Archive for the ‘Food For Thought’ Category

Strong In The Lord’s Power: Part IV -Gear Up!   Leave a comment

“Wake up soldier! On your feet! There is a WAR going on! A war for your eternal life, and it’s time to get ‘stuck in’ !”

In Ephesians 6:13, your General is giving you a command: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God…”

He is not making a request; “Would you please?” And Generals seldom make mere suggestions. No, He is commanding it; “GEAR UP SOLDIER!” And He even tells us why in the preceding verse (see Part III), as well as in the rest of verse 13:

“…that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

ie. “Get your armor on, because the enemy is going to attack you, and I expect you to do all you can to WIN!”

I feel like there should have been an exclamation point at the end of this verse. This is a rouse from our Commander, our Leader, our General, to get up, put our gear on, and get ready to fight! And not only to fight, but to WIN! Or, at very least, to have giving one’s all to win… It is only He Who ultimately brings the victory, of course.

Question: In a physical battle…would you ignore such an order by your commanding officer?
No way! Of course not! So we NEED to take this very seriously! Just as we would if it were a physical battle we were preparing for. In fact, even more so. Afterall…this is not our mere physical lives we are talking about…but about our LIFE, ETERNAL!

Our enemy doesn’t want us to take this seriously. In fact, he doesn’t even want us to be thinking about how real this battle is. He wants us to de-prioritize it, to take these verses for granted, and even to believe that we are un-equipped and unable to fight.

There was a Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher by the name of Sun Tzu. Perhaps you have heard of him. He is credited as having written the book, “The Art Of War.”  Here are a few tactics from his book, that you can be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN the devil uses against Christ’s true Followers:

“Attack (your enemy) where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.”

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

“Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

If the devil can distract you from the fight. He knows how to make you feel it is not important or necessary enough to PUT ON The Armor of God every day, effectively keeping you from fighting back. If he is successful (and remember, he has had THOUSANDS of years to perfect his tactics) then he has half the battle one already.

And so our General of Heaven’s Armies it warning us here. He is “rousing his troops” if you will. In the preceding verses, He has made if very clear that there is a war going on, and who or enemy is. And no, in verse 13, our General says to YOU…”Soldier… get ready! Battle is nigh!  TAKE UP the whole armor of God!”

So do it! Put it on. Get ready to fight! For fight we must! Because, whether we are ready or not….whether we see it or not; whether we or feel it or not; whether we know it…or not….the devil IS at war with us, and he is ever planning his attacks. He is ever looking for the right moments, as well as just how to attach you and me. He is cunning. He is a master of propaganda, distraction, and deception. He is a master strategist. He’s had thousands of years to hone and perfect his tactics.

He will be fighting… the question is… will you?

 

 

 

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Strong In The Lord’s Power: Part III – War   Leave a comment

Ephesians 6: 11-12 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle (struggle) against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, agasint the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

One of the main things to take away from this set of scripture, is a clear warning that we are at WAR.

This is something we all too often forget, because we can’t SEE a battle going on. Oh, there are times when we can certainly feel it, but often by then, we find ourselves all too unprepared for the fight.

This passage lays it out for us though:

  1. We are to stand against the wiles of the devil.  This tells us not only WHO we are fighting, but it also lets us know that he has methods of attack. The devil schemes, and he has tactics and strategies that he uses against us. We can see these tactics specifically laid out in 1 John 2:16. Examples  of the devil using said tactics are recorded for us in Genesis, when he tempted Eve, and also later when he TRIED to tempt Christ in the wilderness. He used the same tactics both times. (Check this out if you have never seen it! Gen. 3 & Matt. 4) We need to know and understand these tactics so that we can recognize them and be prepared to fight and resist them as Yeshua did. We can’t afford not to.
  2. This IS war. Verse 12 uses the words wrestle (or struggle. Some translations use the word fight, or fighting.). This shows that there is action to be taken on our part. This is a battle–a DAILY battle. The enemy is always prowling about, like a roaring lion , seeking whom he may devour. We have to ALWAYS be on guard, ready to do battle.  (1 Peter 5:8 says:  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. And the very next verse, shows that we are to be resisting and standing firm. Verse 9 in the NIV says, “Resist him, standing firm in the faith…”) Make no mistake, we are soldiers and we are at war!
  3. We are not fighting a physical battle, but a spiritual one. Though often our battles seem physical, and maybe physical obstacles or even physical enemies are against us, but our true battle… our true enemy… is spiritual! We need to recognize the enemy! If we only look at the physical, we will only try to fight back physically. Think about that statement for a moment! Again: If we only look at the phsycial, we will only try to fight back physically.  And we will fail. Not only that, but this often leads us to sinning as well.
    For example: If a person is persecuting us, and if we don’t see this as a spiritual battle, not recognizing the true enemy behind the attack,  then we might find ourselves retaliating against the person persecuting us. Most often (almost, if not every time…), we will handle this incorrectly, and / or have a bad attitude toward the person. Thus we allow the spiritual attack (by the true enemy) to be successful because we are lead to sinful thoughts, sinful feelings, sinful attitudes, and perhaps even sinful actions. BUT.. if we recognize the true enemy, we will take up a spiritual warfare. We will remember who our General is, and what HE has given us to defend ourselves with, and ONLY THEN will we be able to fight back appropriately. (Using the tools battle He has given us: prayer, fasting, counsil, and His armor and sword.) Only then, can we have true victory over the real enemy attacking us. And this will, in turn, alter the physical as well, and in the best and most profitable way.

Make no mistake… we ARE at WAR! And the enemy has had THOUSANDS of YEARS to hone and sharpen his tacics against us mere humans. We need to recognize this…our VERY LIFE DEPENDS UPON IT!

Let’s start praying to our General, to show us these tactics clearly, and to help us not only recognize them, but to prepare for OUR battle (and for our fellow soldiers)…every…single…day!

THIS IS WAR! FIGHT ON!

 

 

 

 

B1   Leave a comment

We have all heard the sayings: “The best vitamin for making friends is, B1.”  And, “if you want to have friends, you must first show yourself friendly.”

These are true of course, but let’s take it a step further. As Christians we know that our Leader, our King, our very Example, lived His life solely for others. He was, and is, the ultimate friend, if you will.

Have you ever stopped to think about that? We all want friends. But do we ever turn to Christ’s life and realize He showed us the ultimate example on how to be the ultimate friend? (Thus gaining friends! Though that should not be our “goal,” per se.)

Consider this verse: “Greater love has no man, than to give his life for his friends.” John 15:13.  (And note 15:12 as well.)

We know that Yeshua gave His life for the WHOLE world! So that all could have a chance at eternal life. But what does that mean? Eternal life = life in His Family. This is ETERNAL FRIENDSHIP of the HIGHEST STANDARD!  And it is offered to the whole world! All have a chance to take part in Christ’s offer of friendship.

Christ’s whole life was a blessing for all! And His command to us is to love one another as He loved us. This is how we are to be known as His disciples.

John 13:34-35  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

So Yeshua, our Friend and Example lived His life as a blessing to others; Loving others; Putting others before Himself. He was a blessing to all! (Even to those whom disagree with Him and hated Him. Even to those that brought about His death.) We cannot argue that He first showed Himself friendly, and was indeed a blessing to others.

So what about us? Are we a blessing to others?

How would Christ behave today? Would He expect people to just flock to Him? Or would He seek out those He could serve, bless, and be an ultimate friend to?

If He were to walk into services (for example), He would be friend to all. He would find those that He could be a blessing to.

I remember a woman in the Church, once told me to be a blessing to others. That stuck with me. And so I often pray that God will help me to be a blessing to others. But recently, I was feeling rather down and discouraged, and another woman in the Church, saw my state, sat down with me, and proceeded to encourage me. She showed me Christ’s friendship! She was a blessing to me! And then she told me something else that I’ll never forget: Someone here may need you. Ask God to guide you to any person that may need you, that you might be able to help them in some way, and be a blessing for them.

THAT is BEING a blessing! That is Christ’s kind of friendship! Offering yourself to another. Serving another. Offering friendship, on any level, to another person. This is loving.

Each of us should start asking God to help us BE a blessing for others. And ask God to guide you to someone specifically that you could be a blessing for. Maybe it’s a simple, “How are you today?” Showing that someone cares and has concern for them. There are people out there (even in the Church) that would be delighted to have someone simply take notice and recognize their existence. Or maybe they just need a shoulder to cry on, or someone to listen to them. Maybe they have an issue that they don’t know what to do about. Maybe they are facing a conundrum of some sort, or need something done that you have the ability to help with.

For some, this may seem scary. One might think, “But I don’t know what to say!” Well, if we are putting it in God’s hands, and asking Him to guide us, then we need to trust Him that He will. He knows each of us better than we know ourselves. Look at Moses. Do you think God didn’t know Moses had speech difficulties? Of course, and He had a way to deal with that. God knows you too. He knows your strengths and weaknesses.

Maybe you don’t have to strike up a converstaion. Maybe all another person needs is a hug, a smile, a handshake, or a simple pat on the back in passing by. Sometimes its the simpelest of gestures that mean more to another than we could know. So if we are asking God to guide us to be a blessing for someone, trust that God will handle it in the best way, for them and for you.

How will it change our own lives if we start seeking to be a blessing to others!?  Well, knowing that we are serving our Master in this way brings great joy!

Christ said, whatever we do to others, we do to Him! (Matt. 25:40)

And who knows what kind of difference YOU might make in another peron’s life. Offer Christ’s friendship to others, through you, and see what happens. You could make a big difference in someone else’s life! And great things will come to your life as well.

So let’s look to Yeshua’s example of frienship, and ask God to guide us in this. Let’s get out there a BE a blessing! B1! 

 

(A special thanks to Jacob and my mom for helping me edit this and add to this article. And to Anita for reaching out to me that day and showing me an example of being a blessing.)

Posted November 12, 2016 by buildupontherock in Food For Thought

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The Sabbath And Your Future   Leave a comment

Understanding that The Sabbath represents the 1,000 year Millennium and realizing its vital importance not only to true Christians, but to the world as well (despite their lack of understanding of it at this time)…

Do you ever stop to really consider the future in that light?

I think often, we come into the Sabbath and we think about how nice it is to relax and be free of the “daily grind,” the stresses and cares of the world. We focus on going to church, and (hopefully) we pray and bible study, spending extra time with God, etc. All this is well and good for certain, but do we spend much time thinking about the future on this day? After all, this Day is to remind us of that.

What will it be like? What will you and I be doing? What a huge and profound responsibility we will have at that time (and are training for right now)! What will it be like to be responsible for an entire population of a city, or cities? What will a city then even be like? (Certainly not what we picture today)
There is so much to think about, and of course, a lot of that, maybe most, is speculation, but how often do we consider it?

If I told you next year, I was going to give you one hundred million dollars, how much time would you spend considering that?

We have such an immense and awesome responsibility coming. Yes, it’s much harder to think about something we know so little about, but we do know it will be bigger than anything in our lives now. Bigger than any current position of administration. You…that’s right, you will one day have such a responsibility. To be Kings and Priests. That is our future.

When you really stop and consider it, it’s both sobering…and very exciting. (Of maybe causes you great fear and anxiety, but in either case) This train of thought can help put our daily lives into perspective: What matters vs what doesn’t? What are we here for/to do? What do we need to focus on? How are we training/preparing now for our future position/responsibility? Etc, etc.

So on this Sabbath day, and every Sabbath day, along with the other special Sabbath things you do, make time to ponder your imminent future, that time when this awesome day is fulfilled…awesomely.

Happy Sabbath!

Posted August 16, 2014 by buildupontherock in Food For Thought

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