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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Cards and righteousness

 



  A short incident about integrity.  My wife and I like to play games.  As with all games my wife has great joy in my defeat; also it seems my children do too!   We were playing the game of rummy; oh my a card game.  If you are familiar with rummy you play to a score of 500. We were neck and neck; both are scores in the 400's with me trailing about 75 points.       Well this last hand was exciting points being made by both of us... but no one 'going out to end the hand'.  All the way to the last draw card.  Doesn't happen often for us. Well I picked up the last card... discarded a card she couldn't use; because I was 'holding'  (I still had a lot of cards).  She couldn't play, the hand is over right.  But no I took another turn picking up cards to get points and putting the cards I was 'holding' down as well. Sneaky... wrong... cheating... not good...

  So what next?  What's next?  Well first of all that night; let's just say God decides to visit around 2am.  No we were not having coffee and donuts... He was here to remind me of what I did; cheated.  So here I am at 3:30am writing about it.   Why because it fits with the armor of breast plate.

  Righteousness involves a vast area of our lives.  From moral issues, business,  demeanor, behavior... it's a long list; even to the way we play a simple game.  I blew it, I sinned, against my wife; that's pretty bad;  but more important is that I also sinned against God. 

  So what do I do?  Easy!  Yes, but oh it's hard, we make it hard.  1John1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."   So I confessed to God the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ.

  Oh there's more, now I need to go to my wife and confess to her... ask her to forgive me.  Well the game;  you see I cheated, I forfeit the game.  It's part of the cleansing.

  One last thing.  When some one is being honest, truthful... especially when doing something wrong;  that should be taken into account.  I say this so that this trait of honesty and truthfulness has a positive result... That it is well known that telling the truth is of great worth.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Breast plate of righteousness

          

  The breast plate of righteousness.  So the breast plate is the armor that covers your chest and upper back.  In modern terms, your armored vest.  A important piece of equipment; protecting our organs... from a deadly/fatal strike.

  What is righteousness?  The quality of being morally right or justifiable; virtuous. very good and excellent.

  As we look at righteousness it needs to be filtered through the truth of God's word.  When we start using the filters of the world, others or even our self; that is when the attack is at hand.

  Righteousness has to do with conduct; how we act and think. A lot of us would think about morals; thus sexual thinking... but it is much more than that.  It involves our thinking on issues of life...  From murder, stealing, lying and coveting(2 types goods and people) But more important it involves our relationship with God and Christ Jesus. The faith in Christ Jesus is what gives us the position of righteousness before God. Faith in Christ Jesus is what draws us to live a righteous life. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Truth

 


Last time we looked at truth with the Christian perspective;  that is the Bible as the 'truth' and foundation of truth.  The attack of the truth of the bible...

  Now we will look at truth in our everyday life.  As mentioned last week truth is being attacked and it is also being attacked in the ways of daily life.  With truth being relevant, with truth being of little value in ones character, with truth being redefined... 

  With truth is linked the word honesty.  Honesty or truthfulness is a character trait of great worth.  Integrity is also linked to truth.  What does that involve?  Telling the truth, no lies, no half truths, no hiding the truth...  It also involves being 'upset' with untruth; that is lies.. half truth or suppressing the truth, covering up the truth.. Let's also include falsehood. 

  Men and women of truth is needed!  When one find them self compromising... the battle is upon you.  Stop and stand for truth.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Battle for truth

   The battle of truth is real; and it seems that this battle is intense.  As we look at this battle we need to put some things into perspective.  The first is that we are Christians.  Followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.  To keep it simple, God(The father, The one true God...)  revealed to you/me His Son Jesus, the Gospel message, and we 'believed'.  'By faith..."  As a result of this faith/belief/trust in Jesus Christ our ways of life, ways of thinking... changed;  from worldly to heavenly.

  Some of these changes come without effort(foul language stops...)  but some comes slowly with learning and revelation.  Now that learning and revelation comes through reading God's word, the Bible. This learning and revelation is to bring us to 'Heavenly Thinking and actions'  or Godly thinking...  

  The attack of truth for the Christian usually is the attack on the Word of God. Be it not relevant, be it not for our time, be it not real, be it not really meant that way, be it out dated, be it that it does not matter, be it that's the old testament, or God did not mean it, and the list goes on and on.  

  This attack is so prevalent that it starts right at the beginning of the Word of God.  Creation. Even now in our modern era, 'scholars' are trying to explain miracles of God; using science and human understanding... "Here's how God did it" As a result 'whittling away' the believer's faith.  This is how the attack works, a little unbelief of a small thing, a little lack of trust in God...  Oh a little of the world mixed with the truth of God. Then the things of God are no longer really important and next thing God is not important; even though we are going through the motions... We are going to church... doing christian works... (notice the small c) we are self fulfilled but something is missing.  We are doing the motions... but not stopping to be with our God and Lord Jesus Christ.  Not taking the time for God to refresh us... Not taking the time for God to chastise us...  Not taking the time for God to teach us...  

One must never forget,  2Tim.3:16a  "All scripture is inspired by God,"  

Monday, October 4, 2021

Belt of truth

                    

  "Stand therefore with truth, like a belt around your waist."  Eph.6:14a   To make sure we understand the importance of our position in this battle; it once again begins with 'stand'.

  The first piece of equipment is the belt;  The belt of truth.  Let's talk about the belt; one might not think or it as important... but it is very important. It holds things together.

  Most are probably like me;  you know around the weapons table (movie scenes) looking at the guns...  One must notice that before those soilders got there the belt... was already on.  They are not skipping steps of preparation...

  "Truth"   In our modern era, it seems that 'truth' is becoming a relavent term.  Being redefined to fit peoples 'wims'...  Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.  Fact a good example would be numbers 1 plus 1 equals 2 ...  Another would be he has 100 dollars.  Jim was born in 1950.  Then we have things like the circle is round; it is ascribed that.  A square is square.  Truth is truth it is factual and also has reality.  When we start to alter the reality part... then it is not truth.  The same with altering the factual.

  Back to the belt of truth.  As believer's in Jesus Christ.  We believe certain truths about God, about His son Jesus Christ and about the Holy Spirit.  Even though we live in world that does not.  As a result of our belief in God, we also believe that the word of God, the bible, is the 'truth'.  Hence is the basis of truth.  We need to remember that all Scripture is inspired by God. 2Tim.3:16  The word of God our first Part of our Armor.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Prepared

 


  "so that you may be able you resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything to take your stand." Eph.6:14b  

  A little redundancy, stand and resist. How important it is that we have the armor on.  Without it are we really resisting?  We need it to resist!  We need it to stand, to stand firm!  The evil day.  Let's not debate 'evil day'.  Let us recognize that even 'good' days can quickly turn in to 'bad' days and vice versa.  Good or bad we need to be prepared.

  'having prepared everthing.'  Have you ever just 'winged' it...  Doing something unprepared?  Sometimes it works... on certain situations.  Not so much when taking examines or fighting an expert...or other things that take practice, study...  Being prepared is very important.  It takes time, commitment, work, teaching, coaching, studying, training... It is directed; using the best source.  It just does not happen.  Would you go fight a professional warrior to the death; right now?(not talking to the trained)   Would you risk your life on answering a math problem?  Oh one of those that take pages to answer. But here is the deal our enemy is not attacking our strengths; he attacking our weaknesses. "having prepared everything"  It takes a life time, one needs to start now!

Monday, September 20, 2021

         

  "Therefore, put on the complete armor of God"  Eph.6:13a  'Therefore' ok that means take a look back at what was just said...  So we have an adversary, who is scheming. We have struggles with rules(who are not following Jesus Christ and God's laws, principles and ways), we have powers( let's call them entities, who are not following- same as above), we have world forces of darkness and spiritual forces in the heavenly, wickedness.  A lot of reasons that we need the armor.  We need the complete armor!  All pieces are important, all pieces have a role.  One piece not in place will affect the others, and give the enemy an advantage... resulting in a battle being lost...  How about retreating(giving up ground) or even worst surrendering.

  With the armor we can resist and stand our ground.  Standing our ground firmly, "fully prepared, immovable, victorious."  Without the armor not good; many of us think we are doing 'good', 'fine' in our Christian walk without the armor.  Really think about it, have you really fought the battle?  Or just kind of made concessions... for peace... or just ran away... gave in...  

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Struggle rulers powers forces

       

  Last time we talked about our adversary, the devil.  It is easy to forget that the devil is the adversary.  That this adversary uses everything that he can to accomplish his purpose (directive or will).  The verse is Eph.6:11and 12"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this (present) darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."  

  It maybe easier to look at this verse in a reverse direction.  That is starting 'spiritual forces'.  let's just recognize that these forces are there, they are real and are in the heavenly places. Fallen angels?  wickedness- morally wrong, evil

  'World forces'  of darkness.  So now we move from heavenly places to earthly places.  We also have a new term 'darkness' .  Darkness just a few thoughts;  dark verses light(Jesus Christ is the light of the world),  keeping someone in the dark, fear, lack of knowledge(Godly) bad thinking... control.  More forces! Worldly and heavenly forces.

  "Powers" interesting, against powers.  Let us remember there are powers.  Today it would be media, internet platforms...  Powers as in a group maybe.  Any thing that is against God and His son Jesus Christ.  That will include doing His will and following His ways, commandments, principles and precepts.

  "Rulers"  People in power, leaders... Godly leader verses un-Godly.  In the old testament (1 and 2 Kings; 1 and 2 Chronicles)  it address this.  A good king verses an evil/wicked king.  It seems in our modern time this is a big stumbling block.  A good king is described as following after their father, King David.  You see we leave God out of the picture and darkness and wickedness comes in to replace.  

  Now to 'flesh and blood' .  So we just talked about rulers.  Oh flesh and blood; we all know people who are 'evil' if you will. The real battle is not the person but the powers of darkness and wickedness.  The principle here is the 'influence' behind the person. It has a grip on them and most do not even know it.  Seriously,  even us as Christians can be influenced by those powers... That is why we need the whole armor of God.


Monday, September 6, 2021

All the schemes of the devil

    

  "against all the schemes of the devil."          Eph.6:11b

  Last week we left off with standing.  That is standing firm with the full armor of God, battle ready.  Here is where we get to know who the enemy is,  the devil.(more about the enemy next week).  

  Before we get to far, we are standing against an opponent, the devil(a force).  So a force comes against us, we use our force(armor, God's force) to counter the force.  The force we use nuetralizes the opposing force. Another word or concept would be resist.  Resistance.  The key is using God's whole armor.  

  In battle one needs to know the weapons of the enemy and also when the enemy is going to attack.  Let's look at the attack.  It can happen at any time!  One must remember the enemy is smart... Attacking when we are not expecting or during weakness...

  Now to the weapons;  I'm leaving it as weapons so we can realize how broadly the weapon is used.  Schemes is the weapon.  The Devil is a master(not us) .  "all the schemes"   What are schemes?  2 definitions 1. large scale systematic plan or arrangement for altering a particular object or putting a particular idea into effect. 2.  making plans, especially in a devious way or with intent to do something illegal or wrong. (against the principles and ways of God)

  So a scheme is not good.  It is usually done secretly, silently... Hard to detect when it is happening.  'Large scale' targeting many but also a 'single' target is very prominent.  The enemy is working in vast battle fronts and his ways are relentless.  He attacks you, me.  He attacks families, Churches.  He attacks schools, businesses.  He attacks governments.  Any one, any group, any family or institution that stands for God and His Son, Jesus Christ.  

  The goal is to get us to think like him and act like him... (kill, steal and destroy)he is against our Lord Jesus Christ.

  Schemes of the devil are crafty, cunning, deceitful, lies, twist words, 1/2 truths, misquotes truth... and sometimes promises a seemingly good.  The schemes of the devil are brilliant well thought out plans...  Sometimes simple, others complexed.  The point is he uses what ever works...  Stand firm with the whole armor of God.


Monday, August 23, 2021

Just Standing

                          

  "So that you maybe able to stand firm"  Eph6:11B.  We are told to put on the full (whole) armor of God. For what reason? That we might be able!  You see with out God's armor(and the strength of God He imputes with it) we do not have the ability that we think we have.  We are not that strong; be it physical, mental... Seriously think about it, we are weak.  The armor gives us ability that we do not have!  It has a strength that we do not have.  Without it we are sitting ducks.

  When it comes to battle one tends to think offensively.  Attacking...  But this armor is not for going out to battle...  It is for us to stand!  Not to just stand but to stand firm.  It is for us to stand firm and not give up any ground;  it is for us to stand firm and not to give in;  it is for us to stand firm and not believe the lies;  it is for us to stand firm and not be persuaded;  it is for us to stand firm and not fall into the trap of the day;  it is for us to stand firm and not give it the thinking of the era...  A battle;  and it is a battle because the enemy wants to take from you; he wants to steal from you:  Destroy what you have;  He wants to kill you.  So we need to stand firm with God's full armor.  We need to put on the armor of God!  To protect all that God has given you.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Full armor of God

 


  "Put on the full armor of God."  We ended last study "be strengthened by the Lord and in His vast strength".  We need to be strengthened by the Lord...  How do we do that?  Really, have you thought about it?  If I was to ask you that question what would be your answer?  Read your bible go to Church, praise, more prayer...  All great answers and helpful...

  You see God says, "Be strengthened..."  Then He tells us to do something; so that we can be strengthened.  What?  I need to do something?  Isn't having Jesus Christ enough?  My faith...  Well one must consider why God has this in His word.  For now it is there and God says to put it on.  The down fall of many Christians is that they are walking around with no armor.  Walking around in their own strength and abilities(knowledge).

  Seriously, most of us are walking around with no armor!  Some might have a piece or 2...  Like carry a bible(sword) or bible knowledge... but that is not enough.  We need the full armor of God.  Every piece is important; if a piece is not being worn the enemy will start his attack there; weakening you... so that other pieces armor you start to put down/take off.  Armor is heavy!  An when we are weaken; we need to realize that the armor is off. We need to realize we are not being strengthen by the Lord(for the battle); for we (I) are using our abilities...  Not relying on the Lord Jesus Christ.  Every piece of armor is important.  Every piece is made by God and has His power... One last thought/phrase;  The armor is spiritual armor!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Be Strong in His might

 "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might"  Ephesians 6:10.  

  The familiar words, be strong.  It echo's loud in times of disaster.  As Christians more often we might remember be strong in this phrase;  be strong and courageous;  Found in Joshua 1.  Do like adding courageous, we as men need to be men of courage...

  Back to "be strong"; when we read this we tend to think of us 'ramping up' , 'putting our best foot forward', 'giving it 110%'...  Using our own strength and abilities;  then adding the name of Jesus; Oh in prayer. The Christian life is more than knowledge of God and Jesus Christ.  It also revolves around the heart;   that assurance that comes through faith and hope...  The peace that passes all understanding.  The surety of the Gospel...  It is not just an emotion, a warm feeling... even though that maybe part of it.  It is the assurance of Hope that is give to the believer.  The seal of the Holy Spirit.  More than brain knowledge.

  When we are to be strong it involves us to be strengthened.  That we become strong;  that becoming strong has a source;  we become strong in the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is that we take a position of placing ourselves under Christ.  Maybe this will help that we hide ourselves behind Christ.  We can spend page after page on 'in Christ', 'under Christ'...  The thing is Christ is the strength, the power...  As the next phrase says "might" or "mighty power".

  "His might" (who's might? His, God's, Christ Jesus) Might, strength, power... not just physical but mental, moral and so much more.  God is all powerful, He has the ability.  Mental power, thinking reasoning... God can not be deceived, fooled, tricked, or out smarted...by Satan, powers... nor by man.

  One last thought, the word rest.  If you find that you are doing all or most of the work... with very little prayer... Who's power are you relying on?  Are you the one who says "I got this!"  no need for God?  Rest and prayer, prayer and rest.  

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

A battle is raging finally

    Some times we do not notice things.  My wife would re arrange the furniture in the living room; I would come home from work( an excuse I worked long hours- not really an excuse) I would sit on the moved sofa  and not even notice the difference in the room...  How can that be?  I wish that was my list of not noticing at home.  We all miss things that are seen, heard, smelt, tasted and felt that are right there.  Did you see that?  What!  Did you hear that?Can you smell that?  Thank goodness no!  Can you taste the hint of clove? Did you feel that? ( Not feelings of emotion).  We use our senses; but sometimes a sense of somethings wrong, amiss... from deep inside also helps us notice.

  There is a battle raging around us!  Christians this battle is at your door step if you will.  It is there if you notice it or not; if you believe it or not.  This battle is not just a corporate fight; it is a one on one battle.  A battle were you/I need to fight individually.  You can not fight my battle and I can not fight yours;  we can encourage each other... 

  In Ephesians 6 it tells us about this battle and how to fight it.  In verse 10 it starts off with "finally".  So many times we just do not consider what is being said.  We think finally- one last thing/point.  Which takes our mind off of what was just said, Ephesians 1-6:10.  The Apostle Paul writes 5 plus chapters for us of the Christian walk/life...  Chapter 1 Key words and phrases: Who has  In Christ  In him  His will  He made known  In Christ   In Him  Holy Spirit  God's power in Christ

  Chapter 2  you were dead  without hope   But God   rich in mercy  great love   alive with Christ  (read verses 6-9)

Chapter 3 God's grace    Co heirs  Paul's prayer of strength  christ dwell in your hearts through faith            depth of God's love

Chapter 4 Live worthy of the calling  no longer tossed      put on put off  one Lord  one hope  one faith

Chapter 5 Be imitaters of God do not be decieved testing what is pleasing to God  Pay carefull attention  The wives and Husband thing

Chapter 6 Children obey  slaves obey  do God's will from your heart  no favortism  then "finally"

  Paul tells A lot about this Christian life foundational principles of who we are in Christ to how to live in Christ... then comes the "finally" .  Because there is a battle going on,  the enemy(s) is real.  You are in the mist of this battle like it or not; and if you are not prepared damage is being done!  This is not a computer game where you just pich up health and everthing is good as new... Damage,  hurt, pain,  hardship and...  Here is what the enemy wants to do, 1Peter 5:8-9 "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."  John 10:10 "The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy"    

  Recognize there is a battle. 


Thursday, January 21, 2021

What do we do now?

   So what do we do now?  This week the United States has new President...  Amist of all unrest... and division whay do we do?  

1Timothy2:1-4  "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,  for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,  who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.'  

  We need to pray;  4 ways if you will.  For who-  people, kings and all who are in high places.  What- may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.  

Why-.  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,  who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.'   

  Titus 3:1-5 "Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,  to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.  For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.  But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,     

  Keep on praying.

Monday, January 18, 2021

America in trouble

   This past year was a challenge; covid-19 restrictions...  But maybe more than the restrictions was the fear;  the fear of covid-19.  The sad thing is that fear of coved-19 turned into fear of people.  Parents(older) afraid of son's and daughter's;  their grand children...  and son's and daughter's afraid of parents.  Brothers and sisters (with their own family) afraid of each other... We love you but.   

  At the same time it's ok to go to work...  It's ok to go grocery shopping.  It's ok to go to walmart, target,  restaurants,  camp grounds, and ect.  But to go over and say hi to family...  fear.  I am not talking about family members being in harms way...  Who would have thought this could happen.

  Also this past year the political unrest.  Fueled by hatred.  Fueled by the news media.  Fueled by social media.  It is so bad who knows what is true or not.  Fake news.  Staged news.  Miss quoted news... 

  This paragraph--  Riots  

  Think about it it is something you read in history books.  Not good.

    What is happening to the United States of America?