You know Jesus told us in Matthew 16:18closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST', “… I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail again it.” It’s true! The church is His and it will prevail… “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” but boy how the enemy can rattle those gates and raise quite a ruckus and get those behind the gate all “shook up.” Know what I mean? When great things are being accomplished for the kingdom of God, lives are being blessed and touched, and people are being brought near the throne in worship and growth, people are being saved, and excitement for God and His work is high… well, you can be sure the enemy is going to start rattling the gates, and draw the gaze of some away into little skirmishes and scuffles that may disrupt and upset what God is doing. We may say, “Oh, don’t worry about that!” “He can’t get to us!” “That gate will keep that wild dog out and he can’t harm us!” “And greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST')!” We may say it but what a vicious ruckus he can raise and stir with all his noise and growls, his clanging and banging!
I’ll tell you, that I am not really one of those ministers who goes looking for Satan behind everything that goes wrong. I think we ought to be focusing our attention on… looking to Jesus and encouraging others to follow Him, and we ought not to be focusing on the ruckus of the defeated one rattling the gate. However, you and I need to be fully aware that enemy loves to destroy…or attempt to destroy…the church. He hates it and he hates us and that is why he keeps viciously attacking the gate even though He can’t prevail. Obviously Satan is a defeated and a fallen foe, a limited being, and God’s church is secure, but as a defeated and fallen foe he is determined to go kicking and screaming and pulling as many down as he possibly can. The gates of hell shall never overcome what God started, but the enemy certainly loves to disrupt what God’s church is doing and especially when things are good… and they are! Right? And because they are… well, the enemy raises a ruckus at the gate.
I think how the great preacher/evangelist, D.L. Moody, put it is pretty accurate, “Satan puts straws across our path and magnifies it and makes us believe it is a mountain…” The enemy is always making mountains out of mole hills in the church… or out of “straw” as D.L. Moody says. I like that, because I think about how many of our little disruptions in the church are nothing more than “straw” really! Petty disagreements and getting cross ways when we don’t get our way… straw! Arguments about trivialities in the church… straw! Satan loves business meetings that get out of hand or when two church members have disagreements outside of church… straw! He loves when church members argue about trivial things, such as colors of the carpet or paint on the wall… all straw! Doesn’t really matter to the enemy what it is! All straw burns well! Show the enemy a good argument potential and he’s willing to stir the fire! Here is the full D.L. Moody quote, “Satan puts straws across our path and magnifies it and makes us believe it is a mountain, but all the devil’s mountains are mountains of smoke; when you come up to them they are not there.” I don’t think Moody is minimizing the reality of these things. He is simply reminding us that they don’t amount to much, and that we usually make much more of them than we should, and allow the smoky straw of the enemy to steal our joy, to choke out our praise, to burn our eyes of faith and distract us from the profound things God is doing and wanting to do in us and through us.
Listen, folks, we can either be mesmerized by a lot of gate rattling, straw and smoke of the enemy or we can set our hearts fully on the amazing and profound things that God is doing in our midst and worship Him in it. We can either cower in fear at a defeated and fallen foe who wants to keep us all pent up with his noise at the gate, with his efforts made of straw, and his smoke and mirrors or we can fix our eyes fully on “the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'). When I look around I see an amazing God, doing amazing things, and desiring to do even greater and more amazing things than these, with the best yet to come… and praise God, a whole lot of gate rattling going on by an enemy that can’t do one thing about it. Praise God, he can’t do one thing about it… unless we let him! Oh, don’t let him! Let’s focus fully on, “…Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Eph. 3:20-210closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST').” I Love you, Bro. Buddy
MarFellowship Meal and Business MeetingTime:05:00pm | Place:Fellowship Hall
MarAWANA, Dig for Dollars NightTime:06:00pm | Place:Kay Building
MarLadies Bible StudyTime:10:00am | Place:Fellowship Hall
MarYouth Committee MeetingTime:07:00pm | Place:Main Building
MarAWANA, Crazy Hat NightTime:06:00pm | Place:Kay Building