United Church of God

Home Office Weekly Update: February 1, 2024

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Home Office Weekly Update

February 1, 2024

From Ministerial and Member Services . . .

The Spiritual Wall Around Us

The challenging times in which we live require us, now more than ever, to fend off worldly influences and trust in God—as He is our refuge and fortress (Psalm 91:2).

This passage brought to mind a documentary I recently watched about China.

The Chinese people wanted security from invading barbarians. Their solution was to build a wall of protection. It eventually became the Great Wall of China. It averages 30 feet high, 18 feet thick, stretches more than 3,900 miles long and took many dynasties to complete. The goal was to build a completely impenetrable defense. Too high to climb over, too thick to break down, and too long to go around.

What was the result? During the first hundred years of the wall’s existence, China was successfully invaded three times. Imagine that! But it wasn’t the wall’s fault. During all these attacks the hostile hordes didn’t climb over the wall, break down the wall or even go around the wall. How did their assault succeed? They bribed a gatekeeper and simply marched right in through an open door!

The Great Wall had held, human character didn’t.

There is a spiritual connection in this. As the people of God, first, we should recognize we have a wall around us! We’re, in a sense, like the ancient Israelites. God sent a message to them through the prophet Zechariah, saying, “I will be a wall of fire around [you]” (Zechariah 2:5).

That “wall of fire” symbolically refers to God’s protection and presence. When we remember God promised to be a wall of fire around Jerusalem, we can be assured that He takes care of us as well. But we must maintain that barrier through a spiritual mindset, godly character and a close relationship with Him.

God reminds us: “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls” (Proverbs 25:28). We can never allow our spiritual defense to break down. That will happen if we permit our actions to be different than right behavior that stems from godly values.

Let’s be determined to actively guard that spiritual wall and never allow the enemy easy access or even a foot in the door! “Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths” (Psalm 119:1-3, New Living Translation).

God promises to be there like a great wall to help you overcome. So, take courage.

By fully trusting Him, the ways of this world and even our own problems can’t overcome us.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).

Upcoming Conference

On Sunday through Tuesday of next week, Darris McNeely, Rick Shabi and I will be in the East Texas area for a conference with all of the pastors of the South Central region, along with regional pastor Gary Smith. Thank you for your prayers for a successful conference.

Have a wonderful Sabbath,
Steve Myers, Operation Manager, Ministerial and Member Services

Agape Love Series Part 9—“Love Thinks No Evil”

This week’s study is titled: “Love Thinks No Evil.” Our minds are designed to focus and recall the things we spend the most time thinking about. God’s character of agape love does not keep a record of wrongs and meditates on what is good, transforming our life.

You can listen to it online at ucg.org/sermons/love-thinks-no-evil-agape-love-series-part-9 or download it to your favorite mobile device. All 11 parts are available as a sermon series at ucg.org/sermons/sermon-series/agape-love.

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Lifeguard Certification

Have you desired to become a Red Cross Certified Lifeguard, but had problems finding a place to get certified that was not on the Sabbath? Most of our United Youth Camps need certified lifeguards, so this year we have an opportunity to provide Red Cross lifeguard certification during the Pre-teen Camp Buckeye session in Ohio, July 28–31, 2024. If you are interested in this opportunity and would like more details, please contact Kira Barr (barrkira7@gmail.com, 515-776-8445).

Virtual Pinewood Derby—March 10

Are you looking to add some fun and excitement to those short winter days? The UCG New England Pinewood Derby is back. Get in on the action! Sunday, March 10, will be another race to remember. This family-oriented frenzy will be jam-packed with dazzling colors, mind-blowing creativity and blinding speed. Whether you are an experienced pro or a first-time racer, you are going to love the thrills and spills on the track. Dance to the music, be entertained by expert commentary and see who will go home with a trophy. You’ll get to vote for your favorite car and witness first hand who has the fastest derby car. Join us in person or enjoy the festivities live on the webcast. See registration details here. Registration ends Feb. 26. We’ll see you on the track.