Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Tuesday, September 20th
Today's reading from the Chronological OT/NT Reading Plan is Isaiah 26-27, Ephesians 6
I love how, in our NT passages recently, Paul has been telling us both what not to do, and then what to replace that with.
He doesn't just say "don't do this", he also adds "do this instead".
He instructs us not to lie, but to speak truthfully.
To avoid selfish anger (as the majority of our anger is), but to become righteously angry.
To stop stealing and begin working.
To get rid of unwholesome talk and rather build each other up with our words.
To get rid of bitterness, rage and malice, and rather be kind, compassionate and forgiving.
To flee from darkness and walk in the light.
To not get drunk, but rather be filled with the Spirit.
And then he goes on to describe how we can, practically, live in the light.
And it basically comes down to love.
No matter our situation - whether wives or husbands, children or parents, slaves or masters - we are to love each other and love God. We are to submit to each other, we are to consider each other's needs above our own.
And again, no matter our situation, we need to realize that we are all warriors in a battle and we need the armour of God to fight, every day of our lives.
Because these instructions do not come easily or naturally. It is not natural to consider other's above ourselves. It is not natural to love completely selflessly.
And Satan tries to discourage us, to remind us of our sinful nature, to give in to our sinful nature, to not bother to try because we know we will sometimes fail. If He can succeed in making us ineffective and impotent, he wins. And so we need to fight.
Fight with the belt of truth, with the breastplate of righteousness, with the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit and the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
God is faithful.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
God is faithful and when we trust in Him, when we rely on Him, we will have peace. Especially when we realize that....
all that we have accomplished you have done for us. Isaiah 26:12b
God will enable us to love each other.
God will allow us to live in the light, to be holy as He is holy.
In God's power alone we run the race and we fight the good fight.