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Quarantine Devotions Part II

Ephesians 6:10-18

                A couple of years ago, my dad took up shooting.  I’ve gone with him a few times.  While we did have a lot of fun together, I’m not sure I will ever be the enthusiast that he is.  And the main reason is very basic: laziness.  I simply do not want to spend all of the required time cleaning everything.  Also, you have to spend a lot of time practicing in order to get really good.

This passage in Ephesians reminds us who the real enemy is.  It also reminds us of what is at stake.  When a war is on, the prudent warrior keeps the weapons at the ready.  We read here about weapons and armor, protective and supportive equipment.  And Paul compares each piece to a gift from God.  We hear words like truth, righteousness, faith, gospel, and salvation.  All true and definite gifts from God.  And what’s more, He gives them freely!  But there is one gift that stands out as a little different: the Word of God.  The Word is a gift that does not automatically impart itself to our brains.  This gift lacks the ‘immediacy’ that perhaps some of the others do.  In other words, it takes some actual practice in order be able to use it really well.  And which part of the suit is it?  That’s right!  The weapon!

While the battle is the Lord’s, and Jesus has won the victory, some battles are fiercer than others!  Some are over quickly, but some drag on and on.  Jesus’ victory spurs us on.  His success gives us the strength to do his will.  And his Spirit spurs our souls to, “Wake up!  There’s a war on!  Don’t go into battle unarmed!”  The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God, so let’s get well-practiced!  Let’s remember that our sure and certain defense is the promise of God.  Jesus’ gave his own life for the final victory.  And he goes with us until the final celebration.

Heavenly Father, Your Word brings life… and Your Word become flesh brought salvation to all.  Strengthen us by that Word.  Make us Your soldiers in every situation.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Greetings Trinity Lutheran

Blessings to you today and every day.  Wherever you happen to be this afternoon, this is the day that the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it!  Know that Vicar David, Terri, Becky, and I are praying for you all during this time. And we can’t wait to see your smiling faces!  And, for those of you who are still keeping yourselves distant socially, we hope we WILL get to see your face in the parking lot this coming Sunday.  You’ll be able to see and wave to each other.  And, so long as you’re in the lot, you’ll be able to hear the church service LIVE with your sisters and brothers (by simply tuning your car radio to 97.1 fm), with some additional assistance from your ever helpful Vicar!  If you feel safe enough to roll down your windows (no pressure at all) you’ll even be able to receive the Lord’s Body and Blood.

Regardless, every so often, we’ll be sending out a brief devotion (including one below), so you will have one more chance to be in God’s powerful Word.  Many blessings to you and yours!

Pastor Jeremy May

 

Read 1 Samuel 17:4-11, 37-50

                The giant of Israel’s enemies had Saul’s armies shaking where they stood.  He was too big, too powerful, too much for anyone to handle.  The Israelites had fallen into the sleep of the world: there is only one way to see things.  It might as well have been the slumbering slavery of Egypt all over again.

                But then again, what had happened to Egypt?  Their armies had been destroyed, hadn’t they? God had brought His people out of the land of slavery, with His mighty hand and outstretched arm… and He had promised He would continue to be with them.  God had awakened them, given them an identity, and brought them the new life that came with being in His people.

                David did nothing more than recall God’s promises. Goliath put his trust in his strength and size and weapons.  What did David trust in?  God’s promises.  “I come at you in the name of the LORD Almighty.”

                James 4:7 says, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  Realize we are not on our own.  That the battle has, in fact, already been fought.  And it has been won!  Jesus wakes us up!  Not only to our own sinfulness, but to his salvation.  We trust in his victory… and a powerful victory it is!

God has brought His people out of slavery to sin and death, with His mighty hand and outstretched arm… and He has promised He would continue to be with you.  God has awakened you, given you an identity, and brought you the new life that comes with being in His people.

                Jesus, thank you for the victory won for me.  By the strength of your Spirit, may I fight against the temptations of the world, rather than passively giving in.  Forgive me when I fall, and strengthen me to continue until I see you face to face. Amen.

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