GOD PAUSE DAILY DEVOTIONS

Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Onward, Christian soldiers,
marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus
going on before.
Christ, the royal master,
leads against the foe;
forward into battle,
see, his banners go!

(Refrain)
Onward, Christian soldiers,
marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus
going on before.

Like a mighty army
moves the church of God;
let us boldly follow
where the saints have trod.
We are not divided;
all one body we;
one in hope and doctrine,
one in charity. (Refrain)

Crowns and thrones may perish,
kingdoms rise and wane,
but the church of Jesus
constant will remain;
gates of hell can never
'gainst the church prevail.
We have Christ's own promise,
and that cannot fail. (Refrain)

Onward, then, you faithful,
join our happy throng;
blend with ours your voices
in the triumph song.
Glory, laud, and honor
unto Christ the king.
We through countless ages
with the angels sing: (Refrain)


What is your single-most important focus in life? Is that focus something that is worth fighting for?

"Onward, Christian Soldiers is a 19th century English hymn; it was used during the civil rights movement, and the Salvation Army has adopted the hymn as its favored processional. This hymn was inspired by the words of 2 Timothy 2:3-4 in which the Apostle exhorts Timothy to persevere in faith, with discipline like that a soldier would have. The apostle reminds the faithful they are engaged in a spiritual warfare and that Jesus leads them in this battle. In the struggles of life we are encouraged to remain focused on the cross, for it is triumphant and eternal. It's not that secular things are bad; they just cannot be our priority (2 Pet 2:20).

The Air Force, in which I am a chaplain, has three core values: integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do. Members of the Air Force are admonished to uphold these values as their guide in life and to use them as their battlefield discipline.

What core values guide you in life? What spiritual disciplines do you exercise in your day to day activities which ensure you will maintain a faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is that witness and discipline something worth fighting for?

Heavenly Father, we thank you for your invitation to be a part of your encampment, and that you lead us forth into certain victory. May you strengthen our resolve in life to always hold true to your Word and remain faithful in our witness to your saving grace. In your ever present and powerful name we pray. Amen.

Ch., Lt. Col. Steven J. Nicolai
Wing Chaplain, Goodfellow AFB, TX; Deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan
Master of Divinity , 1983


This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.