We continue to rejoice in the Lord's blessing on our Missions Emphasis Sunday this past Sunday. God gave us a significant increase in Faith Promise giving, we took on the Travis Snode family as our missionaries to Ireland, and we saw two folks profess faith in Christ. And to top it off, I just received a call from one of our deacons that he led a man to the Lord this afternoon. It certainly is a great joy to be used of God.
However, we must not rest on our "laurels," but must maintain a consistent focus on going forward with the Gospel. We can be certain that Satan will not sit idly by without putting up intense opposition.
Notice some tactics Satan used on our Lord Jesus in Matthew 4
- Satan Often Strikes Hard Following A Great Victory. Jesus had just been baptized and God the Father pronounced that He was well pleased with Jesus Christ. Satan immediately tries to interfere. After a great spiritual victory or a time of special blessing, be sure you have the whole armour of God on because that is when the Devil will most likely attack.
- Satan Hits Us Were We Are Weakest/Most Vulnerable. Jesus had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights and now was very hungry. Satan seized on his physical "weakness" and tempted Him with Bread. It is very important that we understand thoroughly our own areas of weakness. We must study ourselves and determine what our vulnerabilities are and be on guard. Our weaknesses are not all the same; what is a weakness for one person may not be a weakness for another, but one this is certain, we all have our own unique set of weaknesses.
- Satan Is Unrelenting. Satan comes again, and again, and again. Without a doubt, he is one of the hardest working beings in existence. He never takes vacation. He takes no "lunch breaks!" We must understand that overcoming one temptation is not the end of temptation. Satan always comes back with more. Defeating the Devil on Sunday does not mean you will not have to face him on Monday.
- Satan Is A Bible "Scholar" And Uses God's Word To His Advange. Jesus overcame Satan's temptation by quoting the Word of God, and lo, and behold, Satan comes right back and quotes Scripture himself. Do not be deceived, Satan knows the Bible. He can and will use passages out of context and twist their meanings to accomplish his evil plans. We must be diligent students of God's Word so that we can recognize when it is being used out of context or when it's truth is being twisted into a falsehood.
The best thing to do following a spiritual victory is to just keep right on doing what we did that brought about the victory. Read, study, and memorize the Word of God. Pray consistently and diligently. Be faithful to church and the ministry God has given you. And when Satan attacks, stand your ground and press forward with the Gospel.
We have two excellent Sunday School classes that, I believe, will help Christians live for God and overcome the world, the flesh, and the Devil. One is our Creation College class confronting evolution. The other is a new class I am teaching in the auditorium, "How To Read And Study Your Bible." I believe this class is one of the most helpful I have ever taught.
December 23 is our Christmas Program Sunday. The children are presenting their program entitled, "A Peanut Butter Christmas" at 10:45 a.m. (my wife says this is one of the best programs the children have done in all the years that we have been here). The adult choir cantata is entitled. "The Promised One" (an excellent presentation of the Christmas Gospel message) will be presented at 7:00 p.m. that evening. Join us for these special events and bring a friend with you.
Please check out this week's bulletin that is linked below for upcoming events here at MLIBC.
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday, and remember to bring your Bible and a friend.
Sincerely, your friend,
Dr. Dennis Leatherman - Pastor