Month: February 2020

Train Well

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,


Written by: Brett Humphrey

When we look at the Armor of God, the primary offensive weapon is the sword, and it is powerful. I’ve always liked movies with epic battles utilizing swords, especially “The Lord of the Rings” series. I watch them every year. After each battle, the characters sharpen their swords, so they’ll be prepared for the next encounter with the enemy. Not only do they keep their weapons sharpened, but they also train with them so they will improve and defeat the enemy.

When we study God’s Word and allow the Spirit freedom to work in our lives, He teaches, rebukes, corrects, and trains us in righteousness. Not only does this help us grow in our relationship with God, but it also helps us prepare for the battles we face in our lives. It’s easy to use God’s Word to point out things that other people should be doing, but instead, we should always ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the items He wants to change in our lives so we can be more like Jesus.

Fight-2.28Thought of the day: Use God’s Word to defeat the enemy in your life. Practice by reading God’s Word and asking the Holy Spirit to show you the verses you need to defeat the enemy today.

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your Word and for giving me the weapon I need to defeat the enemy today. Holy Spirit, please reveal to me the verses I need to fight the battle I’m in. Jesus, I want to be more like You, so please help me learn how to do that through your Word.

You Got This!

Isaiah 54:16-17
I create the blacksmith who fires up his forge and makes a weapon designed to kill. I also create the destroyer – but no weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged. Any accuser who takes you to court will be dismissed as a liar. This is what God’s servants can expect. I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best.”


Written by: Chris Moss

Blacksmiths are still firing up their forges and making weapons that maim, kill, and destroy. People are still buying them and becoming destroyers. However, few of us are likely to see that kind of warfare.

The weapons that truly hurt us today are the words of angry people. Words, like a sword, cut quick and deep into our souls and cause pain that reverberates for lifetimes and even for generations. People explode and walk away. Seldom do they know how much harm they have done.

The victims of their toxic spray respond to the trauma with fight or flight. We fight back, run and hide, get stuck at the developmental point of the trauma, or we fall all over ourselves taking the blame or enabling someone’s bad behavior. In a heated argument, many people do not think about the words they spew as a weapon. Being “right” is the most vital thought. Combatants are not usually prepared for the battle and even less prepared for the post-war collateral damage.

The Scripture we read in the quiet moments of life plants good seeds in our hearts and helps us to curtail our own negative spew. It protects us so that the spew of others doesn’t poison an open wound. The Word of God is a balm that soothes the wounds after the battle.

Fight-2.27Thought of the day: Sometimes, the Holy Spirit uses the Bible to remind us of our personal traumas.

If we are:

  • Fighters: He may want us to see the battle from a different perspective. Perhaps call a truce or ask for forgiveness for a negative response to someone else’s ugliness. (Philippians 1:27 – Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…)
  • Flyers: He may want us to see the old trauma in the light of new information or perspective. New context may bring forgiveness. Sometimes this can lead to restoration. (John 16:31-33 – …you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”)
  • Freezers: The Holy Spirit may want us to get unstuck. Recalled memories help our brains forge new neuropathways to understand trauma from a place of greater age and wisdom. (1 Corinthians 14:20 – Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.)
  • Enablers – He may want us to take our place as the royalty we are in the Kingdom of God and stop dismissing bad behavior. (1 Peter 2:9-10 – But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.)

Prayer: God, You promise us You’ll see to it everything works out for the best. Our accusers will be perceived as liars. Our court proceedings will have the result You design. We may not like the way things turn out, but You ultimately work things out for our best. So today, renew in us a spirit of willingness and wonder about the Word of God. Allow us to read scriptures that breathe new life into the hurt places in our own lives. We’ve got this God because You’ve got us! We are grateful! In Jesus’s name, amen.

A Quick Comeback

2 Corinthians 10:4-5
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.


Written by: Sarah Gauer

Do you know anyone who has a quick wit and is instantly coming up with sometimes funny, sometimes piercing, responses to all kinds of comments? While I sit in great awe of people like this, I am not one of these people. Usually, I think of a perfect comeback a day later while driving down the road or washing dishes.

When it comes to the schemes of Satan, however, God has already provided me with the words for a quick comeback. His Word gives me the truth with which I can fight back against the lies of the enemy. This is the weapon Paul is talking about in the verses above.

We all have different wounds the enemy loves to poke, and we must recognize these and get our comebacks ready. Here are a few comebacks that I use often:

Lie: You are not worthy.
Comeback: I am equipped through Christ with “every spiritual blessing,” chosen in Him “before the foundation of the world,” regarded as “holy and blameless before Him,” redeemed and forgiven, “lavished” with grace, and secured forever by “the Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:3-14).

Lie: God can’t love you. You’ve messed up one too many times.
Comeback: There is nothing that can separate me from the love of Christ (Romans 8:38-39).

Lie: You should be worried, anxious or afraid.
Comeback: God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). He has given me His peace (John 14:27), and no one can snatch me from the Father’s hand (John 10:27-29).

Fight-2.26Thought of the day: What lies do you find yourself fighting against? This week prepare your comebacks to the lies and commit those verses to memory.

Prayer: God, thank You for Your Word, which equips me to fight the spiritual battles that are raging around me all the time. Help me to identify when the enemy is scheming against me, and help me to know the truth, rooted in Your Word, to use to fight back. In Jesus’ name, amen.

This Dusty Ol’ Thing?

2 Kings 22:11–13
When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: “Go and enquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”


Written by: Larry Van Laar

At times, it is easy to think that God’s Word has been written down for us for our individual knowledge and spirituality. But what if knowing the Word of God, reading it out loud, and doing what it said could change a nation, stave off destruction, or repair a family? What if it could put a hedge of protection around those you care for most? Can it? Just ask Josiah.

Josiah was eight years old when he became king—the third king in his family. His father and grandfather before him were two of the most wicked kings that ever ruled in Jerusalem. Yet, Josiah, scripture says, “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. . .Not turning aside to the right or the left.”

In Josiah’s 18th year of reign, he raised money to repair the temple that had been taken over by pagan worshipers, the homeless, rats, and dust, and in doing so they found the book of the law—they found a Bible. All of Jerusalem had suffered for years under the brutality of other nations and Josiah’s father and grandfather. God was bringing this disaster upon all of Israel because of their blatant disobedience. They had walked away from the one true God. However, Josiah dusted off this old crusty book and began to obey it. He led his nation to serve Yahweh once again and God relented His punishment upon Israel. But this was only until the next evil king came along—and then God poured out his wrath once again.

God does notice you. He cares for you. He cares for the things you care about. His Word is meant to guide you, care for you, and give you hope. In the case of Josiah, God’s Word—and Josiah’s obedience to it—staved off destruction for a nation. Maybe He is calling you to break out the dusty ol’ book and walk in obedience.

Fight-2.25Thought of the day: Josiah shows us that even at a young age we can have a large influential impact on those around us when we know God’s Word and allow it to be our guide. Josiah also shows us that when we live in obedience to His living Word, there is blessing that comes from it that also spills out to others. And because of his commitment to his people and his commitment to God, the Lord said to Josiah, “Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken . . . I also have heard you,’ declares the Lord.” (2 Kings 22:19)  God’s Word is living and active. What are you doing to get it into you?

Prayer: Holy Spirit, come. Fill me with a desire to know Your Word. Help me to understand it fully and give me the wisdom to walk in it.

Braveheart

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.


Written by: Brian Kuhn

When I think of the sword of the Spirit, one thing that pops into my head is William Wallace’s sword from the movie “Braveheart” sticking in the ground before the last battle scene. The sword was swaying back and forth as the Scots stormed the battlefield. Although Wallace was no longer with them physically, they had the lessons he taught them, and they held his spirit in their hearts as they charged into battle.

God’s Word is our sword in our everyday lives. When we remain in the Bible and surround ourselves with other believers in a small group, we are prepared to fight. The sword of the Spirit is unique in that it is used as both a defensive and offensive tool. When the enemy is lying to us, we can use God’s Word to protect us from these accusations. The sword of the Spirit can also be used to block attacks with a counter that penetrates the lies. Each piece of the armor of God is imperative when it comes to withstanding the enemy. This is why scripture states to “put on the whole armor of God.” God’s Word not only protects us but allows us to move forward in the battle and defeat the enemy—not just withstand him.

Fight-2.24Thought of the day: Are you sharpening your sword each day by being in God’s Word?

Prayer: God, help me to keep my sword sharp. Help me to create a routine in my life where I go to Your Word first. I cannot fight my battles by myself. I need You and Your Word to resist the attacks of the enemy and move forward. Thank You for giving me the Bible to follow daily. In Jesus’ name, amen.