Thursday, February 2, 2017

Roaring Lion

Chuckle: In math class, the teacher asked, "Timmy, what are 3 and 6 and 27 and 45?" Timmy answered, "NBC, CBS, ESPN, and the Cartoon Network!"
Quote: "The humblest citizen of all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error." --William Jennings Bryan

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers (and sisters) throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast" (I Peter 5:8-10 NIV).
I enjoy watching nature shows on television, including those about the lions and other wild creatures in Africa. It's interesting how a hungry lion will circle a heard of antelope, or other animals, watching for one that shows weakness and that can be easily separated from the herd and taken down. It is the weak and vulnerable that fall victim to the lion's attack. Make no mistake about it, if you are a Christian, you are Satan's target. And your strength and preparedness will determine who will win the spiritual battle -- you or the roaring lion, the devil.
You see, Satan wants you to be defeated and weak and does not want you to enjoy the abundant and full life that Christ wants you to have (John 10:10). Neither does the evil one want you to be an effective vessel for the cause of Christ. A weak and defeated Christian is no threat at all to the evil that seeks to control the hearts and minds of people. But the good news is that God has given you all the weapons you will ever need to resist the evil one and win the spiritual battle. Here are some of those weapons.
Prayer: Our passage says we are to be "self-controlled and alert." The idea is that of an alert watchman keeping a sharp eye out for danger. We know that we can become tempted to sin if we are not alert to the tactics of the evil one. Staying alert, along with prayer for wisdom and strength, is essential if we are to win the spiritual battle. "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16b NIV).
God's Word, as illumined by the Holy Spirit, provides us the strength to resist even the most vile assaults by the devil. Peter tells us to "Resist him, standing firm in the faith." In the Scriptures we find all the help we need to resist the weapons of the world and to stay firmly anchored in our faith. The battle is like a tug-of-war -- firm footing is required if the opponent is to be overcome.
Fellowship: All Christians are involved in the same spiritual battle. We see this in our passage: "your brothers (and sisters) throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings." As we fellowship with other Christians in a loving and caring church, we find encouragement, love, understanding, and strength. When we allow ourselves to drift away from the fellowship of God's people, we become weakened and an easy target for Satan's attacks.
Faith in God's grace: His grace "will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." In 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV, Paul tells us "My (God's) grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in (your) weakness." God has a purpose for your life and if you will only trust him, he will make you strong and steadfast in your spiritual battle with the "roaring lion."
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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