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Is There A Hero In Your Life?

Now that young men and women from the United States and several of our allied countries find themselves in the middle of the conflict in Iraq, it seems our focus on heroes and their exploits has greatly increased. Nevertheless, ever since the beginning of recorded history, the people of the world have always been in search of heroes, particularly those who would come to free them from the oppression of tyrannical rulers. I had an idea that the world's concept of a hero was quite different from the one portrayed in the Word of God, so my first step was to see how the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word hero. Here it is: 1 a: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability b: an illustrious warrior c: a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities d: one that shows great courage 2 a: the principal male character in a literary or dramatic work b: the central figure in an event, period, or movement. As you can see, heroes may be different things to different people, and certainly, the world has had its share of them. Some cynics will go as far as to say that there  are very few heroes in the world today. The reason they feel that way stems from their personal perception of what constitutes a hero in the first place. Perhaps they believe as the first dictionary definition and are waiting for a real Superman or Hercules to arrive on the scene. That is not going to happen! This leads me to conclude that to many, a hero also has to have a certain look or appearance. This is the reason that many Jews did not accept or believe that Jesus was their much awaited Messiah, for they expected Him to be a great general-like figure who would arrive in an elegant white horse to conquer all their enemies. To them he was no hero, much less the Christ. Yet, He was, in fact, not only the King of the Jews but also the Savior of all mankind. It is true that many have
distinguished themselves as heroes because of their performance on the battlefield, but even those who have been proclaimed as such often will tell others that they are no heroes. Such was the case with Gideon. His name is mentioned in Hebrews 11: 32 along with the other great champions of the faith. His story is found in the book of Judges, from the 6th to the 8th Chapter. When the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him, the Lord is with the, thou mighty man of valor, (Judges 6:12) Gideon hardly saw himself in that light. After all, the Angel found him threshing wheat in a hidden area for fear that the Midianites (enemies) would come and steal it. Was the Angel lying or poking fun at Gideon when he called him a valiant warrior? Not at all! You see, God knows what is in the heart. In Gideon's case, he saw a diligent, hard-working man who cared for his family and his people. Just about every war hero will admit that they were filled with fear when they were in battle. Any soldier who ever denied it, was either lying or crazy. The truth is that heroism begins in the heart. True love and genuine concern for others can do wonders, and is a greater motivating factor than fear. John wrote that perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18) Most authentic heroes are virtual unknowns, and they can be mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, brother, sister, or friend. These have made great personal sacrifices to make life better for those they love. Have you thanked them lately?

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