Ephesians – Belief and Behavior
“It doesn’t work unless you rub it in!”, said the little boy to his sister. The boy had overheard his mom telling him how to apply sunscreen to his body before battling the rays of the sun. Now he was passing on this good information to his sibling who was just dabbling it on. Yes, he’s right. We have learned from experience these last few days being in Florida, reading on the beach or playing in the pool, it doesn’t work unless you rubbed it in.
Paul is telling us the same method of application of our spiritual armor. “Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life”, advises Paul. We don’t go anywhere without sunscreen but if it stays in the bag, hidden, it doesn’t work. If we don’t apply it and rub it in, it is useless to us. We must take all the help God gives us because we cannot do life without His help. Learn to take it, use it, apply it and RUB IT IN so that it protects, teaches and guides.
“Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words.” Apply them and rub them into our hearts, minds and souls!
Ephesians 6, The Message
A Fight to the Finish
10-12 And 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.
13-18 Be 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.
19-20 And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out.
21-22 Tychicus, my good friend here, will tell you what I’m doing and how things are going with me. He is certainly a dependable servant of the Master! I’ve sent him not only to tell you about us but to cheer you on in your faith.
23-24 Good-bye, friends. Love mixed with faith be yours from God the Father and from the Master, Jesus Christ. Pure grace and nothing but grace be with all who love our Master, Jesus Christ.
Think about it and be joyful…
–God provides all we need to defeat evil. We have to apply it.
–Prayer is essential to warfare. Use it. Pray for yourself and other brothers and sisters. This is where our strength comes from when we pray in Jesus Name.
–Encourage each other in battle, especially those who are on the “front lines” of battle such as our church leaders, missionaries, and volunteers.
–May God’s grace be with us all, in Jesus Name, Amen!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Sometimes we only dabble with Your help without really rubbing it in. Help us to fully apply your armor, rubbing it us so that it becomes more and more a part of who we are in You. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen