Full Armor–Shoes of Readiness and Peace–Various Verses

This is the most challenging piece of armor for me.  I have no issue with the readiness of the gospel. Romans 1:16 says I am not ashamed of the gospel, it is the power of God unto salvation for anyone that believes.  So being ready to share the message of hope and peace is a joy.  The struggle for me is the peace aspect.  While knowing the Lord is the source of peace for my life and the lives of Christians through the ages; still the Gospel is a divisive tool.  Those with whom it connects are free while those that are enemies are never at peace and always at war with the people of faith.  

The apostles gave their lives in pursuit of spreading the Gospel worldwide.   The peace they provided was a peace that passes human understanding Philippians 4:6.  It allows us to be content in all circumstance Philippians 4:11.  It is a peace that allows us to pray with thanksgiving about anything that is a source of anxiety Phil 4:6.  It is a peace that reminds us that our Lord is with us even until the ends of time Matt 28:20.  It is the peace experienced by David, Daniel, Elijah, Elisha, Paul, and John.     It is God’s peace that has been the carried through His chosen for thousands of years.

peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness from james, bible quote poster and dove sign

Our role as His people is to share that message of peace to the world and bring hope to the hopeless.  Stand Firm and Stand ready!!

God Bless You                                                                                                                                                                                  


10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore 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 stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Romans 5:1 

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:15 

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Mark 16:15

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

John 14:27 

Peace,

 I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Armor of God–Breastplate of Righteousness Eph 6, Isaiah 59

When looking at the Full Armor of God, there is nothing more uplifting and encouraging than the Breastplate of righteousness.  The Father armed Himself with the same breastplate as he set out to restore truth and justice to Israel in Isaiah 59.  Our righteousness covers our most vital parts.  In 1 Peter 5, Peter reminds us that our enemy is on the prowl, seeking whom he can devour.  We have to be ready and protected from the attacks that are sure to come.

The righteousness we are covered with is not a self-righteousness that we gain from doing a list of things or avoiding a list of bad things.  It is the righteousness that cones from faith Gen 15, Romans 4–“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”   We are equipped with a righteousness that comes by faith. 

Interestingly the shield of faith stands alongside our breastplate of righteousness. Combined we are the Lord’s and subject to his protection and power.  We then face each day with faith and confidence that He is God and has our life scoped and protected. 

That confidence in Him allows us to face the battle face forward and chest held out ready for battle.  If a breastplate of righteousness is what the Father is equipped with, then, the same breastplate is great enough for me.

God Bless You        


Ephesians 6

13 Therefore 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 stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Isaiah 59

14 So justice is driven back,

    and righteousness stands at a distance.
truth has stumbled in the streets,
    honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth is nowhere to be found,
    and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.

The Lord looked and was displeased
    that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no one,
    he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm achieved salvation for him,
    and his own righteousness sustained him.
17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate,
    and the helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments of vengeance

    and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak…

“The Redeemer will come to Zion,
    to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”
declares the Lord.

21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.

Armor of God,Belt of Truth–Galatians 6

When we discuss Spiritual Warfare, the idea of the heavenly realms being at war seems a little like a fantasy novel.  The truth is the war between God and our enemy has gone on since the dawn of time.  We serve the Risen victor and master of the Universe.  As we go into battle though, one needs to understand and employ the armor that has been provided.

The belt of truth serves two main functions.  It helps us to Gird up our stuff in preparation for battle and It serves as a base and tool chest, as it were, for all that we believe and profess.  In days of old, people wore capes and robes.  those served to protect the wearer and to allow ample storage for the necessities of life.  While useful and helpful, they were not practical for running and attacking an enemy. So, warriors and soldiers tucked the robes into their belts and prepared for what was to come. The belts were wide and had pockets and compartments to store and hang the appropriate tools and weapons.  They were critical to the wearer in the crisis and travel.

Truth serves us similarly today.  God’s truth is wide and deep and allows us the space we need to prepare for spiritual battle.  What is more, the truth is strong, it will not bend or break no matter what strain is placed upon it.  It is also a primary utility for Christians.  Our testimony, biblical knowledge, and daily journey with God are dependent on the truth of His word.  

As a utility, the Bible, our sword, and faith, our shield, must be able to remain attached to truth. Otherwise, during trial or battle, they will fall and be destroyed; leaving us naked and unarmed. I am grateful for the belt of truth that helps me to ready myself for battle and holds the tools I need to be victorious!

God Bless you


The Armor of God

10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. 11 Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places13 Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. 14 So stand firm and hold your ground, having [a]tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), 15 and having [b]strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. 16 Above all, lift up the [protective] [c]shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

18 With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all [d]God’s people.

The Full Armor of God–Vigilance, Various Verses

There is little doubt that in spiritual war, one must be prepared for every eventuality.  Paul had been arrested, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, and snake bit. Still, he literally continued to share the Gospel until he was executed by Nero.  One of the dangers of walking with the Lord is the tendency to get comfortable or careless and leave a portion of your life unguarded.  It is those areas that we leave unguarded that the enemy immediately attacks and uses to neutralize or marginalize our ministry and service to the Lord.

british soldier aiming and shooting with automatic rifle L85A1

Paul looked at every aspect of his life as he set out the scripture about the armor of god.  It is important to note that Isaiah also sent out the word in Isaiah 59 about how to allow God to be our armor and our faith and righteousness to cover us.  We cannot forget that salvation, peace, truth, faith, righteousness, and God’s word make our way possible.  

We must remain vigilant as we travel on this journey.  If we get comfortable or complacent, that is when we will be blindsided by an enemy attack.  It is our reliance upon God’s word and spirit that brings us through these most difficult times.  Paul reminded us that He was pressed down but not defeated, we must remain the same.

For the next few days, we will take a closer look at salvation, peace, truth, faith, righteousness, and God’s word.  As we do, It will remind us how to be vigilant in our pursuit of the Lord.  In the meantime, stand firm and remain confident that His spirit will guide and direct us.

God Bless You


2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” 

Isaiah 59:17

For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing and was clad with zeal as a cloak.

Romans 13:11-14

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now, our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

2 Corinthians 6:7
…by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left…

Spiritual Warfare-Ephesians 6

There is little doubt that the world is at war.  Spiritual battles are being waged in the lives and in families everywhere.  So as God’s chosen, we are called to Stand firm and be ready for war.  While the apostle Paul was right on point for the times and places, he was ministering almost 2000 years ago.  Does the same battle and the need for the same armor still exist today?

The answer is absolutely.  We must remember we serve a God who is omnipresent. He literally is in all places and in all times at once.  The spiritual war that is waging has gone on for the entire time since Adam and Eve.  Our journey is a brief one, and our goal is to become like the Master.  So, Paul is urging for us to stand firm and ready for war is as critical today as it was during early Rome.

So, this week, we will look at the Armor of God.  We will examine the pieces and their function in our lives.  We will also look at the time and the need to continue to train for the battle we are in.  

For today, we must understand the battle.  Verse 12 sums it up. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities, and powers of this Dark world and against spiritual forces of the heavenly realm.  It would be to simplistic to limit the scope to fighting demons and spiritual forces.  Paul does not do that. 

We clearly are fighting a culture and world view that screams I am the center of the universe.  Whatever is going on is only relevant as it relates to me.  When we are stuck in that mindset, we will be defeated. God reminds us that we need to make it about Him.  If we will, He will provide us with the tools to defeat the world culture.  In addition, He will provide us the vision to see the spiritual war being waged alongside.

When we can see that, We can stand firm ad begin fighting in earnest.  Our time in the word and in prayer will help us to shift our gaze from ourselves and our circumstance and onto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.  When our vision is placed correctly, we will be able to employ the tools of spiritual war.  Help me, Lord to see things through your scope of eternity.

God Bless You

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore 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 stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Attention–It’s time to Discuss Spiritual Warfare–various Verses

Spiritual warfare is as real as anything we see in the physical world.  We often forget that the trials, temptations, and challenges in life, while temporal in nature, can have long-range spiritual implications for us and those we love.  Paul knew that as well. That is why in his letters Paul challenged the people to stand firm in the faith, and to live as if in battle.  

Battle requires courage, training, discipline, and the right tools to succeed.  In August, we will be looking at spiritual warfare. We will discuss preparation, the tools, and our response to life in a world of Spiritual war.  In the month, we will look at what it means to stand firm in the Lord.  We will also look at submitting to God’s leadership as one under command in the military.  

Then we will look at the use of the weapons and armor God provides us for spiritual war.  Finally, we will look at God’s promises for His chosen as not only warriors, but also priests.  God’s desire, as we have discussed, is that we be a part of a nation of priests, drawing men to follow God into an eternal life of peace.  Sadly, freedom often requires sacrifice and warfare.  So, let’s prepare and pray as we enter the critical discussion of Spiritual war!

God Bless You


2 Thessalonians 2:15-17 

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

James 4:7

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 1:2-4 

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Psalm 31:24 

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!

Hebrews 4:14

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

1 Peter 5:8-9 

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore 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 stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

I Timothy 4

Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle,[d] for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.

11 Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. 

Fruit of the Spirit–Self Control–The way to Win the War

As we wrap up the series on the fruit of the Spirit, We look finally at the fruit of Self-Discipline.  It seems almost like an oxymoron to discuss the Spirit’s power to make us people that control ourselves.  But the truth is that our ability to live the disciplined life is a true testament to God’s spirit ruling in us.

Our society has made self and instant gratification not only acceptable but expected.  We live in a time that allows us to binge watch entertainment, to door dash in every meal from almost everywhere. Amazon brings us what we want often in hours rather than days. We refuse to discipline our children; we tie the hands of our educators and law enforcement to punish sin and keep order.

It has become a world that is returning to the law of the jungle.  Once again, God calls us to be different,  We are to live lives that have order. We are to evaluate our lives based upon needs not desire.  We are to watch what we take into our bodies and what we allow to come out of our mouths.  We are to raise our children in an environment of love and order, so that they can function successfully in the chaos.   

God tells us we are in a spiritual war.  Spiritual wars require discipline for us to survive. Discipline does not remove the ability to have fun from us, it simply puts order in our lives that ultimately frees us from the anxiety and pain of living in a mess of a culture. 

It is difficult. That is why God gives us the Holy Spirit to navigate through.  We need simply to trust God and to seek His direction as we move forward with our lives.  When we do seek His leadership, God will help us to order our steps in a way that brings us the most for our lives and our walk with Him.

Like the rest of the Fruit of the Spirit, self-control causes us to look more like God.  If we can trust him to build discipline in our lives, we will be able to withstand the enemy’s and the world’s attacks.  

God Bless You


Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

1 Corinthians 9:25

25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

I Corinthians 10:13

13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

2 Timothy 1:7

7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

Proverbs16:32

32 Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.

Proverbs 26:28

28 Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.

Fruit of the Spirit, Faithfulness–Faith Hall of Fame

Great is they faithfulness is one of my favorites and probably one of Christians far and wide favorite hymns.  It is impossible to express how incredible it is to serve a God that remains faithful no matter our actions. We, who remain faithful can count upon God not only meeting His covenant, but to far exceed any and all expectations.

The faith hall of fame in Hebrews 11 reminds us that without faith it is impossible to please God.  From creation to Christ’s return, God has called His chosen to trust Him and to remain faithful.  I love the list God sets out–Able, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah… God honored each of their lives without completing His promise before them.

That chapter enumerates a host of Godly people who, while ordinary, did extraordinary things to show their faith and devotion to God.  As His chosen, we must also, as ordinary people, exercise extraordinary faith and operate in this fallen world.  We may never see the promise of God completed while we are here on earth.  Still, we understand that God has always kept His word.  We therefore must walk in that confidence and act faithfully as His ambassadors. That faithfulness will lead those who may be lost into a right relationship with the Lord.

If we will, then we can experience the same joy experienced by those in Hebrews 12:1-2.

God Bless You


Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”[a] For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she[b] considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Hebrews 12

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a] Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Fruit of the Spirit–Faithfulness–Esther

The Story of Esther is a great story of faithfulness.  It articulates God’s faithfulness to His people, It articulates Mordecai’s faithfulness to God, his niece, and the chosen people of Israel. Finally, it shows Esther’s faithfulness to her uncle, to God, to Israel, and to her husband the King.  Esther is the only book of the Bible where God is not once mentioned.  Despite that, God is incredibly prominent throughout the verses.  His faithfulness to protect and prepare His people shouts out from each of the chapters.

In the story, Esther remains faithful to Her uncle’s leading and becomes queen of Persia.  As Queen, she is faithful to God and to her husband.  In that time, however, she is told of a plot to annihilate the Jewish people. After much prayer and fasting she approaches the king, risking her own life.  Her faithfulness pays off and Israel is spared and even empowered within their exiled land.

The critical message of the book comes in the fourth chapter.  Esther is asked to approach the king even though it could cost her everything.  Esther questions the request and shares her fear for her very life.  Her uncle tells her, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

We each have a different journey.  As we look at others and their paths, we sometimes become discouraged and envious at our not receiving the same life or an easier journey.  God reminds us that, like Esther, maybe all that we have experienced and endured has prepared us for such a time as this.  Like Esther, we must remain faithful even at our own personal risk.  That faithfulness could literally change lives and or save the world.  The important message is that we must remain faithful to God.  He has and will remain faithful to us.

Two verses that highlight God’s faithfulness should be our focus: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you, not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future!”  Jeramiah 29:11. “For we know that all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose!” Romans 8:28

Like Esther we must remain faithful. We need to trust God’s plan and know He will control the ultimate outcome.

God Bless You


Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.

So Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.

Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.

Fruit of the Spirit, Faithfulness–Daniel and Friends

Remaining faithful through difficult times is the challenge God’s people have always faced.  As we read through His word, there is no better picture of consistent faithfulness than in the story of Daniel and his friends.  The Book of Daniel is filled with examples of God’s people being asked to compromise their commitment to God to please men.  In the tests, these men’s very lives were on the line.  Daniel stood up to the Captain of the Guard, two kings, and His friends were even thrown into a fiery furnace to be killed for their commitment.  

Daniel and His friend’s commitments were honored by God and by the very kings they served.  Their faithfulness not only elevated them to places of prominence, but it also caused those that tested them to come to know God.

In our lives, as we remain faithful, God will also honor our faithfulness.  Sometimes our faithfulness will come at a great personal cost.  None the less, when God shows us as faithful, the faithfulness will almost always bring glory to God, and it will also change others’ lives.  Jonah’s faithfulness changed Nineveh, David’s faithfulness killed Goliath and changed the course of the war with the Philistines. Esther’s faithfulness Saved her nation, and Peter’s faithfulness led 5000 people to God on Pentecost. 

We will never know the results of our willingness to remain faithful.  We can rest assured, however, that whatever the personal cost, God’s reward will greatly exceed it.  Paul said it best in Romans, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

God Bless You

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13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

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