Job 42, Verses 12-17 - And the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first Jemimah, and the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land no women were found so fair as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers. After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. And Job died, an old man and full of days.
Romans 8, Verses 28-31 - And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
Romans 8, Verses 36-39 - Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Psalms 55, Verses 22-23 - Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. But you, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in you.
1 Corinthians 10, Verse 13 - No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Hebrews 4, Verses 14-16 - Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 12, Jesus, the Example - Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him; 6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.” 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. 12 Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. 14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears. 18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20 For they could not bear the command, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned.” 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I am full of fear and trembling.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. 25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. 26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
"When the saints go marching on" is a great musical number. When I think of marching I often think of God's troops on the spiritual battlefield, including mankind and how things play out here on earth. Of course, angels, demons, spirits, deceivers, kings, queens, princes, princesses and potentially other intelligent lifeforms would play some role in this spiritual battle. As God's people, do we have battle scars? You should as we are ALL called. The Daily Message is about being called as a warrior in God's army, encouragement for God's people, and some difficult truths and how-tos for warriors.
Hebrews 12 discusses the example of Jesus and the difficulty and discipline one should receive as a Christian (Hebrews 12 in the Daily Reading). It is an introduction to the reality warriors face. The difficult part of being in God's army is that we must endure in its many forms. Thankfully we having a loving Father that brings us along in a similar manner to a perfect earthly father.
Women and men today are engaged in warfare at every front whether they are engaged in spiritual battle, raising another generation against the odds, or raising the bar worldwide for God's Laws - love, morality, justice, righteousness, responsibility, peacemaking. This takes discipline and Godliness.
There were many battles in the Bible. Warriors fought and continue to fight on a variety of fronts. (1) The story of Job is about when God allows Satan to ruin Job's life. Job's life is terrible on all accounts but he still respects God, despite God allowing Satan to do this to him. We see much later in the story that Job is awarded again a good life from God. He certainly endured battle scars! (Verses from Job listed in Daily Reading.) (2) "Wrath of an Archangel" (my poem in photo) discusses an intense battle where archangels are full of wrath, and for a righteous reason ensued in battle. Working through persons on earth, these angels are later celebrating a victory with God. Psalms 55:22-23 is a good match for this poem. (3) We can also think of Jesus being tempted on various occasions, or (4) when Jesus casts out demons. These are trials or battles requiring direct confrontation with Satan. Satan is always powerless when we choose the path of Godliness. (5) The adversary may be the Pharisees of the day, or Pharaoh from the past, or corrupt leadership from past to present, small and large. Anti-Christs is plural for a reason. (6) Don't forget when the people are wicked, such as in the Old Testament. Whether Sodomites or Israelites, one nation went into captivity of another, or conflict ensued between God and His people directly. Wicked groups and nations defiant to God have continued to exist ever since. Most often God's people are not isolated from the destruction of the people around them, and it is very difficult to endure, especially when there is forewarning and knowledge that is ignored.
Passages 1 Cor 10:13 and Heb 4:14-16 provide helpful advice to the warrior-lady and warrior-man on temptation, confession, mercy, grace and endurance. God calls us towards the difficult life, but the reward is great. Romans 8:36-39 discusses being slaughtered, and many early Christians were. But the verses also promote the hope and blessings outside this life.
In short, it is not easy being a Christian for life, or to take the path of a Godly person. Battle scars come to all God-seeking Christians. Raising children and passing down good moral traditions, and teaching that with success is no easy task. Getting involved in a campaign or project, teaching or giving time to charity, and promoting God and/or His Laws - its all stellar work for the Lord! Dealing with your own demons and those of others is tough work! Engaging in spiritual tasks like praying, forewarning, loving, caring, rebuking, helping, peacemaking and edifying is our calling and part of the endurance race we run as Christians! These warrior activities are not easy and require a lot of us as times. Battle scars!
Dear God, I have many battle scars. Life as one of your soldiers has its ups and downs. I have become disciplined and able to endure heavy hardship. I am glad not to be among the early Christians who were slaughtered, yet many today still face violence as Christians; I pray for a quick end to their plight. Remind me when I ask or pine for new things in my life that it may line up with Your Will, that it may be a campaign, project, job or responsibility that may further Your cause and brings good tidings to many men, women and children. I appreciate your grace and mercy, especially when on the difficult road towards the unknown. May God's army be a most righteous army in all the earth and in the heavens. "Oh when the saints go marching on!" Oh may those marching days always be counted as glorious! Glory be to God! Amen.
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