Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
(1 Corinthians 16:13)
Recently as I was reading a devotional, I came across a part that drew my interest. It reported that "Martyn Lloyd-Jones, once said, ‘There is no grosser or greater misrepresentation of the Christian message than that which depicts it as offering a life of ease with no battle and struggle at all... sooner or later every believer discovers that the Christian life is a battleground, not a playground.’”
How true this is today! The decisive part of the battle has been won by the precious blood of Jesus being shed for our salvation. Today we march under the banner of Christ's complete victory. This is depicted in the hymn,
Onward Christian soldiers!
Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before.
Christ, the royal Master,
Leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
See, His banners go!
It was written as a processional hymn for children walking from Horbury Bridge to Horbury St Peter's Church near Wakefield, Yorkshire, at Whitsuntide in 1865 by the curate, Baring-Gould. He reportedly wrote it in about 15 minutes!
Another much loved hymn written in the same vein is ‘Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus’. It was inspired by the dying message of Dudley Tyng, a young preacher in Philadelphia who was forced to resign from his Episcopal church pastorate for speaking out against slavery in the mid 1800s.
In addition to starting a new church, Tyng and other ministers preached in revival meetings at the local YMCA and soon began to attract thousands. In March of 1858 Tyng preached a rousing sermon to 5,000 young men and over 1,000 made a profession of faith. A few days later he met with a horrific accident and died. However, before he died, he was asked if he had a message for the ministers at the revival and he replied, “Tell them, ‘Let us all stand up for Jesus.'” His fellow preacher, Dr George Duffield, was touched by his dying friend’s words and wrote the hymn “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” as a tribute to his friend.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
Ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high his royal banner,
It must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory
His army shall he lead,
Till every foe is vanquished,
What a responsibility lay on the shoulders of men like Baring- Gould and Dudley Tyng. And what a responsibility lies with us, today, to stand firm in our faith in Jesus Christ, in the face of an increasingly godless culture!
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Struthers Memorial Church is a registered Scottish Charity No. SC 006960 | Struthers Memorial Church is a company limited by guarantee incorporated in Scotland Company No SC335480 | Registered Office: 33 West Stewart Street, Greenock, PA15 1SH.