The Changing of the Guard Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery honors those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom whose bodies are not identified. The video below is a clip from the Stepping Up Bible Study – A Call to Courageous Manhood. It interviews some of the soldiers who bravely guard the tomb and the sacrifice they make. I highly recommend the Stepping Up Bible Study from Family Life. See samples of the Bible study at the link below.
Gideon was used by God to defeat the Midianites and restore peace to Israel. He is remembered as the reluctant leader that had a great victory with 300 soldiers. His story however is tarnished by how he finished the race of his life.
In Judges 8, Gideon conquers the two kings of the Midianites, Zebah and Zalmunna. Judges 8:22-23 records how the Israelites wanted to make Gideon King. To his credit, he refused this offer and redirected the people back to their real ruler, the Lord. Although Gideon refused kingship he began living an extravagant life style of wealth with many wives and children. Gideon then used his wealth and influence to build an altar to foreign gods that caused God’s people to prostitute themselves. This altar also became a snare to Gideon’s family.
The Scottish Presbyterian pastor Andrew Bonar said, “Let us be as watchful after the victory as before the battle.”
It is painful to see leaders that God used in a great way finish poorly. This is a wake up call for all of us, who follow Christ in a leadership position, to make sure that we finish well.
During our staff meeting this week, Pastor Hank encouraged the staff to stay humble and stay clean. This is a great prescription for finishing strong.
Gideon let his wealth, success, and popularity lead him to pride. When we go the way of pride we get into dangerous territory. Only when we remain humble, realizing that we need God to fight our battles can we walk close to Him and avoid pride. We also need to realize that we are nothing apart from God. This will help us stay close to God and finish strong. Stay humble.
Gideon began living an extravagant lifestyle with riches and many wives. He turned to the gods of the Canaanites and forsook the Lord. He became so confident in himself that he stopped placing his faith in God. Gideon’s service as a Judge and mighty warrior was marred by pride and unholy living. This resulted in a “dirty” finish to his life.
As a child of God, you must stay clean before God. Where there is sin, confess it. Where there is harmful habits you cannot break, get help. Holiness is to be the pursuit of every believer. Stay Clean.
Our church, Boiling Springs First Baptist, rented out a theater to promote the movie Courageous and encourage our members to support the movie. I had the privilege to attend with my wife. We both were impressed by the quality and content of the movie. Being parents of five amazing children we completely support the message and strive to put a high priority on raising Godly children.
Top Three Ideas from Courageous
1. The responsibility of fathers for their families is great. This responsibility can only be faithfully fulfilled through the power of God working in father’s lives.
2. Parents must maximize their time with their children while they can.
3. There is power in Godly Men standing together and chasing after the heart of God.
On November 6, 2011, our church is having a Courageous Resolution Service. On that night, I will stand in front of my family and read the Resolutions from the movie. By God’s grace and through His power at work in my life I will live up to these commitments and honor God as I lead my family. Below is the Courageous Resolution:
I do solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.
I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.
I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.
I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.
I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.
I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.
I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.
I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.
I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.
I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.
I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.
I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.