Aloha Friday Message – December 17, 2010 – Third Friday of Advent

Happy Aloha Friday, Beloved! Have I told you lately that I love you? It is true that I do, but not as much as HE loves you. How much is that? Check this out!

ISAIAH 49:15
NIV ~~ Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
KJV ~~ Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

Beloved, here is a Great Mystery, something so magnificent that one can scarcely comprehend it: God is so faithful, so kind, and so loving that He never forgets his people and He is never indifferent to their existence. He has chosen to create us to receive the gift of His grace through Christ, Jesus his only begotten Son, who is the Perfection of His Love. It is not His disposition to do otherwise. That alone is awe-inspiring beyond our understanding. And yet our God, El Shaddai*, exceeds even this in that, despite our guilt and rebellion, He does forget our sins. He knows us and remembers us only as His Holy Ones, His sons and daughters, and co-heirs to Eternity with His Son. Praise be to our God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every Spiritual blessing in heaven. (see Ephesians 1:3)

* See 818AFC050208

This is the third installment in our series on The Full Armor of God. Today we will examine what Paul means when he writes of the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit.

Ephesians 6:17 “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” I think if I were going to write about the armor a soldier wears, I would probably begin with the helmet. A head wound is nearly as immediately fatal as a wound directly to the heart. In fact, one can be wounded by some weapon in just about any other part of the body other than the head and have a fairly decent chance of survival and recovery. Head wounds if not fatal, on the other hand, can result in severe brain damage, loss of speech, loss of mobility, loss of sensation (any or all of the Five Senses), and/or changes in personality and perception. As you know by now, Paul listed the items in this passage in the order in which they were donned because that is also the order in which they come into the service of God.

The helmet is another ancient defensive armament, appearing historically around the same time as the first shields (see last week’s message). Originally made of leather, they evolved with reinforcements of wood or bone. Later they were made of copper, bronze, iron, or steel. In modern times they were even made of reinforced and strengthened fabric. Some were also made of gold! Paul gives no description of the helmet or sword in the verse where these two armaments are mentioned, so we would need to rely on the image of what his contemporaries would have recalled. The word used in Greek in this letter to the Ephesians for “helmet” is perikefalaia; a perikephalaia {per-ee-kef-al-ah’-yah}. It is a sort of generic term for helmet – something which encircles the head rather than any specific form or construction of helmet. The whole purpose of the helmet is to protect the head because that which is inside the head is what keep the soldier in the fight: His mind! Paul’s metaphor of armor illustrates how to be protected in Spiritual Warfare. The helmet, the sure knowledge of salvation in Jesus Christ, protects our head – our mind – from being wounded by the weapons of the enemy. If we think back to the kind of helmet worn by soldiers in heavy infantry, the helmet had flaps to protect the ears, a visor which shielded and protected the eyes and forehead, a guard over the nose, and an extension which protected the back of the neck. The whole head was protected, and so also must the whole mind be protected from attacks through the senses, and through mistaken ideas and imaginations generated in the mind. If you are going up against the enemy of God, you are going against a powerful foe, and having a clear mind that is protected from the enemy’s tricks and weapons is essential! Knowing and using the knowledge of Salvation is your best defense for your mind.

I remember a type of contest called a Sword Drill. It was a competition among young people to find scripture passages quickly. You had to have your Bible closed and on your lap or on a table. A clue was given, and the contestants would pick up their Bibles and try to get to the passage matched to the clue. The first one to find it won that round and earned a point. Sometimes we were grouped into teams and one group “battled” the other with … The Sword – the Word of God. The clue might sound like this: Name the weapon Paul used to describe the word of God. The answer could be found in Hebrews 4:12, as well as Ephesians 6:17. The word Paul uses for sword is one that describes a large knife or a short sword – something that is easily maneuverable and can be quickly moved to block blows or to thrust against the enemy. In researching this image, I was initially surprised to learn that Paul uses a word that describes speaking the word of God – rhema – that which is spoken by a living voice. Now I recall in Romans 10:17, Paul says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Another word used in the New Testament for scripture is logos. This refers to the written word as well as to the embodiment of The Word (see John 1:1) in Christ.

We take up the word of God to defend and to fight against our enemy, the Accuser. When we read and study The Word, we are protecting our life from the attacks of the enemy. When we speak The Word, we are engaging the enemy in – quite literally – a fight for Life. As believers, then, we should always have the Sword of the Spirit ready, in hand, and held firmly. We should practice using it, get to know all of the things it can do. We should never let down our guard or fail to maintain our skills. When you leave your Bible gathering dust on the shelf or nightstand, you are missing an important part of your defense. The battle is at hand. Prepare the way of the LORD. ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA!

The number of request for our prayers continues to grow. Many families have been hit with bad news, illness, injury, and loss. Let us begin each day, therefore, giving thanks and praise to God for the goodness and protection he brings into our lives. Even those among us who are suffering can give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.

• JC – Continued healing and safety, and home in time for Christmas
• AT – Life spinning out of control; has abandoned family and friends. Pray for discernment, morality, and faith and return to the Lord.
• CI – reunite with family and a good job
• DO – maintain improved health after long illness
• HK – quick recovery from illness
• BB & CF – Traveler’s Safety, and blessing on their Mission
• RS, PM, PD, CS, FP, MP, BF, MC, BG, and J&SK – Blessings on them during this, the busiest time of their ministries and service to others.
• JK & family – courage, health, and faith
• KV – Freedom from pain and illness and able to travel for family
• KD – Help in finding a place to live and a way to pay for it
• ZL – Now in Hospice, eager to go Home to the Lord
• NA – Despite many dangerous health problems, still reaching out to help others; pray for strength, wisdom for the doctors, and a joyful Christmas
• MH – Hospice care is making her final days an opportunity to reach out to God and family
• RF & LM – Much love and blessings from all the families.

Jesus we pray for All the Peoples especially those suffering in Haiti (Daniel & Patterson, Taisha, Jacob), Pakistan, Chile, Sudan – especially Darfur – and in Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the Philippines, Indonesia and in other disasters both natural and man-made over the entire world. We pray for Christians and for people of all faiths who are being persecuted for their beliefs.

We also pray that those who fear they cannot or should not be forgiven will find that your mercy exceeds all their fears.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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