This Week’s Passage and Memory Verse (in red): 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
The first time I read through this passage this week there were a few things that immediately stuck out to me. I’ll briefly elaborate on each one.
Our strength MUST come from God (v.10) – We tend to try to find strength in places other than God – money, drink, family, friends, etc. Paul is imploring us to find our strength in the Lord. If we are going to be wage war against the enemy then He needs to be the source of our strength.
There is a devil. He is a schemer (v.11) – Just because we can’t see him does not mean he is not there. Satan is not fantasy. He is the enemy of our souls and is bent on our destruction. He is crafty and very good at what he does. He schemes to steal, kill, and destroy. That is his agenda for you and me.
We live in a dark and evil world (v.12) – Just read the headlines each day. Don’t need a whole lot more evidence to prove that we live in an evil world that has been ravaged by sin. This is the world into which we have been born again.
God has given us what we need to stand firm (vs. 13-17) – The armor of God! Faith, prayer, God’s Word, righteousness, salvation, the gospel. We have everything we need to withstand the assault of the enemy. We just need to suit up and not try to go into battle defenseless.
Prayer is crucial (v.18) – And yet we do not pray. No wonder the church and its people more often than not are fighting to survive rather than thriving as we fight.
The gospel is a mystery (v. 19) – It is not magical but it is mysterious. I’m not sure I will ever understand how the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross provides a way for me to be reconciled to God. And when I demonstrate faith in what He has done then I become a child of God, my sins are forgiven, and I am given Life and can look forward to an eternity in the presence of God. Amazing! And yet I know that it is true. The gospel changes lives! I know this because it has changed mine.
We are ambassadors of this gospel (v.20) – We have been given the job of telling this message to anyone who will listen. We have the opportunity to give people Good News when most of the time all they get is bad news. Unbelievably, God is making His appeal to return to Him and repent through us. Represent Him well today and as one of RBC’s heroes of the faith used to say, “Speak a good word for Jesus!” (J.B.Cash)
I’m just sayin’!
Next Week’s Passage: Titus 2:11-14
Next Week’s Memory Verse: Titus 2:11-12