#DailyDevotion You Have Spirituality, I Have Religion And Will Show It By My Works

#DailyDevotion You Have Spirituality, I Have Religion And Will Show It By My Works

James 2: 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.


You will often hear these days, I have spirituality not religion. James may have an answer for that.


But he starts off with a simple principle: Faith is accompanied by good works. Faith that isn’t accompanied by works cannot save. It isn’t that faith alone doesn’t save. Faith in Jesus Christ alone is the only thing that can receive the gift of eternal life. Yet faith that receives Jesus Christ’s works for the person’s salvation will produce good works.


Luther writes in his introduction to Romans, “Instead, faith is God’s work in us, that changes us and gives new birth from God. (John 1:13). It kills the Old Adam and makes us completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing.”


So James illustrates what that faith looks and doesn’t look like. A counterfeit faith doesn’t help someone in need when it can help someone. A true faith sees a work that needs to be done and if it can help it provides the assistance. Faith that does no good works is dead.


In verse 18 James says, “You have faith and I have works.” This is the same as saying, “I don’t need religion, I have spirituality” Hebrews writes, 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him,” and Paul writes, Rom 14:23 “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” So show me your works apart from faith and I’ll show you my faith by my works James says. There are no good works before God without faith in Jesus. Faith in Jesus is the Christian’s religion. This faith seeks to see how it can help the neighbor, the person in front of him. Faith in Jesus makes a new man who has new thoughts, desires, affections and actions. The good works a Christian does is born of the Holy Spirit  and is evidence that true faith is residing in the heart.


Now true, when we examine ourselves, we may not see the good works that we might be looking for in others. But others will look at you and see the good works you do. They will be on the receiving end of those works. The good works are not for your comfort that you have true faith. You look to Christ’s works for your faith. That faith, that religion, is shown by service to the neighbor in their time of need.


Heavenly Father, grant unto us a living faith that seeks to serve our neighbor in their time of need so our fellow man can see our good works and give praise to your holy name. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion The Torah Is Fulfilled In This Commandment

#DailyDevotion The Torah Is Fulfilled In This Commandment

James 2:1My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

8If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it….


Exo 12:49  There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”

Num 15:16  One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.”

Num 15:29  You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the people of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them.


James is teaching a principle derived from the Old Testament Law, show no partiality. We are to show no partiality in good things or in judgment. Whether someone is rich or poor or in between we are not to treat one person better than another. This is not an easy thing. We all have preferences. But God shows no partiality. He applies the same standards to all. God condemns all alike under the law and he has given a savior for all, his Son Jesus Christ unto death for all.


James points to the royal law, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” as the fulfillment of the law. Whatever law there may be it is fulfilled when we do this.. Gal 5:14 “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”If we are showing partiality we are not loving our neighbor as our self for certainly we do not want people to treat us worse than someone else. Now when James says, “whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it” he is not saying you have broken all the laws but rather we have sinned against the One who gave the law and you are a lawbreaker. God gave the law. Jesus has given us this commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All breaking of the law sins against the neighbor.


Now we are God’s neighbor. He has loved us as he loved himself. He sent his son Jesus Christ into the world to become one of us and to die for our sin. Jesus suffered the eternal punishment in our place and gives to us freely eternal life. When we have sinned God has given us a way for redemption and forgiveness as a gift. He did this without showing partiality. If you are rich, poor, Jew or Gentile, male or female or whatever distinctions we may want to make he did this for you. He tells us to go and do likewise.


O Father of lights you show no partiality when you sent your son Jesus Christ into the world. Grant us your Holy Spirit that we may do likewise and love our neighbors as ourselves. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion The Now And Not Yet Of Biblical Prophecy

#DailyDevotion The Now And Not Yet Of Biblical Prophecy

Isaiah 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; 7 the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water…


In the prophets we often see fulfillment of prophecies concerning Jesus as now and not yet. That is Jesus will fulfill part of a prophecy in his life to point to him as the Messiah but another part of the prophecy will have to wait for the last day to be fulfilled. This is one of those prophecies.


Certainly Jesus is the God who has come. It is why we confess Jesus is Lord. We are confessing he is YHWH who delivered his people from the Egyptians and spoke through the prophets. We see in the Gospels the things Jesus has done:


Joh 9:32-33  Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind.  (33)  If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”


Mat 9:6-7  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.”  (7)  And he rose and went home.


Mar 7:34-35  And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”  (35)  And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.


Just a few of the miracles Jesus did while we walked among us visibly.


But for the waters breaking forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert and the Lord coming with a vengeance that is part of the not yet in the fulfillment of this prophecy and many like them. Now is the time of grace. It is the time to hear the message of forgiveness of sins won for us by Jesus on the cross. Now is the time to hear the message of reconciliation, the Father is no longer counting our trespasses against us. It is the time for mankind to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus and have their hearts, souls, minds and spirits healed by him.


Jesus is returning. On that day the earth will be restored. It will see our redemption as the children of God and its own redemption. All those who in faith prayed for healing will be completely restored to a state better than it could have been fulfilled in this age because we will be raised to eternal life. Our ills will not only be put in remission, we will be completely cured inside and out. The effects of sin will be done away with in our cosmos as well as the cosmos is restored to its pristine beauty.


However, for those who rejected Jesus as the Messiah, those who did not repent of their sins, those who refused the good news of reconciliation with God the Father through Jesus Christ, the Lord will appear to them and grant them the justice they deserve.


Lord Jesus Christ, continually give us your grace that we may receiving healing of our hearts, minds, souls and spirits that we may proclaim your goodness to a fallen world that they may participate in your salvation on the day of your revelation. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Don’t Be Anxious. Have Courage! Do Not Fear!

#DailyDevotion Don’t Be Anxious. Have Courage! Do Not Fear!

Isaiah 35: 4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not!               Behold, your God           will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”


The Assyrians, a ruthless people who the Nazis based themselves on, were knocking on the door of Judah. They haven rolling over one country after another. Now they were on the doorsteps of Judah eyeing Jerusalem as their prey. It is such a moment the Lord sends this message to the faithful in Judah. Be strong. Fear not! They weren’t a great or large nation. How could they have courage and fear not?  Because the Lord gave them a promise. God is coming with vengeance and with his own recompense. He was coming to save them.


You have an Assyria in your life. Its devastation is in its wake. Its wake is all the trials, tribulations, troubles and the like that we experience in our lives. As Paul had spoken a couple of Sundays ago, our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers and evil authorities in the heavens, in the air. Demonic forces doing everything they can do to take down as many of us as they can into the fiery pit with them.


The message from God to Judah is the same to you. “Be strong! Fear not!” For God has come and on the cross and through the grave has taken away from them their mightiest weapon, the ability to accuse us before God of our sins. Death has been defeated, it can no longer touch the people of God, the people of faith. So while it may seem the Lord is against us and the devil and all his angels sit there accusing us, telling us that we must have done something to deserve this tragedy we can hurl back at them, “Truly I may deserve this temporal trouble because of my sins, but sin and death have no power over me. The grave may claim my body temporarily but the Lord of heaven and earth will raise it on the last  day and give eternal life to me. You will however be cast into the fiery pit to be tortured for all eternity.”

And even for the earthly struggles of our lives we have three witnesses from the Lord who encourage us not to be anxious. Paul writes, Php 4:6 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Peter writes, 1Pe 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  (7)  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Finally Jesus, our Lord and Savior tells us, Mat 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Mat 6:32-34 “For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  (33)  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  (34)  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” So be strong! Don’t fear! The Lord is on your side and he will take care of you.


Heavenly Father, be our strength and might that we may not be anxious but be of good courage and look to you through your Son Jesus Christ for every good thing for our lives now and for the world to come. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion God Doesn’t Give You More Than He Can Bear

#DailyDevotion God Doesn’t Give You More Than He Can Bear

Introit (Ps. 28:1–2, 6–7; antiphon: Ps. 28:8)

The Lord is the strength of his people;* he is the saving refuge of his anointed.

To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me,* lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down  to the pit.

Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to  you for help,* when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.

Blessèd be the Lord!* for he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;* my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son* and to the Holy  Spirit; as it was in the beginning,*

is now, and will be forever.  Amen.


The world looks upon its own strength. Their confession, “God doesn’t give you more than you can bear.” shows this. This is not biblical. It is not true. The truth is the nothing happens to us that isn’t common to all people. The other truth is God doesn’t let anything happen that he can’t bear. So David sings, “The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed.” Jesus is the Lord’s anointed and you in baptism are in Jesus, so in Jesus this applies to you.


We need to remember to always turn to the Lord to call upon him in the day of trouble. We may think the Lord is deaf and silent to us because we don’t see him acting as we would want him to act. We may feel as if we are headed towards the bottomless pit because there is no hope in sight. But any prayer directed to our Father in heaven prayed with faith in Jesus is heard by the Father above.


So open your mouth and direct pleas for mercy from the Lord Jesus Christ, the like Syrophonecian woman with the demon possessed child who prayed for help and uses Jesus’ word to get her requests from him. Cry to the Lord for help. He will hear and answer you. Believe Jesus’ promise “ask and you will receive” and “ask the Father for anything and he will give it to you.”


Having presented your request follow David’s lead and give thanks unto the Lord and so bless him. For you can be certain the Lord has heard your pleas for mercy. You can be sure your Father in heaven has heard your prayer and will answer it in the way that is best for you and for the glory of Christ and for his Church. Cast yourself upon Christ for he is your strength and shield. With the Lord’s strength and his shield we can bear anything, handle anything and for that we exult the Lord Jesus Christ and give him thanks and praise.

Heavenly Father, grant that our mouths may ever be open towards you, making our request with faith, praise and thanksgiving, receiving strength from your right hand until you grant us relief and send your answer from above. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion We Need A New Heart And God Will Give It

#DailyDevotion We Need A New Heart And God Will Give It

Mark 7 20 And he said,  “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”


What defiles a man? What makes him common and profane? Jesus says the thoughts that proceed from the unregenerate human heart. The Father has called us to be perfect as he is perfect and holy as he is holy. The sins Jesus lists take away from the perfection and holiness God the Father has called us to in Christ Jesus. Instead of a royal priesthood they make us look like the rest of the rabble of fallen humanity when we follow the desires of the fallen heart. We note that St. Paul has a very similar list, 1Co 6:9-10  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,  (10)  nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.


It may be noted with the exception of the last three sins, the sinful behaviors or all in the plural whereas the last three are in the singular. They are in the plural because we commit these sins against numerous people. The last three are sins directly against God. Slander should probably be translated blasphemy and foolishness perhaps as egotism. In all, Jesus is telling us what he spoke through the prophets in the Old Testament, Gen 8:21 “for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” This should have been realized by the Israelites in the commandments to not covet. Coveting, desire is where all sins start. James says, Jas 1:14-15 “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  (15)  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”


So we need a new heart and a new spirit to be holy and perfect before God. We cry out with David, Psa 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” This new heart and spirit casts itself upon the mercies and grace of God found in Christ Jesus. While we may stumble and fall due to the weakness of our flesh that wars against the new heart and spirit we are not cast out if we confess our sins and repent. Jesus says, Joh 13:10 “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” We have been bathed in the waters of baptism. We have been cleansed by Jesus. But as we walk about in the world we will get dirty from the sins we commit. We cleanse our feet by the confession of our sins, by receiving absolution and by faithful reception of the Lord’s Supper. Yet we continue unrepentant in those sins as St. Paul has said, we will not inherit the Kingdom of God. In that case we have chosen to take a different side.


But now that Jesus has given us a new heart and a new spirit, we will bear the fruit of that Spirit: Gal 5:22-23 “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23)  gentleness, self-control.” If we don’t see these in our lives then we repent. We crucify the flesh with the condemnation of the law and even more so, we believe we are forgiven freely by God for the sake of Christ Jesus who lived and died for us, granting us his eternal life and Spirit.


Merciful Father, you gave us the cleansing of the heart we need in Holy Baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Grant us such faith to follow the dictates of the Spirit and reject the ways of the fallen flesh that we may give glory unto you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion The Torah Is Abrogated In Christ Jesus Who Is Our Righteousness

#DailyDevotion The Torah Is Abrogated In Christ Jesus Who Is Our Righteousness

Mark 7:14[Jesus] called the people to him again and said to them,  “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them,  “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)


Prof. Voelz of Concordia Seminary, when speaking about this passage, “Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” answers Jesus in his commentary, “Well no, we didn’t know that. We have a whole book of Leviticus that tells us otherwise.” Jesus is also going after bigger fish than the traditions of men. He is going after the Torah itself.


The eating of unclean foods and having other unclean happenings in one’s life only made someone ceremonially unclean, unable to participate in certain religious community events. But those things did not make the heart unclean, unable to participate in the life of God. They had a purpose up to this point, but now in Jesus that point is swiftly moving to a conclusion.


You see while Jesus had not died yet, the whole of the Torah was still to be obeyed, every bit of it. But Jesus, the author of the Torah, has come to fulfill it and institute a New Testament. The Lord promised through Jeremiah as much. Israel had long ago broken the First Covenant through Moses. The Lord was going to make a new one. Jesus in his baptism, life, death and resurrection fulfilled all righteousness. On the cross he declared it was finished. Now the whole Mosaic covenant was fulfilled and abrogated. There is not one bit that is enforced anymore.  If you were married and your spouse dies or divorces you, that whole marriage contract is done, complete. (Mind you this is just an analogy) Similarly when a contract has been fulfilled, it’s over, done, kaput. The whole Torah is done, complete, fulfilled and is over and done in Jesus.


If that is the case, in Jesus all the food regulations are done, complete, fulfilled. Not only the food regulations, other civil laws, the sacrificial laws but also the moral ones as well (because they are part of that contract, covenant, etc.) Rom 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”


Our righteousness, i.e. that of believers is now Jesus. For the Lord Jesus is our righteousness. There can be no other way. That does not mean we do not have morality or we live licentious lives. We have a new law in Christ, believe in Jesus, God’s Son and love one another.


Gracious God and Father, grant that we may trust in your Son Jesus Christ for our righteousness before you and that by Christ’s indwelling we may fulfill his command to love one another. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion So Who Are You Praying For?

#DailyDevotion So Who Are You Praying For?

Eph. 6:18 To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.


“To that end” to what end? Standing firm. To the end of standing firm then, keep alert with all perseverance. We keep alert by constantly being in the Word of God, wherein the Spirit does his work on us. We continue where his word is, which is the gathering of the saints who hear the word read, taught and preached. We partake of the Holy Sacrament which feeds us the very body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who in the sacrament, through the forgiveness of sins, gives us his strength and might.


Perseverance also includes prayer. Paul concluded the previous section with praying in the Spirit, that is with the Word of God. But now he directs that prayer: making supplications for all the saints and for him. Our prayers should not be selfish prayers. We need to pray for others. Selfishness is what got the world into this mess in the first place. Part of our program of Christian living, if you will, is not being selfish. Paul tells us to look into the interest of others. We have the command to love one another. Our prayers should reflect that. So know and understand what your fellow saints are going through and pray, intercede for them, for their lives. Pray the Lord would keep them faithful. Pray they would persevere in the faith under all circumstances. Pray the Lord would fulfill our their needs of body and soul.


Now while Paul no longer needs your prayers, your pastors do. Pray the same thing for them. Pray their lives may reflect the love of Christ. Pray also that the Lord would give them the gifts necessary for their office. Pray they would be given insight into what they need to teach and understanding of the scriptures. Pray they may be given wisdom and understanding of the world. Finally pray they may preach the word of Christ boldly without fear of men but in the fear of the Lord.


In doing these things we will indeed be keeping alert with all perseverance. The Lord will be with you with his word. He will bless your prayers and fulfill his word of promise in you.


Almighty God and Father, open our lips that we may declare your praise, intercede with your word for all your saints and for those you have given us to teach us your word that the enemy would be beaten back and we may all stand our ground until you send us your Son Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Your Strength Is In The Lord’s Might, Not In Yours

#DailyDevotion Your Strength Is In The Lord’s Might, Not In Yours

Eph. 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.


Do notice where our strength is. It is in the Lord. So be strong in the Lord in the strength of his might. Now Paul is not talking about having the strength of Samson or David for our enemies are not flesh and blood but spirits. Paul talks about them as being rulers, authorities, cosmic powers, spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places in this present darkness. Like the heavenly ranks of angles, there are ranks of evil forces and powers in this present age. Indeed their power is great and we are in and of ourselves powerless against them. So we need to be strong in the Lord’s might.


Against the Lord they must fall for the Lord is at the right hand of God ruling over heaven and earth. And from the right hand of God he has given us his armor. In that armor we must fight and fight we will. We may not always seem to be gaining the victory but one thing we can and will do when we fight back, we will remain standing. We will be able to withstand the evil day and stay on our two feet.


To be able to fight back against the forces of evil in our lives the Lord has given us his truth. A great sustainer for us is the ability to recite the creed and to trust in its message. Even such a truth as Jesus is Lord will help us to keep it all together. The breastplate of righteousness, that is the righteousness of the Lord Jesus won for us on the cross keeps mortal blows from penetrating us. Their accusations can’t touch us. The gospel of peace, that the Father no longer holds our trespasses against us he is reconciled keeps us from being frozen in our tracks. Faith is our shield that keeps the fiery darts of unbelief, guilt and shame from even hitting us. Faith believes Jesus is for us and not against us. It believes Jesus has borne our guilt and shame on the cross. The helmet of salvation, the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our salvation ever reminds of the Lord’s goodness and promises.


Finally we have the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Praying at all times in the Spirit is to take God’s Word, particularly his promises to us in the Word of God, this is his will for us, and pray the Lord to fulfill his promises and to act on them. So when we study God’s Word and take it to heart, we can then wield it against all our spiritual foes who seek to cause us harm and to damn us. But the Word of God, sharper than any two edge sword sends them scurrying away and defeats them. Indeed, one little word wins the victory.


Heavenly Father, grant us your armor, strength and might so we may overcome our spiritual enemies and stand firm in the faith unto life everlasting. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.