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How To Be Courageous      Mark 6:35-52     Jan. 03, 2010



       Everyone experiences fear in some ways and at some time. Does everyone experience courage at some time? I would say most people do. Can you teach courage? In my opinion courage may be learned by an example demonstrated by another. Can you remember learning to ride a bike? How about spiritual activities? Can we learn from the example of others? I think we can! If we really analyze the example of the disciples of the Bible and follow their examples we may very well learn How To Be Courageous.


1.   To Be Courageous Move At The Lord’s . . Direction. 6:35-39

       A.   To Be Courageous Under His Direction; Answer The Lord’s . . Inquiries. 6:35-38

35 When it was already late, His disciples approached Him and said, "This place is a wilderness, and it is already late! 36 Send them away, so they can go into the surrounding countryside and villages to buy themselves something to eat."37 "You give them something to eat," He responded. They said to Him, "Should we go and buy 200 denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?" 38 And He asked them, "How many loaves do you have? Go look." When they found out they said, "Five, and two fish."


       B.   To Be Courageous Under His Direction; Follow The Lord’s . . Instructions. 6:39

39 Then He instructed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.


       The disciples received directions from the Lord and followed them. If we seek instructions from the Lord for tasks in our Christian life and follow them, we will develop the courage needed to repeat activities that will help us and those to whom we might minister. The Lord inquired about the amount of food the disciples possessed and then instructed them to get the people to sit down in groups. Organization almost always helps get something accomplished. Some tasks seem too large to easily be accomplished, but organization certainly helps. In past years our churches organized our Sunday Schools by age groups more than some do now, and in some situations it took a lot of courage.


2.   To Be Courageous Follow The Lord’s . . Decree. 6:40-44

       A.   To Be Courageous Follow His Decree And . . Work With What He Gives You. 6:40-41

40 So they sat down in ranks of hundreds and fifties. 41 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke the loaves. He kept giving them to His disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.


      B.   To Be Courageous Follow His Decree And . . Witness The Lessons He Teaches. 6:42-44

42 Everyone ate and was filled. 43 Then they picked up 12 baskets full of pieces of bread and fish.

              44 Now those who ate the loaves were 5,000 men.


       The Lord made the decree for the disciples to get the people to sit down by ranks of fifties and hundreds. Do you think they thought, What are we doing this for since we dont have enough food to feed all these people?Experiencing this miraculous event would have been a witness to everyone involved, but especially the disciples. Do you think the Lord deliberately made 12 baskets left over so every disciple would have to carry one? I believe they could have learned courage by having to carry a basket after everyone ate. They fed 5,000 men plus women and children. What a witness to them!


 3.   To Be Courageous Follow The Lord’s . . Dismissal. 6:45-52

       A.   To Be Courageous Learn From The Lord’s Dismissal For . . Private Time. 6:45-46

45 Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He dismissed the crowd. 46 After He said good-bye to them, He went away to the mountain to pray.


       B.   To Be Courageous Learn From The Lord’s Dismissal And Times Of . . Panicking. 6:47-50

47 When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land. 48 He saw them being battered as they rowed, because the wind was against them. Around three in the morning He came toward them walking on the sea and wanted to pass by them. 49 When they saw Him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were terrified. Immediately He spoke with them and said, "Have courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."


       C.   To Be Courageous Learn From The Lord’s Dismissal And Times Of . . Preparation. 6:51-52

51 Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. They were completely astounded, 52 because they had not understood about the loaves. Instead, their hearts were hardened. HCSB


       Sometimes the Lord dismissed his disciples as He needed time alone with the Father. Could we learn more about courage as we spend time alone with the Father? If the Lord needed private time with the Father, so do we! As the Lord walked on the water, note the words, and wanted to pass them.I think it is interesting the Lord was going to let them get through this time of panic all by themselves. Some emotions we, as children of the Lord, must learn how to handle. This storm might very well be the preparation they needed to strengthen them for a future storm. The disciples needed to gain courage from their experiences, just as we today, need to gain courage from experiences we face. They will help us learn How To Be Courageous. Amen? Amen!