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Monday, 09 November 2015 12:29

Standing Firm in His Peace

Written by  Lisa & Mike Conn
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     As a couple, what are you doing to strengthen your marriage and family?

Stand firm then . . . . with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

(Ephesians 6:14, 15)

 

The apostle Paul presents a finished picture here of the armor of God. Perhaps, in his captivity as Paul lay chained to a Roman soldier while this letter was written, he imagined the soldier as the model for his description of “The Armor of God”. Paul turned each piece of the soldier’s armor to a Christian use. This month, we will study “standing firm with the feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace”.

 

As husbands and wives we want to run the race victoriously. Sharing a daily devotion together strengthens us as a couple. In fact, recently, during our Character-Centered Parenting workshop for military couples, the importance of a strong foundation for your marriage and family was demonstrated during a 3-legged race. One couple was allowed to talk prior to and during the race, representing a strong couple who share the same goals and communicate well and often. The second couple faced in opposite directions signifying a couple who have different goals and aspirations. The third couple was not allowed to talk. They represented a couple who is headed in the same direction but are too busy to talk. Needless to say the first couple won the race!

 

The shoes of readiness. The shoes of the Roman soldiers were heavy sandals studded with hobnails to give a secure foothold. Paul identifies these shoes with the firm “footing of the gospel of peace.” Our daily march brings us peace when we are close to God each day. But, how do we find God’s peace?

 

The gospel of peace. The Bible declares, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3). If we abide in Christ, staying close to Him, we know that God is at peace with us. And Jesus Christ is our peace. When in the midst of turmoil and battle, we have God’s assurance that nothing can separate us from Him. Romans 8:35-38 says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The gospel of peace is the firm assurance of God’s love, and in this, and this alone, we stand.

 

The peaceful heart. “The peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). A calm heart helps us to know what God wants us to do. Many of us have hearts beating so loudly and fast we can’t hear God’s quiet voice. The peaceful heart is able to put its whole strength into its work. That is what troubled hearts can’t do, for much of their energy is taken up in quieting themselves, or is wasted by going after a dozen other things. However, when we are engaged in quiet fellowship with Jesus Christ, we have all of our energy at our disposal and can fully concentrate on the work God has called us to do. A quiet heart makes us ready for duty.

 

Many of the upsets that come against us come unexpectedly--Mike calls them “unplanned challenges”. It is the sudden assaults we are not looking for that work most disastrously against us. We should cultivate a careful watchfulness against our own weaknesses and keep close hold of Jesus which brings us peace and makes us steadfast, however sudden the assault.

 

Many Christian’s are not in the habit of strengthening their walk with Christ. “For it is the Gospel that brings the peace, and if its peace brings the preparedness, then the way to get the preparedness is by immersing our minds and hearts in the Gospel of Jesus Christ” (Bible Hub, MacLaren). Remember using tracing paper as a child? We would place the transparent paper on top of a picture and trace it carefully. We must stay close to God until the image of Jesus Christ Himself is reproduced in us.

 

A 4-Step Challenge.

(1) Make a list of what you are currently doing to strengthen you armor--to prepare yourself to face and overcome the challenges of life. 

(2) Ask your spouse to do the same.

(3) Make a date to sit down with your spouse and compare lists.

(4) Based on your comparison, pick three things that you and your spouse will do together in the next 30 days.

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 09 November 2015 12:46
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