Search

Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Category

Encouragement

The Armor of God-Who We are Fighting Against

Originally posted in 2014

armor

Ephesians 6:11,12

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.


 

We are continuing our devotional series on the Armor of God, found in Ephesians Chapter 6.

Who do we struggle against? Well, our text clearly tells us that. It is the Devil of course; it is Satan and his minions of demons under his command.

Why does Satan attack us? Satan hates God, therefore he hates us. Due to his pride and jealousy, Satan was ejected from Heaven and God’s presence at some point in time. Satan hates God and would love to destroy His work. Satan, however, is not powerful enough to assault God directly. We are another story, however; we are far weaker than Satan and his demons. Since he cannot launch a direct attack on God and hope to win, he attacks God’s children instead.

Satan and his demons are real, and they are organized. Verse 12 of our text gives us some idea of the organization of the evil we  struggle against. We aren’t here to do an organizational chart of Satan and his crew, but they have one and it is well organized.

Is is vital for believers to understand that our enemy is real. We often have a tendency to dismiss and minimize the presence of Satan in the world and in our lives. That us just how he would like it. In the world of real warfare, armies tend to only prepare to fight an enemy they know about and believe is a real threat. That is true for us as well. If we don’t recognize we even have an enemy, why would we bother preparing ourselves to fight him?

Yet, God made it clear to us, through the Apostle Paul, that our enemy is real and that we need to be prepared to engage in a struggle with him.

The Armor of God-Girt Your Loins

Series originally published in 2014

armor

Ephesian 6:14

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;


 

If you want to read the full description of the armor of God, read Ephesians 6:10-18.

Soldiers of the time that Paul wrote this epistle dressed in a particular way as they lived and worked in their daily lives. They did not wear pants like we would today, but rather wore something like a long flowing tunic which would cover them from top to bottom. This was an effective way to clothe themselves, but presented problems as a soldier would go into combat. A long flowing covering might have been useful and easy to wear for daily life, but likely would be an extreme hindrance as a soldier would take part in the hand to hand combat of the day. Therefore, prior to combat a soldier would “girt their loins.” This was no more than tucking their flowing garment tightly around their legs and into their belt so that it would not get in the way. The important thing is, this action was performed before the battle began.

This girting about with the truth can be looked at a couple of ways; however one looks at it, one will see that this part of the armor requires action be taken prior to beginning our combat mission. So, what is the belt of truth?

One view is that the truth represented here is the truth of God’s Word. In other words, correct doctrine as the Bible teaches it. Here the belt of truth means we must know Biblical truth in order to stand against the teachings of untruth. If one looks at it this way, obviously the pre-battle preparation needed it time in God’s word reading, studying and meditating on it.

Another view is that the belt of truth here represents and attitude of truthfulness on the part of the believer. One might say and absence of hypocrisy. Like the soldier gathering up his garments to get them out of the way, we too must get rid of the things which would get in our way as we go into battle. Here, truth would mean a truthful life, not going into battle weighed down by our own sins. This view also, means preparation must be made before the battle begins. It too, requires reading, studying and finally prayer to get our lives true.

Are our loins girt with the belt of truth? Do we know what truth is? Do we live a truthful life? If not, we will surely be defeated in our battles with Satan and his soldiers.

The Armor of God-Who We Get It From

This is a series originally published in 2014

armor

Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;


Today we are going to begin a multipart devotional series on the Armor of God; this passage is found in Ephesians Chapter 6. We will look at where we get the armor, why we need it, and the various pieces of it.

Today will just be a brief discussion of the source of the armor. It’s pretty simply, really; we refer to it as the Armor of God. It is not our own personal protective suit, but His.

We are fighting an enemy, Satan, who we will discuss in a later devotional. The Armor of God is an illustration of how we can fight that battle and win. The key issue for today is who’s Armor do we wear?

Verse 10 of our text lays it out quite clearly. We are not told to be tough guys and run out and confront Satan using the strength of our own powers. God does not just save us then throw us on the front line of combat with the enemy. We are to “be strong  In the Lord, and in the power of His might.”

That should provide us great comfort in our daily lives. We can rest knowing that, even though we fight a battle daily against an enemy far stronger than us, we do not have to rely on ourselves. We know that, if we did, we would surely lose; if fact, we lose daily when we try to fight our daily struggle against sin under our own strength.

Turn the battle over to God and use the tools He has given us. Be strong in Him and His power and we can win!

All Of Your Ways

proverbs-3_6

Proberbs 3:5.6

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.


This particular Proverb is often quoted by people as one that provides comfort and illustrates how God oversees and directs our lives; and it should be, as that is exactly what it illustrates to us.

On the other hand, there are large numbers of people who fail to see and feel the guiding hand of God in their lives, and then question God as to why and even hold it against Him.

What we sometimes fail to see is that this Proverb has two parts; it is a conditional statement. If we want to see the realization of one part of God’s Word, we have to meet the requirements of another part; this Proverb is a great example of that.

“If” we acknowledge Him in all of our ways, then He will direct our paths. In other words, as normal, God has to be the focus rather than us. When we expect God’s guidance and hand in our lives, but offer nothing in return, then it only becomes another sad example of our faith being man centered rather than God centered. What, then, does it mean to acknowledge Him in all of your ways?

Its like a sport in some ways; we only have to get back to the basics:

  • Are you saved? If you aren’t, the your sin has you separated from God, both in this life and eternally. Until that gulf is crossed by the restorative work of Jesus Christ, God cannot direct your paths.
  • Do you read and study God’s Word daily? If we aren’t seeking His revealed will from His Word, why would we expect any special guidance and direction?
  • Do we pray, meditate and spend alone time with God daily? Seeking His guidance means seeking His will. We can only know His will if we know Him. Study and prayer are the ways we accomplish that.
  • Are we striving to live like Jesus and for Jesus? It seems that if we are constantly out of line with the life He would have us live, that His efforts will be solely devoted to getting us back in line. Once again, why would He share with us His special guidance if we aren’t even following His specific guidance?

Become saved by the Grace of God through Jesus Christ. Read, study and meditate daily. Spend time in prayer and communion with God daily. Do these things and acknowledge Him in all of your ways, and He will direct your paths.

Christian-Christian Relationships

A great post on encouraging one another by Noah Aadjei

wp-1475488747416.jpg

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 10:23–24.

Introduction:

The religion of Christ superior to all others:

1. It is different and superior primarily in its attitude toward, and treatment of, one another

2. It may be of interest to you in your study to know that “one another” and “each other” are found 213 times in the New Testament.

3. It always considers the other person first. This is a mark of Christian maturity.

a. “That you may grow up in him in all things” (Ephesians 4:15).

b. We do not always exhibit true Christianity in our relationships with one another.

Our relationship to God must be right. So, also, must our relationship with each other. This defines the whole course of the religion of Christ in our lives.

Discussion:

Some things we ought not to do toward one another:

1. We should not wrong or injure one another (Acts 7:26). “Let us not quarrel, for we be brethren.” This can be done by words and deeds. It may even be done by neglect and ignoring our brethren. Someone has said, ”I never knew how cruel just common talk can be. I thought that words were singing things with color like the sea. But since I felt their caustic lash and know how they can sting, I hold my breath when words go by for fear they will not sing.”

2. We must not judge and accuse one another (Romans 2:1, 14; 14:13).

3. Christians ought not to be puffed up and arrogant with one another (I Corinthians 4:6). Please consult several translations for help in the understanding of these words.

4. Christians should not have “matters against one another” (I Corinthians 6:1). This is a dispute. If they do, it should be settled with the help of one another (brethren in the family of God). Otherwise, it is a shame.

5. Brethren must not bite and devour one another (Galatians 5:15). Literally, “eat one another down.”

Read the rest of the post here: Christian-Christian Relationships

Throwback Thursday-Left Behind, Will There Be a Rapture?

Another older one, just for the memories. Blessings and enjoy!

throw back thursday

monkimage

I read the article below earlier and it really started me thinking about some things. I hope readers are not disappointed, as we really are not going to cover any debate on whether there will or will not be a rapture. One might call this a bait and switch article. The article that got me thinking was written by Jim Denison, a columnist for Christianpost.com

The Left Behind series is a publishing phenomenon, with 16 books and $65 million in sales. Three movies have been based on the series; today’s Left Behind makes the fourth. In it, Nicolas Cage plays a pilot who attempts to calm his surviving passengers high above the Atlantic after the believers have been raptured. Other well-known actors include Lea Thompson, Jordin Sparks, and Nicky Whelan.

The movie is based on the doctrine of the “rapture” (from the Latin rapturo, to take out). There are various versions of the rapture, but they have in common the belief that Christians will be removed from the world by God during the “end times

via ‘Left Behind:’ Will There Be a Rapture?.

As I said, reading the above article really made me think. The writer made some great points, and I want to expand on them here. There are many views on the timing and particulars of the return of Jesus Christ. As the writer above pointed out, there are numerous views concerning both the truth and timing of this event.

The truth is, not all believe the same things concerning the Rapture, the Tribulation or the Millenium. There are many compelling arguments to support different viewpoints on the subject. We can believe differently on these issues without anybody being branded as a heretic. The one thing that remains true, and must remain true if we are to be considered correctly believing Christians:

Jesus is coming back!

I need to say up front, there is nothing wrong with scholarly study of the Bible. In fact, Scripture is crystal clear that we are to study and meditate on the inspired writings it contains. The study of Scripture, however, is not the end goal; it is simply a tool we use in order to reach the real objective. If our lives are full of study with no application, then it has been wasted time. Scripture is to change us, not just make us smarter and more knowledgeable about it. James taught us this idea clearly in James 1:23,24. If we look into the mirror of God’s Word and do nothing, it is like a man looking in a mirror and seeing what needs to be fixed but walking away without fixing it.

Jesus took one last opportunity to teach His disciples on the Mount of Olives shortly before His ascension; He was asked by them if The Kingdom would be set up at that time.  His answer? “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons.”

It was shortly thereafter that Jesus ascended into Heaven. Even then, the disciples simply stood there staring until two angels appeared and reminded them that they had work to do, and also that Jesus would return just as He had left.  Read the whole story here.

Now on to the actual point of this article. This quote from the original article I read simply captured me and provided the jump off point for this article.

“Here’s what matters: Jesus is coming back. No one knows when. We have only today to be ready. Whether he raptures the church before (or during, or after) a Great Tribulation, or returns to begin the millennium, or simply returns to end history and begin eternity, is not the practical question. You and I have no say in the matter. We are on the preparation committee, not the planning committee. Our job is to be ready when he comes, however he comes.”

What, then, are we to be preparing for?

  • We have a wedding to prepare for. Revelation 19:7-10 describes John’s vision of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. It is here that The Lamb(Christ) will marry His bride, the Bride of Christ. We aren’t going to discuss here who is and is not the bride, as it’s really not important to this discussion. Verse 7, however does say “His wife hath made herself ready.” How are we to be making ourselves ready? These verses give us some clues.
  • We have a judgment to face. We all know the judgment of God will pass onto all unbelievers for their unbelief. Believers will be judged also. We will not be judged to determine our final destination; that determination is made only while we are still living. We will be judged to give an account of our lives and how we lived them for Jesus.
  • We have a world to evangelize. God has not left us here simply to enjoy ourselves. He wants us restored to him and that is why He patiently waits until His chosen time. See 2 Peter 3:9 for Peter’s teaching on this idea. Back in Acts 1, right after all of the questions on His return, Jesus had told them their mission was to “be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

There is a commonly quoted saying, “Some people are so Heavenly minded that they are no Earthly good.” Is that true for us? Are we so busy debating and considering the times, places and events surrounding the return of Jesus Christ that we have forgotten what the real issue is? He is returning, that is simply not debatable. The question is: Are we ready?

  • Are you lost? If you are not saved, you are not ready. Repent today; turn from your sin. Accept Jesus’ payment for your sin and His role as Savior and Lord of your life.
  • Are you saved? Remember what is coming. Are you preparing to be a good Bride? Will you be told “Well done, good and faithful servant” when you face Jesus? Are you reaching out to a lost and dying world with the Gospel?

 

Elihu’s #Encourage Marathon-Days 6-10

Here are days 6-10 of my friend Elihu’s Encourage Marathon. Blessings and enjoy!

Coming glory (Day 6 of the #encourage marathon)

image

Run with Endurance (day 7 of #encourage marathon)

IMG_1220

Lift those drooping hands! (Day 8 of the #encourage marathon)

IMG_1228

Run with discipline (day 9 of #encourage marathon)

image

Do not grow weary. (Day 10 of the #encourage marathon)

IMG_1244

 

Who Are We Listening To?

psalm 1.jpg

Psalm 1:1-3

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

This Psalm seems well placed in the very beginning of this great book of wisdom.  Here we see a clear description of the blessings to those saved by the grace of God, and the coming judgment of those not saved by the grace of God.

Even though the first part of this passage seems clearly written to those already blessed by the grace of God, it still contains some great lessons for us. It offer some great wisdom on some things we should avoid, what we should be doing instead, and some of the positive results if we follow the writer’s good counsel.

In verse 1 we can almost see a progression. I will tell you readers, I have SEEN this progression. I have watched it happen right here in the blogosphere, and I have seen it occur in real life. What is the progression?

We listen to the wrong people. Where do we get our guidance, wisdom, and counsel? Who do we turn to when we don’t know what to do? Do we turn to God Himself through His Word and prayer? Do we turn to Godly brothers and sisters? If those are our sources, we will be blessed. Our problem begins when we listen too closely to those who do not believe, and cannot understand, the Word of God.

We associate with the wrong people. Standing in the way of sinners here doesn’t refer to standing against them, but rather with them as participants in the things they do. This is also not a warning not to reach out to sinners to share Jesus with them, This is along the lines of being in the world but not of the world. The danger here is that first we associate too closely with the world, begin to excuse what goes on there, then ultimately join right in as eager participants.

Eventually, we sit with the scoffers and may even become scoffers ourselves. Scoffers. Those who don’t just disbelieve, or doubt, but seek ways to mock and ridicule God, the things of God, and the people of God. These are the ones who seek out those to mock, harass, and ridicule.

Is this progression stoppable, or reversible? Certainly it is, and our Psalm tells us how:

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

If we do that, then:

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

So, the slide has begun, and it has progressed to that final point. What now?

Friend, if you were one of His, you still are. No man can judge that, or the state of your heart. None of us know what God knows, so we cannot say. But what can be said is that, like the prodigal son, if you belong to Him He awaits you with open arms to return.

If you weren’t His to begin with, and as I said no other person can know that but you, the same is true. He still awaits with open arms not to welcome you back, but to welcome you IN.

Won’t you come today?

Doubt. Defeat. Despair.

My blogging friend Elihu always posts things which have very real applications to real lives. This one is no exception. Blessings and enjoy!


 

image

“Its only Monday, and already my week is falling apart,” She thought to herself

She raked slender fingers through her long hair, willing the movement to ease her tensed nerves. Her heart seemed to gravitate towards the ground. Why couldn’t something go right for a change?

As the minutes ticked by, the room grew darker until she realized her own hands were barely visible. The encroaching darkness brought relief, but only for a moment. Tomorrow she would have to face the catastrophe reverberating from today’s events.

Seized with sorrow, she sank to her knees and wept.

Plagued with doubt. Overwhelmingly defeated. Dogged by despair.

She lifted her hands to pray, her words only audible to the One who could hear the desperate cry flowing from a burdened heart.

“Why, Lord?” she gasped through tears, “Why?”…..Read the rest of the post here: Doubt. Defeat. Despair.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: