Devotion: Monday, September 3, 2018

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz, Today’s verse is from Eph. 6:10–20, where the Bible says,

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against [a]flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Put His Protection to Use!

Last month, at one of the most beautiful, serene places in the country, Table Rock Lake, Missouri, a tragedy occurred. A “Duck Boat” suddenly found itself in the middle of a violent storm. No one could imagine the boat capsizing, but it did.  17 people drowned, 9 from one family. Heart-wrenching! In reading the stories about the tragedy, one struck me immediately.  One of the survivors claimed that the captain of the boat told the passengers not to bother with the life-jackets. If that’s true, wow!

There are certain things in our life that are there for our protection and life-jackets on a vulnerable craft in the middle of a violent storm are one of them. I think that I would have grabbed the life-jacket no matter what. But I guess if the man in charge says not to, some might not have bothered. Well, in our verse for today, the Apostle Paul is telling you and me to put  protection from THE “man in charge” to work. Faith in Jesus is not some religious exercise to merely help with the day to day struggles of life. It’s that and more. Faith in Jesus is about His life, His forgiveness, His holiness, His spiritual protection, His Word of Grace, His Word of direction, all to be received as His gifts by Grace through Faith for life now and forever.

St. Paul knew the power of faith in Jesus and that’s why he tells us to be “strong in the Lord.” But even there, it’s not about us doing our best for Jesus. It’s receiving and putting his gifts to work in our lives. It’s “girding our loins with truth,” his word of truth and a sincerity that comes from our relationship with Him.  It’s “being fitted with the breastplate of righteousness,” a protection that comes when His Life, Death, and Resurrection are ours by Faith. In Him, then, our feet are firm with the proclamation that there is good news for sinners; our shield is our trust in Him; our Helmet is a head held high because our life is forever with Him; and His Word is the ability to move forward each day with a Word that guides, protects, and empowers us. Wow! What a blessing, what protection! The “man in charge” is telling us to put these gifts “on,” to put them to use for our good, today, tomorrow, forever. Good advice.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for providing eternal life and salvation for us. But thank you for providing for our spiritual protection now and forever too. Give us courage to put that to work each day. AMEN.