VIDEO Defeating the Devil, The Armor of God

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

Though we are not promised salvation for imitating Jesus, as we grow in our relationship with Him, we discover the power of His life as a model for ours. His love, faithfulness, generosity, and sacrifice are benchmarks for our lives, His followers.

And we discover His power in another area as well: defending ourselves from the attacks and deceptions of Satan. The apostle Paul exhorted the Ephesians to put on the “whole armor of God” in order to stand against the devil. And part of that armor is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). Using the Word, the “sword of the Spirit,” is how Jesus defeated Satan’s temptations in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). Three times Satan tempted Jesus and each time Jesus responded with a principle of Scripture from Deuteronomy. When Satan spoke a lie, Jesus responded with the truth. That was all it took to defeat the devil, and “he departed from [Jesus] until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13).

Don’t fear the devil. Instead, fear (respect and revere) God and His Word, against which nothing can stand.

The devil is not afraid of a Bible that has dust on it.


The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-13)

Our Compassionate God

You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes. Psalm 138:7

The winter night was cold when someone threw a large stone through a Jewish child’s bedroom window. A star of David had been displayed in the window, along with a menorah to celebrate Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. In the child’s town of Billings, Montana, thousands of people—many of them believers in Jesus—responded to the hateful act with compassion. Choosing to identify with the hurt and fear of their Jewish neighbors, they pasted pictures of menorahs in their own windows.

As believers in Jesus, we too receive great compassion. Our Savior humbled Himself to live among us (John 1:14), identifying with us. On our behalf, He, “being in very nature God . . . made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:6–7). Then, feeling as we feel and weeping as we weep, He died on a cross, sacrificing His life to save ours.

Nothing we struggle with is beyond our Savior’s concern. If someone “throws rocks” at our lives, He comforts us. If life brings disappointments, He walks with us through despair. “Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar” (Psalm 138:6). In our troubles, He preserves us, stretching out His hand against both “the anger of [our] foes” (v. 7) and our own deepest fears. Thank You, God, for Your compassionate love.

By:  Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

In what areas of your life do you need God’s compassion? How can you show His care and love to others? 

O God, I thank You for understanding my struggles and comforting me with loving care. Remind me always to share Your compassion with others.

Learn to love like Jesus at DiscoverySeries.org/Q0208.

A Clean Heart

Psalm 51

One of the most misleading pieces of advice you will hear is the recommendation to follow your heart. God says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick” (Jer. 17:9). We all enter life with a inclination toward sin and selfishness, and there is no way we ourselves can change this. Instead of trusting a sinful heart, what we really need is a new, clean heart, and only the Lord can give us one.

Our heavenly Father sent His Son into this world to die on the cross and pay the penalty for our sins. Only in that way could we be forgiven and receive a clean heart from which flow holy desires and ambitions. Through Christ, we are set apart for God, welcomed into His family as adopted children, and indwelt by His Spirit. 

Thanks to our new heart and the Holy Spirit’s empowering presence, we are enabled to live a righteous life of obedience to the Lord. Instead of living with a deceptive heart, we can now draw near to God in fellowship and understand the truth of His Word. With gratitude for our new heart, let’s rely on the Spirit’s power to help us discern error and make wise decisions.

Full

“Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.” (Genesis 25:8)

With the words of our text, Abraham ended a life of faith having walked in such close fellowship with God that “he was called the Friend of God” (James 2:23). But when he died at 175 years old, his standing in the world from a human perspective might not seem to have warranted his nomadic life of sacrifice and faith. He had sojourned in the land given to him by covenant, but he had not taken possession of it in any real sense. Although he had gained a measure of worldly possessions (Genesis 13:2), he had evidently given up a stable and satisfying life of luxury among his people to follow God into the land of promise. Once there, his nephew, Lot, had deserted him, taking the fertile land as his own (13:10-11). Abraham had seen war (chapter 14), famine (12:10), compromise (12:13; 20:2), fighting between his two wives, and had not had children until his old age (chapters 16 and 21), had lived in poor relationship with his neighbors (chapter 20), and had eventually lost his dear wife, Sarah (23:2).

But when Abraham died, Scripture says he died completely satisfied, the literal meaning of the word “full” in our text (the words “of years” added by the translators). He had learned to measure time by eternity, to weigh the value of earthly things by the Spirit. “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). He had “believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3).

The fullness of Abraham was that of a wealth that death could not touch. The seeming fullness of those who walk by sight, and not by faith, is emptied in death. Men and women of faith carry their fullness with them. When the time comes, may we all die as Abraham died—full. JDM

Personal Feeding on God’s Word Is A MUST

O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. —Psalm 119:97

I remember James M. Gray, the noted Bible teacher, telling of a Christian brother, a Michigan farmer, whose spiritual life had suddenly blossomed until there was an overflowing of God’s presence. Many in the man’s community recognized the change in his life and personality and sought spiritual counsel from him. Dr. Gray had opportunity to ask the man about the transformation of his spiritual life and witness.

“Dr. Gray, I began to devote myself to the Scriptures for my own need,” the man humbly explained. “Something happened when God opened my spiritual understanding as I studied the book of Ephesians. I cannot really explain what the Lord is doing for me and through me, but it has come through prayerful meditation in the Word of God.”

None of us can expect to get the rich, transforming blessings from God apart from the Scriptures….

Too many of us ministers and Sunday school teachers are content to reach for a commentary on the Scriptures. What we need most is to search the Scriptures for ourselves.   MMG047

Deliver me today from the shortcuts, and help me to discipline myself to long, concentrated study of the Scriptures themselves. Amen.

A Bush with No Fire!

True worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. —John 4:23

Whatever direction the theological wind may set there are two things of which we may be certain: One is that God will not leave Himself without a witness….Saving truth will never be completely hidden from the sight of men. The poor in spirit, the penitent, will always find Christ close at hand ready to save them.

The other is that the Holy Spirit is the true conservator of orthodoxy and will invariably say the same thing to meek and trusting souls. Illuminated hearts are sure to agree at the point where the light falls.

Our only real danger is that we may grieve the blessed Spirit into silence and so be left to the mercy of our intellects….We’ll have the bush, pruned and trimmed and properly cultivated, but in the bush there will be no fire. BAM078-079

Mere wisdom…[makes] us hard and cold, but wisdom set on fire with love and energized by power [through the Holy Spirit] will enable us to bless the world. HS496

Saints with Rosy Cheeks

2 Corinthians 4:7

My saints are not on pedestals. They do not look down at me condescendingly from stained-glass windows, or by their lofty words from behind rostrums fill me with awe. There they would be so still and cold, so remote, so apart from the good earth and the experiences that wring both tears and laughter from me.

My saints have rosy cheeks and warm, kind hands; they are jolly! They are near, too. Sometimes they are in the next office, in the shop around the corner or in the flat downstairs.

One of them all through her girlhood wrestled to control, by the grace of God, what seemed to be an uncontrollable temper. God and my saint were the victors.

“I hope,” she said, “that I shall have a large family. I’ll come with my six boys to see you and they’ll tramp, tramp, tramp all over your immaculate house.”

She had four children. Three were not the noisy boys who were to have invaded my home, but gentle little girls. Within a few days of each other two died; a few years later a third had left her.

My saint did not come out with placid face and unearthly calm. Her grief staggered us and ravished her strength. But God and my saint conquered again. She stole out to find other little children. She became a young people’s sergeant-major establishing three Bible home companies, one for each dead child. One was formed from the Islamic population of a city, to whom the Christian message had never before been taken.

Some of my saints are young. One is only 14, a lad who tends his invalid mother at night and contends with a drunken father by day. Some are students with brows unduly furrowed by the effect of study accompanied by what, at times, must look like a losing battle with poverty. Some are mothers who never mention mystical experiences, yet have established the kingdom in their homes. Another of my saints is a Salvation Army officer, in an unromantic situation, who has not attained the recognition that many self-proclaimed “saints” demand, but in a faraway land to a great company of people, she is a light in the darkness.

Sometimes I wonder why my saints care to company with me. I expect it is because they do not know they are saints. And the world is rather slow in discovering it too. Can it be that we still prefer the stained-glass window kind with their white, solemn faces, smooth, untried feet and hidden hearts?

Catherine Baird, Evidence of the Unseen