Put on the Whole Armor of God and Pray Always - Purity
Purity 1232 12/27/2023 Purity 1232 POdcast
Purity 1232 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of an extreme close-up of a gold coin
inscribed with a knight and the command to “Pray Always” and to “Put on the
Whole Armor of God” comes to us from yours truly as I decided to take a closer
look at one of the more special Christmas gifts I had received from my wife on
Christmas Day, Monday Morning.
Well, It’s Wednesday and although I have been
blessed with a Christmas vacation from my day job, I walk into the midpoint of
the shortened work week with business to do just the same as I have some
unfinished business that’s finally about to be completed, in Jesus’ name, I
declare it, and I have the labor of love
of leading the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group at Starpoint Church later this
evening. So in some ways this day is
finished before it begins as my schedule will have me traveling up and down and
around the capital district today, as I, prayerfully, will be signing the
papers on the sale of my previous home at my attorney’s office in Hudson, NY,
as far as I know, in the mid-afternoon and rolling back north for dinner with
TammyLyn at our countryside home before going down to Starpoint for the Celebrate
Freedom Growth Group meeting at 6:30 pm but before any of those activities I will
take my new Christmas gift’s advice – “to put on the whole armor of God” and to
“pray always” to heart as not only know that these things are commanded in God’s
word but know from experience how necessary and beneficial they are to my
protection and success in life and ministry.
When you put your faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior
and decide to follow Him with the way you live your life, you become a target. Jesus
not only warned his disciples that the world would hate them like it hated him
and they would be persecuted by man, but he also warned of the real and present
dangers of the spiritual forces of darkness who would seek to steal, kill and destroy
them. While I may have taken a long time
to learn what I have about faith, I know now that we are to take Our Teacher’s
lessons seriously and not only try to understand what Jesus was saying but we are
to also put his wisdom to work in our lives by practicing what He
preached. More than just a good teacher
Jesus was and is God and the Bible is God’s word, so it’s not only a good idea
to know what the Word made flesh and the Living Word of God say, but it is
imperative to obey their commandments for our safety and for God’s glory.
As we come to faith in Jesus, study God’s word, and
come to understand God’s sovereignty, and realize the spiritual battleground
that we are living in, we realize that not only does our prayer life keep us in
harmony and communication with God, it also is our best defense and weapon to
overcome the trials and tribulations that man, the circumstances of living in a
world broken by sin, and the enemy can throw against us.
One of the first things I learned when I made the decision
to not only to believe, but to follow Jesus, was that “Christians” pray and
read the Bible, and one of the things that was recommended was to obey Paul’s
advice in Ephesians 6 to put on the whole armor of God.
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NLT2)
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.
15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.
17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
books on spiritual warfare and the whole armor of God have been written
highlighting the verses in this passage of scripture, I will just point to
three things that we should glean from this for our daily walk.
1. The devil, enemy, is a real literal enemy and they
can and will attack and affect Christians.
This letter is written to the church at Ephesus and
Paul’s final word is to warn Christians about the devil’s strategies and evil
opponents in the unseen realm – that’s demons and the reason we have to defend
against them is that they can do damage to us, through lies, temptation,
accusations, and condemnation – which all point to a battle for our hearts and
minds. So the enemy is real.
2. The Lord gives us a means to protect ourselves, but
we must use it.
While some will pray through this passage of
scripture and imagine putting on literal spiritual armor – unseen armor for an
unseen opponent, I guess, and feel empowered by the idea or process of being
equipped like some Christian Lancelot, I believe Paul was making an analogy for
our faith in Jesus specifically and how our relationship with Him protects us
and our most vulnerable areas. Beyond
the warlike imagery, Jesus is our Truth, Righteousness, Good News, Faith,
Salvation, and Word to fight the enemy with. Just cry out Jesus and stand firm with
Him to cover and establish every area of your life. Our living in the truth, righteousness, good
news, faith, salvation, and word of Jesus protects us and gives us the victory!
3. Prayer has power.
While any Christian will tell you that our prayer
life is not a matter of “calling the shots” or a one-to-one cause-and-effect
relationship, there is SOMETHING about prayer that should cause us to persist
in it. Entire books have been written
about prayer too. But even though I can’t assure you that prayer will move the
particular mountains in your life at particular moments or that it will protect
you from all forms of suffering, I have
seen way too many prayers answered to tell you to do anything other than “pray
always”. Pray to talk to God. Pray to
ask Him for help. Pray to ask for help for others. Pray for strength. Pray for people
to get saved. Pray for healing. Pray to bind and cast out the enemy. Pray for
good outcomes. And do that, all of the
above, all the time!
I prayed for the sale of my former house since the
ink was dry on the purchase of my new house down by the River in 2020 and three
years I am seeing just how good God can be at moving all things together for
the good of those that love Him and who are called according to His purpose. It would take far too long to explain just how
awesome God has been in moving things to this moment in time but the Lord knows
that I know what He has done and that I will thank and love Him forever for how
He has blessed me, not only in this financial transaction, but with my salvation,
in my new life in Christ, and honestly, all the days of my life, that have
brought me here today.
So put your trust in Jesus and put on the “whole
armor of God” everyday – by praying always – and by standing firm in your
relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, every moment of every day,
by following, and walking and talking with God.
Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By
John G. Kruis.
While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google
search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s
work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )
morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Comfort.
Psalm 92:1-2 (NASB)
1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night,
verses fall under the fourth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s
section on Comfort.
4. God always shelters those who put their trust in him.
Today’s verses tell us that it is GOOD to GIVE THANKS to the Lord and Sing Praises to His name and to declare his goodness, faithfulness, and love both day and night!
Hey, I love how the Lord sovereignly puts these messages, and my life, together – all things! – because as I am riding the wave of expectant joy and extreme gratitude of the closing of the same of my former home today, today’s Bible verse reminds me of just how GOOD it is to Praise and Thank the Lord and to declare His goodness at all time.
And tonight, at Celebrate Freedom we will be going over the Worship lesson of the Freedom in Christ Discipleship Course which just happens to highlight how our praising the Lord in song is to be an integral part of our daily lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. As disciples, we practice what the word of God tells us to do and there are lots of verses that tell us to sing to the Lord because God knows how the act of praise can encourage, strengthen, empower, and change us.
And while today’s verse says nothing about “sheltering us” – that’s the conclusion that our resource’s author made in regard to praise, thanksgiving, and meditating on God’s goodness – it shelters us – because it does. Call it part of the armor of God or call it a shelter, a shield, or a fortress, our relationship with God and all of the ways that it is expressed give us protection in many ways, and just knowing the goodness of God and expressing it and think about it is one of those ways. So give thanks, sing, and think about God’s goodness, and feel the shelter of living in His love.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I
always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to
assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we are sharing from “God is in the Manger-
Reflections on Advent and Christmas” – By Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
As always, I share this information for educational
purposes and encourage you all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own
private study and to support his work. This resource is available online
for less than $10 at many sites.
God is in the Manger – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AND EPIPHANY
On the Weak
Shoulders of a Child
Authority rests upon his shoulders” (Isa. 9:6).
Authority over the world is supposed to lie on the weak shoulders of this
newborn child! One thing we know: these shoulders will come to carry the entire
burden of the world. With the cross, all the sin and distress of this world
will be loaded on these shoulders. But authority consists in the fact that the
bearer does not collapse under the burden but carries it to the end. The
authority that lies on the shoulders of the child in the manger consists in the
patient bearing of people and their guilt. This bearing, however, begins in the
manger; it begins where the eternal word of God assumes and bears human flesh.
The authority over all the world has its beginning in the very lowliness and
weakness of the child.… He accepts and carries the humble, the lowly, and
sinners, but he rejects and brings to nothing the proud, the haughty, and the
righteous (Luke 1:51–52).
From the Christian point of view there is no
special problem about Christmas in a prison cell. For many people in this
building it will probably be a more sincere and genuine occasion than in places
where nothing but the name is kept. The misery, suffering, poverty, loneliness,
helplessness, and guilt mean something quite different in the eyes of God from
what they mean in the judgment of man, that God will approach where men turn
away, that Christ was born in a stable because there was no room for him in the
inn—these are things that a prisoner can understand better than other people;
for him they really are glad tidings.
Bonhoeffer’s letter to his parents from
Tegel prison, December 17, 1943
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage
Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the
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Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the class materials, share your progress, and
to be encouraged.
My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian
encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ), her
Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on
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publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to
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for the Path of Christian Discipleship
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the
Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, ed. Jana Riess,
trans. O. C. Dean Jr., First edition. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox
Press, 2010), 70–71.