Ephesians : 6 : 10-18 [NWT]
10 Finally, go on acquiring power in [the] Lord and
in the mightiness of his strength.
11 Put on the complete suit of armor from God that YOU
may be able to stand firm against the machinations of
12 because we have a wrestling, not against blood and
flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities,
against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked
spirit forces in the heavenly places.
13 On this account take up the complete suit of armor from
God, that YOU may be able to resist in the wicked day and,
after YOU have done all things thoroughly, to stand firm.
14 Stand firm, therefore, with YOUR loins girded about
with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and with YOUR feet shod with the equipment of the good
news of peace.
16 Above all things, take up the large shield of faith, with
which YOU will be able to quench all the wicked one’s
17 Also, accept the helmet of salvation, and the sword of
the spirit, that is, God’s word,
18 while with every form of prayer and supplication YOU
carry on prayer on every occasion in spirit.
*The Sultan and Satan*
An ancient legend from the East tells of a great sultan who was a devout man of God. One morning he overslept. When the Devil saw that the hour of morning prayer was passing, he woke the sultan and urged him to get out of bed and pray.
“Who are you?” asked the startled sultan, still rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
“Oh, it’s not important,” replied the shady figure. “The important thing is that I woke you up in time, otherwise you would have missed your prayers for the first time in ten years-and it is very good to pray, isn’t it?”
“Yes, that is true!” replied the sultan smugly. “I wouldn’t dream of missing my prayer time. Not even once! … But wait a minute! I think I recognize you. Yes, I know your face. Of course! You are Satan, and no doubt you have some evil motive for your appearance!”
“I’m not really as bad as you think!” exclaimed the intruder. “After all, I was God’s right-hand angel once.”
“That is all very well,” replied the wise old sultan, “but you are also the Deceiver; that is your business! So I demand in the name of God to know why you want me to get up and pray!”
“Well,” replied the Devil, having grown huffy and impatient with the sultan’s persistence, “if you must know, I’ll tell you. If you had slept and forgotten your prayers, you would have felt very sorry for it afterward and would have been quite penitent. That would have humbled you and brought you close to God. But if you continue on as you have for the last ten years, without missing a single prayer, then you will become so satisfied with yourself that it will be worse for you than if you had missed one prayer and had asked God for forgiveness. God loves your fault mixed with repentance much more than your virtue seasoned with pride!”
Often it is actually good for us to make some mistakes because if we didn’t, we’d most likely become so proud of ourselves and so self-confident that we’d no longer feel we needed any help from God or others. But in reality, when we feel so proud and self-satisfied, it’s because we’re not closer to God, but more full of ourselves.
Many people in the world today are taught that pride is a virtue. But God recognizes pride and self-righteousness for what they really are-sins of the heart! The Bible says that “pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall,” and that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Proverbs 16:18; James 4:6).
Quite frequently God uses our mistakes to help keep our pride in check, to keep us humble and more dependent on His goodness and strength, rather than our own. The Lord blesses humility. He gives more grace to the humble, and promises to dwell “with him who has a contrite and humble spirit” (1 Peter 5:5; Isaiah 57:15).
It has been said that out of what seems like defeat come some of God’s greatest victories. “But what kind of victory is that?” you may ask. Well, God very often uses humbling experiences to make us better people-more compassionate and understanding of the errors of others, more loving and patient, when otherwise we might not have been so. The Lord wants to use our mistakes to teach us many important lessons that perhaps we wouldn’t be able to learn any other way. So isn’t it encouraging to realize that even our failures can be for our good?
Of course, in order for the Lord to bring this good to pass, we must be honest with ourselves, be willing to confess our mistakes, and attempt to rectify them. The hardest words to say in any language are, “I was wrong!” This takes humility of the kind that only God can give, because it’s human nature to want to appear perfect and faultless, and consequently be unable to confess our mistakes.
But if we want the truth and desire God’s blessing, then we’ll honestly and humbly admit our faults and failings. Then we can take comfort in knowing that we are wiser today than we were yesterday. Contrary to what some folks seem to think, an admission of error is a sign of strength rather than weakness.
Besides, God knows you’re anything but perfect. In fact, He knows you can’t be perfect and never will be. So the crux of the matter is not whether you are perfect or not, but whether you depend on the Lord and His grace, love and mercy. Do you give Him all the glory and credit for anything good that you do? Whenever you accomplish something good, you should say, “Just thank Jesus. Don’t thank me! If I have done anything good, it’s only because the Lord helped me do so.”
A good rule to follow is this: Give God all the glory for anything good you do, and yourself the blame for anything bad. That will help keep you from falling into that horrible trap of self-righteous pride, which is the basis of virtually all sin.
So whenever you make a mistake and are then tempted to get down and discouraged, just remember the sultan’s lesson: God loves your fault mixed with repentance more than your virtue seasoned with pride!
a vital organ for survival or an organ of ‘damning fire’.?
*** Words that heal and wound comes from the same mouth.***
“5 So, too, the tongue is a little member and yet makes great brags.
Look! How little a fire it takes to set so great a woodland on fire!
6 Well, the tongue is a fire. The tongue is constituted a world of
unrighteousness among our members, for it spots up all the body
and sets the wheel of natural life aflame and it is set aflame by
7 For every species of wild beast as well as bird and creeping thing
and sea creature is to be tamed and has been tamed by humankind.
8 But the tongue, not one of mankind can get it tamed. An unruly
injurious thing, it is full of death-dealing poison.
9 With it we bless Jehovah, even [the] Father, and yet with it we
curse men who have come into existence “in the likeness of God.”
10 Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing.”
*NWT — JAMES : 3 : 5-10*
Speak with kindness and thoughtfulness with consideration and discretion,
as words spoken cannot be taken back, just as it is the same with time that
cannot be wound backwards.
Reflect on these two poems ……..
An Evening Prayer
*C. Maud Battersby*
If I have wounded any soul today,
If I have caused one foot to go astray,
If I have walked in my own willful way,
Good Lord, forgive.
If I have uttered idle words or vain,
If I have turned aside from want or pain,
Lest I offend some other through the strain,
Good Lord, forgive.
Forgive the sins I have confessed to Thee.
Forgive the secret sins I do not see.
That which I know not, Father, teach Thou me—
Help me to live.
No Unkind Words
*George Matthas Adams*
If I knew that a word of mine,
A word not kind and true,
Might leave its trace on a loved one’s face,
I don’t think I’d speak it, would you?
If I knew the sting of a word
Might linger and leave its mark
With a deep dark scar on a loved one’s heart,
I don’t think I’d speak that word, would you?