The Suffering

The Suffering

In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; (Ephesians 6:16 ESV)

Recently I heard a teaching about the whole armor of God in Ephesians chapter 6, the main point Paul the Apostle is trying to get across is that Spiritual warfare is a very real battle. The enemy wants to destroy us and the lengths he will go to are at times limitless, he has the ability to completely destroy men, to make their names and their character meaningless with a few choice temptations, thoughts, fears and snares. So with that Paul states we need to be ready for battle, and he continues on in the chapter to describe 6 pieces of spiritual armor that we need to be geared up with at all times. As Christians these are essential to our walk with the Lord. As I began to meditate and think on these things, having heard this portion taught countless times, one piece of the armor stuck out to me in a very real way, almost as if God was telling me personally “Hey you better make sure this piece of equipment is battle ready”. I thought more on it and soon came to a revelation from the Lord as to why this piece is going to be so vital for myself and all of us as Christians moving forward with the Lord, the ones who desire to be used in ministry, those of us who are about to do to battle for the Lord. The shield of faith, what does Paul mean when he says take up the shield of faith? How can faith be a shield? Number one reason would be our faith in the Lord for our salvation, that he has overcome the world (John16:33) and we will soon be with him for eternity. Secondly Faith in Gods promises, you know the promises we like to hold onto when we’re having a bad day, Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3:5-6, John 3:16, Philippians 4:6-7. Just to name a few off, all these promise we can hold on too, we can have faith that these things spoken to us by the Lord will come to pass and will give us peace in times of struggle. Faith in these things is a shield for us, the stronger our faith, the stronger are shield, and this shield is able to quench all the fiery darts, and attacks inflicted by the enemy.

But let’s consider another promise from the Lord, the promise of “Suffering” “Tribulation” “Rejection” all the things Jesus dealt with, right? In the book of Acts God promises Paul that he will suffer (For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Acts 9:16 NKJV). And even more personally for us as I already mentioned (These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NKJV). The lord showed me that if I have faith in the promise of suffering for him then my shield will be stronger than ever. The enemy loves to discourage us, make us think God doesn’t love us, or he’s not near, or he’s forgotten us, or we’re worthless because we’re going through a trial when we should be victorious. The fiery dart of discouragement often times comes in times of suffering, and it’s at these times that we allow the enemy to hold us down and just have a hay day with beating the heck out of us. All the while God is near, he’s working, victory is right around the corner, but since we’re not prepared for such hardships we become as my pastor stated like “Spiritual Eeyores” when that ought to not be the case at all.

James states in his epistle to count it all joy when we fall into trials, why? Because God is building us up by working out our faith (My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4 NKJV). Have faith in all of Gods promises, don’t be surprised when you pursue a life of being like Jesus that you might be treated just like he was is basically what James is saying, hold onto Jesus especially in the times of trial and suffering, persevere, rejoice, why? Because you were given the opportunity to share in Jesus’ pain, (So thevy departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. Acts 5:41 NKJV).

Recently on a Sunday morning my pastor gave a study on Luke 9:57-62 “Choose to follow Jesus”, one thing that stuck out to me was he said, “Don’t do Gods work only until it gets hard”. Endure, press on, be geared up, have faith in Gods promises and nothing will surprise you. Here is a piece of my notes from that study id like to share.

  1. Follow Jesus through discomfort (Vs. 57-58). Lord I will follow you wherever you go said the first man, the idea was he was linking himself up to Jesus, moved by Jesus’ words, receives what he says. His hearts desire is to follow him. And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Luke 9:58 NKJV). (Matthew 8:19) he was a scribe, well versed in the word, high officials, advisors, position of prominence. They loved wealth, and honor, the best of the best. Jesus is letting the scribe know what the cost is to follow him, making him understand what he’s signing up for. Jesus says when you’re with me, this lifestyle will be completely different from what you are used too, there will be rejection, and you will need humility, you will experience difficulty, it will be uncomfortable and you will suffer. Don’t have a shallow heart, dont do Gods work only until it gets hard, are you able to endure doing the will of God, even when it gets hard. When am I required by the lord to endure hardship, suffering for the lord should be a regular occurrence . Have I been uncomfortable lately from simply following Jesus? Have people come against me or rejected me lately? Jesus should be regularly pulling me out of my comfort zone. -Jake Ephesians 3:20-21

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In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; (Ephesians 6:16 ESV)

Recently I heard a teaching about the whole armor of God in Ephesians chapter 6, the main point Paul the Apostle is trying to get across is that Spiritual warfare is a very real battle. The enemy wants to destroy us and the lengths he will go to are at times limitless, he has the ability to completely destroy men, to make their names and their character meaningless with a few choice temptations, thoughts, fears and snares. So with that Paul states we need to be ready for battle, and he continues on in the chapter to describe 6 pieces of spiritual armor that we need to be geared up with at all times. As Christians these are essential to our walk with the Lord. As I began to meditate and think on these things, having heard this portion taught countless times, one piece of the armor stuck out to me in a very real way, almost as if God was telling me personally “Hey you better make sure this piece of equipment is battle ready”. I thought more on it and soon came to a revelation from the Lord as to why this piece is going to be so vital for myself and all of us as Christians moving forward with the Lord, the ones who desire to be used in ministry, those of us who are about to do to battle for the Lord.

The shield of faith, what does Paul mean when he says take up the shield of faith? How can faith be a shield? Number one reason would be our faith in the Lord for our salvation, that he has overcome the world (John16:33) and we will soon be with him for eternity. Secondly Faith in Gods promises, you know the promises we like to hold onto when we’re having a bad day, Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3:5-6, John 3:16, Philippians 4:6-7. Just to name a few off, all these promise we can hold on too, we can have faith that these things spoken to us by the Lord will come to pass and will give us peace in times of struggle. Faith in these things is a shield for us, the stronger our faith, the stronger are shield, and this shield is able to quench all the fiery darts, and attacks inflicted by the enemy.

But let’s consider another promise from the Lord, the promise of “Suffering” “Tribulation” “Rejection” all the things Jesus dealt with, right? In the book of Acts God promises Paul that he will suffer (For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Acts 9:16 NKJV). And even more personally for us as I already mentioned (These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NKJV). The lord showed me that if I have faith in the promise of suffering for him then my shield will be stronger than ever. The enemy loves to discourage us, make us think God doesn’t love us, or he’s not near, or he’s forgotten us, or we’re worthless because we’re going through a trial when we should be victorious. The fiery dart of discouragement often times comes in times of suffering, and it’s at these times that we allow the enemy to hold us down and just have a hay day with beating the heck out of us. All the while God is near, he’s working, victory is right around the corner, but since we’re not prepared for such hardships we become as my pastor stated like “Spiritual Eeyores” when that ought to not be the case at all.

James states in his epistle to count it all joy when we fall into trials, why? Because God is building us up by working out our faith (My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4 NKJV). Have faith in all of Gods promises, don’t be surprised when you pursue a life of being like Jesus that you might be treated just like he was is basically what James is saying, hold onto Jesus especially in the times of trial and suffering, persevere, rejoice, why? Because you were given the opportunity to share in Jesus’ pain, (So thevy departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. Acts 5:41 NKJV).

Recently on a Sunday morning my pastor gave a study on Luke 9:57-62 “Choose to follow Jesus”, one thing that stuck out to me was he said, “Don’t do Gods work only until it gets hard”. Endure, press on, be geared up, have faith in Gods promises and nothing will surprise you.

Here is a piece of my notes from that study id like to share.

  1. Follow Jesus through discomfort (Vs. 57-58). Lord I will follow you wherever you go said the first man, the idea was he was linking himself up to Jesus, moved by Jesus’ words, receives what he says. His hearts desire is to follow him. And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Luke 9:58 NKJV). (Matthew 8:19) he was a scribe, well versed in the word, high officials, advisors, position of prominence. They loved wealth, and honor, the best of the best. Jesus is letting the scribe know what the cost is to follow him, making him understand what he’s signing up for. Jesus says when you’re with me, this lifestyle will be completely different from what you are used too, there will be rejection, and you will need humility, you will experience difficulty, it will be uncomfortable and you will suffer. Don’t have a shallow heart, dont do Gods work only until it gets hard, are you able to endure doing the will of God, even when it gets hard. When am I required by the lord to endure hardship, suffering for the lord should be a regular occurrence . Have I been uncomfortable lately from simply following Jesus? Have people come against me or rejected me lately? Jesus should be regularly pulling me out of my comfort zone.

Christianity #God #Jesus #Ministry #Suffering #Spiritualwarfare

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Grace be with you!

Jake M.

Ephesians 3:20-21

Modesty: Who's Responsibility is it Anyway?

Modesty: Who's Responsibility is it Anyway? Jessica Anne Fischer

There has been a lot of talk recently in the Christian internet forum about modesty. The main issue, I have seen, is that there seems to be an emphasis on who is responsible. There seems to be total polar opposites: it is the girls responsibility to completely cover up, not let a single inch of skin be seen because guys automatically associate skin with sex; or it is the guys responsibility to not look at girls and immediately associate them with sex and that they should learn to respect women, regardless of what they wear. However, I suggest that there is a middle ground. Not one gender is free from responsibility; guys AND girls should be fighting this battle together, not pointing fingers at the other in attempts to minimize their responsibility in this.

First, I want to point out that as a Bible-believing Christian, I look to that for all answers to questions that I have. So, as I turn to scripture I see that modesty is addressed. The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2:9 that, women are to "adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation..." What does this mean exactly? Well in looking at the original language this was written it, it means: to arrange themselves with modest, attire, with a sense of honor, reverence, regard for others, soundness of mind and self control. Being modest isn't just about what you wear.

As a Christian, being modest is a call to represent Who you belong to. As a Christian, we are called to live according to the standard that God has set forth in His word. When I identify as a Christian, I am saying that I am not my own any longer, that I was bought by the blood of Jesus Christ, I belong to Him. In response, I am to "glorify God in [my] body." (1 Corinthians 6:20) I am to dress in a way "which is proper for women professing godliness" (1 Timothy 2:10).

Honestly the Bible doesn't give us a set rule of how to dress and how not to dress, what is too much to show or too little. We are told to let our adorning not be outward but inward, (1 Peter 3:4), we are told to present our bodies as living sacrifices, not conforming to the world (Romans 12:1&2) and there are multiple stories where nakedness was seen as improper.

So this is MY responsibility as a woman. My responsibility is to dress in a way and present myself in a way that the world would know that I belong to Christ. I am to conform to HIS standards, not the worlds.

Now this doesn't eliminate the responsibility of guys, either. In fact, when Jesus was giving the sermon on the mount, He said if a man looks on a woman with lust, he has already committed adultery with her. (Matthew 5:27&28). He has to take his thoughts, his desires to the Lord in surrender. He should be seeking to honor God in the same way that I as a woman ought to: he is also bought at a price, he also should live in a way to glorify God. The Christian man should have his heart and mind set on the things above, the things of God.

He should do what he can to protect his mind and heart from the things of this world, the overt sexuality that is thrown at him in the entertainment industry. He should be constantly in communion with the Lord allowing Him to change and refine the way he thinks about women. He should respect his sisters in the Lord as daughters of the King. He should respect that they too, belong to God and his actions and thoughts towards her should be as unto her Father.

Modesty outside of Christianity screams: cover everything up, wear bags, don't show skin. If you do, you'll cause men to stumble, you'll cause men to only see you as an object of gratification. It blames guys for the way they think of women as objects to be desired. But when that is all that is being thrown at them all the time, from every angle, (TV, movies, music, magazines), how else do we expect them to react? It gives freedom to a woman to dress as she pleases, and then blames men when they desire her.

Modesty in Christianity is a beautiful thing. It honors God. It honors the people we are underneath the skin. It honors each other. It releases us from the expectations of the world in how we are to look. When men and women honor God first and each other second by exercising reverence for the God that they belong to, we leave behind this intense focus on what we look like on the outside, how we dress and how we show off ourselves. We get to realize the beauty in each of us.

Modesty isn't just about the way we dress. Modesty isn't just about the way a girl presents herself. Modesty isn't just about the guy and the way he thinks of women. Modesty is about honoring God. Modesty isn't the sole responsibility of the girl. Modesty isn't the sole responsibility of the guy. Modesty is OUR responsibility, together.

Original Article: http://justjessicaaa.blogspot.com/2013/09/modesty-whos-responsibility-is-it-anyway.html

Grace be with you! -Jake

Ephesians 3:20-21

"Dealing with Sin"

"Your Boasting is not good, do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole Lump' 1 Corinthians 5:6

1 Corinthians Chapter 5 has to be one of my favorite chapters in the bible to Study, Not! Joking of course, but it was a great reminder to me of the importance of teaching and studying through Gods word, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. Because there are chapters, (If we just picked and chose are faves to study and teach) that we would skip over, you know those chapters where God just gets right to the point no ifs and's or but's, 1 Cor 5 happens to be one of those, Paul dealing with, Rebuking and Admonishing the Corinthian Church, addresses a specific issue of a man caught up in a sexual Relationship with his Step mom, rebukes the church because they are welcoming this sin, they are boasting in the fact that they are so loving to the point that they welcome this man for who he is, i guess you can say they were a very 'Tolerant" church.

Paul uses a few key phrases such as "Are you Arrogant!" "Let him who has done this be removed from among you" and "You are to Deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh". Some very encouraging words from Paul, Joking of course, but all Jokes aside Paul is hitting some issues that make us uncomfortable, why? Because we don't want to be the Plankeyed Judgment caster. But if we really loved our Brothers and sisters in the Lord, like we are called to, then seeing one of them getting caught up in sin and being pulled away from the Lord should break our heart and lead us to wanting to restore them. More than often we don'd and in fear of being an "Intolerant" we sit back and watch our brothers get tore up.

More than being encouraged to be Bold to keep my Bros accountable, and them keep me in check, I was encouraged to examine myself, my own heart. Am I allowing things, Sin in my life that cant ultimately wreak havoc on the ones I love. Am I that Leaven? Am i Purging Sinful things from my own Life? Or am I Boasting in Sin I get away with?

Sin is very infectious, and the little we let into our own lives, the sin we let sit and manifest and grow and we never deal with, never confess, can be the most damaging to us and those we love. Deal with sin quickly, and ferociously.

JakeM