Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Blaze of Glory -- INTRODUCTION

Welcome to our study, Blaze of Glory! I'm very happy to be sharing it with you as something the Lord put upon my heart to demonstrate through His Word. Pull up a chair, grab some coffee, tea (or since our theme for this study, partly, is the American cowboy, and there's one cowgirl in that picture to the left, too!), some sasparilla. Root beer is probably easier to find. Anyway, get comfortable, have your Bible ready, and let's start!

First, let's define the idiom "a blaze of glory." Some years ago there was a song by Bon Jovi with that title, which was the theme song for the movie, Young Guns 2. The term is defined as "a spectacular downfall," or, the definition which applies to our study, "to refuse to surrender to the enemy, to die fighting."

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, puts it much more eloquently with these words:

Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, TO STAND." -- Ephesians 6:13 NIV

That sounds like the same thing as our definition: To put on the whole armor of God without thought of surrendering, but rather to fight until the end.

Before we go on, let's state one Biblical fact, and that is that there is nothing the devil would like more than to see us, as believers, give up. He lives for that, for us to throw down our weapons and stop fighting. The late David Wilkerson of New York's Time Square Church said in his great sermon, A Call to Anguish, "That's all the devil wants to do is get the fight out of you and kill it, so you won't labor in prayer anymore. You won't weep before God anymore."

Further in that same sermon, Pastor Wilkerson spoke about that fight: "It is only what is accomplished by the Holy Spirit when you obey Him and take on His heart. Build the walls around your family. Build the walls around your own heart. Make you strong and impregnable against the Enemy. God, that's what we desire."

What are our weapons? Whether we're well acquainted with this passage from Ephesians 6 or this is new to you, let's review those weapons of warfare...all God-issued to us, as His soldiers.

  • Stand therefore, having your loins girl about with TRUTH, and
  • Having on the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS; and
  • Your feet shod with the preparation of the GOSPEL OF PEACE
  • Above all, taking the shield of FAITH, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked
  • And take the helmet of SALVATION,and
  • The Sword of the SPIRIT, which is THE WORD OF GOD,
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

Ephesians 6:14-18, KJV

Is that not awesome? But, wait--that doesn't totally fit the world's picture of the Church,..does it? The Enemy likes the depiction that the world holds onto. That spirit of the world that says, "It's okay to be a Christian, but just keep it to yourself, okay? Sing, have church dinners, love, love, love! But don't mention Jesus around people because you don't want to be offensive. Be mild and quiet, keep the Bible hidden."

That's a spirit that is contrary to all that we're told in scripture, contrary to what the Lord Jesus Christ taught and died for.

If you listen to the world, Christians aren't supposed to be cowboys. We're surely not supposed to be soldiers. You should hardly hear a peep out of us. We're not to make waves. Ever.

Their depiction of Jesus is about the same. If you buy the world's version of Jesus, He was a hippie of 2,000 years ago who did "cool stuff" like turning water into wine, healing the sick, more love, love, love than the Beatles sing about, and oh, so sorry, He was killed and died young.

Over the course of this study, we'll take a look at the Jesus of the Bible. Satan tried to get Him to surrender, too--and the devil lost that fight miserably.

We'll also take a look at the tough guys--and the tough ladies, because they're in there, too--of both the Old and New Testatments. You would've heard more than a peep out of them. Those people made some noise. And, oh, yeah, they made some waves, too.

All of whom risked something. Faith cost them dearly, often their earthly lives. People who were anything but passive and retiring. None who surrendered, who fought "the good fight" with valor and to God's glory until the end.

Still with me? I hope so! If you are, below is the reading for this part of the study. Read it, study it, meditate on it.

Luke 4:1-13

And we will meet again here for Part I of Blaze of Glory!

To read or review Part I of Blaze of Glory, click here.

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