God wants to give you Spiritual Strength!

God wants to give you Spiritual Strength!

What an unusual time. PLEASE KNOW our church staff and leadership are all praying for each of you and for our community and all people world-wide.

Coronoavirus, COVID-19 virus, is a world-wide challenge that smart people have not yet figured out how to protect us from, cure the sick, or stop from spreading.

But we must know in our hearts this Coronavirus does not have our mighty all-knowing God confused. Go is not worried. God is not confused. So, we take heart and all talk to God and listen to the Holy Spirit as we pray great love for one another and in thanking God for always being in control.

This is the time WE as the church of Jesus Christ must gather (using social distancing of course 😊) together in PRAYER and in SPIRITUAL STABILITY and SPIRITUAL STRENGTH.

Pastor Renee recently reminded us during worship, Jesus says

“And I tell you, … on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)

‎If you watch the news feeds and the reports Coronavirus, now labeled a pandemic kind of feels like “gates of hell” as we wonder how to stay safe and help each other. So lean into what Jesus promises “the gates of hell shall NOT prevail against His church”. Lean into God with a SPIRITUAL STRENGTH and ENCOURAGE yourself and one another.

Remember we have been Fasting and Feasting in this season of LENT as we anticipate Jesus moving intently with great love for us toward the cross, dying and powerfully rising and conquering all sin and evil. Let’s back up to our first fasting & feasting.

Fasting on distractions and Feasting on the Word of GOD.

What a wonderful spiritual practice to challenge us at such as time as this. I don’t want you to miss out on the power of solidarity with God, even if you are feeling alone or isolated or uncertain about: all this social distancing, stores with empty food shelves, and unsuccessful valiant searches for toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Seriously, we have present challenges.

As you feast on the Word of God I want to bring your attention to the spiritual gift of the Spiritual Armor of God. See Ephesians 6, where apostle Paul tells us how to put it on.

                      

Ephesians 6

9 And… since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

[How do you read the above message from God?
Do you truly believe you are God’s favorite? God’s favorite!
There is no favoritism in God’s heart and in God’s Kingdom
because EVERY PERSON, including YOU, just as you are, YOU have been chosen by the LORD and YOU are His favorite, His special possession
(1 Peter 2:9).]

God loves us so much, He gives all of us daily His protection, provision and wisdom through the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Now, if you are having more time at home due to the Global, national and state restrictions to contain the spread of this Coronavirus. Or if you are concerned and do not feel well or are sick, having trouble sleeping, or just fit into the high risk categories for this virus, God loves you and wants you to put on this Spiritual Armor so you can guard your heart, be calm and stand firm in faith in Christ our LORD.

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.

[Do not be fearful in your thoughts, instead choose to believe God’s promises and put on each piece of spiritual armor with God. Spiritual armor is something you do with God. He is always present.]

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.

[Keep your faith, love your family and friends and keep your joy. God does not want you to worry. Today God is inviting ALL people world-wide into the challenge to trust God deeper. How is God inviting you to trust Him?

How does God want to grow and stretch your faith?]

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,

[God loves simple honest truthful prayers. What do you need from God? David cried out to God for help, and God showed up every time!]

with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 

[Forgive yourself, you are already the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, because God loves you.]

15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

[Who does God want you to share your spiritual confidence with?
Will you tell someone you] are praying for them and ask them how to pray for them?]

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.

[Faith or fear?
You must choose. Each of us must choose. This is why we should connect and pray for and with each other. During this pandemic and time of uncertainty, fear is a sneaky tactic of the evil one and comes as flaming arrows. What are your thoughts, do you have fears sneaking in your thoughts about your health, health of your loved ones, travel, finances, food availability, your job, your children out of school, being exposed to the Coronavirus, what the next weeks hold, loneliness. Sometimes fear starts with only a spark! God’s spiritual armor of the shield of faith is to shield your heart from any of these fears.
FAITH will bring you peace and solidarity with God. God promises to guide and we will all need a whole lot of guidance going forward.
Faith is what God gives you, that’s why we must “take up” the shield of FAITH. This honors God and gives God all the Glory.
Do you realize fear is the opposite of faith?]

17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

[Truth, Sometimes I put that helmet of salvation on backwards! Yup. 😊
Suggestion make sure you put on the mind of Christ, (God’s words) first before your helmet so your helmet will be sitting front to back. I get in trouble with my own mindfulness. The Helmet of salvation is knowing Jesus already has the victory in any of your struggles.

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 Lord’s people.

19 Pray also for us

[us including God’s family at Brookdale Covenant Church, all of God’s people both believers and not yet believers, and of course pray God guides and provides for all our leaders, scientists, researchers and medical professionals that are passionately challenged to beat and conquer this virus]

that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains.

[Suggest repeat “I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel”, then speak out loud “for which I am an ambassador in chains”. We are given the amazing gift of being God’s ambassadors! Yes you are. God will give you the words to speak in faith. I got to this part of God’s Word, and heard the spirit whisper to me to write this blog.

Chains! Well this Coronavirus pandemic is the biggest world-wide chains to bring a unity to all people everywhere under heaven I have ever seen! We have world-wide problems but not that stop everything and can not be contained. What is God opening our eyes to?
Who will you be an ambassador for God and God’s Kingdom to?]

Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Final Greetings – are Blessings that God releases

23 PEACE to YOU brothers and sisters, and LOVE with FAITH from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

[We as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have this powerful-privilege that we can at any time ASK God for wisdom and to “increase our faith!”, just as Jesus disciples asked at a time of uncertainty.
Simple prayers release God’s power into our circumstances.]

24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.

Stay strong, pray often, be good to yourself, be calm you are loved by a wonderful God and put on this spiritual armor because you are called to be part of God’s army. Your prayer is powerful, Jesus says so. I pray your prayers are answered so you see God is for you and God is for all of us.

Put your hope in God my friends!

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