Birthdays and Anniversaries:
None this week
Kennedi Reames, thyroid surgery Feb 9. Removed part of it. Recovering at home.
Marilyn Jones good MRI report. Another PET scan in the future.
Darlyne Stewart, Karl’s sister, small cancer spots on liver, therapy ongoing.
Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, is not well.
Sharon Best, Steven’s mom, still recovering from surgery.
Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care
Eleuterio Oviedo knee replacement surgery coming up
Paul Tyler has had a rough time with covid this week.
Sharon Gerstman, regular member of our radio group, moved to skilled nursing facility.
Gary & Sally Nelson, still recovering from Covid.
Robert and Sue Waller, health issues.
David Shaffer, being treated for leukemia, bone marrow transplant.
Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, stage 4 kidney disease, stroke. Wendi back home now.
Sean Brooks, friend of Paul’s, has covid.
Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.
If you have more prayer requests, just message or text Steve and we will update!
One of the characteristics of a faithful Christian life is submission.
As our perfect example, Jesus submitted to the Father (John 6:38; Philippians 2:5-9). As Jesus submitted to the Father, the church must submit to Christ (Ephesians 5:23-24). Christians submit to each other (Ephesians 5:21), by subordinating our own will for the needs and desires of others (Philippians 2:3). We should submit to shepherds (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:5), as they watch out for the souls of the sheep. Wives are to submit to their husbands (Colossians 3:18), slaves to their masters (1 Peter 2:18), and all Christians to the government (1 Peter 2:13).
It matters not if we like the decisions that are made. There is no room for prideful disobedience to these commands, for we have completely submitted ourselves to the Father of spirits and to his law (Hebrews 12:9; Romans 8:7).
Yet this submission also demands a type of defiance, a faithful defiance.
We find an example of this in the life of Nehemiah. The former cupbearer to the king turned governor had many enemies. Sanballat was greatly displeased “that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel” (Nehemiah 2:10). He accused Nehemiah of rebelling against the king (Nehemiah 2:19), and jeered at the Jews (Nehemiah 4:1). He tried to lure Nehemiah away in order to harm him (Nehemiah 6:2). When that failed he paid Shemaiah to convince Nehemiah to seek shelter in the temple (Nehemiah 6:10; see Numbers 18:7). Nehemiah’s response is one of faithful defiance, “Should such a man as I run away? And what man such as I could go into the temple and live? I will not go in” (Nehemiah 6:11).
He would not run from the threats, for he was God’s man. He would not enter the temple, for that was sin. His piercing question reverberates to this day, “Should such a man as I run away?”
Nehemiah would not abandon the LORD or his people, but would stand in faithful defiance of those who would entice him to sin.
We stand in faithful defiance when we heed the words of Paul to Corinth, “be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13). We stand in faithful defiance when we “stand firm and hold to the traditions that [we] were taught” (2 Thessalonians 2:15).
Elders stand in faithful defiance when they “hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught,” so that they “may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). There are those who are “empty talkers and deceivers” who must be “silenced” (Titus 1:0, 11). Shepherds are God’s men for the task.
Preachers stand in faithful defiance when they “teach what accords with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). Paul’s warning to Timothy that there would be those who will not endure sound teaching (2 Timothy 4:3-4), is fulfilled with each new generation. And the solution to such a problem remains the same, “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).
Christians stand in faithful defiance when we cling to God’s glorious word in the face of “false teachers” who bring in “destructive heresies” (2 Peter 2:1). We stand in faithful defiance to the pride and selfishness of the world, when we “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), and become more like our Lord.
In 1955, William F. Buckley, Jr. stated that his new magazine’s task was to stand “athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.” At the risk of mixing the holy with the profane, I say we stand in faithful defiance when we stand athwart the truth, yelling stop to those who would exchange her for a lie.
Those who submit to God must resist the devil (James 4:7). It may be that we feel we are alone — we are not. It may be that people have little patience for our plea. But the man of God will — with all love and faithfulness — fight the good fight of the faith (1 Timothy 6:12).
Like Nehemiah before us, let us pose this question, “Shall people such as us run away?”