Month: February 2020

A Ray of Light

John 8:12
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Written by: Tiffany Williford

Today during a walk, I took a moment to look up at the sky. The sun was not out because the sky was filled with grey clouds. Even though the sky was grey, I could see a perfect circle with a ray of light coming through it. Grey skies are not known to be beautiful but with rays of light coming through it, the sky is amazing and beautiful to look at. It reminded me that even through the darkness comes light.

Those who follow Christ will have their path illuminated and “will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Throughout our day and life, God lights our path. All we have to do is pay attention. His presence is all around us, even on the darkest days. He is present just like the circle of light I saw today through the clouds. Light must be an important reference in the Bible because the New King James version mentions it 177 times in the Old Testament and 95 in the New Testament. Light is used to symbolize God, faith, and holiness throughout the scriptures in the Bible. Next time you are having a hard day, I challenge you to take a look up at the sky and look for a ray of light.

Fight-2.14Thought of the day: What is one way that God has shown light to lead your path today?

Prayer: Father God, thank You for today. Thank you, Lord, for leading me and guiding me where You would like me to go. I pray Lord that You open my eyes to the path that You have for me. I pray God that you shine light on any darkness in my life. I pray for the light of life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Faith in Action

James 2:17
“…Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

Written by: Laura Le Blanc

Hundreds of years ago, a soldier’s shield was made of wood and was the size of a door. It protected the entire body. Soldiers would often cover them with soaked animal skins so that when the enemy’s flaming arrow hit, it would be quickly extinguished. The shield had to be lifted and maneuvered to work effectively. Likewise, we must exercise our faith if we are going to withstand the Devil’s attacks.

Faith is more than just believing in Jesus as my Savior. It’s being so confident in who He is and the promise to come that it changes how I live in the here and now. When I trust what God says is true, I’ll do what God asks me to do. The Devil will try to get me to doubt God because he knows if we give in to doubt, disobedience will follow. When he tempts us with lies and sinful thoughts, we must take them captive and make them obedient to Jesus.

In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego ignored the king’s order and refused to worship the golden image. When King Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them into a blazing furnace, they responded, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image you have set up!” (Daniel 3:17-18)

In his anger, the king had the furnace turned up and had the three men tied up and thrown into the fire. But when the king looked, he saw four men in the furnace, walking around untouched by the flames. When he ordered them to come out, he was amazed they didn’t even smell like smoke!

“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and rescued His servants who believed in, trusted in, and relied on Him!” (Daniel 3:28)

In times of trial, we can act in faith because God is faithful. He is our shield.

Fight-2.13Thought of the day: In what area of your life do you claim to trust God, but your actions aren’t matching up? What step of faith can you take this week?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful. You are my rock and my shield. You never leave me or forsake me. You keep Your promises. Your love never fails. You are mighty to save. You bless me with good things so my cup overflows. You deliver me from the evil one.  Help me God to trust what You say is true so that I’ll obey what You ask me to do. Amen.

Turtle Power!

Deuteronomy 20:1-4
When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

Written by: Kyle Stanforth

We’ve all seen it in those movies like “Gladiator.” Troops are just outside of arrow range of some wall or castle. When the commander yells something like “Turtle formation!” Immediately, the soldiers along the outside put their shields in front of themselves, the soldiers in the middle place theirs above their heads, and the soldiers just inside the edge connect the two. From the view of the archer, it looks like a turtle. One large domed shield.

Then the commander yells, “March!” Then, slowly and together they approach the enemy. If any of them dropped their shield, it could put the whole unit at risk. If someone did lower their shield, without a doubt, one of the soldiers would say (in his best ninja turtle voice) “Shields up bro!”

The selected passage tells how Israel went out to battle together as an army. Unlike some of the other weapons that we’ve been studying, the shield of faith can be used in unison with others around us. I have my “peeps” that will ask me hard questions sometimes. If I am tired or off track, I will hear the equivalent of “Shields up bro!” The enemy hates when we walk in faith together and wants us to believe that we are alone.

We all must have strong shields of faith and march at the direction and speed of our commander, God. We also should look for battle buddies so we can lock arms and encourage each other for the times when our faith is weak or tired.

Fight-2.12Thought of the day: Do you have Godly men or women that you can share your faith walk with? A small group is a great place for this. Authentic friendships centered around God’s word is what small groups are all about. Jesus said, “In this world you will have problems, but take heart I have overcome the world!” I read this as, there will be battles, but God has already won the war. On those days when your faith is tested, remember that Jesus has overcome the world, and then be real with your battle buddy about your struggle.

Prayer: My Father and my God, thank You for Your grace. While you said that in this world I will have troubles, you also said that you have overcome the world. On my days when my faith is challenged, strengthen me to raise my shield of faith and remember Your promises. Please put Godly people in my path that I can encourage and be encouraged by. Help me remember that the war has been won! I lift this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I Will Trust You, Lord

Psalm 56:3-4
But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?

Written by: Patty Esposito

There I was trembling as a scared and frightened child trying to fall asleep but to no avail. The noises, the shadows, and the darkness allowed my body and mind to go into panic mode. I was so afraid.

Then entered my mother who calmly helped me by whispering these words over me: “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.”

She assured me with the words “Honey, God is right here with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Ask Him now to allow you to sleep, knowing He will take care of you.”

My mother always brought comfort to me. She taught me how to draw upon the strength of God and His Word to succeed in getting through hard, desperate, and scary times.

The Oxford definition of fear is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or threat.” Sometimes fear may even be False Evidence Appearing Real! But we’ve been given faith to trust the perfect love of Jesus.

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. – 1 John 4:18

It’s His strength we need. It’s His Assurance we need. It is His Comfort we need. And it’s only found in the person of Jesus. Trusting Him to get us through the fear needs to always be our first choice. If only we would learn to go to Him first.

Why do we wait? Why do we seek comfort from other things or people? Why can’t we remember He’s the one who brings true peace, true satisfaction, and true comfort when we are afraid?

Fight-2.11Thought of the day: Go to Him at the first sign of fear. Ask Him to deliver you from that specific fear.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, the author and creator of all I am, deliver me from the stronghold of fear. Help me to trust that You are there every moment of every day to help me fight my battle over fear. Amen.

Stand Your Ground!

Titus 3:8-10
This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.

Written by: John Esposito

As we work through Ephesians 6 in this series, have you noticed a theme? Five times in verses 11 – 16 the author uses the word “stand.” To stand is to take your place steadfastly based on the truth and your faith in that truth. This is a firm position on the vital truths of the gospel. Once you know the truths and have settled them in your heart by faith, you can stand from a position of victory over the lies of the enemy.

Jesus not only said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32), He also said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.” (John 18:37)

One of the strategies the enemy uses is to distract us from proclaiming and speaking about the vital truths of the gospel—the good news of Jesus. In this week’s scripture, we are warned against the foolish quarrels and arguments that are of no profit to us or anyone else.

One of the best defenses against getting off-track in your own testimonies about the good news of the gospel is to focus on exactly what Jesus has done for you. What battles has He won for you? What behaviors has He delivered you from? When has He given you peace and calm in a time of trouble?

Against these things, the principalities and the dark forces have no ground to stand on. Instead, you have the firm foundation to take your stance of faith of what God has done for you and that is forever!

My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”John 10:29

Fight-2.10Thought of the day: Take time to focus on the truths of what God has done in your life. First, for your salvation and then all the other gracious acts. Be prepared to share these great truths when others inquire what gives you such confidence in God and in your life.

Prayer: God, I praise Your victorious name. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. Help me to take my stand when the fiery darts are sent my way, always remembering the truth the victory has already been won! Thank You, God. Amen.