Saturday, October 16, 2010

One Of Prayer

...but I am a man of prayer...

David had resolved - despite that his friendship had been taken for granted and despite that people whom he had treated kindly had become his enemies, he was going to remain continually in prayer. He was a man of prayer and did not let what was happening around him change that. He continued to pray for his adversaries. He bore the trials with a meek spirit and did not allow such to disturb his devotions by casting his cares upon God in prayer.

Often times, little time is spent during devotion. Consider how much time you spend in quiet devotion on a daily basis? Can it be easily measured in minutes? Can you think of even one person of great spiritual stature who did not spend much of his time in prayer? Has anyone ever exhibited much of the spirit of prayer who did not devote a great deal of time to prayer?

Take out time to evaluate your prayer life. Are you spending less time in prayer due to new priorities, a situation going on that leaves you worrying or simply complacency? Those who have attained great spiritual stature spent time in prayer. If your prayer life is not where you want it to be, ask your Loving Father to help your regain your zeal.

Prayer: My Loving Father, I thank You for the lessons I learn from people who have walked with You. David was a man after Your own heart and also a type of Christ. He could boast that he was a man of prayer because indeed it was true. Father, in my walk with You, I desire to go from glory to glory in every aspect of my life. I pray that my prayer life will improve with each passing day. I lay aside any distraction that is preventing me from spending quality time with You. May I experience the joy and pleasure that comes with spending time with You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Standing Firm With The Shield Of Faith

...Taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one...

A Christain's shield is faith. Faith is taking God at His word without having seen the visible evidence. Standing firm with the shield of faith involves holding fast to the word of the Lord and watching the Lord defend and fight for us. "Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him" [Proverbs 30:5].

Each of us will face difficult situations and temptations of the enemy at one time or another. These are likened to the fiery darts of the enemy. The shield of faith is the protection God has provided to get us through these tests. In a difficult situation, the devil may use fear (false evidence appearing real) to try and get our eyes off Jesus. But our shield of faith will deflect that attack with the belief that nothing is too hard for the Lord. In temptation, the devil will try to make us believe the lie that sin can provide a better life than God can. However, our shield of faith will deflect that attack with the belief that God has provided all we need.

If the devil can get you to doubt God, he gains temporary victory in your life. The effectiveness of your shield of faith largely depends on your concept of God. This is because it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him. If you are not convinced that God exists or that He rewards those who diligently seek Him, you will have difficulty putting your faith in God. If you are not convinced that God knows better than you do or that He still work miracles, you will probably buckle under the devil's fiery darts.

Rather than allowing life's circumstances to dictate your perception of God, allow God's Word to tell you the truth about Him. As you read and hear truth about God from His Word, your faith will increase. When a verse or passage in the Bible becomes alive to you for your specific situation, that is hearing from God. When you hear from God, your faith is strengthened. By skillfully handling the shield of faith in knowing Who your Loving Father is and what His Word says, you can overcome all the fiery darts of the enemy. Stand firm with the shield of Faith.

Prayer: My Loving Father, the LORD who does not change, I thank You for You are a shield for me, my glory and the lifter up of my head . I thank You for the measure of faith You have given to me as a defensive and offensive weapon when the enemy throws his fiery darts in my direction. Father, I pray that as I spend time with Your word, that it will become alive to me and strengthen my faith. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Standing Firm With The Sandals Of Peace

Stand firm then ... with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

The scripture for today describes a Christian's spiritual shoes as the "readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." Each of us needs to be at peace with God. This is the firm foundation beneath our feet. We are at enmity with God until we come into a right relationship with Him on His terms. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" [Romans 5:1].

We need to stand firm in the peace of God. This involves casting our care and anxiety on Him and yielding to His perfect will. The peace of God will become a reality to us as we abide in Christ. As the peace of God rules in our own lives, we will be prepared to share His peace with others. Also we are called to go and preach the Gospel of peace to the nations. "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" [Romans 10:15]. Those who reject the Gospel of peace are rejecting God's salvation.

An important aspect of the "sandals of peace" is to always be prepared. In the army of God, there are times of rest and refreshment, but there is never a time for complacency. Christians who let their guard down and get comfortable during a temporary cease-fire will not be ready when the enemy comes in to attack. Even if it appears that all is going smoothly in your life at the moment, this is not a time to be complacent in your prayer, bible study, meditation, declarations and fellowship.

By shodding your feet with the "readiness that comes from the gospel of peace," you proclaim that the Prince of Peace is victorious over the powers of darkness. True peace only comes through Jesus Christ. He says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" [John 16:33]. No matter what happens, you can be confident that your Loving Father is ultimately in control and that He has the last word. Stand firm therefore with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes with the gospel of peace.

Prayer: My Loving Father, I thank You for the peace I have in Christ Jesus. There are situations today that should make me worry or be anxious, but I choose to cast my care and anxiety upon You. I stand firm with my feet fitted with the readiness that comes with the gospel of peace.  I know that the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. May Your peace rule my life and by Your grace, may I be prepared to share the gospel of peace to all I come in contact with. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Your Good Living Will Pay Off

Reassure the righteous
that their good living will pay off.

There are some people who seem to live in excess, who have exceeded those heights we want to attain, or who have used shortcuts or immoral means to get things we desire. We perceive that they go "unpunished" and we ask ourselves, "If they are totally wrong, how come they still prosper so much?" The urge to join the ranks tugs strongly at our hearts. We consider that we have held on to the right path for so long, yet we cannot see that which we have been waiting for. Their ways seem more appealing.

If you are in such a situation or if you are asking similar questions, today's scripture is for you. God's word is sure - Your good living would pay off. The Psalmist says, "I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread" [Psalm 37:25]. This is not only the sayings of the Psalmist, but a testimony to many who have walked with God and chosen to stay with Him, no matter the circumstance.

As for those who have left the path of righteousness, the word of God says, "Even though a person sins and gets by with it hundreds of times throughout a long life, I'm still convinced that the good life is reserved for the person who fears God, who lives reverently in his presence, and that the evil person will not experience a "good" life. No matter how many days he lives, they'll all be as flat and colorless as a shadow—because he doesn't fear God." [Ecclesiastes 8:12-13, MSG]. 

Though it might seem like its not happening for you despite your trust in God, remember this - Faithful is He who called, who also would complete it. It may tarry, it might seem like you are sinking deeper and deeper into despair, but hold on to this word - it will be well with you, and your good living will pay off.

Prayer: My Loving Father, I thank You for the reassurance this day that my good living will pay off. I admit that it is not easy to hold on tight, to remain in faith, when I see some prospering though they are not following Your ways. Father, I pray for Your grace and ability to keep trusting You no matter the situation. I pray that my eyes will always remain fixed on Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of my faith. I pray You reveal to me if my heart is filled with envy, that by Your grace, I may replace envy with the fruit of the Spirit. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Standing Firm With The Breastplate Of Righteousness

Stand firm then, with the breastplate of righteousness in place...

The breastplate was a soldier's protection for his chest and abdominal areas. Crafted of metal bands, the breastplate afforded critical protection from powerful blows. Before battle, a soldier would fasten the breastplate around his chest like a vest to protect his vital organs. If a soldier failed to wear his breastplate, an arrow could easily pierce his heart or lungs.

Every Christian has a vital "spiritual organ" which needs to be guarded above all else. We are to keep our heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life [Proverbs 4:23]. God wants your whole heart and nothing less, for a heart sets the course of a person's life.

Your spiritual heart is so important because "with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation". God offers us His righteousness on the basis of faith in His Son. We are justified and made righteous only because of our faith in the Lord Jesus. The breastplate of righteousness, then, is a gift obtained by faith. Today, we can enter into right standing before God, by faith, on the basis of Christ's merits. God protects those who are clothed in His righteousness. He says, "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD" [Isaiah 54:17].

Whenever the enemy tries to bring up your past or your mistakes to accuse you, the breastplate of righteousness is your defense. If the Spirit of Christ dwells in you, then your loving Father receives you as His child no matter what the devil says. "For He [God] hath made Him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" [2 Corinthians 5:21]. The righteousness of Christ in you is what matters — not your shortcomings and failures.

Prayer: My Loving Father, I thank You for I am righteous because of Jesus Christ. I thank You that this righteousness is not by my deeds, by following rules and laws, but a free gift from You. Father, I pray that today and always, I will make a conscious effort to put on my breastplate of righteousness, that my spiritual heart may be guarded against the wiles of the enemy. May I always realize who I am in You because of this gift of righteousness. In Jesus Name, Amen.