Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Friday, September 22, 2017
Staying Connected
May 1 – May 7 
Scripture Passage: “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”   Romans 8:37  
Dear Friends,  
     What does it take to have the heart of a warrior? When others are running from the battle, what causes some to run toward the battle? How can we know that if the time ever comes for us to prove ourselves that we will have a heart of courage and not that of cowardice? While others may rely on their training, personal fortitude, and physical prowess, the only thing I have going for me is the relationship I have with the king. I have had no special forces training. When things get tough now, I have a tendency to want to sit down and have a “pity party” for myself. The strength and endurance I had as a young man is slowly dissipating and the proud heart of a warrior is slowly declining to only a memory of past victories. But, there is still a fire that burns within me and occasionally something fans the flame and causes the old me to return. When I see the injustices that are being done to babies and children, I want to stand up and demand justice. When I see the elderly being mistreated or misrepresented, I want to strap on the six-shooter of righteous indignation and put some of those bad boys down. When I see the degradation of our nation and the cowardice of our leaders in the face of political correctness, it is all I can do to contain myself.  I am not a tough guy, but my sense of right and wrong is probably stronger today than it has ever been and when backed into a corner I will still come out fighting. If, and when, the time comes there are some promises from God’s Word that strengthen and encourage me. I claim these promises as we live out the “last days.” 
     “If God be for us, who can be against us?”   (Romans 8:31) This verse gives me strength to know that we have the Sovereign of the Universe on our side. We may be overwhelmed and even at times seemingly overcome, but there is an Army of God that is awaiting the Commander’s orders and when those orders are given there will be “Hell” to pay. If God is on your side, you have the right and you have the majority. It will be impossible for you to lose the battle if God wills you the victory. Never forget that when Jesus returns, He will return as a conquering general with the sword of justice in his hand. The blood that runs to the horses’ bridle will not be mine, but those who have rejected the sacrifice of our returning King. The question asked demands an immediate and affirmative answer, no one can be against us, if God is for us. 
     The second questions is: “If God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) Now this does not mean that if I ask God for a new truck that he will give me whatever I want. If I ask him to take away my suffering as I fight this good fight of faith, will he automatically take it away even though He know it is making me strong? I think not. I believe that God will provide just what I need, when I need it, for my good and His glory. That is a tremendous statement. I may not have the courage and strength within me right now, but when the time comes he will provide it and I will be able to stand strong. He always gives me grace to live and when the time comes, he will give me grace to die. He is always an on time God, so when you do not see Him, hold your position until He shows up. 
     The third question is: “Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us.” (Romans 8:33)  I have lived most of my life with an unscriptural sense of condemnation. Even though I have been forgiven and saved from my sin, my enemy continually brings up my past sins and failures. He likes to remind me that I am unworthy and have an inherited tendency to sin when left to my own devices. My commander reminds me, when I listen, that all those sins, past, present, and future have been forgiven and forgotten and that I need only to listen to and obey Him as I live through the monotony of everyday life or struggle in the heat of battle. When a man has been a slave and then freed by the generosity of a friend, well, he has everything to live for and everything to die for. He becomes a dangerous warrior because he is a winner either way. My daddy always said to never fight a man who had nothing to lose. They are able to fight with an abandonment because they know they cannot lose. We are guaranteed this same type of victory in Christ Jesus. 
     The final question is: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35)  Once again this question demands an immediate and affirmative answer - no one.   Sociologist tell us that there are some basic needs that everyone needs to survive. Food, water, air, and shelter make up the short list. In my opinion, love makes up the long list. Even if I have all the things I need physically to live and do not have love, then I have nothing to live for. The love of my wife and family is important. The love of my church is an absolute necessity for me, but the love of God is the one thing that completes all the other types of love. Without his love all the other loves become empty and unfulfilling. All the other types of love love me conditionally based upon my ability to perform. God loves me unconditionally and His love is based upon His character, not mine. So a warrior that knows his commander was willing to die for him, will fight to the death in loyal love knowing that it is an honorable thing to die for a just cause and a worthy friend. Arm yourself for the battle ahead with these promises. 
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny