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Archive for November, 2009

Ephesians 6:14 – “Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,”

I spoke yesterday of the many references in the Old Testament of the word “breastplate”, the majority of those references being found in Exodus. In scanning those Exodus verses, I found that those references were to the priestly garb that Aaron was to wear when he performed his duties. Exodus lists in exquisite detail the instructions the Lord gave Moses as to the construction of the tabernacle, as well as how the priest was to be garbed. Among the priestly breastplate’s construction were precious stones that would represent the twelve tribes of Israel.

Remember, that among the high priest’s main duties was to act as an intercessor for the people before God. In the New Testament, the greatest intercessor, our high priest, is Jesus Christ Himself. I see those stones on the breastplate being reminders that we are not far from God’s heart…that He loves us very much. He wants us to be free from guilt and sin. We can only do that through the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on our behalf as the atoning sacrifice for our sins…once and for all.

Are you probably garbed to do His work today?

Have a blessed day, and a blessed Thanksgiving!

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Ephesians 6:14 – “Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,”

According to Merriam-Webster.com, “breastplate” is defined as: “a usually metal plate worn as defensive armor for the breast”. There was a second definition I found interesting: “a vestment worn in ancient times by a Jewish high priest and set with 12 gems bearing the names of the tribes of Israel”.

Merriam-Webster.com defines “righteousness” as: “acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin”. This was the definition of “righteous”, with righteousness being the noun.

The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible shows the word “breastplate” occurring 28 times in the Bible: 26 times in the Old Testament and twice in the New Testament (note this: 21 of those 26 Old Testament occurrences are in Exodus alone!) The word “righteousness” and all its forms appears approximately 747 times in the Bible! (and the print in my concordance is tiny, so I hope I didn’t miscount!) Wow!

As with the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness had a matching Scriptural reference too; yes, you guessed it…go back to Isaiah 59:17 from a few posts back.

Think about these definitions today, and pray that God would guide our study in this piece of the armor.

Have a blessed day!

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Ephesians 6:17: “And take the HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

What do the following occupations have in common: a football player, a construction worker on a high-rise building, a soldier on the battlefield, and a motorcyclist? They all wear helmets. Now, why do they wear helmets? Because it is the safety gear that they need to protect their heads. So why protect the head? Because it houses the important organ we call the brain.

It is with the brain that the body’s systems are supervised. It is also with the brain that we think and reason and decide. Among the most important decisions we ever make in our lives…is whether to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. My wife and I work in some of the children’s programs in our church, and among one of the things we always tell the kids is that the most important decision you’ll ever make is accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life. Accepting Him is a decision that will save your life!

Now we do accept Jesus with our hearts, don’t get me wrong. But your brain is where you decide to formulate those words, ask Jesus to come into your heart, and make that acceptance in a public profession of faith. Decision time could be closer than you know, if you haven’t decided yet…are you going to put on the helmet to be safe?

Have a blessed day!

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Isaiah 59:16-17: “And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede; Then His own arm brought salvation to Him; And His righteousness upheld Him.
And He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.”

I enjoy seeing how God sent prophecies of the coming of Jesus Christ into our world in the Old Testament…and then seeing those prophecies fulfilled in Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Here was a foretelling of Jesus’s coming; my Bible footnote on verse 16 states that it refers to the first advent of Jesus (His coming the first time to us in human form). Verse 17 tells of Him coming the second time…as the King, the conquering King. My wife, in discussion about this devotion, reminded me about the manner and raiment in how He would come again (she is studying Revelation in her own personal study). I have read through the Bible once (and I sheepishly admit it was some time ago), but I didn’t remember this reference in Isaiah until I did the aforementioned word study.

Let me take an aside here into the world of high school football. One of the rules I had to know as an official was this: if the ball-carrier’s helmet should come off during his running of the ball (usually due to contact by the defense), the play will be whistled dead at the spot where the helmet came off…even if the ball-carrier is still running down the field. The reason, of course, is safety. Note that if any other piece of equipment flew off the ball-carrier, the play could continue, but the helmet especially was the key to the play being whistled dead and over. The ball-carrier was not allowed to go further.

Now, think about the game we call life. You’re the ball-carrier, running toward eternity. If you’re not saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and know Him as your personal Lord and Savior, you’re not wearing the helmet of salvation, so to speak. You will be stopped from going any further…in this case, into Heaven. You don’t want to be stopped short of the goal! If your salvation is in Christ, don’t worry…you won’t lose that piece of equipment, and the play won’t be whistled dead.

Have a blessed day in Him!

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Ephesians 6:17: “And take the HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

According to Merriam-Webster.com, “helmet” is defined as: “any of various protective head coverings usually made of a hard material to resist impact”. The word “salvation” is defined several ways, but I like the first definition: ” deliverance from the power and effects of sin “.

The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible shows the word “helmet” used 10 times in the Bible: 8 in the Old Testament and 2 in the New Testament. That same reference shows the word “salvation” occurring 164 times in the Bible: 119 in the Old Testament and 45 in the New Testament.

A good friend of mine once urged me that, whenever God struck me with a certain word in my Bible readings, I should do a word study on it. Just doing the above research revealed something I found amazing. I didn’t think of finding the phrase “helmet of salvation” more than once in the Bible…but it’s there…twice! Your homework assignment, which I’ll go into with the next post: Read Isaiah 59:17.

Have a blessed day!

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Ephesians 6:11-12: “Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

One of the objectives of an offensive coach in football is to prepare against the defenses of the opposing team (and vice versa for the defensive coach preparing for the offenses). The offensive coach (and the quarterback, depending on the his ability to change plays) must be able to decipher what defense is going to be thrown against his team and find a play to counter and/or prevail against that play. The defensive coach must call out the formation that will allow his team to penetrate the offensive protection and get the ball carrier. (This is why I call football “chess played with bulldozers”. 🙂 ) Sometimes these strategies are called plays or formations; they are also called “schemes”.

The devil is always scheming to find a way to trip Christians up. This is why we need to put on the full armor of God. We are going up against a supernatural enemy…and guess what? He doesn’t play fair! The devil has more dirty conniving tricks in his playbook than college football champions have trophies! My wife made a great observation when we discussed this devotion; the devil will mask his schemes depending on our ages and spiritual maturity. He doesn’t want you to see him coming; if you’re preparing for a pass defense, he’ll make it look that way…and then hit you with an all-out blitz!

A good coach doesn’t send his team out unprepared…and God doesn’t want you unprepared either. Crack open His playbook today (the Bible) and get ready to armor up. It’s game time!

Have a blessed day!

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Hello, everyone! Hope all of you have been doing well these last few weeks. A hiatus is nice, but it’s time to get back to work! 🙂

Ephesians 6:11: “Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”

As those of you who have been reading this blog know, I’m an old school comic book fan…I like the older issues of superhero comic books (not the current stuff). So, it was with great anticipation that I went to see “Iron Man” when it debuted in theaters last year. Obviously with CGI and special effects, the look of the character was done well. One of my favorite scenes was when Tony Stark’s automated robots were assembling the Iron Man armor onto him. In the comic books, Stark put the armor on himself from his special attaché case that held the components. For the movie adaptation, it made sense to modify the process to put on something as complicated as the armor with a little “help”.

It was pretty wild to see in the movie that in a couple of minutes, Tony Stark is transformed from a human being in clothes to a fully-armored avenger, from toe to head….ready to blast off into action. Now, would Stark go into action as Iron Man…without the armor? Of course not.

In a similar way (you know I love analogies), God doesn’t want us to take on the devil without being properly prepared. Paul urged the Ephesians to put on the “full” armor of God. The devil loves to exploit any weakness, and God wants us fully protected as we go into action.

Please pray for me and for what God would have us learn together as we learn more about the armor of God in these next posts.

Have a blessed day!

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