Be Strong in the Lord part 6

Ephesians 6:16
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

We were at a funeral yesterday.  The gentleman who passed away was part of my husband’s life as he was growing up and has been an extra grandfather for our children.  His love (and that of his dear wife) for us has had an everlasting impact on our family.  While we were at the internment, a little girl – between four and five, tugged on her mummy’s sleeve and queried, “Mummy, what’s in the treasure chest?”

What a question!  Mummy had the opportunity to share that in this treasure chest (the coffin) was a dear friend; a treasure to all who knew him.  That could be sort of scary except that because we know that this dear friend trusted and loved the Lord he wasn’t really in the box.  His body was there, but his spirit had gone on ahead to be with the Lord.  That simple explanation took the fear of death and loss and turned it into rejoicing for the sake of the Lord.  The true treasure was in the amazing fact that he had gone home to be with the Lord.  The treasure is in the promise Jesus gave…

John 14:1-3

Do not let your heart be troubled;believe in God, believe also in Me. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for D)’>where I am, there you may be also.

What a perfect example of how the shield of faith protects us from the hurts of this world!

2 Chronicles 20:20
“Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld;”

There are many ways that Satan attacks us in this life.  Money, relationships, time, commitments/overcommitments, disappointments, lies, work, the list can go on and on indefinitely.  The fact is that Satan knows what our weaknesses are.  His “flaming arrows” will always shoot for the areas where we are most vulnerable.  Trying to fight the battle on our own will ultimately result in defeat.

One of Satan’s most powerful tools is fear.  Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of loss.  The disciples were rebuked by Jesus for their fear.

Matthew 8:26
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Fear and faith are directly linked.  We can be safe from fear if we have faith in the Lord and His care for us.

Matthew 9:29
Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”

Matthew 17:20
And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

These two passages in Matthew are so exciting!  The promise is that the more faith I have in God, the more I trust Him – the more blessing He has for my life!

2 Chronicles 13:18
Thus the sons of Israel were subdued at that time, and the sons of Judah conquered because they trusted in the LORD, the God of their fathers.

Catch those key words… “because they trusted in the LORD”

Hebrews 11:32-34

 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, C)’>Samson, E)’>David and I)’>obtained promises, N)’>put foreign armies to flight.

All mighty men of God but still the key words remain the same… “who by faith”.

Jeremiah 29:11
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

God has something for us.  The question is, do we trust Him with our lives?  Do we believe in Him?  Do we have faith to let Him be God?

The things that are most important to us are those that will direct our attitudes and behaviour.

Matthew 6:21
for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I will never forget the comfort of a tiny child, who through faith, allowed God to protect her heart.

Romans 3:24-26

and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Romans 10:17
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

As I looked up the word faith, the book of Romans overshadowed the rest for references.  Paul repeatedly and passionately shares the importance of faith.  Faith is the belief that the Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the acceptance that He went to the cross and died for my sins and the sins of the whole world.  Believing that Jesus rose again on the third day conquering the power of death on our behalf.  The acknowledgement and acceptance of that free gift and the willingness to come in repentance asking forgiveness and trusting God to be our saviour.

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

 Romans 1:17
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

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