tear up a bit. When we watch someone have courage in the midst of fear, undaunted in the midst of adversity, and resolute in the midst of weakness we are inspired to be brave ourselves.
But this bravery is usually short-lived because earthly motivation can only take us so far. We need bravery that holds up through even the scariest and most difficult of circumstances. We need the kind of bravery that derives its power from the God who knows no fear, who holds all power and goodness, and who freely gives these things to those who ask in faith.
In Joshua 1:9 God gives Joshua the command to be strong and courageous, to not be afraid or discouraged. Why? Because God promises that He would be with Joshua wherever he went. This is the same promise God made to Abraham (Gen. 26:3), Jacob (Gen. 31:3), Moses (Ex. 3:12), the people of Israel (Is. 41:10), and to you (Matthew 28:20).
Throughout your life you will face many things that require bravery, and, in this study, we will look at a number of these areas and how we can find boldness in God. Some displays of bravery will require small little leaps while others will ask us to scale seemingly gigantic mountains. But we are never asked to muster up bravery out of our own strength.
When you feel like you don’t have the wisdom to make certain decisions remember that you have a God who has all wisdom – you just need to ask. If you feel that you have no strength for the day ahead, remember that you have the strength of your almighty God at your disposal. You just need to cry out to Him. If you feel that you are lacking the courage to take the next step, remember that God is on your side, fighting for and with you, and is willing and able to give you everything you need (2 Peter 1:3).
It takes a lot of courage to live a life of light in a world of darkness, to overcome evil with good, and to live out true faith in front of those who mock and blaspheme God. But God never asks you to take on this life on your own. Be strong and courageous, live boldly and without fear, because the Lord is with you wherever you go.
Looking to Jesus, “The Love God Greatly” website uses the acronym SOAP to help dig deeper into the scriptures. Please use this method to Journal during your study.
WHY S.O.A.P. IT?
It’s one thing to simply read scripture, but when you interact with it, when you learn to slow down to REALLY read it, suddenly words start popping off the page. By SOAPing your verses you are able to dig deeper into scripture and “see” more than if you simply read the verses and then went on your merry way. Let me encourage you to take the time to S.O.A.P. the daily verses and see for yourself how much more you get out of your daily reading……you’ll be amazed.
WHAT DOES S.O.A.P. MEAN?
S– The S stands for Scripture- you physically write out the scripture……you’ll be amazed that what God will reveal to you just by taking the time to slow down and actually write out what you are reading.
O– The O stands for observation- what do you see in the verses that you’re reading? Who is the audience? Is there a repetition of words? What words stand out to you?
A– The A stands for Application- this is when God’s Word becomes personal. What is God saying to me today? How can I apply what I just read to my own personal life? What changes do I need to make? Is there an action that I need to take?
P– And finally P stands for Prayer. Pray God’s Word back to Him. If He has revealed something to you during this time in His Word, pray about it. Confess if He has revealed some sin that is in your life.
Studying God’s Word like this can take as little or as long as you have time to give. Some days it can take just 10 or 15 minutes, other days longer.
HOW DO I S.O.A.P.?
Here is an example….
S– The faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
O– (Many times I just bullet my observations……what I’m seeing at first glance when looking at the verses)
When you combine faith and love, you get hope.
We have to remember that our hope is in heaven…….it is yet to come.
The gospel is the word of truth.
The gospel is continually bearing fruit and growing from the 1st day to the last.
It just takes one person to change a whole community…..Epaphras.
A-Something that stood out to me today was how God used one man, Epaphras to change a whole town!!! I was reminded that we are simply called to tell others about Christ……it’s God’s job to spread the gospel….to grow it and have it bear fruit. I felt today’s verses were almost directly spoken to LGG…..“all over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.” Isn’t it fun when God’s Word becomes so alive and speaks directly were we are at?!!!! My prayer today is that all the women involved in this Bible study will understand God’s grace and have a thirst for His Word.
P– Dear Lord, please help me to be a “Epapras”…..to tell others about you and then leave the results in your loving hands. Please help me to understand and apply what I have read today to my life personally, thereby becoming more and more like you each and every day. Help me to live a life that bears the “fruit” of faith and love……anchoring my hope in heaven, not here on earth. Help me to remember that the BEST is yet to come!
The most important ingredients in the S.O.A.P. method is YOUR interaction with God’s Word and your APPLICATION of His Word for YOUR life
CHOOSE BRAVE INTRODUCTION
Choose Brave Introduction