Join Me In Prayer August 27

We are in a spiritual warfare.
St. Paul writes, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”(Ephesians 6:12) St. Peter confirms this by saying “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”(I Pt.5:8) Don’t ever discount these warnings. The devil is a real enemy seeking to destroy all that God created for good.
Much of the evil we see around us in the world is due to the lying influence of Satan and his demonic spirits. I know we don’t like to think this way, and most of the “modern enlightened” world discounts the reality of the devil and his influence. Nonetheless, it is very real, and the source of much of what we see taking place. Think seriously about this before you dismiss it out of hand.
From before creation, when Lucifer, the glorious archangel, heard the plan of God to create mankind, his pride led him to rebel and do everything possible to destroy this new work of God. After all, mankind was to be created in the very image of God, and would ultimately be higher than the angels. He could not let that happen. He has been in opposition to God ever since.

A defeated foe:
God will complete all that He intended for mankind. He provided redemption through His Son, Jesus Christ. At the cross and the empty tomb Satan’s power over death was defeated. However, until Christ’s return, God allows him to test His people, even as He did with Job. Yet, always within the limits God sets. We are tempted by the ways of the world, by our own sinful flesh, and by the influence of the devil. I use the word “influence” because he cannot make us do anything. But he uses lies, half truths, and beautiful images to influence us to sin. He also has influence in all the various rulerships of this world. Paul taught that we are not unaware of his schemes.(II Corinthians 2:11) Though I’m afraid most people are.
We are not to fear the devil. We only have the right fear of our Lord. We have the assurance that “greater is He who is in you that he who is in the world.”(I John 4:4) but we must understand and have the proper regard for the forces that oppose us.

Our weapons:
Some church denominations have sanitized or removed hymns from their worship that speak about warfare, like “Onward Christian Soldiers” or “Soldiers of Christ, arise”. Yet, Christians are in a real spiritual battle, and, as being prepared for any battle, we must have the right equipment. The equipment God has given us is sufficient for our needs. Paul wrote, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”(II Corinthians 10:4) In Ephesians 6 Paul pictures a Roman soldier in the various part of his armor likening them to the spiritual armor we are given. Those six pieces are worth our continuing study.
There are two particular aspects of our equipment that need emphasizing. First, we govern our own lives in the righteousness of Christ, and with perseverance. Jesus has paid the penalty for all or our sins. In Him we wear the white robe of Christ’s righteousness. Now we are called to live in that righteousness. We govern our own lives so that our witness reflects the love and truths of our Saviour. (See II Corinthians 6:3-10) We can’t show the world that there is a better way of life if that way is not seen in us.
Second, and the reason for this blog, is a call to prayer. Prayer is a powerful weapon against the wiles of the devil. I seek to post on this site prayers that I invite you to pray with me. These are prayers, not for our personal needs, but for opposing the strongholds of the devil. Whether it is the persecution of our brothers and sisters in various lands, the senseless killings in our country, or even the foolishness and lack of wisdom in many of our political leaders, these are areas we need to attack with our earnest and persistent prayers.

Our Lord’s return:
We are in this battle until our Father again sends His Son among us as He promised. He alone will bring the right conclusion to all the trials we face. Part of our continuing prayer is to implore our gracious Father to send Him quickly. We, the Church, are the Bride of Christ, and our rightful place is with the Bridegroom. Until He comes let us be about our work as diligent servants and soldiers of the Cross.

May our Lord bless you daily with a depth of His grace and strength.

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About August 27

It is my intention to add a page to my blog inviting you to Join Me In Prayer. As Christians we recognize that we are in a spiritual warfare. One of our major weapons in that warfare is concerted and unified prayer. I plan to publish a weekly pray concerning some aspect of the battle we see in our world. Satan is a real enemy, but we are given the weapons to stand again him. Please look for that page to be added soon.

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Good Morning August 27

There has been another shooting, and tragically, there will be another, and another. This brings more cries for gun control. Statistics say that there are more guns in this country than there are people. The vast majority of them are used responsibility, but between the quantity available, and our right to bear arms, they cannot be controlled. If someone really wants to get their hands on one they will. All the leaders who mouth off about gun control don’t realize that what we really need is heart control. If they would get away from political posturing and political correctness, and use their exalted positions to guide people back to some solid values, dare I say Christian values, maybe we would see some change. But if they won’t we must. By prayer, life, and verbal witness we must seek to influence at least the portion of society that the Lord places around us. We know there is something better for life. The government will never advance it, but we can in whatever small and large way He leads us. As we see the evils of this world, let us be more diligent about the work of our Lord.

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Good Morning August 26

Many people treat the Bible as a loose leaf notebook. They are able to remove and discard pages they don’t like. By the time you get a group of people doing this you end up with a pretty thin volume. The moral teachings of Jesus, and His call to love others is great, but the rest we do away with. There are parts of the Bible I don’t like, and parts I don’t understand, but that really underlines the veracity of the whole. It is a real book, about real people with all of their sins, and about a Lord, our Lord, who has worked through many centuries to redeem them. The Bible is one book given to us by the guidance of God, the Holy Spirit. We do call it the Word of God. Even the parts I don’t like give me instruction. Even the parts that show people’s sins become a mirror for my own life showing my need for the Saviour. The Bible is not a loose leaf book. It is one whole text from our Lord reaching out to us in grace and love.

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Good Morning August 25

Our men’s Bible study has been looking at the book of Proverbs. We find a lot of practical every day wisdom in Solomon’s sayings. One quality that is repeated often is teachableness, and along with that humility. A grandfather was once trying to show his young grandson something new and different. For whatever reason the grandson was resisting, and responded by saying, “I know best you do!” It is that attitude that blocks learning, and ends a dialog. I’m afraid there is too much of that in our world today. We are unwilling to learn from the lessons of history, and certainly not from Scripture. As a result we repeat many mistake of the past and head off in wrong directions. We could say that it has always been so, and it has. But we have come to a point today where life is moving so rapidly that the lack of humility, and teachableness has disastrous results. Maybe it is high time that we looked back at some of that ancient wisdom and took heed.

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Good Morning August 24

How easy it is to be manipulated by emotions. It is what we are watching in the current election cycle. Political candidates rail against illegal immigration, higher taxes, problems with social security and medical care. Vilifying other candidates is also good for a vote or two. The problem with emotional responses is that the tend to block clear thinking, and working out the rational and hard solutions to problems that may require sacrifices. Look at the current fiasco in Greece. Emotions are fine. God gave them to us, and they have their place, but they are not to direct the course of life. Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”(2:3-4) Emotional responses are concerned with what is good for me, and for my group. It narrows our focus to what we think is good, but denies the possibility of making hard choices that may require suffering, but in the long run bring real good for all. Read the rest of the Philippian passage, vss.5-8, and consider where we would be if Jesus had acted on emotion rather than the truth of God’s purpose for mankind. “Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.”(I Peter 4:7) Maybe there are some lessons in here as we listen to the current rhetoric.

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Good Morning August 21

At times we get into discussions about what God does in certain situations. We usually have no answers, and came up against a total mystery. We really don’t like that. Our Yankee ingenuity, problem solving ability, and defeat the bad guy nature doesn’t like to face questions we can’t answer. But, after all, this is God we are talking about. There are many aspects about His divine nature and will that are hidden to us. That is as it must be. If God were no bigger than our human reason He would not be a God worth our trust and worship. But on the other hand, there are many today that worship only there own human reason! Our God has and does reveal Himself to us in all of the ways that are necessary for our salvation, life, and hope. He has given His greatest revelation in the living person of Jesus Christ. He has shown us ample evidence in Scripture, and in life, that makes Him worthy of our complete trust. In all eternity we will not know all there is to know about our gracious God, but what we already know today is the strength and joy of life.

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