The Ultimate Sacrifice: Soldiers for the Cause of Christ–Against the Father of Lies

soldier spiritual warfare

SACRIFICE

S:  Soldiers, when committed to a task, can’t compromise. It’s unrelenting devotion to standards of duty and courage, absolute loyalty to others, not letting the task go until it’s been done. (John Keegan)

A:  A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. (Joseph Campbell)

C: Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often affected. (Billy Graham)

R: Remember fallen heroes. Remember fallen angels. “My father used to call all soldiers angel warriors… Because usually they get boys to fight wars.” (Lt. Carroll, pg. 44, Fallen Angels)

I: I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country. (Nathan Hale)

F: For love of country, they accepted death. (James A. Garfield)

I: I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism. (Bob Riley)

C: Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared. (Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I hero)

E: Each man is a hero or an oracle to somebody.  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

****************************************************************************

Going to War as a Christian

(Deuteronomy 20:1-4) 1 When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

Some of us may actually engage the enemy in another country, while others watch as sons and daughters depart to a foreign place in preparation for battle. Although most of us will not physically go to a war front in another land to face an enemy, there are many battlefields we confront as Christians. The manner of battle is different, being more spiritual than physical, although we may have physical confrontations with those who do not support or defend the Word of God. The Lord may require sacrifices of us in these battles against the Father of Lies, including the ultimate one–the giving of our own lives–as Christ did before us. God’s promise is that we are not alone. He is with us and goes before us. The victory is His.

Each quote cited applies to our personal Christian duty and responsibility. We must each have the commitment, courage, love, and devotion of a dutiful soldier to further the cause of Christ in a world that is moving away from Him, either through passive/aggressive unbelief or confrontational verbal and/or physical acts. We are soldiers for Christ, and we have a solemn duty to fulfill. Our courage comes from God’s promise to us.

We know Who wins.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 05/27/18)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

Advertisements

FACING OUR FEARS THROUGH GOD

With the concerns, disasters, and tragedies of each day constantly before us in the media and social media, FEAR can become a crippling concern that takes away our JOY.

FEAR happens when we FORGET THE PROMISES of our God and Savior.

To counter our fears, we must REMEMBER HIS PROMISES. Each time we feel a concern that results in anxiety, depression, or overwhelming stress from a fear that we can’t seem to handle, we can only give it to God and break down each aspect of FEAR through Him.

F:      Foundation Stone

E:      Eternal Rock

A:      Abba Father

R:      Risen Savior

S:      Sovereign Lord

We cannot calm our FEARS without God.

Foundation Stone:

16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.” (Isaiah 28:16)

Eternal Rock:

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. (Isaiah 26:4)

Abba Father:

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory. (Romans 8:14-17)

Risen Savior:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:3-5)

Sovereign Lord:

When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “You made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.”  (Acts 4:24)

The One Sovereign Lord who made everything–Who is the Foundation, the Eternal Rock, and the Risen Savior—is, also, our Father. He welcomes us in His arms when we come before Him, needing and asking for His help, His comfort, His security, and His strength. FEAR is not in Him. PEACE is transmitted from Him to us as we seek His help and rely on His promises to, once again, find our JOY through Him. Let us go to Him always.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 05/20/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Mary and her Son: Keeping These Things and Pondering Them in our Hearts

Mary and Jesus and John

 26 When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing near, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:26-27)

On the cross, while enduring the most extreme agony of suffering for our sins and abandonment by His Father, Jesus looked down and saw His mother. He knew she would need to be cared for, and John, His trusted disciple “whom he loved” was near. Jesus made it clear in the wording He used that Mary was to view John as her son and John was to be that son to Mary.  John accepted this great responsibility and took Mary home with him.

In providing for His mother, Our Lord demonstrated His love for this woman who bore Him. Mary was told by the angel that she, a virgin, would bear a child who would be “the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)  She didn’t understand but humbly accepted this responsibility by verbally stating: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).   When the shepherds came to Bethlehem to find The Child, Christ the Lord, in the manger, Luke recorded Mary’s unspoken thoughts and feelings about this birth: “… His mother kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:17-19) When Jesus was twelve and told his parents, who were looking for him, that he was about His Father’s business in the temple, they did not understand. Luke, once again, recorded her unspoken thoughts and feelings: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:48-51). 

We can only imagine what Mary really pondered all those years. “Mary, did you know?” are the lyrics written by Mark Lowry to a well-known Christmas song.¹ Mary had been “pondering” all these years, and she seemed to know that Jesus had the power to perform a miracle at Cana and provide more wine for the wedding occasion. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘O woman, what have you to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.’  5His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever He tells you’ (John 2:1-5). And He, then, turned water into wine, performing His first recorded miracle. “This, the first of His signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him” (John 2:11). His mother had already believed in Him.

Mary was with Jesus, her son, throughout his life, and she was at the foot of the cross when He was sacrificing Himself for all mankind. She was a mother who loved her son and gave Him up for us.  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38) Her words could be heard, not only at the beginning, but also at the end of her son’s life on this earth.

Mother has the word “other” in it. A mother has a special bond with her child from conception until she dies. She looks outside herself to her child and gives to that child first above her own self. The “M” in a loving mother is never the completed word “me” for it defers, instead, to the full word “other.” Her “other” is the child she bears, the child who grows inside her, the child who continues to grow outside her body but never outside her heart.  Mary was this mother.

To those of us who are mothers or future mothers, let us strive to be the woman and mother Mary was: “The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you’ ” (Luke 1:28).

Let us all be as caring toward our parents as Jesus was to His mother. In spite of all that He was going through on the cross, He remembered her and provided for her.

 Our mother is our deliverer into this life. Jesus is our Deliverer through this life.

 May we keep all these things and ponder them in our hearts.

¹https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Lowry

(Sharon G. Tate blog 05/13/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

Day-by-Day Strength from God

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46:1)

*******************************************

**The young mother tries desperately to find a moment to herself behind the bedroom door—as her young toddler knocks incessantly and the baby cries loudly and louder out to her. Never a moment. Door opening.

**An elderly man, who just lost his wife, strives to raise himself from his chair to get to the kitchen and make a meal—but falls back, too short of breath. Not tonight.

**A father of five rushes to his second job, working too late to see his children before they are sound asleep and leaving too early in the morning before they awaken. Aging faster than his 35 years. Missing the sounds and moments with his children.

**A teen girl, the subject of whispers and laughter, walks to her locker at school, head down. Reaching the locker door, she opens it to stare at the girl in the mirror with tear-smudged makeup. The locker door slams against her back. Passing laughter. Tears in the mirror.

**The college student struggles, trying to keep up with grades, athletics for his scholarship, and the social life in the fraternity.  Once again, he thrusts a needle into his arm, the hype less each time. Wanting to be free. Needing more.

************************************

Waves crash against the shore;

We walk into the storm,

Assured of our own stamina;

Winds lash out pummeling us.

Pushing ahead through it all,

We are winning—until a pebble

Becomes lodged in our shoe.

Something so small, yet powerful,

Constant, nagging pain as we move.

Day after day struggle in our life walk,

Dealing with the pebble, always there,

More difficult than storms that subside.

Where is the relief from each day?

“God is our refuge and strength.”

*************************************

It is the day-after-day struggles in our lives that can be the most difficult to deal with on a regular basis. The pebble in our shoe seems to grow into a rock by day’s end.

But God is always there, “an ever-present help in trouble.” We need Him as we go through the larger storms that assail. But it is in the everyday moments of difficulty where we come to truly know Him and learn that we need to depend on Him always.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

(Isaiah 40:29-31)

       (Sharon G. Tate blog 05/06/2018) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word