Australia Ministry Trip (Sept 26-November 10, 2017)

Australia Ministry Trip (Sept 26-November 10, 2017)
From September 26 to November 10, 2017, my husband, daughter and I will be on a ministry trip in Australia and New Zealand. The places we will be visiting are shown on the map above - along with the dates in which we'll be in these places (and what we'll be doing while there). Please keep this ministry trip and all of us in your prayers! Blogs will appear daily throughout this time, as I have written them and scheduled them in advance. I welcome your comments - and enjoy them! Just know I will not have Internet access for much of this time. So, I will look forward to reading your responses upon my return. Thank you for your understanding! And please keep reading to complete the "Reading the Bible in a Year" challenge and blessing! I am very grateful to Claire for her faithful blog comments (please everyone - join her in sharing each day as a discussion blesses everyone so much more!) And I am thankful that Claire has graciously agreed to add a bit more into her daily comments during my time of absence. Please direct special comments or questions which require immediate responses to her (on this blog). Blessings as you continue your journey through God's Word this year!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Heaven's Arsenal - Part 1

Heaven's Arsenal: "The Sword of the Word"

In battle, a warrior needs weapons. The better the weapons, the better the warrior's chances of winning. But there's more to it than that. To be effective, a warrior must also become skilled in using his weapons. Without practice and acquired skill, the best weapons are rendered next to useless in hands. Consider the following illustration, excerpted from Mark and Shauna Manfredine's book, Keys to Living Like You've Been Saved:

A young woman with no weaponry experience or combat training suddenly developed a desire to possess the world’s most superlative sword. The desire grew to the point that she booked herself passage to the far off location of the most renowned weapon-smith the planet had to offer.  For the purposes of our illustration, money was no object, so the young lady met with the master sword-maker and successfully commissioned him to fashion for her a sword so    marvelous it was to be without equal.
The master skillfully set about the task which, for the purposes of our illustration, he was capable of accomplishing. In a few months, the amazing sword was complete. Sending for the young woman, the master presented her with the nothing-short-of-the-world’s-best-sword.  She thanked the master weapon-smith and paid him handsomely for his crafts-manship. Then, fabulous sword in tow, she returned to her home and mounted the remarkable piece above her mantle where she could frequently admire it.
Some time passed, and then one night a dark man, dressed as a Samurai, snuck into the young woman’s home. Suddenly looking up from her evening reading, the woman gasped in horror to realize she was under attack. Leaping to her mantle she jerked her superior weapon from the wall and turned to face her masked assailant.
We have gone far enough in our story to make the point. In this conflict, between the novice woman with the world’s best sword and the Samurai with the inferior weapon, who would win? Naturally, you say, “the Samurai would win.” We all understand that the knowledge of how to use the sword is critically missing from the young woman’s defense. The superlative sword would be practically useless in her unskilled hands. We can shake our heads at her futile attempt to defend herself, realizing that she is wasting her time having not learned to use the great weapon she possesses.
And yet, sadly, this is how most Christians face the enemy of souls. We spend little or no time preparing for spiritual conflict. Thus, we are no more successful in withstanding the devil than this foolish woman would be in warding off a Samurai’s attack.  If we would be victorious Christian warriors, we must become skilled in using the superlative Sword of God’s Word.
God's Word PROTECTS the believer from Satan's lies:
God's Word DELIVERS the believer from Death:
God's Word ENLIGHTENS the way of the believer:
God's Word (claimed in prayer) EMPOWERS the prayers of the believer:
 God's Word is the Heavenly Sword which DEFEATS the forces of darkness:

Because the Word of God is a mighty Sword against the enemy, we are encouraged to read it, memorize Passages from it, study it, and even engraft it. If we will be victorious against the attacks of darkness, we need to the Word of God in our minds, in our hearts, in our souls. This requires preparation. It is a daily work. But the fruits of this effort are worth it. For when the enemy comes, we will be able to meet his onslaught with Scripture, just as Jesus did!