The church is many things. It is weddings and holy vows spoken in love and reverence. It is funerals and the promise of life eternal. It is babies being baptized. It is comfort and hope for a better tomorrow. It is Easter lilies. It is worn hymnbooks. It is work and sacrifice and Holy Communion.
The church is little children singing, “Jesus Loves Me.” It is robed choirs singing anthems of praise. It is Christmas carols and little boys in bathrobes being wise men and shepherds, little girls in nightgowns portraying angels.
The church is stained glass windows. It is an altar, a pulpit, and God’s Word in a big leather book. It is fellowship dinners and foreign missions. It is a helping hand. It is a sermon that lifts the spirit. It is the sound of chairs scraping the floor in the Sunday school rooms. It is a bell ringing clear on a crisp, still morning. It is an organ’s deep tones. It is heads bowed in prayer, a warm, friendly handclasp, a solemn whispered benediction. The church is giving and receiving. It is budgets and figures. It is wood and bricks and stone. It is goodness and mercy. It is a manger bed, a star, and a cross. It is a way of life.
Charles O. Austin, Jr.
Lisa Beretz, 518-330-9277
Picture this scenario: You’re really down—flat on your face, tired, discouraged, looking up to see bottom. You feel the enemy’s hot breath on your neck as he whispers:
Yes, the enemy of your soul is firing flaming arrows at you, just when you’re the weakest. And they hurt! What are you going to do?
God has given us two weapons: a shield and a sword. Paul talks about them. He says we have “weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left” (2 Corinthians 6:7). He tells us to “take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Then he says to take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:16-17).
Presuming that you are right-handed, that means you have the shield of faith in your left hand and the sword of God’s Word in your right hand. One is a weapon of defense and the other a weapon of attack.
The enemy will throw flaming barbs in your direction; you can count on it. But if you have the shield of faith, you can fend off the attack, and those darts won’t reach your vital spiritual organs. In turn, you can attack with the Word of God—and your enemy is no match for God.
So, the next time you are in a spiritual battle, remember you have two powerful weapons—the shield of faith and the sword, the Word of God. These “weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world,” says Paul. “On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect (me) from the evil one.
Claim that promise today when you go out to do battle!
(Author, Darlene Sala)
Lisa Beretz, 518-330-9277