Saturday, November 22, 2014

“It Ain’t Just Talk!"

   After losing his first match with Joe Frazier, battered heavyweight boxer Muhammed Ali commented, ruefully, "You know all that talk about Joe Frazier's left hook?  It ain't just talk!"

   If Satan could express himself truthfully for a moment, he would have to confess the same about the Lord Jesus Christ and His church.  "You know all that talk about "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world?  It ain't just talk!" (I John 4:4).  Indeed, for 2,000 years, since winning the war of the ages on the cross of Calvary and rising from the dead, the Lord Jesus has worked in and through His people to bludgeon Satan by revealing the truth of "Greater is He."    It doesn't always appear to be so, of course.  The devil sometimes wins skirmishes in our personal lives, our churches, and our culture.  Difficult consequences result, but in the hearts of those who remember that our faith began with the appearance of ruinous defeat that led to the the triumph of the ages, opportunity presents itself to affirm the victory of the Lord Jesus yet again.  We fight from victory rather than for it, even as the Apostle John declared, "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (I John 5:4).

    In similar manner to Job's experience, God allowed "a messenger of Satan" to buffet the Apostle Paul with a "thorn in the flesh" (II Corinthians 12:7).  Thrice Paul prayed until the Lord revealed to His servant that sufficient grace rather than deliverance would serve as Divine provision.  This enabled the Apostle to know and communicate the risen Christ in far greater fashion than a removed thorn could have provided.  When the painful intruder pricked Paul and drew blood, as it were, our brother of old accessed God's grace for himself, and more importantly, for others.  Nearly 2,000 years later we still benefit from Paul's Scripturally recorded experience and testimony.  When our Heavenly Father allows messengers of Satan to approach and remain, He does so to batter His defeated enemy yet again as we herald Christ's resurrection from the very arena of our apparent defeat and painful challenge.  And it ain't just talk!

Over and Over and Over and Over

Sometimes it seems that the enemy of our soul wins
over and over and over again.
But if we could see the truth much more clearly, my friend,
we'd see Christ triumph over death, hell, and sin
over and over and over again…
over and over and over and over again.

The tomb is empty, the throne above occupied,
for Christ is risen again, from death glorified.
So remember when hot, stinging tears fill your eyes
the triumph He's shown so many times in our lives,
over and over and over again…
over and over and  over and over again.

Forever draws nigh, we will be with Him there soon, my friend.
The trials of this life will be gone when we're with Him in Heaven.
Glories we'll see, majesty without end, that sing the glad hymn Christ is risen again,
over and over and over again.
Over and over and over and over again.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long.  We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us."
(Romans 8:35-37)

Weekly Memory Verse
    My flesh and my heart faith, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.
(Psalm 73:26)

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