It’s becoming even more important to take greater steps in faith beyond our own strength during these greater uncertain times. The Tolpins will challenge you with a key question; “Do you make decisions based on your strength or God’s?” If we want our kids to launch from our homes willing to make the best choice even when it’s outside of our comfort zone, but in obedience to what God wants for us, then we need to model it now. Get ready to be encouraged and better equipped for thriving and glorifying God in today’s changing world.
In This Episode We Cover:
- A life-changing announcement is made
- Do you make decisions based on your strength or God’s?
- How to overcome the enemy
- Endure to the end
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Scripture In This Episode:
Hebrews 12:1-3 – “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”
Isaiah 41:10 – “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Matthew 24:6-14 – “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
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Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show with parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.
Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom, and I’m Isaac from Resolute Man. We’ve been married for 21 years and have seen the fruit from raising our eight kids biblically. Based on the raw truth found in the Bible, we can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children.
Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting in.
Welcome back to the podcast.
Hey, everybody, so we are in Idaho now, you probably know that because you listened to our relocation podcast, I’m sure, and why. But if the audio is a little strange or different or anything different, it’s simply because we’re in a new studio.
That’s right. Well, kind of. We’re in our bedroom. And Isaac worked so hard at putting together our set here so that we could continue filming the podcast while our new studio is under construction. Yes, well, it hasn’t started, but at some point you start being under we do have if you guys have been watching on Instagram, we’ve kind of given you a couple little glimpses of the cute little house that’s on the prairie. In a sense, it’s a one room building. A one room building. Yeah. And it’s not finished. So that’s why I said it was under construction, because it looked like it was in the midst of construction. Some results. Yeah. But we have a lot of work to do on that before we can actually move out there and be using that for what we’re looking for.
It’s such a blessing. It’s such a cool little building and that’ll be headquarters for office expansion. So in other ministries. So anyways, we’re we’re super excited to be back with you. Maybe we’ll do an episode on the move and how to move a large family or something like that. I’m sure that would be interesting that but that’s not what this is about. This is about faith activated obedience and end times.
And so if you guys have been listening for any amount of time, we have been we’ve we’ve shared many scriptures and we’ll touch on some of them today, actually, that where Jesus talks about the end of days. Right. And we’ve even talked about some of those scriptures in regards to pregnancy. Yeah. And, you know, in different things like that. And so because God’s word does relate pregnancy and birthing a baby to end times. Right. Birthing pains and different things like that. And it’s very, very interesting. It’s something that’s always intrigued me. And I know that as a family, we’ve been going through revelations. Yeah. For a while. So we’re going to share some of that.
And part of the reason it takes us a while to go through revelations because we take pauses and go back to like the gospels or, you know. Yeah, the epistles and things like that. And then we go back to revelations. But it’s kind of sweet in that way, too, because they share about each other.
Yeah, that’s right. Especially when we’re looking up Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. And then we’re reading those and then we’re reading how those connect to the end times as well.
So so this is inspired by morning devotions and family time together. This morning I was going through revelations and then Angie picked up on this one scripture that we’re going to share with you guys in a little bit, which is part of this. But it’s also about how, you know, we have seen God working in our lives and how we see Scripture telling people how to operate in these times.
That’s right. So, yeah.
So if you’ve experienced at all just feeling persecution or struggling where you can tell that you’re being tempted by the devil or if you’ve experienced just an increase or if you’ve noticed an increase of evil growing in the world, then I think you’ll be really encouraged by today’s message, because God’s word has some encouragements for us and how we should be operating.
And in regards to those things, and if you’re a single parent raising your kids, we love you and we’ll be praying for you. That is so difficult. And for you married couples out there, this will help you to superimportant. So now I first want to think some people are very, very important people. One of the hardest things in my past to do is to ask for help. Hmm. That’s been really a challenge for me and know I’ll just do it. I’ll figure it out. I’ll work extra hard. Used to be a mentality of mine. And while I still believe in working really hard, I see not only the blessing to me and my family when we receive help, but the blessing on others. And just like when we or I help others, I feel that blessing too. And I think, you know, God made us not have it all together on purpose, meaning that everybody has different strengths and weaknesses. And so we need each other to actually accomplish things in a greater way. And so I’ve always believed that in a business teamwork sense, but getting help in my personal life has always been challenging. And so this has to do with what I’m about to say, which is we got so much help and we’ve been receiving so much help in moving our friends and church family back home packed us up. Yeah. And helped us move. Unbelievable.
They really did. They even went around the house and repaired things in the house that we were renting before that weren’t repaired before we moved in, you know, I mean, the house looked better than when we got there.
So that was also, well, a blessing. And then when we got here, there was two families here helping us unpack one of which I don’t remember meeting, I think maybe you met in passed, but didn’t know super well and were excited to get to know them more, but and then we’ve had meals coming for the like first 10 days we’re here.
I think. I actually think so. There were quite a few different people representing many different churches, actually. I think there were four or five churches that were all represented. I couldn’t believe it if we were to put it that way. Yeah. People who just have all walks of life. Right. Have listened to the podcast or gone to the parenting program or people that maybe we knew many, many years ago, which is in the case of one of the families. Yeah. And to for them to offer to come and help us unload the trailers, unpack boxes, bringing meals, some days we even have like three different families coming in and out of our house within one day.
You know, so it’s been very busy. So great to meet people.
So it’s been very busy, but in a good kind of way. And I think that that this is it’s been the first time I’ve actually moved like that. Yeah. To a different state where you don’t know anyone, but then you do know people.
Yeah. One aspect that wasn’t in the relocation podcast that I want to bring up, I don’t think it was in there. I just share this with our kids this morning or yesterday, Sunday when we did church service at home, just our family. As I said, we didn’t decide to move exactly where we live in our house. God decided to move us to this exact location. Yeah, and there’s a reason for that. We’ll share that at some point. But it’s really, really fascinating and it’s just amazing to see God working now after this episode, too. Also, you want to mention about the Halloween podcast. Really?
Yeah. So you guys, I know that this podcast is going to be up, you know, indefinitely. So you might be listening to this in a different month other than October. But right now we are currently recording and it’s in October. And so I just wanted to bring up some of the resources that we have at CourageousParenting.com And on CourageousMom.com, that are for people who might be struggling with how to handle the whole October 31st Halloween, All Saints Day Reformation Day paradox or issue. Right. And I am calling it that because a lot of people have a lot of different opinions about it. I remember when we were first parents, we didn’t really know how to navigate that right. Like there were things you did growing up. There were things I did growing up. Then there was the things that were happening at the church that we went to. And but we still struggled with this question, should Christians celebrate Halloween? So we did do a podcast on that last season, the very first season. I think it’s episode thirty nine. I really highly recommend that you go and check that out at CourageousParenting.com Episode 39 in season one. We have all of our other resources listed in that article on CourageousParenting.com.
Yeah. And we get questions so you can say now are you going to start a home church? And so real quick we’ll handle that. We don’t know. You know, I used to be such a I’ve always been a dreamer. Visionary energy is to and but I used to make all kinds of goals, financial and, you know, house and spiritual and all these different things. Right. And what I learned is sometimes you have to get punched a few times in the face and knocked out before you fully surrender to God’s will and let him do some of your planning. And we do need to make plans and so forth. But I really get humbled heavily several years ago, and I pray that I continue in humility, that’s all. I think everybody struggles with the pride thing. Right? Right. That’s the moment you don’t think you struggle with pride is the moment it’s going to creep up on you and you’re going to become prideful. And so I really pay attention to that because I’ve had moments, long moments, not moments, long periods of time where I had some pride in my life. And and I just think that we’re not making plans for that right now. What we do have plans for is whatever God wants us to do.
Yeah. So right now, our plan as of right now is we are in a massive season of transition. We’ll share a little bit more about that in a sec.
But we are trying to really embrace the season of change that God has us in and hear his voice, which means we need to really be quiet and be still and kind of turn off all of the voices that are outside that all have an agenda for our life. They all have a will for, Isaac and Angie and the Tolpin family. Right. Everybody has a will for them. And we need to shut those voices off to just seek God alone quietly and hear where he wants us to be, if he wants us to be a part of a local church. Yeah. Or if he does want to move us towards planning another home church. We’re open to that. We’re open to whatever God has for us. But we are not ambitiously striving to do anything right now. We just really. Feel like God has this in a season where we need a rest in him, we need to be filled up. Yeah, and we need to be as a family. And really, I’m excited to visit the churches day to this area. Absolutely. To see what God’s doing in his body everywhere.
What do you make opportunity to see what the spirit’s doing in the area you live? And so we’ll probably go several times to a church and then go to another church for a little while. And I think that’s OK sometimes to you know, when you move to a new area to really see what God’s doing, it’s your opportunity to do that. And, hey, you never know. Maybe we’ll get just caught up and go, wow, God wants us here. Yeah, we’re going to be in the traditional church building or something like that. And we it’s all versions as long as Christ’s preached. That’s right. This is God’s church. So so we’re open to that. And also talking about change and transitions. A lot of change in her. That’s right. Life is.
Hey, guys, guess what? I’m pregnant. So there’s that.
I don’t think we’ve ever announced it that way. There you go.
So we’re also in this season where I’ll just share briefly, like I’m I’m I’m pretty nauseous. Yeah. Most of the day. Most of the night. And I’ve been very tired. I’ve been doing pretty good through the move.
Yeah. We found out literally days before we moved. Yeah. Announced it to our church and our and our family over the course of the next week or so. And we are excited. Yeah. But I that’s another aspect for not like jumping in and doing too much, not taking too much on.
I think this is a season where I get to be challenged in exercising the no muscle because I have a hard time saying no.
I’m very much we had a I was part of our meeting this morning is how you struggle with that and how we need to proactively help.
Yeah, so just taking it a little bit slower, adjusting my expectations of myself and of how unpacking goes, how of getting the house set up for hospitality goes has to be adjusted. And that’s OK. But I, you know, I say it’s OK, but like deep down in my heart I still struggle with that off and on.
So now there’s different people listening. Some of you are like, that’s fantastic. Your ninth child of your eleventh pregnancy. That’s right. And in some of your like another one. How old are you guys? I know there’s all that stuff and there’s all in between. And how old are you? I’m 41 and I’m 44. Almost 45. Yeah, you’ll be forty five. And I love getting older so you know.
Yeah. I mean I’ll be sixty one and Isaac will be sixty four. Sixty five when the baby is twenty.
So we’ve got to keep healthy. So hey we by the way just put this out there. We absolutely believe God has a unique plan for every family and not everybody’s family is going to look the same. And so we we’re not the kind of people to go. Well, everybody should just have as many kids they can. Not at all. We believe everybody should be focused on God in this area and what he’s prompting them to do.
And they need to make decisions in alignment with their spouse. That’s really, really important. And so, like for Isaac and I, there have been seasons where he was wanting more kids and I wasn’t. And there were seasons where I was wanting more kids and he wasn’t.
And so we’ve always prayerfully treaded carefully during those seasons. Yeah. Having patience and long suffering with one another for one another, discussing those things. And if you want encouragement in this, we have done some podcasts on that as well. You can go look those up in season one.
And obviously, since Angie’s carrying the baby, she always had to be in agreement that that because there’s a lot more effort on your side.
So that’s right. You take really good care of me, too. Oh, I’m glad to hear that. So. Well, hey, it’s been a while. Let’s we had a lot to catch up on. I hope you’re still with us, but show notes everything’s at CourageousParenting.com.
Norcom plus the podcast episodes we referenced will be there in the show notes and anything else. There’s a lot of free stuff to a CourageousParenting.com. And then there’s like the homeschool blueprint, the postpartum course. You can link out to Craig’s mom, Dotcom. And then there’s also the parent mentor program, which is which is cool. So we have a few points here and we’re going to dive in. You’re going to love this. So let’s get right.
So let’s talk about this. Do you make decisions based upon your strengths or the Lord’s strength? It’s a really intense question. You can explain it a little bit.
Yeah, I think that we’re all doing a mix of this one way or the other in out of balance and then get back in balance with this. I think it’s this tug. And because we have our will and what we want to do and and then we get caught up in doing it in our own strength. And a lot of times what happens is we realize we can’t. And that’s sometimes when we’re like, OK, we pray to God and then God. Helps us, and it’s this ebb and flow, but wouldn’t it be beautiful if we were operating in a way where we were making decisions based on God going before us and helping us? What would the decisions how would they look differently? Well, let’s say what is your capabilities without God?
Right. So, OK, when you say capabilities, one of the first things that comes to my mind is asking the question like, OK, so do I make decisions on like if I’m going to like if I feel like God is calling me to do something or I feel this nudge to, I don’t know, volunteer for ministry in the church, I’ll just use that as an example.
It could be anything but let’s just say, God, I feel this nudge to go into a specific ministry and serve or maybe I decide to change trajectory and I want to homeschool my kids or whatever it is, it could be multiple different kinds of decisions.
Do I make the decision based upon looking at my giftedness and the things that I know about myself, like, oh, what? I’m good at administration. I’m good with time management, I’m good at this. So I could do I could do A and B or do I go on bad at time management? I’m really bad at being organized and I don’t have patience to sit and work with kids, so I can’t do that. So do you see how I could be potentially making pros and cons. Right, or making my decision based upon solely looking at the things that I know that I’m either good at or not good at? Yeah. And now this is why this is so dangerous. You guys see how I’m making a decision based upon my own strengths and your weaknesses, your interpretation of your own strengths.
Exactly. And that’s what’s so bad, because most people are their own worst critic. I know that I’m my own worst critic. And so it’s it’s easy for me to just think about how I’m not good at all these things, whereas, like, someone else might go, are you kidding? I think you are really good at that. And so I think that it’s really important. Isaac and I just wanted to call this out. Are you making your decisions based upon your.
Evaluation of your own strengths, whether that’s things you’re good at, gifts, your talents, your resources, or are you making your decisions on what you’re going to do based upon simply what you feel? The prompting by the Holy Spirit calling you to do interest, trusting in faith that God is going to show up.
He’s going to fill the gaps, he’s going to be strong where you’re weak so that he can be glorified.
And maybe this has to do with your decisions about where you go to church or planting a church, or maybe this has to do with where you live or don’t live. And maybe that’s to do with how you educate your kids or who’s educating them. Maybe this has to do with, you know, how money gets made in the family and things like that. See if we only operate. Let’s take it to your kids real quick, because maybe you care even more about your kids than yourself real quick.
So do you want your kids to only take action when they believe in their own strength they’re capable? Or do you want your kids to have a faith that they can do things outside of their strength and they’re counting on God to show up and they break out of their comfort zone and try new things and stretch and trust God will help them do things.
What kind of which way do you want your kids to be?
Right. So you have to model what you want your kids to be. So if you’re constantly scared and not trying new things and not stepping out in faith and how I mean, I just don’t see how our kids are going to necessarily have the gumption to do that themselves. I mean, some people are more wired, more risk taking, and it might be more of a risk taking thing to do.
Right. But the reality is, is that the Bible talks about this. The Bible talks about obedience to God’s word. And there are many things that we are called to as Christians that are they’re not a matter of doing them in order to be saved. We’re not talking about salvation in this podcast at all. Know what we’re talking about is when you love God, you want to fulfill the purpose for why you were created.
Right. You want to obey him because you love him. So when you when you read the word and you’re like, oh, the great commission, that’s something I’m called to that something you’re called to. That’s something our kids are called to. That’s something like everybody is called to this great commission. Right. Who believes in the Lord. And so we can know that that’s something that we we should be proactively pursuing to be a part of the great commission somehow. Yeah, right.
And so depending on what season of life you’re in, maybe it’s being a mom and being at home with your kids. Maybe if you’re a grandma, it’s been more intentional with your grandkids, but it’s also being the grandma to the next door neighbor kids or to some of the families that are in your church where they don’t have a godly legacy.
And these young moms need mentoring. Right.
Like, what is it that you could be doing to be proactive, proactively activated in the efforts of the great commission? Because we get to partner with God in bringing forth life both in a physical sense, knowing when we give birth. Right, we have kids.
But there’s also this element of being able to partner with him in bringing forth life when we are disciple making and evangelizing and people are learning about Jesus and finding new life in him and getting an eternal salvation like that is bringing forth life.
And that’s breaking out of our comfort zone sometimes. Sometimes you’re like, I don’t know what to say. I feel prompted to talk to this person when I run into another grocery store, this person work or whatever it is, but I don’t do it. Why do you not do it? It’s because you might be making a decision based on your own strength. Don’t you think God will show up when you’re obedient in faith to do something like proclaiming him to somebody else, which is something we’re all encouraged to do, we’re all called to do.
And so, you know, you may think, well, I’m not as eloquent with my words. Well, we’re going to talk about that in a second, because the reality is, is your actions can actually speak louder than words. And obviously, if you are preaching something, you want to be living it as well. Right. You want your life to be a greater testimony, a more bold testimony of living a life that’s following after Christ and loving people as he did. Yeah, because otherwise you’re a hypocrite and people are not going to come to know Christ if you’re not right.
And so maybe your life speaks more volumes in what you do. But this is this is the same question, though. Do you make decisions on what you’re going to do based upon your weeks and your strengths? Right. Your weaknesses or your strengths or God’s strength?
Because God wants to be glorified and the things we do. So let me ask you a question. How is God glorified if we only do things we believe we’re capable of and we do in our own strength? How can God be glorified in that.
I mean, we can give honor and glory to the Lord for sure, yeah, we praise him. We thank him for making us capable, for giving us the resources to do things. And I’m sure you guys do that.
But I think what what Isaac is pointing out on a really deeper level is when we are willing to step out on faith and do something that maybe we’re not comfortable doing.
Yeah. And God shows up. It is so completely obvious that we did not do it that we literally can’t take credit for something that the Holy Spirit just did and that that, my friends, is really powerful. That is a testimony that people cannot deny. Amen. You can’t deny there’s no temptation to take credit for something that, you know, God is 100 percent in and doing. Yeah. And that is where we want to be.
Amen. And so you want your kids to be witnessing that as they’re growing up. Part of equipping confident Christian kids in an uncertain world is preparing them by them stepping out in faith in what they do versus just the security of what they know they can do.
Yeah, so true, because as time goes on, things are going to get harder and harder. I think we’ve seen a lot of that in 2020. Yeah, I think that.
How about just if somebody how about just saying your opinion about who you’re going to vote for? Let’s just go there for a second. Mom, are you. Is that such an uncomfortable thing. Right. Or how about how about sharing the honest truth with a friend.
Mm hmm. How about sharing your testimony about how broken you were before you got saved and how God has redeemed you and where you’re at today. Is that testimony a scary thing for you to share with people, even one on one? I’m not saying about having to get up on a stage and say it or get on a podcast and say, I’m talking about like with your family. If you are a Bible believing Christian and you have experienced the power of the Holy Spirit transforming your life and you come from a lost family, you’ve never shared your testimony before. Why why haven’t you shared your testimony?
I want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already is the date night one. She is a beautiful document you can download that Will have some key questions on it for your date night. Just get in alignment about what’s most important for your family. No matter what time of year, it’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to CourageousParenting.com and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything, at CourageousParenting.com. And I also just want to share real quick about the Parenting Mentor program. So many families are being transformed by going through this. It’s the six week self-paced program with live engagement for us and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it and you can find out more at CourageousParenting.com.
Steve and I realized that we were getting too comfortable with the world’s vision of how to raise our children. What Angie and Isaac have done and creating this is literally phenomenal.
This program provided awesome scripture based teachings and just some really great practical applications. This class has just really rocked my world.
It has given me a vision for not just the different things that we might focus on as parents who are trying to raise our kids biblically, like how our kids are behaving or what we’re doing with discipline, but also the things of heart.
We now have a game plan to how we want to raise our children. We have so many answers to the questions that have been in our mind.
It’s not just these hypothetical situations or it’s not just this. Here’s what I think you should do. It’s let me show you where in scripture this is.
Do your legacy a favor and yourself a favor and just do it.
One of the best things that we’ve done this year, one of the best investments we’ve made this year, and I could not recommend it more.
We’re no longer fearing dark days ahead, but we’re so excited to raise lights to be leaders for the next generation.
So the moment of decision. So, you know, those moments, it’s like you’re eating out and you’re giving a tip. So you have a moment of decision, don’t you? Don’t you know, always. I learned this from Jim Rohn. Actually, he longed to ease is passed away a long time, but he is a motivational speaker. A long time ago, in my early days, I used to listen to him, but he always talked about in the moment, you think of the tip you’re going to give, you always think it too. Amounts always give the bigger amount. That’s always stuck with me. Also, when I was growing up, my mom was a waitress, so she worked really hard. Yeah. So I always like to do that. But think of the the bigger one.
Is the bigger one harder to give sometimes, especially when you’re writing a check for eggs. Its harder than that means that there’s actually an element of greed in your heart. Yeah. You’re not really viewing what you have as gods but yours and that you don’t want to give it up for another whole another good topic.
But I think in the moment of decision when you have two choices. This happens all over the place because how do you know which one to pick? Well, which one is better? Which one is more godly, which one has the potential for greater fruit? Which one is better for you and your family? Which one is better for others, but maybe not better for you? Mm hmm. OK, so which one is standing for truth versus standing for your safety. Hmm. OK, there’s lots of ways this can go. And then why do you not do the harder path, even though it’s better.
It’s because of. Fear, it’s because we aren’t accustomed maybe to operating outside of our own strength, maybe that’s a test for you and you should test yourself.
Am I accustomed to operating outside of my own strength and trust in God and making a better choice?
Like, are there powerful stories that you can pass down and tell your kids that are faith journey stories where you’re like, wow, God showed up and did this huge thing? And if there aren’t, then maybe it’s that you’re not really trusting him enough to show himself in that way because he wants to he wants to be invited into every compartment of our lives.
I said compartment because this is something that’s been a real deep heart passion of mine from for a long time, this idea of people compartmentalizing Jesus and God into certain quadrants of their life.
Right. And and it’s important that we don’t compartmentalize Jesus, that we don’t compartmentalize what we believe and that our faith and our convictions actually invade every area of our life.
It shouldn’t be the other way around our world view shouldn’t invade our faith. Our faith should invade our world, view him out. And so I could go on and on and on about this. But we want to get to a point to which we’re going to actually share about the passage of scripture, part of the passage of scripture that we are studying with our kids, because it’s very encouraging in regards to three things that we can do to overcome the enemy, because there is an enemy and we will proclaim that there is an enemy.
I know that there is a lot of false teaching, false doctrine out there that that doesn’t declare that sin exists. There is false teaching that doesn’t declare that the devil is real, that there’s an enemy and his name is Satan.
And so we’re just going to read from the Bible because the Bible tells us the truth right before you start somewhere like you read that to your was your whole family. There are just the older kids and they’re all here. Read I read through starting Revelations 12, that’s where. And it talks about the woman in the dragon. The dragon is the devil.
Satan even says the two names for Satan is the devil and Satan. And then we’re talking about one Satan’s thrown out of heaven.
Right. So we we discussed this at length with our kids today. But you have to decide at what age is appropriate for your kids.
But because of what we’ve done for so long, the whole Bible is safe to teach our kids.
Yeah, yeah. We don’t eliminate portions of scripture. We just are very tender about certain things that we talk about. Yeah.
So let’s just start reading on verse nine, OK?
This is a I’m going to read verse nine through 12 says so the great dragon was cast out that serpent of old called the Devil and Satan who deceives the whole world. He was cast to the earth and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying, in heaven now salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ have come for the accuser of our brethren who accused them before our God. Day and night has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony. And they did not love their lives to death. Therefore, rejoice. Oh heavens. And you who dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the Earth and see for the devil has come down to you having great wrath because he knows that he has a short time.
So they overcame the enemy by the blood of the lamb, by Jesus dying on the cross right and by the word of their testimony. And they did not. Here’s the big point. They did not love their lives to the death. Wow.
So there’s three points right there. Now, there are probably others in scripture, too, but we’re just going over this passage of scripture really clear with you guys. And so, first of all, the devil is real and he has he has followers, his angels, actually, and they were cast down to earth. And it says here that they know the devil has come down to you having great wrath.
What is wrath? Anger, right. Yeah, he has great wrath because he knows that he has a short time. He comes to accuse the scripture, talks about how he’s the accuser of our brethren. Right. And he accuses people before our God day and night because he’s been cast down. OK, so he’s a blame shifter. Yeah, he’s an accuser and he has his little angels with him. Yeah, quite a few. Quite a few of them. And I call them little just because I, I think God has a bigger Yeah.
Bigger tribe you bring you bring up a good point. A lot of people go, well, I don’t give any strength to the enemy, so I don’t talk about the enemy. I don’t you know, it’s nothing. God is way more powerful. Why even talk about the enemy and.
There’s truth in what I just said, yeah. God is way more powerful, way more powerful than the enemy, but I think it’s foolish and maybe maybe we’re going to lose some listeners here. But I think it’s foolish to not. Recognize the enemy, teach that the enemy does have power, even though it’s less and because if you’re in battle as a warrior, the important thing to understand is your enemy. So you have to understand your enemy if you know how to battle right, and the Bible teaches us how to go about. We talked about this this morning with the kids put on the form of God, their scripture on it. Right.
Love your enemies.
Pray for those who ask you, but you have to be able to discern what is the trickery of the enemy, what is how is the enemy using things of the world, things in the media, maybe, maybe on social media. If you have teenagers, you know, talk about this right. To trick you, to deceive you, to twist the truth of the Bible.
Yeah. I mean, first, Peter, five even talks about how our the devil, our enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. Yeah. I mean, literally, that’s what he’s doing is prowling around trying to see whom he can devour. Why? Because he knows that he has a short amount of time and he has great wrath.
Yeah. And he is the prince of the world, the heir prince of their prince of the heir. And it’s important that we recognize this because we need to teach our kids proactively how to.
Be a strong believer to be a Christian and to be in this world as believers when you are getting attacked, when you are getting persecuted. The reality is those things are going to happen. And they don’t always come from like minded believers.
Yes, there is something called friendly fire. Yeah. And that’s when another Christian is attacking another Christian. That’s why God warns us in Matthew six to take the log out of our own eye, you know, so that we can do surgery on the person who has a spark in their right. And that’s an important thing that we recognize that friendly fire can actually happen. And we never want to partake in that. We do not want to bring discord among brethren. But there is an enemy and he has workers and he also oppresses people and he tempts people to sin. And we live in a fallen world.
And he says, you don’t have to believe what the Bible says on that. You can more go with what the world says. But do you can believe what the Bible says on this?
No, no, no. That would be that would be OK. That’s we have already gotten into revelations. I think it’s twenty two verses eighteen. I just have to flip there for a second.
That’s the perception of that is the very last verses of scripture.
There is a warning in the Bible at the very end of the Bible for I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book. If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book, verse 19. And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the book of life, from the Holy City and from the things which are written in this book. And then it goes on. It says He who testifies to these things says, Surely I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus. And this is the end of the scripture, you guys. So we can’t be cherry picking. This is in the Bible. It’s in revelation for a reason.
And I really believe that these are three things that we need to purposefully, proactively evaluate as we as Christians are navigating accelerated end times, as we’ve called it.
Uncertain times and spiritual warfare that’s happening. And I asked the kids this morning this might be a good question. You can ask them, your kids if you feel appropriate. I said, would you rather the dragon, the devil and his angels stayed in heaven or would you rather have them on earth?
Yeah. And recently they were like, oh, I’d rather than be on Earth because we go to heaven and we’re there because we spend eternity in heaven.
I have it right is a little bit of a trick question, but it was a good question. Again, I’m thinking that I’m thinking about where would you rather have the enemy.
Right. Well, on the reality, though, is that it says that they overcame him. So who overcame him? God’s people. Right. But they overcame him, the devil by the blood of the lamb. We have another passage of scripture that we just want to share with you briefly about that. It’s Hebrews twelve, verse one through three you see here.
I’ll let you read that.
Yeah, I’ll read it in just a second. They didn’t love their lives to death. So what does that say as to do the first point, which is, you know, doing things outside of your own strength and faith? And if we love our lives too much, what happens?
Well, we were talking about this earlier.
If we if we love our lives too much, then we might act out of fear because we don’t want to disrupt the life that we currently have. I’ll give you an example.
So maybe maybe if you maybe God is calling you to do something like, I don’t know, maybe he’s calling you to start a church or let’s say he’s calling you to do something politically, run for mayor. I don’t know. Yeah. Or get involved. Politically activated. Right. Or maybe God’s calling you to evangelize somehow. Maybe he’s calling you to hospitality. It could be something. Any of those any of those things. They’re equally important in the kingdom of God regarding the great commission. Right. Because wherever we are, we are a missionary. Amen? What is God calling you to and are you choosing not to do it because you’re afraid of the disruption to your life that could occur? Is it going to put a spotlight on something that maybe isn’t going well in your life and you’re afraid of that? Are you scared and wanting to hide because you just don’t want to draw attention to your family because you just want to protect it, right? Yeah. The reality is, is God actually calls us and other scripture to lay down our crosses and to take up his right that those who love their life will lose it.
Mm hmm. And those.
Who love the Lord will gain it, and so we need to really evaluate, like, am I making decisions because I do not do things, for example, or to choose to do other things instead because I like my cushy, safe shelter?
Well, we could have we could have moved to a new place and stopped doing ministry so that we don’t get persecuted. And we could have, you know, sheltered our kids and, you know, made sure they’re not too much out there and knowing people and things like that. But just shut down all social media, shut down all social media where persecution comes away. But no, we believe that we’re supposed to press forward and maybe that’s not everybody calling. Everybody has different callings in that regard. But we but that is what we believe.
And we want you to know we believe for us. And so for us, these were some of the processing questions that we went through was what is this actually reveal? It’s kind of it’s the same process that we go through. I was just reading it in my own book regarding childbirth on the chapters that are about fear, fear of man, fear of God and fear of losing your own life. Like we have to evaluate why we have fear, because it’s not the fear that’s the issue. It’s the why we have fear. That’s the issue. God cares about our hearts. And so when we’re asking this question of why. Didn’t we live our lives a certain way? And are we going to live our lives a certain way until death, right, like proactively proclaiming Christ till we die? This is an important passage of scripture. And this this also goes along with another passage that we’re going to read here shortly.
You got it right here. Isaiah 41 10. Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Hmm. That is so cool. I love that. And another scripture we are going to read is Hebrews twelve one through three.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight in the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance, the race that is set before us looking under Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
And then verse three, which also goes along with it, which says for consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your own souls.
So got it. This is this is the how did they overcome by the blood of the lamb was the first answer in that Hebrews 12 is talking about this. Right. Remember what Jesus did and that he shed his blood so that we could be encouraged. Consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your own souls, talking about how he endured, how we need to endure and run the race that set before us. This is how you overcome. This is enduring. And I we’re going to talk a little bit more about enduring because that word endure had just brought a lot of questions to my mind. I started thinking, OK, so if somebody has a cushiony, safe, sheltered life, they have no reason to like you’re not enduring life. Right?
Enduring comes in passages that talk about tribulation and trial and all kinds of other issues here. Let’s just read one that’s in Matthew 24 that talks about end times, OK, where I start at verse six, which says and you will hear of rumors of wars and rumors of war. So this is Jesus on the Mount of Olives, talking to the disciples. They’re asking him what will be the sign of your coming in the end of age? And he goes on, take that.
No one deceives you. Many will come to my name saying I’m the Christ. Many will deceive. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars, see that you are not troubled for all these things must come to pass. So we like they must come to pass. We can’t get troubled over it.
And this is a prophecy of what’s in revelations.
Right. And so. But he says. But the end is not yet. It isn’t yet. You guys are right. It isn’t yet. For nation will rise against nation. So should we be shocked? Should we be shocked? No, and Kingdome against Kingdome, we’re talking those that kingdom against kingdoms like wars between different countries, right? Yeah, and honestly, nation will rise against nation is more like Races against one another.
You could take it that way.
That’s where it’s races, different cultures, people clashing with each other, which is so I mean, this is devastating and we are seeing some of this. But this stuff has been happening for a long, long time. And this is why, like when we talk about and times, it’s not like we don’t believe that it’s right now. Right, Isaac?
We don’t think the end times is like we’re in like Jesus is going to come back today. We pray that he does, but we don’t know where we live.
I teach my kids to live like he’s going to come any day. I think that we live better with that kind of belief.
And it’s what Paul actually encourages us to live as if he was coming today, right? Yeah. But also to have vision for the future. Absolutely. God calls us to that to says with people without vision.
Well, yeah. I mean, I see 10, 20 years out even further. I see we see generationally out for our kids. It helps us to realize just how can you believe do you things you so you live like Jesus could come tomorrow, but you have vision for 100 years from now.
Yep. 100 percent. And they don’t actually collide with one another. It’s actually fun to live both ways. Right. Because it’s an adventure. Yeah. But let’s continue this and there will be famines, there will be pestilence and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. They’re the beginning.
Yeah, the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you and you will be hated by all nations for my namesake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to that end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Sound familiar? I mean, just look at what’s happening in the world right now and right.
You’re seeing a lot of this stuff happening where I think that Americans and Western society, Western culture seen it maybe for the first time. But this stuff has been happening for hundreds, for thousands of years.
Christians, we need to be strong. How are you going to be able to handle persecution? Are you going to handle it well? Are you grounded so deep in the word and in your relationship with God that you will endure?
Are you keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus and the blood of the lamb that he crucified? He was crucified and he died for the forgiveness of your sins. And it’s in that blood alone that we’re saved.
Right? You guys know we’re in a battle, right. And but we’re not battling in our own strength because that we can have joy knowing that God is going before us, that God is protecting what he set out for us to do anyways. This is all his anyways. You do you realize all we really do is share scripture and then talk about our experiences of what God has guided us to do. So really everything we teach, encourage parenting and all the related ministries is really God is really God’s word.
But just in our experience of living it up, it’s just bearing witness of his goodness in our life. It’s really him and I. And I would just say to that, like you guys. So I just want to go back to that revelations to scripture that says they overcame him by the blood of the lamb. Yeah, right. So we got to remember that. We got to remember what he experienced. And we don’t let that enemy deceive us into thinking anything other than that. And we have to. And then we have to what endure to the end.
And it’s hard to endure to the end when you get persecution.
If it’s in your own strength, so maybe we need to practice on the small level so they’re ready for the bigger things that are coming. Mm hmm. If things are not just going to get easier, we know things are going to get harder. Right. And so we should not be seeking an easier path. We should be seeking an obedient path, which often is harder, but it glorifies God because it’s not in our strength.
So the second thing that I really wanted to point out to you guys in this passage that was really powerful for me personally was they overcame him by the blood of lamb and by the word of their testimony. So there is a lot of psalms that talk about your testimony, which is referring to God’s testimony, which is referring to the Bible. And this is actually saying with a little t their testimony, meaning the body of Christ testimony. Right. So we overcome the devil by the word of our testimony. And so by the blood, the lamb and by the word of our testimony.
And they did not love their lives to death. Sometimes we can be so afraid of what sharing our testimony with other people will do that we don’t share it. And I know I’ve experienced that. It’s that self-censorship that we talked about in our podcast on passive Christianity. It’s a very dangerous thing. But we have to remember that that is one of the main targets that the devil, the accuser is going to tempt us into not doing. He’s going to try to to attack our minds. To think that our testimony is not worthy of our testimony is not powerful. Our testimony is not worthy of sharing or to be afraid that if we share our testimony that somehow we’re going to experience backlash. And the reality is, is we might we actually might. We’ve experienced it many times, actually.
Right. In sharing our testimony of what God’s done in my heart. Just in receiving more kids or in your heart. Yeah. With many different things.
And I would just encourage you guys that the the real question here is, are we loving our lives to death? Like, are we loving our lives more than we’re loving, bringing glory to God by the word of our testimony? Because if we really believe that we are saved by the blood of the lamb, then we’re not going to let any fear of any persecution stop us from the second most powerful way that we can overcome the devil, which is by the word of our testimony.
So we’re supposed to endure to the end by the testimony, by sharing the gospel, endure to the end, not living for ourselves, but living for God and part of what is a blessing and a good thing and why God wants us to live in a way that’s outside of our own strength is because God uses other people around us to be that strength too. And we’ve certainly experienced that as we’re going through this challenge and we’re so thankful for the donations that have come in, because that is like, wow, we’re not alone. We’re running this race with so many people and it’s so encouraging.
That’s right. So you guys, as you go on and you’re serving in the capacities that God has placed you in and you’re doing the due diligence. Right. We just want to encourage you to, again, not grow weary in doing good, but also to really evaluate, like, am I being bold for Christ? Because why are we here? Like, yeah, we’re here to love the Lord, but we’re not here to have this. Like, we don’t become a Christian so that we can have an easier life. That’s a lie. That that like. Yes. God wants to bless you. Yes.
When we follow the principles of the Bible, our lives are not filled with as much hurt and pain and in turmoil. But guess what? There is still suffering in life. There’s still trials. There’s still tribulations, there’s still accidents.
There’s still people hurting people. There’s there’s still sin. We still live in a fallen world. And I can’t imagine going a day through any of those experiences that we’ve had throughout our life without having Jesus by my side, without having the guidance of the Holy Spirit and without his body literally here in Kurnit with as the body of Christ supporting me. Yeah.
And so if you have experienced that same if you’re listening and you go a man, I agree. Like, well, and you think about something you walked through, you know, I couldn’t have gone through it without our church or you think about something, you walk through and you went, wow, God really showed up in a really powerful way.
I want to challenge you to share that testimony with somebody, whether that’s your kids, your grandkids, your neighbor. Maybe God is raising you up and encouraging you to share with your church. I don’t know what it is, but I do know that in end times in Revelation, there are there are three ways that we can overcome the devil. One is by the blood lamb and by the word of our testimony and not loving our lives to death in that scripture.
And that’s what we talked about. So thanks for joining us.
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