Loving Like Christ

Let the Holy Spirit shine through you. Being Christ-like is loving like Christ!

~ Lisa Blair

Most of my posts focus on the goodness of God and becoming more Christ-like every day; allowing the Holy Spirit to radiate outwards for others to see. The way to accomplish this is through love. We are to love all people as Christ did during His Walk, paving the way for us. Love is the fundamental law. If we achieve this, all other laws have been met. Continue to live your life through Him.

Image – YouVersion, Bible.com

Put On The Armor

I am reposting this message as a reminder that God has provided the armor to protect us against the wiles of the enemy as we march forward delivering His Word through our word, actions, and deeds. It is time to ‘armor up’!

~ Lisa Blair

The Bible offers everything we need to be active Christian Warriors. It gives us spiritual authority and is our manual for living a Godly life. While in prayer this morning, something came to light. Many of us may read parts of the Bible from time to time, but we do not study what we have read. We understand what we read intellectually, but there is so much more. To understand the spiritual intent, we have to study what was read. When reading Ephesians 6:10-18, we understand we should clothe ourselves in the armor, but do not necessarily understand why we should do so, or what each piece represents. This Post will explain the what and the why. The most important point is that we are naked and vulnerable without the armor. As the adage says, ‘don’t leave home without it.’

In reading the Book of Ephesians, particularly chapter 6, we see Paul wrote to Ephesus alerting them that the enemy is always near and ready to attack. In Ephesians 6: 12, 13 NASB, he warned:

“our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” 

There is no question that our struggle continues to be a war against the rulers of darkness. We can see it in our daily lives, on the news, and social media. The evil forces are in play, we see violence and hate in every aspect of life. We are in the midst of an invisible war, one that works through people. We struggle with uncertainty, fears, and doubts. Scripture makes it clear that much of our self-doubt, our difficulty in keeping healthy relationships, and many of our fears are rooted in the efforts of those same ‘spiritual forces of evil’ that plagued the Ephesians. Paul warned that we cannot be passive Christians. We cannot use the term ‘Christians’ without acting Christ-like. Christians have to exude Christ-like behavior through our actions. We must actively change our position and become Christian Warriors because we live in a time of full engagement against the evil forces of darkness. The evil one is present and works through people, he will not back down and neither can we. We are in the war, like it or not, there are no deferments. God calls for peace, and the evil one calls for chaos in all that we do. We cannot go quietly in the night, we have to rage against the evil forces that try to debilitate, paralyze and destroy us.

‘The evil one continually tries to infect us through our wounds inflicted by sinful words and actions that warp and twist our self-image’. He tells us we are unlovable, useless, hopeless, frail, weak, not good enough, and failures. He intentionally places difficulties, trouble, and chaos in our paths. He tries to destroy our inner peace and distort our harmony that should exist in our relationships with others and our surroundings.

Always be alert. It is important to recognize that we are prey to the evil forces of darkness and as in other parts of our daily living, must protect ourselves, and put on the Amor of God. The Armor of God is our invisible clothing Each morning when dressing for the day, putting on our visible clothing, is the perfect time to also put on our invisible clothing. In fact, we should begin the day with prayer and put on the Armor before getting out of bed.

The Armor

The Helmet of Salvation covers your head, mind, and eyes.

The helmet is our invisible filter and keeps evil out of our mind. It helps our focus on the Lords will and not on sin. It helps ward off and reject harmful words and actions directed at us by others. It protects us from evil. It deflects hurtful things people say and do to us. It protects us while we live out our ‘true identity in Christ’.

The Breastplate of Righteousness protects your heart.

Righteousness is the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit that lives in us; it is a gift from God, and cannot be earned. Righteousness is much like a filter that strains out unGodly things and reinforces our desire to be honest, trustworthy, kind, good-hearted, loving, and joyful. (Fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23). It guards our mind and emotions.

The Belt of Truth holds us together. 

It keeps all the armor in place. It is like a belt or a girdle-like support strap. It supports our core. It helps keep our heart and mind focused on Christ. Without the belt of truth, we are not prepared to stand and fight. The belt represents living a life of honesty and integrity. It supports our total commitment and devotion to God Almighty.

The Sandals of the Gospel of Peace (the Good News) weaponry covers our feet.

Everywhere we walk, we walk in peace. Our footwear keeps us from hurting our feet. The gospel of peace is the Word of God that we share with others as we walk in His Word. Without the Gospel of Peace, we are barefoot and cannot walk without fear. The footwear brings ‘inner and interpersonal peace when we commit to living by God’s Word, which means forgiving those who may have harmed us.

The Shield of Faith protects us from the weaponry of the enemy.

God gave is faith to protect ourselves from the things we cannot see and may not understand. It enables us to advance, despite adverse circumstance.

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.

Gives us boldness to reject and attack misinformation. We can use it to defend ourselves from things we may or may not know are wrong. The sword cuts through everything the enemy can send our way. It is the only defensive weapon we have. Everything else wards off the offensives of the evil one. The sword is the way, the truth, and the light. It is the Word of God. This sword is able to cut through every defense our enemy can raise. When wielded by us, nothing can withstand its ability to cut straight to the core and uncover the truth.

We are naked when we do not wear the Armor of God. Never go out without it. We put on a coat to protect us from the cold and our armor to protect us from the evil one.

Faith, Hope, Love, Dependency, and Obedience Synopsis

Finally, our March theme is affirmed by this Post. To be Christian Warriors we must have faith, hope, and love. When we are in a relationship with a loved one, we have faith in them, love them, are in a dependent relationship with them and are obedient to the values and intent of the relationship. Putting on the Armor of God is a faith move by which we are dependent upon the fact that it works to protect us. We are obedient in that we put the Armor on every day. We have hope that our armor will hold up and invite others to live as Christian Warriors, and for non-Christians, to receive the Lord’s salvation and join our family. Love, the most important of these, operates in faith and dependence upon the Word of God and his relationship with us.

Sources

Books:
The Full Armor of God, Larry Richards
Waging Prophetic War, Jennifer Claire

Websites:
The Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness. Bible.org, Mar. 3, 2018
The Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Freebiblestudyguides.org, Mar. 3, 2018
Helping Children Put On Their Armor Through Prayer, Lisa Blair, Youngchristianwarriors.com

Images – Google Images
Scripture-Biblegateway.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Truth In Love

“Speak Truth To Power Through Love.” ~ Lisa Blair

We use the word truth in a very cavalier way. It slips off our tongues with no commitment to its meaning. It is and then it the next breath, it is no more. According to Vines Expository Dictionary, the word ‘truth’ has an absolute force. It is not only ethical truth, but ‘truth’ in all its fullness and scope, as embodied in Christ, who is the perfect expression of truth. It also represents sincerity and integrity. It is the essence of the matter. There is no perversion. LOVE IS LOVE AND IS AN ACTION WORD.

Strong’s Dictionary #571 defines truth: certainty, stability, righteousness, and trustworthiness. Hayford wrote, Emet (eh-met), derives from the verb aman, meaning to be firm, permanent, and established, reliable. Truth is something upon which a person may confidently stake his life.

Let’s look at three versions of this scripture and it will become clear that we should change the way we use this term.

 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. KJV

 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. NIV

 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. NLT

KJV, key phrases – not in word or tongue, but in deed
NIV, key phrases – not in words or speech, but with actions
NLT, key phrases – not merely say, but show 

Using truth in a cavalier way does not empower us to minister to others. When we use truth without action we are not demonstrating truth through genuine love, we are not depicting the same truth Christ demonstrated during His time on earth. He loved all people and blanketed them with love. He did not say He loved people and then callously shun them. He did not say He loved and then gossip behind their backs. He did not see a person in need and then turn His back on them or look through them as if they did not exist. He did not stand up for a cause only if the right people were there to observe His action. Christ was and is genuine. When He spoke about truth, He spoke about the action behind the term truth which is love, the love of God.

As Christians, we need to adjust our lenses to see people as Christ sees them and respect who they are and where they are in their walk, in love. There’s a phrase people banter about, ‘don’t hate the person, hate the behavior.’ We all fall short of the glory of God. We are all on the path, whether or not we know it, or expect it. We are fallible and we are all sinners. 

In the framework of truth to power, there must be action behind the words truth and love if we expect to carry the Good News and minister to others in our actions and deeds. Truth through the action love is something we can stake our life on as can those who observe our actions. Our tendency to use the words truth and love can no longer be cavalier or lithe.

Images – YouVersion, Bible.com
Scriptures – Biblegateway.com
Resources – Hayford’s Bible Handbook, Jack Hayford; Nelson’s Chapter-by-Chapter Bible Commentary, Warren Wiersbe; Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, W.E. Vine

Another Act of Kindness

Some call this ’doing good’, but as Christians, we know this is an act of kindness.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12 NIV

Just imagine if you were a child, in the hospital ill, looked out the window and saw a superhero looking back at you. What a great moment you would experience, one that would help you through your struggles.

ACT OF KINDNESS – Meet the Chicago woman who rented hotel rooms for the homeless during deep freeze | wusa9.com

For several weeks many of us have been writing about following Christ and acts of kindness. 80 people were spared being left in freezing temperatures for three days.

Candice Payne used her personal American Express card to get homeless people off the streets during record-setting freeze in Chicago.

— Read on www.wusa9.com/mobile/article/news/nation-world/meet-the-chicago-woman-who-rented-hotel-rooms-for-the-homeless-during-deep-freeze/285-06f8f21a-e4b0-463a-904b-f3b74f440234

Love is the Active Agent

Love is the foundation for a Godly life. Without love, everything we think, say, or do is in vain. Without love all spiritual gifts are temporary. Love is permanent.  Without the love agent, all ingredients remain materials but do not produce a permanent product. The gift of tongues without love leaves a hollow reverberation.  James Boyce, workinpreacher.org,  refers to love as the active agent.

I believe verses 2-13 AMP explains what love is more thoroughly than I can express.

And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [b]to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all.

Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous orenvious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong enduredIt does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part [for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete]. 10 But when that which is complete and perfect comes, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God]. 13 And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.

The AMP version further explains love is the active ingredient, the basis for all things (vv. 4-7). According to Warren Wiersbe, love puts maturity into character. Love puts eternity into life (vv. 8-13). Love lasts, and what love does will last. Love is the greatest and does the greatest because “God is love”. (1 John 4:8)

Hayford’s Bible Handbook shares that this scripture focused on the Corinthians who were wasting their spiritual gifts. Jack Hayford further stated love is the motive for the gifts and the method by which they are to be conveyed.

Asheritah Ciuciu, Inspiring Bible Verses about God’s Love, ibelieve.com wrote – God is love and He loves us. We know that in our minds, but often we don’t live that way.  This is an on-going disconnect, in that Paul shared the same concern with the Corinthians.

She wrote, but the reality of God’s love surrounds us day by day, as revealed in these inspiring Bible verses about God’s love below. We learn that…

  • God’s love is steadfast and unchanging
  • God’s love comforts us
  • God’s love is revealed to us through Jesus Christ
  • God’s love is poured into us through  the Holy Spirit
  • God’s love compels us to love one another

Image – YouVersion,  Roger Cole, Bible.com
Scriptures – Bible.com
Resources – James Boyce, workinpreacher.org; Hayford’s Bible Handbook; Asheritah Ciuciu, Inspiring Bible Verses about God’s Love, ibelieve.com