Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The haunt is on! (Faith)

Ephesians 6:13-18

On this night of nights through your travels you will see houses garnished with ghosts and ghouls and especially Jack o lanterns. Every year we see theses orange lights with carved so carefully but why are these so famous today?

"1 old legend says that it comes because of a thief a few hundred years ago. This young boy was on the run from a town, who had caught him applying his local trade, when he ran into the Grim Reaper ready to take him to the life beyond. This thief begged and pleaded for his life, eventually offering the Grim a chance at the souls that were pursuing him. He suggested that the Grim hid amongst his "possessions" disguised as a small coin, then once this thief was caught it would be his chance to strike. Grim readily agreed to this hid himself  in the
collection of stolen artifact only to realise, too late, that there was a silver cross among them which robbed him of his powers. This thief managed to eventually escape with the Grim still in tow, so when he felt he was safe he offered the Grim a second deal, this time he would only let the Grim go free if he would never bring him to hell. Grudgingly the grim accepted and they soon parted ways and life went on as normal. Eventually the time came for him to pass from this life into the next, but his past deeds had forbidden him from living with God again. He had also been promised he would never enter hell so he was stranded on Earth, to find some small patch to call home of the rest of eternity. He carved a lantern out of the first thing he saw (the humble pumpkin) and is said to still haunt to night looking for his little piece of heaven on earth." 

This poor boy did not have faith in what Jesus had taught in the scriptures. He did not trust when the scriptures said "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21) yet this boy believed that by exiling himself from hell he would be accepted into heaven by default. He soon learned otherwise. Faith leads to action. If this Boy had trusted the word of God he would have altered his ways to allow him a chance to enter God's kingdom.

I love how Faith in the scriptures is compared to a shield, Whenever you look at a medieval battle every personal you look at is holding a shield, its just a part of the equipment. The difference between one soldier and the next is what he does with the shield he has. Some people will just put their shield in a shed until the time for a war is near when he will dust it off. Other might show off their sheild as a status symbol seeking the attention of others or they may spend their free time practicing with it so they know how to use it when needed.

Faith working in exactly the same way, If we only bring it out once in a while or wear it superficially for the attention of others then when Satan come around to test you (and he will) then you will not be prepared for the tricks and traps he has set. There is no point knowing that you can pray in a crisis if you don't know how to get answers from prayers.

Are we like the young thief, making 1 or 2 preparations for the future or are we the person that is always in the training ground refining their skill with the shield of faith?

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Attack from the wall (Show your faith)

Exodus 28:4
"There was a sudden trumpet that sounded close by. It must have been from the road above. I was a plumber working not too far underground so strange sounds were the norm, I soon learned that there was nothing normal about this one. Over the next few minutes the trumpet go  louder and louder until it was right next to me. Through the wall where I was working bust a roman soldier, the shock of it made me fall off my ladder and hit the floor. I stayed there in terror as that solider was followed by another, this time on horseback, then another 20 ground soldiers."

This is actually a true story of a plumber that worked in York, England. as you can see from the story he instantly recognised these ghostly beings as being the roman military men we that were so famous. not because of the trumpet they blew or because they rode on horseback but because of the 
Armour they were wearing

This is the focal point of my blog today, the Breastplate of Righteousness. Just about everyone knows that the main purpose of the breastplate is to protect the chest of a soldier but there are other things that are often over-looked. 

For example if you are on a battlefield and everyone is wearing the same armour then how do you know who to fight? It's usually the colours and symbols that shows you represent a certain side. Without showing your true colours you are likely to be attacked by anyone and everyone, and I feel very strongly that if we are too hesitant is showing our spiritual colour, we open ourselves to unintentional attacks on our faith from even the best of friends. 

The only other time that a Breastplate is mentioned in the scriptures is in Exodus 28. God commands Moses to make a breastplate in a very specific fashion. Its very ornate and very valuable and was given to Aaron to show to other that he was the priest. This was an outward showing that they were followers of God and dedicated to his work. 

Is it clear whose side we are on? When our friends are in need would they recognise us that "knight in shining armour" that they need? Or are we the last person they turn to, for fear of being injured more?

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Ghosts and ghouls that stalk the night! (salvation)

Ephesians 6:13-18

A little poem to start the blog this week
There's a tale told by brothers Grimm, of a woman who's supplies were thin.
 Who would oft' travel in rain or sleet, to the place "lost waters" for acorns to eat.
 One night she went for lack of bread, she saw a horseman who lacked his head.
 He turned around and somehow asked, "Was it long since you were here last?"
"I come for food for it is free, the lord my god has been good to me."
"For me" he said "It should be worse, The lord is kind to give this curse"
"I rebelled throughout my living day, now in death is when I pay"

For most horsemen the best solution to avoid being headless is to wear a proper helmet, In this poor souls case however perhaps putting on the Helmet of Salvation would be better

Ephesians 6 
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
...17 And take the helmet of salvation.....

The helmet was one of the most important pieces of the armour worn by soldiers in those days. It's possible for a soldier to lose an arm or a leg and still keep fighting however if you lost/damaged your head that was it for you, you were dead. At the same time however if you put too much protection onto the head and especially the eyes it can become difficult to see and you become blind to oncoming attacks. 

I personally feel this is why Salvation is compared to the Helmet. 
The horseman above had no thought for his salvation in the life to come, so he lead life however he felt at the time and he payed the consequences for that afterwards. 

However there are also those that focus so much on salvation in the future that they forget that there is a very real battle to fight right now 
I know you're out there somewhere

Matthew 10:22 (

"And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved."

Satan is very real and is constantly seeking to injure us spiritually, Do we have enough spiritual armor to deflect the blows he will throw at us? or are we lulling ourselves into a false sense of security by how much armor we think we already have?

Friday, 11 October 2013

Where are we? (Devotion)

2 scriptures this week
Luke 22:60-62 and John 21:17 

Before going on watch this video 

"Lovest thou me?... Feed my sheep."
(John 21:17)

These 2 missionaries for the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have shown just how much they love Jesus Christ by testifying about him regardless of their situation.

 What about you and me?
Do we have the same love for Jesus Christ?
Love enough to put his will before our own lives?

 I do not want to be in the same situation that Peter was in (luke 22:60-62)
"And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me trice"

After seeing this trailer I plan to show the lord just how much I love him by doing all I can to share his word. 

I know exactly what he was willing to sacrifice for me.

( Click here for the full story of missionaries) 

Thursday, 3 October 2013

That can't be true.... can it? (Trust God)

Luke 4:27

How does anyone ever find their way out of a maze? The last time I went I was completely lost .

There are so many different way to try and get to the the end, so many different paths that I just end up going in circles until someone finds me about to go mad in some long forgotten corner somewhere. 

The choices we make in our lives are very similar. Everybody will get to a stage, and its not usually their fault, where they have no clue where to go and what are the right choices to make.

Now I know very little about mazed but I would highly doubt that I'm the only person that would be lost in that maze. I'm pretty sure that there will be a few just like me, all trying to find the way out with our own different ideas. But experience has taught me that just bumping around and hoping for the best doesn't normally get me anywhere.

Jesus also points out this principle in a church early on in luke.

Luke 4:27
"And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian." 

Leprosy is a nasty disease that causes the skin on you to rot and also can lead to loss of  hands and feet, a very dangerous thing to have in any time, especially then with a lot less medical knowledge. all the lepers mentioned must have tried everything they could to cure it, but it seems with no luck.

The only person to be cured was Naaman. He went to the Prophet and asked him to ask God how he could be clean, And he was told to bath in the river Jordan 7 time.
River Jordan
God knew what he needed, and as silly as it sounded to him (see 2 kings 5:10-12)
as he followed the lord command he was healed.

God Always knows best, this is something we should all know. The real problem is always remembering to ask him for his help, and when he does give us guidance to follow it to the letter. Otherwise we are stuck in that same maze and will be for a long while.