Well, now! Welcome back to the prep site! I hope you are clad in your work gear! Your tool belt of truth, your safety vest of righteousness, your workboots of the Gospel of peace, your “God at Work” shield of faith, and your hard hat of salvation! Looking good there!!
God is so good to provide a head-to-toe uniform to keep us safe as we work to build our lives a habitation for Him! And how do we perform that work? We stand! This gear; this armor, is for standing against the wiles of the devil…and having done all, to stand! Every piece He has given us represents who we are in Christ! We are in Him, and He is in us! (Truth) He has taken our sin, and given us His own goodness! (Righteousness) He has made us “at one,” (at peace) with Himself! (The Gospel of Peace) I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Faith) I have the mind of Christ, a renewed and transformed mind. (Salvation)
Before we go on to the all important Sword of the Spirit. I would like to say a few words about standing. I think we often get ahead of ourselves in our Christian walk! We get saved, and we want to dive right in to DO something! And as important as good works are… standing in Christ is more so. Our minds must be renewed in the Word and prayer everyday so that the truth of what Jesus has done for us, and who we are in Him become real to us.
I have to admit that I have been a worker. Just call me “Martha.” I found a lot to do just as soon as I gave my heart fully to Jesus…I worked in the nursery; I cleaned the church (mopping the huge sactuary with water from a hand pump outside!); Sunday School classes; choirs; Christian schools; driving the bus; directing programs; making costumes; loving Jesus through it all. But when there was no more work…I floundered! And this is what I learned: being a Christian is not the work…it is the relationship! Honestly, it is easy for a worker bee to slough off the deep devotional life, because, after all, there is only so much time in a day and everything you do is for the Lord! So it must be OK! I thank God that He does not let you go on indefinitely, because “whom He loves, He chastens.” And like a Good Shepherd, He brings his sheep back to the path. All that He has given us is for “life & godliness.” It is for standing in the “evil day.” Friends, this is the evil day!
Jesus has not left us defenseless! We have our safety gear on…all given for our defense! But there is much more! “….the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God,” (Eph. 6:17b) Oh, my! What a gift it is! A weapon of warfare!
I heard a man say recently, “We live in a WORD universe…on a WORD planet!” Now that is a great revelation! Think of it! “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…..He said, “Let there be light, and there was light!” “(Gen.1:1-3) and again…”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made” “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1: 1,3,14) The Word is JESUS CHRIST! He made this orb we walk on! With His Word! By speaking it into being! And then He walked on it Himself! And He left His Book with us so that we would not be defenseless. He called it the Sword of the Spirit. And it is powerful! Listen to Hebrews 4:12.
“For the word of God is quick (alive) and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
When I taught Bible to kids in school, I would hold up an open dictionary and ask them what was on the pages. “Words!” they would shout. Then I would hold up an open Bible and ask what was on these pages. Not as enthusiastic response as they wondered if there was some catch. Someone would finally say, “Words, too.” The thing is, the words in the dictionary, and any book for that matter, can bring you knowledge, entertainment, excitement, pleasure. The Bible does all that, but it does a lot more! The words are alive! There is power here that can transform a soul! Take a look at 2Tim 3:16.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable fordoctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (17) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
The Word of God works in you, it doesn’t just hang out in your memory banks, but does a transforming work. In 1Thessalonians 2:13 Paul writes to the people:
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
What work does the word do? It produces faith. Remember, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It brings peace; wisdom; joy; guidance. It teaches us how to live. When we know the Word of God, we can answer the accuser when he wags his finger at us; and the tempter when he makes a sly suggestion.
Learn to find your way around your Bible. Practice finding the different books. We used to have “sword drills” when I was younger. Someone calls a scripture chapter and verse, and the person who jumps up and reads it aloud gets the point for his team. Memorize the books of the Bible. Take them a few at a time, and figure out a memory trick that will help you. Get your kids and grandkids to memorize them. That is a sure way to help you learn them yourself, by quizzing them! 🙂
You are never too young or too old to memorize verses. I sit on a christian school board. Our president is in his eighties. He opens every meeting with prayer, our memory verses, and a Bible lesson. Yes, we have memory verses! It is not enough for them to be on the pages of the book we carry, we must hide them in our hearts!
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, Living Word, help us stand with our sword at the ready. Quicken our minds as we read. Take us deeper than we have ever been into the wonders of the scriptures. Speak to us. Transform us. Renew us. Strengthen us for the days ahead. And let Your Word overflow to those around us because we are so full. In Jesus’ name,