God’s Armor for Today’s Battles | Ephesians 6:10-11

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It’s funny, when I think about it, I spent a lot more time studying about the armor of God when I was a child than I have as an adult. It’s a fun analogy and kids love dressing up in God’s armor, but there is so much more to it than meets the eye.

This armor is of Heavenly branding and is so mighty and strong that it can only be worn in Christ’s strength. Girding our loins isn’t something we do much today – we have pants now. But girding one’s loins denotes a sense of readiness. It’s kind of like putting on our combat fatigues. It is fitting ourself with truth. Truth of the word of God, the truth of love, the truth of who God is, the truth of His nature, the truth of the law. We have to fill our minds with His truth so as not to become confused and disoriented in battle.

Breastplates are also out of style these days. But we all know what a bullet proof vest is, so let’s go with that. This piece of armor is a non-negotiable. It protects our vital organs and can be the difference between life and death. Yet I find it interesting that it is the breastplate of righteousness. We are not righteous of ourselves. Rather it is Christ and His righteousness that protects our heart. We must wear his righteousness and trust that He is enough to cover all the most important parts.

Now onto boots. Have you ever thought it interesting that as we go into battle one of the very important pieces of equipment he shares with us is preparation of the Gospel of Peace? Wait a minute, but this is war we are talking about here. Have you ever noticed how Jesus fought His battles while He was here on Earth? He did not use swords or violence, rather He fought His battles through a message of peace. What a great example for us. We can see how great people like Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Mother Theresa, and many others wore these boots and they proved to be priceless in battle.

Now it is our shield. This shield can stop a barrage of even the deadliest flame throwers. It is faith. We must have faith that God is strong enough, that He loves us, that His promises are sure, that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He has promised He will do. That seems like a tall order, but this is where we can see quite clearly our need to depend on God’s strength to wear this armor. Sometimes holding a shield can be hard, our strength plummets and we don’t have the strength to hold it up any more. That’s where Christ comes to our side and holds out our arms for us that we may be strong in faith and protected from the enemy.

The Helmet of Salvation is similar to our bullet proof vest in a couple of ways. First of all, it protects our most vital organ – the one that controls all the rest. This important part of us is protected not by our own might, but by the salvation which comes only from God. All we can do is put it on, and know that we are covered with the best protection possible, that nothing can penetrate its shell, and that we can fight strong in the salvation of the LORD.

All of our armor thus far has been defensive. Yet Christ asks us to boldly attack the schemes of the devil. He has outfitted us not just with a sword, but in this modern era we have the most advanced weaponry available. Should Satan be scared? Why yes, yes he should. We have the Holy Spirit on our side, fighting for us – do you realize how powerful He is? Wow!

God does not want us to be afraid. He does not want us to fight our battles alone. He has already overcome and has won the victory and He wants to extend it to us every day. There is no other army I would rather enlist in. Soldier, what battles are you fighting today? Will you put on His armor this morning?

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Focus and Encouragement | Ephesians 5:18-20

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We live in a culture that thrives on sharing other people’s dirt. We pick everything and everyone apart in our news outlets, we relish in entertainment that spreads people’s dirt. We gossip and spend much time focusing on the negative things around us, tearing one another down.

God does not ask us to turn a blind eye to the things that are displeasing to the Lord, rather He wants us to vigilantly guard against them. But how, in a world that is so overcome with focusing on the struggles, trials, and failure of others?

The answer is consistent throughout scripture. We must keep our focus on Christ and allow His Spirit to dwell in us. His love will well up in us and we will be filled with songs and joy, thanksgiving, and encouragement. These are the things are world needs.

Will you allow Christ in your heart today. Keep your focus on Him and he will shine from you as a bright light in this dark world. People need the warmth of His love. Will you allow Him to shine through you today?

More of Jesus, Less of Me | Ephesians 3:17-19

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Paul was in chains. He was in a position where he could easily play the role of martyr and try to use his situation as a way to gain supporters and earn sympathy, yet he didn’t. Rather than drawing attention to himself, Paul pointed people to what they really needed – the love of Christ. He focused on the only One who had the power to truly save souls – Jesus Christ.

I love the prayer Paul is praying here, and it is one I want to pray for my kids, my friends, my family, everyone really.

That Christ would grant you strength of spirit, that Christ would dwell in your heart and that your faith would be rooted and grounded in love; that you would know how truly, deeply, amazingly and fully Christ loves you. These are my prayers.

I am beginning to see more and more the depth of Christ’s love for me. The more I see, the more I understand how little I really grasp – the awesomeness of His love is far too great!

The Most Precious Gift | Ephesians 2:8-9

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I cannot read a chapter in the Bible that I do not find bursting at the seams with God’s love for us.

Because of the sins of Adam and Eve, we were a race destined to destruction. You see, sin cannot dwell in the presence of God, it will always be consumed. Yet, God made a way, promising to send His Son to be our sin.

Through Abraham, God raised up a nation, a nation that would be called His people. A nation to carry His truth. Through this people, God would bring salvation through Jesus Christ. Yet, when Christ came, He did the unimaginable. Not only did He provide salvation to His chosen people, but He looked at all the peoples of the world and said, “This gift is for everyone. You are all my children. I long for you all to dwell with me forever.” The only condition placed on this amazing gift of love is that we must love Him in return. That is all.

Salvation is the most precious gift, yet the cost to us is so small. It is not a gift for the elite or the “good”. It is not a gift for only one group of people. It is a gift to all, not earned by any. God loves you so much that He wanted YOU, yes that’s right, you reading this thinking I’m talking to someone else, He wants YOU to have it. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, where you come from or the doubts in your mind. Know that He is big enough to love you, save you, and change you from within. How cool is that?!!

Spiritual Blessings | Ephesians 1:3

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How often do I fail to recognize the many amazing gifts God has given me? When I do recognize His gifts, I tend to focus on the physical and material – food, clothing, money. I am often thankful for the people He has placed in my life as well – my kids, my husband, friends, and family.

Yet how often do I fail to recognize, ask for, or even praise God for the spiritual gifts in my life. Things like patience, kindness, gentleness, self control, etc. It seems that I often view these as things that are attained, not gifts freely given. I work hard to develop these spiritual gifts, or the way I think of them, more rightly called disciplines. But these are not badges to be attained. They are gifts freely given. They are evidence that Christ is working in us. They are more precious than rubies, and our Father bestows them on us joyfully and abundantly.

Even more than that are the eternal spiritual blessings that we cannot begin to fathom this side of heaven. We have been blessed to be called sons and daughters of the King of the Universe. I don’t even think I can grasp the magnitude of that statement.

Today I am going to seek, recognize and praise God with a joyful heart for all the spiritual blessing He bestows upon me. Wow! What an incredible thing to think about! What an awesome and loving God we serve. He reaches beyond our physical needs and provides down to the deepest needs of our souls. He must really love us.