20 June 2021
20 June 2021
Gary Henry – Reaching Forward – June 20, 200
“Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.”
As a child, I remember hearing old men pray, “Lord, suit unto us such bless-ings as you see fit.” Even then, I think I was struck by the joyful blend of humility and gratitude that would prompt such a prayer. Left to our own devices, we may think we want this or that, but what we really want is what-ever the Lord wants for us. And we don’t just “settle” for how the Lord wants to bless us – we receive it openly, receptively, and joyously.
This truth is in the story of Eowyn and Faramir in the legends of J.R.R. Tolkien. Eowyn, a princess of Rohan whose heroism on the Pelennor Fields had turned back the tide of evil, would have loved, and been loved by Aragorn, heir to the throne of Gondor, but it was impossible for Aragoen to be Eowyn’s husband. The prince, Faramir, however, who would later rule the land if Ithiliedn, came to love Eowyn as they both recuperated from battle in the Houses of Healing. “Eowyn, do you not love me,” he said after court-ing her, “or will you not?” there is not a greater moment in all of literature than when Eowyn decided that … yes, she would.
I am no Aragorn, the Lord knows. But once upon a time, my path ran alongside that of a true Eowyn, a shieldmaded of the Lord, both valiant and virtuous. Many were the long nights when I praued for her a Faramir – and when in the Lord’s grace he appeared, her virtue was such that she opened her heart to receive his love. “Behold the maidservant of the Lord,” her willing spirit said. “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). And now, we can only imagine how many lives will have been blessed by the love of Eowyn and Farmir by the time our Lord returns.
O Eowyn, Eowyn. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you … being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:3, 6). I do not say fare well – for on this life’s voyage there will surely be storms – but I pray you’ll fare forward.
Where is Your Confidence?
“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”
It’s always a good idea to have a battle plan if you intend to lead an army into war. Moses possessed a plan for the army of Israel, a set of instructions that came straight from the top – the very top. Imagine the confidence a field commander could instill in his troops knowing that he could not lose. Yet that was just the kind of guidance God gave Moses and the people of Israel. God assured them they had nothing to fear – as long as they remem-bered that He would remain with them always.
Christian leaders today can bank on the same promise that gave Moses such courage, “'for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.'” (Deut. 20:4). And so God gives us the same word He gave to Moses “Do not be afraid.”
The One Who Overcomes
1 John 5:1-5
I. Access to the Tree of Life
a. Rev. 2:7
II. Protection from the Second Death
a. Rev. 2:11
b. Rev. 20:14-15; 21:8
III. Identification as God’s Chosen
a. Rev. 2:17
b. Rev. 14:1; 22:4
IV. Share in the Glory of Messiah’s Victory Over Every Evil Enemy
a. Rev. 2:26-28
b. Col. 3:4
V. Confessed Before the Father
a. Rev. 3:5
b. Mark 8:38; Rev. 20:12
VI. Secure Citizenship with God in His Eternal Kingdom
a. Rev. 3:12
b. Rev. 3:11; 21:2, 22
VII. Reign with Christ Over Sin and Death
a. Rev. 3:21
b. 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 22:5
Cancel Culture in the Church?
I. Are you canceling the Authority of Jesus?
a. Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17
b. 1 Pet. 4:11; Mark 7:1-13
c. Matt. 21:23-25
d. Gal. 1:6-9; 2 John 9-11; Col. 2:16-23
e. 2 Tim. 4:2-4
f. 2 Tim. 1:13; Phil. 4:9
II. Are you canceling Gospel Preaching?
a. Phil. 1:17
b. 2 Tim. 4:5
c. Amos 7:11-13
d. Amos 7:14-17
e. Acts 24:25; 26:24-32; Phil. 1:12-13
f. Eph. 5:11
g. Jude 3-4
III. Are you canceling the Reverence of Worship?
a. Matt. 22:12-13
b. John 4:23-24; 1 Cor. 14:26, 33, 40
c. Heb. 12:28; Rev. 5:14
IV. Are you canceling Brotherly Kindness?
a. Eph. 4:25, 31-32
b. Col. 4:5-6