How would you like to hear a news report that two tigers had killed a man and were prowling around your neighborhood? That’s exactly what happened this past Tuesday, May 25 in Shanghai, China. CBS News reports a zoo staff member was feeding the big cats when they got loose and mauled the man who later died in hospital. Local residents of the area were evacuated as authorities launched a search for the tigers. If that happened here, I imagine most of us would go inside, lock the doors, and keep watch!
1 Peter 5:8 says “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” This Sunday we’ll study the sobering reality of our dangerous and evil adversary who is prowling the earth, roaring his lies, and devouring the lives of people around us. Evidence of his destruction isn’t hard to find. We were all shocked to hear of the shooting in San Jose this week where multiple victims were killed. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims’ families and loved ones right here in our own city! At least one local church, Cathedral of Faith, lost a member to the shooting. They are in shock and grief, and all of us hurt with them.
I don’t know the last time you came face to face with a wild animal, (on Sunday I’ll tell you about my encounter last weekend.) So, do we cower inside behind locked doors while Satan runs rampant in the world? No! Peter also tells us that we are to “Resist him, firm in your faith”. While the Bible makes it clear that we are to beware and be watchful, it is also clear that we are not to FEAR. As Peter wraps up his first letter he gives us all that we need to STAND and BE STRONG in the face of our spiritual adversary the Devil. Pre-read 1 Peter 5 and get ready to be encouraged and equipped to “resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7.
Also, in case you haven’t heard, we’re very excited to be holding our service indoors in our worship center starting June 20th at 10:45am. The state of California has said it will drop capacity and social distancing orders on June 15, including the mask mandate for vaccinated people in almost all settings. Only unvaccinated people will be required to wear face coverings indoors in most cases. As always Valley Church will encourage participants at our events to follow any applicable county guidelines. We’re also carefully considering ways we can make ALL of our congregation feel comfortable being together again whether masked or unmasked, vaccinated or unvaccinated. Please keep that issue in prayer. We’ll also have an open meeting on June 27th after church to talk about all the changes we’ve been through. More details coming!
Thanks so much for your support of Valley Church! If you need help or would like to give help, you can connect with us here. If you would like to give, we appreciate your generosity more than I can ever express. You can contribute to the work and ministry here.
Our Church on the Grass outdoor worship service is this Sunday, May 30 at 10:45 AM. Bring your own lawn chair and/or blanket. You can register with this LINK. You can also register via this webpage. Please read through the instructions on safety before you attend. If you are unable to join the outdoor service, please attend one of our two online options. Just visit valleychurch.org and click on the colorful join us online banner.
Some of you may want to know what happened to the tigers in China. Unfortunately attempts to capture them were unsuccessful and they had to be shot. We know that eventually our enemy the devil and all of his threats and lies will be ended. Revelation 20:10 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone…” Until then be AWAKE and be STRONG.