Spreading Christmas Cheer by Singing Loudly for all to Hear

Last night as we kicked off our Christmas Break for Sunday School, we joined up with a couple of the high school kids to bless our neighbors. It sure was an arctic cold night, filled with bands of lake effect snow and cold noses and toeses! 🙂

While many people stayed in for the night, we witnessed tears of joy and happy smiles, served as a welcoming committee for some families having get-togethers, and even earned some Christmas cookies in the process! We even blessed our neighborhood grocery store with caroling and sang loudly for all to hear.

Here’s a snapshot of our little group of brave singing warriors who went out in the Michigan weather to bless others:

caroling

We concluded our night by warming up with the Name Game and some cookies and Hot Chocolate and Coffee. Definitely a fun night had by all!

From all our group at Telos, we are wishing you a very Merry Christmas and one big Happy New Year!

christmas

Don’t Forget! Jesus is the REASON for the SEASON!

 

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Picking Back Up

I have an apology to make. It’s true, I have really dropped the ball on my blogging duties in the last couple of months. In dealing with family crises these things tend to happen. While I thought about it often, I just did not take the time to finish updating our blog with the end of our last series Build Up! Please forgive me….and I am….

sorry

Now, let’s pick up where we left off! In class we have now completed the Build Up series – a look at the Armor of God. It was an excellent series and a great reminder of how to “power up” for the Kingdom of God in our Christian lives.

As we are now onto the Christmas break season, we are off in class until January 8 where we pick up again with our next 4-week series, “He did WHAT?” For now…the conclusion…

Build Up: Conclusion

Build Up! Conclusion:Helmet of Salvation, Sword of Truth, and a Warrior Prayer

                Ephesians 6:17-19 “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

HELMET of SALVATION

The helmet protects the _HEAD____. Inside the head is the _BRAIN/MIND_____.

The mind can often be tricked and even wooed into believing in what sounds good to our brains, which can lead to a belief in _SPIRITS_   and __FALSE__   _RELIGIONS___.

What we really need to know about the Helmet of Salvation:

The context of “salvation”. The words salvation can mean becoming or being “__SAVED___”.

However, in this passage the correct context is talking about _FINAL__ salvation.

I Thessalonians 5 relates to this passage as well. In this part of the book it discusses the time of Jesus’ return and His second coming. Chapter 5 Verse 8 states:

                “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”

The HOPE of salvation is confidence in the second coming of Jesus and the final defeat of Satan and the forces of evil, the resurrection of the dead, and life in the new heaven and new earth.

Titus 2 also relates when it states we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

The helmet of salvation is a joyful anticipation of Jesus’ coming and works as a __DEFENSE_that protects against entanglement with ____SPIRITS__ and false religions.

It also protects against ___SECULARISM___.

Wearing our helmets NOW will one day be replaced with a crown.

Revelation 2:26-27 and 3:21 says,

                “To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations….just as I have received authority from my Father…To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.”

SWORD of the SPIRIT

The sword of the spirit is the __WORD__ of ___GOD___. It means your __BIBLE___!

The Word of God can very easily be used as a defensive weapon. Jesus himself set an example of its proper use when he dispelled all three of Satan’s temptations to him in the desert by quoting the words written in the book of ____DEUTERONOMY___.

Jesus consistently fought Satan by saying these three words:

___IT____   ___IS____   __WRITTEN__!

Jesus knew the Bible so well He was able to use it with wisdom and through the strength of the Holy Spirit he could easily recognize what was wrong in Satan’s temptations and slashed them all to pieces.

What We Really Need to Know About the Sword of the Spirit:

The Bible is very ___NEGLECTED___. There are more Bibles in North America than in most places in the entire world. However, they mostly __SIT_ on a __SHELF___!

If Christians are not actively reading the Bible, meditating on the Bible, memorizing the Bible, leading Godly inspired lives…how can they utilize this necessary weapon? How can they win the war?

Psalm 119:11 says “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you”

Knowing your Bible and leading your life using the Bible as a guidebook is the way to fight off Satan and his sneaky attacks. Knowing your Bible allows you to fight off Satan’s attack just the way Jesus did!

I Corinthians 16:13 “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong!”

2 Corinthians 10: 4 – 5 “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the word. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

THE FINAL STEP: Be a Prayer Warrior

Think of prayer as a supply line in the battle. It is the perfect way to get fresh supplies. When we pray, we are getting inner nourishment from the diving headquarters. God has no shortage of resources to draw from. Ephesians 3:20 says that God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”

Spiritual life __BEGINS__ in prayer and is _SUSTAINED_ through prayer. The more “prayed up” you are, the better equipped you are to defend yourself against Satan. As Christians, we are not lone soldiers, but we are part of God’s ARMY. We must care for our fellow warriors in the struggle as well. Pray for all who are fighting for the Lord along with you. Pray for our church, then our denomination, the church of Jesus all around the world.  Eph. 6:18 says “Always keep on praying for all the saints”.

WHO TO PRAY FOR:

~New Christians                ~Young Christians                            ~Christian Parents           ~Single Christians ~Middle-Aged Christian ~Elderly Christians                        ~Christian Teachers        ~Christians-Jail ~Christian Farmers           ~Christian Factory Workers               ~Christian Lawyers          ~Christian Doctors ~Christian Widows     ~Christian Orphans                         ~Christian Judges             ~Christian Politicians

PRAY FOR OUR PASTORS and CHRISTIAN LEADERS in the Church. PRAY for our PRESIDENT and LEADERS.

HOMEWORK: REMEMBER! Satan and his forces are trying to destroy us. Be strong in the Lord and in His might. Put on the full armor of God. Use the ultimate weapon against Satan, the sword of the Spirit, and don’t neglect your lines of supply and communication. Pray in the Spirit on all occasions.

Build Up: Session 4 ~Shielded from Arrows and Feet fitted with Readiness

Ephesians 6:16

“Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

 SATAN’s ARROWS: Satan throws so many different arrows at us in our path of our Christian lives. Here’s a brief look at just a couple of them.

arrows

Flaming Arrows of DOUBT: Can’t be defeated by cleaver reasoning or by gathering evidence. Satan’s reasoning is sharper than ours. Satan is an expert in twisting arguments, evidence, and statistics to support his lies. If we try to block doubt with a shield of our own thinking skills, we are using a shield of paper against a flaming arrow. FAITH is the only shield against doubt.

Flaming Arrows of TEMPTATION: Can’t be defeated by our own willpower. We must have faith in God’s goodness and in his blessings to satisfy our “deepest desires” to extinguish this arrow. FAITH, not willpower, is our shield.

Flaming Arrows of PERSECUTION: More than ever it seems Satan is turning people against us because we belong to Jesus. Persecution can come in the forms of mockery and discrimination; it can even come in the forms of torture and death. Activating our FAITH in God’s plan for our lives is the way to put out this fire Satan throws.

 2 Corinthians 4: 8 – 14

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore, I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.

Flaming arrows of ACCUSATION: Satan’s name means “adversary” or “accuser”. He LOVES to accuse and make Christians feel guilty for things they haven’t done and for the sins they have committed he truly pours it on wanting to let you know you are far beyond hope. Defeat this arrow with the shield of FAITH. Faith here in the blood of Jesus. We can never “earn” God’s forgiveness, but we don’t have to. Forgiveness comes through faith the Jesus’ blood and that is always bigger than our worst sins.

By digging in to God’s Word and with the shield of faith at the forefront may we extinguish all of Satan’s fiery darts he throws our way.

FEET FITTED WITH READINESS

Ephesians 6:15 “and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”

POOR and/or NO FOOTWEAR IN BATTLE COULD MEAN:

  • Slipping and falling with bad shoes could mean you get killed before regaining your stance
  • Walking barefoot could mean walking on thorns, ashes, sharp stones, or arrow heads tearing up your feet before you even got to the enemy territory – essentially hindering the final battle by the little things
  • Marching among creatures such as snakes, scorpions, fire ants, etc. could take you out easily before getting to the front lines
  • Marching without proper footwear in cold weather, freezing dirt and mud, or snow can lend to sickness. Many fevers and illnesses often took out soldiers over the years

Smart soldiers would have footwear with heavy, thick soles, and many with spikes on the bottom to help hold them into place or dig in to maintain their ground when necessary and even then to help move forward!  Isn’t proper footwear important? Proper footwear in the Armor of God means having PEACE.

feetfitted

 

The Gospel is noted as the GOOD NEWS! The Gospel is good news because it bears a message of peace:

  • Peace with God – achieved by the peace treaty God offers through Jesus’ blood

                Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God  through our Lord Jesus Christ”

                Romans 8:31 “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can      be against us?”

  • Peace in your Heart – Salvation/being right with God releases an inner peace.

 Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

  • Peace Spread to Others – start at home in your family including church family then move towards your neighbors and community

                Hebrews 12:14 “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without            holiness no one will see the Lord.”