Each week, before I walk on the platform at Trinity Church, I ask myself a simple but profound question: Why do I preach? Here are at least nine reasons why I keep preaching.
For whom should we pray? Our default is to pray for ourselves first, asking God to bless and protect us. Are we too selfish? There is nothing wrong with praying for ourselves. However, the Bible says we should not pray only for ourselves. There are a few more people for whom we should intercede. You might be surprised.
It’s Labor Day! Today, we celebrate and honor the American labor movement and all the workers who have contributed to the prosperity and strength of this country. No doubt, many will have cookouts, spend time with family and simply relax. As we enjoy the unofficial end of summer, let’s remember the original Labor Day.
The Enemy Is Defeated
One of the highlights of my recent trip to Kenya was meeting Ruth. Ruth – the woman pictured – used to be the high priestess of Satan and a famous witch doctor in a small Kenyan village, outside of Tala. Her fame as a witch doctor was so pervasive that even one of the pastors I was training was one of her consistent customers. Several months ago, she surrendered her life to Jesus and burned all her paraphernalia. Praise the Lord!!!!
There is power in the cross of Jesus. This power breaks every chain and sets people free. When Jesus died on the cross, he won victories over sin, temptation, the world, death, and over the devil. Ruth’s conversion and transformation is an example of Jesus’ power to defeat the enemy.
As a result of her conversion, she is now an witnessing to people in her village. Watching her worship Jesus, made me realize the power of the gospel to transform darkness into light. Also, I understand more than ever that worship is a weapon to defeat Satan and his dark forces.
As a result of her conversion, Satan is angry and is attacking her through hurting her family. Her husband and one of her sons have died, another child is sick. Her granddaughter has sores, from the crown of her head to the soles of her feet. I don’t tend to see the enemy behind every bad thing that happens to believers. However, I believe these are malicious, Satanic attacks, designed to discourage her and tempt her to go back to working for Satan. Consequently, she experiences discouragement, and the enemy tempts her to go back to her former lifestyle.
Stand With Ruth
Though this conflict is personal, strenuous, and continual, I believe Ruth is victorious in Jesus. Let’s pray the armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) over Ruth and stand and fight with her. As we pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion, Ruth will fight and stand in God’s strength against Satan and his dark forces.
Jesus has shared his victory with us:
As it is written: “For your sake, we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:36-37
Given the recent spasms of violence in our world, I understand why people are cynical and find it difficult to have optimism. But, despite all that we see going on around us, I believe we can dream and hope for a better tomorrow.
If someone asked you to describe the worship gathering at your church, how would you respond? Some will immediately describe it with the “B” word – Boredom! We can all admit that the weekend worship gathering can be dull at times. Consequently, we find ourselves disengaging and going through the motions. Sometimes, it feels like our worship of God is empty and a complete waste of time. I want more, and I know you do too. How do we overcome boredom in the worship gathering?
Attending worship has fallen on hard times. More people are skipping the worship gathering. The pews are empty, and the buildings have become increasingly cold. Even committed Christians are attending church less. I wonder if people realize the spiritual benefits they are forfeiting when they miss the worship gathering.