Sisters and brothers,
Happy Monday to all! I hope you are slowing down enough to enjoy the Christmas season. Sometimes in our frenzied activity around Christmas, we miss what it is all about. God became a man in Jesus Christ to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. What was that? Jesus came to save us from our sin and save us that we will live for Him. It is a season of wonder and awe. Don’t get so busy that you don’t slow down enough to contemplate the beauty of our Savior and the miraculous way He saves us!
We finished up the letter to the Ephesians yesterday and heard a call to battle against the devil and his minions. The enemy of God and the destroyer of people will be opposing God’s people and God’s mission until Jesus returns. Though there is no doubt about the outcome of this spiritual war, we still must be prepared for this spiritual battle. Our weapons are truth and love. God provides His very own strength for us to battle against this forces of hell. We are to arm ourselves in the whole spiritual armor God: His truth, the truth of Jesus as the only hope of the world; His righteousness provided to us in Jesus when we believe; His gospel that provides true peace to those who believe; the helmet of salvation which cannot be taken from us; the sword of His Spirit, which is His Word, and the shield of faith where we believe God’s truth and not the devil’s lies. Along with putting on God’s armor, we must stay in continual communication with our Lord and Commander, Jesus Christ. We must not let anything block the lines of communication between us and God by being filled with His Holy Spirit and always be in an attitude of prayer. God provides everything we need to win battles and stand in victory against the enemy of God and the destroyer of people. Let’s fight these battles His way. And as we do, we will stand and we will win!
Remember a Christmas tradition at East Madison, the Juhlin’s Annual Christmas open house. It is open to all this Friday night, December 8, from 7:00 to 10:00 PM. Directions to their house are available at the church building.
Yesterday we gave out some prayer guides and offering envelopes for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. Use those prayer guides this week to daily pray for those taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. Be a part of an army of pray-ers that boldly approach God’s throne of grace to pray for the salvation of people all over the world.
Love being your pastor!
Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church