The admiral was right.
After his successful surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Admiral Yamamoto, of the Japanese imperial command refused to celebrate victory.   He had lived and studied in America and knew something of her war making potential.  Some historians believe the admiral expressed his fear with this statement, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” That “terrible resolve” destroyed the Japanese military machine in less than four years.

re·solve…  to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something): I have resolved that I shall live to the full.

To resolve to do something is much deeper than making a simple decision. 
We resolve to do something when a strong stimulus has affected us in a deep place.  This is the kind of decision we write down and post on the bathroom mirror to be reviewed every day.  We are determined that nothing will keep us from doing what we have resolved to do.

Today as we again turn our inner vision to Cause of Christ, there are some deep resolutions we need to make.  Our continual contemplation of Calvary should fill us with a powerful resolve.

  • In view of the faithfulness of Jesus when he drank from the terrible cup of iniquity in the garden, we should resolve to live holy lives by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
  • With consideration for His willingness to endure the shame and suffering of the whole ordeal of the atonement, we must resolve to do whatever the Lord asks us to do for Him in this world.  Our prayer should daily be, “not my will but Yours, Lord.”
  • In view of the mercy of God on vivid display at the Cross, we should resolve to continually offer ourselves to the Lord as living sacrifices of praise.

It is only reasonable that we do so

As we marvel at the amazing story of redemption in the Bible,

  • beginning from the unknown animal whose death supplied the covering for the naked guilt of Adam and Eve
  • to the salvation of Noah’s family through the waters of the Great Flood,
  • through the deliverances of the Children of Israel from the cruel slavery of Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea, the forty years of God faithfulness to His faithless chosen ones in the wilderness,
  • to the crossing a the river Jordan and the conquest of Canaan,
  • to the miraculous ministries of the judges,
  • to the Kings, both those wise and righteous and those wicked and apostate,
  • to the warnings and promises of the prophets before and after the Babylonian captivity,
  • to the coming of the last and greatest of the prophets, John the Baptist, and finally,
  • to the entrance of Messiah on His earthly mission of salvation, not as conquering King but as suffering sin bearer,  we must resolve to keep the story of God’s love alive!

We have a story to tell of God’s love and redemption.
Let us resolve to tell it, and tell it, and tell it again.  No other story changes peoples’ hearts.  No other narrative, brings reconciliation with God and peace between brothers and sisters.  Only the Jesus Story dispels fear, quiets the storms of the soul, and clears the mind of falsehood.

In view of The Cause of Christ, we pledge to be the people of God, a priesthood of praise, warriors of worship, and craftsmen of the truth.  Be it hereby resolved!

Luke 9:51-52 NKJV
Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face.
Isaiah 50:7 KJV
For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
2 Corinthians 6:1; 1 Corinthians 15:2; 58
As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain…
…Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.   For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Philippians 3:12-14
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 12:1-3
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Colossians3:2-4 NKJV
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Lord Jesus, As Isaiah prophesied, the Bible tells us that You set your face like a flint, determined to go all the way the Cross to fulfill the Father’s plan. May we, may I, be no less resolved to take up my cross and follow You today. Holy Spirit put the steel in my backbone required to stand tall for the truth today. Light a fire in my eyes that will melt the frozen hearts who cross my path today. Give me a peace so deep it radiates hope to those who see no way out of the mess they have made of their lives. Project my voice above the noise of the culture’s clamoring so that I could be heard telling the old, old story that is still such Good News. I am thus resolved, my face set like a flint, to see what You will do. By Your Spirit, Lord. Amen.

I Am Resolved
Words: Palmer Hartsough; Music:James Fillmore

1. I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world’s delight;
Things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight.

I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free;
Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.

2. I am resolved to go to the Savior, leaving my sin and strife;
He is the true one; He is the just one, He has the words of life.


3. I am resolved, and who will go with me? Come, friends, without delay;
taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit, we’ll walk the heavenly way.


Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

2 thoughts on “April 24, 2017

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