In Luke 9:57-62 we read, “And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. (58) And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (59) And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. (60) Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. (61) And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.” Now notice carefully what Jesus said in verse 62, “…No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Unstable Christians are poor witnesses. You cannot be a true and effective disciple unless you are willing to go straight on for God, regardless of what it costs you personally. No wavering or looking back to the ways of the world and the “unfruitful works of darkness” can be permitted. The life of victory demands unreserved consecration, unremitting diligence, and enduring perseverance.
During the Revolutionary War, General George Washington came with his army to Brandywine Creek. After they had crossed the bridge spanning the stream, one of the soldiers asked him, “General, shall we burn the bridge, or leave it? After all, the enemy might drive us back, and then we would need to make a good retreat!” Washington gave a memorable reply: “Burn the bridge! It is victory or death!”
When Napoleon was engaged in the battle of Waterloo, among those taken prisoner was a Highland piper. Napoleon, impressed by the man’s strange mountain garb and determined air, struck up a conversation with the captured but unvanquished foe. Seeing that he had his instrument with him, Napoleon asked him to play a tune. The highlander obliged. “Now play a march,” said Napoleon. Once again, the Scotchman did as he was told. Finally the Emperor said, “Play a retreat.” “Nay, nay,” said the highlander, “that I cannot do. I never learned to play one.”
The saints of God too should never learn to “play a retreat.” Bridges of compromise must ever be burned behind us so that we leave no way back into the world. We must make a complete break with our old sinful life. The furrows of our testimony will only be straight as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Follow Him no matter the cost, Christian. Never look back. Our life’s theme ought to be “No regrets, no retreats!”
In 1858 on his death bed, Rev. Dudley Tyng gave this final statement to those gathered around him, “Let us all stand up for Jesus.” The next Sunday Rev. George Duffield preached his morning sermon as a tribute to his departed friend. He closed his sermon by reading a poem that he had just finished writing. As you now read through the words of “Stand up For Jesus” determine to live boldly and unashamedly for God in the strength and wisdom that He will provide during the rest of 2017.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus; ye soldiers of the cross;
lift high the royal banner – it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory His army shall He lead,
‘till every foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus; the trumpet call obey;
forth to the mighty conflict in this His glorious day.
Ye that are men now serve Him against unnumbered foes;
let courage rise with danger and strength to strength oppose.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus; the strife will not be long;
this day the noise of battle – the next, the victor’s song.
To Him that overcometh a crown of life shall be;
He with the King of Glory shall reign eternally.
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