Virtue – Exercise It

Haggai 1:2-4, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘This people says, “The time has not come, even the time for the house of the LORD to be rebuilt.”‘” Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?”

Ephesians 6:10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”

13-14, “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, . . .”

Exercise It

Many settlers in Washington and Oregon during the 1850s and 1860s expressed virulent anti-Indian behavior. Against their antipathy, many who were more sympathetic to the Indians hid them from enraged settlers. The problem was the inertia of the pro-Indian compared to the truculent energy of the anti-Indian settlers. Those who wanted them removed actively pushed for their removal, while those who sought accommodation with the red man remained quiescent. Inevitably, the critics moved policy makers.

In the years preceding World War II, the virtuous motives of European statesmen, combined with military and political timidity, loosed a monster on the nations. Decrying their naiveté, and worse, Churchill bellowed that a sincere love of peace was no excuse for muddling the world into total war.

No marshaled virtue has value until it is exercised on behalf of its object. Good thoughts never saved anyone, rescued anyone, resisted any evil, or accomplished any good. More than one ministry has failed because a handful of critics withstood an army of supporters. On the other hand, evil cannot overcome virtue if virtue asserts itself, gets involved, speaks up, and takes action. We in the church do not need greater powers to succeed; we need only vigorous exercise of spiritual powers now latent within the body of Christ.

Courtesy of Speaker’s Sourcebook of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley copyright © 1995 by Word, Incorporated. Used by permission.
*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Applicable Quotations

Virtue is not to be considered in the light of mere innocence, or abstaining from harm; but as the exertion of our faculties in doing good. – Butler

All virtue consists in having a willing heart. God will lead you by the hand, if only you do not doubt, and are filled with love for Him rather than fear for yourself. – Francois Fenelon

What the world calls virtue, without Christ, is a name and a dream. The foundation of all human excellence must be laid deep in the blood of the Redeemer’s cross and in the power of His resurrection. – Robertson

A truly virtuous person is like good metal – the more he is fired, the more he is refined; the more he is opposed, the more he is approved. Wrongs may well try him and touch him, but they cannot imprint on him any false stamp. – Richelieu

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of intercessory prayer, encouragement and exhortation of the Word of God and author of the ministry blog, For The Love of God. I live in Delta, Colorado with my beautiful wife of 49+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom we affectionately call Bella.
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