Monday, December 26, 2016

SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 19-20

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

In the ancient city of Corinth, a stone platform was constructed to support the Bema Seat (judgment seat) of the local officials. The seat was used to give out awards to athletes for their competitive performances (usually a crown wreath of leaves), but also to address legal charges brought against individuals. The Apostle Paul was quite familiar with this seat. This is where he was brought before Gallio, who was the proconsul of Achaia at the Bema seat (Acts 18:12). This Bema Seat was also used by Paul as a symbol of the “Judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:9-11). In this context, Paul explains to us that this is where the Believer will receive an evaluation for works done in this life, whether good or bad.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Deuteronomy 20:3

And he shall say to them, “Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them…”

 

In today’s reading there are at least two points to make: (1) The rule of Law (illustrated by the above picture), and (2) God’s presence and protection. In our courts today, “manslaughter” is the charge that may be brought against someone who accidently kills another person. While we don’t have “cities of refuge” today, there is a strong tradition of taking refuge in a church building. In recent years there have been examples of this, particularly when immigration law requires a person to be deported back to their original country.

War is a sad commentary on the human condition. The most difficult moral decision is choosing the lesser of two evils. If we fail to choose the “lesser,” the “greater evil” will win. Had Israel not fought, the surrounding nations would have destroyed God’s people by attacking, killing all, or by converting them to false religion. In the context of our lives today, let us take heart from the promise found in our key verse. As followers of Jesus, our enemies, if they are people, are to be loved (read Matthew 5:38-48). Our most destructive enemy is sin. We are constantly in a state of war. Identify the enemy (read Galatians 5:16-21). Now, prepare for battle, equipped with the knowledge gained from our key verse, and we will win not only a battle but the war itself. Amen!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, You are God’s Word made Flesh. You, as the Light of the world, illuminate truth to me. Please help me to always examine the written Word in the light of Your person and work. In Your brilliant light I see, I perceive, I understand, and I conquer evil in Your strong Name. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

While a state may wage war (if I support a war, I must be convinced it is a just war. e.g. WW2 against Nazis who killed millions of Jewish people and many others), in my personal life I do not “fight…against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness” (Ephesians 6:12). I find that this fight can be downright scary. To counteract fear, I’ve just read Ephesians 6:10-18. I must learn this lesson over and over again. For emphasis I’ll type out Ephesians 6:18, the secret to winning the war: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” The dictionary definition of “supplication” is “humble prayer, entreaty or petition with pleading fervently.” Having done this, I will no longer fear, but I will truly be a brave heart in every circumstance of life. YES! SO BE IT!!!

Yours for winning each battle and eventually winning the war,

David

P.S. Here is an additional photo that Reynold took in the ancient ruins of Corinth. The feet of that great warrior, the Apostle Paul, may have walked this very street.

This is one of the main streets in ancient Corinth.

13 thoughts on “Monday, December 26, 2016

  1. TY for your comments under “100 Personal Words”! I need to be reminded of who we are fighting and who is helping us to overcome these fights and fears! I also need to read over and over Ephesians 6:18, blessings to everyone and Lord please give healing to those who are ill and comfort those who are mourning the loss of loved ones and good friends!
    Let us keep encouraging one another daily!

  2. Bless you Sah and all blog friends, we all need encouragement, Christmas can be a Blessed time but also a sad and lonely time for some. Heavenly Father, in the name of our dear Lord Jesus bless those who feel weary and downhearted . Lift them up on wings as eagles, may you Holy Spirit minister to each ones indivual needs and give them peace.
    Thank you Pastor David for your words this morning, I try to remrmber to put on the armour of God very day by repeating the verses from Ephesians 6.
    PS .You are such a blessing to so many , you are most surely anointed of the Lord. May He continue to Bless and use you and your family in 2017. Eleanor M.

  3. Bless you Sah and all blog friends, we all need encouragement, Christmas can be a Blessed time but also a sad and lonely time for some. Heavenly Father, in the name of our dear Lord Jesus bless those who feel weary and downhearted . Lift them up on wings as eagles, may your Holy Spirit minister to each ones indivual needs and give them peace.
    Thank you Pastor David for your words this morning, I try to remrmber to put on the armour of God every day by repeating the verses from Ephesians 6.
    PS .You are such a blessing to so many , you are most surely anointed of the Lord. May He continue to Bless and use you and your family in 2017. Eleanor M.

  4. Am holding the thought in my mind that we are not to fight against our enemies but love them and pray for them. Had a very good Christmas and visited all five of my brothers and families for which I praise God. My sisters live in three different Canadian cities. God is faithful and true. Blessings Pastor David, Norma Jean and family and fellow bloggers. Have a good day!

  5. Amen, David, and it was great to watch/hear you read the vlog on 100 Huntley Street, this morning–we love you! I had a rough week-end physically, with a broken toe and hip put out from my back, hobbling on a cane; though I managed to get out Christmas Eve day. After watching Amy Brooks and Tyrone Flowers give their testimonies on 100 Huntley street, and see the physical challenges and emotional circumstances they have had to deal with, I am reminded of God’s grace. There is always someone worse off than we are and God designed it that way. Their testimonies give glory to Him and help others overcome. What they have both done with their lives is a remarkable gift and blessing. I want to thank them and the hosts, Joe Amaral, Magdalene John, and Cheryl Weber, for reminding us not to carry un-forgiveness into the new year. Thank You, Jesus, for Your love for us. Wishing all saints a blessed day, in the Lord. Amen.

    Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. Ephesians 1:4 NLT

    Oh How We Love You (feat. Will Reagan)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SDclKDjkO8

  6. It was Great to have the Christmas story …for Christmas…thank you

    I pray celebrating the King of Kings was a special time for all..

    Bless you Pastor David for the daily meal, fresh from the oven!!

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