Over the last few months, I’ve been so stinking embarrassed over the political rhetoric that I have removed myself from hearing it. It was upsetting, and I had a greater task at hand. I’ve been involved in a life change, a move. As soon as the boxes were at a “see over” level, I committed a big mistake. I turned on the TV. And nothing had changed. Nothing. The raw hateful mess was still there, stronger than ever. I’m so stinking embarrassed over this!
Psalm 14:1 “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt. They have done abominable works. There is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside. They have become corrupt; there is none who does good. No not one.”
Doesn’t it feel that way?
God refused to leave me in this mindset. Spiteful and annoyed. A dear friend gave me a present which has become a precious gift. Sparkling Gems by Rick Renner. Today, January 19, 2017 I read “Comrades In The Lord Jesus Christ”. Here it is just one day before Donald Trump is to be inaugurated as the 58th President of the United States of America and I’m reading this and it has changed my perspective. I hope it will yours, too.
From Rick Renner (not in its entirety),
1 Thessalonians 5:27 “I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.”
Throughout Paul’s writings in the New Testament, he uses the word “brethren” when he writes to the churches. This word comes from the Greek word adelphos, which is one of the oldest words in the New Testament. In the King James Version, it is usually translated as the word “brethren.” However, it actually has a much deeper meaning than this.
In the oldest sense, the word adelphos (“brother”) was used by physicians in the medical world to describe two people who were born from the same womb. So when the early Greeks addressed each other as “brethren,” they meant to convey the idea: “You and I are brothers! We came out of the same womb of humanity. We have the same feelings; we have similar emotions; and we deal with the same problems in life. In every respect, we are truly brothers!”
But the word “brethren” also had another very significant meaning during New Testament times, a meaning that it doesn’t have in our world today. It was used during the time of Alexander the Great to describe faithful soldiers. These fighting men were true brothers, comrades, and partners who were united to fight the same fight, handle the same weapons, and win the same wars!
Thus, to be a “brother” meant that a person was a true comrade. Through the thick and thin of battle, these soldiers stood together, achieving a special level of brotherhood known only by those who stay united together in the heat of the fray. This was also part of what Paul had in mind when he wrote to the Early Church.
When Paul called his fellow Christian “brothers,” he was telling them:
“In addition to being blood brothers, we are all in a similar fight, slugging it out against the same enemy – and this common fight makes us real comrades . . . “
I’m sure that Paul’s readers were struggling in their personal lives, just as we do today, but they hadn’t given up the fight. They were still on the front lines, slugging it out and plodding along, one step at a time. They were the kind of believers who are worth knowing and worthy to be called brothers because they possessed an ongoing commitment to stay faithful in the battle and committed to the cause.
No matter how well or how badly these believers were doing in the midst of their fight, at least they were still fighting! Others had given up, but they had not. As long as they remained faithful to the fight and refused to relinquish their stand of faith, Paul viewed them as exceptionally fine soldiers – the kind of soldiers anyone would be happy to associate with!
The word “brother” emphatically declares that it’s not really how well you fight in life that counts. What really counts is that you keep on fighting! So don’t give up on yourself, and don’t give up on those believers around you who seem to be struggling. As long as they keep on trying – as long as they stay in the battle – they’re worthy of your friendship! You should be proud to be associated with people of such a spiritual caliber!”
Renner’s Prayer Associated with this devotional:
“Lord, I ask You to help me see myself and other Christian brothers and sisters as soldiers in the army of God. Help me develop an attitude of determination that refuses to surrender to hardship or to throw in the towel in the face of difficulty. At the same time that this attitude is being developed inside me, use me to help fortify the same determined attitude in other Christian soldiers who face hostile forces that have come to steal their victory and joy. I pray this in Jesus’ name!”
Renner’s Confession for this devotional:
“I confess that regardless of how much resistance the devil is trying to bring against my life. I will never surrender to defeat. Others may give up, but not I? As long as I am alive, I will stay in the fight. I refuse to relinquish my stand of faith. I am an exceptionally fine soldier – exactly the kind other Christian soldiers should be happy to associate with – because I am committed and determined to fight until my victory is complete! I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!”
The world and our culture are under the Enemy’s attack. We must hold strong and stand firm together and hold the banner of our faith high for everyone to see. I pray this devotional has helped you get back on track as a foot soldier for Christ. There are many that need our attention. Are you ready to armor up for Jesus and stand united for Christ?
In Jesus’ name I humbly pray,