O God of Truth

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:6

 [Love] “Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:6-7

O God Of Truth

Attributed to Ambrose of Milan;

born Aurelius Ambrosius, c. 340-397

O God of truth, Whose living Word

Upholds whate’er hath breath,

Look down on Thy creation, Lord,

Enslaved by sin and death.

Set up Thy standard, Lord, that we,

Who claim a heavenly birth,

May march with Thee to smite the lies

That vex Thy groaning earth.

Ah! would we join that blest array,

And follow in the might

Of Him, the Faithful and the True,

In raiment clean and white!

We fight for truth, we fight for God,

Poor slaves of lies and sin!

He who would fight for Thee on earth

Must first be true within.

Then, God of truth, for Whom we long,

Thou Who wilt hear our prayer,

Do Thine own battle in our hearts,

And slay the falsehood there.

Still smite; still burn; till naught is left

But God’s own truth and love;

Then, Lord, as morning dew come down,

Rest on us from above.

Yes, come: then, tried as in the fire,

From every lie set free,

Thy perfect truth shall dwell in us,

And we shall live in Thee.

Arm These Thy Soldiers, Mighty Lord

“The LORD is my strength…”

“Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. You show lovingkindness to thousands, and repay the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them—the Great, the Mighty God, whose name is the LORD of hosts. You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for Your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 32:17-19

Sometimes we like to think that we are strong soldiers and trust in our armor to protect us, we look to our Might Lord to give us what we need for the battle. The inner strength to win the day is found only in God.

 

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

“The LORD God is my strength…” Habakkuk  3:19a

Arm These Thy Soldiers, Mighty Lord

By Christopher Wordsworth *

Arm these Thy soldiers, mighty Lord,

With shield of faith and Spirit’s sword.

Forth to the battle may they go

And boldly fight against the foe.

With banner of the cross unfurled,

They overcome the evil world

And so at last receive from Thee

The palm and crown of victory.

Come, ever blessed Spirit, come

And make Thy servants’ heart Thy home.

May each a living temple be

Hallowed forever, Lord, to Thee.

Enrich that temple’s holy shrine

With sevenfold gifts of grace divine;

With wisdom, light, and knowledge bless,

With counsel, strength, and godliness.

O Trinity in Unity,

One only God in Persons Three,

In whom, through whom, by whom, we live,

To Thee we praise and glory give.

Oh, grant us so to use Thy grace

That we may see Thy glorious face

And ever with the heavenly host

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

*  Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1885) – Wordsworth was vi­car at Stan­ford-in-the-Vale, Berk­shire, arch­dea­con of West­min­ster, and bishop of Lin­coln, England. A recognized Greek scho­lar, he wrote the­o­lo­gic­al and oth­er works. Of his hymns, he said, “It is the first duty of a hymn to teach sound doc­trine and thence to save souls.”

 

The Christian Warrior, See Him Stand!

This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,” 1 Timothy 1:18

No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:4

Soldiers, this battle hymn begins a new series on military metaphores in the New Testament. Our Christian life is portrayed by writers in the Bible as serious warfare for which we need to be prepared to fight at a moment’s notice. The soldiers in the picture above look tough and battle-ready, You and I should be spirituall tough too and ready to enter the fray!

I trust the exhortations in the next several weeks will encourage you.

The Christian Warrior, See Him Stand!

by James Montgomery *

Behold! the Christian warrior stand

In all the armor of his God;

The Spirit’s sword is in his hand;

His feet are with the Gospel shod;

In panoply of truth complete,

Salvation’s helmet on his head;

With righteousness a breastplate meet,

And faith’s broad shield before him spread.

He wrestles not with flesh and blood,

But principalities and powers,

Rulers of darkness, like a flood,

Nigh, and assailing at all hours.

Nor Satan’s fiery darts alone,

Quenched on his shield, at him are hurled;

The traitor in his heart is known,

And the dire friendship of this world.

Undaunted to the field he goes;

Yet vain were skill and valor there,

Unless, to foil his legion foes,

He takes the trustiest weapon: prayer.

With this omnipotence he moves,

From this the alien armies flee,

Till more than conqueror he proves,

Through Christ, who gives him victory.

Thus, strong in his Redeemer’s strength,

Sin, death, and hell he tramples down;

Fights the good fight, and wins at length,

Through mercy, an immortal crown.

* James Montgomery (1771–1854) – When Mont­gom­e­ry was five years old, his fa­mi­ly moved to the Mo­ra­vi­an set­tle­ment at Grace­hill, near Bal­ly­me­na, Coun­ty An­trim, Ireland. A trip to Lon­don years later, hop­ing to find a pub­lish­er for his youth­ful po­ems, end­ed in fail­ure. In 1792, he became an as­sist­ant to a Mr. Gales, auc­tion­eer, book­sell­er, and print­er of the Shef­field Re­gis­ter. After buying the paper, Montgomery edited it for 32 years. Dur­ing the following two years he was im­pris­oned twice, first for re­print­ing a song in com­mem­o­ra­tion of the fall of the Bas­tille, then for giv­ing an ac­count of a ri­ot in Shef­field. The ed­it­ing of his pa­per, the com­po­si­tion and pub­li­ca­tion of his po­ems and hymns, the de­liv­e­ry of lec­tures on po­e­try in Shef­field and at the Roy­al In­sti­tu­tion, Lon­don, and the ad­vo­ca­cy of for­eign mis­sions and the Bi­ble Soc­i­ety, gave him great va­ri­e­ty of material from which to write more than 400 hymns. In 1833, Mont­gom­e­ry re­ceived a roy­al pen­sion of £200 per year.

Be Strong in the Lord!

 

Thus says the LORD:

“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,

Let not the mighty man glory in his might,

Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;

But let him who glories glory in this,

That he understands and knows Me,

That I am the LORD,

exercising lovingkindness, judgment,

and righteousness in the earth.

For in these I delight,” says the LORD.

Jeremiah 9:23-24

 

My fellow soldiers, our strength as Christians is not in our weapons or our horses or our own abilities, but in the Lord. Too often, we waste time glorying in physical resources and riches and health. We forget that our true strength is in Jesus Christ and His ability to work in us to win the spiritual battles of life. Today will be another clash in a long string of daily battles against our foe. Don’t fall for the enemy’s trick and believe that your battle armor is what will save you from the fiery darts aimed your way. Please God by trusting in His lovingkindness, judgment, mercy, and righteousness and He will win the day!

Be Strong in the Lord

by W.W. Clark

Be strong in the Lord,

Tho’ surrounded by foes;

Be true to your king,

Tho’ all hell shall oppose;

He’ll conquer their legions,

He’ll vanquish their throng;

The Lord is our captain,

He leads us along.

 

Refrain

Then awake! then awake!

Now arise! now arise!

Put on the whole armor,

Be strong in the Lord,

 

We fight not with flesh,

But with powers unseen;

We wrestle ’gainst darkness,

Without and within;

The conflict is raging,

Be valiant and strong,

For God is our tower,

Our shield, and our song.

[Refrain]

 

With loins girt with truth,

We will march to the fight,

And righteousness wear

As a breastplate of light;

Salvation our helmet,

Bestowed by our Lord,

The sword of the Spirit,

His conquering Word.

[Refrain]

 

Our leader has promised

A bright starry crown,

And beckons us onward

To fields of renown;

We hasten to follow

His banner unfurled,

And trusting in Jesus,

We’ll conquer the world.

[Refrain]

Like An Army We Are Marching

Like An Army We Are Marching

My fellow soldiers, we are in our formation preparing for another battle. We go into combat against our foe with confidence that our cause is right and our victory is sure. What happened in the past is behind us now – our defeats, missed opportunities, regrets. We know that our Lord will bring us to a final victory when we finish our last battle.

“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

Like An Army We Are Marching

by William James Kirkpatrick

Our attack today is at a double-time march because our enemy is on the run! Remember those comrades of battles past who have gone on before. They gave their lives in the fight and are now gathered around us to urge us onward!

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Grab your weapons! Line up! March forward to victory!

The Fight is On!

“I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:21-25

My fellow soldiers, this battle hymn and others in our series may be misunderstood by some. I will talk more in a future dispatch about the subject of military metaphores in the Bible, but here let it be understood for now that the language of battle hymns is figurative and not literal. Of course, we cannot literally fight against Satan and his kingdom of darkness and our battle is not with the forces of evil or injustice in the world even though we stand against all that they represent. (Ephesians 6:12-13)

Our battle is an inner one. In Romans chapter seven quoted above, the Apostle Paul speaks of the battlefield that takes place inside every Christian soldier’s mind. We face a daily war between that old part of us that wants to sin and the new part of us that wants to please God. How to win that battle iss the issue of living the Christian life. I point you back to chapter six in the book of Romans to our crucified-resurrected life in Christ. Paul encourages, “…Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) This mention about fighting the spiritual battle is too brief, but only to show that the battles are largely quiet, inner struggles. We need the Holy Spirit to guide us through the Word of God so we know God’s battle plan for living our lives to honor our Great Commander – Jesus Christ.

The Fight is On!

by Lelia Morris *

* Lelia (Mrs. C.H.) Morris (1862-1929) was born in Pennsville, Morgan County, Ohio. When her family moved to Malta on the Muskingum River she and her sister and mother had a millinery shop in McConnelsville. She and her husband Charles H. Morris were active in the Methodist Episcopal Church and at the camp meetings in Sebring and Mt. Vernon. She wrote hymns as she did her housework. Although she became blind at age 52 she continued to write hymns on a 28-foot long blackboard that her family had built for her. She is said to have written 1000 texts and many tunes including “Sweeter as the years go by.”

Marching on! Marching on!

Grab your weapons! Stay alert! March on!

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13-14

My fellow soldiers! Last time I exhorted us to stand at our post in faith without wavering. Yes, there are times to stand firm, without budging and without fear. Then there are times to press forward.

The night watch is over and it’s a new day. It’s time to march forward into battle! Secure your armor – belt buckled and breastplate tight. Check that your sandals are fit for the long march ahead. Gather your shield, sword, and helmet. Before we begin our march, pause and remember that today is a new day to serve our Lord and Master. As servant-soldiers, we know that our life can be taken on the battlefield at any moment. So keep your eyes on the reward that awaits all God’s soldiers when the battle is finally over: “Well done!”

Marching on! Marching on!

By Robert Lowry # and William B. Bradbury **

# Robert Lowry (1826 –1899) was an American preacher who became a popular writer of gospel music in the mid- to late-19th century. His best-known hymns include “Shall We Gather at the River“, “Christ Arose!“, “How Can I Keep from Singing?” and “Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus“.

** William B. Bradbury (1816 –1868) was born in York Maine and grew up in Boston. He was a musician who composed the tune to “Jesus Loves Me” and many other popular hymns.

At Our Post

TowerFellow soldiers, this is a reminder about something you already know: There is a time to move and a time to stand still. Sometimes, God calls us to action and sometimes our duty is to stand fast at our post and trust Him! Even when our labor is hard, which it often is, we stay at our post and do our duty to our commander. The Gospel is worth standing for no matter the opposition. We will not budge from the faith: truth, sound doctrine, and righteousness. Jesus Christ is our Fortress, High Tower, Stronghold – our Cornerstone!

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast,

immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,

knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13

continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast

…not moved away from the hope of the gospel

which you heard…  Colossians 1:23

Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren,

my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

Philippians 4:1

 

At Our Post

by J. Jackson *

At our post, as valiant soldiers,

Bearing each our sword and shield;

This our watchword now and ever:

We will die, but never yield.

Refrain

At our post, no step must falter,

Let us stand with one accord,

Beating back the wary tempter,

In the name of Christ the Lord.

At our post, no step must falter,

At our post, no time to sleep;

We must guard the royal standard,

Every eye a watch must keep. (Refrain)

At our post in active duty

Whensoe’er the Lord shall call;

At our post and faithful servants

May He find us one and all. (Refrain)

 *  J. Jackson’s songs were first published in New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the 1880s. His last known work was his music for Am I a Soldier of the Cross?, composed December 20, 1933.

We Are More Than `Conquerors!

Fellow soldiers: this is not the time to be discouraged. No matter how the battle rages and no matter how it looks like the enemy is winning, nothing can separate us from the love of our Savior!

Victorious SoldiersWho 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 Your sake we are killed all day long;     We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”   Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved usRomans 8:35-39 (NKJV)

We Are More Than Conquerors

by Ralph Carmichael

We are more than conquerors

Thru Him who loved us so

The Christ who dwells in us

Is the greatest pow’r we know

He will fight beside us

Tho’ the enemy is great

Who can stand against us

He’s the Captain of our fate

Then we will conquer never fear

So let the battle rage

He has promised to be near

Until the end of the age

We are more than conquerors

Thru Him who loved us so

The Christ who dwells within us

Is the greatest pow’r we know

Faith is the Victory

Victory Parade

 

“O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”
The sting of death is sin,
and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God,
who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 15:55

 

 

Faith is the Victory
by John H. Yaates

 

Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers rise,
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies;
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled;
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.

 

Refrain
Faith is the victory!
Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory,
That overcomes the world.

 

His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God;
We tread the road the saints before
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind’s breath,
Swept on o’er every field;
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield. (Refrain)

 

On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array;
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation’s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread,
And echo with our shout. (Refrain)

 

To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be giv’n;
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in heav’n;
Then onward from the hills of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
We’ll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus’ conqu’ring name. (Refrain)