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Christian Concourse
Newsletter of the Month

August 2014


Dear Fellow Christians:


God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Eph. 6:10b-13 (The Message)


As we read these sobering exhortations from Holy Scripture we do so with the understanding that the battle being fought and the weapons being used are about spiritual reality. In His wisdom, God has made the goal of every one of His children abundantly simple: He loves us very much and He has demonstrated that love in infinitely dramatic terms: He sacrificed on The Cross His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price we owed for our pride and rebellion against Him. He extends to all humanity the overwhelmingly kind and gracious invitation to accept this gift and put our faith in who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for us. On this one uncomplicated condition He offers all a new birth into His eternal life.


Surely, we all know what John 3:16 says! What great peace we can rest in knowing that Jesus paid it all! What joy we can revel in as we bask in Christ's divine fellowship and love! What hope we can hold on to in the storms of circumstances and relationships in our lives!


And, oh, how ruthless is the enemy of our soul who would shatter our peace with struggles; and steal our joy with sorrow; and destroy our hope with despair; and murder our faith in Christ with doubt and fear!


If we know Christ and walk with Him living in our heart by faith, then we know the relentless brutality of this enemy and the ultimate stakes of this spiritual war. In whatever way this struggle is playing out in our life, in whatever terms we would use to give a loud, "Amen!," to the reality of our conflict with our accuser, it is important for us to remember that all our brothers and sisters in the Lord face this daily struggle...


...even those who find themselves in need of long-term care AND their caregivers, whether in a local care facility or in their home. Satan hasn't agreed to a cease-fire with nursing homes. The enemy doesn't let up a bit just because our circumstances are dire! No! If anything He turns up the heat!


So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it. 1Thes. 5:11 (The Message)


May the grace of God and the love of Christ and the abiding Holy Spirit inspire each of us to sincere prayer and deeds of compassion for those He has brought across our path who fight in long-term care settings to keep their peace and joy and hope and faith in Christ.


On behalf of all who carry a burden for those often forgotten and forsaken in care facilities all over the world, it is our prayer that the Lord will empower you to be an encouragement and an agent of the hope of Christ Jesus to these, His little ones.


And we thank each of you from the bottom of our hearts for your prayers and your support as we seek to be a blessing in this mission field of need that the Lord has placed us in. May God richly bless you for your kindness.


Love in Christ,

Jerry and Dar

Jerry and Dar Johnson


Scriptures quoted from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © by Eugene H. Peterson, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

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