Friday, March 25, 2011

Being strong in Jesus Christ

Excerpted from Stories from China: Fried Rice for the Soul, a compilation of meditations by Luke Wesley, a missionary to China

Meditation #19
An Invisible Army

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer.

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s Word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory (2 Tim. 2:1-4, 8-10).
We do not fear strong wind and rain
For the one with us is Jehovah
We do not fear strong wind and rain
For the one with us is greater than ten thousand
We will not cast our nets in the narrow, shallow stream
Nor will we cast our nets in the tranquil lake
Small trees survive violent winds and savage rain
They grow into tall trees that reach to heaven.*

We are an Invisible ArWe are an invisible army
We are evangelists without names
If God helps us, who can stand against us?
‘Charge forward’ is our battle cry
The blood of martyrs spilled over thousands of years,
Cries out to those of us who follow
The throng of saints over thousands of years,
In ragged clothes, drifting, yet not discouraged
On the battlefield these soldiers were tested
In strong winds and waves these helmsmen were tried
In these last days we will face even greater trials
So we constantly ask the Lord for His guidance.**
Lord, I thank you and praise you because you have called me to be a part of your vast, invisible army. I rejoice because I stand side by side with countless Chinese believers and other Christians from every nation. I ask for your guidance and strength, because I know the task is great. Enable me to exhibit a bit of the courage and stamina that animate the Chinese church. Lord, I do not want to simply cast my net in shallow streams or peaceful waters, but I want to be obedient to your calling and be willing to face challenges. Help me live in a manner worthy of your calling.

*Lu Xiaomin, Sounds of the Heart, 455 (Song #404)
**Lu Xiaomin, Sounds of the Heart, 585 (Song #524)

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