DebCorner

finding joy in the journey

Category: Bible Study

God’s Weapon

Jesus could have struck down Satan any way He chose. After all, He was the Son of God with an endless arsenal. But, instead, He engaged the enemy with the only weapon that guarantees victory: the sword of the Spirit, or the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

What would Jesus do? Use the Word of God!

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:17 (NASB)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think of weapons and battlefields in everyday life. That is unless I get trapped into yet again arguing with a strong-willed child. That definitely feels like a battlefield!

There is no weapon more powerful than God’s Word.

So, if you find yourself on a battlefield feeling alone, don’t lose heart and don’t reach for the wrong weapon. You are not alone, and you have the best weapon ever! God’s Word is the weapon that will bring you victory, comfort, and provision.

What weapons do I normally reach for? Overeating, yelling, running away (me time!), or drinking. Yeah – those don’t work so well at all! What about when I lecture the kids on what is right? What about when I am right!? Those never really work so well either.

I really need to do a better job of using God’s Word in my daily life rather than only having it as something I read and study. Lord, help me do that better.

If you don’t follow Jennifer Rothschild’s blog, you should! Her writings often encourage while convicting me. These excerpts are from her article The One Weapon You Need to Fight Any Battle.

Interesting Bible Study

I’m reading my Chronological plan in ESV, and my “real” Bible is NIV. This really isn’t a big deal, but I’ve grown to love the ESV translation. So, I decided it was time to buy an ESV Bible. I got a lovely purple ESV Bible with only one column and no red letters to distract – it is all God’s Word, after all.

It is odd to have a Bible without any notes and highlights in it! I decided to go through my old Bible page by page and transfer my notes over. This turned out to be an odd little Bible Study:

  • Why did I highlight that passage?
  • What does that note mean?
  • What is that reference that I wrote down?

It has been very, very interesting! I finished this little project yesterday. It took me all week!

I knew I had some Bibles from when I first became Christian hiding around somewhere. I decided to dig them out, and go through those as well. My first Bible is interesting – I highlighted the gist of the stories – not really significant scriptures for growth or understanding. I was just learning the story back then. Now, my notes take apart the stories, include original language notes, and life application notes. I never really realized my growth like that before – kind of cool.

My favorite notes to come across are the hearts, stars and letter P’s I drew in. I didn’t know I hearted so many verses! The stars I drew were verses that impacted me in some way. The P’s are promises of God. It is such a joy to find and re-read these verses.

My new Bible is already becoming a rich landscape of all my learning thus far, and there’s so much more in there!
I just love it.

Whether you get a new Bible or not, pull your trusty companion out sometime, and go through it page by page seeing again all that you marked, learned, and loved. You’ll be blessed by it.

The Inefficiency Commandment

Leviticus 19:9-10
“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.


These verses immediately bring the story of Ruth to mind, and both show immense value in being less than efficient. Efficiency is a prized goal for many people… including me! However, God shows us that being deliberately inefficient will bless others in significant ways. This idea can bless you as well.

I recently learned a “trick” of shifting priorities. If I intentionally became less efficient in certain daily activities, I will burn more calories. The extra activity is not exactly exercise, but burning calories is burning calories, right?

For example, I bring only one or two bags of groceries into the house at a time. The “efficient me” wants to bring them all in with one or two trips to get the job done quicker and with less overall effort. The “inefficient me” puts a higher priority on burning calories and takes several trips. It’s better for me, and I’ve since learned it gives my family more time and opportunity to help me on their own, and they usually do! That’s a blessing for all of us.

Try being deliberately inefficient in some activity. You’ll be glad you did.

The Fall

Genesis 3 introduces us to humanity, Satan and God’s plan for redemption.

That Darn Tree

The methods employed by the snake (Satan) are interesting to take apart. First, he asks Eve a question. Questions beg to be answered, don’t they? Satan’s question especially so because he didn’t get it completely right. Eve needed to respond to set the record straight.

Eve’s response corrects Satan’s error but highlights the one negative Satan wanted her to focus on – the prohibition of eating from the tree of knowledge. Eve was thorough in her instruction and included that the Lord God said she would “surely die” when she did eat that fruit (2:16 & 3:2).

The Lord was primarily referring to spiritual death, not immediate physical death. However it is the lack of physical death that Satan used to bolster his argument. Satan also made eating the fruit very attractive by pointing out that “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God.” (3:5)

Now, Eve is pondering this forbidden tree. (3:6)

DANGER! 

  1. Its fruit can be eaten – it won’t kill her, the snake said so!
  2. It is very pretty – always a consideration.
  3. The fruit will make her wise and make her more like God – wow.

WAIT!

Eve neglected two important points in her consideration about eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. I’m hearing Mater’s voice from Cars here…

What did God tell you about eating this knowledge fruit?
Tuh not to.

Secondly, knowledge isn’t wisdom. That’s a big idea that Eve may not have been able to conceptualize. You can know lots of stuff and still have no clue how to use that knowledge.

knowledge := acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles
wisdom := knowledge coupled with just judgment as to action; discernment or insight
(dictionary.com)

Well, you know how this story goes. Eve ate the fruit and gave some to Adam, who was with her during this conversation. They were removed from the Garden of Eden where God walks. They were separated from God, spiritually dead.

Salvation

After a brief game of blaming (3:11-13), the Lord gives hints of the plan for their salvation. They aren’t even booted from the Garden yet, and God has a plan. I find that pretty cool.


Genesis 3:15
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”


Verse 15 states that Eve’s offspring will bruise Satan’s head (implying a deadly injury) and that man would have a bruised heel (suffer but live). Christ Jesus was one of Eve’s descendants, and He delivered the death-blow to Satan through his death on the cross. Done.


Hebrews 2:14
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.


Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for providing this record of how to recognize Satan for the liar that he is. Please continue to guide me in Your light and truth. Lord, thank you for being God. You are the ultimate planner! Thank you for the plan of salvation realized in your Son, Christ Jesus. Lord, thank you for the Bible, the living Word of knowledge and teacher of wisdom. Thank you also for the Internet with all the knowledge available through it. Please grant me your Spirit of wisdom in how to use and apply that knowledge to your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Making Plans

Guard your heart, avoid obstacles, plan ahead and stay the course!


Proverbs 4:23-27
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.
Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.


I love these verses because they so clearly outline what we must do and not do as we live our lives. I also find it interesting and hugely significant that 3 things come before you plan your steps.

  1. Guard your heart
  2. Avoid obstacles (perverse & corrupt speech)
  3. Look ahead “fixing your eyes” on Jesus
  4. Now you can make those plans.

Once you are done, don’t get sidetracked! Stay the course, and always keep Philippians 4:13 tucked away in your heart.


Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength. (NCV)

I Know that My Redeemer Lives

Reading through the misery of Job, I came to verse 19:25 and it was like a breath of fresh air!


Job 19:25-27
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. An after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!


Yes, Job was miserable. However, his hope rested unfailingly on his salvation and his resurrection, and this hope was not dimmed in the slightest by his suffering. I need to take a page from this book, for sure! My sufferings are nothing in the light of the knowledge of the life to come.

Here’s the part that boggles my mind a bit: I’m reading the Chronological Bible plan, and Job story comes right after the story of Noah. Jesus wasn’t born yet. Jesus hadn’t died on the cross yet. Jesus didn’t defeat sin, death and the devil yet. Jesus didn’t rise from the dead yet. STILL, Job KNEW that his “Redeemer lives, and at the last, he will stand upon the earth.” Wow.

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