Christmas Truce of 1914

AmericanMinute.com – William J. Federer

Christmas Truce of 1914 & selected Presidential Christmas Greetings “So CHRISTMAS becomes the only holiday in all the year…”-FDR –

When the First World War began, British women suffragists sent an Open Christmas Letter “To the Women of Germany and Austria” imploring peace as the first Christmas of the war approached.

Pope Benedict XV, December 7, 1914, begged for a truce, asking: 
“that the guns may fall silent at least upon the night the angels sang.”
These requests were officially rebuffed…

READ MORE  > > 

Devotional Thought for Today

Isaiah 40:31 - KJV - Bible verse of the day - DailyVerses.net

AMP and RVR 1960

A while back in our Daily devotional series we published this same verse seen here Waiting. The theme then and now was They that wait upon the Lord… are His chosen who would seek His guidance and will in all things. 

BUT! those that Wait cannot get comfortable in inaction, they must be doers. I have said it before God is not looking for Couch Potato Christians. He is looking for soldiers for His Army (we are at WAR) so get in the fight.   

Saturday’s Military Devotional – Watchmen

Watchmen, Who Are They? — Fulcrum7
Ancient soldier standing guard on the wall of a city/fort
Stand Guard Over the Nation — Generals International
Modern soldiers standing guard duty

Isaiah 21:6

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Chapter 21 v.1-10 is a repetition or better put confirmation of the promise given to the captive Jews in Chapters 13 and 14. The promise was simple their oppressors the Babylonians would be overthrown and they would be delivered. As with most all biblical prophecy an exact date and time was not given. 

Isaiah chooses a very interesting way of addressing the coming war, instead of relating the account in the first person as events unfolded, he chooses to tells the story in the third person as a Guard or Watchman doing his duty. 


BREAKDOWN:

God has related to Isaiah the coming invasion and then tells him this v.6:

For thus hath the Lord said unto me, –  God has spoken and Isaiah must obey. We all know the consequences of disobedience to God Deuteronomy 11:26-28, Jonah, or Ananias and Sapphira to name a few. For our military, the UCMJ provides for disciplining of military personnel who fail to obey orders.  

Go, set a watchman, – This request is simple and worthy, set a guard a watchman to let everyone know when the invaders are near. But not any lackadaisical sentry this one declares himself v.7 a Lion that is someone alert and ready to roar the alarm.

Guards and Watchmen have been a critical part of any defense against aggression and chaos since the beginning of man. We use them in everyday life as crossing guards, police, home security services, airport screening and so much more. 

In the military this task, especially in areas of combat and armed aggression is a must. From the beginning of Basic Training Army recruits (used) to be taught their 11 General Orders:

1: You will take charge of this post and all government property in view. 

2: You will walk your post in a military manner, always on alert and observing everything that takes place within your sight or hearing. 

3: You will report all violations of orders you are instructed to enforce. 

4: You will repeat all calls from more posts more distant to the guardhouse than your own. 

5: I will quit my post only after I am properly relieved. 

6: To receive, obey and pass on to the sentry who relieves you all orders from the commanding officer, officer of the day, and non-commissioned officers of the guard only. 

7: You will talk to no one except in the line of duty. 

8: You will give an alarm in case of fire or disorder. 

9: You will call the Sergeant of the Guard in any case that does not have instructions. 

10: You will salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased. 

11: You will be especially watchful at night, and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near your post, and to allow no one to pass without proper authority. 

Somehow the army now thinks folsk are either too dumb or incapable of that much memory so they have chopped it to three. Other services still have something similar.

let him declare what he seeth. – Like any good  guard, sentry or watchman this one is told to yell out as soon as he sees the enemy. In v.9, he does just that calling out all he sees and then closes this section in v.10 with God has said all this to me. 


APPLICATION:

What is it you have need of being on guard for today? Maybe you are not being invaded by a foreign enemy as Babylon was, but one has only to look around at the happenings in America and most other countries to see that Judeo-Christian values are under constant attack. If you do not think you need to be a watchman for you family values and for your own self you are sadly mistaken.

Maybe you are not yet convinced repent and trust Christ as Lord and Savior (I pray that will soon change). If you are ex-military you still have a sworn duty to be on guard against all enemies foreign and domestic. Anyone who would pervert the constitution need be of concern. 

Maybe it is just something even simpler, as your heart or mind just do not seem to be in sync all the time. I hate “Flip Wilson” theology, that is folks who put all the blame on Satan and claim the “Devil made me do it”. However there is no denying the fact that is we let our “guard down” Satan will attack and attack in force. Daily we need to post the sentry that protects us from spiritual attacks. 

Finally everyone going into battle needs to be Armored up. Today’s modern soldiers are far more prepared ballistically than I was 30 years ago for battle. Yet many are ill prepared for personal battles. That is why the Bible says we must never start the day without the FULL ARMOR of Christ


Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Being on Watch?     

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?

Light in Darkness: Waging War with the World

CARLOS CHUNG | APRIL 23, 2019 ¦ Original Post @ Masters Seminary Blog

A secularized society is one that divorces itself from spiritual truths. It casts off what it perceives to be the foolishness of Scripture, and then each man begins to do that which is right in his own eyes. Over time, a secularized society will become increasingly hostile toward God and the people of God.

We have seen this progression in our own culture.

There was a time when God and Scripture were woven into the fabric of this nation. This is not to say that our nation was ever Christian, but if you look at the seminal documents that gave birth to this nation, you will find them replete with references not only to God, but Scripture. Today we live in a very different society.

As our culture plummets into secularization, it has grown in hostility toward believers. The pathway of American history is the one laid out in the first chapter of Romans. In Romans chapter one, Paul describes the downward spiral of men into the secular abyss.

Paul writes that man rejects Scripture by suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18), and as a result, the heart of man is darkened; therefore the mind of man begins to engage in futile speculations (Rom 1:21). Then, Paul describes man’s exchange of the truth of God for a lie (Rom 1:25). Eventually, secular man rejects God and jettisons the values espoused in Scripture. As a consequence, God punishes men by giving them over to the lusts of their heart, in essence, by no longer restraining him (Rom 1:26).

Thus, we find ourselves in a society that is increasingly militant against believers. In fact, secular culture has weaponized aspects of our society, whether that be institutions of higher education, political action groups, or community organizations – all are becoming increasingly aggressive, even rabid against the truths of Scripture. If we express even the slightest resistance to the LGBT movement or its ideology, we are vilified, slandered, and hated.

The question becomes how?

How do we shine the light of Jesus Christ in this increasingly dark world? How do we prepare for the war that is coming and is upon us even now? How are we to evangelize a world that has completely divorced itself from the truth of God’s Word?

WE NEED TO FIGHT

Make no mistake, the world has declared war on us. They are the aggressors. They have brought the fight to us. And as faithful soldiers of Christ, we must fight. We are to be merciless. We are to be severe. We are to be militant. We are to fight relentlessly, aggressively, and zealously.

But not against the world. We fight against ourselves.

The Internal Battle

In the face of impending persecution, Peter writes, “Prepare your minds for action. Keep sober in spirit” (1 Peter 1:13).

The question is how? How are we to be sober in spirit and prepared for action? The next verse reads, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which are yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you be holy yourselves in all your behavior, because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”

Peter writes of obedience and holiness within the believer. That is how we prepare for action. This pursuit of holiness is an internal war. Peter writes, “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lust” (1 Peter 2:11). That is a negative way of urging believers to seek holiness. A war is being waged in the inner man.

But where do those fleshly lusts come from that wage war against our soul? These sinful tendencies that erupt within our hearts come from within (James 1:14). Our redeemed spirits are incarcerated in fleshly bodies where sin still resides (Rom 7:18). Thus, there is a sense in which the war that rages is against ourselves. We are in a civil war as our soul fights against our flesh.

In this war for holiness, we are often our own worst enemies.

Peter and Paul promoted the same strategy in the midst of persecution. Paul wrote to the Philippians when they were facing opposition and persecution from the world.

Paul writes,

It has been granted to you for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for his sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

Phil 1:29

In essence, Paul is saying, The battle has come to you, Philippians. You are suffering for the sake of Christ. With conflict at the doorstep, how does Paul instruct them to fight? Paul says, a war is coming, you are being persecuted. As this happens, work out your salvation. The salvation that was placed in you by God, work it into every crevice of your life. Work it out into every aspect of your life.

The first battle is the fight for personal holiness.

The soldier of Christ who wants to fight this war understands this: “The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore, let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of life” (Rom 13:12).

Before we can don the armor of light, we must shed our soiled garments. Lest this somehow sound romantic, let us not forget that war is harsh. There is a severity in which we are to wage war against ourselves, a sense in which we are merciless and ruthless, cold and militant, in the manner we engage personal sin (see also Matt 5:29Gal 5:24Rom 8:13). There is a take-no-prisoners, scorched-earth policy when it comes to this internal war with sin.

This is only the first half of the war.

The External Battle

While there is a battle within, there is also an external war to be waged. It is between us and this secularized world. But how do we fight against the world?

We fight with exemplary behavior.

In verse 12, Peter writes,

“Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may, because of your good deeds as they observe them, glorify God on the day of visitation.”

Excellent behavior among unbelievers is Christian guerrilla warfare. Our strategy against the world is excellence in all that we are and do.

The word excellent speaks of moral quality. All we do is to be noble and praiseworthy, blameless and excellent.

We see this exhibited in Scripture. Daniel excelled in a hostile kingdom, to such an extent that those who sought his downfall could not “find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God” (Dan 6:5). The primary weapon Daniel had against his enemies was his exemplary behavior.

And because of Daniel’s character, both Nebuchadnezzar and Darius, first-hand witnesses to the righteous life of Daniel, gave glory to God (Dan 4:34Dan 6:26). This is exactly what Peter says will be the fruit of excellent living (1 Peter 2:12).

As we fight an internal war for holiness, it manifests itself in outward excellence, which in turn becomes the weapon by which God brings many to glory.

There is another way in which our excellence does battle out on the fields of conflict.

THE RESPONSE OF THE WORLD

One of the greatest campaigns of war that Satan utilizes against believers is perception and attitudes – public opinion. Satan will ultimately focus the hatred of the world upon us by turning public opinion against us. Believers will increasingly be slandered, maligned, and disparaged, to such an extent that the world will one day rejoice to see us persecuted (1 Peter 2:12).

The question, once again, is how? How do we as believers counter the slander? How do we refute the false accusations?

The answer is found in 1 Peter 2:15, “For such is the will of God, that by doing right, you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.”

The word silence literally means to muzzle. The purity of our lives and an untarnished moral character gags, or muzzles the slander.

We may not be able to stop this mob mentality against Christians, but on an individual basis, we can muzzle the slander against us.

There is a lesbian couple that lives across the street from my family. The day may come when my family, along with all other believers, is slandered as haters of homosexuals and lesbians simply because of our faith.

But my neighbors know firsthand the love and kindness that my family has poured out on them since the day we first met. Were anyone to charge my family and I as haters of homosexuals, I believe that that lesbian couple would be among the first to stand and silence our accusers. We have sought to be excellent before them. And our excellent behavior becomes the stage from which we boldly proclaim the gospel.

As Christians, may we live in such a manner that our lives are a living validation of the message we preach. Let our excellence become our primary weapon of warfare.


Carlos Chung avatar

Carlos Chung is an elder at Grace Community Church in the Mainstream fellowship group. Carlos has served in the legal field in the greater Los Angeles area for over two decades.

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 07 & 08 June

FLATTERY

Neither at any time were they found using words of flattery – 1 Thessalonians 2:5 (R.V.)

Flatterers are the worst of tame beasts. – Thomas Fuller

Let a flatterer be in your Paternoster*, but not in your Creed; pray for him but trust him no more than a thief.

WAR

The grievousness of war – Isaiah 21:15

Changes and warfare are with me – Job 10:17 (R.V.)

Beat your plowshares into swords – Joel 3:10

War is the slaughter-house of mankind and the hell of this present world. – John Trapp

War is pleasant to those who never tried it. – John Clavin

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

*Origin Old English, from Latin pater noster ‘our father’, the first words of the Lord’s Prayer

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent, “Walking with God”, daily devotional. The topics are PSEUDO-INTELLECTUALISM and DANGERS OF A SLOPPY AGE