[forthright] Mighty Men

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2010 05:14:44 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross

When troubles come, no one knows better than Job. 'In
Search of Perfection: Studies from Job,' by Michael E.
Brooks. Click here:
http://forthrightpress.com/#InSearchOfPerfection


COLUMN: FIELD NOTES

Mighty Men
 by Michael E. Brooks

   "Now these were the heads of the mighty men
   whom David had, who strengthened themselves
   with him in his kingdom, with all Israel, to
   make him king, according to the word of the
   Lord concerning Israel" (1 Chronicles 11:10
   NKJV).

Much of our work in foreign countries revolves around
selecting and training leaders for the churches in
their own lands. It is often said that no organization
can surpass its leadership. In order to be successful
any church must develop men of courage, faith and
skill.

The story of how David progressed from shepherd boy to
mighty warrior, and from outcast to king is one of the
great tales of all literature, and one of the most
exciting narratives in the Bible.

His great success is attributed to God's favor and
help. Yet we are also shown how David's ability to
recruit and inspire courageous and talented soldiers
served him well.

The mighty men of David included skilled commanders,
faithful assistants, and spectacular gladiators. One of
the latter, Benaiah, is said to have killed "2 lion-
like heroes of Moab," apparently in a set battle where
he fought both at the same time.

On another occasion he killed a huge Egyptian, more
than 7 feet tall. The Egyptian was armed with a spear,
while Benaiah had only a staff. Yet again he went into
a pit and killed a lion, perhaps with his bare hands (1
Chronicles 11:22-23). 

With an army led by such valiant men it is not surprising 
that David won many victories.

The New Testament also describes "mighty men" upon whom
the church is to depend. Yet their might is not
reckoned in terms of strength, fighting ability or
skill with weapons. The qualities which made them great
were faith, humility, holiness, and love.

One such great leader was Stephen, described as "a man
full of faith and the Holy Spirit" (Acts 6:5), and
"full of faith and power" (Acts 6:8). Stephen's zeal
led him to a fatal confrontation with unbelievers, who
condemned him to be stoned.

Though his life was brief, his example has encouraged
and empowered the Church for almost two thousand years.

Apollos was described as "an eloquent man, and mighty
in the Scriptures" (Acts 18:24). His strength was not
in his physical power, but in his knowledge of God's
word and his ability to proclaim it. Such strength is
greatly needed in the church of every age and place.

Barnabas was noteworthy for his ability to comfort and
encourage. His generosity with his material possessions
inspired others to give liberally (Acts 4:36). His
willingness to trust others and take risks on their
behalf was instrumental in bringing Saul of Tarsus to
the attention of the elders at Jerusalem (Acts 9:26-
28).

His persistence in encouraging the former persecutor
eventually led him to bring Saul from his home in
Tarsus to a vital ministry in Antioch (Acts 11:25-26)
and beyond, where Saul ultimately became Paul, the
Apostle to the Gentiles.

Mighty men continue to be greatly needed among God's
people. We need men of faith, courage and spiritual
vision to evangelize lost nations, build vital
churches, and train new generations.

We need scholars like Apollos, men of spiritual power
like Stephen, and generous encouragers like Barnabas.
Let us work to become such leaders, and to encourage
others to grow in these graces as well.

----
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