Friday, January 22, 2010

Full Armor

Ephesians 6:13-18 talks about the armor of God, specifically putting on the FULL armor of God. I wonder how often do we face a day without putting it on-the complete armor of God?

How often do we have meltdowns in traffic, because we didn't put on our gospel of peace? How often do we get hurt feelings because we didn't put on the belt of truth? How often do we get worried and upset over troubling news because we didn't pick up our shield of faith? These moments in our everyday lives would be so much less disturbing if we would fully suit up in God's armor! Peace would rule in our hearts, truth would ring in our minds and our thoughts would be centered on God's ability and not ours. Every day, let's be intentional about dressing in the full armor of God.

Don't leave home without it!

"Therefore put on the fill armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. " Ephesians 6:13-18NIV

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What Do They Notice?

Over the holidays my son noticed something similar among the Turner family. He says to me, "Mom, all the Turners have the same lips! I can't believe no one ever noticed." (He's seven and very observant!) He and his sister both have lips like their father and grandmother. Then as he looked around the room, he said, "Mom, you're a Turner and you don't have the same lips as us. Why not?" That brought on a long discussion about him having features and traits from me and his Dad, and how we got ours from our parents, and they got theirs from their parents and so on and so on. It got me to thinking.

My first thought was what do my children notice about me spiritually? Do they think I look like my heavenly Father? Do I have mannerisms or traits that reflect that I am a child of God? I hope so. Without a doubt, I mess up...way too often. However, it is my desire that they know God-that He is faithful, that He is trustworthy. And as we always tell them-No one loves them like Jesus does.

Secondly, I wondered if those who don't know Christ notice Christ in me? How is my life a portrait of God's love, grace and mercy? Does my speech, attitude and service look like their Savior's? No doubt we're all being noticed. Whether it's in our homes, communities or workplaces, we're being noticed. The question is what are they seeing?

It may seem unrealistic to you that we must always reflect Jesus. And if left to ourselves and our own abilities, it would be impossible. Thankfully, Jesus knew that. So he left us the Holy Spirit-the one who works in us and through us to glorify Jesus.

May our lives reflect Him more and more everyday.

Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more. 2 Corinthians 3:17,18

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Truth Prevails

Wrapping up 2009 and moving into 2010, I had a realization that the holidays were unpleasant for many family members and friends. Saying "Merry Christmas" or "Happy New Year" was really awkward way too many times. Jobs were being lost, incomes were falling, families were separated, loved ones were gone and the pain and sadness was palpable. Other years have definitely had their tough times, but this season I was acutely aware and in moments overwhelmed by it all. At one point, I begged God for wisdom, for some words that would encourage and bring His peace. His response-Truth prevails.

Honestly I didn't know if it was helpful or not, but I said it. And I've continued to say it and hide it in my heart. Below are some verses that I looked up this week about truth. They have helped to solidify peace in my heart and mind for those that I love. Truth does indeed prevail.

"The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." Psalm 145:18

"Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." Psalm 86:11

"Jesus answered," I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6