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The Full Armor

Inspired by and taken from “The Magnificent Defeat” by Frederick Buechnerarmor of man, armor of God, ephesians
Which armor are you putting on?  Is it the armor for the war between flesh and flesh, or between flesh and the spiritual forces of evil.

The armor used for Flesh vs. Flesh wars is not the whole armor of God but, rather, the whole armor of man, because this is man’s war against other men.  In such a war perhaps you wear something like this:

  • Gird you loins with wisdom, the sad wisdom of the world which knows that dog eats dog, that the gods help those who help themselves and charity begins at home.
  • Put on the breastplate of self-confidence because if you have no faith in yourself, if you cannot trust to your own wits, then you will never get anywhere.
  • Let your feet by shod with the gospel of success – the good news that you can get just about anything in this world if you want it badly enough and are willing to fight for it.
  • Above all, take the shield of security because in a perilous world where anything can happen, security is perhaps what you need more than anything else – the security of money in the bank, or a college degree, or some basic skill that you can always fall back on.
  • And take the helmet of attractiveness or personality and the sword of wit

People are always criticizing the advertising business for its implied promise that the one who gets the best job or the prettiest girl is the one who wears the right clothes or uses the right toothpaste or drinks the right brand of vodka.  But the fact of the matter is that although this is by no means a happy truth about our society, it is nonetheless very often not far from being true… In the war of conquest, that is to say, in the war that we all wage for a place in the sun, it is the armor of man rather than the armor of God that will serve you best; and although I can’t value that armor as highly as some would value it, I also cannot mock it because the armor of man serves its purpose all too well, and because I wear some of it myself, and so do you.   – Fredrick Buechner

 

Ephesians 6:10-18

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

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A Father’s Testimony

My daughter lived 780 days (2 years and 2 months) and we often wondered after she died, if she knew Jesus.  She Did!  We know we will see her again and I hope her story will be a comfort to others who have experienced loss.  May God comfort you and bless you!

Westchester Men's Ministry - Christian Fathers

Emily was born on February 13, 2002 with Carnitine-acylcarnitine translocase (CACT) deficiency which is a genetic disorder that prevents the proper breakdown of fats.  This leads to excess ammonia in the blood (hyperammonemia), an enlarged liver (hepatomegaly), and a weakened heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).  Emily died on April 3, 2004 of cardiomyopathy.

Carolyn and Terence miss Emily very much.  We know that she lights up heaven just a little more with her presence but this world is that much dimmer without her.

God Bless!

Creative Commons License

A Father’s Testimony by Westchester Men’s Ministry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://nymensministry.com/2012/11/08/a-fathers-testimony/.
 

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Can You Lose Your Salvation

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been debating the question ‘can one lose their salvation?’ in our small group.  My opinion has leaned always towards ‘no’.  Not in order to assure myself that my actions couldn’t cause my demise but that they couldn’t cause my salvation.  I do believe that the devil is constantly in the ear of those that have given their life to Christ saying “Are you really sure you are saved?” while God is in the other ear saying “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.

To think that our actions, I argued could keep us saved devalues Christ’s sacrifice.  He paid it all and died so we might live.  I’m not arguing that we need to work out our sanctification but all we bring to our justification is our sins (sorry forgot who originally said this).

Today, I heard a sermon from Chuck Swindoll on Disqualification.  He made a compelling point.  Not that our disciplines or actions assure our salvation but that the state of our heart will be judged.  Can we love God with all our heart and desire Him over everything, and than slowly fall in love with the things of the world and forget God.  I believe we can.

It’s not a quick action like the slip of the tongue.  ‘Oh no, there goes my salvation, let me work to get back in right relationship with God.’  No, it’s more like deciding not to accept the gift we once accepted.  Jesus’ death paid the price and this is a gift we need to receive.  He doesn’t force it on us.

As Chuck so eloquently described putting something else before God is subtle, very subtle.  We test the boundaries, we rationalize our actions, we continue to push the limits.  Until we say “I don’t care the cost, I want …”  and the blank space is anything but God.

But their is hope.  Chuck mentions Samson and how his ego led to his demise but he didn’t mention the end of the story.  In Judges 16:28, Samson prays to God “O sovereign Lord, remember me.  O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes”.  Some say Samson’s hair had grown back and therefore his strength had returned but then he wouldn’t need to pray.  No, it’s clear that he put God back in His right position, as the sovereign Lord, and therefore took himself off the throne of his life.  God answered Samson’s prayer and if you turn back to God he will answer yours.

Please listen to Chuck Swindoll’s sermon here:
Insight for Living – April 26, 2010

* Image courtesy of http://www.howstuffworks.com/