by Ron Moore, President & Bible Teacher
I like to run. Now, I'm never going to beat any records--but I like to watch those who do.
One of the greatest athletes of our day is British distance runner Mo Farah. The final race of this summer's World Athletics Championships was Mo's last race as a professional track athlete. He'd already won the 10K, and hopes were high for a double gold to finish his career.
But it wasn't to be. Mo was heartbroken as he finished second in the 5K--despite having won the longer race just days before. What caused Mo's defeat? In large part, the race strategy of his opponents on the Ethiopian team was what beat him.
You see, knowing your opponent's strategy counts a great deal. It's true in all sports and competitive games. It's true in politics and law courts. It's true in warfare. And it's true in the Christian life. It's easy to forget that we're in a battle. But our enemy is real ... and he doesn't fight fair.
So how can we have any chance of experiencing victory in the Christian life? Well, we need to know our opponent. And we need to have confidence in the weapon God's given us for the fight--the Bible!
Yes, as soldiers of Christ we must hold fast to the conviction that the Word of God is the "sword of the Spirit." Remember, it's the only offensive weapon listed among the armor of God in Ephesians 6. Only the truth of God's Word has the power to defeat the devil, who is the "father of lies" (John 8:44).
Q: Ron, if Jesus has won the victory, why am I still in a spiritual battle?
A: It's what I call the "now but not yet" principle. Jesus certainly did win the decisive victory once and for all when He died on the cross and conquered the grave. It's a done deal. We are people of victory now. But there's also a sense in which we're still waiting for the ultimate fulfillment of Christ's accomplishments at Calvary--we're not yet reigning with Him in the new creation. And so, while we wait for that great day, we're still in the fight, waging spiritual warfare against the "unholy trinity" of sin, the world, and the devil.
Q: How can I be equipped for the spiritual battle I'm in?
A: God has given us the most powerful weapon of all--and it's one Jesus Himself used to counter the devil's attacks. It's the living and inspired Word of God. For you to be an effective soldier for Christ, you need to know Scripture, memorize Scripture, meditate on Scripture, and apply Scripture. You can move forward in the battle only by coming back to the Bible!
Satan is waging a spiritual war for your life ... and he certainly doesn't fight fair!
The only hope you have of victory in this battle is to fight back with the truth of God's Word.
That's why we want to send you a copy of Warren Wiersbe's book, The Strategy of Satan: How to Detect and Defeat Him, as thanks for your gift this month.
Thank you for helping more people come back to the Bible through the launch of an exciting new goTandem update!
In the coming months, we will hit an exciting milestone in the development of our goTandem Bible engagement app--as we release a new and updated version of this pioneering digital tool.
With goTandem, users receive customized biblical content based on their unique spiritual needs--all designed to help them move closer to Jesus on a daily basis. The goTandem tool was first launched in 2013, and within 4 years it has grown to over 228,000 all-time users.
But now, thanks to the support of friends like you, we've been able to upgrade and improve goTandem so it's even more effective and user friendly.
One addition in the update is group functionality--enabling users to interact and encourage one another in their Bible engagement.
Another new feature is "Spiritual GPS," which will allow users to let the app know where they're at spiritually each day--further customizing the content to deliver timely and appropriate scriptural messages.
We're so excited about the launch, and we value your prayers! Please join us in praying:
As Director of the Arkansas Fellowship of Christian Athletes, T.Ray Grandstaff told us of the thousands of young men and women he'd seen accept Christ. Each year, more student athletes were making first-time decisions to follow Jesus than the year before. But while this is undoubtedly good news, T.Ray couldn't help but feel a little sad looking at the numbers.
"I felt sad knowing the environments that the kids were going back to. I felt we needed to go deeper in discipleship and mentoring." To help meet this need, he and an associate began a text messaging program--sending Scripture to students. But there was still something missing. "We desired to go deeper and to be able to engage them in the areas of their specific felt needs."
It wasn't long after that T.Ray found the Back to the Bible Custom Apps program. This program allows organizations like Arkansas FCA to use the personalized spiritual growth experience found in goTandem, in a familiar FCA-branded app.
It's all about Bible engagement, T.Ray tells us. "Getting God's Word and hiding it in our hearts. But even going further than that and finding the specific needs of users and then being able to couple that with God's Word."
The results are encouraging! "To date, we have approximately 14,000 users in the app and growing. In a recent analysis, we found that the majority of users experience growth in all dimensions of the fruit of the Spirit. And on the flip side, all users struggled less with temptations."
But it's the personal stories that really impact T.Ray. "One example is a young girl gave me a call and she mentioned that she had come to faith in Jesus at an FCA event. And she exclaimed, 'You are going to be so proud of me!' She told me about the day she received Jesus Christ and how she then immediately began using the app. She said she went to church for the first time in her life. And she made a quote that has really stuck with me. She said, 'I just feel like Jesus is growing up inside of me.'"
T.Ray continues, "The beauty of that statement is, Jesus is enough! God's Word is enough! And out of someone connecting with the Father through Bible engagement, Jesus starts to grow up within them and then they desire fellowship and move toward it. It's beautiful that the very thing we wanted to see happen is happening."
To Back to the Bible supporters, T.Ray says, "Thank you for helping to connect this next generation in a way that is relevant and transformational!"
We'd love to hear how God is leading you forward in your walk with Christ through His Word. Share your story today!
Have you ever done a "sword drill"? If you grew up in a church, you probably know what I'm talking about. You'd place a Bible under your arm, and then on the command to "draw your sword"--you'd whip out the Bible and race to find a particular verse. The competition was always pretty fierce!
Some might say it's old fashioned, but I love this game. Why? Because it reminds me of a vital truth that is so easy to forget: God's Word is the most powerful weapon we have in the Christian life!
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He showed us how to wield this sword of the Spirit--countering the devil's lies with the truth of Scripture.
We're called to do the same. In fact, the only way we can ever hope to defeat the tactics of Satan is to fight back with God's Word!
And the only way we can do that is to be immersed in the Bible, to understand the whole counsel of Scripture--and be equipped to apply God's Word in the nitty-gritty of everyday life.
That's why your support is just so precious. And as you'll read in the pages of this newsletter, you really are having an impact as you help lead others forward in a dynamic relationship with Jesus.
Don't forget to request your copy of Warren Wiersbe's book, The Strategy of Satan, when you give your gift today. I know it'll encourage you in the spiritual battles you face.
Thank you for your partnership. I'm so grateful for you!