Pastor John E. Russell
Senior Pastor
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Saturday, June 25, 2011


A fellow believer and I were talking the other day about all the great things God had done in our lives over the years. It is truly amazing to look back at your past and realize how far God has brought you from where you once were.

At one point in our conversation, we stopped to pray for some old friends who are no longer serving the Lord. It’s such a sad thing to see someone who has begun to serve God turn around and walk away from their Savior, especially after seeing Him move so powerfully and pour out His blessings in their lives! It’s so easy to be deceived by the devil and be satisfied with the blessings and forget about the Blesser.

It makes me mad when I think of all the good people who have fallen away over the years, even more so when I know our enemy the devil is the one to blame. Of course, this is no surprise to God. He knows that it's not easy to stand firm until the end. In fact, he has given us numerous scriptures concerning this very subject: some to warn us of the dangers ahead and others to encourage us to remain strong, stand firm, and stand our ground until the end.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 tells us that:
The end of a matter is better than its beginning. 
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

In Ephesians 6:10-15, God’s Word warns us that there is a battle going on. Those who have fallen haven’t disappeared by accident, it was by design. It was a plot, a plan, or scheme devised by our enemy to steal our brothers and sisters away.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. - Ephesians 6:10-15

I like the idea of standing our ground. In many states in our country, the law states that if someone comes to attack you or threaten you with harm, you have the right to use whatever means necessary to defend yourself.

Clauses that state this fact are called "Stand Your Ground” clauses, and they state exactly that the defender has no duty or other requirement to abandon a place in which they have a right to be or to give up ground to an assailant.

We have every right to belong to and be with the family of God. The devil has no right and no authority over us. In fact, we have been given the authority to take back from him what he has stolen. We don’t have to give up any ground to him. God himself has given us our own “Stand Your Ground” law.

And so we need to be strong and vigilant!
Corinthians 16:13
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
1 Peter 5:8-9
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Everybody goes through things. Jesus told us that in this world we would have problems. Life is filled with struggles. But, life is also full of opportunities, full of victories, and full of blessing, especially for those who are in the family of believers.
1 Peter 5:10
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

One last warning!

It’s easy to think this could never happen to us, we could never fall. Just remember what Peter said to Jesus in Mark 14:29: “Even if all fall away, I will not.” Well, we know what happened to Peter!

1 Corinthians 10:12
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

God put us in a body of believers for a reason. We do have to be on guard, not only for ourselves, but also for those around us. We are in this together. We are stronger when we are united with one another. We need to encourage one another, pray for one another and be there for one another.

Saints, God has given us all we need. We can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives us strength, and this includes standing firm till the end. God will never leave us or forsake us. He’ll be there to help us until the end.
2 Corinthians 1:21
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.

And of course those who remain will inherit the kingdom and gain life everlasting with our Lord and Savior!
Luke 21:19
By standing firm you will gain life.

Standing with you in Christ,
Pastor John

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