A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Message summary: Let us determine to stand firm by Godís strength!
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ďTherefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to standĒ (Ephesians 6:13). "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Many of us use a "complimentary close" in our letters and emails. The most common and slightly overused is "Sincerely" which is likely not always really sincere! We have seen many different and spiritually edifying complimentary closes in messages such as, In His grip, Joyfully in Christ, In Christian love, Because of Calvary, Standing on His promises and many other closures that we identify with as believers.
Some complimentary closes are quite creative such as "Under Aslan's paw", although this requires familiarity with the writings of C.S. Lewis. (Aslan is a lion who represents Christ.)
Brief Bible verses can also be an effective closing in expressing your faith. Ron Hoover, a Christian business leader we work with uses "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear" (Psalm 46:1-2).
But the other day I received an email from Tony Perkins who leads a ministry contending for Biblical values. He simply concluded his letter with "Standing" (Ephesians 6:13). I knew that verse was in the context of Paul's teaching about the armor of God and had an idea of what he meant by "Standing" but looked up the verse to clarify. Sure enough it was a great reminder to "Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to standĒ (Ephesians 6:13).
From the beginning of writing these daily encouragements in 1996 we have used "Be encouraged today" as our complimentary closing. But it occurred to me that everyone may not realize the Scriptural basis for this so Tony's closing prompted me to add the underlying Scripture text (Hebrews 3:13) alongside it from now on.
In Ephesians 6 the Apostle Paul urges Christ's followers to "Put on the full armor of God". Putting on the full armor of God is a daily exercise for believers in every generation. It is never optional for the Christian who desires to be effective in their Christian witness and to live in victory over the enemy.
"So that when the day of evil comes." We all face the day of evil and people have done so in every generation. Yet our young people face degrees of evil that our generation was not exposed to, forced to make choices or voice their opinion on matters we never imagined in our youth. Of course our parents could say the same thing to us, but it seems that the outflow and depth of sin has greatly accelerated in our lifetime. I read an article about the extent of sexual perversion that is actually being taught and affirmed as "good" in schools and of course this evil is spreading.
"The day of evil" is something that believers of all ages, beginning with the original recipients of Ephesus, could identify with. However Paul may also have had in mind a specific day of evil that sure seems to describe our age with abundant confusion concerning fundamental elements to God's created order; life, marriage, and now gender anarchy. This confusion is unique to our age. Indeed there have always been perversions but now it is asserted that these perversions are good and opposing them is bad or even hateful. Oh, may God send a revival, a worldwide revival! It's our only hope for turning the evil tide that has swept through our land and around the world.
"You may be able to stand your ground." Godly parents, students and ministers who seek to take a stand against evil are reviled by the powers that be. But the Word of God calls us to stand our ground. Good is called evil and evil is called good. I really wonder if we are entering the period known as the great apostasy (see 2 Thessalonians 2).
"And after you have done everything, to stand." For many years I have been intrigued by the final phrase in our daily text, "and having done everything, to stand." We must, by God's grace and the appropriation of His appointed armor, stand firm and unwavering in the midst of false teaching resulting in sinful behavior. We will most certainly encounter adversity and it will increase as more and more people reject God.
The Life Application Bible notes speaks to this:
"With false teaching and loose morals comes a particularly destructive disease - the loss of true love for God and others. Sin cools your love for God and others by turning your focus on yourself. You cannot truly love if you think only of yourself."
Aren't we seeing more and more people who live only for their own desires and don't care about the temporal or lifelong pain they inflict on others!
Today we pray for each of you, however old you are or wherever you may live. Boldly stand up for God's truth and be sure that your life is a shining example of a life fully surrendered to Christ. It's especially hard when you're dealing with those in your own family who come against you in your stand for righteous living. Yet there is depth of wisdom in this popular quote, "Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything". Indeed, let us all courageously stand up for Jesus and remember His sobering words, "He who stands firm to the end will be saved".
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13) BTW: we are also still standing! (Ephesians 6:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I want to be vigilant in equipping myself today as I battle the spiritual forces of evil. Though I wage war in this present and evil generation I have a body guard in the presence of the Holy Spirit who gives me power over the enemy of my soul. Today, I stand against the devil's schemes because I take on the full armor of God. I want to be an enduring conqueror who stands triumphant by Your grace, through our Lord Jesus Christ in whose name I pray and by whose name I will stand! Amen.
When standing for truth, justness and righteousness against a rising tide of evil we may wonder, "What's the use?" This is true at all levels so we hope today's message will be a special source of encouragement to those who are weary of Satan's battles and might be saying to themselves, "What's the use?".
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Today's reference to the Life Application Bible prompts a memory: In the 80's we lived in Saint Marys, a small town in northern Pennsylvania mountains. We listened to the closest Christian radio from about 30 miles away in DuBois, PA. The NIV Life Application Bibles were pretty new on the market and each day the announcer gave one away to the first caller. I (Brooksyne) was prepared one morning, had the phone number right beside me, and called in. I was thrilled when we won the Bible and it came in the mail a few days later! We still use it.
We consider two southern gospel songs that we feel have address today's topic and include the outstanding lyrics.
"I Will Stand" Video Gold City
I see a nation on the brink
I see a people prone to think
That truth is like an ocean wave
Changing with the tide.
But for me there has to be
An absolute, a center line
And it's the Word of God eternal
The cornerstone of Christ
So when the battle lines are drawn
And the winds of change are strong
And when the voices of this world
They keep on saying wrong is right
In the face of unbelief
Of those who mock and criticize
I will not back down or waver
No, I will be alive!
I will stand upon the truth of Jesus
He's the reason I'm alive
So how can I not live to make Him known
I will give my all to make it count
With no shadow of a doubt
Who He is, Who I am
I will stand!
And I will not be shaken, He's the Rock of Ages.
My strength and my foundation.
"Stand" Video Booth Brothers
Some will say itís foolish
Some that itís absurd
But still we choose to build our lives
Upon Godís holy Word
We know Itís always perfect
We trust It in all things
Itís holy and Itís right
So whatever this life brings
We stand on what is timeless
We stand on what is true
We stand up unashamed
No matter what the world may do
We stand upon this rock
Spoken by the Lord of all
And though other lives built on sand may fall
It may not be in fashion
It may not be in vogue
But when we look at empty lives
All around we know
We could live pursuing power
Thinking pleasure satisfies
Godís light cuts through the shadows
Revealing theyíre just lies
Let us trust His every word
Resisting every wrong
Let us read It and believe It
Itís our only hope for standing strong
These two old hymns we haven't heard in years it seems:
Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus" Video Lifeway Worship
"Marching On" Video Congregational singing Recorded from the days when you really hear voices in the congregation singing. A rarity in churches today since most all the sound is coming through mics from the voices and instruments on the platform!
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
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