Today's Bible Verse...

In the World But Not of It

War breaks out in Canaan! (See Genesis 14:1-14) Alliances form—five kings against four other kings. Subjected by Kedorlaomer, king of the Elamites, for 12 years, nations rebel in this 13th year.

Abram is caught right in the middle, encamped near those great trees belonging to Mamre, the Amorite. Mamre, with his brothers Eschol and Aner, ally with Abram.

Abram learns of the sacking of Sodom and Gomorrah, (his nephew Lot lives in Sodom). That city of the plain that once looked so good to Lot lies in ruins.

Distressed at the capture of Lot and all his goods, Abram takes 318 men and pursues Kedorlaomer's army as far as Dan. In the dark of the night Abram divides his men, positioning them, ready to attack from all directions... (Continued next time, or discover for yourself by reading Genesis chapter 14.)

Zooming centuries ahead now to the New Testament era, we hear Jesus declaring, "You will hear of wars and rumors of war... Nation rising against nation... But the end is not yet... The Good News of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all nations..."  (Matthew 24:6-14)

The Bible speaks of yet another war that has been raging since times immemorial—a spiritual war, and we're all caught up in it no matter who we are or where we are. Having been deceived by the evil one in the Garden of Eden long ago, we have been alienated from God since, the nature of the evil one enslaving us. (Genesis 3:14-15.)

However, "...God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Thus, we have the means for a new alliance with the Creator of the universe, and the message to be carried to all 'nations' (peoples).

And we read, as Jesus' time for departure draws near—for Him to return to the Father—He prays for His disciples (and for us), "They are not of this world, as I am not of it, yet they remain in the world laboring for the Kingdom until Your time, Father, for My return. Until then, protect them from the evil one and his deceptive ways." (See John 17:12-23.)

The apostle Paul admonishes us, as he writes to the Ephesians (Eph. 6:10-18), to put on the full armor of God, and pray always, that we may thwart all those fiery darts the evil one throws at us

For more on the spiritual war consider The Invisible War by Donald Grey Barnhouse.

Moving on further through time, to the 1800s, we meet one Mary Slessor of Scotland, faithfully laboring for the Kingdom of God among the peoples of Africa. 

From rags to spiritual riches, Mary Slessor was subject to poverty and family strife as a child. But finding her true wealth in Jesus, the Christ (Messiah) empowers her to do exploits for God's glory. 

After the death of her alcoholic earthly father, Mary Slessor works in home missions, yet with foreign missions deeply on her heart. Then, at the age of 27, in 1876, she sails for Calabar on the African continent (present-day Nigeria).

There she discovers her heart's desire in supervising schools, caring for the sick, helping in settling disputes, and mothering unwanted children. On Sundays she travels from village to village sharing the riches of the Kingdom, which is "Christ ... the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27-28). Despite evil forces abounding on every front, including witchcraft, spiritism, and cruel tribal customs, Mary Slessor relentlessly pursues the task God has entrusted to her.

And God continues His search today for other "Mary Slessors" who will give up their smaller ambitions, realizing their citizenship in Christ, to labor faithfully for Christ's cause in this world below

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