Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:5 NIV
That God alone is my strength and the one whom I long to spend eternity with is what carries me through hard times and failures. That God alone began His work in me is my hope and confidence because He alone will complete it as He has promised and He alone will receive all the glory and praise. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, discouraged or even at times totally defeated, take a moment and allow the truth of today’s verse sink deep into your hearts. Then with that verse in mind, I hope you will be blessed as you listen to this new release from Keith and Kristyn Getty, Kirk Whalum, Jordan Kauflin and Matt Merker.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Romans 5:10 ESV
These days there is much talk about spiritual warfare (and rightly so), with the emphasis on our battle against the devil. But what is often overlooked in this matter is the origin of that war and that is the warfare between us and God. From the moment Adam and Eve took the fruit that God had forbidden, all of us became traitors, chose independence from God and declared war on our creator. By unanimous consent we decided that our way was better than God’s and we chose rebellion and separation from our Heavenly Father in order to follow our desires. Of course, the devil does tempt us in order to enlist us in his battle against God, but what he did not count on was the Almighty God’s strategy and how Jesus came to counterattack and defeat him through the cross. Until the cross we really had very limited options on the spiritual battlefield. We were slaves to sin and by nature marched along to the commands of the enemy of our souls. But at Calvary, the devil’s uncontested claim over us was broken. As Jesus cried out in pain and weakness, “It is finished!” we were at once presented with a choice. We no longer have to be the enemy and betrayer of a Holy God. Now we can be His children, because the amazing, astonishing and powerful good news is that while we were still at war with God; Jesus died for us! What an amazing battle plan. What a hope we have. Now we can joyfully choose to surrender to Him and then by the power of His Holy Spirit we can win the warfare against anything the enemy throws down against us today! With God as the Captain of our unit, that’s a spiritual war worth fighting because our eternal victory is assured by the blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
To everything, turn, turn, turn.
There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to gain, a time to lose.
A time to rend, a time to sew.
A time for love, a time for hate.
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.
Pete Seeger -last verse of Turn Turn Turn
Okay well Pete Seeger was quoting King Solomon but most of us hadn’t read those verses from Ecclesiastes chapter three that inspired the song. At the time the song became a number one hit in 1965, the unspoken reference was to the Vietnam war. However, as King Solomon also pointed out:
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9
As Christmas approaches we also are faced with the continued threats of terrorism and war. Whether people are, dining out, going to the movies or even attending their weekly prayer meetings it seems that there is no place exempt from violence. But in these moments when everything seems to be closing in, we have to remind ourselves that Jesus never promised peace on earth, for now. In fact He guaranteed us that:
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Because Jesus went to the cross, true peace is always possible – Thank God it is never too late! But peace is not the absence of war, though we would wish it so. Peace is the presence of the dove of peace ruling in our hearts no matter what comes.
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