Friday, September 23, 2016

Like a Good Soldier

CALL TO PRAYER
Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
 
The Lord with indignation heard:
from heav'n avenging flame
on Jacob fell, consuming wrath
on thankless Israel came
because their unbelieving hearts
in God would not confide,
nor trust his care, who had from heav'n
their wants so oft supplied.
 —Psalm 78:21-22
Suggested tune: Kingsfold (CMD)


 
SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY
Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
—2 Timothy 2:3
 
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
They who offer their obedience to Christ must be prepared for "share in suffering," and thus, without patient endurance of evils, there will never be perseverance. And accordingly he adds, "like a good soldier of Christ Jesus." By this term he means that all who serve Christ are warriors, and that their condition as warriors consists, not in inflicting evils, but rather in patience.

These are matters on which it is highly necessary for us to meditate. We see how many there are every day, that throw away their spears, who formerly made a great show of valor. Why? Because they cannot become inured to the cross. First, they shrink from warfare. Next, they do not know any other way of fighting than to argue arrogantly and fiercely with their adversaries; they cannot bear to learn what Luke 21:19 means: "By your endurance you will gain your souls."
 —John Calvin (alt)
 
TODAY'S PRAYER
Lord, give us grace to hold to you
when all is weariness and fear
and sin abounds within, without
when love itself is tested by the doubt...
that love is false, or dead within the soul,
when every act brings new confusion, new distress,
new opportunities, new misunderstandings,
and every thought new accusation.

Lord, give us grace that we may know
that in the darkness pressing round
it is the mist of sin that hides your face,
that you are there
and you do know we love you still
and our dependence and endurance in your will
is still our gift of love...
—Gilbert Shaw
 
YOUR OWN PRAYERS
Allow the above to help guide your own confession, praise, thanksgiving, and/or petition.

THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
 —Matthew 6:9-13

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