1. Introduction: John Stephen Ackwon
· John Stephen Ackwon – a Valiant man
· Represented Tanzania in the Olympics in Mexico City in 1963
· Cramped up due to high altitude of Mexico City.
· Not trained in such a high altitude in Tanzania.
· At 19/42km position in the race there was jostling for position and he fell badly wounding his knee, dislocating the joint, and injuring his shoulder.
· He was repeatedly asked to quit the race but he refused.
· He finished last 57/75 that started. (18 did not complete the race).
· At 7 p.m. over one hour after the race was completed lone runner hobbled in – police sirens.
· “My country did not send me 5000 miles to start the race; my country sent me 5000 miles to finish the race”.
· He is a Valiant Man
· He refused to give in or be limited by personal injury.
· He refused to quit when others did and he could easily have done so.
· He remained loyal to the trust that others had put in him to represent the country.
· He persevered and fulfilled his commitment.
· He was a valiant man – not because of performance but moral courage.
· He is honoured and respected by his nation for his courage in adversity
· Awarded Nation Hero medal of honour.
· Foundation named after him to support Olympic athletes.
· Torchbearer for Olympian relay through his country.
· Goodwill ambassador for Beijing for 2008 Olympics – a video and song “The Hero” written for him.
2. God is looking for Valiant Men
· Our city and nation is desperately in need of Valiant Men
· Valiant = to be bold, courageous, strong in the face of adversity
= to carry out responsibilities with courage and determination
· Courage = begins within – battle against fear – never retreat from disheartening or difficult tasks – inspires others.
· God is aware of the flaws and faults in every man but sees potential.
· God treats men with respect! – calls forth their potential.
· Jud.11:1 Jepthah – Megitmantle, rejected – mighty man of valour.
· Jud.6:2 Gideon – fearful – valiant man
· Heb.11:32 Samson – secual sin – valiant man
· Heb.11:24 Moses – murder, anger – valiant man
· Heb.11:17 Abram – lied, fearful – valiant man – Abraham (Father of Nations)
· Mt.16:8 Simon – fearful flip flop – Valiant Man – Peter (Rock)
· God sees beyond the flaws to the real man within – the Valiant Man.
3. Jesus: Our Example of a Valiant Man
· Valiant = showing courage in the face of opposition, difficulty, pain
· Physical courage – facing fears, facing the unknown
· Moral Courage – saying and doing what is right.
· Jn.17:3-4 “I have finished the work you gave me to do!”
· Remained loyal and faithful to God given purpose.
· Placed the message and values of the Kingdom of God before all else.
· Refused to conform to the expectations of others.
· Refused to quit or retaliate in the face of opposition, rejection.
· Demonstrated courage in the face of pain and death.
· Forgave when abused on the Cross.
· Showed compassion to others in face of imminent death.
· Honoured his mother as he was dying on the Cross.
· Invested His life into others.
· Gave His life so we could become valiant men.
· Jn.1:12 “To as many as received him, who believed on his name he gave power to become children of God”.
· Inside the heart of every person is a valiant man waiting to be released.
(1) Receive: Welcome Jesus Christ into your life unconditionally.
(2) Believe: Embrace his words – what he has done and will do in you.
(3) Achieve: Give yourself to becoming a valiant man – become like Christ
Speak the truth
Do what is right
Persevere in adversity
· God did not send you into this world to start your race He sent you into this world to finish your race valiantly.
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