Hardships and Entering God’s Kingdom (The Battle is On)

Scripture: But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.  Speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.
“Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.
Strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to stay true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
Acts 14: 2,3,15 & 22 NIV

Observation: Every soul saved is a battle.  The disciples were under constant attack, the Lord prevailed in giving them just what they needed in this back and forth battle.  You can hear they’re frustration in verse 15 and in verse 22 they realize the battle is upon them.  Their  goal was to save souls for the Lord.  Their prize was having ownership in the kingdom.  They knew there would be great cost involved.

Application: Our home church has been under attack for sometime and the Lord has cleared the halls of those who were carrying the poison.  We have endured hardship upon hardship, especially in our leadership.  The Lord has called us to a new place in our relationship with him as a church and yet, God is supplying our church with new prayer warriors who are armed and ready for battle.  While I am personally having health issues and struggling with ailing parents, GOD’S WORD and PRAYER are my weapons against the enemy.  During church this morning our Pastor was teaching from James when these scriptures hit me.  “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.”  James 1:22-25 NIV This is the process we must use to meet our trials, hardships and fight the battles.  It’s through God’s word, knowing it up and down, inside and out that we can prevail.  God’s word is our sword and the Holy Spirit is our strength to wield it in battle.

Prayer: Lord you are amazing!  You have given me so much!  I must preserver no matter how things look through my eyes and use your word and my relationship with you to do battle.  The enemy is nothing compared to you and the sacrifice you made for me on the cross.  Help me to be a blessing to my church.  Give me the strength needed to do battle with those who would destroy your kingdom.  Lord let my body, mind and soul be a window to you for the hurting and the lost.  LET ME DISAPPEAR AS YOU APPEAR!  Amen.

Laurie

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