Read: 1 Timothy 1:18-19

Memory Verse: I Timothy 1:18

This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare.

The last Japanese soldier to formally surrender after the country’s defeat in World War Two was Hiroo Onoda. Lieutenant Onoda finally handed over his sword on March 9th, 1974. He had held out in the Philippine jungle for 29 years. In interviews and writings after his return to Japan, Lt Onoda said he had been unable to accept that Japan had capitulated. To many outsiders, Onoda looked like a fanatic. But in imperial Japan, his actions were perfectly logical. Onoda had sworn never to surrender and to die for the emperor. He believed the rest of his countrymen, and women would do the same.

Onoda continued his campaign as a Japanese holdout, initially living in the mountains of Lubang Island in the Philippines, with three fellow soldiers (Private Yuichi Akatsu, Corporal Shōichi Shimada, and Private First Class Kinshichi Kozuka). During his stay, Onoda and his companions carried out guerrilla activities and engaged in several shootouts with the local police. Eventually, his three companions were shot and killed, leaving Onoda the only holdout. Japanese authorities located and sent out his former commander to convince him that the war was over and that it was time to surrender.

We may not agree with his actions, but you can’t help but admire his dedication to his calling as a soldier. As Christians are we just as dedicated to the Lord as he was to his emperor? Would we be willing to hold out faithful to the end even if we were the last one? He was part of a lost cause. You and I are on the side of victory. Be faithful!

Meditation for the Day: What are some areas of your life that you need to “fight a good warfare” and “endure”.

Assignment: List areas where you need to surrender to God and areas where you need to stay faithful in and not quit.

For Fun: Do some research on Lt Onoda. What made him hold out so long? What happened to him after he surrendered? What did he accomplish in life? Are there other lessons we can learn from his life?