Helmets, Seat Belts, Armor

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV

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A strong defense wins championships.

This statement has been repeated constantly by sport teams over the years. Yet how does that apply to everyday life?

This past week, I had a bicycle accident. The bike tires hit what this northern transfer calls “rubber ice.” For those outside the state of Florida, rubber ice is a byproduct of rubber mats placed on sidewalk corners. Their purpose is to prevent people from slipping on the pavement. However, the problem occurs after a rain shower when the rubber mat becomes wet. When bicycling, one must approach these mats directly head-on or risk having the tires spin out of control.

The later is what happened when I quickly turned onto the sidewalk at an angle. The tires didn’t hold and the bike went into a slide. When everything stopped, I was a pretzel caught under the bike with my cheek rubbing the cement ground. Thankfully, I was wearing a helmet which took most of the blow to the head. I was fortunate to walk away with only minor scrapes and bruises.

I recall in those early years once driving my auto on the service drive of a freeway when another car ran a stop sign and broadsided me. The impact knocked my car off the road toward the freeway which laid approximately 30 feet below. The impact knocked me from the driver side to an upside down position on the passenger side. When the car came to a stop, my head was on the passenger floor mat and my feet upright hitting the ceiling. My right hand though hung onto the steering wheel keeping the car from toppling off the service ramp into the traffic below.

Again, I was fortunate to walk away with bruises and minor cuts. This was before the law of the land required seat-belt usage. Anyway, after that ordeal wearing a seat belt became my standard before it was even a legal requirement.

Today, wisdom recognizes the safety importance of wearing helmets when cycling and seat belts when driving cars. One never knows when outside circumstances could cause a damaging accident with crippling human results.

The apostle Paul outlines in the book of Ephesians the defensive measures that a Christ-follower wears to prevent catastrophe against the devil’s ploy. He described it as the whole armor of God. It includes Truth, Righteousness, The Gospel, Faith, Salvation, Word of God, and Prayer.

If you want to have a strong defense, than it is recommended that one learns, understands, and integrates each of these tools into your life. The world’s circumstances will test you through unexpected battles. To survive and endure to the end requires putting on the defensive gear before an unplanned accident occurs. With the proper equipment, one has a better chance of walking away with only minor bruises and small cuts.

Those who aren’t wearing any protective gear though will experience the full impact of an accident’s fury. Whether bicycling, driving, or moving through life’s jungle, one needs to be prepared for the unexpected. The armor of God helps you to manage the risk of the unexpected.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Preach What?

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“But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12 ESV

 

The other day a pastor on TV emphasized that He preaches the Bible. Another preacher on the other station states that he preaches Jesus Christ. It raised the question. Which is the message of the Kingdom? The Bible or Jesus Christ?

Whenever one elevates the Bible or equates the written word with the personal Word, my historical journey is recalled and danger flags are now waved. It begs the question, how do you interpret the Bible? What is the basis of your preaching? Is the main thing the Bible or who the Bible points to?

When a person preaches Jesus Christ as Savior, Messiah, and Lord, the focus in on the main thing – Jesus. The Bible introduces the reader to Jesus. The Incarnate Jesus reveals God to us. As we read and study the life, work, and heart of Jesus, we learn more about God. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, we learn to follow in his steps. As we study the Bible through a Jesus-centered Triune God worldview, we have a more solid basis of interpreting scripture.

Our focus is to build a stronger relationship with the eternal God. The Bible is simply a means to this end.

Our partnership and participation is with Jesus; not the Bible. He is redeeming humanity; not the Bible. Our job is to abide and follow Him. To listen to His word as He communicates to us. The Bible serves as a means for God to communicate to us through His Spirit. As we read and study the inspired word, we are open to hear his voice. As we learn to hear his voice through scripture, we are more attuned to recognize Him during the activities of the day. It is His Spirit that inspires us, encourages us, and opens us up to serve those around us.

Again, the Bible is the means, not the message. The message is Jesus Christ, His Spirit, and His Domain. Secondary, but including in that message is how we participate with Him through the sanctification phase.

Jesus is the reason we have the Bible. Therefore, if the preaching is not centered around Jesus Christ, be careful. If the message doesn’t explain how Jesus is the foundation of your growth, service, and faith, be on guard. If the emphasis is on what you need to do and not what Jesus has done, is doing, and will do, be suspect. Remember, Jesus came with good news; not more burdens, yokes, and hurdles for you to climb.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Feelings

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11 ESV

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I don’t feel like it!

How often have we expressed the same?

What did we do with that feeling?

Did we follow through as a victim of our feelings?

Or did we balance the feelings with God’s Character?

Did we weigh the feelings with His Word?

What is the truth when you compare your feelings with His Word?

Yes, there are times when our feelings will be correct. Other times your feelings will blind you to the truth.

Be a wise person. Stop, pull back, and evaluate the situation. Don’t let your feelings lead you unless you already know they are built upon the foundation of God’s love, grace, and truth.

 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.