Dear brothers and sisters, peace be with you.
Not long ago, during the second half of year 2019, the focus of the media news had been on the trade war between China and the US. Suddenly, the spotlight has been on another battle against of COVID19 globally—beginning with the discovery of the epidemic to the current self-quarantine at home. This battle has been affecting numerous countries around the world and imposing restrictions on our daily lives—food, clothing, housing, and travel. The former (China–US trade war) has impacted our wallets to some degree and the latter (COVID19) has been affecting our health. Whether it is with the loss of health or loss of wealth, neither has been easy for us!
As we live in this world, we are facing a lot of battlefields, whether it is for work, study, family, our lives and so on. Some of our battles are tough, may be of long duration, and may not be conquered. Which kind of battlefield(s) have you chosen to be in? What type of enemies have concerned you? Our choices of battlefields will dictate how we use our time and energy. In the face of the pandemic, as everyone is trying to be sheltered in places, it is my hope that we continue staying alert and watching our whole inner being, not acting out of frustration, but be proactive. The following are three main points that I would like to share with you today.
The Battlefield of Life: The Bible has said all have sinned. This is the same for you and me. And our sins have been affecting our lives. The darkness of human nature is filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice, envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness, arrogant, boastful, etc. (Romans 1: 29-31, ESV). Jesus Christ, the light of truth, has shinned into the darkness, revealing the mighty power of the gospel—that is anyone, who confesses their sins and believes that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, will have resurrection in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1: 3). Without Jesus, we would have remained walking in the darkness and living in the shadow of death. No one can help us in our own fight against our own sins and no words of advices from others will avail. Without Jesus, even if there is extraordinary willpower in us, our labor will be in vain. In the battlefield of life, there is a need for you to spend time fighting!
The Battlefield of the Great Mission: As mentioned earlier, just like other people around us, God’s children will have to face all sorts of unavoidable challenges in this world and we should stay alert and be prepared. However, there is another battlefield given by Jesus to His disciples—the Great Commission—that is to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Lord (or in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit), and teaching them to obey the Lord’s command … (Matthew 28: 19-20). When there is panic and fear caused by the epidemic among people, it is the perfect timing for gospel to be shared and heard. The peace that the Lord Jesus leaves with us is not the same as what the world gives to us. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You can rest assured because our Lord has overcome the world and He is risen from the dead (John 16:33). Would you like to participate in this battle for the Great Mission? For the sake of the gospel, would you put on the whole armor and fight for the Lord? In the battlefield of the Great Mission, there is a place for you to spend time fighting!
The Real Enemy: The evil one, Satan, exhausted all means to be an enemy of God, and naturally became an enemy to God’s children. He can deceive you in your heart, accuse you, and deceive you with lies, like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour the earth (1 Peter 5: 8-9). It is Satan, who is our real enemy! Should a soldier underestimate his enemy and lose his guard, his combat will only end in a failure, despite how sophisticated weapons and careful plot he had. As good soldiers of Christ, if we forsake our captain and our mission and do not know who our real enemy is, how can we hear the trumpet of victory?
God’s sons and daughters! Arise! Let us fight side by side!
Pastor Mickey Hsiao