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It was a rough week last week. There were shootings in several places, bombings in others. Protests, accusations, incriminations…you name it, the last week saw it. Can I begin to explain how people strap explosive vests on their bodies, walking into a mosque or church, and detonate it, killing and wounding perhaps 500 people or more!?? No, I can’t. It escapes me. And it troubles me.
On Thursday night last week, I attended a dinner for the Jesus film. I was moved by the dozens who have been martyred just because they showed that film. I was touched by stories of indigenous people who, upon viewing the beatings and crucifixion of Jesus as depicted in the film, attacked the screen with arrows, spears and machetes in an attempt to stop the soldiers from their brutality. But perhaps most of all, I was touched by the faith of brothers and sisters in Africa (and elsewhere) who are ready to hop on a motorcycle and take the Jesus film throughout Africa, including northern Africa, where they may lose their very lives for Jesus. One brother had already been there with a partner. They were arrested and the partner was executed, but this man had managed to escape. Now, he has been provided a motorcycle…and where do you think he wants to go? Back to the people who arrested him and killed his partner – to show them the movie, Jesus.
All of those things were on my heart this morning in worship as we sang songs about faith that went along with the topic of the sermon today. But then we sang In Christ Alone, and came to the part that says: Till He returns, Or calls me home, Here in the Power of Christ we stand!
That is our calling, is it not? Our calling is to stand…and above all, to stand. We shouldn’t (easier said than done) fear the one who can kill the body but not the soul. We need to stand. We shouldn’t fear the drum beats of Satan’s army. The church need not fear for the gates of hell shall NOT prevail!
But we must stand. We must stand beside our Elder Brother and represent truth and righteousness, love and mercy, justice and grace. We MUST stand. He stood alone for us once…let’s not leave him to stand alone again.
Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints…
PRAYER: Jesus, oh Lord, give us the courage of Your Spirit so we will not be afraid to stand! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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