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The battle on the front lines

December 20, 2011 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:13-15)

One of the most common images of the Christian life in the Bible is that of a battle. As believers, we are encouraged to put on the armor of God daily (Ephesians 6:10-17) as we remind ourselves that we have an enemy, Satan, who is determined to do whatever he can to destroy God’s work. Satan is a master liar, slanderer, deceiver, and accuser who will daily try to bring us to a point where we get out of the battle and go nurse our wounds in a place of safety. All the while, of course, our great God encourages us to be strong and courageous and to stand in the power of the Lord against our enemy: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you” (James 4:7-8).

My experience in ministry has taught me, sometimes through great heartache and struggle, that those on the frontlines usually experience the greatest opposition and suffering. Stand up to serve, step out in faith, make a decision to follow God and to say no to the devil, and you will be attacked by the enemy. Without the prayers and encouragement of fellow believers, and the help of the Holy Spirit and the example of Christ, it can be hard not to give up and go back to a “safer” way of living.

I say all of this not only to encourage you to stand strong in your faith, but to also ask you to do something to encourage one or more of our missionaries this season. We support missionaries all over the world who are giving of their lives to further the kingdom of God, often under difficult circumstances and incredible burdens. From Stan and Laura, who moved their young family halfway across the world to minister in India, to Tom & Sue, who serve the homeless and hungry right in our backyard, we are grateful for the opportunity to play a role in encouraging and supporting these frontline warriors for the kingdom.

So, if you are looking for a way to encourage one or more of our missionaries this season, here are some ideas:

(1) Donate winter clothing for Isaiah 58 – Over the next three weeks, we will collect warm jackets (new or gently used), long underwear (new only), warm socks (new only), and other warm clothes (jeans, sweaters, hats, gloves) to be distributed at Isaiah 58 in New Britain in January. Bins will be set up on the table near the front entrance at church. For more info, contact Jesse Christophel at 860-643-8665 or jechris3@gmail.com.

(2) Help our missionaries financially – The following missionaries experienced either a shortfall in 2011 or have a greater need for support in 2012; please consider blessing them with a financial gift:
Denise DiSarro: $1500 shortfall in 2011.
John & Rosemary Kane: $4300 shortfall in 2011. $360 monthly need in 2012.
Gary & Judy Lenn: $500 shortfall in 2011.
Indy & Dawn Little: $9700 shortfall in 2011. $800 monthly need in 2012.
Steve & Laura Payne: $8500 shortfall in 2011.

(3) Send an email or letter of encouragement – If you have a church directory, contact info for all of our missionaries is located inside the back cover. If you don’t have a directory and would like contact information, email me at nlcfpastor@gmail.com and I will send their info to you.

Please remember our brothers and sisters on the frontlines this season, encouraging them to stand strong in the Lord.

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