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Posts Tagged ‘shield’

Verse 29: “that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these you will do well. Farewell.”

In the movie Captain America: Civil War, Captain America (Steve Rogers) is wrangling with the decision being forced on his team, the Avengers, about accepting oversight from a governing body. Iron Man (Tony Stark) and several others are for it, but Cap and several others feel it will take away freedom to act if there is a need to. While debating this, Steve’s WWII love interest, Peggy Carter, has passed away (she had aged normally while Cap was in suspended animation). Upon attending her funeral as a pallbearer, the eulogy is given by his apartment neighbor, Sharon Carter, whom Steve discovers was really Peggy’s niece! In the words of her eulogy, including advice from Peggy, Steve decides which side he’ll stand on. Sharon stated the following eulogy (copied from https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Captain_America:_Civil_War#Sharon_Carter/Agent_13)

Sharon: “Margaret Carter was known to most as the founder of SHIELD, but I just know her as Aunt Peggy. She had a photograph in her office: Aunt Peggy standing next to JFK. As a kid that was pretty cool, but it was a lot to live up to, which is why I never told anyone we were related. I asked her once how she managed to master diplomacy and espionage at a time when no one wanted to see a woman succeed at either. And she said, “Compromise where you can. Where you can’t, don’t. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye, and say, ‘No, you move’.”

Compromise and hold firm. The convention was ending with a decision by James and the elders to offer some guidance to the new Gentile converts. The “hold firm” part was the fact that salvation was for both Jew and Gentile; that was not going to change. The “compromise” part was probably a bit of what I would modernly call “discipleship training”. My copy of Holman’s New Testament Commentary on Acts, page 251, summed it up thusly: “We might parallel this to rules in the student handbook at a Christian college.” The Gentiles had formerly worshipped in pagan temples using pagan practices. James and the elders wrote them a letter to outline a few points of things to avoid that would offend Jews, and thus help pave the way for joint worship (they also used the letter to encourage the new converts). Again, quoting from page 251: “Perhaps it would be useful to sum up these four regulations in our modern understanding: no idolatry, no immorality, no murder, and not eating meat offered to idols.”

By sending the letter with Jerusalem representatives Judas and Silas to encourage and to continue teaching, the convention was all but finished with what could have been a very divisive issue. When God is in charge and Christians turn to God for guidance, all the issues, big or small, get taken care of.

Just a little more to come!

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verse 5: “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”

I’m reminded of another radio commercial I’ve heard in recent months. It’s for a certain brand of motor oil, where a variety of people’s words express the desire to have, not just a laboratory tested oil, but one that’s been tested in heavy-use vehicles for thousands of miles and still provide the engine protection it was designed to do. The ad makes the product sound impressive, thoroughly tested, and something that would shield your engine from damage.

Now think about God. He IS impressive. He IS tried and true and tested. His word IS tested and pure, like the finest silver (it says so in Psalms 12:6). For those needing refuge (and we ALL need refuge!), he IS a shield to those who would take refuge in Him. In the storms of life, He is the Rock to cling to, the Safe Harbor to seek shelter in.

Something to think about.

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Proverbs 2:7-10

verse 7: “He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,”

I have a footnote in my Ryrie Bible that states “Wisdom is God-given, not the result of mere human effort or ability (cf 1 Kings 3:ff; James 1:5).” We need to pursue wisdom, but it is God who gives it!

Maybe it’s because of the recent study I went through on the armor of God, but the word “shield” jumped out at me here. There have been several famous celebrities in the news in recent years whose formerly stellar reputations have been shattered due to one moment of bad judgment. Yes, if you seek God’s forgiveness and repent, He will forgive you. You still have to rebuild the trust others had in you, because it had been hurt. Continually walking in integrity isn’t easy, but it is well worth it.

I have a fellow church member who is an avid runner. Whenever I made it to the track, I always…always saw him there, just loping like a deer, passing me, and making his speed look easy! I sometimes thought, you know, he could afford to take a day or two off…he’s in great shape, a missed day or two wouldn’t hurt him! But then I realize why he keeps doing his routine, day after day; the continual discipline of maintaining the regimen keeps him in good shape. That’s the same way with integrity: continually walking in integrity preserves your reputation, and God Himself becomes a shield to you in protecting you as well. But you’ve got to walk the walk!

Have a blessed day!

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Ephesians 6:16 “in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.”

Happy (and belated) New Year everyone! Let’s continue with the first of the two hand-held pieces of the armor: the shield of faith.

According to Merriam-Webster.com, “shield” means “a broad piece of defensive armor carried on the arm” or “one that protects or defends “. (I like both definitions.) “Faith” has several variations on the same meaning, but I like this one best: “belief and trust in and loyalty to God.” Faith has its Latin roots in the same word where we get the word “fidelity” from.

The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible states that “shield” occurs 68 times in the Bible (in its singular and plural forms). “Faith” occurs 246 times as the root word “faith”; 82 times as “faithful”, 8 times as “faithfully”, 19 times as “faithfulness”, and 4 times as “faithless”. As you can see, there’s a lot of faith in the Bible! 🙂

Something interesting I turned up here: of the 68 times that “shield” occurs in the Bible, only once is it used in the New Testament. The other 67 times, it is used in the Old Testament only. One of the Old Testament references is Psalms 18:35. I’ll share with you in the next post how God showed me that verse this past weekend!

Have a blessed day and new year!

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