It’s not easy to read about the destruction of human life, even when those humans had been oppressive enemies of God’s people. They had their triumphs in this world, but their time was done. Completely done.
Justice. The Assyrians who had been ruthless to Israel and Judah would now be silent. God allowed and orchestrated their demise at the hands of the Babylonians, the same empire who trampled on Judah. Such an interesting time in history with profound messages from our Creator.
You are witnessing a milestone for this devotional blog! This is the 1,800th post! I chose this Bible passage especially for this occasion. The children at church sang a song about the armor of God yesterday–complete with battle gear made out of something indestructible that looked much like brown construction paper. The visual was incredible, but watching their innocent faces as they shared this timely message is what brought tears to my eyes. I knew this was the message God wanted me to share with you today.
We find ourselves living in challenging times. While true today, this statement could be said by many, if not all, past generations as well. Have no fear, God has set us up for success! Keeping our focus on God is the first step. Next, we have the “armor” Paul talks about here to give us all the security and hope we need. Let’s take a look at what we have access to.
Have you ever wondered how it could be that easy? I’m talking about our salvation. These verses should be impressed upon our hearts every day to realize it’s not about what we do. We can never do more to “earn” our salvation. That’s hard for us to understand because in this world those who get ahead have worked hard.
God has given us a gift. It’s not a tangible gift with ribbons that we open. It’s certainly not a gift we deserve. It is truly amazing, just like the old familiar hymn suggests. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.”
Verse 10 is one of my go-to verses when I’m feeling weak and unsure of myself. Those times come more often than I’d like to admit, but having the assurance God is protecting is all I need to feel energized. “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power!” We can all call upon this mighty power to help us stay strong and courageous during the storms of life.
The verses that follow have always been important to me, too, because they speak of how God equips us, the broken sinner, to be ready for the world each day. The armor of God was fun to teach children as well because it was so easy to act out. While the “armor” we had available, shoes, shield, helmet, and belt we used for our dramatization look completely different than what the 1st century Christians were using, the visual is still very helpful in making an impression. Continue reading “Ephesians 6:10-24 – Be Strong”
We all have parents. Some of us are still able to honor them. Some of us are parents and know what it feels like to be honored. The reminder here is a good one. This is the first commandment with a promise. It wasn’t just an expectation from God, there was a reward attached. Do this and get that. When we honor our parents, we are promised a long life, and that things will go well for us.
I don’t know about you, but when I was younger, I had a hard time honoring my parents. I was a bit of a rebel child. I could say the same for my own children. Why is it that the ones we love most sometimes take the brunt of our attacks and abuse? If only we could be more mindful of God’s command. He is just waiting to fulfill his promise. Continue reading “Ephesians 6:1-9 – Just For Everyone”