Stand Firm: Preparedness in the Gospel of Peace

” And, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” (Eph 6:15)

When thinking about our preparedness for a spiritual battle, being ready for war against Satan and evil, ‘peace’ is probably not the first word that comes to your mind. In fact, when I first sat down to look at this verse in Ephesians in order to write this post, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to say. The Belt of Truth and Breastplate of Righteousness are rich and deep, but at face value are also somewhat self explanatory- they make sense in the scene of battle. But shoes of peace – maybe not so much. Does it mean we should be pursuing peace? Or searching for peace? Or if we wear these said shoes we will have peace despite a raging battle around us?

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Heart Questions: Putting Jesus’ Words into Practice

On the very last page of my Bible, I am slowly developing a list of questions—mostly ones that I come across in my reading, but some which come about through reflecting. I call these ‘heart questions;’ they are ones which I ask to my heart, in a very broad sense, ‘how am I going at this area of life?’ I also use it as a method to remember things I have been struck or convicted by in past reading to ensure I continue to focus on and invest in pursuing Christ and growing in His likeness. They are not questions based on spiritual disciplines (e.g. ‘How have I been going at reading my Bible?’ ‘Am I praying every day?’), but are rather the practical, fruitful outworking of these things; they are an indication of being in a posture allowing the transformation of the Holy Spirit. This might be something along the lines of, “Am I aware of God’s peace in my day to day life?” “Does my life demonstrate to others that I have complete trust in God,” etc. As I was spending time with God recently, I came across another of these questions to add to my list, and thought that putting together such a list could also be helpful for others as a reference to prompt prayer or reflection, or for considering ways to be growing in greater obedience to God. I will compile them into a page (which you can access from the home page), and plan to include a link to the short post I write about them when they are first added to provide a bit more context to the questions.

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The Reading Rut: Resources (#6 of 6)

This article is the final of this series on the Reading Rut, and actually the inspiration for the whole series in the first place. Of course there is a myriad of resources out there, so this is just a snapshot of things I have found helpful – so I encourage you to try them out, and I hope that they might be as good for you as they have for me. However if you find they are not for you, I also encourage you to look for something that is! Over the last few years I have discovered the importance of finding a routine and resources that works for you. My husband reads commentaries – he buys the top 3 on each book of the Bible, reads the entire thing making notes, and sits and reflects upon it. This method just isn’t for me – as much as I am so glad that he does it because it means the devotionals he runs for us are so knowledgeable and in-depth – and similarly, what I recommend here may not work for you.

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The Reading Rut: Reflecting (#5 of 6)

REFLECTING ON GOD’S WORD

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lordand on his law he meditates day and nightHe is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.” (Psalm 1:1-4) [emphasis mine]

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The Reading Rut: Routine – (#4 of 6)

When I first planned this series of the ‘Reading Rut,’ this post was not included in my plan. But as I constructed the previous articles, I realized that the following is an important aspect of reading that needs to be considered. So far, we have looked at some pretty important and encouraging reasons why we should be reading The Bible. In light of these, I hope that it has been clear that reading the Bible is not an aim to be achieved in itself; that is, it is not so we can tell others that we are ticking the Bible-reading box, or even to feel that we are fulfilling our ‘requirements’ as a Christian before God. Rather, it is a means to a greater end—Christ-likeness for God’s glory. Because of this purpose, the way we approach and undertake reading the Bible is incredibly important.

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The Reading Rut: Reasons Part 2 – (#3 of 6)

Why Read the Bible Regularly?

In my previous post, I explored a few reasons why we should be reading God’s Word; that it is God’s chosen way of communicating with us, that it aids our growth by teaching us, correcting us and equipping us to live a godly life, and like a roadmap, it tells us where we are, where we are going and how we get there, giving us an eternal perspective.
These are all very good and important reasons, but if you are someone like me who has grown up as a Christian or has read a lot of your Bible in the past, there is the potential to justify not reading your Bible because you already know the stories and the general gist of it. You know the roadmap already, you know what is regarded as sinful and what glorifies God, so what more knowledge are you going to gain? Aside from the fact that I feel like we are actually never going to stop learning and growing in understanding of God’s Word because it’s so deep and huge, there are many more reasons why we should become disciplined in reading the Bible regularly.

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