An Extra Day

DSCN3748Leap year day comes every four years giving us an extra day in the year. There are never enough opportunities to praise Our Lord, and on this day we are given twenty-four more hours to use in praise. In praising God, we become overwhelmed by joy as God expresses to us His pleasure in our obedience. Thank the King of kings for creating you, praying that He would fill you to overflowing with His love to saturate your spirit.

If that is not enough, praise Him because He already owned us as His creation. He paid an exorbitant price for us by redeeming us with the blood of His Son. Even though He owned us and bought us, in order to place an even higher claim on us, he exhibited His endless and unfailing love. He adopted us and promised us a rich inheritance! He does all these things and so much more every day. How can it not bring praise to our lips as we realize the pure love, joy, peace and freedom that these gifts bring? We can only accept them by thanking Him for them.

Have you ever woken and just stood beside the window, looked out and up, and gave praise to the Lord? Perhaps on a warm morning you even carried your breakfast out to the porch and read your Bible, communicating with your Heavenly Father, the One who created you. Somedays you might see a beautiful sunrise and hear the birds lift their voices to the Creator. The Scripture says, “Let all creation praise the Lord.”

I sing an old hymn by the title of “Praise the Savior”. Perhaps you could think about some of the words of Thomas Kelly as he expresses himself in praise. We can’t possibly tell just how much we owe Him for all He does and gives. He watches over us. His eyes never leave us for we are His treasure. We should give Him our praise, thanking Him for designing us just the way we are.

Mr. Kelly also wrote in verse two that Jesus is the Name that charms us, for He fits and arms us for the conflicts we face daily. God never changes. Nothing moves us and nothing can harm us while we trust in Him! There is so much in these words of a hymn writer whose heart was filled with praise. God is faithful and there is no force nor deceit that can ever sever our relationship with Him. His love for us is deep!

Next, the author writes, “Keep us, Lord, O keep us closely to Him. Keep us believing!” God enables us to believe through each day of our lives until we reach Heaven, where we will receive so many more joys.

Finally, in the fifth stanza of this little hymn he writes that when all this has taken place we shall be where we would be, and we shall be what we should be, because things that are not now nor could be, soon shall be our own.

This is our confident expectation as we approach Easter time. We should daily praise God for giving us His Son and for forgiving us of all sin! Praise is God’s way of opening us up to sharing His joy. The Psalmist says in Psalm 145, “I will praise you every day”! Feel blessed that you have been given this extra day to praise the Lord!

Praising the Lord, Sharon

(You can listen to Thomas Kelly’s hymn on YouTube.)

Counter Strategy in Spiritual Warfare (Part One)

DSCN0511Ephesians 6:13

Every follower of Jesus Christ is involved in a spiritual war. Satan and his evil allies have an implacable hatred for God and his people. The spiritual forces of evil endlessly seek to oppose God’s plan to display his glory, and they strive to ruin God’s chosen people. It matters not to the enemy how he strikes us; any harm he causes is a reason for perverse delight. However, Satan and his army are doomed to defeat, because God has already won the war through the saving work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Lord has spiritually outfitted us with spiritual protection and has made available to us the greatest resource, his almighty power to face the enemy and his malicious schemes. Although the war is won, there are still many battles to fight until the Lord returns and finally ends all evil works. We face a desperate, fatally wounded dragon, which still lashes out at us before he meets his eternal doom. God has willed that we must confront the enemy to make known God’s triumph in his Son. How do we do this? What is the Lord’s counter strategy for us?

We must be actively engaged in spiritual warfare. The true Christian life is not a way of passivity or of inactivity. At various times in church history, there have been those who have taught a passive view of the Christian life. Their teaching has been presented something like this: “Don’t struggle; that is the way of the flesh; just let go and let God.” I think that they wanted to protect the importance of faith against works, but they went wrong in the process.

One thing that people want to avoid is a struggle. We want life to be easy; Christians want the Christian life to be easy. In the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many taught the error of sinless perfection—that a Christian could achieve, in various ways, freedom from sin. It is still taught and followed today. Many teachers of perfectionism taught that it could be attained by effort of will. The tragic error is that human effort can never perfect a person. Although others saw that perfection could not be achieved by human effort, they could not let go of the concept of the possibility of perfection. So for effort they substituted a redefined idea of faith that taught, “You can’t become perfect by struggling. Instead, you must not struggle; let God make you perfect. ‘Let go and let God.’”

But faith is not passivity. It is an active reliance or dependence upon God that produces action, as the letter to the Hebrews makes very clear. Think about the following verses from that letter’s chapter about faith (11:3-4, 7-8,17, 20-23, 24-28, 29, 33-36). Faith reasons that God is able to do what we cannot, and then moves forward in obedience, actively relying on God to supply our need.

In this entire text (6:10-18), the Lord calls us to action. In this passage the Holy Spirit gives us five clear commands: “be strong… put on… put on… stand firm… take….” The Lord through the apostle demands that we carry out these orders! Everyday we have these orders; to disobey them is to sin. How many Christians are nowhere near as holy and godly as they suppose themselves to be, because they assume that doing nothing is the way to please God? Why is it that a professing Christian can have great troubles of conscience about shop lifting or telling lies, and not feel the least anxiety about direct disobedience of to the Commander of the Lord’s armies? I suggest there are many poorly taught consciences.

The Spirit teaches us that we are in a struggle or more literally, a “wrestling match”. We come into close combat with the powers of darkness, and in their view, there are no “illegal holds”. Addiction, abandonment, betrayal, sexual immorality, domestic violence, robbery, and verbal abuse scar the human heart and provide pain-filled targets for the enemy to strike with self-pity, jealousy, anger, an unforgiving attitude, despair, discontent and plain old unbelief.

Have you been scarred in the ways that I mentioned? Do the evil spirits wrestling with you seem to have you in an unbreakable hold? For example, when something causes you to remember how you were robbed or cheated, you are tempted to become angry or perhaps are filled with a near paralyzing fear that it might happen again. Is there a way out? Yes, if you want to follow the Lord, you will find his way. He promises the way out (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Grace and peace, David

The Nature of Spiritual Warfare (Part Two)


Ephesians 6:11-12

In spiritual warfare the Christian faces a cunning opposing commander. Satan thinks up schemes or traps to try to defeat those who follow Jesus. The word for schemes could be translated as “strategies”. He is drawing up battle plans to be used against us (2 Corinthians 2:11). All these schemes are saturated with deceit and lies, because they come from the father of lies (John 8:44). Consider 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15; 1 Timothy 4:1. This kind of deceptive activity will only increase as we move closer to the coming of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Matthew 24:10-14, 21-25). How then can you know what is truth or error? You can know by the Scriptures (John 17:17).

Here are eight types of schemes that the devil uses against us to draw us into sin.

  • Satan presents the bait and hides the hook (Genesis 3:4-5; Matthew 4:8-9).
  • Satan paints sin with the colors of religion (1 Samuel 15:15, 22-23).
  • Satan lessens the sin or makes it seem less by mentioning all kinds of extenuating circumstances (Joshua 7:20-21; 2 Samuel 6:6-7).
  • Satan talks up the sin of the saints, while hiding their troubles from their sin, the sorrow of their repentance, and their true heart for God: David (2 Samuel 11:4; Psalm 51:1ff), Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:24-26), and Peter (Mark 14:71-72).
  • Satan misrepresents sin and its consequences, claiming that sinful people enjoy blessings while the godly suffer (Jeremiah 44:15-18), conveniently omitting eternal consequences (Psalm 73).
  • Satan encourages us to compare ourselves with people less religious and moral and in this way builds up our pride (Luke 18:11).
  • Satan pollutes minds with dangerous errors that make sin seem less dangerous (Jude 1:4).
  • Satan prompts us to choose wicked friends. 2 Chronicles 18:1ff; 19:1-3).

This is a small selection of the schemes that the evil one uses against us! Since we have a powerful enemy that seeks our destruction in many ways, what should we do? We must trust and obey the Lord. Rely on the Lord’s almighty power and put on the armor that he has given for your protection.

Grace and peace, David

The Nature of Spiritual Warfare (Part One)


Ephesians 6:11-12

To be a Christian is to be part of a new humanity or nation or society that God is making. This is exciting. God by his grace has called us to be a new people, joined to him and each other. Since this basic union in Christ exists, we have a true unity amid our obvious diversity. God has called us out from the old humanity, which is ruined by sin, and made us alive with Christ to be holy and blameless in his sight. This is a joyous calling for this life, and a certain prospect of eternal glory.

Yes, all this is very true, and we ought always to praise the Lord for his goodness to us. But we also have enemies, powerful ones, who totally hate God and us and who seek our ruin. “Is God’s plan to create a new society? Then they will do their utmost to destroy it. Has God through Jesus Christ broken down the walls dividing human beings of different races and cultures from each other? Then the devil through his emissaries will strive to rebuild them. Does God intend his reconciled and redeemed people to live together in harmony and purity? Then the powers of hell will scatter among them the seeds of discord and sin” (Stott). In short, we are in a war. We have seen already from this text that we are spiritually outfitted for battle and have the incalculable asset of the Lord’s mighty power. Now we want to understand more about the nature of this war we find ourselves in.

In spiritual warfare the Christian is in conflict with powerful, spiritual enemies. In any kind of war, we must know the identity of the enemy. The battle is not against “flesh and blood”; that is, this battle is not against other humans. The point is not to exclude other people as agents of evil, but to direct us to think of another enemy. Evil people are captives who follow Satan’s commands. They need to be set free by God’s grace, before they enter into eternal destruction.

Diseases like cancer and the flu, famine, and the desolations of war mar much of present life, but they are nothing compared to eternal wrath. However, we need to realize that behind evil people are implacable, malicious spiritual enemies who lust for our ruin. We are confronting enemies that are able to operate in the spiritual realm. Humans can strike at us with physical objects and terrible words, but this spiritual enemy can strike where people are not able.

In this war, we must realize the power that our enemies possess. The apostle uses a number of terms to impress on our minds the fact that they are powerful: rulers, authorities, powers, and spiritual forces of evil. The idea is not to learn some kind of hierarchy of demons, but to understand that they have ability to strike spiritually against the saints. In Pilgrim’s Progress, Bunyan graphically presents Christian in combat with powers far greater in power. After joining the church (the Palace Beautiful) and learning much, Christian continues on his pilgrimage and goes into the Valley of Humiliation. There he meets Apollyon, and becomes involved in a deadly fight with this prince of darkness. Only God’s armor protects Christian from his opponent’s fierce blows. When the contest is done, Bunyan writes a short poem about the contest.

“A more unequal match can hardly be—Christian must fight an angel; but you see, The valiant man by handling sword and shield, Doth make him, though a dragon, quit the field.”

We must also be convinced of the total evil of these enemies. They approve of whatever God forbids; whatever God says is good and right, they utterly hate. “If we hope to overcome them, we shall need to bear in mind that they have no moral principles, no code of honor, no higher feelings. They recognize no Geneva Convention to restrict or partially civilize the weapons of their warfare. They are utterly unscrupulous, and ruthless in the pursuit of their malicious designs” (Stott). Know your enemies and their heinous character.

Grace and peace, David

Spiritually Outfitted (Part Two)


Ephesians 6:11

Why should we put on the full armor of God? We should put it on because the Lord commands us to (cf. Luke 12:35). This alone ought to be sufficient reason. We are to recognize his authority to direct our lives. Who are we to disobey the Lord? But this is an age of incredible spiritual immaturity. I speak of us all. Someone has said that American Christianity is 3,000 miles wide and a half an inch deep. Therefore, let’s think of some other reasons.

Satan has a great advantage in battle when we fail to put on and then use the weapons of our warfare (cf. Luke 4:13; 16:21-23). Imagine going tent camping and then failing to zip up the doors to keep out the mosquitoes and other nasty bugs. That would be failing to use your advantage. Whatever opportunity the evil one now misses by our diligence, he hopes to find again by our negligence. He hopes that we will be tired out by continual duty. Satan is a skilled hunter (1 Peter 5:8). He watches the tracks of our feet for an indication of the direction of our hearts (Psalm 119:10). Beware of youthful over-activity, middle-aged laziness, or senior sleepiness. We need to be like Eleazar in battle (2 Samuel 23:9-10) or like Joshua (Joshua 10:12-14).

It is hard to reactivate a habit of grace when it has fallen into disuse (Song 5:3). Sometimes this happens because of the shame of guilt. Is there anyone reading that is too ashamed to serve because you have really messed up your Christian life? I know one way that you can be whiter than snow. The blood of Christ never loses its power! Remember that after David was forgiven he went out to fight again. Sometimes this happens from sheer difficulty. When a room has been messed up, it is harder to clean than when it is kept in constant order. One sin tolerated will eventually lead to greater problems. Learning to play a musical instrument and then neglecting to practice and then trying to play again is difficult. Sometimes our lack of spiritual responsiveness happens from being under false teaching. Human-centered or free will teaching marinates a soul in self-sufficiency. Legalism bakes the heart hard in self-reliance. Transforming experience errors of various types send a soul on an empty search for something besides Jesus Christ. Seek fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ, not an experience!

In one sense it doesn’t matter how someone falls into a trap. What matters is how to get out of it. The only way is through a fresh faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. What can I do to persuade you of our Lord’s surpassing worth and all-sufficiency?

We should put our armor on for the sake of our fellow soldiers. A soldier who does not know how to use his weapons is a danger to his own comrades (cf. Hebrews 5:11-14). Good doctrine with an evil lifestyle is like a loaded gun in the hands of a two-year-old. Incorrect doctrine with good intentions is like carrying out attacks without regard to where the enemy is—many are injured by “friendly fire”. The unwise conduct of one professing believer makes the situation worse for many others. Even when the person does not fall into a scandal, he or she cannot help other saints, as should be the case.

We can only put on spiritual armor by faith. This action is a daily necessity for every follower of Christ. You and I must be prepared for battle! However, you cannot put on spiritual armor unless you first know the Lord. Are you a follower of Jesus Christ? Are you united to him by faith? Do you desire to fellowship with the Lord? True Christianity is a relationship with the risen Lord, and not an empty practice of duty. Make sure that you know the Lord before you try to follow him.

Grace and peace, David

Spiritually Outfitted (Part One)


Ephesians 6:11

As you may or may not know, Sharon and I have always enjoyed camping—tent camping. Some of you are thinking, “This confirms what we’ve always thought. You two are crazy!”  But there is something to be said for sleeping outside with just the thin wall of the tent separating you from the elements and all kinds of creepy, crawly creatures. But I digress…. If you want to join us tent camping, you will need to be properly outfitted. Tents, pillows and sleeping bags come quickly to mind. A camp stove and camp cooking gear are also helpful in getting the total outdoors package. And for your sleeping pleasure, a good air mattress proves to be a wise investment. Yes, you need all those things, along with a lot of other camping gear one inevitably acquires. I probably won’t convince most of you to go tent camping, but I hope that I can persuade you about your need to be spiritually outfitted. We are in a spiritual war, and we must be prepared for conflict. Before our government sends out soldiers, it makes sure that they are properly equipped for battle. Our Lord has provided all that we need for spiritual battle, and he tells us to put on what he has provided for us.

What is the “armor of God”? It is the spiritual protection that God provides for his people. In the fullest sense this is Christ himself (Romans 13:14). Since we are in union with the risen Christ, we are to live as full participants in that union, finding our full sufficiency in the Lord. It also includes the grace that flows from Christ through his saving work. The spiritual blessings of redeeming grace are very powerful.

We must settle in our hearts that God has given us what we need for a successful Christian life. We need only lay hold of all through faith in the Lord Jesus. We who follow Christ have already been given all that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4). So then, we need to use this abundant provision (2 Peter 1:5). This is the life of faith. The key idea of the Christian life is a living, active fellowship with the Lord by faith. We exalt God’s fame when we rely on and enjoy all that he is and offers to us.

Grace and peace, David

The Christian’s Greatest Resource (Part Three)


Ephesians 6:10

Consider the power that God pledges to help us—“his almighty power”. Here is the vitality of our hope. When we seek to obey God, his omnipotence comes to our aid. The power he promises is awesome (Ephesians 1:19-20). By God’s power Christ was raised to life. By God’s power we were raised to life (Ephesians 2:5). You and I are living witnesses to the reality of the Almighty God. We live within the sphere of Christ’s resurrection.

However, we must guide our thoughts about this promise to conform to the Scriptures. We can err in various directions, but let us avoid them all. Do not imagine that resurrection power provides you from an escape from difficulties in this present age. A careful reading of Romans 8:18-39 should be enough to convince you that following Christ does not mean “your best life now” or other such silliness. Yet do not limit God’s power in your thoughts. “We are not… to limit and restrain it in our narrow and shallow thoughts, and to think in this, or in that, the power of God may help or secure us; but to believe that he is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think” (Flavel, Works, Vol. 3, p. 345). Compare Ephesians 3:20. However, understand that God’s power will help you to live godly as a partner with Christ in his mission. And do not bog yourself down with incomplete evaluations. “All things seem to be working contrary to my hope in Christ!” Every believer will struggle with incomplete evaluations, as Abraham did (Romans 4:18-22).

So then, rest and rejoice in God’s power. Act this way in the struggle with remaining sin. We may feel like a whole marine division of the spiritual forces of evil is coming against us and is about to overrun our position. We may feel powerless against the attack. But do we believe in the power of God (Genesis 18:14)? “Though sin be too hard for thee, yet not for him… Set his power to work, by faith and prayer.” (Watson). Recall that God is greater in the face of strong temptation (1 John 4:4).

As we strive to serve God, determine to go forward in his strength (Acts 18:9-11). How many people does God have in the area in which you live? Do you want to give up or go find them? “Oh pastor, we can’t do it!” But God can. “We can’t solve this family problem!” But God can. “I can’t defeat this sin I’m struggling with!” But God can. Some writer in earlier times said, “Assure thyself when thou art at the greatest pinch [that] strength shall come.” Remember Elijah beside the dried up brook (1 Kings 17:7-24). When the water dried up, God made a way. But it didn’t look like it at first, for the widow had very little food. But God supplied. Whew, that was a close call! But then the widow’s son dies anyway. What is God doing? Never had anyone been raised from the dead. But God gave life from the dead. How much strength do you need? How much strength does your local gathering of Christ followers need? God’s almighty power is sufficient. Therefore, let us rely on the Lord!

Grace and peace, David

The Christian’s Greatest Resource (Part Two)

DSCN0380Ephesians 6:10

The Holy Spirit presents confident expectation (hope) to us. How much we need hope! We can be strong in the Lord. To help us realize the benefit God offers to us, let us think about three factors that demand strength from the Lord. A strong enemy opposes us (6:12), our adversary, the devil (1 Peter 4:8). We have a traitor within (1 Peter 2:11). Sinful desires wage war against us. The standard for successful obedience is high, which is likeness to Jesus Christ (John 13:34; Romans 13:14; Ephesians 4:13). We can become too easily discouraged, if we consider any of these apart from our greatest resource. The Lord Christ wants us to know that his mighty power is more than adequate for us in all these.

The Lord promises himself and his strength to encourage us. Knowing the difficulties will only magnify our appreciation for the help we receive in him. However, what we must understand is that his power comes through our union and fellowship with him, not in the endless processes that Christians seem to love to develop. Christians seem to like or even prefer some kind of stern spiritual regimen to a daily walk by grace through faith with the Lord. If the routine makes them feel or seem like they are making painful personal sacrifices to get close to the Lord, so much the better. “I get up at five… I have a long prayer list… I gave up such and such for Lent… I read ten chapters a day… I serve in a ministry in my local church, and no one says ‘thank you’… etc.” But this might be only playing around with a spiritual regimen instead of sharing one’s life with the Lord and actually depending on him. Please don’t misunderstand. I do read the Scriptures and pray and meditate and fellowship with other believers and so forth. I am saying don’t confuse doing them with the practical friendship with God that is worship. Know this: the Lord wants us to draw near to him personally and joyfully. “Be strong in the Lord.”

The Lord’s mighty power is sufficient to live on (Hebrews 11:13; cf. Exodus 6:3). The Lord’s strength is a remedy in the face of fear (Isaiah 8:11-9:7; 43:2). The Lord’s strength will refresh us (Romans 8:31-32). “He that was willing to expend his Son’s blood to gain them, will not deny his power to keep them. (Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armor).” Press this hope home upon your soul until your doubts and fears in this matter are settled. The Lord’s strength will be our joy (Nehemiah 8:10), because he wants us to rejoice (Philippians 4:4).

Grace and peace, David

The Christian’s Greatest Resource (Part One)


Ephesians 6:10

The Bible was not written for the Christian to sit and read in an armchair and then do nothing. Instead, God gave it to us to help us in our lives. He speaks in the word to us, because we are his dearly loved people. Both the doctrinal and the practical sections were written to help us live. In a general sense the doctrinal sections help us understand God and ourselves, and how to relate to God; the practical sections help us please God in our relationships with other people and with the world. To look at this from another angle, the Bible in a way is the Christian’s “battle plan”, because we, whether we like it or not, are part of a war. We are in a tough fight, a terrible conflict. All followers of Jesus Christ must confront enemies that totally hate us, and we are called to engage the enemy. For this reason, I thought it would be wise for us to consider this spiritual warfare and how we ought to conduct ourselves in the war.

Let’s start with the form of this verse. The Holy Spirit presents a way of life that will please the Lord. God’s commands describe how his obedient children are to act. Military commands are not options; neither is God’s word! “Be strong” is in the imperative mood. You must be strong. This command flows from the teaching of Ephesians 4:1,17, which flows from the prayer of 3:14-21, which flows from the reality of relationship with the living God presented in 1:3-2:22. (In other words, remember the context of the whole letter. Think of how you are richly blessed in Christ. Our way of life develops from who we are in Christ.)

The Holy Spirit directs us to precise activity: “be strong in the Lord”. However, we can too easily be diverted from the Spirit’s guidance. One diversion is to seek strength in our natural abilities and achievements. We wrongly suppose we can figure out “how to live a successful Christian life” and once we know that, we assume we have the capability to do it. Neither should we be diverted to seek strength in our spiritual growth, nor to seek strength in our spiritual gifts. Both are traps to those who rightly sense that they are growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior (2 Peter 3:18). You must not depend on your progress or gifts. You need what is much more powerful.

We must only seek strength from the Lord. Compare John 15:5. (Yes, Mission FifteenFive.) How do we receive strength? Since we are united to Christ through faith, we also receive strength from the Lord Jesus through faith—not through works, rituals, or “spiritual disciplines”. Rely on his more than sufficient resources; commit yourself to him (2 Corinthians 12:9). You might be in a very hot part of the battle at this moment. Evil desires might be alluring you, while you’re trying to focus on Christ. You might feel that you can’t cope, that it’s easier to yield to them. I understand, and so does our Lord. Yet the Spirit appeals to you through his word to “be strong in the Lord”. Go to the Ascended Jesus and draw from him by faith the strength you need.

Grace and peace, David

What in the World Is God Doing? (Part Two)

Revelation 5:5-10

God presents his solution to the problem set out in Revelation 5:1-4. We see a startling appearance—the Lion who is the Lamb. Can you capture the drama of the moment? One of the elders tells John not to weep because the Lion of the tribe of Judah has triumphed. John thinks about the elder’s words. “Yes, a Lion! A noble, courageous, conquering champion! Surely he is able!” But when he looks at the throne, he does not see a Lion but a Lamb—hardly a picture of a champion!

It is exactly at this point that God breaks the back of human wisdom. People think that a grand display of power is the way to handle what is wrong in the world. “Drop the bombs! Send in the army! Conquer and evil will be gone!” But evil remains as destructive as ever. We fail to listen to God’s word, and therefore we don’t understand the necessity of the cross (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). The only hope for your life is the gospel. The only hope for the church is the gospel. The only hope for our people and the world is the gospel.

On the other hand, when you look at the Lamb, you can see that he is very special. The Lamb is slain but alive! Here we see someone with resurrection glory about him. Here is the Son of God with power (Romans 1:4). The Lamb is standing in the center of God’s throne. Who is the King of the universe? He is the one who wore the crown of thorns. The Lamb is the focal point of angels and mankind. They encircle him, looking to him for meaning, joy and life itself. The Lamb has power and wisdom (symbolized by horns and eyes). This shows his connection with the Holy Spirit of God. He sends the Spirit, doing mighty works by him and revealing himself by the Spirit.

The Father explains the Lamb’s worthiness. Its basis is his sacrificial work on the cross and what it accomplished (5:8-10). He purchased a people for God out of humanity. This is the basis of evangelism and missions. He made that purchased people a kingdom—a new nation. The Lamb also made them priests; they are able to worship God in his presence. He guaranteed their reign on earth, which will be ultimate victory.

What in the world is God doing? He is creating a new humanity in his Son to share in the glory of God. He did this in the saving work of Christ. Everything in history is the unrolling of that plan. One by one, the Spirit is putting purchased people in that new humanity. The most significant activity that you and I can get involved in is to become Christ’s coworkers in God’s plan. In other words, our mission is to make fully committed followers of Jesus Christ. Pray for the Sovereign Lord to lead you to people that you can bring to the Lord Jesus for salvation.

Grace and peace, David