In Addition To All, Take Up the Shield of Faith

(Ephesians 6: 10-19)

The writer to the book of Hebrews gives the most definite and solid meaning of faith: the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). Who can understand faith, when never gone through difficulties? The measure of faith in one’s life is seen through hard times. Everyone has a certain applied degree of faith outside the spiritual. It is an important ingredient essential to life. Faith removes the doom and gloom of today’s when one has faith for a better tomorrow. Faith is a lifter upper brightening hope in whatever we hope for. But faith is much more than that when its shield is taken up in the spiritual battle field. The Bible says that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. That is, not against humans. It is against the devil and his forces. Paul uses the Roman armor example to symbolize the armor of God’s proficiency in its use in every spiritual battle.

Faith is used as a shield. A shield means protection. The Roman shield was a very important piece of the armor used for that purpose. But it was not only used for protection, it was also to push out the enemy. It was made of wood-covered in hide. When wet it extinguished flaming arrows.  The Roman shield had an impressive size: almost three and a half feet tall and three and a half feet wide; its curve provided means of deflection against the enemy’s attacks.

Time to Sing

Listen to the sound of spring

Calling, it is time to sing!

Colors adorning the earth

Music echoing in tunes

Varied and beautiful

All in unison- different

Bird, different tune!

Showers and flowers

April and May bring

Sounds of thunder

Sparkles of light

And winds

Awake the spring

Life to the earth it brings

Winter past

No longer a jacket

No longer a fire

The sun again shines

The earth with beautiful,

and warm rays

It is spring days

According to the Promise of Life

The word promise bears a wonderful meaning, especially in times of trouble. It assures us of better things; it brings hope to the soul, strengthening it when all seems gloomy and hopeless. I am referring in particularly to the promises of our Lord YAHSHUA, promises that will never fail us. Paul, God’s faithful servant, who suffered much persecution, and was taken for dead, endured all because of God’s promise. He wrote, For I know Him Whom I have believed (II Tim. 1:12).  For knowing God, Paul without a doubt, believed His promises. The word know according to Webster, is to have a clear perception or understanding of. YAHSHUA said that will take knowing Him personally for one’s entrance to heaven. Not by work of miracles, not by work of uttered prophecies, neither by the casting of demons. He said, Not everyone who says to Me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven (Matt. 7:21). “Depart from Me, I never knew you” will be the words those who did not do the will of God will hear.

Paul’s life, when YAHSHUA revealed Himself to him through a bright light, on the road to Damascus, was changed forever. Now an apostle of Messiah he pursued a deep relationship with God. His words, For I know Whom I have believed, is a solid statement of his faith. In a letter to the Philippians, he expressed his desire to know God by saying, [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him, and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection, and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed to His death (Phil. 3:10). At the time when the day for his departure from this world was approaching, he said, I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that day… (II Tim. 4:7,8). Paul endured all, never losing his faith, for the love of God and the promise of his victor’s crown.

A Song

As I sing to the Savior

The wind whispers

Joy to the trees and in

A constant rhythm  

They dance to the tune

Of peace and of love   

YAHSHUA has for me

His whisper carries the tune

Far and near until

All trees clap their hands

Silently, that is to me

But expressively

To the creator

Ever so joyfully

Spreading the joy

To nature high and low

It carries the tune

In a dance to heaven

With eternal hope

And unspeakable groans

Of redemption for all!

The Left Behind Bride

(Matt. 25:1-13; 24:40-41; I Thess. 5:1-3)

Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? and then I will say to them openly, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly (Matt. 7:21-23).

We live in a time of convenience and short cuts to everything. Computers are the master mind of things we used to do yesterday.  The age of high tech has indeed handicapped the mind of men. We only have to know how to click or press a button for things to happen. The sad thing about it is not only that our brains have become lazy and shrinking, but it has affected the spiritual side of things too. We can only tolerate teachings that tickle our ears. It has to be convenient for us to follow in line with our life styles. Conviction is a thing of the past. “I am okay, you are okay.” All our sins have been forgiven, no need to cry over them with repentance. The Word of God says that we must be born of the Spirit to be considered being born again. It is the only way that we can receive the image of God. His image is His Holy Spirit, Who is given at that time of our spiritual birth.

We may spend our life in church, teaching Sunday- School, preaching the Gospel, visiting the sick, we may never miss a day going to church, we may perform healing, prophesy, even casting demons out and still not being born again. We may impress the world with our look of humility and sacrificed life, but we can never impress God with all we do outside of Him. YAHSHUA said to a Pharisee, “You must be born again”. He assured Nicodemus that unless a person is born again, he cannot ever see the kingdom God; unless a man is born of water and [even] the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh; what is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3: 3,4-6). Born of the Spirit, is when the Holy Spirit of God indwells the person. His indwelling is the sign that we are born again. The results are seen in the way we think, act and behave. His indwelling is the Seal, also a guarantee of our inheritance, in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring possession of it (Ephesians 1: 13-14).

The Lord’s Prayer as I Understand It

Heavenly Father,

I enter the courts of heaven

To draw near and listen to You.

I will regard Your name holy

And will worship You

In spirit and in truth.

Let Your kingdom

Come to my life

And Your will be established

In me as long as I live,

For I am crucified with

Your Son; live not I

But His Spirit lives in me.

Nineveh Repented

Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, was under God’s judgment for its wickedness.- violence and immorality. God in His mercy however, warned them through the Prophet Jonah before He destroyed it. But Jonah wanted nothing to do with it and ran way from His order. He faced the sea in its storm, was swallowed up by a great fish God had prepared to host him three days and three nights. There, Jonah repented and prayed for deliverance. The city of Nineveh received Jonah’s warning and repented from its sins with sackcloth and ashes. Jonah entered the city uttering judgment onto the city saying, Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown. The people believed in God and proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest of them even to the least of them (Jonah 3:4-5). God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God revoked His [sentence of] evil that He had said that He would do to them and He did not do it (Jonah 3:10). As a matter of fact, a decree was sent out by the king that neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything let them not feed nor drink water; but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth and let them cry mightily to God. Yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell, God may turn and revoke His sentence against us and turn away from His fierce anger so that we perish not (Jonah 3:7-9).

The calling on the name of the Lord YAHSHUA for deliverance and salvation, is for sure a way to be delivered. To call on the name of the Lord has its meaning to call out to, to cry out to. It is to invoke Him by name in distress, to receive mercy and to be saved. Psalm 3:4 says, With my voice I cry to the Lord and He hears and answers me  out of His holy hill; be merciful and gracious to me, O Lord, for to You do I cry all the day (Ps. 86:3); You heard my voice; O hide not your ear at my prayer for relief (Lam. 3:56); Romans 10:13, for everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved. The people of Nineveh were given another chance when they repented of their sins. No sin is too great that God could not forgive; no sin is greater than the loving-kindness of our Lord God. All it took was for them to acknowledge their sins and repent before God. A broken and contrite heart, the Lord will not forsake.