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Encourage0gram June 1, 2020

Posted by Pastor Rick John on

Encourage0gram
June 1, 2020
 
Dear Friends,
 
At noon yesterday we gathered together in an hour-long zoom prayer meeting. It was truly a blessing to see each other even on zoom!  We are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to open for worship services at church.  We have installed the FM radio broadcast of our worship available in our parking lot each Sunday.  As soon as the local government allows, we will be meeting to the limit of the permission granted. We are ready!  Keep praying with us. 
 
As we continue our look at Psalm 118, we have come to the joyous celebration of a victory over enemies! 
 
NIV Psalm 118:10-16
All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the LORD I cut them down. 11 They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the LORD I cut them down. 12 They swarmed around me like bees, but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them down. 13 I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me. 14 The LORD is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. 15 Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: "The LORD's right hand has done mighty things! 16 The LORD's right hand is lifted high; the LORD's right hand has done mighty things!"
Three times the singer describes his dilemma, an attack by “all the nations.”  David is likely the author of this song. He has faced many battles during his reign as king over Israel.  In verse 12, they surround him like a swarm of bees. Bees are fierce; the sting they give hurts! The victory is due to the Name of the Lord.  His name signifies his identity and character. He displayed his glory in giving David this victory! It was an easy thing for the Lord to deliver them.  The enemies defeat is described as burning thorns. However, we must add that David was involved – he “cut down his enemies.”  Surprisingly, this verb is most often used for the surgery of circumcision!   
 
In verse 13, the singer describes just how precarious the situation was in the heat of battle. I was pushed back and about to fall. His defeat seemed likely, then the LORD showed up! The LORD helped him (see verse 7).  So, the LORD alone is his strength, defense and salvation.  What is true for the singer is true for us!  Our only hope for any victory is the LORD. 
 
Now we can join with the singer in giving all the glory to our LORD for the victories we have seen and experienced.  His Almighty right hand has done it!
 
Give thanks to the LORD today! Stop right now and give God a victory shout!  We will pray to the Almighty for America.  We pray for reconciliation, healing, and spiritual awakening.  We give thanks to God in advance for what He will do!  He is the Victor who gives us victory!
 
Faith is the Victory by John Yates, 1891
 
Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise,
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below,
Let all our strength be hurled;
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.
Refrain:
Faith is is the victory!
Faith is is the victory!
Oh, glorious victory,
That overcomes the world.

His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God;
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith they, like a whirlwind's breath,
Swept on o'er ev'ry field;
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.

On ev'ry hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array;
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray;
Salvation's helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble 'neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.

To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be giv'n;
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in heav'n.
Then onward from the hills of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
We'll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus' conqu'ring name.
 
Your servant for Jesus’ sake,
Pastor Rick

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