Our third piece of armor in Ephesians 6:15 is the preparation of the gospel or readiness to announce it. The NKJV reads, “…having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” The word “gospel” means good news. Therefore, the Good News Translation states, “and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace.” To me, there is no better news than Jesus died for our sins, was buried and resurrected the third day to give us the gift of eternal life. This is the gospel. When we finally understand we are sinners and accept His priceless gift, the peace of God floods our heart. How does this happen? I can’t explain it, because it’s a miracle of God. He does the work and then gives us the task of spreading His good news to a dying world.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
In early summer, it’s pleasant to walk through our yard in bare feet. We feel cool soft earth and blades of grass slide between our toes. But oh the pain of encountering a thistle or stone and even thinking of stepping on a piece of glass or a nail makes us cringe. Damage to our feet is disabling until they heal. Therefore, we wear shoes.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
“These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,” (Proverbs 6:16-17)
Yes, God hates the seven things listed in Proverbs 6:16-19. However, considering it’s the 40th Anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision on Jan. 22, 1973, let’s concentrate on number three: “Hands that shed innocent blood.” There are many ways to shed innocent blood, but all seem to involve death. Recently, it was a shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary. Some look at this horrific tragedy and ask, “Where is God? Why didn’t He stop it?” Sadly, it all points back to the Garden of Eden. In order for God to have a love relationship with His creation, man needed a free will. He had to be free to choose to love God or hate Him, to obey or disobey. When Adam chose to disobey God’s one command, he was in essence saying, “I love me more than You.” By this action, sin entered the human race.
Because of sin, Adam Lanza shed innocent blood. Nevertheless, there is another type of shedding innocent blood happening every day in our country: Abortion.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
January 2013 – are you ready for clichés? It’s a new year, a new beginning, a fresh start, a second or maybe third chance at whatever. Here we are only 20 days into this New Year and some incredibly self-disciplined folks have it all together already. But for the rest of us, life is somewhat untidy and complicated, engulfed in difficulties. Nevertheless, in January we feel we can start over. This time, we say, I’ll do it right, I’ll eat healthier, reduce my stress, read my bible more, accomplish that goal I set last year, and on and on we go. That’s what resolutions are all about – vowing to do better.
I guess my question is why do I so quickly fail? Why do I fall back into my old ways and routines? I often wonder if it has anything to do with my foundation or only how I built upon it. Past hurts have a way of molding us, forcing us to cover pain sometimes with unhealthy things. By this time in our lives, we may have laid brick upon brick, layer upon layer and now we’re trying to remodel something that in reality should be bulldozed.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,” (Ephesians 6:14)
After truth, righteousness is the next piece of protection in God’s armor and it safeguards the vital organs of our chest region. But let me ask, “Can you explain righteousness? Is it our righteousness?” Revelation 19:7-8 says we, the Bride of Christ, have made ourselves ready, clothed in fine linen, clean and bright, representing our righteous acts. Truly, once we have come to know Jesus Christ personally, God changes us. Our actions become righteous. However, are we righteous of our own accord? If you believe we are, help me comprehend why Isaiah 64:6 says, “…all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…”
In my opinion, God through Isaiah is saying, as sin-cursed creatures even our good deeds or righteousnesses, are soiled in comparison to this Holy God. Therefore, as a child of God I have come to understand, my righteousness is contingent upon Jesus, for He is “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah. 23:5-6)
Sunday, January 6, 2013
In the beginning, God created mankind and initiated communication with him. However, this communication isn’t just dialog or an exchange of information, it is also a connection, an understanding and a meaningful relationship. Therefore, this Almighty, Omnipotent, Transcendent God created us with the ability to have a meaningful relationship with Himself, by breathing into man the “breath of life” and giving us a spirit. Our spirit causes a desire for fellowship with God and we strive to make that connection. But since Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, we have the problem of sin. Sin corrupts everything, especially our communication with God. Consequently, the unseen spiritual realm is occupied not only by angels, who are God’s ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation (Heb. 1:14), but also fallen angels or demons with Satan, their leader. Nevertheless, above all stands the Creator, our Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Since our spirit makes communication with God and the spiritual realm possible, how can we be sure we are communicating with Almighty God and not demons impersonating Him? The answer is found in John 4:24 which says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth”. The limitation for communication in the spirit is truth.
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