1. War or Peace
We do not know what peace is unless we know what war is. Only when we face the war we appreciate what peace is. We can see many physical war on TV, but there is a war we cannot even see we only feel and experience.
7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.
8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.
9 The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."
13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.
This war is a spiritual war. There is a war between God's angels and devils angels. It is intense war and Satan was hurled down and has come down to earth. And he is come here to hurt the people, to deceive the people, accuse the people and people who obey God to get them out of the Kingdom of God. It also talks about people overcame with the blood of Jesus. This war is real we all are in the war, the war for our souls.
The war the Satan is fighting is very clear. He wants to take our souls. He wants to get into his side. It is not easy to face war because we see the pain. We can see fear. We can see the discouragement, worry, there is uncertainty, we don't know what is going to happen. That's what we feel when we go through our own wars in our lives. How are we going to overcome? who is going to win?
Are we going to change, are we going to come through? Are we going to change through struggles of sin? That's the fear when we are going through this war. And the Bible says the only way to overcome the struggles is through blood of Jesus. Not by our strength, not by our good deeds but through blood of Jesus only, by holding on to Christ.
All over the world the disciple are going through this war. Some are wounded Christian, some are hurt, and some are going to die. All this is going to affect us. That is the reality of war that is the reality of spiritual war. When there is fierce battle between and Satan somebody is going to fall, somebody is going to hurt and somebody is going to die. We got to decide how we're going to face this battle.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
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.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 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 saints.
Here the Bible tells us how to face this war, v.10 be strong in the Lord and His power. We got to be that close to him. We need to be able to trust in his mighty power to save us. May be we are struggling in sin, may be some character weakness, may be financial struggles, may be marriage problem, may be relational issue in our family, whatever it is we got to stand strong in the Lord .
Vs 11 We need to put on full armor of God. How? Vs.14 we need to put a belt of righteousness, fit for feet with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. We need to take a shield of faith, wear a helmet of salvation. We got to pray in spirit in all occasion, with this in mind be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints in the battle. The only way we can be in battle is by being spiritual. We got to pray all the time that's when we can stand firm.
Peace is something rare, it can't be bought, bribed to receive, we can only get it from God. God wants us to have peace. He wants us to enjoy this peace.
We are not going to let Satan win so quickly. He may tempt you, he may discourage you but we are not giving in. He will put doubts in our mind he will confuse us, he will try every trick to hurt us but we are not going to give in so quickly. That's the spirit we are going to have as Christians. Today we may be going through whatever struggle in our life but we have to have that faith, we have to stand strong in the Lord, we can fight the good battle.
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
This is the promise. God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet so your battle, the end of the battle is very clear we are going to crush Satan under our feet. Who is going to allow us to do that? God himself. He is not a God of war but God of peace. Let's really believe and hold on to the promise that God is going to help us to have victory. There is a war out there but we want peace. That peace comes only from God.
2. World Cup Or Jesus Cup
1 Corinthians 9:24-25
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
This world cup is going to perish. People in the world are competing for perishable things that's temporary it lasts as long as we live. If we live today we can enjoy our money today, it perishes with us. All the worldly rewards will perish but what we need to fight is for the crown that is imperishable.
All the money we run after will be gone. We shouldn't run our whole life running after perishable things. We have to run after imperishable crown.
2 Timothy 2:4-8
4 No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs--he wants to please his commanding officer.
5 Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.
6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.
7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel,
Paul is waiting for a crown. While on earth he didn't receive a crown. He got persecuted, he went to jail, and eventually he was beheaded. The world did not appreciate him. The world did not respect him. He did not get the award for anything he had done in this earth. But he believed that there is up for him a crown of righteousness. And the Lord righteous God will give me, not only to him but also for all those who are waiting for him. That's an imperishable crown.
If we're going to work for something we got to work for what God has kept for us. Jesus on earth was crowned. He was crowned with a crown of thorns. In this life we will also be crowned. Sometimes we will be crowned with crown of thorns. It may be crown of pain, or suffering can be a problem of disability. In this world we will be crowned. But do not look at the crown we are holding on to right now. It can be suffering, temptation or pain or it can be anything.
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation. When we have been through that, when we stood the test we will receive a crown. Let us not give up when we are going through trials. Let us persevere and we will receive the crown.
1 Peter 5:4
And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
We need to ask ourselves what are we looking for, a world cup or Jesus cup?
1 Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are looking for a victory. In the war against evil forces of the world we are looking for victory. In each of our life we are looking for victory. It is the promise. We need to thank God to give us victory through Jesus Christ our Lord. We will be victorious in God. Let us pray that war will end but peace will prevail. Do not run after the cup what world can give but what Jesus will give.