John, writing a letter to a first century church said, "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." These words are an encouragement to me as Community Grace Church takes her initial steps.
Notice the word "overcome". The idea here is to be a victor or to conquer. It is a term describing the winner of a game or a war. Rarely have I described a church as a victor; who have we defeated? John's letter features three opponents; the flesh, the world and the devil.
These three enemies are also described in other New Testament passages and they possess formidable qualities. Paul writes in Romans 7 that the sinful passions (flesh) is in a battle with the new nature of Christians. Likewise, Paul speaks of the principles of this world as something that once held Christian's captive and seeks to enslave them again (Colossians 2). Finally, Peter says Satan is like a lion seeing to devour believers (1 Peter 5). These are potent metaphors, meant to awaken us to the danger they pose to God's people.
With these metaphors as a backdrop, John's description of the first century church is all the more striking. John does not tell this church that they are strong and mighty or wise and talented. Rather, he calls them little children! Can you imagine a child in military fatigues in present day Iraq? Can you see an infant taking on a hungry lion in a Roman Colosseum? Absurd! Yet, John paints these dependent infants as victorious.
How can this be? The reason is found in the statement: "for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world". This is why mere children can conquer lions, because the Creator and Saviour dwells within them.
Community Grace Church is a group of little children. We are a small group only just beginning to meet in a public facility in the heart of a mega city. We have few resources and limited talent. Our enemies within and without are far more powerful. We are infants, they are lions. And yet, Jesus tells us "I am with you" (Matthew 28). What have we to fear? Nothing!
May I ask you to pray for these little children. Pray...
- That we boldly proclaim the Word in a neighbourhood that has pushed Jesus to the fringes of society.
- that the Lord would open doors to the doors to the declaration of His Word in this neighbourhood (Colossians 4).
- that the Lord would prepare and open hearts to hear the Word for the first time and respond in faith and repentance (Acts 16:14).
- that the Lord protects us from the onslaughts of the flesh, the world, and the devil.
- that the Lord provides us with strength and finances to continue this work in the heart of Calgary.
Thank you for your support and prayers!