A Daily Dose of Good News
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
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Good morning! It’s July 28- I think. It’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News. We’re reading from Ephesians 6:10-18.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.
Here ends the reading.
Some of you may know that I preached recently about the idea that we have an Enemy and that Jesus identifies that Enemy as the Devil or Satan. I think this passage has a lot of imagery that can bolster us and encourage us in knowing that we are strengthened by the power of God. That we don’t have to feel defenseless or weak or unable in that. But, that we have armor that God gives us to put on. I think that’s really an important concept. I think one of the most vulnerable things, is if you don’t realize you’re in a battle, to just be walking around unprotected. So, this is an instruction guide, in many ways, of recognizing we are in a battle, there is an Enemy, there is evil around us. It gives a sense of we are going to be attacked and we need to be in a position to defend against that. And that’s an important thing to do- to focus on and be intentional about.
So, in this, even though armor is not something we necessarily have everyday, that we think about in our daily lives, certainly it’s helpful to know, that there is protection from God and that God offers that. So, in this passage, it lists several pieces of what that looks like: one is the Belt of Truth, one is the Breastplate of Righteousness, one is whatever you need to put on your feet to proclaim the Gospel of Peace. I think it’s interesting that’s what is highlighted as being important to God. How often Truth is important. How often Righteousness- doing what we think God calls us to do- is important. And the idea of whatever it takes to bring the Gospel of Peace- recognizing that can be difficult to do, and not our natural inclination. Additionally, I think the idea that we have a Shield of Faith- and with that we can extinguish every flaming arrow the Enemy hurls in our direction. I think that’s helpful to know- that there are going to be arrows and the enemy is going to try to wound and injure us. But we’re not defenseless in that. Our faith can protect us from any of those landing, from any of those burning us. I think that’s helpful to realize. The Helmet of Salvation seems to remind us to orient toward the next life, our resurrection life and how we will be forever with God- to orient our thinking and our perspective on that to endure attacks and onslaughts here. And then there’s the Sword of Truth, which it says specifically, is the Word of God. I think that’s a great reminder and encouragement to us, to not only read the Bible, I would say, but to have some passages that we know by heart and that we use, and we access- especially in times when we’re feeling attacked and overwhelmed and defenseless. I think about how when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the Devil, that was often what Jesus did. Jesus quoted Scripture. The Devil did too, at one point, but Jesus came back always with Scripture, and that basically, most of the time, shut the Devil up. So, I think it’s helpful to know that seems like a defensive weapon, as well as an offensive weapon. The Word of God is not an old book, full of things that were relevant a long time ago. It is a Weapon against the Enemy, that God has given us, to persevere and be strengthened in whatever we face, in our lives today. I think that’s just a huge encouragement and support for all of us to remember. Finally, to Pray in the Spirit, at all times. Just really emphasizing the power of prayer in all things. It doesn’t even matter if we know what we’re going to be praying about. We can let God lead us in prayer. We don’t always have to know what we’re going to say next, or what we’re going to say at all. We can just come before God and with an open heart, and be present to wherever God leads us, in prayer, for whatever we need to lift up. So, I hope you enjoy all of those components today. I hope you find your own Sword to use. I hope you are empowered by remembering you have a Shield around you. You are not defenseless- God will lead you in Prayer and God will protect you, always.
In our prayers, we can remember Ken Doolittle, who is in surgery right now. So, that’s one prayer we can do immediately. Along with just praying for each other, in whatever we face in our lives. Take care everybody. Bye-bye.