Monthly Archives: December 2012

No Choice But To Fight!

The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) is only one level below the Victoria Cross, the highest medal British Army personnel can get. 31-year-old, Dip Prasad Pun, received the CGC because of his actions during a September 17, 2010 raid by militants on a checkpoint near Babaji, in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

Pun was alone on sentry duty the night he heard a noise that caused him to lower his night vision goggles and see what was out there. Immediately he realized that he was about to be attacked by Taliban fighters. He launched a grenade at some of the soldiers who were taking position for attack, and a major gunfight ensued. Despite overwhelming odds, and more than 30 attackers, Pun emerged victorious by firing more than 400 rounds, launching 17 grenades, detonating a mine, and (when he had run out of ammunition) using his machine gun tripod to knock an approaching Taliban soldier off a ladder.

When interviewed, Pun said, “There wasn’t any choice but to fight…I thought I was definitely going to die so I thought I’d kill as many of them as I could before they killed me.” What an attitude! When confronted by the overwhelming odds, Pun chose to fight. What do we do when attacked by our adversary, the devil? So many times, we choose to ignore the sin or retreat from evil. Unfortunately, when dealing with sin and Satan, both of these reactions lead to defeat. Rather, James tells us, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

We need to see sin like Pun saw the Taliban. If we don’t fight, it will kill our very souls. There is no choice but to attack, knowing that we draw the anger of the enemy when we do. Even if we have to fire off every round in our spiritual arsenal, it is a battle worth fighting! 1 Peter 5: 8-9, says “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

(These thoughts came from research I did after reading an article by Brett Petrillo. The credit goes to Brett for bringing this to our attention and for some parts of this article.)

Just what I wanted! What is it?

Have you ever seen a present opening frenzy? That is the only way I know how to describe the scene when a bunch of kids open their presents at the same time. We go to my in-laws for Christmas each year. Our kids, my brother-in-law’s kids, a couple of dogs, a Nana & PawPaw, etc., are all gathered in the living room, helping open and deliver presents. Wrapping paper is flying, mass confusion arises, and the kids have that wonderful/horrible dilemma with each present…”do I open the next one or play with this one?” Have you ever seen a kid run up to a present in the heat of battle and tear it open and scream with joy, “it’s exactly what I wanted” only to see that quizzical look on their face followed by, “what is it?” Or my favorite…”how did you know?”

Our Father in heaven gave us this kind of gift around 2,000 years ago. Those who were expecting a Messiah couldn’t wait to proclaim Him (John 1); the angels who had desired to look into these things (1 Pet 1:12) announced His presence (Luke 2:14); shepherds praised Him (Luke 2:20); and Mary rejoiced (Luke 1:46-55). There was a mixture in those days of “just what I wanted!” and “how did you know?” and “what is it?”

Friends, let us not lose that sense of awe and wonder at the amazing, indescribable gift (2 Cor 9:15) of grace and mercy in Christ Jesus our Lord! Let’s keep that same joy we had as children, as we come to Christ and realize that we can’t possible know and explain every detail of our Father’s plan, but that we are so thankful to have Jesus as our Savior. I’m not sure how He knew; I’m not always certain I can explain what it is that He did for us; but it is EXACTLY what I needed.

And so do you…If you haven’t received that gift, get in touch, and let’s examine what the scriptures say on how you can receive it today!

A time to wait and a time to work!

This week, Jewish people around the world are celebrating Chanukah, the festival of lights. This holiday comes from events that occurred during, what we tend to refer to in our bible timelines as, the inter-testimental period. Around 175 BC, Antiochus Epiphanes IV, in an effort to stamp out Judaism and force Hellenization on the Jews, sacrificed a pig on the altar and destroyed the 2nd temple. In a revolt that followed, a Jewish priest who came to be known as “the Hammer” (lit, “Maccabbee”), and his children, were able to drive the Greeks out and restore a general period of peace and self rule in the land. When the Jews went to survey the damage to the temple and re-institute the system of sacrificial worship, they needed oil for the reconsecration and sanctification of the holy objects that had been defiled. It is said that they had only 1 day of oil, but it lasted an amazing 8 nights, thus the 8 nights of the Jewish festival.

Of course, we can’t know whether the “8 night miracle” happened or not because God did not grant us a holy, inspired word through scripture during this time. But I do find one thing in particular interesting about this story. The priests looked at 1 night’s worth of oil and must have been incredibly discouraged. They must have thought about quitting or giving up. Some might even have thrown up their hands and simply said that they didn’t have the right resources to start the job so they shouldn’t continue. Others, of course, took this as an opportunity to trust in God and “go with what they had.” God is said to have blessed that effort by allowing the work to continue.

Are you waiting until circumstances are perfect to “rebuild” your temple? Or are you waiting to have all the right resources lined up before you begin the effort? We have been given whatever little time, talent, or money God has provided us. We must decide to get started, knowing that if the Lord is for us, no one can be against us! In the parable of the talents (MT 25:14-30), Jesus teaches us that God expects us to get started doing something for Him with what we have been given, not what we hope to receive. Why not start today? If I can help, please let me know…