Tuesday, March 15, 2016


An hour a day keeps the devil away.

"So you could not stay awake with me for even an hour? Be on guard, and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but nature is weak."

Matthew 26:40

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Armor of God

In St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians, he reminds us to put on the armor of God so that we may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil (6:10-17).

The Belt of Truth
In biblical times, the belt served as a sort of anchor, securing a soldier's armor in place. Our spiritual "belt of truth" refers to who we are and what we believe at our core--the larger worldview that binds together our beliefs and influences our decisions.
  Our culture is filled with deceptive teachings and beliefs: atheism, materialism, consumerism. In order to discern what is true or not true, we must be steeped in God's Word, reading it on a daily basis. We also need to read, see and hear good Christian literature--books, magazines, CDs, apps.

The Breastplate of Righteousness

The breastplate was worn on the front, to protect a soldier's vital organs as he faced his enemy. Our spiritual breastplate is the righteousness that comes through Jesus death on the cross. We are good not because of who we are but because of what Jesus has done for us, His death and resurrection.
  The breastplate of righteousness also protects us from verbal attacks from others who might seek to demean us. We can stand firm in the knowledge that God loves us and made us the kind of person He wants us to be.
The Shoes of Peace
Shoes are used for action, not passivity. We wear "shoes of peace" when we spread the Good News of peace with God. Isaiah 52:7 says:
     How beautiful upon the mountains
      are the feet of him who brings glad tidings,
     Announcing peace, bearing good news,
      announcing salvation, and saying to Zion,
     "Your God is King!"
  We thank God for the gift of peace He has given to us and ask Him to help us to remain in the peace of doing His Will.
The Shield of Faith
A shield was a Roman soldier's main defense, intended to protect him from volleys of arrows. Likewise, our spiritual shield helps us to "extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one" (Ephesians 6:16).  Satan's big weapon is deception--he's always firing lies at us with the goal of weakening our faith and trust in God. We resist these attacks through faith, "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1)
The Helmet of Salvation
Just as a soldier's helmet protects his head, so our spiritual helmet protects our minds. We believe in God's love for us and His gift of salvation. No matter what may happen to us here on earth we know we will be in Heaven someday with Jesus, the saints, and all our loved ones who have gone on before us in faith.
The Sword of the Spirit
A soldier's sword could deliver stinging blows to the enemy or defend against an attack. Our spiritual sword is God's Word. Jesus himself used God's Word when He fought off Satan's temptations in the wilderness. We too can use God's Word when we are faced with temptation. That's one reason why it's important for us to read Scripture daily and spend time studying it. Then when temptation comes, the Holy Spirit will bring those words to mind. There is power in the Word of God.