Ok, so it’s not really a permanent tattoo…haha don’t worry those of you who know me, I have not gotten over my fear of needles (plus, I think getting a tattoo right now would be kinda cool but when I am old and wrinkly, I think I would regret having it). Anyways, one of my very kind co-workers brought me some henna and I was really excited to try it out!–> it didn’t turn out quite the way I had envisioned (the position/angle and the writing) since I was writing a little awkwardly on myself (you should try writing on the outside of your foot…it’s not easy), but it’s not too bad!
Alright, now on to church today! Today is the 25th anniversary of Colonial Baptist Church! I am praising God for the ministry He has done and will do with this church. I am thankful to call Colonial my home church and am grateful to be a part of serving there. I can’t wait to see what else God has in store there. In service, Erwin Lutzer spoke today from Ephesians 2:14-22 on the Church. The church is all about God and not us!
- the foundation- Jesus Christ is the cornerstone; He is the foundation stone and no other foundation will do. As with a building, the foundation is not physically seen by the eye, but it is known, Jesus Christ is seen through us. The Church must make it evident that their foundation is Christ.
- the stones fitted together- we are the stone that are fitted together upon the foundation. The process of rubbing together in service and ministry chisels away our rough edges and we fit more together, gaining strength. The body of believers is strengthened through faithfulness, commitment, and love.
- the occupant- it is God’s house! God established a place for Him to dwell with His people–> this is both individually (in each of us) and collectively (as the body).
The bottom line- God is the builder. He chooses to use us and we labor together with God, but He really does all the work. And praise God that what He builds is eternal. What man builds will be destroyed, so get busy building the Church because it will last!
It was switch Sunday today, so the 11th graders got a review from last time we met as a grade from Mike Waters. In college class, Ben wrapped up our mini-series on the discerning Christian by talking about entertainment and the devil. We started out looking at what the Bible says about the devil. The devil is setting traps for us and he is also actively and aggressively on the prowl to devour us. Our battle is with the devil. Christ rescued us on the cross from the domain of the devil, but we are still here wrestling with him. The are invisible powers that want our soul and we need to be sober minded and watchful for this reason. We must be alert! We used to follow the ways of the world (before salvation), which is the devil. He is the ruler of the kingdom of the air, which some would say is the realm of ideas. These ideas are any idea that does not directly line up with God’s Word. Following such ideas would mean we are following the ruler of the ways of the world, following the devil. Some of those ideas would take on the form of philosophies; just to name a few: hedonism, existentialism, humanism, materialism, pluralism…these are philosophies of Satan (1 Peter 5:8, 1 Timothy 3:7, Ephesians 6:12, Ephesians 2:1-2). Satan wants to render us useless and he will use anything and everything (no matter how subtle it seems to us) in order to do so. That being said, Satan uses entertainment to:
- influence us- we need to think about the message/philosophy that medias are sending because we can be influenced by it…we need to recognize Satan is even using that to influence and must test all against Scripture. For instance, movies may be the 1st time we are exposed to certain things and can alter our opinions (ex: we see genocide for the 1st time in Hotel Rwanda and that forms our view of genocide). Media can be a more powerful source of influence than we think, whether good or bad; so check the message against what Scripture says.
- enslave us- (1 Corinthians 6:12) We can’t let anything else become life dominating and Spirit quenching. We can so easily become enslaved to media and entertainment. When we are dissatified with life, where do we go? What do we think we need? Is it a good movie or some kind of music we think we need to fill a void or bring us joy? We should not go to entertainment to feed off of it or to bring us comfort. That does not mean we can’t enjoy music or movies; God made the arts and we should appreciate what He has made, we should recognize His creativity and beauty in the arts. But, we should not become enslaved to those things, we should not let those things take the place of reading Scripture, praying, listening to the Holy Spirit. Joy is found in Christ, not entertainment; Be aware that the devil wants us to think and believe otherwise. This got me to thinking a little bit because I realized that the devil wants us to believe otherwise and also be unaware that we are believing otherwise…so do not be deceived!!!! Truly evaluate where your allegiance lies and what/who you are enslaved to. The discerning Christian will be aware and alert in the fight against the devil, the discerning Christian will test everything (even entertainment) against the Scriptures.
Wow, what a message from Ben. I realized that I am more often than I would have thought enslaved to entertainment among other things. I think I mentioned yesterday that I needed to be more aware of the battle within my soul, the spiritual warfare which is so easy to overlook and become weary or lazy in. What an extra motivation to be alert and fight knowing that the devil is seeking to attack and what a great reminder again this morning from the Word of that very battle within my soul. I realized this morning and last night (even after blogging) that I have been hurting more than I let others know and even than I am letting myself believe. I have been fooling myself into thinking I am fine and I can get through things on my own. I have been letting Satan deceive me that I am ok and I just need distractions…I had been thinking that I just needed things to do to keep me busy, turning to “fun” events to satisfy desires and fill me up. It’s crazy how quickly that can happen…with me it is not always media entertainment that Satan uses to influence and enslave me, but just “excitement” or “entertainment” or “lack of boredom” in a general sense (if that makes sense at all). I need to remember that Satan is trying to distract me, he is trying to destroy me, he is trying to render me useless to God. I need to stop thinking that I can solve my own problems or heal myself or even that time (or filling my time) will be what heals. Christ is my joy, He is my healer, He is GOD! I must put on the armor of God and fight this battle with my flesh and with the devil until I see Christ!
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.