Summary: Examines the importance of prayer & putting on the armor of God; of evangelism.

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At last count there were in the neighborhood of 40 churches and ministries actively working in the Deltona area. There are today, nearly 80,000 people living in Deltona alone, not to mention the surrounding unincorporated areas. If every one of those churches and ministries had 500 people attending, and everyone of the people attending those churches were Christians, that would still leave 60,000 people in Deltona who are not Christians, who do not have a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is for that reason that River of Life Church was started nearly 6 ½ years ago. We are a missional church.

If you remember, we have said that River of Life Church is here:

To love people to Christ, to lead them to grow, and to launch them into ministry, while serving God and having fun. The church is not here to make us happy. We are here to rescue people, to disciple them, and to help them win others. If we are not busy doing that, then we have forgotten the reason God called us together in the first place.

In the months and year ahead, if the Lord is willing, we will be doing a number of things to try to reach our community. In a couple of short weeks, we plan to begin holding classes again on Sunday mornings for a while to help us grow and to help prepare us for ministry. In those classes we will be offering “Experiencing God”, a study to help us discern God’s will and guidance. We will offer “The Mind of Christ,” taught by Barbara Stone. We have people who will be teaching our children and youth, and Gladys and I will be keeping the nursery during those 13 weeks, so that all who want to may attend an adult class.

On the last Saturday in March, we will be holding a “bike rodeo” at Enterprise Elementary, to try to build relationships with some of the children and parents, from this area. The following Wednesday night, we will begin Mission Possible Camp again.

We are currently working with our association and the state convention to try to have the mobile dental clinic held at our church building up the road. Again, we are trying to minister to the people in our community, to show them the love of Christ, and to develop relationships by which we can earn the right to share the Gospel. That’s why we also wash windows, wrap presents, serve at the nursing home, and take crackers to the intensive care waiting room at Fish Hospital.

This summer, we are currently planning to hold a sports camp, with the help of a mission team from Arkansas. Some in the church have already begun supplying the church with sports equipment for that camp and a local semi-pro golfer has agreed to come and help teach. If the Lord is willing, we will be doing a number of things to interact with and minister to our community.

We are currently putting together a June mission trip to Indiana, so we can serve and minister and help a sister church there as well.

My concern is, however, that we have forgotten that the Christian life is more than just ministry. It is also a battle. The Bible tells us that the “Devil is a roaring Lion seeking whom he may devour.” Again we are told in

> 2 Corinthians 4:4 …the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God.

My friends, we are in a battle. We are in a fight, for the lives and souls of our families, our neighbors, and our community. You and I are called to be soldiers in this battle, not merely spectators.

In Saudi Arabia today, millions of Muslims are observing the festival of Eid al-Adha. In this festival, Muslim pilgrims will pass 3 pillars. These pillars represent the Devil. All of the pilgrims there will take turns throwing stones at those pillars. In the past 20 years, over 3200 Muslims have been killed in accidents, while trying to throw stones at those pillars.

May I tell you that the battle we are engaged in will take more than throwing stones at pillars, but it will be costly as well. It will require sacrifice, commitment, prayer, and spiritual warfare. Paul speaks of the battle we are to fight in the 6th chapter of Ephesians. Turn there with me please.

- Read Ephesians 6:10-20

In verse 12 Paul says that we are not fighting against flesh and blood. We are fighting a spiritual battle. We are fighting against the Devil and his henchmen. We are fighting against spiritual forces, and we will never free our friends and neighbors until we begin to take this battle seriously and begin to use spiritual weapons.

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