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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Messages » Quit Ye Like Men

Quit Ye Like Men

 

If you look back on the history of man, you will see the rise and fall of nations, and people. There has not been a seventy-five year period (about a lifespan) of peace and plenty in the history of the United States. In other words, every citizen of this country has experienced war, plagues, famines, droughts, and economic recession and depression. Some had it better than others, yes, but in the complete history of our country we have never had a generation of complete peace and harmony.

Our country is young compared to most others in the world. They also have gone through a continual cycle of the above troubles. What is my point? I want to establish that mankind has always had woes and always will until the end when our Redeemer comes back to reign forever. As a member of the Body of Christ I want to remind you of our history as well.  Since the birth of the Church in 33 AD we have gone through a continual battle to exist. The Apostles were endued with supernatural power to give us the firm foundation that we have. The miracles that the early church witnessed don’t happen with the frequency in our time. But they do happen.

Our brothers and sisters that were martyred went to the grave professing that Jesus is Lord. It is a statement that we use at times but I wonder if you have ever thought about what it means. Many of these martyrs could have extended their days on this earth by denying Jesus. But they chose to give up whatever earthly pleasures they might have known for a season to reign with Him forever. Their testimony should be a real spark for us to recognize that this world was not their home, nor is it ours.

Down through time those who have lived differently were always the ones that made a difference in this world. I want to base today’s message on a passage in 1st Corinthians 16:13. It uses a rather strange phrase to our modern ears. Paul is finishing his letter to the church at Corinth in which he corrects and exhorts. God knew that they would soon come under attack from the enemy in ways that they never expected. Thus the phrase Paul uses here.

This verse says “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” As I often do, I would like to break this down in sections to read what we are to do.

Watch Ye; when I read this it tells me to be of expectation. I visualize a watchman or guard standing on a tower or at a gate expecting something to happen. Our son Jacob is a Police officer at a local military installation. His station varies from day to day but his job stays the same. He is one of a team of men who guard over 15,000 acres with 87 miles of fence, and over 250 miles of roads. His training is specialized to recognize incoming car bombs, terrorist attacks and to handle riots. This is no ordinary policeman’s job but one who stands watch. I want to emphasize the point that he is trained to expect something bad to happen.

One day I called him and asked which gate he was at. I wanted to drop something off to him. He happened to be at the main gate that I was traveling by. The security is so tight at that facility that I didn’t want to bother getting in just to leave something with him. When I turned in I saw a man standing at attention in full uniform. I did not recognize my own son! I was at a stop when he squatted down and said, “Hi Dad!”. That was the first time I recognized him. I am telling you this because we need to be so ready for action, so expecting things that people won’t recognize us. My son wears a bullet-proof vest on his daily routines. It would be out of place for you to wear one to buy groceries. But he is ready for the worst to happen.

Friends, are you watching? We have all forgotten that God reminded us to be ready for bad things. Have you put on the whole armor of God today? Grocery shoppers don’t need armor. But soldiers and policemen do.

Stand fast in the faith -Jacob has been trained to not only expect trouble but he has been trained to stand fast in the event of it. It’s one thing to check vehicles coming through the gate. It’s another thing to know what to do when you discover a device attached under a truck. Some might run without training. We must be trained to not run in the face of danger. Panic is always bad. I used to paddle whitewater in an open canoe many years ago. There were several times that I would have drowned if I had not kept my composure while struggling under the water. Standing fast happens in the mind. Let me repeat that sentence.  Standing fast happens in the mind. We must be so fixed on Christ and what His Word says that we will be immovable.

When I was around eight years old I went out with my older brother Richard onto the neighbors frozen lake. We were far from the ear-shot of any help. When we were about the middle of the lake we fell and a huge crack developed. Richard told me to stay calm and that we would make our way back to the bank. We did just that with the crack following right behind us. Just as we got to the bank the ice gave way but by then we were less than knee deep and made it back. Neither one of us could swim. But God gave us the courage to stay calm.

At times we all feel the crack in the ice right behind us, squealing its threat. We must remain calm and stand fast in the faith that comes by hearing the Word of God. Even as trouble is right on our heels, we must stand resolute.

Quit ye like men-This phrase is not used in our modern language. The meaning may escape us unless we read the verse as a whole. While we can translate this into modern English as “show yourself as brave” it only repeats the last phrase in another manner. I see something more in this that relates to another passage that Paul wrote in chapter 13 of the same book. In verse eleven of that chapter he says that when he was grown he put away childish things.

There are many habits and toys of youth that we must put away when we are grown. In reference to my son again, he now stands guard in the cold without the radio going or a television to look at. I asked him about standing in all kinds of weather and he said that at times it was really hard to stand there all day long. We must, as mature Christians, put away childish things. When we were children we had someone to provide everything that we needed. We did much of what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it. But as we grew we had to get more on a schedule and go where we did not want to go.

School is not always easy but finishing it is rewarding. Staying at the same job for many years is not easy but it is what men are to do. Standing guard over a military installation is not easy but none of us would be safe without such men. When the cowardly attacks happened on the twin towers on 9-11-2001 there were firemen and rescue workers who ran against a tide of escaping terrified people to do their jobs. All of these examples have quit the childish things and taken up the roles as men. So must we as men and women of God.

Be strong-The last line in the verse I am examining today is simple but it takes effort. We must make an effort to be strong. Think, for a moment, about how men acquire physical strength. If you go to a physical trainer and ask him to make you stronger he will take you to a machine and ask you to begin lifting loads that stretch and work your muscles. It will be very unpleasant and hard work. There will be nothing fun about it. But over a period of time you will be stronger.

If you ask God to make you stronger He will do the same thing in a spiritual sense. If you are already battling the enemy and you ask to be stronger, God may just allow you to go through more battles to gain strength. Thus Peter’s statement in 1st Peter 4:12. He said to “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you”. Peter was explaining that we must go through trials as an act of training to become strong! It would be foolish to go to the physical trainer asking for strength and then complain about having to exercise. If we are to be strong we must go through the trials.

As this world approaches the Second Coming of Jesus Christ we will go through perilous times. I want you and I to be ready to not only survive these times but to shine as an example of Jesus and His love for mankind. We can make it. Quit ye like men and stand firm today.

 

Prayer-Father, I ask that You would give us courage today to stand up like the men and women of God that we should be. When the enemy comes up like a flood against us be our Ark and let us rise above it. May we never lose hope in You or Your Word. I pray for those who read this today and are stretched to their limit of faith. May this message bring them hope and give them courage.

In Jesus’ Name-Amen

paul

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Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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