Pastor Chad's Itinarary

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"An Exemplified Fort"

"I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I  call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies" (Ps 18:1–3).

 Where do you run in the midst of life’s trials?  How do you respond when your enemies seem to out number your friends? Psalm 18 is a poem written by David in response to the attacks he suffered by King Saul in 2 Samuel 22. David through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit gives his readers a clear reminder to flee to the Lord in the midst of their attacks by the enemy.

Spiritual warfare is a constant reality for the one who desires to walk in communion with God. Jesus faced spiritual warfare in Matthew 4 as he began His earthly ministry, so it should not surprise the Christian when attacked by Satan. However, there is good news! As believers we have a place to flee, a city of refuge, an exemplified fort and His name is The Lord God, Jesus Christ.

Notice a few things about David’s and our exemplified fort:

  1. He is our “strength.” When spiritual attacks come upon us we should draw our strength from the Lord. Matter of fact, even when we are not experiencing spiritual attacks we should draw our strength from the Lord, for that is the only true source of strength. Where does our strength in the Lord comes from? We find strength in His Word, prayer, worshipping with other brothers and sisters in Christ, serving others, sharing the gospel of Jesus.
  2. He is our “rock.” When a tornado comes where do you want to be? You want to be in a solid, safe, and secure place usually, underground that can sustain the force of high winds. When the force of Satan’s spiritual attacks come we have an unmovable, safe, and secure shelter. Christ is our “rock” (1 Cor.10:4). Christian you can find safety in Him! 
  3. He is our “fortress.” During David’s days forts were constructed along trade routes and borders in order to keep cities safe and to keep the enemies attacks at a minimum. The Lord is our fort! In Christ, we are able to withstand the attacks of the evil one. Paul reminds us to “put on the whole armor of God” in Ephesians 6:11-13. When the enemy attacks run to the fort. Seek shelter, safety, and security in the fort of Jesus Christ. Read Ephesians 6.
  4. He is our "deliverer.” Jesus reminds his disciples to pray, “deliver us from the evil one” in the Lord’s Prayer. The Lord is the One who delivers us from the the spiritual attacks. Its not that we just persevere and try to make it through them, but God in His mercy and grace delivers us through them. He proves Himself faithful to us through it all.
 "You may pray for deliverance from a trial, but God may give you endurance to go through it.” Dr. Steve Lawson

    Spiritual warfare is a constant reality in the life of the believer. These attacks by the enemy are real and they hurt. Sometimes we may feel we cannot take it any longer. But, be of good cheer, "For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal (1 Cor.4:17-18).

     This is when we must turn to God by faith trusting that He is our strength, our rock, our fortress, and our deliverer. By the way, God has already eternally delivered in Christ Jesus by sending His Son taking on flesh, living a perfect life,  dying on the cross, and rising again the third day, and now make intercession for all of those who have genuinely trusted and is trusting in Him for their eternal salvation. Praise the Lord. This is the reason why we are able to embrace the attacks from the enemy.

I pray as we come against the attacks of the evil one that we find ourself finding our strength, our rock, our fortress, and our deliverer in our exemplified fort, Jesus Christ.

Monday, April 4, 2016

"Rejoice In Suffering"

Acts 5:41-42 “Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”

            Growing up my grandmother use to tell me, “When you think that you have it bad, always remember there is someone who has it worse.” I find it easy to feel sorry for myself or seek the pity of others when life gets difficult. The reality for most everyone who reads this is that our lives on the most difficult days are really not that bad. How many of us have been threatened with the loss of our lives if we failed to comply with our governmental or religious authorities? It is easy to look at our current situation in life and say, “Woe is me.” Yet, God is working something far greater, namely His sovereign will in His children’s lives.

            The book of Acts is filled with Holy Spirit empowerment of the Apostles to do miracles, wonders, and signs. The book is also known as the great missionary book that records several missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul and others. However, the book of Acts is also known for the great persecution that sent the early church in an amazing revival and the advancement of the gospel to the nations. One of the main themes throughout Acts is the suffering of God’s saints. The advancement of the church and the gospel will always come with a price of suffering and persecution by the unbelieving world. The Apostle Paul reminded the church at Philippi, “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake” (Philippians 1:29).

            Therefore, as Christian’s our life will be marked by suffering and persecution when lived out before a Christ hating world. The world hates God, Christ, and His Word. As Christians we love God, Christ, His Word, and His gospel, which will bring about suffering, as the Apostles endured in advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Dr. Luke recorded, the Apostles did not seek comfort or pity from others, but literally rejoiced (celebrated) in the fact that they were “beaten” for the name of Christ. The Apostles were commanded not to teach or preach in the name of Christ, but as we read in Acts 5:42, “And every day in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”

            I want to encourage us all today no matter where you find yourself, remember God has sovereignly placed you there. If you are God’s child He knows exactly where you are at, what you are doing, and how you are responding to His sovereign plan. Think about these Apostles who were beaten by the religious crowds for proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and yet, they rejoiced in the fact, “they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” [of Christ]. May we have the same resolve of the Apostles to continue to proclaim Jesus as the Christ regardless of the cost. May we be able to say, like the Apostle Paul at the end of his life, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering…” (2 Timothy 4:6).

 May the Lord give us grace to endure wherever He has placed us to be “salt and light” to a dark world by advancing the truth of the gospel for His glory. Thus, being reminded that we have a Great High Priest who suffered in every way as us, yet without sin. Therefore, rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer for Jesus!

Sola Deo Gloria!

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Chad