Monday, January 14, 2019

Pastor's Ponderings, January 14, 2019

We Can Freely Receive God’s Benefits

Ms. Alia al-Hathloul wrote an opinion piece in the January 13, 2019, New York Times entitled, “My Sister Is in a Saudi Prison. Will Mike Pompeo Stay Silent?”  She wrote, “Loujain al-Hathloul, is my sister. She has worked relentlessly to earn Saudi women the right to drive.”   However, when her family saw her in captivity, “She said she had been held in solitary confinement, beaten, waterboarded, given electric shocks, sexually harassed and threatened with rape and murder. My parents then saw that her thighs were blackened by bruises.”  She was trying to gain the right to drive.  It is painful to know that some Saudi women are denied even that benefit. 

The Bible speaks of another being that wants to take away our rights and benefits. We are in a battle with evil (Ephesians 6:12). God has given us peace, joy, health, finances (2 Peter 1:3, 4), but the devil wants to take away every good thing that God has given us including our lives (John 10:10).  Every day, God loads us with things that help us such as wisdom and a sense of well-being (Psalm 68:19).  He wants us to prosper and be in good health (3 John 2). The devil attempts to stop us from reaching our potential (2 Timothy 2:25-26).  Just like Ms. al-Hathloul is fighting for her right to drive, we must fight as well and tell the Devil that God has given us all blessings and a place of acceptance with Him (Ephesians 1:3, 6). 

The Devil is fighting for our souls; he wants us to join him in hellish dimensions. Jesus came into the world to destroy the evil works of the devil (1 John 3:8).  Those who love God must fight against the devil by proclaiming the authority of Jesus Christ over every area of lives such as our offspring, our neighborhoods and even our world.  We do this by obeying and believing in Him.

Let us remember to pray for the many Loujain al-Hathlouls of the world who are suffering under uncaring governments. Let us also remember to pray for those who are outside of the plan of salvation who are unable to get the benefits of being a follower of Christ.  Let us be grateful for our freedom in Christ. We can receive His good relationships, goodwill, happiness, health, and prosperity that He has for us.  

Ephesians 6:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

2 Peter 1:3, 4
New International Version (NIV)
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

John 10:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Psalm 68:19
King James Version (KJV)
19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

3 John 2
New International Version (NIV)
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

2 Timothy 2:25-26
New International Version (NIV)
25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 
26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Ephesians 1: 3, 6
King James Version (KJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved

1 John 3:8
New International Version (NIV)
The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

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