John 8:31-36 (31)
Winston Churchill was a man who refused to surrender. On May 13, 1940, facing overwhelming odds as Hitler planned the destruction of England, Churchill addressed the House of Commons with this challenge: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.” Just three weeks later he addressed the nation with the same challenge.
“We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
A year later he told Hitler and his Nazi forces: “We will have no truce or parley with you, or the grisly gang who work your wicked will. You do your worst-—and we will do our best.” And later, “We shall never turn from our purpose, however somber the road, however grievous the cost.”
It is this same spirit that motivates the child of God in spiritual warfare. We will stand with the Captain of our Salvation. We will never relent, recant, or retreat. We will be true to the end for we are disciples of Christ.
By Dr. Gayle Woods
Galatians 5:13-15 (14)
The news reports flooded into the United States. Pat Tillman the safety for the Arizona Cardinals who turned down a 3.6 million dollar contract in order to join the army following 9/11 made us proud to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. According to initial reports, this Army Ranger, was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004 as he charged the enemy, saving the rest of his platoon. In honor of his heroism, Arizona Senator John McCain presented the Silver Star for Combat Valor and the Purple Heart to Tillman’s family.
Then other news stories began to surface. Our hero, Pat Tillman was not killed by enemy fire after all. Instead there was a mine explosion that was mistaken for mortar attack. Another group of Army Rangers saw Tillman and the four Afghan fighters who were in his group and thought they were the enemy. When the smoke cleared, Tillman lay dead. Three other American soldiers were wounded as well. There were no enemy forces in the area. He was killed by “friendly fire.”
Unfortunately friendly fire is too common among Christians. Paul addressed this problem when he said that just because some Christians are not bound by the traditions of the elders, and the interpretation of the law that is specific to their congregation they should not feel free to condemn or criticize those who are still in this spiritual bondage. Rather, the love of Christ should always be expressed by those who serve Him.
By Dr. Gayle Woods
1 Cor. 16:1-5 (2)
R. G. LeTourneau, the Christian inventor, businessman and entrepreneur made his mark in the world in an unusual way. His account chronicles a sixth grade dropout who went on to found a University. In 1915, broke and discouraged after numerous failed attempts in life he went to his pastor, Rev. Devol for advice. Expecting to be told that to be a totally committed Christian he would have to become a missionary or a pastor, he was surprised to hear his pastor saying something totally different. Rev. Devol said, God needs business men too!” From that day, R. G. LeTourneau considered his business to be a partnership with God. Even though he was continually in debt he gave generously to the Lord’s work. After the Great Depression, his business began to prosper and eventually he decided to give 90% of his income to God. He liked to put it this way, “It’s not how much of my money I give to God, but how much of God’s money I keep for myself.”
When we come to realize that the penny that we are pinching is not really ours, but God’s, we will be less selfish in our economic practices and more generous in our benevolence. When we come to realize that the dollar that we are stretching is not ours, but God’s, we be more careful of how it is spent and more free to give it to support the work of God.
By Dr. Gayle Woods