This New Year sermon was preached last Sunday, January 9, 2010 at God of Grace Christian Fellowship, Inc. (Independent Baptist), Maxwell Hotel, Escario St., Cebu City, Philippines.
This New Year, it goes without saying that there will be challenging times. Some of you will embark on a new job, a new career, a new business, or a new life somewhere, which will be challenging and demanding. As a church, we will launch new initiatives this year, such as organizing ourselves into multiplying small groups, planting two house churches, and planning for a new Christian school.
You can expect this year to be a year of challenges and difficulties. The challenges will be spiritual. It is important to realize that when you become more like Christ, Satan will do everything to draw you away from Jesus. When we do things that enlarge the gates of heaven and destroy the gates of hell, Satan will do everything within his power to thwart us.
But in the ministry of the prophet Elisha, we see the confidence of faith standing against a satanic challenge. At this point in 2 Kings 6, Elisha was the director of an effective school of prophets. He was showing the nation of Israel what happens when they trust God. Satan was busy building up the religion of Baal in Israel. But Elisha was effectively leading people to return to the true God, Yahweh. In short, Elisha was a serious threat to Satan. So Satan tries to stop Elisha through the king of Syria—Ben-Hadad.
I’d like to share with you two elements in this story that show Elijah’s confident faith in challenging times. . . . more