Take Courage: Lessons from the Example of Josiah (Excerpt)

The following is an excerpt from the book, Take Courage: Eight Lessons from Men of Faith.

Take Courage (cover)As we seek to restore (or maintain) faithful service to God, we should learn from Josiah’s example.

First, we must be willing to change when necessary. No one is perfect. Paul reminded us of this when he said, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Even Christians can be wrong, as Peter (Cephas) “stood condemned” for his sin (Galatians 2:11). When we are wrong, we need to repent – whether that means repudiating sin in our individual lives (Acts 8:20-22) or correcting errors in the congregation with which we worship (Revelation 2:4-5).

Second, we must not allow ourselves to be enslaved to tradition. Though the word tradition in regard to religious matters carries an immediate negative connotation with some, not all traditions are wrong. Paul told the brethren in Thessalonica: “Stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth, or by letter from us” (2 Thessalonians 2:15). But we must abandon the traditions of men that are contrary to the law of God (Matthew 15:6-9) – no matter how long we or those before us held the tradition.

Third, we must not place family above our service to God. The Lord must come first in all things. Jesus said, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37). Following Christ will sometimes put us at odds with those who are closest to us in this life. It is difficult to see these ties threatened. But it is far worse to be “severed from Christ,” as this means we have “fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).

Fourth, we must be willing to oppose error. This means we must oppose those who promote error: “Keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them” (Romans 16:17). It also means we must oppose those who practice error: “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us” (2 Thessalonians 3:6). Many prefer the path of compromise in their attempt to be more tolerant than God. Because of this, we will often face opposition, not just from the errorists, but from weak-kneed brethren who sympathize with them.

Fifth, we must submit to a higher law. King Josiah was certainly not exempt from God’s law. We are not either. Jesus has “all authority” (Matthew 28:18). Therefore, we must “do all in the name of the Lord” (Colossians 3:17). He will save “all those who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). So we must be sure we measure up to His standard of judgment (John 12:48).

You can read more about the courage of Josiah and others in Take Courage: Eight Lessons from Men of Faith. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

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