Dear First Pres,
We live in a fallen world. I know you are aware of this, but I had another personal reminder this week. On Monday I went to pick up my computer from a local store after a much-needed repair. Unfortunately, about an hour before I arrived, someone else with an ID stating he was Jeremy Vaccaro beat me to the punch. When I showed up, the clerks were quite confused. "We just sent that computer out with someone else. His ID said that he was Jeremy Vaccaro." "Well," I said, "he wasn't." Since then, most of my spare moments have been spent changing passwords, filing reports, canceling services, and praying that God would deliver us from the evil one.
I share this with you for two reasons ... one for your protection and the other for your growth in Christ.
First, it seems that the person was able to pull this off by hacking my personal email account. So, I just want you to be aware of this and suspicious of any messages you might get from "me." There have been a handful of emails lately sent under my name to folks in the congregation. But they've never been from my email address. Before you respond to any messages from me, please double-check the sender's email address. If I send you something, it will always be from my work email which ends with "@fpcfresno.org." If there's ever any question, please call me or the church office.
Second, I'm reminded this week afresh that we do have an enemy who desires to steal, kill, and destroy. Certainly, Jesus has won the ultimate victory over him in Christ's resurrection power. But, Jesus still calls to pray according to this prayer: "deliver us from evil." If you remember from our series on the Lord's prayer, it can also be translated more personally: "deliver us from the evil one." A few weeks ago I talked about fighting for faith; this evil one wants to kill our faith. No, he isn't behind every mistake or stone in our path, but he is actively trying to defeat the redeeming work of Jesus in the world. And he is actively trying to destroy the work of God in and through FPC. Jesus taught the disciples to pray against his efforts. So, would you join me this week in praying according to the prayer Jesus taught?
Our Father in heaven, forgive us our sins, as we forgive others who have sinned against us. Lead us away from temptation, and deliver us from the evil one. So that your name is glorified, so that your kingdom comes, and so that your will is done in our lives and in our city, as it is in heaven.