Ephesians 6:10-18 – Be Protected!

Read Ephesians 6:10-18

helmet of salvation and sword of the spirit

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.

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Colossians 3:12-17 – God’s Desires for You

Read Colossians 3:12-17

sun beams in the clouds at sunset

How are we supposed to live as God’s chosen ones? We have to know and accept that people are watching us. Ask, “do I make a good representative of Christ?” An important message to cling to is — God chose YOU. And with that honor comes responsibility. Paul reminds us, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Don’t let this “must” scare you off. Rather, be thankful for the advice you have been given. Chances are pretty good that you are already seeking to live a life that reflects these things. The Holy Spirit living inside us will certainly help when our human frailty fails. I know I’m certainly thankful for the Holy Spirit!

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Micah 4:1-5 – The Last Days

Read Micah 4:1-5

peace sign made out of flowers with psychedelic design

Talk about dramatic impact in this transition! Micah places these verses, which are almost identical to verses in Isaiah 2, right here after speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem. We know that Isaiah and Micah are contemporaries speaking to the same audience. Did God choose to give them both the same message, or do you think Micah is quoting Isaiah? Micah doesn’t say.

We have clearly jumped far into the future when God will reign over all. The people of Judah see indication of a bright future as Micah designates Jerusalem. Do you think the people could fully grasp what this meant having not experienced the exile yet?  

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Philippians 4:4-7 💙 Don’t Worry, Pray!

Read Philippians 4:4-7

white coffee mug with the words: worry less, live more

Where do you look when you need a little encouragement? This portion of Paul’s letter to the Philippians gives them exactly that so they don’t lose heart. It takes work to be positive amidst struggle, ridicule, and, for the Philippian church, to be new Christians living among Jews who thought they were crazy.

We may take some of the same kind of heat for our own faith. I think that’s why we often keep our mouths shut when the opposite is more appropriate for the situation. We worry about what people will think of us. We worry we won’t have the right words to say. We certainly don’t want to ever do anything to bring shame to Jesus with our blunders.

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John 14:15-29 💛 You Are Not An Orphan

Read John 14:15-29

Friends - two stuffed bears sitting in a field one with the arm around the other

Jesus is not going to leave his disciples (or us) alone as orphans. Our reading today kicks off our new theme of “The Holy Spirit & Prayer.” We see exactly when and where Jesus promises the Holy Spirit to his disciples. It was during his last meal with them. He was dropping a lot of truth bombs on them that night. Jesus was cramming some important stuff into this time with them.

You know how it can be when you’re getting ready to leave after a visit. You think of all the things you wanted to say the whole time but either didn’t find the right time to say or simply ran out of time. Either could be happening here. But clearly the disciples are starting to get a little nervous. The things Jesus was saying that night must have left them with more questions than answers.

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