September 09, 2021
It’s one of the most disgraceful terms in human language. It describes one who lacks courage in the face of a problem or difficulty and can be applied to a young boy or a dying man at the end of his life.
THE ULTIMATE COWARD
.... was Judas, who betrayed Christ. As we study him, we see the defining characteristics of a cowardly life.
COWARDS LOVE A CROWD
While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a large crowd. (Matthew 26:47)
Fearful to stand and face issues honestly, they love to gather a crowd. They gain strength by gossip and slander and will often join with others to make it appear they are not the instigators of cowardly acts.
COWARDS OFTEN USE THE THREAT OF FORCE
While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs. (Matthew 26:47)
Cowards are bullies. They know that they don’t have the power of the truth, and so they seek to threaten with other means—often violent—to accomplish their desires.
COWARDS ARE HYPOCRITES
Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. (Matthew 26:49)
Cowards will stoop to any means at hand to accomplish their goals. They are posers, trying to appear as something they are not to accomplish their desires. The foundation of their actions is always laced with deception.
COWARDS ARE IMPOTENT BEFORE MEN OF SPIRITUAL COURAGE
And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for … Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?” (Matthew 26:50, 53,54)
Jesus was not afraid. He walked with God and had the absolute confidence that comes to faithful men. Before a man of spiritual conviction, who is filled with God, a coward is completely powerless. He may accomplish a temporary end but is ignorant of God’s sovereignty which protects His own. He is a pawn in the hands of God to accomplish Divine ends. A courageous man is never fearful of a coward.
COWARDS LIVE AND DIE WITH SHAME AND REGRETS
Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood … and he went out and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:3-5)
No one was created to live with hypocrisy and cowardice. It is against God’s design. When practiced it carries an inherent shame and regret that cannot be overcome except by repentance and a return to Christ in humble transparency and faith. It is a shameful way to live and a disastrous way to die.
Father, I am weak. Without you I will slip into the worst kinds of hypocritical and cowardly living. Give me the convictions of Your Word and fearless faith to stand against anything or anyone who is opposed to You. Give me grace towards those who are suffering from the sin of cowardice, realizing that but for the grace of God, I would be there. But help me to grow daily into a man of courage who fulfills his destiny and serves You faithfully without fear.
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