Standing in God’s Power
In our reading for today, the apostle Paul uses the imagery of a soldier to urge his readers to build up their strength in the Lord’s mighty power. As Christians, we have no power of our own. The source of our strength is in God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul writes that Christians must put on the full armor of God to enable them to stand against the devil’s evil tricks. This armor we are to put on is spiritual because the battle is spiritual. As a soldier is dressed with a complete uniform, the Christian must be fully dressed with the spiritual armor to engage the enemy.
Paul says that the armor of God includes the following: The belt of truth, which is the knowledge of the truth of Jesus Christ, the gospel; the breastplate of righteousness, which is the righteousness that Christ gives, which helps our integrity and our character remain intact; the sandals of the gospel of peace, which are the shoes we wear to make us ready to take the gospel anywhere God sends us; the shield of a firm faith in Christ, which enables us to block spiritual assaults against us; the helmet of salvation, which protects us and gives us hope of deliverance from this body of sin; and finally, the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, which is the only offensive weapon the believer carries. This eternal word—the truth and strength of God—has more than enough power to defeat the enemy.
Lord Jesus, help me to stand firm in your power. Amen.
God had prevented David from building a temple in Jerusalem but then permitted David’s son Solomon to build it. In First Kings, Solomon places the ark of the covenant in the holiest place, and God’s presence descends. The psalmist rejoices in the Temple and would rather be in its courts than anywhere else because that is where God dwells. The New Testament readings remind us that the people of God have always met with resistance. The author of Ephesians compares living the Christian life to going into battle, so we must be prepared. Jesus also meets with resistance in John. His teachings are too hard for many to accept, so they abandon him. When we face resistance, therefore, we should not be surprised; but we are also not alone.
Read 1 Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, 41-43. How does your faith inform the hospitality you show to friends? To strangers?
Read Psalm 84. How do you find joy in the Lord? Recall a recent time when you felt a deep sense of this joy.
Read Ephesians 6:10-20. How do truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and God’s word help you live boldly as an ambassador of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Read John 6:56-69. How do you respond to Jesus’ question: “Does this offend you?” This teaching was hard for his disciples. Where do you struggle with it?
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