Friday, January 15, 2021
BIBLE STUDY / DEVOTIONALS All For The Union

All For The Union

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By John Miltenberger


 

General Michael Flynn defense fund Fellow patriots, please listen to this short, inspiring message from General Flynn. General Michael Flynn exemplifies patriotism, courage, and love of God and country - despite some of his own countrymen relentlessly attacking him. Donations for his defense are greatly appreciated. If you can only give $5.00, please do so - every little bit helps. Thank you so much, and God bless. Letter from General Flynn. 


3/16/2017

For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time – to show us His grace through Christ Jesus. [2 Timothy 1:9; NLT]

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Today I feel a deep sense of melancholy. By definition, the word means a ‘pensive sense of sadness; typically with no obvious cause..’ We all have days like that, don’t we? Much Charismatic, Christian teaching tells us to reject melancholy out of hand as a form of depression, and thus, not from God. There can be truth in this, however there is a subtle value in melancholy we can easily miss if we assume the guilt that is offered with it. I would like to focus on the word, ‘pensive’, in my definition.

Perhaps melancholy is like a blinking light in the cockpit of an airplane; perhaps it is a warning to take note and think, i.e., to get pensive. Almost certainly, it is an indication that it is time to pray with all our hearts, as God directs, rather than verbalize prayers that do not connect us to God.

It can be possible to pray without any effect, and without searching for God’s heart when we pray, that could be the result. How many of us have, while in the very act of saying some liturgical prayer in church, found our minds (and hearts) wandering to the afternoon football game? Is it likely that that prayer shook the walls in the hallways of heaven?

Sometimes it is beneficial to reflect, and many times God will direct us into reflection. And sometimes the result of reflection results in a form of melancholy. This has great value if we purpose to make it re-direct our motives and our hearts to get on-track with God; it is destructive if we allow it to rule over us, which almost certainly results in a pervasive depression. God is not the author of depression, for anything other than Himself to rule over us will in the short term, neuter us in the Kingdom, and in the long term, destroy us altogether.

Perhaps I feel this way because yesterday I read the diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes, a man who served in the American Civil War for the entirety of it. As I read his writings, I couldn’t escape the reflection that 620,000 men were struck down in that war; in the battle of Gettysburg alone, 43,000 in three days. In effect, in 4 years, the flower of an entire generation, North and South, was destroyed and our American way of life was changed forever.

Particularly poignant to me were the scenes of the surviving soldiers in later years, meeting together on the same fields they once fought each other on. Little did they know then, that even with their incredible sacrifices, those same sacrifices did little to free men’s minds, and even today there are many who hate others for reasons only skin deep. Sad, I think, but this is just as possible today between our Christian denominations.

Whether we acknowledge it or not, Christians today are engaged in a war for men’s hearts and minds, and we all will serve someone. That war even extends into congregations of people who are already counted on the roles of the living, and it would wrest from them their knowledge and worship of God. It may have taken me only several minutes to receive Christ in my heart, but now my life long conflict is to let Him remain in ownership of it.

Yes, God will give us peace in the midst of conflict if we maintain our faith and trust in Him, and yes, we know how the “story” ends…but I want with all my heart to be standing in faith when it does, and that is my responsibility.

Elisha Hunt Rhodes constantly commented on how the routine living conditions of the infantryman in the Civil War were harsh, and even fatal for many. Most died from disease rather than combat, but he always ended by writing, “But it’s all for the Union!”

Within our congregations and within our world wide body, shouldn’t that be our cry too? These are all ‘momentary light afflictions’ in the light of eternity, but cheer up, “It’s all for the Union”.

John


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