Saturday, October 9, 2010

Standing Firm With The Belt Of Truth

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist...

A soldier's belt was an essential piece of military equipment. The belt was crafted of tough leather strips and small brass plates for extra protection. Wrapping about the waist, this leather belt clung closely to the soldier and shielded some of the most vulnerable areas of the body. When preparing for battle, a soldier would put on his belt first. The belt was designed to keep other pieces of the soldier's armor in place, including his sword. The soldier would also wear a tunic, which was a cloak worn over a short kilt or skirt. Prior to engaging in combat, the soldier would tuck his tunic under his belt, providing maximum freedom of movement for his legs.

The call to have the belt of truth buckled around your waist is a call to be prepared. As good soldiers of Christ, we are to be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks the reason for our hope. Also, we are to be sober and spiritually vigilant so we are aware of the enemy when he prowls around.

To be girded with truth is to be firmly established in the truth of God's Word. God's word is truth and is therefore foundational to all the other pieces of spiritual armor. Secondly, to be girded with truth is to be truthful, genuine, and sincere before God and others. This involves not allowing deceit and unconfessed sin to separate you from fellowship with God. It also involves being a person of integrity. By abiding in the truth, walking in truth, and speaking the truth, you will be spiritually ready in every circumstance.

Satan attacks truth with lies, for he is the father of all lies. He especially focuses on attacking God's promises. If the enemy can get you to doubt God's integrity and love, he has achieved his goal because from there you become discouraged, confused, defeated, and ultimately indifferent to life.

When you find yourself being attacked with lies, start speaking the promises of God's Word. If or when you stumble into unbelief, open your heart to God's Word and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. Don't let guilt or the devil's accusations keep you away from God. Instead, repent, get back on track, and "tighten" your belt with the unchanging truths of Scripture. The Bible tells us that it is "impossible for God to lie" and that the hope He offers is "an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast" [Hebrews 6:18-19].

Prayer: My Loving Father, I thank You for Your Word which is truth. The more I spend time with Your word, the stronger my foundation and my understanding of You and Your unfailing love. I pray, Father, for a continued desire to spend time with Your word, and for understanding and revelation as I read or hear Your word. I pray for the ability to discern the enemy's attack of Your word and Your promises, that I may be able to resist and counterattack with the truth of Your word. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Devoted In Brotherly Love

Let Love for your fellow believers continue and be a fixed practice with you [never let it fail].

Love of other believers is a natural outflow of the Christian life and should be a normal part of fellowship within the church. After you were first saved it may have been very natural and exciting to love other Christians and desire to be around them. However, such an attitude is difficult to maintain. This love, which is a gift from God's Spirit, must be nurtured otherwise it will not grow.

In the scripture for today, we are admonished to continue loving our fellow believers and let it be a fixed practice with us. Paul teaches us the same concept of nurturing and practicing love for one another when he writes: “Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more...” [1Th 4:9-10, NIV].

Brotherly love is caring for fellow Christians more than we care for ourselves. This kind of love already exists. Our challenge today and each day is not to discover love for one another, but to allow it to continue and to increase.

Prayer: My Loving Father, You are love, and we, who are created in Your image, have the ability to love. I pray, Father, that I will continue to have brotherly love for my fellow believers. (If there is any Christian friend you have whom your brotherly love towards has turned cold or sour, pray that God will help you rekindle this love). I pray that I do not neglect or take for granted the believers you have put around me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Trust God To Provide

The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time. You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

Your loving Father is gracious and merciful, and His goodness is evident in all He does. For all the creatures in general, He provides food for them. Consider the inferior creatures who do not have knowledge of God, nor are capable of. They wait upon God for their support and provision, and they are totally dependent on Him for the continuance of their provision. They seek their food according to the instinct which God has put in them, and because they take what God has provided for them, in the time and way that he has appointed, they are content with it. 

Your loving Father is mindful of you. If He can make provision for the other creatures, how much more you who is made in His image? How much more you who is His child, accepted in the Beloved? Your loving Father knows what you need and will open His hand to satisfy you.

What do you need today? What is your desire? Trust your loving Father to provide, for He is the one who provides at the proper time, and satisfies the desires of every living thing. Thank Him for the things He has already done.

Prayer: My Loving Father, You are a good God. All the creatures look to You for provision, and none have been disappointed. I confess and say I am sorry for any time I have not been grateful for what I have. I pray You teach me the art of contentedness. I bring before you my need (mention any need you have) and look to You to satisfy this desire of my heart. If my needs and desires are not in line with Your will and plan for my life, I pray for the understanding and peace as I accept Your will. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Becoming What You Are

I...encourage you to live the kind of life which proves that God has called you.

The Christian life is simply becoming what Christ has already made you. When we were saved, we became part of God's family. We begin to bear the name of Christ in this world. As God's children, we indeed have many rights, honors, and privileges, but God expects us to behave like His children. Just as a child honors his father by obeying him, we honor God by walking worthy of Him. Our actions must be actions He would approve. Our desires must be aligned with His desires. Our goals and objectives must be His goals and objectives.

Our obedience to God should not come out of fear or pride. It should come out of gratitude and a deep love for Christ. Reflecting on the love of God and understanding our worth in His eyes could help us in developing our love for Christ. Our desire to be worthy children should come as a result of understanding and appreciation of all He has done for us.

Having been called by God, you need to match your conduct to the gospel. The world is looking to see what kind of lifestyle you exalt. The world needs you to be light to them. Ask your Loving Father today to teach you how to live the kind of life that proves that He has called you.

Prayer: My Loving Father, I thank You that You have called me, even to be one of Your own. I  pray that as I spend time with You and Your word, I will be continually transformed in Your image. I pray You teach me how to walk worthy of this calling. I pray that the eyes of my understanding will be enlightened such that as I spend time with Your word, I will learn how Jesus demonstrated His commitment to You and how I can follow His example today. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Ever Present One

...but You remain and continue permanently...

There are so many people who are alone. They may be in the company of one or many yet they feel alone. Behind closed doors, they cannot restrain the tears that flow. These tears may be due to hurt, disappointment, or exhaustion. But in their loneliness, there is someone who is unseen and just within their reach. For some reason, they do not realize His presence. Realizing it is blessed yet quite rare. It is dependent upon their mood, their feelings, their physical condition, and the weather. The rain or thick fog outside, the lack of sleep and the intense pain, seem to affect their mood and blur their vision so they do not realize His presence.

There is, something even better than realizing, and even more blessed. It is completely independent of these other conditions and is something that will abide with you. It is this - recognizing that unseen presence, which is so wonderful, quieting, soothing, calming, and warming. 

Your loving Father is the ever-present One. He is here, close to you, and His presence is real. He is a warmhearted Friend and the all-powerful Lord. He knows all you are going through, He is the one who can give you the desired comfort you need. This is a joyful truth no matter the reason for the tears. He remains and continues permanently.

Prayer: My Loving Father, I thank You for always being with me. You are the ever-present One, who remains with me no matter the situation. I pray Father, for an added sense of Your presence when I feel You are not near. I pray for the ability to recognize Your presence always and experience the peace that comes with it. In Jesus Name, Amen.