2 Cor 1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
There was a time when a handshake sealed the deal between two individuals.
A man’s handshake was a binding contract.
Now you need something written down, a lawyer to read over it, and then it signed and witnessed.
Not with God.
All you need from Him is His word.
All His promises are through the work of Jesus Christ.
His promises for you are affirmed through His holiness and righteousness.
Does He love you?
Yes and Amen.
Does He want salvation for you?
Yes and Amen.
Will He forgive you?
Yes and Amen.
Once you are saved are you free to sin?
That’s outside His holiness and righteousness so the answer is no!
The proof – Rom 6:2 How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Yes and Amen!
His promises are never broken.
His word is true.
You can bet His life on it!
Luke 5:5-6 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.
Have you ever felt like giving up?
I can relate when it seems like you don’t get any results.
But imagine where we would be if Thomas Edison had given up.
We would still be in the dark.
Or if Peter had given up.
He would have stayed a fisherman.
However, the greatest encourager came by and asked Peter to launch back out and fish a bit longer.
Peter and his coworkers had fished all night with no results.
That quickly turned around at the word of Jesus.
They caught so many fish the net began to break and they had to call for help.
Their boats began to sink because of the incredible weight of the fish.
Peter would leave fishing for ministry and, although, he had some ups and downs, he ended up becoming the preacher of Pentecost with about 3,000 accepting Jesus as savior.
So when you are sinking low with self-worth remember this lesson of Peter and Jesus.
He wants to bless you and encourage you to press on and push on through.
Your next blessing is just below the surface.
John 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus.
This is the first meeting of Peter and Jesus.
Andrew, Peter’s brother, believed Jesus is the Messiah but Peter is not so convinced.
It is later that Peter sees his own sinfulness in the presence of Jesus. (Mark 5:1-11)
This introduction is a key point in Peter’s life.
Who is given credit for leading Peter to Jesus?
Peter had to make his decision to follow Christ but you can’t make the decision without the introduction.
Where do you bring others?
Will you introduce someone to Jesus?
Gal 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
The news this morning – after two months of retirement, quarterback Tom Brady is coming out of retirement for his twenty-third season of football.
He is 44-years old, ancient by football standards, with only a few other players close to that age range.
The oldest NFL player ever was 48 when he retired.
These “old” guys are more susceptible to injury than the younger players around them.
Retirement is something most people dream about and plan for.
The idea of not being ruled by a clock or calendar appeals to us.
Being able to sleep in, go fishing, work in the shop out back of the house, or do nothing at all seems like paradise after years of clocking in and doing what the other fellow tells you.
The other day I was at the groundbreaking of the new Broaddus Elementary.
One of my fellow pastors was on hand to lead in prayer.
As the two of us were talking he said, “You and I will never retire from doing God’s work!”
How true that is.
While I do plan on retiring from my radio work, or, at least, cutting back some, I will never retire from God’s work.
I have no plans to give up pastoring.
God encourages us to not grow weary while doing His work and not to lose heart.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
Your brain is a marvelous creation.
It controls everything about your body from temperature and heart rhythm to processing odors and sounds.
In times of distress on the body, like hypothermia, the brain will tell the body to send more warming blood to the vital organs, including itself.
Your brain can feel a pinprick on your toe and alert you to pull away.
Cut off that toe and the brain will still function and control the rest of the body.
Remove an entire arm and the brain will continue to function and control the remainder of the body.
Cut off the head or damage the brain and the rest of the body will suffer.
This is why you must protect your brain and your thoughts with the helmet of salvation.
It says in Ps 119:41, Let Your mercies come also to me, O Lord — Your salvation according to Your word.
Salvation is by the word of God and the helmet of salvation is the word of God.
Protect your thoughts by reading the word of God and filter out the lies of the world that go against it.
Now on to the final part of the armor – the sword.
Hebrews tells you the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.
Again, the sword is the word of God.
This is your only weapon and what do you do with it?
In this chapter of Ephesians, you are instructed to stand (Eph 6:11, 13, 14).
You are not to swing or sway.
You are to stand in the word of God.
The word of God does the fighting for you.
Stand on His word.
Stand in His word.
Eph 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.
Let’s look at the wicked one’s weapon for just a moment – fiery darts.
It’s not enough that it’s a dart, which can pierce anywhere on your body, it’s also on fire to inflict more pain and damage.
The wicked one really does not like you but then he is a murderer from the beginning.
A dart is meant to damage the inside and the fire is meant to damage the outside.
You have coverage for your chest, feet, and head but that leaves some exposure to your arms and legs.
With the shield of faith, you can protect the unprotected.
And what is the shield of faith?
It is written that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom 10:17
Once again the shield is the word of God.
You know have the word of God covering your waist, heart, feet, and the unprotected.
I’ll finish up the armor of God next time.
Just this reminder to read God’s word every day and keep yourself encouraged and protected against the enemy of your soul.
Eph 6:15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
I use to watch a reality show called Naked and Afraid.
Not to worry, they blurred a lot of the body out.
It’s about survivalists dropped in jungles, deserts, savannahs, and forests around the world and they must survive for 21 days with nothing but, perhaps, a knife, a map, and a firestarter.
One of the first things the survivalists do is find a place to camp, find a water source, and then try to make something protective for their feet, especially in rocky or thorny areas.
They know even minor damage to their feet could keep them from traveling to the extraction point.
Your feet are the foundation of your body, able to withstand the entirety of your weight.
Shoes were important to the Roman soldier when Paul wrote today’s scripture.
The shoes worn by the Roman soldiers were nothing compared to today’s footwear but they did the job.
As a Christian, your foundation is the Gospel of peace.
Ps 85:8 says, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak, For He will speak peace To His people and to His saints.”
Again, the Gospel of peace is the word of God and the word of God protects the foundation of your body.
With your feet shod with the gospel, you are ready to travel anywhere and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.
You can trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
It’s good to know God’s word protects you as you put one foot in front of the other today.
Eph 6:14 …having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Law enforcement has a dangerous occupation.
They never know who or what they will encounter in a day.
Dangerous criminals intent on escaping with little care for life will easily shoot at police officers.
Because of this, many LEOs wear kevlar or some similar protection over the chest and stomach area.
These products save lives by covering vital organs.
The breastplate of righteousness does the same thing – cover vital organs, especially your heart.
Isaiah 45:23 says, “The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness.”
Again we find God’s word is this important part of the armor of God.
His word protects your heart against the lies of the enemy intent on swaying you away from God.
Reading His word covers your heart with what is true and right.
Eph 6:13-14 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth,
Getting dressed is a daily necessity unless you work from home and can stay in your jammies all day.
However, sooner or later you must get out of the house or change the jammies.
When you get dressed you probably have some favorite clothing you wear daily.
For me, it’s now overalls but at one time it was blue jeans and a t-shirt.
Depending on your job, there may be accessories.
Doctors and nurses can wear a stethoscope all day.
A policeman wears a gun, a taser, and pepper spray all day.
A construction worker may have several tools and a hardhat.
Paul says the Christian needs to daily dress in the armor of God, starting with girding truth around your waist, like a belt.
To gird means to encircle or bind.
What a beautiful illustration to complete wrap yourself up in truth.
And what is truth?
Ps 119:160 The entirety of Your word is truth.
So encircle or bind God’s word around you before you leave the house today.
Isa 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn.
Weapons have evolved over the years.
Imagine the surprise when the tribe armed with spears was confronted by the tribe armed with bow and arrow.
Or the American Indian with bows going against the western expansion armed with rifles.
WWII ended because no one could stand against the power of a new weapon – the atomic bomb.
But other nations developed the same weapon and a stalemate developed.
When you are a Christian you possess the most powerful weapon of all – the word of God.
Through it, no other weapon will prosper.
That’s not to say that manmade weapons won’t end your life.
But remember what Jesus said.
Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matt 10:28
Manmade weapons can maim and kill a body but it is God’s word that is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.
It is also God’s word, the ultimate weapon, that offers salvation and eternal life to the same body and soul.