This sermon series deals with challenges and opportunities relevant to our lives as we think about the new year ahead. The Bible says history will end with the great battle of Armageddon, but the greatest battles we experience are personal ones. The fact is that life is a battle. Nothing comes easy; life is not a picnic or a party. The Bible says the world is broken because of sin and, as a result, life is a battle. Anything worthwhile in your life, you will have to fight for.
THE CHALLENGES AHEAD
Message by Todd Lester – January 8, 2017
1 Timothy 6:12a Fight the good fight for the true faith.
Ephesians 6:12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Romans 7:22-23 I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
THREE BATTLES YOU’LL FACE THIS YEAR
1. THE BATTLE BETWEEN LOVE AND SELFISHNESS
James 4:1-2a What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them…
Philippians 2:3-4 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
2. THE BATTLE BETWEEN FORGIVENESS AND BITTERNESS
Hebrews 12:15b … Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
Ephesians 4:26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.
Matthew 7:2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
3. THE BATTLE BETWEEN WHAT’S EASY AND WHAT’S RIGHT
Galatians 5:17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.
Galatians 6:9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
THE WEAPONS THAT WIN
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
WEAPON ONE: FAITH FROM GOD’S WORD
Ephesians 6:16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.
Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
Ephesians 6:17b … take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
WEAPON TWO: SUPPORT FROM GOD’S PEOPLE
Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another…
Ecclesiastes 4:12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
WEAPON THREE: POWER FROM GOD’S SPIRIT
1 John 4:4 … The Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
Ephesians 6:13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.
For Sermon discussion resources click here: Jan 8 Sermon Resources