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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

April 19, 2010 - Call to Arms

By Jesse Arnold

Did you know that as followers of Jesus we are called to war? But we are not called to fight with guns and bombs. We do not fight against other people, or religions, or nations.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12, NIV).

But we do have an enemy. He’s been our enemy since the beginning in Eden. He’s been working against God ever since. Jesus had this to say about him:

“He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

There are many other places in the Word that give other descriptions of our enemy and his character, including Jesus’ statement in John 10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (v10).

So we know we are in a battle. We know who our enemy is. What now?

We take up arms.

Paul lines out in Ephesians 6:10-18 what these arms are.

* The Belt of Truth (6:14) — A belt holds everything together. And Paul Paul calls it Truth. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). So for us, Jesus is what holds everything together. He holds us together. So if we are buckled with truth, we must live in truth. We must live out what we claim to be.

* The Breastplate of Righteousness (6:14) — The breastplate covers and protects our vital organs, not least of which is our heart. Paul is telling us that we cover and protect our heart with righteousness. How do we get this righteousness? Through faith in Jesus — in what He taught, lived, died and resurrected for — we can be covered with righteousness.

* Readiness From the Gospel of Peace (6:14,15) —The gospel or good news of peace, the story of Jesus, is what He accomplished through the cross and His resurrection. (See Ephesians 2:14-18.) The readiness comes from knowing the whole story of Jesus. By knowing that story we should be eager to share it. We shouldn’t be content sitting still in our office chairs and recliners. We should be ready to go when the opportunity comes to share Jesus.

* The Shield of Faith (6:16) — The shield’s purpose: To prevent weapons of the enemy from getting to you. The ancient weapon throughout history would take the brunt of the initial attacks, be it stones, arrows, swords or spears. If made well, it would deflect these things. But the shield of faith not only stops the evil one’s flaming arrows, Epheisans 6 says it puts out the fire! Our faith in Christ then creates this shield, this barrier protection. Like a shield, keep Christ always before you as you move through life.

* Helmet of Salvation (6:17) — A helmet protects our head. And what is inside our head? Our mind. When our minds start to wander or dwell on temptations, when we think of the nasty response, we must remember our salvation. Remember Jesus. Even while dying on the cross for us, bearing all our sin, He forgave His persecutors and us. All wrongs have been righted in His death.

* The Sword of the Spirit (6:17) —The sword is the Word of God; John 1:1-5 tells us Jesus is also the Word. By knowing the Word, we know Jesus. The Bible is all about God, His love for us, and the plan of redemption that was laid out for Jesus. The Word is full of instruction, hope, song, life-changing stories and God’s love. And there is only one way to know it — by digging into it. Read it. Let Scripture fill your heart.

* Prayer (6:18) — Prayer. It’s how we communicate with God. And communication in a battle is vital. Prayer doesn’t have to be full of the right words or said in just the right way. It should come from your heart. Jesus tells us how to pray in Matthew 6:5-14. You can also look at the Jesus’ other prayers throughout the Gospels. But remember, God knows what you need before ever you go to Him.

We have a clear and present enemy. But we have been armed and are equipped. We do not fight to kill. We fight on our knees in prayer. We fight in song with worship. We fight in actions by serving others. We fight by laying down our lives for Jesus.

— Jesse Arnold lives in Joliet, Ill., and serves on “the Bin” (youth) Leadership Team at Southwest Community Church.



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