When and why tragedy happens

Warning: The following content is an automated transcript and may not be correct.

Hi everyone, and welcome back to Church of the Bible. It's a beautiful day here. It's been a great day and I'm just excited to be back, especially after last month with all the cancellations. It's good to be back in church. So some announcements as we begin.

We shawnee and I were in Cedar City today at a church there that serves the city. They serve about 2000 people a week, not on Sunday, but throughout the week with food pantries and stuff. But they invited Pastor Logan, which some of you know, some of you don't invite a Pastor Logan down for some prayer training. And I came along with as a local person so that I could help if anybody needed somebody to go with them and just help. I was there to be able to just connect with them.

But it was a great day being there in Cedar. We also will have Exodus chapter 22. No, we're still in Exodus Chapter 21 this week, so we did not finish it. We will pick up in the middle of the chapter and finish this week. And then for those of you who meet with me in Cedar on Fridays, that has been moved from Friday to Thursday this week, same time, same place, just Thursday instead of Friday.

I understand some of you can't make it or may not be able to, depending on your schedules with that change, but I do hope to see you all there. And then this Friday, Saturday, Sunday, shawnee and I will both be in Salt Lake. We will be getting together with a whole bunch of I think there's probably going to be 15 or 20 pastors from Utah gathered together in Salt Lake as we pray and come together and brainstorm how we can help Utah and the community here in Utah. So with that said, that Sunday, there will be no church at all a week from today. And somebody says my volume is very low, hopefully that'll go up in a minute.

We've had that issue every week. Good. So anyways, next week, next Sunday, a week from today, no church at all. I will be in Salt Lake the week after. Just to remind the Cedar group again, there will be no Bible study at all in Cedar.

That Thursday. Friday. Saturday I will be in St. George at a firefighter training event. Winter Fire School.

So there'll be nothing on that Thursday or Friday, and they'll remind you all about that next week as well. With that said, there's another announcement, but I'll announce it as we are in our message. So let's pray, let's worship the Lord. And I'll see you guys here in a few minutes as we dive briefly back into the book of Job. Father, we thank you and praise you Lord, for your goodness, for your mercies, for your tender care, for your compassion.

Lord, we just thank you for all of the attributes that we are. We thank you Lord for the amazing weather that we've had, both the moisture and the sunshine. Lord, we thank you for it all. We thank you, Lord, for everyone who is here right now to hear Your word, to worship you, to hear from you. And I pray as we do this today, Lord, that you will open our ears, open our hearts, let us hear and see what you have to say, and then not only be hearers, but doers also, lord lord, I pray now that you will be glorified as we spend this time with you.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray amen.

We will wait upon the Lord always love me down struggle lies I wait upon the doors wait upon the doors we will wait upon the door struggle lies I'm waiting upon the voice wait upon the Lord we will wait upon the lord you'll wake open the eyes of the light there's no one like you like you into the darkness you shine out of the ashes we rise there's no one like you not like you I got a greater I got you stronger god you are higher than any other got a feeler awesome and power I got, I got I got a greater I got a stronger got you a higher than any other I got a feeler awesome and power and if I got it with us little I could stand again if I got it for us and you could ever stop us and if I got it with us little work is dare again I got a greater I got a stronger got you I'm hireinity I got to feel love in all of this power I've got if I got it we're I raise a hallelujah in the presence of my enemies I raise a hallelujah louder than the unbeliev?

I raise a hallelujah?

My weapon is a melody I raise a hallelujah?

Heaven comes to fight for me?

I'm gonna see I was so louder and loud? You're gonna hear my prayer up front. The eyes open. Eyes up is the old I raise a hallelujah with everything you tell me I raise a hallelujah I watch the darkness bleak I raise a hallelujah in the middle of a mystery I raise a hallelujah you're holy.

Keep it ALIVER.

Praise God, the king is alive. He is well. He is resurrected from the grave. Guys, it's been about four weeks since we have been in the book of Job, which is the series we are going through. We are looking at tragedy in the book of Job.

We're looking at a man who is greatly afflicted, a man who was well respected, considered wise, a righteous man who all of a sudden is afflicted. Everything goes wrong, literally everything. There is nothing he has left. And at the point we are in our study, in our series, he has lost not just his family, not just his wealth, his servants, his standing in society, but he has lost his friendships. He has lost he's almost to the point of having lost hope.

He has lost everything.

Okay, sounds good.

Somebody still experiencing audio issues. Joe has lost everything. And in a time where we are reading this book, we're trying to understand tragedy. We're trying to understand why some things are allowed to happen that just don't seem fair, that just don't seem right. And they're not right, and they're not fair.

And we don't understand that. Job has shed some light into that. Now, instead of picking up where we left off in the book, we're actually going all the way back to the beginning, to chapter one. I want to remind everybody what Job the last four months, we have been going back and forth in a debate with Job and his friends, and they they've been arguing. And I don't want to lose sight of what actually took place and happened, especially how it may relate to us today.

Let's go back to Job, chapter one. Let's read verses 13 through 18.

And there was one day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their firstborn brother's house. And the messenger came to Job and said, the oxen were plowing and the female donkeys were feeding beside them. Then the Sabines attacked, and they took them, and they slew the servants by the edge of the sword. And I escaped, I alone to tell you. And while this would still speak and another came and said, the fire of God fell from heaven, and it blazed up against the sheep and goats and against the servants, and it consumed them.

And I escaped, even I alone to tell you. And while this one was still speaking, another came and said, the cowdines formed three divisions, and they made a raid on the camels, and they carried them away, and they struck your servants by the edge of the sword. But I escaped, even I alone to tell you.

And at the time this one was speaking, another came and said, your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their first born brother's house. Look at verse 19 with me. And behold, a great wind came from across the desert, and it struck the four corners of the earth wow. Of the house so that it fell upon the young people, and they died. But I escaped even I alone to tell you.

Okay, so Job, at this point in the first chapter, he has lost just about everything. He's lost his children, he's lost their homes. He's lost his camels and his donkey and his oxen. He's lost his servants, his entire world, everything from his family to his wealth. Everything he has known just vanished like that.

As one servant was telling him the news says, before they were finished speaking, another came with more bad news, more calamity. And then another and another. It was a chain of events, just like that. Look at chapter two with me as well. Shawnee will put the Scriptures up here in verse seven.

So Satan went out from Yahweh's presence and he inflicted Job with loathsome skin sores from the soul of his foot up to the crown of his head. You will remember in chapter one that after he lost everything, he falls and he worships God. He says, the Lord gives and the Lord takes. Nevertheless, I will say, Blessed be the name of the Lord. Satan was not happy with that.

He came back, right? And God told him, he says, I told you Job would be faithful. And Satan says, Tit for tat. Satan said a man would give anything, his families or anything, as long as he is not touched. And so Satan came back and inflicts Job with these sores, these open wounds that are filled with worms and grime, and they're painful.

And so now he has lost even his own health.

The entire book of Job, everything we've read till now, we're in chapters 18 and 19. But we won't be there today. But everything from here to where we're at and everything beyond has spiraled from these tragic events. Church. We have experienced tragedy recently.

November 30, 2022. A seven year old girl in Texas, her name is Athena Strand had fought with her parents about going over to her aunt's house and snuck out the house and was on her way to her aunt's home when a FedEx driver, who I will not name, I won't give him that. I won't give that to him. Anyways, the spedex driver strikes her with his truck. He backs into her and he picks her up and puts her in the truck.

And she told him that she was going to tell her dad. And instead of doing the right thing and taking her home and talking to the parents, he takes her and he strangles her to death and he dumps her on the side of a river. A small town by Dallas, Texas. I heard the news from somebody who goes to church with me on Mondays. A person who lives in the same small community of only a couple of thousand people, who knows the family who was affected, had called me to let me know about this tragedy, what had happened, that she may not make it to church, which was beside the point at that moment to me.

Anyways, everyone here has heard about this tragedy already because I've asked everybody to write a card to the family, and most of you have and have sent it to me already. I've already collected those. And this was tragic. November 30, right before Christmas. But almost everyone here listening to this today is local with me, and we have been affected yet again by another tragedy.

December 21, 2022. A couple of couple in Cedar City, Utah are having issues, and the wife files for divorce.

December 27, 2022. The husband is served with notice of divorce and he is stressed out. He goes bonkers. And on January 4, 2023, Church that's four days ago in the middle of the day a 78 year old woman the mother in law of this father is shot and murdered in her home. The wife of this husband and father who filed for divorce is shot and murdered next to her mother.

His mother in law, a 17 year old daughter of the sky is shot and murdered. A twelve year old daughter is shot and murdered. A seven year old son is shot and murdered. His seven year old twin, his sister is shot and murdered. And a four year old son is shot and murdered all before the sky turns the gun on himself and commits suicide.

Four days ago in Cedar City, Utah seven people are murdered in their home. Five kids, two adults and then suicide.

It's a tragedy that has shaken the community. It's a tragedy. I've spoken with people today who personally knew this family. I got to give one of them a hug in and talk to him about it.

And the question is why?

Why is there so much tragedy in our world? Why is there so much senseless violence, so many senseless acts? Why is the world the way it is?

It goes back.

As we looked at the Book of Job we have fought and wrestled with this idea of unfair, tragic events in life that happen. Job is currently where we are at. He's wrestling with the question of why in chapters 18 and 19. This is wrestling with where he almost says that God is persecuting him and he doesn't understand why.

It goes back first to Adam and Eve in the garden. We need to understand the world that God created for us. God created a perfect world. In Genesis, chapter one in Genesis, chapter two, the very first portion we are told that the world that God created was perfect. There was no death, no disease, no corruption no thorns and thistles and pains in our side.

It was a perfect world that God created for us to live in his love, in his peace, in his presence. We have an enemy whose name is Satan who, in the form of a serpent started the chain of events that have led us to where we are today. And he did it not by tempting Eve. He never tempted Eve but he did it by getting Eve to question the word of God. Did God really say that you should not eat it?

Did God really say that if you eat it, you would die? He got hurt to question the word of God and from that moment on has led to where we are today. I have a statement I want to read about the murders here in Cedar City, Utah. They are from the President and First Lady of the United States say they are mourning with Enoch City. Cedar City, utah, the community in the wake of a tragic shooting that has reportedly claimed the lives of five children and multiple adults in their family home.

Biden president Biden then says too many Americans have lost loved ones or have their lives forever changed due to gun violence. And gun violence remains the leading cause of death for children in America. Less than one month after we marked ten years since the Sandy Hook tragedy, another mass shooting has claimed the lives of five more children in Enoch City. Guys, when I read this statement here, my heart is pained. My heart is pained because we're missing the point.

Our leadership, our government is missing the point. People are missing the point.

Legislation to it doesn't matter if it's guns, knives, cars, anything. Legislation to restrict means of murder and violence will never correct the problem. The problem is not guns. The problem is not how many rounds a magazine can hold. And I am not saying this to be political.

I am saying this in a spiritual and religious sense. The problem is not the means of execution, but the problem is the heart.

Our political leaders, our schools, our secular entities want us to believe that we are fighting evil objects or that we are fighting evil people, but we are not. Look at Ephesians chapter six with me, ephesians, chapter six.

Look at verse twelve. Our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.

I want to read it one more time and drive us home. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against world rulers of darkness and spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places. We are not fighting guns. We're not fighting high capacity magazines. We're not fighting people.

We are fighting forces that are not flesh and blood. We are fighting spiritual forces and forces with so much more power than us.

And what can we do?

How can we be ready for that? How can we be prepared for that? And when tragedy comes, when it's your neighbor that shoots and murders his seven family members and commits suicide, when it's your neighbor that loses a seven year old daughter to kidnapping and strangulation, when it's your child or your family, how can we get through it? Joe Bristled with the question about how he gets through such a heavy burden.

A quick fact for everybody utah is the least Christian state in the nation. Less than 2% of Utahs are Christian. And if you look at the census, the census will say that over 70% of Utah is Christian. But the census does not count. Mormons and Christianity is different.

Mormons are not Christian. Never have been, never will be. And I tell you that to then tell you the next statistic. The state of Utah has the highest suicide rate in the nation. More people commit suicide in Utah than any other place in the country.

And why? Well, it's linked back to the fact that we are the least Christian populated state, and we are the state with the most oppression. I know some of you listening to this are not in Utah, but it applies to the overall message we are the state with the least amount of Christians and the most amount of oppression. And what do I mean by oppression?

After Jesus resurrected and he rose to heaven, in the book of Acts, the message of the Gospel is going forth, spreading like wildfire. People are getting saved. And there are Jewish converts who begin to no longer accept what's going on. What's going on? Gentiles are going on.

Gentiles are entering into the Christian community. Gentiles have the same access to God as the Jew has, but Gentiles are uncircumcised. Gentiles don't observe feasts. Gentiles do all these things that the Jew sees as evil. And there ensues a fight, a debate.

And the Word specifically says a heeded debate. So they are arguing over whether or not to enforce these burden circumcision and the Sabbath and the these feasts and holidays and whatnot upon the Gentile converts into Christianity. And when they cannot settle the dispute, paul and some others, they go to the council in Jerusalem where they with the original church leaders, the twelve, or what's left of the twelve, they tackle the issue and they issue a letter with a statement that says I'm going to Paraphrase. If you could not keep the law yourself, why would you dare place such a heavy burden? There's the word burden upon the Gentiles.

Jesus tells us to take on his yoke. He says, for my burden is light and easy. What does that mean? There's a distinction that is being made here between the burden of the Law and the burden of Christ. The law is a burden.

It's a burden that we cannot carry. It's a burden that weighs us down. It's a burden that brings death. Romans three tells us that the purpose of the Law was to make known our sin. The purpose of the Law is not to perfect you.

It's not to make you holy. It's not to do anything other than demonstrate sin in your life and condemn you again. The Law of God has one purpose to demonstrate sin in your life and condemn you.

In our state. We have the most oppression, the heaviest burden in the nation, where we have a state with a population that is not Christian. It claims to be, but it's not. But further, they burden them with such a heavy list of rules to keep. They burden them with all of these religious rites of passages and these ideas.

Well, if I drink coffee, I'm not worthy to go to a temple. And if I'm not worthy to go to the temple, then I can't be with my family forever. Isn't that a burden. And now can you imagine carrying that burden with you? You wake up every day.

I had coffee yesterday or I smoked or I have a tattoo or I don't agree with what this leader is saying. And all of these things weigh in on me. I'm going to lose my family, I'm going to lose my, my place. And in the third celestial kingdom where I'm going to do this, it's oppression. And so I need people to know today that salvation.

Ephesians two, eight and nine. Will you toss that up? Ephesians two, eight and nine. For you are saved by grace through faith. And this not of yourself, it is a gift of God, not a result of works, lest no man may boast.

You are saved by grace through faith. Paul writes you are not saved through works. You are not saved through the burden that the heavy laden and the heavy yoke of the law. You are not saved through constantly waking up every single day and wondering, did I do enough today?

But you are saved by grace through faith and it is a gift from God. It's a gift. And with this gift, a few things happen, you may notice. I mean, we've just spent forever talking about a tragedy here in Cedar City. If I asked anyone to look at the world right now, would you say it's broken?

There's evidence of the broken world all around us. There's murder, there's rape, there's adultery, there's theft. There are people addicted to really horrible drugs because it takes away the pain of the world or the pain in their bodies or whatever else they are going through. Marriages and homes are broken. The senseless murder in Cedar City of seven people was caused over a broken family, over somebody requesting a divorce.

The world is broken.

But through the free gift of God to you, that brokenness can go away for drugs, they can't ease your pain, whether it's physical or mental. They dole it for a time and then you need more. Therapy, addresses, therapy, counseling. It attempts to change the chemical makeup of your brain either through medication or teaching you to ignore it or cope with it in ways, but it does not deal with the issue. Remember verse twelve, ephesians six, verse twelve.

Our struggles not against flesh and blood, our doctors cannot take care of the spiritual element of this. And as long as there is a spiritual element that is able to influence us, we will remain in a broken state. But through the free and precious gift of God, that brokenness can change. For where you have anxiety, god will give you calm peace. Where you have aches and pains in your heart, god will give you comfort.

Where you have other people in your life, whether it's a broken home with a wife who wants to divorce you, or a neighbor who is a pain in your side or a bad boss, whatever it is, no matter what it is, you have Jesus Christ to get you through it. Not the world, not a psychiatrist, not drugs, but Jesus Christ will get you through it. And then these problems that could drive you to the point of murdering your whole family, they become small.

Because when you are fighting against flesh and blood, you will fight as flesh and blood. But when you are fighting the spiritual strongholds, the rulers of darkness, the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places through the word of Jesus Christ, they do not become victorious. Their oppression does not lead to this brokenness in which it is leading to. And we have to understand this is a battle again, a spiritual forces. I mean, look, let's look back at Job, chapter one.

Look at verse eight. Yahweh said to Satan, have you considered my servant Job? Indeed, there is none like him on earth, a blameless man and upright and God fearing and turning away from evil. And Satan answered yahweh and said, is Job fear God for nothing. Have you not put a fence around him and his household, around all that belongs to him?

On every side? You have blessed the work of his hands. His livestock has increased in the land. But on the other hand, stretch out your hand and touch all that belongs to him and see whether he will curse you and look to your face. So Yahweh said to Satan, look, all that belongs to him is in your power only.

Do not stretch out your hand against him. And Satan went from Yahweh's presence. Look in verse, in chapter two.

Look at verse four, Satan's back and he says to God's, skin for skin, all that a man has, he will give for his life. Stretch out your hand, touch his bones, touch his flesh and see whether he will curse you to your face.

It is a spiritual issue. It's a spiritual fight. So I want to encourage everyone briefly. We're almost out of time. Let's look back at Ephesians, chapter six.

Let's read verses ten through.

I lost the verse, I'm going through. We'll just read till we get there. Ephesians, chapter six. Starting in verse ten, he says, finally, become strong in the Lord and in the might of a strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand again to the stratagems of the devil.

Because our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world rulers of the darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness and heavenly places. Because of this, take up the full armor of God in order that you may be able to resist the evil day and haven't done everything to stand. Stand. Therefore girding your waist with truth, putting on the breastplate of righteousness binding shoes under your feet with the preparation of the good news of peace in everything, taking up the shield of faith with which you are able to quench all the flaming arrows of the Evil One and receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, with all prayer and supplication, praying at all times in the Spirit, and to this end being alert with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

I started the message asking, how do we deal with tragedy? How do we prepare for tragedy? How do we handle it in the mist when it's your neighbor or your daughter or your friend who is going through calamity, or you yourself? How do we do that? Paul tells us to take up the full armor of God.

I am going to tell every one of you right now. If you do not have the armor of God fully secured to your person when you wake up tomorrow morning and disaster strikes, you will not be equipped to handle it. You won't. The only way that you can handle the disasters that strike is with the armor of God. And he tells us that we take it up so that we can resist in the evil day.

We can resist temptations. We can resist evil urges. We can did I lose my audio? No, I hear you. Okay.

We can resist all things, but not only do we resist haven't done everything to stand for. We resist our own temptations. But when the Devil, unable to attack us directly, tries to do so through disaster, he shall not cripple us. But we will stand. We will stand.

Girding our waste with truth. What truth? Jesus Christ says, I am the way, the truth and the life. We will gird ourselves with Jesus Christ. We will follow him.

That's what he wants us to do. He doesn't want us to do it on our own and hold back the tears or take matters into our own hands. He wants us to follow Him. He wants us to look through the disaster to Him and see his cross, see what he has done, see his promises. He wants us to attack the lies of the enemy with his word.

When the enemy says there is no God, we refute it and we say we speak the truth of God only. The fool says in his heart, there is no God. When the enemy says that God does not love you, we speak back what Jesus says in John, Chapter 15. He says, as the Father has loved me, I have loved you. When he tells us that we are worthless, we tell him I have so much value that God died for me.

We gird ourselves in truth so that we can resist the evil day and we can stand. For with the truth of God. We do not become captive to his imaginations, to the Devil's imaginations. He says, Put on the breastplate of righteousness. What righteousness?

Ours. The prophet says that my righteous works are filthy rags on. The side of God. But I put on me the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Romans three says that now righteousness, which is through faith has been made manifest my righteousness in Jesus Christ, where I let him live through me.

I let him control me, I let him live in me. Paul says, for it is not I who lives, but Christ who lives in me. And I put on the breastplate of righteousness of Jesus Christ to protect me. And with that breastplate of righteousness, I also can fight the enemy. I stand in righteousness, not in evil doing.

I refuse to look at evil doing, I refuse to participate in it. But also when the enemy attacks me. You remember what you did ten years ago, how horrible that was? I have on the righteousness of Jesus Christ. What I had done ten years ago is irrelevant.

Look at verse 15. Binding shoes under your feet with preparation of the good news of peace. The good news of peace. Who here knows what the word gospel means?

It means good news. So we prepare ourselves with the Gospel. Paul writes in in Romans One I'm actually going to read this one to you. Verse 16. He says, For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first, and to the Greek.

For the righteousness of God is revealed in it from faith to faith, just as it is written. But the one who is righteous by faith will live. Paul writes, for the Gospel is the power of God other than God himself. There is nothing else said to be the power of God or to have the power of God. But the Gospel is the power of God, only the Gospel.

The good news of Jesus Christ breaks chains of darkness, breaks chains of slavery to sin, breaks chains of addiction, of depression, of tragedy.

And if we have not binded our feet with the Gospel, we're not prepared with it. We stand in our own power, fighting in the flesh and the blood, and we stand to fall, he says, in everything, taking up the shield of faith, his faith, I would say. Well, Utah is the least Christian state in the nation. In fact, even countries like South Korea have more Christians even places like China and North Korea have more Christians than Utah. Percent wise.

And despite how little and few Christians are in Utah, utah is perhaps one of the most faith filled states in the nation. So I pose a question. If Utah as a state has so much more faith, I mean so much more faith than any other state, I would say, why is Utah experiencing what it's experiencing? Well, first, those here in the state of Utah do not wear the full armor of God, for they do not have girded around their waist, the belt of truth. They follow a lie.

They do not have the breastplate of righteousness. For to the Mormon, your righteousness is your righteousness. And this can apply to more the Mormons, it can apply to Jehovah Witness, it can apply to Catholics, it applies even to Muslims.

If you are girding yourself with the lie, right, the Bible says gird your waste with truth, and if you gird it with the lie, you are starting in the wrong place. If you garment yourself in your own righteousness, you have no protection. And it says here to be prepared with the good news, with the Gospel.

I have yet to see good news in any quotas message. There is no good news. There is. If you do this and you do that and you can do all of this, and he can do it well enough, you might possibly have a hope of going to where you want to go. That's not good news.

That's scary news. And so what is their faith in? When we take up the short of faith, we either take it up in ourselves, right? If I have faith in myself, I am set up to fall. If I have faith in my Church, if I have faith in what my Church says or promises or it does, I will fall.

But to take up the short of faith is to put your trust in Jesus Christ, to believe in Him, to trust in His Word, to trust that he will get you through it. He will guide your feet, he will comfort you, he will protect you, he will conform you to his image.

When we take up the short of faith, if our faith is not in Him alone, we have failed to put on the armor of God. And if you notice, as we read through the armor of God today, right, the belt of truth, jesus Christ is truth. The breastplate of righteousness, the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the gospel, right, which is that Jesus died, was buried and rose again, and faith in Jesus, the armor of God is all about casting your eyes upon Jesus. And he says that with that, show to faith. When we have done all of that, you are able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

How many arrows? Some of them? Three quarters of them. 20%? No, all of the flaming arrows.

If we have the armor of God, we can stop all of the enemy's attacks and receive the helmet to salvation. And look at this. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Up till now, everything we read is defensive. The helmet is defensive, the breastplate is defensive.

The belt that we got is defensive. Shoes are defensive. It's armor, it's the shield, it's all defensive. And now we have an offensive weapon. And what is an offensive weapon?

Is it a literal sword? Is it a gun? Is it our political leaders? He says the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Because back in verse twelve, our enemy that we fight is not flesh and blood, but rulers of darkness, spiritual forces, spiritual strongholds.

We must fight spirit with spirit. Our weapon is the word of God. When Jesus Christ was tempted 40 days in the desert, he set the example. Every time the enemy tempts Jesus Christ in the desert, he responds with, it is written. It is written, thou shalt not live off bread alone.

It is written, thou shalt not tempt thy Lord, the Lord thy God. It is written he fought with the word of God.

And prayer, the end, all be all is prayer. No matter what tragedy strikes, no matter what burdens and trials you have, no matter what anxieties tribulations with all prayer and supplication at all times in the Spirit prayer, we pray, we ask for help, we ask for comfort, and then to that end, we be alert. It says, with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. Somebody said I can't remember which speaker said this earlier today in Cedar, but somebody said, when we get to heaven and hear God say, well done, my good and faithful servant, he is not saying well done because I was a great preacher. He's not going to tell Joel, well done because he was a great prayer warrior.

He's not going to tell Shawnee, well done because she was great at community service. He's not going to tell anyone well done because of their works and that they were great at it. He's going to tell them, well done, a good and faithful servant, because with all perseverance you endure to the end. Because we looked to Jesus the whole time, we allowed him to carry us through and him to do it all.

And those are the words I wait to see to anyone in Cedar. Hearing this, your heart, if you've heard the news, if you know the family, your heart's breaking. And if you are so torn inside that you don't know how to deal with this, or if you're anywhere and you're struggling with depression, you're struggling with anxiety, struggling with addiction, struggling even with evil and violent thoughts of doing similar stuff, your fight, it's not in your mind, it's not in your flesh. Your fight is bigger than you. And so I plead with everyone now, if you have not been reconciled to Jesus, do so.

Do so right now. Be reconciled, right the burden I'm here to tell you, you might think you follow Jesus right now. And I'm here to tell you, if you follow a religious system that burdens you with a yoke that is impossible to bear, jesus says, It is my gift to you. There is one way to receive it. Jesus says in Matthew 1033, if you would confess me before your fellow man, I'll confess it before the Father.

So if you are at a point where you can now say, god, I'm a sinner. I can't say myself. I can't fight this fight, I can't carry this burden. But you can also say, I believe, Lord Jesus Christ, that you were God, that you came here. And I confess you, not just as my Lord, as my Savior, but as my Lord, my God and my King.

He will save you and he will take this and you can put on right now, today, and in the morning when you wake up, the full armor of God. And if you're ready to do that, I invite you in our closing prayer here. Follow along with me. Let us know so that we can love you, we can welcome you into God's family and we can rejoice. And to anyone who is dealing with these tragedies and needs help, who needs someone to talk to or someone just to listen, or someone to help understand why things like this are going on, reach out to me.

Do not go through that darkness alone. I love you all. Let's pray. And right after service, anyone listening on the website, the app or Facebook, we will have communion immediately after the close of prayer here in Zoom. I hope to see you.

Hop in. Let's pray. Father, I admit that I am a sinner, that I can't say myself, Lord, and I'm in a broken, broken world. I'm in a world of darkness and chaos and tragedy and sin and all of these things that are wrong, I want out of it, Lord, and I've tried. I've tried religion or I've tried working my way out or drinking my way out.

And Lord, nothing works. But I hear that you provide a way out, a permanent way out of it. And so I believe what I believe. And I trust you. I trust, Lord Jesus, that you are the Godman who came down, who died on that cross, having the perfect lies to take My place.

I believe that you rose again, and I trust you that you promise me this gift if I would accept you as my God and my Savior and just trust in you wholeheartedly. And so I do that. Lord Jesus, I trust you as my God, as my savior, my king. I trust that Your work alone is sufficient for me. And I love you for it.

Father, as we leave here today, as we deal with all these tragedies in Texas, here in Utah, and everywhere in between all these tragedies going on, Lord, I pray that you would not let the tragedy be for nothing. But, Lord, there are family members of this family in Cedar City still alive who need you, who don't know you. And I pray that you would use this tragedy somehow to bring them to you so that they'll know who you are. And I pray that you will use all these tragedies, Lord, to show Your power and Your compassion and Your mercy. And Lord, it's horrible what has happened, but it's happened.

And so I pray that you don't let it go to waste. And I pray, Lord, that you would be glorified and that you would comfort everyone who needs comfort right now. You'll give peace to everyone who needs peace. And, Lord, you will strengthen us. I pray, Lord, that you would help us to put on Your armor tomorrow and the next day and every day, and that as we put on Your armor and look toward You, Lord Jesus Christ, then not only would you be glorified, but we would see just how true your words are.

We love you. We thank you and praise you in Jesus beautiful name. Amen.