Monday, April 25, 2016



     Warriors bear the scars of battle, whether of engagement in conflict, or escape from it.

    "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus" (Galatians 6:17).
    "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed" (II Corinthians 4:8-9).
    "My heart is wounded within me" (Psalm 109:22).

     Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ bear the imprints of struggle, difficulty, and pain.  Our spiritual enemies do not allow us to peacefully and quietly pass the time of our earthly sojourning.  "There are many adversaries" (I Corinthians 16:9).  More importantly, our Heavenly Father also directly sends us into many battles, or allows others to find their way to us.  "Fight the good fight of faith" (I Timothy 6:12). We may or may not recognize the challenges of life as spiritual in nature, but they are.  How we respond to the difficulties determines our effectiveness in glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the nature of our scars.  Do we bear them because we arose to engage in "the good fight" by trusting and submitting to our Lord in trials and tribulations?   Or do our wounds indicate that we ran from battle, allowing our enemies to overrun us as we succumbed to unbelief?  As believers, we will bear scars, be they from conflict or compromise.

    This subject always brings to mind a poem written in 1902 by John Masefield.  Entitled "A Consecration", the poet honors those who engage in real battles of earthly nature, as opposed to those who receive accolades for conflicts never faced.  This applies to our spiritual lives no less.  We close with Masefield's invocation and indictment, and with the prayer for myself and all that we will engage, that we will bear the marks of having fought "the good fight of faith".

NOT of the princes and prelates with periwigged charioteers
Riding triumphantly laurelled to lap the fat of the years— 
Rather the scorned—the rejected—the men hemmed in with the spears; 
The men of the tattered battalion which fights till it dies, 
Dazed with the dust of the battle, the din and the cries.         
The men with the broken heads and the blood running into their eyes. 
Not the be-medalled Commander, beloved of the throne, 
Riding cock-horse to parade when the bugles are blown, 
But the lads who carried the koppie and cannot be known. 
Not the ruler for me, but the ranker, the tramp of the "road,  
The slave with the sack on his shoulders pricked on with the goad, 
The man with too weighty a burden, too weary a load. 
The sailor, the stoker of steamers, the man with the clout, 
The chantyman bent at the halliards putting a tune to the shout, 
The drowsy man at the wheel and the tired look-out.  
Others may sing of the wine and the wealth and the mirth, 
The portly presence of potentates goodly in girth;— 
Mine be the dirt and the dross, the dust and scum of the earth! 
Theirs be the music, the color, the glory, the gold; 
Mine be a handful of ashes, a mouthful of mould.  
Of the maimed, of the halt and the blind in the rain and the cold— 
Of these shall my songs be fashioned, my tales be told.  Amen. 

"For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life.  But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead."
(II Corinthians 1:8-9)

Weekly Memory Verse
     We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
(II Corinthians 4:7

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