Be Brave

John McCain tells the story of Bear Bryant, former football coach at the University of Alabama. Bryant was a good man and a great coach. Before the start of every game, the Bear would walk his quarterback along the sidelines in silence for all but a moment of the ritual, the moment when he would turn to the young athlete and give him just two words of advice: “Be Brave.”
You could imagine why courage would be so necessary at such a time. The quarterback is bent behind the center ready to take the snap. He is looking into the faces of several men, larger, stronger, and probably tougher than himself. They are grunting oaths to do him bodily harm. When the quarterback touches the ball, they are going to have one thing on their minds, slamming him to the hard ground. They won’t mind hurting him. “Be brave.”
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world” (1 Peter 5:8,9).
“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7,8).
Each of us must decide for himself who he is, what he believes, and what he will stand for. In a day where there are multiple voices all pleading to be heard, multiple religions all claiming validity, and multiple doctrines offered up, we must decide whether we will go with the crowd or stand strong with Jesus Christ.
Lucius Seneca (ca. 4 BC?65 AD) said, “‘Tis nothing for a man to hold up his head in a calm; but to maintain his post when all others have quitted their ground and there to stand upright when other men are beaten down is divine.”
Let us determine to be brave when it is time to speak for truth. Let us hold up Jesus Christ for all to see. Let us not compromise to “get along” with sin or to please the crowd. Let us hold fast our faith.

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