VIDEO To End All Wars – I Fought For You

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4)

It has been over 100 years since “The War to End All Wars” ended in victory for those who had “fought to make the world safe for democracy.” A celebration of thanksgiving followed, and a holiday was established to commemorate that great Armistice Day (now Veterans Day).

However, an even greater war soon followed, only to be repeated by innumerable local wars and revolutions. Instead of a world of liberty and democracy, many of the world’s nations are now under the brutal heel of totalitarian dictatorships. With the threat of potential nuclear obliteration hanging over the world, the prophecy of Christ is being literally fulfilled: “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:26).

In the 25 centuries since our text was first uttered, there has been a war going on somewhere in the world at least 11 out of every 12 years, and it certainly seems unlikely that such a promise will ever be fulfilled.

Yet it is God who has promised, and only He can accomplish it. “He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people” (our text for today). “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end….The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7). When the Lord Jesus Christ comes again, “he shall speak peace unto the (nations): and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10). Finally, world peace will come, and Christ “shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). HMM


I Fought For You

Good News

We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us. Acts 13:32–33

In 1941, as Hitler’s reign was expanding across Europe, novelist John Steinbeck was asked to help with the war effort. He wasn’t asked to fight or visit troops on the frontline, but to instead write a story. The result was The Moon Is Down, a novel about a peaceful land that gets invaded by an evil regime. Printed on underground presses and secretly distributed throughout occupied countries, the novel sent a message: The Allies were coming, and by imitating the novel’s characters, readers could help secure their freedom. Through The Moon Is Down, Steinbeck brought good news to people under Nazi rule—their liberation was near.

Like the characters in Steinbeck’s story, Jews in the first century were an occupied people under brutal Roman rule. But centuries before, God had promised to send an Ally to liberate them and bring peace to the world (Isaiah 11). Joy erupted when that Ally arrived! “We tell you the good news,” Paul said. “What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us . . . by raising up Jesus” (Acts 13:32–33). Through Jesus’ resurrection and offer of forgiveness, the world’s restoration had begun (vv. 38–39; Romans 8:21).

Since then, this story has spread throughout the globe, bringing peace and freedom wherever it’s embraced. Jesus has been raised from the dead. Our liberation from sin and evil has begun. In Him we’re free!

By:  Sheridan Voysey

Reflect & Pray

Compared to other rulers, how does Jesus bring peace to the world? How can you join Him in this work?

Jesus, my ultimate Ally, I surrender to Your rightful rule. 

God’s Certain Purpose

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

It’s true for all of life’s endeavors, but take athletics as an example: Everything one puts into years of training and competing plays a part in the ultimate achievement of victory. Or not, since victory isn’t guaranteed. But athletes take the long view of their vocation, allowing the ups and downs they endure to play a part in not only perfecting athletic skill, but their maturity as well.

The example of athletics isn’t a perfect parallel to the Christian life for many reasons—but for a primary one: Victory is guaranteed for the Christian! The apostle Paul wrote that everything in life is used by God in the Christian’s life for good, to accomplish God’s purpose. And what is that purpose? Romans 8:29 tells us: “To be conformed to the image of His Son.” That result is not a maybe, it is a certainty.

Trust God. Everything in your past, present, and future is playing a role in conforming you to the image of Christ. You may not see the purpose immediately, or ever, but God does.

God permits no suffering or trials without a purpose, even though that purpose may be hidden from us. Frank Retief

The Need for Conviction

God uses discipline to convict our heart so we’ll be guided toward obedience and His will. Hebrews 12:4-11

All children need discipline, but the method a parent employs varies from child to child. The reason is because each child is unique.

The same is true in God’s family—we all need His discipline. If we’ve wandered from Him, His hand of correction will feel heavy as He directs us back to the path of righteousness. This is called conviction. Its purpose is to awaken our awareness of sin so we will resume an attitude of obedience to our heavenly Father. 

Discipline is painful while it’s happening, particularly if we’ve resisted the pressure of conviction. But any wise parent knows that living with the consequences of foolish behavior teaches children valuable lessons about the importance of obedience. 

Left to our own devices, we’ll waste our life chasing after fleeting pleasures and self-centered desires. But when we’ve been trained by God’s discipline, we’ll reap the fruit of peace and righteousness. So let’s yield to the Father’s guiding hand as He draws us away from danger and back into the shelter of His protection.

Hope

I wait for the Lord; I wait, and put my hope in His word. I [wait] for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning—more than watchmen for the morning. Israel, hope in the Lord. For there is faithful love with the Lord, and with Him is redemption in abundance. And He will redeem Israel from all it’s sins (Psalm 130 vv. 5-8).

There are several musical terms for “pause” or “rest.” Pauses in music, the cessation of sound, affect the flow of a piece and create variety and diversity. Delay, anticipation, buildup are all crucial in musical dynamics.

This pilgrim psalmist understands the value of patient waiting. Thoroughly familiar with the holy writings of the Old Testament prophets, he trusts the Lord for ultimate fulfillment of his promises—God’s unfailing love and his full redemption. Lawrence Richards, in his work, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, says, “It is striking to note that in all the Old Testament’s exploration of the meaning of padah (‘redeem or ransom), only in Psalm 130:7-8 is this concept associated with redemption from sin.” His sovereign hand is not forced by human entreaties unless the time is right. He hears prayer, then acts according to his own schedule.

In ancient times watchmen were posted atop the broad gates of Jerusalem to sound the alert if signs of imminent danger were observed. The night watches were long and arduous. If the watchmen could make it until the first rays of the rising sun, they could rejoice in their security for yet another night. Waiting in darkness merely emphasized the glory of the sunrise!

As I wait in the darkness of uncertainty and human inadequacy, I rest in the fact of his sunrise that is surely coming ,.. tomorrow!

Personal Prayer

Lord, I’m waiting as patiently as I know how. And in the process of waiting,

I find a blessing, for I am looking forward to your glorious coming

and to an eternity spent in your presence!

The Belt of Truth

You are near, Lord, and all Your commands are true.—Psalm 119:151

Paul, in listing the six main pieces of a soldier’s equipment, illustrated the six main ways by which we can defend ourselves against the power of Satan—truth, righteousness, steadfastness, faith, salvation, and the Word of God.

Most commentators believe that the reason why Paul chose these six pieces of armor to describe the Christian’s protective system against satanic attack was because he was chained to a soldier as he wrote the letter (Eph 6:20). Although it is probably unlikely that the soldier standing guard in prison would have worn the full armor of an infantryman on the battlefield, the sight of him would have kindled Paul’s imagination.

The list begins with the belt of truth. Why, we ask ourselves, does the apostle start with such a seemingly insignificant item? Why did he not begin with one of the bigger and more important pieces of equipment, such as the breastplate, the shield, or the sword of the Spirit? The order in which these pieces are given to us is an inspired order, and if we change the order we make our position extremely perilous. For example, the reason why many Christians fail to wield the sword of the Spirit effectively is because they have not first girded their waist with truth. If we reverse the order, we succeed only in weakening our spiritual defense.

It is very important that we grasp this. Girding our waist with truth is always the place to start whenever we are under satanic attack. If we don’t start right, then we will not finish right. We cannot do battle with the Devil until we first gird our waists with truth.

Prayer

Gracious and loving Father, help me to absorb this thought into my inner being this day so that it will stay with me for the rest of my life: I cannot do battle with the Devil until I first gird my waist with truth. Amen.

Further Study

2Pt 1:1-12; Pr 23:23; 3Jn 1-4

In what are we to be established?

In what did John rejoice?

The Joy of Sorrow

Matthew 5:4

If you want to find a person’s character, find out what makes him laugh and what makes him weep.

In this beatitude we have a real paradox, for it speaks of the “joy of sorrow” and the “gladness of grief.” The word that is used for mourn speaks of a sorrow that pierces the heart, not just a passing sadness. This beatitude however embraces much more than mourning for the dead.

“I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin” (Psalm 38:18). The way to God is always the way of the broken heart. We must be sure that it is sin and not the consequences over which we mourn. That does not mean we must wallow in self-reproach and condemnation. There is a place for genuine mourning for our sin and sins, but let us also remember that God forgives and forgets. Leslie Weatherhead reminds us that “forgiveness is the most powerful, therapeutic idea in the whole world.”

We also need to mourn over the sin of the world, as Jeremiah wept over the sins of the people and as Jesus wept over Jerusalem. A church leader challenged his congregation with these words: “More than we need anything else today—more than money, better buildings, better choirs, social respectability—we need men and women who will tarry before God for a baptism of love. Then warmed by its fire and gripped by its passion, they will carry this love to a needy world.”

“They shall be comforted.” The word implies more than sympathy or the drying of tears. It includes comfort and consolation, summoning to one’s side as an ally or helper and encouraging and giving strength. The word comfort comes from two Latin words meaning “with strength.” Our God is the God of comfort and the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Comforter. “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5).

Dr. Roy Allen translated this beatitude: “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforters.” Paul wrote of “the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Bramwell H. Tillsley, The War Cry