Thursday, January 14, 2010


Ephesians 6:10-18 (The Message)

A Fight to the Finish 10-12And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
13-18Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

I love this version! On Tuesday night, Pastor Mike talked about the armor of God...that we should be putting on the full armor. This version says "well-made weapons of the best material." This is so good! I'm going to start today with the Helmet of Salvation. A helmet is defined as 1. (Military / arms & Armour (excluding Firearms) a piece of protective or defensive armour for the head worn by soldiers, policemen, firemen, divers, etc. Helmet are used for security. We use them for sports, bicycles, motorcycles, construction, etc. Failure to wear one can be fatal. In war, soldiers can get severe injuries. They will be able to survive a broken arm or broken ribs, etc. But a hard blow to the head can immobilize him or can be fatal.

We use the helmet of salvation spiritually to protect our minds. Wearing the whole armor will prevent casualties. It is the first piece that we should put on. Satan tries to attack our minds. People notice when we wear a helmet. Are we living like we are saved or are we difficult to recognize because we are blending in? We need to "show off" our helmet and show others the need for one and teach them out to obtain it. The helmet of Salvation is the hope of salvation...salvation from sin. The helmet of salvation grows stronger with use. I was thinking about how God made animals and I thought of the armadillo. God designed them to have protection. As they mature, their armor gets harder & tougher. God provides us with armor but we have to put it on. As I said above, this version says "well-made weapons of the best material." He loves us so much that He gave us weapons made out of the best material. We have to make the decision to use it. So start today & put on your armor. We'll be talking tomorrow about the breastplate of righteousness.


Deuteronomy 15:11 (The Message)

10-11 Give freely and spontaneously. Don't have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God's, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.

House Rule #10: Look After Each Other. We have been talking about our hearts in Vineyard Heritage Center for the past few months. This is definitely a heart thing. Read Verses 7-11. In Verse 7 the Scripture says not to harden our hearts or close our hands to our poor brother and in Verse 8 it says to generous lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks. In Verses 10 and 11 it says to give freely and don't have a "stingy" heart. A "stingy" heart means to be unwilling to spend; an ungenerous response; close-fisted; skimpy; deficient in amount, quality or extent; meager.

Poverty can be defined as lack of money but also can mean a lack of respect or honor. As the Body of Christ, we need to look at how society treats the poor and how we treat the poor. Jesus wants us to help His people the way He would help them. We have to be careful of our attitudes in certain circumstances and towards certain persons. Be careful of your motives; they are crucial because God looks at our hearts. We should not have a mean and selfish spirit but give with a loving kindness. When we do, it will secure a blessing. If God has given us an abundance, then it is inexcusable not to bless someone else. Our blessings are God's gift to us and we have a duty to help the poor and needy. I also think that we have a duty to help them teach them to get out of poverty. I love Hope International's way of helping the poor in other countries. They get them micro-loans and they can get a stand in a market or something similar and sell their goods and feel a sense of respect for themselves and their families. Hope has an amazing percentage of loans that are paid back and used for the next person who needs help. In Proverbs 19:17 it says: "He who lendeth unto the poor lendeth unto the Lord." In Matthew 26:11, Jesus said "The poor you have with you always." His cause was to have a heart and a concern for the poor.

Since this House Rule says to "look after each other," I believe the Body of Christ needs to look after each and every one of our brothers and sisters. There are many in the Body who need encouragement or maybe need some food or even some money to just get them through a hard time. Many times people do not want to ask for help so we should be able to discern when someone might be in need. God loves a cheerful giver. So let us pray together that we will look after each other and bless each other. We can begin to give to brothers and sisters closest to us but not limit it to them. Extend outward from there; extend the love, blessings and look after each other. Father, help us to look after each other and bless one another. Give us your heart O God!