The Gift of Remembrance

Devotion 07                                                                                                   



The Gift of Remembrance    


#1.  Romans 16: 1–10    “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae, so that you may welcome her in the Lord as is fitting for the saints, and help her in whatever she may require from you, for she has been a benefactor of many and of myself as well.

Greet Priscilla and Aquila, who work with me in Christ Jesus, and who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Greet also the church in their house.  Greet my beloved Epenetus, who was the first convert in Asia for Christ. Greet Mary, who has worked very hard among you. Greet Andronicus and Junia,  my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, who is tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus.”

#2.  1 Corinthians 11: 23—26    

“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”  

The Epistle to the Romans began by defining and describing sin. Sin’s consequence was judgement and the result of which was death. Our sin debt could only be paid for by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He shed His perfect precious blood on our behalf as payment for our sin debt. Then we are instructed how to live as a Christian. Satan no longer has dominion over us. We belong to Jesus who bought us with His own blood. Next, we learn how to relate to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Finally, we see the men and women who influenced Paul’s life in Rome. It reminds us that ministry takes a team of committed believers, each doing their part, to see men and women come to know Christ as Lord and Savior. 

Twenty-nine (29) people are mentioned by Apostle Paul in Romans 16:1-16, with twenty-eight based in Rome. Let us take a moment to read some of these names: Phoebe, Priscilla, Aquila, Andronicus, Ampliatus, Urbanus, Junias, Apelles and Stachys. We may not be able to pronounce all names correctly and we wonder who were they, what did they do and why their names are in the Bible? Surely this passage is not a dry list of names. Rather, it gives insight into the church in Rome and it reveals Paul’s esteem and regard for some of the believers there. Paul comments on the faith of a few of these people, on his relationships with some, and on some of their work and ministries.  

Of the twenty-nine people, ten are women. Very amazingly that seven of the ten women are described in terms of their ministry (Phoebe, Priscilla, Mary, Junia, Tryphena, Tryphosa and Persis), and two of these women are ministering alongside their husband with submissive attitude (Aquila with Priscilla, Andronicus with Junia).

Paul emphasizes that these people are in partnership with him spreading the Gospel of Jesus and establish God’s kingdom on earth. They work hard and work very hard in the Lord, some of them even risk their life to protect and defend Paul.      

These are the people worth remembering. God knows each one of them (“But the man who loves God is known by God.” 1 Corinthians 8: 3), He remembers them and puts their name in the Book of Life. We should learn about these people’s ministries and imitate their faith.    

As for Memorial Day weekend, by tradition, all across our beautiful land, Americans hosted ceremonies and parades honoring America’s heroes who have passed on—those men and women who have given that “last full measure of devotion” to protect our God-given freedoms enshrined in our Constitution. Unfortunately, as we have celebrated the holiday that announces the end of the school year and is the harbinger of the summer to come, too often the reason for the Memorial Day holiday gets somewhat obscured by the picnics, cookouts, travels and family gatherings. Even when we remember the day’s significance, we often too easily move on to other things until the next Memorial Day. For those who have lost loved ones, however, the pain, the loss, and the memory are still there.

Let us pause for a moment more to reflect on what we owe these men and women who have died to secure and defend our freedom. Let us pray to God our Savior for forgiveness, healing, strength, comfort and peace. 

I have heard it said that we are “the land of the free” because “we are the home of the brave.”  In times of crisis, danger and pandemic, we have always found men and women willing to step forward and do the duty by making sacrifices, even the ultimate sacrifice.   

These are the people worth remembering, and we ought to remember their families too.  Before we celebrate and say a goodbye to Memorial Day for another year, let’s give one more time our Gratitude to our beloved heroes (died in wars and in service fighting this pandemic, etc.)  And let’s also remember to say thank you to all of their families for their sacrifice and their service. Amen. 

Let us pray:

Dear Lord our Savior,  

We thank you for our beautiful country, for the wonderful people who serve and work in all areas; thank you for those who make ultimate sacrifice to preserve our Freedom; we pray for those heroes’ families, may your presence, saving grace, healing comfort and love with inner peace be with all of them.    

We pray for our country and all leaders and those who serve, we pray for President Trump and his family, Vice President Pence and his family, for your protection, wisdom, strength and guidance.

We pray for your healing, good insight and wisdom as we are preparing for reopening of our church and resume Sunday worship service. Help us to stay focused on Lord Jesus and His word, so that we will not be led astray and got frightened by the overwhelming storms of life and of the world.  May your will be done in each of us and our church family. Strengthen and guide us so that we are able to serve you and be the light tower for this community.     

In Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.            

Our prayers are lifted for:   

Judy Davis; Dan (Jim’s nephew);  Joan Garland; Martha & Dave Glassy; Joan Hassell; Charles Harden;  Betty Howell; Crystal (Nancy’s daughter); Sheila Levine; Angela Rose; Frank Seal; Ann Smith; Russell Scheibel;  USAF and our Nation   

Choose Faith over Fear

 Devotion 6



What’s not cancelled? Nature,puzzles, Learning Center kids’ activities & cooking, chalk drawing, prayers, LOVE and HOPE!          


#1 Mark 4: 35–41 (Jesus Calms the Storm)

That day when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”  Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.   40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this?  Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

#2 Luke 10: 38–42 

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”  41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Think about the disciples following the direction of Lord Jesus, one evening they got in a boat together with Jesus and paddled to the other side of the lake. Suddenly a life-threatening storm erupted on the water, but the disciples were not prepared to face and handle it, panicking, they realized they might drown and perish. The entire time when this is happening, Jesus is sound sleeping peacefully.    

Instead of looking at Jesus’ reaction to the situation/ environment, the disciples allowed the situation/ environment to dictate their reactions. They woke Jesus and begged him to do something with a blaming question saying: “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and calmed the storm. … Then Jesus challenged them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Wow, are these 2 questions also for you and me to reflect and to respond this day?       

The Lord’s rebuke over the disciples’ lack of faith wasn’t because they didn’t believe Jesus could save them from the storm, but because they struggled to believe He would see them through all this – does the Lord care about our/ people’s sufferings and dying? When we find ourselves in storms of life and of this world that we are Not able to take control of, how do we respond with Faith?

Here are three encouraging truths to remember:

1. God has power over every storm/ calamity.

If the winds and waves don’t bother Jesus, then they shouldn’t frighten you too much. It is easy to know and say it than to live it out. We must rely on the presence and power of God. You might not be able to change the environment and situations, but you can choose to faithfully trust God in all of the problems and chaos.   

2. Keep fixing your eyes on Jesus can lead you to peace. 

Are you just looking at the size of the storm and trying to figure it out? Or are you turning towards the One who can calm all storms? What things often distract your focus on Jesus and His teachings?  The story of two sisters in Bethany reminds us a great lesson: “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10: 41-42)   Many things such as work, family events, care-giving, chores around the house, community activities, even services and volunteering at church (like what Martha did: meal preparation for Jesus and his disciples) tend to distract your focus on Jesus and His teachings. Are you worried and upset about many things that keep you off track focusing on Jesus?

It’s only by focusing on Lord Jesus, who knows every outcome and the future, that we can navigate any situations with His wisdom and peace. 

3. Jesus is always in your boat when you follow His command.   

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20) 

We tend to focus on our fears and concerns when we cannot control our future. But thankfully Jesus knows our future, and He promises to be with you always as you obey His command – to go and make disciples of all nations. So good to know that Jesus is always in your boat, and He calls you to live by faith not by sight.  Whenever you find yourself overwhelmed by storms of life, you have two choices: to focus on the circumstances or to fix your eyes on Jesus.  If you choose to look to Jesus above everything else, you will begin to see the storms you face are not nearly as powerful as the Savior choosing to walk through the storms alongside you.         

Let us pray:

Dear Lord our Savior,  

We thank you for the rain from the sky, and for the rainbows that appear after each rain that remind us who you are and your faithfulness, your promises to us your people. Thank you Lord, for each and every day, for every person you put in our life, because they are your gift for us to love, embrace, and interact with.  We pray for our country and all leaders and those who serve, for your healing and comfort to those who are suffering and mourning. We pray for your protection, good insight and wisdom as we are preparing to reopen our church and resume Sunday worship service. Help us to stay focused on Lord Jesus and His word, so that we will not be led astray and get frightened by the overwhelming storms of life and of the world.  May your will be done in each of us and our church family. Strengthen and guide us so that we are able to serve you and be the light tower for this community.       

In Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.            

Our prayers are lifted for:   

Judy Davis; Dan (Jim’s nephew);  Joan Garland; Martha & Dave Glassy; Joan Hassell; Charles Harden;  Betty Howell; Crystal (Nancy’s daughter); Sheila Levine; Angela Rose; Jim Rathmell; Frank Seal; Ann Smith; Russell Scheibel;  USAF and our Nation   

Happy Mother’s Day


This year May 10 is Mother’s Day. On this special day, we want to remember and thank all the mothers for their love and care for the family. Do you ever think about what kind of mother is the woman after God’s heart? We also learn from the Bible that mother’s faith to God likely has the deepest, greatest and most direct impact on a child’s life. From this, we can see the importance of a mother’s faith. I like to share with you three stories of great mothers in the Bible, let us commemorate and honor Mother’s Day together in the word of God!

#1  Jochebed – Mother of faith and wisdom

Jochebed was the mother of Miriam, Aaron, and Moses. The Bible only mentions her name twice (Exodus 6:20 & Numbers 26:59). She is a great mother with wisdom and faith. Her name Jochebed has two meanings: “the Lord is my glory” and “the Lord is noble.”

Her older son Aaron was the first high priest of Israel. God stipulated that the priests should not only come from the tribe of Levi, but also from the descendants of Aaron; the priests sacrificed every day to cook the affairs of the tabernacle, and they also taught the people to learn and believe in the word of God. The Lord Jesus is now our High Priest (Hebrews 8: 1-13) because he sacrificed himself on the cross for our sins, so that we no longer offer any animal sacrifices.

Her younger son, Moses, was the greatest leader and prophet of the Israelites, who led the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses was the author of the Torah (the first 5 books of the Holy Bible) and recorded the Ten Commandments of God. The wisdom and faith of Jochebed can be seen in the three months after Moses was born. When Moses was born, his parents saw that he was a beautiful child, and by Faith they hid the baby for 3 months. But when they could hide him no longer, mom got a papyrus basket for Moses and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in the basket and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. Mom sent Moses’ older sister Miriam stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. From this, you can see the mother’s thoughtful care and wisdom. Jochebed must has taught Moses who their God is; and we ought to trust in Him and pray to Him as often as we can; and her teachings, prayers and life example have built a solid foundation of faith in the boy’s early life.  

When Moses had grown up, he refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith Moses left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible. (Hebrews 11: 24-27)

We see that Jochebed is a mother with God’s wisdom, love, patience and faith. She is a woman after God’s own heart.

#2  Hannah – Mother of prayer 

Samuel’s mother Hannah is known as a mother of Prayer. At first Hannah couldn’t have any children, so she went up to the Lord’s tabernacle, and she poured out the pain in her heart to God through prayer. Her prayer is of faith; it is honest and persistent prayer with a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” 

Because of her earnest request, God gave her a son, named Samuel, which means: “Because I asked the LORD for him.” This praying mother Hannah is Christians’ role model for today. She not only prayed with persistence (Luke 18: 1-7), but also thanked God and presented her first-born son to God as fulfillment of her vow. Sometimes we fail to fulfill our promises/ vows when our prayers are answered by God, we need to repent.

Therefore, Hannah’s prayer is known as “Song of Hannah” (1 Samuel 2:1-10), and is listed among the three magnificent praising carols of the Bible with “Mary’s Song” (Luke 1: 46-55) and “Song of Simeon” (Luke 2:28-32).  The LORD later blessed her with three more sons and three daughters; Hannah was changed from a barren woman into a mother of seven children. And that all generations will call her blessed!

#3  Eunice – A godly Mother

Timothy has good spirituality and sincere faith before God, it is because of the teachings of his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. His grandmother and mother led him to the path of faith, he learned and understood the Bible since his infancy. Eunice is a mother who served the Lord devoutly; she taught and disciplined Timothy by setting a godly example. Because mother built Timothy’s faith on a solid foundation since his early age, later on he became a servant of the Lord and be used by God to expand His Kingdom the church on earth.

We can imagine that 2000 years ago in Jewish society and culture, a woman without good education and noble social status could never make any changes or spiritual breakthrough, but Eunice possessed a sincere faith to God. Apostle Paul praised and affirmed Timothy that his faith was originated and passed on him from his grandmother and mother. What a great testimony!  As parents today we ought to ask ourselves “How can we bring our children and grandchildren to the Lord; and to set a godly example for them?” 

Six scripture verses for Mother’s Day:

1. Proverbs 1:8-9  

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.

2. Proverbs 6:20-21  

My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck.

3. Proverbs 19:26-27  

Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother is a child who brings shame and disgrace.

27 Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

4. Proverbs 23:22-25  

Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth and do not sell it — wisdom, instruction and insight as well.
24 The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.
25 May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!

5. Matthew 15: 4-6

For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 

6. Ephesians 6: 2-3

“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 

Let us pray:

Dear Lord,  

We thank you for who you are and what you have been doing for us and our country, that we can see improvement and good changes in our community.  God, we pray for all mothers whom you have entrusted with the care of your most precious little ones. We thank you for creating each mom with a unique combination of gifts and talents. We thank you for the sacrifice of self each mom gives for her children. For their hands calloused from washing, wiping, scrubbing, mixing, baking, hugging, patting, disciplining, holding, writing, painting, and pouring.

We thank you for the gift of time moms give for their kids, whether stay-home moms, working moms, and those have some combination of the two. We thank you for the flexibility of moms, for their tirelessness, perseverance and devotion. We pray you give each mom joy, peace and strength. Help her to see further and to forgive those who undermine her significance. 

We especially pray for single moms, who must lean solely on you for the fathering of their children. We thank you that your everlasting arms surround those children who may never know their earthly father. We also pray for mothers who never had the honor of bearing children, but whose nurturing extends to the many adopted children, to the poor and needy.

In Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.            

Our prayers are lifted for:   

Judy Davis; Dan (Jim’s nephew);  Joan Garland; Martha Glassy; Joan Hassell; Charles Harden;  Betty Howell; Crystal (Nancy Jones’ daughter); Sheila Levine;  Frannie and Flores family;  Angela Rose; Jim Rathmell;  Ann Smith; Russell Scheibel;  USAF and our Nation   

Godliness With Contentment Is Great Gain


In 1 Timothy 6: 6-12, Apostle Paul writes:

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

In this pandemic, as our country’s death toll caused by the virus rises and death is approaching our home and community at any time, we have to ask ourselves this question: “What is essential and indispensable for life? On the opposite, what is not essential yet we have spent a lot of time, money and energy to pursue them?”   

We fell into the abyss of modern life.  Materialism, consumerism, and hedonism are the three pillars of modern life. They revolve around this core: “I enjoy, therefore I am.” And enjoyment is based on the feeling that I feel cool, so it also can be expressed as: “I feel, therefore I am.”

A more affluent life has become a century icon, ubiquitous advertising is the prophet of the masses, and the media and iPhones are the hotbeds for manufacturing.  Like the Olympic slogan — more, faster, and better (consumer goods)- has become the “new god” or idol that people actually desire for.

Under the guidance of this “new god”, people’s natural desires are reshaped, and “artificial needs” are continuously increasingly produced, which are pressed into people’s mind through advertisements, mobile phones and media; the artificial desires become a longing that people can never satisfy, the more stuff they have, the poorer they feel, and emptiness has become synonymous with satisfaction.

The LORD declares: “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.  They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” (Ezekiel 16:49-50)   

Jesus says: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)    Paul reminds us that: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)   

All this shows that the biggest competitor with God is money or materialism. In your hearts, if money is king, it means money is your ultimate lord and refuge of help. To live a simple life is the only way to get rid of the greediness and bid farewell to materialism, consumerism and hedonism. The principle of pursuing a simple life is not of the outward, but of the heart; not of giving away, but of gaining. The question is what or who can satisfy the fundamental needs of my life? The answer is only God, or Christ Jesus.

I must be determined to obtain God, to obtain Christ Jesus. On the contrary, it is more accurate that I am obtained by Jesus. I want to obtain the abundant life that Jesus promises me. Jesus says blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. My mind and attitude must be the same as that of Christ Jesus. We are to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.

The ultimate prayer is that the will of God will be fulfilled; the ultimate purpose of reading the Bible is to allow the word of God becomes the lamp to my feet and the light for my path; the ultimate point of praise is from the heart, deep in love, singing Hallelujah with all creatures; The ultimate purpose of eating is to have today’s meal given by the Lord with gratitude; the ultimate purpose of work is not to do things for the Lord, but to satisfy the heart of the Lord; the ultimate point of walking and exercising, even if you walk by yourself, you must know that God walks with you.  Faith, hope, love, peace, and joy are the ultimate pentaprism for living.

Faith is to firmly grasp the promise of the Lord when in doubt; Hope is to believe that the love of the Lord will never be separated from me at the time of despair; Love is to pray for the enemies/ adversaries while you are surrounded by them, only to bless and never curse; Peace is to put your heart and trust in Christ in the midst of suffering; Joy is to realize the Lord helps you with his smiling face when you are in need. 

So from the inside and outside, our heart returns to simple, we are able to let go of many things, unnecessary and entangled stuff.  First, we will refuse to buy the unnecessary things, never again, No matter how up-to-date and how innovative the advertisements say they are!

Secondly, do you have stuff that has not been used for years, i.e. more than 3 years? Please think about giving them away to the needy and to charities.  Thirdly, learn to appreciate the nature and art works without having to possess them.

We have much more to let go. But the most important thing is to live in the abundant life that Lord Jesus gives us. A quote from the Pope John Paul XXIII gives us a good summary: “The older I become, the more clearly I realize that in thoughts, actions and speeches, simplicity is charming and solemn, I am eager to turn everything complicated into simple, and to use the most natural and straightforward ways to deal with all things.”  

Let us pray:

Merciful O God our Savior and Healer, We need you and your compassion for the whole human family that is in turmoil and burdened with illness and with fear. Grant us your spirit of love and self-discipline so that we may come and work together to eliminate the coronavirus. Strengthen and encourage those in public health services and in medical profession, all who commit themselves to caring for the sick and their families. Inspire, give good insight and hope to the researchers focused on finding a vaccine; sustain all workers, business and families who suffer loss. Guide our leaders that they can speak the truth and do justice in humble heart. Grant all of us your healing, comfort and peace, daily.

In Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.             

Our prayers are lifted for:   

Mary Condon and Husband; Judy Davis; Dan (Jim’s nephew);  Martha Glassy;  Joan Hassell;  Charles Harden;  Betty Howell; Crystal (Nancy Jones’ daughter); Sheila Levine;  Frannie and Flores family;  Angela Rose; Jim Rathmell;  Ann Smith; Grace & Rhodes family;  Russell Scheibel;  USAF and our Nation   

We Are Fighting Against The Invisible Enemies


“The virus we cannot see.” That’s how the coronavirus was described at one of White House press briefings by task force coordinator Debbie Birx, a scientist and physician who is an expert in infectious disease and vaccine research.  President Trump also said, “We have an invisible enemy.” Although Trump holds the most powerful position in the world, the unseen realm of this world operates far above him.  In our life, we have and will experience many invisible enemies that go far beyond what can be seen under a microscope. This spiritual reality is referenced in Ephesians 6:12

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

We have invisible enemies who mean to tempt, control and destroy us. There is no doubt about it. The invisible enemies include: devil and the fallen angels; virus of sin, virus of idols worship, virus of human-centered thoughts and ideologies; virus of greed, pride and man-made systems, etc.      

But our God is sovereign, and He loves us with an immensity we cannot possibly understand.  What Satan means for evil, God means for good. Whatever is allowed to happen in this world and around us, we can be assured God intends to use it for good – including this global pandemic known as the coronavirus. Could it be possible for God to use this crisis to wake up the church ushering in revival?  I cannot think of a better time for the church to go into the prayer closet and put Ephesians 6:10-11 into action:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

I don’t mean this type of armor will protect you physically from the virus. This is Spiritual Armor – for those who have surrendered to the lordship of Christ and entered into His kingdom.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God,  that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel … (Ephesians 6:13-19).

Praise God for we can find detailed instructions that apply to our current state of affairs and help us to fight against and overcome the invisible enemies.     

Commit to the word of Truth. By fastening on the belt of truth (word of God), we are less vulnerable to deception. As we are all forced to adjust our lifestyles, let us not fall into the trap of the enemies and simply find new ways of entertaining ourselves. Rather than seeking our own pleasures, let us faithfully seek Him and His will in God’s holy word.

Rely on, trust in Christ. We are to put on the breastplate of righteousness. Acknowledge that we have no righteousness of our own, so the only righteousness we have is that of Christ’s. We can lean onto Him, draw close, and guard our hearts with His pure goodness – to help us overcome fears, doubts, and temptations.

Be ready to tell others. In 2 Timothy 4:2 we read, Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.  I dare say we are in season! When the world is in a panic, and so many questions about the future and safety abound, we have the message of peace, joy and ultimate, eternal security!

Hold onto God as your strength.  Psalm 91:4-5 says, God is our shield and refuge; He is our hiding place in the day of difficulty; his faithfulness will keep us safe when we are being shot at by arrows, flaming or otherwise.”

Enough said! Know that your ultimate security is in the salvation Christ bought by sacrificing His own body for you. We are to put on the helmet of salvation, knowing we were rescued from the fear of death through the work of Christ. 1 John 5:13, those who believe in the name of the Son of God … may know that you have eternal life.

Spend time in God’s presence. Most of us are having more available time at home. We can use this opportunity to change our habits, spending time in God’s presence – gardening, reading, studying, meditating on Scripture (privately and as a family), and praying.  This piece of armor is intertwined with prayer – praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication … making supplication for all saints.

Let us pray:

Merciful and Holy God, we praise your wonderful name and thank you for your faithfulness and love toward us. We want join and amen prophet Isaiah: “In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him and waited on him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him and waited on him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” Lord your word can purify us and strengthen us; your forgiveness and grace can refresh us and cure us. Our church and our nation need you! Please protect and guide our president and his team to make right decisions and be with all levels of leaders and staff who serve our country; and be with those who are in sorrow, fear, and sufferings. In Christ’s name, Amen.  

Our prayers are lifted for:   

Jeanette Bohringer;  Ricarda Carlisle;  Mary Condon and Husband; Judy Davis; Dan (Jim’s nephew);  Martha Glassy;  Joan Hassell;  Charles Harden;  Betty Howell; Crystal (Nancy Jones’ daughter); Sheila Levine;  Frannie and Flores family;  Angela Rose; Jim Rathmell;  Ann Smith; Grace & Rhodes family;  Russell Scheibel;  Megan Sullivan family,  USAF and our Nation