What shall I Render to My God

What shall I render to my God
For all His kindness shown?
My feet shall visit Thine abode,
My songs address Thy throne.

Among the saints that fill Thine house
My off’rings shall be paid;
There shall my zeal perform the vows
My soul in anguish made.

How much is mercy Thy delight,
Thou ever blessèd God!
How dear Thy servants in Thy sight!
How precious is their blood!

How happy all Thy servants are!
How great Thy grace to me!
My life, which thou hast made Thy care,
Lord, I devote to Thee.

Now I am Thine, forever Thine,
Nor shall my purpose move
Thy hand hath loosed my bonds of pain,
And bound me with Thy love.

Here in Thy courts I leave my vow,
And Thy rich grace record;
Witness, ye saints, who hear me now,
If I forsake the Lord.

-Isaac Watts, Psalm 116, The Psalms of David, 1719.

Instruments of Mercy

The same God who measured the waters in the hollows of His holy hands
Is the same God that uses broken man to expand His fixed plan
Sovereign, infinite, eternal, personal and intimate
Independently playing the harp with the various parts of our hearts instrument
A symphony of saints saved from sin singing spiritual songs
Pausing in awe, where all praise and all applause belongs to God
Stretching and bending, pitch, pruning tightening and tuning
It’s the residue of His resin that’s the evidence of His divine choosing
Using the weather and the storm to conform us into the image of our glorious Lord
Scorn to compose a score being stitched together in melodious chord
It’s the strumming and pressing of strings that momentarily stings
But in the end it ultimately brings us to a place that causes hearts to sing

With Your hands, play Your song
Use my life I’m Your instrument
Tune my heart to sing Your song
Use my life I’m Your instrument

God I thank You for Your grace and Your mercy in the face of adversity
I never went to college, never graduated but pain is a university
When I hold up my diploma there’s no dilemma despite my lack of credits
Because Jesus paid it all, yeah that’s my story when they roll the credits
A life time of suffering is nothing compared to the glory being prepared
And we could never find a stairway to heaven or climb up a ladder to get there
It’s only by the merits of Christ that sinners inherit eternal life
So I pray we grow in dependency, strip away my self-reliant tendencies
Organize and order my days according to Your ordinance
I’m an instrument in Your orchestra Lord and You are my only audience
Holding Your promises close and watching as Your plan unfolds
All for Your glory and praise playing the song that You composed

-Beautiful Eulogy, Instruments of Mercy released by Humble Beast

Ye Sons of Adam, Vain and Young

Ye sons of Adam, vain and young,
Indulge your eyes, indulge your tongue,
Taste the delights your souls desire,
And give a loose to all your fire;

Pursue the pleasures you design,
And cheer your hearts with songs and wine;
Enjoy the day of mirth, but know
There is a day of judgment, too.

God from on high records your thoughts,
His book records your secret faults;
The works of darkness you have done
Must all appear before the sun.

The vengeance to your follies due
Should strike your hearts with terror through:
How will you stand before His face,
Or answer for His injured grace?

Almighty God! turn off their eyes
From these alluring vanities;
And let the thunder of Thy Word
Awake their souls to fear the Lord.

-Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spir­it­u­al Songs, 1707, Book I, num­ber 89.

Wrong Judgment: An Erroneous View of Ourselves

 by John MacArthur

Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,”and behold, the log is in your eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your eye. – Matthew 7:3–5

“When we judge critically we also manifest an erroneous view of ourselves. The “speck” Jesus refers to is not something insignificant—it was likely a twig or splinter. Though small in comparison to a log, it was not a good thing to have in your eye. Jesus’ comparison is not between a very small sin or fault and one that is large, but between one that is large and one that is gigantic. His primary point is that the sin of the critic is much greater than the sin of the person he is criticizing.

The wretched and gross sin that is always blind to its own sinfulness is self-righteousness. It looks directly at its own sin and still imagines it sees only righteousness.

The very nature of self-righteousness is to justify self and condemn others. Self-righteousness is the worst of all sins because it trusts in self rather than God. It trusts in self to determine what is right and wrong and to determine who does what is right or wrong.

Too, the term “notice” conveys serious, continual meditation. Until you have thought long and hard about your own sin, how can you confront another with his shortcomings?

Ask Yourself

Again, the thought conveyed here is not that we are forbidden from ever pointing out the sins of another, aiding him toward repentance and a desire for God’s forgiveness. But our hearts are so suspect, we must regularly keep our sins confessed and to the surface. How do you practice this discipline in your own life?

-John MacArthur, From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, www.moodypublishers.com.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-readings

 

‘Judah’ and ‘Judas’ Are the Same Name

by Chad Ashby

The history of Bible translation has placed a huge stumbling block in our path.  It’s not a Gospel issue, but it is an issue of immense symbolism, allusion, and typology.  I’m speaking of course of the name translated ‘Judas Iscariot’.

If you have ever read the Greek translation of the OT (the Septuagint), you probably already know what I’m talking about.  When names are translated from Hebrew to Greek, they often go through a few changes: Elijah becomes Elias, Isaiah becomes Isaias, Josiah becomes Josias, Joshua becomes Jesus (you weren’t expecting that last one, were you?).  It’s kind of like writing Charles as Carlos in Spanish.  Both names refer to the same person, they are just pronounced a bit differently in Hebrew and Greek.

The name Judah is pronounced Judas in Greek.  Here are five reasons why this matters.

If Judas Iscariot was actually transliterated as Judah Iscariot, then…

1. …we would see the connection to Genesis 37.

Do you remember the story of Joseph, the precocious teenager who dreamed dreams of prestige and blessing?  Out of jealousy, his brothers conspired together, plotting how they might put him to death.  However, while he was down in the pit, a band of Ishmaelite traders passed by.  It was Judah who spoke up to his brothers saying, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood?  Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.”  So they sold Joseph, the child of blessing, to Ishmaelite traders for twenty shekels of silver.  It is hardly a leap to see Judas Iscariot, ‘one of the twelve’ (Matt. 26:14), acting out this same role play as he betrays the son of Joseph, Jesus, into the hands of the conspiring religious leaders for thirty pieces of silver.

2. …we would recognize greater irony in the title ‘King of the Jews’.

In the first three Gospels, the term ‘King of the Jews’ is repeated 12 times.  Each time it appears, we are supposed to sense irony.  We know that Jesus is the King of the Jews, however, the term always seems to appear in scenes where Jesus is being rejected by the Jews.  The title ‘King of the Jews’ almost gets Jesus killed in Matthew 2 when the Magi roll into Jerusalem, and in the passion narrative, it becomes the basis for his crucifixion.  His charges are hung over his head on the cross: ‘King of the Jews’.  For the Greek reader, however, the irony is even greater when Jesus is betrayed by a man named Judah–i.e., ‘Jew’.  The word ‘Jews’ is an Anglicizing of the word ‘Judeans’ or ‘Judahites’.  When Judas turns on Jesus, he joins the rest of the Judahites who have already determined to reject Jesus as their King.

3. …we would see that Jesus is truly King of the Nations.

Matthew’s Gospel is often summed up by the theme ‘Jesus is the King’.  In many ways, this is accurate.  However, the irony and beauty of Matthew’s Gospel is that Jesus is not merely the King of the Jews–read ‘Judahites’.  He is the King of the Gentiles–read ‘Nations’.  Matthew introduces Jesus as the Anointed Son of David who begins his ministry as a light to the Gentiles in Galilee (Matthew 4).  In Matthew, Jesus’ ministry takes place exclusively outside of Jerusalem.  When he finally comes riding toward the city of Jerusalem on a donkey in Matthew 21, it is his first and final visit.  He is celebrated by his fellow Galilean pilgrims outside of the city gates, but when he enters the city, Jerusalem’s response is, “Who is this?!”  They are deeply disturbed by the uproar the Galilean leader has caused.  Judas acts as an agent of the Jerusalem establishment, and he embodies their resentment and rejection of Jesus as a people.  After Jesus’ resurrection, he does not march to the castle in Jerusalem, he meets with his disciples in Galilee of the Gentiles. ‘Judah’ is sadly absent (after a suicide).  There he proclaims himself to have “all authority in heaven and on earth”, sending them to make disciples of all nations.

4. …we would see Judas as a national representative.

I touched on this some in the last point.  Judas is not merely a minor character in the Gospels.  As ‘Judah’, he represents the sentiments and the rejection of the entire people of ‘Judah’.  He is not acting in a federal sense, but the Gospels present him as acting in concert with the rest of the Jewish nation, personifying the statement John writes in his opening chapter: “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him” (John 1:11).  The way ‘Judah’ acted toward Jesus is the way the ‘Judahite’ nation in general responded to their Messiah.

5. …Judas is the New Absalom.

Do you remember the story of David’s exile from the throne in Jerusalem beginning in 2 Samuel 14?  His son Absalom wins the hearts of the people and usurps the throne, chasing his father David out of Jerusalem and sending him on the run for his life.  Betraying his own father, Absalom leads the people in Jerusalem to reject David as their King.  After a few years of rebellion, he ends up dead, hanging from a tree by his hair.  In similar fashion, Judas betrays the heir to the throne of David, playing the leading role with all of Jerusalem in rejecting Jesus from being their king.  Like Absalom, Judas himself ends hanging dead from a tree.  One has to wonder whether his fate is more symbolic of the fate of the entire city of Jerusalem (see 70 A.D.).

P.S.–Judas is usually depicted in iconography as a redhead.  Sorry, that was a low blow.

– Chad Ashby, http://chadashby.com/2014/06/09/judah-and-judas-are-the-same-name/

There Is No Such Thing as a ‘Pro-Choice’ Christian – Part 2

by Matt Walsh

Let’s begin with the Bible’s constant and consistent message condemning the taking of innocent life. Exodus, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Revelation, Matthew — all of these books engrave this truth into stone. Psalms, in particular, has a very relevant verse: “They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and they shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters… desecrating the land with bloodshed.”

Question: is abortion the taking of a life? Yes. Call it a fetus, call it an embryo, call it a moose if you like. What you can’t call it is inanimate matter. Therefore, it is a life.

Another question: is that life innocent? Yes. And I shudder to think that anyone would suggest otherwise.

The Bible repeatedly condemns the killing of innocents, but abortion kills the innocent.

Who is still confused?

My favorite pro-life verse is that obscure passage that reads: “Thou shalt not kill.”

Yes, “kill” must be understood as “murder,” and murder can’t be understood to include justified and righteous killing like self-defense, or the defense of a loved one. It is not hard for me to understand “thou shalt not kill (except in matters of self-defense and just warfare). But it is a little difficult to comprehend this version: “thou shalt not kill (unless you’re killing your young child).”

The Bible also teaches that God specifically commanded the human race to “be fruitful and multiply.” Abortion would seem to fall short of that directive.

Scripture says that life is sacred (“I came that they may have life” – John 10 “There shall be no more death” – Revelation 21 “Thanks be to God who gives us victory” over death – 1 Corinthians 15 “He will destroy death forever” – Isaiah 25) and that children are a “gift from God” (Psalm 127).

Most compellingly, the Bible repeatedly says that God creates and forms every human being (“God created man in His image” – Genesis “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” – Jeremiah). Unless you believe in a flawed and clumsy Lord, you must not think that any life can be accidental, or that God wishes for any of the beings made in His image to be exterminated before they even emerge from the womb. God has a plan for all of us, and our job as parents is to guide our children in following and understanding that plan.

Further, Jesus makes it clear that whatever we do or fail to do for “the least of His brothers” we did or failed to do for Him (Matthew 25). When we abort a child, we are therefore aborting Christ.

I feel sick even typing that sentence, but there is no other way to interpret the matter.

But the most shocking Biblical attacks against abortion cannot be boiled down to one or two sentences. The central point — the Ultimate Moment — of Christianity is, among other things, a stunning rebuke against abortion. Indeed, if there is one issue today that most offends and desecrates the Christian Message, it is abortion.

Think about it: Jesus was miraculously conceived in the womb. He spent his first nine months on Earth as a “fetus.” If abortion wasn’t a grave sin up until that point (even though it was), it would have become the gravest of sins afterwards. Jesus elevated all of mankind when he became one of us. And He became one of us through every stage, so every stage was elevated and sanctified.

Let me repeat this: if you are a Christian then you believe that CHRIST HIMSELF was a “fetus.” How can the “fetus” be anything other than sacred life after such an event?

Just a glob of cells? Is that what a Christian would say of his Savior?image

We don’t know what Christ looked like exactly, but we know he once looked something like this:

And how did Jesus’ life end? He sacrificed Himself for the our sake.

Sacrifice.

Christianity is a religion of sacrifice, while abortion is a sacrament for those who wish to avoid it.

Sacrifice. Love. Life.

Abortion stands opposed to all of these things, and so it stands opposed to God, and so it stands opposed to Christianity.

That doesn’t mean that pro-choice people can never be Christian, and it certainly doesn’t mean that post-abortive mothers aren’t welcome. Far from it. Christianity is also a religion of forgiveness, and thank God for that, because I am in constant need of God’s eternal mercy.

Christianity is a faith for all people, but it is not a faith for all notions and ideas. You cannot simultaneously profess the Faith while also defending the murder of the innocent. You are welcome into the church, but your belief in baby-murder is not.

You cannot carry the cross and a Planned Parenthood banner at the same time.

You have to drop the one, and pick up the other.

I hope you do. I hope you start today. Now. This moment.

But until then, you cannot follow Christ while you still support the murder of His children.

You cannot be both.

You cannot be Christian and ‘pro-choice.’

 
-Matt Walsh, http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/05/28/abortion/2/

There Is No Such Thing as a ‘Pro-Choice’ Christian – Part 1

by Matt Walsh

What if I told you that I believe it’s OK to physically abuse your household pets?

Hold on. Don’t jump on my case about it. I’m saying it’s acceptable to torture and torment pets — but only pets. And only your own pets. You certainly can’t go around drop kicking, headbutting, or piledriving your neighbor’s dog, but your dog is a different story.

And you can only punch, pistol whip, and karate chop your gerbils, cats, puppies, parrots, etc, up until a certain age. And only in the most humane way possible.

That’s all. I’m not some kind of psycho animal hater — I’ve never even assaulted my own cat, and I don’t think I ever will — I just happen to think you should have that right, should the need or desire ever arise.

But, beyond this one admittedly unique viewpoint, my overall ideology is pretty mainstream. I mean, I think it’s important to recycle and eat healthy and be nice to people and all that stuff.

Now, what if I told you that I also consider myself an animal rights activist?

Do you think the other animal rights activists will embrace me as their own? Will they allow the title “animal rights activist” to be bent and broadened to the extent that it also includes maniacs who think we ought to vociferously defend a person’s right to smack their pets around?

Alright, maybe this is a bad example. PETA kills thousands of animals every year, yet they seem to be celebrated in the animal rights community.

Still, you get my point. And in case you don’t, I’ll spell it out:

Our beliefs are not packaged, sealed, and sold separately. We don’t formulate our personal philosophy in a vacuum. Your views on one subject will be colored, or clarified, by your views on everything else.

If you think you live in a world where it is morally acceptable to do X, then your opinion on Y must be understood in the context of a world where X is considered righteous.

So this is why you can’t, for instance, advocate for slavery while also being a proponent of civil rights. Either you’re lying about your civil rights stance, or else you have an understanding of ‘civil rights’ which does not include a right to be free from enslavement. If that’s the case, then you are not a believer in civil rights at all, no matter how loudly you insist otherwise.

For very similar reasons, you simply cannot be Christian and pro-abortion.

In order to be both, you’d have to change Christianity into a religion that does not and would not condemn the murder of human children. You’d have to turn Christ into a Savior who embraces infanticide, and God into a Father who creates children but does not necessarily expect us or command us to refrain from violently destroying them.

What you are left with is something that bears no resemblance to Christianity. In fact, you’re left with something that is, in every way, exactly the opposite.

You are the pro-animal abuse animal rights activist, the pro-slavery civil rights proponent, the circular square, the north south. You are attempting to be two diametrically opposed things simultaneously. You’re trying to do something that is not only theologically impossible, but scientifically impossible as well.

If churches in America had any guts, this message would be proclaimed from the pulpit at least once a month. Especially this week, after that revolting story about a ‘Christian’ abortionist.

This man — a mercenary killer of infants — insists that his faith ‘calls’ him to decapitate babies. ‘Dr.’ Willie Parker says that abortion “became this conviction of compassion in a spiritual sense of the deepest level of love that you can have for another person, that you can have compassion for their suffering and you can act to relieve it.”

He’s right when he says that Christianity is a religion of love and compassion. But he understands (or claims to understand) love and compassion to include the extermination of 50 million children worldwide each year. His version of love leaves the ground scattered with the corpses of slaughtered babies. Christ’s love called us all to protect and love children, and warned us that we’d be better off with a stone around our neck, drowning in the sea, than defying that commandment.

Willie’s concept of love, then, isn’t just incompatible with Christian love — it’s the precise opposite of it.

But Willie The Child Killing Quack is not alone. Even Planned Parenthood has a “clergy advisory board” composed of fake clergy, peddling fake Christianity, in order to sell and promote infanticide. Meanwhile, the polls continue to show that a vast number of ‘Christians’ agree with abortion, to some extent or another.

Now, I almost hesitate to point out the numerous Bible verses that clearly and unequivocally condemn all abortion, at any stage, for any reason. I hesitate because I don’t want to reinforce the popular but horribly misconstrued notion that the Bible only teaches against or for a certain act if it somewhere explicitly mentions that act by name.

Scripture must be studied as a whole, in its entirety — not in disconnected pieces. From that view, we see a religion which preaches a message that is, in every facet, from every angle, from every vantage point, completely opposed to the killing of innocent children. It doesn’t need to say “hey, by the way, don’t kill innocent children in the womb,” in order for its anti-murdering-innocent-children-in-the-womb stance to be clear.

In any case, conveniently enough, the Bible is pretty explicit about abortion.

Shall we count the ways?

-Matt Walsh, http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/05/28/abortion/

Who Shall Inhabit In Thy Hill?

Who shall inhabit in Thy hill,
O God of holiness?
Whom will the Lord admit to dwell
So near His throne of grace?

The man that walks in pious ways,
And works with righteous hands;
That trusts his Maker’s promises,
And follows His commands.

He speaks the meaning of his heart,
Nor slanders with his tongue;
Will scarce believe an ill report,
Nor do his neighbor wrong.

The wealthy sinner he contemns,
Loves all that fear the Lord;
And though to his own hurt he swears,
Still he performs his word.

His hands disdain a golden bribe,
And never gripe the poor:
This man shall dwell with God on earth,
And find his Heav’n secure.

-Isaac Watts, Psalm 15, The Psalms of David, 1719.

Pastor, Get Off Your Butt and Exercise

by Chad Ashby

When I took my first pastorate, the comment I heard most frequently was, “You’re too skinny to be Southern Baptist.  We’ll do something about that.”  The sad thing is that pastors have a reputation for being some of the worse offenders when it comes to physical health.  Long hours sitting at a desk and attendance at too many free pastors’ lunches and prayer breakfasts work against vocational ministers. From the deep recesses of their studies they cry, “I’m called to the ministry of the Word and to prayer!  Both are sedentary.  Being out of shape–or even obese–is just an occupational hazard.”

Really?

Do pastors get to pass Go and collect $200 when it comes to exercise?  Are these excuses really valid?  Below are five reasons pastors–and all Christians–should include exercise as a regular part of their weekly activities.

1. It Builds Mental Toughness.

When writing to the young pastor Timothy, Paul says, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:7-8).

Now, some would say, “See, Paul says we should focus on training for godliness, not training for physical health.” Not so!  True, Paul does say the greater good is training for godliness because it lasts for eternity.  However, he asserts bodily training “is of some value.”  Godliness and physical health are not either/or.  Just because training for godliness is more important does not mean exercise is unimportant.  When dealing with greater and lesser goods, Jesus said, “These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others” (Matthew 23:23).

In 1 Corinthians 9:27, Paul describes his relationship with his physical body: “But I beat my body and make it my slave, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”  Exercise is a very practical way of telling your flesh who is boss.  When your lungs are crying out for you to quit at Mile 3 and you choose to push through for two more miles, you are building a mental toughness that bears fruit in all areas of life.

When ministry gets discouraging, or members are complaining, or obstacles keep piling up, you will be better prepared to navigate these difficulties because of the miles spent toiling in the extremes of summer heat and chillingly dark winter.

2. It Sets an Example.

“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).  As pastors, we are to live our lives as an example to brothers and sisters in the faith.  Paul’s exhortation essentially encompasses all of life.

A pastor who chooses not to make exercise a priority is setting an example, consciously or unconsciously, to the rest of his congregation about the value of our bodies.  Exercise is all about self-denial.  Jesus, Paul, the prophets, and the apostles all knew a thing or two about that.  A pastor who chooses to exercise sets an example to his congregation that self-denial is an all-of-life attitude, not just a “spiritual” attitude.

3. Jim Elliot Syndrome.

I trust you are familiar with Jim Elliot, the famous missionary who was martyred in Ecuador in 1956.  Perhaps what you didn’t know about Jim was that he was preparing for his missionary expeditions all the way back in college–by joining the wrestling team.  Here’s why: “I wrestle solely for the strength and co-ordination of muscle tone that the body receives while working out, with the ultimate end that of presenting a more useful body as a living sacrifice” (p. 16, Through Gates of Splendor).

Jim knew he wanted to be a missionary, and he realized regular exercise would better fit him for that ministry.  Pastors, missionaries, heck, all Christians have a lot of daily demands.  If we are going to be able service God will all of our might, to offer up our bodies as living sacrifices, we need to condition them for the work.  If you don’t practice, how will you succeed come game time?  The demands of ministry will destroy you if you do not prepare both physically and spiritually for the rigorous gauntlet of Christian life.

4. It Aids Unconscious Communication.

I have a close friend who weighed over 300 lbs. less than three years ago.  As a youth minister, his ministry was going okay.  However, he came to a point where he realized, “I’m asking these kids to exercise self-control in their lives when it comes to sex, school, and other things, but look at me!  Why would they listen to a guy who clearly has no self-control?”

Three years later, he is on a regimented diet, he runs dozens of miles a week, and he does extensive weighlifting.  He has dropped 150 lbs.  Why?  So that his kids will be impressed with his physique?  No.  He realized that his appearance was undermining his message–whether he liked it or not.  I believe God will reward this man’s ministry for the hard work and discipline he put in for the sake of his work in God’s Kingdom.

5. It Provides Ministry Opportunities.

A physically fit pastor opens doors that were previously closed.  He can meet non-Christians at the gym and build relationships for sharing the gospel.  He can run for 40 minutes with a ministry partner, church member, or non-Christian and use it as a time for mutual encouragement and discipleship.  The time you spend exercising shouldn’t be seen as time lost.  You can exercise and do ministry at the same time.  It just takes intentionality and discipline.

A healthy pastor can become all things to all people–he can sit with the elderly, and he can keep up with the younger generation.  For all believers, physical health is not about being able to post exercise times on Facebook, having more attractive selfies, or impressing the ladies at church.  It’s about treating your body as a gift–a gift that God expects you to maximize for his Kingdom’s sake.

-Chad Ashby, http://chadashby.com/2014/05/14/pastor-get-off-your-butt-and-exercise/

Stand Up, My Soul

Stand up, my soul, shake off thy fears,
And gird the Gospel armor on,
March to the gates of endless joy,
Where thy great Captain-Savior’s gone.

Hell and thy sins resist thy course,
But hell and sin are vanquished foes;
Thy Jesus nailed them to the cross,
And sung the triumph when He rose.

What though the prince of darkness rage,
And waste the fury of his spite,
Eternal chains confine him down
To fiery deeps and endless night.

What though thine inward lusts rebel,
’Tis but a struggling gasp for life;
The weapons of victorious grace
Shall slay thy sins, and end the strife.

Then let my soul march boldly on,
Press forward to the heav’nly gate;
There peace and joy eternal reign,
And glitt’ring robes for conquerors wait.

There shall I wear a starry crown,
And triumph in almighty grace,
While all the armies of the skies
Join in my glorious Leader’s praise.

-Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707.