Victims or Victors                  10-4-15

We have once again been visited by Evil.

We should not be SHOCKED, we have been affected by Evil since the FIRST FEW walked the earth.

As normal, some want to blame society, mental illness, guns, knives, gasoline, hammers, water, cars, rocks, jawbones, etc – whatever tool evil chose to use; instead of the truth:  Evil doing its will through man.

Lets look at Oregon and those involved.

Evil

Never doubt that there is great evil in this world

Jesus clearly taught us there is evil and evils PURPOSE is to STEAL AND KILL AND DESTROY!

Today, Evil is at our door steps

Openly attacking Christians in the public square

It is the disorganized “lone wolf”

It is the organized evil of radicals and terrorists.

Evil is greater than flesh and blood

That is why our primary battle is a SPIRITUAL BATTLE and not a physical one.

Ephesians 6:10-14 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” ESV

If we UNDERSTAND that there is evil out there, HOW DO WE RESPOND?

VICTIMS

Pray for those the families who lost loved ones and for the injured.

BE CLEAR ON ONE ISSUE

Christians are VICTORS not Victims

Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  ESV

Somehow we have come to a mentality that we SHOULD BE VICTIMS

That we must lay down our arms and accept the abuse and rampage of others

  • We deserve it…somehow

NO!

VICTORS

  • Christians ARE NOT the worlds PUNCHING BAG
  • Christians are not the WORLD’S DOOR MAT
  • It is MORE THAN OK – IT IS EXPECTED for Christians to DEFEND their faith!
  • Do MORE THAN sing “Victory in Jesus” LIVE IT!

MARTYRS

Merriam-Webster defines a Martyr as: “A person who is killed or who suffers greatly for a religion, cause, etc.”

  • In this case for their faith

The bravest person in the world on October 1st was not the brave man who was shot 7 times to save lives in Oregon.

  • He was brave, not doubt.
  • Like the 3 US Military men who stopped a terrorist in France, the man in Oregon is a HERO! But, maybe not a martyr or the Bravest of those present that day.

BUT, the bravest person in the world was the SECOND person who stared down that gun barrel and professed they are a CHRISTIAN, after they saw the first one shot.

They were not ashamed of the Gospel

Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” ESV

VICTORS

  • We live by FAITH and NOT by FEAR!
  • We profess our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ with all we have, EVEN IF it is our dying breath!
  • WE NEVER back down
  • WE NEVER shy away
  • WE NEVER deny our faith
    • Faith that can be denied is a false faith
  • If we have assured VICTORY then we need not fear defeat!
  • We ALL have a responsibility to defend our FAITH, our FAMILIES and our FRIENDS!
    • The Bible clearly talks about times when the PEOPLE OF GOD must “pound their plowshares into swords and say ‘I am a WARRIOR”
      • Not in vengeance or retribution
        • But in DEFENSE
        • In JUSTICE
        • In FAITH
      • Hear these Words from God :
        • Ecclesiastes 3:8 “a time for war, and a time for peace.” ESV
        • Proverbs 25:24 “Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.” ESV
          • Dirty, Sickening, rotten
          • Psalm 82:4 “Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” ESV
          • James 4:17 “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” ESV
        • In all of this we are careful to guard our hearts
          • We do ALL for the Glory of God
          • We do ALL through HIS Strength and Will
        • This TEXT reverberated in my soul as God led me through this message process over the last few days. I will read the whole text then focus quickly on ONE VERSE:
        • Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” ESV

We have nothing to fear because GOD is with us, protecting, providing and preparing our way.  We can FOLLOW HIM WITHOUT FEAR, even in FEARFULL situations!

But, look at this:

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

Sometimes the fear overwhelms us.

Sometimes, like little kids fighting their naptime, God needs to make us lie down and rest IN HIM!

Sometimes God has to POUR OUT HIS PEACE UPON US.

We can have peace even when it doesn’t make sense BECAUSE IT IS FROM GOD!

Do you have GOD’s PEACE?

Remember that you can have VICTORY IN JESUS!     Isaiah 54:17 “no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,” (prosper) ESV

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