Letting God Shine

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I Speak Female loves guest bloggers! Today I am privileged to have a awesome woman of God share a tidbit of knowledge on letting God’s light shine through you. Enjoy!

 

Good morning family. Just recently, I was informed about a position that I am
being blessed to fulfill. This title comes with a huge amount of
responsibility. As usual, I received a pat on the shoulder. In many areas in
my life, there are innumerable examples of practices or traditions that are
attached to a specific status.

For instance, in some churches, it is customary
for the congregation to stand up when the pastor enters in the pulpit. To take
it a step further, most pastors will recognize the more ” seasoned” members of
the church out of respect for their life experiences.  In the military, when
assembled for specific meetings or events, it is common to hear a command of
“attention” when a high ranking official arrives.  I have seen senior
leadership recognize veterans of various wars who have survived with high
esteem.

I have also seen the polar opposite of this admiration. Some people
will presume that they are entitled to the benefits of their postulated
arrival. The behavioral patterns associated with not acknowledging these
individuals can range from silent offense to downright audacity with
confrontation. It is truly better for God to create a platform for His Light
to shine through you. There are several historical and current illustrations
of what our feeble construction attempts result in as proof.  Absolutely
nothing can be achieved without tapping into the Divine sagacity of God.

Daniel 2:20-23

“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for
wisdom and might are his:  And he changeth the times and the seasons: he
removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and
knowledge to them that know understanding:  He revealeth the deep and secret
things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me
wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for
thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.”

Colette Jones

You can reach Colette at mizzjonez0813@gmail.com

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Sword Of The Spirit

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The sixth piece of armor Paul mentions in Ephesians 6 is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” How does a Roman soldier’s sword help us understand how to use the Bible to win our spiritual battles?

The sword is the only item listed by Paul that serves in an offensive capacity. Even if we have all the rest of the armor equipped perfectly, without our sword, we amount to little more than heavily armored moving targets.

The Roman gladius has become known as “the sword that conquered the world.” Adapted from a Spanish design, the prowess of the gladius in close range combat made it a fearsome tool in the hand of a skilled Roman warrior. When sharpened, its dual edges wreaked havoc on unarmored foes, while its tapered point could pierce through even heavy metal armor.
A Roman infantryman would go into battle armed with more than just his gladius. He would also have a dagger (pugio), several one-time use spears (pila) and lead-weighted darts (plumbatae), but the sword was his main means of attack. The sword is the only weapon Paul lists as part of the Christian arsenal.

What is the Word of God?

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

God’s Word—the Holy Bible—illuminates. It reveals to us the good and the bad, the wise and the unwise. It is the ultimate tool in learning how to live the best possible life, free from the restraints of stumbling in darkness.

John 17:17
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

God’s Word is truth, plain and simple. We can have perfect confidence in the fact that His words are accurate, true and unerring. When followed, they guide us without fail in the paths that we need to walk.

We can be destroyed by lack of the knowledge of God (Hosea 4:6), but we will be blessed if we hear and keep the Word of God (Luke 11:28). And the knowledge is not just for us. We are to be ready to answer others who ask us (1 Peter 3:15).

The all-powerful sword of the living God is able to cut through every defense our enemy can raise—down to the very division of bone and marrow. When wielded by a servant of God, nothing can withstand its ability to cut straight to the core of a matter and uncover the truth. As soldiers in God’s army, it is our responsibility and duty to use His Word to discern the truth and then follow it. When God’s Word shows us something wrong in ourselves, we can use this spiritual weapon to “surgically” remove the offending thoughts and actions (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
Unlike all other pieces of the armor of God, which are solely defensive, the sword is uniquely suited for both defensive and offensive roles. A solid defense is invaluable, but the sword is the only way we can complete the work we have been given to do.
Notice that Jesus Christ used the Bible to counter Satan’s attacks (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). We must also learn to live “by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

 

Paul only lists one weapon because we only need one weapon: There is no enemy the Word of God, coupled with His Spirit, cannot defeat. And so, armed only with our sword, we step out to fight our enemies head-on. The struggle is real. It is immediate, and it is in front of us. Our future in God’s Kingdom is on the line, and we take up the battle so that we may hold fast to the future He has promised us.

YES! Are you utilizing your sword daily?

Stephanie

Helmet of Salvation

 

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In Ephesians 6, Paul talks about the “helmet of salvation” as part of the armor of God.

When Paul wrote to the Ephesians about the helmet of salvation, some of them may have found the analogy to be a familiar one. In the book of Isaiah, a description of God shows Him as having put on both the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation (Isaiah 59:17). In referencing this Old Testament scripture, Paul drives home the point that it is in every sense of the word the armor of God—the same armor He Himself wears. But it also leads us to consider what salvation is, what it has to do with a helmet and what it means for us.

The Roman helmet, like helmets today, protected the head from the attacks of the enemy. There is some evidence to suggest that the Romans had special ceremonial helmets used in parades that denoted rank and standing

Salvation basically means to be saved or delivered from something (see examples in Exodus 14:13 and Micah 7:6-8). In the New Testament, as we will see, it is generally used to refer to deliverance from the eternal death penalty of sin and deliverance into God’s Kingdom.

Without the helmet of salvation, we will be unprotected from the “cares of this world” that bombard our thoughts and feelings. Imagine not knowing what the future ultimately holds. The worries and problems produced by living in this world would overwhelm us!

Psalm 27:1
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

With the helmet securely fastened, we can have the same confidence that Paul did that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). We understand that it doesn’t matter what happens to us now. No matter what trials we face, we know that at the end of it all waits God’s Kingdom and an eternity of His perfect reign—and what could be better than that?

How do I keep the helmet secure?

Psalm 3:8
Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah.

Remember that salvation comes from God, and that God is on our side. If we commit to fully follow and obey Him, it is impossible for us to lose our battle or our salvation!!

Have you donned your helmet today?

Stephanie

The Shield Of Faith

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The fourth piece of armor Paul mentions in Ephesians 6 is “the shield of faith.” How did Roman soldiers use their shields? What purpose does a spiritual shield serve for us?

Up until now, Paul’s description of the armor of God has been limited to items we wear. We put on the belt, the breastplate and the shoes, and they essentially hold themselves up.
The shield is different. Paul tells us that the shield is something we must take up, something we are required to raise. Just strapping it to our arm won’t do any good at all if we don’t make the effort to hold it aloft and use it.

The Roman shield—the scutum—was not the standard “medieval-esque” shield most picture in their minds upon hearing the word. It was instead a very large, slightly curved rectangular shield featuring at its center a large metal knob (called a boss).
The scutum was an impressive line of defense. Because of its sheer size (some were three and a half feet tall and almost three feet wide), soldiers were afforded a great deal of protection from enemies. Because of its slight curve, it was able to deflect attacks without transferring the full force of the assault to the man holding the shield. Because of its boss, it was able to deflect even the more vicious blows and function in a limited offensive capacity as a means of knocking an opponent backwards!!!

What is Faith?

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Here is a biblical definition of faith that clears up some common misconceptions. If faith is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” then this has far-reaching implications. Substance is tangible, and evidence is solid proof. Faith is, by definition, not some hazy emotion without any grounding in reality. It is the irrefutable truth. It is real.
Romans 8:24-25
For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Though it is based on solid evidence, that doesn’t mean faith comes naturally or easily. Paul here makes the obvious but necessary point: You don’t hope for what you already have. Faith involves a huge element of trust. We must examine the evidence and see that God has proved Himself to be unchanging and consistent, and then we must firmly believe that He will fulfill His promises to us

A shield guards. While a physical shield protects us physically, faith can protect our spiritual lives even in the middle of physical trials. When Satan (through Nebuchadnezzar) attacked the values and beliefs of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, they were able to stand resolute and unwavering because of their faith. In their response, they essentially said, “God is capable of delivering us from this fate. We don’t know if He will or not, but that doesn’t matter. He gave us His commands, and we are going to keep them regardless of the physical outcome. We know He can just as easily raise us from the dead.”
Ephesians 6:16
…above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
A shield deflects. Satan is always hurling his fiery darts of fear, doubt and worry in our direction, but the only time they can hit us is when we let our shield of faith down—when we stop believing that God is in control; that He is working everything out for our good; that whatever happens is for the ultimate best of everyone involved, however little it seems to be that way.

A shield is the first line of defense. While the rest of our armor helps protect us from Satan’s onslaught, it is not what you ideally want to be using to absorb every hit. You do not, for instance, go out into battle intentionally blocking everything with your head.

A shield can incapacitate. When Christ was being tempted by Satan, His faith in the Word and commands of God repelled Satan for a time (Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Christ was tempted in all things, so this was certainly not the only encounter Christ had with the devil). The boss (the metal knob in the middle) on the Roman shields allowed soldiers to give their enemies a stun-inducing shove that would allow them to follow through with an attack. Our faith in God, as demonstrated by Christ, can also give Satan a good shove backwards and give us a chance to fight back by doing God’s will and work. Because God tells us that faith cannot just be in our minds, it must produce actions—works of obedience and service (James 2:20).

The Roman military had an inventive and very effective tactic that made use of their large shields. When enemies would begin firing arrows and other projectiles at the army, the soldiers would close ranks into a rectangular array—called the testudo, or “tortoise,” formation—and those on the outside would use their shields to create a wall around the perimeter. Then those in the middle would raise their shields over their heads to protect everyone from airborne missiles. The result was a formidable human tank that could be stopped only through a tremendous effort. WOW!!!

We must remember as we fight that this is not simply our battle. This is the battle of all our brethren, both near and around the world. And if we are to win, it will only be once we put our faith in God and stand side by side!!!

So praying for ourselves as well as others is important. Have you put your shield of faith to use this week, this morning??

Stephanie

 

 

The Shoes Of Peace

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The third piece of armor Paul mentions in Ephesians 6 is the shoes of “the preparation of the gospel of peace.”
Imagine a fully armed soldier. He has his sword, his shield, his helmet, his breastplate and his belt…but his feet are completely bare. The picture probably seems strange, and it should! Just by thinking about it, we can tell something is missing.
But the problem goes beyond just looking odd. A shoeless soldier could run into real trouble in the heat of battle. Unless he is fighting on Astroturf, he is going to encounter some debris. It may be nothing more than twigs and pebbles, but to a bare foot that can cause serious pain—and one of the last things you want to deal with in the middle of a fight is worrying about where you step!
In short, shoes allow us to step freely and without fear while we turn our full attention to the battle at hand.
So what exactly is the Gospel of peace? The Greek word translated gospel—euaggelion—simply means “good news.”
The good news of the Kingdom of God includes the good news about Jesus Christ the King, His grace (unmerited pardon) and His plan of salvation for all mankind. This plan gives us peace now, and will bring peace to the whole world!
What does the gospel of peace have to do with shoes?
Romans 10:14-15
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”
God’s Church is sent to announce the good news of God’s Kingdom, which will spread His way of peace around the whole world.
Having our shoes on, we are ready to move, to spread these glad tidings to others.
In the apostle Paul’s day, he walked countless miles in delivering the good news. Today, transportation and communication have changed, but we must also be constantly ready to do our part to spread the good news.
Romans 3:17
And the way of peace they have not known.
In spite of all human attempts at peace, it’s clear from the daily news reports that this world does not know the road to peace.
The Bible makes it clear that, when God’s Kingdom is established and the entire world begins to live God’s way faithfully, the resulting peace will be universal. There will be no more war or fear, only the worldwide peace that comes from God’s way of life.
In spite of…Walk in perfect peace

Stephanie

Breastplate of Righteousness

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The Breastplate of Righteousness…
The second piece of armor Paul mentions in Ephesians 6:14 is “the breastplate of righteousness.” Why is the breastplate important—for both ancient soldiers and us?

The breastplate was a central part of the Roman soldier’s armor—it provided protection for the torso, which contains vital organs like the heart, lungs and so on. Without a breastplate, a soldier would be asking for death, as any attack could instantly become fatal. With a sturdy breastplate, the very same attacks become ineffective and useless, as blows glance off the armor.
Proverbs 11:4 says Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.

Without righteousness, we leave ourselves open to almost certain death. With righteousness—just as with a breastplate—the otherwise fatal attacks of our enemy are thwarted.

What is righteousness?

Psalm 119:172
My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness.

1 John 3:4
Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

1 Corinthians 15:34
Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

To be righteous is to do what is right in God’s eyes! period…..That “What would Jesus do statement” kind of sums it up.

God’s commandments are righteousness. In contrast, lawlessness is sin, and sin is the opposite of righteousness. So to be righteous is to obey God’s laws of love!

We cant do it on our own, because the scripture is clear that our individual level of righteousness is on par with “filthy rags”—and when you’re looking to protect yourself from death, filthy rags make for a lousy breastplate.

Paul gives us the command to “take up the whole armor of God”—the obvious question is, “How?”

An in-depth concordance study of all the scriptures concerning righteousness (there are 301 in the New King James Version!) reveals that servants of God in the Bible who had righteousness all had it because they followed God’s way!
It is through a continuing and dedicated adherence to both the letter and spirit of God’s law that we can defend ourselves with His righteousness.

Once we have put on the breastplate of righteousness, we must be sure not to remove it. Ezekiel 33:13 shows that wearing righteousness is not a one-time event; rather, it requires a lifetime of action.

One day, the war we’re fighting will be over. And when it is, we are promised, “The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever”

Work on it diligently…work on it daily….
I know its rough…BUT WORK ON IT!~

 

Stephanie

The Belt Of Truth

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The Belt Of Truth..
So now that we are familiar with Paul, lets talk about the armor.
The first piece of armor Paul mentions in Ephesians 6:14 is “the belt of truth”. What purpose did the belt serve for a Roman soldier? What purpose does the belt of truth serve for us?
The belt—known as the cingulum or balteus—played a crucial role in the effectiveness of a soldier’s armor. It was the belt that held the scabbard, which HELD THE SWORD!

In addition, from the belt “hung strips of leather to protect the lower body.” The Matthew Henry Commentary says the belt “girds on [secures] all the other pieces of our armor.” Truth should cleave to us as a belt cleaves to our body!

What is truth? John 17:17 says…
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
The Bible which is God Breathed is TRUTH! It contains His promises, His commands, His word—they are all truth, plain and simple.

As Christians, we are to test all things and then hold on only to that which is good—the truth—discarding all else.

We are to be like the Bereans who “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

Listen If we are not convinced that our principles and beliefs are without exception 100 percent true, how can we expect to accomplish anything?

Get this>>>A belt encompasses the waist. Does our conviction to the truth encompass us? Truth must be bound around us and written on our hearts—our conviction must reach beyond an outward show.

The belt used in Roman armor, provided a place for the soldier’s sword. Our sword—the sword of the Spirit—likewise needs a sheath. Truth is vital because, like a Roman soldier’s belt, it allows us to carry the sword of the Spirit and use it effectively!

The truth is what you make it! You have to totally believe in it yourself to hold to it..right? That means you must know the scriptures, know Gods word

Many of us know how to drive, because weve been practicing all our lives and if someone ask “Hey how do you drive a car?” We can without a doubt tell them TRUTHFULLY HOW TO DO IT. We know because we’ve tried it, it works for us, so we have no problem telling someone else how to do it..

But if something is missing off the car, we know it wont run right!

Imagine a belt with a segment missing. No matter how tiny the sliver that isn’t there, the belt is still useless. To do its job, it must be one continuous, unbroken piece.

To try to live God’s way without total belief in its validity is like trying to hold your sword up with a belt that isn’t continuous. Neither will work.

Our trust in God and His Word must be solid, without break, or else we will quickly find ourselves without a weapon. No matter how effective the rest of our armor is, we are useless without our sword. We need to be rightly dividing the word of truth—knowing what we believe, and why!!

So—how secure is your belt?