“Every Piece of God’s Armor”

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.— Ephesians 6:13 NLT

Eph. 6:10-18 NLT
God’s purpose for us is to advance His Kingdom here on earth. How can we do that?  By waging a spiritual battle for the minds of people, so that they will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  We certainly are not strong enough to defeat satan alone, but God has made a way for us to do just that. God’s way requires a lot of preparation and He tells us how to prepare in Ephesians 6.  We are to “put on the whole armor of God” and stand against the wiles of the devil. We may never have to physically fight for our Lord and Savior, but we are in a mental battle every second of every day. Are we winning or losing the battle of the mind? The “wiles” of the devil lets us know that satan is very cunning and devious in his plan to defeat God by defeating God’s children. As we are told in 2 Corinthians, we must pull down strongholds and bring our thoughts and imaginations into captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ. And, again, in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-23-2019

Listen! Wisdom Call!

6  Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live;  learn to use good judgment.” — Proverbs 9:6 NLT
Proverbs 9:1-6 NLT

The word proverb means “to be like” .  The book of Proverbs is a collection of thoughts or sayings teaching us what we should be like.  The Proverbs and there are many proverbs in the Bible that are outside of the Book of Proverbs show us aspects of our lives and how we should look at them and how we should respond to them.  In other words, Proverbs gives us a picture of the lifestyle of a Christian versus a non-Christian by contrasting how we respond to situations.  Proverbs teaches us to respect wisdom and to seek wisdom for every decision we make.  As in the passage we are looking at today, we are invited to partake of God’s wisdom as we would of food and drink.  We need to sit with Jesus and ask Him for Godly wisdom before we make our decisions.  Not just the decisions that we would consider as major, life-changing decisions but all of our decisions because God is concerned with the smallest things in our lives.  Whether we turn left or right at the next intersection (be it on the physical highway or the Spiritual highway) could be the difference in whether we make it home safely or not.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-01-2019

“Your Right Hand and Strong Arm”

3 They did not conquer the land with their swords;  it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory. It was your right hand and strong arm and the blinding light from your face that helped them, for you loved them. — Psalm 44:3 NLT

Psalm 44:1-8 NLT

Israel was the smallest of all nations (Deut. 7:7).  Had they been left to themselves, they would not have been able to leave Egypt and safely cross the desert to get to the Promised Land.  But God chose them and fought their battles for them.  He gave them manna from heaven and water from rocks to sustain them in their journey.  When they complained about the food, God gave them manna and quail to eat.  God gave them victories over every enemy that attacked them on their journey using miracle after miracle to defeat the attackers.  He parted the Red Sea and the Jordan River bringing them into the Promised Land at harvest time.  God gave them a great victory over the ancient, walled city of Jericho and they ate crops that they had not planted and drank from wells that they had not dug. Why? Because He chose them and loved them.  Why does He give us spiritual food and water in a spiritually dry and barren land?  For the same reason.  He has chosen us and He loves us. They were to bear His standard and carry His name throughout the known world.  Just as God called them out of Egypt, He has called us to come out and be a special people and a royal priesthood. Just as He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land, so He will bring us safely out of this world and to the new heaven and new earth.  Not because of who we are but because of who He is and His promises to do so.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-22-2019

Eat and Drink the Word

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Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. – Hebrews 5:14 NLT
 
Jesus is the bread of life and the Scriptures are food for the redeemed of God. As babes in Christ, we need the milk of the Word, the verses that explain to us about our salvation. As we grow and mature (hopefully) , we need to dig deeper and learn about our responsibilities as followers of Christ.  Just as there are natural foods that we don’t care to eat, there are Scripture passages we don’t want to learn and adhere to.  Just as the natural man suffers without the proper nutrients, the Spiritual man suffers without a daily serving of different kinds of Scriptures.  We need scriptures that encourage us to study, meditate, pray, praise and teach us to be thankful for every second of our lives. Yes, it is hard to praise in distressful times, but it is necessary if the Spirit man inside us is going to grow. Just as we keep milk in our natural diet as we grow, we need to keep the “milk of the Word”, which is salvation, in our spiritual diets.  But the natural body needs more than milk and the Spiritual body needs to know that Jesus is more than just our Redeemer. He is our example, our righteousness, our shield, our rock, our strength, our healing, our Savior and He wants to be our Lord. To paraphrase Hebrews 5:14: “But solid food is for the mature, who by constantly eating the Word have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

6  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. – Matt. 5:6 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post -05-09-2018

We Will Receive What He Has Promised

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14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. – Hebrews 3:14 NLT
When Jesus was still here on earth, He warned His disciples about being fooled by false prophets that would arise. These false prophets would claim that Jesus is coming this year or they may even claim to have seen Jesus.

 23 At that time, someone might say to you, ‘Look, there is the Christ!’ Or another person might say, ‘There he is!’ But don’t believe them. 24 False Christs and false prophets will come and perform great wonders and miracles. They will try to fool even the people God has chosen, if that is possible. 25 Now I have warned you about this before it happens. — Matthew 24:23-25 NIV
 

We have been forewarned of the danger of taking our salvation lightly.  We need to study the Word, pray and meditate on it daily.  Our flesh is weak and can be easily tempted to return to its old sinful ways.  It is up to us to “put on the full armor of God” every day.  The armor of God is designed to fight the spiritual battle that goes on in our minds all day long, every day.  

 

3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  — 2 Cor. 10:3-5 NIV

Each day, we need to encourage each other and support each other with our prayers, so that we can persevere.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised— Hebrews 10:35 NIV

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-04-2018

“Love Hurts!”

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But he was pierced for our rebellion,
    crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
    He was whipped so we could be healed. – Isaiah 53:5 NLT
Because   He loved us, God gave us His Son who loved us so much He gave His life for us.  He suffered the most painful, undignified death that one could suffer. Love hurts.  Despised, rejected, acquainted with deepest grief. Love hurts.  “Pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins, beaten so we could be made whole, ​and whipped so we could be healed.”  No one took His life from Him, He gave it freely. And still, He is rejected. Love hurts.  Redemption requires blood, blood requires wounds. Love hurts.  
​Our love for Him will cost us our lives which we freely lay down to gain eternal life with Him. But instead of wounds, we receive healing spiritually and physically. On a lesser scale, showing His love to others can cause us to be rejected and yes, even beaten and persecuted. Love hurts.  The difference?  He suffered alone but we are partners with Him when we suffer.
 
Partners

 
 Love Hurts​ but in the end, it brings glorious joy!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-22-2018

Healthy Food to Help the Spirit Grow

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5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.— 2 Peter 1:5-​7 NIV

We have accepted Christ as our Savior, what now? We are now new creatures in Christ Jesus and the new creature needs different food.  Our fleshly desires will want us to continue in the old ways consuming the same old garbage, but these ways will not satisfy the new spiritual man. There will be a hunger and a thirst that we have not known before and that hunger and thirst can only be satisfied by the goodness of the Word of God. We need to add some spiritual food to our daily diet. Here in these verses, Peter has made us a short list of what is to be included. The list ends with love, which holds all the others together and without love, the diet would be incomplete and ineffective. We have been saved by grace through faith, now we need to add goodness and the knowledge of God. This is done by studying and meditating on the Word of God. It also includes prayer and conversations with other Christians. God has called each of us to a work that He planned for us long ago. But, first we need some training because God will never send us where He has not prepared us to go. We are sent to make disciples, but first, we must become disciples.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. — Romans 1:16 NIV
This verse must become alive in us and be the force that drives us to be a disciple. It can only be accomplished through “the power of God”.
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 04–09-2018