Readings: Isaiah 14:12-15, Ephesians 6:10-18, John 8:42-47
Pastor Jon is going to preach about “the deceiver” on Sunday, so it’s fitting that the verses from Ephesians above will be read. This is the section regarding putting on the full armor of God so we can take our stand again the devil’s schemes. Jim Gerrish, in his commentary on “Word of God Today,” sheds more light on this familiar passage: “The word for “full armor” or “whole armor” is panoplian. It has the meaning of being complete…We should note here that we ourselves must put on the armor and that it is God’s armor that we are putting on, not ours…In putting on the full armor of God we are once again putting on Jesus Christ.” This is necessary and life-saving armor the Lord gives us to use. There’s action required on our part - we have to put it on. I was wearing a Shepherd logo shirt last month when I faced an emotionally-charged situation with upset neighbors. I reminded myself and my equally upset husband, “Remember what I’m wearing - we represent the church.” When we put on Christ and His armor, we know who we are and Whom we represent. Friends and enemies alike know who we are, too. Can we discipline ourselves to armor up, stay alert, be ready to help others and be ready to extinguish the flaming arrows of the deceiver? We would do well to mentally and spiritually put on the armor every morning, like my Grandma used to do, staying alert and continually “praying for all the saints.” Here’s our challenge this week: Read Ephesians 6:10-18 several times and visualize putting on the armor, piece by piece. Action required, friends!