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4 Ways to Prepare for a Fight and Expect to Win–Revelation 12:11


Today’s Scripture Reading: Revelation 11:1-14:20

How many fights did you have in 2013?

Who were they with?

What were they about?

Did you win or lose?

Did you win the battle and lose the war?

Maybe,

you

were

fighting

the

wrong

person…

I can’t imagine what John must have thought and felt when he received the visions that later became the book of Revelation.  I wonder if he really understood the spiritual battle between good and evil, heaven and hell, God and Satan before God let him peek behind the curtain?

There’s really only one battle in this world and it’s not with family, friend, or foe; it’s with the enemy of our souls.  If we could fully grasp what John is telling us in Revelation we would change our fighting strategy and direct every ounce of our fighting power at the source of all anger, frustration, trials and troubles–Satan and his even schemes.

Revelation 12:11 shows us four things we must do to fight and win this spiritual battle that constantly affects our physical world:

  1. Understand, accept and proclaim the fact that Jesus Christ came to this earth and shed His blood to make us a winner
  2. Believe that somehow God will use every tough place and fiery trial we go through for His Glory and our good
  3. Tell others about the tough places and times our God has brought us through
  4. Value eternal life and winning this spiritual battle more than our short time on this earth

This is a tall order.  I guess it explains why so many Christian people live defeated lives;  we aren’t prepared to fight.

Friends, as we come to the end this one year study of God’s Word and the year 2013, let’s determine to be different in 2014, let’s get focused on the real enemy, prepare for a fight and expect to win!

Heavenly Father, forgive us for being so worldly, for allowing ourselves to be deceived by our real enemy.  Holy Spirit, show us how to fight and win for the Glory of Your Kingdom!  Help us to realize our testimony scares the enemy and sends him running!  Give us the courage to be bold in this new year!  Thank you for sending Your Son!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Revelation 15:1-18:24

What Causes Quarrels and Fights?–James 4:1-3

Today’s Scripture Reading:  James 4:1-5:20, 1 Timothy 1:1-2:15

When was the last time you got in an argument or fight with someone?

When was the last time you got mad with someone and either quarreled or did the passive-aggressive thing and gave them the silent treatment?

Was it before you became a Christian, last year, last month, last week, yesterday, or five minutes ago?

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you?

  • Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?
  • You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it.
  •  You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.
  • Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

James 4:1-3

Wow!  

That’s tough to hear, especially when we throw in the fact that James was talking to Christians.  But if you’ve been a Christian more than 30 minutes you know that Jesus saved us because we can’t save ourselves.

The sooner we come to terms with the fact that there’s a war going on inside us, the sooner we’ll be able to recognize jealousy, envy and wrong motives as the “evil desires” James was talking about.

To have those pure motives mentioned in James 4:3, we must learn to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), determine who’s talking–The Holy Spirit, Satan, or your own fleshly desires, and then make a conscious decision to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than our evil desires.

Will we still have quarrels and fights?

Most likely, but if we are open to the teaching and correction of the Holy Spirit within us we will learn from our mistakes and those quarrels and fights will become the exception rather than the norm.

Heavenly Father, help us to have the pure motives You talked about in today’s scripture. Help us to recognize our evil desires and intentionally choose NOT to act on them.  Make us like You Lord.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Timothy 3:1-6:10

What’s Under Your Armor?—Colossians 3:12-15


Today’s Scripture Reading:  Colossians 1:24-4:18

In yesterday’s reading we discovered the supernatural power of the Armor of God.  As I read Ephesians 6:10-20, the thought briefly crossed my mind, “I wonder what we’re supposed to wear ‘under’ the armor?” In today’s scripture reading I think I’ve found the answer.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. —Colossians 3:12-15

So it seems that there are six pieces of clothing we should wear under our armor:

  • Tender-hearted mercy
  • Kindness
  • Humility
  • Gentleness
  • Patience
  • Love

There are actually eight, if we include peace and thankfulness.

Granted I’ve never tried on a suit of armor, but it would seem that armor could actually be painful next to bare skin.  Think about it, it would be cold and rough; it would probably cause blisters if there wasn’t a barrier between the armor and bare skin.

I wonder…

Since this is true with physical armor and clothes, would it also be true with spiritual armor and the clothing Paul is talking about in Colossians?

Is it ever painful to try to wear…

  • The belt of truth when you have no mercy?
  • The breastplate of righteousness when you aren’t humble?
  • The shoes of peace when you aren’t peaceful, gentle and kind?
  • The shield of faith when you don’t have the patience to wait for God’s timing and thankfulness for the blessings of the past?
  • The sword of the Spirit when you can’t speak the truth in love?

It sounds like tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, love, peace and thankfulness are God’s Underarmour; we should never suit up without them!

Heavenly Father, it’s no wonder we walk through days, even seasons of defeat;  too many of Your children are trying to make it in this world without using the “equipment” you designed for us.  Thank you Lord for Your Word!  Lodge the need for Your armor AND under-armor into the depths of our spirit. Help us to put them on everyday!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Philemon 1:1-25, Philippians 1:1-2:11

Let Me Tell You About My Grandchildren—Mark 10:13-16

Today’s Scripture Reading: Luke 18:9-14,Mark 10:1-12, Matthew 19:1-12, Mark 10:13-16, Matthew 19:13-15, Luke 18:15-17, Mark 10:17-31, Matthew 19:16-30, Luke 18:18-30

Let me show you a picture of my grandchildren! Five of them are missing in this picture, but it was a rare photo opportunity to get this many of them together !

The one, true, living God of the universe spoke each of them into existence.

God could have chosen a million different ways to fill His earth, but He chose to do it through children…

Jesus made sure we knew the value of children.  He also told us that the only way we can receive the Kingdom of God is like a child:

One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them!  For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.  I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”  Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. —Mark 10:13-16

How do we receive the Kingdom of God like a child?

  • Children are helpless, unable to save themselves
  • Totally dependent on the mercy and grace of God
  • A child enjoys much but can explain very little
  • Children live by faith
  • They trust others to take care of them
  • Children immediately go to their parents when they are  hurt or have a problem

Wiersbe, Warren W.: The Bible Exposition Commentary

It’s so easy for children to believe in and have faith in God.  I see this in my grandkids.  When we pray for them to feel better, they believe they will.

They wholeheartedly believe God…

  • Is who He says He is
  • Will do what He says He will do

What happens?

How do we go from a little child who totally believes in God and believes God, to doubting who He is and what he says?

The pull of this sinful world is huge.  From the time a child is conceived a battle begins…a battle for their soul. That’s why we must train up our children in the ways of God and the things of God (Proverbs 22:6); so that when they grow up they still have child-like faith.

Children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3).  Lord, help me to live a life that leads my grandchildren straight to you.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture ReadingMatthew 20:1-6, Mark 10:32-34, Matthew 20:17-19, Luke 18:31-34, Mark 10:35-45, Matthew 20:20-34, Mark 10:46-52, Luke 18:35-19:27

Unanswered Prayers: 5 Things to Remember—Daniel 10:12-13

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Daniel 10:1 through Daniel 12:13; Ezra 4:24-5:1; Haggai 1:1-15

Can you imagine standing on the beach in Destin and looking up and seeing a man …

  • Dressed in linen clothing?
  • With a belt of pure gold around his waist?
  • With a body that looked like a precious gem?
  • With a face that flashed like lightning?
  • With eyes flaming like torches?
  • With arms and feet that shone like polished bronze?
  • A voice that roared like a vast multitude of people?

And oh by the way, all the other folks on the beach run and hide, so you are alone witnessing this amazing vision.

And then he says,

I’m sorry I’m late, but a funny thing happened on the way to answer your prayer…(Daniel 10:12-13)

Do you believe in angels?

Daniel, chapter ten is one of the most important chapters in Scripture for angelology (the study of angels).  This chapter suggests that an invisible war is constantly fought in the spiritual world which has great impact on the course of nations and the experience of individuals.

It’s really nice to think about having angels to protect us and to watch over our loved ones, but we really don’t want to think about demons hovering over us, delaying our prayers and trying their best to destroy us spiritually and even physically.

Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.  But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Daniel 10:12-13

Friends there’s a war going on.  It began in the Garden of Eden and will continue as long as we’re on this earth—God and Satan, good and evil, angels and demons.

But there’s good news:

  1. God hears every prayer (Daniel 10:12)
  2. God sends angels to answer our prayers and fight for us (Daniel 10:12-13)
  3. God sends angels to strengthen and encourage us (Daniel 10:18-19)
  4. We are precious to God (Daniel 10:11,19)
  5. We do not have to be afraid (Daniel 10:19)

We must not be discouraged when our prayers are not answered immediately. God hasn’t forgotten us.  He’s fighting for us and working all things (even Satan’s demons) for the good of those that love him and are called to according to His purpose for them.  (Romans 8:28)

Heavenly Father, teach us to pray believing You hear and answer our prayers. Give us a boldness to stand against the enemies of our soul.  Holy Spirit help us to be strong and rest in Your peace.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 1:1-6; Haggai 2:10-19; Ezra 5:2; Haggai 2:20-23; Zechariah 1:7 through Zechariah 5:11

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