The Appeal Renewed
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
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.
Jesus Reestablishes Covenant
Consider your spiritual forefathers when Israel crossed over Jordan for it takes both faith and steadfastly standing firm to inherit what God has us to proclaim in Christ Jesus, Faithful is He who has called you and He will do it. Never the less, will He find us faithful to Him for He alone is Faithful and True. Will He find us occupying and serving in obedient trust?
The LORD’s Commander Confronts Joshua
Consider when Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”
“Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the LORD’s army.”
At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”
The commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did as he was told.
The Psalmist of old wrote, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world and those who dwell therein.”
Faith In Action
Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.
The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.
Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
If we endure, we will also reign with Him.
If we disown him, He will also disown us;
If we are faithless, He remains faithful,
For He cannot disown Himself.
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver,
but also of wood and clay;
some are for special purposes and some for common use.
Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
I could go on and on, but I’ve run out of time. There are so many more— Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets….Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies.
Women received their loved ones back from the dead.
There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection.
Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons.
We have stories of those who were stoned,
sawed in two, murdered in cold blood;
stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.
Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.
The Lord knows those who are His
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Today, the appeal goes out a second time for His Spirit
and His Bride say, “Come” in accordance with Isaiah 55,
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to Me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to Me; listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
My faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel,
for He has endowed you with splendor.”
“MOMENT OF MERCY”
This advice of showing kindness to enemies, and against private revenge, is very contrary to the dictates of human nature, as corrupted by sin. This is the spirit of Christ’s command, to return good for evil. In so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Thou wilt by this kindness most readily subdue him, and make him feel most keenly the wrong he has done. Heap coals of fire upon his head – That part which is most sensible. So artists melt the sullen ore of lead, By heaping coals of fire upon its head; In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow, And pure from dross the silver runs below
Kindness Is Effectually Fervent Combined With Prayer!
I had an uncle (now passed) who used to say, “Kill them with KINDNESS!” The Bible calls it, “Overcoming evil with Good.”
“Moment of Mercy” is a sculpture by Terry Jones that stands in front of The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA. Remember the “Civil” War was the war between brothers in the US’ history.
This is a depiction of a selfless act of a solider of the Confederacy who during a lull in the Battle of Fredericksburg, risked his life to give water to wounded Union soldiers who were lying wounded and dying in a “no man’s land” between the opposing armies.
From the marker in front of the sculpture,
“The Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, in December of 1862, was one of the bloodier engagements of the American Civil War. On December 13th, Federal troops made repeated frontal assaults against Confederate positions behind the stone walls along the Sunken Road at Marye’s Heights. In five hours an estimated 6300 Union soldiers lay dead or wounded on the battlefield. As darkness approached, a light snow fell and the temperatures dropped to near zero. All through the frigid gloom, injured men cried in agony. “Help,” “Water,” “Somebody, please help.” For one Union Commander that night was forever etched in his memory. “My ears were filled with the cries and groans of the wounded, and the ghastly faces of the dead almost made a wall around me.”
By the afternoon of December 14th, Sergeant Richard R. Kirkland of the 2nd South Carolina Infantry could no longer bear those mournful cries. Shortly after mid-day, Kirkland secured permission from his commander to take water to those in need. Filling as many canteens as he could carry, Kirkland hurtled the stone wall and ran to the aid of wounded Union soldiers. Shots rang out from the Federal lines. Only when the purpose of the Confederate’s errand became readily apparent, did the Union commander shout down the line: “Don’t shoot that man, he’s too brave to die. “Then, for ninety minutes the battlefield was quiet. Both sides observed a solemn truce as the nineteen year old sergeant turned Good Samaritan tenderly ministered to enemy wounded soldiers in what was most assuredly a “moment of mercy.”
Soldiers in blue and soldiers in gray repeated this incident many times throughout the Civil War. This Moment of mercy sculpture pays homage to them and the uniquely American spirit of aiding those in need.”
Sponsored by The John Crain Kunkel Foundation. C. 2001
Fight with All You Have in You
Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish. What has happened is that some people have infiltrated our ranks (our Scriptures warned us this would happen), who beneath their pious skin are shameless scoundrels. Their design is to replace the sheer grace of our God with sheer license—which means doing away with Jesus Christ, our one and only Master.
But remember, dear friends, that the apostles of our Master, Jesus Christ, told us this would happen: “In the last days there will be people who don’t take these things seriously anymore. They’ll treat them like a joke, and make a religion of their own whims and lusts.” These are the ones who split churches, thinking only of themselves. There’s nothing to them, no sign of the Spirit!
But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!
Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.
And now to Him who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in His bright presence, fresh and celebrating—to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of all time. Yes.
This is beautifully expressed by a poet, in reference to this explanation of this passage: –
“So artists melt the sullen ore of lead,
By heaping coals of fire upon its head.
In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow,
And pure from dross the silver runs below.”
The heaping of the coals of fire upon the head of the enemy is intended to produce not an evil, but the most beneficial effect.
Study the things that make for peace; if it be possible, without offending God and wounding conscience. Avenge not yourselves. This is a hard lesson to corrupt nature, therefore a remedy against it is added. Give place unto wrath.
When a man’s passion is up, and the stream is strong, let it pass off; lest it be made to rage the more against us. The line of our duty is clearly marked out, and if our enemies are not melted by persevering kindness, we are not to seek vengeance; they will be consumed by the fiery wrath of that God to whom vengeance belongeth. The last verse suggests what is not easily understood by the world; that in all strife and contention, those that revenge are conquered, and those that forgive are conquerors. Be not overcome of evil. Learn to defeat ill designs against you, either to change them, or to preserve your own peace. He that has this rule over his spirit, is better than the mighty. God’s children may be asked whether it is not more sweet unto them than all earthly good, that God so enables them by his Spirit, thus to feel and act.
To His, the Lord is saying,
“Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.
But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Messiah, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.” .”
Genesis 26:3, Isaiah 41:11, 1 Peter 4:13
Father I pray that we see our troubles in the proper perspective which sees beyond the natural into the supernatural. Give us 20/20 provision not just for mine but Your whole family! That we may know that our sufferings true Eternal perspective. That we know that these temporal sufferings are common to the members of Your corporate body and are working together effectively to produce a harvest of righteousness bringing all glory, honor and praise to Your Name. The glory of Your latter house is greater than the former! That we can not even stand for the weight and unsurpassed greatness of Your glorious house endures forever. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but are mighty spiritually effective to the pulling down of strongholds and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. Our service in this holy war is worship in spirit and in truth. When our COMMANDER IN CHIEF shows up suddenly, all will see THE LORD!
Our reward is safe with Him. This good fight of faith is purging, purifying, rectifying, training, teaching, strengthening, perfecting us IN HIM for HE is the Author and Finisher of our faith and this is the victory that overcomes the world — our faith. He is proving to the world that this faith is the genuine, the only real truth and it is helping others to see Him as His faith becomes the guiding force in our obedient trust to His commands. We are not the victims but a Kingdom of priests and prophets who rule and reign with Him
as we help others come to see Him as Lord of ALL. For it is only through Him that we can go through for we will not reflect the world’s ways but HIS!!! Even as Moses face shone with the radiant beautiful glory of God!!! THIS IS IT!!! Father increase the fruits of Your righteousness in us so that all men will know you as King of Kings and Lord of Lords make us ONE together in You even as an army unit. In Christ Jesus Amen