And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 18, Number
In this issue:
Monday: Ask God to place a protective, solid hedge around your children so that Satan cannot reach in and lead them into temptation and so they will be safe from harm (2 Thessalonians 3:3; Psalm 33:20).
Tuesday: Pray that your children would use godly wisdom in selecting friends and peers that will make a positive difference in their lives. Ask God to give each child a discernment of people as well as knowing the difference between right and wrong (Proverbs 1:10; 18:24; Deuteronomy 13:6-8).
Wednesday: Pray that your children would stay pure in their thoughts and deeds (Psalm 24:4-5; Job 17:9).
Thursday: Pray that they will be caught if they wander into cheating, lies, or mischief (Hebrews 13:18-19).
Friday: Pray they will be alert and thinking clearly as they attend school and extra-curricular activities and as they take exams. Ask God to help them be motivated to do the best they are capable of doing (Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
Saturday: Pray for the spouse each child will marry someday. Ask that they will come from godly homes and have an appetite to live the spiritual truth they’ve learned. Pray also that their goals and purpose will be the same as your own children and their future homes would be godly (Deuteronomy 5:29).
Sunday: Ask God to help them live their lives for Him and that He will use them as a testimony and witness for His glory. Pray that they’ll be grown to full spiritual maturity (Psalms 78:1-8; 103:17-1.8; Isaiah 54:13; Ephesians 3:20-21).
Do not leave your children unprotected – that is, vulnerable to Satan’s attack. The greatest shield of protection we as parents can provide for our children is prayer. It’s never too late to start (1 Samuel 12:23; James 5:16; Colossians 4:2).
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8, NKJV)
Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, signify the exclusive nature of Jesus Christ. He alone is God's revelation to man; the "Word" now given in written form (Jno. 1:18; Heb. 1:2; 1 Cor. 14:37). There is no God before Him or after Him. As "the Beginning and the End" He is all-inclusive, the source and the summation of all things. He is eternal God who has always existed and will never cease to be. He is "Almighty God" (Isa. 9:6). Many wish to relegate Jesus to inferiority below God Almighty. The very opposite must be acknowledged when today's verse is compared to Isaiah 44:6: "This says the Lord, the Kind of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts; I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God" (Isa. 44:6). Jesus is God; Eternal in being, all-powerful in scope, and the complete revelation of truth for all of mankind. (Sword Tips #663)
The Lord is My Shepherd
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1, NKJV)
Like any good shepherd, David had a close relationship with the sheep under his care. He fed them, led them and defended them (1 Sam. 17:15, 34-35). His father's sheep suffered no lack of care while under his watch. David the shepherd keenly viewed himself as a sheep and Jehovah as his shepherd. He had a relationship of trust in and dependency upon the Lord. Like a sheep, David trusted God to know and supply his every need. Like a shepherd, God feeds His sheep, gently caring for them, protecting them, leading them (Isa. 40:11). Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep" (Jno. 10:11). Jesus, the Good Shepherd, sacrificed His life for you so that you may have eternal life. He supplies all your soul needs to be sustained now and forever. Will you let Him lead you and give you eternal life? If so, hear His voice and follow Him, for "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;..." (Jno. 10:27-28). (Sword Tips #646)
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24, ESV)
This is not a warning against making friends. Rather, it is a reminder to choose our friends carefully, for they will either contribute to our ruin or be a stalwart companion in time of trouble. A multitude of friends may indicate one is indiscriminate, unable to discern a genuine friend from an opportunist. Godly friendships are valuable and require trust. Loyal friends are a true blessing as they share their qualities of kindness, goodness, godliness and righteousness with us. A true friend does not lead us into the trouble, pain and spiritual death of sin. A real friend encourages us to think soberly, choose wisely, speak kindly and live honestly. Let us nurture godly friendships with others by being such a friend to others. (Sword Tips #665)
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Scripture Reading: Luke 12:35-40
1. New year
brings a sense of renewal.
I. WHAT WOULD I DO IF I KNEW I WOULD DIE TODAY?
A. Am I
Ready to Face God in Judgment? Lk. 12:15-21; Heb. 9:27; 10:31
there Anything I Should Say or Do to Improve a Faltering Relationship in My
Life? Matt. 5:23-26; 18:15; cf. Lev. 19:17-18
C. Am I
Taking Responsibility for Myself or Blaming Others? Eph. 4:16; 5:22-25; 6:4;
Conclusion 2 Cor. 13:5; Jas. 4:15, 17
Scripture Reading: John 7:10-18
1. Jesus is
viewed by many as a good man and great teacher whose teachings altered the
course of history...but not as Son of God. Matt. 16:13-16; 17:5; Jno.
I. THE WORD OF CHRIST IS ABSOLUTE TRUTH.
The Holy Spirit Guided Apostles into All Truth, Jno. 16:13. 1 Cor. 2:13;
II. THE WORD OF CHRIST IS THE FINAL STANDARD FOR OUR LIVES.
Thoroughly Equips Us to Do God's Will, 2 Tim. 3:16-4:4; 2 Pet. 1:2-4; Titus
III. THE WORD OF CHRIST CAN BE UNDERSTOOD.
Eph. 3:1-5; 2 Pet. 3:18.
IV. THE NEW TESTAMENT FULFILLS THE OLD TESTAMENT.
2 Tim. 3:15; Gal. 3:19-25.
V. JUDGING WHAT IS RIGHT AND WRONG.
Heb. 4:12; 5:13-14.
Conclusion John 12:48-50
Gallup just released the results of its Most Admired Man and Woman, 2015 poll. For the 20th time, Americans polled said Hillary Clinton is their most admired woman (garnering 13% of the vote). For the 8th straight time, Barak Obama was named the most admired man, with 17% of the vote. The list of top ten women includes human rights activists, politicians and TV celebrities. Pope Francis was the second most admired man. Others in the top ten include Donald Trump, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton ("Clinton Most Admired Woman for Record 20th Time", Jeffery M. Jones, gallup.com). What is it in these people that draws others to them? In some, it is power. Others, fame and fortune. It is character in some and its absence in others.
The admiration of others does not mean one has the Lord's admiration. Indeed, Jesus said, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets" (Lk. 6:26). We must concern ourselves with what the Lord thinks of us more than what men think (Matt. 10:28).
Admiration can turn into misplaced trust. When we trust people instead of trusting God and His word we will be more than disappointed: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord" (Jer. 17:5). Let us go to the Lord for understanding, wisdom, and the guidance of truth. He will never disappoint us.
Let us give honor to whom honor is due (Rom. 13:7): Almighty God (Rev. 5:12-13). Parents (Eph. 6:2). Widows (1 Tim. 5:3). Elders (1 Tim. 5:17). Rulers (1 Pet. 2:17). Fellow Christians (1 Cor. 12:23-24). Wives (1 Pet. 3:7). Husbands (1 Pet. 3:5-6). Faithful brethren (Phil. 2:29). Employers (1 Tim. 6:1). Employees (Col. 4:1). Marriage (Heb. 13:4). Who we admire says much about us.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 01/04/2016
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA