Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wake up

Strengthen yourselves in the time of peace is a line of a song we often sing in our church. It is essential that we prepare ourselves now in every way for the battles we shall later have to fight. We must deepen our personal knowledge and love of The Lord Jesus; we must increase our faith in our Heavenly Father; we must learn how to be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit ; above all, we must drop our differences, forgive and be forgiven, and renew our commitment to one another out of love for Christ. It was the Christian community that withstood the persecution of ghetto first century, and it is Christian communities around the world that overcome today the pressures that come increasingly upon them. It is when Christians come together in the name of Jesus that He promises to be with them with special strength and power.  It is together that we can lift up that shield of faith which can quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. Now is the time to act.

He continues with what Carlos Mantica learned from severe persecution suffered by Christians in his country Nicaragua in 1977. Mantica said:

1. In war, the most important time is preparation time. For all of us the most important time is now. When the time of real trial arrives, preparation is over:  you are either ready or unprepared. If you are not prepared you will suffer the consequences.

2. In times of trial spiritual warfare becomes twice as intense. The world, the flesh and the devil work against you very powerfully. Being as strong as usual is not enough. It is important to have some kind of fortress or stronghold.

3. This fortress is built with deep conviction, firm decisions and strong relationships... Our firm decision must be to choose God's kingdom and reject any other. To accept Jesus  as our absolute and only Lord. The Lord of our time. The owner of our money and possessions. The Lord of our thoughts, emotions and acts..."

Jesus decided that COMMUNITY should come before suffering so that we could assist each other and many others when necessity arose. Now we understand the importance of it and feel the need to strengthen our relationships. In addition to God's covenant with us, a covenant with our brothers and sisters is the best insurance we can get for times of hardship. The superficial fellowship of many church fellowships will not be enough. Personal belief in Jesus, regular devotional life, faithfulness in church attendance will not be enough. We need to see ourselves as members of one family, one body. We have been eternally united in Christ and must make that unity real now by strong loving commitment to one another.

David Watson, Discipleship.

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