Pastor Tim Pianta 65 Main Street, Tolga, Phone 0418882605 Email tolgacommunitychurch@gmail.com ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Finishing the Course - Recognize the Battlefield

Bible Reference:  2 Timothy 4:7-8; Acts 20:24

We must first recognize and understand that God has given us a ministry  - reconciliation.

If you want to do something with your life - meet God, your Father in heaven.

We are not volunteers,  we are conscripts.   Volunteers choose.  Our enemy works 24/7.  We are conscripts in the army of God.   We are called to stand firm.  Paul did.  He went with and without.   He was flogged,  shipwrecked,  stoned.  He said he was blessed.   It's not all about getting 'blessed' with stuff.

Jesus was so 'blessed ' he was crucified...for us.

To finish the course we need to feed upon and claim the whole gospel of God.   Paul didn't shirk anything that was hard. 

Recognize the battlefield. 2 Timothy 4:7-8

What is the sense of fighting the good fight for nothing?  We're there to win the crown of righteousness.

Ephesians 6:11-18 Our fight is not against circumstances.  It's against the spiritual realm.  The biggest problem today in church is "offense".  Seriously we need to confess and repent to God.

We need to be praying for God's will to be done in our nation,  our government,  people.  If we don't live on where God wants us, can you still praise God?  If you lost all you have in material possessions, can you still praise God?  What is your life built on?

Each day as we pray, pray for God's will to be done.  Pray for the saints.  The Christian's life is against the struggle of evil.  Its not an earthly campaign,  its a spiritual battle.   Take up the armor of God.  v13

The Lord is asking you to stand.  He does the fighting.   He's asking you to stand.  

We are asked not to pray about circumstances,  we're on the wrong battlefield.   A lot of Christians are not on Gods battlefield.   Instead of fighting with each other,  we're to love like Christ.   He died on the cross for us.  He fought his fight in the spiritual realm.  Our prayer life needs to be more about God's will instead of our 'sore toes.'

Our battlefield is against the principalities and powers of darkness.   When we get to heaven,  do you want to be asked,  where were you?  If you were the enemy,  where would you want God's people to be?  On the wrong battlefield.   Keep God's people distracted.

We need to:

Get over the offenses;
Love Gods people.

The apostle Paul was a SAS soldier.   He never quit.  He had zeal for the Lord.  Philippians 3:14-15

If you want to know what to do?  Don't ask your pastor,  fellow soldier; go and ask your Captain.   If you don't know or trust your Captain,  then you are on trouble.   First get to know the Lord!

If you don't know Jesus,  then you know nothing.   Knowing Jesus, if life's greatest adventure.

Cross reference: Acts 23-26; confronting those amongst us who tried to get saints caught up in contentions. Roman's 8:37

Stay on the right battlefield.  Even when you look foolish,  even when people ridiculed him.  Paul's life provides us a good example of fighting the good fight, and finishing the race.

God wants to make his residence in you; not in a building.   Paul lived his life to the fullest,  after he came to know Christ.

When things are wrong,  we don't stand for it.  Be on the right battlefield.   Paul did what the Lord directed him to do.   Our authority comes from God.  Won back by Jesus, though his death and resurrection,  he took it back from the evil one.

Our greatest sense of fulfillment,  accomplished all Christ wants us to do.  Fight the good fight.  The apostles suffered for what they believed in.   2000 years and still going, people are still enduring and standing good fight of faith. 

We need to stay on the right battlefield.  Our fight is against the powers of darkness.

Matthew 25:21; 2 Timothy 4:5.

Our ministry is reconciliation.

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