God’s strength makes us all heroes

The Covington News - - OPINION - The Rev. Jonathan Scharf is pas­tor of Abid­ing Grace Lutheran Church in Cov­ing­ton. Wor­ship ev­ery Sun­day is at 8 and 10:30 a.m. Full ser­mons and more in­for­ma­tion can be found at abid­ing­grace. com.

It’s the kind of per­son who can do any­thing, right?

Maybe it was Dad when you were 3 years old. He could fix any­thing and build any­thing, and it seemed like he was the fastest and strong­est and smartest per­son in the world. He was your hero.

Then, as we grow, some ath­letes pick up that man­tle, and we fill our walls with their pic­tures and talk to our friends about how awe­some they are.

Or maybe it be­comes some mu­si­cians who seem larger than life. They can do any­thing. What heroes!

Or we look to the brav­ery of the fire­fight­ers or po­lice­men. We see the in­tel­li­gence of our teach­ers.

We find some­one who has done some­thing for us. We all have our heroes.

Around this Fourth of July hol­i­day, it makes sense to think about heroes.

Think about those pa­tri­ots who sac­ri­ficed so much so we could have our freedom — from Pa­trick Henry to Nathan Hale, Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton to Paul Re­vere. Just think of what those sig­na­tures on the Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence rep­re­sented. Ev­ery pen stroke was as­tound­ing brav­ery.

They would do any­thing to do what was right. Think about what it means to be a hero. This is some­one who can and does do what­ever it takes.

So to­day, let’s talk about how God makes you a hero. Our text is Philip­pi­ans 4, where Paul writes in verse 13: “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”

I can do ev­ery­thing. Think about that.

Next week, in our “Heroes of Faith” Soc­cer Camp at Abid­ing Grace (July 8-12, 9 a.m. to noon), we’ll be talk­ing all about just that — heroes of faith. Just like so many kids have their sports heroes, we’ll be shar­ing with them some of the hero­ism we see in the Bi­ble, from Noah who was one man stand­ing against the world; to Joseph, who rose from slav­ery to lead- ing a world su­per­power.

We’ll see Moses, who formed a na­tion out of a bunch of slaves and over­threw Egypt and then Elijah who won the ul­ti­mate prize. And all of those heroes will show us that it was only God’s strength that ac­com­plished it. No mat­ter how weak they each were — God strength­ened them.

He does the same for you. He makes you a hero — even with all your faults and fail­ures, he strength­ens you to be some­thing you weren’t — a hero. The high­light of our Bi­ble stud­ies at Soc­cer Camp will be see­ing the world’s great­est hero — Je­sus. He was a hero, not be­cause he bossed any­one around — but his love over­came all. His love drove him to sac­ri­fice ev­ery­thing for us.

I think of how much I ad­mire the Amer­i­can pa­tri­ots of the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War and re­al­ize that it was be­cause of how much they sac­ri­ficed for some­thing they be­lieved in. And now I re­al­ize that what I be­lieve in is the one who sac­ri­ficed ev­ery­thing for me.

And it is that, that makes me a hero. That’s what makes you a hero, too. Like Paul wrote, “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” In or­der to ac­com­plish any­thing that mat­ters, it’s got to be fu­eled by him. And he does fuel our hero­ism.

The more we fo­cus on Je­sus’ hero­ism for us, the more we’ll be able to love and sac­ri­fice, and that’s what makes heroes. Re­ally, it is just do­ing the right thing when the op­por­tu­nity is there. So be a hero. Spend time in God’s word see­ing what he has done, and let that love show in your life. That’s what nat­u­rally hap­pens.

One great way to start your hero­ism is by giv­ing your kids the op­por­tu­nity to take part in “Heroes of Faith” Soc­cer Camp. You can reg­is­ter your kids (ages 5-14) at soc­cer.abid­ing­grace.com or by call­ing 770-385-7691.

And what­ever you do, keep your eyes on Je­sus and you will be a hero by his strength.

God bless your week­end.

JONATHAN SCHARF COLUM­NIST

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