Log in


<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 
  • April 27, 2023 9:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16

    Last week, in James 1:2-8 recognized James was encouraging us to evaluate how we look at the trials we face. He was reminding us, God has a purpose for each of the trials in our lives and we are called to be steadfast. God’s purpose can only be accomplished when we respond to them in the correct way. When we are uncertain of the correct response, James reminds us to pray for wisdom. 

    In this weeks verses one of the themes we encounter will be temptations. Although temptations are closely related to trials, we will find some distinct differences. 

    Let’s turn now to James 1:9-18. 

    Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. 

    12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 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. 

    16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

    In these verses James is teaching us about temptation. Where does most temptation come originate according to James? Unlike trials which we recognized last week God may place in our lives for various reasons, we are never tempted by Him as James reminds us in verse 13. Where does temptation originate then? We recognize Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness and it is possible to be tempted by other people as well. However, James isn’t focused on these external sources of temptation. Rather, James is focused on our own internal, evil desires, or lust, which can entice us into sin. It is important to remember the temptation is not sin itself, it isn’t until we act on the temptation that we engage in sin. Temptation is something each one of us will face continually while on earth. 

    What can we do when we are tempted? There are several ways we can respond to temptation. We can pray for wisdom! We can ask for advice from other believers. If it is a temptation we can run away from we could flee. Jesus showed us how to avoid temptation when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. He responded to every temptation with the word of God. This is one of the reasons that memorizing scriptures are so important for us. When we are tempted, we can think of a verse that tells us how to respond. 

    Here are a couple of verses we might want to memorize for times when we are going through trials or temptations, we just read one of them. 

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4                                   

    Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12                                                                        

    Trials and temptations do have something in common. We can respond to both of them in a similar way. First, we can pray! Regardless of the source of the trial or temptation we can pray. Second we can reflect on Bible verses and read the Bible to see how God desires for us to respond. We can ask other Believers what we should do. Finally, we can grow in our faith because we have a Savior, who has experienced trials and temptations and was willing to go to the cross, dying in our place and rising again, so we can know the one true God.  

    Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

    ©Christopher Taylor 2023  

  • April 20, 2023 5:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12 ESV

    Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, James 1:2 ESV

    Last week we talked about how our identity, who we are, should first be a slave (bond servant) of God. Jesus should be our number one priority! 

    Before we begin reading todays Scriptures, I want us to take a moment to think about the difference between trials and temptations. A trial may be thought of as something that breaks or disrupts a pattern of peace, contentment, comfort, happiness, etc. God uses these trials or tests throughout our lives to help us grow in our faith. God will place trials in our lives! 

    However, as we will study later this month in James 1:9-19, we can see God will never tempt us. Trials can be thought of as coming from the outside, while temptations arise from our fleshly, evil desires.

    Let’s turn now to James 1:2-8.

    Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

    If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:2-8 ESV

    What do these verses tell us? In verse two James does not say if but, when we face trials. There is no doubt we will face trials in our lives. He then tells us what we should do when they come up. He starts out by saying Count it pure joy…

    Count is a financial term, meant “to evaluate,” so James is instructing us to evaluate how we look at the trials we face. James is reminding us, God has a purpose for each of the trials we face in our lives. This purpose can only be accomplished when we respond to them in the correct way. This does not mean we can have no other response, we are not commanded here to never be saddened about the trials we face. Rather the emphasis is on our heart condition ultimately being one of genuine rejoicing. Jewish tradition repeatedly stressed the virtue of enduring testings and occasionally stressed joy in them due to faith in God’s sovereignty.

    When we have trials in our lives, they can test our faith and the results often lead to growth and steadfastness in our faith! We can think about steadfastness as our ability to endure in spite of opposition we are facing. We can learn to persevere through trials. We hold close to Jesus, even when something catastrophic is happening or we don’t understand the why’s. It is often when we are in the midst of trials that we grow in ways we never otherwise would. 

    Trials can be used by God to help us come closer to Him or to His plan for us. In verse five James tells us what we should do if we lack wisdom, if we don’t know what to do because of a trial. James is encouraging us to pray, ask God what to do, continue to believe in Jesus, and we will continue to grow closer to Him and His Son though we may be kicking and screaming along the way at times.

    Think about some of the trials you have faced in your life. How has God used these trials to stretch and grow you? How has your faith changed as a result? There are many different ways we may grow. When encounter trials we need to remember God may be stretching and growing us in our faith. We must always hold on to Jesus!          

    Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

    ©Christopher Taylor 2023 

  • April 13, 2023 7:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. James 1:1 ESV

    This week we are beginning a study of the book of James. This book begins in the same way as many of the New Testament letters. Before we go to the Scriptures, I want you to ask yourself a question. 

    Who are you? 

    Our identity is an important part of our lives. As I considered this question myself, I came up with many answers. I am a son, brother, grandson, husband, father, grandfather, friend, pastor, … you get the idea. However, none of these things are the most important when I think about my identity. No, the most important part of my identity is being a follower of Jesus Christ. All of those other identities are accurate and point to parts of my identity, but the most important, overarching, identity is my faith in Jesus! I pray my faith shines through into all my other identities and relationships, though I know that is not always the case. 

    Who was James? James was an associate of the apostles, the leader of the Jerusalem church, brother of Jesus and Jude, and an eye witness to the resurrected Christ. However, most importantly in James own words he was a slave to Jesus Christ. 

    James could have identified himself in many ways. After all, not many people could start their letter with James, the brother of Jesus, if they had desired. Yet, this was not the way he chose to begin. Rather he uses an introduction found exclusively here in James 1:1, “Servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” The Greek word translated servant is doulos, which is also translated as slave or bondservant in some English translations. The word servant is often used instead of slave, because of the negative connotations we associate with American and European slavery. 

    In the Biblical context a slave, is someone who sets aside all rights of his own to serve another. A slave of Christ knows the Lord, who is the King. A slave of Christ is one who has voluntarily set aside his or her personal rights in order to love, serve, and obey the will of God in Christ Jesus. Servants of Christ die daily to sin and fleshly desires, allowing Christ’s life to flow through them (Galatians 2:20). 

    James demonstrates through his greeting that he considers his position to be one of humble service to his master, the Lord Jesus.

    One of the themes of James writing is his passionate desire for believers to live in obedience to Christ and His Word. We must be careful as we study this book since it can be easy to focus on the behaviors described and forget the truth that our works are evidence of our faith, not the reason we are saved! We must not forget the reason we are to be obedient, and avoid falling into a legalistic or works based traps. After all, John 14:15 Jesus makes it clear we are obedient out of our love for Him, not because we want Him to love us. Just as with any Bible study we need to remember to come back to the Gospel. We are not saved by works, by behaving, by following all the rules, we are only saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). 

    Following Jesus does not mean we are perfect. We know we will still sin, as Paul describes in Romans 7:7-25. Rather it means we understand the Gospel is for everyday. We are saved once, but we must recognize our need for ongoing repentance of sin as we grow in our relationship with the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

    So how did you answer the question “Who are you?” Among your identities are you a follower of Jesus? Whether you have been following Jesus a long time, are a new believer, or have not made the decision to follow Him yet join us each Thursday, as we continue to explore James letter together. 

  • November 24, 2022 11:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 16-18

    Today, as we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, we may find ourselves in many different circumstances. Some people may be celebrating with family and friends. Others may be in the midst of various trials or mourning a loss. Some may appear to celebrate, but are truly suffering through a variety of circumstances and emotions. What we must not forget is thanksgiving is a choice. 

    Little is known about the Prophet Habakkuk. He wrote just before the fall of Assyria and the rise of Babylon. God had used Assyria to punish Israel and was going to use Babylon to punish Assyria and Judah. The theme of his book is how can God use a wicked nation, like Babylon for His divine purposes.   

    Habakkuk could not understand why God doesn't just purge the Israelites sins and draw them back to Himself and to righteousness. There are similarities between Habakkuk and Job. He argues his case, but in the end he realizes that God is not to be worshipped merely because of the temporal, material and physical blessings of life, but simply for who He is. Thus he ends his words with a song of thanksgiving to God for who He is and for the unchanging benefits that belong to those who know Him! Habakkuk has reason to fret and question, but he chooses instead to be thankful, rejoice in the Lord.  

    Though the fig tree should not blossom,    nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Habakkuk 3:17-19

    We need to remember in all circumstances there are four truths we must be thankful for and hold tight to as followers of Jesus!

    We should be thankful for our salvation

    We should thank God that He is unchanging.

    We should thank God that He is sovereign.

    We should thank God for His strength. 

    Just like Habakkuk we have a choice. Things may not turn out the way we would prefer. We may not always have what we want or what we think is best for us. However, we must trust in God, we must thank Him for what He has given us, after all He knows what is best for each and every one of us. Each of us have to decide are we going to be grateful for what God has given us, or upset by our circumstances. 

  • October 27, 2022 7:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The recent shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, CA was an absolute tragedy. One congregant was murdered and five others were injured in one of the latest active shooter attacks at a house of worship in the United States. One aspect of this incident was the active response of Dr. John Cheng, who ultimately lost his life, while protecting others facing the same danger. The analysis of numerous active attacker events reveals the mitigation of loss of life when the individuals being attacked actively respond.

    During this attack Dr. Cheng and Pastor Chang sprang into action. 

    “When Cheng saw the man shooting elders, he jumped into the line of fire. Churchgoers said he was shot three times. As the gunman paused and fidgeted with his gun — it was unclear whether he was reloading or if the weapon jammed…”

    “— Pastor Chang struck him with a chair. He pushed the gunman to the floor and asked others for help. He called out to his wife to find something so they could tie the man up. She brought him some electrical cord, and he and the congregants hogtied the suspect.” 

    The selfless action of Dr. Cheng jumping into the line of fire and Pastor Chang physically engaging the attacker ended the shooting and clearly saved lives. 

    One of the traits of many active attackers is their cowardice and selection of soft targets, where they do not expect to face resistance from anyone. Pastor Chang noted in this incident the attacker  “… got scared,” and “I don’t think he expected someone to attack him.” 

    Through an examination of numerous incidents across the country we must recognize taking action mitigates the loss of life. What action do we take? There are variety of actions that can be taken. 

    We can lockdown offices and smaller rooms securing the doors and barricading them, covering the windows, and preparing to evade or defend in the event the intruder is able to access the room. Research shows lockdowns are one of the many actions effective in keeping an intruder out of an interior room. Even if an intruder makes initial entry into a room, locking the room down after their departure to another part of the building keeps the attacker from reentering the room. We recognize in a variety of incidents including the Virginia Tech and New Zealand Mosque attacks, the attackers will return to a room they have previously been in to continue the killing. 

    Another option we have is to evade the attacker. Depending on the totality of circumstances there are times when evasion may be the best option. Consideration must include the physical, functional needs and ages of those present. In a larger space that cannot be locked down logistically this option may be necessary. 

    The next option we have is to defend. Just as Dr. Cheng and Pastor Chang took defensive action ultimately leading to the stopping of the killing prior to law enforcements arrival we know unarmed civilians can successfully restrain active attackers. Another example, among many, was the assassination attempt on Congresswoman Giffords, where this present recognized the lull as the attacker needed to reload and safely and successfully held him down until law enforcement arrived. In both of these cases, defending themselves, unarmed civilians successfully stopped the killing. 

    While we recognize lock outs, lock downs, evasion, and defending are all options when an active attack is occurring if all else fails, do something! We know an active response will mitigate the loss of life. 

  • October 17, 2022 12:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We often discuss the importance of weapon retention in our various courses. It is crucial for all of us to recognize we are responsible for retaining our weapon at all times. If our weapon is not under our control, it is a potential detriment not only to us, but our team members and the congregation. While the ability to physically retain your weapon in a physical altercation is critical, it is not the only time we must be concerned about weapon retention. 

    This post is not introducing a new weapon retention skill, rather it is a reminder of the importance of retention among the ordinary aspects of daily life. Our weapon, like any other life-saving equipment, needs to be available to us immediately. This means our weapon, additional ammunition, intermediate weapon(s), handcuffs, radio and medical supplies must be on our person. If you carry your weapon (and/or other equipment) in a brief case, bag, or purse you may find the equipment isn’t close enough when a situation arises. 

    We must recognize there are gender limitations when it comes to concealing equipment. Body types and sizes impact us all, but ladies body types do not provide as much area to conceal equipment in many cases. Clothing is certainly another factor, which influences the ability to conceal equipment. A man in pants and an untucked shirt or sport coat can generally conceal more than a lady in slacks and a blouse. One of the consistent questions we have been asked by ladies in our courses is how and where to carry their equipment when dressed for church. 

    There is no easy, one size fits all, answers to this question. There are many different variables. Here a few thoughts, if pants or full length dresses or skirts are worn, an ankle Individual First Aid Kit may be an option for your medical supplies. Galco Ankle Glove holsters are another option, though your presentation of the weapon from the holster needs to be practiced, as with any new equipment. When wearing clothing with pockets, small OC spray units won’t usually weigh down the garment. Recognize any belt worn to secure your equipment, must be semi-rigid, and have a solid buckle or clasp. 

    When we have asked students, who insist against AZCSN advice, how they secure their purse or bag they initially reply it is always with them. However, often qualifiers quickly come to the surface; for example: my husband watches it while I use the restroom, or I lock it in a closet while I help collect the offering. This has potential serious consequences. What if you come back to get your bag after collecting the offering and it is missing? Now you have supplied someone that you may not even know with a deadly weapon and the weapon is likely gone for good. Worse yet would be when you are collecting the offering and a disgruntled spouse with a history of violence enters the sanctuary with his own weapon. You won’t have time to race to a closet and back before the violence has started and may have ended!

    Even when we are carrying our equipment on our body, we must consider what we do with our weapons when performing other normal activities. There have been two recent instances reported to us of weapons being left in restroom stalls by church security team members who were both male. 

    Most recently a loaded, chambered handgun without a holster was found in a restroom stall by a congregant. Fortunately, the congregant was responsible and notified security to turn over the firearm. Not recognizing, the firearm belonged to one of their peers initially, this sparked concern. The concern only became greater when the ownership of the weapon was discovered. We must always maintain control of our weapon. 

    How do we retain our weapon when in the restroom stall? One way may be to place it in the “hammock” created by lowered undergarments between the legs. It is hard to forget a firearm when you are pulling up your clothing. If you are wearing a holster attached to your belt whether inside or outside the waistband, you may move your belt and holster toward the center of your body with the weapon resting holstered between your two legs, of the floor. Caution must be used because of the weight of the firearm when you stand. You don’t want the weight to pull the belt through the holster allowing it to drop on the ground. 

    A careless, negligent act, like leaving a weapon in a restroom stall, can lead to significant impacts on our life and the lives of others. What if a child or person with nefarious intentions finds the firearm? A child may kill themselves or someone else accidentally. A criminal may use the weapon in a homicide, assault or armed robbery. One of the reasons we serve on ministry security teams is to save lives. This means we must be able to access our weapons and equipment at all times in an efficient manner. It also means that we must always be accountable for that equipment. We must always retain our weapons!  

  • June 13, 2022 1:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The recent shooting at at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, CA was an absolute tragedy. When we look at active attacker incidents in houses of worship we need to examine the behaviors of the attacker, as one of the many pieces of the puzzle of prevention and preparation. There are two facets to this attack that are important reminders for those of us serving in church safety and security ministries. One of these is our anticipation of when an attack will occur. The other is the attack timing chosen by the attacker. Please don’t forget we never blame the victims of these evil individuals, but we should desire to learn from their losses and work to prevent and prepare for future events. 

    Often times when people think of security for their houses of worship they focus on their primary worship service times. Many churches’ will focus on Sunday morning and Synagogues on Saturday morning. While we certainly need to protect these services, they are not the only times we observe attacks taking place. When we analyze the data we see attacks take place during other days of the week and at special events and Bible studies. 

    The recent attack at Geneva Presbyterian Church took place during a luncheon to celebrate one of the pastors. The attacker did not enter the luncheon and immediately start shooting as we often think active shooters will. Rather he executed his plan of securing some of the doors to prevent the escape by his victims and staged backpacks containing his extra equipment in the banquet hall. He then mingled with those attending the luncheon for approximately twenty minutes before engaging in his attack.

    The attacker at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC chose to attack a Wednesday night prayer gathering. He joined the prayer meeting and participated in it for about an hour before commencing with his attack. 

    Often times when we think of active shooter events our minds go to a sudden, rapid assault. Although many attacks do take place in this way, we must recognize the timing of an attack is controlled by the attacker. Both the Geneva and Emanuel attackers lied in wait in plain sight interacting with their victims prior to the attack. Yes, there were pre attack indicators, but they were dismissed by those in attendance, prior to the assaults, as often occurs. The attackers also determined the times of their attacks and chose not to attack during the usual worship services for the churches. 

    What can we learn from these attacks?

    • Attacks may occur anytime people are on the church’s property. The FBI Identified 15 active shooter events at Houses of Worship from 2000-2019. One-third of those attacks took place when organizations were not holding their primary worship services.
    • We all want visitors to attend our ministry services and events, but we need to be aware of new, unfamiliar visitors and ministry team members need to monitor their body language and actions. 
    • We have to stay vigilante, we can’t let our guard down because someone is participating or communicating with others at the event. 

  • April 17, 2022 10:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The scriptures include many individuals and people groups we are familiar with as followers of Christ. One of the many groups that may not have stood out to you were the Gatekeepers. As we discussed in last weeks article, part of the physical security utilized in Biblical times, were the walls and gates used to provide security for the occupants and control access to the communities. 

    One of many scripture passages that describe the Gatekeepers is found in 1 Chronicles 9:22-27. 

    All these, who were chosen as gatekeepers at the thresholds, were 212. They were enrolled by genealogies in their villages. David and Samuel the seer established them in their office of trust. 23 So they and their sons were in charge of the gates of the house of the Lord, that is, the house of the tent, as guards. 24 The gatekeepers were on the four sides, east, west, north, and south. 25 And their kinsmen who were in their villages were obligated to come in every seven days, in turn, to be with these, 26 for the four chief gatekeepers, who were Levites, were entrusted to be over the chambers and the treasures of the house of God. 27 And they lodged around the house of God, for on them lay the duty of watching, and they had charge of opening it every morning. 1 Chronicles 9:22-27

    The Gatekeepers at this time were charged with providing security for the Temple. We read here they were Levites entrusted overt the chambers and treasures of the house of God (verse 26). Temple gatekeepers were in charge access to the Temple including, who entered and who exited. They ensured the order and reverence for God’s house. They were tasked with protecting Israelites from themselves, if they chose to try and enter the Temple, when they were unclean (2 Chronicles 23:19). They also protected it from those outside the Israelite tribes. We see then the Gatekeepers were tasked with guarding against both internal and external threats. The Gatekeepers were also responsible for guarding the Temple treasures and the storehouses (1 Chronicles 9:26, 20-22; Nehemiah 12:25). 

    We see the importance of Gatekeepers in Nehemiah 7:1, when they are among the first positions filled after the completion of the wall. Again we see the importance of a protective role for the inhabitants of the community and guarding against the outside people groups who had already been threatening the rebuilding efforts. The number of Gatekeepers varied depending on the time period. I Chronicles 9 records 212, Ezra 2:42, 139 and 1 Chronicles 23:5, 4,000. 

    We see throughout the Old Testament, after the exile, the need for Temple Gatekeepers. They provided protection against both internal and external threats to the Temple and God’s people. They also provided protection, inventory control, and watched over the physical property of the Temple including its treasures and storehouses. These tasks are very similar to what many church security teams do today.

     The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), 1 Ch 9:22–27.

  • April 11, 2022 1:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    And he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God. We have sought him, and he has given us peace on every side.” So they built and prospered. 1 Chronicles 14:7

    Today when we think about physical security many thing may come to mind. We have locks on the doors and windows to our homes. We have fences and walls to mark boundaries and property lines. Surveillance cameras, access control, alarms, and other technology assists us in protecting both people and property. What does the Bible say about physical security? 

    The scriptures clearly describe cities as having walls and towers. Examples include Rehab hiding the spies (Joshua 2:1-24), Solomon building and fortifies cities (1 Kings 9:15, 17-23; 2 Chronicles 8:3-10), Hezekiah fortifying Jerusalem (2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chronicles 322-8, 30; Isaiah 36:2-22) and Nehemiah completing the wall (Nehemiah 6:15-16). Walls provided physical protection from other people groups and defined territory. Towers are used to describe fortification, a structure used for the purpose of strengthening defenses. 

    Gates provided access to the cities and had different functions whether it was a celebrated entry way serving as a main entrance to the community or a gate used for dung removal or other utility. Gates were places were business was conducted and disputes were arbitrated. They did provide for the physical security of the city by providing an entry point for normal and invited users through natural surveillance of those entering the gates. Bars which were made of wood or metal were placed across doors and gates to secure them acting as a lock providing protection for the people inside the door or gate.  

    When we examine the scriptures we can see physical security was often a need just as it is today. Many of the same solutions we use today are found in the Bible. Those include walls, gates, towers, bars and other means of fortification. 

  • April 03, 2022 6:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What does the Bible say about physical security in the church? How are we too respond to physical threats today? We recognize as followers of Christ we must hold to a Biblical worldview in all areas of life, but what does that look like when we talk about security? This is the introduction to a new series of articles which will be released each week examining what the Scriptures teach us about security related topics. 

    One of the most common verses used throughout the church security landscape today is Nehemiah 4:9. It says ”And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.” This verse is the response by Nehemiah and God’s people to the opposition and threats of Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites. In Nehemiah 4:7-8 they are presenting opposition to Nehemiah’s efforts to lead the rebuilding of the wall. Nehemiah 4:9 was Nehemiah and his peoples’ response to the threat and opposition. We should be using this same two-pronged approach to threats and violence the church is facing today (We will distinguish martyrdom and threats and violence later in this series of posts). 

    First, we need to pray just as this verse describes. We are called to be people of prayer throughout the scriptures. We are to pray for ourselves, our families, our friends, our enemies, our government, our society, our culture, and every other aspect of life. (Matthew 6:6; 7:7, Luke 6:27-28, Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, James 5:16, 1 John 1:9, 1 Timothy 2:1-3).  1 Peter 3:12 states “For the eyes of the Lord our on the righteous, and the ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” We must recognize God hears our prayers and we are to be people of prayer. 

    Second, we need to recognize we need to post a guard. The word translated guard in Nehemiah means one who is watching over for protection. This word is used eight times in the book of Nehemiah alone. In the context of Nehemiah we can read in verses 4:17a-18 “Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.” 

    The concept of posting a guard is not just found in Nehemiah. In I Chronicles 26:12-16 we can see the watch established that will take place by the gatekeepers at the gates. They were tasked with the protection of the city and people. We can see in Jeremiah 51:11 “Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon; make the watch strong; set up watchmen; prepare the ambushes; for the Lord has both planned and done what he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon. Again, the concept of watchmen and guarding for protection is clear. We need to recognize throughout the scriptures God uses His people many times rather than always taking action Himself. We see examples of Saul, David, and many others who God worked through foHis purposes. 

    Whether our safety and security ministry is just beginning or has been established for many years the foundation of our ministry must be the scriptures. Nehemiah 4:9 provides a clear two pronged approach resting in God’s sovereignty through both prayer to Him and the use of His people as protectors. 

<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software