Pastor Julio Peña's January 2022 Message
“The Shining Star”
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” – Psalm 119:105
Here we are near the end of 2021 and for many people this was another tough year with COVID still lingering around and the violence in the streets just does not seem to be safe for everyone. Economy is not doing well; scammers are even trying to take advantage of individuals, the physical & mental health in a tail spin.
It is no wonder that we are in overload and that includes Christians.
We have been going through so much that it’s been difficult for us to take care of others as well as ourselves. We are being overload with so much information from everyone that we get so confuse, get depress, become fearful, angry, scared, and a sense of hopelessness. People seem to be more to themselves, changing right in front of us, people are “snapping” not only on our love ones, but even on strangers. People seem to be angry, tired, drain, not only mentally, but spiritually.
I have to admit that there are times when I have to fight that negative spirit and we Christians understand it as a spiritual battle and I remind myself each time that the Trinity is with me and the evil spirit can’t overcome me, if I don’t let it.
We need to rely on scriptures, such as Ephesians 6:10 -20:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our[a] struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, [b] take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, [c] 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.”
This scripture helps me, when fear, doubt, anger, anxiety creeps in my mind. I invite you to put this scripture into your “tool box” of the battle you might be facing as well as the first verse that is in this letter or find a scripture for
I’m very aware of the challenges that we are facing at Good Shepherd and aware of the beauty of this congregation. I know who is in control of my life as well as the church and that my friend is Jesus Christ. I will continue to move forward and rely on God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit as I minister his church. This is why our theme for 2022 is “Living in a Community of Believers.” I will be discussing this in next month newsletter in more details, until then.
May all of you have a wonderful, bless, Christmas and Happy New Year.
God Bless. See you in 2022
Pastor Julio Peña