Be not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God unto Salvation!
Don’t be ashamed. If God is working in you, share it! Testify! You have no idea how many lives it can change just seeing what God is doing in you. Maybe someone is going through the same thing you are. Change is good, welcome it.
There are some of you Christian believers who haven’t been ashamed, and I thank God for you! Keep doing what the Holy Spirit is asking you to do! Preach it! When I was in the dark, very recently, those messages spoke to me little by little and planted seeds in my heart. May God bless us all with the courage these people have!!
In the Bible the cry was, “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?”…Now I ask, “My God! My God! Why have they – why have WE – forsaken You?” The Church is sleeping: she is falling away from her first love (Revelation 2:4-5). Where then is the light of the world, the city on a hill (Matthew 5:14)? The bride without spot? Have we forgotten His warnings against sleeping, going cold?
“Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.” – 1 John 3:14
“Blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” -Philippians 2:15
Are we? The Church is still alive, even thriving in some places; but her numbers are dwindling. At least in America. Yes, a lot of kids are accepting Christ as their Savior but how far does it go? Does their commitment last beyond the surge of emotion? Does it “fall on good soil” (Matthew 13:18-23) and go deep into their hearts, deeper than the area in their hearts that is controlled by sheer emotion? How many Christian youth rallies have teens swarming to the alters, time and time again without any lasting changes being noted? With the hundreds of teens that accept Christ (some for the twentieth time) in these meetings, the churches and youth groups should be packed by now. Where are they? And why are the ones who just got baptized in the Spirit last week out binging again this week? Where’s the sign that a true commitment with Christ has been made?
The new generations depend solely on their feelings. Everything is based on what they feel, not on facts. Emotion isn’t the truth in our lives…. It’s the bonus. Little analogy here: Food is a necessity (real food, by the way). We eat it to live. The taste is the bonus; it allows us to enjoy a necessity – and, occasionally, help us know if something is harmful to eat. But we have gotten to the point where we eat for the taste, whether it is harmful to our bodies or not. In fact, the more we eat junk food, the harder it is to enjoy real food. We find that we’re joyfully killing ourselves.
Ok….the taste is the emotion. Where God gave it to us as a way to enjoy the good facts in life and make it easier to do what is good, we have often twisted and abused it. We now use it to judge and decide even when we have the facts! We let it decide for us whether we are having a good day or not. Emotion can’t be trusted, because it is a human weakness and Satan knows it. He attacks us there with guilt, anger, depression, etc. etc. and we find ourselves wondering, “Where did that come from? I was doing great till that hit.”
We need to get back to the truth. We need to come to God on a deeper level. The deeper the level, the stronger the commitment. Jesus said, “Whoever does my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me.” -John 14:21.
“This is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands“. – 2 John 6.
I have never run across a verse that says, “I know you love Me, because your heart is full of adoration” or something like that. Adoration is good, but love goes deeper than emotion. It is a commitment.
Jesus knows that feelings can’t be trusted. Look at His prayer in Gethsemane: “Not My will, but Your will be done.” What if He had followed His emotions? What if we follow ours in making the biggest decisions in our lives, especially in our relationship with Jesus? We may think, “Oh, it’s going ok. What’s the problem?” This is the problem: so many of us have put other things before God. We are friends with the world, followers of pleasure, the adulteress of Hosea. This may sound harsh, but check the Bible.
James 4:4 says,”Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend with the world makes himself an enemy with God.”
This is just one of the verses on this subject. We may think,”I’m not worshiping other gods or anything.” Putting things before God…isn’t this adultery? Isn’t pleasure the idol so many of us worship? That is the god of so many, if not all; even in the Church. Look! Even in our walk with God, how many seek the “feel-good” of His presence more than His heart? His hand more than His face? Is this His bride?
Feelings…desire for pleasure. Wanting God to bring everything to us. God already did 2000 years ago; now it’s our turn to bring our all to Him. Granted, we can’t do it on our own; do we dare even try (Philippians 2:12b-13)? But we can lean on His strength to draw near (Philippians 4:13). We need to seek His face, and seek Him diligently. The Bible says this as well.
God is the only answer. I have little more to say, but God has plenty to say.
“I hold this against you: you have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from where you have fallen; repent and do the things you did at first.” ~Revelation 2:4-5
“If My people,who were called by My name, should humble themselves and pray; seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.” ~2 Chronicles 7:14
“Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.” ~1 John 3:14
There was a time not too long ago where society knew and understood boundaries. There was knowledge of what was right and what was wrong. Left versus Right. Light versus Darkness. Good versus Evil. At the end of the day, lines were drawn and people understood the effects when they were crossed or blurred. Recently, society has moved from recognizing right and wrong, to accepting all statements as relative. A, “your truth may not be my truth, but I accept your truth as long as you accept mine” mentality.
Thus, everything regarding morality becomes grey. Everyone does what is right in their own eyes (Judges 17:6). While at first this may appear to be the utopia of all ideologies, it has in the long run, quite the opposite effect. When a nation accepts truth as being all relative, it is then when that nation begins to rapidly deteriorate, resulting in its ultimate destruction. Our world has entered into a new era where tolerance is of the essence. However, ironically, this only applies to certain statements.
When one declares something as an absolute truth, retribution is fast coming. It is disdainful to say that your truth is more factual than that of the person next to you. To say your truth is the only way is offensive and harmful to society. Absolute truth is labeled as “hate speech” and has no place in a progressive environment. Relative truth seeks only to accept and not offend. Absolute truth only offends those who are resistant to the message.
In reality, there can be no such thing as relative truth. It is merely a facade to push an agenda which demoralizes a people. Anyone who dares to stand up for what is right and condemn that which is wrong, now faces certain punishment. As our country drifts closer towards self-destruction, the consequences for upholding absolute truths becomes stronger.
As Christians, we must be aware of the times. We must pray for wisdom as to how we should speak (1 Corinthians 12). When we engage we should do so from a heart of love towards those who aggressively hate our words. When accused of causing spite, let our actions reflect those of Christ so that no man can hold anything against us (Titus 2:8). We must be prepared to face the repercussions for sharing absolute truth-no matter the cost.
We must keep eternity’s values in view and not the current whims of the society which we live in. Truth is painful. Truth makes us wrestle with conviction. Truth causes us to draw a line in the sand. Truth defines what we are willing to die for. Truth forces us to choose whom we will serve (Joshua 24:15). Absolute truth provides clarity and courage to stand for righteousness. Relative truth only provides confusion and compromise. How much better it is to suffer for absolute truth rather than be caught in the snare of relative truth which only yields empty solutions.
Working in missions or ministry is by far one of the most challenging yet rewarding endeavors a person can embark upon. Over the years various strategies and methods have been experimentally driven. Some have proven fruitful while others have failed miserably despite the sincere efforts of those involved. One of the reasons there has been failure is from lack of following the guidelines laid out for us in Scripture (particularly in the New Testament) as to how we should approach gospel advancement and world missions. In the 13th-19th chapters of Acts there are 5 key strategies which the Apostles and Early Church engaged themselves passionately in and lived by. These approaches should be ones that we should seek to implement. Without them, the church will not build the foundations necessary in order to preach the gospel whether that be in a foreign land, our local community, or to our coworkers.
One of the most significant strategies, yet one that is often forgotten about, is to carefully listen and obey the voice of God. Throughout the book of Acts there are numerous recordings of how the believers sought guidance through prayer. When the Spirit told them to do or not do something and they obeyed, God used their obedience to grow and expand the church in the most phenomenal ways. In Acts 13 the Spirit tells the disciples to set aside Paul and Barnabas for the work which God had called them to do. Through obedience to this calling Paul would embark on his first of many missionary journeys which would ignite the flame for world evangelism.
Another example of listening to the voice of God would be in Acts chapter 16 where Paul received a vision from the Lord. In the vision a man from Macedonia was asking for help. Knowing that this was from God, Paul and the other disciples who were with him immediately set off for Macedonia. Upon arriving there, they were able to preach the gospel to many and perform miracles. Through the tribulations they faced by being imprisoned and beaten, they were able to share the good news with the jailor and his whole family became believers. Although listening and obeying God’s voice is not always easy nor is it sometimes safe, God uses every situation that He calls us to and anywhere He places us in order that through our obedience He can work not only in us but through us as we witness to those around us.
This leads us into the second strategy which is to do everything for the glory of God alone. This is perhaps most evident in Acts 14 after Paul and Barnabas had healed the lame man in Lystra. When the people saw what had happened they treated them as gods and began to worship them. Paul and Barnabas instead of reveling in the glory they were receiving sought to explain to them that God was the one who had healed the lame man, not themselves. If serving or doing anything in the name of Jesus is solely not for His glory but for wrong intentions, God will not bless it, nor will we be able to serve Him fully.
As the church and representatives of Christ, our desire and focus should primarily be to bring others to Him by striving to honor Him in everything we endeavor to do. To often, especially within the Western churches, the shift is more often than not taken off of God’s goodness and who He truly is and is rather put upon the people leading within the ministry. This can also lead to submitting people to rules or regulations which are not necessary or even biblical. The Apostles learned early on that these would be issues which would need to be constantly clarified and addressed as seen in Acts 15 and we would be wise to follow in their footsteps in this area.
The third strategy is to use contextualization when preaching the gospel. Throughout the New Testament there are multiple illustrations of how the disciples and believers would use this concept as a means to share the gospel with whomever they were preaching to. In Acts 13, the Apostle Paul as he began to share the good news with the Jewish people in Antioch, delivered the message in a way which the Jews could relate to by using their culture, language, history and religion as evidence and examples for preaching the gospel.
Paul uses the same strategy a few chapters later in Acts 17 when he has the opportunity to speak in front of a group of Greek philosophers. He was sensitive to their culture and practices as he began to unfold the scriptures to them. This would prompt Paul to write later on in one of his epistles, “ I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew to win the Jews…..To the weak I became weak to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all means I might save some (1 Corinthians 9:19-22).” In the same way, we should strive to share the gospel with those who come from other religions, ethnicities and cultural differences first by learning and seeking to understand, and then sharing in order that they might comprehend more fully what we are seeking to say.
Along with contextualizing the gospel it is important not to conform other people to that of your own culture or lifestyle. The disciples realized this in Acts 15 when they were faced with the issue of whether or not the new believers should become circumcised. It was causing disunity within the churches and misunderstandings as to whether or not those who were not circumcised were truly believers. After meeting with the elders in the church, the Apostles agreed that it is not by physical standards but rather spiritual ones which make a man clean and pure before God. In the same way, when we are living amongst and sharing the gospel with a group of people who are completely different from us, it is important that we do not try to make them like ourselves in order for them to think that that is the only way that they can become believers. As Christians our goal isn’t to convert people through man-made structures. Every culture and people group is unique and different in their own way; our ultimate role is to help them understand by using their own language, traditions and lifestyle to tell them about Jesus.
Finally, but most important is to recognize how essential the power of the Holy Spirit is today in our own lives and those whom we are seeking to win for Christ. It is the Holy Spirit which guides and leads the hearts of men. It is not what we say or do, but rather the power of the Holy Spirit working in us and through us that enables people to realize that it is not by our own strength but rather by Him who dwells within us. Without the Spirit, the church would not be as powerful as it is today. Throughout the book of Acts as it depicts the formation of the early church we see the Spirit moving in ways which for some of us is hard to imagine.
It is vital to recognize that the Spirit is moving just as powerfully in our own day and age just as during the time of the early church. Today this is perhaps most seen by the thousands of Muslims coming to Christ through dreams and visions. It is the healing and miraculous divine interventions which are occurring all over the world which are bringing people to Jesus. If we fail to recognize the power of the Holy Spirit we are diminishing God himself. One question which we should ask ourselves is, “Am I allowing the Spirit to work in and through me every day?”. Without this in the forefront of our minds we can easily lose sight of how we should view the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives.
By implementing these 5 strategies into our work in missions, ministry or workplace (wherever that may be), we will be able to effectively and adequately serve God and share the gospel with whomever He puts in our path. As the body of Christ it is necessary that we study the book of Acts particularly in regards to Church growth, structure and discipleship. Not only must we study it, but we must determine to live by these standards wholeheartedly. By seeking to understand the principles and guidelines laid out for us we can then effectively carry out the great commission which Jesus gave us: to go into all nations and share the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Prayer is the KEY that unlocks the gates of heaven and locks the gates of hell. Prayer is a conversation with God. A conversation isn’t just one way is it? We tend to talk way too much when praying. For every minute we talk to God, we need to spend double of that amount listening. Just as in a human conversation, we talk and we listen. We don’t just walk up to someone, say what we have to say and then walk away. That’s just rude in our culture. You need to give the other person a chance to respond.
And we wonder why we don’t hear God. Most of us pray, but most of us don’t listen. It’s like we are giving God instructions, be we don’t wait for His. He’s like, “Wait, come back! I didn’t have a chance to speak. I didn’t finish what I was saying”. How many of us are bad about interrupting people while they talk? I am!! I’ll be the first one to admit it. Sometimes we just need to be quiet and let God finish what He is saying.
We have too much noise in our lives. As soon as we get home, we hit the remote or continue about our agenda instead of God’s agenda. God told Abraham to leave home so He could reveal himself to Abraham on the mountain. There was too much noise at home. Nature is a wonderful place to really experience God’s presence.
Do you want to learn how to hear the voice of God inside of you? I’m going to break it down in a very simplistic way: conscience. Think about it. There is something inside of us that tells us right from wrong and it’s been there all along. FOCUS on that voice. It’s God! The more you pay attention to that soft, quiet, humble voice, the more you will be able to hear it and begin to realize, hey, that IS God!!. Be careful though. There is that other voice that like to pretend it’s God too. Test it with scripture and discernment.
Sometimes God will talk to you in a way that is recognizable. He sounds like my earthly dad sometimes-especially when He is correcting me or disciplining me. I’ll hear that loud, “James Shannon Caskey!”, and think I’m in trouble. Or it can be like a voice of someone else who you love (whether alive or gone). It’s a perfect way to get our attention real quick. Remember, God is also our friend. No need for a fancy, eloquent prayer. Just talk to Him. I’ve gotten more responses from Him personally when I’ve gotten down right real with Him. He likes that! I’ve even gotten in “arguments” with Him before. I’m not meaning any disrespect at all, I’m just sharing my deep feelings with Him. Oh my goodness, will He respond!! And of course, I’m usually wrong, but I like to know why!
When I pray, I call Him “dad” alot. He really likes that. It’s a term of endearment. And it shows intimacy between Him and I. And we will start this, “I love you more”, “No, I love you more” thing that makes me really smile! We should also be serious when we pray and put our emotions and heart into it. Stale prayer and worship makes God want to qayah (the Hebrew word for vomit). He doesn’t like it at all.
God is the Commander in Chief. Don’t forget your daily briefing soldiers!! God loves speaking to you. Slow down and listen. A prayer strategy can be very important under certain circumstances. Especially if you want UNIFIED prayer. Pray and wait with EXPECTATIONS. Be specific with your prayers-this is very, very important!!!
In a world where evil runs rampant, those who oppose it’s advances become the primal target. Standing against satanic agendas in the name of truth and righteousness becomes a treasonous act. Such is the world in which we live today. It is vital that in this perilous era, we choose to do and say what is right- no matter the cost. Come what may, we have been given an honorable opportunity to promote God’s love in the darkest places. What a privilege to be counted worthy of such a task!
My brothers and sisters, we are not the first to be given this undertaking, nor should it cause us to hesitate to act now that it is upon our doorstep. Obedience to God is what we have been called to since we made the decision to surrender our lives and wills to that of His. A clear conscience before God, even though it may land us in the deepest dungeon, is far better than to compromise one’s faith in order to enjoy temporary freedom. It is in the darkest pit that His light shines upon us more brightly. He will give us grace and strength to endure the fiery trials.
This light shines forth for all to witness the face of God in our weakened state. A light of truth to share to those who do not know Him. A light of love to show to those who have never experienced His. A light of forgiveness towards those who do us harm so that they may know the ultimate act of forgiveness which was given to save them from eternal hell.
And so my brothers and sisters, praise Him in the valleys and on the mountains. Wherever He wills you to go, go without wavering or fear. Choose to do the right thing, being driven always by love. The suffering and adversity should cause us to rejoice that we have been counted worthy for His Name’s sake (James 1: 2-8). Go forth in Christ alone and in obedience to His sovereign will for HE is all we need. Amen.
In the winter of 2018 I was asked by the university I was working at to put on a breakout session for the school’s women’s retreat – the topic they gave me was Embracing Hard Things. I was a bit taken aback because aside from my dad falling from spiritual leadership, I hadn’t really faced major difficulty or major trauma. Nonetheless I spent several months studying and reading and praying and I showed up with a session in hand. Amid a lot of good advice, the greatest takeaway was this reality: we can only thrive and survive in this life if our eyes are on Jesus.
I taught the class despite feeling slightly inexperienced in the topic and 3 months later my dad was in the ER, then getting brain surgery, then being diagnosed with terminal and aggressive brain cancer. Within a few months my entire world was being flipped on its head and I was grieving. Forced to drop everything, sell most of my belongings and move to a new state, I struggled for four months to find employment and then my biggest support, my dad, died. And all of the how-to lists became intangible. When the diagnosis came I rolled up my sleeves and was like, ‘I’m gonna be the best griever ever, I’m gonna grieve so well.” I started reading books, and listening to messages surrounding the topic.
Yet as the journey unfolded I quickly realized that the 10 step plans don’t work in the storm. The 10 step plans don’t work when you’re too sad to get out of bed. The 10 step plans don’t work when you’re supposed to find community and yet your deepest anguish hits at 3AM when you’re alone in your bed. I had some good habits in place, but it’s amazing how the fire can burn away my resolve to be grateful, to commit to sitting in it until I see a transformation. Yet as my greatest intentions were melting in the heat of these trials, one thing held true. In my deepest ache, in my darkest hour, my Lord was there. Jesus who wasn’t afraid on the cross to say, “my God, my God why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus who wasn’t ashamed to voice is suffering, to voice his sense of abandonment. Jesus who on the cross wasn’t afraid to declare his needs. He said I’m thirsty! Jesus who was able to endure that which he begged God to take from him, because he had an eternal perspective. He could see the joy on the other side. Jesus who single-handedly made our suffering worth it, finally worth it, because there’s something greater awaiting. Jesus who knows my ache more intimately than even I, drew near.
As believers, we love to offer platitudes. We love to toss out phrases such as “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” It’s a lie! Think of Job. Think of Joseph. Think of Paul. Look at your own life! There is so much we must walk through that we most certainly cannot handle. In 2 Corinthians 1:8 Paul writes of his circumstances, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death.”
Have you ever been there? When the suffering mounts and mounts and mounts and you can’t see your way through the fog, you can’t imagine how any of it could turn good. Have you ever cried out to God, “this is too much! I can’t do this anymore,” have you felt this weariness? Maybe you’re facing it today. Maybe these questions, these sentiments ring true right now. If so, you need to hear the rest of the verse: “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from peril and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.”
So as we face the sufferings of this life. As we experience setback and heartbreak, and loss, and pain, let us not cling to empty platitudes. Let us lean all the more on the one who empathizes with our pain. Think of the gospel. My sin had me dead. Powerless. Weak. Useless. I could not overcome it. I could not move through it. Yet Christ bore my sin to death. My God who has the power to raise the dead to life is the one who can deliver me today and tomorrow as well. We must allow him to carry the load, to pour strength into our being, to bring mercy anew each morning, to deliver us.
In your anguish I urge you to cry out to the Lord. Run into the throne room like you are the child of the King (you are after all). Climb into the lap of the good good Father and ask him to carry you through. Cling to his promises. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze (Isaiah 43:2).”
Alright, for all of you fasting right now since its fasting season, here’s a little nugget to help you. It’s up to you if you use it or not. Beware!! It will get you close to Him-if that is what you really want!?
Oneness with God:
-Tender, intimate fellowship with the Living God!!!!
-The secret is found in bent knees, wet eyes, and a broken heart.
-It has to be the most important thing in your life.
-It requires holiness
Continual and passionate daily fellowship with the Lord is also required:
– A close friendship with the Lord requires that you spend much time ALONE with Him. A genuine friendship where you can unload everything on your heart to Him.
-Spend more time in His Word – not just daily but hourly. Meditate on it, memorize it, hide it in your heart.
-“Abide and remain” in Jesus (John 15:4, John 17:21, 1 John 3, Galatians 5:17).
-“Being in Christ”, “abiding in Christ”, and “being filled with the Holy Spirit”, represents intimacy with God.
-Practice His presence. Living every minute of everyday, no matter what you are doing, as if it were precious and holy to God.
-Take every single thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
-Pray especially with thankfulness and praise.
-Tell The Lord how much you love Him through words and actions
It’s a depressing and sober reality how far the world has fallen away from God. They mock Him, laugh at Him, curse Him- thinking how secure they are since He hasn’t done anything to them for their sin. Rather similar to the story of Noah, isn’t it? No, God’s not going to wipe out the world with a flood. But there will come a time when it’s too late. This may be as close as I’ll get to explaining why I can get so depressed sometimes…just where the pain comes from. You see, the attitude so completely against God comes too close to home. I think I’ve gotten a taste of what “agony” really means, a pain too deep and real to adequately put into words. I’ve watched people I love turn away from God, literally been watching loved ones dying knowing that there will be no peace for them or reunion after death.
Without Jesus we’re dead inside… an eternal death and separation. I think deep down everyone knows it, they just don’t want to face it. Why is the world in such a frenzy to be entertained? Yet, no matter how much of it we get, in the end it’s never enough. In fact sometimes we feel emptier than before. Why? Because when God made us He put a special place inside that only He can fill. When He’s there, it’s so wonderful that it’s beyond description. When He’s not there it’s nothing more than a gaping hole, an emptiness too big and painful to just ignore. Oh, we can manage to put up with it for a while. We have so many things to occupy our thoughts. But have you noticed how torturous it is to be bored? Have nothing to do, nowhere to go, no one to talk to, no entertaining thoughts…a place of seclusion where the things you’ve run from come and haunt you.
If you don’t have Jesus inside, then there is definitely a feeling- maybe you don’t quite know what it is- that is very uncomfortable. It’s the terrible feeling of emptiness, an inner death; it’s the feeling of being far from life itself. But people run from God, fearing the feeling of nothing inside, yet fearing losing sinful fun even more. In truth, they see the loss instead of the gain. If they could see the whole picture, their fun versus what God has in store, they would feel like a child choosing toy money over a 14 karat gold crown inlaid with precious stones. If only they could see their choice. Worthless over priceless. Pain over joy. Death over life. If only they could see…
Life for the believer is like a strategic game of chess. The board represents our journey through this world and into eternity. Each piece has a different move and each has a unique purpose in order to win the game. Examining chess from a Christian perspective, God is the Grand Master and we are His pawns. On the other side of the board resides satan and his demons ready to kill and destroy.
While any other player would choose to use their pawns first, it was not so for Christ. In one of His first moves, He sacrificed His most powerful piece-His only Son. At that moment, we can only imagine what the reaction at the opposite end of the board must have been. The enemy probably had a huge smirk on his face. He gleefully laughed because he thought he had won the game. “What a foolish move to make”, he roared.
However, three moves (days) later Jesus Christ was resurrected and entered back onto the playing board. How the devil must have trembled then. He realized he no longer had the upper hand. In a furious rage he then began to focus on the other pieces. The pawns were now at the center of his attention.
For over 2,000 years since then, the church has been engaged in an all out battle. Through the seasons the church has had times of prosperity and peace. At other times it has been nearly demolished under the onslaught of attacks. In times when the pawns are dropping like flies off the chess board, one wonders why there isn’t a better strategy or greater protection by the Master Chessman.
Why are some pawns sacrificed more quickly than others? There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the game. It is in times like these that we must remember that we tend to view life from a finite perspective. Trusting that our God is omniscient and that He is carrying out everything according to His purpose (Romans 8:28), enables us to see life in a new light.
We can rejoice that we have been given the greatest blessing to be members of His army. When the enemy attempts to destroy us, we must remember that our sacrifice is but a small price to pay. For if the Master Chessman was willing to sacrifice the winning piece (His Son) before any of us in order that we might partake in the ultimate victory, how much more willing should we be to gladly give our lives for this cause. Yes, we may be just pawns, but we are His pawns. We can be rest assured that no matter how fierce the battle, we are on the winning side. What a blessing that we have been counted worthy to be a pawn in the hands of our Almighty God. Amen.