Prepare for Battle!  Day 4 ~ Gospel of Peace

Weekly Manna for Memory

Ephesians 6:10-13

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Additional verses if you’d like a memorization challenge 🙂 …

Ephesians 6:14-18

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Manna Snack

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

I like how the FlyLady over at exhorts her followers to “get dressed all the way to shoes”. The principle behind her no-nonsense advice is that if you are fully dressed for the day, you’ll be more productive: you act differently, you’re ready for any tasks, and you’re less likely to unlace your shoes to take a quick snooze on the couch 😉 .

It’s true, right? Putting on shoes is often the last thing we do to prepare to go out, to step outside of our home, our comfort zone.

Literally, Ephesians 6:15 is saying that the gospel of peace gives us a readiness. Gospel means “good news.” The good news of the gospel is that Jesus Christ came to bring us an eternal life of peace with God if we believe in Him (Romans 5:1).

The good news of Jesus makes us ready to face the enemy with stability.

The good news of Christ is that nothing in this world matters as much as God’s grace, reconciling us to Himself. This news can bring peace to our hearts. And that peace gives us a readiness to go into the world and share it as we also try to live in peace with those around us.

1 Peter 3:15 says,

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

Isaiah 52:7

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’

Depending on the people we have around us, we may come to think of our faith as something we shouldn’t really share with others, for fear of offending them or inciting their ridicule. I know I have often avoided making a statement because I felt ill-prepared for the conversation that might ensue.

But we have good news! It is a gospel of peace!

We need to have it at the ready as we enter into battle with the evil one each day. Satan isn’t holding back in trying to win the souls of our loved ones, so we need to be ready to battle back! We are ready because we have the good news.

Isaiah 61:1-3:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

Binding up the brokenhearted.

Freedom for captives.

Release from darkness for prisoners.

Comfort for all who mourn.

Beauty instead of ashes.

Gladness instead of mourning.

Praise instead of a spirit of despair.

That sounds like good news.

No, that sounds like GREAT news!!

That sounds like the kind of news this weary and broken world needs right about now!

I’d say the evil one has been given enough ground, wouldn’t you? Let’s take back some ground and proclaim the gospel of peace!

(Does the gospel you know give you a confidence in God’s faithfulness and a readiness to meet the evil one in battle? If not, perhaps you need to better acquaint yourself with your all-powerful, loving, gracious, self-sacrificing God who paid the ultimate price so that YOU, and everyone you come into contact with, have the opportunity to live in peace with Him for eternity.)

Dear Jesus, Your death and resurrection ARE good news for me and for those I love. Thank you for sacrificing your life so that I can have life eternal. But it is difficult sometimes to know what to say or not to say when talking to others. I do want to be gentle and respectful when I share about You, but so many topics are so confrontational that I’d rather avoid them. Lord, please guide me in how and when and with whom to share your gospel of peace. And renew my excitement for what You have done in my life. Please grow in me a readiness to face my daily battles because of the good news my life is based on. Help me focus on You, and what you’ve done, each day so that I am ready to face anything the evil one throws at me. Amen.

Meal of Manna

Take another look at this list from Isaiah 61:

  • Binding up the brokenhearted.
  • Freedom for captives.
  • Release from darkness for prisoners.
  • Comfort for all who mourn.
  • Beauty instead of ashes.
  • Gladness instead of mourning.
  • Praise instead of a spirit of despair.

Do you know anyone that may be suffering in some way and could use encouragement, a Bible, a tract or simply a visit in the name if Christ? It is not we who can heal this broken world, but we can share about the One who can.

Perhaps there are friends of your children with whom they can be encouraged to share as well.

Write down some people you know that may need a touch from God. Pray and ask God if He wants to use you to minister to them in some way. Be willing to do things out of your comfort zone.

Take-Away for Today

We minister to people around us because of the gospel of peace we know for ourselves. Because of this good news, we can be ready to combat what the evil one is doing in this world and in our lives and the lives of our loved ones.

Commit to praying for 3-5 people in your life who are brokenhearted, captive, imprisoned, mourning, grieving or in despair. Write their names down in your prayer journal or somewhere that will remind you of your commitment. Pray that God would work in their lives and draw them to His good news of peace.