Tag: spiritual warfare

Sunday Rest and Reflection: 2nd Corinthians 10-13

Dear Friends,

Welcome to another day of rest!  This cycle of working 6 and resting one day is really a gift from God for us!  God knows that we really need rest!  The rest we need is from trying to work for His approval!  In Christ, we are completely approved and accepted in the beloved!  Let’s enter this day fully resting in Christ!

In order to complete our reading this year, we must read for 5 more Sundays!  In our devotion, I have picked out several key scriptures to meditate on today.  May you find God speaking to you through His Word!

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” 2nd Corinthians 10:4-5

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.  Their end will be what their actions deserve.” 2nd Corinthians 11:13-15

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.””  “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That’s why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2nd Corinthians 12:9-10

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test? 2nd Corinthians 13:5

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2nd Corinthians 13:14

Resting in His matchless love,  Pastor John

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Work and warfare!

Scripture reading for May 9th: Nehemiah 3-4

God’s people are wired for work!  When a vision is present, focus of energy and teamwork can result in a miraculous amount of work being done and great accomplishments.  It takes leadership and discipline to get people to work together.  There are many hindrances that try to hold up progress and destroy the vision.  The leader must assess the situation, cast the vision, organize the team of workers, and deal with the hindrances in a timely and effective manner.  He can’t run a popularity contest or seek to appease those who would hinder or hold up the work.

Nehemiah was an effective leader.  He was chosen by God as he prayed for the city of Jerusalem, burdened for it’s broken-down walls.  Nehemiah was given favor, authority, and materials from the king to go and rebuild the broken walls of his beloved city.  His vision was the rebuilding of the walls.  His plan of action was formulated as he assessed the situation for himself after arriving there. (Nehemiah 2:11-16)   He decided on putting families in charge of rebuilding the section of wall nearest their own homes.  (Nehemiah 3)  This brought personal responsibility to bear on how the job would be done and how fast they would work.  You work harder and smarter if your own family’s lives depend on it.

Nehemiah had to deal with opposition, both external and internal.  This is spiritual warfare that is ever-present in the life of a believer seeking to do God’s will.  He prayed first (Nehemiah 4:4-5) and then posted a guard.  He armed half the men while the others worked.  He kept a trumpeter by his side to sound the alarm if any family was attacked and needed help.  (Nehemiah 4:17-20)  Everyone worked together and kept ready to meet any opposition or force that might attack them.

This is a good plan for each person in God’s family.  We are each assigned work to do by the Lord according to our gifts and talents.  There will be opposition and it must be dealt with and watched closely to avoid setback and defeat.  The Holy Spirit is the trumpeter in our lives who lets us know when trouble is coming.  He helps us prepare for attack and leads the resistance.  As we work and fight together the work gets done quickly.  We remember that we are fighting for our own protection and that of our family.  Personal responsibility and God’s grace insure the victory!

“Don’t be afraid of them.  Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14

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Changing attitudes!

Scripture reading for May 5th: Ezra 4-6

In today’s political climate, Christians often feel that elected officials are against them and hinder the work that they are called to do.  For example, Christians have been working to reverse the law concerning abortion and have made much progress.  The current administration seems to want to reverse the progress and make abortion on demand available to anyone and everyone.  It is easy to get an attitude and loose heart!

Ezra records the spiritual battle for the rebuilding of the temple.  When the Jews came to Jerusalem armed with the orders from Cyrus, they were immediately opposed by local political enemies.  These enemies offered to help with the work, intending instead to hinder it, and were refused.  They then changed tactics and wrote letters to the next king, Artazerxes.  These letter brought accusations against the builders and caused the work to cease.  (Ezra 4:18-23)  The builders stopped work and left it unfinished for a time.  Discouragement set in because of political and spiritual opposition!

God’s word cannot be hindered, however. God had spoken through Cyrus that His temple would be rebuilt!   God raised up the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to encourage the people.  (Ezra 5:1-2)  The eye of their God was upon them and another letter was sent to the next king, Darius.  Darius made a search, found the decree of Cyrus, and enforced it!  (Ezra 6:6-12)   God truly knows how to change attitudes in political power!   Where He guides He also provides;  Darius even ordered the bills paid by the royal treasury!  (Ezra 6:8)

We must be careful to not become discouraged or let our attitude droop.  God is in charge and can change the hearts of those in authority.  God’s people must heed the prophetic word to continue the work on His house!  Our focus must not change and our attitude must be positive!  God watches over His word to bring it to pass!

“For seven days they celebrated with joy the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria, so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.” Ezra 6:22

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