Ray Loo Teaches / LA Conference

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The Powerful Impact of Living by Courage & Faith

Story by Jim Culhane
Photos by Keith Durflinger

Earlier this year, many gathered at the Calvary Chapel Association's Los Angeles Pastors + Leaders Regional Conference at Calvary Chapel Downey, CA. The theme of the two-day event was “Strong & Courageous”, based on Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

                  

Here we present a summation of Ray Loo's teaching on Joshua 2, in which he uses the story of Rahab the prostitute, an “unlikely hero”, to demonstrate the power of a life led by faith in God even in difficult times. Ray is senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Santa Fe Springs, CA.

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California pastors Ray Loo (left) of Calvary Chapel Santa Fe Springs; David Trujillo (center) of CC South L.A.; and Art Reyes (standing) of CC Downey share a fun and relaxing moment at Calvary Chapel Association's Los Angeles Pastors + Leaders Regional Conference. The theme of the two-day event, held at CC Downey earlier this year, was “Strong and Courageous”.

Ray Loo Teaches: Joshua 2
Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Santa Fe Springs

“These are exciting times to do ministry, but they’re not easy times,” stated Pastor Ray. “I titled this message, ‘Unlikely Heroes.’” We’re talking about an unlikely hero. She’s a female, a Gentile, and a prostitute. A hero is someone who will make decisions based on what is right over what is convenient.

Our society has been gripped by fears and paranoia for over two years now, and Ray believes that people are waiting to see someone stand up in faith and truth and make decisions based on what is wise and right—to be a blessing to other people and set them on fire.

Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. Joshua 2:1

In the Book of Joshua, Chapter 2, Joshua was starting to make some tactical decisions. The first military objective was the city of Jericho, which was in a very strategic place geographically. A small city, but impregnable with its walls, it was considered one of the strongest cities in Canaan.

Inside Jericho, we have what Ray called “our unlikely hero.” Her neighbors were probably used to seeing strange men coming in and out of Rahab’s house, perhaps daily. But God really did have a greater plan for her. The crisis occurs in verse 3, where the king of Jericho finds out about the Israeli spies and tells Rahab to turn them over to him.

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Worship leader Steven Loo from CC Santa Fe Springs leads conference attendees in honoring the Lord during the conference.

Two years ago, March 2020, we had a crisis—a new disease that nobody understood: Two million people are going to die. Don’t go to work, close the doors of your church, take your kids out of school, run, hide, don’t do anything. A few months later, our president at the time said that you can’t close churches down. You could now open your doors. That created a crisis. “Frankly, I think some churches like to be closed. … Man, we couldn’t open our doors fast enough like so many Calvary Chapels did. We will never close our doors again,” stated Pastor Ray.

Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from.” Joshua 2:4

“The word for verses 4 through 11 is courage,” determined Ray. Rahab didn’t do the easy thing. “The easy thing isn’t always the right thing,” he advised. “She risked her own life for these two men: her own home, family, well-being. Yes, she lied. The Bible doesn’t condone what she did, it just records it.“

Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men: “I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.” Joshua 2:8-9

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Pastor Ray Loo gives his message, “Unlikely Heroes”, exhorting the audience to be courageous even in times of crisis. “We are designed by God to live by faith in Him, and we don’t do well any other way,” he admitted.

Verses 8-11 give us an insight into how courage, faith, and fear can be mixed. Rahab acknowledged that Israel’s God was the real God of heaven and earth. She knew of some of God’s miracles on behalf of His people. Her faith was built upon God’s faithfulness to others. “When the world sees God’s people trusting Him, it inspires them. The reason why? They don’t have it,” revealed Ray. Who were the people who were really in fear? The people inside the walls of Jericho. “We are designed by God to live by faith in Him, and we don’t do well any other way,” he admitted.

                  

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In verses 12-21, Rahab had compassion and asked the spies to show kindness to her family. “Courage is not a selfish thing,” stressed Pastor Ray. “It’s an other-centered thing, and that’s what our ministries have to be.”

The spies declared they would be blameless of this agreement unless Rahab would hang a scarlet cord from her window, and all her family must be in her house. Ray believes that the church has become a place of safety, a place safe from the coming destruction: “The world around us is falling apart, and the church has been placed very strategically by the Lord, especially in California.”

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Attendees rejoice in spirit-filled worship. “Do the things that build you up,” shared Ray. “Pray, cry out to God, be in the Word, and watch what God does.”

Ray plans to stay on the “burning ship” that is California. He says that it is tempting to move to Florida or Texas or Tennessee, but unless God’s called you there, remember there are people going down with the burning ship. The church is a refuge in the midst of the stupidity, the fear, and the madness going on all around us.

Rahab would remain faithful to Israel and God. Ultimately, she was making a commitment to God. Faith is to be consistent, growing. “We as a church, the body of Christ, need to decide to be faithful to God, to grow our faith to be stronger in our relationship with the Lord,” reminded Ray.

He has a principle he shares with his church: The Word I read is the Word I need. Ray reads through the Bible on his own, aside from any Bible study or teaching, because he likes reading the Bible. “Do the things that build you up,” shared Ray. “Pray, cry out to God, be in the Word, and watch what God does.”

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Ray Loo responds to Pastor Chad Naaktgeboren (right) of CC Downey during a live stream interview. Ray ended the conference with the encouragement, “You and I were unlikely heroes brought into a place we thought we would never be, by faith resulting in courage.”

When Jericho’s wall fell, it all fell except for in one place! The only safe place in Jericho was Rahab’s house. The only safe place for you and I is in the will of God. Rahab’s legacy was secure as one of two women of faith listed in Hebrews Chapter 11. And Rahab became part of the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Ray ended by encouraging, “You and I were unlikely heroes brought into a place we thought we would never be, by faith resulting in courage.”

                  

Visit the website of Pastor Ray Loo's church: Calvary Chapel Santa Fe Springs
Watch Ray Loo's teaching on Joshua Chapter 2 in its entirety at: Ray Loo / CCA LA Conference 2022
                  

Follow summaries of pastors' teachings at the 2022 LA Pastors + Leaders Conference:
Jeff Johnson, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Downey, CA
Art Reyes, teaching pastor at Calvary Chapel Downey, CA
Jerel Hagerman, senior pastor at Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel in Yucca Valley, CA

                  

 

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All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2022 Calvary Chapel Magazine (CCM). All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.