In this blog, I want to share with you what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has blessed my family and I with and it is my sincere prayer for each of you that you will be able to enjoy our Abba Daddy's blessings over your own life. Shalom!

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Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Armor of God - The Shield Of Faith

The next piece of armor for the Roman soldier is the largest and therefore covers most of his surface area. In defence the soldier will use the shield to fend off all arrows, projectiles as well as the sword and so it had to work for him.
Ephesians 6:16
New King James Version (NKJV)
16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
For the shield to be effective, it had to be made of a strong material and yet be light. Now we need to remember that this shield was part of the Roman soldier's armory in the first century and not the twentieth century and so we have to rule out aluminum alloy or stainless steel. So say that the shield was cut out of wood but then the soldier will be lugging along a weighty burden.
Now I submit to you that the shield was actually made out of cow-hide (or bull-hide) because the Roman soldier loves his meat and there are plenty in those countries they conquered. Cow-hide will be lighter than wood and to make it pliable, they soak their shields in water and because the hide is soaking wet, any fiery arrows (darts as in the NKJV above) will be quenched when they are lodged in the shield.
We also note that the shield actually stretched from the soldiers eye down to his toes and the Romans invented the concept of the military tank; they had the ability to form a box with those on the inside holding their shields above their heads thus enclosing themselves from fiery arrows from above their heads in addition to all the sides.
Why did Paul use the shield for his instruction on faith? I submit to you that the weapon the devil uses against us is accusations and lies about our positions of righteousness. He needs to  get us disoriented first so that when we lower our guard he will then attack us directly.
1 Peter 5:8-9
New King James Version (NKJV)
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because[a] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
Peter tells us that the devil walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Notice a lion only roars when he wants to intimidate its prey. Once he is stalking its prey, he will switch to silent mode so that its prey does not know what hit it; a complete surprise. Notice Peter also mentions our weapon against the devil - our faith.
So my friend, continue to exercise your faith every day to build our spiritual strength and when the devil realizes that we are not in the category of 'devourable' he will have no choice but to leave us alone.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Armor of God - Shoes of the Readiness that Comes From The Gospel of Peace

Does it ever occurred to you that it is odd that Paul should point out the shoes that a Roman soldier wears as part of his armor? What has the shoes got to do to protect the soldier? you may ask.  

Ephesians 6:15

New International Version (NIV)
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
I will tell you that a lot has to do with the type of shoes a soldier wears when he goes out for a mission. When I was serving my national service as a teenager, I recalled receiving my brand new pair of leather boots on the first day (in fact we received two pairs - for for training and the other for the parade square) and I had to 'break' them in and make them very comfortable for my legs. Like any new pair of footwear they do bite on the shin and the sole and walking in them for the first time was torturing but when one gets used to them, they will kind of 'blend' with the foot or rather the foot will blend with the shoes and soon they will become inseparable.
The feet carry us wherever we go and sometimes in our daily walk, we do come across unclean places and we need to wash our feet when we arrive home or when we reach our resting place. Jesus reminded us, on the night He was betrayed, after the Last Supper that we need to constantly wash our feet (John 13:1-11).
Now what is this washing of feet mean? We get a glimpse when we look at Ephesians 5:26-27 

Ephesians 5:26-27

New International Version (NIV)
26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
We are reminded that the cleansing should be with water and here the water refers to the water of the word of Christ. You see, we need to be constantly reminded that we are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21) and that there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1) even when we had failed or 'walked' into places that we should not have ventured into. Our lives should be one constant walk in the gospel of peace - peace because God the Father is no longer dealing with our sins since He already dealt judiciously with them on Jesus at the cross - and we should always be ready to share that peace. Paul calls the shoes the shoes of the readiness of the gospel of peace.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Armor of God - The Breastplate of Righteousness

Obviously the Rapture did not come else I will not be here to post another message. Anyway, there will be another year - 2012.
It is interesting to note that the apostle Paul describe the pieces of the Armor of God in a certain order. If I were to write the scriptures, I would have started from the top (helmet) down to the soles (shoes). No, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul started with the belt and then he moved to the breastplate.
Ephesians 6:14
New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
We must first be convinced of the truth that Jesus wants us to know that we know that we know - the truth that there is now no more condemnation for those of us who are in Christ. Jesus died for our sins and paid the ultimate price and because of that, the Father is very delighted with His sacrifice. Knowing the truth is only part of the weapon we need to counter the evil one.
We also need to put on the breastplate of righteousness. The Roman breastplate is one solid piece of metal that the soldier puts on to protect the thrusts and stabs of the sword as well as the arrows. Interestingly enough the breastplate needs to be strapped and tied at the back and to ensure it is worn properly, someone needs to help fasten it.
My friend, the Lord Himself is the One who will help to fasten the breastplate on us as He helps us put on the armor and once we have the breastplate on, we have protection over the most important organ in our bodies - the heart. We need to be convinced that we are on righteousness ground and therefore no weapons formed against us shall stand in our way - Isaiah 54:17
New King James Version (NKJV)
17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the LORD.