“Through faith they overthrew kingdoms, established justice, saw God’s promises fulfilled. They muzzled ravening lions, quenched the fury of fire, escaped death by the sword… Others were tortured to death… Others, again, had to face jeers and flogging, even fetters and prison bars. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were put to the sword… They were too good for a world like this. They were refugees in deserts and on the hills, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. These also, one and all, are commemorated for their faith; and yet they did not enter upon the promised inheritance, because, with us in mind. God had made a better plan, that only in company with us should they reach their perfection.”Heb 11.33-40 NEB
“To the martyrs we give the love we owe them as disciples of the Lord. They have loved their king and master with boundless love. How we wish to become their companions and fellow disciples! There we will celebrate the anniversary of his martyrdom like a birthday, in memory of those who have fought and won the fight before, and for the strengthening and preparation of those who still have to face it.” (Martyrdom of Polycarp, February 22, A.D. 156)
“Every child of God is victor over the godless world. The victory that defeats the world is our faith, for who is victor over the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”1 Jn 5.4-5 NEB
“The whole of Scripture makes it plain to us that the battle is not our personal battle. It is part of a war. We are led by the Unconquerable One. And good general that he is, he knows his soldiers by name and concerns himself with their safety and well being.” (J. White, The Fight)
“Labour together with one another; strive in company together; run together; suffer together; sleep together; and awake together, as the stewards, and associates, and servants of God. Please Him under whom you fight, and from whom you receive your wages. Let none of you be found a deserter. Let your baptism endure as your arms; your faith as your helmet; your love as your spear; your patience as a complete panoply. Let your works be the charge assigned to you, that you may receive a worthy recompense.” (The Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp)
Let’s sing “Surrounded (Fight My Battles)” (click here) by UPPERROOM
Let’s pray: Lord, the battle belongs to you. The victory belongs to you. Together with my brothers and sisters, may we live in your victory today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
“And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”Romans 8.2
“When Paul uses the word flesh, he is often not talking about our bodily desires but about the habits, instincts and tendencies of mind as well as of body that we retain from the time before we met Christ.
“…Other aspects of the war might scare us, but this aspect more than any other discourages and disheartens us. And since morale is vital to victory, discouragement is deadly.
“…What would you think of a soldier who in the midst of battle sat down and said, ‘I’m no good. It’s no use trying any more. Nothing seems to work’? There is no place for giving up… You hold Excaliber in your hand! Get behind the lines for a break if you’re too weak to go on, and strengthen yourself with a powerful draught of the wine of Romans 8.1-4. Then get back into the fight before your muscles get stiff!” (J. White, The Fight)
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus… Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.” 2 Tim 2.1, 3-4
It’s challenging to live for the Lord in our culture. It’s even more difficult when people around us start to lose their faith or give up on church. Timothy had to stand his ground as people abandoned the truth and even tried to undermine his ministry.
“It is not a summons to Timothy to be strong in himself—to set his jaw and grit his teeth—but to ‘be inwardly strengthened’ by means of ‘the grace that is in Christ Jesus’. NEB expands the sentence thus: ‘Take strength from the grace of God which is ours in Christ Jesus.’ Timothy is to find his resources for ministry not in his own nature but in Christ’s grace.” (J. Stott, Guard the Gospel)
Let’s sing “Grace Is on Our Side” (click here) by Vertical Worship.
Let’s pray: Lord, may I be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. May I be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus! I know that I am not alone in my struggle. May I be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. In Jesus’ name, amen.
“War is not something that illustrates aspects of Christian living. Christian living is war.” (J. White, The Fight) Living the Christian life is a matter of life and death—becoming a Christian, being a disciple of Jesus, walking in the Spirit, engaging in church life, and so on. The Christian must have a fighting mentality to live it out successfully.
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” 1 John 2.15-17
To fight successfully, we must fight intelligently. When we realize the warfare context of the Christian life, we can then understand the urgency of Jesus’ call and the apostles’ teaching. Reminder: We are not fighting for victory, but from victory. Because of Christ’s victory, as long as we fight, we will win.
Let’s pray: Lord, I want to fight for my life in Christ. When I feel like quitting, I’ll put my trust in you. Victory is mine in Christ! May I have the love of the Father in me today. In Jesus’ name, amen.